Mar e Céu [Sea and Sky]
One of the most remarkable qualities of Adriano Sousa Lopes’ landscape paintings is his atmospheric or chronological sensibility, his peculiar attention to the nuances of time and weather, cultivated through a diligent and meticulous observation. These quasi-impressionistic qualities of the dilution of elements reveal themselves in Sea and Sky. Arising from the free brushstrokes, water, fog and clouds, horizons and land offer themselves to the eye with a vaporous and diffuse luminosity that blurs the delineation and contours of form and the accidents of surface. The elements are unified beneath an austere pallet of greenish and bluish grays, lightened only through small suggestions of a soft and yellow afternoon light that punctuate the sky or are mirrored in the sea´s surface.
As a landscape painter, Sousa Lopes produced numerous depictions of the seashore (for example, the paintings St. Tropez, Praia em Portugal [Beach in Portugal] or another Mar e Céu [Sea and Sky], dated 1923, all part of the CAM collection). Due to its potentially infinite variations, the seascape – a theme which fascinated the artist more than any other – was an excellent starting point for the study and observation of atmospheres and ambiances, and the transfigurations which time operates on them.
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