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shows at boca museum

Post #469 • February 3, 2005, 6:39 AM • 49 Comments

My trip to the Boca Museum a couple of weekends ago yielded one of my pleasantest museum visits in a while. These shows are all down now, but they and the institution that organized them deserve mention.

Charles Burchfield is one of these oddball American painters that embodies fierce independence, a love of tradition, and do-it-yourself innovative tinkering all at the same time. I would like to see the tradition revived - make your paintings, do what you have to do to get by (even if it means designing wallpaper, which Burchfield did with great inventiveness and style; they had samples on display), and tell the rest of the world to go jump off a pier.

He had ideas of applying abstraction to landscape motifs, and some of the attempts work beautifully, such as Untitled [Gothic Window Trees] below.

But the some of the ones that he played straight were just as gripping. I closed the museum down drawing this beauty (the image hardly does it justice).

His oils were noticiably dingy compared to his watercolors, but they had a sort of labored charm.

A self portrait. I'd like to know what kind of blue he used - it was as opaque as chromium oxide and had a phthalo tone to it, although phthalo hadn't been invented yet. Prussian blue, maybe? Isn't that transparent, though?

Next show - Masters of the Medium: Drawings from the Ackland Collection. Any day you get to see a Fragonard down here is a good day.

De Vos:

Schiele:

Roman Vishniac's haunting photos of Russian and Polish Jews, who were destined to get almost completely wiped out. My grandparents fled these places, and I have to be grateful for their courage - it probably took courage just to get out of bed in the morning, much less out of the country.

I promised the Boca Museum that I would get them some press for a show that was up, which will be easy to arrange - they have an Andrew Wyeth exhibition on display right now. One of my informants tells me of another good show at the Norton. If this keeps up I'm going to have to move to Ft. Lauderdale.

Comment

1.

that guy in the second to last row

February 3, 2005, 6:16 PM

Egon Schiele's confident line always gets me. Dead on. If he would have lived past 29 he could have been have been a Matisse in a minor key.

2.

Jack

February 3, 2005, 7:22 PM

The Schiele above is worth any number of pretty, vapid people by Peyton or Bas. It's just lines, very basic, but it's palpably alive. Great piece.

3.

Anna L. Conti

February 3, 2005, 8:04 PM

Thanks for the Charles Burchfield reminder. In the 70's I was living in the (Northeast) boonies and mostly painting pastoral stuff. Then I moved to San Francisco and my painting foundered for awhile. It was Charles Burchfield that showed me the way. His urban and suburban 'scapes have more vitality and sense of the spirit-in-place than anyone else I know.

4.

oldpro

February 3, 2005, 9:36 PM

Well, thanks for these pictures. Now I can be both envious and pissed at myself for not getting up to see them.

Although I have admired Burchfield since college, I, like Anna, ran across Burchfield's pictures in person at a time years ago when my painting was in the doldrums, in some small, now forgotten (by me) museum. I was particualrly moved by a couple of watercolors of stands of trees that were quite abstracted and had a quality of "shakiness" which had the effect of some Cezannes without being anything like Cezanne. These pictures got me to introduce (or perhaps accept) a certain kind of deliberate "surface-churning" into my paintings which enlivened them and got me restarted.

Like Pollock's early pictures, many Burchfield pictures are on the clunky side but are redeemed by forceful talent. The "Gothic Windows" picture is interesting, because one of the first things you impress on students painting landscapes is how difficult it is to maintain a believeable background - especailly a background "through", like through trees - when all the detail and concentration is on the foregraound. There is always a tendecy for the background to come forward and become "inbetween" rather than "behind". I wonder if this is what happened here (I think he did a number of pix like this) and he just figured, so, the background doesn't work, but it looks like Gothic windows, so let's just go with that.

Could be Prussian blue; it has that dry coldness. Maybe just ultra & Payne's grey. Hard to tell from the JPEG, right, guys? Wonderful, surehanded shading on the shirt, however

I am not a great Schiele fan but that is a nice one. The Fragonard has its weak spots but still, so full of sparkle and life. The Ackland has a damn fine collection. A friend of mine ran it for years and made some excellent acquisitions.

I guess Jack has already hinted at the inevitable invidious comparisons, so I will desist. But please, folks, make some comparisons, JPEGs or no JPEGs.

5.

Ross Harris

February 3, 2005, 9:47 PM

Jack - It is certainly true that the Schiele is really amazing, but there is no need to get into the bitter, trash-the-famous-artists-of-the-moment line of thinking. Many of Peyton's drawings are just lines and also very basic, and I'm sure she'd think of Schiele as inspiration just as she does Hockney. However, Peyton's drawings don't have the history, respect or martyr aspect of Schiele, so they are totally attackable. Sure she paints celebrities and it is just DRIPPING with fashion and oh so PRETTY, but her paintings are utterly simple and actually quite beautiful to look at in person.

How about Schiele? I'm sure he was at least somewhat inspired by the whole "Japonais" fashion in Paris and I'm sure he'd seen some erotic woodblock prints. Regardless if Schiele is "fashionable" or not, he is unattackable. It'll be like attacking an old 30s blues man who was poisoned by a jealous lover because he didn't quite hit the right notes. Still, I'm NOT saying Peyton is more talented than Schiele, but I AM saying that Peyton's work can be seen as beautiful. (Still, she's probably overrated...)

6.

oldpro

February 3, 2005, 11:00 PM

Ross:

Schiele and Peyton are both overrated, in my opinion, but Schiele is a better artist, from what I have seen.

Fashion and influence are side issues.

7.

Jack

February 3, 2005, 11:09 PM

Ross, the fact that many of Peyton's drawings are just lines and also very basic is irrelevant--so would mine be, even though I have no art-making talent. My point was that DESPITE being just lines and very basic, the Schiele is, as you say, amazing work. My comment was not based on his history, respect or martyr aspect, but on the quality of this particular drawing. And EVERYBODY is attackable--trust me. It's just that some people are afraid to tackle sacred cows that are hardly holy.

I was not being bitter so much as making an observation. I don't see any piece of art as an isolated object that exists in a vacuum, but as part of a much broader picture that includes all of art history as I know it. If anyone feels I should not make comparisons, I'm afraid that person has no say in the matter. It's not a question of trashing people because they're the flavor of the moment, but of pointing out the contrast between vital, compelling work that commands respectful admiration and that which, while not without appeal, is decidedly weaker. There's a place for wispy eye candy, but it is not the place a Peyton occupies currently.

I'm not trying to argue you out of enjoying Peyton. I have enjoyed her work myself, but she is indeed overrated. It's like a watered down, flaccid, ever-so-wistful version of Renoir, with more make-up. It's very mannered and artificial, sort of like plastic flowers. It can work, and it's always easy on the eyes, but it typically reads as minor art to me.

8.

Franklin

February 3, 2005, 11:13 PM

Peyton falls apart completely on her own terms. Have you seen that big room at the Rubell's that they've dedicated to those three little Peytons they have? If I was chiding Ross's work as slight, she's Kleenex. That underinstalled space just accents her flimsiness. Really, they ought to pull over those Hernan Bas's from the next room. He'd blow her away but at least her work wouldn't look so lonely.

I generally haven't thought much of Schiele's oils but his drawings and watercolors are knockouts. It was a real treat to see the one above.

9.

seudoartist

February 4, 2005, 12:21 AM

franklin, you're addressing a curatorial issue. i agree that those peytons look weak. they're too small in that room. yet, i think peyton is a good artist, bringing a subtle wildean end-of-century ennui and languidness to the forefront, as if her characters were proud to hang in their tediousness... she's still young and has been lucky, but that's not what matters. to boot, she is a favorite of schjeldahl, whom i respect (not to say that i haven't disagreed with on many ocassions)

10.

eva

February 4, 2005, 1:11 AM

I have some books on Burchfield and saw a few shows in NYC, all of which were good. One thing I remember: he said that he had one or two years where he drew like a maniac -- he could hardly sleep, he had so much to get down. And those 2 years provided him with enough ideas and subject matter to last a lifetime.

11.

Martin

February 4, 2005, 2:05 AM

Burchfield's great. I think of he and Emily Carr as "shinto-landscapists". Their landscapes buzz with life and energy.

12.

oldpro

February 4, 2005, 2:16 AM

Those of you who never heard of Emily Carr go to

http://cybermuse.gallery.ca/cybermuse/search/artist_work_e.jsp?iartistid=915

She was an excellent painter (there were & are Canadian painters by the dozens we should know about and don't) and she was at her best when her pictures were most like Burchfield's. I don't know that there was any relationship between them, however; they both stemmed from a similar root of latter-day Impressionism influenced by Art Nouveau.

13.

Jack

February 4, 2005, 2:25 AM

Oldpro, I agree that, unlike this piece, Schiele's less straightforward, more "tortured" work, for which he's best known, could be accused of being overwrought or self-indulgent, of trying so hard to be expressive that it can approach a kind of alienated preciousness. That's more a matter of temperament than talent, however, for the talent, particularly as a draughtsman and, to a somewhat lesser extent, as a subtle colorist, is exceptional and fascinating. In other words, it's real, not a pose or a fad.

To make another "invidious comparison," next to the Schiele above, what John Currin does is pretty sad: prissy, fussy, overarch, and way too pleased with itself--synthetic, facile caricature. That's one reason for knowing art history; it helps put things in their proper place.

14.

Jack

February 4, 2005, 3:15 AM

By the way, Franklin, which de Vos is this, Maerten or Cornelis, or perhaps another one? I'd vote for Maerten, but his stuff was usually religious, and this looks mythological.

15.

Hovig

February 4, 2005, 3:27 AM

Jack - Nicely done!

I think this page at the Ackland Museum at UNC answers all your questions with a yes.

Martin De Vos
Flemish, 1532-1603

Allegory of Sight, drawing for a series of engravings of The Five Senses
pen and brown ink, and brown and grey washes, about 1580-1590

Dos Vos portrays a female figure representing Sight, who contemplates her reflection in a mirror. Biblical events involving sight take place in the background: at the left Christ heals a blind man, while on the right God shows Eden to Adam and Eve. Sight is accompanied by an eagle, thought during this period to be able to stare into the sun without risking blindness.


(I don't know if the "left and right" of the description refer to the image as Franklin posted it above, or as the Ackland posted it, which is the opposite. Damned if I can make out the different figures of Adam, Eve, God, or Jesus on my laptop screen...)

16.

Hovig

February 4, 2005, 3:39 AM

(P.S. - I was blind, but now I see. The description above refers to the image as Franklin posted it; the museum's image is reversed.)

17.

oldpro

February 4, 2005, 3:45 AM

You are right, Jack, but Schiele & Klimt are just not my taste, never have been.

18.

alesh

February 4, 2005, 3:46 AM

It must be some sort of a painter thing... I don't understand what the problem with Elizabeth Peyton is. I like John Currin, but at least I understand why you guys have a problem with him. But Liz Peyton? Because she paints celebrities? What, exactly, is the problem?

19.

oldpro

February 4, 2005, 4:17 AM

I suspect part of the reaction to Peyton is her fame & renown, which seems to many people to have outdistanced the quality of her art by quite a bit, and secondly because she represents a type of art (of which she may be the best practitioner) which is very pervasive and insidious and encompasses mostly fairly dreary art. So in a way she gets taken to task for characteristics which are not her doing.

The paintings aren't that bad, to my eye, but they don't do much for me, too slick and anemic I guess, or something like that. She does have some skill, more than most of her ilk. I think Franklin likes them less than I do. The other example often brought up here is Tuymans, whom I think is not much of a painter at all. Same for Laura Owens.

Nothing to do with painting famous people. If we rejected everyone who painted famous people painting before the last century would all but disappear.

20.

alesh

February 4, 2005, 4:38 AM

I understand holding one's overratedness against them, although at the end of the day that is not a criticism, so let's set that aside.

So . . . what the hell is "art which is very pervasive and insidious and encompasses mostly fairly dreary art" ?? I don't follow that phrase.

And "slick"? You'll have to help me, but her paintings seem to me the opposite . . . what am i missing?

I know you guys hate Tuymans and Owens. But let's not complicate the situation right now.

21.

oldpro

February 4, 2005, 4:49 AM

Well, I am not up to going over all of it again. I was just talking freely here. We had lengthy discussions about the characteristics of this kind of painter over the last few weeks, the anemic vapid expressionless scruffily painted etc etc type of painting that is so commonplace now. it came up on several pages. By "slick" I mean that it borders on, and sometimes falls into, what we usually call "illustration" (please, illustrators, don't get huffy) which again, as always, is next to impossible to lay out in words. I guess you just have to see it. In fact I did a survey of gallery web pages for a student this afternoon and saw a real mess of it everywhere. Can anyone put it better? I hope so.

22.

alesh

February 4, 2005, 4:54 AM

Hmm...

So it would be fair to say this is a painter-specialist prejudice I have no need to try to understand?

23.

oldpro

February 4, 2005, 5:06 AM

well, maybe, sort of. I am not trying to be difficult. We could trade information in a jiffy just by sitting down with pictures and pointing and talking. But I don't want make claims because there are a lot of painters who think she is great. I am sure that you make these kinds of distinction as a photographer and maybe just use a somewhat different vocabulary. I guess it just boils down to I think she is Ok and nothing more and therefore is overrated. Thinks of a couple photographers like that, who do ordinary subjects in an ordinary way and get all puffed out of proportion just for those characteristics and maybe there will be a parallel.

24.

Ross Harris

February 4, 2005, 5:15 AM

Jack - I certainly agree that everything is attackable or able to be talked about constructively. I think the "Renoir with more makeup" and ultra-girly, plasticy feel to them is actually fairly interesting. They remind me of an extra talented high school girl making doodles of cute English boys or Leonardo DiCaprio in her notebook, which I doubt Peyton (who is in her thirties) would object too harshly too. I think it is their minor, aloof quality that IS so interesting. I would just DIE if I had to constantly look at ultra-dramatic, even-more-pretentious-than-Peyton oil paintings with art about art titles and grandiose themes all of the time, which is why I collect and enjoy paintings by heartfelt, untrained, regular people so much. (Not that Peyton is one of those, of course...)

Franklin - I totally agree: the layout in Rubell is THE WORST. SO empty and soulless and stereotypical silly arty nothingness. I haven't been in a few months, so I have yet to see a lot of the newer paintings, but remember really enjoying the Michael Boremans paintings there last time.

Alesh - Peyton is certainly not "slick," thats for sure.

Also: Tuymans has been painting in a fairly consistent style for 20 years, so this isn't really a new hip thing he discovered recently. Look at his "Arena" work that started in '79...

25.

Ross Harris

February 4, 2005, 5:19 AM

Also, lets talk about new, interesting painters that are not dead and stop this silly good painter/bad painter thing. Anyone know of a NEW good, interesting, figurative painter we could bat around for a while?

26.

Jack

February 4, 2005, 5:21 AM

Thanks, Hovig. Interesting how he worked religion into the allegory. That part of the image is very indistinct on my clunky old monitor (which is being replaced soon by a thin LCD one). I'd thought the eagle was Zeus and she was some nymph or other getting ready to be ravished.

27.

John Sanchez

February 4, 2005, 6:13 AM

yeah Ross how about Jordan Massengale?

28.

Jack

February 4, 2005, 8:05 AM

Oldpro,
I understand your position on Schiele, Klimt and company. There is something vaguely uncomfortable or unhealthy about a good deal of their art, which no doubt relates to their being part of a spent, dying society that would soon expire. Morbid fumes emanate from such work, which can be unpleasant and distracting, so it's harder to focus on merit.

Ross,
You're an artist and I'm not, so it's no surprise if our perspectives and approaches are different. I have no reason or desire to ignore, downplay, or segregate out artists because they're old, dead, unfashionable, or from a time and society quite different from our own. As a matter of fact, I refuse to leave them out of the discussion, so to speak, because they illuminate so much of what comes after them, and I find them indispensable points of reference. Art is a huge complex tapestry that has been endlessly woven over time, and continues to be, and I will not deprive myself of what has lasted and survived to concentrate on what may do neither. The new, for me, MUST hold its own in relation to the old, so it will perforce be compared to it. Newness as such is a neutral trait.

As for the "silly good painter/bad painter thing," perhaps I misread you, but to me that's not at all silly. It's not how new or different or with-it an artist is, but how GOOD. The rest is all secondary.

29.

Franklin

February 4, 2005, 8:23 AM

My own irritation with Peyton has to do with their emptiness. Seudoartist's characterization of them as Wildean is apt - they're dandyish and affected and quite superficial. And while I don't have to have all profundity all the time, Peyton is too light for me even when I'm in a light mood.

Shinto-landscapists. Intriguing idea.

You know, I have to agree with John on naming Jordan as a new interesting figurative painter. It can be more interesting to watch him blow it than to watch other painters succeed. But beyond that, thought they're not new, I keep returning to Freud, Auerbach, and Kossof.

Just got back from the Bright Eyes show. Pretty cool. Conor nearly killed himself onstage falling backward over a cord in a fit of guitar noise frenzy.

30.

Momoko

February 4, 2005, 8:40 AM

Momoko’s Japanese Culture Lecture 101:

Excuse my intrusion, people. Regarding the comment #11 by Martin:
Burchfield's great. I think of he and Emily Carr as shinto-landscapists". Their landscapes buzz with life and energy.

I keep encountering people who do not have a correct definition of Shinto. I did not find any Shinto in artworks or bio of Emily Carr. If the writer meant "nature-worshipping-landscapists," animistic-landscapists should have been the correct words.

Animism, Shamanism, and Shinto are three different things.

Animism (dictionary.com):
1. The belief in the existence of individual spirits that inhabit natural objects and phenomena.
2. The belief in the existence of spiritual beings that is separable or separate from bodies.
3. The hypothesis holding that an immaterial force animates the universe.

Shamanism is a form of animism started in northern China and later on developed into Taoism. Taoism and Buddhism were imported to Japan. and Shinto, over a long period of time, was formed as a new style of Japanese belief and practice that contained Animism. Although both have something to do with animism, Shinto differs from Shamanism because Shinto is a Japanese style of the practice of animism and also contains the influence of Buddhism - a religion that started in India.

There are more reasons why the use of the word needs to be avoided, but I have pushed the topic far off by now that I should stop it now. Shinto in modern sense, no longer implies animism. Shinto is now about Emperor, the World War II, and other political bull shits that really stink.

Shinto

Definition of Shinto

Shinto and Its History

31.

Momoko

February 4, 2005, 9:00 AM

I found Another Schiele. The image gets bigger when clicking on it.

I can clearly see Japonism in his works. The artist took the good part of Japonism and integrated into a better art successfully.

32.

Ross

February 4, 2005, 11:04 AM

Perhaps Mr. Sanchez IS Jordan Massengale! Aah HA!

Jack - Oh forget it, we're not even on the same page anymore. Of course I get the whole "woven tapestry of history" or whatever, but I was just suggesting we look at someone from our decade, or even our city.

33.

mr strauss

February 4, 2005, 3:18 PM

Wow, those photos are really compelling. Old black and white photos somehow seem better than new black and white photos. Like they had better camera's or something.

I mean the resolution is so damn crystilline in those pics.

I like the first couple of paintings a bunch too. Good shit fo sho.

34.

alesh

February 4, 2005, 3:51 PM

I'm baffled, Franklin. How are Peyton's paintings of boys more 'light' and 'superficial' then, say, your paintings of girls? I don't mean to insult; I genunily have no IDEA what you're talking about.

Anyway, not apparently we can tell the resolution of a photograph by rephotographing it and shrinking it down. As oldpro would say: "Good grief!"

35.

Ross Harris

February 4, 2005, 4:42 PM

Alesh - Although I've mostly only seen Franklin's work via his website and I've seen Peyton reprinted in books and a few times in person, I can see a similarity between the two of them, although they have different styles to be sure. From what I've seen of Franklin's paintings: both are painting restrained, beautiful pictures of friends or models, however Franklin's oil paintings are very thick, like globs of cake icing, and Peyton is ultraflat with defined edges, most of the time. Both reference a style that is very different: Peyton goes for fashion illustration, drawings of her boyfriend in a Tokyo hotel, hip, Hockney, Karen Klimink-esque work while Franklin is more Modernist, traditional model in studio, painterly, very art school trained, etc. Also Franklin seems to work on a larger variety of scale than Peyton, who is really into very small paintings, most under 15" and some on sheets of notebook paper or drawings on hotel stationary. Peyton is feminine, Franklin is masculine. As far as the light and superficial comment, I don't really get it myself. Franklin just hates Peyton and lets leave it at that...

36.

oldpro

February 4, 2005, 5:27 PM

Alesh: Once again, you can't press the language too hard for answers when talking about art. As Ross says, Franklin just doesn't care for Peytons pictures much, and he is using - by necessity - language which is inadequate. Language that even partially transmits the complexities of an esthetic response to is very rare and very difficult. We are all caught in this trap, and we have to allow for it.

Actually it is interesting, and says something about the seriousness of most of the contributors here, that we have been talking about things like words and jpegs recently. This seems inconclusive and trivial, and there are those who are frustrated by our seeming purposelessness and endless hassling, but I see it as very beneficial, a learning and cultivating process which is a lot like making art: meandering, experimenting, taking sides, trying this and that. What comes out of it is not clear and specific, but I think it is substantial.

37.

Franklin

February 4, 2005, 5:49 PM

Alesh, Ross did a very nice job answering for me. Oldpro's right - we're coming up with verbal analogues to non-verbal experiences, which may be hopeless on some level except that it does force everyone to work the visual-verbal interface, which is pleasurable and illuminating.

38.

Jack

February 4, 2005, 9:21 PM

I don't mean to beat this into the ground, but I have to relate my Peyton "incident" during Art Basel here. I don't remember the gallery's name, but I saw a very small painting on panel by her, not one of her trademark boys-in-rouge deals, but a pretty little landscape--a trifle, really, though not without charm. Out of more or less malicious curiosity, I asked the price. "It's 36," I was told. As in 36K. I did my best not to roll my eyes, but I felt like telling the gallery person "You know, maybe I look a little dim today, but I'm really not retarded. I can provide references."

I wonder where the little landscape went. The Rubell collection, perhaps?

39.

Jack

February 4, 2005, 9:27 PM

By the way, Momoko (and others), for lots more Schiele images, go to one of my favorite sites, artcyclopedia.com, and enter Schiele under artist's name.

40.

Ross

February 4, 2005, 9:45 PM

Oh, but that Jack the VALUE attributed to art is a whole other discussion. Naturally $36,000 is a hilarious amount of money to pay for something like a Peyton, or anything questionably new or risky, but Basel is like this flea market for the elte, and for us it is only for looking at new art and possibly/perhaps/maybe inspiration or technique ideas. (Not that I'm telling you anything new...)

I used to love going in pricey antique stores, just to look and not touch, just to see things I may be really interested in, but in no way am ever going to own or feel like I REALLY need to own what is inside. Of course, this is like Basel.

However, I still LOVE going to flea markets and thrift stores to look at and buy paintings and photographs from people who don't normally paint or photograph, or who don't do these things for the reasons that we do them. I have a painting in my room (oil on canvas) of an American solider done by a Japanese portrait painter during the Ocupation that'll knock the socks off of a lot of what you see in contemporary painting, however I'm not sure if that is a fair comparision to make since the Japanese painting is much more like a rarity, cultural relic or artifact... I'm going off on tangents...

41.

Oldpro

February 4, 2005, 9:54 PM

of course you can go to Google Images and put in a name and get a zillion images. It is reptitious, messy and full of other junk but you sure do get stuff.

Or go to the newCrit.org Image Finder and find most of the best image sources.

Jack, I had a similar experience way back when I was a kid painter working in NYC and in love with Morandi. I went to one of the first Morandi exhibits ever held in this country at the World House Gallery on Madison Ave and I saw a painting I wanted so bad I could taste it.

I asked someone how much it was and he took one look at us artist types and stuck up his nose and said "3" and walked away disdainfully.

I conferred at length with my wife and talked over our rent (then $175) and our expenses and finally went up to the guy and ventured "How about two-fifty?"

"Two-fifty? Two fifty what?

"two hundred and fifty dollars" I piteously answered.

"huh" he snorted "The picture is Three THOUSAND!"

It was the beginning of my education in the ways of the art business.

42.

Ross

February 4, 2005, 10:07 PM

Like the story, oldpro. I love Morandi's work as well. There was one of his paintings this year at Basel, actually.

43.

alesh

February 4, 2005, 10:24 PM

The world is a funny place. On Antiques Roadshow the other day they had a big clay jug that was "conservatively" appraised at $85,000. The new Rolls Royce sells for $260,000. There's something nice about the fact that art my new artists can sell for lots of money . . . keeps things interesting.

44.

Jack

February 4, 2005, 10:52 PM

The Peyton situation reminds me of Meissonier in the 19th century, who also did small pictures which were all the rage, especially among the newly rich. Everyone who was anyone HAD to have one, and they were VERY expensive. Any of you guys ever hear of Meissonier? There's a moral in that.

45.

oldpro

February 5, 2005, 12:27 AM

Check him out:

http://cgfa.sunsite.dk/m/m-11.htm#meissonier

46.

that guy in the second to last row

February 5, 2005, 12:28 AM

not to take away from your story Jack, but by coincidence I received a postcard in the mail today with "A Painter" by Ernest Meissonier. Thats the quickest snail mail rebuttal I've ever received to an e analogy.

47.

that guy in the second to last row

February 5, 2005, 12:40 AM

That little landscape at Antibes is awfully nice. It has an airy Corot / snapshot feel. "The Painter" I received is more typical of the other ones you linked to, oldpro. In fact very similar to "the lovers of paintings. Dingy salon stuff. Such is that merciless beast art history, if you don't keep up the quality department, ya fall off.

48.

Jack

February 5, 2005, 2:21 AM

What made Meissonier famous and rich was the sort of thing represented by the top two pictures in Oldpro's link. His landscapes were more attractive, in part because they were less studied and stale than his signature work. He was very conceited and hated Courbet, and may have been behind the government fine that forced Courbet to spend his last years in exile because he couldn't pay it.

49.

oldpro

February 5, 2005, 3:00 AM

And yet he was really a pretty clunky painter, as well as a corny one, not half as good as his contemporaty Bouguereau or artists of the previous generation like David & Ingres, all of whom painted corny grandiose and sentimental subjects in an ultra-tight style.

when people are buying for non-art reasons it doesn't matter how good it is as art.

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