Throughout history, art has evolved and taken many different forms and styles. Every artist places his own twist and emphasis on technique on their own work. Leonardo di Vinci painted The Last Supper on the end wall of the Santa Maria delle Grazie monastery in 1495-1498. During this time period, oil painting was very popular. Edvard Munch painted The Scream on a canvas in 1893. Munch mixed oil paint with tempera to create his own unique style of presentation. Even though the artists used a similar painting mixture, The Last Supper and The Scream has distinctive differences and similarities.
Both Leonardo di Vinci and Edvard Munch use directional line in a similar way. In comparison, both paintings use directional line to draw the viewer deeper into the painting. In The Last Supper, the directional lines along the roof draw the viewers into the room created on the wall of the monastery. In The Scream, the directional lines give the viewer a sense of background in the canvas. In both paintings, the directional lines are formed from the strokes of the brush in the way the artists apply paint to their canvas.
However, di Vinci and Munch use directional lines in different ways to express diverse types of emotion. Di Vinci uses mostly horizontal and vertical directional lines in the ceiling, the walls, and the table. From a spatial point of view, the directional lines demonstrate staticity. Specifically, the horizontal lines give a sense of calmness that circles around the focal point of the painting. The vertical lines give a sense of strength particularly in the motionless areas of the painting such as the wall, table, and ceiling.
Nevertheless, Munch uses diagonal directional lines more than horizontal and vertical directional lines. By using diagonal directional lines, Munch is able to create a painting filled with energy. The diagonal directional lines express movement, which can be seen in the wave painted in the background. Within the face of the person on the walkway are small diagonal directional lines. By using these lines, Munch is able to show great emotion within the face. Both di Vinci and Munch use distinctive color contrast in their paintings. However, they use the contrast for two very different reasons.
Di Vinci uses color to contrast between the room and the focus – the table and the people sitting around the table – in the painting. The gray scale color of the surrounding room allows the color of the clothes of the people eated around the table to draw the attention of the viewer. Also, the brown tapestry hanging on the wall contrasts with gray walls giving the viewer a sense that Jesus and his disciples are sitting in a small room; however, they are seated in a blocked- out portion of a larger room. Thus, di Vinci uses contrast to draw the observer’s attention toward the focus point.
On the other hand, Munch contrasts color to express the intensity of the relationship between the figure and the background. The contrast of colors adds to the significance of the emotion in the painting. Munch uses the dark colors such as grey, black, and lue to stir sadness and depression within the observer. Contrasted to the dark colors, Munch uses deep, fiery red as the sky to represent the intense rage of nature. The artist uses light colors for the face of the figure to create a sense that the figure is frozen and engulfed by the darkness.
Thus, Munch uses contrast to draw mostly on the emotion of the viewer. Both The Last Supper and The Scream have different emphasis because the subject of the two paintings are completely different. The subject of The Last Supper is the Passover meal between Jesus and his disciples. Di Vinci places emphasis on his meal by adding brighter clothing to the people. He also creates a sense of confusion and urgency among the disciples, which creates an emphasis around the table. However, Munch’s emphasis is on emotions because his subject is based on the twisted emotions of life.
Munch is able to force the viewer to focus on emotions by use of simplicity. Neither the human figures nor the landscape give the impression of fine detail. Thus, Munch is able to focus the observer’s attention to the emotion rather than merely interpreting an illustration of a particular scene. Both The Last Supper and The Scream have a he focal point at the humans. In The Scream, Munch places the focal point off center to help add curiosity by giving the viewer supporting sightings within the painting. The focal point is the gure with the expression of agony, draws the viewer into the mysterious image.
He manipulates line, color, light, shadow, form, and balance to create a since of anxiety, distress, and horror that the observer may interpret from the painting. Munch uses the light of the figure’s face to create the focal point not only on the figure, but also more specifically the face. By drawing the focal point to the face, Munch shows the personal gony and desperation seen by the wide eyes, opened mouth, and hands on the face In The Last Supper, di Vinci centers Christ among the apostles. He does this by separating Jesus by not allowing any overlap of Jesus and the apostles.
Di Vinci creates a sense of asymmetrical symmetry by how he places the disciples around Jesus. Another way di Vinci makes Christ the focal point by adding the windows behind Jesus’ head, which helps cut Christ out of the rest of the image. The lighter, brighter colors in window draws the human eye faster than the darker colors; thus, windows in the background help draw the ocus to Christ. Both di Vinci and Munch uses implied depth to draw the observer into the painting. By drawing the observer into the painting, one can feel the intense emotion taking place.
Thus, the observer feels emotionally drawn and attached to the painting. Despite both artists using implied depth, the artists find different ways to create this phenomenon. Di Vinci uses aerial perspective, which creates an illusion of depth in landscape scenes. By using aerial perspective, di Vinci creates implied depth by terminating the room at the windows on the far end of the wall. Through the windows a landscape is can be een. Di Vinci finishes the landscape by slowly dulling the colors. This perspective helps the painter for a three-dimensional allusion on a two-dimensional background.
By being able to see past the room helps create a three-dimensional illusion. Edvard Munch relative size to create implied depth. Relative size is when a person perceives an object to be further away when it appears smaller. Munch creates the two people, standing on the walk way, shorter and thinner to help create the relative size illusion. Because Munch paints the two images shorter and thinner in stature, the observer believes that they re placed further down the walkway; thus, Munch is able to create a three-dimensional illusion.
Both Leonardo di Vinci and Edvard Munch painting have unity. However, the way the paintings show unity is different. The Last Supper shows a dynamic unity, where the painting tells part of a story. One can see that Christ’s disciples are reacting to the news of one of Jesus’s announcements as the Passover. Di Vinci uses a range of clothing and hairstyles to help the story flow. Bodies are painted so that they are stretched, twisted, elongated, and overlapped giving the observer a sense of movement to the igures. On the other hand, Edvard Munch achieves unity by blending distinctive colors.
Through the use of mixing lighter, brighter colors to create darker colors, Munch creates an emotional conflict. The darkness of the colors present a feeling of anxiety, while the lighter colors represent a feeling of freedom and happiness. Through this conflict, Munch is able to draw on the observer’s emotion and feelings because in one painting he exposes emotions that most everyone feels in one day. Thus, Munch is able to create unity throughout his painting by using color to draw upon the observer’s daily emotions.