Friday, July 11, 2008

Recent Paintings and drawings

ANDRAS: the grand marquis of Discord

The Goetia reports of the demon Andras: "He is a Great Marquis, appearing in the Form of an Angel with a Head like a Black Night Raven, riding upon a strong Black Wolf, and having a Sharp and Bright Sword flourished aloft in his hand. His Office is to sow Discords. If the Exorcist have not a care, he will slay both him and his fellows. He governeth 30 Legions of Spirits."

Some explanation may be useful in clarifying this description. By a night raven, an owl is intended. Black wolves were once fairly common in Europe. Both wolf and owl were considered to be animals of evil.

The magician performing the evocation is called the "exorcist" in the English translation of the Goetia preserved in manuscript in the British Library (Sloane ms. 2731). We would not apply the term exorcist to the magician today since the magician is calling the spirit forth to visible appearance, rather than driving it away. However, the term exorcist was once used more generally to describe someone who commanded spirits. Magicians traditionally had at least one assistant, usually more than one, to help them in their rituals. They stood inside a magic circle for protection -- if the evoked demon could tempt or deceive the magician or his assistants to step out from the circle, the demon could then injure the careless human beings.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Dana Haugaard and his 25th birthday

this is from my buddy Dana's birthday at the Yacht Club.
we had a fucking blast. i think he did as well.
below is a picture of the two of us. he on the right, me on the left.
the other pic is me faking out the large group of people posing for a picture they thought i was taking of them.

Hercules Pietersz Seghers

Another artist i have become obsessed with over the years is Hercules Seghers. I stumbled upon his work accidentally a few years ago and have been hungry for them ever since.


HET DAL OMRINGD DOOR BERGEN Amsterdam, Rijksprentenkabinet / 11 x 18,5 cm

HET LANDSCHAP MET DE PUNTIGE ROTS EN DE GEVORKTE BOOM Amsterdam, Rijksprentenkabinet / 10,2 x 18 cm

RIVIERDAL MET HUIZEN Rotterdam, museum Boymans van Beuningen / 70 x 86,6 cm. Olieverf op doek

HET ROTSACHTIGE LANDSCHAP MET LAAGHANGENDE WOLKEN Amsterdam, Rijksprentenkabinet / 14,4 x 20,1 cm

Mountainous-landscape Museum Bredius

1633-Mountain Landscape Uffizi Gallery
1620-1630-Landscape with overhanging fir Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam

Hercules was born in Haarlem, as the son of a Mennonite cloth merchant, originally from Flanders, who moved to Amsterdam in 1596. There Hercules was apprenticed to the leading Dutch landscapist of the day Gillis van Coninxloo, but his apprenticeship was presumably cut short by Coninxloo's death in 1606. Seghers and his father bought a number of his works at the auction of the studio contents, as Pieter Lastman did. Seghers' father died in 1612, after which he returned to Haarlem, joining the artists guild. He returned to Amsterdam in 1614 to obtain custody of an illegitimate daughter, and the following year married Anneke van der Brugghen from Antwerp, who was sixteen years older than him. In 1620 he bought a large house in the Jordaan on the Lindengracht for about 4,000 guilders, but by the late 1620's he was in debt, and in 1631 had to sell it. From his studio at the top of the house, which was pulled down in 1912, he had a view on the recently finished Noorderkerk which is on one of his etchings.[4] In the same year he moved to Utrecht and started to sell art. In 1633 he moved to the Hague. He appears to have died by 1638, when a Cornelia de Witte is mentioned as widow of a "Hercules Pieterz.". Like much of the detailed documentation of Segher's life, this link depends on the assumed rarity of his first name. Some later sources said that Segers took to drink towards the end of his life and died after falling down the stairs.[5]
His posthumous reputation was boosted by the Inleyding tot de hooge schoole der schilderkonst (Introduction to the High School of Painting) of Samuel van Hoogstraten which presented him rather as a Romantic genius avant la lettre, lonely, poor and misunderstood, based mostly on his etchings.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Adriaen Brouwer

Adriaen Brouwer has been an obsession of mine for some time. It was the moment that i turned the page in a library book on painting that i first encountered his work.

It was a feeling so swift and final. When i first saw his painting "The Smokers" the overpowering brilliance of such a simple scene bowled me over.

The Smokers, probably ca. 1636Adriaen Brouwer (Flemish, 1606?–1638)Oil on wood; 18 1/4 x 14 1/2 in. (46.4 x 36.8 cm) The Friedsam Collection, Bequest of Michael Friedsam, The Metropolitan Museum of Art

"Adriaen Brouwer was born c. 1605/06 in Oudenaarde. After the death of his father he left his home, he was about sixteen, and went to Antwerp, then to Holland. He worked in Haarlem in the workshop of Frans Hals (c. 1623-24) and then in Amsterdam. In 1631 he returned to Antwerp, became a member of the St. Lukas Guild and ran a small workshop. Brouwer was always in debt, spending some months in prison. It was Rubens, who highly appreciated the artist and owned 17 of his pictures, who probably obtained Brouwer’s release. The artist spent his last years in the house of the known engraver P. Pontius, who worked with Rubens. Brouwer died at early age, in 1638 in Oudenaarde, during the Plague.
The life of the people was the central theme of the work of Adriaen Brouwer. He combined the subjects of Pieter Bruegel the Elder and the stylistic influences of Frans Hals and Rubens with surprising and lively results. He specialized in genre scenes, which took place in shabby, dirty, small taverns and inns, visited by peasants, beggars, tramps… they drink, eat, play cards and dice, smoke, sing, quarrel, fight. Spirit of vitality and careless trouble-making is combined with bitterness, emptiness, and grotesque. Brouwer is an outstanding master of composition. There are usually two planes in his pictures: in the foreground is the main compact group, in the background, in semidarkness of a tavern, are shadowy figures of other visitors, who mind their own business; with the help of light and shadow the artist achieves the effect of deep space. The artist is an interesting colorist; his canvases are usually in olive-brown palette, the background is in airy grey and yellowish shades, the clothes of the people in the foreground are in color harmony (spots of faded greyish-blue, cream and dusty-pink shades). Brouwer’s technique is free and artistic. He also painted a number of extremely important works as a portraitist and landscape artist.
Brouwer’s work stands alone in Flemish painting school. The works of A. Ostade, who imitated his style, look too “well-behaved” and bright. After Bruegel, Brouwer is considered the foremost painter of bucolic themes, the greatest collection of 16 of his works is in the the Alte Pinakothek at Munich."

The Bitter Draught. c. 1635-38. Oil on panel. 47 x 35 cm. Staatliche Kunstinstitut, Frankfurt; Germany.

In the Tavern. Oil on panel. 25 x 33.5 cm. The Hermitage, St. Petersburg, Russia

Scene at the Inn. c. 1624-25. Oil on panel. 34.8 x 26 cm. Museum Boymans-van Beuningen, Rotterdam, Netherlands

Portrait of a Man with a Pointed Hat. Oil on panel. 19.5 x 12 cm. Museum Boymans-van Beuningen, Rotterdam, Netherlands

The Operation. Oil on panel. 31.5 x 39.5 cm. Alte Pinakothek, Munich, Germany