So small before the landscape greatness

So small before the landscape greatness
Fecha de publicación: 
21 May 2024
Imagen principal: 

Alpine landscapes have been a recurring theme in European art. They have been recreated, with different implications, by artists from more than one pictorial movement. But there is always something in common: the fascination with magnitude, which imposes a respectful smallness on human beings.

The beauty of these visions is so great that man necessarily feels diminished by the work of nature, that some assume divine creation.

In this painting by German Johann Heinrich Ludolf Steinike (1825-1909), you can see one of the most beautiful lakes in those places. As if to highlight the grandeur of the set, the painter includes the figures of a woman with a girl and a dog, and in the distance, and a church that is lost among the mountains.

Human beings and what human beings have built seem insignificant compared to the majesty of the Alps, perhaps the most famous mountain range in Europe. Even following that logic, art would be minor in the face of that overwhelming force. But does nature really establish its own poetry?

Poetry is illuminated by men and women, with the singularity of their gaze. Thanks to men, this landscape can transcend the constraints of geography and establish itself in a less rigid environment: the world of dreams.

The beauty of the alpine landscape is, ultimately, beauty according to men and women artists.

Translated by Sergio A. Paneque Díaz / CubaSí Translation Staff

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