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Three Graces
Pablo Journal 
The Louvre Test 
Bather Arranging her Hair
1998, Year 1
No. 2, Aug 13
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After World War II, Picasso was asked to donate some works to French museums. As a compensation, he was granted a confrontation of some of his paintings to works of his colleagues in the Louvre, on a day closed to the public. Only very few persons were present. In a kind of ceremony, his works were hung side by side with other works of his choice. Rarely did someone speak. Afterwards, Picasso is to have said: "C'est la même chose!", i.e. it's the same thing: He and the other masters were doing the same, despite of different styles and attitudes. (As I recall the biographical notes of Françoise Gilot, then related with Picasso.) To me, this confrontation of works of different masters was a very interesting experience I would like to share with you. Hence this enterprise is dedicated to Pablo Picasso. 


This series is not intended to be a university course. I am not an art scholar, I am just a painter and art lover only. As lover I will approach one of the works of art the heritage of all mankind has left us, one by one, week after week, as long as I can. I will keep my investigation personal and simple, meant to open your eyes to see for yourself. Words can be used as a means to that end, but it is rather the space between the words that does the work. A great master of the art of appreciation of art, Kurt Rossacher of Vienna, demanded to see with nose first, eyes, tongue, heart, and only at last with the brain. 

Your appreciation will give me the power and strength to endure. It is for you and all the great masters that I do this work, and I hope you will enjoy it. So don't hesitate to send me your feedback in order to help me with that goal! This kind of journal is new to the net, so please tell me if the size is ok (images are great, but big!). 

As I am writing in a foreign language, I am not sure to express myself correctly, but I hope you will be able to guess what I mean any time. 

Also, I invite you to join in my effort. Send me your articles and comments to be published in this journal. 

Yours truly,

Rubens (1577-1640)
Three graces
Renoir (1841-1919)
Bather Arranging her Hair
Rubens, Three graces


Renoir, Bather Arranging her Hair


Location Size Date Scan
Prado, Madrid

221*181cm 87x71"


Mark Harden


Location Size Date Scan
Nat.Gall.of Art
Washington DC

91*74cm 36x29"


Carol Gerten


Rubens is famous for his fleshy women seemingly alien to us. It was John Berger who opened my eyes with an essay about "The little fur" in Vienna (see Art Journal 1.3). It is obviously much harder painting cellulite than smooth skin, but this way you get a feeling of the tactile sensation through your eyes. Not only this, the icon stimulates bodily remembrance of the meeting of lovers, something not expressible with words altogether as they have no place in the occurrence as such. It can be deduced that Rubens was experienced indeed, and he devoted a another painting to show how he strives to pass this experience to his second, very young wife. Can these feelings be transferred to someone who is not experienced? Rubens was 62 then and died the next year. 

PS: In another book, Berger shows at length how Picasso managed to express sexual experience through distortion.

Renoir was 54 when he painted the young model. Obviously, he was not interested in cellulite. This is one of many paintings centering around young, womanly, fertile bodies. These bodies seem to be inexperienced, even if they are in their thirties and nurse with delight and competence. To me it is a voyeur's perspective, I can't even imagine touching the bodies. They would not react in any way, they are not prepared to, they lack any sexuality. And this certainly is a condition to the voyeur, as he typically can't interact with a real person. All this dramatically draped garment does not lead to anything, just as in a modern pin up photograph. Cyber sex in the Victorian age. Looking through a large book on Renoir, I see his efforts to shape his ideal, culminating in the large sculptures of his later years. His women become stereotypes with a dull expression, modelled after his wife when she was young.

Is this a story of true love? 

A couple behind a curtain ... Kate and Megan ... 

Announcement: Gallery Daguerre at Art Quarter added artist Robert A. Schaefer, Jr. from New York, NY. 

Robert A. Schaefer Jr. is a renowned photographer having received numerous awards, his works being present in private and public collections. He exhibits in USA and all over Europe at galleries (one being the eminent Gallery Raab, Berlin) and museums (one man show at Huntsville Museum of Art, Alabama, next year). He concentrates on people and architecture. We will be adding more of his pictures soon. Click here for a selection.

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