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Matthew Collings: Impressionism, Revenge of the Nice

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The video narrative by Matthew Collings effectively transports the viewers into the magical and mysterious world of art. The vividness and descriptive style of the narrator, the uniqueness of the artists’ life-stories and the analysis of their paintings all contribute to the quality of this watching experience.

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One of the most valuable aspects of the video is the connection to reality. The author uses a variety of locations where real evens happened, which makes it easy to imagine the story. It is ironic that the art is often discussed in context-reduced settings. This video, however, is rather informative about the artworks and the conditions in which they were created. For example, it is very powerful to see the real mountainous landscape and then see the exact mountain on the painting. Another similar example is seeing the narrator stand at the exact place where the artist painted his famous picture. Without a doubt, the descriptions of the historical events make the lives and professional activity of the artists more appealing. They suddenly become more human with their own personal problems and bad tempers as opposed to heroes of the past who produced masterpieces.

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Looking at Édouard Manet’s work, one can discover several insights. It is important how the artist treats color and makes use of it. Color becomes an essential part of the painting, highlighting one or the other aspect. On the painting “Music in the Tuileries Gardens” the reality of the place is considered to be depicted with great precision. Also, it is interesting to observe how there is a focus on two ladies at the front wearing yellow and blue and how the background is dominated by men who look quite similar with their hats sometimes resembling the tree trunks.

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The given video places the audience into the historical continuum, enabling it to both appreciate the artists as they worked at their time and to connect the information to the contemporary art and reality. That is why it is a great source for becoming acquainted with the art of that time period and thinking about the realities and philosophy that it reflects.

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