Arts & Activities  

      Color expert Dan Bartges is author of the book, "Color is Everything"
( Visit his website at
      Assignment 6 In A Series Of 10      
      Dan Bartges. Girl with a Boat. Oil.      
      Color scheme: Tetrad      
      Edouard Vuillard (French, 1868–1940). Vase of Flowers, ca. 1900. Oil and gouache on cardboard; 24" x 23".Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond. Collection of Mr. and Mrs. Paul Mellon. Photo: Katherine Wetzel. © Virginia Museum of Fine Arts.      
      Color Scheme: Complementary      

Q1: Why do you think Edouard Vuillard often incorporated design patterns in his paintings?

A1: His mother was a dressmaker, so growing up he witnessed her daily involvement with the various designs of the fabrics she sewed.

Q2: What color scheme did Vuillard use in his painting Vase of Flowers?

A2: At first, the painting might seem to be a tetrad of red with green and blue with orange. But the artist further enriched the painting with subtle inclusion of three more pairs of complementary colors: red-violet with yellow-green, blue-violet with yellow-orange, and blue-green with red-orange. So there are a total of five pairs of complementary colors, which is a lot more than most artists use in a painting. However, when in the hands of a great artist, such a large variety of complementary colors can produce a splendid masterpiece!

Q3: What's the color scheme for Girl with a Boat?

A3: It's a tetrad of red with green and blue with orange.


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