Rubens – The Rape Of The Daughters Of Leucip

The traveller. through Europe’s galleries is apt to be amazed, and in time rather wearied, by the enormous number of pictures by Rubens which he encounters everywhere; also by their enormous size and conspicuousness, and their interminable riot of huge, muscular, struggling bodies. Rubens enjoyed an unparalleled vogue throughout Europe in his day, and every […]

Pieter De Hooch – The Pantry

Some of the seventeenth century Dutch, especially Vermeer, de Hooch and Terborch, developed a pleasing and distinctive style in portraying the every-day life of plain people, usually in household or tavern interiors. In form as well as in subject, it represents a reaction away from Renaissance classicism. With the Greek gods and goddesses, the nobles […]

Edouard Manet – The Boat

In the epoch-making impressionist movement of the 1870′s in France, Mallet and Claude Monet were leaders. Manet in his early works had revived the Spanish style of painting, that of Velazquez, in long, broad, rough, abbreviated strokes, with a tendency to flatten out the masses least important in the picure. His early painting are rather […]

Salomon Van Ruysdael – The Bridge

This is Dutch landscape at a wellbalanced moment of transition between the patterned artificiality of early Flemish work such as Patinir’s, and the patternless, photographic naturalism of the later Dutch school (e.g., Jacob van Ruysdael, his nephew). It is inconspicuous, easily overlooked, yet substantial and quietly satisfying. The sharp decorative flourishes are gone, the tiny, […]

Cezanne – Still Life

Whether Cezanne painted a head, a mountain, or a piece of fruit on a table, his tendency was to change it into some-thing more colorful, more plain, massive and rhythmic in shape, than it was in nature. He passed through an early impressionist period of specialized interest in bright surface reflections, and is here attempting […]

Pieter Brueghel (The Elder) – Fool’s Paradise

Good art is not limited to solemn and austere subjects. Too often, it is true, pictures expressing broad slap-stick comedy depend on subject-matter for their appeal, neglecting design. Pieter Brueghel; however, could win the nick-name of ” Droll Pieter”‘ for his rustic humor, and yet express his jokes in well-organized pictorial form. Neither the joke—soldier, […]

Vincent Van Gogh – View Of Arles

Van Gogh’s early works are heavy, muddy imitations of Millet and Courbet. Later, he learns from the impressionists the secret of broken color, and with it paints landscapes full of natural, sparkling sunlight. Later still, his colors grow even more intensely brilliant and contrasting than those of the impressionists. He leaves out gradual transitions and […]

Petrus Cristus – Portrait Of A Young Girl

The miniature perfection of early Flemish painting is present in the smooth, enamel-like modelling of the face, and in the tiny details of the necklace and hat-band, studded with small lustrous pearls. But it is not carried too far, into undiscriminating, crowded, microscopic copying of the model. The detailed, highly finished parts are brought out […]

Giorgione – The Sleeping Venus

One of Giorgione is one of the great works whose power must be traced to its perfect inner harmony, rather than to any particular distinctive feature. It represents a moment of balance and merging between several different tendencies, all of which are isolated, carried to extremes, and made to clash irreconcilably, iii other works of […]

Bosch – The Temptation Of St. Anthony

Bosch is one of the painters who are creative in the subject-matter they represent, as well as in purely visual qualities of form. He leads one spellbound into a nightmarish fantasy of weird goblins, utterly unreal, and yet so consistent in itself, and so elaborately worked out, as to become a convincing world of its […]