Chromatic Landscape Illustration – Michael Salu

It is said that classicists are drawn to things in a Landscape/horizontal format and Modernists are drawn to Portrait/ Vertical formats. After a long time of being almost exclusively a vertical artist and in that sense a modernist I am recently finding myself  more seduced by the landscape and the horizontal line in all its incarnations.

I’m intrigued by the physical Chromatic Landscape around me at the moment as any regular follower will know, the subtleties and nuances of tone and hue in various weathers. In my desire to experience a more exotic far-flung landscape I have recently picked up a copy of Bruce Chatwins book ‘In Patagonia’; a recent edition by VINTAGE Classics an off shoot of Random House. It has the most wonderful cover and I’m pleased to have discovered the illustrator/writer and art director Michael Salu. What a discovery it is… his covers for 4 of Bruce Chatwins books are simple, elegant and beautifully crafted.

Chatwin says the following in ‘In Paragonia’ and it feels like Salu must have been inspired by these words for the cover.

” In the east you suddenly confront the great wall of cordillera with bright turquoise lakes (some are milky white and others a pale jade green) with unbelievable colours to the rocks (in the pre-cordillera). Sometimes it seems that the Almighty has been playing at making Neapolitan ice-cream. Imagine climbing (as I did) a cliff face 2000 feet high alternatively striped vanilla, strawberry and pistachio in bands of 100 feet or more. Imagine an upland lake where the rock face on one side is bright purple, the other bright green, with cracked orange mud and a white rim.”

I can’t imagine a more chromatic landscape than the one Chatwin describes.


About Ptolemy Mann

Ptolemy Mann is a textile artist, designer and architectural colour consultant
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