When creating his landscape paintings, Cross frequently began by working in his studio in order to allow the imagination to dominate the artistic process, only working en plein air during the final creative stages in order to add a layer of verisimilitude to the scene. The artist declared that: ‘I compose in the studio, coming as close as possible to my interior vision; then, the harmony being established… I set about making my sensations objective – sensations corresponding to the initial vision – in front of nature’ (quoted in ibid., p. 46). Making specific reference to Cross’ landscape paintings, Whitfield notes that: ‘The emphasis that Cross places on what he calls his “interior vision” is in line with the Neo-Impressionist belief that a landscape painting should extol the eternal rather than the transient aspects of nature’ (ibid., p. 46). Gloriously representative of an idyllic, Arcadian vision, La Plaine de Bormes eloquently conveys this sensation of timelessness.
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