Eye Candy for Today: Waterhouse’s Juliet

Juliet, John William Waterhouse
Juliet, John William Waterhouse

The link is to Wikimedia Commons. This painting was sold at auction in 2014, and is now in a private collection. Fortunately, we at least have a reasonably good image of the painting.

Waterhouse is frequently mentioned with the Pre-Raphaelites, with whom he associated and by whom he was certainly influenced; but unlike his older friends and mentors, Waterhouse painted in a more direct, painterly manner, with more evidence of the passage of the brush.

That approach is wonderfully evident in this solitary portrayal of Shakespeare’s very young tragic heroine (in the play, she is not yet fourteen, Romeo a fair bit older, perhaps 18 or 19). The painting might be somewhere in intention between a study and a finished work.

I always admire Waterhouse’s soft edges, which he uses frequently and to great effect in making his figures and backgrounds read as a seamless whole.


Johann Wilhelm Preyer

Johann Wilhelm Preyer, 19th century still life
Johann Wilhelm Preyer was a 19th century German painter who specialized in still life of fruit and glassware, often in simple arrangements that allowed him to focus great attention on individual objects.

Preyer had a richly visceral approach. In good reproductions, you can get a sense of the immediacy and palpable textural quality of his subjects.

I particularly like his straightforward studies of leaves and small groupings of fruits, meant for his own study rather than as finished works. In some of the image sources, you will find drawings, occasionally of landscape, but usually of his favorite subjects.

Preyer studied at the Düsseldorf Art Academy and with Wilhelm von Schadow, but unlike most of his teachers, and the other members of the Düsseldorf school of painting — of which he was an early participant — he chose still life rather than figurative work.

Johann Wilhelm Preyer’s brother, Gustav was also a painter, as were his children Paul and Emilie. Paul chose figurative art, but Emilie Preyer took on her father’s subject matter and teaching, and to my mind, took them to an even higher level. (See my post on Emilie Preyer.)


Eye Candy for Today: Alexander Cozens ink and wash landscape drawing

Landscape with Ruined Temple, Alexander Cozens, Brown ink and wash over graphite; roughly 12 x 16 inches (32 x 40 cm); in the collection of the Yale Center for British Art
Landscape with Ruined Temple, Alexander Cozens

Brown ink and wash over graphite; roughly 12 x 16 inches (32 x 40 cm); in the collection of the Yale Center for British Art. Use the Zoom or Download links under the image on their site. Also available as a a zoomable image on Google Art Project and a downloadable file on Wikimedia Commons.

It could be that the middle ground and background are in the same ink as the foreground, just in a more diluted application, but I suspect this is actually two different inks, not an uncommon practice in 17th and 18th century ink drawings.

The difference in value in the three primary planes gives the image an appealing sense of depth, and the more subtle value gradations within each plane provide a sense of textural presence.

I love the texture of the hatching in the lighter or more dilute application of pen in the middle ground, and the way Cozens has used shadow across the right side of the foreground, suggesting even more depth in the form of unseen objects to the right of — or even behind — the viewer.


Patrick Saunders

Patrick Saunders
Often when I feature a contemporary artist, I start by pointing out their geographic region, but plein air painter Patrick Saunder’s location might best be described as “America”, as he and his wife, photographer Kimberly Saunders, travel across the U.S. with an Airstream trailer, following the plein air circuit or going where the spirit takes them.

Partick Saunders participation in plein air events has garnered him considerable press notice and numerous awards.

He paints with an open, gestural style, that is laid on a solid grounding of traditional draftsmanship, some of which may come from his background in illustration.

I particularly admire his use of value contrasts, sometimes muted, sometimes dramatic, and the way he adjusts his color choices accordingly. There is always a sense of the immediacy of the light, whatever its nature, in Saunders’ compositions.

Saunders occasionally teaches classes and workshops at various locations.

There are some interviews with the artist archived in the Press section of his website.


Anton Fadeev

Anton Fadeev. concept art
Anton Fadeev is a concept artist based in Sochi, Russia, whose focus is on environments.

Fadeev works with an unusually bright high-chroma palette and complementary color schemes, that give his work an immediate appeal.

He sets a nice balance between naturalistic textures and pleasingly graphic rendering with lots of areas of flat color.

Much of the work on his ArtStation portfolio is for the Duelyst game.


Eye Candy for Today: Portrait of Maria Mancini, Jacob Voet

Portrait of Maria Mancini, Duchess of Bouillon, Jacob Ferdinand Voet, 17th century Flemish portrait
Portrait of Maria Mancini, Duchess of Bouillon, Jacob Ferdinand Voet

In the Rijksmuseum; English language page for the work here. There is a zoom icon under the image. The download link requires a free Rijksstudio account (worth signing up for to my mind). There is also a downloadable version on Wikimedia Commons.

Apparently, cautious historians have encouraged the Rijksmuseum to classify this beautiful portrait as “attributed to” Voet, but if the portrait is in Voet’s style by another hand, surely that hand is of a very good painter.

Despite the composition of the portrait and the style of the sitter’s garments — which are in keeping with the painting’s late 17th century origin — the immediacy and presence of the woman’s face and the wonderfully painterly application of color feel more like something out of the 19th century.

I love the soft edges of the hair as it fades into the background and falls across the woman’s shoulder in delicate wisps.