Eye Candy for Today: View of Naples by Antonino Leto

View of Naples by Antonino Leto
Naples, Antonino Leto

Link is to Wikimedia Commons page that has link to arge image; original is in a private collection.

Leto’s view of the Bay of Naples and a smoky Mt. Vesuvius is a study in atmospheric effects. I love the difference between the intensity of the color in the foreground water and the soft graduated atmosphere that ranges from the base to the peak of the volcano.

 
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Rembrandt Peale’s portraits of Thomas Jefferson

Prtrait of Thomas Jefferson, Rembrandt Peale
Rembrandt Peale was named by his father, pioneering American artist Charles Wilson Peale, after a famous European artist from the past, like his brothers Raphaelle Peale, Rubens Peale and Titian Peale.

Like his father, Rembrandt Peale painted important figures of the American Revolution, who they associated with at the time, including George Washington and Thomas Jefferson. He painted the portrait of Thomas Jefferson at top here in Philadelphia in 1800, when the city was the temporary capital of the young nation, and Jefferson was Vice President to John Adams.

The second portrait was painted in D.C. at the White House in 1805, at the end of Jefferson’s first term as president.

Both paintings are in the collection of the White House.

There is a high res image of the first on Google Art Project, with a downloadable version on Wikimedia Commons. That image appears overly dark compared to the image on the White House Historical Association; and there is also a somewhat lighter but lower resolution images on Wikimedia. I’ve lightened the large image to be closer to the other.

 
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Eye Candy for Today: Meléndez still life with melon

Still Life with Limes, Oranges, Acerola and Watermelon, Luis Egidio Melendez, 18th century Spanish still life
Still Life with Limes, Oranges, Acerola and Watermelon, Luis Egidio Meléndez

Link is to Wikimedia Commons, original is in the Museo del Prado, Madrid.

Just another amazing still life by 18th century Spanish master Luis Egidio Meléndez. As is often the case, his superb command of value and texture steals the show.

See my previous posts of Meléndez still lifes for more.

 
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Eye Candy for Today: Samuel Palmer ink and watercolor drawing

Oak Tree and Beech, Lullingstone Park, Samuel Palmer, pena nd brown ink drawing with watercolor and gouache
Oak Tree and Beech, Lullingstone Park, Samuel Palmer

Pen and brown ink, with gouache an watercolor on toned paper, roughly 12 x 18 inches (30 x 47 cm); in the collection of the Morgan Library and Museum, NY. Use the “Zoom Image” or “Download Image” links on their page to view larger.

I love the way that Palmer has used a variety of seemingly casual but wonderfully effective marks — squiggles, dots, dashes, calligraphic strokes, blotches, hatching and stipple — to define his textures.

The Morgan’s website indicates that the handling of the background is also quite interesting. The light through the distant trees is indicated with yellow watercolor, painted over an area defined with white qouache and then coated with gum arabic, which would impart a sheen to that area. I assume that this effect would be more noticeable in person, and might resemble the effect of spot varnish as used in modern commercial printing.

 
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Eye Candy for Today: Friederich von Amerling portrait


The Young Eastern Woman, Friedrich von Amerling

Link is to Wikimedia Commons, which has a nicely high-resolution version of the image; original is in the Cleveland Museum of Art.

19th century Austrian painter Friederich von Amerling was known for his refined portraits, which many compare to those of Ingres. In this example, likely intended as a genre painting, it’s easy to see why.

I love the way the softly under-lit face is essentially in shadow, its subtle values and restrained color made the center of interest by the corona of light surrounding the headdress.

 
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Eye Candy for Today: George Inness, Sunrise

Sunrise, George Inness
Sunrise, George Inness

In the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Use the Download or Enlarge links under the image. Don’t take my limited detail crops above as your only view of the painting; go the Met’s site and view the image full screen.

There are lots of paintings that shout at the viewer, and many that speak directly, but in works like this, pioneering Tonalist George Inness whispers to us about the poetic spirituality underlying the natural world.

Virtually all of his later works are masterful examples of the use of soft edges, and their power to evoke mystery. Though his painting process was reportedly animated and forceful, Inness suggests his forms with delicate wisps of color that appear to be breathed onto the canvas.

 
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