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Who are your favorite painters, and why?

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Which painters of fine art, past or present, are your favorites?

My favorite so far is John William Waterhouse. I enjoy his style as well as the beautiful and romantic subjects of his paintings.

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The example in my post above was Hylas and the Nymphs, 1896

Here are more examples of Waterhouse's work:

Juliet, 1898

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Detail from Saint Cecilia, 1895

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A Mermaid, 1901

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There are so many painters whose work I love, but one who all too frequently is unjustly bashed, is Salvador Dali. Dali's style and technique is extraordinary, a celebration of the clear, crisp facts of reality. It is unfortunate that much of his work carries so little in message, but two exceptions and favorites of mine are:

The Crucixion

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Saint Jacques le Grand

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There are so many painters whose work I love, but one who all too frequently is unjustly bashed, is Salvador Dali.

Stephen,

FYI if you have not heard, the Philadelphia Museum of Art just opened an exhibit (through May 15) of over 200 of Dali's works. They note that PMA is the only American venue to host this Dali centennial retrospective. http://www.philamuseum.org/exhibitions/exhibits/dali/sp_ex/

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I would have to say my two favorite painters right now are Quent Cordair and Bryan Larsen.  Their works can be found at the Cordair Fine Art Gallery.  http://www.cordair.com/index.htm

I also enjoy the work of both Quent Cordair and Bryan Larsen. My favorite artist featured at the Cordair Gallery is Damon Denys.

His An Awakening Mind is just incredible.

You can also see his work here and here.

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I would have to say my two favorite painters right now are Quent Cordair and Bryan Larsen.  Their works can be found at the Cordair Fine Art Gallery.  http://www.cordair.com/index.htm

I also really like Quent Cordair and Bryan Larsen. I'm becoming quite fond of Robert Tracy, though, as well.

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In 2003, the Met had a fascinating exhibit entitled "Manet/Valasquez: The French Taste for Spanish Painting" which traced the influence of earlier Spanish painters on later French artists, including a group of Americans who trained in France.

http://www.metmuseum.org/special/se_event....9-00902786BF44}

Among the outstanding works in this exhibit were several by the American John Singer Sargent. After seeing his work there, I added him to my list of favorites.

Sargent lived at the end of the 19th and early 20th centuries. Although he experimented with a variety of styles and subjects throughout his prolific career, he is generally thought of as an American Impressionist and as a portraitist.

What I find interesting about the best of his work is his uncanny ability to see beneath the surface of his subjects into the essence of their character and to then make his subjects live beyond the surface of the canvas.

His most famous (and notorious) work is "Madame X." In the 1880's it caused quite a scandal. It is now part of the Met’s permanent collection. http://www.jssgallery.org/Paintings/Madame_X.htm

At the exhibit, the curators paired it with another portrait of a leading light of French society, Dr. Samuel Jean Pozzi. To see these two larger-than-life portraits juxtaposed was an awesome experience! http://www.jssgallery.org/Paintings/Dr_Sam...zzi_at_Home.htm

(Who was Madame X? A recent, very interesting book entitled "Strapless" identifies who she was, tells her story, and explains the events surrounding the scandal. http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/158...4660153-8665424

If you are interested in learning more about Sargent, this is a good place to start: http://www.jssgallery.org/Thumbnails/Sarge...tings_Index.htm

Also, in the past few years, a definitive catalogue raissone of his work has appeard in several volumes and is very well done. http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/030...4660153-8665424

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(Who was Madame X?  A recent, very interesting book entitled "Strapless" identifies who she was, tells her story, and explains the events surrounding the scandal. http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/158...4660153-8665424

Your parenthetical is fascinating: "...featuring a cast of characters including Oscar Wilde and Richard Wagner, Strapless is an enthralling tale of art and celebrity, obsession and betrayal." Sounds like a movie in the making.

And, thanks for the earlier info on the Dali exhibit. I am on the other side of the coast now and enjoy sticking close to home, so I will have to miss it. But Betsy would love to go, if for nothing else than again having a real Philly steak sandwich!

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Wouldn't it have been great to have a first-rate painter at the peak of the Enlightenment whose work could provide a window to that time? For that reason, Joseph Wright of Derby is one of my top favorites. Here is a good starting point for learning more about him. His most famous works capture the birth of science and of the industrial revolution.

From this article:

"The two major works of this period were, to give their full titles, "A Philosopher Giving that Lecture on the Orrery in which a Lamp is put in place of the Sun" (1766), and "An Experiment on a Bird in the Air Pump" (1768). They represent a complex combination of art, science and philosophy and owe much to the Wright's circle of friends who included members of an important provincial group of philosophers, scientists and engineers, collectively known as the "Lunar Society" - a title derived from their custom of meeting monthly on the Monday nearest the full moon. They demonstrated experiments and discussed the latest developments in chemistry, medicine, electricity, gases and industrial topics.

Among the members famous today were Josiah Wedgewood, the ceramics manufacturer; James Watt, developer of the steam engine; Joseph Priestly, chemist; and Dr Erasmus Darwin, grandfather of the evolutionist Charles Darwin. The interests of the Society represented a microcosm of the European movement of the 'Enlightment' which, during the 17th and 18th centuries, radically transformed man's view of himself, in relation to his place in the universal order, and to God, through developments in intellectual, philosophical, religious and scientific thought and related literature."

Among contemporary painters, I'm quite impressed by Bryan Larsen and Han Wu Shen (both featured at the Cordair gallery). Stylistically, both are superb realists. Larsen's topics (like my favorite of his, "Heroes") are either directly inspired by Ayn Rand or celebrate compatible values. (As an engineer, I really relate to "Heroes.") Han Wu Shen is a superb master of the brush. I'm in awe of his skill at depicting beautiful women.

I like many of the Pre-Raphaelites, including Waterhouse and Alma-Tadema. I also like William Bougereau, particularly his Nymphs and Satyrs. Many of these paintings project a sensual, benevolent world of pleasure without pain, fear, or guilt.

I also like (ok, this is getting to be a long list...) Jacques-Louis David and others of the Neo-Classical school, for their revivial of classical (Greco-Roman) inspiration.

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I love Michelangelo, for his grandeur;

Maxfield Parrish, for the clarity, brilliance, and joyousness of his universe; and

Caspar David Friedrich, the great German Romantic painter (1774-1840), for the way he stylizes nature. I didn't attend Mary Ann Sures' 1960s course on esthetics in New York City,* but I do have the brochure from it, and in several lectures she referred to Friedrich as embodying "the conceptual style of art." Most of his works are highly stylized landscapes, with religious motifs.

I'll try to attach a couple of paintings of his (I'm not sure if it'll work):

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* On the one occasion in the summer of 1968 when friends and I visited NBI in New York (missing Ayn Rand's lecture on esthetics by just one week :angry: ), we did see a wonderful lecture/slide show by Mary Ann Sures, on which her "Metaphysics in Marble" article in The Objectivist was based. That article is the best analysis of the visual arts I've ever come across.

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I love Michelangelo, for his grandeur;

Maxfield Parrish, for the clarity, brilliance, and joyousness of his universe [...]

I also enjoy Maxfield Parrish. What is your favorite work of his?

Mine is Ecstasy:

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Bill:

I have "Friedrich, The Traveler" hanging over my bed (with the Declaration of Independence and "La Belle Dame Sans Merci")

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Bill:

I have "Friedrich, The Traveler" hanging over my bed (with the Declaration of Independence and "La Belle Dame Sans Merci")

I apologize. Friedrich is the painter. "The Traveler" is the painting. It wasn't very clear on the print, and I bought it some time ago at a poster store. I never thought to look up the artist. :angry:

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Bill:

I have "Friedrich, The Traveler" hanging over my bed (with the Declaration of Independence and "La Belle Dame Sans Merci")

Is your La Belle Dame Sans Merci by Dicksee, Waterhouse, or perhaps another artist?

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My favorite Maxfield Parrish work is "Daybreak":

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By the way, the titles of the 2 Friedrich canvases in my earlier post are: "Monastery Graveyard" and "Wanderer above the Sea of Fog."

The former is my #1 favorite by any artist; every line is carefully calculated to create an effect of order and precision. Unfortunately the original was destroyed in the bombing of Berlin in 1945. For decades I only knew it by black and white photos, but a couple of years ago I found the color photo I shared with you.

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Is your La Belle Dame Sans Merci by Dicksee, Waterhouse, or perhaps another artist?

It is by Dicksee.

By the way, the titles of the 2 Friedrich canvases in my earlier post are: "Monastery Graveyard" and "Wanderer above the Sea of Fog."

That's strange...the poster I have of the wanderer says that its title is "The Traveler." Is is called both, or is that a misprint?

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That's strange...the poster I have of the wanderer says that its title is "The Traveler."  Is it called both, or is that a misprint?

Artists often do not name all their own works. Suppose, throughout your career, you paint 100 different still lifes of flowers. Are you going to name each one individually? An artist may paint 2 or more versions of the same subject: for instance, the London and the Paris versions of Leonardo da Vinci's "Virgin of the Rocks." Often a title is assigned by a museum curator. And it may be a generic title, such as "Landscape," or "Still Life," or "Nude."

This can be a cause of confusion. There are I think almost a dozen "Sunflowers" by Van Gogh, and several "Crucifixions" by Rembrandt. Some artists, such as Alma-Tadema, number each of their works on the rear of the canvas, which certainly makes future scholarship easier.

The first book I ever saw it in, called the Friedrich painting in question "Journey Above the Clouds." The most usual title I've seen in English is "Wanderer Above the Sea of Fog." I've just looked it up in Helmut Borsch-Supan's Caspar David Friedrich (1974). He is perhaps the foremost Friedrich scholar in the world, and has authored a complete catalog of the artist's works. He (or rather, his translater) calls it "Traveller Looking Over the Sea of Fog." The only German-language title I've found on the web, is "Wanderer uber dem Nebelmeer," for which "Wanderer Above the Sea of Fog" is an exact translation. [The u in uber is a u umlaut, so it may often be spelled ue when diacritical marks are not available.]

Your question has aroused my curiosity, so I just did a Google search for "Caspar David Friedrich" + Nebelmeer. I've found that the Kunsthalle in Hamburg, which acquired the painting in 1970, calls it "Wanderer uber dem Nebelmeer":

http://www.hamburger-kunsthalle.de/seiten/cdf.htm

Most likely that title was chosen either by the curator of the Hamburg Kunsthalle, or by a former owner of the painting. If Friedrich called it something else in his writings or by labelling it on the rear of the canvas, that title of course should be regarded as authoritative. Since various titles do exist, however, it seems unlikely that Friedrich named it himself.

So: choose either "Traveller" or "Wanderer," either one will do!

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Artists often do not name all their own works.  Suppose, throughout your career, you paint 100 different still lifes of flowers.  Are you going to name each one individually?  An artist may paint 2 or more versions of the same subject: for instance, the London and the Paris versions of Leonardo da Vinci's "Virgin of the Rocks."  Often a title is assigned by a museum curator.  And it may be a generic title, such as "Landscape," or "Still Life," or "Nude."

This can be a cause of confusion.  There are I think almost a dozen "Sunflowers" by Van Gogh, and several "Crucifixions" by Rembrandt.  Some artists, such as Alma-Tadema, number each of their works on the rear of the canvas, which certainly makes future scholarship easier.

The first book I ever saw it in, called the Friedrich painting in question "Journey Above the Clouds."    The most usual title I've seen in English is "Wanderer Above the Sea of Fog."  I've just looked it up in Helmut Borsch-Supan's Caspar David Friedrich (1974).  He is perhaps the foremost Friedrich scholar in the world, and has authored a complete catalog of the artist's works.  He (or rather, his translater) calls it "Traveller Looking Over the Sea of Fog."  The only German-language title I've found on the web,  is "Wanderer uber dem Nebelmeer,"  for which "Wanderer Above the Sea of Fog" is an exact translation.  [The u in uber is a u umlaut, so it may often be spelled ue when diacritical marks are not available.]

Your question has aroused my curiosity, so I just did a Google search for "Caspar David Friedrich" + Nebelmeer.  I've found that the Kunsthalle in Hamburg, which acquired the painting in 1970, calls it "Wanderer uber dem Nebelmeer":

http://www.hamburger-kunsthalle.de/seiten/cdf.htm

Most likely that title was chosen either by the curator of the Hamburg Kunsthalle, or by a former owner of the painting.  If Friedrich called it something else in his writings or by labelling it on the rear of the canvas, that title of course should be regarded as authoritative.  Since various titles do exist, however, it seems unlikely that Friedrich named it himself.

So: choose either "Traveller" or "Wanderer," either one will do!

Very informative. Thanks!

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There are so many painters whose work I love, but one who all too frequently is unjustly bashed, is Salvador Dali.

I wholeheartedly agree! Dali's style is exactly what I am looking for in art. As much as many romantic artists are good, I can't abide their "fuzzy" styles.

If only he had subject matter that wasn't so darn freaky. :o

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It is good to see so many who enjoy the same kind of art as I do.

For you Maxfield Parrish-lovers in the group, the Nevada Museum of Art in Reno Nevada is going to hold a Maxfield Parrish show. I believe it opens the last couple of days in April 2005. We're planning to attend the opening.

For Sargent-lovers the Portland (Oregon) Art Museum is going to host a Sargent show. Unfortunately, I don't believe it will be until 2006. Also, for Sargent-lovers, I could hardly do better than recommend a book by Carter Ratcliff. I believe it came out in the early 1980. It is called, not too surprisingly, _Sargent_.

Also, the Portland (Oregon) Art Museum is just starting a show of the Pre-Raphaelites. I don't know if they are going to display any Waterhouses (who I really don't feel is a Pre-Raphaelite, but he is often lumped in with them) , but I'll let the group know if they do.

I think there is a website out there that has a lot of Waterhouse work.

One of my favorite sculptors is Daniel Chester French. He's one of those whose work is well-known, even if he isn't. He did The Minute Man, of course, and the Lincoln in the Lincoln Memorial. I recommend a visit to his house and studio in western Massachusetts. It is near Norman Rockwell Museum, so they're enjoyable to take in together. Chesterwood, the French estate, houses the little-known masterpiece Andromeda.

Jesse F. Knight

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Which painters of fine art, past or present, are your favorites?

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My favorite artist is Tamara de Lempicka. Her use of color is powerful but not overwhelming. My favorite painting by her is the Girl With Gloves.

While I am a fan of the art deco period, I prefer to surround myself in romanticism and love Pre-Raphaelite artists, particularly Waterhouse. My favorite Waterhouse painting is The Soul of a Rose.

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For you Maxfield Parrish-lovers in the group, the Nevada Museum of Art in Reno Nevada is going to hold a Maxfield Parrish show.  I believe it opens the last couple of days in April 2005.  We're planning to attend the opening.

Thank you so much for mentioning this. This should be quite a show, with some 70 Maxfield Parrish works, including some huge murals rarely seen before. I tracked down the exhibit and apparently Reno is the west-coast premiere of a tour traveling through the United States in 2005-2006. The tour is sponsored by the Trust for Museum Exhibitions, and here is the tour itinerary.

The exhibition will be in San Diego (much closer to me than Reno), July 16 to September 11, 2005. Unfortunately for attendees of the summer Objectivist conference in San Diego, the tour starts two days after the conference ends. For myself, I will mark the San Diego exhibition on my calendar. Thanks again for mentioning this.

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