Rocks, Tree Trunks and Branches

about 1800, George Augustus Wallis

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

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This bleak yet powerful depiction of rocks and branches was probably painted during Wallis's stay in Italy between 1788 and 1806. The artist often chose such simple subjects, also recording rocky outcrops, forest paths, ancient ruins overgrown with greenery, and as here, the accidental conjunctions of nature. In this painting Wallis deftly records the texture of moss on rocks and bark.

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