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Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Impressionist Fact of the Day

posted by on July 8 at 14:23 PM

Evidently, the frothy-brushed Renoir was the nicest impressionist: the one most continually concerned for the welfare of his fellow human beings.

Renoir, as he dashed through the streets, would sometimes stop to wipe a nose or hand out milk or a biscuit. Infants left alone in their cradles made him anxious; he worried about what would happen if there was a fire, or if a cat sat on a baby’s face as it slept. He was especially moved by the plight of the infants who, because of lack of care and food, often died in their first few months or had to be taken to the orphanage.

He decided to create a ‘pouponnat’ (tiny tots’ centre) to care for them… he set about organizing it himself, giving a benefit fancy dress ball at the Moulin. …The show sold out, and was a spectacular success. The band was brilliant, the applause brought the house down; the dancing went on all night. But the proceeds were hardly enough to do very much for the enfants trouvés… The event did collect enough to pay for the medical care of one poor girl suffering from phlebitis after a miscarriage, and there was a whip-round for baby clothes and blankets for the newborn poor.

*From Sue Roe’s The Private Lives of the Impressionists, which I’m reading in honor of the show at SAM

Acts like that almost make up for paintings like this.
Woman with a Cat (circa 1875)

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If it makes you feel better Graves, if you'd posted that on Currently Hanging, I would have ripped out its eye sockets.

The only possibly redeeming outcome would be if that cat sat on the lady's face.

Posted by Jubilation T. Cornball | July 8, 2008 2:50 PM

That painting rules. Your inclusion of it (along with the relative brevity of your post) almost makes up for your usual long winded snoozy entries.

Posted by Matt from Denver | July 8, 2008 2:52 PM

Nothing wrong with that picture! It's a 19th Century "Cats N Racks".

Posted by | July 8, 2008 2:55 PM

Nothing wrong with that picture! It's a 19th Century "Cats 'N Racks".

Posted by --MC | July 8, 2008 2:56 PM

Auch der! Well, you can write to me there if you want to.

Posted by --MC | July 8, 2008 2:58 PM

The painting's not bad, but it could really use a poorly-spelled witticism to spruce up its lower edge . . .

Posted by shub-negrorath | July 8, 2008 2:58 PM

Ah, I love a good whip-round.

Posted by hillside_hoyden | July 8, 2008 3:06 PM


Posted by Kristin Bell | July 8, 2008 5:28 PM

Hey, Jen, relax. Sheesh. It's only a painting.

Posted by MyDogBen | July 8, 2008 6:29 PM

@9 -- Yeah, and who ever heard of art being important enough to be passionate about it? I mean, thank god the Renaissance had that whole slacker attitude toward art, right?


Jen, when the Visigoths finally storm the gates, I'll hide you in my attic.

Posted by Jubilation T. Cornball | July 8, 2008 7:48 PM

I just don't think Renoir was a cretin. And a tiny lo-res reproduction is an easy target. And if you're going to tell me the original Impressionists weren't passionate about art, that's going to be a hard sell. And I think Jen is the best writer on The Stranger, period. I just disagree with her about this painting.

All this makes you want to hide her in your attic?

Posted by MyDogBen | July 8, 2008 9:04 PM

And another thing. This was probably a commissioned portrait, done for -cough- money. I bet somewhere in Seattle tonight there's a photographer from Yuen Lui who took a photo of some unattractive woman with her pet earlier today, and then went home and did something marvelous on his or her own time. Yeah I am passionate about art. I like artists to be able to eat, so they can art again. It's just one painting. It's not a crime against nature. It's not Thomas Kinkade.

Posted by MyDogBen | July 8, 2008 9:52 PM

MyDogBen, it's time:

Posted by Jubilation T. Cornball | July 8, 2008 10:39 PM

That cat has a serious Mr. Poe-face.

Posted by Greg | July 9, 2008 9:27 AM

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