since i have mentioned him as one artist whose technique i would like to learn, it is only fair that i add him to my gallery of favorite artists: Turner
Joseph Mallord William Turner RA (23 April 1775 – 19 December 1851) was an English Romantic landscape painter, watercolourist and printmaker. Turner was considered a controversial figure in his day, but is now regarded as the artist who elevated landscape painting to an eminence rivaling history painting. Although renowned for his oil paintings, Turner is also one of the greatest masters of British watercolour landscape painting. He is commonly known as “the painter of light” and his work is regarded as a Romantic preface to Impressionism. –
so let’s have a look at his work:
Fishermen at Sea exhibited in 1796 was the first oil painting exhibited by Turner at the Royal Academy.
i love this one because of the uniform color scheme broken only by light sprinkled throughout the painting.
in contrast the next one is resplendent with colors and hues and details – and the title is ingenious:
The Fighting Temeraire tugged
to her last Berth to be broken up, 1838 – oil on canvas, National Gallery, London.
San Giorgio Maggiore at Dawn
Watercolour, 224 x 287 mm
Tate Gallery, London
look at that – it is almost monochrome with a dash of pinkish yellow…genius.
i still remember the very first time i saw a painting by Rembrandt – i was 9 years old and my father had decided to introduce me to the art of painting with oils. he gave me my very own artist’s case, all included, and a small canvas then he told me to go get the Ra-Ri volume of the family’s scruffy old encyclopedia. he opened it at a four-page fold out – showing Rembrandt’s perhaps most famous painting:
<–The Night Watch – 1642
it was in black and white of course, but the LIGHT was still visible as some sort of extra on the scene. just as i later fell in love with Bach’s music, i fell in love with Rembrandt’s light. it doesn’t matter if it’s landscape, a self portrait or a sneaky peak at his bathing wife (common-law wife) – it is always present, as both a part of the painting and as an observer of the motif:
Portrait of a Man in Military Dress – 1650 –>
The Conspiration of the Bataves 1661-1662
what fascinates me most about this light is that 9 times out of 10 it is impossible locate the SOURCE of the light. there are no lampposts or torches present, and still the light is there.
<– Hendrickje Bathing in a River – 1654
if i could paint only one picture of my wife, the way Rembrandt portrays his bathing Hendrickje in this painting – seemingly glowing from within – i would die a very happy man.
A Girl at a Window 1645 —>
i have no idea who this girl is, but i want to think it is his daughter – by her features it very well could be.
i’ll finish this post with one of Rembrandts many, many, many self-portraits – it some times seems he thought of himself as the prime subject of his art:
i was brought up reading about artists, looking at their art in books. we didn’t have the money or the location to go to museums and such, but i remember my father showing me pictures of Rembrandts paintings when i was just a wee lad.
one artist i discovered on my own as an adult was Marc Chagall. i was blown away by his compositions and color-schemes. and his mixture of exuberant joy and contemplative melancholy.
Peasant Life – 1925
“Chagall’s relationship to the Surrealists was torn, whatever their theoretician-in-chief might say. Long before them, impelled by the elemental power of his homeland’s folk art, he had discovered the significance of dreams, visions and the nonrational for his own work.” (from History of Art)
Solitude – 1933-1934
“In ‘Solitude’, Chagall was still using motifs that were very much his own to indicate dangers that were menacing himself, his people, and all of Europe.” (from History of Art)
most of all i was fascinated by the love with which he portrayed his own people. his paintings, to my eye and mind are extremely honest and spiritual.
Rabbi of Vitebsk – 1914
The Wedding – 1944
there’s 30 years between the two paintings – and two wars as well, yet it is hard not to FEEL Chagall’s fierce understanding of not just what makes his people tick, but what sustains them under threat.