Month: May 2010

Van Eycks – Adoration of the Lambs

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The Van Eycks, Memling, Van der Weyden were the most perfectly trained, the most comprehensively competent, and the most conscientiously laborious artists ever known; also they understood drawing, composition, and lighting as no others ever did, while their sense of beauty of colour, either in itself or in subtle and splendid combinations, was unique. There never was a school of such consummate craftsmanship as this of Flanders. They were not portents, sudden meteors shooting across a dark sky, they simply continued and developed a long and glorious tradition.

Long before them the monasteries had been producing great art of every kind–frescos, illuminations, stained glass, embroidery, painted sculpture –and it was all art of the greatest. When Hubert painted the Adoration of the Lamb, he merely gathered together all these arts and manifested his enormous and astounding synthesis in concentrated form, and better than any one had ever done before. All the intricate delicacy of jewel work, all the vivacity of clean-cut sculpture, all the suavity of silken needlework, all the flaming splendour of stained glass are brought together here in one astonishing combination, and to this era-making synthesis is added the living light and the human appeal of the poignant beauty of the world, and the transcendent magic of the supernatural, sacramentally and visibly set forth.

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The Fifteenth Century European Art & Painters

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The history, the principles, the motives, the methods of that mode of art which expresses itself in pictorial form are involved in more error and misrepresentation than happens in the case of any of its allies. For this the nineteenth century, and particularly the Teutonic nineteenth century, with its inability to understand art in any form save that of music, is chiefly responsible.

Every effort has been made to isolate it as an independent form of art, to confine it to “easel painting” on panel or canvas, or to wall decorations conceived after the same fashion and on the same lines, to reduce it to certain schools and individuals and localities; in a word, to make it a highly specialised form of personal expression, like lyric poetry or theological heresy. This is to miss its essential character and deny its primary function.

Painting is the use of colour and the composition of lines and forms for sheer joy in this particular kind of beauty; for the honouring of the most honourable things; for the stimulating of high and fine human emotion; for the symbolical (and therefore sacramental) expression of spiritual adventures and experiences that so far transcend the limitations of the material that they are not susceptible of intellectual manifestation. Painting is primarily and in its highest estate an ally and an aid of architecture, as are also sculpture and (in a less intimate degree) music, poetry, and the drama, all working together for the building up, under the inspiration of religion, of a great stimulus and a great expression.

As a thing by itself it fails of half its power, but, like all the arts, it can be used in this way, though indifferently and only within certain limitations. To say, therefore, that painting as an art began with Giotto or Cimabue or Duccio, is absurd; there was great painting long before them, and some of it reached heights even they could not attain. Of course most of it is gone, vanishing with the destroyed or remodelled buildings, where it worked intimately with architecture, scraped off by “restorers,” whitewashed by iconoclasts, done over by easel painters, so it is hard to judge it justly, but a few fragments remain in France and Italy that give some idea of its original power and beauty.

Similarly, illumination is not a handicraft or an industrial art; it was frequently great art of a very distinguished quality, and so was the painting of carving and sculpture, an art not disdained by the Van Eycks themselves. From the earliest beginnings of the Middle Ages there was great painting, and the Duccios and Massaccios and Memlings only added to it certain different, and not always admirable, qualities, while devising novel methods that made possible novel modes of expression.

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Gaul Statue and Antique Civilisation Under the Roman Rule

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Gaul Statue and Antique Civilisation Under the Roman Rule

Gaul, as a whole, began to participate in antique civilisation under the Roman rule. A highly centralised administration united the provinces which extended from the Rhine to the Pyrenees, from the ocean to the Alps, imposing a common existence and a common culture upon them.

When one travels along a Roman road it is very easy to understand how the dwellers in these regions were sensible of a distant solidarity. Their roads, even when disused, are not obliterated; they still indicate the ancient route across fields. Stretching in purposeful rigidity from point to point, regardless of mountains and valleys, they bore the legions to the frontier, and carried the will of Rome into the interior.

Every halting-place along them was the nucleus of a future city of France. At the cross-roads we shall find the active centres of Roman art. A network of more natural and less geometrical highways, corresponding to the local geology, was related to this vast system of main roads. And yet the extremities, from Arles to Cologne, from Lyons to Saintes, felt that they were members of one body. Thus the solid causeways, built for eternity, were the channels of human intercourse during the Middle Ages; they transported pilgrims and merchants to sanctuaries and fairs respectively. From Burgundy to Provence, from Tours to Roncevaux, they maintained uninterrupted communication, even when these provinces were no longer united by Roman centralisation.

The conquerors brought their Latin habits with them; buildings akin to those of Italy rose in the cities where they established themselves; an official art, easily imposed on a country innocent of architecture, and immune from all local influence, manifested its identity at Narbonne, Bordeaux, and Reims: it was an urban and utilitarian art, created for the enjoyment of great cities. After the decay of Marseilles, Narbonne and Fréjus rose to importance, and close at hand, Orange and Nîmes, whose ancient monuments are among the finest in the world.

Arles, the Rome of Gaul, began her glorious existence as a capital, a city of luxury, art, and pleasure. But this municipal clvilisation soon outgrew Provence. Municipalities raised triumphal arches dedicated to emperors; Trèves, Reims, Besançon, Langres and Saintes have preserved these proud structures. Towns of second and third rate importance had their amphitheatres; the more wealthy among them boasted thermae. Temples were no doubt numerous; they disappeared to furnish columns for the new basilicas of youthful Christianity.

Around the great cities rose the rich villas of the Gallic aristocracy, and beyond these a vague population, the Pagani, long recalcitrant to Latinism and subsequently to Christianity. Roman culture had penetrated only into the towns; but monkish hosts ploughed the fallows of the countryside; after the municipal art of the Gallo- Romans came the rural art of the Romanesque epoch.

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Tintin Blue Lotus

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Adventures of Tintin – Blue Lotus Adventure Book Cover Drawing Illustration – Famous French Comic Character Tintin’s Album Cover Ink Drawings with Color Framed Art Prints – Herge’s Tintin Books Covers Illustrations Prints – Old Classic French Comic – Caricature – Comic Hero Character Tintin’s Adventures Framed Prints – 20th Century European Comic Book Hero Tintin’s Ink Drawings by Herge – Vintage European Graphic Novel – Comic – Caricature Book Characters Artworks

Le Lotus Bleu, c.1936 Framed Art Print

Le Lotus Bleu, c.1936 Framed Art Print

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Impressionism: Olympia by Edouard Manet

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Impressionism: Olympia by Edouard Manet

None of the colourists of Manet’s generation made men forget the colourist Delacroix; everything, or nearly everything, that tends to their glory increases his fame; he was their god. Delacroix’ colour had come too early for the weakness of humanity.

When the trappings of Romanticism were cleared away, his palette was thrown aside as one of its accessories. After the strong and healthy recognition of reality by the great landscape school of 1830 and the realism of the school of Courbet, painters were impelled to get at a right distance from Nature; this was the logical way between the two manifestations that had come to an end.

As soon as it was consciously recognised, the method of Daumier and of Delacroix was necessarily decisive. Why this way is modern, and why it achieves results which respond to vital and weighty needs, I hope at least to indicate in due course. The consciousness of this is a piece of modern culture. It is rooted in the postulate that Manet and his circle gave us not Nature, but the natural, and that all naturalisation of our instincts, i.e., all sharpening, purification, and amelioration, is modern.

Every joy is progress, and so therefore was Manet’s achievement. That achievement and its results had never occurred even to the magician Rubens, and, going through the whole history of art, we may find something similar, but never quite the same decisive consciousness. There are other values, the perfection of which put us to the blush, but in spite of this we would not exchange for them our own, the resplendent symbol of our best aspirations, our happiness, our epoch.

Manet discovered, to the horrified amazement of the world, that a fine feminine skin is neither yellow nor brown, but luminously white in the light, especially in juxtaposition to dark colours, and that blood pulses, that nerves and senses throb beneath it.

Millet painted the repose of life, and found greatness therein; he transmitted to the simple action he represented a very great and very simple thought, which was expressed in like terms by all his washerwomen, mothers, housewives, and workmen of various kinds, and finally carried conviction by constant repetition of the one sound in so many different forms. It was a generalisation that became the more impressive, the more deliberately it was set forth. In comparison, the realists were clumsy folk, more modest than Millet, for they allowed Nature to think for herself, more presumptuous and more limited, for they expounded what seemed to them the thoughts of Nature in their own narrow fashion.

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Juan Gris and Cubist Artworks

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Juan Gris and Cubist Artworksx

About 1910, a number of young artists working in Paris begin to examine closely the astonishing pictorial discoveries that had just been made. Of these artists, two emerged quickly as masters who could create and sustain a personal Cubist world whose quality might at times even rival the best of Picasso and Braque.

In 1912 Picasso and Braque were joined in their creation of Cubism by a third artist, Juan Gris (Gris was a Cubist by 1911 but his real historical importance dates from the following year). 1912 was also the year in which the new Cubist techniques, collage and papier collé, were invented. The works of Gris and the use made of the new media by all three artists between 1912 and 1914 are the subject of the third chapter.

The fourth and final chapter is an account of the dissemination of the style in France and comprises a stylistic survey of the development of individual artists such as Léger and Delaunay who were temporarily attracted to Cubism and developed individual variants of the style. The book ends with the outbreak of war in 1914, when the painters were physically separated by the war and the school, as such, was dissolved.

José Victoriano Gonzalez was born and raised in Madrid, a city artistically provincial by comparison with the Barcelona that nurtured Gaudi, Picasso, Miró, and Dali. He decided to move to Paris and, shortly before leaving Spain, changed his name to Juan Gris. Arriving in the artistic capital of Europe in 1906, he moved into the bateau-lavoir, the famous “floating laundry” of Montmartre where Picasso and other avant-garde painters and poets lived. By 1908 he had made the acquaintance of Kahnweiler, who was to be his biographer. It was not until 1910, however, that he begin to turn from his work as a graphic artist for Parisian newspapers to painting.

His initial exploration of Cubism was made with the same rapidity and brilliance that characterized the 70 unfolding of so many artistic careers around 1910. Already in a still life of 1911, the essentials of Gris’s style are defined. In comparison with Braque’s and Picasso’s contemporary Analytic Cubist work, Gris’s canvas is more severe and more lucid.

Four objects — a bottle, a humidor, a wineglass, and a bowl — are aligned in a grid of diagonals, verticals, and horizontals, and take their places with in immobility that belies the weightless, glistening planes of which they are composed. The measured solemnity of the structure is matched by the intense and mysterious light that illumines the objects with a whiteness as absolute as the blackness of the shadows where no light falls.

In her biography of Picasso, Gertrude Stein wrote that “the seduction of flowers and of landscapes, of still lifes was inevitably more seductive to Frenchmen thin to Spaniards; Juan Gris always made still lifes but to him a still life was not a seduction it was a religion…” With these words, she might have been describing this Still Life of 1911, whose religious quality recalls the seventeenth-century Spanish still lifes of such masters as Francisco de Zurbarán, with whom Gris’s art has often been linked. In one 68 of Zurbarán’s still lifes the analogy becomes clear.

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Decorative Art: Gray Wolf Howling at Moon

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Decorative Art: Gray Wolf Howling at Moon

Inspirational Spirituality – Spiritual, Mythological – Folklore – American – Animals – Wolves

Lonely Grey Wolf Howling at the Moon – Wolf Spirit Indian Old West Wolves Art Posters – Wolf Howling and Full Moon at Blue Night Poster – Inspirational Wolf Photography Art Posters

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Full Moon by Mitch Diamond

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Full Moon by Mitch Diamond

black and white posters, decorative art, full moon, landscapes, mitch diamond, photographic print, seascapes

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Cafe Decoration: Java Dreams by Chris Consani

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Cafe Decoration: Java Dreams by Chris Consani

best sellers, cafes, celebrities, decorate your cafe, decorative art, diners, humphrey bogart, james dean, java dreams, marilyn monroe, restaurants

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Landscape Painting: Kohler’s Pig by Michael Sowa

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Landscape Painting: Kohler's Pig by Michael Sowa

animals, collections, decorative art, kohlers pig, landscapes, michael sowa, natural landscapes

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