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ART “4” “2”-DAY  14 December v.9.20
click for Self-Portrait^ Died on 14 December 1959: Stanley Spencer, Berkshire British painter and draftsman born on 30 June 1891. One of his teachers was Henry Tonks. [click image for Self~Portraits >]
— Spencer received his first formal training in 1907 at the Maidenhead Technical Institute, Berkshire. A year later he enrolled at the Slade School, London, where, as a day student, he remained until 1912. In that year his painting The Nativity was awarded both the Melville Nettleship and the Composition prizes. It shows the wide range of his early influences, from 15th-century Renaissance painting to the Pre-Raphaelites and Post-Impressionism: just as Le Christ Jaune (1889, 92x73cm; 1048x822pix, 158kb) of Gauguin was set in Pont Aven, Spencer’s similarly Neo-primitive Holy Family is placed in Mill Lane, Cookham. By then Spencer had firmly established his birthplace at the centre of his spiritual universe. He wrote, ‘When I left the Slade and went back to Cookham, I entered a kind of earthly paradise. Everything seemed fresh and to belong to the morning. My ideas were beginning to unfold in fine order when along comes the war and smashes everything.’
— Spencer peopled paintings of his native Berkshire village of Cookham with biblical figures. While at the Slade School of Art from 1908 to 1912, Spencer was nicknamed 'Cookham' by his contemporaries who included Paul Nash, Christopher Wynne Nevinson and David Bomberg. He cut an eccentric figure throughout his life. 1.57 m in height, Spencer wheeled his artistic equipment around Cookham in a child's pram in later life, and sketched on long rolls of toilet paper during his commission for the World War II Shipbuilding on the Clyde series of paintings. Although he is now recognized as one of the most important twentieth century artists, his work received a mixed reception during his lifetime. The sexual nature of some works was considered shocking by a nation who banned publication of D.H.Lawrence's Lady Chatterley's Lover in 1928. The nude portraits of his second wife Patricia Preece, painted in the 1930s, explore in detail the fleshiness of her body. In some works Spencer included himself as a viewer, staring intensely at Preece. They display Spencer's frustration with their marriage in which he was only ever allowed to look, not touch. Preece was a lesbian and already committed to her partner Dorothy Hepworth. Soon after marrying Spencer in 1937, she excluded him from Lindworth (in Cookham) where he had lived with his first wife, Hilda Carline. The Beatitudes of Love series, painted in 1938, also demonstrate the overtly sexual nature of some of his work, featuring unlikely and unattractive couples with sometimes graphically sexual text.
Love, Death and Resurrection: The Paintings of Stanley Spencer

Self-Portrait (1914, 63x51cm; 1024x828pix, 37kb) _ This is Spencer’s first self-portrait in oils. In its dark and rich color harmonies and its strongly modelled form, the painting attempts to emulate the style of an Old Master painting. Spencer recalled that he was inspired to paint it in this manner after seeing a reproduction of a head of Christ by an Italian Renaissance artist called Luini. The portrait was painted in the front bedroom of Spencer’s family home, Fernlea, at Cookham, Berkshire.
Self-Portrait (1959) _ This is Spencer's final self-portrait and one of his last paintings. In December 1958 he discovered that he was suffering from cancer and underwent an operation. Unfortunately the malignancy was not excised and Spencer died one year later. Five months before his death he stayed with friends in Yorkshire where he painted this portrait. Although seriously ill he finished the picture in five days, in the drawing room of the house, using a bedroom mirror. The work is remarkable for the unflinching scrutiny of the artist's gaze, and its use of extreme close-up to convey a sense of physical and psychological intensity.
Apple Gatherers (1913, 71x92cm) _ The subject was given to the artist by his Slade School of Art teachers and it took him a year to arrive at the finished composition. Minor alterations are visible throughout the painting as the artist strove to produce a work that did not just copy nature. 'Apple Gatherers' conveys fruitfulness, not only through the baskets of apples, but also through the communion of the man and the woman, who hold hands and stand guard over their young. 'Apple Gatherers' is an early example of Spencer's mystical vision of his native village, Cookham. He wrote: 'Places in Cookham seem to be possessed by a sacred presence... The people in 'Apple Gatherers' are, as it were, brought forth by the place and therefore are aware of its divinity.'
Swan Upping at Cookham (1919, 148x116cm) _ This was begun in March 1915 in the attic of Ship Cottage, Cookham, but only the top half was painted by the time Spencer enlisted in the army in July. The lower half was completed in 1919 when he returned to Cookham after the war. The subject is the annual marking of the young swans on the river Thames, which takes place on the stretch between London and Henley. The Dyers' and Vintners' Companies of the City of London own the swans on the Thames by royal licence. Officials examine the birds to determine ownership through existing markings. Unmarked ones belong to the Queen while marked ones belong to the Dyers' and the Vintners'.
The Centurion's Servant (1914, 114x114cm) _ Spencer liked the story in St. Luke Chapter 7, in which after marvelling at the centurion's faith, Jesus heals his sick servant without entering the house. Bringing this into his own time and place, Spencer set the scene in the maid's bedroom in the attic of his home, a room which he too never entered. Sometimes he heard strange voices coming from the room which he later discovered was simply the maid talking through the wall to another servant. Thus, the biblical narrative reminded him of experiences in his own life. These also included kneeling in prayer at church, and Cookham villagers praying around the bed of a dying man, a custom his mother had told him about. The youth on the bed has Spencer's own features.
The Robing of Christ (1922, 35x59cm) — The Disrobing of Christ (1922, 36x64cm)
The Resurrection, Cookham (1927, 274x549cm; 252x512pix, 26kb) _ detail (650x600pix, 73kb) _ The setting for this painting is Cookham, the artist's childhood home. Spencer considered it a kind of paradise where everything was possessed of a mystical significance. This attitude led him to paint scenes in which he imagined biblical events taking place in the village, interwoven with events from his own life. Christ appears enthroned at the church doorway, with God the father leaning over the back of the throne. The central nude figure is Spencer himself; his wife Hilda is half-hidden on the tomb in the foreground. The rest of the churchyard is filled with people resurrecting from their tombs. Spencer made it clear that his Resurrection was a joyous event, the mood here is one of peace and harmony.
Saint Francis and the Birds (1935, 66x58cm) _ Saint Francis of Assisi [1181–1226] is strongly associated with nature. His rounded shape in this picture is echoed in the forms surrounding him, emphasising his empathy with wild animals. The story of Saint Francis preaching to the birds was told by Brother Ugolino in his Fioretti di San Francesco (English translation) in Chapter XVI. How Saint Francis, having been told by Saint Clare and the holy Brother Silvester that he should preach and convert many to the faith, founded the Third Order, preached to the birds, and reduced to silence the swallows.
During Saint Francis' first preaching expedition, at one point he
“venne tra Cannaio e Bevagno. E passando oltre con quello fervore, levò gli occhi e vide alquanti arbori allato alla via, in su' quali era quasi infinita moltitudine d'uccelli; di che santo Francesco si maravigliò e disse a' compagni: “Voi m'aspetterete qui nella via, e io andrò a predicare alle mie sirocchie uccelli”. E entrò nel campo e cominciò a predicare alli uccelli ch'erano in terra; e subitamente quelli ch'erano in su gli arbori se ne vennono a lui insieme tutti quanti e stettono fermi, mentre che santo Francesco compiè di predicare, e poi anche non si partivano infino a tanto ch'egli diè loro la benedizione sua. ... andando santo Francesco fra loro, toccandole colla cappa, nessuna perciò si movea.
      La sustanza della predica di santo Francesco fu questa:
“Sirocchie mie uccelli, voi siete molto tenute a Dio vostro creatore, e sempre e in ogni luogo il dovete laudare, imperò che v'ha dato la libertà di volare in ogni luogo; anche v'ha dato il vestimento duplicato e triplicato; appresso, perché elli riserbò il seme di voi in nell'arca di Noè, acciò che la spezie vostra non venisse meno nel mondo; ancora gli siete tenute per lo elemento dell'aria che egli ha deputato a voi. Oltre a questo, voi non seminate e non mietete, e Iddio vi pasce e davvi li fiumi e le fonti per vostro bere, e davvi li monti e le valli per vostro refugio, e gli alberi alti per fare li vostri nidi. E con ciò sia cosa che voi non sappiate filare né cucire, Iddio vi veste, voi e' vostri figliuoli. Onde molto v'ama il vostro Creatore, poi ch'egli vi dà tanti benefici, e però guardatevi, sirocchie mie, del peccato della ingratitudine, e sempre vi studiate di lodare Iddio”.
      Dicendo loro santo Francesco queste parole, tutti quanti quelli uccelli cominciarono ad aprire i becchi e distendere i colli e aprire l'alie e riverentemente inchinare li capi infino in terra, e con atti e con canti dimostrare che 'l padre santo dava loro grandissimo diletto. E santo Francesco con loro insieme si rallegrava e dilettava, e maravigliavasi molto di tanta moltitudine d'uccelli e della loro bellissima varietà e della loro attenzione e famigliarità; per la qual cosa egli in loro divotamente lodava il Creatore.
      Finalmente compiuta la predicazione, santo Francesco fece loro il segno della Croce e diè loro licenza di partirsi; e allora tutti quelli uccelli si levarono in aria con maravigliosi canti, e poi secondo la Croce ch'avea fatta loro santo Francesco si divisono in quattro partì; e l'una parte volò inverso l'oriente e l'altra parte verso occidente, e l'altra parte verso lo meriggio, e la quarta parte verso l'aquilone, e ciascuna schiera n'andava cantando maravigliosi canti; in questo significando che come da santo Francesco gonfaloniere della Croce di Cristo era stato a loro predicato e sopra loro fatto il segno della Croce, secondo il quale egli si divisono in quattro partì del mondo; così la predicazione della Croce di Cristo rinnovata per santo Francesco si dovea per lui e per li suoi frati portare per tutto il mondo; li quali frati, a modo che gli uccelli, non possedendo nessuna cosa propria in questo mondo, alla sola provvidenza di Dio commettono la lor vita.”
English translation:
(Saint Francis) “reached a spot between Cannaio and Bevagno. And as he went on his way, with great fervor, Saint Francis lifted up his eyes, and saw on some trees by the wayside a great multitude of birds; and being much surprised, he said to his companions, “Wait for me here by the way, whilst I go and preach to my little sisters the birds”; and entering into the field, he began to preach to the birds which were on the ground, and suddenly all those also on the trees came round him, and all listened while Saint Francis preached to them, and did not fly away until he had given them his blessing. ... Saint Francis went among them and even touched them with his garments, and ... none of them moved.
      Now the substance of the sermon was this:
“My little sisters the birds, ye owe much to God, your Creator, and ye ought to sing his praise at all times and in all places, because he has given you liberty to fly about into all places; and though ye neither spin nor sew, he has given you a twofold and a threefold clothing for yourselves and for your offspring. Two of all your species he sent into the Ark with Noah that you might not be lost to the world; besides which, he feeds you, though ye neither sow nor reap. He has given you fountains and rivers to quench your thirst, mountains and valleys in which to take refuge, and trees in which to build your nests; so that your Creator loves you much, having thus favored you with such bounties. Beware, my little sisters, of the sin of ingratitude, and study always to give praise to God.”
      As he said these words, all the birds began to open their beaks, to stretch their necks, to spread their wings and reverently to bow their heads to the ground, endeavoring by their motions and by their songs to manifest their joy to Saint Francis. And the saint rejoiced with them. He wondered to see such a multitude of birds, and was charmed with their beautiful variety, with their attention and familiarity, for all which he devoutly gave thanks to the Creator.
      Having finished his sermon, Saint Francis made the sign of the cross, and gave them leave to fly away. Then all those birds rose up into the air, singing most sweetly; and, following the sign of the cross, which Saint Francis had made, they divided themselves into four companies. One company flew towards the east, another towards the west, one towards the south, and one towards the north; each company as it went singing most wonderfully; signifying thereby, that as Saint Francis, the bearer of the Cross of Christ, had preached to them and made upon them the sign of the cross, after which they had divided among themselves the four parts of the world, so the preaching of the Cross of Christ, renewed by Saint Francis, would be carried by him and by his brethren over all the world, and that the humble friars, like little birds, should posses nothing in this world, but should cast all the care of their lives on the providence of God.

_ Compare St. Francis Preaches to the Birds (1299) by Giotto.
Daphne (1940, 61x51cm) _ Daphne Charlton was a student at the Slade School of Art in London, as was Stanley Spencer, and her husband George taught there. The Charltons were introduced to Spencer in 1939 and from then on he often visited them at their Hampstead home. All three went on a painting holiday together in the summer of 1939 to Leonard Stanley, a remote village in Gloucestershire. During this stay Daphne Charlton painted Spencer's portrait. In April 1940, back in London, she sat for this portrait every day for about two to three weeks. The hat she wears was bought for three guineas in a shop in Bond Street in December 1939, especially for the sittings. Spencer painted another portrait of her without her hat.
Dinner on the Hotel Lawn (1957, 95x136cm) _ Spencer remained a dominant figure in British painting even towards the end of his life. Many of his works, including 'Dinner on the Hotel Lawn', are set in his native village of Cookham-on-Thames. This painting belongs to a series, begun in 1952, based on his memories of the Cookham Regatta in Edwardian days. Spencer imagined Cookham as a church building 'The Village Street of Cookham was to be the Nave and the river which runs behind the street was a side aisle'. Christ would be preaching from the Horse Ferry barge. He later commented of the Regatta pictures 'I seem to have forgotten about the food', which seems particularly strange in this depiction of an outdoor meal.
Travoys Arriving with Wounded at a Dressing Station at Smol, Macedonia, September 1916 (1919, 183x219cm) _ Spencer was a young artist who was mainly known for his gift for drawing when he enlisted with the British medical corps in 1915. He spent two and a half years in Macedonia despite his attempts at getting sent back to the west as an army painter. He only returned after contracting malaria in 1918. Shortly afterwards, he painted this remarkable work, from memory for he had lost his sketchpad; it is a view from above of sleds (or travoys) holding wounded soldiers from 22nd Division who had been fighting troops from Bulgaria. They symbolically converge from every angle on the brightly lit operating theater. There is a sharp contrast between the rudimentary sleds pulled by mules and the operating theater where a wounded man is being anaesthetised with ether. The intensity of the picture is heightened by the details of the hands, the rumpled blankets and the animals apparently as exhausted as the men. Spencer turned down all subsequent requests to produce any further painting of his stay in the Balkans.
The Resurrection of the Soldiers (1929) _ Having decided to pay tribute to the memory of her brother Lieutenant Henry Sandham, Mary Behrend and her husband Louie commissioned Spencer to do this project. He worked on it from 1923 to 1932, from the first preparatory sketches to the production of the panels describing the fate of the wounded, from their transfer to hospital to their nursing, funerals and - on the wall at the far end of the Chapel - their resurrection. On that wall, memories of Macedonia combine with an evocation of the cemeteries of religious rather than moral inspiration. Completely opposed to both Expressionism and to the Realism of Otto Dix, Spencer devised a very studied style incorporating the static simplicity of the figures, a very deliberate naiveté of line and a choice of the sober shades of grey and ochre, leaving white the task of lightening his composition. Soldiers - all young - and horses are reborn all over, in an evocation of the battlefield where the corpses piled up. The pure, adolescent faces are pushed into the foreground as far as the horizon as night falls, following the tangle of crosses. Although the other paintings in Sandham Memorial Chapel recount and describe actual scenes, Spencer here contrives to avoid any naturalist tendency, breathing a powerful symbolic charge into his work.

^ >Born on 14 December 1824: Pierre Cécile Puvis de Chavannes, French Symbolist painter who died on 24 October 1898.
— Puvis de Chavannes decorated many public buildings in France (for example, the Panthéon, the Sorbonne, and the Hôtel de Ville, all in Paris) and also Boston Public Library. His paintings were done on canvas and then affixed to the walls (marouflage), but their pale colors imitated the effect of fresco. He had only modest success early in his career (when a private income enabled him to work for little payment), but he went on to achieve an enormous reputation, and he was universally respected even by artists of very different aims and outlook from his own. Gauguin, Seurat, and Toulouse-Lautrec were among his professed admirers. His reputation has since declined, his idealized depictions of antiquity or allegorical representations of abstract themes now often seeming rather anaemic. He remains important, however, because of his influence on younger artists. His simplified forms, respect for the flatness of the picture surface, rhythmic line, and use of non-naturalistic color to evoke the mood of the painting appealed to both the Post-Impressionists and the Symbolists.
— The greatest French decorative painter. His international influence was even greater than that of Moreau. He had to abandon his studies at the Polytechnique because of illness and travelled in Italy during his convalescence, where he discovered the frescoes of the Quattrocento and decided to become a painter. Ary Scheffer, Couture, Delacroix (for 4 days) and above all Théodore Chassériau were his teachers at the Beaux-Arts. In 1850, exhibited a pietà at the Salon. In 1861 his career as a painter of murals for public buildings began with the Musée d'Amiens. He decorated many buildings, including the Panthéon, the Hôtels de Ville of Paris and Poitiers, the Sorbonne, various French museums, and the Boston Public Library. A very French mind - to the extent that his work attracted that other very French painter, Matisse - he brought to his art a sense of grandeur and an organisational logic that were precisely the gifts required for vast mural decorations. His decorative compositions attempt to reach monumentality not through depth but through superficiality, linearity of construction, the "majesty" of the organisation and also by a certain philosophical pretention. The mobility of the man is clear; the influence of his work quite outstripped its intrinsic qualities, but he was, whether we like it or not, one of the masters of the Symbolist age, an age which made of Beauty and the Pure Idea a veritable religion.
F*>#Puvis de Chavannes by Étienne Carjat (photograph, 11x8cm)
F*>#Pierre Puvis de Chavannes by Lily Lewis Rood (color lithograph, 49x35cm, a modernist non-portrait)

–- Inter Artes et Naturam (353x1020pix _ .ZOOM to 706x2041pix)
–- Le Sommeil (549x903pix _ .ZOOM to 1647x2708pix)
–- Méditation (1867, 106x53cm; 1000x467pix)
–- Death and the Maiden (1000x727pix)
–- Marie-Madaleine à Sainte-Baume (1869, 54x37cm; 1000x630pix)
–- Les Oiseaux (1000x596pix)
Port Oriental (600x884pix _ ZOOM to 1400x2063pix)
Le Retour de la Chasse (600x508pix _ ZOOM to 1400x1185pix)
Le Rêve
The Poor Fisherman
Vue sur le château de Versailles et l'Orangerie (1871; 456x700pix, 74kb)
L'Espérance Habillée (1872; 898x1132pix, 188kb)
L'Espérance Nue (1872; 849x1000pix)
L'Enfance de Sainte Geneviève (543x1092pix, 97kb _ ZOOM to 814x1638pix, 177kb)
    _ preliminary triptych rough oil sketch: center panel (89kb) _ left panel (75kb) _ right panel (82kb)
Sainte Geneviève enfant en prière (1876, 136x76cm; 250x175pix, 24kb)
Les Jeunes Filles au Bord de la Mer (1879, 61x47cm)
Folle au Bord de la Mer (1857; 700x680pix; 108kb)
— F#*>/F#*>Kneeling nude woman, viewed from back (lithograph, 18x16cm; 4/5 size)
Ancient Vision (1889, 105x133cm; 277x370pix, 27kb) _ The term Vision which the artist chose as the title of this picture is symptomatic of a state of mind that rejected the modern world and escaped into dreams and visions of a vanished world characterized by a total communion between man and nature, where everything was tranquil and beautiful.
Concordia (1861, 60x81cm) _ Puvis de Chavannes’ development was hardly determined by the brief and fleeting instruction received from Henri Scheffer, Delacroix and Thomas Couture. He has as little in common with the older Courbet and the Naturalists as with the younger Pissarro and the Impressionists, even though he admires their uncompromising battle for their ideals. Eugène Boudin was an exact comtemporary, and the two artists have nothing in common. Puvis de Chavannes’ work is like a bridge over the painting of his age, ist piers being his friendship with Chassériau and his admiration by Seurat and Gauguin. The influence of Ingres via Chassériau is what scores his first success, in the Salon of 1861 with War and Peace, after nine years of rejection. Peace is purchased by the State and ends up in the Museum of Amiens, inspiring the later murals in the staircase. Concordia is the first sketch for Peace: the warriors have laid aside their weapons, they repose in the Elysian landscape beneath flowering laurels, refreshed by fruits and milk. The radiant white in the garb of the female figure in the background triumphs over the red of the warriors’ cloaks against the deep green landscape. In Peace the garbed female figure is replaced by a nude figure, on which all the light converges. Théophile Gautier, Chassériau’s friend, enthusiastically greeted Chavannes’ advent with this picture in the Salon of 1861. That is probably also why Concordia bears a dedication to Madame Gautier.
The Prodigal Son (1879, 147x107cm; 390x535pix, 60kb) _ detail 1 (390x520pix, 84kb) half-length _ detail 2 face and hand _ detail 3 legs _ detail 4 pigs _ War and Peace launched Chavannes on his career as a mural painter, taking him from Amiens via Marseilles to the great Paris works in the Sorbonne, in the Hôtel de Ville and in the Panthéon – to name only these. Among these highly demanding projects, aiming at "animer les murailles", the easel paintings seem like brief pauses for rest. Chavannes never set up his easel in the open like the Impressionists, but, being an avid walker, stored up visual impressions in his memory. Questioned regarding The Prodigal Son, he said laughing that he really only wanted to paint swine, studies of which he had made in the country in 1878. He said nothing of the repentant self-communion of the poor sinner, so modestly expressed with the crossed hands of the figure driven to the limits of life — and of the picture, for, as a person, Chavannes eschewed rhetoric, and as a painter, extravagant gestures. And yet the elegiac tone is there, indeed being echoed in the same way in the Poor Fisherman, painted two years later. The abandonment of the human figure is matched by the silver-grey of dying nature, redolent of Corot, whom Chavannes so admired, and which does not deny the muralist with its rhythmically sweeping composition.
_ Compare:
_ The Prodigal Son Feeding Swine by Murillo
_ The Prodigal Son in Misery by Mary Ann Willson
_ The Prodigal Son by Dürer]
10 ZOOMable images at Wikimedia

^ >Died on 14 December 1888: Richard Redgrave, British painter, etcher and administrator, born on 30 April 1804. Brother of Samuel Redgrave.
— After entering the Royal Academy as a student in 1826, Redgrave was elected a Fellow in 1851. He was among the first British painters to turn to realistic social subjects in the 1840s; among these are The Emigrant's Last Sight of Home with a family bidding farewell to the English countryside, Going Into Service, The Seamtress, and The Poor Teacher. He painted Ophelia Weaving Her Garlands in 1842, about the time that he was turning to this realism that sometimes borders on criticism of nineteenth-century economic and social realities. With his brother Samuel he published A Century of Painters (1866), a study with valuable insights into nineteenth-century art and some of the painters who contributed paintings on Shakespeare. — Richard Redgrave trained initially as a clerk and draftsman in his father’s counting-house before becoming a student at the Royal Academy Schools in 1826; he also studied with John Powell. About 1830 he left his father’s firm and supported himself as a drawing-master, working in watercolor before attempting to paint in oil. He exhibited at the Royal Academy from 1825 until failing eyesight afflicted him in 1883. He was elected ARA in 1840 and RA in 1851. He also contributed to the British Institution and the Royal Society of British Artists from the late 1820s to the 1840s.

–- The Heron Disturbed (1850, 34x50cm; 667x975pix, 119kb _ ZOOM to 1323x1963px, 498kb)
–- Strayed Lambs (1862, 50x75cm; 442x667pix, 78kb _ ZOOM to 663x1000pix, 180kb _ ZOOM+ to 995x1500pix, 198kb)
–- Young Lady Bountiful (1860, 50x76cm; 438x667pix, 73kb _ ZOOM to 663x1000pix, 169kb _ ZOOM+ to 984x1500pix, 187kb)
–- The Emigrant's Last Sight of Home (1858, 68x98cm; 438x667pix, 74kb _ ZOOM to 708x1000pix, 167kb _ ZOOM+ to 1062x1500pix, 177kb) _ Many families left Britain during the 1840s and 1850s, forced to seek their fortune elsewhere by hardship and economic depression. Redgrave was one of several artists who recorded the plight of such emigrants. This picture was exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1859 accompanied by lines from Oliver Goldsmith's poem The Traveller. This begins: 'Have we not seen, round Britain's peopled shore, Her useful sons exchanged for useless ore?'. The village that the family prepare to leave is that of Abinger in Surrey, where Redgrave owned a cottage.
–- From Autumn To Winter: 'Things of the past are spring and summer time' (1868, 82x168cm; 481x1000pix)
Ophelia Weaving Her Garlands (1842, 64x76cm) This painting refers to these words of Gertrude in Act IV, Scene vii of Hamlet: "There is a willow grows ascant the brook, / That shows his hoar leaves in the glassy stream. / Therewith fantastic garlands did she make / Of crowflowers, nettles, daisies, and long purples. . . ." Ophelia is occupied in making 'fantastic garlands' of 'Crow-flowers, nettles, daisies, and long purples.' She is pale--woe-begone--and her restless, fevered eyes, bespeak a mind diseased. The painting of her dress, which is white, resembles the manner of some of the old masters, a feeling which is extended to the banks of the brook, this part of the work being enamelled on the canvass like the foreground of some of Giorgione's garden scenes. The figure is an admirable embodiment of the poet's character, and the landscape is painted with a finish and attention to detail whichc ould be called 'Pre-Raphaelism'. The composition and setting are classical and the details of the tree-trunk, the flowers, and Ophelia's gown are masterful; the "mind diseased" is, however, not so obvious if one does not know the source of the painting and the story of Ophelia. Her face has about it more of a traditional Italian Madonna than a love-sick, half-crazed girl.
Country Cousins (1848, 82x107cm) _ Redgrave claimed that 'many of my best efforts in art have aimed at calling attention to the trials and struggles of the poor and the oppressed'. Country Cousins lacks much of the power that is found in Redgrave's best works and its moral is not at first obvious. It is only the picture over the fireplace which makes the theme clear. It is an illustration of Christ's parable of Dives and Lazarus: the rich man at his table, the poor man at his gate. Redgrave's picture possesses a similar moralizing tone to that applied by his friend William Collins to Sunday Morning.

Died on a 14 December:

^ 2007 Robert Moore Kulicke, US painter, goldsmith, teacher, businessman and designer of picture frames, born in 1924.
Kulicke had many talents. He painted and regularly exhibited small still lifes of flowers, dollar bills or fruit, often pears, sometimes, a single pear. He helped to revive the ancient cloisonné technique of granulation and to establish a school for jewelry making. He often supported himself and his businesses by buying and selling medieval art and Coptic textiles. For much of his life Kulicke was the most innovative and influential picture frame designer in the US. His reputation rested primarily on several streamlined frames that were both widely used and imitated, especially a welded aluminum frame and a wrap-around clear Lucite “plexibox” frame. He also designed sectional frames that could be bought and assembled, without having recourse to a frame shop. He also made reproduction frames for some great paintings, including Leonardo da Vinci’s Ginevra de’ Benci in the National Gallery of Art in Washington and Giotto’s Epiphany in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Kulicke was born in in Philadelphia. Both his father and older brother were design engineers. Robert Kulicke studied art in high school and advertising design at the Philadelphia College of Art, but he largely educated himself by reading art books at the Philadelphia Library and studying the collections of the Philadelphia Museum of Art. After serving three years in the Army in the Pacific during World War II, he became interested in framing; he never patented his designs. He went to Paris on the G.I. Bill with his first wife, Barbara Boichick, a painter whom he married in 1949. He studied painting in the atelier of Fernand Léger and apprenticed himself to several framers. Returning to New York in 1951, he opened Kulicke Frames. He also became friends with Abstract Expressionist painters such as Robert Motherwell and Franz Kline, who urged him to design thin frames that would be suitable for their work. His welded aluminum frame was created in 1956 when the Museum of Modern Art approached him for a frame to use for traveling exhibitions. In 1960 he developed the Lucite frame for the Modern’s photography department. A floating frame he designed for Knoll Associates, the furniture company, in the late 1950s was used when the Modern, to some art lovers’ consternation, replaced the older, bulkier frames on many of its best-known masterpieces after its 1984 expansion. But Kulicke considered painting his life’s work. He said that while in Paris in the late ’40s, he became so discouraged by Léger’s emphasis on large scale and bold compositions that he stopped painting. He did not start again until 1957, after the World House art gallery brought him 300 paintings by Giorgio Morandi to be framed. The small Morandi paintings of groups of bottles gave Kulicke the confidence to work small with modest subjects. About 1970, Kulicke left Kulicke Frames, which was taken over by his wife, whom he divorced, and his father-in-law. In 1968, after years of experimenting, he perfected the granulation technique, which had been widely used from antiquity to the 11th century and periodically revived by artisans who did not share its secrets. He began teaching the technique at the Scarsdale Studio Workshop School and then at the Kulicke Cloisonné Workshop, which he founded. In 1974 he founded the Kulicke-Stark Academy with Jean Stark, his companion at the time. In 1984 the academy was renamed the Jewelry Arts Institute, and the jeweler Bessie Jamieson became the director. Kulicke’s skills and passions sometimes converged. He often made antique gilt frames for his paintings and occasionally even decorated these frames with jewels, imitating medieval icons.
–- (2 pears) (701x817pix, 47kb _ .ZOOM to 1199x1599pix, 181kb _ .ZOOM+ to 2103x2472pix, 636kb) —(071219)
poster by Toulouse-Lautrec
^ 1926 Albert Müller, Swiss painter born in 1897.
Obino (1926; 305x370pix, 19kb)
Anna (1924) _ Müller, an exponent of the expressionist 'Rot-Blau' group, in this work depicts his wife as a prisoner: by means of an accentuated diagonal composition there emerges a rigid framework which acts to constrict her body. The strong colors (predominantly blue, red and its complementing green) together with the pointed angled design, heighten the uneasiness of the surroundings and reflect the woman's inner melancholic mood. Even the window on the right offers no view of a better future. Pensive, her face showing no expression and hands placed in her lap Anna seems to have given in to her fate. Without any show of emotion Müller captures his wife, who suffered from exhaustion. She died in 1927 from typhoid. — (051213)

^ 1923 (13 Dec?) Théophile Alexandre Steinlen, French illustrator, printmaker, painter, and sculptor, of born Swiss on 10 November 1859. After studying at the University at Lausanne and working as an apprentice designer in a textile factory in Mulhouse, Steinlen arrived in Paris in 1881 and quickly established himself in Montmartre, where he lived and worked for the rest of his life. In 1883 the illustrator Adolphe Willette introduced him to the avant-garde literary and artistic environment of Le Chat Noir cabaret which had been founded in 1881 by another Swiss expatriot, Rodolphe Salis. Steinlen soon became an illustrator of its satirical and humorous journal, Le Chat noir, and an artistic collaborator with writers such as Emile Zola, poets such as Jean Richepin, composers such as Paul Delmet, artists such as Toulouse-Lautrec and, most important, the singer and songwriter Aristide Bruant, all of whom he encountered at Le Chat Noir. Bruant’s lyrics incorporate the argot of the poor, the worker, the rogue, the pimp, and the prostitute, for whom Steinlen’s empathy had been awakened on reading the novel L’Assommoir (1877) of Zola [1840 – 28 Sep 1902]. Steinlen became the principal illustrator for the journal Le Mirliton (1885–1896) of Aristide Bruant [06 May 1851 – 11 Feb 1925] and for the various books containing his songs and monologues, including the first two of the three volumes of Dans la rue (1888, 1895) — Jacob Steinhardt and Yakov Tugendkhol’d were students of Steinlen. — Le Deuxième Volume de Bruant (1893 lithograph, 77x64cm) by Toulouse-Lautrec [24 Nov 1864 – 09 Sep 1901] who made several posters for Bruant: >>>. — Le poème Dans la rueLinks to MP3 period recordings samples of Bruant's songs. La plupart des chansons d'Aristide Bruant ont été publiées dans un recueil intitulé Dans la rue. Elles chantent les radeuses, les marlous, les petits, les hommes à casquette, les femmes à chignon dans une langue assez verte où se mêle l'argot de l'époque :

1904 Philip Lodewijk Jacob Frederik Sadee, Dutch artist born on 07 February 1837. — {Was he sadeestic?}

1852 Johann-Jakob Dorner II, German artist born on 07 July 1775. — Not to be confused with the painter of The Hard Landlady (1787)

^ 1789 Étienne Jeaurat (or Joras), French painter and draftsman born on 09 February 1699. — He was a favorite student of Nicolas Vleughels, who, when appointed director of the Académie Française in Rome in 1724, took Jeaurat with him, though it is hard to discern any Italian influence at all in Jeaurat’s work. Jeaurat was approved (agréé) by the Académie Royale, Paris, in 1731 and was received (reçu) two years later as a history painter with his Pyramis and Thisbe (1733). Jeaurat rose to the highest posts in the Académie, becoming professor in 1743, rector in 1765 and chancellor in 1781. He exhibited regularly at the Salon between 1737 and 1769, and the Gobelins factory made tapestries after his designs. Unlike his exact contemporary Chardin, Jeaurat had a highly successful official career with his many posts; in 1767, for instance, he was also appointed Garde des Tableaux du Roi at Versailles; and he was always accepted as a history painter, an ambition that constantly eluded Greuze. — La véritable vocation de Jeaurat est la peinture de genre. Ses envois au Salon de l'Académie le prouvent. Son répertoire est varié: pastorales, jeux d'enfant, turqueries; scènes domestiques dans la veine de Chardin ou de J.F. de Troy; scènes villageoises proches de l'art flamand. C'est dans le genre "poissard" que l'artiste, inspiré par ses amis littérateurs et sans doute aussi par les gravures de Hogarth, crée ses oeuvres les plus personnelles. Il laisse ainsi de la vie du peuple de Paris des témoignages d'un réalisme truculent. — Etienne-Pierre-Adrien Gois and Gabriel de Saint-Aubin were students of Jeaurat.
Bain de Femmes (1741, 64x52cm)

1734 Noël-Nicolas Coypel, French painter born (full coverage) on 17 November 1790. —(061116)

Born on a 14 December:
by Pelado
by Pelayo
>1920 Orlando Pelayo Entrialgo [–15 Mar 1990], Asturian painter and engraver of the School of Paris (where he lived from 1947).
Paysage Abstrait (48x59cm; 574x981pix, a dirty picture or intentionally dull dabs on 768x1024pix gray background, 366kb) This extremely dull picture [<<<] has been brilliantly enhanced [>>>] by the pseudonymous Tampa Pelado Gotutrial in his version titled
      _ .Paisaje Abstracto (2008; 1004x1717pix, 187kb). Not content with this, Pelado gave free rein to his imagination and produced the magnificent and strictly abstract
      _ .Pas Sage (2008; 1856x2624pix, 2123kb)
Infante Rose (1975, 35x35cm; 768x767pix, 597kb) Doesn'n it looks more like a sloppy slapdash picture of a Teddy bear on the handlebars of a motorcycle?
Dama con Peineta (1970, 38x55cm; 768x513pix, 61kb)
–- Maja (882x627pix, 31kb)
¿Qué esperamos? (1982, 92x73cm; 650x521pix, 347kb) _ Compare the photo (not by Pelayo):
     _ Darth Vader (768x1161pix, 180kb) —(090314)

^ 1784 Antoinette-Cécile-Hortense Lescot (future Haudebourt-Lescot), Parisian genre painter who died on 02 January 1845. At the age of seven Hortense Lescot became a student of Guillaume Lethière, a family friend and popular history painter who was appointed director of the Académie de France in Rome in 1807. She followed him to Rome in 1808 and remained there until 1816, depicting the customs and costumes of the Italian peasantry in veristic detail. This experience abroad, rare for a woman artist, was a decisive influence on her art which in its picturesque and anecdotal images of everyday Italian life prefigured the work of the genre specialists J.-V. Schnetz and Léopold Robert. She married the architect Louis-Pierre Haudebourt [1788–1849] in 1820.
–- Campagne Romaine (88x115cm; 569x925pix, 85kb)
Fête dans la campagne romaine (1829, 88x115cm; 46kb)
Gil Blas Chez l'Hôte Corcuello (1826, 53x46cm; 493x415pix, 49kb)
–- L'écrivain public (618x750pix, 22kb) —(071213)

1727 François-Hubert Drouais fils, French painter who died (full coverage) on 21 October 1775. —(061116)

1637 Niccolo Berrettoni, Italian painter who died in February 1682. — {I wonder whether he invented a kind of pasta in the shape of a beret.} — Nato a Macerata Feltria, morì a Roma. Ebbe una prima educazione a Pesaro, presso la bottega di Simone Cantarini. Verso il 1670 si trasferì a Roma, entrando nello studio di Carlo Maratta di cui fu uno dei più dotati e originali allievi. Nel 1675 entrò nell'accademia di San Luca, dove ottenne importanti commissioni. In questa data affrescò con storie mitologiche la Sala Rossa in palazzo Altieri e, dal 1679 al 1682, decorò la cappella di Sant'Anna nella chiesa di Santa Maria in Montesano. Feltria. Sono a lui attribuiti anche gli affreschi nella villa Falconieri a Frascati.Tra le altre sue opere a Roma ricordiamo lo Sposalizio di Maria, nella chiesa di San Lorenzo in piscibus. Tra i suoi lavori nelle Marche sono da menzionare: La Madonna col Bambino e San Giovanni, gli affrschi del casino della villa Cattani a Trebbiantico. Alla galleria di Dresda ci restano una sua Adorazione dei Pastori e un Battesimo di Cristo.

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updated Sunday 15-Mar-2009 2:01 UT
principal updates:
v.8.b1 Monday 15-Dec-2008 19:04 UT
v.7.b0 Monday 31-Dec-2007 18:01 UT
v.6.a0 13-Dec-2006 22:19 UT
Wednesday 14-Dec-2005 17:32 UT
Friday 26-Aug-2005 19:39 UT
v.4.63 Monday 13-Dec-2004 5:41 UT

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