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ART “4” “2”-DAY
 25 December
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DEATHS: 1983 MIRÒ — 1901 PATON 
BIRTHS: 1883 UTRILLO — 1564 BLOEMAERT
^ >Born on 25 December 1883: Maurice Utrillo, French painter who died on 05 November 1955.
— Son of Suzanne Valadon, he was entrusted to his grandmother while his mother posed as a model for such painters as Renoir and Puvis de Chavannes before discovering her own talent for drawing and painting. His father, the Spanish painter Miguel Utrillo [1862–1934], only admitted paternity eight years after Maurice’s birth. Maurice Utrillo had no predisposition for art, but when he was 19 his mother took medical advice and urged him to adopt drawing and painting as a distraction from his need for alcohol. In search of a suitable subject, he went to the countryside around Montmagny, a village to the north of Paris, where, between the autumn of 1903 and the winter of 1904, he completed almost 150 paintings, somber, heavily impasted landscapes, such as Les Toits de Montmagny. By 1906 the doctor felt that Utrillo could return to Montmartre. His pictures of the streets and suburbs were painted with a less heavy impasto and with lighter tones. He was attracted by ordinary houses, as in the Rue du Mont-Cenis and La Maison de Berlioz (both 1914), and suburban churches, for instance L'Église de Villiers-le-Bel (1909). These themes, associated with painters such as Daumier, Pissarro, and Caillebotte, became Utrillo’s chief source of inspiration, but he soon turned to a more ambitious subject, cathedrals. He was concerned with the development of an ordered composition and a flattened treatment of space that suggested the artificial appearance of a theater set, as in Notre-Dame (1909). Particularly during World War I he also found that such subjects allowed him to project strong emotions, as in La Cathédrale de Reims en Flammes (1914).
— Utrillo was born in Paris, son of the painter Suzanne Valadon. His father is said to have been either Boissy, a painter and alcoholic, or Puvis de Chavannes. A Spaniard Miguel Utrillo, in order to help him, legally recognized him as his son in 1891. Began to drink heavily while still a boy. Was encouraged to paint as a distraction by his mother, who gave him his first instruction. Early paintings influenced by Pissarro and Sisley. Painted mainly the streets of Montmartre and churches, working frequently from picture postcards. Predominance of pale tones (his so-called 'white period') about 1910 to 1916, afterwards started to use brighter colors and freer brushwork. The dealer Libaude organized his first one-man exhibition at the Galerie Blot in Paris in 1913 but it had no success; recognition followed an exhibition (with Suzanne Valadon) at the Galerie Bernheim-Jeune in 1923. In 1935 Utrillo married Lucie Pauwels (Valore) and moved with her in 1937 to Le Vésinet on the outskirts of Paris. In his last years, watched over by his wife, he divided his time between painting and religious devotions. Utrillo died at Dax in the Pyrénées.
— Fils de Suzanne Valadon et de père inconnu, Maurice Utrillo naît à Montmartre (Le critique d'art Miguel Utrillo lui donne son surnom). Modèle de Puvis de Chavannes, Renoir [Jeune Fille se Tressant les Cheveux (Suzanne Valadon)Suzanne Valadon (1885, 41x32cm) — Dance à Bougival (Suzanne Valadon and Paul Lhote) (1883)], et Toulouse-Lautrec, Suzanne Valadon délaisse son fils pour se consacrer à la peinture. Le petit Maurice est confié à sa grand-mère, mais pour supporter sa solitude et l’abandon de sa mère, il trouve bientôt refuge dans l’alcool. Dès l’âge de 21 ans, les premiers symptômes de dérangements apparaissent. Commencent alors les colères explosives, les scandales, les internements successifs, qui le poursuivront pendant de longues années. Heureusement, cette souffrance morale fait surgir en lui le désir de peindre. Suzanne Valadon, conseillée par un ami médecin, encourage son fils, pensant que cette activité peut être une réelle thérapie. Elle comprend alors qu’il manifeste un réel talent. Dès 1926, Maurice Utrillo devient un peintre reconnu et recherché. En 1935, il épouse Lucie Pauwels et part s’installer au Vésinet où il mènera jusqu’à la fin de sa vie une existence paisible. Utrillo peindra jusqu’à sa mort.
— Sketch of Utrillo by his mother (1925)

LINKS
Sacré Coeur de Montmartre et Château des Brouillards (1934; 130kb)
Usines dans une grande ville (600x803pix, 208kb _ ZOOM to 1400x1861pix, 731kb _ .ZOOM+ to 1939x2477pix, 450kb)
Une arrestation à Montmartre (600x837pix, 194kb _ ZOOM _ to 1400x1953pix)
La maison au toit vert (600x802pix, 167kb _ ZOOM to 1400x1871pix)
Château de Villetaneuse (1909, 75x52cm; 485x700pix, 238kb)
Rue de banlieue (600x869pix, 189kb _ ZOOM to 1400x2028pix)
Rue Custine a Monmartre (1910, 52x71cm; 575x781pix, 263kb)
La maison de Mimi Pinson - Montmartre (1914; 508x817pix, 70kb)
Ouessant (859x630pix, 101kb)
La petite église (600x464pix, 126kb _ ZOOM to 1400x1083pix)
Marizy (343x468pix, 40kb)
La Place des Abbesses sous la neige (1917, 65x81cm; 402x500pix, 261kb)
Place du Tertre a Montmartre (1911, 53x72cm; 865x1178pix, 317kb)
—(061103)
^ Died on 25 December 1983: Joàn Mirò Ferra, Catalan Surrealist painter and sculptor born on 20 April 1893. — {Vino Mirò, Mirò miró, Mirò pintó}
— One of the foremost exponents of abstract art and Surrealist fantasy. Influence of Paul Klee is apparent in "dream pictures" and "imaginary landscapes" of the late 1920s. Mature style sprang from the tension between fanciful, poetic impulse and a vision of the harshness of modern life. Worked extensively in lithography. Produced numerous murals, tapestries, and sculptures for public spaces.
— Joàn Mirò's surrealist works, with their subject matter drawn from the realm of memory and imaginative fantasy, are some of the most original of the 20th century. Mirò was born in Barcelona and studied at the Barcelona School of Fine Arts and the Academia Galí. His work before 1920 shows wide-ranging influences, including the bright colors of the Fauves, the broken forms of cubism, and the powerful, flat two-dimensionality of Catalan folk art and Romanesque church frescoes of his native Spain. He moved to Paris in 1920, where, under the influence of surrealist poets and writers, he evolved his mature style. Mirò drew on memory, fantasy, and the irrational to create works of art that are visual analogues of surrealist poetry. These dreamlike visions, such as Harlequin's Carnival (1925) or Dutch Interior (1928), often have a whimsical or humorous quality, containing images of playfully distorted animal forms, twisted organic shapes, and odd geometric constructions. The forms of his paintings are organized against flat neutral backgrounds and are painted in a limited range of bright colors, especially blue, red, yellow, green, and black. Amorphous amoebic shapes alternate with sharply drawn lines, spots, and curlicues, all positioned on the canvas with seeming nonchalance. Mirò later produced highly generalized, ethereal works in which his organic forms and figures are reduced to abstract spots, lines, and bursts of colors. Mirò also experimented in a wide array of other media, devoting himself to etchings and lithographs for several years in the 1950s and also working in watercolor, pastel, collage, and paint on copper and masonite. His ceramic sculptures are especially notable, in particular his two large ceramic murals for the UNESCO building in Paris (Wall of the Moon and Wall of the Sun, 1957-59). Mirò died in Majorca, Spain.
— Peintre sculpteur et céramiste catalan proche des surréalistes , Mirò se rapproche de la poésie quand André Masson lui demanda en 1924 de réfléchir à une oeuvre de dimension picturale et poétique. L'oeuvre de Mirò est un alphabet de signes dont il invente les idéogrammes . Le texte dans l'image prend une dimension plastique et littéraire. Il avait déjà rencontré Picabia en 1917, pour la parution de la revue 391 à Barcelone.
     Le changement de style survenu en 1924 marque une orientation plus cubiste avec des signes plus spécifiques liés à la nouvelle poésie. L'aide de Masson fut importante, l'amenant à la fascination de l'oeuvre de Rimbaud et aux recherches de Lautréamont (" Le sonnet des voyelles ").
     Ses découvertes l'amenèrent à réaliser des tableaux-poèmes tels que Etoiles en des sexes d'escargots ou Et les seins mourraient. Les points de suspension marquent le passage de Mirò vers l'exploration d'un langage verbivocal. L'écriture enfantine utilisée indique la volonté de Mirò de gauchir sa main et d 'abandonner ainsi le culte de la " main agile", retrouver l'enfance du geste.
      "Un oiseau poursuit une abeille et la baisse " joue sur l'ambiguïté sémantique.
     "Etoile, nichons, escargot " est écrit sans relever le pinceau comme si des fils avaient été tendus dans le tableau. Cette toile est un mixage de champs plastique et érotique. On reconnaît une mise en pratique de la phrase rimbaldienne: " littéralement et dans tous les sens ". Comme chez Duchamp ou Picabia, le langage devient une notion élastique, flexible.
     Dans les années 50, Mirò voit surgir le rôle primordial des idéogrammes. Il peignit en 1957 "le fermier catalan ou le chant du coq"; à moins qu'il ne s'agisse à l'inverse du "chant du fermier et le coq catalan". Des bribes de textes et de sens sont jetées sur la toile, à nous de reconstruire librement le puzzle. Dans " MA..." Mirò peignit seulement deux lettres au pochoir laissant ainsi toute imagination permise. Le format de ses oeuvres est important. Les deux lettres sont de taille monumentale marquant une relation entre le langage et l'espace.
     Le parcours solitaire de Mirò le distingue des autres peintres du surréalisme.
— As one of Spain’s most celebrated abstract and Surrealist artists, Joàn Mirò used a variety of media to create works exploding with color, beautifully amorphous shapes, and dreamlike scenes that seem both candidly childlike and extraordinarily sophisticated. Although the beauty and fantasy found within Mirò’s work might seem far removed from the stuff of real life, Mirò found much inspiration from his deep-seated love of Spain and paid homage to this heritage in several important works. Mirò’s appeal, however, is not limited to one country. Creating works with the belief that art could exist as the most powerful and most beautiful medium of human communication, Mirò left an artistic legacy intensely appreciated by art historians and first-time viewers alike.
     Born in Barcelona, Joàn Mirò grew up in Montroig, a small town near the Catalan capital. The surroundings of his native Catalonia, with an ascetic natural beauty and a rich artistic tradition, would later serve as a great source of inspiration for Mirò’s artwork. Mirò would find it difficult to leave his homeland throughout his entire life, living elsewhere only for punctuated and brief amounts of time.
     In 1907, Mirò entered the School of Fine Arts in Barcelona. There, he took lessons from an artist named José Pascó. Though Mirò was already comfortable with techniques of coloring, he was unsure of himself as a draftsman. Pascó helped Mirò develop a more sophisticated drawing style, urging Mirò to draw using a sense of touch. In addition, Pascó helped spark Mirò’s love for sculpture. Mirò’s career at the School of Fine Arts, however, was short-lived. His parents, artists themselves, disapproved of their son’s choice of profession, and Mirò withdrew from the school in 1910 to become a clerk. Following a mental breakdown two years later, Mirò enrolled at Barcelona’s Academy Galí with his parents’ blessing to resume studying art. At the Academy Galí, Mirò received a better-rounded education and acquired a penchant for poetry.
     In 1915, Mirò left the Academy Galí and began painting by himself. At this time, he became influenced mainly by French Fauvism and Central European Expressionism movements. These influences are apparent in many of Mirò’s 1915-1916 landscapes, characterized by an arbitrary use of color and much distortion.
     In 1917, Mirò met José Dalmau, an art dealer in Barcelona who introduced the young artist to several Cubist paintings. Mirò’s artwork changed considerably after this meeting, acquiring more vivid and personal coloring. Also around this time, Mirò began to heavily experiment with portraiture. Several portraits, including Portrait of E.C. Ricart and Portrait of a Goldsmith, show an obvious influence from post-Impressionist artists like Paul Cézanne and Vincent van Gogh.
     In 1918, Mirò held his first one-man show in Barcelona, featuring 64 paintings and several other sketches. Dalmau extensively promoted Mirò’s first showing, which garnered considerable local attention. Dalmau also encouraged Mirò to go to Paris to join the art scene there. Excited about the prospect of meeting fellow Catalan Pablo Picasso, Mirò traveled to Paris on March 3, 1919. Although he stayed in Paris for a few months and enjoyed meeting with Picasso, Mirò soon became disenchanted with the Impressionist and Fauvist movements. Preferring the ambiance of Barcelona, Mirò returned to Spain in spring of that year.
     For a short time, Mirò played with realistic still-life painting and attempted to sharpen his technique by drawing commonplace objects. In 1923, however, Mirò turned more toward abstraction, as is evident in the bestiary painting, The Tilled Field, and the poetic work, Catalan Landscape (The Hunter). During this time Mirò befriended many Dada poets, though André Breton and the Surrealists also began to influence Mirò’s artwork. Breton would later call Mirò "the most ‘Surrealist’ of us all." Mirò admired the liberty advocated by the Surrealists, and he began experimenting with the Surrealist technique of automatic painting in which recognizable objects rarely appear. In the mid- to late-twenties, Mirò began painting fairly abstract and freely organized works, such as Le corps de ma brune… and The Candle. Mirò’s exposure to poetry at the Academy Galí also became evident in these works, as he liberally used written words as an integral element of his painting. Altogether, these works gained Mirò much recognition, and his second one-man show in Paris was well received by the most influential art critics.
     In 1928, Mirò visited Holland, where he became excited about the paintings of great Dutch artists and painted a few very calculated paintings in the same manner. Soon afterwards, though, Mirò switched gears and stopped giving his works large amounts of preparatory thought. He began to create a number of infantile collages and quickly executed paintings that frequently featured ferocious and swirling forms inspired by dreams and hallucinations. In addition to painting works on canvas, Mirò also started to paint ballet sets with Max Ernst for a short time.
     Amidst this extremely productive period of Mirò’s career, in 1929 the artist married his cousin, Pilar Juncosa, and the couple became parents in 1931 to a daughter named Marie Dolores. Two years later, Mirò reached his artistic apex and painted several large, abstract compositions, such as Painting, in which Mirò based the horned shapes on machinery parts. It was also at this time that Mirò began to paint in the childlike and dreamy style for which he is most recognized. He worked in an almost automatic fashion during this period, creating strangely precise works using a casual artistic intuition. Mirò adeptly played with bright color tones, and he used rich blacks in a particularly penetrating manner. Besides numerous paintings, Mirò also did much collage work. In a series of works entitled Collage, Mirò combined paint with postcards, engravings, photographs and odd objects like string, felt and metal. During this period, Mirò also began to develop an interest in texture, and he began painting on sandpaper and various rough surfaces in a very playful way.
     In the late 1930s, when the Spanish Civil War broke out, Mirò was living in Paris. He remained there during this conflict, virtually cut off from contact with his homeland. Though Mirò claimed a lack of interest in political matters, he was nonetheless worried for his country’s poverty and suffering. Consequently, his paintings expressed this melancholy with dark, lurid colors and frightening images. In 1937, Mirò painted Still Life with Old Shoe in direct response to the war. He also painted an anti-Franco poster entitled Help Spain.
     In 1938, Mirò returned to the art of the portrait, and he created an important series of abstract portraits before World War II. Many of these abstract portraits have a celestial aura, most notably Mirò’s self-portrait, in which he depicts himself ascending toward the heavens. In these works, Mirò frequently portrays eyes as starry pinwheels and often uses shapes of the sunburst and starfish. At the same time as he created this series of abstract portraits, Mirò also perfected his poetry paintings. Possessing a deep love for poetry, which began in Mirò’s student days, the artist once commented that paintings "make no distinction between painting and poetry." In his poetry paintings, Mirò would write poetic phrases on his canvasses. One of the most famous examples of Mirò’s poetry-paintings is his Painting-Poem of 1938, which features the French expression "une étoile caresse le sein d’une négresse" ("a star caresses the breast of a black woman") atop a vast black background.
     In 1942, Mirò explored his fascination with texture and started to work with ceramics. At first, the pottery shapes were unconventional and non-utilitarian, though the pieces eventually evolved into traditional sculptures of heads and plaques. Mirò’s ceramics were huge, some up to 12 feet in height. For some time, Mirò concentrated upon sculpture and did relatively little painting. In 1947, however, Mirò received a commission to paint a mural for the Terrace Plaza Hotel in Cincinnati and spent eight months there completing the work.
     From the 1950s onward, Mirò spent most of his efforts on further exploring new media. In the late fifties, he began working on illustrations and woodcuts for Paul Eluard’s book of poems, A Toute Épreuve. Besides this project, Mirò also turned out over 200 sculptures in a few years. This period of experimentation was briefly interrupted in 1960, when Mirò returned to the United States to paint a mural for Harvard University. During the later stage of his career, Mirò’s earlier works were showcased around the world in huge exhibitions at the most respected museums. Also around this time, Mirò received multiple awards, including the Guggenheim International Award. In 1975, the Joàn Mirò Foundation/Center for the Study of Contemporary Art opened in Barcelona in dedication to the artist. Joàn Mirò died in Palma de Mallorca.
     With an intense use of color, fanciful shapes, and a wide array of media, Joàn Mirò created a body of provocative work overflowing with imagination, intense beauty, and elegance. Following an early fascination with portraiture (which reemerged later in his career), Mirò soon focused on works that tended more toward abstraction and Surrealism. After developing this signature style, Mirò began to incorporate his love of poetry into his works, featuring words as prominent parts of his paintings. After becoming a master of the canvas, Mirò turned his attention to other media, such as ceramics, sculpture, and woodcutting. With a voluminous body of work spanning such diverse periods of artistic evolution, Mirò left an artistic legacy that will take decades to digest but only seconds to savor.

LINKS
–- Self~Portrait (1919; 800x606pix, 49kb)
Self-Portrait I (1938 drawing; 800x518pix, 148kb)
Head of a Woman (1938 color lithograph, 46x55cm; 828x960pix, 742kb _ ZOOM to 1860x2202pix, 3546kb) _ its not a head but a fat toothed bird.
The Spanish Playing Cards (1920, 64x70cm; 982x1080pix, 1000kb _ ZOOM to 1930x2122pix, 2840kb) _ a still life including two (tarot?) playing cards; no person.
Montroig 3 (1974 color lithograph, 76x57cm; 950x713pix, 432kb _ ZOOM to 2334x1754pix, 2256kb)
— (AO.?) (530x648pix _ ZOOM to 1580x2390pix, 2528kb) the irregularly shaped black letters and period AO. on off-white, red, yellow, and blue background. _ The pseudonymous Jo-Ann Venció Fiera has stood this image on end, made it symmetrical, reversed the colors, and added a wealth of fine detail, ending up with
almost-symmetrical almost-abstractions that stare right back at you:
      _ Attentive Observer (2006; 724x1024pix, 168kb _ ZOOM to 1024x1448pix, 336kb _ ZOOM+ to 2636x3728pix, 1913kb) and
      _ Adorable Ogre (2006; 724x1024pix, 168kb _ ZOOM to 1024x1448pix, 336kb _ ZOOM+ to 2636x3728pix, 1913kb)
–- Musique (651x800pix, 44kb _ .ZOOM to 1140x1400pix, 81kb) _ Venció Fiera has transformed this into a series of 16 amazing pictures accessible by clicks of the mouse from any one of them, for example
      Accordeon, Bassoon, Clavecin, Drum (2007; 550x778pix, 391kb _ ZOOM 1 to 778x1100pix, 763kb _ _ ZOOM 2 to 1318x1864pix, 2168kb),
      Flute, Erhu, Harp, Guitar (2007; 550x778pix, 391kb _ ZOOM 1 to 778x1100pix, 763kb _ _ ZOOM 2 to 1318x1864pix, 2168kb), and
      Clavecin, Guitar, Flute, Bassoon (2007; 550x778pix, 391kb _ ZOOM 1 to 778x1100pix, 763kb _ _ ZOOM 2 to 1318x1864pix, 2168kb)
–- Métamorphoses
–- Carnaval d'Arlequins
–- Intérieur Hollandais
–- La Table Avec Lapin
–- Prades
–- Libellule aux Ailerons Rouges
–- Chiffres et Constellations
–- étoiles en des sexes d'escargot
–- Aidez l'Espagne (1937)
–- Untitled (Frontispiece in the book, Le Surréalisme en 1947) (color lithograph 23x20cm; full size) [dog-headed human foot, with three misplaced eyes]
Old Shoe (775x1108pix, 147kb)
Dog Barking at the Moon (1926)
Personage Throwing a Stone at a Bird (1926)
Nocturne (1940)
Dawn Perfumed by a Shower of Gold (1954)
Harlequin's Carnival (1925; 800x572pix, 108kb)
Montroig, Village and Church (1919, 700x574pix, 172kb)
Nude with a Mirror (1919; 129kb)
Rhythmic Personages (1934; 849x989pix, 110kb)
Catalan Landscape - The Hunter
–- Untitled (1950, 38x28cm; 1091x813pix, 80kb) a family of four stick figures.
–- L'Astro Patapón (1960, 46x63cm; 706x1079pix, 87kb) _ four smears and a scribble.
–- Composition T (1978, 44x60cm; 725x1173pix, 118kb)
–- L'Étrangère (1958, 62x44cm; 1292x948pix, 119kb)
L'Oiseau de Nuit (1962, 55x73cm; 800x467pix, 81kb) no bird, no night; mostly flat featureless red.
–- Personage dans le jardin (1951, 50x65cm; 860x1292pix, 139kb)
Paysan catalan au repos (47x64cm)
–- Composition, p.10, from the book Prints from the Mourlot Press (1964 color lithograph; 1069x791pix, 90kb)
–- Composition, p.11, from the book Prints from the Mourlot Press (1964 color lithograph; 1069x791pix, 90kb, .ZOOM to xpix, kb)
Intérieur hollandais II (été 1928, 92x73cm) _ Following a visit to Holland in 1928 Miró painted a group of Dutch interiors based on 17th century old masters. Intérieur hollandais II is a Surrealist transformation of The Cat's Dancing Lesson by Jan Steen [1625-1679], in which three boys, a girl, and a dog around a table have fun watching the oldest boy hold a cat up by the front paws and make it dance to the tune of a pipe played by the girl, while a dimly seen old man peers reprovingly at them through a window in the background. Miró's thorough distortion of Steen's Realism emphasizes the squalor and raucousness of the scene. The flat amoeba-like shapes that float in an indistinct space like a world seen through a microscope, are typical of Miró's personal brand of Surrealism in which ambiguous free forms suggest the primitive organic life of half-formed creatures. There is no detectable relationship to Dutch Interior (1658, 74x64cm) by Pieter de Hooch [1629-1684], or Dutch Interior by Hubertus van Hove [03 May 1814 – 14 Nov 1865].
The Tilled Field (1924, 66x93cm) _ During the summer of 1923 Joan Miró began painting The Tilled Field, a view of his family’s farm in Montroig, Catalonia. Although thematically related to his earlier quasi-realistic, Fauvist-colored rural views, such as Prades, The Village, this painting is the first example of Miró’s Surrealist vision. Its fanciful juxtaposition of human, animal, and vegetal forms and its array of schematized creatures constitute a realm visible only to the mind’s eye, and reveal the great range of Miró’s imagination. While working on the painting he wrote, “I have managed to escape into the absolute of nature.” The Tilled Field is thus a poetic metaphor that expresses Miró’s idyllic conception of his homeland, where, he said, he could not “conceive of the wrongdoings of mankind.”
      The complex iconography of The Tilled Field has myriad sources, and attests to Miró’s long-standing interest in his artistic heritage. The muted, contrasting tones of the painting recall the colors of Catalan Romanesque frescoes, while the overt flatness of the painting—space is suggested by three horizontal bands indicating sky, sea, and earth—and the decorative scattering of multicolored animals throughout were most likely inspired by medieval Spanish tapestries. These lively creatures are themselves derived from Catalan ceramics, which Miró collected and kept in his studio. The stylized figure with a plow has its source in the prehistoric cave paintings of Altamira, which Miró knew well. Even the enormous eye peering through the foliage of the pine tree, and the eye-covered pine cone beneath it, can be traced to examples of early Christian art, in which the wings of angels were bedecked with many tiny eyes. Miró found something alive and magical in all things: the gigantic ear affixed to the trunk of the tree, for example, reflects his belief that every object contains a living soul.
      Miró’s spirited depiction of The Tilled Field also has political content. The three flags, French, Catalan, and Spanish, refer to Catalonia’s attempts to secede from the central Spanish government. Primo de Rivera, who assumed Spain’s dictatorship in 1923, instituted strict measures, such as banning the Catalan language and flag, to repress Catalan separatism. By depicting the Catalan and French flags together, across the border post from the Spanish flag, Miró announced his allegiance to the Catalan cause.
The Bird Awakened by the Sharp Scream of the Azure Blue Flying Over the Breathing Plain (1968; 118x300pix, 13kb) _ Whatever the merits of Mirò's original picture (and they are dubious), this, the only image of it found on the Internet, is pitifully small. That was taken as a challenge by the pseudonymous G. Bienvu to make out of it something worth looking at (as distinguished from pictures about which long texts have to be written in the attempt to make them seem interesting, which rarely succeeds except with greater fools who have more money than they know what to do with). Bienvu produced the outstanding, though titled even more inanely than Mirò's, symmetrical abstraction
      _ The Bird and the Aardvark Put to Sleep as the Shark's Cream Assuredly Blew Flies Over the Breeding Pain aka Miró Rima (2006; screen filling, 253kb _ ZOOM to 1864x2636pix, 2831kb). Bienvu then surpassed himself by taking a minute detail of that and magnifying it into
      _ Vino, Miró, Venció; y lo Hizo Sin Vino, Sin Mirò, y Antes de Julio aka Olla Hallo (2006; screen filling, 284kb _ ZOOM to 1864x2636pix, 2323kb)
333 images at Ciudad de la Pintura a few are repeats.
—(061224)
^ >Born on 25 December 1564: Abraham Bloemaert, influential Dutch Mannerist painter, draftsman, engraver, writer, and teacher, who died on 27 January 1651.
— The son of architect, sculptor, and teacher Cornelis Bloemaert I [1540 – 01 Nov 1593] Abraham Bloemaert studied at Utrecht under eminent painters, spent three years in Paris, and then returned to settle finally at Utrecht, where he became dean of the Guild of Saint Luke. He painted and etched historical and allegorical pictures, landscapes, still lifes, animal pictures, and flower pieces. His four sons - Hendrick, Frederick, Cornelis, and Adriaen - all achieved considerable reputations themselves as painters and engravers. Bloemaert's work was influenced by Caravaggio, and he in his turn was an influence on his students which included Jan Both, Andries Both, Aelbert Jacobszoon Cuyp, Jacob Gerritszoon Cuyp, Gerrit Hermanszoon van Honthorst [1592-1656], Cornelis van Poelenburch, Hendrik Janszoon Terbrugghen, Jan Baptist Weenix, Jan Hermanszoon van Bijlert.
— Bloemaert's long, successful career and many prominent students, especially among the Utrecht Caravaggisti, made him one of Utrecht’s principal painters in the first half of the 17th century. During his lifetime he enjoyed high esteem for his paintings of religious and mythological subjects and for his numerous drawings. At first he worked in a Mannerist style, then in a Caravaggesque manner, finally adopting a distinctive, decorative synthesis of both approaches.
— Four of Abraham Bloemaert’s sons worked as artists, all of them receiving their initial training from their father: Hendrick Bloemaert [1601– 30 Dec 1672] was a painter and poet.  Adriaen Bloemaert [1609 – 01 Jan 1666], was a painter and draftsman. Frederick Bloemaert [1616 – 11 June 1690] was an engraver.
      Cornelis Bloemaert II [1603 – 1684], studied under Gerrit van Honthorst and Crispijn de Passe I, but although he was originally trained as a painter, he devoted himself primarily to printmaking. In 1630 Cornelis the younger went to Paris and then to Rome, where he made prints after paintings and sculptures in major collections. He also made engravings after works by his father (e.g. six Pastorals).

LINKS
Adoration by the Magi (1624, 420x290cm) _ The Catholic painter Abraham Bloemaert, resident in predominantly Catholic Utrecht, painted spectacular altarpieces in the style reminiscent of sixteenth-century Italian painting. He painted this altarpiece, one of his largest, for the church of the Catholic order of the Jesuits in Brussels, in the Southern Netherlands. Such commissions were extremely rare in the Dutch Republic. Bloemaert's jubilant color and festive pageantry befitted the theme and answered the Jesuit's need for a lively backdrop to their main altar.
click for complete painting<<<— Adoration of Newborn Jesus by Shepherds and Angels (1612, 287x229cm) _ Bloemaert settled in Utrecht in 1593, and within a decade began to adopt the mild classicism that Goltzius had brought back from Italy. Utrecht was the leading Catholic centre in the northern Netherlands during the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, and even during the seventeenth century, when Catholicism was suppressed, it continued to keep something of its Catholic character. Bloemaert, a devout Catholic, received commissions for large altarpieces from patrons in both the northern and southern Netherlands, and many of his more than 600 prints were intended for a Catholic clientele.
    _ Compare + ZOOM IN + .Mystical Nativity by Botticelli.
Landscape with the Ministry of John the Baptist (1600)
Shepherd Boy Pointing at Tobias and the Angel (1630, 92x118cm; 1/4 size _ ZOOM to half-size; 3110kb)
The Emmaus Disciples (1622, 145x215cm) _ Fortified by a religious tradition reaching back to the Middle Ages, a large Catholic community continued to exist at Utrecht inside the primarily Protestant Northern Low Countries of the 16th and 17th centuries. Although officially banned, the Catholic cult was tolerated there away from public view. Abraham Bloemaert, himself a devout Catholic, set up shop in Utrecht in 1593, remaining there till his death. For a short period the painter experimented with the possibilities offered by new artistic models from Italy, which he got to know indirectly via the material that his students Hendrick ter Brugghen, Gerrit van Honthorst and Dirck van Baburen brought back from their study trips there. This group was influenced in particular by Caravaggio, in terms both of subject and style. Bloemaert combines the key features of this style in The Emmaus Disciples, a painting that forms a high point not only in his own career, but also in that of the school of the Utrecht Caravaggists in general, with the large, half length figures, the individualised figures with a strong sense of emotionality and in particular the use of chiaroscuro, with strong light-dark effects and sharp shadows, produced by introducing a source of minimum light, here two separate, smoking candles. This style was untypical for the Northern Provinces, where a tendency towards the intimate is so clearly visible in almost all other contemporary genres.
      The tableau presents the biblical scene in which Jesus - in a gesture that refers back to the Last Supper - breaks bread and in so doing confirms his resurrection from the dead to two of his disciples, who had not recognised him until then (Luke 24: 13-35). Two figures in the background represent the same two disciples, despairingly consulting with each other on the road to the village of Emmaus, before meeting the "stranger" who was to open their eyes for good. The visible emotional reactions which the revelation causes to the protagonists are seemingly totally lost on a fourth individual, a turbaned server. In terms of content and form this painting represents "a light shining in the darkness".
Landscape with Peasants Resting (1650, 91x133cm) _ Bloemaert lived to the age of almost ninety. He was a contemporary of Rembrandt and yet he belonged to the generation of Rembrandt's teachers. He was the leading representative of the Utrecht Mannerists and the director and founder of the Utrecht Guild of St Luke, but he continued to work well into the Baroque I7th century when a third generation of landscape painters was already emerging. His peasant landscape contains certain Mannerist elements such as the large distance between the foreground objects and the sweeping horizon, or in the way in which he has united contrasts. The aspects of Bloemaert's work adopted by Dutch landscape painters are the picturesque elements evident in his rendering of nature and architecture. The picturesque appeal of dilapidated cottages, damaged thatching, broken fences and rotten tree trunks were to become part and parcel of Netherlandish landscape painting. Bloemaert's oeuvre also forges a link between Flemish and Dutch painting. While his portrayals of mythological themes and biblical tales lean heavily on the syntax of the international Flemish Mannerists, the dramatic realism of his rural genre paintings influenced the Dutch artists.
The Marriage of Cupid and Psyche (1595, diameter 62cm) _ The subject marks the climax of the story of Cupid and Psyche as recounted by Apuleius in The Golden Ass (Books 4-6). The theme became popular with artists during the Renaissance and was also frequently depicted in the seventeenth century. The marriage of Cupid and Psyche took place in heaven on Mount Olympus after Psyche had endeavored in vain to win back Cupid's love on earth by a series of ordeals set by Venus. The chief protagonists in this banquet of the gods are seated facing the viewer in the centre of the composition. Venus and Mars embrace with Vulcan to the left and Bacchus to the right. The immediate foreground is dominated by Neptune and Mercury, who conveyed Psyche to heaven in order for her to be reunited with Cupid. Jupiter and Juno are set further back in the picture space on the far right. Apollo, holding a lyre, can be faintly discerned top left, while Fame accompanied by putti blows a fanfare. The story of Cupid and Psyche was not always depicted simply as a narrative, but sometimes in broad philosophical terms as an allegory of carnal and spiritual love.
      The composition of the painting is inspired by a large engraving of the Marriage of Cupid and Psyche by Hendrik Goltzius, made after a drawing of 1587 by Bartholomeus Spranger. The rectangular format of the engraving was favored by Bloemaert for another version of the subject now at Aschaffenburg, Bavaria. This compositional dependency on Spranger's work is echoed in the similarity of style, which in turn suggests an early date of about 1595 for the painting. Bloemaert here provides a perfect demonstration of Mannerism in the complicated twisting poses, the severe foreshortening, the restless movement, and the dramatic gesticulation. These stylistic tendencies are given an added visual complexity by the circular format that was also often used by Goltzius for his prints of mythological subjects.
      The painting formed part of a large group of pictures sold by the dealer William Frizell to Charles II in 1660. Of these, eleven were claimed by Frizell to have been in the collections of Rudolf II in Prague and Queen Christina of Sweden, including the present picture. However, no such painting seems to have been listed in the inventories of the collections of either of these famous patrons of the arts and so Frizell's claim remains unconfirmed.
The Bagpiper
Shepherd & Sherpherdess (1627)
—(070126)

Died on a 25 December:

^ 1991 José Guerrero, US painter born Spanish on 29 October 1914. He was trained at the Escuela de Artes y Oficios in Granada from 1930 to 1934 and in 1940, following the earlier advice of the poet Federico García Lorca [1898–1936], he moved to Madrid, where he studied until 1944 at the Escuela de Bellas Artes de San Fernando. In 1945 he obtained a grant from the French government to study fresco painting for one year at the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris; there he gained direct knowledge of the French avant-garde and of the work of Juan Gris and Picasso. From 1945 to 1950 he traveled through Europe, staying in Berne, Paris, Rome, London, and Brussels. In Rome he met Roxanne Whittier, of the US, whom he later married, and in 1949 he visited Philadelphia. A year later he settled in New York, where he abandoned his earlier figurative style and came under the influence of Abstract Expressionism and action painting; among the friends he made there were Franz Kline, Mark Rothko, Willem de Kooning, and Robert Motherwell. In works such as Red and Black (1964, 132x224cm) he remained faithful to the Abstract Expressionist aesthetic. He exhibited widely in the US but maintained his links with Spain through regular visits that became increasingly frequent after 1965. He established contact, in particular, with abstract painters in Cuenca such as Fernando Zóbel, Gustavo Torner, and Gerardo Rueda [1926~]. In later years Guerrero’s work continued to evolve, particularly in its use of brilliant color, and to synthesize elements from Abstract Expressionism and Art informel.
Comienzo Azul (400x307pix, 15kb)
Cerillas —(051224)

^ 1898 James Alexander Walker, British painter born in 1841. — Relative? of Frederick Walker [1840-1875]?
Napoleon Watching the Battle of Friedland, 1807 (1855, 99x152cm)
The Fray of Battle aka The Franco-Prussian War (70x100cm) —(051224)

^ 1889 William Wyld, English painter and lithographer born in 1806. — {Were all his paintings really Wyld?}— The son of a businessman, Wyld worked initially in the diplomatic service, acting as secretary to the British consul in Calais. While there, he encountered Louis Francia and, through him, the work of his protégé Richard Parkes Bonington. He also met John Lewis Brown, a keen collector of Bonington watercolors, and became a lifelong friend of Horace Vernet. From 1827 to 1833 Wyld was in charge of a wine business in Epernay, where he pursued the interest in art he had conceived under the influence of these artists. He acquired a circle of patrons in the region.
–- Weymouth at Sunset (900x1295pix, 103kb)
–- Shipping on a River, a City Beyond (609x900pix, 51kb) —(061224)

^ 1881 Ignacio Suárez Llanos, Spanish painter born in 1830 on 30 June (according to some) or on 31 July (according to others).
–- Josť de Posada Herrera, Congreso de los Diputados (1877; 1990x1339pix, 145kb)
Mateo Sagasta (1877, 131x97cm; 1000x757pix, 59kb) _ Práxedes Mateo Sagasta [21 Jul 1825 – 05 Jan 1903] was seven times prime minister of Spain (1871–1872, 1874, 1881–1883, 1885–1890, 1892–1895, 1897–1899, 1901–1902).
Adelardo López de Ayala Herrera (1879, 130x96cm; 1000x721pix, 30kb) _ Adelardo López de Ayala y Herrera [01 May 1828 – 30 Jan 1879] was a Spanish writer and politician. Fue presidente de la Cámara en las Legislaturas de 1878 y 1879-1880. —(090730)

^ 1861 Jakob Joseph Eeckhout, Flemish painter born on 06 February 1793. — {Was he able to eke out a living from his artwork?}
–- Le Marchand d'Esclaves en Turquie (900x770pix, 65kb)
Waiting (1850, 60x50cm; 450x362pix, 50kb) —(061223)

^ 1669 Giovanni Andrea de' Ferrari, Genovese painter born in 1598. — Relative? of Gregorio de' Ferrari [1644-1726]? — He was a prolific easel painter who painted many altarpieces and, with Gioacchino Assereto and Orazio de' Ferrari [1606-1657], created a lyrical, richly colored manner that influenced the later development of the Genoese Baroque. He studied under Bernardo Castello II, then under Bernardo Strozzi; he adopted Strozzi’s manner so completely that his pictures were confused with those of his master. Some of these compositions survive, but they can usually be distinguished from Strozzi’s by a thinner application of paint, expressive van Dyckian heads, tapered hands and tightly rolled drapery sleeves. — The students of Ferrari included Giovanni Bernardo Carbone, Valerio Castello, Giovanni Benedetto Castiglione, Giovanni Battista Merano, Giovanni Andrea Podesta.
–- Massacre of the Innocents (888x995pix, 74kb _ .ZOOM to 1331x1492pix, 166kb) —(061223)

^ 1717 Dirk Maas (or Maes), Dutch painter, draftsman, and engraver, born on 12 September 1659. — Relative? of Dutch painters Johannes Maas Jr. [1655-1690] or Nicolaes Maes [1634-1693]? — He was a student of Nicolaes Berchem and Hendrick Mommers [1623–1693]. Maas entered the Haarlem Guild of Saint Luke in 1678, later moving to The Hague, where he entered the Guild in 1697. He accompanied William III, Prince of Orange Nassau, to England and joined him on his Irish campaign. A large drawing of The Battle of the Boyne, signed and dated 01 July 1690, served as the basis for an unknown number of paintings. He also made two engravings of the battle. He was back in the Netherlands by 1693 and apparently continued working for William III, decorating his hunting lodge at Soestdijk. He painted three versions of William III Stag Hunting, one dated 1696. Most of Maas’s pictures contain horses. His preferred subjects include cavalry skirmishes, hunting parties, horse fairs, and, occasionally, winter scenes. Their settings are sometimes Italianate, but the costumes are usually northern and often military. His style stems from his teachers and from his friend Jan van Huchtenburg [1647–1733], who was an important influence, but his color scheme, predominantly green, is more somber than theirs. His numerous drawings are in red or black chalk, often with watercolor.


Born on a 25 December:


1911 Louise Bourgeois, French / US sculptor — LINKS

^ 1883 (24 Dec?) Henri Léopold Hayden, Polish French painter who died on 12 May 1970. He began a course in engineering at Warsaw Polytechnic in 1902 but also enrolled as a student at the School of Fine Arts, and in 1905 he gave up engineering to devote himself entirely to painting. In 1907 he arrived in Paris, intending to stay for only a year, but lived in France until his death. He attended the Académie La Palette for several months and in 1909 visited Brittany, in particular Le Pouldu and Pont-Aven, where he went to work for a number of summers, and where he met and became friendly with the Polish painter Wladyslaw Slewinski, who had been a member of Paul Gauguin’s circle.
Paysage Beka (1968 lithograph 50x66cm)

^ 1875 Manuel Benedito Vives, Spanish painter who died in 1963. Benedito Vives, discípulo de Sorolla, se matriculó en 1888 en la Escuela de Bellas Artes de San Carlos en Valencia, su ciudad natal, donde estudia y trabaja bajo la dirección de Salvá y Vilá, aprendiendo el dominio del oficio y logrando una depurada técnica, cualidad constante en su pintura. Terminado sus estudios, en 1894 pasa al taller de Joaquín Sorolla, para trasladarse en 1896 a Madrid con su maestro, donde mientras trabaja y aprende en su estudio, realiza ilustraciones para "La revista moderna" y "Blanco y Negro". Pensionado de 1900 a 1904 en la Academia Española de Bellas Artes de Roma, a principios de siglo viaja por Francia, Bélgica y Holanda, fijando su residencia en Volendam en 1909. Su obra ha sido reconocida internacionalmente, consiguiendo una larga serie de medallas y honores, entre los que destacan la tercera medalla en la Exposición Nacional de Bellas Artes en 1897, primeras medallas en la Nacional de pintura 1904 y 1906, siendo enviado como representación española a la Exposición Internacional de Santiago de Chile. En 1905 logra una segunda medalla en la Exposición Internacional de Munich, triunfando nuevamente en 1907 en la Exposición Internacional de Barcelona, en la que alcanza segunda medalla. Logró medalla de oro en la Exposición Hispano-Francesa del 1908, así como primera medalla en la Internacional de Munich en 1910, año en el que triunfa en la Exposición Nacional celebrada en Valencia. A estos éxitos hay que sumar la medalla de oro en la Exposición Internacional del Centenario de la República Argentina celebrada en Buenos Aires y la medalla de oro en la Exposición Universal de Bruselas. En 1911, la Exposición Internacional de Barcelona le concede la primera medalla por el conjunto de obras presentadas, siendo ésta la última vez que Benedito acude a un certamen nacional o internacional. Entre las exposiciones individuales destacan las celebradas en la Sala Amaré en 1907, y en los Salones de Blanco y Negro en 1910, exponiendo en numerosas ocasiones y siempre con éxito resonante en Valencia, Zaragoza, Barcelona. Cultivó en su madurez el retrato y el bodegón cinegético, sin olvidar los tipos locales y los paisajes. En 1918 es nombrado Asesor Artístico de la Real Fábrica de Tapices. Elegido Académico en 1923 de la Real Academia de Bellas Artes de San Fernando y de la de Nobles Artes de San Carlos de Valencia, es nombrado profesor de colorido y composición en la Escuela de San Fernando, sustituyendo a su maestro Sorolla. Más tarde será nombrado Director de dicha Escuela. En 1925 es nombrado Miembro Correspondiente de la Hispanic Society de Nueva York, y vocal correspondiente de la Academia Nacional de Bellas Artes de Lisboa, y en 1941, presidente del Patronato del Museo Sorolla. Benedito, maestro de numerosos pintores españoles, utilizó las más distintas técnicas, investigando la materia: óleos, temples, acuarelas y guaches. Como pintor de cartones para tapices realizó una labor destacable, y hasta en sus grabados, poco conocidos, dejó la huella de su personalidad.
Descanso (1909, 53x29cm; 640x428pix, 32kb)
Dama cazando (1911, 97x54cm; 636x435pix, 27kb)
Bengalas (1910, 52x28cm; 620x350pixels, 79kb)
Entre flores (1913, 63x34cm; 630x352pix, 30kb)
Morena de ojos azules (1917, 56x35cm; 540k403pix, 32kb)
Cazador y buho (1918, 51x35cm; 630x437pix, 100kb)
Mujer sosteniendo escopeta (1930, 48x35cm; 630x458pix, 31kb) —(051224)

^ 1874 Carl Fahringer, Austrian landscape and history painter who died on 04 February 1952. He was born in Wr. Neustadt, Lower Austria. After he had studied at the Viennese Academy for 6 years, he went to Carl Marr in Munich in the year 1898 and laid there the foundation to his impressioninistic color intensive style of painting, which enabled him in a particular degree to a reproduction of the colorful crowd of people on markets or in tropical areas.Being restless througout his life, he made journeys to France, Italy, the Balkan Peninsula, Asia Minor, and Egypt even before the First World War. In 1922 he went from Holland to Java, Sumatra, and Bali.
Bauernmarkt (45x57cm; 407x525pix, 105kb)
— (monkey) (635x368pix, 170kb) —(051224)

^ 1852 Lionel Noël Royer, French painter of history, genre, and portraiture, from the French Academic School, who died on 31 July 1926. He studied under Alexandre Cabanel [1823-1889] and William Aldophe William Bouguereau [1825-1905]. — {Faut-il rayer Royer de la liste des artistes convenablement représentés sur internet?}
Vercingétorix jette ses armes aux pieds de César (1899; 411x600pix, 45kb)
Diane Chasseresse (766x597pix, 54kb)
Femme lisant (39x27cm; 354x227pix, 27kb)

1834 Anders Monsen Askevold, Norwegian painter who died (main coverage) on 22 October 1900. —(051224)

1812 William Henry Haines “William Henry”, British painter who died on 22 June 1884.

^ 1806 Kaspar Kaltenmoser, German genre painter who died on 08 March 1867. — {son of Kalninemoser?}— At the age of 14 he started studying lithography, but then turned to painting and in 1830 began to attend Munich Academy in the class of Heinrich von Hess. However, already half a year later Kaltenmoser left the Academy to engage himself in nature studies. During his walking tours through Bavarian highlands he created landscapes enlivened by staffage figures. In 1832 the artist made a study trip to Zillertal together with his friend and fellow artist Georg Durand. The painting inspired by this journey Peasants of Zillerthal Playing Zither and Dancing brought Kaltenmoser popularity in 1833. In order to finance further travels he worked as lithographer for a while and soon was able to devote himself completely to painting. The artist traveled a lot through South Germany, stayed for 5 months in Istria, visited Venice, Padua, Verona. Daily life and pleasures of simple people as well as leisurely get-togethers in peasant inns provided motives for his paintings.
Resting Travelers (1845, 38x29cm; 690x531pix, 64kb) _ detail 1 (783x531pix, 83kb) the mother _ detail 2 the child (789x531pix, 83kb) _ detail 3 the dog (531x561pix, 65kb) _ detail 4 the tree stump (800x484pix, 90kb).
— (the haircut) (34x28cm; 283x240pix, 9kb) _ Eine in feinem Trachtengewand gekleidete Mutter schneidet ihrem auf einem Tisch sitzenden kleinen Sohn die Haare. Daneben sitzen die beiden Geschwister auf Stühlen, wobei der Junge seine bereits frisierten Haare bewundernd im Spiegel betrachtet. —(051224)

1800 José Manuel Francisco Antonio del Pilar Groot, Colombian painter and writer.

1782 Jacques-Noël-Marie Frémy, French artist who died in 1867. — {Qui n'a pas frémis qui n'a pas Frémy?}

1777 Thomas Christopher Hofland, British painter who died (main coverage) on 03 January 1843. —(060102)

^ 1765 Samuel Drummond, British painter who died in August 1844. — LINKS
Admiral Duncan Receiving the Sword of the Dutch Admiral de Winter at the Battle of Camperdown, 11 October 1797 (1827, 203x272cm; 536x700pix, 119kb) _ An interpretation of Admiral Duncan receiving the surrender of the Dutch Admiral de Winter, following the Battle of Camperdown, painted 30 years after the event. Admiral Duncan lifted the threat of Napoleonic invasion when he defeated the Dutch fleet at Camperdown in 1797. His victory was regarded as one of the most important naval action of its time. He was Commander of the North Sea Fleet blockading Holland when the Dutch fleet, commanded by Admiral de Winter, appeared. A very hard fought action ensued with many casualties. Duncan's own ship, the Venerable, 74-guns, took many hits. When Duncan's flag was shot from the main topmast down, he retrieved it himself and in a famous incident, seaman Jock Crawford of Sunderland climbed up to reattach it to the shattered masthead. With de Winter's surrender, Admiral Duncan was able to claim 11 ships as prizes, from a fleet of just 18 ships. The painting shows the quarter-deck of the Duncan's flagship, Venerable, viewed from the port side, with Duncan, de Winter and Captain Fairfax of the Venerable standing in the center. Duncan is on the right facing left, in full dress uniform with the sash and star of the Order of the Bath. He holds his hat in his left hand and his right hand prepares to receive de Winter's sword. Fairfax introduces de Winter to Duncan. Standing in profile to the right, De Winter is shown conceding his sword to Duncan. In the background to the left, a lieutenant holds a speaking trumpet. There is a gun crew running out a gun, and men on the mizzen shrouds and netting. In the right foreground, a gun carriage has the ensign of the Dutch flagship Vrijheid, 74 guns, thrown over it. The group watching the surrender include a sailor, drummer and a boy seaman with his back to the viewer. To their left and immediately behind Duncan is a boy in a tam o'shanter, presumably his servant. Two marine officers are on the companionway to the poop, which is crowded with people. In the background are several ships: one, the Dutch Hercules, 64,guns, is shown on fire. Drummond's interpretation positions the figures in highly stylized attitudes. Figures encircling the main action in the foreground resemble a frieze: limbs, backs and elbows form a rhythmic counterpoint to the static main action. In the foreground the artist intentionally arrests the eye with a still life of ropes, a hat, cannon balls and ship's ephemera.
Captain William Rogers Capturing the Jeune Richard, 1st of October 1807 (1808, 157x119cm; 935x700pix, 138kb) _ The artist intended this painting to commemorate a 'very gallant action in the West Indies' on 1 October 1807. At dawn, off the coast of Barbados, a lookout aboard the Windsor Castle, mail packet, saw the sail of a French privateer the Jeune Richard, overhauling them. With no prospect of escape the crew of the Windsor Castle rigged the anti-boarding nets and went to quarters. The privateer closed on her starboard quarter and grappled but the nets prevented the Frenchmen from boarding. Both sides suffered severely from the fire of the guns and muskets, especially the French who finally ran from their quarters. Seeing this, Captain William Rogers and his remaining five unwounded men boarded the Frenchman, killing her captain, tearing down her colors and forcing the crew to go below. The powerful French privateer had a crew of 92, an armament of six long 6-pounders and an 18-pounder mounted on a swivel carriage set in the middle of her waist. The Windsor Castle only had a crew of twenty-eight and an armament of six 4-pounders and two 6-pounders, so their action reflected great credit on them. The scene is viewed from the Jeune Richard's starboard main shrouds. In the centre of the painting Captain Rogers has boarded the privateer with his five remaining men and stands on the deck preparing to pistol the boatswain. Behind him a sailor aims a musket and another swings the butt of a pistol. Above them in the port main shrouds, another sailor attacks two Frenchmen overhead with a sword. The forecastle of the Windsor Castle is in the background, with three sailors attacking the French with pistols to the right. As Rogers steps on to the swivel of the 18-pounder, a Frenchman falls on his right but another, wounded in the foreground and with his back to us, points a pistol at him. A dead Frenchman lies on the right. Drummond painted this picture using his own a head-and-shoulders portrait of Rogers from life as a basis. He is shown striking a dramatic, determined pose, his right arm thrust forward whilst behind him a vortex of smoke, men and thrusting weaponry accentuates his bravery against the odds. This painting was exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1808 and the picture was also engraved in mezzotint by W. Ward in 1809.


Happened on a 25 December:


1776 Washington crosses the Delaware, which would be commemorated in paintings. MORE AT HISTORY “4” TODAY with links to images.
155 Christmas images at Wikimedia
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^ THE ADORATION OF NEWBORN JESUS, by Bloemaert
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^^^
See also Nativity (2577x1800pix, 1259kb) by Lotto