Fiercely the Red Sun Descending / Burned His Way Along the Heavens Thomas Moran Buy Art Prints Now
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Tom Gurney BSc (Hons) is an art history expert with over 20 years experience
Published on June 19, 2020 / Updated on October 14, 2023
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Moran completed this painting in 1876. His inspiration for the art was poet Henry Wadsworth. He got the title of his painting from the content of one of his poems that was titled, The Song of Hiawatha.

In this piece, Moran integrates both the Luminist and impressionist styles. The painting contains a sea alongside the mountains. They are illuminated by the sun that is depicted in different colours as it penetrates through the dark scenery. Some of the colours that can be observed in this case are orange, yellow and red. The blending of these colours depicts a natural view that attracts the attention of the viewers in question. The reflection of the sun can be observed in the sea and even into the sky. The integration of the styles depicts the artist’s ability to select the different elements to come up with a unique and stimulating outcome. He was inspired by Turner’s paintings in his style of art.

The medium of this painting was oil on canvas. The mood of the painting is gloomy. This is attributed to the troubled sea and the seemingly fierce sun. The behaviours of these two aspects indicate that things are not alright, and thus there is a need to check out the human paths. Currently, this work is held at the North Carolina Museum of Art.

Thomas Moran's use of palette, as well as illumination, assisted in developing a painting that dissipates energy and intensity. The selection of paint is mostly darkened, and that made this artwork appear and feel mysterious. Moran depicts a wild ocean, which suggests a threat overall. The hilly background appears partly concealed by the crowds, which is the sky.

The crowd overhead produces a mist that disrupts both the hilly background as well as the atmosphere itself. Therefore, these darkened colors get contrasted with vibrant hues of reds as well as oranges that illuminate the whole of the sidelines of the picture. The utterly mixed technique is highly predominant here because the technique is best described by the impact of illumination in the natural environment, and Thomas moran drew from the two to develop or generate this particular scene. The illumination in this scene, as depicted by Thomas Moran, comes from the sun's light and progressively disappears, the more you continue viewing the painting towards the right side. The illumination from the sun increases the red rays into the sea that lightens up the dark area.