The Easel

Review: Keeping an Eye Open

Should we view a painting as a stand-alone image or through the lens of the artist’s life? The novelist Julian Barnes, whose recent book on art is being reviewed, argues that it’s all about the painted image. A painter’s life and the works they produce don’t always fit a single neat narrative.  The reviewer is unconvinced. Inevitably “the stories we tell about paintings matter more than the facts of the paintings themselves”