Saturday, June 11, 2011

John Singer Sargent

I just finished reading one of the worst books I have ever read.  At least it was short and quickly over.  Gee, the television show it was based on is so good. Where did I go wrong?

New rule: Never read a book based on a television show.

This rule should apply to books based on movies inspired by an original book as well. Didn't Michael Scott read the "novelization of the movie Precious based on the book Push by Sapphire"? Or was he just listening to it on audio tape? That brings me to a WHOLE other debate...If one listens to a book on tape, can they claim that they have read that book? You can voice your opinion below.
Back to this atrocious book. It felt like it was written by an amateur who had to meet a deadline and sloppily churned it out to his/her publisher over a weekend.
The only redeeming quality of this book was that a large portion of it was about an art collection. And it led to my discovery of this:
"Carnation, Lily, Lily, Rose" by John Singer Sargent is mentioned as one of the protagonist's favourite paintings. And the print is later given to her as a gift. I could see why she loved it. 
I had not been incredibly familiar with Sargent's work, but as it turns out, I have had a postcard of one of his paintings in my room for many years now. The painting, "In the Luxembourg Gardens at Twilight" made quite the impression on me, so much so that I had to purchase its postcard form in the Minneapolis Institute of the Arts gift shop after the tour.  I don't know if I can describe why it moves me, but I think it may reside in the motion of the piece. It looks as if the subjects are still moving and the smoldering lighting drapes a romantic mood upon the scene. I really liked what this blogger had to say about it.
Here are several other paintings by Sargent that I admire.
The reflected clouds are stunning.

And like many artists and musicians, Sargent was close friends with other talented artists like himself. Apparently he was close to Claude Monet. "He did landscapes." If you ask me,they should be featured on the Awesome People Hanging Out Together site. 

1 comment:

  1. GREAT Titanic quote!
    Your writing is so eloquent, Jana. I enjoy it so much.


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