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A Story to Watch Group

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Pure Nudism Complete

The notion of "sketch" calls for similar remarks. This notion itself can be understood in a twofold sense. In a first sense, the sketch is the first outline, or rough draft, of the work. Such a sketch is part and parcel of the painting. It is therefore correct, in comparing it with the completed work, to say that such a sketch is an uncompleted painting. In a second sense, a sketch is a sort of memorandum done by a painter, either from nature or from imagination, in view of some future work. Since, as has already been said, there is nothing absolute in matters of art, it cannot be said that such sketches cannot possibly be turned into completed paintings. The thing is being done by especially clever artists who, even while they are doing the sketch, already have in mind the future painting. In general, however, a sketch is destined to provide motive and inspiration for another painting, derived from the original sketch but distinct from it. It seems clear that, when the word is used in this second sense, the kind of painting that it signifies is not necessarily an unfinished piece of work. On the contrary, there is a point at which a good sketch has to be stopped if one does not wish it to degenerate from its condition of finished sketch into that of an unfinished painting.44 This is so true that one would sometimes hesitate to choose between the finished work of a painter and its sketch. This often happens with landscapes, especially in the case of painters whose notion of a "finished" painting invites the peril of academicism. By way of example, let us compare the vigorous sketch done by Constable for Salisbury Cathedral from the Bishop's Grounds (56, 57) with the "finished" version of it now in the Metropolitan Museum of Art; or, again, the sketch done by Constable for The Hay Wain in the Victoria and Albert Museum with the completed painting in the National Gallery (London). If an art lover were offered a choice between Corot's sketch 'from nature for The Narni Bridge (58, 59a)now in the Louvre and the painting, which one would he choose? The sketch is pure Corot, but one cannot help wondering if there is not the memory of a Ruisdael landscape between Corot and his final version of the work (59b). In the Ruisdael painting, the road keeps the structure together, because it leads the eye both to the left outside the frame and to the right across the bridge; one would like to feel sure that, in the final version of the Corot, the road added to the sketch does not endanger the unity of the work, and if its unity, then its being.

Pure Nudism Complete



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