Things I Saw on Vacation – The Timkin Museum



[click image to enlarge]

Sorry to have been AWOL for a while. I was on vacation in San Diego. While there, I visited the small (free!) Timkin Museum in Balboa Park. They have an excellent collection of art from the middle ages through the 1800’s. To follow are a series of posts highlighting things there that struck my fancy.

Today, a painting from around 1510 by the Italian painter Giovanni Girolamo Savoldo. I have never seen anything by Savoldo before, so it was fun to encounter something new. This painting has some awesome drama and gives us a look into the very fires of Hell. Let’s go!…

Continue Reading

Artists in Film: “Renoir”



I thought I’d include movies about artists in Better With Art. I always find them a fun way to learn about the lives of artists (or at least cinema’s interpretation of those lives). This one is Renoir, a French film directed by Gilles Bourdos.

Image: Renoir poster; Renoir portrait of Catherine Hessling.

Continue Reading

August Macke: The Color of the Times



August Macke’s art is a perfect embodiment of the avant-garde of the early 1900’s. He had a wonderful mix of color, abstraction and subject matter that made him a good fit for many of the “isms” of the time – Expressionism, Fauveism, Cubism, Futurism. Nevermind what all those are. Point is, he made some really nice stuff.

Continue Reading

It’s all Hieroglyphics to me…

652 Weighing of the Heart


What’s not to love about Egyptian hieroglyphics and figure art? Fascinating characters with animal heads… mysterious drama… even a form of writing that is fun to look at. Egyptian art is remarkable for many reasons. There’s always an interesting narrative, and it’s almost always done in that elegant Egyptian style – something that lasted throughout the ages.

Continue Reading

Artemisia Gentileschi: A Strong and Talented Woman of the 1600’s



Artemesia Gentileschi was the daughter of the accomplished painter Orazio Gentileschi, who taught her well. Many of her bold and dramatic canvases reveal scenes from the Bible and mythology – often at the most dramatic of moments and often depicting strong and suffering women.

Yes, that’s a head in the basket. This beautifully painted image, titled “Judith and her Maidservant,” is a scene from the Bible story about Judith. In the story, Holofernes, an Assyrian general who was about to destroy Judith’s home city, desires the widow Judith and summons her to his tent.  When he is overcome with drink, Judith and her maidservant promptly disposses him of his head, thereby saving the city. They are shown here sneaking the head away in a basket.

Gentileschi also did a painting of Judith and her maidservant decapitating Holofernes. It’s a bit graphic for the BWA front page, but click the read more if you’d like to see it.

Continue Reading

Gustave Caillebotte: A true friend of the Impressionists



Patron of the arts, financial supporter of many Impressionists and all ’round good dude, Gustave Caillebotte was also an accomplished painter – though not quite an Impressionist himself. He had the good fortune of being fabulously wealthy. He developed a fine realist style, seen here in this large painting of a rainy Paris street (You can see the real thing at the Museum of Art in Chicago.)

Continue Reading

George Inness: Mystery and Beauty in Nature



George Inness was an American painter in the 1800’s. He was a master at capturing that sort of atmospheric glow we see sometimes in the morning or the evening, or before or after a storm. You can almost hear the quiet morning (or evening) here… birds and bugs twittering away as the light changes. The painting is titled “The Home of the Heron,” and there is indeed a heron tucked neatly in the lower left.

Continue Reading

Hiroshige: Every Print a Gem



This is a remarkable woodblock print from Japan in the 1850s. It’s one of a lifetime’s worth by artist Utagawa Hiroshige (b.1797 – d.1858). Like so many Japanese arts, the level of craft and design here is astounding.

A lot went into making these small prints. They were designed by an artist like Hiroshige, then glued to a wood block and delicately carved away, leaving only the lines at face level. From there additional blocks were made for the colors, and everything printed together by master printers.


Continue Reading

William Holman Hunt: Pre-Rapha…what?



William Holman Hunt was a member of the Pre Raphaelite Brotherhood. Sounds funky, huh? The Brotherhood was a group of English painters founded in 1848. More about their unique vision below.

They were known for paintings filled with allegory and mythology; and they were much into nature and detail… lots of detail.

Continue Reading

© Better With Art. All rights reserved, unless otherwise noted. I try my best to attribute images, videos, and quotes to their creators and original sources. If you see something on Better With Art that's misattributed or you would like removed, please contact me.