Judith in captivating color

19 Nov

(after) Gaspare Traversi, “Judith with the head of Holofernes and her maidservant,” c.1722-1770, Oil on canvas, 59 x 53 cm, auctioned by Sotheby’s 4/8/2003 (Lot 225)

I am fascinated by this painting.  Not by the composition or the characters – but by the color.   Truthfully, I skipped over this painting when I was first collecting Judith‘s.   “After Traversi” did not meet my criteria and the composition was not unique.  But the color – I could not forget the color.   I am in love with blue.

Actually, I love color in general.   A box of Crayola crayons is exciting, the paint chips at the hardware store are thrilling,  the color wheel is enthralling.  And when colors are “not quite right,” it sends me into a tizzy.

But I am ignorant of the subcategories of color names.  Of course I know this is blue – but which blue?   I was going with Cerulean Blue;  however, this shade only conforms to a few examples and is certainly not the norm.   So I tried Blue-Green, which I learned from Crayola is slightly closer to blue than green (versus Green-Blue which is slight closer to green).   And then I fell into domain-specific naming schemes, such as X11, HTML4, RGB, and CMYK.  Which tumbles me into digital arts where I have never been before.  Crap, what happened to the safety of my crayon box?

My choices:   Blue-Green (of course), Bondi Blue, Bali Blue, Blue (Munsel), Bright Cerulean, Celadon Blue, French Blue, Medium Persian Blue, Sea Blue, Teal Blue.  All lovely, but … what if the colors are off on my computer monitor?

Screw it.  I just enjoy the richness and uniqueness of the color, how daring Judith is to wear it and how that small touch illuminates her shoulder.   How the repetition on the maid’s head cover gives balance to the scene.

Maybe it was a fluke for the artist as well.   Whatever.   It works for me.

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Posted by on November 19, 2012 in Distracted


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