Eye Candy for Today: Alma Tadema’s In a Rose Garden

In a Rose Garden, Lawrence Alma Tadema

In a Rose Garden, Lawrence Alma Tadema

In a Rose Garden, Lawrence Alma Tadema

Oil on panel; roughly 15 x 20 inches (37 x 50 cm). Link is to Wikimedia Commons page from which you can access a larger image. This was sold through Christies in 2012, so I assume it’s currently in a private collection.

The painter reveled in flowers and flower petals, drapery and stone in this idyllic fantasy scene. It features one of Alma Tadema’s characteristic extremely high horizons, practically at the top edge of the composition. There is just enough indication of a land form, and what appear to be tiny suggestions of ships, to break up the straight line of the sea.

 
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The Watercolor World

Watercolor world: John Anderson

Watercolor WOrld: Arthur Melville, William Page, William Holman Hunt, William Bree, Joseph Nash the elder, Waller Hugh Paton, Thomas Baker, Thomas Baker, Gabriel Carelli, Henry High Clifford, James Maurice Primrose, Arthur Melville

It’s sometimes easy to forget that painting and drawing once served the function we now assign to photography of recording places and events for reference or posterity.

Watercolor, a portable medium that could easily be used for location painting, was a favored vehicle for reportage and documentary subjects.

A recently established UK based non-profit project is building an online database of watercolors from collections around the world that document the visual world prior to 1900 and the advent of commonplace photography. The Guardian has a good article offering an overview of the project.

The Watercolor World is their growing trove of pre-1900 watercolors, primarily those depicting an identifiable place or event. Most are full-screen zoomable in high resolution. The site is treating them more as historical reference than as artworks in the usual sense, which is an interestingly different take, but doesn’t prevent viewing them for aesthetic enjoyment.

On the tab for “Watercolors“, you can use a keyword search for artist or type of subject. There are some filters, apparently a list still in development. There is a dedicated tab for “By Location”, but I didn’t find it very usable. You can browse by simply clicking “Show More” repeatedly at the bottom of the page (and being patient enough to keep going for a while).

The most fruitful way to browse may be the “Collections” page, from which you can drill down into the collections of various museums and institutions.

This is a huge trove of works you may not easily find elsewhere, so I will issue my customary Timesink Warning.

(Images above: John Anderson, Arthur Melville, William Page, William Holman Hunt, William Bree, Joseph Nash the elder, Waller Hugh Paton, Thomas Baker, Thomas Baker, Gabriel Carelli, Henry High Clifford, James Maurice Primrose, Arthur Melville)

[Thanks to Carol Roethke for the link and suggestion!]

 
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Antonio Segura Donat (Dulk)

Antonio Segura Donat (DULK)

Antonio Segura Donat (DULK)

Antonio Segura Donat is a Spanish artist who often works under the pseudonym Dulk, which he adopted originally for use as a street artist and muralist.

Dulk creates images that blend aspects of magic realism and fantasy, often with themes of animals, and in particular, birds.

He works in a variety of traditional media, paint, pens, pastel and markers, sometimes over silkscreen base prints. He also works in sculpture.

His website has galleries for Art, Illustration and Street art, and there are videos of him working. He has prints and other items for sale in Big Cartel. There is a collection of his work, The dulk; I believe the text is in Spanish, but you can find it from U.S. sources. Some of his original art can be found on Thinkspace.

 
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R Gregory Summers

R Gregory Summers

R Gregory Summers

R. Gregory Summers is a plein air painter working in the Kansas City area. He takes on plain air subjects both natural and man made with sharp, abbreviated notation and rich painterly brushwork.

His subjects range from the close and familiar to places from his travels in other parts of the world, like Australia and Peru.

His website has sections for current work as well as archives from previous years.

Summers teaches workshops in various parts of the U. S.

 
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Eye Candy for Today; Durer’s Tuft of Cowslips

Tuft of Cowslips, Albrecht Durer, gouache on vellum

Tuft of Cowslips, Albrecht Durer, gouache on vellum (details)

Tuft of Cowslips, Albrecht Durer

Gouache on vellum; roughly 8 x 7 inches (19 x 17 cm); in the collection of the National Gallery of Art, DC, which has zoomable and downloadable images. There is also a zoomable version on the Google Art Project.

Like his more well known but equally wonderful “Large Piece of Turf“, this is another example of German Renaissance painter Albrecht Durer’s keen observation of nature on an intimate scale.

Paintings like this are a reminder of how extraordinary and wonder-full the commonplace can be, and how art, at its best, can reveal the world to us in that way.

It’s also a nice example of the effective use of gouache.

 
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Eye Candy for Today: Rosa Bonheur’s The Horse Fair


The Horse Fair, Rosa Bonheur, oil on canvas, roughly 96 x 200 inches (245 x 507 cm), Study for “The Horse Fair”, chalk and wash with gouache highlights on paper, roughly 5 x 13 inches (14 x 34 cm); both in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art

Rosa Bonueur was the best known painter of animals in 19th century Europe, and The Horse Fair was her most acclaimed work. The painting is large, almost 8 feet by 15 feet, and filled with drama, both in terms of the motion-filled subject and in the bold value contrasts of the composition.

Bonheur did studies and alternate versions of the painting (one of which is in the National Gallery, London), which she called her “Parthenon frieze”, alluding to the multi-figured relief created to adorn that Greek temple, which featured numerous depictions of horses.

For more, see my previous post on Rosa Bonheur.

 
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