Joshua LaRock, Japanese Garden, Brooklyn, 2010, oil on linen, 22.9 x 30.5 cm.
Marc Chagall, Paris Through the Window, 1913, oil on canvas, 136 × 141.9 cm, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York.
According to the Guggenheim website, Chagall was clearly influenced by the work of Robert Delaunay when painting Paris Through the Window. The layers of coloured geometric shapes across the sky are reminiscent of Delaunay’s 'simultaneous windows' series.
Joan of Arc, 1864, watercolour on board, 53.3 x 57.1 cm, Tate Collection.
Joan of Arc, 1882, oil on wood, 52.7 x 45.7 cm, The Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge.
I love how the shape of this cropped composition frames the arm and head of the French heroine, making her look strong, even in the face of defeat. Concerning the two models, I think it can be safely assumed that the later Joan is based on the plush-lipped Alexa Wilding. However, I am not too sure on the model of the Tate version. Date-wise, it could be Fanny Cornforth, but I personally don’t think the resemblance is quite right. Does anyone know for sure?!
Vincent van Gogh, Roses, 1889, oil on canvas, 33 x 41.3 cm, The National Museum of Western Art, Tokyo.
Federico Zandomeneghi, Promenade, c.1890, oil on canvas, [no dimensions], Private Collection.
Unknown Flemish artist, King Henry VII, 1505, oil on panel, 42.5 x 30.5 cm, National Portrait Gallery, London.
Hans Eworth, Queen Mary I, 1554, oil on panel, 21.6 x 16.9 cm, National Portrait Gallery, London.
As some of you might have seen, I visited the Warner Bros. Harry Potter studio tour in London at the weekend. I promised an art history-related post, and here it is! If you’ve watched the films, you’ll have noticed that paintings are rife in the castle of Hogwarts, particularly along the staircases and in Dumbledore’s office (I’M SUCH A NERD). I’d kind of assumed that most of these portraits were entirely digital, but even the moving ones had to begin somewhere! The tour has a huge collection of the actual paintings taken from the sets, including some of the more famous ones, like the portrait of the Fat Lady. Whilst observing these, I did notice that several of them resembled existing works; the two examples here, for instance. Notice how HP-version of Mary I is holding a wand in her left hand! And according to this, a portrait of Anne Boleyn is known to have been placed near the second floor of the Grand Staircase. Pretty cool!
I’d like to credit my pal Natasha for taking the photos of the portraits as we went round the tour. 50 points to Hufflepuff.
Caspar David Friedrich, Tombs of Ancient Heroes, 1812, oil on canvas, 49.3 x 69.8 cm, Kunstalle Hamburg.
Death and remembrance are common themes in the work of Friedrich. Their presence is usually associated with the artist’s bouts of depression, which occurred throughout his life.
If you happened to be at the Warner Bros. Harry Potter studio tour in London yesterday, then you might have seen a strange group of wizards - and a witch - wandering around and having photos taken with strangers. You might have thought that they were extras, or perhaps that they were part of a publicity stunt organised by the tour itself; but that would be far too logical. No, this was actually just a gang of very enthusiastic, and creative, HP fans that I am lucky enough to know. Or unlucky enough to know, depending on your feelings towards The Chosen One and his pals. Just in case you can’t tell, we have (from left to right, bottom photo): Gilderoy Lockhart - with a handmade copy of ‘Magical Me’ - a generic Weasley brother, Tom Riddle, Harry Potter, Cedric Diggory and Professor McGonagall.
Anyway, I’m aware this isn’t art history related, but I feel like it has to be shared with as many people as possible. I will be posting something ‘arty’ about the trip soon though! Promise.
The Kessler Family on Horseback, 1931, gouache on paper, 50 x 66.9 cm, Tate Collection.
The Kessler Family on Horseback, 1932, oil on canvas, 219.5 x 267.3 cm, Tate Collection.
This is Mr and Mrs Kessler, their five daughters, and their horses. Dufy stayed with the family in their English country home in order to paint this equestrian portrait.
Winifred Nicholson, Recollect, 1973, oil on canvas, 49.5 x 74.3 cm, Tate Collection.
Childe Hassam, A Back Road, 1884, oil on canvas, 78.8 x 62.8 cm, Brooklyn Museum, New York.
Frederick Sandys, Medea, 1866-68, oil on panel, 61 x 46 cm, Birmingham Museums & Art Gallery.
Eugène Delacroix, Medea, 1838, oil on canvas, 260 × 165 cm, Palais des Beaux-Arts, Lille.
Evelyn De Morgan, Medea, 1889, oil on canvas, 148 x 88 cm, Williamson Art Gallery, Birkenhead.
This afternoon, my mum and I are going to see Medea - featuring the wonderful Helen ‘Narcissa Malfoy’ McCrory! - at the National Theatre in London. I thought it would be fitting to post a little something about the crazed-protagonist from Euripides’ Greek tragedy, who featured prominently in 19th-century European art. Medea was the wife of the hero Jason - of ‘and the Argonauts’ fame - and with him, she had five children. But after hearing that Jason was planning to leave his family, Medea sought vengeance. She poisoned Jason’s new lover Glauce, before murdering two of her own sons, Tisander and Alcimenes, who are both depicted in Delacroix’s painting. I can’t wait to see Ben Power and Carrie Cracknell’s modern take on this tragic tale; McCrory should be fantastic as the revenge-obsessed Medea, too!
Andrée Howard, Study for Scene 5 of Mirror for Witches: A Prison Cage, 1952, mixed media on paper, 26.8 x 39 cm, V&A Museum, London.
This is a scene from Andrée Howard’s ballet Mirror for Witches - a story based on a fictional book by Esther Forbes about the 17th-century American witch hunts - in which the character Doll Bilby is hallucinating in prison. The ballet was produced by the Sadler’s Wells Ballet, and premiered on 4th March 1952 at Covent Garden’s Royal Opera House.
Odilon Redon, Pandora, c.1914, oil on canvas, 143.5 x 62.2 cm, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.
Redon depicts the mythical beauty Pandora surrounded by brightly coloured flowers on a hazy, pastel background. She is shown holding her most famous attribute: a box that, when opened, will release all known evils to torment the human race.