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Matthias-Grünewald-The-Mocking-of-Christ

Masters of Art: Matthias Grünewald (1470 – 1528)

Matthias Grünewald or “Mathis” (as first name), “Gothart” or “Neithardt” (as surname), (c. 1470 – August 31, 1528), was a German Renaissance painter of religious works, who ignored Renaissance classicism to continue the expressive and intense style of late medieval Central European art into the 16th century.

Movements: Renaissance

 Benefactor with Bird Cage

Benefactor with Bird Cage

Only ten paintings—several consisting of many panels—and thirty-five drawings survive, all religious, although many others were lost at sea in the Baltic on their way to Sweden as war booty. His reputation was obscured until the late nineteenth century, and many of his paintings were attributed to Albrecht Dürer, who is now seen as his stylistic antithesis. His largest and most famous work is the Isenheim Altarpiece created between 1506-1515.

The details of his life are unusually unclear for a painter of his significance at this date, despite the fact that his commissions show that he had reasonable recognition in his own lifetime. The first source for his biography is the German art historian Joachim von Sandrart, who describes him as around 1505 working on the exterior decoration of an altarpiece by Albrecht Dürer in Frankfurt; this is the sort of work typically performed by apprentices and therefore an estimate of his age can be reached, suggesting he was born in 1480-83.  Sandrart records that Grünewald had as an apprentice the painter Hans Grimmer, who would become famous in his time, but most of whose works were lost in the Thirty Years’ War.  Sandrart describes Grünewald as leading a withdrawn and melancholy life, and marrying unhappily.

More recent investigations have provided further information on Grünewald’s life. In 1511 he became court artist of Uriel von Gemmingen, Archbishop of Mainz, and he also worked for the next archbishop, Albert of Brandenburg. In 1512 he settled in nearby Frankfurt where records indicate he bought a house and married Anna, a converted Jew, then probably aged 18; the marriage was not happy and in 1523 she would be institutionalised with what is variously described as mental illness and demonic possession.

From 1512 to 1514 or 1515 he worked on the Isenheim altarpiece, apparently in partnership with another Mathis, variously surnamed Nithart, Neithart, von Würzburg (after his place of birth), or Gothardt. Grünewald seems to have left Isenheim in a hurry, returning to Frankfurt, and his subsequent poverty suggests he was not fully paid for the altarpiece. In 1527 he entered the services of the wealthy and noble von Erbach family, apparently with a child (whether his own or adopted, is unclear). He most probably died in 1532, although sources vary.

There has been considerable uncertainty about the details of his life. In 1938 Walter Karl Zülch published the theory that Grünewald and his partner Nithart/Gothardt were the same person; this Nithart/Gothardt was a painter, engineer, and “water artist” born in Würzburg in the 1460s or maybe 1470s and probably dying in 1528. This theory is now generally discredited, although more recent historians believe Nithart/Gothardt may have pretended to be Grünewald for business reasons.

The Temptation of St Anthony

The Temptation of St Anthony

The Resurrection

The Resurrection

The Mocking of Christ

The Mocking of Christ

The crucifixion

The crucifixion

The crucifixion

The crucifixion

The crucifixion

The crucifixion

The Annunciation

The Annunciation

Stuppach Madonna

Stuppach Madonna

Sts Paul and Anthony in the Desert

Sts Paul and Anthony in the Desert

Matthias Grünewald - St Lawrence and St Cyricus

Matthias Grünewald – St Lawrence and St Cyricus

Matthias Grünewald - St Elizabeth and a Saint Woman with Palm

St Elizabeth and a Saint Woman with Palm

 

Meeting of St Erasm and St Maurice

Meeting of St Erasm and St Maurice

 Lamentation of Christ

Lamentation of Christ

Concert of Angels and Nativity

Concert of Angels and Nativity

 Carrying the cross

Carrying the cross

Grünewald’s first dated painting is probably in Munich, dated 1503 on a much later note which apparently records an older inscription. There is much speculation about Grünewald’s politics, with some people associating him with the Reformation or support for the lower classes. He may have left the Archbishop of Mainz because of sympathies either with the German Peasants’ War, or Lutheranism (he had some Lutheran pamphlets and papers at his death.

Hope you enjoyed the article as much as i did compiling the info and the images! See you next time!

Articles’ Images are in the public domain because their copyright has expired, and are available through Wikimedia

This Articles’ text is licensed under the Creative Commons BY-SA License since it partially uses material from Wikipedia.

Article publié pour la première fois le 31/08/2012

Eugène Delacroix - The Massacre at Chios

Life and Paintings of Eugène Delacroix (1798 – 1863)

Ferdinand Victor Eugène Delacroix (26 April 1798 – 13 August 1863) was a French Romantic artist regarded from the outset of his career as the leader of the French Romantic school. Delacroix’s use of expressive brushstrokes and his study of the optical effects of colour profoundly shaped the work of the Impressionists, while his passion for the exotic inspired the artists of the Symbolist movement. A fine lithographer, Delacroix illustrated various works of William Shakespeare, the Scottish writer Walter Scott and the German writer Johann Wolfgang von Goethe.

Movements: Romanticism 

In contrast to the Neoclassical perfectionism of his chief rival Ingres, Delacroix took for his inspiration the art of Rubens and painters of the Venetian Renaissance, with an attendant emphasis on colour and movement rather than clarity of outline and carefully modelled form. Dramatic and romantic content characterized the central themes of his maturity, and led him not to the classical models of Greek and Roman art, but to travel in North Africa, in search of the exotic. Friend and spiritual heir to Théodore Géricault, Delacroix was also inspired by Lord Byron, with whom he shared a strong identification with the “forces of the sublime”, of nature in often violent action.

Eugène Delacroix - Liberty Leading the People

Eugène Delacroix – Liberty Leading the People

However, Delacroix was given to neither sentimentality nor bombast, and his Romanticism was that of an individualist. In the words of Baudelaire, “Delacroix was passionately in love with passion, but coldly determined to express passion as clearly as possible.”

Delacroix was born at Charenton (Saint-Maurice, Val-de-Marne), in Île-de-France, near Paris. There is reason to believe that his father, Charles-François Delacroix, was infertile at the time of Eugène’s conception and that his real father was Talleyrand, who was a friend of the family and successor of Charles Delacroix as Minister of Foreign Affairs, and whom the adult Eugène resembled in appearance and character.

Throughout his career as a painter, he was protected by Talleyrand, who served successively the Restoration and king Louis-Philippe, and ultimately as ambassador of France in Great Britain, and later by Talleyrand’s grandson, Charles Auguste Louis Joseph, duc de Morny, half-brother of Napoleon III and speaker of the French House of Commons.

Arnold Boecklin - Der Krieg

History of Modern Art: Symbolism

We’ll be continuing our exploration in modern art movements with Symbolism. Symbolism was a late nineteenth-century art movement of French, Russian and Belgian origin in poetry and other arts.

In literature, the style had its beginnings with the publication Les Fleurs du mal (The Flowers of Evil, 1857) by Charles Baudelaire. The works of Edgar Allan Poe, which Baudelaire admired greatly and translated into French, were a significant influence and the source of many stock tropes and images. The aesthetic was developed by Stéphane Mallarmé and Paul Verlaine during the 1860s and ’70s. In the 1880s, the aesthetic was articulated by a series of manifestos and attracted a generation of writers.

The name “symbolist” itself was first applied by the critic Jean Moréas, who invented the term to distinguish the symbolists from the related decadents of literature and of art.

Arnold Boecklin - Der Krieg

Arnold Boecklin – Der Krieg

The symbolist style has frequently been confused with decadence. Several young writers were derisively referred to by the press as “decadent” during the mid 1880s. A few of these writers embraced the term while most avoided it.

Jean Moréas’ manifesto was largely a response to this polemic. By the late 1880s, the terms “symbolism” and “decadence” were understood to be almost synonymous.Though the aesthetics of the styles can be considered similar in some ways, the two remain distinct. The symbolists were those artists who emphasized dreams and ideals; the Decadents cultivated précieux, ornamented, or hermetic styles, and morbid subject matters.

The subject of the decadence of the Roman Empire was a frequent source of literary images and appears in the works of many poets of the period, regardless of which name they chose for their style, as in Verlaine’s “Langueur”.

Carlos Schwabe - The Death of the Grave Digger

Carlos Schwabe – The Death of the Grave Digger

Symbolism in literature is distinct from symbolism in art although the two were similar in many respects. In painting, symbolism was a continuation of some mystical tendencies in the Romantic tradition, which included such artists as Caspar David Friedrich, Fernand Khnopff and John Henry Fuseli and it was even more similar to the self-consciously morbid and private decadent movement.

The symbolist painters used mythological and dream imagery. The symbols used by symbolism are not the familiar emblems of mainstream iconography but intensely personal, private, obscure and ambiguous references. More a philosophy than an actual style of art, symbolism in painting influenced the contemporary Art Nouveau style and Les Nabis.

Franz von Stuck - Der Wächter des Paradieses

Franz von Stuck – Der Wächter des Paradieses

The symbolist painters were an important influence on expressionism and surrealism in painting, two movements which descend directly from symbolism proper. The harlequins, paupers, and clowns of Pablo Picasso’s “Blue Period” show the influence of symbolism, and especially of Puvis de Chavannes.

In Belgium, symbolism became so popular that it came to be thought ofas a national style: the static strangeness of painters like René Magritte can be considered as a direct continuation of symbolism. The work of some symbolist visual artists, such as Jan Toorop, directly affected the curvilinear forms of art nouveau.

Many early motion pictures also employ symbolist visual imagery and themes in their staging, set designs, and imagery. The films of German expressionism owe a great deal to symbolist imagery. The virginal “good girls” seen in the cinema of D. W. Griffith, and the silent movie “bad girls” portrayed by Theda Bara, both show the continuing influence of symbolism, as do the Babylonian scenes from Griffith’s Intolerance.

Symbolist imagery lived on longest in horror film: as late as 1932, Carl Theodor Dreyer’s Vampyr showed the obvious influence of symbolist imagery; parts of the film resemble tableau vivant re-creations of the early paintings of Edvard Munch.

Hope you enjoyed our short journey through symbolism.

Franz von Stuck - Judith und Holofernes

Franz von Stuck – Judith und Holofernes

 

Arnold Boecklin - Selbstporträt mit fiedelndem Tod

Arnold Boecklin – Selbstporträt mit fiedelndem Tod

Arnold Boecklin  - Das Spiel der Najaden

Arnold Boecklin – Das Spiel der Najaden

Franz von Stuck - Wilde Jagd

Franz von Stuck – Wilde Jagd

Franz von Stuck -Wind und Welle

Franz von Stuck -Wind und Welle

Giovanni Segantini - Die Strafe der Wollüstigen

Giovanni Segantini – Die Strafe der Wollüstigen

Giovanni Segantini - Lebensengel

Giovanni Segantini – Lebensengel

Gustave Moreau - Herkules und die Lernäische Hydra

Gustave Moreau – Herkules und die Lernäische Hydra

Gustave Moreau - Prometheus

Gustave Moreau – Prometheus

Hans Thoma - Adam and Eve

Hans Thoma – Adam and Eve

Odilon Redon - Muse auf Pegasus

Odilon Redon – Muse auf Pegasus

Odilon Redon - Portrait of Violette Heymann

Odilon Redon – Portrait of Violette Heymann

Pierre Cécile Puvis de Chavannes - Automn

Pierre Cécile Puvis de Chavannes – Automn

 

Hope you enjoyed the article as much as i did compiling the info and the images! See you next time!

Articles’ Images are either in the public domain because their copyright has expired Or legal to display for non commercial educational purposes, under the Fair Use Copyright Law (and are available through Wikimedia & Wikipedia)

This Articles’ text is licensed under the Creative Commons BY-SA License since it uses material from Wikipedia.

 

Article publié pour la première fois le 15/12/2012

Charles Le Brun - Entry Of Alexander Into Babylon

Life and Paintings of Charles Le Brun (1619 – 1690)

Charles Le Brun (24 February 1619 – 22 February 1690) was a French painter and art theorist. Declared by Louis XIV “the greatest French artist of all time”, he was a dominant figure in 17th-century French art.

Born in Paris, he attracted the notice of Chancellor Séguier, who placed him at the age of eleven in the studio of Simon Vouet. He was also a pupil of François Perrier. At fifteen he received commissions from Cardinal Richelieu, in the execution of which he displayed an ability which obtained the generous commendations of Nicolas Poussin, in whose company Le Brun started for Rome in 1642.

In Rome he remained four years in the receipt of a pension due to the liberality of the chancellor. There he worked under Poussin, adapting the latter’s theories of art.

Charles Le Brun - Apotheose of Louis XIV

Charles Le Brun – Apotheose of Louis XIV

On his return to Paris in 1646, Le Brun found numerous patrons, of whom Superintendent Fouquet was the most important, for whom he painted a large portrait of Anne of Austria. Employed at Vaux-le-Vicomte, Le Brun ingratiated himself with Mazarin, then secretly pitting Colbert against Fouquet. Colbert also promptly recognized Le Brun’s powers of organization, and attached him to his interests. Together they took control of the Academy of Painting and Sculpture (Académie royale de peinture et de sculpture, 1648), and the Academy of France at Rome (1666), and gave a new development to the industrial arts.

Another project Le Brun worked on was Hôtel Lambert. The ceiling in the gallery of Hercules was painted by him. Le Brun started work on the project in 1650, shortly after his return from Italy. The decoration continued intermittently over twelve years or so, as it was interrupted by the renovation of Vaux le Vicomte.

In 1660 they established the Gobelins, which at first was a great school for the manufacture, not of tapestries only, but of every class of furniture required in the royal palaces. Commanding the industrial arts through the Gobelins—of which he was director—and the whole artistic world through the Academy—in which he successively held every post—Le Brun imprinted his own character on all that was produced in France during his lifetime. He was the originator of Louis XIV Style and gave a direction to the national tendencies which endured centuries after his death.

Success years

The nature of his emphatic and pompous talent was in harmony with the taste of the king, who, full of admiration of the paintings by Le Brun for his triumphal entry into Paris (1660) and his decorations at the Château Vaux le Vicomte (1661), commissioned him to execute a series of subjects from the history of Alexander. The first of these, “Alexander and the Family of Darius,” so delighted Louis XIV that he at once ennobled Le Brun (December, 1662), who was also created Premier Peintre du Roi (First Painter to His Majesty) with a pension of 12,000 livres, the same amount as he had yearly received in the service of the magnificent Fouquet. The King had declared him “the greatest French artist of all time”.

From this date all that was done in the royal palaces was directed by Le Brun. In 1663, he became director of the Académie royale de peinture et de sculpture, where he laid the basis of academicism and became the all-powerful, peerless master of 17th-century French art. It was during this period that he dedicated a series of works to the history of Alexander The Great (The Battles of Alexander The Great), and he did not miss the opportunity to make a stronger connection between the magnificence of Alexander and that of the great King. While he was working on The Battles, Le Brun’s style became much more personal as he moved away from the ancient masters that influenced him.

Charles Le Brun - The Resolution of Louis XIV to Make War On The Dutch Republic

Charles Le Brun – The Resolution of Louis XIV to Make War On The Dutch Republic

The works of the gallery of Apollo in the Louvre were interrupted in 1677 when he accompanied the king to Flanders (on his return from Lille he painted several compositions in the Château de Saint-Germain-en-Laye), and finally—for they remained unfinished at his death—by the vast labours of Versailles, where he reserved for himself the Halls of War and Peace (Salons de la Guerreand de la Paix, 1686), the Ambassadors’ Staircase, and the Great Hall of Mirrors (Galerie des Glaces, 1679–1684). Le Brun’s decoration is not only a work of art, it is the definitive monument of a reign.

At the death of Colbert, François-Michel le Tellier, Marquis de Louvois, Colbert’s enemy, who succeeded as superintendent in the department of public works, showed no favour to Le Brun who was Colbert’s favorite, and in spite of the king’s continued support Le Brun felt a bitter change in his position. This contributed to the illness which on 22 February 1690 ended in his death in his private mansion, in Paris.

Charles Le Brun - Adoration of the Shepherds

Charles Le Brun – Adoration of the Shepherds

Le Brun’s work and legacy

Le Brun primarily worked for King Louis XIV, for whom he executed large altarpieces and battle pieces. His most important paintings are at Versailles. Besides his gigantic labours at Versailles and the Louvre, the number of his works for religious corporations and private patrons is enormous. Le Brun was also a fine portraitist and an excellent draughtsman, but he was not fond of portrait or landscape painting, which he felt to be a mere exercise in developing technical prowess. What mattered was scholarly composition, whose ultimate goal was to nourish the spirit. The fundamental basis on which the director of the Academy based his art was unquestionably to make his paintings speak, through a series of symbols, costumes and gestures that allowed him to select for his composition the narrative elements that gave his works a particular depth. For Le Brun, a painting represented a story one could read. Nearly all his compositions have been reproduced by celebrated engravers.

Charles Le Brun - Allegory

Charles Le Brun – Allegory

In his posthumously published treatise, Méthode pour apprendre à dessiner les passions (1698) he promoted the expression of the emotions in painting. It had much influence on art theory for the next two centuries.

Many of his drawings are in the Louvre and the Monaco Royal Collection. He was also the teacher of painter Ludovico Dorigny.

On 23 January 2013, artistic advisors for the Hôtel Ritz Paris, Wanda Tymowska and Joseph Friedman, announced the discovery of The Sacrifice of Polyxena, an early work of Le Brun. The picture, dated 1647, ornamented the Coco Chanel suite of the famous Parisian palace, and went unnoticed for over a century.

 

 

Charles Le Brun - Martyrdom of St. John the Evangelist at Porta Latina

Charles Le Brun – Martyrdom of St. John the Evangelist at Porta Latina

 

Charles Le Brun - Holy Family With The Adoration Of The Child

Charles Le Brun – Holy Family With The Adoration Of The Child

 

Charles Le Brun - Entry Of Alexander Into Babylon

Charles Le Brun – Entry Of Alexander Into Babylon

 

Charles Le Brun - Chancellor Seguier At The Entry Of Louis XIV Into Paris In 1660

Charles Le Brun – Chancellor Seguier At The Entry Of Louis XIV Into Paris In 1660

 

Hope you enjoyed the article as much as i did compiling the info and the images! See you next time!

Articles’ Images are in the public domain because their copyright has expired or are displayed here under the “ fair use” copyright law, and are available through WikipediaWikimedia.

This Articles’ text is licensed under the Creative Commons BY-SA License since it partially uses material from Wikipedia.

Article publié pour la première fois le 04/12/2013

Jacques-Louis David - The Oath of the Horatii

Masters of Art: Jacques-Louis David (1748 – 1825)

Jacques-Louis David ( 30 August 1748 – 29 December 1825) was an influential French painter in the Neoclassical style, considered to be the preeminent painter of the era. In the 1780s his cerebral brand of history painting marked a change in taste away from Rococo frivolity toward a classical austerity and severity, heightened feeling chiming with the moral climate of the final years of the Ancien Régime.

Movements: Neoclassicism, Realism

Jacques-Louis David - Self-Portrait

Jacques-Louis David – Self-Portrait

David later became an active supporter of the French Revolution and friend of Maximilien Robespierre (1758–1794), and was effectively a dictator of the arts under the French Republic. Imprisoned after Robespierre’s fall from power, he aligned himself with yet another political regime upon his release, that of Napoleon I. It was at this time that he developed his Empire style, notable for its use of warm Venetian colours. David had a huge number of pupils, making him the strongest influence in French art of the early 19th century, especially academic Salon painting.

Jacques-Louis David was born into a prosperous family in Paris on 30 August 1748. When he was about nine his father was killed in a duel and his mother left him with his prosperous architect uncles. They saw to it that he received an excellent education at the Collège des Quatre-Nations, but he was never a good student: he had a facial tumor that impeded his speech, and he was always preoccupied with drawing. He covered his notebooks with drawings, and he once said, “I was always hiding behind the instructor’s chair, drawing for the duration of the class”. Soon, he desired to be a painter, but his uncles and mother wanted him to be an architect.

He overcame the opposition, and went to learn from François Boucher (1703–1770), the leading painter of the time, who was also a distant relative. Boucher was a Rococo painter, but tastes were changing, and the fashion for Rococo was giving way to a more classical style. Boucher decided that instead of taking over David’s tutelage, he would send David to his friend Joseph-Marie Vien (1716–1809), a painter who embraced the classical reaction to Rococo. There David attended the Royal Academy, based in what is now the Louvre.

David attempted to win the Prix de Rome, an art scholarship to the French Academy in Rome, five times. At each failure he became increasingly frustrated with the Academy for denying him the prize, and this dissatisfaction sowed the seeds of a long-standing grudge against the institution. Once, he lost according to legend because he had not consulted Vien, one of the judges. Another time, he lost because a few other students had been competing for years, and Vien felt David’s education could wait for these other mediocre painters.

In protest, he attempted to starve himself to death. Finally, in 1774, David won the Prix de Rome. Normally, he would have had to attend another school before attending the Academy in Rome, but Vien’s influence kept him out of it. He went to Italy with Vien in 1775, as Vien had been appointed director of the French Academy at Rome. While in Italy, David observed the Italian masterpieces and the ruins of ancient Rome. David filled twelve sketchbooks with material that he would derive from for the rest of his life. He met the influential early neoclassical painter Raphael Mengs (1728–1779), and through Mengs was introduced to the pathbreaking theories of art historian Johann Joachim Winckelmann (1717–1768). While in Rome, he studied great masters, and came to favor above all others Raphael. In 1779, David was able to see the ruins of Pompeii, and was filled with wonder. After this, he sought to revolutionize the art world with the “eternal” concepts of classicism.

David’s fellow students at the academy found him difficult to get along with, but they recognized his genius. David was allowed to stay at the French Academy in Rome for an extra year, but after 5 years in Rome, he returned to Paris. There, he found people ready to use their influence for him, and he was made a member of the Royal Academy. He sent the Academy two paintings, and both were included in the Salon of 1781, a high honor. He was praised by his famous contemporary painters, but the administration of the Royal Academy was very hostile to this young upstart.

After the Salon, the King granted David lodging in the Louvre, an ancient and much desired privilege of great artists. When the contractor of the King’s buildings, M. Pécoul, was arranging with David, he asked the artist to marry his daughter, Marguerite Charlotte. This marriage brought him money and eventually four children. David had his own pupils, about 40 to 50, and was commissioned by the government to paint “Horace defended by his Father”, but he soon decided, “Only in Rome can I paint Romans.” His father-in-law provided the money he needed for the trip, and David headed for Rome with his wife and three of his students, one of whom, Jean-Germain Drouais (1763–1788), was the Prix de Rome winner of that year.

In Rome, David painted his famous Oath of the Horatii, 1784. In this piece, the artist references Enlightenment values while alluding to Rousseau’s social contract. The republican ideal of the general will becomes the focus of the painting with all three sons positioned in compliance with the father. The Oath between the characters can be read as an act of unification of men to the binding of the state.

The issue of gender roles also becomes apparent in this piece, as the women in Horatii greatly contrast the group of brothers. David depicts the father with his back to the women, shutting them out of the oath making ritual; they also appear to be smaller in scale than the male figures.

The masculine virility and discipline displayed by the men’s rigid and confident stances is also severely contrasted to the slouching, swooning female softness created in the other half of the composition. Here we see the clear division of male-female attributes which confined the sexes to specific roles, under Rousseau’s popular doctrines.

These revolutionary ideals are also apparent in the Distribution of Eagles. While Oath of the Horatii and Oath of the Tennis Court stress the importance of masculine self-sacrifice for one’s country and patriotism, the Distribution of Eagles would ask for self-sacrifice for one’s Emperor (Napoleon) and the importance of battlefield glory.

In 1787, David did not become the Director of the French Academy in Rome, which was a position he wanted dearly. The Count in charge of the appointments said David was too young, but said he would support him in 6 to 12 years. This situation would be one of many that would cause him to lash out at the Academy in years to come.

For the salon of 1787, David exhibited his famous Death of Socrates. “Condemned to death, Socrates, strong, calm and at peace, discusses the immortality of the soul. Surrounded by Crito, his grieving friends and students, he is teaching, philosophizing, and in fact, thanking the God of Health, Asclepius, for the hemlock brew which will ensure a peaceful death… The wife of Socrates can be seen grieving alone outside the chamber, dismissed for her weakness. Plato is depicted as an old man seated at the end of the bed.” Critics compared the Socrates with Michelangelo’s Sistine Ceiling and Raphael’s Stanze, and one, after ten visits to the Salon, described it as “in every sense perfect”. Denis Diderot said it looked like he copied it from some ancient bas-relief. The painting was very much in tune with the political climate at the time. For this painting, David was not honored by a royal “works of encouragement”.

Jacques-Louis David - The Lictors Returning to Brutus the Bodies of his Sons

Jacques-Louis David – The Lictors Returning to Brutus the Bodies of his Sons

For his next painting, David created The Lictors Bring to Brutus the Bodies of His Sons. The work had tremendous appeal for the time. Before the opening of the Salon, the French Revolution had begun. The National Assembly had been established, and the Bastille had fallen. The royal court did not want propaganda agitating the people, so all paintings had to be checked before being hung. David’s portrait of Lavoisier, who was a chemist and physicist as well as an active member of the Jacobin party, was banned by the authorities for such reasons.

When the newspapers reported that the government had not allowed the showing of The Lictors Bring to Brutus the Bodies of His Sons, the people were outraged, and the royals were forced to give in. The painting was hung in the exhibition, protected by art students. The painting depicts Lucius Junius Brutus, the Roman leader, grieving for his sons. Brutus’s sons had attempted to overthrow the government and restore the monarchy, so the father ordered their death to maintain the republic. Thus, Brutus was the heroic defender of the republic, at the cost of his own family. On the right, the Mother holds her two daughters, and the nurse is seen on the far right, in anguish. Brutus sits on the left, alone, brooding, seemingly dismissing the dead bodies of his sons. Knowing what he did was best for his country, but the tense posture of his feet and toes reveals his inner turmoil. The whole painting was a Republican symbol, and obviously had immense meaning during these times in France.

In the beginning, David was a supporter of the Revolution, a friend of Robespierre and a member of the Jacobin Club. While others were leaving the country for new and greater opportunities, David stayed to help destroy the old order; he was a regicide who voted in the National Convention for the Execution of Louis XVI. It is uncertain why he did this, as there were many more opportunities for him under the King than the new order; some people suggest David’s love for the classical made him embrace everything about that period, including a republican government.

Others believed that they found the key to the artist’s revolutionary career in his personality. Undoubtedly, David’s artistic sensibility, mercurial temperament, volatile emotions, ardent enthusiasm, and fierce independence might have been expected to help turn him against the established order but they did not fully explain his devotion to the republican regime. Nor did the vague statements of those who insisted upon his “powerful ambition… and unusual energy of will” actually account for his revolutionary connections. Those who knew him maintained that “generous ardor”, high-minded idealism and well-meaning, though sometimes fanatical, enthusiasm rather than selfishness and jealousy, motivated his activities during this period.

Soon, David turned his critical sights on Royal Academy of Painting and Sculpture. This attack was probably caused primarily by the hypocrisy of the organization and their personal opposition against his work, as seen in previous episodes in David’s life. The Royal Academy was chock full of royalists, and David’s attempt to reform it did not go over well with the members. However, the deck was stacked against this symbol of the old regime, and the National Assembly ordered it to make changes to conform to the new constitution.

David then began work on something that would later hound him: propaganda for the new republic. David’s painting of Brutus was shown during the play Brutus, by the famous Frenchman, Voltaire. The people responded in an uproar of approval.

In 1789, Jacques-Louis David attempted to leave his artistic mark on the historical beginnings of the French Revolution with his painting of The Oath of the Tennis Court. David undertook this task not out of personal political conviction but rather because he was commissioned to do so. The painting was meant to commemorate the event of the same name but was never completed. A meeting of the Estates General was convened in May to address reforms of the monarchy. Dissent arose over whether the numerous members of the Third Estate would be counted by head or – following tradition – as one body.

On June 17 the members of the Third Estate renamed themselves the National Assembly. The new assembly decided that each individual would be counted by head and the members alone would levy taxes. Shortly thereafter, on June 20, the National Assembly attempted to meet but the chamber doors were locked and guarded by soldiers of the monarchy. Members of the new National Assembly convened at a nearby tennis court and vowed they would not be disbanded until they had created a constitution. In 1789 this event was seen as a symbol of the national unity against the ancien regime. David was enlisted by the Society of Friends of the Constitution, the body that would eventually form the Jacobins, to enshrine this symbolic event.

This instance is notable in more ways than one because it eventually led David to finally become involved in politics as he joined the Jacobins. The picture was meant to be massive in scale; the figures in the foreground were meant to be life-sized portraits of the counterparts, including Jean-Sylvain Bailly, the President of the Constituent Assembly. Seeking additional funding, David turned to the Society of Friends of the Constitution. The funding for the project was to come from over three thousand subscribers hoping to receive a print of the image. However, when the funding was insufficient, the state ended up financing the project.

David set out in 1790, to transform the contemporary event into a major historical picture, which would appear at the Salon of 1791 as a large pen and ink drawing. As in the Oath of the Horatii, David represents the unity of men in the service of a patriotic ideal. In what was essentially an act of intellect and reason, David creates an air of drama in this work. The very power of the people appears to be “blowing” through the scene with the stormy weather, in a sense alluding to the storm that would be the revolution.

Symbolism in this work of art closely represents the revolutionary events taking place at the time. The figure in the middle is raising his right arm making the oath that they will never disband until they have reached their goal of creating a “constitution of the realm fixed upon solid foundations.”

The importance of this symbol is highlighted by the fact that the crowd’s arms are angled to his hand forming a triangular shape. Additionally, the open space in the top half contrasted to the commotion in the lower half serves to emphasize the magnitude of the Tennis Court Oath.

On 13 July 1793, David’s friend Marat was assassinated by Charlotte Corday with a knife she had hidden in her clothing. She gained entrance to Marat’s house on the pretense of presenting him a list of people who should be executed as enemies of France. Marat thanked her and said that they would be guillotined next week upon which Corday immediately fatally stabbed him. She was guillotined shortly thereafter. Corday was of an opposing political party, whose name can be seen in the note Marat holds in David’s subsequent painting, The Death of Marat.

Marat, a member of the National Assembly and a journalist, had a skin disease that caused him to itch horribly. The only relief he could get was in his bath over which he improvised a desk to write his list of suspect counter-revolutionaries who were to be quickly tried and, if convicted, guillotined. David once again organized a spectacular funeral, and Marat was buried in the Panthéon. Because Marat died in the bathtub, writing, David wanted to have his body submerged in the bathtub during the funeral procession. This did not play out because the body had begun to putrefy. Instead, Marat’s body was periodically sprinkled with water as the people came to see his corpse, complete with gaping wound. The Death of Marat, perhaps David’s most famous painting, has been called the Pietà of the revolution. Upon presenting the painting to the convention, he said “Citizens, the people were again calling for their friend; their desolate voice was heard: David, take up your brushes.., avenge Marat… I heard the voice of the people. I obeyed.” David had to work quickly, but the result was a simple and powerful image.

Jacques-Louis David - The Death of Marat

Jacques-Louis David – The Death of Marat

The Death of Marat, 1793, became the leading image of the Terror and immortalized both Marat, and David in the world of the revolution. This piece stands today as “a moving testimony to what can be achieved when an artist’s political convictions are directly manifested in his work”.

A political martyr was instantly created as David portrayed Marat with all the marks of the real murder, in a fashion which greatly resembles that of Christ or his disciples.The subject although realistically depicted remains lifeless in a rather supernatural composition. With the surrogate tombstone placed in front of him and the almost holy light cast upon the whole scene; alluding to an out of this world existence. “Atheists though they were, David and Marat, like so many other fervent social reformers of the modern world, seem to have created a new kind of religion.”At the very center of these beliefs, there stood the republic.

After executing the King, war broke out between the new Republic and virtually every major power in Europe. David, as a member of the Committee of General Security, contributed directly to the reign of Terror.

The committee was severe. Marie Antoinette went to the guillotine; an event recorded in a famous sketch by David. Portable guillotines killed failed generals, aristocrats, priests and perceived enemies. David organized his last festival: the festival of the Supreme Being. Robespierre had realized what a tremendous propaganda tool these festivals were, and he decided to create a new religion, mixing moral ideas with the republic, based on the ideas of Rousseau, with Robespierre as the new high priest. This process had already begun by confiscating church lands and requiring priests to take an oath to the state. The festivals, called fêtes, would be the method of indoctrination. On the appointed day, 20 Prairial by the revolutionary calendar, Robespierre spoke, descended steps, and with a torch presented to him by David, incinerated a cardboard image symbolizing atheism, revealing an image of wisdom underneath. The festival hastened the “Incorruptible’s” downfall.

Soon, the war began to go well; French troops marched across the southern half of the Netherlands (which would later become Belgium), and the emergency that had placed the Committee of Public Safety in control was no more. Then plotters seized Robespierre at the National Convention and he was later guillotined, in effect ending the reign of terror. As Robespierre was arrested, David yelled to his friend “if you drink hemlock, I shall drink it with you.”

After this, he supposedly fell ill, and did not attend the evening session because of “stomach pain”, which saved him from being guillotined along with Robespierre. David was arrested and placed in prison. There he painted his own portrait, showing him much younger than he actually was, as well as that of his jailer.

After David’s wife visited him in jail, he conceived the idea of telling the story of the Sabine Women. The Sabine Women Enforcing Peace by Running between the Combatants, also called The Intervention of the Sabine Women is said to have been painted to honor his wife, with the theme being love prevailing over conflict. The painting was also seen as a plea for the people to reunite after the bloodshed of the revolution.

David conceived a new style for this painting, one which he called the “Grecian style,” as opposed to the “Roman style” of his earlier historical paintings. The new style was influenced heavily by the work of art historian Johann Joachim Winkelmann. In David’s words:

the most prominent general characteristics of the Greek masterpieces are a noble simplicity and silent greatness in pose as well as in expression.

On the Bourbons returning to power, David figured in the list of proscribed former revolutionaries and Bonapartists — for having voted execution for the deposed King Louis XVI; and for participating in the death of Louis XVII. Mistreated and starved, the imprisoned Louis XVII was forced to confess to incest with his mother, Queen Marie-Antoinette, (untrue; separated early, son and mother were disallowed communication, nevertheless, the allegation helped earn her the guillotine).

The new Bourbon King, Louis XVIII, however, granted amnesty to David and even offered him the position of court painter. David refused, preferring self-exile in Brussels. There, he trained and influenced Brussels artists like François-Joseph Navez and Ignace Brice, painted Cupid and Psyche and quietly lived the remainder of his life with his wife (whom he had remarried). In that time, he painted smaller-scale mythological scenes, and portraits of citizens of Brussels and Napoleonic émigrés, such as the Baron Gerard.

Jacques-Louis David - Mars Disarmed by Venus and the Three Graces

Jacques-Louis David – Mars Disarmed by Venus and the Three Graces

David created his last great work, Mars Being Disarmed by Venus and the Three Graces, from 1822 to 1824. In December 1823, he wrote:

This is the last picture I want to paint, but I want to surpass myself in it. I will put the date of my seventy-five years on it and afterwards I will never again pick up my brush.

The finished painting — evoking painted porcelain because of its limpid coloration — was exhibited first in Brussels, then in Paris, where his former students flocked to view it. The exhibition was profitable — 13,000 francs, after deducting operating costs, thus, more than 10,000 people visited and viewed the painting. In his later years, David remained in full command of his artistic faculties, even after a stroke in the spring of 1825 disfigured his face and slurred his speech.

In June 1825, he resolved to embark on an improved version of his Anger of Achilles (also known as the Sacrifice of Iphigenie; the earlier version was completed in 1819 and is now in the collection of the Kimbell Art Museum, Fort Worth, Texas. David remarked to his friends who visited his studio “this [painting] is what is killing me” such was his determination to complete the work, but by October it must have already been well advanced as his former pupil Gros wrote to congratulate him, having heard reports of the painting’s merits. By the time David died, the painting had been completed and the commissioner Ambroise Firmin-Didot brought it back to Paris to include it in the exhibition “Pour les grecs” that he had organised and which opened in Paris in April 1826.

When David was leaving a theater, a carriage struck him, and he later died, on 29 December 1825. At his death, some portraits were auctioned in Paris, they sold for little; the famous Death of Marat was exhibited in a secluded room, to avoid outraging public sensibilities. Disallowed return to France for burial, for having been a regicide of King Louis XVI, the body of the painter Jacques-Louis David was buried at Brussels Cemetery, while his heart was buried at Père Lachaise, Paris.

Jacques-Louis David was, in his time, regarded as the leading painter in France, and arguably all of Western Europe; many of the painters honored by the restored Bourbons following the French Revolution had been David’s pupils.

David’s student Antoine-Jean Gros for example, was made a Baron and honored by Napoleon Bonaparte’s court. Another pupil of David’s, Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres became the most important artist of the restored Royal Academy and the figurehead of the Neoclassical school of art, engaging the increasingly popular Romantic school of art that was beginning to challenge Neoclassicism.

To be one of David’s students was considered prestigious and earned his students a lifetime of reputation.

Despite David’s reputation, he was more fiercely criticized right after his death than at any point during his life. His style came under the most serious criticism for being static, rigid, and uniform throughout all his work. David’s art was also attacked for being cold and lacking warmth.

David, however, made his career precisely by challenging what he saw as the earlier rigidity and conformity of the French Royal Academy’s approach to art. David’s later works also reflect his growth in the development of the Empire style, notable for its dynamism and warm colors. It is likely that much of the criticism of David following his death came from David’s opponents; during his lifetime David made a great many enemies with his competitive and arrogant personality as well as his role in the Terror.

Jacques-Louis David -The Death of Socrates

Jacques-Louis David -The Death of Socrates

David sent many people to the guillotine and personally signed the death warrants for King Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette. One significant episode in David’s political career that earned him a great deal of contempt was the execution of Emilie Chalgrin. A fellow painter Carle Vernet had approached David, who was on the Committee of Public Safety, requesting him to intervene on behalf of his sister, Chalgrin. She had been accused of crimes against the Republic, most notably possessing stolen items. David refused to intervene in her favor, and she was executed. Vernet blamed David for her death, and the episode followed him for the rest of his life and after.

In the last 50 years David has enjoyed a revival in popular favor and in 1948 his two-hundredth birthday was celebrated with an exhibition at the Musée de l’Orangerie in Paris and at Versailles showing his life’s works. Following World War II, Jacques-Louis David was increasingly regarded as a symbol of French national pride and identity, as well as a vital force in the development of European and French art in the modern era.

Jacques-Louis David - The Death of Seneca

Jacques-Louis David – The Death of Seneca

Jacques-Louis David - The Intervention of the Sabine Women

Jacques-Louis David – The Intervention of the Sabine Women

Jacques-Louis David - The Loves of Paris and Helen

Jacques-Louis David – The Loves of Paris and Helen

Jacques-Louis David -  Cupid and Psyche

Jacques-Louis David – Cupid and Psyche

Jacques-Louis David - Antiochus and Stratonica

Jacques-Louis David – Antiochus and Stratonica

Jacques-Louis David - Consecration of the Emperor Napoleon I and Coronation of the Empress Josephine

Jacques-Louis David – Consecration of the Emperor Napoleon I and Coronation of the Empress Josephine

Jacques-Louis David - Leonidas at Thermopylae

Jacques-Louis David – Leonidas at Thermopylae

Jacques-Louis David - Madame Raymond de Verninac

Jacques-Louis David – Madame Raymond de Verninac

Jacques-Louis David - Napoleon at the St. Bernard Pass

Jacques-Louis David – Napoleon at the St. Bernard Pass

Jacques-Louis David - Portrait of Antoine-Laurent and Marie-Anne Lavoisier

Jacques-Louis David – Portrait of Antoine-Laurent and Marie-Anne Lavoisier

Jacques-Louis David - Portrait of Francois Buron

Jacques-Louis David – Portrait of Francois Buron

Jacques-Louis David - Portrait of Pope Pius VII

Jacques-Louis David – Portrait of Pope Pius VII

Jacques-Louis David - Portrait of the Comtesse Vilain XIIII and her Daughter

Jacques-Louis David – Portrait of the Comtesse Vilain XIIII and her Daughter

Jacques-Louis David - Portrait of the Marquise d'Orvilliers

Jacques-Louis David – Portrait of the Marquise d’Orvilliers

Jacques-Louis David - Sappho and Phaon

Jacques-Louis David – Sappho and Phaon

Jacques-Louis David - St Roch Asking the Virgin Mary to Heal Victims of the Plague

Jacques-Louis David – St Roch Asking the Virgin Mary to Heal Victims of the Plague

Jacques-Louis David - The Combat of Mars and Minerva

Jacques-Louis David – The Combat of Mars and Minerva

Jacques-Louis David - The Death of Bara

Jacques-Louis David – The Death of Bara

 

Hope you enjoyed the article as much as i did compiling the info and the images! See you next time!

Articles’ Images are in the public domain because their copyright has expired or are displayed here under the “ fair use” copyright law, and are available through WikipediaWikimedia.

This Articles’ text is licensed under the Creative Commons BY-SA License since it partially uses material from Wikipedia.

Article publié pour la première fois le 15/01/2013

Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn - The Anatomy Lecture of Dr. Nicolaes Tulp

Essential Books on Oil Painting Basics

Have you ever wished you knew how to paint? Have you watched the works of the classic art masters in awe, thinking how would it feel to paint so majestically? Why don’t you give it a try and see where do you go from there?

In this article I gathered for you the most essential books on oil painting, They will get you started and help you grow your painting skills. If you prefer video instruction better than reading you might also want to read: Get Started: With Oil Painting Basics.

Let’s get started!

Johannes Vermeer - The Milkmaid

Johannes Vermeer – The Milkmaid

The Complete Oil Painter: The Essential Reference for Beginners to Professionals

Oils are perhaps the most versatile of all paint mediums. Yet for many artists oil painting is either shrouded in mystique or considered very difficult. Filled with clear, step-by-step instructions and surefire strategies, The Complete Oil Painter is an essential, one-stop guide to becoming an expert in every aspect of this medium.

Artists will discover everything they need to know about materials (pigments, supports, canvases); tools and equipment (palettes, brushes); paint application (wet-into-wet, alla-prima, glazing, impasto); form and color (light and dark, expression, color mixing); exploring themes (still life, portraiture, figure painting); and much more.

Traditional Oil Painting: Advanced Techniques and Concepts from the Renaissance to the Present

As more and more artists today look to the past, there has been a tremendous resurgence of interest in painting realistically—in creating convincing illusions of three-dimensional depth on two dimensional surfaces.

  • How did the Old Masters create their masterpieces?
  • What kind of education allowed these great artists to create such beautiful work, and how can an artist learn these lessons today?

Traditional Oil Painting answers those questions and many more. This comprehensive sourcebook explores the most advanced levels of oil painting, with full information on the latest scientific discoveries. Author and distinguished artist Virgil Elliott examines the many elements that let artists take the next step in their work: mental attitude, aesthetic considerations, the importance of drawing, principles of visual reality, materials, techniques, portraiture, photographic images versus visual reality, and color.

Traditional Oil Painting helps artists master the secrets of realistic painting to create work that will rival that of the masters.

Raphael Sanzio - Woman with a Veil (La Donna Velata)

Raphael Sanzio – Woman with a Veil (La Donna Velata)

Oil Painting Secrets From a Master

Some of the most popular art instruction books ever written have been based on student notes culled over the years from actual workshop sessions, with all their power and immediacy – and with practical, on-to-one contact between student and teacher. This is such a book. For more than two years, Linda Cateura has pursued teacher / artist David A. Leffel, notebook in hand, as he critiqued the work of students. Linda Cateura’s succinct notes capture his insights, philosophy, painting hints, and general comments.

Leffel’s classic, painterly, twentieth-century old master style, much in the manner of Rembrandt or Chardin, affords ample illustration of the ideas expressed – through his many paintings, details, demonstrations, and diagrams, almost all in color.

No matter what your level of ability, there is something here to apply to your own work, ideas that will cause you to rething your own ways of painting, hints to save you effort, or solutions to persistent painting problems.

The Practice of Oil Painting and Drawing (Dover Art Instruction)

This instructive volume introduces not only the techniques of oil painting but also the underlying principles of figure drawing. Written by a distinguished Pre-Raphaelite painter, portraitist, and book illustrator, the treatment begins by explaining the construction of the figure, head, and limbs.

Succeeding chapters illustrate these teachings with examples of images by the Old Masters, including paintings from the Italian, Dutch, Spanish, French, and British schools.

The Birmingham Daily Post pronounced this volume “probably the most useful handbook for art students that has yet been published.” Students at every level of expertise will benefit from its discourses on light and shade, monochrome study, still life in color, painting from life in monochrome, coloring a monochrome, and painting in color direct from life. Thirty-two full-color pages complement this new edition of a timeless guide.

The Oil Painting Book: Materials and Techniques for Today’s Artist (Watson-Guptill Materials and Techniques)

This indispensable encyclopedia:

  • compares leading brands of oil paints
  • describes mediums
  • solvents, and varnishes
  • illustrates brushes, palettes, and other tools
  • and shows both traditional and unconventional techniques

Oil Painting for the Serious Beginner: Basic Lessons in Becoming a Good Painter

If looking at wonderful paintings fills you with desire to create your own, this book is for you. Even if you’ve never put brush to canvas before, but are committed to learning how, Oil Painting for the Serious Beginner will enable you to express yourself richly through this esteemed art medium.

With clarity, simplicity, and enthusiasm, Steve Allrich shares with readers the tried-and-true methods he employs in his mastery of oil painting. Practical step-by-step instruction and fully illustrated demonstrations are provided. You will learn how to:

  • Select paint, canvas, brushes, other materials
  • Practice good drawing skills, mix color ranges, design vital compositions
  • Tone canvas, sketch and block in your subject, achieve painterly brushwork
  • Depict strong still lifes and interiors, arrange good lighting effects for both
  • Choose the best landscape settings, handle perspective, capture natural light.

 

Jan Van Eyck - The Arnolfini Wedding

Jan Van Eyck – The Arnolfini Wedding

Fill Your Oil Paintings with Light & Color

These pages practically glow with Kevin Macpherson’s rich and powerful paintings! He shares his techniques for quickly capturing the mood of a scene in bold, direct brushstrokes, with step-by-step instructions that make it easy—simply a matter of painting the colors you see. Follow his lead and you too, can create landscapes and still lives in a vibrant, impressionistic style.

Oil Painting For The Absolute Beginner: A Clear & Easy Guide to Successful Oil Painting (Art for the Absolute Beginner)

The quick-start guide to great results!
Oil painting doesn’t have to be rocket science, although some books on the subject make it seem that way. Filled with encouraging, easy-to-follow instruction, Oil Painting for the Absolute Beginner is a no-fear, no-experience-required guide to enjoyable painting and happy results. Focusing on the needs of the first-time painter, this book covers everything from selecting brushes and setting up your palette to key principles of color and composition, presented in a way that moves you confidently from first strokes to finished paintings.

  • Mini demonstrations break down fundamental painting techniques in a clear, common sense way
  • 12 step-by-step painting projects progress from simple landscapes, still life and flower paintings to more challenging subjects, such as animals, seascapes and portraits
  • The bonus DVD-workshop features the author creating two paintings from start to finish
  • You’ll learn tricks for keeping the greens in your landscapes looking fresh, advantages to working with water-soluble oil paints, simple tips for dynamic compositions and other expert advice to make your introduction to oil painting the beginning of a beautiful friendship!

Classic Portrait Painting in Oils: Keys to Mastering Diverse Skin Tones

Discover a simple approach to capturing a world of beautiful skin tones!
Chris Saper takes the mystery and guesswork out of portrait painting while leaving its joy fully intact. Continuing the exploration started in the her first book, Painting Beautiful Skin Tones with Color & Light, this sequel offers step-by-step demonstrations that cover an even wider range of ethnic groups and ages. You’ll get professional advice on working from life, using reference photos, and combining the two approaches to create realistic likenesses that say something about the way you view an individual’s unique beauty and character. Inside you’ll find:

  • A series of 14 step-by-step demonstrations of 7 diverse subjects painted from life and from photos that illustrate the advantages of each approach
  • Techniques for seeing and recording accurate colors at live sittings, and retaining that accuracy when working from photographic references
  • Tips on posing and lighting your subjects using both artificial and natural light sources
  • Expert advice for shooting, selecting and working from reference photographs, including how to compose dynamic multiple-subject portraits
  • Techniques for painting eyes, eyeglasses, mouths, wrinkles and other defining details
  • Though the demonstrations and examples are done in oils, Saper’s techniques are universal. Regardless of your medium or skill level, the lessons inside will make painting skin colors easier, the process more enjoyable and your great results more predictable.

The Oil Painting Course You’ve Always Wanted: Guided Lessons for Beginners and Experienced Artists

Everything you always wanted to know about oil painting…but were afraid to ask. Or maybe you weren’t afraid—maybe you just didn’t know what to ask or where to start. In The Oil Painting Course You’ve Always Wanted, author Kathleen Staiger presents crystal clear, step-by-step lessons that build to reinforce learning.

Brush control, creating the illusion of three dimensions, foolproof color mixing, still-life painting, landscapes, and portraits—every topic is covered in clear text, diagrams, illustrations, exercises, and demonstrations. Staiger has taught oil painting for more than thirty-five years; many of her students are now exhibiting and selling their paintings.

Everyone from beginning hobby painters, to art students, to BFA graduates has questions about oil painting. Here at last are the answers!

Classical Painting Atelier: A Contemporary Guide to Traditional Studio Practice

Students of art hailed Classical Drawing Atelier, Juliette Aristides’s first book, as a dynamic return to the atelier educational model. Ateliers, popular in the nineteenth century, teach emerging artists by pairing them with a master artist over a period of years. The educational process begins as students copy masterworks, then gradually progress to painting as their skills develop.

The many artists at every level who learned from Classical Drawing Atelier have been clamoring for more of this sophisticated approach to teaching and learning. In Classical Painting Atelier, Aristides, a leader in the atelier movement, takes students step-by-step through the finest works of Old Masters and today’s most respected realist artists to reveal the principles of creating full-color realist still lifes, portraits, and figure paintings.

Rich in tradition, yet practical for today’s artists, Classical Painting Atelier is ideal for serious art students seeking a timeless visual education.

Color Mixing Recipes

‘The popular Color Mixing Recipe Cards by William F. Powell has served as a handy reference of essential color combinations for almost 10 years. And now this collection of recipes is available in an updated, convenient format developed with your needs in mind! Conveniently packaged in a concealed wire-o-bound book that lies flat when opened, the recipe cards will always stay in order with no risk of getting lost.

The book also includes a Color Mixing Grid—the perfect guide for accurately measuring paints. With mixing recipes for more than 450 color combinations, along with instruction in a variety of painting techniques, Color Mixing Recipes is a valuable and practical resource for both oil and acrylic artists

Problem Solving for Oil Painters: Recognizing What’s Gone Wrong and How to Make it Right

Idea

  • Is There a Good Abstract Idea Underlying the Picture?
  • What Details Could be Eliminated to Strengthen the Composition?
  • Does the Painting “Read”?
  • Could You Finish Any Part of the Painting?

Shapes

  • Are the Dominant Shapes as Strong and Simple as Possible?
  • Are the Shapes Too Similar?

Value

  • Could the Value Range be Increased?
  • Could the Number of Values be Reduced?
Claude Monet - Woman with a Parasol - Madame Monet and Her Son

Claude Monet – Woman with a Parasol

Light

  • Is the Subject Effectively Lit?
  • Is the Light Area Big Enough?
  • Would the Light Look Stronger with a Suggestion of Burnout?
  • Do the Lights Have a Continuous Flow?
  • Is the Light Gradated?

Shadows

  • Do the Shadow Shapes Describe the Form?
  • Are the Shadows Warm Enough?

Depth

  • Would the Addition of Foreground Material Deepen the Space?
  • Does the Background Recede Far Enough?
  • Are the Halftones Properly Related to the Background?

Solidity

  • Is the underlying Form Being Communicated?
  • Is the Symmetry in Perspective?

Color

  • Is There a Color Strategy?
  • Could a Purer Color Be Used?
  • Do the Whites Have Enough Color in Them?
  • Are the Colors Overblended on the Canvas?
  • Would the Color Look Brighter if it Were Saturated into its Adjacent Area?

Paint

  • Is Your Palette Efficiently Organized?
  • Is the Painting Surface Too Absorbent?
  • Are You Using the Palette Knife as Much as You Could?
  • Are You Painting Lines When You Should Be Painting Masses?
  • Are the Edges Dynamic Enough?
  • Is There Enough Variation in the Texture of the Paint?

You might also need:

Royal & Langnickel 104-Piece All Media Easel Artist Set

Royal & Langnickel All Media Easel Artist Set is perfect for the avid artist, student, or traveling artist regardless of age or experience. Quality constructed wooden case, hinged and latched, holds all the essentials for sketching, drawing, and painting.

Includes:

  • 12 oil paint tubes, 12 watercolor paint tubes, 12 acrylic paint tubes, 12 oil pastels, 12 watercolor pencils and much more
  • Also Includes 3 white nylon brushes, 3 plastic palette knives, 2 canvas boards, 1 wooden palette, 1 six well palette and more
  • Storage box with easel measures 10-5/8-inch by 6-1/8-inch by 5-1/8-inch

Art Alternatives Canvas Panel (8 X 10) PACK OF 12

  • Primed with an acrylic gesso for painting in any medium
  • Mounted with pure cotton artist canvas with turned edges

Art Advantage Oil and Acrylic Brush Set, 24-Piece

  • Twenty-four piece brush set
  • Free canvas brush roll-up
  • Long handle brushes
  • Synthetic and natural bristle brushes
  • Perfect for oil and acrylic paint

I hope you will find these books and resources invaluable to your journey to art.

Feel free to comment with your own suggestions as well!

Articles’ Images are in the public domain because their copyright has expired and are available through Wikipedia & Wikimedia.

Article publié pour la première fois le 03/01/2014

John Everett Millais - The Ruling Passion (1885) Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum

Life and Paintings of John Everett Millais (1829 – 1896)

Sir John Everett Millais, 1st Baronet, ( 8 June 1829 – 13 August 1896) was an English painter and illustrator and one of the founders of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood. Millais was born in Southampton, England in 1829, of a prominent Jersey-based family.

Movements: Medievalism, Naturalism, Academicism, Pre-Raphaelitism

The author Thackeray once asked him “when England conquered Jersey.” Millais replied “Never! Jersey conquered England.” (cited in Chums annual, 1896, page 213). His prodigious artistic talent won him a place at the Royal Academy schools at the unprecedented age of eleven. While there, he met William Holman Hunt and Dante Gabriel Rossetti with whom he formed the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood (known as the “PRB”) in September 1848 in his family home on Gower Street, off Bedford Square.

Life and Paintings of Giotto Di Bondone (12)

Life and Paintings of Giotto (1266 – 1337)

Giotto di Bondone (1266/7 – January 8, 1337), better known simply as Giotto, was an Italian painter and architect from Florence in the late Middle Ages. He is generally considered the first in a line of great artists who contributed to the Italian Renaissance.

Giotto’s contemporary, the banker and chronicler Giovanni Villani, wrote that Giotto was “the most sovereign master of painting in his time, who drew all his figures and their postures according to nature. And he was given a salary by the Comune of Florence in virtue of his talent and excellence.”

Life and Paintings of Giotto Di Bondone (1)

Life and Paintings of Giotto Di Bondone

The late-16th century biographer Giorgio Vasari describes Giotto as making a decisive break with the prevalent Byzantine style and as initiating “the great art of painting as we know it today, introducing the technique of drawing accurately from life, which had been neglected for more than two hundred years.”

Giotto’s masterwork is the decoration of the Scrovegni Chapel in Padua, also known as the Arena Chapel, completed around 1305. This fresco cycle depicts the life of the Virgin and the life of Christ. It is regarded as one of the supreme masterpieces of the Early Renaissance. That Giotto painted the Arena Chapel and that he was chosen by the Comune of Florence in 1334 to design the new campanile (bell tower) of the Florence Cathedral are among the few certainties of his biography. Almost every other aspect of it is subject to controversy: his birthdate, his birthplace, his appearance, his apprenticeship, the order in which he created his works, whether or not he painted the famous frescoes at Assisi, and his burial place.

It has been traditional to hold that Giotto was born in a hilltop farmhouse, perhaps at Colle di Romagnano or Romignano; since 1850 a tower house in nearby Colle Vespignano, a hamlet 35 kilometres north of Florence, has borne a plaque claiming the honour of his birthplace, an assertion commercially publicized. Very recent research, however, has suggested that he was actually born in Florence, the son of a blacksmith. His father’s name was Bondone, described in surviving public records as “a person of good standing”. Most authors accept that Giotto was his real name, but it may have been an abbreviation of Ambrogio (Ambrogiotto) or Angelo (Angelotto).

The year of his birth is calculated from the fact that Antonio Pucci, the town crier of Florence, wrote a poem in Giotto’s honour in which it is stated that he was 70 at the time of his death. However, the word “seventy” fits into the rhyme of the poem better than would have a longer and more complex age, so it is possible that Pucci used artistic license.

Life and Paintings of Giotto Di Bondone (2)

Life and Paintings of Giotto Di Bondone

In his Lives of the Artists, Giorgio Vasari relates that Giotto was a shepherd boy, a merry and intelligent child who was loved by all who knew him. The great Florentine painter Cimabue discovered Giotto drawing pictures of his sheep on a rock. They were so lifelike that Cimabue approached Bondone and asked if he could take the boy as an apprentice. Cimabue was one of the two most highly renowned painters of Tuscany, the other being Duccio, who worked mainly in Siena.

Vasari recounts a number of such stories about Giotto’s skill. He writes that when Cimabue was absent from the workshop, his young apprentice painted such a lifelike fly on the face of the painting that Cimabue was working on, that he tried several times to brush it off. Vasari also relates that when the Pope sent a messenger to Giotto, asking him to send a drawing to demonstrate his skill, Giotto drew, in red paint, a circle so perfect that it seemed as though it was drawn using a compass and instructed the messenger to give that to the Pope.

Many scholars today are uncertain about Giotto’s training, and consider that Vasari’s story that he was Cimabue’s pupil is legendary, citing early sources which suggest that Giotto was not Cimabue’s pupil. Giotto’s art shares many qualities with Roman paintings of the later 13th century. Cimabue may have been working in Rome in this period, and there was an active local school of fresco painters, of whom the most famous was Pietro Cavallini. The famous Florentine sculptor and architect, Arnolfo di Cambio, was then also working in Rome.

Life and Paintings of Giotto Di Bondone (3)

Life and Paintings of Giotto Di Bondone

From Rome, Cimabue went to Assisi to paint several large frescoes at the newly built Basilica of St Francis of Assisi, and it is possible, but not certain, that Giotto went with him. The attribution of the fresco cycle of the Life of St. Francis in the Upper Church has been one of the most hotly disputed in art history. The documents of the Franciscan Friars that relate to artistic commissions during this period were destroyed by Napoleon’s troops, who stabled horses in the Upper Church of the Basilica, and scholars have been divided over whether or not Giotto was responsible for the Francis Cycle. In the absence of documentary evidence to the contrary, it has been convenient to ascribe every fresco in the Upper Church that was not obviously by Cimabue to Giotto, whose prestige has overshadowed that of almost every contemporary. Some of the earliest remaining biographical sources, such as Ghiberti and Riccobaldo Ferrarese, suggest that the fresco cycle of the life of St Francis in the Upper Church was his earliest autonomous work. However, since the idea was put forward by the German art historian, Friedrich Rintelen in 1912,many scholars have expressed doubt that Giotto was in fact the author of the Upper Church frescoes. Without documentation, arguments on the attribution have relied upon connoisseurship, a notoriously unreliable “science.”

However, technical examinations and comparisons of the workshop painting processes at Assisi and Padua in 2002 have provided strong evidence that Giotto did not paint the St. Francis Cycle. There are many differences between the Francis Cycle and the Arena Chapel frescoes that are difficult to account for by the stylistic development of an individual artist. It seems quite possible that several hands painted the Assisi frescoes, and that the artists were probably from Rome. If this is the case, then Giotto’s frescoes at Padua owe much to the naturalism of these painters.

The authorship of a large number of panel paintings ascribed to Giotto by Vasari, among others, is as broadly disputed as the Assisi frescoes. According to Vasari, Giotto’s earliest works were for the Dominicans at Santa Maria Novella. These include a fresco of the Annunciation and the enormous suspended Crucifix, which is about 5 metres high. It has been dated around 1290 and is therefore contemporary with the Assisi frescoes. Other early works are the San Giorgio alla Costa Madonna and Child now in the Diocesan Museum of Santo Stefano al Ponte, Florence, and the signed panel of the Stigmata of St. Francis, once in San Francesco at Pisa, today in the Louvre.

In 1287, at the age of about 20, Giotto married Ricevuta di Lapo del Pela, known as “Ciuta”. The couple had numerous children, (perhaps as many as eight) one of whom, Francesco, became a painter. Giotto worked in Rome in 1297–1300, but few traces of his presence there remain today. The Basilica of St. John Lateran houses a small portion of a fresco cycle, painted for the Jubilee of 1300 called by Boniface VIII. In this period he also painted the Badia Polyptych, now in the Uffizi, Florence.

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Life and Paintings of Giotto Di Bondone

Giotto’s fame as a painter spread. He was called to work in Padua, and also in Rimini, where today only a Crucifix remains in the Church of St. Francis, painted before 1309. This work influenced the rise of the Riminese school of Giovanni and Pietro da Rimini. According to documents of 1301 and 1304, Giotto by this time possessed large estates in Florence, and it is probable that he was already leading a large workshop and receiving commissions from throughout Italy.

Around 1305 Giotto executed his most influential work, the painted decoration of the interior of the Scrovegni Chapel in Padua. Enrico degli Scrovegni commissioned the chapel to serve as a family worship and burial space, even though his parish church was nearby; its construction caused some consternation among the clerics at the Eremitani church next door.  It has also been speculated that Enrico commissioned the chapel as a penitence for his sin of usury (i.e. charging interest for lending money), which at the time was considered unjust. In fact, Dante himself accused Enrico’s father of it and condemned him in his Divine Comedy.  The presence of Enrico near the center of The Final Judgement, handing the Arena Chapel to the Three Marys, on the virtuous side of the judgement and not with the other usurers (shown hanging by the strings of their money bags on the opposite side) may also be seen as proof of his repentance. This chapel is externally a very plain building of pink brick which was constructed next to an older palace that Scrovegni was restoring for himself. The palace, now gone, and the chapel were on the site of a Roman arena, for which reason it is commonly known as the Arena Chapel.

The theme is Salvation, and there is an emphasis on the Virgin Mary, as the chapel is dedicated to the Annunciation and to the Virgin of Charity. As is common in the decoration of the medieval period in Italy, the west wall is dominated by the Last Judgement. On either side of the chancel are complementary paintings of the Angel Gabriel and the Virgin Mary, depicting the Annunciation. This scene is incorporated into the cycles of The Life of the Blessed Virgin Mary and The Life of Christ. The source for The Life of the Virgin is the Golden Legend of Jacopo da Voragine while The Life of Christ draws upon the Meditations on the Life of Christ by the Pseudo-Bonaventura. The frescoes are more than mere illustrations of familiar texts, however, and scholars have found numerous sources for Giotto’s interpretations of sacred stories.

The cycle is divided into 37 scenes, arranged around the lateral walls in three tiers, starting in the upper register with the story of Joachim and Anna, the parents of the Virgin and continuing with the story of Mary. The life of Jesus occupies two registers. The Last Judgment fills the entire pictorial space of the counter-façade.

The top right hand tier deals with the lives of Mary’s parents, the left of her early life and the middle tier deals with the early life and miracles of Christ.

The bottom tier on both sides is concerned with the Passions of Christ. He is depicted mainly in profile, as is customary, historically, when depicting persons of importance. His eyes point continuously to the right, perhaps to guide the viewer onwards in the episodes. The kiss of Judas near the end of the sequence signals the close of this left-to-right procession.

Much of the blue in the fresco has been worn away by time. This is because Enrico degli Scrovegni ordered that, because of the expense of the pigment ultramarine blue used, it should be painted on top of the already dry fresco stucco fresco to preserve its brilliance. For this reason it has disintegrated faster than the other colors which have been fastened within the plaster of the fresco. An example of this decay can clearly be seen on the robe of Christ as he sits on the donkey.

Between the scenes are quatrefoil paintings of Old Testament scenes, like Jonah and the Whale that allegorically correspond and perhaps foretell the life of Christ.

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Life and Paintings of Giotto Di Bondone

While Cimabue painted in a manner that is clearly Medieval, having aspects of both the Byzantine and the Gothic, Giotto’s style draws on the solid and classicizing sculpture of Arnolfo di Cambio. Unlike those by Cimabue and Duccio, Giotto’s figures are not stylized or elongated and do not follow set Byzantine models. They are solidly three-dimensional, have faces and gestures that are based on close observation, and are clothed not in swirling formalized drapery, but in garments that hang naturally and have form and weight. He also took bold steps in foreshortening and with having character face inwards, with their backs towards the observer creating the illusion of space. however, the Medieval tradition of only representing a few faces is continued in Giotto’s representation of the apostles in the Lamentations seen. Those whose faces can be seen show incredible emotion but the others are refused to the form of a group of background halos. What he did achieve was, regardless, remarkable. Although aspects of this trend in painting had already appeared in Rome in the work of Pietro Cavallini and at Assisi, Giotto took it so much further that he earned the reputation for setting a new standard for representational painting.

The heavily sculptural figures occupy compressed settings with naturalistic elements, often using forced perspective devices so that they resemble stage sets. This similarity is increased by Giotto’s careful arrangement of the figures in such a way that the viewer appears to have a particular place and even an involvement in many of the scenes. This dramatic immediacy was a new feature, which is also seen to some extent in the Upper Church at Assisi.

Famous narratives in the series include the Adoration of the Magi, in which a comet-like Star of Bethlehem streaks across the sky. Giotto is thought to have been inspired by the 1301 appearance of Halley’s comet, which led to the name Giotto being given to a 1986 space probe to the comet. Another famous scene is the Lamentation, in which Giotto adapted the traditional Byzantine iconography of the scene to create an emotional representation that draws the viewer into the sacred narrative.

Giotto’s depiction of the human face and emotion sets his work apart from that of his contemporaries. When the disgraced Joachim returns sadly to the hillside, the two young shepherds look sideways at each other. The soldier who drags a baby from its screaming mother in the Massacre of the Innocents does so with his head hunched into his shoulders and a look of shame on his face. The people on the road to Egypt gossip about Mary and Joseph as they go. Of Giotto’s realism, the 19th-century English critic John Ruskin said “He painted the Madonna and St. Joseph and the Christ, yes, by all means … but essentially Mamma, Papa and Baby.”

Among those frescoes in Padua which have been lost are those in the Basilica of. St. Anthony and the Palazzo della Ragione, which are however from a later sojourn in Padua.

Life and Paintings of Giotto Di Bondone (8)

Life and Paintings of Giotto Di Bondone

Numerous painters from northern Italy were influenced by Giotto’s work in Padua including Guariento, Giusto de’ Menabuoi, Jacopo Avanzi, and Altichiero.

From 1306 to 1311 Giotto was in Assisi, where he painted frescoes in the transept area of the Lower Church, including The Life of Christ, Franciscan Allegories and the Maddalena Chapel, drawing on stories from the Golden Legend and including the portrait of bishop Teobaldo Pontano who commissioned the work. Several assistants are mentioned, including one Palerino di Guido. However, the style demonstrates developments from Giotto’s work at Padua.

In 1311 Giotto returned to Florence. A document from 1313 about his furniture there shows that he had spent a period in Rome some time before. It is now thought that he produced the design for the famous Navicella mosaic for the courtyard of the Old St. Peter’s Basilica in 1310, commissioned by Cardinal Giacomo or Jacopo Stefaneschi and now lost to the Renaissance church, except for some fragments and a Baroque reconstruction. According to the cardinal’s necrology he also at least designed the Stefaneschi Triptych, a double-sided altarpiece for St. Peter’s, now in the Vatican Pinacoteca. But the style seems unlikely for either Giotto or his normal Florentine assistants, so he may have had his design executed by an ad hoc workshop of Romans.

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Life and Paintings of Giotto Di Bondone

In Florence, where documents from 1314–1327 attest to his financial activities, Giotto painted an altarpiece known as the Ognissanti Madonna and now in the Uffizi where it is exhibited beside Cimabue’s Santa Trinita Madonna and Duccio’s Rucellai Madonna. The Ognissanti altarpiece is the only panel painting by Giotto that has been universally accepted by scholars, and this despite the fact that it is undocumented. It was painted for the church of the Ognissanti (all saints) in Florence, which was built by an obscure religious order known as the Humiliati. It is a large painting (325 x 204 cm), and scholars are divided on whether it was made for the main altar of the church, where it would have been viewed primarily by the brothers of the order or for the choir screen, where it would have been more easily seen by a lay audience.

At this time he also painted the Dormition of the Virgin, now in the Berlin Gemäldegalerie and the Crucifix in the Church of Ognissanti.

According to Lorenzo Ghiberti, Giotto painted chapels for four different Florentine families in the church of Santa Croce, although he does not identify which chapels they were. It is only with Vasari that the four chapels are identified: the Bardi Chapel (Life of St. Francis), the Peruzzi Chapel (Life of St. John the Baptist and St. John the Evangelist, perhaps including a polyptych of Madonna with Saints now in the Museum of Art of Raleigh, North Carolina) and the lost Giugni Chapel (Stories of the Apostles) and the Tosinghi Spinelli Chapel (Stories of the Holy Virgin). As with almost everything in Giotto’s career, the dates of the fresco decorations that survive in Santa Croce are disputed. The Bardi Chapel, immediately to the right of the main chapel of the church, was painted in true fresco, and to some scholars the simplicity of its settings seems relatively close to those of Padua, while the Peruzzi Chapel’s more complex settings suggest a later date. The Peruzzi Chapel is adjacent to the Bardi Chapel and was largely painted a secco. This technique, quicker but less durable than true fresco, has resulted in a fresco decoration that survives in a seriously deteriorated condition. Scholars who date this cycle earlier in Giotto’s career see the growing interest in architectural expansion that it displays as close to the developments of the giottesque frescoes in the Lower Church at Assisi, while the Bardi frescoes have a new softness of color that indicates the artist going in a different direction, probably under the influence of Sienese art, and so must be a later development.

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Life and Paintings of Giotto Di Bondone

The Peruzzi Chapel pairs three frescoes from the life of St. John the Baptist (The Annunciation of John’s Birth to his father Zacharias; The Birth and Naming of John; The Feast of Herod) on the left wall with three scenes from the life of St. John the Evangelist (The Visions of John on Ephesus; The Raising of Drusiana; The Ascension of John) on the right wall. The choice of scenes has been related to both the patrons and the Franciscans.Because of the serious condition of the frescoes, it is difficult to discuss Giotto’s style in the chapel, although the frescoes show signs of his typical interest in controlled naturalism and psychological penetration. The Peruzzi Chapel was especially renowned during Renaissance times. Giotto’s compositions influenced Masaccio’s Brancacci Chapels, and Michelangelo is known to have studied the frescoes.

The Bardi Chapel depicts the life of St. Francis, following a similar iconography to the frescoes in the Upper Church at Assisi, dating from 20–30 years earlier. A comparison makes apparent the greater attention given by Giotto to expression in the human figures and the simpler, better-integrated architectural forms. Giotto represents only 7 scenes from the saint’s life here, and the narrative is arranged somewhat unusually. The story starts on the upper left wall with St. Francis Renounces his Father. It continues across the chapel to the upper right wall with the Approval of the Franciscan Rule, moves down the right wall to the Trial by Fire, across the chapel again to the left wall for the Appearance at Arles, down the left wall to the Death of St. Francis, and across once more to the posthumous Visions of Fra Agostino and the Bishop of Assisi. The Stigmatization of St. Francis, which chronologically belongs between the Appearance at Arles and the Death, is located outside the chapel, above the entrance arch. This arrangement encourages viewers to link scenes together: to pair frescoes across the chapel space or relate triads of frescoes along each wall. These linkings suggest meaningful symbolic relationships between different events in St. Francis’s life.

In 1320 Giotto finished the Stefaneschi Triptych, now in the Vatican Museum, for Cardinal Giacomo (or Jacopo) Gaetano Stefaneschi, who also commissioned him to decorate the apse of St. Peter’s Basilica with a cycle of frescoes that were destroyed during the 16th century renovation. According to Vasari, Giotto remained in Rome for six years, subsequently receiving numerous commissions in Italy and in the Papal seat at Avignon, though some of these works are now recognized to be by other artists.

In 1328 the altarpiece of the Baroncelli Chapel in Santa Croce, Florence was completed. This work, previously ascribed to Giotto, is now believed to be mostly a work by assistants, including Taddeo Gaddi who later frescoed the chapel). Giotto was called by King Robert of Anjou to Naples where he remained with a group of pupils until 1333. Few of Giotto’s Neapolitan works have survived: a fragment of a fresco portraying the Lamentation of Christ in the church of Santa Chiara, and the Illustrious Men painted on the windows of the Santa Barbara Chapel of Castel Nuovo (which are usually attributed to his pupils). In 1332 King Robert named him “first court painter” with a yearly pension.

After Naples Giotto stayed for a while in Bologna, where he painted a Polyptych for the church of Santa Maria degli Angeli, and, according to the sources, a lost decoration for the Chapel in the Cardinal Legate’s Castle.

In 1334 Giotto was appointed chief architect to Florence Cathedral, of which the Campanile (founded by him on July 18, 1334) bears his name, but was not completed to his design.

Before 1337 he was in Milan with Azzone Visconti, though no trace of works by him remain in the city. His last known work (with assistants’ help) is the decoration of Podestà Chapel in the Bargello, Florence.

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Life and Paintings of Giotto Di Bondone

In his final years Giotto had become friends with Boccaccio and Sacchetti, who featured him in their stories. In The Divine Comedy, Dante acknowledged the greatness of his living contemporary through the words of a painter in Purgatorio (XI, 94–96): “Cimabue believed that he held the field/In painting, and now Giotto has the cry,/ So the fame of the former is obscure.”

Giotto died in January 1337. According to Vasari, Giotto was buried in Santa Maria del Fiore, the Cathedral of Florence, on the left of the entrance and with the spot marked by a white marble plaque. According to other sources, he was buried in the Church of Santa Reparata. These apparently contradictory reports are explained by the fact that the remains of Santa Reparata lie directly beneath the Cathedral and the church continued in use while the construction of the cathedral was proceeding in the early 14th century.

During an excavation in the 1970s bones were discovered beneath the paving of Santa Reparata at a spot close to the location given by Vasari, but unmarked on either level. Forensic examination of the bones by anthropologist Francesco Mallegni and a team of experts in 2000 brought to light some facts that seemed to confirm that they were those of a painter, particularly the range of chemicals, including arsenic and lead, both commonly found in paint, that the bones had absorbed.

The bones were those of a very short man, of little over four feet tall, who may have suffered from a form of congenital dwarfism. This supports a tradition at the Church of Santa Croce that a dwarf who appears in one of the frescoes is a self-portrait of Giotto. On the other hand, a man wearing a white hat who appears in the Last Judgement at Padua is also said to be a portrait of Giotto. The appearance of this man conflicts with the image in Santa Croce.

Vasari, drawing on a description by Boccaccio, who was a friend of Giotto, says of him that “there was no uglier man in the city of Florence” and indicates that his children were also plain in appearance. There is a story that Dante visited Giotto while he was painting the Scrovegni Chapel and, seeing the artist’s children underfoot asked how a man who painted such beautiful pictures could create such plain children, to which Giotto, who according to Vasari was always a wit, replied “I made them in the dark.”

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Life and Paintings of Giotto Di Bondone

Forensic reconstruction of the skeleton at Santa Reperata showed a short man with a very large head, a large hooked nose and one eye more prominent than the other. The bones of the neck indicated that the man spent a lot of time with his head tilted backwards. The front teeth were worn in a way consistent with frequently holding a brush between the teeth. The man was about 70 at the time of death.

While the Italian researchers were convinced that the body belonged to Giotto and it was reburied with honour near the grave of Brunelleschi, others have been highly skeptical.

 

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Life and Paintings of Giotto Di Bondone

 

Hope you enjoyed the article as much as i did compiling the info and the images! See you next time!

Articles’ Images are in the public domain because their copyright has expired or are displayed here under the “ fair use” copyright law, and are available through WikipediaWikimedia.

This Articles’ text is licensed under the Creative Commons BY-SA License since it partially uses material from Wikipedia.

Article publié pour la première fois le 12/03/2014

F/Wv1.80

Glass Painting is one of the Great Wonders

Glass Paintings are one of the greatest types of paintings. They are very beautiful objects which create a wonderful effect in any place. The original object of the glass paintings was the beautification of churches. Churches used the glass paintings for various divine reasons. But slowly glass paintings became a part of normal household and they were used for decorating peoples’ houses and offices. The two things, glass and colour create a wonderful effect together. Glass paintings are at present one of the trendiest art objects to have.

Some Facts about Glass Paintings

Glass Painting is an ancient form of art. It has been used for centuries for the purpose of beautification of churches. Various tales from the Bible were demonstrated through these paintings and they made the church look more beautiful. Gradually, they were used in people’s households as well. Glass Paintings became one of the most fascinating and beautiful art forms. The origin of glass painting took place in Europe and in later times it spread to other countries like India and Japan. In the present times, it is famous throughout the world.

Modern Day Glass Painting  

In the modern times, glass painting has become famous throughout the world. One of the best facilities for this art form is available in the American city of Los Angeles. One of the best advantages of this art form is that it can cover many different subjects which other art forms may not be able to do. This gives glass paintings a clear advantage over other types of paintings. Certain materials are required for painting on glasses. They include oil, hard resin etc. Watercolour and gum may also be used for painting on glasses.

Famous Glass Paintings of the World

The most popular glass paintings of the world belong to the various churches and holy buildings.

One of the most beautiful is in the Chartres Cathedral which was donated by Blanche of Castile. It is the representation of Virgin Mary as the Queen of Heaven. One of the other most beautiful glass paintings is in Tiffany. It shows the technological advancement of painting glasses. These are only some of the most beautiful glass paintings created throughout the world. They have shown the world how beautiful glass paintings can be.

Conclusion

Glass Paintings are one of the most beautiful creations of humankind. The combination of glass and colours creates an awesome effect. It totally transforms any kind of environment, whether it is church or a house. Glass Paintings are one of the most sought after types of paintings in the world in the present times. Some of the most well-known glass painting artists of the 20th century include Theo van Doesburg, Douglas Strachan etc. These people have enriched the world of glass painting and have transformed it. They are the influencers of the new generation of glass painters today.

Article publié pour la première fois le 15/06/2013

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How to Create Your Own Beautiful Piece of Art with Silk

Forget paper and canvas, have you ever considered painting on silk? With silk you have the ability to customise and create art in a whole new way. Unfortunately it’s not as simple as painting on canvas, silk needs to be prepared properly in order for you to get the most out of your silk artwork. Follow these tips to see how it’s done.

Wash your silk beforehand

Start by gently washing your silk with warm water and a dye reactive detergent to rid the silk of any excess dye. Rinse and dry the silk until it is slightly damp, then press with an iron.

Stencil out your design
Your design will work best if it is made up of enclosed areas, keeping the colour contained. Start by creating a template by drawing your design to scale in pencil on a sheet of paper, then going over it with black marker. Next, lay your piece of silk over the template and carefully draw your deisign on the silk with a pencil.

Suspending and Stretching

At this point you will need to start stretching your silk and suspending it off your work surface, for this you will need a frame.  The type of frame will depend on the size of the silk that you have, but generally artist’s canvas stretcher bars work well and are easily found at most art supply shops; or if you’re strapped for cash, you can even cut out a frame from cardboard!

Start stretching your silk onto your chosen frame, securing it with pins every 5 inches or so along the sides. You want to create enough tension in your silk that you can paint on it easily, but not so tight that it tears.

Applying Dyes, Paint and Resist

Start by applying Resist to your design, following the lines and making sure there are no gaps for the dye to seep through; if the silk is particularly thick (heavier than 12mm) then apply resist to the back as well. Wait until the resist is dry and then begin painting. Add your dye or paint sparingly and in the centre of each enclosed space. Don’t let the silk become too saturated but paint wet on wet if you want to avoid lines.

Setting your colour
Once you have finished painting on your design, it’s time to set the colour and make it permanent. The chemicals used are generally available in art supply stores. So check the directions or ask those working there which chemical would be best for your silk and colouring.

There you have it! Once you perfect the method of painting silk, you have the ability to create anything you want. If feel confident enough you can start designing everything and anything, from silk shirts and silk blouses to silk paintings and silk cloths. Just be sure you get some practise before doing these larger pieces. You don’t want to waste silk and expensive dyes.

Featured image: CC – Attribution photo by ellenm1 on Flickr – source

Article by Amy Elliott

Written by A. Elliott; a writer with an interest in art and interior design who occasionally writes for Patra Selections, specialists in silk products such as silk nightwear, silk underwear and silk shirts. You can find out more about them and their products by clicking here.

Article publié pour la première fois le 02/03/2013

Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn - The Nightwatch

Masters of Art: Rembrandt (1606 – 1669)

Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn (15 July 1606  – 4 October 1669) was a Dutch painter and etcher. He is generally considered one of the greatest painters and printmakers in European art history and the most important in Dutch history.

His contributions to art came in a period of great wealth and cultural achievement that historians call the Dutch Golden Age, when Dutch Golden Age painting, although in many ways antithetical to the Baroque style that dominated Europe, was extremely prolific and innovative.

Movements: Baroque, Pietism, Gesturalism, Emotionalism, Sectarianism

Having achieved youthful success as a portrait painter, Rembrandt’s later years were marked by personal tragedy and financial hardships. Yet his etchings and paintings were popular throughout his lifetime, his reputation as an artist remained high, and for twenty years he taught many important Dutch painters.

Rembrandt’s greatest creative triumphs are exemplified especially in his portraits of his contemporaries, self-portraits and illustrations of scenes from the Bible. His self-portraits form a unique and intimate biography, in which the artist surveyed himself without vanity and with the utmost sincerity.

In his paintings and prints he exhibited knowledge of classical iconography, which he molded to fit the requirements of his own experience; thus, the depiction of a biblical scene was informed by Rembrandt’s knowledge of the specific text, his assimilation of classical composition, and his observations of Amsterdam’s Jewish population. Because of his empathy for the human condition, he has been called “one of the great prophets of civilization.”

Rembrandt - Christ in the Storm on the Sea of Galilee

Rembrandt – Christ in the Storm on the Sea of Galilee

Life

Rembrandt was born on 15 July 1606 in Leiden, in the Dutch Republic, nowadays the Netherlands. He was the ninth child born to Harmen Gerritszoon van Rijn and Neeltgen Willemsdochter van Zuytbrouck.

His family was quite well-to-do; his father was a miller and his mother was a baker’s daughter. As a boy he attended Latin school and was enrolled at the University of Leiden, although according to a contemporary he had a greater inclination towards painting; he was soon apprenticed to a Leiden history painter, Jacob van Swanenburgh, with whom he spent three years. After a brief but important apprenticeship of six months with the famous painter Pieter Lastman in Amsterdam, Rembrandt opened a studio in Leiden in 1624 or 1625, which he shared with friend and colleague Jan Lievens. In 1627, Rembrandt began to accept students, among them Gerrit Dou.

In 1629, Rembrandt was discovered by the statesman Constantijn Huygens, the father of Christiaan Huygens (a famous Dutch mathematician and physicist), who procured for Rembrandt important commissions from the court of The Hague. As a result of this connection, Prince Frederik Hendrik continued to purchase paintings from Rembrandt until 1646.

At the end of 1631 Rembrandt moved to Amsterdam, then rapidly expanding as the new business capital of the Netherlands, and began to practice as a professional portraitist for the first time, with great success. He initially stayed with an art dealer, Hendrick van Uylenburg, and in 1634, married Hendrick’s cousin, Saskia van Uylenburg.

Saskia came from a good family: her father had been lawyer and burgemeester (mayor) of Leeuwarden. When Saskia, as the youngest daughter, became an orphan, she lived with an older sister in Het Bildt. Rembrandt and Saskia were married in the local church of St. Annaparochie without the presence of Rembrandt’s relatives.

In the same year, Rembrandt became a burgess of Amsterdam and a member of the local guild of painters. He also acquired a number of students, among them Ferdinand Bol and Govert Flinck.

Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn - Philosopher in Meditation

Rembrandt – Philosopher in Meditation

In 1635 Rembrandt and Saskia moved into their own house, renting in fashionable Nieuwe Doelenstraat. In 1639 they moved to a prominent house (now the Rembrandt House Museum) in the Jodenbreestraat in what was becoming the Jewish quarter; the mortgage to finance the 13,000 guilder purchase would be a primary cause for later financial difficulties.

Rembrandt should easily have been able to pay the house off with his large income, but it appears his spending always kept pace with his income, and he may have made some unsuccessful investments. It was there that Rembrandt frequently sought his Jewish neighbors to model for his Old Testament scenes. Although they were by now affluent, the couple suffered several personal setbacks; their son Rumbartus died two months after his birth in 1635 and their daughter Cornelia died at just three weeks of age in 1638.

In 1640, they had a second daughter, also named Cornelia, who died after living barely over a month. Only their fourth child, Titus, who was born in 1641, survived into adulthood. Saskia died in 1642 soon after Titus’s birth, probably from tuberculosis. Rembrandt’s drawings of her on her sick and death bed are among his most moving works.

During Saskia’s illness, Geertje Dircx was hired as Titus’ caretaker and nurse and also became Rembrandt’s lover. She would later charge Rembrandt with breach of promise and was awarded alimony of 200 guilders a year. Rembrandt worked to have her committed for twelve years to an asylum or poorhouse (called a “bridewell”) at Gouda, after learning she had pawned jewelry that had once belonged to Saskia and that he had given to her.

Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn - The Anatomy Lecture of Dr. Nicolaes Tulp

Rembrandt – The Anatomy Lecture of Dr. Nicolaes Tulp

In the late 1640s Rembrandt began a relationship with the much younger Hendrickje Stoffels, who had initially been his maid. In 1654 they had a daughter, Cornelia, bringing Hendrickje a summons from the Reformed Church to answer the charge “that she had committed the acts of a whore with Rembrandt the painter”. She admitted this and was banned from receiving communion. Rembrandt was not summoned to appear for the Church council because he was not a member of the Reformed Church.

The two were considered legally wed under common law, but Rembrandt had not married Henrickje, so as not to lose access to a trust set up for Titus in the son’s mother’s will.

Rembrandt lived beyond his means, buying art (including bidding up his own work), prints (often used in his paintings), and rarities, which probably caused a court arrangement to avoid his bankruptcy in 1656, by selling most of his paintings and large collection of antiquities. The sale list survives and gives us a good insight into Rembrandt’s collections, which apart from Old Master paintings and drawings included busts of the Roman Emperors, suits of Japanese armor among many objects from Asia, and collections of natural history and minerals; the prices realized in the sales in 1657 and 1658 were disappointing.

Rembrandt was forced to sell his house and his printing-press and move to more modest accommodation on the Rozengracht in 1660.

The authorities and his creditors were generally accommodating to him, except for the Amsterdam painters’ guild, who introduced a new rule that no one in Rembrandt’s circumstances could trade as a painter. To get round this, Hendrickje and Titus set up a business as art-dealers in 1660, with Rembrandt as an employee.

In 1661 Rembrandt (or rather the new business) was contracted to complete work for the newly built city hall, but only after Govert Flinck, the artist previously commissioned, died without beginning to paint. The resulting work, The Conspiracy of Claudius Civilis, was rejected and returned to the painter; the surviving fragment is only a fraction of the whole work.

It was around this time that Rembrandt took on his last apprentice, Aert de Gelder. In 1662 he was still fulfilling major commissions for portraits and other works. When Cosimo III de’ Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany came to Amsterdam in 1667, he visited Rembrandt at his house.

Rembrandt outlived both Hendrickje, who died in 1663, and Titus, who died in 1668, leaving a baby daughter. He died within a year of his son, on October 4, 1669 in Amsterdam, and was buried in an unmarked grave in the Westerkerk.

Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn - The Risen Christ Appearing to Mary Magdalen

Rembrandt – The Risen Christ Appearing to Mary Magdalen

Themes and styles

Throughout his career Rembrandt took as his primary subjects the themes of portraiture, landscape and narrative painting. For the last, he was especially praised by his contemporaries, who extolled him as a masterly interpreter of biblical stories for his skill in representing emotions and attention to detail.

Stylistically, his paintings progressed from the early “smooth” manner, characterized by fine technique in the portrayal of illusionistic form, to the late “rough” treatment of richly variegated paint surfaces, which allowed for an illusionism of form suggested by the tactile quality of the paint itself.

A parallel development may be seen in Rembrandt’s skill as a printmaker. In the etchings of his maturity, particularly from the late 1640s onward, the freedom and breadth of his drawings and paintings found expression in the print medium as well. The works encompass a wide range of subject matter and technique, sometimes leaving large areas of white paper to suggest space, at other times employing complex webs of line to produce rich dark tones.

It was during Rembrandt’s Leiden period (1625–1631) that Lastman’s influence was most prominent. It is also likely that at this time Lievens had a strong impact on his work as well.

Paintings were rather small, but rich in details (for example, in costumes and jewelry). Religious and allegorical themes were favored, as were tronies.

In 1626 Rembrandt produced his first etchings, the wide dissemination of which would largely account for his international fame. In 1629 he completed Judas Repentant, Returning the Pieces of Silver and The Artist in His Studio, works that evidence his interest in the handling of light and variety of paint application, and constitute the first major progress in his development as a painter.

From 1640 his work became less exuberant and more sober in tone, possibly reflecting personal tragedy. Biblical scenes were now derived more often from the New Testament than the Old Testament, as had been the case before. In 1642 he painted The Night Watch, the most notable of the important group portrait commissions which he received in this period, and through which he sought to find solutions to compositional and narrative problems that had been attempted in previous works.

In the decade following the Night Watch, Rembrandt’s paintings varied greatly in size, subject, and style. The previous tendency to create dramatic effects primarily by strong contrasts of light and shadow gave way to the use of frontal lighting and larger and more saturated areas of color. Simultaneously, figures came to be placed parallel to the picture plane. These changes can be seen as a move toward a classical mode of composition and, considering the more expressive use of brushwork as well, may indicate a familiarity with Venetian art (Susanna and the Elders, 1637–47)

Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn - The Nightwatch

Rembrandt – The Nightwatch

In the 1650s, Rembrandt’s style changed again. Colors became richer and brush strokes more pronounced. With these changes, Rembrandt distanced himself from earlier work and current fashion, which increasingly inclined toward fine, detailed works. His singular approach to paint application may have been suggested in part by familiarity with the work of Titian, and could be seen in the context of the then current discussion of ‘finish’ and surface quality of paintings. Contemporary accounts sometimes remark disapprovingly of the coarseness of Rembrandt’s brushwork, and the artist himself was said to have dissuaded visitors from looking too closely at his paintings.

The tactile manipulation of paint may hearken to medieval procedures, when mimetic effects of rendering informed a painting’s surface. The end result is a richly varied handling of paint, deeply layered and often apparently haphazard, which suggests form and space in both an illusory and highly individual manner.

In later years biblical themes were still depicted often, but emphasis shifted from dramatic group scenes to intimate portrait-like figures (James the Apostle, 1661). In his last years, Rembrandt painted his most deeply reflective self-portraits (from 1652 to 1669 he painted fifteen), and several moving images of both men and women.

Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn - Self-Portrait

Rembrandt – Self-Portrait

 

Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn - Two Scholars Disputing

Rembrandt – Two Scholars Disputing

Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn - Adoration of the Shepherds

Rembrandt – Adoration of the Shepherds

Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn - Apostle Paul in Prison

Rembrandt – Apostle Paul in Prison

Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn - Apostle Paul

Rembrandt – Apostle Paul

Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn - Belshazzar's Feast

Rembrandt – Belshazzar’s Feast

Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn - Christ Driving the Money-Changers from the Temple

Rembrandt – Christ Driving the Money-Changers from the Temple

Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn - Diana Bathing

Rembrandt – Diana Bathing

Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn - Holy Family

Rembrandt – Holy Family

Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn - Rembrandt and Saskia in the Scene of the Prodigal Son in the Tavern

Rembrandt – Rembrandt and Saskia in the Scene of the Prodigal Son in the Tavern

Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn - Sampling Officials of the Drapers' Guild

Rembrandt – Sampling Officials of the Drapers’ Guild

Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn - Samson and Delilah

Rembrandt – Samson and Delilah

Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn - Susanna and the Elders

Rembrandt – Susanna and the Elders

Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn - The Conspiration of the Bataves

Rembrandt – The Conspiration of the Bataves

Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn - The Raising of Lazarus

Rembrandt -The Raising of Lazarus

 

Hope you enjoyed the article as much as i did compiling the info and the images! See you next time!
Articles’ Images are in the public domain because their copyright has expired, and are available through Wikimedia

This Articles’ text is licensed under the Creative Commons BY-SA License since it partially uses material from Wikipedia.


Article publié pour la première fois le 04/12/2012

Hieronymus Bosch - The Marriage at Cana

Life and Paintings of Hieronymus Bosch (1450 – 1516)

Hieronymus Bosch  born Jheronimus van Aken (c. 1450 – 9 August 1516), was a Dutch painter. His work is known for its use of fantastic imagery to illustrate moral and religious concepts and narratives.

Movements: Renaissance

Little is known of Bosch’s life or training. He left behind no letters or diaries, and what has been identified has been taken from brief references to him in the municipal records of ‘s-Hertogenbosch, and in the account books of the local order of the Brotherhood of Our Lady. Nothing is known of his personality or his thoughts on the meaning of his art. Bosch’s date of birth has not been determined with certainty. It is estimated at c. 1450 on the basis of a hand drawn portrait (which may be a self-portrait) made shortly before his death in 1516. The drawing shows the artist at an advanced age, probably in his late sixties.

Sometime between 1479 and 1481, Bosch married Aleyt Goyaerts van den Meerveen, who was a few years older than the artist. The couple moved to the nearby town of Oirschot, where his wife had inherited a house and land from her wealthy family.

 Garden of earthly delights

Garden of earthly delights

Bosch produced several triptychs. Among his most famous is The Garden of Earthly Delights. This painting, for which the original title has not survived, depicts paradise with Adam and Eve and many wondrous animals on the left panel, the earthly delights with numerous nude figures and tremendous fruit and birds on the middle panel, and hell with depictions of fantastic punishments of the various types of sinners on the right panel. When the exterior panels are closed the viewer can see, painted in grisaille, God creating the Earth. These paintings—especially the Hell panel—are painted in a comparatively sketchy manner which contrasts with the traditional Flemish style of paintings, where the smooth surface—achieved by the application of multiple transparent glazes—conceals the brushwork. In this painting, and more powerfully in works such as his Temptation of St. Anthony (Museu Nacional de Arte Antiga, Lisbon), Bosch draws with his brush. Not surprisingly, Bosch is also one of the most revolutionary draftsmen in the history of art, producing some of the first autonomous sketches in Northern Europe.

Bosch never dated his paintings. But—unusual for the time—he seems to have signed several of them, although other signatures purporting to be his are certainly not. Fewer than 25 paintings remain today that can be attributed to him. In the late sixteenth-century, Philip II of Spain acquired many of Bosch’s paintings, including some probably commissioned and collected by Spaniards active in Bosch’s hometown; as a result, the Prado Museum in Madrid now owns The Adoration of the Magi, The Garden of Earthly Delights, the tabletop painting of The Seven Deadly Sins and the Four Last Things, the The Haywain Triptych and The Stone Operation.

Interpretations

In the twentieth century, when changing artistic tastes made artists like Bosch more palatable to the European imagination, it was sometimes argued that Bosch’s art was inspired by heretical points of view (e.g., the ideas of the Cathars and putative Adamites) as well as of obscure hermetic practices. Again, since Erasmus had been educated at one of the houses of the Brethren of the Common Life in ‘s-Hertogenbosch, and the town was religiously progressive, some writers have found it unsurprising that strong parallels exist between the caustic writing of Erasmus and the often savage painting of Bosch. “Although the Brethren remained loyal to the Pope, they still saw it as their duty to denounce the abuses and scandalous behaviour of many priests: the corruption which both Erasmus and Bosch satirised in their work”

Others, following a strain of Bosch-interpretation datable already to the sixteenth-century, continued to think his work was created merely to titillate and amuse, much like the “grotteschi” of the Italian Renaissance. While the art of the older masters was based in the physical world of everyday experience, Bosch confronts his viewer with, in the words of the art historian Walter Gibson, “a world of dreams [and] nightmares in which forms seem to flicker and change before our eyes.” In one of the first known accounts of Bosch’s paintings, in 1560 the Spaniard Felipe de Guevara wrote that Bosch was regarded merely as “the inventor of monsters and chimeras”. In the early seventeenth century, the Dutch art historian Karel van Mander described Bosch’s work as comprising “wondrous and strange fantasies”; however, he concluded that the paintings are “often less pleasant than gruesome to look at.”

In recent decades, scholars have come to view Bosch’s vision as less fantastic, and accepted that his art reflects the orthodox religious belief systems of his age.

His depictions of sinful humanity, his conceptions of Heaven and Hell are now seen as consistent with those of late medieval didactic literature and sermons. Most writers attach a more profound significance to his paintings than had previously been supposed, and attempt to interpret it in terms of a late medieval morality. It is generally accepted that Bosch’s art was created to teach specific moral and spiritual truths in the manner of other Northern Renaissance figures, such as the poet Robert Henryson, and that the images rendered have precise and premeditated significance. According to Dirk Bax, Bosch’s paintings often represent visual translations of verbal metaphors and puns drawn from both biblical and folkloric sources. However, the conflict of interpretations that his works still elicit raise profound questions about the nature of “ambiguity” art of his period.

Let’s see some of his most important works:

Triptych of the Martyrdom of St Liberata

Triptych of the Martyrdom of St Liberata

The Ship of Fools

The Ship of Fools

The Marriage at Cana

The Marriage at Cana

The Magician

The Magician

The Last Judgment

The Last Judgment

The Hell and the Flood

The Hell and the Flood

The Hay Wagon

The Hay Wagon

The Adoration of the Magi Triptych

The Adoration of the Magi Triptych

The Adoration of the Child

The Adoration of the Child

Saint John the Evangelist on Patmos

Saint John the Evangelist on Patmos

Saint John the Baptist

Saint John the Baptist

Follower of Jheronimus Bosch

Follower of Jheronimus Bosch

Death and the Miser

Death and the Miser

 Christ on the Cross, with the Virgin, St. John, St. Peter and a Youthful Donor

Christ on the Cross, with the Virgin, St. John, St. Peter and a Youthful Donor

Christ Mocked (Crowning with Thorns)

Christ Mocked (Crowning with Thorns)

 Christ Carrying the Cross

Christ Carrying the Cross

Hermit Saints Triptych

Hermit Saints Triptych

The exact number of Bosch’s surviving works has been a subject of considerable debate. He signed only seven of his paintings, and there is uncertainty whether all the paintings once ascribed to him were actually from his hand. It is known that from the early sixteenth century onwards numerous copies and variations of his paintings began to circulate. In addition, his style was highly influential, and was widely imitated by his numerous followers.

Over the years, scholars have attributed to him fewer and fewer of the works once thought to be his, and today only 25 are definitively attributed to him.

Hope you enjoyed the article as much as i did compiling the info and the images! See you next time!

Articles’ Images are in the public domain because their copyright has expired, and are available through Wikimedia

This Articles’ text is licensed under the Creative Commons BY-SA License since it partially uses material from Wikipedia.

Article publié pour la première fois le 27/05/2014

Ryan Hicks - Kim Lyndman

Three Essential Elements to Creative Wedding Photography

or How to take original artistic wedding pictures! 

What do we think about when we hear the worlds “wedding photography”?  We are all familiar with traditional wedding pictures; ring change in a church, portraits, family group shots, bridal party posing in a line, close up of the bouquet, dress and shoes and the newlywed couple standing in an official pose looking at the camera.

To most of us it does not even occur that wedding photography can be actually an art. Couples can become a part of a very original artistic setting that could look like a modern painting. The wedding album could represent not only a collection of posed family shots but it could be a fine art book which is actually entertaining and inspiring to look at.

CC Attribution photo by Ryan Hicks - Kim Lyndman

CC Attribution photo by Ryan Hicks – Kim Lyndman

1. Creative use of lighting is crucial; Proper lighting can create dramatic images with lots of contrast. And the use of light and shadow will create depth in the images making them look like old oil paintings. On the other hand, shooting right into the light can give very unusual and beautiful flair effect that looks very warm, soft and romantic when captured in photographs. Street lights in contrast to the complete darkness create an unbelievable beautiful and magical effect within pictures. Also bringing additional sources of light to the weddings and using them creatively is another great idea. It could be a video light or a small flash light. Be sure you are not pointing the source of light directly at the subjects to avoid flat uninteresting lighting, try lighting from the side or even from the back to get the most unusual and interesting effects.

2. Capturing emotion is very important; Emotions give life to every image, they make a picture full of life and meaning. Instead of posing people all day, a photographer should be very attentive and observe carefully what is happening around on the day of the wedding. Every wedding is full of beautiful moments and are very easy to capture if you’re attentive and anticipate. This can be very well observed in a wedding photography session our studio has done of Anne-Sophie and David.

3. Composition is another very important element; a photographer should try to compose every shot creatively. Look for geometrical shapes & lines, interesting shadows and reflections on different surfaces. Try finding interesting objects to incorporate in the images such as shooting through a nicely shaped window for example. Try shooting from different angles and heights. It’s also very nice to alternate landscape shots with close-up images to give different perspectives. A great example of composition can be seen in the Phids and Jordan Engagement Story.

Be creative, play with lighting, try working with shadows and silhouettes, explore unusual locations and most importantly think outside the box and have fun with photography.

Article written by Vera Varley

Article publié pour la première fois le 11/02/2013

Natalia-Goncharova-The-Cyclist

History of Modern Art: Futurism

Futurism was an artistic and social movement that originated in Italy in the early 20th century. It emphasized and glorified themes associated with contemporary concepts of the future, including speed, technology, youth and violence, and objects such as the car, the airplane and the industrial city. It was largely an Italian phenomenon, though there were parallel movements in Russia, England and elsewhere.

The Futurists practiced in every medium of art, including painting, sculpture, ceramics, graphic design, industrial design, interior design, urban design, theatre, film, fashion, textiles, literature, music, architecture and even gastronomy.