Art: Impressionism's Oak-Tree Uncle

In Boston, a definitive retrospective of Camille Pissarro

In art, each generation has to reinvent the past: to construct its own Watteau, even its own Leonardo. The new outlines never quite coincide with the old. This is true of modern art, too, which itself has become old; and it even applies to impressionism, the most accessible, popular modern movement of all. Sometimes later styles "reinterpret" earlier ones, as abstract expressionism fostered the present veneration of the late works of Monet.

Then there are some artists whose reputations gratuitously disappear and subsequently rise again, wobbling in...

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