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Archive for the ‘Paintings’ Category

Raphael | Saint George and the Dragon | c. 1504 | Musée du Louvre | Image and original data provided by Erich Lessing Culture and Fine Arts Archives/ART RESOURCE, N.Y.; artres.com

Raphael | Saint George and the Dragon | c. 1504 | Musée du Louvre | Image and original data provided by Erich Lessing Culture and Fine Arts Archives/ART RESOURCE, N.Y.; artres.com

Carlo Crivelli | Saint George | ca. 1472 | Image © The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Carlo Crivelli | Saint George | ca. 1472 | Image © The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Saint George’s Day is celebrated on April 23. I know this because as a child I was obsessed with the world of make-believe. While my sister was collecting books on the natural sciences, I had a whole shelf devoted to children’s versions of Greek mythology, fairy tales, and folklore. The stories I loved best involved magic and monsters. To this day my mother will buy me used books if they have a dragon on the cover. And this is where Saint George comes in.

In the 13th century, Jacobus de Voragine wrote in The Golden Legend that Saint George was a Christian knight who in his travels came across a city called Silene that was being plagued by a dragon that lived in its pond. Silene’s inhabitants were forced to appease the monster by sacrificing their children. The victims were selected through a lottery system, and one day it was the king’s own daughter who drew the last lot.
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Designer:  James Hadley; Manufacturer: Worcester Royal Porcelain Company | Teapot | 1882 | Baltimore Museum of Art

Designer: James Hadley; Manufacturer: Worcester Royal Porcelain Company | Teapot | 1882 | Baltimore Museum of Art

Artstor and the Baltimore Museum of Art are now sharing more than 2,500 images of works from the permanent collection, including the historical Cone Collection, in the Digital Library.

The Baltimore Museum of Art has an internationally recognized collection of 19th-century, modern, and contemporary art. It is best known for the Cone Collection of 3,000 objects bequeathed by Claribel and Etta Cone, two Baltimore sisters who collected 500 works by Henri Matisse, as well as masterpieces by Paul Cézanne and Vincent van Gogh.

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Jean Charlot  | Hawaiian Drummers | May 5, 1950 |1950 May 5 | Work: © 2012 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York | Photo credit: Hal Lum  | Photograph © The Jean Charlot Estate LLC

Jean Charlot | Hawaiian Drummers | May 5, 1950 |1950 May 5 | Work: © 2012 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York | Photo credit: Hal Lum | Photograph © The Jean Charlot Estate LLC

Artstor is sharing 101 images of artworks by Louis Henri Jean Charlot (1898–1979) from the Jean Charlot Collection at the University of Hawai’i at Manoa.

Charlot’s output of drawings, paintings, murals, prints, sculptures, illustrations and cartoons, as well as books, articles, and other writings was prodigious. Wherever he lived—whether in France, Mexico, New York, Georgia, Colorado, Hawai‘i or Fiji—his life was full of significant connections with artists and writers, indigenous and working people, influential figures in art and educational institutions, and the Roman Catholic Church. He preserved the records of his encounters, together with those of his own creative and scholarly life, in the original artworks, archival documents, research photographs, audiovisual materials, memorabilia and the publications of his personal library that became the basis of the Jean Charlot Collection.

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Diego Velázquez | The Toilet of Venus ('The Rokeby Venus') | 1647-51 | The National Gallery, London | Photograph: ©The National Gallery, London; nationalgallery.org.uk

Diego Velázquez | The Toilet of Venus (‘The Rokeby Venus’) | 1647-51 | The National Gallery, London | Photograph: ©The National Gallery, London; nationalgallery.org.uk

One hundred years ago today, suffragist Mary Richardson walked into the National Gallery, London and attacked Diego Velázquez’s The Toilet of Venus (AKA The Rokeby Venus) with a meat cleaver. Richardson was protesting the arrest of fellow suffragist Emmeline Pankhurst the previous day.

Detail from a 1914 photograph showing damage to the painting. Image source: Wikipedia.

1914 photograph showing damage to the painting. Image source: Wikipedia.

You can see the impressive results of the National Gallery‘s restoration by searching for Velazquez Toilet of Venus in the Artstor Digital Library and zooming in to compare against the slashes in the image to the right. While the texture of the paint doesn’t betray the repairs, if you look carefully you can detect very slight yellowing on Venus’s skin along the cuts.

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Top Right: Caspar David Friedrich | Lone Tree (Solitary Tree; Village Landscape with Morning Lighting) | 1822 | Nationalgalerie, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin.  Left: Albrecht Dürer | 1526 | Gemäldegalerie, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin. Bottom Right: Unbekannter Künstler, Maler | Abendmahl Christi, darunter die Gefangennahme | Kupferstichkabinett, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin | Images and original data provided by Bildarchiv Preussischer Kulturbesitz; bpkgate.picturemaxx.com

Top Right: Caspar David Friedrich | Lone Tree (Solitary Tree; Village Landscape with Morning Lighting) | 1822 | Nationalgalerie, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin. Left: Albrecht Dürer | 1526 | Gemäldegalerie, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin. Bottom Right: Unbekannter Künstler, Maler | Abendmahl Christi, darunter die Gefangennahme | Kupferstichkabinett, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin | Images and original data provided by Bildarchiv Preussischer Kulturbesitz; bpkgate.picturemaxx.com

In collaboration with the Prussian Cultural Heritage Image Archive (Bildarchiv Preussischer Kulturbesitz), Artstor now makes available more than 21,000 images of key works from the Berlin State Museums (Staatliche Museen zu Berlin) in the Digital Library. This collection includes vases and sculptures from the 6th to 4th century BC, Etruscan art, Byzantine art, the friezes and reconstruction of the west front of the Pergamon Altar, as well as masterpieces from such canonical artists as Albrecht Dürer, Caspar David Friedrich, Emil Nolde, Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, Hieronymus Bosch, Käthe Kollwitz, Lovis Corinth, Lucas Cranach the Elder, Matthias Grünewald, Max Ernst, Paul Klee, Peter Paul Rubens, and Rembrandt, among many others.

At the time of the agreement, Klaus-Dieter Lehmann, then President of the Prussian Cultural Properties Foundation, commented, “The Berlin State Museums have always been exceptionally significant places for scientific research and collection building. The modern possibilities of digital technology expand greatly on this potential and allow us not only to present these treasures, but also to link this effort with other important organizations, such as Artstor, to a degree previously unimaginable.” (more…)

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William M. Vander Weyde | Ice Skating | ca. 1900 | George Eastman House

William M. Vander Weyde | Ice Skating | ca. 1900 | George Eastman House

It’s snowing today in New York City and crowds are lining up to skate at the legendary ice rink at Rockefeller Center, with its sparkling light displays and famous holiday tree. If I visit this year, it’ll be as a spectator only, since I’ve never ice skated in my life. Sad, I know, but I have a good excuse—I grew up in extremely warm areas of Mexico and Texas, so I didn’t have many opportunities to learn. But that doesn’t stop me from admiring skaters. I love their graceful gliding, and enjoy seeing the camaraderie that spontaneously develops when groups of people converge on the ice. Evidently I’m not alone, judging from the many depictions of skating groups in the Artstor Digital Library.

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artstor_logo_rgb2Artstor and the Mott-Warsh Collection have made available more than 300 images of artwork by over 125 artists of the African Diaspora. Focusing on art produced after 1940, the Mott-Warsh Collection contains work from major figures and underrepresented artists such as Jacob Lawrence, Ron Adams, Faith Ringgold, Richard Yarde, Lorna Simpson, Glenn Ligon, Howardena Pindell, and Whitfield Lovell.

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Last Judgment

Left: Michelangelo Buonarroti | Last Judgment | 1534-41 | Sistine Chapel, Vatican. Right: Marcello Venusti | Last Judgment | Museo e gallerie nazionali di Capodimonte | Images and original data provided by SCALA, Florence/ART RESOURCE, N.Y.; artres.com | (c) 2006, SCALA, Florence/ART RESOURCE, N.Y.

Michelangelo’s Last Judgment, a fresco commissioned for the Sistine Chapel by Pope Clement VII just a few days before his death, incited controversy before it was even finished due to its unclothed figures.

Not long after the painting’s completion, the Council of Trent condemned nudity in religious art, decreeing that “all lasciviousness be avoided; in such wise that figures shall not be painted or adorned with a beauty exciting to lust.” Clement’s successor Pope Pius IV complied with the tenet, and in 1565, the year after Michelangelo’s death, had the more controversial nudity painted over by Daniele da Volterra, earning the artist the nickname Il Braghetonne, “the breeches-maker.” Da Volterra also substantially repainted the figures of Saint Catherine and Saint Blaise, whose positions were considered unseemly. Further coverings were added in the 17th and 18th centuries. (more…)

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Giotto | Saint Francis Preaching to the Birds, predella of Saint Francis of Assisi Receiving the Stigmatta | c. 1295-1300 | Musée du Louvre | Image and original data provided by Réunion des Musées Nationaux / Art Resource, N.Y. ; artres.com

Giotto | Saint Francis Preaching to the Birds, predella of Saint Francis of Assisi Receiving the Stigmatta | c. 1295-1300 | Musée du Louvre | Image and original data provided by Réunion des Musées Nationaux / Art Resource, N.Y. ; artres.com

October 4 is generally recognized as the feast day of St. Francis of Assisi, patron of the animals, steward of nature, and author of the Canticle of the Creatures.  In a divinely ordained cosmos, Francis considered all elements – sun, moon, and stars, water and fire, and the animals – our sisters and brothers, and he is often depicted and described preaching to the birds, as in Giotto’s panel shown here, 1295-1300.  The cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York famously marks his feast day with the blessing of the animals (this year the closest Sunday falls on Oct. 6).  Thousands of creatures, from tortoises to camels, process though the nave, gather in the yard, and are blessed by clergy.  This scene is replayed throughout churches around the globe, a celebration of the beasts that surround us and enhance our lives.

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Hans Holbein the Younger | Jean de Dinteville and Georges de Selve ('The Ambassadors') | 1533 | The National Gallery, London  | Photograph ©The National Gallery, London

Hans Holbein the Younger | Jean de Dinteville and Georges de Selve (‘The Ambassadors’) | 1533 | The National Gallery, London | Photograph ©The National Gallery, London

Hans Holbein the Younger’s “The Ambassadors” of 1533 memorializes Jean de Dinteville, French ambassador to England, and his friend, Georges de Selve, bishop of Lavaur, who acted on several occasions as French ambassador to the Republic of Venice, to the Pope in Rome, and to England, Germany, and Spain. The painting is well known for its anamorphic image of a skull in the foreground, but upon close perusal, the objects on the table between the two men prove just as fascinating.

The upper shelf, which is concerned with the the heavens, includes a celestial globe, a portable sundial, and various other instruments used for understanding the heavens and measuring time, while the lower shelf, which reflects the affairs of the world, holds musical instruments, a hymn book, a book of arithmetic, and a terrestrial globe. (more…)

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