All posts tagged: painting

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 …

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 Moonlight: John Atkinson Grimshaw

The “remarkable and imaginative painter” of Victorian Era who is best known for his somber moonlight upon urban landscapes and dockyards through leafless trees or cotton clouds expounded with pallid and augmented silhouettes, light and wet city streets. Born in Park Street, Leeds on 6 September 1836 to Mary and David Grimshaw, John Atkinson Grimshaw began his working life as a clerk for the Great Northern Railway. It was during the time as a clerk he begun to explore his love for painting. In 1861, at the age of 24, to the dismay of his parents, he abandoned his job to endorse all his time to become a painter. In 1862, only a year later after he had left his job, Grimshaw had his first exhibition under the patronage of the Leeds Philosophical and Literary Society, which was mostly paintings of birds, fruit and blossom focused on still life and nature. By 1870, Grimashaw became successful enough to move to Knostrop Hall and rented another house in Scarborough, which he called ‘The Castle by the Sea’ …

Female Artists of the Victorian Era: Evelyn De Morgan

Evelyn De Morgan (Mary Evelyn Pickering) was an English painter in the reign of Queen Victoria, Edward VII and George V who was within the circle of later phase of the Pre-Raphaelites who took their influences from the romantic paintings of Dante Gabriel Rossetti and Sir Edward Coley Burne-Jones. Evelyn was born in 1855 to a upper middle class family in London and was introduced to art by her uncle John Roddam Spencer Stanhope. On her 17th birthday, August 30th 1872, Evelyn recorded in her diary “At the beginning of each year I say ‘I will do something’ and at the end I have done nothing. Art is eternal, but life is short”..”I will make up for it now, I have not a moment to lose.” In 1873, she was enrolled at the Slade School of Art and her style of painting developed rapidly in those three years. It is believed that in the beginning of 1875 Evelyn often visited John Roddam Spencer Stanhope in Florence where he resided. It enabled her to study the …

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 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. …