Along the Alps, up the Mont

The glass doors open. There is a gush of white. All you see is mountains for eternity. Snow covered mountains with a blinding sheen. Like folds of a gown, with creases at certain instants and smooth satin left to flow in certain others, the white princess spreads her beauty as Mont Blanc in the Alps, and as a series of acrylic paintings in the Art Houz.

A surprisingly refreshing addition to the previously noteworthy collection of the artist, the paintings seem to shout out the versatility of A P Shreethar with his strokes. One could imagine how his brushes would have tickled the surface of the canvas to bring out the glistening silver of the pinnacles, or scumbled over to produce the moonlit shadows of majesticity.

The paintings, which adopt the unseen style of ‘14-layered realism’, as the name suggests, appear real to the point that the click of your sandals on tiles begin to sound more like the sound of gumboots on the crunching grass on a misty morning. You check for the misty breath and run your fingers to feel the gooseflesh.

A long focused look gets the 3D effect of the paintings on to your head and you begin to imagine the ice slowly melt from the caps, unveiling the rusty wrinkles of rocks. You tend to wait a little longer for the white blots of cotton clouds to move, so that the summit is seen or even extend a hand to touch the snow that has slowly smudged its way down like a semi-melted vanilla scoop.

The 20 odd paintings from the collection of 121 mountain themed paintings of Shreethar come as a prologue to his work on the subject, which he plans to pursue for the next couple of years, visiting La Princess Blanche himself.

At the inauguration of the seminal collection, Franck Priot, COO and Deputy Director General of Film France, apart from establishing the obvious connection that the paintings held with France, also draws out a common thread between an artist and a film-maker. The first step in producing a cinema, Franck says, is to bring out the photos, where it’s all about creating stories based on shapes, voice and figures of those seen for real. “It is true and not true at the same time,” he adds.

This takes one revisiting the golden contours of Mont Blanc in one of the paintings. It has neither the malevolence of grayish blue, nor the mystique of white. Almost like discovering a burning pile of woods amidst the accrual of ice, the painting brings out a sense of warmth. “…So solemn, so serene, that man may be … But for such faith with nature reconciled…” Shelly was so right.

The article was previously published in The New Indian Express. Check out –



One thought on “Along the Alps, up the Mont

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