In contrast to the vivid colours and bold themes of yesterday's post, I wanted to show a more subdued side to the Pre-Raphaelite style. Millais spent some time in Scotland painting landscapes and his painting, Chill October, is a wonderful evocation of the muted, tweedy hues of a Scottish autumn:
When I saw this painting, I was instantly taken back to the landscapes of my childhood and to another painter's representation of them. James Paterson's work resembles this lovely landscape by Millais. One of the best examples I have seen is in the National Gallery in Edinburgh and is simply entitled Autumn in Glencairn. This reproduction from Wikimedia Commons does not capture the colour as well as the gallery's website:
If you follow the link, you will see a much more muted palette which some may find somber or even oppressive. I find that I have a more positive emotional response to these duller colours and I am sure that this is partly due to the memories they evoke, but also partly due to the earthy subtlety I see there. In Scotland, nature's colour range occupies a part of the spectrum that seems to demand a particular kind of seeing - a willingness to see hidden things and an aversion to the brash. The colours appear ancient - beaten by wind, eroded by ice, washed out by rain and yet impressively enduring.