Summer Trees

Work in progress

Oil on 2 heavy duty cotton canvases, 30 x 48″, work in progress…

Claude Monet painted a series of images of the external facade of Rouen cathedral viewed under a variety of light conditions whereas I’ve painted just one image of a ‘natural cathedral’ the ‘interior vaulted ceiling’ of which reaches up to the single arch of heaven…

I can’t help but liken these natural clumps of trees to Gothic cathedrals. And I’m not alone in this:

“To this idea, indeed, of the ancient templum nemorale, one of the earliest forms of the artificial temple seems to have been indebted. Many learned men have thought the Gothic arch of our cathedral churches was an imitation of the natural grove. It arises from a lofty stem, or from two or three  stems, if they be slender; which, being bound together, and spreading in every direction, cover the whole roof with their ramification. In the close recesses of the beechen grove we find this idea the most complete. The lofty, narrow aisle–the pointed arch–the clustered pillar, whose parts, separating without violence, diverge gradually to form the fretted roof, find there perhaps their earliest archetype.”

[p.280 Gilpin’s Forest Scenery]

A forthcoming project I now have in mind is to make a 360 degree painting of the woods… a kind of ‘water lily pond’ without the water lilies! 

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