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In the New Year

Do you believe in New Year’s Resolutions? Personally, I prefer to take the time to reflect on the past year and how I would like to move forward into the next. It seems to work better than making drastic lifestyle changes that I likely won’t keep up with. 

My thoughts for this year are of  two new things that I started in ’08 that I would like to keep up with in ’09.  Reading as many art books as I can, and alla prima painting in oils. Thus, a new category i’m going to add to the blog in ’09  is ‘What I’m Reading’.  Most of the books I read are on art history or painting techniques. I’ve learned a great deal over the last year..(thanks again to Amazon.com..haha!!)

What i’m reading now:

‘In Another Light’ Danish Painting in the Nineteenth Century.

I picked this book because a) I know nothing about Danish art, b) I’ve never been to Denmark and c) I loved the painting on the cover!!

It’s a big book, with beautiful painting images. I’m only half through, but so far, I’m finding the most interesting painter in the book is C.W. Eckersberg. He did the cover painting. 

In 1811-1812,  he studied under Jacques – Louis David. I’m finding the influence fascinating.  He improved his skills in painting the human form, and followed his teacher’s admonition to paint after Nature and the Antique. 

In the summer of 1813, Eckersberg travelled to Rome. There he sought out Bertel Thorvaldsen – one of the foremost Neoclassical sculptors in Europe. He painted Thorvaldsen’s portrait in 1814. I think it is just absolutely beautiful..the copy here doesn’t do it justice, but it is captured wonderfully in the book. The handling of flesh and fabric by Eckersberg is truly masterful.

Portrait of Bertel Thorvaldsen, 1814, by C.W. Eckersberg.

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