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BIRTH: 1885 DELAUNAY
2002: WORTH A MILLION THE PAINTING DISCOVERED BY A BOY?
^ Born on 12 April 1885: Robert-Victor-Félix Delaunay, French Cubist painter who died on 25 October 1941. Husband of Sonia Delaunay [14 Nov 1885 – 05 Dec 1979].
— Delaunay was born in Paris. In 1902, after secondary education, he apprenticed in a studio for theater sets in Belleville. In 1903, he started painting and by 1904 was exhibiting, that year and in 1906 at the Salon d’Automne and from 1904 until World War I at the Salon des Indépendants. Between 1905 and 1907, Delaunay became friendly with Henri Rousseau and Jean Metzinger and studied the color theories of Michel-Eugène Chevreul. During these years, he was painting in a Neo-Impressionist manner; Paul Cézanne’s work also influenced Delaunay around this time. From 1907–08, he served in the military in Laon, and upon returning to Paris he had contact with the Cubists. The period 1909–10 saw the emergence of Delaunay’s personal style; he painted his first Eiffel Tower in 1909. In 1910, Delaunay married the painter Sonia Terk, who became his collaborator on many projects.
     Delaunay’s participation in exhibitions in Germany and association with advanced artists working there began in 1911, the year Vasily Kandinsky invited him to participate in the first Blaue Reiter exhibition at Heinrich Thannhauser’s Moderne Galerie in Munich. At this time, he became friendly with Guillaume Apollinaire, Albert Gleizes, and Henri Le Fauconnier. In 1912, Delaunay’s first solo show took place at the Galerie Barbazanges, Paris, and he began his Windows pictures. In 1913, Delaunay painted his Circular Form, or Disc, pictures.
      From 1914 to 1920, Delaunay lived in Spain and Portugal and became friends with Sergei Diaghilev, Leonide Massine, Diego Rivera, and Igor Stravinsky. He designed decor for the Ballets Russes in 1918. By 1920, he had returned to Paris, where in 1922 an exhibition of his work was held at Galerie Paul Guillaume, and he began his second Eiffel Tower series. In 1924, he undertook his Runner paintings and in 1925 executed frescoes for the Palais de l’Ambassade de France at the Exposition internationale des arts décoratifs in Paris. In 1937, he was commissioned to decorate the Palais des Chemins de Fer and Palais de l’Air at the Paris World’s Fair. His last works were decorations for the sculpture hall of the Salon des Tuileries in 1938. Delaunay died in Montpellier, France.

— Robert Delaunay was a living paradox. In every aspect of his life, Delaunay had to rationalize and mitigate the apparent contradictions between his habits and his mores. He was a man of extreme wealth and extravagant tastes, but yearned to be a simple man in tune with nature. Art provided him a balance between these two extremes. Delaunay chose to express the more harmonic and pure side of his personality through his artwork and indulge his more lavish side while at play. The perplexing nature of his life is manifest in his artwork, which attempts to simplify the complicated. With much informal yet potent training, Delaunay created a personal artistic style that earned him much deserved recognition.
      Robert Delaunay was born in Paris to a family of rooted aristocratic lineage. The Delaunays were said to be a cultured, albeit spoiled, family. His father Georges was a modern businessman who daringly invested in electricity at the time of Robert’s birth, while his mother Countess Berthe-Félice de Rose was more selfishly concerned with the arts, travel, and Parisian social life. His parents divorced in 1889 and severed all ties with one another. Consequently, Delaunay hardly knew his father and saw his mother only during periodic home-stays in between her travels. The future artist ended up staying mostly in the care of his mother’s older sister and brother-in-law at their large country estate near Bourges. Delaunay lived a split life -- one of a refined, yet snooty culture with his mother and also one of undisturbed and serene nature with his aunt and uncle. Not surprisingly, he grew to detest the Parisian lifestyle and prefer the calm of the country. On several occasions, Delaunay attempted to bring the two worlds together. One story has it that Delaunay once brought wild birds and their nests to Paris to raise them in the city. Nevertheless, contact with high society permanently changed Delaunay’s tastes. As an adult, Delaunay would favor the good life, choosing the best food, wine, and entertainment Paris had to offer. He was a worldly young man who seemed confident and comfortable on the surface, but was truly unnerved by the obvious contradictions in his divided life.
      Delaunay developed a love for the arts at an early age. He rebelled against traditional schooling and paid attention only to classes concerning art and natural history. Delaunay was a lazy student and was expelled from several schools in both Paris and Bourges. At the age of 17, Delaunay convinced his family that he was meant to live his life as an artist. They conceded in spite of their worries of the damage he might do to their social status, as painting was not a very highly esteemed profession for the aristocracy at that time. In 1902, Delaunay became apprentice to the theater scene painter Ronsin in the town of Belleville. This would be Delaunay’s only formal artistic training. Delaunay stayed in Belleville for two years and gained much confidence in his work. Also, Delaunay’s mother became his most avid supporter during this apprenticeship. She supported much of his work, as well as that of his friends.
      In 1904, Delaunay’s artwork was exhibited for the first time at the Salon des Indépendants in Paris. He was 19 at the time. The exhibition featured six major works. It was obvious in the subject matter and brushstrokes of these early paintings that the Impressionistic movement had greatly influenced Delaunay’s style. However, over the next few years, his style would change immensely, becoming more futuristic with time. In 1909, Delaunay began his Saint-Séverin series, an in-depth study of formal techniques. Several of these sketches were painted from direct observation and captured the light as it truly fell through the windows and into the cathedral. His more Cubist Eiffel Tower series would soon follow. Delaunay once again exhibited at the Salon des Indépendants, showcasing his most important paintings.
      In 1910, Delaunay married Sonia Terk, a fellow artist. The two had met through Terk’s first husband Wilhelm Uhde. Uhde was a German art dealer with whom Delaunay visited socially on occasion. Terk was attracted to Delaunay’s whimsical nature and foolishly elaborate life plans. She believed him to be different from the rest of high society, admitting that she was “carried away by the poet in him, the visionary, the fighter.” The tortured artist persona had worked for Delaunay. In 1911, the couple had a son.
      In April of 1912, Delaunay began his Windows series. In these pieces Delaunay studied “pure” color, experimenting with the richness of solid color blocks. He was also one of the first artists who played with the relationships and emotions that resulted from the placement of one block of color next to another block of color. Delaunay was greatly impressed by Wassily Kandinsky’s work and strove to produce works that explored color as effectively as this mentor’s. Also at about this time, Delaunay published his manifesto “On Light,” which Kandinsky encouraged Delaunay to write. The beautifully worded essay called art a visual poetry whose success depended on the concept of simultaneity. According to Kandinsky and Delaunay, the act of simultaneity coordinates light so that a harmonic perception of the physical world can be attained. Furthermore, light is the most powerful entity in the world in that it determines what is seen and thus what is detected and known to man. Delaunay acquired much attention in Germany through both his writing and painting. In 1913 the Der Strum gallery in Berlin exhibited a solo show of Delaunay’s work. Delaunay had basically created a new artistic movement, which his peers had termed “Orphism.”
      The coming of World War I coincided with great change in the Delaunays’ lives. In 1914, their son became so deathly ill that they decided to relocate to Madrid for him to rest. A year later, the family moved to Portugal for six years and produced little notable artwork. Sonia referred to this stay as a brief family holiday. The couple finally moved back to Paris, and Robert began churning out one painting after another. He had created a truly distinctive style that captured the attention of many Europeans. The Der Strum gallery housed a few shows of both Robert’s and Sonia’s artwork during this period.
      Delaunay was fascinated by modernity in spite of his keen appreciation of nature. He saw modern-day inventions as an indication of the shattering of obsolete social conventions and restrictions. Furthermore, these timesaving, effort-reducing, energy-efficient inventions allowed people to have much more freedom in their everyday lives, thus allowing them to spend more time in natural environments. In the 1920s, Delaunay eventually became an active and boisterous advocate of such ideas, incessantly delivering his sermon to anyone and everyone in his presence. His reputation for being an arrogant, loquacious, and oftentimes disrespectful friend therefore persisted, but Sonia merely blamed Robert’s lack of confidence and personal insecurities for this sort of behavior. In any case, Delaunay’s outlook on modernity also affected his painting. Even early on in his career, Delaunay painted Paris and its plethora of technological innovations in a dreamy manner, in works such as City of Paris (1912).
      Once again, Delaunay took a break from the art world. He did not produce any great work of art again until around 1930, when his study of abstract forms had been perfected. Delaunay also set out to write a book in the 1930s, but he failed to complete it. For the most part, the Great Depression had weakened the market for luxury goods. According to his wife’s whims, the Delaunays wasted their days away daydreaming and living the simple life. By the end of the 1930s, Robert and his family faced grave financial problems. Robert began to exhibit his work once again to improve their situation. The Paris Exhibition of 1937 allowed the Delaunays to live comfortably once again, and Robert continued to regularly showcase his work all around Paris from time to time thereafter. But in 1938 he became extremely ill, and on October 25, 1941, he died of cancer in Montpellier. His legacy, however, lived on in his wife. Sonia Delaunay gained much respect as an artist herself and also ensured that Robert Delaunay’s artistic legacy would be recognized forever. In 1979, a monumental retrospective of both artists’ work was held in Japan. From then on, major important retrospectives of Delaunay’s work have been housed in museums all over the world.
      Robert Delaunay’s artistic techniques were simple and natural, while his life was complex and unnatural. Like most artists, he was constantly in search of a personal voice. Unlike many artists, Delaunay was able to find this personal voice. He created a powerful style all his own that comprehensively explored the power of colors and their relationships to light. But his perseverance and dedication to art seem at times more admirable than his art itself, for he inundated himself in the realm of art and almost transformed it into a science to create precise, well-calculated paintings. Nonetheless, these paintings are beautiful, provocative, and considered essential to any major collection of modern art.

—       Delaunay, creador del Orfismo, nacido en París el 12 de abril de 1885. Tras el divorcio de sus padres, lo educaron su tío y su madre. A los diecisiete años entró como aprendiz en un taller de decoración teatral, donde permaneció dos años.
     En 1904 expuso en el Salón de los Independientes sus primeros trabajos, influidos por Paul Gauguin y el grupo de Pont Aven. Durante los dos años siguientes se interesó por teorías neoimpresionistas; frecuentó a Metzinger e inició su amistad con el Aduanero Rousseau. Empezó sus investigaciones sobre la ley del contraste simultáneo de colores. Su trabajo de los años 1906-1908 está muy influido por Seurat (Retrato de Wilhem Uhde, de 1907, y trabajos sobre la catedral de Laon).
      Hacia 1909 inició el desarrollo de un estilo personal, con las series sobre Saint Severin, de la ciudad, y de la Torre Eiffel. Delaunay llamó a esta etapa período de transición de Cézanne al cubismo o período destructivo.
      En 1910 se casó con Sonia Uhde-Terk y se instaló en París. Conoció a Fernand Léger y en 1911, invitado por Vasily Kandinsky, participó en la primera exposición del segundo grupo del Blaue Rieter en Munich. Inició su amistad con Guillaume Apollinaire, Le Fauconier, Albert Gleizes. En el Salón de los Independientes de Bruselas, representó al cubismo, con Fernand Léger y Albert Gleizes.
      En 1912 empezó el período constructivo con los primeros cuadros abstractos (Disco, Forma Circular) y la serie de las ventanas, en la que está inspirada el poema de Apollinaire del mismo título. En esta serie Delaunay abandonó el intento representativo, aunque permanecen trazos de objetos reales. El cubismo analítico inspira de Delaunay la fragmentación de las formas. Los colores son diáfanos y del espectro solar. Según sus propias palabras: "...la línea es limitación. Y el color da la profundidad -no una profundidad perspectiva ni secuencial, sino simultánea- junto con la forma y el movimiento...".
      En 1912 hizo su primera exposición individual en la galería Barbazanges de París, y al siguiente año su primera individual en el extranjero, en la galería Der Sturm de Berlín, a donde viajó con Apollinaire y Frédéric Louis Sauser Halle (“Blaise Cendrars”) [01 Sep 1887 – 21 Jan 1961]. Apollinaire pronunció una conferencia sobre lo que llama Orfismo. Delaunay presentó el Equipo de Cardiff en el Salón de los Independientes.
      Interesado por los temas de actualidad, en 1914 pintó Drame politique y Hommage à Blériot, que anuncian su evolución posterior. Los Delaunay pasaron sus vacaciones en España donde les sorprendió la guerra. Se instalaron en Madrid, donde Robert estudió la técnica de las pinturas con cera. En 1915 y 1916 se instalaron cerca de Oporto, donde investigó las "relaciones entre los colores disonantes de rápidas vibraciones". En 1917 volvieron a Madrid donde Delaunay hizo amistad con Sergei Pavlovich Diaghilev, Nijinsky, Igor Feodorovich Stravinsky, Manuel de Falla, y Diego Rivera. A partir de entonces realizó numerosos decorados para los ballets rusos como Cleopatra (1918). Por esta época mantuvo correspondencia con los dadaístas.
      En 1922 realizó su primera litografía con motivo de una gran exposición individual en la galería Paul Guillaume de París. Se interesó por los retratos e hizo los de Philippe Soupault, André Breton, Louis Aragón, Vladimir Vladimirovich Mayakovski, etc. En 1923 realizó los primeros proyectos de carteles publicitarios; en 1924 finalizó la segunda serie de la Torre Eiffel. En 1925 Delaunay y Léger realizaron unos frescos para la Exposición Internacional de Artes Decorativas de París, aunque fueron retirados los cuadros por considerarlos escandalosos y atrevidos. Hacia 1926 y 1927 estuvo en contacto con todos los grandes arquitectos alemanes (Gropius, Breuer, Mendelssohn) y en 1928 Solomon R. Guggenheim compró un Torre de 1910 para su museo, que en la actualidad cuenta con más de treinta obras de Delaunay.
      En 1930 abandonó los temas figurativos y volvió a un arte totalmente abstracto. Realizó sus primeros relieves. Entre 1931 y 1935 volvió a los discos y pintó las series de Ritmos y Ritmos sin fin. Buscó una pintura integrada en la arquitectuta y ello le llevó a realizar numerosos relieves con nuevos materiales. Se interesó por la publicidad luminosa y, con su mujer, realizó un stand en el Salón de la Luz. Proyectó un falansterio de artistas (el Valle de los Artistas) en Nesles-la-Vallée.
      En 1936 el Museo de Arte Moderno de Nueva York expuso telas de Delaunay en la gran exposición Cubismo y Arte Abstracto. Pintó para el pabellón del aire, en la Exposicion Internacional de París, la obra Aire, fuego y agua. En 1939, ya enfermo, organizó en su casa unas reuniones en donde expuso sus ideas sobre el arte a jóvenes artistas y arquitectos, y organizó el Salón de las Nuevas Realidades en la galería Charpentier de París, donde hay obras de Duchamp, Arp, su mujer Sonia Delaunay, Gleizes, Villon, y él mismo. Murió, víctima del cáncer, el 25 de octubre de 1941 en Montpellier.

LINKS
Fenêtres Simultanées (1912, 55x46cm; 800x692pix, 121kb) _ If this abstract picture were a tune, what the pseudonymous Taubert de Longnez transformed it into would be twin symphonies:
      _ Défenestrations Simulées aka Anima Mina (2006; screen filling, 208kb _ ZOOM to 1864x2636pix, 1696kb) and
      _ Fait Naître Six Mules Tannées aka Animal Lamina (2006; screen filling, 201kb _ ZOOM to 1864x2636pix, 1520kb).
Rythme Sans Fin (800x612pix, 121kb) _ De Longnez was struck by the most inappropriate title for this very limited picture. So he went ahead and transformed it into
      _ Sans Rime Ni Raison et Surtout Sans Fin Sans Fin Sans Fin Sans Fin Sans Fin Sans Fin Sans Fin Sans Fin Sans Fin Sans Fin Sans Fin Sans Fin Sans Fin Sans Fin Sans Fin Sans Fin Sans Fin Sans Fin Sans Fin Sans Fin Sans Fin Sans Fin (da capo) (2006; 259kb) which is not quite without end, but to the end of which you may not have the patience to scroll slowly (the only way to see the whole picture), as it is a stunning 263'600 pixels wide, more than 200 times the width of most computer screens (and it fits the whole height of the screen).
Prisme Electrique (800x795pix, 177kb)
Soleil, Tour, Aéroplane (800x795pix, 163kb)
Formes Circulaires (534x800pix, 95kb)
Fenêtre à la Ville (800x678pix, 136kb)
Fenêtre dans la Ville (800x616pix, 143kb) _ Since this picture is made up of small approximate squares, de Longnez decided to carry out the idea much further and made of small squares, themselves made up of tiny squares, the colorful symmetrical abstraction
      _ Carreaux de Fenêtres Tachetés Dans Nulle Ville Sinon Dans un Rêve en Couleurs Intenses aka Dock Cod (2006; screen filling, 278kb _ ZOOM to 1864x2636pix, 2327kb)
Contrastes Simultanés: Soleil et Lune (round; 790x800pix, 111kb) _ This and the preceding seven pictures have been combined and metamorphosed by de Longnez into the super-abstractions
      _ Formes Circulaires, Rectangulaire, et Irrégulières Barioliées Vues Dans et Autour de Fenêtres Simulées Dans un Rythme Sans Faim à la Lumière du Soleil, de la Lune, ou d'un Prisme Électrique, Peu Importe aka De l'Eau Nait (2006; screen filling, 200kb _ ZOOM to 1864x2636pix, 1646kb) and the symmetrical
      _ Le Contre-Acte en Plané Sous l'Oeil Est Lu aka Dock Cod (2006; screen filling, 349kb _ ZOOM to 1864x2636pix, 3312kb)
La Femme au Parasol aka La Parisienne (800x544pix, 81kb)
Saint-Séverin No. 3 (1910, 114x89cm) _ Robert Delaunay chose the view into the ambulatory of the Parisian Gothic church Saint-Séverin as the subject of his first series of paintings, in which he charted the modulations of light streaming through the stained-glass windows and the resulting perceptual distortion of the architecture. The subdued palette and the patches of color that fracture the smooth surface of the floor point to the influence of Paul Cézanne as well as to the stylistic elements of Georges Braque’s early Cubist landscapes. Delaunay said that the Saint-Séverin theme in his work marked “a period of transition from Cézanne to Cubism
La Tour Eiffel (1928; 700x432pix)
La Tour Eiffel (painted in 1911, although it bears the date 1910, 202x138cm; 573x390pix, 91kb) _ Delaunay explored the developments of Cubist fragmentation in his series of paintings of the Eiffel Tower. In these canvases, characteristic of his self-designated “destructive” phase, the artist presented the tower and surrounding buildings from various perspectives. Delaunay chose a subject that allowed him to indulge his preference for a sense of vast space, atmosphere, and light, while evoking a sign of modernity and progress. Like the soaring vaults of Gothic cathedrals, the Eiffel Tower is a uniquely French symbol of invention and aspiration. Many of Delaunay’s images of this structure and the surrounding city are views from a window framed by curtains. In Eiffel Tower the buildings bracketing the tower curve like drapery.
Fenêtres ouvertes simultanément 1ère partie, 3e motif (1912, oval 57x123cm; 485x1000pix, 66kb) _ Though Robert Delaunay had virtually discarded representational imagery by the spring of 1912 when he embarked on the Windows theme, vestigial objects endure in this series. Here, as in Simultaneous Windows 2nd Motif, 1st Part of the same moment, the centralized ghost of a green Eiffel Tower alludes to his enthusiasm for modern life.
      Analytic Cubism inspired Delaunay’s fragmentation of form, oval format, and organization of the picture’s space as a grid supporting intersecting planes. However, unlike the monochromatic, tactile planes of Cubism, those of Delaunay are not defined by line and modeling, but by the application of diaphanous, prismatic color. Delaunay wrote in 1913: “Line is limitation. Color gives depth—not perspectival, not successive, but simultaneous depth—as well as form and movement.” As in visual perception of the real world, perception of Delaunay’s painting is initially fragmentary, the eye continually moving from one form to others related by hue, value, tone, shape, or direction. As focus shifts, expands, jumps, and contracts in unending rhythms, one senses the fixed borders of the canvas and the tight interlocking of its contents. Because identification of representational forms is not necessary while the eye moves restlessly, judgments about the relative importance of parts are not made and all elements can be perceived as equally significant. The harmony of the pictorial reality provides an analogy to the concealed harmony of the world. At the left of the canvas Delaunay suggests glass, which, like his chromatic planes, is at once transparent, reflective, insubstantial, and solid. Glass may allude as well to the metaphor of art as a window on reality.
Simultaneous Windows (2nd Motif, 1st Part) (1912, 55x46cm) _ Delaunay's attraction to windows and window views, linked to the Symbolists’ use of glass panes as metaphors for the transition from internal to external states, culminated in his Simultaneous Windows series. (The series derives its name from the French scientist Michel-Eugène Chevreul’s theory of simultaneous contrasts of color, which explores how divergent hues are perceived at once.) Delaunay stated that these works began his “constructive” phase, in which he juxtaposed and overlaid translucent contrasting complementary colors to create a synthetic, harmonic composition. Guillaume Apollinaire wrote a poem about these paintings and coined the word Orphism to describe Delaunay’s endeavor, which he believed was as independent of descriptive reality as was music (the name derives from Orpheus, the mythological lyre player). Although Simultaneous Windows (2nd Motif, 1st Part) contains a vestigial green profile of the Eiffel Tower, it is one of the artist’s last salutes to representation before his leap to complete abstraction.
Champs de Mars: the Red Tower (1920)
Tour Eiffel et Champ de Mars
Hommage à Blériot (1914, 194x128cm)
L'équipe de Cardiff _ Cette oeuvre, qui marque un retour à la figuration, est construit à la manière d'un collage cubiste. Il présente plusieurs éléments juxtaposés : des joueurs de rugby d'après une photographie parue dans la presse, la grande roue, la tour Eiffel, un aéroplane, des affiches publicitaires, les noms des capitales artistiques de l'époque ... Apollinaire commentera ce tableau exposé au Salon des Indépendants de 1913 : "La toile la plus moderne du Salon. Rien de successif dans cette peinture où ne vibre plus seulement le contraste des complémentaires découvert par Seurat, mais où chaque ton appelle et laisse s'illuminer toutes les autres couleurs du prisme. C'est la simultanéité."
La Ville de Paris (1912)
Constrastes simultanées : Soleil et Lune (1913; round)
La ville n° 2 (1910, 146x114cm)
Joie de vivre (1930, 200x228cm; 624x700pix, 232kb)
Rythme (1934, 145x113cm)
Rythme sans fin (207x52cm)
La Verseuse (140x150cm)
Le Poète Philippe Soupault (197x130cm)
26 images at Ciudad de la Pintura
—(060411)
^
Died on a 12 April:


1962 Antoine Pevsner, Belorussian French painter and sculptor born Natan Borisovich Pevzner on 18 January 1884, son of a metallurgy industrialist. His brother Naum Borisovich Pevzner, in order to distinguish himself from him, assumed the name “Naum Gabo” [05 Aug 1890 – 23 Aug 1977] after he became a sculptor. They both grew up in Bryansk. Natan Pevzner studied at the School of Art in Kiev (1902-1909), where he first met Aleksandr Archipenko, and then spent a three-month probationary period at the Academy of Arts in SaintPetersburg. Among his early paintings, The Giant (1907) shows the influence of the Symbolist painter Mikhail Vrubel’, but Pevsner was also impressed by the Russian Byzantine tradition. — Gustav Klucis was a student of Pevsner.

1921 Henri Adolphe Laissement, French artist born in 1854. — {Quand il empruntait un tube de peinture, lui disait-on “Laissement, laisse m'en.” ou “Laisse m'en, Laissement.”?}

1909 Bartolomeo Giuliano, Italian artist born in 1825.

1893 Jules Jacques Veyrassat, French artist born on 02 July 1828. — {Est-il vrai qu'il échappa de peu à un assassinat une fois qu'on demandait à sa femme s'il en finirait jamais avec un tableau qu'il avait en ébauche depuis des mois et qu'elle répondit: “Tu verras ça!”?}

1833 Jean Louis Florent Polydore Roux, French naturalist and painter born on 19 (31?) July 1792. In 1831 Roux accompanied the Austrian botanist and traveler Karl Alexander Anselm Freiherr von Hügel [23 Apr 1795 – 02 Jun 1870] on an expedition to the Far East, going through Greece, Egypt, Cyprus, Syria, Lebanon, Tripoli, Palestine, but, after reaching India, quarreled with him and parted company, and not long thereafter died in Bombay, under mysterious circumstances. — Related? to: Ange-Joseph Antoine Roux [1765-1835], François Geoffroy Roux [21 Oct 1811 – 1882], François Joseph Frédéric Roux [1805-1870], Joseph Roux [1725-1793], Louis Roux [1817-1903], Mathieu Antoine Roux [1799-1872]?

1761 Jacques de Lajoüe, French painter, draftsman, and designer, born in November 1686. — [Lajoue, gauche, l'était-il? Mais non, il n'était pas Lajoue Gauche, il n'était pas Lajoue Droite, il était Lajoüe, c'est-à-dire Lajo hué.] — He was the son of a master mason and probably served his apprenticeship with an ornamental craftsman. His earliest known work is a design for an engraved title-page cartouche dating from 1713. In 1721 he was received (reçu) into the Académie Royale de Peinture et de Sculpture on presentation of two painted architectural capriccios, of which one, Figures in a Ruined Palace, survives. He continued to specialize in this type of fictive architectural perspective in a landscape setting throughout his career. As well as easel pictures, Lajoüe also painted decorative canvases for insertion in paneling, screens, and firescreens, designed banners, picture frames, harpsichord cases, and the decorative components of carriages.

1727 Antoine Dieu, French painter, dealer, draftsman, and designer, born in 1662. [Il devait avoir le plus grand mal à éviter d'être enfermé à Charenton quand il disait qu'il était Dieu.] [Maintenant je comprend que ce n'est pas un grand compliment de dire d'un artiste qu'il peint “comme un Dieu”, d'autant plus qu'aucun tableau d'Antoine Dieu ne semble être digne de l'internet.] — He was a student of Charles Le Brun and in 1686 won the Prix de Rome with his painting Entry of Noah, his Family and the Animals into the Ark. He evidently earned his living from both painting and picture-dealing; the picture-dealing establishment that he founded in 1699 and left in 1714 was subsequently taken over by Edmé-François Gersaint.

^ 1695 Jean-Baptiste Corneille, French painter and engraver born on 02 November 1649. He studied under his father, Michel Corneille I [1601 – 13 Jan 1664], and then with Charles Errard fils. A precocious student, in 1664 he won a gold medal at the Académie Royale. From 1665 he was in Rome, later returning to France to work as a history painter. He became a member of the Académie Royale in 1675 with Busiris Making a Sacrifice to the Idols. In 1679 he married Madeleine, daughter of the well-known printseller Pierre Mariette, from whom he learnt engraving. — Brother of Michel Corneille II [02 Oct 1642 – 16 Aug 1708]
The Angel Appearing to St Roch


Born on a 12 April:


^ 1909 Frederick Sigfred Franck, Dutch born US dental surgeon turned sculptor, draftsman, painter, and author of more than 30 books, including The Zen of Seeing - Seeing/Drawing as Meditation (1973), To Be Human Against All Odds (1991), My Days with Albert Schweitzer (1958). He died on 05 June 2006. “For nearly a century," he said, "while remaining unaffiliated with any religious institution, I have been passionately concerned with the depth dimension of the human life process as I have observed it in myself and others. I came to see Being-as-such as the mystery of mysteries." By transcending specific religions and cultures and pointing to a transreligious and universal human sensibility and spirituality in his works, Franck aimed to express his “constant wonder at this mystery of being here at all,” he said. “With these images, then, I hope to convey what mere verbalizations of doctrine and dogma fail to communicate to so many people.”
Agnus Dei & Sanctus (1949; 336x200pix, 37kb) — (060618)

^ 1889 Tade Styka, Polish painter who died on 11 September 1954. — Son of Jan Styka [08 Apr 1858 – 11 Apr 1925] and brother of Adam Styka [07 Apr 1890 – 23 Sep 1954] — Tade started drawing and painting when four years old, taught by his father. Tade Styka is known for his portraits of personalities such as that of Maurice Maeterlinck, Caruso, Chaliapin, Tito Ruffo, Sarah Delano Roosevelt, Professor Zielinski, Queen Marie-Jose, Ignacy Paderewski, and Pola Negri.
A Night in the Forest (132x98cm; 331x244pix, 27kb) a lion and lioness out for a drink.
Beauty and the Beast (1908; 331x238pix, 20kb) a young girl and her sleepy full grown pet lion. — (060406)

>1883 Francis Campbell Boileau Cadell [–06 Dec 1937], Scottish painter.— {Qu'a Dell? Ben, pas de l'eau, mais des ordinateurs à vendre, bien sûr, et pas seulement quand Bell boit l'eau; et, si l'on paye en francs, six sont loin de suffir.} —(090411)

^ 1861 Gyula Tornai, Hungarian Orientalist painter who died on 24 November 1928. Tornai studied in art academies in Vienna, Munich, and Budapest. He traveled throughout India, China, and Japan before leaving for Morocco. He remained in Tangier from 1890 to 1891. In 1900 he took part in the World's Fair in Paris and received a bronze metal.
At the Shrine (1907, 85x60cm (50x66cm _ ZOOMable)
In the Harem (142x211 cm _ ZOOMable)
The Duet (113x105cm)
An Arms Merchant in Tangiers (1890, 1000x829pix; kb)
Jaroslava, The Artists Daughter (185x125cm)
The Geisha House (71x107cm)
Oriental Temple (1909, 50x33cm; 352x526pix; 91kb) _ detail (520x800pix; 97kb)

1840 Ferdinand Victor Léon Roybet, French painter who died on 10 April 1920. — {Peut-on trouver des Roybet au rabais?} — Although he studied engraving at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Lyon, he very early devoted himself exclusively to painting. In 1864 he settled in Paris, where his lyrical, zestful canvases, for example a Jester at the Court of Henry III (1866), quickly met with success. They chiefly show characters in medieval or Renaissance costume in attitudes of studied ease. Critics noted his strong colors and firm brushwork, regretting only that his shadows seemed too sooty. Roybet was influenced by Théodule Ribot and Antoine Vollon, and in his simple handling of his subjects and the unidealized faces of his models he is close to the Realist painters. Some of his works also testify to his admiration for Delacroix.

1831 Constantin Émile Meunier, Belgian sculptor and painter, who died on 04 April 1905.

1777 Leendert de Koningh, Dutch artist who died on 05 June 1849.

^ 1647 Maria Sibylla Merian, German painter, botanist and entomologist, who died on 13 January 1717. She was born in Frankfurt and was taught painting and engraving by her stepfather, the painter and engraver Jacob Marrel [1613 – 11 Nov 1681 bur.], whose speciality was traditional Dutch flower pictures. Her life was marked by her great talent as a painter of flowers and her interest in insects. Fifty of Merian's drawings of flowers and insects are kept at Rosenborg; presumably they came from her first book on garden flowers. Her second book concentrates on the stages of development of butterflies and the plants they live off. It was an important scientific work, being the first time a writer compared insects with their host plants. In 1699 Merian travelled to Guyana, in South America, where she listed and painted the local insects and flowers. The works of Maria Sibylla Merian are characterized by great technical skill and sharp observational abilities. Flowers and insects are precisely represented and her pictures are beautifully composed. She published Metamorphosis Insectorum Surinamensis in 1705; in it plants, as well as insects, are described and illustrated. — Besides creating visual images of great beauty, Maria Sibylla Merian made observations that revolutionized both botany and zoology. This extraordinary artist-scientist was born in Frankfurt. Her father, Matthäus Merian the Elder, was a Swiss printmaker and publisher who died when she was three. One year later her mother married Jacob Marell, a Flemish flower painter and one of Merian's first teachers. From early childhood, Merian was interested in drawing the animals and plants she saw around her. In 1670, five years after her marriage to the painter Johann Andreas Graff, the family moved to Nuremberg, where Merian published her first illustrated books. In preparation for a catalogue of European moths, butterflies, and other insects, Merian collected, raised, and observed the living insects, rather than working from preserved specimens, as was the norm. In 1685 Merian left Nuremberg and her husband, from whom she was later divorced, to live with her two daughters and her widowed mother in the Dutch province of West Friesland. After her mother's death, Merian returned to Amsterdam. Eight years later, at the age of 52, Merian took the astonishing step of embarking-with her younger daughter, but no male companion, on a dangerous, three-month trip to the Dutch colony of Surinam, in South America. Having seen some of the dried specimens of animals and plants that were popular with European collectors, Merian wanted to study them within their natural habitat. She spent the next two years studying and drawing the indigenous flora and fauna. Forced home by malaria, Merian published her most significant book in 1705. The lavishly illustrated Metamorphosis Insectorum Surinamensis established her international reputation. A second, posthumous, edition was published under the title Dissertation in Insect Generations and Metamorphosis in Surinam. — Portrait of Merian (1026x793pix, 216kb) after a 1772 painting by her husband, engraved by Arnold Houbraken [28 Mar 1660 – 14 Oct 1719].
Flowers (560x404, 40kb)
Tarantula and Weaver Ants in Guava Tree (600x470pix, 187kb)
65 images at Joel Oppenheimer


Happened on a 12 April:

^ 2002 Worth a Million the Painting Discovered by a Boy?
worth a million?
      A long-forgotten Victorian masterpiece rediscovered by a 10-year-old Connecticut boy in his school library is expected to fetch more than $1 million at a 12 June 2002 auction in London, Christie's announces. In fact it would go for £424'650 (about $660'000)
      Bingham Bryant long admired the dusty old painting portraying one of his favorite Greek myths that sat above the bookcase behind the librarian's desk. One day he was moved to tell his antique dealer father about it. After some painstaking research by his father, Christopher Bryant, and a much needed cleaning, the painting -- which had sat in Old Lyme School for nearly 70 years -- was revealed to be Walter Crane's The Fate of Persephone (121x266cm).
      Crane [1845-1915] was regarded as the primary painter of the Aesthetics Movement -- which was concerned with design in various mediums -- and painted the piece in 1878.
      The painting depicts Pluto, lord of the underworld, and his two rearing black stallions emerging from Hades to abduct Persephone, the goddess of spring, as she picks flowers from a blooming garden.
      The schoolboy started the process that unearthed the masterpiece in 2000, when he was in the fifth grade. "I know quite a bit about art and I'm interested in Greek mythology and very classical painting," says Bryant, now a 12-year-old seventh grader at Old Lyme Middle School. "I was sure it was old. I just wasn't sure if it was good or no, so I just told dad."
      Christopher Bryant acted on his precocious son's suggestion and had a look. "I realized as soon as I saw it that it was really something quite special and quite wonderful," Bryant found that the painting had been purchased in 1923 by Yale professor Brian Hooker, who lent the work to Old Lyme School in 1935 and never reclaimed it. Bryant tracked down the painting's legal heirs, Hooker's octogenarian daughters, who decided to auction the painting.
      "I was really excited," the young Bingham said about finding out the true value of the old painting. "It was very dark and dingy, there was a lot of dust. It was beautiful then and even more beautiful now." The Bryants would not comment on any financial arrangements struck with the Hooker sisters.

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