Ravine near Branchville


Julian Alden Weir ( American, 1852 - 1919 )

c. 1910–1919
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General Description

In 1883 J. Alden Weir exchanged one of his paintings for a sizeable, plum plot of land near Branchville, Connecticut. Ripe with agricultural opportunity, the farms and orchards peppering his property served an additional purpose as the environmental muse from which he often drew inspiration. One of such painting, Ravine Near Branchville, with its high horizon and broad, painterly touch was likely painted en plein air, as indicated by the pinholes marking each corner, where the canvas was certainly tacked to a portable surface. Typical of his late works, here Weir has confined his palette to shades of blue and green—pastel tones which reveal the influence of Japanese prints, which Weir and his contemporaries started to collect at the turn of the century. The artist’s interest is in the play of light and shadow across the ravine, paired with his flickering brushwork, has achieved a delicate movement, mimicking a gentle breeze across the leaves and grasses.