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Paysage au serpent (Landscape with Snake)

Paysage au serpent (Landscape with Snake)

1927

André Masson

(French, 1896-1987)

Oil on canvas

Unframed: 65 x 46 cm (25 9/16 x 18 1/8 in.)

Mr. and Mrs. William H. Marlatt Fund 2016.55

Description

Surrealists such as André Masson believed that reality could be grasped only by unlocking the secrets of the subconscious mind. His pioneering technique known as automatic painting emphasized working spontaneously, thereby allowing subconscious thoughts to emerge during the creative process. Masson worked rapidly when painting Landscape with Snake, applying gestural brushstrokes over a tan background and gouging through wet paint with a pencil. While forms occasionally coalesce to suggest a snake, a bird, or water flowing through a forest, the true subject is the dynamic process of painting.

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