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DEATHS: 1914 LUNDAHL — 1959 KUBIN — 1632 VALENTIN
BIRTH: 1807 DIAZ
^ Died on 20 August 1914: Amélie Helga Lundahl, Finnish artist born on 26 May 1850.
— She attended art school in Stockholm, and in Helsinki, where she also taught until she went to Paris on a scholarship. Along with her friend Maria Wiik [1853-1928] she was one of the first Finnish women to study an l'Académie Julien. Having visited Bretagne in the 1870's she had acquired a keen interest in "plein air". Later she settled there and played an active part in introducing local subjects to her fellow women painters. She had a close relationship with Helene Schjerfbeck [1862-1946]. Lundahl painted a number of peasant themes in Bretagne in the early 1880's. Some of her finest works, including her most significant work, Puutarhatyttö, is from this period. She is a fine representative of the style most women painters acquired at the time; soft, light tones of color in a still atmosphere; soft combinations of rose, green and shades of grey. She combined fragility with strength, and her paintings were usually small in size.

–- Bretagnelainen tyttö (1883; 900x595pix, 42kb)
–- Jeune Bretonne (1882; 695x576pix, 25kb — .ZOOM to 1260x1152pix, 60kb)
Höstfantasi (572x400pix, 49kb)
 
^ Died on 20 August 1959: Alfred Leopold Isidor “Paul” Kubin, Czech Expressionist illustrator born on 10 April 1877. — {He should have been a Kubist like Kubista}— He wrote Die andere Seite. Ein phantastischer Roman (1909) — Von verschiedenen Ebenen (1922) — Dämonen und Nachtgesichte. Eine Autobiographie (1926) — Vom Schreibtisch eines Zeichners (1939) — Aus meiner Werkstatt. Gesammelte Prosa — Aus meinem Leben. Gesammelte Prosa

— Kubin was born in Leitmeritz, a town in North Bohemia. After his service as officer his father Friedrich Franz Kubin was working as surveyor. His mother was the pianist Johanna Jenny. In 1882 his parents moved to Zell am See in Austria. Already when he was a child Kubin hated compulsion. He wanted to lead a free life. He loved fairy tales. At the age of five he started drawing imaginative pictures. His drawings were full of magicians, horrible animals, etc. His mother died when he was ten. Her death finished his childhood. He was sent to Grammar School to Salzburg. There he failed the second form and came back to Zell am See to finish school there. At the age of 14 his father sent him to a school to learn about construction engineering. He failed again and so his father's brother in law who was a photographer in Klagenfurt gave him a job as probationer. In Klagenfurt he spent whole nights out. The sleepless nights affected his health, he felt very wea. He didn't like his life and he wanted to commit suicide. He went to Zell am See and wanted to shoot himself at his mother's grave, but at her grave he collapsed. Then he wanted to join the army voluntarily. After a short time in the army he was sent to hospital, because of a nervous breakdown and he was released of the army. When he was twenty he returned to his father's house and recovered from his illness. Then his father wanted him to attend the drawing-class of professor Gysis at the academy, but he didn't like the strict, academic painting that was taught there. He wanted to express his grotesque ideas. In Munich he got to know Klinger's etchings, which were a form of art that corresponded with his ideas. He started a series of spooky ink drawings. He got to know works of Goya, de Croux, Munch, Ensor, Redon.
— In 1892-1896 he was an apprentice photographer at Klagenfurt, Austria. During a state of depression in 1896-1897, he attempted suicide on the tomb of his mother. In 1897 he attended Schmidt-Rottluff's course at the Academy of Fine Arts. In 1901 he discovered the engravings of Klinger [1857-1920] and, with them, his own vocation. In 1905 he visited Odilon Redon in Paris. In 1906 he acquired Zwickeldt Castle, to which he retired. In 1908, after the death of his father, he wrote and illustrated a novel of the fantastic, Die andere Seite. He illustrated the works of Nerval, Poe, Strindberg and Wilde. He was a friend of Klee [1879-1940] and Franz Marc [1880-1916] and member of the New Association of Young Artists and of Der Blaue Reiter. With his traumatic youth, Kubin plunged deep into the unconscious in order to transcend everyday reality. His delirious graphic production mixes the most diverse influences, which he expanded to express his infinite internal universe.
— Before Edward Gorey there was Kubin. In a time when graphic artists were shunned in favor of avant garde painting, there was Kubin. And wherever the grotesque and the macabre waltz together, there was and always will be Kubin.
      From almost the day his life began, Kubin, born in Bohemia, suffered losses and torments which could break a man and inevitably made the artist. His beloved mother died when he was ten, his stepmother soon thereafter, in her first childbirth. The devastated father translated his grief into violence toward his only son, who was growing up a peculiar and melancholy child, making friends with butchers and gravediggers.
      At nineteen came the first desperate act: old rusty revolver in hand, Kubin attempted suicide over his mother's grave but the gun failed him. A brief army career followed and ended in a prolonged hospital stay due to delirium, which in turn produced a vast array of strange and horrid visions, later morphed into ink, pencil and gouache.
      Finally, in the Spring of 1898, Kubin was sent off by his father to Munich to study art The young Alfred had always had a gift for drawing but lacked almost complete in exposure to art. Late 19th century Europe saw the sentimental and fantastical flourish in Symbolist art and Kubin fell under the spell of one influence in particular: Max Klinger had thrilled an entire generation with a set of drawings entitled Finding of a Glove, a whirl through a world of visions following the finding of a strange lady's glove.
      But it was from that time on that Kubin's imitative schoolwork , under the spell of Symbolist specters, became interspersed with flashes of mad genius, portraying grotesques which have long trudged through his subconscious. The product was his first artistic success — first with an exhibit in Berlin in 1902 and a year later with a series of fifteen small drawings (such as A Dream Comes Every Night) which made him famous.
      At the same time another disaster struck Kubin: his fiancée, who had come to visit him in Munich, died there in a matter of days. Though brought once again to the brink of suicide, the artist soon recovered in the arms of a young widow whom he soon married.
       After 1905, Kubin traveled for the first time throughout Europe, meeting, among others, that most elusive of the French Symbolists, Odilon Redon as well as his doppelganger in the art of subconscious horrors, the yet unknown Franz Kafka [03 Jul 1883 – 03 Jun 1924].
      As with so many misfortunes in his life, the next one was to be a grand turning point in Kubin's life. His father had sought reconciliation after his son became famous and received it, but passed away a few years later in 1907. Soon thereafter Kubin began a novel, Die andere Seite, which finally brought narrative to his graphic work, and perhaps some insight as to their nature as well.
      As if to counter the tragedies of his youth, the last decades of Kubin's long life were spent in relative peace and privacy of his family home. He continued to exhibit with the modernist crowd, such as Kandinsky and Klee, though he never reflected their experimentation with form - revealing the high regard in which he was held and the influence he would exert later on over the Surrealists.
      Though Kubin's style evolved over the many decades of his life and spanned the two world wars, his subject matter remained almost unchanged , grounded firmly in the non-realities of the artist's own mind and in the sentiment toward a disappearing world of representative and symbolic art and of his own Bohemian homeland. Admired by his modernist peers, Kubin himself longed to paint but drawing had chosen him as its medium and he continued.
      Kubin's legacy can perhaps best be seen in his role as a link — between the "original" surreal work of Goya, Bosch and others to the later grotesques of Dali; between the prolific illustrator craftsman and the inspired artist; and between the suffering of a man and the triumph of genius.
^
— Alfred Leopold Isidor Kubin, Zeichner, Ilustrator und Schriftsteller, * am 10.4. 1877 in Leitmeritz, Böhmen, als Sohn des k.k. Hofgeometers und ehemaligen Jägeroffiziers Friedrich Franz Kubin und seiner Ehefrau Johanna (Jenny), geb. Kletzl, einer Pianistin, + am 20.8. 1959 in Zwickledt bei Schärding am Inn, Oberösterreich.
      - Kubin wuchs in Salzburg und Zell am See auf. Kindheit und Jugend sind geprägt durch die ländliche Umgebung von Zell am See, aber auch durch so bedrückende Erlebnisse wie eine nächtliche Rauferei mit tödlichem Ausgang, die Kubin als 3-jähriger gesehen zu haben meinte, den vorzeitigen Tod der über alles geliebten Mutter, der Kubin im Alter von 10 Jahren trifft, und die Verführung durch eine ältere, schwangere Frau, die den elfjährigen Schüler psychisch erschüttert. Die Ausbildungszeit verläuft unstet; nach dem Besuch des Salzburger Gymnasiums 1887-88 und einer abgebrochenen Lehre zum Stukkateur bzw Holzschnitzer an der Gewerbeschule in Salzburg trat Kubin eine Lehre beim Landschaftsphotographen Beer in Klagenfurt an, die er ebenfalls nicht beendete (1892-96).
      Ende 1896 bewirkte die Begegnung mit einem reisenden Hypnotiseur, dem er sich als Medium zur Verfügung stellte, eine schwere seelische Krise, die Kubin in einen Selbstmordversuch am Grab seiner Mutter trieb. Seine Militärdienstzeit endete 1897 nach wenigen Monaten mit einer Nervenkrise, ausgelöst durch das Erlebnis der Beerdigung eines hohen Offiziers. Auf den Rat eines Freundes der Familie schickte der Vater Kubin 1898 zu einer künstlerischen Ausbildung nach München, wo Kubin zunächst die Privatschule des Malers Ludwig Schmidt-Reutte besuchte, um ab 1899 in der Zeichenklasse von Nikolaus Gysis an der Münchener Akademie zu arbeiten. Weit mehr beeindruckt zeigte sich Kubin jedoch von der Gemäldesammlung der Alten Pinakothek, außerdem lernte er die Werke von Max Klinger, Francisco de Goya, Odilon Redon, Felicien Rops, James Ensor, Edvard Munch u.a. kennen und schloß Freundschaft mit dem Dichter Max Dauthendey und dem Sammler Hans von Weber, der 1903 seine erste Graphikmappe edierte (1901/02).
      1902 fand in der Galerie Bruno Cassirer, Berlin, seine erste Einzelausstellung statt. 1903 reiste Kubin erstmals in den Balkan, dessen Wildheit ihn weit mehr anzieht als Italien; am 1. Dezember stirbt völlig unerwartet seine Braut Emmy Bayer. Die Bekanntschaft mit dem Schriftsteller Oscar A.H. Schmitz und dessen Schwester Hedwig, die Kubin im März 1904 heiratete, führte seine Leben in geordnetere Bahnen.
      1905 reiste Kubin nach Paris, um Odilon Redon kennenzulernen. Im Jahr 1906 verließ Kubin die Großstadt München und übersiedelte nach Zwickledt bei Schärding am Inn, wo er sich einen Landsitz kaufte, den er bis zu seinem Lebensende bewohnte. 1908 schrieb er seinen Roman Die andere Seite, das erste seiner zahlreichen, meist autobiographisch geprägten Bücher. Er unterhielt weiterhin seine Beziehungen zur Münchner Avantgarde, wurde 1909 Mitglied der »Neuen Künstlervereinigung München« und verließ diese 1912 gemeinsam mit Franz Marc und Wassili Kandinsky, deren Künstlerbund Der Blaue Reiter er beitrat. Zu Künstlern wie Paul Klee und Lyonel Feininger hatte er freundschaftlichen Kontakt.
      In Zwickledt baute Kubin eine umfangreiche Bibliothek auf und lebte dort in ländlicher Abgeschiedenheit bis zu seinem Tode im Jahr 1959. - Kubin gehört zu den wichtigsten Zeichnern und Illustratoren des 20. Jahrhunderts und schuf einige Tausend Einzelblätter, Buchillustrationen zu über 140 Werken sowie zahlreiche Mappenwerke und Einzelgraphiken. Daneben entstand ein umfangreiches literarisches Werk aus einigen Büchern, einer Reihe von Erzählungen und einer sehr reichen Korrespondenz. Das pessimistisch gestimmte zeichnerische Frühwerk, in dem sich die schlimmen Kindheits- und Jugenderlebnisse mit der Lektüre von Schopenhauers »Welt als Wille und Vorstellung« gemischt auffinden lassen, ist insbesondere den dunklen Mächten gewidmet, die das menschliche Leben zu bestimmen scheinen. Personifikationen übermächtiger Gewalten (Der Krieg, Parade, Eingang zur Hölle) symbolisieren das Böse, den Tod, exotisch-animalische Wildheit (Afrika, 1902) oder eine abgründige Erotik (Die Spinne, 1901/02).
      Formal sind diese Arbeiten geprägt von ihrer deutlichen Inhaltsbezogenheit, die eine sachlich-düstere Darstellungsweise hervorbringt, zumeist als Federzeichnung mit Spritztechnik. 1904-1906 ist für Kubin eine Zeit formaler Experimente, in denen er andere Medien wie Temperafarbe oder Kleisterfarbe (auf Anregung des österreichischen Künstlers Kolo Moser) erprobte, wobei er sich mitunter sehr weit vom Gegenständlichen entfernt und sein Interesse für Jugendstilornamentik und die Münchner Akademielehrer und Künstler Hermann Obrist sowie Fritz und August Endell bekundete. Seit etwa 1909 wurde die - mitunter aquarellierte - Federzeichnung seine bevorzugte Technik.
      Mit der Niederschrift seines Romans Die andere Seite (1908) faßte Kubin für sich die Erforschung der »Ausschließlichkeit des Unwirklichen« (Hans Bisanz) zusammen und öffnete seine Arbeit nun auch konkreten zeitgeschichtlichen Bezügen, wobei er sich von einer grundlegenden Antinomie zwischen dem Sein (»Chaos«) und dem Ichbewußtsein (»Selbst«) leiten ließ, die seine Zeichenkunst seither bestimmte. - »Mir eignet ein Blick für das Elementar-Lebendige, dessen Treiben ich durchforsche und so, gleichsam in Schlünde hineinschauend, schaffe, wo andere längst vor dem grauenhaften Glanz die Lider erschreckt senken.«
^
LINKS
Landscape with Animals (1887, 600x949pix _ ZOOM to 1400x2214pix, 1336kb)
The Brood (1903, 600x850pix _ ZOOM to 1400x1984pix, 1013kb) _ A panther-giraffe hybrid nursing her seven sucklings.
Alpine Dream (1904, 451x825pix _ ZOOM to 1052x1925pix, 1068kb) _ With a distant chain of mountains in the background, a man gingerly steps around a giant relative of the panther-giraffe hybrid; this one might be a crocodile-seal hybrid.
–- Eisbär Pl.20 from the Portfolio Wild Animals (1920 lithograph-phototype 30x23cm; 1155x901pix, 143kb)
–- Die Maske des Todes second plate in the book Die Blätter mit dem Tod (1918 line block print 35x28cm; 1132x912pix, 78kb)
Fairytale Creature (1904)
Die Kriegsfackel (1914) _ By December 1914, Kubin had lost faith in a "fresh and joyous war" or in a quick victory. Above the burning houses rises up the sinister allegory of death, brandishing The Torch of War, that Kubin had already drawn on many previous occasions, denouncing human cruelty, mixing the sarcastic and the macabre. Throughout the war — in which he took no part — he obsessively drew skeletons, witches and ghosts, to give shape to his fears.
In der Küche (painted sketch; 624x868pix, kb)
63 prints at FAMSF
—(060819)
^ Born on 20 August 1807: Narcisse Virgile Diaz de la Peña, French Barbizon School painter and lithographer specialized in landscapes who died on 18 November 1876. He is reknowned for his numerous Romantic depictions of the forest of Fontainebleau and his landscape fantasies with mythological figures.
— Born of Spanish parents, in 1825 he became a decorator of porcelain at Arsène Gillet's factory where he met Jules Dupré, Gillet's nephew. In the late 1820s he began painting his first oils, perhaps receiving lessons from François Souchon [1787-1857]. He also copied and was much influenced by the paintings of Correggio (1494-1534) and Prud'hon. His small-scale richly colored landscapes, mythological scenes and scènes de fantaisie were popular with collectors. One of the leading figures of the Barbizon school of landscape painters, his later career was much influenced by his friend Théodore Rousseau, with whom he often painted in the forest of Fontainebleau.
— At 15 Diaz began working as a ceramic painter for the Sèvres porcelain factory. He studied for a time under Alexandre Cabanel. Strongly influenced by Delacroix and the Romantics and attracted by medieval and Middle Eastern art, he often in his early career painted exotic subjects. About 1840 Diaz began to paint landscapes in the forest of Fontainebleau near the village of Barbizon. These landscapes, which dominated his work for the rest of his career, characteristically have a pervasive sense of the shadowy seclusion of the forest; e.g., Forest Scene (1867). Dense, vividly colored foliage is broken by spots of light or patches of sky shining through the branches. During the last 15 years of his life Diaz seldom exhibited publicly. He was helpful and sympathetic to the Impressionists, especially Renoir, whom he met in 1861 painting at Barbizon.
–- photo of Diaz (1870, 12x8cm; 603x456pix, 20kb _ .ZOOM to 904x684pix, 47kb) by “Nadar” [05 Apr 1820 – 21 Mar 1910]

LINKS
–- Autumn, Forest Interior(36x46cm; 908x1200pix, 179kb _ .ZOOM to 1453x1920pix, 484kb)
–- Seraglio (1875, 67x84cm; 821x1186pix, 161kb _ .ZOOM to 1369x1978pix, 535kb)
–- Forêt de Fontainebleau (1867; 83x112cm; to half-size _ .ZOOM to full size)
–- Three Gypsies in a Clearing (120x95cm; quarter-size _ .ZOOM to half-size)
–- Gypsies in a Forest (1851, 50x34cm; 2/3 size)
–- In the Forest (1852, 51x62cm; half-size _ .ZOOM to full size)
Jour de Soleil dans un Bosquet (_ ZOOM)
–- Fleurs (37x21cm; full size)
Oriental Woman and Her Daughter (1865; _ ZOOMable)
Mother and Child (56x36cm)
The Old Windmill near Barbizon (100x78cm)
Gypsy Mother and Child (1866, 44x32cm)
Women of the Seraglio (1860, 43x63cm; 665x1000pix, 168kb)
Baigneuse (1851, 34x25cm)
Common with Stormy Sunset (1850, 37x54cm; 420x585pix, 39kb) _ Artists of the Barbizon School often used small wood panels like this one when they wanted to work out of doors directly in front of their chosen motif. Easily portable and more sturdy than canvas or paper, the panels allowed the painter to move quickly from one study to another as he recorded changing atmospheric and light conditions. This picture was known in the 19th century as The Sunset. Often, such oil studies were completed back in the studio where, as here, the artist turned the sketch into a small-scale finished composition.
—(060819)
^ Died on 20 August 1632: “Moïse” Valentin de Boulogne, French painter born on 03 January 1591. He studied under Simon Vouet. (not to be confused with sculptor Jean de Boulogne = Giambologna [1529 – 13 August 1608])
— Moïse Valentin (also called Le Valentin and Valentin de Boulogne), French Caravaggesque painter active in Rome from about 1612. His life is obscure; the name Moïse (the French form of Moses) by which he was called was not his Christian name (which is unknown) but a corruption of the Italian form of 'monsieur'. He did, however, have one major public commission: The Martyrdom of SS. Processus and Martinian (1629), painted for Saint Peter's as a pendant to Poussin's The Martyrdom of Saint Erasmus.
      About fifty works are attributed to him. They vary in subject — religious, mythological, and genre scenes and portraits — but the same models often seem to reappear in them, and all his work is marked by an impressively solemn, at times melancholic, dignity. He was one of the finest of Caravaggio's followers and one of the most dedicated, still painting in his style when it had gone out of fashion. He died after taking a cold bath in a fountain following a drinking bout; his death was much lamented in the artistic community.

LINKS
Crowning with Thorns (128x95cm) _ after a Caravaggio painting (now lost, possibly this, or even this).
The Last Supper (1626, 139x230cm) _ The painting shows the most dramatic moment of the Last Supper, when Jesus reveals to the disquieted apostles that one of them would betray him. Beside Christ, Saint John rests his head on the table and sleeps, in keeping with an iconographic tradition popular in Emilia. Meanwhile Peter, to the left of Christ, raises his hands in a gesture of astonishment. In the left foreground, Judas can be seen holding a purse behind his back: this contains thirty coins, the price of his treachery.
      This painting is one of the masterpieces of Valentin's maturity. His compositional scheme shows classical influence, with the solemn and monumental figure of Christ at the exact center of the scene and the symmetric composition around him, with the apostles distributed regularly around the table. Such stylistic elements are distant from the convulsed and turbulent compositions Valentin had preferred earlier in his career. In contrast to these, which constitute a large part of Valentin's production, this picture reveals an attachment to the classicizing French modes that Poussin and Vouet were developing in these years. Yet Caravaggesque style, an essential component of this painting, is perfectly evident in the realism of the apostles' hands, which Valentin depicts without any sort of idealization. The influence of Caravaggio also shows in the masterful control of light which, through the deft play of chiaroscuro, aptly emphasizes the emotional state of the characters. Likewise, light enlivens the simple but effective still life that seems to spring forth from the white tablecloth.
Christ Driving the Money Changers out of the Temple (1618, 195x260cm) _ The attribution to Valentin (1845) has been followed by all successive critics. The close dependence of this French artist on the style of Caravaggio extends even to the copying of individual passages like the figure lying on the ground to the left or the fleeing, screaming boy to the right. This, as well as, the use of strong light, chiaroscuro, and the realistic definition of the faces suggest a precocious date, perhaps around 1618.
      Despite the dependence on Caravaggio's style, the complex composition is fundamentally new. Everything is arranged along diagonals, carefully studied to give an overall sensation of whirling motion. Isolated in the center of all this is the powerful figure of Christ. With his arm raised against a terrorized, fleeing crowd, this figure is a very individual interpretation of its prototype, the Christ at the center of Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel Last Judgment.
Saint John the Baptist (1630, 130x90cm) [about Saint John the Baptist]
Martyrdom of Saint Lawrence (1622, 195x261cm) _ Saint Lawrence was a Christian martyr of Spanish birth who died in Rome in 258, one of the most venerated saints since the 4th century. He was ordained deacon by Pope Sixtus II and met his death shortly after the pope's own martyrdom. Tradition has it that the pope, when arrested, instructed Lawrence to give away to the poor the church's treasures, consisting of precious vessels and money, for which, as deacon, he was responsible. No sooner had he done so than Lawrence was ordered by the Roman prefect to surrender them to him, whereupon Lawrence, indicating the poor and sick around him, said, 'Here are the treasures of the Church'. For this he was condemned to be roasted on a gridiron, a torture he underwent with equanimity, merely observing, 'See, I am done enough on one side, now turn me over and cook the other'. Valentin de Boulogne was a French Caravaggesque painter who came so close to the master that he was perfectly in place among his Italian contemporaries, French characteristics being confined to certain details.
Martyrdom of Saints Processus and Martinian (1629, 308x165cm) _ This painting was commissioned for Saint Peter's, and it was the only important commission of the whole career of Valentin. It is of interest because the artist modified his largely tenebrist style to suit the situation. The subject, a gruesome one, is of the Martyrdom of Saint Processus and Saint Martinian. It was subsequently replaced by a mosaic.
      A possible reason for the lightening of the artist's style is the fact that the picture had to match the already completed Martyrdom of Saint Erasmus by the young Nicolas Poussin, who had in turn modified his style towards a much more Caravaggesque approach, especially in his realistic treatment of the gruesome subject-matter. Neither painter received such a commission again, and these two altarpieces stand out in their respective careers, proving that young French artists did appeal to influential people — in this case officials of the Papacy — with the money to give commission. It could also be argued that this was because by the end of the 1620s pure Caravaggism as such was already out of fashion among all successful Italian painters working in Rome.
The Martyrdom of Saint Bartholomew [about Saint Bartholomew]
The Judgment of Solomon (1626, 176x210cm) _ The influence of Caravaggio's dramatic style which revolutionized European painting at the beginning of the seventeenth century can be seen clearly in Valentin's work. He would have come into contact with Caravaggio's work in Rome where he went as a very young man, and spent all of his short career. In The Judgment of Solomon the strength of forms outlined against the shadow, so reminiscent of Caravaggio, does not preclude an atmosphere of mystery and poetry that is peculiar to Valentin. Louis XIV owned several of his paintings; five are still hanging in the King's bedchamber in the Chateau de Versailles.
— a very slightly different The Judgment of Solomon (1620, 174x213cm) _ Though this painting was at one time thought to be a copy, it is now considered to be Valentin's original. A prominent member of Rome's colony of transalpine painters, this Frenchman was active in the papal city from around 1613 until his death in 1632. A replica of this picture, with slight variations and dated to 1626, is listed above. In both versions, Valentin arranges his scene along a central axis that coincides with the figure of Solomon: to either side are counterbalanced groups, each centering on one of the two female protagonists of this biblical narrative. The figures are emphasized as much as possible by the strong and direct light. Between the original and the second version, variants in the arms of the woman to the right (gathered to her breast in the 1626 picture) have the effect of giving greater movement to the scene and better emphasizing the figure of the true mother. Differences in the idealization of the figures, the more refined and subtle definition of the light and chromatic range in the 1626 picture, and the more intense rendering of the chiaroscuro in the 1620 painting lead to the conclusion that the latter is earlier than the 1626 one and must have been painted around 1620. This conclusion is supported by the many similarities between the 1620 picture and other confirmed works by Valentin that date to the same years.
Judith and Holofernes (1626, 106x141cm) _ The figure of Judith emerges from the obscurity of the background with crude determination, rivaling the best productions of the Caravaggisti, particularly Bartolomeo Manfredi.
The Four Ages of Man (1630, 96x134cm)
The Fortune Teller (1628, 125x175cm) Valentin's mature style of about 1630 was already slightly out of fashion, but it was at this time that he produced some of his best pictures. One of these is The Fortune Teller, which belonged to Louis XIV. The artist has, as usual, concentrated on the lowlife aspect of the subject — a gypsy telling fortunes to a hapless youth — yet the refinement of the tones and delicacy of the brushwork raise the painting above those of all his contemporaries in these respect. (The only Italian to achieve such refinement, although it was of a different character, was Gentileschi.)
The Concert (1625, 173x214cm) _ The scene of this concert is an interior characterized only by a classical low-relief. Valentin's Caravaggism emerges not only from the subject but also from the melancholic characterization of the figures and the violent contrasts of light and shadow.
Cardsharps (1625, 95x137cm) _ Of all French painters active in Rome in the 1620s, the most consistent, and the only one who can be claimed to have genius, is Valentin. He died relatively young, without leaving Rome. Many of his earlier pictures, painted when he was much closer in spirit to Caravaggio, have remained unidentified until recently. The best example of his early work is the Dresden Cardsharps which is based on a similar composition by Caravaggio (unfortunately missing since the late nineteenth century). In the Dresden painting Valentin has seized on the evil nature of the villain, creating an obvious story completely lacking in subtlety, but delicacy is shown in his handling of the paint which, as always in his work, is very much more refined than that of Caravaggio.
 
beer label
Died on a 20 August:


^ 1910 Otto Piltz, German genre painter born on 28 June 1846 {into the family that gave its name to the Piltsner Beer}{disregard the immediately preceding parenthesis}{disregard the immediately preceding parenthesis}{disregard the immediately preceding parenthesis}{anyhow there is no tea in Piltsner beer}{correction: there is no T in Piltsner beer}{that should be: there is no T in Pilsner beer}{do not disregard the immediately preceding parenthesis}{time to stop the nonsense: whether Piltsner, Pilsner, or whatever, there is no tea and no T in beer}{what's more: there is no Piltsner beer, only Pilsner beer}{if you don't believe that, ask ask Google,  ask Infospace, or even ask Jeeves or any search engine}{so how about this image? >>>}{it's a fake!}. Piltz studied {and drank a lot of beer?} in Weimar and exhibited in Vienna {more beer?} in 1877. In 1883, he became a member of the Secession circle of artists in Munich {where beer is most important}. He received an honorable mention {not for drinking beer, much less tea} in Berlin in 1886. {It is not known whether he died an alcoholic, but it is not probable, as Piltsner Beer has only 5% alcohol.}{don't bother reading the immediately preceding parenthesis, or any of the others, for that matter, including this one}.
–- S#*> Bavarian Beer Garden aka Singing to the Captive Crowd (1875, 78x114cm; 800x1185pix, 109kb) _ A singer and musicians are entertaining the crowd of beer drinkers (Piltsner beer?).
Harvesting the Hops (40x56cm; 281x400pix, 151kb) (for Piltsner beer?)
Choir Rehearsal (1880, 46x38cm) {no beer}
An Afternoon Visit (39x50cm; 816x1000pix, 297kb)
// The following are NOT by Piltz (but he probably would have wished they had been):
Beer (1874, 82x68cm; _ ZOOMable) by Hans Makart [1840-1884]
Beer (1916) by Klimt
Beer (1914) by Schiele
Beer, Salami and Chèvre aka Piltz's Favorite Snack (1999, 46x56cm) not true! He much preferred the Beer portrayed by Makart. This painting is by Patricia Watwood [1971–].
Glass of Beer and Playing Cards (1913; 1132x752pix, 152kb) by Juan Gris [23 Mar 1887 – 11 May 1927] (Gris? C'est pourquoi qu'il était gris? Il buvait trop de bière? De la bière Piltsner?) —(080819)

1841 Constantinus-Fidelio Coene, Flemish artist born in 1780.

1835 Laurent Dabos, French artist born in 1761.

^ 1783 Frans van der Mijn, Flemish portrait painter born in Antwerp in 1719, and whose family moved to England in 1722. He was taught by his father Heroman van der Mijn [1684 – Nov 1741] for whom he probably worked as an assistant. His Portrait Group (1744) has the polished appearance of his father’s work but is less contrived. In style it shows an affinity with the work of Cornelius van Troost, but van der Mijn also painted rather voluptuous female figures (e.g. Portrait of a Young Lady Dressed in Blue; sold London, Sotheby’s, 17 Nov 1982, lot 99), which have similarities to the work of earlier artists such as Gerrit van Honthorst and Dirck van Baburen. After his father's death he took over as teacher of his brother George van der Mijn [1726 – 10 Dec 1763]. He moved from London to Amsterdam with George, who remained there until his death. Frans eventually went back to London, where he died. — Frans van der Mijn was one of six gifted children born to Heroman van der Mijn, an Amsterdam painter who was working in Antwerp when Frans was born. In 1722 the family moved to London. There Frans and his younger brother George were taught by their father. After his father's death in 1741, Frans moved to Amsterdam where he soon made a name for himself as a portrait painter. Ten years later the artist's biographer Jan van Gool describes him as being an 'observant portrait painter. Referring to the artist Frans van der Mijn, the 18th-century biographer Jan van der Gool noted that he 'is an intelligent portraitist, acclaimed by Connoisseurs, working in Amsterdam, where he has painted many a distinguished patron'.'. By this time Van der Mijn had already returned to London, where he died in 1783. — LINKS
Jan Pranger (1742, 210x154cm; 1600x1167pix, 193kb) _ Full-length and on a royal format was how the merchant Jan Pranger was portrayed by Frans van der Mijn in 1742. Pranger is dressed in a striking, bright red jacket with extremely wide, embroidered cuffs and a long waistcoat bearing the same motif. On his head is a tricorn hat. His powdered wig (traces of powder can be seen on his jacket) has a long pigtail, part of which can be seen hanging down his back. He is standing confidently beside a table which is covered in a green cloth bearing the initials GWC of Geoctrooieerde Westindische Compagnie, the Chartered Dutch West India Company. In this painting, Pranger is the director general of the Dutch West India Company trading post on the Gold Coast, today's Ghana, in Africa. The Gold Coast settlement was captured from the Portuguese by the Dutch West India Company in 1637 and remained in Dutch hands until 1872. The West India Company mainly traded in gold and slaves.
     Pranger gestures towards the items on the table: an ivory staff of office, some documents with red seals and writing materials. These indicate the importance of his position. Frans van der Mijn has pictured him in a room of the St George d'Elmina fortress in the town of Elmina. Through the window we can see Coenraadsburg fort on the other side of the Benjan river. To the left, behind Pranger, stands his servant with a kind of umbrella under his arm; this is a 'pajong', a ceremonial parasol. Pranger stayed on the Gold Coast from 1730 to 1734. This portrait was painted in 1742 when he was back in Amsterdam. The painter has depicted Pranger's African life with the help of prints and suggestions from Pranger himself.
     Frans van der Mijn was just twenty-three years old when he painted Pranger's portrait. For a Dutch portrait it is painted on an unusually large scale, bearing witness to Van der Mijn's craftsmanship. Pranger must have been pleased with the painting because, three years later, he commissioned Van der Mijn to paint his second wife, Machteld Muilman, whom he had married that same year.
Machteld Muilman, wife of Jan Pranger (1745, 210x154cm; 1600x1178pix, 174kb) _ A graceful young woman is sitting at a table drinking tea or coffee. She is wearing a beautiful, wide dress with a white satin mantle decorated with ermine fur. The porcelain cup and saucer from which she is drinking, are held elegantly high and reveal the lady to be a woman of fashion. She is Machteld Muilman [1718-1773], wife of the wealthy merchant Jan Pranger. The society-painter, Frans van der Mijn, painted her in 1745. Tea and coffee were new to Europe in the eighteenth century, as was the drinking of chocolate. Tea, coffee and chocolate were imported from the East. On the table there is a silver urn with a tap which would have contained coffee or hot water for tea.
     This portrait of Machteld was intended as a pendantThe word pendant comes from the Latin 'pendere', meaning to hang. A pendant is a counterpart: a painting intended to hand together with its pair. They are often of the same format and with identical frames. Most pairs of paintings feature married couples. Sometimes, indeed, the background continues from one painting to the next. The word 'pendant' can also be used for sculptures, pieces of furniture and other objects that are made in pairs. to a portrait of her husband, Jan Pranger, painted by Van der Mijn three years earlier. The portraits are the same size and loosely link together. Pranger is standing in front of an open window with a view outside; the pendant offers a view through to a painting cabinet containing seventeenth-century Dutch portraits. The family owned a large collection of paintings.
–- John Smyth [1748-1811], When a Boy (1755, 141x97cm; 729x497pix, 41kb _ .ZOOM to 1101x752pix, 82kb _ .ZOOM+ to 1094x747pix, 102kb) _ It could have been called The Pink Boy.


Born on a 20 August:


1902 Christian Bérard, Parisian painter and stage designer who died on 11 (12?) February 1949. — Not to be confused with Christian Barnard [08 Nov 1922 – 02 Sep 2001] who was not a painter, or even a stage designer, but a mere surgeon, who performed the first heart transplant, on 03 December 1967; the patient, Louis Washkansky [1913 – 21 Dec 1967], soon died anyhow. — Christian Bérard attended the Académie Ranson from 1920 (under Vuillard and Denis) and first exhibited at the Galerie Druet in 1924, as part of the group orchestrated by the critic Waldemar George. These ‘Neo-Romantics’ or ‘Neo-Humanists’ included Eugène Berman and Pavel Tchelitchew; at this point their eclectic, self-consciously traditional art offered an important alternative to modernism. Pittura Metafisica interiors provided one exemplar, yet Bérard’s dark-toned moody portraits, such as Pierre Colle (1931), also suggest the directness of 17th-century realism, and in 1934 he painted a Homage to Le Nain.

^ 1893 Godfrey Clive Miller, Australian painter and teacher who died on 05 (10?) May 1964. After completing in 1917 his architectural studies in his native Wellington, New Zealand, he met the Dunedin painter A. H. O’Keefe and determined to be an artist. He was able to do this with the assistance of a private income. He traveled to China, Japan, and the Philippines, and in 1919–1920 moved to Warrandyte, on the outskirts of Melbourne, Australia, where he began painting. He studied intermittently in London from 1929, with some attendance at the Slade School of Fine Art, and traveled extensively through Europe and the Middle East until the beginning of World War II, when he returned to Australia and lived in Sydney. — Godfrey Miller studied architecture at the Otago School of Art and Design 1910-1913 and at the Dunedin Technical School 1910-1911. During the first world war he enlisted with the New Zealand Engineers and served on Gallipoli, where he was wounded in 1916. He moved to Melbourne in 1918 and began his career in painting, studying at the National Gallery of Victoria Art School from 1923 to 1924. He traveled to London in 1929 and studied at the Slade School of Fine Art 1929-1930 and part-time from 1933 to 1938. He returned to Sydney in 1938 and taught at the East Sydney Technical College from 1945 until his death. Miller was interested in theosophical color theories, and color as a circular flow held by blacks and whites. He portrayed simple subjects — still lifes, landscapes and the human figure, working with painstaking rigor, with geometric precision to create images with jewel-like surface and ethereal delicacy. He used ruled lines crossing the canvas to form a web-like grid, to suggest the endless possibilities of life, the wholeness of forms and their potential dissolution back to the elements.
Triptych with Figures (1950, 65x104cm)
Comport with Fruit Series (1960, 49x61cm; 272x350pix, 78kb)
Madonna (1959 monochrome; 400x312pix, 111kb gif) _ This is one of a number of images of Madonnas which Miller made 1945-1964 in which he used clear symbolism: the sphere surrounding the Madonna representing an aureole, diagonal bandings of line and color representing divine rays, and the veiled moon emphasising her role as a mother. He showed the Madonna and child in an idealised relationship, with the mother enfolding the child in silent communion. Miller only hinted at the face of the Madonna in this work, and continued the image onto the edge of the cloth, as an extension of the work into space.

1836 Albert Kappis, German Impressionist artist who died on 18 September 1914.

1630 Maria van Oosterwyck, Dutch painter who died on 12 November 1693. She was the daughter of a well-to-do clergyman and probably studied under Jan Davidzoon de Heem. In 1676 she had a studio in Amsterdam, where she was assisted by Geertje Pieters. She was courted by the flower painter Willem van Aelst, but never married. Her flower paintings and still-lifes were popular, and she was patronized by such rulers as Louis XIV of France, Emperor Leopold I, John Sobieski, King of Poland, the Elector of Saxony and Stadholder-King William III.


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