Algernon Newton

Algernon Newton paintings cityscapes

Algernon Newton paintings cityscapes

Algernon Cecil Newton was a British painter active in the early to mid 20th century. Newton is known for his cityscapes with canal fronting buildings and landscapes of open hills and isolated trees.

Newton’s approach, with stark contrasts of value and texture, evokes stillness and perhaps even a suspension of time, giving his paintings a magic realist quality. A number of his cityscapes feature canals with reflections of buildings in them; and he was sometimes referred to as the “Canaletto of the canals”.

Algernon Newton’s grandfather, Henry Newton, was the founding “Newton” of the art materials manufacturer Winsor & Newton. Algernon Newton found little success until late in his career, though he is now considered a significant figure in 20th century British art.

Eye Candy for Today: Circe Offering the Cup to Ulysses, John William Waterhouse

Circe Offering the Cup to Ulysses, John William Waterhouse

Circe Offering the Cup to Ulysses (details), John William Waterhouse

Circe Offering the Cup to Ulysses, John William Waterhouse, oil on canvas, roughly 70 x 36 inches ( 175 x 92 cm); with preliminary sketch, both images on Wikimedia Commons; the original painting is in Gallery Oldham, but their website doesn’t offer details about the painting. The sketch is in the Victoria and Albert Museum.

English painter John William Waterhouse — whose later work was much influenced by the Pre-Raphaelite painters — took the mythological character of Circe as his subject for three paintings.

In this one, inspired by the account in Homer’s Odyssey, the sorceress has used her knowledge of herbs and potions to turn Ulysses’ crew into swine, one of whom can be seen at her feet.

A regal Circe, seated on a lions head throne and clad in a diaphanous gown, holds a wand and a cup of the potion, both enticing and daring Ulysses to take what is offered. A wary Ulysses (Odysseus) can be seen in the mirror to our right, his ship to our left.

Ivan Pokhitonov

Ivan Pavlovich Pokhitonov, Ukrainian landscape painter
Ivan Pavlovich Pokhitonov, Russian landscape painter

Active in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Ivan Pavlovitch Pokhitonov was a Russian/Ukrainian painter who spent the greater part of his career living and working in France and Belgium.

Though he also painted portraits and still life, he is noted for his landscapes. Influenced by the French and Belgian painters around him, Pokhitonov’s landscapes took on qualities that had critics referring to him as the “Russian Barbizon painter”.

Aside from some classes in drawing and watercolor during studies of other subjects at Odessa University, and a stint working for French Symbolist painter Eugène Carriè, Pokhitonov was largely self-taught.

Most remarkable, perhaps, after seeing reproductions of Pokhitonov’s paintings, is the realization that they are essentially miniatures. Rather than being 30 x 40 inches or larger, as I might have assumed, it appears that most of them are in the range of 6 x 10 inches (15 x 25 cm).

Pokhitonov worked on his small paintings with unorthodox tools, reportedly using magnifiers, scalpels, fishbones and other objects to enable small marks and textural effects. A number of his works are “cinematic” in aspect ratio, and many feature prominent horizons that might threaten to divide the canvas in two vertically, but are always kept in check in the context of his artfully balanced compositions.

Many of his contemporaries were impressed with his naturalism and painting skill, some even referring to him as a “sorcerer” or “magician”.

Russian great Ilya Repin, after slogging disappointedly through the 1894 Paris Salon, remarked that his only pleasure after “all this torture and wandering through endless exhibition rooms was the opportunity to have a rest in front of the miniature gems of our I.P. Pokhitonov”.

Thomas Mostyn

Thomas Edwin Mostyn, 19th and 20th century paintings, idyllic gardens

Thomas Edwin Mostyn, 19th and 20th century paintings, idyllic gardens

Thomas Edwin Mostyn was a British painter active in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

Though he also painted portraits, figures and landscapes of specific locations, he is known primarily for his invented landscapes of idyllic gardens.

These were often painted with high chroma passages, broken color and short brush stokes in the Impressionist manner.

Brent Lynch

Brent Lynch, plein air and studio painting

Brent Lynch, plein air and studio painting

Brent Lynch is a Canadian artist who transitioned from a successful 20 year plus career in illustration to the full time pursuit of gallery art and plein air painting.

To my eye, Lynch’s paintings are often focused on the interplay of warm and cool colors — intense blues and greens in dynamic balance with deep, rich red-oranges.

Lynch also plays with balance in his strongly geometric compositions, frequently pushing the effective horizon well above or below the top or bottom third of the canvas.

I particularly enjoy his marvelous depictions of water and reflections.

There is an interview with Lynch on the website of the Ida Victoria gallery.

Eye Candy for Today: William Lathrop etching

An Evening Walk, William Langson Lathrop, etching and drypoint

An Evening Walk, William Langson Lathrop, etching and drypoint

An Evening Walk, William Langson Lathrop

Etching and drypoint, roughly 18 x 15 inches (45 x37 cm), in the collection of the National Gallery of Art, DC, which has both zoomable and downloadable images. There is also a zoomable version on Google Art Project.

Lathrop was one of the group of painters active in the late 19th and early 20th centuries in and around New Hope, Pennsylvania, who are often collectively known as the Pennsylvania Impressionists.

Lathrop was also a printmaker, and here uses both etching and drypoint to capture the mood of a quiet evening amid trees.

I particularly admire the way he has used multi-directional hatching to both create the dark values and suggest the textural bark of the trees without actually trying to draw a bark pattern.