Aleksander Gierymski (1850–1901)
Italian Landscape with Cypresses, 1900–1901
Purchased in 1950

material: oil on canvas

dimensions: 59,5 × 72,5 cm

description: The last phase of Aleksander Gierymski’s career coincided with his stay in Italy. He drew inspiration from the landscape of Campania, a region near Rome. Despite his depression, works painted during that period are marked by a sun-filled palette of intense colours. Continuing his interests, he explored luminous problems in these works and also experimented in the field of painting matter. This painting shows a hilly landscape cut diagonally by a river with cypresses growing along its both banks. Trees are negatively silhouetted against the sky. Gierymski perfectly conveyed the dreamlike mood of a lazy summer day. A well thought-out composition, painted from a relatively low viewpoint, is based on rhythmical horizontals and verticals, softened by the circular shapes of the foliage and soft, irregular patches of clouds. The landscape composed in this way creates a harmonious though slightly monotonous picture. Nature was subjected to analytical observation making it possible to highlight the bright sunlight and the shifting of natural colours under different lighting conditions. The range of colours, applied with small, dense brushstrokes, consists of hues of green, blue, violet, yellow and white. The work reveals a desire to achieve a synthesis of the portrayed fragment of nature. Devoid of staffage, as if frozen to the spot, the landscape is permeated with unique, contemplative mood. Aleksandra Krypczyk

exposition: The Gallery of 19th Century Polish Art in Sukiennice,
The Cloth Hall, 1, Main Market Square

key: Realism, polish impressionism, beginnings of symbolism >>>

© 2010 National Museum in Krakow
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