Woman in Gold: a World Famous Painting on the Big Screen this Spring 2015

Gustav_Klimt_046I just found out that the story surrounding Klimt’s Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer I  will be depicted in a movie this year!

“Maria has taken on a mission to reclaim a painting of her beloved Aunt the Nazis stole from her family.” 

There’s something about the mystery of a painting surrounding the Nazi’s raid on museums in Europe that really intrigues me. In this movie due to release April 3, 2015the Green Lantern helps Queen Elizabeth recover a famous painting.

But on a serious note, I’ve read a tad about the controversy surrounding the movie itself. Apparently the Aunt (the one in Klimt’s painting) had it in her will that the painting should be hung at a certain museum, and this movie makes Maria (Helen Mirren) out to be the heroine trying to get the painting to it’s rightful place – and we will cheer her on, however, where Maria is bringing the painting is not at all where her Aunt really wanted it to go. So, now that I’ve either ruined it for you or added more intrigue to the pot, enjoy the movie as just that, a film showing one side of an issue that will probably make you me want to hang a print of this painting in all of her gold leaf glory in your my living room, and a musing over the possibilities of who Ms. Adele was and how the painting came to be. Oh what fun!

In Love with Leighton

…Edmond Leighton’s art, that is.

Edmond Blair Leighton


You’ve probably seen his work, but don’t know his name. Meet Edmond Leighton. If romance came in a tube, Leighton surely found a supplier. Most of his paintings are immensely gorgeous and tell a story in a gaze, a leaning, a setting. Take God Speed for instance. Of this painting, Kara Ross states:

“…the sense of immediate peril which threatens the subjects contentment almost define
our modern day conception of Medieval legend and romantic sentiment.”

Perhaps that’s one of the reasons why I chose to paint God Speed as my senior master copy – the look in their eyes that expressed all that was in their hearts in an instant….or maaaaybe it was her red shoes peeking out from under her flowing dress that sealed the decision.

Take a look at The Elopement.  I love how she’s looking back. Perhaps taking in all that she’s leaving behind…or perhaps she’s having second thoughts? Tristan and Isolde makes it clear that I need a refresher on the story. Can anyone enlighten me on this scene?

If you Google a tasting of his work, you won’t be disappointed with the scenes of love, commitment, courage and abundant beauty.

Drink them in…

The Kiss

Painting Romance part #1:  In honor of Valentine’s Day, I plan to highlight a few romantic paintings this week and give you some juicy details. 

The Kiss

by Gustov Klimt

“Wearing extravagant, multicolored robes that seem to merge into each other, the lovers embrace on a small patch of grass, carpeted with an improbable profusion of flowers.
The setting is pure fantasy. “

the Kiss Gustav_Klimt_016

The Kiss, Gustav Klimt

Created at the height of Klimt’s career and influenced by the then present Art Nouveau movement, The Kiss is an example of Klimt’s fascination with the human embrace.

The embrace: The mysterious pose looks almost painful and unnatural, but may be influenced by Symbolist art which made the “severed head” fashionable. (I might have to look into this strange art movement next Halloween).

The Setting:The Kiss remains an ambivalent picture. The embrace appears to take place beside an abyss, with the woman’s feet dangling over the edge. Is Klimt hinting that both love and passion are precarious, and perhaps even dangerous?” It does appear that the woman’s (out of proportion) toes are clinging to the edge of the abyss.

The Gold: Something that caused this painting (along with the Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer I) to really appeal to me was the beautiful use of gold leaf. Just a gorgeous array of colors and a gaudy treat for the eyes. During this high point in his “golden period”, his interest in mosaics looks to have influenced the creation of “wildly extravagant, patterned clothing, so that they almost seemed to disappear into their voluminous robes.”

The more I look at this painting, the more I love it. It just feels nice, doesn’t it?

More romantic art coming soon . . . 


All quotations are from:
Great Paintings: the world’s masterpieces explored and explained
Karen Hosack Janes


Why So Famous?

I’ve often wondered why some paintings rise to international fame and become an icon of sorts in the art world. What is that secret recipe? So I thought I’d aim that question at the most famous and recognizable painting in all of history, the Mona Lisa.

After doing some reading (mind you, I have not become an expert on the subject) and watching some documentaries, I’ve decided on four factors that seems to have thrust the Mona Lisa into the fame she has now secured for all of time.

mona lisa louvre Continue reading

What is it about Van Gogh?

“I cannot help that my pictures do not sell. Nevertheless the time will come when people will see
that they are worth more than the price of the paints and my own living.” ~ Vincent Van Gogh


Out of Vincent Van Gogh’s 900+ paintings, “Red Vineyard” (pictured here) is the only painting that sold in his lifetime. Here is a man who painted because he was compelled to do so. Not for money, fame or even the respect of his peers. He painted for the sheer joy and drive of the act of painting itself. That is what is so intriguing to me about Van Gogh. I recently visited the Met, and I surprised myself by wanting to locate Van Gogh’s work before any other artist. Not because I think he was an amazing artist, but I think he had the heart of an artist. I felt a connection the  more I read about his life and work. 

He went against the accepted techniques and subjects of his day. He shamefully didn’t hide his brushstrokes when it was expected that the most skilled artists create as smooth a painting as possible. He painted ordinary objects when his fellow artists only painted what was beautiful. He painted the way he thought he should paint not based on his sales or the opinions of others. His work was shocking and undesirable but he kept on painting. Perhaps this is why his work is sought after, today.

He was a radical with a brush.