All posts tagged: history

The Lion Hunt

Peter Paul Rubens was born in Siegen, Westphalia on June 28, 1577 and spent the first 10 years of his life in Cologne. In 1600, Rubens troubled to Italy. During time spent in the country, he immersed himself in Italy’s culture and way of life and adopted an Italian technical innovation: oil sketch. Lion Hunt (74 x 105.5cm) (c.1615) is one of Rubens’ earliest known hunting paintings painted on a wooden panel. The monochromatic masterpiece alludes the aristocratic patronage and privileged status of its time. There is no known finished painting that is entirely based on the sketch but several of its motifs appear in other works of Rubens. The dynamic composition of Lion Hunt captures the acute tension, energy, violence and the sap of Rubens’ style and the unparalleled eloquence of his hands. Even though Lion Hunt is an incomplete piece of art, it’s perfect in its own incompleteness. Featured Painting: Peter Paul Rubens – A Lion Hunt (c.1615) Advertisements

The Supper At Emmaus

The term tenebrism, from the Italian word tenebroso (gloomy), is used to describe the overall tonality in a painting where there is a violent contrasts of light and darkness in figurative compositions in order to heighten the dramatic effect. Although Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio was not the inventor of tenebrism, the term is often associated with him because his tenebrists paintings were so influential. He executed The Supper At Emmaus in 1601 for Ciriaco Mattei, the Italian nobleman of Rome and of the House of Mattei and one of the most prolific art collectors of his time. The Supper At Emmaus depicts the moment when the resurrected Jesus reveals his identity to two of his disciples who had failed to recognize him in the town of Emmaus while an innkeeper stands over the group. The two of the disciples are presumed to be Luke and Cleopas. Caravaggio’s precise direction of light makes his figures stand out forcefully against their background and their presence is made more proximate by realistic detailing, such as the scallop shell …

A Brief History of SELF-TAUGHT & OUTSIDER ART

Outsider art had its origins in the psychiatric collections of 19th-century European psychiatric hospitals when some psychiatrists started to collect artworks produced by their patients. But it was originally recognized as a specific category of artistic production in the 20th century. Interest in the art of the mentally ill, along with the children, was first demonstrated by the members of Der Blaue Reiter (The Blue Rider) group: Auguste Macke, Franz Marc, Wassily Kandinsky and others. But after the death of Macke and Marc during World War I, Paul Klee continued to draw inspiration from the primitives. Klee’s interest in outsider productions can be traced to 1912, when, in a review of a Der blaue Reiter (The blue rider) exhibition, he urged the public to take the art of children and the mad seriously. In 1921, Doctor and psychiatrist Walter Morgenthaler published his book Ein Geisteskranker als Künstler (A Psychiatric Patient as Artist/Madness and Art) about Adolf Wölfli, one of his patients and one of the first artists to be associated with the Art Brut or …

Motherhood: Maman by Louise Bourgeois

Art, at its best, has been an expression of the human experience of life and the theme of mother and child has been a central motif in art for centuries. The Virgin Mary has presented the ideal of a protective mother to which women have aspired. But in the age of post-Freudian psychoanalysis, motherhood has become more eccentric and complex than ever. Louise Bourgeois was born on 25th December 1911 in Paris, France. She was the second child of three born to parents Joséphine Fauriaux and Louis Bourgeois. Taking up art was a way for her to fight specific fears. The fear and trauma of abandonment that she suffered not only through her untimely birth on Christmas Day but also on her mother’s death in 1932, when she was only twenty-one. Louise drew on painful memories of childhood traumas to create her tribute to her mother. In 1996, The Maman was created as a part of Bourgeois’s inaugural commission of The Unilever Series (2000), in the Turbine Hall at London’s Tate Modern. It’s a bronze, …

The Readymade that Influenced the Nihilistic Dada, the Pop and Conceptual Art

The theory behind the “Readymade” was explained in an anonymous editorial published in the May 1917 issue of avant-garde magazine The Blind Man. An art and Dada journal organized briefly by Henri-Pierre Roché, Marcel Duchamp and Beatrice Wood in New York City. It read: “Whether Mr Mutt with his own hands made the fountain or not has no importance. He CHOSE it. He took an ordinary article of life, and placed it so that its useful significance disappeared under the new title and point of view – created a new thought for that object.” In April, 1917, Marcel Duchamp made his most notorious Readymade, Fountain, a porcelain urinal signed “R.Mutt”. The work is regarded by art historians and theorists of the avant-garde as a major landmark in 20th-century art. Accompanied by artist Joseph Stella and art collector Walter Arensberg, Duchamp purchased a standard Bedfordshire model urinal from the J. L. Mott Iron Works, 118 Fifth Avenue. The artist brought the urinal to his studio at 33 West 67th Street, reoriented it 90 degrees from its …

An Insistence of Change: The Energy And Intent Behind the Outset of Italian Futurism

When Étienne-Jules Marey developed a way of recording several phases of movement in one photograph in 1882, it became one of the key ideas behind the onset of Futurism in the early 20th century. Focusing on progress and modernity, the Futurists sought to sweep away traditional artistic notions and replace them with an energetic celebration of the machine age. They emphasized on creating a unique and dynamic vision of the future with speed, technology, youth, violence, and objects such as the car, the airplane, and the industrial city. The birth of Futurism was declared with an incendiary manifesto appeared in La gazzetta dell’Emilia on 5th February, 1909 by the Italian poet Filippo Tommaso Marinetti. The article was then republished in the French daily newspaper Le Figaro on Saturday 20 February 1909. According to the manifesto, Italy was to be delivered from its smelly gangrene of professors, archeologists, ciceroni and antiquarians and the Futurists would “sing the love of danger, the habit of energy and fearlessness”. Marinetti expressed a passionate loathing for everything old, especially political …

The Legacy of Cubism

The most radical movement in avant-garde art in Europe, the beginning of Cubism dated back to 1907 when Picasso completed his groundbreaking Les Demoiselles d’Avignon (The Young Ladies of Avignon, originally titled The Brothel of Avignon), a crowded canvas that portrays five nude female prostitutes in a brothel on Carrer d’Avinyó (Avignon Street) in Barcelona. Cubist painters portrayed the world as it was known, rather than as it was seen, challenging the idea of revolutionaries like Giotto and Brunelleschi who used one-point perspective to idealistically project and imitate the seen world onto canvas. Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque worked together in the beginning of 20th century to challenge this idea which had dominated the Western art since the Renaissance. The early phase of Cubism, which is often refereed to as Analytic Cubism, lasted until 1912. It entailed detailed analysis and dissection of objects and the space they occupied. As the poet and critic Guillaume Appollinaire observed, “Picasso studies an object the way a surgeon dissects a corpse”. Between 1913 and 1920 the development of Analytic …

The Georgian Christmas

A brief idea of Christmas in Georgian period (1714 – 1830) can be found in the novels of Jane Austin. In Pride and Prejudice Lizzie writes, “Mr. Darcy sends you all the love in the world that he can spare from me. You are all to come to Pemberley at Christmas.” or Caroline Bingley writes to Jane, “I sincerely hope your Christmas in Hertfordshire may abound in the gaieties which that season generally brings”. In Sense And Sensibility Sir John describes John Willoughby by saying “last Christmas at a little hop at the park, he danced from eight o’clock till four, without once sitting down.” In Mansfield Park there’s a holiday ball held at Christmas which Sir Thomas gives for Fanny and William. In Emma, Emma looks forward to Christmas because her sister’s family will visit for a week. In Persuasion, Austen paints a charming Christmas scene; “On one side was a table occupied by some chattering girls, cutting up silk and gold paper; and on the other were tressels and trays, bending under the …

A Brief History of Christmas Lights

On his way back to home from a sermon on one winter evening, the 16th century German professor of theology and the seminal figure in protestant reformer, Martin Luther was awed by the elegance of stars shining amidst the evergreen trees. Fascinated by the spectacle he erected a tree in his own house and adorned it with lighted candles. It is believed that Martin Luther was the first person who added candles to an evergreen. However, the ritual of using the evergreens during winter festivals predates Christianity. Pagans used evergreen fir branches to illustrate life in the dead of winter as it would make them think of the spring to come. However, the tradition of illuminating the Christmas tree with candles approximately began in late 17th century by Germans. Even though Martin Luther had lit the first tree a century earlier, the first documented reference of lighting the Christmas tree dated in 17th century. In 18th century, the upper class homes in German would decorate their trees with candles which at that time was a …

Female Artists of the Victorian Era: Emma Sandys

Despite all the recent research, a very little is known of the life of Emma Sandys. A 19th century English Pre-Raphaelite artist and figure who sustained a successful career as an artist in the reign of Queen Victoria. It is believed that Emma was influenced by her brother Frederick Sandys, an associated artist of the Pre-Raphaelite brotherhood, and his friend Dante Gabriel Rossetti. Emma Sandys was born in Norwich and had received her early lessens in drawing and painting from her father Anthony Sands who was a dyer and an artist himself. It was around 1853, the family put a “y” to their surname. The medievalism in Emma Sandys paintings clearly exhibits the Pre-Raphaelite influences upon them. Her works were mainly portraits in both oil and chalk and most of them are seen to be gazing thoughtfully out of the frame enclosed in their own world. Sandys works are engrossing but we know so little of her that many of her paintings were previously considered as the work of her brother. Only recent researches have …

A Woman Ahead of Her Time: Susan Waters

When it comes to American Folk Art, one name pops up in mind first. The woman ahead of her time, a self-taught artist Susan Catherine Moore Waters or simply Susan Waters. Susan Catherine Moore Waters was born on May 18, 1823 in Binghamton, New York. The daughter of Sally Camp Moore (1788-a 1880) & Lark Moore (1790-1871). They moved near Friendsville, Pennsylvania, when Susan was a child & lived on a farm, which she painted as a landscape later. Susan was a self-taught artist with little formal training. She attended seminary school in Friendsville where she paid tuition of her sister and herself by painting copies for the course in Natural History. At 17, on June 27, 1841 she married William C. Waters whose Quaker connections determined the destinations of their frequent relocations. Susan portrayed a number of her early portraits in southern New York state. She became a successful excursive artist, a supporter of women’s rights and an animal rights activist. But William had a health problem and was unable to provide sufficient income …

A Brief History of Cubism

Cubism is an artistic movement started in early 20th century. The movement was principally pioneered by Pablo Picasso (Spanish, 1881–1973) and Georges Braque (French, 1882–1963) in Paris between 1907 to 1914. The cubist painters rejected the conventional notion of copying the traditional perspective of the subject. They were not compelled to copy form, color, texture and space, instead they employed geometric forms in depiction of subjects. The term “Cubism” derived from a comment made by the French art critic Louis Vauxcelles. Louis Vauzcelles described Braque’s work Houses at L’Estaque which he had painted at L’Estaque in emulation of Paul Cézanne (1839–1906) in 1908 as being composed of “cubes”. Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque first met in 1905, but in 1907 Braque was first acquainted with Picasso’s groundbreaking Les Demoiselles d’Avignon by Pablo Picasso himself. Les Demoiselles d’Avignon (The Brothel of Avignon) is considered to be the first cubist painting and was heavily influenced by African tribal art that Picasso had first seen in May or June, 1907 at ethnographic museum in the Palais du Trocadéro in Paris. …

TheLarchWood’s Song of the Day: Frank & Nancy Sinatra – Somethin’ Stupid

Originally posted on The Larch Wood:
? Originally written and recorded by Clarence Carson Parks II in 1966, Frank Sinatra and Nancy Sinatra’s 1967 rendition is an absolute bliss to listen to. The track was issued in 1967 as a single and later appeared on Frank  Sinatra’s 1967 album The World We Knew. Somethin’ Stupid is the TheLarchWood’s Song of the Day getting 5 conifer cones out of 5 for the day. Listen Below. ? ? The rendition was recorded on February 1, 1967 and was arranged by Billy Strange.