Sunday, 26 February 2006

Rio Carnival Art Heist

Anne Brewster - In the Luxembourg Gardens (1926)
Henri Matisse - Luxembourg Gardens (c1900)

Robbers armed with guns and a hand grenade raided the Chacara do Ceu museum, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, stole at least four paintings and escaped into a crowd of carnival revellers doing the Samba. The robbers must have an ironic sense of humour, because they stole Picasso's The Dance! They also lifted Salvador Dali's The Two Balconies and a couple of pitiful Impressionist daubs: Henri Matisse's Luxembourg Gardens (illustrated) and Claude Monet's Marine.
Of course the painting by Dali - the one artist of the four who actually mastered the art of painting - is the only one I can't find on the web. My question to museum director Vera de Alencar is: "Oi, Vera! Why didn't you put the Dali on the web?"
To show you just how bad the Matisse is, I've placed beside it another view of the Luxenbourg Gardens, by the American impressionist Anne Brewster, which beautifully captures the atmosphere of a misty day.


At 26/2/06, Blogger Napfisk said...

What ho? I don't know if I'd have the Matisse on my wall exaclty, but the Anne Brewster one strikes me as somewhat, well, bland, in comparison. And calling Dali the only one who actually mastered the art of painting of the lot, seems rather a bold statement as well (a great overall artist he is, granted).
I guess you are only teasing of course, which is what it takes these days for people to rise from their sofas and actively contemplate art.
That is what you were aiming at, I hope?
Anyway keep on poking us silly with your posts, they're much appreciated nonetheless.

At 27/2/06, Blogger Coxsoft Art said...

Thanks for the comment. It's the first one posted! You've got me sussed; I'm being contentious in order to stir the odd brain cell into action. But I do believe the Art Establishment has foisted a lot of third-rate artists on to us, because the Art Establishment is run by historians, rather than by people with a gut feeling for art. Your gut feeling on the Matisse is the same as mine: you wouldn't want it on your wall. I must admit the Matisse is the more striking image in thumbnail size, but if you look for both pictures on the web and find images to fit a 1024x768 screen, you'll notice a major technical difference between the two works: the Brewster shows mastery of aerial perspective; the Matisse doesn't. The way Brewster's trees recede into a misty sky is a subtle joy. Matisse's palette is a muddy mess. The trouble with Brewster is that she was too late to be avant-garde. So she missed the art historians' bandwagon.


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