Eye Candy for Today: Claude Mellan single line engraving

Face of Christ on St. Veronica's Cloth, Claude Mellan
Face of Christ on St. Veronica's Cloth (details), Claude Mellan

Face of Christ on St. Veronica’s Cloth (alternately: Sudarium of Saint Veronica), Claude Mellan, engraving on paper, roughly 17 x 13 in. (43 x 31 cm); in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, (click on image to zoom, click small down arrow to download)

This remarkable engraving by 17th century French engraver and painter Claude Mellan consists of a single spiral line!

Beginning on the tip of the nose, the line spirals outward, its passages of increasing or decreasing thickness defining the darks and lights of the image.

To understand how even more remarkable this accomplishment is, see the Met’s page on engraving, and how it’s done.

There is more information on the engraving and the story it illustrates on Google Art Project, and general backstory on the Sudarium on Wikipedia.

Stephanie Law

Stephanie Law
Stephanie Law

Stephanie Law is a watercolor painter from California. Her work ranges from straightforward botanical art to fantastical imaginings with a botanical feel, to stylized animal and plant forms, to fairie images that evoke a feeling of 19th century European illustrators like Rackham and Dulac.

Her watercolor paintings often incorporate elements of metal leaf and ink, and they are sometimes set off in custom frames that she forms into stylized dimesional elements complementary to her images.

Many of her works are circular in shape. I’m not sure if this is for a reason other than a fondness for that form on her part. Most are part of a series.

Her website features galleries in a number of clategories. There is also a store with prints, original art, books and other items. In addition, there is a set off section of her site devoted to her botanical art.

Law has a YouTube channel that features videos of her process.

Eye Candy for Today: Anna Alma Tadema’s The Closing Door

The Closing Door, Anna Alma-Tadema
The Closing Door, Anna Alma-Tadema (details)

The Closing Door, Anna Alma-Tadema, watercolor and gouache, roughly 21 x 14 in. (52 x 35 cm). Link is to previous sale on Christie’s; I don’t know the current location of the original.

Anna Alma-Tadema is often (if not always) overshadowed by the reputation of her more famous father, Lawrence Alma-Tadema, and unjustly so. The younger Alma-Tadema is a watercolorist with a high degree of skill and artistic sensibility.

In this scene, she creates an emotional moment that requires us to look closely into the painting to realise its depth. As the woman clutches both at her dress and at her necklace — her upturned face half vacant, half distressed — the shadowed door behind her is being pulled closed by a figure whose presence we only encounter by barely noticed hands on the door.

Rejection? The end of a love affair? Perhaps the flowers and writing materials on the deak give us additional clues. We’re left to compose our own story around the scene, but the sense of strained emotion is palpable.

Alma-Tadema’s other subjects were often room interiors, in which her eye for detail, surface texture and the subtle play of light were masterfully suggested in painstaking watercolor technique. Here, those skills offer a composed, elaborate setting for the moment — never distracting, but there for our visual pleasure as our eye travels to take in the entire scene.

Artem Rogowoi

Artem Rogowoi
Artem Rogowoi

Ukrainian painter Artem Rogowoi works primarily in oil, often augmented with gold leaf. He also does smaller studies in gouache in which he plays with expressionistic color schemes.

Rogowoi studied at the Kharkiv State Art College and the Kharkiv Academy of Design and Arts. His work has been featured in numerous exhibition in Ukraine, the U.S. and Australia.

I can’t find a dedicated website for him, but some of the sites listed below have bio information as well as examples of his work. [Note: some of the images on the sites linked below could be considered NSFW.]

Eye Candy for Today: Tissot’s Gallery of the HMS Calcutta

The Gallery of HMS Calcutta, James Tissot
The Gallery of HMS Calcutta (details), James Tissot

The Gallery of HMS Calcutta, James Tissot, oli in canvas, roughly 27 x 36 in (68 x 92 cm). Link os to image file page on Wikimedia Commons, original is in the Tate, London.

19th century French painter James Tissot, who was unjustly often dismissed as a shallow chronicler of high society, here demonstrates a mastery of soft light and delicate value relationships in his portrayal of well dressed young people enjoyng the view from a sailing ship’s gallery. Often called a “quarter gallery”, this feature was a kind of balcony or observation deck on the stern of the ship.