Manoel Island and Valletta: A Study in Iris

by James Charles Hester

This piece began life as an impression of the skies above Valletta as viewed from Ta’ Xbiex, but soon became a study of how to make the deeper colours within the painting radiate with equal measure by utilising Iris (conventionally referred to as violet).

It appears I am not alone in this dalliance with Iris/violet, for alongside many others, Claude Monet believed the colour was able to harness the dimensionality of shadow better than black and used it with abandon. “I have finally discovered the true colour of the atmosphere,” he once noted. “It is violet. Fresh air is violet.”

  • Acrylics on canvas
  • 122cm by 122cm stretched on a 3cm deep stretcher
  • Liquitex archive quality satin varnish
  • 2023



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