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Aug 28 2019

Renoir Denounced as Problematic

The progressive bulldozer won’t spare even great painters like Renoir. The Clark Art Institute in Williamstown, Massachusetts is featuring his nudes, placing the famous impressionist in the crosshairs of the thought police. Sniffs the insufferable New Yorker:

Who doesn’t have a problem with Pierre-Auguste Renoir?

Until recently, most everyone. But now only the unwoke don’t have a problem with Renoir.

The art historian Martha Lucy, writing in the show’s gorgeous catalogue, notes that, “in contemporary discourse,” the name Renoir has “come to stand for ‘sexist male artist.’ ” Renoir took such presumptuous, slavering joy in looking at naked women—who in his paintings were always creamy or biscuit white, often with strawberry accents, and ideally blond—that, Lucy goes on to argue, the tactility of the later nudes, with brushstrokes like roving fingers, unsettles any kind of gaze, including the male.

The “male gaze” is a topic that causes feminists and their fellow travelers to gnash their teeth angrily.

The New Yorker critic doesn’t like the girls in Renoir paintings, and not only because it is racist of them to be Caucasian.

Their faces nearly always look, not to put too fine a point on it, dumb—bearing out Renoir’s indifference to the women as individuals with inner lives. … Peculiarly, Renoir did grant the women wonderfully articulated hands, the body part hardest to render convincingly—good for doing things, perhaps around the house.

That’s because Renoir was a sexist. He was in league with the patriarchy that must be smashed.

It feels wrong to term Renoir a misogynist, though he was certainly patriarchal.

Renoir may have been even worse than a misogynist, hard as that may be to imagine:

He deemed women who performed professionally “completely ridiculous”; in a letter to a critic, he explained, “In ancient times, women sang and danced for free for the pleasures of being charming and gracious. Today, it’s all for money which takes away the charm.” The airy assumption in that may be worse than misogyny, which at least credits women with power as antagonists. It marks no mere flaw in Renoir’s personality but an essence of it that dovetails with his attitude toward painting. … An argument is often made that we shouldn’t judge the past by the values of the present, but that’s a hard sell in a case as primordial as Renoir’s.

Not just a thought criminal, but a primordial thought criminal!

Before long, Renoir will join Robert E. Lee at the bottom of the memory hole. His sexist paintings will meet the fate of those Buddhist statues blown up by the Taliban. By then, the New Yorker will have moved on to new targets to denounce for being problematic. As mentioned yesterday,

Culturally speaking, there is nothing of value that leftists will not destroy. They want to clear the ground to make room for utopia.

The intelligentsia’s job will not be finished until Western Civilization has been completely obliterated.

On a tip from Varla.



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