Archive for the Art Category

Elisabeth Jerichau-Baumann – Havfruen

Posted in Art with tags , , , , on February 20, 2019 by telescoper

Something else I discovered in the Glyptoteket in Copenhagen on Saturday was the art of Polish-Danish painter Elisabeth Jerichau-Baumann, who lived from 1819 until 1881. There are many of her compositions on display in Copenhagen. I found some of them very conventional and even a bit sentimental, but she undoubtedly had a distinctive way of handling light and some of her paintings are very fine indeed. I thought I’d pick this one to share as it is a large and striking oil painting that greets you when you enter the first room of Danish art (upstairs).

The title of this is Havfruen (`The Mermaid’).

Incidentally, one of the few things I know how to say in Danish is Den lille Havfrue (`The Little Mermaid’), largely because of the famous statue which is a local Copenhagen landmark. This illustrates an interesting feature of Danish grammar. Instead of adding a definite article, as one would do in English, a singular definite noun is denoted by adding the indefinite article en (or elided form) as a suffix at the end of the noun. This is the rule unless the noun is qualified by an adjective, in which case a definite article `Den’ is put at the front. Hence `the Mermaid’ is Havfruen but `the little Mermaid’ is Den lille Havfrue, owing to the presence of the adjective lille. The Mermaid above may or may not be little, but the painting certainly isn’t!

Danish grammar isn’t really all that hard – quite similar to German, actually – but the pronunciation is very challenging!

A Day Out in Copenhagen

Posted in Art with tags , on February 16, 2019 by telescoper

As planned I spent most of today as a tourist in the fine city of Copenhagen. Specifically I decided to visit the Ny Carlsberg Glyptoteket, a museum of considerable interest. Here are some pictures I took inside.

Head of a wounded Amazon, a roman copy of a Greek original, c. 350 BC

A fine selection of classical beards

Head Room

Statue of the Egyptian God Anubis

A fine collection of bronzes by Degas.

And this is a gratuitous tourist picture of the lovely harbour of Nyhavn in the sunshine…

And after that I had a late lunch with an old friend. All in all rather a nice day. Now I should get my stuff together and head to the departure gate!

Abstract Whiteboard No. 2

Posted in Art, Biographical on January 18, 2019 by telescoper

Before going home for the weekend I thought I’d share this work (300cm × 120cm, marker on whiteboard) by a relatively unknown Anglo-Irish artist currently based in the Maynooth area who wishes to remain anonymous.

Despite the somewhat stochastic form of the composition and the unusual choice of medium I think this work speaks for itself, but I’d just like to comment* that, with regard to the issue of content, the disjunctive perturbation of the spatial relationships resonates within the distinctive formal juxtapositions. Moreover, the aura of the figurative-narrative line-space matrix threatens to penetrate a participation in the critical dialogue of the 90s. Note also that the iconicity of the purity of line brings within the realm of discourse the remarkable and unconventional handling of light. As a final remark I’ll point out that the presence of a bottle of whiteboard cleaner to the bottom right of the work symbolizes the ephemeral nature of art and in so doing causes the viewer to reflect on the transience of human existence.

*These notes may or may not have been generated with the help of an online Instant Art Critique Phrase Generator.

Waves Breaking on the Rocks at Kilkee

Posted in Art with tags , , , on January 5, 2019 by telescoper

Back in Ireland on Thursday I was pottering about in my flat listening to the radio when I heard an interesting discussion about the work of art shown above, by Nathaniel Hone the Younger. It’s not a finished painting, but a small sketch made in watercolours, probably a study for a larger work. Hone made lots of these sketches over the years; this one was made in about 1890 at Kilkee and is in the National Gallery of Ireland. The dark palette and rough texture created by very thick application of the paint is unusual for a watercolour. No doubt all that is at least partly because of the windswept location in which the artist was working!

Euclid, by Max Ernst

Posted in Art with tags , , on December 18, 2018 by telescoper

by Max Ernst (1891-1976) , painted in 1945 (oil on canvas, 65 x 57.5 cm).



Posted in Art, Crosswords with tags , , on December 16, 2018 by telescoper

Having finished the Everyman crossword in this morning’s Observer, I was reading a review of some books about Pieter Bruegel in the Times Literary Supplement where I found mention of a piece by that artist also called Everyman.

Here is the work, an ink drawing on paper, of dimensions 20.9cm by 29.2 cm made in Antwerp in 1558 and currently in the British Museum.

According to the catalogue, the work is called Elck in Dutch, which means ‘each’ or ‘everyone’, but is usually known in English as ‘Everyman’.

The scenes in the drawing illustrate proverbs or sayings. The central proverb concerns Elck who vainly seeks himself in the objects of this world as he stands over a broken globe. With a lantern he searches through a pile of barrels and bales, a game board, cards and objects which signify the distractions of life.

To the right, two more Elck figures play tug of war with a rope, illustrating the saying, ‘each tugs for the longest end’.

In the background on a wall hangs a picture which continues the moral theme. It shows a fool sitting among a pile of broken household objects gazing at himself in a mirror. He is Nemo or Nobody, as the inscription below him informs us: ‘Nobody knows himself.

To me it seems that Elck is searching (no doubt in vain) for something worth keeping in the junkyard of human existence. Perhaps he should perhaps have a go at a crossword to cheer himself up?

Autumn Nights

Posted in Art with tags on November 19, 2018 by telescoper

I stumbled across this abstract painting (acrylic on canvas) by the artist Victoria Kloch and thought I’d share it this autumn night. Do check out her website. There’s lots more interesting stuff on it!

Victoria Kloch | fine art

'Autumn Night' 5"x7" acrylic abstract on canvas by Victoria Kloch ‘Autumn Night’ 5″x 7″ acrylic abstract on canvas by Victoria Kloch

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Jazz – Man Ray

Posted in Art with tags , , on October 6, 2018 by telescoper

by Man Ray (1919, oil on canvas, 71.12 x 55.88 cm).

`An Astronomer’ – Ferdinand Bol

Posted in Art with tags , , , , on September 25, 2018 by telescoper

by Ferdinand Bol (1619-1680), painted in 1652, 127 x 135 cm, Oil on Canvas.

I saw the above painting the other day and thought I’d share it here, as part of an occasional series of works of art. It can be found in the National Gallery in London.

It’s a fairly conventional composition and the style is clearly heavily influenced by Rembrandt, but this painting is beautifully done and has some interesting features all of its own. On the table is a celestial globe, and behind it a terrestrial one. The darkness surrounding the astronomer and his desk suggests isolation and introspection which, together with the pose of the figure and his abstracted manner, indicates that the painting may belong to the visual tradition of Melancholia, made famous by the work of Albrecht Dürer, in which it was suggested that a scholar’s research would inevitably lead him to an awareness of the futility of his endeavours in the face of death.

It’s being so cheerful that helps keep me going…

Tonight is Culture Night!

Posted in Art, Maynooth, Music with tags on September 21, 2018 by telescoper

Just time for a quick post to mention that tonight is Culture Night in Ireland, which means that over 1600 venues around the country are open this evening for free cultural events. Museums, art galleries and other public buildings and spaces will open later this evening to welcome the general public and there are scores of free concerts going on all over the place. There’s a useful guide here.There are some events in Maynooth tonight, including one at Maynooth Castle.

I would have gone to tonight’s free concert at the National Concert Hall. Although it’s free you have to book a ticket because the capacity is limited and unfortunately I was too late getting around to doing that so couldn’t get in. I’ll probably listen to it on the radio tonight instead.

I think Culture Night is a great idea, as it encourages people to sample cultural fare they might otherwise not get around to trying, and may boost the audiences for the rest of the year as a result. I wonder if anyone has ever thought of running a Culture Night in, say, Cardiff?