HOW MUCH DOES DRAWING MATTER?—EDVARD MUNCH. A friend of mine who is a gifted artist contends that Cezanne doesn’t draw well and has shown me persuasive evidence in support of his position. Does it matter? Raine asks “So what gives….Munch’s paintings their power? It can only be their subject matter.” I have to agree that the subject matter is important. I found the Edvard Munch movie powerful because it conveyed the great sadness of Munch’s life, and in particular the sadness of the moments in time he addressed in his paintings. I think also that drawing from life is not for the most part what Munch is trying to do. He is trying to paint emotional memories. They appear in his paintings without visual details. Only what is intense is conveyed. Raine thinks that there are limits to narrative painting, arguing that: “The painting can no more disclose its hidden detail than ballet can surmount its inbuilt narrative deficiencies and simplifications.” My reaction is different. I think that the comparison to narrative is inexact. Munch’s paintings are more comparable to moments in lyric poems.

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