Sunday, March 15, 2009

Artist of the Week - Louis Comfort Tiffany

Magnolias and Irises, 1908, Leaded Favrile-glass window, 60 1/4 x 42 in.

Louis Comfort Tiffany was a remarkable and versatile artist. He started as a painter but quickly expanded into a variety of media. Rising to prominence during the Gilded Age of the industrial rise in America, he was a contributor to the Aesthetic Movement which believed in the importance of the decorative arts. Interiors became integrated environments in which every object, surface and treatment related to the whole. Tiffany's workshop grew as private patrons, civic institutions and churches commissioned his work.

Tiffany was truly innovative. The type of glass available to him was very limited. Coming out of a painting tradition, it is no surprise that he saw glass as a medium that he could "paint" with. Because he did not have a wide variety of glass to work with, he was instrumental in having new types of treatment made to the glass such as opalescence, variegated shades, molded textures, tonal gradations and layered colors to obtain different effects.

His windows were narratives of biblical stories, portraits of his patrons, or were landscape scenes. Like Monet, he loved the garden and created verdant scenes of trees, flowers and water. All of his windows were carefully designed and assembled one piece of glass at a time. Check out this site about stained glass to see how these windows are made!

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

I really love this picture! There is balance between the colors. Looking at the mountains you can see that the artist added depth to it. The clouds create a linear pattern. Most of the colors are from a purple or a blue color. This piece of artwork seems very calm and peaceful.

kendallm, 4th

Daniel S. said...

This is a nice art window. The mountains in the background with the small river in between make it seem very spaceous and long. I like the division between the cool colors mostly at the bottom and the warm ones up top. The sunset in the background is warm and gives the window a relaxing effect on the viewer.

Dyaimdee J. said...

This picture shows a balance of contrast and colors. Creating the ideal situation for the lighter colors at bottom and the warmer toned ones at top. The picture displays overall calmness.

Elliese said...

Oh! I love stained glass windows! I love the meanings that most of them like to show us too. I can't believe you could show so much contrast, texture, and shadow with glass. It looks real. They are also cool colors (haha two meanings) that go together. There is also so much detail, and I feel that I can just step into the window and be in a different land! Ahhh... a peaceful one!

The design has great unity too. When I think of being in the mountains, I think of grass and flowers. Irises fit the picture perfectly.

Also, since this IS a window, when light shines through, it makes the sunset (or sunrise...) just explode!

I love the idea that Tiffany came up with about using glass as a medium to paint on! It takes painting to a new level!

Jerry Mcusker said...

I found the contrast between the bright and dark colours to be quite mystical, in a sense. It seems very impressionalistic, but quite detailed. The evening, summer sun provides a lovely effect on the mountains and trees.

Mitu said...

This picture conveys a mood of serenity because of the overall balance in the colors from top to bottom. The painting seems to be composed of many layers with the dark mountains in the background seemingly receding while the flowers in their warm pink and the clouds at the top advancing. My eyes at first gravitated towards the clouds at the top and then moved their way downwards. Because the piece is stained glass for a window with light shining through this medium the colors will be more evident and make the piece even more beautiful.