The Execution of Lady Jane Grey by Paul Delaroche

The Execution of Lady Jane Grey by Paul Delaroche

Click here for the podcast version of this post. Painted in the glory days of 1833, The Execution of Lady Jane Grey exemplifies the qualities of historical painting. It’s dramatic, technically exquisite, and a bit wrong on the factual details. These elements made history paintings popular in the 19th century and then passé soon after. …

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The Portrait of Isabella Brant by Peter Paul Rubens

Isabella Brant by Peter Paul Rubens

Click here for the podcast version of this post. Rubens loved to draw his wife, Isabella Brant. The old Flemish master married her in the early 1600s when he was a young upstart. Peter Paul Rubens was popular and famous for his baroque paintings in his lifetime. The work of Rubens now lives in the …

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Portrait Colors by Angelica Kauffman, 1780

Portrait Colors by Angelica Kauffman 1780

Click here for the podcast version of this post. The Swiss painter Angelica Kauffman created her self portrait Colors as part of a series for the Royal Academy of Arts in London. Kauffman was one of two women who founded the Academy. Her four part series on crucial elements of painting still graces that art …

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Red Jackson by Gordon Parks 1948

Red Jackson by Gordon Parks

Click here for the podcast version of this post. The Red Jackson photograph by Gordon Parks sent me into a whirlwind of reactions from the first time I saw it. Encountering this black and white masterpiece in the Metropolitan Museum of Art feels like a lucky break at first. It’s a thoughtful photographic version of …

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James Stuart by Anthony Van Dyck

James Stuart by Anthony Van Dyck

Why is James Stuart wearing such fanciful duds in his Anthony Van Dyck portrait?

– The Order of the Garter
– Man’s best friend steals the show
– Performative emptiness

Trolley New Orleans by Robert Frank, 1955

Trolley New Orleans by Robert Frank

Why is the Robert Frank photograph Trolley New Orleans so important?

– Segregated seating in black and white
– A complex framework of composition
– Truth, hard work, and hope