Impressionist panic

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📅 Published on January 26, 2007

i have to admit:….. i was a bit disappointed with musèe d’orsay. it is not very well organized, alot of works are travelling, and the layout is not conducive to appreciation of the art. that said, i saw the original gates of hell by rodin, as well as the original ‘muse’…. that was completely worth it. i stood in awe.
it was really sad to see people going through the museum and not even looking at the art… they just wanted to see something famous. they would run up to the artwork, glance at it, nod and smile, and move on. it broke my heart. these artists deserve more… the museum felt like a freeway.
actually, i really enjoyed the collection of cezanne that they have, and i was blown away by the pastels :::: my love of carpeaux sculptures was confirmed, and my non-love of the neo-impressionists.

the first thoughts i ever had regarding art after 1850 was that they seemed lazy. the renaissance and classical artists used detail to the extreme… it was not strictly realism. it was perfection or idealism down to the fingernail. you know from one glance that they cared deeply about what they were doing, even if the sad truth is that they had to pay attention to detail because the bourgeois were paying them to make it perfect. If it wasn’t, they would just send it back to be redone. It seems that once artists were allowed to do what they wanted, alot of them started sacrificing detail.

This is disturbing for me because I have realized that the beauty I see in most works of art is in the smallest details… the fingers, the hair, flowers, the muscles of a back or the veins on a foot. this is what moves me. when artists start to sacrifice these things, i have to wonder if i am missing the point. i am afraid that i am deriving from the art i see something completely different than what the artist intended.

this is monet’s ‘haystacks’. it gives the impression of detail, and the light that falls on the haystack suggests an unbelievably surreal sunset (or sunrise?) this is one of the works i saw yesterday at orsay. but when you look very closely, what you see at the beginning is all there is. i might be stating the obvious because this is impressionism, but is there anyone else that aches to see something in the distance? it is not a discovery to stand in front of this painting. it is moving, perhaps, and remarkable, but it is not an introduction to the world of the artist. if anything, i feel that he glazes over the background… why? does he find no beauty in it? is there nothing worth presenting back there? is he a pessimist who thinks that the artists’ job is to present the simple beauty on the surface of humanity, while glazing over the darkness that lurks at the essence?

i would appreciate any insight you may have into the modern artist.

i tried to get into the orangerie exhibit that i talked about yesterday, but the line was perhaps one north american city block long. thqt makes me want to go even more… i think i am going to try again tonight.

a flamboyant guy on the program, Ryan, and I did the museums and then walked through the Jardin des Tuiléries, along the seine toward the eiffel as the city lights were just beginning to flicker on. it was beautiful. we also saw the fountains at trocadero… kind of a grand, modern classic feel::: they are usually ignored by tourists, i think, because there are so many more famous monuments closeby.

there was a full chamber orchestra playing in the metro yesterday. they were actually really good, but i didnt have time to stop and listen.
I was able to have a conversation with a parisian yesterday without saying pardon or hesitating! yay! once you relax in paris, parisians are lovely. they are generous, considerate, and polite (generally). I am loving it. Also, I just realized that I only have three more months here… today it seems so short… maybe it is because the sun peeked out.


translation of the new quote at the top of the blog:
(comes from my painting textbook)
“It is not in following the rules that one is guaranteed to make a masterpiece. It is not in respecting entymology (the study of the origin of words) and grammar that one becomes a poet; on the other hand, ‘one can be a poet without ever having written a verse’ (Novalis). It is one’s ability to feel and to live in a particular way that places a person in this category.” -Nicolas Wacker, “Painting from Raw Materials…”


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