Rebecca Giles

Rebecca GIles, still life paintings
Rebecca Giles is a painter based in southeastern Pennsylvania, just outside of Philadelphia. She paints primarily still life and is particularly fascinated with the effects of light as revealed in surface texture and as filtered through transparent and translucent objects.

She will often backlight her subjects in a way that makes them appear to glow. She works in a variety of mediums, at times using pen, watercolor, acrylic and gouache in various combinations in a single work, as well as woking more straightforwardly in oil.

Much of her work is small, roughly in the 8 x 10 ” (20 x 25 cm) and under range, but lately she has been experimenting with larger formats as well as with painting on translucent panels that can be displayed with LED lights behind them, producing something of a stained glass effect (images above, second from the bottom).

Eye Candy for Today: Frederick Sandys’ Vivien

Vivien, Frederick Sandys

Link is to Wikimedia Commons, original is in the Manchester Art Gallery, which doesn’t seem to have an image online. The Study for Vivien at bottom is in the Norwich Castle collection.

In this striking portrait, Pre-Raphaelite painter Frederick Sandys portrays his companion, Koemi Gray, as the character Vivien from “Idylls of the King”, Tennyson’s series of poems that draw on the King Athur legend.

Vivien is one of the interpretations of “The Lady of the Lake”, who proffers Excalibur to Arthur, and is presented by Tennyson as the temptress who beguiles Merlin. The apple with which Sandys’ portrays her may be a symbol of temptation, carried froward from the story of Adam and Eve.

I admire the way Sandys has used the tilt of the head and the lowered eyelids to give suggestion of the nature of the character, and yet still retains his obvious affection for the beauty of his model. The sensitive depiction of the hands, particularly the delicate sweep of the left wrist, is just wonderful. You can see the attention he has given them in his study.

I also love the distinctive touches of red on the lips, earring, necklace and foreground rose, as well as the touch on the apple, balanced out by the complementary greens throughout.

Elias Bancroft

Elias Mollineaux Bancroft, British landscape painter
Elias Mollineaux Bancroft was a British painter active in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Beyond that, I can find little in the way of background or biographical information.

Though he also took on other subjects, Bancroft apparently had a fascination with depicting walls and buildings made of stone or block. These he approached with a nicely visceral feeling of texture and weight.

I believe — as is often the case with images of artworks on the web — that some of the images of his work that you will encounter have been artificially brightened and raised in chroma by someone along the way in an attempt to make them “prettier”. In my example images above, I’ve taken the liberty of adjusting a couple of them to my best guess of their original appearance.

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 a link to a large 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.