Saturday in the Museum with George

Image: George Mason, The Harvest Moon (1970)

With the crispness of autumn finally taking hold and Thanksgiving approaching, we are highlighting a picture that is one last look at the harvest. The moon also put on a show this week, so we found something that pulls it all together for our weekly art post.

This painting is by British artist George Mason.  The Harvest Moon is located in the Tate Museum in London.  The museum includes this description:

“From 1845-1858 Mason was based in Italy where he developed a close friendship with the Italian landscape painter and patriotic revolutionary Giovanni Costa. Together they developed a method which they called ‘the Etruscan’, which involved preparing a picture in monochrome before laying on the final colour. Following his return to Britain Mason became known for his idyllic landscapes as seen in this harvesting scene. Fluid brushwork and rich colouring emphasise the sheer beauty of the pastoral scene, while suppressing the sense of back-breaking work that was the reality of harvest time.”

By the way, if you are a writer of historical fiction or screenplays, the story of Nino Costa is ripe with possibilities. Mason’s life also has a few moments, mostly from his time in Italy when he provided medical care to the revolutionaries of 1848, was captured and accused of spying, and then escaped before execution. Mason would return to England, gain acceptance into the Royal Academy, but die young at the age of 54 a couple years after painting The Harvest Moon.

It is also fun for us to note that for a couple weeks we focused on Russian artists in Paris, interrupted with a British artist who was the son of Italian émigrés.  Now, we have done two weeks of British artists who traveled to Italy in a time of war.

We will take next weekend off from the art posts to do our own traveling to feast on turkey done with Italian touches.  Be safe and Happy Thanksgiving to all of you.


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