I’d have loved to be present when Pontormo drew and painted The Visitation, recently exhibited for the first time in the U.S. at the Morgan Library Museum. It’s an extraordinary painting to view and copy.
German artist Käthe Kollwitz used lithography, etching, woodcuts and sculpture to create powerful artwork depicting the effects of poverty, hunger and war on the working class. Her work has great personal feeling filled with angst and the pain of her personal loss of family members — her son in World War I and her grandson in World War II.
Loving Vincent, the 2017 film directed by Dorota Kobiela and Hugh Welchman
The Wallace Collection, in London is filled with extraordinary paintings by Richard Parkes Bonington, François Boucher, Fragonard, Rembrandt, Rubens, van Dyck, and other masters — all in a magnificent building.
I’d point aspiring artists to the book series, Artists by Themselves, edited by Rachel Barnes, along with Richard Kendall’s By Himself series, about Degas, Monet, Cézanna and Gauguin. I’d also recommend Van Gogh on Art and Artists: Letters to Emile Bernard. These letters, written by the artist in the years 1887 to 1889, reveal how sensitive, passionate and serious he was about his work. We can hear van Gogh speak, in his own words, with intensity and clarity about his inspirations, frustrations and concepts. Bernard wrote of the letters: ‘Afer reading them, one could not doubt his sincerity, his character, nor his originality; theres, pulsating with life, one would find the whole of him’
Last spring the Morgan Library and Museum exhibited “invention and Design: Early Italian Drawings at the Morgan” with works by artists born before 1500, including Mantegna, Botticelli, Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael, Fra Bartolomeo, and other masters. The selections displayed a wealth of Early Renaissance drawing techniques in line and tone metalpoint (silverpoint), black and white chalk; red sanguine on prepared handmade paper, and pen and ink with white gouache and point of brush for the highlights. The delicacy of touch and simplicity of means yet powerful feelings conveyed by these superb draftsmen and painters was inspiring.