A Concise History of Modern Painting

A Concise History of Modern Painting

A Concise History of Modern Painting

A Concise History of Modern Painting

Excerpt

A comprehensive history of modern painting is not at present possible, if only for the reason that such history has not yet reached the end of its development. But it did seem worthwhile to attempt, for the general public and within the strict limits set by the publisher, a concise account of the movements which together constitute the extremely complex change that has taken place in the art of painting during the past half-century. In order to avoid the tedium of a list of names and dates (which alone might have occupied the space allotted to me), I had to take drastic action, purging the narrative of many minor items that would have clogged its flow. The selection I have made, of names and events, will inevitably betray a personal bias, but I have taken some care to correct such bias when it became evident to myself, and I hope that any emphasis that remains is judicious.

Certain omissions that might be mistaken for prejudice must be explained. For example, I have not included Henri Rousseau among the precursors of modern painting, in spite of the high reputation that he has enjoyed among modern painters. My excuse is that the naïvety of his style is not in any sense a 'modern' quality, and the same is true of all the naïve painters of our time --Morris Hirshfield, Ivan Generalic, Joseph Pickett, John Kane, Louis Vivin, André Bauchant, Camille Bombois--a considerable and enchanting group that nevertheless does not affect the main trend of painting in our time.

For a similar reason I have excluded realistic painting, by which I mean the style of painting that continues with little variation the academic traditions of the nineteenth century. I do not deny the great accomplishment and permanent value of the . . .

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