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Robert Houdier

French Artist (XXe century)

'Rialto Bridge, Venice'

Oil on Canvas

13.5 x 18.5 inches


IHoudier's mastery of Post Impressist technique is apparent in this dramatic view of the Rialto Bridge in Venice.  He appears to have placed the viewer in a gondola that is slowly approaching the bridge, which cuts across the darekened foreground in a sharp diagonal.  The bright sunshine that peers out from behind adds depth, vibrancy and tonal contrasts to the pictorial surface, while several mysterious figures standing long the bridge's balustrade animate the composition.

The artist has constructed a series of curves and counter curves, from the arches on the Rialto and the underside of the bridge, to the colonnades that echo the shape of the balustrade, allowing the eye to move seamlessly throughout the work.

Houdier's creative use of sunlight, dissolving color and form, contributes to the brilliant, relfective quality of the water.  The artist's rich palette of cool and warm tonalities, combined with his loose brushwork and lack of detail, contributes to the spontaneity of this serene, highly atmospheric composition.

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