You may have heard of the eye ailments of some famous artists, but have you ever considered how visual art can affect your vision? Artists such as Georgia O’Keeffe, Claude Monet, and Edgar Degas all suffered from vision problems, and Marmor, a doctor and eye disease expert, offers a fascinating glimpse into their struggles with their eyes. He has written hundreds of scientific papers on eye disease, and two books, Degas Through His Own Eyes and Eye of the Artist, which discuss how visual art can impact the eye. If you are having trouble seeing you should see Scleral Lenses Denver to check your overall eye health.
Influence of Monet’s painting on the brain’s visual system
Impressionist Claude Monet’s paintings are famous for their dreamy portrayals of nature. What’s fascinating about these paintings is that they may actually have something to do with how the human brain processes visual information. Scientists were not entirely sure what was happening when they saw them, but they can give us insights into how our visual system works. For example, consider his series of paintings of Waterloo Bridge and Poplar trees. The equiluminant colors in his paintings give them their dynamism and power.
Monet created the illusion of three dimensions by painting on a flat, two-dimensional surface. This process is similar to what happens in the brain when you see a three-dimensional object. Your brain projects the three-dimensional image upside-down onto the flat retina, and you connect the dots to extract the missing third dimension. In this case, light, shadow, and contrast make up the three-dimensional illusion of the bridge.
Rembrandt and Titian had cataracts
In 1924, an article in the New England Journal of Medicine revealed that Dutch masters Rembrandt and Titian both suffered from cataracts. Interestingly, the artists’ eyesight improved over time. Rembrandt’s work, for instance, looked smoother and more natural as he aged. But it’s unclear whether he suffered from a cataract or dry macular degeneration. In any case, the effects on his work were significant.
Both Rembrandt and Titian painted portraits of historical figures, but their titles had a spiritual significance. Although their titles are often confused with biblical figures, they are truly portraits of living individuals. Titian’s Titus As a Monk, for example, was thought to be a portrait of his own son, Saint Francis. Until the 20th century, The Apostle Bartholomew was mistaken as a portrait of a baker. Interestingly, both artists were well-read, and their painting techniques reflected their knowledge.
Ancient Asian ink drawings give depth and richness to black ink on white paper
The traditional Asian ink drawing technique is very diverse. Chinese artists like Huang Shen, Xia Gui, and Zhu Da infused black ink on white paper with a rich depth and color. These artists mastered the technique by using different methods and materials to achieve the desired effects. The results are stunning and are often referred to as the masterpieces of the Qing dynasty.
Chinese ink dates back over 2,000 years. It was used in ancient Chinese calligraphy and art and is considered one of China’s Four Treasures of the Study. The ink used by the ancient Chinese artists is called Huimo, or “Hui Mo” – a term which means “ink from the Huizhou region,” which is in Anhui province. The ink used for the Huimo comes from the town of Huangshan in the province of Anhui. Ink manufacturers started supplying special inks to the Qing in the 18th century.
Rembrandt’s later works looked smoother and more natural to the painter
One of the most popular pieces by Rembrandt is the Militia Company of Captain Frans Banning Cocq, painted between 1640 and 1642. The Dutch call it De Nachtwacht, while Sir Joshua Reynolds calls it The Night Watch. This painting looked dimmed and unnatural in the 18th century, but a restoration restored it to look like a broad day. The militia are stepping into the sunlight in a party-like formation.
Unlike Rembrandt’s early work, his later works look less like paintings. While he still used the spotlight to emphasize a central figure in the composition, he also began to use more subdued colors and a less dynamic composition. This new style is known as chiaroscuro. While he may have been concerned with blending different color schemes to create depth and atmosphere, he did not conform to the new taste for smooth, clean colors and uncluttered surfaces.