The Jean-Léon Gérôme exhibition in Musée d'Orsay was such a contrast, almost a shock, after viewing the Basquiat exhibition just a few days before. Extremely academic in nature, Gérôme's traditional style was difficult to enjoy in the beginning. His artwork was just too perfect. Used to seeing Van Gogh or Picasso or David Hsieh, I suppose I wanted to see something strange, a different representation of something that's already been done. I was hoping to see things in a different way. But maybe that's just my closed mindset on what art is supposed to do.

It's no doubt that Gérôme's Oriental paintings are magnificent. I actually thought a few paintings were photographs. The ability to replicate life with paint is something I've always admired... the light and details in his work are beyond me. I would say Gérôme's creations are beautiful, but not exactly thought provoking.

Decide for yourself:



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