Tag Archives: Painting

Creative Juice #180

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Creative Juice #180

Pretty things and creepy things. Great ideas and sad thoughts.

  1. Gorgeous creepy crawlers.
  2. A different kind of book nook. I didn’t know these were a thing.
  3. Do you have lots of scraps in your fabric stash? Here are some ideas of what to do with them.
  4. Photography on grass.
  5. Suicide’s painful legacy. Don’t do it. Ask for help.
  6. Amazing underwater photography.
  7. This Vile painter will make you see through walls.
  8. If your favorite cartoon characters were fossils. . .
  9. A gorgeous travel-sketch-journal to inspire you.
  10. I’m sharing this post about the Road to California quilt show especially because it features a quilt made by the fabulous Cindy Stohn.
  11. Read these 25 excellent suggestions for improving your life and be encouraged.
  12. Nathalie goes to Austin. (I have a friend who lives there. Now that I know how cool it is, I’ll have to go visit her. . .)

Fra Angelico, the Angelic Friar

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Fra Angelico, the Angelic Friar

Fra Angelico (born Guido di Pietro circa 1395—died February 18, 1455) was an Italian painter of the Early Renaissance. His nickname in English-speaking countries, Fra Angelico, means the “Angelic friar,” referring to his devout and humble demeanor.  He earned his reputation primarily for with the series of frescoes he made for his own friary, San Marco, in Florence.

The earliest recorded document concerning Fra Angelico dates from October 17, 1417, when he joined a religious confraternity at the Carmine Church, still under the name of Guido di Pietro. This record reveals that he was already a painter. The first record of Angelico as a friar dates from 1423, when he is first referred to as Fra Giovanni (Friar John), following the custom of taking a new name upon entering a religious order.

These images from the Linaiuoli Madonna Alterpiece by Fra Angelico are available from the Metropolitan Museum Store

Images from the Linaiuoli Madonna altarpiece by Fra Angelico: store.metmuseum.org

According to Vasari (a sixteenth century artist and art historian), Fra Angelico initially received training as an illuminator, possibly working with his older brother Benedetto, who was also a Dominican and an illuminator. The former Dominican convent of San Marco in Florence, now a state museum, holds several illuminated manuscripts that are thought to be entirely or partly by his hand. According to Vasari, the first paintings of this artist were an altarpiece and a painted screen for the Charterhouse (Carthusian monastery) of Florence; neither still exist.

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Annunciation, Fra Angelico

From 1408 to 1418, Fra Angelico lived at the Dominican friary of Cortona, where he painted frescoes, now mostly destroyed, in the Dominican Church. Between 1418 and 1436 he was at the convent of Fiesole, where he also painted a number of frescoes and the Altarpiece for the church.

In 1436, Fra Angelico was one of the friars from Fiesole who moved to the newly built  friary of San Marco in Florence. This was an important move which put him in the center of artistic activity of the region and won him the patronage of Cosimo de’ Medici, one of the wealthiest and most powerful members of the city’s governing authority and founder of the dynasty that would dominate Florentine politics for much of the Renaissance. Cosimo had a cell reserved for himself at the friary in order that he might retreat from the world. At Cosimo’s urging, Fra Angelico set about decorating the friary, including the magnificent fresco of the Chapter House, the often-reproduced Annunciation, the Coronation of the Madonna with Saints, and the many other devotional frescoes depicting aspects of the Life of Christ that adorn the walls of each cell.

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San Marco Altarpiece, Fra Angelico

In 1439 Fra Angelico completed one of his most famous works, the San Marco Altarpiece at Florence, which was unusual for its time. Images of the enthroned Madonna and Child surrounded by saints were common, but they usually depicted a setting that was clearly heaven-like, in which saints and angels hovered about as divine presences rather than people. But in this instance, the saints stand squarely within the space, grouped in a natural way as if they were able to converse about the shared experience of witnessing the Virgin in glory.

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The Crucified Christ, Fra Angelico

In 1445 Pope Eugene IV summoned him to Rome to paint the frescoes of the Chapel of the Holy Sacrament at St Peter’s, later demolished by Pope Paul III. Fra Angelico was offered the Archbishopric of Florence, but he refused it, recommending another friar for the position. In 1447 Fra Angelico was in Orvieto, creating works for the Cathedral there.

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The Transfiguration, Fra Angelico

From 1447 to 1449 Fra Angelico was back at the Vatican, designing the frescoes for the Niccoline Chapel for Pope Nicholas V. The scenes from the lives of the two martyrs,  St. Stephen and St. Lawrence, may have been executed wholly or in part by assistants. The small chapel, with its brightly frescoed walls and gold leaf decorations gives the impression of a jewel box. From 1449 until 1452, Fra Angelico returned to his old convent of Fiesole, where he was the Prior.

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St. Lawrence Distributing Alms, Fra Angelico

In 1455, Fra Angelico died while staying at a Dominican convent in Rome, perhaps while working on Pope Nicholas’ chapel. He was buried in the church of Santa Maria sopra Minerva.

When singing my praise, don’t liken my talents to those of Apelles.
Say, rather, that, in the name of Christ, I gave all I had to the poor.

The deeds that count on Earth are not the ones that count in Heaven.

I, Giovanni, am the flower of Tuscany.

— Translation of epitaph

Information for this article came from Wikipedia.

Creative Juice #179

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Creative Juice #179

Art, beauty, and surprises.

  1. These lovely photos make me want to go exploring in the woods.
  2. Best of Beethoven.
  3. Stuff inside of stuff.
  4. Standing out as an artist.
  5. Smithsonian acknowledges the 50th anniversary of I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings.
  6. Look! Up in the sky! Anything you can imagine! (Clouds.)
  7. One person’s thoughts on the presidency.
  8. David Hockney makes big money painting swimming pools.
  9. A watercolorist’s journey.
  10. Quilts at Atlanta High Museum.
  11. Check out these beautiful Zentangle® designs.
  12. Wish I could go to this sketching workshop in Mexico City. I love this artist!

Creative Juice #178

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Creative Juice #178

The strange, the beautiful, and the funny.

Guest Post: James Abbott McNeill Whistler – Landscapes, by Joy of Museums

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Guest Post: James Abbott McNeill Whistler – Landscapes, by Joy of Museums

Thank you to Joy of Museums for this discussion of some of Whistler’s landscapes.

James Abbott McNeill Whistler (1834 – 1903) was an American artist active during the American Gilded Age and based primarily in the United Kingdom. He was averse to sentimentality and moral allusion in painting, and was a leading proponent of the credo “art for art’s sake.”

He found a parallel between painting and music and entitled many of his paintings “arrangements,” “harmonies,” and “nocturnes,” emphasizing the primacy of tonal harmony. Whistler influenced the art world and the broader culture of his time with his artistic theories and his friendships with leading artists and writers.

A Tour of James Abbott McNeill Whistler – Landscapes

Southend Pier by James Abbott McNeill Whistler

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Southend Pier by James Abbott McNeill Whistler depicts groups of people walking at the water’s edge. Southend Pier, a major landmark in Southend-on-Sea, in southeastern Essex, England, is in the background.

In the early 19th century, Southend was growing as a seaside holiday resort. The coast at Southend consists of extensive mudflats, so the sea is never deep even at full tide. The pier was built to allow boats to reach Southend at all tides. By 1848 it was the longest pier in Europe at 7,000 feet (2,100 m). By the 1850s, the railway had reached Southend with it a significant influx of visitors from London. After this painting was made, it was decided to replace the pier with a new iron pier.

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Creative Juice #175

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Creative Juice #175

For your weekend reading pleasure. Lose yourself for an hour in these great articles.

Creative Juice #174

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Creative Juice #174

Mostly artsy stuff this week: