Like the economy, 21st-century British art is running on false credit. How many truly great living artists can you count?
In the Musée d’Orsay in Paris hang the revolutionary works of painters who made art modern in France more than a century ago. Here they are, the true greats of early modernism: Cézanne and Van Gogh, as well as Gauguin and Degas, Monet and, of course, Seurat. That’s six, and there are obviously several more profoundly important figures in France at that time, including Toulouse-Lautrec and Odilon Redon. That makes eight. And there are more, too, including sculptors led by Rodin. Perhaps you could bring the figure up to 16, even 20, without scraping the barrel.
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