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Some of My Favorite Works of Art, Part III

  • Jan 5, 2010
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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 third list as a companion to Some of my Favorite Works of Art, Part I and Some of My Favorite Works of Art, Part II.
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.  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. Also, you may notice a number of works are inspired by Shakespeare.
The Premature Burial
One of the most memorably horrific images of death, or rather the presence of it. The fear of being mistaken for dead was a common one during this period and it inspired a host of great artists and writers to explore the subject. Antoine Wiertz's painting is one of the best examples and remains my favorite.
Water Lilies
Monet was obsessed with water lilies and he spent about twenty years painting images of his own garden along with water lilies. Of all the masterpieces he created, this one is my favorite because of the lighting and the quality of the reflection.
Girl with a Watering Can
My absolute favorite Renoir painting. Sure, it's popular and iconic and all that, but I still love it. It's the combination of texture and colors.
One of the most haunting paintings ever. So nostalgic and bittersweet. The woman here reminds me a bit of Jewel. One of my favorite Japanese paintings because of the way it blends Eastern and Western artistic styles.
A Midsummer's Eve
Pure enchanting beauty. I don't know what else to say.
Arthur Rackham's take on the characters from Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream. One of my favorite Rackham images.
Titania and Bottom
Henry Fuseli's dark and Gothic take on the Shakespeare characters.
The Reconciliation of Oberon and Titania
A wonderful Pre-Raphaelite painting inspired by Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream.
The Quarrel of Oberon and Titania
Another wonderful Pre-Raphaelite image based on A Midsummer Night's Dream.
Woman with a Parrot
Courbet was quite controversial during his time because of his realistic and sometimes explicitly graphic images of nudity. This painting, however, seems so elegant that it's hard to believe that anyone would take offense. Beautiful.
Vase with Irises Against Yellow Background
I simply love the contrast of the blue, green, and yellow colors here. Subtle and yet powerful.
La Vie
Stark and depressing... the way Picasso should be. I prefer his "blue period" for this reason and this is my favorite image from that time.
Hadleigh Castle
I've always loved images of crumbling medieval castles and ancient ruins, so that this is on this list should come as no surprise.
Blue Nude
Not only are the colors here wonderful, but I also really like the texture as well.
Poppies and Butterflies
One of the most calming and peaceful paintings that van Gogh ever did... and that's saying something.
Ondine (Woman on the Waves)
Not only do I love the myth of Undine (or Ondine), but the works of art that the myth have inspired are equally impressive. I love the contrast between the red hair and the green waves, laced with white foam.
Spirit of the Dead Watching
Possibly Gauguin's most famous painting and one of my favorites too, mainly because of the look on the young woman's face, as though she thinks she has the upper hand on Death, who sits stoically in the background.
Day of the God
Gauguin's most paganistic painting. The colors are superb here.
After the Bath
Exquisitely done. The way that Renoir painted this woman is remarkably realistic. The tones used for the skin are perfect.
Young Girl Combing Her Hair
A gorgeous image by Renoir, who had done a number of paintings with a similar theme. Renoir, more so than any other Impressionist artist, was capable of drawing the most idealized and beautiful women. He managed to capture the essence of feminine beauty without allowing himself to objectify females.
The Reading
A perfect portrayal of childhood innocence and curiosity, as well as friendship. Precious.
Take the Fair Face of Woman...
One of the most beautiful paintings of a female face. This image is synonymous with innocence and virtue, for me anyway.
Aristotle Contemplating a Bust of Homer
I really can't say what it is about this one that I like. Perhaps it's the anachronistic clothing or the facial expression on Aristotle. I also love the background.
Jupiter in the Guise of Diana, Seducing Callisto
A wonderful Rococo image, once again depicting god and goddess figures from Roman mythology. Also, a wonderful example of Sapphic artwork. Tender, erotic, yet tasteful.
Venus and Adonis
A mythology-inspired piece from the Baroque period. Also wonderful.
Majas on a Balcony
Goya had a way of portraying women that allowed them to be sensual and expressive, yet without giving away the "feminine mystique". There's something in the eyes of these women that hints at their thoughts, which are clearly quite risque, but Goya doesn't spell it out or make some obscene display of their sexuality.
Self Portrait with Bandaged Head
A perfect look at a man's mind unraveling. Perhaps, the most humorous and disturbing self portrait ever. The urban legend is that van Gogh did this to himself after being left by his prostitute lover, but in actuality, it's quite possible that he had gotten into a brawl with friend Gauguin and Gauguin injured him unintentionally. Most people still associate it with van Gogh's mental instability and self-destructive habits.
The Magpie on the Gallows
Somehow, despite the over all morbid scene of a man about to be hung, I've always found this to be a lovely image. There's something so poetic about a denizen of nature, particularly a bird, being the witness of an execution.
Nude Descending a Staircase, No. 2
Terrific in every sense. One of the rare cubist images that I adore. Look at the motion and the fine detail in the lines.
Girl with a Mandolin
Most cubist works leave me feeling cold and unimpressed, but I absolutely love this one. Perhaps because it captures the sound of the music, if that makes any sense.
The Green Violinist
One of Chagall's most iconic images of Jewish culture in the 20th century and one of my favorites.
As I've said before, I'm not that fond of cubism, but there are a few works that I truly admire. This is a great example. I love the eyes.
Lavender Mist
I've never been a fan of Pollock, but I love the evocative simplicity in this painting. Wondrous colors.
A predominantly unknown and under-appreciated work, based on the Alice stories of Lewis Carroll. At once, this painting is both beautiful and whimsical, but also somewhat eerie. I love the presence of the smoke spirit rising from the candle and the black cat.
The Fiddler
Chagall's earlier painting of a violinist. Perhaps, more well-known than the other, despite being less colorful and iconic. Still, a great painting.

What did you think of this list?

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January 05, 2010
Some more great paintings. I love that "Premature Burial" ... my kind of realism!
January 05, 2010
It's classic, for sure. I first saw it on a cover of a paperback of Dracula that I bought and I immediately fell in love with it. Haven't been able to find many other great paintings by that artist though.
January 05, 2010
As with your other art lists, I love this virtual Lunch museum! :)
January 05, 2010
Why don't you do a list of art? I'm trying to get as many people to do one as possible, because of all the communities on Lunch that badly need new data points this one needs it the most.
January 11, 2010
Heck, I'll even set up the data points for you if you e-mail me the titles and artists that you'd want. I'm already doing that for Queenie, so you might as well jump on the bandwagon too. Any interest?
: )
January 05, 2010
This is fun. Nice to see our lists meeting.
January 05, 2010
I still have six more to add to this one, which will bring my total of works between the three lists to an even hundred, but I can't seem to get the images from my CD-Rom onto the site with this computer. So, I have to figure that out. As for your other paintings, I'll be setting up the data points for those soon. I hope other people join in on the "arty party". Okay, that was without any uncertainty the lamest rhyme ever! LOL!
January 05, 2010
Just do a search on the internet with the name of the painting. Frequently, they're out there as a jpg image which you can simply upload to Lunch. That's how I put up all my Canadian ones.
January 05, 2010
The issue is that I have some really high quality images that are unavailable anywhere else that I know of, but the computer I'm using restricts access to the CD-Rom drive. I guess I'll just have to wait.
January 08, 2010
I think I'd like to do a review on why I hate computers.
January 08, 2010
Or why they seem to hate you... That would be interesting for sure.
= )
January 08, 2010
That's easy. They hate me because they know that I'm on to them. You see I know that they really aren't so great. All they do is eliminate the middle man, and America is a country comprised chiefly of middle men. It stands to reason that massive unemployment will result when the nation choses to embrace the computer as a "money saving" instrument". In the end it costs us all far more than it could ever save us.
January 08, 2010
By the way, I added 8, 9, 31, and 34.
January 09, 2010
I wish you'd just add them on the end instead of salting them throughout.
January 09, 2010
Sorry, but I'm trying to keep them random to avoid placing them in preferential order.
January 09, 2010
So there's a madness to your method.
January 09, 2010
Something like that, or perhaps I'm trying to drive you mad(der)... ; )
January 09, 2010
What? You want company?
January 10, 2010
Tee-hee-hee! Devious, ain't I?
January 05, 2010
wow! You're really going at this concept! Love # 22, 21, 18, 8, 6, 1, 3 and 4. I'm not a fan of cubinism though.
January 05, 2010
You mean cubism? I can't imagine you having anything against Cubans. LOL! I think you'd really like Arthur Rackham's stuff. You should check it out. I've uploaded quite a few of his paintings on his data point as well as having set up individual data points for about four or five of his works.
January 05, 2010
I just found a better quality image of #4 "Cafe", so I deleted your and Queenie's comments when I switched to the new pic. Just wante dto let you know to avoid any confusion. Check it out, you can actually see her face better now.
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