French painting

"Waves in Aigues-Mortes", Frederick Bazille - description of the painting

  • Author: Frederick Basile
  • Museum: National Gallery of Art (Washington)
  • Year: 1867
  • Click image for larger version

Description of the picture:

Waves in Aigues-Mortes - Frederick Basile. 1867. Oil on canvas. 60x100 cm

Aigues-Mortes is a port city in the south of France, known since the Middle Ages. The sights of Aigues-Morta, namely the Constance watchtower and the city wall, have survived to this day. It was the city wall, which is surrounded by the waters of the Rhod-a-Set canal, and depicted in 1867 by one of the founders of impressionism Frederick Basil.
At this time, the painter rested with his family on their family estate, just 20 miles from Aigues-Mortes. The city, which was once the starting point of several Crusades, could not but be interested in Basil and he created three works depicting landscapes near Aigues-Mortes. "Waves in Aigues-Morte" - the brightest and most interesting in color.
The author of the work worked in the open air and saw as his task the image of the canal and the wall in a dynamic landscape, which depended entirely on filigree work with the light and air environment.
The viewer does not see the source of light - the sun did not find a place in a harmonious composition, but clearly feels the landscape flooded with the sun. Everything seems to glow from the inside, making the paint even brighter and richer. The waves are depicted in large, bold strokes, and thanks to the sun's rays, they appear in front of us in the dynamics — they play in the sun in calm bursts. To depict the waters of the channel, the author used a whole gamut of colors, from marsh green to dark blue, and made the depicted object very picturesque and natural.
The sky is very subtle in the picture: a blue undisturbed smooth surface with barely noticeable uneven strips of clouds, as if dispelled by the wind.
A number of sketches of the presented picture has been preserved; it is clear from them how long the artist has been searching for the right angle. And in fact, the composition of the work is slim and elegant. At first glance, it is “touched” by the gentle ocher of heavy, reliable walls, which contrasts with the bright blue of the sky and is balanced by the greenish waves of the channel.

Other paintings by Frederick Basil

Pink dress
View of the village
Bathers
Landscape in shayi
In the family
Little gardener
Fortune teller

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