Legion of Honor Courbet show

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Legion of Honor Courbet show

From Brad Silverstein

Published before 2005


Hi all,

I don't know who of you are in the San Francisco Bay Area, but I want to bring the Courbet show to your attention if you weren't aware of it before. I've got mixed feelings about Courbet, but there are some Cabanel's for all the fans out there. My personal favorite was a canvas (study of dead limbs) by Gericault. I was reading more on him after the show, his work was so exquisite!!! I had no idea. Like Raphael, he died at 33. The guy painted The Raft of Medusa when he was 28! Unbelievable. Thank God with modern medicine we have a bit more time on our hands.

Going back to the reproduction issue, I was very disappointed when I saw the catalogue for the show. All of the subtlety that made some of the works a world apart from others was mangled. There was a delicate painting by Tassaert which looked like it was baked in the oven to a golden brown before reproduction. The original had such sweet blues in the skin: delicate but pulsing with life. All gone in the book. The fallout is sad in a way; we have more access to all of these works than we've ever had before, but the handling that makes the master is castrated, and one may not have the chance to see it.