The Art of Claude Lorrain

Despite my indecisiveness about whether or not to continue with a written counterpart for my Ruins Project, I have decided to write a brief post looking at some of the artwork created by the Master artist, Claude Lorrain.

Claude is without any doubt, one of the greatest painters of the landscape that has ever lived; although in 17th century Italy landscape painting was not a subject deemed classical enough to be classed as a true work of art and with that in mind, Claude painted figures and narratives into his beautiful scenery; usually mythical or religious figures that would feed the hunger both of patrons and the public. However, it is clearly evident from his sketchbooks and the quality of the scenery in his finished works that his focus was mainly centred around the landscape.

One good way to describe Claude Lorrain is as the painter of the idealised landscape providing the setting for classical subject narratives. The creator of mythical and religious scenes that the viewer can engage with as though present in the story, a Baroque equivalent of the cinema.

I have handpicked my favourite artworks by Claude Lorrain that are relevant to the theme of Ruins and in no particular order, here they are:

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The Art of Francis Towne

For this post, we will have a look at the traditional art of an independent and usually reclusive artist named Francis Towne.

In 1780-81, Towne went on the dangerous journey to the heart of the Ancient Empire of Rome and in doing so created some of the most beautiful watercolour paintings I’ve ever seen; using his incredible aptitude with a brush he brought out the elegance of the ruins of the old Empire and romanticized them poetically.

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Morning Coffee V – The Ides of March and Tiramisu

Good Morning

Welcome to this week’s Morning Coffee, if you’re here and reading this, congratulations as you managed to survive the Ides of March on Tuesday. Although that doesn’t mean to say that you came through it unscathed; so get the coffee brewed and let the aroma begin to work its magic on your senses.

Let’s start with the Ideas of March; now I’m not one that believes in things such as omens, superstitions or numerological harbingers, but the Ides of March does stand out in my mind and holds a certain sense of foreboding; with as much thanks to Shakespeare as Julius Caesar.

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Ruins Project – Part I -Ideas & Sketches

So finally the time has for publish the first part of this project containing my own artwork; although having said that, aesthetics are not the aim of this stage, ideas and forming a concept have been my only objective. In just the course of the short time I’ve spent on these sketches, the entire concept has changed hugely and I am now at a stage where I know where I want to go with the work for a final piece; but that’s a little way off yet.

Initially the idea was just to research different ruins and types of architecture until I decided upon what I wanted for my work, I primarily thought about doing an ancient Norse inspired work, some ruins and the head of a statue, perhaps hinting at an Icelandic landscape post-Ragnarok.

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Ruins Project – Update

I have now started work on my new project which I announced last week, you can see that post by Clicking Here.

For this project, I will be publishing the artwork that I create in parts and in between the parts containing the artwork will be written pieces about relevant artists or pieces relative to the theme of Ruins.

I will be publishing the first written piece next week, looking at some of the beautiful artwork of Francis Towne, a little known artist who traveled to Rome in the 18th century and painted some beautiful watercolour landscapes of the scenery of the old Empire’s capital.

Throughout the course of the project I will look at a variety of people who have captured the charm and beauty of the ancient world through different media as well as those who have incorporated it into imaginary scenes, such as I intend to do.

So until next week, take care!

JGlover

Featured Image – Francis Towne – Inside the Colosseum – 1780

Project Concept – Ruins

For the past week in between studying portrait drawing and sketching away I have also been spending a lot of time thinking of another project to get on with; something not as large scale as my Lord of the Rings Project from last year, but detailed enough for the final result to be added into my portfolio.

Having a lot of interest in concept art, fantasy and history, as well as wanting to create art that has a narrative inclined me to choose a theme that will be a combination of all of my interests.

The concept that I have come up with for this project is Ruins. I’ve always found myself drawn towards ruins; Bronze age, classical, medieval, even contemporary desolation such as Chernobyl captivate me and inspire me in ways that I find hard to explain. I think a big part of what draws me towards ruins is the fact that they all tell a story; tales of abandonment, legends of sieges and warfare, chronicles recording the destructive power of weather and time and even epics of natural disaster.

I don’t just want to reproduce an image of an already familiar set of ruins for this project though, I want to create an imagined scene for my final piece and that is the objective. In harmony with concept art, I will be drawing on the historical to create the fantastical.

As before with my previous project, I will post the development of the project in stages; there is a lot of ground to cover throughout this project and an innumerable amount of resources to draw from.

My intentions are to

  • Gather information on historical architecture
  • Study existing ruins
  • Explore the work of others in this field such as; Concept Artists – Historical Painters – Landscape Painters – Architects – Photographers
  • Build a collection of images to use for reference and inspiration

I will use the information that I gather to create a series of sketches and studies that I will use towards the final piece, working with various media.

Part I of this project will be published within the next two weeks and I hope for as many of you to join me on this journey as possible.

Until next time, take care!

JGlover

Featured Image – Il Foro Romano – The Roman Forum

Lawrence Alma-Tadema and Frederic Leighton – Compare and Contrast

For this essay about modern and contemporary art, I have chosen the Victorian era and two classical-subject painters from this era to compare and contrast; divulging how they were influenced and inspired by the happenings and world around them. Before comparing a piece of work of each artist, I intend to look into how their lives and contextual issues affected them as both men and artists, shaping the way they became and moulding them into artists who chose to depict classical subjects as opposed to following along with the other movements of the time; movements such as Impressionism and Post-Impressionism; Fauvism and Expressionism, which came into being later on in the artists’ careers and would have been an easy bandwagon to jump onto.

The two artists that I have chosen for my subjects are Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema (1836-1912); and Sir Frederic Leighton (1830-1896); and their works chosen for this writing are Alma-Tadema’s The Triumph of Titus: AD 71 (1885) and Leighton’s Daedalus and Icarus (1869).

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