Art: Robinson Revisited

"Looking at my things." Theodore Robinson wrote in his diary, "I feel pretty blue. There are glimmers here and there of refined good painting—but a woeful slackness—a lack of grasp, of inspiration, interest." Once, on seeing some of his paintings in an exhibition, he spluttered: "My things are bum with one exception, the girl sewing, which has something redeeming." Actually, Robinson was rarely slack and almost never bum: he was one 19th century American artist who deserves more than the comparative obscurity that has been his fate. Last week a welcome retrospective of his work (see color) opened at Manhattan's Florence...

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