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Arbie's Unoriginally Titled Book Blog

It's a blog! Mainly of book reviews.

Currently reading

More Letters of Charles Darwin, Vol 2
Francis Darwin, Charles Darwin
Progress: 56/501 pages
Hainish Novels & Stories, Vol. 2
Ursula K. Le Guin
Progress: 107/789 pages
Too Brave to Dream: Encounters with Modern Art
R.S. Thomas
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The Essential Shakespeare
Ted Hughes
Progress: 61/259 pages
Tales from Watership Down
Richard Adams
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Canaletto: Bernardo Bellotto Paints Europe
Andreas Schmacher
Progress: 130/360 pages
Introduction to Topology
Bert Mendelson
Progress: 10/224 pages
Basics of Plasma Astrophysics
Claudio Chiuderi, Marco Velli
Progress: 58/250 pages
A Student's Guide to Lagrangians and Hamiltonians
Patrick Hamill
Progress: 7/180 pages
Complete Poems, 1904-1962
E.E. Cummings
Progress: 1000/1102 pages

Sisley in England and Wales, Christopher Riopelle, Ann Sumner

Sisley in England and Wales - Ann Sumner, Christopher Riopelle

This a catalogue for an exhibition I didn't see - it showed in London and Cardiff but not Bath - but I wish I had! Sisley was born and brought up in France by British parents. He was fluent in French and English and maintained dual nationality throughout his life. He was one of the core group of first-wave Impressionists, frequently painting literally alongside Monet and Renoir. However, he visited Britain a number of times and spent time painting in and near London and on the South Wales coast.


The exhibition assembled as many of these scenes as it could and impressive it must have been; even the modestly sized reproductions in this book show that Sisley could hold his own with the other Big Name Impressionists. He even painted a certain seascape repeatly in different weathers and times of day a la Monet serial paintings. These pictures of the Bristol Channel coast are my particular favourites.


From this distance, what with Impressionism being allegedly the world's most popular Fine Art movement, it's hard to understand how the artists' contemporaries circa 130-150 years ago, frequently didn't understand Impressionism, forcing the artists to hold their own exhibitions, and leaving Sisley in poverty much of his life, struggling to find buyers for his work. Much of it was destroyed during the Franco-Prussian War - surely a great loss to the art world. But Sisley is now recognised for his talent and still inspires artists today - he's a particular favourite of Bath's own Pete "the Street" Brown.