Painting

Claude Monet’s The Church at Varengeville

Claude Monet’s painting The Church at Varengeville
Claude Monet’s The Church at Varengeville (1882)

The blazing Romanticism of this gold, green and purple visionary scene belies any misconception that Monet simply painted what he saw or was a relaxed celebrant of leisure. Even the morally fervent Victorian critic Ruskin might have been moved if he’d seen that medieval church glowing on its hilltop in the mystical sun. He would have seen this as a religious work, and perhaps it is. Monet steps out from behind his easel, to share deep emotions with us. He uses colour expressively, dives imaginatively into this spectacular piece of Normandy coastline where a deep gorge separates us from the church. Does that abyss symbolise a gulf between him and God, or between modern life and a simpler past? This is a sublime revelation of Monet’s inner turbulence.
The Barber Institute of Fine Arts, University of Birmingham

Inspiration

Forgotten women artists

Marie-Gabrielle Capet, Self Portrait (1784)The wonderful and hard-working Ghaddra sent me this. It is about forgotten women artists, a series by the Journal of Art in Society. In this case, the focus is on a woman named Marie-Gabrielle Capet.

Marie-Gabrielle Capet, who painted the self-portrait to the left in 1783 or 1784, was a Frenchwoman from the city of Lyon.

“She came from humble beginnings, with both parents being servants. Little is known of her childhood, but it seems clear that she demonstrated considerable artistic ability from a very young age…”

I am amazed by her talent. At some point she moved to Paris.

Capet “attracted the attention of one of the great ladies of French painting, Adélaïde Labille-Guiard, who accepted her as a student in her studio. Marie-Gabrielle soon took precedence over Adélaïde’s numerous other female protégés. There were nine of these in total, collectively referred to as Les Demoiselles, and they included the talented Marie-Victoire d’Avril and Marie-Marguerite Carreaux de Rosemond.”

A highlight for me was a painting by Adélaïde — a self-portrait — in which she included two of her students, one being Marie-Gabrielle Capet.

I encourage everyone to look through the Journal of Art in Society for some great inspiration.

Thank you, Ghaddra, for sharing! Or should I say: ¡Gracias!

I love Spanish. It is such a beautiful language.

aaronjhill
blog editor and path with art ambassador
blog@pathwithart.org