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ART “4” “2”-DAY  03 December v.8.b0
^ Born on 03 December 1830: Lord Frederick Leighton, English Pre-Raphaelite painter and sculptor who died on 25 January 1896.
— The acknowledged leader of the Victorian classical school of painting, Frederic Leighton was born in Scarborough, the son of a doctor. His grandfather, Sir James Leighton, was court physician to Czar Alexander I of Russia; and Sir James' son was also a doctor. Soon after Nicholas I became Czar in 1825 the Leighton family left Russia and spent the ensuing years travelling around Europe, giving their only son, Frederic, first-hand acquaintance with its cultural and artistic treasures.
      Unlike most major artists of the nineteenth century Leighton did not study at the Royal Academy Schools, but received his training in Brussels, Paris and Frankfurt. In 1852 he went to live in Rome, where he moved in a large artistic circle which included Thackeray [18 Jul 1811 – 24 Dec 1863], Robert Browning [07 May 1812 – 12 Dec 1889] and some of the most important French painters of the time.
      On his return to England in 1855, his historical painting Cimabue's Madonna Carried in Procession through the Streets of Florence was shown at the Royal Academy, where it received a rapturous reception from the critics and was later bought by Queen Victoria. It was the start of what was to be a glittering career that took him to the very heights of his profession.
      Leighton settled in London in 1860 and in 1868 turned to painting subjects from mythology. His decision to abandon historical paintings coincided with a sudden upsurge of interest in Hellenism; even women's evening wear was influenced, Greek gowns that gave women a new-found freedom of movement becoming fashionable.
      Leighton suddenly found himself the centre of attention, with his paintings the talk of London. He was elected President of the Royal Academy in 1878, and became a baron in 1896 (full title: Baron Leighton of Stretton), the only English artist to receive this honor. But by then he was a sick man who was suffering from angina. He died in 1896. His will included a bequest of £10'000 to the Royal Academy. The poet Algernon Swinburne [05 Apr 1837 – 10 Apr 1909] composed a memorial elegy:
'A light has passed that never shall pass away
A sun has set whose rays are unequalled in might'.
      Although at the time of his death Leighton was something of a national institution, his reputation quickly declined and his work and all that he stood for became objects of derision. It was to be another 60-70 years before his work would come into fashion again.
      Leighton's beautiful home at 2 Holland Park Road, South Kensington, London is now a museum — Leighton House. Here you can see the opulence in which Leighton lived, and view paintings by Leighton, Burne-Jones [28 August 1833 – 17 June 1898] and other Pre-Raphaelite artists, including Mariana in the South (by John William Waterhouse) and The End of the Quest (by Sir Frank Dicksee).
— He spent much of his youth traveling on the Continent with his family. This cosmopolitan background was of great importance to his development as an artist. After his father, a doctor, settled in Frankfurt am Main in 1846, Leighton enrolled at the Städelsches Kunstinstitut, where he studied under the Nazarene artist Edward von Steinle between 1850 and 1852. The style and subject-matter of such early works as The Death of Brunelleschi (1852) show the influence of Nazarene art and suggest the growing importance of Italy as a source of inspiration. Leighton traveled to Rome in 1852 and became friendly with Giovanni Costa and George Heming Mason, who later emerged as leading figures in the group of English and Italian artists known as the Etruscans. His first Royal Academy success, Cimabue's Celebrated Madonna Is Carried in Procession through the Streets of Florence, was painted in Rome in 1855. This huge processional work, filled with incident and detail, takes its subject from Vasari's Vite. It was bought by Queen Victoria from the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition of 1855 and its success marked Leighton as one of the most promising artists of his generation.
Between 1855 and 1859 Leighton was based in Paris, where he aimed to perfect his technique and absorb the stimulating atmosphere of the studios. He met Jean-August-Dominique Ingres and Eugène Delacroix, but his art was chiefly influenced by such contemporaries as Ary Scheffer and Joseph Nicolas Robert-Fleury [1797–1890]. The period marks the beginning of a transition in his work, from the exact draftsmanship and historical detail of the Nazarenes to a broader synthesis of influences, embracing the painterly effects of Venetian art, the realistic landscapes of Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot and Charles-François Daubigny and the classical subject-matter of Thomas Couture's followers.
     The years 1859–1864 were marked for Leighton by reverses and critical hostility. He returned to London in 1859 and for five years his contributions to the Royal Academy were systematically rejected or badly hung — a response indicative of the degree to which he was seen as a threatening and alien influence. A member of the Hogarth Club, he established close links with Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Edward Burne-Jones and others of the Pre-Raphaelite circle, and his work was championed by John Ruskin. In 1862 Leighton received a commission from Cornhill Magazine to illustrate George Eliot's Romola. These illustrations, together with such paintings as Dante in Exile (1864), are expressions of his renewed interest in Renaissance Italy. At the same time, he was increasingly preoccupied with the formal problems of academic painting. Though Dante in Exile is a full-blooded historical set piece, evoking the early Renaissance world of the Nazarenes, its structure owes more to Raphael and its painterly effects are indebted to the Venetian school. The Syracusan Bride (1866) defines the areas of interest that Leighton pursued with ever greater rigor for the rest of his life. Like Cimabue, it is a formal processional work. Its classically draped figures are inspired by the Parthenon sculptures (of which Leighton kept a cast in his studio) and its subject, drawn from lines in the second Idyll of Theokritos, is incidental to the artist's main intention: to represent idealized figures of artistic grace.
      The psychological content of Leighton's work became increasingly complex in the late 1860s and the 1870s. Canvases of this period frequently show the confrontation between the forces of life and death, as in Hercules Wrestling with Death for the Body of Alcestis (1871, 132x265cm). The struggling figures of Hercules and Death reflect the artist's desire to wrest beauty from the hold of decay. In catching the transience of ideal beauty, Leighton revealed himself to have been not only a classical painter but also a full-blooded aesthete.
      Leighton made five trips to North Africa and the Near East (1857, 1867, 1868, 1873 and 1882), resulting in numerous oil sketches, which are striking for their direct, uncluttered depiction of the barren desert landscape (e.g. The Temple of Philae (Looking up the Nile), 1868). After his stay in Damascus in 1873, he included decorative Eastern accessories in several paintings, though only a few — for instance Portions of the Interior of the Grand Mosque of Damascus (1875) — were actually set in Damascus. A more notable result of this trip was the Arab Hall, designed by George Aitchison and added to Leighton's home between 1877 and 1879. Leighton's own decorative schemes recall his early paintings in the Nazarene style. They include two frescoes (1878–1883) for the South Kensington Museum and the ceiling decoration (completed in 1886) commissioned by the US banker Henry Gurdon Marquand for the music room at his house in New York.
      Leighton's interest in sculpture was a natural extension of his increasingly sculptural treatment of the painted canvas. While his paintings exploit to the full the expressive possibilities of drapery, his sculptures rely instead on the representation of idealized nude figures. His interest in Hellenic art and its revival brought him into sympathy with the sculptor Hamo Thornycroft, who was with Leighton one of the senior figures in the revival of sculpture known as New sculpture. Leighton's Athlete Wrestling with a Python (1877) presents to the spectator both the physical and the psychological struggle for supremacy between man and snake. With its allusions to the Laokoon group, the Athlete was a product of the complex eclecticism that was so important to Leighton's artistic development. Equally fine, though in striking contrast to this work, is the languid figure of The Sluggard (1884), which pays homage to Donatello.
      After his election as President of the Royal Academy in 1878, Leighton was increasingly regarded as the leader of the Victorian art establishment. The themes already dominant in his art remained constant throughout the last 20 years of his life. In Captive Andromache (1888), arguably his masterpiece, the confident academic underpinning of the composition enhances and enriches the palpable emotion of the subject. An austere figure, Leighton never married and such works as Captive Andromache provide indications of the extent to which he subordinated his own emotions to the demands of his art. Increasingly in his last years a note of melancholy entered his work. Mythological subjects, such as the Return of Persephone (1891) and Clytie (1896), manifest a yearning engendered by loss and sorrow that finds solace in sleep, as represented in The Garden of the Hesperides (1892) or Flaming June (1895). These paintings, rich in color and handling, are the final statement of the most intellectual and rigorous adherent of the Aesthetic Movement. The inclusion of two illustrations of Leighton's drawings in the first number of the Yellow Book (1894) indicates the extent to which a younger generation of artists led by Aubrey Beardsley, Charles Ricketts and Laurence Housman [1867–] appreciated his generous encouragement of their efforts and recognized him as their spiritual antecedent. Leighton died exhausted by his battle with heart disease and the demands of his public role as President of the Royal Academy. He had already almost outlived his age, and it is significant that he left no school of followers to continue a tradition that itself was almost exhausted.

Self-portrait (1880, 77x64cm; _ ZOOMable)
–- Self-portrait as a Boy (oval 858x706pix, 72kb _ .ZOOM to 1285x1058pix, 158kb) _ not convincing.
Self-portrait (1880, 77x64cm; 650x521pix, 116kb)
Jonathan's Token to David (1868, 171x124cm; 1188x862pix _ ZOOM to 2375x1724pix; 3029pix) _ This painting illustrates a scene from the Old Testament. After the prophet Samuel anointed David as King Saul's successor, Saul became jealous and plotted David's death. Here the artist shows David's loyal friend Jonathan (Saul's son) preparing to shoot three arrows as a warning to David who is hiding in a field. Most artists who interpreted the story of Jonathan and David's friendship depicted the emotional climax when the two say their final farewells. Leighton chose an earlier scene in order to celebrate the ideal of heroic male beauty. Jonathan's pose derives from the famous Renaissance sculpture of David by Michelangelo.
Cymon and Iphigenia (1884, 163x328cm; 521x1000pix, 165kb) _ According to Leighton this painting, more than any of his other pictures, represented 'both my art and my style'. The story is taken from Boccaccio, and tells how Cymon, a wild and brutish young man, is so struck by the sight of the sleeping Iphigenia that he falls in love with her, gives up his former wild ways and marries her. [Cymon and Iphigenia by Millais (1848) _ by West (1773) _ caricature by Gillray (1796)]
Pavonia (1859, 53x42cm; 74kb) The model for this painting was Nanna Risi who eventually married the German painter Anselm Feuerbach [12 Sep 1829 — 04 Jan 1880 click this for links to some of the many pictures of Nanna by Feuerbach].
–- Lieder Ohne Wörte (1861, 102x63cm; 919x568pix, 65kb _ .ZOOM to 1838x1135pix, 161kb) _ This was the first significant work by Leighton after his return to London from his studies on the Continent. The title refers to the ‘Songs without Words’ to which the girl is listening: the sound of the gently trickling water and the singing of the blackbird behind her. Leighton was aware that his audience would connect it with Mendelssohn’s set of piano pieces of the same title, which were very popular in England at this time. The subject’s ‘timelessness’, and the harmony of composition and coloring, suggest the ability of music to evoke specific moods. Leighton commented that in this picture he sought 'to translate to the eye of the spectator something of the pleasure which the child receives through her ears.' — {Is that a washing machine on which she is leaning? Are those stereo speakers on the ceiling? Is that a bottle of wine behind her? And has she been drinking too much from it, which explains why she looks so groggy?}
–- The Garden of the Hesperides (1892 round; 925x921pix, 104kb _ .ZOOM to 1388x1382pix, 203kb _ .ZOOM+ to 2777x2765pix, 1151km) _ According to legend, the garden island of the Hesperides was where the daughters of Hesperus sang a lullaby to the dragon guarding the golden apples, which were later to be stolen by Hercules. This design is full of youth, and beauty; the color is rich and warm - almost voluptuous ... We have the tree of life with its golden apples; for a rocky coast we have the beautiful Garden of Hesperides, with the purple ocean beyond. The three daughters of Atlas sit beneath a the wonderful tree, around the trunk of which is wound the body of a huge serpent. The girl in the center, who is half-draped, caresses the scaly hide of the monster; her sister on the right sings to the accompaniment of a lyre; while the maiden on the left toys carelessly with the food which she holds in a bowl. The grace and serenity of the composition are eminently characteristic of the artist’s later manner.
–- Flaming June (1895, 47x47cm; 767x766pix, 54kb _ .ZOOM to 1534x1532pix, 212kb) _ This painting is an excellent example of the lack of respect given to Victorian art between 1920 and 1970. It was put up for auction in the 1960s and failed to meet its reserve price of $140. It was then promptly snapped up by the Museo de Arte de Ponce in Puerto Rico. Thirty years later, in 1990, Leighton's Dante in Exile fetched £1'000'000 at auction, an illustration of how fashion dictates the art market. It had been thought for many years that the model for this painting was Dorothy Dene, who was the inspiration for Leighton's work from the mid 1880s. However it now seems more likely that the model was Mary Lloyd. She also posed for Sir Frank Dicksee's Magic Crystal, William Blake Richmond's mosaic angels in Saint Paul's Cathedral and Sir John Millais' A Disciple (1895). Mary Lloyd also sat for Lawrence Alma-Tadema, Edward Burne-Jones, Ford Madox Brown, and William Holman Hunt.
–- Hercules Wrestling with Death for the Body of Alcestis (1871, 132x265cm; 622x1264pix, 127kb _ .ZOOM to 1244x2528pix, 308kb _ .ZOOM+ to 1866x3792pix)
–- Daedalus and Icarus (1869; 1022x750pix, 78kb _ .ZOOM to 1534x1127pix, 158kb)
–- Light of the Harem (1880; 878x614pix, 82kb _ .ZOOM to 1755x1228pix, 299kb _ .ZOOM+ to 3510x2456pix, 676kb) aka The Fairest of Them All
–- Mother and Child aka Cherries (550x877pix, kb _ .ZOOM to 1100x1755pix _ .ZOOM+ to 2201x3510pix)
— Return of Persephone (1891, 203x152cm; 118kb)
Invocation (1889; 109kb)
'And the sea gave up the dead which were in it' (1892, circular 229cm diameter; 88kb) _ The title is taken from Apocalypse 20: ”And the sea gave up the dead which were in it.” It is a vision of the Last Judgment. Three figures dominate the spacious canvas. In the center is a man, the only living being of the group, who with his right arm supports his wife, while with his left he clasps his boy who clings with filial affection to his side. The three are being slowly drawn by some unseen mysterious all-compelling force from the depths of an inky and turbulent sea upwards. The man’s eye is fixed upon the heavens, which are strangely troubled and filled with an unnatural light - “a dramatic sky,” as the artist describes it - and it expresses hope tempered with fear. The interval between death and judgment is at an end; the soul has dawned; and filled with thoughts of his early career, the man gazes with awe upon the great white throne, whereupon sits the author of his being with the great book of Life. His wife still sleeps the sleep of death; but a certain warmth of color in the limbs of the half naked boy indicates his rapid return to life. Near the dominant group is a half risen corpse, whose arms are folded, and who is still clad in the burial garments; while king and commoners are rising in the background. For “the dead, small and great,” are to stand before God. This picture was originally intended for the decoration, in mosaic, of the dome of Saint Paul’s; eight large circles were to be filled by Leighton, and a number of smaller ones by Poynter.
–- The Music Lesson (1877; 847x922pix, 105kb _ .ZOOM to 1271x1381pix, 200kb)
–- The Painter’s Honeymoon (1864; 730x638pix, 53kb _ .ZOOM to 1459x1275pix, 128kb _ .ZOOM+ to 2918x2550pix)
–- Winding the Skein. (1878; 573x878pix _ .ZOOM to 1145x1755pix _ .ZOOM+ to 2291x3510pix)
–- Wedded (1882, 145x81cm; 877x510pix, 60kb _ .ZOOM to 1755x1020pix, 145kb _ .ZOOM+ to 3510x2040pix)
–- A Girl Feeding Peacocks (1863, 188x160cm; 934x659pix, 75kb _ .ZOOM to 1402x990pix, 111kb _ .ZOOM+ to 1483x1978pix)
–- The Daphnephoria (1876, 226x518cm; 736x1600pix, 154kb) _ The Daphnephoria is the epitome of them all, and in the Daphnephoria are figures of rare beauty, draperies matchless in their adaptation to figure, vivid light as of Italy, movement, color, gladness, everything except that which was only born when Paganism lost its joyousness and its life. For those to whom the classical times are living, and especially the classical times in their decadence, there is in Lord Leighton's work an ineffable charm. _ detail: left _ detail: right.
–- Biondina (1879, 52x41cm; 841x638pix, 35kb _ .ZOOM to 1682x1275pix, 149kb _ .ZOOM+ to 3364x2550pix, 1581kb)
–- The Countess Brownlow (1879, 234x132cm; 864x534pix, 62kb _ .ZOOM to 1728x1068pix, 203kb _ .ZOOM+ to 3456x2135pix, 1334kb)
Eucharis - A Girl with a Basket of Fruit (1863, 84x58cm; 76kb)
Greek Girls Picking up Pebbles by the Sea (1871, 84x130cm; 113kb)
Cimabue's Celebrated Madonna is Carried in Procession through the Streets of Florence (1855, 222x521cm; 442x1000pix, 276kb _ ZOOMable to 1676x3795pix, 2502kb) _ Detail, Left (_ ZOOMable) _ Detail, Right (_ ZOOMable) _ In front of the Madonna, and crowned with laurels, walks Cimabue with his student Giotto [1267 – 08 Jan 1337]; behind are Arnolfo de Lapo, Gaddo Gaddi, Andrea Tafi, Nicola Pisano, Buffalmacco, Simone Memmi. In the right corner is Dante. This was Leighton's first major work, painted in Rome. It was shown at the Academy in 1855. It was an immediate success, and Queen Victoria bought it for 600 guineas on opening day. She recorded in her diary: “There was a very big picture by a man called Leighton. It is a beautiful painting, quite reminding one of a Paul Veronese, so bright and full of light. Albert was enchanted with it - so much so that he made me buy it.” The subject is from Vasari's account of how the Rucellai Madonna was carried from the house of Cimabue to the church of Santa Maria Novella in Florence. Vasari also mentions Charles of Anjou, King of Naples, and Leighton has shown him on horseback on the right of the composition.
    _ This is a very important and very beautiful picture. It has both sincerity and grace, and is painted on the purest principles of Venetian art - that is to say, on the calm acceptance of the whole of nature, small and great, as, in its place, deserving of faithful rendering. The great secret of the Venetians was their simplicity. Everything in their art is done as well as it can be done. Thus, in the picture before us, in the background is the Church of San Miniato, strictly accurate in every detail; on the top of the wall are oleanders and pinks, as carefully painted as the church; the architecture of the shrine on the wall is well studied from thirteenth-century Gothic, and painted with as much care as the pinks; the dresses of the figures, very beautifully designed, are painted with as much care as the architecture; and the faces with as much care as the dresses - that is to say, all things, throughout, with as much care as the painter could bestow. This painting has been objected to, because it seems broken up into bits. Precisely the same objection would hold, and in very nearly the same degree, against the best works of the Venetians. All faithful colorists' work, in figure-painting, has a look of sharp separation between part and part. Although, however, in common with all other works of its class, it is marked by these sharp divisions, there is no confusion in its arrangement. The principal figure is nobly principal, not be extraordinary light, but by its own pure whiteness; and both the master and the young Giotto attract full regard by distinction of form and face. The features of the boy are carefully studied, and are indeed what, from the existing portraits of him, we know those of Giotto must have been in his youth. The head of the young girl who wears the garland of blue flowers is also very sweetly conceived. Cimabue smiled upon the lad at the first stroke which passed what he could do; or else his Virgin's smile had never had such sweetness in it. _See _ various Madonnas by Cimabue [1240-1302] none of these is the one in the procession, but the closest likeness is that of Madonna Enthroned with the Child and Two Angels (218x118cm; 1024x567pix, 172kb)
Elijah in the Wilderness (1878, 235x210cm; _ ZOOMable)
Old Damascus: Jew's Quarter (1873 - 1874, 134x108cm; _ ZOOMable)
The Syracusan Bride (1865 - 1866, 135x424cm; _ ZOOMable)
Mrs. James Guthrie (1864 - 1866, 211x139cm; _ ZOOMable)
A Roman Lady aka La Nanna (1859, 80x52cm; _ ZOOMable)
The Fisherman and the Syren (1856 - 1858, 66x49cm; _ ZOOMable)
At the Fountain (1892, 128x95cm; _ ZOOMable)
May Sartoris (1860, 152x90cm; _ ZOOMable)
Perseus on Pegasus Hastening to the Rescue of Andromeda (1896, round 72cm diameter; _ ZOOMable)
Perseus and Andromeda (1891, 235x129cm; _ ZOOMable)
Nausicaa (1878, 145x67cm; _ ZOOMable)
Electra at the Tomb of Agamemnon (1869, 150x75cm; _ ZOOMable)
Dante in Exile (1864, 152.5x254cm; _ ZOOMable) _ detail: left (_ ZOOMable) _ detail: right (_ ZOOMable)
Odalisque (1862; _ ZOOMable)
Lachrymae (1895, 158x63cm; _ ZOOMable)
— Catharine Lorillard (1896; _ ZOOMable)
Faticida (1894, 152x109cm; _ ZOOMable)
Greek Girls Playing at Ball (1889, 119x198cm; _ ZOOMable)
Captive Andromache (1888, 197x407cm; _ ZOOMable) _ detail: left (_ ZOOMable) _ detail: right (_ ZOOMable)
Greek Girls Picking up Pebbles by the Sea (1871, 84x130cm; _ ZOOMable)
The Spirit of the Summit (1894, 198x102cm; _ ZOOMable)
Idyll (1881, 104x212cm; _ ZOOMable)
Study: At a Reading Desk (1877, 63x65cm; _ ZOOMable)
Actaea, the Nymph of the Shore (1868, 57x102cm; _ ZOOMable)
The Golden Hours (1864; _ ZOOMable)
Sisters (1862, 76x38cm; _ ZOOMable)
Garden of an Inn, Capri (1859, 49x67cm; _ ZOOMable)
The Reconciliation of the Montagues and Capulets over the Dead Bodies of Romeo and Juliet (1855, 178x231cm; _ ZOOMable)
The Death of Brunelleschi (1852; _ ZOOMable)
Portrait of a Lady (_ ZOOMable)
Seated (_ ZOOMable)
The Maid with the Yellow Hair (1895; _ ZOOMable)
Gulnihal (1886, 37x44cm; _ ZOOMable)
Memories (1883, 76x65cm; _ ZOOMable)
Sir Richard Francis Burton [19 Mar 1821 – 20 Oct 1890] (1875, 60x50cm; 800x650pix, 50kb _ ZOOMable to 1168x948pix, 130kb) _ This austere, ponderous and intense image of one of the great explorers of Victorian England captures his slightly brutal character very effectively. Leighton met Burton in 1869 while they were taking a cure at Vichy and they formed a firm friendship which lasted until Burton’s death. On 26 April 1872, Burton began sitting for his portrait. According to Lady Burton, he was extraordinarily difficult about it, anxious that his necktie and pin might be omitted and pleading with the artist, “Don't make me ugly, there's a good fellow.” Apparently the portrait was left unfinished when Burton departed for Trieste in October 1872 and it was not completed until 1875. A reproduction of this portrait is used as the frontispiece for Burton's The Jew, The Gypsy and al-Islam, with the Arabic signature al-Hajj 'Abdullah, the alias he used in his disguise as a Qadiri Sufi Pashtun from Afghanistan.
Lieder Ohne Worte (1861; _ ZOOMable)
Portrait (_ ZOOMable) of a young girl, heavily dressed.
Courtyard of a Mosque at Broussa (1867, 36x26cm; _ ZOOMable)
Joseph of Arimathea (_ ZOOMable)
101 images at ARC

Died on a 03 December:

^ >2006 Henry Charles Pearson [08 Oct 1914–], US Op Art painter and sculptor. — Relative? of Marguerite Stuber Pearson [1898-1978]? — An artist and professor, Henry Pearson was known for his "compositions of swirling lines and inked whorls that were influenced by his work on topographical maps in the army. . ." He worked in New York City and Philadelphia and taught classes at the New School for Social Research and the Pennsylvania Academy. — Henry Pearson was born in Kinston, North Carolina in 1914. He studied art at the University of North Carolina where he received his B.A. and later at Yale University where he received an M.F.A. Pearson spent over eleven years in the army during and after WWII. On one tour of duty in Japan he was assigned to interpret topographical maps due to his past training in Theatrical Set Design. He returned to Japan on another tour after the war in order to immerse himself more fully in the culture. Pearson returned to the United States in 1953 and enrolled at the Art Students League in New York where he studied with Reginald Marsh. The Op-Art Movement was beginning to gain popularity and Pearson’s interest in topography and the landscape lead him to experiment with optical effects and his own fine line drawings. His artwork was included in the Museum of Modern Art exhibition “The Responsive Eye” (1965). He later received a retrospective exhibition at the North Carolina Museum of Art in 1969. Works by the artist can be found in the permanent collections of both the Museum of Modern Art and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. — Henry Pearson, an artist whose use of undulating parallel lines in both painting and sculpture made him a pioneer of Op Art, died on Dec. 3 in Manhattan. He was 92 and had lived in Manhattan for many years. Skip to next paragraph Peter Bellamy, 1987 Henry Pearson in his studio. His death was confirmed by his brother, Stanley. Inspired by his work drawing topographical maps of Japan in World War II as a member of the Army Air Corps, Mr. Pearson used similar techniques to make linear abstractions in ink or oil on canvas as well as three-dimensional objects. In reviewing a 2003 exhibition of his work in The New York Times, Grace Glueck wrote, “Breathing, pulsating surfaces of labyrinthine whorls and lines, they suggest rippling water, the combings of plowed land, the heavings and foldings of earth and ocean.” Born in Kinston, N.C., Henry Charles Pearson was always involved in the arts, though not always painting. He received a B.A. at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1935 and an M.F.A from Yale University School of Drama, where he studied set design, in 1938. It was not until 1953, when he returned from a long stay in Japan, that he attended the Art Students League in New York City, where he studied under Will Barnet. He admired Mr. Barnet’s geometric work and created his own structured, rectangular pieces. In 1959, frustrated by a painting he was working on, Mr. Pearson began to doodle and wondered what would happen if he rounded the edges. The memory of his work as a cartographer came back, and his signature linear drawings were born. Mr. Pearson’s work is in the collections of many museums including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Guggenheim Museum, the National Gallery of Art and the North Carolina Museum of Art.
–- (untitled?) (682x700pix, 22kb) monochrome yellow
–- Crucible I (1967, 38x38cm; 460x455pix, 49kb) colorful _ The pseudonymous Poulsègle Fisdepoir has metamorphosed this into a series of finely detailed and even more colorful abstractions which can be reached by clicks of the mouse from the first two:
      _ Crucigrama (2007; 550x778pix, 171kb _ ZOOM 1 to 778x1100pix, 326kb _ ZOOM 2 to 1100x1556pix, 633kb _ ZOOM 3 to 1710x2418pix, 1536kb _ ZOOM 4 to 2659x3760pix, 3126kb) and
      _ Target Vintage (2007; 550x778pix, 171kb _ ZOOM 1 to 778x1100pix, 326kb _ ZOOM 2 to 1100x1556pix, 633kb _ ZOOM 3 to 1710x2418pix, 1536kb _ ZOOM 4 to 2659x3760pix, 3126kb).
–- Study for Demon F.S.P #22 (1955, 14x20cm; 334x460pix, 17kb)
–- Study #1 for Lincoln Center, New York, Film Festival Poster (1968, 58x38cm) _ This strictly black-and-white drawing of contour lines has been amazingly transformed by Fisdepoir into the magnificent abstractions, colorful and finely detailed (best appreciated at full magnification)
      _ Study for the Lincoln Cent (2007; 550x778pix, 228kb _ ZOOM 1 to 778x1100pix, 462kb _ ZOOM 2 to 1100x1556pix, 940kb _ ZOOM 3 to 1710x2418pix, 2254kb _ ZOOM 4 to 2659x3760pix, 5176kb) and
      _ Study for the Washington Dime (2007; 550x778pix, 228kb _ ZOOM 1 to 778x1100pix, 462kb _ ZOOM 2 to 1100x1556pix, 940kb _ ZOOM 3 to 1710x2418pix, 2254kb _ ZOOM 4 to 2659x3760pix, 5176kb).—(071202)

2005 Atsuko Tanaka, Japanese woman avant-garde artist born (main coverage) on 10 February 1932, who has not recovered from a spring 2005 automobile accident. —(051211)

1995 Josep Bartolí i Gulu [1910–], Catalán expressionist painter, draftsman, and writer. El nació en Barcelona y falleció en Nueva York. Comenzó publicando sus dibujos en medios periódicos durante la Segunda República. Tras la guerra civil, fue internado en el campo de Bram, en el sur de Francia, experiencia que documentó con dibujos en el libro Campos de concentración (1944), con textos del escritor Narcís Molins i Fábrega. Durante su largo exilio, principalmente en Estados Unidos y México, realizó una obra pictórica de gran calidad. When a refugee in Mexico, he was one of the many lovers of Frida Kahlo [05 Jul 1907 – 13 Jul 1954]. —(081203)

1978 Juan Esplandiú Peña [24 Jun 1901–], Madrid Spanish painter and draftsman. Estudió en la Escuela de Bellas Artes de San Fernando de Madrid. En 1925 marchó pensionado a París, donde amplió su formación artística y trabó amistad con Salvador Dalí, Pancho Cossío, y con los integrantes de la Escuela de París: Bores, Lagar, Viñes, Flores y Parra. Colabroró en las revistas Buen Humor, Blanco y Negro, Nuevo Mundo, y Villa de Madrid, e ilustró La Busca de Pío Baroja, Calles de Madrid de Pedro Répide y otros libros de Benito Pérez Galdós y Víctor de la Serna. Como grabador ilustró La señora Cornelia de Miguel de Cervantes (1953). Además, trabajó como escenógrafo para las películas María Fernanda, la jerezana de Enrique Herreros (1946), Surcos (1951) y El andén (1952) de Eduardo Manzanos,. —(081203)

1956 Alexandr Mikhailovich Rodchenko is sometimes said to have been born on this date. On this site, his death date is taken to be 04 December 1956.

1919 Pierre Auguste Renoir, French painter born (full coverage) on 25 February 1841. —(051202)

^ 1890 Carl Hilgers, Düsseldorf painter born on 14 April 1818. From 1833 to 1844 he attended the Staatliche Kunstakademie in Düsseldorf as a master student of Johann Wilhelm Schirmer [05 Sep 1807 – 11 Sep 1863]. Apart from a four-year residency in Berlin, he lived almost continuously in Düsseldorf, though he made several study trips to other parts of Germany and to Belgium, the Netherlands and France. He was one of the best-known painters of the Düsseldorf school, as is indicated by the full-length portrait (1850) of him by Johann Peter Hasenclever [18 May 1810 – 16 Dec 1853]. He was praised by his contemporaries for his free brushwork and his sure mastery of technique, which may be compared to the work of his fellow Düsseldorf painter Caspar Scheuren [1810-1887]. As subject-matter Hilgers favored atmospheric, mist-shrouded winter landscapes based in part on localities in and around Düsseldorf (e.g. the Wasserburg in Winter, 1845, and the Conradsheim in Winter, 1890), the romantic character of which is heightened by the incidental figures. After his death, the popularity of his paintings rapidly declined, and he was quickly forgotten.
Winter Landscape with a Horse-drawn Sledge on a Frozen River by a Windmill (1871, 38x46cm)
Monastery Cave (28x38cm; 531x736pix, 89kb)
Erwachen des Tages (1857, 96x125cm; 480x621pix, 39kb) Wild in einer in Frühnebel getauchten Auenlandschaft. Im Hintergrund eine Burganlage mit Wehrturm.
Stormy Day (115kb) —(051202)

1829 Juan Agustín Ceán Bermúdez (or, incorrectly, Cea Bermúdez) [17 Sep 1749–], pintor, historiador y crítico de arte español. Fue miembro de la Real Academia de Bellas Artes de San Fernando y de la Historia. He was employed by the statesman and author Jovellanos, about whom he wrote Memorias para la vita del G. M. de Jovellanos (1814). Jovellanos helped pay for his artistic studies and placed him in a government position. Ceán Bermúdez was also a friend of Goya [30 Mar 1746 – 16 Apr 1828], who painted a
      _ Portrait of the Wife of Juan Agustín Ceán Bermúdez (1785, 121x85cm; 1138x800pix, 105kb). Ceán Bermúdez is best known as the author of the Diccionario Histórico de los más ilustres profesores de las Bellas Artes en España (1800). — Portrait of Ceán Bermúdez (1793) by Goya —(081203)

1806 Jean-Baptiste Charpentier, French painter born in 1728.
Marie-Antoinette (502x358pix, 31kb) [02 Nov 1755 – 16 Oct 1793] shortly before her 1770 marriage to the future Louis XVI [23 Aug 1754 – 21 Jan 1793]. . —(051202)

1789 Claude Joseph Vernet, French painter born (full coverage) on 14 August 1714. —(060809)

^ 1719 François Marot (or Maret), French painter born in 1666.
Vénus et Vulcain (73x111cm)
Jupiter et Sémélé (77x111cm) _ Le sujet de ce tableau est tiré des Métamporphoses d'Ovide: Sémélé (III, 253-315):
      L'univers parla diversement de cette action de la déesse. Les uns trouvèrent sa vengeance injuste et cruelle; les autres l'approuvant la jugèrent digne de sa sévère virginité; et chaque opinion eut ses preuves et ses raisons. La seule épouse de Jupiter songeait moins à louer ou à blâmer la déesse qu'à se réjouir des malheurs de la famille d'Agénor. Sa haine contre Europe, qui fut sa rivale, s'étendait à sa postérité. Une injure nouvelle ajoutait encore à son ressentiment. Sémélé portait dans son sein un gage de l'amour de Jupiter. Junon s'indigne et s'écrie : "Pourquoi ajouterais-je encore des plaintes à celles que j'ai tant de fois vainement fait entendre ? c'est ma rivale elle-même que je dois attaquer. Je la perdrai; elle périra, s'il est vrai que je m'appelle encore la puissante Junon; si ma main est digne de porter le sceptre de l'Olympe; si je suis la reine des Dieux, la soeur et l'épouse de Jupiter ! Ah ! je suis du moins sa soeur ! Mais peut-être que, contente de l'avoir rendu infidèle, Sémélé ne m'a fait qu'une légère injure ? Non, elle a conçu. Ma honte est manifeste. Elle porte dans son sein la preuve de son crime; elle veut donner des enfants à Jupiter, honneur dont moi-même à peine je jouis ! Est-ce donc sa beauté qui l'a rendue si vaine ? eh bien ! que sa beauté la perde ! et que je ne sois pas la fille de Saturne, si par son amant, par Jupiter lui-même, elle n'est précipitée dans le fleuve des Enfers".
      Elle dit, et descend de son trône. Un nuage épais l'environne; elle marche au palais de sa rivale. Bientôt, sous les traits d'une vieille, elle sort de la nue; elle ombrage son front de cheveux blancs; elle ride ses traits, courbe son corps, marche d'un pas tremblant, prend une voix cassée, et revêt enfin la figure de Béroé, qui naquit à Épidaure, et fut nourrice de Sémélé.
      Après avoir avec adresse et par de longs détours fait tomber l'entretien sur le souverain des Dieux, elle soupire et dit : "Je souhaite que votre amant soit en effet Jupiter lui-même; mais enfin je crains tout. Plus d'un mortel osa se servir du nom des dieux pour tromper des vierges innocentes. Mais si c'est Jupiter qui vous aime, cela ne suffit pas encore. Il faut qu'il vous donne un gage éclatant de son amour. Priez-le de descendre en vos bras avec tout l'appareil de sa grandeur, tel qu'il est en un mot, lorsque Junon le reçoit dans les siens".
      L'innocente fille de Cadmus s'abandonne aux perfides conseils de la déesse. Elle demande à Jupiter une grâce, mais sans la désigner : "Choisis, dit le dieu; rien ne te sera refusé; et afin que tu ne puisses en douter, je le jure par le Styx, le Styx dieu lui-même et la terreur de tous les dieux".
      Sémélé se réjouit du mal qu'elle s'apprête. Trop puissante sur son amant, et près de périr victime d'une complaisance fatale : "Montrez-vous à moi, dit-elle, avec l'appareil et la gloire qui vous suit dans le lit de Junon". Le dieu aurait voulu l'interrompre, mais ces mots précipités avaient déjà frappé les airs. Il gémit; il ne peut annuler ni le voeu de son amante, ni le serment qu'il a fait. Accablé de tristesse, il remonte dans les cieux. Il entraîne les nuées; il rassemble la pluie, les vents, les éclairs, le tonnerre, et la foudre inévitable. Il tâche, autant que cela lui est permis, d'en affaiblir la force. Il n'arme point son bras des feux trop redoutables avec lesquels il foudroya Typhon; il en est de plus légers : les Cyclopes en les forgeant y mêlèrent moins de flammes et de fureur. Les dieux les appellent des demi-foudres. Jupiter les saisit et descend avec tout l'appareil de sa puissance dans le palais des enfants d'Agénor. Mais une simple mortelle ne pouvait soutenir cet éclat immortel; et Sémélé fut consumée dans les bras même de son amant. Cependant Jupiter arracha de son sein l'enfant à demi formé qui devait naître de leur amour; et, s'il est permis de le croire, il le renferma dans sa cuisse, et l'y conserva tout le temps que sa mère aurait dû le porter. Soeur de Sémélé, Ino l'éleva secrètement dès le berceau, et le confia bientôt après aux nymphes de Nysa, qui le cachèrent dans leurs grottes profondes, et firent du lait son premier aliment. —(051202)

Born on a 03 December:

^ >1893 Julius Heinrich Bissier, German painter and draftsman who died on 18 June 1965. He registered at the Karlsruhe Academy of Fine Arts in 1914 but remained there for only a few months, preferring to work alone. In 1927 he met the sinologist Ernst Grosse, who in introducing him to ancient Chinese thought enabled him to familiarize himself with a form of art completely outside the European tradition. Among the few surviving works of this period are Zurich Landing Stage (1927) and Self-portrait (1928). In 1930 he began to make ink paintings, in the same year meeting in Paris with Constantin Brancusi, who taught him that art was rooted in meditation. Bissier then began to question the abstract painting he practised at the time, to such an extent that when a fire destroyed almost all his works in 1934 he started again from scratch and began to paint in a style influenced by Chinese monochrome ink paintings. From then on he concentrated on the technique of wash drawing in black India ink. Strongly influenced by Taoism, he combined spontaneity and mastery in a single gesture, as in Masculine–Feminine Unity Symbol (1934). He lived quietly at Hagnau on Lake Constance, working in isolation, and did not exhibit his pictures under the Nazi regime. The monochrome ink paintings he executed throughout this period, such as Penetration (1939), were seen by the public only after World War II, making his reputation. From 1950 he took part in many major international exhibitions, including Documenta in Kassel (1959) and the Venice Biennale in 1960. While continuing to work on paper, he also began to paint on panel from 1953 (all destroyed) and from 1956 on canvas. In these paintings, such as 30 July 1959 (1959), he developed a technique of egg-and-oil tempera that allowed him to use several washes on the canvas while retaining colored contours to define his forms. He called these small pictures ‘miniatures’, but they might also be referred to as microcosms, because of the wealth of their symbolism. During the 1950s, Bissier left Germany for Ascona in Switzerland, where he continued to lead a quiet life in conditions favorable to the meditation on which his painting depended. Like Mark Tobey, he was one of the first modern western painters to have sought inspiration from the art of the Far East.
— German painter and designer. Born in Freiburg im Breisgau. Studied art history at Freiburg University 1913-14 and briefly attended the Karlsruhe Academy in 1914. Military service 1914-1918. First one-man exhibition at the Kunstverein, Freiburg, 1920. First painted compositions inspired by the German primitives, then turned (1923-1928) to Neue Sachlichkeit realism. Friendship 1919-1927 with the orientalist Ernst Grosse, who introduced him to oriental mysticism and the art of the Far East. Taught at the University of Freiburg 1929-1934. Turned to abstract art in 1929-1930 partly as a result of friendship with Baumeister from 1929 and meeting Brancusi in Paris 1930. Close friendship with Schlemmer 1933-1943. Almost all his early work destroyed in a fire at Freiburg University 1934. Worked henceforth on small formats, frequently in India ink. Moved in 1939 to Hagnau on Lake Constance, where he designed carpets and fabrics which were woven by his wife. Made color monotypes, wood engravings and India ink drawings 1947-54, then began in 1955-1956 to make 'miniatures' in oil tempera and watercolor. Moved in 1961 to Ascona, where he died.— LINKS
untitled (1962; 580x616pix _ ZOOM to 1400x1437pix)
Miniatur (1957; 580x684pix)
untitled (04 Dec 1960; 540x648pix)
Donaulandschaft (1924; 580x476pix)
Rondine 5. März 62g (1962; 318x368pix, 18kb)
20 Jan 1959, Zurich (280x312pix, 17kb) —(070207)

1851 Gustav Schönleber, German artist who died on 01 February 1917.

1843 Daniele Ranzoni, Intra (Varese) Italian painter who died (main coverage) on 20 October 1889. —(051202)

1793 Thomas Clarkson Frederick Stanfield, English painter who died (full coverage) on 18 May 1867. —(060707)

1755 Gilbert Stuart, US painter who died (full coverage) on 09 July 1828. —(060707)

^ 1621 Pieter Gysels (or Gheysels, Gyzens, Gysen), Antwerp Flemish painter who died in 1690. He began his training in 1641, under Antwerp painter Jan Boots. He may also have been apprenticed to Jan Breughel II, whose diary describes a painting completed in 1638 as a ‘small wild boar somewhat touched up by Gys’ (‘een klein wilt verxken voor Gys wat geretosieert’). But it seems highly doubtful that ‘Gys’ refers to Pieter Gysels. In 1649 or 1650 Gysels became a master in Antwerp’s Guild of Saint Luke. On 13 November 1650 he married Joanna Huybrecht, who bore him six children. — LINKS
Still Life near a Fountain (1685; 1297x1600pix, 254kb), mostly fruit and vegetables, with an ornate pitcher and dish, an oriental rug, a monkey, two rabbits, and barely seen in the dark background, the fountain with a duck, a peacock, other birds, a sculpture, an urn, and a formal garden. — similar but different Garden (574x700pix, 154kb) _ evenly lighted, with a still life (mostly fruits and vegetables) next to a fountain, an oriental rug, a parrot, two ducks, other birds, a large urn, sculptures, a villa in the background, but not much garden.
A Winter Carnival in a Small Flemish Town
River Landscape with Villages and Travelers (1685, 13x16cm; 390x471pix, 77kb)

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