A few weeks ago, we went to the High Museum in Atlanta (www.high.org) to see Inspiring Impressionism. This exhibition is “the first comprehensive survey to explore the influence of Old Master painters on Impressionist artists.” It juxtaposes works by artists like Monet, Cézanne and Degas with those of Titian, Rubens and Fragonard.
We spent a delightful two hours wandering through, taking note of similarities in composition and subject matter. Two of my favorites included Fragonard’s A Young Girl Reading (ca. 1776), a painting my husband and I both loved before we met, and Morisot’s In the Garden at Maurecourt (1884), with its vivid greens and the dark-eyed girl turned rather casually toward the viewer.
The artists in this exhibition studied and copied great works of art so they could eventually produce their own. American Impressionist Mary Cassatt said, “Museums are all the teachers one needs.” As I saw these 80+ works side by side, I kept thinking it was a good reminder that we can all learn from the past, from those who came before, whether our art form of choice is painting, composing, dancing, or writing.
I think it’s time for me to reread some of the classics…
Next week: a conductor/composer/scholar/director of choral and vocal studies
Note: I just started a new blog I’m really excited about called Beauty and the Beholder. On Wednesdays, I’ll be writing about the beauty around us. Check it out at my website or at www.beautyandthebeholder.blogspot.com.