Artwork of the Week

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Artwork of the Week: April 10

Posted on Friday, April 10th, 2015

At the turn of the 20th century, the Civil War still lingered as the most stunning event in American history. The drive to memorialize the war induced artists to create definitive images of its famous figures. Regarded by his contemporaries as the foremost American sculptor of his generation, Augustus Saint-Gaudens set the standard in portraiture […]

Artwork of the Week: April 3

Posted on Friday, April 3rd, 2015

This seemingly simple arrangement engages the eye in so many complex and subtle ways. The painting is composed of contrasts and comparisons: the artist juxtaposes small, smooth, red grapes with large, rough, ridged melons. Spiky chestnut pods contrast with the sheen of a pair of exposed chestnuts. Unexpectedly, amongst these fruits and nuts of the […]

Artwork of the Week: March 27

Posted on Friday, March 27th, 2015

Children fish and cattle wander through the English countryside in Arundel Mill and Castle, John Constable’s last painting. Constable captured the ever-changing effects of light and weather in his paintings like few before him: clouds move across the sky, causing the light to shift; a breeze blows through the trees; and sunlight sparkles on moving […]

Artwork of the Week: March 20

Posted on Friday, March 20th, 2015

This sculpture, carved out of an unidentified hard, black stone, depicts a stylized duck with compact features. The small scale of the figure implies that it probably was meant to be seen at close range, which suggests an intimate relationship between the owner and the object. Although precise date and place of manufacture are unknown, […]

Artwork of the Week: March 13

Posted on Friday, March 13th, 2015

Always intellectually energetic, Gertrude Greene began painting abstract relief constructions in 1935. The hard lines and geometric forms are offset and softened by the addition of the single curving shape that anchors the composition. While the painting is strictly abstract and does not represent any real object or figure, Greene does provide one easily readable […]

Artwork of the Week: March 6

Posted on Friday, March 6th, 2015

A tour de force of the glassworker’s skill, this vessel is the most elaborate trail-decorated jar known to survive from the late eastern Roman Empire. Collared jars, made from the late fourth century onward, have been found at sites all along the Syro-Palestinian coast, where glassblowing was invented, but none match this example in complexity. […]

Artwork of the Week: February 27

Posted on Friday, February 27th, 2015

Julian Schnabel created a sensation in the artworld when he showed his infamous “plate paintings” in 1979. Following two decades dominated by abstract and conceptual works of art, paintings of figures seemed shocking and confrontational. That Schnabel mined pre-existing sources for his images and constructed convoluted surfaces on which to paint them seemed all the […]

Artwork of the Week: February 20

Posted on Friday, February 20th, 2015

This pendant shows the face of a male member of the Baule people with braided hair and beard. The raised lines between the eyes and at the temples are cosmetic marks. Each Baule head pendant is unique and individualized; they are said to be idealized portraits of friends or lovers. Baule families collect the gold […]

Artwork of the Week: February 13

Posted on Friday, February 13th, 2015

Gustave Courbet, famous in his day for his confrontational images of peasant life and dramatic landscapes, led a personal campaign to reform art, declaring brashly that artists must represent contemporary life, not imitate the past. This painting of a woman arranging cut flowers on an outdoor trellis reflects Courbet’s realist manifesto, since it presents the […]

Artwork of the Week: February 6

Posted on Friday, February 6th, 2015

From the late 16th to the late 18th centuries, European colonialism was expanding in the East. Europe became enamored of Chinese style, and a fashion known as chinoiserie permeated the decorative arts. This large pagoda clock is one of the most elaborate and charming timepieces made in England in chinoiserie style. The three tiers enclose […]