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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.

William Morris Hunt: A Poetic Mood

William Morris Hunt - La Marguerite - 1853 - Oil on canvas - 46 x 35.5 in. - Museum of Fine Arts - Boston, MAAmerican artist William Morris Hunt (1824-1879) ( After leaving Paris, Hunt painted and used his family connections to establish art schools ) was born in Brattleboro, Vermont into a wealthy, well-positioned family. After three years at Harvard College, he left to join the wave of American artists who traveled to Europe during the nineteenth century. Cities like Munich, Düsseldorf, and Paris offered young artists superior teachers and examples of classical art as well as the latest trends. In Paris, Hunt studied with the influential Thomas Couture, who stressed the importance of sketching and preserving the freshness of one's first impressions. However, Hunt's most important encounter in Europe was with the French painter Jean-François Millet. Living near the village of Barbizon, Millet and several other artists painted rural landscapes infused with a poetic mood. These artists came to be known as the Barbizon School. In his painting and teaching, Hunt brought the Barbizon style back to America when he returned in 1856. His own work included portraits, murals, and scenes of everyday life.

The companionship of Millet had a lasting influence on Hunt's character and style, and his work grew in strength, in beauty and in seriousness. He was among the biggest proponents of the Barbizon school in America, and he more than any other turned the rising generation of American painters towards Paris. After leaving Paris, Hunt painted and used his family connections to establish several art schools.


Did You Know?

The Oxford English Dictionary offers 12 different meanings for the noun ‘art’.


Amico Aspertini: A Half-Insane Master

Amico Aspertini - Heroic Head - Tempera on wood, 37,5 x 36,5 cm - Christian Museum, Esztergom, Hungary (click photo for larger image)Amico Aspertini (ca. 1475-1552) was an Italian Mannerist painter from Bologna. Giorgio Vasari describes him as having an eccentric personality—in his word “half-insane”. This is revealed in his paintings, which are often bizarre in expression. Aspetini was in Rome 1500-03 and his sketchbooks of Roman remains (British Museum, London) are important sources about contemporary knowledge of the antique.

The monochrome painting featured here, with the stone-like frame, appears as a relief. It is interesting to note that the bust is not in the painted frame, but before it. This was an unusual feature at the time.


Quote of the Day

“The principle of true art is not to portray, but to evoke.” - Jerzy Kosinski


Pierre Bonnard: The Spirit of the Moment

Pierre Bonnard - The Checkered Blouse - 1892 - Oil on canvas - Height: 61 cm (24.02 in.), Width: 33 cm (12.99 in.) - Musée d’Orsay - Paris (click photo for larger image)French painter and printmaker, Pierre Bonnard (1867-1947) member of the group of artists called Les Nabis, and afterward a leader of the Intimists. Bonnard is generally regarded as one of the greatest colorists of modern art. He attended the École des Beaux-Arts, but, failing to win the Prix de Rome (a prize to study at the French Academy in Rome), he transferred to the Académie Julian, where he came into contact with some of the major figures of the new artistic generation. 

During the 1890s Bonnard became one of the leading members of the Nabis, a group of artists who specialized in painting intimate domestic scenes as well as decorative curvilinear compositions akin to those produced by painters of the contemporary Art Nouveau movement. Bonnard painted many of his scenes from memory, capturing the spirit of the moment rather than the exact person or place. Bonnard did not paint from life but rather drew his subjects - sometimes photographing them as well - and made notes on the colors. He then painted - and especially, colored - the canvas in his studio from his notes.