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DEATHS: 1819 HARLOW — 1779 MORTIMER — 1787 BATONI
BIRTH: 1881 LÉGER
^ >Died on 04 February 1819: George Henry Harlow, English painter born on 10 June 1787.
— After briefly attending Westminster School in London, he got trained as a painter, first by Hendrik Frans de Cort, then by Samuel Drummond [1765–1844] and finally by Thomas Lawrence. Although Lawrence was paid a considerable sum to accept Harlow into his studio he did not formally teach him; instead he allowed the young man to copy and occasionally help with his work. After 18 months the two fell out and Harlow left to pursue his own career though the influence of Lawrence’s style was lasting. Harlow made his début at the Royal Academy in 1804 with a portrait of Dr. Thornton and thereafter concentrated on this genre. There is a portrait of the painter James Northcote (1817, 52x40cm; 225x179pix, 6kb) by him. He also attempted history painting, though with less success, partly due to his lack of a proper art education. He produced a number of portraits of actors and actresses, e.g. Charles Mathews (1814 sketch, 16x11cm; 225x154pix, 9kb). In order to make up for his deficient education, in 1818 he went to Italy to study the Old Masters. There he became greatly admired for his technical facility and was befriended by Canova. He caused considerable amazement in Rome by painting a full-size copy of Raphael’s The Transfiguration (1520, 405x278cm; 1177x801pix, 174kb) in only 18 days and was elected an Academician of Merit of the Accademia di San Luca in Rome, a rare honor for an English artist. He died from a throat infection soon after his return to England in 1819. An exhibition of his works was held after his death in Pall Mall, London.

LINKS
Self Portrait (1818, copy by John Jackson [1778-1831], sketch 20x14cm; 225x168pix; 6kb)
Two Children (104kb)
Young Girl with a Dove (127kb)
–- Mr. Tomkinson (75x62cm; 900x739pix, 33kb) _ Tomkinson married Miss Dolling.
–- Two Sisters (799x638pix, 44kb)
–- The Misses Sharpe (1808, 78x64cm; 900x674pix, 76kb) full length, seated in an interior, Eliza playing her harp, and Louisa, in the foreground, just resting her hand on top of another harp. The talented sisters Louisa Sharpe [1798 – 28 Jan 1843] and Eliza Sharpe [1796-1874] were two of five children of the Birmingham engraver William Sharpe, all of whom became artists. Louisa was generally considered to be the most gifted. She exhibited portraits at the Royal Academy from 1817 until 1829 when she was elected a member of the Old Watercolor Society. She began as a miniature painter but later moved to costume subjects, genre scenes and illustrations to poets, many of the latter being engraved in the 'Keepsake' and 'Forget-me-not' annuals. In 1834 she married Professor Seyffarth and settled with him in Dresden (where she died). Eliza was also elected to the Old Watercolor Society in 1829. She also began her career as a miniaturist and later in life concentrated on copying pictures at the South Kensington Museum. Both sisters continued to exhibit at the Royal Academy. Their sister Agnes Sharpe (fl.1850-1859) became an etcher, the other sister Mary Anne Sharpe [1802-1867] also became an artist, and their baby brother Charles William Sharpe [1819-1899] became a line engraver. — {Was this William Sharpe the same as, or related to the artist William Sharp born in London on 29 Januanry 1749, who died in Chiswick, London, on 25 July 1824?}
–- Princess Lieven (60x50cm; 886x724pix, 58kb) _ Born in Riga, Dorothea Christoforovna Benckendorff [1785 – 26 Jan 1857] was the sister of the chief of Russian Chief of Police Count Aseksandr Christoforovich Benckendorff [1783 – 05 Oct 1844]. She married in 1800 Lieutenant-General Count Christopher Andreevich Lieven [1773–1839] who in 1811 became the Russian ambassador to London, a post he held until 1834, after which he was made a prince. She settled in Paris (where she died). A brilliant personality, she was intimate with the great world of London and Paris, and her Paris salon acquired some note. Her friends included Metternich, Wellington, and Guizot. Her diary and much of her correspondence have been published.
–- Master Thomas Ethridge with a rabbit (76x63cm; 800x650pix, 27kb)
–- Harriet, Lady Barclay (118x88cm; 612x465pix, 28kb) three-quarter length, standing in an archway, wearing a white dress and red headscarf. The sitter was the daughter of Deputy Commissioner General Thomas Durell, Royal Horse Guards. After the death of her first husband, Baron de Cronstadt, she married, on 20 June 1802, Sir Robert Barclay [1755-1839], 8th Bt., M.P. for Newport.
–- Lady Reaching for a Basket of Flowers (122x92cm; 770x580pix, 34kb) three-quarter length, standing, wearing a white satin dress and fur edged cloak, the basket of flowers to her right on a table.
—(070203)
^ Died on 04 February 1779: John Hamilton Mortimer, English Neoclassical painter, draftsman, and etcher, born on 17 September 1740.
— He studied under Sir Joshua Reynolds, Thomas Hudson, and Charles Lennox. Mortimer was closely involved with the Society of Artists of Great Britain, becoming its president in 1774, and his flamboyant personality, radical politics and romantic penchant for depictions of picturesque banditti led contemporaries to perceive him as a latter-day Salvator Rosa. Mortimer’s works include portraiture, decorative interiors and book illustration, but he was first and foremost a history painter. Unlike most fellow artists in this genre, however, he derived much of his subject-matter from Anglo-Saxon history rather than from antiquity. Mortimer was one of the most gifted draftsmen of his generation in England and developed a tight linear style. He preferred pen and ink to chalk, and seems to have developed his technique under the influence of printmakers rather than draftsmen.
copy of Self-Portrait (31x25cm) _ Mortimer was most famous for his scenes of romantic outlaws (‘banditti’). He was also notorious for his dissolute lifestyle and was known as ‘the English Salvator’: a reference to the famous seventeenth-century Neapolitan painter of such themes, Salvator Rosa. According to legend, Salvator himself lived as an outlaw. This is a copy by an unknown artist of a self-portrait by Mortimer. The image prompted a nineteenth-century commentator to write that Mortimer ‘was fond of the wild, the savage, and the wonderful; and it was his pleasure in the fine picture before us to imagine himself a chief of banditti’.

LINKS
George Thompson, his Wife and (his Sister-in-Law?) (1768, 100x126cm) _ The group shows Lt. Col. George Thomson and his wife seated on chairs protected with chequered covers. They have been reading the works of the poet Charles Churchill, but their slippered ease is interrupted by a lady visitor, who comes towards them carrying her reticule and flowers. From the casual gesture with which he motions her towards a chair, one can assume that she is a close relation. This kind of domesticity is the essence of the small-scale informal group portrait or conversation piece, which remained popular in England throughout the eighteenth century. Mortimer, who was also a painter of lively theatrical scenes and history pieces, composed such groups with particular freshness and originality.
Sir Arthegal, the Knight of Justice, with Talus, the Iron Man (from Spenser's `Faerie Queene') (1778, 243x146cm) _ Mortimer uses here one of the most famous works of Elizabethan literature, the great uncompleted poem on the twelve virtues, The Faerie Queene by Edmund Spenser [1552 – 13 Jan 1599]. Arthegal is the heroic personification of true Justice and is shown here with his companion Talus, a man of iron, whose blade 'thresht out falsehood and did truth unfold'. When shown at the Royal Academy in 1778 the picture was praised as a particularly vigorous example of ‘fancy’ (i.e. a work relying on the artist's powers of imagination). It was also commended as a worthy successor to Salvator Rosa's much-admired moody and dramatic studies of soldiers and outlaws.
Woman holding a drawing or print showing Richard II according to Shakespeare (1779, 63x77cm; 700x570pix, 173kb)
The Captive (drawing 11x13cm)
== The Progress of Virtue series.
I. The Hero Decides to Seek his Fortune (1775, 76x62cm)
II. The Hero's Father Blesses his Departure (1775, 76x63cm)
III. The Hero Rescues the Prisoners (1775, 76x63cm)
IV. The Hero's Father Blesses his Marriage (1775, 75x63cm)
—   Attracted by the growing Romantic fashion for giving outlaws and anti-establishment figures heroic stature, Mortimer produced two complementary sets of narrative paintings entitled The Progress of Vice (1774, now lost) and this The Progress of Virtue (1775). They continue the tradition of painted moral tales begun by Hogarth in the early 1730s, but lack his biting satire on contemporary society. By dealing with 'idealized' vices and virtues embodied in generalized heroic characters, they conform to the canons of history painting. Their simple moralizing tone and elevation of domestic virtues, however, is more akin to the sentimental genre of Greuze in France, and to early nineteenth century historical painting. In these four scenes from the life of a hero, Mortimer displays his distinguished technique as well as an enthusiasm for the wild banditti-infested landscapes of the seventeenth-century Italian artist, Salvator Rosa. These qualities make him a key figure in the development of Romanticism in England.
 
Léger birdReply to Léger bird^ Born on 04 February 1881: Fernand Léger, French Cubist painter, draftsman, illustrator, printmaker, stage designer, film maker, and ceramicist, who died on 17 August 1955.
<<< L'Oiseau Magique (1953, 56x36cm)
Réponse à l'Oiseau Magique, by “Fainéant Lourd” (2004) >>>
— Born in Argentan, Orne, he died in Gif-sur-Yvette, Seine-et-Oise. Léger was among the most prominent artists in Paris in the first half of the 20th century, he was prolific in many media and articulated a consistent position on the role of art in society in his many lectures and writings. His mature work underwent many changes, from a Cubist-derived abstraction in the 1910s to a distinctive realist imagery in the 1950s. Léger attracted numerous students to his various schools, and his ideas and philosophy were disseminated by modern artists throughout Europe and the Americas.
—     In 1900 Léger went to work in Paris, first as an architectural draftsman and later as a retoucher of photographs. In 1903 he began to study painting and in 1907 he was impressed by a Cézanne retrospective. In 1908 he rented a studio near Montparnasse where he became involved with avantgarde movements. Eventually he became acquainted with painters Robert Delaunay, Marc Chagall, and Chaim Soutine; sculptors Jacques Lipchitz, Henri Laurens, Alexandre Archipenko; poets Guillaume Apollinaire, Max Jacob, Blaine Cendrars, Pierre Reverdy.
     Léger had been painting a blend of Impressionism and Fauvism. Now, influenced by Cubism, in 1909 he painted La Couseuse, with colors reduced to a combination of blue gray and buff and the human body tranformed into slabs and cylinders resembling a robot. In Nude Figures in a Wood, the figures are broken into large geometrical fragments.
    By 1913 he had evolved to a “tubist” style, multiplying contrasts, of colors, of lines, and of solids, in his series Contrasts of Forms.
    Léger fought in WW I and was gassed at Verdun. In 1917, released from the army, he painted Soldiers Playing at Cards. By 1919, in his mechanical period, he pictured motors, gears, furnaces, railway crossings, factory interiors. In the mid-1920s, he was influenced by the “Purism” of painter Amédée Ozenfant and architect~painter Le Corbusier. Then his art became more figurative, and, beginning in the 1940s, he tended to separate abstract bands of color from his drawing.
     Léger produced other artforms too: ballet and movie sets, a non-narrative movie Le Ballet Mécanique, mosaics, stained glass windows. In 1945 he became a Communist, but did not follow “Social Realism”, the Party line for painting. Léger's last major paintings were Les Constructeurs and La Grande Parade.

— Léger has long been acknowledged as one of the major artists of his time. His art, however, has been subject to more misunderstanding than that of any of his peers in the founding generation of twentieth-century modernism. At first, Léger was a French Cubist whose forms are polished and cylindrical like steel, clangorous in red and black like new fire engines. But he did not remain a painter of circumscribed technique whose modernity rests on his preoccupation with the machine. Léger was a painter who addressed the central aesthetic issues of his time with a unique directness and consistency.
     The 20th century has witnessed no more heated artistic debates than the partisan battles over representation versus abstraction and the related problematics of flatness and depth. Léger left the polemics to others and created a vivid, powerful art that simultaneously reconciles and exploits the contrasting qualities of the abstract and the illusionistic. No other major painter of his time welcomed elements from such a wide range of his era's artistic movements into his work: Fauvism, Cubism, Futurism, Purism, Neo-Plasticism, Surrealism, Neo-Classicism, Social Realism — Léger used the sometimes arcane language of pictorial modernism to express the vernacular experience of twentieth-century modernity. He was a heavyweight champion who could box like a nimble bantam.

— S'il ne fut ni le premier ni le dernier des peintres de la modernité, Fernand Léger demeure l'un des plus grands poètes des temps modernes, dont il est l'enchanteur. Sous des aspects frustes qu'il accentuait volontiers, le fils de l'éleveur de bétail de Basse-Normandie dissimulait une sensibilité terrienne et la sagesse de l'homme du commun, qui n'est pas dépourvu de finesse ni d'une certaine maladresse. Aussi gardait-il le mauvais souvenir de ses mains blessées lors des gravures sur bois pour les Lunes en papier d'André Malraux, que Daniel-Henry Kanhweiler a édité en 1921.
      Au contraire de l'angélisme du Douanier qu'il admirait, Léger possédait d'origine la rude franchise populaire de celui qui, par ténacité et par expérience, parvenait à maîtriser les connaissances dont il avait besoin, pour dépasser les normes de la figuration et de l'abstraction dans l'art de l'avant-garde, afin d'élaborer, à partir du corporel, du mécanique et de l'objet, un paradis des villes et de leur périphérie, du travail et des loisirs, où le monde industriel devient une nouvelle nature créée par l'homme, plus présente que l'arbre ou la fleur, l'oiseau ou le nuage dans le ciel. Une puissance d'anticipation du réel qui relève de l'imaginaire de peindre et qui porte Léger à concevoir un véritable système de formes et de signes, dont le sens plastique fonctionne tel un rituel de célébration du mythe libérateur de l'humanité.
      Au travers de Cézanne, au début des années dix, Léger aborde le cubisme, qu'il modifie par l'imbrication brisée de corps et de troncs tubulaires (Nus dans la forêt), par l'enchevêtrement de motifs fragmentés et parfois empruntés à Chagall (la Noce — Femme en bleu), où déjà la composition plan par plan apparaît, neutralisant toute perspective. Entre 1912-1914, à même la toile brute, les formes et les couleurs éclatent, par traces vives, rouges, bleues, jaunes, vertes, entrecoupées de traits noirs, de rehauts blancs, qui bousculent la figuration et multiplient leurs rythmes syncopés. Ce sont les 'Contrastes de formes', dont le concept se transformera après l'effroyable épreuve de la guerre (la Partie de cartes, 1917) et évoluera encore au cours de l'oeuvre de Léger.
      Pareillement, les rythmes se maintiendront dans l'agencement chromatique des structures urbaines et mécaniques, dont le principe polyphonique se fonde, dès 1918 et 1919, dans les Disques et la Ville avec l'intrusion des premières lettres au pochoir issues des enseignes et des affiches publicitaires, tandis que Léger file la métaphore de l'amitié avec Blaise Cendrars, les Delaunay, Le Corbusier, Abel Gance ou Darius Milhaud... Toutefois, dans les années vingt, les figures vont prendre plus de consistance, notamment par la modulation de leurs contours, du Mécanicien à l'admirable Grand Déjeuner de 1921, où l'ample corporalité féminine s'accomplit par l'insertion contrastée dans la géométrisation du mobilier et du décor, que l'on retrouve en 1924 dans la Lecture. Par ses registres différenciés, cet outillage géométrique compose l'ordre d'une machinerie, qui joue aussi bien avec l'élément mécanique ou corporel, l'environnement, l'objet ou le mobilier. Ainsi le Balustre de 1925 recadre sa structure dans la géométrie de son décor, tandis que cet ordre compositionnel peut tout autant virer vers l'icône ou la grande imagerie populaire, tel en 1927 ce Nu sur fond rouge ou cette Femme tenant un vase, semblables à deux figures en majesté dans l'or de Byzance ou la pierre romane. Puis viendront en 1939 Adam et Eve et Composition aux deux perroquets qui complexifient magistralement le principe de muralité.
      Durant la guerre et l'exil américain — après deux séjours précédents à New York — Léger affranchit la couleur de la forme qui, en se dissociant plus souvent, gagnent en souplesse et en éclat, par exemple dans la danse en tout sens des Acrobates. Après son retour en France et son adhésion au PCF, il déploiera, pour s'opposer au réalisme 'socialiste', une figuration métaphorique d'une liberté fabuleuse, comme cet Hommage à David de 1948-1949 ou cette Partie de campagne de 1952-1953. La grandeur du mode allégorique, qui concentre la somme et l'épure de la recherche plastique et emblématique du peintre, triomphe dans la puissance monumentale des deux états définitifs des deux suites des Constructeurs de 1950 et de la Grande Parade de 1954, qui préfigurent la fable d'un nouveau monde. Nulle tragédie dans la peinture de Fernand Léger: c'est un hymne à la joie de l'homme en gloire sur la terre, le mythe fraternel du bonheur et de la paix.
— Léger's students included Sam Francis, Tarsila do Amaral, Arie Aroch, Olle Bertil Georg Bærtling, Nurullah Berk, Francisco Brennand, Lygia Clark, Franciska Clausen, Horia Damian, Lars Englund, Samuel Lewis Francis, Günter Fruhtrunk, Ricardo Grau, Alberto Greco, Oskar Hansen, Florence Henri, Asger Jorn, Kigai Kawaguchi, William Klein, Beverly Pepper, Tadeusz Piotr Potworowski, Carl Fredrik Reuterswärd, George Warren Rickey, Thorvaldur Skúlason, Jeffrey Smart, Richard Stankiewicz, Shinkichi Tajiri, Tarsila, Nína Tryggvadóttir, Luigi Veronesi, Marek Wlodarski.
wikibio

LINKS
Le Petit Déjeuner (1921, 69x93cm; 830x1199pix, 112kb _ ZOOM to 1384x1999pix, 297kb) _ About 1920, Léger turned away from the dynamic mechanical cubism of his earlier paintings to a more ordered, figural style. Looking to art traditions of the past, he gave such time-honored themes as the Three Graces and scenes of odalisques a modern interpretation. In Le Petit Déjeuner three female nudes are seated by a small table in a domestic interior complete with a dog. Monumental and impersonal, the figures interlock in an anatomical puzzle of interchangeable parts. The emphasis is on pictorial effect and compositional innovation, with strong conflicting perspectives in careful balance. Le Petit Déjeuner is one of two oil studies for the famous Le Grand Déjeuner.
Composition with Two Men with Pipes (1920, 31x25cm; 883x799pix, 44kb _ ZOOM to 1600x1199pix, 116kb) _ In his art Léger focusses on the mechanization of the world in the wake of the First World War. He juxtaposes the human body with the forms and shapes of modern, industrial imagery, creating compositions that thrive on the cold and calculating precision of pure geometry and Cubist abstraction. In this preparatory sketch for a painting entitled Man with a Pipe from 1920, Léger fashions men out of machine parts and turns a café into a tight composition of circles and lines. Details such as the stairs and railing at the right, the table and bench at the lower left, and the puffs of smoke from the man's pipe, are subordinated to the overall sense of dynamic movement and a fragmented, dehumanized world.
Table et Fruits (1909, 84x99cm; 853x1000pix, 144kb — ZOOM to 1706x2000pix, 621kb)
La grande Parade (1952 mosaic, 276x334cm; 800x928pix, 105kb — ZOOM to 1440x1671pix, 321kb)
L'équilibriste (835x819pix, 121kb)
L'étoile de cirque (773x980pix, 23kb gif)
Sketch for The Railway Crossing (1919)
Divers on a Yellow Background (1941)
Two Women Holding Flowers (1954)
Femme Avec un Vase
Composition pour un Vitrail
L'Oiseau (1923)
Femmes au Perroquet (1952 sculpture: polychrome ceramic relief 400x400cm; 480x476pix, 104kb)
Les Constructeurs
— a different Les Constructeurs
Les Loisirs sur Fond Rouge (tapestry 342x445cm)
Le Tournesol (1952 polychrome ceramic)
L'Homme dans La Ville (1950, 42x32cm; 480x356pix, 44kb)
Rimbaud (1943)
Paul Éluard (1952, 68x50cm)
La Pompe à Essence (1959, 16x24cm)
Femme_a_la_feuille (1952)
La_Femme_et_la_Fleur
La_Femme_et_la_Fleur (1954) _ same drawing, duller colors.
La Femme au Poudrier from La Ville (1959, 65x51cm; 480x390pix, 32kb)
La Chanteuse de la Radio from La Ville (1959)
Tête et cactus (1954 color lithograph, 27x35cm; 480x565pix, kb)
Untitled (1937) {On an alien planet?}
Nature morte aux deux fruits 1938
Abstract Composition (1950)

—(100203)
^ Died on 04 February 1787: Pompeo Girolamo Batoni (or Battoni), Italian Rococo painter and draftsman, specialized in portraits, born on 25 January 1708. — {non “bastoni”, per piacere!}
— In his day he was the most celebrated painter in Rome and one of the most famous in Europe. For nearly half a century he recorded the visits to Rome of international travelers on the Grand Tour in portraits that remain among the most memorable artistic accomplishments of the period. He was equally gifted as a history painter, and his religious and mythological paintings were sought after by the greatest princes of Europe.
— He was the last great Italian personality in the history of painting at Rome. He carried out prestigious church commissions and painted numerous fine mythological canvases, many for eminent foreign patrons, but he is famous above all as a portraitist. After Mengs left Rome for Madrid in 1761 his preeminence in this field was unchallenged, and he was particularly favored by foreign visitors making the Grand Tour (an extensive journey to the Continent), whom he often portrayed in an antique setting. His style was a polished and learned distillation from the antique, the works of Raphael, academic French painting, and the teaching of his master Sebastiano Conca. His characterization is not profound, but it is usually vivid, and he presented his sitters with dignity. Batoni was also an outstanding draughtsman, his drawings after the antique being particularly memorable. He was curator of the papal collections and his house was a social, intellectual, and artistic center, Winckelmann being among his friends.
— The students of Batoni included Antonio Cavallucci, Adamo Chiusole, Johann Dominicus Fiorillo, Felice Giani, Gaspare Landi.

LINKS
–- Pope Benedict XIV presenting the Encyclical Ex Omnibus to the Comte de Stainville, later Duc de Choiseul (1757, 129x179cm; 744x992pix, 81kb _ .ZOOM to 1488x1984pix, 302kb <_ .ZOOM+ to detail 1, 1119x1493pix, 187kb: the pope and the group around him _ .ZOOM++ to detail 2, 896x1197pix, 121kb: the pope and Choiseul) _ King Louis XV sent the count (later duke) de Choiseul to Rome in 1754 to obtain a papal decision that would resolve the conflicts between various political and religious factions in France. Pope Benedict XIV presented his conciliatory ordinance to the French ambassador on 16 October 1756. In his portrayal of this actual historical event, Pompeo Batoni combined factual and allegorical details. The enthroned pope, lavishly dressed in full vestments, is flanked by graceful personifications of Religion and Divine Wisdom. Before a view of Saint Peter's Basilica, Saints Peter and Paul float on a cloud. Above them the Holy Spirit, in the form of a dove, sends a golden ray of inspiration and blessing to the pope. Although Batoni correctly depicted Choiseul's heavily embroidered court dress, he did not attempt a true likeness of the count. However, he accurately portrayed the aging pope, who was his great patron.
Hercules at the Crossroads (1748, 99x74cm; 1250x920pix, 260kb _ ZOOM to 2500x1840pix, 1017kb) _ _ This painting reflects an intimate knowledge of its literary precursors. This portrayal of Hercules goes back to Prodicus’ story as recorded by Xenophon. The narrative is considered a paradigmatic ethical dilemma. The protagonist, at the crossroads between the two allegorical figures Virtue and Vice, opts for the arduous road of virtue, turning away from a lifestyle of lust and pleasure. The same subject had been treated by Veronese [1528 – 09 Apr 1588] in
     _ Allegory of Virtue and Vice (the choice of Hercules) (1580, 219x170cm; 400x313pix, 33kb) and by Paolo di Matteis [09 Feb 1662 – 26 Jul 1728] in
     _ The Choice of Hercules (1712; 461x600pix, 81kb)
–- John Woodyeare (1750, 98x72cm; 934x704pix, 55kb _ .ZOOM to 2000x1510pix, 177kb)
–- Thetis Takes Achilles from the Centaur Chiron (1770, 226x297cm; 575x773pix, 41kb _ .ZOOM to 862x1160pix, 59kb) _ This is the only known painting on this subject. The Russian Empress Catherine II commissioned the painting from Batoni and herself selected the theme, probably finding it in Giovanni Boccaccio's De Genealogia Deorum. In the 18th century scenes from the story of Achilles, hero of the Trojan War, were much in fashion. Achilles's mother, the goddess Thetis, gave him over to be brought up by the centaur Chiron. Learning that her son must die in the war against the Trojans she decided to deceive fate and removed the sleeping Achilles from Chiron, fleeing in a shell to the protection of King Lycomedes on the Island of Scyros. Forming the basis of Batoni's strict composition are two arches, the niche in the cave of Chiron with its herm, and the opening in the rocks, beyond which spreads the sea. The nymphs carefully carry the sleeping Achilles to the shell, while nearby, Thetis says farewell to Chiron. The ideal proportions of the figures recall ancient statues. The pure resonant colors of the robes - blue, red, white and pink - are set off against the calm brownish-grey of the cliffs. — Compare:
     _ .Achilles and the Centaur Chiron also by Batoni
The Ecstasy of Saint Catherine of Siena (1743) _ Lucca Pompeo Batoni was a very cultured man who gained international fame at an early age. He was the first Italian artist consciously to work out a formal alternative to Rococo art and Venetian painting, which he felt to be outdated. He was trained in Rome where he studied Raphael and classic Renaissance art. He quickly came up with a "reform" program for painting along controlled academic lines. He set out to provide a series of paintings that could be used as a model for religious art. In his paintings each figure is posed in a composed fashion. With the work of his rival Anton Raphael Mengs, Batoni's art marked the first beginnings of Neo-Classicism, in an urbane, highly polished, if very derivative manner. If we compare works on similar subjects (for example The Ecstasy of Saint Francis by Piazetta), we can measure the cultural change that Batoni was proposing.The great sense of movement contained in compositions by artists in the first half of the century could also be seen in the speed with which they painted. This was now subjected to a rigorous check. Everything was controlled and expressed in impeccable form at the cost of losing much emotional intensity. After the middle of the century, this academic way became the main influence on painting in central Italy.
John marquis of Monthermer (1765; 600x442pix _ ZOOM to 1400x1032pix, 467kb _ ZOOM+ to 2139x1576pix, 671kb)
Holy Family (1777, 226x150cm) _ One of the most important works of the artist. In the painting, the naturalistic, genre-like representations of Anne and Joseph are contrasted with the idealized portraits of Mary and the Child.
Sensuality (1747, 138x100cm) _ There is a companion-piece to this painting: Time Orders Old Age to Destroy Beauty. The two paintings, commissioned by Bartolomeo Talenti, are mentioned together in a letter of the artist.
Sir Gregory Page-Turner (1768, 135x99cm) {he is not shown turning pages for a pianist, nor was that his occupation or that of any of his ancestors, as far as is known}
The Marriage of Cupid and Psyche (1756; 600x852pix)
—(070203)

Died on a 04 February:

^ 2007 Jevel Demikovsky “Jules Olitski”, US Color Field painter, also a sculptor, born in the Ukraine on 27 March 1922, shortly after the political execution of his father, also named Jevel Demikovsky [1921–]. The child was taken to New York by his mother and grandmother in 1923; his mother remarried in 1926. He showed an early love for drawing and attended art classes on Saturday mornings in New York in 1935. He was much impressed by seeing works by Rembrandt at the New York World’s Fair in 1939, and in 1940 he studied landscape painting informally under Samuel Rothbort [1882–]. From 1940 to 1942 Olitski studied at the National Academy of Design in New York under Sidney Dickinson [1890–] while taking sculpture classes in the evenings at the Beaux-Arts Institute, working in clay. During this period he first came into contact with abstract art in New York at the Museum of Non-objective Painting, which later served as the basis of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum. In 1942, along with other young painters, he was introduced by Victor Thall to works by the Impressionists, the Nabis, and the Fauves.
— Olitski lived in New York from age two. He took US nationality when serving in the United States army during the Second World War. He studied at the National Academy of Design, New York (1940-1942), then, aided by the GI Bill, continued his studies in Paris, at the Ossip Zadkine School in 1949 and at the Académie de la Grande Chaumière 1949-50. He had a solo show at the Galerie Huit in 1950, and as a result was invited to exhibit with the Cobra group. However, he returned to the US where he continued to develop a painting style that had links with both Parisian informel painting and US Abstract Expressionism. He received a Bachelor of Arts degree from New York University in 1952, and a Master of Arts in 1954. In the late 1950s Olitski became friends with the influential US art critic Clement Greenberg and in 1958 exhibited in a group show at French & Co (a gallery for which Greenberg was a consultant). The show included such artists as Morris Louis, Barnett Newman, Kenneth Noland, and David Smith. In 1960 Olitski began to pour and stain dye onto large canvases. He experimented with different methods of applying paint, using brushes, sponges, mops, and rollers. From 1965 he began to spray paint onto his canvases in order to create dematerialised fields of color. Olitski taught at C.W. Post College, Long Island University, New York from 1956 to 1963, and at Bennington College, Vermont from 1963 to 1967. In 1969 he was given his first sculpture show by the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, the first solo exhibition given by that museum to a living US artist. His work since the 1980s has seen a return to the heavily textured surfaces of his early paintings. — LINKS
Prince Patutsky's command (1966, 418x179cm; 600x258pix, 45kb) _ In the early months of 1965 Olitski began to use a spray-gun to apply paint to his canvases. He had previously been using sponges and paint rollers to put down broad areas of color, but found that overlapping layers of color tended to neutralise each other. By spraying the paint Olitski preserved the richness and purity of color and gained an expansive and seamless surface. In these paintings he continued and developed his compositional practice of confining incident to the periphery of the canvas, usually by defining an edge, or edges, with a stripe of paint or a line of pastel in a different color. During the winter of 1965-1966 Olitski began to mask out areas of the painting along two or sometimes there sides during the painting process, thus creating borders like internal frames within the painting. He would also cut more than one work from the same roll of sprayed canvas, using the process of stretching as a kind of editing to achieve the desired effect. Prince Patutsky's command, painted in the winter of 1965-1966, is typical of this group of paintings, with its ghost-like border across the lower and left sides of the canvas. It was cut from the same stretch of sprayed canvas as the painting Unlocked. Olitski used the name Patutsky in the titles of several of his paintings in the mid-1960s. He remembers being called 'Prince Patutsky' by his stepfather as a child, and believes that it was in reference to Stanislaw Felix Potocki [1753 – 14 Mar 1805] In the eighteenth century the Potocki family were among the most prominent 'republicans' opposing Kings Augustus II and Augustus III. Stanislaw Felix Potocki (in Polish: Stanislaw Szczesny Potocki) dreamed of transforming Poland into a federal republic following the example of the United States. Olitski recalls that his stepfather's manner of calling him Prince Patutsky conjured up an image of 'aristocratic bearing, courtly manner, excessive fastidiousness'.
The Prince Patutszky Red (1962; 743x706pix, 54kb _ ZOOM to 1486x1413pix, 140kb _ ZOOM+ not recommended to somewhat blurry 2972x2826pix, 385kb) _ The pseudonymous Auguste Oilisled has metamorphosed this into the spectacular abstractions
      _ The Prints Pat Atski Read (2007; 724x1024pix, 276kb _ ZOOM to 1024x1448pix, 650kb _ ZOOM+ to 2636x3728pix, 6392kb) and
      _ Deeper in Spat at Ski Raid (2007; 724x1024pix, 276kb _ ZOOM to 1024x1448pix, 650kb _ ZOOM+ to 2636x3728pix, 6392kb).
Julius and His Friends (790x406pix, 43kb)
Cover 2 (1975, 216x107cm; 800x370pix, 100kb)
Solomon's Mirror No.2 (1974, 242x458cm; 258x512pix, 16kb) —(070211)

1963 Luis Mestre, Spanish painter. —(100103)

^ 1957 Miguel Covarrubias, Mexico City painter, writer, and anthropologist, born in 1904. Covarrubias received little formal training. In 1923 he went to New York City on a government scholarship,and his incisive caricatures soon began to appear in such magazines as Vanity Fair. A collection of his caricatures, The Prince of Wales and Other Famous Americans, was published in 1925. His illustrations appeared in numerous magazines and books, showing his interest in the study of racial types. In 1930 and 1933 he and his wife visited the Orient, and subsequently he wrote Island of Bali (1937) and, for the Golden Gate International Exposition in San Francisco, painted six mural maps illustrating the cultures of the Pacific area, which were then published as Pageant of the Pacific (1939). Turning to Mexico, Covarrubias wrote and illustrated an account of the Tehuantepec region, Mexico South (1946). His last book, The Eagle, the Jaguar, and the Serpent (1954), surveyed the cultures of the northern Amerindians. Covarrubias also worked as a theater designer, easel painter, printmaker, and art history teacher. His work in the visual arts reflects a flair for decoration, with perceptiveness and thorough craftsmanship. — LINKS
–- Rumba (1946 monochrome lithograph, 24x35cm; 827x1233pix, 148kb)
–- The Lindy Hop (1936 monochrome lithograph, 25x33cm; 1130x856pix, 127kb)
Maternidad (1940, 25x35cm; 342x450kb, 31kb)
Balinese Girl Carrying Rice on her head (1033x744pix, 194kb)
Banca del Pueblo (1935; 862 x 589 pix, 63kb)
(Ravine) (535x461pix, 77kb _ ZOOM to 1938x1666pix, 1114kb) _ an illustration for Typee; a romance of the South seas (Chapter 7) by Herman Melville: “vast roots of trees hung down from the sides of the ravine, dripping with moisture”. —(070203)

1932 Luis Menéndez Pidal [18 Aug 1861–], Spanish genre painter. —(100103)

^ 1916 Mary Lizzie Macomber, Massachusetts artist born on 21 August 1861. She is remembered for her highly symbolic, dreamlike paintings. In her native Fall River, she studied drawing and still life painting under Robert Dunning from about 1880 to1883, then attended the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston for a year, until ill health cut short her studies. After her recovery she studied briefly under Frank Duveneck [1848-1919] and then opened a studio in Boston. In 1889 her painting Ruth was exhibited in the National Academy of Design show in New York City. Over the next 13 years she exhibited 25 more paintings at the National Academy and was a frequent exhibitor at other major museums and galleries. Macomber's symbolic, allegorical, and decorative panels, revealing the influence of the Pre-Raphaelites, were widely admired by her contemporaries. She personalized the abstract concepts of hope, death and love in a painting style that combines linearity with a misty quality called sfumato, yielding a delicate image emerging from the background. Among her more celebrated works are Love Awakening Memory (1892), Love's Lament (1893), Saint Catherine (1896, 83x61cm; 430x334pix, 30kb), The Hour Glass (1900), The Lace Jabot (1900; a self-portrait), Night and Her Daughter Sleep (1902), Memory Comforting Sorrow (1905). In the later years of her career she also devoted much time to portraiture. Her paintings are relatively rare, as much of her work was lost in a 1903 fire in her studio. She also wrote poetry, a book of which was published in 1914. — LINKS
Saint Catherine (1896, 83x61cm; 569x422pix, 45kb _ ZOOM to 1138x845pix, 163kb)
Night and Her Daughter Sleep (1902, 76x63cm; 416x343pix, 19kb)
(Saint Michael, Saint Cecilia, and a Wise Maiden?) (423x320pix, 119kb)
Rosamond the Fair aka Fate Spinning the Thread of Time (1915, 46x36cm; 312x240pix, 12kb) _ Rosamond the Fair was the secret mistress of King Henry II. As the story goes, she was hidden in the center of a maze-formed bower. When Henry's wife, Eleanor of Aquitaine, was imprisoned for supporting her sons in the rebellion of 1173-1174, Henry's liaison with Rosamond became publicly known. According to Fourteenth century chronicles, after Eleanor's release from prison she solved the puzzle of the maze, and finding Rosamond at the center, gave her the choice of how to die: by poison or dagger. Rosamond chose to drink the poison and died in 1176. The red yarn in Rosamond's hand refers to finding the path through the maze to her bower. As Fate Spinning the Thread of Time this painting takes on a rather looser interpretation. Many cultures have allegorical figures that represent the determination of the length of each person's life: within these allegories a single strand of thread identifies the beginning, duration and end of a life. In Greek mythology the characters that determine life span are known as the three Fates. In this painting, Macomber has collapsed the three figures of the Fates into one beautiful maid, Fate, who holds a thread of life between her hands.

^ 1885 Sarah Miriam Peale, Philadelphia painter, specialized in portraits, born on 19 May 1800. She was a daughter of James Peale [1749 – 24 May 1831]; niece of Charles Willson Peale [15 Apr 1741 – 22 Feb 1827]; sister of Anna Claypoole Peale [06 Mar 1791 – 25 Dec 1878]. Sarah Peale first exhibited at the Pennsylvania Academy in 1818 with Portrait of a Lady. The next year, she exhibited two portraits and four still lifes. She spent time in her uncle Charles's studio in Washington DC, but she did not remain there long. She launched an independent career as a portraitist, working in Philadelphia and in Baltimore. In 1824 she was elected to the Pennsylvania Academy along with her sister, and she exhibited there annually until 1831. She often shared a studio and patronage with her sister. Her portraits were distinctive for their detailed furs, laces, and fabrics, and her subjects included Thomas Hart Benton, Caleb Cushing, William R.D. King, Daniel Webster, and the marquis de Lafayette. In 1846 she left Baltimore for St. Louis, Missouri, where she was the leading portraitist for the next 32 years. She later painted still lifes as well. In 1878 she returned to Philadelphia to live with Anna, who was then a widow. — LINKS
Self-Portrait (1830, 67x50cm; 360x261pix, 21kb)
Veil of Mystery (1830; 117kb)
Posthumous Portrait of Mary Griffith (1841; 92kb) a child
Senator Thomas Hart Benton (1842; 504x408pix, 146kb) _ detail (408x350pix, 95kb)
Children of Commodore John Daniel Danels (1826, 176x152cm; 478x396pix, 147kb)
Two Children (1835, 75x64cm; 350x289pix, 21kb)
Fruit and Wine (73kb)

1830 Charles Daubigny, French artist born in 1740. — Relative? of Charles-François Daubigny [15 Feb 1817 – 19 Feb 1878]?

1815 Jacob van Stry, Dutch artist born on 02 October 1756. — Relative? of Abraham van Stry?

1785 Donatien Nonnotte, French painter born on 10 January 1708. — {Non notte pitturava?} — {I find no Nonnotte note on the Internet except the following} — He was first trained in his native Besançon by his uncle Jean Nonnotte. When about 20 years old he moved to Paris, where he studied under François Lemoyne and found an influential patron in the Duc d’Antin, Surintendant des Bâtiments du Roi. Nonnotte was thus well positioned for a career as a history painter. His first works included wall and ceiling paintings, which he completed from 1730 to 1932 at the château of Versailles, where he worked as Lemoyne’s assistant, and in the churches of Saint Sulpice and Saint Thomas d’Aquin in Paris. — Philippe-Auguste Hennequin was a student of Nonnotte.

1498 Antonio del Pollaiolo [17 Jan 1431 ± 2], Italian painter, sculptor, engraver. — wikibioLINKS —(100103)


Born on a 04 February:


^ 1944 Alan Shields, US artist, specialized in shields (under any other name), who died on 13 December 2005. — LINKS
Polar Route Screen (1850x1850pix, 997kb)
–- Untitled (1944, round 550x550pix, 50kb) _ The pseudonymous Venan Helmets has exposed the laziness of those who paint circles and leave 21% of a square canvas in a flat background color (more than 21% if the canvas is rectangular). Helmets has made it possible to square the circle by clicking from
      _ Unsquared (593x593pix, 29kb), to his
      _ Uncircled 1 (593x593pix, 29kb), to his
      _ Uncircled 2 (593x593pix, 29kb), and back.
–- Simple Inside a Key (1987, 61x46cm; 510x505pix, 60kb) shown against a background of the same.
Two Birds, Woodcock I (1978, 53x62cm; 430x500pix, 83kb)
Bull-Pen (1984; 103x107cm)
T.V. Rerun-A (1978, round 26cm diameter; 370x370pix, 41kb)
T.V. Rerun-B (1978, round 23cm diameter; 320x320pix, 50kb)
T.V. Rerun-C (1978, round 25cm diameter; 320x320pix, 50kb)
Odd Job (1984, 104x105cm)
Box Sweet Jane's Egg Triumvirate - Moose Set (1978, 53x117cm)
Zig Zag Alan (1976, 165x390cm) —(070203)

^ 1907 James McIntosh Patrick, British painter. Patrick was born in Dundee, the son of an architect. He studied at Glasgow School of Art, but continued to live and work close to his native city ever since. His work can be described as possessing a clarity of draftsmanship and a sure sense of composition. The Angus countryside around Dundee has always been his preferred subject matter. He liked to take his ideas directly from the natural landscape, and then amalgamate various views when back in his studio. — LINKS
Winter in Angus (1935, 76x102cm).

^ 1841 Charles Édouard Edmond Delort, French painter who died on 05 March 1895.
The Cardinal's Leisure (80x61cm)

^ 1825 Myles Birket Foster, British painter who died on 27 March 1899. Foster, Myles Birket (b Tynemouth, Northumb., 4 Feb 1825; d Weybridge, Surrey, 27 March 1899). English painter, illustrator and collector. After a short and unsatisfactory period working in the family brewing business, he was able to convince his Quaker parents to allow him to pursue a career in art. He was apprenticed to a wood-engraver, Ebenezer Landells (1808–60), who recognized Foster’s talent for drawing and set him to work designing blocks for engraving. Foster also provided designs for Punch and the Illustrated London News. In 1846 he set up on his own as an illustrator. The rustic vignettes of the seasons that he contributed to the Illustrated London News and its counterpart, the Illustrated London Almanack, established him as a charming interpreter of the English countryside and rural life and led to his employment illustrating similar themes in other publications. During the 1850s his designs were much in demand; he was called upon to illustrate volumes of the poetry of Longfellow, Sir Walter Scott and John Milton. His range was limited, however, and he was criticized for relying on the same rural imagery regardless of the nature of the text. — LINKS
Lane Scene at Hambledon (1862, 43x64cm)
Eel Bucks (1890, 10x14cm) —(060326)


Happened on a 04 February:

1955 El armador griego Stavros Niarchos adquiere por $400'000 el cuadro La Piedad, de Domenikos Theotokopulos “el Greco”.


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