Eye Candy for Today: Frits Thaulow Winter Landscape

Winter Landscape, Frits Thaulow, pastel and watercolor on canvas
Winter Landscape, Frits Thaulow, pastel and watercolor on canvas

Winter Landscape, Frits Thaulow, pastel and watercolor on canvas, roughly 22×36″ (55×92 cm). Link is to past auction on Christie’s (large image here), I would assume present location is a private collection.

No one painted the surface character of small streams, winter or otherwise, like 19th century Norwegian Painter Frits Thaulow.

 
FacebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinFacebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedin

Happy Leyendecker Baby New Year 2022!

Leyendecker Baby New Years 1922
Leyendecker Baby New Years 1922

As I’ve done every New Year’s Eve since 2006, I’ll wish Lines and Colors readers a Happy New Year with one of American illustrator J. C. Leyendecker’s wonderful New Year’s covers for the Saturday Evening Post, in this case from 1922.

Leyendecker was the first to represent the new year as a baby (originally — and occasionally afterward — a cherub) in his illustration for the SEP New Year’s cover in 1906. Over the following three plus decades, his New Year’s covers made the idea into one of our cultural icons.

His New Year’s babies were often involved in some way in the events of the year. In this case, our 1922 baby is marking the recent signing of the U.S.-German Peace Treaty after the end of WWI by salting the tail of the Dove of Peace. Salting a bird’s tail was thought to render the bird incapable of flying away.

The image at top is a digitally restored version of the image from the cover that is being offered as a print by FineArtAmerica. Below it is the cover reproduction from the Saturday Evening Post site.

Whatever else happens this year, may you find joy and inspiration in the great art of the past and present, and in the creation of art yet to be seen!

 
FacebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinFacebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedin

Eye Candy for Today: Fragonard wash drawing

View of an Italianate park with figures, a villa behind, Jean-Honore Fragonard
View of an Italianate park with figures, a villa behind (details), Jean-Honore Fragonard

View of an Italianate park with figures, a villa behind, Jean-Honoré Fragonard, brown wash over brown ink lines and black chalk, roughly 13 x 11″ (33 x 47cm); link is to Sotheby’s past auction, large image here.

In this beautifully sensitive drawing, 18th century French painter, draftsman ad printmaker Jean-Honoré Fragonard, who specialized in such things, gives us an idealized view of an idealized park on an ideal day.

I love how delicately and vaguely some elements are suggested, like people, architecture, stairs and background foliage, and yet how definite and complete the overall drawing appears.

This is one of those drawings in which the vague word “wash” is used to describe the medium, leaving me in question as to whether it is ink wash or watercolor, both of which can be used to similar effect.

 
FacebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinFacebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedin

Eye Candy for Today: Emelie Preyer Still Life with Grapes and Peaches

Still Life with Grapes and Peaches, Emelie Preyer , oil on canvas
Still Life with Grapes and Peaches, Emelie Preyer , oil on canvas

Still Life with Grapes and Peaches, Emelie Preyer, oil on canvas, roughly 7 x 9″ (17 x 23 cm)

A wonderfully tactile still life from German painter Emelie Preyer, who was active in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

I love the she has emphasized imperfections, with the inclusion of the fly (or perhaps a tiny wasp?), the insect ravaged leaf, and the traces of what I take to be insects going after the smaller fruits in the foreground.

 
FacebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinFacebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedin

Veronese Adorations

Adoration of the Magi, Paolo Veronese
Adoration of the Magi (detail), Adoration of the Shepherds, Paolo Veronese

Paolo Veronese: Adoration of the Magi and Adoration of the Shepherds.

Two beautiful paintings by 16th century master Paolo Veronese, though the kings seem to get a lot more attention here than the shepherds (much as in life, I suppose).

Veronese did several paintings of the adorations; these are both from the Basilica dei Santi Giovanni e Paolo (San Zanipolo), Venice, Italy

I’m always a little taken aback, in paintings like this, by the putti (angel babies) who are represented as disembodied flying heads. I think it has something to do with the hierarchy of angel types, but still…

 
FacebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinFacebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedin

J. C. Leyendecker’s wide awake Santa

Santa drinks coffee illustration by JC Leyendecker
Santa drinks coffee illustration by JC Leyendecker (detail)

Well, here’s something I didn’t know: coffee perks you up! — at least, according to this ad from the December 16, 1940 issue of Life magazine, delightfully illustrated by J. C. Leyendecker.

Apparently, Santa is WIDE AWAKE in this ad from the Pan American coffee producers. This is an advertisement for coffee in general, rather than a specific brand, back when they apparently had to convince Americans to drink coffee!

According to the text: “For sound scientific reasons, it brightens conversation, makes mind and muscles more alert — lifts up the spirits when you’re tired.”

And Santa, let me tell you — after sipping this remarkable beverage — is READY for something!

I have long suggested that, in building on the contributions of Thomas Nast and Reginald Birch, the brilliant American illustrator J. C. Leyendecker is the artist who contributed most to the characterization of Santa Claus as we recognize him, and provided the basis for later contributions by Norman Rockwell, Haddon Sundblom, N. C. Wyeth and others.

This copy of the image is sourced from the Vintascope blog, which is devoted to “vintage illustration, advertising and ephemera”.

Merry Christmas!

 
FacebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinFacebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedin