ART 4 2-DAY 01 August v.10.60
DEATH: 1857 CHARLES TURNER
Born on 01 August 1713: Richard
Wilson, Welsh Romantic
painter, active in Italy and England, specialized in Landscapes,
who died on 15 (11?) May 1782.
— He was one of the earliest major British landscape painters. His works combine a mood of classical serenity with picturesque effects. In 1729 Wilson studied portraiture under Thomas Wright in London and after about 1735 worked on his own in this genre. From 1746 his work shows a growing interest in landscape that, soon after his arrival in Italy late in 1750, became almost exclusive. Staying at first in Venice, he met the landscape painter Francesco Zuccarelli. Early in 1752 he went to Rome and became part of an art circle that included the painters Joseph Vernet and Anton Raphael Mengs. He remained in Rome until 1757, working mostly for aristocratic English tourists. He produced not only large landscapes in the manner of Nicolas Poussin, Salvator Rosa, and Claude Lorrain but also numerous drawings of Roman sites and buildings, which he used in composing Italianate landscapes after his return to England. The finest of these is a set of drawings made for Lord Dartmouth and dated 1754. They show how Wilson tempered his delicate observation of light and distance with the discipline of such 17th-century classical Baroque painters as Poussin and Claude. Returning to London probably in 1757, he became influential as a teacher and, after 1760, as an exhibitor with the Society of Artists and the Royal Academy. He was a founding member of the academy in 1768 and, from 1776, its librarian, a post he took to relieve his poverty. Though continuing to produce Italian landscapes, Wilson now turned to depicting his own country, Wales, and also the rural environs of London. The order and clarity rather than the classical apparatus of Italy survive, and Wilson's exact and tranquil recording of clear or suffused air, distance, and varied lights predominates, as in his famed Snowdon. His landscapes of this period exerted considerable influence on J.M.W. Turner, John Constable, and John Crome. Wilson's later works, such as Minchenden House, tend to abandon formal composition, using tonal methods of recording space. Many works ascribed to him, especially late ones, are partly the work of his students.
— He began his career as a portraitist who also painted landscapes but committed himself to the latter genre in the early 1750s while in Italy. He painted and drew Italian scenery and idealized classical landscapes not only in Italy but after his return to England, only later developing this manner to include British scenery too. He was also influenced by Dutch landscape painting, particularly the work of Aelbert Cuyp. Wilson was a founder-member of the Royal Academy and enjoyed considerable success until the early 1770s, but his last years were penurious and his reputation in decline. Through William Hodges [1744 – 06 Mar 1797], a former student who published a short essay on Richard Wilson in 1790, and through other ex-students (notably Joseph Farington and Thomas Jones), the status of Wilson’s work improved; gradually it began to influence the artists of J. M. W. Turner’s generation.
— Wilson started out as a portrait painter, the only way to make a living as an artist in England in the mid-18th century, but the competition from the likes of Reynolds and Gainsborough must have been formidable. Whereas Gainsborough's success with portraits inhibited his pursuit of landscape, Wilson's lack of success in the portrait field may have encouraged his development as a pioneer of landscape in Britain. Wilson's typical landscape style is quite distinctive. A tree with delicate foliage in the foreground. A stretch of water and a classical building in the middle ground. Tiny people and animals go about their everyday work or play, dominated by the landscape around them. And those glowing Wilson skies that are common enough in real life in North Wales and equally inspiring. Wilson gave people what they wanted. If they wanted Salvator Rosa bandits, or a Vernet seascape, or a Lambert topographical scene, or a Kneller- (or even Rembrandt-) style portrait or a Claudean scene from Ovid, Wilson could do it. Some of Wilson's landscapes are copies of works by Dughet or Ricci. Wilson's landscapes derived from the 17th century Roman school dominated by Claude and Nicolas Poussin. He influenced both Joseph Wright of Derby and Turner. Unlike his contemporary, Gainsborough, and Constable who followed, Wilson showed less interest in the 17th century Dutch "everyday life" school of landscape (Rubens, Ruysdael, etc), but could imitate it when necessary (e.g. On Hounslow Heath). Perhaps the treatment of landscape as areas of light and texture on the canvas, going beyond Claude in drawing attention away from any human activity, was Wilson's subtlest influence on Constable and Turner, both of whom frequently acknowledged their debt to Wilson. Wilson's use of human figures in his paintings is not easy to understand. Superficially, they are there to provide scale and depth to the painting without distracting attention from the landscape. Even in “history” paintings such as Niobe where the dramatic action ought to prevail, the landscape is allowed to dominate. However, Wilson's famous quotation “Do not fall into the common mistake of objecting to Claude's figures” suggests a greater regard for the importance of figure painting. Modern critics are often keen to avoid overstating the influence of Claude on the whole body of Wilson's work, but the most endearing, poetic and immediately attractive of his paintings are those in which Claude's influence is clearest. Art experts of the present-day tend to regard his Welsh and English landscapes most highly. Wilson painted for reactionary landowners and was himself almost certainly politically reactionary. In this light, the dominance of landscape over human figures takes on a new significance.
— Wilson's students included also Robert Pollard, Thomas Jones [1743-1803], Jacob More, Francis Wheatley.
— The River Dee Near Eaton Hall (600x984pix _ ZOOM to 1400x2296pix)
— A Capriccio Landscape with the Temple of the Sibyl at Tivoli and the Broken Bridge at Narni (1755, 97x135cm; 714x1000pix, 153kb)
— The Vale of Narni (1760, 66x48cm; 1081x800pix, 102kb) _ It was in Britain that a new, emotional response to landscape first appeared in art. Though he spent his formative years in Rome and made his name with classic evocations of an ideal Italy, the Wilson brought a new appreciation of light and atmosphere to even his grandest compositions. His beautiful Vale of Narni, with its arching stone pines and tender light, could never be described as 'superior wallpaper'. For the Romantic generation of Turner and Constable, Wilson was the one earlier compatriot they took seriously
— The Mawddach Valley and Cader Idris (1774, 102x107cm; 804x965pix, 86kb)
— Mount Snowdon Seen From Llyn Nantll (1766, 100x127cm; 600x765pix, 79kb; ZOOM to 1587x2024pix, 262kb)
— River Landscape with a Boy Fishing aka On the Arno (102x128cm; 711x900pix, 72kb _ ZOOM to 1186x1499pix, 155kb)
— British Naval Captain (127 x 102cm; 720x562pix, 73kb _ ZOOM to 1200x938pix, 174kb)
— A Lady (124x99cm) possibly a member of the Foley family. Three-quarter length, standing in a landscape, wearing a riding habit and holding a crop
— Two paintings together in one image Saint-Peter's and the Vatican from the Janiculum / Rome from the Villa Madama (each 70x131cm; together 900x911pix, 102kb) _ These two panoramas portray probably the two most famous prospects of Rome. The first view, that of Saint-Peter's, is taken from the heights of the Janiculum in Trastevere looking north over the Vatican and into the Campagna. In the distance on the horizon is Mount Socrate. The second view, which shows the Villa Madama, is taken from the point at which pilgrims, traveling along the Via Trionfale, first caught sight of the city. The building on the right is the loggia of the Villa Madama which Raphael designed for Pope Clement VII. In the distance lies part of the city with the River Tiber and the distant Alban Hills. In both paintings Wilson characteristically includes some antique fragments in the foreground as a reminder of Rome's glorious past.
–- S#*> Lake Avernus with People in the Foreground and the Temple of Apollo Beyond (40x52cm; 900x1161pix, 197kb) _ Wilson went to Italy in 1750 and spent a number of years studying the works of Claude Lorrain and others. By the time he had completed the present landscape, circa 1764, Wilson's style had evolved into a sophisticated tension of idealistic and naturalistic elements. In the present picture we see ancient tomb stones leaning tiredly against their structures, a detail which encapsulates a dialectic in Wilson's work between idealised classicism and a decline of classical glory. Lake Avernus is a lake on the Tyrrenhian coast of Italy, only a mile from Cumae, which is supposed to fill the crater of an extinct volcano. Mephitic vapours rise from its waters so that no life is found on its banks. It was because of this that Virgil and the ancient poets believed that Lake Avernus was the entrance to the Underworld. In Virgil's Aeneid, Aeneas sacrifices to the gods in the shadow of the forest surrounding Lake Avernus and then follows the Delphic sibyl into the cave and down into the Underworld. The Temple of Apollo is visible in the present picture.
— Snowdon from Llyn Nantlle (1765; 600x760pix _ ZOOM to 1400x1770pix, 479kb) _ This picture of the Nantlle valley shows Llyn Baladeulyn between Craig y Bera and Y Garn with Snowdon in the background. It is the finest Welsh view painted by Wilson. He did not strive for strict topographical accuracy, but rather for a carefully balanced harmony of forms. To achieve this he made alterations to the size and scale of hills and the positioning of trees and people. It is nature mediated by mind rather than simply mirrored in the canvas.
— The Inner Temple after the Fire of 4 January 1737 (1737, 65x95cm) _ This picture records the devastation caused by a fire that destroyed Crown-Office Row in the Inner Temple in London during the night of 04 January 1737, fortunately without loss of life. The group in the center includes Frederick, Prince of Wales (in blue, wearing the Garter star), who had sent fifty soldiers to help the firemen and later came to inspect the scene himself. Fires were a regular hazard in London and were fought with water pumps like the one just visible in the left foreground, It had to be filled by hand from the nearby Thames, which was at low tide when the fire began. This added delay, combined with a stiff breeze, made this conflagration more extensive than usual.
Lake Albano and Castel Gandolfo (1754)
Solitude (1765; 381x572pix, 50kb)
— George III and the Duke of York (1749, 102x127cm; 413x512pix, 15kb)
— Francesco Zuccarelli (1751, 50x42cm; 512x443pix, 25kb) _ This portrait of the Italian landscape painter Zuccarelli [15 Aug 1702 – 30 Dec 1788] was painted when Wilson was working in Italy. Although he later established himself as the leading painter of classical landscapes, Wilson started out as a portrait painter. The rather modest and informal qualities of this image are typical of British portrait painting of this period. Zuccarelli painted literary and mythological landscape scenes and encouraged Wilson to do the same. Like his contemporary Reynolds, Wilson exploited his Italian experience to re-establish himself as a painter in the ‘grand style’ that suited the increasingly pretentious tastes of British art patrons.
— Meleager and Atalanta (1770, 105x130cm) _ This picture shows the Calydonian boar hunt, an episode from a story told by the Latin poet, Ovid (Metamorphoses VIII). Here, Richard Wilson, who visited Italy in the 1750s, highlights the moment at which Meleager plunges his spear into the boar:
at manus Oenidae variat, missisque duabus
hasta prior terra, medio stetit altera tergo.
nec mora, dum saevit, dum corpora versat in orbem
stridentemque novo spumam cum sanguine fundit,
vulneris auctor adest hostemque inritat ad iram
splendidaque adversos venabula condit in armos.
gaudia testantur socii clamore secundo
victricemque petunt dextrae coniungere dextram
inmanemque ferum multa tellure iacentem
mirantes spectant neque adhuc contingere tutum
esse putant, sed tela tamen sua quisque cruentat.
The composition is indebted to the Neapolitan painter Salvator Rosa [20 Jun 1615 – 15 Mar 1673], noted for his stormy landscapes, often featuring violent acts by robbers. Wilson never allowed his figures to dominate the landscape, and he was displeased when the owner of the picture had the main figure group repainted by another artist, John Hamilton Mortimer [1740 – 04 Feb 1779], to strengthen the human element.
Died on 01 August 1857: Charles Turner,
English engraver and draftsman, born on 31 July 1774. Not to be confused
with Charles Yardley Turner [25 Nov 1850 – 1919] of the US, nor with
Mallord William Turner [23 Apr 1775 – 19 Dec 1851], of whom he
was a friend and of whom he engraved some paintings.
— In 1789 Charles Turner was apprenticed to John Jones in London, where from 1795 he studied at the Royal Academy Schools. He began publishing his prints in 1796 and also worked in mezzotint, and occasionally in stipple and aquatint for a variety of publishers, mostly in London but also in Scotland and elsewhere. He was a skilful engraver who could adapt his style to reflect that of the painter; he was also hardworking, reliable and enterprising. The speed with which he worked meant that he was able to engrave many plates of topical interest. His first major success was Bonaparte Reviewing the Consular Guards after John James Masquerier [1778–1855], published in 1802 at a time when there were few images of Napoleon available. The painting itself was one that he helped Masquerier to paint, and was supposedly painted from life; in fact it was based on secondary images. His plate (1807) of .The Shipwreck (1805; 980x1412pix, 66kb) was the first print after the painting The Shipwreck (1805, 171x240cm; 774x1077pix, 123kb) by J. M. W. Turner. in 1828 Charles Turner was appointed Royal Engraver and elected ARA.
–- Portrait of J.M.W. Turner (1852, 17x12cm; 938x666pix, 29kb)
–- Wilhelm Friedrich, Prinz von Nassau-Oranien (1813; 1272x1060pix, 68kb)
–- Branch of the Meuse at Liège (color aquatint 23x31cm; 830x1194pix, 72kb), after George Arnald [1763-1841] _ Near the church of Saint-Denis, the Pont du Torrent, shown here, was destroyed in 1826, after the filling of the branch of the Meuse which it bridged.
— The Rt. Honble. Lady Louisa Manners: In a Peasants Dress (color engraving; 120kb) after John Hoppner [25 Apr 1758 – 23 Jan 1810].
— Charlotte Countess of Cholmondeley and the Hon. Henry Cholmondeley (color engraving; 119kb) after J. Hoppner _ The Honorable is a child, age about 4, in a girl's dress.
Born on 01 August 1854: Walter Launt Palmer,
US painter who died on 16 April 1932.
— Palmer was born in Albany NY, son of the sculptor Erastus Dow Palmer. In his youth he was acquainted with the leading artists of the day such as Frederick E. Church, John Kensett, and John McEntee, all of whom frequented the Palmer home. At age 24, he began his formal study of art with Frederick E. Church, the great Hudson Valley painter. In the early and mid-1870's Palmer traveled and studied extensively in Italy and France. He studied with Carolus-Duran in Paris. He studied the work of the Impressionists as well as that of the expatriate US artists in Europe. He was a friend of John Singer Sargent, with whom he went on at least one sketching trip. He also spent time with John Henry Twatchman, William Merrit Chase, Frank Druveneck, and Robert Blum.
Upon Palmer's return to the US in the late 1870's, he and Church rented a studio in New York City. They keep it from 1878 until 1881. Palmer first received major attention for his winter scenes in 1887 when he received the Second Halgarten Prize of the National Academy for his painting January. This award is for outstanding young (under 35) artists with potential. The artist's use of blue shadow in the snow is considered one of the first uses of this technique. He also received the gold medal from the Philadelphia Art club in 1894 and another gold medal from the Boston Art Club in 1895. More awards came from more prestigious Art Associations and his reputation continued to grow. His winter scenes became very popular but his scenes of Venice and interiors were also beautiful and desirable.
At the turn of the century Palmer was being compared to Claude Monet and John Henry Twatchman. In 1915, Palmer, now 61 years old, spent the summer in Gloucester Massachusetts, as he would do again in many later summers. His studio was rather quaint and situated on Rocky Neck in Gloucester Harbor. It was described by the Boston Globe in 1923 as one "which hangs down over the rocks and boasts an array of sky blue shutters .. in this studio by the sea." He actually found the summer studio a boost to his art sales as many visitors who came to see, actually bought. He complained that visitors interrupted him but it was good for business. Prices at that time were about $200 each without frames for good sized pictures. One person bought three for a reduced price of $500. He kept meticulous records of all his paintings and sales. He became active in the local art colony and the local art associations, basking in his celebrity status.
People would remark that it was strange to see him sitting on his Gloucester Bay dock in the summertime while painting a snow scene. All the while the picturesque harbor's beauty was right in front of him. But he responded that he felt that it was no more inconsistent than many of his fellow artists painting summer scenes in the dead of winter. Walter L. Palmer died in his hometown Albany NY.
After his death his work fell out of favor and many museums deaccessioned his paintings in the years following W.W.II. Indeed, by the early 1960's, representational art was out and often the frames were worth more than the paintings. People liked clean walls with no paintings -- a sort of a delayed reaction to the covered wall style of the Victorian period. In the last 20 years the trend has again reversed and the works of US Impressionist and realistic artists of the early 20th century have been rediscovered. Walter Launt Palmer is now recognized as an excellent artist.
— Normansvale (56x76cm)
— Sunshine After Snowstorm (81x62cm; 1000x726pix, 251kb)
–- S#*> Sunlight on December Snow (799x795pix, 153kb)
— At the Edge of the Pond (1886, 42x27cm)
— The Bridge, Winter (1897, 41x31cm)
–- The sole survivor (pages 646 and 647 from Harper's Weekly, 05 Aug 1876, wood engraving 29x51cm; 720x1264pix, 125kb)
–- Fleeing from persecution (pages 614 and 615, from Harper's Weekly, 04 Aug 1877, wood engraving, 27x50cm; 702x1286pix, 91kb)
— Library at Arbor Hill (Olcott Interior) (1878) _ Palmer painted this interior of the home today known as the Ten Broeck Mansion. Seated within is the house's owner, Thomas Worth Olcott [1795-1880], a prominent Albany banker. The furnishings are an eclectic mix of personal possessions, oriental rugs, a Shaker chair, a Japanese screen and a marble bust of Mary Olcott sculpted by Erastus Dow Palmer. Inclusion of the elderly Mr. Olcott reading a morning newspaper gives an idea of his social and economic status; he had both the means to pursue and acquire his possessions and the leisure time to enjoy them.