Bridge over the Seine
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Bridge over the Seine 1927
Wood completed several stylisically different paintings of bridges over the River Seine, which reflects the way he developed his own technique. In experimenting with a series of influences such as Fauvism and Impressionism, he combined different characteristics to create his own mode of expression. This painting shows distinct similarities to Henri Rousseau’s primitivist work, featuring motifs frequently found in Rousseau’s paintings – a river and factory chimneys - and heavy black lines. The dark palette is brought to life by a vivid red dotted around the painting, drawing the viewer further into the work and highlighting details such as the fire below the bridge and billowing smoke. The bridge is almost certainly the ‘Passerelle Debilly’, a footbridge close to the Eiffel Tower.

Glossary Open

Fauvism

A group of painters in France in the early 20th century, including Henri Matisse and André Derain, who used bold, vivid colours in their work. The name is derived from a derogatory remark from a critic who saw them as akin to wild beasts.

Impressionism

An influential style of painting that originated in France in the 1870s with artists such as Claude Monet, Pierre-August Renoir and Alfred Sisley. They were interested in capturing the changing effects of light, frequently exploring this through landscape scenes painted in the open air.

Motif

A distinctive element in a work of art or design.

Palette

A hand-held board on which a painter lays out and mixes the colours he or she is using. By extension it is used to describe the range of colours employed by an artist.

Primitive

A term once used to describe the art of non-Western cultures such as Africa and Oceania, now generally seen as deprecatory and indicative of an outdated belief in Western superiority. It is also used to describe artists, usually self-taught, who work outside of the currents of mainstream art practice.

Fauvism , Impressionism, Motif, Palette , Primitive

Details

  • Acc. No. GMA 3524
  • Medium Oil on wood
  • Size 37.80 x 45.90 cm (framed: 61.00 x 68.70 x 7.20 cm)
  • Credit Bequeathed by Miss Elizabeth Watt 1989