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Creating the modern eye

Two new exhibitions show how a Renaissance visionary and a misunderstood Norwegian eccentric changed the course of painting

By James Woodall   June 2012

El Greco, The Opening of the Fifth Seal (1608-14): the bodies are vibrant, with exaggerated curves defining arms, thighs and calves

El Greco and Modernism

Museum Kunstpalast, Düsseldorf, Germany. Until 12th August

Edvard Munch: The Modern Eye

Tate Modern, 28th June–14th October


This summer, a rare sequence of art events is bringing into focus the origins of European modernist painting. One of them, “The Modern Eye,” an exhibition of works by Edvard Munch opening in late June at Tate Modern, fits into the traditional narrative: the Norwegian is incontrovertibly a harbinger of 20th-century art. Another Munch-connected event has been…

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