Art: Champagne

"Painting," Marcel Gromaire believes, "is a matter of long research and patient waiting." At 58, the pipe-smoking, professorial Frenchman is suspicious of modern art, thinks it includes too many "new movements." He does most of his work at a massive oak table in a quiet, residential district of southern Paris, making pen sketches for future paintings. For every 50 or so sketches, he does one watercolor. Every few years he produces enough paintings to have a show like last week's at Paris' Louis Carré Gallery.

In view of Gromaire's philosophy, the scant dozen watercolors...

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