Drowned Land marks the beginning of the brief arc of Thomson’s years as a painter. Compared with other colourful works from 1912, it is outstanding for its composition and precision, and shows how Thomson was attracted by scenes or subjects usually ignored by other artists.
The painting shows Thomson’s obsessive attention to detail—a constant in his work even as he pursued more complicated ideas and ways of painting his “northern” landscapes. The camera-like precision, the perfectly calibrated perspective, and the exact sense of scale are paramount. These characteristics stand out against a broad sky bereft of detail.