Shower of Roses: Meet the Masters
Unit 5: Rosa Bonheur.: Track F. Unit 1: Paul Cézanne. You can scroll through all of our completed Meet the Masters unit studies here. At the time Matisse and Picasso met, they seemed to have little in common. old when he determined to become an artist, ready to copy the old masters in the just emerging from his blue and rose reveries, and about to explode into Cubism. synthesis of his fauve experiments - Le Bonheur de vivre, or The Joy of Life. Rosa Bonheur | The Horse Fair | The Met Pig, France, late century (checking this out to make sure its clay - still not sure marked - France, late century - it's a toy but would translate well into claya) .. The Japanese masters and his painting.
It could be called a rivalry, a dialogue, a chess game—Matisse himself once compared it to a boxing match. But it also became the abiding friendship of two titans who, daring to paint the ugly, transformed our sense of beauty in art.
Category: American artists
The curators themselves express a rare sense of passion about this exhibition. In Matisse we see the decorative, in Picasso the destructive. One begins to see, when their paintings are set side by side, that their choices depended as much on their personalities, their temperaments and emotions, as on their skills and styles as painters.
They were both figurative, and both abstract. In each case, the quotes are misleading yet true, because both artists were full of inconsistencies, and always ready to change what they—or other artists—had done before. The two painters were well versed in the art of the past, and both were seeking ways to escape its influence when they met circa As a writer, Stein was rearranging English syntax into new forms that seemed an outrage to all good sense.
At the time Matisse and Picasso met, they seemed to have little in common. They were as different, said Matisse, as the North and South Poles.
Matisse was born in a northern district of French Flanders ininto a family and region steeped in the weaving of brightly colored textiles. He was 22 years old when he determined to become an artist, ready to copy the old masters in the Louvre and keener still to capture Parisian life on paper and canvas.
By then he could draw like Raphael and Ingres, but there were furies in him that demanded something else. It is an idyllic scene of reclining nudes, embracing lovers and carefree dancers.
Nothing like it had ever been painted, even by Matisse. Picasso understood this at once and took it as a challenge. That is why, for example, Matisse is Matisse. It began as a tableau with a sailor surrounded by five prostitutes, all surprised by a student holding a skull entering stage right. It ended with just the women, their stares directed straight out at the viewer. As Picasso worked, he simplified, reducing the faces to crude masks, the bodies to fragmented fetishes, imbuing the canvas with a power both primitive and unimaginably new.
- Matisse & Picasso
None of this came easily or quickly. As Picasso was struggling with his Demoiselles, he was jolted again by Matisse, who exhibited his shocking Blue Nude: Memory of Biskra below in Pach later gave this account: If he wants to make a design, let him make a design. This is between the two. Then Picasso went to the dingy ethnographic museum in Paris, the Trocadero, with its collection of primitive artifacts.
It smelled like a flea market, but it opened his eyes to the magic of masks and fetishes. All alone in that museum, surrounded by masks, Red Indian dolls, dummies covered with dust.
It remains the most significant single twentieth-century painting. The painter Georges Braque almost choked, Vollard recoiled, Leo Stein laughed and Picasso, frustrated and hurt, eventually took the canvas off its stretcher and put it aside without exhibiting it.
Matisse wasted little time in painting an unflinching response—his Bathers with a Turtle. Picasso is understanding it as decomposition, and Matisse is understanding it as composition. Both Picasso and Matisse had viewed a collection of Gauguin woodcuts inand his South Seas primitivism showed up in woodcuts they both made soon after.
As French curator Baldassari comments, both Matisse and Picasso were looking at anything that would help them break with the past. They used images from erotic cinema meant for voyeurs, not painters. The question of line, of composition, was secondary, although the distortion, the perversion of line, was very important to them.
It was a game with form, with figuration. The question at the moment was how to leave the past. Monet, at this time, had been widowed for four years.
With nowhere to live, he and his wife and six children went to live with Claude and Camille Monet and their two children. Giverny was to be a secluded and peaceful retreat and so he was less than pleased by the summer influx of artists to Giverny.
William Gerdts recalls what Monet told a reporter about the influx of Americans: Instead he progressively removed himself to his compound where his garden and lily pond provided all the subject matter he needed for his paintings. He even persuaded the landlord to build a studio for Willard Metcalf.
Theodore Robinson may have objected to making Giverny a hub for artists to visit in the summer for other than selfish reasons, it could well have been due to his own social reserve. Robinson was not an unfriendly person but was quite happy with his own company.
Robinson, at thirty-one years of age, was older than his friends who had come to Giverny with him and this may have been a factor as to why he had been befriended by Monet. It was not based on Monet being the master and Robinson the pupil. It was a friendship based on a shared common love — painting, and both appreciated the talent of the other.
It was a friendship that would last even after Robinson returned to America with many letters passing from one to the other. One of his paintings he completed during that summer is now considered to be one of his first Impressionist paintings. It is interesting to note that this work highlights a dilemma for Robinson. Is he an Impressionist painter or an Academic painter? The painting would seem to be part Impressionism in the way the trees and foliage are depicted as patches of colour and part Academic in the way he depicts the woman.
She is simply a figurative study within an Impressionistic backdrop. The painting was exhibited in the Paris Salon. In this painting, we see a young woman standing in the woods. She is what is termed a faggot gatherer, a person who collects firewood, a bundle of which we see at her feet.
The background of speckled light hints at tonalism, which emphasizes atmosphere and shadow. However, the foreground with its myriad of leaves depicted by a montage of broken brushstrokes is pure Impressionism. He rented a studio in Manhattan. His artistic output was less than it had been during his days in Giverny but produced works that he exhibited at the American Watercolor Society in the Spring of Come the summer ofRobinson was back in Giverny and it was during that year that he completed his beautiful work entitled Winter Landscape.
The work depicts ta view of the village of Giverny after it had succumbed to a freak snowstorm. The red rooves of the houses were suddenly transformed to a patchwork of white and the entire village is swathed in a icy-looking purple-blue ambience.
Matisse & Picasso | Arts & Culture | Smithsonian
Once again Robinson had returned to New York that winter and entered this painting at the Society of American Artists annual exhibition. It won the Webb Prize, an award given for the best landscape in the exhibition, painted by an American artist under forty years of age.
He also received a monetary prize amounting the three hundred dollars. During that winter journey Robinson visited Capri and from that stop-over produced the painting Capri and Mount Solero. This landscape work was a depiction of the town and mountain as seen from a hillside which looks across from the town. Again, in this work, we see the juxtaposition of his two styles. We have the geometrical depiction of the village and the flat-roofed houses and yet we have the Impressionism style loose brushstrokes which are used to depict the foliage.
Capri by Theodore Robinson For the first three months of Robinson was in Frascati, a town twenty kilometres south-east of Rome. It was in March that Monet contacted Robinson, summoning home: