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DEATHS: 1810 RIGAUD — 1562 VAN SCOREL  1779 CHARDIN
BIRTHS: 1841 BAZILLE  1856 FLAMENG  1750 VALENCIENNES
^ Died on 06 December 1810: Jean~François Rigaud, French painter born in Turin on 18 May 1742, active in England as John Francis Rigaud.
— He studied in Turin, Florence and Bologna, and lived in Rome for two years from 1768. In 1771 he settled in London, becoming in the following year an Associate of the Royal Academy, and a full Academician in 1784. He received a steady stream of commissions for historical subjects, as well as decorative compositions and portraits. In 1775 he exhibited The Entry of the Black Prince into London with his Royal Prisoner; its subject from national history was an original choice for the time. From 1778 he painted for Boydell’s Shakespeare Gallery such small pictures as Scene from ‘Romeo and Juliet’. He also contributed to Macklin’s Poets’ Gallery. In 1794 he won what was probably his most important commission, the decoration of the four pendentives of the Common Council Chamber in the Guildhall, London, depicting Providence, Innocence, Wisdom and Happiness; of these only the preparatory oil sketches survive. Rigaud’s most important patron was Heneage Finch, 4th Earl of Aylesford, who employed him to decorate the Pompeian Gallery at Packington Hall, Warwicks, in 1787 and the New Church in 1787 and 1792. Rigaud was one of the major painters of large-scale decorative schemes for fashionable interiors of the late 18th century. His early designs were Neo-classical in feeling, but his later work tended more towards the Baroque. His narrative pictures range from history subjects in the Grand Manner, which he painted principally for the theme galleries, to popular sentimental subjects intended for the print market. As a portrait artist, he could be frank and expressive when not seeking heroic effects; his best portraits are of fellow artists such as that of Joseph Nollekens (1772) and a half-length group of his fellow Academicians, Sir William Chambers, Joseph Wilton and Sir Joshua Reynolds (1782)

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Captain Horatio Nelson [1758-1805] (1781, 127x102cm; 867x700pix, 66kb) _ A three-quarter-length portrait to right in captain's full-dress uniform. He wears a hat and his hands rest on his sheathed sword in front of him. Although the portrait was begun in 1777, when Nelson was a lieutenant, it was not finished until 1781 when he had returned to England as a captain. X-rays reveal that, as begun, it showed a slightly rounder-faced Nelson standing bare-headed in lieutenant's uniform with his hat under his left arm. The fined-down features of the finished picture perhaps reflect the effects of his intervening years in the tropics, including the fever that nearly killed him during the San Juan River expedition in Nicaragua, in 1780.
      Fort San Juan, which Nelson helped capture on that occasion is shown as the background here and is believed to have been painted by Dominic Serres. This was one of three portraits of promising young officers commissioned by their early commander, Captain William Locker. He had been Nelson's captain in the frigate Lowestoffe, his first ship after being commissioned lieutenant. (Locker also knew and patronized Serres, who - very unusually - painted his portrait).
Admiral William Parry [1705-1779] _ (1777, 127x102cm) _ A three-quarter-length portrait to right in flag-officer's undress uniform, 1774-83, and a tie wig. He holds his hat in his right hand and in the right background is a ship with a blue flag at the main and a red at the fore. The painting was probably altered since Parry was Vice-Admiral of the Red when it was painted and became Admiral of the Blue in January 1778. The artist attempted to cover up the red flag at the fore but the original paintwork has now reappeared and the ensign may also have been altered.
Captain Robert Man [1748-1813] _ (1779, 76x63cm) _ A half-length portrait to left in captain's (over three years) full-dress uniform Man wears a white wig with black ribbon visible and holds his hat under his arm. In the background a British frigate flying the Union flag, on the left, is shown in the act of taking a small French schooner on the right. In the Mediterranean in 1795 and with his flag in the Victory, 100 guns, he was one of the few that got close enough to engage during Hotham's action. The following year he was a rear-admiral during the war in the Mediterranean sent by Jervis to Gibraltar for supplies. He arrived safely and was chased by the Spanish fleet. On his arrival he called a council of war which concluded that since the British fleet was outnumbered by the Franco-Spanish fleet it would be best to take their squadron to England. The immediate result was that the British were forced to leave the Mediterranean for the time being. Man had no authority to make such a decision: he was ordered to strike his flag and was never employed at sea again.
Captain Peacock (1780, 126x100cm) _ A three-quarter-length portrait to left in captain's (over three years) full-dress uniform. He holds his hat in his left hand and wears his own hair powdered. He gestures with his right arm towards a British and a United States ship in action, with the American striking.
The Money Brothers: William Taylor [1769-1834], James [1772-1833], and Robert [1775-1803] (1791, 101x127cm; 552x700pix, 53kb) _ A group portrait of three sons of William Money [1738-1796], a Director of the East India Company and an Elder Brother of Trinity House, commissioned by Sir Robert Wigram Bt [1769-1830], Money's lifelong friend and business partner. The central figure, William Taylor is shown in three-quarter length, slightly to right, looking towards the viewer. He wears the uniform of a lieutenant of the East India Company marine service. He was the eldest son and had his first East India commission as a lieutenant in the Rose in 1786. In 1793 he became commander of Wigram's ship, the General Goddard, taking her on a particularly successful initial voyage and later commanded other Wigram ships including the Walthamstow. On his retirement from sea in 1801 he became Marine Superintendent at Bombay. From 1811 he was a director of the Company, an elder brother of Trinity House and an MP. He was also knighted and died as Consul General at Venice in 1834. His right arm rests on the shoulder of his brother Robert, who stands to the left and is shown half-length, to right, wearing a red coat. He is in profile looking at his eldest brother and pointing with his right hand to a map of China at the place marked Canton.
      James, the right hand figure, holds the other end of the map with his right forefinger placed on Calcutta. He wears a brown coat, a white waistcoat and yellow breeches. Like his elder brother, his hair is powdered. Through a window behind him the Indiaman 'Rose' is shown at anchor. James and Robert both spent their lives in the civil branch of the Company's service, with Robert serving in China. The appearance of the sitters implies that the portrait was begun in 1788 and, indeed, Richard (the youngest) points to China, where William Taylor went on a voyage during 1786-1788. William Taylor sat for the artist in 1788 and 1790-1791. James points to the Bay of Bengal, which may signify that he accompanied his elder brother on the 1788-1790 voyage, at the start of his service with the Company. The Honourable Company of London Merchants Trading with the East Indies was formed in 1600 and it soon became known by the shorter title of the Honourable East India Company. The company grew rich and powerful on the trade in cottons, silks, spices and tea, and kept its monopoly for over 200 years. Britain's large land-based Indian Empire had its beginnings in this early maritime trading venture.
 
^ Born on 06 December 1841: Jean Frédéric Bazille, French Impressionist painter who died on 28 November 1870.
— Bazille was a member of the early Impressionist group. As a student in Gleyre's studio in Paris (1862) he befriended Monet, Renoir, and Sisley, with whom he painted out of doors at Fontainebleau and in Normandy. He was, however, primarily a figure painter rather than a landscapist, his best-known work being the large Family Reunion (1868). He came from a wealthy family and had given generous financial support to Monet and Renoir.
— The son of a senator, Bazille was born into the wealthy Protestant middle class in Montpellier. He soon came into contact with the contemporary and still controversial painting of Eugène Delacroix and Gustave Courbet through the Montpellier collector, Alfred Bruyas. In response to his family’s wishes he began to study medicine in 1860. He moved to Paris in 1862 and devoted his time increasingly to painting. In November 1862 he entered the studio of Charles Gleyre where he produced academic life drawings and made friends with the future Impressionists, Claude Monet, Auguste Renoir, and Alfred Sisley. When the studio closed in 1863, he did not look for another teacher but followed his friends to Chailly, near the forest of Fontainebleau, where he made studies from nature (e.g. Study of Trees). From 1863 he took an active part in Parisian musical life, attending the Pasdeloup and Conservatoire concerts. He developed a passion for opera (Berlioz and Wagner in particular) and German music (Beethoven and Schumann). He attended the salon of his cousins, the Lejosne family, where Henri Fantin-Latour, Charles Baudelaire, Edmond Maître, Renoir, and Edouard Manet were frequent guests, and at the end of 1863 he met Courbet. Bazille was killed in action during the Franco-Prussian War, cutting short a promising career.

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–- Self-Portrait (1868, 54x46cm; 830x685pix, 37kb _ .ZOOM to 1139x957pix, 77kb _ .ZOOM+ to 2232x1842pix, 310kb) head and shoulders.
Self-Portrait (1866) 3/4 length, holding palette.
Bazille's Studio; 9 rue de la Condamine (1870, 98x128cm) _ This painting, somewhat free in technique, has poignant associative interest. It shows a group of young friends. Renoir is seated at the extreme left. Just above him, on the stair, is Zola. Manet stands in front of a painting on an easel. Behind him is Monet, and standing at the side of the easel is Bazille himself. Manet painted this figure, or at least Bazille's head. At the far right their musician friend Edmond Maitre is at the piano.
Pierre-Auguste Renoir (1867, 122x107cm)
La Réunion de Famille (1868; 600x905pix, 254kb _ ZOOM to 1400x2111pix, 674kb) _ Five women and five men, standing or sitting on a garden terrace, apparently with nothing to do, except wait for the artist's arrival, which must be at what (in the viewer's position out of the picture) seven of the ten are looking.
View of the Village (1868; 144kb _ ZOOM to 1400x885pix) which serves as a mere background to the young woman sitting in the foreground.
La Robe Rose (Vue de Castelnau-le-Lez, Hérault) (1864; 116kb)
Négresse aux pivoines (1870; 885x1120pix) many scraches, especially in the dark areas; in need of restauration.
38 images at the Athenaeum
—(051127)
^ Died on 06 December 1562: Jan van Scorel (or Schoreel, Scorelius), Dutch painter born on 01 August 1495. — {Among software users who like Scorel is there someone who likes Corel?}
— Van Scorel was the first Dutch painter of importance to study in Italy and responsible for introducing the Italian High Renaissance to the Netherlands. Scorel traveled all over Germany, and into Italy, went to Jerusalem on a pilgrimage, arrived back in Venice in 1521, made his fortune by being in Rome at the right moment to be practically the only artist patronized by the Dutch pope Hadrian VI, came back to Utrecht full of the influences of Giorgione, Palma Vecchio, Michelangelo, and Raphael, particularly the latter, and later went to France. He was was appointed by Pope Hadrian VI superintendent of the Vatican Collection. He returned to the Netherlands in 1524. His works include Pilgrims to Jerusalem, Saint Mary Magdalene and Holy Kinship.
— Jan van Scorel was born in the village of Schoorl (Scorel), near Alkmaar. After attending Alkmaar's Latin school as a child, he was apprenticed to the Haarlem painter Cornelis Willemszoon. In 1512 he left for Amsterdam. There he became an assistant in the studio of the artist Jacob Cornelisz. van Oostsanen. Jan van Scorel was one of the first Northern Netherlandish painters to visit Italy. In 1522 in Rome he entered the service of the Dutch Pope Adrian VI: he was appointed curator of antiquities at the Vatican. After returning to the Netherlands he entered the Church in Utrecht. Thanks to his stay in Italy and his acquaintance with the work of Michelangelo and Raphael he played a crucial role in the introduction of the Renaissance to the Netherlands.
     Artist-biographer Karel van Mander referred to him in his Schilder-boeck of 1604, as “the lantern-bearer and the trailblazer of our art”. Despite the priority he gave to his work as a churchman, Scorel was a productive artist: most of his paintings were portraits or works with religious themes. Following what was, from an artistic perspective, a highly fruitful stay in Haarlem from 1527 to 1530, he returned to Utrecht. Here he headed a flourishing studio that produced nine monumental altarpieces.
— It is not certain where Jan van Scorel studied; some scholars think that he was apprenticed to Jacob Corneliszoon van Oostsanen in Amsterdam, others to Jan Gossaert in Utrecht. He is also said to have studied under Mabuse. Passion for traveling put Scorel on an extended tour: he visited Dürer in Nuremberg, painted his first representative work in Obervellach in Austria (Sippenaltar, 1520), then traveled via Venice to Rome. There Pope Adrian VI [02 Mar 1459 – 14 Sep 1523], a native of Utrecht (the last non-Italian pope until the election of John Paul II on 16 October 1978), appointed him painter to the Vatican and successor to Raphael as Keeper of the Belvedere. From Rome Scorel went on pilgrimage to the Holy Land.
      After his return to the Netherlands he lived in turn in Haarlem, Ghent, at last, in 1524, he settled in Utrecht and developed a brilliant career as a painter and teacher. Highly gifted and educated (he was an architect, engineer, poet, musician, knew several languages), equally endowed with intellect and spontaneity, he created a wealth of altarpieces and portraits in which Italian art merged with native tradition that gives us the right to consider him the leading Netherlandish “Romanist”. (Netherlandish “Romanist” is a term used to denote a large group of leading Flemish artists of the first half of the 16th century, who integrated the classical imagery in their work. From this time on, painting mythological scenes and nudes as the main subject also became popular in the Netherlands.) Many of the artist’s works were destroyed during the Iconoclasm (1566). Jan van Scorel died in Utrecht.
— Humanist, musician, poet, amateur archaeologist, and clergyman, multi-talented Jan van Scorel was the first northern Netherlandish artist to absorb High Renaissance art in Italy and bring it home. He not only assimilated aspects of the figure styles of Michelangelo and Raphael but also created landscapes in the style of Giorgione.
      Van Scorel received his initial professional training in 1512 under Amsterdam's first major painter. In 1517 he studied under Jan Gossaert in Utrecht and soon after worked under Albrecht Dürer in Germany. In Venice, Van Scorel discovered paintings with golden sunlight, bright colors, loose brushwork, and clearly organized landscapes with rolling hills and winding roads.
      Upon the invitation of pilgrims Scorel met in Rome, he visited the Holy Land. Returning to Rome, in 1523 he became director of Vatican antiquities under the Dutch Pope, Hadrian VI. Van Scorel's return to Utrecht in 1524 has been called a turning point in northern Netherlandish painting. He painted some of the Netherlands' earliest group portraits, and his workshop swelled with commissions. In 1550 he was trusted with restoring Jan van Eyck's Ghent altarpiece. Many of van Scorel's religious works, including large altarpieces, were destroyed in outbreaks of iconoclasm.
— Van Scorel's students included Antonis Mor.

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Joris van Egmond, Bishop of Utrecht (1535, 57x80cm; 478x695pix, 17kb) _ This man, absorbed in his own thoughts, is Joris van Egmond [1504-1559]. In 1534 he was appointed Bishop of Utrecht. Jan van Scorel's portrait probably dates from that period. Van Egmond is dressed in the fashion of the age. He wears a tabard (a long mantle), trimmed with fur. In the 16th century men wore a knee-length tabard as an outer garment, often trimmed with fur. In the same period, women wore a garment with a wide, flared dress which was also known as a tabard. Later, the term tabard became a general word for all long, wide garments, including the cloak traditionally worn by Saint Nicholas.
      Under the tabard, van Egmond wears a black doublet or jerkin (known in Dutch as a 'paltrok' from the old French 'paletoc', for cloth), which is an overgarment reaching to halfway down the upper leg. The neck is open and there are numerous splits revealing the shirt underneath. A belt tightens the jerkin around the waist. As a result, the bottom section tends to jut out. The sleeves were attached loosely with ribbon. Jerkins were worn by men between the 14th and the 16th centuries.
      On the bishop's head is a biretta, a cap or hat made of soft material. It was the headgear worn by men of means in the 16th century. In the 17th century a more jaunty hat became fashionable, with a wide brim and a plume. Birettas went out of fashion, except among the Catholic clergy. A three- or four-cornered biretta continued to be worn by priests well into the 20th century.
      The bishop was an influential man and a patron of Van Scorel and other artists. He is depicted here with his head averted and a thoughtful look on his face. This is fairly unusual for Van Scorel. The men in his portraits generally gaze self-assuredly at the viewer.
     Joris van Egmond was a distant cousin and protégé of the Emperor Charles V. In the sixteenth century the Egmonds had risen to become a politically influential family. After holding a variety of posts in the church, Van Egmond was appointed Bishop of Utrecht by Charles V in 1534. Rome however discovered that he had never been ordained as a priest. Only after this omission had been rectified, was it possible to consecrate him as bishop, in 1535. On the frame of this exceptionally wide panel is a Latin inscription, abbreviated in places, as was customary. The missing letters are shown here in square brackets:
R[everendissimus] AC ILL[ustrissimus] D[ominus] GEORGIUS DE EGMONT EPISCOPUS TRAIECTENSIS ETC.
Landscape with Bathsheba (1545, 100x204cm) _ A lovely young woman is bathing at a fountain. It is Bathsheba, with whom King David fell in love when he saw her from his palace roof. The story of David and Bathsheba is told in the Old TestamentChristian teaching is based on the Bible. The Bible is a collection of writings - the books of the Bible. It comprises two parts: the Old and the New Testament. The Old Testament is the Hebrew Bible, adopted by Christianity. It contains the laws and history of the Jewish people from the Creation to pre-Roman times. Adam and Eve, Moses and the Ten Commandments, King David - all these stories can be found in the Jewish Scriptures. Also contained in the Old Testament are books of verse, such as Psalms and Proverbs. An entire section is devoted to the prophets, including Jeremiah and Isaiah. Among the latter's prophesies is his vision of a future saviour, the Messiah (anointed one).. Jan van Scorel has set this Bible story in an open landscape. The work was painted in around 1545. No later works are known by him.
     Bathsheba was the wife of Uriah, a general in David's army. One day, while her husband was at the front, she went out to bathe. Seeing her from his palace roof, King David became infatuated with her. He sent one of his messengers to summon her. That is the moment that Van Scorel has shown in this painting. The castle on the right is bursting with activity. The king is leaning out of a high window. Although he is tiny, he can be identified by the crown. Later, Bathsheba was brought in to him, and he slept with her. Her husband was then deliberately positioned in the thick of the battle, so that he would be killed, after which David married Bathsheba.
     Bathsheba is sitting in the foreground left. She appears totally guileless. Covering her face with her hand, she casts her eyes modestly to the ground. An open landscape with a row of dark green trees separates her from David. The biblical story of David and Bathsheba was a popular theme in Renaissance art, especially since it provided an excellent opportunity for a female nude. Moreover, the story was a warning against the abuse of power.
     Van Scorel has linked the two main characters in this story through an undulating chain of figures, that diminish in size. This leads the eye from Bathsheba to David. Furthermore, Van Scorel introduced a strongly diagonal movement into the picture. An imaginary line connects the tree in the left foreground to the distance at the right. This is a characteristic of all the paintings he made after his visit to Italy, where he lived and worked for some time. Also typical of Van Scorel's work is the breadth of the composition.
     The fountain statues are the artist's way of commenting on the story. On the left is Venus, goddess of love. She is pointing to a relief at her feet. This shows an ibis, a bird notorious for its impurity, a symbol of shame and dishonor. It warns the viewer against adultery. A man is vomiting water into the fountain. The contrast between him and the translucent sparkling brook in the middle planePainters often divide landscapes into foreground, centre and background. In the 16th century, when this division became popular, the foreground was usually represented as high, while the central section looked lower. The painter achieved this effect by using lighter colors and by depicting the figures in the centre as smaller than those in the foreground. This device gave the work more perspective. The background was high, often consisting of mountains, woods or city walls., just behind him, is clear. The befouled fountain suggests the impurity of adulterous love.
     Scrolling There is an interesting detail in the relief around the pedestal under Venus: the curling ornamentation is called scrollingScrolls are a decorative motif that first appeared around 1540 in Fontainebleau. Scrolls resemble curled strips of paper. The motif became popular in the Netherlands around 1600 through the ornament books of Hans Vredeman de Vries. It is applied on flat surfaces (as in prints) but also in relief, in furniture and architecture. Scrolling is characteristic of the Northern Renaissance.. In 1545 scrolling was a new form of decoration in the Northern Netherlands, and became extremely popular. Its presence here indicates that this work must have been made around 1545, towards the end of Jan van Scorel's career.
     Originally the colors in this painting varied from dark green to pure blue. Today the blue in the background has faded into a brownish grey. To produce the original color Van Scorel used finely ground blue glass called smaltPaint is a combination of pigment and a binding agent, generally oil. Blue pigment was usually made of pulverised semi-precious stones, such as ultramarine (lapis lazuli) or azurite. But in the 16th and 17th century these pigments were expensive and hard to procure. So painters often used smalt as a pigment. Smalt is glass, colored blue with cobalt-oxide. To make blue paint the glass has to be finely ground and mixed with a binding agent. If too much binding agent is used smalt paint eventually discolors to a dirty grey-green.. This was fairly cheap and unfortunately tends to fade with time. The pigmentPigment is dry dye. Paint is made by mixing pigment with a binding agent, generally oil. From the 15th to the 19th century most pigments were made of organic materials found in nature. They might be made of finely crushed stone, such as lapis lazuli (blue) or malachite (green), or colored clays (red and ochre). Some pigments were extracted from plants, such as indigo blue. For black, artists often used soot ('lamp black'). The only manmade pigment was the much-used white lead, made by oxidising lead in vinegar. Today, most painters use synthetic pigments. has also partly disappeared in other portions of the picture too. The color has gone from the fine white drapery which covered Bathsheba. With the passage of time, she has become increasingly naked. In several places the underdrawingIn the 15th and 16th centuries, painters in the Netherlands generally worked on a smooth, white ground. On this, the artist would paint a detailed drawing - in charcoal or black chalk - of the proposed composition. This is the underdrawing. The artist would then paint over this, obscuring the drawing. In some works, the layers of paint have faded over the years allowing the underdrawing to become visible. In the 17th century artists abandoned detailed underdrawings. They often preferred a darker ground and considered it a point of honour to be able to paint directly onto the canvas without a preparatory drawing. shows through the painting. This is also the case in other paintings by Jan van Scorel.
Portrait of a Man (1529, 47x34cm) _ An unpretentious portrait of an unknown man. He was 46 years old when Jan van Scorel painted him in 1529. His age and the date are given on the frame, as if a small piece of paper is stuck there. The man is fashionably dressed in a black fur-lined tabard (a long mantle). In the 16th century men wore a knee-length tabard as an outer garment, often trimmed with fur. In the same period, women wore a garment with a wide, flared dress which was also known as a tabard. Later, the term tabard became a general word for all long, wide garments - including the cloak traditionally worn by Saint Nicholas. over a black shirt with a stiff collar and, on his head, a biretta (a cap or hat made of soft material). It was the headgear worn by men of means in the 16th century. In the 17th century a more jaunty hat became fashionable, with a wide brim and a plume. Birettas went out of fashion, except among the Catholic clergy. A three- or four-cornered biretta continued to be worn by priests well into the 20th century. His face is turned sideways, but his eyes address the viewer. It is his direct gaze that makes the portrait so relaxed. The same effect is achieved through the subtle details such as the delicate lines around his eyes and the stubble of his beard. Jan van Scorel was the first in the Northern Netherlands to paint this type of portrait of middle-class burghers. Merchants, scholars and other burghers rarely commissioned portraits. This was usually the preserve of the aristocracy and the clergy. The portraits that were painted of burghers are found on altarpieces, accompanied by a patron saint. It was only in the latter half of the 16th century that this pattern changed. and this is one of his earliest such pictures.
     The portrait is still in its original frame, which is exceptional for a painting of this age. This is all the more unusual because of the inscription. It appears to be a real piece of paper, stuck to the edge with red wax. In fact it has been painted on by Van Scorel. This was not entirely unprecedented: Jacob Corneliszoon van Oostsanen painted a small note onto his self-portrait that appears to be stuck on with a pin. Effects such as these are known as 'trompe l'oeil'.
     There is nothing to distract the viewer from the actual portrait of this serious man. Van Scorel has stuck to the essentials: the background is monochrome and free from objects. Because the portrait fills the whole frame, the head of the man appears even more striking. Van Scorel apparently preferred a tight-fitting framework. This can be seen in other portraits he painted and in his portrayal of Mary Magdalene (unmodified original).
     Jan van Scorel was a much-traveled man. Before he settled in Holland as an artist he had worked in Rome for several years. There he would have seen the ancient ruins and become acquainted with the Italian Renaissance. When he painted this portrait, in 1529, he was living in Haarlem. He had a large studio there and numerous pupils. From Italy he had brought new ideas about painting and these quickly spread. His best-known pupil was Maarten van Heemskerck. In his portraits Van Heemskerck went a step further than his master: he presented people in their everyday environment and absorbed in their activities.
–- Mary Magdalen original painting (1530, 56x77cm; 768x1066pix, 111kb _ .ZOOM to 1153x1599pix, 268kb _ .ZOOM+ to 1730x2400pix, 368kb) _ This painting is on a panel, as most paintings were in the 15th and 16th centuries. In the late 16th century artists began increasingly to work on canvas. A panel is made using wooden planks cut from the best timber, the central part of the tree trunk. The planks were fixed together and carefully sanded. A thick layer of ground, usually white, would then be applied. Over the years, changes in temperature and humidity have led many panels to warp; the planks bend separately and become loose and slightly shorter. In the painting, as it is seen today (See the modified painting, 67x76cm; 1396x1600pix, 442kb), there is a top plank, just above Mary Magdalene's head, which was added after Van Scorel's time. The owner probably thought that a little extra sky and space would improve the painting. In fact the addition reduced the power and tension of the composition. The painting without the additional plank is a far more compact work. Mary Magdalene is a far stronger figure. Moreover, the balance between the tree on the right and the crag on the left is more obvious. Without the top plank, the painting is relatively broader, more in line with Van Scorel's other works of the period.
     A young woman is seated in a mountainous landscape. She is richly attired, with a dark-green dress set with pearls. This is Mary Magdalene, a rich woman but a sinner, who changed her ways after hearing Jesus. Jesus Christ is the central figure of the Christian religion. The name Christ comes from the Greek 'christos', meaning the anointed one. He was also called 'the son of God'. Christ's life and teachings are described in the New Testament. He was born some 2,000 years ago in Judea. His birth was accompanied by miracles. For instance, his mother was a virgin, called Mary, and his birthplace was a stable. Shepherds were told of his birth by angels and came to worship him as the new king. Jesus grew up as a practicing Jew. But at the age of about 30 he began to proclaim teachings that diverged from Jewish law. A group of disciples gathered around him and his activities brought him into conflict with the authorities. He was eventually condemned to death by crucifixion. According to the Bible, however, he rose from the dead and after his resurrection he was seen by a number of his disciples. Forty days later he departed from the world. But his followers continued to proclaim his teachings. This was the start of Christianity. preach. The tree beside her - with branches blossoming on a hollow, rotten trunk - symbolises prosperity after a blighted start. Jan van Scorel painted this portrait around 1530, after a long study trip to Italy. He brought a new manner of painting back to Holland. This can clearly be seen in the landscape and the way in which he portrays Mary Magdalene. Scorel turned the saint into a modern woman, graceful and serious.
     Mary Magdalene was the biblical character who anointed Jesus' feet. That is why she is invariably depicted with a vase of ointment. Embroidered on the front of her dress are fantasy HebrewHebrew is the language in which the Old Testament is written. It is the language of the Jews and has its own unique alphabet. letters, referring to Mary's origin in Magdala, in the Holy Land. She is dressed as a rich woman of the sixteenth century. Her clothes are set with pearls. Draped over her right shoulder and her lap is a colorful shawl of precious oriental material. Jan van Scorel had probably seen garments like these in Venice. His model for the gilt ointment jar was probably Italian too.
     Anchoress In the background, at the foot of the rather fanciful crag, is a woman lifted by two angels. This refers to the legend that after the death of Jesus, Mary Magdalene retreated to a cavern. There she lived as a recluse for thirty years, fasting and atoning. Seven times a day she was lifted by angels up to heaven where she was able to glimpse the splendor that awaited her. This is the miracle that Jan van Scorel depicts. A monk, bottom left, witnesses the saint's ascension.
     Mary Magdalene is seated on a hill, high above the landscape that stretches out into the distance. This artistic construction allowed Van Scorel to lend depth to the composition. Depth is also suggested by the way in which the hand on the ointment jar is rendered. The fingers are shorter than in reality. The thumb and the finger are especially shorterSince the Renaissance many artists have made use of the science of perspective to represent a three-dimensional subject on a flat surface. As we perceive them, objects look smaller the further they are from us. To create an illusion of space therefore the artist must also represent the objects or people in the distance as being smaller, according to specific proportions. The most difficult thing is to reproduce long objects or parts of the body that are at right angles to the surface of the painting and which are as it were pointed at the viewer, for instance a spear or an arm reaching out. To approximate the way we see such objects they have to be depicted 'foreshortened'. In proportion then they occupy only a small part of the canvas. In some cases the foreshortening is applied so forcibly that it feels a little exaggerated.. This remains unnoticed because the effect mirrors the perception of the human eye in space. Finally, the use of color also provides a sense of depth: warm, deep colors in the foreground and cool, light colors in the background.
     Strange shadows are visible on Mary Magdalene's cheeks and neck. This is the effect of the underdrawingIn the 15th and 16th centuries, painters in the Netherlands generally worked on a smooth, white ground. On this, the artist would paint a detailed drawing - in charcoal or black chalk - of the proposed composition. This is the underdrawing. The artist would then paint over this, obscuring the drawing. In some works, the layers of paint have faded over the years allowing the underdrawing to become visible. In the 17th century artists abandoned detailed underdrawings. They often preferred a darker ground and considered it a point of honour to be able to paint directly onto the canvas without a preparatory drawing. through the paint. Jan van Scorel sketched the composition in charcoal or chalk on the the panel or canvas prepared with a ground layer, usually a mixture of chalk and glue size. The solution is applied to the support in thin layers which are sanded down as they dry. The result is a smooth, compact primer of 'gesso' ground. In the 15th and 16th centuries painters began adding dark pigments to the mix of chalk and glue size to obtain a grey or light-brown base. panel. He then painted over this with thin layers of paint. Over the years the paint has become transparent, especially the lighter parts, such as the head and hands. In other paintings by Van Scorel, such as Bathsheba, the underdrawing shines through the paint in far more places.
     For Mary Magdalene the artist used a model from his own country. However, here and there he made her more delicate, beautiful and less personal. This 'idealisation' is something he had learned in Italy. He also used an Italian model for the pose and the hairstyle. Perhaps this was from a print by Leonardo da Vinci. Van Scorel settled in Utrecht after his return, establishing a studio and taking on numerous pupils. He also started a studio with pupils in Haarlem. This meant that the innovations he had brought back from Italy were soon absorbed by many Northern Netherlandish painters.
The Baptism of Christ (1530; 805x1030pix, 133kb) _ Christ being baptized in the river Jordan by Saint John the Baptist. The Holy Ghost appears in the form of a radiant dove. For this painting Van Scorel drew on elements from works by Raphael and other Italian Renaissance artists.
Presentation of Jesus in the Temple (1527, 114x85cm; 850x610pix, 173kb)
Head of a Young Girl (91kb)
A 32-year-old Man (1521, 43x51cm; 700x580pix)
A Venetian Man (1520, 45x34cm)
The 12-year-old Schoolboy (1531; 726x561pix, 23kb)
The Madonna of the Wild Flowers (1529; 600x477pix)
An (Angry?) Old Man (1530; 600x447pix)
 

Died on a 06 December:


1942 Louis Marie de Schryver, French artist born (main coverage) on 12 October 1862.

=1910 Vittorio Avondo, Italian artist born on 10 August 1836.

=1884 Jean Baptiste van Moer, Belgian artist born on 17 December 1819.

1852 George Duncan Beechey, British artist born in 1798. — Relative? of Sir William Beechey [12 Dec 1753 – 28 Jan 1839]?

^ >1845 Andrew Robertson, in London, Scottish painter, born on 14 October 1777, brother of Archibald Robertson [08 May 1765 – 06 Dec 1835] and Alexander Robertson [1768-1841], who, like him, specialized in miniature portraits, but, unlike him, emigrated to New York (in 1791 and 1792 respectively) where they established the Columbian Academy of Painting at 89 William Street, purported to be the first art school in the US. Andrew Robertson attended Alexander Nasmyth’s drawing-classes in Edinburgh in 1792, and he was also befriended by Henry Raeburn, who lent him portraits to copy and a small room in which to practice. In 1797 he attended the Royal Scottish Academy life classes to learn figure drawing, soon specializing in miniature painting of an enlarged size. He moved in 1801 to London, where he frequented mainly Scottish painters. He first made an enlarged miniature after the portrait of Cornelius van der Geest (1619; 37x32cm) by Anthony van Dyck [1599-1641], which impressed Thomas Lawrence, James Northcote, and Martin Archer Shee. This was followed by a self-portrait in tartan ‘that I may be known to Scotch people’. Benjamin West gave him a portrait commission in 1802, with 13 sittings and much advice. The portrait was exhibited in 1803 at the Royal Academy, where Robertson attracted the interest of George III. During the Napoleonic Wars he became a captain under the command of Augustus Frederick, Duke of Sussex, whom he painted in Highland uniform (1806). He was also invited to Windsor Castle to paint The Four Princesses (1808) and The Prince of Wales (later George IV).

^ 1835 Archibald Robertson, in New York, US painter and drawing-master of Scottish birth (08 May 1765). He was brought up in Aberdeen, studying art there and in Edinburgh. In 1786 he was a student at the Royal Academy in London. Joshua Reynolds [1786-1791] was one of his teachers. Several years of practice in Aberdeen followed. In 1791 he arrived in New York to teach art at the invitation of a group of gentlemen. He brought with him a letter of introduction to President Washington from the Earl of Buchan. Thus, shortly afterwards, he painted miniatures of George and Martha Washington (1791 and 1792). With his brother Alexander Robertson [1768-1841], who joined him in 1792, he established the Columbian Academy of Painting; most of their students were amateurs, although a few, notably John Vanderlyn, became professional artists. Throughout their lives, Archibald and Alexander Robertson promoted the exhibition of art and the training of artists in New York, and they were active members of the American Academy of the Fine Arts. Their brother Andrew Robertson [14 Oct 1777 – 06 Dec 1845] stayed in Great Britain.
George Washington [22 Feb 1732 – 14 Dec 1799] (1791, 32x27cm; 480x396pix, 22kb) _ Archibald Robertson made several copies of this portrait.
Sir Joshua Reynolds [16 Jul 1723 – 23 Feb 1792] (1791, oval 7.5x6cm; full size, 30kb)

^ 1835 George Philip Reinagle, English marine painter born in 1802. He studied under his father Ramsay Richard Reinagle [19 Mar 1775 – 17 Nov 1862] , who was the son of Philip Reinagle, and copied marine paintings by such masters as Willem van de Velde, although the first work he exhibited at the Academy (1822) was a portrait. His Battle of Navarino in 1827 (1827) shows an engagement of the Greek War of Independence, which he had witnessed. He made a set of lithographs showing this event and another set featuring skirmishes in the Bay of Patras, to which he had also been a witness. In the 1830s he sailed to Portugal in the fleet commanded by Captain Charles Napier and subsequently painted a scene showing troops being landed in the Algarve (1834). — LINKS
The Battle of Navarino, 20 October 1827 (1828, 122x244cm) _ An interpretation of a naval battle during the War of Greek Independence, 1821-1832. It took place when French, Russian, and British ships destroyed a Turkish or Ottoman-Egyptian fleet in the bay of Navarino - now known (both bay and town) as Pylos - on the west coast of the Greek Peloponnese. Consequent to the signing of the Treaty of London in 1827, the signatories Britain, France and Russia were all committed to enforcing peace in the Archipelago and although Greece agreed to an armistice Turkey did not. Vice-Admiral Sir Edward Codrington, the Mediterranean Commander-in-Chief therefore tried to prevent the Turks supplying their troops in Greece. By 13 October he had been joined by the French squadron commanded by Rear-Admiral Henri de Rigny and by the Russian squadron under Rear-Admiral Count Heiden. The Turks then made two attempts to ship troops to Patras and so Codrington moved the Allied fleets into the bay, although the direction of the wind prevented him from doing so until 20 October. When they were in place, with Codrington on board the Asia, 82 guns, the objective was to prevent the Turco-Egyptian fleet from leaving. A Turkish ship opened fire, however, which led to the ensuing battle that continued for four hours and resulted in the virtual destruction of the Turkish fleet. The Allies did not lose any ships and this battle marked the last fleet action fought under sail. In the foreground to the far left of the painting a Turkish 74-gun ship is being engaged to starboard. To the right of this, in starboard-quarter view, the French ship Breslau, 84 guns, is shown firing into the bow of the Turkish ship. Beyond her and to the right a huge explosion indicates one of the Turkish frigates blowing up. Just to the right of center is the British Albion, 74 guns, starboard-quarter view, in action to port with a Turkish double-banked frigate, only the starboard bow of which can be seen through the gunsmoke. Also in the smoke, just to the right, is the port bow of a Turkish 74-gun ship engaging the British Genoa, 74 guns, in port-bow view. Past her stern the starboard view of the flagship of the Turkish admiral, Capitan Bey, is barely visible and is engaged to starboard by Codrington's flagship, Asia, in starboard-quarter view. The Asia is also engaged to port with the Egyptian flagship of Mocharem Bey, barely visible through the smoke. Slightly nearer is the smaller French Alcyone, 10 guns, and the British Dartmouth, 42 guns, both in starboard-quarter view, with a glimpse of the British Sirene, 60 guns, beyond. On the extreme right, half out of the picture, is a stern view of the French Trident, 74 guns. It is probable that this was the painting exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1829 and it is signed and dated 1828 in the lower right corner. Reinagle did several paintings of Navarino exhibited from 1829 to 1831, since he had accompanied Codrington's squadron through the Mediterranean and was an eye-witness to the battle. His early death terminated a promising career as a marine painter.
A First rate Man-of-War driven onto a reef of rocks, floundering in a gale (1826, 102x127cm) _ The Union flag stands out against the black clouds, indicating the heroism of this lone man-of-war as it braves the storm. Perched on the crest of a wave, it is unclear whether the ship will be engulfed by the sea or whether it will survive the tempest. Reinagle specialised in painting marine battles but this single ship in distress is probably symbolic. The ship might be read as the precarious British state - its survival dependent on a victorious navy. — (051205)

^ 1791 Christian Georg Schüz (or Schütz) I, German artist born on 27 September 1718.
A romantic river-landscape with two anglers and an old watermill (50x70cm; 482x600pix, 42kb) —(051205)

1779 Jean-Baptiste-Siméon Chardin, French painter born (full coverage) on 02 November 1699. —(051019)

^ 1504 Pasqualino di Niccolo da Venezia (or Veneto), Italian painter. Several signed works by Pasqualino are known, two of which are also inscribed with dates. They are a Virgin and Child with St Mary Magdalene (1496) and a Virgin and Child with St John the Baptist (1502). All are half-length pictures of the Virgin and Child, with or without accompanying saints, and they provide a stylistic basis for further attributions to the painter. With the single exception of a Virgin and Child, which corresponds to a design by Giovanni Bellini of the 1480s, Pasqualino’s works are closely dependent in style and composition on the art of Cima da Conegliano, whose pupil or assistant he must have been. The Correr picture is freely based on several of Cima’s works of the early to mid-1490s, in particular the Madonna of the Orange Tree; however, the elongated, tubular forms, rigid modelling, fussily detailed landscape background and opaque colors are typical features of Pasqualino’s own style. Unlike Cima’s other known associates such as Andrea Busati or Girolamo da Udine, Pasqualino does not seem to have been employed in Cima’s workshop merely as an executant of the master’s designs. By 1504 he evidently had sufficient reputation to be entrusted with the important commission to decorate the main wall of the albergo of the Scuola della Carità in Venice. The documents show, however, that he died in the same year without having painted anything and the commission later went to Titian.


Born on a 06 December:


^ 1941 Bruce Nauman, US sculptor, photographer, and performance or installation artist working with video. He studied mathematics and later art under Italo Scanga [1932~] at the University of Wisconsin (1960–1964). At the University of California at Davis (1965–1966) his teachers included William T. Wiley [1937~] and Robert Arneson [1930~]. Upon graduation (MFA, 1966) he exhibited enigmatic, fiberglass sculptures. Nauman himself was already the subject of his art. Although he was a formidable draftsman, Nauman’s neon works, films, videotapes, performances, installations, sculpted body parts and word plays at first seemed frustratingly art-less. His was an art of exploration: he used himself, his person and his witty brand of inquiry to examine the parameters of art and the role of the artist. This questioning elicited strong emotional, physical and intellectual responses, and it often resulted in objects of formal beauty. Neon Templates of the Left Half of my Body, Taken at Ten Inch Intervals (1966) and the color photograph Self Portrait as a Fountain (1966) show him first extracting strangely compelling neon forms from the contours of his body and, in the latter, whimsically challenging preconceived notions of the ‘fountain’. — LINKS —(071205)

^ 1884 Leon Abraham Kroll, US painter who died in 1974. — LINKS
Summer
Girl in a Hammock (1922)

1856 François Flameng, French painter who died (full coverage) on 28 February 1923. —(061127)

^ 1855 Frank Myers Boggs (“Frank-Boggs”), US painter, active in France, who died on 08 August 1926. He studied under Gérôme.
–- Place des Vosges en Hiver aka Maison de Victor Hugo (1910, 27x40cm; 820x1255pix, 227kb)
The Seine, Outside Paris (1885, 38x56cm).
Harbor Scene (50x65cm; 296x380pix, 17kb)
–- Sailing Ship in Dry Dock at Le Havre (etching 40x35cm; 917x781pix, 93kb) —(061129)

^ >1791 José Gutiérrez de la Vega, Spanish painter who died in December 1865. His training at the Escuela de Bellas Artes in Seville was based on the cult and imitation of the art of Murillo [01 Jan 1618 bap. – 03 Apr 1682], which deeply influenced his style, especially in his early years. Though otherwise in Seville at this time, he spent 1829 in Cádiz, where he became a friend of the English consul John Brackembury, and painted portraits of him, his wife Catherine and their children. Cádiz was then influenced by English art and culture, and Gutiérrez de la Vega assimilated something of the elegance and aristocratic manner characteristic of 19th-century English painting. His style corresponds perfectly to the Spanish Romantic spirit, and its refinement is especially evident in his portraits, many of which reflect the art of Murillo. This can be seen in Richard Ford and Harriet Ford (both 1831), in which both figures are dressed in 17th-century Spanish costume. The influence of Murillo in this period is even more marked in such religious works as Christ and the Woman of Samaria and Saint Clement.
–- Saint Philomena (114x88cm; 1575x1208pix, 100kb)
Santa Catalina
Santa Cecilia
Isabel II (106x75cm; 585x425pix, 141kb) —(081205)

1750 Pierre Henri de Valenciennes, French painter who died (full coverage) on 16 February 1819. —(070215)

^ 1668 Nicolas Vleughels (or Wleughels), French painter, administrator, and teacher of Flemish origin, who died on 11 December 1737. He was trained by his father Philippe Vleughels [1620–1694], a Flemish painter who had moved to Paris in 1642; he was also a student of Pierre Mignard I [1612-1695]. In 1694 he came second in the Prix de Rome competition with Lot and his Daughters Leaving Sodom; despite repeated attempts, he failed to win the first prize. He became a close friend of Watteau and was, like him, greatly influenced by Flemish painting, notably that of Rubens. In 1704 Vleughels went to Italy at his own expense. From his base in Rome he made trips to Venice [1707–1709] and Modena [1712–1714] and was much influenced by the work of the Venetian colorists, particularly Veronese, whose works he copied. In 1716, back in Paris, he was approved (agréé) by the Académie Royale and in the same year was received (reçu) on presentation of Apelles Painting Campaspe as his morceau de réception. The influence of Veronese can be seen in the preparatory studies in oil and pastel for his paintings of this period, such as the Studies of a Woman’s Legs for the figure of Campaspe. His close relationship to Watteau’s fêtes galantes can be seen in the Abduction of Helen (1716) — Pierre Subleyras [1699-1749], Etienne Jeaurat, and Jean-Baptiste Pierre were students of Vleughels. — Portrait of Vleughels (1725, 99x139cm; 700x545pix, 187kb) by Antoine Pesne [1683-1757], done at the time that Vleughels became the director of the French Academy in Rome.
Adoration by the Wise Men (1720, 21x16cm; 576x447pixels, 187kb)
— /S#*>An Artist in His Studio (19x24cm; 302x375pix, 21kb) —(061127)


Happened on a 06 December:
2004 The annual Turner Prize, the UK’s most prestigious art award, for which British artists under the age of fifty are eligible, is awarded. The finalists were Kutlug Ataman, Jeremy Dellar, Ben Langlands & Nikki Bell, Yinka Shonibare. — more


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