Saturday, August 30, 2008
one good turner deserves another
I was quickly flipping through my photographs of my most recent trip to Melaque. And this one stopped me in mid-click. Actually, every time I browse through, it always has that effect.
There is almost something other-worldly about it. As if sunsets do not really look like this.
But they do. I was there. This is no artist's rendition.
And that last comment triggered the memory. It all came rushing back to me.
The year was 1975. I had been in England for less than two weeks, and found myself in one of the tourist temples of London: the National Gallery. In my self-assured early 20s, I had convinced myself that if I was looking at anything other than impressionism, it simply was not art.
But a master taught me I was wrong. In one room, there was painting after painting of Turners. I am certain I must have studied his work in college, but my pro-impressionist prejudice was riding high in the saddle even then.
I had never seen light displayed in such a non-realistic way -- remember this fellow is classified as a romantic. Even the impressionists did not capture light this successfully.
But a Melaque sunset does. What I saw in the sky was every bit as artistic as a Turner.
And I hope to see that canvas again soon.