The road to the mill A wiggly road snakes across the frame, making ever more eccentric (and emphatic) curves. But the point is what the road points at – the mill – which could hardly be placed any nearer the edge of the frame. The directiveness of the road, the concentrated focus of the mill when arrived at, all allow – demand, even – that the mill be placed that eccentrically.

That might seem to be the end of the story, but the receding elements also help carry the intention. The upper fields and olive groves act as lozenges of similar shape, curling in and bringing the eye down towards the corner of the frame; the terracing informs us of the descending nature of the land. Even the wintry terrain vague in the lower half plays its part – imagine how a competing element there, another building or tree, could destroy the picture.

An antidote then to the rule of thirds: composition can also be about weight, shape, rhythm, texture, directive elements.
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