ART 4 2-DAY 31 August v.9.70
>Died on 31 August 1955: Willi
Baumeister, Stuttgart German writer and abstract painter
born on 22 January 1889.
— After an apprenticeship as a painter and decorator (1905–1907), which was the initial stimulus of his great interest in the technical potential of painting materials, he studied at the Kunstakademie, Stuttgart. Of his teachers Adolf Hölzel was the most influential. His friends included Otto Mayer-Amden and Oskar Schlemmer, and he worked with Schlemmer and others on a pictorial wall frieze for the Cologne Werkbund exhibition in 1914, through which he became known to a wider circle. After serving as a soldier in the Balkans and the Caucasus during World War I, he returned to Stuttgart where he worked as a typesetter, a stage designer, and an architectural perspective artist.
From 1905 to 1907 Willi Baumeister completed a training in painting and decorating, which was likely the source of his lifelong sense of a fitting use of materials, and his enjoyment of experiment. Admitted in 1906 to the drawing class at the Akademie der bilden den Kunste, Stuttgart, he became a student in Adolf Hölzel's composition class there in 1910. "In 1919-1920," Baumeister noted, "I made paintings conceived for an architecture that did not yet exist at the time. In contrast to Archipenko, I strove not for an isolated, colored relief but began with a component of architecture, the wall. The result was paintings with actual, raised surfaces, which, as it were, hesitatingly grew out of the wall, without controverting its laws... I called these pictures 'wall paintings,' to emphasize the contrast with 'easel paintings'." Many of Baumeister's wall paintings contain rough-textured passages obtained by adding sand to the paint, a technique he would continue to use a11 the way down to the late Monturi pictures. Color and form were treated in accordance with the law of perfect harmony and clarity, for Baumeister's intent was to expunge all subjectivity from his art. In the early 1930s he recurred to archaic configurations, which lent his style reminiscences of neolithic cave painting.
Monturi Discus I A, from the Monturi sequence, is a work from the artist's final years. Focus of the composition is the circular, white form in the center - the discus of the title - surrounded and intersected by multicolored arabesques, which seems to converge on an expansive, rock-like shape. According to Baumeister's statements, images of this kind address the fundamental issues of life, through symbols of the female principle and the forces at work in nature.
— The students of Baumeister included Peter Brüning, Frans Krajcberg, and Syn.
— Farbiger Steinbruch (1947; 600x764pix, 177kb)
— Figur mit Streifen (1920; 600x432pix)
— Drei gestaffelte Figuren mit Schwarz (1920; 585x440pix)
— Zwei Figuren mit Blau und Rosa (1920; 585x376pix)
— Grau-Schwarz (1950; 585x684pix)
— Aru 5 (1955; 585x400pix)
–- Amenophis (1950 color screenprint, 47x54cm; 853x1009pix, 128kb)
–- Eidos 7 (853x1009pix, 128kb)
Standing Figure with Blue Plane (1933, 82x65cm; 735x585pix, 86kb)
— 160 images at Ciudad de la Pintura
Died on 31 August 1709: padre Andrea
Pozzo (or Puteus), Italian Baroque
era painter born on 30 November 1642.
Andrea Pozzo was an extraordinarily versatile artist, an architect, decorator, painter, art theoretician, one of the most significant figures of Baroque Gesamtkunst. He entered the Jesuit order at an early age, and his artistic activity is also related to the order's enormous artistic enterprises. His masterpiece, the decoration of Rome's Jesuit churches Il Gesu and San Ignazio, determined for several generations the style of internal decoration of Late Baroque churches in almost all Europe. His fresco in San Ignazio, with its perspective, space~enlarging illusory architecture and with the apparition of the heavenly assembly whirling above, offered an example which was copied in several Italian, Austrian and German churches of the Jesuit order. Pozzo even published his artistic ideas in a noted theoretical work entitled Perspectiva pictorum et architectorum (1693) illustrated with engravings.
On the invitation of Emperor Leopold I, in 1704 be moved to Vienna, where he worked for the sovereign, the court, Prince Johann Adam von Liechtenstein, various religious orders and churches. Some of his tasks were of a decorative, occasional character (church and theatre scenery), and these were soon destroyed. His most significant surviving work in Vienna is the monumental ceiling fresco of Liechtenstein Palace, The Triumph of Hercules, which, according to the sources, was very admired by contemporaries. Some of his Viennese altarpieces have also survived. His compositions of altarpieces and illusory ceiling frescoes had many followers in Hungary, Bohemia, Moravia, and even in Poland.
The Apotheose of S. Ignazio (1689, ceiling fresco) _ detail: The Continents 1 _ detail: The Continents 2 _ This spectacular composition is almost an inventory of Baroque architectural ceilings and their final triumph. According to Jesuit ideas, the space within a church was a single area in which the faithful congregated. In S. Ignazio space is stretched (Pozzo was clever at the illusion of "doubling" the perspective of the real architecture) before exploding into light and glory. Saints, angels, allegories, and floating clouds accentuate the virtuoso effect. The impression is one of exuberance and freedom. In reality, it was worked out using scientific criteria. Designed to be viewed from a point in the centre of the nave, which is marked by a white stone, Padre Pozzo's ceiling produces the illusion of a palace opening on the sky.
Saint Francis Xavier (1701, 235x137cm) _ After the liberation of Hungary from the Turkish occupation, the church of Our Lady in Buda Castle passed into the ownership of the Society of Jesus. Their annals referred as early as 1701 to a "new and elegant" altarpiece of St. Francis Xavier, while a minute record from 1710 also describes the subject of the picture and its great artistic value. In this latter notice it is also mentioned that the altarpiece was painted by the greatly loved member of the order, the highly gifted Andrea Pozzo. The note about this brilliant and versatile Baroque artist (he was a painter, drawer, aquarellist, architectural designer, as well as an art theoretician), written in the year following his death, should be taken as fully authentic. It is inspired by the pleasure the Jesuits of Buda felt with the possession of at least one work of art from his splendid oeuvre.
The picture represents one of the most glorious successes of St. Francis Xavier as a Jesuit missionary in India: the very moment of his baptizing Queen Neachile of India, an eminent member of the royal family, giving her the name Isabella. Until then the Queen, a devout adherent of the ancient Indian religion, had been a most stubborn enemy of the Christian faith, so her conversion was regarded as a singular achievement of Christian missionary work in the Far East.
In Pozzo's oeuvre there are also some other variations on the same theme. In the Buda altarpiece the main figures of the scene are brought into relief by a monumental shaping; the modeling of light and shadow lays emphasis on the moment of administering the sacrament. The balance of the composition is given by a kneeling boy who holds a baptismal bowl in his hands, a figure entirely absent in the other variations.
Ange gardien (1694, 173x122cm).
Died on 31 August 1963: Georges Braque,
painter, collagist, draftsman, sculptor, printmaker, illustrator, born on
13 May 1882.
— His most important contribution to the history of art was his role in the development of what became known as Cubism. In this, Braque’s work is intertwined with that of his collaborator Pablo Picasso, especially from 1908 to 1912. For a long time it was impossible to distinguish their respective contributions to Cubism, for example in the development of collage, while Picasso’s fame and notoriety overshadowed the quiet life of Braque.
Braque spent his youth at Le Havre where he became an apprentice house painter and attended night classes in drawing; he then moved to Paris. His early paintings (1907) were in the Fauve style but he soon came under the influence of Cézanne. This led to a close friendship with Picasso and subsequently to the development of Cubism. The paintings of the two artists for the next years (1910~1914) were often quite similar.
After serving in World War I, Braque returned to a less austere kind of Cubism. Toward 1920 the lingering geometric traits of Braque's Cubism began to be softened by elaborations of brushwork and looser drawing. Though he ocassionally did figure paintings, especially of ancient Greek subjects, and a few small landscapes of the Norman Coast, his best work was in still~life, particularly his paintings of the 1920s and 1930s.
During World War II Braque's health suffered but there was still-life in him and he managed to paint many large canvases, somewhat looser in execution than his previous work. Braque also made prints, color lithographs, plaster reliefs, a few small sculptures and jewelry. In the 1950s he worked with the theme of birds in flight. After World War II his paintings became more colorful and impressionistic.
One cannot speak of the Fauvist and Cubist movements in twentieth-century art without uttering the name of Georges Braque. Often seen as merely supplementing the project so loudly engaged by Picasso, Braque was in fact a crucial thinker of the modern aesthetics that influenced the work of Picasso and others. An examination of his life is at once a biographical investigation and an historical survey of the avant-garde.
Georges Braque was born in Argenteuil, France, one of the centers of the Impressionist movement in the later half of the nineteenth century. Both his father and grandfather owned a prosperous house-painting business, and the young Braque would travel along on assignments, already gaining an awareness of the integral relationship between paint and space. At 15, after the family had relocated to nearby Le Havre, Georges enrolled in an evening course at the local academy of fine arts. This time spent after school, as well as on the job, pushed Braque to get an apprenticeship in house painting and interior decoration at the age of 17. From Le Havre, he moved to Paris and began a lifelong exploration of color and space, searching for the most beautiful combination of the two.
In 1902, after a year of military service and with the financial support of his family, Braque made the decision to become an "artist." This meant enrolling first in a private art academy in Paris and then attending the prestigious École des Beaux-Arts. He spent two more years as an official student of art, regularly attending the Louvre for inspiration (mostly Egyptian and Greek classical sculpture) and exploring the different approaches to color and form used by the Impressionists and the post-Impressionists.
1905, however, was a turning point in Braque’s career. At Paris’s Salon d’Automne exhibition, he witnessed for the first time the wildly explosive color of the aptly self-titled Fauves. Braque rapidly took as his own this style that seemed to privilege arbitrariness and violent display. During the next two years, Braque relocated several times, each time imbuing his new locale (be it Antwerp or the Mediterranean coast) with representations exploding in color. His confidence in style can best be seen in coastal works like The Port of La Ciotat and View from the Hôtel Mistral, L’Estaque.
Upon his return to Paris in 1907, Braque found himself a commercial success. His exhibition at the Paris Salon des Indépendants generated sales for much of his work and attracted a prominent dealer, Daniel-Henri Kahnweiler. Kahnweiler’s small gallery in Paris would, with Braque’s work always displayed prominently, shape the evolution of the modern aesthetic. And it was through Kahnweiler that Braque met Pablo Picasso. After exchanging a few superficial remarks about painting, Braque, nary seven months Picasso’s junior, expressed severe criticism of the master’s Les Demoiselles d’Avignon. Braque is remembered as declaring, In spite of your explanations, your painting looks as if you wanted to make us eat tow, or drink gasoline and spit fire. It was exactly this kind of critical honesty from an artistic peer that the young Picasso craved, and the two formed one of the tightest, most influential relationships in the history of art.
Braque and Picasso worked together for years, feverishly trading ideas back and forth. This tight collaboration produced hundreds of works almost indistinguishable from one another, making it difficult to determine whether Picasso or Braque initiated this revolutionary movement. We can surmise from stylistics, however, that Picasso probably give birth to the groundbreaking and liberating idea, while Braque provided the movement with its geometrical tendencies (see Houses at L’Estaque). By the middle of 1908, the style was crystallized. During one of Braque’s shows at Kahnweiler’s gallery, the esteemed Paris critic Louis Vauxcelles commented on the performance of the "cubes". Cubism was officially born.
By 1911, Braque’s style had become more hermetic and used complicated, analytical notions to explode the flat image outward. Man with a Guitar, exemplary of the period, combines the flat, pictorial space with multiple viewpoints and light sources, creating numerous simultaneously overlapping images. In 1912, after courting his wife-to-be, Marcelle, Braque began a lengthy experiment in collage and overlay, using three pieces of wallpaper to extend his drawing Fruit Dish and Glass into three-dimensional space.
In 1914, Braque entered the war as an infantry sergeant and was decorated twice for his bravery in the field. However, he suffered a serious head wound the year after, and was sent to a convalescent home at Sourges. Without much energy to paint or sculpt, Braque began recording the main aphorisms he thought of when he was painting. Some examples of these aphorisms include: Il faut se contenter de découvrir, mais se garder d'expliquer. "L'ombre intérieure revêt la plupart des formes naturelles des objets qui sont la sphère, le cône, le cylindre". "Je cherche à rendre la perspective uniquement par la couleur". "Je pense en formes et en couleurs". "Travailler sur la nature c'est improviser", "J'aime la règle qui corrige l'émotion", "Les senses déforment, l'esprit forme." These and many other sayings were collected by his friend Pierre Reverdy and published as Pensées et Réflections sur la Peinture.
After several years of convalescence, the artist rejoined the increasingly popular Cubist movement. His companions were enveloped in the "synthetic phase" in which more color and larger shapes were employed. With the spirit of a rediscovery, Braque joined them, painting such works as Woman Musician and Still Life with Playing Cards.
In 1922, Braque relocated to an exquisite house on Paris’s left bank and allowed his notoriety to find most of his commissions. These included stage designs for the ballets of Russian composer Sergey Diaghilev. In addition, Braque did many works on canvas, though at this point the subject matter was almost wholly devoted to the still life (see his cheminées). By 1931, Braque had devoted almost all his energy to a new medium: white drawings reminiscent of the ancient Greek works he so loved as a youth.
Braque’s later works, especially after the Second World War, often cope with the need for cubist study; first billiard tables, then studio interiors, then lastly grotesque birds. While his later pieces never had the critical appeal of the older works, Braque nonetheless spent his last years as an honored member of French society, with his cubist works given numerous showings around the world. In 1961, he became the first living artist to have his works exhibited in the Louvre. Braque died away as a rich and famous artist, a position only his friend Picasso could rightly understand.
Port en Normandie v(1909, 96x96cm; 939x916pix, 157kb)
Paysage de l'Estaque (1906, 61x50cm; 576x700pix, kb)
— Maisons à l'Estaque (1908, 73x60cm; 1040x835pix, 119kb _ ZOOM to 1400x1135pix)
Le Viaduct de l'Estaque (1908, 65x81cm; 842x1058pix, 660kb _ ZOOM to 1805x2268pix, 3140kb) _ Between 1906 and 1910, Georges Braque made several trips to the south of France and the port at L'Estaque, just west of Marseilles. There, he found the new landscapes to paint using the nonnaturalistic colors of the Fauves. During his 1907 stay, Braque also became influenced by the art of Paul Cézanne, who had painted there earlier. Like Cézanne, Braque reduced the site to simple geometric forms. Moving beyond Cézanne's solid masses, however, Braque made the tilting planes obey his own laws, rather than nature's. Two years after finishing this picture, Braque abandoned Fauvism for Cubism.
Viaduct à l'Estaque (1908, 72x59cm; 1028x819pix, 156kb) _ same subject as above, different painting.
Château de la Roche~Guyon (1909, 92x73cm; 1070x809pix, 147kb)
Anvers c(1042x1280pix, 150kb)
Le Violoniste v(oval 1072x753pix, 151kb)
Le Portugais aka L'émigrant v(1912, 117x81cm; 1206x824pix, 149kb)
Absinthe (oval 640x527pix, 77kb)
Poissons Noirs (1942, 33x55cm; 600x968pix _ ZOOM to 1400x2259pix)
Nature Morte: le Jour (1929; 138kb)
— Le Chaudron (701x413pix _ ZOOM to 1361x802pix)
_ Deux Citrons sur une Branche (41x33cm; 636x800pix, 85kb) by Émile Delobre [1873-1956].
Fruit Dish (1909, 54x65cm)
Fruit Dish (1912; 1000x809pix, 178kb)
— L'Atelier (1949)
— Femme Assise au Chevalet (1936)
Grand Nude (1908, 140x100cm; 1000x723pix, 146kb)
Barques à l'Ancre b(1930; 559x967pix _ ZOOM not recommended to blurry and patterned 1305x2257pix)
— 171 images at Ciudad de la Pintura
Died on 31 (30?) August 1528: “Matthias Grünewald”
(real name: Mathis Gothardt), born in 1480, one of the greatest German painters
of his age, whose works on religious themes achieve a visionary expressiveness
through intense color and agitated line. The wings of the altarpiece of
the Antonite monastery at Isenheim, in southern Alsace (dated 1515), are
considered to be his masterpiece. The name Grünewald was fabricated
by von Sandrart [12 May 1606 – 14 Oct 1688] in his Teutsche Akademie
der edlen Bau-, Bild- und Maleriekünste (1675-1679).
Although it is commonly agreed that “Master Mathis” was born in the German city of Würzburg, the date of his birth remains problematic. He studied under Martin Schongauer [1443 – 02 Feb 1491]. The first securely dated work by Grünewald (a name fabricated by a biographer in the 17th century), the Mocking of Christ of 1503, seems to be that of a young man just become a master. Grünewald appears first in documents of about 1500 either in the town of Seligenstadt am Main or Aschaffenburg. By about 1509 Grünewald had become court painter and later the leading art official (his title was supervisor or clerk of the works) to the elector of Mainz, the archbishop Uriel von Gemmingen.
About 1510, Grünewald received a commission from the Frankfurt merchant Jacob Heller to add two fixed wings to the altarpiece of the Assumption of the Virgin recently completed by the painter Albrecht Dürer [21 May 1471 – 06 Apr 1528]. These wings depicting four saints are painted in grisaille (shades of gray) and already show the artist at the height of his powers. Like Grünewald's drawings, which are done primarily in black chalk with some yellow or white highlighting, the Heller wings convey colouristic effects without the use of colour. Expressive hands and active draperies help blur the boundaries between cold stone and living form.
About 1515 Grünewald was entrusted with the largest and most important commission of his career. Guido Guersi, an Italian preceptor, or knight, who led the religious community of the Antonite monastery at Isenheim (in southern Alsace), asked the artist to paint a series of wings for the shrine of the high altar that had been carved in about 1505 by Niclaus Hagnower of Strasbourg. The subject matter of the wings of the Isenheim Altarpiece provided Grünewald's genius with its fullest expression and was based largely on the text of the popular mystical Revelations of Saint Bridget of Sweden (written about 1370).
The Isenheim Altarpiece consists of a carved wooden shrine with one pair of fixed and two pairs of movable wings flanking it. Grünewald's paintings on these large wing panels consistof the following. The first set of panels depicts the Crucifixion, the Lamentation, and portraits of Saints Sebastian and Anthony. The second set focuses on the Virgin Mary, with scenes of the Annunciation and a Concert of Angels, a Nativity, and the Resurrection. The third set of wings focuses on Saint Anthony, with Saint Anthony andSaint Paul in the Desert and the Temptation of Saint Anthony.
The altarpiece's figures are given uniquely determined gestures, their limbs are distended for expressive effect, and their draperies (a trademark of Grünewald's that expand and contract in accordion pleats) mirror the passions of the soul. The colours used are simultaneously biting and brooding. The Isenheim Altarpiece expresses deep spiritual mysteries. The Concert of Angels, for instance, depicts an exotic angel choir housed within an elaborate baldachin. At one opening of the baldachin a small, glowing female form, the eternal and immaculate Virgin, kneels in adoration of her own earthly manifestation at the right. And at the far left of the same scene under the baldachin, a feathered creature, probably the evil archangel Lucifer, adds his demonic notes to the serenade. Other details inthe altarpiece, including the horribly wounded body of Christ in the Crucifixion, may refer to the role of the monastery as a hospital for victims of the plague and Saint Anthony's fire. The colour red takes on unusual power and poignancy in the altarpiece, first in the Crucifixion, then in the Annunciation and Nativity, and finally on Christ's shroud in the Resurrection, which is at first lifeless in the cold tomb but which then smolders and bursts into white-hot flame as Christ ascends, displaying his tiny purified red wounds. Such transformations of light and color are perhaps the most spectacular found in German art until the late 19th century. And through all this drama, Grünewald never misses the telling picturesque detail: a botanical specimen, a string of prayer beads, or a crystal carafe.
Another important clerical commission came from a canon in Aschaffenburg, Heinrich Reitzmann. As early as 1513 he had asked Grünewald to paint an altar for the Mariaschnee Chapel in the Church of Saints Peter and Alexander in Aschaffenburg. The artist painted this work in the years 1517–1519. Grünewald apparently married about 1519, but the marriage does not appear to have brought him much happiness (at least, that is the tradition recorded in the 17th century). Grünewald occasionally added his wife's surname, Neithardt, to his own, thereby accounting for several documentary references to him as Mathis Neithardt or Mathis Gothardt Neithardt.
In 1514 Uriel von Gemmingen had died, and Albrecht von Brandenburg [28 Jun 1490 – 24 Sep 1545] had become the elector of Mainz. For Albrecht, Grünewald executed one of his most luxurious works, portraying The Meeting of SS. Erasmus and Maurice (Erasmus is actually a portrait of Albrecht). This work exhibits the theme of religious discussion or debate, so important to this period of German art and history. In this painting, as well as in the late, two-sided panel known as the Tauberbischofsheim Altarpiece, Grünewald's forms become more massive and compact, his colors restrained but still vivid.
Apparently because of his sympathy with the Peasants' Revolt of 1525, Grünewald left Albrecht's service in 1526. He spent the last two years of his life visiting in Frankfurt and Halle, cities sympathetic to the newly emerging Protestant heresy. In Halle he was involved insupervising the town waterworks. After Grünewald died, among his effects were discovered several Lutheran pamphlets and documents.
Grünewald's painterly achievement remains one of the most striking in the history of northern European art. His 10 or so paintings (some of which are composed of several panels) and approximately 35 drawings that survive have been jealously guarded and carefully scrutinized in modern times. His dramatic and intensely expressive approach to subject matter can perhaps best be observed in his three other extant paintings of the Crucifixion, which echo the Isenheim Altarpiece in their depiction of the scarified and agonized body of Christ.
Despite Grünewald's artistic genius, failure and confusion no doubt marked much of his life. He seems not to have had a real student, though Albrecht Dürer is said to have been one. Grünewald's avoidance of the graphic media also limited his influence and renown. Grünewald's works did continue to be highly prized, but the man himself was almost forgotten by the 17th century. The German painter Joachim von Sandrart, the artist's fervent admirer and first biographer (Teutsche Akademie, 1675), was responsible for preserving some of the scanty information that we have about the artist, as well as naming him, erroneously and from an obscure source, Grünewald. At the lowest ebb of his popularity, in the mid-19th century, Grünewald was labeled by German scholarship “a competent imitator of Dürer.” However, the late 19th-century and early 20th-century artistic revolt against rationalism and naturalism, typified by the German Expressionists, led to a thorough and scholarly reevaluation of the artist's career. Grünewald's art is now recognized as an often painful and confused but always highly personal and inspired response to the turmoil of his times.
— Composer Paul Hindemith [16 Nov 1895 – 28 Dec 1963] based on fictitious tales of Grünewald's life his 1938 opera (on his own libretto) and his subsequent symphony Mathis der Maler (1938).
— Portrait of Matthias Grünewald (drawing, 12x10cm; 921x703pix, 85kb): von Sandrart's copy of the Self~Portrait
—Self~Portrait (1514 drawing, 21x15cm; 995x727pix, 127kb)
— Benefactor with Bird Cage (872x566pix, 114kb)
— Stuppach Madonna (1519, 186x150cm; 1042x806pix 165kb) _ detail 1 (1042x750pix, 164kb) _ detail 2 (1115x801pix, 171kb)
— Establishment of the Santa Maria Maggiore in Rome (1519, 179x91cm; 1279x670pix, 153kb) _ detail 1 (1059x761pix, 145kb) _ detail 2 (1037x762pix, 142kb) _ detail 3 (1108x803pix, 138kb)
— Meeting of Saint Erasm and Saint Maurice (1523, 226x176cm; 1072x843pix, 151kb) _ detail 1 (926x820pix, 112kb) _ detail 2 (919x808pix, 107kb)
— Crucifixion (503x664pix, 103kb _ ZOOM to 837x953pix, 142kb)