Letters of the Great Artists: From Blake to Pollock - Vol. 2

Letters of the Great Artists: From Blake to Pollock - Vol. 2

Letters of the Great Artists: From Blake to Pollock - Vol. 2

Letters of the Great Artists: From Blake to Pollock - Vol. 2

Excerpt

This second volume of our anthology of artists' letters covers the period from the early nineteenth century to the present day. In contrast to earlier centuries, when only a few artists expressed themselves fluently in writing, the material now becomes more abundant. Even in modern times, however, there are many examples of those who prefer to work quietly in their studios like the painters of an older epoch, having neither taste nor talent for putting their ideas into writing, much less for laying down a programme. This does not necessarily mean that such men are cut off from the trends of contemporary thought; for an important part is played by the discussion of work in progress and by the talk that goes on in cafés -- those most important institutions, particularly in the artistic life of Paris.

But there are also painters with a decided gift for expressing themselves on paper, just as, among musicians, Berlioz, Schumann, Wagner and Liszt were eloquent in setting forth their views on their art in literary essays, articles and private letters. Artists of this sort first emerged among the Romantics, who were the earliest to group themselves deliberately into a 'movement' instead of a 'school' centred on some great painter's studio, as in previous centuries. Since then, the world of art has experienced a succession of movements and counter-movements -- which in recent years have followed one another with such rapidity as to require a running commentary of explanation and interpretation. The artist is no longer the sole interpreter of his own work. The art critic, who was formerly a writer in some field of literature other than criticism, like the poet Baudelaire, has now become an in influential authority even exerting a certain influence upon the artists themselves. It is interesting to note how in the early days of Impressionism, for example, it was this critical circle that produced vigorous pronouncements on . . .

Author Advanced search

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.