Thursday, November 5, 2009

The Artist's Studio

I visited today the exhibition The Artist's Studio (curated by Giles Waterfield) at one of my favourite local galleries, Compton Verney, which is a wonderful country house with Capability Brown gardens, turned into a museum by the philanthropist Peter Moores. It started me thinking about how many depictions of artists' studios I have, so I thought - given my recent silence - I should quickly post a few images of the artist's studio as Bohemian hideout. Here they are:

Henri Boutet (1851-1919)
L'Atelier d'Ulysse
Etching with aquatint, 1913

Louis Legrand (1863-1951)
À l'Atelier
Etching, 1885

Paul-Maurice Vigoureux (1876-?)
Artist's studio
Etching, 1925

I apologize if there are any weird mistakes in this post - everything about Blogger, which I felt quite comfortable with, seems to have changed without warning, and I feel I am blundering around without a clue what I'm doing.


Jane said...

I wonder if artists considered this genre a form of self-advertisement. I daresay you could write a book about it: 'Artists on the Couch' sort of thing. What are they trying to make us think about their work? An example is 'writer's block.' Nothing that everyone doesn't experience, but given a self-aggrandizing gloss. Fun post!

Neil said...

I have a desk hewn from genuine writer's block... Although a friend of mine says there is no such thing as writer's block, only impatient writers. To take your point about the genre, I think the modern concept of paintings of the studio stems pretty much from Matisse's Red Studio of 1911, which introduces art and the creation of art as a proper subject for art. The three images I chose are more tongue-in-cheek, playing on the concept of the artist as someone liberated from society's petty constrictures, and the artist's studio as a space where all kinds of naughty and faintly ridiculous things might happen.

Jane said...

From all that I have read about Rodin's studio and Camlle Claudel, Gwen John, and seemingly countless other women, naughty doesn't convey the half of it. On this side of the ocean, William Merrit Chase was painting his Tenth Street studio in the 1890s, as a way of demonstrating his high art credentials to a doubtful public. On the self-aggrandizement issue, when I was studying piano, I heard the Canadian pianist Glenn Gould describe putting on "creatiove blinders" in order to do his work. It's nothing carpemters and plumbers don't do, minus the self-congratulation. Very good images and thoughts. Thanks.