Wednesday, February 23, 2011

The Morning walk

During Sergeant’s long career, he painted more than 2,000 watercolors, wandering from the English countryside to Venice to the Tyrol, Corfu, the Middle East, Montana, Maine, and Florida.

Each destination obtainable pictorial stimulation and treasure. Even at his leisure time, in escaping the pressures of the portrait studio, he painted with restless intensity, often painting from morning until night.

His hundreds of watercolors of Venice are especially remarkable, many done from the perspective of a gondola. His colors were sometimes extremely stunning and as one reviewer noted, everything is given with the intensity of a dream.

In the Middle East and North Africa Sergeant painted Bedouins, goatherds, and fisherman. In the last decade of his life, he produced many watercolors in Maine, Florida, and in the American West, of fauna, flora, and native peoples.

With his watercolors, Sergeant was able to indulge his earliest artistic inclinations for nature, architecture, exotic peoples, and noble mountain landscapes.

And it is in some of his late works where one senses Sergeant painting most only for himself. His watercolors were executed with a joyful fluidness. He also painted extensively family, friends, gardens, and fountains.

In watercolors, he playfully portrayed his friends and family dressed in Orient list costume, relaxing in brightly lit landscapes that allowed for a more vivid palette and experimental handling than did his commissions.

His first major solo exhibit of watercolor works was at the Car fax Gallery in London in 1905.[68] In 1909, he exhibited eighty-six watercolors in New York City, eighty-three of which were bought by the Brooklyn Museum. Evan Charters wrote in 1927.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Almina Wertheimer's exotic beauty

John Singer Sargent was an American painter, and a leading portrait painter of his era. During his career, he created nearly 900 oil paintings and more than 2,000 watercolors, as well as numerous sketches and charcoal drawings. His work documents worldwide travel, from Venice to the Tyrol, Corfu, the Middle East, Montana, Maine, and Florida.

Sargent painted a sequence of three portraits of Robert Louis Stevenson. The second, Portrait of Robert Louis Stevenson and his Wife (1885), was one of his best known.

Asher Wertheimer, a prosperous Jewish art dealer living in London, commissioned from Sargent a series of a dozen portraits of his family, the artist's biggest commission from a single patron. The paintings reveal a pleasant familiarity between the artist and his subjects. In 1888, Sargent released his portrait of Alice Vanderbilt Sheppard, great-granddaughter of Cornelius Vanderbilt.

By 1900, Sargent was at the height of his fame. Cartoonist Max Beerbohm completed one of his seventeen caricatures of Sargent, making well-known to the public the artist's paunchy physical type. Though only in his forties, Sargent began to travel more and to devote relatively less time to portrait painting.

His An Interior in Venice (1900), a portrait of four members of the Curtis family in their elegant palatial home, Palazzo Barbara, was a resonant success. But, Whistler did not approve of the looseness of Sergeant’s brushwork, which he summed up as "smudge everywhere."

One of Sergeant’s last major portraits in his bravura style was that of Lord Ribblesdale, in 1902, finely attired in an elegant hunting uniform. Between 1900 and 1907, Sargent continued his high productivity, which integrated, in addition to dozens of oil portraits, hundreds of portrait drawings at about $400 each.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Homer Harper's Weekly Paintings

Winslow Homer (February 24, 1836 – September 29, 1910) was an American landscape painter and print maker, best known for his oceanic subjects. He is considered one of the foremost painters in 19th century America and a most excellent figure in American art.

Born in Boston, Massachusetts in 1836, Homer was the second of three sons of Charles Savage Homer and Henrietta Benson Homer, both from long appearance of New England. His mother was a gifted unpaid watercolorists and Homer’s first teacher, and she and her son had a close relationship throughout their lives. Homer took on many of her character, including her quiet, strong-willed, terse, sociable nature; her dry sense of humor; and her artistic talent. Homer had a happy childhood, growing up mostly in the rural Cambridge, Massachusetts. He was an average student, but his art talent was on display early.
After Homer’s high school graduation, his father saw an ad in the newspaper and arranged for an apprenticeship. Homer’s apprenticeship to a Boston commercial lithographer at the age of 19 was a formative but “treadmill experience”. He worked repeatedly on sheet music covers and other commercial work for two years. By 1857, his self-employed career was underway after he turned down an offer to join the staff of Harper's Weekly. “From the time I took my nose off that lithographic stone”, Homer later stated, “I have had no master, and never shall have any.”

Homer’s career as an illustrator lasted nearly twenty years. He contributed to magazines such as Ballou's Pictorial and Harper's Weekly, at a time when the market for illustrations was growing rapidly, and when fads and fashions were changing quickly. His early works, mostly commercial engravings of urban and country social scenes, are characterized by clean outlines, simplified forms, and dramatic contrast of light and dark, and lively shape groupings— qualities that remained important throughout his career.
His quick success was mostly due to this strong understanding of graphic design and also to the adaptability of his designs to wood engraving.

Friday, February 4, 2011

About Portrait Paintings

Portrait painting is a variety of painting, where the intent is to depict the visual appearance of the subject. Beside human beings, animals, pets and even inanimate objects can be chosen as the subject for a portrait. In addition to portrait painting, portraits can also be made in other media such as marble, bronze, ivory, wood, ceramic, etching, lithography, and photography, even video and digital media.

The term 'portrait painting' can also explain the actual painted portrait. Portraitists create their work by commission, for public and private persons, or are inspired by admiration or affection for the subject. Portraits are often important state and family records, as well as remembrances. If an artist portrays him- or herself, the result is called a self-portrait.
Portrait painting can depict the subject 'full length', 'half length', 'head and shoulders', or ‘head’, as well as in profile, "three-quarter view", or "full face", with varying directions of light and shadow.

Occasionally, artists have created portraits with multiple views, as with Sir Anthony van Dyck's  Triple Portrait of Charles I. There are even a few portraits where the front of the subject is not visible at all. Andrew Wyeth's Christina's World (1948) is a famous example, where the pose of the crippled girl with her back turned to the viewer integrates with the setting in which she is placed to convey the artist's interpretation.

Among the other possible variables, the subject can be clothed or nude; indoors or out; standing, seated, reclining; even horse-mounted. Portrait paintings can be of individuals, couples, parents and children, families, or collegial groups.

They can be created in various media including oils, watercolor, pen and ink, pencil, charcoal, pastel, and mixed media. Artists may employ a wide-ranging palette of colors, as with Pierre-Auguste Renoir's On the Terrace (1881) or restrict themselves to mostly white or black, as with Gilbert Stuart's Portrait of George Washington (1796).