Category Archives: Eye Candy for Today

Eye Candy for Today: Christen Købke Autumn Landscape

Autumn Landscape. Frederiksborg Castle in the Middle Distance; Christen Kobke
Autumn Landscape. Frederiksborg Castle in the Middle Distance; Christen Købke

Link is to zoomable image on Google Art Project; downloadable file on Wikimedia Commons; original is in the Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek in Copenhagen.

Danish painter Christen Købke invites you to step into his late fall landscape to view the castle beyond the trees.

I find particular fascination beyond the castle in his handling of the clouds — rich with painterly finesse and subtle variations in color as they emerge from his wintry sky.

 
Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinFacebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedin

Eye Candy for Today: Fantin-Latour – Still Life with Carafe, Flowers and Fruit

Still Life with a Carafe, Flowers and Fruit; Henri Fantin-Latour
Still Life with a Carafe, Flowers and Fruit; Henri Fantin-Latour

Link is to zoomable version on Google Art Project; downloadable file on Wikimedia Commons; original is in the National Museum of Western Art, Tokyo.

Somewhat larger than most of Fantin-Latour’s still lifes, this is a prime example of his beautiful approach.

Most striking here, I think, is his masterful use of value. The background is uncharacteristically dark compared to most of his similar compositions, and he has let the vase and carafe subtly emerge from the darkness, in sharp contrast to the white flowers.

The peaches and melon make up the middle range, with delightfully painterly handling on the former and fascinatingly textural representation of the discolored skin of the latter.

I think this is the fifth Eye Candy post I’ve done of Fantin-Latour’s still life paintings, and I have yet to do a post on the artist himself. I’m sure I’ll get around to it some time this decade.

 
Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinFacebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedin

Eye Candy for Today: Canaletto’s Porta Portello, Padua

The Porta Portello, Padua; Canaletto (Giovanni Antonio Canal)
The Porta Portello, Padua; Canaletto (Giovanni Antonio Canal)

Another architectural tour-de-force by the 18th century Italian master Canaletto – times two. The painting above in the top six images is in the National Gallery of Art, DC.

In the bottom four images is another version, with the same perspective but with different figures and harsher light, that is in the Museo Thussen – Bornemisza in Madrid.

There’s some question about the dating of the paintings; both could have been painted around the time of his documented trip to the city of Padua around 1740 or 1741, but some put the second painting almost twenty years later — perhaps as a “greatest hits” request from a patron. The Porta Portello is the main entrance to Padua for those traveling, like Canaletto, from Venice.

Even more visually entrancing than either painting is a preliminary ink and wash drawing that was a subject of a previous Lines and Colors post. It has been reliably dated around the time of the first painting, but presumably could have been used for both.

In both paintings, I love the contrast between Canaletto’s masterful painting of the architectural elements and his abbreviated shorthand notation for figures and things like grass texture and the surface of water. (Gotta love those little water squiggles!)

 
Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinFacebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedin

Eye Candy for Today: Antonio Mauro Perspective Design for a Stage Set

Perspective Design for a Stage Set of an Italian Cityscape, Antonio Mauro II, drawing in pen and ink and leadpoint with wash
Perspective Design for a Stage Set of an Italian Cityscape, Antonio Mauro II

Pen and black ink, brown and gray wash and leadpoint layout lines, roughly 10 x 14 in. (27 x 36 cm). In the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, use the Enlarge or Download links under their image.

This beautifully crafted 18th century design for a stage set, with its complex perspective view of a city street, also works as a drawing.

The artist’s use of wash — both in the heavily shadowed wall on the left and the lighter applications that add dimensionality to the architectural details on the right — give the composition solidity and enhance remarkable feeling of depth created by Mauro’s command of linear perspective.

If you look closely (the high-resolution image on the Met’s site is considerably larger than my detail crops above), you can see some of the artist’s perspective construction lines.

 
Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinFacebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedin

Eye Candy for Today: Andrew Way still life

Bunch of Grapes, Andrew Way still life painting
Bunch of Grapes, Andrew Way

In the Walters Art Museum. Use “Explore Object” line in upper left of image for zoomable version, or Download link to right. Image can also be viewed in a zoomable version on Google Art Project.

I haven’t seen the original, but my instincts tell me this image may be overly dark (as many museum website photos of artwork seem to be). I’ve taken the liberty of lightening the images above a bit to bring out the underlying red color of the grapes, which is not obvious in the museum’s version of the image.

Way was a Baltimore native who switched his specialty from portraiture to still life. Many of his subjects were of grapes, rendered faithfully as recognizable varieties — in a way, “portraits” of grapes.

I love his sensitive rendering of the grape leaves, especially the one turning brown, and the subtle edges of the shadow that it so integral to his composition.

See my previous Eye Candy post on another still life of grapes in the collection of the Walters Museum.

 
Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinFacebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedin

Eye Candy for Today: Pissarro’s Autumn, Poplars, Éragny

Autumn, Poplars, &Eaute;ragny, Camille Pissarro
Autumn, Poplars, Eragny; Camille Pissarro

Link is to zoomable version on Google Art Project; downloadable file on Wikimedia Commons; original is in the Denver Art Museum which also has a zoomable version (and, oddly, has another, somewhat different looking version of the image).

This is Pissarro at the height of his classically Impressionist style. The painting is composed of individual dabs of intense color, intended to be blended optically when viewed from the proper distance.

 
Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinFacebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedin