Sunday, October 31, 2010

in honor of halloween :)

No dressing up this year, but at least we carved a that's one quarter of my Halloween completed.  There was a pumpkin carving contest at my dorm, and we just went down to eat pie and harvest pumpkin seeds from a pumpkin...but once we finished carving our pumpkin, what the heck, we may as well enter it into the contest.  And we won.  For most artistic.  HA! (i.e. most "special" because we didn't use a stencil...).

A basic design, consisting of two eyes and a raised eyebrow.  And very large ears.  The ironic pumpkin, I like to say.  But the pumpkin isn't really that ironic.  I just like that word.  Point is, let me present Hugo Rupertson the Elder.

 innards + the planning stages

 A bright future of yummy pumpkin seeds!

 part II complete.

part III, the first ear.

 And another...

Hello Hugo, welcome to this world!!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Charles Le Brun

1619-1690; French painter and art theorist, head of the Academie (and great-uncle-in-law of Elisabeth Vigee Le Brun, in case you were wondering).

I'm not particularly in love with his paintings (history paintings, mostly....), but I do find his studies on how different animal traits could be expressed in the heads/faces of humans rather intriguing.  It's like Animorphs of the seventeenth century (I never actually read any of those books, but I remember seeing them at the library and being fascinated and vaguely repulsed by the pictures on the covers)!

The following physiognomic heads inspired by animals, 1670:


Le Brun also had some very interesting ideas about facial expression and eyebrows.  Descartes, with his ideas on dualism, believed that there is a nodal point between extension and mind - the pineal gland.  Le Brun expanded on this point:

"And as we have said that the gland which is in the middle of the brain is the place where the soul receives the images of the passions, so the eyebrow is the part of the face where the passions are best distinguished, alttough many have thought that it was the eyes."

good bit on Le Brun and French painting - "The Legible Body: Le Brun" in Word and Image: French Painting of the Ancien Regime, by Norman Bryson (Cambridge University Press, 1981).

Thursday, October 28, 2010

hercules and omphale

I know this painting was meant to be a lesson against the pitfalls of love (or something like that), but I'm sorry, it just makes me want to laugh.  (I almost did when the slide came up in art history lecture today).

The expressions and poses are just so funny!

Bartholomeus Spranger - Hercules and Omphale, c.1585

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Las Meninas

Velazquez may not be one of my favorite painters (just a personal preference thing), but his skill!  And the good things that have come out of his painting, Las Meninas (the maids of honor).

Las Meninas, 1656

parallels with Jan Van Eyck's Arnolfini Portrait (1434); reflections in the mirror.

Pablo Picasso created a series of paintings based on Las Meninas in 1957

John Singer Sargent - The Daughters of Edward Darley Boit (1882) - one of my favorites, and quite striking in person :)

advertisement for El Corte Ingles, 2009 (?)  I really like this one!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

love this song :)

can't decide which version i like better....

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Monday, October 18, 2010

cutest music vid :)

i like, but don't particularly love, charlie winston.  but he and audrey tautou are so cute together in this music video :)

Sunday, October 17, 2010

the detail...

Hans Memling - Portraits of Tommaso Portinari and Maria Portinari, 1470

Saturday, October 16, 2010

albrech durer; 3 self-portraits

interesting to see the progression of self-portraiture by albrecht durer, at different stages of his life.

1493, a marriage portrait - given to his fiancee

1498 - after his return from Italy - dressed as a Venetian nobleman.

1500 - an unusual self-portrait for the time, as he is directly facing forward.

for an interesting bit on this, see The Moment of Self-Portraiture in German Renaissance Art, ch 4 - The Artist as Christ by Joseph Leo Koerner (University of Chicago Press, 1993).

on a completely random and unrelated note, i need to stop listening and singing along to "all i want for christmas is you" from the celtic thunder christmas album.  it's such a happy song!  i can't wait for christmas :)

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

age old art history topic of discussion; judith and holofernes

Caravaggio - Judith and Holofernes, 1599

Gentileschi - Judith Slaying Holofernes, c. 1612

Art history class, question of the day - Why Have There Been No Great Women Artists? (article by Linda Nochlin, 1971).

Why, social conventions, to put it simply (she takes about thirty pages to explain this, of course).

But this leads to the curious case of Artemisia Gentileschi, the female painter and her life story, her rape and trial, her paintings...

And why she is/was underrated/forgotten.  Certainly not technical skill, I'm sure.  Perhaps her work doesn't have the same effect as Caravaggio's (and Caravaggio was sadly misunderstood in his time), but it is certainly striking.  Like the expression on Judith's face, and the action involved in the painting.  Pent-up rage.  And a hand pushing down on his head.  Rather than squeamish disgust.  And a creepy old lady in the background.

But I'm probably overspeculating.

On another vaguely related topic, I came across two more depictions of Judith and Holofernes - by Gustav Klimt.  A fascinating artist and interesting interpretation.

Klimt - Judith and Holofernes, 1901-2

Klimt - Judith, 1909

interesting architecture tidbit of the day :)

Monday, October 11, 2010

passing bells and sculpted angels

Pictures from my outing a few weeks ago - Nichols House Museum.

It was quite cheery in that little courtyard in the sun, but I always find those little cupid-like statues (yes, I realize that they are not all actually statues of Cupid, but it's the same sort of kitschy Victorian sort of idea, isn't it?) rather strange/intriguing/sometimes beautiful, sometimes creepy.

I'm having a lot of fun experimenting with the coloring effects on iPhoto.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

baby's head.

three-day weekend...and i'm feeling antsy!  it's like spring fever...but it's autumn.  celtic thunder yesterday, apple pie baking today, and i want to go somewhere tomorrow (so not going to happen...darn essays and studying).

picture from an outing maybe a month ago...
there's two matching, giant heads outside one of the entrances to the mfa.  i only took a picture of one...

Friday, October 8, 2010

birdmobile @ 12.47 am

yesterday my still-incomplete bird-mobile caught my attention when the birds started moving and twirling around.

apparently they had turned on the heat in the dorm, and the vent was blowing air at it.

heat, in october, when it's still warm outside.  really?

Thursday, October 7, 2010

house of mirth

"Goddesses?  Well, I can only say that if they'd been mortals and had to wear corsets, it would have been better for them."

haha, gotta love Gerty Farish.

Dreamers - Albert Joseph Moore

Invocation - Frederick Leighton

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Dolls' Factory Giveaway!

i just entered the dolls' factory giveaway - for a t-shirt by 123 L!

lovely designs -

anybody can enter :)

Monday, October 4, 2010

my favorite vermeers.

So a few weekends ago, I still had time to get distracted long enough on youtube...I finally watched Girl With a Pearl Earring, which I actually really enjoyed.  I think that this may actually be one of the few instances in which I enjoy the movie more than the book.  Besides the fact that I am not particularly enamored with the storyline (although it is interesting enough), the use of light throughout the film is amazing - as if every scene is a painting (something that caught my attention even with the crummy youtube quality of the pictures).  It makes me appreciate Vermeer even more, I think.

The Milkmaid, c. 1658-1661

Woman Holding a Balance, c. 1662-1665

(and, of course...)
Girl With a Pearl Earring, c. 1665-1667

Saturday, October 2, 2010

more cookies + birds

Friday = peanut butter cookie day

I love this recipe - it's been a favorite since I was little, when I got the If You Give a Mouse a Cookie book. The mouse cookbook that came with the actual book is full of lots of yummy recipes!  This peanut butter munchies recipe is by far the easiest - it's not like the others are difficult, but this one has only three ingredients!  Just the important ones, you know.  Peanut butter, sugar, and an egg to hold it all together.  The result is rather peanut-buttery, but hey, that's whole point, right?

Peanut Butter Munchies

1 cup peanut butter
1 cup sugar
1 egg

Combine all ingredients; mix well.  Roll dough into 1-inch balls and drop onto lightly greased cookie sheet.  Bake 10-12 minutes at 350 F, or until golden brown.  Press tines of fork into cookie while still soft.


(this is fork-pressing fail we're seeing here).

(oh peanut butter, i love you so...)

Also just cut out more birds for my bird-mobile.  I'm having some issues with the placement of the strings, though.  I have to make sure it doesn't look too premeditated or anything weird like that.  I think I might cut out some smaller birds, and string them on as well.