A couple of studies in charcoal
Easter weekend MARCH 2013
Still waiting for my tutor’s report on my second assignment. Too cold to out sketching. While attending a family wedding over the weekend, I decided to visit the National Gallery.
Looking at the exhibition ” Through American eyes, Frederic Church and the landscape oil sketch” was very inspirational. His painting of the Niagara falls is breathtaking, I felt the force of water and thought the spray was about to reach me. His depiction of clouds and rivers are photorealistic. His paintings : Clouds over Olana and Iceburg are stunning.
Whilst at the gallery I had to go and look at more landscape paintings. Started of with Claude Lorraine and Turner.
Claude’s Marriage of Isaac and Rebecca 1648 with a water mill in the middle distance. The detail in the foreground is beautiful. On its left is Embarkation of of the Queen of Sheba (1648).
From this painting I can understand why Turner was inspired by Claude.
Turner’s painting : Dido building Carthage or the rise of the carthageian empire 1868, Dido queen of the Carthage is on the left of Claude’ s Embarkation of the Queen of Sheba. Turner regarded this as his masterpiece and is reputed to have turned down 5000 guineas for it.
Standing in front of them both, I could not help being moved by Claude’s painting. The way he painted the sky, clouds, the water- I could feel the movement of the water and its depth. The sea feels life like. The detail on the men in the foreground. I have now changed my view about his paintings and am now an admirer.
Claude’s mainstay was identified as landscapes and port scenes, on which he often mixed the real with fictive and his great innovation was painting the sun facing the viewer. Delicacy in his painting effects of light, sunrise or set maximised the poetic impact of his work. His work gives a timeless serenity.
I spent some time looking at the Dutch masters. A painting that stood out is View of Rhenen by
Salomon Van RUYSDAEL. He has captured the movement of clouds beautifully. In the middle distance he painted a boat on the right with windmills further back and cows in the foreground.
I was also inspired by Sisley, the way he captured fleeting effects of nature, again movements of clouds and reflections in water. As always I was mesmerised by Monet, Cezanne, Pissaro, Van Gogh and so many others.
There is so much to see but I ran out of time.