Green Mountains

around 1810, Attributed to Josephus Augustus Knip

The Gere Collection, on long-term loan to the National Gallery, © Private collection 2000. Used by permission

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The location of these mountains, with their distinctive peaks silhouetted against a blue sky, has not been identified. It is clear, however, that we are not meant to read them as rising from a flat bare plain. The artist has followed the advice to painters of landscape oil sketches of Pierre-Henri de Valenciennes, a central figure in the development of the landscape oil sketch, who taught that the artist should focus on a motif in the middle distance while leaving the foreground empty.

The attribution to Knip is based on the resemblance of this sketch to other depictions of green Italian mountains by this artist.

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