12 Jul 2012

Ink Flies in a Mind

If anyone doubts that St. Sebastian holds a special place in the creative mind as a symbol of the artist’s self and the idea that every painter paints himself, then take a look at Jaff Seijas’ self-portrait above. It is not proof but it is telling. I came across it on the web a few days...

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26 Apr 2012

Canvas is Canvas

Most of the visual metaphors for an artist’s implements revealed here are related to their referent in art through their form, their function or some other more abstract link. A rifle or sword is long and thin like a paintbrush. They must be aimed and used precisely like an artist's hand. A...

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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...

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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...

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02 May 2010

Letters in the Art of All Periods

In this painting of St Jerome by Antonio da Fabriano (active mid-15th-century) the biblical translator is not only writing letters; he is one. He's the artist's initial. His triangular form crossed by the edge of the table-top describes a large A for Antonio.

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