Both William Turner and Frederic Church are considered to be talented painters in their own right. Both of them possess their own unique style. Turner’s painting Venice, from the Porch of Madonna della Salute and Church’s Heart of the Andes demonstrate key features of the style of two painters as well as show differences between artistic manner of two artists. While both being under the influence of Romanticism, Turner is more “aquarelle” in his manner, even in oil, while Church is precise and idealistic when depicting nature.
Church’s painting Heart of the Andes underlines his commitment to Romantic philosophy, which focuses on the divinity of nature. From this point of view, the painting is picturesque and idealistic. It presents a serene picture of natural landscape, which creates an atmosphere of peace and reverence. The subject matter and composition of the painting illustrate the idea that God and nature are one, which is typical for Romantic art. Human does not dominate nature, but the latter is always open to people. Nature is a resort that can always accept humans and console them. In the painting human presence is demonstrated by a tiny church in the distance. This reveals an idea that a way to God is unknown. There is also no laid way to Him. The color pallet used in the painting is natural and with its help Church creates an effect of luminosity. The painting looks as if it is full of golden light, which is in line with the message of the artist. Another peculiar characteristic of the painting is Church’s attention to detail. His manner of painting is almost photographic. Every small branch of a tree and every bird are carefully painted. Of course, this precision was possible to achieve due to a large size of the painting, which is approximately three meters in length.
In contrast to Church, Turner’s Romantic vision is different. Venice, from the Porch of Madonna della Salute presents a more urban landscape by depicting ships in canals of Venice. The same atmosphere of serenity is present in a painting, however, it is not as solemn as the atmosphere created by Church. The style is close to Impressionist art, because painting of Turner is done in the same style as he does in his aquarelles. Besides, color palette is also different from that of Church, who uses more natural colors like mixed shades of brown, yellow, and green. In contrast, Turner uses purer colors like blue. His painting is also lighter and is dominated by the shades of white. His work is blurry and looks more like a fairytale illustration rather than a realistic painting. Despite using oil, the Turner manages his painting to look transparent, which makes it different from a more precise and down-to-earth painting by Church. Because of having almost no earth in the picture, just sky and water, an impression of a more fragile and airy place is created. In contrast, Church’s painting of the mountains looks more monumental because of a different landscape and artist’s manner. Turner’s manner creates an impression of movement due to his technique, so that ships and boats seem to come from the background to the foreground.
Turner and Church are both remarkable artists, especially due to their individual styles of painting. Church’s painting reveals the serenity of nature. He presents nature as a place where humans can find their relief. He pays a lot of attention to precision of details and creates the impression of luminosity. Turner, in contrast, makes his painting more transparent and much lighter, which brings him close to Impressionist art. Unlike Church’s preference of natural and earthy colors, Turner chooses purer and lighter shades of white, blue, and yellow. As a result, Church’s painting looks more solemn and monumental, while Turner’s one creates an impression of movement and transformation.
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|Primitivism in 19/20 Century Modern Art||Eldena Ruin by Caspar David Friedrich|