May 12, 2011

Hieronymus Bosch ( c 1450-1516)

 "The Ship of Fools"
While looking for some quotes I suddenly came across this painting by Bosch and afterwards I have decided to make a post about him .
In The Ship of Fools Bosch is imagining that the whole of mankind is voyaging through the seas of time on a ship, a small ship, that is representative of humanity. Sadly, every one of the representatives is a fool. This is how we live, says Bosch--we eat, dring, flirt, cheat, play silly games, pursue unattainable objectives. Meanwhile our ship drifts aimlessly and we never reach the harbour. The fools are not the irreligious, since promiment among them are a monk and a nun, but they are all those who live ``in stupidity''. Bosch laughs, and it is sad laugh. Which one of us does not sail in the wretched discomfort of the ship of human folly? Eccentric and secret genius that he was, Bosch not only moved the heart but scandalized it into full awareness. The sinister and monstrous things that he brought forth are the hidden creatures of our inward self-love: he externalizes the ugliness within, and so his misshapen demons have an effect beyond curiosity. We feel a hateful kinship with them. The Ship of Fools is not about other people, it is about us. 
                                                The Extraction of the Stone of Madness

The unique vision of Bosch

The extraordinary painter Hieronymus Bosch (c. 1450-1516) stands apart from the prevailing Flemish traditions in painting. His style was unique, strikingly free, and his symbolism, unforgettably vivid, remains unparalleled to this day. Marvellous and terrifying, he expresses an intense pessimism and reflects the anxieties of his time, one of social and political upheaval. 

 "Paradise and Hell"

At the time of his death, Bosch was internationally celebrated as an eccentric painter of religious visions who dealt in particular with the torments of hell. During his lifetime Bosch's works were in the inventories of noble families of the Netherlands, Austria, and Spain, and they were imitated in a number of paintings and prints throughout the 16th century, especially in the works of Pieter Bruegel the Elder
"Garden of Earthly Delights"


May 07, 2011

Paul Allier "Four Seasons" Pochoir

"Summer" is reflected in the rich, full-bodied color of this image.In the later 1920's, following the close of the great Parisian fashion illustration magazines, many of the illustrators who did not move to Vogue, Harper's, etc. produced small albums of fashion designs. Allier's "Les Quatre Saisons" published by Galerie Lutetia of Paris in 1928, was such an example. Allier's jewel-like charming innocence of "Summer" from this series is a late 1920's classic and as such appears on page 98 of Julian Robinson's excellent book "The Golden Age of Style" (Orbis Publishing, 1976) as well as on page 162 of his earlier work "The Brilliance of Art Deco". 



    "Le Printemps"

May 03, 2011

Eyolf Soot ( 1859-1928)

I lampelys 1885
Discovered thanks to Polar Bear's Tale

Eugene de Blaas ( Eugene von Blaas)

Eugene de Blaas, also known as Eugene von Blaas or Eugenio de Blaas (24 July 1843 – 10 February 1932) was an Italian painter in the school known as Academic Classicism. He was born at Albano, near Rome, to Austrian parents. His father Karl, a Jew and also a painter, was his teacher. The family moved to Venice when Karl became Professor at the Academy in Venice. He often painted scenes in Venice. He became professor in the Academy of Venice.

Flirtation at the Well 1902

on the Balcony 1877

Le Plaisir 1900

Le Travail

In the Water 1914

April 30, 2011

April 27, 2011

Frank Cadogan Cowper 1877-1958

"All is vanity, nothing is fair." 

"Vanity" 1907
This painting was Cowper's diploma work for the Royal Academy.Sometimes he is referred as the "Last Pre-Raphaelite"
He continued to exhibit right up until his death at the age of 81 in 1958. At his studio sale in Cirencester shortly after his death, canvases were offered 'Suitable for reuse', so unappreciated was his art.
In more recent years, however, Cadogan Cowper's popularity is once again in the ascendant. His diploma work Vanity (1907) recently graced the front cover of the Royal Academy Magazine. The Cathedral scene from “Faust” – Margaret tormented by the evil spirit (1919) sold at auction for over £100,000 in the year 2000.

April 26, 2011

Eleanor Fortescue-Brickdale 1871-1945

The Deceitfulness of Riches 1901

Uninvited Guest
Eleanor Fortescue Brickdale was the daughter of the successful barrister Matthew Inglett Fortescue-Brickdale. Her mother Sarah Anna was the daughter of a judge. As was typical for middle class girls at the time Eleanor was educated at home. 

The Pale Complexion of True Love 1899

She demonstrated a skill for drawing at an early age. She became an admirer and pupil of the famous art critic John Ruskin. At the age of seventeen Fortescue Brickdale decided to become a professional artist and studied at the Crystal Palace School of Art. After three attempts to enter the Royal Academy of Art she finally succeeded in 1897 and won a prize for a mural design. Fortescue Brickdale's success as both an oil painter of history themes and an illustrator of texts such as Tennyson's 'Poems' was more of an exception than the rule for women artists at this time.

Youth and the Lady

Art education for women in the 19th century was still restricted. The Royal Academy, founded in 1768, refused access to women artists until 1860 when Laura Herford became the first woman artist to enter the Academy. Even when women were admitted they were treated unequally to men. It took another thirty years before women were allowed to attend life-drawing classes. Many of the women who succeed as artists were related to male artists. Christina Rossetti, for example, was the sister of Dante Gabriel Rossetti while Henrietta Rae, Marianne Stokes, Sophie Anderson and Elizabeth Forbes were all wives of famous artists. In other cases the reason for women's success was the support and encouragement of male artists, for example Elizabeth Siddall by her lover Dante Gabriel Rossetti and Maria Spartali by Ford Madox Brown. Most of the women artists also came from wealthy and well-educated families.

Vivianne and Merlin

The work of women artists was less favoured than that of men by art critics as well as collectors, with a few exceptions. Women artists were often expected to produce a certain type of work, for example still lifes or watercolours, while criticism of their work reflected stereotypes of women as being sentimental rather than intellectual beings. Despite this overall trend, Eleanor's work was highly praised at the time by both critics and fellow artists. The Victorian artist G. F. Watts admired her paintings so much that he was quoted as saying: "I feel inclined to throw away my palette and brushes. What are my things by the side of such stuff as hers?"

Guinevere in Golden Days


The Rose

April 25, 2011

Owen Jones

The Grammar of Ornament 1856 by Owen Jones
This book was first published in 1856 and is a design classic! Owen Jones was born in 1809 and is a key figure in the history of British design. He was an architect and designer who taught in London during the 1850s. 
He traveled in Europe and the Near East, were he helped to bring back ideas to improve the quality of Western design. 

The first 19 chapters presented key examples of ornament from a number of sources which were diverse both historically and geographically - notably examining the Middle East in the chapters on Arabian, Turkish, Moresque (Alhambra) and Persian ornament. The final chapter, titled ‘Leaves and Flowers from Nature’ acknowledged that “in the best periods of art, all ornament was based upon an observation of the principles which regulate the arrangement of form in nature” and that “true art consists of idealising, and not copying, the forms of nature”.Christopher Dresser, Owen Jones’s most well-known protégé, contributed one of the plates in this final chapter, and he was concurrently presenting theories on natural-form ornament in his famous botanical lectures at the Government School of Design in the mid-1850s.
Jones gathered together these samples of ornament as ‘best’ examples of decoration in an attempt to encourage designers to follow his lead in examining the underlying principles contained within the broad history of ornament and polychromy. The Grammar was hugely influential in design schools in the latter half of the nineteenth century, and is still in print today, maintaining its relevance as a source of inspiration for contemporary designers


Italian ornaments

April 24, 2011

SEM Georges Goursat

Georges Goursat was born in Perigueux on 22 November 1863. Around 1890 Georges Goursat began to use the moniker “Sem” when signing his work.

He was invited to Paris in March 1900 by Jean Lorrain, mainly to work in the studio of Cherat. In Paris, Sem lived on the Rue de Vaugirard and he found his artistic inspiration in visiting the racetracks of Paris, where he watched the members of the Jockey Club at play. Here he put together the album The Turf, which was immediately considered a great success. He also became associated with Parisian society, where he was able to observe the privileged, whether at the Restaurant Maxim’s, at the Opera, at Longchamps, or in the Allée des Acacias .

Sem’s success was not only limited to Parisian high society but also to the masses. He worked regularly on many periodicals, both humorous and serious, including Le Figaro. He also made many trips to the coast of Normandy, where he painted the sailing vessels of Deauville and where he put together his albums Paris – Trouville and Tangoville-sur-Mer. He also visited the Cote d’Azur, where he worked on his albums Monte Carlo and Sem á la Mer Bleue.

Sem’s unique talent made his work very identifiable, particularly because of the essential sobriety of his composition, in which his characters usually emerge from a white or plain background rather than being more obvious caricatures. His work is particularly associated with the Belle Epoque and, during this period, he wrote numerous articles chronicling theatre shows, fashion, travel and artistic reviews. He also created a number of very beautiful posters illustrating subjects like the clowns Footit and Chocolat, the tourist towns of Deauville, Cannes and Monte Carlo, and also a number of businesses including Benedictine.

Sem died peacefully on 26 November 1934, in his armchair with a book in his hand. He drew in a personal way, with great success, and was rewarded during his lifetime with both fame and fortune.

April 22, 2011

Francisco Pons Arnau 1886-1953

Francisco Pons Arnau was a Spanish Academic painter active in the mid 19th Century [Correction: late 19th, early 20th Centuries]. He became a follower of Joaquín Sorolla (see my recent post on Sorolla), and was influenced by Art Nouveau.

April 20, 2011

Takahashi Shotei & Shin hanga

The Shin Hanga ("new prints": 新版画) movement extolled the virtues of the traditional ukiyo-e studio system, the so-called "ukiyo-e quartet" involving the artist, carver, printer, and publisher. Its philosophy was at odds with thesôsaku hanga ("creative print") movement, which avidly supported the direct involvement of the artists in designing, engraving, and printing their own works.

At the center of the shin hanga movement was the publisher Watanabe Shôzaburô (1885-1962). Watanabe believed that shin hanga were not fukusei hanga ("reproduction prints": 復製版画) as charged by the sôsaku hanga advocates, and that such prints were certainly "creative" as long as the artist could achieve the results he wanted with the assistance of craftsmen.

In such a collaborative system the artist could benefit from the skills of the artisans in producing works of art in a medium he could not otherwise use so skillfully on his own. Artistic expression was therefore supported, not violated. In response to criticism, Watanabe began using the termshinsaku hanga ("newly created prints") in 1921 to emphasize the creative aspects of the shin hanga method

The shin hanga movement flourished from around 1915 to 1942, though it resumed briefly from 1946 through the 1950s. Watanabe and other shin hangapublishers produced the works of both native Japanese artists and Western artists who created images in the Japanese manner. Their studios issued designs recalling the themes of traditional ukiyo-efiltered through a modern sensibility, with subjects such as landscapes and cityscapes, beautiful women, actor portraits, and nature prints. link

other Shin Hanga artists