Early Afternoon

In this painting, Jan Monchablon celebrates the agricultural abundance of the plains of the western Vosges region. It shows a windless, sunny day at harvest time, and as usual, the light itself is an important subject. Monchablon sets the horizon low, causing the pale blue sky to appear vast. He applies his paint so that his brushstrokes follow the rays of the sun that backlights the little clouds in the foreground.

Despite the low vantage point, which radically foreshortens the rolling landscape, Monchablon implies deep spatial recession. The fields, with their Persian-miniature detail, begin immediately, as if beneath the viewer’s feet, that unroll toward the horizon, their distinctness and color fading rapidly. Yet even in the distance particulars can be seen – a strand of trees marking a road on the left and minuscule harvesters working in the field on the right. Tiny puffs of cloud indicate the dryness of the weather and intensify the effect of a limitless sky.

Located in the Haggin Gallery

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