Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Claus's Grainy Luminism

Emile Claus (1849-1924) conveyed a brilliant sense of light through fine textures of broken color, giving the painting a grainy look.  (Click image to see uncropped composition)

Art historians classify Claus in the category of Belgian luminism, a movement with sources in impressionism and pointillism. 

Some of Claus's paintings resemble those of Claude Monet, who was one of heroes. The color of the bridge is made up of many different component strokes. 

Instead of doing this with tiny brushstrokes (which can get a mechanical look) you can get this effect by dry-brushing one color over a different a contrasting dry layer of color, which works especially well in casein. 

30+ year old Ektachrome movie film. Film by Justin Cary
The look reminds me of analog film, especially when the subject is backlit. This is a frame from a home movie recently shot on old film stock. The textures are full of grain, and the sky burns out the edges of the silhouettes.

The grainy, jumping quality resemble the way our eyes see, too, as the receptors in our retina fire unequally over time.


Andrew Neagle said...

Thanks for finding this artist I really like his ideas and work.

Jared Cullum said...

I wasn't aware of the term, "Luminism," but it might be my new favorite word. Beautiful work.

Unknown said...

Thanks for pointing out this artist & movement ... as a Belgian I am astonished to never heard of them ... not even in art history class at the academy ... too traditional probably for the modern art teachers ... shamefull ...

Rich said...

As grainy as it may be, it's not pointillism though. The paintings remind me of Pissarro as well, who incidentaly had a brush with pointillism.
Also quite interesting the comparison with that Ektachrome.

Timothy Bollenbaugh said...

Mr. Gurney:

Fantastic point connecting saccades & grainy quality in visual perception!