Landscape in Corsica (Work in progress)

The first time I visited the Barber Institute of Fine Arts, Landscape in Corsica was placed next to a series of Post-impressionist landscapes. I must confess that in the beginning I did not pay much attention to it: this painting seemed to be unfinished, and therefore, it was completely eclipsed by its neighbours. My perception changed drastically once I learned that Henri Matisse was the author of this artwork: until that moment, I have always associated him with Fauvism, and this painting could not be classified as part of this movement.

Screen Shot 2018-03-07 at 15.13.13

As the title states, it was in Corsica where Matisse painted around 60 landscapes of the Mediterranean Island, just like Russell and van Gogh before him. In words of Matisse himself, it was during his stay in Corsica that “(…) he felt the first shock of what would become Fauvism”. Is in this context that he created Landscape in Corsica (1898), one of his early oil paintings. Even if this post-impressionist approach is not the most known facet of Matisse, in this piece it can be appreciated his strong fascination with the power of colour.

Post-impressionist artworks are characterized by a mixture of different developments derived from Impressionism: an almost scientific analysis of colour, a structured way to inspect the landscape, the use of expressive brushes and flat colours. All of these features are present in Landscape in Corsica. These qualities are the sustain of my personal approach to my composition.

Until now, I am trying to establish some analogies between the perception of colour (and more importantly, their combinations) with certain harmonies, based in the researches involving synesthetic experiences of colour and colour emotion published in the Handbook of Color Psychology (Cambridge University Press). The position, distribution and proportion of the different elements present in this painting is also fundamental: on one hand, I am making correlations between the visual stimuli and the perception of aural space; on the other hand, I created a timeline within the painting to help me to organise the different sections of my composition. I am also making associations between different types of brushes and specific kinds of timbre, working almost exclusively with the recordings of a guitar.


2 thoughts on “Landscape in Corsica (Work in progress)”

  1. It’s nice that you’ve given us the historical context along with your thought process relating to how you’re connecting harmony and colour. The emphasis you place on proportion is a really interesting element to look into, and I think it will have made your finished piece that much more exciting.


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