Wednesday, March 26, 2014
The French academic painter Jean Leon Gerome, loved big cats.
Lions are a kind of signature for him, perhaps because his middle name is French for 'lion', and his last name is also the name of a saint who is supposed to have had a pet lion.
He may have chosen a marine background for these kitties because the turquoise hues contrast nicely with the orange of their fur.
Depictions of exotic animals catered to the Orientalism of Gerome's day, evoking the power and majesty of Eastern landscapes.
Sunday, March 9, 2014
Mikalojus Ciurlionis (Lithuanian 1875-1911), Sailing Boats, 1906.
These two mystical works, painted at about the same time, in the first decade of the 20th century, evoke the calm before the storm of two World Wars.
A serene atmosphere is created not just through the mirror-like surface of the sea, but by the use of soft pastel hues.