People in the Rectangle. Pain or Joy?
Landscapists often regard figures as a distraction from the scene. But surely, even in the most deserted Lake-District valleys are riddled with the distracting evidence of Mankind. From the picturesque dry stone walls and paths, to the sheep without which the famous scenes would be a forest. The purple grouse moors of Scotland are a pure fabrication. In the town, the influence is obviously inescapable. So what is the decision to depict the empty street scene? As much as anything it projects the viewer directly into the scene, without the baggage of being an observer of anyone else. So in one way it is a self- portrait of loneliness. The viewer has no human company, just the cold impassive world. Is this an escape, or a confrontation?
Personally, I cannot see an empty street without wishing an inhabitant upon it.