Saturday, May 4, 2013

Wassily Kandinsky (December 16, 1866 – December 13, 1944) II

Almost Submerged


"Painting is an art, and art is not vague production, transitory
and isolated, but a power which must be directed to the
improvement and refinement of the human soul–to, in fact, the
raising of the spiritual triangle.

If art refrains from doing this work, a chasm remains unbridged,
for no other power can take the place of art in this activity.
And at times when the human soul is gaining greater strength, art
will also grow in power, for the two are inextricably connected
and complementary one to the other. Conversely, at those times
when the soul tends to be choked by material disbelief, art
becomes purposeless and talk is heard that art exists for art's
sake alone."

– Wassily Kandinsky

Park of St. Cloud with Horseman


Park St. Cloud in Autumn


White Sound


Binz on Rügen


Kochel - Lady Seated by the Lakeside




Moonlit Night


Kochel Waterfall II


Friday, May 3, 2013

Elihu Vedder (February 26, 1836 – January 29, 1923)

Head of Minerva


Vedder was a talented and interesting Symbolist painter with strong Pre-Raphaelite influences, yet he was also, I think, a bit generic. Still, there is a sort of excellence in his genercism, as he often seems to approach novelty, in theme or style, though never quite reaching it. I would write more about Vedder, but, frankly, his life, as far as I know it, was not filled with many noteworthy moments, outside of mentioning that he was also a poet (honestly, not a very good one). But, while Vedder may have had an uneventful life and produced somewhat generic art, there is a quality that transcends the plain in his works, and makes him an artist of worth–and perhaps it is that which I find so interesting about him. 

The Questioner of the Sphinx


Japanese Still-Life


Fisherman and Mermaid


Roman Model Posing


The Last Man


The Cup of Death


Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Johan Barthold Jongkind (June 3, 1819 – February 9, 1891)

Moonlight over a Canal, Dordrecht


Monet said of Jongkind, "I owe the final education of my eye to him." No faint praise. Jongkind was an amazing artist, who expressed a constant softness in his art, which travelled from Romanticism into Impressionism, and enamored many Impressionists in the earliest days of that style to him for that softness. But there is also a considerable amount of tragedy in his works  I can't quite put my finger on it, and if you know better how to explain it, please leave your version in the comments, but there is a constant melancholy, in the calm darkness and sunlight. This is not too surprising, though, as in his life, Jongkind was very unhappy and only briefly successful. 

Perhaps the tragic quality is a calm too calm.

Skaters in Holland


Near Dordrecht


Boatman by a Windmill at Sundown


The Interior of the Port at Rotterdam, Effect of Moonlight