The olive tree and the painting

The olive tree has always been a source of inspiration for artists, especially painters of the Impressionist movement.

The Impressionists, often from the south of France or at least inspired by its landscapes, show a particular interest in majestic olive groves, as far as the eye can see, sometimes in an arid and sunny or even sometimes desolate atmosphere.

It is true that when we think of an olive grove, we immediately feel a sense of joy and warmth. However, Edgar Degas, one of the pioneers of Impressionism, sketched ominous and gloomy landscapes of olive trees. Sure, Olive Trees Against a Mountainous Background, we can see a foreground made up of olive trees blurring and blurring, which is paradoxically the focal point of Artwork.

In the background, the vanishing point of this painting is what appears to be a very dark olive grove bringing us a sense of worry, a worrying future.

However, Edgar Degas practiced Impressionism very little, leaving room for his desires for realism.

At the evocation of realism, we can skip an era as an artist this time, surrealist, transports us to a warmer but still dull olive grove: Salvador Dali.

In Landscape at Cadaques, Salvador Dali describes a city that he particularly appreciated during his youth, located in the south of Spain. We find a cloudy and dark background, contrasting with the sun hitting a sunny lake. The character, seated in a relief dotted with olive trees, in which we can feel the movement of the leaves in contact with the wind, is as if frozen in time. This allows us to feel the beginnings of Salvador Dali's preoccupation with the notion of time and movement.

In a completely different register, but at the same time, it is essential to mention Henri Matisse.

In Olive Trees at Collioure, Matisse, fully in his Fauve period, illustrates one of his favorite places. By unnatural bright colors, these majestic but not very fleshy olive trees take place in a vibrant environment. We have here a totally impressionist representation of the olive tree drifting towards surrealism by these colors.

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