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Beauty of Nature - Thomas Cole and F.B Morse Painting Analysis

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Matthew Marzilli


English III

December 9,2016

“Beauty of Nature”

In the two paintings of nature by Thomas Cole and F.B Morse the viewer recognizes the love and exuberance each painting receives from his environs. In Morse’s painting, The Chapel of the Virgin at Subiaco, 1830 impressionism guides the strokes of each brush. The artist, Thomas Cole, turns the viewer’s eyes toward the glorious waterscape with the rivers eye catching reflections and life-like features being the centerpiece of this beautiful piece.

        Both landscapes by Thomas Cole and Samuel F.B Morse emphasizes the value of nature and peace while possessing transcendentalist ideals and views. Nature definitely plays a key part in these paintings and their meanings. This message is easy to convey given the setting of the country side, and the breathtaking natural sights. These are the stepping stones to the transcendentalist point of view. Key similarities between the two pieces of artwork include use of light to generate mood in different scenarios. Samuel F.B Morse shows a more sympathetic mood rather than the thriving mood in Thomas Coles painting.

        In Samuel F.B Morse’s, “The Chapel at the Virgin of Subiaco”, he uses vibrant hues to give the artwork a visual of romance. With the complimenting colors of light blue in the sky and the deep yellow reflecting from the sunset he expresses the feeling of passion, freedom, and the urge to adventure. In Thomas Coles, View of Arno, near Florence, 1837 the artist captures a serene waterscape with the beautiful large sky in early morning daylight, reflecting on the beautiful river keeping the viewer interested.

        In using these two different times of day the light conveys these pieces to create completely different moods. Samuel Morse’s piece has a great amount of romanticism mainly stemming from use of light with the deep yellow and orange hues. This painting makes the viewer want to know more about what’s happening in this time and place.

        In Samuel Morse’s landscape there seems to be explorers seeking out the momentous city in the background but in their travels they had come along a petite little chapel on the hill side with a glorious view. With them is a girl, and an adventurer in which seems to be leading and sheep in the background which were perhaps being lead to this city to start a life and share tales of adventure love and loss

Thomas’ artwork creates the achievements that man and nature can complete working together and thriving together. Showing nature is there to benefit man and man is there to create balance with nature. He expresses beauty around and involving a utopian society. This painting beholds the primary color of blue with its different tints and shades. With the light blue sky and the greenish blue river, the waterscape is truly showing the importance the river plays in the society in order for the city to thrive. Not only the river played an importance though. The nature such as woods played roles in construction or the boats walls buildings and more showing that this is a nature oriented society.

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