Tuesday, July 21, 2020

Art Review - "Cornish Headlands" - Abbott Handerson Thayer - Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington D.C.

As a follow up to last week's #museumtourtuesday, here is another minimalist landscape by Abbott Handerson Thayer at the Smithsonian American Art Museum and the Renwick Gallery in Washington D.C.

"Cornish Headlands"
 • Abbott Handerson Thayer • 1898
 • Oil on Canvas 
• 30.125”x 40.124"
At first glance in a photographic reproduction, this might appear to be a small sketch, but it is over forty inches wide, making it a rather large landscape to have been painted so simplistically.
"Cornish Headlands" Detail
 • Abbott Handerson Thayer • 1898
 • Oil on Canvas 
• 30.125”x 40.124"
2) The painting is dominated by a strong movement of warm blue to cool blue within the water. It's not a carefully blended transition. Clearly executed rapidly, the unevenness adds to the energy of the overall piece.
"Cornish Headlands" Detail
 • Abbott Handerson Thayer • 1898
 • Oil on Canvas 
• 30.125”x 40.124"
3) Notice that the land formations consist mainly of thin initial washes of color. If it's the right color and value, there's no need to cover with thick paint.
"Cornish Headlands" Detail
 • Abbott Handerson Thayer • 1898
 • Oil on Canvas 
• 30.125”x 40.124"
4) Even the "details" are simplified. The rock formations are very graphic, consisting of only a few value and color variations.
Painting photos by Saunders Fine Arts.


© Patrick and Kimberly Saunders, Patrick Saunders Fine Arts, 2020. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s authors/owners is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Patrick Saunders for painted works, or to Kimberly Saunders for photographs and/or videos, with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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