Modernism & Links with Literature

Our first gallery visit yesterday took us through the early days of modernism with Cezanne and Van Gogh through to Lucian Freud, grandson of the psychologist Sigmund Freud. Lucian while focussing on the naked human body in all its most flagrantly revealing postures is essentially concerned not so much with the body, but with what makes each one of us distinctively what we are: unmasked, unveiled, unstaged…. some say that Lucian Freud was in fact more interested in the “soul” as reflected through the lineaments of the body in all its cumbersome ordinariness. In this painting “And the bridegroom” 1993, Lucian records and event that is full of haunting questions (see the Art Gallery blurb below). For our purposes, what is especially interesting about this painting is its direct links with the literature of the first decades of the 20th Century. AE Housman, pre-First World War author of the famous collection “A Shropshire Lad” wrote the lines that inspired the painting. This is one case of many where the overlap between literature and painting is very direct.

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