Thursday, December 13, 2007

Real vs. ideal ...

... The Back Page: Fighting the Good Fight. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Apparently, I have been a subscriber to the Panzaic theory without knowing it. This afternoon, Debbie and I went to the art museum (as we Philadelphians refer to the Philadelphia Museum of Art) to see the exhibition of Renoir landscapes. I have never been much of a Renoir fan and this exhibition didn't do anything to change that. There is one great painting - The Promenade. It has drama and psychological depth. And there were a few very good ones - Village Street, a snapshot in oil of Louveciennes, was one. But for the most part, Renoir seems to have had only a professional interest in landscape. The landscape is merely a pretext for a painting. He does not otherwise engage the landscape, and so does not draw the viewer into it. Sisley's Snow at Louveciennes, on the other hand, seems to me to have captured a specific time and place and its weather and mood for ever. One does not merely look at it, one feels it and lives it.

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