Smee’s work is fine art
This note of thanks and praise is long overdue and could have/should have been written in response to any one of Sebastian Smee’s absolutely superlative articles since he first joined the staff at the Globe. In terms of my knowledge of art history and my comfort with the language of many art critics, I’m very close to being one of the unwashed masses. Smee, in contrast to the highfalutin types who rely on scholarly terms I don’t understand, presents his thoughtful, passionate, personal analyses in an accessible, appealing, frequently humorous manner, and I love it!
Smee’s writing is both sophisticated and down to earth. His “Frame by Frame” column “Hero worship, with nerve” (g, June 12) is a perfect example of how he speaks clearly and convincingly to my head and my heart. Since I recently retired and even more recently moved to Cambridge, I was able to head over to Harvard’s Sackler Museum to examine the Ingres painting [“Raphael and the Fornarina”]. I took along the article so Smee could be my teacher in the gallery. I greatly enjoyed following his close analysis of the various small details he highlighted and chuckled (quietly, of course) several times. He inspired me to study more slowly and carefully than I usually do several other paintings nearby. I discovered that for me that’s a much better use of an hour or so in a museum rather than marching through a series of galleries at the Museum of Fine Arts, and I intend to employ that method on future museum visits.
So from one enthusiastic fan, thanks very much for teaching and entertaining me, and keep those great articles coming!
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