Monday, January 31, 2011


Master Ermengaut, November, Acorn Harvest. Escorial, Monastery of San Lorenzo, Library.

A bestiary is a scientific and educational collection of writings about animals. Bestiaries were very fashionable in the West. Thanks to them, the naturalistic knowledge from antiquity was disseminated. The bestiaries were primarily used as collections of exempla, which were referred to during sermons. As the same time they reflect those elements of the fantastic and the supernatural in the early medieval imagination, which had first appeared in the so-called libri monstruorum during the early Middle Ages. The animals which occur so often in medieval art are derived from a variety of sources and traditions - in the bible alone nearly one hundred and fifty animals are mentioned. These may have derived partly from the bestiaries, but are ultimately all related to the same cultural heritage. (Riccardo Belcari and Giulia Marrucchi)

Monday, June 7, 2010

A Smidge of Hopper's Ledger

Few documents testify so insistently to an intimate relationship between a husband and wife as the Hopper ledgers. They present another aspect of the marriage of Edward Hopper and Josephine Nivison Hopper, a marriage on its way to becoming legendary. Edward Hopper died in 1967, his wife the following year. She bequeathed to the Whitney Museum a trove of paintings (including her own), documents, drawings, and memorabilia. In ten months of her widowhood, she edited the surviving material, which after her death may have suffered further losses before it found its permanent home. A generous woman, she acknowledged the long-term support of the Whitney's their direction, Lloyd Goodrich, by leaving him the four ledgers, which record in detail almost every painting and etching made, exhibited, and sold throughout Edward Hopper's long career. (Brian O'Doherty)
From the Book, Edward Hopper: A Journal of His Work. Deborah Lyons. 1997, Whitney Museum of American Art.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

William Blake

When the Morning Stars Sang Together (1823) - William Blake.

William Blake (1757-1827) was a gifted engraver... here is one of my favorite pieces.
Blake invented a method of relief printing from metal plates, and ways of obtaining many colors simultaneously that only recently has been equalled.
This particular plate has been selected as one of the best of Blake. "When the morning stars sang together," one page from The Book of Job illustrated by Blake, reveals the sweep of his admittedly complex and obscure but wedded to the realities of his time - a breadth of vision moving beyond the theme of conflict between Good and Evil. (Jules Heller)

Friday, May 21, 2010

Illustration, 1902. From a Novissima annual, Milan 1902. Lithograph, 12 x 26 cm.

Antonio Rizzi
Born 1869 in Cremona Italy, Died 1941, Florence.
Italian painter and graphic artist. Rizzi was professor of graphic art at the Academy in Perugia and a contributor to the Munich periodical Jugend. His work has a general resemblance to Munich Art Nouveau, in particular the work of Franz von Stuck. As a painter, he produced historical and genre paintings, portraits and sets. (Gabriele Fahr-Becker)

Tuesday, May 4, 2010


Applying the asphaltum to the matrix.

Asphaltum: A stop-out varnish employed in the intaglio process when long bites are required. Usually mixed with turpentine or benzine for better control. Also one of the ingredients in hard ground. Also employed in lithography by some printmakers in preference to tusche. Called bitumen in older texts. (Jules Heller)

Friday, April 23, 2010

Coming Soon...

Hall of Doges, Davenport Hotel, Spokane.

I'm planning a comeback! Starting next week, I will attempt to post at least 2 to 3 times a week. It's been too long away from art history and I'm excited to bring some fun stuff from the bookshelves :)

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Alice Schille

Horse Race, Siena, 1901-10. Watercolor, 9 x 11". Courtesy Perry Nicole Fine Art, Memphis, Tennessee.
Trafalgar Square, London (night), 1909-10. Pastel and watercolor, 12 x 9". Private collection
Nice, 1909-10. Pastel and Watercolor. 10 x 7". Private collection
Alice Schille (1869-1955) was born in Columbus Ohio, and studied in New York and Paris and was influenced by progressive art movements. She was a world traveller, painting throughout the US, Europe, North Africa and Latin America. Her medium of choice was watercolor but she also worked in oils. Her subject matter included still lifes, landscapes, gardens, mothers and children, market and harbor scenes. Her paintings of the working class Jewish and Italian neighborhoods on the Lower East Side are some of the most exciting watercolors ever rendered of urban life in New York.
Schille's work evolved from Tonalist naturalism, through Impressionism and Post-Impressionism (including Pointillism) to include the influence of Fauvism as well as an exploration of the faceting of the Cubist methodology. Her later work also reveals the influence of Rivera and the Mexican muralists. (William H. Gerdts)