Art Reflections

Lazy Days Art

As the summer draws to a close, it is easy to be drawn to things that remind us of the wonderful moments we enjoyed. Often we spend a great deal of time relaxing and finding peace in the shade during the summer months. Here we have selected some of the paintings that bring serenity and warmth to mind all year long.

Lord Frederic Leighton-Flaming June

Famous Leighton painting, Flaming June is widely considered to be Leighton’s magnum opus. This Victorian portrait of a sleeping woman in a blazing, translucent orange dress shows Leighton’s classicist style, with characteristic touches such as rich colors and the use of natural light. The subject is inches away from an oleander branch, a commentary on the fragile link between sleep and death. It is believed to allude to Greek sculptures of sleeping nymphs and naiads.

Gustav Klimt-Sea Serpents IV (modest – Luxury Line)

Gustav Klimt was one of the most innovative and controversial artists of the early twentieth century. Influenced by European avant-garde movements represented in the annual Secession exhibitions, Klimt’s mature style combines richly decorative surface patterning with complex symbolism and allegory, often with overtly erotic content. This piece was part of a series featuring women as sea creatures, in repose under the surface of the water.

John Singer Sargent-Two Women Asleep in a Punt under the Willows

Two Women Asleep in a Punt under the Willows is a beautiful painting by American expatriate artist John Singer Sargent. He was known for his exceptional use of color, detail and brush strokes. John Singer Sargent was an American painter and best known for his portraits. His works include 900 oil paintings and more than 2,000 watercolors. This piece perfectly captures his subject relaxing in the shade on a warm summer day.

Mary Cassatt-Breakfast in Bed

There’s an undeniable Impressionist look to Breakfast in Bed by Mary Cassatt. This charming painting features broken brush strokes and rich colors, creating the sense that the image was captured right in that moment almost like a snapshot. The subject of a mother and child is a recurring theme in Cassatt’s work, and is part of what has made her paintings so popular over the years. Few other painters of her standing found these subjects worthy of painting, which makes her work so unique today. “Breakfast in Bed” depicts a mother gazing lovingly at her child while their attention is elsewhere, looking out at the world. This familiar feeling for parents is perfectly captured by Cassatt and adds a deep level of emotion to her painting.

Edouard Manet-On the Beach

Fans of beach scenes on canvas will love this idyllic Edouard Manet painting. Manet painted this during a week he spent with family in the little coastal town of Berck-sur-Mer. The woman is well protected against the sun and the wind by a white veil while she is absorbed in her book. The man is laying there and gazing out at the sea in relaxation. They both seem to be enjoying a fine day of warm weather at the seaside.

Frederick Arthur Bridgman-The Card Players

Frederick Arthur Bridgman was an American artist who studied in New York. He later moved to Paris, where he was inspired by the Middle Eastern themes in Jean-Leon Gerome’s work. Bridgman began creating his own ‘oriental’ type paintings. His style is marked by bright colors, high contrast lighting, and painterly brushwork. The Card Players is a beautiful example of his colorful and exotic artwork. The splashes of bright white and deep reds against the duller background emphasize the brightness and the highlights of the painting. This painting has a prominent exotic atmosphere yet still carries a comforting and welcoming message with its warm colors.

John William Waterhouse-The Lady of Shalott

Lord Tennyson wrote a poem about a character from Arthurian legend and that poem came to life in The Lady of Shalott, a magnificent painting by John William Waterhouse. This gorgeous painting depicts a lovely yet tragic scene of the title character. In addition to the work’s riveting beauty, it also contains artistic significance that makes it an iconic work to this day. The powerful and evocative scene features a great level of detail in the surrounding scenery. Additionally, the central figure is painted in a soft yet realistic manner. This has caused The Lady of Shalott to become a famous example of the Pre-Raphaelite style.

Edouard Manet-Claude Monet Working on his Boat in Argenteuil

Edouard Manet depicts fellow French artist Claude Monet in his trademark impressionist style in this painting. This peaceful scene captures Monet hard at work, with the beautiful waters of Argenteuil as a backdrop. The affection shared between the two artists are clear in how subject is portrayed with such warmth.

Edward Hopper-Summer Evening

Reinterpreted time and again, this intimate painting of a summer’s eve is one of Edward Hopper’s most popular creations. The American realist was famous for showcasing the alienation of both the modern individual and the objects around them. In this case, he uses light to show how a young couple is separated from the darkness around them. The old-fashioned porch is illuminated against the night, spilling only slightly onto the green grass. Hopper places the couple at the porch’s railing, right on the edge between carefree innocence and harsh reality.

We here at hope these pieces give you the same tranquil sensation that a summer afternoon would convey. We have chosen a variety of styles and techniques to fit anyone’s taste. If these don’t hit the right note, feel free to browse our Summer Art gallery for many more options. Keep a little of the summer sunshine in your home all year.

About the Author

Amanda graduated from the University of Kansas, where she studied English literature and got a masters degree in library sciences. She enjoys reading, cooking and playing with her nephews. Her best friend is her little dog Brady.