Archive for ART

A bit of Ruff, a bit of smooth, good patches and a golden eggstravaganza

Posted in ART, ART HISTORY, DESIGN with tags , , , , , , , , , , on May 31, 2020 by echostains

I have  not featured any jewellery on Echostains for quite a while so I have been looking for something really unusual – something that can send me into flights of fancy.  I am writing this on the birthdate of the Faberge egg (29th May  1885 – 1917), the day the Faberge egg was ‘laid’.  The Faberge egg is instantly recognisable – sumptuous, bejewelled and opulent.  These eggs were  developed in Russia by  the House of Faberge (1885 – 1917) The miniature eggs were Easter gifts, that were given singly and  were sometime worn on a neck chain.

The Karelian egg

The larger more famous eggs (also known as the ‘Imperial’ eggs) were originally made for Alexander 111 and Nicholas 11 of Russia.  Only 50 of these eggs were made, and 42 have survived.

The Karelian and Constellation eggs, planned for 1918 were destined never to be delivered.  Nicholas 11 and his whole family died in an assasination that year and  the year before Nicholas had  abdicated.  The eggs themselves are gorgeous, opulent and seen as a symbol of luxury – jewellers masterpieces.  But it is not these little baubles which once hung from necklaces which caught my eye, but this strange face distorting jewelery by Burcu Buyukunal.   

My first question is ‘why?’  How does this enhance the face?  By  distorting her face, do we then notice how attractive the woman really is?  They say that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, different ‘looks’ have their admirers, as do fashion, design ect. Maybe one day ‘beauty’ will be played down to be the new beauty. It is this example which  reminded me of how Elizabethan ladies used to paint their faces white and how patches made of velvet were used on the face in the 18th century to disguise blemishes, make the face appear even whiter or draw attention to certain facial features depending on  where they were placed.

circa 1780 patch box

‘Her patches are of every cut,
For pimples and for scars;
Here’s all the wandering planets’ signs,
And some of the fixed stars.’

 In this very short video we see the owner of the painting ‘Une Dam a sa Toilette’ by French painter Francois Boucher (  1703 –  1770)  explain the delicate operation of patch application.  Boucher ‘s art is known for his  voluptuous and idyllic subject matter which is well suited to the Rococo style.  His patroness was  the famous Madame Pompadour, he painted many portraits of her.

There are also accessories which are used to glamourise. Whirls of cigarette smoke enveloping beautiful women in black and white movies  lend such mystique and intrigue to the silver screen. The actuality is rather different.  Cigarette Smoke permeates everything it touches, including, flesh, clothes and hair – there’s nothing mysterious about that, but I was quite tickled about this cigarette collar – though I think they missed a trick by not making it a prisoners or slave’s collar to emphasis the entrapment of the noxious weed. The ‘chain’ association is still there though, and there is something of the chain smoking beagle about this collar.  These types of collars are not new though – the actual shape of  the ruff collar goes back to the sixteenth century and were worn by men, women and children.  The pleats of the ruff was accomplished by the use of  cone-shaped goffering irons. which were heated.  Ruffs were made from a lot of material.  Elizabeth1 had a ruff of ‘ten yards for the neck and hand’.  During starching, ruffs could be coloured with vegetable dyes, though Elizabeth herself disapproved of the light blue colour;-

“Her Majesty’s pleasure is that no blue starch shall be used or worn by any of her Majesty’s subjects, since blue was the color of the flag of Scotland”

Stiff collars, smooth complextions, disguises used as enhancements – beauty will always be subjective and is indeed in the eye of the beholder.

 

Karelian egg image here

Lots of these beautiful eggs here

Distorting jewlery from here

Patchbox from here

Video by AndSper with thanks

Romanov Assassination information here

More about Boucher here

Smoking Dietrich from this article

Elizabeth1 image here

The verse and the source of a lot of delightful information about the history of the patch can be found in Chambers Book of Days

Picture this Poetry Challenge: Haiku ‘The Bedroom at Arles’ Vincent Van Gogh

Posted in ART, ART HISTORY, ART QUOTES, haiku, Picture this Haiku Poetry Challenge, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on May 25, 2020 by echostains

Vincent Van Gogh painted three versions of this painting ‘The Bedroom at Arles’.  This is the third  version he painted in 1889.  He painted it whilst waiting for his mother to visit him in a Lunatic Asylum in  St Remy.  He was to commit suicide 10 months after this painting.  He called his chair ‘The Seat of happiness because the  colours symbolise sunshine, warmth and happiness.

the bedroom

” When I see my canvasses again, after my illness, The one that seemed the best was ‘The Bedroom’

 

The idea is to write a haiku about the painting and link to Echostains and Bookstains and  it shall appear here.  Here’s  mine;

Yellow sunlit chair

light up my starry night of rest

your colours soothe me.

L M Roberts 2020

Image from here

 

Happy Birthday Tamara de Lempicka!

Posted in ART, ART HISTORY, ARTISTS BIRTHDAYS with tags , , , , , on May 16, 2020 by echostains

Tamara de Lempicka

Today is the birthday of artist Tamara de Lempicka (b.Tamara Rozalia Gurwik Gorska 1898-1980 Poland).  Best known for her Art Deco portraits of the wealthy aristocrats and polished and highly stylised nude paintings.

 

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Nude with Dove 1928

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Portrait in the green Bugatti 1925

She was born in Warsaw but spend most of her artistic life in France and the US.  She married a Polish lawyer, moved to Saint Petersburg before travelling to Paris.

girl-with-gloves-1929

Girl with Gloves 1929

Her style is late Cubism merged with Neoclassical.  She studied painting with French Cubist Andre Lhote and Maurice Denis who was associated with Les Nabis which was then a symbolist movement.

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Portrait of a man or Mr Tadeusz De Lempicki 1928

Between the wars, she was an active member of the Parisian art scene and became the mistress of Baron Raoul Kuffner who was a wealthy art collector.  She married him after the death of his wife in 1934 becoming known in the press as the ‘Baroness with a Brush’.

bbaron raoul kuffner

 

De Lempicka moved to the US in 1939 following the outbreak of WW11, painting portraits of celebrites and still lives.  In the 1960s she she painted some abstract paintings and her work became unfashionable.  However, she became popular once again in the 1960s owing to the rediscovery of Art Deco.

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The Mother Superior 1935

She died in Mexico, where she had moved to in 1974 and her ashes were scattered over the Popocatepetl volcano.

Following the outbreak of World War II in 1939, she and her husband moved to the United States and she painted celebrity portraits, as well as still lifes and, in the 1960s, some abstract paintings. Her work was out of fashion after World War II, but made a comeback in the late 1960s, with the rediscovery of Art Deco. She moved to Mexico in 1974, where she died in 1980. At her request, her ashes were scattered over the Popocatépetl volcano.

 

PS There’s  a new poem over on Bookstains

Thanks to

WikiArt

other images here

Happy Birthday Georges Braque!

Posted in ART, ART HISTORY, ARTISTS BIRTHDAYS with tags , , , , , , , , , on May 13, 2020 by echostains

le viaduct de La Estaque

Le Viaduct de L’ Estaque

 

Georges Braque b. Paris, France (1882-1963) was a  painter, collagist and draughtsman, sculptor and printmaker. His major contribution to  Art History is through Cubisim, which he founded and developed alongside   his close association with  Picasso during the 1908-1912 period.

houses at l estaque 1908

Houses at de L’Estaque

He also participated in Fauvism and Impressionism and his work was full of bold shapes and striking colours.  His work during the War though was more sombre and reflective of the mood, but between the war, when the word changed – so did he, using lighter colours, themes and styles.

man and guitar 1911

Man and Guitar 1911

Cubism though can be found in most of this work throughout his career.  He studied painting at Le Havre Academy,  at first concentrating on Impressionism.  Around  1905,  inspired by Cezanne and Van Gogh and their bright use of colours he became a Fauvist painter and exhibited with Henri Matisse and Andre Derain who were also Fauvists.

Braque had his first solo exhibition in 1908 and from 1909-1914 spent time with Picasso  developing a darker colour palette and use of bold line which was to become the Cubism style.

the portuguese

The Portuguese

Cubism challenged presentable form as perspective and conveyed a different way of ‘seeing’, which reflected the ‘modern’ world. Braque incorporated collage innovatively into his work.  His work after the WW1 changed direction again –   reflecting nature and the effect of light, but he never strayed to far from his Cubist style and his  bold use of lines and colour.

girl with a cross

Girl with a Cross

In 1937 he began to add sculpture to his repertoire and did receive some international success when his pieces went beyond Europe and were shown in the USA. He worked after WW2, concentrating on lighter subjects like landscape, sea and nature.  his health was not robust, yet it did not prevent him forming a new art movement of Cubism along side Picasso.

With thanks to WikiArt

More about Braque here

Images from here

Happy Eccentric Birthday Salvador Dali!

Posted in ART, ART VIDEOS, ARTISTS BIRTHDAYS, Uncategorized with tags , , , , on May 11, 2020 by echostains

 

Today is the birthday of the Spanish surrealist artist Salvador Dali (1904 – 1989)  As I have already written a post about the artist (here) I thought it might be fun to take a look at the personality of Dali the man – the fun bits.   This video I think shows the artist’s very individuality.  Dali illustrates that he is all things to all people (and especially to himself) as he struggles slightly to understand the English language    There is also a childishness, a naivity which I find very charming about the artist.  I suspect that under all the bluster there may have been a rather shy, quiet person.

Dali is one of those people who can be unintentionally funny – though sometimes you are not quite sure what he intends (he was after all a surrealist so strange behaviour is almost compulsory)  The advertisers certainly got their money’s worth from the dramatic Dali in this short advertisement.  Who knew eating chocolate could be such a surreal experience 😀

The last video shows some of the prolific Dali’s paintings. Where did all the eccentric artists go?  There doesn’t seem to be any to measure up to Dali the man, for his sense of humour, his talent and his bizarre way of looking at things.  What a great artist and character he was!

 

Thanks to  and   and  for the videos!

Surreal Thing Happy Birthday Dali!

Posted in ART, ART HISTORY, ARTISTS BIRTHDAYS with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 11, 2020 by echostains

Dali is a superb draughtsman.  Some years ago I visited the Dali Universe, County Hall, London. salvador-dali-quotes-famous-best-sayings oneThis 3,000 square metre space housed sculptures, (1935 -1984), lithographs, drawings and wonderful  furniture inspired by Dali: gold and glass objects and  even copies of the famous lobster telephone and the Mae West lips sofa!

There were no major paintings on display, apart from the oil he did for Hitchcock’s ‘1945 film ‘Spellbound‘.  I took great delight in looking through Dali’s drawings which are simply exquisite and show not only his draughtsmanship skills, but how exacting and precise his execution of drawing was. His imagination may have been wild, but his skills struck me as very honed and precise, not something I associate with Surrealism.  Surreal, I know!

 

Dali and his wild cat Babou

 

Too much has been written about this famous Spanish artist: some by myself (please see my earlier birthday posts here and for further Dali eccentricities here ).

Dali loved wild animals.  His favorite pet was a wildcat, an Ocelot, called Babou whom he would take to restaurants, tethering the animal to a table and causing alarm to fellow diners.

The surreal image below shows Dali emerging from the Paris underground taking two Anteaters for a walk (1969).  Andre Breton, (Founder of the Surrealist movement) who was known  as ‘le tamanoir’ – ‘the anteater’)  used this image as bookplates for several books and Dali was to depict the style of the anteater in his famous 1929 painting ‘The Great Masturbator’

Dali taking a Parisian walk with his pets Dali taking a Parisian walk with his pets

 

One of Dali’s famous stunts was staged at London’s International Surrealist Exhibition, 1936 when he gave a lecture whilst wearing a deep-sea diving suit. He very nearly suffocated.  His wild exaggerated gestures were mistaken for his usual amusing form of eccentricity.  Luckily for him a poet, David Gascoyne rescued Dali – with a spanner!

The Great Masturbator 1929

surrealism1938

A mysterious fire broke out in the artist’s bedroom in 1984, fortunately Dali was rescued by a friend, Robert Descharnes.  Dali was returned his beloved  Figueres , Spain (his birthplace), where his friends and  artists looked after him. In November 1988 he went to hospital with heart failure.  On 23rd January 1989, the artist died of heart failure at the age of 84.  He is buried in the crypt in his Teatro Museo in Figueres, much loved and much admired by most artists and non artists alike.

 

Images, with thanks are from here and here     the Ocelot image here, others from here    and here   

For historical characters with unusual pets here

Here’s some stuff you might not know about Dali here

 

Art I LOVE – Pierre Bonnard

Posted in ART, ART VIDEOS, FAVORITE ART: Art I LOVE with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 2, 2020 by echostains

French artist and printmaker  Pierre Bonnard (1867 – 1947) was  one of the founding members of Les Nabis. 

Les Nabis were a group of avant-garde Post Impressionists who distorted colour and composition to  decorative effect. 

Bonnard was interested in unusual and unexpected angles and aerial perspectives – greatly influenced by Japanese prints. It is this which links him with Vuillard and the Nabis. 

His interest in capturing the light is very impressionistic but his expressive use of paint  and his intense close brushwork give his work expression. 

His wife Marthe features heavily in his work, often seen in the bath or eating a meal. 

Bonnard didn’t paint from life but preferred to draw his subjects first, sometimes photographing them. He always made notes of the colours.  He would then translate these colours onto canvas from his notes.

Video by  with thanks!

Read more about the Nabis here