Landscape with Traveller by Salvator Rosa in 1640 – Essay Example

The paper "Landscape with Traveller by Salvator Rosa in 1640" is a great example of an essay on visual arts and film studies. Baroque artist Salvator Rosa’s painting depicts a group, probably a family, asking for directions to their destination as shown by the pointing gesture of the man in front of the horse as well as by the expression on the faces of the man and the woman. The path towards the destination of the travelers shows a piece of landscape showcasing the representational change from darkness to light. The scene presented by the artist implies that the travelers are moving from a dark and forlorn life to a better place where life hopefully will be better as represented by the dark to light areas in the painting. The group apparently came from a wretched place as evident in the tattered clothes of the man behind the horse.

Noticeably, the painting is an asymmetric composition. The part of the artwork with the travelers is balanced by the color of the sky which catches the attention of viewers and directs the eyes to the men at the roadside. The asymmetrical composition of the painting contributes to the directional focus the artist wanted to achieve. Eyes of viewers are directed towards the subjects of the painting that is the travelers; this was accomplished by using light, color and implied lines employed by the artist. Light prominently shines on the travelers while the colors used particularly for the woman’s clothes calls attention than the colors used for her surroundings. The implied lines are created by the stares of the roadside men which are directed towards the travelers.

Lines used by Rosa also added to the perspective set on the painting. Diagonal or oblique lines dominate the painting indicating that the subject of the painting is in motion. Viewers can recognize the movement in the piece with the crisp but implied lines of the man on the front pointing with his arm raised and the raised heel of the man at the hind part of the horse which indicates that he is walking. The lines used by the artist also helped in creating an illusion of texture in the artwork. Although the physical texture of the painting is smooth, the artist showcased textures with the folds of the woman’s dress, the rocks, and trees along the road as well as the worn-out clothes and footgear of the man at the hind part.
Dominant hues in the painting are green, brown, blue and yellow in varying saturations. Intense colors are used on the woman’s yellow dress, the blue clothing article of the man behind the horse as well as the yellow and blue on the bright sky. On the other hand, the blue shirt of the old man at the roadside, the green trees and the brown colors of the rocks are hues with low intensity. Values of blue are evident in the skies, the clothes of the old man at the roadside and the man at the hind part of the group. The varying values of yellow can be observed in the vest of the man in front of the horse, the woman’s dress as well as the skies.
Colors are employed to give emphasis on the subject of the painting instead of lines. It also created a sense of direction in the artwork by accentuating the destination of travelers. The hues helped set the mood for viewers sending off a sense of movement or an impression that the group is indeed in migration.
The light and dark pigments used by the artist in the painting created an illusion of sunlight on the skies as well as the light reflected from the travelers. Emulating the natural light from the sun causes eyes of the viewers to focus on the travelers as well as on the skies. Rosa’s dramatic use of light pigments for the travelers draws the attention of viewers immediately to the group.
Color, lines and the position of elements created an illusion of space in the painting. The artist used techniques of Overlapping forms and Atmospheric perspective to produce the spatial illusion. The overlapping human forms of the men at the roadside, as well as the human and animal forms of the travelers set against the layers of boulders, trees, and skies, give an impression that the figures are three-dimensional. The atmospheric perspective technique provided the illusion of distance and space past the rocks and trees.
“Landscape with Travellers” by Salvator Rosa exhibits the elements and good composition of a painting. The artist effectively conveyed the sense of movement to viewers of the painting while demonstrating his skills in capturing the picturesque landscape.

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