Analysis Of The Fountain Of Vaucluse

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On September 26, 2017 I visited the Dallas Museum of Art where I saw “The Fountain of Vaucluse” by Thomas Cole. The oil on canvas painting, displays a rocky landscape which captures the beauty of nature and civilization while also provoking thought in the viewer. An individual’s nature to hope for something better than the current discomfort he or she is experiencing is portrayed through Cole’s use of color and environmental contrast in this piece. The work is very smooth and fluid making it appear much like a photograph. The oil is not built up on top of itself keeping it very two dimensional. The colors vary between dark and light throughout the painting. In the top right corner, the sun, outside the painting, shining down, aluminates the castle and also the lone tree at the bottom left corner. Besides the back cliff, the rest of the painting is in shadow and displayed in a much more melancholy tone. The colors that Cole focuses on, to display the sharp contrast between rock and nature, are mostly dark greens and gold. The striking blue of the river stands out dramatically from the rest of the colors and draws the eye after the initial citing. The grey in the cloud is the only place where I can find that shade of gray in the work, and it sets itself apart from the snow white clouds in the background. The color helps draw the eye immediately to the castle on the hill. My eyes then fallow the flow of the river down to the tree, which is illuminated by a beam of sunlight.

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