<i>Spring</i>, 1967. Tempera
Spring, 1967. Tempera

She uses all the techniques of painting, oil, tempera, gouache, watercolour, pastel and charcoal, not to mention drawing. In her nude studies, Morgan-Snell continuously seeks to vary the poses and perspectives, however still remaining chaste, despite - sometimes very bold attitudes. Feminine irradiation, representing two full length reclining women, shows the foot of one pressed on the belly of the other, both faces quite severe looking, which reminds us of Courbet’s Sleepers. These young people are in no way “loose” women: they are, on the contrary, we think, competitive swimmers resting, or maybe even tranquil Amazon women whose dreams are perfectly innocent. In reality we are dealing with a hymn to beauty, in the same spirit as Morgan-Snell’s otherpainting, the human spark, that represents a young mother kissing her child, Intrepid youth, and an enhanced drawing that can be seen at the Musée des Beaux-Arts de la Ville de Paris. In this last work, a roaring wild beast confirms that the painter constantly combines nature and dreams, associating in a mythical atmosphere both beings and objects that seduce us by the purity of their line, the variety of their colours or their aesthetic or divine characteristics.


<i>Venice</i>, 1966. Gouache and watercolour on paper
Venice, 1966. Gouache and watercolour on paper

Problems concerning colour haunt Morgan-Snell. She prefers half tone ranges of colour: ocher, brown, maroons, over layered on brighter background colours. She can, by working and blending these tones, obtain extremely subtle nuances. One of the striking characteristics of Morgan-Snell’s work is her strange and unusual palette of colours, both dark and bright. The very tanned bodies present in her work give a feeling of light and clarity, with a dark tanned skin, they have blond hair and blue eyes. The artist is inspired by the skin shades of mulatto women, and of a darker metal shade that also catches the light.


<i>Rhea’s Son</i>, Museum of Modern Art, Paris
Rhea’s Son, Museum of Modern Art, Paris

She was searching for new painting material that would replace oil colors in her works. Tempera is a substance that produces a matte painting effect comparable to those of the fresco. She updated this process and used a coating composition, richly fed, composed of several elements and applied to the canvas in layers, providing a medium of choice, both solid and smooth. The frame of the canvas is sometimes visible to the eye in some areas and this gives the work more depth. Nothing is left to chance - tempera allows, at the artist’s discretion, extremely light flat blocks of colour, and also a certain feeling of thickness. Its fluidity and transparence are remarkable. From 1969 the Artist used tempera for most of her works, and created most notably her Homeric mythological and Biblical scenes.


Back to top