Showing posts with label lizards. Show all posts
Showing posts with label lizards. Show all posts

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Life Studies


This year it seems to me that time is flying faster than usual; March is already here
and I am left wondering where February has gone... Unfortunately, this also means 
that I won't have the time to visit the beautiful exhibition of Felice Tosalli which ends 
next week at the Galleria dell'Incisione in Brescia. One more reason to thank
 the gallery's owner and curator Chiara Padova for sending me the catalogue 
and these pics to enjoy and share with you!




The talented Italian artist Felice Tosalli (1883-1958) was among the many artists 
who turned their interest to animal themes during the late 19th and early 20th century.
He was born in Valsesia, an Alpine valley that was also the birthplace of my paternal grandfather
and learned to master his father's woodworking craft as an apprentice in his workshop.
After completing his studies in Turin, in 1903 Tosalli moved to Paris and found employment
 in a wood restoration shop. In Paris he often visited the Ménagerie du Jardin des Plantes 
to observe and sketch the captive animals. His precise and careful study of animal bodies and gestures
is obviously the source of the elegant drawings and preparatory sketches on show at the gallery,
and of the wonderfully lifelike poses of his sculptures.




In 1907 Tosalli went back to Turin, where he worked as a movie poster artist 
and as a lithographer and illustrator at Fratelli DoyenHe also began to participate 
in art exhibitions and receive commissions, mostly in the field of wooden sculpture. 



In the late 1920's Tosalli began to produce a series of limited edition animal figurines
in ceramic for the famous Italian company Lenci, and later for Rosenthal and C. 
These small works are still much appreciated by collectors for their refinement, 
attention to detail, and ability to capture the spontaneous beauty of animal life.


Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Mad Men & Crazy Critters - Shoe Fetish



Just to prove the point, as I was uploading this post 
Maya began chewing yet another of Seba's shoes



Posters by unknown artist and Filippo Romoli, 1928, 


Rafael de Penagos, thanks to 50 Watts




Two ads by Eidenbenz Atelier


Japanese ad, 1954, thanks again to 50 Watts


Louis Wattiez, 1955


Friday, December 2, 2011

L'Animal dans la Décoration



The color of autumn leaves reminds me of this beautiful folio created by M. P. Verneuil at the height
 of the Art Nouveau's ornamental frenzy. Verneuil was one of the most talented pupils in Eugène Grasset's
 Parisian atelier, and executed many designs under his direction for the 1896 portfolio
La Plante et ses Applications Ornementales. One year later he produced his own series 
of 60 lithographic plates containing hundreds of decorative depictions of animals 
and dedicated it to Grasset, whose realistic, detailed and romantic style clearly inspired him. 






 








Thanks to the New York Public Library for the gorgeous scans.

Friday, January 14, 2011

A Nation at Play

Utagawa Yoshifuji, Toy zukushi, 1858

These images comes from the beautiful and fascinating Japanese popular prints 
by Rebecca Salter, kindly given to me by the lovely Susan Kelly. 
Susan is a former colleague and good friend of mine who currently lives 
in London and works at A &C Black, where she was the book's project's manager.
All the quotes in this post come from the author's very informative texts,
which explore various genres of popular prints and the social
and historical background from which they originated.

Utagawa Kunisada III, Kōshi Bath, 1882

"In this charming antrhopomorphic scene, mice replace humans
for a visit to the bath. Bathhouses were not only places to get clean, 
but also popular social venues and in some cases operated as brothels."

Utagawa Yoshifuji, Cat's Variety Show, early Meiji period

"A cast of cats attend a performance of a puppet ballad drama in a typical small 
playhouse – a contrast to the much grander (and more expensive) kabuki theatres."

Utagawa Yoshifuji, The Mysterious Cat from the 53 Stages, 1848-49

"Based in a scene from the Edo period playwright Tsuruya Nanboku's 1825
play of horror and ghosts Tōkaidō Yotsuya Kaidan ... The cat's face is made up 
from other cats, the bulging eyes from bells and the tongue from a cat's collar."

Utagawa Kuniyoshi, Cat Lover's Animal Puns of the Tōkaidō, 1847-52

"In this print, Kuniyoshi allocates a cat and a pun to each of the 53 stages of the Tōkaidō.
Puns have been made on each place name (some of them rather forced) and the cat
 illustrates the pun. ... Most of the cats shown are of the short tailed variety particularly 
popular with artists and courtesans in the Edo period."

Utagawa Kuniyoshi, Substitute Character Cats, c. 1844

"A combination of cats and blowfish (fugu) spell out the word 'fugu'. The well-known 
cat lover Kuniyoshi produced many works featuring cats, but this calligraphic series 
counts as one of his best. The final touch is the cat's collar complete with bell decorating
 the cartouche shiwng the artist's name and a fugu and fishnet device for the title."

Utagawa Kuniyoshi, Fish with Human Characteristics, early 1840s

"These fish portraits are Kuniyoshi's response to the clampdown on actor's portraits.
A well-known actor's face was grafted onto a fish body. In the presentation of these fish
 there is an echo of European natural history compendia which were known in Japan."

Kuniyoshi is believed to have created as many as 10,000 print designs.
See more of his wonderful works at the ongoing Kuniyoshi Project.

Anon., Parlour Shadow Pictures, 1885

"This toy print shows how to make simple hand shadows 
which any child could imitate."

Utagawa Yoshifuji, Horse zukushi, late 19th century

"Zukushi is not an easy word to translate, the best description perhaps
would be 'an enumeration of things. ... Zukushi are highly visual and consist
of single sheet prints with an arrangement 0f similar/related objects, 
sometimes with no words other than a simple title. They are like early 
pictorial encyclopedias and for children in particular, zukushi 
were an attractive and enjoyable way of absorbing information."

Utagawa Hiroshige II, Insect zukushi1848-53

"A classic zukushi-style enumaration of named insects. Even though it was 
designed for children, setting the insects against a woven bamboo background 
results in a sophisticated composition worthy of adult appreciation.
At the time, frogs and lizards were classed as insects."

 See more Zukushi prints at Ephemera Assemblyman.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Coloring with Andy


Before becoming a Pop Art icon, during the 1950s Andy Warhol worked as a successful illustrator
in New York producing hundreds of drawings for advertising, record companies and fashion magazines. 
In 1961, right around the time of his first Campbell Soup paintings, the Edelman company commissioned 
Warhol to create a large format coloring book to give as a gift to its clients' children for Christmas. 
Andy drew a series of delightfully whimsical illustrations using his typical blotted line technique, 
which he claimed to have discovered accidentally when he spilled ink onto a sheet of paper 
and reproduced the stain motif by applying a second sheet onto it.









A Coloring Book was reprinted in 2007 by the French Editions Palette.



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