Butterflies and bugs on a plate – art by Johann Zacharias Quast

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I saw this painted porcelain plate featuring butterflies and bugs at The Clark Art Institute in Williamstown, MA, and was curious to learn more. The artist of this piece is Johann Zacharias Quast, and the Clark’s information label describes him as “Bohemian, 1814 – 1891,” and that the plate was painted in 1840, probably intended […]

Photograph of Mexican migrants brings to mind some famous paintings

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Art History, Finding visual references, Making an art history comparison, Photography

This photograph of a former migrant worker and his wife back home in Mexico was taken by Brett Gundlock for a story about visa disputes in the New York Times recently. Between the bowls of fruit and especially the textured blue wall behind the figures, it brought to mind several famous paintings, including some from […]

Color Our Collections: coloring pages from some unexpected sources

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#ColorOurCollections was a project started by The New York Academy of Medicine Library in order to provide an outlet for free coloring pages from libraries, archives, and other cultural institutions from around the world. It’s the wide range of contributors that makes this a pretty interesting project – the 2017 edition of this offering had […]

Painting fragments that stand alone as interesting compositions

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On a recent visit to The Metropolitan Museum of Art, I enjoyed walking around the European Paintings Galleries, revisiting familiar masterpieces and taking in lesser-known works at the same time. There’s so much going on in a lot of these paintings, I found myself focusing on singular details and appreciating them as interesting compositions in […]

Fashion and art similarities 400 years apart

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Art and Fashion, Art History, Finding visual references, Making an art history comparison

I really enjoyed a visit to the Metropolitan Museum of Art last Saturday, and as I’m looking through the pictures I took of favorite art works, I’m finding some interesting comparisons between wildly different objects, such as the painting by Hans Holbein the Younger next to a baseball card, as I noted in my last […]

Funerary Urns from Rome, Japan, and Prince

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Art History, Art That Makes You Go "Huh?", Making an art history comparison, Products we'd like to see

I saw an article in the NY Times the other day that was a one year follow-up to the death of Prince, and the image accompanying the article showed the urn that holds his ashes. As can be expected with something from Prince, it’s not your ordinary funerary urn; it’s a model-sized reproduction of his […]

John Langley Howard repurposed for current political art

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Art History, Finding visual references, Making an art history comparison, Political Art

I saw this street art poster (below left) in New York City back in November, and the message of “immigrants work, immigrants vote” was clearly related to the presidential election. But the image stuck in my mind, because I knew I had seen it somewhere before … and then I remembered, it’s from one of […]

Cezanne et Moi, the film

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Art History, Movies, Videos

I saw a movie ad in the Sunday Times with the headline: “A ravishing historical biopic!” It showed two men walking across a field, with the film title “Cezanne et Moi.” The movie details the lifelong friendship between the painter Paul Cézanne and Émile Zola, one of France’s most successful novelists. I ripped out the […]