Frederic Edwin Church (1826-1900)
Rainy Season in the Tropics, 1866
Oil on Canvas, 213.8 x 142.9 cm
Frederic Edwin Church is one of the most significant painters of the Hudson River School whose greatest works inspire awe about natural wonders. One of his famous works “Rainy Season in the Tropics” (1886), oil on canvas, is currently part of the Mildred Anna Williams Collection at The Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, USA. This work presents the enormous power of the nature but at the same time it calls the viewer to step into and explore the true value of the nature. The Ecuadorian Andes, occupying most of the painting, draw the entire viewer’s attention into the misty valley below, while the rainy forest, showing a scene based on a trip to Jamaica in 1865, fits in the right corner of the painting. But the visual weight of small area of dark green jungles and two travelers offsets large amounts of neutral blue, pink, and gray colors of the sky and rocks. Such a combination of small concentrated dark spots and vast light spaces makes a composition very balanced. The admiration and inspiration by the nature is shown by placing the rainbow in the middle ground of the work: it stretches across the sky to connect the landscapes. It is a creation by the nature: like a miracle, after a stormy day, it brightens the painting with plenty of colors. Author paints it geometrically perfectly to show the sophistication of this natural miracle. Church is very attentive to details: the rainbow is painted with seven colors that are getting darker to the bottom and lighter to the centre of the rainbow; it has some highlights at the spot where the sunshine pierces through it; it is endless and hiding from the viewer’s eyes in the mist. The rainbow disappears in the spot with no clouds, where the sky is ideally blue. This stresses the dynamics of the nature, its movement and emotional depth. It looks so realistic, almost alive, and...