In Thomas Cole’s The Oxbow he depicts a landscape in the aftermath of a storm. Contrasting darkness into light a clear view is given of the remnants of the storm shown by dark clouds and gnarled trees and metamorphoses into the bright and sunny New England countryside. In comparison Hokusai’s Ejira in Suruga Province, also a landscape but shown in a different perspective. Where The Oxbow is seemingly calm and contained, Ejira In Suruga Province is a flurry of motion its’ inhabitants scurrying for shelter from the powerful gusts of wind.
UNITY & VARIETY
In The Oxbow the implied lines and shapes seemingly going in all different directions give the work the illusion of mass, likewise the light and dark areas fade into each other unifying the work and creating a unique landscape. The varying changes from dark to light shifts the focal point from the ravaged tress and dark clouds to the bright blossoming of a new day bringing everything together and gives the feel of being above ground observing the metamorphous from a birds’ eye view. This is effectively achieved by the use of an Analogous color scheme of green, yellow-green and bits of brown throughout the landscape. In contrast the Ejira In Suruga Province, gives a totally different feeling and perspective. In this landscape the diagonal lines seem to push the inhabitants into motion giving the feeling of being caught in the middle of the storm rather than the aftermath as in The Oxbow. This flurry of motion shifts the focal point from the people rushing for shelter, to the trees swaying in the wind and on to the debris that disappears into the biggest underlying focal point, the outline of a mountain. The mountain is merely two intersecting lines and nothing more, yet it manages to make its presence clearly known as everything else seems to point in that direction. These visual elements bring the work together in a maelstrom of movement and their chaotic differences bring the work together in...
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