February Painting (Winter Series No.1) (1994) by Wilhelmina Barns-Graham.
The end of winter at the Google Art Project and the BBC’s Your Paintings site.
Landscape: A Late February Afternoon (1979) by Steven Outram.
February (above Tan y Foel) III (no date) by Darren Hughes.
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The Merchant Georg Gisze (1532) by Hans Holbein the Younger.
Hans Holbein the Younger’s masterwork, The Ambassadors (1533), was one of the first paintings available for viewing when Google’s Art Project debuted in 2011. Not all the paintings that Google selects warrant the gigapixel treatment but The Ambassadors certainly does, as does this Holbein portrait of German merchant Georg Giese (Georg Gisze as he’s named in the picture) painted the year before. Holbein’s careful scrutiny and meticulous attention to detail give these pictures the appearance of 16th-century photographs. Crowded portraits such as this were intended to be closely studied, and the various objects read by the viewer, but book reproductions don’t always allow the proximity the artist intended. The heraldic crest on the signet ring lying on the table would have been a significant detail but it’s one that’s easy to miss without getting up close.
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Gare d’Orsay, coupe transversale (1898). Plan de Victor Laloux.
The Google Art Project is currently featuring a slideshow history of the Musée d’Orsay in Paris, showing the museum’s evolution from the world’s first all-electric rail terminal to its current status as a major repository of 19th-century art. The Gare d’Orsay was built to bring visitors to the Exposition Universelle of 1900, an event regular readers should be familiar with by now, a connection which only compounds the interest I have in the place. (See this recent post and the links below it for more on the subject.)
Projet A.C.T. Architecture (Renaud Bardon, Pierre Colboc, Jean-Paul Philippon). Coupe perspective générale, Octobre 1979.
In addition to the building being one of the few structures remaining from the exposition, its dishevelled splendour provided Orson Welles with a fantastically evocative (and cheap!) set for his 1962 film of The Trial. It’s surprising to read that people objected to this, believing the spaces to be too large. The disjunction of space in Welles’ film is one of its great strengths, as is the confusion of architectural styles and detail. Much of this was improvisation imposed by necessity—money not being available for the sets that were planned—but it makes the film all the more labyrinthine and disorienting.
Continue reading “Gare d’Orsay to Musée d’Orsay”
Scene of Witchcraft (1510) by Hans Baldung Grien.
Earlier this year Pam Grossman declared 2013 to be the Year of the Witch, so in honour of that (and the season) here’s a handful of sorceresses through the ages. Most can be found in higher quality at the Google Art Project but a couple are from other sources. I’ve taken the liberty of attributing the drawing below to Hans Baldung Grien, not Albrecht Dürer as Google has it. Not only is this the attribution I’ve always seen for this picture but Baldung’s “HBG” monogram is clearly visible beneath the sprawling woman.
New Year’s Greeting with Three Witches (1514) by Hans Baldung Grien.
The Witches’ Sabbath (c.1640–1649) by Salvator Rosa.
Salvator Rosa specialised in lurid depictions of bandits, executions and—as here—witches. The excessive imagery appealed to later generations, especially the Romantics. This painting is even more grotesque than usual with its flayed-bird abominations (below) looming out of the shadows.
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Halloween approaches. Edgar Allan Poe illustrators are legion—some of the better ones appeared here a couple of years ago (see the links below)—but I’d not seen these lithographs by Hugo Steiner-Prag (1880–1945) before. Steiner-Prag was an ideal illustrator for Gustav Meyrink’s The Golem so it’s a pleasure to see him addressing Poe’s poems. All the prints are from a collection at the Google Art Project which includes one of the Golem illustrations plus a set for The Tales of Hoffmann.
Spirits of the Dead.
Continue reading “Hugo Steiner-Prag’s illustrated Poe”