Monday, July 19, 2010
An Unforgettable Face
"In every man's heart, there is a secret nerve that answers to the vibrations of beauty." ~ Christopher Morley ~
The female face has long been inspiration for countless number of artists over the centuries. Take for example the hauntingly elegant oil on canvas that accompanies this post. It is a portrait of 19-year old Amalie von Schintling painted in 1831 by Joseph Karl Stieler, an artist who worked primarily in the service of the Bavarian court.
Stieler painted the portrait at Schloss Nymphenburg in Munich, and endearingly captured von Schintling's hopeful visage. At that time, the young girl was betrothed to her cousin Fritz von Schintling, but sadly would never see her wedding day as she died of tuberculosis shortly after the painting was finished.
Three years ago, St. Louis, Missouri digital artist, Philip Scott Johnson further immortalized Amalie's image in a video, along with that of 89 other beautiful women, all of who had stories of their own to speak from the canvas.
The exquisite video tribute to portraitists and their distaff models displays Johnson’s carefully cropped thumbnail images, which are morphed one on top of the other in a fantasy dance of visual beauty that spans 500 years of Western art.
For two minutes and 53 seconds centuries roll by from face-to-face as we see the passionate works of such artists as Rubens, da Vinci, Reynolds, Winterhalter, Renior and more, as each beauty dissolves and melds accompanied by the sensitive cello performance of Yo-Yo Ma playing Bach’s Sarabande from Suite for Solo Cello No. 1 in G Major, BWV 1007.
Johnson’s outstanding work was recognized with a nomination for Most Creative Video by YouTube for their 2nd annual awards ceremony.
For a complete list of artists and their un-cropped paintings, please follow this link.