Tuesday, 9 February 2016

Natural Bridge, Virginia - David Johnson - 1860

Natural Bridge, Virginia is created by David Johnson is his attempt of the portrayal of the sublime in nature. The painting uses light very well to emphasise the beauty of this natural landscape. As we see the bridge is in the distance, and is surrounded by dense vegetation. This vegetation also gives the sense that a lot of the surrounding areas are unknown and mysterious, that also with the fact the limited amount of light reflecting from the vegetation.

From the look of the painting on the left side, there seems to be the presence of a home, maybe livestock, this gives the indication of human presence, this also gives the painting a balance between man and nature. This balance, paired with the relatively small scale of the work and its elevated perspective, prevents the viewer from being overwhelmed by a spectacular vista, instead, it gives the viewer a more compacted view of the painting, and thus gives them more time to think about a particular aspect.

At one time, Thomas Jefferson owned Natural Bridge and the land that surrounded it. In the nineteenth century, the Virginia land bridge was among the most well known natural wonders in North America. Thousands of European and American tourists journeyed to the site, marvelling at what they saw as evidence of God’s sublime creation.

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