Analysis of Landscape Painter, Jamaica by Vivian Virtue

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Summary

The landscape painter Albert Huie, a famous Jamaican painter by the poet admires the painter’s process as he watches this method and speaks in awe as he captures the scenery as if the landscape is a living thing getting ready to be painted and showing their best side for this painter. Capturing the painter in his element.

Stanza by Stanza Analysis

Stanza 1:

The first stanza gives a feeling of awe and calmness as the pater sets up to begin painting. The easel is set to cover a part of the mountain, “straddling precariously” the way the easel is set can be said to reflect the free will and freeness of painting as well the tone of the poem itself.

Stanza 2:

The poems encapsulate the essence of the environment, the painter paints the landscape as well as him painting uses metaphors of parts of the environment to show the process. This stanza describes the movement of his brush like a hummingbird, quickly moving from one colour to the next drawn to them like the hummingbird drawn to the different flowers for nectar in a garden. The use of the word like “tireless”, “Darts, dips”  that are used add to the feeling of quickness in this stanza.

Stanza 3:

This stanza begins to personify the landscape giving a mood of wonder and whimsicality to the poem, it could also be that the painter has such command over his craft that it seems like the mountains are in cahoots with him and are doing exactly as he wants. The mountains are described as “Dignified, self-conscious, against the wide blue screen” showing the prominence of the mountains in the painting against the sky as if showing authority. The hills are referred to as grandchildren at the knees of the hill because compared to the mountains they are small they have yet to reach the size of the mountains, but mountains still have a ways to go. As the blue mountain peak is behind them, the highest point in jamaica. “Shouldering the sky” gives an image of how high the peak is.

Stanza 4:

“And the professional gaze studies positions, impatiently waiting for the perfect moment to fix” the painter is now getting ready to Paint the mountains we get the sense of the meticulous nature of the painter how fixated he is on getting capturing the perfect scene.

“ their preparedness to confine them for the pleasant formality off the family album.” the mountains are again being personified. We get the imagery of them all together ready to be painted on canvas, it is not an actual album but a metaphor for them being on the canvas all together in the painting.

Stanza 5:

“His brush a humming-bird meticulously poised” this line is repeated again bringing us back to the beginning again the hummingbird although it is a quick bird keeps its balance a beautiful bird that is also an emblem of jamaica itself, its scenery and nature. The image of the painter with his brush painting in great detail, careful and precise . “the little hills fidgeting” as it was referenced before the hills are seen as the grandchildren and as children do they move but that is not the reality as hills are stationary. It could be how the painting is viewed by virtue

Figurative Devices

Simile:

  • “Grandchildren about the knees”

Imagery:

  • “On corner of the Twisted climbing mountain track”
  • “dips, darts, now here, now there”
  • “…Puzzles of pigment bloom in the pallets wild small garden”

Metaphor :

  • “ tireless hummingbird, his brush”

Personification :

  • “ the mountains pose for him”
  • “The little Hills fidgeting”
  • “sprawl  grandchildren about the knees”

Themes

  • Nature

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