Hieronymus Bosch's amazing painting, The Garden of Earthly Delights. Exceptional detail, zoom in or out inside the painting. There are many stories hidden behind the images inside the painting. Click on the white text boxes to listen to and/or read the stories. [more inside]
Matt Schneider, who writes for the Christian publication Mockingbird, achieved a bit of viral fame back in 2014 when he wrote a critical assessment of Thomas Kinkade's body of work. He received some passionate responses from Kinkade's fans, which prompted a followup. Now, a year after that first response, Google has seen fit to push his original article near the top of hits for Kinkade searches, so he decided to take one more look at the beloved Christian painter: "Critical Thoughts on the Evangelical Embrace of Thomas Kinkade’s Escapist Art".
In 1796, Jane Austen visited John Boydell's Shakespeare Gallery. The museum (operational from 1789-1805) was entirely devoted to specially-commissioned paintings of scenes from Shakespeare's plays, and played a significant role in shaping the dramatist's reputation during the late eighteenth century. This reconstruction of the gallery includes the catalog and the paintings that would have been hanging there in 1796 (the museum's collection ultimately included well over 150 paintings). For more information on the gallery, see the Folger Library's Marketing Shakespeare. The Romantic Illustration Network is working on digitizing extant engravings of the gallery's entire collection. Visitors to the gallery were themselves painted in 1790.
"Painting is beside the point: the paintings in The Joy of Painting don’t matter." The joy of writing about The Joy Of Painting. In Which Bob Ross is Compared to God, Creator of Worlds. [more inside]
The paintings commissioned by Akbar and Jahangir were a blend of Western iconography with Indian and Islamic elements. [more inside]
2015 marks the 400th anniversary of the famous Rinpa School painting of the Wind God and Thunder God (Fujin-Raijin-zu). This has led a modern painter of the Rinpa School to add his own twists on the iconic painting, first in a collaboration with Nintendo to celebrate the 30th anniversary of Super Mario Bros. and, shortly thereafter, to celebrate the new Star Wars movie's release. In addition to these, the artist, Yamamoto Taro, has quite a history of producing traditionally-styled Japanese paintings with a modern sensibility and a touch of humor.
"Turning the concept of authenticity on its head, genuine forgeries — whether created with the intention of deceiving or not — are riding the crest of the art-scene zeitgeist, and commanding sums in excess of figures fetched by the so-called ‘original greats’ " - The Fake's Progress by Stuart Husband
"Series of murals painted on a few of the thousands of icebergs freshly broken off from a nearby glacier. In the short time I was there, I witnessed the extreme melting rate first hand as the sound of ice cracking was a constant background noise while painting. Within a few weeks these murals will be forever gone, but for those who find them, I hope they ignite a sense of urgency, as they represent the millions of people in need of our help who are already being affected from the rising sea levels of Climate Change.” [more inside]
"What's in a Necronym?" by Jeannie Vanasco: "Whether the knowledge affected van Gogh—that he shared both his name and birthday with a dead sibling—remains unknown, the guide said. 'Does anyone have any questions?' he asked. My mind filled with loud, hurried thoughts and just as suddenly emptied, like a flock of birds scattering from a field." [more inside]
Twitch, the social media platform for video games, just launched ‘Twitch Creative': a section of the site dedicated to non-gaming videos from artists. There you'll find people creating paintings or illustrations, composing songs, designing costumes, and even glass blowing. To celebrate, Twitch is holding an 8-day marathon livestream of every single Bob Ross The Joy of Painting episode.
But even then, Beckmann will be there before you, and seem more at ease. And in how he stands and where he’s chosen to stand, it’s also clear that he can leave, that he can move out the door just to his right. Again, the sense that he belongs here, that he knows better than you how to dress and what to do, gives the impression that you aren’t an audience viewing him, but that he is giving you an audience instead. He belongs, we don’t, or don’t so well as he. Max Beckmann's 1927 Self-Portrait in Tuxedo, appreciated by Harvard art historian Joseph Koerner. [more inside]
Ivan Aivazovsky (1817–1900) - "In 1840, Aivazovsky traveled to Rome, where he became friendly with Nikolai Gogol. He also received high praise from the Roman critics, newspapers, and even Pope Gregory XVI. The pope purchased Aivazovsky's 'Chaos' and hung it in the Vatican... [more inside]
Arthur Heming, the Canadian painter who — having been diagnosed with colourblindness as a child — worked for most of his life in a distinctive pallete of black, yellow, and white. [more inside]
Since 1933, the Cambridge University Library has had a pristine copy of Shi zhu zhai shu hua pu, the Ten Bamboo Studio collection of calligraphy and painting from 1633. Because the book was so fragile, the butterfly bound (Google books preview) manual for teachers of art and writing was not opened until it could be properly digitized. That day has come, and the entire book is online, giving the world a view of “the earliest and the most beautiful example of multicolor printing anywhere in the world,” according to Charles Aylmer, head of the Chinese department at Cambridge University Library. [more inside]
Gaahl is the former vocalist for Gorgoroth, Norwegin black metal powerhouse and satanic ideologues. In 2005 he was sentenced to 14 months in prison for beating and torturing an intruder in his home. In 2007 Vice went to the remote Norwegian hamlet of Espedal (named for/owned by Gaahl's family for generations) to talk music, philosophy, painting, and get some insights into True Norwegian Black Metal. [more inside]
It starts with one of cinema's most famous paintings (you may have seen it before), but it doesn't end there. Guardian contributor Alex Godfrey does a little investigating into a famous movie prop and discovers the life of its subject, John Weaving.
Caravaggio [Part 1] [Part 2] [Part 3] [Part 4] [Part 5] [Part 6] [Part 7] Art critic Robert Hughes reflects on the work of troubled Italian artist Caravaggio.
‘I shot against Daddy, all men, small men, tall men, big men, fat men, men, my brother, society, the church, the convent, school, my family, my mother, all men, daddy, myself, men. I shot because it was fun and made me feel great. I shot because I was fascinated watching the painting bleed and die…’— Niki de Saint Phalle. [more inside]
José Manuel Ballester removes the people from classical paintings, turning da Vinci's Last Supper into a still life, Goya's Third of May into a landscape, Géricault's Raft of the Medusa into a study of flotsam on an empty sea.
In the 80's and 90's, Robert Norman "Bob" Ross gave us The Joy of Painting. In each minimalist, 30-minute show, he would create an imaginary landscape using a wet-on-wet (or alla prima) oil painting technique while gently teaching viewers his methods. His signature, soothing comments described the "happy little clouds," "almighty mountains" and "happy little trees" that he was creating with his brush. Of the 31 seasons and 403 episodes that aired on PBS, the Internet Archive currently has the first 19 seasons (247 episodes) available for stream and download. [more inside]
New York Magazine on MoMA's identity politics and gender balance. Art Basel Miami Beach gender balance by the numbers. The White Review on gender balance in the London gallery scene. Georg Baselitz in Der Spiegel:
As always, the market is right. [...] Women simply don't pass the test. The market test, the value test. Women don't paint very well. It's a fact.Collectors still pay more for male artists. [previously]
"In creating a work that portrays real internal struggle and transformation, Caravaggio converted painting. [more inside]
Three years ago, a man punched a hole in a Monet painting as it hung in Ireland's National Gallery. Conservationists have restored it. This is their story. [more inside]
In 1959, iconic Surrealist painter Salvador Dalí agreed to design several holiday greeting cards for Hallmark, "with several stipulations. He asked for $15,000 [$122,200 in 2014 dollars] in cash in advance for 10 greeting card designs, with no suggestions from Hallmark for the subject or medium, no deadline and no royalties." [more inside]
Simon Schama's Power of Art is available in full. Part 1 Caravaggio. Part 2 Bernini. Part 3 Rembrandt. Part 4 David. Part 5 Turner. Part 6 Van Gogh. Part 7 Picasso. Part 8 Rothko. [more inside]
Incorruptible Teeth, or, the French Smile Revolution
In 1787, Madame Vigée-Lebrun, painter to France’s royal and aristocratic elite, displayed a canvas at the Paris Salon. It was a self-portrait depicting the artist in an affectionate embrace with her daughter. Vigée-Lebrun is smiling—a sweet, broad smile revealing white teeth. There is little about this pose that seems in any way exceptional, yet exception was furiously taken. “An affectation which artists, art-lovers and persons of taste have been united in condemning,” wrote an anonymous commentator, “and which finds no precedent amongst the Ancients, is that in smiling she shows her teeth. This affectation is particularly out of place in a mother.”How the smile came to Paris (briefly), aka Grin City. [more inside]
Henrique Oliveira "paints" in three dimensions with plywood, as he describes it in a short interview with Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland. The video focuses on a 2012 work in progress, Carambóxido, which is made from, and still smells like, industrial debris found in the Flats and along the Cuyahoga River in Cleveland. The artist, who hails from São Paulo, is most recognized for his large installation pieces that burst through gallery walls and coil around pillars, appearing to grow from the spaces around them. You can see many more of his paintings, sculptures and installations at Oliveira's own website, which requires flash to navigate.
Five year old Iris Grace has taken up painting. Iris is autistic, and her parents introduced her to painting as a means to help with her speech therapy. She has attracted attention worldwide and her paintings have sold quite well. Iris in action. Originals, prints, and calendars can be purchased here. Iris has a constant companion, her name is Thula. The homepage of irisgracepainting.com.
“I want to install it in my house,” Ségalot recalls Bryant saying, “but my wife hates it. She can’t live with a work that says ‘SELL THE HOUSE SELL THE CAR SELL THE KIDS.’ So do you know anyone who might want to buy it?” What the 350,000% rise in value of a single painting by Christopher Wool says about the contemporary art world.
Paul Klee: The Silence of the Angel (2005; 51:14) is a documentary about the painter whose lectures/notebooks, The Thinking Eye and The Nature of Nature, have been called "the most complete presentation of the principles of design ever made by a modern artist ... it constitutes the Principia Aesthetica of a new era of art, in which Klee occupies a position comparable to Newton's in the realm of physics."
PixelThis is the first incremental game (previously, more) to use the movement of the mouse as its gameplay input rather than clicking. But if you don't want to play it as a game, you can make one simple tweak to it and transform it into an oddly relaxing web toy. [more inside]
Mario: animated short An animation of a chilling Italian children's (?) song, created by painting frames on glass! [via mefi projects]
A Piece of Monologue is a treasure trove of modern, contemporary, and avant-garde expression in literature, philosophy, art, design, painting, music, theater, and more. A smattering of insides: Flannery O'Connor on Ayn Rand. An online guide to the life and work of Samuel Beckett. Twin Peaks Behind the Scenes Photographs. Rare photographs of John Coltrane. And wow.
Where most other naturalists took samples, she used her paints to make a "unique snapshot of the world’s natural habitat more than 100 years ago." Although she didn't take up oil painting until she was nearly 40, North became a prolific painter of flora (and sometimes fauna) from around the world, often capturing not just the plant but the landscape around it. [more inside]
In the weeks following Kinkade’s death , his estate tried to protect his brand: the gag order on his mistress and a statement attributing his death to natural causes were among the efforts they made to prevent the public from learning about the seedier side of Kinkade’s life. They didn’t work—but it didn’t matter. The Thomas Kinkade Release Calendar
Hidden Paintings Revealed at Ancient Temple of Angkor Wat. "New, digitally enhanced images reveal detailed murals at Angkor Wat showing elephants, deities, boats, orchestral ensembles and people riding horses — all invisible to the naked eye." [Via]
Huge collection of (and commentary on) matte art from classic films that has been rescanned for HD releases. Much more on the process of creating and filming this type of setup at last month's post. (previously)
Was the pilfered painting worth it? Detroit's 555 Gallery saved a stencil from scrappers, but now wants to sell it.
The American Museum of Natural History will unlock thousands of old photos from their vault, they announced this week. The new online image database (officially launching on Monday the 28th) will take you behind the curtain, delivering images that span the 145-year history of the Museum. The collection features over 7,000 images—many never before seen by the public—and includes photos, rare book illustrations, drawings, notes, letters, art, and Museum memorabilia. They say "it’s like stepping into a time machine and seeing a long ago NYC or just catching glimpses of ghosts from a forgotten world now seen only by researchers and Museum staff." Previously. [more inside]
Royal Enfield motorcycles are built in Chennai, where they are painted by by hand.
Twenty Seven pieces of artwork that defy comprehension; not because of the quality of work, which is amazing, but for the quality of work performed in the mediums used. [more inside]
Gritty Cityscapes by Jeremy Mann. Dramatically and skillfully rendered, the cityscapes and figurative works of Jeremy Mann give visual form to the emotive essence of modern life (nsfw).
In a remarkably satisfying video, London city workers painting street lines, show off some excellent freehand typographic craftsmanship. [va]
Creation and Destruction of Sand Mandalas. Spontaneous Temporary Sand Paintings by Joe Mangrum. New Flower Mandalas by Kathy Klein. Geometric Paintings Inspired by Sacred Mandalas by Amy Cheng.
"[We] were looking at Hieronymus Bosch’s painting The Garden of Earthly Delights and discovered, much to our amusement, music written upon the posterior of one of the many tortured denizens of the rightmost panel of the painting which is intended to represent Hell. I decided to transcribe it into modern notation, assuming the second line of the staff is C, as is common for chants of this era." via Dangerous Minds