Merry-Joseph Blondel

Merry-Joseph Blondel, French Neoclassical painter
Merry-Joseph Blondel was a French Neoclassical painter active in the early part of the 19th century.

He studied with the well known painter Jean-Baptiste Regnault, and from fairly early in his career formed a lasting friendship with Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres.

Blondel had a tremendously successful career, garnering numerous awards and prestigious commissions, including major works for the Palace of Versailles, the palace of Fontainebleau, the Louvre Museum and the Luxembourg Palace.

His refined, exacting style varied from naturalistic to classicaly styled.

Among reproductions of his works on Wikimedia Commons, you will find a number of greyscale images (images above, second and third from bottom). These are of large scale (6 foot high [190 cm] or larger) commercially hand-printed “wallpapers” produced by Dafour, Paris, and designed by Blondel and Louis Lafitte. The figures in these have a fascinatingly sculptural quality to them. (More info on Sotheby’s, and here.)

 
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César de Cock

Cesar de Cock, Belgian landscape painter
César de Cock was a 19th century Belgian (Flemish) painter who spent much of his career in France. He initially studied at the School of Fine Arts in Ghent, where he was born, but in France became a pupil of Charles-François Daubigny,

Cesar de Cock, along with his elder brother, painter Xavier de Cock, became friends with Barbizon School painters Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot and Théodore Rousseau, and the influence of the French artists is evident in the work of both of the brothers.

César, in particular, had a wonderfully textural approach and an affinity for compositions with small streams.

Web resources for César de Cock are more scattered than for many artists, but a number of auction sites offer detailed zoomable images of his work.

 
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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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Rob Gonsalves (1959 – 2017)

Rob Gonsalves, magic realist painting
Robert “Rob” Gonsalves was a Canadian painter adept at crafting images in which reality appears to bend back on itself, connecting with a twist in a kind of mental Möbius strip.

Though some would inaccurately consider his work to be Surrealism (which is specifically supposed to be derived from the unconscious mind or dreams), it would be better classed as the more loosely defined “Magic Realism”, which is the term usually applied to Gonsalves’ paintings.

I’ve always found his work to be particularly delightful, both in the fascinating juxtapositions of viewpoints and the whimsy that pervades them. Gonsalves revisits some of his themes multiple times, but finds amusing variations in additional subjects.

Rob Gonsalves died in June of this year at the age of 58.

I don’t think there is an official site for Rob Gonsalves, but I believe Huckleberry Fine Art is his primary gallery representation. Unfortunately, the images on their site are inexplicably small.

You may find it easier to view larger images of his work on sites like Tutt’Art, and some of the blog and web magazine posts I list below.

See also my previous posts on Rob Gonsalves, (and here).

There are several collections of his work, some still in print, others available only through used book sources.

These appear to be available (Amazon links):
Imagine a World (2015)
Master Of Illusion: The Art Of Rob Gonsalves 2018 Wall Calendar
Master of Illusion 2017 Wall Calendar
Masters of Deception: Escher, Dalí & the Artists of Optical Illusion (Gonsalves included with others)

These are available from Amazon through secondary sellers:
Imagine a Place (2008)
Imagine a Day (2005)
Imagine a Night (2003)

[Thanks to Thorin for suggesting the update on Rob Gonsalves.]

 
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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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