James Whistler’s painting Arrangement in Grey and Black, No. 2: Portrait of Thomas Carlyle is a brilliant example of Realism. This 1873 oil on canvas painting features his mother, Anna Matilda Whistler, dressed in her signature long black dress and seated in a chair. Her hands are crossed in her lap and she stares ahead as if lost in thought. The subtle placement of dark shapes and forms are arranged into a balanced pattern within the overall painting to produce an organized scene. Whistler used a range of colors to describe the emotion conveyed through this powerful portrait.
The Annunciation (Central Panel Of A Triptych) by Rogier van der Weyden is another iconic work that displays the artist’s impressive use of color. Painted between 1440-1442, this work shows Mary’s confirmation that she will give birth to Jesus Christ. While Rogier used typical fifteenth-century techniques to represent the holy figures and angels in his piece, he was also able to capture emotional sentiment through the scale, proportion, and light of his painting. The Annunciation reveals Rogier’s resonant interpretation of Catholic iconography by blending realism with religious symbolism – making it an absolutely stunning piece of art capable of evoking awe and reverence even today.