Saturday, November 30, 2013

Monsted's painterly suggestion of foliage

If all you saw was this reproduction by Danish painter Peder Mørk Mønsted (1859-1941), you might think it was finished to some fussy level of photographic detail.

But a super close-up shows a joyous riot of thick paint handling.

Realism can be achieved by suggestion, and one of the joys of painting is the balance between the material properties of paint and the illusion of light, air, and depth.
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Peder Mørk Mønsted on Wikipedia
Previous posts that mention Monsted

11 comments:

Willow's Quiet Corner said...

Wow! All through the magic of paint! ;)

Jonesport Nortons said...

THis is the way I want to paint

Keith Parker said...

I find this looks more realistic than a photo. It's brilliant, and beautiful! I feel like I could step into the picture and wade out into the water.

Abigail Platter said...

What colors would you say were on his palette? I love the atmosphere created in this piece.
Thanks so much, James!

simonetta said...

"Joyous riot"! I love your choice of words.

DamianJ said...

His work reproduces so well ( especially digitally, as on the internet) that when one of his pieces came up for auction last week at Sothebys, here in London, I went (twice) during the viewing period and stood for a considerable amount of time examining it. Here's a link to the Sothebys item....

SPRING LANDSCAPE AT SØBY

In this particular case 'SPRING LANDSCAPE AT SØBY' the reproduction is NOT representative of the actual colours of the painting. In life the reds are noticeably LOWER in chroma ( saturation) and where-as here it seems a warm and inviting day in life the image has a distinct 'greyness' which captures a particular kind of melancholic Northern light I know from the landscape of the North of England ( though he was painting in Norway). If I had to hazard a guess I'd say he used Indian Red rather than a cadmium.


It's beautifully executed, with single brush strokes capturing both colour and form, especially in the distant foliage. But the degree of 'tightness' in the primary trees is marked, so much so that if those particular trees actually exist you could identify them, they're almost portraiture.

However, the thing that struck me most was the clarity of his brush-marks. It was not painted wet on wet, except in certain passages,like the leaves on the ground,where the brush strokes are, as you say, joyously applied, but overall it looks to be done mainly over a dry/dryish surface, often with a dry-brush technique. There is a distinct separation in the layering that gives it a crisp, tight quality.

I would describe it a 'studied' more than spontaneous, in it's painterly-ness, though it definitely has that appealing quality of abstraction when viewed up close but representational conviction when seen from a distance.

Too bad I didn't have £31,250 to spare.

Carole Pivarnik said...

Wow, that is fantastic!

ankaris said...

A style adopted by traditional matte painters to achieve realism from pigment.

Thanks for sharing James!

Annie C Curtis said...

Beautiful, masterful brushwork. Looking at how the illusion of realism is produced has gotten personal museum guards assigned to me at times!

A.Decker said...

I've long been a fan of his, but only from repros. Would not have guessed how painterly his technique. That's actually very encouraging. Thanks Mr. Gurney.

Der WhiskyClub said...

Absolutely right, ankaris. The great masters of traditional matte painting worked with very loose brushstrokes to create their photorealistic visions. I think it was Chris Evans from ILM who used the term "suggestionism".