Olive Trees against a Mountainous Background (c.1890 – c.1893) by Edgar Degas

Olive Trees against a Mountainous Background - Edgar Degas - c.1890 - c.1893

Artwork Information

TitleOlive Trees against a Mountainous Background
ArtistEdgar Degas
Datec.1890 - c.1893
Art MovementImpressionism
Current LocationNorton Simon Museum, Pasadena, CA, US

About Olive Trees against a Mountainous Background

The artwork titled “Olive Trees against a Mountainous Background” was created by Edgar Degas approximately between 1890 and 1893. This landscape piece is rendered in pastel, a medium that Degas mastered with delicate precision alongside his better-known works in oil and sculpture. Associated with the Impressionist movement, which sought to capture scenes of contemporary life and the fleeting effects of light and color, Degas opted here to depict a tranquil natural scene. Presently, this piece of Impressionist art is housed in the Norton Simon Museum located in Pasadena, California, United States.

Upon examination of the artwork, one observes a serene rural landscape dominated by the gentle forms of olive trees in the foreground. These trees are set against a rugged backdrop of mountains, conveying a sense of depth and grandeur. The dynamic brushstrokes and textural layering that are characteristic of pastel works are well appreciated here, with Degas using a blend of earthy tones to evoke the natural palette of the countryside. There is a clear play of light and shadow, as the olive trees are illuminated from above, suggesting the presence of a bright sky outside the frame. The mountains behind appear in various shades of brown and blue, further enriching the composition with its contrasting hues and rough terrain silhouette. Degas captures the essence of the landscape through a harmony of form, color, and light, allowing the artwork to resonate with the tranquility of the outdoor space it represents.

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