Landscape with Rainbow, 1859, by Robert S. Duncanson (American, 1821–1872). Oil on canvas, 27 18 x 22 14 in. (68.9 x 56.5 cm.), Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, D.C. About the painting. See more paintings by Duncanson (one of the Hudson River School's "Notable artists")including the very different Vulture and Its Prey (1844), also in the Smithsonian's collection.
About the Artist As a self-taught biracial painter descended from freed slaves (his grandfather may have gained freedom through service in the revolutionary war), Duncanson nonetheless achieved great success and international recognition even before the Civil War. Although he had close ties with the abolitionists of his day, he did not focus on racially fraught subjects in his art. His vision instead was in harmony with nature. When urged by his son to deal with contemporary racial concerns in his work, he responded: "I have no color on the brain; all I have on the brain is paint." * "Celebrating the Hudson River School's African American Painter, Robert S. Duncanson," David Levine, Hudson Valley [Magazine], January 19, 2015. * "Robert S. Duncanson" SAAM (Smithsonian American Art Museum). * "Duncanson, Robert (1821-1872)," Johnson Collection, Spartanburg, SC. * Entry on Duncanson under Hudson River School in Grove Art Online [scroll down to Duncanson; to read his entire bio you must either have a paid account or sign in through your academic institution or public library]. * Race and Racism in Nineteenth-Century Art: The Ascendency of Robert Duncanson, Edward Bannister, and Edmonia Lewis, by Naurice Frank Woods Jr. (University Press of Mississippi, 2021). - L.T.
The Blizzard, by Joseph Farquharson (Scottish, 1846-1935). Oil on canvas, approx. 24 x 20 in. (61 x 51 cm), date and collection unknown. This solitary figure of a child appears again, trailing behind her mother and younger siblings, in another painting (title, date, dimensions, and collection unknown) by the artist. See numerous other works in "Joseph Farquharson: Victorian Landscape Painter." Note especially Dawn (1903), Farquharson's stunning image of an egret taking flight over a luminous body of water.
Betsy James Wyeth (1921-2020) // Lincoln's Love of Music // Review: The Weight of Ink (a novel) // Articles by M.M.K in Academic Questions // M.M.K interviews // and more!
Remembering Randall Dipert - The Editors"LUDWIG VAN B"
Happy Holidays! What a year --triple oy! Am writing this on the 250th birthday of Ludwig van B. Focusing on the miracle of such creativity is a good antidote for all the hardships.
Indeed it is--which is why, this winter, the following may be especially welcome:
*"How Young America Came to Love Beethoven," Nora McGreevy, Smithsonian Magazine, December 16, 2020.
WORTH READING & LISTENING TO
* "A Great Deaf Bear," James Wood, London Review of Books, January 2021. Though mainly a British literary critic and scholar, Wood was educated at Durham Chorister School and Eton College on music scholarships, as noted in his Wikipedia bio. (For the "listening part" of "A Great Deaf Bear," scroll down to the video link of Daniel Barenboim at the piano.)
WORTH LISTENING TO
* Beethoven, Symphony No. 9 in D Minor, op. 125 [Wikipedia], Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Riccardo Muti, Music Director, 2015 (be sure to click on the "Full screen" icon!). The thousands of comments, replies, and "likes" that follow the link attest to "Ludwig van B's" enduring worldwide popularity and relevance.
View at Lucerne, 1847, Felix Mendelssohn (German, 1809-1847). Watercolor,
dimensions unknown, collection unknown. Pictured are Lake Lucerne, Switzerland, and the Church of St. Leodegar in the city of Lucerne.
* "Mendelssohn the Artist," Mendelssohn in Scotland, n.d. As this article notes, Mendelssohn was "as near to being a 'Renaissance Man' as any figure from history, musical or otherwise."
* "Felix Mendelssohn: Art Works" (article), Library of Congress, n.d. - "The development of Mendelssohn's musical and compositional skills parallels that of another aspect of his creativity: his skills in drawing and painting, which, like music, became a means of expression on which he relied throughout his life."
* The Mendelssohn Project. Devoted to the life and work of Felix Mendelssohn and Fanny Mendelssohn Hensel (1805-1847) --- Felix's older sister, who was "one of the best, yet unknown, composers of the 19th century."
A MENDELSSOHN MUSIC SAMPLER
* "Mendelssohn - A Beginners Guide," The Classic Review, November 7, 2018.
* Violin Concerto in E Minor , Op. 64 [about] [more ] - performed by Nathan Milstein (1903-1992), video, audio (with Bruno Walter and the New York Philharmonic); performed by Hilary Hahn (b. 1979), video (with Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra), audio (with the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra).
ARISTOS AWARD [About]
John Borstlap (Dutch Composer, Author)
NOTES & COMMENTS
Pandemic inspiration // New book by M.M.K. // Michelangelo's mind // Young classical musicians // Data visualization as "Art" // Musical genius // and more . . .
BOOKS: Borstlap's Gauntlet: Challenging the Musical Avant-Garde" (review of John Borstlap, The Classical Revolution: Thoughts on New Music in the 21st Century, rev. ed., 2017) - Frank Cooper
WORTH LISTENING TO
* Fanny, Felix, and Frank: Fanny Mendelssohn's 3 Songs Without Words, YouTube [16:35], Dmitry Ablogin, pianist, followed by illustrated commentary on Fanny & Felix by Frank Cooper (voice over, at 12:25)
* "Maestro's Choice - Jaap van Zweden Discusses John Borstlap," YouTube [3:15]. Dutch conductor van Zweden [more ] talks with Borstlap (at the piano) before the 2016 world premiere of the composer's Solemn Night Music, by van Zweden with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra.
* Joachim Raff, Piano Concerto in C Minor [YouTube, 33:04], Frank Cooper, pianist, Zsolt Deaky, conductor, Nuremberg Symphony Orchestra. [Raff: The Essential Reference/ List of compositions]
Effect of Snow at Giverny (Effet de Neige à Giverny), 1893, Claude Monet (French, 1840-1926). Oil on canvas, 25 3/4 x 36 1/2 in. (65.4 x 92.7 cm.) Private collection. "Did You Know Monet Painted More than 100 Snow Scenes?" (scroll down for an "alcohol-optional" cocktail recipe [!] and more on Monet). "Monet in the Snow: Painting the Cold Season" (scroll down to end for closing comments).
Lake Nemi (near Rome), 1872, by George Inness, American, 1825–1894, one of our finest landscape painters. Oil on canvas, 29 3/4 x 44 7/8 in. (75.56 x 113.98 cm.), Museum of Fine Arts, Boston [about the painting]. Metropolitan Museum of Art biographical essay and images/information on works by Inness in the Met’s collection. View superb images of 342 of his works at The Athenaeum .
Spring: Kitchen Gardens, 1893, Alexei Kondratyevich Savrasov (Russian, 1830-1897). Oil on canvas (dimensions unknown), Perm State Art Gallery, Perm, Russia. View superb images of 252 paintings by Savrasov on The Athenaeum website.
According to the online magazine theartwolf.com, "Savrasov was one of the most important--arguably the most important--of all the 19th-century Russian landscape painters, considered the creator of the 'lyrical landscape style.'" From what we have seen online, he may be among the greatest of all landscape painters of that century.
Winter Landscape with Church, c. 1811, by Caspar
Friedrich (German, 1774-1840). Oil on canvas, 12.8 x 17.72 in. (32.5 x 45 cm), National Gallery (U.K.). View superb images
of 196 paintings by Friedrich at The Athenaeum. Friedrich combined landscape motifs with religious symbolism, and this picture represents the hope of salvation through the Christian faith. In the foreground a crippled man has abandoned his crutches and
sits against a rock with
his hands raised in prayer before a crucifix. The rocks and evergreen trees may be interpreted as symbols of faith, and the visionary Gothic cathedral emerging from the mist evokes the promise of life after death. -- National Gallery [further
NOTES & COMMENTS
Winslow Homer and photography // Andy Warhol redux // Upholding standards in art education
Autumn on the Seine at Argenteuil, 1873, by Claude Monet (French,
1840-1926). Oil on canvas, approx. 21 3/8 x 28 7/8 in. (54.36 x 73.15 cm), High Museum of Art, Atlanta, Georgia [Autumn HMA page].
As is well known, Monet was one of the founders of Impressionism in painting. Think you know his work? You don't. Not, that is, until you have skimmed the 1,339 images of his paintings at the Athenaeum. He is said to have completed more than 2,500 in all--mostly oils, but also pastels and drawings (the exact number is unknown, as he destroyed some and others were lost).
On Delacroix, and Liberty Leading the People (his most famous and much-loved painting--which, regrettably, is not in the current exhibition):
* HuffPost's light-hearted guide to pronouncing his name and other "pesky monikers" in art history.
* "July 28. Liberty Leading the People [July 28, 1830]," cited in note 1 of the painting's Wikipedia article, provides an authoritative account of how Delacroix came to make the painting, as well as a detailed discussion of its content, including Liberty herself and key figures following her in battle.
Not What Congress Envisioned for Arts Education - Michelle Marder Kamhi
EXHIBITION: Lifelong Devotion to Drawing (brief review of Delacroix exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art) - M.M.K.
WORTH READING: "Bringing Realism to the Heroic in 'The Sculpture of Augustus Saint-Gaudens,'" Cate McQuaid, Boston Globe, April 6, 2018. Saint-Gaudens bio (Wikipedia). Metropolitan Museum of Art: Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History. Superb images of 17 works ( The Athenaeum).
NOTES & COMMENTS
Landmark Michelangelo exhibition // Neglected female playwright // Maestro Toscanini // and more . . .
IN BRIEF: Don't Mess with a Classic (on The Red Shoes ballet and film) - Michelle Marder Kamhi & Louis Torres
Adirondack Lake, by Winslow Homer (American, 1836-1910).
Watercolor over graphite pencil on paper, 14 x 20 in. (35.6 x 50.8 cm), Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.
As noted in "Andrew Wyeth Picks 20 Great American Watercolorists" (Maria Woodie, Artist Daily weblog, July 12, 2017), Winslow Homer--whose watercolors Wyeth first saw in his studio in Maine--was an early source of inspiration for him. The largest collection of Wyeth's watercolors is that of the Greenville County Museum of Art in Greenville, South Carolina.
Superb images of 563 of Homer's paintings in various media, sorted by year completed, are on The Athenaeum website. See watercolors (scroll down). The section on oil paintings begins on page 4 (scroll down).
Summer Day, by Hans Dahl (Norwegian, 1849-1937). Date and dimensions unknown, private collection. The Athenaeum: 93 paintings, sorted by year completed in ascending order (some attributed to Dahl were actually made by his son, Hans Andreas Dahl [1881-1919], whose work was virtually indistinguishable from his own; whenever possible, note the signature).
NOTES & COMMENTS
G. Washington portrait medals // An ivory gazelle // Disappointing Dunkirk film // Artworld icon Robert Rauschenberg Misconstrued // and more . . .
Art Education or Miseducation? From Koons to Herring - Michelle Marder Kamhi
IN BRIEF: George Anthony Morton: An Artist against All Odds - Louis Torres
EXHIBITION: The Art of Henry James: Kinship between Literature and Visual Art - M. M. Kamhi
BEST OF THE PRINT ARISTOS
Revaluing the Liberal Arts," (Aristos, June 1994).With study of the liberal arts under increasing attack in academia (see "The Liberal Arts at War), it is worth recalling this brief article by us on the subject.
"Frank Capra's America and Ours," by John Marini, Imprimis, March 2015. On the legendary director of such classic films as Mr. Deeds Goes to Town (1936), Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939), and Meet John Doe (1941).
The Swamp [enlarged], 1885, Konstantin Kryzhitsky (Ukrainian-born Russian, 1858-1911). Oil on canvas. Nikolaev Art Museum [scroll down] [more ], Ukraine. Weblog post (with images of some two dozen paintings), including a touching reference to Kryzhitsky's tragic death by suicide. The Athenaeum: 65 works, sorted by year completed, in ascending order.
NOTES & COMMENTS
Kamhi's Who Says That's Art? recommended by art educators // Da Vinci Initiative promotes classic art skills in K-12 education // Epoch Times's favorable coverage of Classical Realist art // Sculptor Camille Claudel emerges from Rodin's shadow // Botticelli and contemporary self-portrait exhibitions (see CURRENT NEWS) // And more. . . .
A Cognitive Theory that Challenges Institutional Definitions of Art - Michelle Marder Kamhi and Emmanuel Antwi
LETTERS - About our note on Julian Onderdonk (1882-1922), American Impressionist painter - Dan Karlan
The Magpie*(La Pie) [enlarged ] [the bird] [about] [photo: a magpie ], 1869, Claude Monet (French, 1840-1926). Oil on canvas, 35 in. x 51 in. (89 cm x 130 cm). Musée d'Orsay, Paris. [The Athenaeum: 1,290 works by Monet]. Impression, Sunrise (1872) [about].
NOTES & COMMENTS
Marivaux at the Frick // Julian Onderdonk (1882-1922), American Impressionist // About CURRENT NEWS
EXHIBITION: Charlotte Brontë in Word and Image at the Morgan - Michelle Marder Kamhi
WORTH READING & LISTENING
Stradivarius Violins: (1)"The Brilliance of a Stradivari Violin Might Rest Within Its Wood," Steph Yin, New York Times, December 20, 2016. "For hundreds of years, the best violin players have almost unanimously said they prefer a Stradivari or a Guarneri instrument. Why nobody has been able to replicate that sound remains one of the most enduring mysteries of instrument building." (2) Antonio Stradivari, 1644-1737; Guarneri, family name: 17th and 18th centuries. (3) Who Are the Musicians Playing a Stradivarius?" See and hear them play on instruments that they exclusively use (one is Yo Yo Ma, on cello). A few explain why. Cmuse, August 5, 2015.
Washington Crossing the Delaware [enlarged image: click on details to zoom in], 1851, Emanuel Leutze (German American, 1816-1868). Oil on canvas, approx. 12 ft. x 21 ft. (378.5 cm × 647.7 cm). Metropolitan Museum of Art, Gallery 760. Smaller version*[more], approx. 3 ft. x 6 ft., Minnesota Marine Art Museum, Winona, Minn.ARISTOS AWARDS
NOTES & COMMENTS
Who Says That's Art at annual art ed conference // Update on forthcoming Torres book Trust Betrayed // Richard F. Lack: Catalogue Raisonné // and much more . . .
The Interminable Monopoly of the Avant-Garde - Louis Torres
Chapter 9 of After the Avant-Gardes: Reflections on the Future of the Fine Arts, edited by Elizabeth Millán (Open Court, 2016). [See introductory note at bottom of page 215 before reading essay. Suggestion: print notes.]
Ayn Rand's Theory of Art: "Original" and "Inspiring" Says Academic Philosopher - Louis Torres & Michelle Marder Kamhi
Rand's Romantic Manifesto on "What Is Art?" reading list published by American Society for Aesthetics.
Washington Crossing the Delaware: Select Links to Online Sources - L.T.
On Emanuel Leutze's monumental painting and the event that inspired it.
Misusing Art for Political (and Financial) Ends - M.M.K.
The Pearl Theatre Company's exploitation of Ionesco's play Rhinoceros.
Ice Floes, 1893, Claude Monet (French, 1840-1926). Oil on canvas, 26 x 39 1/2 in. (66 x 100.3 cm.), Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City. "The prolonged freeze and heavy snowfalls in the winter of 1892-93 inspired Monet to capture their effects on the Seine in a series of paintings" [more]. See also Break-up of the Ice on the Seine, near Bennecourt, 1893. Illustrated bio of Monet.
NOTES & COMMENTS
Exhibition: Paintings by Lauren Sansaricq and Erik Koeppel, two young artists inspired by the Hudson River School // Best Sites: The Athenaeum, for viewing art // Is photography art? // M.M.K on the "Mattress Girl as "artist" // L.T. on a young "artist" who made it big // Vigée Le Brun (1755-1842), a little-known but brilliant painter // and more. . .
Harriet Whitney Frishmuth: A Compendium - compiled by Louis Torres
Picasso's Sculpture: Much Ado about Very Little - Michelle Marder Kamhi
BEST OF ARISTOS: THE PRINT YEARS
"Harriet Whitney Frishmuth: Lyric Sculptor" (June 1984) - Beatrice Gilman Proske
WORTH READING AND VIEWING
Exhibition catalogue [full text] for The Boston School Tradition: Truth, Beauty and Timeless Craft, Vose Galleries, June 6 - July 18, 2015 (including "The Bostonians and Their Boston School," an essay by independent scholar and curator, Trevor J. Fairbrother).
NOTES & COMMENTS
Best Sites: Essential Vermeer--all that is known, and then some // Exhibitions galore: on Hellenistic bronzes; on Dance in art; on Art inspired by winter . . . and more.
"Vermeer as Scientist," Claudia Swan, Times Literary Supplement, January 6, 2016 (review of Eye of the Beholder: Johannes Vermeer, Antoni van Leeuwenhoek, and the Reinvention of Seeing, by Laura J. Snyder). Related: Our review of the Essential Vermeer website in Notes & Comments.
Sleigh Ride, c. 1890, Winslow Homer (American, 1836-1910). Oil on canvas, 14.1 x 20.1 in. (35.7 x 51 cm.), Clark Art Institute, Williamstown, Mass. Acquired by Sterling and Francine Clark, 1944. According to the Clark, "This small, unsigned canvas remained in Homer's studio until his death and was perhaps never intended to be exhibited in public" [emphasis ours; more ]. Winslow Homer: Bio / Paintings (540!)
NOTES & COMMENTS
Oliver Sacks, R.I.P. // James Gardner on painter Thomas Hart Benton // Essays by Aristos co-editors in new book // Blood and gore in new film of MacBeth // On P.D.Q., "the last and least offspring" of J.S. Bach // and much more . . .
Wyeth Country: Past, Present, and Future - Michelle Marder Kamhi. About a visit to Chadds Ford, Pa., home to three generations of Wyeths--with a caveat regarding avant-garde intrusions abetted by the related Brandywine River Museum of Art. For Further Reading and Viewing - Louis Torres
John Singer Sargent: Previously Unplumbed Depths - M.M.K.
On Sargent: Portraits of Artists and Friends at the Met.
+ For Further Reading and Viewing - L.T.
On Catesby Leigh's Objections to the 9/11 Memorial -L.T.
Letter to First Things praising Leigh's assessment (see "Worth Reading" below), while noting a surprising omission.
The Classical Tradition, Alive and Well in Long Island City - The Editors
On a modest off-the-beaten track gallery, devoted to Classical Realist art.
"A Memorial to Forget" by Catesby Leigh (First Things, November 2014). A provocative essay on the 9/11 Memorial by one of America's foremost architecture and art critics. See "In Brief" item above.
May Pastoral, 1907. Willard Leroy Metcalf (1858-1925). Oil on canvas, 36 x 39 in. (91.44 x 99.06 cm). Private collection. [The Athenaeum - for viewing images of Metcalf's other work, enlarged and without annotations, preferably on Firefox ].
The Black Brook (also known as The Brook), c. 1908. John Singer Sargent (1856-1925). Oil on canvas, 21-3/4 x 27-1/2 in. (55.25 x 69.85 cm.) Tate Britain. [The Athenaeum - best for viewing images of Sargent's work, enlarged and without annotations, preferably on Firefox .] [JSS Virtual Gallery - very informative and broad in scope, often from a personal perspective.]
NOTES & COMMENTS
Winslow Homer's Birthday // High praise for movie Mr. Turner by art critic Christopher "Do whatever it takes" Knight // Two other critics find scrutinizing Cubism an "arduous task" // Retiring Gardner Museum director's shameless legacy // What one noted choreographer is reading (surprise!) // Shakespeare in Brooklyn, sans accent // and more. . . .
George F. Will, Columnist, Washington Post
NOTES & COMMENTS
Movie Review: Mr. Turner // New Kamhi Website and Weblog // Don't Ask Wikipedia! (a cautionary tale) // Alchemies and Illuminations (a poetry collection // What Makes a Poem a Poem? // and more. . . .
A.C. Douglas, Independent Music/Culture Weblogger
Anna Hyatt Huntington: A Compendium - Louis Torres
On the life and work of this important twentieth-century sculptor.
POETRY: "A Belief in Alchemy" - Richard
By a contemporary American poet.
May Day, 1960, Watercolor, Andrew Wyeth (1917-2009). Private Collection. Other version: May Day, 1960, dry brush on white paper, 12 3/4 x 29 inches. See catalogue entry in Andrew Wyeth: Dry Brush and Pencil Drawings, a loan exhibition organized by the Fogg Art Museum (Harvard University), 1963. See also Aristos Facebook post of May 1, 2014.
Portrait of Anna Vaughn Hyatt [Anna Hyatt Huntington], 1915, Marion Boyd Allen (1862-1941). Collection Maier Museum of Art at Randolph College, Lynchburg, Virginia. The sculptor is depicted working on a model of her Joan of Arc. Huntington's Joan of Arc in Riverside Park, New York City.