Category Archives: Art History/Antiquity/Anthropology

static cling of classicism

Lack of investment in motion. No, not a financial term referring to the money trails and the velocity of cash but the problem in classical composition of human forms being as static as the natural and architectural forms that are … Continue reading

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stigmata of contradiction

Putting the world in order in just the opposite way. That is, instead of simplifying, the material the world offers to that artist, the opposite effect occurs and we have a multiplication of detail. That is the case of Van … Continue reading

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fracturing the bow

In spite of distortion, objects in an expressionistic painting are still recognizable. However, in abstraction, objects tend to lose their identity as objects and take on an existence as pure form. An example is George Braque’s “Musical Forms” which is … Continue reading

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it’s an ordered world: plane enjoyment

The essential element in any classical composition is order. Although, all composition is order in one form or another, in classical composition order is associated with the idea of repose and possibly can exist for itself alone as an exercise, … Continue reading

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family affairs

Particular circumstances of individual relationships in all their psychological subtleties fascinated a young Frenchman who painted a family group about 1860 when he was not even thirty years old. But at that age Edgar Degas was already an urbane cosmopolite. … Continue reading

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composing with the “conversation piece”

As a solution to the problem of composition and context, “The Night Watch” by Rembrandt was a brilliant consolidation of a given number of figures into a group portrait and, under the conditions of this particular assignment, seems to have … Continue reading

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The Night Shift

A misunderstood picture? … The figures in the picture are awarded varying degrees of prominence. The fact that some of them had all but disappeared, obscured through coats of yellowed varnish and layers of dirt, helped give rise to the … Continue reading

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all together now

Group portraits represent one of the most vexing problems a painter is ever required to resolve requiring as it may, expressive ingenities that defy standard compositional devices… In a group portrait each member must be awarded their proportionate measure of … Continue reading

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daumier: love and merciless

Honore Daumier made his living as a cartoonist. His paintings were known to few during his lifetime. But, upon his death a syndicate acquired them and made a tidy killing on the proceeds. Daumier did about five thousand cartoons, though … Continue reading

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print collecting in the arcade

Art of the fantastic or visionary art. Generally at best a tenuous relationship with the world we know and must depend upon associations of the most personal and inward kind. Our response to visions and dreams hinges on these connection, … Continue reading

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