Friday, December 28, 2012
Painting the Invisible
Giuseppe de Nittis, The Sea during a Tempest, 1877.
Attilio Pratella, Fisher boats on the sea by Capri.
Giovanni Fattori, Storm.
Pietro Fragiacomo, Nocturne.
These Italian marines first struck me as slightly boring in their simplicity, but the more I looked at them, or into them, the more evocative they became.
The main subject of the composition seems to be just a boat or a bush, but the real subject of each painting is something less concrete: the power of a storm, the stillness of a shallow bay, the marine wind on a deserted beach, or the soothing wonder of moonlight on water.
These invisible inner qualities make a painting great.