Winslow Homer 

Was an American landscape painter and print-maker. He was best known for his marine subjects. When Homer was a child, his mother taught him how to paint with watercolors. It was obvious from the start that Homer was gifted at painting. Eventually, Homer did an apprenticeship under a Boston commercial lithographer, J.H. Bufford. For two years, he worked on sheet music. Homer turned down an offer to work for Harper’s Weekly, in order to pursue his freelance career which lasted twenty years. He made a number of rural New England illustrations for such magazines as Ballou’s Pictorial and Harper’s Weekly.

Sloop, Nassau

The sloop to moves a little. The two-man crew rocks with the ship. Just by looking at the painted water, you feel its cooling effect. You feel the slight breeze blowing gently. It’s a good day to be on the water; it’s a good day to feel the mesmerizing effect of the ocean. There are many blues in the painting, which makes us calm and cool. Homer used his own surroundings to create his masterpieces. I guess we don’t need to look too far for art.

Henry Farrer 

Was English-born. His brother, Thomas C. Farrer, was the founder of the Society for the Advancement of Truth in Art, which represented the Pre-Raphaelite movement in America. Henry was most likely self-taught in regards to painting. With his brushes and paints, Henry produced still lifes and landscapes with watercolor.

Winter Scene in Moonlight By Henry Farrer

It’s so calm and so quiet. The moon shines down and lights up the snow-covered land. Can you feel it? Can you feel the deep calmness? Can you feel the deep quiet?

Gustave Courbet 

Mostly taught himself how to paint. He was noted as the founder of Realism, but only claimed the title of Realist. He recorded life by painting it as exactly as he saw it. Courbet was a loner and a political radical.

Jo, La Belle Irlandaise by Gustave Courbet

She looks in her mirror to see herself. Maybe she doesn’t like what she sees. Maybe she looks in the mirror to remind herself of who she truly is.

Eugene Isabey Made a name for himself even though his father, Jean-Baptiste Isabey, was the most famous miniaturist in the Napoleonic Empire. Eugene painted numerous shipwreck scenes, and multiple landscape scenes as well.

Eugene Isabey

Made a name for himself even though his father, Jean-Baptiste Isabey, was the most famous miniaturist in the Napoleonic Empire. Eugene painted numerous shipwreck scenes, and multiple landscape scenes as well.

Returning to the Port

The waves are choppy and wind pushes on the sails. Row as hard as you can. Don’t let the waves win. The wind comes on even stronger, and the waves become taller. The vessels cruise even faster. Row, row, row!

Camille Corot 

Was a French painter best known for his landscapes. Corot was a poor scholar, and he didn’t take to learning his father’s trade well — a draper. Eventually, Corot’s father gave him a small allowance, which spurred him on to be a painter. He spent a considerable amount of time studying paintings in the Louvre. Corot was able to receive private instruction from Achille-Etna Michallon and Jean-Victor Bertin, both followers of the Neoclassical landscape painter, Henri de Valenciennes. From the start, Corot preferred to sit outside to paint or sketch what he saw.

Fontainebleau: Oak Trees at Bas-Bréau

What a splendid day! Walk up the small hill and take shelter among the trees. The canopies are filled with lush-looking leaves, which provides thick patches of cool, refreshing shade. Come, take a break from the heat.

Pietro Longhi

Was known for his small scenes of Venetian social and domestic life. His father was a silversmith, so Longhi was trained by him for a period of time. Time passed, and so he was taught by the Veronese historical painter, Antonio Balestra. One of Longhi’s historical paintings, ‘Fall of the Giants’, was a disaster, which made him leave Venice for Bologna, where he studied under the painter, Giuseppe Maria Crespi. Upon his return to Venice, Longhi focused on painting everyday scenes from the lives of the city’s upper class.

The Meeting by Pietro Longhi

A man and a woman meet for the first time. Will it be a success? Maybe. Will it be a failure? Maybe. If it is a failure, will the woman be pressured into marrying the man regardless? Maybe.

Henry Ward Ranger

Opened a studio in New York during the year 1884. Starting in 1899, he spent his summers sketching. During the year 1900, he assisted with establishing an artists’ colony in Old Lyme, Connecticut. His specialty was forest paintings.

Spring Woods by Henry Ward Ranger

Come take a walk when the air is warm and leaves are still tender and new. Allow the trees to guide you to the heart of the forest.

Shibata Zeshin 

Was well known for using lacquer, the sticky sap from the lacquer tree. When lacquer was used skillfully, it was considered a high art. Zeshin had the skill set needed to work with lacquer. He was determined to do well with his craft. In order to do lacquer right, there were thirty-three steps involved. It included twenty coats of lacquer, and each layer needed to be perfectly dried and sanded down before continuing on. Zeshin was a master of his craft and had a creative mind.

Birds and Jutting Rocks by Shibata Zeshin 

The birds fly around wary of the jagged rocks. Are the rocks good enough to build a nest upon? Maybe. Could the rocks be a hazard? Definitely. The birds fly on though.

 

Maarten van Heemskerck 1498 - 157

Maarten van Heemskerck arrived in Rome during the summer of 1532. He focused on drawing ruins, classical sculptures, landscapes and city views. He studied the work of Michelangelo and Giulio Romano. 

Man Protected by the Shield of Faith by Maarten van Heemskerck

The devil throws flaming arrows at the man as he prays, but because of the man's steadfast faith in God, he is protected from the burning arrows

William Trost Richards 1833 - 190

William Trost Richards was an important landscape artist associated with the Hudson River School and the American Pre-Raphaelite movement. He didn't want his art to be romanticized, so instead he painted factually. What he saw in a mountain, he portrayed the best he could on a canvas. What he saw in a leaf, he portrayed the best he could on a piece of paper.

Leaves by William Trost Richards

You see the veins and almost desire to reach out to feel how rough the dry leaves have become. There is beauty and talent in portraying something as close to what you see as possible. 

Francesco Solimena 1657 - 174

Francesco Solimena arrived in Naples in 1674, where he took up residence. He became a master at the Neapolitan school of art during the first half of the 1700s.

Solimena's inspiration came from his predecessor, Luca Giordano, whose style of painting was Baroque. Solimena used many dark shadows, clarity of lines and theatricality in his pieces. 
 

Diego Pignatelli d'Aragona and an Enslaved African Servant by Francesco Solimena

He stands looking ready to take on the world. The man in red robes takes center stage, while his enslaved servant is off to the side in the margins. By the way the scene was captured on the canvas, it seems that the man in red robes is much more relevant than the servant. 

John Singer Sargent 1856 - 1925

John Singer Sargent showed his knack for painting at a young age. In his late teens, he enrolled in an art class that took place in Florence at the Accademia delle Belle Arti. During the winter of 1873-74, Sargent sharpened his skill with a paintbrush, which proved to his father it was worth encouraging his son to chase after art. Eventually, Sargent did quite a bit of traveling. In Spain, he admired and copied the works of Diego Velasquez. In Venice, he admired the picturesque canals. Travel scenes became a major part of his work. 

Snow by John Singer Sargent

A mountain standing tall, so tall clouds and snow blanket it. Staring at the piece, one feels the icy wind against their face; one can hear the crunch of snow beneath their feet. After viewing this piece, it might be time to view something with warmth in it. 

Gustave Moreau 1826 - 1898

Gustave Moreau was known for his sensual paintings of mythological and religious subjects. Moreau was influenced by his master, Theodore Chasseriau, who painted numerous pieces depicting sea goddesses. 
 

Oedipus and the Sphinx by Gustave Moreau

They're drawn to each other. Is it lust or is it a deep romance?

John A. Woodside

John A. Woodside was most likely trained by Philadelphia sign painter Matthew Pratt or by one of Pratt's business partners. In 1805, Woodside opened his own studio in Philadelphia, advertising his services as an ornamental or sign painter. Eventually, Woodside painted emblematic and patriot pieces, animal scenes, miniatures, and copies after English engravings. 

Still Life: Peaches and Grapes by John A. Woodside

There's such great detail in the piece, which makes it look quite realistic. It looks as though someone already dug into the bowl of peaches. It's okay to help yourself. Just leave some for others.

John Trumbull (1756 - 1843)

John Trumbull, American painter, architect, and author, whose paintings of major episodes in the American Revolution form a unique record of that conflict’s events and participants.

After attending Harvard College in 1773, he worked as a teacher. During the American Revolution, he served as an aide to General George Washington and attained the rank of colonel.

In 1784, John Trumbull studied with the painter, Benjamin West. West and Thomas Jefferson encouraged Trumbull to do a series of historical paintings and engravings he worked on for the rest of his life. 

The Sortie Made by the Garrison of Gibraltar by John Trumbull

Confusion as to what to do next. The battle seems so disorienting. 

Claude Monet (1840 - 1936)

Claude Monet was a French painter who initiated and advocated for the Impressionist style. Monet would stick with the same motif in a series of paintings. As the light on the subject matter changed so would his canvas. 

Monet's first success as an artist happened when he was 15-years-old. He sold numerous caricatures which were carefully observed and well drawn. In addition, he sketched sailing ships in great detail. Monet's aunt, Marie-Jeanne Lecadre, was an amateur painter who suggested to Monet that he should study with a local artist. However, his life as a painter didn't begin until he was befriended by Eugene Boudin, who introduced Monet to painting outside.    

Before artists went outside to paint the surrounding landscape, it was done so in a studio and from memory. Monet went outside to paint the landscape around him.
 

Ice Floes by Claude Monet

It's cold and yet the river water is colder. Look at how the river pushes the ice and snow chunks along.

Antoine-Luis Barye (1796 - 1875)

Antoine-Louis Barye was a French sculptor, painter, and print-maker, whose main subject matter was animals.

At the age of 13, he became the apprentice of an engraver. During that time, he engraved military equipment. 

During 1817, he began to sculpt while in the studio of Francois Bosio. 

Slowly but surely, Barye gained a reputation as a monumental sculptor. During the 1830s, he had government commissions for images of wild animals. Later on in the 1850s, he did figure groups and portraits for the facade of the Louvre. 

In general, Barye was responsible for setting a higher standard for creating animal sculptures.

Tiger in Response by Antoine-Luis Barye

The tiger is calm and relaxed. It is time to rest before going out for the next hunt.

Marsden Hartley (1877 - 1943)

Marsden Hartley was considered America's first great modern painter of the 20th century. He achieved this distinction in Berlin between early 1912 and late 1915.

While in Berlin, he created a number of paintings, where he used Cubism and other European modernisms. For his German Officer paintings, he mixed non-Western motifs and mysterious symbols. 

Through painting, Hartley was able to memorialize a great love, Karl von Freyburg, who was killed in the first weeks of World War I. 

Eventually, Hartley returned home to Maine, where he took up painting figures for the first time. He loved the color and physicality of oil paint and had learned about Impressionism, Post-Impressionism, and Fauvism through mountainscapes of Maine. 

Portrait of a German Officer by Marsden Hartley

Even the simplest of shapes can have a deep meaning.

Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn

Was a Dutch Baroque painter and print-maker. He had an incredible ability to capture the various moods and dramatic guises of people using a paintbrush and paint. For many of his paintings, he used dark and light in order to make them look as realistic as possible. Throughout his career, Rembrandt focused on creating portraits. Eventually, he did more self-portraits. He painted a number of biblical, historical, mythological and allegorical paintings as well. Rembrandt's historical paintings and etchings became quite popular in a short span of time. 

Joseph's Coat Brought to Jacob

The elderly man looks as though he doesn't want the coat, as though the coat is upsetting to him.