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Women Made Up a Larger Fraction of Top Painters 200 Years Ago
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Pat Lipsky writes in The Awl:

So I decided to check out the historical perspective: how had women painters fared in the past? I might have been smug about what would turn up—that although it’d been tough for women in the 20th century and recently, we’d done much better than our sisters from the Middle Ages through the early nineteenth century. In fact, I discovered the opposite: the percentage of women exhibiting their work was higher after the French Revolution in Paris than it is in New York now. Despite the bra burnings, Gloria Steinem, the Gorilla Girls, and ongoing feminist rhetoric. From the 17th to the 19th century, Salons in France were official art exhibitions controlled by the government-run Academy of Painting and Sculpture. Here’s the breakdown of women to men showing their work: In the Salon of 1801, 192 painters exhibited, of those 28 or 14.6 % were women. In the salon of 1810, 390 painters exhibited, of those 70, or 17.9%, were women, and in the Salon of 1822, 475 painters exhibited, of whom 67, or 14%, were women.

And the French Revolution / Napoleonic Era probably militarized and masculinized tastes to the detriment of women artists. That was the observation of Elisabeth Vigee-Lebrun, who had been Queen Marie Antoinette’s court portraitist, but had to flee into exile with the coming of Revolution. (You can hear the militarization of tastes by comparing Mozart [d. 1791] to Beethoven.)

Now let’s look at the present. In “Shoes,” I mentioned the reopening of MoMA in 2004. Of 1400 objects exhibited in the museum, 16—that is to say about 1%—came from female artists. Today, at three super-prestigious New York galleries, I found three women out of 20 artists mentioned on the official roster of Sperone Westwater—that is 15%. (All shown, incidentally, with serious black and white photographs next to their names, making it difficult to tell what sex they are.) At Gagosian, among the 39 artists listed as the gallery’s inner core, three are women: 7%. The third gallery, Pace, specifies 90 artists, seven of whom are women; that is to say 7.78%. So, compared with Paris in 1820 the percentage of women in New York showing in 2015 is down drastically. Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose.

Commenter DavidB replies:

The reputation of women painters from historical times tends to follow a similar trajectory. Assuming they are any good at all, then during their own lifetime they have a rarity value and are wildly overpraised in comparison to male artists of similar talent. Artemisia Ghentileschi, Mary Beale, Rosalba Cariera, Angelica Kauffman and Rosa Bonheur are examples. (I haven’t checked spellings.) When Artemisia G came to England as part of a triumphal European tour, King Charles himself came to meet her at the dock. Then after they die, like most painters who are not on the level of a Titian or a Rubens, they fall out of fashion, and their memory fades. Then in the late 20th century the feminism industry digs them up again and their reputation is hyped out of all proportion. It will be interesting to see what happens to the reputation of such female art ‘giants’ of the 20th century as Gwen John, Frieda Kahlo and Georgia O’Keefe. Will it follow the same pattern, or will feminism keep their boat forever afloat?

I have a quasi-quantitative theory that somebody might want to try to model.

One major cause of an artist’s fame is influencing famous followers. For example, if you are walking through a rich art museum’s late 19th century room, it’s pretty easy to get why there are a lot of paintings by Monet or Van Gogh in the museum. But then you come to a bunch of Cezannes that clearly the museum is very proud to own and … well … the colors are nice … but aren’t they’re kind of … awkward?

But that’s not the point, the point is that a vast number of subsequent famous painters were influenced by Cezanne: Picasso, Matisse, etc. Without Cezanne, the subsequent narrative of art wouldn’t make much sense. Heck, famous writers, like Hemingway, were influenced by Cezanne. If you want to tell the story of 20th Century high culture as a cause-and-effect chain of influences, Cezanne is probably going to show up near the beginning.

My impression is that Cezanne was very much a guy painter’s guy painter. Don’t ask me why. Like I said, I don’t get Cezanne.

Now, let’s make up two pseudo-quantitative measures: first, let’s say that artists differ in appeal between the sexes based on subject matter and (more imponderably) style. For example, American impressionist Mary Cassatt’s subject matter was usually pictures of mothers taking care of their small children. My impression of Cassatt is that she was really good, but, to be honest, my focus wanders pretty quickly by about the fourth Cassatt painting I look at. So Cezanne is more likely to have male followers and Cassatt is more likely to have female followers, and so forth.

Second, assume that male followers are five or ten times as likely to become famous themselves as female followers.

Put them together and it would suggest that a female artist’s fame is likely to fade out faster because her followers’ followers are considerably less likely to be famous than a male artist’s.

Does this make any sense?

 
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  1. Anon says: • Disclaimer

    ‘Gorilla Girls’?

    Not Guerrilla Girls?

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  2. DavidB says:

    The reputation of women painters from historical times tends to follow a similar trajectory. Assuming they are any good at all, then during their own lifetime they have a rarity value and are wildly overpraised in comparison to male artists of similar talent. Artemisia Ghentilleschi, Mary Beale, Rosalba Cariera, Angelica Kaufman and Rosa Bonheur are examples. (I haven’t checked spellings.) When Artemisia G came to England as part of a triumphal European tour, King Charles himself came to meet her at the dock. Then after they die, like most painters who are not on the level of a Titian or a Rubens, they fall out of fashion, and their memory fades. Then in the late 20th century the feminism industry digs them up again and their reputation is hyped out of all proportion. It will be interesting to see what happens to the reputation of such female art ‘giants’ of the 20th century as Gwen John, Frieda Kahlo and Georgia O’Keefe. Will it follow the same pattern, or will feminism keep their boat forever afloat?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    Thanks.
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  3. @DavidB
    The reputation of women painters from historical times tends to follow a similar trajectory. Assuming they are any good at all, then during their own lifetime they have a rarity value and are wildly overpraised in comparison to male artists of similar talent. Artemisia Ghentilleschi, Mary Beale, Rosalba Cariera, Angelica Kaufman and Rosa Bonheur are examples. (I haven't checked spellings.) When Artemisia G came to England as part of a triumphal European tour, King Charles himself came to meet her at the dock. Then after they die, like most painters who are not on the level of a Titian or a Rubens, they fall out of fashion, and their memory fades. Then in the late 20th century the feminism industry digs them up again and their reputation is hyped out of all proportion. It will be interesting to see what happens to the reputation of such female art 'giants' of the 20th century as Gwen John, Frieda Kahlo and Georgia O'Keefe. Will it follow the same pattern, or will feminism keep their boat forever afloat?

    Thanks.

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  4. Anon says: • Disclaimer
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  5. dearieme says:

    Few people know that JRW Turner was actually a lesbian in drag.

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  6. It make sense. The whole thing about influence has become a more important part of discussing the arts in general than it was even a few decades ago. And agreed on Cezanne being the classic example- I’ve always had the same feeling about him. In music, a parallel example would be Ornette Coleman.

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    • Replies: @Yancey Ward
    I have always thought Joseph Haydn was the best example from music- his main importance is his influence on subsequent composers, not his music by itself.
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  7. It is an established fact that women, speaking generally, have better small digit coordination than do men while men are better at whole body efforts such as throwing a ball or planing a board. Traditional painting involves close eye hand coordination. Modern Art and painting tends to involve whole body gestures, arrangement of purely formal elements and mechanical processes viz. Pollack and Warhol. It should not be surprising therefore that women would be better represented during an era of painting in which fine detail was valued and men in an era in which mental abstraction, geometric mechanical processes and large size are valued.

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    • Replies: @guest
    You can't reason from innate ability on this subject. Being an old master required intense training over a long period of time with little hope for remuneration, which favors men. Being a famous modern painter requires tremendous capacity for hype and self-promotion, which moreso favors men. There are various other historical explanations.
    , @Lugash
    Modern painting also requires loads of chutzpah to say that random materials thrown together are art.
    , @Steve Sailer
    Scorsese's short in "New York Stories" with Nick Nolte as a De Kooning-style action painter slashing away at giant canvases is a good depiction of modern art at its most whole body movement masculine.
    , @Dim Mak

    It is an established fact that women, speaking generally, have better small digit coordination than do men while men are better at whole body efforts such as throwing a ball or planing a board.
     
    Sure, but that's ignoring bell curve distributions. It might be that just as with IQ, men have a flatter distribution of fine motor coordination ability, leaving the right end of the bell curve dominated by men despite their pooer average performance.

    Secondly, fine motor coordination might be highly trainable. It could be that typically femenine tasks and hobbies like knitting and sewing Sufficiently train women to be on average better than men, even if the underlying ability were identical..

    Thirdly, it's possible that male painters paint with whole body coordination even when rendering fine details, for example minutely adjusting stance or seated posture , or even breath to finely adjust brushstrokes.

    Anyay, I don't know of any evidence that male painters suffer from any disability in creating fine detail in practice vs. female painters. It could be so, but I don't know of it.
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  8. See also:

    “What Am I, Chopped Liver?”

    http://www.womeninsciencefiction.com/?p=507

    One major cause of an artist’s fame is influencing famous followers.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Anxiety_of_Influence

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  9. TangoMan says:

    OT – With the trend of black actors playing white characters being in overdrive I’ve longed hoped for Edgar Winter to be cast as Nelson Mandela in a biopic and as I wait for this to happen I suppose I’ll have to make do with Joseph Fiennes being cast as Micheal Jackson in British TV production.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Fredrik
    I heard Jada Smith complained about a White British actor being cast as a Mexican drug lord.

    Or maybe she didn't

    http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/movies/moviesnow/la-et-mn-charlie-hunnam-edgar-valdez-villarreal-diversity-20160124-story.html
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  10. Wikipedia says the Louvre collection contains roughly 5500 paintings by 1400 artists born before 1900 (500 French by birth).

    21 of the 1400 painters are women (all but one French?), with a total of 41 works out of 5500.

    Marie-Guillemine Benoist (1768–1826), 1 artwork
    Élise Bruyère (1776–1847), 1 artwork
    Élisabeth Sophie Chéron (1648–1711), 2 artworks
    Eugénie Dalton (1802–1859), 1 artwork
    Madeleine Goblot (d. after 1892), 1 artwork
    Hortense Haudebourt-Lescot (1784–1845), 4 artworks
    Joséphine Houssais, 1 artwork
    Angelica Kauffman (1741–1807), 1 artwork
    Adèle de Kercado (19th century), 1 artwork
    Adélaïde Labille-Guiard (1749–1803), 1 artwork
    Judith Leyster (1609–1660), 1 artwork
    Catherine Lusurier (1753–1785), 1 artwork
    Constance Mayer (1775–1821), 3 artworks
    Louise Moillon (1609–1696), 3 artworks
    Julie Philipault (1780–1834), 1 artwork
    Rose Marie Pruvost (1897–?), 2 artworks
    Théa Schleusner (1879–1964), 1 artwork
    Nanine Vallain (1767–1815), 1 artwork
    Anne Vallayer-Coster (1744–1818), 5 artworks
    Louise Élisabeth Vigée Le Brun (1755–1842), 8 artworks
    Marie-Denise Villers (1774–1821), 1 artwork

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catalog_of_paintings_in_the_Louvre_Museum

    It’s odd because I had a vague memory that at one time Vigée-Lebrun was the only woman painter at the Louvre. Perhaps they made an effort since. Also there’s a distinction between the number of paintings on display and the much larger number of paintings of the collection in storage.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    The Louvre's paintings are particularly heroic in scale. For example, Theodore Gericault's "Raft of the Medusa" is 24' x 16'. And the Louvre has a lot of others almost as large. (The "Mona Lisa" is quite small, though.)

    There are a lot of little biases toward the masculine in the art world -- e.g., the Louvre is the most famous museum and it features a lot of insanely large canvases that very few women could even imagine painting -- that add up to a big bias.

    , @Desiderius
    I had a vague memory that at one time Vigée-Lebrun was the only woman painter at the Louvre.

    There is something uniquely delightful about her The Marquise de Pezay, and the Marquise de Rougé with Her Sons Alexis and Adrien, 1787, at the National Gallery in DC.

    https://www.artsy.net/artwork/elisabeth-louise-vigee-le-brun-the-marquise-de-pezay-and-the-marquise-de-rouge-with-her-sons-alexis-and-adrien

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  11. Stogumber says:

    Same way, I’ve always seen James Joyce as a guy novelists’ guy novelist. Not really interesting, if you don’t write yourself and look for interesting literary techniques.

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    • Replies: @hh
    Thank's Stogumber! You gave me a sigh of relief! I really thought there was something wrong about me.
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  12. @European-American
    Wikipedia says the Louvre collection contains roughly 5500 paintings by 1400 artists born before 1900 (500 French by birth).

    21 of the 1400 painters are women (all but one French?), with a total of 41 works out of 5500.

    Marie-Guillemine Benoist (1768–1826), 1 artwork
    Élise Bruyère (1776–1847), 1 artwork
    Élisabeth Sophie Chéron (1648–1711), 2 artworks
    Eugénie Dalton (1802–1859), 1 artwork
    Madeleine Goblot (d. after 1892), 1 artwork
    Hortense Haudebourt-Lescot (1784–1845), 4 artworks
    Joséphine Houssais, 1 artwork
    Angelica Kauffman (1741–1807), 1 artwork
    Adèle de Kercado (19th century), 1 artwork
    Adélaïde Labille-Guiard (1749–1803), 1 artwork
    Judith Leyster (1609–1660), 1 artwork
    Catherine Lusurier (1753–1785), 1 artwork
    Constance Mayer (1775–1821), 3 artworks
    Louise Moillon (1609–1696), 3 artworks
    Julie Philipault (1780–1834), 1 artwork
    Rose Marie Pruvost (1897–?), 2 artworks
    Théa Schleusner (1879–1964), 1 artwork
    Nanine Vallain (1767–1815), 1 artwork
    Anne Vallayer-Coster (1744–1818), 5 artworks
    Louise Élisabeth Vigée Le Brun (1755–1842), 8 artworks
    Marie-Denise Villers (1774–1821), 1 artwork

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catalog_of_paintings_in_the_Louvre_Museum

    It's odd because I had a vague memory that at one time Vigée-Lebrun was the only woman painter at the Louvre. Perhaps they made an effort since. Also there's a distinction between the number of paintings on display and the much larger number of paintings of the collection in storage.

    The Louvre’s paintings are particularly heroic in scale. For example, Theodore Gericault’s “Raft of the Medusa” is 24′ x 16′. And the Louvre has a lot of others almost as large. (The “Mona Lisa” is quite small, though.)

    There are a lot of little biases toward the masculine in the art world — e.g., the Louvre is the most famous museum and it features a lot of insanely large canvases that very few women could even imagine painting — that add up to a big bias.

    Read More
    • Replies: @European-American
    Just to compare, across the river from the Louvre, the Musée d'Orsay, with mostly French art dating from 1848 to 1915, has 3090 women painters out of 23,900 (10 times more painters than the Louvre for a period 10 times shorter?!), so 13% women painters vs. the Louvre's 1.5%. Don't know what the proportion is if you count the artworks.

    Still, even at Orsay, I suspect 99.9% of the paintings people come to see are by men.

    There are the three "grandes dames" of Impressionism: Berthe Morisot, Marie Bracquemond, and Mary Cassatt... OK...

    http://www.musee-orsay.fr/fr/espace-professionnels/professionnels/chercheurs/rech-rec-art-home/repertoire-des-artistes-accueil.html

    , @syonredux

    The Louvre’s paintings are particularly heroic in scale. For example, Theodore Gericault’s “Raft of the Medusa” is 24′ x 16′. And the Louvre has a lot of others almost as large. (The “Mona Lisa” is quite small, though.)

    There are a lot of little biases toward the masculine in the art world — e.g., the Louvre is the most famous museum and it features a lot of insanely large canvases that very few women could even imagine painting — that add up to a big bias.
     
    Camille Paglia once noted that giganticism in art is inherently a masculine mode. Hence, for a woman to employ it, she must first unsex herself...
    , @Kevin O'Keeffe
    "The Louvre’s paintings are particularly heroic in scale. For example, Theodore Gericault’s 'Raft of the Medusa' is 24′ x 16′. And the Louvre has a lot of others almost as large. (The 'Mona Lisa' is quite small, though.)...the Louvre is the most famous museum and it features a lot of insanely large canvases that very few women could even imagine painting..."

    When I was growing up, I somehow missed out on the idea that gigantic canvases were a thing. Then I visited the Salvador Dali museum in St. Petersburg, Florida, in 1991, and they had a couple of his enormous paintings on display (around the same size as "The Medusa," if not larger), and it struck me as quite amazing. A very different enterprise entirely than some twee little canvas being daubed at by some shy art student, or nice old lady.
    , @vinteuil
    I don't think sheer size has much to do with anything. Generally speaking, in the great European art galleries the big halls with the giant canvasses are the ones you hurry through on the way to more important things. There are exceptions, of course, and some of them are very famous, like Gericault's "Raft of the Medusa" - but they're *exceptions.*
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  13. 200 years ago was of course before the advent of photography.

    A very large reason for the existence of painting originally was to paint portraits (such as the 2 self-portraits you show) and other realistic images.

    The inevitable movement away from realism that followed favored crazed geniuses who were proportionally male.

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    • Replies: @guest
    That's a common explanation, but that dog won't hunt. "Crazed geniuses" took over the rest of the art world at around the same time. Unless somehow photography ruined poetry, novels, plays, music, sculpture, and architecture, too. (I'm not as sure on the timeline of architecture, now that I think of it; there might have been a bit of a delay in its ruination.)
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  14. Robbie says:

    I think commentator DavidB is the reason why the ‘alt right’ movement in America is going to fail spectacularly.

    There’s a sneering hate-filled quality towards women in the comment.

    I remember pre-Chateau days on the American right and post-Chateau days and they are not equal.

    It’s really sad.

    And yes Steve is right…I’ve posted this years ago on this blog…There is a Girl World in which you guys are not invited. As a woman I have female ‘idols’ that I think are absolute geniuses equal to Steve but they operate in this ‘Girl Sphere’ so men just don’t get it. But they are just as important…in fact in the last few years since the alt-right has gone down the Heartiste Path of Hate (have you seen the sneering posts about European women wanting the strong hand of Islam?)….The females I admire are truly the last bastions of hope for the West.

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    • Replies: @Old fogey
    Interesting comment. Please be so kind as to give us some examples of the female "geniuses" that you have found. I would love to increase my list of bloggers worth reading.
    , @TomSchmidt
    I think, Ithink, that the Heartiste perspective was a necessary corrective to the pedestalization too many men engaged in. Women, indeed, are not "sugar and spice and everything nice." The discovery of the essential lie propagated to them causes them to become unhinged, to declare war on the other half of their own species.

    I don't think Heartiste is like that. Rather, he sees both the treachery and the utter delightful wonder that is woman. He has not been able to get most of his followers to this Aristotelian Mean of seeing them neither as all virtuous ladies, nor all degraded whores. Give it time; it takes a while after being plunged under the ice water of reality before one surfaces again, and some never make it.
    , @Formerly CARealist
    Are you a Phyllis Schlafly acolyte? She's still got some killer spark goin' on. Did you see her quotes about NR and conservatism?

    Don't worry about the faint animus against women from some of these commenters. This is largely a product of the divorce revolution and comes no where near what even moderate feministas spew on a regular basis against men.

    Men and women will never stop needing each other. And we all know it.
    , @guest
    Feminists have been spectacularly successful compared to the Other Right, and they're vileness toward men makes the above poster sound as friendly as Barney the Dinosaur. Plus, he has truth on his side.
    , @Charlotte Allen
    I know exactly how you feel.

    I actually agree with what Heartiste says about the weaknesses of women--and I've written about them myself (check my blog, Stupid Girl), but his commenters (and those on other "men's rights" blogs) drive me crazy. All they do is complain about the bad deals they got in their divorces, and after a while it's hard not to sympathize with their ex-wives. It takes two to tango, after all, and if their ex-wives were so awful, why did they marry them in the first place?

    I'd start sleeping with the pool-boy myself if I had to put up with any of those whining humorless tightwads who complain about having to support their own children.

    Then, when I make a comment to that effect, does the C-word ever start to flow in my direction! What a bunch!

    , @vinteuil
    "There’s a sneering hate-filled quality towards women in the comment."

    Could you be more specific? What particular word, phrase or passage are you objecting to?

    I honestly just don't see it.
    , @Jonathan Silber
    Women artists may have talent, but no genius.
    , @DavidB
    'There’s a sneering hate-filled quality towards women in the comment.'

    Whoa, where do you get that from? Certainly not from anything in my comment. A sneering disdain for the feminist industry, maybe, but that is not to be confused with 'women', whatever the industry might want us to believe. As it happens, I genuinely like and admire all the women artists I mentioned, except for Frida Kahlo, who was an incompetent dauber. My point was that in recent years they have been hyped by feminists beyond their merit in comparison to equally or more talented male artists. A striking example is Gwen John. She is now regarded by bien-pensant art critics as a greater artist than her brilliant brother Augustus: Gwen has a monograph to herself in the Tate Gallery's 'British Artists' series; her brother, none. Was she really better than him? By most counts, no: Augustus was more prolific, more naturally gifted (judged by his brushwork, etc) and more versatile. But Gwen was arguably 'deeper' in her narrower sphere. It is like comparing Jane Austen and Dickens. I'm not saying that Augustus was a greater artist, just that I don't see any basis for the current higher valuation of Gwen. Incidentally I also admire other women artists I haven't mentioned, such as Mary Cassatt, Laura Knight, and Winifred Nicholson, but they haven't, as yet, been 'boosted' out of all proportion.
    , @Kylie
    Who says women can't be as funny as men?
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  15. @Steve Sailer
    The Louvre's paintings are particularly heroic in scale. For example, Theodore Gericault's "Raft of the Medusa" is 24' x 16'. And the Louvre has a lot of others almost as large. (The "Mona Lisa" is quite small, though.)

    There are a lot of little biases toward the masculine in the art world -- e.g., the Louvre is the most famous museum and it features a lot of insanely large canvases that very few women could even imagine painting -- that add up to a big bias.

    Just to compare, across the river from the Louvre, the Musée d’Orsay, with mostly French art dating from 1848 to 1915, has 3090 women painters out of 23,900 (10 times more painters than the Louvre for a period 10 times shorter?!), so 13% women painters vs. the Louvre’s 1.5%. Don’t know what the proportion is if you count the artworks.

    Still, even at Orsay, I suspect 99.9% of the paintings people come to see are by men.

    There are the three “grandes dames” of Impressionism: Berthe Morisot, Marie Bracquemond, and Mary Cassatt… OK…

    http://www.musee-orsay.fr/fr/espace-professionnels/professionnels/chercheurs/rech-rec-art-home/repertoire-des-artistes-accueil.html

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  16. BTW you’ll notice from the 2 pictures above how the art of self-portraiture has changed:

    http://thehill.com/policy/energy-environment/252576-obama-wields-selfie-stick-at-alaska-national-park

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  17. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer

    If you don’t get Cezanne you aren’t looking hard enough. And no, it doesn’t have to do with how many artists you have influenced. That’s Art History not Art. No one knew who Vermeer was for 200 years after his death.

    Cezanne was trying to paint with color and light dark at the same time. Hardest thing to do in painting and all great painters do it. Picasso was lousy with color. Had no idea what to do with it. Cezanne was trying to give solid form to Impressionist color. Adding the tradition to color.

    FYI: Richard Diebenkorn, from California, heavily influenced by Cezanne and Matisse was a better painter than Picasso. Completely solved the color/light dark problem.

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    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    http://i.telegraph.co.uk/multimedia/archive/03224/Diebenkorn_3224896b.jpg
    , @guest
    "Cezanne was trying to give solid form to Impressionist color"

    Why, on earth? And why give him a pass on missing everything else for the sake of that? Beethoven, for instance, is praised for his formal innovation, his dynamics , and his harmony. They don't mention his melodies like they do for Mozart or Tchaikovsky. But it's not as if he has no tunes. He has several of the most popular ever written. Only in modern art do we see masters specializing in one aspect of their art only. Cezanne was an incompetent draftsman, among countless other failings. Color is really all he had going for him. That's not enough, hence his obvious unpopularity, despite endless promotion.
    , @vinteuil
    "Richard Diebenkorn...completely solved the color/light dark problem."

    OK, I'll bite - what's the "color/light dark problem?" Googling the phrase turned up nothing useful, so I tried the Wikipedia article on Diebenkorn - again, nothing.

    Are you, by any chance, trying to baffle people with B.S.?

    In the course of getting my PhD. in Philosophy, specializing in aesthetics, I had to read many hundreds of pages of modernist/post-modernist/post-post-modernist "art" "theory."

    Never once was I dazzled by brilliance.
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  18. carol says:

    while reading the history of music I was struck by the number of women pianists who were respected and favored by composers, Clara Wieck Schumann the most well known I guess. They They don’t reach stratospheric fame but then few do before Paganini came along and changed the performance circuit forever. It was very tough to tour in those days, and women had the usual drawbacks of family and weak constitution.

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    • Replies: @SD
    Women violinists and pianists are all the rage now, and looking hot doesn't hurt.
    , @vinteuil
    "They don’t reach stratospheric fame..."

    Those who deserved it *did* reach "stratospheric fame" - Wanda Landowska, Guiomar Novaes, Alicia de Larrocha - not to mention the greatest of all living pianists, Martha Argerich.
    , @neon2
    But Clara Schumann most certainly did reach what was, for the time, "stratospheric fame". She was universally considered the finest woman pianist of the time, and a great one tout court.
    She was also revered as the wife of a genius, and, widowed too early, the mother of seven brilliant and therefore difficult children. She was a sympathetic helpmate to many an aspiring composer, from her own half-brother Woldemar Bargiel to her almost lover Johannes Brahms.
    She toured constantly, often with Joseph Joachim, the great violinist and family friend, and very often to England which, musically, did not much impress her.
    She was the most influential (and very much loved) woman in the musical world of Germany (and therefore Europe) even after the appearance of the rather less loved Cosima Wagner.
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  19. @Anonymous
    If you don't get Cezanne you aren't looking hard enough. And no, it doesn't have to do with how many artists you have influenced. That's Art History not Art. No one knew who Vermeer was for 200 years after his death.

    Cezanne was trying to paint with color and light dark at the same time. Hardest thing to do in painting and all great painters do it. Picasso was lousy with color. Had no idea what to do with it. Cezanne was trying to give solid form to Impressionist color. Adding the tradition to color.

    FYI: Richard Diebenkorn, from California, heavily influenced by Cezanne and Matisse was a better painter than Picasso. Completely solved the color/light dark problem.

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    • Replies: @Lagertha
    a favorite...where in California? Near Laguna Beach?
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  20. It’s clear that women are substantially less accomplished than men in the higher ranges of achievement of most forms of visual art: painting, sculpture, architecture. There is no such divide in certain forms of handiwork, such as potting or bookbinding. There doesn’t seem to be much interest in identifying those fields of which it can truly be said that there is no natural advantage of men over women, or vice versa. For instance, while men are clearly much more accomplished than women at musical composition, the laurels for musical performance might be evenly divided. To my knowledge, no one has ever made a point of arguing that men are better singers than women, for instance, or better dancers. Outside of the arts, while much female employment and advancement stems from affirmative action, there are certain fields where there is no discernible difference in aptitude. In most fields of medicine, for instance, I would not have the slightest hesitation in being treated by a (white or Asian) woman doctor. When Ben Carson walks into the room and says he is going to be your neurosurgeon, however, you know he is only there because of someone’s desire to re-engineer society at your expense. He might be a good singer, though.

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    • Replies: @blankmisgivings
    I think english language poetry and fiction since about 1860 are an arena where women have outperformed compared to other artistic forms hitorically. I would argue you could consume ONLY female poetry and prose since the late nineteenth century to the present and still have a pretty balanced diet of greatness available to you: Dickinson, Woolf, Moore, O'Connor to name just four of the greatest.
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  21. SD says:
    @carol
    while reading the history of music I was struck by the number of women pianists who were respected and favored by composers, Clara Wieck Schumann the most well known I guess. They They don't reach stratospheric fame but then few do before Paganini came along and changed the performance circuit forever. It was very tough to tour in those days, and women had the usual drawbacks of family and weak constitution.

    Women violinists and pianists are all the rage now, and looking hot doesn’t hurt.

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    • Replies: @carol
    oh yes, and I notice all but the most elite orchestras have many more good looking women now. Also, many Asians...very few blacks. (Bernstein got mau-maued over the issue but I don't think he gave way much.)
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  22. DWright says:

    I noticed they are trying to elevate Edward Hopper’s wife to an artistic level never noticed before, like Frieda Kahlo .
    Art historical revisionism?

    Still much good and great art out there just not in recognized in the what is considered mainstream art circles. Porn, politics and poseurs.

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  23. Old fogey says:
    @Robbie
    I think commentator DavidB is the reason why the 'alt right' movement in America is going to fail spectacularly.

    There's a sneering hate-filled quality towards women in the comment.

    I remember pre-Chateau days on the American right and post-Chateau days and they are not equal.

    It's really sad.

    And yes Steve is right...I've posted this years ago on this blog...There is a Girl World in which you guys are not invited. As a woman I have female 'idols' that I think are absolute geniuses equal to Steve but they operate in this 'Girl Sphere' so men just don't get it. But they are just as important...in fact in the last few years since the alt-right has gone down the Heartiste Path of Hate (have you seen the sneering posts about European women wanting the strong hand of Islam?)....The females I admire are truly the last bastions of hope for the West.

    Interesting comment. Please be so kind as to give us some examples of the female “geniuses” that you have found. I would love to increase my list of bloggers worth reading.

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  24. @Robbie
    I think commentator DavidB is the reason why the 'alt right' movement in America is going to fail spectacularly.

    There's a sneering hate-filled quality towards women in the comment.

    I remember pre-Chateau days on the American right and post-Chateau days and they are not equal.

    It's really sad.

    And yes Steve is right...I've posted this years ago on this blog...There is a Girl World in which you guys are not invited. As a woman I have female 'idols' that I think are absolute geniuses equal to Steve but they operate in this 'Girl Sphere' so men just don't get it. But they are just as important...in fact in the last few years since the alt-right has gone down the Heartiste Path of Hate (have you seen the sneering posts about European women wanting the strong hand of Islam?)....The females I admire are truly the last bastions of hope for the West.

    I think, Ithink, that the Heartiste perspective was a necessary corrective to the pedestalization too many men engaged in. Women, indeed, are not “sugar and spice and everything nice.” The discovery of the essential lie propagated to them causes them to become unhinged, to declare war on the other half of their own species.

    I don’t think Heartiste is like that. Rather, he sees both the treachery and the utter delightful wonder that is woman. He has not been able to get most of his followers to this Aristotelian Mean of seeing them neither as all virtuous ladies, nor all degraded whores. Give it time; it takes a while after being plunged under the ice water of reality before one surfaces again, and some never make it.

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    • Replies: @Threecranes
    In affairs of the heart there is no Aristotelian Mean. What happens is women push until men push back and vice versa. That's why it's called the "battle of the sexes". At no point is this tension balanced on the razor's edge--or if it is it is only for an elusive, hypothetical moment.

    Remember, two things are in their greatest state of flux when they are most equal and move but modestly with respect to one another when they approach maximum disparity. If only we could stop this roller coaster--but then, we'd be dead.

    "The aim is to balance the terror of being alive with the wonder of being alive." Carlos Castaneda
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  25. snorlax says:

    OT: In move sure to boost sales, Mattel has given in to the SJWs and has made Barbie fat.

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    • Replies: @snorlax, @Lagertha
    my laugh wrinkles are getting worse today! I wonder if Fat Barbie comes with a bag full of Weight Watchers packages or a treadmill?
    , @HEL
    I love how fat Barbie has blue hair. But where is her slut-walk picket sign?
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  26. snorlax says:
    @snorlax
    OT: In move sure to boost sales, Mattel has given in to the SJWs and has made Barbie fat.
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  27. dearieme says:

    Never mind. Women constitute 100% of the mothers of famous painters.

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    • Agree: Jacobite
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  28. hh says:
    @Stogumber
    Same way, I've always seen James Joyce as a guy novelists' guy novelist. Not really interesting, if you don't write yourself and look for interesting literary techniques.

    Thank’s Stogumber! You gave me a sigh of relief! I really thought there was something wrong about me.

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  29. woodNfish says:

    Put them together and it would suggest that a female artist’s fame is likely to fade out faster because her followers’ followers are considerably less likely to be famous than a male artist’s.

    Personally, I blame the man-hating feminist movement. Men don’t like bitches and the fact is most women are idiots. I’m not being misogynist, my wife agrees with the second part of that statement. And yes, it really is just that simple.

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    • Replies: @Lagertha
    as a mother (and artist) of three sons, I hate the misandrist movement lately, too. My brilliant sons are avoiding U's where they will be either looked at as someone whose consciousness needs to be raised about their male privilege/wp or where they are looked at as a dumb jock/potential rapist. My close friend, (has both boys and girls) said, pretty soon they'll have AA for white guys at the elite U's. However, her brainiac daughter (majors in math) didn't get into the elite U's either.
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  30. @European-American
    Wikipedia says the Louvre collection contains roughly 5500 paintings by 1400 artists born before 1900 (500 French by birth).

    21 of the 1400 painters are women (all but one French?), with a total of 41 works out of 5500.

    Marie-Guillemine Benoist (1768–1826), 1 artwork
    Élise Bruyère (1776–1847), 1 artwork
    Élisabeth Sophie Chéron (1648–1711), 2 artworks
    Eugénie Dalton (1802–1859), 1 artwork
    Madeleine Goblot (d. after 1892), 1 artwork
    Hortense Haudebourt-Lescot (1784–1845), 4 artworks
    Joséphine Houssais, 1 artwork
    Angelica Kauffman (1741–1807), 1 artwork
    Adèle de Kercado (19th century), 1 artwork
    Adélaïde Labille-Guiard (1749–1803), 1 artwork
    Judith Leyster (1609–1660), 1 artwork
    Catherine Lusurier (1753–1785), 1 artwork
    Constance Mayer (1775–1821), 3 artworks
    Louise Moillon (1609–1696), 3 artworks
    Julie Philipault (1780–1834), 1 artwork
    Rose Marie Pruvost (1897–?), 2 artworks
    Théa Schleusner (1879–1964), 1 artwork
    Nanine Vallain (1767–1815), 1 artwork
    Anne Vallayer-Coster (1744–1818), 5 artworks
    Louise Élisabeth Vigée Le Brun (1755–1842), 8 artworks
    Marie-Denise Villers (1774–1821), 1 artwork

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catalog_of_paintings_in_the_Louvre_Museum

    It's odd because I had a vague memory that at one time Vigée-Lebrun was the only woman painter at the Louvre. Perhaps they made an effort since. Also there's a distinction between the number of paintings on display and the much larger number of paintings of the collection in storage.

    I had a vague memory that at one time Vigée-Lebrun was the only woman painter at the Louvre.

    There is something uniquely delightful about her The Marquise de Pezay, and the Marquise de Rougé with Her Sons Alexis and Adrien, 1787, at the National Gallery in DC.

    https://www.artsy.net/artwork/elisabeth-louise-vigee-le-brun-the-marquise-de-pezay-and-the-marquise-de-rouge-with-her-sons-alexis-and-adrien

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    • Replies: @Justpassingby
    If you study the contours of the striped dress of whom I'm guessing is the Marquise de Rouge...Wow!
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  31. Women Made Up Sizable Fraction of Top Painters 200 Years Ago

    Women made up a sizable fraction of the canvas 400 years ago:

    http://www.pariscultureguide.com/peter-paul-rubens.html

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    • Replies: @Lagertha
    ha, ha, haa, so funny. Have a big grin on my face....ooh, must be careful to avoid deeper "laugh wrinkles!"
    , @SFG
    Feminists really love that example, but while the anorexic ideal is kind of a new thing, really big gals are, well, never all that popular, much like nerds. Rubens was a chub-chaser, but still a great artist nonetheless.
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  32. syonredux says:
    @Steve Sailer
    The Louvre's paintings are particularly heroic in scale. For example, Theodore Gericault's "Raft of the Medusa" is 24' x 16'. And the Louvre has a lot of others almost as large. (The "Mona Lisa" is quite small, though.)

    There are a lot of little biases toward the masculine in the art world -- e.g., the Louvre is the most famous museum and it features a lot of insanely large canvases that very few women could even imagine painting -- that add up to a big bias.

    The Louvre’s paintings are particularly heroic in scale. For example, Theodore Gericault’s “Raft of the Medusa” is 24′ x 16′. And the Louvre has a lot of others almost as large. (The “Mona Lisa” is quite small, though.)

    There are a lot of little biases toward the masculine in the art world — e.g., the Louvre is the most famous museum and it features a lot of insanely large canvases that very few women could even imagine painting — that add up to a big bias.

    Camille Paglia once noted that giganticism in art is inherently a masculine mode. Hence, for a woman to employ it, she must first unsex herself…

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    • Replies: @Justpassingby

    Hence, for a woman to employ it, she must first unsex herself…
     
    Yawn....

    Consider the size of the "canvas" of the lady sculptor Sailer wrote of a few posts ago.

    PS. Note to website administrators: The Unz spell checker considers "Sailer", not to mention "Unz", misspellings.
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  33. syonredux says:

    Second, assume that male followers are five or ten times as likely to become famous themselves as female followers.

    A very likely assumption:

    Why Men Rule: A Theory of Male Dominance
    by Steven Goldberg

    The first edition of this book was lavishly praised by many authorities as the most formidable demonstration of an unpopular truth: males rule in all societies known to history or anthropology, for reasons arising from innate physiology, a brute fact that can never be conjured away by tinkering with social institutions. This new edition has been completely rewritten in the light of two decades of scholarship and debate, taking account of all published criticisms of earlier editions.

    http://www.amazon.com/Why-Men-Rule-Theory-Dominance/dp/0812692373

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    • Replies: @Justpassingby
    Easily explained. For all our artistic and intellectual accomplishments, if men weren't physically stronger than women we'd have no chance at all.

    P**sy is the undefeated, untied, un-scored upon champion.

    Consider our modern Philosophous Glorioso Roissy or Heartsite or whatever his idiotic name is. What's he trying to get? He ain't trying to get the Nobel Prize. He ain't trying to get into the French Academy. He's trying to get p**sy.

    And I put it to you, who's in charge of p**sy?

    [Sorry to use such vulgar language but, God damn.]

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  34. Then in the late 20th century the feminism industry digs them up again and their reputation is hyped out of all proportion.

    This happened in music with Mrs H H A Beach, whom her modern champions rather presumptiously refer to as “Amy”.

    However, she could be quite the nationalist and even racialist, chiding Antonin Dvořak for his suggestion that Americans forgo the British Isle and take inspiration fron our blacks and Indians instead. Such Trumpian bluster is embarrassing to today’s Social Just-Us Warriors.

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    • Replies: @vinteuil
    "This happened in music with Mrs H H A Beach"

    Yes - exactly. She was a talented musician, and she enjoyed a fine career, with plenty of encouragement.

    Her compositions are invariably workmanlike & make for reasonably pleasant listening.

    But the only reason anybody remembers her now is because she was a she.
    , @neon2
    This fits in with an earlier posting of mine about the political stance of composers, the general point being that Wagner was not the only German musician with views likely to be frowned upon by the mindlessly bien pensant.
    The Schumann family was very matter of factly right wing. When one of the composers daughters, who lived in Switzerland, was visited by relations in the mid 1930s (she died in 1938), she spoke with quiet satisfaction of the splendid strides being made by the exciting new regime which was bringing her beloved homeland out of the chaos of the post-war years.
    And what is with this "even" racialist? Everybody who had eyes to see and a brain to deduce with was "racialist" in those halcyon days.
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  35. Fredrik says:
    @TangoMan
    OT - With the trend of black actors playing white characters being in overdrive I've longed hoped for Edgar Winter to be cast as Nelson Mandela in a biopic and as I wait for this to happen I suppose I'll have to make do with Joseph Fiennes being cast as Micheal Jackson in British TV production.

    I heard Jada Smith complained about a White British actor being cast as a Mexican drug lord.

    Or maybe she didn’t

    http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/movies/moviesnow/la-et-mn-charlie-hunnam-edgar-valdez-villarreal-diversity-20160124-story.html

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  36. Lagertha says:
    @Reg Cæsar

    Women Made Up Sizable Fraction of Top Painters 200 Years Ago
     
    Women made up a sizable fraction of the canvas 400 years ago:

    http://www.pariscultureguide.com/peter-paul-rubens.html

    ha, ha, haa, so funny. Have a big grin on my face….ooh, must be careful to avoid deeper “laugh wrinkles!”

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  37. tbraton says:

    “(You can hear the militarization of tastes by comparing Mozart [d. 1791] to Beethoven.)”

    I’m still betting on Mozart to beat Beethoven in the fight you are promoting.

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  38. At least one significant portion of the explanation of women having less influence, and more generally being less likely to have a reputation that endures, is the usual one regarding the relatively thinner right tails for women than for men — quite possibly due to smaller variances for women.

    Probably those painters whose reputations endure are at least a standard deviation above those whose reputations don’t. That will have a far greater effect proportionally on women than on men.

    See LaGriffe for how this applies in math, and extend the analysis to painting.

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    • Replies: @Justpassingby

    At least one significant portion of the explanation of women having less influence, and more generally being less likely to have a reputation that endures, is the usual one regarding the relatively thinner right tails for women than for men — quite possibly due to smaller variances for women.
     
    Let me explain it slowly. Men need "influence" to get women. Women do not need "influence" to get men.

    Men evolved (that's a word Sailer and his hero Galton love, so I'll use it here) the right side of the Bell Curve to get women. Women didn't have to do that to get men. Could they have, had they needed to? Being animals not much different from men, probably so.
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  39. “I found three women out of 20 artists mentioned on the official roster of Sperone Westwater—that is 15%. (All shown, incidentally, with serious black and white photographs next to their names, making it difficult to tell what sex they are.)”

    I found this amusing. Most of the women I know, do not suddenly become sexually ambiguous, merely because they are depicted as unsmiling in a black-and-white photograph.

    “It will be interesting to see what happens to the reputation of such female art ‘giants’ of the 20th century as Gwen John, Frieda Kahlo and Georgia O’Keefe.”

    That’s “O’Keeffe.” With two Fs. Just like in my name. Which figures, since we’re both descended from my great-great-great-grandfather.

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    • Replies: @DavidB
    I can't help it if your relatives misspell their name. The version with one 'f' is much more common.
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  40. Jonah says:

    These painting statistics are illustrative of a larger point: female excellence has plateaued across the board.

    As Steve so often says, the Left forgets that it has been in charge – at least in the West – for a very long time. The last woman who was disadvantaged educationally because of her gender is what… 60 years old now?

    I can’t think of a single industry or domain of knowledge where I’d expect to see a big uptick in female achievement at the highest level. You might say that human capital isn’t being developed efficiently in the 3rd world, and to the detriment of women. But that’s the 3rd world. Nobody there is terribly high achieving.

    tl;dr… Ladies: get used to how things are now. You gals are probably gonna be represented (in boardrooms, science, film, art, everything) at current levels for the rest of your lives.

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    • Replies: @Jacobite

    The last woman who was disadvantaged educationally because of her gender is what… 60 years old now?
     
    Older than that, at least in the Anglosphere.
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  41. @Robbie
    I think commentator DavidB is the reason why the 'alt right' movement in America is going to fail spectacularly.

    There's a sneering hate-filled quality towards women in the comment.

    I remember pre-Chateau days on the American right and post-Chateau days and they are not equal.

    It's really sad.

    And yes Steve is right...I've posted this years ago on this blog...There is a Girl World in which you guys are not invited. As a woman I have female 'idols' that I think are absolute geniuses equal to Steve but they operate in this 'Girl Sphere' so men just don't get it. But they are just as important...in fact in the last few years since the alt-right has gone down the Heartiste Path of Hate (have you seen the sneering posts about European women wanting the strong hand of Islam?)....The females I admire are truly the last bastions of hope for the West.

    Are you a Phyllis Schlafly acolyte? She’s still got some killer spark goin’ on. Did you see her quotes about NR and conservatism?

    Don’t worry about the faint animus against women from some of these commenters. This is largely a product of the divorce revolution and comes no where near what even moderate feministas spew on a regular basis against men.

    Men and women will never stop needing each other. And we all know it.

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  42. @Steve Sailer
    The Louvre's paintings are particularly heroic in scale. For example, Theodore Gericault's "Raft of the Medusa" is 24' x 16'. And the Louvre has a lot of others almost as large. (The "Mona Lisa" is quite small, though.)

    There are a lot of little biases toward the masculine in the art world -- e.g., the Louvre is the most famous museum and it features a lot of insanely large canvases that very few women could even imagine painting -- that add up to a big bias.

    “The Louvre’s paintings are particularly heroic in scale. For example, Theodore Gericault’s ‘Raft of the Medusa’ is 24′ x 16′. And the Louvre has a lot of others almost as large. (The ‘Mona Lisa’ is quite small, though.)…the Louvre is the most famous museum and it features a lot of insanely large canvases that very few women could even imagine painting…”

    When I was growing up, I somehow missed out on the idea that gigantic canvases were a thing. Then I visited the Salvador Dali museum in St. Petersburg, Florida, in 1991, and they had a couple of his enormous paintings on display (around the same size as “The Medusa,” if not larger), and it struck me as quite amazing. A very different enterprise entirely than some twee little canvas being daubed at by some shy art student, or nice old lady.

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    • Replies: @Lagertha
    I was similarly blown-away by the gigantic Rosa Bonheur painting, The Horse Fair, as a little girl at the Met. Of course, I loved horses (let's not get into that) but the size of the painting is amazing. Bonheur had a very interesting life...and, she did fall into obscurity, but check out her story some time...surprised we haven't seen a movie about her life, yet...she was unusual.

    OT: sorry spelled O'Keeffe wrong in my post.

    Also OT: Mary Cassatt never had children, yet she seemed to have a fulfilling life hanging out with the Impressionists for long periods of time. And, check out another really weird artist, well, more of a model: Lizzie Siddall. The Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood kinda' paved the path for the Impressionists as far as blowing off the Paris Salon (gateway to money). Lizzie Siddall's story is quite Gothic...especially when Rosetti decides to have his wife's body exhumed because he regretted he slipped his poetry manuscript into her coffin! Supposedly her red hair was longer and yet her corpse looked sort of o.k.(somebody make a movie about this couple!) This was done in the cover of darkness and secrecy...but to no avail because Rosetti (vision was failing) never revived his career after Lizzie died. Having a child was also difficult for them.
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  43. guest says:

    Cezanne does illuminate what at least a third of what modern painting is about, namely crappy drawing. The other major aspects are best exemplified by Malevich (abstraction) and explained by Tom Wolfe (flatness). But if you want to know the narrative, I suggest not starting with any of these. Go back to Impressionism, which, despite being popular (unlike Cezanne), set the stage for the tragic fall.

    It’s not my favorite era, but it is still beautiful and still within the tradition of great painting. Broadly construed, impressionism might be said to be one of the two major overarching styles in the history of Western painting, the other being Raphaelian classicism. But the particular, capital “I” impressionism that came to dominate the schools in the late 19th century dangerously emphasized effect over technique. They miseducated the next generation, failing to teach them how to paint any other way.

    The old apprentice system (atelier) had broken down by that point, though it survives in some form to this day. Blame the art schools as much as impressionism, for without them it’s hard to imagine bad technique, or no technique, becoming *the* technique. Nowadays, while art schools still exist, they might as well not. I don’t think they make a difference. That’s how potentially rotten academia is.

    Point is, the post-impressionistic generation,unless they happened to personally train under masters, couldn’t paint in the old way if they wanted to. Which helps explain why they chose ugliness. It doesn’t entirely explain it, because they could’ve chosen mediocrity. If you want to know the whole story you have to study what happen to all of high art around the turn of the 20th century. That’s way too complicated a story to tell here, and probably too complicated a story for me to ever understand. For one thing, modern art isn’t just about novelty, incompetence, and intentional ugliness. A lot of it is neoclassicism, though not my favorite variety of neoclassical.

    For painting, however, I think incompetence tells more of the story. You simply cannot paint like Raphael, nor matter what your talent, without training under someone who knows how. This is covered up by, for instance, showing Picasso’s early work, which is competently enough old-fashioned, and pretending he could’ve been an regular Old Master had he felt like it. No, there’s no evidence for that.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    Picasso claimed that when he was young he could draw like Raphael. Is there any evidence for that assertion?
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  44. Lagertha says:

    Yes and no (Steve’s last line). I think the main reason that there is a dearth of female artists/fame following female artists (strictly talking about painters) is that it is so difficult to have children, even one child, and continue to obsess over your work, spending countless hours alone in your studio. Of course, there are a few exceptions (painters who have one child) who have managed to pursue their work. However, even some of the women I admired who were just one generation older than me, often had family money or a wealthy spouse who could pay the bills (so, still very 19th century). There are some art power couples today who are both artists, and that helps in many ways.

    Georgia O’Keefe’s aura just continues, however, as does Kahlo’s – Mexico loves her and her home is quite a shrine, as is Georgia’s Ghost Ranch & Santa Fe museum dedicated to her art. But both women were not particularly favored by feminists, in my opinion. Frida had her tumultuous, crazy relationship/devotion to Diego which has always bugged a lot of people who always want to put some kind of “women are not represented enough, blah, blah,” angle on art as far as galleries (the “gateway” to stardom). Frida’s dramatic self portraits (especially the ones with Diego on her mind) may rub people the wrong way because they are revolted by her tortured, futile obsession with Diego, Diego, not behaving like a gentleman most of the time.

    Georgia was never going to let anyone put her into some feminist pantheon (my opinion only) because she always, stubbornly, lived (and died) on her own terms. She chose to live out in the middle of nowhere, since Alfred knew how to get her paintings sold. She and Stieglitz were devoted to each other, and, she was very up-front about her abortion (Stieglitz thought children would mess up her career,) and just moved on – you can hear it in her own words in the documentary about her. She also took on Juan Hamilton (he was kinda’ cute) as her vision started to fail, and this was way before Madonna and the concept of boy-toys. I was often struck by how several boyfriends had a portrait of Georgia on their walls. And, all of them said she was like an Icon for them…they couldn’t explain it. Juan Hamilton stayed with her from the early 70′s until her death in 1986 at 98.

    Abstract Expressionism was also a time that sidelined many women artists…my feeling is: they couldn’t relate to it…so, it wasn’t until the rise of Representational art again in the 80′s that women painters dusted themselves off and their work began to emerge in galleries again. By then, too, art had become a commodity, status symbol; and there were plenty of people pursuing art (making product) for galleries to sell for ever-wealthier clients. Wall Street (movie) shows this quite clearly. Really big, schlockmeister paintings on the walls!

    However, the child-thing is the big obstacle…of course, women artists return to work in their 50′s, but they have been “out of the loop” sometimes, too long. But, now with the internet, it is easy to by-pass galleries altogether, and make a modest living if you are still obsessing! I am struck by how often (on my daily walks in the woods) I come across middle-age couples with children who’ve left Brooklyn, moved to N.E., and found a way to balance all this stuff you have to balance if you have a kid and wanna paint. Towns up here, love artists and let them build any kind of studio in their back yard, the heck with zoning boards.

    It is a lot less stressful to become a dentist, accountant, plumber, since being an artist requires you to be obsessive. Art is a sort of compulsion. There are no guarantees for success, financial success or even stability for men and women. There’s an interesting collection of bios of Older Female Artists in the NYT magazine dated 2015, 05, 15. It was kinda’ depressing to read.

    Oh, gonna brag a little: completely accidentally, I met Rauschenberg and Clement Greenberg; they gave me great advice that I will always remember….basically, the “compulsion” side of being an artist.

    Read More
    • Agree: SPMoore8
    • Replies: @guest
    "they couldn't relate to it"

    Neither can most men, because it is inherently cold, inhuman, and barely art. But since when did not relating to something stand in the way? BS is a perfect substitute, and that's what big, male artists and associated promoters ran with. Which isn't to say there weren't true believers, and that these weren't mostly men. I don't know, but let's assume that's so. Success in modern art nevertheless depends on hype and self-promotion, and that favors men whether or not they actually believe in the style.

    , @SPMoore8
    The primary purpose of human life is to reproduce other human life. After that, you can start talking about cultural transmission (many who do not have children do this), and about artistic or technological or intellectual creation. I don't think it's an accident that most of the great minds we have known (historically) were either unmarried, childless, gay, or at minimum had a strong division of labor with their helpmeets in terms of child raising.

    I don't know why women are not as common in terms of creating durable art. But I do know that women have a particular time frame and a particular set of physical characteristics that need to be emphasized for reproduction to take place. And that's always going to hold a woman back, let alone, once the babies are born, women are usually going to do most of the raising.

    With men, none of that applies. A guy can be unattractive, a guy can be relatively old, but he can still reproduce, all he needs is sufficient social status and personal skills to get woman to mate with him. And men rarely do the bulk of the child raising.

    Of course, any single individual can break this paradigm. However, I don't know why a woman would want to sacrifice her reproductive imperative so that she could one of the multitudes who live for some ambition, thing, art, idea, problem, etc. That's the biological bottom line: A man can sacrifice that imperative, for decades, anyway. But a woman cannot. And for every great (male) artist there are 10,000 who ended up dying young or being taken care of by their families.

    I do think that women determine popular culture, to a large extent. They determine what is watched, what is sold, what the latest fad in food, clothing, bathroom and deodorants is going to be. But it seems that durable art is largely determined by men. Not sure why, maybe because men are more likely to devote themselves to promoting such things.
    , @vinteuil
    "I met Rauschenberg and Clement Greenberg"

    ...and you didn't spit in their faces? And you treasure this memory?
    , @cybele
    Yes, women tend to get to get most of their creative impetus from the birthing and upbringing of children. Because men do not have this experience and cannot really fathom the depths of this creative potential, they must invest themselves in alternative methods of "creation." 'twas always thus and always thus shall be.
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  45. guest says:
    @Threecranes
    It is an established fact that women, speaking generally, have better small digit coordination than do men while men are better at whole body efforts such as throwing a ball or planing a board. Traditional painting involves close eye hand coordination. Modern Art and painting tends to involve whole body gestures, arrangement of purely formal elements and mechanical processes viz. Pollack and Warhol. It should not be surprising therefore that women would be better represented during an era of painting in which fine detail was valued and men in an era in which mental abstraction, geometric mechanical processes and large size are valued.

    You can’t reason from innate ability on this subject. Being an old master required intense training over a long period of time with little hope for remuneration, which favors men. Being a famous modern painter requires tremendous capacity for hype and self-promotion, which moreso favors men. There are various other historical explanations.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    A sociological analysis of the balance of the sexes over time would be of interest, but it would probably raise unsettling questions about the conditions that make for higher female accomplishment in the arts, such as conservative eras lacking in a taste for artistic innovation.
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  46. Lugash says:
    @Threecranes
    It is an established fact that women, speaking generally, have better small digit coordination than do men while men are better at whole body efforts such as throwing a ball or planing a board. Traditional painting involves close eye hand coordination. Modern Art and painting tends to involve whole body gestures, arrangement of purely formal elements and mechanical processes viz. Pollack and Warhol. It should not be surprising therefore that women would be better represented during an era of painting in which fine detail was valued and men in an era in which mental abstraction, geometric mechanical processes and large size are valued.

    Modern painting also requires loads of chutzpah to say that random materials thrown together are art.

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  47. guest says:
    @anony-mouse
    200 years ago was of course before the advent of photography.

    A very large reason for the existence of painting originally was to paint portraits (such as the 2 self-portraits you show) and other realistic images.

    The inevitable movement away from realism that followed favored crazed geniuses who were proportionally male.

    That’s a common explanation, but that dog won’t hunt. “Crazed geniuses” took over the rest of the art world at around the same time. Unless somehow photography ruined poetry, novels, plays, music, sculpture, and architecture, too. (I’m not as sure on the timeline of architecture, now that I think of it; there might have been a bit of a delay in its ruination.)

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  48. Lagertha says:
    @snorlax
    OT: In move sure to boost sales, Mattel has given in to the SJWs and has made Barbie fat.

    my laugh wrinkles are getting worse today! I wonder if Fat Barbie comes with a bag full of Weight Watchers packages or a treadmill?

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  49. guest says:
    @Anonymous
    If you don't get Cezanne you aren't looking hard enough. And no, it doesn't have to do with how many artists you have influenced. That's Art History not Art. No one knew who Vermeer was for 200 years after his death.

    Cezanne was trying to paint with color and light dark at the same time. Hardest thing to do in painting and all great painters do it. Picasso was lousy with color. Had no idea what to do with it. Cezanne was trying to give solid form to Impressionist color. Adding the tradition to color.

    FYI: Richard Diebenkorn, from California, heavily influenced by Cezanne and Matisse was a better painter than Picasso. Completely solved the color/light dark problem.

    “Cezanne was trying to give solid form to Impressionist color”

    Why, on earth? And why give him a pass on missing everything else for the sake of that? Beethoven, for instance, is praised for his formal innovation, his dynamics , and his harmony. They don’t mention his melodies like they do for Mozart or Tchaikovsky. But it’s not as if he has no tunes. He has several of the most popular ever written. Only in modern art do we see masters specializing in one aspect of their art only. Cezanne was an incompetent draftsman, among countless other failings. Color is really all he had going for him. That’s not enough, hence his obvious unpopularity, despite endless promotion.

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  50. Lagertha says:
    @woodNfish

    Put them together and it would suggest that a female artist’s fame is likely to fade out faster because her followers’ followers are considerably less likely to be famous than a male artist’s.
     
    Personally, I blame the man-hating feminist movement. Men don't like bitches and the fact is most women are idiots. I'm not being misogynist, my wife agrees with the second part of that statement. And yes, it really is just that simple.

    as a mother (and artist) of three sons, I hate the misandrist movement lately, too. My brilliant sons are avoiding U’s where they will be either looked at as someone whose consciousness needs to be raised about their male privilege/wp or where they are looked at as a dumb jock/potential rapist. My close friend, (has both boys and girls) said, pretty soon they’ll have AA for white guys at the elite U’s. However, her brainiac daughter (majors in math) didn’t get into the elite U’s either.

    Read More
    • Replies: @SFG
    So how are they going to get jobs? I agree about the toxic atmosphere of the modern U, but unless they're good craftsmen, it's really hard to get a job without a college degree these days.
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  51. guest says:
    @Robbie
    I think commentator DavidB is the reason why the 'alt right' movement in America is going to fail spectacularly.

    There's a sneering hate-filled quality towards women in the comment.

    I remember pre-Chateau days on the American right and post-Chateau days and they are not equal.

    It's really sad.

    And yes Steve is right...I've posted this years ago on this blog...There is a Girl World in which you guys are not invited. As a woman I have female 'idols' that I think are absolute geniuses equal to Steve but they operate in this 'Girl Sphere' so men just don't get it. But they are just as important...in fact in the last few years since the alt-right has gone down the Heartiste Path of Hate (have you seen the sneering posts about European women wanting the strong hand of Islam?)....The females I admire are truly the last bastions of hope for the West.

    Feminists have been spectacularly successful compared to the Other Right, and they’re vileness toward men makes the above poster sound as friendly as Barney the Dinosaur. Plus, he has truth on his side.

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  52. A further point regarding women painters.

    One of the things our culture never seems to notice is the downside to equal opportunity and equal encouragement toward all careers. Namely, it can serve to deplete other careers and professions which flourished before the equal opportunity thing kicked in.

    For example, there are probably many fewer supercompetent nurses because all of the very best candidates among women are now physicians instead.

    The tradeoff for opening up all of the professions to women is that the very smartest women are likely to become doctors and lawyers and professors, and not to develop their talents in the areas women traditionally did so, such as in the arts.

    No doubt considerably fewer very talented women pursue the fine arts today for this reason, painting included.

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  53. Lagertha says:
    @Kevin O'Keeffe
    "The Louvre’s paintings are particularly heroic in scale. For example, Theodore Gericault’s 'Raft of the Medusa' is 24′ x 16′. And the Louvre has a lot of others almost as large. (The 'Mona Lisa' is quite small, though.)...the Louvre is the most famous museum and it features a lot of insanely large canvases that very few women could even imagine painting..."

    When I was growing up, I somehow missed out on the idea that gigantic canvases were a thing. Then I visited the Salvador Dali museum in St. Petersburg, Florida, in 1991, and they had a couple of his enormous paintings on display (around the same size as "The Medusa," if not larger), and it struck me as quite amazing. A very different enterprise entirely than some twee little canvas being daubed at by some shy art student, or nice old lady.

    I was similarly blown-away by the gigantic Rosa Bonheur painting, The Horse Fair, as a little girl at the Met. Of course, I loved horses (let’s not get into that) but the size of the painting is amazing. Bonheur had a very interesting life…and, she did fall into obscurity, but check out her story some time…surprised we haven’t seen a movie about her life, yet…she was unusual.

    OT: sorry spelled O’Keeffe wrong in my post.

    Also OT: Mary Cassatt never had children, yet she seemed to have a fulfilling life hanging out with the Impressionists for long periods of time. And, check out another really weird artist, well, more of a model: Lizzie Siddall. The Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood kinda’ paved the path for the Impressionists as far as blowing off the Paris Salon (gateway to money). Lizzie Siddall’s story is quite Gothic…especially when Rosetti decides to have his wife’s body exhumed because he regretted he slipped his poetry manuscript into her coffin! Supposedly her red hair was longer and yet her corpse looked sort of o.k.(somebody make a movie about this couple!) This was done in the cover of darkness and secrecy…but to no avail because Rosetti (vision was failing) never revived his career after Lizzie died. Having a child was also difficult for them.

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  54. guest says:
    @Lagertha
    Yes and no (Steve's last line). I think the main reason that there is a dearth of female artists/fame following female artists (strictly talking about painters) is that it is so difficult to have children, even one child, and continue to obsess over your work, spending countless hours alone in your studio. Of course, there are a few exceptions (painters who have one child) who have managed to pursue their work. However, even some of the women I admired who were just one generation older than me, often had family money or a wealthy spouse who could pay the bills (so, still very 19th century). There are some art power couples today who are both artists, and that helps in many ways.

    Georgia O'Keefe's aura just continues, however, as does Kahlo's - Mexico loves her and her home is quite a shrine, as is Georgia's Ghost Ranch & Santa Fe museum dedicated to her art. But both women were not particularly favored by feminists, in my opinion. Frida had her tumultuous, crazy relationship/devotion to Diego which has always bugged a lot of people who always want to put some kind of "women are not represented enough, blah, blah," angle on art as far as galleries (the "gateway" to stardom). Frida's dramatic self portraits (especially the ones with Diego on her mind) may rub people the wrong way because they are revolted by her tortured, futile obsession with Diego, Diego, not behaving like a gentleman most of the time.

    Georgia was never going to let anyone put her into some feminist pantheon (my opinion only) because she always, stubbornly, lived (and died) on her own terms. She chose to live out in the middle of nowhere, since Alfred knew how to get her paintings sold. She and Stieglitz were devoted to each other, and, she was very up-front about her abortion (Stieglitz thought children would mess up her career,) and just moved on - you can hear it in her own words in the documentary about her. She also took on Juan Hamilton (he was kinda' cute) as her vision started to fail, and this was way before Madonna and the concept of boy-toys. I was often struck by how several boyfriends had a portrait of Georgia on their walls. And, all of them said she was like an Icon for them...they couldn't explain it. Juan Hamilton stayed with her from the early 70's until her death in 1986 at 98.

    Abstract Expressionism was also a time that sidelined many women artists...my feeling is: they couldn't relate to it...so, it wasn't until the rise of Representational art again in the 80's that women painters dusted themselves off and their work began to emerge in galleries again. By then, too, art had become a commodity, status symbol; and there were plenty of people pursuing art (making product) for galleries to sell for ever-wealthier clients. Wall Street (movie) shows this quite clearly. Really big, schlockmeister paintings on the walls!

    However, the child-thing is the big obstacle...of course, women artists return to work in their 50's, but they have been "out of the loop" sometimes, too long. But, now with the internet, it is easy to by-pass galleries altogether, and make a modest living if you are still obsessing! I am struck by how often (on my daily walks in the woods) I come across middle-age couples with children who've left Brooklyn, moved to N.E., and found a way to balance all this stuff you have to balance if you have a kid and wanna paint. Towns up here, love artists and let them build any kind of studio in their back yard, the heck with zoning boards.

    It is a lot less stressful to become a dentist, accountant, plumber, since being an artist requires you to be obsessive. Art is a sort of compulsion. There are no guarantees for success, financial success or even stability for men and women. There's an interesting collection of bios of Older Female Artists in the NYT magazine dated 2015, 05, 15. It was kinda' depressing to read.

    Oh, gonna brag a little: completely accidentally, I met Rauschenberg and Clement Greenberg; they gave me great advice that I will always remember....basically, the "compulsion" side of being an artist.

    “they couldn’t relate to it”

    Neither can most men, because it is inherently cold, inhuman, and barely art. But since when did not relating to something stand in the way? BS is a perfect substitute, and that’s what big, male artists and associated promoters ran with. Which isn’t to say there weren’t true believers, and that these weren’t mostly men. I don’t know, but let’s assume that’s so. Success in modern art nevertheless depends on hype and self-promotion, and that favors men whether or not they actually believe in the style.

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  55. @TomSchmidt
    I think, Ithink, that the Heartiste perspective was a necessary corrective to the pedestalization too many men engaged in. Women, indeed, are not "sugar and spice and everything nice." The discovery of the essential lie propagated to them causes them to become unhinged, to declare war on the other half of their own species.

    I don't think Heartiste is like that. Rather, he sees both the treachery and the utter delightful wonder that is woman. He has not been able to get most of his followers to this Aristotelian Mean of seeing them neither as all virtuous ladies, nor all degraded whores. Give it time; it takes a while after being plunged under the ice water of reality before one surfaces again, and some never make it.

    In affairs of the heart there is no Aristotelian Mean. What happens is women push until men push back and vice versa. That’s why it’s called the “battle of the sexes”. At no point is this tension balanced on the razor’s edge–or if it is it is only for an elusive, hypothetical moment.

    Remember, two things are in their greatest state of flux when they are most equal and move but modestly with respect to one another when they approach maximum disparity. If only we could stop this roller coaster–but then, we’d be dead.

    “The aim is to balance the terror of being alive with the wonder of being alive.” Carlos Castaneda

    Read More
    • Replies: @TomSchmidt
    What a great Castaneda quote! Thanks.

    I was trying to capture the mentality of "amused mastery" in the notion of being neither pedestalizing nor hating towards women; I think both reflect a defect in masculine affect, that being that women ought not to rule over ANY male territory, least of all the male mind. I'd put white knight/supplicating beta on one end of that continuum, and aloof asshole on the other.

    As to the "battle of the sexes?" I haven't seen it in groups like the Amish or other patriarchal religions.
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  56. SPMoore8 says:
    @Lagertha
    Yes and no (Steve's last line). I think the main reason that there is a dearth of female artists/fame following female artists (strictly talking about painters) is that it is so difficult to have children, even one child, and continue to obsess over your work, spending countless hours alone in your studio. Of course, there are a few exceptions (painters who have one child) who have managed to pursue their work. However, even some of the women I admired who were just one generation older than me, often had family money or a wealthy spouse who could pay the bills (so, still very 19th century). There are some art power couples today who are both artists, and that helps in many ways.

    Georgia O'Keefe's aura just continues, however, as does Kahlo's - Mexico loves her and her home is quite a shrine, as is Georgia's Ghost Ranch & Santa Fe museum dedicated to her art. But both women were not particularly favored by feminists, in my opinion. Frida had her tumultuous, crazy relationship/devotion to Diego which has always bugged a lot of people who always want to put some kind of "women are not represented enough, blah, blah," angle on art as far as galleries (the "gateway" to stardom). Frida's dramatic self portraits (especially the ones with Diego on her mind) may rub people the wrong way because they are revolted by her tortured, futile obsession with Diego, Diego, not behaving like a gentleman most of the time.

    Georgia was never going to let anyone put her into some feminist pantheon (my opinion only) because she always, stubbornly, lived (and died) on her own terms. She chose to live out in the middle of nowhere, since Alfred knew how to get her paintings sold. She and Stieglitz were devoted to each other, and, she was very up-front about her abortion (Stieglitz thought children would mess up her career,) and just moved on - you can hear it in her own words in the documentary about her. She also took on Juan Hamilton (he was kinda' cute) as her vision started to fail, and this was way before Madonna and the concept of boy-toys. I was often struck by how several boyfriends had a portrait of Georgia on their walls. And, all of them said she was like an Icon for them...they couldn't explain it. Juan Hamilton stayed with her from the early 70's until her death in 1986 at 98.

    Abstract Expressionism was also a time that sidelined many women artists...my feeling is: they couldn't relate to it...so, it wasn't until the rise of Representational art again in the 80's that women painters dusted themselves off and their work began to emerge in galleries again. By then, too, art had become a commodity, status symbol; and there were plenty of people pursuing art (making product) for galleries to sell for ever-wealthier clients. Wall Street (movie) shows this quite clearly. Really big, schlockmeister paintings on the walls!

    However, the child-thing is the big obstacle...of course, women artists return to work in their 50's, but they have been "out of the loop" sometimes, too long. But, now with the internet, it is easy to by-pass galleries altogether, and make a modest living if you are still obsessing! I am struck by how often (on my daily walks in the woods) I come across middle-age couples with children who've left Brooklyn, moved to N.E., and found a way to balance all this stuff you have to balance if you have a kid and wanna paint. Towns up here, love artists and let them build any kind of studio in their back yard, the heck with zoning boards.

    It is a lot less stressful to become a dentist, accountant, plumber, since being an artist requires you to be obsessive. Art is a sort of compulsion. There are no guarantees for success, financial success or even stability for men and women. There's an interesting collection of bios of Older Female Artists in the NYT magazine dated 2015, 05, 15. It was kinda' depressing to read.

    Oh, gonna brag a little: completely accidentally, I met Rauschenberg and Clement Greenberg; they gave me great advice that I will always remember....basically, the "compulsion" side of being an artist.

    The primary purpose of human life is to reproduce other human life. After that, you can start talking about cultural transmission (many who do not have children do this), and about artistic or technological or intellectual creation. I don’t think it’s an accident that most of the great minds we have known (historically) were either unmarried, childless, gay, or at minimum had a strong division of labor with their helpmeets in terms of child raising.

    I don’t know why women are not as common in terms of creating durable art. But I do know that women have a particular time frame and a particular set of physical characteristics that need to be emphasized for reproduction to take place. And that’s always going to hold a woman back, let alone, once the babies are born, women are usually going to do most of the raising.

    With men, none of that applies. A guy can be unattractive, a guy can be relatively old, but he can still reproduce, all he needs is sufficient social status and personal skills to get woman to mate with him. And men rarely do the bulk of the child raising.

    Of course, any single individual can break this paradigm. However, I don’t know why a woman would want to sacrifice her reproductive imperative so that she could one of the multitudes who live for some ambition, thing, art, idea, problem, etc. That’s the biological bottom line: A man can sacrifice that imperative, for decades, anyway. But a woman cannot. And for every great (male) artist there are 10,000 who ended up dying young or being taken care of by their families.

    I do think that women determine popular culture, to a large extent. They determine what is watched, what is sold, what the latest fad in food, clothing, bathroom and deodorants is going to be. But it seems that durable art is largely determined by men. Not sure why, maybe because men are more likely to devote themselves to promoting such things.

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    • Replies: @Lagertha
    if you scroll up to "Vive La..." that was my response to your post.
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  57. @TheLatestInDecay
    It's clear that women are substantially less accomplished than men in the higher ranges of achievement of most forms of visual art: painting, sculpture, architecture. There is no such divide in certain forms of handiwork, such as potting or bookbinding. There doesn't seem to be much interest in identifying those fields of which it can truly be said that there is no natural advantage of men over women, or vice versa. For instance, while men are clearly much more accomplished than women at musical composition, the laurels for musical performance might be evenly divided. To my knowledge, no one has ever made a point of arguing that men are better singers than women, for instance, or better dancers. Outside of the arts, while much female employment and advancement stems from affirmative action, there are certain fields where there is no discernible difference in aptitude. In most fields of medicine, for instance, I would not have the slightest hesitation in being treated by a (white or Asian) woman doctor. When Ben Carson walks into the room and says he is going to be your neurosurgeon, however, you know he is only there because of someone's desire to re-engineer society at your expense. He might be a good singer, though.

    I think english language poetry and fiction since about 1860 are an arena where women have outperformed compared to other artistic forms hitorically. I would argue you could consume ONLY female poetry and prose since the late nineteenth century to the present and still have a pretty balanced diet of greatness available to you: Dickinson, Woolf, Moore, O’Connor to name just four of the greatest.

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    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    Western Literature was the one field where Charles Murray's Human Accomplishment shows a strong increase in female achievement in modern times before 1950 -- and it was pretty strong going back through Jane Austen.
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  58. @Robbie
    I think commentator DavidB is the reason why the 'alt right' movement in America is going to fail spectacularly.

    There's a sneering hate-filled quality towards women in the comment.

    I remember pre-Chateau days on the American right and post-Chateau days and they are not equal.

    It's really sad.

    And yes Steve is right...I've posted this years ago on this blog...There is a Girl World in which you guys are not invited. As a woman I have female 'idols' that I think are absolute geniuses equal to Steve but they operate in this 'Girl Sphere' so men just don't get it. But they are just as important...in fact in the last few years since the alt-right has gone down the Heartiste Path of Hate (have you seen the sneering posts about European women wanting the strong hand of Islam?)....The females I admire are truly the last bastions of hope for the West.

    I know exactly how you feel.

    I actually agree with what Heartiste says about the weaknesses of women–and I’ve written about them myself (check my blog, Stupid Girl), but his commenters (and those on other “men’s rights” blogs) drive me crazy. All they do is complain about the bad deals they got in their divorces, and after a while it’s hard not to sympathize with their ex-wives. It takes two to tango, after all, and if their ex-wives were so awful, why did they marry them in the first place?

    I’d start sleeping with the pool-boy myself if I had to put up with any of those whining humorless tightwads who complain about having to support their own children.

    Then, when I make a comment to that effect, does the C-word ever start to flow in my direction! What a bunch!

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  59. vinteuil says:
    @Anonymous
    If you don't get Cezanne you aren't looking hard enough. And no, it doesn't have to do with how many artists you have influenced. That's Art History not Art. No one knew who Vermeer was for 200 years after his death.

    Cezanne was trying to paint with color and light dark at the same time. Hardest thing to do in painting and all great painters do it. Picasso was lousy with color. Had no idea what to do with it. Cezanne was trying to give solid form to Impressionist color. Adding the tradition to color.

    FYI: Richard Diebenkorn, from California, heavily influenced by Cezanne and Matisse was a better painter than Picasso. Completely solved the color/light dark problem.

    “Richard Diebenkorn…completely solved the color/light dark problem.”

    OK, I’ll bite – what’s the “color/light dark problem?” Googling the phrase turned up nothing useful, so I tried the Wikipedia article on Diebenkorn – again, nothing.

    Are you, by any chance, trying to baffle people with B.S.?

    In the course of getting my PhD. in Philosophy, specializing in aesthetics, I had to read many hundreds of pages of modernist/post-modernist/post-post-modernist “art” “theory.”

    Never once was I dazzled by brilliance.

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  60. Lagertha says:

    Vive la difference? We’ll never know why…that’s what I believe. But each person must make up their mind: do I want to live alone forever and pursue my obsession, or do I want someone with me, have children, perhaps? – even having a dog changes things. Human nature is diametrically opposed to a solitary existence of just pursuing your career solo, whatever that is. The trade-offs are so difficult. It’s easy to be alone, but do you want that?

    My mother loves being alone (widow) now, but she is 85. My parents trade-offs were enormous, but they lived a very exciting and fulfilling, happy life together – believe it or not, they never screamed at each other, and always figured out how to resolve differences. They were together since they were 15, so there’s that. And, my father was disabled, so he was always a great listener and reader of my mother’s thoughts.

    But, as far as “famous women painters” before the 1920′s, daddies didn’t really think being an artist was acceptable, practical, fashionable, etc. So, we are left with a smaller group of artists who did reach fame, fortune, “sustainability.” And, yes, the specter of failure, obscurity, haunts both young men and women artists. Well, fear of failure, in general, is always there. Xanax helps, but it makes your brain too fuzzy/apathetic to do great work. So, trade-offs suck even if you are alone!

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    • Agree: SPMoore8
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  61. vinteuil says:
    @Steve Sailer
    The Louvre's paintings are particularly heroic in scale. For example, Theodore Gericault's "Raft of the Medusa" is 24' x 16'. And the Louvre has a lot of others almost as large. (The "Mona Lisa" is quite small, though.)

    There are a lot of little biases toward the masculine in the art world -- e.g., the Louvre is the most famous museum and it features a lot of insanely large canvases that very few women could even imagine painting -- that add up to a big bias.

    I don’t think sheer size has much to do with anything. Generally speaking, in the great European art galleries the big halls with the giant canvasses are the ones you hurry through on the way to more important things. There are exceptions, of course, and some of them are very famous, like Gericault’s “Raft of the Medusa” – but they’re *exceptions.*

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    • Replies: @neon2
    Hurrah! I was hoping to see someone make this observation.

    Other exceptions though are the glorious Rubens altar pieces in the Alte Pinakothek and Rembrandt's Night Watch and the other militia portraits in the Rijksmuseum.
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  62. J.Ross says: • Website

    It makes perfect sense, although we see that more clearly in the mutual endorsements of the Holocaust industry, Frankfurt school, neocons and other pseudo-intellectual cliques.
    All discussions of art, its history and its destructive central management should benefit from the Art Renewal Center’s article on Bougereau and the Art Dealers:

    http://www.artrenewal.org/pages/artist.php?artistid=7

    TLDR: representational, traditional art takes time, so much time it hurts the bottom line. Basquiat or Picasso could crank out as many legitimate pieces of modern art as the market requires at the moment. It was literally a straightforward business decision to pay “art critics” to courageously push modern art.

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  63. Lagertha says:
    @Steve Sailer
    http://i.telegraph.co.uk/multimedia/archive/03224/Diebenkorn_3224896b.jpg

    a favorite…where in California? Near Laguna Beach?

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  64. syonredux says:

    Insanely off-topic,

    Don’t know if you are planning on writing a review of The Revenant , but I just learned some fascinating stuff about a previous fictionalization of the Hugh Glass story, Lord Grizzly :

    Frederick Feikema Manfred (January 6, 1912 – September 7, 1994) was a noted Western author. Manfred’s novels are very much connected to his native region. His stories involve the American Midlands, and the prairies of the West. He named the area where the borders of Minnesota, Iowa, South Dakota, and Nebraska meet, “Siouxland.”

    Manfred was born in Doon, Iowa. He was baptized Frederick Feikes Feikema, VII, and he used the name Feike Feikema when he published his first books. He was the oldest of six boys, all over six feet tall, and was himself six feet nine inches tall. Manfred was a third generation Frisian American, whose family originated in the village of Tzum, in the Dutch province of Friesland.[1]

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frederick_Manfred

    In the middle of the 20th century, Glass emerged again, this time as the centerpiece of a story of a man at war with the whole concept of civilization. In Frederick Manfred’s 1954 book, Lord Grizzly, the mountain man is talkative as all heck, though the reader may wish he weren’t; some of the dialect used, while historically sourced, is distractingly comical. Of the many versions of Glass, Manfred’s may be the one who’s easiest to psychoanalyze: Manfred gives his hero a full backstory and many loud opinions. The book was a best-seller and a finalist for the National Book Award that year, indicating that it tapped into its own time on levels both critical and commercial.

    Appropriately for an era that was (contra popular conceptions of the 1950s) quite concerned about its own tendency toward social conformity, Manfred’s Glass is a man who is against society and everything that goes with it: laws, rules, and white women’s ways. Glass has a Native American wife, Bending Reed, and he reflects on her attitude toward him: “He thought it a good thing that from birth on Indian women were taught to serve their lord and master. They knew exactly how to arouse the man in him. They knew how to keep a brave man brave.” He refuses to shave his beard, which his boss asks him to do, because it’s a sign of manhood (here comes some of that dialect): “We made a mistake when we let the wimmen talk us inta kissin’ ‘em, smoozlin ‘em face to face. The Indian wimmen never did it and was the better for it. And then we made a mistake when we let them talk us into shavin’ so we’d look like nice little boys again. It’s not wonder the country is so full of wet-behind-the-ears greenhorn kids.”

    The abandoners, in Lord Grizzly, are young Bridger and a Fitzgerald who’s written as a slick pragmatist who is too smart for his own good. Glass eventually forgives Bridger (not before coming to the brink of gouging his eyes out, a common fighting tactic in the early 19th century), but Fitz’s betrayal bothers him more. Thinking, during his long crawl, about Fitz’s motivations for leaving him, he decides it makes sense that a man with some education would do such a thing.

    Reading filled the head with excuses on how not to be a man in a fix. On how not to be a brave buck. In a fix a bookman sat down and told over all his ideas afore he got to work and shot his way out of a fix. In a fix a man hadn’t ought to have but one idea—and that was how to get out of a pretty fix pronto.

    Glass defines himself as the opposite of this “bookman,” in one passage imagining himself as the Biblical Esau to Fitz’s Jacob. Jacobs, he thinks, are “Rebekah favorites, mama boys, she-rip sissies who stayed behind in the settlements to do squaw’s work, the smooth men back home who ran shops and worked gardens and ran factories.” Not Glass. “No, if anything he was an Esau, a hairy man and a man’s man and a cunning hunter, a man of the prairie and the mountains.” This “Lord Grizzly” was self-aware, conscious of his own place in the order of things; the difference between him and the kinds of people who would publish humorous sketches about him in Philadelphia magazines was something he considered and treasured.

    http://www.slate.com/articles/arts/history/2015/12/hugh_glass_how_accurate_is_the_revenant_a_history_of_a_folk_tale.2.html

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    • Replies: @The Last Real Calvinist

    Frederick Feikema Manfred (January 6, 1912 – September 7, 1994) was a noted Western author. Manfred’s novels are very much connected to his native region. His stories involve the American Midlands, and the prairies of the West. He named the area where the borders of Minnesota, Iowa, South Dakota, and Nebraska meet, “Siouxland.”

     

    Interesting that he's responsible for the 'Siouxland' moniker. Doon, IA, Manfred's hometown, is just a couple of miles outside of Sioux County, which has been an occasional topic at this site for other reasons. I've heard of him, but haven't read any of his books. I should give one a try, definitely . . . .
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  65. vinteuil says:
    @Robbie
    I think commentator DavidB is the reason why the 'alt right' movement in America is going to fail spectacularly.

    There's a sneering hate-filled quality towards women in the comment.

    I remember pre-Chateau days on the American right and post-Chateau days and they are not equal.

    It's really sad.

    And yes Steve is right...I've posted this years ago on this blog...There is a Girl World in which you guys are not invited. As a woman I have female 'idols' that I think are absolute geniuses equal to Steve but they operate in this 'Girl Sphere' so men just don't get it. But they are just as important...in fact in the last few years since the alt-right has gone down the Heartiste Path of Hate (have you seen the sneering posts about European women wanting the strong hand of Islam?)....The females I admire are truly the last bastions of hope for the West.

    “There’s a sneering hate-filled quality towards women in the comment.”

    Could you be more specific? What particular word, phrase or passage are you objecting to?

    I honestly just don’t see it.

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  66. DavidB says:
    @Kevin O'Keeffe
    "I found three women out of 20 artists mentioned on the official roster of Sperone Westwater—that is 15%. (All shown, incidentally, with serious black and white photographs next to their names, making it difficult to tell what sex they are.)"

    I found this amusing. Most of the women I know, do not suddenly become sexually ambiguous, merely because they are depicted as unsmiling in a black-and-white photograph.

    "It will be interesting to see what happens to the reputation of such female art ‘giants’ of the 20th century as Gwen John, Frieda Kahlo and Georgia O’Keefe."

    That's "O'Keeffe." With two Fs. Just like in my name. Which figures, since we're both descended from my great-great-great-grandfather.

    I can’t help it if your relatives misspell their name. The version with one ‘f’ is much more common.

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    • Replies: @HEL
    I'm reminded of a quote from the truly great O'Keeffe of the 20th century, Miles O'Keeffe, who said "my name is spelled with two e's, two f's and another e, and nobody ever spells it right."
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  67. vinteuil says:
    @carol
    while reading the history of music I was struck by the number of women pianists who were respected and favored by composers, Clara Wieck Schumann the most well known I guess. They They don't reach stratospheric fame but then few do before Paganini came along and changed the performance circuit forever. It was very tough to tour in those days, and women had the usual drawbacks of family and weak constitution.

    “They don’t reach stratospheric fame…”

    Those who deserved it *did* reach “stratospheric fame” – Wanda Landowska, Guiomar Novaes, Alicia de Larrocha – not to mention the greatest of all living pianists, Martha Argerich.

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  68. @Robbie
    I think commentator DavidB is the reason why the 'alt right' movement in America is going to fail spectacularly.

    There's a sneering hate-filled quality towards women in the comment.

    I remember pre-Chateau days on the American right and post-Chateau days and they are not equal.

    It's really sad.

    And yes Steve is right...I've posted this years ago on this blog...There is a Girl World in which you guys are not invited. As a woman I have female 'idols' that I think are absolute geniuses equal to Steve but they operate in this 'Girl Sphere' so men just don't get it. But they are just as important...in fact in the last few years since the alt-right has gone down the Heartiste Path of Hate (have you seen the sneering posts about European women wanting the strong hand of Islam?)....The females I admire are truly the last bastions of hope for the West.

    Women artists may have talent, but no genius.

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    • Replies: @AH
    Way to prove IThink's point.
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  69. vinteuil says:
    @Reg Cæsar

    Then in the late 20th century the feminism industry digs them up again and their reputation is hyped out of all proportion.
     
    This happened in music with Mrs H H A Beach, whom her modern champions rather presumptiously refer to as "Amy".

    However, she could be quite the nationalist and even racialist, chiding Antonin Dvořak for his suggestion that Americans forgo the British Isle and take inspiration fron our blacks and Indians instead. Such Trumpian bluster is embarrassing to today's Social Just-Us Warriors.

    “This happened in music with Mrs H H A Beach”

    Yes – exactly. She was a talented musician, and she enjoyed a fine career, with plenty of encouragement.

    Her compositions are invariably workmanlike & make for reasonably pleasant listening.

    But the only reason anybody remembers her now is because she was a she.

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  70. neon2 says:
    @carol
    while reading the history of music I was struck by the number of women pianists who were respected and favored by composers, Clara Wieck Schumann the most well known I guess. They They don't reach stratospheric fame but then few do before Paganini came along and changed the performance circuit forever. It was very tough to tour in those days, and women had the usual drawbacks of family and weak constitution.

    But Clara Schumann most certainly did reach what was, for the time, “stratospheric fame”. She was universally considered the finest woman pianist of the time, and a great one tout court.
    She was also revered as the wife of a genius, and, widowed too early, the mother of seven brilliant and therefore difficult children. She was a sympathetic helpmate to many an aspiring composer, from her own half-brother Woldemar Bargiel to her almost lover Johannes Brahms.
    She toured constantly, often with Joseph Joachim, the great violinist and family friend, and very often to England which, musically, did not much impress her.
    She was the most influential (and very much loved) woman in the musical world of Germany (and therefore Europe) even after the appearance of the rather less loved Cosima Wagner.

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  71. gbloco says:

    Sense prevails

    Oriel College Statement 28 January 2016

    Over the past few months, there has been intense debate about how Cecil Rhodes is commemorated in Oxford, and particularly about the Rhodes statue on Oriel College’s High Street frontage. Oriel believes that this issue needs to be addressed in a spirit of free speech and open debate, with a readiness to listen to divergent views. The College’s intention, by releasing its statement in December was to open debate and listen to the response. Since that announcement we have received an enormous amount of input including comments from students and academics, alumni, heritage bodies, national and student polls and a further petition, as well as over 500 direct written responses to the College. The overwhelming message we have received has been in support of the statue remaining in place, for a variety of reasons.

    Following careful consideration, the College’s Governing Body has decided that the statue should remain in place, and that the College will seek to provide a clear historical context to explain why it is there. The College will do the same in respect of the plaque to Rhodes in King Edward Street. The College believes the recent debate has underlined that the continuing presence of these historical artefacts is an important reminder of the complexity of history and of the legacies of colonialism still felt today. By adding context, we can help draw attention to this history, do justice to the complexity of the debate, and be true to our educational mission.

    The previously announced listening exercise will focus on how best to place the statue and plaque in a clear historical context. The College will seek expert advice on parallels and precedents, and conduct focused discussions with the College community, including students, staff and alumni. The Governing Body expects to have identified specific proposals by the autumn.

    The campaign to remove Oriel’s statue of Rhodes has highlighted other challenges in relation to the experience and representation of black and minority ethnic students and staff at Oxford. Oriel takes these very seriously and, as previously announced, is taking substantive steps to address them. The College supports the work the University is doing in this area, and reaffirms Oriel’s commitment to being at the forefront of the drive to make Oxford more diverse and inclusive of people from all backgrounds.

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  72. DavidB says:
    @Robbie
    I think commentator DavidB is the reason why the 'alt right' movement in America is going to fail spectacularly.

    There's a sneering hate-filled quality towards women in the comment.

    I remember pre-Chateau days on the American right and post-Chateau days and they are not equal.

    It's really sad.

    And yes Steve is right...I've posted this years ago on this blog...There is a Girl World in which you guys are not invited. As a woman I have female 'idols' that I think are absolute geniuses equal to Steve but they operate in this 'Girl Sphere' so men just don't get it. But they are just as important...in fact in the last few years since the alt-right has gone down the Heartiste Path of Hate (have you seen the sneering posts about European women wanting the strong hand of Islam?)....The females I admire are truly the last bastions of hope for the West.

    ‘There’s a sneering hate-filled quality towards women in the comment.’

    Whoa, where do you get that from? Certainly not from anything in my comment. A sneering disdain for the feminist industry, maybe, but that is not to be confused with ‘women’, whatever the industry might want us to believe. As it happens, I genuinely like and admire all the women artists I mentioned, except for Frida Kahlo, who was an incompetent dauber. My point was that in recent years they have been hyped by feminists beyond their merit in comparison to equally or more talented male artists. A striking example is Gwen John. She is now regarded by bien-pensant art critics as a greater artist than her brilliant brother Augustus: Gwen has a monograph to herself in the Tate Gallery’s ‘British Artists’ series; her brother, none. Was she really better than him? By most counts, no: Augustus was more prolific, more naturally gifted (judged by his brushwork, etc) and more versatile. But Gwen was arguably ‘deeper’ in her narrower sphere. It is like comparing Jane Austen and Dickens. I’m not saying that Augustus was a greater artist, just that I don’t see any basis for the current higher valuation of Gwen. Incidentally I also admire other women artists I haven’t mentioned, such as Mary Cassatt, Laura Knight, and Winifred Nicholson, but they haven’t, as yet, been ‘boosted’ out of all proportion.

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    • Replies: @Jacobite

    I also admire other women artists I haven’t mentioned, such as Mary Cassatt, Laura Knight, and Winifred Nicholson, but they haven’t, as yet, been ‘boosted’ out of all proportion.
     
    I can assure you that some of us hold Mary Cassatt in the very highest esteem. I particularly like works of hers that employ a high contrast between light and dark colors.
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  73. neon2 says:
    @Reg Cæsar

    Then in the late 20th century the feminism industry digs them up again and their reputation is hyped out of all proportion.
     
    This happened in music with Mrs H H A Beach, whom her modern champions rather presumptiously refer to as "Amy".

    However, she could be quite the nationalist and even racialist, chiding Antonin Dvořak for his suggestion that Americans forgo the British Isle and take inspiration fron our blacks and Indians instead. Such Trumpian bluster is embarrassing to today's Social Just-Us Warriors.

    This fits in with an earlier posting of mine about the political stance of composers, the general point being that Wagner was not the only German musician with views likely to be frowned upon by the mindlessly bien pensant.
    The Schumann family was very matter of factly right wing. When one of the composers daughters, who lived in Switzerland, was visited by relations in the mid 1930s (she died in 1938), she spoke with quiet satisfaction of the splendid strides being made by the exciting new regime which was bringing her beloved homeland out of the chaos of the post-war years.
    And what is with this “even” racialist? Everybody who had eyes to see and a brain to deduce with was “racialist” in those halcyon days.

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    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar
    By "racialist", I meant something more specific than generic whiteness. She was harking back to the British Isles. And arguing with Antonin Dvořak, a nationalist of another race.
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  74. vinteuil says:

    Hey, Steve Sailer – since you’re (rightly) interested in the notion that artistically talented women in the past weren’t quite as unappreciated or discriminated against as current dogma insists, may I suggest that you take a serious look at the history of the performing arts with the highest status of all – namely, opera & ballet?

    In the 19th century, the Prima Donna, the Prima Ballerina – they were everything. The composers, like Donizetti, or Minkus, who provided them with musical back-ground, were nothing.

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    • Replies: @neon2
    The all-encomposing refutation of this argument is Wagner, but one could name, oh, just a few others: Rossini, Verdi, Bizet, Puccini, Tchaikovsky; I'd continue but it is just too obvious.
    , @guest
    The performing arts are something else entirely, and I don't think ought to be conflated with high art.
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  75. HEL says:
    @snorlax
    OT: In move sure to boost sales, Mattel has given in to the SJWs and has made Barbie fat.

    I love how fat Barbie has blue hair. But where is her slut-walk picket sign?

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  76. pyrrhus says:

    My theory is that possibly women aren’t as good at painting as men….My wife’s repeatedly expressed opinion of Frieda Kahlo is that she has absolutely no talent, but has been riding on Diego Rivera’s fame for a long time…

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    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar

    My wife’s repeatedly expressed opinion of Frieda Kahlo is that she has absolutely no talent, but has been riding on Diego Rivera’s fame for a long time…
     
    And Rivera does? Nelson Rockefeller, known for his artisric interest but not for his taste, once fired him.

    If she hadn't screwed Trotsky just before his murder, would anyone pay any attention to either one today?
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  77. pyrrhus says:

    If Mary Cassatt isn’t the greatest female painter in history, I’d like to know who the other candidates are….

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    • Replies: @Jacobite
    Indeed.
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  78. Kylie says:
    @Robbie
    I think commentator DavidB is the reason why the 'alt right' movement in America is going to fail spectacularly.

    There's a sneering hate-filled quality towards women in the comment.

    I remember pre-Chateau days on the American right and post-Chateau days and they are not equal.

    It's really sad.

    And yes Steve is right...I've posted this years ago on this blog...There is a Girl World in which you guys are not invited. As a woman I have female 'idols' that I think are absolute geniuses equal to Steve but they operate in this 'Girl Sphere' so men just don't get it. But they are just as important...in fact in the last few years since the alt-right has gone down the Heartiste Path of Hate (have you seen the sneering posts about European women wanting the strong hand of Islam?)....The females I admire are truly the last bastions of hope for the West.

    Who says women can’t be as funny as men?

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  79. vinteuil says:
    @Lagertha
    Yes and no (Steve's last line). I think the main reason that there is a dearth of female artists/fame following female artists (strictly talking about painters) is that it is so difficult to have children, even one child, and continue to obsess over your work, spending countless hours alone in your studio. Of course, there are a few exceptions (painters who have one child) who have managed to pursue their work. However, even some of the women I admired who were just one generation older than me, often had family money or a wealthy spouse who could pay the bills (so, still very 19th century). There are some art power couples today who are both artists, and that helps in many ways.

    Georgia O'Keefe's aura just continues, however, as does Kahlo's - Mexico loves her and her home is quite a shrine, as is Georgia's Ghost Ranch & Santa Fe museum dedicated to her art. But both women were not particularly favored by feminists, in my opinion. Frida had her tumultuous, crazy relationship/devotion to Diego which has always bugged a lot of people who always want to put some kind of "women are not represented enough, blah, blah," angle on art as far as galleries (the "gateway" to stardom). Frida's dramatic self portraits (especially the ones with Diego on her mind) may rub people the wrong way because they are revolted by her tortured, futile obsession with Diego, Diego, not behaving like a gentleman most of the time.

    Georgia was never going to let anyone put her into some feminist pantheon (my opinion only) because she always, stubbornly, lived (and died) on her own terms. She chose to live out in the middle of nowhere, since Alfred knew how to get her paintings sold. She and Stieglitz were devoted to each other, and, she was very up-front about her abortion (Stieglitz thought children would mess up her career,) and just moved on - you can hear it in her own words in the documentary about her. She also took on Juan Hamilton (he was kinda' cute) as her vision started to fail, and this was way before Madonna and the concept of boy-toys. I was often struck by how several boyfriends had a portrait of Georgia on their walls. And, all of them said she was like an Icon for them...they couldn't explain it. Juan Hamilton stayed with her from the early 70's until her death in 1986 at 98.

    Abstract Expressionism was also a time that sidelined many women artists...my feeling is: they couldn't relate to it...so, it wasn't until the rise of Representational art again in the 80's that women painters dusted themselves off and their work began to emerge in galleries again. By then, too, art had become a commodity, status symbol; and there were plenty of people pursuing art (making product) for galleries to sell for ever-wealthier clients. Wall Street (movie) shows this quite clearly. Really big, schlockmeister paintings on the walls!

    However, the child-thing is the big obstacle...of course, women artists return to work in their 50's, but they have been "out of the loop" sometimes, too long. But, now with the internet, it is easy to by-pass galleries altogether, and make a modest living if you are still obsessing! I am struck by how often (on my daily walks in the woods) I come across middle-age couples with children who've left Brooklyn, moved to N.E., and found a way to balance all this stuff you have to balance if you have a kid and wanna paint. Towns up here, love artists and let them build any kind of studio in their back yard, the heck with zoning boards.

    It is a lot less stressful to become a dentist, accountant, plumber, since being an artist requires you to be obsessive. Art is a sort of compulsion. There are no guarantees for success, financial success or even stability for men and women. There's an interesting collection of bios of Older Female Artists in the NYT magazine dated 2015, 05, 15. It was kinda' depressing to read.

    Oh, gonna brag a little: completely accidentally, I met Rauschenberg and Clement Greenberg; they gave me great advice that I will always remember....basically, the "compulsion" side of being an artist.

    “I met Rauschenberg and Clement Greenberg”

    …and you didn’t spit in their faces? And you treasure this memory?

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    • Replies: @Lagertha
    I would never spit at anyone. And, I led with "brag," because they were well known; it's your idea that I treasure this. One happened to compliment me on my painting, and the other was bored at an event and struck up a conversation with me...randomly - don't read anything into this since he was very old and rumored to be gay. Both were old; they said nice things to me....but both talked about the difficulty of being an artist (I was young) and the need to persevere and stick with it.
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  80. Jacobite says: • Website
    @Jonah
    These painting statistics are illustrative of a larger point: female excellence has plateaued across the board.

    As Steve so often says, the Left forgets that it has been in charge - at least in the West - for a very long time. The last woman who was disadvantaged educationally because of her gender is what... 60 years old now?

    I can't think of a single industry or domain of knowledge where I'd expect to see a big uptick in female achievement at the highest level. You might say that human capital isn't being developed efficiently in the 3rd world, and to the detriment of women. But that's the 3rd world. Nobody there is terribly high achieving.

    tl;dr... Ladies: get used to how things are now. You gals are probably gonna be represented (in boardrooms, science, film, art, everything) at current levels for the rest of your lives.

    The last woman who was disadvantaged educationally because of her gender is what… 60 years old now?

    Older than that, at least in the Anglosphere.

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    • Replies: @Formerly CARealist
    My grandmother graduated from college, UC Berkeley, in 1936. If she were alive she'd be 102.
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  81. @neon2
    This fits in with an earlier posting of mine about the political stance of composers, the general point being that Wagner was not the only German musician with views likely to be frowned upon by the mindlessly bien pensant.
    The Schumann family was very matter of factly right wing. When one of the composers daughters, who lived in Switzerland, was visited by relations in the mid 1930s (she died in 1938), she spoke with quiet satisfaction of the splendid strides being made by the exciting new regime which was bringing her beloved homeland out of the chaos of the post-war years.
    And what is with this "even" racialist? Everybody who had eyes to see and a brain to deduce with was "racialist" in those halcyon days.

    By “racialist”, I meant something more specific than generic whiteness. She was harking back to the British Isles. And arguing with Antonin Dvořak, a nationalist of another race.

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  82. @pyrrhus
    My theory is that possibly women aren't as good at painting as men....My wife's repeatedly expressed opinion of Frieda Kahlo is that she has absolutely no talent, but has been riding on Diego Rivera's fame for a long time...

    My wife’s repeatedly expressed opinion of Frieda Kahlo is that she has absolutely no talent, but has been riding on Diego Rivera’s fame for a long time…

    And Rivera does? Nelson Rockefeller, known for his artisric interest but not for his taste, once fired him.

    If she hadn’t screwed Trotsky just before his murder, would anyone pay any attention to either one today?

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  83. @Jacobite

    The last woman who was disadvantaged educationally because of her gender is what… 60 years old now?
     
    Older than that, at least in the Anglosphere.

    My grandmother graduated from college, UC Berkeley, in 1936. If she were alive she’d be 102.

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  84. @Threecranes
    It is an established fact that women, speaking generally, have better small digit coordination than do men while men are better at whole body efforts such as throwing a ball or planing a board. Traditional painting involves close eye hand coordination. Modern Art and painting tends to involve whole body gestures, arrangement of purely formal elements and mechanical processes viz. Pollack and Warhol. It should not be surprising therefore that women would be better represented during an era of painting in which fine detail was valued and men in an era in which mental abstraction, geometric mechanical processes and large size are valued.

    Scorsese’s short in “New York Stories” with Nick Nolte as a De Kooning-style action painter slashing away at giant canvases is a good depiction of modern art at its most whole body movement masculine.

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    • Replies: @guest
    I don't think "action painting" was hyped for its manliness, though that was a big part of how they sold it, any more than, say, being a drunken fool who pisses in fireplaces at cocktail parties was. The latter was to show not manliness but that you were a bohemian. Action Painting was a few more steps down the long, dark road of Abstraction. First, you get rid of representation, then the third dimension, then the object of art itself, hence the focus on the act of painting itself. It ends when you have "art" that never existed, preferably never even in the artist's(?) thoughts.
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  85. AH says:
    @Jonathan Silber
    Women artists may have talent, but no genius.

    Way to prove IThink’s point.

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  86. @blankmisgivings
    I think english language poetry and fiction since about 1860 are an arena where women have outperformed compared to other artistic forms hitorically. I would argue you could consume ONLY female poetry and prose since the late nineteenth century to the present and still have a pretty balanced diet of greatness available to you: Dickinson, Woolf, Moore, O'Connor to name just four of the greatest.

    Western Literature was the one field where Charles Murray’s Human Accomplishment shows a strong increase in female achievement in modern times before 1950 — and it was pretty strong going back through Jane Austen.

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    • Replies: @syonredux

    Western Literature was the one field where Charles Murray’s Human Accomplishment shows a strong increase in female achievement in modern times before 1950 — and it was pretty strong going back through Jane Austen.
     
    Yeah, and one can also point to Japanese literature as well.If memory serves, Murasaki Shikibu makes the top three in Murray's list for Japanese Lit.Indeed, I think that she might be the highest scoring woman in any field.

    In Why Men Rule, Goldberg cites literature as the one field where female accomplishment comes reasonably close to rivaling male accomplishment...
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  87. neon2 says:
    @vinteuil
    Hey, Steve Sailer - since you're (rightly) interested in the notion that artistically talented women in the past weren't quite as unappreciated or discriminated against as current dogma insists, may I suggest that you take a serious look at the history of the performing arts with the highest status of all - namely, opera & ballet?

    In the 19th century, the Prima Donna, the Prima Ballerina - they were everything. The composers, like Donizetti, or Minkus, who provided them with musical back-ground, were nothing.

    The all-encomposing refutation of this argument is Wagner, but one could name, oh, just a few others: Rossini, Verdi, Bizet, Puccini, Tchaikovsky; I’d continue but it is just too obvious.

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    • Replies: @vinteuil
    Ummm...do you think that Pasta & Malibran & Patti & Melba & Tetrazzini & Galli-Curci &c were under-appreciated, in their time, compared to the various tune-smiths who provided them with grist for their mill?

    I think maybe you've missed my point, which is this: the notion that in the past women in the arts suffered terribly from sexist discrimination is totally ridiculous. Even the most casual glance at the history of opera & ballet, in particular, instantly reveals this notion for the nonsense that it is.
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  88. @guest
    You can't reason from innate ability on this subject. Being an old master required intense training over a long period of time with little hope for remuneration, which favors men. Being a famous modern painter requires tremendous capacity for hype and self-promotion, which moreso favors men. There are various other historical explanations.

    A sociological analysis of the balance of the sexes over time would be of interest, but it would probably raise unsettling questions about the conditions that make for higher female accomplishment in the arts, such as conservative eras lacking in a taste for artistic innovation.

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  89. HEL says:
    @DavidB
    I can't help it if your relatives misspell their name. The version with one 'f' is much more common.

    I’m reminded of a quote from the truly great O’Keeffe of the 20th century, Miles O’Keeffe, who said “my name is spelled with two e’s, two f’s and another e, and nobody ever spells it right.”

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  90. @guest
    Cezanne does illuminate what at least a third of what modern painting is about, namely crappy drawing. The other major aspects are best exemplified by Malevich (abstraction) and explained by Tom Wolfe (flatness). But if you want to know the narrative, I suggest not starting with any of these. Go back to Impressionism, which, despite being popular (unlike Cezanne), set the stage for the tragic fall.

    It's not my favorite era, but it is still beautiful and still within the tradition of great painting. Broadly construed, impressionism might be said to be one of the two major overarching styles in the history of Western painting, the other being Raphaelian classicism. But the particular, capital "I" impressionism that came to dominate the schools in the late 19th century dangerously emphasized effect over technique. They miseducated the next generation, failing to teach them how to paint any other way.

    The old apprentice system (atelier) had broken down by that point, though it survives in some form to this day. Blame the art schools as much as impressionism, for without them it's hard to imagine bad technique, or no technique, becoming *the* technique. Nowadays, while art schools still exist, they might as well not. I don't think they make a difference. That's how potentially rotten academia is.

    Point is, the post-impressionistic generation,unless they happened to personally train under masters, couldn't paint in the old way if they wanted to. Which helps explain why they chose ugliness. It doesn't entirely explain it, because they could've chosen mediocrity. If you want to know the whole story you have to study what happen to all of high art around the turn of the 20th century. That's way too complicated a story to tell here, and probably too complicated a story for me to ever understand. For one thing, modern art isn't just about novelty, incompetence, and intentional ugliness. A lot of it is neoclassicism, though not my favorite variety of neoclassical.

    For painting, however, I think incompetence tells more of the story. You simply cannot paint like Raphael, nor matter what your talent, without training under someone who knows how. This is covered up by, for instance, showing Picasso's early work, which is competently enough old-fashioned, and pretending he could've been an regular Old Master had he felt like it. No, there's no evidence for that.

    Picasso claimed that when he was young he could draw like Raphael. Is there any evidence for that assertion?

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    • Replies: @Anonymous
    "Like Raphael" is a little subjective but yes, he most certainly could draw:
    https://brandonknobles.files.wordpress.com/2015/08/picassoearly.jpg
    , @guest
    I've never seen the evidence. I've seen evidence that he could've been trained to be a competent artist, but I don't believe he ever was.
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  91. syonredux says:
    @Steve Sailer
    Western Literature was the one field where Charles Murray's Human Accomplishment shows a strong increase in female achievement in modern times before 1950 -- and it was pretty strong going back through Jane Austen.

    Western Literature was the one field where Charles Murray’s Human Accomplishment shows a strong increase in female achievement in modern times before 1950 — and it was pretty strong going back through Jane Austen.

    Yeah, and one can also point to Japanese literature as well.If memory serves, Murasaki Shikibu makes the top three in Murray’s list for Japanese Lit.Indeed, I think that she might be the highest scoring woman in any field.

    In Why Men Rule, Goldberg cites literature as the one field where female accomplishment comes reasonably close to rivaling male accomplishment…

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  92. Jacobite says: • Website
    @DavidB
    'There’s a sneering hate-filled quality towards women in the comment.'

    Whoa, where do you get that from? Certainly not from anything in my comment. A sneering disdain for the feminist industry, maybe, but that is not to be confused with 'women', whatever the industry might want us to believe. As it happens, I genuinely like and admire all the women artists I mentioned, except for Frida Kahlo, who was an incompetent dauber. My point was that in recent years they have been hyped by feminists beyond their merit in comparison to equally or more talented male artists. A striking example is Gwen John. She is now regarded by bien-pensant art critics as a greater artist than her brilliant brother Augustus: Gwen has a monograph to herself in the Tate Gallery's 'British Artists' series; her brother, none. Was she really better than him? By most counts, no: Augustus was more prolific, more naturally gifted (judged by his brushwork, etc) and more versatile. But Gwen was arguably 'deeper' in her narrower sphere. It is like comparing Jane Austen and Dickens. I'm not saying that Augustus was a greater artist, just that I don't see any basis for the current higher valuation of Gwen. Incidentally I also admire other women artists I haven't mentioned, such as Mary Cassatt, Laura Knight, and Winifred Nicholson, but they haven't, as yet, been 'boosted' out of all proportion.

    I also admire other women artists I haven’t mentioned, such as Mary Cassatt, Laura Knight, and Winifred Nicholson, but they haven’t, as yet, been ‘boosted’ out of all proportion.

    I can assure you that some of us hold Mary Cassatt in the very highest esteem. I particularly like works of hers that employ a high contrast between light and dark colors.

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  93. Jacobite says: • Website
    @pyrrhus
    If Mary Cassatt isn't the greatest female painter in history, I'd like to know who the other candidates are....

    Indeed.

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  94. carol says:
    @SD
    Women violinists and pianists are all the rage now, and looking hot doesn't hurt.

    oh yes, and I notice all but the most elite orchestras have many more good looking women now. Also, many Asians…very few blacks. (Bernstein got mau-maued over the issue but I don’t think he gave way much.)

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  95. Lagertha says:
    @SPMoore8
    The primary purpose of human life is to reproduce other human life. After that, you can start talking about cultural transmission (many who do not have children do this), and about artistic or technological or intellectual creation. I don't think it's an accident that most of the great minds we have known (historically) were either unmarried, childless, gay, or at minimum had a strong division of labor with their helpmeets in terms of child raising.

    I don't know why women are not as common in terms of creating durable art. But I do know that women have a particular time frame and a particular set of physical characteristics that need to be emphasized for reproduction to take place. And that's always going to hold a woman back, let alone, once the babies are born, women are usually going to do most of the raising.

    With men, none of that applies. A guy can be unattractive, a guy can be relatively old, but he can still reproduce, all he needs is sufficient social status and personal skills to get woman to mate with him. And men rarely do the bulk of the child raising.

    Of course, any single individual can break this paradigm. However, I don't know why a woman would want to sacrifice her reproductive imperative so that she could one of the multitudes who live for some ambition, thing, art, idea, problem, etc. That's the biological bottom line: A man can sacrifice that imperative, for decades, anyway. But a woman cannot. And for every great (male) artist there are 10,000 who ended up dying young or being taken care of by their families.

    I do think that women determine popular culture, to a large extent. They determine what is watched, what is sold, what the latest fad in food, clothing, bathroom and deodorants is going to be. But it seems that durable art is largely determined by men. Not sure why, maybe because men are more likely to devote themselves to promoting such things.

    if you scroll up to “Vive La…” that was my response to your post.

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    • Replies: @SPMoore8
    Yes, thank you, I figured as much. And you are right about pets; with my kids long gone I got another dog after my beloved pooch passed away. She's been a handful and had required a lot of baby sitting. She's getting better, but even dogs don't want to be left alone for long .....
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  96. Lagertha says:
    @vinteuil
    "I met Rauschenberg and Clement Greenberg"

    ...and you didn't spit in their faces? And you treasure this memory?

    I would never spit at anyone. And, I led with “brag,” because they were well known; it’s your idea that I treasure this. One happened to compliment me on my painting, and the other was bored at an event and struck up a conversation with me…randomly – don’t read anything into this since he was very old and rumored to be gay. Both were old; they said nice things to me….but both talked about the difficulty of being an artist (I was young) and the need to persevere and stick with it.

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  97. SFG says:
    @Reg Cæsar

    Women Made Up Sizable Fraction of Top Painters 200 Years Ago
     
    Women made up a sizable fraction of the canvas 400 years ago:

    http://www.pariscultureguide.com/peter-paul-rubens.html

    Feminists really love that example, but while the anorexic ideal is kind of a new thing, really big gals are, well, never all that popular, much like nerds. Rubens was a chub-chaser, but still a great artist nonetheless.

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    • Replies: @guest
    It's not as if every fat woman in every old painting is supposed to be an ideal beauty, or even attractive. If they're Venus or nymphs, okay.
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  98. SFG says:
    @Lagertha
    as a mother (and artist) of three sons, I hate the misandrist movement lately, too. My brilliant sons are avoiding U's where they will be either looked at as someone whose consciousness needs to be raised about their male privilege/wp or where they are looked at as a dumb jock/potential rapist. My close friend, (has both boys and girls) said, pretty soon they'll have AA for white guys at the elite U's. However, her brainiac daughter (majors in math) didn't get into the elite U's either.

    So how are they going to get jobs? I agree about the toxic atmosphere of the modern U, but unless they’re good craftsmen, it’s really hard to get a job without a college degree these days.

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    • Replies: @Lagertha
    Oh, they didn't avoid U's - just didn't go to those annoying ones that are in the news so much lately. They are all in STEM programs; went to U's that gave them the biggest scholarships (academic); large schools in a pleasant environment/part of the country. But, they are mostly with more "regular" people so to speak. Honors Colleges of many U's are actively going after the high test scorers/athletes. However, all my sons can weld & solder, cut metal; roof; use all power tools/carpentry tools; they are also very good at cooking. They speak languages besides English. They are resourceful. This is why raising children is the hardest job in the world. But, I'm not worried about them at all.

    I think if you are a mother, and, a teacher, or a farmer's/rancher's wife, deployed soldier's wife (or husband if wife deployed) that is even harder. So much responsibility and so much decision making constantly.

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  99. SPMoore8 says:
    @Lagertha
    if you scroll up to "Vive La..." that was my response to your post.

    Yes, thank you, I figured as much. And you are right about pets; with my kids long gone I got another dog after my beloved pooch passed away. She’s been a handful and had required a lot of baby sitting. She’s getting better, but even dogs don’t want to be left alone for long …..

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  100. cybele says:
    @Lagertha
    Yes and no (Steve's last line). I think the main reason that there is a dearth of female artists/fame following female artists (strictly talking about painters) is that it is so difficult to have children, even one child, and continue to obsess over your work, spending countless hours alone in your studio. Of course, there are a few exceptions (painters who have one child) who have managed to pursue their work. However, even some of the women I admired who were just one generation older than me, often had family money or a wealthy spouse who could pay the bills (so, still very 19th century). There are some art power couples today who are both artists, and that helps in many ways.

    Georgia O'Keefe's aura just continues, however, as does Kahlo's - Mexico loves her and her home is quite a shrine, as is Georgia's Ghost Ranch & Santa Fe museum dedicated to her art. But both women were not particularly favored by feminists, in my opinion. Frida had her tumultuous, crazy relationship/devotion to Diego which has always bugged a lot of people who always want to put some kind of "women are not represented enough, blah, blah," angle on art as far as galleries (the "gateway" to stardom). Frida's dramatic self portraits (especially the ones with Diego on her mind) may rub people the wrong way because they are revolted by her tortured, futile obsession with Diego, Diego, not behaving like a gentleman most of the time.

    Georgia was never going to let anyone put her into some feminist pantheon (my opinion only) because she always, stubbornly, lived (and died) on her own terms. She chose to live out in the middle of nowhere, since Alfred knew how to get her paintings sold. She and Stieglitz were devoted to each other, and, she was very up-front about her abortion (Stieglitz thought children would mess up her career,) and just moved on - you can hear it in her own words in the documentary about her. She also took on Juan Hamilton (he was kinda' cute) as her vision started to fail, and this was way before Madonna and the concept of boy-toys. I was often struck by how several boyfriends had a portrait of Georgia on their walls. And, all of them said she was like an Icon for them...they couldn't explain it. Juan Hamilton stayed with her from the early 70's until her death in 1986 at 98.

    Abstract Expressionism was also a time that sidelined many women artists...my feeling is: they couldn't relate to it...so, it wasn't until the rise of Representational art again in the 80's that women painters dusted themselves off and their work began to emerge in galleries again. By then, too, art had become a commodity, status symbol; and there were plenty of people pursuing art (making product) for galleries to sell for ever-wealthier clients. Wall Street (movie) shows this quite clearly. Really big, schlockmeister paintings on the walls!

    However, the child-thing is the big obstacle...of course, women artists return to work in their 50's, but they have been "out of the loop" sometimes, too long. But, now with the internet, it is easy to by-pass galleries altogether, and make a modest living if you are still obsessing! I am struck by how often (on my daily walks in the woods) I come across middle-age couples with children who've left Brooklyn, moved to N.E., and found a way to balance all this stuff you have to balance if you have a kid and wanna paint. Towns up here, love artists and let them build any kind of studio in their back yard, the heck with zoning boards.

    It is a lot less stressful to become a dentist, accountant, plumber, since being an artist requires you to be obsessive. Art is a sort of compulsion. There are no guarantees for success, financial success or even stability for men and women. There's an interesting collection of bios of Older Female Artists in the NYT magazine dated 2015, 05, 15. It was kinda' depressing to read.

    Oh, gonna brag a little: completely accidentally, I met Rauschenberg and Clement Greenberg; they gave me great advice that I will always remember....basically, the "compulsion" side of being an artist.

    Yes, women tend to get to get most of their creative impetus from the birthing and upbringing of children. Because men do not have this experience and cannot really fathom the depths of this creative potential, they must invest themselves in alternative methods of “creation.” ’twas always thus and always thus shall be.

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    • Replies: @middle aged vet
    Cybele - actually, even Shakespeare was not sure if men are able to fathom the depths of "this creative potential". And a couple of people who were even more insightful than Shakespeare were not able to say if men could or could not fathom it. (The Bible, however, answers this question, in case you care - and gives a different answer than yours - reread the Song of Solomon and the building of the Temple, and then read the Epistle to the Church in Phillipi in light of what you read in the Old Testament). The real reason there are few female famous artists is that almost all famous artists -including Picasso, including Verdi, including Kafka, including Tolstoy and even the wonderful friend of animals Mark Twain- are, to be honest, second-rate, and young females have, for obvious reasons, exponentially less incentive to trade a first-rate private life for a second-rate public life than young men, while older men and older women are equally past the point in life where they can choose for the first time to achieve greatness in art.
    , @guest
    This is a pet peeve of mine. Women can't create life without sperm (barring parthenogenesis), and so men are as creative in that respect, though the fact is less obvious. What's unique about women is their nurturing, not their creating.
    , @Reg Cæsar


    'twas always thus...
     
    I could swear you've been reading Phyllis Schlafly, but she says "'Twas ever thus."
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  101. @cybele
    Yes, women tend to get to get most of their creative impetus from the birthing and upbringing of children. Because men do not have this experience and cannot really fathom the depths of this creative potential, they must invest themselves in alternative methods of "creation." 'twas always thus and always thus shall be.

    Cybele – actually, even Shakespeare was not sure if men are able to fathom the depths of “this creative potential”. And a couple of people who were even more insightful than Shakespeare were not able to say if men could or could not fathom it. (The Bible, however, answers this question, in case you care – and gives a different answer than yours – reread the Song of Solomon and the building of the Temple, and then read the Epistle to the Church in Phillipi in light of what you read in the Old Testament). The real reason there are few female famous artists is that almost all famous artists -including Picasso, including Verdi, including Kafka, including Tolstoy and even the wonderful friend of animals Mark Twain- are, to be honest, second-rate, and young females have, for obvious reasons, exponentially less incentive to trade a first-rate private life for a second-rate public life than young men, while older men and older women are equally past the point in life where they can choose for the first time to achieve greatness in art.

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  102. Lagertha says:
    @SFG
    So how are they going to get jobs? I agree about the toxic atmosphere of the modern U, but unless they're good craftsmen, it's really hard to get a job without a college degree these days.

    Oh, they didn’t avoid U’s – just didn’t go to those annoying ones that are in the news so much lately. They are all in STEM programs; went to U’s that gave them the biggest scholarships (academic); large schools in a pleasant environment/part of the country. But, they are mostly with more “regular” people so to speak. Honors Colleges of many U’s are actively going after the high test scorers/athletes. However, all my sons can weld & solder, cut metal; roof; use all power tools/carpentry tools; they are also very good at cooking. They speak languages besides English. They are resourceful. This is why raising children is the hardest job in the world. But, I’m not worried about them at all.

    I think if you are a mother, and, a teacher, or a farmer’s/rancher’s wife, deployed soldier’s wife (or husband if wife deployed) that is even harder. So much responsibility and so much decision making constantly.

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  103. vinteuil says:
    @neon2
    The all-encomposing refutation of this argument is Wagner, but one could name, oh, just a few others: Rossini, Verdi, Bizet, Puccini, Tchaikovsky; I'd continue but it is just too obvious.

    Ummm…do you think that Pasta & Malibran & Patti & Melba & Tetrazzini & Galli-Curci &c were under-appreciated, in their time, compared to the various tune-smiths who provided them with grist for their mill?

    I think maybe you’ve missed my point, which is this: the notion that in the past women in the arts suffered terribly from sexist discrimination is totally ridiculous. Even the most casual glance at the history of opera & ballet, in particular, instantly reveals this notion for the nonsense that it is.

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    • Replies: @European-American
    > the notion that in the past women in the arts suffered terribly
    > from sexist discrimination is totally ridiculous.

    Surely you overstate this? It's not controversial to say that women in the past faced very real obstacles in most artistic areas.

    But perhaps you mean that the few women who did overcome sexist obstacles faced no sexist discrimination in the appreciation by critics?

    An example of past discrimination against women in painting:

    "In many countries of Europe, the Academies were the arbiters of style. The Academies also were responsible for training artists, exhibiting artwork, and, inadvertently or not, promoting the sale of art. Most Academies were not open to women. In France, for example, the powerful Academy in Paris had 450 members between the 17th century and the French Revolution, and only fifteen were women. Of those, most were daughters or wives of members. In the late 18th century, the French Academy resolved not to admit any women at all."
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Women_artists#18th_century
    , @neon2
    I agree with your general point, now that you tell us what it is. My objection was to the idea that most if not all of the composers who provided them with something to sing or dance to were regarded as "nothing".
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  104. Dim Mak says:
    @Threecranes
    It is an established fact that women, speaking generally, have better small digit coordination than do men while men are better at whole body efforts such as throwing a ball or planing a board. Traditional painting involves close eye hand coordination. Modern Art and painting tends to involve whole body gestures, arrangement of purely formal elements and mechanical processes viz. Pollack and Warhol. It should not be surprising therefore that women would be better represented during an era of painting in which fine detail was valued and men in an era in which mental abstraction, geometric mechanical processes and large size are valued.

    It is an established fact that women, speaking generally, have better small digit coordination than do men while men are better at whole body efforts such as throwing a ball or planing a board.

    Sure, but that’s ignoring bell curve distributions. It might be that just as with IQ, men have a flatter distribution of fine motor coordination ability, leaving the right end of the bell curve dominated by men despite their pooer average performance.

    Secondly, fine motor coordination might be highly trainable. It could be that typically femenine tasks and hobbies like knitting and sewing Sufficiently train women to be on average better than men, even if the underlying ability were identical..

    Thirdly, it’s possible that male painters paint with whole body coordination even when rendering fine details, for example minutely adjusting stance or seated posture , or even breath to finely adjust brushstrokes.

    Anyay, I don’t know of any evidence that male painters suffer from any disability in creating fine detail in practice vs. female painters. It could be so, but I don’t know of it.

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    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    1950s-style New York abstract expressionist action painter:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=49vZ7PePTOA

    , @Reg Cæsar

    Sure, but that’s ignoring bell curve distributions. It might be that just as with IQ, men have a flatter distribution of fine motor coordination ability, leaving the right end of the bell curve dominated by men despite their pooer average performance.
     
    That was true of touch-typing competitions.

    Apparently, it still is:

    http://www.ultimatetypingchampionship.com
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  105. @Dim Mak

    It is an established fact that women, speaking generally, have better small digit coordination than do men while men are better at whole body efforts such as throwing a ball or planing a board.
     
    Sure, but that's ignoring bell curve distributions. It might be that just as with IQ, men have a flatter distribution of fine motor coordination ability, leaving the right end of the bell curve dominated by men despite their pooer average performance.

    Secondly, fine motor coordination might be highly trainable. It could be that typically femenine tasks and hobbies like knitting and sewing Sufficiently train women to be on average better than men, even if the underlying ability were identical..

    Thirdly, it's possible that male painters paint with whole body coordination even when rendering fine details, for example minutely adjusting stance or seated posture , or even breath to finely adjust brushstrokes.

    Anyay, I don't know of any evidence that male painters suffer from any disability in creating fine detail in practice vs. female painters. It could be so, but I don't know of it.

    1950s-style New York abstract expressionist action painter:

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    • Replies: @Anonymous
    Abstract Expressionism is a clear-cut case of fraud. See Mark Rothko and Helen Frankenthaler.
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  106. Jim Given says:

    Tom Wolfe in his incisive critique of American modern art, calls it “The Painted Word” to capture its emphasis upon abstraction, and dependence upon (capital “T”) Theory.
    Men are still the specialists in abstraction for its own sake.

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  107. @Desiderius
    I had a vague memory that at one time Vigée-Lebrun was the only woman painter at the Louvre.

    There is something uniquely delightful about her The Marquise de Pezay, and the Marquise de Rougé with Her Sons Alexis and Adrien, 1787, at the National Gallery in DC.

    https://www.artsy.net/artwork/elisabeth-louise-vigee-le-brun-the-marquise-de-pezay-and-the-marquise-de-rouge-with-her-sons-alexis-and-adrien

    If you study the contours of the striped dress of whom I’m guessing is the Marquise de Rouge…Wow!

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  108. @syonredux

    The Louvre’s paintings are particularly heroic in scale. For example, Theodore Gericault’s “Raft of the Medusa” is 24′ x 16′. And the Louvre has a lot of others almost as large. (The “Mona Lisa” is quite small, though.)

    There are a lot of little biases toward the masculine in the art world — e.g., the Louvre is the most famous museum and it features a lot of insanely large canvases that very few women could even imagine painting — that add up to a big bias.
     
    Camille Paglia once noted that giganticism in art is inherently a masculine mode. Hence, for a woman to employ it, she must first unsex herself...

    Hence, for a woman to employ it, she must first unsex herself…

    Yawn….

    Consider the size of the “canvas” of the lady sculptor Sailer wrote of a few posts ago.

    PS. Note to website administrators: The Unz spell checker considers “Sailer”, not to mention “Unz”, misspellings.

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  109. @syonredux

    Second, assume that male followers are five or ten times as likely to become famous themselves as female followers.
     
    A very likely assumption:

    Why Men Rule: A Theory of Male Dominance
    by Steven Goldberg

    The first edition of this book was lavishly praised by many authorities as the most formidable demonstration of an unpopular truth: males rule in all societies known to history or anthropology, for reasons arising from innate physiology, a brute fact that can never be conjured away by tinkering with social institutions. This new edition has been completely rewritten in the light of two decades of scholarship and debate, taking account of all published criticisms of earlier editions.
     
    http://www.amazon.com/Why-Men-Rule-Theory-Dominance/dp/0812692373

    Easily explained. For all our artistic and intellectual accomplishments, if men weren’t physically stronger than women we’d have no chance at all.

    P**sy is the undefeated, untied, un-scored upon champion.

    Consider our modern Philosophous Glorioso Roissy or Heartsite or whatever his idiotic name is. What’s he trying to get? He ain’t trying to get the Nobel Prize. He ain’t trying to get into the French Academy. He’s trying to get p**sy.

    And I put it to you, who’s in charge of p**sy?

    [Sorry to use such vulgar language but, God damn.]

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    • Replies: @Brutusale
    The pimp hand.
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  110. @candid_observer
    At least one significant portion of the explanation of women having less influence, and more generally being less likely to have a reputation that endures, is the usual one regarding the relatively thinner right tails for women than for men -- quite possibly due to smaller variances for women.

    Probably those painters whose reputations endure are at least a standard deviation above those whose reputations don't. That will have a far greater effect proportionally on women than on men.

    See LaGriffe for how this applies in math, and extend the analysis to painting.

    At least one significant portion of the explanation of women having less influence, and more generally being less likely to have a reputation that endures, is the usual one regarding the relatively thinner right tails for women than for men — quite possibly due to smaller variances for women.

    Let me explain it slowly. Men need “influence” to get women. Women do not need “influence” to get men.

    Men evolved (that’s a word Sailer and his hero Galton love, so I’ll use it here) the right side of the Bell Curve to get women. Women didn’t have to do that to get men. Could they have, had they needed to? Being animals not much different from men, probably so.

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  111. @syonredux
    Insanely off-topic,

    Don't know if you are planning on writing a review of The Revenant , but I just learned some fascinating stuff about a previous fictionalization of the Hugh Glass story, Lord Grizzly :

    Frederick Feikema Manfred (January 6, 1912 – September 7, 1994) was a noted Western author. Manfred's novels are very much connected to his native region. His stories involve the American Midlands, and the prairies of the West. He named the area where the borders of Minnesota, Iowa, South Dakota, and Nebraska meet, "Siouxland."
     

    Manfred was born in Doon, Iowa. He was baptized Frederick Feikes Feikema, VII, and he used the name Feike Feikema when he published his first books. He was the oldest of six boys, all over six feet tall, and was himself six feet nine inches tall. Manfred was a third generation Frisian American, whose family originated in the village of Tzum, in the Dutch province of Friesland.[1]



    Manfred was raised in the Christian Reformed Church. James Bratt argues that Manfred rebelled against this upbringing, being filled with "religious doubts and ethical chafings."[2] Bratt goes on to discuss this influence that this upbringing had on Manfred's writing, and suggests that the qualities of his work - "earthy detail, metaphysical sweep, both set to biblical cadence - are precisely those of his native faith."[3]

    In 1937 Manfred worked as a sports reporter for The Minneapolis Journal. He was fired a couple years later, due to his involvement in union organization. Shortly after this Manfred developed tuberculosis and entered Glen Lake Sanatorium in Oak Terrace, Minnesota, in April 1940. It was in this sanatorium that he met his future wife Maryanna Shorba. Manfred left the sanatorium in 1942 and worked on the staff of Modern Medicine and as assistant campaign manager for Hubert Humphrey, who was a candidate for mayor of Minneapolis. He fictionalized this period in his book Boy Almighty, published under the name Feike Feikema.

    Manfred published The Primitive, the first novel in his World's Wanderer trilogy, in 1949. It was poorly received, and the next two books in the trilogy, The Brother (1950) and The Giant (1951), met with mixed reviews. In 1952 Manfred decided to changed his name from Frederick Feikema to Frederick Feikema Manfred, and Frederick Manfred became his publishing name. Lord Grizzly, the first of "The Buckskin Man Tales," was the first work Manfred published under his new name. It was a best seller and one of the finalists for the National Book Award in 1954. The "Buckskin Man Tales" are the novels Lord Grizzly, Conquering Horse, Scarlet Plume, King of Spades, and Riders of Judgment.

    For a time he lived in a house which is now the interpretive center of Blue Mounds State Park in Rock County, Minnesota. He attended Calvin College in Michigan.

    Manfred was the writer-in-residence in the English Department at the University of South Dakota during the 1970s and 80s. According to his daughter Freya Manfred, "Many of those who drank coffee with him, watched him, listened to him, learned from him, are now well-known national or regional writers: Pete Dexter, Michael Doane, Elly Welt, William Earls, Dan O'Brien, Linda Hasselstrom, Craig Volk, Bill Holm, John Calvin Rezmerski, and Joe and Nancy Paddock."
     
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frederick_Manfred

    In the middle of the 20th century, Glass emerged again, this time as the centerpiece of a story of a man at war with the whole concept of civilization. In Frederick Manfred’s 1954 book, Lord Grizzly, the mountain man is talkative as all heck, though the reader may wish he weren’t; some of the dialect used, while historically sourced, is distractingly comical. Of the many versions of Glass, Manfred’s may be the one who’s easiest to psychoanalyze: Manfred gives his hero a full backstory and many loud opinions. The book was a best-seller and a finalist for the National Book Award that year, indicating that it tapped into its own time on levels both critical and commercial.
     

    Appropriately for an era that was (contra popular conceptions of the 1950s) quite concerned about its own tendency toward social conformity, Manfred’s Glass is a man who is against society and everything that goes with it: laws, rules, and white women’s ways. Glass has a Native American wife, Bending Reed, and he reflects on her attitude toward him: “He thought it a good thing that from birth on Indian women were taught to serve their lord and master. They knew exactly how to arouse the man in him. They knew how to keep a brave man brave.” He refuses to shave his beard, which his boss asks him to do, because it’s a sign of manhood (here comes some of that dialect): “We made a mistake when we let the wimmen talk us inta kissin’ ‘em, smoozlin ‘em face to face. The Indian wimmen never did it and was the better for it. And then we made a mistake when we let them talk us into shavin’ so we’d look like nice little boys again. It’s not wonder the country is so full of wet-behind-the-ears greenhorn kids.”
     

    The abandoners, in Lord Grizzly, are young Bridger and a Fitzgerald who’s written as a slick pragmatist who is too smart for his own good. Glass eventually forgives Bridger (not before coming to the brink of gouging his eyes out, a common fighting tactic in the early 19th century), but Fitz’s betrayal bothers him more. Thinking, during his long crawl, about Fitz’s motivations for leaving him, he decides it makes sense that a man with some education would do such a thing.

    Reading filled the head with excuses on how not to be a man in a fix. On how not to be a brave buck. In a fix a bookman sat down and told over all his ideas afore he got to work and shot his way out of a fix. In a fix a man hadn’t ought to have but one idea—and that was how to get out of a pretty fix pronto.
     

    Glass defines himself as the opposite of this “bookman,” in one passage imagining himself as the Biblical Esau to Fitz’s Jacob. Jacobs, he thinks, are “Rebekah favorites, mama boys, she-rip sissies who stayed behind in the settlements to do squaw’s work, the smooth men back home who ran shops and worked gardens and ran factories.” Not Glass. “No, if anything he was an Esau, a hairy man and a man’s man and a cunning hunter, a man of the prairie and the mountains.” This “Lord Grizzly” was self-aware, conscious of his own place in the order of things; the difference between him and the kinds of people who would publish humorous sketches about him in Philadelphia magazines was something he considered and treasured.
     
    http://www.slate.com/articles/arts/history/2015/12/hugh_glass_how_accurate_is_the_revenant_a_history_of_a_folk_tale.2.html

    Frederick Feikema Manfred (January 6, 1912 – September 7, 1994) was a noted Western author. Manfred’s novels are very much connected to his native region. His stories involve the American Midlands, and the prairies of the West. He named the area where the borders of Minnesota, Iowa, South Dakota, and Nebraska meet, “Siouxland.”

    Interesting that he’s responsible for the ‘Siouxland’ moniker. Doon, IA, Manfred’s hometown, is just a couple of miles outside of Sioux County, which has been an occasional topic at this site for other reasons. I’ve heard of him, but haven’t read any of his books. I should give one a try, definitely . . . .

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  112. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer
    @Steve Sailer
    Picasso claimed that when he was young he could draw like Raphael. Is there any evidence for that assertion?

    “Like Raphael” is a little subjective but yes, he most certainly could draw:

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  113. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer
    @Steve Sailer
    1950s-style New York abstract expressionist action painter:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=49vZ7PePTOA

    Abstract Expressionism is a clear-cut case of fraud. See Mark Rothko and Helen Frankenthaler.

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    • Replies: @syonredux

    Abstract Expressionism is a clear-cut case of fraud. See Mark Rothko and Helen Frankenthaler.
     
    Jackson Pollack did it about as well as it could be done; he was certainly better than his legion of imitators.


    For my money, though, Edward Hopper was the greatest American artist of the 20th century:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Office_in_a_Small_City#/media/File:Office_in_a_small_city_hopper_1953.jpg

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hotel_Lobby#/media/File:Hotel_Lobby_by_Edward_Hopper.JPG

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/East_Wind_Over_Weehawken#/media/File:East_Wind_Over_Weehawken,_Edward_Hopper_1934.tiff
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  114. Abstract Expressionism is a clear-cut case of fraud.

    As is all art on some level.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Treachery_of_Images

    The question is whether it fools us into better fools or worse.

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    • Replies: @guest
    "As is all art on some level"

    You calling Shakespeare a liar?

    Seriously though, I think the above poster meant "fraud" in another manner, as in the artists themselves and the people promoting it don't believe what they say about it.

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  115. syonredux says:
    @Anonymous
    Abstract Expressionism is a clear-cut case of fraud. See Mark Rothko and Helen Frankenthaler.

    Abstract Expressionism is a clear-cut case of fraud. See Mark Rothko and Helen Frankenthaler.

    Jackson Pollack did it about as well as it could be done; he was certainly better than his legion of imitators.

    For my money, though, Edward Hopper was the greatest American artist of the 20th century:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/East_Wind_Over_Weehawken#/media/File:East_Wind_Over_Weehawken,_Edward_Hopper_1934.tiff

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    • Replies: @guest
    I am a Hopper enthusiast, but he was limited. For one thing, his faces are hideous. I prefer his landscapes and architectural works. He did one thing perfectly, which is loneliness. That's not enough to put him in the pantheon, but greatest 20th century American painter, why not? The competition isn't fierce.
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  116. @vinteuil
    Ummm...do you think that Pasta & Malibran & Patti & Melba & Tetrazzini & Galli-Curci &c were under-appreciated, in their time, compared to the various tune-smiths who provided them with grist for their mill?

    I think maybe you've missed my point, which is this: the notion that in the past women in the arts suffered terribly from sexist discrimination is totally ridiculous. Even the most casual glance at the history of opera & ballet, in particular, instantly reveals this notion for the nonsense that it is.

    > the notion that in the past women in the arts suffered terribly
    > from sexist discrimination is totally ridiculous.

    Surely you overstate this? It’s not controversial to say that women in the past faced very real obstacles in most artistic areas.

    But perhaps you mean that the few women who did overcome sexist obstacles faced no sexist discrimination in the appreciation by critics?

    An example of past discrimination against women in painting:

    “In many countries of Europe, the Academies were the arbiters of style. The Academies also were responsible for training artists, exhibiting artwork, and, inadvertently or not, promoting the sale of art. Most Academies were not open to women. In France, for example, the powerful Academy in Paris had 450 members between the 17th century and the French Revolution, and only fifteen were women. Of those, most were daughters or wives of members. In the late 18th century, the French Academy resolved not to admit any women at all.”

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Women_artists#18th_century

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  117. @Dim Mak

    It is an established fact that women, speaking generally, have better small digit coordination than do men while men are better at whole body efforts such as throwing a ball or planing a board.
     
    Sure, but that's ignoring bell curve distributions. It might be that just as with IQ, men have a flatter distribution of fine motor coordination ability, leaving the right end of the bell curve dominated by men despite their pooer average performance.

    Secondly, fine motor coordination might be highly trainable. It could be that typically femenine tasks and hobbies like knitting and sewing Sufficiently train women to be on average better than men, even if the underlying ability were identical..

    Thirdly, it's possible that male painters paint with whole body coordination even when rendering fine details, for example minutely adjusting stance or seated posture , or even breath to finely adjust brushstrokes.

    Anyay, I don't know of any evidence that male painters suffer from any disability in creating fine detail in practice vs. female painters. It could be so, but I don't know of it.

    Sure, but that’s ignoring bell curve distributions. It might be that just as with IQ, men have a flatter distribution of fine motor coordination ability, leaving the right end of the bell curve dominated by men despite their pooer average performance.

    That was true of touch-typing competitions.

    Apparently, it still is:

    http://www.ultimatetypingchampionship.com

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  118. guest says:
    @vinteuil
    Hey, Steve Sailer - since you're (rightly) interested in the notion that artistically talented women in the past weren't quite as unappreciated or discriminated against as current dogma insists, may I suggest that you take a serious look at the history of the performing arts with the highest status of all - namely, opera & ballet?

    In the 19th century, the Prima Donna, the Prima Ballerina - they were everything. The composers, like Donizetti, or Minkus, who provided them with musical back-ground, were nothing.

    The performing arts are something else entirely, and I don’t think ought to be conflated with high art.

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    • Replies: @vinteuil
    "The performing arts are something else entirely, and I don’t think ought to be conflated with high art."

    Guest, I find myself agreeing with almost everything else you've written, here - but I'm not sure about this point.

    With few exceptions, music, in general, and opera & ballet, in particular, have always been collaborative arts, where the interpreter is often (at least) as important as the composer.
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  119. guest says:
    @Steve Sailer
    Scorsese's short in "New York Stories" with Nick Nolte as a De Kooning-style action painter slashing away at giant canvases is a good depiction of modern art at its most whole body movement masculine.

    I don’t think “action painting” was hyped for its manliness, though that was a big part of how they sold it, any more than, say, being a drunken fool who pisses in fireplaces at cocktail parties was. The latter was to show not manliness but that you were a bohemian. Action Painting was a few more steps down the long, dark road of Abstraction. First, you get rid of representation, then the third dimension, then the object of art itself, hence the focus on the act of painting itself. It ends when you have “art” that never existed, preferably never even in the artist’s(?) thoughts.

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  120. guest says:
    @SFG
    Feminists really love that example, but while the anorexic ideal is kind of a new thing, really big gals are, well, never all that popular, much like nerds. Rubens was a chub-chaser, but still a great artist nonetheless.

    It’s not as if every fat woman in every old painting is supposed to be an ideal beauty, or even attractive. If they’re Venus or nymphs, okay.

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  121. guest says:
    @Steve Sailer
    Picasso claimed that when he was young he could draw like Raphael. Is there any evidence for that assertion?

    I’ve never seen the evidence. I’ve seen evidence that he could’ve been trained to be a competent artist, but I don’t believe he ever was.

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  122. guest says:
    @syonredux

    Abstract Expressionism is a clear-cut case of fraud. See Mark Rothko and Helen Frankenthaler.
     
    Jackson Pollack did it about as well as it could be done; he was certainly better than his legion of imitators.


    For my money, though, Edward Hopper was the greatest American artist of the 20th century:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Office_in_a_Small_City#/media/File:Office_in_a_small_city_hopper_1953.jpg

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hotel_Lobby#/media/File:Hotel_Lobby_by_Edward_Hopper.JPG

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/East_Wind_Over_Weehawken#/media/File:East_Wind_Over_Weehawken,_Edward_Hopper_1934.tiff

    I am a Hopper enthusiast, but he was limited. For one thing, his faces are hideous. I prefer his landscapes and architectural works. He did one thing perfectly, which is loneliness. That’s not enough to put him in the pantheon, but greatest 20th century American painter, why not? The competition isn’t fierce.

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    • Replies: @syonredux

    I am a Hopper enthusiast, but he was limited. For one thing, his faces are hideous.
     
    I rather like the homeliness of Hopper's faces.
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  123. guest says:
    @cybele
    Yes, women tend to get to get most of their creative impetus from the birthing and upbringing of children. Because men do not have this experience and cannot really fathom the depths of this creative potential, they must invest themselves in alternative methods of "creation." 'twas always thus and always thus shall be.

    This is a pet peeve of mine. Women can’t create life without sperm (barring parthenogenesis), and so men are as creative in that respect, though the fact is less obvious. What’s unique about women is their nurturing, not their creating.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Desiderius

    What’s unique about women is their nurturing, not their creating.
     
    Yes, that too.

    "We cannot kindle when we will
    The fire which in the heart resides;
    The spirit bloweth and is still,
    In mystery our soul abides.
    But tasks in hours of insight will'd
    Can be through hours of gloom fulfill'd.

    With aching hands and bleeding feet
    We dig and heap, lay stone on stone;
    We bear the burden and the heat
    Of the long day, and wish 'twere done.
    Not till the hours of light return,
    All we have built do we discern.

    Then, when the clouds are off the soul,
    When thou dost bask in Nature's eye,
    Ask, how she view'd thy self-control,
    Thy struggling, task'd morality—
    Nature, whose free, light, cheerful air,
    Oft made thee, in thy gloom, despair.

    And she, whose censure thou dost dread,
    Whose eye thou wast afraid to seek,
    See, on her face a glow is spread,
    A strong emotion on her cheek!
    'Ah, child!' she cries, 'that strife divine,
    Whence was it, for it is not mine?

    'There is no effort on my brow—
    I do not strive, I do not weep;
    I rush with the swift spheres and glow
    In joy, and when I will, I sleep.
    Yet that severe, that earnest air,
    I saw, I felt it once—but where?

    'I knew not yet the gauge of time,
    Nor wore the manacles of space;
    I felt it in some other clime,
    I saw it in some other place.
    'Twas when the heavenly house I trod,
    And lay upon the breast of God.'"

    - Morality, Matthew Arnold
    , @syonredux

    This is a pet peeve of mine. Women can’t create life without sperm (barring parthenogenesis), and so men are as creative in that respect, though the fact is less obvious.
     
    Sperm is cheap; ova are expensive.
    , @donut
    Poor deluded fool I was "nurtured" by a venomous snake . And I'm not alone .
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  124. guest says:
    @Desiderius

    Abstract Expressionism is a clear-cut case of fraud.
     
    As is all art on some level.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Treachery_of_Images

    The question is whether it fools us into better fools or worse.

    “As is all art on some level”

    You calling Shakespeare a liar?

    Seriously though, I think the above poster meant “fraud” in another manner, as in the artists themselves and the people promoting it don’t believe what they say about it.

    Read More
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  125. You calling Shakespeare a liar?

    There are worse things to be.

    Just as the opposite of love is not hate but indifference, so is the opposite of truth not a lie but rather bullshit.

    http://press.princeton.edu/titles/7929.html

    “The ordinary true, or purely real, cannot be the object of the arts. – Illusion on a ground of truth, that is the secret of the fine arts.”

    - Joubert

    “Since I left you, mine eye is in my mind;
    And that which governs me to go about
    Doth part his function, and is partly blind,
    Seems seeing, but effectually is out;
    For it no form delivers to the heart
    Of bird of flower, or shape, which it doth latch:
    Of his quick objects hath the mind no part,
    Nor his own vision holds what it doth catch;
    For if it see the rud’st or gentlest sight,
    The most sweet favour or deformed’st creature,
    The mountain or the sea, the day or night,
    The crow, or dove, it shapes them to your feature:
    Incapable of more, replete with you,
    My most true mind thus maketh mine untrue.”

    - Sonnet 113

    Seriously though, I think the above poster meant “fraud” in another manner, as in the artists themselves and the people promoting it don’t believe what they say about it.

    Your quaint earnestness is touching. I share it. Here’s hoping it won’t be quaint for long.

    That said, such art perfectly fits the spirit of the present age.

    Read More
    • Replies: @guest
    "such art perfectly fits the spirit of the present age"

    The worse for art.
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  126. @guest
    This is a pet peeve of mine. Women can't create life without sperm (barring parthenogenesis), and so men are as creative in that respect, though the fact is less obvious. What's unique about women is their nurturing, not their creating.

    What’s unique about women is their nurturing, not their creating.

    Yes, that too.

    “We cannot kindle when we will
    The fire which in the heart resides;
    The spirit bloweth and is still,
    In mystery our soul abides.
    But tasks in hours of insight will’d
    Can be through hours of gloom fulfill’d.

    With aching hands and bleeding feet
    We dig and heap, lay stone on stone;
    We bear the burden and the heat
    Of the long day, and wish ’twere done.
    Not till the hours of light return,
    All we have built do we discern.

    Then, when the clouds are off the soul,
    When thou dost bask in Nature’s eye,
    Ask, how she view’d thy self-control,
    Thy struggling, task’d morality—
    Nature, whose free, light, cheerful air,
    Oft made thee, in thy gloom, despair.

    And she, whose censure thou dost dread,
    Whose eye thou wast afraid to seek,
    See, on her face a glow is spread,
    A strong emotion on her cheek!
    ‘Ah, child!’ she cries, ‘that strife divine,
    Whence was it, for it is not mine?

    ‘There is no effort on my brow—
    I do not strive, I do not weep;
    I rush with the swift spheres and glow
    In joy, and when I will, I sleep.
    Yet that severe, that earnest air,
    I saw, I felt it once—but where?

    ‘I knew not yet the gauge of time,
    Nor wore the manacles of space;
    I felt it in some other clime,
    I saw it in some other place.
    ‘Twas when the heavenly house I trod,
    And lay upon the breast of God.’”

    - Morality, Matthew Arnold

    Read More
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  127. Yngvar says:

    Art was the domain of the idle class but idling is expensive so the emancipated woman of this age can’t afford it, as much.

    Read More
    • Replies: @guest
    You're exactly wrong. As with all other great cultural achievements, art comes from the middle. You need the leisure of not working in a coal mine, for instance, but not too much leisure. Great artists, scientists, philosophers, etc. usually have to work for a living. The idle excel in such endeavors as hunting, dancing, games, and courtliness. They can be patrons.
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  128. @Threecranes
    In affairs of the heart there is no Aristotelian Mean. What happens is women push until men push back and vice versa. That's why it's called the "battle of the sexes". At no point is this tension balanced on the razor's edge--or if it is it is only for an elusive, hypothetical moment.

    Remember, two things are in their greatest state of flux when they are most equal and move but modestly with respect to one another when they approach maximum disparity. If only we could stop this roller coaster--but then, we'd be dead.

    "The aim is to balance the terror of being alive with the wonder of being alive." Carlos Castaneda

    What a great Castaneda quote! Thanks.

    I was trying to capture the mentality of “amused mastery” in the notion of being neither pedestalizing nor hating towards women; I think both reflect a defect in masculine affect, that being that women ought not to rule over ANY male territory, least of all the male mind. I’d put white knight/supplicating beta on one end of that continuum, and aloof asshole on the other.

    As to the “battle of the sexes?” I haven’t seen it in groups like the Amish or other patriarchal religions.

    Read More
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  129. syonredux says:
    @guest
    I am a Hopper enthusiast, but he was limited. For one thing, his faces are hideous. I prefer his landscapes and architectural works. He did one thing perfectly, which is loneliness. That's not enough to put him in the pantheon, but greatest 20th century American painter, why not? The competition isn't fierce.

    I am a Hopper enthusiast, but he was limited. For one thing, his faces are hideous.

    I rather like the homeliness of Hopper’s faces.

    Read More
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  130. syonredux says:
    @guest
    This is a pet peeve of mine. Women can't create life without sperm (barring parthenogenesis), and so men are as creative in that respect, though the fact is less obvious. What's unique about women is their nurturing, not their creating.

    This is a pet peeve of mine. Women can’t create life without sperm (barring parthenogenesis), and so men are as creative in that respect, though the fact is less obvious.

    Sperm is cheap; ova are expensive.

    Read More
    • Replies: @guest
    "Sperm is cheap; ova are expensive"

    Yes, and?
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  131. […] 1. Does the fame of female painters fade more quickly? […]

    Read More
  132. Ivy says:

    OT but fodder for iSteve:

    http://www.spiked-online.com/

    They report on a lot of silliness in England, whether about campus/public speech or other topic. Some of that finds fellow travelers in academia and the media who then try to infect the US.

    Read More
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  133. neon2 says:
    @vinteuil
    I don't think sheer size has much to do with anything. Generally speaking, in the great European art galleries the big halls with the giant canvasses are the ones you hurry through on the way to more important things. There are exceptions, of course, and some of them are very famous, like Gericault's "Raft of the Medusa" - but they're *exceptions.*

    Hurrah! I was hoping to see someone make this observation.

    Other exceptions though are the glorious Rubens altar pieces in the Alte Pinakothek and Rembrandt’s Night Watch and the other militia portraits in the Rijksmuseum.

    Read More
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  134. neon2 says:
    @vinteuil
    Ummm...do you think that Pasta & Malibran & Patti & Melba & Tetrazzini & Galli-Curci &c were under-appreciated, in their time, compared to the various tune-smiths who provided them with grist for their mill?

    I think maybe you've missed my point, which is this: the notion that in the past women in the arts suffered terribly from sexist discrimination is totally ridiculous. Even the most casual glance at the history of opera & ballet, in particular, instantly reveals this notion for the nonsense that it is.

    I agree with your general point, now that you tell us what it is. My objection was to the idea that most if not all of the composers who provided them with something to sing or dance to were regarded as “nothing”.

    Read More
    • Replies: @vinteuil
    Thanks - sorry for not writing more clearly. Yes, I was over-generalizing. From time to time, a few composers became big stars in their own right. But only very rarely did they take the spotlight away from the ladies.
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  135. Lagertha says:

    I know this is late in the game: Mary Cassatt: I have this vague memory of someone saying (in the go-go 80′s) that her reputation may not have been elevated since so many feminists were uncomfortable about “all those babies” on the canvasses. And, of course, it is a fact that she never had her own children, came from a wealthy family and was supported by her father. So, the narrative is not favored because of these facts, and that she seemed so preoccupied with children.

    I know I said that GO was better; should have said I like the work of both artists whose work is completely different. I like many examples of western art throughout history…except maybe rococo – too sugary for me. But, rococo paintings did introduce vivid color back into play. And, everyone wants that Fragonard swing in their backyard.

    Read More
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  136. guest says:
    @Desiderius

    You calling Shakespeare a liar?
     
    There are worse things to be.

    Just as the opposite of love is not hate but indifference, so is the opposite of truth not a lie but rather bullshit.

    http://press.princeton.edu/titles/7929.html

    "The ordinary true, or purely real, cannot be the object of the arts. - Illusion on a ground of truth, that is the secret of the fine arts."

    - Joubert

    "Since I left you, mine eye is in my mind;
    And that which governs me to go about
    Doth part his function, and is partly blind,
    Seems seeing, but effectually is out;
    For it no form delivers to the heart
    Of bird of flower, or shape, which it doth latch:
    Of his quick objects hath the mind no part,
    Nor his own vision holds what it doth catch;
    For if it see the rud'st or gentlest sight,
    The most sweet favour or deformed'st creature,
    The mountain or the sea, the day or night,
    The crow, or dove, it shapes them to your feature:
    Incapable of more, replete with you,
    My most true mind thus maketh mine untrue."

    - Sonnet 113

    Seriously though, I think the above poster meant “fraud” in another manner, as in the artists themselves and the people promoting it don’t believe what they say about it.
     
    Your quaint earnestness is touching. I share it. Here's hoping it won't be quaint for long.

    That said, such art perfectly fits the spirit of the present age.

    “such art perfectly fits the spirit of the present age”

    The worse for art.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Desiderius

    The worse for art.
     
    Perhaps. But not all art is representational (some is aspirational, for instance), and anyway if a cure is to be found, an accurate prognosis of the disease is an essential first step.

    Isn't that why you read this blog?

    A negative example can be as productive as a positive. Fraudulent art reflecting fraudulent times can spark the search for something better.
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  137. guest says:
    @Yngvar
    Art was the domain of the idle class but idling is expensive so the emancipated woman of this age can't afford it, as much.

    You’re exactly wrong. As with all other great cultural achievements, art comes from the middle. You need the leisure of not working in a coal mine, for instance, but not too much leisure. Great artists, scientists, philosophers, etc. usually have to work for a living. The idle excel in such endeavors as hunting, dancing, games, and courtliness. They can be patrons.

    Read More
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  138. guest says:
    @syonredux

    This is a pet peeve of mine. Women can’t create life without sperm (barring parthenogenesis), and so men are as creative in that respect, though the fact is less obvious.
     
    Sperm is cheap; ova are expensive.

    “Sperm is cheap; ova are expensive”

    Yes, and?

    Read More
    • Replies: @syonredux

    “Sperm is cheap; ova are expensive”

    Yes, and?
     

    And what, dear fellow?That says it all.
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  139. vinteuil says:
    @neon2
    I agree with your general point, now that you tell us what it is. My objection was to the idea that most if not all of the composers who provided them with something to sing or dance to were regarded as "nothing".

    Thanks – sorry for not writing more clearly. Yes, I was over-generalizing. From time to time, a few composers became big stars in their own right. But only very rarely did they take the spotlight away from the ladies.

    Read More
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  140. vinteuil says:
    @guest
    The performing arts are something else entirely, and I don't think ought to be conflated with high art.

    “The performing arts are something else entirely, and I don’t think ought to be conflated with high art.”

    Guest, I find myself agreeing with almost everything else you’ve written, here – but I’m not sure about this point.

    With few exceptions, music, in general, and opera & ballet, in particular, have always been collaborative arts, where the interpreter is often (at least) as important as the composer.

    Read More
    • Replies: @guest
    "the interpreter is often (at least) as important as the composer"

    I don't want to get into heavy aesthetics here, but that simply cannot be true. For one thing, the composer is prior to the performer. Without composition there's nothing to be performed. Excepting improvisation, but that certainly has never been held in as high esteem.

    The object is high art, not the performance thereof, the way it's presented, and so forth. Which is why Duchamps was such a charlatan. That's the philosophy I was taught. The object is what lasts; performance is ephemeral, even with reproducibility.

    For music the object is the composition. One Beethoven can provide employment for hundreds of years of interpreters. No performer can match that. At best they can sell albums of themselves for as long as people still buy such things. They'll still perform Beethoven as long as civilization lasts.
    , @guest
    I should clarify, the interpreter can be as important or more important than the composer if the composition sucks. That's why I clarified that I was talking about high art (or High Art, if you will). You mention ballet and opera, and I notice the traditional repertoire tends to be very narrow, especially so for ballet. This may be because audiences, those putting on the shows, or those training the performers are lazy. Could be because most operas and ballets are junk. The junk can easily be outshown by their interpretation.

    Nevertheless, you still have to have something to interpret, and making the object of art is still the more creative act.
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  141. @guest
    "such art perfectly fits the spirit of the present age"

    The worse for art.

    The worse for art.

    Perhaps. But not all art is representational (some is aspirational, for instance), and anyway if a cure is to be found, an accurate prognosis of the disease is an essential first step.

    Isn’t that why you read this blog?

    A negative example can be as productive as a positive. Fraudulent art reflecting fraudulent times can spark the search for something better.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Jacobite
    Much aspirational art is in fact representational. I think you meant to say (or at least should have said) "realistic."
    , @guest
    "Fraudulent art reflecting fraudulent times can spark the search for something better"

    The worse for art in the meantime. Our meantime has been more than a century, with roughly two billion false somethings better.
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  142. syonredux says:
    @guest
    "Sperm is cheap; ova are expensive"

    Yes, and?

    “Sperm is cheap; ova are expensive”

    Yes, and?

    And what, dear fellow?That says it all.

    Read More
    • Replies: @guest
    "That says it all"

    That doesn't say anything, unless it's part of a different conversation. The relative size of male and female reproductive cells is neither here nor there as regards the fact that both are necessary for the creation of human life. Men create whether or not their physical investment is the same as women's.
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  143. @cybele
    Yes, women tend to get to get most of their creative impetus from the birthing and upbringing of children. Because men do not have this experience and cannot really fathom the depths of this creative potential, they must invest themselves in alternative methods of "creation." 'twas always thus and always thus shall be.

    ’twas always thus…

    I could swear you’ve been reading Phyllis Schlafly, but she says “‘Twas ever thus.”

    Read More
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  144. Jacobite says: • Website
    @Desiderius

    The worse for art.
     
    Perhaps. But not all art is representational (some is aspirational, for instance), and anyway if a cure is to be found, an accurate prognosis of the disease is an essential first step.

    Isn't that why you read this blog?

    A negative example can be as productive as a positive. Fraudulent art reflecting fraudulent times can spark the search for something better.

    Much aspirational art is in fact representational. I think you meant to say (or at least should have said) “realistic.”

    Read More
    • Replies: @Desiderius

    Much aspirational art is in fact representational.
     
    It can contain representational elements, but that is not it's primary raison d'etre any more than the purpose of a doctor's plan of treatment is to accurately diagnose the disease.

    I think you meant to say (or at least should have said) “realistic.”
     
    Well, it has that sense (if the re-presentation is any good, see the Joubert quote), but again not only that sense. Representational art re-presents the familiar in a way that allows it to be seen/heard/read with new, and if done well better, eyes.

    "True Wit is Nature to Advantage drest,
    What oft was Thought, but ne'er so well Exprest"

    - Pope, Essay on Criticism

    This is what Sailer does with his "noticing." Notice as well that he too chooses to do so fraudulently, but with a twinkle in his eye that lets us all in on the joke.

    Aspirational art is in contrast concerned foremost with presenting that which is not yet but could be, and if done well has the power to move one toward making the ideal so exprest more of a reality.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A75AgrH5eqc

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  145. “My impression is that Cezanne was very much a guy painter’s guy painter. Don’t ask me why. Like I said, I don’t get Cezanne.”

    Blame Émile Zola. Tom Wolfe may admire Zola’s novels, but the writer’s support of Cézanne (a childhood friend) is actually an early example of the Painted Word, where advocacy and theory replace what viewers can actually see with their own eyes.

    Earlier this month, I saw an exhibit of paintings by Gustave Caillebotte, who actually accomplished what Cézanne is said to have done.

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  146. @Jacobite
    Much aspirational art is in fact representational. I think you meant to say (or at least should have said) "realistic."

    Much aspirational art is in fact representational.

    It can contain representational elements, but that is not it’s primary raison d’etre any more than the purpose of a doctor’s plan of treatment is to accurately diagnose the disease.

    I think you meant to say (or at least should have said) “realistic.”

    Well, it has that sense (if the re-presentation is any good, see the Joubert quote), but again not only that sense. Representational art re-presents the familiar in a way that allows it to be seen/heard/read with new, and if done well better, eyes.

    “True Wit is Nature to Advantage drest,
    What oft was Thought, but ne’er so well Exprest”

    - Pope, Essay on Criticism

    This is what Sailer does with his “noticing.” Notice as well that he too chooses to do so fraudulently, but with a twinkle in his eye that lets us all in on the joke.

    Aspirational art is in contrast concerned foremost with presenting that which is not yet but could be, and if done well has the power to move one toward making the ideal so exprest more of a reality.

    Read More
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  147. donut says:
    @guest
    This is a pet peeve of mine. Women can't create life without sperm (barring parthenogenesis), and so men are as creative in that respect, though the fact is less obvious. What's unique about women is their nurturing, not their creating.

    Poor deluded fool I was “nurtured” by a venomous snake . And I’m not alone .

    Read More
    • Replies: @guest
    You're alive, apparently, so someone nurtured you for at least nine months or so.
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  148. guest says:
    @Desiderius

    The worse for art.
     
    Perhaps. But not all art is representational (some is aspirational, for instance), and anyway if a cure is to be found, an accurate prognosis of the disease is an essential first step.

    Isn't that why you read this blog?

    A negative example can be as productive as a positive. Fraudulent art reflecting fraudulent times can spark the search for something better.

    “Fraudulent art reflecting fraudulent times can spark the search for something better”

    The worse for art in the meantime. Our meantime has been more than a century, with roughly two billion false somethings better.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Desiderius

    The worse for art in the meantime. Our meantime has been more than a century, with roughly two billion false somethings better.
     
    On the whole, you're not mistaken. One can see the same with religion. The badly done impairs the doing at all. The two are not unrelated.

    The secular is the fruit of the sacred.

    The orchard has too long gone untended.
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  149. guest says:
    @vinteuil
    "The performing arts are something else entirely, and I don’t think ought to be conflated with high art."

    Guest, I find myself agreeing with almost everything else you've written, here - but I'm not sure about this point.

    With few exceptions, music, in general, and opera & ballet, in particular, have always been collaborative arts, where the interpreter is often (at least) as important as the composer.

    “the interpreter is often (at least) as important as the composer”

    I don’t want to get into heavy aesthetics here, but that simply cannot be true. For one thing, the composer is prior to the performer. Without composition there’s nothing to be performed. Excepting improvisation, but that certainly has never been held in as high esteem.

    The object is high art, not the performance thereof, the way it’s presented, and so forth. Which is why Duchamps was such a charlatan. That’s the philosophy I was taught. The object is what lasts; performance is ephemeral, even with reproducibility.

    For music the object is the composition. One Beethoven can provide employment for hundreds of years of interpreters. No performer can match that. At best they can sell albums of themselves for as long as people still buy such things. They’ll still perform Beethoven as long as civilization lasts.

    Read More
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  150. guest says:
    @syonredux

    “Sperm is cheap; ova are expensive”

    Yes, and?
     

    And what, dear fellow?That says it all.

    “That says it all”

    That doesn’t say anything, unless it’s part of a different conversation. The relative size of male and female reproductive cells is neither here nor there as regards the fact that both are necessary for the creation of human life. Men create whether or not their physical investment is the same as women’s.

    Read More
    • Replies: @syonredux

    That says it all”

    That doesn’t say anything, unless it’s part of a different conversation. The relative size of male and female reproductive cells is neither here nor there as regards the fact that both are necessary for the creation of human life. Men create whether or not their physical investment is the same as women’s.
     
    Don't be silly. Put 10 men and 1 woman on one island, and 10 women and 1 man on another. In 10 years, which island will have more people?

    From a reproductive standpoint, women are far more valuable than men.
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  151. I gather that painting was once considered an important part of a young lady’s education, and a good hobby for a well-bred adult woman, who of course was not “leaning in” at a corporation and generally had a nanny for her children. Similarly, an accomplished young lady of marriageable age was expected to play the piano; before we had radios and TVs and MP3 players, people had to make their own music and so it was a valued skill.

    True artistic and musical instruction are no longer considered vital parts of a young woman’s education, so the number of female painters (and pianists) of reasonable skill has likely dropped.

    I also get the impression that France (and NW Europe in general) around the time of the French Revolution was actually a pretty egalitarian society.

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  152. guest says:
    @donut
    Poor deluded fool I was "nurtured" by a venomous snake . And I'm not alone .

    You’re alive, apparently, so someone nurtured you for at least nine months or so.

    Read More
    • Replies: @donut
    Yes I was sired by X on Y but after that it was every man for himself .
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  153. guest says:
    @vinteuil
    "The performing arts are something else entirely, and I don’t think ought to be conflated with high art."

    Guest, I find myself agreeing with almost everything else you've written, here - but I'm not sure about this point.

    With few exceptions, music, in general, and opera & ballet, in particular, have always been collaborative arts, where the interpreter is often (at least) as important as the composer.

    I should clarify, the interpreter can be as important or more important than the composer if the composition sucks. That’s why I clarified that I was talking about high art (or High Art, if you will). You mention ballet and opera, and I notice the traditional repertoire tends to be very narrow, especially so for ballet. This may be because audiences, those putting on the shows, or those training the performers are lazy. Could be because most operas and ballets are junk. The junk can easily be outshown by their interpretation.

    Nevertheless, you still have to have something to interpret, and making the object of art is still the more creative act.

    Read More
    • Replies: @neon2
    Your remark about most operas and ballets being junk reminds me of one of my favorite (true) stories:

    One day Puccini was at his piano, making his way through the score of a Wagner opera. Another Italian composer was in the room, listening.
    Finally Puccini sat back, sighed, shook his head and said: "Compared to this, my friend, you and I are the merest guitar strummers".
    , @vinteuil
    "...the interpreter can be as important or more important than the composer if the composition sucks."

    Well, yes, of course. But the interpreter can be more important than the composer even if the composition *doesn't* suck.

    Case in point: the "Lisbon Traviata." As it happens, I posted a whole series of videos on YouTube a few years ago documenting this remarkable performance. If you're at all curious, just go to YouTube and search for "The Lisbon Traviata in best sound."

    I mean, if *La traviata* isn't "high art," than nothing is. And damned if La Callas doesn't outshine even Verdi there.
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  154. @guest
    "Fraudulent art reflecting fraudulent times can spark the search for something better"

    The worse for art in the meantime. Our meantime has been more than a century, with roughly two billion false somethings better.

    The worse for art in the meantime. Our meantime has been more than a century, with roughly two billion false somethings better.

    On the whole, you’re not mistaken. One can see the same with religion. The badly done impairs the doing at all. The two are not unrelated.

    The secular is the fruit of the sacred.

    The orchard has too long gone untended.

    Read More
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  155. performance is ephemeral, even with reproducibility.

    So is a man’s life, and yet there is something that lives on in his posterity. Who can measure how much?

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sergiu_Celibidache

    Read More
    • Replies: @guest
    "So is a man's life"

    Ars longa, vita brevis.
    , @vinteuil
    Funny you should mention Celibidache - I was thinking of the same guy. For many of us who were there for one of his performances of the Bruckner 4th Symphony, it was a revelatory, transformative experience. Robert Simpson had to rewrite his (brilliant) book on Bruckner after hearing Celibidache perform the finale.

    The great composers need great interpreters just as much as the great interpreters need great composers.
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  156. Brutusale says:
    @Justpassingby
    Easily explained. For all our artistic and intellectual accomplishments, if men weren't physically stronger than women we'd have no chance at all.

    P**sy is the undefeated, untied, un-scored upon champion.

    Consider our modern Philosophous Glorioso Roissy or Heartsite or whatever his idiotic name is. What's he trying to get? He ain't trying to get the Nobel Prize. He ain't trying to get into the French Academy. He's trying to get p**sy.

    And I put it to you, who's in charge of p**sy?

    [Sorry to use such vulgar language but, God damn.]

    The pimp hand.

    Read More
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  157. guest says:
    @Desiderius

    performance is ephemeral, even with reproducibility.
     
    So is a man's life, and yet there is something that lives on in his posterity. Who can measure how much?

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sergiu_Celibidache

    “So is a man’s life”

    Ars longa, vita brevis.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Desiderius

    Ars longa, vita brevis.
     
    The chain of being encoded in your genes spans eons.
    , @Desiderius
    Scott has an engaging digression on your theme at the opening of the second volume of his The History of Scotland. As I understand it, he takes your view.

    The junk can easily be outshown by their interpretation.

     

    But not redeemed, and indeed in some sense they've failed in their role. As you note, it is not principally about the performer.

    Have you done much performance yourself? There is a yawning abyss between what is possible with a pedestrian piece and a great one. Still, the great one will not achieve it's greatness without a commensurate level of skill and commitment on the part of great performers.

    http://www.britishkodalyacademy.org/kodaly_approach_archive_who-is-a-good-music-teacher_betty_power.htm

    The composer and performer are in a symbiotic relationship.
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  158. neon2 says:
    @guest
    I should clarify, the interpreter can be as important or more important than the composer if the composition sucks. That's why I clarified that I was talking about high art (or High Art, if you will). You mention ballet and opera, and I notice the traditional repertoire tends to be very narrow, especially so for ballet. This may be because audiences, those putting on the shows, or those training the performers are lazy. Could be because most operas and ballets are junk. The junk can easily be outshown by their interpretation.

    Nevertheless, you still have to have something to interpret, and making the object of art is still the more creative act.

    Your remark about most operas and ballets being junk reminds me of one of my favorite (true) stories:

    One day Puccini was at his piano, making his way through the score of a Wagner opera. Another Italian composer was in the room, listening.
    Finally Puccini sat back, sighed, shook his head and said: “Compared to this, my friend, you and I are the merest guitar strummers”.

    Read More
    • Replies: @vinteuil
    "One day Puccini was at his piano, making his way through the score of a Wagner opera. Another Italian composer was in the room, listening.
    Finally Puccini sat back, sighed, shook his head and said: “Compared to this, my friend, you and I are the merest guitar strummers”

    Is this anecdote true? or just well-invented? Is there a reliable source?
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  159. syonredux says:
    @guest
    "That says it all"

    That doesn't say anything, unless it's part of a different conversation. The relative size of male and female reproductive cells is neither here nor there as regards the fact that both are necessary for the creation of human life. Men create whether or not their physical investment is the same as women's.

    That says it all”

    That doesn’t say anything, unless it’s part of a different conversation. The relative size of male and female reproductive cells is neither here nor there as regards the fact that both are necessary for the creation of human life. Men create whether or not their physical investment is the same as women’s.

    Don’t be silly. Put 10 men and 1 woman on one island, and 10 women and 1 man on another. In 10 years, which island will have more people?

    From a reproductive standpoint, women are far more valuable than men.

    Read More
    • Replies: @guest
    "From a reproductive standpoint, women are far more valuable than men"

    Okay, but what does this have to do with what I was talking about?
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  160. @guest
    "So is a man's life"

    Ars longa, vita brevis.

    Ars longa, vita brevis.

    The chain of being encoded in your genes spans eons.

    Read More
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  161. @guest
    "So is a man's life"

    Ars longa, vita brevis.

    Scott has an engaging digression on your theme at the opening of the second volume of his The History of Scotland. As I understand it, he takes your view.

    The junk can easily be outshown by their interpretation.

    But not redeemed, and indeed in some sense they’ve failed in their role. As you note, it is not principally about the performer.

    Have you done much performance yourself? There is a yawning abyss between what is possible with a pedestrian piece and a great one. Still, the great one will not achieve it’s greatness without a commensurate level of skill and commitment on the part of great performers.

    http://www.britishkodalyacademy.org/kodaly_approach_archive_who-is-a-good-music-teacher_betty_power.htm

    The composer and performer are in a symbiotic relationship.

    Read More
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  162. guest says:
    @syonredux

    That says it all”

    That doesn’t say anything, unless it’s part of a different conversation. The relative size of male and female reproductive cells is neither here nor there as regards the fact that both are necessary for the creation of human life. Men create whether or not their physical investment is the same as women’s.
     
    Don't be silly. Put 10 men and 1 woman on one island, and 10 women and 1 man on another. In 10 years, which island will have more people?

    From a reproductive standpoint, women are far more valuable than men.

    “From a reproductive standpoint, women are far more valuable than men”

    Okay, but what does this have to do with what I was talking about?

    Read More
    • Replies: @syonredux

    “From a reproductive standpoint, women are far more valuable than men”

    Okay, but what does this have to do with what I was talking about?
     

    It explains why the female role in human reproduction is valorized.
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  163. vinteuil says:
    @Desiderius

    performance is ephemeral, even with reproducibility.
     
    So is a man's life, and yet there is something that lives on in his posterity. Who can measure how much?

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sergiu_Celibidache

    Funny you should mention Celibidache – I was thinking of the same guy. For many of us who were there for one of his performances of the Bruckner 4th Symphony, it was a revelatory, transformative experience. Robert Simpson had to rewrite his (brilliant) book on Bruckner after hearing Celibidache perform the finale.

    The great composers need great interpreters just as much as the great interpreters need great composers.

    Read More
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  164. vinteuil says:
    @guest
    I should clarify, the interpreter can be as important or more important than the composer if the composition sucks. That's why I clarified that I was talking about high art (or High Art, if you will). You mention ballet and opera, and I notice the traditional repertoire tends to be very narrow, especially so for ballet. This may be because audiences, those putting on the shows, or those training the performers are lazy. Could be because most operas and ballets are junk. The junk can easily be outshown by their interpretation.

    Nevertheless, you still have to have something to interpret, and making the object of art is still the more creative act.

    “…the interpreter can be as important or more important than the composer if the composition sucks.”

    Well, yes, of course. But the interpreter can be more important than the composer even if the composition *doesn’t* suck.

    Case in point: the “Lisbon Traviata.” As it happens, I posted a whole series of videos on YouTube a few years ago documenting this remarkable performance. If you’re at all curious, just go to YouTube and search for “The Lisbon Traviata in best sound.”

    I mean, if *La traviata* isn’t “high art,” than nothing is. And damned if La Callas doesn’t outshine even Verdi there.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Desiderius

    And damned if La Callas doesn’t outshine even Verdi there.
     
    It's not a competition, it's a collaboration.
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  165. vinteuil says:
    @neon2
    Your remark about most operas and ballets being junk reminds me of one of my favorite (true) stories:

    One day Puccini was at his piano, making his way through the score of a Wagner opera. Another Italian composer was in the room, listening.
    Finally Puccini sat back, sighed, shook his head and said: "Compared to this, my friend, you and I are the merest guitar strummers".

    “One day Puccini was at his piano, making his way through the score of a Wagner opera. Another Italian composer was in the room, listening.
    Finally Puccini sat back, sighed, shook his head and said: “Compared to this, my friend, you and I are the merest guitar strummers”

    Is this anecdote true? or just well-invented? Is there a reliable source?

    Read More
    • Replies: @neon2
    When I read it some years ago it showed none of the usual signs of being "well-invented".
    In any case, if Puccini had the ability to objectively weigh his music up against Wagner's, then I am sure it expresses his (perhaps private) opinion perfectly.
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  166. @vinteuil
    "...the interpreter can be as important or more important than the composer if the composition sucks."

    Well, yes, of course. But the interpreter can be more important than the composer even if the composition *doesn't* suck.

    Case in point: the "Lisbon Traviata." As it happens, I posted a whole series of videos on YouTube a few years ago documenting this remarkable performance. If you're at all curious, just go to YouTube and search for "The Lisbon Traviata in best sound."

    I mean, if *La traviata* isn't "high art," than nothing is. And damned if La Callas doesn't outshine even Verdi there.

    And damned if La Callas doesn’t outshine even Verdi there.

    It’s not a competition, it’s a collaboration.

    Read More
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  167. syonredux says:
    @guest
    "From a reproductive standpoint, women are far more valuable than men"

    Okay, but what does this have to do with what I was talking about?

    “From a reproductive standpoint, women are far more valuable than men”

    Okay, but what does this have to do with what I was talking about?

    It explains why the female role in human reproduction is valorized.

    Read More
    • Replies: @guest
    "It explains why the female role in human reproduction is valorized"

    Fair enough, because they are literally more valuable. But we were talking about female creativity, and more specifically my pet peeve about the pretence that women monopolize the creation of human life. Their reproductive value wan't at issue.

    If you want to say women are more creative because their sex cells are bigger, okay. Males can be apprentices in the reproductive workshops of female masters, adding a touch or two to finish canvases they're too busy to bother with. I don't know if that's biologically sound, but whatever.

    The reason people wax rhapsodically about the hidden mysteries of female creativity that men weakly try to duplicate in their little Sistine Chapels and Ninth Symphonies is because of pregnancy, not gametes. I wanted to point out that gestation is not creative as such. It is a form of nurturing; the creation is what men and women do together at conception. That's all.

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  168. guest says:
    @syonredux

    “From a reproductive standpoint, women are far more valuable than men”

    Okay, but what does this have to do with what I was talking about?
     

    It explains why the female role in human reproduction is valorized.

    “It explains why the female role in human reproduction is valorized”

    Fair enough, because they are literally more valuable. But we were talking about female creativity, and more specifically my pet peeve about the pretence that women monopolize the creation of human life. Their reproductive value wan’t at issue.

    If you want to say women are more creative because their sex cells are bigger, okay. Males can be apprentices in the reproductive workshops of female masters, adding a touch or two to finish canvases they’re too busy to bother with. I don’t know if that’s biologically sound, but whatever.

    The reason people wax rhapsodically about the hidden mysteries of female creativity that men weakly try to duplicate in their little Sistine Chapels and Ninth Symphonies is because of pregnancy, not gametes. I wanted to point out that gestation is not creative as such. It is a form of nurturing; the creation is what men and women do together at conception. That’s all.

    Read More
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  169. @yaqub the mad scientist
    It make sense. The whole thing about influence has become a more important part of discussing the arts in general than it was even a few decades ago. And agreed on Cezanne being the classic example- I've always had the same feeling about him. In music, a parallel example would be Ornette Coleman.

    I have always thought Joseph Haydn was the best example from music- his main importance is his influence on subsequent composers, not his music by itself.

    Read More
    • Replies: @neon2
    You can never have listened to his "Die Schöpfung" then.
    , @guest
    I love Hadyn and consider the Hadyn-Mozart-Beethoven triumvirate to be the height of classical music.
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  170. neon2 says:
    @vinteuil
    "One day Puccini was at his piano, making his way through the score of a Wagner opera. Another Italian composer was in the room, listening.
    Finally Puccini sat back, sighed, shook his head and said: “Compared to this, my friend, you and I are the merest guitar strummers”

    Is this anecdote true? or just well-invented? Is there a reliable source?

    When I read it some years ago it showed none of the usual signs of being “well-invented”.
    In any case, if Puccini had the ability to objectively weigh his music up against Wagner’s, then I am sure it expresses his (perhaps private) opinion perfectly.

    Read More
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  171. neon2 says:
    @Yancey Ward
    I have always thought Joseph Haydn was the best example from music- his main importance is his influence on subsequent composers, not his music by itself.

    You can never have listened to his “Die Schöpfung” then.

    Read More
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  172. donut says:
    @guest
    You're alive, apparently, so someone nurtured you for at least nine months or so.

    Yes I was sired by X on Y but after that it was every man for himself .

    Read More
    • Replies: @guest
    "after that it was every man for himself"

    Did you somehow trick your mother into bringing you to term, then? Or did you gestate in a man-made cocoon?
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  173. guest says:
    @Yancey Ward
    I have always thought Joseph Haydn was the best example from music- his main importance is his influence on subsequent composers, not his music by itself.

    I love Hadyn and consider the Hadyn-Mozart-Beethoven triumvirate to be the height of classical music.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Jacobite
    I prefer Vivaldi, Handel, and Bach.
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  174. guest says:
    @donut
    Yes I was sired by X on Y but after that it was every man for himself .

    “after that it was every man for himself”

    Did you somehow trick your mother into bringing you to term, then? Or did you gestate in a man-made cocoon?

    Read More
    • Replies: @donut
    No , actually you wanker she tricked my sire into impregnating her . Pretty much the same way you got here , or maybe it was true love in your case .
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  175. Jacobite says: • Website
    @guest
    I love Hadyn and consider the Hadyn-Mozart-Beethoven triumvirate to be the height of classical music.

    I prefer Vivaldi, Handel, and Bach.

    Read More
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  176. donut says:
    @guest
    "after that it was every man for himself"

    Did you somehow trick your mother into bringing you to term, then? Or did you gestate in a man-made cocoon?

    No , actually you wanker she tricked my sire into impregnating her . Pretty much the same way you got here , or maybe it was true love in your case .

    Read More
    • Replies: @guest
    I was talking about after her impregnation, obviously. *Something* grew you from a fertilized egg into an infant. I suspect it was your mother.
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  177. guest says:
    @donut
    No , actually you wanker she tricked my sire into impregnating her . Pretty much the same way you got here , or maybe it was true love in your case .

    I was talking about after her impregnation, obviously. *Something* grew you from a fertilized egg into an infant. I suspect it was your mother.

    Read More
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