Eye Candy for Today: Whistler etching of Annie Haden

Annie Haden, James McNeill Whistler, drypoint etching

Annie Haden, James McNeill Whistler, drypoint etching

Annie Haden, James McNeill Whistler, drypoint, roughly 19 x 13 inches (35 x 21 cm).

This printing of the plate is in the Smithsonian National Museum of Asian Art, which has both a zoomable and downloadable version of the file. (The museum has a collection of Whistler’s work, presumably in his role as an American artist who took much interest in and inspiration from Asian art, design and culture.) I’ve taken the liberty of lightening the image somewhat, so you can see the details better.

This is one of several etchings and drypoints Whistler made of his neice, Annie Haden, at verious ages. This one is a particularly beautiful and extensively refined composition. Annie is posed rather formally in a long cape and skirt; her head is tilted and she looks directly at the viewer.

I suppose you could interpret her expression in several ways, one of which might be tired resignation at the boring task of posing, yet again, for her uncle.

The print is a good example of Whistler’s mastery of subtle drypoint linework.

Drypoint is a printmaking technique related to — and often combined with — etching, in which lines are incised directly into the plate with an etching needle, rather being etched into the plate with acid. This often leaves a burr of metal at the side of the incised line, giving the lines a soft, slightly rough feeling.

 
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Eye Candy for Today: Marie-Francois Firmin-Girard’s market

Autumn Market at Les Halles, Marie-Francois Firmin-Girard
Autumn Market at Les Halles (details), Marie-Francois Firmin-Girard

Autumn Market at Les Halles, Marie-François Firmin-Girard; oil on canvas, roughly 33 x 46″ (83 x 117 cm). Link is to page on Wikimedia Commons, with access to high-res file. Original is in a private collection.

19th century French painter Marie-François Firmin-Girard (alternately, François-Marie Firmin-Girard) worked in a naturalistic, often highly detailed manner that carried forward traditional values and resisted the influence of the Impressionists that eventually swayed many of his contemporaries.

Here, he provides an intricate presentation of a bustling Paris market, awash in detail, yet visually organized by his use of value and muted color.

 
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Eye Candy for Valentine’s Day: Joseph Noel Paton’s Hesperus

Hesperus, the Evening Star, Sacred to Lovers
Hesperus, the Evening Star, Sacred to Lovers

Hesperus, the Evening Star, Sacred to Lovers, Joseph Noel Paton; oil on millboard, roughly 36 x 27 inches (91 x 69 cm). Link it to zoomable image on Art Renewal. There is a larger downloadable file on Arthive.

Though not actually a member of the group, Scottish painter Joseph Noel Paton was loosely associated with the Pre-Raphaelites, and was a friend of Millais.

Hesperus, in Greek mythology, is the personification of Venus as the Evening Star, which we see through the tree branches above the lovers.

My experience with Pre-Raphaelite and other Victorian paintings makes me believe there is symbolic significance to the particuar flowers and fauna around the couple, but if so, I don’t know what the reference is in this case.

 
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Eye Candy for Today: Carl Larsson’s Karin by the Shore

Karin by the Shore, Carl Larsson, watercolor
Karin by the Shore, Carl Larsson, watercolor (details)

Karin by the Shore, Carl Larsson; watercolor, 29 x 21″ (75 x 54 cm). Link is to para on Wikipedia which links to high-res image file. There is also a zoomable version on Google Art Project. Original is in the Malmö Art Museum.

Another of Swedish artist Carl Larsson’s delightful scenes of domestic life. In this one his wife, Karin, walks along the shore of the Sundborns river while their daughter, Brita, floats in a skiff with their dog.

The credits list this as simply watercolor, but it looks to me like he’s used pen and ink as well.

 
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Eye Candy for Today: Van Gogh Wheat Field ink drawing

Wheat Field, Vincent van Gogh pen and brown innk drawing
Wheat Field, Vincent van Gogh pen and brown innk drawing (details)

Wheat Field, Vincent van Gogh; Reed pen and logwood ink over pencil; roughly 9 x 12 inches ( 24 x 31 cm); in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, which has both a zoomable and downloadable image on their site.

I love these pen and brown ink drawings Van Gogh did late in his career. I feel like he was trying to express color monochromatically. You can actually think of his ink as multi colored in the way he as used it with different size strokes and what looks to me like the addition of small amounts of water.

I think of these effects as highy sophisticated. When you look at the work from early in his full time period as an artist, how rough and basic it was, and compare it to the work in his later years (less then 10 years later), the progress he made as a determined self-taught artist is remarkable.

 
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Eye Candy for Today: Carl Larsson domestic interior

When the Children have Gone to Bed, Carl Larsson, watercolor
When the Children have Gone to Bed, Carl Larsson, watercolor

When the Children have Gone to Bed, Carl Larsson, ink and watercolor, roughly 12 x 17 inches (32 x 43 cm). Link is to image page on Wikimedia Commons. Original is in the NatinalMuseum, Stockholm.

Another of Carl Larsson’s wonderful ink and watercolor domestic scenes. This was part of a series called “A Home”, based on his own home and family.

I particularly like Larsson’s treatment of the lamp and its effects in the directional shadows of objects against the wall and the value statement of the faces.

 
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