ART 4 2-DAY 08 December v.9.b0
Died on 08 (09?) December 1824:
Anne-Louis Girodet de Roussy~Trioson (or Roussy~Trioson), French painter born on 29 January 1767.
— Girodet was named ‘de Roussy’ after a forest near the family home, Château du Verger, Montargis. He took the name Trioson in 1806, when he was adopted by Dr. Benoît-François Trioson [–1815], his tutor and guardian and almost certainly his natural father. Girodet took lessons, in his native Montargis, from a local drawing-master in 1773, and by 1780 was studying architecture in Paris, where he became a student of the visionary Neo-classical architect Étienne-Louis Boullée. Boullée persuaded Girodet to study painting under Jacques-Louis David, and Girodet joined David’s atelier in late 1783 or early 1784. He belonged to the highly successful first generation of David’s school, which included Jean-Germain Drouais, François-Xavier Fabre, François Gérard, Antoine-Jean Gros, and Jean-Baptiste-Joseph Wicar. David’s pupils showed great stylistic uniformity, based on a close emulation of his elevated Neo-classicism, and Girodet’s early compositions are distinguishable from those of his contemporaries only by their slight quirkiness and excessive attention to detail.
— The students of Girodet included Hyacinthe Aubry-Lecomte, Édouard Bertin, Antoni Brodowski, Eugène Devéria, Théodore Gudin, Mathieu Kessels, Charles Langlois, Antonin-Marie Moine, Henry Monnier, Joseph-Nicolas Robert-Fleury, Philippe Jacques Van Brée.
— Mort de Camille (1784; 2020x2599pix, 5365kb)
— Hippocrate Refuse les Cadeaux d'Artaxerxès (1792; 1834x2485pix; 7786kb) _ This painting urges the rejection of tainted wealth. When the fame of Hippocrates [460–377BC] reached the Persians, who were suffering from a pestilential epidemic, their king, Artaxerxes II (reigned 404-359BC), begged him to come to him, making his request through Hystanes, Governor of the Hellespont, and offering great gifts. Hippocrates spurns the Persians' bribe of opulent treasures with which they entice him to heal their sick. This classical physician was much admired during the period of the new Republic for his civic virtue and his brave patriotism. The Encyclopedia of Diderot and d'Alembert praised him as a "bon patriote". Artists such as Girodet urged the people of France to accept their civic responsibility by offering them such inspiring images as Hippocrates' deep loyalty and allegiance to his people. The figures at the center of the drama gesture vigorously at each other. Their outstretched limbs form a frame around the controversial riches. Hippocrates' extended hand imparts his answer to the Persians' plea, as he will not deign even to look the strangers in the face.
— Ossian Accueille dans le Paradis d'Odin les Ombres des Héros Français Morts Pour la Patrie (1802, 192x182cm; 600x576pix, 94kb _ ZOOM to 2107x2024pix, 1873kb) _ Scottish poet James Macpherson [1736–1796] falsely claimed to have found original texts written by the bard Ossian, said to be the last survivor of a third-century Gaelic tribe. In order to perpetuate this hoax, Macpherson gathered and rewrote Gaelic legends and passed them off as originals. The four works that he published between 1760 and 1765, supposedly translated from ancient Gaelic into English (and later into French and many other languages), launched a craze throughout Europe. Girodet used Macpherson’s poetry as inspiration for this complex political allegory.
— La Révolte au Caire (1810; 600x900pix _ ZOOM to 1400x2101pix, 1042kb) _ détail (599x424pix, 48kb _ ZOOM to 2024x2860pix, 525kb)
Hortense de Beauharnais (1808, 61x50cm) _ Her father, a member of an old aristocratic family, had been decapitated during the French Revolution. Her mother's second husband was Napoléon Bonaparte. In 1802, Hortense, then 19, married her step-father's brother, Louis. In 1806, Louis Bonaparte was placed on the Dutch throne and Hortense became Holland's first queen. Yet she rarely went to the Netherlands and the marriage was far from happy. This portrait was painted in Paris. It was intended for the Royal Palace on Amsterdam's Dam Square, which Louis made his residence. In fact the King never took delivery of the painting. It remained in the painter's possession. In 1808, the year of Hortense de Beauharnais's portrait, she gave birth to a child (also called Napoléon). While sitting for this portrait, therefore, she was either about to or she had just given birth. Hortense is wearing the latest Empire fashion, with the characteristic high waistline and simple curls over the forehead. The colors in the painting and the gentle, subdued tone of the work are also typical of the period.
La Femme au Turban
Endymion Endormi (1793; 588x800pix, 124kb _ ZOOM to 1400x1904pix) This is Girodet's major break with the aesthetics of his teacher, the Neoclassical David. Endymion was a handsome shepherd boy of Asia Minor, the mortal lover of the moon goddess Selene. Each night he was kissed to sleep by her. She begged Zeus to grant him eternal life so she might be able to embrace him forever. Zeus complied, putting Endymion into eternal sleep and each night Selene visits him on Mt. Latmus, near Milete, in Asia Minor. The ancient Greeks believed that his grave was situated on this mountain. Selene and Endymion have fifty daughters.
Les Funérailles d'Atala (1808, 210x267cm; 588x750pix, 116kb _ ZOOM to 1400x1793pix _ ZOOM+ to 1980x2536pix, 413kb) _ From the moment of its publication in 1801, Atala, or the Loves of Two Savages in the Desert was a huge success. Set in 18th-century Louisiana, Chateaubriand’s tragic story tells about the Christian Amerindian maiden Atala, who frees the Amerindian brave Chactas from his enemies and finds refuge with him in the cave of the religious hermit Father Aubry. Having consecrated herself to God, Atala takes poison when she fears that she is falling in love with Chactas. After her death, the brave vows to become Christian himself. Imbued the sentimentality of the age, the novel was republished five times. Girodet’s loving depiction captures the tragic sentiment of Chateaubriand’s story.
— La Nouvelle Danaë (1799; oval 600x488pix _ ZOOM to 1400x1139pix)
— Chateaubriand (1810, 130x96cm; 600x473pix; 762kb _ ZOOM to 1400x1103pix _ ZOOM+ to 2568x2024pix, 483kb)
— Le Baron Dominique-Jean Larrey (1810, 65x55cm; 600x497pix; 743kb _ ZOOM to 1400x1160pix _ ZOOM+ to 2443x2024pix, 473kb) _ Larrey [07 Jul 1766 – 25 Jul 1842] was a prominent military surgeon, who had been chief surgeon of the French Expeditionary Corps in Egypt, and who, in 1810, was promoted to Inspector General of the Army's Health Service.
Le Citoyen Jean-Baptiste Belley, Ex-Représentant des Colonies (1798; 797x547pix, 107kb _ ZOOM to 1400x985pix) _ Beginning in 1791, Haiti’s enslaved Africans joined the revolution and overthrew the colonial regime. As the revolution thought through the consequences of the Declaration of the Rights of Man (1789) and the abolition of the monarchy (1792), it became clear that slavery would have to go. On 03 February 1794, a group of Haitian delegates to the Convention successfully proposed the abolition of slavery. One of these men was Jean-Baptiste Belley “Mars” (deputé du nord de Saint-Domingue from 24 Sep 1793 to 26 Oct 1795), a former slave who had been born in West Africa. In his portrait, Girodet makes a remarkable evocation of the tensions of the period expressed through one person’s body. Belley stands against a tropical landscape, wearing the uniform of a Convention member. His face is rendered in the traditional three-quarter style used for nobles and monarchs. Belley rests on a bust of the Encyclopedist philosopher abbé Guillaume-Thomas Raynal [12 Apr 1713 – 06 Mar 1796] (portrait engraving), author-editor of the 6-volume L'Histoire philosophique et politique des établissements et du commerce des Européens dans les deux Indes (1770), who had called for the abolition of slavery. The marble whiteness of the bust and its classical straight forehead contrast with Belley’s dark skin and a prominently sloped forehead. In the period, this cranial angle, as it was called, was taken as a mark of low intelligence. How should this portrait be understood? The simple fact that an African was painted in the royal style by a European artist marks a remarkable shift, while the various markers placed on his body by the artist tried to assert a new form of superiority: that of race. — Belley fut le premier député noir d'une assemblée francaise. Né en Afrique, transporté à 2 ans à Saint-Domingue, plus tard affranchi, il a fait la guerre d'Indépendance des Etats-Unis. Il fut un des trois députés de la partie nord de Saint-Domingue élus en septembre 1793 — sur les indications de Sonthonax. Plus tard, il retourne a Saint-Domingue avec l'expédition Leclerc comme officier de gendarmerie, mais sera renvoyé et deporté à Belle-Isle, où il meurt en 1805.
— Fingal Lamenting the Death of Malvina (113x147cm; 599x794pix, 75kb _ ZOOM to 1528x2024pix, 260kb)
Born on 08 Dec 1922: Lucian Freud,
Berlin-born Jewish British painter, son of architect Ernst Freud [1892–1970]
and grandson of psychoanalysis' inventor Sigmund
Freud [06 May 1856 – 23 Sep 1939].
— His family very wisely moved to England in 1932 (before Hitler became dictator, but not before he became a notorious agitator), and in 1939 he became a naturalized British subject and enrolled at the East Anglian School of Painting and Drawing, Dedham, run by Cedric Morris. Apart from a year in Paris and Greece, Freud spent most of the rest of his career in Paddington, London, an inner-city area whose seediness is reflected in Freud’s often somber and moody interiors and cityscapes. In the 1940s he was principally interested in drawing, especially the face, as in Naval Gunner (1941), and occasionally using a distorted style reminiscent of George Grosz, as in Page from a Sketchbook (1941). He began to turn his attention to painting, however, and experimented with Surrealism, producing such images as The Painter’s Room (1943), which features an incongruous arrangement of objects, including a stuffed zebra’s head, a battered chaise longue and a house plant, all of which survived his Surrealist phase and appeared separately in later paintings. He was also loosely associated with Neo-Romanticism, and the intense, bulbous eyes that characterize his early portraits show affinities with the work of other artists associated with the movement, such as John Minton, whose portrait he painted in 1952. He established his own artistic identity, however, in meticulously painted realist works, imbued with a pervasive mood of alienation. He was described by Herbert Read as ‘the Ingres of existentialism’ because of such images as those of his first wife, Kitty (the daughter of Jacob Epstein), nervously clutching a rose in Girl with Roses (1948)
— Reflection (self portrait) (1985, 56x51cm; 982x885pix, 155kb)
— Reflection with two children (self portrait) (1965, 91x91cm; 737x735pix, 82kb)
— The painter's mother III (1972, 32x23cm; 874x628pix, 119kb)
–- Painter's Mother in Bed (1983 drawing, 24x33cm; 932x1008pix, 86kb)
— Girl with a white dog (1952, 76x102cm; 792x1062pix, 142kb) _ It looks like she has just finished breastfeeding the dog and it gave the dog a belly ache. This is a less typical depiction of the nude, as the subject’s body is only partially revealed. The model is Kitty Epstein, Freud’s first wife and daughter of the sculptor Jacob Epstein. She is the subject of the intense observation that is characteristic of Freud’s paintings in the early 1950s. Details are described with a stark clarity. There is a strange visual rhyming between the lines on the bed and the fabric of the backdrop, the curled up dog and the folds of Kitty’s robe. The smooth, linear style has its roots in the French neoclassicist painter Ingres, while the particular psychological atmosphere led the critic Herbert Read to call Freud, ‘the Ingres of Existentialism’.
— Girl with a kitten (1947, 40x30cm; 861x649pix, 121kb) _ It looks like she is absent-mindedly strangling the passive big-eyed kitten.
— Interior in Paddington (1951, 152x114cm)
— Large Interior W.11 (after Watteau) (1983, 186x198cm) _ Freud produced this, for him unusually large, painting using the daylight flooding in from the newly-installed skylight in his west London flat. Its composition derives from the painting .Pierrot Content (35x31cm; 1000x874pix, 502kb) by Jean-Antoine Watteau [10 Oct 1684 – 18 Jul 1721], showing a Pierrot flanked by two flirting couples. Freud's painting is focused around Suzy Boyt's son Kai (in yellow) who takes the place of Pierrot. Around him are the women in Freud's life: his daughter Bella playing the mandolin, Kai's mother to the right, holding a fan, and the painter, Celia Paul, on the left. Freud wanted one of his grand-daughters to pose for the smaller figure in the foreground, though in the end he had to make do with a substitute. He described the finished result as “A slight bit of role playing”.
— Factory in North London (1972, 71x71cm)
— Two Plants (1980, 150x120cm) _ In the mid-1960s Freud embarked on a series of paintings of botanical subjects, an interest that was anticipated in an earlier painting, Interior in Paddington (1951). Two Plants is rendered with meticulous precision and is perhaps Freud's most ambitious and most resolved expression of this theme. He began the painting in 1977 and it took three years to complete. Freud recalls that it provided a means of accustoming himself to the light of a new studio. He describes it as 'lots of little portraits of leaves', adding 'I wanted it to have a really biological feeling of things growing and fading and leaves coming up and others dying'.
Died on 08 December 1818: Friedrich-Heinrich
Füger, Austrian painter born on 05 November 1751.
Füger was a fahionable portraitist and respected master of his period. As director of the Academy in Vienna he guarded the rigid system of Classicism against the new tendencies. He was the master of several Hungarian painters and he worked in Hungary, too. He executed portraits for the Haller family and altarpieces for Pannonhalma.
— At the age of eight he was already painting miniature portraits. In 1764 he entered the Hohe Karlsschule in Stuttgart and received drawing lessons from Nicolas Guibal. Overawed by the great historical paintings in the ducal gallery, he lost heart and moved to Halle to study law; but in 1771 public demand for his miniatures encouraged him to return to painting, and in that year he moved to Leipzig, to the school of Adam Friedrich Oeser, where he became acquainted with Classical art. Returning from this two-year training, he was introduced to the works of the Italian Renaissance by Guibal. His fresh and natural miniature portraits on ivory remained in demand; portraits of his parents (1774) also date from these years. During a stay in Dresden, Füger met the British Ambassador, Sir Robert Murray Keith [1730–1795]. In 1774 he followed him to Vienna, where Keith organized numerous portrait commissions at the Austrian court.
— The students of Füger included Eustatie Altini, Moritz Michael Daffinger, Peter Krafft, Leopold Kuppelwieser, Johann Baptist Lampi, Julius Schnorr von Carolsfeld, Joseph Karl Stieler, Martin von Wagner.
— Selbstbildnis (print) — Selbstbildnis mit dem Bruder Gottlieb Christian aka Der Künstler und sein Bruder am Flügel (1768 print, oval)
János Batsányi (1808, 68x51cm) _ János Batsányi [09 May 1763 12 May 1845] was Hungary's leading political poet of the age of Hungarian Enlightenment during the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic periods, and he was a member of the Hungarian Academy of Science. His political poetry was anti-royalist and advocated revolution and radical social change. His most famous political poem is A franciaországi változánokra (On the changes in France). He was imprisoned in Hungary for a year and in 1796 moved to Vienna and later to Paris, where the Austrians seized him after the fall of Napoléon and interned him in Linz for the remaining 30 years of his life. Batsányi also wrote fine lyric poems.
_ Batsányi János a magyar felvi-lágosodás egyik legjelentosebb költoje. A jako-binus mozgalomban való részvétele miatt börtön-büntetést, majd Napoleonnak a magyarokhoz intézett kiáltványa fordításáért számuzetést szen-vedett. Mind a költo, mind felesége, a népszeru bécsi költono, Baumberg Gabriella, viszontag-ságos életük során mindig a legjobb osztrák muvészekre; bízták arcvonásaik megörökítését. Így képmásukat Friedrich Heinrich Füger mellett Vinzenz Georg Kininger és Johann Niedermann is megfestette. A Füger mellképen a költoi hivatásra utaló attribútumok, a háttérben elhelyezett köny-vek nem játszanak túlságosan nagy szerepet, hogy a jellemábrázolás legfontosabb tényezoje az arc minél teljesebben érvényesülhessen. Ezt emeli ki haj szürkéje, a nyakravaló fehérje és a sárgásbarna drapéria is. A balról beeso fény a plaszticitást fokozza. A bécsi klasszicizmus jeles mestere Batsányi képmásával az egyik legszebb magyar íróarcképet alkotta meg.
— Apoll und die Musen (1780; 470x620pix, 203kb)
— Sir Robert Keith (B&W photo of miniature)
Born on 08 Dec 1826: Silvestro Lega,
Italian painter who died on 21 September (21 November?) 1895.
— From 1843 to 1847 he attended the Accademia di Belle Arti, Florence, studying drawing under Benedetto Servolini [1805–1879] and Tommaso Gazzarini [1790–1853], then, briefly, painting under Giuseppe Bezzuoli. About 1847 he entered Luigi Mussini’s school , where the teaching emphasized the 15th-century Florentine “Purismo” principles of drawing and orderly construction. Then and for some years afterwards he continued to attend the Scuola del Nudo of the Accademia. Antonio Ciseri was one of his teachers. After fighting in the military campaigns for Italian independence (1848–1849) Lega resumed his training, this time under Antonio Ciseri, making his first large-scale painting, Doubting Thomas (1850). In 1852 he won the Concorso Trienniale dell’Accademia with David Placating Saul (1852), a subject taken from the play Saul (1782) of Vittorio Alfieri [16 Jan 1749 – 08 Oct 1803].
— Silvestro Lega, romagnolo di nascita, svolse la sua formazione giovanile presso l’Accademia di Belle Arti di Firenze dove fu allievo di Giuseppe Bezzuoli. Dopo un esordio dai tratti fondamentalmente accademici, si accostò alla tecnica a macchia degli artisti che si riunivano al Caffè Michelangelo, compiendo una evoluzione in senso realista ma con caratteristiche personali. Pittore molto dotato tecnicamente, realizzò le sue opere migliori tra il 1867 e il 1868, quali Il canto dello stornello, Il pergolato, La visita, che rimangono tra le opere più alte dell’Ottocento italiano. Il contenuto dei suoi quadri tende ad esaltare la semplicità delicata e gli affetti puri che caratterizzano la piccola borghesia italiana di quegli anni. Nei suoi quadri vi è sempre un po’ di commozione nostalgica per questo piccolo mondo vissuto in piccoli centri urbani.
–- Maternità (88x52cm; 1000x582pix)
Il Pergolato (1868) _ Piccolo capolavoro di poesia intimistica, questo quadro, tra i più famosi di Lega, sintetizza le diverse scelte stilistiche e poetiche dell’artista. Notiamo innanzitutto il soggetto: è una rappresentazione di un realismo quasi fotografico che coglie una realtà molto ordinaria e comune. Lo spazio prospettico presenta una metà più profonda, quella a sinistra, in cui si colloca un pergolato che crea un angolo fresco ed accogliente, ed una metà meno profonda nella parte anteriore, ma che si apre in lontananza verso una ariosa campagna. Dalla metà di destra proviene una donna con un vassoio in mano su cui porta un bricco di caffè. Nell’altra metà sono collocate tre giovani donne sedute ed una bambina. Sono protette dal fresco del pergolato e stanno conversando in maniera tranquilla e rilassata. Tutta la scena è pervasa da una calma e da un silenzio evidenti.
Il realismo di Lega è accentuato dalla sua virtuosistica capacità di riuscire a rappresentare con una fedeltà immediata anche i particolari più banali della scena. Ciò che però dà una nota stilistica del tutto originale è la sua tavolozza molto chiara e brillante, utilizzata sempre con la tecnica della macchia. I colori hanno una luminosità che ben rappresentano il piacere più evidente del momento rappresentato: il contrasto tra luce ed ombra. La luce è la vera protagonista, l’ombra del pergolato serve proprio ad enfatizzare la luce che circonda la scena. Questa luce così forte costringe il pittore a scegliere una tecnica che accentua ulteriormente il realismo e, insieme, la liricità della scena: il controluce. Le figure, infatti, sono tutte viste nel loro lato in ombra. Questa tecnica, che rimanda inevitabilmente a Millet, serve qui ad enfatizzare il senso di piacere interiore che l’ombra crea nello spazio rappresentato.
La rappresentazione di un momento di vita quotidiana semplice ed ordinaria serve a Lega per cogliere quell’attimo fuggente di piaceri semplici della vita piccolo borghese, vissuta in città, piccole o grandi, che conservano ancora un rapporto felice con lo spazio della campagna. L’Ottocento italiano è tutto in questo quadro: la sua vita, i suoi tempi, le sue sensazioni, la sua luce.
— Il canto dello stornello (1867) _ Il quadro è una delle tele più belle realizzate in tutto l’Ottocento italiano. Prova di grande virtuosismo tecnico, la tela rappresenta con fotografica analiticità un momento quotidiano di grande semplicità. Le tre donne intente a cantare mentre una di loro suona il piano è un esempio dei più suona il piano è un esempio dei più classici di quel lirismo intimo comune el secolo. Lega pone la scena in controluce di fronte ad una finestra aperta. Da quella finestra entra non solo luce ma anche il respiro profondo di un’atmosfera pulita che sa di campi coltivati e colline lontani, sensazione che mai prima un quadro aveva trasmesso con tanta intensità.
The Folk Song (1867; 141kb)
The Betrothed (1869; 121kb)
Died on 08 December 1681: Gerard Ter
Borch II (or Terburg), Dutch painter born in 1617.
Ter Borch, Gerard was a Dutch painter, born in Zwolle, the son of a painter. He went to England in 1635, to Italy in 1640, and in 1648 to Münster, Westphalia, where he painted his celebrated Swearing of the Oath of Ratification of the Treaty of Münster (1648, National Gallery, London), marking the recognition of Dutch independence. Containing 60 likenesses, this work is a perfect specimen of miniature portrait painting and one of the most imposing historical works in Dutch art. From 1648 to 1651 Ter Borch was in Madrid. Despite his extensive foreign travels, he remained a painter of Dutch family life. He worked in the realistic tradition of Frans Hals, Jan Vermeer, and other Dutch painters, with careful attention to lighting and the rendering of fabric. He produced charmingly realistic portraits, such as Helena van der Schalke as a Child (1645), and small, intimate genre scenes, such as The Music Lesson (1672).
Gallant Conversation (The Paternal Admonition) giant reproduction (1654) (small reproduction) Version 1.
Paternal Admonition (1655, 70x60cm) Version 2 _ This painting having the popular title of Parental Admonition (link above to another version) was the subject of a charming passage by Goethe. In his novel Die Wahlverwandtschaften (Elective Affinities) Goethe notes the delicacy of attitude of the figures. He remarks how the father quietly and moderately admonishes his daughter who is seen from behind. The woman in black, sipping from a glass, Goethe interprets as the young woman's mother, who lowers her eyes so as not to be too attentive to the 'father's admonition'. This moralizing title, however, is without foundation and not in accordance with Ter Borch's usual themes.
The authoritative biographer of the artist interprets the picture in the opposite sense, as a brothel scene, assuming that the seated gentleman holds a coin in his right hand, offering it to the girl. In fact, the detail of the coin is not visible. (The coin is omitted in the engraving Goethe knew). In the Berlin version the passage is rubbed; a former owner may have had it painted over because she or he found it an embarrassing allusion. The Amsterdam version does not show the coin either, but its original paint surface is generally abraded; thus it is impossible to tell if it ever included the tell-tale coin.
Ter Borch's psychology is so delicate that the common scenes he repeatedly painted are raised to the level of highly civilized life. That Goethe's interpretation was possible at all shows the refinement of Ter Borch's treatment. Even if he made a mistake, Goethe had the right feeling for the way Ter Borch treated his subjects. Psychologically and pictorially he retains a sensitive touch and delicacy. The young woman is seen from behind; thus her face is averted. The only flesh visible is her neck, which is modelled with tender, silvery grey shadows. We have, however, opportunity to admire the silver-grey satin and black velvet of her gown.
Ter Borch's minuteness and nicety of handling concentrate largely on painting stuffs. Contrary to Vermeer's paintings, the dim light and the subdued chiaroscuro do not allow a forceful grasp of the whole field of vision. The light comes mostly from the front and stops at the glossy surfaces of the costumes and other textures.
Girl in Peasant Costume. Probably Gesina, the Painter's Half-Sister (1650)
Helena van der Schalcke (1648) giant reproduction _ (Small reproduction) _ In 1635-36 Ter Borch was in London where he acquired familiarity with the English court portraiture. During the 1640s he began to make extraordinary small and miniature portraits. One of the most touching is his tiny portrait of Helena van der Schalcke as a Child, which holds his own when hung next to the pictures Hals and Rembrandt made of children.
Memorial Portrait of Moses ter Borch (1669) The Ratification of the Treaty of Münster (1648) Woman at a Mirror (1650)
Officer Writing a Letter (51x38cm) _ It is thought to be an early work of the artist.
The Glass of Lemonade (1659, 67x54cm) _ The young woman depicted in the painting is Gesina Ter Borch, the artist's sister, while the young man is his brother Moses. _ detail (artist's brother)
The Concert (1675) _ Ter Borch's fame rests mainly upon the genre pictures he made after the middle of the 17th century which help define the subjects and pictorial schemes used by many artists of his generation and those who worked later. What sets him apart is his mastery of subtle narration which can charge every episode with subdued tension.
In contrast to Pieter de Hooch, Ter Borch maintains his fine taste and craftsmanship in his genre pieces until the very end. His contact with Vermeer in Delft in 1635 may have had an impact on the younger master. Then there conceivably was a shift; some of Ter Borch's late works seem to show a sign of Vermeer's influence. The fullness and clarity of the foreground figure playing the cello in the Concert at Berlin and the bright illumination of the room recall the Delft master; but it is also possible that the two artists arrived at similar solutions independently. In any event, the Ter Borch, the exquisite and minute treatment of materials, textures, and stuffs with the most intricate light accents is completely personal. The spatial relationships are not grasped with Vermeer's sureness, and the composition lacks the Delft painter's masterly consideration of the surface plane and the adjustment of the spatial accents to the overall design.
It will be noted that the figure playing the harpsichord has no Ter Borch character. Originally this figure represented a man. Ter Borch subsequently transformed the man into a woman, and a whimsical restorer, who worked on the picture at the end of the 19th century because of its bad state of presentation, changed the woman's gown and gave the model his wife's features.
A Concert (1675, 58x47cm) _ Ter Borch's fame rests mainly upon the genre pictures he made after the middle of the 17th century which help define the subjects and pictorial schemes used by many artists of his generation and those who worked later. What sets him apart is his mastery of subtle narration which can charge every episode with subdued tension. Few genre painters ever revealed more delicately the character of three individuals and their relation to each other as they ostensibly go about their business of making music in a drawing-room.
The Lute Player (31x27cm) _ The painting is signed on the spine of the book on the table: Gt. Borg FCT.
Man Offering a Woman Coins (1663, 67x55cm) _ This painting is euphemistically known as The Gallant Officer. In this mercenary love scene a soldier offers pieces of money to a young lady who is charming in type and dress. Her reaction is not surprise. The stuff painting is particularly excellent, as is the rendering of the facial expressions and the fine draughtsmanship and subtle lighting of the hands; also the still-life on the table. The apparent casualness is the result of careful thought and execution. The appearance of the tip of the woman's shoe peeking out from under the edge of her satin dress at the tremendous toe of the soldier's wonderful hip boot is as calculated as the color harmony of opulent browns, reds, buff, white, and silver.
A Young Woman Playing a Theorbo to Two Men (1668, 68x58cm) _ Several versions are known of the aristocratic interior by the artist. Many artists have painted beautiful satins and silks , but no one has ever depicted satin more exquisitely than the much-travelled Dutchman Gerard ter Borch. First trained by his father Gerard ter Borch the Elder, who had lived in Italy in his youth, the precocious young painter worked in Amsterdam and Haarlem before venturing to Germany, Italy, England, France and Spain. In 1646 he went to Münster, where he witnessed the ratification of the treaty of 1648 signalling the triumphant end of the Dutch wars of independence from Spain. In 1654, he married and settled down, permanently, in Deventer.
Whether miniature full-length portraits, or scenes of - supposedly - everyday life, ter Borch's pictures are distinguished by technical and psychological refinement. It seems curious, therefore, that he first specialised in guardroom subjects - although he brings even to the rowdy theme of garrisoned soldiers an element of stillness and reflection. His best-known paintings, however, represent elegant interiors with only a few figures, one of them usually a young woman in ravishing pale satin. Here, in an old-ivory bodice trimmed with fur and a white skirt setting off her fair hair, her shoe propped against a foot warmer, she plays the theorbo, an early form of lute, accompanying the man holding a song book. A man in a cloak looks on, and a spaniel seems to listen. Behind them is a curtained bed. Under the red Turkey carpet covering the table lies a single playing card, the ill-omened ace of spades.
The woman and the singing man each appear in other paintings by the artist, as do the silver box and candlestick - this is 'selective' naturalism, a scene composed from the imagination with ingredients assembled from drawings and studio props. In Dutch paintings of this type music-making is usually suggestive of love, while playing cards may be emblems of improvidence, and dogs and footwarmers can signify base desires. Yet it would be foolhardy to read this subtle painting, with its subdued tonality, as a scene of the demi-monde. We can never know what the relationships of these three figures are, and their thoughts and feelings, so delicately implied, are infinitely ambiguous. That, surely, was the artist's intention: to evoke imperfectly understood events, tantalising in their suggestion of mutability and transience.
Boy Ridding his Dog of Fleas (1665, 34x27cm) _ With Pieter de Hooch and Johannes Vermeer, Gerard ter Borch is one of the most outstanding of Dutch genre painters. Their paintings are based on close observation of their contemporaries and their surroundings, and yet elements from everyday life are often combined to suggest a particular mood, create an intriguing situation or point a moral.
Ter Borch, the son of a painter, was born in Zwolle and trained there in the studio of his father and also in the Haarlem workshop of the landscape painter Pieter Molijn. In his youth he travelled widely in Europe - to Germany, Italy, England, France and Spain. By 1654 he had settled in Deventer in his native province of Overijssel, where he achieved great professional success. He also became one of the town's regent class, serving as a councillor and painting a group portrait of his fellow regents.
In the genre scenes of his early years ter Borch depicted the life of soldiers but after settling in Deventer his paintings often showed elegant interiors in which small groups of figures talk, drink and make music. In this painting ter Borch shows a humbler setting and a mundane subject and yet he treats with the same delicacy and refinement the depiction of the differing textures of fur, hair, wood and felt. As with the painting of The Lace-Maker by Netscher, the painting gives an almost monumental quality to an everyday situation.
The Dancing Couple (1660, 76x68cm) _ This is one of an outstanding group of interior scenes with figures painted by ter Borch in Deventer in the years around 1660. He paints young men and women in elegant rooms, talking, dancing, drinking, making music and flirting. In addition to his skill in setting the scene, ter Borch possesses a remarkable technical gift, especially in the description of texture. No Dutch artist rendered satin more effectively than ter Borch nor was able to differentiate better in the medium of oil paint between the textures of a leather jerkin, a gleaming breastplate, a table carpet, a wooden lute and a brass candelabra.
In 1658 ter Borch was in Delft where he witnessed a document with the young Vermeer. This recently discovered evidence of a direct contact between the two artists confirms what has long been suggested: that the simplicity and restraint of ter Borch's style exercised an important influence on the Delft painter.
A Woman Spinning _ Ter Borch's fame rests mainly upon the genre pictures he made after the middle of the 17th century which help define the subjects and pictorial schemes used by many artists of his generation and those who worked later. What sets him apart is his mastery of subtle narration which can charge every episode with subdued tension. His rendering of simple themes, such as a woman spinning, shows the same knowledge of people as his more ambitious pieces.
Woman Playing the Lute (36x31cm) _ Formerly it was attributed to Gabriel Metsu. (1629 - 1667).
Woman Reading a Letter (1662, 79x68cm) _ Ter Borch frequently represented elegantly dressed men and women writing or reading letters, often, as here, in the company of servants, family members, or friends quietly awaiting the reader's reactions. Well-to-do burghers relished the aristocratic social ritual of the love letter.
Woman Washing Hands (1655, 53x43cm) _ At Deventer, Ter Borch developed an independent form of genre which in the meticulousness of its execution seems to be close to the Leiden variant. In connection with his remarkable talent for sensitive rendering of the texture of different fabrics, which in all of his mature paintings constitutes a major pictorial motive, Ter Borch showed a preference for subjects associated with Vanity or Luxury. This preference must have a partially aesthetic background, for these subjects allowed him to paint elegant interiors and richly dressed ladies, as in this picture.
The Family of the Stone Grinder (1655)
Baptized as an infant on 08 December 1614:
Gonzales Coques (or Cockes, Cocx, Cox), Flemish painter
specialized in portraits, who died on 18 April 1684. [Ce n'est pas
lui qui a inventé les ufs à la Coques?]
— The artist’s name is in a baptismal register for the year 1614; however, an inscription on an engraved self-portrait of 1649 gives 1618 as his year of birth, and in 1666 he himself claimed to be 48. His name is listed in the archives of Antwerp’s Guild of Saint Luke for 1627–1628, the year he became a student of Pieter Brueghel II. Later he studied under David Rijckaert II. Coques was admitted to the painters’ guild as an independent master only in 1640–1641, this long delay suggesting that he traveled. He may have gone to England, for he was later given the nickname ‘Little van Dyck’, referring to the perceived influence on his work of Anthony van Dyck, who was in England after 1632.
In 1643 Coques married his teacher’s daughter Catharina Rijckaert [1610–1674], by whom he had two daughters. His second wife, whom he married in 1675, was Catharina Rysheuvels; they had no children. Coques was a respected member of the artistic community in Antwerp: he was twice deacon of the Guild of Saint Luke, was a member of two rhetoricians’ societies and in 1661 was praised by Cornelis de Bie, in whose book there is an engraved portrait of him. An accomplished portrait painter, he was greatly influenced by Rubens and van Dyck, although his figures were generally on a smaller scale, and he enjoyed the patronage of successive Governor Generals of the Netherlands. He died in Antwerp. Two of his students were Cornelis van den Bosch in 1643 and Lenaert Frans Verdussen in 1665–1666.
–- Portrait of a Man (36x26cm; 1142x796pix, 52kb)
–- Un Intérieur Hollandais (etching 36x50cm; 741x1042pix, 86kb)
— Smell (Portrait of Lucas Fayd'herbe) (<1661) _ The sitter is Lucas Fayd'herbe [1617-1697], a noted sculptor and architect who was one of Rubens's last students. He worked principally in Malines, and is also depicted in Frachoijs Portrait of Lucas Fayd'herbe. Here he is shown smoking a pipe, as a representation of the sense of Smell. This picture is one of a series of the 'Five Senses'; the fifth, 'Taste', is probably a copy. The series was painted before 1661 when Sight was engraved. The costumes suggest a date of about 1655-1660.
— Sight (Portrait of Robert van den Hoecke) (<1661) _ Robert van den Hoeke [1622-1668], was a painter and engraver who worked in Antwerp and in Brussels. He became 'Contrôleur des fortifications' in Flanders and the plan, baldric (belt hung over the shoulder) and sword presumably refer to this office. The identification of the sitter is dependent upon the inscription on an engraving of the portrait by Cauckercken, which appeared in a book published in 1661.
Feast of the Immaculate
Conception of Mary.
LINKS to paintings
— by Murillo (1663, 206x144cm; 2540x2024pix, 499kb)