Who ARTed: Weekly Art History for All Ages
Fun Fact Friday - Leonardo da Vinci’s Last Supper

Fun Fact Friday - Leonardo da Vinci’s Last Supper

April 15, 2022

One Leonardo da Vinci’s most famous works is not housed in a museum. It is in the Convent of Santa Maria in Milan Italy. It seems totally fitting for a depiction of the last supper was painted on the wall in the convent’s dining hall. Visitors today are often surprised by how enormous the work it. The People are life sized on this massive 15 by 29 foot painting. Another surprising fact is that while people flock to see Leonardo’s work on the wall of the convent, very little if any of what we see there today was actually painted by Leonardo.

You can find an image of the work at www.whoartedpodcast.com

Who ARTed is a part of Airwave Media

Fun Fact Friday - The Burghers of Calais

Fun Fact Friday - The Burghers of Calais

April 8, 2022

In America, a lot of high school students are studying for the AP Art History Exam to try to earn college credit. I am trying to make sure my podcast can be a helpful resource for learning about art history and in a lot of my fun fact mini episodes I cover works of art that are required for the test. 

This mini episode covers a bit about Rodin and the story behind his piece, The Burghers of Calais.

 

Who ARTed is a part of Airwave Media

As always you can find images of the work discussed on my website www.whoartedpodcast.com

If you enjoy Who ARTed, please leave a rating or review on your favorite podcast app to help others discover the show.

 

Arthur Boyd - Nebuchadnezzar on Fire Falling over a Waterfall

Arthur Boyd - Nebuchadnezzar on Fire Falling over a Waterfall

April 4, 2022

This episode is about Arthur Boyd the Australian painter known for his use of symbols from mythology to express his philosophical views. The Boyd family is an artistic dynasty in Australia producing half a dozen prominent artists. The specific work we focused on here was his painting Nebuchadnezzar on Fire Falling over a Waterfall from 1966-68.

My guest this week was Matthew Bliss, an Australian teacher and podcaster. Matthew hosts Teacher Culture Cast, a podcast for and about teachers, as well as The Dead Drop, a video game podcast.

Here are the places where you can find Matthew and his work:

Twitter: @mattblisspod
Podcasts:
Teaching Culture Cast podcast: Website  ||  Spotify  ||  Apple Podcasts
The Dead Drop (Video Game News): Website  ||  Spotify  ||  Apple Podcasts

 

As always you can find an image of the work on my website www.WhoARTedPodcast.com

While you are there, take a moment and vote in the final round of Arts Madness.

 

Who ARTed is a part of the Airwave Media podcast network.

Fun Fact Friday - The Apollo 11 Stones

Fun Fact Friday - The Apollo 11 Stones

April 1, 2022

The Apollo 11 stones were named after the famous NASA mission though completely unrelated. W.E. Wendt heard news of the successful moon landing over his shortwave radio and decided to name the cave “Apollo 11” . The cave site had been a long standing shelter used by ancient humans. It is hard to say exactly how far back it goes. One of the problems with prehistoric people is that they didn’t leave us calendars and records marking the dates they created their works or artist’s statements explaining those pieces. Fossil records indicate that homosapiens came on to the scene around 100,000 years ago. Carbon dating indicates that the Apollo 11 stones were buried somewhere around 25,000BCE. When they were discovered, they were the oldest known pieces of African art and among the oldest bits of evidence of human artistic expression. The stone fragments were from a stone slab roughly the size of a human hand. On the stone, there is a creature often described as a therianthrope, a mythical creature that is part human and part animal. The drawing appears to have the body of a cat, legs of a human and on the head, there are trace elements of horns slightly curved reminiscent of an Oryx, a large antelope. This work suggests that in the middle stone age, there may have been mythology or even complex religious belief systems. The reason this is considered to be so significant is that it indicates that hunter-gatherers in Africa during the middle stone age were not only physically similar to modern humans but also behaviorally modern. They used art for creative expression with rituals and customs. Symbolic thought is really the capacity that makes humans able to communicate. It is why I consider art to be our greatest development as it makes all communication and advancement possible. The Apollo 11 stones demonstrated that early humans possessed that capacity long before what was previously believed.

As always you can find images of the work discussed on the website www.whoartedpodcast.com 

Who ARTed is a part of the Airwave Media podcast network. You can find more Airwave Media shows at www.airwavemedia.com

If you would like to support the show, I recently partnered with Ko-Fi to be able to accept donations to cover the costs of production. You can buy me a coffee at https://ko-fi.com/whoarted 

Ivan Albright  - The Picture of Dorian Gray

Ivan Albright - The Picture of Dorian Gray

March 28, 2022

For this week's episode, I was joined by Kelly Henrikson, art teacher at Park Junior High, to talk about Ivan Albright. 

Ivan Albright is considered to be a great macabre painter. He is known for his portraits and still lives that have a sense of rot showing the frailty of life. His style is considered magical realism. He meticulously rendered portraits that were unlike anything else in his day. In this episode we discussed the painting he created for the film adaptation of Oscar Wilde's Picture of Dorian Gray. 

As always, you can find pictures of the work on the website www.whoartedpodcast.com

The Picture of Dorian Gray is housed at The Art Institute of Chicago

 

If you would like to support the show, I recently partnered with Ko-Fi to be able to accept donations to cover the costs of production. You can buy me a coffee at https://ko-fi.com/whoarted Because I do not want disruptive ads and I put nothing behind a paywall, listener donations are my only means of defraying the costs. I greatly appreciate your support.

Fun Fact Friday - Did Vincent Van Gogh Really Only Sell 1 Painting?

Fun Fact Friday - Did Vincent Van Gogh Really Only Sell 1 Painting?

March 25, 2022

Vincent van Gogh is a legendary figure in art history. He is one of my favorite artists and his paintings sell for tens of millions of dollars today, but it is often said that he sold only one painting during his lifetime. In this episode, I talk about his commercial success or lack thereof. 

If you would like to support the show, I recently partnered with Ko-Fi to be able to accept donations to cover the costs of production. You can buy me a coffee at https://ko-fi.com/whoarted Because I do not want disruptive ads and I put nothing behind a paywall, listener donations are my only means of defraying the costs. I greatly appreciate your support.

Arts Madness Round 4

Arts Madness Round 4

March 23, 2022

This week we are on Round 4 of the annual Arts Madness Tournament. You can see the brackets and vote for your favorites artists at www.whoartedpodcast.com

In Round 3, some of my favorites were eliminated. Rodin, and his sculpture of The Burghers of Calais got knocked out by Duff Goldman. While I respect the audience's choices, I would encourage everyone to give a listen to the episode on Rodin. That piece is one of my favorite sculptures of all time. The story behind it is fascinating and the way that Rodin brought that story and the emotion to life in his work is absolutely amazing.

We are now down to just 8 artists remaining. As I created the podcast and the tournament, one of my goals was to capture diverse artists and help people to appreciate a broad range of artists and art forms. I think it is wonderful that this far into the tournament, we are going beyond the traditional western canon and still see spots for artists from around the world with very different styles and methods. 

If you would like to support the show, I recently partnered with Ko-Fi to be able to accept donations to cover the costs of production. You can buy me a coffee at https://ko-fi.com/whoarted Because I do not want disruptive ads and I put nothing behind a paywall, listener donations are my only means of defraying the costs. I greatly appreciate your support.

Fun Fact Friday - Pablo Picasso, Art Thief? (encore)

Fun Fact Friday - Pablo Picasso, Art Thief? (encore)

March 18, 2022

This is an encore presentation of the mini episode I recorded on Pablo Picasso and his tendency to appropriate or even downright steal from those around him. In 1911, The Mona Lisa was stolen from the Louvre Museum and Pablo Picasso was one of the prime suspects. While he was not guilty of that crime, he was in possession of some other works that were stamped property of The Louvre and he went on trial facing deportation. 

Just a reminder while Picasso was knocked out of our Arts Madness Tournament in round 1 this year, you can still vote for your favorites among the remaining artists at www.whoartedpodcast.com

If you would like to support the show, I recently partnered with Ko-Fi to be able to accept donations to cover the costs of production. You can buy me a coffee at https://ko-fi.com/whoarted Because I do not want disruptive ads and I put nothing behind a paywall, listener donations are my only means of defraying the costs. I greatly appreciate your support.

Fun Fact Friday - The Nazca Lines

Fun Fact Friday - The Nazca Lines

March 11, 2022

This is a fun fact Friday mini episode covering a little bit of information about the Nazca Lines. 

The Nazca Lines are massive geoglyphs created in Peru around 400-600 CE. While there is a lot that is uncertain about them, the most common theory is that they were created for religious reasons. While the designs are absolutely huge with lines that span several miles, the full design is not really visible from the ground so they were not widely known until the age of aviation. In 1930 the designs were rediscovered by people flying in a plane over Nazca and they have been studied and speculated about ever since. 

You can find an image of some of the glyphs at www.whoartedpocast.com

 

 

MC Escher - Circle Limit 3

MC Escher - Circle Limit 3

March 7, 2022

For this week's episode I talked with David Pittman, an amazing teacher I am lucky to count among my friends. 

We discussed MC Escher and briefly touched on a few of his works including Circle Limit 3 from 1959. Interestingly, while Escher is often associated with math as his tessellations are enjoyed by a number of mathematicians and held up for their beautiful applications of geometry, Escher himself was not the greatest student and even failed his math courses in school. In a somewhat common theme among the brilliant and successful, he persisted and even seemed to lean in to developing his skills in an area where he struggled. 

A big turning point came when Escher traveled to Spain and Italy in the early 20th century. At first, he was captivated by the beautiful Italian landscape, but after touring a 14th-century Moorish castle he started to shift his entire approach to art. Escher made sketches of the tile work and the beautiful tessellated patterns he saw then started to apply that patterning to his work. The great leap that he took, however, was introducing representational imagery to the patterns and having figures that shifted through the piece. In his metamorphosis piece, we see patterns of birds that become cubes that turn into a landscape then chess pieces. It is a little bit surreal, almost like an exquisite corpse drawing as seemingly unrelated images flow from one into the next but with an added layer of complexity because of the patterning. 

As always you can find images of the works we discussed at www.whoartedpocast.com

While you are at the website, cast your vote in this week's matchups for the Arts Madness tournament.

Vote for Round 2 of Arts Madness here.

If you would like to support the show, I recently partnered with Ko-Fi to be able to accept donations to cover the costs of production. You can buy me a coffee at https://ko-fi.com/whoarted Because I do not want disruptive ads and I put nothing behind a paywall, listener donations are my only means of defraying the costs. I greatly appreciate your support.

Fun Fact Friday - Killer Wallpaper (Encore)

Fun Fact Friday - Killer Wallpaper (Encore)

March 4, 2022

This is an encore presentation of my fun fact Friday mini-episode on killer wallpaper. In one of the more strange but true stories from art history, there was a lovely synthetic green pigment called Scheele's green that became very popular in the victorian era. It was a bold and vivid emerald green produced from copper arsenite and unfortunately, the arsenic could leach out in damp conditions poisoning people in the process. 

This week is the start of my annual Arts Madness tournament. I would love to have as many people as possible join in the fun of judging a diverse collection of artists and works. Over 6 weeks, we will go from 64 great artists down to 1 ultimate Arts Madness champion. More information is on the Arts Madness page of my website.

Vote for your favorites in the Round 1 Matchups before March 5.

If you would like to support the show, I recently partnered with Ko-Fi to be able to accept donations to cover the costs of production. You can buy me a coffee at https://ko-fi.com/whoarted Because I do not want disruptive ads and I put nothing behind a paywall, listener donations are my only means of defraying the costs. I greatly appreciate your support.

 

Arts Madness Round 1

Arts Madness Round 1

March 2, 2022

I am once again ending the season with my annual Arts Madness tournament. 64 different artists covered on the show have been randomly sorted into brackets and each week listeners will vote to decide which artists will advance to the next round.

In this mini-episode, I highlighted a few of the matchups I find interesting. You can weigh in and vote for your favorites at www.whoartedpodcast.com

Voting for Round 1 will be open until March 5. We already have hundreds of votes cast, but I am always excited to see more people participating, so please vote, tell your friends and any art teachers you know to join in the fun.

Fun Fact Friday - Edmonia Lewis and The Death of Cleopatra

Fun Fact Friday - Edmonia Lewis and The Death of Cleopatra

February 25, 2022

Edmonia Lewis had an interesting life, and her sculpture The Death of Cleopatra had an equally interesting ride. After it was exhibited in Philadelphia for the Centennial Exhibition, it was put into storage in Chicago. It would later sit in a saloon, mark the grave of a horse, serve as an arts and crafts project for some local Boy Scouts before finally being professionally restored and displayed at the Smithsonian Museum of Art. 

As always, you can find images and more at www.whoartedpodcast.com 

Please consider participating in the upcoming Arts Madness Tournament where listeners from around the world will vote for their favorite artists in a bracketed tournament winnowing the field from 64 down to 1 ultimate artist. 

If you would like to support the show, I recently partnered with Ko-Fi to be able to accept donations to cover the costs of production. You can buy me a coffee at https://ko-fi.com/whoarted Because I do not want disruptive ads and I put nothing behind a paywall, listener donations are my only means of defraying the costs. I greatly appreciate your support.

Vermeer Was Using a Camera Before Photography Was a Thing

Vermeer Was Using a Camera Before Photography Was a Thing

February 18, 2022

Johannes Vermeer is best known today for painting The Girl with a Pearl Earing. Part of the allure of this painting is the pose, she seems a little caught off guard looking over her shoulder at the viewer. There is a bit of a mystery to this interaction which has been played up in popular culture with movies speculating at a dramatic story behind its creation. 

 

For me though, one of the biggest mysteries is about how it was painted. Vermeer painted incredibly detailed, photo-realistic works. Some actually speculate he may have been using a camera of sorts even though photography wouldn't come around until about 200 years later. One of the odd things about Vermeer is the small body of work he left behind. While his work was extremely detailed and one can obviously imagine resulted from a slow, deliberate process of a patient and persistent artist, it seems strange for an artist of his skill and stature to have only created about 35 works. That would put his pace at about 2 or 3 paintings per year and while quality takes time, it is hard to imagine an artist achieving that level of quality without years of practice and study producing hundreds of pieces in order to gain the skill to produce the fine art he is remembered for today. 

 

One of the things i find really interesting is that there does not appear to be much information about Vermeer’s artistic training. While he lived most of his life in the the Netherlands in the city of Delft, his name is conspicuously absent from records until 1653 when he was recorded to be a “master painter” with the delft guild of saint luke. Often there would be records of artists studying under others, working in another artists studio and rising in the ranks. Vermeer appears to have come on the scene starting at the top. This seems like a pretty remarkable accomplishment for the son of an innkeeper who inherited the family business.

 

While it is not unheard of for both artworks and records to be lost to history, the absence of evidence about Vermeer's training has led to some interesting speculation about how he became so good. The most intriguing theory is that he used a camera obscura to help in the creation of his works. A camera obscura would not create a photograph. It would simply project an image that an artist could trace. Basically the theory is that Vermeer used lenses and mirrors to project his subject so that he could trace it onto the canvas. The technology has been around for hundreds of years and plenty of artists including Leonardo da Vinci have toyed with the camera obscura. Many of my students have said that tracing something feels like cheating, but many artists would consider the camera obscura or other projectors to be simply a tool no different from using a ruler to draw a straight line or tape to mask off an area while painting. 

 

Some say evidence of the use of a camera obscura can be found in the hyper-focused detail of some pieces including maps in the background of his paintings along with blurring effects in other parts of the painting similar to the blur that happens because of the depth of field in a photograph. In his painting, The Music Lesson, there is a mirror that reflects the rest of the room. Vermeer included his easel in that reflection and there is a shuttered window and mysterious black box that some say was his camera obscura painted into the work. If you want to learn more about Vermeer and this camera obscura theory, there is a documentary called Tim’s Vermeer in which a man with no significant formal artistic training recreates a Vermeer painting using a camera obscura and the result is stunning. Ultimately whether due to his eye and freehand draftsmanship or innovation with technology, Vermeer was an incredibly skilled artist who created stunning works that continue to capture the imagination of viewers hundreds of years after they were painted and will continue to do so for hundreds of years to come.

Fun Fact Friday - The Renaissance Painter Who Played with his Food

Fun Fact Friday - The Renaissance Painter Who Played with his Food

February 11, 2022

Giuseppe Acrimboldo is best known for his quirky arrangements of food, foliage, animals and objects that form surreal portraits. 

For more information and images of the work discussed, check out the website www.whoartedpodcast.com

The World’s Blackest Black - The Feud Between Stuart Semple and Anish Kapoor

The World’s Blackest Black - The Feud Between Stuart Semple and Anish Kapoor

February 4, 2022

Scientists developed VANTA Black to absorb over 99% of visible light. The vertically aligned carbon nano tube array will trap the light creating a surreal effect like looking into a black hole. When the substance covers an object, the contours of the form disappear into a flattened silhouette. 

The artist Anish Kapoor has the exclusive right to use VANTA black for artistic purposes. The artist Stuart Semple doesn't like the notion of someone hoarding materials and so in a delightful bit of poetic justice, Semple has developed products like the pinkiest pink and the world's most glittery glitter which users must agree never to share with Anish Kapoor.

If you enjoy this show, please check out my other podcast, Art Smart which focuses on the Elements of Art and Principles of Design to help you become a more thoughtful creator and consumer of visual arts. You can find Art Smart on your favorite podcast app, or at the website www.whoartedpodcast.com 

Raphael’s The School of Athens

Raphael’s The School of Athens

January 28, 2022

This is a fun fact Friday mini episode about The School of Athens painted by Raphael in 1510 C.E. In this classic Rennaisance masterpiece, Raphael painted numerous classic Greek philosophers. The theme of the work is seeking knowledge and wisdom by coming to understand what came before and root causes. In this work, Raphael included a small self-portrait peeking out among the philosophers. Some say two of the ancient philosophers bear a striking resemblance to Raphael's fellow Rennaisance artists, Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo. 

Take a closer look at The School of Athens linked here or as always you can find more resources at www.whoartedpodcast.com

#art #arthistory #artsed #arteducation #renaissance #aparthistory #raphael

Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec -Part 2 (At the Moulin Rouge)

Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec -Part 2 (At the Moulin Rouge)

January 24, 2022

This is part 2 of my discussion of Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, one of my favorite Post Impressionist painters. My guest was Joe from the Blind Knowledge Network

We had a somewhat free-flowing conversation discussing At the Moulin Rouge and putting it into a bit of a historical context with technological and societal developments of the time. 

The Erased Masterpiece - Robert Rauschenberg’s Erased de Kooning

The Erased Masterpiece - Robert Rauschenberg’s Erased de Kooning

January 21, 2022

This Fun Fact Friday is one of my favorites. It explains a little bit about the odd incident when a young Robert Rauschenberg knocked on Willem de Kooning's door and asked to erase one of his drawings. Learn more about Erased de Kooning created by Robert Rauschenberg with a little help from Jasper Johns.

Rembrandt - The Night Watch

Rembrandt - The Night Watch

January 14, 2022

Recently a team completed a 717 gigapixel image of Rembrandt's painting, The Night Watch. Learn a little bit more about this famous piece that has been called by the wrong name for hundreds of years as it actually took place in the daytime. 

Podbean App

Play this podcast on Podbean App