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ART “4” “2”-DAY  27 August v.9.70
DEATHS: 1651 BACKER — 1798 WATTEAU — 1576 TITIAN — 1900 VOLLON — 1664 ZURBARÁN 1965 “LE CORBUSIER”  1876 FROMENTIN  1664 BEGA 
BIRTH: 1890 “MAN RAY” 
^ Died on 27 August 1651: Jacob Adriaenszoon Backer, Dutch Baroque portrait and history painter and draftsman, born in 1608, active mainly in Amsterdam, where he had a prosperous career.
— He is said to have studied under Rembrandt, and he imitated his style so successfully that attributions have sometimes been disputed between them. His best-known painting is the beautiful Portrait of a Boy in Grey (1634). His nephew, Adriaen Backer [1630-1684], also had a successful career as a portraitist in Amsterdam. — Not to be confused with Flemish artist Jacob de Backer [1555-1585 or 1540-1591] — {Was Rembrandt a Backer backer? Did other artists have as backer Backer, baker's son?}
— In 1611 his father, a Mennonite baker, left Friesland and settled in Amsterdam. Jacob Backer returned to Friesland in 1627 to study under Lambert Jacobszoon, a history painter of biblical scenes who was originally from Amsterdam and had settled in Leeuwarden, capital of Friesland, about 1620. Jacobszoon was a lay preacher of the Mennonite congregation in Leeuwarden and was also an art dealer who sold, among other items, works by or after Rembrandt. In Jacobszoon’s studio Backer was a fellow student with Govaert Flinck, who was seven years his junior. In 1633 Flinck and Backer went together to Amsterdam, where Flinck alone entered Rembrandt’s studio. The tradition referring to Flinck and Backer together as Rembrandt’s students is persistent but mistaken.
— When Rembrandt van Rijn settled in Amsterdam in about 1631, students flocked to him; participation in his workshop seemed to assure success. Following that pattern, Jacob Backer is incorrectly believed to have studied with Rembrandt for a short time after years of training in Leeuwarden, Holland. In any case, Backer was soon successful. By 1633 the Amsterdam Orphan Home had commissioned a group portrait from him, and he painted three more large groups during his short career. Though he also painted mythological and allegorical works, Backer became known as a portrait specialist.
      Backer's style is characterized by quiet restraint, smooth, thin paint, and ornamental brushwork. His lighting can be more diffused than Rembrandt's focused, expressive illumination. During the 1640s Backer fell under the spell of Bartholomeus van der Helst's fashionably pale, cool tonality, but the warmth of Backer's palette during the last decade of his life indicates that he continued to study Rembrandt's works. Backer was one of Amsterdam's most famous painters. A 1649 print portraying Backer bears the inscription, "excellent painter in the large . . . who knows very well how to make a good nude.” When he died in his early forties, a commemorative medal was struck in his honor.
— Jan de Baen and Abraham van den Tempel were students of Backer.

–- A man (840x982pix, 35kb _ .ZOOM to 1724x1308pix, 95kb)
Johannes Lutma, Amsterdam Silversmith (1645, oval 91x71cm) _ Lutma was the leading silversmith in Amsterdam in the 1630s. Among his creations were four silver salt cellars in the shape of boys with shells on their heads. Jacob Backer portrayed Lutma with one of these salt cellars. He was evidently proud of his work. Lutma's name is in the cartouche at the bottom of the painting. The salt cellar, the chasing hammer and the punch in the jar in the background are all tools and products of his trade. This painting has a pendant: a portrait of Lutma's second wife, Sara de Bie.
–- A Shepherdess (63x51cm; 703x643pix, 34kb _ ZOOM to 1115x905pix, 95kb _ ZOOM+ to 2248x1812pix, 643kb)
Hearing (1635; 73x62cm; 599x504pix, 32kb _ ZOOM to 803x674pix, 59kb _ ZOOM+ to 1873x1576pix, 214kb) _ The painting is part of a series depicting the Five Senses. A violinist, whose practice is apparently interrupted by an extraneous sound is the allegorical figure of Hearing, assumed to be a self-portrait.
A Woman (1650, 95x75cm ; 480x376pix, 27kb) _ A woman poses in front of a parapet, over which an Oriental carpet hangs. She wears a dress of luxurious, heavily brocaded fabric with a daring neckline. Strings of pearls wrap across her shoulders, wrist, and around her headpiece. Her face and chest are brightly lit, and she looks out at the viewer with an assertive gaze. Although her identity is unknown, she is obviously a woman of status and wealth. Backer derived the woman's pose from Rembrandt.
^ Died on 27 August 1798: Louis Joseph Watteau de Lille, French artist born on 10 April 1731.
— Louis-Joseph Watteau painted in the style of his famous uncle, Antoine Watteau [10 Oct 1684 – 18 Jul 1721]. He and his son François-Louis-Joseph Watteau [18 Aug 1758 – 01 Dec 1823], also a painter in the same style, are known as the 'Watteau de Lille' after their main place of work.
— Louis Watteau was trained in Paris by Jacques Dumont, and at the Académie Royale, where in 1751 he was awarded first prize for painting. In 1755 he settled in Lille; there he became assistant teacher at the school of drawing, but was dismissed, because of what was considered a scandalous innovation, the introduction of study of the nude, as in Paris. He then returned to Valenciennes for some 15 years; around 1770 he became assistant teacher to Louis-Jean Guéret, director of the school of drawing in Lille, whom he succeeded in the post in 1778. On Watteau’s initiative, an annual Salon, at which he himself exhibited regularly, was established in Lille in 1773. In 1795 he was chosen to draw up an inventory of works of art seized during the French Revolution from religious foundations and the houses of émigrés, with a view to establishing a museum.
— Isidore-Stanislas-Henri Helman and Jean-Baptiste Wicar were students of Louis Watteau.

An assemblage of apes, in a park, dressed as humans (39x31cm; 441x600pix, 56kb) _ In the center a number of male apes are listening to one who is reading out aloud from a newpaper, and in the foreground another younger ape is using his stick to scratch marks on the ground. To the left are two dogs and to the right is the only female ape, who is flirting with the ape gentlemen.
Venus châtiant Amour (27x23cm; 738x600pix, 86kb) _ In the center, Venus is whipping Cupid with a bouquet of flowers as he has not been working on the slate lying at their feet. To the right Pan is appearing from under the drape and laughing at this scene.
La 14ème Expérience Aérostatique de M. Blanchard Accompagné du Chevalier Lépinard, Faite à Lille le 26 Août 1785 (99x129cm; 366x482pix, 95kb gif) _ Jean-Pierre Blanchard [1753-1809] perfected the Montgolfier brothers' balloon. A few months before this painting was made, he and Jefferie had made the first Channel crossing in a balloon. The same year, he would be the first to try out the parachute. He made numerous balloon flights in Europe and America during his lifetime. His wife, Sophie Armand [1778-1819] was also a balloonist and was to meet her death on one of her experimental flights.
L'Orage (720x1030pix, 103kb)
^ Died on 27 August 1576: TITIAN, Italian painter born in 1489 approximately, also known as: Tiziano Vecellio, Tiziano Vecellio Di Gregorio, Titien, Tizian. — Studied under Gentile and Giovanni Bellini and Giorgione. Titian's students included El Greco, Tintoretto, Paris Bordone, Parrasio Micheli, Damiano Mazza and Polidoro Lanzani.
— born 1477 in Pieve di Cadore, died in Venice. State painter for Venetian Republic, worked for d'Este court in Ferrara, Farnese Pope in Rome, Gonzaga and Urbino dukes.

—  Titian or Tiziano Vecellio was born in a small alpine village of Pieve di Cadore, now not far from the Austrian border, where his family lived for many years. His parents, Lucia and Gregorio di Conte dei Vecelli, were respectable people of modest means. In about 1498, at the age of nine or ten, Titian and his elder brother Francesco were sent to Venice to start their training as painters in the workshop of the mosaicist Sebastiano Zuccato. Though soon Titian left his workshop  and began studying painting in the workshops of Gentile Bellini and Giovanni Bellini. It is believed, that his earliest surviving work Pope Alexander VI Presenting Jacopo Pesaro to Saint Peter (1512) was influenced by Giovanni Bellini. In 1507 Titian joined the workshop of href="" target="_blank">Giorgione as his assistant and three years (until Giorgione's death in 1510), which he spent with this outstanding master, were a lasting influence on the young Titian to such a degree, that some works which are now thought to have been painted by Titian used to be attributed to Giorgione, and vice versa. One of them is Concert Champetre (1511), which is still in some sources considered to be painted by Giorgione. Other works by Titian, which bear the Giorgione's influence are The Birth of Adonis (1505-1510), The Legend of Polydorus (1510), Saint Mark Enthroned with Saints (1510), The Concert (1510), Noli me tangere (1512), Gypsy Madonna (1512) and even his masterpiece Sacred and Profane Love (1514).
  In 1510 Titian received his first important commission to produce some frescoes in the Scuola del Santo in Padua dedicated the life of Saint Anthony of Padua. Since that time Titian began to win independent commissions and to establish himself as a painter in Venice. In 1513 he opened his own workshop, in which he employed two assistants, one of whom had worked for Giovanni Bellini. In 1516 Titian was commissioned to paint a new work for the high altar in the Franciscan church of Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari in Venice, the Assumption of the Virgin (Assunta) (1518), which was destined to become the milestone in the history of Venetian High Renaissance. This altarpiece made Titian the most celebrated painter in Venice. At the same time, it drew him to the attention of Bellini's old patrons in the northern Italian ruling houses. He was commissioned by the Duke of Ferrara Alfonso d'Este to produce three large mythological paintings The Worship of Venus (1518), Bacchus and Ariadne (1522) and Bacchanal of the Andrians (1525).
   In the following years Titian painted another monumental altarpieces Pesaro Altarpiece (1526) and Madonna in Glory with the Christ Child and Saints Francis and Alvise with the Donor Alvise Gozzi (1520), which set a standard for the future. His another masterpiece of the time the Martyrdom of Saint Peter Martyr has been loSaint In 1523 Titian first met Federico II Gonzaga, Duke of Mantua, who became one of his clients. On Duke's commissions he painted Federico II Gonzaga (1529) and also some religious paintings, such as Madonna and Child with Saint Catherine and a Rabbit (1530). Federico II Gonzaga also introduced Titian to the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V.
   The 1520s - 1540s were the years when Titian created his best portraits. The best, which survived, are A Knight of Malta (1515), Young Man with Cap and Gloves (1515), Man with a Glove (1522), Tomaso or Vincenzo Mosti (1526), Ippolito de' Medici (1533), La Bella (1536), Francesco Maria della Rovere, Duke of Urbino (1538), The Young Englishman (1545), Cardinal Pietro Bembo (1540), A Musician (1515 or 1546), a Girl (Lavinia) (1545).
     In 1533 Titian was called to the court of Charles V, where he was appointed a court painter and made a Count Palatine and Knight of the Golden Spur. Titian painted several portraits of Charles V, such as  Charles V (1533), Emperor Charles V at Muhlberg (1548), Emperor Charles V Seated (1548) and members of his family: Isabella of Portugal (1548), Charles V's late wife, and his son Philip, the future Emperor,  Philip II in Armor (1551), Philip II (1554).
      In 1538 Titian created another masterpiece Venus of Urbino (1538), one of the numerous paintings of a female nude depicting Titian's ideal of female beauty. Other famous Titian's women are Flora (1520), Salome (1515), Venus Anadyomene (1520), Venus and Cupid with an Organist (1548), Danae with Nursemaid (1554), Venus and Adonis (1554),  Pardo Venus (Jupiter and Antiope) (1540) and even Saint Mary Magdalene (1535).
     Titian created several commissions for the Pope Paul III from the Farnese family, among which Pope Paul III and His Grandsons Ottavio and Cardinal Alessandro Farnese (1546), the picture was considered too revealing and was not finished.
     By the end of the 1550s, Titian had come to value the exploration of the color above all other aspects of art. His style and technique were evolving from the more precise contours, modeling and finish of the early portraits to a much bolder, freer style with more highly charged brushwork; he handled the paint increasingly broadly, creating an effect almost like  mosaic, with patches of color. It was noted of his late work (as it was later of the Impressionists) that while the painting did not cohere if seen close up, when seen from the "proper" distance it became brilliantly clear. For splendor of color, the climax was reached in some of Titian's late mythologies painted for Philip II: Diana and Callisto (1559), Diana and Actaeon (1559), The Rape of Europe (1562), Venus Blindfolding Cupid (1565). Among of his other late works the most notable are Allegory of Time Governed by Prudence (1565), Penitent Saint Mary Magdalene (1565), Religion Succored by Spain (1575), Saint Sebastian (1575). Titian died on 27 August 1576, in his house in Biri Grande in Venice. He was buried in Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari for which he created several of his best works.
    In very different ways, his art influenced painters such as Nicolas Poussin, Peter Paul Rubens, Anthony van Dyck, Diego Velázquez, Rembrandt, Francisco Goya, Eugène Delacroix, Édouard Manet, Auguste Renoir, to name but a few.

Self~Portrait (1527, 96x75cm)
Self~Portrait (1567)
Venus and Adonis (1554, 186x207cm; _ ZOOMable) color balance a bit too red _ Venus and Adonis (_ ZOOMable) color balance much too blue _ Venus and Adonis (NOT zoomable) color balance about right
Philip II (1553, 1835x1005cm; _ ZOOMable)
Not-yet-Philip-II as Prince (1551; _ ZOOMable) _ detail (_ ZOOMable) hand on helmet
Titian's daughter, Lavinia (1561; _ ZOOMable)
Girl with a Basket of Fruits (1558, 102x82cm; _ ZOOMable) its Lavinia again, but not so formal, and before she put on a lot of weight.
Woman in White (1555; _ ZOOMable)
Emperor Charles V (1548, 205x122cm; _ ZOOMable) sitting on throne
Emperor Charles V at Mühlberg (1548, 332x279; _ ZOOMable) sitting on horse
Pope Paul III (1543; _ ZOOMable)
Pope Paul III and his Cousins Alessandro and Ottavio Farnese (1546, 200x127; _ ZOOMable)
Doge Andrea Gritti (1545, 134x103cm; _ ZOOMable)
Pietro Bembo (1540; 600x473pix _ ZOOM to 1400x1103pix)
Federigo II Gonzaga, Duke of Mantua (1525, 125x99cm; _ ZOOMable) and a dog
Eleonora Gonzaga della Rovere (1537; _ ZOOMable)
Saint John the Baptist (1542, 201x134cm; _ ZOOMable)
Madonna and Child (1561; _ ZOOMable)
Madonna and Child with Saint Catherine and a Rabbit (1530; _ ZOOMable)
— Madonna and Child with the Young Saint John the Baptist and Saint Catherine (1530) _ detail (_ ZOOMable) in which the Baptist is not seen, except for one hand.
Madonna with Saints and Members of the Pesaro Family (1526, 478x266cm; _ ZOOMable)
The Gipsy Madonna and Child (1511; _ ZOOMable)
Mater Dolorosa (1550, 68x61cm; _ ZOOMable)
Assumption of the Virgin (1518, 690x360cm) _ detail 1 (_ ZOOMable) Virgin looking up _ detail 2 (_ ZOOMable) three apostles looking up _ detail 3 head of Virgin looking up _ detail 4 head of God the Father looking down _ detail 5 apostles reaching up _ Titian worked on this huge altarpiece for more than two years from 1516 to 1518. It has to be seen as a milestone in Titian's career establishing him as a more universal artist who drew inspiration from outside the confines of Venice. Indeed the powerful figures of the Apostles reflect the influence of Michelangelo, whereas the painting demonstrates clear iconographical similarities with the works of Raphael. Above all, what emerges most strongly in the assumption is Titian's desire to break definitely with the traditions of Venetian painting in order to arrive at a synthesis of dramatic force and dynamic tension which will become from this moment on the most obvious characteristic of his work. The picture is composed of three orders. At the bottom are the Apostles (humanity), amazed and stunned by the wondreous happening. Saint Peter is kneeling with his hand on his breast, Saint Thomas is pointing at the Virgin, and Saint Andrew in a red cloak is stretching forward. In the middle, the madonna, slight and bathed in light, is surrounded by by a host of angels that accompany her joyfully hailing. Above is the Eternal Father, serene and noble majesty, calling the Virgin to him with a look of love. The painting is signed as "Ticianus" low down in the middle of the picture.
Gipsy Madonna (1510, 66x83cm) _ This Madonna is one of the first surviving paintings of Titian, demostrating the influence of Giorgione and Giovanni Bellini.
Holy Family and Donor (1514)
Mary with the Child and Saints (1510, 108x132cm) Musée du Louvre, Paris There is another version of this picture painted on wood in Vienna. It is debated which is the original, however it is certain the both were painted in the workshop of Titian.
Madonna with Saints and Members of the Pesaro Family (1526, 478x266cm) _ detail 1 (Saint Peter's head) _ detail 2 (Madonna's head) _ detail 3 (the Pesari) _ Titian was neither such a universal scholar as Leonardo, nor such an outstanding personality as Michelangelo, nor such a versatile and attractive man as Raphael. He was principally a painter, but a painter whose handling of paint equaled Michelangelo's mastery of draughtsmanship. This supreme skill enabled him to disregard all the time-honored rules of composition, and to rely on color to restore the unity which he apparently broke up. We need but look at 'Madonna with saints and members of the Pesaro family' which was begun only some fifteen years after Giovanni Bellini's 'Madonna with saints' to realize the effect which his art must have had on contemporaries. It was almost unheard of to move the Holy Virgin out of the center of the picture, and to place the two administering saints - Saint Francis, who is recognizable by the Stigmata (the wounds of the Cross), and Saint Peter, who has deposited the key (emblem of his dignity) on the steps of the Virgin's throne - not symmetrically on each side, as Giovanni Bellini had done, but as active participants of a scene. In this altar-painting, Titian had to revive the tradition of donors' portraits, but did it in an entirely novel way. The picture was intended as a token of thanksgiving for a victory over the Turks by the Venetian nobleman Jacopo Pesaro, and Titian portrayed him kneeling before the Virgin while an armored standard-bearer drags a Turkish prisoner behind him. Saint Peter and the Virgin look down on him benignly while Saint Francis, on the other side, draws the attention of the Christ Child to the other members of the Pesaro family, who are kneeling in the corner of the picture. The whole scene seems to take place in an open courtyard, with two giant columns which rise into the clouds where two little angels are playfully engaged in raising the Cross. Titian's contemporaries may well have been amazed at the audacity with which he had dared to upset the old-established rules of composition. They must have expected, at first, to find such a picture lopsided and unbalanced. Actually it is the opposite. The unexpected composition only serves to make it gay and lively without upsetting the harmony of it all. The main reason is the way in which Titian contrived to let light, air and colors unify the scene. The idea of making a mere flag counterbalance the figure of the Holy Virgin would probably have shocked an earlier generation, but this flag, in its rich, warm color, is such a stupendous piece of painting that the venture was a complete success."
Pope Alexander IV Presenting Jacopo Pesaro to Saint Peter (145x184cm) _ This youthful work by Titian, whose teacher, Giovanni Bellini, might have begun the canvas, refers to the capture of the island Santa Maura from the Turks by Spanish, Venetian and papal armies in 1502. Although it does not have the solidity and power of conviction of the mature Titian, the work is still a fascinating spectacle. The colors are rich, the pope and the bishop incline in a highly sculptural manner towards the saint, and the local tones and varying materials are early heralds of Titian's great oeuvre.
Presentation of the Virgin at the Temple (1539, 345x775cm) _ Titian painted this picture for the Scuola Grande of Santa Maria della Carita, now the Accademia Gallery of Venice. The painting is remarkable for its glowing colors and for the careful depiction of naturalistic detail. The architectural vistas, inspired by stage-sets for the theatre, play a fundamental role in the work. It is evident from this use of perspective and from other stylistic clues that Titian was receptive to the influence of Tuscan-Roman painting. The painting which occupies the whole of the entrance wall seems to be a 16th century version of the narrative works of Vittore Carpaccio. The painting is composed with a scenographic figural rhythm; on the right at the top of the stairs the priest and his assistants await the tiny figure of Mary who appears even smaller in her halo of holy light against the ponderous architectural background. On the left stands the throng of onlookers most of them outlined against the mountainous background, traditionally supposed to the that of the Marmarole in Cadore. The grandeur of the composition may appear studied and even academic but the painting of the elements which compose it is remarkable for the brilliant richness of the color and interplay of tone. And amongst the host of individual portraits, each one drawn with a clear and immediate objectivity, we note in particular the four men dressed in togas. In their portrayal, full of monumental solemnity and individual energy, they are typical examples of Titian's value as portraitist of life in the 16th century. His objective observations are very different from the highly individual psychological investigations of Lorenzo Lotto. _ detail _ right side of the painting.
Crowning with Thorns (1575, 280x182cm) _ In his final years Titian painted a series of paintings dedicated to the passion of Christ. These works, which include the Crowning with Thorns, are pervaded with immense dramatic power, the brushstrokes gradually dissolve into rapidly applied dabs of pigment. The aim is no longer to reproduce nature but to directly convey the raw emotion of the painter, who is participating fully in the tragic subject of his picture.
Penitent Mary Magdalen (1565, 118x97cm) _ In 1561 Titian painted a painting of Mary Magdalen for Philip II, king of Spain. It is lost but several other compositions, based on this painting, survived. Probably the best version is that in the Hermitage. The painting is signed on the rock on the left side.
Mater Dolorosa (with clasped hands) (1550, 68x61cm) _ The painting was commissioned by Charles V in Augsburg. After his abdication the Emperor brought the painting with him to Yuste, the place of his retirement.
Mater Dolorosa (with parted hands) (1554, 68x53cm) _ The painting was commissioned by Mary of Hungary, the elder sister of Emperor Charles V.
Pietà (1576, 352x349cm) _ In the second half of the 16th century Titian was continually overburdened with commissions for work - from Charles V and Philip II, from the Republic and from many churches. Overcoming the crisis of Mannerism shortly before his stay in Rome at the Papal court (1545/6), Titian's work now took on a new incomparable coherence of vision and creative force. We witness the triumph of color and light over the Renaissance notions of sculptural form. In his later works Titian's handling of color is suffused with spirituality; his youthful themes lose their Phidian serenity and from the burning rhythm of interwoven tones which melt slowly into the glowing tints images emerge, at times dramatic, at times full of emotion for lost earthly happiness. In his Pietà, originally planned for his tomb at the Frari and left unfinished at his death Titian achieves the high point of the expressive possibilities of his 'alchimia cromatica'. The work was completed by Palma il Giovane who added the torch-bearing cherub. The opaque density of this detail contrasts with the 'magical impressionism' of Titian's tonal harmonies. In the shimmering nocturnal scene figures of flesh and marble are evoked by a suffusion of glowing color. And along the diagonal formed by the figures we are witness to an outpouring of human passion: Mary Magdalene turns in a cry of uncontrollable grief, the Virgin appears frozen in contemplation of her dead son and Saint Jerome leans forward to catch the last breath of Christ.
Saint Sebastian (1570, 210x115cm) _ This is probably one of the last paintings of Titian. After his death it remained in his workshop.
Polyptych of the Resurrection (1522) _ The altarpiece was painted for Altobello Averoldi, papal legate to Venice. New Mannerist tendencies are apparent here, possibly transmitted to Titian through the work of Pordenone, and these elements subtly contribute to the dramatic intensity of the work.The landscape background is of the very highest quality, with recognizable view of Brescia.
Saint Mark Enthroned with Saints (1510, 230x149cm) _ One of Titian's youthful works, originally in the church of Santo Spirito in Isola. It was painted to celebrate the end of the tragic plague which had struck the city in 1510. Her the four saints who are traditionally invoked for protection from the plague - Saints Cosmas and Damian to the left, Roch and Sebastian to the right - are placed in pairs on each side of the altar where saint Mark, patron saint of Venice, is seated. A new stylistic direction is evident in the way Titian paints the four standing saints. They have a classical nobility of form and a hieratic air which points to the influence of Bellini. On the other hand, the saints on the left - certainly portraits - are given a very realistic sense of individuality which is in strong contrast with the almost Giorgionesque reserve of the figures to the right.
The Tribute Money (1516, 75x56cm) _ The evidence for his birthdate is contradictory, but he was certainly very old when he died. He received the more important part of his training in the studio of Giovanni Bellini, then came under the spell of Giorgione, with whom he had a close relationship. In 1506-1508 he assisted him with the external fresco decoration of the Fondaco dei Tedeschi, Venice, and after Giorgione's early death in 1510 it fell to Titian to complete a number of his unfinished paintings. The authorship of certain works (some of them famous) is still disputed between them.
      Titian's first great commission was for three frescos in Padua (1511), noble and dignified paintings suggesting an almost central Italian firmness and monumentality. When he returned to Venice, Giorgione having died and Sebastiano gone to Rome, the aged Bellini alone stood between him and supremacy, and that only until 1516 when Bellini died and Titian became official painter to the Republic. Meanwhile he was gradually winning free from the stylistic domination of Giorgione and developing a manner of his own. Something of a fusion between Titian worldliness and Giorgione's poetry is seen in the enigmatic allegory known as Sacred and Profane Love. This work inaugurated a brilliant period in Titian's creative career during which he produced splendid religious, mythological, and portrait paintings, original in conception and vivid with color and movement.
      A series of great altarpieces opens with the Assumption (1518), which in the soaring movement of the Virgin, rising from the tempestuous group of Apostles towards the hovering figure of God the Father, contradicts the stable basis of quattrocento and High Renaissance composition and looks forward to the Baroque. The strong, simple colors used here, and the artist's evident pleasure in the silhouetting of dark forms against a light background, reappear throughout the work of this period. There followed the Pesaro altarpiece (1519-1526), a bold diagonal composition of great magnificence in which architectural motifs are used to enhance the drama of the scene, and the altarpiece of Saint Peter Martyr (now destroyed but known to us from several copies and engravings), where trees and figures together form a violent centrifugal composition suited to the action; it is the most celebrated, the greatest work that Titian has ever done.
      Titian's finest mythological works from this period are three pictures (1518-1523) for Alfonso d'Este — the Worship of Venus, the Bacchanal, and the Bacchus and Ariadne — and outstanding among his portraits is the exquisite Man with a Glove (1520).
      About 1530, the year in which his wife died, a change in Titian's manner becomes apparent. The vivacity of former years give way to a more restrained and meditative art. He now began to use related rather than contrasting colors in juxtaposition, yellows and pale shades rather than the strong blues and reds which shouldered each other through his previous work. In composition too he became less adventurous and used schemes which, compared with some of his earlier works, appear almost archaic. Thus his large Presentation of the Virgin" (1538) makes use of the relief-like frieze composition dear to the quattrocento. During the 1530s Titian's fame spread throughout Europe. In 1530 he first met the emperor Charles V (in Bologna, where he was crowned in that year) and in 1533 he painted a famous portrait of him based on a portrait by the Austrian Seisenegger. Charles was so pleased with it that he appointed Titian court painter and elevated him to the rank of Count Palatine and Knight of the Golden Spur — an unprecedented honor for a painter. At the same time his works were increasingly sought after by Italian princes, as with the celebrated Venus of Urbino (1538), named after its owner, Guidobaldo, Duke of Camerino, who later became Duke of Urbino. The pose is based on Giorgione's Sleeping Venus (1510, 109x175cm) but Titian substitutes a direct sensual appeal for Giorgione's idyllic remoteness.
      Early in the 1540s Titian came under the influence of central and north Italian Mannerism, and in 1545-1546 he made his first and only journey to Rome. There he was deeply impressed not only by modern works such as Michelangelo's Last Judgement, but also by the remains of antiquity. His own paintings during this visit aroused much interest, his Danaë being praised for its handling and color and criticized by Michelangelo for its inexact drawing. Titian also painted in Rome the famous portrait of Pope Paul III and his Nephews. The decade closed with further imperial commissions. In 1548 the emperor summoned Titian to Augsburg, where he painted both a formal equestrian portrait (Charles V at the Battle of Mühlberg) and a more intimate one showing him seated in an armchair.
      He traveled to Augsburg again in 1550 and this time painted portraits of Charles's son, the future Philip II of Spain, and the greatest patron of his later career. Titian's work for Philip included a series of seven erotic mythological subjects (1550-1562): Danaë and Venus and Adonis, Perseus and Andromeda, The Abduction of Europa, Diana and Actaeon and Diana and Calisto, and The Death of Actaeon. Titian referred to these pictures as "poesie", and they are indeed highly poetic visions of distant worlds, quite different from the sensual realities of his earlier mythological paintings.
      During the last twenty years of his life Titian's personal works, as opposed to those which busy assistants produced under his supervision and with his intervention, showed an increasing looseness in the handling and a sensitive merging of colors which makes them more and more immaterial. Autumnal tones reflected the artist's meditative spirit. About the same time his interest in new pictorial conceptions waned. About 1555 he had painted a powerful Martyrdom of Saint Lawrence, which had affinities with Mannerism in the types and movements of the figures. In 1567 he repeated the picture, but now the light, which played a dramatic part in the first version, became the chief feature, creating and dissolving forms. His powers remained undimmed until the end, and his career closed with the awe-inspiring Pietà (1576), intended for his own tomb and finished after his death by Palma Giovane.
      Titian's influence on later artists has been profound: he was supreme in every branch of painting and revolutionized the oil technique with his free and expressive brushwork. His late works that are painted with bold, sweeping strokes, and in patches of color, with the result that they cannot be viewed from near by, but appear perfect at a distance. The method he used is judicious, beautiful, and astonishing, for it makes pictures appear alive and painted with great art, but it conceals the labor that has gone into them.
      His greatness as an artist, it appears, was not matched by his character, for he was notoriously avaricious. In spite of his wealth and status, he claimed he was impoverished, and his exaggerations about his age (by which he hoped to pull at the heartstrings of patrons) are one of the sources of confusion about his birthdate. Jacopo Bassano caricatured him as a moneylender in his Purification of the Temple. Titian, however, was lavish in his hospitality towards his friends, who included the poet Pietro Aretino and the sculptor and architect Jacopo Sansovino. These three were so close that they were known in Venice as the triumvirate, and they used their influence with their respective patrons to further each other's careers.
Saint John the Baptist (1542, 201x134cm) _ Even more than in his 'Presentation of the Virgin at the Temple', Titian's attempt to fill out his chromatic language with Mannerist elements is clearly evident in this 'Saint John the Baptist' painted for the now demolished church of Santa Maria Maggiore. The overpowering plasticity of the figure, its theatrical pose, and the strength of the timbres of the tones all reflect the dominant taste of the fifth decade of the sixteenth century in a Venice which was increasingly concerned with the problems of form and composition that preoccupied the 'classicists' of Central Italy, ideas that were propagated in Venice by Jacopo Sansovino, Vasari and Salviati. But even in this muscular athlethe (certainly no hermit emaciated by exhausting fast) the formal academic quality of Mannerism is redeemed by Titian's sensitivity to color: the 'impasto' of the paint seems almost to be rising in the luminous matching of the grey of the skin to the ivory color of the flesh and in the browns, greens and darkened by the rushing torrent. Indeed it was precisely because of his feeling for color that in Titian the formulae of Mannerism, instead of crystalizing in abstract programmatic projects, was translated into an enthusiasm for research.
–- Portrait of a Friend (1550; _ ZOOM)
Charles V Seated (1548)
Pietro Aretino (1545, 108x76cm) _ Pietro Aretino was a well-known poet of his period. Exiled from Mantua he settled in Venice. He was famous because of his satirical poems.
Francesco Maria della Rovere, Duke of Urbino (1538, 143x100cm) _ Perhaps because of the limitations of the court-portrait, perhaps also because he had not his sitter actually present - we know that the latter dispatched his armour to the painter at Venice with the request that he should hurry on the work — this portrait, although impassioned and full of pride, lacks something of the spiritual profundity of many others by the artist. Restored in 1990
Ranuccio Farnese (1542) _ Only twelve years old, Ranuccio already has the grave bearing of an adult. His grandfather Alessandro Farnese, who in 1534 became Pope Paul III, sent the boy to Venice (in 1542) to be prior of a property belonging to the Knights of Malta. Hence Ranuccio is represented with the white cross of Malta on his robe. This portrait is important in the artist's career for it marks the beginning of Titian's long association with the Farnese family and especially with Pope Paul III.
Flora (1515, 80x 64cm) _ This is one of Titian's most beautiful works, which, in the warm and impassioned intensity of the color, sums up the youthful period of Titian. The title of Flora goes back to an engraving which was made from the picture in the 17th century by Sandrart. Restored in 1992
Man with Gloves (1524, 100x89cm) _ The sitter on the painting is an unknown young man. It is remarkable that the energetic hands of the man get a special emphasize in the composition.
Doge Andrea Gritti (1545, 134x103cm) _ Titian's portraits provide a gallery of the leading aristocrats of Italy. Most of these works are essentially idealized state portraits, although the heads are very convincingly rendered. Doge Andrea Gritti is to a greater extent a symbol of the office - that is, that of ruler of Venice. The gigantic body in a canvas of large size is sweeping in design and commanding in presence.
Portrait of a Man (1510, 81x66cm) _ In his early period, Titian's portraits are strongly realistic. This portrait was erraneously identified by early critics as the portrait of Ariosto; it is perhaps a likeness of Titian's earliest patron, a member of the noble Barbarigo family. The figure stands out in bold relief against the plain background and the color emphasizes the unusual lighting, revealing the mood of the sitter as well as capturing his physical presence.
Portrait of a Young Woman (1530, 96x75cm) _
Profane Love (Vanity) (1515)
Violante (La Bella Gatta) (65x51cm) _ Formerly the painting was attributed to Palma Vecchio. The sitter probably was Violante, the lover of Titian, who was represented with flowers in another famous painting of Titian, the Bachanalia.
Charles V Seated (1548, 205x122cm) _ At the beginning of 1548 Titian left Venice for Augsburg where he met Charles V, fresh from his great victory over the Protestant League at Mühlberg. At Augsburg (where he remained until October 1548) he was kept busy painting, chiefly, portraits of the Emperor and important members of his court.
Emperor Charles V at Mühlberg (1548, 332x279cm) _ This is one of Titian's most dramatic and monumental portraits, conveying not so much the personality of the sitter as the high ideals of his imperial office. At the Battle of Mühlberg the Emperor had defeated the Schmalkadic League of Protestant princes, and in Titian's picture he is portrayed as the archtypal Christian knight victorious against heresy - a kind of modern Saint George. Apart from the brilliant creaton of a memorable image, Titan shows his skill in the consummate handling of textures, such as the diffusion of the evening sunlight through the landscape and the captivating sheen of the armor.
Empress Isabel of Portugal (1548, 117x98cm) _ The painting, commissoned by Emperor Charles V, was painted in Augsburg in 1548. The Empress, the wife of Charles V, died ten years before.
Girl with a Basket of Fruits (Lavinia) (1558, 102x82cm) — Titian in his late years created many portraits of women. For long time this portrait was thought to be his daughter, Lavinia. It is now certain that the girl is not Lavinia, although she represents the same type.
Portrait of an Old Man (Pietro Cardinal Bembo) (1546, 57x45cm) _ This excellent portrait was for long time attributed to Jacopo Bassano. However, it is one of the several portraits of Pietro Cardinal Bembo, the poet and scholar, which Titian painted between 1530 and 1550.
Pope Paul III
Pope Paul III and his Cousins Alessandro and Ottavio Farnese (1546, 200x127cm) _ this painting was commissioned by the Farnese family in 1546. Titian arrived to Rome in 1545 and he met there several cardinals and artists and he was even received by Pope Paul III. The free movement of the models - quite unusual in contemporary portrait paintings - contributes to the extraordinary qualities of this group portrait.
King Philip II (1551, 193x111cm)
Self-Portrait (1562, 96x75cm)
Jacopo Strada (1568, 125x95cm) _ One of the most famous of Titian's late portraits. It represents Jacopo Strada, an expert of antiquities as presenting a small Venus statue. On the table there are some objects, among them a letter addressed to Titian. The decorative frame with the inscription is a later addition from the workshop of Titian.
Marcantonio Trevisani (1554, 100x86cm) _ Titian became the official painter of Venice in 1516. He painted a series portrait of all doges - thus of Doge Trevisani - for the Sala del Maggior Consiglio in the Palazzo Ducale. These portraits were destroyed by fire in 1577. Titian usually painted one or more versions of the official portraits. This painting in the Budapest museum is believed to be a version of Trevisani's official portrait made by Titian himself.
Worship of Venus (1519, 172x175cm) _ This magnificent painting and the next two (Bacchus and Ariadne — Bacchanalia) were painted by Titian for Alfonso d'Este, Duke of Ferrara.
Bacchus and Ariadne (1524, 175x190cm) _ In 1516 Titian made contact with Alfonso I d'Este, Duke of Ferrara for whom he was to work for a decade on pictures destined for the Alabaster Chamber. In this period he painted several Dionysian themes, among them the Bacchus and Ariadne. In these paintings Titian combines a richness of coloristic expression with a great formal elegance. These are the elements which characterize this whole so-called "classic" phase of Titian's development and which is dominated by the supreme masterpiece of the Frari Assumption of the Virgin.
The Andrians (Bacchanalia) (1525, 175x193cm) _ This was the last in a series of magnificent paintings painted by Titian for Alfonso d'Este, Duke of Ferrara. Others are Worship of Venus and Bacchus and Ariadne. The subjects are taken from classical descriptions of works of art: here Titian reproduces a picture the writer Philostratus saw in Naples in the second century AD, representing the people of the Greek Island of Andros making merry on the river of wine that Dionysus had created. This splendid opportunity to emulate the past was not lost on Titian, whose brilliant naturalism and marvellous color declare him the equal of Apelles.
Jupiter and Anthiope (Pardo-Venus) (1542, 196x386cm) _ The exact meaning of the composition is not known. The representation of the nude woman shows the direct influence of Giorgione's Venus in Dresden. Titian never painted independent landscapes, however, the landscape plays an important role in his paintings when the subject allows it.
Sacred and Profane Love (1514, 118x279cm) _ When Titian was about twenty-five, he painted this masterpiece to celebrate the marriage of the Venetian Nicolò Aurelio (coat of arms on the sarcophagus) and Laura Bagarotto in 1514. The bride dressed in white sitting beside Cupid is assisted by Venus in person. The figure with the vase of jewels symbolizes `fleeting happiness on earth' and the one bearing the burning flame of God's love symbolizes `eternal happiness in heaven'. The title is the result of a late 18th-century interpretation of the painting, which gives a moralistic reading of the nude figure, whereas the artist intended this to be an exaltation of both earthly and heavenly love. In fact in the Neoplatonic philosophy that Titian and his circle believed in contemplating the beauty of the creation led to an awareness of the divine perfection of the order of the cosmos. In this painting of love in the open countryside Titian has surpassed the delicate lyrical poetry of Giovanni Bellini or Giorgione and attributes a classical grandeur to his figures. In 1899, the Rothschilds offered to buy this world famous work at a price that was higher than the estimated value of the Villa Borghese and all its works of art (4'000'000 Lire as opposed to 3'600'000 Lire) . However, Titian's Sacred and Profane Love has remained and virtually become the symbol of the Borghese Gallery itself.
_ detail _ The figure bearing the burning flame of God's love symbolizes `eternal happiness in heaven'.
The Venus of Urbino (1538, 119x165cm) _ The Venus of Urbino was painted for Guidobaldo della Rovere, the heir of Francesco Maria della Rovere, Duke of Urbino. If the pose of this Venus brings to mind that of Giorgione's Sleeping Venus in Dresden (which the young Titian had completed after Giorgione's death) the intent of the painting is quite different. Titian's Venus has nothing to do with Giorgione's idealised image of female beauty, it is normally interpreted as an allegory of marital love. There have been some suggestions that there might be a connection with the wedding of Guidobaldo della Rovere and Giuliana Varano in 1534. This is an extremely fine composition. It invites us to dwell on more than just the warm, golden figure of this young woman with her cascading curls and the attractive, carefully studied movement of her arm. Observe the way the sheet has been painted, with masterful blends of color, the small dog lazily curled up asleep, the amusing touch of the two maids rummaging in the chest, the world outside the window, and the malicious, but at the same time ingenious expression of the young Venus. There is an intimacy of this scene of almost domestic simplicity which places the whole composition in a warm, human, temporal reality.
Venus with Organist and Cupid (1548, 148x217cm) _ detail _ The great Venetian master created several paintings depicting the nude Venus in the company of male musicians. Each of these works has multiple allegorical meanings. In this picture the connection between music and love can be sensed even more directly than in earlier astrological illustrations. Painters have characterized the children of Venus (that is, those who were born under the sign of Taurus the Bull or Libra the Scales) with scenes of love-making and other earthly pleasures: games, feasts, bathing, dancing, excursions, and especially music-playing. From the complex astrological series of the sixteenth century developed the picture type "Venus with Musician", then the amorous scenes and pastoral concerts which remained fashionable for another two hundred years. In Titian's painting the contact between the enamoured youth and the goddess reveals something else, too. The canvas is dominated by the reclining nude figure on the couch casually leaning on her elbow and personifying beauty with her full body and the vibrant liveliness of her skin. The organ-player has his back toward her, but he openly turns his head while playing and derives inspiration from the sight of such beauty. This is a clear presentation of the inspiration theme in which Venus fulfils the role of the Muse. Her demeanour is ceremonial and passive; she pays no attention to the musician while he - and this is similar in each variant - makes great effort to make eye contact. It appears as if he pays reverence to such physical beauty by playing his music. In additon, this painting can be considered the representation of Sight and Hearing. The active role of the glance and the importance of vision refer to the first sense, while the music-playing to the second. We can also assume that the stag running across the background became part of this picture in connection with Hearing, while the well, decorated with the figure of a faun holding an urn, is the well-spring of love.
Venus at her Toilet (1555, 124x105cm) _ The figure of the goddess derives from the celebrated Roman statue of Venus owned by the Medici family.
Danae (1544, 117x69cm) _ At 1545 Titian accepted the invitation of the Pope's nephew, Cardinal Alessandro Farnese and went to Rome. He carried with him the remarkable Danae (now in Naples), painted for Ottavio Farnese, which he had completed shortly before his departure. This work constitutes the clearest evidence of a stylistic change of direction in Titian's painting at this time. It is clear that a work such as this Danae could never have been fully appreciated in the artistic climate of contemporary Rome. Indeed, Vasari recounts how the great Michelangelo went to pay his respects to Titian in his rooms and, having seen the Danae, praised its "coloring and style". On leaving the painter's house, however, Michelangelo could not resist adding that "it was a shame that in Venice they did not learn to draw well from the beginning and that those painters did not pursue their studies with more method."
_ a very slightly different Danae (1554, 129x180cm) _ Between 1553 and 1554 Titian painted for the Habsburgs two "mythological fables" of clearly erotic intent, the Danae and the Venus and Adonis, both now in the Prado, Madrid. The Danae is really a variation on a canvas painted ten years earlier for the Farnese family. With greater fidelity to Ovid's text, the Cupid has now been replaced by the elderly nurse who attempts to use her apron to gather the shower of gold into which Jupiter had transformed himself in order to possess the young woman.
Venus and Adonis (1554, 186x207cm) _ Between 1553 and 1554 Titian painted for the Habsburgs two "mythological fables" of clearly erotic intent, the Danae and this Venus and Adonis, which became the prototype for a whole series of replicas of this subject. In both paintings the scene of the union of the lovers is bathed in the warm light of sunset, where the diffuse softness of the colors holds sway. The female nudes reveal the the continuing inspiration of Michelangelo's sculpture, such as the Dawn and Night from the Medici tombs in Florence. But what is entirely personal to Titian is the quality of the color, which fragments into patches of dazzling luminosity - a perfect complement to the ecstatic sensuous abandon of the figures. _ very slightly different Venus and Adonis (187x134cm) _ Mentioned as a work of Titian in all the inventories, this painting is one of the artist's several versions of the evidently popular subject. The acknowledged prototype is the example listed above, which depicts Adonis without the red hunter's cap. _ detail of a third version of the same Venus and Adonis (after 1560)
Venus Blindfolding Cupid (1565, 118x185cm) _ This painting evokes Cupid's blind power as his mother, the cosmic divinity, blindfolds him. His brother is intent on observing the large number of arrows or fatal darts of love (a metaphor for amorous glances) the nymph is carrying. This painting, in spite of the potentially joyous mythological subject and similarly to other works painted in this period, is pervaded with a degree of tension which is clearly evident in the sad and pensive expressions and in the intense colors of the fiery sky. The rapid brush-strokes of Titian's mature pictorial technique when seen close to seem to break up the forms but from a distance they acquire an extraordinary modelled quality and create a chromatic texture that blends the background and figures in a `Venetian' harmony of colors. In the 17th century this style influenced Velázquez, Rubens, van Dyck and Caravaggio.
The Bravo (1520, 77 x 66,5 cm) _ In the 17th century the painting was attributed to Giorgione, and later for a long time to Palma Vecchio. However, recently it was attributed to Tiziano.
The Concert (109x123cm) _ Cardinal Leopoldo bought this picture in 1654 as a Giorgione and for centuries it has been assigned to him. It was at the end of the nineteenth century that Morelli proposed the atribution to Titian, which, in spite of a recent return to giving it to Giorgione, is generally accepted as the more persuasive, naturally placing it in Titian's Giorgionesque period, that is to say his early years. The conception and the pictorial rendering appear too full and expansive to allow one to think of Giorgione. Giorgione is considered as the inspirer of the picture, but here there is a greater force than is found in him and a style of painting which is in a certain sense broader. The episode represented (a mere excuse for the presentation of the three ages of man) might well be entitled "Musical Moment". While the elegant youth is absent and distracted, while the old monk seems as it were to placate us with his slow gesture and his intense look in which there is a pitiful sense of comprehension, the young monk in the centre in all his fullness of life "assumes to us the most sublime personification of music and of its bewildering emotions... The figures in the picture are three but such is the intensity of life in the monk who plays than the others seem far away from us — the weakened echos of great warm voice of passion. The color is warm and deep; it constructs, it illumines — the living expression of a security of modelling and design which is present and necessary but is subjugated to the poetry of color. This is one of the greatest masterpieces of Italian painting.
Judith with the Head of Holofernes (1515, 90x73cm) _ This masterpiece is one of the finest and most poetical of Titian's creations, unanimously dated by the critics at about 1515. There is another version of this painting, of poorer quality and undoubtedly the work of a follower. At one time this painting was believed to depict Herodias, Herod's wife and the mother of Salome. However people such as François Deseine in 1713 or Charles de Brosses in 1740, thought it to be a representation of Judith, which is now the accepted opinion. If the figure in the painting were Herodias, dressed here in bright red, carrying the head of John the Baptist on a tray, then the girl in the green dress on her right would have to be Salome. Yet there is nothing regal about the two women, while the seductive attitude of the main figure is well suited to the Jewish heroine Judith, a rich and attractive widow who, with her oppressor Holofernes decapitated, now holds the head with the assistance of her maid. This theme was often treated as a symbol of virtue. That this interpretation of the subject may be the correct one is also confirmed by the fact that there is a 1533 record of a Judith by Titian in the collection of Alfonso I d'Este. Considered lost, there cannot be the slightest doubt that it is this painting, which comes from the collection of Lucrezia d' Este, granddaughter of Alfonso I.
Tarquin and Lucretia _ Titian and his workshop produced several versions of the subject.
The Three Ages of Man (1512, 90x151cm; 743x1250pix, 170kb) _ The young Titian was influenced by Giorgione, it is therefore not surprising that this work has been the subject of scholarly debate concerning its attribution to either one of the two artists.
Child with Dogs (1576; 600xpix, ZOOM to 14001276x1488pix, 303kb)
The Legend of Polydorus (1508; 600xpix, ZOOM to 1400??? 400x3712pix, 359kb)
The Birth of Adonis ( 600xpix, ZOOM to 1400??? 384x1848pix, 173kb)
–- The Sacrifice of Isaac (1544; 901x796pix, 61kb — .ZOOM to 1352x1195pix, 152kb — .ZOOM+ to 2366x2091pix, 313kb)
Judith ( 600x507pix, ZOOM to 1400x1184pix, 545kb) with the head of Holofernes.
Sacra Conversazione (1514; 600xpix, ZOOM to 14001296x1708pix, 249kb)
The Burial of Christ (1530; 600xpix, ZOOM to 14001296x1644pix, 426kb)
The Mocking of Christ (1575; 600xpix, ZOOM to 14001428x1256pix, 328kb)
100 images at ARC (not counting some repeated)
^ Died on 27 August 1900: Antoine Vollon, French Realist painter of still life, landscapes, and figures, born on 23 April 1833. — [Il aurait fini mal si, au lieu d'une carrière de peintre, il avait écouté les chenapans qui lui disaient: “Nous voulons: volons, Vollon.” Il aurait été mis au violon.]
— He was born in Lyon, son of an ornamental craftsman. Apprenticed to an engraver on metal, he also began to paint, self-taught. He studied at the École des Beaux-Arts in Lyon from 1850 to 1853, under the engraver Vibert, then worked as a decorator of enamelled pans and stoves. Vollon moved to Paris in 1859 with the intention of becoming a painter. He met Ribot [1823 – 11 Sep 1891], and began by painting still life under his influence and that of the Dutch 17th century still-life painters; later also became a friend of Alexandre Dumas, Carpeaux, Daumier, and Daubigny. Vollon exhibited at the Paris Salon from 1864. Best-known for his still lifes, he also painted a number of landscapes in Marseille, Le Tréport and elsewhere. Vollon died in Paris.
— Having worked for a maker of enameled metalwork and an engraver, Vollon attended the École des Beaux-Arts in Lyon (1850–1852), where he won awards in printmaking. He subsequently copied 18th-century paintings for industrial design. He had begun to concentrate on his own work by 1858 and joined a group of Romantic artists based in Lyon, including Francis Verney [1833–1896], Fleury Chenu [1833–1875], Joseph Ravier [1832–1878] and Joseph Bail [22 Jan 1863 – 26 Nov 1921] and Jean Antoine Bail [08 Apr 1830 – 20 Oct 1919]. In 1859 Vollon moved to Paris, where he met the Realist painters François Bonvin [22 Nov 1817 – 19 Dec 1887] and Théodule Ribot, who encouraged him to paint genre and still-life scenes. Until 1863 he earned government stipends for copying pictures in the Louvre (e.g. Ribera’s Adoration by the Shepherds); that year he exhibited at the Salon des Refusés. He achieved public recognition in 1864 after his genre piece Kitchen Interior, one of two paintings accepted at the official Salon, was purchased by the state. In 1865 he earned a Salon medal for Interior of a Kitchen, a genre scene inspired by Chardin and 17th-century Dutch art. Vollon was best known for his still-lifes, in which he frequently depicted objects stored in his studio. Painted in a vigorous style, these range in palette from pastels to vibrant reds. In the rich coloring and sumptuous effects of Curiosities Vollon demonstrated his love of metallic surfaces, armor and elegant porcelains. He exhibited at the Salon until 1880 and was admitted to the Académie des Beaux-Arts in 1897. His son Antoine [12 May 1865 – 1945], who worked under the name Alexis Vollon, painted genre scenes and still-lifes and exhibited at the Salon from 1885. He won a few awards but did not achieve the success of his father.

Self-Portrait (41x33cm)
Vue d'Anvers (1871, 74x 93cm)
A Still Life with a Basket of Flowers, Oranges and a Fan on a Table (49x61cm)
A Still Life with a Bowl of Fruit (95x65cm)
A Still Life With A Fish, A Bottle And A Wicker Basket (55x66cm)
In The Roost (74x60cm)
Les Meules (61x74cm)
Portrait of a Man (61x50cm)
Motte de Beurre (1885).
^ Died on 27 August 1664: Francisco Zurbarán, Spanish Baroque painter baptized as an infant on 07 November 1598 in Fuente de Cantos (Badajoz).
— Spanish painter of saints and churchmen. His use of sharply defined, often brilliant, colors, minute detail in simple compositions, strongly three-dimensional modeling of figures, and the shadowed light that brightly illuminates his subjects all give his paintings a solidity and dignity evocative of the solitude and solemnity of monastic life. His work at its best fuses two dominant tendencies in Spanish art, realism and mysticism.
      Zurbarán was born of Basque ancestry in Fuente de Cantos, Badajoz Province. He was apprenticed to a minor Spanish painter in Seville but appears to have been influenced early in his career by Michelangelo. In 1617 he went to work in Llerena, and in 1629, at the invitation of the town council, he settled in Seville. Zurbarán spent the next 30 years there, with the exception of two years (1634-35) that he spent in Madrid working for the royal court. Zurbarán left Seville in 1658, after his reputation declined there; he died in Madrid.
      Zurbarán was only slightly influenced by Diego Rodriguez Velázquez and Jusepe de Ribera. Late in his career, however, he changed his style, according to some critics, for the worse, after being influenced by Bartolomé Estéban Murillo.
      Zurbarán's earliest known work, painted when he was 18 years old, is an Immaculate Conception. Other notable early works include Crucifixion (1629); several large scenes of the life of Saint Peter Nolasco (died 1256), the founder of the Mercedarians, originally done for a convent in Seville (1628-29); The Apotheosis of Saint Thomas Aquinas (1631) and Still Life with Oranges (1633)
— Zurbarán was born in Fuente de Cantos (Estremadura) into the family of a petty merchant. His professional training he received in Seville in 1616/17 in the workshop of Pedro Diaz da Villanueva. Then he settled near his birthplace to paint a large number of religious pictures for the monasteries and churches.
   In Seville, where he settled in 1629, he became the leading artist. There he produced many altarpieces and decorated a number of monasteries with extensive fresco style cycles. In 1630-1645, Zurbarán painted a lot of paintings of different saints; they are evidence of his talent as a portraitist. They are usually separate figures in full height, with a dark or neutral background. These paintings were used for decoration of the churches and were hung on both sides of a central painting or altar. Zurbarán painted a series of such paintings for churches and also for the Hospital de la Sangre in Seville.
    His style, with massively simple figures and objects, clear, sober colors and deep solemnity of feeling expressed in thickly applied paint, made him the ideal painter of the austere religion of Spain.
    Zurbarán's fortunes fell with Murillo’s rise. In 1658 he moved to Madrid, where he entered the Santiago Order. In order to support himself he had to become an art dealer, though he was not successful in business either. He died in Madrid in poverty.

Saint Apolonia (113x66cm) _ The painting was probably part of an altarpiece of Saint Joseph painted for a church in Seville. Saint Apolonia was the patron saint of the dentists, this explains the attribute in her hand.
Apostle Saint Andrew (1631, 147x61cm) _ Zurbarán's picture of Saint Andrew is in marked contrast to Ribera's dramatic representation of the crucifixion of the saint. There is the same close observation of detail, but Zurbarán's picture has the calm majesty seen in the work of El Greco. These various qualities Zurbarán blends into a unity with an individual touch of his own. Just as the figure in El Greco's picture is suffused with blue-green shades, so here the figure of the wise old man is suffused with warm greenish browns. Saint Andrew is seen leaning against two beams or branches which serve, in a quite uncontrived way, to identify the saint, being in the form of the cross of Saint Andrew, his attribute.
      It is obvious at a glance that this picture dates from Zurbarán's finest period: the lined face of the saint, the peasant hands roughened by hard work and the austere folds of the robes, together create an impression of the serenity and permanence so characteristic of Zurbarán's still-lifes as well as his large compositions. In all probability the painting once adorned an altar in the Carmelite church of Saint Adalbert of Seville, together with its companion piece, the painting of the Archangel Gabriel, which is now in the Montpellier Museum.
The Lying-in-State of Saint Bonaventura (1629, 250x225cm) _ The painting belonged to a series of pictures now dispersed, painted for a convent in Seville and having for subject the life of the saint. Dressed in the brilliant white robes of a bishop, grasping the cross in his folded hands, the body of the saint lies in state on a bier draped in sumptuous brocade, with the red biretta of the cardinal at his feet. Pope Gregory X, who had appointed him cardinal bishop of Albano in 1273 stands, a white bearded man, beside the king, to whom he appears to be explaining the merits of the dead man. Most of the mourners, however, are simple Franciscan monks in their greyish brown habits, pensively praying or meditatively contemplating the dead man. He is indeed one of them, and the wan complexion of his tranquil face appears to mirror the dull hue of the habits. The great scholar and administrator of his order is here placed between the representatives of ecclesiastical and worldly power and the world of simple Franciscan brotherhood. He was accorded the title of "doctor seraphicus", meaning the "brilliant teacher full of love". This is what Zurbarán paints: the teacher bound to practical life, his face filled with mystical desire even in death.
Saint Margaret (1631, 194x112cm) _ The painting is probably a portrait of a lady dressed as shepherdess. The serpent is the attribute of the saint. The apocryphal legend of the life and death of Margaret of Antioch was known in the western world as early as the 7th century. Cast out by her heathen father, she was martyred in the Diocletian persecution of Christians and decapitated. In the course of the centuries, more and more legends grew up around this popular martyr. Zurbarán has portrayed her with straw hat and staff, in the costume of a Spanish shepherdess. Behind her we see the dragon which she is said to have overcome with the sign of the cross. Completely inactive, with the Bible in her left hand and a woven shepherd's bag over her arm, she gazes at the spectator with a sweetly childish face. This painting does not tell the turbulent episodes of her life, but shows a saintly woman revered in the home country of the painter.
The Vision of Saint Peter of Nolasco (1629, 179x223cm) _ The painting and its companion-piece was commissioned by the Mercedarian Monastery in Seville shortly after the canonization of Pedro Nolasco who four centuries before established a lay Order for freeing the Christians from Moorish captivity. In his vision Peter of Nolasco, in the white robe of his Order, sees the New Jerusalem showing by an angel. The heavenly city with its tower resembles to contemporary Avila.
The Apparition of Apostle Saint Peter to Saint Peter of Nolasco (1629, 179x223cm) _ The painting and its companion-piece was commissioned by the Mercedarian Monastery in Seville shortly after the canonization of Pedro Nolasco who four centuries before established a lay Order for freeing the Christians from Moorish captivity.
Adoration by the Shepherds _ another image of the same The Adoration by the Shepherds (1638) _ Zurbarán attains religious feeling by realistic simplicity, an extreme density, the boldness of his colors and the calculated awkwardness of his composition.
Saint Hugo of Grenoble in the Carthusian Refectory (1633, 102x168cm) _ Zurbarán's painting of a Carthusian refectory intensely reflects the ideal of this order of hermit monks: simplicity, sobriety and quiet contemplation. The room is unadorned, but for a painting showing the Virgin and Child with John the Baptist in the wilderness — an inspiration to the monks. An arched doorway opens out towards a typically simple Carthusian church. The monks, dressed in white cassocks, are seated at the table on which there are only plates of bread. With the exception of one monk whose hands are folded in prayer, they are all completely immersed in introspective contemplation with their eyes cast down, apparently paying no attention to the guest to whom the elderly abbot, Saint Hugo, appears to be explaining the life of the monastery. This painting exudes an atmosphere of tranquillity unaffected by the event portrayed.
Still-life (46x84cm) _ The bleak, austere piety of Zurbarán's early pictures of saints, painted for more severe religious orders, made him the ideal painter of simple doctrinal altarpieces expressed in clear, sober color, with figures of massive solidity and solemnity, and with a Tenebrism owing little to Caravaggio or Ribera, but developed straight out of southern Spanish traditions of unidealized representations. For the same reason, he was one of the finest still-life painters.
Still-life with Lemons, Oranges and Rose (1633, 60x107cm) _ In the oeuvre of Zurbarán, religious themes predominate, with particular emphasis on asceticism. He also painted many still-lifes, which, however, reflect the same qualities of asceticism, quiet contemplation and introversion for his choice of objects indicates the transience of human life.
      Zurbarán does not do so by presenting a clock, a skull or an hourglass. Instead, on a brilliantly polished table, he shows us a pewter plate with lemons, a basket of oranges complete with leaves and blossoms, and a fine china cup on a silver saucer on which lies a rose in full bloom. Though lemons signify wealth in a Netherlandish still life, they have a very different meaning here, in the country where they actually grow. Even so, they are not represented as the fruits of daily life, but presented with all the solemn celebration of an offering on an altar.
      As in the paintings of his contemporary Sánchez Cotán, Zurbarán isolates the individual objects from one another - even the composition appears to be a conscious though not excessively artificial arrangement. Against the dark background, the objects are completely static, and appear to be torn out of the context of everyday life. The human beings to whom they apparently belong have no place here.
Saint Casilda of Burgos (1638-42, 184x90cm) _ Zurbarán at his best may be said to have given new life to certain qualities found in the Mozarabic miniatures and Romanesque panel paintings - majesty, serenity and brilliance of color. He had already made his name, and was a court painter — though he had not yet come under the not altogether felicitous influence of Murillo — when he painted this Andalusian girl with her attractively irregular features, elegantly dressed in heavy, shimmering silks, wearing pearls and a coronet and holding roses in her hand, the only indication of her identity. For Saint Casilda is associated with the miraculous transformation of bread into roses as was Saint Elizabeth of Hungary and Thuringia. Casilda was the daughter of the Emir of Toledo and was secretly converted to Christianity. She gave bread to her father's prisoners. When the bread was miraculously turned into flowers she was saved from exposure like the charitable Elizabeth who gave food to the poor. The left side of the painting was cut.
Rest on the Flight to Egypt (1659, 121x97cm) _ The painting shows the influence of Murillo and the Sevillan school.
La Purisíma (1661, 136x102cm) _ The Immaculate Conception (in Spanish: Purisima) was a favorite subject in seventeenth-century Spanish painting. In these pictures Mary is usually represented as a child or as a young girl, her eyes turned heavenwards, personifying innocence and childlike devotion and rising amidst clouds and cherubs to heaven. Murillo painted innumerable versions of this theme [*see below], which also engaged the attention of Zurbarán: The Immaculate Conception (1661) — The Immaculate Conception (1665) — Immaculate ConceptionThe Immaculate ConceptionThe Immaculate Conception (1634) — Our Lady of Immaculate Conception (1630) .
      This painting is a late work of Zurbarán. The Virgin is a slender, delicate young girl with an exquisite oval face and golden hair falling to her shoulders, a vision in white and ultramarine seen against a golden sky peopled with cherubs. Though lacking in vigour, this late work has all the painterly qualities and expressive beauty of the great monumental paintings of Zurbarán's early period. There is a similar Immaculate Conception in the church of Langon near Bordeaux.
The House of Nazareth (1645) _ Zurbarán painted an important series of paintings for the Jeronymites of the monastery of Guadalupe. Here the mood varies from a vein of realism to visions of miracles and scenes of contemplation in which the mysticism of the great Estremaduran artist has mingled with his colors. Perhaps the finest of these scenes is the mystical House of Nazareth, in the Cleveland Museum.
Saint Francis (1660, 65x53cm) _ Born in 1181 or 1182 in Assisi as the son of a wealthy draper, Saint Francis [biography] died in poverty in the same town on 03 October 1226. Francis' life of poverty, humility, selflessness and serene neighbourly love made the order of Friars Minor which he founded one of the most widespread religious orders in the entire western world. Following the council of Trent in the mid 16th century, Saint Francis was invariably portrayed as an ascetic, penitent and ecstatic monk, frequently dressed in the habit of the Capuchin monks and with a skull as attribute.
      Zurbarán's saint bears the entire complexity of this figure. This is Francis the ascetic, dressed in a brown habit, without signs of office or adornment. This is the humble Francis dressed in the colors of the earth. This is Francis the ecstatic monk, who has received the stigmata of the five wounds. His young face is raised heavenwards in contemplation, one hand placed upon his heart, the other on the skull, the sign of meditation. He is shown as a holy man of spiritual profundity and scholarly intellect, as reflected in his facial traits. Yet he is not a monk who is alienated from daily life and caught up entirely in his mystical passion, but a man close to life, as Zurbarán shows. His "portrait" is an allegory of faith and simplicity.
Saint Luke as a Painter before Christ on the Cross _ another image of the same Saint Luke as a Painter before Christ on the Cross
(1660) _ It is assumed by some scholars that Saint Luke is a self-portrait of Zurbarán.
Defense of Cadiz against the English (1634, 302x323cm) _ This painting is from the Hall of the Realms in the Buen Retiro Palace and it belongs to the same series as Velázquez's Surrender of Breda.

Died on a 27 August:

1965 Charles~Édouard Jeanneret “Le Corbusier”, Swiss French painter etc., best known as an architect, born (full coverage) on 06 October 1887. —(060820)

1896 Atanasio Soldati, Italian painter born (main coverage) on 24 August 1896. —(070827)

^ 1912 José María Velasco, Mexican painter and teacher born on 06 July 1840. One of his teachers was Eugenio Landesio. As a landscape painter Velasco was the most representative figure of Mexican academic painting in the 19th century. He produced a large body of work, in which the main theme was the spectacular natural scenery of his own country, interpreted according to his own singular vision. Stylistic unity and meticulously high standards of production characterize his work. — Velasco at Arts History of Mexico
Self~Portrait (1864)
The Hacienda of Chimilpa (1893, 104x159cm)
–- S#*> Vista de Oaxaca desde el Cerro del Fortín (45x61cm; 589x799pix, 99kb) _ This combines Velasco’s commitment to the scientific representation of nature and the use of landscape as a method to express his artistic sensibility. Velasco recreates the architecture of the town of Oaxaca with the same precision as the vegetation in the foreground, both of which are testaments to his over-arching aim for verisimilitude. The river flowing from the right edge of the canvas, the cumulus clouds floating in the sky, and the chain of mountains astride the horizon act as a border compositionally; while thematically, these elements underscore the grandiosity of nature and guide the eye to the world beyond. Like other late nineteenth century landscape painters, Velasco’s panoramic views of Mexico’s valleys are more than just authentic representations of a landscape, but instead employ nature as a portal leading to reflection and inspiration.
–- S#*> Valle de México (31x47cm; 527x799pix, 72kb)

1876 Eugène~Samuel~Auguste Fromentin, French writer and painter born (full coverage) on 24 October 1836.

1831 François Dumont l'aîné, French artist born on 07 January 1751. — Relative? of sculptor Jacques-Edmé Dumont [10 Apr 1761 – 21 Feb 1844] and of others of that family of sculptors, including a François Dumont [1688 – 14 Dec 1726]?

1691 Gregor Brandmüller, Swiss artist born on 25 August 1661.

1664 Cornelis Pieterszoon Bega, Dutch painter born (full coverage) on 15 November 1620. —(060825)

1647 Pietro Novelli, Italian painter born (main coverage) on 02 March 1603. —(090716).

Born on a 27 August:

^ 1943 Luis Caballero, Bogotá Colombian artist who died in 1995. Excelente dibujante, se caracterizó por sus cuadros realistas de gran dimensión, en las que presenta desnudos con expresiones desesperadas y violentas, de líneas vigorosas y vivo colorido, con los que recreó las obras de los grandes maestros renacentistas (Pequeña Capilla Sixtina de Bogotá). Plasmó figuras sin rostros, manos o pies y combinó expresiones de éxtasis místico y sexual (Pareja). Alcanzó gran dominio en la representación del cuerpo humano masculino en posiciones yacentes. Publicó Me tocó ser así.
Untitled (510) (1989, 50x65cm)

1890 Emmanuel Rudnitsky “Man Ray”, US painter who died (full coverage) on 19 November 1976. —(060826)

>1791 Jozef T.L. Geirnaert, Belgian painter who died on 20 March 1859.
–- Blowing Bubbles (1842, 44x36cm; 1340x1043pix, 133kb) _ Drying Her Left Foot While the Kids Prepare to Blow Bubbles With the Dirty Soapy Water would be a more descriptive title.
–- The Doctor's Visit (90x75cm; 1575x1300pix, 98kb)

* PURÍSIMAS by Bartolomé Esteban Murillo    [^back to Zurbarán^]
The Immaculate Conception (1648)
Immaculate Conception
The Immaculate Conception (1680)
Immaculate Conception (1678)
Immaculate Conception
Immaculate Conception (1670)
The Immaculate Conception, detail of angels (1665)
The Immaculate Conception of the Virgin
Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception (1678)

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