Category Archives: 131 RES

Abstract Impressionism and Pop Art – Jim Dine

Abstract Impressionism & Pop Art

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Jim Dine is an American artist born on June 16th 1935, who works in many different fields. Specifically, Dine is a painter, a graphic artist, a sculptor and a poet. His work is most clearly associated with the Pop artist movement and the his works explore themes of identity, memory and the body.

However, although Dine’s work is often linked to the pop art movement (his work having been displayed alongside Roy Lichtenstein and Andy Warhol’s), Dine himself rejects this categorization. On the subject of the categorization of his work he said

“I would have been quite pleased to have been a pop artist; I was very involved with pop art and with those guys. But let’s face it, I wasn’t one. I used some popular imagery, objects more than anything else. But I wasn’t glorifying consumerism, nothing like that.””

More than anything, Dine feels that his work is more closely connected to the works of  Robert Rauschenberg’s or Jasper JohnsNeo-Dada art. Dine states that his work questions the authority and influence of iconic symbols, rather than celebrate them as most pop art does.

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“At Sea” 2014, one of Dine’s many pieces featuring cartoon hearts

The imagery which Dine probably refers to are his common depictions of cartoon hearts, bathrobes and utilitarian tools. In this works Dine explores memories and identities, through his depiction of everyday objects which speak to every viewer with their familiarity. This way, the subject is easily recognised and digested by the reader, but also the subject is imbued with a deeper sense of meaning which is unique to every viewer, as their understanding of the subject is unique.

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Dine’s “Five Paintbrushes”, 1973

Dine’s work evolved in conjunction to conceptual art, both readily influencing each other. Dine’s work with repetition (especially with is household objects) is a good example of this. The repetition of objects creates a new understanding of the everyday object. The object is worthy enough for the artist to repeat its image, to study it. From this, an entirely new meaning in injected into his art. 

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“Tools in the Earth”

I actually did know about Dine before this project, though I was not aware of his influence in pop and conceptual art. I had only been exposed to his work of utilitarian tools during a high school art class where we were meant to mimic his style. Now having seen some of his other works, I can say in confidence that his work with tools is definitely my favourite. I especially enjoy his implementation of lost edges, and how the tools appear to melt into their backgrounds.

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Untitled, 1973



Photo Sources (in order) 


Cubism, Dadaism, & Surrealism- Maurice Denis

Maurice Denis

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Maurice Denis’ self portrait painted in 1916

Maurice Denis was a French Painter born on November 25th in 1870.During his lifetime he wore a series of different hats, being involved in the Les Nabis (a group he co-founded), the Symbolist movement, and later a relapse into the neoclassical. Denis is an odd artist to place, as he specifically represents the bridge between post impressionistic art and modern art. Denis’s work is caught in a gray area between the two. His work, utilizes techniques such as brushwork from the impressionists, but his theories contributed to the cubist, fauvist and abstract movements in art. Additionally, Denis was also a celebrated art critic who published many essays on aesthetics and spirituality.


Les Nabis & Religion
Denis with  Paul Sérusier,co-founded the art group “Les Nabis” (derived from the Hebrew and Arabic word for “prophet”)  in 1888 which was is officially categorized as an post-impressionist  avant garde movement. The group was associated with mysticism and symbolism, and their goal was to reinvigorate art,seeing themselves “prophets” from a higher power. Thus, the name “Les Nabis” was coined by Auguste Cazalis, who saw the group’s attempts to reflect those of ancient prophets.


Landscape with Green Trees (1893)
“Landscape with Green Trees”, painted in 1893 is an example Denis’s works in the Nabi style

Stylistically, the group took took impressionist brushwork and overlay it with bright colours (they were particularly interested in using colour symbolically and distorting line). Yet, within the group there was much room for stylistic interpretation of the movement. However, their motto that “sounds, colors, and words have a miraculously expressive power beyond all representation and even beyond the literal meaning of the words” remained as the overarching theme in all the works the group produced.

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“Le Mystere Catholique” painted in 1889

Denis produced many works during this time, and his own faith played an integral role in much of his work. One of his earlier works, “Le Mystere Catholic” painted in 1889 is an especially good example of this. The painting depicts the a catholic ceremony celebrating Gabriel’s appearance to mary. A scene which Denis depicted on six different occasions (with this one being his second one), and was one of his many religious works. However, this scene differs from many traditional interpretations, as it seemingly reimagined in an almost modern context. Additionally, Denis injects the painting with a layer of meaning by using the figures as symbolic representations for biblical figures, straying from their classical depictions. The altar boys and priests can be seen as the angels, and the lady in white is Mary, whose hands lay fingering over her stomach (foreshadowing her impregnation). Denis utilities soft, dreamlike colours reminiscent of Renaissance artists, which invoke a sense of other worldliness and spirituality (a very Nabi like approach). The colours in this particular piece are a specific callback to Fra Angelico’s works.


A Lapse into The Neo-Classical

Psyche Discovers that Her Mysterious Lover is Eros (1908)
Painted in 1908 “The Story of Psyche” is the of the three panels in the series.

Later on in his career, we see a shift from religious work and towards the neoclassical. This period of his art was less prominent than the others, however he still produced many beautiful pieces depicting classical scenes. For example, his 1908 “The Story of Psyche” is perhaps his most well known of his neoclassical works, a panel of three which depicts the Greek myth of Psche and Eros. In this period, there is a clear jump in his style. Denis has abandoned the Nabi approach to art, disregarding the organic shapes and abstraction in favour of realism and perspective. The figures in this piece are much more realistic and defined than his earlier ones, however they still remain as stylized and idealized interpretations of the human form. Additionally, they show clear influence from Renaissance artists such as Michelangelo and Raphael.


Denis’s works all greatly differ in style and content which make it somewhat more difficult to pinpoint an overarching opinion of all of his work. I like his sense of colour, especially in some of his earlier works (I really like the colours in “Le Mystere Catholique”), I find that his use of colour creates a very unique mood which I don’t see in other artist’s work. Additionally, I like the way he depicts figures, especially in their more stylized forms , for example Le mystere Catholic and The story of Psyche bear little resemblance to each other but I enjoy both interpretations of people.But I don’t care for some of his most well known works such as the Landscape with Green Trees” as I think his use of colour is a little disappointing and I don’t find the composition or the subject compelling. Similarity I don’t find I particularly understand or relate to the theory and philosophy of the Nabis.

Sleeping Woman, 1892 - Maurice Denis
“Sleeping Woman” painted in 1892


Picture Sources (in order)

Expressionism, Fauvism, & Early 20th Century – Franz Marc

Expressionism, Fauvism, & Early 20th Century – Franz Marc

Portrait of the Artist's Mother (1902)
Marc’s “Portrait of the Artist’s Mother” painted in 1902

Franz Marc was a german painter best remembered for his symbolic paintings of animals (mostly horses) in bold colours. He was an extremely influential artist who impacted a series of different expressionist movements and founded the  Der Blaue Reiter (“The Blue Rider”) who rejected the Neue Künstlervereinigung München (“Munich New Artist’s Association” in English, they were a the the first modernist secession group).

Initially, Marc’s works show a clear connection to realism and naturalism, the two most common
Styles in academic art. His painting Portrait of the Artist’s Mother (1902) is a very good example of this style. The colours muted colours, (especially compared to the bright and bold colours which we would later become so famous for), the attention to detail and the subject (specifically German artists showed an affinity to depicting ordinary people completing ordinary tasks) are all emblematic of both these styles.


Two Women on the Hillside (1906)
“Two Women on the Hillside” painted in 1906

“Two Women on the Hillside” painted in 1906 is an example of  Marc beginning to breaking away from his realistic and naturalistic style. It was painted after Marc returned from a to Paris where he studied the impressionists and demonstrates this beginning. In this piece, Marc sets begins to set aside realism for the essence of the event. Additionally, in this piece Marc utilizes loose brushstrokes and flattened space from the impressionist movement, which are key characteristics of later expressionistic work. The brustrokes in particular are very linear, which is a motif which he utilized in his later works.

The Yellow Cow (1911)
“The Yellow Cow” painted in 1911

However, this was only the beginning of his shift in style. March’s “The Yellow Cow” painted in 1911 is one of his most famous works, and its demonstrative of the unique style he cultivated in later in his life.  Perhaps most noticeable is the immediate change in his approach to colour, the soft muted colours of his earlier works are long gone. Instead, they are replaced with bold and vibrant colours, which Marc imbued with extra meaning. He was particularly interested in using colour to evoke emotion and create symbolism and took a look of cues from Van Gogh’s work. Marc eventually theory of colour symbolism in which blue represented the masculine, yellow the feminine, and red the physical (most commonly, violence). We can see his application of his theory in this work, with blue and yellow of the cow meant to symbolize his marriage to his Maria Franck. Additionally, animals are the most common subject in Marc’s mature works. The background is greatly abstracted and most likely does not correspond with a certain image or place. The whole painting is imbued with energy and movement.

“The Little Blue Horses” painted in 1911

While I like pretty much all of his works, I find his later works to be particularly compelling. The naturalistic and realistic paintings, as beautiful as they don’t have the same personality as his later works do, and fade in comparison. I like his approach to colour, even if my views on colour symbolism don’t necessarily align with his.



Picture Sources (in order which they appear)

Odilon Redon 
Impressionism & Post Impressionism

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A self portrait by Odilon Redon, painted in 1867

Odilon Redon, born on the 20th of April in 1840, was a french artist categorized under the impressionist movement. Redon being categorized as an impressionist painter is an important distinction to make . While Redon’s work appears to be highly connected to the movement, Redon made publicly denounced both realism and impressionism, and thus defies clear categorization.

The eye like a strange balloon goes to infinity, 1882 - Odilon Redon
“The eye like a strange balloon goes to infinity” was one of the prints in a series dedicated to Edgar Allen Poe

His work was not only associated with the impressionist movement but also the symbolist movement, of which he was closely associated with. Poetry, was also a great influence for Redon, including his friendship with the poet Stéphane MallarméEdgar Allan Poe stands out in particular, as Redon used his work as inspiration for many of his works, and even dedicated a series of prints in his honour. However Redon takes yet another another unexpected approach when sourcing poems as inspiration, expressing a deeper understanding and appreciation of the poem. Rather than illustrate the events of the poem, his works reflect the inner torment and anguish of the poet.

Flowers in aa Brown Vase, c.1904 - Odilon Redon
“Flowers in a Brown Vase” painted in oils by Redon
Death: It is I who makes you serious; let us embrace each other (plate 20), 1896 - Odilon Redon
Redon’s lithography print “Death: It is I who Makes you Serious; Let us Embrace each Other


























Oils, pastels, and prints (in which he mainly used Lithography learned from the master Henri Fantin-Latour) were Redon’s main media. Interestingly enough, his prints and his pastels have a very clear division, almost as if painted by two different painters on divergent courses.     

Ophelia, c.1903 - Odilon Redon
Redon’s “Ophelia” completed in 1903

His pastels and oils show a more traditional approach to art, though he is differentiated from others through his masterful application of colour. His skill  with colour was even renowned by Henri Matisse who was likewise considered a great colourist. However, even in his most tame of works he still defies convention. Redon greatly believed in the power of imagination over that of observation, and such is shown in his work, which do not necessarily adhere to reality.He painted a variety of subjects, but still lives of flowers appear to be a favourite of his, as they are most prominently featured in his oil and pastel works

Vision, 1879 - Odilon Redon
“Vision” completed in 1879

As for his prints, I can think of no better summary than “a synthesis of nightmares and dreams“ as quoted by a critic reviewing his word, especially in regards to the print displayed above. His prints explored a much more macabre and haunting themes (which was not expressed in his oils and pastels). Interestingly enough his work would seem to appear joined with the surrealist and dadaist movements, his works were completed years before the first remanists of either movements would begin. It is difficult to pinpoint the intentions of this work as Redon himself stated “My drawings inspire, and are not to be defined. They place us, as does music, in the ambiguous realm of the undetermined.

I wasn’t sure what to think when I first saw Redon’s work but now I find the more I look at it, the more appealing it becomes. Redon has an immense artistic range, his black and white lithography prints look like they were completed by an entirely different person when compared to his oils and pastels. I greatly admire his flexibility when it came to his work, and find that I cannot decide which style I actually prefer. I love his unexpected use of colour in his oils and pastels, and the mood which he creates in his prints. In all, I didn’t expect to like his works so immensely.

* “Odilon Rendon.” Britannica, Encyclopedia Britannica,
biography/Odilon-Redon. Accessed 26 Oct. 2018. * Redon, Odilon, and Raphaël Bouvier (2014). Odilon Redon. p. 2.
* Goldwater, Robert; Treves, Marco (1945). Artists on Art. Pantheon. ISBN 0-394-70900-4.


Source of Photos (In order from beginning to end)


Realism, Pre-Impressionism & Pre-Raphaelites – Winslow Homer

Realism, Pre-Impressionism & Pre-Raphaelites – Winslow Homer

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Winslow Homer, born on February 24th 1821 was an American Realist painter and is widely considered a distinguished figure in American art. While he painted a variety of subjects he is best remembered for his marine landscapes which

Homer was largely self-taught, and excelled in the arts in his early childhood. His mother, Henrietta Benson Homer was an amateur watercolour prodigy and is believed to have helped him develop his skills.  Throughout his life he worked with a variety of mediums, including watercolours and oils.

Homer became his work as commercial illustrator, and created many scenes of urban and country social life which were part of magazines such as Ballou’s Pictorial and Harper’s Weekly.
Here in these early works we can see the beginnings of his style emerging, qualities which would be recognisable in his later works as well. In general, these pieces utilised dramatic contrast in shading, simplified shapes, and clean outlines.

The Bathers, one of Homer’s earlier works published in Harper’s Weekly, 1873

It wasn’t until later where Homer would begin to start working with oils. From there his most iconic pieces would be created. Before submitting his work the National Academy of Design, Homer went to Paris and began to familiarise himself with landscape paintings in the area. He mostly focused on portraying pictorial landscapes and social life.

Homer’s “Crossing the Pasture” painted between 1871–72 is a good example of this
“Artists Sketching in the White Mountains” painted in 1868 is another later example of Homer’s work with landscapes

Homer’s work is considered to have reached its maturity in accordance to his work doing marine landscapes when he moved to Maine. He remained there and spent the majority of the 1880’s perfecting marine landscapes. Critics noticed the jump in his style and stated that “They are works of High Art.” During this time he also did many more watercolour paintings. During this period of his life we see many of his realistic tendencies come across. Homer’s paintings never shy away from the brutality of the ocean or the struggle to survive, idea which he painted with bold brushstrokes and bold colour choices.

The Gulf Stream painted in 1899 is an example example of Homer’s unique portrayal of the ocean

I had actually unknowingly come across Homer’s marine landscape paintings, which I loved. I had only seen his later works, and I was unfamiliar with his scenes depicting social life. More than anything I think they’re interesting to analyse knowing where he ended up. Over time, I think his work became bolder, more confident, a quality which I greatly admire. While I enjoy his earlier work, I don’t think they compare to more recent works.


Northeaster, 1895


“Winslow Homer.” Wikiart,

Pictures Taken from and first photo taken taken from wikipedia.

Neoclassicism, Romanticism, and Rococo – Theodore Gericault (Week 5, blogpost 4)

Théodore Géricault by Alexandre Colin 1816.jpg
Portrait of Théodore Géricault by Alexandre-Marie Colin, 1816

Théodore Géricault born on the 16th of November 1791 was a French artist who despite his short lifespan (dying in 1824) had a remarkable impact on 19th century art, and is considered a pioneer of the Romantic movement.

In total, he only had three years of formal art education, having been trained in English sporting art by Carle Vernet and Pierre-Narcisse Guérin. Afterwards he set to France to study the old masters on his own, by copying artwork in the Louvre. He continued this way from 1810 to 1815, absorbing the techniques of various artists such as Rubens. From 1816-1817 he visited Florence where he similarly studied classical art, being particularly influenced by Baroque art and Michelangelo.

For example, his first major success “The Charging Chasseur” painted in 1812 clearly shows influence from Rubens colorist style as well as an a contemporary subject matter. This painting would mark the beginning of many more works with the subject matter of horses, which he seemed like to like a lot.

The Charging Chasseur, 1812 shows influence from Ruben’s style

However, Géricault is most well remembered for his The Raft of the Medusa” for its sharp political commentary and its unflinching take on the event. It was highly controversial in France for it appointed blame to the French Government, but received much attention nonetheless. Géricault was disappointed with the paintings reception and went to England where it was met with the success he desired. Like the rest of his works, The Medusa was highly highly contemporary. Throughout his works Géricault demonstrated an uncharacteristically keen eye for detail and the Medusa was no exception. Géricault even studied a model of a raft and rotting cadavers in preparation for the piece. This piece marked a turning point in romanticism and helped it prevail against neoclassicism.

The Raft of the Medusa, 1819


  • Théodore Géricault.” The Art Story, The Art Story Foundation, Accessed 2 Oct.

  1. “Theodore Gericault.”
    Britannica, 22 Sept. 2018,

    Theodore-Gericault. Accessed 2 Oct. 2018.


  • “Theodore Gericault.” The J. Paul Getty Museum, J. Paul Getty Trust,

    Accessed 2 Oct. 2018.


All photographs are taken from wikipedia.

Sir Anthony Van Dyck – Blogpost Week 4

Sir Anthony Van Dyck

Sir Anthony Van Dyck (variant spellings include) was a well known portrait artist (often for European aristocracy), as well as a draftsman and an etcher. He was born to a wealthy family of silk merchants on March 22nd in 1599 in Spanish Netherlands (which is now modern day Belgium).

Van Dyck began his career in art at the early age of ten when he was apprenticed to the artist Hendrick van Balen. Later on he was greatly influenced by Rubens, who at the time was considered one of the greatest masters of art in Antwerp. His first surviving work, “Portrait of a Man” from 1613 is an excellent example of Rubens influence on Van Dyck. Van Dyck mimicked Ruben’s iconic dramatic composition, however he added his own twist. Unlike Ruben’s work’s (and baroque artists in general) the brushstrokes are clearly visible and add an almost coarse texture to the painting. This theme continued to be relevant in almost all of his paintings. 

“An Apostle” painted in 1618  and “Apostle Jude” painted between the years of 1619 and 1621 are  great example of this.

Additionally, the figures he drew were proportionally less idealized and more angular than other artists of his time. The expression of his figures in his religious and mythological paintings were also exaggerated such as in “Drunken Silenus Supported by Satyrs”.

 also implemented warmer hues in his tones.  

I think that Van Dyke was an excellent painter, and I particularly enjoy his portraits. I am especially fond of the ones where he uses a dark background, and the face is partially cast in shadow. The warm hues he implements in the face are beautiful and add such an interesting atmosphere to the paintings. Additionally, the visible brushstrokes make it almost possible to imagine how Van Dyke worked on the painting.

Held, Julius S. “Anthony Van Dyck.” Britannica,

All pictures are taken from Held, Julius S. “Anthony Van Dyck.” Britannica,


Hieronymus Bosch-High Renaissance & Mannerism Blogspot Week 2


Jheronimus van Aken, more commonly known as Hieronymus Bosch was a Dutch/Netherlandish artist and draughtsman originally from Brabant. Aside from this, much of his person life remains unknown. No letters or diaries have been able to have been attributed to him.


Bosch is perhaps most remembered for his outlandish Throughout his life span he painted a grand total of triptychs, his most famous one being The Garden of Earthly Delights (c. 1495–1505). This painting is emblematic of the majority of his work; fanatical and macabre with religious themes. This painting in particularly was part of one of his transitional pieces, from his middle period to his late period. Interestingly enough, much of his work can be distinguished from the traditional Flemish painting style which employs glazes to hide brushwork. Bosch’s work is characteristically rough and textured.

“Garden of Earthly Delights”

A close up of the hell panel of the “Garden of Earthly Delights”

“The Crucifixion of St. Julia” is another example of Bosch’s work with religious scenes.

Even now, I’m not sure if I like his work, but it definitely catches your eye. I personally saw this piece in the Museo del Prado in Madrid, and it certainly draws the eye. It is ever easy to spend a very long time observing its immaculate details. I certainly did,I spent a long time looking at it. However, I’m not sure that I enjoyed it. Regardless, his work certainly makes a statement, even if I am unsure how I feel about said statement.

Andrea Mantegna-Late Gothic & Early Renaissance (Blogpost Week 1)

Andrea Mantegna was an Italian artist of the early renaissance with a background in Roman archaeology. He not only had a successful painting career but also had a notable career as a engraver (although he never dated any of these works).

His background in sculpture is clearly reflected in his paintings, especially his later works.
His artwork is noted to be on the stiffer,more rigid side, as he preferred he works of ancient artists to nature. The approach he maintained towards sculptor. Mantegna’s works often featured a barren dull landscape, and stiff, relatively with a bony, stiff figure.

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His paintings “St. Sebastian” from 1480 and “Christ and the Suffering Redeemer” are a good example of this.

As per the time, Mantegna Experimented with the new discover of perspective. He especially seemed to favour the then new trend of lowering the horizon. This created a very subtle worms eye view which created a greater sense of awe. .

In general, the art of the late Gothic period and the early renaissance is not one which I find particularly appealing. While I recognise the immense skill of renaissance painters  and the of its time, it is not artwork which I generally enjoy. The majority of the Mantegna’s paintings are rather dull, however there are a few exceptions. Unfortunately, I don’t think the colours are particularly well handled, although this may be a result of the available materials at the time.

For example, his “Judith and Holofernes” is certainly more colourful than his other works, but I personally dislike the use of colour in this piece. (It should be noted that it is disputed whether Mantengna painted this or Giulio Campagnola did).

All information and pictures are from his Wikipedia page (