(Roughly) Daily

Posts Tagged ‘French Academy

“The relation between what we see and what we know is never settled”*…


Ways of seeing


Ways of Seeing is a 1972 BBC television series of four 30-minute films created chiefly by writer John Berger, with producer Mike Dibb.  Berger’s scripts were adapted into a book of the same name.  The series is partially a response to Kenneth Clark’s Civilisation series, which offered a traditionalist view of the Western artistic and cultural canon.  Berger criticizes those conventional Western cultural aesthetics by raising questions about hidden ideologies in visual images.

A BAFTA award winner, it rapidly became regarded as one of the most influential art programs ever made.

Episode One is here (others available at the links on that page):


For appreciations of the series’ continuing relevance, see “7 reasons why you should watch of John Berger’s Ways of Seeing,” “How John Berger changed our way of seeing art,” and “Lessons We Can Learn From John Berger.”

* John Berger, Ways of Seeing


As we interrogate images, we might recall that it was on this date in 1863 that an exhibit was created in Paris from the paintings that were rejected by the jurors of the Salon of the French Academy. 

In that year of the Annual Salon more than half of the works of art, over 2,000, were not selected to be part of the exhibit. Therefore the “Salon des Refusés” was held, giving those artists a chance to exhibit their work.  The idea for this alternative Salon was that of Emperor Napolean III who felt the jurors were too harsh, and this would give the public a chance to decide for themselves.

As Robert Rosenblum wrote in the book 19th-Century Art:

“This so-called Salon des Refusés, however, immediately took on the stature of a counterestablishment manifestation, where artists at war with authority could be seen and where the public could go either to jeer or to enlarge their ideas of what a work of art could be.  The counter-Salon opened two weeks after the official one, on May 15, and immediately attracted hordes of Parisians, who numbered as many as four thousand on a Sunday, when admission was free.”

The Salon des Refusés was a turning point in French 19th century art and included works by Manet, Whistler, and Henri Fantin-Latour. [source]


Manet, The Luncheon in the Grass, 1863


Written by (Roughly) Daily

May 15, 2020 at 1:01 am

After only 145 years: overnight success!…

In the “Emerging Authors” section at Target: Anna Karenina, by that young upstart, Leo Tolstoy.  (Readers will note, as well, the inclusion of Julian Barnes and Diane Ackerman…  as for the Jane Austen Marriage Manual, it is presumably by an actual emerging author…)

[TotH to The Consumerist, from whence, the photo]


As we fulminate on the fragility of fame, we might note that it was on this date in 1635 that Cardinal Richelieu, the chief minister to King Louis XIII, established L’Académie Française, the oldest of the five académies of L’Institut de France.   Its forty members– almost exclusively writers who are known, after election, as immortels– are the highest authority on all matters pertaining to the French language… a group to whom Tolstoy might well have been admitted had he not suffered the ignominy of being born elsewhere and writing in a different language; individuals who are not citizens can be admitted, but rarely are.  (The Divine Jane would likely not have fared well even had she been born in France:  the first woman member, Marguerite Yourcenar, wasn’t elected until 1980.)

L’Institut de France building


Written by (Roughly) Daily

January 2, 2013 at 1:01 am

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