Summer Landscapes: George Bellows, Tom Thomson, William Merritt Chase, Camille Pissarro, John Singer Sargent, Alfred Sisley, Winslow Homer and T.C. Steele

27 Dec

George Bellows, Summer Fantasy (1924)

The Christmas holiday was great and a nice dose of winter weather is perfect for the season.  But around this time we in northern climates start dreaming of warmth and sunshine.  If you need a boost but can’t fit in a winter escape, here’s a fantasy artistic escape to tide you over.  These are all favorites of mine, with loads of artistic merit, but for present purposes they’re included for the “feel good” factor: you can’t help but want to be in these places when its cold and gloomy outside.  I hope you enjoy them.

I’m leading with George Bellows, who never ceases to surprise me.  The same man who captured the grit of urban life and the savagery of the boxing ring brought the world Summer Fantasy (above), an idyllic compendium of summer that somehow feels like a scene from Shakespeare’s The Tempest.  The composition and style also remind me a bit of Georges Rouault.

Note: click on any image to enlarge

Tom Thomson, Untitled

Regular readers know how much I love Tom Thomson.  In this untitled painting (above) Thomson captures the rays of a summer sunrise in just a handful of artful strokes.  Vintage Thomson.  He says more with less than just about anybody.  And doesn’t William Merritt Chase get it done in An Italian Garden (below)?  Chase is most famous for his landscapes of Long Island, Central Park and parks in Brooklyn, but is quite at home in Italy as well.  Those splashes of bright red against green really make this painting buzz.

William Merritt Chase, An Italian Garden (1909)

Camille Pissarro hits a home run with Hyde Park, London (below top).  I’ve walked that same path, and the London Plane Trees Pissarro depicts are now gigantic.  If you pay close attention you can feel the interaction between the orange-yellow of the trees at upper right and the background purples dispersed throughout.   Meanwhile John Singer Sargent’s The Rialto, Venice (below bottom) stresses warm reds and greens.  Sargent is one of the greatest portraitists of all time, but he obviously knew something about landscape painting, too!

Camille Pissarro, Hyde Park, London (1890)

John Singer Sargent, The Rialto, Venice (1911)

Alfred Sisley perfectly captures a warm summer day in his Watering Place at Marly (below top).  He uses beautiful pinks and greens in the foreground, with blue shadows to pull the composition together.  In terms of composition, Sisley seems to emulate Corot, with his emphasis on the road leading from foreground into the middle distance.  This painting is on display at the Art Institute of Chicago and is stunning when seen “live.”  I love the simplicity of Winslow Homer’s Bermuda watercolor (below bottom).  Homer takes you right there with an efficiency that is remarkable.

Alfred Sisley, Watering Place at Marly (1875)

Winslow Homer, Bermuda (1901)

Finally, I’m pretty much poleaxed by everything painted by T.C. Steele (1847 – 1926).  His paintings have a special appeal to me because he paints what I grew up with: my native Indiana.  Hollyhocks, House of the Singing Wind (below) is a garden scene from Steele’s summer home in Brown County, Indiana, near Nashville.  The home is now an Indiana historical landmark and is open to the public.  Highly recommended if you find yourself in southern Indiana.  It’s around a half hour southeast of Bloomington, home of Indiana University.

T.C. Steele, Hollyhocks, House of the Singing Wind

As I said at the top, I love all these artists and all these paintings.  If you need to be transported away from the winter weather, or just a winter mood, meditate on these for awhile.  It’s good for you and  a lot cheaper than airfare!

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3 Responses to “Summer Landscapes: George Bellows, Tom Thomson, William Merritt Chase, Camille Pissarro, John Singer Sargent, Alfred Sisley, Winslow Homer and T.C. Steele”

  1. Falin October 17, 2016 at 7:56 pm #

    Thxxs u

  2. bobbalouie May 11, 2015 at 1:02 pm #

    Thanks for the re-blog!

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