Wednesday, January 19, 2005

A Touch of Class

Instead of continuing to whine about the poor quality of our readership, I’ve decided to become more proactive. My Basil Fawlty-like scheme is to exploit my insights into art and art history to attract a higher class of clientele.

Edouard Manet is much more than just that impressionist with the similar name to Monet. Manet was one of the older and more admired members of the not-yet-named impressionist movement. The uproar resulting from the 1863 Salon’s refusal to accept any of Manet’s work played a large role in the establishment of the Salon de Refuses. Here is an example of Manet’s work from 1863: “Olympia”, now located in the Musee d’ Orsay.

Francisco Goya was one of the great artists of the late 18th and early 19th century, and one of an impressive string of Spanish artists. He was heavily influenced by the great Spanish Renaissance painter Diego Velazquez. Goya’s later work became quite dark, and is popular with nihilists, but despite our blog name, we prefer Goya’s earlier work. Perhaps Goya’s best known painting from his early days is “Nude Maja”, which can be seen in person at the Prado Museum in Madrid.

Edvard Munch is best known for his oft stolen painting, “The Scream”, but that is not his only claim to fame. In many ways, his work was ahead of its time, presaging both abstract modern art and popular culture. This is best illustrated by his other masterpiece, “Madonna”, painted 90 years before the emergence of the pop star of the same name.

Stay tuned for future art appreciation posts.

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