Creative Courage

Giverny

A single feat of daring can alter the whole conception of what is possible.”

Graham Greene, The Heart of the Matter

The year was 1874.  The art world would witness the first independent presentation of Impressionist art. If only we had a time machine to take us back, we would be in the presence of Cézanne, Pissarro, Renoir, Degas, Monet, Manet, and his sister-in-law Berthe Morisot.  They were considered lunatics in their day.  Louis Leroy, a French engraver, painter and successful playwright, was a vocal critic.  He wrote,

Impression I was certain of it.  I was just telling myself that, since I was impressed, there had to be some impression in it – and what freedom, what ease of workmanship!  A preliminary drawing for a wall paper pattern is more finished than this seascape….Wallpaper in its embryonic state is more finished.” (Referring to Claude Monet’s painting “Impression: soleil levant.”­)

And that, dear readers, is how the term, Impressionism, was established in the art world.

Creativity and artistic endeavour moves societies into new territory. Artists, musicians, writers, poets, philosophers, and scientists are the trailblazers who establish the structure for growth and knowledge acquisition.   Even today, they are at work.

“Everyone has talent.  What is rare is the courage to follow the talent to the dark place where it leads.”

Erica Jong

 

38 thoughts on “Creative Courage

  1. What a great quote from Erica Jong! Thank you.
    The other day I went to the movies and saw the truly beautiful film “Renoir”, a blissful bathing in colours, beauty and … pain.
    To overcome fear and act is probably amongst the best that anyone can do for himself.
    You’re so right, we owe the impressionists and all the artists so much.
    Enjoy your weekend!
    Love Dina

    “Great spirits have often encountered violent opposition from weak minds.”
    – Albert Einstein

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    • I do love that Albert Einstein quote. I didn’t know about the “Renoir” file. I just went on line and saw the trailer. Oh, so beautiful…now I must see it, too! Thank you!!!

      The pain passes, but the beauty remains.
      Auguste Renoir

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  2. Hi, love the quote of Erica Jong. I am thinking of Manet these days as there’s an exhibition of his work in London, I tried to write a post on him and his few paintings, hope it will be finished soon …. yup, Morisot, how mysterious she was, as well as Manet.

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    • I have so much to learn about art and artists – it is a wonderful study. I love stopping by your blog – I learn something new with every visit. I will look for your post on Manet. Wish I could wing my way to London for the exhibition.

      “It is important to express oneself… provided the feelings are real and are taken from your own experience.” Berthe Morisot

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  3. II got to see Monet work last summer in Vegas, I did not want to live the museum, the work is beyond words it was simply beautiful there this light in the painting that you could not put words too. What a wonderful quote and is so true, the Impressionist’s quiet rebellion was directed against overly formal paintings that surrounded them in Europe. But, it was a rebellion that encouraged their audience to embrace the image and tone of their paintings with new and inspired emotions. I am glad they did not give up and had the courage to transcend. Good post like always have a great weekend!

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    • I’m glad that they did not give up either. But I think that they became discouraged just like the rest of us “mortals.”

      “I hear that my friends are preparing another exhibition this year but I must discount the possibility of participating in it since I have nothing worth showing.” Claude Monet

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    • One of my favourite quotes about art comes from Monet – “Everyone discusses my art and pretends to understand, as if it were necessary to understand, when it is simply necessary to love.” Claude Monet

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  4. What a gorgeous photo! The impressionists are so wonderful, even Gaugain with his stream of native young teen concubines into his old age. Actually, that offends me about him.
    But the impressionistic paintings are such wonderful works.
    The problem is I keep reading about the personal life of artists and sometimes it influences my view of their art. With Gaugain, I visited his home and an extensive collection of his work. His later works depciting his sex acts with a 13 yo natives didn’t sit well with me.
    Beethoven was a pretty mean guy, but it doesn’t in any way affect my worship of his music, because he doesn’t include that in his work.
    Gaugain did. He painted it and it was unpleasant to see.

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    • I remember when I first learned that Jean-Jacques Rousseau gave up his children to a founding hospital. I was so disappointed, especially since he became a celebrated theorist of education and child-rearing. He tried to find his son ten years later but to no avail. The abandonment of his children was used by his critics, including Voltaire and Edmund Burke. I share you sentiments about Gauguin. The personal lives and values of artists are very difficult to understand especially when they hurt those who are in their care. By the way, I have a book (yet to be read) called “The Yellow House – Van Gogh, Gauguin and Nine Turbulent Weeks in Arles. It seems that both artists did their best work during that time period, until they figured out that they couldn’t get along. I always enjoy our discussions!!!

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      • Your photos are phenomonal! This is an impressionistic masterpiece of a photo. I would love to read “The Yellow House.” It is hard to reconcile our “impressions” (sorry) of an artist with their mundane realities. Great series.

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      • Thank you, Cindy. I can’t imagine Gauguin and Van Gogh being in the same house for more than a week together. They were so different, yet they seemed to draw strength from each other. They certainly produced amazing art during their stay at the Yellow House.

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