Is it really almost three weeks since I last did a post about the book? Too long.
In that time we have visited Montmartre, in the book, but several years ago in real life. It isn’t the same now as it was in the 1800s2 (I guess that’s stating the obvious really). But, you can see why the artists liked it. And we have now encountered the the age Impressionists; Monet, Renoir and the like.
I am now on Page 522/645 (not including indexes and the like). I confess, reading the book at this point was a bit of a blinding flash of light, I won’t pretend that I understand The Impressionists, but I know why they are called such. It was fascinating to read about how their ideas & art were mocked. Gombrich wrote “All the old bogeys of ‘dignified subject-matter’, of ‘balanced compositions’, of ‘correct drawing’, were laid to rest”. But, not before the art critics let rip calling their first exhibition “a disaster”,”alleged paintings”, “something terrible”. The trouble is that whilst it took a bit of time to learn how to appreciate them, the public absolutely loved them. Of course, this seems to have permanently damaged the reputation of art critics. It was one of those pivotal moments, where art is freed from the strictures of tradition.
Some years ago, we embarked on a bit of a touring holiday, taking in some dear friends, followed by a tour of the Loire, we visited the home of Da Vinci, and before returning home, we visited Monet’s garden near Paris. What a lovely place. I can entirely understand why he liked it.
This is perhaps one of the parts of the book that is resonating with me more than I expected, I won’t wait so long before My next post on this topic.