Music by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky ( 1840- 1893) - "Swan Lake"
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Joan of Arc
Cleopatra, Queen of Egypt
Cleopatra, ( 69-30 B.C.) descended from Ptolomey, one of Alexander the great's generals. She was heralded as the greatest of all beauties and is arguably the most legendary femme fatale in all the annals of history in competition with the beauteous Helen of Troy.
At the age of seventeen, she became Queen of Egypt ruling jointly with her younger brother Ptolemey V by marriage, according to the ancient Egyptian custom of the Pharaohs.
After he betrayed her and stripped her of all power and authority, she withdrew to Syria, and prepared to recover her rights by force of arms.
Her opportunity came when Julius Caesar followed Pompey into Egypt. The personal fascinations of Cleopatra induced Caesar to undertake a war on her behalf, in which Ptolemey lost his life.
She regained her throne through a marriage to her younger brother whom she rid herself of with poison. She lived openly as Caesar's mistress until his assassination in Rome. Their association had been terribly unpopular, and she became aware of her unpopularity and returned to Egypt.
Subsequent to her legendary relationship with the legendary Roman General Cleopatra became ally and mistress to Mark Antony (Antonius ), his successor.
Enter Gaius Julius
Caesar Octavian ( 63 B.C.- 14 A.D.) who was the adopted son of Julius Caesar. He declared war on the star crossed lovers and defeated them at
Actium. After a secret conference, she accepted the victor's proposal that she
poison Antony, her lover, and "for Egypt" she set out to seduce this newest
Roman Commander, Octavian...
She lured Antony to a mausoleum where he committed suicide himself in the mistaken idea she had already done so. Octavian refused to yield to the charms of Cleopatra, who, according to tradition, put an end to her own life by applying an asp to her bosom. Octavian went on to realize their unfulfilled ambitions and became Caesar Augustus, the first Emperor of Rome and founder of the Imperial Roman Government.
The Annals of Tacitus (1st Century A.D.)
Zenobia, Queen of Palmyra
Zenobia, Queen of Palmyra is one of the grandest & most underrated heroines of antiquity! She come from a long line of fabulous Syrian & Abyssinian queens, including the Legendary Queen of Sheba. She adored & emulated Cleopatra & ironically met a similar fate. Assyrian records speak of mighty Arab warrior queens like Zabibi, who revolted but was finally subdued in 738 B.C. Here is Zenobia at the end of her career, betrayed by the Romans she had served faithfully all her life, her city in flames, & surrendering to the soldiers of Aurelius.
Queen Zenobia of Palmyra, (circa 278 A.D.) born Septima Bath-shabbi, consort of Odaenathus, the Dux Orientus succeeded his throne as his widow & on behalf of her son, the lawful successor. She ruled with very capable hands and was determined to surpass his excellence and make Palmyra mistress of the Roman Empire in the east.
She was a scholar in her own right and was instructed in the sciences by the celebrated Longinus. Besides her native tongue, she spoke the Latin, Greek, Coptic and Syrian languages. She patronized learned men and herself formed an epitome of Egyptian history. The Talmud speaks of her goodness to rabbis. She was a conqueror and commanded a fine army, protecting the Roman flank from the Persians and subduing Egypt. In spite of her loyalty and capable leadership Zenobia was betrayed when the new emperor Aurelius took the throne because of gender prejudice.
Life of Aurelian, by Vopiscus in Augustae Historiae Scriptores (translated into English by Bernard in 1740)
The 7 Wonders; Queen Amyitis & her Hanging Gardens
Queen Amyitis ( circa 605-562 B.C.) was the daughter of the king of the Medes. She married King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon to create an alliance between the nations. The ancient city of Babylon (Iraq) ruled the world in it's day just as the Roman Empire did in hers. It boasted as it's showpiece one of the 7 wonders of the Ancient World; The Hanging Gardens of Babylon, built espescially for her. Her homeland was lush & fertile, rugged & mountainous, & she found the flat, barren sun-baked terrain of Babylon depressing. King Nebuchadnezzar decided to recreate her homeland by building an artificial mountain with rooftop gardens.
Queen Kriemhilde's Revenge
STYLE and TECHNIQUE
"Those who are enamoured of practice without science are like a pilot who goes into a ship without rudder or compass and never has any certainty where he is going. Practice should always be based upon a sound knowledge of theory, of which perspective is the guide and gateway, and without it nothing can be done well in any kind of painting."
Personal Opinion Essays on Realistic Art yesterday and today by the artist.
In addition to his mastery of traditional media, Howard David Johnson now combines drawing, painting, photography, and digital media with more than thirty years of experience in these fields to create his Realistic Art Numérica in 21st century paintings and pictures.
Did you know the Greek word "Photography" means "Painting with Light"? Today with the advent of computers it truly lives up to it's name. Due to developments in Art and Technology, a broader definition of painting is needed than that which is found in common usage.
Announcing Art Numérica -an exciting merger of traditional visual art and cutting edge technology... a new art form for the twenty- first century... Art Numérica is not limited to realistic art but also offers limitless horizons for everything from cartoons to abstractions.
It is the most dramatic development in the visual arts since the Renaissance. In the words of Al Jolson in the movie world's first talking picture" You ain't seen nothin' yet!"
"Painting, in art, the action of laying colour on a surface, or the representation of objects by this means. Considered one of the fine arts"
"Painting. noun. 1.) The act or employment of laying on colors or paints. 2.) The art of forming figures or objects in colors on canvas or any other surface, or the art of representing to the eye by means of figures and colors any object; the work of an illustrator or painter. 3.) A picture; a likeness or resemblance in shape or colors. 4.) Colors laid on. 5.) Delineation that raises a vivid image in the mind; as in word painting.
~ Webster's Unabridged Dictionary of the English Language
The Rebirth of Realism
More thoughts on realistic art yesterday and today by the artist
Art History has entered a new era with the birth of Art Numérica, or digital art media in the 21st century. Artists never stop exploring with mediums. Artists have been developing techniques, experimenting with different tools since at least twenty- five thousand years ago, when the first artist picked up a charred stick and scratched a picture out on the wall of his cave. You'd think everything would have been tried by now, but it hasn't. Exploring new mediums this very day is just as exciting, just as full of freshness and newness as it ever was.
Immortal giants of realistic art such as Maxfield Parrish were mistreated their entire lives. They were accused of selling out for creating beautiful pieces of realistic fine art to earn a living. The attitude that the true artist must suffer and starve and die in poverty became a rule. There were the Abstract art superstars, the professional realistic illustrators, and the hobbyists who, although cut off from gainful employment and social influence still recognized their artistic gifts as a calling rather than a profession. Early abstract art masters proved themselves as realistic artists before delving into realms of the intangible. They had to do this at that time to prove themselves because of the challenges they faced from the establishment for going against the status quo. In the latter part of the 20th century, realistic artists like HDJ were challenged to do abstract art to prove themselves as shown in the example above (Deirdre of the sorrows). Later realistic art training was abandoned in most schools and things like splattering paint in fits of rage were deemed more than enough. By the end of the 20th century something as destructive and ridiculous as nailing a pack of cigarettes to a shoe was considered fine art but not realistic paintings. Fashions in art have often been as silly as fashions in ladies hats. As the century drew to a close, many people had had enough. The realistic revolt was at hand. The rebirth of realism was fueled by the advent of the digital era. Now, for the first time in almost two centuries, an artist or illustrator could earn a decent living again with his realistic art. This is historic. Realistic art is not going to go away, especially now that photography has truly merged with traditional realistic visual art. Photography comes from the Greek words meaning "painting with light". Now with the advent of digital media the capability of realistic art has become almost limitless, truly, "painting with light". The merger of all the world's art forms to realize the potential of motion pictures has come now to still realistic art media. This website for example, combines music, prose, poetry, photography and traditional realistic art media to create an experience beyond merely looking at realistic paintings.
The twenty- first century is already seeing a new renaissance in the arts because of the world wide web. There has never been anything like it. Abstract art, computer art, photographic art, and realistic art are continuing to be separate schools of art but are also blending to create exciting new horizons. Although Digital art does offer completely new horizons to the artist in the 21st century it does not mean the end of our time honored art traditions. Instead, it offers additional ways to keep these traditions and schools of thought fresh and alive.
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Helen of Troy' MMIV was rendered entirely in Prismacolor Colored Pencils... 'Prismacolor Paintings' if you will - because this kind of picture is not at all what comes to mind when people hear the word 'drawing'. These relatively new soft oil based colored pencils are not the first Dry Painting Medium: the term 'Pastel Paintings' originated in the 17th century. The Prismacolors were also liquifed with solvents and applied with brush in certain areas.
Thank You for Visiting the Women of History Art Gallery of Howard David Johnson...