Thursday, June 30, 2011

Kahlo, Frida

Self-Portrait (Dedicated to Leon Trotsky)
Oil on Masonite
30 x 24 in
National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington

Frida Kahlo de Rivera (1907 – 1954) was one of the most famous Mexican painter. She died soon after she became 47 years of age. A few days before her death she wrote in her diary: "I hope the exit is joyful — and I hope never to return — Frida". She had been very ill throughout the previous year and her right leg had been amputated at the knee, owing to gangrene. She had a bout of bronchopneumonia about that time, which had left her quite frail.

Diego Rivera(Mexican painter and her husband), in his autobiography, would write that the day Kahlo died was the most tragic day of his life, adding that, too late, he had realized that the most wonderful part of his life had been his love for her.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Huguet, Jaume

Saints Abdon and Sennen
Mixed technique on wood
290 x 220 cm
Santa Maria d'Egara, Terrassa

Catalan painter (Spain) (c.1412 - 1492), the most prominent figure in the Catalan School during the second part of the 15th century.
His studio produced many sumptuous composite altarpieces of the type that became typical in Spanish art and his work exercised a wide influence on the painting of Catalonia and Aragón.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Léger, Fernand

Three Sisters
Oil on canvas
50 x 37 1/2 in. (127 x 95,2 cm)
Collection of Jacques Hachuel

Fernand Léger (1881-1955),French painter.
Among the most prominent artists in Paris in the first half of the 20th century, he was prolific in many media and articulated a consistent position on the role of art in society in his many lectures and writings.
His mature work underwent many changes, from a Cubist-derived abstraction in the 1910s to a distinctive realist imagery in the 1950s.
Léger attracted numerous students to his various schools, and his ideas and philosophy were disseminated by modern artists throughout Europe and the Americas.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Cassatt, Mary

Portrait of a Lady
Oil on canvas
85.7 x 65.2 cm
National Gallery of Art, Washington

Mary Stevenson Cassatt (1844-1926) was an American painter.
She lived much of her adult life in France, where she first befriended Edgar Degas and later exhibited among the Impressionists.
Cassatt often created images of the social and private lives of women, with particular emphasis on the intimate bonds between mothers and children.
Cassatt especially liked children, doting on her nieces and nephews and the offspring of friends.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Quadal, Martin Ferdinand

Life Class in the Vienna Academy
Oil on canvas, 144 x 207 cm
Akademie der bildenden Künste, Vienna

Quadal, Martin Ferdinand (1736 - 1808)
Moravian-Austrian painter.
He painted animal pieces, as well as military scenes, genre subjects, and portraits, and was especially successful with his pictures of horses.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Tansey, Mark

The Bricoleur's Daughter
Oil on canvas
68 x 67 in
Collection Emily Fisher Landau, New York

Mark Tansey (1949 - ) is an American postmodern painter best known for monochromatic works, elaborate paintings incorporating hidden text, images and symbols.
Tansey's paintings normally depict everyday or historical occurrences, though they reveal certain oddities under closer scrutinization.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Ingres, Jean-Auguste-Dominique

Napoleon I on the Imperial Throne
Oil on canvas
259 y 162 cm
Musée de l'Armée, Paris

Ingres, Jean-Auguste-Dominique (1780 - 1867), French Neoclassical painter.
Ingres's influence on later generations of artists has been considerable. His most significant heir was Degas.
In the 20th century, Picasso and Matisse were among those who acknowledged a debt to the great classicist; Matisse described him as the first painter "to use pure colours, outlining them without distorting them."

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Heemskerck, Egbert van, the Younger

Interior of an Inn
Oil on canvas, 65 x 76 cm
Private collection

Heemskerck, Egbert van, the Younger
Dutch painter (1676 - 1744)
Son of a painter of the same name. He later became an actor.

Tamayo, Rufino

"Perro de la luna (Moon Dog)"
Lithograph on paper
22 1/2 x 29 3/4 inches

Rufino Tamayo (1899 – 1991) was a Mexican painter.
Tamayo was active in the mid-20th century in Mexico and New York, painting figurative abstraction with surrealist influences.
Perro de Luna was created for "The Mexican Masters Suite".
Referencing classical pre-Columbian Izquincles, a dog of Mexican origin, Tamayo's dog, meditates on the vastness of nature and the cosmos.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Sisley, Alfred

Oil on canvas
65 x 92 cm
Galerie H. Odermatt-Ph. Cazeau, Paris

Alfred Sisley (1839 – 1899) was a French-born English Impressionist landscape painter who was born, and spent most of his life, in France.
Sisley is generally recognized as the most consistent of the Impressionists in his dedication to painting landscape en plein air (i.e., outdoors).
He never deviated into figure painting and, unlike Renoir and Pissarro, never found that Impressionism did not fulfill his artistic needs.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Gentile da Fabriano

Tempera on wood, 32 x 75 cm
Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence

Gentile da Fabriano (1370 - 1427)
He carried out important commissions in several major Italian art centres and was recognized as one of the foremost artists of his day, but most of the work on which his great contemporary reputation was based has been destroyed.
He had widespread influence (much more so initially than his great contemporary Masaccio), notably on Pisanello, his assistant in Venice, Jacopo Bellini, who worked with him in Florence, and Fra Angelico, who was his greatest heir.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Hobbema, Meyndert

The Alley at Middelharnis
Oil on canvas
103,5 x 141 cm
National Gallery, London

Hobbema (1638 - 1709) was a landscape painter of the Dutch school.
He painted a narrow range of favourite subjects over and over again.
In 1668 he became a wine gauger with the Amsterdam customs and excise, and thereafter seems to have painted only in his spare time.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Botticelli, Sandro

Venus and Mars
c 1485.
Tempera on panel
69cm x 173 cm
The National Gallery, Trafalgar Square, London

Sandro Botticelli (about 1445 - 1510)
He was given the nickname 'Botticelli' (derived from the word 'botticello' meaning 'small wine cask').
At the height of his fame, the Florentine painter Sandro Botticelli was one of the most esteemed artists in Italy.
After his death, his name all but disappeared until the late 19th century, when a developing appreciation for Florentine arts and culture brought about a renewed interest in his work.

Mars, God of War, was one of the lovers of Venus, Goddess of Love.
Here Mars is asleep and unarmed, while Venus is awake and alert.
The meaning of the picture is that love conquers war, or love conquers all.
Mars is sleeping the 'little death' which comes after making love, and not even a trumpet in his ear will wake him. The little satyrs have stolen his lance - a joke to show that he is now disarmed.

Lang Shih-Ning (Guiseppe Castiglione)

"White Falcon"
Qing Dynasty, China
(The last dynasty of China, ruling from 1644 to 1912. It was preceded by the Ming Dynasty and followed by the Republic of China)
Collection of the National Palace Museum (Taiwan).

The white falcon is minutely rendered in Chinese white, and the pine tree and rocks in the background are executed in the Chinese painting style.
This is an outstanding work indicating the synthesis of Western and Chinese painting styles.

Guiseppe Castiglione (1688-1766), Lang Shih-ning by Chinese name, was a native of Milan, Italy.
He became a Jesuit missionary at the age of twenty-seven and went to China, where he served as a court painter (in 1715) under three Ch'ing emperors, namely K'ang-hsi, Yung-cheng and Ch'ien-lung for 51years.
He was skilled in painting human figures and flowers-and-birds and animals, especially in painting horses, and became the favorite of the painting circles of the times with his minutely realistic works utilizing the Western style of painting.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Sinclair, Alexia

"Christina of Sweden – The Androgynous Queen
(1626 - 1689)"
c. 2007.
digital type C print.

Alexia Sinclair (1976 – present) was born in Newcastle. She is an award winning Australian photographic and digital artist.
Her photographic and illustrative artworks are housed in important art collections throughout Australia. She has been exhibiting since the early 90s and her distinct style is also celebrated in magazines throughout the world.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Pollock, Jackson

"Blue Poles: Number 11, 1952"
Enamel and aluminium paint with glass on canvas
212.09 x 488.95 cm
National Gallery of Australia, Canberra

Paul Jackson Pollock (1912 – 1956) was an influential American painter and a major figure in the abstract expressionist movement.
During his lifetime, Pollock enjoyed considerable fame and notoriety.
He was regarded as a mostly reclusive artist.
He had a volatile personality, and struggled with alcoholism for most of his life.
Blue Poles: Number 11, 1952 is considered to be Pollock's most important painting.
"When I am in my painting, I'm not aware of what I'm doing. It is only after a sort of 'get acquainted' period that I see what I have been about."

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Bonnard, Pierre

"Jeune Femme se chaussant"
Huile sur toile
53 cm x 63 cm
Peint en 1910
collection privée

Bonnard, Pierre (1867-1947)
French painter.
Bonnard is known for his intense use of color, especially via areas built with small brushmarks and close values.
His often complex compositions—typically of sunlit interiors of rooms and gardens populated with friends and family members—are both narrative and autobiographical.
His wife Marthe was an ever-present subject over the course of several decades. She is seen seated at the kitchen table, with the remnants of a meal; or nude, as in a series of paintings where she reclines in the bathtub.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Friedrich, Caspar David

Chalk Cliffs on Rügen
c. 1818
Oil on canvas
90.5 x 71 cm
Oskar Reinhart Collection, Winterthur

Friedrich, Caspar David (1774 - 1840)
The greatest German Romantic painter and one of the most original geniuses in the history of landscape painting.

He was a 19th-century German Romantic landscape painter, generally considered the most important German artist of his generation.
Friedrich's landscapes exercised a strong influence on the work of German artist Max Ernst, and as a result other Surrealists came to view Friedrich as a precursor to their movement.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Seurat, Georges

"Le Cirque"
Huile sur toile
185,5 cm x 152 cm
Paris,musée d'Orsay

Seurat, Georges (1859 - 1891)
French Post-Impressionist painter.
Seurat is one of the icons of 19th century painting.
He took to heart the color theorists' notion of a scientific approach to painting.
He believed that a painter could use color to create harmony and emotion in art in the same way that a musician uses counterpoint and variation to create harmony in music.
He theorized that the scientific application of color was like any other natural law, and he was driven to prove this conjecture.

Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn

The Risen Christ Appearing to Mary Magdalen
Oil on wood, 61 x 49,5 cm
Royal Collection, Buckingham Palace, London

Dutch painter (1606 - 1669)
Having achieved youthful success as a portrait painter, his 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 Harmenszoon van Rijn

Joseph Accused by Potiphar's Wife
Oil on canvas
106 x 98 cm
National Gallery of Art, Washington

Dutch painter (1606 - 1669)
Because of his renown as a teacher, his studio was filled with pupils.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Avery, Milton

Gaspe - Pink Sky
Oil on canvas
32 x 44 in.
Collection of Mr and Mrs Samuel Lindenbaum, New York

Milton Avery (1885 – 1965) was an American modern painter, born in Altmar, New York, he moved to Connecticut in 1898 and later to New York City.
Avery was a man of few words. "Why talk when you can paint?" he often quipped to his wife.
Avery was often thought of as an American Matisse, especially because of his colorful and innovative landscape paintings. His poetic, bold and creative use of drawing and color set him apart from more conventional painting of his era.

Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn

Joseph's Dream
Oil on mahagony panel, 20 x 27 cm
Staatliche Museen, Berlin

Dutch painter (1606 - 1669)
Rembrandt's mythological and religious works were much in demand, and he painted numerous dramatic masterpieces

Friday, June 10, 2011

Shahn, Ben

Tempera on Masonite
20 1/16 in. X 29 1/2 in.

Ben Shahn (1898 – 1969)
Lithuanian-born American artist.
He is best known for his works of social realism.
His art is striking but also introspective and often captured figures engrossed in their own worlds.

He mixed different genres of art and his body of art is distinctive for its lack of traditional landscapes, still lifes, and portraits.

Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn

Jeremiah Lamenting the Destruction of Jerusalem
Oil on panel
58.3 x 46.6 cm
Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam

Dutch painter (1606 - 1669)
Rembrandt moved to Amsterdam in 1631; his marriage in 1634 to Saskia van Uylenburgh, the cousin of a successful art dealer, enhanced his career, bringing him in contact with wealthy patrons who eagerly commissioned portraits.


Red Mount Fuji
woodblock color print
ca. 1830

Katsushika, Hokusai (1760 – 1849) was a Japanese artist, ukiyo-e painter of the Edo period. In his time, he was Japan's leading expert.
His influences stretched to his contemporaries in nineteenth century Europe whose new style Art Nouveau, or Jugendstil in Germany, was influenced by him and by Japanese art in general.
This was also part of the larger Impressionist movement, with similar themes to Hokusai appearing in Claude Monet and Pierre-Auguste Renoir.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn

Bathsheba at Her Bath
Oil on canvas, 142 x 142 cm
Musée du Louvre, Paris

Dutch painter (1606 - 1669).
He soon left University of Leiden to study art in Amsterdam, with Pieter Lastman, known for his historical paintings.
After six months, having mastered everything he had been taught, Rembrandt returned to Leiden, where he was soon so highly regarded that although barely 22 years old, he took his first pupils.

Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn

Balaam's Ass
Oil on panel, 63 x 46,5 cm
Musée Cognacq-Jay, Paris

Dutch painter (1606 - 1669)
Despite the fact that he came from a family of relatively modest means, his parents took great care with his education.
Rembrandt began his studies at the Latin School, and at the age of 14 he was enrolled at the University of Leiden.

Ernst, Max

Approaching Puberty or The Pleiads
Gouache and oil on paper, all on cardboard
24.5 x 16.5 cm
Rene Rasmussen Collection, Paris

Max Ernst (1891 – 1976)
German painter, sculptor, graphic artist, and poet.
A founding member of the Surrealist group in Paris, German-born Max Ernst (1891–1976) was one of the most inventive artists of the 20th century.
His paintings, steeped in Freudian metaphors, private mythology, and childhood memories, are regarded today as icons of Surrealist art.
He fought in World War I in France and Poland, and recovered from clinical death, an experience which was to deepen his decision to take up art.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn

Oil on canvas, 82,5 x 65 cm
Wallraf-Richartz Museum, Cologne

Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn (1606 – 1669)
Dutch painter.
His heir son died two months after his birth in 1635 and their daughter died at just three weeks of age in 1638. In 1640, they had a second daughter who died after living barely over a month. Only their fourth child Titus survived into adulthood. Saskia(wife) died in 1642 soon after Titus's birth, and Hendrickje(common law wife after the death of Saskia) died in 1663, and Titus died in 1668, leaving a baby daughter.
Rembrandt died within a year of his son, on October 4, 1669 in Amsterdam, and was buried in an unmarked grave in the Westerkerk.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn

Oil on wood, 22,6 x 18,7 cm
Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam

Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn (1606 – 1669)
Dutch painter.
He is generally considered one of the greatest painters in European art history and the most important in Dutch history.
His contributions to art came in a period that historians call the Dutch Golden Age.
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.
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.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Raphael Sanzio

The Granduca Madonna
Oil on wood, 84 x 55 cm
Galleria Palatina (Palazzo Pitti), 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.
Raphael was enormously productive, running an unusually large workshop, and despite his death at thirty-seven, a large body of his work remains.
Many of his works are found in the Apostolic Palace of The Vatican, where the frescoed Raphael Rooms were the central, and the largest, work of his career.

Saturday, June 4, 2011


In the Salon of the Rue des Moulins
c. 1894
Oil on canvas
111.5 x 132.5 cm
Musée Toulouse-Lautrec, Albi

Henri Marie Raymond de Toulouse-Lautrec-Monfa (1864 – 1901)
French painter.
He is known along with Cézanne, Van Gogh, and Gauguin as one of the greatest painters of the Post-Impressionist period.
His style was influenced by the classical Japanese woodprints which became popular in art circles in Paris.
He died from complications due to alcoholism and syphilis at the age of 36.


The Musicians
Oil on canvas
92 x 118,5 cm
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio (1571 – 1610).
Italian artist.
Caravaggio's novelty was a radical naturalism which combined close physical observation with a dramatic, even theatrical, use of chiaroscuro that came to be known as Tenebrism, the shift from light to dark with little intermediate value.
Caravaggio was forgotten almost immediately after his death, and it was only in the 20th century that his importance to the development of Western art was rediscovered.

He was thrown in jail on several occasions, vandalized his own apartment, and ultimately had a death warrant issued for him by the Pope.
In 1606 he killed a young man in a brawl and fled from Rome with a price on his head.
In Malta in 1608 he was involved in another brawl, and yet another in Naples in 1609.
By the next year, after a relatively brief career (39-year-old), he was dead.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Picasso, Pablo

Paul as Harlequin
1924, Paris
Oil on canvas
130 x 97.5 cm
Musee Picasso, Paris

Pablo Diego José Francisco de Paula Juan Nepomuceno María de los Remedios Cipriano de la Santísima Trinidad Ruiz y Picasso known as Pablo Ruiz Picasso (1881-1973).
Spanish painter who lived most of his life in France.
Picasso demonstrated extraordinary artistic talent in his early years, painting in a realistic manner through his childhood and adolescence; during the first decade of the 20th century his style changed as he experimented with different theories, techniques, and ideas.
His revolutionary artistic accomplishments brought him universal renown and immense fortune, making him one of the best-known figures in 20th century art.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Matisse, Henri

The Dessert: Harmony in Red (The Red Room)
Oil on canvas
Height: 180.5 cm (71.1 in), Width: 221 cm (87 in)
The Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg, Russia

Henri Matisse (1869-1954), French artist.
He is commonly regarded, along with Picasso and Marcel Duchamp, as one of the three artists who helped to define the revolutionary developments in the plastic arts in the opening decades of the 20th century, responsible for significant developments in painting and sculpture.
Although he was initially labeled a Fauve (wild beast), by the 1920s he was increasingly hailed as an upholder of the classical tradition in French painting.
His mastery of the expressive language of color and drawing, displayed in a body of work spanning over a half-century, won him recognition as a leading figure in modern art.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Jakuchu Ito

'peony flower & butterflies'
hanging scroll
142.1cm x 79.5cm
Imperial Household Agency (Japan)

Jakuchu (1716-1800) was an eccentric Japanese painter of the mid-Edo Shogun period when Japan had closed its doors to the outside world.
He held strong ties to Zen Buddhist ideals.
A very common theme among his work is birds, in particular chickens and roosters.