Painting the light of Greece

When British painter David Shutt came to Greece a year ago, it was primarily because he wanted to capture the qualities of the Greek light and the harmonious lines of the Greek landscape. It turned out that his stay, a five-and-a-half-month sabbatical from teaching at Canterbury’s Christ Church University College, was one of the artist’s most prolific periods. His paintings, on view at the Jill Yakas Gallery, are mainly landscapes and scenes of ancient ruins, most of them painted in the Peloponnese in the region where another British artist, Alfred Bartlett, built a studio years ago. Shutt is a dedicated landscape painter, having spent 20 years painting the mountainous region of Snowdonia in North Wales. His «Greek paintings» have grown out of the same interest, but are distinct in terms of light. They also speak of an artist who, perhaps because he is a foreigner, looks at Greece in a rather idealized way and, influenced by the country’s ancient past, searches for his own personal Arcadia in the surrounding nature. Distantly evocative of the work of 19th-century traveling painters, Shutt’s paintings have a romantic and most appealing feel to them.

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