François Diday - Pont du Diable, n.d.
Oil on canvas
49.5 x 39 cm
This small, upright-format painting by the Geneva artist François Diday shows the Teufelsbrücke (Devil's Bridge), a place surrounded by Swiss folk legends, from an impressive perspective. Upstream, the view leads up to the bridge, which, with its distinctive chiaroscuro (light-dark painting), appears like a gate between the foreground and background. The sky, the back valley and the mountains in the distance are already bathed in light, while in the deep river valley night still seems to reign. The rising sun is hidden by a rock covered with bushes, but individual rays of sunlight reach the bridge, shining on it from the bright and enticing valley in the back. Two small figures in the lower dark half of the picture illustrate the potential power of nature and the mountains they face. A man in red trousers stands on a large rock with his back to the viewer and a stooped figure descends to the river bed. The standing man suggests a sense of depth, as the viewer can identify with him looking into the picture, and thus experience the spatiality of the scenery and the sublimity of nature.
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