Author Archives: laurieetta

October 15

What the Hell is Wrong With Me?

I recently discovered a musical artist named Sean McConnell. His album, A Horrible Beautiful Dream, has a song on it called, What the Hell is Wrong with Me? I discovered this painting by Swiss artist Ferdinand Hodler at about the same time. The painting is titled The Disappointed Souls and the song and painting seemed […]

October 12

The Risen Christ

This painting is Italian artist Bartolomeo Suardi’s work titled, The Risen Christ. Suardi was a devoted follower and mentee of the great Italian architect and artist, Donato Bramante, so he is better known as Bramantino (“little Bramante”). Bramante’s haunting portrayal of Christ is different than most others in the 15th century. We are used to […]

September 24

The Forgiving Father

Frank Wesley, the artist who painted this painting, was born in India into a fifth-generation Methodist family (thus the surname Wesley since John Wesley and his brother, Charles, founded the Methodist movement in the Church of England). Wesley painted this while studying in Japan in the 1950s and donated it to the Hiroshima girl’s school. […]

September 17

Memento Mori

At first glance, this picture may seem a little dull—two old guys in stuffy outfits with stoic expressions. It was painted in 1533 and is a portrait of the French ambassador to England (Jean de Dinteville) and his friend, French ambassador to the Republic of Venice and to the Pope in Rome (Georges de Selve). […]

September 10

The Bookworm

Carl Spitzweg titled this painting The Librarian, but the viewing public renamed it The Bookworm. In the late 1800s, when this painting was made, calling someone a bookworm was an insult, implying one was book-smart but not living in the real world. He is so into learning that the books almost become an extension of […]

August 24

Weaving and Unweavng

The title of this painting, Penelope Unraveling Her Web, suggests there might be a story here and indeed there is. In Homer’s epic poem, Odyssey, we learn Penelope’s husband has been called away to fight the Trojan War. In his 20-year absence, Penelope is beset by suitors who tell her that her husband has perished […]

August 16

Blessed

I’m not sure why I was drawn to this painting by Chaim Soutine called Young English Girl, but I was. My husband and I were at the Musée de l’Orangerie in Paris the summer of 2017 and I was immediately taken by it. Remember when we used to be able to travel freely, without worry? […]

July 30

Where Are You Going?

This painting by L.S. Lowry is titled Going to Work and was commissioned in 1943 by the War Artists Advisory Committee (WAAC). Britain’s Ministry of Information established WAAC when WWII broke out. The goal was to avoid what happened in WWI when artists stopped working because of gallery closures and diminishing sales. As a result, […]

July 23

Judge and Be Judged

In the late 1850s, Romanticism was the preferred style of art in Barcelona. Painter Pere Borrell del Caso, however, preferred the Realistic style. His painting, Escaping Criticism, is an example of that style. His forced perspective, from the hand grasping the outer edge of the painted frame to the shadowed rear leg, we are hard-pressed […]

June 26

Ezekiel’s Vision

This majestic oil painting by Raphael is surprisingly quite small (16 x 12 inches). The subject matter is the Old Testament prophet Ezekiel’s vision of God. I find it curious that Ezekiel is depicted as this tiny figure in the lower left of the composition. If his name wasn’t in the title, you would likely […]