Thursday, December 08, 2011

Some Painters from the Past

I'm not sure how many of you know this, but I almost doubled majored in Art History in University.  I actually was taking courses to achieve that end, but the schedule in doing a drama degree became overwhelming and I had to give up on the double major dream.  This meant I graduated with far more credits than I needed, and that I still have this insane love of visual art and architecture. 

I think this for two reasons:

1. While I can sketch and draw okay (I did study it when I was a kid going to art schools), it was never something I was particularly brilliant at and I am aware just how difficult it is to do, and I thoroughly admire people who ARE good at it.

2. There is a tangible quality to Art History as opposed to Theatre History.  With the history of theatre you can only read about what happened once, you can't see the plays as they were put on.  You can read them, you can see pictures of them, even filmed versions of them.  But you don't get to experience them the way audiences at the time got to.  It's what makes theatre so unique, it's here and then gone.  It's a moment in time.  With Art History you get to experience the work as it was experienced by people of the period it was made in.  Certainly with architecture it will have degraded over time, ditto I guess paintings and sculpture, but still, you get to see history right in front of you.  Understand a culture instantly.  With architecture, walk through the same halls as some of your heroes.  It's . . . crazy man. 

Also some of it is just plain gorgeous.

Anyway today I just thought I'd share three artists I really like.  Why?  Because I feel like it.  Maybe I'll share three more in the future.  Why?  Because I'll feel like it then too.

So . . .

I'm a huge fan of Toulouse-Lautrec, especially his poster art:

"The Englishman at the Moulin Rouge"

 I think we all go through an existential absurdist phase at some point in our lives, but I was always more a Magritte fan than a Dali fan - I find his work odder because that which is represented seems at first less odd.  It's the stuff of dreams.  And nightmares. 

"Not to be Reproduced"

"The Lovers"

"The Dominion of Light"

And finally (for today) like many people, I enjoy me a good Da Vinci.  Here are two of my favourites:

cartoon of The Virgin and Child with St. Anne and St. John the Baptist

"The Virgin of the Rocks" (the one in the National Gallery in London, UK)

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