Thursday, 5 July 2012

A good impression


To the Clark collection Impressionist show at the Royal Academy.
A beautiful exhibition full of jewel like paintings collected by the grandson of the man who founded the Singer Sewing machine empire, and his wife, who was once a French dancing girl.
They were particularly keen on Renoir and owned thirty of his works. I have never liked him much, his strokes seem too busy and his subjects too similar, those sugary cat faced girls all looking strangely alike. But this included a splendid pile of onions by Renoir and one of his sunsets, which was extraordinarily expressionistic and free. It reminded me of a water-colour by Nolde.
I wish he'd stuck to nature and left the ladies out of it, or perhaps they were considered to be "nature" at the time.
Brian Sewell in the Standard wrote a strange review of the show, sneering at people who like the Impressionists saying that they respond to the famous painter's names like Pavlov's dogs hearing a bell, then saying how wonderful many of these paintings are and well worth a visit.

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