Color Interaction: Samuel Jonsson

I learned about this fresco in my history of fine arts class. It really caught my attention with its vivid, yet colorful, portrayal of such a gruesome and awesome scene. In the top right lies the angels whom watch over the damned. The use of gradual change in intensity of silver and blue with the addition of highlights in the front give the realistic perspective that’s so iconic with Renaissance art. To the left of this, you see demons fly in with some Damned people and there is established the color palates between demons and humans. The Damned are shown with an irregular reddish skin tone to matched the burning feelings of being in Hell and the demons act as complementary and slightly complementary colors (such as green or yellow) with their uncomfortably surreal skin.

A fresco from the San Brizio chapel, Orvieto Cathedral, Orvieto, Italy. Made by Luca Signorelli, the piece is called The Damned Cast into Hell.

The shading and body positions act tense and painful almost like fire, something really reminiscent of The Battle of Ten Nudes, which compliments the agonizing situation of the people that Luca Signorelli is trying to replicate. As the audience grasps the size of the unfortunate souls to undergo this ordeal, the eyes slowly and surely go back up top to the horizon where, whatever colors under that, are neutralized by the subtle white and gradual blue of the sky. This ties the bottom half to the top half and gives the overall piece a sense of completion.

I love the use of complementary colors used within this piece. Even with some modern pieces of graphic design, I love the use of red and green to create an effect of chaos and hell. But in addition to this, the use of perfect shading and subtle intensity adjustments to make the overall piece seem real but miserable.

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