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ART “4” “2”-DAY  15 April v.9.30
DEATHS:  1622 BASSANO — 1912 MILLET — 1808 ROBERT — 1757 CARRIERA 1956 NOLDE 1935 ANCHER   1925 SARGENT 
BIRTHS: 1889 BENTON — 1682 HUYSUM — 1741 PEALE — 1859 GRAVES 1904 “GORKY”  1452 DA VINCI 
^ Born on 15 April 1889: Thomas Hart Benton, US Regionalist painter, illustrator, and lithographer, who died on 19 January 1975.
— He was the son of a congressman and first studied art in Washington DC, where he saw the murals in the capital’s public buildings. In 1907 he enrolled for a year at the Art Institute School in Chicago, visiting Paris the following summer. He studied until early 1909 at the Académie Julian and thereafter independently. Benton rejected academic methods and was exposed to both the Louvre and modernist styles; his interests seem to have focused on Impressionism and Pointillism. In Paris he met Diego Rivera and a number of fellow US artists, such as John Marin and Stanton Macdonald-Wright, who had a lasting influence on him. He also read and admired Hippolyte-Adolphe Taine, whose thought countered modernist ‘art for art’s sake’ attitudes with a sense of the artist’s responsibility to the social milieu.
— Benton worked as a cartoonist for The American (a Missouri newspaper) in 1906. Later he studied at the Chicago Art Institute and then in Paris at the Académie Julian during a three-year visit. When he returned to the United States, he and his friends favored avant-garde art, but he abandoned a modern idiom in his own art about 1920. In 1924, he traveled through the rural US South and Midwest, sketching the scenes and people he encountered. Benton's images of people and landscapes are done in an original style marked by brilliant color with undulating forms displaying stylized, cartoon like figures. Like his fellow Regionalists, he was annoyed by the domination of French art in US culture. He was convinced that the culture and images from the South and Midwest should be the source of US art.
      Benton emerged as the defacto head of the US Regionalist painters at about the beginning of the depression. During the depression Benton painted a number of notable murals. Among them are several City Scenes (1930-1931) for the New School for Social Research in New York City. He frequently transposed biblical and classical stories to rural US settings, as in Susanna and the Elders (1938) and Persephone (1939); both shown below. For many years Benton taught at the Art Students League in New York City. Jackson Pollock [28 Jan 1912 – 11 Aug 1956] was one of his students. Later Benton taught at the Kansas City Art Institute and School of Design, Kansas City, Missouri. Fairfield Porter was another of his students.

24 Dec 1934 Time cover with Self~Portrait (527x400pix cover, 280x230pix portrait, 42 kb)
People of Chilmark (Figure Composition) (1920; 600x710pix, 100kb _ ZOOM to 1014x1200pix, 122kb)
Threshing Wheat (1939; 575x946pix, 54kb)
Study for Threshing (496x653pix, 378kb)
(A Cottage Near the Sea) (374x481pix, 60kb)
Trail Riders (1965, 143x188cm; 390x514pix, 79kb) _ detail 1: the peak (390x520pix, 80kb) _ detail 2: the lake (390x520pix, 92kb) _ detail 3: trees _ detail 4: the stream
Boy on a Mule (1943; 399x531pix, 43kb) _ This painting has the kind of intimacy and quiet about it of many of Benton's paintings of rural life in Missouri. The slightly bowed young man is framed by the angular country shed to his right. The colors are subdued and natural; the paint has been applied with a light touch, leaving the image luminous and uncomplicated, but full of emotion.
^ Died on 15 April 1622: Leandro Bassano da Ponte, Venetian Mannerist painter born on 10 June 1557, on of the four sons of Jacopo Bassano [1510 – 13 Feb 1592], brother of Francesco Bassano II [07 Jan 1549 – 03 Jul 1592], Gerolamo Bassano [03 Jun 1566 – 08 Nov 1621], and Giambattista Bassano. Leandro Bassano's students included Tiberio Tinelli [1586-1638].
— Leandro worked in the Venetian studio of the Bassano family under Francesco Bassano II, his elder brother who ran the Venetian branch of the workshop. Francesco committed suicide a few months after his father's death, then Leandro took over the workshop. He was the chief portrait painter of the family, and his portraits are closely allied to those of Tintoretto [1519 – 31 May 1594]. Leandro both acquired some distinction and popularity working in Venice, he was knighted by the Doge in 1595 or 1596 (thereafter he sometimes added 'Eques' to his signature).
— Leandro entered the workshop of his father, Jacopo Bassano, when very young and soon developed a style of painting strongly based on drawing. Leandro used fine brushwork, with cool, light colors, smoothly applied in well-defined areas, unlike his father, who painted with dense and robust brushstrokes. From 1575 Leandro’s participation in the workshop increased, and he became his father’s principal assistant after Francesco Bassano il giovane moved to Venice in 1578. Jacopo’s will indicated that Leandro should take over the running of the shop, for Francesco was infirm after his suicide attempt, Giambattista was mediocre and incompetent, and Gerolamo was combining the painter’s trade with medical studies at the Univeristy of Padua.

A Young Man (600x544pix _ ZOOM to 1400x1269pix)
Moses Striking the Rock (102x12cm)
An Old Man (116x96cm) _ Formerly attributed to Tintoretto.
Pénélope défaisant son ouvrage (1575, 92x85cm) _ Leandro n'est considéré le plus souvent que comme l'élève le plus original de son père, Jacopo Bassano. S'il travaille dans la même veine, en poursuivant notamment les recherches luministes auxquelles Jacopo s'est consacré dans sa dernière période, la personnalité propre de Leandro est pourtant bien cernée aujourd'hui. La composition étrangement moderne a soulevé des questions sur l'intégrité de l'oeuvre qui, selon certains, pourrait n'être qu'un fragment et représenter une femme au travail parmi d'autres. A la fin du XIXe siècle, le tableau a même perdu quelque temps son titre, Pénélope devenant une "ouvrière en guipure devant son métier". Ce petit flottement montre bien l'originalité déroutante du sujet. Malgré la célébrité du récit homérique, son iconographie est assez rare et imprécise. Les détails anecdotiques sont d'ailleurs limités ici au strict minimum, à savoir le métier et surtout la lampe, prétexte à un exercice technique saisissant sur le jeu de la lumière. La pénombre envahissante ne sert qu'à intensifier la couleur, posée en empâtements généreux dans la grande tradition familiale. Bien loin des effets de bougie des peintres caravagesques, c'est une dimension poétique et onirique que créent les contrastes inédits de Leandro Bassano.
^ Born on 15 April 1682: Jan van Huysum, Dutch painter who died on 07 February 1749.
—  Van Huysum was, with Rachel Ruysch [1664 – 12 Aug 1750], the most distinguished flower painter of his day. He had a European reputation and was much imitated. The light colors he used, the even lighter backgrounds, and the openness of his intricate compositions became distinguishing features of 18th century Dutch flower painting. He occasionally painted subjects other than flowers, including a self-portrait. His father, Justus the Elder [08 Jun 1659 – Apr 1716], was a flower and landscape painter and he had three painter brothers: Justus the Younger [1684-1707]: Michiel [–1759]; and Jacob [1687-1740], who worked in England and imitated Jan's style.

Still Life with Flowers (1723)
Bouquet of Flowers in an Urn (1724) _ The main line of eighteenth-century Dutch still-life painting is represented by the Amsterdamers Rachel Ruysch and Jan van Huysum, who both specialized in elaborate flower and fruit pictures. They were the most popular still-life painters of the period; their works commanded high prices and were found in famous collections throughout Europe, and their colorful paintings still have wide appeal. The status they were accorded in their time indicates there were powerful patrons and collectors who took exception to the teachings of academic theorists who minimized the significance of still-lifes by placing them. [Do not confuse Amsterdamers with “hamster damners”, even if a few, a very few, might be both]
Hollyhocks and Other Flowers in a Vase (1710, 62x52cm) _ Dutch painters described the visible world with remarkable precision and one of the forms this description took was the still life. In the earliest years of the seventieth century still-lifes often had a vanitas element. Among the apparently random accumulation of objects were clocks, snuffed-out candles, faded flowers and skulls, reminders of the passage of time and the inevitability of death and decay. As the century progressed these elements dropped away and still-lifes became simply displays of the rare, exotic, expensive and beautiful. Jan van Huysum, whose career spanned the first half of the eighteenth century, was the heir to this great tradition of still-life painting and, as far as floral still-lifes are concerned, its greatest exponent. This painting is undated but must belong to the first half of his career before about 1720, when he began to paint more elaborate and artificial flower pieces, which are light in tone on light backgrounds, in an almost pastel palette. It probably dates from about 1710. Jan van Huysum lived and worked in Amsterdam. He was one of a dynasty of painters, having been trained by his father Justus van Huysum, also a still-life painter, and was later imitated by his younger brother, Jacob.
Vase of Flowers (63x50cm) _ Son of Justus, a decorator of apartments and gardens, Jan van Huysum was one of the most famous Dutch painters of floral still-lifes, establishing himself in a pictorial genre that was already popular and widespread, and taking it to a perfection and virtuosity which was at times even mechanical. However, whereas in French artists, whom the painter was inspired by, ability and technical complexity were also reflected in the sometimes excessive elaboration of the portrayal, van Huysum stayed within the sober Quattrocento Flemish-Dutch tradition, even though he used motifs characteristic of the seventeenth century (the dark background and the presence of rare species of flowers).
^ Died on 15 April 1912: Francis Davis Millet, US painter mostly of genre scenes, decorative artist, and writer, born on 03 November 1846, drowns as the Titanic sinks, after he helped women and children into the too few lifeboats and gave his life jacket to another passenger. He boarded the Titanic as a 1st Class passenger at Cherbourg on Wednesday 10 April 1912, with ticket No. 13509, for which he paid £26 11s and got cabin No. E38. His floating body would be recovered on 25 April by the ship Mackay-Bennet. — Not to be confused with the better known Jean-François Millet [04 Oct 1814 – 20 Jan 1875], nor with “Francisque” Millet [bap. 27 Apr 1642 – 03 Jun 1679 bur.].
— He served as a drummer boy and later as a surgical assistant with the Union forces during the US Civil War. He graduated from Harvard with a degree in literature in 1869. He worked as a newspaper editor before enrolling in the Royal Academy of Fine Arts at Antwerp, Belgium, in 1871. He returned to the US in 1875 to become a correspondent for the Advertiser at the Philadelphia Centennial Exposition. In 1876, he painted murals at Trinity Church with John LaFarge. During the Russian Turkish War of 1877-1878, he became a war correspondent for several US and British newspapers; and he was decorated by Russia and by Romania for bravery under fire and services to the wounded. Augustus Saint-Gaudens and Mark Twain (whom Millet would paint) were the witnesses at his 1879 marriage to Elizabeth Merrill, sister of a Harvard friend. In 1887 Millet translated into English Sebastopol by Tolstoy. Millet was director of the decorations at the 1893 Columbia exposition in Chicago. In 1898 he became a war correspondent again, this time in the Philippines. Author of The Dnnude (1891), Capillary Crime and Other Stories (1892), Expedition to the Philippines (1899).

Wandering Thoughts (800x606pix, 167kb)
The Expansionist aka The Well-Traveled Man (125kb)
Old Harmonies (60kb)
Reading the Story of Oenone (1883, 103kb)
A Difficult Duet (1886, 106kb)
Flemish Kitchen (169kb)
Between Two Fires (1892, 74x91cm)
Playing with Baby (1890)
The Artist's Bedroom in Antwerp (1873, 43x36cm; 547x450pix, 52kb)
The Artist's Kitchen in Antwerp (1873, 19 1/8 X 16 3/8 inches; 430x340pix, 39kb)
A Cosey Corner (1884, 92x62cm; 456x300pix, 39kb)
Turkish Water Seller (1874)
Bachi-Bazouk: épisode de la guerre en Turquie (1878, 127x72cm; 852x450pix, 70kb)
Mr. Sargent at work on Carnation, Lily, Lily, Rose (1885 drawing) _ about Carnation, Lily, Lily, Rose by Sargent [12 Jan 1856 – 15 Apr 1925]
^ Born on 15 April 1741: Charles Willson Peale, US painter, naturalist and museum visionary, who died on 22 February 1827. — {Do you think that the appeal of a Peale is only skin deep in the eye of the beholder?}
Charles Willson Peale married Rachel Brewer [14 May 1744 – 12 Apr 1790] on 12 Jan 1762; and Elizabeth De Peyster [10 Jul 1765 – 19 Feb 1804] on 30 May 1791; and he had a third wife, who also died before him. Thrice widowed, he fathered 17 children, 11 of whom lived to adulthood, and named sons after famous painters and succeeded in having them become competent painters in the cases of the still-life artist Raphaelle Peale [17 Feb 1774 – 25 Mar 1825], the portraitist Rembrandt Peale [22 Feb 1778 – 03 Oct 1860], and Titian Ramsay Peale [17 Nov 1799 – 1881; or 10 Oct 1800 – 1885], but no so much with Rubens Peale [04 May 1784 – 17 Jul 1865] who had poor eyesight and was taught to paint by his own daughter the painter Mary Jane Patterson Peale [16 Feb 1827 – 1902]. Charles Willson Peale may also have influenced his brother James Peale [1749 – 24 May 1831] and his nephew Charles Peale Polk [1767-1822] to become painters. In addition to members of his family, Charles Willson Peale had among his students Jeremiah Paul [–13 Jul 1820].
— With his surviving sons and daughters, among them Raphaelle, Angelica Kauffman, Rembrandt, Titian Ramsay, Rubens (father of Mary Jane Peale), Sophonisba Angusciola, Charles Linnaeus [20 Mar 1794 – <1836], Benjamin Franklin [15 Oct 1795 – 05 May 1870], Sybilla Miriam (Mrs. Andrew Summers) [27 Oct 1797–] ; Charles Willson Peale reflected and promoted a contemporary outlook which emphasized the importance of educating citizens and exploring the topography of the new nation.
— Charles Willson Peale was the most prominent portraitist of the Federal period. He studied in London under the US-born historical painter Benjamin West [10 Oct 1738 – 11 Mar 1820] in 1767 and settled permanently in Philadelphia in 1776. Peale painted notable portraits of many military leaders, including 14 of George Washington. He was also an enthusiastic naturalist and established (1786) a museum of specimens in Independence Hall, Philadelphia. In 1805 he helped found Philadelphia's Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. One of Peale's best-known works is his life-size trompe l'oeil portrait of two of his sons, The Staircase Group (1795) an affectionate work showing them mounting a spiral staircase.
— The son of English embezzler Charles Peale [22 Dec 1709 – Nov 1750] exiled to the American colonies, Charles Willson Peale was a saddler’s apprentice in Annapolis MD from 1754 to 1761. After that he worked at various trades, including painting signs and portraits. In 1766 some prominent Marylanders underwrote his studies in London under Benjamin West, from whom he absorbed the fundamentals of the British portrait tradition. Peale probably attended the informal life classes offered at Saint-Martin’s Lane Academy, precursor to the Royal Academy Schools, and drew from casts in the Duke of Richmond’s collection in Whitehall. He visited the studios of such important British portrait painters as Joshua Reynolds [16 Jul 1723 – 23 Feb 1792], Francis Cotes [1726 – 20 Jul 1770], and Allan Ramsay [1713 – 10 Aug 1784], and studied the techniques of miniature painting, sculpture and engraving. He also studied under John Heselius. In London he painted his first major commission, a full-length allegorical portrait of William Pitt, Lord Chatham (1768) from which he engraved a mezzotint.
— Born in Chester, Maryland, Charles Willson Peale became one of the major figures in US art and in other areas such as military figure, naturalist, curator, and inventor. He developed an art and natural history museum that became world famous, especially for the gallery of artwork that had his more than 250 portraits of distinguished Americans. In his home, Peale charged admission to persons to see his depictions of US heroes. By 1788, he opened a natural history museum in Independence Hall in Philadelphia, and eventually accumulated over 100'000 items that included paintings, fossils, minerals, stuffed animals, and skeletons.
      In 1795, he opened his own art academy, which was not a success, and in 1805, he became one of the founders of the Pennsylvania Academy. His father was a schoolmaster who died prematurely, and Charles grew up as the eldest son in Annapolis, Maryland and helped support his widowed mother. He apprenticed in saddle making, silver smithing, sign painting and portraiture, and had several lessons with painter John Hesselius to whom he gave a saddle in exchange for instruction. He also studied in Boston with portraitist and silversmith John Singleton Copley and with painter John Smibert.
      When he returned to Maryland from his Boston training, his talent was recognized by men who were planters and they raised subscription money for him to study with expatriate history and portrait painter, Benjamin West, in London. He also studied the Italian masters in Italy. In 1769 he returned to Annapolis and there became an established portraitist in the neo-classical style learned from Benjamin West. For additional commissions, he traveled to Baltimore, Philadelphia, and Williamsburg, Virginia and to Mount Vernon, home of George and Martha Washington. In 1775, he moved to Philadelphia where he hoped to find more portrait subjects. Shortly after, he joined the militia and fought with Washington at the battles of Princeton and Trenton, and during this period created miniatures of army personnel. In 1778, he settled in Philadelphia but continued to visit Baltimore and the eastern shore of Maryland.
      From 1810 to 1821, he lived as a gentleman farmer near Philadelphia but returned to the city in 1822 to take over the management of the Peale Museum. His fourteen portraits of George Washington include the first authentic likeness of him and include seven portraits painted from life. At Valley Forge where he was painting General Washington, Peale also painted portraits of many other colonial leaders including the Marquis de Lafayette. An outspoken anti-royalist, Peale served in the Revolutionary War and alienated many of his wealthy patrons with their British loyalties. From three marriages, he had three children, many whom became artists. Charles Peale died at age 86, the result of catching a cold while crossing a body of water to court a woman.

The Peale Family (1809)
Raphaelle Peale (1822)
The Staircase Group (Raphaelle Peale and Titian Ramsey Peale) (1795) cm)
Elie Williams (1789, 92x69cm)
Thomas Willing (1782, 128x101cm)
Samuel Mifflin (1780, 126x101cm)
Margaret Strachan (Mrs. Thomas Harwood) (1771, 79x62cm)
Rachel Brewer Peale (1769, oval 5.7x4.6cm)
Disinterment of the Mastodon (1808)
George Washington at Princeton US Senate version (1779, 233x148cm; 973x610pix, 730kb) _ GW at P another version (1779, 236x148cm)
–- George Washington at Trenton the version with sword (1780; 626x400pix, 25kb _ .ZOOM to 939x600pix, 38kb _ .ZOOM+ to 1170xpix, 131kb _ .ZOOM++ to 3758x2400pix, 608kb) _ Charles Willson Peale painted George Washington more times from life than any other artist. In 1772 Peale visited Washington’s home, Mount Vernon, to portray the hero as a colonel of the Virginia regiment, the only pre-Revolutionary likeness of him. In 1795 Peale and other members of his family painted the president for the last time during his second term. All told, Peale had seven opportunities to paint the great man at different times in his career, and he replicated many of the paintings.
      None was as popular as the enduring image of Washington after the Battle of Princeton, which was commissioned on 18 January 1779 by the Supreme Executive Council of Pennsylvania for its council chamber in Independence Hall in Philadelphia. In preparation, Peale visited the Princeton and Trenton battlefields in February of 1779 to make sketches for the background. The original (no link to it here) was completed in early 1779, when Washington sat for Peale in Philadelphia. An immediate success, it precipitated a great demand for replicas. Of the estimated 18 replicas, the superlative Senate picture is the earliest recorded one that Peale made, although there was a contemporary published notice that five replicas had been ordered as early as February 1779.
      The portrait, with its specific reference to a battle, was a complicated undertaking. Of course, Peale invented the composition. Washington, wearing a blue and buff uniform with the blue sash of the commander-in-chief, leans lightly on the barrel of a captured cannon. Two Hessian flags captured at Trenton are beside him and at his feet. A British ensign lies on the ground to the left. Behind him, an officer holds his commander’s horse, while above them flies the blue battle flag with a circle of 13 stars. A second horse is glimpsed at the right. On a shadowed rise in the left middle distance, beside a barren, wintry tree, are two mounted soldiers with rifles. One of them gestures toward a procession of 16 red-coated prisoners under guard farther back. Beyond is a group of six or seven buildings, including Nassau Hall, the principal building of the College of New Jersey (now Princeton University). The hall was included for its significance in the battle–-the engagement actually ended within its walls.
      It was a landscape Peale knew well. The artist had served in the Continental army for three years, commanding a company of Philadelphia militia. He saw action at the Battles of Trenton, Princeton, and Germantown. At Princeton, he found himself in the front line at the battle’s climax, with Washington in command. It is rare, indeed, for a painter of military history to have participated in the engagement being depicted. Peale wrote in his diary that they “stood the Fire without regarding [the] Balls which whistled their thousand different notes around our heads, and what is very astonishing did little or no harm.” Peale visited both Trenton and Princeton to observe and sketch the landscape in preparation for the painting, and he obviously had vivid memories of the Battle at Princeton.
     Washington’s cross-legged pose may seem awkward. It is a complex play of angles and curves around the central vertical axis of the upper left leg, torso, and head. The curves of the coat’s edges, sash, and left arm are played against the abrupt angles of Washington’s right elbow, his left knee, and his heels. Peale effectively repeats the shapes of the elbow and the brim of the hat, held inverted in Washington’s right hand. Asymmetries animate the portrait: Washington leans slightly, which pulls his head just to the right of center, with the angle balanced by the inward angle of the battle flag.
      This pose, similar to that of ancient Roman sculptures, was quite prevalent in English portraiture of the period. Peale seems to have imitated the portrait of naval captain Augustus Hervey, 3rd Earl of Bristol  by Thomas Gainsborough, including a captured battle flag at the feet.
      With two years of study and practice in London (1767-1769) behind him, Peale had a solid knowledge of contemporary English portraiture. In the 1768 Society of Artists Exhibition in London, in which Peale himself exhibited, he had seen the Gainsborough painting. The most significant difference between the two subjects arises from Peale’s literal directness: Where Gainsborough’s Hervey is positioned on a diagonal within the picture space and looks away from the viewer, Peale’s Washington is nearly frontal and looks directly at the viewer with a candid, affable expression. This is, in fact, a defining characteristic of Peale’s portraiture. Avoiding any classical symbolism (he had earlier pictured William Pitt in a Roman toga), Peale produced a realistic, accurate portrait of the general. 188-cm-tall, Washington stood a full head above the average soldier in his army. He had narrow shoulders, wide hips, long arms and legs, and very large hands and feet. His head was small in relation to the length of his body.
      Although Peale’s likeness of Washington did not match the ideal canon of proportions espoused by the art academies, it was nonetheless accurate. Peale knew the general better than any other artist did, and his artistic abilities are not in doubt. In addition, the full-length painting George Washington before the Battle of Trenton (1783, 62x45cm) by John Trumbull and statue George Washington by Jean-Antoine Houdon second the evidence of Peale’s likeness. Only the several full-length portraits by Gilbert Stuart seem closer to ideal proportions, and their greater public fame has given them an authority they do not deserve. Stuart idealized his sitters more than Peale did, and when he was painting the general’s body, he used a visitor to his studio as a surrogate model. Apart from the face, Stuart’s Washington fails as an accurate record of the hero’s physical appearance. See Stuart's George Washington (1796; 800x514pix, 82kb), George Washington (The Lansdowne Portrait) (1796, 244x152cm; 800x503pix, 145kb), and Washington at Dorchester Heights (1806; 800x514pix, 75kb)
      In Peale’s painting, Washington is strongly silhouetted against a pinkish-blue sky, with the horizon line at the mid-level of the canvas. It is dawn, the hour when the battle commenced. It might, at the same time, be the symbolic dawn of eventual success in the War for Independence. Optimism is embodied in the general’s glowing face: Confident and self-possessed, this is the definitive image of George Washington at the apogee of his vigorous manhood and military career.
      The popular success of George Washington at Princeton led to orders for as many replicas as Peale could produce. In August 1779 the artist wrote: “I have on hand a number of portraits of Gen. Washington. One the ambassador had for the Court of France, another is done for the Spanish Court, one other has been sent to the island of Cuba, and sundry others, which I have on hand are for private gentlemen.” Versions vary in size and composition–-with the background and the treatment of the figure of Washington altered by Peale. Changes included replacing the soldiers and horses with a bleak winter landscape, updating the general’s insignia according to the most recently issued orders, and giving greater prominence to the colonial flag. Other full-length versions by Charles Willson Peale are found at Princeton University in New Jersey, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, Colonial Williamsburg, and the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts.
     The one version with sword was probably painted between June and August of 1780. In every other version, Washington is shown after the Battle of Princeton, but this one depicts him after the Battle of Trenton, the turning point of the war. It has been suggested that this version was commissioned upon the order of Mrs. Washington, because it is the only portrait in which Washington wears his state sword (the handle near his left hand, and most of the scabbard unseen behing his legs) and because the painting descended in the Washington family.
^ Died on 15 April 1808: Hubert Robert, French landscape painter born on 22 May 1733.
— Robert was sometimes called "Robert des Ruines" because of his many romantic representations of Roman ruins set in idealized surroundings. Robert went to Rome (1754), was elected to the French Academy there, and became a friend and associate of the renowned etcher of architectural subjects Giambattista Piranesi. In 1759 he joined Abbé de Sainte-Non and the French painter Jean-Honoré Fragonard in travels through southern Italy and Sicily. Each man influenced the other's style but not the other's choice of subjects. At the Villa d'Este, Tivoli, Robert produced a quantity of red chalk drawings of ancient buildings in ruined parks, animated with small figures.
      Returning to Paris (1765), Robert became a member of the French Royal Academy in 1766. A gifted decorative artist, he based his paintings on his Italian drawings, and his popularity was enhanced by exhibitions at the Salons from 1767 on. In addition to Italian landscapes, he painted scenes of Ermenonville, Marly-le-Roi, and Versailles, near Paris, and of the south of France, with its ruined Roman monuments. He also directed the design of the English garden at Versailles.
      Under Louis XVI he became Keeper of the King's Pictures and one of the first curators of the Louvre. Although imprisoned during the French Revolution, he continued to work. (He owed his life to an accident whereby another person with the same name was guillotined in his stead.) He collaborated with Fragonard on a commission for the Musée Français in the Louvre during the 1790s, but at the time of his death he was forgotten.

Avenue in a Park (1799, 59x39cm) _ This small, finely executed painting is a good example of Hubert Robert's refined art. Robert, a French painter of the second half of the 18th century, is known mainly for his landscapes decorated with imaginary architecture and little figures, in which happiness, reality and fiction, archaeological taste and sense of decoration are all mingled. Avenue in a Park is a late work in the painter's career, testifying to the permanence of his style and to his taste for a nature that has been disciplined and made decorative by man. The subject matter still reflects the "douceur de vivre" so dear to the 18th century. An avenue lined with trees with their tops intertwined leads the spectator towards the bottom of the garden. In the center, a young girl is playing on a swing, activated by two companions. A group of people to the right are looking on. The whole painting bathes in a soft harmony of browns, greys and greens against a bluish sky background. The red coat of the man leaning against the pedestal catches the viewer's eye.
      The antique statues — reposing satyr and faun playing a flute — flanking the tree-lined opening in the foreground had been earlier captured by Robert in a red chalk drawing of various Graeco-Roman sculptures conserved in the Capitol. The artist has repeated them here the other way round. The young musician in turn had appeared in several of Robert's paintings. Arriving in Rome in 1754, Robert stayed there for over 10 years. It is there that he met the Abbé de Saint-Non, Giovanni Battista Piranesi and in particular Gian Paolo Panini, who was to have a lasting influence on him. He also became friends with Fragonard. The little painting in Brussels confirms the close links between the art of "Robert of the Ruins" and Fragonard's poetic universe. The avenue of trees also refers to the many parks and gardens in Italy and the Ile-de-France which were to nourish his imagination throughout his long and successful career. Robert exhibited at every salon from 1767 to 1798, becoming "designer of the King's gardens" in 1777 and much later, after the revolutionary tumult, producing plans for converting the Grande Galerie of the Louvre into a museum.
Le Pont du Gard (1787, 242x242cm) _ Hubert Robert, who learned his trade during a long journey through Italy, was a very producti8ve artist. He took over from Pannini the theme of ruins, but in his hands it became less dry and more picturesque.
Washerwomen below a Bridge - (24x33cm) _ Hubert Robert in his large-scale decorative works was often conventional, but in his works on a small-scale he was a very fine painter, with a sensitive and spontaneous technique.
Imaginary View of the Grande Galerie in the Louvre in Ruins (1796, 114x146cm) _ French painting in the second half of the 18th century displays the overlapping or intermingling of pre-Romantic and Neoclassical pictorial ideas, and nowhere is this clearer than in the work of the 'painter of ruins', Hubert Robert. He obtained his ideas from Italy, where he admired the paintings of ruins by Giovanni Paolo Pannini, and witnessed the first excavations in Pompeii. Praised by Diderot, he was immediately consulted when antique pieces were to be placed in the park of Versailles. But his great work was the realization of the Louvre Museum. A comparison of two of his paintings, the first showing a ruined barrel-vault hall, and the second the Grande Galerie in the Louvre, immediately reveals the source of the idea for the top lighting and the "antique effect" that the newly designed gallery is open to the sky. The sublimity of antique ruins was to be transferred to the real building, and this in turn was to be a treasure chest of art and a worthy successor to its antique models.
Design for the Grande Galerie in the Louvre (1796, 112x143cm) _ Hubert Robert's great work was the realization of the Louvre Museum. A comparison of two of his paintings, the first showing a ruined barrel-vault hall, and the second the Grande Galerie in the Louvre, immediately reveals the source of the idea for the top lighting and the "antique effect" that the newly designed gallery is open to the sky. The sublimity of antique ruins was to be transferred to the real building, and this in turn was to be a treasure chest of art and a worthy successor to its antique models.
The Draughtsman of the Borghese Vase (1775, 36x29cm) _ Rome's ancient ruins was a source of inspiration in the late 18th century, as this drawing shows. Distorting the proportions of the scene like Piranesi, Robert composed an architectural "capriccio" from a number of set pieces that were freely designed and rendered in the manner of veduta. The artist of the title is seen sketching the gigantic Borghese Vase on a square above the Forum, which had a view to the Coliseum - a building whose vertical dimensions Robert extended by adding an additional series of arcades. The Borghese Vase was actually never exhibited close to the Coliseum, but was situated in the Borghese gardens. The inscription illuminates an idealized relationship to Antiquity: Rome's former glory is still revealed in its ruins. With the brownish red-chalk crayon typical of the late 18th century, Robert achieved subtly drawn as well as painterly effects. The fragile, delicate contours and the schematic manner in which the foliage of trees is depicted recall the Rococo.
^ Born on 15 April 1859: Abbott Fuller Graves, US Impressionist painter who died in 1936. — {My guess is that, during the Black Plague, they ran out of cemetery space in the monastery, so the abbot decided to bury two deceased monks in each grave. These became known as the “abbot's fuller graves”.}
— Graves divided his studies between Boston and Paris. He studied practical design at Massachusetts Institute of Technology as a teenager, followed by numerous trips to France where he studied with individual painters. In 1890 he started a teaching position at the Cowles School of Art in Boston. During this time he traveled often to Kennebunkport, Maine where he owned a house. Graves is best known for his paintings of gardens and doorways. His works, mostly in oil, depict New England, Paris, Holland, the Caribbean, and Central and South America. He was a social and well-loved man who was greatly influenced by extensive world travel and both classical and impressionist painters.
— Graves was a renowned specialist in decorative open air garden paintings and floral still lifes. His use of thick, impasto brushstrokes, bright colors and natural light, most evident in his later garden paintings, shows the influence of European impressionism. Born in Weymouth, Massachusetts in 1859, Graves studied both in New England and abroad. He attended, but did not graduate from, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Although already considered one of the best flower painters in Boston, Graves went to Paris and Italy in 1884 to continue his studies. In Europe, he roomed with Edmund C. Tarbell [1862-1938] and studied still life painting. After returning to Boston in 1885, Graves became an instructor at the Cowles Art School. Also teaching there was his close friend and colleague, Childe Hassam [1859-1935]. The two painters undoubtedly influenced one another. In 1887, Graves returned to Paris to study figure painting at the Académie Julien. There he studied under Fernand Cormon [1845-1924], Laurens [1838-1921], and Gervais until 1891. After 1891, the majority of Graves's works depict gardens and floral landscapes. Often these oils, pastels and watercolors include female figures. Some portray exotic gardens of Spain and South America. The bright sunlight and bold use of color and paint, as well as the subject matter of the garden paintings, reflect the influence of European impressionism on Graves's work. Throughout his career, Graves continued his travels between New England and Paris. In 1891, he opened his own art school in Boston. The school moved to Kennebunk, Maine and closed in 1902. From 1902 to 1905, Graves was employed as a commercial illustrator for magazines in Paris. When Graves died in 1936, he had achieved wide acclaim as a specialist in garden painting, both in New England and Paris.
— Abbott Fuller Graves was born in the working-class town of Weymouth, Massachusetts. From a young age, he displayed the singular ambition to be the US’s foremost flower painter and arranged the circumstances of his life in order to realize that goal. When he was forced to leave school at the age of sixteen to help support his family’s meager income, he chose to work in a greenhouse tending to flowers. It was there that Graves developed an intricate knowledge of many varieties of flora and fauna. One year later, he traveled to Boston to take classes in fine art. He studied design and drawing at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he met life-long friend and fellow Boston Impressionist Childe Hassam. At nineteen, his first painting was accepted to the Boston Art Club’s Annual Exhibition. In 1884, he traveled to Paris for the first time with his fiancée Montie Aldrich and her family. He rented a room on the Avenue de Victor Hugo, in the same building as another Boston artist Edmund C. Tarbell. Tarbell studied at the traditional Académie Julian, while Graves petitioned the premier European flower painter Georges Jeannin for lessons. Graves also trained at the Académie Julian during a later trip to France. He stayed for two years and also traveled to Venice. Upon his return to Boston, he married Montie (with both Hassam and Tarbell serving as attendants) and began teaching at the Cowles Art School with Dennis Miller Bunker. The following spring, Graves and his wife returned to Paris for an extended stay in order to exhibit his works in more prominent venues. Two of his florals were included in the Exposition Universelle de 1889 and several works were accepted by the Paris Salon of the same year. His success may be attributed to the contemporary appeal of his painterly style and refined sense of color, admired by French Academic painters. US critics praised the artist as the only US flower painter whose works were accepted by the Exposition jury to represent US arts in this specialty. Designed by Boyceau in the seventeenth century, the Luxembourg Gardens provided ample subject matter for US artists studying in Paris but was especially inspirational for Abbott Fuller Graves, More detailed than a traditional pochade, Graves added his own refined painterly style to this popular practice of sketching with immediacy on small wood panels. Having spent several extended periods in Paris, Graves came under the influence of Impressionism and began painting en plein air. Luxembourg Gardens depicts the winding paths and abundant sculptures of the English style gardens bathed in sunlight. Once back in the US, Graves’ career paralleled a renaissance of gardening and horticulture in the late 19th century US. Gardens symbolized prosperity and the particular tastes of the burgeoning leisure class, and their popularity provided the artist with regular commissions and a prosperous career. He became best known for his views of New England Colonial doorways and gardens, as well as scenes depicting flower markets and expostions in the Boston area. Graves traveled regularly throughout Western and Northern Europe, as well as South America and the Caribbean and kept studios in both New York and Boston. While he exhibited extensively at the National Academy of Design and several prominent galleries in New York (including the MacBeth Gallery and Babcock Galleries), and he enjoyed participating in professional organizations including the Salmagundi Club, the Boston Art Club, the Paint and Clay Club and the Copley Society, he was happiest away from frenzied urban lifestyle. The Graves family established a permanent residence in the rural fishing village of Kennebunkport, Maine, in a home he designed based on the prairie architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright.

Near Kennebunkport (1900)
Grandmother's Doorway (1900)
Summer Garden
My Two Friends (61x51cm; 480x390pix) _ a woman who is peeling vegetables looks at two rabbits who are sitting next to her.
Luxembourg Gardens (1885, 24x16cm; 480x318pix) _ The painting depicts the winding paths and abundant sculptures of the English style gardens bathed in the Paris sunlight.
Peonies (52x76cm; 449x640pix)
Roses (51x41cm, 480x368pix)

^ Died on 15 April 1757: Rosalba Carriera, Venetian pastelist and painter born on 07 October 1675. Along with her long-time friend, Antoine Watteau, whom she portrayed in pastels, she was considered one of the leading portrait artists of the Rococo era.
— She was a daughter of Andrea Carriera, who worked in the mainland podesteria of the Republic of Venice, and of Alba Foresti, an embroiderer. She had two sisters: Angela, who married the painter Giovanni Antonio Pellegrini, and Giovanna, who, like Rosalba herself, never married. She originally painted snuff-boxes and later became a student of Giuseppe Diamantini and/or Federico Bencovich. There are more precise records of her life and of some of her works from 1700 onwards, when she started keeping the letters she received and rough copies of those she sent.
— Rosalba Carriera had a great vogue in Venice, chiefly among British tourists, in Paris (1720-1721), and Vienna (1730). She painted snuff boxes for the tourist trade with miniatures on ivory, a technique she seems to have pioneered as against the earlier use of card as a ground. She was painting miniatures by 1700, and her earliest pastels are of 1703. In 1705 she was made an 'accademico di merito' by the Accademia di San Luca in Rome, a title reserved for non-Roman artists. She achieved immense popularity, and made pastel portraits of notabilities from all over Europe, She also had great success with her near-pornographic demi-vierges, much earlier examples of the genre than those by Greuze. She went blind at the end of her life, which provoked a mental collapse.
     A sister-in-law of Giovanni Antonio Pellegrini, Rosalba Carriera achieves the same airy lightness of touch as her relative in her portraits. These were done in pastel and in them she explored the finest shadings of her subjects' characters, the most fleeting of their moods. Thus, without falling either into the dangers of the encomiastic portrait or of the documentary, Rosalba matches the immediacy of pastel technique to the freshness of her psychological and social penetration of her subjects, offering an unrivalled picture of the society of her time. In the Elderly Lady the mature beauty of the noblewoman and her serene good-natured existence are conveyed with incomparable skill. Typical of her work is the portrait of Cardinal Melchior de Polignac with its superb rendering of the physical features of the subject, catching immediately the wilful character of the prelate.
     Trained as a miniaturist, Rosalba Carriera became very famous and sought-after throughout Europe, and especially in Paris where she was highly esteemed by Watteau for her portraits in pastels. This technique, which she used exclusively, was particularly suitable for the haziness and lightness of her pictures and also for her mawkish obligingness towards her sitters. Her portraits are a typical example of what Diderot called "flatterie", that is, they tend towards over-embellishment and idealization.
— Rosalba was born in Venice, Italy in 1675. Little is known of her early life nor how she came to pick up her amazing talent with pastels, not to mention oils; which she handled with similar ease in the demanding art of miniature portrait painting. Pastels were brand new at the time, probably a French invention, and inasmuch as Venice was a trade port, it's not surprising they turned up there first in Italy. They've always been considered something of a women's art medium, at least until Degas embraced them in the late 1800s. Men did their painting in oil.
     At first, pastels were reserved for the quick, color sketches for which they were designed. But gradually, because of the speed with which they could be used, they became popular with those lacking the time and patience to sit for an oil portrait. And, being done on paper, not to mention mostly by women, they were no doubt cheaper than oils. But Carriera not only proved the equal to any male portrait painter in Venice, but also proved pastels the equal of oils in their richness, color, and handling. She was accepted as one of the few female members of the Guild of St. Luke (doctors and artists) and later, the French Academy.
     One of her best works, Self-portrait with a Portrait of her Sister, done in 1709 after she took up residence in Paris, was something of an advertisement. She worked with her sister, whom she herself had taught to paint, in managing quite a busy portrait workshop. The pastel painting (I still have trouble with that concept) depicts the rather plain face of the artist, no doubt made up to look her best, attired in satin and lace, blending tool in hand, showing off the portrait of her slightly more attractive sister. Most of her other female portraits are a good deal more glamorous, even erotic, with deeply plunging décolletage and even the occasional bare breast. Her Young Lady with a Parrot is more typical.
     Rosalba Carriera is credited with having greatly popularised the medium of pastels in France during the early 1700s; and with introducing, perhaps even instructing, the renowned French pastel artist, Maurice Quentin de la Tour, to the use of pastels as a portrait medium. Tragically, perhaps as a result of years spent straining to paint miniature portraits, her eyesight failed her the last ten years of her life.
— Gustaf Lundberg was a student of Carriera.

Self-Portrait as Winter (1731)
Felicità Sartori (1735)
Cardinal Melchior de Polignac (1732, 57x46cm)
Elderly Lady (1740, 50x40cm)
Flora (1735, 47x33cm)
Young Cavalier (1730, 55x42cm)
America (1730)
Bambina Leblond con Ciambella (1730, 34x27cm) _ Il ritratto di una ragazzina della famiglia Le Blond appare nella vaporosa leggerezza dei toni del colore usati dall'artista. Ella infatti era abilissima nell'uso dei pastelli , tanto da ottenere le più delicate sfumature e le più fresche trasparenze, negli incarnati del volto. Ne è un esempio questo ritratto di giovinetta dalle guance rosee, la bocca minuscola e arrossata, gli occhi grandi e spalancati. Il viso dolce è incorniciato dai capelli biondi che ricadono a boccoli sulle spalle. L'abilità tecnica, raggiunta dall'artista, le permette di descrivere minutamente anche l'abbigliamento. La ragazzina porta una sciarpetta di pizzo annodata al collo e indossa un bellissimo vestito bianco, decorato con fiori azzurri e rosa, e trattenuto nella scollatura da un nastro. Particolare curioso è indubbiamente la dolce ciambella che trattiene in mano.

Died on a 15 April:

1956 Emil Hansen “Nolde”, German painter born (full coverage) on 07 August 1867.

^ >1942  José Moreno Carbonero, Spanish painter born on 28 March 1858 (1860?). Su obra, de brillante colorido y de cuidado dibujo, evidencia la influencia de Fortuny. Se centró, sobre todo, en la temática histórica (El príncipe de Viana) y literaria (en especial escenas del Quijote) y en el retrato (Alfonso XIII).
–- The Death of Tarcisius (123x204cm; 510x845pix, 35kb _ .ZOOM to 892x1479pix, 78kb) _ Saint Tarcisius was a martyr. He is known from a poem by Pope Saint Damasus I [304 – 11 Dec 384] ("Damasi epigrammata", ed. Ihm, 14), in which Tarsicius is compared to Saint Stephen: just as the latter was stoned by the people of Judea so Tarsicius, carrying the Blessed Sacrament to prisoners, was attacked by a heathen rabble, and he suffered death rather “than surrender the Sacred Body of Christ to the raging dogs”. He may have been a deacon. His death occurred in one of the persecutions that took place between the middle of the third century and the beginning of the fourth.
— (Don Quixote and some men by a camp fire) (794x1086pix frame included, 238kb)
Sancho Panza (460x440pix, 40kb) kissing his donkey.
Don Quijote cabalgando (53x39cm; 350x253pix, 29kb)
Dama de las Palomas (90x71cm; 510x397pix, 82kb) _ detail 1 (384x512pix, 79kb) the lady's head _ detail 2 (357x492pix, 61kb) the four doves
Condesa de Viñaza y su hija (244x290pix, 26kb) _ The little girl, 3, would become by marriage Condesa de Yebes and occupy a prominent place in the cultural life of the Spain of her times. Writer, historian, woman of great beauty and elegance, she would be the center of attention for several reasons and would gather around her the most prominent intellectuals of the “Generación del 27”, making her home a meeting place for Spanish and foreign personalities of politics, fine arts, and literature.
Conversión del duque de Gandía (1884, 315x500cm; 383x600pix, 37kb) _ Francisco de Borja, marqués de Lombay y cuarto duque de Gandía [28 Oct 1510 – 01 Oct 1572], tiene que cumplir con el trámite de abrir el féretro para identificar el cadáver de la emperatriz, antes de entregar su cuerpo al arzobispo de Granada. Isabel de Portugal [23 Oct 1503–], casada el 11 Mar 1526 con Carlos V [24 Feb 1500 – 21 Sep 1558], había muerto el 01 May 1539 en Toledo, lugar desde el que fue trasladada a la ciudad andaluza, en cuya catedral se encontraba preparado su monumento funerario. La visión de los restos putrefactos de la que había sido considerada una de las mujeres más bellas de su tiempo produjo profunda mella en el Duque de Gandía quien, tras decidir «no más servir a señores que en gusanos se convierten», ingresó en la Compañía de Jesús. El cuadro refleja el mismo instante en el que Francisco de Borja, tras proceder a su desagradable misión, tiene que refugiarse desmayado en los brazos del caballero que lo acompaña. A la derecha, el catafalco; a la izquierda, las autoridades eclesiásticas y la camarera de la emperatriz, Leonor de Castro Melo y Meneses [1512 – 27 Mar 1546], esposa del Duque. Realizado cuando el pintor contaba tan sólo con veinticuatro años, sus características lo convierten en una de las obras maestras de la pintura de historia del siglo XIX. Destaca su capacidad para reproducir las calidades táctiles de los distintos materiales: el bronce del ataúd, el espléndido repostero con el águila imperial bordada sobre el que se apoya, el fino velo que cubre el rostro de la emperatriz dejando traslucir sus rasgos, la gruesa alfombra arrugada que se extiende a los pies de los personajes, el cuero de las botas de nuestro protagonista o la magnífica capa pontifical que viste el arzobispo, propia de la pintura del barroco, cuya orla con motivos de tibias entrecruzadas y calaveras contribuye a acentuar el tono fúnebre de la composición. Junto a ello, no se debe pasar por alto el realismo en la figuración de los rostros, alguno de ellos auténticos retratos, como el del niño que sujeta el báculo arzobispal. Fue premiado con la primera medalla de la Exposición Nacional de 1884, recibiendo igualmente sucesivos galardones en Múnich, Viena, Chicago y París. —(070412).

1935 Anna Kirstine Brøndum Ancher, Danish painter born (full coverage) on 18 August 1859.

1925 John Singer Sargent, US painter born (full coverage) on 12 January 1856.

^ 1906  Manuel Domínguez-Sánchez, Spanish painter born on 21 December 1840. — Relative? of Oscar Domínguez [1906-1957]?
Allegory of the Arts (600x427pix, 27kb)
La muerte de Séneca (B&W image) —(051220)

^ 1901 Juan Manuel Blanes, Uruguayan painter and draftsman born on 08 June 1830 in Montevideo. He came from a humble background and as a child suffered the separation of his parents, a disrupted schooling, poverty and the social upheavals of Montevideo under siege by General Manuel Oribe during Uruguay’s Guerra Grande of 1839–1851. From an early age he showed talent as a draftsman, making life drawings and oil paintings while working as a typographer for El defensor de la independencia americana, a daily newspaper run by the besieging army. — Nació en Montevideo, el 8 de junio de 1830, aunque otros autores equivocadamente lo señalan siete días antes. Era hijo de don Pedro Blanes, español y de doña Isabel Chilavert, argentina, oriunda de Santa Fe. La escasa documentación sobre los comienzos de su carrera artística sólo nos indica que desde pequeño mostró vocación por el dibujo, pero la necesidad de ayudar a los suyos, le hizo ingresar como tipógrafo en la imprenta de "El Defensor de la Independencia Americana", periódico del partido de Oribe. A los 20 años, pudo Blanes consagrarse por completo a la pintura. En 1857, se trasladó a Entre Ríos, donde el general Urquiza le encargó que decorase su Palacio de San José, dejando muestras de ser un pintor vigoroso a través de varios trabajos entre los que figuraban ocho óleos de batallas, algunos retratos y la pintura del oratorio. En 1860, regresó a Montevideo y obtuvo del Congreso una pensión para perfeccionar al año siguiente sus estudios en Roma y Florencia, permaneciendo en este último lugar hasta 1864, donde estudió con Antonio Ciseri. Esa influencia de lo académico, originada por Ciseri, se proyectó largamente sobre las obras de Blanes, pudiendo diferenciar de esa actitud principalmente su labor como pintor costumbrista y algunos retratos, así como cuando trató algunos temas que le ofrecía la información del momento. A su regreso la pintura no tenía secretos para Blanes. Sin embargo, se impuso, triunfó a fuerza de voluntad e inspiración. Producía mucho. Era pintor fecundo y desigual. Aparte de sus envíos de pensionado, se estrenó con un retrato ecuestre del presidente paraguayo general Francisco Solano López, hecho el mismo año, y El Bombardeo de Paysandú, pintado en 1856. En el género histórico, obtuvo un clamoroso triunfo con el cuadro de Un episodio de la fiebre amarilla en Buenos Aires, pintado en 1878, en el cual evocó con realismo conmovedor una de las escenas más dramáticas de aquellos luctuosos días de 1871. Será con la representación de los Drs. Roque Pérez y Manuel Argerich, descubriéndose en el umbral de la pocilga, frente al dolor y la muerte. Con parecido éxito pintó sucesivamente La Muerte del General Venancio Flores, donde realizó seguros y certeros toques sobre el relato de un crimen, sin perder su carácter de noticia; La Revista de Rancagua, obsequio de la República del Uruguay a la Nación Argentina, en 1878, en la que patentizó la emoción extraña, casi angustiosa de la legión chilena, los "hijos de la patria vieja" que marchaban heroicos e impasibles hacia la terrible jornada de Rancagua; El incendio del vapor América, en colaboración con De Martino; El Retrato de su madre, primer premio de la Exposición de Chile en 1875, juzgado por Zorrilla de San Martín como su obra maestra, el desnudo; las excelencias plásticas de Demonio, mundo y carne, en el que hay que anotar un color trabado con consistencia, que exhibió en la Exposición Internacional de París, en 1900; El asesinato de Florencio Varela; Los últimos momentos del general José Miguel Carrera, que tanto apreciaba Blanes, y que lo expuso con gran éxito en Santiago de Chile en 1873; Como muere un oriental y la figura de La Paraguaya. En el Juramento de los Treinta y Tres Orientales, que Blanes donó al gobierno uruguayo, consagró su nombre. Allí mostró la emoción épica de la gesta de Lavalleja a través del desembarco de los héroes en la playa de la Agraciada para libertar la patria invadida y sojuzgada por el Imperio. Luego de haber decorado la rotonda del Cementerio Central Pintó la Revista de 1855, donde solucionó los más arduos problemas de las telas grandes al identificar patentemente a caballos y caballeros, que los militares obsequiaron al presidente general Santos. Otras dos telas de aventajadas dimensiones y de relevado valor artístico e histórico fueron El General Roca ante el Congreso Argentino, y La Conquista del Desierto, donde también lo representó al frente de las tropas expedicionarias en la margen del Río Negro, por encargos recibidos de la Argentina. Blanes, sin la técnica genial de los grandes pintores franceses finiseculares, supo comprender y hacer sentir la patria en sus creaciones pictóricas, mérito, y virtud que hace olvidar los defectos menores que una crítica demasiado severa señaló en su tiempo. Volvió a Italia en 1879, a vigilar la educación artística de sus hijos y al cabo de cuatro años de ausencia que también fueron de estudio y trabajo, restableció su taller en Montevideo, dedicado principalmente al retrato. Entonces produjo piezas culminantes en ese arte: el Retrato de Carlota Ferreira, donde suelta alegremente los tonos de su paleta, traduce con claridad pictórica las calidades del físico de su modelo y las prendas de su vestimenta. Se destacan dentro del mismo molde la austeridad del Retrato de su hermano Mauricio Blanes, la placidez risueña del retrato de su madre, o las de José María Castellanos, de Besnes e Irigoyen, de Jaime Roldós y Pons, de Pedro Márquez y otros. En su galería figuran además los retratos de Flores, Rivera, Tajes, Pagola, Osorio, Solano López y Artigas. De los personajes de sus temas folklóricos, el gaucho es no sólo el principalmente tratado, sino también el más sentido. Cuando lo interpreta realiza impresiones típicas del gauchaje indolente que se recuesta en palenques y tranqueras o cuando no se sacude en domas, enlazadas y boleos. Blanes allí se permite una libertad que no es habitual en sus trabajos, y logra así obras perdurables. Puede que en el artista, pese a la emoción que ese personaje le provocaba, privara el concepto de la época, según el cual la categoría del tema jerarquizaba a la obra; si así hubiera sido, las conclusiones de la estimación posterior resultarían un tanto paradójicas puesto que aún sin llegar a considerar a sus pinturas de gauchos como sus obras más valederas, -muchas veces se ha estimado que es en ellas donde mejor se advierten sus grandes condiciones de pintor. La muerte trágica de su hijo Juan Luis y la misteriosa desaparición de Nicanor, el último que sobrevivía, atormentaron los últimos años de Blanes, en medio de su salud quebrantada, falleciendo en Pisa (Italia), el 15 Apr 1901, cuando proyectaba terminar su último gran lienzo La Batalla de Sarandí, en el que venía trabajando desde hacía tiempo. Desde entonces, las generaciones rioplatenses lo han recordado como uno de los mayores artistas de su tiempo y le rinden el homenaje de la posteridad. Una Exposición Retrospectiva fue realizada en Montevideo en 1941, guiada por Raúl Montero Bustamante. Desde el número de piezas recogidas. documentos reunidos, redacción y publicación de un Catálogo tan completo en su parte escrita como gráfica, y la cantidad de conferencias y comentarios, se consiguió un estudio exhaustivo sobre la vida y obra del artista uruguayo. En 1941, se realizó en el Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes de Buenos Aires, otra exposición de 219 cuadros y dibujos de Blanes. Montevideo ha dado su nombre a una calle como también Buenos Aires.
Escena campestre (595x1030pix, 73kb)
Tomando mate (1320x804pix, 135kb) not to be confused with
      _ Matando Tomás (2007; 775x1096pix, 368kb _ ZOOM to 1096x1550pix, 719kb _ ZOOM+ to 1864x2636pix, 1998kb) or
      _ Tomate Mando (2007; 775x1096pix, 368kb _ ZOOM to 1096x1550pix, 719kb _ ZOOM+ to 1864x2636pix, 1998kb) by the pseudonymous John Handbuk Blames. —(070414)

1876 Theude Grönland, German artist born on 31 August 1817.

1776 (17 Apr?) Balthasar Beschey, Antwerp Flemish painter and art dealer baptized as an infant on 20 November 1708. Beschey was taught by Peter Strick; he joined the Guild of Saint Luke in Antwerp in 1753 and was elected its dean for the financial year 1755–1756. In 1754 he was made director of the Antwerp academy, which then had no fewer than five of the Beschey family among its members. Using his influential position at the academy, Beschey sought to revive traditional practices through the study of Rubens. Among his students were Pierre Joseph Verhagen, Guillaume-Jacques Herreyns, and Andries Cornelis Lens.

^ 1700 Giovanni Maria Viani, Bolognese artist born on 11 September 1636. — Father of Domenico Maria Viani [11 Dec 1668 – 01 Oct 1711] — Ancestor? of sculptor Alberto Viani [26 Mar 1906 – 1989]? — Giovanni Maria Viani was a student of Flaminio Torri, and his first paintings (about 1650) suggest the art of Reni, absorbed through a study of Cantarini. Under the influence of Lorenzo Pasinelli, a colleague of Viani in Torri’s workshop, his forms gained solidity, but the mood of his paintings remained elegiac. This development is evident in two works in the Santuario della Madonna di San Luca in Bologna: Mary Magdalene and the altarpiece of Saint Pius V with the Polish Ambassador, which was probably painted in the same early period. The first documents relating to the artist and his first securely attributed works come from 1677: Saint Roch and the four frescoed lunettes in the portico of S Maria dei Servi, representing miraculous episodes of the life of Saint Filippo Benizi: Preaching to the Council of Lyon, Healing of the Sick, Succored by Angels in the Desert and Ascending to Heaven. The canvas of Saint Benedict with the Peasants (1689) is a copy of the lost fresco painted by Reni in the cloister of the same church. It forms a pair with Saint Bernard Tolomei Restores a Builder to Life (1693). One of Viani’s most interesting pictures is Diana and Endymion (1685), which shows a refined handling of color. In the 1690s he produced Saint Andrew, a work that demonstrates his individual interpretation of the Carracci school. His latest dated works are the two large ovals depicting The Virgin Appearing to Saint Ignatius and Christ Appearing to Saint Ignatius (1696).

Born on a 15 April:

1944 Jerzy Kalina, Polish action artist, performance artist, scenery designer, creator of animated films and stained glass. —(060412)

^ 1940  Cristóbal Toral Ruiz, Spanish painter. — Probably not a relative of the Chilean Mario Toral [12 Feb 1934~] nor of Panamanian Tabo Toral [29 Aug 1950~]. — Cristóbal Toral nació en Torre Alhaquime (Cádiz), aunque se considera de Antequera pues durante su infancia y adolescencia residió en dicha ciudad donde, en 1958, inició sus estudios en la Escuela de Artes y Oficios. Entre 1959 y 1961 permanece en la Escuela de Bellas Artes de Sevilla. Seguidamente ingresa en la Escuela de Bellas Artes de San Fernando de Madrid, hasta 1964. En este centro obtiene el Premio Nacional Fin de Carrera y una Bolsa de Trabajo del Ministerio de Educación y Ciencia que le acredita para dictar cátedra en dicha escuela. Abandona este cargo en 1967 y se dedica a la pintura. En 1968 y 1969 se le otorga la Beca Fundación Juan March para ampliar sus estudios en España y más tarde en Nueva York, ciudad en la que se acerca al Realismo y Nuevo Realismo de los pintores Norteamericanos. En 1973 y 1977 representa a España en la Bienal Internacional del Arte de Florencia; en 1975 participa en la exposición "Realismo fantástico en España", la cual recorre varias ciudades europeas, y obtiene el Gran Premio de la XII Bienal de Sao Paulo. Ha realizado importantes exposiciones individuales en Madrid, Nueva York y París. Los lienzos de Cristóbal Toral han forjado –desde los años finales de los setenta, junto a los de Eduardo Naranjo– la segunda generación del realismo español, la de su vertiente mágica. Si, una generación antes, Antonio López abría las puertas del realismo español a principios de la segunda mitad del siglo XX, una década después Toral volvía la vista a nuestro Barroco, y sobre todo a Velázquez, para revisar los conceptos contemporáneos de la pintura. Su obra se puede agrupar sin miedo en tres tipos de cuadros, de representaciones que se repiten obsesivamente: el desnudo de la mujer, los bodegones, y las maletas como su más acertada visión del destino del hombre. Del hombre de siempre, de todas las épocas, y de las circunstancias del hombre en nuestro tiempo: el hombre español que salió al exilio, que emigró a la Europa rica durante el franquismo, el hombre que, acosado por las guerras o las persecuciones políticas, ha hecho continuamente el equipaje para poder reconstruir su vida en otro punto del planeta. El realismo de Cristóbal Toral, sin embargo, está bañado siempre por un leve sueño surrealista. Hasta la luz de sus bodegones más clásicos parece contaminada por los sueños de Dalí. Y no sólo porque las situaciones de sus representaciones realistas son muy poco realistas, sino porque se sumergen en el extraño mundo de las asociaciones realistas. Si Toral necesita acentuar la soledad de un personaje, no duda en situarlo en una imposible estación guardando cientos de maletas. Si quiere incidir en el destino desesperado de una mujer, ella recorre desnuda un paraje gobernado por una gran cama adonde todos nosotros acudimos para dejar nuestro equipaje, nuestros recuerdos, la carga de nuestra existencia. Quizás por todo ello, al realismo mágico de Toral cuando pinta, y al mismo Cristóbal Toral cuando reflexiona, no le cuesta tender puentes hacia otros campos de la pintura en principio tan opuestos al suyo como la abstracción. Sobre el enfrentamiento entre realismo y abstracción, afirma «el debate entre abstractos y realistas, en realidad no ha sido más que un debate entre dos realismos diferentes (…), lo importante es que el pintor tenga capacidad de crear».
Semana Santa, Málaga 2004 (450x318pix, 21kb)
— (Suicide bomber watermelons?) (322x300pix, 13kb)
Bodegón cósmico (46x55cm; 431x526pix, 63kb) more suicide bomber watermelons, plus exploding pomegrenate hand grenades.
Untitled (1980 lithograph, 75x55cm; 413x304pix, 65kb) extraterrestrial fauna?
Untitled (1980 lithograph; 640x474pix, 52kb) somewhat similar to the preceding, which has led the pseudonymous Luis Tristobal Coral to combine both and transform them into the colorful and finely detailed
      _ Untiled (2007; 775x1096pix, 233kb _ ZOOM to 1096x1550pix, 452kb _ ZOOM+ to 1700x2404pix, 1112kb _ ZOOM++ to 2636x3728pix, 2631kb) and
      _ Untied (2007; 775x1096pix, 233kb _ ZOOM to 1096x1550pix, 452kb _ ZOOM+ to 1700x2404pix, 1112kb _ ZOOM++ to 2636x3728pix, 2631kb). —(070413)

1904 Vosdanig Manoog Adoian “Arshile Gorky”, US painter who hanged himself (full coverage) on 21 July 1948. —(060719)

^ 1886 Amédée Ozenfant, French painter (specialized in semi-abstract guitar-like shapes), writer, and teacher, who died on 04 May 1966. — {Est-ce que ce qui plaisait Ozenfant plaisait aux enfants? Au moins aux enfants Ozenfant?} — Born into a bourgeois family, he studied at Dominican colleges, first Saint-Elme d’Arcachon and then Captier in Saint-Sébastien. Following his studies, he returned to his native Saint-Quentin, where he began to paint in watercolors and pastels. In 1904 he enrolled in the drawing course taught by Jules-Alexandre Patrouillard Degrave at the Ecole Municipale de Dessin Quentin Delatour in Saint-Quentin. By 1905 he was producing plein-air paintings in oil. In the same year he went to Paris, where he studied the decorative arts, first under the French painter Maurice Verneuil [1869–] and then under Charles Cottet. — Among Ozenfant's students were Richard Artschwager, Leonora Carrington [06 Apr 1917~], Araceli Gilbert, Robert Goodnough, Florence Henri, sculptor George Rickey [06 Jun 1907~].— Ozenfant was born in Saint-Quentin. He entered the municipal drawing school there in 1904, then moved to Paris the following year to study architecture in the studio of Guichard and Lesage, and painting first under Cottet, then at the Académie La Palette. He founded in 1915 the magazine L'Elan, whose contributors included Apollinaire, Picasso, Matisse, and Gleizes. In 1918 Ozenfant met Charles-Edouard Jeanneret (later known as “Le Corbusier”), with whom he wrote Après le Cubisme, setting out the principles of Purism; they afterwards jointly founded the revue L'Esprit Nouveau (1920-1925). First one-man exhibition with Jeanneret at the Galerie Thomas, Paris, 1918. Painted until about 1926 in a Purist style, with arrangements of standardized objects such as bottles and glasses in profile. He opened a painting school with Léger in 1924. In 1925 he and Le Corbusier published La Peinture Moderne and collaborated on the Pavillon de l'Esprit Nouveau at the Exposition des Arts Décoratifs. Ozenfant began in 1926 to paint compositions with figures (bathers, etc.). He moved in 1935 to London, then lived 1939-1955 in the USA, where he opened a painting school in New York; he returned to France in 1955. His late works, which include landscapes, show a partial return to the spirit of Purism. Ozenfant died in Cannes.— LINKS
Nature Morte Puriste (1921; 480x584pix, 93kb)
Guitare et bouteilles (1920, 81x100cm; 458x573pix, 71kb)
Verres et bouteilles (1926, 73x60cm; 512x423pix, 17kb) _ Ozenfant and Charles-Édouard Jeanneret (later famous as the architect “Le Corbusier”) founded a style of painting known as Purism. Their work applied the principles of classical proportion to products of the machine age. The fluting of the bottles in this painting recalls classical columns, and is echoed in the various neighboring forms. These rhythmic relationships create a harmonious unity, which embodies Ozenfant’s belief that order gives rise to aesthetic experience. He wrote, ‘The highest delectation of the human mind is the perception of order, and the greatest human satisfaction is the feeling of collaboration or participation in this order’.
Still Life. Dishes (1920, 72x60cm; 575x471pix, 78kb)

^ 1865 Olga Boznanska, Polish painter without polish (impressionist), specialized in portraits, especially self-portraits, who died on 26 October 1940. — Born in Kraków, she took drawing lessons at home from the age of nine and began regular studies in 1883 under the portrait painter Kazimierz Pochwalski [1855–1940]. She continued her training in 1884–1885 at the Adam Baraniecki School of Art, the only school in Kraków accepting women at that time. She went to Munich for further study, working in the studio of Carl Kricheldorf [1863–] in 1886–1887, and in that of Wilhelm Dürr [1857–1900] in 1888. In 1889 she participated in the Internationale Kunstausstellung in Munich and opened her own studio, which over the next decade became a meeting-place for students. In 1895 she ran a private school of painting founded by Professor Theodor Humml [1864–1939]. However, she declined the headship of a department for young women at the School of Fine Arts in Kraków. In 1898 she settled in Paris, where she lived until her death. — Ilustrowana biografia //
Autoportret z japonska parasolka (1892; 800x597pix, 78kb)
Autoportret (1893, 70x57cm; 800x619pix, 65kb)
Autoportret (1906, 67x57cm; 800x604pix, 52kb)
Autoportret z kwiatami (1909, 68x49cm; 800x572pix, 63kb)
Autoportret (1909, 55x46cm; 600x471pix, 56kb)
Autoportret (70x50cm; 800x582pix, 81kb)
Autoportret (800x603pix, 59kb)
Portret Adama Nowiny-Boznanskiego, ojca artystki (1903, 75x64cm; 800x615pix, 75kb)
Dziewczynka z koszem jarzyn w ogrodzie (1891, 124x85cm; 800x560pix, 106kb)
Slonecznik (1891; 800x606pix, 53kb)
In the Greenhouse (700x510pix, 125kb)
— A Boznanska bonanza: 99 images at Pinakoteka Zascianek

^ 1860 Edward Arthur Walton, British painter who died on 18 March 1922. He was trained at the Staatliche Kunstakademie in Düsseldorf (1876–1877) and Glasgow School of Art. One of the Glasgow Boys, he painted outdoors in the Trossachs and at Crowland, Lincs, with James Guthrie, Joseph Crawhall, and George Henry. He also painted in W. Y. Macgregor’s life studio in Glasgow. He joined the New English Art Club in 1887 and developed an atmospheric landscape style influenced by plein-air painting and by James McNeill Whistler with whom he was friendly during his stay in London (1894–1904); Autumn Sunshine (1884) is characteristic. Walton was a regular exhibitor from 1880 in both Glasgow, at the Institute of the Fine Arts, and Edinburgh, at the Royal Scottish Academy. He was elected an Associate of the Academy in 1889 and a full member in 1905, taking an active role in its affairs after moving to Edinburgh in 1904. He concentrated after about 1885 on pastel and on watercolor, which he used notably in his Helensburgh and Kensington scenes of contemporary life. From 1915 he served as President of the Royal Scottish Water Colour Society. Oil was reserved largely for portraits in a Whistlerian style, such as The Artist’s Mother (1885). Such portraits became his chief source of income. During the late 1880s and 1890s he painted murals for the main building of the Glasgow International Exhibition of 1888 and various other buildings in the city. His only surviving decoration is Glasgow Fair in the Fifteenth Century (1899–1901). — LINKS
Berwickshire Field-workers (1884, 91x61cm)

^ 1832 Wilhelm Busch, German draftsman, painter, and writer, who died on 09 January 1908. [He did not mind people beating around the bush, as long as they didn't beat up the Busch.] — A grocer’s son and the first of seven children, he enrolled at the Polytechnische Schule in Hannover to be trained (1847–1851) as an engineer but, while there, decided to become an artist. In 1851 he transferred to the Akademie in Düsseldorf where he remained for a year, attending elementary classes in life drawing from Carl Ferdinand Sohn [10 Dec 1805 – 25 Nov 1867] and studying proportion and anatomy under Heinrich Anton Mücke [1806-1891]. In May 1852 he moved to the less severely doctrinaire Academy in Antwerp, but the obsessive concern for precision of his tutor, the genre painter Joseph-Laurent Dyckmans [1811-1888], did not appeal to him. As he conceded in 1886 in his autobiography, Was mich betrifft, he was assailed by doubts about his talent as a painter, not because of the demands of an academic training but because of the apparently unsurpassable example of Frans Hals [1583 – 01 Sep 1666] and other Old Masters whose works he had studied in the Koninklijk Museum in Antwerp. During this period Busch produced several studies of heads in oils on cardboard that were freer in execution than his work in Düsseldorf, for example Portrait of a Young Man (1852), as well as drawings of views of Antwerp. In May 1853, after an attack of typhoid, he returned home to Wiedensahl, where he lived for the next 18 months, collecting legends and fairy tales of the Weser region and making drawings of gravestones and antiques in the area for a scholar in Berlin. He also painted oil studies of peasants in Bückeburg and portraits of members of his family, for example Domestic Studies: Otto Busch Reading (1854)
Selbstbildnis (1126x800pix, 176kb)

^ 1812 Pierre Etienne-Théodore Rousseau, in Paris, French painter, specialized in landscapes, who died on 22 December 1867 in Barbizon. He was considered the leader of the Romantic-Naturalist artists of the Barbizon School, but he also had the unhappy distinction of being known as ‘le grand refusé’, because of his systematic exclusion from the Paris Salon between 1836 and 1841 and his abstention between 1842 and 1849. — LINKS
Automne à Saint-Jean-de-Paris, Forêt de Fontainebleau (1846, 65x55cm; 800x672pix, 314kb _ ZOOM to 2182x1832pix; 2583kb) —(060401)

1712 Jan Antoon Garemijn (or Garemyn), Bruges Flemish painter and draftsman who died on 23 June 1799. He was apprenticed to Roch Aerts [–1739], continued his training at the Bruges Académie and later studied under Louis Roose [1701–1765] and the sculptor Hendrik Pulinx. However, his characteristic style, evident from 1730, owed most to Jacob Beernaert. Matthias de Visch [1702–1765], whom he succeeded as director of the Académie, introduced Garemijn to the graceful Italian style and to the mannered drawing-room scenes typical of the French masters Antoine Watteau [bap. 10 Oct 1684 – 18 Jul 1721] and François Boucher [29 Sep 1703 – 30 May 1770].
See me at 02 May

1452 Leonardo di ser Piero da Vinci, Florentine painter and inventor who died (full coverage) on 02 May 1867.

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