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Old 10-09-2007, 07:22 PM   #11
Sharon Knettell Sharon Knettell is offline
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Originally Posted by Enzie Shahmiri
Cynthia, as I am uploading my collection on my blog believe I just want to crawl into a corner and weep. These paintings are so perfect in every detail rendered that I just keep thinking how will I ever get to that stage?! It's hopeless, yet so inspirational.
Enzie,

They are perfect in they are as close to a photograph as a human can come. Rendering details like that are simply time consuming, not a great artistic achievement. You could do that if you were willing to put in the time- lot's of it.

Why should you weep? Because you can't paint like a dead European. No one can paint like another. It is useless and a waste of time gnashing your teeth over that.

I read your blog. I have always been enamored with the elegance and beauty of Persian miniatures.

Beautiful painting, like those exquisite miniatures, should not be just a showcase of facile rendering- as in WOW!, those pears look like a photograph. I wish I could paint like that.
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Old 10-09-2007, 11:36 PM   #12
Marvin Mattelson Marvin Mattelson is offline
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The only one labeling good and bad art is you Sharon.

Cynthia said this site is about portraiture. The beautiful modeling of the heads painted by Deutsch are quite pertinent to contemporary portraiture. I said is that if you understand how to create depth you have the understanding to make things flat as well. The inverse is not necessarily true.

Why put Enzie down because of what she admires and aspires to be. I know Enzie personally and I admire her sincerity and I whole heartedly support her in following her dream.

The Orientalists were inspired and in awe of an exotic culture that was like nothing they had ever seen before and they interpreted in their own way. They brought a western eye and interpreted eastern motifs.

Sharon, you don't like Deutsch. We get it. You made your point.
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Old 10-10-2007, 01:31 AM   #13
Enzie Shahmiri Enzie Shahmiri is offline
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I like the decorative, playful aspect of miniature paintings and admire the skill it took to get so much information on usually small pages of a book. This is Iranian Manusrcipt Paintings for you Sharon.

Sharon, there are many styles out there that I find nice, don't understand and try to find the best in them, but non stop me in my tracks as works such as these. It really comes down to what speaks to you as an individual as all our tastes and preferences are so different. Personally, when I see the skill it takes to not only handle the human form with such expertness, but also render clothing and setting in a way that becomes a visual feast of color, design and harmony, I am just in total awe. And if I may so so, I am getting really tired of the photo reference bashing!

Deutsch made three trips to Cairo and it is known that he employed photographers, to capture what he saw. He also collected a great amount of props during these trips and once back in Paris would hire models to pose for him. Based on this information, I conclude that he took the photos as reference to recreate the architectural settings and poses. Then he would dress up hired models and recreate the poses and paint from live. After having done numerous sketches to work out his composition, he would use the observed architectural settings in such a way that they emphasized his focal point. I don
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Old 10-10-2007, 01:42 AM   #14
Enzie Shahmiri Enzie Shahmiri is offline
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The Answer by Ludwig Deutsch

The Answer

signed and dated "L. Deutsch 1883" upper left
oil on panel
18 z 11 3/4 in (45.6X 29.8 cm)

This painting shows architectural influences from his first trip to Egypt in 1883, Damascus and the Ottoman Empire.

This work is a masterpiece in observation and execution. Deutsch painted with a hairline brush to capture every minute detail, weather it is on the body of the men, the garments, props or architectural elements. When compared to a smaller study for this work one can see that Deutsch has given much thought to improve the composion. He added visual interest by changing the pattern of the marble floor tiles from that of a rather heavy, two tone chess board pattern to a lighter diamond shape pattern. This change along with the light pattern on the stairs creates a light infused atmospere in the room.

He has taken artisitc liberties with the 17th century Syrian tiles behind the servant. These tiles would have been laid on the floor rather than on the wall.


"Ceramic tiles from Iznik, Diyarbakir and Damascus all depict flower scrolls, which are symbols in Islam for intellectual growth and God's continues presence in nature. Although large groupings of such scrolls produced by four, six, or eight tiles were repeated throughout even larger designs, individual tiles were not repeated in purely geometric patterns. The tile grouping, therefore appears to be based on a single tile that might have been in his private collection. Chritistie's Catalog Oct. 2001, P. 24


Ludwig Deutsch had collected many props on his travels and he used the in many of his paintings. Here a 18th Century Turkish tombak ewer and basin on a 19th Century mother of pearl table and a 19th Century indo Persian shield act as props to lighten up and add interest to the corner.

The main figure, the Chieftain wears a beautifully Salmon colored Balkan robe, which is greatly embellished with beads. The high contrast of the pale pinks against the dark skin of the figure just make him visually pop out from the muted dark background. Deutsch understood that in order to improve this painting the colors had to be more intense and required greater contrast.
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Old 10-10-2007, 10:39 AM   #15
Sharon Knettell Sharon Knettell is offline
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Enzie,

Thank-you for that beautiful miniature. It takes my breath away.

I am sorry if my antipathy for the over-rendered art of the past and present shows through. If he insprires you that is wonderful, he is an accomplished painter. Far better to emulate him than the careless and downright silly art of the late twentieth century.
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Old 10-10-2007, 11:58 AM   #16
Thomasin Dewhurst Thomasin Dewhurst is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin Mattelson
Thomasin, I don't think you're getting what I'm saying. I'm talking about controlling pictorial space.

My point was that in order to model the form (paint something so it has the illusion of three dimensional space) one needs to manipulate the values, edges, contrasts and intensities to bolster that illusion. Hard edges come forward and soft go back. If all the edges are treated similarly, then the painting looks flat not illusionistic.

Comparing Deutsch's 3-D effects with the Persian paintings clearly demonstrates the point I was making. The uniformity in intensities (within the same hues), edges and the lack of value gradation makes the Persian paintings lack the feel of pictorial depth.

It has nothing whatsoever to do with lovingly placing ones strokes. That is a whole other issue. Everyone who is into painting should be doing that. Why waste your time doing something you aren't passionate about.
I do understand what you are saying very well. What I am saying is that you have to understand the properties of paint (or charcoal etc., and each needs a different understanding) in order to achieve a convincing illusion of space. For example, if I, and of course I am far from a modern-day Ingres, try to render a atmospheric illusion of form in space too soon into a painting (i.e without having the patina of layers of paint underneath), or if I push too hard down with the brush, or if I try to hard to model the contours of an object trying to ignore and control the wayward properties of the paint - i.e trying to ignore its shininess when it is put down too thickly, I get a very mediocre, ordinary illustration of three-dimensions. If, however, I work with the paint itself, allowing unexpected and accidental marks to happen, I am learning essentially about what the paint itself does and can do. In this way you discover ways of making space and form that are far more convincing than simply working out a mathematical grid and pushing forward in a blinkered and linear way. Flatness is not plan B as though illusionism is beyond one's capabilities. I know you denied criticizing flat painting, but the way you dismissed it after adulating the modeling of Deutsch seems to indicate otherwise.

Changing directions from illusionism to flatness reveals high intellectual development on the part of the artist. Take Cezanne, for example: he was a master of painting flat illusions of space.

With regards to flat vs. illusionistic painting I again refer to my own particular experience: I find that if I put down a complex pattern of tones as a 2-dimensional image based on what I see in front of me, the illusion of space happens anyway. If I simply enjoy the juxtaposition and relationship of tones and how they resonate against one another my resulting image becomes an illusion of space and form if that is what I am referring to. Once that happens, it is very easy to oscillate between a deliberately flat image and a deliberately illusionistic one without losing the sense of solidity and life. Paintings are essentially about the human mind's response to living in a world of three-dimensionality, not the world itself. Whether the artist orders his impressions in a schematic map of life with each object honoured with its own unhindered space (as in the Persian painting), or whether they are crowded into a clever illusion of space is indicative of the mind of the artist, with its influences and biases.

I think that in order to create satisfactory space sketching right onto the canvas, pushing and pulling and experimenting with marks and getting to know the paint is a sound way of speeding up your training. One fortuitous paint mark has more information for the artist than a great many how-to-paint books do.
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Old 10-10-2007, 01:25 PM   #17
Sharon Knettell Sharon Knettell is offline
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Originally Posted by Marvin Mattelson
The only one labeling good and bad art is you Sharon.
Are the only ways you can make your arguments are by a snide personal comments, or by drowning us in incomprehensible, interminable reams of 'prose', especially those listing your awards.
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Old 10-10-2007, 02:20 PM   #18
Enzie Shahmiri Enzie Shahmiri is offline
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Orange Sellers by Ludwig Deutsch

This thread is about "Artists of the Past" and in particular about the work of Ludwig Deutsch , his technique and why his style worked and was acknowledged during his time.

Today his paintings go at auction in the hundred thousands of dollars and are highly sought after by people who like his style.

In Orange Sellers

signed , inscribed and dated 'L. Deutsch Paris 1886'
painted in 1886
Oil on panel
20.5 x 16 in (52 x 40.7cm)

Like his sumptuous interior scenes, Ludwig Deutsch's renditions of the street life of Cairo were bravura exercises in the detailed rendition of surface textures, artfully composed from the artifacts and sketches he brought back to his studios. However, Deutsch was equally fascinated by the compositional possibilities afforded by everyday encounters between small crowds and a central figure-weather street vendors (fig.1), snake charmers or healers.

In the present work Ludwig Deutsch focuses on the two central figures of the orange seller and the buyer. In addition, the piles of oranges painted with a startling saturated, cadmium-based paint immediately succeed in locking the viewer's attention on the picture plane. This daring use of color in 1886 is a precursor to the brightly colored The Palace Guard of 1892.

In the Orange Seller, Cairo, the costume of the female figure offering an orange to the standing man is the same dress and head coverings as that of the sitter in The Sahleb Vendor, Cairo, 1886 (fig2.), but here she is seen with her back to the viewer on the right. This repetition of objects and textiles in Deutsch's work is typical and frequent.

Often these pieces belonged to the artist and he was able to reuse them in numerous compositions. In addition, Deutsch also collected photographs of exotic objects in his archives and he would draw upon these frequently.

A preparatory oil sketch for the present painting titles Marchande d'oranges(fig.3)

reveals that compositionally Deutsch experimented with the placement of the baskets of oranges as well as the positioning of the central figure of the orange seller prior to settling on this final composition. Some changes have been made: in Marchande d'oranges both ladies are wearing the traditional veil, whereas in the The Orange Seller the female sitter has removed her veil. This adjustment to the final composition enhances the interaction between the man and the female merchant thereby heightening the human drama.

Source: Christie's Orientalist Art 2005 P.16

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Old 10-10-2007, 02:57 PM   #19
Sharon Knettell Sharon Knettell is offline
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You are right Enzie!

I am glad he is an inspiration to you.

We all need them.
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Old 10-10-2007, 06:46 PM   #20
Marvin Mattelson Marvin Mattelson is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sharon Knettell
Are the only ways you can make your arguments are by a snide personal comments, or by drowning us in incomprehensible, interminable reams of 'prose', especially those listing your awards.
Sharon if I didn't know better, I'd think you were trying to provoke me. :-)

Thomasin, I think you and are are coming from very different artistic sensibilities. I sincerely do not understand the point you are trying to make. The painting you show (I assume it's a Cezanne) as an example, is it supposed to be spatial or flat? When I talk about illusionistic painting I'm talking about something akin to remarks made about a Rembrandt painting, "It looks like you could pick up the painting by grabbing the nose."

Enzie, as you know, I'm so proud of the great progress you are making. Dream the dream!

As Michaelangelo said, "The greatest danger for most of us is not that our aim is too high and we miss it, but that it is too low and we reach it." Yogi Berra said, "You got to be careful if you don't know where you're going, because you might not get there."
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