Morocco and its landscape have proven a distinctive influence on European artists since it was first explored by the continent’s settlers centuries ago. From Eugene Delacroix to Henri Matisse and now Hodgkin the allure of the land and its people has inspired works of striking graphic quality and ebullient colors. Tangiers, with its rich cultural history since the 5th Century, has in particular proven to be a city of great importance for artists. Delacroix left the city espousing the great color and light of the city and it soon became an obligatory homage for painters to visit the city in order to experience it for themselves. The painter Matisse spent time in the city and recalled "I have found landscapes in Morocco, exactly as they are described in Delacroix's paintings.” The impact of the landscape and its luscious colors is exemplified in a work such as Periwinkles / Moroccan Garden. Tangier, winter-spring, 1912. The verdant vegetation almost pulsates with life. One can clearly see this same energy and life in Hodgkin's In Tangier. One would find it difficult not to identify the huge and heavy-leaved palm tree that is the principal element in the picture. The gestural and painterly figuration of the tree allows for a more abstracted and subjective reaction to the scene before us and opens up a more emotional connection between the work and viewer. It is precisely this abstraction of appearance that allows Hodgkin's work to so successfully elicit an emotional reaction thus fostering an especially intimate relationship with the work.
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