Category Archives: Eye Candy for Today

Eye Candy for Today: Carlo Ferrario ink drawing

Ancient Structure Beside a Stream, Carlo Ferrario ink drawing
Ancient Structure Beside a Stream, Carlo Ferrario

Pen and black on on paper, roughly 6 x 9 inches (16 x 23 cm); in the collection of the Morgan Library and Museum, which offers both a zoomable and downloadable version on their site.

I love how free and gestural Ferrario’s lines and hatching are here, so seemingly quick and casual as to appear scribbled; but over a foundation of solid, confident draftsmanship.

Ferrario often did drawings for the designs of operatic stage sets. If this was not one of those, my guess is that it is still likely a capriccio, an imagined rather than observed scene.

See his design for a stage set, with rows of receding arches, in the middle of the images in this post about “Graphite Drawings from the Metropolitan Museum of Art“.

 
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Eye Candy for Today: Juan de Espinosa still life

Still Life with Grapes, Apples and Plums, Juan de Espinosa
Still Life with Grapes, Apples and Plums, Juan de Espinosa

In the collection of the Museo del Prado, which offers a downloadable as well as zoomable version of the image. There is also a somewhat larger downloadable version of the image on Wikimedia Commons, but I think the color on the museum’s image is likely more true.

A beautifully sensitive still life by a 17th century Spanish master. I love the contrasting colors of the different varieties of grapes, particularly the light colored ones in the foreground that seem almost luminous.

I have to wonder, though, if that is their true intended color, or if they may have originally have been differently tinted by a glaze with a fugitive pigment. The museum’s page doesn’t comment on it, but I’ve never seen grapes of that color. Maybe they have them in Spain.

 
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Eye Candy for Today: Ingres portrait of Madame Félix Gallois

Madame Felix Gallois, Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres
Madame Félix Gallois, Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres

Graphite on paper, with touches of cold highlighting the jewelry, roughly 14 x 11 in. (35 x 27 cm); in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art; use the download or zoom links under the image on their site.

Another of Ingres’ beautiful and deceptively simple graphite portraits — sensitive, incisive and dancing on that wonderful line between responding to a person and looking at lines on paper.

 
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Eye Candy for Today: WH Millais’ Hayes Common

Hayes Common, William Henry Millais
Hayes Common, William Henry Millais

In the collection of the Yale Center for British Art, which has both zoomable and downloadable files. There is also a zoomable file on Google Art Project, and a downloadable file of that image, which is slightly larger and more colorful, on Wikimedia Commons.

William Henry Millais, the elder brother of John Everett Millais, and also part of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, was known for his paintings in watercolor and gouache.

The center’s website lists the medium for this work as “oil on canvas”, but I think that’s a mislabeling.

 
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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.

 
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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.

 
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