Wednesday, May 30, 2007


Oath of the Horatii, 1785 by Jacques-Louis David, Musée de Louvre, Paris.

By painting an ancient historical subject, David was hoping to encourage people to look back at the ancient world and model their actions on that society which had been held-up by many at this time as an example to be emulated. This work helped launch the Neoclassical movement.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Bad Hair Day

Medusa, c. 1598 by Caravaggio, Uffizi Gallery, Florence.

Medusa has always been a popular character in art. The combination of female and monster seems to have been so tantalizing that most ancient and Renaissance artists had to take their turn. This work is a depiction of a ceremonial shield where the Gorgon is used to frighten enemies; a usage common in ancient art.

Thursday, May 24, 2007


Papercut for Benj. S. Farret, 1848 artist unidentified, American Folk Art Museum.

The Chinese developed the art of papercutting andit has been used for generations throughout the world. The tools are only paper and scissors so it is accessible to the majority of people. It became an important part of the Jewish folk art history beginning in about the 17th century.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

The Simple Life

Still Life with Rose Wall and Compote, 1973 by William Bailey, Hirschhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden.

Bailey still lifes are among my favorites. The simplicity appeals to me and the compositions look random, but you can tell are studied.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007


Ara Pacis, Roman Temple built for Augustus, 30-9 BCE, Rome.

Built to honor Augustus' battles in Spain and Gaul, the Ara Pacis was built as a celebration to the power of the Roman Empire and "peace" their dominance brought to them. Over the years it was buried as the city grew and was finally excavated in the 20th century.

Processional Frieze, Ara Pacis.

Friday, May 18, 2007


The Recovery of his Majesty in the Year 1789 by Benjamin West, The Royal Collection, England.

West was born in Phliadelphia and was largely self-taught, although he did study painting. He was a friend of Benjamin Franklin, whose portrait he painted and eventually moved to England to paint for King George III who is pictured here. Don't you love the heavens shining as the he returns to the throne.

Thank you to all who sent along their good wishes I am recovering and am doing very well.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Away for a Short While

The Convalescent, 1904 by Willard Leroy Metcalf, The Speed Museum, Louisville, KY

There will not be any posts for a while due to my own convalescence, which I hope will be short. Please visit the archives - they are full of good things.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Sick in Bed

The Land of Counterpane by Jessie Wilcox Smith

The Land of Counterpane
by Robert Louis Stevenson

When I was sick and lay a-bed,
I had two pillows at my head,
And all my toys beside me lay,
To keep me happy all the day.

And sometimes for an hour or so
I watched my leaden soldiers go,
With different uniforms and drills,
Among the bed-clothes, through the hills;

And sometimes sent my ships in fleets
All up and down among the sheets;
Or brought my trees and houses out,
And planted cities all about.

I was the giant great and still
That sits upon the pillow-hill,
And sees before him, dale and plain,
The pleasant land of counterpane.
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