Go See: Monet, the Modest Revolutionary

To be accepted as a Creative Genius, is it necessary to cultivate the image of one? The National Gallery’s Monet and Architecture show suggests that, if the work is good enough, it can speak for itself, says Paul Cardwell

One of our greatest artistic inventions is the image of what it takes to be a great artist. They stare down on us from the walls, with blazing eyes and hair swept by the wind. The revolutionaries. The rule-breakers. The pushers of envelopes. From Caravaggio through Goya to Gauguin and beyond. Picasso and his gang. Here’s to the crazy ones.

Pop culture has fanned the sparks of that myth into a firework display. If you are so inclined, you can currently pay three figures to go and see the Rolling Stones – who have been millionaires for more than 50 years – pretend to be a street gang.

And this isn’t restricted to the arts, by the way. Look at Einstein. He wouldn’t look half as clever if he’d brushed his hair.


Milton Keynes