Thursday, January 27, 2011

100 Paintings artists should know

7) Jacopo Tintoretto, the finding of the body of St. Mark 1518-1594 This painting is a tour de force of perspective and has the great color that distinguishes Venetian painting of this era, like Titian. Notice the figure on the left echoed by tat on the right. The bold sunlight that beams across the lower part of the painting and illuminates the corpse on the floor is exciting and very effective. Squint and see the strange bright abstract shapes that are arrayed across the lower part of the painting. Tintoretto was very good at light effects. This is before Caravaggio or Rembrandt later carried this kind of thing further.

Tintoretto was the oldest in a Venetian family of twenty one children. His father was a dyer, hence the name Tintoretto, a dyer works with tints or colors.

Above is a picture of the Scuola grande di San Rocco, in Venice. Tintoretto did ceiling decorations for this fabulous coffered ceiling. It is awe inspiring. Evidently they have been badly retouched but they sure impressed me.

8) Tintoretto, Paradise 1588 and I ask you to click on the image below to see the enormous reproduction. This painting on canvas is 74 feet by 30 feet and may be the largest oil on canvas ever done. I am sure some joker has made something larger, but I guarantee it is not competition for this behemoth. This is a work of mad genius.

This grand painting is also in Venice.

9) Another Titian The man with Gloves from the Louvre

As I do this list I am beginning to realize how subjective this all is. I should call it 100 paintings artists should know (in the opinion of Stapleton Kearns). It is unknown who the sitter was but he was certainly an aristocrat, Titian was sometimes called the "painter of princes" This is a beautiful and subtly arranged pattern of lights and darks. The bright shirt leads your eye from the head down to the pointing hand, that directs your eye to the right, to the other hand, from whence your eye is carried in a circular fashion back to the head..You are carried through the painting and then returned to the head by this emphatic wedge of bright value. This painting is in the same room of the Louvre with the Mona Lisa and held my attention longer. It must I suppose be seen to really be appreciated. It is a glowing and almost living presence in there behinds it's frame.

Tintoretto Paradise, courtesy of the web gallery of art
Titian from


Kessie said...

I do hope you make this into a book someday, because this is hugely educational. I wish I had it on my shelf for quick reference, especially when I want to tell my kids about this artist or that painting.

Casey Klahn said...

This will be an excellent series. said...

I am enjoying this SO much. I knew it would be an important and exciting way to start the New Year.Thanks again for taking this on.

Stapleton Kearns said...

Someday, I can hardly keep up with all the writing I do now and paint and market,travel and teach. When would I do that?

Stapleton Kearns said...

Good i am glad to hear you all like it. I was worried that it would be to dry for the readers. I am trying to include as much sex, death and violence as I can.

Stapleton Kearns said...

Thanks, was it you who suggested this idea in the first place?

Ernest Friedman-Hill said...

This series is magnificent. Keep going!

Deb said...

It's good for old people like me to learn something new every day. Thanks for making me smarter, or, as my Boston-born hubby would say,

jeff said...

Two years ago the MFA had a wonderful show on Titian, Tintoretto, Veronese and that portrait was in it along with some other amazing gems form all three painters. Titian was the overall favorite for me, but when you have three painters painting at this level it's a little like comparing Mozart and Bach.