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It Isn't Only Suffering That The Old Masters Were Right About - Eroticdreambattle — LiveJournal [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
Tony Grist

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It Isn't Only Suffering That The Old Masters Were Right About [May. 20th, 2006|05:40 pm]
Tony Grist
When I'm photographing landscapes I like to expose for the sky. I don't want my clouds all wishy washy. I want them  to dominate the picture.

Which means that my  foregrounds are usually rather dark. 

I was browsing  through my galleries just now and it suddenly hit me  that the Impressionists got it wrong. Nature isn't all red and mauve and green and yellow. In fact She's mostly brown- as in an old master painting. 

Constable, Ruysdael, Poussin are closer  to the appearance of things than Monet or  Van Gogh.

Which isn't at all what the art historians say.
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: four_thorns
2006-05-20 11:21 am (UTC)
thank you. i've always thought impressionism was vastly overrated.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2006-05-20 12:44 pm (UTC)
I agree.

I like the people round the edges of the movement best- especially Degas and Toulouse Lautrec. Monet leaves me cold and Renoir is insufferably petit-bourgeois.
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[User Picture]From: four_thorns
2006-05-20 12:48 pm (UTC)
i've always thought of impressionism as the sort of art that people who don't know art talk about when they want to sound like they know about art.

sort of like how garden state is the indie movie that people who don't watch indie movies name-drop when they want to sound like they watch indie movies, or coldplay is the band that people who don't listen to indie music name-drop when they want to sound like they listen to indie music.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2006-05-20 01:27 pm (UTC)
Exactly.

Impressionist art is hugely accessible but comes with the cachet of having once been thought revolutionary.
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[User Picture]From: ibid
2006-05-21 11:43 am (UTC)
I like impressionism on a pretty pretty level. Otherwise I keep quiet about art! I like Money but it has suffered over exposure
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2006-05-20 12:44 pm (UTC)
He gets everywhere
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2006-05-21 01:21 am (UTC)
It's the prettiness of Impressionism that turns me off. Renoir painted one or two fine pictures, but most of his work is Victorian sentimentalism.
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[User Picture]From: akirlu
2006-05-20 04:28 pm (UTC)
Film and glass don't have the same versatility that eye and brain do, in combination. When you look at the world with your eyes, the landscape doesn't in fact go dark because you see a lot of sky. So to judge the accuracy of the old masters to what you can see of the world by what you can get out of a camera without washing out the sky, well, it's bollocks, is what it is. Likewise is claiming photos exposed for sky are somehow more true than those exposed for ground. If you prefer the old masters to the impressionists, fine. No one got sunlight through a window into a darkened room better than Vermeer. But if you want to claim that Rubens' palette is somehow more true than Monet's, well, you haven't walked through a rhododendron grove lately, that's all.

As for Van Gogh, if you think he was trying for the reproduction of surface color as we see it, you simply haven't been paying attention. I can't think of a painter who was more brilliant than Van Gogh at his best (and you absolutely have to see the paintings themselves rather than prints to get this), but you've only to look at one of the self-portraits in which he uses skin tones of green or yellow to know he wasn't aiming at faithfully reproducing surface colors. Van Gogh is also a painter who is rather woefully misrepresented by popular media. If you only see "typical" images of irises and starry nights, you don't realize that there wasn't really any such thing as a typical Van Gogh.
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[User Picture]From: karenkay
2006-05-20 09:09 pm (UTC)
Good points about Vermeer and Van Gogh.

I remember being shocked as hell the first time I saw a real Van Gogh. They are three dimensional in a way that prints can't even hint at.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2006-05-21 01:26 am (UTC)
If we're talking about visionary art, then Van Gogh is obviously one of the greats.

I shouldn't have cited him (he's not really an impressionist, is he?) I should have said Sisley- but I went for name recognition.

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[User Picture]From: shewhomust
2006-05-26 01:03 pm (UTC)
Yes. I am not a camera (my camera is a camera, but that's different).

Also: what's true of England may not be true of Arles.
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