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Pushing it back: depth and repoussoir 1
Repoussoir is a term you’ll see bandied about in writing about art, particularly landscape painting. It’s French for pushing back, and refers to compositional techniques used to make the distant parts of an image look further away and deeper into the picture. In this article and its sequel tomorrow,... Read more
Corydon: 2 Shepherds from staffage to social symbol
The first part of this account of shepherds and shepherdesses in paintings looked at their role in stories, from the earliest classical myths to epic English poetry. This second and concluding article looks at paintings of shepherds in landscapes, and in their own right as the motif. Nicolas Poussin,... Read more
Landscape oil sketches from Valenciennes to Pissarro
Yesterday, I commemorated here the anniversary of the death of the landscape painter who made plein air oil sketching a part of standard practice, so paving the way for the transformations which occurred in the nineteenth century and after – Pierre-Henri de Valenciennes (1750–1819). This article looks at his... Read more
Painting Reality: 5 Growth of the city
The original focus of Naturalism was the plight of the rural poor, but as it evolved and gathered momentum in the 1880s, Naturalist painters also looked at the growing problems of cities and those who tried to survive in them. In terms of sheer numbers of paintings, depictions of... Read more
Truth in (landscape) painting 3
Paul Cézanne has been repeatedly described as the ‘father’ of several of the major movements in painting which dominated its development in the twentieth century. Whether you particularly like his landscape works or not, he was a great influence and repays careful study. Over his 40 years or so... Read more
Favourite Paintings 5: Pierre-Henri de Valenciennes and Thomas Jones, Plein Air, c 1782
Two modest and simple landscapes, some of the first painted outdoors or ‘plein air’ using oil paints, which paved the way for Constable, Turner, and the Impressionists. Pierre-Henri de Valenciennes, (Title not known) (c 1783), oil on paper laid on canvas, c 18 x 28 cm, Musée du Louvre,... Read more
Favourite Paintings 5: Pierre-Henri de Valenciennes and Thomas Jones, Plein Air, c 1782
Two modest and simple landscapes, some of the first painted outdoors or ‘plein air’ using oil paints, which paved the way for Constable, Turner, and the Impressionists. Pierre-Henri de Valenciennes, (Title not known) (c 1783), oil on paper laid on canvas, c 18 x 28 cm, Musée du Louvre,... Read more
Favourite Paintings 7: Camille Pissarro, Setting Sun and Fog, Éragny, 1891
A simply golden landscape at sunset, by the central figure in Impressionism and father of Post-Impressionism. Painter Jacob Abraham Camille Pissarro Painting Setting Sun and Fog, Éragny Year 1891 Media oil on canvas Dimensions 54 x 65 cm (21.3 x 25.6 in) Collection Private collection The Painting Sunset behind... Read more
Favourite Paintings 10: Paul Signac, Notre-Dame-de-la-Garde (La Bonne-Mère), Marseille, 1905-6
A luminous painting of the port of Marseille in dawn light, looking up towards the ‘Good Mother’ church, marks the height of both Neo-Impressionism and Fauvism. Painter Paul Victor Jules Signac Painting Notre-Dame-de-la-Garde (La Bonne-Mère), Marseille Year 1905-6 Media oil on canvas Dimensions 88.9 x 116.2 cm (35 x... Read more
Favourite Paintings 1-11: Overview
1: Jan van Eyck (c 1385 – c 9 July 1441) The Madonna of Chancellor Rolin (‘The Rolin Madonna’) Jan van Eyck, The Madonna of Chancellor Rolin (c 1435) oil on panel, 66 x 62 cm. Musée du Louvre, Paris (WikiArt). As the Masters in the South got to... Read more