Like Us!

Worth Watching
  • 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.

Entries in Swiss Painting (2)


Konrad Witz: Immediate and Convincing Scenes

Conrad Witz - Miraculous Draught of Fishes - 1443-44 - Tempera on wood, 132 x 151 cm - Musée d'Art et d'Histoire, Geneva (click photo for larger image)Konrad Witz (c. 1410-1446) was a German-born painter from Rottweil in Swabia. He was active in Switzerland and is generally considered a member of the Swiss school. He entered the painters' guild in Basle in 1434 and apparently spent the rest of his career there and in Geneva. Little else is known of him and few paintings by him survive. These few, however, show that he was remarkably advanced in his naturalism, suggesting a knowledge of the work of his contemporaries Jan van Eyck and the Master of Flémalle (both discussed elsewhere on What About Art?) Instead of the soft lines and lyrical qualities that characterize International Gothic Style works, we find in Witz's paintings more monumental figures, whose ample draperies further emphasize their solidity.

Witz's most famous works are the four surviving panels (forming two wings) from the altarpiece of St Peter, which he painted for the cathedral in Geneva. His Miraculous Draught of Fishes, featured here, is Witz's masterpiece and his only signed and dated work. The landscape setting depicts part of Lake Geneva (one of the earliest recognizable landscapes in art). Witz’s naturalism is even more remarkable in his observation of reflection and refraction in the water.


Heinrich Keller

Heinrich Keller - Das Oberdorftor in Zurich - 1813 - Watercolour - Private collection (click photo for larger image)Swiss artist Heinrich Keller (1778-1862) was a Swiss cartographer and draughtsman. He’s best known for his wall decorations, and in 1751 he worked in the Hague on wall decorations for a mansion that is now the Escher Museum. There are no-indepth biographies on him available, but he’s worth featuring here. His work is charming.