Strokes of Genius

1280px-Eugène_Delacroix_-_Christ_on_the_Sea_of_Galilee_-_Google_Art_Project Andrea here, musing today about art and history, two subjects near and dear to my heart. One of the fundamental reasons I love the Regency era is because it was a time of challenging of the old order and served as a catalyst for new ways of thinking about all aspects of society—the birth of the Modern! Art was no exception. The blossoming of Romanticism—individuals suddenly free to express an emotional reaction to the world around them—ignited a whole new realm of creativity.

1920px-Eugene_Delacroix_-_Horse_Frightened_by_Lightning_-_Google_Art_ProjectColor, brushstrokes, draftsmanship—the traditional ways of depicting subjects gave way to experimentation and imagination. Turner began dabbling in a bold new way that inspired Impressionism. And the French artist Delacroix . . . hmmm, well, Delacroix has been a conundrum to art critics over the years. But a grand new retrospective of his work currently on view at the Met in New York City, is generating raves and new appreciation of what a revolutionary artist he was. (You can listen to the Met curator of the exhibit give a short talk on Delacroix’s genius here.)

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Let There Be Light . . .

Ocean

France 3Cara/Andrea here,
The summer equinox arrived this past weekend, which always puts me in a very travel frame of mind. Long days, glorious golden light, balmy nights—they seem to sing a siren’s song, beckoning one to set out and experience new sights, new settings.

Bonington Self PortraitNow, those of us traveling today just whip out our i-phones and snap away merrily, recording our peregrinations with the mere flick of a finger. Regency travelers required far more skill to capture the essence of a place—and so in homage to the art of travel, thought I’d share a small sketch of one of my favorite artists of the era.

“Had Bonington lived, I would have starved.” —JMW Turner

Despite his short life—he died of tuberculosis at age 26—Richard Parkes Bonington is recognized as master of the Romantic era. His brilliant rendering of light and his ability to capture the magic of a seemingly mundane moment earned him the highest accolades from his contemporaries—including Turner and Eugene Delacroix, with whom he shared a studio for a short time.

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