Posts Tagged ‘Donald Langosy’

One year ago it was my pleasure to share, in his own words and images, a glimpse into the life of painter Donald Langosy. Through his 14-page Story of My Art, that I condensed into roughly six blog posts, Mr. Langosy shared his amazing creative journey that involved the likes of Ezra Pound, William Blake, his wife Elizabeth and of course there is Shakespeare. His work is unique and quite inspiring as can be seen in the new book Donald Langosy: The Poet’s Painter. This book of 99 poems by Eric Sigler illustrated with full-color reproductions of the 99 paintings by Mr. Langosy that inspired the poet.


Available online from a variety of vendors as listed below. If I have one criticism, after having seen firsthand the scale of some of these paintings, it is that I wish the book was physically bigger. Meanwhile I hope there will be an art opening one day so that more people can view his work up close and meet both painter and poet!



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i keep sitting down to write you about this painting… and each time i draw a blank… it is a favorite of mine… a poster of it welcomes you into my studio …” — Donald Langosy, 2016

detail from nymphs and satyr by bouguereau

detail from nymphs and satyr by bouguereau

Of late I’ve become quite bold in asking people to share with me in words and sometimes images the beauty that they experience. I want to understand why a certain piece of music heard, a poem read, or a moment in a certain field can move them so deeply. In painter Donald Langosy’s case, I wanted to know why he was so moved by Bouguereau’s Nymphs and Satyr (1873), a painting held in the collection of the Clark Art Institute in Williamstown, MA. I’d learned from Langosy’s daughter that, as with Titian, it was a work of art Langosy might like to see in person one day.  And so I asked him to please tell me why, and as I waited for his words, I did a little bit of my own research into this Bouguereau.

Adolphe William Bouguereau (1825-1905) was a French figurative painter noted for producing rather luminous works with Classical, mythological and religious themes. His work was very popular with the European and American public during his lifetime. He received top prices for his work. He not only painted portraits, but he also decorated private homes, churches and public buildings.

Pieta, 1876

pieta, 1876

Quite prolific, he apparently produced over 800 finished paintings. In addition, beginning in the 1860s he taught at the Academie Julian in Paris. Among his many students over the years he would teach Henry Ossawa Tanner and Ellen Day Hale. As I read criticism about his work from across the different decades, both the words beautiful and escapist were applied. During the height of Bouguereau’s career there was a new movement starting in the French art scene, Impressionism. Many within this new school were not enamored of Bouguereau’s work and actively belittled it. Despite the controversy surrounding his subject matter, so polished and dreamy during an age of great turmoil, few denied the mastery of his technique.

sadly,” notes Langosy, “Bouguereau is remembered for his unending number of paintings of little girls and poetically posed young virginal women…. which is unfortunate… for it distracts from his many accomplishments…like this one, which is among the finest masterpieces ever painted…

…compositionally outstanding…. but outstanding because of the remarkable brush work… which is brilliant because of his command of color and line….. the sensual twirl feeling of the nymphs… the satyr in a diagonal angle attempting to brace himself against their attempts to over power him… Bouguereau’s subtle sense of line accenting the individual rhythms of the different poses…

…rhythm of line is what creates three dimension on a two dimensional plane…. and then there are the leaves and grass and the water… egads!….i’m speechless… i haven’t written enough about this painting… but now you will understand why it took me this long to write

And that is how I came to learn of nymphs, satyrs and appreciate the work of Bouguereau through the words of Donald Langosy.


Additional Readings & Images







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donald langosy in the studio

donald langosy in a studio from the early days

For the past six Thursdays it has been been my pleasure to share the words and images of painter Donald Langosy. In collaboration with his daughter, he produced a unique 14-page memoir visually chronicling his evolution as an artist. I was allowed to share that memoir on this blog interspersed with additional words and images by Langosy.

Last Thursday’s post – story of my art – shakespeare and the joy of being, revealed that Mr. Langosy was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 2003. Has it affected how he expresses himself as an artist? Of course. But decrease in mobility and even fine motor skills has in no way decreased his creativity or even his productivity. As he has stated he does not allow MS into his studio, but he has welcomed visitors on occasion.

donald langosy in the studio present day

donald langosy still in the studio present day

I have been lucky enough to sit in his space and at his side and see his works-in-progress upon the easel, the canvases stacked against the wall, his sculptures tucked in high nooks, and what I especially love (and I tell him each time) the books, the books, the books, on so many different subjects, collected over the years! And no matter how crammed the space becomes with paintings and books and new technologies to enable him in his work, there is always space for the grandchildren.

grandchildren in the studio

grandchildren in the studio

Below are a few more images. Please enjoy this virtual peek inside the studio, present and past, of Donald Langosy.

Photos provided by Zoe Langosy.

View The Story of My Art: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6.

View four decades of Langosy’s work at http://www.donald.langosy.net/

See what’s current on Langosy’s Facebook page.

His contact: Zoe Langosy at zlangosy@me.com.

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Previously in The Story of My Art: “painting with the moments

And now (click on images for larger view) …

details of elizabeth

images of elizabeth

self-portraits of donald

self-portraits of donald

And once freed, what happened? Find out in the next chapters of this artistic journey on Thursday June 23rd. 

Meanwhile, view details of the Marilyn Monroe painting here and view Mr. Langosy’s art at http://www.donald.langosy.net/ and https://www.facebook.com/The-Art-of-Donald-Langosy-270498092961524/photos/?tab=album&album_id=442071359137529

Contact: Zoe Langosy at zlangosy@me.com.

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Detail from Early Work by Donald Langosy

untitled, detail from early work by painter donald langosy

In a crumbling building in a hipster city, a private collector has many early works of Mr. Langosy. It was my privilege to view them recently, and of all the works, this one stood out to me greatly, a father holding his child, his large hand cradling while a small hand reaches up. This detail from a study of a painting never completed captured fatherhood for me. I was reminded of my father, a large man, and how he used to hold my hand. Except for an occasional wild tale, my father was mostly a silent man, conveying a lot through touch. He didn’t often say “good job” or other words of praise.  It was a pat on the top of one’s head or his hand resting on your shoulder. Then you knew you’d done well. With Father’s Day approaching, he comes to mind of course. His hand I can hold no more but the memories are enough. And for those memories I am thankful.

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Previously in The Story of My Art: “becoming an artist confident”

And now (click on image for larger view) …

The next chapter in this artistic journey is Thursday June 16th. 

Meanwhile, view Mr. Langosy’s art at http://www.donald.langosy.net/ and https://www.facebook.com/The-Art-of-Donald-Langosy-270498092961524/photos/?tab=album&album_id=442071359137529

Interested in his work? Please contact his daughter Zoe at zlangosy@me.com.

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Previously in The Story of My Art: “and then I met Elizabeth”

And now …

The next chapater in this artistic journey is Thursday June 9th.  Meanwhile, learn more about Langosy’s art by contacting Zoe at zlangosy@me.com.

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