Tropical Light

The Art of A. E. Backus


The definitive account of the work of A.E. Backus, Florida’s master of landscape painting.


ISBN: 9780865653320 Category:

Natasha Kuzmanovic


Painter A. E. Backus (1906-1990) portrayed an unspoiled Florida that has made his paintings synonymous with the state: backcountry terrain is often described as ‘Backus landscape’, emotive clouds as ‘Backus sky’, and translucent waves as ‘Backus water’. As more and more of the state’s wilderness is lost to development, Backus’s paintings emerge as poetic testaments of Florida’s lost paradise. Defining his artistic roots as ‘part Cracker and part Monet’, Backus was drawn to tropical nature as defined by light, which he rendered using complementary colors. His avant-garde use of a palette knife to render entire compositions produced paintings that combined a sensitive observation of nature with gestural paint application. Backus excelled at capturing the essence of traditional Florida: rustic fishing camps, magnificent beaches, tidal rivers fringed with palms and mangroves, and the abrupt changes in the weather that characterize Florida’s tropical light to both natives and visitors. This lush celebration of his life and work introduces a remarkable regional painter.

Additional information

Weight 2277 g
Dimensions 26.3 x 31.4 cm
Publisher name The Vendome Press
Publication date 1 November 2016
Number of pages 300
Format Hardback
Dimensions 26.3 x 31.4 cm
Weight 2277 g
Natasha Kuzmanovic, an art historian and conservator, has contributed to numerous publications including African Images: Art and Ornament and The Influence of Paris: European and American Sculpture 1830-1930.