Saturday, 31 March 2012

Jules Pascin and Hermine David & Friend

'Hermine David and Friend' (1914) by Jules Pascin; Private Collection

I'm reading Ernest Hemingway's 'A Moveable Feast' at the moment and one of the chapters is called 'With Pascin at the Dôme'. Hemingway was a good friend of Jules Pascin and describes his encounter with Pascin in cafe the Dôme in his book. So when I read that Jules Pascin was born on 31 March 1885 (in Bulgaria), I knew I had found my painter for today's post. Pascin studied painting in Vienna, Munich and Berlin. In 1905, he moved to Paris where he became a member of a circle of artists that frequented the cafe the Dôme and the studios of Montparnasse. He was a central figure of the School of Paris (École de Paris). At the outbreak of World War I, he went to the United States and became a US citizen. He suffered from depression and struggled with alcoholism. At the age of 45, being severely depressed, he committed suicide by slitting his wrists and hanging himself in his studio in Montmartre. He is renowned for his sensitive studies of women and combines Expressionism and Cubism in his art. I think he is in the same league as Modigliani who also was his friend. I really like the painting shown here. It looks like a drawing but it is oil on canvas.

Friday, 30 March 2012

Vincent van Gogh and Almond Blossom

'Almond Blossom' (1890) by Vincent van Gogh; Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam

If I have to choose between Van Gogh, born on March 30, 1853, and Rembrandt, I'll choose Rembrandt any day because there are many of Rembrandt's paintings that I find beautiful. There are not many paintings of Van Gogh that I find truly beautiful, but I will come back to the Almond Blossom over and over again. It's beautiful in colour and even though there is so much merchandising in the shop of the Van Gogh Museum that you could easily get fed up with the painting, it never looses its beauty for me. There is no museum in the world that I have visited so many times as the Van Gogh Museum (I live in Amsterdam and my sister works there). They have great exhibitions and their exhibition space is superb. And I always go and see the Almond Blossom whenever I'm there. It's a painting that makes me happy. I also like the fact that Vincent painted this for his new-born nephew, the son of his beloved brother Theo. It's a shame though that it is not on display in the museum at the moment since it's part of an exhibition in Philadelphia and later on in Ottowa, Canada. It will be back on display in The Netherlands coming 29 September when part of the collection of the Van Gogh Museum (then temporarily closed due to renovations) will be seen in the Hermitage, Amsterdam.

Thursday, 29 March 2012

Georges Seurat and A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte

'A Sunday afternoon on the island of La Grande Jatte' (1884-86) by Georges Seurat; The Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago

Sometimes it's nice to find a well-known painter being a match for a certain date and know that you don't have to look any further. Georges Seurat, born on December 2, 1859, and died on March 29, 1891, is not a painter whose overall work I particularly like because I don't like Pointillism very much. But this painting shown here, which I got to know doing a course in art history some years ago, stands out. It's a large-scale work, measuring approximately 2 by 3 meters, and considered to be Seurat's most famous work. The reason why I like this painting is because of the colours and because it's such a relaxed scene. I also think there's something static in the work which I like. Almost as if the people are frozen in time. Which would be nice because who wouldn't want to keep enjoying such a nice and lazy Sunday afternoon on the island of La Grande Jatte?

Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Jan van der Heyden and The Dam with the New Town Hall in Amsterdam

'The Dam with the New Town Hall in Amsterdam' (1668) by Jan van der Heyden; Musée du Louvre, Paris

Finally a painter I'm familiar with. When you say Jan van der Heyden, born on 5 March 1637 and died on 28 March 1712, I think of his Amsterdam paintings. Just a quick note on his date of death: it's beyond me why the English Wikipedia page names 12 September 1712 as his date of death, whereas the Dutch page says 28 March, also here it says the 28th of March, and Dutch websites mention that 300 years ago today Jan van der Heyden died. Anyway, I chose Van der Heyden because I like his Amsterdam paintings. I live in Amsterdam and it always amazes me how much of the image above is still there. Van der Heyden moved with his family to Amsterdam around 1650 and was a witness to the fire in the old town hall. It made a deep impression on him. So he had been fascinated with fire fighting ever since he was a boy. He is often credited with the invention of the fire hose and was put in charge of the fire brigade. He was a skilled landscape painter and his most important works were painted between 1660 and 1670. He died in wealth, still owning most of his work.

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Joseph-Marie Vien and The Cupid Seller

'The Cupid Seller' (1763) by Joseph-Marie Vien; Musée National Château de Fontainebleau, Fontainebleau

The depiction of today's painting made me laugh. I simply had to show you this art work of French painter Joseph-Marie Vien, born on June 18, 1716, and died on March 27, 1809. Vien was a former teacher of Jacques-Louis David and considered to be of great importance to Neoclassical art. He created a sensation at the 1763 Salon with the painting shown here. It was based on an ancient Roman wall painting. The women wear dresses reminiscent of classical sculptures and the setting is a classical interior. Cupids were very popular in the 18th century and used frequently in paintings. Vien wanted to imply the idea of bought sexual pleasure. The cupids in the vendor's basket seem harmless infants but the little one held up by the salesgirl seems to hold its forearm in a provocative manner. Anyway, whatever Vien meant with this painting, I think it's cute and funny and I like the colours of the painting very much.

Monday, 26 March 2012

Julius Schnorr von Carolsfeld and Bathsheba

'Bathsheba at her bath' (1820-25) by Julius Schnorr von Carelsfeld;
can't find location

It was a bit difficult to find a painting for today. Not many that I really liked. Then I came across the German painter Julius Schnorr von Carolsfeld, born on 26 March 1794. He was a member of the Nazarene movement, a group of German Romantic painters 'who aimed to revive honesty and spirituality in Christian art' (quote from the Wikipedia page). The formation of the movement was a reaction against Neoclassicism and their aim was to restore the purity of form found in Renaissance art. Most of their work had biblical themes. I chose this painting of Bathsheba (with a strong Neoclassical influence!) because I think it is beautiful and I was curious about the story behind it. My biblical knowledge leaves a lot to be desired. And I was wondering about the man on the rooftop! Well, he is David and the story of his seduction of Bathsheba is told in 2 Samuel 11. He was walking on the roof of his palace and saw Bathsheba, the wife of Uriah, bathing. He desired her and made her pregnant. If you want to know the full story, either grab the bible or click here.

Sunday, 25 March 2012

Wilhelm Marstrand and Portrait of Johanne Luise Heiberg

'Portrait of Johanne Luise Heiberg' (1858-9) by Wilhelm Marstrand;
The Museum of National History, Frederiksborg Castle, Hillerød

Another Danish painter that I had never heard of. Wilhelm Marstrand, born on 24 December 1810 and died on 25 March 1873, is apparently one of the most renowned artists of the Golden Age of Danish Painting. He was a painter and illustrator who traveled throughout Europe and lived in Italy. He painted depictions of everyday Italian life with a romantic and idealised view. He continued to travel abroad in search of inspiration. His stay in Venice in 1853-4 became important because he started to understand the handling of colours better by studying the Venetian masters. He turned to religious and historical themes. The painting shown here is a portrait of the famous Danish actress Johanne Luise Heiberg, one of his best paintings and painted after his stay in Venice. I wonder if the big splash of green colour has anything to do with his improved understanding of the handling of colours. Love the green!

Saturday, 24 March 2012

Frank Weston Benson and Still Life with Flowers

'Still life with flowers' (1922) by Frank Weston Benson; Private Collection?

When you google Frank Weston Benson's name, an American Impressionist painter, born on the 24th of March, 1862, you will find plenty of paintings that I might like. As you must know by now, I prefer portraits over landscapes and still lifes, and Benson has done some fine woman portraits. The reason that I chose this still life is that I hardly ever come across a still life with flowers that I like. So even though I like this woman's portrait very much, I think it would be nice not to post a portrait again. I like this still life with flowers because I like a simple flower arrangement like this, as well as the glass vase and ceramic saucer. This is something that you could see in my interior. But then I also like the way Benson has put this image to the paper (it's water colour on paper). I like the brightness of the painting and the way the light in the glass catches your eye. I couldn't find its location though but I have a feeling it's in private hands since it's been for sale at this gallery. Or maybe it hasn't sold yet. I wouldn't mind having it.

Friday, 23 March 2012

Jean-Hippolyte Flandrin and the Naked Young Man Sitting by the Sea

'The naked young man sitting by the sea' (1836) by Jean-Hippolyte Flandrin; Musée du Louvre, Paris

Finally a painting that I know, even though for a long time I was under the impression that Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres was the painter. This is a very well-known painting, I think even among non-art lovers. The painter's name is Jean-Hippolyte Flandrin and he was born on March 23, 1809. It's not that strange that I thought that Ingres was the artist of this painting. Flandrin was his pupil and he adhered closely to the purity and fine lines that Ingres used in his work. Flandrin also turned to classical themes and subjects like Ingres. The only thing that distinguished Flandrin from his master were his studies of male youth, studies that were suggestively homoerotic. I decided to post this famous painting of the male nude because I wanted to post a well-known painting and I think it's truly beautiful. But I was also tempted to post a woman's portrait because I think Flandrin's women's portraits are exquisite. Actually, just like those of Ingres. They're very fine and detailed. Almost like a digital painting. See how beautiful and fine this portrait is.

Thursday, 22 March 2012

Richard E. Miller and the Plaid Skirt

'The Plaid Skirt' (date not found) by Richard Emil Miller; Private Collection?

Richard Emil Miller, born on March 22, 1875, was according to his Wikipedia page (read link) 'a major American Impressionist painter and a member of the famous Giverny Colony of American Impressionists'. I had never heard of him nor of the Giverny Colony. I googled his name and images and there were lots of images of women in beautiful dresses (or no dresses at all). Scrolling down the page, this painting caught my eye because of the colours and the chequered skirt. But I could easily have chosen another one since there were many paintings that I like. So again, I am happy to add this painter to my ever growing list of painters unknown to me. Miller studied art in his hometown St. Louis but went to France to study in Paris. He stayed there for 16 years and became a leading member of the Giverny Colony. This was a group of US Impressionist painters who lived near the village of Giverny in the 1880s and worked in the countryside. Miller's paintings show women seated at a table in a room or in a garden. The title of the painting shown here is 'The plaid skirt'. I discovered the title after being drawn to the image because of the plaid skirt. I didn't find a date for the painting nor its location but it must be in private hands. It sold at an auction for $314,000. See here and here for auction details.

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Jean-Baptiste Greuze and Head of a Young Woman

'Head of a young woman (Contemplation)' (mid-1770s) by Jean-Baptiste Greuze; The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

Jean-Baptiste Greuze, born on 21 August 1725 and died on 21 March 1805, was a French painter. I am a bit confused about his date of death. The English Wikipedia page says 4th of March but if you click on the Dutch page, it says the 21st of March. Then I found more sites that say 21 March so I decided I could use him for this post. Greuze was most famous for his genre paintings, although when I googled his name and images, I got a lot of portraits too. Greuze explored the emotional states in the faces of women, children and men. I could have chosen another portrait because they're all fine works of art, but I was drawn to this painting in particular. I love the grey, silver colours and wonder why she is lost in comtemplation.

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Sir Edward Poynter and An Evening at Home

'An evening at home' (1888) by Sir Edward Poynter; can't find location

Each time I look at this painting, I like it better. It was painted by the English artist Edward Poynter, born on 20 March 1836, whose name rang a distant bell. He was no minor artist. He met Frederic Leighton in Rome who introduced him to classical paintings. He became a member of the Royal Academy and was even elected President of the Academy. Go visit the link above to read more about him. To go back to the painting posted here: it's called 'An evening at home' and I really like this peaceful scene. I love the interior and the soft light. This is how I'd like to spend an evening myself. Although I wouldn't look that pretty. And I don't have a cat.

Monday, 19 March 2012

Alonso Cano and Mary

'Mary' (1646-50) by Alonso Cano; Budapest Museum of Fine Arts, Budapest

Doing this blog, I realise how few painters I actually know. Alonso Cano, born on 19 March 1601, is one of them. This Spanish artist, who was born in (my beloved) Granada, was sometimes called 'The Spanish Michelangelo' because of the diversity of his talents. Not only was he a painter, but also a sculptor and an architect. He designed the façade of the Cathedral in Granada (1667), one of the most original works of Spanish Baroque architecture. He painted the portrait 'Mary' before returning to Granada in 1652. I think it's beautiful and serene.

Sunday, 18 March 2012

Julien Dupré and Haymaking

'Haymaking' (1892) by Julien Dupré; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

You may make the same mistake as I did and confuse the painter, Julien Dupré, born on 18 March 1851, with Jules Dupré, the great French landscape painter who was a famous member of the Barbizon School. I thought they were one and the same but apparently Julien was the nephew of Jules. Anyway, I had already chosen a painting for today but it turned out that it was by Jules so I have to wait till his date of birth comes up. It wasn't difficult to choose a painting by Julien because they are many that I like. Actually, come to think of it, it wás a bit difficult because his paintings are so much alike that there is not a particular one that really stands out. Julien was a painter of peasant scenes, representing farmers at work, mostly haymaking. If you want to see more of his paintings, click here.

Saturday, 17 March 2012

John Rogers Herbert and The Wine that Maketh Glad the Heart of Man

'The wine that maketh glad the heart of man' (c.1860) by John Rogers Herbert; Private Collection

So many painters I have never heard of. John Rogers Herbert, born on 23 January 1810 and died on 17 March 1890, is another one. He was an English painter who influenced the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood with his catholic paintings. Herbert's conversion to the Catholic Church happened around 1840 and was of great consequence to his work. The painting chosen for today is called 'The wine that maketh glad the heart of man' which is a bible text (Psalm 104:15). I love the warm colours of this art work but don't entirely understand the scene depicted in this painting. The leaves must be of vines, I think, but I don't know what the story is with the two women and couldn't find it on the internet.

Friday, 16 March 2012

Giuseppe Maria Crespi and The Kitchenmaid

'The Kitchenmaid' (after 1712) by Giuseppe Maria Crespi; Uffizi Gallery, Florence

I had a small list of painters for today to choose from, none of whom I had ever heard of. I googled the images of their paintings and when I saw this one by the Italian artist Giuseppe Maria Crespi, I stopped looking. Then I read that the Wikipedia page names the 14th of March as his date of birth, while I got the date of the 16th of March from Safran-Arts. Luckily I found another site that gives 16 March 1665 as his date of birth, so that is good enough for me. Crespi was a Baroque painter and most famous for his genre paintings. Until the 17th century, Italian painters had mainly concentrated on painting religious, mythological or historical scenes,whereas e.g. Dutch painters had already a strong tradition in depicting the everyday life. This is such a painting, a domestic scene from everyday life. I love the use of light in this work. Actually, I love the whole scene because I like depictions of solitary activities. This scene of the maid doing her chores seems so peaceful to me.

Thursday, 15 March 2012

Francesc Masriera y Manovens and Winter of 1882

'Winter of 1882' (1882) by Francesc Masriera y Manovens;
Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya, Barcelona

For this post I chose the Catalan painter Francesc Masriera y Manovens, born on 21 October 1842, and died on 15 March 1902. His father, an artist as well, encouraged him to paint and he studied in Geneva, Paris and Rome. He dedicated himself to painting Oriental subjects and these were to establish his reputation. The painting I chose is obviously very different from his Oriental subjects. But I like this one. Here is the link to the Catalan museum where it's on display.

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Jules Joseph Lefebvre and Girl with a Mandolin

'Girl with a Mandolin' (c.1870) by Jules Joseph Lefebvre; Private Collection

French painter Jules Joseph Lefebvre, born on 14 March 1836, was a baker's son whose father encouraged him to pursue painting. He studied in Paris, became a pupil of Léon Cogniet and attended l'École des Beaux Arts. He made his debut at the Paris Salon in 1855. At first he painted historical paintings. Later on in his career he turned to painting the female figure, especially the nude. This made him very succesful. I could have chosen one of the beautiful nude paintings he had made but I was sort of captivated by the dark eyes of this gypsy girl with a mandolin. I like portraits that seem to tell a story. But I couldn't find the background story for this painting except for a discussion on a forum. For more information about the painter, you can also click here.

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

William Glackens and Young Woman in Green

'Young Woman in Green' (c.1915) by William Glackens; St. Louis Art Museum, St. Louis, Missouri 

I was quite content having found American artist William Glackens, born on 13 March 1870, for today's post. If you google his name and images, you see paintings with a very different colour palette and at first I wasn't sure whether the paintings were by the same artist. Glackens was an illustrator first and then became a Realist painter. He became known for his dark-hued tones and scenes with crowds, e.g. in parks and on beaches. The influence of the Impressionists and foremost Renoir was evident. His later work included portraits and flower pieces, in lavish colours. If you want to read more about his style and subject matter, that changed throughout his life, then click on the link above. I chose the painting of the woman in green because I love portraits and I think this one is beautiful in colour and the woman is really pretty.

Monday, 12 March 2012

Carl Vilhelm Holsøe and Woman with fruit bowl

'Woman with fruit bowl' (1900-10) by Carl Vilhelm Holsøe; Museum Thyssen-Bornemisza, Madrid

Today I discovered another Danish artist Carl Vilhelm Holsøe, born on the 12th of March, 1863. I didn't find an English Wikipedia page, just a Danish one. His interior paintings are very similar to those of Vilhelm Hammershøi. I just read that Holsøe, Hammershøi and Hammershøi's brother-in-law, the Danish painter Peter Ilsted, were the leading artists of the early 20th century in Denmark. They were all members of the progressive art society 'The Free Exhibition' and their work was referred to as 'The Copenhagen Interior School'. Their paintings have the same subtle colours and the same serenity and calmness. Last year I had a calendar with women reading in art and there was also a painting of Holsøe in it: A lady in an interior.

Sunday, 11 March 2012

Benjamin West and Venus Consoling Cupid

'Venus consoling Cupid stung by a bee' (1802) by Benjamin West; State Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg

Today's painter is well-known artist Benjamin West, born on October 10, 1738, and died on March 11, 1820. I don't know about you but I had never heard of him. He's in the same league as Joshua Reynolds and Thomas Lawrence, painters I do know, all three members of the Royal Academy of Arts in London. West was an American-born painter but moved to England in 1763 where he developed a wide reputation as court painter and historical painter. With Joshua Reynolds, West founded the Royal Academy and he became the second President of the Academy succeeding Reynolds. He is well-known for his historical paintings, large in scale and expressive in colour and composition. I'm not particularly fond of these large scale paintings with big compositions so I have chosen a portrait of Venus and Cupid. West did a number of paintings on Venus and Cupid between 1797 and 1814, after a poem by Anacreon called 'The Wounded Cupid'. I quite like this painting. It's beautiful in colour and detail. There's another painting called 'Cupid stung by a bee', but it's larger in scale and less beautiful than the one I've posted here. I don't like it well enough to give you the link here but go ahead and google the image.

Saturday, 10 March 2012

William Etty and Nude Woman Asleep

'Nude Woman Asleep' (c.1828-30) by William Etty; Private Collection

I think this painting of William Etty, born on 10 March 1787, is beautiful. Again a painter who is unknown to me. Etty was an English artist, who was best known for his paintings of nudes. He studied under Henry Fuseli at the Royal Academy School and privately under Thomas Lawrence. His drawing is considered to be faulty and incorrect at times but nevertheless he holds a secure place among English painters. 

Friday, 9 March 2012

Daniel Ridgway Knight and the Shepherdess of Rolleboise

'The Shepherdess of Rolleboise' (c.1896) by Daniel Ridgway Knight; Brooklyn Museum, New York

Finding today's painter was easy. Choosing a painting was more difficult because there are so many that I like. The painter's name is Daniel Ridgway Knight, born on March 15, 1839, and died on March 9, 1924, and I had never heard of him before. But as soon as I found him to be a match for today's date, I didn't look further for another painter. Knight was an American artist who depicted peasant women outdoors in the field, amidst flowers, or doing the day's chores. If you google his name and images, you see women in similar outdoor settings, some paintings more colourful than others. Knight studied in Paris and was highly influenced by Jean-François Millet but he chose to portray his peasant women at happier moments as opposed to Millet. His paintings of peasant women were very popular and he received several prizes for his work, among others the Third Class Medal for Hailing the Ferry at the Paris Salon in 1888. His paintings are realistic and rich in detail. I love the earthy colour palette of this painting and the girl's coat. For further reading, click here.

Thursday, 8 March 2012

Ernest-Ange Duez and The Rebuff

'The Rebuff' (1874) by Ernest-Ange Duez; Private Collection?

Today's painter Ernest-Ange Duez, born on March 8, 1843, is unknown to me. Wikipedia only has a French page on him so it might say something about his fame. French Wiki gives 7 March as his date of birth but other sites give 8 March. He was trained at the Parisian ateliers of Isodore Pils and Carolus-Duran. He made his debut at the Paris Salon in 1868. His painting The Honeymoon (1873) caused a scandal at the Salon because of the depiction of two lovers in modern dress strolling through the forest. He painted both portraits and landscapes. I like this painting posted here, because it makes you want to know the reason behind the rebuff and the blue colour of the dress is beautiful. But unfortunately I couldn't find any additional information on the painting. It was hard to find its location. Apparently it's been put up for auction at some point. The link I provided for the biography in English, is of a New York gallery and the photo caption with this painting says 'sold'. So I guess it is in private hands.

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Boris Kustodiev and Merchant's Wife with a Mirror

'Merchant's wife with a mirror' (1920) by Boris Kustodiev; State Russian Museum, St. Petersburg

After a couple of days of finding a painting easily, I struggled again today. There was a selection of painters to choose from but none of their paintings got me really enthusiastic. Then I discovered the Russian artist Boris Kustodiev, who was born on 7 March 1878, and I was quite pleased with his colourful paintings. He was born into the family of a professor but after his father died, the family rented a small wing in a merchant's house. This explains his series of portraits of merchant's wives, depicting them in different activities, e.g. drinking tea, sleeping. He had an eye for ripe beauty and women were often subjects of his paintings. Later on he got into book illustrating, and illustrated many works of classical Russian literature. Due to a grave illness he became paralysed but remained joyful. His paintings are evidence of that and don't reveal his physical suffering. I love the vibrant colours in this painting, but don't quite understand the story behind it. Is that the merchant lurking in the background and who is the other girl?

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Michelangelo and The Creation of Adam

'The Creation of Adam (Sistine Chapel ceiling fresco)' (c.1511) by Michelangelo; Vatican City, Rome

6 March 1475 was the day that the great artist Michelangelo was born. I cannot ignore this fact and not dedicate this post to him. Well, actually I can because it's my blog, and I would have if I hadn't liked his work. But I think the fresco on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel is amazing and I haven't even seen it with my own eyes. Of course I can only post a section of the fresco and I chose 'The Creation of Adam' because this depiction shows Michelangelo's knowledge of human anatomy very well. This expertise is also manifested in his sculpture. The Sistine Chapel ceiling fresco tells the biblical story from the Book of Genesis, and 'The Creation of Adam' depicts the moment when God breathes life into Adam. Michelangelo was one of the greatest artists of the Italian Renaissance and by many regarded as the greatest artist that ever lived. He excelled in sculpture, architecture and painting. His masterpieces ('Sistine Chapel ceiling fresco', the statue of 'David', and 'Pietà') are world famous. Apparently sculpture was his passion and he didn't like to paint. Pope Julius II requested that Michelangelo painted the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel and as a reward he would get to do a commission for the Pope, sculpting 40 massive figures for his tomb. It took him over four years to paint the ceiling but anybody will agree, it was well worth it. 

Monday, 5 March 2012

'Jupiter and Io' by Correggio

'Jupiter and Io' (c.1530) by Antonio da Correggio; Museum of Fine Arts, Vienna

Today it was easy again to find a painting. I've always been interested in Greek mythology and as you might know, mythology, like symbolism, has always played an important part in art. I have books on mythology in art and one of the paintings that can be found in these books, is this one by Antonio da Correggio, born in August 1489 and died on 5th of March, 1534. He was one of the leading painters of the Parma school of the Italian Renaissance and a painter in the Mannerist tradition. In this painting, Io, the daughter of the first king of Argos, named Inachus, is seduced by Jupiter (Zeus in Greek). Jupiter had many mistresses, some of them mortal, and would appear to them in a transformed state in order to seduce them. Io was a mortal, a nymph. Jupiter had turned himself into a cloud and had hidden behind the dunes to be out of sight of his jealous wife Juno (Hera in Greek). This painting is quite erotic and sensuous. Imagine being caressed by a cloud!

Sunday, 4 March 2012

Sir Henry Raeburn and The Skating Minister

'The Reverend Robert Walker Skating on Duddingston Loch
(The Skating Minister)' (1790s) by Sir Henry Raeburn;
National Gallery of Scotland, Edinburgh

Sir Henry Raeburn was born on March 4, 1756, so I knew right away what painting to post for today. I could have chosen another one, because he has made some nice portraits and sometimes I like it better to post a lesser known painting. Because when you say Raeburn, you think of the skating minister. The reason why I went ahead and chose this painting anyway, is because I like it and I've wondered about the subject choice and setting. When you're a portrait painter I can imagine that you want to portray a minister but you would have him sit down or portray him in a serious or respectful manner. But skating ... So for this post I searched a bit further and read the Wikipedia page dedicated to this painting. The clergyman he portrayed here is Reverend Robert Walker. The reason why you see him skating is because he was a member of the Edinbergh skating club. It was the first figure skating club in the world. The setting of this painting is Duddingston Loch. Furthermore I read that it was commonly believed that Raeburn was less succesful in painting female portraits but if I wouldn't have used the skating minister for this post, I would have posted this painting of a girl sketching. I think it is beautiful.

Saturday, 3 March 2012

Guy Orlando Rose and Miss C.

'Miss C.' (date unknown) by Guy Orlando Rose; Private Collection

If I'd ask you to name an American Impressionist painter, you would probably not know any. Or would you? I found a painter for today's post whose work I already love. I had never heard of him before. His name is Guy Orlando Rose, born on 3 March 1867, one of California's most important Impressionist painters of the late 19th, early 20th centuries. He went to study in Paris in 1888 and a decade later, in 1898, he received an honorable mention at the Paris Salon. In the mid 1890s he went to New York and returned to France in 1899. He settled down in Giverny and lived there between 1904 and 1912. During that time he became highly influenced by the French Impressionist painters, mostly by Claude Monet. They even became friends. I like many of his woman portraits and he has also done a lot of landscapes, some of them really beautiful. My first thought was to post the portrait of the woman with The Green Parasol that is beautiful and stunning in colour. Then I found this one of Miss C. and was captivated by her green eyes and sad look on her face. So I basically cheated again but sometimes it is really hard to post only one painting. You should also check out his other paintings. To make it easier for you, click here. I don't know whether this is a complete list but it's certainly a lot. Most of it is in private collection though. What a shame! And I thought that I didn't like Impressionism as much as I used to!

Friday, 2 March 2012

Jean-François Gilles Colson and The Sleeper

'The Sleeper' (1759) by Jean-François Gilles Colson; Musée des Beaux-Arts, Dijon

I had some problems finding an artist and painting for today. This one is rather sweet and the painter is Jean-François Gilles Colson, born and died on the 2nd of March (resp. 1733 and 1803). I got the exact dates from this site. Colson was tutored by his father and became a reputable portrait painter. I like the sleeping girl in this portrait, and also the warm colours, but I'm not sure about the cat in the background. Looks a bit scary to me. What do you think?

Thursday, 1 March 2012

Sandro Botticelli and Portrait of a Young Woman

'Portrait of a Young Woman (Simonetta Vespucci?)' (c.1480-85)
by Sandro Botticelli; Städel Museum, Frankfurt

I think that most non-art lovers have heard of Sandro Botticelli, or I could be wrong. This Italian Renaissance artist was born on the 1st of March, 1445. Wikipedia doesn't mention the exact date of birth but this site does. Botticelli is world famous for 'The Birth of Venus' and 'Spring'. So I wanted to post something else and chose this beautiful woman portrait. I love this work of elegance and beauty. Look at the hair and the way he dressed it! This might be a portrait of Simonetta Vespucci, the married noblewoman whom Botticelli loved. It's been said that she was the model for 'The Birth of Venus'. She appeared in various paintings of Botticelli. He wished to be buried at Simonetta's feet in the Church of Ognissanti in Florence. She died some 34 years earlier than he did but his wish was granted. Botticelli never wed. 
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