Showing posts with the label painting history

Leonardo di Vinci’s Lost Painting "Medusa’s Shield"

Painter Caravaggio -Original was Lost Medusa’s Shield has been lost in time but is one of those mysterious Leonardo da Vinci works with a high level of spirit and debate. Originally painted in his youth an art historian Giorgio Vasari made the account in 1550 that the painting was so realistic it frightened both Leonardo’s father as well as others. It was seen as associated with death and was secretly sold to merchants. Vasari indicates that the face was painted on a wooden shield cut from fig trees. It was a favor to a peasant friend of his who fashioned the shield. Leonardo in his experimental style took the shield and heated it by fire and made it smooth. He then moved to make one his very first masterpieces. When his father Ser Piero came see the shield and knocked on the door Leonardo told him to wait. He took the painting and adjusted it near a window with the soft light peering through. Ser Piero came in and took a look at the painting and stepped back with

Café Terrace at Night by Vincent van Gogh

Café Terrace at Night 1888 Café Terrace at Night by Vincent van Gogh was completed in 1888 as a representation of a famous coffee house in Arles France.   The location still exists and is now called Café van Gogh. Within the picture you can find shops as well as the tower of a church that has been converted into the Musée Lapidaire. The painting offers clash of light and dark, yellow and blue, and blue with black. The popular cafe is shown as an inviting and lively display of local socializing and attracted high levels of interest among locals. The history of van Gogh is a little more troubling. Vincent van Gogh had a terrible start in life suffering from all types of personal and public turmoil’s. A son of a preacher he tried being a clerk, preacher, and an art salesman. In each of these instances he failed miserably before landing on painting art himself. He was considered a highly emotional person and lacking in self-confidence.   Even through chronic failure he eventual

American Gothic as a Depiction of the Great Depression by Grant Wood

American Gothic (1930) The painting an American Gothic was produced by Grant Wood in 1930. It was completed in Iowa as a backlash against Europeans trying to depict Americans from their own vantage point. The concept of self-representation was called Regionalism. It was part of a movement of paintings by Americans to characterize "true" American life. The picture is of a farmer and his daughter. Grant Woods used his sister and a dentist to model the image. One can see the age on the father's face and his willingness to work hard and save the farm. Perhaps he was saving it for his daughter. As the Depression took hold you can see the determination with just a touch of a classy sports jacket thrown over his bibs. It is an interesting clash of age and youth, wealth and poverty, ruggedness with soft flowers in the back, and commitment with a get-to-work attitude.  Grant Woods moved to Cedar Rapids after his father passed away in 1901. He went to an art school in Minne

An American Ship in Distress (1841) by Thomas Birch

American Ship in Distress (1841) Thomas Birch (1179-1851) was considered one of the first American painters to focus on maritime paintings. He completed a number of great works on the War of 1812 and the shipping industry in general. An American Ship in Distress (1841), was a large work depicting a ship that is in a hazard state after a major storm. The mast, sails and the rigging of the ship were destroyed. You can see a lifeboat being dropped into the water and the approach of two ships to help the crew. At this time the American Navy was almost non-existent and could not lend assistance. Thomas Birch immigrated to American in 1794 with his father William Birch. William made his living as painter and engraver. Both moved to Philadelphia where the family settled. Thomas's works often focused on the cultural advancement and the national economic strength of shipping in the New World. His works were copied by many admirers in the U.S. and Europe. Both John Adams and Thomas Jef

Death and the Miser by Hieronymus Bosch

Death and the Miser- 1490 The painting Death and the Miser by Hieronymus Bosch, around the year of 1490, was designed to help people remember that death is inevitable despite the power of wealth. As you can see in the picture a man on his death bed is reaching for a bag of gold. Around the room are various creatures of death that lurk and tempt the man. There appears to be stages in life depicted within the picture. In the front of the picture are weapons and armor, followed by older age with wealth and finally ending in death. The picture is hosted in the National Gallery of Art in Washington DC. Hieronymus Bosch lived most of his life around the Duchy of Brabant (Netherlands). He is one of five children of which both his father and four siblings were painters. He married Aleyt Goyaerts van den Meerveen who was from a wealthy family and they lived in her inherited home. Artistic scholars view his paintings as a result of ultra orthodox beliefs of his location and time that mixed