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Emile Claus. (1849 - 1924). 

Afternoon Along The River.


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Emile Claus. (1849 - 1924). Afternoon Along The River.

One says of Emile Claus that he is the painter of the sun or that he puts the sun on a bottle. By seeing this painting you will certainly understand why. The key is precise, the composition perfect and the painter is a large colourist. The painting is easy to look at, it on there a subject, characters, the ground, water, the sky, animals with far. What is not simple itís to reproduce this orange yellow light, to obtain such harmonies in the hot colours, to make of an altogether banal scene a scene of atmosphere, and what a atmosphere ! Many painters can test itself there, will reach well little that point with such a degree of smoothness and precision. What is surprising at Claus, beyond the exactitude and of the meticulousness of the key itís the capacity to reproduce a real light. The painter does not invent, the spectator knows immediately that itís about a painting painted in outside and that the artist reproduces what he sees. There are multiple nuances between reproducing, inventing, to embellish, to imagine and there exists a multitude of tons in each colour which will return such or such effect and will produce a special atmosphere or a particular environment. Emile Claus chooses to reproduce much light but much of light that can be also a work much clearer. One needs shades with the light, one needs parts of the painting for tons clear and others with let us tons darker. Under the blue of the sky and the white of the clouds there is this zone of pink to the marvellous effect. There are several nuances of yellows of greens and oranges, often in ranges, to reproduce the various colours of grass. Only one green is not enough. The manner of Claus is prodigiously difficult, its technique is here on a level seldom considering, and of course the result is a work with no one another similar, with the incomparable light, that no photographer could imitate without tens of filters which would make its pulling surrealist and unreal. 

The horizon is low, the sky occupies more of the third of pictorial space. 

The point of view of the spectator is at the level of the tree. 

First of all the glance details the characters in the foreground then it assembles and notices the subtlety of the colour of the sky. 

The 3 children, the fisherman and the tree are located on 3 natural points of interest. 

The painting is divided into several zones colours. In each zone there exists a dominant colour.

The painter composed his picture by using the 2 large diagonals. The principal guiding lines are obliques which go from right to left or from left to right.

Details : 

This herd of cow with far gives enormously depth of field to the painting. In the atmosphere above them occurs a quite detailed effect of heat haze.

2 children observe the fisherman attentively. In the center the little girl looks at his brother. They all are barefeet. The young girl of the center has certainly the feet in water.

Occupied to fix his soft food at the end of his hook, the fisherman does not seem to pay any attention to the 3 children. 

Light : The light comes from in bottom on the right. It is the light of end of a sunny the afternoon. 

Colours : Contrast between hot and cold colours.
Similar Paintings : 

Emile Claus. The Harvest.

Emile Claus. Young country-women going on the edges of the Leie.

Emile Claus. The Leie with Astene.

Emile Claus. October Morning on the River Leie.