Eye Candy for Today: Olga Wisinger-Florian fall landscape

Falling Leaves, Olga Wisinger-Florian, oil on canvas
Falling Leaves, Olga Wisinger-Florian

Link is to the image on Wikimedia Commons. I don’t know the status of the original; it was sold at auction in 2014, so it may be in a private collection.

Turn of the century Austrian painter Olga Wisinger-Florian give us a wonderful example of how to handle a complex, colorful and highly textural scene with deft use of hue and value relationships.

For more, see my post on Olga Wisinger-Florian.

Happy Autumnal Equinox!

Falling Leaves, Wikimedia Commons

 
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Eye Candy for Today: Frederic Edwin Church oil sketch

Drawing, in the New England woods, 1855-65; Frederic Edwin Church, oil on paper
Drawing, in the New England woods, 1855-65; Frederic Edwin Church

Oil on paperboard, roughly 13 x 9 inches ( 33 x 23 cm); in the Cooper Hewitt Collection of the Smithsonian Design Museum.

Interestingly, the museum has posted two images of this work, the one above, top, which I’ll call the “cool” version, and the one above, bottom, which I’ll call the “warm” version.

The museum mentions that there are two versions of the image, and provides an essentially identical collection description page for each. Both are also nicely provided with a high-res version of the image.

Here is the cool version (also linked above), with a link to the high-res image for that version.

Here is the warm version, with its corresponding high-res image (actually higher in resolution than the large version of the cool image).

Neither gives an indication of which image is more true to the original painting. The museum used the cooler version in their online listing for a show from 2006 that included the painting.

Though the difference seems striking, this is an example of how easily images of an artwork — even those posted by museums of work in their own collections — can vary from the original. I was able to take each version of the image into Photoshop and quickly reproduce the appearance of the other image with some adjustments to hue and lightness.

It’s interesting to see the details brought out by the color adjustments, the oranges and reds that you see in the “warm” version are actually there in the cooler image, just not as noticeable; I suspect they are partly from an underpainting.

 
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Eye Candy for Today: Rembrandt portrait etching

Portrait of Abraham Francen, Apothecary, Rembrandt Harmenz. van Rijn, etching and drypoint
Portrait of Abraham Francen, Apothecary; Rembrandt Harmenz. van Rijn

Etching and drypoint; roughly 6 x 8 inches (15 x 20 cm); In the collection of the Rijksmuseum.

Rembrandt was an absolute master of the medium of etching and drypoint — in my opinion, the greatest in the history of art. He is most noted for his etchings of religious scenes and landscapes, but he also did a number of elaborate portraits of patrons and other figures.

Though small, this is a formal portrait etching into which Rembrandt seems to have devoted a good deal of effort, almost as if it were a monochromatic painting.

The subject is described as an apothecary in most versions of the print, but is also is described in at least one as an art dealer. It’s evident that he was at any rate an art collector, as Rembrandt has certainly represented him that way. We see him casting a discerning eye on what appears to be a Chinese ink painting, while surrounded by other paintings and art objects.

The skull may be a memento mori, but the transparency of the small statuette is a bit puzzling to me, given the finished state of the remainder of the etching.

Etchings often exist as prints in several different states, printed at various points in their development.

It’s interesting to compare some of the versions of this portrait. The Rijksmusum itself has at least 12 different versions of the print (note the differences in this one), and you can find others in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Fine Arts Boston, the Harvard Art Museum, the Morgan Library, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Norton Simon Museum, the Fine Arts Museum of San Francisco and likely a number of other institutions if you care to keep searching.

I like this particular version of the print, both for it’s clarity and feeling of light, and for the simple but beautiful rendering of the window frame and the landscape beyond.

 
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Eye Candy for Today: Veronese double portrait

Portrait of Countess Livia da Porto Thiene and her Daughter Deidamia, Paolo Veronese
Portrait of Countess Livia da Porto Thiene and her Daughter Deidamia, Paolo Veronese

Link is to a zoomable image on Google Art Project; there is a downloadable file on Wikimedia Commons; the original is in the Walters Art Museum, which also has a zoomable and downloadable version, but not as high resolution.

This full length double portrait was originally paired with another, of the Count and the couple’s son, Adriano, now in the the Uffizi Gallery in Florence.

Full length portraits would become more common in subsequent centuries, they were still a rarity when the young Veronese painted these in the middle of the 16th century.

 
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Eye Candy for Today: Waterhouse’s Juliet

Juliet, John William Waterhouse
Juliet, John William Waterhouse

The link is to Wikimedia Commons. This painting was sold at auction in 2014, and is now in a private collection. Fortunately, we at least have a reasonably good image of the painting.

Waterhouse is frequently mentioned with the Pre-Raphaelites, with whom he associated and by whom he was certainly influenced; but unlike his older friends and mentors, Waterhouse painted in a more direct, painterly manner, with more evidence of the passage of the brush.

That approach is wonderfully evident in this solitary portrayal of Shakespeare’s very young tragic heroine (in the play, she is not yet fourteen, Romeo a fair bit older, perhaps 18 or 19). The painting might be somewhere in intention between a study and a finished work.

I always admire Waterhouse’s soft edges, which he uses frequently and to great effect in making his figures and backgrounds read as a seamless whole.

 
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Eye Candy for Today: Alexander Cozens ink and wash landscape drawing

Landscape with Ruined Temple, Alexander Cozens, Brown ink and wash over graphite; roughly 12 x 16 inches (32 x 40 cm); in the collection of the Yale Center for British Art
Landscape with Ruined Temple, Alexander Cozens

Brown ink and wash over graphite; roughly 12 x 16 inches (32 x 40 cm); in the collection of the Yale Center for British Art. Use the Zoom or Download links under the image on their site. Also available as a a zoomable image on Google Art Project and a downloadable file on Wikimedia Commons.

It could be that the middle ground and background are in the same ink as the foreground, just in a more diluted application, but I suspect this is actually two different inks, not an uncommon practice in 17th and 18th century ink drawings.

The difference in value in the three primary planes gives the image an appealing sense of depth, and the more subtle value gradations within each plane provide a sense of textural presence.

I love the texture of the hatching in the lighter or more dilute application of pen in the middle ground, and the way Cozens has used shadow across the right side of the foreground, suggesting even more depth in the form of unseen objects to the right of — or even behind — the viewer.

 
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