Antonio Muñoz Degrain (1840-1924)

Antonio Muñoz Degrain was a Spanish painter who began in the Eclectic style, and later moved towards Impressionism. He is best known for his landscapes and scenes inspired by works of literature. His landscape works seem to call to the past of Spain, often depicting ancient towns and castles; Castille, Granda, and the Alhambra.

Posted in Eclecticism, Painting, Spanish | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Mort Künstler – Mid-century American Realism

Mort Künstler is a renowned artist of Civil War historical paintings, and also has prolific history as a pulp illustrator.

In the 1960s and 1970s, Men's magazines exploited Cold War tensions and capitalized on prevalent working class American fears. "The Sweats," as they are commonly known, followed the blueprint set by the pulp magazines of the previous generation, depicting perceived enemies as savages, Nazis, and Communist torturers.

Leading illustrators in this strangely subversive genre, such as Norman Saunders, James Bama, Norm Eastman, Rafael DeSota and Mort Kunstler, created sensational, figurative illustrations executed in a style markedly similar to Socialist Realism and its associated propaganda imagery.

Posted in American, Illustration, Realism | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Claude Lorrain – 17th Century Baroque Landscapes

Claude Lorrain painted in the mid-1600s, in the Baroque era. He is notable for being the earliest, most significant artist to focus almost exclusively on landscapes, and painted evolved scenes of this genre that presaged the Romantic movements of the following centuries. Lorrain's landscapes are often made "history paintings" by the addition of a few small figures, often drawn from the Bible or from classical mythology. His style, featuring mythological settings and architecture heavily, is Classical. Artists of the 19th century Hudson River School, especially, echo his style in their glowing, mythical landscapes of America.

Posted in Baroque, French | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Albert Bierstadt – American Romanticism (Hudson River School III.)

Most of the finest works of the Hudson River school were painted between 1855 and 1875, after the death of its founder, Thomas Cole. During this time, artists like Frederic Edwin Church and Albert Bierstadt were celebrities. When Church exhibited paintings such as Niagara or Icebergs of the North, thousands of people lined up and paid fifty cents a head to view the solitary works.

The epic size of the landscapes in these paintings, unexampled in earlier American painting, reminded Americans of the vast, untamed, and magnificent wilderness of North America. Such works were being painted during the period of settlement of the American West, preservation of national parks, and establishment of green city parks.

Works by artists of this second generation are often described as examples of Luminism, adding a dream-like, hyperreal atmosphere to strongly romantic settings. Albert Bierstadt painted seemingly endless landscapes of Yosemite and the landscapes of the American West, mountains, valleys, and idyllic natural settings.

Posted in American, Painting, Romanticism | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Frederic Edwin Church – American Romanticism (Hudson River School II.)

Most of the finest works of the Hudson River school were painted between 1855 and 1875, after the death of its founder, Thomas Cole. During this time, artists like Frederic Edwin Church and Albert Bierstadt were celebrities. When Church exhibited paintings such as Niagara or Icebergs of the North, thousands of people lined up and paid fifty cents a head to view the solitary works. The epic size of the landscapes in these paintings, unexampled in earlier American painting, reminded Americans of the vast, untamed, and magnificent wilderness of North America.

Grand Manan Island Bay of Fundy, 1852

Cross in the Wilderness, 1857

Chimborazo, 1864

View of Cotopaxi, 1857

The Andes of Ecuador, 1855

New England Scenery

Landscape with Mountain

Jerusalem from the Mount of Olives, 1870

Home by the Lake, 1852

Posted in American, Painting, Romanticism | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Thomas Cole – American Romanticism (Hudson River School I.)

Thomas Cole is generally acknowledged as the founder of the Hudson River School. The movement's paintings reflect three themes of 19th century America: discovery, exploration, and settlement. Hudson River artists, especially those influenced by Thomas Cole, developed an intensely romantic style that made idyllic natural settings glow with god-like energy, described as luminist. In general, Hudson River School artists believed that nature in the form of the American landscape was an ineffable manifestation of God. Though the artists varied in the depth of their religious convictions, their works express this idea quite beautifully.

Cole's own style is like the baroque, romantic, and plein-air styles that had gone before him, a unique psychological inspiration infused with a synthesis of the older European masters like Claude Lorrain (17th century baroque) and J. M. W. Turner (late 18th century romanticism). Cole's seemingly apocalyptic understanding of the psychology of the New World, displayed in the series The Course of The Empire and his other darker paintings, draws out a complex theory of the empire's "conquering" of God's natural creation. Painting in the 1800s until his untimely death in 1848, artists immediately before him included Emanuel Luetze and other painters and writers of the "Westward Expansion of the Empire." The Hudson Valley movement identified with the larger American Romantic movement of the 19th century as it progressed, which included the poetry and writing of Ralph Waldo Emmerson and Henry David Thoreau.

View of the Round Top in the Catskill Mountains

Lake with Dead Trees

Home in The Woods, 1847

View of the Round Top in the Catskill Mountains

The Voyage of Life

The Departure, 1838

The Course of The Empire – The Destruction

The Course of the Empire – The Desolation

Posted in American, Painting, Romanticism | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Paintings of Francisco Pradilla y Ortiz

El Suspiro Del Moro

Spring Fog in Italy

Doña Juana La Loca, 1877

Posted in Eclecticism, Painting, Spanish | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Emanuel Luetze – American Neoclassical & The Revolutionary War

Emanuel Luetze, famous for his painting Washington Crossing the Delaware, painted a variety of neoclassical works of great interest. Painting in the early and mid 1800s, in the generation after Benjamin West and the 18th century colonists, his paintings are lively and contain a variety of themes including Manifest Destiny and 'westward expansion of the empire'; Columbus and the settling of the New World; and the American Revolution. The style is neoclassical, seemingly infused with the whimsy of the modern world and rich color palette of the North American continent.

Westward the Course of the Empire Takes Its Way

Mrs Schuyler Burning Her Wheat Fields on the Approach

Columbus Before the Queen

Washington Crossing the Delaware

Washington at the Battle of the Monongahela

The Knight of Sayn and the Gnomes, 1849

Storming of the Teocalli by Cortez and His Troops, 1848

Posted in American, Neoclassical, Painting | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

John Trumbull – American Neoclassical & The Revolutionary War

Students of Benjamin West included John Trumbull, famous for depictions of the American Revolution. Trumbull painted scenes of George Washington, the Continental Congress, and generals on the battlefield in a neoclassical style that represents the height of picture-making for its day.

Declaration of Independence

Surrender of General Burgoyne

A Romantic Landscape (Untitled)

Posted in American, Neoclassical, Painting | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Benjamin West – American Neoclassical & The Revolutionary War

Benjamin West, painting from 1760s to the 1810s, was a forefather of American painting. His works include neoclassical and American rococo paintings based on mythological and antiquitarian themes, many of which are recognizable. He also is also known for depictions of the settling of the New World, like Penn's Treaty with The Indians, and for portraits of the American Revolution.

Penn’s Treaty with the Indians, 1772

Agrippa Landing at Brundisium with the Ashes of Germanicus

Edward III Crossing the Somme

Cleombrotus Ordered into Banishment by Leonidas II, King of Sparta

Death on Pale Horse, 1796

Woodcutters in Windsor Park

Harvesting at Windsor

Johnson Saving Dieskau (1768)

Colonel Guy Johnson and Karonghyontye, 1776

Posted in American, Neoclassical, Painting | Leave a comment