Archive for the ‘Painting’ Category

Let Us Relax Ctd: Picasso’s Guernica In 3D

December 1, 2009
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Let Us Relax Ctd: David Hockney

November 28, 2009

The Daily Beast’s Rachel Wolff reports on David Hockney’s recent Impressionist work:

It seems that David Hockney, the British artist best known for his bright angular genre paintings of Los Angeles bungalows and swimming pools, has gone Impressionist. It’s the artistic equivalent of finding religion later in life, though the shift is fitting in Hockney’s case. The 72-year-old artist has experimented with many styles, genres, and media over the course of his career, and for this latest period, he embraces the color palettes, en plein air tendencies, and loose, wispy brushstrokes of late 19th-century European masters like Cézanne, Pissarro, Monet, and Van Gogh.

The paintings on view at two of PaceWildenstein’s three Manhattan galleries through December 24 were completed between 2006 and 2009. They mark Hockney’s first New York show of new paintings in more than 12 years—as well as a return to his geographic roots.

To discover more about this very eclectic and prolific artist you can visit his site here.

Let Us Relax Ctd: Soviet War Paintings

November 1, 2009

This series might better be entitled Let Us Reflect.
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Shows how paintings can have more communicative power than photo or film.

Let Us Relax Ctd: Peter Paul Rubens

October 11, 2009

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The Flemish baroque painter Peter Paul Rubens, b. June 28, 1577, d. May 30, 1640 was the most renowned northern European artist of his day, and is now widely recognized as one of the foremost painters in Western art history.

By completing the fusion of the realistic tradition of Flemish painting with the imaginative freedom and classical themes of Italian Renaissance painting, he fundamentally revitalized and redirected northern European painting.

Rubens’s phenomenal productivity was interrupted from time to time by diplomatic duties given him by his royal patrons, Archduke Ferdinand and Archduchess Isabella, for whom he conducted (1625) negotiations aimed at ending the war between the Spanish Netherlands and the Dutch Republic and helped conclude (1629-30) a peace treaty between England and Spain. Charles I of England was so impressed with Rubens’s efforts that he knighted the Flemish painter and commissioned his only surviving ceiling painting, The Allegory of War and Peace (1629; Banqueting House, Whitehall Palace, London).

Samples of his work as well as a bio can be found here. Other samples can be found here, here and here.

Let Us Relax Ctd: Paul Klee

September 28, 2009

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A Swiss-born painter and graphic artist whose personal, often gently humorous works are replete with allusions to dreams, music, and poetry, Paul Klee, b. Dec. 18, 1879, d. June 29, 1940, is difficult to classify.

Primitive art, surrealism, cubism, and children’s art all seem blended into his small-scale, delicate paintings, watercolors, and drawings. Klee grew up in a musical family and was himself a violinist. After much hesitation he chose to study art, not music, and he attended the Munich Academy in 1900. There his teacher was the popular symbolist and society painter Franz von STUCK. Klee later toured Italy (1901-02), responding enthusiastically to Early Christian and Byzantine art.

A brief biography and selected paintings can be found here, a larger set of his work is available here, and an extensive portal is available here.

Let Us Relax Ctd: Henri Matisse

September 24, 2009

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Henri (Émile Benoît) Matisse (b. Dec. 31, 1869, Le Cateau, Picardy, Fr.–d. Nov. 3, 1954, Nice) is often regarded as the most important French painter of the 20th century. The leader of the Fauvist movement around 1900, Matisse pursued the expressiveness of colour throughout his career. His subjects were largely domestic or figurative, and a distinct Mediterranean verve presides in the treatment.

He initially became famous as the “King of the Fauves”, an inappropriate name for this gentlemanly intellectual: there was no wildness in him, though there was much passion. He is an awesomely controlled artist, and his spirit, his mind, always had the upper hand over the “beast” of Fauvism.

Example of his work and extended biography can be found here.

Let Us Relax Ctd: Jean Honoré Fragonard

September 13, 2009

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Jean-Honoré Fragonard (1732-1806). was a French painter whose scenes of frivolity and gallantry are among the most complete embodiments of the Rococo spirit. He was a pupil of Chardin for a short while and also of Boucher, before winning the Prix de Rome in 1752. From 1756 to 1761 he was in Italy, where he eschewed the work of the approved masters of the High Renaissance, but formed a particular admiration for Tiepolo.

He had some success in his early career but later in life taste was already turning against his lighthearted style. He tried unsuccessfully to adapt himself to the new Neoclassical vogue, but in spite of the admiration and support of David he was ruined by the Revolution and died in poverty.

Fragonard was a prolific painter, but he rarely dated his works and it is not easy to chart his stylistic develop;ent. Alongside those of Boucher, his paintings seem to sum up an era. His delicate coloring, witty characterization, and spontaneous brushwork ensured that even his most erotic subjects are never vulgar, and his finest work has an irresistible verve and joyfulness.

A selection of his work can be found here and here.

Let Us Relax Ctd: Bruegel, Pieter the Elder

September 6, 2009

Pieter Bruegel (about 1525-69), usually known as Pieter Bruegel the Elder to distinguish him from his elder son, was the first in a family of Flemish painters. He spelled his name Brueghel until 1559, and his sons retained the “h” in the spelling of their names.

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Pieter Bruegel the Elder, generally considered the greatest Flemish painter of the 16th century, is by far the most important member of the family. He was probably born in Breda in the Duchy of Brabant, now in The Netherlands. Accepted as a master in the Antwerp painters’ guild in 1551, he was apprenticed to Coecke van Aelst, a leading Antwerp artist, sculptor, architect, and designer of tapestry and stained glass. Bruegel traveled to Italy in 1551 or 1552, completing a number of paintings, mostly landscapes, there. Returning home in 1553, he settled in Antwerp but ten years later moved permanently to Brussels. He married van Aelst’s daughter, Mayken, in 1563. His association with the van Aelst family drew Bruegel to the artistic traditions of the Mechelen (now Malines) region in which allegorical and peasant themes run strongly. His paintings, including his landscapes and scenes of peasant life, stress the absurd and vulgar, yet are full of zest and fine detail. They also expose human weaknesses and follies. He was sometimes called the “peasant Bruegel” from such works as Peasant Wedding Feast (1567).

A nice online series of his work can be found here.

Let Us Relax Ctd: Edouard Manet

September 5, 2009

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Edouard Manet was born on January 23, 1832 in Paris into the family of August Manet, an officer in the Ministry of Justice, and his wife Eugénie-Désirée, née Fournier, daughter of a diplomat. His uncle, Edmond-Edouard Fournier, gave the boy his first lessons in drawing. In 1844-1848, Manet studied at the College Rollin, where he met his lifelong friend Antonin Proust. In 1848-49, he was trained as a sea cadet on a voyage to Brazil, but in April 1849 he failed his naval examinations and decided to switch to painting. He entered the studio of Thomas Couture, where he studied for 6 years, between 1850 and 1856. In 1856, he took a long travel through Europe.
After traveling in Germany, Austria and Italy to study the Old Masters, Manet finally found the answer to all his questionings and aspirations for light and truth in the paintings of Velasquez and Goya at the Louvre. Influenced by these masters and by the example of Courbet, a French realist painter, he gradually evolved a new technique which presented modern aspects by modern methods.
Continued at Olga’s Gallery.

Let Us Relax Ctd: Pierre Renoir

September 4, 2009

Pierre Auguste Renoir (b. Feb. 25, 1841, Limoges, France–d. Dec. 3, 1919, Cagnes) is originally associated with the Impressionist movement. His early works were typically Impressionist snapshots of real life, full of sparkling colour and light. By the mid-1880s, however, he had broken with the movement to apply a more disciplined, formal technique to portraits and figure paintings, particularly of women (e.g. , Bathers, 1884-87).

Renoir is perhaps the best-loved of all the Impressionists, for his subjects—pretty children, flowers, beautiful scenes, above all lovely women—have instant appeal, and he communicated the joy he took in them with great directness. `Why shouldn’t art be pretty?’, he said, `There are enough unpleasant things in the world.’ He was one of the great worshippers of the female form, and he said `I never think I have finished a nude until I think I could pinch it.’ One of his sons was the celebrated film director Jean Renoir (1894-1979), who wrote a lively and touching biography (Renoir, My Father) in 1962.

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On the Terrace 1881; Oil on canvas, 100.5 x 81 cm (39 1/2 x 31 7/8″); The Art Institute of Chicago, Mr. and Mrs. Lewis Larned Collection