Saturday, October 1, 2016

Adrianus Eversen

Dutch 19th century cityscape paintings
I don’t know if it’s an actual genre, but there is a kind of 19th century Dutch cityscape painting that I particularly enjoy. These paintings feature streets lined with older brick buildings, and are atmospheric and richly textural, a visual combination that makes for delightful eye candy.

The cityscapes of Adrianus Everson are a prime example. Unlike his contemporary Cornelis Springer, who represented real locations in his paintings, Everson took liberties and constructed his imagined scenes from reference to numerous real structures as well as made-up buildings.

Eversen often emphasized the charm of his views with dramatic contrasts in lighting, juxtaposing dark subjects against light backgrounds and vice versa.

Unfortunately, many of the images of his work available online are not of the best quality, but there are enough to get an idea of the appeal of his work — including a few images in high enough resolution to see some of the detail of his approach, which can be surprisingly loose and painterly.

One of the best sources for quality images is a Google image search of Sotheby’s.

The Rijksmuseum also has a number of his drawing and watercolors in their collection.


Thursday, September 29, 2016

Eye Candy for Today: Arthur Rackham illustration for Götterdämmerung

Arthur Rackham illustration for Gotterdammerung
The ring upon thy hand — / … ah, be implored! / For Wotan fling it away! (from Götterdämmerung)

One of the many beautiful and sensitively realized illustrations the brilliant “Golden Age” British illustrator Aurhur Rackham did of the stories from Richard Wagner’s “Ring Cycle” series of operas.

From this set on Wikimedia Commons. For more see the “Operas by Wagner” links at the bottom of this page on Wikimedia, and my previous posts, linked below.


Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Peter Mohrbacher

Peter Mohrbacher, algelarium, fantasy art
Peter Mohrbacher is a painter, illustrator and concept artist who has left his successful career in the gaming industry, including work for “Magic: The Gathering”, for his ongoing personal project of creating “angels”.

Fascinated by his discovery of the large number of named angels in several world mythologies, he began creating “angels” based on various concepts. The result is a growing collection he calls “Angelarium”, which is divided into groups like “The Watchers”, “The Seraphim” and “The Tree of Life”.

He has also enlisted the help of Eli Minaya in designing many of the “Emanations” for the angels, as well as James Pianka who has written new poetry for the twelve original angels.

Mohrbacher’s angel compositions are atmospheric, fantastical and have the kind of visual fascination and impact often associated with the best concept art.

In addition to his own website, there is a devoted Angelarium website, and from both he offers book collections as well as prints.


Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Fanny Churberg

Fanny Churberg
Fanny Maria Churberg was a Finnish landscape painter active in the latter half of the 19th century. In addition to her initial training in her home country, she studied in Germany and France, and her style primarily reflected the influence of her German instructors.

Churberg’s handling of landscape subjects, particularly those with rocky elements, are crisply defined, with visceral texture and strong compositions.

Unfortunately, I can’t find many online sources for her work, but some of those that are available feature a few high resolution images.


Monday, September 26, 2016

Eye Candy for Today: Fortuny’s Print Collector

The Print Collector, Maria Fortuny
The Print Collector, Maria Fortuny

Link is to zoomable version on Google Art Project; downloadable file on Wikimedia Commons; original is in Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya.

One of those wonderful 19th interior paintings that in addition to figures, also includes a series of still life subjects as well as a representation of other artworks.


Sunday, September 25, 2016

David Wiesner

David Wiesner, children's book illustration
David Wiesner is a children’s book illustrator and author, known for titles like The Three Pigs, Flotsam, Mr Wuffles, Tuesday and Art & Max.

His website doesn’t have a straightforward portfolio of artwork, but is instead arranged as archived articles, some devoted to a specific title, that include artwork.

Wiesner varies his approach somewhat to be in keeping with the framework of the story. He works primarily in watercolor and gouache; there is a page on his website devoted to his materials, and some of the posts about individual titles have some work in progress images.

Wiesner’s illustrations have the much-desired characteristics for children’s books of being both visually engaging and thought-provoking. The also have enough detail to invite the reader to linger over the images.

I had the opportunity yesterday so see some of Wiesner’s originals as part of an exhibit at the Brandywine River Museum of Art in Chadds Ford, PA — “Get the Picture! Contemporary Children’s Book Illustration” — that is on display until October 9, 2016.

I was particularly struck by his textural and imaginative illustrations for Art & Max, a children’s book exploration of painting and the creative process that features lizards who paint.

Wiesner is also the author of Spot, an interactive story/learning app for the iPad.