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
La Belle Dame sans Merci
I met a lady in the meads,
Full beautiful - a faery’s child,
Her hair was long, her foot was light,
And her eyes were wild.
…
I set her on my pacing steed,
And nothing else saw all day long;
For side long would she bend, and sing
A faery’s song.
The fascination with chivalry in the Victorian era is epitomised here in the painting by Sir Frank Dicksee inspired from a Keat’s poem.
The ornate frame is also worth seeing! Bristol Art Gallery… in the West Country.

La Belle Dame sans Merci

I met a lady in the meads,

Full beautiful - a faery’s child,

Her hair was long, her foot was light,

And her eyes were wild.

I set her on my pacing steed,

And nothing else saw all day long;

For side long would she bend, and sing

A faery’s song.

The fascination with chivalry in the Victorian era is epitomised here in the painting by Sir Frank Dicksee inspired from a Keat’s poem.

The ornate frame is also worth seeing! Bristol Art Gallery… in the West Country.

Henri Cartier-Bresson had an incredible eye. He captured the essence of a place, a space or a person. His photographs are such gems.
The Studio of Pierre Bonnard (1944) is no exception.
Bonnard was looking at Renoir, Seurat, Picasso, Monet… very telling.

Henri Cartier-Bresson had an incredible eye. He captured the essence of a place, a space or a person. His photographs are such gems.

The Studio of Pierre Bonnard (1944) is no exception.

Bonnard was looking at Renoir, Seurat, Picasso, Monet… very telling.

Gauguin knew colour, he knew how to use it. He knew its language, he knew how to speak it. 
It is the eye of ignorance that assigns a fixed and unchangeable colour to every object; beware of this stumbling block.
- Gauguin
Women at the Riverside, 1892

Gauguin knew colour, he knew how to use it. He knew its language, he knew how to speak it.

It is the eye of ignorance that assigns a fixed and unchangeable colour to every object; beware of this stumbling block.

- Gauguin

Women at the Riverside, 1892

Vuillard and his Open Door from the turn of last century. Surely it can be said of this painting… it is visual poetry.
Nothing is important save the spiritual state that enables one to subjectify one’s thoughts to a sensation and to think only of the sensation, all the while searching to express it.
- Edouard Vuillard

Vuillard and his Open Door from the turn of last century. Surely it can be said of this painting… it is visual poetry.

Nothing is important save the spiritual state that enables one to subjectify one’s thoughts to a sensation and to think only of the sensation, all the while searching to express it.


- Edouard Vuillard

Vincent’s Field of Gold
Van Gogh painted these glorious wheat fields with cypress trees while in the South of France. Sky blues, emerald greens and glistening golds.
Letter to his brother Theo, 1882:
”… in all nature, for instance in trees, I see expression and soul… ”

(Take me there. Now! …please?)

Vincent’s Field of Gold

Van Gogh painted these glorious wheat fields with cypress trees while in the South of France. Sky blues, emerald greens and glistening golds.

Letter to his brother Theo, 1882:

”… in all nature, for instance in trees, I see expression and soul… ”

(Take me there. Now! …please?)

Leda and the Swan, a Greek myth that has fascinated artists through the centuries. Michelangelo, Raphael, Rubens, Correggio… and here Cezanne and Gericault. They have all painted the story.

Zeus, the Greek God of all Gods, in the form of a graceful swan, seduces the beautiful Leda.

Each artist has painted their own interpretation of that moment. Imagination is a powerful thing.

George Romney, a leading portraitist of his day painted many society figures… including the elusive and enigmatic Lady Hamilton, infamous mistress of Lord Nelson. 
Here she stares wide eyed and open mouthed as Circe, from Greek mythology. A beauty in her eighteenth century day.

George Romney, a leading portraitist of his day painted many society figures… including the elusive and enigmatic Lady Hamilton, infamous mistress of Lord Nelson.

Here she stares wide eyed and open mouthed as Circe, from Greek mythology. A beauty in her eighteenth century day.

There are so few known drawings by Titian and this one is definitely a knock-out. The energy, the articulation, the subtle tone work, the emotion behind it all.
It is exactly why I think the world of the Great Venetian Master Titian.

There are so few known drawings by Titian and this one is definitely a knock-out. The energy, the articulation, the subtle tone work, the emotion behind it all.

It is exactly why I think the world of the Great Venetian Master Titian.

Lowry’s Two Beauties

Portrait of Ann (1957) and Astarte Syriaca (1873) have an unassuming connection. One painted by British painter L.S.Lowry, a copy of the other hung in the artist’s bedroom.

Ann is a mystery. Lowry always referred to her as a real person but left no trail of who this beauty was. He painted her again and again. Her face is beautiful, symmetrical, perfectly formed, yet haunting.

Dante Gabriel Rossetti’s ideal of beauty, epitomised in Astarte Syriaca, influenced and affected Lowry. He said ‘As for my Rossetti paintings… I have always been fascinated by certain types of women he painted. I’m a Victorian alright…’

Rossetti’s sister Christina wrote about her brother’s obsession with a particular type of woman. ‘One face looks out from all his canvases… not as she is, but as she fills his dreams’.

In Dante’s own words from his poem ‘A Last Confession’: ‘She had a mouth made to bring death to life… Her face was pearly pale… her high neck bore her face made wonderful with night and day… Her great eyes, That sometimes turned half-dizzily beneath the passionate lids.’

Lowry rarely painted women. Therefore Ann (real or imagined) is intriguing, very intriguing indeed. Could she be Lowry’s vision of ideal beauty?

If you would like to see Ann for yourself, go to Salford, the Lowry Art Gallery, and there she graces the wall.

It’s all there. It’s all in the sea. The battle of life is there. And fate. And the inevitability of it all. And the purpose.

- Lowry

Lowry’s seascapes are less well known but among his most emotional paintings. Stark, bleak, comforting, calming and powerful… like looking at infinity… and into the unknown. He felt things deeply, always searching for meaning in life. And it was the sea that gave him answers.