18 May 2015

Still-lifes by Peale and Core

Names are important in art. The American master Charles Willson Peale (1741-1827) had three sons who became painters: Rembrandt, Raphaelle [sic] and Titian. His fourth son was Rubens. Raphaelle is thought to be America’s first still-life painter who, on occasion, punned on his name as in the...

Read More

25 Mar 2014 | 1 Comments

Lights on Rembrandt

What does Rembrandt mean? Not his art but his name. No-one's asked that before. In a beautifully written essay Zhenya Gershman, a successful artist and EPPH follower, reveals how its meaning is reflected in all his art and even his very being. She also demonstrates how he signed himself on his...

Read More

16 Feb 2014

Is Stoning Stephen Grinding Colors?

In the wider world of art history where the word "art" has not been properly defined, the search for meaning is more complex and difficult than it is here. If biologists studied different types of trees without agreeing on what a tree was, they too would sound confused. That's why the search...

Read More

26 Jan 2014 | 1 Comments

Trees as Paintbrushes

Looking out my study window in Italy something struck me that you might only notice in life not paint. Not far from the house, lower down, is a row of cypresses. When the wind blows, the pointed tops move back and forth over the distant landscape which, of course, remains quite still, unmoved....

Read More

09 Sep 2013 | 2 Comments

Art’s Unknown Frown

Artists frown. Constantly. Why? Charles Darwin considered the corrugator, the muscle which results in a frown, as the most remarkable of the human face because it irresistably conveys the idea of mind.1 And that's why, in my opinion, artists have used it for centuries not only in their own...

Read More

20 Apr 2013

Do you know what it means to come home?

Think differently. The old ways are often dull and didactic. Take, for instance, paintings and prints that seem to illustrate Bible stories. Why treat them as a narrative when mystical Christians, among whom must be counted many great Western artists, would not have thought of them as...

Read More

16 Oct 2012

Picasso was Rembrandt

Under the theme 'Artist as Other Artist' I show how many painters and sculptors over the centuries have, in one way or another, adopted the persona of an earlier artist. The mask they then inhabit helps disguise their own role within the scene as an alter ego yet conveys important meaning: that...

Read More

14 Jun 2012

“Sir, rejoice with me, I have become God.”

The Inner Tradition in Christianity, the idea that Scripture and Christ’s teachings are allegorical in nature, is so little known that art historians who pride themselves on knowing and understanding the historical and cultural context within which art is created, seem unaware of it. They cite...

Read More

22 Apr 2012

Alpers on Rembrandt’s Lucretia (1666)

It’s always encouraging when I can cite another art scholar without comment, a historian in this instance who has so understood what is happening allegorically in Rembrandt’s Lucretia that no further explanation is necessary. This is what Svetlana Alpers wrote about Lucretia, the Roman girl...

Read More

21 Apr 2012 | 2 Comments

Rembrandt and His Crucifixion (1631)

I can be very blind. Some time ago I added an analysis of Rembrandt’s Crucifixion  in which I showed that Rembrandt had portrayed himself as Christ not out of delusions of grandeur but based on Christianity’s most fundamental principles that:

- we are all made in the image of God 

-...

Read More

31 Jan 2012

Hollywood and the Man Within My Head

I’m always intrigued on perusing The Times Book Review by how many articles explain the object of their study in terms similar to those used here. It is no coincidence, of course. Every painter paints himself and all it entails is probably the underlying preconception of art in any medium, not...

Read More

23 Nov 2011

Rembrandt’s Hand

We have already seen (in Donatello’s Davids and Goliaths) that Donatello identified with both David and Goliath. Both his giants (in the marble and bronze versions) have double vision, out-sight and insight, the two forms conveyed by one eye open and the other closed. Giorgione and ...

Read More

10 Nov 2011

The Importance of an Artist’s Turban

I've been looking forward to discussing turbans for some time because, for an art lover, a little knowledge can go a long way. Almost everyone thinks of them as oriental in some manner but, up until the end of the eighteenth century, you could find them all over Europe too....in the artist's...

Read More

13 Oct 2011

Rembrandt and the Face of Jesus

America’s a religious and largely Christian country so an exhibition titled Rembrandt and the Face of Jesus, currently in Philadelphia and soon to travel to Detroit, ought to be a popular hit. It caught my interest because – face it – you know why. As I expected, buried in a mountain of...

Read More

08 Apr 2011

Art vs. Illustration

Art is not illustration. We all know that. Illustration simply depicts a verbal story and that alone cannot be art. We call those image-makers “illustrators” because they copy reality or a written story. We should not give them the grander title of a visual poet, “artist.” Arthur...

Read More

The EPPH Blog features issues and commentary.