Favourite Paintings (part two)

Man, dog and hoop

Man, dog and hoop

These two paintings are both from the 14th century. The little figure on the right is from the Luttrell Psalter, a book named for Sir Geoffrey Luttrell, a wealthy landowner from Lincolnshire. It is full of delightful illustrations. This one shows a dog jumping through a hoop.

This vivid painting (below) is from an 'enluminure' called Ie Livre de Chasse or The Book of Hunting. It shows some huntsmen belonging to the court of Gaston Phebus, Count de Foix of France, knight, adventurer, huntsman and author. The dogs seem more serious about the hunt than their handlers. This marvellous book, crammed full of illustrations like this, is a kind of teaching book for the Count's huntsmen. The translation I saw describes the Count as a 'scientist out of weapons, love, and more than anything else, a large hunter'. Not a man to trifle with, then.

(Below right) 'A Young Hare' by Albrecht Durer, one of the best of the Northern Renaissance artists. Painted in 1502, this is a careful, almost scientific study in watercolour and gouache. Durer rejected the medieval view of the artist as a craftsman. He was fully aware of his value as one of the new breed - a Renaissance artist. Durer was influenced by Leonardo da Vinci and was impressed by his use of mathematics in his art.

(below left) Here is an example of Leonardo's careful study of the anatomy of a horse.
Not only did Leonardo set new standards for artists, but he pioneered the modern approach to science, with his accurate studies of nature and his enquiring mind.

He was also fond of animals, and used to buy caged birds in order to set them free. He once said, "The time will come when men will look on the murder of animals as they now look on the murder of men".

Painting of a hare

Painting of a hare

(right) 'A Young Hare' by Albrecht Durer, one of the best of the Northern Renaissance artists. Painted in 1502, this is a careful, almost scientific study in watercolour and gouache. Durer rejected the medieval view of the artist as a craftsman. He was fully aware of his value as one of the new breed - a Renaissance artist. Durer was influenced by Leonardo da Vinci and was impressed by his use of mathematics in his art.

(below) Here is an example of Leonardo's careful study of the anatomy of a horse.
Not only did Leonardo set new standards for artists, but he pioneered the modern approach to science, with his accurate studies of nature and his enquiring mind.

He was also fond of animals, and used to buy caged birds in order to set them free. He once said, "The time will come when men will look on the murder of animals as they now look on the murder of men".

drawing of a horse

drawing of a horse

Another aspect of the genius of Leonardo.(below)
This was painted sometime before the Mona Lisa.
It's a beautiful painting of a beautiful girl, probably
Cecilia Gallerani, the mistress of Leonardo's patron.
The ermine is nice, too...

Painting of a girl by Leonardo

Painting of a girl by Leonardo

Around this time Piero di Cosimo produced this large double panel (below)
called 'The Forest Fire'. Although
trained in the Florentine tradition he found his own personal and whimsical style, painting allegories
and classical myths which were sometimes difficult to decipher. He often included animals, always
in a natural and sympathetic light.

A Forest Fire by Piero di Cosimo

A Forest Fire by Piero di Cosimo

Rembrandt was born in Leiden in Holland in 1606. He is one of the very greatest painters in Western art. He had a profound understanding of human nature coupled with a brilliant technique. He did many drawings of animals, and there is a completely free and natural quality to them, as with this sketch of a lion. (below right)

(below left) Fabritius was Rembrandt's best pupil. He is regarded as the link between Rembrandt and Vermeer. 'The Goldfinch' is his most popular painting. It has a surprisingly modern feel to it.

Painting of a Goldfinch

Painting of a Goldfinch

Drawing of a lion by rembrandt

Drawing of a lion by rembrandt

George Stubbs was born in Liverpool in 1724. He specialised in painting horses. Like Leonardo da Vinci, he made a careful study of the anatomy of horses. His skill brought him success, and he painted many portraits for his aristocratic patrons, like this one called 'Mambrino'. (below left)

Edwin Landseer (1802 - 73) was another successful English painter. His work tended to be sentimental and mawkish, which chimed well with the Victorian age in which he lived. 'The Monarch of the Glen' (below right) is probably his best known, and also least sentimental of his Scottish Highland paintings.

'Little Yellow Horses' (below left) was painted by Franz Marc, a German Expressionist. Marc believed in the spirituality of animals, and often used them in his paintings. He was killed at Verdun in 1916.

(right) Picasso's art went through many changes in his long career, but he was always a figurative painter. Whether he painted a Spanish bull, the horses of 'Guernica', or this cockeral, his work always had spirit, or as he might say, 'duende'. (below right)

Painting of horses by Marc

Painting of horses by Marc

Painting of a cockerar by Picasso

Painting of a cockerar by Picasso

I wanted to finish with a modern, living artist, and I came
across these superb watercolours by an artist working in Wyoming. I couldn't decide which one to use so I used both. The artist's name is Sarah Rogers
and this is her website:Sarah Rogers

Painting of a bear

Painting of a bear

And finally, a painting from an artist of the future, my daughter Abi.
James Collins Scottish Essays