A Taste for Impressionism - Royal Academy

  • There's colours you don't quite know in this show, but you want to see them again and again - it's like eating an oyster and that flavour you can't quite put your finger on - you want to try it again to try and see if you can get closer to identifying it


    Take Monet's painting Geese in the Brook - like many of the paintings in this show there's an endless and intensely skillful variation of colour going on, all flowing together harmoniously, and in the centre is a red roof taking pride of place. But the roof isn't red, it's somewhere between red and orange, a colour you don't quite know but want to see again and again.

     

    Or take Renoir and Portrait of a Young Woman (L'Ingenue) - this painting look so much better than the reproductions on the adverts for the show - it's a stunner and the dark indigo but not balck eyes that Renoir has painted for the woman reveal the orchestral skill he has in keeping his colours in control. They are all allowed their place and to blow their trumpet but none drown out the others.

     

     

     

    It's those colour things that grab me for instance Sleeping Girl by renoir. Look at the blue cat on the blue skirt. He had real knowledge, skill and craftsmanship to put those marginally different blues together but also keep them apart. Its by far the best bit of the pic. Incidentially I always thought Renoir's women looked a bit unrealistic, but bizarrely enough there was a woman who looked like one of his models wandering around the show.
     

     

     

    Monet's Spring in Giverny is another classic painting in this show. It contains everything that is wonderful about impressionism - the painting feels like it was painted yesterday and elevates your soul. You can feel the sunshine in it - you can see the sunshine in it.

     

     

    There's loads of other treats here like gorgeous small Corot paintings with his stunning tonality ability and Pissarro's with his abilty to make dreamy close in tone paintings that taste of long slow summer afternoons, like summer afternoons used to be.