VISIONARY REVUE


Mistress of the Winds



 
 
 


PARIS - FALL 2004


      All of this is important because Vacher's work manifests the tensions of an artist who sees great artistic worth in illustration, yet also wants to preserve the painterly qualities of the older traditions. As Vacher himself has remarked, "I think classical influence (like Alma-Tadema, Sargent, John Waterhouse or Lord Leighton - to name just a few) is really a direction I'd like to take, but still depicting modern imagery, keeping a foot in Fantasy." (81)
      And yet, a painting like Mistress of the Winds would be dismissed by many French Visionaries as illustratif. They would dislike the British Pre-Raphaelite influence of the mistress with her flowing robes. She manifests much too clearly what the landscape itself should evoke more subtlely. Meanwhile their American counterparts would hail it as a great work (as indeed, they have when it was selected for the cover of the illustrators' annual, Spectrum).
      And the same is true of The Source. The gentle stream which meandered through the works of other French Visionaries was often present, but never emphasized. Here, the stream comes to the foreground while the landscape gradually recedes into the background. And it could be argued that, over time, the landscapes which were so important to the French Visionaries are gradually moving into the background of Vacher's art.
      In this way, Vacher's work higlights some of the interesting tensions that exist between French and Anglo-Saxons, as well as between the Old World and the New. He is in a unique position, and those tensions will hopefully unite in his works rather than divide and polarize them. But, Vacher's art is also uniquely his own - expansive, refreshing, alive - and will continue to manifest his own, broadening and ever-renewing vision over time.


 
 
 


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