Friday, December 29, 2006

Moon Goddess

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Bast or Bastet the Egyptian Cat goddess, Late period after 600 BC, The British Museum.

Bronze figure of a seated cat. The cat mummies were buried in honor of the goddess Bastet the daughter of the sun god Re.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Painting History



Into Bondage, 1936 by Aaron Douglas, Corcoran Museum of Art, Washington D.C.

This work is part of a mural Douglas created that marks the history of the Black people in North America from slavery to 1936. They were displayed in the Hall of Negro Life at the Texas Centennial Exposition in Dallas.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Family Portraits



Portraits of Edouard and Marie-Louise Pailleron by John Singer Sargent, Des Moines Art Center.

Sargent was one of the primer portrait painters of the 19th century. His work brought out the very best in his sitters and therefore made him very popular. These children belong to Edouard Pailleron and famous 19th century French playwright and his wife.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Many Talents



Writing Cabinet, 1898-99 by C.R. Ashbee, Cheltenham Art Gallery, U.K.

Charles Robert Ashbee was a talented cabinet maker as well as an architect and jewelry maker. He was a follower of the Arts & Crafts movement and even tried to establish a handicraft colony, but it unfortunately failed.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Spas - Nothing New



The Great Bath, the Ancient Roman Baths, 1st Century A.D., Bath, England.

Built as a combination of a traditional Roman bath and an homage to the water Goddess Sulis Minerva, elements of the ancient baths were uncovered in the 17th Century, but it was not fully excavated until the 19th century.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Down Boy



White Terrier, 1991 by Jeff Koons, multiple collections.

In 2000 Koons carried this image of the terrier to a huge scale when he created a giant floral version of the dog in Rockefeller Center. His work is always controversial and often outrageous, just as he intends it to be.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

El Escribir en la Arena



Portrait of the Duchess of Alba by Francisco Goya y Lucientes, Hispanic Society of America, New York.

Known as Goya, in his lifetime he painted over 500 works and almost 300 drawings and lithographs. As the Spanish court painter many of his works were political in nature, especially focusing on the invasion of Spain by Napolean's France. This painting of the Duchess shows her pointing down to the sand where Solo Goya is written. She also wears two rings, one that says Goya and one that says Alba, this leads people to believe they were linked romantically.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Close Scrutiny



Still Life by Giorgio Morandi, Private Collection.

Throughout his career Morandi studied and painted still lifes of bottles in pale tones. His idea was to portray the pure simple beauty of the objects in pale natural light.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Kitchen Still Life



Soliloquy by William H. Bailey, Leslie Feely Fine Art

The first time I saw one of William Bailey's still life paintings over 14 years ago, I became a fan. I am visiting Council Bluffs, IA soon and I often wonder where he lived (lives?).

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Winter Weather



January Thaw, Edge of Town, 1921 by Lawren S. Harris, National Gallery of Canada

Harris was a member of the Canadian group of early twentieth century artists known as the Group of Seven. They had a Studio, which Harris primarily built and where many of the group created their artwork. Harris was from a wealthy family and wanted to build a space where the less fortunate members of the group could have studio space.

Intolerance



Daughters of the Revolution by Grant Wood, Cincinnati Art Museum.

Wood pokes fun at the prim and proper ladies and their intolerance. This is the only "satire" Wood owned up to, but many of his other works fit that definition too, even the beloved American Gothic.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

New Gown



Tea Party, c. 1880 by Kate Greenaway.

Kate Greenaway was one of the most popular children's book illustrators of the 19th century. Her idealized children were just what her Victorian audience wanted.

Monday, December 04, 2006

21 Shopping Days



Coca Cola Santa, 1961 by Haddon Sundblom, © Coca Cola Company.

Sundblom's Santas which he created for Coca Cola in the mid 20th Century have become the standard by which depictions of Santa are judged.

Friday, December 01, 2006

One of the Guys



Lydia at a Tapestry Loom, c.1881 by Mary Cassatt, The Flint Institute of Arts.

Lydia was Cassatt's sister and a frequent subject in her paintings. Cassatt lived and studied Impressionism in Paris where she specialized in paintings of women and children and a look into their private lives.
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