In which a group of graying eternal amateurs discuss their passions, interests and obsessions, among them: movies, art, politics, evolutionary biology, taxes, writing, computers, these kids these days, and lousy educations.

E-Mail Donald
Demographer, recovering sociologist, and arts buff

E-Mail Fenster
College administrator and arts buff

E-Mail Francis
Architectural historian and arts buff

E-Mail Friedrich
Entrepreneur and arts buff
E-Mail Michael
Media flunky and arts buff

We assume it's OK to quote emailers by name.

Try Advanced Search

  1. Seattle Squeeze: New Urban Living
  2. Checking In
  3. Ben Aronson's Representational Abstractions
  4. Rock is ... Forever?
  5. We Need the Arts: A Sob Story
  6. Form Following (Commercial) Function
  7. Two Humorous Items from the Financial Crisis
  8. Ken Auster of the Kute Kaptions
  9. What Might Representational Painters Paint?
  10. In The Times ...

Sasha Castel
AC Douglas
Out of Lascaux
The Ambler
Modern Art Notes
Cranky Professor
Mike Snider on Poetry
Silliman on Poetry
Felix Salmon
Polly Frost
Polly and Ray's Forum
Stumbling Tongue
Brian's Culture Blog
Banana Oil
Scourge of Modernism
Visible Darkness
Thomas Hobbs
Blog Lodge
Leibman Theory
Goliard Dream
Third Level Digression
Here Inside
My Stupid Dog
W.J. Duquette

Politics, Education, and Economics Blogs
Andrew Sullivan
The Corner at National Review
Steve Sailer
Joanne Jacobs
Natalie Solent
A Libertarian Parent in the Countryside
Rational Parenting
Colby Cosh
View from the Right
Pejman Pundit
God of the Machine
One Good Turn
Liberty Log
Daily Pundit
Catallaxy Files
Greatest Jeneration
Glenn Frazier
Jane Galt
Jim Miller
Limbic Nutrition
Innocents Abroad
Chicago Boyz
James Lileks
Cybrarian at Large
Hello Bloggy!
Setting the World to Rights
Travelling Shoes

Redwood Dragon
The Invisible Hand
Daze Reader
Lynn Sislo
The Fat Guy
Jon Walz


Our Last 50 Referrers

« Free Reads -- Polanski trial testimony | Main | Snob Quotient in Sports »

March 14, 2003

Pic of the Day


Weíve touched on the strange neglect suffered by 19th century academic painting once or twice, but a picture I came across researching material for my series on Impressionism makes me want to beat this horse a few more times.

The painter, Paul Baudry (1828-1886), was once a fairly well known academician (he was, in fact, Napoleon IIIís favorite painter.) He was primarily a portrait painter, although he essayed mythological scenes as well. Based on the work Iíve seen on Web, he is by no means a member of the Great Painters of History Clubóhis multifigure compositions are weak and a bit confused, and he frankly doesnít seem to have an idea in his head. However, at least in this picture, Baudry illustrates how the technical discipline of academic painting can facilitate the expression of a painterís genuine emotional response to a subject:

P. Baudry, The Wrestler Meissonier, 1848

The handling of the fall of light over the figure is simply magnificent, and the harmonization of the light with the shifting of local skin tones from one part of the body to another to create a maximal aesthetic effect is something that requires, I think itís fair to say, a great deal of practice to deliver. (At least in my experience, nobody picks up a brush for the first time and knocks out something like this.)

Academic painting is like a lot of things in life: if you approach it for what it can give you as opposed to being frustrated by whatís not there, you can have a pretty good night on the town.



posted by Friedrich at March 14, 2003


What the heck is that on his unit? A washcloth?

Posted by: Yahmdallah on March 14, 2003 2:02 PM

I'm not exactly sure. I believe it stayed in place because when the artist went to remove it, M. Meissonier (identified, as you note, as a wrestler) put him in a headlock and a double nelson and said, "Monsieur, do not ever touch my little piece of cloth."

Posted by: Friedrich von Blowhard on March 14, 2003 3:39 PM

Oh thank you Yahmdallah for asking the question I wouldn't be able to ask myself.

Even the full size picture left me overly confused.

So it's a washcloth. Ahh...I feel much better.

Posted by: laurel on March 14, 2003 8:55 PM

Obviously, that scrap of cloth is a very effective tease!

Posted by: j.c. on March 18, 2003 5:04 AM

Post a comment

Email Address:



Remember your info?