A Look at the Mayan Ruins at Tulum

In the course of some interesting email discussions with Books and Vines contributor DlphcOracl on Pre-Columbian art, my mind wandered to thinking about a fantastic trip I took with my fiancé a couple years ago to Tulum, near the Mexican Riviera. This entire area is one of the most beautiful and intriguing on earth. The combination of stunning beaches, tropical weather and vegetation, along with an … Continue reading A Look at the Mayan Ruins at Tulum

Michelangelo: The Complete Sculpture, Painting, Architecture, William E. Wallace, Easton Press

Easton Press (EP) has published a number of nicely done books on famous artists over the years, perhaps none better than William E. Wallace’s Michelangelo: The Complete Sculpture, Painting, Architecture. Like many EP ‘specialty’ books, I am not sure how many times this has been printed, or if it is the same that is currently on EP’s site. Mine was purchased around 11 years ago, … Continue reading Michelangelo: The Complete Sculpture, Painting, Architecture, William E. Wallace, Easton Press

Vincent Van Gogh, Self-Portraits

I have always been fascinated and drawn to the Self-Portraits of Vincent Van Gogh (1853-1890). They are incredibly introspective, reflecting Van Gogh’s inner psychological state as much as his external appearance. Certainly contemplative in nature, they are powerful, reflective, haunting and engaging. Van Gogh printed over 30 self-portraits between the years 1886 and 1889. Van Gogh was not doing this from vanity, he believed that doing self-portraits … Continue reading Vincent Van Gogh, Self-Portraits

The Harvesters, Pieter Bruegel the Elder, 1565

At a recent visit to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, I was deeply drawn into a painting by Pieter Bruegel the Elder called The Harvesters, an oil on wood painting completed in 1565.  The Harvesters is one in a series of six works, done by Bruegel, that depict 16th century peasant life at different times during the year. I am not completely sure what it is about this painting … Continue reading The Harvesters, Pieter Bruegel the Elder, 1565

The Road Bridge at Argenteuil, Claude Monet

Claude Monet’s The Road Bridge at Argenteuil, painted in 1874, is from somewhat early in his career, yet already shows his mastery of plein-air landscape painting. The light play is amazing, but mostly the overall scene just speaks to a simpler time, and puts one in the mindset of a long, romantic summer day.  Wouldn’t you love to be sitting on one of the boats, snacking on … Continue reading The Road Bridge at Argenteuil, Claude Monet

Renoir’s Luncheon of the Boating Party

How great would it be to have been at this party! Pierre-Auguste Renoir (1841-1919), in his Luncheon of the Boating Party (1881), once again shows his mastery of capturing mood. In this case, the picture just shouts lightness and life, reeling the viewer in, not just as an observer, but as a participant in the scene. As with most works of Renoir, the coloring and … Continue reading Renoir’s Luncheon of the Boating Party

Renoir, On the Terrace (The Two Sisters)

On the Terrace (The Two Sisters) is one of my favorite paintings by Pierre-Auguste Renoir (1841-1919), as it seems the epitome of spring and youth.  The mood set by the vibrant use of light and coloring is simply incredible, melding a detailed scene reflecting real life, albeit an optimistic side of life that we do not pause to look at often enough. Renoir is a master of … Continue reading Renoir, On the Terrace (The Two Sisters)