Some cruelty, again…

The sketch and the drawing I post here are, a bit, on the side of cruelty… or, if you want, on the side of caricature… Daumier did it, a lot of others also. Even Van Gogh, not a very joyous fellow (and not especially cruel either) did that in some portraits of his, which look like caricature (I remeber some girls portrait, from his last, Auvers-sur-Oise, period, for instance…) I think that, as a true to life artist, this “cruelty” is inevitable. And interesting portraits aren’t those of corny beauty, of Disneyland cartoon or Hollywood starlet… A handicaped or a fat punk teenager could be a lot more intense… Even Jean-Dominique Ingres, the “father” of academism and a inconditional of Raphael and of the perfect beauty said once, adressing his students: “In everything we look at, we must search for the caricature. The painter has to be a physionomist, go for caricature.”

Raul Vadului


Le croquis et le dessin que je poste ici sont un peu cruels… si vous voulez, des caricatures… Daumier a fait ca et ce n’est pas le seul. Même Van Gogh, qui n’était pas très joyeux (et la cruauté lui manquit plutôt) a fait des portraits qui ressemblent beaucoup à la caricature (par exemple, un portrait des deux filletes, de sa dernière période d’Auvers – sur – Oise…) Je crois que cette ‘cruauté’ est inevitable si on est un artiste fidèle à la vie. Et un portrait intéressant n’est pas, la plupart du temps, le portrait d’une beauté genre starlette d’Hollywood ou Disneyland… Un handicapé ou une grosse adolescente punk peuvent être tellement plus expressives… Même Jean-Dominique Ingres, le ‘père’ de l’academisme et l’admirateur inconditionnel de Raphael et de la beauté parfaite l’a dit une fois, en s’adressant à ses élèves: ‘ Dans tout ce que nous voyons, il y a une caricature qu’il faut saisir. Le peintre doit être physionomiste, chercher la caricature.’

Fat punk girl


Schitza si desenul pe care le postez aici sunt, un pic, crude… sau, daca vretzi, caricaturale… Dar Daumier a facut-o si el si nu e singurul… Chiar Van Gogh, care in general nu era inclinat spre a fi sarcastic (iar cruzimea îi lipsea aproape cu totul…) a facut portrete care seamana foarte mult cu caricaturile (de ex, îmi amintesc portretul, atroce, a doua fetitze, datând din ultima lui perioada, de la Auvers-sur-Oise…) Opinia mea e ca aceasta cruzime este inevitabila daca esti un artist ce se inspira din viatza reala… Chiar ‘parintele’ insusi al academismului, admiratorul inconditzionat a lui Raphael si a frumusetzii perfecte, o spunea, adresandu-se elevilor lui: ‘ In tot ce vedem, trebuie sa incercam sa sesizam caricatura. Pictorul trebuie sa fie fizionomist si sa caute caricatura.’

2 children VG

Copyright for the drawings and text Dan Iordache, 2008.


8 responses to “Some cruelty, again…

  1. I wonder what the mother of those two kids–babies really–thought of Van Gogh’s portraits. She would have had to be very unusual indeed to appreciate them. Imagine her face when he handed them to her! She had expected to see two sweet little angels.

  2. I don’t suppose Vincent gave (or even show) the portrait to the mother… by then he already knew his portraits were rarely appreciated… Dr. Rey, one of his first doctors, didn’t like his and gave to his parents who did cover a hole in their henhouse with it… Years latter, Vincent 10 years or more, dead, they heard his paintings were in demand and were very content to get the immense sum of 1000 fr for what remained of it…

    But Gauguin had that problem too…His famous portrait “La Belle Angele” was refused and the husband almost pick a fight with him…and he offered his Yellow Christ to quite a few churches for free but none did accepted it…

  3. This a great drawing, Danu, not cruel for me. I guess it is again one of the mental hospital “guests”? It is not your fault if they look like they look like and are how they are, and they have the right to be sketched like anybody else, haven’t they?
    Anyway, it’s deep, and true your drawing.


    Merci, Miki! tu as raison, bien sur. tout de même, avec ce qu’ils appellent aujourd’hui `politically correct`on ne sait plus ou on est… I liked, especially, the way he smoked and the big, chaplinian bouts...

  4. danu, cum se numeste picturalui van gogh. nu intreb ca sa fac conversatie ci pentru ca mie mi se pare ca cele 2 personajenu sunt altceva decat ipostaza unei singure femei. Faptul ca fetita este atat de matura si batrana atata de tanara, ar putea sa ne sugereze ca modelul a fost o femeie intre doua varste si van gogh, a surprins trecutul si prezentul:)
    Aberez, poate, dar trebuie sa recunosti ca am reusit sa montez un argument confirmat de imagine:)
    PS: Saptamana trecuta m-am intalnit cu un prieten comun. Am baut un ceai la Carturesti. Mi-a vorbit cu mult drag de tine.

  5. draga Carmen, ma mult tare ca aberezi (un pic, face bine…) fiindca am trecut pe blogurile tale si eram un pic ingrijorat, nemaivazand activitate proaspata… Tabloul lui Van Gogh se numeste “Fillettes à Auvers` si reprezinta (eh, da!) doua fetitze… Cred ca faptul ca tu le vezi batrane sau una mai batrana una mai tanara dovedeste exact ce vroiam sa zic: si Van gogh a facut caricaturi…

    Cine o fi fiind prietenul comun, ca m-ai facut curios? Nici nu indraznesc sa fac presupuneri!

  6. ovidiu stanomir

    pare a fi mai degraba Goya…

  7. I misunderstood you here, Danu. I thought the drawing was by Daumier (and since I don’t know most of his drawings, I had no trouble believing it. It is certainly good enough to be by him.). At first I thought it was a man who had been executed, like Goya’s men killed by garrote vil or shot sitting. The notches in the wall behind him would be bullet holes. Yet he didn’t look dead. I wondered whether in fact he was one of your mental hospital inmates–the caption said “hospital” but it could have been a hospital where Daumier made the drawing. Anyway…
    It is a very good drawing. Is he tied–is that a rope or a cane at his knees? Could you communicate with him?

  8. Yes, he was even smart (ok, street smart) and he was smoking (a lot). first thing he would ask you: if you have a smoke 9eventually all the pack)… Now, it’s not a rope – it’s a cane, he was a bit physically handicaped… In fact, the “hospital” was a kind of pool for every handicap, physical and mental, you can imagine (I have some photos, quite interesting)… Glad you took my drawing as a Daumier!

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