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DEATHS: 1955 LÉGER — 1831 NASMYTH 1916 BOCCIONI 1903 GUDE
BIRTHS: 1755 STOTHARD — 1720 EISEN — 1839 MARIS — 1923 RIVERS 1778 VARLEY
^ Born on 17 August 1755: Thomas Stothard, English Romantic painter, designer, and illustrator, who died on 27 April 1834.
— Stothard is best known for his graceful and distinctive book illustrations, such as those for Clarissa, Tristam Shandy, Robinson Crusoe, Pilgrim's Progress, The Vicar of Wakefield, The Rape of the Lock, and the works of Shakespeare, Byron, Milton, etc. His best known painting is The Canterbury Pilgrims, which heralds the Pre-Raphaelite style.
— Stothard was one of the most popular, prolific and successful artists of his time and was highly regarded by such contemporaries as Thomas Lawrence and Walter Scott. He was the son of a prosperous publican and completed his apprenticeship as a silk weaver (1770–1777), before studying at the Royal Academy, London (1777–1783). From the beginning of his career, book illustration was his main area of activity. His earliest surviving works are in the decorative Rococo mode, but he soon adopted the more idealistic Neo-classicism of John Hamilton Mortimer and James Barry. Together with his friends and near contemporaries, William Blake and John Flaxman, Stothard developed an austere, linear style of drawing. This is more pronounced in such drawings as Boadicea Inspiring the Britons against the Romans (1780) than in his published illustrations, where the call for realism was stronger.

LINKS
–- The Schoolboy (1799, at p. 3 in the book Shakespeare's Seven Ages of Man illustrated, engraving with hand coloring 47x29cm)
–- Shakespeare - Othello-Act II, Scene 1 (Thomas Ryder engraving with hand coloring 49x64cm)
–- F*#>Shakespeare - King Henry the Eighth, Act I, Scene 4 (Isaac Taylor engraving with hand coloring 50x64cm)
— F*#> Plate XV and–- F*#> Plate III (1782) two engravings 19x11 cm [Don Quixote and Sancho Panza, riding] in The History and Adventures of the Renowned Don Quixote, translated from the Spanish of Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra by Dr. Smollett (16 engravings in that book)
Nymphs Discover the Narcissus (1793, 32x35cm)
Sans Souci (1800x1059pix, 3744kb) engraving by Brandard after painting by Stothard.
Shakespeare's Interview with Queen Elizabeth, and Duke of Essex (1578x1093pix, 3362kb) engraving by W. Ensom after painting by Stothard.
—(080816)
Léger birdReply to Léger bird^ Died on 17 August 1955: Fernand Léger, French Cubist painter, draftsman, illustrator, printmaker, stage designer, film maker, and ceramicist, born on 04 February 1881.
<<< L'Oiseau Magique (1953, 56x36cm)
Réponse à l'Oiseau Magique, by “Fainéant Lourd” (2004) >>>
— Born in Argentan, Orne, he died in Gif-sur-Yvette, Seine-et-Oise. Léger was among the most prominent artists in Paris in the first half of the 20th century, he was prolific in many media and articulated a consistent position on the role of art in society in his many lectures and writings. His mature work underwent many changes, from a Cubist-derived abstraction in the 1910s to a distinctive realist imagery in the 1950s. Léger attracted numerous students to his various schools, and his ideas and philosophy were disseminated by modern artists throughout Europe and the Americas.
—     In 1900 Léger went to work in Paris, first as an architectural draftsman and later as a retoucher of photographs. In 1903 he began to study painting and in 1907 he was impressed by a Cézanne retrospective. In 1908 he rented a studio near Montparnasse where he became involved with avantgarde movements. Eventually he became acquainted with painters Robert Delaunay, Marc Chagall, and Chaim Soutine; sculptors Jacques Lipchitz, Henri Laurens, Alexandre Archipenko; poets Guillaume Apollinaire, Max Jacob, Blaine Cendrars, Pierre Reverdy.
     Léger had been painting a blend of Impressionism and Fauvism. Now, influenced by Cubism, in 1909 he painted La Couseuse, with colors reduced to a combination of blue gray and buff and the human body tranformed into slabs and cylinders resembling a robot. In Nude Figures in a Wood, the figures are broken into large geometrical fragments.
    By 1913 he had evolved to a “tubist” style, multiplying contrasts, of colors, of lines, and of solids, in his series Contrasts of Forms.
    Léger fought in WW I and was gassed at Verdun. In 1917, released from the army, he painted Soldiers Playing at Cards. By 1919, in his mechanical period, he pictured motors, gears, furnaces, railway crossings, factory interiors. In the mid-1920s, he was influenced by the “Purism” of painter Amédée Ozenfant and architect~painter Le Corbusier. Then his art became more figurative, and, beginning in the 1940s, he tended to separate abstract bands of color from his drawing.
     Léger produced other artforms too: ballet and movie sets, a non-narrative movie Le Ballet Mécanique, mosaics, stained glass windows. In 1945 he became a Communist, but did not follow “Social Realism”, the Party line for painting. Léger's last major paintings were Les Constructeurs and La Grande Parade.

— Léger has long been acknowledged as one of the major artists of his time. His art, however, has been subject to more misunderstanding than that of any of his peers in the founding generation of twentieth-century modernism. At first, Léger was a French Cubist whose forms are polished and cylindrical like steel, clangorous in red and black like new fire engines. But he did not remain a painter of circumscribed technique whose modernity rests on his preoccupation with the machine. Léger was a painter who addressed the central aesthetic issues of his time with a unique directness and consistency.
     The 20th century has witnessed no more heated artistic debates than the partisan battles over representation versus abstraction and the related problematics of flatness and depth. Léger left the polemics to others and created a vivid, powerful art that simultaneously reconciles and exploits the contrasting qualities of the abstract and the illusionistic. No other major painter of his time welcomed elements from such a wide range of his era's artistic movements into his work: Fauvism, Cubism, Futurism, Purism, Neo-Plasticism, Surrealism, Neo-Classicism, Social Realism — Léger used the sometimes arcane language of pictorial modernism to express the vernacular experience of twentieth-century modernity. He was a heavyweight champion who could box like a nimble bantam.

— S'il ne fut ni le premier ni le dernier des peintres de la modernité, Fernand Léger demeure l'un des plus grands poètes des temps modernes, dont il est l'enchanteur. Sous des aspects frustes qu'il accentuait volontiers, le fils de l'éleveur de bétail de Basse-Normandie dissimulait une sensibilité terrienne et la sagesse de l'homme du commun, qui n'est pas dépourvu de finesse ni d'une certaine maladresse. Aussi gardait-il le mauvais souvenir de ses mains blessées lors des gravures sur bois pour les Lunes en papier d'André Malraux, que Daniel-Henry Kanhweiler a édité en 1921.
      Au contraire de l'angélisme du Douanier qu'il admirait, Léger possédait d'origine la rude franchise populaire de celui qui, par ténacité et par expérience, parvenait à maîtriser les connaissances dont il avait besoin, pour dépasser les normes de la figuration et de l'abstraction dans l'art de l'avant-garde, afin d'élaborer, à partir du corporel, du mécanique et de l'objet, un paradis des villes et de leur périphérie, du travail et des loisirs, où le monde industriel devient une nouvelle nature créée par l'homme, plus présente que l'arbre ou la fleur, l'oiseau ou le nuage dans le ciel. Une puissance d'anticipation du réel qui relève de l'imaginaire de peindre et qui porte Léger à concevoir un véritable système de formes et de signes, dont le sens plastique fonctionne tel un rituel de célébration du mythe libérateur de l'humanité.
      Au travers de Cézanne, au début des années dix, Léger aborde le cubisme, qu'il modifie par l'imbrication brisée de corps et de troncs tubulaires (Nus dans la forêt), par l'enchevêtrement de motifs fragmentés et parfois empruntés à Chagall (la Noce — Femme en bleu), où déjà la composition plan par plan apparaît, neutralisant toute perspective. Entre 1912-1914, à même la toile brute, les formes et les couleurs éclatent, par traces vives, rouges, bleues, jaunes, vertes, entrecoupées de traits noirs, de rehauts blancs, qui bousculent la figuration et multiplient leurs rythmes syncopés. Ce sont les 'Contrastes de formes', dont le concept se transformera après l'effroyable épreuve de la guerre (la Partie de cartes, 1917) et évoluera encore au cours de l'oeuvre de Léger.
      Pareillement, les rythmes se maintiendront dans l'agencement chromatique des structures urbaines et mécaniques, dont le principe polyphonique se fonde, dès 1918 et 1919, dans les Disques et la Ville avec l'intrusion des premières lettres au pochoir issues des enseignes et des affiches publicitaires, tandis que Léger file la métaphore de l'amitié avec Blaise Cendrars, les Delaunay, Le Corbusier, Abel Gance ou Darius Milhaud... Toutefois, dans les années vingt, les figures vont prendre plus de consistance, notamment par la modulation de leurs contours, du Mécanicien à l'admirable Grand Déjeuner de 1921, où l'ample corporalité féminine s'accomplit par l'insertion contrastée dans la géométrisation du mobilier et du décor, que l'on retrouve en 1924 dans la Lecture. Par ses registres différenciés, cet outillage géométrique compose l'ordre d'une machinerie, qui joue aussi bien avec l'élément mécanique ou corporel, l'environnement, l'objet ou le mobilier. Ainsi le Balustre de 1925 recadre sa structure dans la géométrie de son décor, tandis que cet ordre compositionnel peut tout autant virer vers l'icône ou la grande imagerie populaire, tel en 1927 ce Nu sur fond rouge ou cette Femme tenant un vase, semblables à deux figures en majesté dans l'or de Byzance ou la pierre romane. Puis viendront en 1939 Adam et Eve et Composition aux deux perroquets qui complexifient magistralement le principe de muralité.
      Durant la guerre et l'exil américain — après deux séjours précédents à New York — Léger affranchit la couleur de la forme qui, en se dissociant plus souvent, gagnent en souplesse et en éclat, par exemple dans la danse en tout sens des Acrobates. Après son retour en France et son adhésion au PCF, il déploiera, pour s'opposer au réalisme 'socialiste', une figuration métaphorique d'une liberté fabuleuse, comme cet Hommage à David de 1948-1949 ou cette Partie de campagne de 1952-1953. La grandeur du mode allégorique, qui concentre la somme et l'épure de la recherche plastique et emblématique du peintre, triomphe dans la puissance monumentale des deux états définitifs des deux suites des Constructeurs de 1950 et de la Grande Parade de 1954, qui préfigurent la fable d'un nouveau monde. Nulle tragédie dans la peinture de Fernand Léger: c'est un hymne à la joie de l'homme en gloire sur la terre, le mythe fraternel du bonheur et de la paix.
— Léger's students included Sam Francis, Tarsila do Amaral, Arie Aroch, Olle Bertil Georg Bærtling, Nurullah Berk, Francisco Brennand, Lygia Clark, Franciska Clausen, Horia Damian, Lars Englund, Samuel Lewis Francis, Günter Fruhtrunk, Ricardo Grau, Alberto Greco, Oskar Hansen, Florence Henri, Asger Jorn, Kigai Kawaguchi, William Klein, Beverly Pepper, Tadeusz Piotr Potworowski, Carl Fredrik Reuterswärd, George Warren Rickey, Thorvaldur Skúlason, Jeffrey Smart, Richard Stankiewicz, Shinkichi Tajiri, Tarsila, Nína Tryggvadóttir, Luigi Veronesi, Marek Wlodarski.

LINKS
Le Petit Déjeuner (1921, 69x93cm; 830x1199pix, 112kb _ ZOOM to 1384x1999pix, 297kb) _ About 1920, Léger turned away from the dynamic mechanical cubism of his earlier paintings to a more ordered, figural style. Looking to art traditions of the past, he gave such time-honored themes as the Three Graces and scenes of odalisques a modern interpretation. In Le Petit Déjeuner three female nudes are seated by a small table in a domestic interior complete with a dog. Monumental and impersonal, the figures interlock in an anatomical puzzle of interchangeable parts. The emphasis is on pictorial effect and compositional innovation, with strong conflicting perspectives in careful balance. Le Petit Déjeuner is one of two oil studies for the famous Le Grand Déjeuner.
Composition with Two Men with Pipes (1920, 31x25cm; 883x799pix, 44kb _ ZOOM to 1600x1199pix, 116kb) _ In his art Léger focusses on the mechanization of the world in the wake of the First World War. He juxtaposes the human body with the forms and shapes of modern, industrial imagery, creating compositions that thrive on the cold and calculating precision of pure geometry and Cubist abstraction. In this preparatory sketch for a painting entitled Man with a Pipe from 1920, Léger fashions men out of machine parts and turns a café into a tight composition of circles and lines. Details such as the stairs and railing at the right, the table and bench at the lower left, and the puffs of smoke from the man's pipe, are subordinated to the overall sense of dynamic movement and a fragmented, dehumanized world.
Table et Fruits (1909, 84x99cm; 853x1000pix, 144kb — ZOOM to 1706x2000pix, 621kb)
La grande Parade (1952 mosaic, 276x334cm; 800x928pix, 105kb — ZOOM to 1440x1671pix, 321kb)
L'équilibriste (835x819pix, 121kb)
L'étoile de cirque (773x980pix, 23kb gif)
Sketch for The Railway Crossing (1919)
Divers on a Yellow Background (1941)
Two Women Holding Flowers (1954)
Femme Avec un Vase
Composition pour un Vitrail
Etoile de mer
Femmes au Perroquet (1952 sculpture: polychrome ceramic relief 400x400cm; 480x476pix, 104kb)
L'ouvrier Constructeur (1950, 64x50cm)
Les Loisirs sur Fond Rouge (tapestry 342x445cm)
Le Tournesol (1953 lithograph 40x33cm)
— a different Le Tournesol (polychrome ceramic)
Murale #2 (27x61cm)
Personnages et Plantes (1938, 74x90cm)
Les Amoureux dans la Ville (1955, 42x32cm; 480x368pix, 20kb)
Paul Éluard (1952, 68x50cm)
L'Homme au Chandail (1924, 65x92cm)
La Pompe à Essence (1959, 16x24cm)
Le Port de Trouville (1951, 127x165cm)
 
^ Born on 17 August 1720: Charles-Dominique-Joseph Eisen, French painter, draftsman, and illustrator, who died on 04 January 1778, son of genre painter François Eisen [1695-1778], and father of artists Christophe-Charles Eisen [1744–] and Jacques-Philippe Eisen [1747–].
— Charles Eisen went to Paris about 1740 to work in the studio of the engraver Jacques-Philippe Lebas. Eisen himself engraved little, and probably produced the drawings from which Lebas or studio assistants would engrave. In 1745 Eisen was asked to illustrate a volume celebrating the betrothal of the Dauphin Louis to Maria Theresa of Spain. This was his first significant commission and was probably passed to him by Lebas. Two years later he established his reputation and independence by providing 43 drawings for an edition of the works of Nicolas Boileau. In 1748, however, the Académie de Saint Luc seized Eisen’s studio effects because he was refusing to pay the joining fee, arguing that, as an artist of exceptional talent, he should be admitted for a lesser amount. Two years later he sued successfully and was admitted without fee; his morceau de réception was a painting of Daedalus and Icarus
— Charles Eisen is best known as an illustrator of vignettes, which are small, ornamental images with no defined borders that are most often used in books (also on snuff boxes). His charm and grace, as well as his sense of humor and wit, brought him to the attention of Madame de Pompadour, mistress of Louis XV. Through Madame de Pompadour's considerable influence with the King, Eisen became a court painter and also a professor at the Acadèmie de Saint-Luc. Perhaps most importantly, he gave private instruction in drawing to Madame Pompadour herself. Eisen's popularity at the court insured that he would enjoy patronage among the aristocracy. His sure sense of line and use of brilliant color, in combination with his sense of humor and understanding of extravagant courtly tastes, resulted in paintings such as Le chien dansant.

LINKS
–- Le Chien Dansant(675x568pix, 28kb)_ A young boy and girl, both fashionably dressed and coiffed, play with a tiny pet that they have dressed up in doll clothes for their own amusement. Though this is clearly a delightful and playful picture, it is also possible that Eisen is secretly making light of the aristocratic tastes which supported him. _ Compare
    _ Children Teaching a Cat to Dance (1668) by Jan Steen [1626 – 03 Feb 1679] and
    _ Chien Dansant by François Boucher.
–- Courting the Shepherdess (1760 hand colored engraving by René Gaillard, 51x41cm, 703x600pix, 50kb)
–- S#*> Putti Playing With a Goat (72x100cm; 575x799pix, 84kb)
–- F*#> Allegorical Composition (drawing 21x31cm)
Culs-de-lampe et figures d'après celles de Charles Eisen pour les Contes de La Fontaine [1621-1695].
 

^ Died on 17 August 1831: Peter Patrick Nasmyth, Scottish landscape painter, born on 07 January 1787.
—      He was the son and student of landscape painter Alexander Nasmyth [09 Sep 1758 – 10 Apr 1840], who had pioneered a specifically Scottish imagery in tune with resurgent Scots nationalism. But his son Patrick lived and worked in England and pursued a more formulaic route. Patrick’s often generalized landscapes were modeled on the seventeenth-century Dutch art favored by collectors. They proved very popular. Patrick’s brother, James, summed up the stock features of such pictures: ‘decayed pollard trees, old moss-grown orchards, combined with cottages and farmhouses in the most paintable state of decay, with tangled hedges and neglected fences overrun with vegetation.’ .
— He was trained by his father and settled in London in 1810. He lost the use of his right hand as a result of an accident on a sketching trip, changed to painting with his left hand with no great difficulty and overcame youthful deafness. He lived the rather erratic life of a bachelor artist, frequenting chiefly other Scottish artists including David Roberts, Clarkson Stanfield, and David Wilkie. Extracts of his conversations with other artists in John Burnet’s Progress of a Painter (1854) give considerable insight into his artistic attitudes. He was always careless in financial dealings and never profited by his art. He generally painted small domestic scenes in a style comparable with that of his father, although his brushstrokes were more minute, and he used more oil on his brush. He paid great attention to details of brickwork and foreground plants. Heathland near Godstone is a fine example of his paintings. A small-scale work by Patrick is the New Forest (1815).
— The young Patrick Nasmyth early played truant from school to stroll and sketch in the fields. What education he consented to receive was had in his father's studio. From an accident received in boyhood to his right hand, he painted with his left hand. Another youthful misfortune was an illness which resulted in deafness. Thus disabled and thrown in upon himself, with a tendency to take refuge from his isolation in excess and low company, Nasmyth came to London when he was in his twentieth year, and immediately attracted notice by his works. The first which he exhibited at the Royal Academy was a romantic Scotch subject, Loch Katrine, but it was by English subjects of the homeliest and most familiar rustic life that he won his name as a painter. These lanes and hedgerows, bits of commons, and village streets, with the dwarf oak in its 'contorted limbs and scrubby foliage, in preference to other trees,' were the subjects which he painted with felicitous Dutch relish, as well as accuracy, which procured for him the somewhat cockney sobriquet of the “English Hobbema.” Not unlike Morland in his tastes, Nasmyth was not unlike the English painter in a corrupted nature and miserable fate. He was reduced to paint merely to supply his necessities, painting to the last attack of influenza, of which he died in the middle of a thunderstorm, that he was raised up in bed at his own request to watch.

LINKS
–- A Landscape With A Cottage Near Dorking (1828, 52x74cm; 739x1000pix, 142kb _ .ZOOM to 1108x1500pix, 145kb)
View of Addington, Surrey, with the Shirley Mills Beyond (69x89cm)
–- S#*> Wooded Landscape with a Hunter (1816, 32x44cm; 643x900pix, 145kb)
–- S#*> Boy Beside a Loch (1823, 26x35cm; 638x900pix, 140kb)
–- S#*> Mother and Children (1825, 36x51cm; 782x1085pix, 170kb) disfigured by vertical scratches all over, badly in need of restauration (unless you choose to look upon the scratches as a curtain of rain between the viewer and the mother and children, who clearly are not under rain).
–- S#*> Tending to the Cattle (1825, 36x51cm; 778x1075pix, 167kb)
Landscape (1807, 30x39cm)
Falls of the Tummell (1816, 16x20cm)
Landscape with a Farm House (1820, 16x25cm)
Landscape with a Ruin (15x22cm)
Cottage and Barn (13x21cm)
View in Sussex (34x44cm)
A Landscape (‘The Angler's Nook’) (1825, 30x41cm) _ This picture, with its richly described rocks, water and foliage, dilapidated rural buildings and peaceful angler, fits into the aesthetic formula of the Picturesque. This ideal of textural variety and compositional order governed much landscape painting after the mid-eighteenth century. By the time this picture was painted the formula was beginning to look old-fashioned, compared to the innovations of artists such as Constable and Crome.
 

^ Born on 17 August 1839: Matthijs “Thijs” Maris, Dutch artist specialized in Landscapes, who died on 22 August 1917, brother of landscape painters Jacob Henricus Maris [25 August 1837 – 07 Aug 1899] and Willem Maris [18 February 1844 – 10 October 1910].
— In 1851 Matthis Maris was apprenticed for one year to Isaac Elink Sterk [1808–1871]; from 1852 to 1855 he attended classes at the Academie in The Hague, and in 1854 he joined the studio of Louis Meijer, where his brother Jacob was also working. It was due to Meijer that in 1855 he was granted a monthly allowance by Queen Sophie to continue his training in Antwerp, where he moved in with Jacob. Through his studies at the Academie, Matthijs met the German painter Georg Laves, who introduced him to the work of the 19th-century German Romantic painters, in particular Ludwig Richter.

LINKS
–- S#*> Tine Lefèvre (1872, 24x37cm; 500x400pix, 35kb _ /S#*>ZOOM to 1351x1080pix, 173kb) almost monochrome _ Matthijs Maris painted this while he was living in Paris. He went there together with his brother Jacob in 1869. Two years later, after the turmoil of the Franco-Prussian War, Jacob returned to Holland. Matthijs stayed in Paris, solitary, without any money, but creating his best pictures, such as Girl with the butterflies and this one. The Jewish girl Tine Lefèvre lived next door to Matthijs in Montmartre. She also modeled for Girl with the butterflies (1874) and The Spinner (1873). The present portrait was clearly painted with Leonardo's Mona Lisa in mind, a picture Maris greatly admired. Maris probably painted the portrait from life. Distrusting superficiality ? seeing even the natural beauty of the girl as a concession to commerce - Maris attempted to 'take the characterization beyond pure representation'. This was the first step towards his life-long goal to create a purely intellectual art, not taking his models from nature, but “inventing them”, as Maris once wrote to the Dutch art critic Albert Plasschaert (letter 15 May 1905). The purely meditative aspect that characterizes so much of his later conceptions is already present in this subtle portrait, with its wonderful, dreamy sfumato effects, which render a mysterious sensuality to the picture. Maris painted two versions of the portrait, the other one in 1873.
The Return of the Prodigal Son (1859, 45x62cm) almost monochrome. _ This painting is based on a play which Matthijs Maris saw at the Flemish Theater in Antwerp, where he stayed (together with his brother Jacob) from 1855 to 1858. Maris started to work on the painting in Antwerp and finished it three years later in The Hague. It was his intention to donate it to queen Sophie as a token of appreciation for the financial support he got from her.
–- S#*> A Woman in Regional Costume (159x96cm; 961x562pix, 173kb)
Young Girl Sewing (black chalk)
Nest of dogs (29x42cm, co~signed with Sir Laurens Alma~Tadema, who lived in the same house in Antwerp with the Maris brothers Matthijs and Jacob.)
The Baptistry, Lausanne (washed sepia, 18x11 cm)
Men Unloading Carts, Montmartre (1870) _ During his years in Paris (1869-1877) Maris painted a number of views of the Montmartre Quarry, one of them in 1872. After his brother Jacob returned to The Hague in 1871, the painter moved to new lodgings in Montmartre.
Four Dancers (1879; one on each of a screen's four panels, each 154x66 cm; in one image 821x1525pix, 288kb) Almost monochrome, badly in need of restauration. This screen is the only piece of furniture that Matthijs Maris ever decorated.
 

^ >Born on 17 August 1923: Yitzroch Loiza Grossberg “Larry Rivers”, US proto-Pop painter, printmaker, and sculptor; jazz saxophonist, writer, poet, teacher, sometime actor and filmmaker, who died on 14 August 2002. His partly self-mocking bad boy persona encapsulated the spirit of a restless era that shook up US art. Hans Hofmann was one of his teachers. Author of autobiography What Did I Do?
— He was a jazz saxophonist before he was encouraged to take up painting by two artist friends, Jan Freilicher [1924~] and Nell Blaine [1922~], who shared his enthusiasm for jazz. After brief service in the US Army Air Corps during World War II (1942–1943), he studied with Hans Hofmann from 1947 to 1948 in New York and Provincetown MA.
      He painted for a short period under the influence of the Abstract Expressionists but, after seeing Pierre Bonnard’s retrospective exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art in 1948, he began to apply his facility for drawing to figurative subjects extracted from the intimate circumstances of his family life and everyday surroundings. The first such pictures, for example Interior, Woman at a Table (1948), were stylistically very close to Bonnard’s work, but in such works as Double Portrait of Berdie (1955) a startlingly frank, life-size nude study of his mother-in-law, he created a personal idiom that transcended the influence both of Bonnard and of Willem de Kooning, whom he had met in 1948.
— He was born in 1923 in the Bronx, New York, as Yitzroch Loiza “Larry” Grossberg. In 1940 he began a musical career as a jazz saxophonist and changed his name to Larry Rivers. In 1943 he was declared medically unfit for military service. Until 1945 he worked as a saxophonist in various jazz bands in the New York area. In 1944-1945 he studied theory of music and composition at the Juilliard School of Music, New York. His first encounter with fine art was through a musical motif based on a painting by Georges Braque. He began painting in 1945. In 1947-1948 he studied at the Hans Hofmann School. In 1948 he studied under William Baziotes at New York University and met Willem de Kooning. In 1949 he had his first one-man exhibition at the Jane Street Gallery, New York. In 1951 he graduated in art from New York University and met Jackson Pollock. His works were subsequently shown by John Myers until 1963.
      In 1952 he designed the stage set for Frank O'Hara's play Try! Try!. In 1953 he completed Washington Crossing the Delaware. In 1954 he had his first exhibition of sculptures at the Stable Gallery, New York. In 1956 he began a series of large-format paintings and was included with ten other US artists in the IV. Bienal Do Museu de Arte Moderna de São Paulo, Brazil. In 1958 he spent a month in Paris and played in various jazz bands. He also collaborated with the poet Kenneth Koch on the collection of picture-poems New York 1959-1960. In 1961 he married Clarice Price, an art and music teacher of Welsh extraction. In 1965 he had his first comprehensive retrospective in five important US museums. His final work for the exhibition was The History of the Russian Revolution.
      Until 1967 he was in London collaborating with Howard Kanovitz. In 1967 he became separated from his wife Clarice. He traveled in Central Africa and made the TV-documentary Africa and I with Pierre Gaisseau. In 1969 he began to use spray cans, in 1970 the air brush, and later, video tapes. In 1972 he taught at the University of California in Santa Barbara. In 1973 he had exhibitions in Brussels and New York. In 1974 he finished his Japan series. He was represented at the documenta "6", Kassel, in 1977. In 1978 he began his Golden Oldies Series, revising his own works of the fifties and sixties. In 1980-1981 he was given his first European retrospective at Hanover, Munich and Berlin.

LINKS
–- Untitled (1180x1322pix, 77kb) five rough areas each in various hues of one color: one off-white, one brown, one grayish blue with some green, two red.
–- S#*> Welding Wall (x800pix, 97kb) many small nondescript designs, on an off-white background.
–- S#*> Pots and Pans (800x780pix, 75kb) a very rough mostly monochrome brownish-gray sketch of a kitchen wall with four pans hanging above two shelves loaded with some objects, and a stove at the bottom.
–- S#*> Berdie With Red Face (799x737pix, 58kb) _ The ones with the red face ought to have been Rivers and his dupes for passing off as art those few scribbles on a hastily painted mostly greenish background with an area of off-white and a smaller one of dull red only remotely suggestive of a human figure. _ The pseudonymous Larron Desfleuves has remedied this deplorable fact by taking this non-art of Rivers, added some details from several other Rivers paintings, transformed the whole combination and added a non-Rivers realistic detail, to end up with the spectacular and truthfully titled:
      _ Birdie With Red Face Perched Before the Abstract Picture It Inspired aka Bird Ribbing aka Bird Drib (2006; screen filling, 177kb _ ZOOM to 1864x2636pix, 1400kb). But Desfleuves went much further with the version:
      _ Birdie With Red Face Looking at the Picture of a Birdie With Red Face Looking at the Picture of a Birdie With Red Face Looking at the Picture of a Birdie With Red Face Looking at the Picture of a Birdie With Red Face Looking at the Picture of a Birdie With Red Face Looking at the Picture of a Birdie With Red Face Looking at the Picture of a Birdie With Red Face Looking at the Picture ... ... of a Birdie With Red Face Perched Before the Abstract Picture It Inspired aka Bird Rip (2006; screen filling, 194kb _ ZOOM to 1864x2636pix, 1544kb). Some may prefer the computer background which Desfleuves has provided for these pictures, and you can see it alone unobstructed by the above images:
      _ Birdies With Red Faces in Multiple Pairs Looking at Each Other aka Bird Background (2006; screen filling, 11kb _ ZOOM to 9510x9785pix, 168kb).
–- S#*> Dutchmasters II (1963, 107x127cm; 676x800pix, 131kb) looks unfinished _ At the mid-century, the New York school of Abstract Expressionism was a revolutionary movement that signaled a new direction and brought America to the forefront of the art world for the first time. The American artists of the 1950s became a classic paradigm of a younger generation breaking from the precedents of the acknowledged masters of the preceding generation. With amazing speed, the next generation of American artists, beginning in the late 1950s and firmly established in the 1960s, instigated their own revolution in Twentieth Century art with the Pop art movement. The visual vocabulary of consumer objects, media images and everyday culture of the Pop art lexicon replaced the self-referential content of Abstract Expressionism which sought to reveal the state of Modern Man through the state of the artist's own psyche. The emphasis of painterly gesture in the work of Pollock, Kline and de Kooning was replaced by the cool, detached graphic style of Warhol and Lichtenstein.
      Larry Rivers was a bridge between both generations, incorporating within his individual style both the gestural application of Abstract Expressionism and the subject matter of the new Pop culture. Rivers' first career was music, and from 1940 to 1945, he played saxophone in various jazz bands and studied music theory and composition. In 1945, Rivers met the artists Jane Freilicher and Nell Blaine, and began studying with Hans Hofmann at their instigation, while still supporting himself as a musician. The late 1940s were a time of great creative ferment for Rivers, who explored his talent for poetry with as much vigor as his innate gifts as a painter. Throughout his various means of creative self-expression, the constant for Rivers appears to have been his independence and his will not to be confined to one form of creative means or one school of painterly invention. From Action Painting, Rivers inherited one of the essential insights of postwar US painting and sculpture. The point of Action Painting was not to produce a new kind of abstract art; it was to redefine art as the activity (intellectual, psychic, physical) of the artist. Just as in jazz, all notes and all rhythms were available to the artist to express himself in the moment.
      As a graphic artist, Rivers had a natural and innate sense of gesture and line which is evident in the late 1950s both in his authoritative portrait sketches and in the sheer pleasure of his painterly stroke. Yet any kinship with the gestural style of the Abstract Expressionists is balanced against his refusal to abandon the figurative and narrative genres. Whether painting members of his family or borrowing imagery from previous paintings or advertisements, Rivers' work is rooted in the world around us. As for his identification as a Pop artist, Rivers did indeed choose to borrow recognizable images such as paper money, cigarette packs, and playing cards, but his execution of the images is wholly his own. Not for Rivers, the cool detached and mechanical style of advertising or newspaper graphics or silk-screened images; he preferred the tactile pleasures of paint. He also did not adopt the detached posture of Pop artists toward their chosen imagery. Rivers' work often comments on his subject matter with an ironic or mocking stance.
      Rivers often recycled art historical imagery or paintings from the more distant past, and this genre within his oeuvre resulted in some of his greatest paintings. Whether depicting Washington crossing the Delaware, Cézanne's card players, or the great portrait of Napoleon, Rivers gleefully deconstructed the seriousness of the most sacrosanct classic art. In some cases, the imagery was chosen for pointed political references, such as his paintings based on a photo of the funeral for the last surviving Civil War veteran. But in cases, such as his use of Rembrandt's paintings, Rivers intended a purely artistic irony.
      In an art historical context, one would at first assume that Dutchmasters II was based on the Old Master's famous Syndics of the Draper's Guild (1662; 751x1109pix, 131kb). Yet the most immediate source for River's painting is the more contemporary use of Rembrandt's image in the commercial sale of cigars. In the Pop art tradition, the Dutch Masters cigar brand is common to the culture of the early 1960s, disseminated through print and televised advertisements. In fact, Rivers had spotted a billboard advertising Dutch Masters cigars (ZOOM) along the Long Island Expressway and “suddenly realized it was sort of perfect. It's weird, isn't it? You're looking at Rembrandt - in neon! Advertising cigars. It was too much, it was irresistible!”
–- S#*> Evolution of a Flower (725x800pix, 101kb)
–- S#*> King of Clubs (800x639pix, 140kb)
Parts of the Face: French Vocabulary Lesson (1961, 75x75cm; 512x506pix, 37kb) _ Rivers's early work was influenced by Abstract Expressionist painting, in particular its emphasis on free brushwork and spontaneous effects of surface. While retaining this expressive, painterly style, during the 1950s he began to paint portraits of his family and friends. This painting is of the artist's wife Clarice. It was done while they were living in Paris and attending French lessons. It was inspired by a drawing used in one of the lessons to teach vocabulary for parts of the face. The drip marks and broad brushstrokes make an explicit reference to Abstract Expressionist painting. But in contrast, here this emotive style is deliberately linked with a mundane subject.
The Athlete's Dream (360x528pix, 74kb)
French Money (496x528pix, 105kb)
Underground with Two Frasers (1966, 90x77cm)
Some (Visual) Afterthoughts on the Boston Massacre (1970)
Confederate Soldier (1970, 73x50cm)
On the Phone (1995, 118x125cm; 387x418pix, 83kb)
—(080816)


Died on a 17 August:


^ 1947 Prince Eugen Napoleon Nikolaus, Swedish artist born on 01 August 1865. Svensk-norsk arffurste, hertig af Närike, artist. Den fjärde i ordningen af Oscar II:s söner. Född på Drottningholms slott d. 01 aug. 1865. Prins E. aflade studentexamen 1884, tillbragte vårterminen samma år vid Kristiania universitet och tog s. å. officersexamen.
     Prins E., som redan tidigt börjat måla, företog 1885 en resa till Italien, Egypten och Syrien och återvände hem öfver Konstantinopel. I den af prinsarna Oscar, Carl och E. utgifna boken Våra minnen 1886, påträffades bl. a. afbildningar af tre akvareller af prins E. med motiv från Palestina. Prins E. studerade 1885--86 i Uppsala och målade då för W. von Gegerfelt, hvarpå han begaf sig till Paris och studerade å Bonnats ateljé, där Puvis de Chavannes och Roll voro bland lärarna. Han öfvergick sedan, då Bonnats ateljé upphörde, till Gervex’ ateljé, där äfven Roll och Humbert undervisade och öfvade sig somrarna 1887 och 1888 i sin konst för Hugo Salmson i Dalby i Skåne och somrarna 1889 och 1890 i Norge. Prins E., hvilken för första gången offentligen utställde å världsutställningen i Paris 1889, erhöll där mention honorable. Han återvände 1889 från Paris, och har sedan dess haft egen ateljé i Stocklmolm. Jiimte målarna 0. Björck, B. Liljefors och Alf. Wallander utställde prins E. 1891 i Stockholm, och märktes bland hans arbeten Månsken i Valders, 1890. Till åtskilliga af sina målningar har han hämtat ämnen från Stockholms omgifningar, i det att han flera somrar bott å Tyresö och idkat ett flitigt naturstudium. Bland hans arbeten märkas Insjön, 1891, i Nationalgalleriet i Kristiania, Skogen, 1892, i Fürstenbergska galleriet i Göteborg, Det gamla slottet och En sista solglimt, 1893, Sommarnatt och Molnet, 1894-1895, de dekorativa väggmålningarna för k. foyern å nya operan i Stockholm 1898 o. Norra Latinläroverket 1899. I Nationalmuseum är prins E. representerad med sin Sommarnatt. Prins E. valdes 1889 till förste hedersledamot af Akademien för de fria konsterna och var vid 1891 års konstutställning i Göteborg hederspresident. Vid 1897 års Stockholmsutställning var han ordf. i konstafdelningen och åstadkom genom en särskildt i detta syfte företagen utländsk resa anslutning från berömda konstnärer i London, Paris och Berlin till Stockholmsutställningen. Vid världsutställningem» i Paris 1900 exponerade prins E. i det s. k. kungsrummet i svenska villan en större tafla med motiv från Stockholms ström samt i konstafdelningen Sommarnatt, Molnet och Det gamla slottet. Hos prins E. är det den individuella känslan för naturen som i målningen söker sig ett individuellt uttryck. Målet är att med största intensitet, med ett kärleksfullt fördjupande i motivet fixera det omedelbara intrycket af en stämning eller ock att i enkla drag, men med djup känsla återgifva motivets karaktär. Prins E. är numera en af både den in- och utländska kritiken och konstnärsvärlden fullt erkänd konstnär af en i hög grad själfständig begåfning. — En samling af prins Eugens taflor utgåfvos 1905 under titeln Svenska landskap, med en inledande essay af O. Levertin: »Stockholmsnaturen i svensk dikt».
–- Offshore View of Stockholm

1916 Umberto Boccioni, Italian painter born (full coverage) on 19 October 1882. —(080816)

1903 Hans Fredrik Gude, Norwegian painter born (full coverage) on 13 March 1825. —(080816)

1899 William Simpson, British artist born on 28 October 1823. — Relative? of John Simpson [1782-1847]?

^ 1815 Johann-Daniel Bager, German painter born in 1734.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe [28 Aug 1749 – 22 Mar 1832] (1773; 1457x1317pix, 278kb)

^ 1769 Giuseppe Bazzani, Mantuan artist born in 1690. He was trained under Giovanni Canti, an unimportant artist from Parma. Bazzani absorbed the painterly styles of earlier artists such as Paolo Veronese, Pieter Paul Rubens, and Anthony van Dyck. Bazzani's rapid, sketchy brushstroke may have derived not only from these artists but also from his Italian contemporary, Alessandro Magnasco. Bazzani remained in Mantua throughout his entire artistic career and died there.
The Tribute Money (1742; 680x485pix, 17kb)
The Incredulity of Saint Thomas (1735, 128x92cm; 600x425pix, 26kb)
The Departure of the Prodigal Son (1750, 98x126cm; 448x580pix, 27kb)

1767 (1769?) Gaspare Diziani, Italian painter born in 1689. Diziani began his artistic training in his native Belluno under the tutelage of Antonio Lazzarini. He later moved to Venice where he was employed in the studio of Gregorio Lazzarini and later Sebastiano Ricci. It is this latter artist who had a profound influence on Diziani's style. While in Venice Diziani produced historical, mythological and Biblical scenes. He also worked as a scenery painter in many Venetian theaters. This employment, in fact, earned him commissions from Munich and Dresden where his works were well received. Diziani's inclination to paint narrative scenes can be seen, for example, in his treatment of Christ's Entry into Jerusalem and of The Finding of Moses. — LINKS
Christ Before Pilate (1760; 600x379pix, 109kb)
–- S#*> The Finding of Moses (122x152cm; 403x500pix, 45kb _ /S#*>ZOOM to 1272x1578pix, 243kb)
–- S#*> The Adoration by the Shepherds (1755, 116x131cm; 900x1020pix, 246kb)
–- S#*> I Famigliari di Dario Dinnanzi ad Alessandro Magno (135x109cm; 900x726pix,129kb)
–- S#*> Il Maresciallo Conte Johann Matthias von der Schulemburg [1661-1747] (150x115cm) painted in partnership with Bartolomeo Nazari [10 May 1699 – 24 Aug 1798].
–- S#*> Christ at the Pool of Bethesda — The Massacre of the Innocents two paintings (each 180x123cm) in one image; painted in partnership with Antonio Joli, who painted the architecture, while Diziani painted the persons.


Born on a 17 August:


^ 1839 Charles Hermans, Belgian painter who died in 1924. He was a student of François Navez and Louis Gallait at the École des Beaux Arts in Brussels. Living in Rome from 1862 to 1867, Hermans exhibited his work in Brussels and then in several Salons. Specializing in genre scenes from the lives of the Roman clergy, he later turned to the depiction of elegant people at leisure.
At Dawn (151x171cm)
Spanish Beauty (97x75cm) mostly nearly monochrome pinkish light brown.
–- S#*> La Belle Voisine (106x81cm; 800xpix, 75kb) _ Almost monochrome light brown, except for the flowers. _ A lovely woman, beautifully dressed, waters flowers on her balcony under the watchful eye of a smitten neighbor. With his attention to costume's detail, and the fine quality of the materials represented, Hermans' work is stylistically reminiscent of Tissot. —(060816)

^ 1823 Friedrich Wilhelm Keyl, German painter who went to London in 1845, studied under Edwin Landseer [1802-1873], practiced mainly in England, and died on 05 December 1871.
At the Blacksmith's Shop (160kb)

1778 John Varley, English painter who died (full coverage) on 17 November 1842. —(061111)

1778 Johannes Herman Koekkoek, Dutch painter who died on 12 January 1851. — Relative? of Barend Cornelius Koekkoek [1803-1862] and Willem Koekkoek [1839-1895]?).

1623 Christiaan ( Kerstraen) Luyckx (or Lux), Flemish artist who died after 1653.

1578 Francesco Albani, Italian painter (possibly born on 17 March 1578) who died (main coverage) on 04 October 1660. —(080816)


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