Volume 5, Number 2
New SegPlay®PC Patterns
There's two new SegPlay®PC pattern collections available this month.
The first set is On Cloud Nine.
Clouds are visible masses of water droplets which are suspended in the earth's atmosphere. Clouds are classified in various groups depending on their altitude, structural appearance, and coloration. Cirrocumulus, Cirrostratus, Altocumulus, Altostratus, Stratocumulus, Stratus, Cumulus, Nimbostratus, and Cumulonimbus, are the most common names given. Their coloration gives clues on what they contain due to light scattering effects of water drops and ice crystals and the direction of the light hitting the clouds. Our set of cloud patterns will put you on Cloud Nine. We have many representations of clouds of various types photographed against cactuses, birds, bridges, shades, water, and grass fields. Several of the patterns are based on clouds images which have been artistically enhanced to give them a different yet, fun, and colorful appearance.
On Cloud Nine
The second new SegPlay®PC set available this month is Giovanni Bellini - Italian Renaissance Artist.
Giovanni Bellini (c. 1430-1516) was an Italian Renaissance Artist who is considered to revolutionize Venetian painting with his sensuous and colorful style applied with slow drying paints. He is the best known painter from the Bellini family of painters. His early style can be described as Quattrocento, which incorporates classical art forms from Greek and Roman sculptors. His later works matured into a more progressive style and incorporated many instances of religious symbolism through natural elements. Our large set of Bellini patterns contains a wide cross section of his works. There are many versions of Madonna and Child, St. Jerome, Christ, and numerous portraits. There are also patterns of his Four Allegories (Lust, Falsehood, Fortune, and Prudence), two altarpieces (San Giobbe and San Zaccaria) and a self-portrait.
Giovanni Bellini - Italian Renaissance Artist
Been cold here in San Diego (brr). We're continuing to work on some major improvements to SegPlay®PC. These last few weeks have involved making many useful changes to the color palette displayed in SegPlayPC including support for custom and built in palettes. Suggestions for new and improved features are always welcome. We're still not able to target an exact release date for this improved product, but we're hoping for sometime in the fall.
We've been posting many art related articles on our blog (segmation.wordpress.com) and also on our Facebook page (www.facebook.com/Segmation). Pay us a visit and feel free to follow us there.
Our website has still been going through a few changes - mostly improving the messaging, fixing broken links, and sprucing up its look in a few places.
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.
Happy painting...spring is just around the corner!
-Mark & Beth
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Artist Of The Month:|
Giovanni Bellini - Italian Renaissance Artist
Giovanni Bellini (c. 1430–1516) was a Venetian painter who revolutionized Italian art by bringing the Renaissance style to his native Venice. His pioneering use of oil paints and deep, rich colors and shading greatly influenced his pupils Titian and Giorgione. Bellini was the trailblazer who positioned 16th century Venetian painting at the focal point of European art history.
Giovanni Bellini was born in Venice, Italy into a family of influential Early Renaissance painters. His father, Jacopo and his brothers Giovanni and Gentile were important Venetian artists. Jacopo Bellini was also art tutor to Andrea Mantegna. Little is known of Giovanni's early life but, with his brothers, he learned to paint and draw in his father's workshop. As the eldest brother, however, it was Gentile who took charge of their father's studio. Giovanni's early works reflect the influence of his father and brothers, but after the age of thirty, it is the art of Andrea Mantegna, who was also his brother-in-law, that had the greatest effect on his style.
In 1470 Giovanni and his brother Gentile received their first commission to paint a scene of the Deluge with Noah's Ark for the Scuola di San Marco. Giovanni was appointed the Doge's conservator of paintings for which he received an annual pension. Eventually, he was commissioned to paint a series of much admired historical scenes for the Doge's Palace, later destroyed in a fire in 1577.
The visit of Sicilian artist Antonello da Messina to Venice had a profoundly transformative effect on Giovanni Bellini's art and was to change the course of European art history. Antonello had learned the technique of painting in oils in Flanders, and while on a trip to Venice he was commissioned to produce an altarpiece for the church of San Cassiano. Upon seeing this technique, Giovanni abandoned egg tempera as a medium and adopted oils almost exclusively. The rich intensity, subtle tones and luminosity of oils transformed his art and paved the way for the art of the High Renaissance.
Two important works of the early 1480s, St. Francis in Ecstasy and the San Giobbe Altarpiece demonstrate Bellini's introduction of Northern Renaissance religious symbolism and landscape into Venetian religious works. The new medium of oil paints enabled him to experiment with rich color and atmosphere, paving the way for the art of the High Renaissance.
Bellini was an enormously prolific artist and produced hundreds of works, but only around 300 are still in existence. Most of his works are of religious subjects, including many Madonna and Child pictures, 50 of which have survived till today; however, he also accepted portrait commissions. Considered among his best is the fine Portrait of the Doge Leonardo Loredan.
By the 1490s Giovanni Bellini was a dominant figure of Venetian art and his workshop expanded greatly. He trained many apprentices, the most famous of which were Giorgione and Titian who would take Bellini's techniques and develop them into the art of the High Renaissance. By the early 1500s Bellini, now in his 70s, was so successful that he was unable to complete all the commissions he was asked to paint. Giovanni's brother Gentile died in 1507 and Giovanni finished his brother's painting, the Preaching of St. Mark in Alexandria as part of the conditions for inheriting their father's sketch books.
After Gentile's death, Giovanni was the sole master painter in charge of paintings in the Hall of the Great Council of Venice, a position greatly coveted by his onetime student and ambitious rival, Titian.
Towards the end of his life, Bellini experimented with mythological subjects. His last work, The Feast of the Gods, started in 1514, had been commissioned by the Duke of Ferrara but had to be completed by Titian due to Bellini's death in 1516 before the work was completed.
Giovanni Bellini was buried in the Basilica di San Giovanni e Paolo in Venice, the burial ground of the Doges and Venetian nobility.
You can find a large collection of Giovanni Bellini patterns to use with SegPlay®PC  here.
Art in the News:
The Father Who Was an Art Forger
Lee Gray, curator of the Paul and Lulu Hilliard University Art Museum in Lafayette, Louisiana was delighted to learn that Father Arthur Scott, a Jesuit priest, wanted to make a generous donation to the museum's art collection. The pastel drawing by Charles Courtney Curran was part of his mother's estate – or so he said.
Father Scott told Gray and Mark Tullos, the museum's director, that the donation was to be made in his mother's memory. Although Gray and Tullos found the priest to be rather strange, they did not suspect anything since they were used to dealing with eccentric wealthy donors. They happily accepted the donation and took Father Scott on a tour of the museum, where he showed his knowledge of art and artists.
But no sooner had Father Curran taken his leave of them that Tullos received a phone call from the Hilliard museum's registrar who gave them unsettling news – the Curran was a fake. An ultraviolet test showed bright orange spots and white glow marks. An internet search for "Father Arthur Scott" turned out blank; the Jesuit priest was Mark Augustus Landis, a well-known and highly eccentric forger of American art who, in various guises, has been "donating" paintings to American museums for some three decades. Landis never asks for money. His only condition for the "generous gifts" is that the donation be made in his parents' names.
Interviewed by the Financial Times, Landis said that he is a self-taught artist who took up painting in high school. He went on to say that his donations are his way of preserving his parents' memory, since he does not have the financial means to do it any other way. "Everybody's got a tombstone, but a picture in a museum? That really means something", he added wistfully.
Rutgers Returns Plundered Painting
A splendid 16th century portrait by German artist Hans Baldung Grien has been returned to its rightful owners after having been plundered by the Nazis almost 70 years ago. It later fell into the hands of thieves, auction houses and art dealers before being returned to the family by Rutgers University art museum.
In 1943 Friedrich and Louise Gutmann, prominent Dutch art collectors and bankers, hoped to trade the painting in exchange for their lives, but the Nazis reneged on the deal and sent the couple to concentration camps where they died.
However, Hitler never got hold of the Baldung Grien; the painting vanished mysteriously in Paris while on its way to Berlin, probably stolen by art thieves. It resurfaced at auction in London in 1948 and again in 1953. From London the painting found its way to New York, where it was bought by art dealer and collector Rudolf Heinemann in 1954. It was Heinemann who bequeathed the work to the Zimmerli Art Museum at Rutgers University in 1959.
The return of looted art works is a hot topic in museum circles and Museum Director Suzanne Delehanty said that returning the work to its original owners was an important step in correcting a historic wrong.
Hans Baldung Grien was one of the most gifted students of German Renaissance artist Albrecht Durer.
Outside the Lines
On a visit to Venice in 1506, German Renaissance artist Albrecht Durer described Giovanni Bellini as "the best painter of them all and full of courtesy and generosity towards foreign brethren of the brush."
Michelangelo painted only one easel picture.
The wealthy patron who commissioned the Mona Lisa from Leonardo da Vinci refused to take the masterpiece.