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Some of My Favorite Works of Art, Part IV

  • Jan 20, 2010
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WARNING: This list contains images of nudity, so if you're a senstive viewer/reader, then you may not want to continue. Thank you.

Here's my fourth list in this series.
My first, second, and third lists are viewable here.
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, this list seems to have a recurring theme about childhood innocence, motherhood, femininity, sexuality, and nature. I guess my feminine side was trying to get out. LOL!
The Love Embrace of the Universe, the Earth (Mexico), Diego, Me, and Senor Xolotl
One of the most meditative and serene images of nature and motherhood that Frida Kahlo ever created. The colors, the texture, the juxtaposition of the characters are all superbly done. Fantastic in every sense.
The Downfall of Adam and Eve and Their Expulsion from the Garden of Eden
A classic image that combines pagan mythological images with the Biblical creation story. I love the depictions of Lilith and Eve as two rival counterparts to Adam.
Portrait de l'Infante Marie-Marguerite, Fille de Philippe IV
My favorite Velázquez painting and perhaps the most memorable that he ever created is this portrait of young Margarita Theresa of Spain. An extraordinary rendering of youthful beauty and elegance.
Mona Lisa
Da Vinci's classic painting is probably his most famous and his most analyzed. Although, I prefer many of his other works more, I find the feminine mystique and the peculiar gaze to be fascinating.
The Return of Spring
My very favorite image that Bouguereau produced. Intelligently, sensitively, and tastefully erotic. The colors and textures just melt together beautifully.
Frida and the Miscarriage
All of Kahlo's pain and frustration seem to reach out of this image and grab the viewer. One of the most heartbreaking and haunting images that she ever produced.
The Night Dress
Magritte's simple yet compelling work. One of my own sketches ended up looking very similar to this by accident.
Self-Portrait in a Turban with Julie
I love the colors and the lighting in this painting. Also, the woman's face is slightly asymmetrical which gives her character as well as mystique.
Lady Godiva
Collier's depiction of the infamous noblewoman riding into town naked is wonderful. The Pre-Raphaelite artists were terrific at portraying beautiful, virginal, and erotic women in historical and mythological settings.
The Creaton of Adam
Another classic image that combines pagan mythological images with the Biblical creation story. Michelangelo's most iconic image from the Sistine Chapel ceiling.
The Three Graces
This Burne-Jones piece is reminiscent of the classic three sisters that appear throughout various mythologies. Wonderful texture.
My Grandparents, My Parents, and I
One of Kahlo's most intimate and revealing paintings. This certainly exposes her love of her family, while also perhaps displaying her existential sadness for having been born and then not being able to give birth.
Siegfried Awakens Brünnhilde
One of Rackham's most hauntingly erotic and heroic images is this one, inspired by the Norse myth wherein Siegfried awakens Brünnhilde from an enchanted sleep.
Water Baby
In this Draper painting, we can see th two archetypal female roles of the maternal figure and the seductress figure merge. The woman is assertive and aware of her sexuality, but also capable of tenderess and unconditional love.
By Summer Seas
This painting, at once deeply erotic, has a strong Sapphic overtone. I really like the contrast of the red fabric with the blue-green water and the brown rocks in the background.
The Cliffs at Etretat After the Storm
Strangely calming and hypnotic, much like the aftereffect of a real storm. One of Courbet's best landscapes as well.
Las Meninas
Superb. Another example of pristine beauty and innocence.
The Daughter of Alexander Cassatt
One of Cassatt's lesser-known paintings. This one is of her niece. I love the use of light colors here, which contrast with the girl's dark eyes and hair.
Young Woman with a Water Pitcher
One of Vermeer's most beloved images. His use of light and colors here is spectacular.
The Daughters of Edward Darley Boit
One of the most beautiful depictions of childhood innocence and sibling rivalry (notice the early formations of familial cliques).
A Bar at the Folies-Bergère
Manet was great at painting women with very realistic and expressive eyes. This particular painting is a little melancholy to me.
Although there have been many artistic interpretations of the mythological character Lamia, this one is a favorite.
How at the Castle of Corbin a Maiden Bare in the Sangreal and Foretold the Achievements of Galahad
Another favorite image from Rackham's work. This one is such a great evocation of Arthurian and Grail lore. I kept picturing this image while reading The Da Vinci Code.
The Rape
Magritte's disturbing and darkly funny commentary on the objectification of women as sexual objects.
Portrait of Ruth Rivera
The contrast of the dark, mahogany-like browns with the gold is very effective.
Portrait of Sra. Dona Elena Flores de Carrillo
Another Rivera with terrific colors and texture. Rivera had a way of drawing women's eyes that was very revealing of their character.
The Gates of Dawn
Stunningly beautiful. Between the colors and the pose and the background, this painting is just spectacular.
Portrait of Natasha Zakolkowa Gelman
Very stylized, but also very nice. Once again, Rivera has a way of drawing and painting women that is at once idealized and perhaps even objectifying, but also empowering.
The Water Nymph
Draper's unique composition has an air of playfulness and flirtation. I love the reflection in the water.
The Lament for Icarus
The texture to this painting is astounding. Draper's mastery of form and color is also very evident.
Alone in the World
A wonderful and touching contemplation on loneliness and the youth's need for attention.
Sea Melodies
The way the eyes are done here is perfect. I also really like the soft colors.
The Birth of Venus
A popular theme done in a unique and symbolic way. Here Bouguereau chooses to show Venus already born and riding in on the sea shell, which represents the female anatomy.
The Valkyrie's Vigil
Draper's most melancholy painting depicts a classic figure of Norse mythology. The shades of blue and purple are so great. This almost has a spiritual overtone.
The Bohemian
Another amazing Bouguereau image. With each painting I see of his, he is quickly becoming one of my favorite artists.

What did you think of this list?

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January 21, 2010
My favourites in this list are "The Bohemian", "Las Meninas" and "Young Woman With a Water Pitcher". I love Vermeer. I made a special point of visiting the Louvre to see "The Lacemaker". I wandered for hours trying to find it only to discover that it was in a section of the museum that was temporarily closed for some reason. I could have cried. And, BTW, the only painting on which I disagree wholeheartedly is the "Mona Lisa". I was spectacularly underwhelmed by it when I saw it. Other than that, I'll tour an art gallery with you any day and I'm sure we would stop to admire the very same paintings. Our taste seems uncannily similar. Great list.
January 21, 2010
You should set up some lists of your favorites.
I still plan on doing one more list of paintings, murals, drawings, etc. and then I will start on statues, reliefs, and three-dimensional art (I expect that list may be a little shorter).
January 21, 2010
Thanks for the warning! I can appreciate this type of nudity though :) 5, 14, and 33 are a few of my favorites of all time!
January 21, 2010
I felt that the warning was necessary since recently there's been some concern as to what is and isn't appropriate for the site. My take on it is, that so long as things are handled maturely and with sensitivity to other people's feelings then there's no need for censorship or exclusion of potentially controversial subjects.
As for your tastes in art, I think that quite likely you and I both have the same appreciation for Pre-Raphaelite and Victorian works. There's something so mysterious and haunting about a lot of those paintings.
April 03, 2010
Would you be interested in reviewing any of those paintings that you mentioned for the art community I started.
January 21, 2010
Rivera's portrait work is really kind of stunning isn't it? It's more relatable than his murals i suppose.
January 21, 2010
Diego was interesting. In real life he was very much a womanizer despite also being a feminist and his works often reflect that. He frequently would glamorize women as sexual or virginal goddess types in his art, but essentially he was still objectifying and simplifying them. Rarely did he include women in his political murals, so his murals tend to hit me on a political level whereas his portraits hit me on a personal level. I still think that Kahlo was the real genius since she had a more comprehensive view of the world.
January 21, 2010
Will you be rating or leaving comments on any of these? I ask only because I may switch some of the pictures to ones of a higher quality.
January 22, 2010
Kahlo saw everything through herself though. I think you nees to check out a few more of his murals because women do figure prominently in many of them.
January 22, 2010
Won't be commenting until you get better images.
January 22, 2010
All of them are fine except for #7, 23 and 27. Those ones aren't the highest resolution and I want to find slightly better quality images. But all the rest are a go.
January 20, 2010
# 14 is one of my faves! 28, 27 and 22 are classics for sure....and how can one not like 9 and 10?! Glad you put Mona on one of your lists, Orlok
January 21, 2010
I figured she deserved a spot, though I still prefer da Vinci's other works more.
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