Eye Candy for Today: Emil Carlsen Still life with roses and mandolin

Still life with roses and mandolin, Emil Carlsen
Still life with roses and mandolin, Emil Carlsen

Another beautiful still life by turn of the century Danish-American master Emil Carlsen.

This is from the Emil Carlsen Archives, larger image here.

The Emil Carlsen Archives is a terrific resource, but I haven’t figured out their thinking in terms of image display. If you click on an image, you are provided with a larger one in a pop-up, but the size of that image is apparently limited by the resolution of your screen, with no option to zoom. I found the larger image file on their server by using Google Image Search.

 
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Eye Candy for Today: Hans Hoffmann watercolor and gouache hedgehog

A Hedgehog (Erinaceus roumanicus), Hans Hoffmann,
A Hedgehog (Erinaceus roumanicus), Hans Hoffmann

Watercolor and gouache on vellum; roughly 8 x 12 inches ( 21 x 31 cm). In the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

16th century German artist Hans Hoffman was noted for his detailed paintings of animals and other natural forms. He was tremendously influenced by the watercolor and gouache nature studies of Albrecht Düer, and that influence is evident in this wonderful study of a hedgehog.

 
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Eye Candy for Today: Melendez Still Life with Cucumbers and Tomatoes

Still Life with Cucumbers and Tomatoes, Luis Egidio Melendez
Still Life with Cucumbers and Tomatoes, Luis Egidio Meléndez

The Prado website has both a zoomable and downloadable version of the image. (Click the image and look for the download icon at the lower right. Click “Uso personal” and then “Descargar Imagen”.) There is also a downloadable file on Wikimedia Commons, though it is sonewhat smaller.

It’s that time of year here in the Mid-Atlantic coast of the US when the work we’ve put into our gardens pays us back with a bounty of vegetables that are not only delicious, but beautiful to look at.

Here, 18th century Spanish still life master Luis Meléndez celebrates the simple beauty of such a harvest, with a table full of beautiful green cucumbers, their bumpy texture almost palpable, and wonderfully gnarly tomatoes, set against crockery rendered with his signature attention to surface characteristics.

I love the way Meléndez has handled highlights here, with seemingly casual wavy streaks along the cucumbers and quickly noted touches on the tomatoes, matched in simplicity by the highlights on the crockery and metal.

 
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Frederico Zuccaro brown ink drawing of his brother drawing antique sculptures

Taddeo Drawing after the Antique; In the Background Copying a Facade by Polidoro, Frederico Zuccaro brown ink drawing of his brother drawing antique sculptures
Taddeo Drawing after the Antique; In the Background Copying a Facade by Polidoro, Federico Zuccaro

Pen and brown ink, brush with brown wash, roughly 17 x 7 inches (42 x 18 cm); in the collection of the Getty Museum, which has both a zoomable and downloadable version of the image.

There is also a somewhat warmer (more reddish brown) reproduction of the drawing available as a zoomable image on the Google Art Project, and a downloadable file on Wikimedia Commons.

It is the second, warmer version of the image that I’ve used above. Not having see the original, I don’t know which is more accurate (museums are not always accurate in the posting of images of work in their collections), so I’ve simply gone with the version I like better.

This is another in a wonderful series of drawings by 16th century artist Frederico Zuccaro of his elder brother Taddeo drawing from ancient statues in Rome. This was common practice in the way that artists trained, and continues to this day in those art schools and ateliers that hew to the classic or academic training the preceded the advent of modernist doctrine.

I’ve previously featured two other drawings from this series, here and here, also from the collection of the Getty Museum.

 
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Eye Candy for Today: Jessie Willcox Smith mixed media illustration

Illustration from <em>A Child’s Garden of Verses, Jessie Willcox Smith”  /><br />
<a href=Illustration from A Child’s Garden of Verses, Jessie Willcox Smith

Philadelphia-born artist Jessie Willcox Smith studied with Thomas Eakins at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, and later with American illustration master Howard Pyle.

It was through Pyle’s classes that she encountered fellow students Elizabeth Shippen Green and Violet Oakley, with whom she would become lifelong friends.

Like Shippen Green, Smith often worked in a multi-media approach that involved layers of charcoal drawing, fixative, watercolor and sometimes gouache and ink.

Her use of white paint is evident in this beautiful illustration from A Child’s Garden of Verses, one of her most prominent projects. The combination of drawn lines and color gives that wonderful effect of being both a drawing and a painting.

Smith’s evocative portrayals of the joys of childhood were also often a paean to motherhood.

There are contemporary editions of the book from which this is taken. Amazon has unfortunately mixed the reviews of editions from different publishers, some of which are negative, so it’s hard to determine which edition is problematic.

I would suggest this 2015 edition from Pook Press, which contains 12 color images of Smith’s illustrations in addition to her pen and ink spot illustrations: A Child’s Garden of Verses Illustrated by Jessie Willcox Smith (Amazon US).

For readers in the UK: A Child’s Garden of Verses Illustrated by Jessie Willcox Smith, (Amazon UK).

 
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Eye Candy for Today: Daubigny small oil

Cows Grazing by a River, Charles François Daubigny
Cows Grazing by a River, Charles François Daubigny

Oil on card, roughly 3 x 7 inches (7 x 17 cm); in the collection of the Morgan Library and Museum.

What a wonderful little painting this is — a sky full of movement and a richly textural landscape, both defined and enlivened by thick, rough brush marks.

It reminds me of Constable’s wonderful oil sketches.

Daubigny was one of the kay progenitors of French Impressionism, and in his direct simplicity — without the flurry of short brushstrokes that came to exemplify the Impressionist stye at its height — I think he also presaged Post-Impressionist painting in America, Scandinavia and Russia, and much of what we see in the best contemporary plein air styles.

 
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