Tuesday, April 17, 2018

The Night Watch (Dutch: De Nachtwacht), is a 1642 painting by Rembrandt van Rijn

The Night Watch
 (Dutch: De Nachtwacht) is a 1642 painting by Rembrandt van Rijn

Friday, November 3, 2017

Annunciation (1475–1480)‍—‌Uffizi
is thought to be Leonardo's earliest complete work

Leonardo first gained notoriety for his work on the Baptism of Christ painted in conjunction with Verrocchio. Two other paintings appear to date from his time at Verrocchio's workshop, both of which are Annunciations, One is small, (23 in) long and 14 (5.5 in) high. It is a "predella" to go at the base of a larger composition, a painting by Lorenzo di Credi from which it has become separated. The other is a much larger work, (85 in) long. In both Annunciations, Leonardo used a formal arrangement, like two well-known pictures by Fra Angelico of the same subject, of the Virgin Mary sitting or kneeling to the right of the picture, approached from the left by an angel in profile, with a rich flowing garment, raised wings and bearing a lily. Although previously attributed to Ghirlandaio, the larger work is now generally attributed to Leonardo.

Leonardo da Vinci Mona Lisa or "la Gioconda", Louvre, Paris, France

Leonardo da Vinci
Mona Lisa or "la Gioconda", Louvre, Paris, France
In the present era it is arguably the most famous painting

Among the works created by Leonardo in the 16th century is the small portrait known as the Mona Lisa or "la Gioconda", the laughing one. In the present era it is arguably the most famous painting in the world. Its fame rests, in particular, on the elusive smile on the woman's face, its mysterious quality perhaps due to the subtly shadowed corners of the mouth and eyes such that the exact nature of the smile cannot be determined. The shadowy quality for which the work is renowned came to be called "sfumato", or Leonardo's smoke. Vasari, who is generally thought to have known the painting only by repute, said that "the smile was so pleasing that it seemed divine rather than human; and those who saw it were amazed to find that it was as alive as the original".
Other characteristics of the painting are the unadorned dress, in which the eyes and hands have no competition from other details, the dramatic landscape background in which the world seems to be in a state of flux, the subdued coloring, and the extremely smooth nature of the painterly technique, employing oils laid on much like tempera and blended on the surface so that the brushstrokes are indistinguishable. Vasari expressed the opinion that the manner of painting would make even "the most confident master ... despair and lose heart." The perfect state of preservation and the fact that there is no sign of repair or overpainting is rare in a panel painting of this date.

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Leonardo da Vinci - Salvator Mundi

Leonardo da Vinci - Salvator Mundi 
(Latin for “Savior of the World”)
The incredible story of how the last known work
of Leonardo da Vinci was almost lost forever

When Dianne Dwyer Modestini began chipping away at a painted-over
and murkily varnished image of Jesus Christ more than a decade ago, little did she know
she was restoring the last Leonardo da Vinci work known to the world.
This New York auction house Christie’s, announced that Salvator Mundi (Latin for “Savior of the World”) will be offered for an estimated $100 million next month. The painting is owned by Russian  investor Dmitry Rybolovlev, whose estimated net worth is $7.4 billion and has been mired in many controversies—in the art world and beyond.

While art historians knew Salvator Mundi existed, rediscovering the work had become an elusive dream. In 1958, the painting—not known to be Leonardo’s work—changed hands for a meager $60 at an auction at Christie’s. Then, in 2005, the painting was acquired by a group of art dealers, including Robert Simon, a specialist in Old Masters. The painting had clearly been mishandled, painted over, and shoddily restored with an artificial resin that congealed and turned gray.
After careful analysis, documentation, and restoration by a number of scholars, Simon announced that the work was unequivocally a da Vinci, created 500 or so years ago. The last painting to be discovered and verified as a Leonardo original was in 1909, the Benois Madonna, now on display in the Hermitage in St. Petersburg, Russia. Today, most experts believe fewer than 20 original paintings created by Leonardo exist.
The laborious—at times terrifying—six-year restoration process was led by Modestini, a renowned conservator and professor at New York University. The task of restoring one of the world’s rarest works of art could be daunting. Modestini devised a head-on approach, taking account of the full weight of every decision in the process.

“I wanted [to be sure] that none of my restorations had impinged on the original, that I had not done too much, because old pictures have to look old—if you take out every crack, every spot, every anomaly, they can easily look like a reproduction,” she told CNN in 2011.
When the restoration was finally complete, Modestini says she fell into withdrawal, depression, and separation anxiety from seeing the painting move on. She likened the end of her restoration efforts to an emotional break-up: “It was a very intense picture and I felt a whole slipstream of artistry and genius and some sort of otherworldliness that I’ll never experience again.”

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Sign Up for Your Chance to Win A Free Painting

Sign Up for Your Chance to Win A Free Painting

Raoul Dufy - Interior with Open Windows
24"w X 20"h hand painted on canvas oil reproduction
(Painting is shipped rolled in a secure container)
Chance to Win ends March 30, 2018
No cash value, painting frame or shipping substitution, will be honored in exchange for the offer of the Raoul Dufy, hand painted oil painting as established.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Young Girl Defending Herself from Cupid

William - Adolphe Bouguereau - Young Girl Defending Herself from Cupid

William-Adolphe Bouguereau November 30, 1825 – August 19, 1905) was a French academic painter. In his realistic genre paintings he used mythological themes, making modern interpretations of classical subjects, with an emphasis on the female human body. During his life he enjoyed significant popularity in France and the United States, was given numerous official honors, and received top prices for his work. As the quintessential salon painter of his generation, he was reviled by the Impressionist avant-garde. By the early twentieth century, Bouguereau and his art fell out of favor with the public, due in part to changing tastes. In the 1980s, a revival of interest in figure painting led to a rediscovery of Bouguereau and his work. Throughout the course of his life, Bouguereau executed 822 known finished paintings, the whereabouts of many are still unknown.
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Thursday, September 21, 2017

Simon Vouet's allegory La Richesse was painted about 1640, possibly for one of the royal chateaux of France

Simon Vouet's allegory La Richesse
was painted about 1640,
possibly for one of the royal chateaux of France (Louvre)

Simon Vouet French painter and draftsman, who today is perhaps best
remembered for helping to introduce the Italian Baroque style of painting to France
Despite his success in Rome, Vouet suddenly returned to France in 1627, following pressing recommendations from the Duc de Béthunes and a summons from the King. A French contemporary, lacking the term "Baroque", said, "In his time the art of painting began to be practiced here in a nobler and more beautiful way than ever before," and the allegory of "Riches" demonstrates a new heroic sense of volumes, a breadth and confidence without decorative mannerisms.

Vouet's new style was distinctly Italian, importing the Italian Baroque style into France. He adapted this style to the grand decorative scheme of the era of Louis XIII and Richelieu and was made premier peintre du Roi. Louis XIII commissioned portraits, tapestry cartoons and paintings from him for the Palais du Louvre, the Palais du Luxembourg and the Château de Saint-Germain-en-Laye. In 1632, he worked for Cardinal Richelieu at the Palais-Royal and the Château de Malmaison. In 1631 he also decorated the château of the président de Fourcy, at Chessy, the hôtel Bullion, the château of Marshal d'Effiat at Chilly, the hôtel of the Duc d’Aumont, the Séguier chapel, and the gallery of the Château de Wideville.

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Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Luca Giordano Baroque Painter - The Annunciation

The Annunciation - Artist Luca Giordano
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 Luca Giordano (18 October 1634 – 12 January 1705) was an Italian late Baroque painter and printmaker in etching.  Fluent and decorative, he worked successfully in Naples and Rome, Florence and Venice, before spending a decade in Spain.

Born in Naples, Giordano was the son of the painter Antonio Giordano. In around 1650 he was apprenticed to Ribera, on the recommendation of the viceroy of Naples, and his early work was heavily influenced by his teacher. Like Ribera, he painted many half-length figures of philosophers, either imaginary portraits of specific figures, or generic types. He acquired the nickname Luca fa presto, which translates into "Luca paints quickly." His speed, in design as well as handiwork, and his versatility, which enabled him to imitate other painters deceptively, earned for him two other epithets, "The Thunderbolt" (Fulmine) and "The Proteus" of painting.
Following a period studying in Rome, Parma and Venice, Giordano developed an elaborate Baroque style fusing Venetian and Roman Influences. His mature work combines the ornamental pomp of Paul Veronese with the lively complex schemes, the "grand manner", of Pietro da Cortona.  He is also noted for his lively and showy use of color.