Here is another Gruppe for me to unpack. This was painted in Waterville, Vermont, near Jefforsonville. I would like first to call your attention to this.....
This is another distance making ploy, a little like the one I talked about last night. Gruppe has drawn a diagonal line across the canvas and put all of the subject matter behind it. Everything in the middle ground is "over there". The side of the line marked 1 is the foreground, the side marked 2 above it and to the right, is the middleground and distance.
This is a physical way of obtaining depth. You all know about atmospheric perspective, but the problem with that, is it forces a blurry high key scheme on the whole upper half of a painting. That is OK sometimes but there are other ways to go. You want to always be in charge of the design of your painting, and choosing whether or not to use atmospheric perspective can give you control over your values and colors. I am not knocking atmospheric perspective, merely noting that there is more than one way to skin a cat. Gruppe has retained his strong values and color all the way up the canvas in this painting.
Here are some of the "pointing" lines in the picture. The road leads you into that dark bridge and then out the other side and up to the church with its triumphant spire joyously rocketing up into space. Notice several other pointers concealed in the picture, all directing you inwards. In the upper right there is a nice rising line in the clouds taking you out at that corner, if you must leave.
Here are the linked darks you have grown so tired of hearing me talk about! If you squint at this picture it is almost one big dark filigree laid over a white ground.