George Inness’ Constant Cohesion

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Kevin Muente reflects on George Inness' painting Near The Village, October in the collection of the Cincinnati Art Museum.

Muente writes: "Tonal shapes read harmoniously throughout. Grass plains flow and mysteriously turn into a stand of trees. Buildings in the village Inness handled in a similar fashion to an overturned log in the foreground. The trees taunt their color to the clouds, but otherwise share the same DNA, identical in size and shape as well as retaining the softness of their edges. The tree trunks divide and subdivide the picture plane in interesting variations. A lone tree illuminated by light on the right hand side resides at equal distances to the furthest yellow tree to the right and the tree against which our mysterious man leans in the middle of the painting…. On the far left side a swatch of sky, cloud bank and stand of trees are all about the same height, and completely interchangeable… Inness binds everything together. Cohesion is a constant in Inness's version of an October afternoon. Soft edges meld and wed forms. At times it is impossible to assess where one object ends and another begins."

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