Part 2, project 4, research point 4 – Dutch realist genre painters

Project 4 is about interiors and this task requires an investigation into the way the Dutch genre painters, as they were called, achieved their sense of realism, space, and the occupants in the room. Johannes Vermeer (1632-1675) was one of these and happens to be one of my favourite artists because of the warmth he brings out in his portrait models. His interiors, though, impress as well; their domesticity and mundane but beautifully intimate and gentle compositions where so often the key character is shown in light from a high window. This one, The Milkmaid c 1658-60 (left), for me … Continue reading Part 2, project 4, research point 4 – Dutch realist genre painters

Part 4, project 6 – research point #1

Contemporary and historic artists working in different ways on the head. See in particular Graham Little and Elizabeth Peyton. Extraordinarily, Little has no Wikipedia entry and doesn’t appear in any of the books I have to hand. An internet search brings up gallery reports, blogs, and news items, with The Guardian in 2010 introducing his Artist of the Week slot thus: The women in Graham Little’s virtuoso drawings inhabit a world of sumptuous beauty. Realised in a muted Merchant Ivory palette, these long-limbed belles recline gracefully in designer interiors. This is an 80s world of midnight-blue suits and earth-coloured bed sheets, of … Continue reading Part 4, project 6 – research point #1

Figure, form, and light: Rego, Vermeer, Lautrec, Schiele, da Vinci

Not yet a research point but as I came across it via the drawing module, I’m including some of the material here. Toulouse Lautrec – before the simplified nature of his posters (necessitated, I understand, by the printing process), his drawings were quite loose and almost cartoonish. There was a great deal of movement and energy, often with large numbers of characters and a focal individual. ‘La Danse au Moulin Rouge’ looks to me like a picture of spontaneous uninhibited fun. Egon Schiele – I envy the economy of line, and suggestion of form, but I am less keen on … Continue reading Figure, form, and light: Rego, Vermeer, Lautrec, Schiele, da Vinci

Part 1, Research Point 1, Chiaroscuro

I came across the term chiaroscuro many years ago and subsequently forgot what it meant then confused it with sgraffito. A little analysis would have clarified that, given the latter’s close approximation to graffiti. Chiaroscuro is about light and the use of paint to create that illusion on canvas. Sister Wendy Beckett (Beckett, 2001) notes an early example of this (see above) and makes the link back from this Roman piece to Hellenistic art. I find this painting startling in its realism; representational without being frozen. It looks alive. The small glass vase in particular has a fragility to it, and a … Continue reading Part 1, Research Point 1, Chiaroscuro