Catherine Brass Yates (Mrs. Richard Yates) by Gilbert Stuart

Catherine Brass Yates (Mrs. Richard Yates) by Gilbert Stuart

Wife of a rich New York merchant, the Mrs. Richard Yates portrait judges. We can see it in her wise expression. It’s also clear that she cares little about being judged. After all, this portrait shows her with intact flaws as well as perfect eyebrows and luxurious silks

M-Maybe (A Girl’s Picture) by Roy Lichtenstein

M-Maybe (A Girl’s Picture) by Roy Lichtenstein

Roy Lichtenstein’s pop art painting M-Maybe reflects childhood comics. It commands our attention with nostalgic dots. They point back to the newsprint quality of yesteryear’s comics. Still, Lichtenstein uses pointillism in only two facets of the painting. He differentiates aspects within the portrait. Polka dots color the woman’s face and skin as well as reflective surfaces.

The Death of General Wolfe by Benjamin West

The Death of General Wolfe by Benjamin West

Benjamin West’s The Death of General Wolfe is a near perfect History Painting. Not because it’s accurate. Rather it sets a prime example of West’s reinvented genre.

Watson and the Shark by John Singleton Copley

Watson and the Shark by John Singleton Copley

The painting Watson and the Shark tells a dramatic story. So much so, it made the painter famous. Before this John Singleton Copley painted portraits.

This changed his work. No longer painting gentlemen and lady portraits, he became a storyteller.

Rooster, Hen, and Hydrangeas by Ito Jakuchu

Rooster, Hen, and Hydrangeas by Ito Jakuchu

Rooster, Hen, and Hydrangeas epitomizes the painstaking care of silk painting. There’s no room for error. Each brushstroke is permanent as soon as it hits the delicate fabric. Imagine the inner peace Ito Jakuchu must have had to achieve this level of detail.

American Gothic by Grant Wood

American Gothic by Grant Wood

Grant Wood painted this portrait the way a theater director puts on a show. First he discovered the setting. Wood saw the house, now famous for inspiring American Gothic, in a small Iowa town and knew it had to be in a painting. Then he cast his sister and dentist to play the two roles.

The Drifter by Andrew Wyeth

The Drifter by Andrew Wyeth

Andrew Wyeth’s The Drifter brings to mind a romantic archetype. A drifter’s that person you can never know. Right when you think you might understand them, they’re gone. Poof. The feelings this brings up make this a romantic painting. That’s why it’s so very unusual. Despite its emotion, this is a remote portrayal.

Self Portrait Holding a Portrait of Her Sister

Self Portrait Holding a Portrait of Her Sister

Rosalba Carriera’s Self Portrait Holding a Portrait of Her Sister fascinates me. In fact, this masterpiece highlights what makes self portraits special. These paintings reveal how artists see themselves. Rosalba Carriera’s frank depiction here sets a stunning example of honest reflection.

Van Cortlandt House Museum – Bronx

Van Cortlandt House Museum – Bronx

The Bronx holds no greater surprise than the exquisite Van Cortlandt House Museum. It’s an elegant estate – like a cake topper for the big city below.

Alice Austen House Museum

Alice Austen House Museum

Iconoclast Alice Austen captured her world with a keen photographer’s eye. Ahead of her time, Austen started taking pictures at only ten years old. Lucky for us, she never stopped.

A Princess of Saxony by Lucas Cranach the Elder

A Princess of Saxony by Lucas Cranach the Elder

The little girl in A Princess of Saxony seems weird at first. She’s got that impossibly high 1500s forehead. The iconic Queen Elizabeth had one too. As did most lady court portraits in those days. That’s because big foreheads were a sign of intelligence and class in the 16th century.

Green-Wood Cemetery -Brooklyn

Green-Wood Cemetery -Brooklyn

The first time I visited Green-Wood Cemetery, I fell in love. It’s a Brooklyn Historical Marvel. Not only a place to honor death, there’s a lot to do and even more to learn.

The Golden Fish (The Goldfish) by Paul Klee

The Golden Fish (The Goldfish) by Paul Klee

Paul Klee entitled this painting The Golden Fish. But it’s often called The Goldfish by viewers and even art historians. I’m not a fan of this practice. Words matter. There’s a difference between the two entities. Klee’s fish here’s nothing like an actual goldfish. The Golden fish has a sleek, slender figure.

Vaulting by Susan Rothenberg

Vaulting by Susan Rothenberg

Susan Rothenberg’s known for her expressive technique. Her paintings exemplify movement. This is the key element to Vaulting. A vaulter becomes motion rather than mere man.

Lefferts Family Farmhouse

Lefferts Family Farmhouse

The Lefferts family continue to influence Brooklyn today. That’s thanks to their family storyteller, Gertrude. Her books and stories give us a better picture of Brooklyn history

The Tempest by Italian Master, Giorgione

The Tempest by Italian Master, Giorgione

People love to talk about The Tempest by Italian Master Giorgione. There are a few reasons behind its appeal. Of course, it’s gorgeous and portrays a fantasy with expertise. That’s the obvious answer.

The Blind Girl by John Everett Millais

The Blind Girl by John Everett Millais

Every time I look at The Blind Girl I forget the two girls are beggars. That may be due to the blind girl’s blissful expression. Also, John Everett Millais sets them in a picturesque field of lush, joyful color.

Countess Golovina by Élisabeth Louise Vigée Le Brun

Countess Golovina by Élisabeth Louise Vigée Le Brun

This Portrait of Countess Golovina shows why Élisabeth Louise Vigée Le Brun was a beloved artist. She captured the friendly essence of even the haughtiest aristocrat.

Salome with the Head of St. John the Baptist

Salome with the Head of St. John the Baptist

Guido Reni’s famous for 17th century Italian frescos of 17th century. But here’s his masterpiece – Salome with the Head of St. John the Baptist. It captures a Bible story with a singular image.

Bedroom in Arles by Vincent Van Gogh

Bedroom in Arles by Vincent Van Gogh

Acid colors and electricity quiver through objects in Van Gogh’s Bedroom in Arles. But with our comfortable distance, it’s a pleasure to bask in Van Gogh’s sickly greens and odd figures. After all, we aren’t stuck in his mind.

Brick House – Simone Leigh – Sculptor

Brick House – Simone Leigh – Sculptor

A powerful woman awaits on 10th Avenue Highline bridge – Brick House. She’s Simone Leigh’s glorious sculpture at 30th Street.