Snapped Apple Tree

Macieira partida

José Júlio de Sousa Pinto (1856-1939)

Brolles, 1883

Oil on canvas

Inventory sheet

This work, whose original title was Après l’orage, confronts us with the desolation of an elderly poor woman on finding her apple tree split by the storm. Eminently narrative, the work draws us into the scene and involves us in the personal drama of the character, immediately arousing our empathy.
Perhaps one of the rare moments in which Portuguese painting of this period truly touched the realistic register, this painting nevertheless demonstrates the artist’s extraordinary technical skill. It offers us an unusual compositional structure, in which the figure and the tree are part of an immense foreground, crowned by the narrow strip of distant houses and by the sky, still darkened by the storm.