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Eiffel Tower, Useless and Monstrous

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And all of those critics are forgotten to time while the hated tower is now loved.

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Hello :)

 

I am thinking what some of the vanguard in the Parisian art world were up to at this time and why/how they might respond this way. Don't know about others, but many of the painters were reveling in organic (more or less) freedom with light/color and now especially texture which was fairly new. Impressionism had just ended essentially. So, I can see how the tower could seem cold or lifeless to some of these folk, especially the older guys. Maybe it looked restrictive. And I am not sure everyone sitting in the back of  Père Tanguy's paint shop arguing about light and color would have disliked it. I don't know if Van Gogh would think it miraculous or a frightening harbinger. Probably he would have seen god in it. Georges Suerat painted it at least twice in 1889. The one below in the Museum of Fine Arts in San Francisco. Beneath that is a canvas by Bogoliubov from 1889 and then a small canvas by Louis Hayet who did several as well - all from the day more or less. Also a Signac from 1899 followed by a lovely Rousseau. True, these are the younger painters coming after Impressionism, and I don't see a Monet or Cezanne, but then again there are two by Rousseau, one shown below.

 

Best wishes,

                          Eric

60616-eiffel-seurat.jpg

Georges Suerat, The Eiffel Tower, oil on canvas, 8" x 10:, San Francisco Museum of Fine Arts

959549-Alexei_Petrovitch_Bogoliouboff,_1

Alexei Petrovitch Bogoliubov, 1889, The Eiffel Tower at night, oil on canvas, 112.5 x 70.5 cm, Musée Carnavalet, Paris

 

959549-ImageShow.aspx_3.jpeg

 

Paris, the Eiffel Tower and her Carnival, Louis Hayet, Musee de Pontoise

the_seine_grenelle_1899_postcard-r648ad7

Paul Signac, The Seine, Grenelle, 1889

 

60616-eiffel-rousseau.jpg

Douanier Rousseau, Eiffel Tower, pre 1910.

Edited by magikbilly
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Hello again,

 

I found another painting by Chagall from 1913 and one by Eugègne Verneau from 1902. Seurat did at least 3 or 4 of this subject. If van Gogh were to paint this subject  - I am thinking of his Railway Bridge which is of stone and steel (some say Impressionists might have rejected painting steel and that steel was the territory of a camera). Van Gogh might have turned out something like this - The Bridge at Trinquetaille 1888.

trinquetaille-bridge-in-arles.jpg

 Here is a lit of the 47 artists who signed the protest:

1 Ernest Meissonier
2 Charles Gounod
3 Charles Garnier
4 Robert Fleury
5 Victorien Sardou
6 Edouard Pailleron
7 H. Gérôme
8 L. Bonnat
9 William Bouguereau
10 Jean Gigoux
11 G. Boulanger,
12 J.-E. Lenepveu,
13 Eug. Guillaume,
14 A. Wolff,
15 Ch. Questel,
16 Alexandre Dumas
17 François Coppée,
18 Leconte de Lisle,
19 Daumet,
20 Français,
21 Sully-Prudhomme,
22 Elie Delaunay,
23 E. Vaudremer,
24 E. Bertrand,
25 G.-J. Thomas,
26 François,
27 Henriquel,
28 A. Lenoir,
29 G. Jacquet,
30 Goubie,
31 E. Duez,
32 de Saint-Marceaux,
33 G. Courtois,
34 P.-A.-J. Dagnan-Bouveret,
35 J. Wencker.
36 L. Doucet,
37 Guy de Maupassant,
38 Henri Amic
39 Ch. Grandmougin,
40 François Bournaud,
41 Ch. Baude,
42 Jules Lefebvre,
43 A. Mercié
44 Cheviron,
45 Albert Jullien
46 André Legrand,
47 Limbo

 

 

Best wishes,

                         Eric

 

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Hello again,

 

 I was sitting here watching a film and for some reason Rousseau's nickname "the primitive" came to mind. His Eiffel canvas retains the most viable image and composition of the tower shown here, in my opinion. Something of a forecast. Sensible and economic attack. Deceptively simple. Not because he is closer to a static realism than an impressionist. Look at Rousseau's A Carnival Evening from 1886. It looks, almost, like something Jamie Wyeth might have produced in the late 80's, but it is too lyrical and quiet for Wyeth, with much too subtle and successful a palette. Oh now I am talking about the wrong painting. I think the Bogoliubov is really nice with the moon and tower beam but it looks like so many paintings of Europe from this period. At least the sky exhibits some restraint. I think the Hayet is the best of its type here - the colors and movement are so very strong. So much so that it almost looks like a late 50's forgery made for that John Huston film about the Moulin Rouge. The Hayet is not leaving the 19th century anytime soon, but it is incredible as a snapshot. The Rousseau has a very impressive shelf life, and suggests a timeless quality explored over here by Albert Pinkham Ryder in NYC. Now that I think about it, these men lived and died about the same exact time. Same as Homer and van Gogh more or less. 1840/50 - 1890/1910. I have always liked that van Gogh - but it is not in this discussion.

 I guess I can't imagine what he would have done with the Eiffel Tower. It is something to think about. It would be the perfect forgery subject. Undone and unknown subject, and yet where is it...imagine such a thing. It would be a construction image, just showing the base, and some people would be ready to devour it. It would be small - perhaps size 4, and have colors not unlike the Hayet and physical handling something like the Seurat, which van Gogh was playing with in 1887. Only a fool would make a night image, although having seen that 1912 color night photograph with all that gold and shooting star lights on the Eiffel, it would be momentarily tempting. Of course, today, such a thing would never make it past initial analysis no matter what it looked like. And this is not the 1930's, where something like the Van Meegeren Vermeer forgeries could be accepted - they had no precedent as far as subject (unless you accept the Praxdis and that was not attributed back in the late 30's) and did not appear at all like Vermeers work except in the most rudimentary way. Chemically he would have no chance at all. Look at the Wacker van Gogh forgeries from the 1920's - they look ridiculous now, even if you only look at the top layer. And it was simple x-Rays that got him, along with Vincent van Gogh's testimony(Theo's son) etc.

 

Eric

 

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Hello,

Now that I think of it Homer did the electric lights at the 1893 Fair and I don't think the tower could have been illuminated like the 1912 night Autochrome. In any event, it would be a very bad choice because a van Gogh of a Fair with night lighting would be far too brash and unlikely in this context in my little opinion. Best to choose a 1887 landscape of Paris with this in the distance. Perhaps something like View of Paris from Vincent's room in the Rue Lepic, but today, unlike in the 30's or even the 50's, the location of the paintings vantage would have to triangulate with known addresses etc on a 3-D map - nearly impossible when you add light and time of day/season. I was off looking to see what you can see from this address of Vincent's room of the Tower, and I forgot about that when I saw this photograph below. You might agree these trees would likely be Vincents response to the angular steel, and van Gogh painted this type of tree with much success. Assuming they were there at that timje. I do not know.  I suppose one could produce the ink drawing first(he usually did these after the oils) , and then the canvas which is backwards for van Gogh but would provide an established path to find a believable image. Retro-engineer and then run the whole thing forward. Unlike van Meegeren, throw the sketch out or burn it, don't sell it! ;)

 

This image below is so much like looking up the '39 mall. Only...better.

 

Eiffel-Tower-Paris-3-new.jpg

http://bb901.com/cheap-luxury-holidays-sacre-coeur-steps-paris-france

 

Eric

Edited by magikbilly

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I can't help thinking that if the Eiffel Tower was built in New York for the 1964 World's Fair, would the city have left it to decay just like the NY State Pavilion Towers?

I can just see New York turning off the elevators at the end of the fair and letting the structure rust away, never to be used again.  New York has no foresight when it comes to keeping something alive as an extraordinary tourist attraction.

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Hello,

 

 Was just thinking about a theoretical Eiffel van Gogh.  The obvious stumbling block is avoided - there is no need to have the painting appear in any letter to Theo as they were sharing an apartment in Paris. Otherwise, the lack of any mention could be seen as a problem.

 

Eric

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Eric, that is some great stuff! Thanks for all the attachments too.

Did you see the closing credits for Pixar's Wall-E? A lighter strikes on a black screen illuminating cave art of the robots Wall-E and Eve. The scenes segue from discovery of fire to primitive agriculture to technological advancement and through the progress of civilization, with each transition depicted using the style of artistic expression representative of each historical period. 

Probably on You Tube.

The idea is to show Wall-E and Eve together forever.

But the final scene of the sequence is rendered in Impressionism! The robots walk together through a glade implying time ends then!

But that makes sense, since everyone knows... art ended with Impressionism!  I mean, not to start an argument or anything. Just sayin'.

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Hello :)

 

Thanks - glad you enjoyed the images. In haste, but I see that as a birth, not an end, leading to vertical growth instead of the horizontal generally seen up to date. Hard to say - technically Impressionism ended in 1886 or so, yet what many consider the best works were yet to come from the big names - Degas, Cezanne, Monet - many of their most well known canvases are dated 1890 or later. Monet went blind, had surgery and was still painting, fairly blind, in the early 20's. And those last, huge canvases have very little to do, on the surface anyway, with what had come before. And look at what was happening in Vienna just by 1910, and what would happen by 1920. I forget the name, but a well regarded collector or curator once stopped a taxi in the middle in NYC traffic to explain to Besty Wyeth that "there is no such thing as bad taste in art" - if taste is the sum of ones experience, that is be true.

Unfortunately, I never saw Waldo.:huh:

 

Best wishes,

                       Eric

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Hi Everyone,

I was thinking about the second painting above, by Bogoluibov and had an idea. Took a peek - sure enough - http://moonblink.info/Eclipse/eclipse/1889_07_12.

July 10 and 12 (?) 1889, inside the Expositions run. It was apparently visible in Paris and was 48% full, not unlike the painting. Scrolling down in that link you can see what the moon looked like. I can see a painter adjusting the angle of the shadow to assist the composition of the painting and avoid a perhaps strange look. This is pure speculation of course. But fun.

Eric

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