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Figure in a Landscape

Our next project ‘Figure in a Landscape’ is inspired by the landscape painting Spring by Millet as well as the paintings of the British artist Peter Doig. I have added a detail of the Millet painting with the mysterious figure under the tree in the middle distance.

‘Peter Doig (/ˈdɔɪɡ/ DOYG; born 17 April 1959) is a Scottish painter. One of the most renowned living figurative painters, he has settled in Trinidad since 2002. In 2007, his painting White Canoe sold at Sotheby's for $11.3 million, then an auction record for a living European artist. In February 2013, his painting, The Architect's Home in the Ravine, sold for $12 million at a London auction. Art critic Jonathan Jones said about him: "Amid all the nonsense, impostors, rhetorical bullshit and sheer trash that pass for art in the 21st century, Doig is a jewel of genuine imagination, sincere work and humble creativity."

The work of Peter Doig also often contains a single figure evident in his John Moore’s Prize winning painting ‘Blotter,’ from 1996.

‘ ‘Blotter’ won the John Moores Painting Prize in 1993. This was a turning point in Doig’s career and he was shortlisted for the Turner Prize in 1994. ‘Blotter’ is regarded as one of his best works. The painting is based on a photograph of the artist’s brother standing on a frozen pond in Canada, where Doig was brought up. He pumped water over the ice to enhance the reflections. Of the painting, Doig has said: "The title refers to (amongst other things) the notion of one's being absorbed into a place or landscape, and to the process through which the painting developed: soaking paint into the canvas." The figure is looking down into his reflection to suggest inward thought. In Canada ‘blotter’ can also mean the carrier – blotting paper – used to soak up and share drugs like LSD.’(Walker Art Gallery).

I’ve added another Doig painting ‘Jetty’ which contains a figure standing alone - maybe looking at the canoe - the picture was sold for £7.3m at Christie’s in 2013.

I’ve attached a painting by the 19thC artist Thomas Fearnley. Grandson of a Yorkshireman, Fearnley was born in Norway and had his early artistic training there, and in Denmark. He was much influenced by his fellow Norwegian, Johan Christian Dahl (1788-1856), with whom he worked in 1829 and 1830. Like Dahl, Fearnley's paintings alternate between oil sketches and larger, composed landscapes meant for exhibition. Dahl urged him to specialise in the Norwegian scenery, but Fearnley travelled and sketched widely in Europe, including Italy where he spent three years beginning in 1832. He died in 1842, at the age of 39, after contracting typhus.

’ve also added a contemporary painting by Neale Worley on this subject. Note the composition and the use of a long rectangle 25 x 46 cm to emphasise the sky and horizon and create strong horizontals across the painting - set against the verticals including the figure.


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