Rocky Coastline, Cornwall Analysis

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The painting chosen, Rocky Coastline, Cornwall is an oil on canvas painting by William Trost Richards from 1886. This painting depicts a rigid cliff accompanied by crashing waves of a deep ocean as well as a dark overhead sky. The artist, Richards attended Central High School, adjacent to La Salle University, but later dropped out due to his father’s death. He had a special interest in geological subjects, and after 1868, focused solely on coastal scenes, such as this painting. I chose this painting because I was very intrigued by the realism and detail of the rocks and waves, nearly resembling a sharp photograph. This painting is a vivid and realistic painting that uses a wide range of value in its colors as well as atmospheric perspective in its composition to show depth and movement. This painting has three main focal points: the rocky cliff, the crashing water, and the dark sky. The rocks give the painting a rigid, textured look that is nearly realistic. The waves create a sense of chaos and excitement in the water. The dark and cloudy sky gives the impression of an impending storm moving toward the coast. I don’t think this painting tells a specific story, but rather was composed to really…show more content…
This oil on canvas painting, Rocky Coastline, Cornwall, by William Trost Richards is one that truly apprehends your focus with its intensity and chaos of the storm and violent waves crashing among the rocky cliffs. The vividness and realism of the colors and details facilitates the wide value ranges as well as the skillful use of atmospheric perspective within the piece. These elements unify the painting which creates that essential sense of depth and movement in the waves and sky that make it so realistic. This painting is truly brilliant and detailed, and I look forward to exploring more of this artist’s works as well as others
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