paintings accomplished and abstract in execution

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Alex Coseff

Senior Member

Please, am I right in saying that the adjective accomplished in the context below refers to brilliant/marvelous..Or am i completely wrong there?:)
Many thanks.

G.M.Malliet: Wicked autumn
A surprising touch were several original oil paintings, accomplished and abstract in execution, and drawn from a bold palette. The colours clashed badly, however, with the already overheated colour scheme.
  • Cenzontle

    Senior Member
    English, U.S.
    I agree with EStjarn, that "accomplished" refers to the skill of the artist.
    Of course a painting done with great skill could be described as marvelous.
    "Brilliant" runs the risk of being ambiguous, since it could refer to the artist's skill or to the brightness of the colors.
    I find the placement of "abstract" in the sentence strange.
    "Execution", for me, refers to the way in which the subject matter is treated, as well as the skill of the artist. So "accomplished in execution" makes sense to me.
    But "abstract", for me, refers to the subject matter of the painting, or its genre (portrait, landscape, still life, etc.).
    I would consider "abstract" to be a category of subject matter, not a quality of the manner of "execution".


    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    I think he's talking about paintings that may be figurative in composition but abstract in execution; in other words there is a recognisable subject which is treated in an abstract way. A purely abstract painting would be abstract in execution, and also have no recogisable subject.
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