The Story of French Impressionism, Part IV: Alfred Sisley and Frédéric Bazille

Alfred Sisley (1839-1899) was born into a wealthy English family in Paris. His father ran a successful silk trade, which afforded him an upper middle-class lifestyle, unlike his penniless contemporaries, Monet and Renoir. As a young man, Sisley went to study business in London, but he left after four years to return to Paris to study art. … Continue reading The Story of French Impressionism, Part IV: Alfred Sisley and Frédéric Bazille

The Story of French Impressionism, Part II: Claude Monet

A part of the narrative of French Impressionism relies on the exclusiveness of the 18th century Parisian elite - the Académie des Beaux-Arts – the hub of French art culture. The Académie hosted an annual art show, the “Salon de Paris”, which typically showcased preferred political, historical, religious, and mythological works. Winners of these art … Continue reading The Story of French Impressionism, Part II: Claude Monet

The Story of French Impressionism, Part I: Édouard Manet

In contrast to the bold, triumphant, and defined political works of earlier European painters, like Eugene Delacroix for example, the Impressionists were a more muted, subtle group of less defined painters, at least conventional wisdom instructs us so. The Impressionists give us only a glimpse of something, a passing blurred picture of motion; like a … Continue reading The Story of French Impressionism, Part I: Édouard Manet

The Unremarkable Able McLaughlins

I finally finished the next Pulitzer Prize winning novel after dragging my feet for much of the summer. It is altogether difficult to go from reading the beautiful rolling novels of the great American pioneer writer, Willa Cather, to the bland landscapes of Margaret Wilson's Pulitzer-Prize winning book, The Able McLaughlins. Wilson's novel is a story … Continue reading The Unremarkable Able McLaughlins

Camille

Camille (1936) Director: George Cukor Camille is an elegant and beautiful MGM film starring Greta Garbo, and showcasing the heights of classic cinema in the 1930s. It is a story of a love-triangle, based on an 1842 story by Alexandre Dumas fils (the Younger), La Dame aux Camélias ("The Lady with the Camellias"). He wrote the story at … Continue reading Camille

Berlin: Die Sinfonie der Großstadt

Berlin: Die Sinfonie der Großstadt (1927) Director: Walter Ruttman Some may call it avant-garde and excessive, while others call it valuable for its historical significance. It is the quintessential "city symphony" film, of which there were other minor films in Paris or Manhattan. In Act I of this plotless film, we find ourselves boarding a train, … Continue reading Berlin: Die Sinfonie der Großstadt