Diagonal Lines:

 In Theodore Gericault’s Raft of the Medusa, 1818-19, lines move in a diagonal direction from the bottom left to the top right.

 

 

LIGHTEN UP THE ABOVE IMAGE AND ADD BENEATH NEW IMAGE TITLED “CARAVAGGIO’S ST PAUL)

Due to the fact that diagonals are off-balanced, they imply movement and energy. The viewer’s eye constantly moves up and down, back and forth around the painting due to the fact that it is unable to rest on any particular object. Everything is tilting in or out of space.

 

Caravaggio’s representation of the Conversion of St. Paul, 1600, depicts the apostle thrown from his horse. His body lies on the ground along a diagonal leading from the bottom right toward the center of the painting. His arms are similarly extended in diagonal fashion. The viewer reads energy, drama, and a sense of urgency from the artist’s choice of line direction. Not only have we been visually drawn into the space of the painting, but we also sense the immediacy of the moment.