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Art Authority is the developer behind the award-winning line of classic art viewing apps. The Art Authority app line, and associated community Web site, provides access to over 60,000 paintings and sculptures from over 1000 western artists and 900 museums and other art sites. The app was named to Apple's 2010 and 2011 Rewind lists as best iPad reference app, as well as one of the top 25 apps of all time at Macworld/iWorld.

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The Sleep of Reason Produces Monsters by Francisco de Goya y Lucientes, 1797. (Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY) Etching and aquatint. 21.6 x 15.2 cm. 
Created in 1797, The Sleep of Reason Produces Monsters is an etching by Francisco Goya that was to serve as a frontispiece for his series Los Caprichos, or The Caprices. These series of 80 prints focused on what Goya saw as the corruption and absurdity of Spanish government and society, and served as a commentary on Spain’s reluctance to embrace Enlightenment philosophy. Here, Goya depicts himself asleep at his work, the moment when Reason has left him, allowing for the encroachment of preying, dark, and menacing creatures that go unnoticed by him. The inclusion of owls and bats is sometimes seen as symbolic of folly and ignorance - the products of the absence of reason - reflecting Goya’s views on the state of Spanish government and society at the time. Goya included epigraphs with each of the 80 Caprichos, and according to some scholars the full epigraph for this particular one reads: "Fantasy abandoned by reason produces impossible monsters: united with her, she is the mother of the arts and the origin of their marvels." Los Caprichos stopped circulating in 1799, and Goya cited the threat of the Spanish Inquisition as a reason for their withdrawal from the public. 
For more Francisco Goya visit Art Authority and download the award-winning app, available for iPhone, iPad, and Mac.

The Sleep of Reason Produces Monsters by Francisco de Goya y Lucientes, 1797. (Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY) Etching and aquatint. 21.6 x 15.2 cm. 

Created in 1797, The Sleep of Reason Produces Monsters is an etching by Francisco Goya that was to serve as a frontispiece for his series Los Caprichos, or The Caprices. These series of 80 prints focused on what Goya saw as the corruption and absurdity of Spanish government and society, and served as a commentary on Spain’s reluctance to embrace Enlightenment philosophy. Here, Goya depicts himself asleep at his work, the moment when Reason has left him, allowing for the encroachment of preying, dark, and menacing creatures that go unnoticed by him. The inclusion of owls and bats is sometimes seen as symbolic of folly and ignorance - the products of the absence of reason - reflecting Goya’s views on the state of Spanish government and society at the time. Goya included epigraphs with each of the 80 Caprichos, and according to some scholars the full epigraph for this particular one reads: "Fantasy abandoned by reason produces impossible monsters: united with her, she is the mother of the arts and the origin of their marvels." Los Caprichos stopped circulating in 1799, and Goya cited the threat of the Spanish Inquisition as a reason for their withdrawal from the public. 

For more Francisco Goya visit Art Authority and download the award-winning app, available for iPhone, iPad, and Mac.

29 September 2013
The Oxbow (The Connecticut River near Northampton) by Thomas Cole, 1836. (Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY, USA) Oil on canvas. 130.8 x 193 cm.
For a period of time in the nineteenth century, groups of American artists like Thomas Cole and the Hudson River School artists turned their attention to the natural landscapes surrounding them. Cole is widely regarded as the father of American landscape painting, and The Oxbox is characteristic of his romanticized vistas. For Cole and his contemporaries, nature was seen as an ideal source of authority and inspiration, and its forms were mobilized as primary vehicles of meaning. The trees, winding river, and cultivated agricultural land of this painting represent Manifest Destiny, a prevailing attitude of the time used to justify American expansion towards the West.
For more Thomas Cole visit Art Authority and download the award-winning app, available for iPhone, iPad, and Mac.

The Oxbow (The Connecticut River near Northampton) by Thomas Cole, 1836. (Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY, USA) Oil on canvas. 130.8 x 193 cm.

For a period of time in the nineteenth century, groups of American artists like Thomas Cole and the Hudson River School artists turned their attention to the natural landscapes surrounding them. Cole is widely regarded as the father of American landscape painting, and The Oxbox is characteristic of his romanticized vistas. For Cole and his contemporaries, nature was seen as an ideal source of authority and inspiration, and its forms were mobilized as primary vehicles of meaning. The trees, winding river, and cultivated agricultural land of this painting represent Manifest Destiny, a prevailing attitude of the time used to justify American expansion towards the West.

For more Thomas Cole visit Art Authority and download the award-winning app, available for iPhone, iPad, and Mac.

28 September 2013
Pietà by Michelangelo Buonarroti, 1499. (Basilica di San Pietro, Vatican City) Marble. 174 cm high, 195 cm at base.
Commissioned by Cardinal Lagraulas, a representative of the French monarchy in Rome, as a funerary sculpture, this Pieta, depicting the dead Christ in the lap of his mother, Mary, solidified Michelangelo’s status in Rome as a gifted sculptor. This sculpture took two years to complete and is the only one that Michelangelo ever signed. It is comprised of two larger than life figures, Mary and Christ, with Mary seated on the rock of Golgotha, the site of Jesus’s crucifixion. Jesus is shown lacking the signs of the Passion, his face is serene and without pain. Michelangelo chose not to focus on the suffering of Christ but to illustrate the representation of the sacrament of communion between man and God, that through the body of Christ, man can ascend to heaven. It is interesting to note, as did many of Michelangelo’s contemporaries, that the Mary of this Pieta is youthful, showing no signs of a woman who by now, has a 33 year old son. Condivi, one of Michelangelo’s biographers explains that “Do you not know that chaste women stay fresh much more than those who are not chaste? How much more in the case of the Virgin, who had never experienced the least lascivious desire that might change her body?” This version of the Pieta has been copied many times over across the years but all of them lack the technical superiority of Michelangelo’s chisel.
For more Michelangelo Buonarroti visit Art Authority and download the award-winning app, available for iPhone, iPad, and Mac.

Pietà by Michelangelo Buonarroti, 1499. (Basilica di San Pietro, Vatican City) Marble. 174 cm high, 195 cm at base.

Commissioned by Cardinal Lagraulas, a representative of the French monarchy in Rome, as a funerary sculpture, this Pieta, depicting the dead Christ in the lap of his mother, Mary, solidified Michelangelo’s status in Rome as a gifted sculptor. This sculpture took two years to complete and is the only one that Michelangelo ever signed. It is comprised of two larger than life figures, Mary and Christ, with Mary seated on the rock of Golgotha, the site of Jesus’s crucifixion. Jesus is shown lacking the signs of the Passion, his face is serene and without pain. Michelangelo chose not to focus on the suffering of Christ but to illustrate the representation of the sacrament of communion between man and God, that through the body of Christ, man can ascend to heaven. It is interesting to note, as did many of Michelangelo’s contemporaries, that the Mary of this Pieta is youthful, showing no signs of a woman who by now, has a 33 year old son. Condivi, one of Michelangelo’s biographers explains that “Do you not know that chaste women stay fresh much more than those who are not chaste? How much more in the case of the Virgin, who had never experienced the least lascivious desire that might change her body?” This version of the Pieta has been copied many times over across the years but all of them lack the technical superiority of Michelangelo’s chisel.

For more Michelangelo Buonarroti visit Art Authority and download the award-winning app, available for iPhone, iPad, and Mac.

24 September 2013
At the Moulin Rouge by Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, 1892. (The Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois, USA) Oil on canvas. 123 x 141 cm.
Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec is best known as a French Post-Impressionist painter and Art-Nouveau illustrator who was commonly associated with the fringe society of bohemian Paris. Despite his aristocratic heritage, Lautrec became estranged from high society because of his unusually small stature and the limitations this posed on him. As a result, and encouraged by his family, Lautrec became deeply interested in the art world.
Since its opening in 1889, Lautrec and his friends became regulars of the Moulin Rouge cabaret. Here Lautrec depicts the crowd usually found there, such as the writer Édouard Dujardin, the dancer La Macarona, and the photographer Paul Secau at the table. Lautrec shows himself (identifiable by his height) and a friend behind the table. At the right forefront he depicts part of the face of the English dancer/singer May Milton, bathed in a garish glow that reveals the ghostly pallor of copious makeup and nightlife lighting. This piece reveals Lautrec’s particular style of strong lines and relatively flat color areas, which was influenced by his work as an illustrator as well as by the growing interest in the country at the time in Japanese woodblock prints.
For more Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec visit Art Authority and download the award-winning app, available for iPhone, iPad, and Mac.

At the Moulin Rouge by Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, 1892. (The Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois, USA) Oil on canvas. 123 x 141 cm.

Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec is best known as a French Post-Impressionist painter and Art-Nouveau illustrator who was commonly associated with the fringe society of bohemian Paris. Despite his aristocratic heritage, Lautrec became estranged from high society because of his unusually small stature and the limitations this posed on him. As a result, and encouraged by his family, Lautrec became deeply interested in the art world.

Since its opening in 1889, Lautrec and his friends became regulars of the Moulin Rouge cabaret. Here Lautrec depicts the crowd usually found there, such as the writer Édouard Dujardin, the dancer La Macarona, and the photographer Paul Secau at the table. Lautrec shows himself (identifiable by his height) and a friend behind the table. At the right forefront he depicts part of the face of the English dancer/singer May Milton, bathed in a garish glow that reveals the ghostly pallor of copious makeup and nightlife lighting. This piece reveals Lautrec’s particular style of strong lines and relatively flat color areas, which was influenced by his work as an illustrator as well as by the growing interest in the country at the time in Japanese woodblock prints.

For more Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec visit Art Authority and download the award-winning app, available for iPhone, iPad, and Mac.

23 September 2013
Lane Near a Small Town by Alfred Sisley, 1865. 45 x 59.5 cm
Although his English name belies his heritage, Alfred Sisley was born in, and spent most of his time in, France. Lane Near a Small Town is the Impressionist artist’s earliest known painting. The scene is bathed in the golden light of the early evening or late dawn. The viewer assumes the positions of a traveler on the road in this idyllic rural landscape. Following the curve of the modest dirt road that dominates the center of the canvas, one can make out a small village in the distance. Sisley concentrated on landscapes like this one throughout his life. In Lane Near a Small Town, the only two figures shown are a modest farming couple in the lower left register of the scene.
For more Alfred Sisley visit Art Authority and download the award-winning app, available for iPhone, iPad, and Mac.

Lane Near a Small Town by Alfred Sisley, 1865. 45 x 59.5 cm

Although his English name belies his heritage, Alfred Sisley was born in, and spent most of his time in, France. Lane Near a Small Town is the Impressionist artist’s earliest known painting. The scene is bathed in the golden light of the early evening or late dawn. The viewer assumes the positions of a traveler on the road in this idyllic rural landscape. Following the curve of the modest dirt road that dominates the center of the canvas, one can make out a small village in the distance. Sisley concentrated on landscapes like this one throughout his life. In Lane Near a Small Town, the only two figures shown are a modest farming couple in the lower left register of the scene.

For more Alfred Sisley visit Art Authority and download the award-winning app, available for iPhone, iPad, and Mac.

16 September 2013
Portrait of Picasso by Amedeo Modigliani, 1915. (Private Collection) Oil on canvas. 
The characteristics of Modigliani’s avant-garde emerging style are evident in this portrait of Pablo Picasso, such as the incorporation of large swatches of bold colors and distorted forms. Despite these features that suggest a certain degree of abstraction, we still understand that the forms before us on the canvas comprise a man’s visage. Many of Modigliani’s contemporaries sat for portraits including Diego Rivera and Juan Gris, both of whom can be seen on Art Authority’s community web site. 
For more Amedeo Modigliani visit Art Authority and download the award-winning app, available for iPhone, iPad, and Mac.

Portrait of Picasso by Amedeo Modigliani, 1915. (Private Collection) Oil on canvas. 

The characteristics of Modigliani’s avant-garde emerging style are evident in this portrait of Pablo Picasso, such as the incorporation of large swatches of bold colors and distorted forms. Despite these features that suggest a certain degree of abstraction, we still understand that the forms before us on the canvas comprise a man’s visage. Many of Modigliani’s contemporaries sat for portraits including Diego Rivera and Juan Gris, both of whom can be seen on Art Authority’s community web site. 

For more Amedeo Modigliani visit Art Authority and download the award-winning app, available for iPhone, iPad, and Mac.

The Wild Chase by Franz von Stuck, 1889. (Staedtische Galerie im Lenbachhaus, Germany) Oil on panel. 53 x 84 cm. 
The Wild Chase was housed in the Municipal Gallery in the Lenbach House. It depicts the teutonic legend of Wotan the Mad Hunter, a personification of death and destruction in Germanic mythology. He rides at night leaving horror in his wake. Many scholars have noticed the uncanny resemblance to Adolf Hitler: the dark hair with the forelock over his left temple, the brooding eyes and large nose and the trademark little mustache. It is curious to note that Von Stuck painted this in 1889, the year Hitler was born. Hitler bought many of Stuck’s paintings including the iconic The Sin, which he hung in his apartment in Munich until it was seized after WWII.
For more Franz von Stuck visit Art Authority and download the award-winning app, available for iPhone, iPad, and Mac.

The Wild Chase by Franz von Stuck, 1889. (Staedtische Galerie im Lenbachhaus, Germany) Oil on panel. 53 x 84 cm. 

The Wild Chase was housed in the Municipal Gallery in the Lenbach House. It depicts the teutonic legend of Wotan the Mad Hunter, a personification of death and destruction in Germanic mythology. He rides at night leaving horror in his wake. Many scholars have noticed the uncanny resemblance to Adolf Hitler: the dark hair with the forelock over his left temple, the brooding eyes and large nose and the trademark little mustache. It is curious to note that Von Stuck painted this in 1889, the year Hitler was born. Hitler bought many of Stuck’s paintings including the iconic The Sin, which he hung in his apartment in Munich until it was seized after WWII.

For more Franz von Stuck visit Art Authority and download the award-winning app, available for iPhone, iPad, and Mac.

Crucifixion by Giovanni Pisano, 1302. (Cathedral of Pisa, Tuscany, Italy) Marble. 
Giovanni Pisano’s wonderfully executed depiction of the Crucifixion is located in the baptistery of the Pisa Cathedral (Duomo di Pisa) in Italy. Christ is centrally featured in the relief, and there is an abundance of mourners surrounding him. The physicality of the relief is striking, and there is a certain rigidity of the marble scene that does not yet resemble the exaggeration of later Gothic art. The extreme foreshortening of the figures and realistic perspective of the scene contribute to the idea that this was Pisano’s defining masterpiece.
For more Giovanni Pisano visit Art Authority and download the award-winning app, available for iPhone, iPad, and Mac.

Crucifixion by Giovanni Pisano, 1302. (Cathedral of Pisa, Tuscany, Italy) Marble. 

Giovanni Pisano’s wonderfully executed depiction of the Crucifixion is located in the baptistery of the Pisa Cathedral (Duomo di Pisa) in Italy. Christ is centrally featured in the relief, and there is an abundance of mourners surrounding him. The physicality of the relief is striking, and there is a certain rigidity of the marble scene that does not yet resemble the exaggeration of later Gothic art. The extreme foreshortening of the figures and realistic perspective of the scene contribute to the idea that this was Pisano’s defining masterpiece.

For more Giovanni Pisano visit Art Authority and download the award-winning app, available for iPhone, iPad, and Mac.

Self-Portrait in a Fur-Collared Robe by Albrecht Dürer, 1500. (Alte Pinakothek, Munich, Germany) Oil on lime panel. 67.1 x 48.7 cm. 
Albrecht Dürer’s Self-Portrait at Age 28 depicts the German Renaissance artist at life-size proportions, meeting the viewer with an eye-level gaze. Given that most portraits at the time were captured at an angle, Dürer’s fully frontal posture - set against a plain black background rather than a finely furnished interior - is unusually arresting. His posture and idealized features, for a contemporary viewer, would have appeared Christ-like, and his countenance here has an air of maturity and gravity, absent in his earlier self-portraits, that recalls images of Christ. Yet several of the portrait’s details reflect Dürer’s human character: the rich fur coat, the inscription on the painting bearing his name, and the raised painter’s hand. Indeed, the life-size proportions make the work both intimate and imposing, inviting the viewer to return Dürer’s gaze - and, in the process, to contemplate both the human and divine aspects of his image.
Further reading: (x) 
For more Albrecht Dürer visit Art Authority and download the award-winning app, available for iPhone, iPad, and Mac.

Self-Portrait in a Fur-Collared Robe by Albrecht Dürer, 1500. (Alte Pinakothek, Munich, Germany) Oil on lime panel. 67.1 x 48.7 cm. 

Albrecht Dürer’s Self-Portrait at Age 28 depicts the German Renaissance artist at life-size proportions, meeting the viewer with an eye-level gaze. Given that most portraits at the time were captured at an angle, Dürer’s fully frontal posture - set against a plain black background rather than a finely furnished interior - is unusually arresting. His posture and idealized features, for a contemporary viewer, would have appeared Christ-like, and his countenance here has an air of maturity and gravity, absent in his earlier self-portraits, that recalls images of Christ. Yet several of the portrait’s details reflect Dürer’s human character: the rich fur coat, the inscription on the painting bearing his name, and the raised painter’s hand. Indeed, the life-size proportions make the work both intimate and imposing, inviting the viewer to return Dürer’s gaze - and, in the process, to contemplate both the human and divine aspects of his image.

Further reading: (x

For more Albrecht Dürer visit Art Authority and download the award-winning app, available for iPhone, iPad, and Mac.

13 September 2013
Oarsmen by Gustave Caillebotte, 1877. (Private Collection) OIl on canvas. 81 x 116 cm. 
This painting of “Oarsmen” may remind you of another work by Gustave Caillebotte, “The Floor Scrapers,” created in 1875.  The poses are similar, featuring several men leaning forward busily working and in this case rowing a boat.  The large size of this painting allows the viewer to once again feel that they are in the environment with the subjects, seated directly in the prow where the artist must have composed the image.  Caillebotte captures the strength and also ease with which the rowers accomplish their task, while also smoking on a pipe. 
For more Gustave Caillebotte visit Art Authority and download the award-winning app, available for iPhone, iPad, and Mac.

Oarsmen by Gustave Caillebotte, 1877. (Private Collection) OIl on canvas. 81 x 116 cm. 

This painting of “Oarsmen” may remind you of another work by Gustave Caillebotte, “The Floor Scrapers,” created in 1875.  The poses are similar, featuring several men leaning forward busily working and in this case rowing a boat.  The large size of this painting allows the viewer to once again feel that they are in the environment with the subjects, seated directly in the prow where the artist must have composed the image.  Caillebotte captures the strength and also ease with which the rowers accomplish their task, while also smoking on a pipe. 

For more Gustave Caillebotte visit Art Authority and download the award-winning app, available for iPhone, iPad, and Mac.

 
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