Martin Gayford

Canvassing Opinions

In My View: Personal Reflections on Art by Today’s Leading Artists

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One day in August 1831, John Constable wrote to his friend C R Leslie about a painting by Watteau in Dulwich Picture Gallery, ‘which looks as it should be painted in honey – so mellow – so tender – so soft & so delicious’. When artists discuss their predecessors in this way we get a double dose of insight: not only in this case into the work of Watteau but, just as interestingly, into how Constable thought about oil paint – which, evidently, was as a sensuous, almost edible substance. 

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