Thursday, December 27, 2018

Left Bracket Fifth Round Elimination: Homer v. Church!

It's an All-American Fifth Round Elimination match!  Winslow Homer lost his second match to Dutch master Pieter De Hooch, but has since put together a seven-win streak that included victories over Frida Kahlo, Bouguereau, and Dutch master Pieter de Hooch.  Frederick Church, ten years his elder, has fewer wins, but they include Joseph Cornell, Cezanne, and now Edward Hopper.  Kind of an unstoppable force/immovable object sort of situation here, as the Infinite Art Tournament does what it does best, and continues!

Winslow Homer
1836 - 1910
...this great painter of the American scene did not lose the edge when it came to the probity and drama of his art.... In works such as Fox Hunt (1893) and Right and Left (1909), Homer dealt with profound issues of existence, while in his paintings of the pounding surf of the Maine coast he brought nature to center stage.
- Smithsonian

Frederick Church
1826 - 1900
From the first, Church showed a remarkable talent for drawing and a strong inclination to paint in a crisp, tightly focused style. During the late 1840s and early 1850s Church experimented with a variety of subjects, ranging from recognizable views of American scenery, to highly charged scenes of natural drama, to imaginary creations based on biblical and literary sources.... Gradually, however, he began to specialize in ambitious works that combined carefully studied details from nature in idealized compositions that had a grandeur and seriousness beyond the usual efforts of his contemporaries.
- National Gallery of Art
  • Brutalized 13th Century master Cimabue in Round 1.
  • Lambasted Dutch still-life specialist Pieter Claesz in Round 2.
  • Took down the popular Joseph Cornell in what was described as a "cruel" Round 3 pairing.
  • Stunned Paul Cézanne in Round 4 by a two-vote swing. YOUR VOTE COUNTS!!!
  • Fell hard to Gustave Caillebotte in Round 5.
  • Tied with Caravaggio in his first attempt at the Left Bracket Fifth Round. YOUR VOTE COUNTS!!!
  • Came from behind to beat Edward Hopper by a single vote in the Left Bracket Round 5 tiebreaker. YOUR VOTE COUNTS!!!

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

The Ladder of Art -- Week #5

Cast your votes for up to four of these seven artists by Friday the 4th.  For clarifications, consult the Ladder of Art FAQ.

Last Week's Results

This Week's Contest

Baron Antoine-Jean Gros
1771 - 1835

Tournament Record: Placed 492th (tie). Lost to Juan Gris and Greuze. 4 votes for, 20 votes against (.167).

Lucas van Leyden
1494 - 1533

Tournament Record: Placed 494th (tie). Lost to L.S. Lowry and Tony Cragg. 4 votes for, 21 votes against (.160).

Fra Bartolommeo
c.1474 - c.1517
Italian (Florentine)

Tournament Record: Placed 494th (tie). Lost to Balthus and Hans Baldung. 4 votes for, 21 votes against (.160).

Louis François Roubiliac
1702 - 1762
French; worked in England

Tournament Record: Placed 499th (four-way tie). Lost to Henri Rousseau and Théodore Rousseau. 3 votes for, 17 votes against (.150).
  • Tied for Second, Week #3
  • Tied for Third, Week #4

Stefan Lochner
1442 - 1451

Tournament Record: Placed 507th (tie). Lost to El Lissitzky and Filippino Lippi. 3 votes for, 21 votes against (.125).
  • Tied for Third, Ladder Rung #1
  • Tied for Second, Ladder Rung #2
  • Fourth Place, Week #3 
  • Tied for Third, Week #4

1581 - 1641

Tournament Record: Placed 507th (tie).  Lost to Donatello and Dosso Dossi. 3 votes for, 21 votes against (.125).
  • Tied for First, Ladder Rung #1 
  • First Place, Week #3

Simon Vouet
1590 - 1649

Tournament Record: Placed 509th.  Lost to Maurice de Vlaminck and Élisabeth Vigée Le Brun. 2 votes for, 16 votes against (.111).
  • Tied for Third, Ladder Rung #1 
  • Tied for Second, Ladder Rung #2
  • Tied for Second, Week #3
  • Placed Second in Week #4

Cast up to four votes in the comments by Friday morning!

Tuesday, December 25, 2018

The Elite Eight: Bruegel v. Degas

The "Elite Eight" are the artists who managed to start the Tournament with a run of six victories. All any of them need to do is win four more, and he or she will be the greatest artist of all time! Easier said than done, of course.

Here, as a special Christmas gift just for you, is the first of the four Seventh-Round matches!

Pieter Bruegel (the Elder)
c.1525 - 1569
A number of Bruegel’s paintings focus on the lives of Flemish commoners.... But while these works demonstrate the artist’s attentive eye for detail and attest to his direct observation of village settings, they are far from simple re-creations of everyday life. The powerful compositions, brilliantly organized and controlled, reflect a sophisticated artistic design.... Bruegel’s use of landscape also defies easy interpretation, and demonstrates perhaps the artist’s greatest innovation.... These panoramic compositions suggest an insightful and universal vision of the world — a vision that distinguishes all the work of their remarkable creator.
- The Met's Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History
  • Trounced his own son, Jan Bruegel the Elder, in Round 1.
  • Won easily against living artist Daniel Buren in Round 2.
  • Scorched respectable Victorian Ford Maddox Brown in Round 3.
  • Made it past Botticelli in Round 4.
  • Beat Gianlorenzo Bernini in Round 5 by a single vote. YOUR VOTE COUNTS!!!
  • Beat Albrecht Altdorfer easily in Round 6.

Edgar Degas
1834 - 1917
Edgar Degas seems never to have reconciled himself to the label of “Impressionist,” preferring to call himself a “Realist” or “Independent.” Nevertheless, he was one of the group’s founders, an organizer of its exhibitions, and one of its most important core members. Like the Impressionists, he sought to capture fleeting moments in the flow of modern life, yet he showed little interest in painting plein-air landscapes, favoring scenes in theaters and cafés illuminated by artificial light, which he used to clarify the contours of his figures, adhering to his academic training. - The Met's Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History
  • Whupped it up on sculptor Richard Deacon in Round 1.
  • Stomped on Eugène Delacroix in Round 2.
  • Crushed countryman Honoré Daumier in Round 3.
  • Bested Caravaggio in Round 4.
  • Beat Albrecht Dürer in a tough Round 5 match.
  • Beat Gustave Caillebotte in Round 6 by a two-vote swing. YOUR VOTE COUNTS!!!

Thursday, December 20, 2018

Left Bracket Fifth Round Elimination: Dürer v. Caravaggio!

Albrecht Dürer and Caravaggio have both fallen victim to Degas, and it's interesting to think what they would make of that.  Dürer, who was at one time one of the highest-polling artists in the Tournament (he's still doing great to be in contention this late, obviously), has a 5-1 record and several blowouts under his belt.  Caravaggio has gone 6-1-2, with some of his victories being very close indeed.  They can't both win this one, so let's see what happens instead.  

Albrecht Dürer
1471 - 1528
 No artist better fits Thomas Carlyle's definition of genius, as the "transcendent capacity of taking trouble," than Albrecht Dürer. The industry of the man was breathtaking, his mastery of detail astonishing, yet everything he did seemed fresh and newly minted. The most intellectual of northern Renaissance artists, but the one who responded most immediately to nature, to the world and the people around him, he was profoundly religious yet supremely open-minded.
- New York Times
  • Defeated Anthony Van Dyck without too much trouble in Round 1.
  • Art-Brutalized Jean Dubuffet in Round 2.
  • Went ninja on Donatello in a massive Round 3 victory.
  • Beat Richard Diebenkorn on his home court in Round 4.
  • Lost a close one to Edgar Degas in Round 5.
  • Whupped on Paul Cézanne in the Left Bracket Fifth Round.

1571 - 1610
For 400 years Caravaggio's staggering artistic achievements have thrilled viewers, yet his volatile personal trajectory... has long confounded historians.
- National Gallery of Art