Eye Candy for Today: Edmund Leighton’s In Time of Peril

In Time of Peril, Edmund Leighton, oil on canvas
In Time of Peril, Edmund Leighton, oil on canvas (details)

In Time of Peril, Edmund Leighton, oil on canvas, roughly 49 x 66 inches ( 124 x 169 cm). Link is to zoomable image on Google Art Project, downloadable version on Wikimedia Commons. Original is in the Aukland Art Gallery.

Edmund Blair Leighton, a British artist active in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, was known for his scenes of medieval and turn of the 19th century times. Here, he gives us a medieval scene in which a well to do family seeks refuge at a monastery, while the eldest child appears to see imminent danger close behind them.

I love the tactile feel of Leighton’s rendition of stone, wood, fur, cloth and metal. For some reason, I particularly enjoy the subtle highlight on the tiller.

 
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A few paintings from the forest of Fontainebleau

Painting of the Forest of Fontainebleau,
Paintings of the Forest of Fontainebleau, Alphonse Asselbergs, Christian Zacho, Francois Auguste Ortmans, Claude Monet, George Charles Aid, Gustave Courbet, Gustave Dore, Peter Burnit, Theodore Rousseau, Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot

Wikimedia Commons, with its wonderful, clunky mishmash of art images — superb high quality high resolution images from the best sources next to low resolution low quality and off color images from questionable sources — has some equally eccentric systems of categorization, which results in the delightful ability to browse through a category like “Paintings of forests“, and highly specific subcategories like “Paintings of forêt de Fontainebleau” (the forest of Fountainebleau).

The forest of Fontainebleau is an area of still relatively wild forest and rock formations about 35 miles (60 km) southeast of Paris. It attracted the first wave of painters known to paint en plein air in significant numbers.

Initially it was Corot, and then other painters who were similarly interested in painting directly from nature, and who would collectively come to be known as the Barbizon School, named for the nearby town that was their base. Later they were joined by the early French Impressionists, who were highly influenced by the Barbizon painters.

The images above were all selected from the single Wikimedia Commons page for paintings from the forest of Fountainebleau — on which you will find more examples, as well as links to higher resolution images, and even links to subcategories of that category.

(Images above: Abbot Handerson Thayer, Alphonse Asselbergs, Christian Zacho, François Auguste Ortmans, Claude Monet, George Charles Aid, Gustave Courbet, Gustave Doré, Peter Burnit, Théodore Rousseau, Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot)

 
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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.

 
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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.

 
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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.

 
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John Anthony Park

John Anthony Park, landscape paintings
John Anthony Park, landscape paintings

John Anthony Park was British landscape painter active in the early to middle part of the 20th century. He focused largely on scenes in involving water, seascapes, harbor scenes, rivers and small streams.

Water was a subject he handled quite adeptly, with attention to reflections, surface effects and characteristics of flow.

 
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