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The New Criterion

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September 2000

The splendid Chardin

by Karen Wilkin

On Chardin at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.

Every time I walked through the splendid Chardin exhibition at the Metropolitan [1] this summer, I was struck by how impossible it was to imagine how this eighteenth-century master’s paintings looked to his contemporaries. Not that there’s a lack of documentation. Quite the contrary. The work of Jean-Siméon Chardin (1699–1779) was thoroughly discussed by the art critics of his day, most famously by Denis Diderot, his friend and perhaps his most illuminating commentator—certainly the best writer among them. The critical literature that survives from Chardin’s lifetime, provoked by his submissions to the Salons from 1737 until 1779 and his widely disseminated prints, contains everything from adulatory poems and over-the-top rhapsodies to clear-eyed descriptions of particular still lifes of musical instruments, baskets of fruit, a ...

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Karen Wilkin is an independent curator and critic.

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This article originally appeared in The New Criterion, Volume 19 September 2000, on page 40

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The Walter Duranty Prize for Journalistic Mendacity
On May 5, 2014, The New Criterion and PJ Media presented the second Walter Duranty Prize for Journalistic Mendacity. The award is given to highlight egregious examples of dishonest reporting. Also awarded this year was the Rather, a new award for lifetime achievement in mendacious journalism.
The Duranty Prize is named after Walter Duranty, the New York Times Moscow corresponded in the 1920s and 1930s who whitewashed Joseph Stalin’s forced starvation of the Ukrainians (the Holodomor) and many other aspects of Soviet oppression. Duranty was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in 1932 for his efforts. It has never been revoked.
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