Dominus Venustas

Art writer. Art reader. Art lover.
Art is a language. One that speaks of truth and of humanity. I am on a journey to discover the Masters of Art and shine a light on their greatness. By Jackie Honsig-Erlenburg
Arthur Streeton, the painter who was instrumental in changing the direction of painting in Australia in the late nineteenth century. From outdated European conventions came visions of a modern Australia.
One of his studies for a larger work Classic Romance. Beautifully composed. Streeton was a romantic. He had class and the true sensibility of an artist.
His beautiful heartfelt description of his future wife in a letter to an old friend, 22 June, 1899, Chelsea, London:
She’s well read in all poetry - can draw in the most original way - intimate with Watts …she’s wise (advises me as you often used to - to spur me into energy & better things) and damme she has the loveliest eyes possible & the most delightful rosy flush through her fresh cheeks - Ah! I get absolutely drowsy and faint with her sweet attraction then she is near - …
*So lovely*

Arthur Streeton, the painter who was instrumental in changing the direction of painting in Australia in the late nineteenth century. From outdated European conventions came visions of a modern Australia.

One of his studies for a larger work Classic Romance. Beautifully composed. Streeton was a romantic. He had class and the true sensibility of an artist.

His beautiful heartfelt description of his future wife in a letter to an old friend, 22 June, 1899, Chelsea, London:

She’s well read in all poetry - can draw in the most original way - intimate with Watts …she’s wise (advises me as you often used to - to spur me into energy & better things) and damme she has the loveliest eyes possible & the most delightful rosy flush through her fresh cheeks - Ah! I get absolutely drowsy and faint with her sweet attraction then she is near - …

*So lovely*

Gustav Klimt spent a summer at the extraordinary lake area of the Salkammergut (Estate of the Salt Chamber) that spans from Salzburg to Upper Austria.

He painted many scenes here, mostly of the Attersee, the largest lake of them all, and the Schloss Kammer, that sits majestically on the peninsular. 

It really is quite something to see. Such natural beauty in a serene, tranquil setting. Vast and incredibly picturesque.

Schönen Österreich.

Theodore Rousseau was born today many moons ago (202 to be precise). A pioneer of plein air painting and a central figure in the French Barbizon School.
He studied not only the seventeenth century Dutch landscape painters but also his contemporaries, John Constable and Richard Parkes Bonington.
What a beauty this is. Twilight Landscape.

Theodore Rousseau was born today many moons ago (202 to be precise). A pioneer of plein air painting and a central figure in the French Barbizon School.

He studied not only the seventeenth century Dutch landscape painters but also his contemporaries, John Constable and Richard Parkes Bonington.

What a beauty this is. Twilight Landscape.

Del Sarto saves the Monastery from destruction

In the year 1529, Florence was under siege by Carlos V and his army. The Vallombrosian Monastery was to be destroyed. Until King Carlos saw the fresco by Andrea del Sarto of the Last Supper painted on the wall of the refectory inside. The Florentines say the building was saved because of the beauty of the fresco.

Del Sarto was called by Vasari ‘the flawless painter’ who believed if he had had a more courageous soul, his work being so deep and him so talented, he would have surely been the best, a truly divine artist.

But alas, it has been said there was a shyness in his soul. I say, he was therefore human.

I have all my subjects at hand. I go see them. I take notes. And then I go home. And before painting, I think, I dream.

Bonnard was indeed a painter of the real, imagined and the two combined.

His nephew wrote of him and his paintings:

He has been called the enchanter, the magician, the painter of marvels. He wished to paint only happy things. One will find in his work neither sadness nor suffering, only an occasional trace of melancholy and then merely as an accompaniment to feminine grace.

Interview with Matisse by art historian and writer Pierre Courthion, 1931
Setting the scene:
Matisse thinks slowly before speaking, and expresses himself with a striking precision. He has blue eyes, agate-coloured, curiously attentive behind his tortoise-shell glasses. Dressed in sports clothes, his greying hair brushed back carelessly, he is seated in front of me with his legs crossed but his back very straight. He surrounds himself only with things that are necessary to him, putting out of his way everything that could distract him.
Words from Matisse:
There are so many things in art, beginning with art itself, that one doesn’t understand. A painter doesn’t see everything that he has put in his painting. It is other people who find these treasures in it, one by one, and the richer a painting is in surprises of this sort, in treasures, the greater its author.
A true and accurate sentiment. We all seek the treasures within a painting, wanting to take away a thought, a feeling, an emotion. We want to be moved, to feel, to discovery something new.
The power of art. Or more accurately, the power of a great author of painting.

Interview with Matisse by art historian and writer Pierre Courthion, 1931

Setting the scene:

Matisse thinks slowly before speaking, and expresses himself with a striking precision. He has blue eyes, agate-coloured, curiously attentive behind his tortoise-shell glasses. Dressed in sports clothes, his greying hair brushed back carelessly, he is seated in front of me with his legs crossed but his back very straight. He surrounds himself only with things that are necessary to him, putting out of his way everything that could distract him.

Words from Matisse:

There are so many things in art, beginning with art itself, that one doesn’t understand. A painter doesn’t see everything that he has put in his painting. It is other people who find these treasures in it, one by one, and the richer a painting is in surprises of this sort, in treasures, the greater its author.

A true and accurate sentiment. We all seek the treasures within a painting, wanting to take away a thought, a feeling, an emotion. We want to be moved, to feel, to discovery something new.

The power of art. Or more accurately, the power of a great author of painting.

Cecil Beaton and his world of nostalgic beauty. He was a photographer first and foremost. Portraits and fashion. And English…very very English.

Be daring, be different, be impractical, be anything that will assert integrity of purpose and imaginative vision against the play-it-safers, the creatures of the commonplace, the slaves of the ordinary.

Oooooh yes.

Veronese: Magnificence in Renaissance Venice

The name Veronese conjours up paintings of vibrant colour, opulence and the joy of Venetian painting. The exhibition at the National Gallery is about just that. The wonder and purity of his bright pigments, so much a part of Venetian artistic culture. An absolute feast for the eyes…. on a grand scale.

Painting after painting of orchestrated theatricals. Veronese is the director and the scenes are played out, complete with imagined costumes with richly designed fabrics and special effects lighting. The rhythm of colours, gestures and bodily movements are exaggerated and dramatised.

To see so much of his work in one place really does enhance the significance of his achievements. He was a truly great painter.

Such a treat for us all to experience so many centuries later!

Roses and Beetle, April-May, 1890
This painting by dear Vincent makes me think of three things:
Don’t forget to stop and smell the flowers. It’s the small things in life… It’s spring!

Roses and Beetle, April-May, 1890

This painting by dear Vincent makes me think of three things:

Don’t forget to stop and smell the flowers.
It’s the small things in life…
It’s spring!

Wolpertinger. A mythical Bavarian creature by Durer. Extraordinary.

Wolpertinger. A mythical Bavarian creature by Durer. Extraordinary.