Volume 4, Number 7
New SegPlay®PC Patterns
There's two new SegPlay®PC pattern collections available this month.
The first set is Dragon Fire
Dragons are imaginary creatures with reptile-like qualities. The name derives from Greek words meaning giant water snake. Dragons are often depicted with the ability to emit fire from their mouths and also the ability to fly. Dragons can have 2 or four legs, are sometimes given a poison secreting quality and have supernatural and devilish qualities. Our set of dragon patterns are created from colorful illustrations of dragons in various styles and poses including 5 clawed Chinese dragons, flying dragons, devil dragons, a clown dragon, a puffing dragon, a fire breathing dragon, a dragon surrounding a castle, and a knight attacking a dragon.
The second new SegPlay®PC set available this month is Domenico Ghirlandaio - Florentine Painter.
Domenico Ghirlandaio (1449 - 1494) was an Italian Renaissance painter from Florence who used a grand and decorous style to depict figures with realistic shading and dimensionality. He his commonly given credit for being the teacher of Michalangelo. Our set contains many of his works including a self portrait taken from a detail in his "Adoration of the Magi" painting. Other paintings included in the set are "Giovanna Tornabuoni", "Portrait of a Girl", "Jerome in His Study", "Madonna and Child Enthrowed with Saints", "Adoration of the Shepherds", and "An Old Man and His Grandson".
Domenico Ghirlandaio - Florentine Painter
Once again we're a bit late with the newsletter. Sorry 'bout that, but there's lots going on with our summer activities - hopefully your's too! Just came back from a visit to the Getty museum in Los Angeles. Very inspiring time.
New product development continues and we hope to have a revamped line of mobile products late this summer. We should have some versions ready for beta testing in a few weeks. We'll keep you posted on our progress.
Thanks to those who have told us about a few spelling mistakes on the site. We hope they're getting harder to find! Also thanks for some recent suggestions for future artists of the month. Our pending artist list is good for at least the next four years!
It's almost back-to-school time. For those teachers out there, we'd really like to better understand how SegPlay is being used in the school room and art class. If you have a moment drop us a line and let us know how the software is being used and what we can do to improve it's value for the students.
We're looking for suggestions for future artists of the month. If you think we've overlooked one of your favorites, let us know. Likewise if there's a theme that you think would work well in our pattern collection, let us know and we'll make it happen!
We're always looking for more appealing art pieces for our SegPlay®PC paint by number collection. If you are an aspiring artist, illustrator, or photographer and am interested in collaborating on a pattern set, drop us an email firstname.lastname@example.org
We hope you enjoyed reading this newsletter. Please feel free to pass it on to a friend or colleague. If you have any comments or suggestions about this newsletter, please drop us an email to: email@example.com.
-Mark & Beth
Artist Of The Month:|
Domenico Ghirlandaio - Florentine Painter
Domenico di Tommaso Bigordi, known as Domenico Ghirlandaio (1449 - January 11, 1494) was an Italian painter of the Florentine school. He was one of the most successful artists of his day and is now recognized as one of the greatest painters of the Early Renaissance.
Domenico Ghirlandaio was born in Florence, Italy in 1449. His father, Tommaso Bigordi, was a jeweler and goldsmith who made delicate jewelry in the form of garlands for Florentine society ladies, work that won Domenico the nickname "Ghirlandaio," Italian for "garland maker."
Almost nothing is known about Domenico's early life, his artistic training, or even how he started his career. His earliest works date from the 1470s and are heavily influenced by the frescoes of Andrea del Castagno, who died when Domenico Ghirlandaio was eight. It is believed that he was apprenticed to Florentine painter Alesso Baldovinetti, even though Baldovinetti was a mere five years older than Domenico Ghirlandaio.
Domenico Ghirlandaio probably began his artistic career in his native Florence. He worked almost exclusively in fresco, either on large walls or on wood panels used as altarpieces. Unlike his Florentine contemporaries, he never produced any works in oils. He was successful and in demand almost from the start of his career and enjoyed the support of wealthy patrons. One of his first known commissions, painted in 1475, was a series of frescoes for the Church of Ognissanti in Florence, produced under the patronage of the Vespucci family. One of those frescoes, The Madonna of Mercy and the Lamentation over Christ, characteristically includes a portrait of his benefactor, Amerigo Vespucci, among the mourners. Another major commission from 1475 was the decoration of the Chapel of Santa Fina, near Florence.
The Church loved Domenico Ghirlandaio's paintings which were dramatic works but still managed to be both lyrical and sensitive. His style was bold and his colors bright. He used perspective well and his works almost always included portraits of wealthy contemporary citizens and architectural motifs. The commissions rolled in. Domenico Ghirlandaio ran his workshop as a successful business in which he employed his brothers, his son, Ridolfo, and his brother-in-law. Together they formed one of the most popular workshops in Florence.
The years 1481-82 saw Domenico Ghirlandaio in Rome for a commission to work on the Sistine Chapel. The fresco he produced represents the calling of Peter and Andrew, the First Apostles. Typically, the work includes portraits of the Florentine citizens of Rome among the onlookers.
Domenico Ghirlandaio's powerful Florentine patrons included the Medici family, the Tornabuoni family, and the Sassetti family. Following the prestige of the Sistine Chapel frescoes, upon his return to Florence Domenico Ghirlandaio's patrons commissioned an important series of works, the first of which were the Sassetti Chapel frescoes (1483-45), a series of six paintings depicting the Life of Saint Francis. The fifteen frescoes in the Church of Santa Maria Novella representing the lives of the Virgin and Saint John the Baptist were commissioned by Giovanni Tornabuoni, a partner in the Medici bank, immediately after the Sassetti Chapel works. Domenico Ghirlandaio's most celebrated work, their portrayal of domestic scenes from the lives of the Florentine nobility have made them an important source of knowledge about late 15th century interiors and dress styles. They also contain 21 portraits of the Tornabuoni family members. The work was commissioned on September 1, 1485 and completed by his assistants in 1490. Among Domenico Ghirlandaio's assistants on this project was the young Michelangelo.
Not much is known about Domenico Ghirlandaio's personal life, but he had six children from two wives. He married his first wife, Costanza di Bartolommeo Nucci in 1480 and had two children with her. Costanza died in 1485 and Domenico remarried in 1488.
Domenico Ghirlandaio died of the plague on January 11, 1494 and was buried in Santa Maria Novella in Florence. He was not yet 45 years old.
You can find a large collection of Domenico Ghirlandaio patterns to use with SegPlay®PC  here.
Art in the News:
BP Portrait Award Goes to Image of Mum in Mortuary
Former teacher Daphne Todd was announced as the winner of the prestigious BP Portrait Award. The winning portrait, Last Portrait of Mother, is a disturbing depiction of Ms. Todd's mother's corpse in the morgue painted just after she died at the age of 100. At 63, Ms. Todd is the oldest winner of the £25,000 ($37,000) prize. She had been a runner up in 1984, but stopped entering paintings in the competition after she turned 40 because she was over the age limit. The age limit was scrapped in 2007.
While still on the shortlist and before the winner was announced, Todd had described herself as "the token elderly person," saying that she was not expecting to win because she felt her painting was not "cutting edge" enough.
Todd worked for three days on the painting without even taking a coffee break. She described the portrait as being easier than normal because her subject kept still, although her dead mother did begin to change color by the second day. Daphne's mother, who had lived with her daughter on their farm in England, had given her permission for the portrait a year before she died in April 2009.
Ms Todd said that "BP are getting rather bad press at the moment", (because of the oil spill) but added that they were to be commended for their sponsorship of the arts.
Vollard Modern Art Collection Found in Paris Bank Vault Goes on Sale
Paris art dealer Ambroise Vollard is best known for his backing of some of the most important artists of the Impressionist and Modern schools. From Cezanne to Picasso, Vollard could be found behind their success. And now, 140 works from his private collection are to go on sale at Sotheby's, London.
The Vollard collection had been deposited in a Paris bank vault in 1939, just before France was occupied by the Germans. But Erich Slomovic, the young Yugoslav art dealer who deposited the works, was killed by the Nazis in 1942 and the safety deposit box remained unopened until 1979 when the bank opened the vault due to non-payment of the fees. A planned sale in Paris in 1981 had to be abandoned due to legal entanglements over the ownership.
The most important work in the collection is a 1905 painting by French artist Andre Dearain who, with Matisse, was co-founder of the Fauve movement. The Derain painting is valued at $18 million.
Outside the Lines
Michelangelo was left handed. When he painted David and Goliath, he showed David holding his sling in his left hand.
Leonardo da Vinci was also left handed. He wrote all of his notes from right to left, requiring a mirror to be used to read them.
When Paolo Ucello painted The Lives of the Church Fathers in a monastery near Florence he wanted to protest the boring meals he was forced to eat while living with the monks, so he painted blue fields, and red and green colored buildings.