Jan Verneer “Woman Holding a Balance”
Light is used to draw your attention towards the woman holding the scale. The painting itself is asymmetrically balanced, drawing the viewers eye toward the “large” visually weighted bright object on the right distracting them from the darkness in the left. It seems that when one draws an oblique line from the top left corner to the bottom right corner, the light and darkness are almost evenly divided even though this draws the viewer’s attention to the top right half of the painting. The center axis of the composition runs through the fulcrum of the scale. The focal point of the painting is the woman. Everything around the woman is a certain shade of blue, except the woman’s face and the part of her coat sorrounding her face which the artist uses light to draw attention to. The viewer of the painting is forced to think of the connection between the woman weighing her jewelry and the painting in the background of a person’s judgement. Perhaps this is why light and dark are used so strongly. I do not know if it is coincidence that the jewelry on the right is surrounded in darkness indicating evil and the painting of judgment is in the light indicating good.
Enguerrand Quarton “Coronation of the Virgin”
The painting uses bilateral symmetry creating a sense of unity and wholeness in the painting. It is no coincidence that Jesus on the crucifix is the center axis of the painting. The possible message behind this is that even though the religions may be different they still have a lot in common with each other. On one side of the painting is Rome and on the other side is Jerusalem. Purgatory is placed on the left of the painting and Hell is placed on the right. Both these contrasts are designed to place a sense of balance and unity in theology. The viewer’s eye is automatically drawn to the Virgin Mary; the artist makes Mary proportionally much larger than everyone else in the...
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