I came across Edward Theodore Compton's work the other day. I'm surprised he eluded me until now.
I'll keep this one brief. Sometimes, it's better to just sit back and admire. Here are key points about his life:
- A man of many titles: landscape painter, illustrator, climber, and art teacher to his children.
- He studied briefly at London's Royal Academy but was mostly self-taught.
- Regarding his climbing, he made around 300 major ascents and at least 27 first ascents.
- His children, Edward Harrison, Dora, and Marion also painted. You can see his son's work here. I was unable to find much on Dora or Marion.
I'll walk you through some of my personal favorites of Compton's work, starting with Ödenwinklkees with the Johannisberg (below). Paintings like this make me want to take up watercolors. A pleasant contrast between intricate detail and sweeping color washes. Small bursts of saturated color. And four people to give a sense of the mountain's grand scale.
Here's a similar painting, but in oils (I assume).
Grossglockner depicts the highest Austrian mountain of its name. There's a sense of depth from the gradation in lightness and color temperature (the colors get lighter and cooler in the distance). Distinct areas of rocky landscape are separated by clouds—an interesting contrast between solid and rigid forms.
Below is a great demonstration of light and shadow. Notice how each change in a rock's plane is represented by a change in color.
A View of Mount Sassolungo—perhaps my favorite painting of Compton's. Rich colors and visible brushwork... beautiful.
Another painting of the Grossglockner mountain (below). The linework gives a sense of form and gesture (which can be hard to capture when painting snow). It also gives your eyes something to follow around the painting.
I'll finish with several more of Compton's delicate watercolors.
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