Eye Candy for Today: Caillebotte’s Yerres, Effect of Rain

erres Effect of Rain, Gustave Caillebotte impressionist painting
erres Effect of Rain, Gustave Caillebotte impressionist painting

Yerres, Effect of Rain, Gustave Caillebotte, oil on canvas, roughly 32 x 23 inches (80x 59 cm).

Link is to page on WikiArt, from which you can click “View All Sizes” to get to a larger image. Original is in the Sidney and Lois Eskenazi Museum of Art at Indiana University Bloomington.

I had the pleasure of seeing this in person at an exhibition at the Brooklyn Museum of Art in 2009. Most of the images of this painting on the internet, including the museum’s website, are too dark and oversaturated. The one I’m linking to is not bad, though I’ve taken the liberty of lightening is slightly. There is another here on Flickr.

Several of Caillebotte’s works are subtitled with the word “effect” — as in Rooftop View (Effect of snow). Like the other French Impressionists, Caillebotte was concerned with the effects of light and atmosphere under different conditions.

Here, he gives us a perfect evocation of the light and atmosphere of a light rain on a small stream. The Yerres River is a tributary of the Seine, southeast of Paris, near where the artist lived.

 
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Lui Ferreya

Lui Ferreya artwork
Lui Ferreya artwork

Lui Ferreya is a freelance artist based in Denver, Colorado. On his website and in his Behance portfolio you will find drawings and other works in media both tradtional and digital.

Ferreya breaks down forms, whether of landscape, still life or portraiture, into geometric planes, and further subdivides these into smaller planes that he defines with linear patterns of tone and color.

His palette, though often high in chroma, is carefully controlled in terms of value and color relationships, allowing him to work a wide range of colors into small areas that in turn read as larger areas and feel almost naturalistic.

I particularly enjoy the way he approaches faces. With a keen awareness of the planes of the head and face, he marks off discreet areas, but maintains transitions that look soft edged because of the subtlety of the color relationships.

[Via Kottke and Colossal]

 
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Eye Candy for Today: Fragonard’s La Bascule

La Bascule, Jean-Honore Fragonard
La Bascule, Jean-Honore Fragonard (details)

La Bascule (The See-saw), Jean-Honoré Fragonard, oil on canvas, roughly 30 x 39″ (75 x 99 cm), in the collection of the Louvre, currently on display at Musée Fabre, Montpellier. Link is to the Louvre’s page, which has zoomable and downloadable images.

This painting and another by the French Rococo artist were recently acquired by France after having been thought missing for years.

Fragonard is sometimes dissed as frivolous and pandering, but I quite like him — particularly his drawings. Here, though, the elements of his painting style I most admire are present: his soft, atmospheric landscapes, theatrical lighting and playful compositions.

 
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Vermeer restoration unveiled with revealed Cupid

Vermeer restoration unveiled with revealed Cupid
Vermeer restoration unveiled with revealed Cupid

Johannes Vermeer, the remarkable 17th century painter from the city of Delft in the Netherlands, is revered for his transcendent portrayals of the effects of light and atmosphere in domestic scenes.

He is best known for his series of compositions in which people, predominantly young women, are seen engaged in simple activities in front of a window — always to the viewer’s left. These make up the majority of Vermeer’s oeuvre, and consist of many variations on the theme.

The painting known as Girl Reading a Letter at a Window, which has been a centerpiece of the collection of the Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister in Dresden for over 250 years, is recognized as the first of these.

It has been known since 1979, when an X-ray analysis was made of the painting, that Vermeer had placed a painting within a painting of a large portrayal of Cupid on the wall behind the figure. It was assumed that Vermeer had thought better of his compositional choice and painted over the image of the painting.

However, a restoration was undertaken in May of 2017, in which it was determined by materials analysis that the overpainting of the blank wall had, in fact, been added by another hand after the time of Vermeer’s death.

Given that knowledge, the conservators began to remove the third-hand paint-over, including painted over extensions of the composition at the edges of the canvas, which Vermeer had left blank, perhaps in anticipation of mounting the work in a particular frame.

Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister has now unveiled the restoration, which will be the center of a new exhibition, Johannes Vermeer. On Reflection, that will be on display from 10/9/2021 to 2/1/2022.

The restoration reveals the detailed, large scale painting of Cupid, similar to the painting within a painting of Vermeer’s later work, Lady Standing at a Virginal.

This page on the website of the Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister goes into the restoration of the painting at a time when the process was about half way completed.

The Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister has not yet released a high resolution image of the restored painting, so I’m including images of the pre-restoration version — that are available in high resolution on the Google Art Project and Wikipedia — in which you can see a shadowy pentimento of the covered painting.

You can see the pre-restoration version in context, both by date and in size comparison to Vermeer’s other works in this fascinating comparison on the fantastic Essential Vermeer website. (See my post on Essential Vermeer.)

[Via Colossal and Kottke, thanks to Erlc Lee Smith for the suggestion]

 
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James Patterson

James Patterson, Scottish artist
James Patterson, Scottish artist

Scottish artist James Patterson, who was active in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, was known for his atmospheric landscapes, concise insightful portraits and tactile still life subjects.

Patterson studied at the Glasgow School of Art and also in Paris. He was adept at painting with both watercolor and oil.

The best online representation of his work is to be found on the website of the National Galleries of Scotland. There, in addition to paintings, you will find many portrait studies in black and red chalk.

 
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Cathy Hillegas

Cathy Hillegas watercolors
Cathy Hillegas watercolors

Cathy Hillegas is a painter in watercolor based in Indiana, who combines vibrant color with a tactile sense of texture in her paintings of flowers, trees, woods and fields.

Particularly appealing to me are her paintings of small natural elements, leaves, branches, the heads of ferns and other aspects of nature, seen up close.

In addition to the works on her website, you can find prints available in her Etsy store.

 
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