• “Munurru” (“Rough”) (2005) by Galuma Maymuru of the Manggalili Clan, Djarrakpi, Northeast Arnhem Land, Northern Territory, Australia • “This seascape evokes rough, deep water, pulling the viewers towards places where dangerous currents collide and flickering slivers of light bounce off the surface. Throughout the twisting ribbons of current, the artist utilizes a sacred signature in crosshatched patterns that belong to her clan. Women paint such patterns on each other’s chests when they are fasting for funerals or for the initiations of their sons. This signature is kept in place until the time comes to lift it with a cleansing ceremony of smoke or water.” —gallery sign #admiringart
• “Bread-and-Salt Plate” (1888) by the Khlebnikov Firm • “Welcoming guests with a ceremonial presentation of bread and salt is an ancient and honored tradition in Russia. The center of this presentation plate features the enamel coat of arms of the Kherson province. The inscription translates as: ‘From the loyal zemstvo of the Kherson Guberniia.’ A zemstvo was an elected body of local self-government in charge of education, transport, and health. The border of the dish has three engraved scenes that alternate with panels of decorative vines. The scenes are identified with Cyrillic inscriptions that translate as: ‘Education: Village Agricultural School; Transport: Village Ponton Bridge across River Inguletz; and Health: Hospital In City of Anayev.’ This plate was presented to Tsar Alexander III and his wife, Empress Maria Feodorovna, in 1888 during a visit to the Kherson province. It is one of hundreds of such bread-and-salt plates given to the couple during their numerous visits throughout Russia.” —gallery sign #admiringart
• “Abduction of a Sabine Woman” (early 17th century) by Giovan Francesco Susini • “This sculpture is based on the famous 1582 marble sculpture made by Giambologna for the Loggia dei Lanzi in Florence. Here Giovan Francesco Susini was faced with the challenge of translating Giambologna’s daring, monumental marble into a small bronze. Such small-scale bronzes were eagerly sought by leading collectors throughout Europe well into the 17th century as examples of virtuosity in their own right both for their superb craftsmanship as well as for their expression of the ideals of Renaissance sculpture. In fact, the sculpture by Giambologna is usually considered today as the epitome of the Renaissance artist’s ability to bring remote stories from classical antiquity to vivid life. However, at the time, Giambologna himself suggested he had no interest in the ancient story but instead created the life-size marble as a vehicle for exploring figures dramatically interacting in space.” —gallery sign #admiringart
• Book Illustration from “The Mightiest Heart” (1998) by Laurel Long • “Laurel Long makes an outstanding debut as a picture book illustrator with ‘The Mightiest Heart.’ A graduate of Syracuse University, with a master’s degree in fine arts, she has been an associate professor of art at California State University, Northridge, for ten years. Long’s work is influenced by such Northern Renaissance painters as Jan van Eyck and Rogier van der Weyden. Born and raised in New York, the artist now makes her home in southern California with her husband and daughter.” —book #admiringart
• Detail from “The Susan Constant, the Godspeed and the Discovery” (1949) by Griffith Bailey Coale • “The former Senate chamber, now used for occasional committee meetings, contains paintings rather than statuary. These pictures depict two of the most important events in the history of the Commonwealth and of the nation. One painting, completed in 1949 by Griffith Bailey Coale, represents the establishment of the first permanent English settlement in America. It shows three ships, the Susan Constant, the Godspeed, and the Discovery, bringing the first settlers to Virginia in May 1607. (left: Griffith Bailey Coale, The Susan Constant, the Godspeed and the Discovery, 1949)” —tfaoi.com #admiringart
• Detail from “Smoke and Mirrors: Coming and Going” (2011) by Kim Cadmus Owens • “Kim Cadmus Owen’s city images are interrupted by blurs, blips, and sweeping lines inspired by the digital anomalies that clutter our experiences of communications technology, such as computer screen glitches and frozen iPhone interfaces. The arresting cityscape ‘Smoke and Mirrors: Coming and Going’ depicts a street near the artist’s studio in Dallas. In one panel, three-dimensional letters hover in the air like pop-up menus, spelling out the names of retail establishments: COFFEE SHOP, ART SUPPLY, HARDWARE, BOOKS. The stores themselves aren’t here, though the construction equipment implies that their presence is imminent—the signs are projections into the near future. A portrait of a place both in and out of time, Owen’s painting draws parallels between the absolute mutability of virtual space and the relative stability of the real world.” —gallery sign #admiringart
• “The God of the Bay of the Roses” (1944) by Salvador Dalí • “In the late 1920s, Dalí began to create Surrealistic images he likened to “hand painted dream photographs.” By presenting the disturbing visions of his unconscious in brilliant detail, he hoped to lend credibility to the irrational realm of fears and fantasies. ‘The God of the Bay of the Roses’ pays homage to the artist’s Russian-born wife and muse, Gala, whose portrait appears on the bifurcated sculpture’s pedestal, encircled by a bevy of revelers. Like the most hypnotic of Dalí’s work, it suggests a portal into another world. The painting dates from the couple’s residency on the West Coast, one year before the artist worked with film director Alfred Hitchcock on the famous nightmare sequence in Spellbound.” —gallery sign #admiringart
• “Biodiversity Suits for Urban Pigeons: Passenger Pigeon II” (2014) by Laurel Roth Hope • “Considering herself an artist who wishes she was a scientist, Laurel Roth Hope brings the two roles together by creating visual metaphors for interactions between humans and animals. In the works shown here, subjects such as interspecies competition, adaptation, and extinction are approached with a deep sense of irony. To produce these sculptures, Roth carves figures in the form of modern-day urban pigeons, one of the most adaptable creatures on the planet. She then dresses them in hand-crocheted costumes that depict earlier species lost to the world because of their inability to withstand the encroachment of humanity. This yields a rather sad game of dress-up that memorializes extinct species while giving the costume-wearing pigeons an exotic façade that transforms their drab exteriors.” —gallery sign #admiringart
@Regrann from @admiring_art - • Book Illustration from “Pegasus” (1998) by Kinuko Y. Craft • “There was a long time ago when a magnificent winged horse, Pegasus, soared as effortlessly over mountains and clouds as he galloped across meadows. A wild, solitary steed, Pegasus welcomed no man’s company—until the young hero Bellerophon sought his help...Marianna Mayer brings this enduring Greek tale to the picture-book audience with vivid emotion and unique vision, and truly extraordinary paintings by Kinuko Y. Craft capture each moment in both sweeping majesty and exquisite detail. Together, author and artist guide young adventurers and horse lovers to a place where imaginations soar.” —book #admiringart - #regrann
• Book Illustration from “Pegasus” (1998) by Kinuko Y. Craft • “There was a long time ago when a magnificent winged horse, Pegasus, soared as effortlessly over mountains and clouds as he galloped across meadows. A wild, solitary steed, Pegasus welcomed no man’s company—until the young hero Bellerophon sought his help...Marianna Mayer brings this enduring Greek tale to the picture-book audience with vivid emotion and unique vision, and truly extraordinary paintings by Kinuko Y. Craft capture each moment in both sweeping majesty and exquisite detail. Together, author and artist guide young adventurers and horse lovers to a place where imaginations soar.” —book #admiringart
• “The South Ledges, Appledore” (1913) by Childe Hassam • “Childe Hassam spent many summers on Appledore Island off the coast of Maine. Every year, he and a circle of musicians, writers, and other artists gathered as an informal colony based at the home of his friend, the poet Celia Thaxter. In Thaxter’s gardens and on the rocky beaches, Hassam used the flickering brushwork and brilliant colors he had adopted in France to capture the dappled light of Appledore’s brief summer. The painting evokes the leisurely, seasonal rhythms of America’s privileged families in the last years before the Great War. A beautifully dressed woman shields her face from the sun; she looks down and away, as if absorbed in the song of a sandpiper, the island bird that inspired Celia Thaxter’s most famous children’s poem.” —gallery sign #admiringart
• “The Mirror” (c. 1910) by Robert Reid • “Robert Reid studied at Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts, and at Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts. After further training in Paris, Reid moved to New York and established himself as a figure painter. He painted several murals and, in the early 1890s, won a commission to decorate the domes of the main building at the World’s Columbian Exhibition in Chicago. His wedding to Elizabeth Reeves in 1907 was attended by many prominent artists, but their marriage lasted only nine years before she left him. Reid worked steadily until 1927, when he was partially disabled by a stroke and had to learn to paint with his left hand.” —americanart.si.edu #admiringart
• Writing Desk • “While members of his family were known for their lavish parties or success in the stock market, it was George’s love of learning on which the press was reporting. This characterization of Vanderbilt written by a turn-of-the-century New York journalist undoubtedly contained a measure of truth: ‘He was a bookworm, a student… And his love of books came all from his own inner consciousness, for he was not graduated from any college, and his education, while not neglected, had not been carried beyond the ordinary limits of high schools, though now, I doubt not, he is one of the best read men in the country.’ George kept his list of Books I have Read from the age of 12 until his untimely death in 1914 at the age of 51. The last entry was #3159 , the third volume of Henry Adams’ History of the United States. Thus, between 1875 and 1914, George Vanderbilt read an average of eighty-one books a year. This is a staggering total, even when taking into account that Vanderbilt was a man of leisure.” —biltmore.com #admiringart
• Septimius Severus (c. 200 AD with 17th century additions and modifications) • “Septimius Severus was an African-born soldier-emperor (ruled 193-211 AD). The most conspicuous monument from his reign is the Arch of Septimius Severus in Rome. This statue is a fanciful reconstruction made in the 17th century; the head is from a statue of the emperor conjoined with the body of another sculpture of unknown origin. The legs and right arm were added because at that time collectors preferred complete statues rather than the archaeologically pure fragments favored today. This composite was made for one of the most famous collectors of the period: the marchese Vincenzo Giustiniani of Rome, whose collection numbered more than 1800 examples of ancient art. He was also a patron of Caravaggio and other contemporary artists, and many consider his collection a major step toward the modern museum.” —gallery sign #admiringart
• Book Illustration from “Rapunzel” (1997) by Paul O. Zelinksky • “‘Rapunzel’ has a rich and surprising history. Although Wilhelm and Jacob Grimm included it in their famous collection of German folktales, ‘Children’s and Household Tales,’ their ‘Rapunzel’ was hardly the rustic story of ‘folk’ origin that they implied it to be...‘Rapunzel’ was a loose German translation of a much older French literary fairy tale, which itself drew heavily on a story published in Naples, a story that did have a local folktale as its source. ‘Il Pentamerone,’ or ‘The Tale of Tales,’ written in the Neapolitan dialect by Giambattista Basile and published in 1634, was a colorful and sometimes ribald collection of stories-within-a-framing-story...One of its tales was ‘Petrosinella.’ In this story a pregnant mother, craving her witch-neighbor’s parsley (called ‘petrosine’ in Neapolitan), is caught in the act of stealing it. Seven years later, the witch collects on her debt, taking the young, long-haired Petrosinella to live with her in a tower. After some time, a Prince happens on the tower, climbs the braids hanging from its window, and falls in love with Petrosinella. A neighbor sees his nighttime visits and warns the witch that Petrosinella may soon run away. The witch brags that the girl is held by a charm and cannot flee. But Petrosinella and her prince elope, using a rope and the witch’s own amulets: magic acorns that allow them to evade her fierce pursuit.” —book #admiringart
• Works in Clay by Marguerita Hagen • “The universal connections and interdependency that have enabled life to thrive for eons are the underlying rhythms of Hagan’s work. ‘La Mer,’ part of Hagan’s ‘Wildlife’ work, is inspired by nature’s ingenious design, constantly being perfected by each unique environment. Yet, as we stand at the edge of a human-induced ecological precipice, the ocean—the largest element of our planet—is telling us in no uncertain terms that it cannot survive without our mutual support. At this juncture, we are responsible for the changes needed to protect the natural world for all life on Earth depends on it. ‘La Mer’ includes life of our seas with attention to species indigenous to the marine waters of Virginia. These species are extraordinary and are in extraordinary danger. The work intends to expand awareness and positive change during this critical time, informing wise, timely sustainable investments now and for the future of our planet. ‘La Mer’ explores life in the ocean from the bioluminescent creatures of the abyss to the exquisite and mighty microscopic beauties in the sunlit zone. Marine single-celled organisms, the base of marine food chains and ecosystems, photosynthesize more than half of earth’s oxygen, sustaining all life. They form fantastic colonies to empower their oxygen and nutrient prowess and create reciprocal support. The intricate ceramic architecture shines light on the wonder as well as the delicate, diverse, and mostly unseen, little known life of the sea with which our lives are intrinsically linked. The convex ceramic forms play on the idea of a shield, defined as a person, place, or thing providing protection from harm. The shield also heralds honor, lineage, and familia, like the countless families of species with which we share this planet. ‘People protect what they love.’ —Jacques-Yves Cousteau” —gallery sign #admiringart
• “Imperial Peter the Great Easter Egg” (1903) by Mikhail Perkhin of the Fabergé Firm • “The ‘Imperial Peter the Great Easter Egg’ was presented by Tsar Nicholas II to his wife, Empress Alexandra Feodorovna, in 1903. It commemorates the 200th anniversary of the founding of St. Petersburg by Tsar Nicholas the Great. The top of the Egg bears the Cyrillic initials of Nicholas II and Alexandra Feodorovna. When opened, a miniature replica of Étienne-Maurice Falconet’s famous statue of Tsar Peter the Great rises out of the egg.” —gallery sign #admiringart
• Book Illustration from “Swan Lake” (1989) by Trina Schart Hyman • “Swan Lake is regarded as one of the great classic ballets. It represents our concern with the eternal conflicts between reality and illusion, truth and deception, good and evil.
The plot is based on a theme recurrent in the legends of many lands, that of a woman who is transformed into a bird. The Stolen Veil, a German version, is thought to have been the inspiration for V. P. Begichev and V. F. Geltser’s original production of Swan Lake at the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow in 1877.
Begichev, director of the Moscow Imperial Theatres, had earlier made a boat trip down the Rhine with the composer Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky. It is probable that the setting for the ballet was inspired by the striking Rhineland scenery, with its fantastic fairy-tale castles perched high on the bluffs overlooking the river. The story’s blend of the human and the supernatural belongs to this nineteenth-century Late Romantic period.
In spite of Tchaikovsky’s masterly score, the first production was not a great success, owing mainly to the mediocre choreography and the fact that Tchaikovsky’s symphonic mode of composition was new to ballet. Choreographer and dancers complained that much of the music was undanceable, and pieces by lesser composers were substituted or interpolated. Small wonder that Tchaikovsky’s friends had strongly advised him against wasting his time writing for ballet! But Tchaikovsky was enthusiastic about composing and later wrote two more ballet masterpieces, The Sleeping Beauty and The Nutcracker.
In 1895, eighteen years after the original Moscow production, Marius Petipa, the great French ballet master and choreographer, took up the forgotten Swan Lake music and created his own version at the Maryinsky (now Kirov) Theatre in St. Petersburg. For this production, Petipa revised the plot, reordered some of the music, and delegates the choreography of the Swan scenes to his assistant, Lev Ivanov. Ivanov’s choreography for the first lakeside scene is still performed almost intact, even though the rest of the ballet has been changed.” —book #admiringart
Here are September’s most admired works of art. I made a lot of changes this month including switching over to a “business” format (which has more convenient features for an account like this one) and making a Facebook page where I’ll be sharing my personal favorites from now on (see link in bio). I was also very excited that the #admiringart hashtag has also been currently used over 3,000 times and I hope more and more people take the time to appreciate and share the art around them.
• “Birds Falling” (1994-1995) by Ross Bleckner • “It may be half true that ‘New York stole the idea of modern art’ from Paris after World War II (to borrow the title of a book on the subject). There was a shift in the center of gravity as the abstract expressionists...claimed the spotlight.” —gallery sign “New-York based artist Ross Bleckner is known for painting a spectrum of subjects—from pulsating lines in his resurrection of Op art (Optical art) in the 1980s to the magnified cellular structures of autoimmune diseases in the 1990s.” —rbleckner.com #admiringart
• Main Bedroom of Belmont Mansion • "Belmont Mansion was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1971. Belmont Mansion Association, a private nonprofit restoration and preservation organization, was formed in 1972 with the purpose of caring for and maintaining this historic site.
Belmont Mansion is the largest house museum in Tennessee and one of the few nineteenth century homes whose history revolves around the life of a woman. Today, restoration and operation of Belmont Mansion is completely administered by the Association and is funded by admissions, membership, fundraising events, corporate and private donations, and venue rental services." —belmontmansion.com #admiringart
• "Russian Tea" (c. 1896) by Irving R. Wiles • "Irving Wiles spent many childhood hours in his father's art studio in upstate New York, and this early experience inspired him to take classes at the Art Students League. One of his teachers was the painter William Merritt Chase, who encouraged the young artist to animate his work with visible brushstrokes. Wiles studied in Paris with the portraitist Carolus-Duran, then worked in New York, creating illustrations for Scribner's and Century magazines and advertisements for Ivory Soap. He later remembered that he got into illustration "by accident" and stayed in the profession because "it means bread and butter" (Reynolds, Irving R. Wiles, 1988). But his portraits of prominent Americans ultimately made his career. The New York Tribune noted that Wiles captured his sitters' characters, and that his paintings rested on "solid workmanship." (Reynolds, "A Last Hurrah: Portraits by Wiles," American Heritage, September/October 1988)" —americanart.si.edu #admiringart
This amazing Chalice in the @ngadc's collection belonged to the Abbot Suger of Saint-Denis. While the cup itself dates to the 2nd/1st century BC, Abbot Suger had goldsmiths set the cup in gilded silver and decorate it with gems and pearls for use in the Mass #admiringart#dcarts#nga#decorativearts#frenchdecoration
• "The White Parasol" (c. 1907) by Robert Reid • "This painting shows Robert Reid’s young wife, Elizabeth Reeves, in the year of their wedding. Reid painted Elizabeth in a white gown surrounded by many different colored flowers to emphasize her flawless porcelain skin. Their marriage lasted only a few years, and here the delicate colors and idealized setting suggest the optimism of young love. Reid's many paintings of girls immersed in nature emphasize the fragility and beauty of women, as if he equated them with the flowers, trees, and clouds." —americanart.si.edu #admiringart