Eye Candy for Today: Jan Bogaerts still life

Still life with a green strainer, Jan Bogaerts still life painting
Still life with a green strainer, Jan Bogaerts still life painting (details)

Still life with a green strainer, Jan Bogaerts

Link is to sold listing on Simonis & Buunk gallery, which has a zoomable version of the image.

Early 20th century Dutch painter Jan Bogaerts has a marvelous touch for portraying the surface textures of his still life objects.

At times his deftly handled light and the tactile quality of his subjects create a contemplative feeling that puts me in mind of the great 18th century French still life and genre painter Jean-Baptiste-Siméon Chardin.

For more, see my previous post on Jan Bogaerts.

 
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Eye Candy for Today: Bernardo Bellotto pen and wash drawing

Imaginary View of Padua, Bernardo Bellotto, pen, black ink and gray wash drawing
Imaginary View of Padua, Bernardo Bellotto, pen, black ink and gray wash drawing

Imaginary View of Padua, Bernardo Bellotto; pen, black ink and gray wash drawing; roughly 13 x 17 inches (32 x 43 cm). Original is in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

18th century Italian artist Bernardo Bellotto had a very effective pen and wash technique for rendering architectural subjects that is similar to the wonderful drawings of his uncle and mentor, Antonio Canal, better known as Canaletto.

Imaginary View of Padua, Met Museum

 
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Vladimir Orlovsky (revisited)

Vladimir Orlovsky, Ukrainian landscape painter
Vladimir Orlovsky, Ukrainian landscape painter

Vladimir Orlovsky (alternately: Vladimir Orlovskii or Volodymyr Orlovsky) was a Ukrainian landscape painter, active in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, who I first profiled in 2014.

Like most of his Ukrainian contemporaries, who lived and worked at a time when Ukraine was part of the Russian Empire, he is often listed as a Russian painter.

Many of his paintings are relatively large in size and scope, so I’ve provided detail crops for all but one of the paintings I’ve featured above.

 
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Dimitri Danish (update)

Dimitri Danish
Dimitri Danish

Dimitri Danish is a Ukrainian artist I first wrote about in 2013.

His compositions often feature large areas of relatively low chroma and/or low value punctuated with areas of bright, intense color. Most of his subjects are cityscapes, in particular many views of Venice, in addition to locations in Ukraine and other European countries as well as scenes of Florida in the US.

He still does not have a dedicated web presence that I can find, but his work is represented on the websites of several galleries, as well as art image sites like Tutt’ Art.

For more, see my previous post on Dimitri Danish

 
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Eye Candy for Today: Winslow Homer watercolor & gouache

Fresh Eggs, watercolor and gouache painting by Winslow Homer
Fresh Eggs, watercolor and gouache painting by Winslow Homer

Fresh Eggs, Winslow Homer; watercolor and gouache on paper; roughly 9 x 8 inches (24 x 19 cm). Original is in the collection of the National Gallery of Art, DC, which has both zoomable and downloadable images on their site.

In this simple, unassuming study of a commonplace chore, Homer shows us the ability of art to elevate the ordinary into the extraordinary, as well as demonstrating his apparently effortless command of watercolor and gouache.

The NGA provides a nicely high-resolution image (higher than in my detail crops) in which you can see his individual brush marks and the way he has mixed opaque and transparent passages with economy and flair.

 
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Eye Candy for Today: Rembrandt pen drawing along the Amstel River

A bend in the River Amstel near Kostverloren House, Rembrandt van Rijn, pen and brown ink drawing, with wash
A bend in the River Amstel near Kostverloren House, Rembrandt van Rijn, pen and brown ink drawing, with wash (details)

A bend in the River Amstel near Kostverloren House, Rembrandt van Rijn; pen and brown ink with brown and grey washes, heightened with white bodycolour on oatmeal paper; roughly 5 x 10″ (14 x 25 cm). Original is in the collection of the Chatsworth Estate.

It would be easy to glance at a drawing like this — a sketch really — take it in briefly, and pass on by, on the the next, more colorful artwork. But to me, these pen and brown ink landscape drawings by Rembrandt are among my favorite works in the entire history of art.

Many of them, on more devoted looking, reveal themselves to me as transcendent and poetic.

Perhaps it’s because I can project myself into them — even better than with a more “realistic” painted view — and picture myself sitting there on the bank in the shade with my own sketchbook and pens, immersed in the day, the smell of the river, the sounds of water lapping at the boats, the gentle clop of the horses passing by, perhaps a gentle breeze waving through the sun-topped line of trees.

Just as easily, I can picture Rembrandt sitting there — a sheaf of paper in his lap, reed pen and brush in his hands with perhaps two bottles of iron gall ink at his side, one full strength, one diluted for washes — immersed in the scene and his drawing while his troubles (of which he certainly had his share) recede into the distance.

As far as can be determined, these pen, brown ink and wash drawings were created simply for Rembrant’s own benefit, either as practice, or (I think) simply for pleasure. There is no known connection identifying them as preliminary for paintings or even for any of his similarly handled etchings.

Many of these, and other Rembrandt drawings in brown ink and wash, are listed as drawings in bistre ink (made from wood-burning soot), but chemical analysis indicates that a high percentage of them may have been drawn with darker iron gall ink, usually made from oak galls, iron salts and tannic acid. I’m guessing that may be the case here.

Renbrandt’s notation is breezy, economical and seemingly effortless. Just a few gestural lines — but brilliantly sweeping, lightly touched with tone — produce a solid line of trees, a river and its bank, boats and horsemen. Their sun bathed and shade dappled textures are created almost entirely in our mind’s eye.

Because it has happened to me on occasion, I have the distinct feeling that drawings like this might have felt to Rembrandt like they were flowing directly from nature, into his eyes, and out through his pen onto the paper — while he observed. There is little feeling here of artifice or the construction of a drawing as a work of art.

You’re unlikely to see what I mean from the small image and detail crops I can present here. Go to this link and view the drawing as large in your monitor as you can to get the feeling I’m trying to convey.

 
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