Eye Candy for Today: Van Dyck's Marchesa Balbi

Marchesa Balbi, Sir Anthony van Dyck
Marchesa Balbi, Sir Anthony van Dyck

On the Google Cultural Institute: Art Project. Also available on Wikimedia Commons.

The original is in the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.

I’m not always fond of Van Dyck’s more stylized poses, but here, in a reserved, classical portrait of a member of the Geonese aristocracy, Van Dyck earns his reputation as one of the great portrait painters.


Maja Wronska

Maja Wronska
Maja Wronska is, I think, a Polish architecture student. I’m a little uncertain in that she doesn’t appear to have a dedicated website — relying instead on a deviantART gallery and a Tumblog for her web presence, neither of which have much in the way of a bio.

She posts on both of them, however, her watercolors and pencil drawings of buildings in prague, Venice, Paris and other cities in Europe and the U.S. In these she dives right into angular perspective renderings of the most complex building facades likely to be found: cathedrals, train stations, bridges, monumental gates, government buildings and detailed street scenes.

I take the assumption the she is an architecture student partly from her comments on a couple of images, and on her mention of an architectural competition in which she is entered (and on which you are invited to vote)

Her deviantART page includes a time lapse video of her process as well as a couple of step-through image tutorials.

She also has prints available on society6.

[Via TwistedSifter]


Debussy Google Doodle

Claude Debussy Google Doodle
The Google homepage today features a beautifully elegant, and deceptively simple, animated Google Doodle in honor of the 151st anniversary of the birth of French composer Achille-Claude Debussy.

The piece is, naturally enough, set to Debussy’s most celebrated work, Clair de lune (“Moonlight”).

After today, look for it on this page of Google Doodles.

[Suggestion courtesy of David J. Teter]


Eye Candy for Today: Meléndez still life

Still Life with Oranges, Jars and Boxes of Sweets, Luis Melendez
Still Life with Oranges, Jars and Boxes of Sweets, Louis Meléndez

The original is in the Kimbell Art Museum in Texas. View the painting in high resolution on the Google Cultural Institute: Art Project, or on Wikimedia Commons (large version here, 3.3mb).

A superbly composed and painted tour-de-force of still life from the Spanish master.

Like Chardin, Meléndez evokes the magic of seeing the extraordinary in the ordinary. “Look around you!” he seems to say, “Even the most humble of objects can be visual marvels!”


Santiago Rusiñol

Santiago Rusinol
For a long time, my only impression of Santiago Rusiñol was of the painting Interior of a Café (images above, second down), which is in the Philadelphia Museum of Art. I liked the painting, with its odd emotional and visual tone and interesting use of value relationahips, but I didn’t follow up on the artist for some time. I only later discovered that it was not the most representational example of Rusiñol’s work.

Santiago Rusiñol i Prats was a painter from Catalonia, one of the autonomous communities of Spain, who was active in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Though he painted a number of portraits and interiors, he is most associated with his landscapes, and in particular, his views of gardens.

These range from brilliantly sunlit, bringing to mind the garden scenes of Sorolla, to dark, muted and emotionally atmospheric, moving into the realm of symbolism.

You will sometimes see Rusiñol confusingly described as a “modernist”. Though he associated with, and was apparently influential on, Pablo Picasso, the term in this case does not refer to the 20th century Modernism of Paris, but to the turn of the century Modernisme movement, centered in Barcelona, and Modernista artists and architects (like Gaudí) who were more closely associated with Art Nouveau.