Golly, it's wonderful to see art --ART that makes me want to drink in the colors, the mood of this painting -- "Large Bather's By The Sea." It was painted by Cezanne in, 1906.
The show at the Philadelphia Museum of Art is called "Visions of Arcadia Over the Years." Arcadia -- in music, painting, and theater -- has come to mean a mystical place of harmony and contentment, a paradise.
The Museum in Philly brought together three great painters who lived around the same time -- Cezanne, Matisse and Gauguin.
This is Matisse's vision -- "Bathers by the River," painted by him around 1909.
This is a Gauguin.
When he painted this in 1898, Gauguin called it, "Where Do We Come From. What Are We? Where Are We Going?"
These three painters, at the beginning of the nineteen-hundreds, (the beginning of the 20th Century), were blessing life, breathing it in, seeing, enjoying, reflecting on the world we live in.
This inspires me to say, loud and clear, I don't want to see artist Damien Hirst's spots, his animals in formaldehyde, his diamond skull. and be told it is "great art," and how many millions Hirst's art is making.
I can't bow to current art critics, or the heads of various museums, and take their words as truth about what is good. If what I'm looking at evokes no feeling or reaction except "gee, what is this? why is this here?" I stop looking.
I'm not selling this to you. I'm just telling the truth about how I feel about art and artists right now. For me, the mystical world of harmony and contentment doesn't exist anymore. Bathers? In seas polluted by residue from the killer earthquake in Japan? Beaches ruined by the last horrifying oil leak? The few untouched beaches are horrifically crowded with too many people yearning for a happy time in the sun, despite what we know about sun rays and cancer?
Hey, we are living in a world where every day there are revelations of bad stuff -- poverty, wrong-doings, innocents murdered, political doings chock full of hate -- hate in the air, which is polluted we're told.
Okay, I like Picasso --he never ceases to amaze me. I don't love Andy Warhol's works, but I sense his search and like that he "talked" in his art works about the world he landed in. Yes, I'm confused and bored by Rothko, but I'm glad that I've got these painters to view. And I'm glad, oh my, I am glad -- so very glad we've got Cezanne, Matisse and Gauguin at the Philly museum, along with Henri Rousseau.
Rousseau's' last painting is also on display there. He painted 350 paintings. This last one is "Dream," first exhibited in 1910, a few months before he died.
Ah, the dream of that dream touches me.