Brusati Reflection

The painting that I chose is Morgenrit langs het strand, by Anton Mauve. This painting is interesting to me for several reasons, but most prominent of which is the way that the focal point of the work is established. Mauve uses the sand dune on the right-hand-side of the work to slide the reader’s eye down onto the man with the white horse. This main acts as the main subject of this work, so in order to counter-balance the sliding toward the left, Mauve masterfully includes a much smaller dune, almost to the point where it cannot be seen without intentionally looking for it. This naturally slides the reader back to the right, again directed toward the man with the white horse. The painting also naturally draws the viewer’s eye up from the bottom due to the downward-slope that is depicted in the painting. All three of these points create one focal point where they all intersect, which is what caught my eye about this work while scrolling through the Rijksmuseum gallery.

Another reason that this painting was interesting to me was the color scheme. While most artists would use bright colors to make something jump out to the viewer, Mauve uses dark colors to a similar effect. Inverting our perspective in this way makes this painting very interesting because rather than having one aspect of the painting jump off the work to us, we are drawn forward into the darker parts of the painting. This draws the viewer’s eye away from the original focal point of the white horse, which allows for auxiliary eye movement away from the center point.


One thought on “Brusati Reflection

  1. I am amused by your analysis. Thank you for pointing out the almost invisible dune on left. I agree with you so much of how the artist used dunes and leverage to move the focal point to the men with the white horse. Whenever I had a chance to examine this picture, I was wondering why does my focus on the white horse even though it is not in the center of the painting. And your analysis explained why. I believe another reason for the color contrast between one man on the white horse and two men with the dark horse is to explain the relationship of the characters. I believe the spacing between them, black horses are close and extra space between them and the white horse, and men’s face direction are arranged in that way for the same reason. Maybe those two men are visiting the man on the white horse to request something? Thank you for your great writing.


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