“Louveciennes in the Snow” by Alfred Sisley

‘Louveciennes in the Snow’ by Alfred Sisley

The painting ‘Louveciennes in the Snow’, by the renowned Impressionist painter Alfred Sisley, is a serene winter landscape. The painting depicts a small village in the French countryside, blanketed with a thick layer of snow. Surrounded by trees and hills, with a gray sky and a few patches of blue in the distance, the snow adds a quiet atmosphere, highlighting the vitality of the natural environment.

The village is small and quaint, with a few houses and other buildings. The soft hues add to the peaceful and calm setting. The painting is a reminder of the beauty of nature and how much peace and quiet can be found away from the hustle and bustle of the city.

Alfred Sisley, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Alfred Sisley was friends with the painters Frederic Bazill, Claude Monet, and Pierre- Auguste Renoir. They often painted landscapes en plein air (outside) so to capture the natural light and atmosphere of the landscape. They were all part of the Impressionist movement, which put a new emphasis on painting from life and capturing the effects of light and atmosphere in a painting.

Alfred Sisley captured moments of beauty and peace within the natural world.

His use of light and colour created paintings imbued with a sense of harmony and tranquility. His paintings often feature subtle details that convey the power and emotion of the scenes, making them particularly enjoyable to view. His mastery of composition and technique, and his ability to capture the simplicity of nature make his work timeless. Sisley is recognized for his use of soft brushstrokes and his focus on modern, urban life. His later work is said to reflect the sobering affects of modernity on nature.

Opening Day! We Love Vermeer!

Opening Day February 10, 2023

Vermeer at the Rijksmuseum

February 10 – June 4, 2023, The Rijksmuseum promised the largest Johannes Vermeer exhibition, entitled Vermeer. The magnitude of this exhibition was envisioned in the research projects leading up to the February 10, 2023 opening. 

Today, I am traveling virtually to The Rijksmuseum to find the stories behinds the paintings. Join me at this exciting event.

Allegory of the Catholic Faith by Johannes Vermeer ca. 1670–72

Stephen Fry will guide online visitors.

In a press release on January 17, 2023, Rijksmuseum launched the digital Vermeer experience Closer to Johannes Vermeer. This virtual experience is available for free to all Vermeer lovers around the world.

Stephen Fry (English language) and Joy Delima (Dutch language) guide online visitors to explore the artist’s work and personal life. As promised, I was “able to zoom in on the tiniest pigment particles in pin-sharp detail via ultra-high resolution photographs of some Vermeer paintings.”

Technology has opened Vermeer to the world. Click on the photo below to meet up with Stephen Fry!

The Vermeer exhibit at the Rijksmuseum is a must-see for every art enthusiast.

The Dutch master Johannes Vermeer is one of the most renowned painters of the Dutch Golden Age. This exhibit features a selection of his most famous paintings: “The Milkmaid,” “The Little Street,” and “The Astronomer.” Several of Vermeer’s lesser-known works, such as “The Music Lesson” and “The Geographer” will be displayed. The exhibit also includes a selection of Vermeer’s drawings and sketches, as well as a selection of his personal letters and documents. The Vermeer exhibit at the Rijksmuseum offers a unique glimpse into the life and work of one of the most celebrated painters of the Dutch Golden Age.

Click on the photo below to view the collection of Vermeer Paintings showcased in this exhibition.

View of Delft (c. 1660-1661). Johannes Vermeer Oil on canvas, . Mauritshuis, The Hague

Still Life: Vase of Flowers by Odilon Redon

Odilon Redon’s Vase of Flowers, painted in 1916, is a elegant oil painting that captures the beauty of nature.

Vase of Flowers by Odilon Redon, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

The painting is composed of a large vase in deep blue surrounded by a variety of colors, including pink, yellow, and white. The flowers are painted in a realistic style, with each petal and stem carefully detailed.

The painting is a perfect example of Redon’s unique style of art. His use of color and light creates a dreamlike atmosphere, while the use of realistic details adds a sense of realism to the painting. The painting is a reminder of the beauty of nature, and the fragility of life.

Odilon Redon was a French Symbolist artist who lived from 1840 to 1916. He is best known for his pastel drawings, prints, and lithographs. Redon was born in Bordeaux, France and was the son of a wealthy family. He was initially trained in painting and drawing by his father, but later studied at the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris.

Redon’s work was heavily influenced by the Symbolist movement, which was a French art movement that focused on the use of symbols to express the inner emotions of the artist. He often used fantastical creatures and dreamlike landscapes to convey his ideas. Redon was also heavily influenced by the works of authors such as Edgar Allan Poe and Charles Baudelaire, (Odilon Redon’s illustration for Les Fleurs du mal by Charles Baudelaire.) .

Odilon Redon’s work is highly acclaimed and has been exhibited in numerous galleries and museums around the world.

Portrait of Lady Agnew of Lochnaw by John Singer Sargent

The portrait of Lady Agnew of Lochnaw by John Singer Sargent is an oil on canvas painting depicting the wife of Sir Andrew Noel Agnew, 9th Baronet. The painting was commissioned in 1892 and is deemed to be one of Sargent’s masterpieces. It is characterized by its high-key palette, precise brushwork, and its expression of the sitter’s personality. Lady Agnew is portrayed in a languid pose, her face almost schematic yet nuanced with slight departures that lend her personality. Her eyes are calm, and her hand grips the chair, adding a sense of tension to the painting.

John Singer Sargent was lauded when the painting was exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1893 and subsequent exhibitions, earning him further acclaim as one of the leading portraitists of his time.

Portrait of Lady Agnew of Lochnaw (1865-1932) by John Singer Sargent, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Lady Agnew (born Gertrude Vernon) was born in 1865, the daughter of the Hon. Gowran Vernon and granddaughter of Robert Vernon, 1st Baron Lyveden. She married Sir Andrew Noel Agnew, 9th Baronet of Lochnaw Castle in Wigtownshire in 1889. She is best known for her portrait painted by John Singer Sargent in 1892, which launched her as a celebrity figure in high society.

According to National Galleries Scotland, “Lady Agnew is shown seated in a Louis XVI chair against the backdrop of a Chinese silk hanging, both of which were standard props in Sargent’s studio. She is reported to have been of frail health; she recovered slowly from a severe bout of influenza in 1890 and was apparently still convalescing and suffering from exhaustion when she sat for Sargent, which may account for her slightly ghostly pallor in the painting.”

During the summer of 2014 National Galleries Scotland asked visitors to the galleries to share their thoughts about one of our most popular paintings, Lady Agnew of Lochnaw by John Singer Sargent. Phill Jupitus is perhaps her most ardent admirer, and talked openly to us about his personal connection with this celebrated picture.

Jean-Jacques Scherrer: The Entrance of Joan of Arc into Orléans on 8th May 1429

The Entrance of Joan of Arc into Orléans on 8th May 1429 by Jean-Jacques Scherrer (1855-1916) depicts the historic moment when Joan of Arc led the French troops into Orléans in 1429.

This painting captures the moment of triumph for Joan of Arc and her troops in their successful siege against the English forces. The painting, an oil on canvas, was originally painted in 1887. It is currently housed in the Musée des Beaux-Arts in Orléans, France.

The painting has become an iconic representation of the courage and bravery of Joan of Arc and the French people.

The Entrance of Joan of Arc into Orléans on 8th May 1429 by Jean-Jacques Scherrer, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Joan of Arc (1412-1431 CE) was a French peasant girl who rose to fame as a military leader during the Hundred Years’ War. She was born in Domrémy, France.  She led the French forces to victory at the Siege of Orléans in 1429 CE. She was later captured by the English and put on trial for heresy, culminating in her execution at the age of 19.  She believed she was guided by visions from the archangel Michael, Saint Margaret, and Saint Catherine to aid in saving France from English domination. She was later declared a saint by the Catholic Church in 1920 CE and is recognized as a heroine of France.

Jean-Jacques Scherrer (1855-1916) was a French academic painter, well-known and respected for his historical and religious paintings. He was born in Lutterbach in Alsace. When he moved to Paris, he studied under Pierre-Jules Cavelier in the studio of Félix-Joseph Barrias.  He continued his studies under the guidance of Alexandre Cabanel (Napoleon III’s preferred painter)

Jean-Jacques Scherrer received accolades for The Entrance of Joan of Arc into Orléans on 8th May 1429.

While Jean-Jacques Scherrer is relatively unknown in our time, he was well received in the early 20th century.  In 1900, he was made a knight of the Legion of Honour.  Established in 1802 by Napoleon Bonaparte, this title represents the highest French order of merit, both military and civil.

#FridayPainting: Joseph Farquharson “The Sun Peeped o’er yon Southland Hills”

His first love was always the Scottish Highlands.

Joseph Farquharson RA (Royal Academy of Arts) was a Scottish painter, appreciated for his snowy landscapes with sheep, often set in morning or late afternoon light. His first love was always the Scottish Highlands, and he spent much of his time there, especially in the Cairngorms.

Joseph Farqharson (1846-1935), Southland Hills (Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons)

Joseph Farquharson is one of the most popular Scottish artists of his time. Born in Edinburgh in 1846, he studied at the Trustees’ Academy under Robert Scott Lauder and James Drummond.

He later studied in London, Paris, and Florence. His three years in Paris studying in the studio of Carolus-Duran were pivotal.  He formed a valuable friendship with John Singer Sargent, who was a fellow student. He travelled extensively in Europe, including Switzerland, Norway, Italy, and Spain. These trips had a profound effect on his creative work.

Travels to Egypt between 1885 and 1893 offered Joseph Farquharson a new perspective that is seen in his painting, “Market on the Nile”, held at the Manchester Art Gallery.  But he will always be remembered for his poignant snow scenes of Aberdeenshire. He became known as “‘Frozen Mutton’ Farquharson” and “The Painting Laird.”

He was elected an Associate of the Royal Academy in 1900 and an Academician in 1915. In his later years, he lived at Finzean, in Aberdeenshire, where he died in 1935. His work is represented in many public collections in Scotland and elsewhere, including the National Gallery of Scotland, the Scottish National Portrait Gallery, and the Tate Gallery.

Farquharson’s paintings are characterized by a certain tranquility and serenity, which is perhaps why they are so popular.

He offers a glimpse into a world that is calm and orderly, in contrast to the chaos of the modern world.

Joseph Farquharson, by Joseph Farquharson (1846–1935), (Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons)