Daily Archives: December 22, 2021
Art History: ‘Rubens – Picturing Antiquity’
“I think it just shows very well how Rubens worked, how he got the inspiration from antiquity, but he transforms it into something completely new and very alive.”
The Flemish Baroque painter Peter Paul Rubens is most famous for his dynamic, colorful renderings of religious scenes and mythological stories. Yet Rubens’s work was also deeply inspired by the art of the past. He was a keen student of classical antiquity, engaging with ancient sculptures, coins, gems, and cameos both at home and in his travels through Italy. His friendships with antiquarians, patrons, and scholars provided a network for vibrant intellectual exchanges that informed the artist’s work.
In this episode, Getty curators Anne T. Woollett, Davide Gasparotto, and Jeffrey Spier discuss their exhibition Rubens: Picturing Antiquity, which explores how Rubens was affected by and, in turn, transformed the classical past in his paintings, drawings, and designs. The exhibition, which received major support from Jo Carole and Ronald S. Lauder and generous support from the Leonetti/O’Connell Family Foundation, is on view at the Getty Villa through January 24, 2022.
For images, transcripts, and more, visit https://blogs.getty.edu/iris/podcast-peter-paul-rubens-and-the-arts-of-antiquity
Previews: London Review Of Books – January 6, 2022
Aerial Views: Kamchatka Peninsula, Eastern Russia
Kamchatka Peninsula, also spelled Kamčatka, Russian Poluostrov Kamchatka, peninsula in far eastern Russia, lying between the Sea of Okhotsk on the west and the Pacific Ocean and Bering Sea on the east. It is about 750 miles (1,200 km) long north-south and about 300 miles (480 km) across at its widest; its area is approximately 140,000 square miles (370,000 square km).
Two mountain ranges, the Sredinny (“Central”) and Vostochny (“Eastern”), extend along the peninsula and rise to 15,584 feet (4,750 metres) in Klyuchevskaya Volcano. The trough between these mountain chains is occupied for much of its length by the Kamchatka River. Of the 127 volcanoes, 22 are still active, as are a number of geysers and hot springs. Most of the active volcanoes lie along a fault line on the eastern flank of the Vostochny Range.
The western coastlands of the Kamchatka Peninsula form a low plain crossed by many rivers and with extensive swamps, while the eastern coast is an alternation of broad gulfs and cliffed, mountainous peninsulas. A small geothermal-power station uses underground steam and is in operation near the southern end of the peninsula.
Art Views: Watercolors By Thomas W. Schaller (2021)
“In many ways, why we paint is more important than what or how we paint. What we create is more than just something we do, it expresses who we are. My work is a study in contrasts: light and dark, vertical and horizontal, warm and cool, the real and the imagined, and elements of the past, present, and future. I design with conflicting elements – allowing them to find balance and resolution on the surface of the paper in surprising and expressive ways, trying never to paint just what I look at, but rather how it is I see; how I react to the world I see around me and within. The results are reflections of my attempt at becoming more fully present in the process.“
Thomas W. Schaller is an award-winning artist, architect, and author based in Los Angeles. As a renowned architectural artist, he received a Graham Foundation Grant and was a two-time recipient of the Hugh Ferriss Memorial Prize. He has authored three books; the best-selling, and AIA award winner, Architecture in Watercolor (VNR – McGraw Hill) The Art of Architectural Drawing (J.Wiley and Sons), and Thomas W. Schaller, Architect of Light : Watercolor Paintings by a Master – a retrospective of his recent artwork released by North Light Books / F+W Media and now Penguin / Random House, NYC in 2018.
Christmas Tours: The Elms In Newport, Rhode Island
The Elms was the summer residence of Mr. and Mrs. Edward Julius Berwind of Philadelphia and New York. Mr. Berwind made his fortune in the coal industry. In 1898, the Berwinds engaged Philadelphia architect Horace Trumbauer to design a house modeled after the mid-18th century French chateau d’Asnieres (c.1750) outside Paris.
Construction of The Elms was completed in 1901 at a cost reported at approximately $1.4 million. The interiors and furnishings were designed by Allard and Sons of Paris and were the setting for the Berwinds’ collection of Renaissance ceramics, 18th century French and Venetian paintings, and Oriental jades.
The elaborate Classical Revival gardens on the grounds were developed between 1907 and 1914. They include terraces displaying marble and bronze sculpture, a park of fine specimen trees and a lavish lower garden featuring marble pavilions, fountains, a sunken garden and carriage house and garage. These gardens were recently restored.
Mrs. Berwind died in 1922, and Mr. Berwind invited his sister, Julia, to become his hostess at his New York and Newport houses. Mr. Berwind died in 1936 and Miss Julia continued to summer at The Elms until her death in 1961, at which time the house and most of its contents were sold at public auction. The Preservation Society of Newport County purchased The Elms in 1962 and opened the house to the public. In 1996, The Elms was designated a National Historic Landmark.
Design: ‘Thundertruck’ Solar Batwing EV Truck
Creative agency wolfgang LA has unveiled the thundertruck, an electric offroader with futuristic looks. Although just a proposal for now, the multipurpose EV promises ‘superior on and off-road performance’ and ‘an entirely new level of versatility and functionality’, all with zero emissions.
Bird Views: Woodpeckers & Tufted Titmice Feeding
Previews: Times Literary Supplement – December 24
Morning News: Americans Move Out Of Cities, North-South Split, Julius Caesar
The flood of people out of cities is unlike anything since the suburbanisation of the 1950s; we examine the inevitable economic and political consequences.
After years of reporting our correspondent concludes that the mutual disdain of a country’s northern and southern halves is a curious human universal. And a sojourn to fact-check Julius Caesar’s accounts of his triumphs in France.