Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Picasso's landscapes

Picasso isn't well known for his landscapes so I was surprised recently to find them a treasure trove for the art student. A striking feature (to me, anyway) is that, despite his reputation as an "abstract" artist, his landscapes have a definite sense of place, more so than many photorealist-type landscape paintings. If you're a Picasso fan this isn't surprising because as we know he aimed to intensify experience by distortion, emphasis, even caricature. So the Mediterranean landscape above is vintage Picasso and also intensely Mediterranean, from the rooftops shimmering in the sun and the deep blue sea down to the triangles of terraced garden and the potted plant on the wall. Another one is of a village called Mougins where he lived for the last fifteen years of his life. It shows a mountain landscape with lakes and tilled fields, with the muted colour conveying a sense of awe at the majesty of nature.

This is something I'd like to be better at, expressing a sense of place in landscape painting.

It's interesting too that these pictures show Picasso's mastery of and interest in depth, debunking the received wisdom that he was a flat painter (Greenberg I think, and others, can find a ref. if anyone wants it).

[Countdown: Empty pages remaining in main sketchbook = 37]


Unknown said...

Thanks for this post Mary. Very interesting, I too have not seen these paintings before, Two little gems.

Unknown said...

Thanks for this post Mary. I too have not seen these paintings before Two little gems

Casey Klahn said...

I enjoyed this, Mary. A sense of place - that is a beautiful goal for the landscapist.

Duncan Astbury said...

Great pair of examples, I really like both of them.

Suzanne DeCuir said...

Thanks for posting these. I'd never seen them before, but they are unmistakably his, aren't they? I'm sure you would have guessed without anyone telling you. The confidence is there, too, isn't it? He didn't ever seem unsure about a stroke, I guess. (I was looking for pics of Chardin for my blog when I stumbled on yours, so thanks.)

Anonymous said...

havent you seen these pics befor, they are like 2-3 years old!!!!!!