There is a strange similarities in most of the artists. You pick up any two artists, and one of them would be suffering from an incurable disease. Name of the disease is 'buying the books' about art and other artists. I know this because I have this disease from the days I was in college. I would purchase a book about a master artist and his/her work with an honest desire to read it as soon as possible. But the reading used to be postponed until I left my last job and devoted my remaining life to the field of art, especially writing about the art of painting and the life and works of the master artists. And in newly-found spell of time, I just opened my old cupboard, and found out Rubens.
The Artist: Peter Paul Rubens (1577 - 1640), a Flemish baroque painter, had made
If we look at Peter Paul Rubens’s paintings, we could not miss to notice that his paintings are not only the cumulative product of a woman's skeletal structure. Nor his paintings are merely depicting the feminine fat and alluring quantity of muscles.
How To Understand A Painting
The Art: Rubens has tried copying some of the paintings by Titian. The above painting of Venus must be one of his try in that direction. Here the Venus is shown as looking into glass, making the viewers seeing the face of the model, too. His females painted in their natural beauty were dynamic and looking lively. His female beauties were less rigid in appearance. Unlike his contemporaries or the artists who painted such cloth-less females before, Rubens painted females with more sensual brush strokes.
This painting Venus at Mirror is an example of how wonderfully the use of light against deep darkness can beautify the focus. If we look at the Renaissance period artists' paintings, we can see how these masters controlled their subjects using a little bright light to make the environment so outstanding. This technique helps to define the image. Ruben's women have power to steal the attention of viewers; his painting would emit a sound that had been embedded withing the artworks by Ruben. His paintings of women's flesh had worked on several levels simultaneously. These paintings offer beauty of a female's bare body on one hand, and on another they tell mythological stories, too.
To understand a painting done by master artist is an act of showing deep interest in the art itself. The skill and dexterity of the artists plays a great role in making a painting so interesting. Let us take the example of above painting titled as ‘Rubens Venus at Mirror’. This is painted by Peter Paul Rubens (1613). This painting, oil on Panel, size 123x98 cm, is displayed in
This painting, oil on Panel, size 123x98 cm, is displayed in
To describe the paintings done by Rubens, a special word was devised: 'Rubenesque'. This word symbolized the paintings of women with heavy waist and ample bodied. Rubens would paint a woman model in her natural beauty with voluptuousness and putting dimples on her flesh. His painting Three Graces is one of the most famous paintings in the world of art. Rubens’s visit to
The Inspiration: After death of her first wife when Rubens was 53, he married Helen, his second wife. At that time Helen was sixteen years of age only; and Ruben had made memorable paintings depicting her beauty. We can see the charming beauty of Helen in Rubens' paintings titled The Garden of Love, The Three Graces and The Judgment of Paris. (Image courtesy Wikipedia Commons )
The birth date of Titian is not certain, it is believed to be between 1477 to 1495. But he was the painter who used the newly found 'oil colours' to its fullest use. He painted portraits, commissioned paintings and paintings with mythological subjects, especially as altarpieces.
Paintings of female in their natural beauty have been the most sought after theme of artworks. This subject is darling of the artists from ancient time. Since the ages, the human body has remained a favourite model for the artists depicting beauty, as while choosing a model for figurative art, an they do it for a purpose.
The Art: painters choosing human bodies as their models have certain theories in their minds. Take the case of the paintings of Venus. All the artworks depicting Venus, the Goddess of love, personify love and harmony. In several paintings Venus is painted with Mars, who is God of war. Thinking behind such depiction is to send a message. Here the visual communication by an artist shows the power of love and the sense of harmony for restraining the impulse that leads us to war. It is to pacify the warmonger that lives within humans.
The Artist: Titian had developed a style of his own that made his collection of paintings so priceless and popular, too. His composition which were mainly diagonal, his brush strokes which were powerful, and his style of uploading his colour scheme: these were the special qualities making him a wonderful portrait painter. Here Titian has painted the Goddess of Love Venus. It is believed that Venus was been born from a shell, the sea shell. So that aspect is depicted here imaging that Venus rising from the shell and drying her wet hair. The Titian seems to have borrowed the theme of this painting from earlier paintings of Venus. Many master artists had done similar paintings before Ingres. We can see the sideway glance and presence of shell, though symbolically, are the proof of such borrowing.
If we look at the other technical aspects of this painting, we can say that Titian had mastered the use of yellow in all of its shades and hues. In Venus Anadyomene he has used it to show the glowing flesh of Venus. This painting, Oil on canvas, 75.8 x 57.6 cm. is presently in National Art Gallery of Scotland, Edinburgh
Here is another painting by Titian. Here the lady is painted in her natural beauty. Her reclining posture adds to the sensuality of her beauty in general and the skin in particular. Here again we can see that titian has used the yellow colour at its best use. In addition to this, the diagonal composition adds the seductiveness of the figure.
"Each day I go to my studio full of joy; in the evening when obliged to stop because of darkness I can scarcely wait for the next morning to come…if I cannot give myself to my dear painting I am miserable." - William-Adolphe Bouguereau.
Bouguereau’s style of working was not less than the traditional one: he would make the detailed pencil studies first of all; then he would prepare primary oil sketches of the paintings; and then he would think about transferring that artwork on to a final canvass. These methods of Bouguereau’s painting helped him in creating the accurate and eye-catching figures of human forms; especially the paintings of cloth-less women. His art was much benefited by his style of functioning.
Birth of Venus, Detail
Birth of Venus, Detail
Like most of the other master artists, Bouguereau had also painted the Venus. Here it is The Birth of Venus (La Naissance de Venus) that is one of the most famous paintings by him. In addition to showing the birth of Venus, here the Goddess is shown to be travelling in a shell, over the water of the sea. In this painting, The Birth of Venus, Bouguereau had shown his natural instinct and the technical knowledge of the contours of the cloth-less female body. A human body, especially a female, attracts the viewers’ eyes by the balanced proportions. And this regard Bouguereau had acquired artistic inspiration from the artists of sixteenth century. (Images courtesy Wikimedia Commons)