Category Archives: Being Human

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 […]

June 18

The Power of a Seed

I suggest you view this painting as large as you can. The detail is amazing! My friend and co-worker, Rollie, made me aware of this painting—and I love it. Thanks Rollie. Frederick Edwin Church (1826-1900) was known as a great landscape painter and was a part of the Hudson River School (an art movement embodied […]

June 14

Quite the Hubbub

Isaiah 49:13-16 Shout for joy, you heavens;    rejoice, you earth;    burst into song, you mountains!For the Lord comforts his people    and will have compassion on his afflicted ones. We begin our reading from Isaiah with shouting, rejoicing, and revelry—feelings similar to the ones evoked in this painting by Joanna Braithwaite called Hubbub. She is known for her surreal […]

May 28

A Beautiful Array

Since we are in the season of Spring, I could not resist sharing this beautiful still life with you. It was painted by Dutch artist Hans Bollongier during a time known as “Tulip Mania.” In the 1630s, tulips were all the rage, especially the striped ones shown here. However, the bottom fell out of the […]