Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Gerard Horenbout, aka The Master of James IV of Scotland.

 Great Medieval miniature. Banquet of Dives, Lazarus as leper at door (w/ rattle) and dead below. Miniature from 1510 by Gerard Horenbout,

Gerard Horenbout (c. 1465–c. 1541) was a Flemish miniaturist, a late example of the Flemish Primitives. He is "likely and widely accepted" to be the Master of James IV of Scotland.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Happy Birthday, Sir Joshua!

Born on this day 1723: Joshua Reynolds. Later "Sir Joshua" but here, at age 24, still wondering about himself. Fantastic self-portrait.

The Age of Innocence

Sir Joshua Reynolds RA FRS FRSA (16 July 1723 – 23 February 1792) was an influential eighteenth-century English painter, specialising in portraits. According to John Russell, he was one of the major European painters of the 18th Century. He promoted the "Grand Style" in painting which depended on idealization of the imperfect. He was a founder and first president of the Royal Academy of Arts, and was knighted by George III in 1769.


Lady Elizabeth Delmé and her children in 1778, back when big hair was a real thing

Reynolds was the leading English portraitist of the 18th century. Through study of ancient and Italian Renaissance art, and of the work of Rembrandt, Rubens and Van Dyck, he brought great variety and dignity to British portraiture.

Reynolds was born at Plympton in Devon, the son of a headmaster and fellow of Balliol College, Oxford: a more educated background than that of most painters. He was apprenticed in 1740 to the fashionable London portraitist Thomas Hudson, who also trained Wright of Derby. He spent 1749-52 abroad, mainly in Italy, and set up practice in London shortly after his return.

He soon established himself as the leading portrait painter, though he was never popular with George III. He was a key figure in the intellectual life of London, and a friend of Dr. Johnson. When the Royal Academy was founded in 1768, Reynolds was elected its first President. Although believing that history painting was the noblest work of the painter, he had little opportunity to practice it, and his greatest works are his portraits.

His paintings are not perfectly preserved due to faulty technique. The carmine reds have faded, leaving flesh-tones paler than intended, and the bitumen used in the blacks has tended to crack.


Images from Wikipedia

Friday, July 14, 2017

La Marseillaise from Casablanca. Vive La France

What does this horde of slaves,
Of traitors and conspiratorial kings want?
For whom are these vile chains,
These long-prepared irons? (repeat)
Frenchmen, for us, ah! What outrage
What fury it must arouse!
It is us they dare plan
To return to the old slavery!

The Marseillaise was a revolutionary song, an anthem to freedom, a patriotic call to mobilize all the citizens and an exhortation to fight against tyranny and foreign invasion. The French National Convention adopted it as the Republic's anthem in 1795. It acquired its nickname after being sung in Paris by volunteers from Marseille marching to the capital. The song is the first example of the "European march" anthemic style. The anthem's evocative melody and lyrics have led to its widespread use as a song of revolution and its incorporation into many pieces of classical and popular music.

We need to reclaim our own songs for their original intent as a protest against oppression and greedy, tyrannical government. This version from the movie Casablanca is still one of the most moving renditions, set as it was during WW II and as a hymn of resistance to the Nazis. Ironic to think that the director and the actors had no idea how how important and what a classic this movie would become.


Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Upcoming at the Legion: Sarah Lucas

Max Hollerin's latest "contribution" to the Legion. The "work" looks like some kind of spider doll ready to give birth to dozens of spiders - oh, and the preview (out at the Legion as far away from the rest of the city that you can get), is at night, in a place with limited parking and only accessible by one bus,
From the e-mail notice:  Be among the first to preview Sarah Lucas: Good Muse, the latest contemporary exhibition at the Legion of Honor. Join us for an after hours sneak peek of the exhibition before doors officially open to the public this weekend.

The galleries will be open until 8:45 pm and refreshments provided at a cash bar. Space is limited, RSVP today!

Today's Birthday: Amedeo Clemente Modigliani

Amedeo Clemente Modigliani (Italian pronunciation: [ameˈdɛːo modiʎˈʎaːni]; Livorno, 12 July 1884 – Paris, 24 January 1920) was an Italian Jewish painter and sculptor who worked mainly in France. He is known for portraits and nudes in a modern style characterized by elongation of faces and figures, that were not received well during his lifetime, but later found acceptance. Modigliani spent his youth in Italy, where he studied the art of antiquity and the Renaissance until he moved to Paris in 1906. There he came into contact with prominent artists such as Pablo Picasso and Constantin Brâncuși.

Modigliani's œuvre includes paintings and drawings. From 1909 to 1914, however, he devoted himself mainly to sculpture. His main subject was portraits and full figures of humans, both in the images and in the sculptures. During his life, Amedeo Modigliani had little success, but after his death he achieved greater popularity and his works of art achieved high prices. He died at age 35 in Paris of tubercular meningitis.

Happy Birthday to Italian artist Amedeo Modigliani, born on this day in 1884: http://bit.ly/2tJNfOB 

The best of his nudes

The Affair that changed him: At six feet tall, raven-haired and ravishingly beautiful, 21-year-old Anna Akhmatova proved something of a sensation when she arrived in Paris on the arm of her husband in 1910 – people would turn to look at her in the street. The couple were on their honeymoon, and, being poets of some repute in their native Russia, headed straight for Montparnasse, then the favoured haunt of the Parisian avant garde. Here they mingled with the penniless painters, sculptors, poets and composers who had moved to the area from the increasingly chichi Montmartre, in search of cheap rent, cheap cafés and run-down buildings that might serve as studios.

One such artist was the 25-year-old Amedeo Modigliani, who had arrived from Italy four years before. With an aristocratic Roman nose, a strong jaw and a mop of jet-black hair, he enchanted Anna, and the two became inseparable ...

Kneeling Blue Caryatid, c191; thought to have been inspired by the visits the pair made to the Louvre’s Egyptian gallery (GETTY)
More at: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/art/art-features/11532201/Modigliani-and-the-Russian-beauty-the-affair-that-changed-him.html



Monday, July 10, 2017

Artemisia Gentileschi. July 8, 1593 – c. 1656

Self Portrait

Judith Slaying Holofernes (1614–20) Oil on canvas 199 x 162 cm Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence


Judith and her Maidservant (1613–14) Oil on canvas Palazzo Pitti, Florence

Lots of amazing artists born in the last week or so- David Hockney, Whistler, de Chiricio, Artimesia Gentileschi, Pisarro. For me, Artimesia Gentileschi is the most interesting one of the bunch - raped, maligned, tortured and yet, she perservered to become one of the best artists in the 17th century

That she was a woman painting in the seventeenth century and that she was raped and participated in the prosecution of the rapist long overshadowed her achievements as an artist. For many years she was regarded as a curiosity. Today she is regarded as one of the most progressive and expressive painters of her generation. She was born on July 8th, so this is a little late, but better late than never. 

The daughter of a renowned painter, she was trained by her father, raped  by one of his painting companions, torturned when she reported the rape to the authorities and put on trial. After the trial, she was quickly married off and the couple moved to Florence. She became a successful painter, enjoying the patronage of the Medici and Charles I of England. 

Artemisia was once thought to have died in 1652/1653; however, recent evidence has shown that she was still accepting commissions in 1654, although she was increasingly dependent upon her assistant, Onofrio Palumbo, especially as tastes changed to favor a more sentimental, religious style.
Some have speculated that she died in the devastating plague that swept Naples in 1656 and virtually wiped out an entire generation of Neapolitan artists.






Images from Wikiedia

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Degas, Impressionism, and the Paris Millinery Trade at the Legion of Honor

The Legion of Honor in SF is exhibiting Degas paintings centered around hats. This video provides a bit of a deeper back ground because Degas was far more than a painter of pretty hats.

Edgar Degas, "The Millinery Shop," 1879–1886. Oil on canvas, 39 3/8 x 43 5/8 in. (100 x 110.7 cm). The Art Institute of Chicago, Mr. and Mrs. Lewis Larned Coburn Memorial Collection, 1933.428. Bridgeman Images

, "The Conversation," 1895. Pastel on paper, 25 5/8 x 19 3/4 in. (65 x 50 cm). Courtesy of Acquavella Galleries.

Mary Cassat

"Portrait of Zacharian," ca. 1885. Pastel on paper laid down on board, 15 5/8 x 15 5/8 in. (39.7 x 39.7 cm). Private Collection.
James Tissot’s “The Shop Girl”

A new special exhibition at the Legion of Honor this summer takes a closer look at the work of impressionist artist Edgar Degas and his attraction expressed in paintings to high-fashion hats and the women who created them. "Degas, Impressionism, and the Paris Millinery Trade," on view June 24-Sept. 24, features 60 impressionist paintings and pastels, including key works by Degas and others, including Renoir, Manet, Cassatt, and Toulouse-Lautrec. Forty exquisite examples of period hats will also be on display. And as the exhibit shows, Degas was not the only Impressionist painter to be intrigued by hats, both women’s and men’s. There are works by his friends and contemporaries, including Édouard Manet, Berthe Morisot, and  Pierre-Auguste Renoir.

Degas’ fascination inspired a visually compelling body of work that documents the lives of what one fashion writer of the day called “the aristocracy of the workwomen of Paris, the most elegant and distinguished.” Yet despite the importance of millinery within Degas’s oeuvre, there has been little discussion of its place in Impressionist iconography.

Paris, already recognized as the fashion capital of the world, had about 1,000 milliners at this time. The millinery trade, along with the first modern department store, Au Bon Marché, gave birth to modern consumerism and changed gender roles with women in the workforce — all of which is depicted in the works on display in addition to the art and industry of hat making.

The exhibition focuses on the intersection between the historical context of the Parisian millinery trade and the contemporaneous, avant-garde art of Degas and the Impressionists. Degas explored the theme of millinery in 27 works, focusing particularly on hats, their creators, and consumers. These are often radical in their experimentation with color and abstracted forms, and are central to his portrayal of women, fashion, and Parisian modern life.

Degas’s largest painting on the theme is "The Millinery Shop" (1879-86) from the Art Institute of Chicago. In the painting, a woman sits surrounded by six hats, reflecting on the latest fashions for spring and summer. The hats dominate the composition and offer an overview of the range of materials (ribbons, flowers, feathers) and colors (cream, aqua, oranges, greens) used in stylish hats. One bonnet (late 19th century) from the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston on display in the same room—a capote toute en fleurs (“all in bloom”), lavishly embellished with ribbon, bows, and silk flowers—might have been plucked directly from Degas’s painting. A hat from the Fine Arts Museums’ collection, distinguished by an African starling bird with outstretched wings, speaks to the flourishing international trade in luxury materials, especially feathers, which the Parisian millinery industry helped to support.



Degas, Impressionism, and the Paris Millinery Trade: Tue.–Sun., through Sept. 24, 9:30 a.m.–5:15 p.m.,  Lincoln Park (100 34th Ave.), $28, 415-750-3600, famsf.org

Images courtesy of the Legion of Honor

Friday, July 7, 2017

Happy World Chocolate Day

Courtly ladies prepare chocolate in a cylinder vessel #WorldChocolateDay Maya chocolate-drinking cup http://www.metmuseum.org/blogs/now-at-the-met/2014/maya-drinking-cup

Happy #WorldChocolateDay! If you're looking to make a chocolate-y dessert today, we recommend Mrs. Kennedy's soufflé froid au chocolat. 

Note that only 4 African countries account for over 70% of the world's cocoa—its essential ingredient. 

 This Yoda sculpture costs $4,500 -- and it's made of chocolate http://on.forbes.com/60138UakF 

#WorldChocolateDay: The sweet science behind how chocolate makes you more productive http://buff.ly/2uy76QN

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Happy 130th birthday to Marc Chagall!

The Birthday. 1913

Trois heures et demie (Le poète), Half-Past Three (The Poet) 1911

Paris par la fenêtre (Paris Through the Window),. 1913

Gates of the Cemetary
Happy 130th birthday to Marc Chagall! Born July 7th in 1887.

Art critic Robert Hughes referred to Chagall as "the quintessential Jewish artist of the twentieth century" (though Chagall saw his work as "not the dream of one people but of all humanity"). According to art historian Michael J. Lewis, Chagall was considered to be "the last survivor of the first generation of European modernists". For decades, he "had also been respected as the world's preeminent Jewish artist". 


All images from Wikipedia

2017 San Francisco Frida Kahlo Festival

SF’s Month-long celebration of Frida’s 110th birthday kicks off July 6th

Be sure to wear flowers in your hair. All of the events are free and kid friendly unless otherwise noted.

2017 Fiestas Fridas
June 27 to July 30, 2017
All over the Mission
Most events are free unless otherwise stated

8th Year of Frida Art, June 27th, 3 to 5 pm, Puerto Alegre (546 Valencia St.)
The 8th year of Frida Art in this iconic San Francisco restaurant. Curated by Frankie Franco featuring several local artists. Go for Frida, stay for Margarita(s)

FRIDArte Exhibit & Kick-off Celebration, July 6th, 6 to 8 pm, Alley Cat Books (3036 24th St.)
Special dedication to FRIDArtist Michael Roman. Artists Txutxo Perez, Adrian Arias and more

110th Birthday Celebration of Frida Kahlo, July 7th, 6 to 9 pm, Mission Cultural Center (2868 Mission)
Dancing with DJ SABOR TX, live performance by Grupo Córima, fun and Community. Featuring local FRIDArte vendors, food by La Cocina Entrepreneurs. (Ticket cost: $10)

Calle 24 Paseo FRIDArtistico, July 8th, 11 am to 5 pm (Lower 24th St in the Mission)
A celebration of Frida and la calle 24. Several participating vendors, FRIDArte activities, an hourly screening of “The Life and Death of Frida Kahlo as told to Karen and David Crommie” and other fun. Get your FRIDiscount card and shop all the vendors on the street. Spend at least $30 with 3 different participating retailers and receive a limited edition FRIDArte screen print by TxuTxo in honor of Frida and FRIDArtist Michael Roman. Proof of purchase required. This offer is good for the entire month of July.

Screen printing & Embroidery Workshop, July 8th, time TBD between noon to 5 pm, Accion Latina (2958 24th St)
Participants screen print one of three images on a canvas bag, cure it and embellish the bag with basic embroidery stitches. The workshop lasts 3 hours. During stitch time, learn about Frida’s life, her love of embroidery and how practicing traditional arts is connected to community action. Folks get to take home their embroidered screen printed tote and the embroidery hoop they used, engraved with a Frida Kahlo quote. (Donation: $5-15 sliding scale donation for materials)

Pasion de Frida, July 8th, 5 to 8 pm, Sanchez Contemporary (1951 Telegraph Ave, Oakland)
The 9th year of the show and the second year at this gallery. Curated by Bird Levy and Maria Sanchez.

Wonderland SF: Frida Kahlo Art Show, July 8th 6 to 10 pm (1266 Valencia St)
Over 80 artist of all ages bringing their best FRIDArte.

Frida Kahlo HERstory Tableau Vivant, July 9th, 4 to 6 pm, Mission Cultural Center
Discover the hidden meanings and secrets Frida made plain in her art work. A multi-media presentation by Dra. Gloria Arjona as told through images, Frida’s art and live music, while Karin Guerra brings Frida to life in a Tableu Vivant. Produced in collaboration with Miguel Angel Rios and Encuentro Latino Arts Gallery. A must for any Fridaphile who wants to know all about her. (Ticket cost: $10)

Frida Art Reception, July 15th, Time TBA, Art Attack SF (2358 Market St)
Artist Reception, music, dancing and drinks featuring local artists, including Maria Motta and her unique take on Frida as Hello Kitty. 2358 Market St Ste #1

FriDaDa Art Exhibit, July 22nd, 8 pm to 1 am, DaDa Gallery (65 Post St)
A FRIDArte exhibit by Nexus Art Reach, the de Young college nights and other local artists. Screening of “Frida in the Mirror” by Adrian Arias. Salsa by DJ Sabor TX and House by DJ Dallas and a live performance.

Frida Spoken Word Open Mic, July 23rd, 3 to 5 pm, Alley Cat Books (3036 24th St)
The 4th year of Raggedy Andy of Ragdoll Productions and her band of poets making the Frida Pilgrimage from Santa Cruz for poetry readings and spoken word. This is an open mic. All topics welcome and all skill levels. Come in at 2:30 pm to sign up.

Frida Fairy Garden Workshop, July 29th, 1 to 4 pm, The Art Bar SF (1768 Page St)
Bring your parent or friend dressed like famous Latina artist; Frida Kahlo. Adult Frida is there to help paint your own special fairy door entrance to their upcoming ‘Frida Fairy Garden’ full of the tiniest artworks from whimsical creatures who love art as much as we do. Registration required.

The SELFrida Challenge, July 30th, 3 to 4 pm, Jessie Square (736 Mission St)
A San FranFrida tradition: How many Fridas can we get taking selfies all in one place at the same time. Help us break our record of 36 Fridas. This year we’ll gather in front of the mural at the new site of the Mexican Museum. Be there with flowers in your hair by 3 pm to register. Come with a fully charged phone and get ready to start snapping at 3:30 pm.

Frida Garden Party, July 30th, 6 to 9 pm, The Art Bar SF (1768 Page St)
Special Frida Art Show, Frida Costume Contest, DJ, body art, Live Painting, face painting, Authentic Mexican foods, live jazz/blues music, and dancing. 21+ event. ($25/RSVP @ theartbarhawaii@gmail.com – exclusively for Fridas)

FRIDArte Viewing Venue (throughout July)

Puerto Alegre – 46 Valencia Street, June 26th to August 7th. 10 am to 11 pm
Alley Cat Books-3036 24th Street, July 1 to July 31. 10 am to 9 pm
Sanchez Contemporary – 1951 Telegraph Ave, Oakland, July 8th to August 11th 7 am to 6 pm
Art Attack SF – 2358 Market Street (Ste #1), July 1st to 31st (call for hours (415) 872-9285)
Wonderland SF – 1266 Valencia Street, July 8th to TBA (call for hours (415) 641-4600)
DaDa Gallery – 65 Post Street, July 17th to August 18th 2 pm to 2 am
The Art Bar SF – 1768 Page Street, July 22nd to TBA 2 pm to 2 am

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Stand Up for What You Believe, Resist the Powers that Be

 "Children Of Destiny"

Stand up for what you believe
Resist the 'powers that be'
Preserve the land and save the seas
For the children of destiny
The children of you and me

Should 'goodness' ever lose and 'evil' steal the day
Should 'happy' sing the blues and 'peaceful' fade away
What would you do?
What would you say?
How would you act on that new day?

Stand up for what you believe
Resist the 'powers that be'
Preserve the ways of democracy
So the children can be free
The children of destiny

When money matters most and war is good for gain
The capital is yours, the people feel the pain
They feel the pain, they walk the streets
While the bombs fall in the rain
The children hide, somewhere inside
While the bombs fall in the rain

Stand up for what you believe
Resist the 'powers that be'
Preserve the land and save the seas
For the children of destiny
The children of destiny
Published on Jun 30, 2017
Official Music Video for Neil Young + Promise of the Real "Children of Destiny."

Summer Guide to SF events

 Fireworks above boating courtesans, 1884, by Yoshu Chikanobu.


Monday, July 3, 2017

Today's Birthday: John Singleton Copley

 July 03, 1738. John Singleton Copley (1738 - 1815) was an American painter, born presumably in Boston, Massachusetts, and a son of Richard and Mary Singleton Copley, both Irish. He is famous for his portrait paintings of important figures in colonial New England, depicting in particular middle-class subjects. His paintings were innovative in their tendency to depict artifacts relating to these individuals' lives. In this image: Teri Hensick, conservator of the paintings at Harvard University's Straus Center for Conservation, points to a painting entitled, "Monmouth Before James II" at the exhibit "Process and Paradox: The Historical Pictures of John Singleton Copley" at the Fogg Art Museum in Cambridge, Mass., May 10, 2004.

TheCopley Family

The Boy with the Squirrel (Henry Pelham) (1765)

Portrait of Richard Heber (1782)
Self Portrait

John Singleton Copley unexpectedly illuminated America’s colonial sky. The child of poor uncultured parents and only briefly the stepson of artist Peter Pelham, he became by 1760, as if by Providence, the colonies’ supreme artist, a position he retained until his departure for London in 1774. His swift ascent and sustained eminence were the result of an innate ability to handle paint and produce images that eclipsed anything executed by his predecessors in America. Through his stepfather, Copley had access to a vast collection of prints after old masters and English portraits ...In this way, Copley not only learned how to compose his pictures, but also catered brilliantly to the anglophile predilections of his patrons, who coveted English-style portraits but rarely, if ever, traveled to England. He worked in various media to please patrons, executing paintings, pastels and miniatures with remarkable dexterity.

More at: http://www.metmuseum.org/toah/hd/copl/hd_copl.htm

Images and further biographical information from Wikipedia:



A cautious man in a rash age, John Singleton Copley feared the onrush of the colonial rebellion against Great Britain. Like many people of his place and time, he called the rebels’ revolution a civil war. And like many people who had lived through civil wars before him, and who have endured them since, he thought the safest side was no side at all. Copley painted John Hancock, whom he knew well and grew to despise. But by the time Hancock signed the Declaration, the painter was long gone from the country that document called into being. In the spring of 1774, during the brief interval between Boston’s “tea party” and the outbreak of fighting in Lexington and Concord, Copley sailed to London, capital of the only nation he had ever known, leaving behind the second-tier British port city in which he had spent nearly four decades. John Singleton Copley had lived half his life in Britain’s American provinces. He would never set foot in the United States.


Saturday, July 1, 2017

It's already July?

July is here already but there's lots still remaining in June birthdays and posts about new museum shows. But the medieval scribes knew the burden of writing.


 This 14th-century Leo is happy it is


A medieval take on "make hay while the sun shines." 

Medieval Manuscripts‏ @BLMedieval 9h9 hours ago
Make candles while the days are long and other tips for #July activities, from a 14th-century calendar http://blogs.bl.uk/digitisedmanuscripts/ …


Tomorrow is the Silos Apocalypse's 908th birthday. Begun in 1091, it was completed by Prior Petrus on 1 July 1109 http://www.bl.uk/onlinegallery/sacredtexts/silos.html … 

This spectacular manuscript of Beatus of Liébana's commentary on the Apocalypse survives in near perfect condition from the first decade of the 12th century. It was copied and illuminated in the Spanish monastery of Santo Domingo de Silos, near Burgos, at a time when the monastery's scriptorium was producing its finest work. Painted in brilliant colours and embellished with gold and silver leaf, its 106 striking miniatures illustrate the most extraordinary scenes in the Christian Bible - a triumph of artistic vision.