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Showing posts from September, 2018

The Wonder of Titian's Late Paintings

Before I post any photos of my own work, here is what I have been inspired by lately: Titian's late masterpiece The Death of Actaeon.
It was painted sometime in the 1560s, when Titian was an old man. It was one of the paintings that was in his studio at the time of his death. There are a few such paintings, which he may have been working on right up until his last days. Technically, these painting are distinguished by their lack of finish, meaning that compared to his earlier paintings they look rougher, the edges less sharp, the different areas of the picture merging and blending into one another.

Another thing about them: Titian's initial "lay in" (blocking in the main shapes and some light-shadow contrasts) was done with a brush, but much of the build-up of the pigment was done using rags, dipped into the paint and then dabbed and smeared onto the canvas. The Google Arts and Culture site has some extreme high-definition images of the painting, and when you zoom r…

Artists at Sea: Manet in Normandy

After writing a 1,000 word piece about Winslow Homer's eighteen month stay at an English fishing village, I'm writing a series of primers about other artists who made similar journeys.


Edouard Manet (1832-1883), French painter.

Coastal association

The Normandy coast north of Paris.

First coastal visit

In 1848, when he was sixteen years old, his father made the first of several failed attempts to get young Edouard into the navy, packing him off on a merchant vessel sailing to Rio di Janeiro. Manet: “I learned a lot on my voyage to Brazil. I spent countless nights watching the play of light and shadow in the ship’s wake. During the day, I stood on the upper deck gazing at the horizon. That’s how I learned to construct a sky."

Reasons for visiting

Similar to many other of his near contemporaries, Manet first began regularly visiting towns such as Boulogne and Trouville for family vacations as new train lines from Paris made the journey faster than ever before. Then, as with …