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Cesare Maggi, Paesaggio montano
1900 ca.
Material and technique
oil on canvas
50 x 70 cm
Augusta Monferini
The crystal-clear depiction of this landscape is a forceful reminder that what was central to the poetics of Divisionism was the veristic search for reality as the aim of painting. The novel method of composition, emulating the immediacy and method of the photographic snapshot, is surprising, startling. Like all the Divisionists, Maggi used the camera lens to fix the images that would serve as the base for the painting. On one mountain shoulder, the melting snow reveals yellow meadows of dry grass. At the far right, a house in full sunlight is flanked by dark trees, bringing out the full contrast of tones. Beyond a curtain of grey fog, in the distance we see the snow-capped peaks and, obliquely, closer, a shadow-enwrapped mountain chain. The artist has contrasted two parts of the painting: the portion just now described against the vast, sunlit part, dotted with two houses to the left and the right of the meadow and the dark silhouettes of the trees amidst the white spots of snow.
The Divisionist technique for rendering colour makes the hues more vivid, more vibrant, in the sunlit areas; but in the shade it douses the greys, making them opaque.
Paesaggio montano
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