Monday Motivator: Gestures of Timidity and Violence

“…The best [brush] motions, the ones Monet must have made habitually, were violent attacks followed by impulsive twists and turns as the brush moved off.

First the brush would scrape wildly, epileptically, against the canvas, jittering across its own trail, breaking it up, laying down thick paint alongside dry paint, and then it would abruptly lift and swivel, turning the jagged edges into little eddies.

The gestures are a mixture of timidity and violence, of perfect control in the preparation and perfect abdication of control in the execution.”

James Elkins, “What Painting Is

Claude Monet (1840-1926), Wisteria, 1917-1920, oil on canvas, 150,5 x 200,5 cm, Kunstmuseum Den Haag.

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