Monthly Archives: October 2010

Titian and the Golden Age of Venetian Painting

Titian and the Golden Age of Venitian Painting; Diana and Actaeon, Diana and Callisto
Tiziano Vecellio, commonly called Titian, was one of the great masters of the Italian Renaissance. His reputation spread form his native Venice to Rome and the other art centers of Italy, as well as to Spain and throughout Europe.

His mastery of oil painting, use of color, and strength in all phases of painting — portraits, mythological subjects, allegories, altarpieces and landscapes with figures — along with his painterly approach, made him tremendously influential in his time and well after.

Two of his major works, Diana and Actaeon (above, top) and Diana and Callisto (above, bottom) form the core of a new exhibition at the High Museum of Art in Atlanta, Titian and the Golden Age of Venetian Painting: Masterpieces from the National Galleries of Scotland.

The exhibition includes 25 paintings from the Venetian Renaissance, including works by Tintoretto, Veronese and Lotto, that are on loan from the National Gallery of Scotland.

Titian’s two Diana paintings were commissioned by King Phillip II of Spain, and are related, meant to be seen as a pair. Though they depict two different moments from the life of the mythological figure, they are both tableaux of Titian’s masterful figures, pulled together by the common visual theme of a stream running through them. The two paintings are traveling to the U.S. for the first time.

Though Titian’s youthful experimentation had abated by the time he painted these works in his 60′s, his technical mastery was in full force.

Titian and the Golden Age of Venetian Painting: Masterpieces from the National Galleries of Scotland is on display until January 2, 2011.

For more, see my earlier posts on Titian, and on his Polyptych of the Ressurection.

Chris Ryniak

Chris Ryniak
On his blog Chris Ryniak describes himself as “monster & critter maker”.

On his website you will find galleries of his monsters & critters both as paintings (also here) and as small scale sculptures in epoxy, glass, vinyl and acrylic.

My timing is a little off with this post, in that his show at MyPlasticHeart in NYC, This Could Get Ugly, is wrapping up on October 24, but you can (at least for the time being) also see a gallery of his sculptures and paintings associated with the show.

Ryniak is a graduate and former instructor of the Ringling School of Art and Design in Florida, and is currently based in Ohio.

Ryniak’s beasties have a kind of oddball charm, with buggy eyes, fish-like parts and lots of teeth. His paintings, which I believe are primarily done in acrylic, have a decorative dimensional feeling to them, with backgrounds de-emphasized and the textural qualities of the, er… critters, emphasized..

[Via Drawn!]

Machiavelli, online graphic novel by Don MacDonald

Machiavelli, online graphic novel by Don MacDonald
Niccolò Machiavelli was a 15th Century Italian diplomat, philosopher and writer, from whose political treatise, The Prince, along with other writings, we get the contemporary usage of his name in the term Machiavellian, referring to the use of deceptive cunning and planning in politics.

Machiavelli himself, however, was hardly an example of the intricate political deceit with which his name is associated, and is largely unknown for his own life and deeds.

Machiavelli is an ongoing graphic novel written and drawn by Don MacDonald that explores the life and times of Machiavelli the man.

MacDonald is posting the story to the web, two pages week. He plans a story of about 170 pages. The home page of the site always opens up on the current page (as of this writing, page 42), but you will want to start with the first page.

He usually annotates each page with comments about Machiavelli’s life and the history and politics of the time, in which he has obviously immersed himself in preparation for telling the story.

The story is drawn in a slightly gestural informal line style with gray washes. MacDonald’s line and tone approach, in which he emphasizes light and shadow, is ideal for the subject and his evocation of 15th Century Florence.

The site also includes a blog, poster size images that can be printed out for free, and a small selection of his earlier watercolor portrait paintings (above, bottom).

You can check back periodically as he adds to the story, or be notified by one of several methods he mentions on the About page.

[Via BoingBoing]

Margarita (Hampa Studio)

Margarita, Hampa Studio
Margarita is a beautifully designed, drawn and realized animated short (about 12 minutes long) from Hampa Studio.

Another example of small independent studios doing high level work, this award winning story follows the adventures of a young princess (lived in the imagination of our actual protagonist, a young girl being read the story by her mother), who sets out to find an evening star that has captured her fancy.

The film is based on a poem by Rubén Dario, and the adaptation works to evoke the poetic images wordlessly, with only sound effects and music to accompany the images.

The animators chose to take the approach of traditional hand-drawn animation, with wonderful backgrounds, delightful character design and fluid, elegant animated motion.

There is a Making Of feature that is actually a bit longer than the film itself, in which the creators discuss the conception of the project as well as their process in bringing it to fruition.

There is also a trailer that was released prior to the final film. In addition to the page on the Hampa Studio site, there is a site for Margarita, that has an English version, as well as a blog.

[Via Animation Blog]

Southwest Art Magazine

Southwest Art Magazine:<br />
(Images above:
Southwest Art is a print magazine devoted to American Western art, with a focus on contemporary artists. The magazine is a division of F+W Media, and is related to sister publications that include The Artist’s Magazine, Watercolor Artist and The Pastel Journal.

They post a number of full articles from the magazine on their website, along with related images, currently including several from their November 2010 issue. These feature artists like Clyde Aspevig, Rock Newcomb, Mark Haworth, Raj Chaudhuri (who I featured previously here) and Daniel Keys (who I featured here).

There is a blog and lists of other articles (accessed from the drop-down menu in the red navigation bar), that also frequently features entire articles and images.

The magazine holds competitions, one called 21 Under 31, focusing on young, emerging artists under 31 (featured in their September 2010 issue and linked on the website here), and another called 21 Over 31, focusing on artists from 31 to 64 years of age (featured in the November 2010 issue and arranged as a linked list here).

Though the focus is on a a particular region of the U.S. that is often considered to have its own approach and range of subjects, the artists and work featured would be of interest to anyone who enjoys contemporary landscape, still life and figurative art.

(Images above: Daniel Keys, Clyde Aspevig, Rock Newcomb, Raj Chaudhuri, Mark Haworth)

Benoît Mandelbrot, 1924 – 2010


As I described in my post about him from 2008, Benoît Mandelbrot was not an artist, but a mathematician.

His work, however, has enabled others, from dedicated computer artists to dabblers, to create the multitude of stunning images we know as ‘fractals”. In the process, he deepened our understanding of nature and the concept of infinity.

Benoît Mandelbrot died this morning at the age of 86.

There is a bio on Wikipedia, from which the images above were taken. They are part of a set of images in which each is a magnified crop from the last (I’ve skipped some in the sequence above).

For more, see my previous post on Benoit Mandelbrot, in which I give a better overview of Mandelbrot and his contribution, a brief explanation of fractals and links to images and other resources.

[Via Kottke]