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Évariste Carpentier’s evolving art 2
By the end of the 1880s, the Belgian painter Évariste Carpentier (1845–1922) was painting Naturalist works inspired by Jules Bastien-Lepage, showing rural deprivation. Évariste Carpentier (1845–1922), After Work (c 1890), oil on canvas, 90 x 130 cm, Private collection. Wikimedia Commons. During the 1890s, with Naturalism more generally on... Read more
More Than Portraits: 9, the revolutionary paintings of Diego Velázquez
Over the last couple of months, I have been exploring the life and paintings of Diego Velázquez beyond the many portraits for which he is usually most famous. In this concluding article to that series, I pick seven of his paintings which I think were revolutionary. 1, early bodegone... Read more
Landscape oil sketches from Valenciennes to Pissarro
Yesterday, I commemorated here the anniversary of the death of the landscape painter who made plein air oil sketching a part of standard practice, so paving the way for the transformations which occurred in the nineteenth century and after – Pierre-Henri de Valenciennes (1750–1819). This article looks at his... Read more
The only Austrian Impressionist: Theodor von Hörmann
Impressionism reached across the whole world, as far as Japan and Australia, but I can’t think of many Austrian Impressionists. One of the few – perhaps the only one – was Theodor von Hörmann von Hörbach (1840–1895). He didn’t paint seriously until quite late in life: he served his... Read more
More Than Portraits: the paintings of Diego Velazquez 3 The challenge of narrative
When Diego Velázquez was appointed a Painter Royal to King Philip IV in October 1623, he became the most junior of a group of artists of varied status and influence. Among the most senior was Vicente Carducho, who had been painting religious and narrative works for the court for... Read more
Truth in (landscape) painting 3
Paul Cézanne has been repeatedly described as the ‘father’ of several of the major movements in painting which dominated its development in the twentieth century. Whether you particularly like his landscape works or not, he was a great influence and repays careful study. Over his 40 years or so... Read more
Truth in (landscape) painting 4
Cézanne’s final style, featuring his characteristic ‘constructive stroke’ with patches of colour built from groups of parallel brushstrokes, came to dominate his oil paintings by the mid-1890s. It is this style which has been claimed as laying the foundations for Cubism and abstraction. As I have pointed out, such... Read more
Favourite Paintings 2: Albrecht Dürer, The Willow Mill, 1498 or after 1506
Albrecht Dürer, The Willow Mill, 1498 or after 1506, watercolour, bodycolour, pen and ink on paper, 25.3 x 36.7 cm. Bibliothèque Nationale, Dept des Estampes et de la Photographie, Paris (WikiArt). This watercolour landscape would not look out of place alongside the works of Turner and other masters 300... Read more
Favourite Paintings 5: Pierre-Henri de Valenciennes and Thomas Jones, Plein Air, c 1782
Two modest and simple landscapes, some of the first painted outdoors or ‘plein air’ using oil paints, which paved the way for Constable, Turner, and the Impressionists. Pierre-Henri de Valenciennes, (Title not known) (c 1783), oil on paper laid on canvas, c 18 x 28 cm, Musée du Louvre,... Read more
Favourite Paintings 5: Pierre-Henri de Valenciennes and Thomas Jones, Plein Air, c 1782
Two modest and simple landscapes, some of the first painted outdoors or ‘plein air’ using oil paints, which paved the way for Constable, Turner, and the Impressionists. Pierre-Henri de Valenciennes, (Title not known) (c 1783), oil on paper laid on canvas, c 18 x 28 cm, Musée du Louvre,... Read more