This Henry Gillard Glindoni painting depicts John Dee, a Renaissance man both figuratively and literally. Dee was a mathematician, student of the occult, astrologer, and natural philosopher who, at one point, became the medical and scientific adviser of Queen Elizabeth I ("John Dee"). In this depiction of John Dee his is seen either peforming an experiment or perhaps conjouring a spirit, but this is not the initial composition that Glindoni had in mind. Recent x-rays show that Glindoni had originally painted several skulls into the scene, which were later painted over (Brown). This type...
How many museums can you name that house just Academic Art from the 19th and 20th centuries in the USA? None. Neither could we, until we found the Dahesh Museum. This enviable collection boasts work by well known artists such as William-Adolphe Bouguereau, Rosa Bonheur, Jean-Léon Gérôme, and Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema. It also includes impressive works by lesser known artists such as Jaroslav Čermák, Pascal Adolphe Dagnan-Bouveret, and Léon Augustin Lhermitte.
While the collection is not currently on display The Dahesh Museum rec...
Artists face many logistical problems when depicting scenes they cannot physically recreate. These academicians had an unusual approach to solving such an issue...
"This gruesome figure was cast from the corpse of a murderer taken straight from the gallows to be nailed to a cross and flayed in order to settle an artistic debate. This was done at the request of three Royal Academicians - sculptor Thomas Banks and painters Benjamin West and Richard Cosway - to prove their belief that most depictions of the Crucifixion were anatomically incorrect."
Read the full article from the Royal Academy Col...
Is there a tool for those days when you just can't mix the right shade of sky-blue? Introducing, the cyanometer. Created by Horace-Bénédict de Saussure, this circular color-value scale helps you to determine the blueness of the sky.
"But how to measure 'blueness'? Using suspensions of Prussian blue, Saussure dyed paper squares every shade of blue he could distinguish between white and black. These were assembled into a numbered colour circle that could be held up to the zenith at a standard distance from the eye - the matching square established the degree of blue" (Sella)
Have a hankering to copy a Raeburn? RAR recently added the Scottish National Galleries to our list of museums that allow copyists to work in wet media. Thank you to the Scottish National Galleries! For more information go to Museum Copying.
Image: "Portrait of Mrs. Eleanor Urquhart" by Henry Raeburn. Andrew W. Mellon Collection. Courtesy of National Gallery of Art, Scotland. Link
A couple of years ago the proprietor of Art & Libri in Florence, Italy, mentioned a new Antonio Mancini catalogue raisonné. Mancini deserves this more than many other coffee table gods. Read more about this upcoming monograph on Leo Mancini-Hresko's blog here.
Image: Detail from, "Il Saltimbanco" by Antonio Mancini. 1879. Credit Line: Vance N. Jordan Collection, 2004. Courtesy of the Philadelphia Museum of Art.Link.
Image: Muscles and tendons of the back: écorché figure. Red chalk and pencil drawing by or associated with A. Durelli, ca. 1837.
Credit: Wellcome Library, London. Copyrighted work available under Creative Commons Attribution only license CC BY 4.0
"European artists can rejoice with rose-colored canvases because politicians announced on October 28 that the proposed EU-wide ban on cadmium pigment (which is responsible for fiery colors like red, yellow, and orange) will not be enforced."
"Congress will vote on a new tax and spending package Friday that is expected to put the brakes on President Obama’s health care law and repeal a 40-year-ban on crude oil exports. And in case you wondered, not a dime of the $1.14 trillion dollar package will go to oil portraits."
The traditional representational painting scene is very fortunate to have so many experts who are generous with their knowledge. One such wonderful source of information is George O'Hanlon who runs the group Painting Best Practices as well as contributing most of the material to the Natural Pigments blog. Thanks George!