Entries by tja

A Poem from 1762

—The diſtinguish’d part of Men With Compaſs, Pencil, sword, or Pen, Shou’d in Life’s viſit leave their Name In Characters, which may proclaim, That they with Ardour ſtrove to raiſe At once their Art’s and Country’s Praiſe. Prior. —from Anecdotes of Painting in England by Mr. Horace Walpole

A Corpus of Rembrandt Paintings Online

For those familiar with Ernst van de Wetering’s Rembrandt – The Painter at Work and the Rembrandt Research Project, you may also be aware of the six-part series of Rembrandt books entitled A Corpus of Rembrandt Paintings. If you’re not interested in paying the going rate for an actual volume (Volume I is currently selling […]

“The Four Techniques for Illusion and Volume”

For those out there like myself interested in technical art history, you can download an excellent free document in PDF presented by the Getty Conservation Institute called Historical Painting Techniques, Materials and Studio Practice.  This was called to my attention by Prof. Celeste Brusati at the University of Michigan, and I thank her again for doing […]

Rubens: How to Price a Painting

For one evaluates pictures differently from tapestries. The latter are purchased by measure, while the former are valued according to their excellence, their subject, and number of figures. —Letter of June 1, 1618, to Sir Dudley Carleton.

Seeing is Believing: Caravaggio’s Conversion of Saul, Formal Analysis and Critical Thinking

I teach a 100 level on-site Art History class for The American University of Rome called Art of Rome.¹  I began teaching it in the Spring of 2007 and, as of this writing, have taught it every semester since.  It is, in essence, a hybrid of historical fact—names, dates, places and vocabulary—combined with a methodology designed […]

Is Burnt Umber Evil?

Some time back in 2012 I read Virgil Elliot’s Traditional Oil Painting.  He refers to Burnt Umber as a Problematic Pigment: The author [Virgil Elliott] has all but dropped burnt umber from his palette, owing to its high degree of absorbency when dry, which causes varnish to sink in, leaving chalky-appearing “dry spots.”  It can […]

Illustration vs. Painting

Decades ago this would often come up in discussion with Maestro: what is the difference between “Illustration” and “Painting”? Here’s a thought I had tonight on the way home from Tuesday’s figure drawing lesson: Illustration is execution; Painting is performance. Illustration is the end of the journey; Painting is the means of the journey. Your […]

Notes on R.A.M. Stevenson’s Velázquez

Annotation Summary for: velasquez-RAM-stevenson Page 11: Cover Page 15: TOC Page 17: List of illustrations Page 21: Bibliography Page 25: Introduction Page 26: The true effect of art is slow. Page 26: The energy and eloquence of a Ruskin and the sympathetic comprehension of a whistler or Carolus-Duran are needed for Madrid. Page 27: Delacroix; […]