Friday, 3 August 2012

George Innes and Pastoral Landscape at Sunset

'Pastoral Landscape at Sunset' (1884) by George Innes; Private Collection

Today was a difficult day because when I thought I had found a painter, I also found conflicting dates on different websites. I always go for painters first who depict portraits rather than still lifes or landscapes but if I would have looked closer right away at the work of American painter George Inness, born on May 1, 1825, and died on August 3, 1894, I could have saved myself the trouble of looking any further. He was specialised in landscapes and there are actually many paintings that I like. They have a dreamlike quality. Just google his name and images and you can see what I mean. I find there's almost something poetic in his depictions of landscapes. His use of warm colours and light is another thing I like. Apparently Innes was not a minor landscape painter. He was influenced by the Barbizon School and the Hudson River school, particularly by the work of Thomas Cole. I just read that Innes' work went to a higher level of individual expression throughout the 1870s and 1880s. In this later period of his life he started to depict landscapes at dawn or twilight and used diffused light and softly defined forms. He expressed mood through colour. His later work has been compared to Impressionism but his vision is more of a spiritual nature. In that respect his work is closer to Tonalism. The more I see of his later paintings, the more I love them. Sunrise (c.1887) is another example of a dreamlike landscape as well as The Trout Brook (1891). Very happy to add Innes to my list of new painters.

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