mona lisa smileLove reading analysis of famous paintings? Discover more about 250 of the best paintings in the history of art with the Famous Paintings ebook.  It names names (and titles, art museums, and dates), with links to in-depth commentary about the works.  Explore must-see masterpieces in US and European art museums! 

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Art History News

Posted by Susan Benford

 Three items of noteworthy art history news for the week:

  • with a new academic year upon us, what better time to discuss the merits of studying Matisse la Liseuse en blanc et jauneart history? Matt Lodder, an art historian at the University of Essex, asks what would one "do" with a degree in art history.  His answer: anything you want. He explains: 

    We live in a visual world, and the ability to process, analyse and conceptualise complex primary and secondary sources into coherent narratives; to confidently and clearly synthesise and re-present ideas; to assess the quality and reliability of information; and to have a grasp of several centuries of human success and failure through the media of their artistic and cultural endeavours are increasingly invaluable. 

    His rationale for studying art history is brilliant.  And worth sharing.  

  • picasso tete darlequinthe theft of seven famous paintings from the Kunsthal Museum in Rotterdam last October stays in art history news due to yet another odd turn.  

    After the mother of the alleged mastermind, Rado Dogaru, claimed she burnt the paintings to protect her son, authorities found evidence in her stove ashes of three canvases and of nails used before the end of the 19th century.  The mother has since recanted, and now Dogaru is offering five paintings in exchange for moving the trial from Romania to the Netherlands.  

    At the time of the theft, art experts valued the works -including those by Matisse,  Monet, Picasso, Gauguin and Lucian Freud - at roughly $100 million, while prosecutors claimed a value of $42 million.

In either case, this is one of the most bizarre art heists ever.

  • the Getty announces that 4,600 images are now "free to use, modify, and publish for any purpose".  This is the initial step in its Open Content Program, which will ultimately provide access to all public domain artworks held by the Getty.  Browse here to see available artwork images.

Gauguin Femme devant une fenetre cuverte resized 600

All three paintings shown are among the seven stolen and missing.

Top leftHenri Matisse.  La Liseuse en blanc et jaune.

Right: Pablo Picasso, Tete d’Arlequin. 

Bottom: Paul Gauguin.  Femme devant une fenetre ouverte.

 

 


Tags: art history news

6 Reasons Art History Isn't Dull

Posted by Susan Benford

Who says art history is lackluster? Here are six surefire rebuttals:

  • Fleamarkets and basements are treasure troves! A Virginia woman purchased Pierre August-Renoir's "Paysage Bords de Seine" at a flea market for renoir paysage$7. One of the Renoir paintings of the Seine created near the towns Chatou and Bougival, Paysage is expected to sell for $100,000.

  • Closer to home, the Evansville Museum of Arts, History and Science was prodded by an auction house to locate a layered glass mosaic by Picasso that had been crated in its basement for over four decades.  picasso mosaic

    Its estimated sales price is $30 - $40 million.  Read more about Picasso's Seated Woman with the Red Hat (right). 

  • The upcoming season of art exhibitions across the U.S. from the New York Times.  Plus, its pick of 14 stand out art shows in this video. 

    The exhibition of Matisse paintings at the Met (Matisse: In Search of True Painting), running December 4 - March 17, smells like a blockbuster.

  • recent study quantified the value of arts education.  Those who participated in the arts - defined here as visiting museums; attending events in dance, theater, music, and opera; and creating or performing arts - were significantly more likely to be more socially tolerant, civicly engaged and active, and altruistic. 

    One AP Art History teacher is going to circulate results of this study to parents at curriculum night.  Brilliant! 

  • "Learning Medicine by Looking at Art" puts aspiring Harvard M.D.s into Boston art museums for one afternoon per week to study famous paintings.  Why? Proponents say this enhances observational skills, and teaches students to tolerate ambiguity. sargent el jaleoBecause paintings often have multiple interpretations, it's believed that the students 

    John Singer Sargent.  El Jaleo, 1882.  Oil on canvas, approximately 7' 7" by 11' 5".  Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Boston.

    will learn to seek and assess multiple options before making a diagnosis.  

    In John Singer Sargent's El Jaleo, students wondered whether the man with his throat exposed was sleeping... or singing. 

  • with so many art history classes starting around now... I thought I'd repost our article pech merle horseson cave paintings in Altamira, Chauvet and Lascaux caves, including recent
    news that the spotted horses of the Pech-Merle caves did exist, according to DNA testing. 

And if someone doesn't find the Pech Merle horses (right) and cave paintings fascinating... there isn't a chance for them!

 Intrigued by what you just read? Let us know by submitting a comment... and join this art history blog.

 



 

 


Tags: art history, art history news, picasso mosaic

Art History Snippets

Posted by Susan Benford

Here are some stories in the art history arena which caught our attention recently:

rembrandt self portrait 1665 resized 600More Rembrandt paintings. Roberta Smith of the New York Times reviews "Rembrandt at Work: The Great Self-Portrait from Kenwood House", featuring one of the least seen Rembrandt paintings, his self-portrait of 1665 (left).

The second largest Rembrandt portrait (the largest is in the Frick Collection), the Kenwood painting makes its debut in the U.S.  

Expansion of Google Art Project.  This remarkable endeavor now includes:

  • 30,000 high resolution images of artwork;
  • 151 art museums in forty countries, spanning the Acropolis Museum to the Zimmerli Art Museum at Rutgers University; and
  • virtual tours of 46 art museums.

With images greater than 1 billion pixels, you can literally see into cracks on canvases! Here is a list of all art museums in the expanded Google Art Project. 

codex selden resized 600Children of the Plumed Serpent: The Legacy of Quetzalcoatl in Ancient Mexico. This unique show opened at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and explores the history of Quetzalcoatl and his enduring influence on the Nahua, 

Right: Codex Selden.  Mexico, Western Oaxaca.  AD 1556-1560.

Mixtec, and Zapotec kingdoms during the late pre-Columbian years.  More than 200 objects comprise this groundbreaking art exhibition.  See it before 7/1/2012. 

turquoise mosiac shield resized 600
Left: Turquoise Mosaic Shield.  Mexico, Puebla, Acatlan.  AD 1100-1521, Mixtec.

Hyperallergic.com Rave Review.  So it took me a month to figure out that if someone gushes about Masterpiece Cards, that doesn't mean I'm bragging -- it just means that this editor of a popular West Coast art blog is impressed!

Read An Xiao's review at Hyperallergic.com about using Masterpiece Cards to learn art history.

Have a great weekend!

Tags: art history news

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Famous Painters Blogroll

Anguissola, Three Sisters Playing Chess and Phillip II of Spain

Beckmann, Departure; Self-Portrait in Tuxedo; Sinking of Titanic

Bingham, Fur Traders Descending the Missouri

BonheurPlowing in the Nivernais

Bonheur, The Horse Fair

Botticelli Primavera

Caravaggio, Fashion and Art History

CaravaggioConversion of St. Paul

Caravaggio, Young, Sick Bacchus and Basket of Fruit

Caravaggio, Cardsharps and Fortune Teller

Caravaggio, St. Francis of Assisi in Ecstasy

Caravaggio, Taking of Christ (Kiss of Judas)

Caravaggio Paintings at the Villa Borghese

Cave Paintings

Cezanne, Bathers

Cezanne, Card Players

Cezanne, Most Famous Paintings 

Copley, Paul Revere

David, Death of Marat 

David, Death of Socrates

David, Napoleon Crossing the Alps

de Kooning, Retrospective at MoMA (Part I)

de Kooning,Excavation and Painting, 1948 

de KooningWoman I

Delacroix, Liberty Leading the People  

Diebenkorn, The Ocean Park Series

Duncanson, Robert Seldon.  Art History Welcomes Duncanson 

Durer, The Four Apostles

El Greco, Burial of Count Orgaz

FontanaPortrait of a Noblewoman

Frankenthaler, Color Field Painting and Mountains and Sea

Gainsborough, The Blue Boy

Gentileschi, Artemisia.  Judith Beheading Holofernes

Gentileschi, Artemisia.  Self-Portrait as an Allegory of Painting 

Ghent Altarpiece.  

Ghent Altarpiece via zoom

GiorgioneThree Philosophers 

Goya, Family of Charles IV

Goya, The Third of May 1808 

Goya, Duchess of Alba; Saturn Devouring his Son; Two Old Men; Half-Submerged Dog; Black Paintings

Grunewald, Isenheim Altarpiece

Hals, Banquet of the Officers of the St. George Civic Guard

Hals, The Laughing Cavalier

Hals, Regents of St. Elizabeth's Hospital

Hopper, Nighthawks

Ingres, Grande Odalisque and Portrait of Madame Moissetier

Isenheim Altarpiece

Kahlo, Renowned Frida Kahlo Paintings.  

Angelica Kauffmann.  Self-Portrait Torn Between Music and Painting and David Garrick.  

Klimt, The Kiss and Adele Bloch-Bauer

Leonardo, Painter at the Court of Milan, National Gallery, London 

Leonardo, La Bella Principessa 

Leonardo, New Mona Lisa

Leonardo, Benois Madonna and Madonna Litta 

Leonardo, Savior of the World(Salvator Mundi) 

Leonardo, The Virgin and Child with St. Anne

Leyster, Famous Female Painters 

ManetA Bar at the Folies-Bergere

Manet, Luncheon in the Studio

Manet, The Old Musician

Manet, Street Singer

MantegnaDead Christ

Matisse Paintings, In Search of True Painting

Matisse, The DanceThe Music

Matisse, The Cone Collection

Matisse, The Red Studio

Matisse, The Yellow Dress

Michelangelo, Crucifixion with the Madonna

Michelangelo, Famous Paintings

Michelangelo, La Pieta with Two Angels (latest attribution?)

Michelangelo, St. John the Baptist Bearing Witness

Modersohn-Becker, Famous Female Painters

Monet, Waterlilies

Morisot, Famous Paintings

MorisotMore Famous Paintings

Munch, The Scream

O'Keeffe, Jack in the Pulpit

Picasso, Girl Before a Mirror

Picasso, Nude, Green Leaves and Bust

Picasso, Portrait of Gertrude Stein

Picasso, Las Meninas

Piero della Francesca, The Baptism of Christ

Poussin, Assumption of the Virgin

Raphael, Sistine Madonna

Rembrandt, Aristotle with a Bust of Homer 

Rembrandt, Night Watch

Rembrandt paintings at Frick Show

Rembrandt, Self-Portrait at an Early AgeJeremiah Lamenting the Destruction of Jerusalem, The Jewish Bride

Rembrandt, The Syndics of the Amsterdam Drapers' Guild

Rubens, Venus and Adonis

Sanchez Cotan, Spanish Still-life

Sargent, El Jaleo

Sargent, Madame X

Steen, The Christening Feast 

Steen paintings at Frick Show

Tanner, The Banjo Lesson and The Thankful Poor

Titian, Assumption of the Virgin

Titian, Bacchus and Ariadne

Titian, Man with a Glove

Titian, Nymph and Shepherd, Allegory of Prudence, Jacopa Strada, St. Jerome, Slaying of Marysas

Titian, Rape of Europa

Turner, J. M. W, The Fighting Temeraire

Uccello, Battle of San Romano

van der Weyden, St. Luke Drawing the Virgin

Velazquez, Pope Innocent X

Vincent van Gogh paintings up to 1889

Vincent van Gogh paintings, 1888-1890

van Eyck, Arnolfini Portrait

van Eyck, Adoration of the Lamb

van Eyck, Ghent Altarpiece

van Gogh, The Potato Eaters

van GoghMemory of Garden at Etten; Tatched Cottages; White House

van Gogh,  Portrait of Madam Trabuc; Morning: Going Out

van Gogh, Starry Night

Velazquez, Juan de Pareja

Vermeer, Girl with a Pearl Earring

Vermeer, Saint Praxedis

Vermeer, The Kitchen Maid

Vermeer, The Allegory of Painting

VermeerGirl with the Red Hat

Warhol, Campbell's Soup Cans

Warhol, Marilyn Diptych and Gold Marilyn 

Warhol, Mao 

Anders Zorn

Famous Paintings by Art Museums - ebooks

Learn about famous paintings to see in these art museums:

Albright-Knox Art Gallery (Buffalo, NY). One of those intimate, small art museums with a stellar collectionFamous Paintings at Albright-Knox. 

Art Institute of Chicago: Plan to see these famous paintings at the Art Institute -- and download an ebook about them.

Louvre Museum, (Paris): one of the largest art museums in the world! Know which Louvre paintings not to miss in this sortable ebook. 

Mauritshuis Museum: explore works by renowned Dutch painters

Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York City): download the ebook, Famous-Paintings-Metropolitan-Museum, to learn its must-see masterpieces.

National Gallery (London): with 2300 famous paintings alone in its European painting section, discover highlights to see!  Art Paintings to See at the National Gallery.

Rijksmuseum (Amsterdam): 10 famous paintings not to miss

Washington, D.C. Art Museums: Explore forty famous paintings in Washington, DC in this article.

Most Popular Posts

Michelangelo PaintingsThe Torment of Saint Anthony; The Manchester Madonna;Holy Family (Doni Tondo); and Entombment

Cave Paintings: explore this prehistoric art in Spain and France.

Picasso's Las Meninas: 58 Picasso paintings inspired by Velazquez's Las Meninas

Ghent Altarpiece: the van Eyck masterpiece, one of the most famous artworks ever made. 

Survey of Renaissance Paintings: want to know what Renaissance paintings were all about? Start with 20 of its most famous painters in this sweeping survey! 

Discover more of readers' favorite art history blog posts. 

Female Artists

While we long for the time when artists are artists and genderless, that time isn't yet here.

These are a few of the female artists who've left lasting legacies in the history of painting:

Sofonisba AnguissolaThree Sisters Playing ChessPhillip II of Spain

Rosa Bonheur.  Plowing in the Nivernais.  Horse Fair.

Lavinia Fontana. Portrait of a Noblewoman.

Helen Frankenthaler. Color Field Painting and Mountains and Sea. 

Artemisia Gentileschi.  Judith Beheading Holofernes.  Self-Portrait as an Allegory of Painting.

Frida Kahlo.  Frida and Diego Rivera.  The Two Fridas.  The Love Embrace of the Universe. 

Angelica Kauffmann.  Self-Portrait Torn Between Music and Painting.  David Garrick.

Judith Leyster.  Self-Portrait.  The Proposition. 

Paula Modersohn-Becker. Self-Portrait with an Amber Necklace. Still Life with Goldfish. 

Berthe Morisot.  Refuge in Normandy.  The Cradle. 

Georgia O'Keeffe. Jack in the Pulpit Series. 

Survey of Female Artists

Art History Other

Art History Reading List: 50+ great reads in fiction and non-fiction

Art History Videos on YouTube

Cave Paintings

Most Controversial Paintings

Google Art ProjectArt Museums Up Close

Survey of Female Artists

Survey of Renaissance Paintings.

Art History Blogs

ArtDaily: daily breaking news about art museums and art history.

Art Blog by Bob: this brilliant art history blogger of Picture This on Big Think.

Art History Resources. Unwieldly but informative.

Marisol Roman.  A Spanish art history blog.

Mother of all Art & Art History Links: extensive list of online art history resources (including images, research resources, and art history depts.)

smARThistory. Think online art history textbook.  Brilliant. 

Art History Beyond Europe

A few forays into art outside Europe:

African Art and Bocio

African Mask of Idia

Coatlique 

Japanese Woodblock Prints: The Great Wave

The Terracotta Warriors

 

Famous Paintings ebook

This free ebook has a wealth of facts and articles about the 250 influential paintings in Masterpiece Cards.

Did we mention it's free? d0e42560-d745-43b3-8b2d-9ee2d3273b82