The SEVEN WONDERS of the ANCIENT WORLD ~ An educational multi-media presentation in word paintings, music, and pictures... featuring Contemporary scientific & historical illustrations with word paintings by

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An educational multi-media presentation in word paintings, music, and pictures...

 About two centuries before the time of Christ, a man named Antipater of Sidon wrote atravel guide to the Mediterranean world in which he listed the seven greatest and most wonderful pieces of art and architecture of his time.  The Seven Wonders of the Ancient World is the name conferred on a group of ancient works of art which had obtained pre- eminence among the sight- seers of the Alexandrian epoch and later as awe inspiring in size or splendor. This earliest extant list, was doubtless compiled from the numerous guide books common in the Ancient Greek world. It was followed by Philo of Byzantium with his own slightly divergent list of  seven wonders. Of the original seven wonders, only one site has survived to this day - the Pyramid and Sphinx at Giza. Until recently only a few sketches, coins, and written descriptions survived.  Working with the latest archeological information, eminent scientific and historical illustrator Howard David Johnson has reconstructed all Seven Wonders to give us a glimpse of a lost world washed away by the tides of time...



The Hanging Gardens of Babylon



      The Hanging Gardens of Semiramis at Babylon were built by Nebuchadnezzar, the greatest character of Babylonian history to please his wife who had disliked the bareness of her new home.  It is certain that he was a great builder; he restored many temples, put up bridges, and lined rivers with embankments. The walls he built around the city of Babylon were the longest, widest, and highest in the ancient world and added by Philo in his list of Seven Wonders.

    The Hanging Gardens were a series of terraces rising along the Euphates river bank in five tiers of 50 feet each above the next and connected by marble stairways. Each tier was planted with a profusion of fabulous trees, shrubs, and flowers. The gardens were watered by fountains fed through pipes from cisterns in the topmost terrace. Nebuchadnezzar had history's most celebrated gardens developed as an adjunct to his palace; but the Greeks ascribed them to Semiramis; a legendary queen of Babylon, daughter of the goddess Derceto.

The Hanging Gardens of Babylon were dedicated to the planet Venus



The Colossus of Rhodes


     The Colossus of Rhodes was a gigantic hollow bronze statue of Apollo   It was erected around 292-275 B.C. by Chares of Lindus to overlook the harbor of Rhodes. It required twelve years to build but stood only fifty-six years until it was overthrown and broken to pieces by an earthquake in 224 B.C.. 


    The statue stood upward of 105 feet high on an embankment facing the port (not straddling the entrance to the port as was often thought).  The legs of the statue were filled with masonry to keep the statue from being top heavy.  This and other precautions were unable to save yet another of the ancient wonders from the fury of earthquakes.  It lay broken on the rocks for 896 years until Arab conquerors sold it as scrap metal in 672 A.D..

The Colossus of Rhodes was dedicated to the Sun.  



The Statue of Zeus


    The Statue of Zeus at Olympia in the Peloponnesus was a magnificent example of collossal chryselephantine sculpture. It was made of marble and decorated with ivory and beaten gold. The flesh parts were of ivory and marble layered on a wood or stone core, the drapery and other ornaments of gold adorned with precious stones.

    The statue of Zeus was made by Phidias, the most famous sculptor of antiquity, who also made the cryselphantine statue of Athena which crowned the Acropolis.  The Statue of Zeus was completed in 457 B.C. and placed in the great temple in the sacred grove in Olympia. The Emperor Theodorus I removed it to Constantinople where it was destroyed in a fire in 475 A.D.

The statue of Zeus was dedicated to the planet Jupiter.



The Temple of Diana at Ephesus


   The Temple of Artemis (or Diana) at Ephesus, chief of the Ionian cities in Asia Minor, (now called Turkey), was built (circa the fifth-sixth centuries B.C.) by the architect Chersiphron. Once burned down by Herostratus, it was rebuilt even grander, it measured 342 feet by 164 feet and had 127 columns over 60 feet high.

   It was in this temple that Paul the Apostle preached against pagan worship and aroused angry crowds.  The Temple was destroyed by the Goths when they sacked the city in 262 A.D. Fragments of columns from the original temple are in the British Museum.

The Temple of Artemis was dedicated to the Moon.



The Mausoleum of Harlicarnassus


   When Mausolus, king of Caria (in Asia Minor), died in 353 B.C. his widow Queen Artemisia was determined to commemorate him with the costliest possible memorial. She built a great marble tomb at Harlicarnassus.

   A fine pyramid with steps of marble surmounted the rectangular base and on top of the pyramid was a mighty sculpture of Mausolus driving an eight horse chariot group.  The structure, designed by Pythius and adorned by the sculptures of Scopas and Praxiteles was eventually destroyed by an earthquake before the fifteenth century.

The Mausoleum of Harlicarnassus was dedicated to the planet Mars.

The Pharos ( Lighthouse) of Alexandria

The Pharos at Alexandria was a lighthouse at the port of the Egyptian city named for Alexander the Great.  It was completed around 300-200 B.C., a skyscraper of the ancient world standing 600 feet high.  The summit was an open place, surrounded by bronze columns, where a fire burned at night, fed by wood raised thru the central shaft.

   The most legendary feature of the Lighthouse of Alexandria was a gigantic mirror which either reflected the sun's rays or the fire by night - up to 150 miles out at sea. Erected in the reign of Ptolemy II Philadelphus on an inlet off the harbor of Alexandria,  this lighthouse was the prototype of all similar structures built along the coasts of the Roman Empire. The magnificent edifice was destroyed more than a millennium later by a series of earthquakes.

  The Lighthouse of Alexandria was dedicated to the planet Saturn.



The Great Pyramids


  At Giza, Egypt, stands the three famous pyramids, the oldest and largest of which was built by King Khufu (or Cheops) about 3000 B.C. Situated on the Nile's west bank above Cairo it is the largest of more than seventy known Egyptian pyramids measuring 755 feet square at the base and towering more than 481 feet high covering an area of nearly thirteen acres. These enormous monuments were tombs built to protect the Egyptian monarchs and the treasures buried with them. An estimated labor force of over one hundred thousand slaves took more than twenty years to build it. To this day the great pyramids remain the most costliest monuments a man has ever built to himself.  Of all the great works of art and architecture that comprised the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World only the Pyramids and the Sphinx are still standing.

The Great Pyramid was dedicated to the planet Mercury.


Thank you for visiting the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World educational multi-media exhibit by Howard David Johnson. These photo realistic images are scientifically accurate paintings based on the latest findings. They are available for free educational downloads for classroom use. E-mail for permission.

Thank you for Visiting... Your  business, letters, & links are always welcome.

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Early great western civilizations included the Egyptians and Babylonians. 

  The ancient city of Babylon ( today's Iraq ) ruled the world in it's day just as Rome did in hers. Called "The Cradle of Civilization" it was the birthplace of our modern courts and justice system based upon the legendary "Code of Hammurabi" and boasted as it's showpiece one of the seven wonders of the ancient world; The Hanging Gardens of Babylon built by Legendary King Nebucadnezzar ( 605-562 B.C.) for his wife. 

   Of the original Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, only The Great Pyramids in Egypt still stand today. Built by The Pharaoh Cheops, ( 2900-2877 B.C.) The Great Pyramids are the costliest monuments any man has ever built to himself, and their construction methods remain a mystery to this day.

"Ancient Metropolis"  (left) 2010 digital media. The ancient world was amazing even compared to our modern cities. 





Now Available from Enslow Publishing: The 7 Wonders of the Ancient World illustrated by Johnson - In public school libraries across America!

  All Seven Wonders images & text copyright 1999-2014 Howard David Johnson all rights reserved

Thank you all for visiting the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World page


Enter a world of Beauty and Imagination...

The Realistic Art Galleries of Contemporary American Illustrator Howard David Johnson

Francais    English     Deutsch   Italiano    De Portugese    Espanol     Dutch    Japanese    Chinese

Click on the Icons to visit the Educational Galleries of Realistic Art: Including Mythology of Greece, Rome, Asia, The Celts, The Norsemen, and more...Fairy and Dragon legends, The King Arthur Legends, The Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, Paintings of Ancient Egypt and Babylon, Ancient Mystic Religious texts, War and Civilization from the Ancient Spartans to World War Two, The World's Great Religions, and Free Art Lessons.

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Greek Mythology

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About the Artist

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 Art of the Bible Mermaid Art  Commercial Art Business Center Book Cover Art Paintings in Oils


Thank you for Visiting... Your  business, letters, & links are always welcome.



Who is Artist and Photographer Howard David Johnson?


A portrait of the artist in his painting studio as he is today. This September 2009 photo was taken by his youngest son Erich

       Howard David Johnson is a contemporary visual artist and photographer with a background in the natural sciences and history. H D Johnson, or David as he is called, works in a wide variety of media ranging from traditional oils,  pastels and others to today's cutting edge digital media. 

    After a lifetime of drawing and painting, Johnson's Traditional Realistic Art was exhibited in the British Museum in London in 1996, ( 3 years before he got his first computer ) as well as numerous American ones since, such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art. His illustrations have appeared in every major bookstore and gameshop chain in America as well as magazines and educational texts around the world.  

      Some of David's more prestigious clients have included the National Geographic Society, the University of Texas, the University of Cambridge in England, Paramount Studios, PBS TV, Adobe Photoshop Auto FX, Doubleday, and the History Book of the Month Club, 

      Licenses to print his existing work are available at surprisingly affordable prices. Realistic Oil Paintings, Colored pencils, Pastels, Mixed media, and Digital art can also be commissioned for select projects - Working in a variety of traditional and cutting edge digital media he offers his customers a variety of options and more than thirty years of experience.  

      As an illustrator David has not only used the computer but has been involved in the development and marketing of filter imaging software for Adobe Photoshop [TM]. On his existing works license offers start at only $149.00. Oil Paintings, Colored pencils, Pastels, Mixed media, and Digital art can also be commissioned for select projects.

This Art Gallery has been honored by more than 25 million Unique Visitors

from the Four Corners of the Earth

My Friends from around the world thus far :



England,   Canada,   Scotland,   Wales,   Ireland,   Germany,   France,   Monaco,   Andorra,   Italy,   The Vatican City State,  Greece,  Macedonia,  Cyprus,  Turkey,  Belgium,  Denmark,  The Faroe Islands,   Greenland,  Yugoslavia, Macedonia,  Croatia,  The Czech Republic,  Bosnia,  Herzegovina,  Slovakia,  Slovenia,  Luxembourg,  Latvia,  Estonia, Hungary,  Bulgaria,  Lithuania,  Poland,  Austria,  Romania,  Spain,  The Russian Federation,   Ukraine,   Kazakhstan, Moldova,  Malta,  Iceland,  Finland,  Norway,  Netherlands,  Switzerland,  Liechtenstein,  Sweden,  Portugal,  Albania, Armenia, Georgia,  Azerbaijan,  Belarus,  Kazakhstan,  Gibraltar,  Israel,  Palestinian Territories,   Egypt,   Libya,  Mali, Algeria,  Niger,  Saudi Arabia,  Oman,  The United Arab Emirates,  Kuwait,  Bahrain,  Qatar,  Yemen,  Iraq,  Iran,  Jordan, Syria,   Lebanon,   Morocco,   Ethiopia,   Eritrea,   Liberia,   The Republic of Congo,   Rwanda,   Kenya,  Angola,  Ghana, The Ivory Coast,   Zambia,   Zimbabwe,   Sudan,  Nigeria,  Namibia,  Uganda,   Kenya,  Eritrea,  Tanzania,  Botswana, Malawi,  Senegal,  Djibouti,  Cameroon,  Chad,  Gambia,  Mozambique,  Swaziland,  Lesotho,  South Africa,  Viet Nam, Japan,  South Korea,  China,  Hong Kong,  Macau,  Mongolia,  Mauritius,  Singapore, Thailand, Cambodia,  Laos,   Myanmar,  Macau,  Malaysia,  Taiwan,  Nuie,  New Zealand,  Fiji,  Cook Islands,  New Caledonia,  Vanuatu,  American Samoa,  Australia,  Micronesia,  Polynesia,  Papua New Guinea,  The Heard and McDonald Islands,  The Philippines, Guam, Palau,  Cocos Island,  The Kingdom of Tonga,  Malaysia,   Brunei Darussalem,  India,   Pakistan,   Afghanistan, Bhutan,  Bangladesh,  Sri Lanka,  Chagos Islands,  The Republic of Maldives,  Turkmenistan,  Kyrgyzstan,  Uzbekistan, Nepal,  Indonesia,  Chile,  Argentina,  Uruguay,  Paraguay,  Brazil,  Peru,   Aruba,  Venezuela,  Bolivia, Suriname,  Guyana,  Aruba,  The Dominican Republic,  Guatemala,  Costa Rica,  Colombia,  Trinidad and Tobago,   Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados,  The Virgin Islands,  The Netherlands Antilles,  Panama,  Saint Vincent & Grenadines, Grenada, Ecuador,  Belize,   Nicaragua,   El Salvador,   Bermuda,  Cuba,  Jamaica,  Dominica,  Haiti,  Puerto Rico,  Cayman Islands,   Anguilla,    The Bahamas,   Honduras,   Mexico, 

and my home, The Great Free State of Texas...  [USA] 

If your home is not listed here please e-mail us and tell us where you're from..

Thank you for Visiting the Women of Mythology art page... Your  business, letters, & links are always welcome.

All images copyright 1993-2014 Howard David Johnson all rights reserved.







Many pieces are currently available, mostly 11x14-13x16 inch Prismacolor Paintings (like Helen of Troy) and pencil portraits (like Arriba #2) followed in number by Acrylic, Prismacolor and pastel mixed media all on #400 Strathmore Bristol Board ranging from $700.00-$1400. 00 USD and Oil Paintings on canvas ranging from $1999.00 - 10,000.00 USD.  Pieces that have never been rendered in oil can be commissioned in 16x20 inch size on canvas for 50% down and delivered in under 90 days with signed certificates of authenticity aka legal documents pledging never to render it in that size and media again to ensure premium collectability and investment potential.

David can also do a completely new picture designed in digital media (for more on this visit his digital media page) and when we approve the photo-montage, he uses it as reference to render it in oil on canvas. No surprises.  Existing Artwork is shipped very well protected and go out to you immediately via Fed Ex or USPS Express mail upon receipt of payment at our expense. All new creations cost a bit more depending on what is involved. All new creations and rendering photo montages into art on paper are a LOT of fun with e-mail attachments and digital cameras. 



Almost all of Johnson's Mixed Media creations (above left) displayed in this site are available to be rendered in oil on canvas like the 20x16 oil on canvas Faerie Guardians 2006 (above right). Each design will only be rendered in oil once at this size and can be delivered in as little as 90 days. Sadly, much of the subtlety, vibrance, lustre and impact of an original oil painting is lost when it is scanned and imported to digital media or even printed by a master printer. Nothing can compare to an original oil painting viewed in person in my opinion but the other painting media definitely look good in print and have their charms and distinct advantages as well.

e-mail for more details at

Thank you for Visiting... Your  business, letters, & links are always welcome.



Thank You for Visiting...

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     In the distant past, people struggled to build civilizations. Gathering together to form cities, they pooled their knowledge to advance their technology. To mark their achievements, they left behind glorious monuments.

   Players in Res Publica must guide these peoples together to form cities, exchange knowledge and build monuments. The great peoples of antiquity are present, along with their most important innovations and the seven wonders of the ancient world. Three to five players may compete to gather the most advances.

    Lead the Babylonians, Egyptians, Greeks, Romans, or the mysterious Atlantians into a bold new future. Will you build a new level of civilization or sink into hopeless barbarism? Find out in Res Publica, the exciting game for players ten and up from master game designer Reiner Knizia.

   Players trade people cards in hopes of acquiring enough to build a city. Once a city is built, a player draws technology cards and attempts to acquire enough to build a monument representing the advance chosen from the seven wonders of the ancient world.  The Player with the most advanced civilization wins. The game comes ready to play with sixty cards and features eighteen different illustrations, fifteen new and original works by the artist, and three new variations of old non-copyrighted works from the public domain.


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The original European release version of the game was won by building a single monument, but the artist said " Wouldn't it be fun if we expanded it by adding the seven wonders of the ancient world and win the game by building them all?" This web exhibit shows the card art for the Seven wonders enlarged with word paintings...

Res Publica is for sale in hobby stores everywhere or order it by calling 1-800-564-9008 toll free 24 hours a day or order it on-line from Avalanche


Custom Illustration and Gorgeous Quality High Resolution Printing Masters With Publishing Licenses!

for Commercial use in 

 Books Cards Posters Magazines CDs DVDs Videos & more are available at reasonable rates.



Howard David Johnson works in a wide variety of media * Oil paintings * Acrylic Paintings * Prismacolor Paintings * Drawings * Chalk & Oil Pastel Paintings * Photography * and last but not least: Digital Artistry & Mixed Media *  Because of the use of photography in everything he does, even Johnson's all-oil paintings can be termed mixed media.*

All  paintings, pictures, & text  (c) 2014 Howard David Johnson All Rights Reserved






"Those who are enamoured of practice without science are like a pilot who goes into a ship without rudder or compass and never has any certainty where he is going. Practice should always be based upon a sound knowledge of theory, of which perspective is the guide and gateway, and without it nothing can be done well in any kind of painting."

Howard David Johnson is a contemporary visual artist and photographer with a background in
the natural sciences and history. He works in a wide variety of media ranging from traditional
oils,  pastels and others to cutting edge digital media. He loves mixing media. This site features
examples of his Realistic Art, including illustration, photography, experimentalism, and fine art.


    The various galleries linked to by the icons above show many examples of His Realistic Art, and are grouped by theme rather than media. Since boyhood he has passionately copied the old masters. Using a strategy employed by J.W. Waterhouse (The old master David has imitated most) - his wistful and graceful models cannot be underestimated in their contribution to the stunning beauty and the potential for lasting appeal of his work. To create his work, he usually starts with a thematic concept, then working in his Photography studio with live models. He then assembles a variety of elements which are realistic and original. As a boy he dedicated his life to art in 1960. From 1965- 1999 he used xeroxes and tracings to make his preliminary photo montages. This is patterned after  the manner used by Maxfield Parrish and other 19th century notables. For this he offers no apology as many of the greatest artists in history employed any and all means of technology at their disposal such as Camera Obscura or even the evil manufactured tube paints. See his article below: "On Art and Technology: When Seeing is Not Believing" An essay dealing with mechanical aids to visual art from Camera Obscura to Computers for more on this. The digital montage is a natural evolution of the preliminary photo collage David learned from great Realistic illustrators like Maxfield Parrish and Norman Rockwell. You'd think by now everything would have been tried but it hasn't. Exploring new art mediums is just as exciting today, just as full of freshness and newness as it ever been.

His favourite medium for professional work for many years was colored pencil because of the high speed and low expense, and people began expressing difficulty in telling his colored pencil drawing from photographs in the early 1980's. Lately he mostly draws in colored pencil to relax and for personal works. Recently he has come to prefer Oil on canvas and digital media because of the respectability of oils and the flexibility and profitability of digital media. As a commercial illustrator Johnson has not only used the computer to create art but has been involved in the development of computer imaging software for Adobe Photoshop. Working in a realistic style inspired by classic illustrators David is deeply rooted and grounded in the Greco-Roman artistic tradition, Feeling that with realistic art, the human form is the ultimate arena for artistic expression. His lifelong dream came true when his Traditional Realistic Art was exhibited in the British Museum in London England in 1996. Having achieved international acclaim as a traditional visual artist he discovered digital media (Art Numérica) in 1999. Because of his passion for realistic art he elected to embrace it and joyfully be a part of this historic era in the visual arts as a 21st century realistic visual artist. Since 1972 when he began his career as a scientific illustrator for the University of Texas he has earned his living illustrating all kinds of books, magazines, CD covers, and all sorts of games, greeting cards, calendars, portraits, tapestries, murals and the like with his contemporary realistic art... David's Realistic Art has appeared in every major bookstore chain in The United States and has been used in educational texts and magazines all over the world.


All  paintings, pictures, & text  (c) 1993- 2014 Howard David Johnson All rights reserved

Thank You for Visiting the Women of Mythology art page...



Bonus Section:

Personal Opinion Essays on Realistic Art yesterday and today by the artist.

In addition to his mastery of traditional media, Howard David Johnson now combines drawing, painting, photography, and digital media with more than thirty years of experience in these fields to create his Realistic Art Numérica in 21st century paintings and pictures.

Did you know the Greek word "Photography" means "Painting with Light"? Today with the advent of computers it truly lives up to it's name. Due to developments in Art and Technology, a broader definition of painting is needed than that which is found in common usage.

Announcing Art Numérica -an exciting merger of traditional visual art and cutting edge technology... a new art form for the twenty- first century... Art Numérica is not limited to realistic art but also offers limitless horizons for everything from cartoons to abstractions.

It is the most dramatic development in the visual arts since the Renaissance. In the words of Al Jolson in the movie world's first talking picture" You ain't seen nothin' yet!"


(A Brief essay dealing with attitudes toward Traditional Realistic Paintings, Pastels, Colored Pencils and Art Numérica )

"Painting, in art, the action of laying colour on a surface, or the representation of objects by this means. Considered one of the fine arts"

~Encyclopaedia Britannica. 

"Painting. noun. 1.) The act or employment of laying on colors or paints. 2.) The art of forming figures or objects in colors on canvas or any other surface, or the art of representing to the eye by means of figures and colors any object; the work of an illustrator or painter. 3.) A picture; a likeness or resemblance in shape or colors. 4.) Colors laid on. 5.) Delineation that raises a vivid image in the mind; as in word painting.

~ Webster's Unabridged Dictionary of the English Language

     Snobbism in the arts is nothing new. Some people will tell you that oils are the only valid medium for realistic paintings. That Colored Pencil, Digital, and other Realistic Painting and Drawing Media are not valid  for "real" art. Young artists, Don't let them bother you. Their forerunners used to condemn Pastels before they gained acceptance and called them "crayons" when Johann Alexander Thiele (1685-1752) invented them.  Mercilessly disrespectful  art critics of the time could not stop the Experimentalists no matter how viciously they attacked and derided them. "Crayon-painting" as it was called in England was practiced early on by persecuted pioneers in Switzerland and many other nations. What a debt we owe to these master artists who refused to knuckle under to the pressure of those short-sighted critics during those historic and experimental times. It took until 1870 with the founding of the "Societe` Des Pastellistes" in France that respect came  at last to these heroic & immortal visual artists.

        In England the liberation of the Pastellists from slight regard and undeserved disrespect came with the first exhibition of "The Pastel Society" at the Grosvenor Gallery in 1880. Pastel Painters like Mary Cassat and others from America and other nations forever silenced  the snobs with their masterworks and gained recognition at long last for Thiele's invention as a valid art medium. I am persuaded that history will repeat itself.  Like Pastels, I believe these wonderful new colored pencils and even Digital Realistic Art Media will one day receive the recognition they deserve as powerful mediums of artistic expression just as pastel paintings did. What is your definition of art? Have you thought about it?

Mine is: "anything that makes you feel or think."

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Pastel, Acrylics, and Colored Pencils combined

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The detail reveals Realistic art and abstract art combined

     Consider dancing... it can be a little skip in the step or rise to the level of the incomparable Russian Ballet. Did you know that just the materials alone for a single oil painting cost up to a thousand dollars these days? Even paying the artist less than minimum wage no one but the super rich can afford them anymore. Something's got to give. Realistic paintings in oil have been highly prized for centuries and the appeal and following of realistic art is undiminished to this day. Oil paintings featuring Abstract Art and Realistic Art are generally the most treasured form of all the visual art media and with good reason. But snobbish art critics  favoring abstract art have declared  that realistic paintings, or illustrations are not art for a century. With so many representationalist  paintings by so many immortal master artists hanging in the Louvre, the Hermitage, and the British Museum and others I think the disrespect for realistic illustrators that dominated the 20th century is academically ridiculous as well as vain and intolerant, insisting theirs is the only valid opinion. What is your definition of Art? I believe almost any form of human expression can be raised to the level of "high art" especially  visual art and Realistic illustration...

       By my own definition of art, which is: "anything that makes you feel or think" most abstract paintings are not "real art" to me personally, because abstract paintings usually neither make me feel or think,  usually focusing obsessively on technique and avoiding any coherent content. I usually draw a complete blank mentally and emotionally when I look at them. In 1979 the Houston Metropolitan Museum of Art displayed a triptych of 3 giant   paintings they paid fifty thousand dollars for-  three blank white canvasses entitled "untitled". Then there was "The incredible new artistic Genius" with an I.Q. of 62 ...Congo the chimpanzee with his gala New York art elaborate prank played on the Snobbish American Art critics about a generation ago by research scientists in the field of primatology. Imagine how upset they were when he created one of his "ingenious masterpieces" right before their eyes.

( My Source for this is the Time Life Science Library volume entitled "The Primates". )

      Art education has been almost completely removed from American Schools as a result of generations of this kind of  fabulous nonsense contributing to America's cultural illiteracy crisis. Now, the works of Leonardo Da Vinci, Michaelangelo, and other notables are being removed from school libraries.  After generations of this, most American college graduates today cannot name even one living visual artist, abstract or realistic.

There is no way that mandating more math, requiring more reading, or scheduling more science will replace what we have lost as a culture.    

What is your definition of Art?



Note: Abstract Paintings by Congo the Chimpanzee outsold Warhol and Renoir by over 25,000 dollars in June 2005 at a London art auction. Born in 1954, Congo created more than 400 drawings and paintings between the ages of two and four. He died in 1964 of tuberculosis. There is no precedent for this kind of sale.


The Rebirth of Realism

More thoughts on realistic art yesterday and today by the artist

Art History has entered a new era with the birth of Art Numérica, or digital art media in the 21st century. Artists never stop exploring with mediums. Artists have been developing techniques, experimenting with different tools since at least twenty- five thousand years ago, when the first artist picked up a charred stick and scratched a picture out on the wall of his cave. You'd think everything would have been tried by now, but it hasn't. Exploring new mediums this very day is just as exciting, just as full of freshness and newness as it ever was.

The creation of Realistic art has been the goal of most artists since the dawn of  civilization. Realistic art was the pride of ancient Greece. The world's greatest museums are full of realistic art. Realistic art WAS art until the advent of the abstract expressionist movement in the twentieth century. The coming of the camera in the nineteenth century changed realistic art forever. Suddenly, realistic art was not the only way to create realism in portraits and historical records. The work of the realistic artist was suddenly made into an expensive luxury. The political power of the realistic artist was broken and they were no longer an indispensable member of society. Hostility to the creators of realistic art goes back to ancient times and the jealousy of advisers to the Pharaohs and others who were not able to spend as much time with their rulers as their portraitists.    Although with the aid of photographs, realistic art achieved levels of excellence undreamed of, the realistic art movement of the late nineteenth century was short.

     None of these people earning their living creating realistic art could compete with the speed and low cost of photographic portraiture.  Determined to survive, great realistic artists like Pablo Picasso ingeniously turned inward and began to explore things that could not be photographed in a new school of art, abstract expressionism. The day of the fine art superstars had arrived. It was now largely just a hobby to abstract and realistic artists alike. Illustration, because of advances in printing technology enabled an elite few to earn a living with their realistic art. These illustrators working in realistic art media  were condemned and ridiculed in much the same way Europe's great symphonic composers were condemned for working in motion pictures after fleeing the nazis during World War Two. The rift between realistic and abstract art grew wider and wider. The universities and key media usually sided with the abstract camp and derided anyone working in any realistic art media declaring boldly that realistic art was not "real" art.


          Immortal giants of realistic art such as Maxfield Parrish were mistreated their entire lives. They were accused of selling out for creating beautiful pieces of realistic fine art to earn a living. The attitude that the true artist must suffer and starve and die in poverty became a rule. There were the Abstract art superstars, the professional realistic illustrators, and the hobbyists who, although cut off from gainful employment and social influence still recognized their artistic gifts as a calling rather than a profession. Early abstract art  masters proved themselves as realistic artists before delving into realms of the intangible. They had to do this at that time to prove themselves because of the challenges they faced from the establishment for going against the status quo. In the latter part of the 20th century, realistic artists like HDJ were challenged to do abstract art to prove themselves as shown in the example above (Deirdre of the sorrows). Later realistic art training was abandoned in most schools and things like splattering paint in fits of rage  were deemed more than enough. By the end of the 20th century something as destructive and ridiculous as nailing a pack of cigarettes to a shoe was considered fine art but not realistic paintings. Fashions in art have often been as silly as fashions in ladies hats.  As the century drew to a close, many people had had enough. The realistic revolt was at hand. The rebirth of realism was fueled by the advent of the digital era. Now, for the first time in almost two centuries, an artist or illustrator could earn a decent living again with his realistic art. This is historic. Realistic art is not going to go away, especially now that photography has truly merged with traditional realistic visual art. Photography comes from the Greek words meaning "painting with light". Now with the advent of digital media the capability of realistic art has become almost limitless, truly, "painting with light". The merger of all the world's art forms to realize the potential of motion pictures has come now to still realistic art media. This website for example, combines music, prose, poetry, photography and traditional realistic art media to create an experience beyond merely looking at realistic paintings.

         The twenty- first century is already seeing a new renaissance in the arts because of the world wide web. There has never been anything like it. Abstract art, computer art, photographic art, and realistic art are continuing to be separate schools of art but are also blending to create exciting new horizons. Although Digital art does offer completely new horizons to the artist in the 21st century it does not mean the end of our time honored art traditions. Instead, it offers additional ways to keep these traditions and schools of thought  fresh and alive.





Art tradition and etiquette suggest the artists who have been most influential should be mentioned at exhibits; these original new pieces shown in this exhibit take their inspiration in part from the paintings of Waterhouse, Alma-Tadema, Church, Godward, Moreau, Bouguereau, Leighton, Ingres, Moore, Parrish, Rackham and others. Most of my sources are changed so much they are impossible to detect, but sometimes I make it obvious to pay homage.  Where would Walt Disney be without the Brothers Grimm, Hans Christian Anderson, Victor Hugo and so many others? Where would Aaron Copeland have been without American folk music? Thomas Nast's Santa Claus without traditional images of Father Christmas? Picasso without African art?   These are artists who made names and fortunes through Public Domain appropriation, one and all. Beethoven did "variations on a theme" with the works of Mozart for the same reasons I have done mine with Waterhouse and others- to learn and give homage to the artists who most inspired me. 

Thank You for Visiting the Seven Wonders Art Gallery of Howard David Johnson...

Music by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky ( 1840- 1893) - "Swan Lake"




All  these images & text are legally copyrighted & were registered with the U.S. Library of Congress Office of Copyright in 2004-14 by the author, Howard David Johnson All rights reserved worldwide. Permission for many legal non-commercial uses is freely available by simply contacting the author or visiting