tw684 | Brunhildisfelsen, Großer Feldberg, Mai 2019

I was about to explain how I see this as a sort of Déjeuner sur l’herbe for the smartphone generation. How no one is naked, because public nudity is so 1970s, unless you’re bodypainted from forehead to tiptoe and protesting about an issue of global importance.

How the emblems for our age are selfies and Facebook addiction. But that a good slab of sunwarmed rock in a forest clearing is just as irresistible to lie on as it would have been 150 years ago, (though that didn’t feature at all in Manet’s scene).

And that there is always someone unexplained lurking in the background – though these days it’s more likely to be a pair of lads taking a rest break on a fell run, bike ride or hike to the top than a lissome bather emerging from a dip in a lake.

I was going to mention all of that to illustrate how much Martin’s image reminds me of a pre-impressionist painting. If that’s even a thing – you can call it Modernist if you prefer. And then I remembered that there is a history of Martin and great painters of that era. And I wanted to remind you of Martin as Matisse while we’re considering Martin as Édouard Manet.

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