My latest additions to the ever-expanding library of books that Chris and I possess are the above - from Renaissance to 19th Century art in two steps! However, I am really drawn to both, for the serenity and beauty of Fra Angelico to the colour and brush strokes of the Impressionists.
Summer's Day by Berthe Morisot c. 1879
I really like the blues and greens used in this painting although it is a shame the centre of the book cuts the figure in half. The obvious brush strokes also work well to describe the surface of the water.
A close up of the water reveals the zig-zag brush strokes the artist used.
Bar at the Folies-Bergere by Jean-Louis Forain 1878
The brilliance of the colours used appeals to me and again, the close up shows the overlaying of lines in the background.
The close up of the marks shows how the artist overlaid many different colours to give this effect.
Fra Angelico's work seems much more serene but uses the same colours as the picture above albeit four hundred years before. I love the deep lapis blues in this work "The Coronation of the Virgin" (around C15th) and the brilliance of the colours really shines out, even after several centuries. It is tempera on panel.
A close up of the bottom right hand corner shows the perspective as well as the amazingly bright colours.
The Impressionist book ties in very well to the current series on BBC2 on Saturday nights, "The Impressionists - Painting and Revolution" presented by the very enthusiastic Waldemar Januzczak. It is a rather gimmicky programme using lots of extraneous visuals, but the commentary is intelligent and I am enjoying it despite the gimmicks.
link to iplayer: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b012rvkl