Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Pontormo. Born on this day in 1494

Madonna, Christ, John the Baptist, yes. But those faces -- so totally Pontormo! Born on this day 1494.

Deposition from the Cross, 1525-1528
Jacopo Carucci (May 24, 1494 – January 2, 1557), usually known as Jacopo da Pontormo, Jacopo Pontormo or simply Pontormo, was an Italian Manneristpainter and portraitist from the Florentine School. His work represents a profound stylistic shift from the calm perspectival regularity that characterized the art of the Florentine Renaissance. He is famous for his use of twining poses, coupled with ambiguous perspective; his figures often seem to float in an uncertain environment, unhampered by the forces of gravity. 

The Getty here.

Free art lessons on uTube

Link here

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

No more Flickr?

Flickr has sent you a message on Flickr.

Subject: Terms of Service Update
Date: May 22nd, 2017

If you haven’t heard, Yahoo plans to sell its operating business, including Flickr, to Verizon Communications Inc. We anticipate the completion of the transaction to occur in June 2017. Upon the completion of this proposed transaction, Yahoo products and services, including Flickr, will be provided by a new Verizon-owned company called Yahoo Holdings, Inc.

In connection with this proposed transaction, Yahoo is updating its Terms of Service. You can review the changes by visiting our Terms of Service

These updated terms will automatically be effective on June 8, 2017, unless you cancel your Yahoo account before then.

That’s it! We look forward to continuing to deliver your favorite products and services.

I think that if you use the new service, it would be important to read all the terms  - seems like Yahoo can take and use your content without permission or pay and excuses itsefl from any lawsuit rising from their use of your work. In other words, let the buyer be very beware...

Yahoo terms of Service:

Monday, May 22, 2017

Born on this day: Amalia Lindegren And Hubert Robert

Amalia Lindegren was born #onthisday in 1814. This striking portrait by her was added to the @NatMus_SWE in 2015

Image scanned from the book "Svenskt Porträttgalleri XX - Arkitekter, Bildhuggare, Målare m.fl.

Private Collection

Hubert Robert was born #onthisday in 1733. … @ngadc @MuseeLouvre

Blending fantasy and factual accuracy, Hubert Robert's views of classical and contemporary architecture were immensely popular during his lifetime. Robert was best known for his paintings of ruins. His immense, crumbling monuments of an often-imaginary past earned him the nickname, "Robert des Ruines" (Robert of the Ruins).

Robert's career developed in Europe's most refined art circles of the 1700s. He received a thorough classical education in Paris and in 1754, arrived in Rome in the entourage of a French ambassador. He spent the next eleven years in Italy and there, developed his fascination with ruins. Because of the relatively recent excavations at Pompeii and Herculaneum, the archaeological climate in Rome was especially rich. Robert also developed close ties to Italian artists, including Giovanni Battista Piranesi and Giovanni Paolo Panini, and each influenced his artistic vision. He also developed a strong friendship with his drawing partner, Jean-Honoré Fragonard.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Born on this day in 1471, Albrecht Durer

Master #printmaker and theoretician Albrecht Durer was #BOTD in 1471

Dürer is seen as the archetypal Renaissance artist of Northern Europe. He had unique skills of observation, was a master narrator and a superb technician. He visited Italy, and added interest in proportion and perspective to his Northern taste for surface detail.

He was a polymath - a writer and theoretician as well as a painter and graphic artist. Himself influenced by the work of Mantegna, Leonardo and Giovanni Bellini, he in turn influenced many Italian artists through his prints.

Saturday, May 20, 2017

SFAI MFA Show 2017 + Yuri Kochiyama’s legacy at SOMArts Cultural Center

SF Old Mint. Curbed
Photo: Graduate Exhibition 2016, San Francisco Art Institute. MFA Exhibition at Fort Mason Center for Arts & Culture
Two more days to see the show - it is open on Sunday as well but Sunday is Bay to Breakers and traffic plus busses is bound to be a nightmare.
Contemporary installations, painting, sound, video, sculpture, photography, printmaking, performance, and hybrid forms come together for an exclusive four-day-only exhibition.

Article on Cristina Velázquez,, one of the exhibiting artists:

Yuri Kochiyama, social and political activist,

When many people hear the name Yuri Kochiyama, this is the image that comes to mind. Her friendship with Malcolm X and her commitment to a certain sort of intersectional politics is legend. But, of course, there was much more to Kochiyama than a single moment — or a single image.

In an effort to highlight her work and her life, the Asian American Women Artists Association and the Asian Pacific Islander Cultural Center are presenting an exhibition dedicated to Kochiyama, who died in 2014. “Shifting Movements,” on display through May 25 at SOMArts Cultural Center, features 40 artists of various “ages, ethnicities, genders and identities” all taking on the legacy of Kochiyama. Exhibit up through May 25.

Sisters in Revolution:

Friday, May 19, 2017

Born on this day back in 1593: Jacob Jordaens

May 19, 1593. ANTWERP.- Jacob Jordaens was one of three Flemish Baroque painters, along with Peter Paul Rubens and Anthony van Dyck, to bring prestige to the Antwerp school of painting. Unlike those contemporaries he never traveled abroad to study Italian painting, and his career is marked by an indifference to their intellectual and courtly aspirations. In fact, except for a few short trips to locations in the Low Countries, he remained in Antwerp his entire life. As well as being a successful painter, he was a prominent designer of tapestries. In this image: Jacob Jordaens. The King Drinks. c.1640.

Jacob Jordaens Self-Portrait with Parents, Brothers, and Sisters. c. 1615. Oil on canvas. The Hermitage, St. Petersburg, Russia. Web Gallery of Art

[Abduction of Europa], Jacob Jordaens, 1615/16, Gemäldegalerie Berlin
Jacob Jordaens, As the Old Sang, So the Young Pipe. National Gallery of Canada
From the time of Peter Paul Rubens's death in 1640 until 1660, Jacob Jordaens was in greater demand than any other artist in northern Europe. He remained Antwerp's leading figure painter until his death. Unlike most of his contemporaries, Jordaens never went to Italy; he was born and lived his whole life in Antwerp, where he and his friend Rubens shared the same teacher.

In the 1620s Jordaens built a flourishing studio while also frequently assisting Rubens. His style is based on Rubens's exuberance, with stronger chiaroscuro and thicker impasto. Despite converting from Catholicism to Calvinism in mid-life, Jordaens received numerous commissions for Catholic churches. A masterful technician, Jordaens' prolific output includes altarpieces, portraits, genre, and mythological scenes. He also produced watercolors, tapestry designs, and engravings. His late works include large genre scenes of drinking parties. The Getty,

Holy Family with Shepherds

The date of 1616 on the tall shepherd’s hat is the earliest known on any work by Jordaens. He never went to Italy but intensified the Caravaggesque qualities found in works by Rubens and other Antwerp artists such as Abraham Janssens. His handling of light and shadow and closely clustered figure groups convey a sense of intimacy that is distinctive of the young Jordaens. The Met

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Ole Worm Returns: An Iconic 17th Century Curiosity Cabinet is Obsessively Recreated by Allison Meier April 30, 2013

Walter Adolph Georg Gropius

May 18, 1883. BERLIN.- Walter Adolph Georg Gropius was a German architect and founder of the Bauhaus School who, along with Ludwig Mies van der Rohe and Le Corbusier, is widely regarded as one of the pioneering masters of modern architecture. Gropius died in 1969 in Boston, Massachusetts, aged 86. Today, he is remembered not only by his various buildings but also by the district of Gropiusstadt in Berlin. Fagus Works built some 100 years ago by famous German architect Walter Gropius in Alfeld Leine, Germany.

Walter Gropius's Monument to the March Dead (1921) dedicated to the memory of nine workers who died in Weimar resisting the Kapp Putsch. Wikipedia

Gropius House (1938) in Lincoln, Massachusetts. Wikipedia

Monday, May 15, 2017

Jasper Johns, Famous and Famously Oblique

Jasper Johns (b. 1930), Flags I. Screenprint, 1973. Gift of Johanna and Leslie Garfield, on loan from the American Friends of the British Museum. © Jasper Johns/VAGA, New York/DACS, London 2017. © Tom Powel Imaging.

'I made the flags to open eyes... things which are seen and not looked at'
Happy birthday to artist Jasper Johns! His work uses recognisable symbols and double images to play with perception – ‘Flags I’ is actually made up of 15 colours. 

You can see his thought-provoking prints in The British Museums's  #AmericanDream exhibition –

The words of famous artists can become so well known that they nearly congeal into platitudes, at least where the art world is concerned. One such phrase is Barnett Newman's exuberant Abstract Expressionist battle cry, ''We are making it out of ourselves.'' Another is Jasper Johns's understated studio prescriptive, familiar to every artist of a certain age: ''Take an object. Do something with it. Do something else with it.''  Roberta Smith

With his hints at private desire and reticence, Mr. Johns is a control freak. To give him his due, he's still a virtuoso control freak, and the sheer fluency and imaginative energy of his multifarious techniques, while nothing new, inevitably elevate his closeted and obfuscating enterprise to a level that commands admiration, if purely on formal terms.  Michael Kimmelman. May 27, 2005

Johns is an intimidating figure in the New York art world, especially for a woman. And no one approaches his work without thinking about the evasive meanings of his words, the thought-provoking quality of his oral pronouncements and his booming laughter, a sound that comes from deep inside him and makes one leery of believing that he fully believes his own words. Speaking of artists and artworks that had been important to him, he told Grace Glueck in an interview in the ‘60s:

"Three works from the past have been important to me: Picasso’s Demoiselles d’Avignon, Marcel Duchamp’s Large Glass and Cézanne’s The Bather. But also, for any artist, things that occur during the period in which he’s working have equal importance, as Rauschenberg’s paintings do for me." Artnet.  AN ALLEGORY OF SUBLIMATION by Michéle C. Cone

JASPER JOHNS once said that he painted what ''the mind already knows.'' This emphasis distinguished his work from the Abstract Expressionists and their embrace of spontaneous gestures. He paved the way for Pop Art with imagery that is in the collective mind, so to speak: flags, targets, numbers and the letters of the alphabet. 

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Today's Birthday Thomas Gainsborough

May 14, 1727. SUFFOLK.- Sir Thomas Gainsborough was an English portrait and landscape painter. Gainsborough was noted for the speed with which he applied his paint, and he worked more from his observations of nature (and of human nature) than from any application of formal academic rules. In this image: Self-portrait, painted 1759.

He was one of the originators of the eighteenth-century British landscape school; though simultaneously, in conjunction with Sir Joshua Reynolds, he was the dominant British portraitist of the second half of the 18th century.
The Blue Boy (1770). The Huntington, California

Gainsborough's most famous work, it is thought to be a portrait of the son of a wealthy merchant. It is a historical costume study, as well as a portrait. It is often paired with a painting by Thomas Lawrence called Pinkie which sits opposite to it at the Huntington Library.

Sarah Siddons, one of the most famous actresses of the 18th century

Ann Ford (later Mrs. Philip Thicknesse), 1760. Creative Commons

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Born on this day. Georges Braque, Ole Worm, Willhelm Schubert van Ehrenberg

Georges Braque, 1909, La Roche-Guyon, le château (The Castle at Roche-Guyon), oil on canvas, 80 x 59.5 cm, Moderna Museet, Stockholm

Quite an eclectic group of artists born on this day: "Art is made to disturb, science reassures." - Georges Braque, born on this day in 1882.

Georges Braque was a major 20th century French painter and sculptor who, along with Pablo Picasso, developed the art movement known as Cubism. Braque believed that an artist experienced beauty "in terms of volume, of line, of mass, of weight, and through that beauty [he] interprets a subjective impression..."

He described "objects shattered into fragments as a way of getting closest to the object. "Fragmentation  helped me to establish space and movement in space." He adopted a monochromatic and neutral color palette in the belief that such a palette would work simultaneously with the form, instead of interfering with the viewer's conception of space; and would focus, rather than distract, the viewer from the subject matter of the painting.

Trained as a housepainter like his father and grandfather, Georges Braque moved to Paris in 1900 to pursue a fine art career. Seven years later he met Pablo Picasso, and by 1908 the two artists were working in concert to develop the revolutionary style of Cubism. Braque is overshadowed by his famous friend, but their impersonal painting style of the Cubist period makes their work often indistinguishable.

Braque invented papier collé, or pasted paper, in 1912. This merging of painting or drawing with collaged real-world elements marked a radical break with prior art, which relied exclusively on illusionistic rendering. The technique was immediately taken up by Picasso and had an enormous impact on subsequent generations of artists.

Braque and Picasso's working relationship ended when Braque enlisted in the army in 1914. Wounded in World War I, he moved to the French coast, where he continued to explore representational structure in still lifes and figure studies.

Born on this day in 1588 in Aarhus: Ole Worm, Danish physician & collector of everything. Famed for his cabinet of wonders.

The early twentieth century horror author H. P. Lovecraft mentions Ole Worm (using his Latinized name "Olaus Wormius") as one of the translators of the fictional book Al Azif (commonly known as the Necronomicon). Horror writer Anders Fager has elaborated this myth in several of his tales.

Interior of a Catholic Church. By Wilhelm Schubert van Ehrenberg, born this day 1630.

A dungeon interior with elegant figures, a collaboration with Hieronymous Janssens. Wikipedia
A Flemish painter mainly active in Antwerp who specialized in architectural paintings including of real and imaginary church interiors, Renaissance palaces and picture galleries

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Jean-Léon Gérôme

May 11, 1824. VESOUL, FRANCE.- Jean-Léon Gérôme was a French painter and sculptor in the style now known as Academicism. The range of his oeuvre included historical painting, Greek mythology, Orientalism, portraits and other subjects, bringing the Academic painting tradition to an artistic climax. In this image: Prière dans la mosquée, circa 1865

Pygmalion and Galatea, 1890. At the Met

Slave Market. The Clark (first uploaded version )éon_Gérôme 

Muse d'Orsay

Hokusai Says

Calligraphy @ Nancy Ewart

Those lucky enough to live in London or have access to this exhibit at the British Museum are in for a rare treat

"Katsushika Hokusai (1760–1849) is widely regarded as Japan’s most famous and influential artist. He produced works of astonishing quality right up until his death at the age of 90. This new exhibition will lead you on an artistic journey through the last 30 years of Hokusai’s life – a time when he produced some of his most famous masterpieces.”

The shows will also include several films which, to this date, are only being shown in Great Britain and in Canada. I hope they will appear here in the Bay Area because none of our museums have ever hosted a show of this scope and magnitude.

Throughout the exhibition, outstanding examples of Hokusai’s work will show the artist’s creative breadth and depth. A selection of superb landscapes is introduced with the iconic Great Wave – itself part of a print series of views of Mt Fuji….

A quick search of the Asian Art Museums collections only generated this information for teachers but apparently none of Hokusai’s works are on view. The Auchenbach Foundation at the Legion of Honor may have some of Hokusai’s woodcuts but lacking a search function, it’s impossible to tell

Hokusai Complete Works:

Thinkgs you did not know here

The wave that swept the world here

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Happy Birthday Howard Carter

May 09, 1874. LONDON.- Howard Carter was an English archaeologist and Egyptologist, noted as a primary discoverer of the tomb of Tutankhamun. On 4 November 1922, Carter's water carrier found the steps leading to Tutankhamun's tomb (subsequently designated KV62), by far the best preserved and most intact pharaonic tomb ever found in the Valley of the Kings. In this image:Howard Carter is shown examining King Tut's sarcophagus, date unknown.

Clearing the tomb took another ten years. Carter retired from archaeology in 1932 and became a part-time agent for collectors and museums, including the Cleveland Museum of Art and the Detroit Institute of Arts. He visited the United States in 1924 and gave a series of illustrated lectures in New York City and other cities in the US that were attended by very large and enthusiastic audiences, sparking American Egyptomania.

Carter died of lymphoma in Kensington, London, on 2 March 1939, aged 64. Carter is now buried in Putney Vale Cemetery in London. His epitaph reads: "May your spirit live, may you spend millions of years, you who love Thebes, sitting with your face to the north wind, your eyes beholding happiness", a quotation taken from the Wishing Cup of Tutankhamun  and "O night, spread thy wings over me as the imperishable stars".

Carter was one of a generation of archaeologists who brought Ancient Egypt back to life through their discoveries. King Tutankhamum's tomb was and is famous for its wealth of grave goods - which makes me hungry for what has been lost from the tombs of the great Pharaohs. When I was young, I read the novel "The Lost Queen of Egypt" by Lucille Morrison about Ankhesenamun. Queen of the Eighteenth Dynasty of Egypt. Daughter of Nefertiti. Sister-wife of Tutankhamun and possibly the one who wrote the famous letter to the King of the Hittites, asking for a husband to replace the one who died. Unfortunately the novel is out of print but I wish it could it be reissued. Naturally it's fiction but so well written that it makes the whole era come alive.

Bio from Wikipedia here 

Egyptology here