The lay of the land

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - LISTINGS - AI­DAN DUNNE

NEW LAND­SCAPES Molesworth Gallery, Dublin Mon-Fri 10am-5.30pm, Sat 11am-2pm Un­til Dec 24 molesworth­

Now in his 80s, Wal­ter Ver­ling is, quite sim­ply, one of the great Ir­ish land­scape painters, work­ing con­sis­tently in the clas­si­cal re­al­ist tra­di­tion as ex­em­pli­fied by Camille Corot. And, as Blaise Smith notes, like Corot he is also “a cu­ri­ously mod­ern painter” in that there is a time­less, “un­emo­tive ob­jec­tiv­ity” to his plein air land­scapes (above left) that makes them uni­ver­sally un­der­stand­able – and en­joy­able – re­gard­less of artis­tic fash­ion.

Smith, him­self es­tab­lished as a fine con­tem­po­rary re­al­ist, painted side-by-side with the older artist on sev­eral oc­ca­sions and bravely hangs his own work (be­low left) be­side Ver­ling’s in New Land­scapes. Bravely be­cause, as Blaise ob­served when they com­pared their views of the River Bar­row: “I pre­fer his ver­sion my­self be­cause it’s about colour . . . My paint­ing is fine, but it lacks sparkle, vi­vac­ity, fun even.”

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