As soon as I walked into the gallery, I could have gasped with sheer delight ... because Renoir's peonies seemed to hold all the colour and light that's been missing from this summer. And I went four times around the Royal Academy's delicious exhibition From Paris: A Taste for Impressionism, Paintings from the Clark, wishing that I'd been born at the right time with a sewing machine fortune to spend like this. Can you imagine buying 39 Renoirs? I was fascinated by the dealers' invoices that came in quarterly like butchers' bills. Monet's Tulip Fields cost $10,000 in 1933, but look at it ... swathes of scarlet, vermilion and yellow tulips, and I never knew that Monet had visited tulip fields in Holland. Tulips 'drive[s] the poor painter crazy,' he said. The sight of them 'cannot be conveyed with our poor colours.' Here's the rest of the paintings that are in the exhibition, and you'll see what a treat it was.
|Monet, Tulip Fields at Sassenheim, near Leiden|