San Francisco is… ”Awaking Beauty: The Art of Eyvind Earle”

You may not know the name Eyvind Earle but you certainly know his work, if Sleeping Beauty, Peter Pan or Lady and the Tramp sound at all familiar. A visit to the Walt Disney Family Museum was firmly on our map, but Awaking Beauty: The Art of Eyvind Earle, a retrospective about the life and work of the artist behind some of Disney’s timeless stories that marked the childhood of kids all over the world -myself included- was a double win.

The exhibition featured more than 250 works, including concept paintings for Lady and the Tramp and artworks for Sleeping Beauty. But, more importantly, it included an extensive collection of Earle’s lush landscapes in the artist’s very distinctive style, as well as serigraphs, watercolours, sculpture, commercial illustrations (two examples of which we saw in the teaser, yesterday) – the extend of Earle’s work seems limitless.  Self Portrait Sketch, 1925 (age 9-10)


Botticelli Woman, 1936
Graphite on paper


Scratchboards created for
Horizon Bound on a Bicycle:
The Autobiography of Eyvind Earle (1991)
Ink on scratchboard


[In 1937, at the age of 21, Eyvind Earle bicycled across the country from Hollywood, California, to Monroe, New York, on a 45 day trip. He painted 42 water colors and wrote a 10,000 page diary along the way. At the conclusion of the expedition, Charles Morgan Gallery in New York exhibited all the watercolors.

Eyvind created many water colors during his life; during certain time periods they were his primary focus.  Occasionally he had shows which solely exhibited his watercolors, some of which have been declared to be his finest work.] (source) New York, 1939
Watercolour on paper


Little Girl, 1939
Watercolour on paper


Winter Oak, 1997
Oil on Masonite


Face 2, 1981
Ink on scratchboard


Bearded Man, 1980
Ink and varnish on scratchboard


Portrait of a Woman, 1981
Ink on paper


Portrait of a Woman, 1975
Ink on paper


[The sleek glow of his acrylics and oils is the result of a custom-made formula Earle created himself for the varnishes he used, often tinting them with glues. He also experimented with marine varnishes which were impervious to water and did not require the addition of glue. Because he needed to wait for the layers to dry, Earle often worked on up to thirty paintings at the same time.] (source)

”In nature when I look I see trees, some of them are such that they thrill me with their perfection and their sweeping lines and certain mood they seem to have. Windswept plains give me something that can’t be seen. In every tree I feel as though I could see the soul of that tree. It is alive. It is a person. And if beauty be related to the truth, harmony and balance must be there, and there must be movement because in nature all things move. And there are certain laws such as the law of duality. Everything has its opposite. Nothing is without its opposite. If I want a bright light in a painting, I must have a dark shadow. If I want a color to look very warm, I must have also a very cold color, and so on and on forever. But when I paint, I forget the things I know. I just sit there painting away, trying to get the feeling into my painting that I feel inside. Whatever beauty is, I feel it, and as long as I can I shall try to find more and more beauty, and to put it down so that others can see what I have seen.” – Eyvind Earle

Blue Tree, 1994
Oil on masonite


Tall Tree and Barn, 1969
Oil on canvas on wood


Green Forest, 1970
Acrylic on Masonite


Pastures in Early Spring, 1996
Oil on masonite


Mustard Field, 1974
Oil on masonite


Coastal Paradise, 1995
Oil on masonite


Where Eagles Fly, 1993
Oil on masonite


Giant Oak, 1996
Oil on masonite


Flower Fantasy, 1980
Watercolour on paper


Three Noble Horses, 1993
Oil on masonite


Hillside Magic, 1976
Oil on masonite


Orchard, 1984
Oil on canvas


Three Live Oaks, 1983
Oil on canvas


Concept paintings, c. 1959
Sleeping Beauty (1959)
Gouache on paperboard


Awaking Beauty: The Art of Eyvind Earle was on show at The Walt Disney Family Museum, until beginning of January 2018.

July 8th, 2017

Haruko

Sometimes, in my dreams I am.
Chiura Obata (1885-1975)
Mother Earth, 1912 (reworked 1922, 1928)
Ink and colours on silk


Chiura Obata commenced this painting in 1912 as a portrait of his wife, Haruko, who had announced that she was pregnant with their first child. Obata reworked the painting in 1922, changing the title to Dusk in the High Sierra, and again in 1928, when he chose the final title, Mother Earth. The evolution of the title reveals Obata’s intention to endow his subject with greater resonance. The solitary female figure now serves as a universal personification of nature, fertility and maternity. The contrast between the giant, centuries-old redwood trees and the small seasonal flowers serves as a reminder of the cycles of nature – and of life itself.

Although Obata’s female model is Japanese, his universal title reflects his global perspective regarding nature and nationality: ”Above the border line of nationality everybody must feel a deep appreciation toward Mother Earth”. Obata’s timeless vision reaffirmed viewers’ perennial ties to nature in an increasingly technological age.

Treasures of the de Young

July 7th, 2017

Ode to beauty at the de Young

Timeless Beauty Beyond Gender.

John Koch (1909-1978)
The Bridge, ca. 1950
Oil on canvas


Frederick Childe Hassam (1859-1935)
Easter Morning (Portrait at a New York Window), 1921
Oil on canvas


Sergeant Kendall (1869-1939)
Cypripedia, 1927
Oil on canvas


Thomas Wilmer Dewing (1851-1938)
Elizabeth Platt Jencks, 1895
Oil on canvas


Edmund Charles Tarbell (1862-1938)
The Blue Veil, 1898
Oil on canvas


Henry Brown Fuller (1867-1934)
Ebba Bohm, ca. 1905
Oil on canvas


Robert Henri (1865-1929)
Lady in Black with Spanish Scarf (O in Black with a Scarf), 1910
Oil on canvas


Would you have known this was a bloke, had there not been a title? Amedeo Modigliani (1884-1920)
Pierre-Edouard Baranowski, ca. 1918
Oil on board

A painting with an interesting background. Nothing to do with the gender-bending figure of Mr. Baranowski, it was its very origin and authenticity that were in doubt.


The artist is present in every stroke, her unique style instantly recognizable: Georgia O’Keeffe (1887-1986)
Petunias, 1925
Oil on hardboard panel


Treasures of the de Young

░Treasures░of░the░de░Young░

Skipping the colourful psychedelia of the Summer of Love Experience didn’t mean the time we spent at the de Young would be any less fun – quite the contrary, as the works you are about to see will demonstrate.

***

In contrast with the age of freedom and sexual liberation that was being celebrated next door, this is how courtship was done in Thomas Eakins’ time:  Thomas Eakins (1844-1916)
The Courtship, ca. 1878
Oil on canvas


Whistler depicted his former patron Frederick R. Leyland as a hideous peacock, surrounded by money bags and sitting astride Whistler’s house, which had to be sold. You see, Leyland had commissioned Harmony in Blue and Gold: The Peacock Room (Freer Gallery of Art) for his London townhouse. All was going according to plan, until Whistler decided to make some unauthorized alterations. Leyland was less than pleased, they argued bitterly and their relationship reached an all-time low when Leyland sued Whistler for the Peacock Room’s over-expenditures. Whistler had to file for bankruptcy but, with this painting, he still had the last laugh:James McNeill Whistler (1834-1903)
The Gold Scab: Eruption in Frilthy Lucre (The Creditor), 1879
Oil on canvas


A work by the earliest-known African American artist. A freed slaved and self-taught painter working in Baltimore, Maryland, Joshua Johnson portrays the daughter of a wealthy Baltimore merchant. Her Empire gown, stylish Napoleonic bangs, and Turkish shoes (known as ”straights” because the could fit on either foot) reveal the influence of French fashion in America. I do love her ”straights” – I wish all shoes were so soft they could fit on either foot!  Joshua Johnson (ca. 1763-ca. 1824)
Letitia Grace McCurdy, ca. 1800-1802
Oil on canvas


A dress made of glass for a head-to-toe modern Cinderella:Karen LaMonte (b. 1967)
Dress 3, 2001
Cast glass


This explosion of colour:
Richard Mayhew (b. 1924)
Rhapsody, 2002
Oil on canvas


The cool flatness of Samuel Miller’s children: Samuel Miller (1807-1853)
Young Girl with Flowers, ca. 1850
Oil on canvas mounted on board


Samuel Miller (1807-1853)
Young Boy with a Dog, ca. 1850
Oil on canvas mounted on hardboard


Treasures of the de Young

July 7th, 2017
  

 

 

Don’t try this at home

Under any circumstances. Lucretia, this is not your fault. Never ever.Joos van Cleve, Flemish, ca. 1485-1540
Lucretia, ca. 1525
Oil on panel


[…”Several days passed. Sextus Tarquinius returned to the house of Conlatinus, with one of his companions. He was well received and given the hospitality of the house, and maddened with love, he waited until he was sure everyone else was asleep. Then he took up his sword and went to Lucretia’s bedroom, and placing his sword against her left breast, he said, “Quiet, Lucretia; I am Sextus Tarquinius, and I have a sword in my hand. If you speak, you will die.” Awakening from sleep, the poor woman realized that she was without help and very close to death. Sextus Tarquinius declared his love for her, begging and threatening her alternately, and attacked her soul in every way. Finally, before her steadfastness, which was not affected by the fear of death even after his intimidation, he added another menace. “When I have killed you, I will put next to you the body of a nude servant, and everyone will say that you were killed during a dishonorable act of adultery.” With this menace, Sextus Tarquinius triumphed over her virtue, and when he had raped her he left, having taken away her honor.

Lucretia, overcome with sorrow and shame, sent messengers both to her husband at Ardea and her father at Rome, asking them each to come “at once, with a good friend, because a very terrible thing had happened.” Spurius Lucretius, her father, came with Publius Valerius, the son of Volesus, and Conlatinus came with Lucius Junius Brutus; they had just returned to Rome when they met Lucretia’s messenger. They found Lucretia in her chamber, overpowered by grief. When she saw them she began to cry. “How are you?” her husband asked. “Very bad,” she replied, “how can anothing go well for a woman who has lost her honor? There are the marks of another man in your bed, Conlatinus. My body is greatly soiled, though my heart is still pure, as my death will prove. But give me your right hand in faith that you will not allow the guilty to escape. It was Sextus Tarquinius who returned our hospitality with enmity last night. With his sword in his hand, he came to take his pleasure for my unhappiness, but it will also be his sorrow if you are real men.”

They promised her that they would pursue him, and they tried to appease her sorrow, saying that it was the soul that did wrong, and not the body, and because she had had no bad intention, she did no wrong. “It is your responsibility to see that he gets what he deserves,” she said, “I will absolve myself of blame, and I will not free myself from punishment. No woman shall use Lucretia as her example in dishonor.” Then she took up a knife which she had hidden beneath her robe, and plunged it into her heart, collapsing from her wound; she died there amid the cries of her husband and father…”] – source

Legion of Honor, San Francisco

July 7th, 2017

San Francisco is… the eclectic Legion of Honor

A haven for European Art spanning 4000 years; paintings, sculptures, decorative objects, frames as precious as the works they adorn, ancient art from the Mediterranean basin and  mummies from Egypt, all under this beautiful French neoclassical structure, a replica of the French Pavilion at San Francisco’s Panama Pacific International Exposition of 1915, itself a replica of the Palais de la Légion d’Honneur in Paris, an 18th-century landmark on the left bank of the Seine. Michael Sweerts (Flemish, Brussels 1618-1664 Goa)
Portrait of a Youth, ca. 1655-1661
Oil on canvas


Louis Léopold Boilly (French, 1761-1845)
After Clodion (Claude Michel)
Triumph of Amphitrite, ca. 1785-1799 (details)
Oil on paper mounted on canvas


Honoré Daumier (French, 1808-1879)
Third-Class Carriage, 1856-1858
Oil on panel


Jean-Léon Gérôme (French, 1824-1904)
The Bath, ca. 1880-1885 (detail)
Oil on canvas


Konstantin Makovsky (Russia, 1839-1915)
The Russian Bride’s Attire, 1889
Oil on canvas


William-Adolphe Bouguereau (French, 1825-1905)
The Broken Pitcher, 1891
Oil on canvas


Jules Bastien-Lepage (French, 1848-1884)
Sarah Bernhardt, 1879
Oil on canvas


John Anster Fitzgerald (British, 1823-1906)
Fairies in a Bird’s Nest, ca. 1860
Oil on canvas


Albert-Ernest Carrier-Belleuse (French, 1824-1887)
Mary Queen of Scots, ca. 1860-1869
Terracota


Celestial and terrestrial globes, Dutch, ca. 1600
Jodocus Hondius, the elder (Joos de Hondt, 1563-1612), cartographer
Metal, walnut and paper

Table from Italy, Bologna, 17th century
Walnut


Auguste Rodin (French, 1840-1917)
The Three Shades, 1898
Bronze


Paneled room
France, ca. 1680 and later
Painted and gilt wood and mirror


William Blake
”Time in advance… ”and ”Time, having passed on…,” from The Complaint, and the Consolation; or, Night Thoughts, by Edward Young

[Night Thoughts was first published in 1742 and its continuing popularity more than fifty years later inspired publisher Richard Edwards to bring out a new, deluxe edition, for which he commissioned William Blake to provide illustrations.]

Legion of Honor

July 7th, 2017

San Francisco is… keeping its hats on

[In the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, hats were a social obsession, subjects of acclaim and critique. The Paris millinery industry was at its financial and creative peak between the mid-1870s and 1914, the period between the Franco-Prussian War and the outbreak of the World War I, decades that coincided with the ear of French Impressionism. The women who made and sold hats – milliners, or modistes in French – as well as those who purchased them, fascinated Edgar Degas and other artists in his circle.] Bonnets of the 1880s by Mangin Maurice (left) & Cordeau et Laugaudin (right)


Bonnet, ca. 1894 by an unknown designer, France


Jean Béraud, 1849-1935
Fashionable Woman on the Champs-Élysées, n.d.
Oil on canvas


Edgar Degas (1834-1917)
Woman Adjusting Her Hair, ca. 1884
Oil on canvas


Hat by Maison Virot, ca. 1900 (with alterations)


Hat by Camille Marchais, ca. 1895


Bonnet by Mesdemoiselles Cotel, ca. 1885 (left) & Capote by E. Gauthier, ca. 1890


Hat by Caroline Reboux, ca. 1904-1905 (left) & by Au Bon Marché, retailer, ca. 1884


Capote by Auguste Poussineau, known as A. Félix, ca. 1880-1885 (front) & Hat by Monsieur Heitz-Boyer, 1898 (back)


Hat by an unknown designer, ca. 1890


Édouard Manet (1832-1883)
Berthe Morisot, ca. 1869-1873
Oil on canvas


Louise Catherine Breslau (1856-1927)
The Milliners, 1899
Pastel on paper mounted on board


Paul-César Helleu (1859-1927)
The Final Touch, ca 1885
Pastel on paper


Degas, Impressionism, and the Paris Millinery Trade exhibition ran until September 2017 @ the Legion of Honor*

July 07th, 2017

*If, by any chance, September 2018 finds you in San Francisco, please do make me jealous and go see the current exhibition, Truth and Beauty: The Pre-Raphaelites and the Old Masters!