Wednesday, October 19, 2016

painting of the month

Dream Book -- Alice Pike Barney, painted ca. 1900

Saturday, October 15, 2016

tissot 180

A mini-exhibit in honor of the elegant work of French artist James Tissot, born 180 years ago in Nantes, on October 15, 1836 (d. 1902).

Self-Portrait -- 1865 
A Passing Storm -- 1876
Young Ladies Looking at Japanese Objects -- 1869
The Thames -- 1867
Mary Magdalene Before Her Conversion -- ca. 1886-1894

Friday, April 22, 2016

sibling poetry

In honor of National Poetry Month, just a quick artistic spotlight on the Victorian brother and sister poetic pair of Dante Gabriel Rossetti (1828-1882) and Christina Georgina Rossetti (1830-1894).  D.G. Rossetti is well-known for both his paintings and his poetry, and he was a founding member of the rebellious and prolifically creative Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood.  Christina's poetry is highly regarded in England and beyond, and she was also her brother's model in his 1848/49 painting The Girlhood of Mary Virgin.  The pictured portraits of Rossetti were done by fellow artists William Holman Hunt and George Frederic Watts, while the portraits of Christina Rossetti were done by Dante Gabriel.

Portrait of Dante Gabriel Rossetti at 22 Years of Age -- William Holman Hunt

Portrait of Dante Gabriel Rossetti -- George Frederic Watts (ca. 1871)
Look in my face; my name is Might-have-been;
I am also call'd No-more, Too-late, Farewell;
Unto thine ear I hold the dead-sea shell
Cast up thy Life's foam-fretted feet between;
Unto thine eyes the glass where that is seen
Which had Life's form and Love's, but by my spell
Is now a shaken shadow intolerable,
Of ultimate things unutter'd the frail screen . . . .

The House of Life: 97.  A Superscription (excerpt) -- D.G. Rossetti


Somewhere or other there must surely be
The face not seen, the voice not heard,
The heart that not yet—never yet—ah me!
Made answer to my word.

Somewhere or other, may be near or far;
Past land and sea, clean out of sight;
Beyond the wandering moon, beyond the star
That tracks her night by night.

Somewhere or other, may be far or near;
With just a wall, a hedge, between;
With just the last leaves of the dying year
Fallen on a turf grown green.

Somewhere or Other -- Christina Rossetti

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

purple majesty

Purple Haze -- William Trost Richards (1864)
The Purple Dress -- William Glackens (ca. 1910)
Model in a Purple Hat -- Edouard Vuillard (1912)
Purple Petunias -- Georgia O'Keeffe (1925)
Purple Mountains -- Emil Nolde (ca. 1935)

Tuesday, March 1, 2016


In like a lion, out like a lamb...or sometimes vice versa.

Study of a Lion -- Rosa Bonheur (Private collection)
Lion Drinking -- Henry Ossawa Tanner, 1897 (Private collection)  
Lion and Lioness -- George Stubbs, 1771 (Museum of Fine Arts, Boston)
Blue Lamb -- Franz Marc, 1913 (Private collection)
Sheep and Lambs -- Richard Ansdell, 1874 (Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool UK)
The Pretty Baa-Lambs -- Ford Madox Brown, 1852 (Ashmolean Museum - University of Oxford  UK)

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

painting of the month

Mars and Venus -- Mabel Frances Layng (circa 1918),
Nuneaton Museum & Art Gallery, U.K.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

wild strokes and tinny figures

To many such in this country modern art is still a closed book; its point of view is so different from that of the art they have been brought up with, that they refuse to have anything to do with it. Whereas, if they only took the trouble to find out something of the point of view of the modern artist, they would discover new beauties they little suspected ... If anybody looks at a picture by Claude Monet from the point of view of a Raphael, he will see nothing but a meaningless jargon of wild paint-strokes. And if anybody looks at a Raphael from the point of view of a Claude Monet, he will, no doubt, only see hard, tinny figures in a setting devoid of any of the lovely atmosphere that always envelops form seen in nature. So wide apart are some of the points of view in painting.  -- The Practice and Science of Drawing (Harold Speed, 1913)

Pictured:  Allegory (The Knight's Dream)  -- Raphael (circa 1504), National Gallery - London; and Irises -- Claude Monet (circa 1914), National Gallery - London