Category: art history

Dance by Alphonse Mucha, 1898

Dance by Alphonse Mucha, 1898

The Lady of the Camellias by Alphonse Mucha,…

The Lady of the Camellias by Alphonse Mucha, 1896

Brightness of Day by Alphonse Mucha, 1899

Brightness of Day by Alphonse Mucha, 1899

I wanted to share this with all of you, becaus…

I wanted to share this with all of you, because I’ve been doing a lot of research and studies with my own artwork.

A couple of weeks ago I mentioned I wanted to show (and create) more color blind friendly artworks. Especially since it’s such a common issue, something like 1 in 20 people have some variation of color blindness.  A point was made that really made a lot of sense -someone said I’ve lived with this my whole life so I can’t really tell the difference so keep posting what you post (or something to that effect)

But Art, to some extent is about making you feel something when you view it, and for me, color plays an important roll in that emotional response. With my research so far, some pieces get muddled and become confusing and harsh. So when you aren’t aware of this as an artist your complex color palettes can actually take away from the piece instead of creating the beautiful tension that you want. I want to make art that is an enjoyable experience for everyone.

All this to say I created some color swatches, uploaded some of my pieces on an inactive blog of mine and ran it through a colorblind generator. I wanted to share it with you, in hopes that it would be educational. If you looking for color palettes in your own artwork or designing websites these are some comparisons between true colors and filters that mimic color blindness. The first one is Protanopia (red/greed), the second is Tritanopia (blue/yellow), Deutanopia (red/green)

kingfucko: spoutziki-art: Hall of the Mounta…



Hall of the Mountain King by Paul Albert Besnard

what is with dudes and drawing women wearing flowing draperies but also: you can still absolutely see her belly button. also the flowing fabric always perfectly separates and lifts and delineates each individual titty. titties and navels are always completely revealed by clothing in dudes’ paintings it’s stupid

Excellent visual analysis. 

Allow me to expand on a few of your very valid points. Paul Albert Besnard (1849-1934), like many of his contemporary male artists, viewed woman as an ethereal being and this is reflected in many of his artworks, such as this one. Especially with the emergence of the Art Nouveau movement this was increasingly the case. So we have a vast number of artworks from this period of time (around the turn of the century) presenting women as such. Alphonse Mucha is another fine example. 

Now you have to keep in mind that certain, ahem, modesty standards had to be met in order for a painting or other artwork to be suitable for public display back then. If you wanted to achieve professional artistic status back in the day, you had to submit your work in one of the major annual (state-approved) Exhibitions (such as the Paris Salon for example). Most major European countries had something similar going on. Now if you depicted a naked (real) woman in a painting you were asking for trouble (see Manet’s Olympia for example). The way around presenting women’s bodies for the viewing pleasure of the committees and the public, was to transform them into mythical entities – since they are not real women, you are allowed to gaze upon them without any moral or ethical implications. I hope this makes sense. 

Your emphasis on the ‘tities’ is very significant because although most of these ethereal women are dressed (or semi-naked), they nonetheless portray sexual desire via the way that their clothing embraces their bodies. Clothing conceals and reveals at the same time and this ambiguity can be considered more provoking than a plain, naked body.  

Another point that I wanted to make is that certain paintings exist (such as Courbet’s The Origin of the World) that are very graphic and portray female bodies exactly as they are. Such paintings were commissioned by a patron for the most part and they were meant for, um, private viewing. You know. 

Of course there’s a vast amount of literature and debates out there regarding such matters in art history and I am only offering my opinion here. What do you think?

Your friendly neighborhood art historian. 

Water droplets are the best (apparently)

Let’s all take a moment to appreciate the water droplets in Jan van Huysum’s still life so aptly titled Fruit Piece (1722). Clink on the link for an excellent image of the painting in amazing resolution that allows you to explore the work in great detail. 

And little bugs here and there of course searching for food and water droplets to make their little tummies happy! 

One more just because! 

Honestly, go and have a look at the original image for some ‘I paint with a brush that has only a hair on it’ kind of detail. Let me know what you think of this work, as you can see I am personally fascinated by the water droplets. 

Your friendly neighborhood art historian. 

On the Coast of California by William Henry …

On the Coast of California by William Henry Holmes

Sunshine in the Living Room, The Artist&rsqu…

Sunshine in the Living Room, The Artist’s Wife and Child by Viggo Pedersen – 1888


Quick question for you all: Would you be interested in reading stuff I’ve written on art history? Not the usual stuff I post here with short commentaries, the heavy, reference and footnote infested academic work. 

I would love to hear what you think about this. 


Laura Callaghan 

Laura Callaghan