Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Joseph and Marie Louise by Sarah Robertson, 1930.

“Joseph and Marie-Louise” by Sarah Robertson, from about 1930

I enjoy impressionistic art. Impressionists take the things I see and pull them like taffy into exaggerated propotions, while retaining and respecting the emotional integrity of a work.

I found 'Joseph and Marie Louise' while drifting through 'The Dali Book', blog the other day. It would be an understatement to say that it caught my eye. Far from it. I stumbled when I saw it.

The picture rolls. The fields roll. The people are rounded and the sky is warped.

The only thing that stands firm is a nondescript building in the background (you have to look for it), and the cross.

There is no doubt that the cross is the central object in the painting and in the lives of the people who erected it.

Take a look at the people. Robertson paints the woman to look stooped and pregnant. And in case her posture suggests her imprisonment, the man isn't much better off. There are only two raised man made elements in this work - the cross and the rake which weighs on his shoulders. Is Robertson suggesting that both are instruments which suppress rural Quebecers? Its a pretty gutsy painting when you consider that it was painted in 1930 when the church was a dominant force in a nearly feudal,rural Quebec society.

The picture was taken from The Dali House, and its article on the Beaver Hall Group.
Please click here.

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