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This work could well be one of the first paintings Mägi produced in Norway, where Mägi arrived in summer 1908 and stayed for more than two years. This theory is supported by the modest measurements of the work and a letter sent to August Vesanto in August 1908, where he says he is currently at anchor in some place in the country where “everything is intriguingly misty” after a rain. He adds: “One must do a lot of looking at the forest, sky and earth before it all sinks in.” Mägi reported that he had painted many etudes, but merely as exercises. “They don’t contain any interesting motifs, but I just wanted to learn,” he writes self-critically. He paints in a small format, with consciously different techniques, to learn new solutions. Mägi works quickly, turning out an etude in 1–2 hours and new ones are constantly accumulating, yet “I have quite many of them but I need them if I don’t want to copy the material in them in any way in future.”
“Everything intriguingly misty” is unexpected considering Mägi’s later work, as he is more known for brightly coloured, light-filled works. With its muted colours and melancholy atmosphere, the work does not project the artist’s inner tensions into the landscape but observes it neutrally, expressing the mood prevalent in the natural setting. Along with a few individual small etudes, the painting is part of a mini-series that Mägi apparently painted directly in nature using few colours, without bringing in the theatrical, dramatic or sacral qualities in his later toolbox – instead, there is tranquillity, restraint, peace here.
The reproduction of these works without the express written consent of the owner of the works is prohibited.