Sunday, August 16, 2015

Portraits by Maurice de la Tour [feedly]

Portraits by Maurice de la Tour
// Gurney Journey

Maurice Quentin de la Tour (1704-1788) was a French portrait painter. His self portraits often showed himself confident and smiling, radiating charm and equanimity.

Overcoming his parents objections, he left home as a teenager to go to Paris to pursue his craft. His pastel portraits of noble and royal subjects were the delight of the Salon, because he portrayed his sitters as poised and intelligent.

His compositions were remarkably simple, with soft frontal lighting, serene colors, and well crafted surfaces. No one had painted such lifelike portraits in pastel before.

He was known for working quickly, never tiring his models, and charging reasonable prices. In 1750 he was appointed as the royal painter to King Louis XV.

More and more he painted the most exclusive society set in Paris. His prices went up and he became capricious and whimsical, refusing to paint anyone who didn't please him.

He became more and more eccentric in dealing with his models, insisting on never being interrupted—not even by the king himself, and requiring his models to be precisely punctual. He demanded absolute control over lighting, costume, and pose. If the sitter disobeyed, he would punish them by leaving the portrait unfinished.

By 1766 he began the regrettable practice of retouching and sometimes ruining his earlier works, and in his later years he suffered a nervous breakdown and mental illness.  But his loyal brother stuck with him and took care of him until the end. 


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Super special new work from illustrator Baptiste Virot [feedly]

Super special new work from illustrator Baptiste Virot
// It's Nice That


There's something very pleasing about illustrator Baptiste Virot's ability to flip from one style to its polar opposite – like he's still working out what his work might grow to look like, and he's more than happy to let us watch the process as he plays.

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A-simple-test-tells-you-if-that-old-paint-is-oil or acrylic