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DEATHS: 1663 MIEL — 1695 D'HONDECOETER — 1682 MURILLO — 1681 FRANCHOYS
BIRTH: 1893 HITCHENS
1897: Sécession
^ Died on 03 April 1663 (1664?): Jan Bike (or Biecker) Miel (or Meel) “cavaliere G. Milo”, Flemish painter active in Italy born in 1599. He studied under Daniel Seghers [05 Dec 1590 – 02 Nov 1661].
— Born in the vicinity of Antwerp, Miel was in Rome by 1636. There he became friendly with Bamboccio, and most of his pictures are scenes of low life — “Bambocciate”. He did, however, paint frescoes in Roman churches and palaces, such as the Crossing of the Red Sea (1656) and Saint Lambert, as well as briefly collaborating with Sacchi (1641-1643). Miel also painted figures for Claude's landscapes. Jan Miel belonged to the numerous followers of Pieter van Laer [1592-1642], a Dutch painter working in Rome. This group of painter was known as the 'Bamboccianti' after the nickname of van Laer, 'il Bamboccio' (“clumsy kid”) [1592-1642]. Their pictures are called bambocciate (“childish doings”). The Bamboccianti were mainly Northeners working in Rome, such as the Flemings Jan Miel and Michiel Sweerts [1618-1664], but also included Italians, such as Michelangelo Cerquozzi [1602-1660] and Viviano Codazzi [1604-1670]. In 1658 Miel was made Court Painter at Turin, where he died.
— Miel must have arrived in Rome in the early 1630s; he immediately came under the influence of Pieter van Laer (il Bamboccio) and the Bamboccianti. His earliest paintings of bambocciate (low-life scenes) are the Bowls Players (1633) and its companion piece The Cobbler. Shortly after his arrival in Rome, Miel joined the Schildersbent, a confraternity of Netherlandish artists, and was given the nickname ‘Bieco’ (‘threatening look’). His presence in Rome is documented from 1636 to 1658, when he moved to Turin and entered the service of Charles-Emanuel II, Duke of Savoy. Other early paintings that can be attributed to the 1630s include Halt at the Inn and Hunters’ Rest. Both are reworkings, in their subject-matter and composition, of contemporary paintings by van Laer, such as his Hunters Resting and Halt at the Inn. Miel is known to have made direct copies of paintings by van Laer, which he bequeathed to Agostino Franzone in his will.

LINKS
Carnival Time in Rome (1653; 1000x704pix, 176kb)
Charlatan (1650, 60x74cm; 575x752pix, 178kb)
Le diner des voyageurs (oval 39x52cm)
La halte militaire (oval 40x52cm)
Le mendiant (15x26cm)
 
^ Died on 03 April 1695: Melchior d'Hondecoeter, Dutch Baroque painter born in 1636. Nephew of Jan Baptist Weenix [1621 – 19 Nov 1663].
— Melchior is the best-known member of the d'Hondecoeter family of artists. He was the Netherlands' most renowned painter of birds,winning an international reputation with his vigorous and brightly colored canvases. They show both domestic and exotic birds, often in action and sometimes pointing a moral. Hondecoeter also painted still-lifes. He was a prolific artist and is represented in many museums. His father, Gysbert d'Hondecoeter [1604 – 29 Aug 1653] was also a bird painter and his grandfather, Gillis de Hondecoutre [1575 – Sep 1638] was a landscapist. From the late 1620s the Dutch spelling of the family name was preferred. Melchior was trained by his father and by his uncle (by marriage to Josina d'Hondecoeter), Jan Baptist Weenix, whose assistant he became. Melchior's earliest signed and dated work Dog Defending Dead Game against a Bird of Prey (1658) is in the style of Weenix. Melchior worked in Utrecht, The Hague, and Amsterdam.

LINKS
A Pelican and Other Birds Near a Pool (The Floating Feather) (1680)
Birds and a Spaniel in a Garden (128x152cm) _ The picture is signed upper left on wall: M. d'Hondecoeter. The artist was born in Utrecht and lived for a short time in The Hague before settling permanently in Amsterdam in 1663. He was trained by his father, Gysbert de Hondecoeter, and by his uncle, Jan Baptist Weenix, who had spent three years in Italy during the 1640s. Melchior de Hondecoeter specialized, like his father, in painting animal and bird pictures, but the backgrounds, usually comprising imaginary landscapes, are more influenced by Weenix. Fidelity to subject matter perhaps accounts for the lack of development in his style, and dated works only occur after 1668, so that it is difficult to suggest a specific chronology for the undated items that abound in his oeuvre. Hondecoeter frequently repeated animals and poses in several pictures and it is apparent, therefore, that he relied upon a pattern book of motifs. His paintings proved to be popular with contemporaries as part of decorative schemes in country houses, and by extension this accounts for his popularity in eighteenth-century England. The foreground is dominated by a fighting cock, a tortoise, a crowned crane, a white hen with chickens and a barking
Peacocks and Ducks (1680, 211x177cm) _ A group of Dutch artists in the seventeenth century represented live domesticated and wild birds. Their pictures do not belong to the category of still-life, but their emphasis on the textural and coloristic beauty of their subjects gives a still-life character to their works. Their patrons probably included the rich burghers who lived as landed aristocrats on estates in the country where they kept exotic as well as native fowl. Just as some painters were called upon by flower fanciers to make portraits of favourite blossoms, others were asked by amateur and professional poultry breeders to paint prize birds and common farmyard specimens. Melchior de Hondecoeter, who also painted a few game still-lifes, was the pre-eminent specialist of this branch of painting. Depicting birds was a tradition in Hondecoeter's family. His grandfather was Gillis d' Hondecoeter [1570-1638], an artist often inspired by Roelandt Savery's landscapes crammed with domesticated and exotic birds and animals, and his father, Gijsbert d' Hondecoeter, was a landscapist and a painter of birds, particularly waterfowl and poultry. Melchior is both observant and gifted as a colorist, and admirably renders the texture of his feathery creatures.
Birds in a Park (1686)
 
^ Born on 23 April 1893: Yvon Hitchens, English painter who died on 29 August 1979.
— He studied at St John's Wood School of Art and at the Royal Academy Schools intermittently between 1912 and 1919. He exhibited with the 7&5 society in 1921 and continued to do so throughout the 1920s. He soon became part of the circle of artists known as the London group and exhibited with Ben Nicholson, Barbara Hepworth, Henry Moore and others during the 1930s. Hints of his mature style can be found in the delicate green-gray shades of a still-life such as Spring Mood No. 2 (1933), which was influenced by Braque, but he also experimented with pure abstraction, as in Coronation (1937). After his house was bombed in 1940 he moved to a patch of woodland near Petworth, W. Sussex, living at first in a caravan which later acquired numerous outbuildings. He worked there for the next 40 years, distanced from the predominantly literary currents of British modern art. In his commitment to color and open brushwork he was closer to the modern French masters, especially in his Fauvist orange nudes set in sunlit interiors. He painted mostly outdoors, however, and his technique developed from a tonal treatment that recalled the informality of Constable's sketches, as in Damp Autumn (1941), where the motif is clearly legible, to brushmarks that became wider, quickening in pace as they deflected vertical and horizontal movement, as in Arno No. 4 (1965).
     Hitchens's landscape paintings are better understood as being not pictures of woodland scenery but experiences, memories of having been in a specific landscape; of the noise and the vibration of light when hearing birdsong; feeling what is above, below, behind; sensing the moisture, the presence of ferns, oaks, the passing moods of rustling trees and rippling water. To include all of these sensations and to translate the totality into the illusion of mobile color, Hitchens used a long, horizontal format, heavily framed to give a panoramic vista. He registered the sensations of the weather and woods around him as frontal planes, with oil paint often damp and earthy in color and laid on to the canvas with forthright sweeps and stabs of broad brushes. His characteristic manner was the deftly placed blocks of brushed pigment set on a bare white ground, sometimes with a few straggling lines scratched in with a palette knife. In Firwood Ride No. 4 (1957), these blocks of mingling color suggest transience and are placed at rhythmic intervals to articulate plasticity, contrast and the play of light and dark. Hitchens referred to effects of light as the Japanese principle notan (literally “light and shade”), which he learnt as a student from the painters' manual by Arthur Wesley Dow [1857-1922] entitled Composition (1899).
     Hitchens neither painted landscape as a detached observer, nor did he abstract forms from nature, and he valued the disciplines of Cézanne too highly to allow structure to be controlled by subjective response alone. His output was prodigious, but of uneven quality, and included large-scale commissions such as the mural in Cecil Sharp House, Regent's Park Road, London (1954). The freshness of color in the paintings of his last years could either burst open in glorious flourishes, or lie dormant in secretive greys. He was an isolated figure but his art was never eccentric, and as a colorist his legacy is best found in the painting of Patrick Heron.

LINKS
Autumn Composition, Flowers on a Table (1932, 78x111cm) _ In this painting Hitchens used a palette knife (top left), rags to wipe away paint (top left) and vigorous brush strokes to create an active surface. Painted in his Hampstead studio this work dates from the kind of surroundings and the period of Hitchens's urban life, from about 1920 to 1940 before the full impact of nature and country living. The shallow space and overlapping forms suggest the influence of the post-Cubist still lifes of Braque. So does the use of accents of color to punctuate an otherwise somber painting. The strength of color, however, is more suggestive of Matisse. The table-top still life was a theme favored by many 7&5 painters.
Damp Autumn (1941, 40x74cm) _ In 1940 Hitchens and his family evacuated their bombed-out London home for Lavington Common near Petworth in Sussex, where he had often painted in the late 1930s. The woods there became the main subject of his art. While such works clearly follow the tradition of Thomas Gainsborough and John Constable, Hitchens was also interested in modern artists, in particular the Cubist Georges Braque. He wrote that his new ‘more settled life, with permanent roots in this soil, has led to a deeper search for the more abstract elements of a given subject’.
Winter Stage (1936, 59x156cm) _ This was painted at Moatlands Park, Sussex, home of Mr and Mrs Cecil Harris. Hitchens often painted there in the late 1920s and early 1930s. The hospitality of these friends provided a welcome escape from London, enabling him to continue painting autumn woodland scenes such as those he had attempted a few years earlier in Shropshire. The format of this picture marks a new development in his landscape painting. As a horizontal double-square divided into five sections, 'Winter Stage' presents different views into the dark, mysterious forest encouraging the eye to scan across the scene. The window frames give the picture a theatrical quality, also suggested by the title.
Coronation (1937, 90x122cm; 371x512pix, 19kb) _ Painted in the summer of 1937, shortly after the Coronation of George VI, this picture is one of a number of experimental or near abstract works painted by Hitchens at this time. The subject of the painting, perhaps flowers in the garden or a fried egg on napkins, has been reduced to its simplest shape and form. This abstract vision was partly influenced by Georges Braque's post-cubist still lifes. The artist chose the title because it suited the regal colors he had used and referred to things 'in the air' at the time. But he warned that, 'It would be unwise to seek for any more direct symbolism' {or any artistic value}.
Balcony at Cambridge (1929, 51x61cm)
View from Terrace: Ashdown Forest (1941, 81x430cm)
 
^ >Died on 03 April 1682: Bartolomé Esteban Murillo Pérez, after falling from a scaffolding and suffering a ruptured hernia, while painting, a few months earlier. He was a Spanish painter specialized in Religious Subjects, baptized as an infant on 01 January 1618.
— In the private collections of Seville, Murillo was able to study the works of the major Renaissance and baroque masters of Italy and Flanders, as well as his Spanish precursors; these paintings profoundly influenced his art. His early works, depictions of the Madonna and of the Holy Family, were dry in character, but he soon developed a warm, atmospheric quality in his painting, executing in 1645-46 11 scenes from the lives of various saints that established his fame. Murillo was the first president of the Seville Academy, founded in 1660.
     Murillo excelled in genre painting, depicting poverty-stricken children in a pathetic and touching manner, as in Young Beggar (1655). From 1671 to 1674 he painted several pictures for the Church of the Confraternity de la Caridad, Seville, many now dispersed to museums in Saint Petersburg, Madrid, and London. Murillo's works prefigure the development of European and especially Spanish painting in the 18th and 19th centuries. He portrayed Madonnas as beautiful women, and saints as likable Spanish characters, anticipating the elements of audacious realism that characterized 18th-century religious art. He died in Seville.
      During the 19th century Murillo's genre paintings won wide acceptance and influenced many painters of that period.
—       Bartolomé was the youngest of fourteen children of a Sevillian barber, Gaspar Esteban , and his wife María Pérez Murillo (whose mother's surname Bartolomé would make his own). On 25 July 1627, his father died, on 08 January 1628 he lost his mother. Murillo's elder sisters and brothers were already grown up. The 10-year-old Bartolomé was adopted into the family of his sister Ana, who in 1625, already a widow, had married Juan Agustín Lagares, a wealthy Sevillian barber-surgeon.
      Murillo was apprenticed in 1633 to painter Juan del Castillo [1584-1640]. When, in 1639, Castillo left Seville for Cadiz, Murillo did not enter any workshop of a known artist, as it was the traditional way of all the beginners, but preferred to stay independent. It is said that to gain a living Murillo started to make sargas - cheap paintings on rough canvas sold at country fairs, and shipped to America by traders. Obviously his paintings appealed to the taste of the public, besides they revealed a certain talent of the young man. That was why the Franciscan monastery in Seville commissioned this unknown artist with a cycle of 11 paintings with scenes from the lives of Franciscan saints, which brought Murillo fame.
      The artist dated his works very seldom. The first dated canvas belongs to the cycle for the Franciscan Monastery: one of the paintings is dated 1646, thus the whole series is usually dated 1645-1646. But some art historians consider that the work took a longer period, of approximately 1642-1646. The canvases of the cycle are executed in different styles; thus some art historians consider that Cuisine of Angels (Miracle of St. Diego de Alcada) was inspired by Rivera; Death of St. Clara was influenced by van Dyck [22 Mar 1599 – 09 Dec 1641]; and Velasquez [06 Jun 1599 – 07 Aug 1660] had an effect on St. Diego Giving Charity. Even if it is really so, no wonder, the young artist was studying, during this long work his own style of soft forms and warm colors was being formed.
      At some point in his life, probably in the late 1640s, Murillo is believed to have visited Madrid. In any case, after 1650 his style changed, which might be the result of his meeting with Velasquez and studying of the works of Titian [1488 – 27 Aug 1576], Rubens [28 Jun 1577 – 30 May 1640], and Van Dyck in the royal collections in Madrid.
      On 26 February 1645 Murillo married Beatriz Sotomayor y Cabrera; soon their first daughter, named María, was born [died 1650]. In 1647-1654 the artist painted a lot of Madonnas, small in size, the canvases were aimed for home altars: Madonna of the Rosary, Madonna and Child.
      Already in his early religious paintings for the Franciscans Murillo widely used the genre scenes, which soon became a separate subject in his works: The Beggar Boy (1650), Grape and Melon Eaters. (1650), The Little Fruit Seller (1675) etc. Today considered somewhat sentimental, his genre scenes nevertheless represent a new way of perception. Murillo's children, as well as his Madonnas, very soon became popular not only in Spain. Thanks to them he was the first Spanish painter to achieve widespread European fame. To the 1650s, also belong many of his portraits. Unfortunately, we do not know anything about the depicted people, even when they are identified by their names.
      With fame and multiple commissions the financial position of the artist became secured. It is known that in 1657 Murillo invested big money in a trade company in the New World, he bought slaves for his household. In 1662, he was admitted to several religious organizations of Seville. These organizations reminded in their structure and activities the later mason loges. Murillo also took an active part in the social life of his city. Thus he was one of the founders of the Academy of Fine Arts in Seville, which was opened in 1660, with Murillo as its first president.
      In January 1664, Murillo buried his wife. Though 20 years of his life were still ahead, and during these 20 years he would painted 2/3 of all his known works, Murillo would never fully recover from this blow. During 1664, he could not work, at the end of the year he moved with all his surviving children (José Esteban, aged 14, Francisca María, aged 9, Gabriel, aged 8, Gaspar Esteban, aged 2, and infant María) into the Convent of Capuchins.
      From 1665 to 1682, he painted many of his major religious works, such as those for the Santa María la Blanca (1665), of the Caridad Hospital (1670-1674), of the Capuchins (1676), of the Venerables Sacerdotes (1678), of the Augustinians (1680), and, lastly, of the Cadiz Capuchins, together with a large number of pictures made at different times for the Cathedral of Seville or other churches and many devotional works for private individuals.
      A legend says that the artist died in poverty. It does contradict with the fact of many commissions he had, more close to the truth is the version that he gave off his money as charitable contributions to the religious organizations of which he was the member. The story about Murillo's death sounds like a legend. Murillo accepted commission from the Capuchin church in Cadiz. For the first time in his life he went to decorate another city. While working on the Marriage of St. Catherine (1682) Murillo fell from the scaffold, in critical condition he was brought to his native Seville, where he soon died. After his death he left very modest private property, but many students and innumerable followers. His works influenced later Spanish painting and anticipated 18th-century European Rococo painting.

LINKS
Self-Portrait
Penitent Magdalene (1660, 123x108cm; 1068x936pix, 649kb _ ZOOM to 2136x1872pix, 2172kb)
Adoration by the Shepherds (1655, 187x228cm) _ Murillo, like Velázquez and Ribera, is one of the few Spanish artists with an international reputation. In his own lifetime Murillo's genre scenes were exported to Flanders, but much greater interest was aroused by his work in the early nineteenth century, when, following the Napoleonic invasion of Spain, the agents of French and other collectors were able to acquire and export pictures by him of other types. In this early painting the typical characteristics of the Seville school, by which he was formed, can be observed. There is an accent on clear detail, emphasized by the contrasts of light and shade. The rather high viewpoint creates the impression that one has just walked in on to the scene represented: such effects of intimacy and directness were typical of the aims of Counter-Reformation Baroque.
The Rozenkranz Madonna (1655; 594x401pix, 62kb _ ZOOM to 1386x937pix, 145kb)
Immaculate Conception of the Venerable Ones (172x285cm; 2080x3051pix, 891kb) _
Immaculate Conception (96x64cm; 936x611pix, 128kb) _ Murillo's Immaculada has nothing of a Queen of Heavens. Standing on a crescent moon, as described in the Apocalypse, surrounded by angels holding the mirror as a sign of purity and the palm frond as a sign of suffering, she stands in a relatively unaffected poses. Her face is pale, her eyes gaze upwards in yearning. We can sense the pain she has experienced and her mourning for her son. Quiet and introverted, she epitomizes the humble anticipation of the hereafter, transfigured only by a mild smile, that is a hallmark of Murillo's paintings of this period; the 'Estilo vaporoso'.
— A different though similar Immaculate Conception (96x64cm; 588x325pix, 79kb _ ZOOM to 1372x757pix, 197kb) _ here the symbol of purity is not a mirror, but lilies.
Annunciation (1655; 600x738pix, 106 kb _ ZOOM to 1400x1723pix, 236kb) _ a different though similar Annunciation (1665, 125x103cm; 867x699pix, 104kb) _ Mary is not shown in the thralls of mystical rapture, nor in those of devotion. Murillo's Mary is a very young woman with an almost childlike face, who is kneeling at her prie-dieu, her eyes cast pensively downwards. She has set aside her basket of handiwork and seems to have been disturbed by an angel in the midst of her prayers. Were it not for the presence of his wings, even the angel would seem to be a very worldly creature. He is not floating in some uncertain sphere, nor is he a vision, but is kneeling on the floor tiles. Strong-limbed and barefoot, almost like a peasant, his pretty face is framed by dark locks. With one hand, he points towards the dove of the Holy Spirit, which floats above their heads in a truly unearthly and intangible celestial vision. With the other hand, he makes a gesture of persuasion: he seems to be explaining the purpose of his mission quite vigorously to Mary. Although the event seems plausible in a distinctly earthly manner - even the putti in the clouds do not alter this impression - the miracle is clear. Mary's innocence, underlined by the lily as a symbol of purity, is of such intensity that the spectator senses her quiet reservation, the excited anticipation of the prophesied miracle and her astonishment at the experience.
Boys Eating Fruit (Grape and Melon Eaters) (1650) _ A journey to Madrid in about 1643 enabled Murillo to study the Venetian and Flemish paintings forming part of the royal collections. Otherwise, he remained permanently in Seville, his native city, and his life was a simple one, free of serious problems. By 1645 his style had hardened in its final mold, as may be seen in the paintings which he made at about this time for the Franciscans, with the first of those figures of rascals and beggars in which he was to specialize. This is the spirit, for example, of the Boys Eating Fruit and the Young Beggar, which is a study in yellowish ochers and browns.
The Young Beggar (1645, 134x100cm) _ Along with many religious works, Murillo has left us a striking image of childhood in this picture of a boy delousing himself. Caravaggiesque in inspiration, it is an uncompromising portrayal of a young and ragged Sevillano with dirty feet in a barren setting. But the real tour de force here lies in the slant of sunlight, boldly applied, with a concern for naturalism which attracted the attention of 19th century French painters like Edouard Manet, who were searching for new masters.
The Little Fruit Seller (1675, 149x113cm) _ A little girl with the face of a Madonna, a contented little boy examining the earnings she holds in her hand and a basket full of grapes which is, in itself, a still-life of the highest quality. Does this painting show us a life free from worry? The apparent poverty of the two figures, their unchild-like but necessary employment suggest a sense of hopelessness and misery. And yet these children seem to exude an air of rapt serenity and contented enjoyment of life. Herein lies Murillo's Christian message: because these children do not see their poverty as a burden, and because they do not regard their existence as joyless, they are beautiful and "dignified". It is thus a painting that could adorn the walls of any ruler's palace.
The Toilette (1675, 147x113cm) _ The room is so dark that we can hardly make out the objects in it: beneath the little window aperture stands a rough-hewn wooden table, on which there is an earthenware jug and a white cloth. Another earthenware jug stands on the floor. At the right-hand edge of the painting, we see a spindle and distaff on a stool. The old woman who has just set them aside is now crouching down to look for lice in the little boy's hair. He is sitting on the floor, leaning against her knee and petting a little dog that is begging for a piece of the bread the boy is stuffing into his mouth. Both figures are very poorly dressed, and the few details of the room further emphasize the impression of poverty. Murillo is probably the only Baroque painter of rank to have portrayed poverty with such kind and conciliatory traits. There is no sign here of the wealthy man's notion of the picturesque simple life, so frecquently found in this genre. Murillo chooses the colors of the earth. The earthenware dishes, the stones of the wall, the wood of the furniture, the faces and clothes of the two figures, all are united by this warm coloring which seems so natural that it does not even raise the question of poverty or wealth, happiness or unhappiness.
Flight into Egypt (1660, 155x125cm) _ Murillo painted several variants of this popular subject, this is not the best among them.
Holy Family with the Infant St John (1660, 156x126cm) _ The companion-piece of the Flight into Egypt. The two playing children in the foreground are typical children representations of the artist, however, more seentimental than those in his genre paintings.
Children with Shell (1670, 104x124cm) _ The scene depicts Christ Child giving drink to the child St John the Baptist.
The Holy Family (1660, 186x155cm) _ A characteristic feature of the painting is that St Joseph is depicted as a rather old man. Thus Murillo ignored the iconographic rule generally respected in that period.
Rebecca and Eliezer (1650, 107x171cm) _ The painting, showing the influence of Titian, Rubens and Van Dyck, depicts a story from the Genesis: the servant of Abraham, who was sent to Mesopotamia to look for a wife to Isaac, Abraham's son, selects the the charming girl who gave water to him and his camels.
The Infant Jesus Distributing Bread to Pilgrims (1678, 219x182cm) _ Murillo painted this picture when he was sixty; it was commissioned by Canon Justino de Neve for the refectory of a home for retired priests in Seville, hence the choice of theme: the distribution of bread to the elderly, an action symbolizing charity. It is a characteristically vertical Baroque composition with the Child in the centre; his face, however, bears no trace of the light-heartedness characteristic of Murillo's young beggar boys. It is a childish face, charming, yet exalted and spiritualized; but the painting of the body indicates how closely Murillo observed the proportions and movements of small children. Equally beautiful and exalted is the face of the ministering angel. But Mary, seated behind the Child, is the embodiment of motherhood, a human being of this earth, comely but without true beauty, anxious and concerned as she watches her little son. In the seventeenth century subtle brushwork and carefully selected hues were used to separate what was earthly from what was heavenly. The angel, the Infant Jesus and the putti floating among the clouds are represented as visionary beings; but Mary, the daughter of earthly people, and the group of three pilgrims are all represented as human beings of this earth as real as the basket of bread which is as closely observed as any still-life. It is assumed that the pilgrim with a book is the portrait of Canon Justino de Neve. Several later (19th century) copies of the painting are known. _ detail 1 _ It is assumed that the pilgrim with a book is the portrait of Canon Justino de Neve who commissioned the painting. _ detail 2 (Mary)
A Girl and her Duenna (1670, 106x127cm) _ According to tradition, the models were from the province of Galicia and attained a certain notoriety as courtesans in Seville. A man of the people, Murillo obviously intended this picture to both surprise and amuse the spectator. Yet the casualness of this painting masks a sure sense design - note how the girls' heads form a diagonal that bisects the canvas - and great technical skill. Although he had begun by selling his pictures at fairs, Murillo became conversant with and influenced by the works of Velázquez, Titian and Rubens, presumably as a result of studying the royal collections in Madrid. But Murillo never lost his popular appeal or his gift for the telling expression, such as the smile of the uppermost woman, indicated only by her eyes and cheeks.
Childhood of the Virgin (1665)
The Holy Family with a Little Bird. (1650, 144x188cm) _ This is a little-known genre scene: intimate, lyrical and very different from Murillo's customary representations of floating putti and healthy street Arabs. Here the Holy Family is portrayed as a simple human family: the artist shows a carpenter and his wife as he might have seen them at home in seventeenth-century Spain, dressed in the costume of the day. There are no haloes in this picture, nor is there any hint of the schematic arrangement seen in Baroque religious pictures. There is an element of sentimentality in the scene: the parents watch fondly as the Child plays with the dog and the bird. There could hardly be a more unambiguous example of the infusion of naturalism into a religious theme which is so characteristic of Spanish art; there is also in this picture something reminiscent of the homely atmosphere found in Netherlandish painting.
The Miracle in the Chapel of the Portiuncula (1675; 594x420pix, 82kb _ ZOOM to 1386x980pix, 194kb) _ With the Virgin Mary interceding at His side, Christ, holding a cross, is seen blessing a kneeling Saint Francis of Assisi [1181 – 03 Oct 1226], presumably imparting on him the stigmata (wounds on hands, feet, and side similar to those of Christ on the cross), though the scene differs from that described by Brother Leo, according to whom while Francis Bernardone was in meditation on Mount Alvernia in the Apennines in 1224 on or about the feast of the Exaltation of the Cross (14 September), he received from an apparition of Christ crucified (without Mary) the stigmata, which periodically bled during the remaining two years of his life. This miracle has a memorial on 17 September, separate from the feast of Saint Francis on 04 October.

Saint Joseph with Infant Jesus (600x415pix, 100kb)
Saint Joseph with Toddler Jesus (1666; 841x429pix, 24kb)
The Good Shepherd (1660; 742x592pix, 28kb _ ZOOM to 1400x1122pix, 230kb) _ Child Jesus sitting, and sheep to His left.
The Good Shepherd (1678; 600x450pix, 102kb _ ZOOM to 1400x1050pix, 308kb) _ Child Jesus standing, and sheep to His right.
The Young and the Old (600x428pix, 90kb)
The Prodigal Son Receiving His Portion of Inheritance (1667)
The Departure of the Prodigal Son (1667)
The Prodigal Son Feasting with Courtesans (1667)
The Prodigal Son Driven Out (1667)
The Prodigal Son Feeding Swine (1667)
The Return of the Prodigal Son (1667)
A Boy with a Dog (1655)

—(091208)
^ Died on 03 April 1681: Lucas Franchoys II, Mechelen, Flanders, painter and etcher born on 28 June 1616. — Brother of Pieter Franchoys [20 Oct 1606 – 11 Aug 1654], cousin of the sculptor Lucas Faydherbe.
—      He probably underwent further training in Antwerp after initial studies with his father, Lucas Franchoys I [23 Jan 1574 – 16 Sep 1643]. Rubens may have been his master. Franchoy's first known commissions were in 1649 for churches in Tournai, where he lived for some years. His paintings of this period include The Adoration by the Shepherds (1650). He returned to Mechelen by 1654 and painted altarpieces and other religious compositions for many of the churches, monasteries and convents there (e.g. the Saint Roch altarpiece, 1671). He painted portraits with a sense of calculated informality, including that of Archbishop Alphonse de Bergues, one of his patrons.. He collaborated with Lucas Achtschellinck, Jacques d’Arthois, Grégoire Beerings, Egide Smeyers, and Frans Snyders. Together with Jean Verhoeven, Lucas Franchoys II was the leading representative of the 17th century Mechelen school.

–- Homme au pourpoint entrouvert< (118x93cm) _ Bon exemple de portrait distingué et baroquisant, vers 1650, dans cette manière vandyckienne, si répandue chez les peintres flamands du milieu du XVIIe siècle. Catalogué comme Van Dyck jusqu'en 1979.
Saint Michael (1649)
 

Died on a 03 April:


1998 Wolf Vostell [14 Oct 1932–], German painter, sculptor and "happening" artist. — LINKS
65 images at Ciudad de la Pintura —(090403)

1958 Walter Vaes, Belgian artist born on 12 February 1882.

^ 1919 Modesto Urgell e Inglada, Spanish landscapist born on 13 June 1839.
Barcas contraluz (26x54cm; 388x800pix, 34kb)
— (Iglesia abandonada?) (312x573pix, 12kb)

1880 Manuel Castellano [03 Feb 1828–], Spanish Romantic painter, engraver, and collector.
Muerte de Daoiz y defensa del parque de artillería por el pueblo de Madrid el 2 de mayo de 1808 (1862; 563x700pix, 79kb _ ZOOM to 4260x5300pix, 1631kb)
— Asesinato del Conde de Villamediana (1868)
— Muerte de Daoíz y defensa del Parque de Monteleón (1862)
— El juramento de las tropas del Marqués de la Romana
— Patio de caballos de la antigua plaza de Madrid, antes de la corrida. —(090402)

^ 1877 Jean-Baptiste Madou, Brussels Belgian painter and lithographer born on 03 February 1796. He was a student of Joseph François at the Académie in Brussels. Between 1814 and 1818 he was a clerk in the Ministry of Finance and until 1820 a topographical draughtsman in the Ministry of War. His work was then noticed by the publisher Jobard, who employed him as a lithographer of (largely unsigned) maps, book illustrations, vignettes and portraits. Around 1830 he began to publish in Brussels and Paris portraits and series of lithographs, for example the Outskirts of Brussels (1831), which first drew attention to his name. Madou’s reputation was confirmed with the publication of The Physiognomy of Society in Europe from 1400 to the Present Day (1836), lithographs after his own watercolors. In the subsequent Life of the Painters of the Flemish and Dutch School (1842), Madou showed the taste for historical reconstruction that is also to be seen in the paintings he then began to produce, most of which were genre scenes set in the 18th century. These often show taverns, as in The Spoilsport (1854), or colourful, characterful crowds, as in Village Politicians (1871). Madou brought a strong sense of humor to his evocation of the past in these pictures, while also showing his technical skill in the detail and finish of their treatment. Madou was the grandfather of the etcher Albert Delstanche [08 May 1870 – 06 Jul 1941].
San Martín et Aguado (1836, 46x36cm; 390x300pix, 53kb) _ Que Madou no abandonó a San Martin lo prueba finalmente esta tela: representa la figura ecuestre del general San Martín, vestido con el uniforme de diario del Protector del Perú, despojado de todas sus insignias, salvo las tres estrellas en su sombrero elástico apuntado. Tiene los brazos cruzados sobre el pecho, el caballo en reposo, con la majestad de los Andes como fondo. Es una hermosa alegoría del héroe que expresa con la máxima sencillez. Pero inesperadamente San Martin está acompañado por un elegante caballero, que lleva otro caballo para el cambio. Puede reconocerse en este caballero a don Alejandro de Aguado, Marqués de las Marisma del Guadalquivir, el gran amigo de San Martín. En el cuadro aparece, pues, reunida la alegoría del héroe con la amistad del hombre mundano y generoso. Este cuadro sólo pudo ser hecho después de 1836, o sea, después de que la hija de San Martin y su yerno, D. Mariano Balcarce, llevaron a París el sable corvo que San Martin había dejado en Mendoza y que puede verse minuciosamente pintado, pendiente de la montura del general. 1836, por lo demás, fue la época en que llegó a su plenitud la amistad de San Martín con Aguado. Este óleo de Madou es uno de las más hermosas evocaciones del general San Martín que se hayan realizado.
Vue des environs de Chaudfontaine (lithograph after P.M. Ede, 14x20cm; 545x800pix, 79kb)
Vue de Chaudfontaine (14x20cm lithograph after the 15x22cm drawing by General de Howen)
Château de Faulx (14x21cm lithograph after General de Howen)


Born on a 03 April:


1914 Asger Oluf Jørgensen “Asger Jorn”, date given by some for the birth of this Danish artist and writer; but, on this site, it is assumed to be 03 March 1914. —(060604)

Klimt ^ 03 April 1897:: THE “SECESSIONIST” ART MOVEMENT.
      A Vienne, le peintre Gustav Klimt [14 Jul 1862 – 06 Feb 1918] [photo >] fonde avec 40 compères le mouvement de la Sécession. Le but déclaré de ces artistes est d'arracher l'art au négoce! L’architecte Otto Wagner et le musicien Arnold Schoenberg, à l'origine de la musique moderne, rejoignent leur mouvement.
      Sécession tire son inspiration du symbolisme né en France et en Belgique. Il constitue la plus belle illustration du Jugendstil (ou Art nouveau). Ce courant artistique s'est diffusé dans les années 1890 en Allemagne, en France (avec Hector Guimard [10 Mar 1867 – 20 May 1942], célèbre pour ses entrées de métro) et en Catalogne (avec Antoni Gaudí [1852-1926], le constructeur de la Sagrada Familia, à Barcelone).
      Avec l'Art nouveau, Vienne, capitale de l'Autriche-Hongrie, connaît une renaissance culturelle et artistique qui ne le cède en rien à l'époque glorieuse du baroque. Il en reste des traces nombreuses dans l'urbanisme avec les constructions élégantes et fragiles d'Otto Wagner [1841-1918] et de ses disciples.
      Mais en dépit de cette aura culturelle, l'Autriche-Hongrie endure un inexorable déclin politique. Son caractère multiculturel ne résiste pas à la montée des idées xénophobes et nationalistes sur le continent européen. Les efforts pathétiques du vieil empereur François-Joseph 1er n'y peuvent rien. Le suicide de son fils Rodolphe à Mayerling et l'assassinat de sa femme, l'impératrice Sissi, illustrent la crise morale qui va mener l'Europe à la Grande Guerre
.

^ 1896 Jozef Czapski, Prague-born Polish painter who died in Paris on 12 January 1993. His most important formative experiences as a youth, were his readings (the works of Stanislaw Brzozowski, Janusz Korczak, Stefan Zeromski, and Lev Tolstoy with his pacifist ideals) and his membership in a religious organization created by brothers Antoni and Edward Marylski in Saint-Petersburg at a time when that city was engulfed by revolution. Czapski resigned from the 1st Frontier Cavalry Division, for which he had volunteered in 1917, to join this group.
     In 1918 Czapski entered the class of Stanislaw Lentz at Warsaw's School of Fine Arts. Shortly thereafter, however, he was forced to suspend his studies in order to travel to Russia at the request of military authorities to search for officers of his division who had disappeared in action. It was during this voyage that Czapski developed a close friendship with Dymitri Merezkowski. His intense, deep relationship with this Russian thinker caused the would-be painter to forget his pacifistic ideals and participate in the fighting during the war of 1920. With the end of the war, he went back to his artistic studies, this time at Krakow's Academy of Fine Arts. Among his teachers were Wojciech Weiss and Jozef Pankiewicz. It was under the latter's patronage that in 1924, Czapski and a group of Pankiewicz's students (among them, Jan Cybis, Artur Nacht-Samborski, Piotr Potworowski) relocated to Paris, thus gaining the name Komitet Paryski (later abbreviated to "Capists").
     Czapski and his companions began their stay in France by visiting museums and studying the paintings of their predecessors. They spent most of their time pondering the canvasses of the Impressionists and post-Impressionists, and esteemed the work of Paul Cézanne especially highly. In 1931, Czapski returned to Poland, settling in Warsaw. He was an active participant in the city's artistic life, exhibiting with the Capists and devoting more and more effort to taking part in discussions about art, as a critic. At this time Czapski published his first critical sketches, in Glos Plastykow ("Artists' Voice") among other publications, and a monograph on the works of Pankiewicz (1937).
     Czapski's paintings at the time remained within, and were largely influenced by, the shared aesthetics of the Capists. He shared group's belief that paintings should transpose nature, and the transposition be accomplished through visual means, pure color being one of the primary. Throughout the 1930s Czapski painted within this convention, applying its principles to still lifes (Martwa Natura, 1930), interiors (Tramwaj and Orkiestra, 1935), portraits (e.g. Mira Ziminska, 1935), and outdoor scenes (W Parku, Opera Lesna w Sopocie, 1937), only rarely shifting from a largely muted to a more intense palette of colors. Some of these compositions heralded the artist's later interest in an unusual (somewhat Japanese-influenced) framing of space (Lustra, 1937) which, in much more radical form, would become typical of a large share of the artist's paintings after the Second World War.
     Czapski was drafted at the very beginning of World War II and shortly thereafter landed in a Soviet prisoner of war camp. After being freed and joining the army of General Wladyslaw Anders [11 Aug 1892 – 12 May 1970), he once again received a military mission: to investigate the fate of Polish officers who had been detained by the NKVD and, as it would later turn out, executed (at Katyn) while prisoners. He related the shocking story of his search initially in his Wspomnienia Starobielskie (1945), and in the book Na Nieludzkiej Ziemi (1949). Czapski traveled with Anders's army, finally arriving in Baghdad, where he began publishing columns in newly created Polish newspapers (Orzel Bialy and Kurier Polski). By 1945 he was in Rome, from where he moved to France in 1946, where he was welcomed into the Polish emigrant publishing community headquartered at the Instytut Literacki. Czapski created the institute with Jerzy Giedroyc and Gustaw Herling-Grudzinski (going on to live at the institute's editorial headquarters at Maisons-Laffitte in a suburb of Paris). Throughout the decades that followed, Czapski contributed to Kultura monthly as a political commentator. Above all, however, he published essays about art and fragments of his diary, which he had been keeping since the war. With time, these vast "notebooks", published only fragmentarily and existing primarily in the form of manuscripts, brought him no less fame than his rich biography and his art, that latter of which also has its devoted admirers and collectors (the most significant among them being Swiss collector Richard Aeschlimann).
     In France, Czapski became an active member of the Polish émigré community that settled there after the war, contributing to other publications, among them the London-based "Wiadomosci" ("News") and the French "Preuves." His activities as a columnist strengthened his position as a moral authority, a status he held among both émigrés and readers in Poland.
     After 1945 Czapski was equally active in two areas - as a writer and a painter. He devoted most of his essays to art but did not confine himself to this subject, providing insightful commentary on literary works, including the masterworks of Marcel Proust and those of Stanislaw Brzozowski. Czapski's oeuvre as a painter - to a great degree unknown due to the high degree to which his works remain dispersed - is variegated and artistically inconsistent. Its inconsistency derives from the variety of subjects that inspired Czapski, whose temperament inclined him to break out of the dogmatic principles instilled in the Capists by Jan Cybis at the outset. With time he developed a greater affinity for masters of expression (Chaim Soutine, Nicolas de Stäel), who emphasized the internal power of colors over their intrinsic value. In an effort to tap into this power, Czapski contoured patches of lively, bright colors and introduced color dissonance into his work. Expressiveness was also underlined through composition - usually free, open, boldly framed - and through deformation - which he also used liberally, at times achieving a grotesquery resulting from a highly simplified treatment of elements, particularly human figures. One of his primary motifs after the war was the normally portrayed, often old and poor man, solitary in the turmoil of the big city (Czlowiek w Poczekalni = Man in a Waiting Room, 1960; Bilard Elektryczny = Electric Billiards, 1981).
     Frequently the existential expression and tenderness with which Czapski portrayed his heroes became secondary to an energy and boldness of composition and a crisp combination of colors. In time the artist abandoned this formula, opting instead for an alternative approach in his landscapes, particularly those created in the last years of his life when he was slowly losing his eyesight and painting with ever-greater difficulty. During this time Czapski primarily created airy, calm landscapes which were expansive and painted freely and broadly (Pejzaz Zloto-Fioletowy = Golden-Violet Landscape, 1980), and modest still lifes, usually constituting studies of the simple objects that surrounded the painter in his room at Maisons-Laffitte (Martwa Natura z Owocami i Karafka = Still Life With Fruit and Carafe, 1985; Dwie Biale Czarki = Two White Bowls, 1987). These may seem awkward, as if painted in a hurry, but they are an expression of Czapski's zealous faith in art and his creative determination. The intensity of experience reflected in them is comparable to that evident in the artist's drawings, which seem unskillful but are unpretentious and moving as a result. Some of these are completely autonomous works, others Czapski drew into his diaries or on letters. Woven into the rhythm of his handwriting, with the text they constitute a private chronicle of Czapski's life (hitherto published only in fragments as Wyrtwane Strony = Torn Out Pages, 1993 ). The essays of the artist are similarly personal in nature (Oko = The Eye, 1960; Patrzac = Looking, 1983 and 1996; Czytajac = Reading, 1990) and are broadly viewed as outstanding in terms of their literary value. Nevertheless, the significance of Czapski's achievements as a painter is still very much the subject of discussion and is often questioned, this despite the increased exposure his works have gotten since about 1990.
The Forest Opera in Sopot (1937; 1040x750pix, 95kb) Opera lesna w Sopocie
Yellow Cloud (1982; 1151x750pix, 99kb) Zólta chmura
Kobieta w Czerwieni (1963, 81x60cm; 471x343, pix, 39kb)
W Luwrze (1974; 48x48cm; 478x482pix, 93kb)
Dwie kobiety we wnetrzu (colored sketch 17x10cm; 400x264pix, 15kb) —(060222)

^ 1892 (04 Apr?) Italo Mus, Valle d'Aosta Italian painter who died on 15 May 1967. Nato a Chatillon e morto a St-Vincent il 15 maggio 1967, figlio di Eugène Mus, originario di Torgnon e della baronessa Martine Valleise, studiò inizialmente nel suo paese natale e, a partire dal 1909, presso l'Accademia Albertina di Torino. Dipinse circa 2000 quadri ed ottenne il suo primo successo al Salone dei Giovani Pittori a Roma nel 1910, ove espose insieme a Picasso, Cocteau, Dufy e Chagall. Lavorò in Francia ed in Svizzera ma dovette rientrare per la prima guerra mondiale. Collaborò con Carrà, De Pisis e numerosi celebri pittori.
Interno di Baita con Figura (40x50cm; 363x456pix, 27kb) —(060402)

^ >1883 Frits Van den Berghe, Ghent Belgian painter and printmaker who died on 23 September 1939. He studied at the Académie des Beaux-Arts in Ghent (1891-1903); and grew up in an intellectual environment. Like his friend Gustave De Smet, with whom he worked closely, almost until the end of his life, he began his painting career with a compromise between Symbolism and Impressionism, working sometimes in Ghent, sometimes near the artists’ colony at Laethem-Saint-Martin. He painted primarily portraits, interiors and landscapes. During World War I he moved to the Netherlands and stayed there with De Smet and other Flemish artists in Amsterdam and Blaricum successively. In the Netherlands, he became acquainted with Dutch painters including Leo Gestel and the French émigré, Henri Le Fauconnier. Under the influence of Fauvism, Cubism, German Expressionism and Futurism, Van den Berghe painted a series of important canvases, mostly figure compositions and portraits, in which one can note the gradual development of a cubistic-expressionistic formal language. He also made woodcuts such as The Wait (1919) and brush drawings that show the influence of German Expressionism. — Relative? of Augustin van den Berghe [13 Oct 1756 – 11 Apr 1836]? of chevalier Pierre-Jacques-Antoine Volaire [30 Apr 1729 – approx. 1795]?
–- Fleurs (1042x946pix, 145kb) _ The pseudonymous Stirf van der Talhe has wondrously metamorphosed this sloppily drawn picture into the twin finely detailed abstractions
      _ Pleurs (2007; 775x1096pix, 245kb _ ZOOM to 1096x1550pix, 508kb _ ZOOM+ to 1700x2404pix, 1256kb _ ZOOM++ to 2636x3728pix, 2427kb) and
      _ Fleuves (2007; 775x1096pix, 245kb _ ZOOM to 1096x1550pix, 508kb _ ZOOM+ to 1700x2404pix, 1256kb _ ZOOM++ to 2636x3728pix, 2427kb) —(070402)

1860 Ulpiano Checa y Sanz, Spanish artist who died on 16 January 1916.

1843 Knut Ekwall [–04 Apr 1912], Säby Swedish painter. He studied from 1860 to 1866 at the Academy of Arts in Stockholm, with emphasis on xylography (designing woodcut printing blocks) and drawing. He became a student of the painter Ludwig Knaus [1829-1910] in Berlin. In 1870, Ekwall moved to Munich and later worked in Leipzig. His works during this period were primarily for magazine illustrations, and were reproduced as engravings. He returned to Sweden and died there. —(100108)

1816 Otto Didrik Ottesen, Danish artist who died on 02 October 1892.

1815 Henri Félix Emmanuel Philippoteaux, French artist who died (main coverage) on 09 November 1884. —(060402)


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