ART 4 2-DAY 17 August v.8.70
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.
–- 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.
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.
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.
— 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.
–- 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
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.
–- 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”,
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?