Lamentation by Giotto

The Deposition by Giotto - 1305

Ambrogiotto di Bondone (1266 – 1336), known to all as Giotto, is perhaps the single most influential figure in art. He was the light that emerged from the Middle Ages. He was the single man to bring painting from dark and dingy corners hidden in the medieval times, into the lofty spaces of churches and noble walls. Giotto was of the Florentine school of art.

Giotto was a religious painter, and was the first to connect dramatic stories with living people. He was also the first to give movement to figures, the first to make the sacred matter of art incontrovertibly real and true, believing in the miracle of life and through observing the effect of the miracle of his fellow men.

The majority of Giotto’s work was done in frescoes: watercolor on wet plaster on a wall or ceiling, so that the colors penetrate the plaster and become fixed.  Because of the solidity of this method, his paintings till exist today though some undoubtedly have flaked off.

Lamentation is located inside of The Arena Chapel. A rectangular shaped box with Gothic windows on one side, and a barrel vault shaped ceiling. There is speculation that Giotto had directed it’s building, for the wall surfaces make an unhindered canvas for his works. Giotto divided the walls into even squares, depicting 36 scenes of the life of Christ. Lamentation is scene 20. It is said it took him a total of 4 years to complete all the paintings.

Giotto’s revolutionary technique is probably most recognized in how he animated figures. What was once always flat perspectives suddenly, with Giotto’s invention, became animated and 3D. Clothing upon the subjects had volume and wrinkles and rolled off shoulders in folds.

In Lamentation, or The Deposition, there is no background or landscape. The scene takes place in a rocky space of land, where men and women surround Christ, lamenting – note emotionally – the loss of his life. Every line of the painting, every gesture of the painting directs the viewers eyes towards Christ resting on the knees of the Virgin. Mary Magdalen holds his feet, St. John leans forwards, Joseph stands behind Magdalen, and grief-stricken angels float above.

The Deposition by Giotto - 1305

The Deposition by Giotto – 1305

The Anatomy Lesson of Dr. Nicolaes Tulp by Rembrandt

Anatomy Lesson of Dr Tulp by Rembrandt

In 1632, Rembrandt created The Anatomy Lesson of Dr. Nicolaes Tulp. In this creation, Rembrandt captured Dr. Tulp in the middle of explaining to fellow Dr.s and patrons the musculature of the arm.

Some say this may be the first time Rembrandt ever signed a painting with his surname, which can be seen in the upper left hand corner. His signature had previously just been RHL (Rembrandt Harmenszoon of Leiden).

It is interesting to note that the official City Anatomist of the Amsterdam Guild of Surgeons permitted only one public dissection a year. This body had to be the body of an executed criminal. So, experts have thus dated this event to be January 16, 1632, a day designated for this to be undertaken. With this information, historians are also able to identify the corpse to that of the criminal Aris Kindt (aka. Adriaan Adriaanszoon), a man convicted of armed robbery, sentenced to death by hanging.

It’s fascinating to know some little facts about this painting, and the authenticity of the scene. For instance, typically a Preparator would be involved in the dissection, who would prepare the cadaver for the dissection. This person is not present in the painting. Also, because Dr. Tulp was the Official City Anatomist, he wouldn’t be involved in menial – and bloody – tasks like dissection. This is indicated by the fact that there are no cutting instruments shown in the image, and also by the presence of the giant medical book in the lower right of the painting.

Rembrant himself is a very interesting man. He rose from very humble beginnings to surpass most others in portraiture painting, only to renounce fame in order to liberate himself from moneygrubbing. He was a sorrow filled man, especially in his later years. Three of his children died in infancy, and his wife wasted away while Dutch musketeers were haggling over The Night Watch, another of Rembrants works. He spent the last years of his life bankrupt in the Amsterdam ghetto, tended by his loyal housekeeper. But, historians say he died full of peace, knowing that he was his own man.

Rembrandt was a master of light and dark. The luminosity of his images were like no other before, and like very few since. Truly a master. I love the rosy red tinge to the faces of all those present, which might be accounted to it being mid January. I find it interesting the clothing of all of those present. What I like to illuminate is what’s not illuminated in the painting, the background. It shows us how much Rembrandt focused on shading, which also amplified the magnificence of the subjects.

The painting is located in Mauritshuis museum in The Hague, the Netherlands.

Anatomy Lesson of Dr Tulp by Rembrandt

Anatomy Lesson of Dr Tulp by Rembrandt

 

The Photography of Emily Soto

I fell in love with Emily Soto on 500px – as I think a lot of people have. Her work is elegant beauty draped about lush tropical foliage with random blur and beautiful women relaxed, yet in elegant fashions. I really enjoy her work as it feels like it’s a fairy tale, not necessarily a land where there are little Tinkerbelles floating around with magic wands, but one where the snakes and rabbits and trees talk back to you, and are your friends.

One thing I notice in all of her work is that the faces have emotion, expressive, and she plays around with that a lot. Well, she also has unbeatable fashions and vision. I really dig how she adds a lot of variety to her images, how she puts them on spreads, or combines two together un-symmetrically.

Emily is a international fashion, celebrity, and lifestyle photographer based in southern California. It’s hard to believe that her photography career has only been going since 2010-2011. It is obvious that she has been working at it for many years just not as a professional though… but still, it’s pretty amazing considering that amount of attention she’s had, and continues to have. She is sought after to grace magazine covers around the world by many, many magazines.

All of the images you see here were taken from here blog.

Source: www.emilysotoblog.com

Source: www.emilysotoblog.com

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Hunters in the Snow by Pieter Brueghel the Elder

Pieter Brueghel the Elder ( 1525? – 1569 ) was a Flemish painter fascinated with the idea of making peasant life into artistic scenes of poetry and drama. He thrived on intimate peasant habits, industrial conflicts, and spiritual practices of the time.

When Brueghel was a young man, he traveled over the Alps to Italy to learn from the Italian masters. However, what he did learn was that he was a Northerner through and through, and didn’t take much from the leads of the Italian masters. However, what he did fall in love with was the landscapes of the Italians. Brueghel effectively snubbed the Italian art that was beginning to so enthuse the other Flemish artists in the North. This mentality of Brueghel was aligned with the elder Flemish artists who had for so long fought to create a unique style.

Pieter Brueghel reportedly had an ironic sense of humor, which translated into his landscapes.  The natural backgrounds with such vastness and insight into life are truly breathtaking. Hunters in the Snow takes the viewers eye naturally through the landscape, to observe every nuance of the painting. I personally always start in the foreground, in the front left and sweep my way right and back. Those cliffs are what legends are made of, the distant port in the background, and the frozen canals and creeks that sweep through the landscape provide for my imagination boundless dreams that I would love to walk along and explore.

The thing I am most curious about though, is did they really have skates back then?

This painting was part of a series of landscape paintings started by Brueghel, of which only 5 were finally completed before his death. They all were themed around peasant going about chores and other daily activities. It was done with oil on a wooden panel. Apparently, there are firemen putting out a chimney fire in the background somewhere, which I cannot see..

The painting now resides with a collection in the Kunsthistorisches Museum, located in Vienna, Austria. This painting is an example of the Northern Renaissance movement.

Pieter Brueghel the Elder - Hunters in the Snow - 1565

Pieter Brueghel the Elder – Hunters in the Snow – 1565

 

Monthly Joint Series by Amon Tobin

Amon Tobin released an album called Monthly Joint Series, which was made in the year 2009 from the bastard children of his then current album he had underway. Each song stands on its own, as a valiant soldier marching forth into the industrial wreckage ready to reek salvation upon the land. I guess, as legend has it, Amon released a song a month digitally, which fans ate up ravenously.

It’s what you’d come to expect from Amon Tobin, filled with futuristic sounds, traditional beats, and much bass.

delpher

delpher

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Photographer Mecuro B Cotto

Mecuro B Cotto creates incredibly moody photographs. He plays with high contrast: little spots from the sun that cast mischievous glances at the shade of midday. And if it’s not this weather, the scene is gloomy, like a fall in rural England gloomy.  His models are often casting their eyes down, in deep introspective moments of serenity. His models are also often wearing beautifully elegant and simple floor length dresses, evening gowns, or in either a state of half nude or fully nude.

What strikes me with these images, aside from what I’ve mentioned, is that the scenes rarely look contrived. They are always, it seems, on location. A quick glance of the images below show many scenes inside of homes or along natures tender edges. They are always the perfect balance of calm. Even amongst the rubble of an abandoned building there is serenity. I notice walls are bare, or there is blur in the foreground of the image adding to the calmness of the images. I also feel that this effect adds to the impression that in-spite the external calmness, there is much inner turmoil, at least in some of the images.

The biggest thing I take from Mecuro B Cotto’s work is that it’s not the clarity of the image that is the most important, it’s the mood of the image.

What do you think?

© Mecuro B Cotto

© Mecuro B Cotto

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Illegal and Very Punishable To Wear a Mask in Canada, Bill C-30,9

Man with protestor mask and bowtie

Photo source: Ned Tobin | www.nedtobin.com

Everyday our freedom as humans in Canada – and no doubt throughout the first world with any country tied into this profit/growth system – is taken away right from under our masks, so to say.

In 2010 in preparation for the Olympics in Vancouver the government introduced a new bill that gave the authority for police to search your home and arrest you on the premise that some authority simply had a suspicious that you might protest the Olympics, or be a terrorist. Granted, there was a few tonnes of explosive material lost in the north a few months prior to the Olympics… but really? What happened to Private Dicks investigating things? CIA? FBI? (Vancouver Observer, 2013, http://www.vancouverobserver.com/olympics/2010/01/19/podium-politics-and-olympics)

I have read that this month, on June 19, 2013 a certain Bill C-30,9 introduced in Oct 2011 by Member of Parliament (MP) Blake Richards (represent the electoral district of Wild Rose, Alberta), was passed by the House of Commons that now makes it illegal, punishable by up to 10 years in jail, to wear a mask during a protest (a gathering of more than 3 people). (CBC News, 2014, http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/story/2013/06/19/pol-mask-bill-royal-assent.html) (Story Leak, 2013, http://www.storyleak.com/protesters-10-years-prison-wearing-masks-canada/) Continue Reading →

Great Expectations by Charles Dickens

charles dickens

Great Expectations by Charles Dickens is a classic book. Correction: Great Expectations by Charles Dickens is a great classic book.

great expectations by charles dickens

Great Expectations takes the reader through the life of Mr. Pip, starting out in his small town outside of London, England “in the marsh country down by the river, twenty miles of the sea.” and through his acquiring great expectations. The story takes place in what I would guess to be late 19th century England.

Let me clarify what great expectations are: a lot of wealth. Pip comes into a lot of wealth. Continue Reading →

Canadian Oil Sands and Lesser Prairie Chickens

Northern Alberta Tar Pit #3

It started off a few years ago as a project that would simply cost way too much to pursue. I remember it clearly as they said that it wouldn’t be explored because it was far to bad for the environment, cost way too much money, and there was way to much oil in the middle east… I remember even hearing how they said that with current technologies it takes more oil to actually extract the tar sands oil, than they actually get out of it in the process. But then oil went up to the prices we now see today, and suddenly WE THE CONSUMER started paying for our earth to be devastated. I’m talking about Canada’s oil sands.

Last time I was at the pump, gasoline was $141.9. For my ‘fuel efficient’ Jetta, a full tank costs about $70 to fill. I am paying for this exploration. I am guilty myself.

You know, if I was a believer in conspiracy theories, I might even venture to guess that half of the profits some of these oil companies get are by sneaky accounting. Think of this if you will: Company X buys oil, machinery, and pays employees while getting huge tax cuts and credits for being a developer of raw resources, for employing people, and numerous amounts of other loop holes. Company X just so happens to also extract the same oil they buy, so not only are they buying their own oil at premiums – keeping investors happy – they are also given tax credits to buy their own oil at premiums: essentially free government money. Company X also has huge backers on the board lobbying government, giving Company X basically ZERO risk factor of any sort of policy changes occurring in the near future that would hinder progress; if any policy change along the sorts is proposed that will make it harder for Company X to make large profits, the policy changes will be tied up in courts so long Company X will be allowed to take many years of life from planet earth.  Sounds like smart business, doesn’t it?

Today I signed many petitions to bring change in the world. I realize that it is slightly silly thinking that signing an online petition will bring change, but the positive fact of the matter is that many of these petitions do indeed bring change to the world. These petitions do have success. I’ve signed some petitions that have anywhere from a quarter of a million people signing them to over 2 million peoples signatures.

Today I signed a petition to bring the Lesser Prairie chicken – a rare grouse species threatened by oil and gas exploration, wildfires, and drought – under the wildlife protection act for protection against extinction.

I also signed a petition to bring the company Monsanto, and their super herbicide Roundup, forward to answer questions. Evidently a peer-reviewed report published in the scientific journal Entropy indicates glyphosate, a chief ingredient in herbicides like Roundup, is being found in the foods we all eat, we all buy from the grocer. Glyphosate is proven to have negative impacts on the human body by “manifesting slowly over time as inflammation [and] damages cellular systems throughout the body.” Not only does it effect humans, but animals and plants. In short, all life on the earth is effected by glyphosate and Monsanto’s Roundup.

CANADA ALBERTA FORT MCMURRAY 23JUL09 - View of Suncor Millennium tailings pond and tarsands mining operations north of Fort McMurray, northern Alberta, Canada. jre/Photo by Jiri Rezac / GREENPEACE © Jiri Rezac 2009

CANADA ALBERTA FORT MCMURRAY 23JUL09 – View of Suncor Millennium tailings pond and tarsands mining operations north of Fort McMurray, northern Alberta, Canada.
jre/Photo by Jiri Rezac / GREENPEACE
© Jiri Rezac 2009

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Renee Robyn: Photographer, Retoucher, and Model

Renee Robyn has the power to take your breath away. In photography she sees her images before she shoots them, and post-produces them into fantasy filled perfectness. She also models with eyes that can swallow your soul. She first attracted my attention by taking awesome photographs. Plain and simple. Renee’s work immediately stands out when seen. It’s my belief that Renee is such a great photographer because she genuinely loves everything about creating an image: modeling, photographing, creating, dreaming, and putting the final touches on the images in Photoshop.

Renee is intelligent and constantly driving herself. Anybody she comes in contact with understands this, and this just works perfectly to keep those creative juices flowing.

renee robyn photography - 5

Model: Sam Marcellin
Hair: Renato Candia
MUA: Dianne Jane

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