Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Altman, Nathan

Portrait of Anna Akhmatova
Oil on canvas
In the collection of the State Russian Museum

Nathan Altman (1889-1970).
Nathan Isaevich Altman was a Jewish, Russian and Soviet avant-garde artist, Cubist painter, stage designer and book illustrator who was born, grew up and began his art studies in Ukraine, Russian Empire.
He worked mainly for the theatre, as a book illustrator and an author of essays about art.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Velázquez, Diego

The infanta Maria Theresa aged 14
Oil on canvas
127 cm × 98.5 cm (50 in × 38.8 in)
Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna

Diego Rodríguez de Silva y Velázquez (1599 – 1660) was a Spanish painter who was the leading artist in the court of King Philip IV.
He was called the "noblest and most commanding man among the artists of his country."
"His men and women seem to breathe," it has been said; "his horses are full of action and his dogs of life."
From the first quarter of the nineteenth century, Velázquez's artwork was a model for the realist and impressionist painters, in particular Édouard Manet. Since that time, more modern artists, including Spain's Pablo Picasso and Salvador Dalí, as well as the Anglo-Irish painter Francis Bacon, have paid tribute to Velázquez by recreating several of his most famous works.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Renoir, Pierre-Auguste

Les baigneuses (Bathers)
c. 1918
Oil on canvas
80 x 65 cm (26.5 x 32 in)
The Barnes Foundation, Merion, Pennsylvania

Pierre-Auguste Renoir (1841–1919) was a French artist who was a leading painter in the development of the Impressionist style.
As a celebrator of beauty, and especially feminine sensuality, it has been said that "Renoir is the final representative of a tradition which runs directly from Rubens to Watteau."
`Why shouldn't art be pretty?', Renoir said, `There are enough unpleasant things in the world.' `I never think I have finished a nude until I think I could pinch it.'

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Turner, Joseph Mallord William

Ulysses Deriding Polyphemus
c. 1848
Oil on canvas
132 x 203 cm
National Gallery, London

Joseph Mallord William Turner (1775 –1851) was an English Romantic landscape painter.
He was considered a controversial figure in his day, but is now regarded as the artist who elevated landscape painting to an eminence rivalling history painting.
He is commonly known as "the painter of light" and his work regarded as a Romantic preface to Impressionism.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Breitner, George Hendrik

Girl in a White Kimono
Oil on canvas
59 cm × 57 cm
Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam

George Hendrik Breitner (1857–1923).
Dutch painter and photographer.
He introduced a realism to the Netherlands that created shock waves similar to that of Courbet and Manet's in France.
He used photography for general reference, to capture an atmosphere, a light effect or the weather in the city at a particular moment.
He is remembered in a Dutch figure of speech: when the streets are grey and rainy, people of Amsterdam whisper grimly "Echt Breitnerweer" (Typical Breitnerweather).

Friday, August 26, 2011

Schadow, Wilhelm von

Portrait of a Young Roman Woman
(Angelina Magtti)
Oil on canvas
94 x 79 cm
Neue Pinakothek, Munich

Frhedrich Wilhelm von Schadow ( 1789 - 1862).
German Romantic painter.
He was born in Berlin.
He developed a poetic style of portraiture.
His decorative painting was often combined with an idealistic and intellectual element.

Thursday, August 25, 2011


Bedroom Painting N° 7
between 1967 - 1969
Oil on canvas
Philadelphia Museum of Art

Tom Wesselmann (1931 - 2004).
American artist associated with the Pop art movement who worked in painting, collage and sculpture.
His choice of trivial motifs, thier monumentalisation, reduction to stereotypes, sexual embelematic as well as the use of bright colours made Tom Wesselmann a co-founder of the American Pop-Art during the 1960s.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Moreau, Gustave

Hesiod and the Muse (Hésiode et la Muse)
Oil on wood
59 × 34.5 cm (23.2 × 13.6 in)
Musée d'Orsay, Paris

Moreau, Gustave (1826–1898).
French Symbolist painter whose main emphasis was the illustration of biblical and mythological figures.
As a painter of literary ideas, Moreau appealed to the imaginations of some Symbolist writers and artists.
During his lifetime, he produced more than 8,000 paintings, etc., many of which are on display in Paris' Musée national Gustave Moreau.
The museum is in his former workshop, and André Breton famously used to "haunt" the museum and regarded Moreau as a precursor of Surrealism.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011


Judith Beheading Holofernes
c. 1598
Oil on canvas
145 x 195 cm
Galleria Nazionale d'Arte Antica, Rome

Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio (1571 – 1610) was an Italian artist active in Rome, Naples, Malta, and Sicily between 1593 and 1610.
His paintings, which combine a realistic observation of the human state, both physical and emotional, with a dramatic use of lighting, had a formative influence on the Baroque school of painting.
Many painters who imitated Caravaggio's style became known as Caravaggisti.
The single most important painter in the tradition was the Frenchman Georges de La Tour, though echoes of Caravaggio's style can also be found in the works of such giants as Rembrandt van Rijn and Diego Velázquez.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Redon, Odilon

Pastel over charcoal
34.5 cm x 30 cm
Private collection

Redon, Odilon (1840-1916).
French painter and one of the outstanding figures of Symbolism.
"My drawings inspire, and are not to be defined. They place us, as does music, in the ambiguous realm of the undetermined."
His work represent an exploration of his internal feelings and psyche.
He himself wanted to "place the visible at the service of the invisible".

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Vermeer, Jan

Soldier and a Laughing Girl
c. 1658
Oil on canvas
49.2 x 44.4 cm
The Frick Collection, New York

Jan or Johannes Vermeer van Delft (1632 - 1675).
Dutch painter who lived and worked in Delft.
Vermeer painted mostly domestic interior scenes.
His works are largely genre pieces and portraits, with the exception of two cityscapes and two allegories.
His subjects offer a cross-section of seventeenth century Dutch society, ranging from the portrayal of a simple milkmaid at work, to the luxury and splendour of rich notables and merchantmen in their roomy houses.
Besides these subjects, religious, poetical, musical, and scientific comments can also be found in his work.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Lempicka, Tamara de

The Green Turban
other detail: unknown
Private Collection

Tamara de Lempicka (1898-1980).
She was born in Poland and moved to Russia,then fled to Paris due to the Russian Revolution.
She is perhaps the most famous painter of the art deco period.
It was unusual for a female artist to achieve any standing in an art world dominatated by men, but her clear, strong style (sometimes called Soft Cubism) earned her a place at the top of the Art Deco movement.
Lempicka's strong use of colour, and sharp edged forms produced very solid, powerful figures and she was in demand as a portrait artist by the rich.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Honthorst, Gerard van

Willem II (1626-50), prince of Orange, and his wife Maria Stuart (1631-60)
Oil on canvas
302 × 194.3 cm (118.9 × 76.5 in)
Rijksmuseum Amsterdam, Amsterdam

Gerard van Honthorst (1590? – 1656) .
Dutch Golden Age painter from Utrecht.
Queen Elizabeth of Bohemia, sister of Charles I of England and Electress Palatine, being in exile in the Netherlands, commissioned him as painter and tutor to teach her children drawing.
His most attractive pieces are those in which he cultivates the style of Caravaggio, often tavern scenes with musicians, gamblers and people eating.
He had great skill at chiaroscuro, often painting scenes illuminated by a single candle.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Renoir, Pierre-Auguste

Sleeping Girl (known as Girl with a cat)
Oil on canvas
120 x 94 cm
Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, Williamstown, Massachusetts

Pierre-Auguste Renoir (1841 – 1919) was a French artist who was a leading painter in the development of the Impressionist style.
A prolific artist, he made several thousand paintings.
The warm sensuality of Renoir's style made his paintings some of the most well-known works in the history of art. The single largest collection of his works—181 paintings in all—is at the Barnes Foundation, near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Fini, Leonor

La guardiana del huevo negro (The Guardian of the Black Egg)
other info: unknown
Museu Oscar Niemeyer, Brazil

Leonor Fini (1907 – 1996).
Born in Buenos Aires, raised in Italy, and then to Paris.
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.
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.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Bronzino, Agnolo

Eleanora di Toledo with her son Giovanni de' Medici
oil on wood
Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence

Bronzino, Agnolo (1503-1572)
Italian painter.
He was the outstanding artist of the Tuscan High Mannerist style.
As court painter to the Medici in Florence, he produced large numbers of portraits as well as religious pictures.
His style is cold, refined, aristocratic, and technically brilliant in its rendering of surface details and colors.
His portraits, while highly stylized in their long lines and elegant poses, achieve a formalized stillness that is the ultimate refinement of Mannerism's usually hectic quality.
His influence on later portraiture extended to the 19th-century French master J. A. D. Ingres.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Rousseau, Henri

Eclaireur attaqué par un tigre
(Scout Attacked by a Tiger)
Oil on canvas
120.5 x 162 cm (47 3/8 x 63 3/4 in)
The Barnes Foundation, Merion, Pennsylvania

Rousseau, Henri (1844-1910).
French painter, the most celebrated of naïve artists.
His work exerted an "extensive influence ... on several generations of vanguard artists, starting with Picasso and including Jean Hugo, Léger, Beckmann and the Surrealists".

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Picasso, Pablo

Nude, Green Leaves and Bust
Oil on canvas
162 cm × 130 cm (64 in × 51 in)
Private collection

Nude, Green Leaves and Bust is a 1932 painting by Pablo Picasso, featuring his mistress Marie-Thérèse Walter.
The painting was in the personal collection of Los Angeles art collectors Sidney and Frances Brody for nearly six decades. It sold at auction for US$106.5 million, a world record price.

Picasso was exceptionally prolific throughout his long lifetime.
The total number of artworks he produced has been estimated at 50,000, comprising 1,885 paintings.
At the time of his death many of his paintings were in his possession, as he had kept off the art market what he did not need to sell.
Since Picasso left no will, his death duties (estate tax) to the French state were paid in the form of his works and others from his collection.
These works form the core of the immense and representative collection of the Musée Picasso in Paris.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Wyeth, Andrew

Sauna, 1979 (Siri Erickson)
Limited edition color collotype
19.25 x 22.5 inches

Andrew Newell Wyeth (1917 – 2009).
American realist painter, working predominantly in a regionalist style.
He was one of the best-known U.S. artists of the middle 20th century.
One of the most well-known images in 20th-century American art is his painting, Christina's World.

Friday, August 12, 2011


Fuji Seen Through the Mannen Bridge at Fukagawa
woodblock print

Katsushika, Hokusai (1760 – 1849). Japanese artist, ukiyo-e painter of the Edo period.
Hokusai is best known as author of the woodblock print series Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji (Fugaku Sanjūroku-kei, c. 1831) which includes Fuji Seen Through the Mannen Bridge at Fukagawa.
His influences stretched to his contemporaries in nineteenth century Europe whose new style Art Nouveau, or Jugendstil in Germany, was influenced by him. This was also part of the larger Impressionist movement, with similar themes to Hokusai appearing in Claude Monet and Pierre-Auguste Renoir.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Ernst, Max

The Garden of France
Oil on canvas
114 x 168 cm
Musée National d'Art Moderne, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, France

Max Ernst (1891 – 1976) was a German painter.
He was one of the primary pioneers of the Dada movement and Surrealism.
He never received any formal artistic training. In 1910-1914 he studied philosophy and psychiatry at Bonn University and took a deep interest in painting.
In the 1950s Ernst got world acclaim.
In his late works the artist returned to the subjects of his early, Dada period.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Whistler, James

"Arrangement in Pink, Red and Purple"
oil on canvas
12.01 in. x 8.98 in.
Cincinnati Art Museum

James Abbott McNeill Whistler (1834-1903)
American-born, British-based artist.
Averse to sentimentality and moral allusion in painting, he was a leading proponent of the credo "art for art's sake".
His famous signature for his paintings was in the shape of a stylized butterfly possessing a long stinger for a tail.
The symbol was apt, for it combined both aspects of his personality—his art was characterized by a subtle delicacy, while his public persona was combative.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Lempicka, Tamara de

Suzanne Bathing
Tamara de Lempicka
23.62 inch wide x 35.43 inch high
Private Collection

Tamara de Lempicka (1898 – 1980).
Polish Art Deco painter and "the first woman artist to be a glamour star."
Tamara was an aristocratic refugee of the Russian Revolution with an erotic style to her art.
An icon of the jazz age in France and America, she lived a life of wealth, indiscriminate sexuality and intrigue.
She was a true icon of the 1920's and was a woman of great beauty, extraordinary talent and notoriety.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Ghirlandaio, Domenico

Portrait Of A Girl
Tempera on wood
26.416 x 44.196 cm (10.4" x 17.4")
Private collection

Domenico Ghirlandaio (1449-1494)
Italian Renaissance painter from Florence.
Among his many apprentices was Michelangelo.
One of the great legacies of Ghirlandaio is that he is commonly credited with having given some early art education to Michelangelo, who cannot, however, have remained with him long.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Coulson, Lawrence *(UK)

'All is tranquil'
year; unknown
size; -
Oil on Board
Private (Castle Galleries, Newcastle, GB)

Coulson, Lawrence (1962 - ).
English landscape painter.
Throughout the 1980's, Lawrence continued to paint in his spare time.
In 1996, a restaurant owner friend suggested holding a private exhibition of Lawrence's work. He decided to invite The Halcyon Gallery who were so impressed that they bought virtually every picture in the exhibition.
In 1997 he declared himself officially an artist. With his major exhibition at The Halcyon Gallery in 1998 a complete sell-out, he has gone from strength to strength.
His work has been compared to one of the great masters, Turner.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Gogh, Vincent van

Image First Steps (after Millet)
Oil on canvas
72.4 x 91.2 cm (28 1/2 x 35 7/8 in)
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

Vincent Willem van Gogh ( 1853 – 1890) .
Dutch post-Impressionist painter whose work had a far-reaching influence on 20th century art as a result of its vivid colors and emotional impact.
Suffering from anxiety and increasingly frequent bouts of mental illness throughout his life, he died largely unknown at the age of 37 from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Eyck, Hubert van

The Three Marys at the Tomb
Oil on wood
71,5 x 89 cm
Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam

Hubert van Eyck (c. 1385–90 – 1426).
Flemish painter and older brother of Jan van Eyck.
He became court painter to Philip the Good, Duke of Burgundy, settling in Ghent by c. 1420. Shortly afterwards, he began his only surviving documented work, the Ghent Altarpiece in the Saint Bavo Cathedral. However the painting was not finished until six years after his death, in 1432, so the degree to which the surviving altarpiece reflects his work, rather than that of Jan who took it over, remains much discussed.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Caillebotte, Gustave

Le pont de l'Europe
Oil on canvas
49 1/8 x 71 1/8 in. (124.8 x 180.7 cm)
Petit Palais, Geneva

Gustave Caillebotte (1848-1894)
French painter, member and patron of the group of artists known as Impressionists, though he painted in a much more realistic manner than many other artists in the group.
In his will, he donated a large collection to the French government.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Dalí, Salvador

The Persistence of Memory
Oil on canvas
24 cm × 33 cm (9.5 in × 13 in)
Museum of Modern Art, New York City

Salvador Dalí (1904 - 1989)
Spanish painter.
The Persistence of Memory is one of his most recognizable works.
The soft watches are an unconscious symbol of the relativity of space and time, a Surrealist meditation on the collapse of our notions of a fixed cosmic order.
It is widely recognized and frequently referenced in popular culture.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Goya, Francisco de

Majas on a Balcony
c. 1808-1812
Oil on canvas
162 x 107 cm
Private collection

Francisco José de Goya y Lucientes (1746 – 1828) was a Spanish romantic painter.
Goya was a court painter to the Spanish Crown, and through his works was both a commentator on and chronicler of his era.
The subversive and imaginative element in his art, as well as his bold handling of paint, provided a model for the work of later generations of artists, notably Manet, Picasso and Francis Bacon.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Gogh, Vincent van

Wheat Field
Oil on canvas
73.5 x 92.5 cm (29 x 36 1/2 in)
Narodni Galerie, Prague

Gogh, Vincent van (1853 - 1890).
Generally considered the greatest Dutch painter after Rembrandt. With Cézanne and Gauguin the greatest of Post-Impressionist artists.
His work, all of it produced during a period of only 10 years, hauntingly conveys through its striking colour, coarse brushwork, and contoured forms the anguish of a mental illness that eventually resulted in suicide.