How Modernism Changed The Visual Art World Starkly From The Traditional Chiaroscuro And Realistic Scenes

995 Words Sep 12th, 2016 4 Pages
Beginning in the late 18th century, a new direction was taken in the art world. Straying away from religious purposes, art became more about modernism. Modernism, defined by Clement Greenberg, focused in art is more about the medium itself rather than the illusion of scenes of reality. An example of how modernism in the visual art world contrasts from the traditional chiaroscuro and realistic scenes, can be found in the 8 ½ by 13 ft oil painting by Henri Matisse, The Dance, 1909-10.
Looking closely at Matisse’ oil painting, a few important components make this work stand out against the traditional ways of painting. As explained by Greenberg, the use of color and line are just two factors of many that create this effect. Matisse’ color choices are far from what a traditional painter would use for figures, the sky and the surroundings. He uses color relationships that highly stimulate the viewer’s eyes. Matisse dissects the color palette of traditional figure painting, picking colors that pop in a way that held the viewer and then hypnotizes them into the world he created. Just off from using complimentary color relation, Matisse fills the figures with a bright orange hue, pushing the figures forward on the dark royal blue sky background. Because of his use of brush strokes, the blue body of color behind the figures becomes balanced with a diversity of transparent brushstrokes to opaque strokes of blue. The same painting technique is found in the figures themselves. Creating…

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