Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Klimt, Gustav

Hope I
oil on canvas
189.2 x 67 cm
National Gallery of Canada

Gustav Klimt (1862 – 1918) was an Austrian Symbolist painter and one of the most prominent members of the Vienna Secession movement.
His primary subject was the female body, and his works are marked by a frank eroticism.
His work is often distinguished by elegant gold or colored decoration, spirals and swirls, and phallic shapes used to conceal the more erotic positions of the drawings upon which many of his paintings are based.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Dalí, Salvador

The First Days of Spring
Oil and collage on panel
49.5 cm × 64 cm (19.49 in × 25.20 in)
Salvador Dalí Museum, St. Petersburg, Florida

Salvador Dalí (1904 – 1989) was a prominent Spanish Catalan surrealist painter born in Figueres.
This work was created during a time of extreme personal stress for Dalí.
His father was becoming increasingly disappointed with his son's choice of profession and unorthodox behavior.
The figures of the man and boy appear several times in Dalí's future works.
They represent Dali's wish to heal his relationship with his father. The seated figure on the left has also been speculated to represent the artist's father.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Raffaello Sanzio

ca. 1506
Oil on panel
47.5 × 33 cm (18.7 × 12.99 in)
Galleria degli Uffizi, Collezione Autoritratti, Florence

Raphael (1483 – 1520) was an Italian painter and architect of the High Renaissance, celebrated for the perfection and grace of his paintings and drawings.
Together with Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci, he forms the traditional trinity of great masters of that period.

At his request, Raphael was buried in the Pantheon.
His funeral was extremely grand, attended by large crowds.
The inscription in his marble sarcophagus, an elegiac distich written by Pietro Bembo, reads: "Ille hic est Raffael, timuit quo sospite vinci, rerum magna parens et moriente mori." Meaning: "Here lies that famous Raphael by whom Nature feared to be conquered while he lived, and when he was dying, feared herself to die."

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Goyo Hashiguchi

"Woman at a Hot-Spring Hotel"
ca. 1920
Woodblock print
44.5 × 26.4 cm (17.52 × 10.39 in)
Brooklyn Museum of Art, Brooklyn, New York, United States

Goyō Hashiguchi (1880 - 1921) was an artist in Japan.
His prints are of extremely high quality standards.
They were sold at very high prices at the time of their first publication and sold well nevertheless.
The tragedy of Hashiguchi was the short time span of only two years to produce these superb masterworks.
In late 1920, Hashiguchi's latent health problems escalated into meningitis. He supervised his last print "Woman at a Hot-Spring Hotel" from his death bed, but could not finish it personally. He died at the age of 41.
It is said that his total production numbers fourteen prints.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Courbet, Gustave

The Sleeping Spinner
oil on canvas
Height: 91 cm (35.83 in.), Width: 115 cm (45.28 in.)
Musee Fabre, Montpellier (France)

Gustave Courbet (1819-1877), French painter, occupies an important place in 19th century French painting as an innovator and as an artist willing to make bold social commentary in his work.
'I am fifty years old and I have always lived in freedom; let me end my life free; when I am dead let this be said of me: He belonged to no school, to no church, to no institution, to no academy, least of all to any régime except the régime of liberty.'

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Didier, Jules

Evening on the Banks of the Rhine
oil on canvas
Height: 122.6 cm (48.27 in.), Width: 194.4 cm (76.54 in.)
Musee Fabre (France)

Jules Didier (1831 - 1892) was a French landscape and genre painter whose work was steeped in the academic tradition of landscape painting.
In his early career Didier had shown an affinity with nature and animals, but after his time spent in Italy, he combined his two interests and executed many works that were based on the Italian landscape but which also included depictions of animals.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Magritte, René

Black Magic.
Oil on canvas.
73 x 54.4 cm.
Musée Royaux des Beaux-Arts, Brussels, Belgium.

René Magritte (1898-1967)
He was a Belgian surrealist artist who became well known for a number of witty and thought-provoking images.
His intended goal for his work was to challenge observers' preconditioned perceptions of reality and force viewers to become hypersensitive to their surroundings.
His influence in the development of Pop art has been widely recognized.

Jakuchu Ito

' Rooster, Hen and Hydrangeas '
Edo Shogun period (Japan)
18th century
hanging scroll, ink and color on silk

Jakuchu’s painting style elevated the humble barnyard chicken to the glory.
This scroll is a masterpiece of Jakuchu’s particular specialty.
Here the artist has taken his powerful observation of nature and combined it with a fervent imagination to create a phantasmagorical world.
The minutely intricate techniques used in this painting give this otherwise otherworldly
image a strangely vital sense of life.
Jakuchu created this painting in his early 40s, when he had left his family business and
dedicated himself to full-time painting.
This work has been handed down at Higashi Honganji Temple, Kyoto.
Etsuko and Joe Price's collection of Japanese paintings of the Edo period.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Sinclair, Alexia

"Elizabeth Báthory, 1560-1614 (The Countess of Blood)"
One of The Regal Twelve(series of portraits created by Australian digital artist Alexia Sinclair)
Other details, unknown.

Alexia Sinclair is an antive award winning Australian Fine Art photographer and digital artist.
Her distinct style is easily recognisable and highly original.
Using a visual narrative to seduce her audience with each photographic feast, Sinclair’s art is dark and seductive, baroque and symbolic.
Her multilayered photographs subtly present contemporary notions of fashion and beauty through innovative digital media, whilst restoring antique notions of classicism, elegance and luxury.
Her photographic and illustrative artworks are housed in important art collections throughout Australia.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Fini, Leonor

La Gardienne des Sources
Huile sur toile (Oil on canvas)
collection Buzzatti, Milan.

Leonor Fini (1907-1996).Born in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
She became acquainted with, among many others, Paul Éluard, Max Ernst, Georges Bataille, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Picasso, André Pieyre de Mandiargues, and Salvador Dalí.
It has been said about her that she is the only artist to paint women without apology.
Many of her paintings feature strong, beautiful women (many times resembling herself) in ceremonial or provocative situations.
Men are often portrayed as lithe figures who are under the protection of her females.
The sphinx and cats play major parts in her paintings, as does the theme of 'the double'.
She was equally adept at etching, drawing, watercolor and oil painting.
She lived with many cats; up to a total of 23 at one time.
The illness of one of her cats could send her into a deep depression.

Saturday, May 21, 2011


Views of Kyoto - Merrymaking beneath Maple Trees at Tsuten Kyo
ca. 1835
woodblock print

Hiroshige (1797-1858)
He was a Japanese ukiyo-e artist, and one of the last great artists in that tradition.
He was also referred to as Andō Hiroshige (Utagawa Hiroshige).
In 1856, Hiroshige "retired from the world," becoming a Buddhist monk; this was the year he began his One Hundred Famous Views of Edo.
He died aged 62 during the great Edo cholera epidemic of 1858.
Just before his death, he left a poem:
    "I leave my brush in the East
    And set forth on my journey.
    I shall see the famous places in the Western Land."
(The Western Land in this context refers to the strip of land by the Tōkaidō between Kyoto and Edo, but it does double duty as a reference to the Paradise of the Amida Buddha).

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Lempicka, Tamara de

Sleeping Woman
1935, oil on canvas
private collection

Tamara de Lempicka (1898 – 1980)
Born into a wealthy and prominent family, her father was a Polish lawyer.
she was bisexual, and her affairs with both men and women were carried out in ways that were scandalous at the time. She often used formal and narrative elements in her portraits and nude studies to produce overpowering effects of desire and seduction.
American singer Madonna is a huge fan and collector of her work.
She has lent out her paintings to events and museums.
Madonna has also featured Lempicka's artwork in her music videos for "Open Your Heart", "Express Yourself", "Vogue"  and "Drowned World/Substitute for Love". She also used her paintings on the sets of her 1987 Who's That Girl and 1990 Blond Ambition world tours.

Stokes, Marianne Preindelsberger

St Elizabeth of Hungary Spinning for the Poor
oil on canvas
6.5 x 61 cm
Private Collection

Stokes, Marianne Preindelsberger (1855-1927)
Austrian painter.
She was considered to be one of the leading women artsits of her time.
Marianne is now perhaps best known for her superb religious works, including the 'Madonna and Child' which graced the 2005 Christmas 1st class stamp.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Rousseau, Henri

The Repast of the Lion
Oil on canvas
44 3/4 x 63 in. (113.7 x 160 cm)
Bequest of Sam A. Lewisohn, 1951
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

Henri Julien Félix Rousseau (1844 – 1910)
French Post-Impressionist painter in the Naive or Primitive manner.
He was also known as Le Douanier (the customs officer), a humorous description of his occupation as a tax collector.
Ridiculed during his life, he came to be recognized as a self-taught genius whose works are of high artistic quality.
Rousseau's work exerted an "extensive influence ... on several generations of vanguard artists, starting with Picasso and including Jean Hugo, Léger.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Munch, Edvard

Loving Woman (Madonna)
Oil on canvas
90.5 x 70.5 cm (36 × 28 in.)
National Gallery, Oslo

Edvard Munch (1863 - 1944) was a Norwegian Symbolist painter.
He is an important forerunner of expressionist art.
His best-known composition, The Scream, is part of a series The Frieze of Life, in which Munch explored the themes of love, fear, death, melancholia, and anxiety.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Rembrandt Harmensz van Rijn

Detail of Self-portrait at 34
Oil on canvas
1020 x 800mm (40 1/8 x 31 1/2")
The National Gallery, London

Rembrandt Harmensz van Rijn (1606-69)
He was a Dutch painter.
He is generally considered one of the greatest painters in European art history and the most important in Dutch history.
In his paintings 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.
Because of his empathy for the human condition, he has been called "one of the great prophets of civilization."

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Bernard, Emile

"La Moisson"
Huile sur panneau 55 cm x 46 cm
Peint en 1888
Localisation: Paris, musée d'Orsay

Émile Henri Bernard (1868 – 1941) is known as a Post-Impressionist painter who had artistic friendships with Van Gogh, Gauguin and Eugene Boch, and at a later time, Cézanne.
Bernard theorized a style of painting with bold forms separated by dark contours which became known as cloisonnism.
His work showed geometric tendencies which hinted at influences of Paul Cézanne, and he collaborated with Paul Gauguin and Vincent van Gogh.

Koch, Joseph Anton

The Schmadribach Falls
Oil on canvas, 132 x 110 cm
Neue Pinakothek, Munich

Koch, Joseph Anton
Austrian painter (1768 - 1839)
He is best known for his landscapes.
They were directly descended from the heroic and ideal landscape of Poussin, but have a distinctive Romantic flavour, particularly in his paintings of mountains.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Mucha, Alphonse Maria

Spring 1896
huile sur panneau
Collection privée

Alfons Maria Mucha (1860-1939)
Art Nouveau painter and decorative artist, known best for his distinct style.
He produced many paintings, illustrations, advertisements, postcards, and designs.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Klimt, Gustav

Hope, II
Oil, gold, and platinum on canvas,
43 1/2 x 43 1/2" (110.5 x 110.5 cm).
Jo Carole and Ronald S. Lauder and Helen Acheson Funds, and Serge Sabarsky
The Museum of Modern Art, New York

Gustav Klimt (1862-1918)
His work is often distinguished by elegant gold or coloured decoration, spirals and swirls, and phallic shapes used to conceal the more erotic positions of the drawings upon which many of his paintings are based.
One of the most common themes Klimt used was that of the dominant woman, the femme fatale.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Schiele, Egon

Reclining Woman with Black Stockings
(also known as Adele Harms)
30 x 23 cm
Gouache and black crayon on paper
Private collection

Egon Schiele (1890-1918)
Austrian painter.
He was a major figurative painter of the early 20th century and is noted for its intensity.
He was regarded by many of his contemporaries as the predestined successor to Gustav Klimt, but died before he could fulfill his promise.
The twisted body shapes and the expressive line that characterize Schiele's paintings.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Kahlo, Frida

Self-Portrait - The Frame
ca. 1937–38
Oil on metal with glass
11 1/4 x 8 1/8 in. (28.6 x 20.6 cm)
Musée National d'Art Moderne, Centre Georges Pompidou (The Louvre) Paris, France

Frida Kahlo de Rivera (1907-1954)
Mexican painter.
She suffered lifelong health problems, many of which derived from a traffic accident during her teenage years.
These issues are perhaps represented by her works, many of which are self-portraits of one sort or another. Kahlo suggested, "I paint myself because I am so often alone and because I am the subject I know best.
She also stated, "I was born a bitch. I was born a painter."

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Tang Yin

Lady Holding a Silk Fan in Autumn Wind
77.1cm x 39.3cm
Ming Dynasty
Shanghai Museum

Tang Yin (1470-1523)
Chinese scholar, painter, and poet of the Ming Dynasty.
He is one of the most notable painters in Chinese art history, the painting elite “the Four Masters of Ming Dynasty”.
Tang is also a talented poet.

One day, Tang Yin was traveling when he encountered Qiu Xiang, a servant girl of a minister.
Stunned at her beauty, Tang Yin racked his brains for a way to win her heart.
He disguised himself as a beggar and infiltrated the minister's official residence as a servant and a reading partner.
In the end, he finally won the heart of the beauty with his talent and wisdom.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Wyeth, Andrew

drybrush watercolor on paper
22.5 X 28.5 inches
other details not found

Wyeth, Andrew (1917 - 2009)
American realist artist, as well as known for his regional art.
He was one of the most famous painters of the twentieth century and often named the "Painter of the People" as a result of his popularity with the American people.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Wright, Joseph

The Cloister of San Cosimato
Oil on mahogany, 61 x 81 cm
Staatliche Museen, Berlin

Wright, Joseph (1734 - 1797)
English painter.
He was the best European painter of artificial light of his day.
His pictures of technological subjects, partly inspired by the Dutch followers of Caravaggio.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Carlone, Giovanni Andrea

Aurora (The Dawn)
c. 1678
Oil on canvas, 97.5 x 129 cm
National Gallery of Slovenia, Ljubljana

Carlone, Giovanni Andrea (1639 - 1697).
Italian painter, Genoese school.
He was educated first by his father and then went to Rome to study.
In Rome he came into contact with Baciccio, with whom he shared patrons and who influenced his early decorative style.
He also worked in Perugia, painting frescoes in the church of S Filippo Neri, with scenes from the Old Testament; he also worked in the church of Il Gesu.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Rembrandt Harmenszoon Van Rijn

Portrait of the Artist at His Easel (Self-Portrait)
Oil on canvas, 111 x 90 cm (43 1/2 x 35 1/2")
Musée du Louvre, Paris

Rembrandt Harmenszoon Van Rijn (1606 - 1669)
Numerous portraits and self-portraits exhibit a profound penetration of character.
The greatest artist of the Dutch school.
He was a master of light and shadow whose paintings, drawings, and etchings made him a giant in the history of art.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Millais, John Everett

Oil on canvas
Tate Gallery, London, UK

Sir John Everett Millais, 1st Baronet, PRA (1829 – 1896) was an English painter and one of the founders of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood.
In paintings such as Ophelia (1852) Millais created dense and elaborate pictorial surfaces based on the integration of naturalistic elements. This approach has been described as a kind of "pictorial eco-system".

Monday, May 2, 2011

Eyck, Jan van

The Marriage of Giovanni Arnolfini and Giovanna Cenami
Oil on wood, 81.8 x 59.7 cm (32 1/4 x 23 1/2 in)
National Gallery, London

Eyck, Jan van
(before c. 1395 – before July 9, 1441)
Flemish painter who perfected the newly developed technique of oil painting.
Almost every detail can be interpreted as a symbol.
The companion dog is seen as a symbol of faithfulness and love. The fruits on the window ledge probably stand for fertility and our fall from Paradise. Even the discarded shoes are not thought to be incidental, but to signify the sanctity of marriage.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Fan K'uan

Travelers Among Mountains and Streams
Sung Dynasty (960-1279)
Hanging scroll, ink and light colors on silk, 206.3 x 103.3 cm
National Palace Museum, Taipei City

Fan K'uan (active 10th-early 11th century), a native of Hua-yüan (modern Yao-hsien) in Shensi province, often traveled the area between the capital and Loyang.
Although he was known for his magnanimous character, straightforward personality, and fondness of drink and the Tao, he is famous now for his landscape painting.