“For the pleasure of the eye and also for motifs to paint.”
From the candid and innocent dancers of Degas to the can-can dancers of Moulin Rouge by Henri Toulouse de Lautrec – If you look closer, those women seems like ghosts, with their hair, often colored orange, encircled by men in tails, drooping as if hungry for some delicious meat. And those women, defiant and vulgar, who raise their skirts, showing the goods in a market full of competition. I like the Toulouse-Lautrec painting, because although its warm colors bring lust, the bourgeoisie of his time; at the same time the faces of those women so pale; they seem to have died inside, their souls. The body it’s just an instrument to get clients. I read, intrigued that Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec as a child suffered from a rare congenital disease, and that thanks to this disease, he began to paint …..
I like the Impressionist movement, in terms of aesthetics, the contrasts of light and shadow, strong vivid colors, which would set the sensations on the canvas of the painter, in front of nature. The same color was used in a revolutionary way: the light tones contrast with the complementary shadows; trees take unusual colors, like blue. Black is almost excluded, preferring darker shades of blue or brown – this is the meaning and the message that they wanted to promote. It was actually Monet who gave the name Impressionism with the ‘Impressionist Exposition”, taking a cue from the title of a painting, Impression, Soleil Levant. Initially, this definition had a negative connotation, indicating the apparent incompleteness of the works, but then became the flagship of the movement. I love the paints en plein air, the basic characteristic, thus outside of the walls of a study; in contact with the world. This led to choosing an increasing use of the canvas which was easier to carry. Please note that dates from this period, also coincide with the invention of the tubes for the oil paints and the easel; it was easy to carry to the country side. I think a lot about my lifestyle, as I want to be an artist to paint what I see with my own eyes, what I can listen to, with my ears. Sometimes it is not enough to write like an ‘”impression.” Seeing the paintings of Van Gogh, Manet and Monet I realized that it encloses a universe and there are no words to explain a single framework.
The rebellion against tradition attracts me, in fact Impressionism went against the traditional painting of the time. We talk about the late nineteenth century, introducing important changes: the denial of the importance of the subject, who bore the same level as the historical, religious and profane genre. It also saw the rediscovery of landscape painting, the myth of the rebel conventions; the interest turned to the color rather than the painting, the prevalence of the subjectivity of the artist, of his emotions that should not be hidden and disguised; quick strokes of a spatula, creating a succession of smooth and irregular surfaces and became the starting point for further research of the Impressionists.
And to think that Monet was an avid horticulturist, who bought the land with a pond near his property in Giverny, with the intention of building something “for the pleasure of the eyes and also for reasons of paint.” The result was his water-lily garden and then the water lilies and their reflections on the pond. Claude Monet was a key figure in the Impressionist movement that transformed French painting, in the second half of the nineteenth century. During his long career, Monet consistently described the activities of the landscape and the leisure area of Paris and its surroundings, as well as the coast of Normandy. He led the way to twentieth-century modernism, developing a unique style that tried to capture on canvas, the very act of perceiving nature. During the last two decades of his life, he devoted himself almost with a single resolution, to an analysis of the water garden that he had grown in Giverny, as he said, “for the pleasure of the eyes and also for reasons of paint.”
Shortly after the Impressionists, followed the Symbolists: Picasso, Cezanne, Matisse up to Pizarro – French and Spanish artists. The Symbolists – I particularly like the unique Gauguin’s Tahitian and Polynesian women. The environments are very different from other artists’. And while others reflect the belle epoque Paris, Europe and the cold; his paintings are represented with colors like brown, red and yellow – the tropical warmth of the Caribbean and Polynesia. I am fascinated by his obsession of the ethnic women he meets on his travels. In fact, Gauguin, is of French origin, but his life was a continuous journey. In fact, he spent his childhood in Lima, Peru. When he returned to France, at seventeen, he enlisted in the Navy as a cadet, remaining at sea for five years.
Gauguin’s painting is a summary of the main trends passing through the varied and complex panorama of French paintings of the century. He left the Impressionist style, common to all the protagonists of the new pictorial research of those years. He passed on from Impressionism painting to search for more intensity, in terms of expression and especially for vivid colors an, lying on flat backgrounds. These were significant characteristics of the French expressionist group known as “Fauvism”. But, above all Fauves, because of the intense spirituality of his images, gave an important contribution to the painting “symbolist”, which developed in France and beyond. This style was at odds with the literary naturalism of Zola and Flaubert and the pictorial realism of Courbet, Manet and the Impressionists. His contribution to the ‘symbolism’ was through the formation of the group called “school of Pont-Aven.” Inspirations for these painting were the Gothic windows and medieval cloisons enamels.