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There are many amazing artworks which make people think, imagine, and dream. One of them is called The Sower by Vincent van Gogh. It was created in 1888. In my opinion, the subject of the work is the beauty of growing something. Van Gogh focused on a sower as a person creating life in the fields whose job was truly fascinating. The work depicts a man walking on a field who carries seeds in his hands which are about to become plants; and the sun rises which shows a start of new day and life. This piece of art emphasizes on the necessity to interfere with nature by taking care of it because this noble and harmonic job makes person’s life meaningful.
When looking at the painting for the first time, I focused on the sun, and only then, I noticed a man walking and throwing seeds on the ground. I was not sure whether it was morning or evening, but I figured that since a man is planting something, it had to be morning when everything begins. My first impression was that sun gives light to everything, therefore without the sun the field would look dark and unwelcome.
Nevertheless, as I looked for a picture a second longer, I noticed the man and realized that he was the focal point since he was the main person doing actions in the picture. I believe that the play on colours with bright back and darker front and the man willing to move on the painting have led me to understanding of the focal point and appreciating the work of a sower.
The artist used strong actual lines with thick amount of paint and broad brushes. or instance, whenever looking at wheat under the sun, the viewers see the strong lines as if they form a 3-D image. The lines are jagged and full of energy, and they are combinations of vertical, diagonal, horizontal, and curved. The types of lines are curvilinear and bold.
Paying attention to the shapes, the author distorted them to make the painting the fantastic image within a person’s imagination. The mass is actual with rich usage of colours and vividness. The space is also created due to the contrast with various colours overlapping in the front while there is a bright golden colour on the back adding imaginative room to the work. The main figure is to the right on the painting, it looks relatively small, and it is entirely within the space. I found the painting to be illusionistic because I felt like I could enter the field and walk there alongside the sower. Because of the bright sun in the centre of the picture, the painting looks very deep so a person can drown in it. The sun diminishes the size of everything and the field looks like an ocean with birds flying over it. The man, although small, appears to be a giant conquering an ocean of plants and wheat. There is atmospheric perspective with colours and shadows overlapping however the picture does not show a real movement, it implies that a man is moving. For example, his hand is in such a position that it is about to go up, and the man looks like he is about to make a step forward.
There is a necessity to focus on lights even more because they are extremely vital for this work. The illusion of light was created through combination of different colours in the frontt. When painting the grass/plants, the author combined black, blue, orange, and a little white, and then, he framed it with brightness of golden sun and orange wheat. There are many visible shades such as at the front beneath the walking man. The shadows are dark, and they give a work a sense of realism despite its distorted vision. The tone of light is rather cold as it looks like light from somewhere distant, and there are strong value contrasts. I would say that light in this case is a medium which carries a message on its own. There is an actual texture with various colours and thick strokes overlapping. As it was mentioned before, the colours in the piece are extremely important, as well because they help to emphasize on important things.
The work has asymmetrical balance with the main focus on the man, but because of sun being centred on the picture, there is a sense of variety. The lines and shadows direct the eye toward the man, but the brightness makes people look at the sun, so with man as a focal point, the sun is being subordinated. Although the figures look fantastic, the balance and proportions are realistic, and the pictures portrays the dimensions and actual sizes of a landscape as if a person was seeing it, with repetitive lines and colours.
The author created a powerful piece which conveyed a strong message of creating life and being one with nature through actually taking care of it. Thanks to the shadows and vivid usage of colours, I was able to appreciate the man’s importance in the painting as well as to see his figure being there as a greeting the sun and doing something essential for growing new life.