Art Appreciation

June 2013 Meeting Report

Parquesol Restaurant El Morche

Dejeuner Sur L’ Herbe by Manet

This was as usual, a fantastic DVD and discussion.  We are watching Private Life of a Masterpiece Series from the BBC, which is a delight to watch.  The whole episode gave us an overview of Manet and the controversy surrounding this work.  It was and still is a work which stimulates discussion and controversy.  What is it all about!!  We couldn’t decide. 

The nude woman in the front is making a statement.  Is she one of the first women to openly stand up for Women’s Rights? Possibly, she definitely challenges the viewer.  She is bold and confident.  I think nowadays it would be said that she was making a statement.    Her clothes are placed carefully, has she removed them intentionally?  We thought that she had.  But, why?  There is the first unanswered question.

The dressed men are just lounging and enjoying the picnic.  They were over dressed for the occasion.  This adds to the whole puzzling situation.  Why is he wearing a smoking hot outside on a summer’s day to a picnic?   Then just to add a little bit more intrigue, there is another woman washing in the stream.   Then, there is a frog just to add a little more zest to the discussion.  Frog is the colloquism for prostitute.

You have probably guessed by now that we discussed this at length.  This masterpiece was painted for our group. We had a fabulous discussion and the exchange of views was awesome.  We all admired the work.  We didn’t all like it but we all admired.  We couldn’t work it all out but this is the mystery and intrigue of this painting.

Technically, it is a masterpiece of colour and brushwork.  It is a very large work.  Unfortunately, only one of us had seen the original. 

Our next meeting, is on the 17 July at Parquesol, El Morche.  We meet at 11am.  Next month we are looking at Night Watch by Rembrandt.  Please come along for a chat, coffee, watch the DVD and talk.  Everyone is welcome.

Janice Galloway June 2013
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