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ART “4” “2”-DAY  07 April v.9.70
DEATHS: 1900 CHURCH — 1961 BELL 1707 VAN DE VELDE  1614 “EL GRECO” 
^ Died on 07 April 1900: Frederic Edwin Church, US Hudson River School painter born on 04 May 1826, specialized in Landscapes.
— For his spectacular and panoramic paintings of the wilderness of North and South America, Frederic Edwin Church was a dominant figure in the second generation of the Hudson River School. His canvases celebrated the drama of the American frontier and expressed the expansionist and optimistic outlook of the United States in the mid-nineteenth century.
— Frederic Edwin Church, born in Hartford, Connecticut, was the son of a wealthy man whose considerable assets provided the youth with the means to develop his early interest in art. By the age of sixteen, he was studying drawing and painting; two years later, Daniel Wadsworth, son-in-law of John Trumbull and, like Trumbull, a patron of Thomas Cole's, prevailed upon Cole to take Church as his student. Church's precociousness displayed itself quickly. Within a year, he had been shown in the National Academy of Design annual exhibition; the following year, he sold his first major oil, to Hartford's Wadsworth Atheneum. Extraordinarily gifted as a draftsman and a colorist, Church reached his early maturity by 1848, the year he took a studio in New York City, accepted William James Stillman as his first student, traveled widely and collected visual materials throughout New York and New England, particularly Vermont, and turned out a number of pictures, all of which sold well.
      As did so many contemporary landscape painters, Church settled into his own pattern of travel, hiking, and sketching from spring through autumn, followed by winter in New York painting, pursuing business affairs, and socializing. In April 1853, Church and his friend Cyrus Field set forth on an adventurous trip through Colombia (then called New Granada) and Ecuador. Church's first finished South American pictures, shown to great acclaim in 1855, transformed his career; for the next decade he devoted a great part of his attention to those subjects, producing a celebrated series that became the basis of his ensuing international fame. Nevertheless, his tastes and curiosity kept him ranging for other topics.
      From 1854 through 1856, in addition to retracing familiar paths, Church followed new ones as well, visiting Nova Scotia, traveling widely in Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont, and going several times to take sketches of Niagara Falls. For Church, from the late 1850s until the beginning of the Civil War was a time of triumph piled upon triumph. A second trip to Ecuador, in 1857, and a voyage to Newfoundland and Labrador, in 1859, provided material for future major paintings, but it was his Niagara, completed in 1857, and Heart of the Andes, in 1859, that guaranteed for him, still a young man, the role of the US's most famous painter.
      In 1860, Church bought farmland at Hudson, New York, and married Isabel Carnes, whom he had met during the exhibition of his Heart of the Andes. His marriage to both — his wife and his farm — became the joint center of his life, in later years tending to divert his attentions from painting major canvases. Church's happiness was blasted in March of 1865, when his son and his daughter died of diphtheria, but with the birth of Frederic junior in 1866, Church and his wife began a new family that was eventually to number four children. In late 1867, the Churches launched on an eighteen-month trip to Europe, North Africa, the Near East, and Greece that was the genesis of several important pictures. Church, however, began to devote his creative energies increasingly to gentleman farming and to the designing and redesigning of Olana, his hilltop fantasy of a “Persian” villa at Hudson, New York, a seemingly endless undertaking begun in 1869 in consultation with the architect Calvert Vaux.
      From the 1870s until his death afflicted with painful rheumatism of the right arm, which interrupted or prevented work on major pictures, Church still managed to produce in his later years a few large retrospective canvases. His final artistic legacy was a multitude of breathtaking small oil sketches, mostly of Olana or of the area around Millinocket Lake in Maine, where he bought a camp in 1880, or of Mexico, where he began wintering in 1882. These are at once a magnificent testimony to his undiminished gifts as a draftsman, painter, and colorist and one of the glories of US art.
— Born in Hartford, Connecticut, Church was the son of a wealthy businessman. He received his early art training from local painters Benjamin Hutchins Coe and Alexander Hamilton Emmons. In 1844, with the help of the art patron Daniel Wadsworth, he became the first student of the famous Hudson River School painter Thomas Cole. While studying at Cole’s studio in Catskill, New York, Church absorbed his teacher’s methods of sketching and became a proponent of his epic style of painting. Upon completing two years of training, Church moved to New York, where he established a studio in the Art-Union building.
      Church was successful in New York. In 1848, he became one of the youngest artists to be elected to the status of academician at the National Academy of Design, and he was soon training students of his own, including Jervis McEntee and William James Stillman. In the subsequent period, Church emulated Cole’s art, painting large-scale landscapes of the Hudson River Valley and of New England. Influenced by the writings of English theorist John Ruskin, he began to paint in a more precise manner, focusing on specific effects of weather and atmosphere. He was also inspired by the writings of Alexander von Humboldt, a German naturalist-explorer.
      Church gradually began to take a more scientific approach to nature, using sketches he had created in the outdoors in the preparation of his canvases. In 1853, he became the first American artist to visit South America. Accompanying Cyrus Field, who later gained renown for his participation in the transatlantic cable project, Church followed Humboldt’s 1802 route from Colombia to Ecuador. Along the way, Church drew from nature, producing the drawings that became the basis for important canvases depicting exotic subjects such as The Cordilleras: Sunrise (1855).
      When his works received high praise, Church set off on a second expedition in 1857. On this sojourn, he traveled to Ecuador with the landscape painter Louis Rémy Mignot. It was on this trip that he was able to concentrate on the scenery of the Andes, and he filled diaries and sketchbooks with records of the vegetation and the countryside. Characterized by vast vistas and atmospheric detail, the works that resulted from this sojourn demonstrate Church’s unique approach. Among the great triumphs of the artist’s career was Heart of the Andes (1859), in which Church captured the essence of the tropics. Another significant product of this period was Niagara (1857), which established Church as the leading interpreter of the US spirit.
      During the 1860s, Church continued to travel, seeking subject matter for his paintings. He continued to produce visions of the tropics such as Twilight in the Wilderness (1860) and Cotopaxi (1862) until 1867, when he took a year and a half trip to Europe and the Middle East. He first spent six months in London and Paris, and then continued on to Alexandria, Beirut, Constantinople, Baalbeck, Petra, and Jerusalem. Due to his fascination with ancient civilizations, he also visited Naples, Paestum, and Greece. On his return, he stopped in London, in order to study the works of Turner. The results of this trip were numerous oil sketches and drawings that he used for a series of paintings including The Parthenon (1871) and Jerusalem from the Mount of Olives (1870).
      By 1880, Church’s painting activity was curtailed due to ill health, and in 1883, rheumatism crippled his right arm and hand. In 1890, he settled at Olana, his grand villa near Hudson, New York, which had been designed for him in the Persian and Moorish styles by the architect Calvert Vaux in 1870. The house, which is preserved as a museum today, reflected Church’s eclectic interests and his travels, including exotic furnishings and decorative objects. The artist adorned the walls with works by the Old Masters, especially landscapes by Claude Lorrain and Salvator Rosa. Although he spent the winters of his last years in Mexico, Church spent most of the final phase of his life at Olana. He died in New York City.
click for Niagara Falls from US
The Trek of the Pilgrim through the Wilderness (600x865pix _ ZOOM not recommended to blurry 1400x2019pix)
Twilight in the Wilderness (1860, 102x163cm; 551x901pix, 56kb) _ Although this is a convincing landscape, it does not depict a specific place. Church created it by combining several different sketches made in Maine and New York. The dramatic light electrifying the entire composition is based on sunsets he witnessed from the window of his New York City studio. Perhaps the artist intended twilight to suggest the end of a cosmic cycle, a meaning that coincides with the feeling that the coming Civil War would change US civilization forever. The panoramic splendor created by brilliant clouds floating above a tranquil landscape also suggests the divine authority of "manifest destiny," the idea that US citizens of European stock had a right to the continent. Seen by large numbers of people in the US in a touring exhibition organized by Church himself, this picture was marketed as essentially "American" — a comforting, patriotic image of the US wilderness.
The Falls of Tequendama (1854)
Niagara Falls from the Canadian side (1857)
Niagara Falls, from the US Side ( _ ZOOMable)
Aurora Borealis (1865, 142x212cm)
Cotopaxi (1857)
Cotopaxi (1862)
The Natural Bridge, Virginia (1852, 71x58cm)
Heart of the Andes (1859, 168x303cm) _ detail
Jerusalem from the Mount of Olives (1870, 137x213cm)
The Parthenon (1871, 113x185cm) _ Compare The Parthenon, Temple of Athena Pallas (500x713pix, 36kb) by Vasiliy Dmitriyevich Polenov [01 Jun 1844 – 18 Aug 1927], and (seen from a different angle) Ruins of the Parthenon (1880, 70x135cm) by Sanford Robinson Gifford [10 Jul 1823 – 24 Aug 1880].
The Icebergs (1861, 164x286cm)
Cayambe (1858, 76x122cm) _ Cayambe is a peak, 5790 meters above sea level, in the Andes in Ecuador. _ Compare Cayambe Landscape by Antonio Moncayo.
76 images at the Athenaeum
^Born on 07 April 1613: Gerrit Dou (or Dow, Dov), Dutch Baroque painter who died on 09 February 1675.
— Dou was born in Leiden. He learned glass painting from his father and in 1628 became Rembrandt's first student. After some early portraits, he painted chiefly small domestic scenes characterized by minute detail often painted under a magnifying glass, skillful chiaroscuro, and lifelike effect. Among these are A Poulterer's Shop {a fowl picture} and Evening Light. Dou's work was very popular and continued to be influential until the mid-19th century when appreciation for precision in painting declined under the pernicious influence of impressionism.
— In 1628 Dou became the first student of the young Rembrandt van Rijn, basing his early work closely on his master's. After Rembrandt moved to Amsterdam, Dou developed a style of his own, painting usually on a small scale, with a surface of almost enamelled smoothness. He was astonishingly fastidious about his tools and working conditions, with a particular horror of dust. Some of his pictures were painted with the aid of a magnifying glass. He painted numerous subjects, but is best known for domestic interiors. They usually contain only a few figures framed by a window or by the drapery of a curtain, and surrounded by books, musical instruments, or household paraphernalia, all minutely depicted. He is at his best in scenes lit by artificial light.
      With Jan Steen [1625-1679] Dou was among the founders of the Guild of St Luke at Leiden in 1648. Unlike Steen he was prosperous and respected throughout his life, and his pictures continued to fetch big prices (consistently higher than those paid for Rembrandt's work) until the advent of the sloppy and lazy Impressionism influenced taste against the neatness and precision of his style. Dou had a workshop with many students, including Quirijn van Brekelenkam, Frans van Mieris and Godfried Schalcken. They perpetuated his style and Leiden continued the fijnschilder tradition until the 19th century.

Self Portrait (1650, 48x37cm) with pipe (opium pipe?) and book open to a full-page illustration (huge image). _ same Self-Portrait (regular image) _ This is not a man smoking a pipe, it is not a picture of a man smoking a pipe, but a picture of a painting of a man smoking a pipe. In front of the painting-within-a-painting hangs a green curtain on a copper rail. It is so realistic you might even mistake it for a real curtain - in the seventeenth century it was not uncommon to protect paintings from strong light. Gerard Dou tried to trick the viewer into actually attempting to draw the curtain. Meanwhile the artist looks on: the man with the pipe in the window is Gerard Dou himself.
     In this small painting, Gerard Dou harks back to a story from Classical Antiquity. In Greece, in the fifth century BC, two painters, Zeuxis and Parrhasios, held a competition to see who could imitate nature the closest. Zeuxis painted a bunch of grapes that looked so real that the birds flew down to peck at them. Zeuxis appeared to have won the battle, until he tried to draw back the curtain covering Parrhasios's painting - it was the painting itself. Gerard Dou was a so-called 'fijnschilder', practitioner of a style of painting that involved incredible precision. Perhaps he even saw himself as a second Parrhasios.
— earlier Self-Portrait (1638)
— a later Self-Portrait (1663)
— an ever later Self-Portrait (1665)
Old Woman Reading a Lectionary (Rembrandt's Mother) (1630, 71x55cm) (huge image) _ Old Woman Reading a Lectionary (Rembrandt's Mother) (regular image) _ Young Dou admired and imitated Rembrandt, his teacher, closely. He frequently used Rembrandt's schemes and paraphernalia. A comparison of his Old Woman Reading a Bible (also called Rembrandt's Mother) with Rembrandt's Old Woman Reading (1631) shows the master's superiority and the student's limitations. The face Dou painted is like a mask; it has a frozen surface which appears to have been over-exposed to the light.
      The woman is reading about the entry of Jesus into Jericho, an episode from Saint Luke's Gospel (19:1-27). The illustration shows the tax-collector Zacchaeus, who climbed into a tree to observe the event. Jesus, who is shown looking up at him, went to the man's house despite his disciples' objections to his visiting a tax-collector, for the profession was considered corrupt {it has remained among the least loved, to this day}. To Protestants, the story proved that sinners are saved by faith {to Catholics and Orthodox too, but not by faith ALONE: “Zacchaeus stood up and said to the Lord, "Look, Lord! Here and now I give half of my possessions to the poor, and if I have cheated anybody out of anything, I will pay back four times the amount." [Luke 19:8] See also 1 Cor 13:2 ” if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.” and 13:13 “these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.” and James 2:17: “faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.”}.
“He wanted to see who Jesus was, but being a short man he could not, because of the crowd. 4 So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore-fig tree to see him, since Jesus was coming that way. 5 When Jesus reached the spot, he looked up and said to him, "Zacchaeus, come down immediately. I must stay at your house today." (Luke 19:3-5)
Rembrandt's Mother (1865; 600x484pix _ ZOOM to 1400x1129pix)
The Night School (huge image) _ The Night School (regular image) _
Cardplayers by Candlelight (1660) _ Dou can be credited with starting a hardy vogue around the middle of the century for small pictures of nocturnal scenes lit by candlelight or lanterns, which usually throw a harsh red light. In these paintings the incident depicted — children at school, card players, a group around a table — is usually more important than the dramatic potential of the chiaroscuro.
Old Woman with a Candle (1661, 31x23cm) This painting by the student of Rembrandt and the founder of the Leiden school of 'fine painting' represents a type common in Leiden from the mid-1640s: the bust portrait of an allegorical figure in an architectural frame. Here the old woman is shielding a candle flame, symbol of the transience of human life.
Woman Peeling Carrot (57x43cm) _ Dou popularized the the compositional device of a figure engaged at some occupation at a window.
Officer of the Marksman Society in Leiden (1630, 66x51cm) _ The cavernous background contains all the detail of a still life in the carefully painted armor, drum, saddle and guns seen in what must be an arsenal. It is only the figure of the officer with his plumed headband which makes this a genre painting. Like most of Dou's works this picture is quite lacking in incident. The man is no more than a carefully painted object included in the picture along with the rest of the contents of the store-room. _ detail _ The artist is more interested in the still-life occupying the foreground of the painting than the the stiff figure in the background whose clothing seems to be part of the still-life. The helmet, the drum and the shield can be found in several other paintings of the artist.
Painter in his Studio (1647, 43x34cm) _ It is assumed that the painter represented is Rembrandt, the master of Dou.
Old Woman (1645, 20x16cm) _ This small painting is part of a series painted of the same sitter who was probably the artist's mother.
A Woman (82x65cm) _ At one time this portrait was attributed to Jan Vermeer van Delft.
Old Woman Watering Flowers (1664, 28x23cm) _ Dou popularized the the compositional device of a figure engaged at some occupation at a window.
The Physician (1653, 49x37cm) _ Dou was an assistant and student of the young Rembrandt between 1628 and 1631. He became a master of the genre painting with a lot of still-life elements. A characteristic example of his works is The Physician
The Quack (1652, 112x83cm) _ This painting shows the characteristic qualities of the style of Dou and of the Leiden school he was to start: meticulous drawing, high or ever slick finish, and dark glossy colors — hence the name of the school: the Leiden Fijnschilders”.
Young Mother (1658) _ In 1660 the States of Holland selected Dou's Young Mother as one of the precious gifts to Charles II on the occasion of the Restoration. This picture is painted so finely as hardly to be distinguished from enamel.
The Grocer's Shop (1647, 38x29cm) _ Dou popularized the the compositional device of a figure engaged at some occupation at a window. The earliest dated one is this The Grocer's Shop. Soon after, the window motif occurs frequently in the Leiden School. The window frames quickly become more elaborate, bas-reliefs are introduced under the sills, and the windows are draped with curtains.
A Poulterer's Shop (1670) _ Signed on the sill: GDOV [Gd in monogram]. Dou popularised 'niche' pictures of this type, showing an interior seen through an aperture. The painting is a late work, probably of about 1670, and signed below the peahen. The relief on the parapet, showing children playing with a goat, is probably based on a marble bas-relief by François Duquesnoy [1597-1643], famous Flemish sculptor who worked in Rome. The design is also recorded on an ivory plaquette. It appears in other paintings by Dou from 1651 onwards. This painting can be compared with another work by Dou, the Grocer's Shop of 1672.
The Prayer of the Spinner (28x28cm)
^ Died on 07 April 1961: Vanessa Stephen Bell, English painter born on 13 May 1879, to the literary critic Sir Leslie Stephen and his wife Julia Duckworth.
— Vanessa Stephen inherited a High Victorian attitude to art against which she was to react. She was trained as a painter by Arthur Cope [1857-1940], then at the Royal Academy Schools, where one of her tutors was John Singer Sargent. Family circumstances restricted the work of her early years, and not until 1906 did she begin to assert herself as an artist, forming the Friday Club in an attempt to create an atmosphere in London more conducive to painting. Her Iceland Poppies (1908), exhibited at the New English Art Club in the summer of 1909, marks her artistic maturity. Its quiet, restrained naturalism was, however, to be exploded a year later by her experience of Post-Impressionism. In 1907 she married art critic Clive Bell [16 Sep 1881 – 18 Sep 1964], and, together with him and her sister, writer Virginia Woolf [1882 – 28 Mar 1941], Vanessa Bell was a member of the Bloomsbury group of artists and thinkers, which also included Roger Fry [1866-1934], Duncan Grant [1885-1978] (who fathered Vanessa's youngest child, and some of whose paintings parallel some of hers), Dora Carrington [1893-1932], economist John Maynard Keynes, historian Lytton Strachey, and others.
— Vanessa Stephen (later Bell) was born in Hyde Park Gate, the eldest of four children of the eminent Victorian scholar and writer Leslie Stephen, and his second wife Julia Duckworth. Vanessa and her brothers and sister Thoby, Adrian, and Virginia (later Virginia Woolf) were largely educated at home, and were encouraged to develop their individual talents. Vanessa started having drawing lessons and was accepted into the Royal Academy Schools in 1899. After her mother's death in 1895, Vanessa took on the role of housekeeper for her demanding father and family, and was forced to balance this domestic role with trying to develop her artistic interests. However, her father's death in 1904 released her from this responsibility, the family home was sold and the Stephen siblings moved to a new life at 46 Gordon Square, Bloomsbury. The move to their new house enabled Vanessa and her sister and brothers to entertain their own friends, rather than their father's. On Thursday nights Thoby invited his literary friends from university to the house, and to balance this, Vanessa started the 'Friday Club', a club for artists which met on Fridays. From these two meetings, artists, and writers, developed the 'Bloomsbury Group'.
     One of Thoby Stephen's university friends, Clive Bell, asked Vanessa to marry him in 1905 but she declined. She also initially rejected a second proposal from him in 1906. In this letter she states her reasons, feeling that although she valued his friendship she did not want marriage. However, after the sudden death of her brother Thoby from typhoid fever in 1907, she changed her mind and accepted Clive's proposal. Two sons, Julian and Quentin were born in 1908 and 1910, and although Vanessa continued to paint, her time was increasingly taken up with looking after them. Clive Bell was neglected and resented it.
     In 1911 Vanessa began a relationship with Roger Fry, whom the Bells had met the previous year. The relationship developed when Fry nursed Vanessa through illness while on holiday with the Bells in Greece and Turkey. She and Clive had grown apart after the children were born and although they remained friends and Clive continued to support Vanessa financially, he resumed an affair with a previous mistress. Another friend who joined the Bloomsbury Group was Duncan Grant. Vanessa admired his work and purchased one of his paintings, The Lemon Gatherers. In time she became close to Grant and he replaced Fry in her affections. Despite Duncan Grant's promiscuous homosexuality, they were devoted to each other and lived together for the rest of her life. In 1918 the couple had a daughter, Angelica, who in apparent contradiction of their rejection of the stifling morality of the time, they pretended was the daughter of Vanessa's husband Clive Bell.
     During WW I, Vanessa and Grant moved to the Sussex countryside, so he could avoid conscription. They rented Charleston Farmhouse near Firle, and moved there in October 1916 with her two children, Duncan Grant and his current lover David 'Bunny' Garnett, a nurse, a housemaid, a cook, and Duncan's dog Henry. The owner of the empty farmhouse was looking for farm hands as well as tenants, providing Grant and Garnett with not only a home, but also the opportunity of work on the land and therefore exemption from military service.
     The house, which Vanessa described as most lovely, very solid and simple, was thought to date from the eighteenth century but it was later discovered that it had been grafted on to a half-timbered late Elizabethan building. Although an impressive property, the house was somewhat dilapidated, the garden was overgrown and inside there was no telephone, central heating, or electricity. Its setting however was magnificent, sited on a gentle slope in beautiful downland scenery overlooking the Weald. Duncan and Vanessa chose rooms for their studios and immediately started to decorate the house. Walls, fireplaces, door panels and furniture were all decorated to harmonize with their paintings and Omega fabrics and ceramics were incorporated into the overall décor.
     After the war Vanessa moved back to London but kept Charleston Farmhouse as a summer home, and gradually improvements and extra comforts were added. House parties were common and Charleston was frequently full of guests. Clive Bell came to visit his sons, and the Woolfs lived only six kilometers away. Other guests included Roger Fry and his children, Maynard Keynes and his wife the dancer Lydia Lopokova and Lytton Strachey and his sisters. All were captured by Vanessa with her camera, and some with her paintbrushes.
      The 1920s were a period of relative calm for Vanessa, in both her personal life and artistic career. She and Duncan regularly visited Italy and France making contacts with other artists, and they continued to work together on decorative schemes.
      Vanessa had always hoped to run a Summer School for children which would arouse their interest in the arts without the stifling orthodoxy of a traditional school. In 1925 and 1926 she achieved this when Marjorie Strachey ran courses for about ten children at Charleston. She ran a full curriculum for them including drama productions which were presented to their parents and friends. Amateur dramatics continued to be a popular form of entertainment at Charleston in the period between the wars.
      Charleston became a full-time home again during the Second World War as it was safely out of reach of the bombs falling on London, and Vanessa continued to live there for part of each year.
     The thirties were a time of sadness for Vanessa. Roger Fry, whom Vanessa had remained close to, died after a fall in 1934. In 1937 her son Julian was killed while serving as an ambulance driver in the Spanish Civil War, in which Vanessa had tried, as a pacifist as well as a mother, to dissuade him from participating. More unhappiness followed with the suicide of her sister Virginia in 1941, and estrangement from her daughter Angelica, when she married David Garnett, her father's former lover, in 1942. During Vanessa's last years she lived at Charleston which remained a great inspiration for her painting. After her death Duncan kept the house for a few years longer but it was too large for him and he eventually moved out.
1930 photo of Vanessa Bell

Studland Beach (1912, 76x102cm) _ This painting was first shown in the Post-Impressionist Exhibition of 1912 by Roger Fry at the Grafton Gallery in London, as a deliberate challenge to the more reactionary members of the art establishment. The shapes and the figures are uncompromisingly two-dimensional, simplified, and abstracted, so that the emphasis is on form and color rather than on any overt narrative or representational content. The people and landscape have been dramatically simplified, the crouching figures, beach houses, and seascape becoming flattened shapes and broad bands of color. In this painting Bell emphasizes form over content, the main theory of Modernism.The artist has painted a sort of frame with brushstrokes of blues and a triangular wedge of creamy stippling.
View of the Pond at Charleston (1919)
Frederick and Jessie Etchells Painting (1912) _ The faces of Bell's friends are left blank without detail. Broad bands of loosely-painted color are used to suggest background.
Still Life on Corner of a Mantlepiece (1914) _ Bell painted this at 46 Gordon Square side-by-side with Duncan Grant painting The Mantelpiece (1914), a slightly different viewpoint of the same mantelpiece with boxes, cartons and some Omega flowers in a jug. The two paintings show a similar approach but there are also discernible differences. Grant painted a more exact representation of the moulding under the corner of the mantelpiece, whereas Bell simplified the scrolls to rectangular shapes. They chose different colors for the boxes, flowers, and even for the background wall. Grant also added cut out pieces of painted paper to create a collage effect.
Mrs. St. John Hutchinson (1915)
Interior with Table (1921)
Fan, Gloves, Roses, and Pearls.

Died on a 07 April:

^ 1923 (1896?) Edward Killingworth Johnson, British painter born in 1825.
The Hammock (1881, 40x49cm; 823x1000pix, 171kb) _ The dull tan hammock is only a minor part of the picture, and the least interesting. If you want honest pictures of colorful hammocks as the center of interest, try the photos Two Hammocks (1200x1600pix, 341kb), Swiss Jumbo Hammock (600x800pix, 268kb), or any of the 57 hammock photos linked to their thumbnail pictures at Jumbo-Hängematten.
— /S#*>The Pet Bird (1325x900pix, 228kb) _ The dark gray bird in a cage is an even smaller and uninteresting part of the picture than the hammock in the preceding painting, and it is not likely that it was what the artist what thinking of petting. For pictures of pet birds, there is much better, such as, on one page, the five photos of the colorful
      _ Deedee, Tinker, Belle, Squeak, and Ruby, and, on the next page, the photo of Squeak arguing with her dad, Tinker, is one not to miss.
— /S#*>Breton Fisher Girl (510x675pix, 84kb) _ By now it is a pleasant surprise that Johnson did not title this picture something like The Fish Net. Though there is the ocean and a boat in the background, the colorfully dressed girl is indeed the main subject.
The Trysting Place (1885, 50x31cm)
Feeding a Pony in a Surrey Garden (461x611pix, 112kb) _ This has been strangely metamorphosed by the pseudonymous Livingworth Johnedsdad inte the symmetrical abstraction Leading a Surrey With a Phony Warden aka Deft Fed (2006; screen filling, 310kb _ ZOOM to 1864x2636pix, 3415kb) — (060406)

1707 Willem van de Velde II, Dutch English painter born (full coverage) on 18 December 1633. —(060406)

1614 Doménikos Theotokópoulos “El Greco”, Greek Spanish painter born in 1541, possibly (full coverage) on 01 October.

Born on a 07 April:

1901 Christnopher Wood, British painter who commited suicide (full coverage) on 21 August 1930. —(090820)

^ >1890 Adam Styka, Polish French orientalist painter who died on 23 September 1959. — {Did prospective buyers of his paintings experience Styka price shock?} — Son of Jan Styka [08 Apr 1858 – 11 Apr 1925] and brother of Tade Styka [12 Apr 1889 – 11 Sep 1954] — He completed his formal education at the French Academy of Fine Arts, Academie de Beau Arts, and was taught by his father. After graduating from the French Military Academy in Fontainebleau, Adam served in the French artillery during World War I. He was granted the French citizenship and assistance from the French Government to visit French colonies in North Africa. As the result of these annual journeys, Adam developed an entire genre of Middle-Eastern and Oriental themes. He also made paintings of the US West. Later he made religious painting such as The Assumption of the Virgin Mary and The Ascension of Jesus. — Portrait of Adam Styka (1916; 331x268pix, 28kb) by Tade Styka.
–- A Warm Embrace (58x72cm; 655x800pix, 55kb _ .ZOOM to 1310x1600pix, 175kb)
–- The Lovers (81x66cm; 816x654pix, 53kb) a pale almost monochrome version of A Warm Embrace, of which other versions are:
     _ Under the African Sun (80x65cm; 500x404pix, 42kb)
     _ Girl with an Arab in a Hat (81x65cm; 681x535pix, 111kb)
     _ Desert Seduction (81x65cm; xpix, kb)
     _ Moroccan Idyll (85x69cm; 85x69pix, kb) the man wears a hat
     _ Moroccan Couple (65x81cm; xpix, kb)
     _ Fatima (204x247pix, 11kb)
–- Ile de Philae (73x92cm; 635x797pix, 42kb _ .ZOOM to 1111x1395pix, 83kb)
— very different Philae (25x32cm; 476x640pix, 43kb)
Bouaziz Ben Gana, Bachaga des Ziban, Biskra (1917, 115x88cm; 650x479pix, 62kb)
The Eleven Nuns of Nowogrodek (1948; 386x520pix, 148kb) _ Increasingly frequent arrests during the Nazi occupation in Poland led Sister Mary Stella, the Superior of the twelve Sisters of the Holy Family of Nazareth at Nowogrodek, to pray in July 1943 that families in the community might receive some relief from the suffering caused by Nazi activities. Sister Mary Stella prayed: "O God, if sacrifice of life is needed, accept it from us who are free from family obligations. Spare those who have wives and children." Without warning or provocation, on 31 July 1943, eleven of the twelve Sisters were imprisoned. The Sisters were loaded into a van and driven beyond the town limits. On 01 August 1943 the Sisters were shot and buried in a common grave at Nowogrodek (53°35' N, 25°49' E), then on the eastern borders of Poland but now in Belarus where the beatification of these nuns will encourage the "reborn" Catholic Church. After the Sisters' execution many of the most recently arrested men were not killed. Some were released or sent to Germany for work. The life of the Sisters' chaplain, Father Aleksander Zienkiewicz, was also spared during this time. Zienkiewicz later wrote a work in Polish which was translated as No Greater Love (1968). Two of the Sisters of the Holy Family of Nazareth, M. Teresa Gorska and M. Noela Wojtatowicz have published Blessed Martyrs of Nowogrodek (2000), which gives the whole story of the martyred sisters, heroines of the holocaust in what was Poland, with their individual pictures and with a collection of poetry to honor them. Pope John Paul II beatified them with a group of thirty-three others on 05 March 2000. The 11 sisters (in parentheses their 2nd name in religion, the first being Maria in all cases) are:
     (Imelda) Jadwiga Karolina Zak [29 Dec 1892–], (Rajmunda) Anna Kokolowicz [24 Aug 1892–], (Daniela) Eleonora Aniela Józwik [25 Jan 1895–], (Kanuta) Józefa Chrobot [22 May 1896–], (Gwidona) Helena Cierpka [11 Apr 1900–], (Sergia) Julia Rapiej [18 Aug 1900–], (Kanizja) Eugenia Mackiewicz [27 Nov 1904–], (Felicyta) Paulina Borowik [30 Aug 1905–], (Heliodora) Leokadia Matuszewska [08 Feb 1906–], (Boromea) Weronika Narmontowicz [18 Dec 1916–], and the superior (Stella) Adela Mardosewicz [14 Dec 1888–]
Próba syntezy (207 x 258pix, 51kb) _ This tiny image of Styka's monochrome painting has been transformed by the pseudonymous “Mad” Astiqua into the splendidly colorful and detailed pictures (which are best appreciated at full magnification):
      _ Probar Sin Tesis (2007; 775x1096pix, 428kb _ ZOOM to 1096x1550pix, 813kb _ ZOOM+ to 1700x2404pix, 1895kb _ ZOOM++ to 2636x3728pix, 4794kb) and
      _ Probes in Thesis (2007; 775x1096pix, 428kb _ ZOOM to 1096x1550pix, 813kb _ ZOOM+ to 1700x2404pix, 1895kb _ ZOOM++ to 2636x3728pix, 4794kb). —(070406)

1883 Gino Severini, Italian painter who died (full coverage) on 27 February 1966.

1879 Ardengo Soffici, Italian painter, critic, and writer, who died on 18 August 1964. He spent his early childhood in the Florentine countryside and showed a precocious interest in drawing and literature. At school in Florence he deepened his knowledge of the Classics and also developed an interest in the new French poetry (from Laforgue to Rimbaud). At the Accademia in Florence he met Giovanni Fattori and Telemaco Signorini; in 1897, at the Arte e fiori exhibition, he admired paintings by Pierre Bonnard, Pierre Puvis de Chavannes and Giovanni Segantini.

^ >1874 Frederick Carl Frieseke [–24 Aug 1939], US impressionist painter active in France from 1898. Like several of the US Impressionists, Michigan-born Frederick Carl Frieseke spent most of his life in France, sending his paintings home to the United States for exhibition and sale. He had first gone to Paris in 1897, enrolling at the Académie Julian, long a popular program for aspiring US artists. Frieseke also studied with the renowned American expatriate painter James McNeill Whistler at his short-lived school, the Académie Carmen. Whistler's passion for Japanese art, for decoration, and for distinctive color arrangements had a lasting influence on Frieseke's work. Frieseke also admired the French Impressionist Claude Monet, particularly for his brilliant use of color and his interest in the effects of sunlight. From 1906 to 1919 Frieseke spent his summers in Giverny, the small village in Normandy that had been Monet's home since 1883, joining the significant colony of US artists there.
     _ Born in Owosso, Michigan, Frederick Frieseke studied at The Art Institute of Chicago beginning in 1893, before going East to the Art Students League in New York City in 1897, and then to Paris in 1898. There, he studied at the Acad6mie Julian, and with James Abbott McNeill Whistler for a short period at the Acad6mie Carmen. Frieseke7s earliest mature works, images of individual women in interiors painted in fairly close tonalities, reflect Whistler's influence, but once he and his wife settled, in 1906, in the art colony at Giverny, where Claude Monet resided, Frieseke rapidly developed a very original aesthetic which would have an impact upon almost all the later figural painters among the colonists. The Friesekes rented a house, surrounded by tall walls, which had been the residence of Theodore Robinson, one of the founders of the Giverny art colony. There they developed a sumptuous, colorful garden which served as the setting for many of Frieseke's pictures. The outside of their house was painted in strikingly bright colors, yellow with green shutters, while the living room walls were lemon yellow and the kitchen, a deep blue. The artist also maintained a second studio on the Epte River, which ran through the town, where he painted many of his renderings of the nude outdoors. In Giverny, Frieseke concentrated upon monumental images of women, usually single figures, posed in domestic interiors or sun-filled outdoor settings, often in the floral garden his wife tended so conscientiously. But the rendition of sunlight, not flowers, was Frieseke's primary concern. As he himself acknowledged in 1912, "It is sunshine, flowers in sunshine, girls in sunshine, the nude in sunshine, which I have been principally interested in for eight years. . . ."I Unlike the earlier artists in Giverny, such as Robinson, Frieseke's Impressionism was an unreal construct, his sunlight and color entirely synthetic; one modern writer has noted that "His light hardly seems to be plein air light at all. In fact it seems entirely artificial ... a stunning concoction of blues and magentas frosted with early summer green and flecks of white."
     Though the Friesekes remained in Giverny for fourteen years, until 1920, neither they nor any of their fellow artists who arrived in the early twentieth century became close to Monet. Frieseke acknowledged the influence of and his admiration for the art of Auguste Renoir; certainly his rounded and sensual figural types are very close to those of the French master. By the first two decades of the 20th century, the Giverny art colony had little interaction with the local peasant population that had figured so prominently in the paintings of the 1880s and 1890s by Robinson and his colleagues. For both their subject matter and their life styles, the later art colony members retreated within the walls of their increasingly genteel residences. Frieseke's aesthetic influenced a whole generation of US artists in Giverny; significantly, almost all of the major figures of this group were from the Midwest, and like him, had first studied in Chicago; these included Lawton Parker, Louis Ritman, Karl Anderson, and Karl Buehr. Frieseke's innovative techniques gained him international fame following his abundant representation in the 1909 Venice BiennaLe, while he and his colleagues achieved great renown in their native land after successful exhibitions held in New York City in 1910.
The Bridge, Giverny (65x81cm; 603x755pix, 377kb _ ZOOM to 1205x1509pix, 1433kb _ ZOOM + to 1808x2265pix, 2846kb) mostly monochrome greenish blue.
The Yellow Room (1910, 81x81cm) _ In this painting Frieseke fused bold color juxtapositions and careful formal design, bringing together the qualities he most admired in the work of Monet and Whistler. He posed his model in the living room of his own house in Giverny, which itself was one of his artistic creations. Frieseke had painted the walls lemon yellow and ornamented the room with blue rugs and curtains, a striking color combination that Monet had also employed in his home. Against this backdrop Frieseke posed a costumed model, arranged Japanese ceramics, and massed containers of fruit and flowers to create a panoply of color and pattern. The large Imari-style plate and the model's kimono reflect the artist's interest in Asian art, with its emphasis on two-dimensional design and ornament. The wealth and variety of patterns Frieseke employed, as well as the way in which the figure is not given precedence but instead merges into its surroundings, also recall paintings by Pierre Bonnard and Edouard Vuillard. Like those modern French artists, Frieseke created intimate domestic interiors that use bold decorative arrangements to explore the shifting relationship between paintings as representations of the real world and as independent abstract designs. These concerns would preoccupy many US artists throughout the twentieth century.
64 images at the Athenaeum
33 images at ARC
30 images at CGFA —(080407)

^ 1857 Hans Andersen “Brendekilde”, Danish painter, glass designer, and ceramicist, who died on 30 March 1942. He was trained as a stonemason and then studied sculpture in Copenhagen at the Kongelige Danske Kunstakademi (1877-1881), where he decided to become a painter. In 1884 he changed his name from Andersen to Brendekilde after his place of birth, as he was constantly being confused with his friend Laurits Andersen “Ring” [15 Aug 1854 – 10 Sep 1933], who also took the name of his birthplace. In the 1880s Brendekilde and Ring painted together on Fyn and influenced each other’s work. Brendekilde’s art had its origin in the lives of people of humble means and in the country environment of previous centuries. He painted landscapes and genre pictures. He himself was the son of a woodman, and his paintings often contain social comment, as in Worn Out (1889), which shows the influence of both Jean-François Millet and Jules Bastien-Lepage. Brendekilde was a sensitive colorist, influenced by Impressionism, for example in Akssamlerne, Raagelund (1883) (akssamlerne = harvesters). Sometimes his works were provided with distinctive carved frames, which themselves expand and complement the narrative of the picture. About in 1905 he began to depict the idyllic, though keeping the same range of motifs, depicting farm environments with hollyhocks and kindly old women and infants against white walls, without the earlier refined treatment of color. He also painted landscapes on his journeys to Italy, Egypt and Syria. In his later years he painted large pictures with religious motifs. He also made ceramics with fairytale motifs at the Kahler factory in Næstved, and he was Denmark’s first glass designer, working briefly at the Fyns Glasvoerker.
Udslidt (1889, 207x270cm; 584x762pix, 138kb)
Fortrykt (1887; 413x500pix, 37kb)

1806 Armand François Christophe Toussaint, French artist who died on 24 May 1862.

1705 Dionys van Nymegen (or Nijmegen), Dutch artist who died on 28 August 1789. He was taught by his father, painter Elias van Nijmegen [1667-1755], whose workshop he took over after 1750. Dionys’s work was influenced by that of Jacob de Wit. Dionys’s son Gerard van Nijmegen [1735 – 29 Apr 1808] was a painter, draftsman and engraver of hill and mountain landscapes.

1648 Ferdinand van Kessel, Flemish artist who died in 1696. — Son of Jan van Kessel I [05 Apr 1626 bapt – 18 Oct 1679] and brother of Jan van Kessel II [1654-1708]
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