Number 8 by Jackson Pollock


"Number 8" (1949)
Pollock, Jackson (1912 - 1956)
Oil, enamel, and aluminum paint on canvas
Neuberger Museum, State University of New York


It has been suggested that Jackson Pollock was influenced by Native American sand paintings, made by trickling thin lines of colored sand onto a horizontal surface. It was not until 1947 that Pollock began his "action'' paintings, influenced by Surrealist ideas of  "psychic automatism'' (direct expression of the unconscious). Pollock would fix his canvas to the floor and drip paint from a can using a variety of objects to manipulate the paint. Jackson  Pollock wanted an end to the viewer's search for representational elements in his paintings, thus he abandoned titles and started numbering the paintings instead. Of this, Pollock commented: "...look passively and try to receive what the painting has to offer and not bring a subject matter or preconceived idea of what they are to be looking for." Pollock's wife, Lee Krasner, said Pollock "used to give his pictures conventional titles... but now he simply numbers them. Numbers are neutral. They make people look at a picture for what it is - pure painting."

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Fresh Eggs by Winslow Homer


"Fresh Eggs" (1874)
Winslow Homer (1836, Boston - 1910)
Watercolor, gouache, and graphite on paper
Collection of Mr. and Mrs. Paul Mellon

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Still life with ceramics and fruits by Josep Baques


"Still life with ceramics and fruits"
Josep Baques (1931 - )
Oil on canvas, 71 x 108cm

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The Milkmaid by Johannes Vermeer


"The Milkmaid" (c. 1658-1661)
Johannes Vermeer (1632 - 1675)
Oil on canvas; 17 7/8 x 16 1/8 in. (45.5 x 41 cm.)
The Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam

Have you ever wondered what Vermeer's Milkmade is cooking? Vermeer's unassuming maid is slowly pouring milk into a squat earthenware vessel which is commonly known as a Dutch oven. The deep recessed rim shows the vessel was meant to hold a lid to seal the contents for airtight baking. Dutch ovens characteristically were used for prolonged, slow cooking and were made of iron or in the case of the present painting, of ceramic. Rand posits that the key to the contents are the broken pieces of bread which lays before her in the still life and assumes that she has already made custard in which the bread mixed with egg is now soaking. The maid now pours milk over the mixture to cover it because if the bread is not simmering in liquid while it is baking, the upper crusts of the bread will turn unappetizingly dry instead of forming the delicious upper surface of the pudding. Vermeer's maid takes such care in pouring the trickle of milk because it is difficult to rescue bread pudding if the ingredients are not correctly measured and combined.

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Galatea of the Spheres by Salvador Dali



"Galatea of the Spheres" (1952)
Salvador Dali (1904 – 1989)
 Oil on canvas; 65 x 54 cm
Fundacion Gala-Salvador-Dali, Figueras, Spain

The Galatea of the Spheres is a marvelous portrait of Salvador Dali's wife known as Gala. Gala was born Elena Ivanovna Diakonova (7 September 1894 – 10 June 1982) in Russia, to a family of intellectuals. Dali first met Gala in 1929 while working on the film Un Chien Andalou with Luis Bunuel- Gala was the wife of another Surrealist, Paul Eluard. Salvador Dali seduced Gala away from Eluard. In 1934 Dali and Gala were married in a civil ceremony in Paris and in 1958 the church permitted a Catholic ceremony (Gala's former husband died in 1952) and forever after she became known as Gala √Čluard Dal√≠. Gala managed Dali's business affairs for their entire marriage a task to which the artist was unsuited. Salvador Dali considered Gala his world and his saviour and signed many of his works with her name.

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An amazing painting by the contemporary artist Francisco Trigueros



Francisco Trigueros
Oil on panel, 68 x 28 cm

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The Stolen Kiss by Jean-Honore Fragonard


"The Stolen Kiss" (c. 1786-1788)
Jean-Honore Fragonard (1732 - 1806)
Oil on canvas; 45 x 55 cm
The State Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg

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