Eye Candy for Today: Adelaide Palmer still life

Still Life with Oranges, Adelaide Palmer
Still Life with Oranges, Adelaide Palmer (details)

Still Life with Oranges, Adelaide Palmer, oil on canvas, 16 x 24″ (40 x 60 cm). Link is to a page on Wikimedia Commons. I don’t know the location of the original.

I can’t find very many images or much information on Adelaide Palmer, a painter from New Hampshire who was active in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The brief bio on Vose Galleries indices that she studied at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts Boston, and later with John Joseph Enneking.

Her take on this seemingly simple still life subject is rich with tactile suggestion and interesting variation in color.

 
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Eye Candy for Today: Degas’ Woman on a Sofa

Woman on a Sofa, Edgar Degas, oil with touches of pastel ofer pencil
Woman on a Sofa, Edgar Degas, oil with touches of pastel ofer pencil

Woman on a Sofa, thined oil paint with touches of pastel over graphite, roughly 19 x 17″ (49 x 43 cm). Link is to image on the Metropolitan Museum of Art website, which has both zoomable and downloadable images.

The Met’s page for the piece indicates that it was not a preliminary work for another painting, but a work in itself. Drgas was apparently interested enough in pursuing the original drawing as larger and more complete that he expanded it by adding additional strips of paper to three sides.

I love the contrast between the delicately defined face of the woman and the rough, textural marks with which her form is indicated.

 
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Eye Candy for Today: still life from the Roman School

Still Life with Fruit on a Stone Ledge from the Roman School, once attributed to Caravaggio
Still Life with Fruit on a Stone Ledge from the Roman School, once attributed to Caravaggio (details)

Still Life with Fruit on a Stone Ledge, Roman School,

I have seen this beautiful still life at times attributed to Caravaggio (Michelangelo Marisi), or to a follower of his.

Sotheby’s made no such direct claim when the painting passed through their auction house in 2013, referring to it instead as attributed to an unnamed artist of the Roman School, but the extensive notes on their page devoted to the item mention Carvaggio more than a dozen times.

It does seem similar in nature to a still life painting of a basket of fruit acknowledged to be by Caravaggio, but there are also other paintings from the time and place that also appear to be in a similar style that are attributed to “a follower of Caravaggio“.

Regardless of the painting’s attribution, it is clearly an extraordinary still life, with an tactile presence that must be palpable in person.

There is a Wikipedia page devoted to the painting, though it inexplicably contains a poorly reproduced image.

 
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Eye Candy for Today: Max Klinger’s At the Gate

At the Gate (Am Thor), Max Klinger; etching and engraving
At the Gate (Am Thor), Max Klinger; etching and engraving (details)

At the Gate (Am Thor), Max Klinger; etching and engraving; roughy 18 x 12″ (45 x 31 cm). Link is to the impression the collection of the National Gallery, DC, whih has both a downloadable and zoomable version of the image (and no longer requires an account to download high-res images). There is also a zoomable version on the Google Art Project.

Max Klinger was a German Symbolist artist active in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Though he was also a painter, Klinger was known primarily for his graphics in the form of etchings, drypoint, aquatint and engraving — sometimes combining multiple techniques in a single plate, as he did here.

This print is from a series titled A Love, Opus X, which he dedicated to Arnold Böcklin, a Swiss Symbolist by whom he was greatly influenced — to the point of doing a beautiful etching version of Böcklin’s famous painting Isle of the Dead.

 
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Eye Candy for Today: Daniel Ridgway Knight’s An Idle Moment

An Idle Moment, Daniel Ridgway Knight, oil on canvas
An Idle Moment, Daniel Ridgway Knight, oil on canvas

An Idle Moment, Daniel Ridgway Knight, oil on canvas, roughly 37 x 47 inches (95 x 120 cm); link is to page for high res file on Wikimedia Commons; original is in the High Museum of Art.

American artist Daniel Ridgway Knight, who was active in the late 19th end early 20th centuries, spent much of his career in France, where he was noted for his portrayals of peasant women in idyllic pastoral scenes, often near or overlooking a river (presumably the Seine Valley).

Here, we see him depart slightly from his usual depiction of one or two women, with the addition of a third, male, figure, engaging the young women in conversation as they take a break from their chores.

I love the softly atmospheric look of many of Knights paintings, which make great use of soft edges, and the compressed values and muted colors with which he indicates distance.

 
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Eye Candy for Today: Solomon J. Solomon’s St George

St George and the Dragon, Solomon J. Solomon
St George and the Dragon, Solomon J. Solomon

St George, Solomon J. Solomon; oil on canvas, roughly 84 x 42 inches (213 x 106 cm); in the collection of the Royal Academy of Arts

The legend of Saint George and the Dragon, in which the heroic knight rescues a princess who had been offered up as tribute to a dragon, has a long history as a subject for artists.

Here, British Royal Academician Solomon J. Solomon, who was active in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, takes his stab at it (if you’ll excuse the expression) in a strikingly vertical composition through which he unerringly guides your eye.

The figures and drapery swirl around the axis of the knight’s lance, their body positions contributing to the turning and twisting effect.

Solomon’s muted browns and grays brings your attention to the bright skin of the woman, the high chroma gold of her robe with its white trim, the glinting of the knight’s armor, his hand and white sleeve, and into the highlights of the clouds — almost forming a circular mini-composition within the upper area of the painting.

The composition then guides you down the flow of the more muted fabric — still brighter than the knight’s garments — into the jaws of the now defeated dragon in all its glorious ugliness.

 
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