View in Perspective of a Perfect Sunset
Eugène Berman, American (born Russia), 1899 - 1972
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This painting by Eugène Berman can be viewed as a summary of his career. It combines the languid style he developed in Paris in the 1920s with an illusionism influenced by Salvador Dalí (Spanish, 1904 - 1989), as seen in the man holding up the sun as his shadow waves a cloth. Baroque architectural elements speak to Berman’s love of Rome, where he traveled often and eventually lived. But the scene’s glowing light and distant mesas surely come from the American Southwest, and indeed the picture was executed in California. The expansive wood floor at the bottom of the painting recalls the theater and film stages for which Berman designed costumes and sets throughout his life, and in a broader sense gives the image its sense of artificiality.