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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.

Quote of the Day

“They always say time changes things, but you actually have to change them yourself.” - Andy Warhol


Ed Malsberg: “A Lifetime of Art”

(click photo for larger image)“A Lifetime of Art” is an exhibit featuring the work of Ossining artist, Ed Malsberg, who will celebrate his 100th birthday in 2019.

A native of Boston, Ed graduated from the Massachusetts College of Art, in 1940; a Fine Arts major.

He studied printmaking at the School of the Boston Museum of Fine Arts. During WWII, he served overseas in a topography unit and on the staff of Stars and Stripes European edition as an artist. After the war he began a lengthy career as a free-lance illustrator in New York in advertising and publishing.

Edward's clients included major advertising agencies and book publishers and the subject matter ranged from humorous, decorative illustration, to science, natural history, biology, physiology, children’s books and textbooks.

He also won an award from the American Institute of Graphic Arts in 1968 for book illustration.

These days, Ed is engaged in his lifelong passion for landscape painting in his favorite mediums, watercolor and pastel. Ed is the most senior member of the Ossining Arts Council, and he regularly attends all of OAC’s meetings and event.

There will be a Reception for Ed’s exhibit on Tuesday, December 11th, at the Ossining Public Library, from 6:30 to 8:30 PM. The library is located at 53 Croton Avenue in Ossining, NY. The exhibit runs from December 5th - 29th. 

Don’t miss this wonderful event featuring the work of a truly remarkable artist—and person!


Botticelli: Always a Mystery

Sandro Botticelli - The Mystical Nativity - c. 1500 - Tempera on canvas, 109 x 75 cm - National Gallery, London (click photo for larger image)Sandro Botticelli (c. 1445 - 1510) was one of the greatest Renaissance masters, largely because “…he bridged the gap between the Medieval Gothic style of painting and an emerging Humanist Realism” (The Art Story). He studied under Fra Filippo Lippi, and worked to improve the comparatively soft, frail figural style he had learned from his teacher. To this end he studied the sculptural styles of Antonio Pollaiuolo and Andrea del Verrocchio, the leading Florentine painters of the 1460s. Under their influence, Botticelli produced figures of sculptural roundness and strength. He also replaced Lippi’s delicate approach with a vigorous naturalism, shaped always by conceptions of ideal beauty. All of these artists, including Botticelli, are discussed elsewhere here on “What About Art?”. 

There is no documentary evidence to prove whether or not Botticelli was one of the Dominican monk Savonarola's followers. But certain themes in his later works, such as The Mystic Nativity, are certainly derived from the sermons of Savonarola, which suggests that the artist was definitely attracted by that personality.

Some scholars believe that this painting, the only surviving work signed by Botticelli, was created for his own private devotions, or for someone close to him. It is certainly unconventional, and does not simply represent the traditional events of the birth of Jesus and the adoration of the Shepherds or the Magi. Rather it is a vision of these events inspired by the prophecies in the Revelation of Saint John. 

Botticelli has underlined the non-realism of the picture by including Latin and Greek texts, and by adopting the conventions of medieval art, such as discrepancies in scale, for symbolic ends. The Virgin Mary, adoring a gigantic infant Jesus, is so large that were she to stand she could not fit under the thatch roof of the stable. These are, of course, the holiest and the most important persons in the painting.


Did You Know?

“The Embarkation for Cythera” by Jean-Antoine Watteau had to be hidden away in the late 18th century. Students kept throwing bread at it as they thought it represented the excesses of the monarchy.


Francesco Albani: The Annunciation

Francesco Albani - The Annunciation - n.d. - Oil on copper - 62 x 47 cm. - The Hermitage, St. Petersburg (click photo for larger image)Francesco Albani (1578-1660) was an Italian Baroque painter who was active in Bologna, Rome, Viterbo, Mantova, and Florence. He studied in Bologna with the Mannerist painter Denijs Calvaert before joining the Carracci Academy. While at the academy, he was an enthusiastic pupil. Like so many other artists from Bologna, he moved to Rome to study classical art, which he then applied with zeal to his own work. Albani's classicism can be seen in the altarpieces he painted after returning to Bologna, and in the cycles he painted on mythological subjects. 

Albani almost single-handedly created an appetite for light-hearted, pleasant works that lasted throughout the seventeenth century.

Albani painted many versions of the Annunciation, one of which is featured here.