Category Archives: Gallery and Museum Art

Eye Candy for Today: Rubens red chalk profile portrait

Rubens red chalk profile portrait

Profile Head of an Old Man (“Niccolò da Uzzano”)
, Peter Paul Rubens

Red chalk and red chalk wash, over a layer of opaque light gray. Roughly 9 X 6 inches (22 x 16 cm). In the collection of the Morgan Library and Museum.

In this beautifully realized chalk drawing the bony geometry of the face and the suggestion of veins in the sitter’s temple and neck suggest carful observation on Ruben’s part.

The masterful tone work is a combination of textural chalk marks and a wash made either by wetting the chalk in areas or by creating a wash from chalk particles suspended in water and applying it with a brush like an ink wash.


Jonas Lie

Jonas Lie, landscape paintings

Jonas Lie was a painter born in Norway to a Norwegian father and an American mother. After the death of his father he emigrated to the U.S., joining his mother and sisters in New York.

He became known for his paintings of the city, and in particular of the Atlantic coast in New England and Canada.

In some of his paintings, it looks to me like he has been influenced by other painters friends om Norway, like Frits Thaulow.


Eye Candy for Today: Hiroshi Yoshida spring woodblock print

Spring in a Hot Spring (Onsen no haru), Hiroshi Yoshida
Spring in a Hot Spring (Onsen no haru), Hiroshi Yoshida

Woodblock print, roughly 11 x 16 inches (27 x 40 cm); in the collection of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; also on Ukiyo-e Search.

With the visual appeal of both a drawing and a painting, Shin-hanga master Hiroshi Yoshida also combines the sensibilities of Japanese and Western art in his beautiful evocation of a spring day at a hot spring.

Thicker and heavier than etching lines, Yoshida’s woodblock lines are printed in a lighter ink, giving them a comparable but different kind of delicacy.

The subtle color relationships and graceful sweep of the branches combine with the muted contrasts with which he suggests the moving water of the stream to give a lively but contemplative picture of the scene.


Art Museum Day 2017

Art Museum Day 2017
Tomorrow, Thursday May 18, 2017, is Art Museum Day here in the U.S.

Organized by the Association of Art Museum Directors, it’s an event in which participating museums open their doors for free and often feature events, tours and museum shop discounts.

Unlike the broader Museum Day, organized by the Smithsonian and generally held in September, this event has no requirement for advance tickets or limitations on the number of museums you can visit on the day.

This page devoted to Art Museum Day, though it may not be obvious at first, offers a list of participating museums, arranged by state.

The images above are of some of the participating museums here in the Philadelphia area: the Philadelphia Museum of Art; The Brandywine River Museum of Art, the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts Museum of American Art and the Barnes Foundation.


Eye Candy for Today: Francis Hopkinson Smith watercolor of Venice

Over a Balcony, View of the Grand Canal, Venice; Francis Hopkinson Smith watercolor
“Over a Balcony,” View of the Grand Canal, Venice; Francis Hopkinson Smith

Watercolor; roughly 32 x 21 inches (80 x 53 cm); in the collection of the Walters Art Museum, Baltimore. On their page, click on “Explore Object” at the top of the image for a zoomable view, or use the “Download Image” link.

This superb late 19th century watercolor of Venice by American artist and engineer Francis Hopkinson Smith is remarkable on several levels.

Not only is it a beautiful evocation of a view from a balcony in the Academia section of the city toward one of its great landmarks — the church and basilica of Santa Maria della Salute — it also captures the variation in light through the scene caused by the scattered cloud cover. The church domes are in sharp sun and shadow, as is the landing forward of that; but the foreground and other parts of the middle distance are in the muted light of an overcast day.

In addition, Smith has delineated the architecture with lines visible through the areas of color, giving the picture the charm of both a drawing and a painting simultaneously.

Most appealing to me, however, is the way he has shifted our view from far to near — essentially in three steps, from the distant curve of the main island beyond the mouth of the canal, to the succinctly delineated middle ground of the church and its environs, to the immediate foreground of the flower pots and ledges, the nearest only an arm’s reach from the artist’s vantage point.



Ignat Ignatov

Ignat Ignatov paintings, landscape, wildlife, figurative and still life subjects
Originally from Bulgaria, where he also received his initial artistic training, Ignat Ignatov is an artist now living and working in California.

Ignatov paints landscape, wildlife, figurative and still life subjects with a painterly and at times gestural, semi-abstract approach. I particularly enjoy his figurative and portrait subjects, in which he often plays with moody or theatrical lighting, colored accents and abstract backgrounds.

The images on his own website are frustratingly small; you can find some larger examples of his wok on the LePrince gallery site (click through twice from the thumbnails) and in this article on Tutt’ Art.

Though not large, the images on Ignatov’s instructor bio page on the Los Angeles Academy of Figurative Art are a particularly nice selection of his work.

Ignatov offers two DVDs on his website, one is a documentary on the artist, the other is an instructional video on portrait painting.