Reproduction Continental 20th century Artist’s frame, stipple painted
Oppenheim’s landscapes are more representational than either the schematic but very expressive civil defence scenes painted in London during the war, or his abstracted and stylized still life paintings. He seems to have painted wherever he found himself – in Florence, Lucca, Provence, or here, in Aldeburgh; and – whilst the perspective of his landscapes is always illusionistically convincing in its depth – he uses tricks taken from the decorative patterning of his other work to create texture and shadow. Here, the great bank of shingly Suffolk beach is reproduced by pointilliste dots on a sand-coloured ground, with a few larger taches indicating nearer stones. Close to the effect is completely flat, the realistically-drawn rope, planks and boat floating free of their background; at a distance, however, the boat settles onto the shingle with a sigh of complete realism, cast shadows emphasizing the recession of space over a suddenly wide and illusionistic beach. This is a painting which uses very simple effects to depict a fiercely localized scene: the whitewashed Georgian cottages, slice of a vast grey sky, boat and pebbles are intensely redolent of the Suffolk coast.