Art

The greatest benefit we owe to the artist, whether painter, poet, or novelist, is the extension of our sympathies…. Art is the nearest thing to life; it is a mode of amplifying experience and extending our contact with our fellow-men beyond the bounds of our personal lot. George Eliot, The Natural History of German Life, 1856 The Entrance to the Grand Canal, Venice; Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canaletto Canaletto - The Grand Canal from the Palazzo Vendramin-Calergi towards S. Geremia RCIN 406982.jpg The Grand Canal from the Palazzo Vendramin-Calergi towards S. Geremia, Source: Wikipedia Return of the Bucintoro to the Molo on Ascension Day, painted 1729–32 Return of the Bucintoro to the Molo on Ascension Day, Source: Wikipedia My favorite painter is Giovanni Antonio Canal (1697-1768), better known as Caneletto. He was a Venetian painter, who was generously supported by Owen Swiny and Joseph Smith, wealthy British patrons. What is so fascinating about his artwork is his focus on details an the accuracy of the building structures. Joseph Vernet, 1759, Shipwreck, Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Romanticism Frederic Edwin Church, 1860, Twilight in the Wilderness, Source: Wikipedia Albert Bierstadt, 1863, The Rocky Mountains, Lander’s Peak. Source: Wikipedia I also like 18th-19th  century Romanticist paintings that depict a version of nature. Nothing beats walking in the park and be surrounded by trees, but in the absence of being with nature one can admire the great paintings during that period. Romanticism is a broader movement that emphasized individualism, scientific rationality, the glorification of the past and nature. Adam and Eve Sandro Botticelli, The Birth of Venus, Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nude_(art) Dancers and Flutists, Thebes ca 1400 BCE Michelangelo, 1512, Creation of Adam Another appealing art form is nude art. The female body has been a common source of artwork, which is not surprising given that most painters were male. Earlier forms of nude art by the ancient Greeks involved exclusively male figures, which Michelangelo revived in the 16th century.