Eye Candy for Today: Ramon Casas’ Plein air

Plein air, Ramon Casas
Plein air, Ramon Casas

Link is to zoomable version on Google Art Project; downloadable file on Wikimedia Commons; original is in the Museu Nacional d’Arte de Catalunya, Barcelona.

Casas was a Catalan Spanish painter active in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, known primarily for his portraits. I believe the “plein air” of the title of this piece refers not to the method of panting, but to the subject of the young woman dining outdoors, “en plein air”.

The artist gives us an intriguing composition in which a woman sits by herself at one of only two tables that occupy a large space, her attention apparently focused on a well-dressed man across the courtyard, his own gaze pointed away and out of the entrance.

We are left with only suggestions of what their relationship might be.

Muted lights, hazy atmospherics and soft edges add to the sense of mystery, as does the strangely empty foreground of the composition.

7 Replies to “Eye Candy for Today: Ramon Casas’ Plein air

  1. Is there any other thing that shows the sorcery of painting more concisely than the painting of a glass?

  2. such a beautiful painting, and yet I wonder why the artist allowed for such a glaring tangent to occur with that foreground chair touching the background tablecloth and table

    1. Thanks, Anna. I noticed that as well. Given the artist’s level of accomplishment, and the overall unorthodox composition, I have to assume this is intentional, perhaps to be unconsciously unsettling.

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