Antiques - Paintings
Reference: Z6227C

Landscapes, Xalapa, Mexico. Pair of oils on canvas. Spanish school, around 1840.
Provenance: Conde de la Cortina collection, Jalapa, Mexico.
Pair of landscapes framed within the Spanish school of the first half of the 19th century, with a clear romantic affiliation. Both evidence the knowledge of the Dutch classicist landscape, one of the main influences on the Spanish romantic landscape. Thus, we see compositions in "V", closed on the sides and open in the center, very low horizons that allow a wide development of the sky, spaces built in depth based on successive planes subtly differentiated by light and color, and small figures perfectly integrated into the natural setting. In addition, the skies are scenographic and gimmicky, with low clouds behind which the golden light characteristic of the classicist landscape filters.
One of the most radical aspects of romantic painting was the attempt to replace large canvases with a historical or religious theme by landscape. They claimed that the pure landscape, almost without figures or totally devoid of them, would achieve the heroic significance of history painting. They were based on the idea that human feeling and nature should be complementary, one reflected in the other. In other words, the landscape had to arouse emotion and transmit ideas. Thus, landscapers like the author of these canvases tried to express their feelings through the landscape, instead of imitating it. The romantic landscape had two main aspects: the dramatic one, with turbulent and fantastic views, and the naturalistic one, which emphasized images of a calm and serene nature. This second conception is what we see embodied in these works; the painter tries to communicate a religious reverence for the landscape, nature in its entirety. In fact, the author's own use of light here conveys an atmosphere of haze, cloudy, like a dream, which invites the viewer to meditate and contemplate himself in the landscape. However, the romantic landscape is made up of manifestations of a very different type and not comparable to each other; it does not affect all national schools equally, remaining more faithful to tradition in schools such as the French or the Dutch. Thus, in this canvas we do not find the great scenery of British and German, the rugged mountains or the monumental Gothic ruins. On the contrary, it is a flat landscape, very horizontal despite the vertical elements that close the sides in the foreground, endowed with a smooth dynamism determined by the hills and the moving clouds. The most typical elements of the romantic landscape do not appear, such as the hostile climate or the Gothic ruin, although the clear separation between the close-ups and the background does, which enhances the scenographic character derived from the effective lighting. Also, the typical very marked romantic perspective is used, in abyss, which has as a complement a slight confusion of points of view. Thus, the grandiose perspectives of the 18th century veduta are applied here to a sober landscape, which qualifies the scenographic construction of the landscape, so typically romantic. Despite these local differences, this romanticism contained in the form, we nevertheless find a clearly poetic content, which goes beyond the simple representation of nature to capture nature as a reflection of the author's feeling, melancholic and dark, enormously solitary ."

· Size: 66 x 80 cm; 74 x 87,5 cm (marco).

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