Saturday, 27 November 2010

Glasgow Boys

Today I went to see the Glasgow Boys  exhibition at the Royal Academy. It is certainly a very pleasant show with many good paintings, although in my opinion no real masterpieces.
Landscapes, bucolic scenes ( beautiful blue cabbage fields), geese and tennis, nothing that really left me breathless.
It is probably the paternalistic attitude of the painter that does not convince me. Bastien-Lepage's, a major influence on the group, painting of a girl is titled Pauvre Fauvette, poor little bird !



Children seem to be a preferred subject, as to say: this is what they are like before they turn into those hard skinned farmers. The painter is never really part of his subject's life, he is distant, he looks at these people from above.






I just couldn't stop thinking about Giovanni Fattori. Now that's a painter who breathes the same dust as his subjects. Technically he is not too far away from the scottish group, but I find truth and real feelings in his works, as opposed to some sentimental and frivolous works from today's show.

Glasgow
vs
Livorno


 Glasgow
vs
Livorno


 Livorno
vs 
Glasgow 
(here they draw)

3 comments:

rahina q.h. said...

it is a wonderful exhibition. i saw it when it was in Glasgow a couple of months ago and there is a programme on bbc that is excellent. here's the link if you haven't already seen it http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b00sm21r/hd/The_Glasgow_Boys/

IsabelleYoung said...

interesting comparisons...I went to the Glasgow Boys this afternoon and the paintings do indeed feel extremely French - all that bright sunlight is something England definitely doesn't boast in such abundance! It's as though the sun from rural France is illuminating pastoral England and it was, however, wonderful to see a depiction of England under such bright daylight.

Ilaria said...

Rahina and Isabelle, I am sorry I reply so late. Thank you very much for commenting and for the link.
I enjoyed the show but I wasn't completely riveted as it often happens to me in galleries...