Hypocrite?

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Having panned Boucher’s “Fountain of Love” (below) as rubbish the other week, he has had his revenge. Thanks to DailyArt App, his “Birth and Triumph of Venus” (above) has been preying on my mind…

I have to admit; I like it. Am I a hypocrite? Same style, similar figures, same tilted heads and longing expressions – but for me it’s a winner. Perhaps it’s the light and the lightness, or because it’s all cherubs and gods. But it just goes to show, I shouldn’t write off an artist on one duff effort.

My problem is I can’t really explain why I like the one above – and not the one below. Back to those Art books…

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Rubbish

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I know art is in the eye of the beholder. Indeed, I’ve read that pre-1790 pretty much everyone painted and built in their country or culture’s accepted prevailing style. Self-conscious choice of ‘Art’ was a 19th century invention, but still…

This 1748 painting has been bugging me for some weeks – since it appeared on my DailyArt App – and I’ve finally decided that it is rubbish.

Finely wrought, technically correct but simply rubbish. Duff setting, inane message, bad colours and overwrought emotions. I’m no doubt a victim of the modern era. Maybe future generations – as those of the past – will come to venerate it.

But for me Los Angeles (where it lives) is very welcome to it. Give me a Greek statue, medieval tableau, crazy early Renaissance perspective, Leonardo’s cadavers, Durer’s rabbits, Van Gogh’s psychedelic skies, Malevich’s knife cutter or even our local Pinocchio sprayed on a concrete stairwell.

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But Boucher’s ‘Fountain of Love’ has run dry for me.

As Aristotle famously said: “It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.” I keep looking at this picture but I can’t see it.