Painted for a Pope
Raphael’s St Michael Vanquishing Satan was indeed for Pope Leo X, the Florentine. Raphael was a favoured painter at the time of the High Renaissance in Rome. Sebastiano del Piombo apparently wrote to Michelangelo (his great painting opponent) that the colouring was smoky. Rivalry was rife in Rome!
But oh, what a draughtsman Raphael was. So very accomplished.
And the poses. Pure Raphael.
From Victorian conventions to a new modernity. Vanessa Bell, (from the Bloomsbury Group) painted during this transition.
Iceland Poppies now hangs in the Garden Room at Charleston, its original home, alongside Sickert and Matisse.
So elegantly refined.
Australian Beach Pattern
The epitome of life in Australia. The outdoors, the beach, the sun, the sand, and the sea. Charles Meere cracked it with his 1940 painting of the Australian lifestyle. A healthy young nation of beach-goers.
Modern. Monumental. Sculptural.
Meere was actually a Londoner who moved to Sydney. With weather like this at the moment, who can blame him! *sigh*
The Car of 1955
John Brack describes how he came to paint this work:
Walking in a suburban street one day the car passed me and, as it did so, the occupants looked out. This seemed to compose itself as picture instantly, which I have found to be rare … The paraphernalia of the street, houses and telegraph poles, seemed to rob the faces of dramatic emphasis. I think that the country landscape solved this problem and serves also to illustrate a social phenomenon important in our time: the family making an afternoon trip from the city to the nearby country on Sunday. It was part of the pattern of life of millions.
Brack was part of the Antipodeans Group, an Australian group of painters, reacting against Abstract Expressionism of the 1950’s. Simplified and stark shapes and colours.
This painting currently at the RA is very amusing! So typical of its time and of its place. And very Australian…
Thoughts from Diebenkorn
When I am halfway there with a painting, it can occasionally be thrilling.. But it happens very rarely; usually it’s agony. I go to great pains to mask the agony. But the struggle is there. It’s the invisible enemy.
In a successful painting everything is integral.. all the parts belong to the whole. If you remove an aspect or element you are removing its wholeness.