Art Sunday #46: Willem Claeszoon Heda – Breakfast Table with Blackberry Pie

Willem_Clasz._Heda_-_Breakfast_Table_with_Blackberry_Pie_-_Google_Art_ProjectWillem Claeszoon Heda (December 14, 1593/1594 – c. 1680/1682) was a Dutch Golden Age artist from the city of Haarlem devoted exclusively to the painting of still lifes.  He is known for his innovation of the late breakfast genre of still life painting.

Heda’s final years saw the artist begin the transition from the late breakfast still-life paintings he helped create, to the pronk, or display, still-life pieces of Willem Kalf in Amsterdam.  His last known works were painted in 1664 (Private collection, The Hague) and 1665 (Museum del Monte, Brussels), and contained the warmer pallette of browns associated with Kalf’s pieces. Though he lived until the 1680s, Heda’s last known paintings we created in the 1660s. Heda died in Haarlem in 1680 or 1682.


Art Sunday #45: Diego Velazquez – Old Woman Frying Eggs

VELÁZQUEZ_-_Vieja_friendo_huevos_(National_Galleries_of_Scotland,_1618._Óleo_sobre_lienzo,_100.5_x_119.5_cm)Old Woman Frying Eggs is a genre painting by Diego Velazquez, produced during his Seville period.  The date is not precisely known but is thought to be around the turn of 1618 before his definitive move to Madrid in 1623. It is now in the National Gallery of Scotland in Edinburgh.  Velázquez frequently used working-class characters in early works like this one, in many cases using his family as models; the old woman here also appears in his Christ in the House of Martha and Mary (1618).


Art Sunday #44: Raphael – Portrait of a Young Man

Raphael_missingPortrait of a Young Man is a painting in oil on panel, probably from 1513–1514, by the Italian High Renaissance Old Master painter and architect Raffaello Sanzio da Urbino better known simply as Raphel.  The painting was stolen by the Nazis from Poland.  Many historians regard it as the most important painting missing since World War II.

The subject’s identity is unverified, but many scholars have traditionally regarded it as Raphael’s self-portrait.  The facial features are perceived by specialists as compatible with, if not clearly identical to, the only undoubted self-portrait by Raphael in his fresco The  School of Athens at the Vatican, identified as such by Vasari.  If it is a self-portrait, no hint is given of Raphael’s profession; the portrait shows a richly-dressed and “confidently-poised” young man.  If it can be accepted that this painting was indeed created by Raphael as a self-portrait, then he apparently identified particularly with the female gender, just as Da Vinci did in the Mona Lisa.


Art Sunday #43: Eero Jarnefelt – Lake Shore with Reeds

Järnefelt_Kaislikkoranta_1905Erik (Eero) Nikolai Järnefelt (8 November 1863, Vyborg – 15 November 1937, Helsinki), was a Finnish painter and art professor. He is best known for his portraits and landscapes of the area around Koli National Park.

Lake Shore with Reeds was painted in the artist’s new home district on the shore of lake Tuusulanjärvi. A dry but cloudy day has turned into a meditative picture in which the landscape elements that seem Spartan to begin with create a rich texture: the land, water and air – fixed and shapeless, cold and warm colours – are partly clearly delineated and partly merge into each other.

Source: and

Art Sunday #42: Jack Vettriano – The SInging Butler

Vettriano,_Singing_ButlerThe Singing Butler is an oil-on-canvas painting made by Scottish artist Jack Vettriano in 1992. It sold at auction in 2004 for £744,800, which was the record at the time for any Scottish painting, and for any painting ever sold in Scotland. Reproductions of The Singing Butler make it the best-selling art print in the UK.

The painting measures 28 inches (710 mm) by 36 inches (910 mm). It depicts a couple dancing on the damp sand of a beach on the coast o Fife, with grey skies above a low horizon. To the left and right, a maid and a man hold up umbrellas against the weather. The dancers wear evening dress: a dinner jacket and a red ball gown: the woman also wears long red gloves but appears to have bare feet. The butler is also formally dressed, while the maid wears a white apron and clutches her hat.