Some years ago I examined paintings in Italy, France and England to observe how painting styles had changed from Roman times to the 20’th century. Ancient and medieval wall paintings were elements of architecture that enhanced buildings with images of heroes and actors in religious stories. In the renaissance paintings in frames diminished paintings’ architectural function and lessened the grandeur and forcefulness of their human figures which often seemed to be designed more to show the artist’s technical virtuosity than the glory of human action. When I got to the 19’th century impressionist period I was shocked to see that some had bare canvas showing between painted colour.
The other day I saw a copy of an impressionist painting framed under glass that reminded me of my own impressionist painting of the Brown Derby tavern I had painted from the memory of past sense impressions using the Paint program. My painting was a result of my not being able to find a photo of the Derby online. but now that there are plenty, I like mine more than those old photos that are now readily available because I can’t remember the Derby ever looking that way. Now I realize that despite their crude technique and sensible inaccuracies, impressionist paintings express how their artists perceived sensations that make reality as lively as the figures in those antique pre renaissance wall paintings.