old masters

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American humorous illustrator Rodney Pike has undertaken an awesomely silly project. He’s been using his Photoshop skills to insert the singularly goofy face of British entertainer Rowan Atkinson in character as Mr. Bean into a variety of portraits by the Old Masters. Judging by the lacy panties held in the hands of Thomas Howard (top image), painted by Hans Holbein the Younger in 1539, Pike sometimes tinkers with more than the faces in the portraits.

If it weren’t for the befuddled expression forever worn on Mr. Bean’s face, these images could be a taste of additional series of Blackadder we’ve always wanted.

Pike says he plans to complete 30 pieces for his Mr. Bean Collection, so keep an eye on his website or DeviantArt page for additional pieces.

[via Ego-AlterEgo]

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Old Masters: After 80, some people don’t retire. They reign.

A wonderful essay by Lewis Lapham in today’s NYTimes magazine with a quote by the 19th-century Japanese artist Hokusai:

From the time that I was 6 years old I had the mania of drawing the form of objects. As I came to be 50 I had published an infinity of designs; but all that I have produced before the age of 70 is not worth being counted. It is at the age of 73 that I have somewhat begun to understand the structure of true nature, of animals and grasses, and trees and birds, and fishes and insects; consequently at 80 years of age I shall have made still more progress; at 90 I hope to have penetrated into the mystery of things; at 100 years of age I should have reached decidedly a marvelous degree, and when I shall be 110, all that I do, every point and every line, shall be instinct with life — and I ask all those who shall live as long as I do to see if I have not kept my word.

See also: David Galenson’s Old Masters and Young Geniuses

The Museum’s greatest old master painting, Rogier van der Weyden’s diptych, presents the Crucifixion as a timeless dramatic narrative. Explore our online gallery to see how other artists, including Thomas Eakins, Marc Chagall, and Paul Strand, have taken various approaches to this sorrowful religious subject.

The Crucifixion, with the Virgin and Saint John the Evangelist Mourning,” c. 1460, by Rogier van der Weyden