Eye Candy for Today: View of Naples by Antonino Leto

View of Naples by Antonino Leto
Naples, Antonino Leto

Link is to Wikimedia Commons page that has link to arge image; original is in a private collection.

Leto’s view of the Bay of Naples and a smoky Mt. Vesuvius is a study in atmospheric effects. I love the difference between the intensity of the color in the foreground water and the soft graduated atmosphere that ranges from the base to the peak of the volcano.


Gaby D’Alessandro

Gaby D'Alessandro, illustrations
Originally from the Dominican Republic and currently based in Brooklyn, Gaby D’Alessandro is an illustrator whose clients include The New York Times, Smithsonian Magazine, The Atlantic, The Washington Post, The National Audubon Society, NPR and The American Museum of Natural History.

D’Alessandro has a particular strength in her depictions of scientific concepts and historical figures. She contrasts straightforward portraits and faces, rendered with nuanced value changes, against patterns of biological and geometric forms — ideal in her presentation of figures like Darwin and a marvelous evocation of the intellectual/emotional sensation of listening to Bach’s tones and colors (images above, fourth down).

I particularly admire her portrait of pioneering coder and computer visionary Ada King, Countess of Lovelace (“Ada Lovelace”), set against a diagram of Babbage’s Difference Engine and enwrapped in strings of input punch cards for the machine (images above, bottom).

In addition to the images on her website, you can find more on her Behance portfolio and Instagram, and the portfolio of her U.S. artist’s representatives, Morgan Gaynin, There are available prints of her work on InPrint and society6.


Rembrandt Peale’s portraits of Thomas Jefferson

Prtrait of Thomas Jefferson, Rembrandt Peale
Rembrandt Peale was named by his father, pioneering American artist Charles Wilson Peale, after a famous European artist from the past, like his brothers Raphaelle Peale, Rubens Peale and Titian Peale.

Like his father, Rembrandt Peale painted important figures of the American Revolution, who they associated with at the time, including George Washington and Thomas Jefferson. He painted the portrait of Thomas Jefferson at top here in Philadelphia in 1800, when the city was the temporary capital of the young nation, and Jefferson was Vice President to John Adams.

The second portrait was painted in D.C. at the White House in 1805, at the end of Jefferson’s first term as president.

Both paintings are in the collection of the White House.

There is a high res image of the first on Google Art Project, with a downloadable version on Wikimedia Commons. That image appears overly dark compared to the image on the White House Historical Association; and there is also a somewhat lighter but lower resolution images on Wikimedia. I’ve lightened the large image to be closer to the other.


Mary Dawson Elwell

Mary Dawson Elwell, Britiah painter active late 19th early 20th century
Mary Dawson Elwell (previous married name Mary Dawson Holmes, born Mary Dawson Bishop) was a British painter active in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

She was married to painter Frederick William Elwell, and her work is sometimes overshadowed by his. Contemporary searches bring up little biographical information on her. The best source I’ve been able to find is this nicely succinct account on My Daily Art Display.

I particularly enjoy Mary Dawson Elwell’s serene, contemplative interiors, filled with subtle light shining on polished wooden surfaces, gilded picture frames and pottery.


Thomas Paquette – Americas River Re-Explored

Thomas Paquette – Americas River Re-Explored, paintings of the Mississippi River

Thomas Paquette is a painter I’ve written about several times previously, and whose work I find particularly appealing.

Paquette’s approach is fascinating in several ways: his bold and daring compositions, his expressive brushwork, his use of naturalistic and expressionistic color — often within the same painting — and his unconventional treatment of edges.

Paquette brings his considerable range of technique to bear on a variety of landscape subjects, from intimate woodland interiors to grand vistas of rivers and plains, and in compositions ranging from tiny gouache paintings to large scale oils.

In his latest project, Paquette has taken on a subject as wild and varied as the land that feeds it – the Mississippi River.

What started as a project to mark the centennial of the National Park Service with a series of paintings of the river from the Mississippi National River and Recreation Area between Minneapolis and St. Paul, grew along with Paquette’s artistic fascination with the river into the notion of painting scenes of the entire river, from its source to the Gulf of Mexico.

The result is an exhibition of 45 oil paintings that represent the culmination of three years of intense exploration, observation and interpretation.

America’s River Re-Explored, Paintings by Thomas Paquette of the Mississippi from Source to Gulf will be displayed in three venues, on the following schedule:
Minnesota Marine Art Museum – April 20 – August 26, 2018
Watermark Art Center – September 7 – October 31, 2018
Dubuque Museum of Art – April 27 – July 28, 2019

There is a selection of images of paintings from the series available on Paquette’s website, that will be rotated, beginning in August of 2018.

Paquette has a video on YouTube in which he describes the evolution of the project, and shows many additional paintings. There is also a video of Paquette giving an informal gallery talk at the Minnesota Marine Art Museum.

Accompanying the exhibition is an 84 page catalog, with 66 reproductions of the paintings, including many close-ups of details. I was delighted to receive a review copy, and the book is just flat-out beautiful, with the artist’s vibrant colors and remarkable textures reproduced with the kind of visual strength and subtlety they deserve. The book stands on its own as an art book, with annotations of field notes about the paintings and their locations along the course of the river, and also offers insight into some of the fascinating elements of Paquette’s approach to painting.

Thomas Paquette – Americas River Re-Explored, Paintings of the Mississippi from Source to Gulf is available directly from Eyeful Press. As of this writing, the book is listed as out of stock until later in July, but can be preordered there, or ordered now from the store of the Minnesota Marine Art Museum. I will try to announce on Twitter when they are readily available from the publisher again.