Photographer's Note

The great Expressionist painter Vincent van Gogh, in a letter to his brother Théo, described the works of French landscape artist Jules Dupré (1811-1889) as, "… a symphony of colors." Dupré was a star of the Barbizon School of Pre-Impressionist painters, and happens to be among my favorites for both sentimental and aesthetic reasons. As a child I lived for a year in Paris, where my father had an assignment as military attaché from Turkey to France. I remember well an 1840-landscape painting hanging in our living room depicting one of Dupré’s favorite scenes, a cluster of ancient oak trees. And as a budding artist, I produced watercolor copies of the painting, which Dupré originally rendered in oil.

Van Gogh's words, “Symphony of Colors,” are also appropriate in describing the outdoor still life depicted here, a flower arrangement in a cemetery in Nice, France. Cemeteries can be depressing places, they can be poignant places, but they can occasionally be humorous. I remember seeing a dentist’s gravestone in England, “Tread this ground with gravity, (Dentist) John Brown is filling his last cavity!” In Belle Isle, a gravestone reads “Here lies Hermina Kuntz, to virtue quite unknown. Jesus, rejoice! At last she sleeps alone.”

On two occasions a year apart I previously submitted a pair of photos whose only salient qualities were the brilliant colors. In July of 2008 I posted SYMPHONY OF COLORS I. There the subject was the cart of a fruit seller on the Island of Capri. Then in September of 2009 I posted SYMPHONY OF COLORS II , in which the subject was a flower arrangement on a street corner in Williamsburg, Virginia, following torrential rains. Now it is a scene from a French cemetery.

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Additional Photos by Bulent Atalay (batalay) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 6781 W: 471 N: 12169] (41261)
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