La Cañada (The Stream)

Montevideo, Uruguay
Oil on canvas
60 x 80 cm
Museo de Bellas Artes Juan Manuel Blanes
Locate on map View in timeline About the artist

The most significant Uruguayan landscape painter of the early twentieth century, José Cúneo Perinetti was a pioneer in his treatment of the countryside. Long viewed by the art world of Montevideo as a chaotic and primitive domain, Cúneo brought the rural countryside into the national intellectual conversation, positioning the land itself as central to modern Uruguayan identity. In La Cañada (The Stream), Cúneo depicts the moonlight as it falls on a nighttime landscape, an early antecedent for the series of nighttime views for which he would eventually become famous. A melancholic exploration of the landscape with no trace of human involvement, the painting is laden with the sense of loss for those untouched environments yet is also buoyed by the potential of the stream’s forward motion and the possibility of what the moon’s rays might uncover.