Friedlander 3.0


The digital world has improved art in so many ways, especially becoming more accessible for everyone, which I believe is essential to educate and inspire the upcoming generations. The Belgian Royal Institute for Cultural Heritage has made available all 14 volumes of Max J. Friedlander’s English edition of Early Netherlandish Painting (1967-1976). Search for old photos and references to your heart’s content here


The ISMS in Art I – RENAISSANCE: Perspectivism


Perspectivism covers a variety of techniques for representing space by creating the illusion of three dimensions on two dimensional surface such as a canvas or paper. Perspective developed as a coherent body of rules and theories during the early Renaissance of the mid 15th century, but Leonardo Da Vinci were already exploring its limitations much earlier than that.

The linear perspective term was created to describe this technique, its adopts a vanishing point on the horizon (sometimes we can find multiple vanishing points in a single painting), all imaginary or actual lines in the painting which recede towards the horizon.  Also the scale of everything in the painting can be strictly worked out in relation to the vanishing point.

Da Vinci was the first one to achieve convincing “aerial perspective” – term he invented to describe such accomplishment.  In our eyes perception the objects which are further away look paler and bluer through the effect of the atmosphere.  Aerial perspective applies this principle in art to create the impression of space through careful control of colour and tone.  I always say that in order to be great artist you have to be able to perceive what you are looking at, and forget what you think it is supposed to look like. 

Some of the Artists:

  • Leon Battista Alberti
  • Giotto Di Bondone
  • Filipo Brunelleschi
  • Vincenzo Di Biago Catena
  • Lorenzo Di Credi
  • Piero Della Francesca
  • Francesco Granacci
  • Andrea Mantegna
  • Masaccio
  • Perugino
  • Paolo Ucello
  • Leonardo Da Vinci


The ISMS in Art I – RENAISSANCE: Idealism


Idealism states that the physical world is less important than the spiritual, implicating that such gives life to the other and without the soul the material cannot live.

Plato’s theory of the Forms was the most important Classical influence on Renaissance Idealism.  The Ideas (forms) supposedly holds the unchangeable laws of the universe, while the material world is subject of transformations, being considered weak and shallow.

The leading artists of the High Renaissance – Leonardo, Raphael and Michelangelo – are all associated with slightly different forms of idealism. Michelangelo’s was most identified with the Platonic Forms because of his reliance on his imagination.  Michelangelo’s art also idealised the body by giving it monumental proportions, his figures are usually astonishingly muscular.  Raphael’s figures are equally idealised but they are characterised by sweetness of expressions, serenity, elegance and beautiful colors.  Leonardo’s idealism was characterised by an emphasis on finding the Divine in the perfectly human figure.  The renaissance idealism artists chose to paint in this style not to hide the human imperfection but to show their ability to create with absolute beauty what it could be.

Some of the Artists:

  •  Donatello
  • Albrecht Durer
  • Lorenzo Ghiberti
  • Leonardo Da Vinci
  • Andrea Mantegna
  • Masaccio
  • Michelangelo
  • Raphael Sanzio

Getty’s IIIF

The Getty museum has uploaded 30,000 high  digital images onto it’s site for use with ‘IIIF’, which is pronounced ‘triple eye eff’, and stands for International Image Interoperability Framework. It is very handy for art lovers because it allows you to compare on a single screen digital images of works from musems around the world. The video above gives you a demonstration, and you can read more about it here.

Art and Transformers

Transformers movie ad committee  had come up with a very clever ad to promote its new movie, they  inserted a Transformer figure into a painting at Dulwich Picture Gallery, and filmed the reactions of the visitors. It was just a copy of the original painting, but it was well executed.  I like the idea of surprising visitors, and prompting them to look closer at pictures, making them curious, involved and asking questions about the work.

I really believe in order to make museums more popular we need to make them appealing to the new generation, and combining their passion with art is one of the ways it can be done. Good job Paramount films!

JSTOR – The Art World


Jstor has a collection of old journals about the Art World that I’ve been reading and finding it fascinating.  It has articles by famous art critics, like Wellington Ruckstukl, and even though most of them are from the early 1900’s , we can find lots of material combining art and mathematics, philosophy, history… making them timeless.   Hope you guys enjoy it: JSTOR Early Journal Content, The Art World

Words By Vincent


In this documentary every word spoken by the actors is sourced from the letters that Van Gogh sent to his younger brother Theo, and of those around him. What emerges is a complex portrait of a sophisticated, civilized, tormented and yet loving man; someone who can express his deepest and darkest feeling with beauty. 

I always say that a good painting does not need to be explained with words, but Vincent’s letters are as much as his art as his paintings; with his own words Vincent describes his unique perspective of life, his poetic heart, with words he painted his soul.

If you haven’t fallen in love with Vincent yet, I’m sure after watching this you probably will: Vincent Van Gogh: Painted with Words



If you, like me, are in e-commerce, one of our main concern is “public-domain” when using work of art images.  ALL of the paintings by the old Renaissance Masters are in the public domain; however, if you are using a photo of a painting, that photo may not be in public domain, even if it is in the internet, and sometimes those photos are protected by a copyright.

Thankfully, in the beginning of this year the Metropolitan Museum of art made its images freely available through New Open Access policy, making our lives a little easier, here is about the policy, and how to obtain those images: Images of Artworks in the Public Domain


Work of Art: The Next Great Artist – Training our eyes


Hi everyone,

There is something I would like to share with you all: I started watching this series called “Work of Art: The next Great Artist” by Bravo, and it’s become evident to me that most of the artists competing have not trained their eyes to good art.

I always tell artists the importance to train their eyes to good art, especially the classical (well-skilled) movements like: Baroque, Renaissance, also Impressionism.  Even if you are an urbanist artist, futurist artist, abstract artist go to the museums of classical art, read books about the great masters, contemplate their work, learn their process, study their techniques; this way you can train your eyes to high skilled art, developing a critical sense of aesthetics,  helping to bring their greatness to your movement, improving your style, and becoming indeed a Great Artist.