“As to the arsenic scare a greater folly is hardly possible to imagine: the doctors were bitten as people bitten by witch fever.”~William Morris, The Collected Letters of William Morris, Vol. 2Arsenic in ArtThe discovery of a deep, vivid green by Swedish chemist Carl Wilhelm Scheele in 1775 led to a fashion craze lasting for more than a century.
Category Art History
Pablo Picasso | A Life in PiecesLearn more about the fascinating life of one of the most influential artists of all time, Pablo Picasso, in this edition of Life in Pieces.A Love Story Beautifully Captured in a PortraitToday, May 15, as a highlight of its New York Impressionist and Modern Art Evening Sale, Christie’s announced in a press release that it is auctioning Picasso’s portrait of lover Dora Maar, Femme assise, robe bleue for a hefty sum.
How to Paint Urban Landscapes Like the ImpressionistsA friend and I were recently at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and she was adamant—as my sore wrist can attest—that we go immediately to see one particular painting. She grabbed me none-too-gently and we dodged, whirled and scooted our way through the crowds to get to it fast.
Rockwell Kent’s Drawings of Moby-DickArt makes stories come alive. And sometimes without art, there is no story-—or, at least, it’s not quite as good. This was the case for the great American novel Moby-Dick. It is hard to imagine that Melville’s opus was once relatively unknown, but it wasn’t until 70 years after it was published—and artist Rockwell Kent got his hands on it—that the book was rediscovered by the literary world.
Celebrities Honor Frida Kahlo with Updo’s, Mustaches and MonkeysJuly 6th marks Frida Kahlo‘s birth, and this anniversary puts the famed Mexican artist at 110. During her lifetime, Kahlo’s style was as much of note as her art, perhaps because so often one leveraged the other.Kahlo created 55 self-portraits (close to a third of her total painting output), and each showcased her powerful individualism, the pride she had in her heritage and her desire to conceal certain parts of her body and reveal others.
Famous Artists of the Art Forgery WorldThey say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, right? Well, what about art forgery? Though many look down on forgery artists, their talent is undeniable. Many pieces of art forgery have completely fooled the art world with museums purchasing pieces they thought were authentic!
Drawing Tool or Trickery?The camera lucida is a drawing tool I’ve known about for years. But I didn’t know there was such controversy surrounding it–or that people felt so passionately about its historical use or lack thereof. Latin for “light room,” the camera lucida is a device used to help artists draw and render by superimposing an image of an object onto a drawing surface so that you can see the subject and drawing surface at the same time.
Even writing the words “Top 10 painters of all time” makes me cringe a little bit because … really? Really? I find it a herculean task to narrow a list down to the best 100 oil painting artists of all time, let alone just 10.However, I wanted to look back and reflect on the artists — particularly painters of the past, in this case — and artworks that have inspired me and decide who I would put on the hallowed walls of my own art hall of fame.
Playing Cards Grant Words of Wisdom from Famous ArtistsIt’s a good day when you can put your fate in the hands of famous artists. Pablo Picasso does have sage advice on your love life. Vincent van Gogh can offer you fresh perspective on how to deal with your boss. Frida Kahlo is the one to turn to with your burning fashion questions.
Watercolor Was His GatewayI think every one of us loves Norman Rockwell’s illustrations, whether it is a little bit or a lot. My favorite has always been The Gossips. (Yes, another weird arty habit of mine—at any one time my wallet will have a few pictures of inspiring art that I shove in there to look at during random times.
I started off seeing skin tones in figure painting in a closed off way, not really pushing to find the dimension and depth right in front of me. I almost felt I was still pulling a Crayon out of the box to color a figure’s form from head to toe like I did in childhood. But there are artists who have shown me the rainbow effect of human skin, most notably Lucian Freud.
I don’t think I’d be exaggerating by calling Edward Hopper one of America’s national treasures. His work captured a time and place like no one else, and his distinctive style makes his work instantly recognizable.But his drawings are an undiscovered secret, as I found out when I began looking at many of Hopper’s works on paper.
Created by National Geographic, the TV drama Genius will be taking on a new historical figure for its second season: Pablo Picasso. Antonio Banderas will take on the role of the influential Spanish artist. The drama will have ten episodes and will air in 2018.Banderas has had great success in movies.
Plein Air Art Strategies of the ImpressionistsI used to think so romantically about Claude Monet, Camille Pissarro and the other Impressionists. Not romantic like “Édouard Manet is so dreamy.” But romantic as in idealizing this particular group of painters — thinking they stepped outside of their studios and, snap, Impressionism just happened.
Art Historians Claim Raphael Actually Painted the Allegory of JusticeArt historians now claim that Raphael did indeed paint the Allegory of Justice and Friendship in the Raphael Rooms of the Vatican Palace. Previously the Renaissance master’s studio assistants were assigned with the creation of the works.
Thomas Eakins earned himself quite a reputation during his lifetime. He didn’t suffer fools gladly, he didn’t hold his tongue, and he didn’t paint lies. The latter got him into a bit of trouble as a portrait painter—he painted people as he saw them, not necessarily as they wanted to be seen—but his commitment to realism created a lasting legacy in American art.
Giovanni Boldini and Abstract PaintingBeing sketchy can be a good thing in this context. When I was trolling for artists who draw like they paint, and vice versa, Giovanni Boldini immediately came to mind.His mark making is a tour de force, no matter if he is working in oils, pastels or when charcoal painting.
Two exhibitions of Old Master drawings that are currently on view in New York City—Rome After Raphael, at the Morgan Library Museum, and The Drawings of Bronzino, at the Metropolitan Museum of Art—explore several interesting issues, including the influences of two of the most important figures in the history of art, Raphael and Michelangelo, and the changing opinions about their bodies of work.
The Hidden Messages in MasterpiecesI often wonder what it would be like to learn from the Old Masters — or at the very least, be a fly on the wall while they painted their masterpieces. So when I stumbled upon an article from Reader’s Digest about hidden messages in famous paintings, I immediately stopped what I was doing and got my read on.
An Artist’s Cornucopia of Gorgeous, Strange and Sometimes Grotesque Artworks Featuring EdiblesLet the feasting begin. As many of us prepare for, or are already in the midst of, this season of holidays, parties and fun, we decided to feast with our eyes first with a totally binge worthy showcase of food feasts of art history!
Who Truly Dominated 20th Century Modern Art?100 years produces a lot of ripple effects. Especially in the art world. But who made the biggest splash? In 20th century modern art there are tons of contenders and plenty of opinions to go around. Was it Picasso or Duchamp? Jump forward a few decades. Was it Basquiat who comes to mind or Andy Warhol?