Sunset -

The evening sky over the end of the bay is laced with wisps of golden cloud that Turner loved to paint. The moon is low on the horizon. We are between the sun and the moon, and this is the golden hour. The suffusion of golden light creates soft harmonies and in a measure mitigates the chromatic crimes our neighbours have committed on their boat-houses. The shadows are cool and enhance the brilliance of the light.

The wispy clouds deepened to crimson as we sat. A fine sunset. It is often remarked that sunsets are rarely painted, although artists must be aware that such are the only phenomena observed by the average man, save the earthquake and the blizzard. a crimson sky I hard to ignore. It is lovely, considered in relation with the whole vault of the heavens, and the viable earth, but crude and strident in itself, without context. Generally the eastern sky dissolves a subtler beauty which one often is too preoccupied to see. The perception and the enjoyment of colour in nature is not for the man with an untutored vision, however keen it may be. Only the sunset was made for him. And for the painter with pride in his heart, an immense replica of his own perverted fancies is set up in the sky. "No arrogant man", said Constable, "is allowed to see nature in all her beauty." Turner painted many sunsets, the most famous in pictorial art. He employed invariably a very wide angle of vision as an aid in the expression of grandeur. His reds were concentrated in small areas, and they shone with deceiving intensity. But time and the London air have played havoc with his work. His reds are now black. For others have been entirely successful in depicting crimson clouds at sunset. Ne pigment is sufficiently brilliant and transparent to reproduce the tremendously high light that the sun throws upon these clouds. Vermilion is the nearest red, but it is an opaque, heavy colour. By reducing the tones of all surrounding things - that is, by painting them darker than they really are, an approximation of truth may be realized.

Here at the Lake of the Woods majestic cumulus clouds often rise in the eastern skies in the evening. Tinted by the sun, they reflect its last rays - gold, orange, red, and the last ghostly gray in the night. The limpid shadows that reveal its contours - the thought that its magnificence inspires - why, with this object of splendour in the heavens, who would look at a sunset?



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