Loren Mozley (1928)
Oil on canvas
"An artist’s creative decisions shape the portraits they paint. Andrew Dasburg began this painting as a portrait of a ranch worker in Taos, New Mexico. When the worker moved away, Dasburg asked his former student Loren Mozley to model. Mozley remembered posing in front of a quilt, but Dasburg ultimately decided to paint him before a simple, gray backdrop. Mozley’s checkered jacket stands out because of this choice. Its pattern likely interested the artist who included similar abstract arrangements in other paintings."
Penitent Saint Jerome in Landscape (1525-1530)
Master of the Female Half-Lengths
Flemish (Antwerp), active 1520s-1530s
Oil on wood panel
"The Master of the Female Half-Lengths is a name given to an as yet unidentified artist who worked in Antwerp and Bruges and specialized in paintings of half-length female figures. A number of landscapes have been attributed to him, including this panel. This type of panoramic landscape with jagged rocks and small figures engaged in varied activities was intended to evoke the harmony between man and the wonders of nature. Landscapes at this time were considered works of mere imitation, requiring little imaginative power, so their status was usually enhanced by endowing them with a religious subject, in this case the Penitent Saint Jerome."
The Vengeance of Hop-Frog (1898)
"James Ensor used theatrical metaphors to critique the inhumanity of the world around him. In this print, he illustrates a scene from "Hop-Frog," a short story by Edgar Allan Poe. In Poe's story, Hop-Frog (a dwarf court jester so named because his physical deformity prevented him from walking upright) avenges the mistreatment that he and fellow dwarf Trippetta have suffered at the hands of the king and his entourage. Hop-Frog convinces the royal band to wear orangutan costumes, chains them together like wild beasts and leads them into a grand masquerade ball, where they gleefully terrify the guests. As seen here, in a shocking act of retribution, he hoists them to the ceiling, climbs up to "discover" their identities and "accidentally" sets them afire with his torch."
Europa and the Bull, ca. 1645
Bernardo Cavallino and follower (Johann Heinrich Schönfeld? 1609-1683)
Italian, 1616-ca. 1656
Oil on canvas
"The Latin poet Ovid, in his Metamorphoses, tells a tale of the god Jupiter, who fell in love with Europa, daughter of the Phoenician King Agenor. Jupiter, by disguising himself as a bull, succeeded in persuading Europa to climb upon his back and carried her off to the island of Crete. Like many Neapolitan artists of his generation, Cavallino was influenced by Caravaggio, who had worked in Naples, an influence apparent in the dramatic contrasts of light and shade that add drama and anticipation to this scene. There is an elfin quality to the two principal figures here, typical of Cavallino's intense but piquant style. The coarser figures in the background, however, were probably added by an assistant."
View of Lake Garda
Oil on canvas
"Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot was one of the leading French landscape painters of the 1800s. During repeated trips to Italy between the 1820s and 1840s, he dedicated himself to painting and sketching from nature. Later in life, when he preferred to work in his Parisian studio, Corot relied on these sketches for inspiration or painted landscapes from memory. In this painting, a boatman and a contadina (Italian peasant woman) lounge on the banks of Lake Garda, a site that Corot had visited three decades earlier."
Plan B (2010)
Oil on linen
“My work is inspired by a love of paint and the fiction of painting. A strong belief in the personal visual experience is reinforced by my travels and everyday living; an integration of art and life. Familiar shapes are not recognized but create ideas or metaphors. Imagery is assembled, layered and veiled to offer multiple meanings. Abstraction enables the freedom of invention. An array of graphic figuration is referenced, including: water, air and locations. these are shapes and rhythms where man-made forms merge with aerial views and reflections. It is the juxtaposition of these components which create an invented space and visual metaphor of how our culture and physical landscape has changed and continues to advance.
Understanding a constructed mysterious illusion is realized through the paint. Imagery is created through a balance of representation and abstraction, then moments of connection and disconnection appear. Using bold flat color placed adjacent to natural light and shadow, a collision of perspectives and invented spaces are instinctively discovered. It’s an uncertain territory, where a man-made place has landscape roots and respects the beauty of nature. They are landscapes with a vague familiarity of nature that hardly exists. There are no answers, only questions of the changes confronting us.
I work in a studio, in a private way, but in relation to my world experience. I use my hands and get dirty to understand the physicality of the paint. Color needs light but can also be a pleasure. It is messy thinking and graphic imagery is a way to simplify the ideas.
Reality shapes my imagination and optimistically, my imagination shapes a painted reality.” — Barbara Grad
Venice, the Grand Canal with the Doge’s Palace, 1889
Oil on canvas
In the late 19th century, Venice was heralded as a refuge from modernity, and Thomas Moran's paintings of the legendary Italian city reinforced this perception. Moran's Venice, the Grand Canal with the Doge's Palace shows famous buildings along the Grand Canal bathed in a romantic, atmospheric glow. Fanciful boats, gondolas and figures dressed in historical costumes contribute exotic details. Moran, who first visited Venice in 1886, created this and related scenes from memory with the aid of studies.
Moran followed a long line of artists who painted Venice, including English painter J. M. W. Turner, whose feathery brushwork and poetic treatment of light exerted great influence on the American.