Art: What I like

I have rarely discussed Art on this blog. However, I recently featured some Edward Hopper paintings, and that got me thinking about paintings that I love to look at. So here are some of them. I make no claim to know anything about painting, so cannot discuss technique, or other matters. As the old saying goes, “I may not know much about Art, but I know what I like”. (Gellet Burgess)

Jan Van Eyck (1390-1441) painted the Amolfini Portrait in 1434. It depicts an Italian merchant and his wife at their home in Brugues, Belgium. I love the detail, including the reflection in the mirror, and the small dog.

Tamara de Lempicka (1898-1980) was a Polish portrait painter who spent her working life in France and America. She painted in the Art Deco style, using bold colours and including stylistic representations of the period. Here are some examples of her work, including her self-portait driving a car.

Frida Kahlo (1907-1954) was a Mexican artist who painted many self-portraits, never attempting to change her striking features. Disabled by Polio, then badly injured in a traffic accident, she was bedridden for years, and used art as therapy. Always politically active too, Frida was a member of The Communist Party. Here are two examples.

Diego Rivera (1886-1957) was the husband of Frida Kahlo, and a renowned Mexican artist best known for painting extensive murals. The following images are sections taken from much larger works.

Kazimir Malevich (1879-1935) was a Russian painter who was part of the Avant-Garde school. He was known for his colourful abstract images. I have a print of this one of his paintings, ‘The Red House’ (1932), but my wife doesn’t like it one bit, so it is in the loft.

Beryl Cook (1926-2008) was an English painter who specialised in larger-than-life figures, usually involved in various aspects of British social life. She injected great humour into her paintings, alongside acute observation of everyday activities. Here are two examples.

There you have a short insight into the kind of art I love to look at and admire. Feel free to mention your own favourites in the comments.

54 thoughts on “Art: What I like

  1. Yay, i liked your way of detailing for your favorites (art)

    As everyone may like art but, not able to understand the detail properly, you on the other side explain your side of perspective very easily,cool, and in very amazing way

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Pete, on a side note many of us have been dropped from the classic editor in the past few days. The WP gremlins are at it again. But, never fear… John Howell learned how get the good old classic back. When you get hit, let me know and I’ll tell you what to do.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I often think that the photos of Sue who you and I both follow remind me of the Dutch masters, particularly her series of decaying flowers. I love tons of different artists. I taught for 25 years in an art college and was exposed to many styles I had previously avoided. I don’t like crude art or much performance art. I love especially the Hudson River School paintings such as those of Frederic Church.

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  3. Love those Art Deco paintings! I also like that old Dutch painting too. The Dutch paintings of the 1600s are also fascinating to for their photographic realism.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I do like the Art Deco style and I’m strangely drawn to the ‘Red House’ In fact all of your choices have a certain appeal.
    I once went to a Rembrandt exhibition and was taken by the sheer scale of some of his paintings, which made them seem even more impressive, but ask me to name a picture by its painter and I wouldn’t have a clue 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I’m a huge admirer of neoclassical painter Jacques-Louis David (whose works I’ve pondered at length in the Louvre). I also like many of Salvador Dalí’s paintings (and have been to his museum in Figueres, Spain). Although I would prefer slightly more detail, I’m a fan of Claude Monet (whose estate I once explored in Giverny) and other impressionists like Vincent van Gogh (whose grave site and bedroom—as well as the church he painted—I’ve visited in Auvers-sur-Oise). Of the artists you mention here, the only one that really appeals to me (in a big way, as a fan of Art Deco) is Tamara de Lempicka.

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  6. I have quite varied taste in art, but some would say pedestrian …impressionists would feature, some Dutch masters, Turner, Caspar David… Beryl Cooke was an astute observer….

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  7. All beautiful paintings, Pete, and all by talented artists. My tastes are broad in range. I love the illustrative work of Louis Icart and Norman Rockwell. I love the Impressionist work of Monet and I am a big fan of the intimate portraits of Mary Cassatt. I love the vibrant pastels of Edgar Degas and the color palette of Vermeer. I also like Georgia O’Keefe’s cityscapes done in New York at the time of her marriage to photographer Alfred Steiglitz. We should surround ourselves with the things of beauty that speak to us. I cannot argue with any of your choices – they are all amazing works of art.

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  8. I also like the detail of the Jan Van Eyck – it represents the style of the time. The wooden shoes, decor, hairstyle of his wife, etc. I have not been familiar with Tamara de Lempicka’s work. It grabs me. Thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Sarada. I was lucky to visit exhibitions of her work, and I have a few books containing most of her paintings. (Though no idea which box they are stored in…)
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Like

  9. All good stuff: I don’t dislike any of those. Beryl Cook’s work reminds me a bit of Stanley Spencer, although his characters can be a bit more extreme! I was interested to see an abstract among the figurative paintings; since school & art college, my own few efforts have been solely abstract, and I was inspired by two very popular artists of the late ’60s and beyond: Bridget Riley and Victor Vasarely. Possibly categorised as ‘op-art’, but definitely abstract, as opposed to Klaes Oldenberg, Roy Lichtenstein and his ilk. Cheers, Jon.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Jon. If you read more about Beryl, you will find that she was inspired by Spencer, so your observation is spot-on.I am not normally a fan of Abstract, but was drawn to The Red House, for some reason.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I wouldn’t try to analyse it, Pete: if you like it, that’s all that matters! The Malevich you show could be a sort of half-way house [although I’m sure that’s not what he intended, especially given the date of the work] between true figurative and the blocky abstract paintings of Mark Rothko: to me, the latter’s work is money for old rope! 😉

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