Paintings can be divided into three categories: those he painted by himself, those he painted in part (mainly hands and faces), and those he only supervised. He had, as was usual at the time, a large workshop with many apprentices and students, some of whom, such as Anthony van Dyck, became famous in their own right. He also often sub-contracted elements such as animals or still-life in large compositions to specialists such as Frans Snyders, or other artists such as Jacob Jordaens.More info →
In 1629, he went to live in Italy for a year and a half. Though his first Italian visit is recognized as a crucial chapter in the development of Velázquez's style – and in the history of Spanish Royal Patronage, since Philip IV sponsored his trip – we know rather little about the details and specifics: what the painter saw, whom he met, how he was perceived and what innovations he hoped to introduce into his painting. It is canonical to divide the artistic career of Velázquez by his two visits to Italy, with his second grouping of works following the first visit and his third grouping following the second visit. This somewhat arbitrary division may be accepted though it will not always apply, because, as is usual in the case of many painters, his styles at times overlap each other. Velázquez rarely signed his pictures, and the royal archives give the dates of only his most important works. Internal evidence and history pertaining to his portraits supply the rest to a certain extent.
During the last twenty-six years of his life (1550–1576) the artist worked mainly for Philip II and as a portrait-painter. He became more self-critical, an insatiable perfectionist, keeping some pictures in his studio for ten years, never wearying of returning to them and retouching them, constantly adding new expressions at once more refined, concise, and subtle. He also finished off many copies of earlier works of his by his pupils, giving rise to many problems of attribution and priority among versions of his works, which were also very widely copied and faked outside his studio, during his lifetime and afterwards.More info →
In 1481, Pope Sixtus IV summoned Botticelli and other prominent Florentine and Umbrian artists to fresco the walls of the Sistine Chapel. The iconological program was the supremacy of the Papacy. Sandro's contribution included the Temptations of Christ, the Punishment of the Rebels and Trial of Moses. He returned to Florence, and "being of a sophistical turn of mind, he there wrote a commentary on a portion of Dante and illustrated the Inferno which he printed, spending much time over it, and this abstention from work led to serious disorders in his living." Thus Vasari characterized the first printed Dante (1481) with Botticelli's decorations; he could not imagine that the new art of printing might occupy an artist.More info →
Permit me in the first place to anticipate the disappointment of any student who opens this book with the idea of finding "wrinkles" on how to draw faces, trees, clouds, or what not, short cuts to excellence in drawing, or any of the tricks so popular with the drawing masters of our grandmothers and still dearly loved by a large number of people. No good can come of such methods, for there are no short cuts to excellence. But help of a very practical kind it is the aim of the following pages to give; although it may be necessary to make a greater call upon the intelligence of the student than these Victorian methods attempted.More info →
IN this little book I have undertaken to lay before the reader the fruits of the labor of twenty-five years. As soon as I could understand and appreciate the splendors of the Grand Masters of painting, I had begun to form a determination to discover the technical principles, methods, and material that enabled the Masters to produce their work.More info →
IT is much easier to understand and remember a thing when a reason is given for it, than when we are merely shown how to do it without being told why it is so done; for in the latter case, instead of being assisted by reason, our real help in all study, we have to rely upon memory or our power of imitation, and to do simply as we are told without thinking about it. The consequence is that at the very first difficulty we are left to flounder about in the dark, or to remain inactive till the master comes to our assistance.
Now in this book it is proposed to enlist the reasoning faculty from the very first: to let one problem grow out of another and to be dependent on the foregoing, as in geometry, and so to explain each thing we do that there shall be no doubt in the mind as to the correctness of the proceeding. The student will thus gain the power of finding out any new problem for himself, and will therefore acquire a true knowledge of perspective.
George Adolphus Storey
THE present universal interest in the subject of historic art and the indications that very soon it will hold equal importance our school curriculums with those of general history and literature, are sufficient excuse for the making of a new book which treats of the world's painters and paintings.
It is hoped that the volume will be of especial usefulness to young students of the subject, to whom it has been carefully adapted, as well as to the general reader.
The excellence of the following Treatise is so well known to all in any tolerable degree conversant with the Art of Painting, that it would be almost superfluous to say any thing respecting it, were it not that it here appears under the form of a new translation, of which fome account may be expected.
Of the original Work, which is in reality a selection from the voluminous manuscript collections of the Author, both in Solio and Quarto, of all such passages as related to Painting, no edition appeared in print till 1651.More info →
WHAT thoughtful man has not been perplexed by problems relating to art?
An estimable and charming Russian lady I knew, felt the charm of the music and ritual of the services of the Russo-Greek Church so strongly that she wished the peasants, in whom she was interested, to retain their blind faith, though she herself disbelieved the church doctrines.More info →