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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.

Marie Louise Elisabeth Vigée-Lebrun (1755-1842)

Marie Louise Elisabeth Vigée-Lebrun, Self-Portrait in a Straw Hat, after 1782, oil on canvas, 98 x 70 cm, National Gallery, London (click photo for larger image)One of the most successful of all women artists, Vigée-Lebrun was a French painter particularly noted for her portraits of women. Her father was Louis Vigée, a pastel portraitist and her first teacher. She studied later with a number of well-known painters, among them Jean-Baptiste Greuze and Joseph Vernet.

In 1776 she married a picture dealer, J.-B.-P. Lebrun. Her great opportunity came in 1779 when she was summoned to Versailles to paint a portrait of Queen Marie-Antoinette. The two women became friends, and in subsequent years Vigée-Lebrun painted at least 25 portraits of Marie-Antoinette in a great variety of poses and costumes; a number of these may be seen in the museum at Versailles.


Photo Albums Related to Nazi Art Theft Unveiled By Monuments Men Foundation

David S. Ferriero, archivist of the United States, right, and Robert M. Edsel, founder and president of Monuments Men Foundation for the Preservation of Art show two newly discovered albums containing photographs of art works and furniture stolen by the Nazis during World War II after they were unveiled at a news conference in the Meadows Museum at SMU in Dallas, Tuesday, Feb. 27, 2012. The Dallas-based Monuments Men Foundation for the Preservation of Art had been contacted by relatives of two World War II soldiers who took the albums from Hitler's home. They'll be donated to the U.S. National Archives. AP Photo/LM Otero.The discovery of two Nazi-era photo albums detailing images of art and furniture stolen by the Nazis represents an ongoing labor of love and justice by a group that has been tracking stolen art since the end of World War II. To date, The Monuments Men Foundation has help identify and return over five million art objects to their rightful owners.

Their continued work also reminds us that must never forget this monstrous machine, and the men who led it.

DALLAS (AP).- Two albums documenting works of art and furniture stolen by the Nazis during World War II were unveiled Tuesday after being discovered by a Dallas-based foundation that was contacted by relatives of two soldiers who had taken them from Adolf Hitler's home. Robert M. Edsel, founder and president of the Monuments Men Foundation for the Preservation of Art, said a Dallas news conference that the albums are "key pieces of evidence taken from a crime scene that were prized possessions of Adolf Hitler." The albums, which will be donated to the U.S. National Archives, were among those created by the Nazi agency Einsatzstab Richsleiter Rosenberg, or ERR, documenting the items they had taken from across Europe.



Featured Artist Friday: Stan Bruce

Stan BruceI have had the pleasure of workshopping with Stan Bruce for several years. Stan is a warm and giving human being--who creates art that embodies his own spirituality--and the spirituality of others. Here are Stan’s own words:

I am a self taught artist with a natural talent for drawing, painting and sculpting. This gift is from God, our creator, and my art is only an extension of my spirit, for I believe all great gifts come from God.

As a young student, I practiced my art in every class- perhaps that’s why I’m not a brain surgeon or rocket scientist. During my earlier years before the military, I developed my skills as an illustrator by drawing aircraft, cars, boats, buildings and, later, natural life forms.  My family never supported my desire to study art, and so, after high school, I joined the military. While in the U.S. Army, I frequently was asked do portraits of family members, and while serving in Vietnam, I recorded the war in my drawings. After returning home, I worked as a “starving artist” for a few years. Eventually, I stopped doing all art, pursued a career in sales and marketing, got married, and raised two beautiful daughters.

After retiring, I became motivated by my younger daughter, who inherited my passion for art. I now work full-time as an artist. My work is inspired by people who have beat the odds--those who have survived their own challenging life circumstances and contribute their special gifts to humanity.

My art captures people in the spirit, in the celebration of life.

Stan Bruce, “Yuki” - 2012 - Oils on canvas - 10 x 20 in. (click photo for large image)Stan Bruce, “Vero” - 2012 - Oils on canvas - 10 x 20 in. (click photo for large image)Stan Bruce, “Giving Praise” - 2012 - Oils on canvas - 18 x 24 in. (click photo for large image)


Mediate and Contemplate - The Sistine Chapel Virtual Tour

Detail view of the Sistine Chapel InteriorThe rather nondescript Sistine Chapel is undoubtedly the most famous structure in the Vatican--which enjoys around four million visitors each year. Completed in 1481 by Giovanni del Dolci, it is most famous for its amazing fresco programs. Contributors to the programs include such masters as Perugino, Pinturicchio, Botticelli, Ghirlandaio (Domenico and Benedetto), Signorelli, and Rosselli. Tapestries designed by Raphael also adorn the chapel.

The most important artworks there are the frescoes by Michelangelo on the ceiling and on the west wall behind the altar. Art historians have built entire careers on studying the works in the chapel--and there is a wealth of information about it. But...its true significance lies in the power of the images themselves. While nothing can ever take the place of seeing an artwork “in the flesh” -- anyone who has visited the chapel recently knows that its crowded and sometimes difficult to really appreciate all it has to offer.

The Sistine Chapel Virtual Tour is an excellent alternative to being there. You can zoom in on any detail you want to see, and navigate the entire chapel in whatever ways you choose. The music is lovely (so turn up your speakers) and the art is awe inspiring. This is truly a spiritual experience. So do visit. If you’re having a rough week--I promise this will make you feel better!


Dulwich Picture Gallery to Mount First UK Showing of Andy Warhol: The Portfolios

Andy Warhol, Muhammad Ali (3 of 4), 1978, Screenprint, 47.75 x 39.5cm, Bank of America Collection, Image © The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / DACS, London 2011.Andy Warhol is one of those figures whose character and legend somewhat overshadow his talents. But he was a giant in the realm of silk-screen printing--and this exhibit will definitely be worth seeing--for those of you who can get there!

LONDON.- Dulwich Picture Gallery announced its summer exhibition Andy Warhol: The Portfolios, Bank of America Collection. The exhibition will focus on the period 1962-1984 during which Warhol focused almost exclusively on the silk-screen printing method.