Edward Hopper - Nighthawks

Hopper said the painting "was suggested by a restaurant on Greenwich Avenue where two streets meet. I simplified the scene a great deal and made the restaurant bigger."  Hopper posed for the two men in a mirror and wife Jo for the girl. Nighthawks was probably Hopper’s most ambitious essay in capturing the night-time effects of manmade light. This interior light comes from more than a single lightbulb, with the result that multiple shadows are cast, and some spots are brighter than others as a consequence of being lit from more than one angle. Light was the most powerful and personal of Hopper's expressive means. He used it as an active element in his paintings to model forms, define the time of day, establish a mood, and create pictorial drama by contrasting it with areas of shadow and darkness.

Hopper made many small sketches of concepts and details of his pictures before working on the final paintings. Many of the sketches for this painting still remain. To see the original : https://www.wikiart.org/en/edward-hopper/nighthawks

Edward Hopper – Nighthawks - 1942 - Art Institute of Chicago

Henri Rousseau - The Dream

Created in the same year as his death, The Dream was   Rousseau’s last painting, which was debuted at the MOMA only a few months before his untimely death.

Henri Rousseau was a self-taught artist who worked as a customs agent on the outskirts of Paris. He was considered one of the great naïve artists. In today’s art market his work would be considered “Outsider Art”. Much of his work was ridiculed, but he did have a small following. Pablo Picasso was one of his big fans and promoted his work. His characteristic paintings, in particular, those on the theme of the jungle captivated the art world with their representations of lush plant and animal life painted with incredible detail and precision. What's interesting though is that Rousseau himself never set foot outside France. His imaginary scenes were informed by visits to the Paris zoo and botanical gardens, and images from postcards, photographs, and illustrated journals. To see original: https://bit.ly/2GWMjin

Henri Rousseau - The Dream - 1910

Georges de la Tour - The Fortune Teller

Georges de la Tour was a 17th century painter whose work lived in obscurity until the 1930’s. He reappeared when the Louvre mounted an exhibition of French 17th century painters. Then his work began to sell for millions. This painting was purchased by the Met in 1960 for an undisclosed ,but ”very large sum of money”. The French were outraged, but like several other de la Tours the Louvre may have considered it a fake. Among the evidence is a claim that the word "MERDE" (French for "shit") could be seen in the lace collar of the young woman second from left.  Two members of the Metropolitan curatorial staff accepted that the word was there, regarding it as the work of a recent restorer, and it was then removed in 1982. See the original: https://bit.ly/2GnOXvR

Georges de la Tour – The Fortune Teller – 1630
Metropolitan Museum of Art

Claude Monet - The Japanese Footbridge and the Water Lily Pool, Giverny

I was honored that the Monet Foundation Giverny used the Santa Classics version of the Japanese Bridge for their holiday card to their sponsors in 2016. The Philadelphia Museum of Art used it for a holiday post in 2017 and got over 10,000 views.

 Monet spent much of the 1890s cultivating a garden, complete with a pond, water lilies and a Japanese footbridge, on his farmhouse property in Giverny. He did it just so he could paint beautiful motifs. This is one of the 18 paintings he did of this view. The Japanese footbridge can be found in museums all over the world. This version was from the Philadelphia Museum of Art. See the original: https://bit.ly/2VOWNFb

Claude Monet – The Japanese Bridge and Water Lily Pool, Giverny – 1889
Philadelphia Museum of art

Anthony van Dyck – Charles I in Three Positions

Van Dyck, who had been appointed the principal painter of Charles I, was asked to paint the king from three sides. The portrait was sent to the sculptor Bernini in Rome, who had been commissioned by Pope Urban VIII to make a bust of King Charles. The Pope wanted to give the bust to Charles’ catholic Queen Henrietta in an attempt at reconciliation with the Church of England. The final sculpture was a big hit with King and queen, but sadly it was destroyed in the Whitehall Palace fire 1698.
To see the original: https://bit.ly/2mwBrfT

Anthony Van Dyck - Charles I in Three Positions 1635-1636
Royal Collection (Buckingham Palace)

Santa gets a Tattoo

For many years I would dress as Santa and create a photo that I could send to my clients around the holidays. This photo was one of my favorites. The tattoo parlor in Easton, PA was the perfect setting for a Santa photo folly. And no, I do not have Merry Christmas tattooed on my arm. The first Santa was shot in 1982. This one was shot 25 years later.

Santa gets a tattoo

Henry Fuseli – The Nightmare

The Nightmare was likely inspired by an interpretation of dreams based on Germanic folklore, in which demons possessed people who slept alone. In these stories men were visited by horses, and women were ravished by the devil. The woman is surmounted by an incubus; a mythological demon who lies upon sleeping women. It has remained Fuseli's best-known work. With its first exhibition in 1782 at the Royal Academy of London, the image became famous. After that Fuseli painted at least three versions.
To see the original: https://bit.ly/2VREsHx

Henry Fuseli - The Nightmare - 1871
Detroit Institute of Art

Honoré Daumier - The Print Lover

The Print Lover - 1857-60
Philadelphia Museum of Art

Honore Daumier was a French artist, whose many works offer commentary on social and political life in France in the 19th century. He is best known for his caricatures of people, frequently government officials, which were used to criticize the politics and society. If he was working today he would be one of the major contributors to the New Yorker. He was extremely prolific creating thousands of lithographs, paintings, drawings and sculptures.  There is a similar version of this painting at the Art Institute of Chicago.
To see the original: https://bit.ly/2VREsHx