I just finished reading a book that told a wild, but true story about a work of art. Laura Cumming's The Vanishing Velasquez: A 19th-Century Bookseller's Obsession with a Lost Masterpiece tells the story of an English bookseller who believed that he owned a lost masterpiece by Spanish artist Diego Velasquez. It ends with a huge, still-unsolved mystery.
The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts is located in Richmond, Virginia. Its highlights include the McGlothlin collection of American art, the Gans collection of English silver, and works by Faberge.
If you enjoy the works of J.M.W. Turner (as I do) and want to know more about him, I suggest reading Franny Moyle's Turner: The Extraordinary Life & Momentous Times of J.M.W. Turner (New York: Penguin Press, 2016). It's a detailed and comprehensive book about Turner's life, art, personality, and career. This post is about some of the things I learned from the book.
We often talk about genres of paintings the way we might talk about genres of movies or books. But then we also talk about genre painting being one of those genres. That might be confusing, so it's important to understand the difference.
Before synthetic colors, it was important to choose your paints wisely. Some artists, like J.M.W. Turner, didn't always do this, and their paintings discolored quickly.
A few words about Victoria Finlay's Color: A Natural History of the Palette. Finlay travelled all across the world to research historical sources of color pigments. Her book is full of surprising and sometimes alarming facts.
I saw this spectacular little oil sketch at the Newark Museum, and I instantly fell in love. So, when DailyArt Magazine asked me to pick an artwork for Painting of the Week, the choice was clear.
History painting was an important genre in 18th and 19th-century European art. The term is used all the time, but doesn't simply refer to paintings of history. Learn about the characteristics of a history paint and why all the most ambitious artists wanted to pursue it.
Please read my article for DailyArt Magazine about Thomas Gainsborough's portraits of his two daughters.
Roman historian Pliny the Elder tells a humorous story about two artists trying to outdo each other with their illusionistic paintings.