While at the Metropolitan Museum of Art a few weeks ago, a small religious diptych from 18th-century Ethiopia caught my eye. The Ethiopians have one of the oldest Christian traditions in the world. They have also produced many wonderful icons.
I love the American artist John Singer Sargent (1856-1925), and I have wanted to write an Art That Inspires Me post about him for a while. However, there are just so many things that inspire me about Sargent, and I struggled to pick a few to focus on. This is my all-time favorite Sargent painting. It depicts Lady (Gertrude) Agnew of Locknaw, the wife of a Scottish nobleman.
I just love the work of Florine Stettheimer! It's fun, colorful, and completely unique. I'm always so happy when I spot one of her paintings at a museum. Because I enjoy Florine's work so much, I wrote an article about her for DailyArt Magazine. Give it a read to learn about her one-of-a-kind life and work.
I recently enjoyed an art exhibition at my local library. I saw many wonderful works there, but I noticed that the majority of the pieces I was drawn to were still lives. So I started to think about why that is. Back in the days of the European and American artistic academies, still life was considered the least prestigious of the painting genres, but it's one of my personal favorites.
This installment of Art That Inspires Me features a Japanese Buddhist statue that appeared on a poster sent to me by the Yale University Art Gallery.
El Anatsui (b. 1944) is a Nigerian artist who creates beautiful, tapestry-like works out of found materials like bottle caps and scrap metal. I've been lucky enough to see his work at a few different museums.
I don't think it will come as a surprise to anyone that Thomas Cole's work is on my list of art that inspires me. To talk about why I love Cole's work in general, I would probably have to write a whole book, so I'm going to focus on one particular painting that I recently saw for the first time. It's called A Snow Squall, and it was painted in 1825.
Continuing with my earlier theme of art that inspires me, here is another example from the ancient world. During Egypt's Roman period (c. 30 BCE - 330 CE), many beautiful portraits were made in and around the area of Faiyum. They were mummy portraits, which means that they were attached to mummy wrappings to cover the mummy's head.
One type of art I've always loved is ancient Cycladic figurines. These little marble figures have been found on the Aegean islands of the Cyclades and were created in ancient times. They depict human figures and can be found in most major museums.