Month: May 2017

  • May 27: Rothko’s touch

    Rothko’s touch Mark Rothko (1903 – 1970)  is noted  for his rich and moody color fields, but color is only part of what makes them so effective. It’s his touch that keeps the eye engaged. He didn’t just mark off rectangles and hog them in; they are veils, sometimes heavy, sometimes light, so that one […]

  • May 20: “Burning a Heretic” by Sassetta

    Burning a Heretic I think of the work of Stefano di Giovanni di Consolo, known as il Sassetta (1392 – 1450) as quiet and contemplative but full of layers, as in this image of St. Thomas Acquinas. The main event is right up front, but then the eye begins to wander this way and that and […]

  • May 13: distance

    Distance                           The pose used in each of the three pieces here, with the subject leaning back from the viewer, creates a contemplative distance, a separation. Colette is nearest of the three. Her distance is a conversational one as if across the tea table, […]

  • May 6: a favorite: Barbari’s plan of Venice

    A favorite: Barbari’s plan of Venice Jacopo de’ Barbari’s woodcut, “Plan of Venice, 1500”, falls into the engaging category of artful representation–fact-based, but full of life. It’s huge–about four by six feet. Barbari was obviously no slave to literal description, especially in matters of perspective and scale. This isn’t surprising, if only because he never saw […]