Maria Sibylla Merian and Natural History

Who was Maria Sibylla Merian? Artist, scientist, mother, rule breaker extraordinaire…more than enough reasons to make me want to know more about this German-born naturalist and scientific illustrator who lived in the 1700s..  I plan to delve more deeply into her remarkable story in future posts, but for now, just a snapshot: In 1699 the…

Vincent van Gogh: A Tale of Two Paintings

Preface See previous posts for detailed images of The Olive Trees and The Starry Night. Note that Olive Trees with the Alpilles in the Background is also called The Olive Trees Vincent van Gogh painted at least 18 paintings of olive trees, but only one –The Olive Trees — was a complement to The Starry…

Albert Aublet: L’heure de Bain au Tréport

Albert Aublet 1851 – 1938 FRENCH L’HEURE DU BAIN AU TRÉPORT Signed Albert Aublet and dated 1885 (lower left) Oil on canvas 39 3/4 by 63 3/8 in. 101 by 161 cm Click –  image detail enlarged: Image Credit: Sotheby’s

A Hecatomb Of Oxen Or: Pythagoras’s Sacrifice

Originally posted on Learn Fun Facts:
“Pythagoreans Celebrate the Sunrise” by Fyodor Bronnikov 1869 Legend has it that when the Greek philosopher Pythagoras discovered the Pythagorean theorem (the famous right-triangle theorem you probably first heard in algebra class then never heard it again until now), he celebrated by sacrificing a hecatomb (100 heads) of oxen…

Josef Mánes: Red parasol in the summer

IMG_1047 Josef Mánes 1820-1871. Prague. Red parasol (in the summer) Parasol rouge (en été) 1855 1855 Prague Galerie Nationale (Narodni Galery) Palais Salmovski. by jean louis mazieres   Josef Mánes 1820-1871. Prague. Red parasol (in the summer) Parasol rouge (en été) 1855 1855 Prague Galerie Nationale (Narodni Galery) Palais Salmovski. Fils d’Antonin Manes, formé par…

Emily Dickinson: Truth and Beauty

The Duties of the Wind are Few The duties of the Wind are few- To cast the Ships at sea, Establish March, The Floods escort, And usher Liberty.    Hope Hope is the thing with feathers That perches in the soul, And sings the tune without the words, And never stops at all, And sweetest…

Santiago Rusiñol i Prats: The Girl with Carnation

The girl with carnation (Teresa Mirabent Planas) Santiago Rusiñol 1893 From the collection of Cau Ferrat Museum “From the beginning the light of Sitges dazzled Rusinol’s retina, just like before it blinded Arcadi Mas I Fondevila, Joan Roig I Soler and the rest of the Luminist School painters. That’s why one of the topics that…

Vincent van Gogh: The Starry Night (1889) in detail

Title: The Starry Night Creator: Vincent van Gogh Date Created: 1889 Style: Post-Impressionism Provenance: Acquired through the Lillie P.Bliss Bequest Original Title: La nuit étoilée More Info: View more works by Vincent van Gogh on MoMA.org External Link: View MoMA’s collection online Medium: Oil on canvas Image credit: Google Arts and Culture Click for enlarged…

Santiago Rusiñol: Sitges Interior (c1894)

Sitges Interior, Santiago Rusiñol, c1894 Click for enlarged image: Details Title: Sitges Interior Creator: Santiago Rusiñol Date Created: Around 1894 External Link: Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya Medium: Oil on canvas   Image credit: Google Arts and Culture

Santiago Rusiñol: A Romance (1894)

A Romance by Santiago Rusiñol, 1894 Details Title: A Romance Creator: Santiago Rusiñol Date Created: Paris, 1894 Location Created: Paris External Link: Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya Medium: Oil on canvas Click for enlarged image:   Image from Google Arts and Culture

Through Norman’s Glasses — At Home & Afield

“Be brave enough to start a conversation that matters.” – Dau Voire As an artist, I often times wonder what my role in sharing my values with society is. In a time in which everyone shares their opinion ad nauseum, it inspires me to see others craft their ideals–quite literally. From another time that predated […]…

Rafael Durancamps Folguera: “Sardanes”

Rafael Durancamps Folguera: “Sardanes” (Catalan 1891-1979) DURANCAMPS I FOLGUERA, Rafael (Sabadell, 1891 – Barcelona, ​​1979). “Sardanes”, Cadaqués. Oil on canvas. With sketch on the back. Signed in the lower left corner. Measures: 59 x 74 cm; 79 x 95 cm (frame). In this work, Durancamps offers us a beautiful festive image, typically Catalan, both for…

William-Adolphe Bouguereau: Girl With a Pomegranate (1875)

  Sotheby’s Catalogue Note At the close of the 1860s, Bouguereau’s reputation had been secured by his masterful portrayals of peasant life in the French countryside. Yet the artist did not limit himself in sources of inspiration and, like many of his contemporaries, became interested in the people and culture of North Africa and the…

Habiballah of Sava: Language of the Birds (ca. 1600)

The illustration on this folio depicts a scene from a mystical poem, Mantiq al-tair (Language of the Birds), written by a twelfth-century Iranian, Farid al-Din ‘Attar. The birds, which symbolize individual souls in search of the simurgh (a mystical bird representing ultimate spiritual unity), are assembled in an idyllic landscape to begin their pilgrimage under…

Johann Heinrich Vogeler: Reverie

“People who believe they are ignorant of nothing have neither looked for, nor stumbled upon, the boundary between what is known and unknown in the universe.”   – Neil deGrasse Tyson, Astrophysics for People in a Hurry   Image Credit:  [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons    

Maria Sibylla Merian: Illustrated Understanding by Devi Norton

Recently, there is conversation in our office about the importance of hand drawing, more specifically, the ability to understand the environment around us through its practice. I have always been fascinated by scientific illustrations as they seem to portray the quest for understanding told through rendering. One illustrator and naturalist that uniquely displays this is […]….

Maurice Brazil Prendergast: Central Park 1914–15

Prendergast captured the park’s festive energy on a summer day and suggested, with broad horizontal bands, the tripartite traffic system that accommodated carriages, horses with riders, and pedestrians. The painting, once titled “Central Park in 1903,” may have been begun in that year and later reworked. It shows women in the types of dresses and…

Edward Bannister: Boston Street Scene

  Edward Mitchell Bannister: Boston Street Scene (Boston Common) For years, Bannister painted landscapes with muted colors that recalled the works of the French Barbizon school so popular among New England collectors during the second half of the 19th century. However, in one of his last works, which he painted during a stay in Boston…

Klimt’s Kiss and Haydn’s Cello Concerto

Music Credit: Joseph Haydn’s Cello Concerto No. 1 in C Major, 3. Allegro molto Norwegian Chamber Orchestra Steven Isserlis, cello Anthony Marwood, leader Click below for enlarged detail view:   Image Credit:  Gustav Klimt, The Kiss [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Renoir: Dance at Bougival, Beethoven: Cello Sonata

The open-air cafés of suburban Bougival, on the Seine outside Paris, were popular recreation spots for city dwellers, including the Impressionist painters. Renoir, who was primarily a figure painter, uses intense color and lush brushwork to heighten the sense of pleasure conveyed by the whirling couple who dominate the composition. The woman’s face, framed by…

Jan van Kessel: Butterflies, Moths and More… (1654)

Often produced as pendants, Jan van Kessel’s detailed depictions of insects, flowers and plants were sought after by collectors. They should be seen in the context of cabinets of curiosities. Van Kessel belonged to a famous dynasty of painters and is indebted in style and technique to his grandfather, Jan Brueghel the Elder, and his uncles,…

Edouard Vuillard: The Pot of Flowers

I love everything about this painting by Edouard Vuillard — color, composition, and especially the texture.  If it is, indeed, a snapshot of his studio, then it must have been a lovely place to paint. Vuillard selected much of his subject matter from the small Paris apartments he shared with his mother. In painting familiar…

Mary Cassatt: Tea (1880)

Cassatt’s paintings often document the social interactions of well-to-do women like herself. The activities they depict—tea drinking, going to the theatre, tending children—fall within the normal routine for Cassatt’s sex and class. Yet the painter’s insistence upon representing such episodes from the modern world (even a sheltered segment of it), her dislike for narrative, and…

Mary Cassatt: The Reader (1877)

  This is one of my favorite paintings of all time — it is perfectly beautiful. Image Credit: By Mary Cassatt – Wikipedia

Barend Cornelis Koekkoek: River landscape with crayfish catchers

Barend Cornelis Koekkoek. 1803-1862 La Haye. Paysage de rivière avec des pêcheurs d’écrevisses. River landscape with crayfish catchers. Dordrecht Museum Le paysage romantique néerlandais The Dutch romantic landscape by jean louis mazieres Click for enlarged image:   Original Image Via Flickr: Barend Cornelis Koekkoek. 1803-1862 La Haye. Paysage de rivière avec des pêcheurs d’écrevisses. River…

Medieval Beaded Necklace

Beads from Frankish necklaces exhibit a stunning variety of patterns, colors, and forms. Though the beads seen here were made in the seventh century, the particular combination in which they were strung together is a creation of the late nineteenth century, when the beads were first found in graves. Quote from the-met-art On view at…