Lawrence and Bloomsbury III: Cézanne's Apple
It has been argued in the last two chapters that D. H. Lawrence and the Bloomsbury art-critics had far more in common than the critical orthodoxy on modernist aesthetics would suggest. The extent to which their interests coincide is brought out by the fact that they all single out Paul Cézanne's work as a kind of paradigm or benchmark for what they think art should achieve. Clive Bell's Art, though making universal claims about art, was written very much as a defense of Cézanne's painting in particular, whilst Roger Fry devoted an entire study to Cézanne. Lawrence wrote his own longest essay in art-criticism, shortly after reading Bell's Art in January 1929. In the same month, he also read Fry's Cézanne: A Study of His Development (1927), a work to which he makes specific reference in his own essay. His comments on Fry's study are extremely dismissive, and, taking them at face value, many critics have been content to cite them as evidence of the radical Lawrence-Bloomsbury opposition.
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