Friday, April 28, 2006

A Heady Aroma

A Lilac Year, 1951 by Gustav Baumann, color woodblock print, assorted collections.

Baumann arrived from Germany to the US in 1891 when he was 10 and eventually did his art training at the Art institute of Chicago. He eventually settled in New Mexico and worked primarily in woodblock prints which show a strong Japanese influence.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006


Repose,1911 by John Singer Sargent, National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C.

After 1907 Sargent grew tired of painting so many society portraits for money. he chose to concentrate instead on outdoor scenes and more casul poses like this one of his neice.

Friday, April 21, 2006


Habitat Group for a Shooting Gallery by Joseph Cornell, Des Moines Art Center

Cornell assembled fascinating groups of found objects. He liked to juxtapose different objects and his love of surrealism comes through in these groupings.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Evening Light

Carnation, Lily, Lily, Rose, 1885-6 by John Singer Sargent, Tate Gallery, London.

While on a boat trip with his friend Edwin Austin Abbey Sargent saw some Chinese lanterns hanging and decided to use them in a composition.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Flying Jewels

Hummingbirds and Orchids, c. 1880 by Martin Johnson Heade, The Detroit Institute of Art.

Heade's renderings of orchids and hummingbirds (he did quite a few) make the flowers and the birds look more like jewels then natural living things. His colors jump off the canvas and demand your attention.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Spot On

Sunday Afternoon on the Island of Grand Jatte
by Georges Seurat, Art Institute of Chicago.

Seurat did preparatory drawings everyday for six months getting ready to paint this picture of people relaxing on a day off. The style is called Pointillism and involves using color dots to create the image. Who knows how Seurat would have refined the style he invented if he had not died at the age of 32.

Happy Birthday, Mom!

Tuesday, April 11, 2006


The Descent from the Cross c.1435/8 by Rogier van der Weyden, Museo del Prado, Madrid.

The sadness and suffering on the faces of the figures in this scene show that van der Weyden was a close observer of people. He achieved great success during his lifetime but in spite of this, very little is known about him personally and attributing work directly to him is problematic.