Tuesday, October 28, 2008

I was reading The Guardian online and found this feature on 1000 artworks to see before you die.


It is quite fun, but strangely it doesn't tell you where the images are kept, maybe they think seeing them in some form is enough. Not really though, flicking through the latest selection of 21 there are some many problems.
First is size, no difference on screen between a William Blake water colour and a Botticelli. You lose the intimacy of seeing a tiny image, or the impressive size of a huge canvas. In addition you can't see the textures or the material, the screen flattens everything out.
Context, most of these are from art galleries, but nevertheless context still matters. They do have Stonehenge up there and surely that is a completely spatial experience, no one would say they had seen it if they hadn't been there. Hmm.
What else? I don't like some of the one liners such as reducing the Canova pictured above to the phrase "Three little simpletons." Urgh. Makes me want to slap someone. Surely then this

Could be "big fat head in bush."

And this:
Is described as "The tubular chimneys of Venice with their strange terracotta spouts ... " Um. Thrilling.

Le sigh. Predictably modern artists and popular artists like Caravaggio get off better, as timeless expressions of human emotion and the like. So maybe it is 100o art cliches to read before you die.

Anyway it is still fun to go through and tick off. I got 8 out of 21.

Edit to add they do have the locations, click here.

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