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Formal Analysis of Storm on the Sea

of Galilee PT I

Rembrandt’s piece uses many elements of art and principles of


design to convey the piece’s underlying meaning.
The first and most remarkable factor of the piece is the movement.
The artist uses lines to create movement all throughout the piece.
These lines are apparent in the bottom of the piece where the waves
seem to be colliding with the sailship. The lines create the movement
of the waves onto the sailship, so as to create emphasis on it.
Furthermore, these lines lead the viewer’s attention to be drawn in
the center of the piece to not only create emphasis, but convey the
intention of the artist.
Movement is also created through the value. The viewers attention
is drawn from the dark color of the sea in the foreground to the bright
color of the breaking waves, which is then contrasted with the center
of the piece where the colors appear to be illuminated and brighter
than its surroundings.

Date: 1633
Dimensions: 160 cm & 128 cm
Medium: Oil on Canvas
Location: Unknown because of theft
Formal Analysis of Storm on
the Sea of Galilee PT 2

It is also notable that there is a division of color that appears


in the sky between the right and left side of the image. The
left side of the image appears to be tinted which creates
more emphasis on that side of the image to perhaps create
emphasis and convey the message; the miracle of calming
the storm.
The artist’s use of cool colors set the intentional tone. By
using rather darker colors, the viewer is able to recognize the
dreary tone of the piece. Hence, the artist is able to convey
the effects of the forceful storm and contrast it with warm
colors, which appear in the center, to further convey the
meaning behind the piece.
The subject of the piece is placed in a way to create an
asymmetrical balanced composition. By doing so, the
artist is effectively able to captivate the viewer’s attention.
The sailship placed at the center of the piece contrasts the
negative space in the background. This contrasts makes the
piece as a whole, more appealing to the viewer.
Rembrandt’s piece uses numerous elements of art and principles of design in an aim to communicate the
message of the piece.

As the lines are directed


to the center of the piece
The piece has
and hence, move the
movement
viewer’s eye on the
created through the
subject. It creates
artist’s use of lines.
emphasis on that subject
The viewer’s attention
and captivate the viewer’s
is drawn from the
attention. This, in turn,
bottom left of the
may bring the reader to
piece towards the
understand the meaning
center of the piece.
of the piece.

The artist places the lightly


valued sailship with a dark
value of the sea to draw
attention on the center.
Analysis: Formal Elements of The Raft of the Medusa

The movement, which was previously mentioned,


adds to the artists intention of putting emphasis on
the most prominent aspects of the piece, the subject
in the center,while also playing a crucial role in
determining the purpose. The emphasis resulting
from the movement conveys the message of the
piece and the artists aim of reconciling art and
reality.
The main subject at the center of the piece also
compliments the negative space in the background,
aside from the waves. The artist may have created
this sort of balance between the positive and
negative space in an effort to captivate the attention
of the viewer and hence, lead them to make a link
between the piece and the overall theme.
Contrast is also apparent between the
The color(s) and dark clouds and the light sky which
value used create creates movement throughout the
a contrast. The piece.
dark figures are
contrasted with
the lightly colored The movement adds to
sky. the artists intention of
putting emphasis on the
most prominent aspects
of the piece, the subject
in the center.

The main subject which


can be seen at the center
of the piece also
compliments the negative
space in the background,
creating emphasis.
Comparison of the Pieces
When looking at both pieces, there are a couple of remarkable
similarities. At first sight, one can recognize that both of the pieces’
foreground consist of united individuals on some sort of vessel at sea.
When considering the elements the two pieces share similarities such
as movement, value, and emphasis. In both pieces, the elements draw
the viewer's attention to different parts of the work. It should be noted
that in both works the artists uses value to create contrast.

To exemplify this, we can see how Rembrandt’s painting has a dark color of the
sea which is contrasted with a brighter color of the ship and the breaking of the
waves. In the second piece, The Raft of the Medusa, the dark figures in the
center of the piece contrasts with the light ones. Additionally, the bright sky
contrasts with the dark clouds.
As already mentioned, both pieces have a notable use of value which creates
contrast. This contrast also creates movement throughout both pieces, hence,
creating emphasis and conveying the message.
Work Cited
The Storm on the Sea of Galilee, 1633 by Rembrandt,
www.rembrandtpaintings.com/the-storm-on-the-sea-of-galilee.jsp.

The Storm on the Sea of Galilee, 1633 by Rembrandt,


www.rembrandtpaintings.com/the-storm-on-the-sea-of-galilee.jsp.

“Work The Raft of the Medusa.” The Raft of the Medusa | Louvre Museum |
Paris, www.louvre.fr/en/oeuvre-notices/raft-medusa.

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