It’s not always easy to be the epitome of serenity and piety. Yet, Sumerian ruler Gudea worked hard to portray these qualities. He even immortalized his calm image in stone! Let’s look at this peaceful Statue of Gudea.Read More
Today we’ll focus on the marvelous Hans Memling. This Netherlandish fellow became active in 1465 in Bruges where he was an artistic sensation! He created many altarpieces and portraits for wealthy patrons. Memling’s Portinari portrait is one such notable work. Alongside discussing wealth, status, and religion, I’ll unveil the paintings missing piece, illusions, and oil-aging phenomenon!
Are you intrigued?Read More
Bronzino, a mannerist artist, delighted in creating witty paintings with hidden, complex meanings. Bronzino’s Portrait of a Young Man contains many clues alluding to the young man’s identity, you just have to look closely! So, hone your inner Sherlock Holmes and let’s unmask the youth!Read More
Warning! The reign of Roman Emperor Caligula involves a descent into murder and madness! I don’t know about you but I think it’s time to put Caligula on trial and uncover his many transgressions.Read More
Do you know how the Ancient Greeks dealt with death? Start by looking back to the Geometric period where there’s Hades’ Underworld, elaborate burial rituals, and detailed ancient Greek funerary vases like the terracotta krater!Read More
Brrrrr, winter sure is in full swing! At the very least, Jean Antoine Houdon’s Winter sculpture definitely sets the winter-esque mood. It’s an all in one allegorical and sensual piece that just makes you want to get away from the cold. So, curl up next to a fireplace with a nice cup of hot chocolate and settle in for a discussion about Houdon’s Winter.Read More
Rembrandt is the equivalent of a modern-day selfie connoisseur! As a great 17th century self-portrait artist, Rembrandt’s many artistic ‘selfies’ explore his identity throughout his lifetime. Let’s look behind the camera (or painting for that matter) to find out just why Rembrandt earned the prestigious title of a Selfie King and, while we’re at it, see what his selfie’s can teach us!Read More
If you like someone who challenges tradition and a good scandal, I’d direct you to Édouard Manet who contributed to the modernist art movement despite backlash. Let’s start by looking at one of his more controversial works.Read More
The Italian Renaissance is home to many impressive paintings including Titian’s iconic Venus of Urbino. This sensual work encourages much discussion surrounding classical works, marriage, and female beauty. Let’s see what Titian’s painting has to say!Read More
“A young woman with nonhuman countenance, is carried on a conch shell, wafted to shore by playful zephyrs; and it seems that heaven rejoices in her birth.”-Poliziano
Who is this young woman Poliziano is speaking of? It’s none other than Venus, the beautiful goddess of love! Venus, and other gods and goddesses, are central icons in some Renaissance works especially as scholars and artists alike looked towards the classics. Remember Bronzino’s An Allegory with Venus and Cupid or even Titian’s Bacchus and Ariadne? Those are just a few paintings we’ve touched on that focus on the myths!
I’d like to introduce you to another great painting featuring Venus: Botticelli’s The Birth of Venus! This painting reimagines the very beginning of our favorite love goddess. For inspiration, Botticelli most likely looked towards his friend Poliziano and classical writers Homer and Virgil.
Why don’t we see what Botticelli’s painting has to say about Venus!?Read More