Friday, March 27, 2009

More Light Effects

Almost a standard light effect was to illuminate the hero from the back. With the sun behind he appeared with an aureola, illuminated by the divine light.
Although this pose was proved in thousands of religious paintings it pretended now to be natural.

Here the French battle painter Horace Emile Jean Vernet (1789-1863) shows Napoleon as the victor of Friedland (1807) with a divine aureola.

Totally different (in its intentions not its methods) is this painting from the German Adolf Northen (1828-76): Napoleon's retreat from Moscow (1851)
The light comes from the upper right illuminates Napoleon from the back, passes and focuses on the dead soldier on the ground. The light effect is further intensified by the fact that Napoleons's horse and the dead soldier are white.

Napoleon is leading his troops into death. He's the rider on the pale horse from the Apocalypse whose name was Death.

All these effects are well planned and arranged. Even though the paintings are realistic in many details they are pure constructions as a whole.

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