Pablo Picasso

Pablo Picasso (1881-1973) a flamboyant extravagant painter who revolutionized art. Pablo’s tumultuous life has known many women and perhaps as many styles. I would love to show you the diversity of his works. Want to know why Pablo went through a “blue” period and why the Guernica was painted? I can highly recommend the following documentary.



Second Canvas

Lucky me, I joined a contest on Mauritshuis’s Twitter and won their brand new App called Second Canvas! Time to write a brief review!

Second Canvas is an App developed for Mauritshuis, one of the most prominent Dutch museums situated in The Hague. The App can be bought in the Appstore or Google Play store (price: €1.99 November 2016).

This App is able to provide you with a true museum experience. Second Canvas is all about details and allows you to observe every inch of canvas like you were standing right in front of the original artwork. Furthermore, some paintings have an option to view infra-red images of underlying layers, an audio tour and texts describing the depicted scenes.

The details are simply breathtaking. Bugs on the leaves of an apple tree, flies on Potter’s cow, the tiniest craquelure and chips of paint on Vermeer’s Girl with a Pearl Earring, the subtle yellow brush strokes on the Goldfinch’s wing, the vivid paleness of skins painted by Rembrandt.

Right now the following paintings are fully featured:

  1. Johannes Vermeer – Girl with a Pearl Earring
  2. Rubens and Brueghel – The Garden of Eden
  3. Rembrandt – The Anatomy Lesson

Seven other paintings do have text descriptions, but do not have the full range of options. Hopefully Mauritshuis will add more paintings in the near future.
Still, I’d rate this fabulous App with its future potentials and great features a solid four stars!


Photography: The Definitive Visual History

Written by world-renowned photographer, writer, and broadcaster Tom Ang, Photography lavishly celebrates the most iconic photographs and photographers of the past 200 years. Tracing the history of photography from its origins in the 1800s to the digital age, Photography: The Definitive Visual History is the only book of its kind to give a comprehensive account of the people, the photographs and the technologies that have shaped the history of photography.


From the first black-and-white photography to photojournalism and contemporary street photography, Photography celebrates the most iconic photographs and profiles 50 of the most famous photographers, with special features on Pulitzer Prize-winners and thematic timelines on portrait, war, advertising, and fashion photography.


Dissecting classics such as Daguerre’s Boulevard de Temple, Stieglitz’s The Steerage, Rosenthal’s Raising the Flag on Iwo Jima, and McCurry’s Afghan Girl, this amazing reference not only showcases incredible photographs, but tells their stories, in-depth, and is a must-have for anyone who appreciates the beauty of photography.

The developments of technologies are interesting, but might not be the primary reason why art-lovers should buy Photography. I would say that the stories behind the pictures and the high quality images should be the convincing factors ! Personally, I especially loved the in focus sections. These sections made the reader focus on particular parts of the photograph, analysing the strengths of the picture. Furthermore, this book makes a great coffee table book. Its cover is a great eye-catcher and will seduce you to flip through some more pages.


J. Albers: Interaction of Color

While visiting the Lenbachhaus I was dazzled by the colour combinations of Expressionists. I decided to buy a book called the Interaction of Color by Josef Albers in their book store to get a better understanding of colour usage. It appears to be a great resource from the 60s and 70s. It includes texts and illustrative plates where the effects of colour interactions are shown.

interaction-of-color-50th-anniversary-edition1-666x1024The book focuses heavily on art education. A lot of examples could be used in a classroom straight away. This makes the book great for teachers, but maybe less attractive to the general art appreciator. I considered this a nuisance, but the teaching approach allows you to explore colour interactions step by step.  Furthermore, the chapters are short which allows you to read bit-by-bit.

Of course text appears to be of lesser importance than the supplied coloured plates. The book contains 150(!) illustrative plates were one can see colours interacting. For instance, the following image contains two small brownish squares which are of the same colour, but they are initially perceived differently.


Colours deceive the viewer in numerous ways. Even the “easiest” pieces of art can contain very complicated plays of colour. For instance, by slightly altering a colour one can achieve the trick of painting transparent objects. Or, as shown below one can achieve the illusion of depth by using colour. Hence, the light beam in the right figure appears on top of the bottom grey rectangle but behind the top grey rectangle.


After reading this book you will definitely look at art in a different way.
One will admire the artists that succeed at making colours play with our minds.


Documentary: Graffiti Fine Art

What is a city without graffiti? Graffiti artists from 13 countries descend upon São Paulo, Brazil for the 1st Biennial International “Graffiti Fine Art” Exhibition. In an art world where semantics matter, graffiti artists from around the world wonder what exactly is ‘Graffiti Fine Art’. After all, once graffiti leaves the street… is it even graffiti at all?

This documentary won various awards and is definitely worth checking out!
More information on their website Graffiti Fine art.



Modern Art & Ideas

The museum of modern art (MoMA) provides us with a very accessible and informal course on modern art. You will explore four themes–Places & Spaces, Art & Identity, Transforming Everyday Objects, and Art & Society–whilst learning about artworks from The Museum of Modern Art’s collection. This course serves could inspire to teach arts thematically. However, the course could be more profound and in depth.

You can find the course on Coursera.


Modern art explained

Have you ever felt lost at your local modern art museum? Modern art can be confusing for many, but this wonderful comic by John Atkinson, the artist behind the Wrong Hands comic, will get you caught up on everything you missed in art class.

The comic is in good fun, but some of the representations really aren’t very far off the mark at all. Which art movement do you think his comic does best?

More info: wronghands1 | Fb | Twitter (h/t: designtaxi)
(Via: Bored panda)

Modern art simplified

Gombrich: The Story of Art

If the cover tells you that the book in front of you has been sold for over six million times, you just know that you’ve purchased quality (meanwhile over seven million!). The Story of Art was first published in 1950 by Phaidon and nowadays we may enjoy its 16th revision. Ernst Gombrich managed to write one of the most accessible introductions to the visual arts.

The book is divided into an introduction, 27 chapters each dealing with a defined time period of art history within one or several cultural/geographic contexts, and a concluding chapter summarizing the latest developments in visual arts. The first chapter starts examining art in prehistoric times and native cultures. The next four chapters are dedicated to the greater ancient cultures, especially Greece and Rome. Starting with chapter 8, Gombrich begins to focus on Central European art, returning to a more global view in chapter 24 that deals with art of the late 18th and early 19th century in England, France and America.

Furthermore, The Story of Art  is a pleasure to read and a pleasure to handle. The text runs as smoothly as ever and the improved illustrations are always on the page where the reader needs them. More than 50% of the book’s pages contain colour photographs of paintings, drawings, architectural features or sculptures. Those images will allow you to truly relate pieces of art to different art movements and get a better understanding of the history of art.

The story of art


European Paintings: From Leonardo to Rembrandt to Goya

Currently, I’m following a free online course on European paintings offered by the Charles III University of Madrid. In a series of video lectures, paintings from 1400 to 1828 are being discussed by Alejandro Vergara.
Typically videos are about 7-9 minutes long and focus on a particular painter.
The development of painting from the early Renaissance to Romanticism is being discussed, providing the student with general knowledge of art historic events.
There will be four exams to test your knowledge.
Furthermore, every video lecture provides you with several quick questions.

I encourage you to follow this course, since it is easy accessible, free, entertaining and highly informative.


Link: European Paintings: From Leonardo to Rembrandt to Goya

What you will learn

  • Learn to identify paintings by the artists covered in the course, and recognize characteristics of art of this time period.
  • Learn about the variety of ways in which a work of art can be interpreted.
  • Acquire the tools to develop a critical spirit and a personal point of view with regards to the history of art.
  • Become familiar with the language and concepts necessary to understand the history of art and to continue studying it in the future.
  • Learn to use a knowledge of art history to make sense of life and your experience in the world.