Prilidiano Pueyrredón, the most significant portraitist during the mid-19th century—all of Argentina’s society from the era were captured by his brushes on canvas—also painted an outstanding group of works that feature pulperías (canteens), ranch work, gauchos, wagons, the San Isidro coast and ombu trees.
El alto de San Isidro (The Heights of San Isidro), an oil painting produced in 1865, depicts a two-wheeled cart traveling along a wide road. An enormous ombu tree stands to the left. To the right, the outbuildings of a ranch can be seen, surrounded by trees and several cows. The sky is painted in blue, gray and ochre; a few rays of sunlight pass through an opening in the clouds and fall upon the pasture. The use of a low horizon creates an ample sky, permitting him to delineate the extent of the Buenos Aires plains. The only interruption to the prominent horizontality of the composition is the ombu.


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