Although the Impressionists painters appeared to earlier art historians to be (unstudied/eclectic)

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tesoke

Senior Member
USA
Persian
Hi, in the following GRE test, I chosen C, but A is correct. I know that A is correct, but why C is wrong? Thanks.

Although the Impressionists painters appeared to earlier art historians to be ------- in their methods, recent analyses of their brush work suggest the contrary — that, in fact, their technique was quite -------.

(A)unstudied. .sophisticated

(B)idiosyncratic. .effective

(C)eclectic. .naïve

(D)lax. .fashionable

(E)careless. .unpremeditated
 
  • se16teddy

    Senior Member
    English - England
    I think the point of the test is to suggest that naive is not an antonym of eclectic. However, I think it is possible to argue that it is.

    As a matter of art history, I think A is a lot more accurate than C.
     

    Glasguensis

    Signal Modulation
    English - Scotland
    Eclectic : varied and diverse
    Naive : simple

    I disagree with se16teddy that a case can be made : for me it is clear that they are not antonyms. No knowledge of art is necessary.
     

    tesoke

    Senior Member
    USA
    Persian
    Thanks, I was thinking that was the note, but I have a problem with that. I think based of the following definitions for these two words, they may are antonyms. Eclectic may means complicated art and naive may means simple art. Why not?

    eclectic: selecting or choosing from various sources
    naive: having or marked by a simple, unaffectedly direct style reflecting little or no formal training or technique:
     

    Glasguensis

    Signal Modulation
    English - Scotland
    I repeat my earlier remark: eclectic and naive are not antonyms. Naive does not mean "from a single source" in any context, and it has a specific meaning (=primitive/untrained) in the context of art.
     

    Myridon

    Senior Member
    English - US
    I repeat my earlier remark: eclectic and naive are not antonyms. Naive does not mean "from a single source" in any context, and it has a specific meaning (=primitive/untrained) in the context of art.
    Yes, but... In order to be eclectic intentionally, you'd have to know a lot about art - the opposite of being naive about art.
     

    Glasguensis

    Signal Modulation
    English - Scotland
    The sentence given requires "naive" to apply to a painting technique. This is perfectly possible, since this is indeed one of the possible meanings of naive. Note that this is absolutely not the same as being naive about art. A highly trained and technically able artist can still choose to paint in a naive style. Eclectic, on the other hand, is not an artistic style. In this style of question, remember that the idea is not to identify all the combinations which aren't completely nonsensical, merely the best choice, which is clearly A.
     

    Aardvark01

    Senior Member
    British English (Midlands)
    C = "Although the Impressionists painters appeared to earlier art historians to be eclectic in their methods, recent analyses of their brush work suggest the contrary — that, in fact, their technique was quite naive."
    This means that they appeared to know a lot about a wide variety of art techniques, but analysis showed they did not.

    So 'eclectic' and 'naive' do work as antonyms in this context.
    C is wrong purely because is contradicts historical fact.
    (The title 'Impressionist' came from earlier art critics calling their paintings "unfinished" and "mere impressions" - derogatory remarks.)
     
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    Glasguensis

    Signal Modulation
    English - Scotland
    It does not require historical knowledge, it merely requires an understanding of the word "naive", which in art terms is a style which is blatantly obvious, and not something which could be revealed by later analysis. I also have a hard time visualising what an eclectic painting style would be - a range of different styles on a single canvas presumably.
     

    Aardvark01

    Senior Member
    British English (Midlands)
    ...a range of different styles on a single canvas presumably.
    Monet drew upon the composition of Japanese woodcuts and the brushwork of Constable, so yes, it is possible to be eclectic as an individual.

    But this is a moot point because the sentence does not concern one artist or one canvas but "...their methods..." "...their technique..."

    edit] To be historically accurate the adjectives of C would need to be reversed:

    "Although the Impressionists painters appeared to earlier art historians to be naive in their methods, recent analyses of their brush work suggest the contrary — that, in fact, their technique was quite eclectic ."
     
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