What is his problem?
Nobody told him that we are no longer in the 18th century. And that we have had world wars, famines, plagues of locusts, Marilyn Monroe and triple mocha latte. He thinks, as they did, that you, especially you women, should be seen and not heard………….
Le Discret, 1791, oil on aluminum panel transferred from canvas. Joseph Ducreux, 1735-1802. Spencer Museum of Art, the University of Kansas on display in 2017 at the National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC
Madame Kisling, c. 1917, oil on canvas. Amedeo Modigliani, 1884-1920, Italian. National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC
Shall I tell him? Shall I try to explain it to him?
Madame Picasso, 1923, oil on linen. Pablo Picasso, 1881-1973, Spanish. National Gallery of Art Washington, DC
No: there is no need.
There is no point him trying to throw his weight around because he is not and never was real. He is only a painting. But he does not know it. He was a notion in the mind of his creator, Joseph Ducreux. If he were real, Robespierre would have had his head anyway because Ducreux was Marie Antoinette’s court painter. It’s only he who thinks he is really real so expert was his creator………..
Let’s show him that Magritte which we all three were admiring this morning. It may help him understand what is real and what is not and that it is part of the human condition to confuse the two……………
La Condition Humaine, 1933, oil on canvas. René Magritte, 1898-1967, Belgian. The Phillips Collection, Washington, DC
Pierre Auguste, perhaps you can do us the honour. He might take news of his own unreality better from you than from us?
Pierre Auguste Renoir, 1868-1869, oil on canvas. Frédéric Bazille, 1841-1870, French. Musée d’Orsay on loan in 2017 to the National Gallery, Washington DC.
Friend and close colleague of Renoir, Sisley and Monet, Bazille enlisted in the Zouaves and died at 29 in the Franco-Prussian war.