Sunday, 5 August 2012

The jewelled landscapes of Bonnieux


Did you spot the visual clue to the treasure in the last post? Across the road from Le Fournil, the restaurant in Place Carnot at Bonnieux, is a bright modern canvas in a display window. This is the studio and gallery belonging to artist Rahim Najfar.

Regular readers of this blog will know that I'm a huge fan of Rahim's modern Fauvist paintings. (Click this link for an introduction to his work: Terre Fauve.) His vision of the countryside all around the hilltop village where he lives and works is rendered in bold colour, reminiscent of the works of Derain, Matisse and the German expressionist August Macke. A Najfar summer scene flashes and clashes with all the extremes of light and shade that define southern Europe.

I went into the gallery to say hello to Rahim and his lovely wife Suzanne and to see his latest works a couple of weeks ago. As ever, there was much to admire and several works I would love to have taken home. But one painting stood apart for me. It seemed to glow from the wall with rich jewel colours, amethyst and ruby and sapphire.

Its title is Sous-bois Automnale (literal translation: Autumn Undergrowth - though I'd go for something more lyrical. Under Autumn Wood, perhaps, with a nod to Dylan Thomas). With the change of season comes a deeper, more contemplative colour palette interspersed with happy reminders that the sun is never far away here.

Reader, I bought it. I'd been longing to have a Najfar original on our wall and now that the sitting room has been rebuilt and remodelled it was the ideal moment to act on impulse. Treasure indeed, at least as far as I'm concerned. And here's a photo of the artist with his work, the artist as expansive and jolly as his joyous understanding of the jewelled landscapes of Provence.


  

10 comments:

MuMuGB said...

The colours are really vibrant! Well done for buying it!

Evelyn said...

Oooh! Lucky you...it's gorgeous!

Marcheline said...

I'll be honest with you... I don't understand that kind of art. I mean, I understand what it's supposed to be (trees) but my mind can see how easy it would be to reproduce or mimic, so it doesn't accept it as being indicative of talent. Caravaggio and Winterhalter... that's my kind of art.

I think that man's face is infinitely more pleasing and attractive than the painting... I could look at his face for a very long time and be happy. His is the kind of face you want to sit across the table from on a balmy evening, with a large bottle of wine and a plate of cheese, while he tells stories.

An Eye for Detail said...

Oh Deborah: lucky, lucky you! You know, I had been in so many of those galleries the last time we were there, what?, three years ago, and fell in love with these too!!! I adore the color and texture and boldness. What a treasure to hang on your wall. Well done!

Angela Bell said...

Great work and interesting post!

Pet said...

He reminds me, somehow, to Nicholas de Stael paintings.

Spangle said...

Well Done on your new painting! It's not in a style that I usually like but I love the colours in this painting. It's fantastic that you could meet the artist too.

I hope it takes pride of place in your house.

Vanessa said...

Not quite my style but I can understand the appeal. We've been without Internet access following a storm for 10 days and I've missed so much. Will be back to catch up.

louciao said...

Fabulous painting! It will bring such joy into any room in which it's hung. Good for you, giving in to that impulse.

Sacha said...

Hello Deborah
I agree with you on the word treasure when sagit paint Rahim Najfar, it has a happy painting whose works are powerful in color
good week
Sacha

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