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Some of My Favorite Works of Art, Part II

  • Dec 17, 2009
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Spurred on by the realization that I couldn't include all of my favorite works of art in one list, I created this second list as a companion to Some of my Favorite Works of Art, Part I.
I've always been enamored of many different forms of art, though there is no particular style that I'm most fond of. Here, I have included a brief list of my favorite works from artists in different eras as well as styles. You may notice recurring themes throughout these pictures, particularly that of mythologically-inspired images and the depiction of female nudes goddesses seen mainly in the Renaissance and Pre-Raphaelite pieces. In addition to Pre-Raphaelite, Renaissance, cubist, surrealist, and expressionist pieces, I've included works from the golden age of children's book illustrations. I hope you enjoy this rather eclectic collection...
Please note that these works are in no particular order and that I have added brief explanations as to why they are on the list.
J.W. Waterhouse's serene image of Ophelia from Hamlet, shortly before drowning herself in the river. One of the most bittersweet paintings I've seen.
Edvard Munch's deeply insightful painting is a meditation on the insecurities, the vulnerability, and the feeling of loneliness that is inherent in the process of growing up. Never has an artist been able to so accurately and boldly depict the angst and awkwardness of early adolescence.
Self Portrait (1640)
Rembrandt's earlier self portraits remain deeply insightful into his character, but also expertly done. I love the lighting here.
Of all the images of the Norse god of thunder, Rackham's seems the most authentic somehow. One of the best depictions of a mythological deity in recent artworks.
Princess Badoura
Edmund Dulac was a great admirer of Arthur Rackham and much of his work clearly shows his influence. However, Dulac's greatest strength was in depicting scenes from Middle Eastern and Asian folklore, fairy tales, and myths. This image shows his remarkable ability to capture the mystique and grace of traditional Asian femininity. Glorious!
Raphaelesque Head Exploding
Dali's ability to combine hidden imagery and echoes of other great artists in totally separate styles of art is displayed in many of his paintings, however, this one stands out for me as the most unusual and the most aesthetically pleasing.
Turkish Bath
Gorgeously rendered image of a Turkish bath. At the time of this painting's creation, there was a fervid interest in foreign practices and Middle Eastern customs, especially when they touched upon erotic aspects of daily life.
Dancer with a Bouquet of Flowers
Degas' most unforgettable painting. I love the fragility of the figure, the unusual angle, and the muted tones, all of which give the feeling of having actually been there.
The Heart of the Andes
One of the most detailed and majestic landscapes ever put on canvas.
The Judgment of Paris
Simply, a classic image from Greek mythology as well as a wonderful painting of the female nude.
The Source
Sublimely picturesque image of a nude woman, simply labeled "The Source".
Bentheim Castle
In terms of works of art focusing on architecture or landscapes, this remains one of my favorites because of how detailed and immaculate is. Look at that smoke!
Lady Lilith
My second favorite image of the mythological seductress Lilith.
The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse
Albrecht Durer's evocative and timeless engraving depicts the end of the world as described in biblical prophecies.
The Blue Boy
Gainsborough's most iconic painting presents viewers with a simplicity and elegance that remains unrivaled.
The Prophet Jeremiah
Chagall's very expressionistic depiction of the Prophet Jeremiah. One of his best works during his "Religious" period.
Klee was an adept in many styles of painting, but this is my favorite work of his because of its geometric shapes and over all simplicity in design. Despite the vacant look of the subject, the painting is rather expressive.
A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte
One of the greatest examples of pointillism!
Summer Landscape
A rare example of Kandinsky's work within a different artistic genre. Here he displays a talent for expressionistic landscapes, rather than abstract-expressionist shapes and designs.
Clearing Autumn Skies over Mountains and Valleys
A perfect example of Chinese scroll painting and Oriental landscapes.
The Swing
Pastoral and idyllic image of the French rococo period.
The Birth of Venus
One of the most impressive interpretations of the birth of the Roman goddess of love.
Cupid and Psyche
Gorgeous image of the Roman god of love and his beautiful soul mate.
Mlle Charlotte du Val d'Ognes
Beautifully simple image of a young woman.
Ia Orana Maria
Gaugin's beautifully simplistic and expressive portrayal of the Madonna and child as Tahetian natives.
Laughing Cavalier
Unusually expressive paintings were a speciality of Frans Hals. This is one of my favorites.
Saint Francis in Ecstasy
Terribly evocative and powerful image of the saint experiencing spiritual ecstasy.
Hesiod and the Muse
Another prime example of mythology-inspired artwork. This one is rather hypnotic I think.
One of Blake's most eerie and memorable paintings.
Lady from the Sea
Edvard Munch's underrated painting of a mermaid. Beautiful colors.
Fairy Lying on a Leaf
A wonderful example of Victorian-era fantasy art. This piece manages to be both startling pretty and deeply erotic.
I and the Village
A wonderful Chagall painting. I love the horse.
Spirit of the Night
Another Victorian-era work that combines fantastical elements with the mundane. The colors here are wonderful and remind me of the Green Fairy that was said to live in absinthe.
The Vampire
Perhaps the most erotic and iconic vampire painting ever! Philip Burne-Jones was the son of Edward Burne-Jones, one of the great Pre-Raphaelite painters, so that this should appear on my list is no real surprise.
The Toilet of Venus
Another rococo image combining Roman myth and French aristocratic art.

What did you think of this list?

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January 12, 2010
I loved reading your commentary and enjoy most of the paintings you depict; Chagall is a favorite. You may want to read his two autobiographical books that speak to some of his paintings and are extremely well written.
January 13, 2010
Why, thank you. Do you recall the titles or the author?
December 23, 2009
I'm waiting on that Kandinsky. (sound of fingers tapping)
December 23, 2009
It's there.
December 23, 2009
Hid it again, huh? It's not what I think of as typical Kandinsky but I love it.
December 23, 2009
Yeah, I like Kandinsky when he moved out of his comfort zone and went for something with a bit more structure and form.
December 23, 2009
Lately (probably due to needing new glasses) I've just been reacting to color a lot. Or maybe it's just a reaction to having to live within these white walls for the past 24 years. I wish I could paint them!
December 23, 2009
Let me guess... your landlord doesn't want you to.
December 23, 2009
December 23, 2009
That's so typical. My old landlord insisted that he'd repaint the walls and replace the carpet before I moved in and then wanted me to do it before I moved out. Sneaky, aren't they?
December 23, 2009
What's worse is my daughter is my landlord!
December 23, 2009
LMAO! So funny and not entirely unexpected. Kids love to get their parents back for not buying them what they wanted when they were like eight. I'm guessing you forgot to get that pony!
December 23, 2009
I was the one who wanted the horse when she was a kid. I bought her every damned Barbie she wanted. There's no excuse for this. SHE has a red dining room, thank you very much.
December 23, 2009
A red dining room? Hmmm. Is that some sort of a political statement?
December 23, 2009
Red dining rooms are actually a cliche in the design world. Or so they say on all the design shows on the tube.
December 23, 2009
Yeah, and I would never have known that because I don't usually watch them. Doesn't seem like your area of interest either.
December 24, 2009
I actually do watch a couple of them. There's one called Moving Up that involves 3 different couples buying each other's houses, and then destroying everything the old owners loved about the house. The catch is the old owners get to come back and look at what they've done and critique it on video for the new owners to watch. It's usually not pleasant.
December 24, 2009
You surprise me yet again. Is that show on TLC? Sounds familiar.
December 24, 2009
I think it is. It airs 3 straight hours on Sunday morning.
December 22, 2009
You haven't added anything new since I was here last, but I see that I forgot to comment or to vote so I'm glad I came back. I'm really looking forward to the impressionists' list. I'm sure we'll be seeing some more Van Gogh for one thing!
December 22, 2009
But of course. And I added "Raphaelesque Head Exploding" and another one that I already forgot about (I think it was #25).
December 22, 2009
Well if you're going to cheat and not add them on at the bottom...But I still insist that those were on the list when I saw it. I definitely remember #25.
December 22, 2009
I would never cheat. Sometimes I just get so caught up multi-tasking when I'm on-line that these things slip my mind momentarily. But cheat? Never!
December 22, 2009
HAVE i INSULTED YOUR DUBIOUS HONOR, SIR? (sound of glove smacking you on your cheek)
December 22, 2009
Nah, I expect such cheek from the likes of you. ; )
December 22, 2009
December 23, 2009
I just added another painting. This time I'll be nice and tell you the number. It's #17, "Senecio" by Klee.
December 23, 2009
I rather like it even though it's not something I'd normally care for. Probably the colors again.
December 23, 2009
Really? Similar colors to your profile pic, what with the autumnal colors. You have a nicer smile though. =D
December 23, 2009
Shot at sunset, that's why I'm squinting--Florida sun.
December 23, 2009
Plus the photo is faded, so it has a nice peachy patina.
January 08, 2010
I just added 30 and 31 here. I keep finding more good quality pictures. YAY!
January 09, 2010
At least these are near the end.
December 20, 2009
10, 12, 20, 21, 25-27 are just phenomenal! nice list, Count!
December 20, 2009
I think 10 has to be my favorite facial expression in a painting. Gorgeous.
December 20, 2009
What did you think of 4?
December 24, 2009
It's nice work of course, but a bit too much of an example of illustrative art for me.
December 24, 2009
Woo is choosing not to say anything apparently. Maybe he doesn't want to offend. : )
December 24, 2009
It's a self-portrait...LOL!
December 24, 2009
Oh, so you're a dead 20th century English illustrator of children's books?
December 24, 2009
uh-uh. check out Cenobite's review of Christy...
December 24, 2009
Just got back from there.
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