Research & Appreciation

February 2021

Rembrandt painting sales pitch from the experts at Sotheby’s Auction. Worthy of our watching for its unique small size, commentator’s analysis, and only recent availability after 150 years or so. Under 4 minutes duration, because it does not need more! Have your debit card at the ready.

Rembrandt analysis and auction pitch

Second analysis opportunity, but very different: subject matter, length, history. An American painting this time with a strong historical story well told by the author for The New York Times. This writer viewed the whole thing.

It’s not a video, but a presentation with imagery and captions to the side, self-paced. Linger or speed through, either way a fascinating view of what goes into a historical painting. Opened my eyes!

The Myth of North America, in One Painting

Now for a starling video on what big-time artists are worth. Shocking in the huge valuations of several that I have never heard of and whose artwork causes me to say: “Really?”

Possibly a little crass to view and consider, but such a contrast with our lives as artists and art fans that I had to include it as adult entertainment.

Richest Artists Today

March 2021

Washington Post art: Francisco de Zurbarán (b. 1598)

Contemplate Francisco de Zurbarán’s 1633 painting “Still Life With Lemons, Oranges and a Rose”.

Ah, that’s 1633, mind you!

Gorgeous painting worth a quick look. The write-up is very short.

Zurbaran Still Life from 1633

Jacob Lawrence, Profile in Art History School

He was one of the most important American artists of the 20th century, widely renowned for his modernist depictions of everyday life as well as epic narratives of African American history and historical figures.

Enjoyable biographical sketch of 16.5 minutes that goes by fast. Narrated by a Brit so it’s fun to listen to discussing an American artist.

I have now subscribed to this channel. Yay! Something new!


Another venue for art appreciation: Couresa

Offered by the Museum of Modern Art in New York (MoMA) here’s a multi-session course on American Abstract Expression Painting, you know, Jackson Pollack, Mark Rothko, Willem De Kooning, etc. I’m taking it starting March 2. It’s not a push-over with not-so-easy required quizzes even for me as a life-long fan. Coursera may have other topics that might interest you as well.

De Kooning’s painting pictured.

In the Studio: Postwar Abstract Painting | Coursera

Liquid Charcoal? Huh?

Here’s a new one for me: liquid charcoal, really. This Jackson Art article is great as it describes “HOW SCHMINCKE LIQUID CHARCOAL COMPARES WITH TRADITIONAL CHARCOAL”. Love it!

Liquid Charcoal at Jackson Art

April 2021

Mondrian: the long(ish) version by the Art History School

This video gives a very comprehensive view of a key 20th century artist who is widely acclaimed, but often under appreciated. His growth from skilled representational work to cubist variations to pure abstractions to paintings only Mondrian could paint is a journey we all can envy.

Since we know knowledge is acquired, not gene-based, understanding his contribution therefore is fundamental to comprehending the seismic shift to abstract art in the 20th century. Same Brit commentator as last month, same fun.

­ Mondrian: the Art History School

A second, short, sweet 5.5 minute look is also excellent for getting a feeling for his evolution as an artist with much the same content as above, but abbreviated… for those on the run!

 Mondrian: speed overview

This video’s narrator has more patience for folks who just don’t relate to Mondrian but are trying to figure out why. So important, so valuable, so verified by one hundred years of inspiring abstract art work.

The Louvre’s 800-year Evolution Pictured

Terrific graphical evolution of The Louvre, an art museum like no other. A bird’s eye/drone’s view simulation of the palace’s architectural growth over 800 years in animation. Very short and very interesting.

Louvre growth simulation

Recently Discovered Chinese Paintings at Edge of Gobi Desert

Introduction to a fascinating exhibition at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London 2013 on Chinese cave paintings along with ancient scroll paintings found in the early 1900s after 500 years in hiding. Beginning in 700 CE and full of superlatives, the friendly and knowledgeable tour guide covers what is important to us from afar.

One viewer’s opinion: “Beautiful documentary. Just long enough.”  

My opinion: “Not to be missed.” Fifteen minutes long and ends abruptly.

Ancient Chinese Paintings at edge of Gobi Desert