Victor Hugo

Portrait of M. Victor Hugo (1879) by Léon Bonnat. Click for hi-def image. (Via)

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On Voluptas

Gisze by Holbein

“Nulla sine merore voluptas” — no joy without sorrow. Detail from “The Merchant Georg Gisze” by Holbein (1532).

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Horace: Artless art

“The art lies in concealing the art.”


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Creative Process

Creative Process

Creative Process” by Christoph Niemann

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An artist’s name

The ancient masters of Japanese art were allowed to change their name once in their lifetime. They had to be very selective about the moment in their career when they did so. They would stick with their given name until they felt they had become the artist they aspired to be; at that point, they were allowed to change their name. For the rest of their life, they could work under the new name at the height of their powers. The name change was a sign of artistic maturity.

Twyla Tharp, The Creative Habit

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Rainy Day

Rainy Day


Van Gogh Museum

Detail - Wheatfield With Crows

The Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam has a beautifully designed web site with, apparently, the entire collection available in eye-popping high resolution. It is amazing what detail you can see in these high-res images, right down to the brush strokes and globs of paint. It is as if the museum guards all turned their backs and allowed you to press your nose right up to the canvas. Above is a detail from “Wheatfield With Crows” (1890), one of the last pictures Van Gogh painted before his suicide. The complete picture is below, and you can click the image to see it a little larger. But to get the full effect, go download the insanely huge image at the museum’s web site.

In May, the Met in New York posted 400,000 high-res images from its collection, so this seems to be a trend.

Van Gogh - Wheatfield With Crows (1890)

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“Yosemite, Plan View, 2012” by Dan Holdsworth. More of Holdsworth’s amazing photos here.

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“The extension of our sympathies”

The greatest benefit we owe the artist, whether painter, poet, or novelist, is the extension of our sympathies… Art is the nearest thing to life, it is a mode of amplifying experience and extending our contact with our fellow-men beyond the bounds of our personal lot.

George Eliot

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Picasso: I am always doing what I cannot do

I am always doing what I cannot do, in order that I may learn how to do it.

Pablo Picasso (via)

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Lartigue again


Jacques Henri Lartigue (1894-1986)
“Etretat” (1907)
Silver gelatine, print around 1965

Via Galerie Berinson

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Lartigue - The ZYX takes off

Jacques Henri Lartigue (1894-1986)
“The ZYX takes off… Piroux, Zissou, Georges Louis and Dédé try to fly, too, Rouzat, September 1910”
Silver gelatine, print around 1965, 60,1 x 74 cm

Via Galerie Berinson

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Whale and Calf

“Whale and Calf,” artist unknown, ca. 1830.

“Whale and Calf,” artist unknown, ca. 1830.

“What it shows is a whale calf in the mouth of its mother. She is not, of course, eating it. (Those teeth are useless.) She is trying to rescue it. And that, my friends, was all part of the whalers’ fiendish plan. If whalers — big drivers of the economy in early industrial America — could get their harpoons into a whale calf they never missed their chance, because harpooning the baby was a perfect way to lure in the adult. The bigger the whale, the more oil.” More on this painting here.

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Still lifes by Christopher Stott, cont’d

Chris Stott - Inner Conflicts

Christopher Stott
“Inner Conflicts”
24” x 48” Oil on canvas, 2012

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Iconic images colorized


Iconic images restored and colorized. (via NPR)

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Harlem, 1946

Pierce Arrow

Mr. Perkins Pierce Arrow, Harlem, New York
Todd Webb

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New York, 1946

Street Market, Suffolk Street, New York

Street Market, Suffolk Street, New York
Todd Webb

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Manhattan, 1959

Broadway at Wall Street

Broadway at Wall Street, New York
Todd Webb

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Robert Longo: Untitled (Windows at Night)

Robert Longo - Untitled (Windows at Night)

Robert Longo
Untitled (Windows at Night)
Charcoal on mounted paper
60 x 120 inches


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Rodin: The Old Courtesan

Rodin - The Old Courtesan

Auguste Rodin
The Old Courtesan
Also called She Who Was The Helmet Maker’s Once-Beautiful Wife (Celle qui fut la belle heaulmière)
Modeled 1887, this bronze cast 1969
(via Brooklyn Museum)

“Anyone can see a pretty girl. An artist can look at a pretty girl and see the old woman she will become. A better artist can look at an old woman and see the pretty girl she used to be. A great artist can look at an old woman, portray her exactly as she is … and force the viewer to see the pretty girl she used to be … more than that, he can make anyone with the sensitivity of an armadillo see that this lovely young girl is still alive, prisoned inside her ruined body. He can make you feel the quiet, endless tragedy that there was never a girl born who ever grew older than eighteen in her heart.”

— Robert A. Heinlein, referring to this sculpture in Stranger in a Strange Land

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