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Sunday, January 7, 2018

Impressionism: National Gallery of Art, Singapore

I did not know about this exhibition until The Daughter mentioned that she was going with her JC classmates. There is something about Impressionist Art that appeals to me. I don't know what, though. I have liked Impressionist Art for years. Except for some Italian Renaissance Art (Caravaggio, whose portrayals of biblical scenes in all their blood and gore fascinates me) and some Dutch painters (Vermeer, whose ability to paint light is breathtaking), I don't really connect with many paintings. Not even Michelangelo nor Leonardo da Vinci nor Picasso nor Salvador Dali nor Andy Warhol.

I know these are good artists and very famous but the emotional connection is just not there. Since I cannot paint and know nothing about painting technique, my evaluation of art is very simple. Does it fascinate me or not?

What fascinates about Impressionism is how the artists make use of how the brain interprets images. Many impressionist paintings can only be appreciated from afar. I actually have a bear beanbag that is Impressionistic. From afar, we see a brown bear. Up close, the bear is coloured with spots of black, bright red and bright yellow. No brown. However, the combination of the little points of colour creates convincing light and shadow. From afar, my bear looks quite real.

I like almost all impressionist and post-Impressionist art. So, I got REALLY excited when I found out that there was an Impressionist Exhibition in town - 60 works from the Musée d'Orsay. My visit to the Musée d'Orsay 20+ years ago was a defining moment in my life. I have never gotten over my emotional connection to Degas, Renoir, Monet, Manet, Toulouse-Lautrec. I am not sure about Van Gogh because one sees him so often that one has viewer fatigue.

Unfortunately, there was not a single Degas nor Toulouse-Lautrec in the exhibition. I was a bit disappointed. Still, until I next go to Paris and block out 3 whole days to spend at the Musée d'Orsay, this exhibition will have to do. See HERE.

The Musée d'Orsay itself is fascinating. It used to be Gare d'Orsay (a train station). That day when I visited Musée d'Orsay so many years ago really is an indelible memory. I don't know why the place and the paintings moved me so much.

The painting box of Renoir and the palette of Degas.

Painting by Monet.

Another Monet.

A Manet.

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