Painting: Helas pour la Grandeur

Like all the forms of nonverbal human expression, the arts are international, leaping the bounds of language and education as easily as they do those of class or color. All the great art styles of Western history have flourished in many countries. Inevitably, then, the historian who tries to prove that one nation's painting is innately superior to that of any other is treading on shaky ground. Such technicalities, however, have hardly hindered the zealous ministers of Charles de Gaulle.

"Painting in France, 1900-1967," an exhibit of 150 paintings...

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