Saturday, July 14, 2018

Who was Ashurbanipal? – The British Museum Blog

Who was Ashurbanipal? – The British Museum Blog: Frederick Arthur Bridgman (1847–1928), The Diversion of an Assyrian King. Oil on canvas, 1878.



As part of his military training, the young crown prince was taught to drive chariots, ride cavalry horses, and develop skills such as archery. He also learnt how to hunt lions. In Assyria lion hunting was a royal ‘sport’. Although this perhaps seems cruel to modern eyes, killing lions represented the king’s ability to protect his nation against all that was wild and dangerous in the world.

C.P. Cavafy: The Horses of Achilles – A New Translation by Kathleen Vail – THE SHIELD OF ACHILLES

Automedon with the Horses of Achilles, Henri Regnault, 1868
C.P. Cavafy: The Horses of Achilles – A New Translation by Kathleen Vail – THE SHIELD OF ACHILLES: Stepping into a legendary scene unfolding in Homer’s Iliad, C. P. Cavafy sheds new light on the angst that drives the horses of Achilles to tears…Continue reading



Artistic Reconstruction and Original Translation From Homer's "Iliad" by Kathleen Vail

Thursday, July 12, 2018

01 Paintings, The amorous game, Part 19 - With Footnotes

Taeil Kim, South Korea
Waiting
Oil on Canvas.
20 H x 16 W x 0.7 in

Taeil Kim begins his art by thinking, "how will I observe and re-create the figure?" Influenced by his observations of peoples' daily interactions with nature, he is able to create moving and unique portraits. Kim is heavily influenced by the work of such masters as Rembrandt and 19th Century Impressionism. These influences are reflected in the expressive brushwork and heavy use of Chiaroscuro he employs to add drama and depth to his paintings. The result is a beautiful and cohesive body of work. Kim received his MFA in Fine Art, Illustration from the Academy of Art University in 2012. More on Taeil Kim


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01 Paintings, PORTRAIT OF A LADY, of the 18th & 19th C., with Footnotes. #39

Cesare Dell'Acqua, 1821-1905, ITALIAN
AN OTTOMAN BEAUTY
Oil on panel
92.5 by 71cm., 36½ by 28in.
Private collector

While the sitter's dress and the gueridon table are quintessentially Turkish, in her left hand she appears to be holding a Jiajing or Wanli wucai decorated jarlet and cover, of the style produced in the sixteenth or seventeenth centuries. While covered jars of this type were originally produced as tea caddies, here it has been used to contain incense. The Chinese origins of the pot are a subtle reminder of the Silk Road which connected China with the Mediterranean through trade. More on this painting

Many of the concubines and odalisques of the Imperial harem were reputed to be among the most beautiful of women in the Ottoman Empire. Young girls of extraordinary beauty were sent to the sultan's court, often as gifts from the governors. Numerous harem women were Circassians, Georgians, and Abkhasians. They were usually bought from slave markets after being kidnapped or else sold by impoverished parents. Many Georgian and Circassian families encouraged their daughters to enter concubinage through slavery, as that promised to be a life of luxury and comfort. More on OTTOMAN WOMEN

Cesare dell' Acqua (22 July 1821 in Piran – 16 February 1905 in Brussels) was an Italian painter known for historical works.

He was born in Piran near Trieste. He first studied in Koper, but by 1833 he had relocated to Trieste. From 1842-47 he attended the Venice Academy of Fine Arts. One of his early historical paintings, The Meeting of Cimabue and the Young Giotto (1847) was acquired by the Archduke Johann of Austria. After this, he began to receive commmissions from noble families, including that of Prince von Lichtenstein.

In around 1848, he moved to Brussels where his brother Eugène, and where he began to specialize in works representing historical events. Between 1852-77 he completed a number of commissioned works in Trieste that established his reputation as a painter. In Brussels, he exhibited with strong responses and received commissions from prominent families. He also painted two works for the Greek Orthodox Church of Trieste; The Sermon of John in the Dessert which was so highly acclaimed that he was awarded town citizenship in 1851.

In 1873 Dell'Acqua participated at Universal Exhibition in Vienna and also exhibited in London the following year. This resulted in international commissions for his work. At the end of his career, he settled in Brussels, where he completed numerous paintings for use as book illustrations. In addition to historical themes, Dell' Acqua also painted many female subjects dressed in traditional Greek and oriental costume. More on Cesare dell' Acqua




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Glimpses of Aleppo in an Exile’s Vision of an Elegant, Eerie Realm

Installation view of The Space Between by Mahmoud Merjan (image courtesy Galerie Tanit and Kevork Mourad)

BEIRUT — When artist Kevork Mourad thinks of his childhood in Aleppo, Syria he talks of the road he walked to reach the church attended by his family, in the city’s old quarter. The buildings lining the way, he recalls, crowded above one’s head in an indistinguishable tangle: synagogues, Roman Catholic churches, and mosques. “All these things are on top of each other, built like a puzzle,” he says. His destination was an old Armenian Orthodox church. “There was one stone that people would go and kiss. This stone was MELTED,” he says. “From kissing, melted! Amazing. Lips can melt stone.” More of this article


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Wednesday, July 4, 2018

01 Paintings, The amorous game, Part 16 - With Footnotes

Lawrence Alma-Tadema, (1836–1912) 
In the Tepidarium, c. 1881
Oil on canvas
24.2 × 33 cm (9.5 × 13 in)
Lady Lever Art Gallery, Port Sunlight Village, United Kingdom

The tepidarium was the warm bathroom of the Rome,  heated by an underfloor heating system.The specialty of a tepidarium is the pleasant feeling of constant radiant heat which directly affects the human body from the walls and floor.

Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema, OM, RA (8 January 1836 – 25 June 1912) was a Dutch painter of special British denizenship.

Born in Dronrijp, the Netherlands, and trained at the Royal Academy of Antwerp, Belgium, he settled in England in 1870 and spent the rest of his life there. A classical-subject painter, he became famous for his depictions of the luxury and decadence of the Roman Empire, with languorous figures set in fabulous marbled interiors or against a backdrop of dazzling blue Mediterranean Sea and sky.

Though admired during his lifetime for his draftsmanship and depictions of Classical antiquity, his work fell into disrepute after his death, and only since the 1960s has it been re-evaluated for its importance within nineteenth-century English art. More on Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema




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Sunday, July 1, 2018

01 Paintings, PORTRAIT OF A LADY, of the 18th & 19th C., with Footnotes. #38

Valentin Alexandrovich Serov (1865 - 1911)
Portrait of Maria F. Jakuntjikova, c. (1885 - 1888)
Oil on canvas
Height: 136 mm (5.35 in); Width: 100 mm (3.93 in)
Malmö Art Museum, Malmö, Scania, in southern Sweden

Maria Fyodorovna Andreyeva was the stage name of Maria Fyodorovna Yurkovskaya (July 4, 1868 – December 8, 1953), a Russian/Soviet actress and Bolshevik administrator. Her father, Fyodor Alexandrovich Fyodorov-Yurkovsky was the director of the Alexandrinsky Theater, and her mother was an actress. She followed into the steps of her parents. After drama school she went to Kazan, aged 18. She married Andrey Zhelyabuzhsky

After Zhelyabuzhsky received a new post, the family moved to Tiflis, where she had success as an actress. They next moved to Moscow, where Andreyeva worked with Konstantin Stanislavsky at the Moscow Art Theatre. She made her Moscow debut on December 15, 1894. She enjoyed great success.

By 1914, she was active in attempts to promote classical theatre to the masses. Between 1918 and 1921, she was Commissar of Theaters and Public Shows in Petrograd. She was instrumental in the establishment of the Bolshoi Drama Theater, which opened in 1919. In January that year she was nominated head of the art section of the Narkompros in Petrograd. The Petrograd Soviet refused to confirm her nomination, but Vladimir Lenin intervened in her favour and the appointment went ahead.

In 1921 she travelled abroad selling antiques and works of art, and from 1922 she represented the Commissariat of External Trade in relation to the film industry, spending some time with the Soviet trade delegation in Berlin. Between 1931 and 1948, she held the post of Director of the House of Scientists in Moscow. More on Maria Fyodorovna Andreyeva

Valentin Alexandrovich Serov (19 January 1865 – 5 December 1911) was born into the family of famous Russian composer Alexander Serov. In 1871, his father died, and in 1872-73 Valentin and his widowed mother moved Munich, where he took lessons from the artist K. Kepping. In 1874, they moved to Paris, where Valentin regularly visited the studio of Ilya Repin, who was very fond of the little boy. In 1875, the Serovs came to live at Abramtsevo, the estate of the industrial tycoon and patron Savva Mamontov, where artists, musicians and actors were always welcome. Valentin grew up in the atmosphere of constant creativity that characterized the Mamontovs’ household. He was fortunate to receive a professional education from the earliest childhood from the some of the best Russian artists, and he soon showed himself to be a remarkably precocious draughtsman. He could catch the likeness of a model often more quickly and confidently than older artists in the spontaneous drawing competitions that were part of the daily life at Abramtsevo. 

Serov traveled a lot, participating in exhibitions in Russia and abroad. In 1897-1909, Serov taught at the Moscow School of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture. His students noted that Serov was a superb technical master of many painting media. In 1903, he was elected member of the St. Petersburg Academy of Arts. Serov died in 1911. More on Valentin Alexandrovich Serov



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Friday, June 29, 2018

01 Paintings, PORTRAIT OF A LADY, Lucretia, with Footnotes. # 20

Tintoretto (Jacopo Robusti), Italian, 1518-1594
Tarquin and Lucretia, c. 1578/80
Oil on canvas
68 7/8 x 59 5/8 in. (175 x 151.5 cm)
The Art Institute of Chicago

Lucius Tarquinius Superbus, last king of Rome, being engaged in the siege of Ardea, sent his son, Sextus Tarquinius, on a military errand to Collatia. Sextus was received with great hospitality at the governor's mansion, home of Lucius Tarquinius Collatinus. Collatinus' wife, Lucretia, made sure that the king's son was treated as became his rank, although her husband was away at the siege.

In a variant of the story, Sextus and Collatinus, at a wine party on furlough, were debating the virtues of wives when Collatinus volunteered to settle the debate by all of them riding to his home to see what Lucretia was doing. She was weaving with her maids. The party awarded her the palm of victory and Collatinus invited them to visit, but for the time being they returned to camp.


At night Sextus entered her bedroom by stealth, quietly going around the slaves who were sleeping at her door. She awakened. He identified himself and offered her two choices: she could submit to his sexual advances and become his wife and future queen, or he would kill her and one of her slaves and place the bodies together, then claim he had caught her having adulterous sex (see sexuality in ancient Rome for Roman attitudes toward sex). In the alternative story, he returned from camp a few days later with one companion to take Collatinus up on his invitation to visit and was lodged in a guest bedroom. He entered Lucretia's room while she lay naked in her bed and started to wash her belly with water, which woke her up.



Tintoretto; born Jacopo Comin, (October, 1518 – May 31, 1594) was an Italian painter and a notable exponent of the Renaissance school. For his phenomenal energy in painting he was termed Il Furioso. His work is characterized by its muscular figures, dramatic gestures, and bold use of perspective in the Mannerist style, while maintaining color and light typical of the Venetian School.


In his youth, Tintoretto was also known as Jacopo Robusti as his father had defended the gates of Padua in a way that others called robust, against the imperial troops during the War of the League of Cambrai (1509–1516). His real name "Comin" has only recently been discovered by Miguel Falomir, the curator of the Museo del Prado, Madrid, and was made public on the occasion of the retrospective of Tintoretto at the Prado in 2007. More on Tintoretto

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01 Paintings, PORTRAIT OF A LADY, of the 18th & 19th C., with Footnotes. #37

Romy Campe, Germany
JAPANESE, from the series "Humans"
Oil and Charcoal on Canvas
51.2 H x 39.4 W x 1.2 in

The series Humans refers to the subject of refugees. It shows that we are all human beings. No matter what nationality we have.

Romy CampeThe Berlin-based artist Romy Campe studied painting and graphics at the IBKK Bochum and runs the renowned art magazine Kunstleben Berlin. In 2006, Romy Campe began creating fine art pieces, art prints, collages, sculptures and more. Campe finds inspiration in the people around her. In their energy, feelings and the interpersonal relationships. Human Energy is the strongest, she says. It can move mountains or dig insurmountable trenches. Campe grew up in the anonymous city of Berlin. Even as a child, she intensively observes the people around her and invented fantasy stories. Every neighbor, every teacher or roommate got his own role. Now she transfers these stories to art. Romy Campes works are exhibited internationally. For example in Berlin, New York or Bonair. Website: www.romycampe.de More on Romy Campe



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Thursday, June 7, 2018

01 Paintings by the Orientalist Artists in the Nineteenth-Century, with footnotes, 21

Paul Joanowits, 1859 - 1957, SERBIAN
BASHI-BAZOUKS BEFORE A GATEWAY, c.  1887-88.
Oil on panel
46 by 35cm., 18 by 14¾in.
Private collection

Bashi-bazouks were irregulars in the Ottoman army and hailed from lands across the Ottoman empire, from Egypt to the Balkans. The strain on the Ottoman feudal system caused by the Empire's wide expanse required heavier reliance on irregular soldiers. They were armed and maintained by the government, but did not receive pay and did not wear uniforms or distinctive badges. Because not formally trained, they could not serve in major military operations, but were useful for other tasks such as reconnaissance and outpost duty.

Both men are armed with Ottoman flintlock rifles from Algeria, and the standing guard smokes an Ottoman chibouk pipe with a tophane bowl.  More on Bashi-bazouks

Paul Joanowits, 1859 - 1957, was born in Vršac, formerly southern Hungary and today Serbia. He studied at the Vienna Academy from 1876 to 1883 under K. L.Müller. From there he sent his first painting to the art society in Budapest, earning him a Hungarian state scholarship. Like his teacher, he painted oriental images, in Vienna and later in Munich. During the late 19th century he painted scenes of the Serbian uprising for King Alexander of Serbia. Back in Vienna, his main interest lay in painting portraits, amongst which is a picture of Emperor Francis Joseph I. Joanovitch exhibited in Vienna, Munich and Berlin and today his works can be found in museums in Belgrade, Budapest, London, Munich and Vienna. More on Paul Joanowits







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