In Another Light Synopsis
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Odd men out
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Although Robert Rosenblum and Kirk Varnedoe laid the groundwork for understanding the work in a larger European context, the scholarship and publications in English have been modest. Berman rectifies this situation with her well-illustrated and comprehensive book. In Another Light offers an overview of a range of discourses in Danish art, which Berman analyzes as she locates the works in their broader socio-cultural context. Using one painting as a focus for each chapter, Berman weaves the chapters together using thorough visual analysis, contextual information, and references to current scholarship.
An equestrian statue of King Frederik V is the central figure of the composition, a monument in the center of a civic square. However, as Berman points out, it is placed slightly off center on the canvas and somewhat to the right, appearing odd, dim, and not very celebratory of a prominent king.
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Particularly informative are her discussions of the different artistic communities that formed throughout the century. Here the camaraderie between the artists is clearly visible, as they discuss, paint, and are deeply involved with direct studies of the figure and human anatomy. The painting, Berman argues, represents a shift away from the tradition of history painting as it celebrates everyday life in the studio and suggests that the heroism of human beings can be found in common life.
The equal treatment of the model and the handyman exemplifies the Academy turning away from its grand tradition and shifting its focus toward painting the ordinary, searching for authenticity, and, with it, the goal of developing what was perceived to be a particularly Danish school. A key figure around whom the discussions and composition revolve is the well-known Danish sculptor Bertel Thorvaldsen, whose circle of artist friends represents an intimate group of painters and sculptors working in Rome and thereby outside the rules of the Danish academy.
Berman quotes the poet and fairytale storyteller Hans Christian Andersen commenting on how the Danish artists in Rome were able to free themselves from the often restrictive rules of home. To the Danes, Thorvaldsen was soon perceived as a key leader in the arts and even as an embodiment of a new Danish nobility.
They built a museum for him and celebrated his homecoming as a national hero in , and commemorated him again at his death in It is early in the s and Dr Alexander Mackay is on his way to take up his post running a maternity hospital in the colony.click here
In Another Light by Andrew Greig | The Independent
During the voyage he meets two beautiful sisters and the seeds of a scandal are sown. Seventy years later Edward Mackay wakes after a major brain trauma. In the hazy shadowlands of illness, he conjures the figure of his dead father, a man he knew so little about.
This near-death experience provokes a move to the wilds of Orkney, where Edward joins a project to harness the tides around the island as a renewable source of energy.