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Wednesday, 3 October 2018

Painting of the Month (84) Oct 2018: Mont St Victoire

Have you ever wondered why artists continued to paint after the invention of the camera? After all, the camera would have depicted scenes like the one below with great accuracy. It 'never lies', does it?
Photograph of Mont Saint Victoire overlooking Aix-en-Provence, France

However, the camera cannot easily capture mood, atmosphere, feeling or imagination. The French artist, Paul Cezanne returned many times throughout his career to re-paint this view over and again and he found something new to say about it almost every time. I don't want to say anymore now because I want the visual to be dominant in this post. Just luxuriate in the beauty of the paintings below here...



I'm listening to the original version of Rivers of Babylon by the Jamaican reggae group The Melodians. 
You can listen here. I like it loud!

15 comments:

Parnassus said...

Hello Bazza, To be fair, photographs can also show mood, imagination, point-of-view, etc. With certain manipulations, always available although especially common today with Photoshop, etc., they have their own range of artistic techniques, often analogous to those in paintings.

Either way, Mont St. Victoire is a magnificent sight, although now that you mention it, I would take an original Cezanne canvas over a photographic postcard.
--Jim

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Bazza - Cezanne's original is quite amazing isn't it ... I agree with you that the art work captures the moment for us all. Interesting that Cezanne spent a great deal of time painting in the area ... he must have loved it. We can have fun and make things with the camera and accoutrements ... but it's definitely not the same ... lovely post thank you - Hilary

Starting Over, Accepting Changes - Maybe said...

I have always liked Paul Cezanne’s work. The colors he uses are just beautiful and his Post Impressionism style paved the way for many other notable artists. I did get to see some of his work at our magnificent Philadelphia Museum of Art some years ago.

I would always choose a painting over a photo but the modern camera with a talented photographer can also produce beautiful, dramatic works of art.

I am enjoying your music, Bazza. Reggae is so much fun.

Hels said...

The first Mont St Victoire I saw was probably in the Barnes Foundation when it was still in Merion. Very far from Aix-en-Provence! From memory, it had the same gorgeous greens and oranges as your first painting.

bazza said...

Jim: I was disagreeing with myself even as I typed that! But I'm sure you got the sense of what I meant. I have excellent reproductions of Cezanne in my home.

bazza said...

Hilary: I'm not sure which was the original. He painted the scene about 60 times!

bazza said...

Arleen: I think there's a certain shade of green that Cezanne must have ordered by the truck-load! Can't really disagree about the camera.
I love the 'old school' type of reggae.

bazza said...

Hels: Those green/orange ones are very arresting. I was once on a coach journey from Marseilles to Aix when, half asleep, I looked out of the window a saw Mont St Victoire. I was so excited I could hardly speak!

Susan Flett Swiderski said...

It's always thrilling to see something through the talented eyes of an artist like Cezanne, but some photographers do an amazing job of creating art, as well. I'm especially drawn to B&W photos... or even sepia-toned... because they capture atmospheric mood so well.

bazza said...

Susan: I do agree about monochrome photos. They seem to look much sharper somehow!

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Susan Flett Swiderski said...

Years ago, the husband of one of my co-workers experimented with developing photos in a single color. It was amazing how much he was able to alter the mood of a single picture simply by changing its color.

bazza said...

Susan: That's like Victorian sepia tint photography used to be. (No, I wasn't there!)

Sherry Ellis said...

How interesting! So, the buildings in the first painting I assume were from the artist's imagination?

bazza said...

Sherry: No, the buildings were all there. Sometimes the artist chose to omit them or blend them into the subject. If you search for "cezanne mont st victoire" in Google you can see many more versions that he made!