Lines and Colors art blog

Landscape with a Village on the Outskirts of Rome Mariano Barbasán

Landscape with a Village on the Outskirts of Rome, Mariano Barbasan
Landscape with a Village on the Outskirts of Rome, Mariano Barbasán

On Google Art Project, downloadable file on Wikimedia Commons, original is in the Fundación Banco Santander, Madrid.

I love the bright, sun-splashed feeling of the walls and water, and the textural, painterly quality overall.


2 responses to “Landscape with a Village on the Outskirts of Rome Mariano Barbasán”

  1. I have a question about this painting.

    The weave of the canvas is very evident in the photograph. Is that due to the way the painting was photographed or did the artist use very thin layers of paint? Would that have been characteristic of art of the time in an effort to save on labor and paint?

    1. I think it’s a bit of both — partly the decision of the artist to paint thinly in passages, and partly the angle of lighting in the photograph that reveals the texture prominently (the weave of the canvas itself may also be a factor).

      I doubt, however, that the choice between thin and thick paint has anything to do with economy of either labor or paint cost, but rather a choice of desired effect on the part of the artist. You can see passages of thick paint in this piece as well. It’s common to paint dark passages in thin, transparent layers, that increase the effect of depth and appear to recede, and highlights in thicker passages, that emphasize the lighter colors and bring them forward. A good example of this principle can be found in the paintings of Rembrandt: There are also other, textural reasons artists might choose to paint thinly or thickly to achieve certain visual effects.

      Usually, economy in terms of the cost of paint has to do with the choice of colors with less expensive pigments, rather than the thickness with which they are applied. Van Gogh painted thickly, but would often substitute cheaper Chrome Yellow for the more brilliant, but expensive, Cadmium Yellow favored by the Impressionists. (Unfortunately as a result of the combination of Chrome Yellow with certain other pigments, many of Van Gogh’s yellows are turning brown.)