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  • Empires - The Medici: Godfathers of the Renaissance
    Empires - The Medici: Godfathers of the Renaissance
    A fascinating and highly entertaining look at one of the most important families of the Renaissance era--the Medici.
  • Sister Wendy - The Complete Collection (Story of Painting / Grand Tour / Odyssey / Pains of Glass)
    Sister Wendy - The Complete Collection (Story of Painting / Grand Tour / Odyssey / Pains of Glass)

    “Sister Wendy Beckett has transformed public appreciation of art through her astonishing knowledge, insight and passion for painting and painters.” This set includes Sister Wendy's Story of Painting, Sister Wendy's Odyssey, and Sister Wendy's Grand Tour. Simultaneously delightful and scholarly--this is a must have for anyone interested in art history.

  • Exit Through the Gift Shop
    Exit Through the Gift Shop
    When British stencil artist Banksy traveled to Los Angeles to work, he came across obscure French filmmaker Thierry Guetta and his badly organized collection of videotapes involving the activities of graffiti artists. Inspired, Banksy assembled them with new footage to create this talked-about documentary, and the result is a mind-boggling and odd film (so strange as to be thought a hoax by some) about outsider artists and the definition of art itself.
  • The Impressionists
    The Impressionists
    A dramatization of the Impressionist movement as seen through the eyes of Claude Monet. Highly entertaining and informative.
  • The Impressionists: The Other French Revolution
    The Impressionists: The Other French Revolution
    A very personal and revealing look at the personalities that created Impressionism.


Louis Anquetin: One of the Influences on Vincent van Gogh

Louis Anquetin - Avenue de Clichy - Five O'Clock in the Evening 1887 - Oil on canvas, 69 x 54 cm - Wadsworth Atheneum, Hartford (click photo for larger image)French Painter Louis Anquetin (1861-1932) settled in Paris in 1882. His apartment on the Avenue de Clichy and his parents' house at Étrépagny became the rendezvous for international artists. He studied art at the Ateliers of Bonnat and Cormon, where he was a contemporary and friend of Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Émile Bernard and Vincent van Gogh. His early work shows the influence of Impressionism and of Edgar Degas. In 1887 Anquetin and Bernard devised an innovative method of painting using strong black contour lines and flat areas of color; Anquetin aroused much comment when he showed his new paintings. This painting is said to have inspired Van Gogh in painting his famous Café Terrace at Night.


Did You Know?

Michelangelo lost his mother at an early age. His father, Lodovico was horrified when he found out that Michelangelo decided to become an artist--often beating him for his choice. Lodovico was proud of his ancestry and believed that an artist son would bring disgrace upon the entire family. He wanted his son to become a bureaucrat.


Anna Ancher: Mistress of interior Light and Color

Anna Ancher - Sunlight in the Blue Room. Helga Ancher Knitting in her Grandmother's Room - 1891 - Oil on canvas, 65 x 59 cm - Skagens Museum, Skagen (click photo for larger image)Around 1870, growing numbers of Scandinavian artists took to visiting Paris, the modern metropolis with its many-sided art scene. When summer arrived the artists deserted the city. The coast of Brittany was especially popular for painting holidays. In the 1880s, there was a Swedish artists' colony at Grèz-sur-Loing, by the Fontainebleau woods. In due course the artists took the idea of the artists' colony back to Scandinavia with them. Anna Ancher (1859-1935) was a mistress of interior light and color. She generally used her effects to establish a quiet, contemplative mood. The sensitivity and gifted colorism of her paintings created soulful, intimate atmospheres. In the present canvas, she uses the contrast of sunlight and the silhouettes of potted plants and window crossbars on the wall and floor. Her color scheme is based on the contrasting blue of the wall and upholstery and the yellow of the curtains, an effect that is replicated in the blue smock and blonde hair of the girl sitting by the window.


Ivan Konstantinovich Aivazovsky: Seascapes

Ivan Konstantinovich Aivazovsky, Ship in the Stormy Sea - 1887 - Oil on canvas, 63 x 97 cm - The Hermitage, St. Petersburg (click photo for larger image)Ivan Konstantinovich Aivazovsky (1817-1900) was Russian painter of Armenian descent, most famous for his seascapes, which constitute more than half of his paintings. He was born in the town of Feodosiya, Crimea, to a poor Armenian family. His parents family name was Aivazian. Some of artist's paintings bear a signature, in Armenian letters, "Hovhannes Aivazian”. Due to his long life in art, Aivazovsky became the most prolific Russian painter of his time. He is also said to be the most forged of all Russian painters. He left over 6,000 works at his death in 1900. With funds earned during his successful career as an artist he opened an art school and gallery in his home town of Feodosiya.


Giuseppe Abbati of the Macchiaioli

Giuseppe Abbati - Cloister - 1861-62 - Oil on cardboard, 19 x 25 cm - Galleria dell'Arte Moderna, Palazzo Pitti, Florence (click photo for larger image)Italian painter Giuseppe Abbati (1836-1868) belonged to the group known as the Macchiaioli—who revolted against academic painting. Abbati was born in Naples and received early training in painting from his brother Vincenzo. He participated in Garibaldi's 1860 campaign, suffering the loss of his right eye at the Battle of Capua. Afterwards he moved to Florence where, at the Caffe Michelangiolo, he met Giovanni Fattori, Silvestro Lega, and the rest of the artists who would soon be dubbed the Macchiaioli. Abbati painted in the cloisters of Santa Croce in Florence in 1861-62 while the monument was being restored. Numerous black and white marble blocks were strewn around the grounds, offering clear-cut shapes and sharp, elementary contrasts. Beyond the empty foreground, a row of stones is placed against the shaded walkway of the cloisters, with only the figure of a worker or stonemason as a living element in this rather abstract composition.

IMAGE 5: Giuseppe Abbati - Cloister - 1861-62 - Oil on cardboard, 19 x 25 cm - Galleria dell'Arte Moderna, Palazzo Pitti, Florence

Italian Art; Italian avant’garde