Image with a sense of unity from a blue-orange contrast throughout, and unified impressionist brushwork. The static square format helps balance the energetic brushwork.
Frederick Childe Hassam (b. October 17, 1859, Dorchester, Boston, Massachusetts) was a prominent and prolific American Impressionist painter, noted for his urban and coastal scenes. Along with Mary Cassatt and John Henry Twachtman, Hassam was instrumental in promulgating Impressionism in America.
The sky has been pushed up to the top of this composition, making the expanse of hillside more powerful. A much stronger image than if the horizon had been placed according to the rule of thirds. Chosing a squarish format, rather than a rectangular one, gives a feeling of stability and rest, which suits the subject - a hill. But the curving diagonals provide visual energy, and lead the eye from the hilltop to the pond - a small area of blue in the lower right corner to nicely balances the blue sky at the top of the painting.
Landscape painting of the 30's and 40's was often characterised by robust structure, reflecting the dramatic upheavals of the period. It's worth looking at these works if your landscapes have become too vague. Cezanne was the precursor of this kind of painting. Outlines are strong but also broken. Without this breaking of lines, the image would become captive and lifeless.
See also this work by Ross Dickinson
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