Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Albrecht Durer. Born May 21, 1471

Durer Self Portrait as a handsome dandy

Self portrait as Christ? 

Nude Self Portrait 

Durer: born May 21, 1471, Imperial Free City of Nürnberg [Germany]—died April 6, 1528, Nürnberg), painter and printmaker generally regarded as the greatest German Renaissance artist. His vast body of work includes altarpieces and religious works, numerous portraits and self-portraits, and copper engravings. His woodcuts, such as the Apocalypse series (1498), retain a more Gothic flavor than the rest of his work.


Heilbrun Time line of Art: supremely gifted .. and nothing wrong with his ego either:   https://www.metmuseum.org/toah/hd/durr/hd_durr.htm

Duccio, One of the greatest Italian painters of the Middle Ages

A section of Virgin and Child enthroned, surrounded by angels known as the Rucellai Madonna

Rucellai Madonna. Ufezzi Gallery 

The Annunciation

Get thee hence, Satan! Christ spurns devil's offer

Christ calling Peter and Andrew. Love how Duccio represents fish-filled sea here. From Maesta altarpiece, 1310.

Nativity from the front of Duccio's Maestà altarpiece in Siena cathedral. Now sadly dismantled!

front of Duccio's great Maestà in Siena

Duccio...Unknown birthdate but born 13th century, Siena, Republic of Siena—died c. 1319, Siena?), one of the greatest Italian painters of the Middle Ages and the founder of the Sienese school. In Duccio’s art the formality of the Italo-Byzantine tradition, strengthened by a clearer understanding of its evolution from classical roots, is fused with the new spirituality of the Gothic style. Greatest of all his works is the Maestà (1311), the altarpiece of the Siena cathedral.


The Art of Sienna:  

Sunday, May 19, 2019

Warhol at SFMOMA -From A to B and Back Again

Mao, 1997. Acrylic, slikscreen & graphite on linen. Art Institute of Chicago. Andy Warhol Foundation for Visual Arts, Artists Rights Society (ARS) New York
Unless you absolutely adore Andy Warhol, SFMOMA's current exhibit of his works which covers three floors with 300 works on display  might be too much. But at least there are a lot of celebrity portraits to enjoy as well as Warhol's knack for invention and kitsch. 

The show’s title is taken from Warhol’s 1975 book, The Philosophy of Andy Warhol (From A to B and Back Again), a memoir featuring the artist’s musings on fame, love, beauty, class, money and other key themes that frequently appear in his work. Was the Prince of Pop a complicated figure as claimed by Gary Garrels, curator of painting and sculpture or a savvy PR specialist who became a media darling? 

on view from May 19 through September 2 

Thursday, May 16, 2019

Tamara Lempicka. Born on this day in 1898

May 16, 1898. Tamara Lempicka (born Maria Górska; 16 May 1898 - 18 March 1980), also known as Tamara de Lempicka, was a Polish painter active in the 1920s and 1930s, who spent her working life in France and the United States. She is best known for her polished Art-Deco portraits of aristocrats and the wealthy, and for her highly stylized paintings of nudes. In this image: A man stands beside the painting "M. Tadeusz Lempicki" during the exhibition of works of art made by Tamara de Lempicka which opened at the Palace of Fine Arts in Mexico City.

Tamara de Lempicka was the lone traditional easel painter in the entirety of the Art Deco style. Her sources of inspiration ranged dramatically: she adored Italian Renaissance painting; she was characterized by critics as a sort of modern-day Ingres, although the comparisons were more often not intended to flatter; she absorbed the avant garde art of the era - particularly post-cubist abstraction but of a "softened" style. Perhaps most influential was Lempicka's desire to capitalize on her social connections to create a niche for her portraiture, which most often featured well-to-do, cosmopolitan types. The Art Deco style, lavish in a less visually complex way than its predecessor, Art Nouveau, was probably the ideal vehicle for her trendy style. Most notably, despite its decorative quality, her work provided her with an outlet for unconventional self-expression: truly a product of her era, the libertine golden age between the two world wars, Lempicka, a bisexual, made bold, liberated female sexuality the linchpin of her art.


Her wild life:  https://theculturetrip.com/europe/poland/articles/art-deco-icon-the-alluring-mystique-of-tamara-de-lempicka/

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Richard Avdeon, Born on this day in 1923

Humphrey Bogart, October 2, 1953

May 15, 1923. Richard Avedon (May 15, 1923 - October 1, 2004)
American fashion and portrait photographer. 

An obituary published in The New York Times said that 
"his fashion and portrait photographs helped define America's 
image of style, beauty and culture for the last half-century". 

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Thomas Gainsborough. Today was his day in 1727

May 14, 1727. Thomas Gainsborough FRSA (14 May 1727 (baptised) - 2 August 1788) was an English portrait and landscape painter, draughtsman, and printmaker. He surpassed his rival Sir Joshua Reynolds to become the dominant British portraitist of the second half of the 18th century. In this image: Thomas Gainsborough (1727 - 1788), Holywells Park, um 1748 - 1750. Öl auf Leinwand, 50,8 x 66 cm. Ipswich Museum and Gallery © Ipswich Museum and Gallery.

To the casual museumgoer, Georgian portraiture conjures stiff, self-satisfied images of frilly costumes and gravity-defying hairdos. The art of Thomas Gainsborough (1727-88), however, like that of his contemporary Joshua Reynolds, was more than smooth finishes and frippery.  (WSJ) 

Among the portraits Thomas Gainsborough painted while living in Bath is a small likeness of a young boy in shirt and waistcoat, clutching a handful of paintbrushes and glancing anxiously out of the feigned oval in which he’s framed. The boy – dubbed ‘the Pitminster Boy’, for the small Somerset village he came from – was one of Gainsborough’s studio assistants, a local lad who used to carry the artist’s materials and pass him brushes when he went into the countryside to paint landscapes. The portrait is hastily done, but the expressiveness Gainsborough captures in the boy’s face – the hesitation around the selection of a brush – indicates the remarkable attention he paid to the way people around him looked.  (Apollo Magazine) 

 He was the most versatile English painter of the 18th century. Some of his early portraits show the sitters grouped in a landscape (Mr. and Mrs. Andrews, c. 1750). As he became famous and his sitters fashionable, he adopted a more formal manner that owed something to Anthony Van Dyck (The Blue Boy, c. 1770). His landscapes are of idyllic scenes. During his last years he also painted seascapes and idealized full-size pictures of rustics and country children.  BBC History:  http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/historic_figures/gainsborough_thomas.shtml .......Ten things to know about The Blue Boy: http://mentalfloss.com/article/67427/15-things-you-might-not-know-about-blue-boy.,....   About Gainsborough  http://www.gainsborough.org/about/about-thomas-gainsborough/

Sunday, May 12, 2019

Wilhelm Schubert van Ehrenberg, Gabriel Charles Dante Rossetti, Frank Stella, Joseph Beuys

 Born on this day in 1630, in Antwerp, architectural painter Wilhelm Schubert van Ehrenberg. Here, two figures in huge, strangely classical entrance to a Gothic church. Eerie.

The Getty:  

May 12, 1828. Gabriel Charles Dante Rossetti (12 May 1828 - 9 April 1882), generally known as Dante Gabriel Rossetti was a British poet, illustrator, painter and translator. He founded the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood in 1848 with William Holman Hunt and John Everett Millais. In this image: Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Mnemosyne, 1876. © Private collection c/o Christie's Images Ltd., 2010.

"I don't like to say I have given my life to art. I prefer to say art has given me my life." 

Happy 83rd Birthday to painter, sculptor, and printmaker #FrankStella!