Entry #11: The Calling of St. Matthew

    In The Calling, the scene feels very loud, warm and inviting. The scene also feels caught in a moment of silence,  as if we have just interrupted the business of the men around the table. For illumination, the artist has chosen to use a strong side light. This side light creates contrast among the different figures in the painting. On the left, the gentleman around the table are brightly lit, while the older individuals on the right are dimmer and more in shadow. Overall, the scene has a soft look. The elderly man’s cloak on the right, the outstretched arm and hand, and the faces around the table all exhibit soft shadows and smooth gradients from light to dark. However, there are some harder spots within the painting. On the table, the coins and oil lamp have sharp shadows in comparison to the individuals are the table. There’s also the hard edges on the wall and window before they transition to softer shadows. Colorwise, the lighting has very warm and inviting feeling. It seems like the painting could be taking place near sunset or just after sunrise, times when the sun can take on more yellow and orange tones. As a still image, movement is difficult to see. However, if the painting did occur at sunset, we would get movement through the light’s angle as it comes in through a window or door. Shadows could move up and across the scene, first hiding the men on the right and slowly hiding the men on the table. The color could also show movement, shifting from yellow to more reds, blues and purples.


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