Category Archives: Eye Candy for Today

Eye Candy for Today: Le Sidaner view of London

St. Paul’s from the River: Morning Sun in Winter, Henri Le Sidaner
St. Paul’s from the River: Morning Sun in Winter, Henri Le Sidaner

Link is to zoomable version on Google Art Project; downloadable version on Wikimedia Commons. Google lists the original as in the Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool, but I can’t find an image on their site.

Le Sidaner shows the influence of Monet, and I think Pissarro, in this view of London in which the intense winter sunlight simultaneously reveals and almost obscures the buildings across the river. The brilliant dots of color are so small as to suggest an approach bordering on pointillism.

 
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Eye Candy for Today: Rembrandt etching of farm scene with a man sketching

Cottages and Farm Building with a Man Sketching, Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn, etching
Cottages and Farm Building with a Man Sketching, Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn

Etching, roughly 5 x 8 in. (13 x 21 cm); in the collection of the Morgan Library and Museum, which has both a zoomable and downloadable version of the image on their site.

Remarkable though they may be, Rembrandt’s etchings of Biblical scenes are somewhat formal and tightly composed. Sale of those etchings was an important part of Rembrandt’s stock in trade an an artist.

His etchings of landscapes, however, seem an extension of his apparent love of sketching on location; they carry much of the relaxed and confident charm of his landscape drawings.

In these etchings, like his reed pen landscape drawings, I get a sense of pleasure in the act of drawing — the fun of hatching in the dark tones, the joy of his needle scratching across the plate, searching out the gestural shapes of the tree and the animals, and the quiet satisfaction of spending time out sketching the countryside with another artist.

 
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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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