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John Russell and Vincent Van Gogh

John Russell was a close friend of Vincent van Gogh and Auguste Rodin, taught impressionist colour theory to Henri Matisse and dined with Claude Monet.  Watch this fascinating short video to learn a little more about the particular bond he shared with Van Gogh.

John Russell: Australia’s French Impressionist has been published by the Art Gallery of NSW to accompany the exhibition of the same name which runs until November. 

Bringing together 120 paintings, drawings and watercolours – including a number of works by his contemporaries – this major retrospective is the first survey of Russell’s work in 40 years. It offers fresh perspectives on French impressionism, reintroducing Russell’s extraordinary painting to today’s audiences.

John Russell: Australia’s French Impressionist by Wayne Tunnicliffe

One thought on “John Russell and Vincent Van Gogh

  1. What I think you might have missed about Trotsky”s observation about cave paintings is that, in the context of Rivera”s comments, its a reactionary claim. Your (or I guess Rivera”s?) depiction of cave paintings as “represent(ing) a true expression of what lies within human hearts and minds corresponds to Enlightment ideals of something like the “noble savage, which Marx himself drew from in his postulations about some paradisiacal primitive communism. But by Trotsky”s time, Marxism and even many liberal ideologies had moved beyond this quasi-religious, “fallen grace analytical frame to ones that were more expressly materialist and historical. Within this context, cave paintings themselves are not in anyway impoverished as art. Positioning them as having some inherent superiority based on a false, ahistorical continuity of “art is, however, by its reading, suspect. And I think rightly so. “Art is not something that exists outside of time, history, or ideological determination, and traipsing back into ancient history uncautiously with these pronouncements/labels is foolhardy, and again, probably a reactionary endeavor. Individually finding beauty, solace, or inspiration in them is perfectly fine. Rendering them more systematically requires a great deal more thought, care, and interrogation.

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