Archive for goya

Teapots: From Wild Goat to He Goat: From Dada to Goya

Posted in ART, DESIGN, TEAPOTS - A HOMAGE TO UNUSUAL TEAPOTS with tags , , , , , on November 2, 2009 by echostains


 This strange , organic teapot really captured my imagination . This Raku ceramic, called  ‘Wild Goat teapot – Homage to Paul Soldner’  is by Nina de Creeft Ward from The Beatrice Wood Centre for the Arts.  I don’t know who Paul Soldner is, I just hope he was pleased with the wild goat reference!  This teapot reminded me of a painting by Spanish artist and Printmaker Francisco de Goya'(1746 -1828).  The painting goes under several names;  ‘The Great He Goat’ or ‘The Coven,’ or ‘Witches Sabbath’ in 1820 -23.  The painting  shows a number of grotesque witches at their sabbath with Satan as the guest of honour.  Some of the faces of the witches are truely terrifying.  ‘The Witches Sabbath’ is one of a series of what is known as  Goya’s Black Paintings.  These paintings were done in later life  (1819 – 1823)  by a very depressed  Goya, after he had survived two near fatal illnesses.  They are dark and full of fear and show the artist’s anxiety.


The artist who the Arts Centre is named after (where the teapot came from) is Beatrice Wood and she was a very interesting character.  This American artist  and studio potter was born 1893 and died in 1998.  In later life she became known as the ‘Mama of Dada’ a movement 1916 – 1922.   I shall be writing about (eventually).  An interesting fact about her is that the character of Rose DeWitt Bukater in the 1997 film Titanic was partially based on her.

Beatrice wood

I have had a look at her biography, which is fascinating and I must write about (eventually) and have found out who Paul Soldner was.  He was an American ceramicist born in 1921 and his work is quite exciting!  See it on his website HERE

paul soldner ceramic

Another of my teapot posts:  Teapots are like a box of chocolate – you never know what you’re going to get’


There’s Nothing Romantic about Romanticism, or is there? Conclusion Goya’s ‘The 3rd of May 1808’

Posted in ART, ART HISTORY with tags , , , , , on June 23, 2009 by echostains

Part one




‘3rd of May 1808 ‘ by Francisco de Goya

The key belief of Romanticism was the value of individual experience and individualism.  What characterised the Romantic period was the heroic view of the human struggle.  Romanticism brought to the forefront the human struggle against the violent forces of nature.  The major difference between neo-Classicism and Romanticism is the fulfilment of the hearts desire, whilst Classicism puts faith in intellect.  Romanticism then, is a way of feeling, it gives way to full expression, whereas Classicism is a way of thought.

Aesthetically and historically, Goya’s painting, ‘The 3rd of May’ is the reverse of David’s ‘Oath of the Horatii’.  The latter sets up the hero, who is willing to die for the cause.

Oath_of_the_Horatii Jaques Louis David

Oath_of_the_Horatii Jaques Louis David

Goya gives us the anti hero: the victim whose death becomes almost by chance a rallying point for those struggling against oppression.  Goya’s style has few clear outlines and his soldiers echo the reverse of David’s.



The central figure raises his hands in surrender: the pose is that of crucifixion: a sacrifice.  The corpse lying in the foreground in a pool of blood, echoes the gesture of the central victim.  The artist has effected an ‘overkill’ by shortening the distance between the bayoneted guns and the victim.  The source of light comes from the lantern, which radiates light onto the white shirt of the victim, whilst emphasising the whites of the eyes in the terrified faces of the onlookers.

Taken from an original essay by Lynda Roberts and subject to copyright (Bibliography and notes not supplied online)

There’s nothing Romantic about Romanticism or is there? part three

Posted in ART, ART HISTORY with tags , , , , , , , , , on June 22, 2009 by echostains

Continuing from part one

part two

The English Landscape painter John Constable (1776 – 1837) also had a hard time with regards to his art being taken seriously.  He tried to gain respectability for Landscape painting,  trying to get it accepted as a proper subject matter.

Flatford Mill by John Constable

Flatford Mill by John Constable


“I should paint my own places best –  painting is but another word for feeling.”  John Constable

He believed that ‘God Almighty’s sunlight’ was as full of moral and spiritual values as a scene from ancient history.  He was about fifty years ahead of his time.  Although rejected in England, he was much admired in France.

Goya_witches sabbath, the great goat

Goya_witches sabbath, the great goat

The Spanish painter Francisco Goya (1746 – 1848), subordinated reason for feeling.  He was the first painter of the absurd.  His foremost influence was Velazquez.  In his painting ‘The Sabbath’ or ‘The Great Goat’, he showscross dressing men  engaging in a witches sabbath.  This was part of a group of paintings that came to be known as the ‘Black paintings’, paintings showing dark and horrific scenes of the degeneration of man,: a subject Goya was fascinated with.

detail from 'The Great Goat'

detail from 'The Great Goat'

William Blake (b. 1757 – 1827) was both a poet and an artist that strove for social and political freedom for all.  He used the visionary approach.  His work ranges form the religious ‘Ancient of Days’, that harks back to medieval beliefs of God as an architect,  –

William Blake 'The Ancient of Days'

William Blake 'The Ancient of Days'

– to the rather grotesque ‘Ghost of a Flea’, which owes something to Goya.

ghost of a flea by William Blake

ghost of a flea by William Blake

Henry Fuseli (b. Germany 1741 – 1825) taught John Constable, but later ridiculed him.  He infused classical structure with completely irrational thought.  His painting ‘Nightmare’ contains the stuff which bad dreams are made of…and is also a precursor to Surrealism.



Here’s an annotated view of this painting, explainting the various imagery Fuseli used. here

Lots of Goya’s work and information can be found here

Concluding tomorrow…