Tag Archives: art history

Joaquín Sorolla – The World-Renowned Spanish Painter

Valencia was center stage for world-renowned artist Joaquín Sorolla. Though the Spanish painter’s career afforded him a life of worldwide travel and notoriety, the passion that fueled his art was his homeland. Through his portrait art and landscape paintings, he explored people, locations and historical scenes familiar to Spaniards and captivating to foreigners.

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Sorolla’s career, like his personal life, seemed very fulfilling. By the time he reached 30 years of age, he had already received national recognition for his artwork and was approaching an era of worldwide fame. In the following years, his work was exhibited in art capitals like Madrid, Paris, Venice, Munich, Berlin and Chicago. When he was only 40-years-old, he was donning major awards and became known as one of the “western world’s greatest living artists.”

His list of accomplishments is great but, when realizing he started life as an orphan, born in 1863, the heights of his fame seem that much greater. Joaquín Sorolla was only two years old when, it is believed, his parents passed away from cholera. At that time, he and his sister went into the care of his maternal aunt and uncle.

Whatever obstacles he faced were quickly overcome as he showed much artistic talent by age nine. At 14 he was studying art with teachers Cayetano Capuz and Salustiano Asenjo. His first awards started coming at age 15, from the Academy of Valencia. This may have been the reason he was able to travel to Madrid when he was 18 to study painting at the infamous Spanish Museum, El Prado.
After dedicating some time to his studies, Sorolla served in the military. But by age 22 he was freed from his duty and found himself painting in Rome, Italy. He followed this trip with a long stay in Paris where he was likely exposed to modern paintings by Jules Bastien-Lepage and Adolf von Menzel.

In 1888, Sorolla returned to Valencia to marry the daughter of photographer Antonio Garcia. Before long, he and his wife, Clotilde, had three children: Maria, Joaquín and Elena.
Sorolla’s career took him and his flourishing family to Madrid. It was there that his career began to take stride. During this era of life, his art was predominately focused on social subjects and historical happenings, as well as concepts that were considered mythological and oriental. He painted these works on large canvases and began to showcase them around the world.

It could be said that Sorolla had a “big break” in 1893 when he submitted his work to the World’s Columbian Exhibition in Chicago. From there, in year 1900, he displayed art at Paris Universal Exhibition. Later, he was asked to showcase artwork at the Hispanic Society of New York, which would take Sorolla’s work on a tour of the United States. As a result of this honor, Joaquín Sorolla was invited to the White House where he sat President Taft for a portrait.

In 1911, the Spanish painter was asked by the Hispanic Society of America to create a large piece of art displaying the customs and cultures that existed in various parts of Spain. Sorolla would spend the next eight years of his life consumed by this project before suffering a severe stroke.
Three years after his stroke, Sorolla passed away on August 10, 1923.

Today, the memory of Joaquín Sorolla lives on in art history. Unfortunately, some of his admirers believe he is not as famous as he ought to be. Aside from his little notoriety in the new millennium, the Spanish painter far surpassed the life that most orphans lived at the turn of the century. From his birth in 1863 to death in 1923, Joaquín Sorolla used his natural talent, drive and skill to promote his art and native land for the world to see.

However, this post is meant to recognize his artist style and some major pieces. For those who want to read more of Joaquín Sorolla ‘s story, visit this link: http://www.segmation.com/products_pc_patternset_contents.asp?set=SOR . Also, Segmation is proud to offer 34 digital Joaquín Sorolla patterns. By downloading these paint by numbers masterpieces, you can emulate one of the most fascinating artists who ever lived.

Enjoy the 34 Joaquín Sorolla Spanish patterns. Segmation has for you and continue to learn and celebrate the life of a great artist.
Sources:

Joaquin Sorolla – Life

Joaquin Sorolla y Bastida

Sorolla and America

Read more Segmation blog posts about other great artists:
Robert Delaunay, Blazing a Colorful Trail

The Reluctant Educator and Revered Artist, Emil Carlsen”

Thomas Moran – American Landscape Painter

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A Color Manual Ahead of its Time

271 Years Before Pantone, an Artist Mixed and Described Every Color Imaginable in an 800 Page Book watercolor history color books Before technology made color automatic, creating the perfect hue required a rather systematic approach.

Prior to the days of RGB values and hexadecimal strings, humans used creative means to create color options. Depending on the medium, artists might have mixed paints and in some cases, added water to achieve lighter tones.

A Brief History of Watercolor

The concept of watercolor may be as old as time itself but it didn’t become a well-known, consistent art medium until the Renaissance.

Albrecht Dürer was considered the father of the trade. He was a German painter who had much influence throughout Europe in the 16th century. Often times, Dürer chose to use watercolor when bringing landscape settings to life.

In an age when art was held with high value, watercolor quickly became a popular art medium. It became so popular, that in 1692, during the Golden Age of Dutch Painting, a man by the name of A. Boogert wrote an 800 page color manual, by hand.

A Medieval Color Manual

271 Years Before Pantone, an Artist Mixed and Described Every Color Imaginable in an 800 Page Book watercolor history color books Predating Pantone (the modern-day authority on color) by nearly 300 years, Boogert compiled a comprehensive account of how to achieve different colors when adding water to paint. He explained how using one, two or three parts water would create three varying tones of the same hue. He organized each page by meticulously positioning varying shades of the same color.

This book was recently brought to light by medieval book historian, Erick Kwakkel. He noted that another scholar knew of the book’s existence and he only gave it a platform in the limelight because of his personal notoriety.

Ancient Art Trumps Modern Convenience

Regardless of how it came to the world’s attention, the book entitled, Traité des couleurs servant à la peinture à l’eau, is causing art enthusiasts to take note. While the concept of the book does not seem groundbreaking, it is causing a multitude of 21st century RGB-HEX artists to imagine the painstaking amount of work and attention that went into deciphering and mixing hundreds of hues.

271 Years Before Pantone, an Artist Mixed and Described Every Color Imaginable in an 800 Page Book watercolor history color books It would be nice to say that this book greatly contributed to how we use color today. In reality, the book was collecting dust before Kwakkel came across it a few weeks ago in a French database. Even though the book may have been the “most informative color guide of its time,” it was not widely distributed. Since the book was written by hand it has been assumed that the manual never made it into wide circulation.

Nevertheless, A. Boogert’s color manual recently made a splash. Upon its unearthing, much of the art community paused and shared thoughts about what it would be like to mix colors without technology.

Read more Segmation blog posts about historic art.

Color Symbolism in Medieval Christian Art

Art in Ancient Egypt

William Blake English Romantic Artist by www.segmation.com!

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Bauhaus Art School

Are you impressed to learn about the invention of Op-Art?

The modern art style, best associated with the art and theory of Josef Albers, influenced an artistic evolution throughout the 20th century, and continues to impact the 21st century as well.

But did you know that this trendy new art form started in Germany in the early 1900’s? Even more, it was created and taught at a school that was also a forerunner for architecture, graphic design, interior design, industrial design, and typography.

The famous school of art, called Bauhaus, existed in three different parts of Germany between the years of 1919 and 1933. This seems like a short period of time to have such a strong influence on the world. However, the principal thoughts and practices that encouraged artists at Bauhaus traveled with them and spread throughout the world when many of the practicing students and teachers had to emigrate during Nazi control.

The Bauhaus art school was known as a “House of Construction” or a “School of Building.” Even though studies in architecture were not implemented until later, the school built its values on the idea that creating a “total” work of art incorporates multiple elements of art.

A good example of this is optical art’s use of three types of elements: optical illusions, canvas painting, and color. Perhaps it was this concept of completeness that catapulted the Bauhaus style into success, becoming one of the most influential styles in modern art, design and architecture.

Another thought that contributed to the success of Bauhaus was the founding philosophical principle of constructivism. This term originated in Russia and commonly associated with the idea that art could contribute to a better society. With major political and economic shifts happening all over the world, especially in Europe, people learned they could express themselves and propel a positive message with art. Even though there was a negative atmosphere in the world during the time of World War I and leading up to World War II, individual artists knew that art had the power to carry the significant message of peace.

In a war-torn society, Bauhaus school had much to teach. Here are some common art forms that excelled and were mastered by artists at the school between 1919 and 1933:

  • Woodworking
  • Cabinetmaking
  • Work with Metal
  • Ceramics
  • Weaving
  • Printing and typography
  • Theater
  • Drawing
  • Painting
  • Photography
  • Architecture
Bauhaus art school existed at a poignant time in history. It’s location in the world and foundational European thought are two of the many reasons why it is still a reputable resource for art history today. The other reasons are artists, styles and creations that were consistently produced by the school. These are the pieces that influence modern art today, and will continue to do so evermore.

How Pigments Create Color in Artist Mediums

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Have you ever wondered where the color in your paints actually comes from? For instance, what makes your ultramarine watercolors appear blue, and what makes your crimson pastels appear red? The answer is pigment. The pigments used to create artist mediums (such as paints, colored pencils, pastels, etc) consist of colored powder that is then mixed with various substances to create each specific medium.

The color intensity of each paint, pencil or pastel will depend on the ratio of pigment to filler. Filler is added to most commercial art mediums to “bulk up” the product. Higher quality art supplies will contain more pigment and less filler. Even though the result is a higher-priced medium, the cost is worth it for the better results that are achieved with the higher pigment content.

In addition to pigments, each medium has specific ingredients that give the medium its unique qualities:

  • Watercolors are created from a mixture of pigment and gum arabic (or synthetic glycol), which acts as a binder. Additives are often added to adjust the characteristics of the watercolors, altering qualities such as durability and sheen.
  • Acrylics consist of pigments dispersed in water and bound together with an acrylic medium.
  • Oil paints are made from a combination of pigments ground with an oil, such as linseed oil.
  • Pastels are a blend of pigments and a binder, such as gum tragacanth, gum arabic, or methyl cellulose. Pastels contain a higher percentage of pigment than any other art medium.

Commercially-made art mediums also typically contain preservatives and other ingredients, but you can easily make you own paints and pastels using the materials listed above, adjusting the hue and intensity of each color to your specific liking.

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Art Expressions at Art Basel Area

 Francisco Sheuat
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Francisco Sheuat

My path has taken me from my hometown of Caracas, Venezuela to Fort Lauderdale, Florida, where I opened Art Expressions Gallery in 2002.

Attempting to share my commitment to a greener planet, recycling and reuse are an ongoing theme in my works. In addition to running a gallery for almost eight years, I also dedicated myself to exploring the parameters of pop art. My art reflects an expressive emotional response to my present being and a projection of the future. As a creator of art, I manipulate and incorporate soda cans and apply the colored pigment onto the surface out of a necessity to transfer an internal emotion into an external form. Color, shapes and textures are my language. They speak to me. I lay pieces of cans down in a dance with the surface and watch it take shape and form in its own time. The objective is to use the metal as an agent to define formation, shape and line as an expression of today and the anticipated tomorrow.

Don’t miss “Visions Art Exhibit” at The Greenview in Miami Beach (1671 Washington Ave.) running in conjunction with Art Basel Miami December 2-5, 2010. Information: 954-537-9000. Segmation-The Art of Pieceful Imaging is a sponsor.

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What is Art? A Brief History of the Definition of Art

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Some people may look at a Jackson Pollock painting, like the one above, and wonder “Why is that considered art?” Modern art remains a mystery to those who believe that “art” should consist solely of paintings whose contents are recognizable – portraits, still lifes, or landscapes that mirror reality.

The true definition of what art is and what it isn’t has been constantly expanding and changing over time, growing ever broader as humanity progresses and advances on many levels – technologically, scientifically, morally, religiously, and spiritually. How does Pollock’s painting fit into the timeline of art?

The idea of creating “art for art’s sake” is a fairly new concept. The earliest sculptures and drawings created by prehistoric man were not considered “art” at the time of their creation; these images were used for ritual purposes relating to fertility and hunting – necessary elements for the survival of humankind. As early families coalesced into tribes and communities and eventually organized themselves into societies, objects were created for both mythological and religious reasons relating to ritual use and representation – from the tribal masks of African clans to the gilded Medieval paintings of pivotal Biblical scenes. As technology advanced and the middle class rose, Christianity and the aristocracy became less of a dominant presence in art-making as artists began to portray “regular people” as well as scenes from everyday life, in addition to depicting their views on socio-political happenings. In the 19th and 20th centuries, the definition of art was radically altered and expanded as artists explored daring subject matter and paved new paths for personal expression.

These days, the definition of art is as fluid as the one who ponders upon it. The term “art” now includes and embraces various forms of expression that once fell outside the commonly-held perception of what art is – from conceptual art to performance art and installation art. Although Pollock’s paintings might not be overtly or recognizably religious, his artistic output can be seen as an homage to the internal. His energetic paintings celebrate the process of art-making, each drip of paint recording a precise moment in time that can never be repeated.

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