I went backwards in the page numbers not believing that someone wouldn’t post this, finally I found someone who has. Ivan the Terrible is my favorite painting just for the sheer regret in his eyes. It’s like you are a servant inside that room just quietly observing.
This one is also probably a new favorite of mine, the water is striking with how detailed it is. Seems hard to believe that it’s a painting.
I was just thinking of this one as well. Not sure why I like it so much, it's gross and kinda ugly, but it gives me such a strong sense of disquiet every time I see it. There are few paintings that I can think of that I still get the same feeling from after seeing them a hundred times.
In order to contribute something other than just quoting, the light in the Aivazovsky's reminded me how much I love JMW Turner (thanks Cognizant, very lovely):
Just googled the guy and I like his work! He's also done Roman theme stuff too. Apparently Tate Britain has a ton of his art on display so I might visit this weekend.
lol man I would kill to see it person. The NGA is a short train ride away for me and they have a great collection of Sargent but nothing beats that painting. I sporadically go through NE so maybe one day I'll stop there.
There was an amazing retrospective at the de Young in San Francisco a few years ago that had all of the Roman/Aeneas paintings together for the first time. Love this one and also "Mercury sent to admonish Aeneas," which looks amazing in person if not on a screen (also at Tate now apparently)
The Clark is worth a trip, not big but for my money the best museum per square foot in America!
It's a (weirdly "feminist") episode from the Bible, Judith and Holofernes. TL,DR guy was sieging the city and she goes full secret agent in undercover mission in his encampment, kills him in his sleep and drunk.
Caravaggio has a specific complex about beheadings and making himself the beheaded victim. Many theories are posited why but the most common is that Caravaggio was not the most moral guy (lot of fights and a terrible personality to say the least) but he was deeply religious and thus had a super guilty conscience.
Thank you both for the info, very intriguing. After I'm done with my Roman book binge, I'm moving on to Middle Ages history. I might then move on to famous figures of the art world such as Da Vinci, Caravaggio and co.Caravaggio has a specific complex about beheadings and making himself the beheaded victim. Many theories are posited why but the most common is that Caravaggio was not the most moral guy (lot of fights and a terrible personality to say the least) but he was deeply religious and thus had a super guilty conscience.
I went to the British Museum last month to look at Roman artifacts, my first visit to a museum in years actually, and I was aghast at how everyone would just walk up to an exhibit, take a photo and then walk on. Literally no observation or reflection of what they were looking at. Almost everyone there was doing this. It's almost as bad as people who hold up their huge ipads at gigs to constantly take photos of the band. I reaalllly hope the visitors at the Turner collection are not this annoying lol.There was an amazing retrospective at the de Young in San Francisco a few years ago that had all of the Roman/Aeneas paintings together for the first time. Love this one and also "Mercury sent to admonish Aeneas," which looks amazing in person if not on a screen (also at Tate now apparently)
Judith and Holofernes became a popular motif in the Renaissance as scenes of violence and extreme emotion became more accepted as possible subjects, even within the church. It fit the Baroque aesthetics perfectly since it's a great fit for its dramatic use of chiaroscuro and motion, so it continued to see a lot of play. Caravaggio was a piece of shit who fought and probably killed a guy and several other artists used the theme to make it look like he was being beheaded as a commentary on his life of debauchery. Artemesia Gentilischi took the theme and turned it into a very explicitly feminist statement, turning her experience during a very public rape trial into the context of a biblical scene, among numerous other paintings. I've always felt that her take on Judith is the best of the period
So glad to see this mentioned. Mucha is my all-time favorite artist and the Slav Epic series are my favorite of his. It was a revelation when I learned about him in my art history classes back in college. Art Nouveau in general blew me away, but Mucha in particular struck a chord with me more than any other artist I'd previously learned about. I hope to one day be able to see the paintings in-person.Want to mention Alphonse Mucha's Slav Epic which is a series of 20 absolutely massive paintings depicting various events in the history of the Slavic peoples and this specific one, No.20: The Apotheosis of the Slavs, is my favorite. The paintings were hidden for over 20 years due to the initial fear of the Nazi's seizing them. While he's widely know for the Art Nouveau posters, this series is his Magnum opus IMO.
Others in the series I really like:
Just to give you an idea of how big these things are here's a photo of them hanging in the National Gallery in Prague . He did 20 of these things in 18 years.
Yeah I was totally blown when I first discovered about them which interestingly was well after I already knew who Mucha was. In my Modernism art history class we never went deeper into his work than the poster designs.I guess because the Slav Epic was done late in his career after Art Nouveau had come and gone but jeez its such an incredible achievement in painting. I recommend checking out his Le Pater drawings he did around the turn of the century if you haven't seen them. Truly incredible and sadly never get mentioned.So glad to see this mentioned. Mucha is my all-time favorite artist and the Slav Epic series are my favorite of his. It was a revelation when I learned about him in my art history classes back in college. Art Nouveau in general blew me away, but Mucha in particular struck a chord with me more than any other artist I'd previously learned about. I hope to one day be able to see the paintings in-person.
As someone who is binging on everything about the Romans this year, I'm really enjoying all the depictions of Rome in art, fantastical depictions or otherwise, the themes that resonate are universal, such as Turner depicting the sunset on the Carthaginian empire. The religious stuff with naked flying babies though....eh, not so much for me lol. Religion has powerful visual metaphors though, so I think it will always be appreciated is my guess.Assuming the trend of people being less religious continues (you never know what will happen), I wonder how religious works of art will be seen in the future. I already have trouble getting some people to appreciate some of the most famous pieces because they're just clueless about the subject matter (I grew up Catholic so I immediate "understand" 99% of them). It's already hard for me to put myself in the shoes of the Counter-Reformation public of say, Rubens. Must be harder for someone who grew up without any knowledge of Christian culture.
I expect sculptures to fare better because they're a more immediate show of technical skill but religious works by Rubens or Titian might be less popular in the coming centuries. They'll still be talked about in academia, of course.
On the other hand, most non-religious and non-landscape famous paintings are based on Ovid's Metamorphosis (which no one reads any more), Greek mythology, and Roman religion and people still like the so maybe I am wrong.
I think a lot of people forget that most art from before the 1800s was done for money and for a purpose... Titian, Caravaggio, Bernini were all passionate artists (and Bernini at least deeply religious) but their art was Counter-Reformation art and it had an agenda: inspire people's faith and either keep them Catholic or bring them back to Catholicism. They might not have had this in mind while creating the art but at least their patrons did. That world is very different from the one we live in now so I can see why people aren't interested in it vs. Neo-classical art that still promotes values somewhat relevant to our modern day.
there's another Sorolla painting I quite like with some nice reflections. Sorolla was definitely an expert in capturing sunny days at the beach and crafting beautiful paintings out of them:
Something about the presence of small boats adds something. Paintings of ships are not rare, and people at the beach probably is not a rare subject either, but having a few small pleasure craft or whatever makes it seem like they are REALLY a maritime culture. Need to photoshop some blitzballs into the paintings.