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ART “4” “2”-DAY  18 December v.9.30
^ Born on 18 December 1633: Willem van de Velde II, Dutch English marine painter who died on 07 April 1707; son of marine painter Willem van de Velde I [1611 – Dec 1693].
— About in 1648 Willem II moved to Weesp to study under Simon de Vlieger, whose somber and atmospheric seascapes were a foil to the more prosaic realism of his father’s work. In 1652 he was back in Amsterdam. He took up work in his father’s studio, and his earliest paintings were signed by van de Velde I as head of the studio. Father and son moved to England in the winter of 1672–1673.
     Willem van de Velde de jonge is one of the most illustrious of all marine painters. He was the student of his father and of Simon de Vlieger. Like his father, he gave very accurate portrayals of ships, but is distinguished from him by his feeling for atmosphere and majestic sense of composition. He left Amsterdam for England with his father in 1672 and in 1674 Charles II gave them a yearly retaining fee of 100 pounds each; the father received his "for taking and making draughts of seafights" and the son "for putting the said draughts into colors for our own particular use". They did not switch their allegiance to England completely; both subsequently painted pictures of naval battles for the Dutch as well as the English market. Willem de jonge's influence, however, was particularly great in England, where the whole tradition of marine painting stemmed from him.
     Willem van der Velde the Younger was first trained in the Amsterdam studio of his father, Willem the Elder, who was a distinguished ship 'portraitist'. Willem the Elder specialized in pensehilderijen, pen drawings of ships on panel or canvas made in a manner similar to engravings. Subsequently his son completed his training with Simon de Vlieger, the marine painter, in Weesp. Willem the Younger then joined his father in his studio and continued to live and work in Amsterdam until 1672. In that year, the so-called rampjaar, the French invasion of the Netherlands caused such economic chaos that painters found it difficult to earn a living. (Vermeer was also among the many Dutch artists who experienced financial hardship at this time.) Both father and son moved to England and in 1674 were taken into the service of Charles II: the warrant of appointment states that each is to be paid a hundred pounds a year, in addition to payments for their pictures, the father for 'taking and making of Draughts of seafights' and the son for 'putting the said Draughts into colors'. One important early royal commission was for designs for tapestries commemorating the Battle of Solebay. They lived for the rest of their lives in England, working in their studio at the Queen's House, Greenwich, for Charles II, James II and members of their courts.

A Ship in High Seas Caught by a Squall (The Gust) (1680, 77x64cm) _ Two ships in high seas. The larger ship is clearly in trouble: high waves are breaking against the hull, the square foresail has broken loose and one of the masts has been broken in this sudden squall. The sails are hauled in and the crew is hard at work. A few men are still up in the rigging; one has been left behind in the crow's nest. The small fishing boat on the left is also having trouble keeping course. The seething sea and threatening sky portend more bad weather. Willem van de Velde the Younger has signed this dramatically lit sea scene below on the left.
     Together with his father, Willem van de Velde I (also known as the Elder), Willem van de Velde the Younger was one of the best known Dutch maritime painters. Both were highly accomplished in the depiction of ships in action, complete with rigging, crew and different sorts of weather. Father and son worked closely together. They were present at naval battles to record on paper the events that took place. In 1672 they both went to work for the English court, to document the Anglo-Dutch Wars.
     The Gust was painted in England where Van de Velde the Younger also painted a picture of a ship in calm seas entitled The Cannon Shot. These pictures are both painted on the same format, are framed in similar frames and depict the same subject in different circumstances; they are pendants. In both works, the ships as well as the elements have been depicted with consummate skill.
     The different painting styles in The Gust are striking. The large ship has been depicted in great detail with the rigging painted with such fine lines it appears almost to have been drawn. The sea and sky have been treated in a much looser way, with the brushstrokes sometimes clearly visible.
The Cannon Shot (1670 ?, 78x67cm) _ This study of a man-of-war firing a cannon, as a signal, rather than in battle, is said by some (in contradiction to the comments on The Gust, above) to have been painted before van de Velde left Amsterdam for London. Rather than a seascape, it is a portrait of the ship. In his later years Willem the Younger employed numerous assistants and the quality of his work declined, but this picture is entirely from his own hand and displays the remarkable atmospheric effects of which he was capable.
Calm: Dutch Ships Coming to Anchor (1670, 169x233cm) _ This is one of the finests of van de Velde's Dutch period pictures, before he settled in London in 1672-1673.
The Gouden Leeuw before Amsterdam (1686, 180x300cm) _ 17th-century pictures defined the Dutch scene not only in terms of shared history but also as a site of productivity. While landscapes, city scenes, and animal paintings advertised the ingenious foundations of Dutch economic success, other genres — marine painting foremost — acknowledged its more significant basis in overseas trade and colonial ventures. Although many seascapes were available cheaply, the best marine painters were among the most highly rewarded artists. The States-General, city governments, and trading companies commissioned views of the Dutch naval and trading fleets, before a prosperous harbor, in battle, or at sea. Van de Velde II painted the heroic vessel Gouden Leeuw in the bustle of Amsterdam harbor.
The Battle of the Texel, 11-21 August 1673 (1680, 114x185cm; 436x700pix, 48kb) The Battle of Texel was the last battle of the Third Anglo-Dutch War, 1672-1674 between the Dutch on one side and the English and French on the other. It represented the final attempt by the Allies to destroy the Dutch fleet and leave the coast free for an invasion of Holland from the sea.
      In the left foreground, in starboard-bow view is the ship of the Dutch Lieutenant-Admiral Cornelis Tromp. It is not possible to identify the vessel positively, since Tromp transferred ship during the action. Although it probably the 'Comeestar', 70 guns, it may be the Gouden Leeuw, 80 guns, in which Tromp began the battle. His double-prince flag is at the main, and another at the fore, with a pendant apparently flying at the mizzen. Behind the flagship is a disabled Dutch ship bearing a shield on her stern with five or six diagonal stripes with lion supporters. In the centre of the picture is the 'Royal Prince' of Admiral Sir Edward Spragge and the battle is shown focused on her defence against Tromp's repeated attacks with gunfire and fireships. Beyond the 'Royal Prince' with can be seen the starboard bow of the English 'St Andrew', 96 guns, flying the flag of the vice-admiral of the blue squadron, Sir John Kempthorne, who did much to save the 'Royal Prince' from capture. Tromp is firing his port broadside at the 'Prince' which has lost her main and mizzen masts as well as her admiral's flag. She is shown firing her starboard guns in return.
      In the left foreground is a large barrel. In the central foreground is the wreckage of a mast with figures clinging to it and, to the right, a ship's barge rescuing people from another sinking barge. In the right corner three men are shown clinging to a small piece of wreckage. In the right foreground there is a Dutch ship, in port-quarter view, with her fore topmast and mizzen mast missing, her ensign staff broken and the ensign falling overboard. She is probably the 'Wapen van Holland', 44 guns, commanded by Matthijs Diksz Pijl and part of Tromp's squadron. Figures are shown jumping off the ship with others in the water around the stern, which is decorated with a lion. Close by on her starboard side is a galliot picking up people from the sinking ship. Ahead of this ship and of the 'Prince' is a Dutch fireship in flames, probably meant to be one of those sent to burn the 'Prince'. In the distance showing through and above the smoke of battle are a number of ships, both Dutch and English. The sky is infused with the golden glow of a sunset, with clouds parting in the centre of the canvas. The smoke rising from the burning ships rises up to mingle with the clouds.
      Dating from several years after the event, this is one of many versions of the battle painted by the artist who was the younger son of Willem van de Velde the Elder. Born in Leiden, he studied under Simon de Vlieger in Weesp and in 1652 moved back to Amsterdam. He worked in his father's studio and developed the skill of carefully drawing ships in tranquil settings. He changed his subject matter, however, when he came with his father to England in 1672-1673, by a greater concentration on royal yachts, men-of-war and storm scenes. From this time painting sea battles for Charles II and his brother (and Lord High Admiral) James, Duke of York, and other patrons, became a priority. Unlike his father's works, however, they were not usually eyewitness accounts. After his father's death in 1693 his continuing role as an official marine painter obliged him to be more frequently present at significant maritime events. The painting is inscribed 'W.V.V.J', on the barrel in the left foreground.
–- The Battle of the Texel, 11-21 August 1673 (1687, 150x300cm; 403x832pix _ .ZOOM to 604x1246pix) _ Of the many pictures painted by van de Velde of this battle, this is the largest and regarded as the most important. On the left of the painting several ships of Lieutenant-Admiral Cornelis Tromp's squadron are shown. Just visible on the extreme far left is the forepart of the Olifant, 82 guns, with the striped flag of Vice-Admiral Isaac Sweers at the fore. In the distance is the rear-admiral of the third squadron, J. de Haen, in the Hollandia, 86 guns, with a striped flag and pendant at the mizzen. The next ship to the right is the Woerden with the arms of Woerden on the tafferel, consisting of a gold shield and a chequered bend between diamonds. In fact this ship was not at the battle. On the Woerden's port beam is the 'Komeeetster', the ship to which Tromp shifted his flag when the Gouden Leeuw became unmanageable. Showing above the smoke beyond the Woerden is de Ruyter's flag and pendant at the main of the Zeven Provincien.
      Tromp's flagship Gouden Leeuw, 80 guns, dominates the composition and is seen slightly to the left of center, in starboard-quarter view. Its lion motif is visible on the stern and it is firing to port and starboard. She flies the double-prince six-striped Dutch flag at the main and as an ensign, and a pendant at the mizzen to indicate a ship of the third or rear squadron. Its port guns are firing at the Charles, 96 guns, in the left background. This is flying Rear-Admiral Sir John Chicheley's red flag at the mizzen, shown falling as the mizzen topmast is shot away. Further away on the right and beyond a dismasted English ship sinking on the right foreground is the Royal Prince, 100 guns, viewed from before the starboard beam, with the blue flag of Sir Edward Spragge at the main. Its mizzen topmast is shown falling, the mast broken just below the top and the mizzen yard and spritsail yard also broken.
      In the distance between the Gouden Leeuw and the Prince a ship is shown before the wind, starboard broadside. Since flags are shown flying at every masthead this is probably intended to be the Royal Sovereign, 100 guns, with the English Lord Admiral, Prince Rupert, on board. Beyond on the right is the London, 96 guns, with a red flag at the fore indicating the presence of Vice-Admiral Sir John Harman. There are three boats moving through the water to pick up survivors from the sinking English ship in the right foreground. The cloud of black smoke ahead of the Gouden Leeuw may be coming from the burning of a fireship. A Dutch ship in the right distance with a flag at the main and a pendant at the fore must be intended for Lieutenant-Admiral A. Banckert in the Walcheren, 68 guns. The positions of the ships in this picture cannot be reconciled with either the written accounts or the drawings made of the battle by van de Velde the Elder. The date of the painting indicates that it was commissioned by Cornelis Tromp, to show his flagship, during a visit to England. He was known to have close links with the English court under Charles II, who made him a baronet, and it may have been intended to hang in Trompenburg, the house built shortly before the date of the painting.
      The artist was the younger son of Willem van de Velde the Elder. Born in Leiden, he studied under Simon de Vlieger in Weesp and in 1652 moved back to Amsterdam. There he worked in his father's studio and developed the skill of carefully drawing and painting ships in tranquil settings. He changed his subject matter, however, when he came with his father to England in 1672, by working on views of royal yachts, men-of-war and on storm scenes. From 1672 the depiction of sea battles from the English side became a priority but unlike his father's they were not usually eyewitness accounts. However, from early 1674 both the van de Veldes were expressly patronized by Charles II for this purpose, the father to draw sea fights and the son - who was by far the more accomplished painter - “for putting the said Draughts into Colours”. After his father's death in 1693 he was officially engaged to be present at and record significant maritime events. He continued to run a substantial and influential studio until his own death and with his father, especially as a painter, he is regarded as founder of the English school of marine painting.
Calm - Dutch Smalschips and a Rowing Boat (1662, 33x37cm; 890x1004pix, 83kb) _ Compare:
      _ .A River With Dutch Smalschips by Bonaventura Peeters I [23 Jul 1614 – 25 July 1652]
— [Dutch war ships]
— [Battle at sea with English war ship]
English Ship in a Gale
Ships Riding Quietly at Anchor
The Cannon Shot (30x23cm)
Fishing Boats in a Calm
Large Seascape
Die vier Elemente: Das Wasser
27 images at the Maritime Museum
^ Born on 18 December 1631 (28 Dec 1630?): Ludolf Backhuysen (or Bakhuizen, Bakhuisen, Bakhuyzen, Backhuyzen), Dutch Baroque marine painter, draftsman, calligrapher and printmaker, of German origin, active mainly in Amsterdam. He died on 07 (or 06) November 1708; his date of burial is 12 November 1708. Another source gives his date of death as 17 November 1708.
— After the van de Veldes moved to England in 1672, Backhuysen became the most popular marine painter in Holland. He captures the drama and movement of ships, but seldom achieves the poetic effects of either van de Velde the Younger [1633–1707] or Jan van de Capelle.
— He was born in Emden, East Frisia [now Germany], son of Gerhard Backhuszoon (Backhusen). Ludolf was trained as a clerk in his native town. Shortly before 1650 he joined the Bartolotti trading house in Amsterdam, where his fine handwriting attracted attention. He practiced calligraphy throughout his life. He studied under Hendrik Dubbels and Allart van Everdingen. During his early years in Amsterdam he also displayed his skilled use of the pen in drawings, mainly marine scenes, done in black ink on prepared canvas, panel, or parchment. He probably derived this technique and subject-matter from Willem van de Velde
the elder’s pen drawings of the 1650s. Bakhuizen continued to produce pen drawings until the 1660s, some depicting recognizable ships and existing views, such as his Ships Leaving Amsterdam Harbor, others depicting unidentified locations, as in the View of a Dutch Waterway.

Ships in Distress in a Heavy Storm (1690, 150x227cm) _ This was not intended as a depiction of a historical event. Its subject is the power of natural forces. The waves are swept up by the wind, endangering the ships as they roll about on the billowing sea. Perhaps these vessels will never reach port. The dramatic contrast of dark and light and the diagonal lines of the listing ships produce a compelling composition on the large canvas. Bakhuysen often sailed out when a storm was brewing, to observe how the weather affected the sea and the sky.
Fishing Vessels Offshore in a Heavy Sea (1684, 65x98cm; 662x1243pix _ ZOOM to 1647x2486pix)
Ships Running Aground in a Storm (1695, 173x341cm) _ While Dutch primacy in merchant shipping offered high rewards, its risks were equally significant. On their long journeys to the Mediterranean, the New World, Africa, and the East, merchant vessels were perennially endangered by warfare, piracy, treacherous shores, and storms. Several painters, most dramatically Ludolf Backhuysen, specialized in ships adrift in tempests. Backhuysen executed this painting (his largest surviving one) as if he were observing the disaster in the midst of the roiling seas, thus engaging beholders in the unfolding tragedy, encouraging them to empathize with the ships and their crews and to contemplate the powers of God, beyond full comprehension. But even as such paintings acknowledge the fragility of Dutch seaborne success, their distant shafts of sunlight usually hold out hope for reversals of misfortune. A brighter future may still save Backhuysen's ship at left, its Dutch flag unfurled against lightening skies. Collectors occasionally hung a tempest painting opposite a sunny shipping scene, implying that the power of God and nature, whether terrifying or benevolent, is always magnificent.
Ships in Distress off a Rocky Coast (1667) _ Backhuysen is the last representative of the great tradition of Dutch marine painting; eighteenth-century Dutch artists did much less of consequence in this category than in the others they practised. Backhuysen was born in Emden, Germany, and came to Amsterdam around the middle of the century where he remained for the rest of his life. His high-placed patrons include the burgomasters of Amsterdam, the Archduke of Tuscany, Czar Peter the Great, and various German princes. He is best known for his stormy scenes. When a storm threatened he sometime went by boat 'to the mouth of the Sea, in order to observe the crash of the Seawater under these conditions'. His Ships in Distress off a Rocky Coast shows the chilling drama he can bring to the theme. The large cargo ship in the centre is managing to make way along the perilous coast, while on the right, two vessels are in even greater danger. Later his storms become melodramatic, his chiaroscuro effects exaggerated, and his gigantic waves rather schematic and glass-like.
The Y at Amsterdam viewed from Mussel Pier (1673) [it is NOT the YMCA, but the River Y. Why? For one, the YMCA was founded in 1844, in London, by George Williams. Why Y for the name of the river? Is the Y Y-shaped?]
Ships on the Zuiderzee before Fort Naarden (1670; 600x791pix, 164kb _ ZOOM to poor quality 1400x1846pix, 370kb)
Slightly Rough Sea with Ships (1670; 600x1029pix, 218kb _ ZOOM to 1400x2402pix, 502kb)

^ > Born on 18 December 1879: Paul Klee, Swiss German Expressionist painter, draftsman, printmaker, teacher, and writer, who died on 29 June 1940. — {Les images à Klee sont des images à clé?}
— Klee’s work forms a major contribution to the history of 20th-century art. He is associated most commonly with the Bauhaus school in Weimar and Dessau. He is regarded as a major theoretician among modern artists and as a master of humor and mystery. In much of his work, he aspired to achieve a naive and untutored quality, but his art is also among the most cerebral of any of the 20th century. Klee’s wide-ranging intellectual curiosity is evident in an art profoundly informed by structures and themes drawn from music, nature and poetry.
—      A Swiss-born painter and graphic artist whose personal, often gently humorous works are replete with allusions to dreams, music, and poetry, Paul Klee is difficult to classify. Primitive art, surrealism, cubism, and children's art all seem blended into his small-scale, delicate paintings, watercolors, and drawings.
      Klee grew up in a musical family and was himself a violinist (like Ingres). After much hesitation he chose to study art, not music, and he attended the Munich Academy in 1900. There for his teacher, he got stuck with the popular symbolist and society painter Franz von Stuck. Klee later toured Italy (1901-1902), responding enthusiastically to Early Christian and Byzantine art.
      Klee's early works are mostly etchings and pen-and-ink drawings. These combine satirical, grotesque, and surreal elements and reveal the influence of Francisco de Goya and James Ensor, both of whom Klee admired. Two of his best-known etchings, dating from 1903, are Virgin in a Tree and Two Men Meet, Each Believing the Other to Be of Higher Rank. Such peculiar, evocative titles are characteristic of Klee and give his works an added dimension of meaning.
      After his marriage in 1906 to the pianist Lili Stumpf, Klee settled in Munich, then an important center for avant-garde art. That same year he exhibited his etchings for the first time. His friendship with the painters Wassily Kandinsky and August Macke [03 Jan 1887 – 26 Sep 1914] prompted him to join Der Blaue Reiter, an expressionist group that contributed much to the development of abstract art. A turning point in Klee's career was his visit to Tunisia with Macke and Louis Molliet in 1914. He was so overwhelmed by the intense light there that he wrote: "Color has taken possession of me; no longer do I have to chase after it, I know that it has hold of me forever. That is the significance of this blessed moment. Color and I are one. I am a painter." He now built up compositions of colored squares that have the radiance of the mosaics he saw on his Italian sojourn. The watercolors Red and White Domes and Remembrance of a Garden (1914) are distinctive of this period.
      Klee often incorporated letters and numerals into his paintings, as in Once Emerged from the Gray of Night (1918). These, part of Klee's complex language of symbols and signs, are drawn from the unconscious and used to obtain a poetic amalgam of abstraction and reality. He wrote that "Art does not reproduce the visible, it makes visible," and he pursued this goal in a wide range of media using an amazingly inventive battery of techniques. Line and color predominate with Klee, but he also produced series of works that explore mosaic and other effects.
      Klee taught at the Bauhaus school after World War I, where his friend Kandinsky was also a faculty member. In Pedagogical Sketchbook (1925), one of his several important essays on art theory, Klee tried to define and analyze the primary visual elements and the ways in which they could be applied. In 1931 he began teaching at Dusseldorf Akademie, but he was dismissed by the Nazis, who termed his work “degenerate.” In 1933, Klee went to Switzerland. There he came down with the crippling collagen disease scleroderma, which forced him to develop a simpler style and eventually killed him. The late works, characterized by heavy black lines, are often reflections on death and war, but his last painting, Still Life (1940), is a serene summation of his life's concerns as a creator.
— Klee's students included Mordecai Ardon, Max Bill, Vilhelm Bjerke-Petersen, T. Lux Feininger, Ernst Morgenthaler, Arieh Sharon, Gunta Stölzl, Fritz Winter.

      Né en Suisse, Klee suit une solide formation de peintre à Munich, la capitale artistique de l’Allemagne. Ses "Inventions" satiriques et des illustrations de "Candide" de Voltaire témoignent de cet apprentissage où l’on sent déjà percer le symbolisme ainsi qu’un fantasmatique débridé et grinçant.
      Comme beaucoup de peintres, il parcourt l’Italie et la Sicile les deux premières années du siècle. Puis à Paris, il se familiarise avec le Cubisme. Chez Cézanne et Van Gogh, il apprend l’art de la Lumière. A la veille de la première guerre mondiale il part en Tunisie, ce qui influencera nettement son chromatisme. Après la guerre, c’est en Allemagne qu’il travaillera, peindra et enseignera (au Bauhaus à Weimar, la capitale de la République de Weimar). Il expose en Allemagne, mais aussi à Paris avec les surréalistes en 1925. Parallèlement à son œuvre et à ses expositions, il enseigne aux beaux-Arts à Dusseldorf.
      Dans une œuvre onirique et grâcieuse, qui participe de l’abstraction pure, il adhère au mouvement du surréalisme, dont il deviendra l’un des principaux théoriciens. Mais dès 1933 la persécution des Nazis vis à vis des arts "dégénérés", particulièrement des peintre surréalistes, l’oblige à quitter définitivement l‘Allemagne pour la Suisse. Il y meurt, désabusé et malade... Ah... et son violon d'Ingres était... le violon.

–- Insula Dulcamara (1938; 645x1322pix, 154kb _ .ZOOM to 1290x2646pix, 445kb)
–- Ancient Sounds (925x901pix, 98kb)
Südliche Gärten (1936, 26x31cm; 854x1011pix, 220 Kb)
— Tunisian Gardens (1919, 24x19cm; 1077x818pix, 180kb)
— Remembrance of a Garden (1914, 25x21cm; 994x851pix, 150kb)
–- 1914 (809x665pix, 61kb _ .ZOOM to 1618x1330pix, 130kb) _ the Klee Estate reported in July 2002 that it is not an authentic work by Paul Klee. _ That did not deter the pseudonymous É. Paule Cerrur from transforming it into the authentically amazing abstractions
      _ 19 - 14 = 5 aka (2007; 550x778pix, 179kb _ ZOOM 1 to 778x1100pix, 360kb _ ZOOM 2 to 1100x1556pix, 712kb _ ZOOM 3 to 1710x2418pix, 1728kb _ ZOOM 4 to 2658x3760pix, 4296kb) and
      _ 19x14 = 266 (2007; 550x778pix, 179kb _ ZOOM 1 to 778x1100pix, 360kb _ ZOOM 2 to 1100x1556pix, 712kb _ ZOOM 3 to 1710x2418pix, 1728kb _ ZOOM 4 to 2658x3760pix, 4296kb)
–- The Golden Fish (758x1115pix, 154kb _ .ZOOM to 1709x2226pix, 278kb) _ The Golden Fish glides through the kingdom of its underwater freedom, all lesser fish leaving a clear space for its gleaming body. This is a magical fish with runic signs upon his body, scarlet fins, and a great pink flower of an eye. He hangs majestically in the deep, dark blue magic of the sea, which is luminous with secret images of fertility. The great fish draws the mysteriousness of his secret world into significance. We may not understand the significance, but it is there. The sea and its creatures are arranged in glorious homage, belittled but also magnified by this bright presence. This quiet nobility, the brightness, the solitude, the general respect: all are true of Klee himself. Whether the art world knew it or not, he was their “golden fish”.
–- Legend of the Nile (989x873pix, 172kb _ .ZOOM to 1484x1309pix, 251kb)
–- Threat of Lightning (806x1077pix, 45kb)
–- Captive (980x878pix, 187kb _ .ZOOM to 1958x1753pix, 346kb)
–- Ad Parnassum (1932, 100x126cm; 900x1144pix, 244kb) _ detail (1201x1032pix, 199kb) _ Klee's studies in the related fields of natural history, comparative anatomy and anthropology had brought Klee to the belief that nature was characterized by the permutation and movement of fundamental units of construction. He wanted to achieve an equivalent way of working in painting. In addition to his interest in the natural world. Klee also turned to theories of both color and music. As he worked on the basis of units of construction taken from nature, Klee tried to create linear improvisations which he likened to the melody of the work. Klee evolved a system of color organization in which all the colors of the spectrum were conceived of as moving around a central axis dominated by the three pigmentary colors - red, yellow and blue. From 1923 Klee created a series of imaginative color constructions which he called 'magic squares' in which he applied his theories. This series came to a conclusion in 1932 with Ad Parnassum. Klee likened each element in the painting to a theme in a polyphonic composition. He defined polyphony as 'the simultaneity of several independent themes'. In addition. each artistic element in Ad Parnassum is itself a distillation of several ideas and personal experiences. For example. the graphic element illustrates the gate to Mount Parnassus, the home of Apollo and the Muses, and also may refer to the Pyramids which Klee saw in 1928, and to a mountain near Klee's home.
–- Der Marsch zum Gipfel (613x689pix, 41kb _ .ZOOM to 1226x1378pix,90kb)
–- Jester (1924, 31x36cm; 334x402pix, 20kb)
–- Kronenarr (798x737pix, 51kb)
Rote und weisse Kuppeln (1914, 15x14cm; 944x895pix, 140kb)
— Once Emerged from the Gray of Night
Howling Dog (1928, 45x57cm; 847x1119pix, 679kb _ ZOOM to 1760x2326pix, 2698kb) _ Klee's hasty scribble of a solitary dog baying at a radiant moon exemplifies the artist's foisting on the viewer a linear style of representation. Using a series of sinuous lines, Klee creates a random arrangement of three distinct forms: a dog, the moon, and in an unusual and unconvincing visualization of sound, the dog's extended howl. Placed at the center of an amorphous ground of swirling colors, the dog's howl claims a dominant pictorial role, winding, bending on itself, hanging in the night air like a wisp of smoke, attempting in vain a visual as well as temporal record of the emanating sound. Klee's two-dimensional composition completely fails to supplant traditional spatial illusion, revealing a simplistic ideogram for the painting's whimsical subject.
— Der Seiltanzer (1923, 44x27cm; 517x329pix, 93kb) _ See the incomparably superior, though not very good:
      _ Tightrope Walker (1924; detail 470x349pix, 42kb) by Everett Shinn [06 Nov 1876 – 01 May 1953],
      _ Seiltanzer (1914; 800x566pix, 88kb) by August Macke [03 Jan 1887 – 26 Sep 1914],
      _ The Tightrope Walker (700x553pix, 58kb) by Jean-Louis Forain [23 Oct 1852 – 11 Jul 1931].
      _ Tightrope (2003; 832x607pix, 63kb) by Maureen Oliver.
      _ Tightrope Walker (897x646pix, 122kb) anonymous?
      _ Tightrope Walker (1968; 800x715pix, 110kb) by Hanno Edelmann.
–- Marchen Baume (x770pix, 58kb)
–- Departure of the Ghost (800xpix, 37kb) line drawing on a grayish background, for which a greater fool paid $2'256'000 at a Sotheby's auction on 07 November 2006.
–- Palaste (x760pix, 72kb)
–- Mythos Einder Insel (x800pix, 43kb)
–- Junger Garten aka Rhythmen (760xpix, 148kb) on a subdued background with irregular gray, dirty yellow and dirty pink areas, horizontal irregular rulings over which there are several irregular patterns made up of line segments. For this dreary pretense of art, a greater fool paid $3'152'000 at a Sotheby's auction on 02 November 2005.
–- Clown mit Kind (800xpix, 107kb) line sketch of triangles, on a mostly gray and dirty orange patterned background.
–- Dächerblume (850x534pix, 154kb)
–- Ouvertüre (850x1134pix, 156kb)
–- Chinesische Novelle (1039x820pix, 231kb)
299 images at Ciudad de la Pintura

Died on a 18 December:

^ 2007 Stephen Radich [20 Sep 1922–], US art dealer. He served in the Navy from 1941 to 1944. He studied fine arts and philosophy at Columbia University. In the 1950s, he worked for some art galleries in New York City. From 1960 to 1969 Radich owned and ran the Stephen Radich Gallery at 818 Madison Avenue, where he exhibited works by contemporary artists such as George Sugarman [11 May 1912 – 25 Aug 1999], Yayoi Kusama [29 Mar 1929~], and Dmitri Hadzi. In December 1966 Radich showed works by Marc Morrel, an “artist” who featured US flags into “soft sculptures” protesting the Vietnam War. In “The United States Flag in a Yellow Noose” the flag was stuffed and hung like a corpse; in another work, it was made into a phallus attached to a 2-meter cross topped by a bishop’s miter. For this Morrel was not charged but Radich was convicted of contempt to the US flag and sentenced to a $500 fine or 60 days in jail. Radich commented that losing the case “could affect the future of art galleries, a very important industry in New York whose right to show new work without interference from police could be severely threatened.” In 1970 the Judson Memorial Church in Greenwich Village protested Radich’s conviction with the People’s Flag Show; Abbie Hoffman wore a shirt made from a flag, and three artists (Jon Hendricks, Faith Ringgold, Jean Toche) were arrested for flag desecration.. The New York State Court of Appeals upheld Radich's conviction. The critic Hilton Kramer testified that Morrel's works were art, though of little artistic value. Radich then appealed to the United States Supreme Court, which, in 1971, voted on the case 4 to 4, with Justice William O. Douglas not voting. The tie vote did not resolve the case, which Radich appealed once more;. in 1974 a federal judge overturned the conviction. —(071227)

^ 1828 Joseph Rebell, dies while on a visit to Dresden, Austrian painter born on 11 January 1787 in Vienna. — {He was not a rebel Rebell, but rather a conformist Rebell} — He studied (1808–1810) at the Akademie der Bildenden Künste in Vienna. His early work is heavily influenced by classicism and by heroic depictions of landscape in the manner of Claude. Of decisive importance was his long stay in Italy: in Milan (1810–1811), Naples (1813–1815), and Rome (1816–1824). Influenced by such artists who had worked in Rome as Joseph Vernet and Joseph Anton Koch, he turned to the genre of the veduta, producing such works as View from Posillipo on Capri (1821). However, he reached his full development as a landscape painter only after 1824, when he was appointed Director of the Imperial Picture Gallery in the Belvedere in Vienna by Emperor Francis (reg 1804–1835). For the Emperor he painted a series of works depicting the imperial residences in Lower Austria (e.g. View of the Estate of Emmersdorf, 1826), in which the style is similar to that of Ferdinand Georg Waldmüller.
The Eruption of Vesuvius at Night (1808, 82x114cm; 884x1240pix, 100kb _ ZOOM to 1784x2500pix, 903kb) _ One can sense how Rebell's inner being must have trembled with excitement at this blending of water and fire. The sheer profusion of colors that the artist has hurled at his canvas is itself enough to tell us something of his inner state while observing this natural phenomenon. The gleam of the brightly moonlit sky competes with the glow of the molten lava tumbling down the mountain into the sea. Even earlier, Rebell’s teacher, Michael Wutky of Krems [1739–1822], had embarked on capturing similar moods, repeatedly taking Vesuvius and its environs as his theme. Jacob Philipp Hackert [1737–1807] had also treated this subject, although approaching it in a manner that was much more academic and tentative, and altogether lacking in the freedom that Rebell achieves in his own picture. In the present work Rebell is notable, above all, for his audacity: his record of a veritable inferno is visionary, conveying not a sense of fear but a sort of ecstasy.
View of Atrani on the Gulf of Salerno (1822, 81x114cm; 868x1240pix, 176kb _ ZOOM to 1752x2500pix, 1814kb) _ It is the opposite from his Eruption of Vesuvius at Night: a peaceful landscape bathed in the soft light of the South, a seemingly inner light that illuminates landscape, architecture, and staffage, here consisting of boats with fishermen in the foreground. The sense of serenity is assured by what is absent as much as by what we are shown: no turbulent ocean but an almost mirror-smooth sea, no jagged rocks but a compact little town nestling under a cliff and a softly modeled hill in the background. The mood is, indeed, almost contemplative, taking its cue from the illumination of the early morning, before the stark contrast of bright light and shade has emerged owing to the sun’s harsh rays. Rebell spent many years in, or en route to, Italy (in 1809 he was in Switzerland, in 1810-1811 in Milan, in 1813–1815 in Naples, and in 1816–1824 in Rome) before becoming Director of the Imperial Picture Gallery, at that time housed in the Belvedere Palace in Vienna. As a marine painter, he followed in the footsteps of Claude-Joseph Vernet [1714–1789], who had ‘discovered’ the landscape of the Neapolitan coast as a subject for artists, thereby establishing it as an alternative to the Roman campagna.
Die Mole von Portici (1818, 38x55cm; 746x1100pix, 149kb) —(051217)

Born on a 18 December:

^ 1948 Domenico “Mimmo” Paladino, Italian painter, sculptor, printmaker, and draftsman. He attended the Liceo Artistico di Benevento from 1964 to 1968. In the early 1970s he concentrated on drawing, developing much of the imagery that later appeared in his paintings. He had his first solo exhibitions in 1976 at the galleries D’Arte Duemila, Bologna, and Nuovi Strumenti, Brescia. He moved to Milan in 1977, and during the late 1970s he produced mostly monochrome paintings in blue, red or yellow, often incorporating found objects. In 1980 he was associated by the critic Achille Bonito Oliva with the ‘Transavanguardia’ (It.: ‘beyond the avant-garde’) painters Sandro Chia, Francesco Clemente, Enzo Cucchi and Nicola De Maria. He rapidly developed an allegorical figurative style, drawing on imagery from Christianity and Classical mythology, while also being influenced by ancient Egyptian, tribal and modern art. He created enigmatic archaic figures, as in an untitled stone sculpture (1985) depicting a man carrying a horn-shaped vessel, while such works as the painting Flayed (1986) exemplify his preoccupation with the themes of death and sacrifice. Paladino’s technical versatility also extended to various forms of printmaking (from 1980), including etching, linocut and aquatint. — LINKS
–- Tarquinia (671x900pix, 67kb)
–- untitled (1384x689pix, 85kb)
–- untitled (634x892pix, 47kb) monochrome tan except for a lone red letter T.
–- Ulivi di Puglia (536x707pix, 65kb)
–- Tiresia (1059x879pix, 145kb) the background is more interesting than the off-white sketch of a man. The pseudonymous Mínimo Palasaurio has demonstrated it by removing the sketch and replacing it by a colorful rectangle in
      _ Palasaurian Green Rectangle (2006; 724x512pix, 48kb _ ZOOM to 1024x724pix, 105kb _ ZOOM+ to 2048x1448pix, 402kb) and by a colorful green ghost in
      _ Palasaurian Green Ghost (2006; 724x512pix, 66kb _ ZOOM to 1024x724pix, 149kb _ ZOOM+ to 2048x1448pix, 599kb)
–- Al Tiempo (1273x890pix, 250kb)
–- Addolorato (602x900pix, 88kb)
–- Il Respiro della Belleza IV (850x828pix, 121kb)
–- Hotel (702x880pix, 47kb)
–- untitled (800x625pix, 21kb) 90% flat tan background
–- untitled (643x900pix, 67kb)
–- untitled (900x593pix, 43kb)
–- untitled (499x386pix, 19kb)
–- untitled (900x508pix, 56kb)
–- Canto I (622x900pix, 54kb)
–- Esercizio di Lettura con Testa Algebrica (888x1138pix, 144kb)
–- untitled (900x450pix, 41kb)
–- La Sera dei Miracoli: Camera Rumorosa dei Passi Teatrali Lungo il Perimetro Respiro e Canto (799x642pix, 32kb)
–- La Sera dei Miracoli: Testa Fiorita (799x663pix, 44kb)
–- La Sera dei Miracoli: Luglio, Agosto, il Vulcano (799x649pix, 49kb)
–- La Sera dei Miracoli: Virtuoso (799x662pix, 34kb)
–- L'Idiota (irregular triptych; 36kb) a portrait of the greater fool who paid $102'000 for it at the 05 May 2005 Sotheby's auction in New York?
–- untitled (1989, 72x103cm; 552x799pix, 49kb) “G.B.Pergolesi” is written in the bottom right corner, where one would expect Paladino's signature, but that is on the back.
–- untitled (620x881pix, 113kb)
–- untitled (674x900pix, 23kb) a table suggested by four pink brush strokes and the faint start of the sketch of a person, on a flat light-pinkish tan background._ This minimalist pretense of art has been extraordinarily metamorphized by maximalist Palasaurio into the twin symmetrical abstractions
      _ Palasaurian Stares, No Stairs aka (2006; 550x778pix, 174kb _ ZOOM 1 to 778x1100pix, 351kb _ ZOOM 2 to 1100x1556pix, 704kb _ ZOOM 3 to 2048x2896pix, 2374kb) and
      _ One of the Palasaurian Purple People Framed and Decapitated (2006; 550x778pix, 174kb _ ZOOM 1 to 778x1100pix, 351kb _ ZOOM 2 to 1100x1556pix, 704kb _ ZOOM 3 to 1710x2418pix, 2374kb) —(071217)

^ 1920 Enrique Grau Araújo, Colombian painter, sculptor, printmaker, film maker and stage designer, who died on 01 April 2004. — Probably not a close relative of the Spaniard Emilio Grau Sala [14 Apr 1911 – 1975]. — He studied at the Art Students League in New York from 1941 to 1943 and subsequently went to Italy, where he studied fresco and etching techniques in Florence in 1955-1956 before settling again in Colombia. Consistently devoted to the human form, he initially depicted figures with angular heads and striped tunics in a strong light, with symbolic objects such as eggs, masks or cages.
Self-Portrait (1990; 525x400pix, 60kb) image marred by an enlarged print pattern.
— (seaside nightmare?) (392x470pix, 52kb)
— (woman staring?) (596x449pix, 42kb) the head-and-shoulders woman is grayscale, the only bit of color is in the piece of clothing seen on her shoulder and the dark brown background.
— (man holding a stereoopticon?) (390x412pix, 41kb)

^ 1898 Giuseppe Viviani, Italian painter who died in 1965. — Relative? of Raul Viviani [1883-1965]?
–- Danzatrice in Piedi (1926, 105x55cm; 900x452pix, 36kb)

1837 David Adolf Constant Artz, Dutch painter who died (main coverage) on 05 November 1890. —(051217)

^ 1835 William Frederick Yeames, British painter who died on 03 May 1918. Son of a British consul in Russia, Yeames was sent to school in Dresden after the death of his father in 1842. He also studied painting there. The collapse of the Yeames family fortune resulted in a move to London in 1848, where Yeames learnt anatomy and composition from George Scharf [1788–1860]. He later took lessons from F. A. Westmacott. In 1852 he continued his artistic education in Florence under Enrico Pollastrini and Raphael Buonajuto, from whom he learnt the methods of the Old Masters. He drew from frescoes by Ghirlandaio, Gozzoli and Andrea del Sarto and painted in the Life School at the Grand Ducal Academy. He then went to Rome and made landscape studies and copied Old Masters, including Raphael’s frescoes in the Vatican. His extensive study of Italian art gave him a precision and facility that assisted his artistic success upon his return to London in 1859. There he set up a studio in Park Place and became involved with the St. John's Wood Clique. He exhibited at the Royal Academy and the British Institution from 1859 and became an ARA in 1866. At first Yeames attempted large-scale decorative work, contributing the figures of Torrigiano and Holbein to the series of mosaic portraits of artists at the South Kensington Museum (1866). — LINKS
And when did you last see your father? (1878, 103x143cm; 321x629pix, 24kb) _ Yeames wrote: “I had at the time I painted the picture, living in my house a nephew of an innocent and truthful disposition, and it occurred to me to represent him in a situation where the child's outspokenness and unconsciousness would lead to disastrous consequences and a scene in a country house occupied by the Puritans during the Rebellion in England suited my purpose.” The people in the painting are composed like characters on a stage. This adds to the sense of drama in an already tense setting. The viewer is left guessing what the boy will answer. The painting deals cleverly with the themes of innocence and childhood. We wonder whether the boy, who will have been told that honesty is a virtue, will realize in time the gravity of the situation. The small size of the boy, his blonde hair and blue suit highlight his innocence. In order to save his father, he may have to lose some of his innocence and lie to the men questioning him. Yeames does not appear to favor one side over the other, letting the drama of the situation speak for itself. Although we are aware of the purpose of the soldiers' visit to the house, he invests the scene with a sense of their 'moral duty'. The Victorians believed that men in the English Civil War fought out of a sense of conviction and loyalty. This is shown by Yeames as, despite the situation, he depicts the men's human qualities. The soldier in the left of the scene is seen comforting the little girl, who appears aware of the significance of the question.
     This painting shows a Royalist family who have been captured by the enemy during the English Civil War (1642-1649). The boy is being questioned about the whereabouts of his father by a panel of Parliamentarians. We can tell from the boy's clothes that he is a Royalist. Possibly his father is commander of a Royalist army and the Parliamentarians are hoping to gain knowledge of its whereabouts. The young boy in the painting was based on Yeames' nephew, James Lambe Yeames [1873-1960], who was about five years old when this was painted. The girl is dressed in Royalist clothing so we can assume that she is the boy's sister. She is crying, probably because she is afraid of what the soldiers might do to her family. The young girl was modelled by the artist's niece, Mary Yeames [1868-1960]. We can tell by the clothes of the two women in the background that they are Royalists. The lady at the back is hiding behind the other and seems to be more afraid. The lady in the front does not seem so afraid and is looking directly at the interrogators. The lady hiding could be an older sister and the tall lady in the front their mother. Another possible interpretation is that the lady dressed in green is the children's mother while the one dressed in black is a maidservant. The maidservant could have informed the Parliamentarians that the family is hiding something.
     The man on the bench is a cavalry officer. We know this because of the long riding boots that he is wearing. He is watching the interrogation of the boy with interest. The officer is wearing the yellow sash of Parliament over his uniform. All Parliamentarian soldiers wore yellow sashes during battle so that they could easily spot members of their own army. The man writing is a clerk. He is writing down everything that is said. His presence also makes the scene more official as the interrogation is clearly being carried out as if it were a court case.
     The man in the corner is almost hidden by the shadows in the room. However, he is looking directly at the boy and seems assured that the family is guilty. He holds in his arms a number of books, probably literature that had been forbidden by the Puritans. He seems to be happy that it is he that holds the evidence of the Royalist nature of the family and he is enjoying seeing the distress of the family. The bundle of books is clearly an important piece of evidence since the man in the corner has not put them down. During the period of the Civil War the Puritans banned the reading of many books of literature believing the Bible to be the only book that should be read. It would seem that they are being offered as evidence that the boy's father is an enemy of Parliament.
     We know that the man standing at the left is a sergeant because he is carrying a halberd and they were always carried by sergeants from the sixteenth to the nineteenth centuries. He is the man who has arrested the family and has brought them before the Parliamentarians for questioning. However, he does not seem too happy with his task. The arm around the girl seems to be comforting rather than arresting and he is not looking directly at the scene in front of him. We can guess that maybe he has a family of his own and feels that questioning of children in this way is wrong. The man dressed in black with white collar and sitting bolt upright on the bench is a typical Puritan figure. He stares at the boy with a stern expression on his face. He seems glad that another Royalist family has been discovered and probably believes that they deserve harsh punishment.
     The interrogator questioning the boy does not seem as intimidating as the other Parliamentarians in the room. He is leaning forward with his chin resting on his hands and his expression seems almost sympathetic towards the boy. Possibly he is tired of having to carry out such tasks and believes that the war against the King should be won on the battlefield and not through the interrogation of women and children. The man at the edge of the picture, like the one in the center, is sprawled on the bench. He is wearing a heavy looking brown coat of the type worn by cavalrymen. He appears to be present as an onlooker rather than a member of the interrogation team. Possibly he is hoping for some information that will help his own cavalry to be victorious over the Royalists.
Prince Arthur and Hubert (1882, 201x126cm; 828x508pix, 26kb) _ The subject is from the play King John by Shakespeare. Hubert de Burgh [–1243] has been instructed by the usurper King John to kill young Arthur, the imprisoned legitimate king, but finds he cannot hurt an innocent child. Instead, he will give the King a false report of Arthur's death (Arthur eventually dies anyhow, in an escape attempt). The painting depicts the figures of the young boy, Prince Arthur, and Hubert seated on a wooden bench against a heavy wooden table. Hubert leans against the table behind him, with one hand clasping its edge and the other pinned between his knees, his head is lowered, his brow furrowed and eyes downcast; he is depicted in a black, belted medieval robe with a separate hood pulled over his head. The boy, by contrast, wears a gleaming white robe and has fair hair and almost translucent skin; sitting to the side of Hubert, he leans towards him with one arm wrapped around his shoulders and the other pressing on his arm with an imploring expression on his face. On the wooden floor in the right foreground is a coil of rope. The bench and table, which is covered with a white cloth with a simple striped design at each end, are of a functional design in a red colored wood and are the only visible furnishings. In the right background is a large stone column.
     Historically, Arthur [29 Mar 1187 – 03 Apr 1203] duke of Brittany, a grandson of King Henry II [1133 – 06 Jul 1189] of England; was a rival of his uncle John “Lackland” [24 Dec 1167 – 18 Oct 1216] (king of England from 1199) for several French provinces, both in his own interest and in that of King Philippe II Auguste [21 Aug 1165 – 14 Jul 1223] of France. In October 1190 Arthur was recognized as heir presumptive to the English throne by another uncle, the childless King Richard I “the Lion-Heart” [08 Sep 1157 – 06 Apr 1199]. Arthur was a posthumous child of Geoffrey, fourth of Henry II's five sons, and his wardship was a point of contention between Richard and Philippe. From 1196 he was reared in the household of Philippe Auguste, causing Richard to disinherit the boy in favor of John, who, after Richard's sudden death, was accepted as king in England and Normandy. Philippe, however, recognized Arthur's right to Brittany, Anjou, Aquitaine, and Maine and betrothed his daughter Mary to the young duke. The situation was complicated by Eleanor of Aquitaine [1122 – 01 Apr 1204], widow of Henry II, who wanted Aquitaine and Anjou for John. Captured in battle by John at Mirebeau-en-Poitou on 01 August 1202, Arthur (several years older than he looks in the picture) was imprisoned and, according to tradition, was murdered either by John himself or at his order.
Amy Robsart (1877, 281x188cm; 512x336pix, 14kb) _ Yeames was clearly fascinated by the intrigue surrounding Amy Robsart's death and may have been familiar with Sir Walter Scott's version of the incident, as recounted in Kenilworth (1831). When the picture was exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1877 he included a lengthy explanation of the work's historical background in the catalogue. This took the form of an extract from a History of Berkshire by John Aubrey [12 March 1626 – June 1697]:
     Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester, being the great favourite of the Queen Elizabeth, it was thought she would have made him her husband; to this end, to free himself of all obstacles, he had his wife, Amy Robsart, conveyed to the solitary house of Cumnor Hall, in Berkshire, inhabited by Anthony Forster, his servant. This same Forster, in compliance with what he well knew to be the Earl's wishes, came with others in the dead of night to the lady's bedchamber and stifled her in bed, and flung her downstairs, thereby believing the world would have thought it a mischance, and so blinded their villainy; and the morning after, with the purpose that others should know of her end, did Forster, on pretence of carrying out some behest of the Countess, bring a servant to the spot where the poor lady's body lay at the foot of the stairs.
      The woman's body lies bathed in light, her cloak romantically arranged across the bottom steps of the staircase. She appears less the bruised and battered victim of a vile murder than a seductive sleeping beauty. The devious Forster leads his manservant down the back stairs from the bedroom above. The latter is clearly horrified by the sight of the dead woman, and Forster pushes him back, for fear that he might discover the actual method of her death.
La Biccolante: A Venetian water-carrier (1879 diploma work, 158x87cm; 600x328pix, 56kb)

1820 Carl Ludwig Friedrich Becker, German painter who died (main coverage) on 20 December 1900. —(051219)

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