Friday, September 2, 2011

The Great Fire of London

    On September 2, 1666, a fire started in a bakery on Pudding Lane in London, rapidly spreading through the maze of cramped tenements of thatch and wood. The fire raged for 4 days, consuming over 13,000 houses.
    Before the advent of photography, artists were the pictorial journalists, recording events with paintings and drawings for others to see, learn and remember.

File:The Great Fire of London, with Ludgate and Old St. Paul's.JPG
The Great Fire of London, with Ludgate and Old St. Paul's,
oil on canvas, ca. 1670, by an unknown artist.

File:Great Fire London.jpg
Painting circa 1670
London Fire

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Daily Art Quote

The reading of all good books is like conversation with the finest men of the centuries past.

Giuseppe Maria Crespi   Bookshelves   c. 1725  
Oil on canvas  
Civico Museo Bibliografico Musicale, Bologna  

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Daily Art Quote

No pressure, no diamonds.   (Thomas Carlyle 
   Frustration is present in daily life, and lends itself to some situations more than others. Artists have eternally struggled with frustration, both in trying to express themselves fully, and in trying to manipulate a medium to their desires. Frustration consumes energy and self esteem, and creates a negative environment.
   Some common methods to resolving frustration include: taking frequent breaks when working, going for a walk, meditation, and trying to see a new perspective on the situation.
   How do you deal with frustration?

 Joseph Wright   A Philosopher Lecturing with a Mechanical Planetary   1766  
Oil on canvas, 147,3 x 203,2 cm  
Derby Museum and Art Gallery, Derby

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Daily Art Quote

Art is the window to man's soul. Without it, he would never be able to see beyond his immediate world; nor could the world see the man within. (Lady Bird Johnson)

Monday, August 29, 2011

Daily Art Quote

Inspiration is getting to our studies at 9 am.  (Eugene Delacroix)

Eugene Delacroix 
Cleopatra and the Peasant   1838 
Oil on canvas, 98 x 123 cm 
Ackland Art Museum, Chapel Hill 

Jacques-Louis David - Political and Artistic Activist

   Jacques-Louis David (August 30, 1748 - December 29, 1825) was a French Neoclassical painter, whose influence impacted both the politics of the French revolution, and the art world of early 19th century France. Aligning himself with Maximilien Robespierre, a driving force in the Revolution, David used his art to create political statements, painting portraits of significant events and creating propaganda pieces for the New Republic.
   David was eventually imprisoned during the political chaos, and later released due to his wife's intervention. He became the court painter for Napoleon, painting him crossing the Alps, his coronation, and in his study.
   He greatly influenced classical painting, and his students included  Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres and Antoine-Jean Gros.
   Read David's complete biography here.

File:David Self Portrait.jpg
Portrait of the Artist  1794
Oil on canvas, 81 x 64 cm
Musée du Louvre, Paris

File:Death of Marat by David.jpg
The Death of Marat  1793
Oil on canvas, 162 x 128 cm
Musées Royaux des Beaux-Arts, Brussels


File:Jacques-Louis David 008.jpg
Napoleon at the St. Bernard Pass  1801
Oil on canvas, 246 x 231 cm
Österreichische Galerie Belvedere, Vienna

Anne-Marie-Louise Thélusson, Comtesse de Sorcy  1790
Oil on canvas, 129 x 97 cm
Neue Pinkothek, Munich

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Outside my window...

    Hurricane Irene thrashes and wails, flailing her wings of wind and rain. Her fury and raw power, the darker side of Nature, remind me of how artists have been inspired over the centuries to capture something so fierce and render it as something very beautiful.

Philip Jacques de Loutherbourg
Rocky Coastal Landscape in a Storm

Joseph Mallord William Turner
Dutch Fishing Boats in a Storm  1801
Oil on canvas, 163 x 221 cm
National Gallery, London

 Abraham Willaerts
Stormy Sea   1626
Oil on panel, 85 x 114 cm
The Hermitage, St. Petersburg

 Jan Brueghel the Elder
Christ in the Storm on the Sea of Galilee c. 1596
Oil on copper, 27 x 35 cm
Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, Madrid