Artwork of the Week

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Oct. 21 Art Minute: Jasper Francis Cropsey, ‘Starrucca Viaduct, Pennsylvania’

Posted on Friday, October 21st, 2016

Jasper Francis Cropsey’s views of fiery autumn scenes captured the forests, mountains, and valleys of the northeast in a celebration of America’s unique, often untouched, natural beauty. As the nation grew, the human presence increasingly intruded on this natural beauty. Images of the railroad often symbolized this growth, seen both as a sign of progress […]

Oct. 14 Art Minute: Pierre-Étienne-Théodore Rousseau, ‘Under the Birches, Evening’

Posted on Friday, October 14th, 2016

The majestic trees and extraordinary light of this painting are hallmarks of Théodore Rousseau’s landscapes. A partially obscured parish priest travels on horseback along a country lane through the late October countryside, lit by the last rays of the setting sun. Rousseau captures this fading light as a fiery glow igniting the colors of autumn. […]

Oct. 7 Art Minute: Gustave Courbet, Landscape Near Ornans

Posted on Friday, October 7th, 2016

“To paint a land you have to know it. I know my land and I paint it. That undergrowth—it comes from our land. That river—it’s the Loue…Those rocks, those are in Ornans…Go look, you’ll recognize all my paintings.” –Gustave Courbet Gustave Courbet painted the jagged rock formations and rugged ravines around Ornans, France, with a […]

Sept. 30 Art Minute: Paul Manship, ‘Dancer and Gazelles’

Posted on Friday, September 30th, 2016

Fluid, graceful motion defines Paul Manship’s Dancer and Gazelles, its sinuous contours and abstract elegance reflecting Manship’s free interpretation of artistic sources. With its streamlined forms and its references to classical subjects, Manship’s sculpture was an important precursor to the Art Deco style. He deftly straddled the traditional taste for decorative beauty and the modernist appreciation […]

Sept. 23 Art Minute: Nancy Graves, ‘Geologic Map of the Sinus Iridum Quadrangle of the Moon, No. 8’

Posted on Friday, September 23rd, 2016

Nancy Graves combines abstraction with natural phenomena in order to convey her dual interest in art and science, along with her fascination with the transmission of visual information. Following upon an earlier series of drawings and paintings related to maps and charts of the ocean floor and Antarctica, in 1972 Graves produced a series of […]

Sept. 16 Art Minute: Arthur Hughes, ‘Ophelia (“And He Will Not Come Back Again”)’

Posted on Friday, September 16th, 2016

The sad madness and death of Ophelia in Shakespeare’s Hamlet was a favorite subject of the group of British artists who called themselves the Pre-Raphaelites. The Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, which included William Holman Hunt and Dante Gabriel Rossetti, frequently depicted literary subjects, placing an emphasis on emotional and symbolic content. Though not an original member of the […]

Sept. 9 Art Minute: Vija Celmins, ‘Untitled (Ocean)’

Posted on Friday, September 9th, 2016

Celmins’ meticulous renderings of the natural environment in a reduced palette of gray represent the physical world at its most impersonal and neutral. Though her elemental views of vast space resist romantic notions of nature, they nevertheless retain an inherent elusive mystery and poetic resonance. Untitled (Ocean) is one of four lithograph scenes that Celmins […]

Sept. 2 Art Minute: Camille Pissarro, ‘Peasants Resting’

Posted on Friday, September 2nd, 2016

In Peasants Resting two women and a child take a moment to sit, perhaps on their way home after a day of labor; their slumping poses communicate fatigue. Pissarro conveys a restful mood with dabs of paint in complementary colors (orange and blue, ochre and violet) that—when viewed from a distance—coalesce into dappled light shining […]

Aug. 26 Art Minute: Ico Parisi and Luisa Parisi, ‘Sideboard’

Posted on Friday, August 26th, 2016

As sleek and sexy as its Italian contemporaries the Vespa scooter and the films of Federico Fellini, this sideboard, designed by Ico and Luisa Parisi, presents a chic example of Italian postwar 20th-century design. Designed for a dining room, its elegantly arranged and meticulously matched wood grains distinguish the angular lines of the horizontal body, […]

Aug. 19 Art Minute: Jules Breton, ‘The Shepherd’s Star’

Posted on Friday, August 19th, 2016

Barefoot and carrying a heavy sack of potatoes on her head, a young peasant woman returns from the fields in the early evening as Capella, the “shepherd’s star,” rises over her shoulder. Although the model was an actual agricultural worker from the artist’s native village in the Artois region of northern France, Jules Breton gives […]