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 […]

Courbet – The Stone Breakers

This was an epoch-making picture when first exhibited, and it sums up, more clearly than his larger pictures in the Louvre, the distinctive features of Courbet’s art. Classified under the vague word ” naturalism,” it stood for a conscious reaction away from both Ingres and Delacroix; away from two different styles, both artificial and conventional, […]

Lucas Cranach – Apollo And Diana

Like Mantegna’s, Cranach’s later works show the mellowing influence of Renaissance paganism. In both cases, the change is not wholly for the better. Agonizing Crucifixions (like the two at Munich), done in intricate Gothic line-patterns or in strong plain colors, give way to pert, mischievous little Venuses, naughtily naked in a velvet hat or a […]

Rembrandt – The Man With The Gold Helmet

As usual in a Rembrandt portrait, this is a combination of keen psychological analysis with a subtle, powerful music of lights and shadows. His faces are always full of meaning and of character, strongly individualized through emphasis on a few distinctive contours. They are never bland, impersonal, regular masks, but bear the marks of experience, […]

Titian – Venus With The Organ Player

This is not one of Titian’s greatest pictures, but it represents a mature stage of his development, and it is in an excellent state of preservation. Such cleaning and restoring as it has had, have been skillfully done. That cannot be said for many of his more famous works, which have been crudely retouched in […]

Correggio – Leda And The Swan

Correggio is one of those painters who rely for a large part of their appeal on exaggerated smiles and languidly graceful gestures. His pictures usually present a hackneyed pattern, made flashily obvious by a pronounced light-and-shade contrast, based on the style of Leonardo da Vinci. This is the celebrated ” chiaroscuro,” for which he has […]

Rembrandt – The Night Watch

This is Rembrandt’s most complex and elaborately developed composition. It applies his consummate mastery of light and shade to the task of organizing many figures into a design in deep space. Not often in his later years did that task interest him. Having shown in his youth—in The Anatomy Lesson and many of the Biblical […]

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 […]