René François Xavier Prinet, French Painter

René François Xavier Prinet (1861-1946) is a bit forgotten. He doesn’t have an English Wikipedia page. Who will write it?

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“Sunshine and Silent Rooms” – Peter Ilsted, Danish painter

Peter Ilsted, Danish painter (1861-1933)

“Get out of your dream!” as a modernity

These two paintings were made the same year, 1863. The first one (The Birth of Venus, by Cabanel) was a huge success and was bought by the Emperor Napoléon III. The second one (Olympia, by Manet) was a huge shock and scandal.

It’s a perfect example of the confrontation between classic and modern…


Manet is often called “The first modernist painter”. I’ll talk in another article about this painting, but let’s be quick : there are at least two transgressions here.

  1. Venus is a symbol, she’s lying on a rock with a very calculated posture, surrounded with pretty cherubs, awwwwe. Innocent as possible. He body is perfectly painted, “as it should be done”, with glazing light…
  2. Olympia is a hooker, someone brought flowers – a client, who is obviously… you. She stares at you, right? Manet, who perfectly knows how to paint, deliberately paints her not in a dream, but like in reality. She’s a bit pale, and wears slippers!

Wikipedia :

The painting deviates from the academic canon in its style, characterized by broad, quick brushstrokes, studio lighting that eliminates mid-tones, large color surfaces and shallow depth. Unlike the smooth idealized nude of Alexandre Cabanel’s La naissance de Vénus, also painted in 1863, Olympia is a real woman whose nakedness is emphasized by the harsh lighting. The canvas alone is 51.4 x 74.8 inches, which is rather large for this genre-style painting. Most paintings that were this size depicted historical or mythological events, so the size of the work, among other factors, caused surprise. Finally, Olympia is fairly thin by the artistic standards of the time and her relatively undeveloped body is more girlish than womanly.

(…both are in the Musée d’Orsay, in Paris. If you want to visit the city one day…)



In this article, I watch the second transgression. From him, we begin to really SEE the brush strokes. A painting like this invites you to THINK instead just feeling happy because it’s beautiful.

Look at the chairs and the characters in the front of the Tuileries park in Paris. They are normal. But the trees and the crowd are just… stains.

He opened the way to impressionism



“What I seek before all else in a painting is a man, not a painting.”
Emile Zola


Hitchcock and Wilder, as movie makers, always said that they don’t want to push the audience in a dream, but invent stories or events strange enough to make the audience AWARE it’s a film, to have fun with them. Hitchcock always appears in his films, which is an example.

Brian de Palma (cinema) works like Brecht (theater) about distancing effects, things (like a split screen) which will make break the cinema-dream to put you out and make you think.


Tool :

Yes it’s a tool, useful for today. Whatever your field, how can you do to use it? Is “Making people aware of the form” modernity? What are the other criterions?

In a post-modern era, or if your audience IS aware, what happens? You use irony, geeky references? How does it work? How can it be boring? How does it fail?

Hmmm. Sorry I have to stop and go to bed.


Thank you for reading!




Hester Berry, a in two shakes of a lamb’s tail great painter

Hester Berry has a web page. She grew up in Devon, the South West of England.

I really don’t know how she is categorized, but I’d like to invent hyper-impressionism.

You’ll quickly understand her trick : landscapes made with quick painting knives… spots.

If you look closely, it’s abstract art.

If you half-close your eyes, of if you look from a mile away, you see a landscape.

(it’s why I chose for once to present her work in the stamps mode)

“Heeyyyyyy cheater, this is tricky!”.

Bah, I love that. She captures something. She is probably very fast (but I’m not that sure). She has to think a lot before attacking, right?

And prepare colors…

Thanks for reading!



Eugen Dücker, romanticist Baltic German painter

Eugen Dücker, “romanticist Baltic German painter”, yes all that.

Some painters amaze you. Some are intriguing! Some have something you like : you feel something, or you feel the mood of their work, or you’re amused by “what he does”.

Dücker works well with light, that’s all. The sense of the place. You try to imagine the wind, the birds, the sounds around. Nothing more. No revolution. Just good academic painting…

I love 1 to 4. What about you?



















The boats of Fitz Henry Lane, luminist American painter


Fitz Henry Lane (1804-1865) was a “luminist” painter. He painted… mostly boats.

He’s on my border, this is why I put him here…

Above this border, it’s too academic, therefore boring. In Art, I like the “Hey this is new!” state, raising eyebrows, etc.

Nothing like that with Lane! But there’s this I-don’t-know-what which makes me watch more. Like the hesitating emoji holding his chin…

“Too wise”. “Too conventional”. “Lack of energy”. “Lack of surprises”. “Bland”. “Pff”.

Eyes want to roll. But they don’t.

Thus I wrote this article to think about this pattern : when you watch something you find “too conventional BUT”.

“Nope. Wait a minute…” : this, in loop.


Therefore, where is it? Where is this frontier? Aesthetics? Mood? Light? What about choices? What about other arts? What’s this loop in… propositions? In poetry? What is a music you don’t like BUT you want to stick on it to find what you “do like, though”? What is to be on this border? Is it lukewarm? Could this hesitation be useful? For what?


Thanks for reading!


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