Color Traditions in Fine Art. Giotto, 13 th c Italian Renaissance painter Early Renaissance paintings were traditionally painted on wet plaster in.

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Color Traditions in Fine Art Giotto, 13 th c Italian Renaissance painter Early Renaissance paintings were traditionally painted on wet plaster in a technique known as FRESCO. The pigments, mostly earth colors like ochres, umbers, charcoal, chalk, and pink or green clay were mixed with water and applied to wet plaster. Brighter colors, not water-based earth hues, were added later after mixing the pigments with glue or egg as a binder. These colors were less permanent, and more transparent. (note the difference in opacity between the brown cloaks and blue cloaks). Colors were blended to create shape and depth by painting two values next to one another, then lightly mixing by hatching. Most objects are a single color with a small range of values. Michelangelo, Sistene Chapel before and after restoration As these frescoes are restored, there is debate about the actual colors used. Were they originally intended to be subtler and somber, were the very bright hues only underpaintings, or were the dark tones just the effect of years of smoke and dust accumulation? Oil became a medium for pigments around the 15 th c, allowing for more brilliant, luminous colors. Still, most pigments were limited to earth-based hues: red madder, yellow ochre, terre-verte, iron oxide red, brown verdaccio, black, and ultramarine. This started a tradition of coloring objects and characters symbolically, preserving the most expensive pigments (blues) for the most important/spiritual figures: why we always see the Madonna in blue. Jan Van Eyck, Annunciation These late renaissance paintings continued the tradition of limiting the hues within each object. Drawing and painting was separate: the image was carefully rendered, then each section was filled in with color and tone. Titian, 16 th c Venetian Painter, Considered color as a compositional element, and was known for expanding the palette and richness of colors. Delacroix tried to recreate natural lighting by juxtaposing bright, unmixed colors, allowing the viewers eye to blend them optically. This technique was known as BROKEN COLOR. No longer would an object be painted in simply shades and tints of a single hue. Eugene Delacroix, 1827 Barque of Dante French Romantic painter Impressionism sought to depict light phenomena as it existed in the world. Their movement was aided by the invention of tube paint-allowing them to bring materials into city streets or nature and work directly from life, rather than from studies in the studio. Claude Monet, Impression- Sunrise, 1872 Paul Gauguin, Day of the Gods, 1894 Juxtaposed large areas of contrasting color to exaggerate those colors. Post-Impressionist movements: Fauvism Fauvist painters eliminated all link to local color and used color soley as an expressive tool. Andre Derain, 1906 Matisse, Madam Matisse 1905 These expressive color choices began to pave the way for abstraction and away from all naturalistic concerns in art. Mark Rothko Color field painting sought to envelope the viewer in areas of color to provide and emotional response. Mark Rothko favored subtle edge transition, making color areas that seem to float and glow. Barnett Newman was more interested in hard-edged geometric planes of color Carl Andre, 1960 Minimalism sought to reduce art to its purest forms: cubes, plinths, stacks. Similarly, color was reduced as well. Minimalists favored the colors inherent in the materials they used, or else chose simple, primary colors, colors that existed simply as color, and not as expressive or depictive elements. Robert Morris Robert Morris, 1964 Donald Judd, 1984 OP Art, emerged along with minimalism Shared an interest in flat, un-modulated color and geometric forms. They used color and shape to create illusions of three-dimensional space and movement. Favored contrasting, colors that created optical vibrations Victor Vasarely Or limited colors that create the illusion of color phantom hues Op artists benefitted from the emergence of acrylic, allowing for flat, opaque, quick-drying paint with no blending. Bridget Riley Industrial Colors: Linda Benglis, glow in the dark latex sculpture Linda Benglis, Latex Floor Piece George Sugarman, Powder-coated steel sculpture Industrial Colors: Jim Lambie, electrical tape floor piece

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