The Long Shadows

Robert Crannell Minor (American, 1839-1904)

The Long Shadows

In The Long Shadows, a solitary figure is seen walking down a lane through a wooded area. Robert Crannell Minor’s Barbizon training is apparent in this painting with a dark foreground and illuminated middle ground, as well as loose brushwork. Diagonal lines throughout the painting keep the composition of the scene active: the line of clouds parallel the line of trees; the V-shape of the trees echo the V-shape of the flying bird. The zigzag movements provide activity amidst stillness and the calmness and power of unspoiled nature. The lone figure provides a focal point in the center of work, and the viewer’s eye is drawn down a path of reddish brown shrubbery as atmospheric light creeps between the shadows of the trees. Minor rarely placed figures in his softly-rendered landscapes, but when he did they appear microscopic like the one seen here, swallowed almost completely by the presence of nature in its overwhelming splendor.

Located in the American Art Gallery

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