Here’s a rather fascinating article on the importance of the art dealer Paul Durand-Ruel to the Impressionist movement – long story short, he basically created the market for Impressionism and risked everything in doing so, and was sole supporter of many of the artists that are now hailed as masters of Impressionism. The article is in support of an exhibition opening in London at the National Gallery next week – Inventing Impressionism: The Man Who Sold a Thousand Monets opens at the National Gallery, London WC2N, on 4 March. (nationalgallery.org.uk). Sadly I’ll be unable to attend but for fans of Impressionism who do happen to be in the UK, this is an excellent opportunity to see what sounds like a pretty awesome collection.
It’s Victor Hugo’s birthday, Born on this day in 1802!
Everyone knows about Victor Hugo as an author what with Les Misérables & the Hunchback of Notre-Dame (Notre-Dame de Paris in the original French) and all that, but what a lot of people don’t know is that he was also quite an accomplished artist. The great Romantic artist Delacroix himself once wrote in a letter to Victor Hugo that if Hugo had decided to devote himself to art instead of writing, he would have become one of the greatest artists of the century.
An interesting thing to note about the reproductions of Hugo’s work here is that some of them were héliogravure, an early method of photographic reproduction of artworks for print. Pretty impressive that this technique was in use in the 19th century!
If you are interested in buying a book about Hugo’s drawings, Shadows of a Hand: The Drawings of Victor Hugo is a good choice, as is Victor Hugo and the Romantic Vision : Drawings and Watercolors .
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Well, it’s that time of year again and as always, I made a Valentine’s Day Card for my special ladies – that would be my wife and daughters in case anyone has any funny ideas.
If you have been remiss in your preparations for this day, you can always print out mine and give it to a special someone.
So over on the Book of Faces there’s this thing going around called the “5-day art challenge”. You have to post 3 of your own artworks every day for 5 days, and each day you also have to nominate another artist you know to accept the challenge for themselves. Needless to say my feed has been full of great art for a couple of weeks now, which pleases me to no end.
For my own take on this, I decided to just post random pages from my old sketchbooks. I like sketchbooks a lot, and have had dozens of them over the years. Now I’m a big fan of Moleskines, particularly the pocket-sized watercolour sketchbooks.