Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Claude-Joseph Vernet

Seascape, Evening, 78 x 156 cm

A Seastorm, 1752
Diagonals create dynamism, but just as the vertical and horizontal lines in a composition should be balanced, diagonal elements should also be balanced. In the work above, the right leaning diagonal of the rain is balanced by left leaning cliffs and rocks, and the tilted ship.  The old masters usually made sure that tilted lines lean inwards towards the centre of the painting. If diagonals lean out of an image, it tends to lose its visual gravity. The human eye has a tendency to follow paths created by lines in an image, especially from left to right. The ship on the right acts as a kind of full stop preventing the viewer's eye running along the horizon line and out of the painting. By tilting inwards, it directs the eye back into the image. A strong image captivates the eye, but keeps it moving around within its frame.

The Port of Sete

No comments: