Hedge and Cypress

  • George Murphy, Hedge and Cypress, 1977, oil on canvas, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of the Sara Roby Foundation, 1985.30.52

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.

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
Hedge and Cypress
27 1227 12 in. (69.869.8 cm.)
Credit Line

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Gift of the Sara Roby Foundation

Mediums Description
oil on canvas
  • Landscape – phenomenon – light
  • Landscape – road – path
  • Landscape – plant
  • Landscape – tree – cypress tree
Object Number
Linked Open Data
Linked Open Data URI

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