Le Déjeuner sur l’herbe Part II – A Norm Re-imagining
Yesterday I explored how Manet’s enigmatic masterpiece, Le Déjeuner sur l’herbe, innovated an entirely new artistic mindset, setting a path towards impressionism, expressionism and beyond. In recognition of its important place in the history of art, countless artists have drawn inspiration from the work, and now I can add myself to the list. In today’s Daily Norm, I exclusively reveal to you my re imagining of Le Déjeuner sur l’herbe…Norm style.
At 40″ x 30″ it’s a large canvas and one that has taken me a lot of work since I begun painting shortly after Christmas. The detail of the picnic, the hampers and the clothes certainly took some doing, not least because I chose to work in oils, with multiple layers which needed to dry before adding the next. Nonetheless, the work was a joy to paint, because Manet’s original provided a template, but not a precise blueprint which meant that I could really explore my own imagination when interpreting the original.
As a result, my luncheon is on the grass, but the Norms have a picnic blanket to give them more comfort. Meanwhile the picnic itself is a more civilised affair. Manet’s basket of food is replaced by two hampers from the premium Piccadilly department store, Fortnum and Masons, while the spread of food on offer ranges from traditional pork pies and scotch eggs to a seafood platter, sardines and a cheese board, as well as a number of sweet treats. To drink, the Norms enjoy a bottle of Veuve Clicquot while in the hamper behind them, a flask of earl grey tea lies ready and waiting.
Because I made something of a feature of the picnic in the centre of the canvas, I decided to replace Manet’s spilling basket on the left of the canvas with a spilling Chanel handbag set amongst the nude female’s discarded clothing. Naturally, as well as a compact and nail varnish, the Norm’s handbag contents also include a much needed Oyster travel card, perfectly balancing the canvas with the real oysters within the seafood platter. A pair of Chanel sunglasses and a discarded bra add even more sex-chic to the scene (and yes, Norms do appear to have breasts!).
There are plenty of details in this painting, so below I include a gallery of detail shots for you to enjoy. And with this I leave you to feast your eyes upon this new Luncheon on the Grass, the latest interpretation of a painting which will continue to inspire throughout this next Millennium.
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- Persistently mysterious; indubitable genius: Manet’s Le Déjeuner sur l’herbe (normsonline.wordpress.com)