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Material and technique
Pastel on paper
26 x 40 cm
Augusta Monferini
In the 1920s Sartorio visited Egypt, Syria and Palestine at the invitation of King Fuad and did many landscapes, including this small coastal scene. In the foreground the shape of a fishing boat is depicted with rapid black strokes enlivened by two flicks of white. The boat floats in a small bay dominated by an ancient lighthouse built on top of ruins on a rocky promontory. The view with the lighthouse is placed frontally to close the bay; beyond the lighthouse, more sea and a green and distant coast.
It is a landscape jotted down, almost a glance. The pastel renders the colouring moist and soft, expressing all the nuances of the blues and greens. The cliff that dominates the bay appears again in the sea in shimmering reflections which in their loose horizontal progression reproduce the quivering of the wave. Down through the years the artist, acclaimed for his major fresco cycles in official and public venues of the day and for their academic aplomb, nevertheless retained an almost sensual sensibility to landscape, a genre in which experience and talent enabled him to produce outstanding results.
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