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Hedge and Cypress

1977 George Murphy Born: London, England 1947 oil on canvas 27 1/2 x 27 1/2 in. (69.8 x 69.8 cm.) Smithsonian American Art Museum Gift of the Sara Roby Foundation 1985.30.52 Smithsonian American Art Museum
Luce Foundation Center, 4th Floor, 45B


Luce Center Quote

"I wanted trees, bushes, and hedges to acquire the force of figures in a restricted, and usually very formal landscape of their own, that was itself transformed by this shift of emphasis." Murphy, questionnaire to the artist, 1985

Luce Center Label

Hedge and Cypress was the first work George Murphy created after moving to Florence, Italy, in March 1977. He based the painting on a photograph he had taken during a trip the previous summer to a Roman theater in Fiesole, just outside Florence. Murphy also made three preparatory sketches of the scene to experiment with the relationship between the tree and the path. The oil painting was completed in a studio apartment overlooking the Piazza Santa Croce. Here and in other works featuring bushes and trees, he wanted the objects to dominate the painting and to take on a more forceful presence, rather than serve the traditional role of background imagery.

Keywords

Landscape - phenomenon - light

Landscape - plant

Landscape - road - path

Landscape - tree - cypress tree

painting

paint - oil

fabric - canvas

About George Murphy

Born: London, England 1947

More works in the collection by
George Murphy