Sunday, March 22, 2015

Johannes Vermeer - Dutch Painter of the Dutch Golden Age

The Artist Studio (Detail)

Girl with a Pearl Earring

Woman with a Water Jug
Mistress and Maid
Johannes, Jan or Johan Vermeer was a Dutch painter who specialized in domestic interior scenes of middle-class life. Vermeer was a moderately successful provincial genre painter in his lifetime. He seems never to have been particularly wealthy, leaving his wife and children in debt at his death, perhaps because he produced relatively few paintings.

Vermeer worked slowly and with great care, using bright colors and sometimes expensive pigments; with a preference for lapis lazuli and Indian yellow. He is particularly renowned for his masterly treatment and use of light in his work.

Recognized during his lifetime in Delft and The Hague, his modest celebrity gave way to obscurity after his death; he was barely mentioned in Arnold Houbraken's major source book on 17th-century Dutch painting (Grand Theatre of Dutch Painters and Women Artists), and was thus omitted from subsequent surveys of Dutch art for nearly two centuries. In the 19th century, Vermeer was rediscovered by Gustav Friedrich Waagen and Théophile Thoré-Bürger, who published an essay attributing 66 pictures to him, although only 34 paintings are universally attributed to him today.Since that time, Vermeer's reputation has grown, and he is now acknowledged as one of the greatest painters of the Dutch Golden Age.

Woman in Gold - Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer I is a 1907 painting by Gustav Klimt

Woman in Gold - Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer

(Full Image)
Woman in Gold - Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer
Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer I is a 1907 painting by Gustav Klimt. The first of two portraits Klimt painted of Bloch-Bauer, it has been referred to as the final and most fully representative work of his golden phase. Adele Bloch-Bauer (1881–1925) was a refined art-loving Viennese salon lady, a patron and close friend of Gustav Klimt.

The painting was appropriated by the Nazis, and its ownership was subsequently contested between the heirs of the original owners and the Austrian state, finally being settled by a panel of Austrian judges in favor of the family members. According to press reports, the work was later sold for US$ 135 million to Ronald Lauder for his Neue Galerie in New York City in June 2006, which made it at that time the most expensive painting for about 4 months.It has been on display at the gallery since July 2006.
Gustav Klimt (July 14, 1862 – February 6, 1918) was an Austrian symbolist painter and one of the most prominent members of the Vienna Secession movement. Klimt is noted for his paintings, murals sketches, and other objets d'art. Klimt's primary subject was the female body, and his works are marked by a frank eroticism. In addition to his figurative works, which include allegories and portraits, he painted landscapes. Among the artists of the Vienna Secession, Klimt was the most influenced by Japanese art and its methods.

Authenticated Rembrandt self-portrait (1635

Britain's National Trust has snagged their first Rembrandt. Well, to be fair, they have owned the painting for nearly four years. But, thought to be a fake or a copy, the work was left in storage at Devon's Buckland Abbey, the former home of Sir Francis Drake.
Now, after eight months of testing, restoration, and analysis, researchers have determined that the self-portrait from 1635 is indeed the work of the Dutch master. Rembrandt's first-ever ‘selfie,' which depicts the artist at the age of 29, the work is estimated to be worth in the realm of £30 million ($50 million). Though, the National Trust says they'll never sell.
Donated to the trust from the estate of Edna, Lady Samuel of Wych Cross in September 2010, the painting has been the subject of a rowdy authentication debate for nearly 50 years. Lady Samuel's husband purchased the painting in the 1960s. In 1968, Horst Gerson, a noted Rembrandt specialist and the Rembrandt Research Project expressed their collective doubts regarding the self-portrait's authenticity. They thought that it was the work of one of Rembrandt's students, if it had any connection to the painter at all.
That judgment stuck until 2005 when a subsequent Rembrandt expert, Ernst van de Wetering began to take interest in the work and question whether his colleagues had got it wrong. He went to see it in person in 2013 after which, he told the Independent “I was pretty certain the painting was a Rembrandt." But more tests and empirical data were needed to properly authenticate the work. So, it was sent to the renowned Hamilton Kerr Institute (HKI) in Cambridgeshire.