Alright, as my inbox has indicated, y’all have noticed that I’ve been posting a lot less frequently than I usually do. I’m really sorry everyone! But it’s finals at my school and I have to study so I can grow up to be a real life art historian. I’ll be back after Chirstmas!!
Hugs and kisses pals! Happy holidazee~~~~~
8:12 pm • 6 December 2011 • 3 notes
Francisco Goya, Saturn Devouring his Son, 1819-1823
Goya did his haunting series of “Black Paintings” on the walls of his home, after he was partially deaf and after the Napoleonic wars had imbibed in Goya a bleak outlook on humanity. They reflect his fear of insanity and the terror, fear and hysteria that became evident in his twisted paintings. They are painted on black backgrounds, with scary motifs and a lot of mythological references. He was in his seventies when he painted them, having already achieved recognition for his art.
5:31 pm • 3 December 2011 • 163 notes
Francisco Goya, The Third of May 1808, 1814
This dramatic and well known painting documenting the horrors of war and violence is really an affecting composition. Goya sought to commemorate the Spanish resistance to Napoleon’s armies during the occupation of 1808. It was commissioned by the provisional government of Spain, at Goya’s request.
The dramatic lighting, the the emotional content and the presentation of the two sides really have cemented this image as an archetypal painting of the horrors of war. The firing squad faces the victims, a regulated mass full of straight lines against a crumbling, desperate irregularity. The victims are full of emotion, while we cannot see the shooter’s faces.
Kenneth Clark spoke on the painting’s departure from traditional history painting, and the intensity of the work.
With Goya we do not think of the studio or even of the artist at work. We think only of the event. Does this imply that The Third of May is a kind of superior journalism, the record of an incident in which depth of focus is sacrificed to an immediate effect? I am ashamed to say that I once thought so; but the longer I look at this extraordinary picture and at Goya’s other works, the more clearly I recognise that I was mistaken.
5:12 pm • 3 December 2011 • 26 notes
Francisco Goya, La Maja Vestida, 1800
This is the clothed version of La Maja Desnuda, and was exhibited next to it in the same room. It was first owned by Prime Minister Manuel de Godoy, who had it rigged to hang in from of the naked version, such that with the help of a pulley system, could be moved aside to reveal the more voluptuous, tantalizing version beneath.
4:57 pm • 3 December 2011 • 19 notes
Francisco Goya, La Maja Desnuda, 1797
This depiction of a naked woman reclining, thought sometimes to be the first clear image of female pubic hair in a large Western painting, was the subject of a lot of controversy. Part of a series of two paintings, featuring the same woman, with the second painting a clothed image. In 1815, the Spanish Inquisition summoned Goya to reveal the patron, but if Goya ever revealed who it was, the account has never been published.
4:51 pm • 3 December 2011 • 13 notes
Francisco Goya, Charles IV of Spain and His Family, 1800
Done after Goya became the court painter for Charles IV, this ostentatious painting is partially based off of Velazquez’s Las Meninas. As in that composition, it depicts the royal family in a naturalistic and plausible setting, and the painter, Goya, can be seen to the left, looking at the viewer while working on a canvas. This painting however, lacks the warmth of Velazquez’s, and instead projects a more uncomfortable atmosphere. Goya seems to be inviting judgement unto the family with his grim smile.
4:37 pm • 3 December 2011 • 58 notes
Francisco Goya, Adoration of the Name of God, 1772
This church ceiling fresco, painted in the Basílica de Nuestra Señora del Pilar in Zaragoza, was one of the earliest large scale compositions done by Goya. He received the commission after his trip to Italy to pick up the techniques of fresco painting, and he utilized all of his new skills in this stunning mural. A lot of the hallmarks of the Late Baroque Catholic painting style are evident as well, such as the high contrast between light and dark.
The symbol of God the Father, a triangle inscribed with the divine name, dominates the scene. To either side are groups of arranged angels, whose eyes are on the central scene. The scene is so carefully arranged, with various groups spread out over different levels, that the final impression of the scene is rather static, unmoving. This is contrasting to his later, more fluid work.
I have always thought this painting was vaguely dystopian, with the dark color scheme, the emotions and the freaky symbol in the barren, dreamy, landscape.
4:26 pm • 3 December 2011 • 18 notes
Francisco Goya, El Baile de San Antonio de la Florida, 1777
Goya made a series of 63 large tapestry “cartoons” painted for Charles III of Spain and then, after his death, Charles IV. These were made in canvas and then woven into a wool tapestry. Mostly done in a Rococo style and commissioned before Goya was famous, or even known for that matter, they gained popularity due to their prominent placement in the El Pardo palace.
This particular tapestry is very light and happy, of a cute little country scene, a dance. It is very cool to see paintings like this, done very early in Goya’s career, and trace his shift into darker material.
3:32 pm • 3 December 2011 • 14 notes
artisandoflove asked: Great to see a fellow art history blogger. I notice you jump from classical to modern period artists, would love to see your choices for some more obscure, intermediary works. (NOT pre-Raphaelite, please! Tumblr has seen enough!) Goya, perhaps? Or a Decadent? Maybe late Mannerist? I'd like to read your opinions on lesser famous work! Or how about some thematic groupings? I'm doing research right now on the image of melancholy and female subjectivity, and sleep. Looking forward to it!
Wow, that sounds really interesting, and those are some great suggestions! I was planning on doing a day on Goya, maybe I’ll do that today! And as for lesser-known artists, I’d love to do those too, but as this blog is just getting started I figure that I will work my way up to that. Good luck on your research, that sounds fascinating!
2:58 pm • 3 December 2011 • 1 note
laughtillyoucry asked: I saw the post about Magritte's The Lover's I and clicked on the source. Great to find out a McGillian owns the blog! Great to have some real art in Tumblr! Keep up the good work. Cheers!
Thanks, your support means a lot! ^_^
2:17 pm • 2 December 2011 • 1 note
Venus de Milo, 130-100 BCE, Greek
The Venus de Milo is one of the most famous sculptures ever created. Mistakenly attributed to Praxiteles, it was created by Alexandros of Antioch and has often been hailed as the highest standard of beauty ever created in Classical Sculpture. Tons and tons of literature, both contemporary and modern, has been written on this graceful statue. Seductive, even with her notorious lack of arms, the depiction of the goddess of love stands bare, with her thick cloth falling off of her hips. The controppasto (s-curve) of the body is fluid and entrances the viewer.
9:16 pm • 1 December 2011 • 99 notes
Pergamon Altar, 2nd Century BCE, Hellenistic
The Pergamon Altar is built on the a terrace in the acropolis of the ancient city of Pergamon in Asia Minor, a monumental construction built during the reign of King Eumenes II. It is now in whole in the city of Berlin.
This is the perfect example of a type of Hellenistic art called Permagene Baroque, named after it’s city of origin. The sweeping drama of the piece, the flowing drapery and the heightened emotion are all trademarks of the Hellenistic period and the Pergamene Baroque. The base of the temple is decorated with a frieze in high relief, showing an epic battle between the Olympian gods and the Giants, a common theme in Classical sculpture.
Peter Weiss begins his novel, The Aesthetics of Resistance, with a description of the frieze. It is the most significant manifestation of the altar in a literary work.
All around us bodies emerged from the stone, massed together in groups, intertwined or blasted into fragments, their form suggested by a torso, a propped arm, a shattered hip, a corroded bulge, always in the body language of a battle, moving out of the way, springing back, attacking, protecting, extending up into the air or bending down, here and there destroyed, but nevertheless with a lone foot braced forward, a twisted back, the contour of a calf, still engaged in a single, common movement. An enormous struggle rising out from the grey wall, recalling its perfection, sinking back into shapelessness.
8:50 pm • 1 December 2011 • 61 notes
Dying Gaul, 230-220 BCE, Hellenistic
This particular marble is a Roman copy of a lost Hellenistic bronze. The statue represents a dying Celt with an astonishing amount of realism, especially the pain on his face. He is completely nude except the necklace, a mark of a Gallic warrior. The mustache and short hair is also a mark of a Gallic soldier. He lies in agony on his fallen shield. The amount of realism evident in the sculpture inspired a great amount of admiration among the educated classes in the 17th and 18th centuries, becoming a popular sight on the Grand Tour of Europe. Byron wrote about the statue in his poem Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage:
I see before me the gladiator lie
He leans upon his hand—his manly brow
Consents to death, but conquers agony,
And his drooped head sinks gradually low—
And through his side the last drops, ebbing slow
From the red gash, fall heavy, one by one…
3:48 pm • 1 December 2011 • 71 notes
Old Market Woman, marble, ca. 150-100 BCE, Hellenistic
Hellenistic art also liked to focus on depictions of old people. This was pretty different than what had done before, with all those classically ideal bodies of gods and goddesses. In this case, old age is used as a defining characteristic for this woman, and really is not an idealized or sympathetic portrait at all.
3:27 pm • 1 December 2011 • 27 notes
Barberini Faun, Late 3rd-early 2nd Centure BCE, Hellenistic
Sooooooo seductive. No but seriously, it is.
Hellenistic sculpture focused a lot on depicting suffering. The faun in this statue has a very relaxed pose, but a troubled and anxious face, and it has been suggested that the faun is having a nightmare. A Faun is the Roman equivalent of a Greek Satyr, a human-like male woodland spirit with several animal features but human bodies, and they attended Dionysus, the god of wine.
3:10 pm • 1 December 2011 • 54 notes