Peder Mønsted winter landscape

Snowy Forest Road in Sunlight, Peder Mork Monsted

Snowy Forest Road in Sunlight, Peder Mork Monsted, details

Snowy Forest Road in Sunlight, Peder Mørk Mønsted

The link is to a page on Wikimedia Commons from which you can download a high-resolution image. The original is in a private collection.

A beautiful evocation of winter to mark the Winter Solstice. I love how much green and red Monsted has worked into the painting. He has kept the chroma muted and relied on the effects of simultaneous contrast of the complementary colors to make them feel vibrant.

For more, see my previous posts on Peder Mønsted.

 
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Eye Candy for Today: Horace Vernet landscape

Departure for the Hunt in the Pontine Marshes, Horace Vernet, oil on canvas, 1833

Departure for the Hunt in the Pontine Marshes, Horace Vernet, oil on canvas, 1833  (details)

Departure for the Hunt in the Pontine Marshes, Horace Vernet

Oil on canvas, roughly 40 x 60 inches ( 100 x 150 cm); in the collection of the National Gallery of Art, Washington DC.

Vernet was a French painter active in the early 19th century, and his subjects included battles and historic events, portraits and Orientalist themes.

Here, he is fascinated with the landscape, even if the subject is ostensibly the hunters depicted as small figures in the shadows at middle right, behind the second foreground tree.

When I first visited the National Gallery, years ago — even among the stunning masterpieces in the collection — this and another Vernet painting of a similar subject caught my attention.

In this painting, it’s his use of value relationships that make the painting so striking for me — the contrast of the layers of dark and light, foreground to middle ground to background.

Another element of contrast is the wonderful difference in the texture of the three primary trees, two standing and one fallern.

I also love the dark mass of trees, punctuated with light, to the right of the composition, that lead our eye back into the painting.

 
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Eye Candy for Today: Charles Gifford Dyer still life

Seventeenth-Century Interior, Charles Gifford Dyer

Seventeenth-Century Interior, Charles Gifford Dyer (details)

Seventeenth-Century Interior, Charles Gifford Dyer

Oil on canvas, roughly 37 x 28 inches (94 x 71 cm), in the collection of the Art Institute Chicago

This is a nineteenth century American artist painting a still life in the manner of seventeenth century Dutch still life — and doing a bang up job of it.

 
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Eye Candy for Today: Nicolas Delaunay engraving after Fragonard

The Happy Accident of the Swing, Nicolas Delaunay, engraving after Fragonard

The Happy Accident of the Swing, Nicolas Delaunay, engraving after Fragonard (details)

The Happy Accident of the Swing, Nicolas Delaunay

Engraving, roughly 20 x 16″ (51 x 42 cm); in the collection of the Art Institute Chicago

This wonderfully lush and textural engraving by Nicolas Delaunay is a copy of a famous painting by Jean-Honoré Fragonard. It was not uncommon for painters to have printmakers create copies of their most popular works, if they weren’t inclined to do it themselves.

Here the image (reversed, of course, because it’s a print) becomes a fascinating study in controlling value relationships with deeply textural line and hatching. Look at the range of values, from the dark leaves and branches to the delicate rendering of the tree in the distance to the bright sheen of the dress.

 
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Image trove from the Art Institute of Chicago

Art Institute of Chicago high-res art images, Gustave Caillebotte

Art Institute of Chicago high-res art images, Gustave Caillebotte, Albert Bierstadt, John SInger Sargent, Claude Monet, Diego Velasquez, Alfons Mucha, Charles Gifford Dye

The Art Institute of Chicago, one of the largest art museums in the U.S., has redesigned its website, and in the process, placed online a trove of over 50,000 large scale images of works from the collection.

They have done so under a “CC0” license, meaning public domain or “No Rights Reserved”, so you are free to download, distribute or do with the images as you will.

The collection is broad but seems to be particular strong in areas like French Impressionism and American Art, along with treasures by Rembrandt, Durer and other major figures.

You can search for keywords or artist name, and apply filters for medium, era and so on. Or you might want to get a cross section by using their browse feature, and clicking “Load More” at the bottom of the page as many times as you like. This can be a good way to come across gems that you might not otherwise know to search for.

Once you click through to an image detail page, there are convenient icons under the image for zoom, download and links.

I think this is a brilliant public relations move on the museum’s part. Going through these images, and being able to see them in detail, makes me want to hop on a plane to Chicago just to visit the Art Institute. Museum websites that skimp on the size of images from their collections don’t exert that pull.

As I have just experienced it, I will issue my “Timesink Warning” to those who are inclined to get lost in treasure troves of high resolution art images.

Enjoy!

[Via Metafilter]

(Images above, with details: Gustave Caillebotte, Albert Bierstadt, John SInger Sargent, Claude Monet, Diego Velasquez, Alfons Mucha, Charles Gifford Dyer)

 
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Eye Candy for Today: Burne-Jones’s Mirror of Venus

The Mirror of Venus, Edward Burne-Jones

The Mirror of Venus, Edward Burne-Jones

The Mirror of Venus, Edward Burne-Jones

Link is to Wikimedia Commons, original is in the Calouste Gulbenkian Museum, Lisbon.

Pre-Raphaelite painter Edward Burne-Jones, who went on to be a major figure in style known as Aestheticism, presents a tableau of female figures, some staring at their reflections in the mirror of a still pond, others looking at the striking figure in blue, whose gaze falls on the pool but not on her own reflection.

The artist has left it to us to interpret the different expressions of the women, perhaps suggesting that each is seeing something unique in the nature of her own reflection, or in the presence of the standing figure.

In a way not possible to viewers of the real painting, we can use the magic of Photoshop to view the reflections of the women in the pool, turned right-side up (image above, bottom) revealing that Burn-Jones has painted them with as much attention and skill as the primary figures.

Not only that, but faces with downcast eyes, in which we cannot see the pupils in the main figures, look different from the upward viewing angle of the reflected faces in the pool.

 
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