Just as I did with the other “Parels” (Pearls) artist Mirelle, with Ingrid I am saving the best until last. The level of detail in these paintings is something that no photograph can do justice to. You could say that I am “plumb blown away”.
December 11, 2016
December 10, 2016
Continuing with yesterday’s post, a photographic post detailing The Hague artist Ingrid’s studies of the old masters. The idea of making detailed copies is so that the same techniques can be learned, and judging from these photographs, Ingrid is making a rather good job of mastering the old masters.
December 9, 2016
At the end of summer I visited Ingrid, another talented artist showcased in the Hague’s “Parels” (Pearls) Day, where on this occasion the neighbourhoods featured are the “Flora en Faunawijken” (Flora and Fauna) districts.
As I mentioned in an earlier post, this means all of the streets in these neighbourhoods are named after fruit, trees, flowers etc.
The fold-out map in the Parels booklet lists all of the addresses that can be visited on Parels Day and whilst there were a vast range of hobbies and exhibits to choose from, I thought that getting through two, possibly three in the day would be more than my limit, so went with the artists I liked the most.
Ingrid, like Mirelle in my previous posts, is taking classes in the techniques and styles of the old masters, and if you like a very high standard in your artworks, neither of these ladies disappoint.
What they also have in common is that they make workbook photograph albums of their works, of “exercise” pieces, documenting works in progress and the finished articles.
These visual “notes” are very important, not just as a method of detailing the techniques covered but also as an inspiring reminder of how the works improve with time and practice. Of course some of the finished pieces go out to friends and family or might be a commission so having a record of work you may not see often or even again is important, whatever your hobby.
December 7, 2016
The last pieces by artist Mirelle, when I visited for “Parels” (Pearls) Day were, I think are matter of saving the best until last. The level of detail that she has managed to incorporate into her work is breathtaking and for a detail fanatic like me: absolutely divine. To be honest I could probably dribble on for ages, gushing about, this, that, and well, everything. The superlatives would be flowing like crazy and you would soon start to wonder if I was sane (if you don’t already). Instead I will just invite you to enjoy… and drool for yourself.
December 6, 2016
Back to my topic of a few posts ago, I am visiting one of the “Parels” (Pearls) artists, a very talented lady called Mirelle.
She is taking a specialised art class that follows and learns to replicate the techniques of the Dutch old masters.
Some of the paintings she has done have been worked on and built up over time towards the end product, and rather wisely she had the idea of taking step-by-step photographs of the process.
Then in another piece of inspiration she had these photographs put into photo books, the type that you make yourself and take in to be printed.
This means that she has an easily accessible “workbook” of sorts that not only reminds her of the steps she needed in order to replicate the process, but also a memory of works done.
Also included in her books were photographs of individual finished “studies”, everything from the parts of the face, instantly recognisable as Vermeer’s “Girl with the pearl earing” also his “The kitchen maid”, and other works by Rembrandt and Reubens.
Mirelle was surprised and delighted that I named many of the face part paintings by artist immediately but understood when I told her I had studied both practical art and art history, so knew many old masters well.
I think it is a brilliant idea to keep photograph album books detailing the evolving status of the works, especially because in her case she also does work on commission and no longer owns all of her pieces.
There was only one painting I did not recognise, (Mirelle filled me in but I forgot to write it down and forgot because concentration is difficult).
That painting was of what may have been a bishop or cardinal dressed in black robes (…don’t cardinals always wear red or crimson?) and it’s a formal portrait. The man’s right hand is relaxed and open, his left draped in a relaxed pose over the edge of a large leather or velum bound book. Mirelle’s studies concentrated on each of the hands, I love the detail, not only in the hand but also in the book and lace cuff of his shirt. I’m in no current state to take a class like this, but if I were I would be jumping to do it, learning more about this style and technique would be not bring delight to the eye and the hand, but also to the soul.
August 24, 2016
The next thing that caught my eye in Restaurant Kreuzritter, at the Burg Satvey Castle in Mechernich, Germany were illustrations of medieval jousting knights on horseback. As with the heraldic shields of yesterday’s post, these are modern items rather than historic ones but the detail is excellent. The drawings also incorporate calligraphy and the use of gold leaf and are exactly the type of style that I love. The problem that pops up though is the same one as with the shields, the glass covering reflects everything and the low light in the room makes for tricky photography. In reality no photograph does these justice, their beauty is seen best up close and personally. I tried every angle I could physically manage and even then you only get an ” idea” of what these are really like. Still, an “idea” is better than nothing, right?
August 23, 2016
It’s not just the food that I am finding delicious in Restaurant Kreuzritter, located in the grounds of the Burg Satvey Castle in Mechernich, Germany.
There are also paintings of heraldic shields around the walls that I am drawn towards for a closer look.
They are modern rather than historic items but for a detail fanatic such as myself, beauty is beauty, be it young or old.
Someone has spent a lot of time on these, they are intricate and delightful to the eye.
They are however also under glass, in a room with low lighting and many of these lights being the uplighters below them.
This makes them incredibly difficult to photograph, and one very large one was also half behind a pole so even getting a straight on shot was impossible.
Still, I did my best and will enjoy the results as I managed to capture them. These are also going into my digital reference files that I use for artistic inspiration, the colours and patterns are inspirational in themselves. There is also more to see though. I spy a horse just a little bit further along the wall that looks very interesting indeed….
August 5, 2016
Following yesterday’s post, we have arrived in the German town of Mechernich to visit “Burg Satzvey” castle.
As we entered we were amazed to hear the roar of engines that belonged to a large group of touring motorcyclists, here for one of their large gatherings for the year.
As soon as it became apparent that I was interested in their motors, the owners started telling us all about their pride and joy’s, and the work that some of them have taken to modify their machines.
One in particular could not fail to attract the attention of the arty side of my character: this bike was adorned with painted artworks on almost every conceivable surface.
The owner was delighted that photographs would be taken, and why not?, there are castle and motifs in beautiful painted detail, making works of art on a machine that is in itself also a work of art.
I did not quite understand if these painted castles were mementos of past travels or were chosen for other reasons, but turning the bike into a canvas is a rather practical way of making a mobile art gallery and taking your artworks with you when you also want to be on the open road.
June 21, 2016
Technically if you want any dinner party to follow correct ettiquite, the cheese-board course should come before dessert, but like many people outside France I choose to serve it after my post about food that included some of the sweet stuff.
Philistine, I know, but I’m half Dutch and shouldn’t any meal (or in this case, arty blog post series) be ended with any food lovers dream: ….cheese?
My very last post in this current Rijksmuseum series is, Yes you guessed it, another favourite painting of mine, that has cheese s it’s main ingredient and subject title.
Since I know this painting from my Art History study days, it is not a new one to me, but it is the very first time I have seen it in the flesh, up close in all of it’s painted detail.
The Dutch Masters excelled with Still Life as their subject matter, they painted with the insight you get when the items painted are things you have grown up with, and who knows, maybe cheese was one of the everyday items around home that they practiced painting when they were young, raw artists, before finding their place and spreading their wings to wider fame? The cheese in the background was probably made with the same farmhouse process still used today, certainly it looks like any one of the aged cheeses available in my local cheese shop. The real genius of this painting is however, the painting as a “whole”, the background is no afterthought, in fact the attention paid to the damask tablecloth defies explanation when seen up close.
Painting white detail on an almost white tablecloth is hard enough, painting it as the cloth falls over the edge of the table or falls under the shadow of the place on which the grapes stand, blows my mind. Then there is the detail on the pale red section of the cloth, the pattern is fine, delicate and done with a hand so steady that three hundred years before the photography was invented, has almost become photographic. I’m not alone in these thoughts either, the information board reads:
“Still Life with Cheese“, Oil on panel circa 1615 by Floris Claesz van Dijck (1575-1651)
“Fruit, bread and cheese, grouped by type, are set on a table covered with costly damask tablecloths. The illusion of reality is astounding: the pewter plate extending over the edge of the table seems close enough to ouch. The Haarlem painter Floris van Dijck ranked among the pioneers of Dutch still-life painting.”
June 18, 2016
Coming to the end of this tour of the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, I find different paintings interesting for different reasons.
The main reason something catches my eye is of course that there is a high level of detail in a painting, or the fine rendering of marble to produce mind-bendingly realistic forms.
In some paintings of cloth and clothing, the skill of the artists leaves the viewer in awe, in other painting the subject of the portrait stares directly out at the viewer in a mixture of confidence, defiance and curiosity, so you almost get the feeling that you need to apologise to them for staring.
Here I have rounded up a few of the last photographs taken from various galleries, Let’s take a look…
“The Music Lesson“, Oil on panel, 1808 by Louis Moritz (1773-1850)
“Like “The Drawing Lesson” (by the same artist) “The Music Lesson” is set in an interior with a view through to another space. Above the door is marble relief of the Greek god Apollo playing his lyre. The two women are practicing a duet for guitar and voice under the direction of their music teacher. According to tradition, the painter himself served as the model for the teacher.”
“The Tomb of Michiel de Ruyter in the Nieuwe Kerk, Amsterdam” Oil on canvas 1683, Emanuel de Witte (1617-1692)
‘Visitors are admiring Admiral de Ruyter’s imposing tomb monument. It occupies the place where the main altar once stood when the Nieuwe Kerk was still a Catholic church. Monumental marble tomb is a tribute to the naval hero, who died in 1676 off the coast of Sicily at the age of 69. It was designed by the sculptor Rombout Verhulst. De Ruyter’s son commissioned this painting.”