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I am a painter. www.StephenCefalo.com, http://twitter.com/#!/CefaloStudio

Friday, December 2, 2011

Henry Mosler

Two of my favorite paintings at the Cincinnati Art Museum are by Henry Mosler.  I devoured as many paintings as possible as often as possible on my lunch breaks while teaching at the Art Academy of Cincinnati, which at the time was next door, knowing this privilege would not last. The academy has unfortunately, but fittingly moved downtown and separated from the museum as an entity.  

Henry Mosler (June 6, 1841 - April 21, 1920), United States artist, was born in Tropplowitz, Silesia (now in Poland, on the Czech border) and moved with his family to New York when he was 8. The family relocated to Cincinnati, the site of a substantial German-Jewish community, when Henry was about ten years old.
Studying drawing by himself, he became a draughtsman for a comic paper, the Omnibus (Cincinnati), in 1855; in 1859-1861 he studied underJames Henry Beard, and in 1862-63, during the Civil War, was an art correspondent of Harper's Weekly. In 1863 he went to Düsseldorf, where for almost three years he was at the Royal Academy schools; he subsequently went to Paris, where he studied for a short time under Ernest Hébert.
His "Le Retour," from the Paris Salon of 1879, was the first American picture ever bought for the Luxembourg. He received a silver medal in Paris 1889, and gold medals at Paris, 1888, and Vienna, 1893. Examples of his work are in the Witchita Art Museum, the Smithsonian American Art Museum, the Huntington Library in California, Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, Morris Museum of Art in Augusta, Sydney Art Museum, NSW, theCincinnati Art MuseumRichmond Art Museum and the art museums of Springfield, Mass., and various museums in New York.
His son, Gustave Henry Mosler was also an artist. His granddaughter, Audrey Skirball-Kenis (née Marks) was a philanthropist in Los Angeles, and founder of the Skirball Cultural Center.

The Quadroon Girl below is home of my favorite arm of all time.  The hands are lovely too as are the shackles.
366-Henry Mosler - The Quadroon Girl Image.jpg (JPEG Image, 385x480 pixels)
The Quadroon Girl

The Chimney Corner
There is also an amazing little oil sketch for the Chimney Corner in the same room, almost an abstract, but I can't find a reproduction of it online.  If you have one I'd love to post it.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Cornelis Corlenisz van Haarlem "Adam and Eve", 1622.

Hamburger Kunsthalle by Hans Ollermann
Hamburger Kunsthalle, a photo by Hans Ollermann on Flickr.

This painter is new to me. Such bizarre idealization in the Eve figure, but I like it. Adam is strangely unidealized and his legs and feet seem way too short. The real charm to me is the forward gesture of Eve's head and neck in contrast to the backward thrust of the upper torso. So self conscious and so human. The little frog at her feet is also delightful.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Alfred Stevens - In the Studio [1888]

I'm really loving these "behind the scenes" type paintings by Alfred Stevens. They are no less epic, jewel-like than conventional narratives, and probably more interesting than the actual painting on the easel in this picture. I get the rare and peculiar feeling of actually peering back through a window in time, which I don't get as much looking at old black and white photos from the same era.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Francesco Melzi - Flora [1510-15]

He was Da Vinci's favorite student. This is Flora, the mother of all plants.

Kyle V Thomas: Special Project: 25 $100 painting commissions

Im a fan of innovative ideas, especially crazy ones.  Realist painter, Kyle V. Thomas has released a new offer on his website.  Kyle is a great talent, and this is an offer of a lifetime.  At the risk of sounding too much like a tv commercial, these would make excellent Christmas gifts (probably not the perfect stocking stuffers though.)

"Special Commissions

This is a special project and will end when all 25 spots are filled. Each spot is $100+shipping and will get you an original 8"x10" oil painting of a landscape, or still-life subject of your choice*
You can provide a reference picture, or I can use your idea to create a completely unique and original vision for you. 

*Portait and animal subjects are excluded from this special offer, but I do accept regular commission work on an ongoing basis. Please contact me for more information."

Read more about it here.

 by Kyle V Thomas Oil ~ 8 x 10

Leo Klein Diepold

I recently did a talk on contemporary realism at Arkansas Tech University, and was very impressed by their facilities, especially their art gallery.  I liked this drawing and thought I'd share it with you.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Little Rock's Nerdrum

I recently took a tour of the Drawing Center's collection and was delighted to find this. If I remember correctly the figure is about life sized. I photographed it with my iPhone and some if it was cropped out.

Friday, October 28, 2011

"La Psyche" (Mon Atelier) by Alfred Stevens

I know I am not alone in being intrigued by candid views of painters' studios of the past. It's like the behind the scenes bonus material where you get to see what's behind the magic. The stretchers are stuck with keys and a file is overstuffed with drawings or reproductions, and paintings are hung over other paintings. When there's a mirror in a painting ALWAYS look into it, because that's where something fun is probably hidden. The woman's eyes in the reflection meet ours as a little touch of surprise.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Ye Olde Classmates: Michael Lierly Part 2

Michael Lierly is a dear friend of mine since freshman year of art school.
I did another post a while back on Mike, but recently saw some new pieces on his flickr, facebook and official site, so I decided to show you them in a new post.  I'm wildly excited about these.

First Rite

Th Young Initiate
He spent a summer teaching in Little Rock recently, during which he was working on these drawings with the dancing nymph-like people.  I think they are entirely from imagination.

The one below was a pose from a weekly figure group we were doing for a while.  Love the little ghosty faces.

Night Singers

Actors Feigning Death


Beautiful landscape.  It makes me laugh though because the whole scene looks like some kind of plein air outing mishap.  "Hey, what the...? Who just ran into the frame?!"
The Corridor

The one below is my personal favorite.  The angels simply must be stolen from Caravaggio's "Seven Acts of Mercy", which appear on on of my t-shirts.  I think he stole the angels from my shirt.  The shadow of a passing cloud cast over the left edge of the painting creates a wonderful sense of depth as well as a psychological layer to the standing figure.  She also looks like a hobbit.

Private History

Michael is also a great draftsman and colorist, and has a wonderful sense of humanity about his figures.

 Gorgeous color study.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Velazquez's Portrait Lesson

I think of this face as often as any other while painting a portrait.  It is to me an entire course on how to paint  facial features in a nutshell.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

George Frederick Watts

Another great symbolist, it's difficult not to get Watts confused with Edward Burne-Jones.  His themes and his manner are a bit darker, and there is a kind of twist and tension in the figures that give Watts a greater emotional depth.

George Frederick Watts
Pablo and Frencesca
George Frederick Watts
George Frederick Watts
Denunciation of Adam and Eve
George Frederick Watts
Pablo and Francesca

George Frederick Watts
Eve Tempted

George Frederick Watts
The Genius of Greek Poetry
George Frederick Watts
Life's Illusions
What I love about the symbolists is how the compositions seem to spring from out of nowhere, throwing the standard classical templates out the window.  Who has ever seen compositions like this?,  and yet he still retains a sense of timelessness.

George Frederick Watts
The Spirit of Christianity
You already know this one.
George Frederick Watts

George Frederick Watts
Orpheus and Euydice