Artworks and Artists
The Distant City
The Distant City,
Lemieux, Jean Paul
oil on canvas
49.1 x 110.3 cm


There is something mysterious about this deserted countryside at the end of which the city is barely visible against the background sky. The Distant City typifies what is called Lemieux's "metaphysical period" (1956-1970), characterized by a minimalist treatment of the subject.

In his previous paintings, the artist focused more on details, on the anecdote. Here, because the line of the horizon is clean and slopes upward to the right, the microscopic city seems almost crushed between the sky and the earth, accentuating the feeling of isolation and inevitable submission to the forces of nature. The field borders, on both the left and right, appear to be receding to converge at the church tower in the centre of the painting. Perhaps the artist is pointing to the symbolic meaning of this painting.