Thursday, 23 September 2010

Christen Kobke and Impressionist Gardens

Today was a wet, miserable, rainy day such as we have not seen for quite some time. But typical Scottish weather returned today with a vengeance and it was a day for being indoors, drinking hot chocolate and consuming cupcakes. I indulged in all 3 when I paid a return visit to the Impressionist Gardens exhibition at the National Galleries of Scotland in Edinburgh.

Before revisiting my favourites in that exhibition I took in the Christen Kobke exhibition in the same venue. Whoever organized the showing of both these exhibitions at the same time definitely had an inspired moment as they complimented each other perfectly. Both exuded warmth and although Christen Kobke, a Danish artist who lived from 1810-1848, was definitely not an impressionistic painter but more one in the Romantic Style he can very well be regarded as a forerunner as he did a lot of his preliminary sketching out of doors in situ so to speak and choose very everday subjects. I particularly loved his paintings showing subjects close to home of his houses, family members and the Danish landscape. I would be hard pressed to choose an absolute favourite but I returned time and again to the one shown above of a Cigar Seller. If you want to see this exhibition you will have to be quick. It closes on the 3rd October.

Of course the Impressionist Gardens exhibition worked its magic on me again. The difference between the almost perfect, untextured paintings of Christen Kobke and the sometimes exaggerated texture of some of the paintings in the Impressionist Gardens exh. struck me. To see brushstrokes in the Kobke paintings it would have been necessary to stand with your nose virtually on top of them (needless to say not allowed and also not possible due to a restricting cord) whereas the Van Gogh texture could be spotted across a crowded room. As a textile artist I love texture and it inspires me but I also admired the smooth surfaces of Kobke.

I spend a lot of time with the 2 Klimt paintings in the exhibition, falling in love all over again with his landscape paintings. Also Berthe Morisot, a female painter (still unusual at that time) who painted very domestic scenes including her own garden and family beautifully. All in all a great way to spend a rainy day!

1 comment:

Terri said...

Oh, your description of the paintings makes me yearn to see them! In fact, I was just in our local museum today marveling over the incredibly fine paintings of some of the Dutch Masters.
Seeing those along with the impressionist's work would be very striking. I heard that Some of Van Gogh's sunflowers are still not dry in the center because of how thick the paint is. (don't really know if that is true!).


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