Eye Candy for Today: Charles Gifford Dyer still life

Seventeenth-Century Interior, Charles Gifford Dyer

Seventeenth-Century Interior, Charles Gifford Dyer (details)

Seventeenth-Century Interior, Charles Gifford Dyer

Oil on canvas, roughly 37 x 28 inches (94 x 71 cm), in the collection of the Art Institute Chicago

This is a nineteenth century American artist painting a still life in the manner of seventeenth century Dutch still life — and doing a bang up job of it.

 
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José Naranja

Jose Naranja, illustrated notebooks and journals

Jose Naranja, illustrated notebooks and journals

Among followers of “urban sketching”, there is an often associated practice known as “journaling”, or the keeping of a visual diary of one’s travels, day to day activities or random thoughts and ideas.

The idea of visual journals or diaries is nothing new, of course, but the current popularity of the practice, and the ability to place one’s journals online and compare notes with others, makes it an interesting contemporary phenomenon.

José Naranja is a Spanish artist, writer, traveller and observer who takes this activity to greater lengths than most. Naranja refers to himself as a “notebook maker and more”.

After years of making journals in commercial sketchbooks and notebooks, he has taken to crafting his own, using high quality paper and binding the in leather in much thicker dimensions than those commercially available.

These he fills with ink and watercolor sketches, hand written text, clippings, stamps and sometimes intricate design work — resulting in an amalgam that is part travel journal, part art and design experiments, part comparisons of drawing and writing materials, part collage, part scrapbook and part imaginative workspace.

You can find examples of his notebook pages and materials on his blog and Instagram page. He offers a facsimile edition of some of his selected pages as The Orange Manuscript, as well as prints.

You can also find quick overviews of some of his pages in articles on My Modern Met and Colossal. There is an interview with Naranja on Notebook Stories.

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Adam Oehlers

Adam Oehlers illustration

Adam Oehlers illustration

Adam Oehlers is a British illustrator, concept artist and character designer whose work carries a feeling of his admiration for the Golden Age illustrators.

Most of the illustration on his website is in a fantasy vein, with wonderfully rendered forest scenes, animals and plant details. He makes effective use of muted, limited palettes, giving the work a coherence and sense of subtlety.

I particularly enjoy his use of repeated natural forms, like leaves, tree trunks or butterflies, as components of suggested patterns, with a bit of an Art Nouveau sensibility.

In addition to illustration, you can find on his blog examples of animated music videos, as well as both prints and original art for sale in his shop.

You can also find additional examples of his work on Behance and Instagram.

 
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Eye Candy for Today: Nicolas Delaunay engraving after Fragonard

The Happy Accident of the Swing, Nicolas Delaunay, engraving after Fragonard

The Happy Accident of the Swing, Nicolas Delaunay, engraving after Fragonard (details)

The Happy Accident of the Swing, Nicolas Delaunay

Engraving, roughly 20 x 16″ (51 x 42 cm); in the collection of the Art Institute Chicago

This wonderfully lush and textural engraving by Nicolas Delaunay is a copy of a famous painting by Jean-Honoré Fragonard. It was not uncommon for painters to have printmakers create copies of their most popular works, if they weren’t inclined to do it themselves.

Here the image (reversed, of course, because it’s a print) becomes a fascinating study in controlling value relationships with deeply textural line and hatching. Look at the range of values, from the dark leaves and branches to the delicate rendering of the tree in the distance to the bright sheen of the dress.

 
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Image trove from the Art Institute of Chicago

Art Institute of Chicago high-res art images, Gustave Caillebotte

Art Institute of Chicago high-res art images, Gustave Caillebotte, Albert Bierstadt, John SInger Sargent, Claude Monet, Diego Velasquez, Alfons Mucha, Charles Gifford Dye

The Art Institute of Chicago, one of the largest art museums in the U.S., has redesigned its website, and in the process, placed online a trove of over 50,000 large scale images of works from the collection.

They have done so under a “CC0” license, meaning public domain or “No Rights Reserved”, so you are free to download, distribute or do with the images as you will.

The collection is broad but seems to be particular strong in areas like French Impressionism and American Art, along with treasures by Rembrandt, Durer and other major figures.

You can search for keywords or artist name, and apply filters for medium, era and so on. Or you might want to get a cross section by using their browse feature, and clicking “Load More” at the bottom of the page as many times as you like. This can be a good way to come across gems that you might not otherwise know to search for.

Once you click through to an image detail page, there are convenient icons under the image for zoom, download and links.

I think this is a brilliant public relations move on the museum’s part. Going through these images, and being able to see them in detail, makes me want to hop on a plane to Chicago just to visit the Art Institute. Museum websites that skimp on the size of images from their collections don’t exert that pull.

As I have just experienced it, I will issue my “Timesink Warning” to those who are inclined to get lost in treasure troves of high resolution art images.

Enjoy!

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(Images above, with details: Gustave Caillebotte, Albert Bierstadt, John SInger Sargent, Claude Monet, Diego Velasquez, Alfons Mucha, Charles Gifford Dyer)

 
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Eye Candy for Today: Burne-Jones’s Mirror of Venus

The Mirror of Venus, Edward Burne-Jones

The Mirror of Venus, Edward Burne-Jones

The Mirror of Venus, Edward Burne-Jones

Link is to Wikimedia Commons, original is in the Calouste Gulbenkian Museum, Lisbon.

Pre-Raphaelite painter Edward Burne-Jones, who went on to be a major figure in style known as Aestheticism, presents a tableau of female figures, some staring at their reflections in the mirror of a still pond, others looking at the striking figure in blue, whose gaze falls on the pool but not on her own reflection.

The artist has left it to us to interpret the different expressions of the women, perhaps suggesting that each is seeing something unique in the nature of her own reflection, or in the presence of the standing figure.

In a way not possible to viewers of the real painting, we can use the magic of Photoshop to view the reflections of the women in the pool, turned right-side up (image above, bottom) revealing that Burn-Jones has painted them with as much attention and skill as the primary figures.

Not only that, but faces with downcast eyes, in which we cannot see the pupils in the main figures, look different from the upward viewing angle of the reflected faces in the pool.

 
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