Monday, August 31, 2009

The Paintings of HMS Tribune - 1797

Tribune Head, Herring Cove

This Engraving shows the frigate La Tribune being captured by the British frigate Unicorn in a celebrated battle in1796. A year later the British would lose their newly captured frigate in a horrific shipwreck off Halifax.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Charles Reiffel

Charles Reiffel had some notoriety painting seascapes like this one in his early years, as a lithographer for a concern in Buffalo, New York whilst living in the artist colony of Silvermine, Connecticut. In 1921, he abandoned lithography for easel painting; but the effect of the Eastern marine painters, notably Winslow Homer, seemed to influence Reiffel throughout his life.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Ferens Art Gallery

Opened in 1927, the award winning Ferens Art Gallery combines internationally renowned permanent collections with a thriving programme of temporary exhibitions. They also run a children's gallery as part of a lively education and events programme that includes tours, talks and art workshops.

The gallery's first-class permanent collection of paintings and sculpture spans the medieval period to the present day. These include European Old Masters, particularly Dutch and Flemish, portraiture, marine paintings, modern and contemporary British art, including video. Highlights include masterpieces by Frans Hals, Antonio Canaletto, Stanley Spencer, David Hockney, Helen Chadwick and Gillian Wearing.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Johannes Vermeer 1632-1675

Johannes Vermeer is among the most prominent painters of the Delft school in the second half of the seventeenth century. Only thirty-six paintings are today accepted as his work, mainly interior scenes like this one. This painting is known as The love letter, which immediately indicates that there is more to be seen here than one might think at first glance. The key to the interpretation lies in the combination of two motifs: a woman with a letter in her hand and a painting depicting a ship at sea. In Vermeer's paintings, there is often a suggestion the viewer interrupts the main characters during some activity or other, in this case the handing over of a letter. The scene is a kind of snapshot in time – the lady is looking at her servant girl expectantly, perhaps wondering what is in the letter. Possibly the answer lies in the marine painting in the background, for in the seventeenth-century language of imagery the sea often stood for love, and ships for lovers, who come and go. The calm waters we see in this painting, and the maid's gentle smile, seem designed to reassure the viewer that the course of this lady's love will be smooth.