The thing about these three things that bedevil the art of painting is that they are all made up of very fine individual parts, and all of these parts are clearly discernible by the eye. In a painting, when these subjects are dealt with, the eye is just simply not satisfied unless it gets to see all of the individual elements of the hairs in all their glory.
It just so happens that when we are looking a specific head of hair it is impossible to focus on each individual strand, contemplate it, and consider its unique individuality. But, even so, the eye, especially the untrained eye, not used to looking often at paintings, expects the artist to deliver the hair in its entirety, in all of its manifest complex glory.
But it’s not possible. One would have to imaging that there is, somewhere, a paint brush consisting of just one hair, and using the one hair brush the artist paints all of the hairs of a dog, a goat, a horse, or some beautiful woman, leaving out not a single strand. But there is no such thing as a one hair brush, and even if there were you must have some consideration of the poor artist whom you are encouraging to begin the job of painting all of the hairs of the human head.
The artist perhaps decided to be an artist for very flamboyant, emotional and lofty reasons, reasons clouded in mystery, and touching the deeper recesses of the soul. The artist wants the experience of doing a painting to, if possible, induce euphoric states of mind that a drug addict might envy.
Faldoni, parts 2772 - 2775
The Ball. Gaston la Touche (French, 1854-1913). Oil on cradled panel.
Although the art of an earlier century inspired la Touche’s subjects, his painting technique was thoroughly modern: his friends Bracquemond and Manet, the latter of whom included him in his Bar at the Folies Bergère, advised him. The present work is an excellent example of his approach: groups of dancers are painted in thin strokes of soft color over a burnt sienna ground. The result is an image that is at once delicate and rich.