David Marquis

Some of these figures are made by the paint that’s put around the figures, and that is so different than Neoclassical paint. This figure would have been completely finished and then the color would have gone around it. But this figure is defined and created by the color that’s placed around all the flesh tones. And he changes that color as he needs to, to create that whole and that’s such an important concept about painting, it seems obvious but it wasn’t obvious. That is not how painting was done.

If you look in this figure in the far right, you see how that greenish turquoise tone intensifies that pinkish red and that’s because again they are getting to be close to opposites on the color wheel. And who would think of making it a green as a shadow, I mean that was unheard of.

To me Cézanne takes the lessons of Delacroix and he just takes it even a few steps further and looking, at his seeing The Bathers and you see the same dabs of color only they are a little bit larger dabs of color. You see the importance of the direction of those dabs of color. You don’t just see a green, you see a blue-green, a yellow-green and there is very little use of value in this painting, it’s really about color. If you look at the flesh tones and the figure on the far right of the bathers, you look and you see a perfect example, the use of warm and cool, you see those pinkish tones next to that green color that he is using for the shadow. That is so different than the way the Neoclassicists used color.

If you put the right colors next to a blue which is considered a cool color you can actually make it look hot or warm and make it advance, depending on what you put next to it. So it’s all getting back to that principle of a color only exist in relation to its neighbor and understanding how we perceive color is so important in understanding these artists because they were exploring this and learning on their paintings and on the palette, how these colors interact.

During the Renaissance every color had a meaning, it represented something whereas for them it’s not necessarily descriptive and it’s not symbolic, it’s just about color it’s about the interaction of color.

Value is when you take a color and you add black to any color, it makes it darker. When you add white to any color, it makes it lighter but not necessarily brighter so there is a difference between bright and light, both a light color and a bright color will advance next to a dark color or a dull color to different degrees depending on everything else.

Back to parent stop