|A lot of ground has been covered|
I would put down the City Lit Introduction to the National Gallery course as one of the one of the best educational experiences - really pleasurable and I hope some skills picked up I can use for the future, so it was slightly sad to finish with week 10 last Thursday.
I found that the final session looking at the start of impressionism confirmed a development in my own personal taste favouring artists such as Holbein, Constable and Canaletto.
The work we started out looking at on Thursday was Monet's 'Bathers at La Grenouillére' (1869) this is a work that is very obviously painted on location - at this time oil paint was available in tubes and the artist was no longer 'chained' to the studio.
Claude Monet created many memorable works - my favourite (which scandalised many at the time) is Le déjeuner sur l'herbe.
|A painting that is all about the artist?|
The painting though lacks anything really in the way of narrative and is about capturing a moment and something of the artist - giving an impression of the water and the figures.
Unlike many of the works we have looked at in previous weeks the brush strokes are very much to the fore and this is the sort of work that the term impressionism was coined by its critics.
|A honeymoon snap|
It is interesting to see how the paintings from now on are impacted (perhaps) by photography and the fact that the artist was now becoming mobile.
After looking at this French artist we moved to northern Europe and the work of Akseli the work was of Lake Keitele and has no figures within it, the painting alludes to Norwegian mythology.
|Modern life captured|
Monet also painted modern life as was seen in the work showing stream trains at Gare St.Lazare (1877)
|Akseli Gallen-Kallela's work Lake Keitele|
|The work behind it|
The next artist we encountered was Seurat and his pre (largely but the artist did return to the work and try some of this technique in small areas) pointillism painting Bathers at Asnieres (1884), this is a seriously large canvas and obviously not painted outside the studio - it too though is largely a painting of record but the studies at the side show a degree of composition was used to create a pleasing selection.
|Seurat's Bathers at Asnieres (1884)|
After looking at what is still broadly speaking representational works we moved on to Cézanne's Bathers -Les Grandes Baigneuses (1905) considered a pivotal work as art moves to far more challenging works.
Here the figures are conjured from the artist's mind and the work is clearly about shape.
|Clearly something Picasso was influenced by Cézanne's Bathers -Les Grandes Baigneuses (1905)|
|Generating a crowd|
Our final picture was a little disappointing to me - but obviously not for the large number of people assembled around it - the picture was one of about 7 of Van Gogh's impressionistic Sunflower paintings.
Van Gogh had a famously troubled life and one can interpret his work to reflect the struggles he had as much as the subject.
Red 114And here's a colour wheel that might have helped him!
|Red in this Children's Colour Wheel|