Arguably the greatest master of the Dutch Golden Age, Rembrandt is famed for several types of works: his monumental history paintings, his self-portraits and, as beautifully exemplified by the transcendent Abraham and the Angels, his intimate biblical scenes.
Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn was a Dutch draughtsman, painter, and printmaker. An innovative and prolific master in three media, he is generally considered one of the greatest visual artists in the history of art and the most important in Dutch art history.
The Dutch Golden Age was a period in the history of the Netherlands, roughly spanning the era from 1581 to 1672, in which Dutch trade, science, and art and the Dutch military were among the most acclaimed in the world. The first section is characterized by the Eighty Years’ War, which ended in 1648.
My main fascination lies within the manipulation of fibres and textiles as an expressive art form. Taking the rural environment as my inspiration,I explore long-term interests of texture, colour, layering and process to create contemplative and ethereal artworks.
My primary technique is wet felting; a traditional craft technique using wool tops, hot water, soapsuds and friction to interlock the fibres together. The making is muscular and rhythmic as I lay, pour, roll and squeeze again and again. It seems repetition nudges me into a semi-meditative space – it invites me to trust myself, and let the haptic connections sinuously paint a new space for the viewer to contemplate.
The compositions are built in layers, hinting at what may lie beneath, and use translucency and light to create absorbing moods. These are highly textured felt pieces in which cloth is embedded, prints disguised, and threads unravelled as a painter with her brush. The analogy with painting is significant throughout, making the viewing inquisitive, and challenging people’s perception.
Brought up in France and French Polynesia, I originally came to the UK to study textile design and am now a widely exhibited artist working and living in West Yorkshire. In 2015, I was awarded the Embroidery Magazine’s Best Emerging Textile Artist at SIT Select Showcase, as well as Best Picture in Show at theGreat North Art Show.
Contemporary artist Sam Szafran created truly dizzying perspectives in all of his art. In this episode of Expert Voices, discover how his extensive oeuvre often featured the same themes focusing on staircases, his studios and plants. ‘Staircase with a Blue Window’ and ‘Plants with Skylights’ perfectly depict his skill at capturing vertiginous aspects and ‘Atelier de la rue de Crussol’ shows a multitude of hidden details in this captivating work.
Sam Szafran (19 November 1934 – 14 September 2019) was a French artist. He has been buried in the cimetière parisien de Bagneux.
The 1960s were a turning point for Master Chinese Artist Chu Teh-Chun. In this latest Sotheby’s video, discover how he abandoned his traditional figurative style of painting in favour of abstraction. Learn how his painting ‘Composition’, created in 1961, perfectly executes the concept of Chinese painting whilst meeting the style of Western abstraction.
Chu Teh-Chun or Zhu Dequn was a Chinese-French abstract painter acclaimed for his pioneering style integrating traditional Chinese painting techniques with Western abstract art. Chu Teh-Chun enrolled in the National School of Fine Arts, where he studied under Fang Ganmin and Wu Dayu.
‘Saint Eustace’ by Albrecht Dürer depicts the popular medieval legend of a Roman General becoming a saint. In this episode of Anatomy of an Artwork, discover how Dürer captured the intricate detail of the story through the arduous medium of engraving.
Albrecht Dürer (1471 -1528), sometimes spelt in English as Durer or Duerer, was a German painter, printmaker, and theorist of the German Renaissance. Born in Nuremberg, Dürer established his reputation and influence across Europe when he was in his twenties due to his high-quality woodcut prints.
In the 18th century, Joseph Vernet was uncontestably the greatest landscape painter of his generation. In this episode of Anatomy of an Artwork, discover how the ambitious and poetic landscape of ‘View of Tivoli’ pays tribute to the Italy Vernet loved so dearly.
Claude-Joseph Vernet was the leading French landscape painter (with Hubert Robert) of the later 18th century. He achieved great celebrity with his topographical paintings and serene landscapes. He was also one of the century’s most accomplished painters of tempests and moonlight scenes.
Vernet was born at Avignon and trained there with his father, Antoine, and with the history painter Philippe Sauvan. He spent the years 1734 to 1752 in Rome, where he studied classical landscapes in the tradition of Claude and Gaspard Dughet, as well as the dramatic paintings of Salvator Rosa. In Rome he was influenced by the contemporary Roman topographical painter Giovanni Paolo Panini. He had many English clients and admirers in Rome, including Richard Wilson, whom Vernet is thought to have encouraged as a landscape painter.
In this episode of Expert Voices, Lisa Dennison discusses a masterful painting created by Frank Stella in the early part of his career. In the 1950s, Stella left Princeton and moved to New York at the height of Abstract Expressionism. Despite being a progenitor of Minimalism, Stella’s gestural hand is visible in the concentric squares – most likely influenced by the Abstract Expressionists.
Frank Philip Stella is an American painter, sculptor and printmaker, noted for his work in the areas of minimalism and post-painterly abstraction. Stella lives and works in New York City.
Tim Wilmot is an artist from Bristol in the South-west of the UK, specialising in vibrant watercolours, using tone and light to bring out the best in the medium. Tim, self-taught, paints in a loose, impressionistic style and, while having dabbled with portraits and still lifes, he is inexorably drawn to landscapes.
He says: “I’m an outdoor person rather than an indoor person. For many years I’ve taken a sketch book on my travels and I quickly scribble scenes in a shorthand sort of way. Then, returning home, I recreate those memories with paint and brush. Watercolour is also an ideal medium for those quick impressions when you’re limited in time.”
In 1991, the Scottish artist Peter Doig (b. 1959) visited Le Corbusier’s Unité d’Habitation in northeast France, a utopian housing project that had opened in 1961 in Briey-en-Fôret, then been abandoned.
To Doig, the project was a temple of hope laid to ruin, and the nine large-scale canvases it inspired — Doig’s seminal ‘Concrete Cabins’ series, the largest and most distinctive cycle in Doig’s oeuvre — became a meditation on the decay of Le Corbusier’s modernist vision of social cohesion.
Boiler House was first exhibited in Salzburg after Doig had won the Eliette von Karajan prize in 1994, and was included in Doig’s 2008 retrospective at Tate Britain. It stands alone within the cycle, an isolated building in the forest.
Depicting the building designed to house the estate’s coal boiler, it is rendered in fluid trails of impasto, and carries a stark anthropomorphic charge, the angular geometries looming large through a screen of trees, shifting in and out of focus like a memory or fragments from a movie reel.
He went on to become a highly respected portraitist, counting Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany, Benito Mussolini and opera star Lina Cavalieri among his subjects. In Coy’s view, however, his portraits were relatively conventional offerings — and Corcos’s ‘best work’ was his turn-of-the-century imagery of ‘dangerously independent women’.
Compare the biographies of Vittorio Corcos (1859-1933) and Amedeo Modigliani (1884-1920), and a remarkable number of similarities become apparent. Both were born into Jewish families in the Italian port city of Livorno in the second half of the 19th century; both would settle — and artistically come of age — in Paris. Both would even excel at the same type of paintings: their provocative depictions of women.
Their reputations, however, have suffered widely different fates. Modigliani, who struggled to sell much work before his death at the age of 35, is today regarded as a master of Modernism. Corcos, by contrast, who enjoyed a long and prosperous international career, posthumously became a rather forgotten figure.