Eye Candy for Today: George Roth Landscape

View in the Bentheim Forest, George Andries Roth, oil on canvas
View in the Bentheim Forest, George Andries Roth

Link is to original in the Rijksmusem, which has both zoomable and downloadable versions (with free Rijksstudio account); additional downloadable version on Wikimedia Commons.

In this wonderful 19th century landscape, a shaft of late afternoon light slices through a break in a German forest, illuminating some objects, casting others into deep shadow, and gently warming trees in the distance.

I love the contrast between the dramatic lighting on the foreground tree and the more subtle modulation of value in the groups of trees behind it. There is also a visually fascinating layering of planes of dark and light as your eye moves back into the depth of the landscape.

The workers, horses and their activity give the scene focus and scale. My eye comes in on the foreground tree, shifts down to the middle left foreground, travels back along the path of light through the figures, up through the shaft of the lighter background, curves back through the sky and drops down into the foreground tree — ready to make the pleasurable passage again.

Mars Huang (B6 Drawing Man)

Mars Huang (B6 Drawing Man), watercolor and ink sketches
Mars Huang is an artist based in Japan (I think — most of the pieces are labeled as scenes from Japan and Taiwan). Though he signs his work “Mars”, his Tumblr blog credits him only as “B6 Drawing man”; it wasn’t until I followed a link to one of his process videos on Vimeo, that I came across his actual name.

His blog is filled with delightfully loose and gestural ink and watercolor sketches of architecture, interior spaces, and, in particular, quirky vehicles like scooters and small cars — often loaded down with luggage.

He excels at reducing complex subjects down to their linear essentials, highlighting them with just enough touches of color to give you a sense of texture and presence.

Be sure to follow the link trough to the larger images on his blog, the small example images I’m posting here don’t give an adequate feeling for the work.

Eye Candy for Today: Greuze’s Broken Vessel

The Broken Vessel (La Cruche cassee), Jean-Baptiste Greuze
The Broken Vessel (La Cruche cassée), Jean-Baptiste Greuze

Link is to downloadble large file on Wikimedia Commons, original is in the Louvre.

Though the actual meaning is open to interpretation, the general assumption is that the allegorical subject suggested by the gathered flower petals and broken vase is one of lost innocence and defloration.

Greuze has emphasized the young woman’s youth with the soft edges and delicate handling of her face and hands, contrasted with the more bold and painterly rendering of the vase, dress and flowers.

Somewhat lost here in the delicacy of the presentation is the strongly geometric draftsmanship evident in Greuze’s drawings and many of his portraits.

Franz Xaver Hoch

Franz Xaver Hoch
Franz Xaver Hoch was a German landscape painter and printmaker active in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

His dramatic compositions are often cast is subtle, almost melancholy light. Unfortunately, I can find few images sources for Hoch, and little in the way of biographical information — most of that on German language sites.

Eye Candy for Today: James Montgomery Flagg ink illustration

She Sailed Majestically Past the Wretch, Followed Meekly by Septimus, James Montgomery Flagg
She Sailed Majestically Past the Wretch, Followed Meekly by Septimus, James Montgomery Flagg

Pen and ink, roughly 22×29 inches (56×74 cm); original is in the Norman Rockwell Museum, larger here; also slightly larger zoomable version on Google Art Project, and downloadable version of that image on Wikimedia Commons.

It looks as though the Google Art Project version has been brightened to give an approximation of the original before the paper yellowed with time, and the NRM version reflects more accurately the current state of the original drawing.

Flagg was a master of pen and ink at a time when it was a primary medium for popular illustration. I particularly admire the astonishingly casual and free nature of the lines in the woman’s hat and dress, and the remarkably gestural modeling of the men’s faces.

Derek Theodore Davis

Derek Theodore Davis
Landscape painter Derek Theodore Davis takes advantage of textural paint application and indistinct edges to give his work a pleasing unity.

This also allows him to craft bold, geometric compositions, often with light cascading through a scene in angular paths. I particularly like his winter scenes of show-covered paths and fields, in which these elements become even more striking.