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ART “4” “2”-DAY  20 December v.9.80
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BIRTH: 1858 TOOROP
^ Born on 20 December 1858: Jan Theodoor Toorop, Dutch Symbolist painter who died on 03 March 1928. — {Vous ne trouvez pas qu'il y a des O de Trop dans son nom?} — Relative? of Charley Toorop [1891-1955]?
— Born in Java, he studied art in Delft and Amsterdam. A grant allowed him to study in Brussels, where he came into contact with the XX group, and became a member in 1885. He befriended Khnopff, Ensor, and de Groux. In 1886, he met Whistler in London. He discovered the Pre-Raphaelites and William Morris' views on art and socialism. In 1890 he developed his own version of Symbolism using elements of a Javanese aesthetic. He met Péladan in 1892. In 1905 converted to Catholicism. His themes thereafter became religious and even mystic. His style simplified and he adopted a technique close to Pointillisme, which he put at the service of a fragmentation of the surface of the painting at poles from the measured unity to which Seurat aspired. These fragmentary surfaces relate Toorop to Expressionism.
— Born in Indonesia, Toorop studied in Amsterdam at the Rijksakademie and also at the Brussels Academy, where he joined Les Vingt when Ensor and Khnopff were members. He lived for a time in England before returning to Holland. He organized the first Dutch show of van Gogh in 1892. He continued through Neo-Impressionism, Symbolism, and even made some works that recall van Gogh's Potato Eaters style; many of his later paintings were commissions from the Catholic Church. He was a major figure in Dutch art, and reproductions of his works hung in middle-class homes. Toorop's works now look to have been a succession of extremes. Perhaps the most charming to present tastes are his Neo-Impressionist dune-and-sea studies; only grasses and gulls anchor the soft-color dots of paint to a landscape reality. But more breathtaking, for some, are the highly decorative Symbolist works such as Song of Good Tidings (1893), a scene of mythological figures in a stylized landscape in which the linear effects of hair and clouds continue onto the broad, flat surfaces of the frames.
— He moved to the Netherlands in 1872 and took a course in drawing at the Polytechnische School in Delft (1876–1879). He also studied at the Rijksakademie voor Beeldende Kunsten in Amsterdam (1880–1882) and at the Ecole des Arts Décoratifs in Brussels (1882–1885). In Amsterdam he joined the St. Lukas Society, and in Belgium he was, in 1884, a founder-member of Les XX, whose purpose was to bypass the jury system of the official Brussels Salon and organize their own exhibitions. Local critics nicknamed these neoimpressionists “Les Bubonnistes,” decrying what they saw as a plague descending on traditional art. But the avant-garde in France coveted invitations to exhibit at their annual shows. Van Gogh expressed surprise when asked to join them in 1890: “I should like to exhibit with them very much, though I'm conscious of my inferiority by the side of so many tremendously talented Belgians.”
      Although Toorop had met Jozef Israëls in 1880 and respected the style of the Hague school, he was more attracted by what he saw in Brussels, particularly work by French artists. His portraits of 1884 are painted in an Impressionist style. With other members of Les XX he trained himself in plein-air; he learnt from James Ensor how to apply colors with a palette knife and how to use white with the same intensity as other colors. His style, however, remained austere and his scenes of workmen show a sensitive realism reminiscent of Gustave Courbet’s work, for example Respect for the Dead (1884).
     “Charley” Annie Caroline Pontifex Toorop Fernhout [24 March 1891 – 06 Nov 1955] was the daughter of Jan Toorop.
— Jan (actually Jean Theodoor) Toorop was born in Purworejo on Java. From 1872 onwards, he lived in the Netherlands and in 1880 became a student at the State Academy in Amsterdam. From 1882 until 1886 he lived in Brussels, where he joined 'Les Vingts', a group of progressive Belgian artists centered around James Ensor. Toorop worked in various different styles during these years, such as Realism, Impressionism and Post-Impressionism. After his marriage to the English Annie Hall in 1886, Toorop alternated his time between The Hague, England and Brussels and after 1890 also the Dutch seaside town of Katwijk aan Zee. During this period he developed his own unique Symbolist style, with dynamic, unpredictable lines. After his period of highly stylised Symbolist drawings and paintings, Toorop turned to Art Nouveau. In the drawings and posters which he produced, such as the Salad Oil poster, the same play of lines can be seen as in his Symbolist paintings, but then solely for decorative purposes, without any symbolic meaning.
— Around the turn of the century Dutch artists became increasingly aware of developments abroad. The initiator of these internationalising tendencies was the painter Jan Toorop, who moved to Belgium in the 1880‘s where he became a member of the artist group Les Vingts. This contact introduced him to the newest tendencies in art. One of these was the neo-impressionism of the French painters Signac and Seurat, and their related technique, divisionism, which would later become very popular in the Netherlands. Back in Holland in the 1880‘s, Toorop introduced the French artists and styles. During these years his own work was undergoing far-reaching changes due to his experiments with light. As a result he became a great source of inspiration to the younger generation of Dutch artists, such as Jan Sluijters, Leo Gestel and Piet Mondriaan.
— William Degouve de Nuncques and Jacoba van Heemskerck van Beest were students of Toorop.

LINKS
Self-Portrait in the Studio (1883, 50x36cm; 724x510pix, 83kb) _ Toorop gazes mistrustfully from beneath his wide-brimmed hat. His eyes are obscured by the shadow of the brim, which makes him seem even more reserved. He is seated at a table in his studio, working on a watercolor. A broken plate serves as a palette. In portraying himself in this fashion, dressed ‘artistically’ and seated in the untidy studio, Toorop emphasizes his role as a non-conformist bohemian artist.
O grave, where is thy Victory  (1892 drawing, 60x75cm) _ Dreamlike drawing in which two angels are removing thorns from a corpse coveted by the forces of Evil, on the right. Toorop's characteristic flowing curved lines express good, the broken lines evil.
    Two angels are removing thorns from a corpse coveted by the forces of Evil, on the right. The curved lines express good, the broken lines evil. An enigmatic depiction with whimsical trees and two mysterious women with slim, elegant bodies and flowing hair. The women, modern angels as it were, pull away the thorny boughs growing over a dying (or dead) man. The man lies beside an open grave, his legs hanging limply over the side. The three threatening personages make fists and stretch their claw-like hands towards him. Toorop explained that these strange characters are the earthly passions of the dying figure: Resentment, Envy, Jealousy, Hate, Love and Conflict. They are trying to hold on to the dying person. The two women, on the other hand, are trying to free him from earthly life and earthly suffering, symbolised here by the branches of thorns. at their feet (right)
      The title is taken from the Bible: O Death, where is thy sting? O Grave, where is thy Victory? The text is found in 1 Corinthians 15:55. Presumably, Toorop read the text in the Bible owned by his English wife Annie Hall, whom he married in 1886. It is a good example of his symbolist work. It shows no objective depiction of reality but rather an image filled with dreams, visions and emotions.
Poster for Delftsche Slaolie (1894, 95x54cm; 975x688pix, 714kb _ ZOOM to 1600x1044pix, 480kb) _ Toorop became especially known for his posters, like this one. The best-known example of Dutch Art Nouveau is this poster designed by Jan Toorop Delft Salad Oil. This litho was printed in various color combinations: red-brown or purple with yellow-green and black with yellow, as here. The heading makes it clear that the subject is salad oil, as do the bottles on either side of the text. Underneath are the crowned arms of the manufacturer, with a decorative pattern using peanuts on the left. The larger part of the poster is taken up by two female figures with long hair and long gowns. One sits and dresses salad in a large dish; the other lifts her gaze and hands upwards. In this way Toorop elevates preparing salad to the level of an almost mystic rite. Not a centimeter is left uncovered in the decorative design.
     The most striking aspect of this poster is the graceful pattern formed by the lines of the clothes and hair. Their wavy movement is characteristic of Art Nouveau or Jugendstil, a style which was popular in Europe about from 1890 to 1910. In the Netherlands Art Nouveau was also known as the 'salad oil style' after Toorop's poster.
     Toorop worked in various styles, such as realism and Impressionism, but he was particularly fascinated by Symbolism. Symbolist artists did not aspire to represent reality objectively. Symbolism is subjective: mysticism and religion play a role and so do personal feelings, dreams and visions. Toorop's drawing O Grave, where is thy Victory, for example, is about life and death, envy, hate and love. The sinuous, restless lines and marked stylization and distortion are typical. The same linear patterns characterize Toorop's Art Nouveau work. The symbolic significance is lost by then: the line has become a purely decorative surface covering.
     Woman was one of Toorop's favorite themes, especially in his Symbolist years. In his graphic work the figure of the young, innocent girl recurs frequently, now with her eyes cast down, now looking up. Through this girl he alludes to a higher spiritual life. These women in the salad oil poster together form a curious combination of the mystical and the everyday. The model for the woman was probably the artist's sister-in-law Janet Hall. She is also seen in other lithos, such as Dolce (1896).
     The Industrial Revolution led to an increase in the number of manufacturers in the nineteenth century. There was greater competition and companies began to use advertising to establish a distinct identity. Lithography was invented in 1796 and color lithos, in which a separate stone was used for each color, began to appear as early as the first half of the nineteenth century. Lithos were often used for advertising posters and this stimulated the development of the new technique. Artists such as Toulouse-Lautrec (e.g. Moulin Rouge - La Goulue) and Toorop made celebrated contributions to this new form of applied art.
The Sea (1887, 86x96cm) _ Here, Jan Toorop has painted the sea at Katwijk on the Dutch coast in an original way. We can only see the water with the waves rolling in, the foaming surf and a small piece of sky. No boat or bird distracts our attention from the main subject: the sea itself, rendered in wonderful nuances of color, from mauve and light green to yellow and blue-gray. Toorop has painted an almost abstract image which leads the spectator's eye across the restless waves to the peaceful horizon.
     The waves form a regular horizontal pattern. Toorop has used a palette knife to apply the paint thickly. He adopted this technique from the Belgian painter James Ensor, whom Toorop often met during the years he lived in Brussels (1882-1886). In 1886, Toorop returned to the Netherlands and went to live in The Hague. He also stayed in Katwijk for a few years and regularly spent the summers in Domburg, both on the Dutch coast. After moving to The Hague, the sea became a recurring theme in his work. This picture is one of his first sea paintings and the most pure, depicting only sea. Other works show the sea or the beach in combination with ships or people, as for instance in The Shellfish Gatherer {NOT The Selfish Gatherer}.
     The Sea has been painted in an Impressionist manner: a quick impression using loose paint marks. Toorop worked for a time in this style, though also experimented with other styles such as Pointillism Pointillism and Realism (for example Mauvais salaire). He was open to the new innovative ideas of his contemporaries and used these in his own work. In the 1890s he mainly made work with mystical, symbolic subjects, such as O Grave, Where is Thy Victory. This picture, with its many curls and wavy lines, also relates to Art Nouveau. Toorop used this style for advertising posters such as his famous one for Delftsche slaolie (Delft salad oil).
A New Generation (1892; 160kb)
The Three Brides (1893, 78x98cm; 600x744pix, 111kb _ ZOOM to 2045x2536pix, 501kb) monochrome
The Song of the Time (1893, 32x58cm; 532x800pix, 121kb _ ZOOM to 1702x2560pix, 459kb) monochrome
–- S*>#Leidsegracht, Amsterdam (624x841pix, 143kb)
–- S*>#Vruchten Tegen Landschap (656x961pix, 155kb)
–- S*>#Gewijde Muziek (1923; 841x846pix, 134kb)
–- S*>#Zeeuwze Meisjes (732x961pix, 158kb)
–- S*>#Comunie Meisje (841x482pix, 85kb) monochrome tan
–- S*>#Miek Janssen Mediterend in Domburg (669x841pix, 113kb) sketchy
–- S*>#Stigmata (1922, 36x23cm; 1326x841pix, 278kb)
–- S*>#Sailing Boats Passing Under a Bridge (544x841pix, 78kb) sketchy
–- S*>#Gezicht op Oostvoorne met het Badpaviljoen (618x841pix, 98kb)
–- S*>#Thirsty for Justice (900x764pix, 137kb)
–- Étang a Domburg (1908, 36x23cm; 828x1020pix, 214kb _ .ZOOM to 1657x2040pix, 795kb) Divisionist technique (i.e. painted in sloppy dabs, much bigger than those of the pointillistes) _ During the first decade of the 20th century Toorop spent many summers at the fashionable seaside village Domburg. He designed and built a small pavilion which could be used as an exhibition gallery and where his work and that of colleague artists was shown each summer. The island atmosphere, the wide views and intensive light attracted many artists to Domburg. Toorop worked very close with Mondrian during these years. They worked with a similar Divisionist technique that can also be seen in this work, painted with broad, sloppy brushstrokes, the touches set side by side in natural colors. The structure and the composition of Étang a Domburg resembles that of Mondrian‘s work of that time, the whole being highly elementary {i.e. similar to what an elementary school student might paint?}.
Toorop web site
–- Le Passeur d'eau (1895) _ A book illustration for the poem of Émile Verhaeren [21 May 1855 – 27 Nov 1916]:

Le passeur d'eau






Le passeur d'eau, les mains aux rames,
A contre flot, depuis longtemps,
Luttait, un roseau vert entre les dents.

Mais celle hélas! Qui le hélait
Au delà des vagues, là-bas,
Toujours plus loin, par au delà des vagues,
Parmi les brumes reculait.

Les fenêtres, avec leurs yeux,
Et le cadran des tours, sur le rivage
Le regardaient peiner et s'acharner
De tout son corps ployé en deux
Sur les vagues sauvages.

Une rame soudain cassa
Que le courant chassa,
A flots rapides, vers la mer.
Celle là-bas qui le hélait
Dans les brumes et dans le vent, semblait
Tordre plus follement les bras,
Vers celui qui n'approchait pas.

Le passeur d'eau, avec la rame survivante,
Se prit à travailler si fort
Que tout son corps craqua d'efforts
Et que son coeur trembla de fièvre et d'épouvante.

D'un coup brusque, le gouvernail cassa
Et le courant chassa
Ce haillon morne, vers la mer.

Les fenêtres, sur le rivage,
Comme des yeux grands et fiévreux
Et les cadrans des tours, ces veuves
Droites, de mille en mille, au bord des fleuves,
Suivaient, obstinément,
Cet homme fou, en son entêtement
A prolonger son fol voyage.

Celle là-bas qui le hélait,
Dans les brumes, hurlait, hurlait,
La tête effrayamment tendue
Vers l'inconnu de l'étendue.
Le passeur d'eau, comme quelqu'un d'airain,
Planté dans la tempête blême
Avec l'unique rame, entre ses mains,
Battait les flots, mordait les flots quand même.
Ses vieux regards d'illuminé
Fouillaient l'espace halluciné
D'où lui venait toujours la voix
Lamentable, sous les cieux froids.

La rame dernière cassa,
Que le courant chassa
Comme une paille, vers la mer.

Le passeur d'eau, les bras tombants,
S'affaissa morne sur son banc,
Les reins rompus de vains efforts,
Un choc heurta sa barque à la dérive,
Il regarda, derrière lui, la rive :
Il n'avait pas quitté le bord.

Les fenêtres et les cadrans,
Avec des yeux fixes et grands
Constatèrent la fin de son ardeur ;
Mais le tenace et vieux passeur
Garda quand même encore, pour Dieu sait quand,
Le roseau vert entre ses dents.

— (051219)

Died on a 20 December:


^ 1929 Paolo Sala, Milan Italian painter born on 14 January 1859. — Brother of Eugenio Sala. — Not a relative of English journalist and illustrator George Augustus Henry Sala [24 Nov 1828 – 09 Dec 1896] whose real name was Henry Fairfield.
–- S*>#Lago d'Annone (x800pix, 59kb)
–- S*>#Fondamenta Veneziane (32x48cm; 593x900pix, 90kb)
–- S*>#Pescatori di Palestrina (35x52cm; 600x895pix, 107kb)
–- S*>#An Alpine Valley (40x60cm; 571x900pix, 79kb)
–- S*>#Paesaggio Inglese (35x53cm; 600x900pix, 99kb)
–- S*>#London Street Scene (24x18cm; 900x673pix, 71kb) almost monochrome
–- Paesino in Valle (1917, 36x50cm; 643x888pix, 57kb)
–- A Walk in the Woods (132x75cm; 600x339pix, 60kb _ .ZOOM to 900x509pix, 71kb)
–- Piazza San Marco, Venezia (49x32cm; 765x507pix, 27kb)
Spiaggia di Chiavari (109x179cm; 385x640pix, 48kb) The pseudonymous Naspir Paogrolo Aula has turned this picture upside down, reversed the colors, and further transformed it into the incredible imaginary landscape
      _ Montagne d'Iravache (2006; 724x1024pix, 196kb _ ZOOM to 1024x1448pix, 263kb _ ZOOM+ to 1448x2048pix, 549kb) —(061219)

1915 Upendrakishore Ray [1863–], Indian writer, painter and composer. —(081218)

^ 1900 Carl Ludwig Friedrich Becker, German painter born on 18 December 1820. — Relative? of Philipp Jacob Becker [1759-1829]? of August Becker [1822-1887]? of Paula Modersohn-Becker [1876-1907]?
–- Elegant Lady Holding a Fan (91x68cm; 800x654pix, 53kb _ .ZOOM to 1200x981pix, 78kb)
–- The Triumphal Return (1879, 92x150cm; 476x800pix, 48kb _ .ZOOM to 833x1400pix, 102kb) —(061219)

^ 1900 Frederick Richard Pickersgill, British painter born on 25 September 1820. — LINKS
–- The Bribe (1857 diploma work, 77x64cm; 600x498pix, 40kb _ .ZOOM to 900x747pix, 47kb)
–- The Contest of Beauty for the Girdle of Florimel, Britomart is Unveiling Amoret (1848, 106x152cm; 508x750pix, 86kb _ .ZOOM to 762x1125pix, 82kb) “At last the most redoubted Britonesse, Her louely Amoret did open shew, Whose face, discouered plainly, did expresse heauenly pourtraict of bright angels hew.” – Edmund Spenser (Faerie Queene, book iv., canto 5) _ Florimels Girdle was a girdle which gave to her who wore it “the virtue of chaste love and wifehood true;” if any woman not chaste or faithful put it on, it immediately “loosed or tore asunder.” —Spenser: Faërie Queene, iv. 2).
     One day, sir Cambel, sir Triamond, sir Paridel, sir Blandamour, and sir Ferramont agreed to give Florimel’s girdle to the most beautiful lady; when the previous question was moved, “Who was the most beautiful?” Of course, each knight, as in duty bound, adjudged his own lady to be the paragon of women, till a witch’s image of snow and wax, made to represent Florimel, was produced, when all agreed that it was without peer, and so the girdle was handed to “the false Florimel.” On trying it on, however, it would in no wise fit her; and when by dint of pains it was at length fastened, it instantly loosened and fell to the ground. It would fit Amoret exactly, and of course the real Florimel, but not the witch’s thing of snow and wax..(according to Faërie Queene, iv)
–- Flight of the Pagan Deities (1856, 112x196cm; 553x1000pix, 68kb _ .ZOOM to 830x1500pix, 90kb)
–- The Betrothal (77x51cm; 667x441pix, 43kb _ .ZOOM to 1000x662pix, 88kb _ .ZOOM+ to 1500x992pix, 102kb)
Amoret, Aemylia and Prince Arthur, in the Cottage of Sclaunder (1845, 59x89cm)
Samson Betrayed (1850, 244x306cm) _ Dramatic depiction of the betrayal of Samson by Delilah. Samson, seen from the back, lies sleeping in the lap of the naked figure of Delilah, who sits back with arms raised whilst two dark-skinned soldiers in close fitting caps, creep in from the left to cut off his hair. Delilah looks at her accomplices with a calculating impression, both of her wrists decorated with bracelets. To the right, two semi-naked women look back over their shoulders towards the action with horrified faces. Mountainous landscape background, partially hidden by a heavy green drapery and thick stone column.

^ >1819 Samuel King, Newport, Rhode Island painter born on 24 January 1749. He was a neighbor, but not a relative of Charles Bird King [26 Sep 1785 – 18 Mar 1862], to whom he gave informal art lessons. — LINKS
Ezra Stiles (1771; 78kb)

1817 Lié-Louis Périn-Salbreux, French artist born on 12 October 1753.
Lady in Blue (oval 6x5cm; 2x-size _ ZOOM to 4x-size, 65kb) — (051011)

^ 1751 Pierre-Nicolas Huilliot, French artist born in 1674 in a renowned painters' family. He entered the Academy in 1721. He made numerous paintings for the royal family. — LINKS
Still Life of Musical Instruments (52x88cm; 680x1206pix, 111kb)


Born on a 20 December:


1922 Beverly Stoll, who would become Beverly Pepper, US sculptor and painter. — LINKS
untitled (Blue and Black) (99x69cm; 480x330pix, 35kb) —(081218)

^ 1914 Robert Colquhoun, Scottish painter and printmaker, born in Kilmarnock, who died in London on 20 September 1962.. — Relative? of Alexander Colquhoun [1862-1941]? — Robert Colquhoun is associated with Robert MacBryde, with whom he worked and whom he met at the Glasgow School of Art in 1932. After a traveling scholarship to France and Italy (1937–1939), he and MacBryde were introduced by Peter Watson to the Neo-Romantic circle in London. During World War II Colquhoun joined the Civil Defence Corps but continued to paint. After his early works, for example Tomato Plants (1942), he concentrated on the theme of the isolated figure, for example Woman with Leaping Cat (1946). These existential images were favorably received and compared with those of contemporaries such as Francis Bacon. Colquhoun’s influences included Pablo Picasso, Jankel Adler and Percy Wyndham Lewis, although his art and lifestyle can be understood best in the context of Scottish nationalism. Always in debt, he had his decline delayed briefly by a retrospective exhibition at the Whitechapel Art Gallery in London in 1958.
–- S*>#Frieda (1947 film poster; 688X900pix, 141kb)
–- S*>#Man With Saddle (45x36cm; 900x720pix, 133kb)
Woman in Green (1950, 101x51cm)
Sketch for Reclining Woman (23x34cm)
–- Woman and Cat (1949 color lithograph, (38x27cm; 900x636pix, 54kb)
Woman and Goat (1949 color lithograph, (39x28cm) —(061208)

1861 Ivana Kobilca [–1926], Slovenian painter. —(081218)

^ 1854 Charles Wilda, Austrian orientalist painter who died on 11 June 1907. — {Was the artwork of Wilda wilder than the wildest of Wildens [1585 – 16 Oct 1653]?}— He was a student of Léopold Karl Muller at the Beaux-Arts Academy in Vienna. Under the advice of Muller, Wilda installed his studio in Cairo and sold his paintings to the English tourists wintering in Egypt. He exposed his paintings in Vienna, Paris, and Munich, where he obtains some prizes. He painted scenes of the streets, itinerant merchants, and architecture.
Isis, green-jade (1884; 616x400pix, 60kb)
Egyptian village near the pyramides (1892; 662x400pix, 53kb)
At the Bazaar (1901; 510x400pix, 62kb)
Strike a Bargain (599x400pix, 60kb)
A Middle Eastern Street (547x400pix, 51kb)
Fortune Telling (564x408pix, 47kb)
The Ball (1906; 374x343pix, 25kb) —(051219)

1792 - Nicolas Charlet, French painter (d. 1845)

^ 1744 (15 Dec?) Jean-François-Pierre Peyron, French painter and draftsman who died on 20 January 1814. — [Ceux qui voudront un Peyron paierons] — He was the son of a provincial administrator and at the wish of his family studied law until the death of his father in 1765, when as a protégé of Michel-François Dandré-Bardon he enrolled in the Ecole de Dessin at Aix-en-Provence. In 1767 he moved to Paris as a student of Louis Lagrenée and also enrolled in the school of the Académie Royale de Peinture. He was also a student of Joseph-Marie Vien. In 1773 he won the Prix de Rome in competition with Jacques-Louis David. Peyron’s version of the prize subject, The Death of Seneca, is known through an engraving by the artist. In 1774, working to designs by Charles-Louis Clérisseau, he decorated the salon of the Hôtel Grimod de la Reynière, Paris, with the first examples of Neo-classical grotesque decoration in 18th-century France. — Nicolas-André Monsiau was a student of Peyron. — LINKS
King Perseus before Aemilius Paulus (1802, 32x46cm; 551x800pix, 99kb _ ZOOM to 1411x2048pix, 277kb)
La Mort d'Alceste ou l'héroïsme conjugal (1785, 327x325cm; 755x750pix, 43kb _ ZOOM to 1106x1109pix, 113kb) _ Malheureusement pour Peyron, le Salon de 1785, où il exposa ce tableau commandé par Louis XVI, fut celui du triomphe de David avec son Serment des Horaces (1784, 330x425cm; 648x833pix, 77kb). La concurrence entre les deux artistes fut permanente et fatale à Pierre Peyron, peintre capital pourtant, et l'une des plus grandes figures du premier néoclassicisme. Le tableau, conservé au Louvre, emprunte à Euripide un de ces exempla virtutis chers à l'esthétique classique : pour avoir négligé de sacrifier à Diane le soir de sa nuit de noces, Admète, roi de Thessalie, doit mourir. Il obtient d'Apollon la possibilité de se faire remplacer aux enfers. Hélas, seule sa femme sera volontaire ! L'ambitieuse composition a été préparée par ce dessin (1784, 36x50cm; 300x418pix, 31kb) et de nombreux autres.
— a different version of The Death of Alcestis (1794, 97x97cm; 500x491pix, 98kb) _ The prestigious Grand Prix award enabled Peyron to spend seven years studying in Rome, where he profited from the examples of Italian artists and of his French predecessor Poussin. Peyron returned to enjoy patronage that included a commission for King Louis XVI for the subject of Alcestis' death. The original version was exhibited at the Salon of 1785. Dated 1794, this smaller version reveals some compositional changes. The figures are arranged in studied poses meant to convey the timeless value of the scene. The servant in the center has been repositioned and redrawn to present a profile suggested by antique sculpture. Details of ancient furniture are simplified, and more emphasis is placed on the classical folds of the drapery. The subject is the conjugal virtue of Euripides' tragic heroine Alcestis, who when her husband angered the gods, volunteered to give her life so that he might be spared. The grieving husband and especially the child heighten the sadness of the death scene. The morality of Peyron's subject, popularized in France a few years earlier by Gluck's opera, reflects official rejection of the frivolous rococo period and its obsession with games of love.
Belisarius Receiving Hospitality from a Peasant Who Had Served under Him (1779, 93x132cm; 650x996pix, 88kb) _ Belisarius [505 – March 565] was a Byzantine general, the leading military figure during the reign (started in 527) of the Byzantine emperor Justinian I [483 – 14 Nov 585]. Though he served Justinian loyally, in 562 he was unjustly accused of involvement in a plot against Justinian's life and was disgraced and even, according to legend, blinded by Justinian and forced to beg in the streets. Jean-François Marmontel [11 July 1723 – 31 Dec 1799] used the story of Belisarius as a vehicle for an oblique attack on Louis XV and for a plea for tolerance and justice, in his philosophical novel Bélisaire (1767). Thence the theme of Belisarius was much in vogue In addition to Peyron, Jacques-Louis David (Belisaire demandant l'aumône, 1781, 196x312cm), and rival artists of David's own generation, François-André Vincent (Belisarius, 1776, 98x129cm), painted their own versions of the subject. In Peyron's work, Belisarius is recognized by a peasant who had served under him, and praised as former protector and savior by the rural family that now gives him hospitality.
The Funeral of Miltiades (1782, 98x136cm; 770x1081pix, 109kb) _ Miltiades the Younger [554-489] was the Athenian general who led Athenian forces to victory over the Persians at the Battle of Marathon in September 490. However Miltiades set out in the spring of 489 BC with a fleet of 70 ships on an expedition to conquer those islands that had supposedly sided with Persia. His mission was not a success, and on his return to Athens there was an outcry of indignation, ably exploited by his rivals, the Alcmaeonids. Miltiades, dying of gangrene from a leg wound suffered in a mishap, was fined 50 talents, although the death penalty had been demanded. He probably died soon after in prison.
The Death of Socrates (1787, 98x133cm; 650x906pix, 83kb) _ This painting was in competition with Jacques-Louis David's The Death of Socrates (1787). David's confidence in surpassing his rival, coupled with his aggressive and ambitious nature, makes it very possible that he chose to paint his own Socrates when he learned of Peyron's plans. The force and clarity of David's version was thrown into even sharper relief by the lack of drama and focus in Peyron's work, and both the public and critics declared David's work to be far superior. David eclipsed his long-time rival once and for all, and from then on Peyron had to be content with a subordinate role in the art world. —(051219)

1629 - Pieter de Hooch, Dutch painter (d. 1684)

^ 1532 Orazio Samachini (or Sammacchini, Sammachini, Somacchini), Italian painter who died on 12 June 1577. Although a student of Pellegrino Tibaldi, his early work mainly reflects the classicism of Raphael as interpreted by Bagnacavallo and the Mannerism of Innocenzo da Imola and Prospero Fontana (i). Simplicity of form, limpid colors and purity of line characterize such early works as The Marriage of the Virgin (1560). Also datable to this early period is The Mystic Marriage of St. Catherine, which unites the style and typological elements of Fontana with a highly refined use of color reminiscent of early 16th-century south Netherlandish painting. In 1563 Samacchini participated in the decoration of the Belvedere and the Sala Regia in the Vatican. This Roman experience resulted in works characterized by complicated compositional solutions and spaces teeming with lively, clearly articulated figures. The influence of Michelangelo can be seen in The Crucifixion (1568) and in frescoes depicting The Brazen Serpent and Moses Striking the Rock (1577) in Parma Cathedral. The influence of Federico Zuccaro appears in the fresco of Paolo Vitelli Driving the Venetian Army from the Casentino (1574) in the Palazzo Vitelli a Sant’Egidio, Città di Castello, while The Presentation in the Temple (1575) reflects the late work of Vasari. Certain features of the school of Parma, however, can be traced as early as 1569, for example in The Transfiguration, which shows the influence of Parmigianino, and in the later frescoes of Virtues, Prophets and Angels in S. Abbondio, Cremona, which include suggestions of Correggio. A more discreet Mannerism characterizes his last altarpiece, which depicts The Virgin and Child with Saints (1577). — LINKS
Mercury Orders Aeneas to Abandon Dido (249x178cm; 512x390pix, 64kb) —(051219)


Happened on a 20 December:


^ 2007 Portrait of Suzanne Bloch (1904), by Picasso [], and O Lavrador de Café by Candido Portinari [29 Dec 1903#portnari – 06 Feb 1962] are stolen from the São Paulo Museum of Art. The São Paulo police would recover both paintings on 08 January 2008 in Ferraz de Vasconcelos. —(081217)


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