Doesn’t this look like Garry Shandling?

The Metropolitan Museum has five portraits that they’re pretty sure are by Hans Holbein The Younger.  Let’s have a look:

Here is Derick Berck of Cologne:

Here is Erasmus of Rotterdam:

Here is a member of the Wedigh family, probably Hermann von Wedigh:

“Truth breeds hatred,” is what that note in the book says, according to the Met, which “perhaps served as the sitter’s personal motto.”  Weird motto, bro.

And here is Man In A Red Cap:

Now.  Take a look at this one, of “Lady Lee”:

The Met says “The painting is close to the manner of Holbein, but the attention paid to decorative effects and linear details at the expense of life-like portrayal of the sitter is indicative of workshop production. The portrait was likely based on a Holbein drawing.”

(Are these guys for real?)

Avenue at Middelharnis by Meindert Hobbema

I can’t recall how I got my hands on the postcard – perhaps a teacher gave it to me – but it showed one of the seminal paintings of world art, the one that opened the eyes of European painters to the realities of landscape painting.  It bore a name that enchanted me, and from the first moment I saw it, it has been enshrined in my memory, to be recalled whenever I chance to see a row of fine trees leading down a country lane.  The Avenue at Middelharnis, by the Dutch painter Meindert Hobbema (1638-1709) seems at first to simplicity itself – it is a perfectly flat landscape with minute distant building showing and down the dead middle of the canvas runs a dirt road flanked on either side by a row of very tall, scraggly trees of almost repugnant form, totally bare of limbs for 90 percent of their height but topped by misshapen crowns of small, heavy branches.  It would seem as if almost anyone could paint a better picture than this, but if it commanded my attention and affection at age seven, so also did it captivate the artistic world; it proved that noble landscape painting could be achieved by using simple color, simple design and straightforward execution.  People who love painting love Avenue, Middelharnis, and I am pleased to say that as a child I made that discover on my own.

So says:

World Is My Home

(that one’s at the National Gallery of London)

The Barbarians (Max Ernst, 1937)

A recent Artwork of the Day at the Met.

Hanagami Danjo fights a giant salamander


Musashi having his fortune told

All Helytimes readers are familiar with Miyamoto Musashi’s work on strategy in Book Of Five Rings, but some may need to brush up on the Dokkodo, “The Path of Aloneness.”

  1. Accept everything just the way it is.

  2. Do not seek pleasure for its own sake.

  3. Do not, under any circumstances, depend on a partial feeling.

  4. Think lightly of yourself and deeply of the world.

  5. Be detached from desire your whole life long.

  6. Do not regret what you have done.

  7. Never be jealous.

  8. Never let yourself be saddened by a separation.

  9. Resentment and complaint are appropriate neither for oneself nor others.

  10. Do not let yourself be guided by the feeling of lust or love.

  11. In all things have no preferences.

  12. Be indifferent to where you live.

  13. Do not pursue the taste of good food.

  14. Do not hold on to possessions you no longer need.

  15. Do not act following customary beliefs.

  16. Do not collect weapons or practice with weapons beyond what is useful.

  17. Do not fear death.

  18. Do not seek to possess either goods or fiefs for your old age.

  19. Respect Buddha and the gods without counting on their help.

  20. You may abandon your own body but you must preserve your honour.

  21. Never stray from the way.


Cats Suggested as the fifty-three stations of the Tokaido, by Utagawa Kuniyoshi (1797-1862)


“A picture of Musashi engaged in fantastic combat”

That’s wikipedia’s caption for this picture by Utagawa Kuniyoshi (1798-1861)



“Whoa whoa whoa- I diddn’ know the guy!” “You one-a his guys?” “Don’t be crazy, lady! Jesus who?”

LACMA has a good exhibit now called “CARAVAGGIO!” [subtitle: “A Couple Caravaggios And Some Guys Who Copied Caravaggio’s Tricks.”]

I like this one, The Denial of St. Peter, done by “Pensionante del Saraceni” ~1610.

LACMA tells me:

The Pensionante del Saraceni – literally “Saraceni’s boarder” – is the name given to a mysterious artist, somethimes considered to be French, who worked in Rome in the circle of Carlo Saraceni.”

This painting is from the Musee de la Chartruse in Douai, France.  Let’s go there!

That’s Douai, Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot painted it for us.  OR DID HE?:

René Huyghe famously quipped that “Corot painted three thousand canvases, ten thousand of which have been sold in America”.

Laugh Kills Lonesome (1925)

When Charles Russell died (a year after finishing this painting), all the kids in Great Falls, Montana, were let out of school to watch the funeral procession.

Airplane Travel

Mural painted by Allen Tupper True in 1937 for The Brown Palace Hotel in Denver.  Not sure if it’s still there, somebody in Denver have a look!

St. Wolfgang and the Devil (Michael Pacher c. 1483)

This was apparently painted on the backside of this:

Sunday Morning In The Mines, Charles Christian Nahl, 1872

Statue Storm!

“Oh SHIT!” I thought, as I lay in bed last night.  “I’ve forgotten!  What was the consequence of the ‘Letters from the Segovia Woods,’ written by Philip II of Spain to Margaret of Parma in 1565-66, wherein Philip rejected requests to abolish the laws against heresy in the Spanish Netherlands?!”

It’s a wonder I got to sleep at all, but I did.  All night I was haunted, however, by dreams of Dutch Calvinists smashing Catholic art.  My dreams looked like this:

When I woke up, it was with a smile.

“Of course,” I remembered.  “The Letters from the Segovia Woods led to the ‘Beeldenstorm’ – the ‘statue storm’ – wherein angry Dutch Protestants destroyed Catholic iconography.  Then the Duke of Alba shows up to repress the uprising, etc. etc., the 80 Years War is ON.”

Here, from the relevant Wikipedia page, is Bruegel the Elder’s painting The Preaching Of John The Baptist:

Who’s that looking back at us?  Bruegel himself?  I dunno, but here’s the kind of detail you’d get to see if you were at the Szépmûvészeti Múzeum, Budapest:

Hurricane, Bahamas (1898)

Winslow.  Not on display at the Met.

Charles Rennie Mackintosh

Get a load of this dandy:

Born in Glasgow the year Seward bought Alaska from the Russians, one of twelve children, he became an architect.  He designed this house which wasn’t built until 1996:

He had this idea for Liverpool Cathedral:

But they built this instead:

(Giles Gilbert Scott, the winning architect, was 22)

Frustrated with architecture, Rennie became a painter:

The fort in Port-Vendres, France?  Or a mad vision of the PCH between Big Sur and San Francisco?

The Lighthouse, Glasgow:

Died 1928.

(Cathedral plan from here, everything else from Wikipedia per usual)

The Organ Recital, Henry Lerolle

at The Met.

There is literally nothing interesting on LeRolle’s wikipedia page, so we turn to a tidbit sent recently from our Greenville office.  Our correspondent there found this on the wikipedia page for the movie “It’s A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World.”

“(Director Stanley) Kramer considered adding a fifth ‘mad’ to the title before deciding that it would be redundant but noted in interviews that he later regretted it.”



The Nicholas Roerich Museum in New York City

Is an under-visited place.  Pittsburgh Office told us about it awhile ago

H.P. Lovecraft referred to the “strange and disturbing paintings of Nicholas Roerich” in his Antarctic horror story At the Mountains of Madness.

Some Paintings Mentioned in “The Last Samurai” by Helen DeWitt

Highly recommended, this book has no connection at all to the Tom Cruise film of the same name.  It’s 1000x better.  It’s about a child genius in London. A painting the child sees in the book:

Odysseus Deriding Polyphemus, by J. M. Turner, 1829:

Wikipedia on Turner:

He died in the house of his mistress Sophia Caroline Booth in Cheyne Walk, Chelsea on 19 December 1851. He is said to have uttered the last words “The sun is God” before expiring.

More to come??

(found the image here).

View from Mount Holyoke, Northampton, Massachusetts, after a Thunderstorm—The Oxbow – Thomas Cole, 1836

go over to the Met and see it big.

Cole learned the rudiments of his profession from a wandering portrait painter named Stein

The fourth-highest peak in the Catskills is named after Thomas Cole:

More Rockwell Kent