Monday, August 29, 2011

An Early Scientist

The Alchemist Sedziwoj and King Sigismund III (1867) by the Polish painter Jan Matejko (1838-1893).

Matejko depicted here the famous alchemist not as a charlatan but as a kind of early engineer and scientist, which he was. Because Sedziwoj constructed mines and foundries and did a lot of chemical experimentation.

Saturday, August 20, 2011


Semiramis constructing Babylon (1861) by the French painter Edgar Degas (1834-1917).

This may be a little surprising because the impressionist artist despised history painting as a typical form of academic art. And Degas ist considered as one of the founders of impressionism.
But at the beginning of his career he wanted to be a history painter like the best artists of this time.

Friday, August 12, 2011

A pensative Hero

El Gran Capitán visits the battlefield of Ceriñola (1835) by the Spanish history painter Federico de Madrazo y Kuntz (1815–1894).

Madrazo shows here the famous Spanish military leader after his great victory of Ceriñola in 1503. He is looking at the dead body of Louis d'Armagnac the leader of the French forces. So it’s also a reflection about luck, death and destiny.
Formally the painting is orientated at Velazquez.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Little Luther

Luther singing as a boy before lady Cotty in eisenach in 1499 (1872) by the Belgian history painter Ferdinand Pauwels (1830-1904).

The later Reformer is here aleready a devoted Christian and probably singing like an angel. It’s idyllic and kind of protestant religious kitsch.
Pauwels did a series of his popular Luther paintings.