Landscape with St. John on Patmos

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Landscape with St. John on Patmos

By | November 2006
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Nicolas Poussin painted Landscape with St. John on Patmos in 1640. He is considered to be one of the most influential French artists of his era. When looking at the scene, it feels very peaceful; St. John the Evangelist looks very calm and relaxed. He was sent to the Greek island of Patmos for having his Christian beliefs. He is sitting right next to an eagle, which is a symbol of St. John. He is seen in the foreground writing down his visions of the Apocalypse in the Book of Revelation. Around him are the remains of antiquity, which represent the fall of pagan beliefs. St. John appears to be deep in thought and in sync with the natural world around him. Poussin studied Neo-Stoic philosophy, which revolved around emotional self-control and the laws of nature. This is why there is so much order to the environment he created on the canvas. This painting is extremely balanced with St. John's foot in the front center, trees on each side, remains balanced out by small hills on the other side, and a peaceful lake and hill for the eye to escape to. The overall image is very symmetrical. Weight is distributed evenly through out the whole painting. The viewer's eye is led in a circle

starting at St. John and continuing in a clockwise direction to the remains and then on around the whole image. Nicolas Poussin's painting is polychromy using many colors. There are the two primary colors, the blue sky on top and St. John's yellow robe on the bottom, coming together to form green, the trees in the center. St. John's warm colors stand out at the viewer's eye, but are equaled out by the surrounding nature scene. The cool green and blue colors help set the relaxed natural feel to the painting. The light source appears to be coming from the upper left because of the value put on the colors. When looking at the painting, it is unquestionably clear what one is looking at. It is a very naturalistic setting and approach. The proper use of light and shading puts everything into...