Controversial and an ardent anti-unionist, Frick was an eclectic collector of art. Three Vermeers, Rembrandt, Goya, Renoir, and Whistler are among its treasures.
He developed from the style and optics of Vermeer’s paintings, limiting depth of field to develop bokeh. And he painted ‘problem pictures’ too.
The paintings of Johannes Vermeer (1632–1675) were quickly forgotten after his death, and his art fell into obscurity. […]
Known from ancient times, in the Renaissance it was the standard underpainting for flesh. Fine examples from Michelangelo, Vermeer, and others.
Lead-tin yellow features in many paintings of the Old Masters, until about 1750. It was then replaced and forgotten until 1940. Examples in major masterpieces from Rembrandt, da Vinci, Vermeer, and others.
When it was first used as a pigment, this vegetable dye proved reliable and lightfast. Later technique, though, resulting in it fading. Why?
In their original form as madder, derived from plants and poorly resistant to light. Refined to Alizarin Crimson, still fugitive, and a standard for fading. Finally fully ‘permanent’.
Take some blue glass, grind it, and turn it into paint: Smalt is one of the strangest of pigments. It extensively used until replaced by Prussian Blue in the early 1700s, and is making a comeback.
His later portraits and domestic genre paintings grew lighter, and gave insight into home life at the time. His portrayal of fabrics is outstanding.
He innovated with full-length portraits, then from those developed domestic genre scenes which influenced Vermeer. He was born 400 years ago this month.