In Bord de Seine à Tournedos, effet gris, the artist conveys a sense of perspective by the only use of exaggerated diagonal lines, hereby emphasised by the winding trail and the tall blades of grass in the foreground, whilst the use of colour is flat, unmodulated. Hills and trees in the background are defined by their geometric qualities rather than by naturalistic representation. The whole composition and its pictorial quality convey an eerie, peculiar feeling which is not uncommon to Vallotton’s landscapes and which locates them in the tradition of hyperrealism which was developing at the time with artists such as Edward Hopper and those gravitating around the New Objectivity movement. It is not surprising, therefore, that German artist Alexander Kanoldt openly acknowledged the influence of Vallotton’s landscapes in his own art.
Parting ways from the naturalistic and arcadian tradition of landscape painting, when confronted with nature Vallotton’s aim was to paint objects in their physicality, in their current state of being.
In 1921, Vallotton painted twice this subject, but only this version comprises a additional comment "effet gris" which reflects his state of mind during this second trip in Tournedos with his wife Gabrielle.
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