Jules-Alexandre Grün

Jules-Alexandre Grun
Jules-Alexandre Grün was a French painter, illustrator and poster artist active in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

Grün painted the social life of paris, dinner parities and grand celebrations, and designed posters for theatre and other events.

There is a blog devoted to his poster work, Jules-Alexandre Grün: The Posters, with a bio.

Toward the end of his career, Grün was suffering from Parkinson’s disease; Donald Pittenger has a post on the painting of Grün’s last crowd scene on his blog Art Contrarian (see this post’s comments).


Will Harmuth

Will Harmuth, oil and acrylic
New Jersey artist William Harmuth paints landscapes and townscapes in both oil and acrylic. In the former, his color is often laid down in thick, brusque passages, giving the surface an almost sculptural character.

His acrylics also give the impression of gestural paint application. In the “Traditional” gallery section of his website, you will find work that looks more refined, and at times leans toward a tonalist approach.

I enjoy in particular those compositions in which he focuses on a section of a building or group of buildings, emphasizing the geometry of the scene.

[Via Donna Nyzio]


Eye Candy for Today: Bellini’s Feast of the Gods

The Feast of the Gods, Giovanni Bellini and Titian
The Feast of the Gods, Giovanni Bellini and Titian

Link is to zoomable version on Google Art Project; downloadable file on Wikimedia Commons; original is in the National Gallery of Art, DC, which also has downloadable files (the larger of which requires a free login account).

Venetian Renaissance master Giovanni Bellini‘s last great painting was uncharacteristically a mythological scene — a departure from his lifetime of religious subjects — painted two years before his death.

The National Gallery of Art in Washington, which has the painting in its collection, describes The Feast of the Gods as “one of the greatest Renaissance paintings in the United States”. (Since they also have Leonardo’s stunning portrait of Ginevra de’ Benci in their collection, they should know.)

The painting was commissioned by Duke Alfonso d’Este as one of a series of works to decorate his study. Some years after Bellini’s death, the duke commissioned changes to the painting, first by Dosso Dossi, who revised the landscape at upper left and added the pheasant in the tree at the upper right, and then by Bellini’s brilliant student, Titian, who painted over Dosso’s landscape changes (but left he pheasant) and created the landscape at left and the dramatic mountainscape in center that we see in the the painting’s current state.

There is an article on the painting on Wikipedia, and an analysis of the work on WebExhibits, including an exposition on the pigments used, gleaned from an investigation of the painting carried out during a restoration conducted in 1985. There is a more recent continuation of the WebExhibits description of the pigments on ColourLex.


Wilbert Sweet

Wilbert Sweet, concept art
Wilbert Sweet is a concept artist and matte painter based in Montreal, where he is currently working with Behaviour Interactive.

Sweet is at an early point in his career, and most of the work in his online portfolio appears to be from personal projects. I often find personal projects from concept artists are more interesting than their professional assignments, allowing them to explore visual ideas without the constraint of narrowly defined project parameters.

Sweet’s work ranges through both science fiction and fantasy themes, often in the form of monumental city structures and landscapes. He makes effective use of aerial perspective, spot lighting and sharp punctuations of high chroma color.

There is a brief illustrated interview with Sweet on CGSociety.


Deborah Walker

Deborah Walker, watercolor
UK watercolor painter Deborah Walker often takes as her subjects the dramatic rock and chalk cliffs of the southern coast of England.

In doing so, she uses the open whites to great advantage in portraying the shimmer of light across water and the craggy surfaces of the chalk walls.

Her other favored subjects also frequently include water, from inland streams to the river Thames in London.

Particularly delightful to me is the contrast Walker finds in the rough textures of rock and chalk cliff faces against the rippled surface of the surrounding sea.


Valentin Serov at the Tretyakov Gallery

Valentin Serov at the Tretyakov Gallery
Though not as well known in Western Europe and the US as some of his contemporaries, Russian painter Valentin Aleksandrovitch Serov is well known and much admired in his home country — so much so that a show of his work currently at the Tretyakov gallery in Moscow has hosted record crowds, and even suffered broken entrance doors in a crush of queued visitors.

Serov was one of the great portrait painters of the late 19th century, as well as landscape painter, illustrator, graphic artist and stage designer.

His style combines elements of traditional Russian and European portraiture and landscape with more experimental styles. He was one of the earliest Russian painters to experiment with Impressionism.

Valentin Serov at the Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow continues to 31 january 2016

For more, see my previous post on Velentin Serov.