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Showing posts from November, 2015

Danish Genius

Fishermen hauling nets, North Beach, Skagen, 1883






Peder Severin Krøyer was a Danish Painter born in Norway on July 23, 1851. He was a key member of the so-called Skagen Painters, a group of en plein air artists from Northern Denmark who took a more Realist style that emphasized figures and fishermen, rather than the predominant Impressionism that swept France during the same period. Although Krøyer studied in Europe and especially Paris during this time, his style has an immediacy and presence that is warm and inviting, closer in style to Sorolla but with an emphasis on adults and families. He uses a very earthy palette leaning towards greens and yellows, but it is his use of light that is captivating.

In Fishermen hauling nets above, we see a strong sense of movement and physicality that is not often portrayed in artwork of fishermen. We can actually feel the struggle of them tugging hard on that net, all seven of them, with their feet pressing deeply into the wet sand as the sun sets…

The French Modern Tenebrist

Femme à la fenêtre attendant l'arrivée d'une personne

Born in Northeastern France on March 19, 1862, Marcel Rieder was a French painter whose use of light is captivating and warm. Rieder was a sort of modern tenebrist reminiscent of Matthias Stom, Gerard van Honthorst, Joseph Wright of Derby and Georges de La Tour. His style seems to be somewhat Hopperesque. What makes Rieder unique is that all of his figures are women, predominantly, and his type of genre painting has a mysterious quality in that the figures are pensive, lost in their own world. This type of psychology is an interesting element that draws us toward his subjects and makes us reflect on our own thoughts.


In the above painting a woman stands by the window with a soft light coming through the window, waiting for someone. The composition is not terribly inventive (although the use of perspective draws us in), and the surrounding elements seem rather dull, but it is the way Rieder painted this woman that is captiva…