Artsy Sister's Top 5 Favorite Painters
Today, I wanted to write about my favorite painters. Every artist has a favorite painter or two. My favorite painters may not be the same as yours. One’s favorite painter is a reflection of what we consider good art.
They also represent what type of art we aspire to create. Without any more preambles, I am going to list my five favorite painters, and the reasons why I find their art so appealing.
I chose five painters because there is not one particular artist that I consider the best that there ever was. I like the artworks of these painters in an equal amount.
James Tissot (1836-1902)
The first painter on this list is James Tissot. He was a French painter and illustrator. He is best known for his Biblical Illustrations and fashionably dressed lady portraits.
Since he worked in the fashion industry, he had an eye for dress detail. Above, you see the painting called Lilacs, 1875. This painting showcases everything I like about his work.
In the center of the painting, we can appreciate a fashionable dressed lady in a beautiful blue dress. She is holding a vase of Lilacs. Behind her is an oriental, lantern.
She is inside a greenhouse filled with tropical plants. The reflection on the floor completes the painting.
I have a preference for paintings that feature maidens in lovely dresses. I also like florals. When you combine the two, you get what I consider a masterpiece.
John William Waterhouse (1849-1917)
I first saw Waterhouse’s work in an Academic book. FIU had an entire bookshelf filled with Artbooks. I used to browse through them to pass the time, between classes.
There was a particular enjoyment to be gained from holding a dusty artbook close to your face. Most of those books had never been opened. The one that featured Waterhouse’s work was particularly dusty.
At least all the pages were in color. Waterhouse was an English, Pre-Raphaelite Painter. He is most famous for this Greek Mythological work and King Arthur painting.
Of his body of work, I particularly like this Lady of Shallot painting. It shows the exact moment were the Lady looked upon Sir Lancelot. The Lady suffers from a curse.
She must eternally weave, and she isn’t allowed to look at the world directly. Her only window to the outside work is a round mirror that shows her the world, indirectly.
The moment she looked upon Sir Lancelot directly, the curse began to afflict her. The painting perfectly captures the scene described in the poem. This painting has a lot of modern significance.
Thanks to the pandemic, a lot of folks live their lives like the Lady of Shallot. We can only experience the world indirectly, though the internet.
If we try to experience the world directly, we run many risks. All in all, I like Waterhouse’s work because it tells a story. I also like how he breathes emotion and drama into his artwork.
Ivan Aivazovsky (1817-1900)
Liking landscapes is an acquired taste. Most folks have a preference for paintings that feature people. As far as landscape paintings are concerned, Aivazovsky is my favorite painter.
He was a Russian Romantic painter. He is most famous for being extremely prolific. According to legend, he painted all his scenes from memory. During his 60-year career, he produced 6,000 paintings.
This is an incredible feat, even by modern standards. Most of his work are seascapes, but he also did portraiture. Picking just one painting, as my favorite is a difficult task. I like seascapes a lot, since I live close to the ocean.
Each work he painted has its own unique charm. His nighttime seascapes are almost photorealistic. If I had to pick just one painting to represent the body of his work, I would choose The Bay of Naples at Moonlight Night, or Vesuvius.
You get a nice view of the volcano, the moon and the sea. Yes, he does have more dramatic seascapes, but I like this painting the best.
William Adolphe Bouguereau (1825-1905)
The next painter worth mentioning is Bouguereau. He was a French Academic painter. He was quite popular during his lifetime. He is not so well known these days because art historians these days prefer to focus on Impressionism.
While his contemporaries were making impressionistic paintings, Bouguereau was still making academic paintings. As the most popular Saloon painter, he was hated by the Impressionists who struggled to get mainstream attention.
His work stopped being popular in the later part of his life, due to the changing times. For this reasons, modern historians do not find his work interesting. This is a pity because he truly was a talented painter.
His most famous student was Henri Matisse. He made a total of 800 paintings, but most of them were lost to the sands of time. I happened to learn about him by pure happenchance.
I was randomly browsing artwork, when I saw one of his paintings. I liked the way he painted the Virgin Mary, so I decided to check out the rest of his work. Above, you can appreciate what I consider one his best artworks: Pleasant Burden.
The peasants in this genre painting are idealized, yet they are photorealistic. Their facial expressions are also realistic. When I see this painting, I feel that I am looking at people that could exist in the real world.
Realistic human emotions are uncommon in Academic Paintings. Trust me, I have seen enough Academic paintings to make such a bold claim. The way he renders humans is the reason why Bouguereau is one of my favorite painters.
Arthur John Elsley (1860-1952)
The final painter worth mentioning is Elsley. Elsley was a Victorian painter. He was famous for doing genre paintings of children playing with their pets. He was popular during his lifetime.
When he was eleven years old, he began to show promise as an artist. He used to sketch animals that he saw in the London Zoo. His eyesight became permanently damaged when he got the measles.
This eye problem didn’t stop him from becoming a talented painter. He had a good working relationship with Frederick Morgan. Morgan specialized in painting children, but he had difficulties painting animals.
With Elsley’s help, Morgan was able to render realistic looking dogies. Above, you can see the painting called Too Hot. It is a typical Elsley painting, featuring an adorable girl playing with her puppies.
The mannerism and looks of the puppies are pretty realistic. Elsley is among my favorite painters because he paints cute things.
It is such a pity that art historians have put on a pedestal “serious” artwork. I found out about Elsley by randomly looking at dusty old, artbooks. His work wasn’t taught in the classroom setting.
Anyhow, I hope you found this Art blog both fun and educational. As you may have noticed, I have a preference for artwork made in the 19th century.
This is not to say that I don’t like modern art. It is just that there are not a lot of modern painters that I particularly like. This is Teresita Blanco, the Artsy Sister. Bye, Bye and God bless.