Misunderstood Genius

Why I love the worst painting in Britain

“A Fete Worse Than Death:” A Garden Fete (Adolphe Monticelli, c. 1870–72), National Galleries of Scotland.

A Roaring Painting

Along the River, Marseille (c. 1883–1885).
Cutting-edge landscape painting: Monet’s Cliffs at Étretat (1885).
Detail of Along the River, Marseille.
A hundred years apart: Monticelli’s Along the River, Marseille (c. 1883–1885) and Ying Li’s Thick Summer (2010–11).
The Dead Hare (date unknown).
A Painter at Work on a House Wall (1885) and La Reverence (date unknown).

That Fete Worse than Death

A Garden Fete(c. 1870–72), National Galleries of Scotland.
Light worthy of Whistler (detail of “A Garden Fete”).
Golden rustle (detail of “A Garden Fete”).
Golden music (detail of “A Garden Fete”).
Antoine Watteau, Party in the Open Air, 1717–1718.
El Greco, The Opening of the Fifth Seal, 1608–1614.

The New El Greco?

The old-fashioned El Greco: Parmigianino’s “Madonna with the Long Neck” (1535–1540), El Greco’s “The Opening of the Fifth Seal“(1608–1614), and Caravaggio’s “The Taking of Christ” (c. 1602).
The old-fashioned Monticelli: Watteau’s “Party in the Open Air” (1717–1718), Monticelli’s “A Garden Fete” (c. 1870–72), Monet’s “Impression, Sunrise” (1872).
Another light-filled garden fete.

Beyond Visionaries

The visionary El Greco: Picasso’s “Les Demoiselles d’Avignon” (1907), El Greco’s “The Opening of the Fifth Seal“(1608–1614), and Caravaggio’s “The Taking of Christ” (c. 1602).
The visionary Monticelli: Pollock’s “Convergence (1952), Monticelli’s “A Garden Fete” (c. 1870–72), Monet’s “Impression, Sunrise” (1872).

Visual artist following curiosity wherever it leads. I have a Harvard PhD in philosophy. evebigaj.com

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