Nicholas Hilliard was apprenticed to goldsmith Robert Brandon, jeweller to the Queen. Besides being trained as a goldsmith, Hilliard was a limner – a painter of miniatures. He worked in Queen Elizabeth I’s court from the time he was accepted as a member of the Goldsmiths’ Company in 1570 on completion of his apprenticeship. His specialty was portraits created in watercolour on vellum (calfskin), which he would paste to a firm support such as a playing card. He would lay down the base colours before using a fine brush to add details using the technique of hatching. Hilliard did not limit himself to miniatures; he also painted full-length portraits.
The production of Japanese porcelain started in the 17th century, later than that of Korea and China. Japanese porcelain comprises of a highly exceptional white to an off-white hard paste made with ball clays and kaolin blended with silica and feldspar. Methods and ideas entered Japan all the way from China through Korea together with the methods and ways for producing pottery, Korean and Chinese designs. In the beginning, the wares used European shapes and Chinese decoration, just as done by the Chinese. Nevertheless, the innovative Japanese styles developed progressively. At present, Japanese porcelain is considered to be one of the best in quality and the finest in the world.
The documented art history is divided into several periods and movements. The two major differences between the two are time and intent. The known art periods are based on historical eras or ages and, in contrast to art movements that are consciously formed by artists themselves-groups formed unconsciously due to being in the same timelines. In definition, a movement is the tendency or style in art having a specific similar philosophy or goal. This is then followed by a group of artists during a restricted period of time; usually a few months, years or decades or within the heyday of the movement defined within a number of years.
As the name implied, China is the first nation to produce real porcelain in the whole world. The discovery of porcelain in China was said to be an improvement that transformed the face of art all over the world. It took many years for the process to be replicated somewhere else. Ultimately, porcelain and the know-how needed to generate it started spreading to other parts of East Asia. Porcelain wares were exported to Europe in the period of Ming dynasty of 1368 AD to 1644 AD. The Ming dynasty was in control of much of the porcelain trade, which later extended to Europe, Africa and Asia.
Lucas was probably born in 1472, in Kronach, hence his Anglicised name Lucas Cranach. He became known as ‘the Elder’ on the birth of his younger son, who was his namesake. As well as painting for the Saxon court, Cranach’s work also included altarpieces for Lutheran churches and portraits of Protestant reformers. In his lifetime, he is recorded as having created 13 586 paintings, of which 2145 were in oils; he also created 14 008 woodcuts. He is commemorated as the most successful German artist of his time. He is remembered by the Lutheran Church, when he is celebrated in their liturgical calendar on 6 April.
The antique Georgian glass was astonishing for its variety, beauty, and technical sophistication. The Georgian glasses are fine expressions of 18th-century English artistic and technical accomplishment. The thickness and weight, as well as the atypical gleam of these glasses, are nothing but the natural features of these vessels. Georgian glasses are available in different shapes appropriate for serving an assortment of beverages and distillations of the period in addition to their fragile engraving and attractively decorated stanches, which enables them to be valued as objects of exceptional splendour. Antique Georgian glass had actually endured enough for it to be enthusiastically gathered nowadays, in spite of its fragility of glassware.
The first Liberty & Co.’s small shop opened in 1875 on Regent Street in London’s emergent West End. Gradually, it grew into a showcase for cosmopolitan goods, and the company became synonymous with exotic and avant-garde design. Over time, Liberty slowly developed a reputation for furnishing fabrics, curtains, bedspreads, and upholstery. Along the way, Liberty also invested significantly in small companies producing ceramics, metalwork, and jewellery. The Liberty Company stayed in family ownership until 2000 when the store was modernised, making the fabrics and oriental goods became less prominent. Greater emphasis was laid on luxury accessories, furnishing, and idiosyncratic fashion by major international designers.
A barometer is a scientific instrument that is used to measure the pressure of the atmosphere in a certain area or environment. At first, the barometer was only used by the scientific community. However, this started to change during the late 1600s when barometers started to appear in people’s homes. These household barometers were not just tools for the home, they were also decorations. As such, were made quite ornately mostly following the design aesthetics of the period. There is no question that antique barometers are highly sought after by collectors and enthusiasts. In fact, some of the older, complete and functioning pieces can cost up to $25,000.
Australia is rich in art, and many fine artists have lived and grown up here. These artists are just a sample of the rich and varied art being produced in Tasmania at this time. They produced varied styles of work and used various media, but the scenery was a popular subject, with the mountains, rivers and coast of Tasmania providing some beautiful subjects. Portraiture was also popular, providing us with delightful glimpses of the local inhabitants. All very different in style and technique, yet all depicting the wonderful Tasmanian scenery, for us all to enjoy in the many art galleries and museums displaying their works.
Flemish painter Robert Campin was a wealthy and influential man. He also managed a large workshop. Campin could have studied under Jan van Eyck. He was employed by the city to paint a number of church sculptures and of those in municipal buildings. As Campin did not sign and seldom dated his work, there remains controversy as to who the artist was who created some works attributed to him. Robert Campin was previously known as the Master of the Mérode Triptych, prior to the Flémalle paintings being discovered. It is generally accepted, however, that the mysterious Master of Flémalle was Robert Campin.
Art in Australia has a long history. It goes back to at least 30,000 years with Aboriginal art. The colonisation of Australia has been greatly influenced by European modernism since the early colonists were mostly born in England or France. Although these people lived and worked only one to two hundred years ago, their life was so very different from ours, with their own wars, conquests, social and financial problems. It is good to have records of their times and to be able to view their paintings, drawings and etchings. Both from the artistic view and the historic one, they are well worth browsing through.
Flemish painter Jan van Eyck was appointed as court painter to the Duke of Burgundy, Philip III. His association with the Duke resulted in numerous commissions. He had received a level of classical education, as his paintings included Latin, Greek and Hebrew inscriptions. Van Eyck’s work was not limited to religious paintings, he also painted secular subjects. His work encompassed portraits, single panels, as well as diptychs, triptychs and polyptychs. Van Eyck’s formula has still not been deciphered, even with modern-day techniques including x-radiography. His realist skill with regards to light, textures and space has not yet been eclipsed.
Dora Chapman was an artist and a teacher. She painted, she made pottery and she took a special delight in silk-screen printing. As an outstanding pupil, she exhibited her art, won prizes and tried to change society through her realistic and honest recording of life through her art. She showed great promise as a student and has left us with some honest and varied works of art. Indeed, her versatility is one of the characteristics of her art, both in the medium she used and in the subject matter. You can find examples of Dora Chapman’s work in major art galleries and on-line throughout southern Australia.
Jacopo Tintoretto became known as Il Furioso (The Furious), due to the speed and forcefulness with which he produced his paintings. His style is generally described as Mannerist. Jacopo received almost no formal art training; his father had noticed his son’s penchant for drawing on the walls and sent him to the celebrated artist Titian for training. Jacopo taught himself a method used by Titian, making clay and wax models using casts and bas-reliefs. Tintoretto’s career began with his painting cassoni, where he developed his signature loose style and visible brushwork. This taught Tintoretto how to manage colour mixing peculiar to this art-form.
Ray Crooke was an artist and recorder of life, recording his travels with a sensitive and enduring passion. Although best known for his landscapes, he also painted some stunning portraits. He especially painted the people and places of the Australian tropics, imbibing their character with a stillness that was almost his own trademark. Crooke’s work shows attention to form and silhouette, dark shapes against light backgrounds, careful organisation of the piece together with careful drawing and a lovely colour sense. His depiction of the people and of nature is one of harmony. He lived to paint and throughout his long life, he continued to paint, right to the end.
Gentile Bellini was originally more sought after and respected than Giovanni, but history saw that opinion reversed. Jacopo Bellini was himself an artist, and a pupil of Gentile da Fabriano, after whom he named his son. Gentile and Giovanni were taught by their father, encompassing colour pigments, drawing, tempera and oil painting. It was only in about 1465, when he was in his thirties, that Gentile began working individually. At the time, he was regarded as one of the pre-eminent artists of the day. Gentile Bellini’s students included Titian, Vittore Carpaccio and Bartolomeo Veneto.
James Montgomery Cant seems to have travelled around picking up ideas from other artists and designs which reflected the times and the places where he lived. These ranged from the rather drab English industrial scenes to the much warmer Australian landscapes and the incorporation of Australian Rock Art, as well as the surrealistic and cubism, showed a versatility which makes his paintings, sculptures and fabric designs interesting and is a reflection on the times in which he lived and travelled. In 1984, the Art Gallery of South Australia held an exhibition of his work and there are examples to be found in the National Gallery of Australia and other State galleries.
Antonio Allegri, known as Correggio, was best known for his composition, perspective and foreshortening skills, as well as being regarded as a master of chiaroscuro. Little is known about his early life. He was known as an introvert with a dark and despondent disposition. Correggio probably received his first art instruction from his uncle, Lorenzo Allegri. Despite his limited formal instruction, Correggio had knowledge of optics, perspective, architecture, sculpture, and anatomy, much of which he probably imbibed by studying the works of da Vinci, Michelangelo and Raphael. One of his most important works is the Assumption of the Virgin, a fresco created for the Cathedral of Parma.