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In 1883 the romantic artist Martin Johnson Heade visited Florida Impressed with St Augustine Heade settled there and worked in a studio in the Ponce De Leon Hotel made available to the artist by Henry Flagler railroad magnate and developer of Floridas east coast The combination of St Augustines Old World atmosphere tropical vegetation and serene marshes created the ideal working environment for Heade Heades contribution to American nineteenth-century painting is embodied by his study of light particularly as reflected in painting of sun-dappled fields and marshes Casson 213 He is admired for his originality and for the subtle atmosphere effects glorious light and sumptuous warmth of his canvases The St Johns River marked with a colorful sky steady movement and a quiet mood is a good example of Heades mature painting style The first visual technique that the artist used in this painting was Heades brilliant use of light The dark greens of the trees and the blackness of the bushes contrast strongly against the atmospheric scattering of sparkling light rays dissolve into cool shades of the evening The bright tint of the sparkling sun seems to fade slowly as late afternoon wends its way to dusk and dusk to nightfall In chapter three of my textbook I read the most interesting theory of light that helped me to better understand the visual elements of art used in this particular painting and every other piece of art that I encounter Light is fascinating stuff It radiates It illuminates It dazzles It glows It beckons like a beacon We speak of the light or reason We speak of genius as brilliance Visible light undulates wavelike throughout the universe It bounces off objects and excites cells in our eyes enabling us to see Light is at the very core of the visual arts Without light there is no art Osbourne 50 With Heades magnificent use of light he is able to express
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