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Picturing a World

Dallas Museum frames

Blog post alert: A 2014 post, Mind's Eye from a Different Frame of Reference, discusses how curators at the Dallas Museum of Art chose frames from their collection to mount pictures in an exhibition. The images in the post are small, but they give a quick look at some unusual frames. There's really no connection to writing, but it's a good reminder by analogy that reframing a question or a plot point can reveal new insights.

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Reframing Cézanne et al

Blog post alert: A reprinted article, Reframing at the National Gallery, London: Part 1, at The Frame Blog shows several paintings in both their old frames and the frames chosen fifteen years ago. Different eras, different tastes, different impact on the viewer.

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Essential Vermeer

Website alert: Attention art lovers and historical novelists: Essential Vermeer has links to all sorts of illustrated articles about topics such as Vermeer's palette, his paintings in their frames, music during his time, sources on the web of high-resolution images of his works, and much, much more. If you want to learn about the artist, his family, and his society, start here!

Image via Wikipedia.

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Clearing the clutter (3): Artist, frames, and lay figure

Man, had I forgotten this one! But I see why I saved it. A 19th C artist, his studio, a lay figure, mirror images, picture frames—so much to linger over. An art-appreciation teacher might point to the way verticals and diagonals direct the eye, or the way the lighting picks out the gilding and that impressive mechanical figure. But what attracts a writer? What stories does His Favorite Model suggest?

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Frames in albums

This drawing of a priest looking at an album of pictures appears in Framing the drawing. an article about Renaissance artists who drew frames around drawings they collected. I found the whole thing interesting—more ways to frame! —but what electrified me was this particular image. It's so suggestive for a character in a story. Look at the man's concentration, the delicate tension in his extended finger. Connoisseur, scholar, merchant, alchemist? He seems to be pointing to something on the upper edge of the page. Why? Pick up clues where you find them, I say, and let your imagination run.

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Lucretia in a frame

Blog post alert: The History Blog's post on the Getty acquires rediscovered Artemisia Gentileschi Lucretia reports on the recent sale of this painting at auction for $5.3 million. Women painters, the historical injustice of attitudes toward rape victims, and the mysteries of the art market are all serious subjects unto themselves. But what caught my eye was—the frame!

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Hats, mirrors, frames

Blog post alert: Eye Candy for Today: Tarbell's Preparing for the Matinee caught my eye because it plays with cool interior spaces and a hat. You know the old joke: A lady from New York asks Bostonians where they get their hats and the answer is, "We have our hats!"

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Fabulous frames

Website alert: One thing leads to another. While I was searching last week for a photo of Carolus-Duran in his studio, I came across this image of one of his paintings inside its original Salon-style frame. It appears in the fascinating, highly detailed, illustrated post, John Singer Sargent & the framing of his pictures. I didn't know about The Frame Blog website, but, wow, does it seem worth exploring!

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Walter Gay (5) The Gilded Age

Here is Walter Gay depicting the Gilded Age interior splendor for which he is best known. The word is luxe. (And, yea, the painting is shown in its ornate gilt frame.) I'll leave it to art historians to discuss Gay as an artist. For those of us who write fiction his pictures offer loads of period details for life among the rich in the latter part of the 19th C and into the 20th, especially in France.

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Kitty Kielland's Studio

I love the way this painting illustrates a young artist’s studio as a place to live. The plain floor and dormer window hint at upper-storey, cheap digs. I didn’t include potted plants in any of my characters’ studios, but they turn up in other paintings and would be part of making an  Read More 

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