Fine Art Friday (a few days late!)

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One thing I think is interesting is to go out to a site like and put in a phrase and see how different artists have interpreted the same thing. I saw a beautiful bouquet of anemones this weekend (not mine, alas), so I used "anemone" as a search term.

Look at these:

Vase d'Anemones
Raoul Dufy
Henri Matisse

I think the Renoir is the most beautiful, but I want the Dufy, and the Matisse might be the most interesting. What do you think?


The Matisse is the best painting, but the Dufy has something going on, too. The Renoir is, well, typical Renoir. I do like the way he has drawn the vase against the ground, and he clearly has conceived of the whole mass of flowers and vase as one, with good use of negative space.

The more I look at it, the more I like it, which is what I typically find with Renoir. At first, I am repulsed: by the sentiment, the feathery brush strokes, the overall impression of a work by a timid man, unable to make a bold line. But then, you look closer and first marvel at the color chords, which are masterful, then you realize that under all the feathers and fluff, is rigorous drawing. And then you start looking at how the quite defined drawing interacts with the sort of fluffy top layer, and the interaction itself becomes interesting.

I still like the Matisse best, though. A different sort of thing is going on. Matisse has used counterchange in a more rhythmic manner: note the flowers on the ochre ground to the left, and the same flower shapes and colors against the much busier ground from the center to the right. He also wins mucho points for the way the pattern on the vase animates and focuses the whole painting.

I like the Duffy the best. This is a great idea!



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This page contains a single entry by MamaT published on January 22, 2007 10:43 AM.

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