Friday, August 31, 2007

Tea Time

Ingram Street Tea Rooms by Charles Rennie Mackintosh, Glasgow Museums

Here is an example of Charles Rennie Mackintosh's architectural and design work. His wife Margaret Macdonald worked with him on his interior designs. Charles, Margaret, her sister Frances and Herbert MacNair all formed a design group known as "The Four."

Thursday, August 30, 2007


Cuckoo Flower, 1910 by Charles Rennie Mackintosh, Hunterian Art Gallery, University of Glasglow, Scotland.

Mackintosh's insterest in plants began at a young age and continued throughout his life. Although he is most famous as an architect, his talent in painting watercolors should also be appreciated.

"Art is the flower-life is the green leaf. Let every artist strive to make his flower a beautiful living thing - something that will convince the world that there may be - there are - things more precious - more beautiful - more lasting than life."

Charles Rennie Mackintosh 'Seemliness,' 1902.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Water Under the Bridge

The Water-Lily Pond by Claude Monet, National Gallery London.

Monet is the most famous of the 19th century group of artists known as the Impressionists. The effect of the light upon the pond that Monet sought to capture was accomplished by using millions of small brush strokes. The water garden is part of his home at Giverny and he built it so he could paint the same scene at all the different times of the day, in order to capture all of the different effects of the light.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Recording Nature

Nymphea 'Bagdad,' 2006 by Leslie Berge, for the Brooklyn Botanic Garden.

A Florilegium is a collection of flora, most often garden flowers. The earliest known examples date to about the 15th century, but as you can see from this example, they continue to be produced in the present day. The Victorians were very fond of gardening and many Florilegia were produced in the 19th century.

The Florist and Pomologist. London: Journal of Horticulture Office, 1865.Plate facing p. 185, Hepatica angulosa.Uncat 10,380 (1865, copy 2), Bryn Mawr College Library Special Collections.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Variations on a Theme

White Center, 1950 by Mark Rothko, Private Collection.

A member of the New York School that emerged in the mid 20th century, Mark Rothko has come to be regarded as one of America's greatest artists. He had his first solo exhibition in 1961.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Which End is Up?

Dominant Curve by Vasily Kandinsky, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York.

Kandinsky was one of the most influential Abstract artists of the 20th century. He was a teacher of both law and later art, teaching for a number of years at the German Bauhaus. He himself claimed he became interested in abstraction after seeing one of his paintings upside down.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

What is Love?

April Love, 1855-56 by Arthur Hughes, Tate Britian.

Hughes accompanied this painting with a poem by Tennyson called The Miller's Daughter. I love the vibrant purple of the dress, it just pops out of the painting.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Friday, August 17, 2007


Sun, Sea, and Tide, 1989 by Red Grooms, The Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, Kansas City, MO.

Red Grooms uses all different kinds of media in his work, which is often two or three-dimensional. He likes to combine painting and sculpture into works he calls "sculpto-pictoramas."

Wednesday, August 15, 2007


The Library, 1960 by Jacob Lawrence, The Smithsonian Institution, Washington D.C.

"Lawrence never completed high school but taught himself African American history, spending hours in the library researching legendary black figures and events to use in his paintings. " (Smithsonian website)

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Little Dancer

Dressed Ballet Dancer, 1880/1881 by Edgar Degas, National Gallery, Washington.

Degas spent a great deal of time observing the world of the ballet. This statue represents the young girls in training, known as the "rats."

Monday, August 13, 2007

Tripping the Light Fantastic

Ball at the Moulin de la Galette by Pierre Auguste Renoir, Musee d'Orsay.

Renoir was studying the effects of light at different times of the day at one of his favorite venues and as he enjoyed himself with his friends - good work if you can get it. One of the most famous of the Impressionists, he was working closely with Monet at this time.

Check out Ovation TV for some great shows on art and artists.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Of the Moment

The Madonna of the Rocks, 1483-86 by Leonardo da Vinci, Louvre Museum, Paris.

Leonardo created two almost identical versions of the same scene of the Virgin with the angel Uriel, John the Baptist and the Christ child. The first work was commissioned by an organization and when they did not pay right away it was purchased by an individual, finally the group gathered the money and another version was made for them.

Discussion about the Da Vinci Code

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Capturing What the Eye Can't

Bullet Through Apple, 1964 by Harold "Doc" Edgerton.

Invented the Stroboscope which is what allowed him to create photographs like this one. He was a professor at MIT.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Like Father, Like Son

Cranes, c. 1945 by NC Wyeth, Mural for the Metropolitan Life Building.

NC Wyeth is the father of Andrew Wyeth. He is best known as a book illustrator and made many famous tales such as Robin Hood and Treasure Island come alive for young readers.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Wearable Art

Necklace, Rene Jules Lalique, c.1900, The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Lalique whose name is better known for his glass than his jewelry, created some amazing art nouveau jewelry, as he was trained as a jeweler. His jewelry often incorporated enamel which led him to begin to work in glass.

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Pride of Ownership

Lady with an Ermine, 1485 by Leonardo de Vinci, Czartroyski Museum, Krackow

This work is one of only three portraits of women done by Leonardo and has sustained a lot of retouching and overpainting throughout the years. However the woman (whose identity remains in dispute) and the ermine itself are so wonderful they are both considered to have been painted by da Vinci. The ermine has actually been identified as a ferret.

Seized by the Nazi's in WWII the painting was returned to Poland in 1946.

Friday, August 03, 2007


The Night Watch, 1642 by Rembrandt van Rijn, The Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam.

Called the Night Watch in modern times, the original title of this work Company of Captain Frans Banning Cocq and Lieutenant Willem van Ruytenhurch was a reference to its main characters. The "golden girl" in the background is a mystery. Considering the very fine clothing she wears, she is assumed to be more than a servant. Also her resemblance to Rembrandt's wife has been noted. The final misinterpretation lies in the name of the work, it was not painted as a night image, but had been covered in layers of brown varnish until it was restored after WW II.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Rembrandt, the Tulips Not the Artist

Flower Still Life, 1669 by Maria Oosterwijck, Cincinnati Art Museum.

Dutch Still Life painting has remained a popular genre since it reached it's zenith in the 17th century. The beautiful colors and arrangements continue to attract and amaze people with their realism.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

More Painting with Glass

Garden Landscape and Fountain, 1905-1915 by Louis Comfort Tiffany, The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Tiffany's father began the jewelry business that has become on of the world's most famous and Louis Comfort Tiffany could have settled into the family business, but instead he chose to create a legacy of his own and some of the most widely collected and prized art glass in the world.
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