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DEATHS: 1699 PRETI — 1625 BRUEGHEL — 2006 ANGUIANO — 1628 RIBALTA
BIRTH: 1596 VAN GOYEN
^ Died on 13 January 1699: Mattia Preti “il Cavaliere Calabrese”, Italian painter born on 24 February 1613. Student of Guercino, Preti became the leader of the Naples school of painting after Ribera. — {He always painted Preti pictures.}.
— Although he was trained and had his first success as a painter in Rome during the 1630s and 1640s, he is traditionally associated with the Neapolitan school. It was in Naples between 1653 and 1660 that he made his most lasting mark, contributing to the evolution of the exuberant late Baroque style and providing an important source of inspiration to later generations of painters, notably to Francesco Solimena. From 1661 he was based in Malta, where he died. His most substantial undertaking there was the decoration of Saint John’s, Valletta. Preti’s mature style is intensely dramatic and unites a Caravaggesque realism and expressive chiaroscuro with the grandeur and theatricality of Venetian High Renaissance painting.
— Preti was born in Taverna, a town in Calabria then part of the kingdom of Naples. The young Preti joined his brother Gregorio, also a painter, in Rome around 1630. Between that time and 1653, when he moved to Naples, Preti traveled widely throughout northern Italy. During this period his initial Caravaggism, evident in both style and subject matter, was increasingly tempered by classicizing elements derived from Domenichino, Giovanni Lanfranco, Pier Francesco Mola, Pietro Testa, and Guercino, among others. Most important in Preti's new, more sensuous palette was the influence of the Venetian High Renaissance, reflecting a general neo-Venetianism that characterized much Italian baroque painting at midcentury. In 1641 or 1642, while in Rome, Preti was created a knight in the Order of Saint John of Malta; thus he was called “il Cavaliere Calabrese.”
      Preti arrived in Naples in 1653, during the great plague, which by 1656 had killed about one half of the city's population, including many of her artists. Preti quickly established himself as the leading painter, a position vigorously challenged by the younger Luca Giordano. These two artists created the Neapolitan high baroque. In 1656 Preti was commissioned by the city administrators to paint a series of frescoes on the seven city gates, seeking divine protection from further ravages of the plague and ensuing famine. Continuing to work in Naples until he returned briefly to Rome in 1660 and then moving permanently to Malta in 1661, Preti carried out numerous public and private commissions. He worked prodigiously on the island for forty years. In addition, his enormous output included important fresco cycles in Rome, Modena, Naples, Valmontone, and Valletta, and numerous altarpieces fill the churches of Malta, Naples, and Taverna, his native town, where he sent many paintings.
— Preti was in Rome by 1633 but had presumably already absorbed the influence of Caravaggio in Naples, since he came from Calabria. He also visited Venice and Emilia, where he was influenced by Guercino and Lanfranco. His easel pictures are more Caravaggesque than his frescoes in Rome (1650-1651) and Modena, which show the influence of Guercino and Lanfranco. He was in Naples 1656-1660 and spent most of the rest of his life in Malta, where he went in 1661 to decorate Saint John's in Valletta, being made a Knight of Malta in the same year.
— Domenico Viola did not invent a stringed musical instrument, but he was a student of Preti.

LINKS
–- Saint John the Baptist Preaching (1665, 217x170cm; 1071x824pix, 68kb _ .ZOOM to 2143x1648pix, 506kb _ .ZOOM+ to 4286x3296pix, 2208kb)
Christ in Glory (1660, 220x253cm)
Concert (1637, 110x147cm) _ This painting, and its companion-piece depicting players, was done during the artist's stay in Rome. _ detail
Tribute Money (1640, 193x143cm) This work was painted in Malta, where the Preti had gone in 1660 as a Knight of Malta in order to work on the decoration of the cathedral of San Giovanni. The painting is of particular interest in view of Preti's encounter with the works of Caravaggio who had made some important paintings in Malta after 1607. The theme treated here is the biblical account culminating in Christ's words: “Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's; and unto God the things that are God's.” (Saint Matthew, 22:21). In the dark brown tones of the painting, we can barely make out the six figures half illuminated by a light from some indiscernible source. The tax collector pauses in his writing as Peter hands him the coin. Only this pause indicates the miracle that has just occurred: Peter found the coin in a fish he had caught at the command of Christ (Saint Matthew 17:24). The turban of a man, a hand holding a pen, another holding a coin, a face in profile with a deeply lined forehead, turned towards another face of which we can recognize only the temple and the nose, a bald head, a little red fabric and the heavy folds of a rough brown cloth are the scattered but not unconnected fragments from which our gaze wanders to and fro, reconstructing the narrative.
Salome with the head of Saint John the Baptist
Pilate Washing his Hands (1663)
—(070112)
^ Born on 13 January 1596: Jan Josefszoon van Goyen, Dutch painter who died on 27 April 1656
— Dutch landscape painter. He studied in his native city and in Haarlem with the Dutch artist Esaias van de Velde. In about 1631 van Goyen settled at The Hague, where he became head of the painters' guild in 1640. Van Goyen developed a strongly individual manner of treating his subjects, which emphasized perspective and lighting, suffusing his landscapes in a melancholy gray-green atmosphere. Van Goyen was a pioneer in naturalistic landscape painting in 17th-century Holland; his influence on Dutch painting, exercised principally through his students and their contemporaries, was considerable. As the leading practitioner of the “tonal” phase of Dutch landscape painting, van Goyen made the nuances of sky and atmosphere his primary concern. More than a thousand of his paintings have been cataloged. Among his better-known paintings are View of Dordrecht (1650) and View of The Hague (1651), painted at the request of The Hague's authorities.
— Van Goyen learned to paint in Leiden. He later became a student of the Haarlem landscape painter Esaias van de Velde. At first Van Goyen worked in Van de Velde's lively style, but in 1627 he began to paint nearly monochrome landscapes. Like Salomon van Ruysdael he worked predominantly with greens and greys. Van Goyen lived and worked in Leiden from 1618 to 1632. His last years were spent in The Hague. Van Goyen was one of the most productive painters of the seventeenth century. His tremendous tempo meant that he invariably repeated his themes. He is known to have produced some 1200 paintings and 800 drawings. Many of the latter were made on trips through the Netherlands and Germany.

LINKS
–- The Thunderstorm at sea by the coast (1641, 138x183cm; 1/5 size, 150kb _ .ZOOM to 2/5 size, 632kb)
Landscape with Two Oaks (1641, 88x110cm) _ Behind the two old oaks on a hill stretches a pastoral panorama: the light is somber but the trees are illuminated by a ray of sunshine. Two men rest on the hill, another walks on. The landscape is painted in a single tint. That was in vogue when Van Goyen painted his Two Oaks. Various color accents are noticeable: the red and blue jackets of the figures in the foreground and the white gull against the dark sky. Van Goyen painted these two oaks on numerous occasions: the first time was in 1627. The magnificent panorama in this painting was a new element in Van Goyen's work and became a typical feature of his later paintings.
     Van Goyen's drawings show the same intricate, restless lines as in his Two Oaks. The paint is not evenly distributed; here and there the canvas shows through. Van Goyen started work in the style of Esaias van de Velde, whose Cattle Ferry (1622, 75x113cm) is an example. Van Goyen's early work is full of people and activity, the colors are comparatively bright. Van Goyen's later style of landscape, with fewer figures, more light and a limited palette (especially green and grey), is seen in Two Oaks. Another painter who painted with few tones was Salomon van Ruysdael in the 1630s; because of their similarity, paintings of the 1630s by van Goyen and van Ruysdael have often been confused.
Summer (1625, circular 33cm diameter) _ An imposing oak tree stands in front of a large stone house. A little further in the distance, beyond a small river, is a windmill and a church. The scene is busy. On the river boats are coming and going. In the foreground people are standing talking in a group. On the left, a man carrying a knapsack is walking towards a well. The cover of the well is a large wagon wheel. In the late 1620s, Van Goyen began to paint increasingly near-monochrome paintings. This picture was made prior to that period, still under the influence of van de Velde. Van Goyen painted a Winter as a pendant to this Summer, but not a Spring nor a Fall.
Dunes (1629) _ The earliest works of van Goyen are so close to Esaias van der Velde's that it is sometimes difficult to distinguish their hands. Like Esaias, he used both a round and an oblong format for small views of Dutch villages and country roads, crowded with illustrative details. The atmospheric treatment in these colorful early works is insignificant, the foliage is ornamental, and there are glittering highlights reminiscent of the Mannerists. In the late 1620s van Goyen shifted to simpler motifs - a few cottages along a village road or in the dunes, like in this painting - and he achieved unification and depth by a leading diagonal and by a tonal treatment that subdues the local color and is expressive of atmospheric life. His palette turned monochromatic, with browns, pale greens, and yellows.
Marine Landscape with Fishermen 4/5 skyscape (36x32cm) _ Jan van Goyen was the Dutch painter who most effectively captured the water-drenched atmosphere of Dutch seascapes, the daily activities of fishermen on the flat shores of Holland, and the great rolling clouds on its wide, low horizons. The simplicity of composition, the use of near monochrome, for the most part shades of brown and grey and the greyish skies heavy with rain-clouds which play an important part in his seascapes all differentiate van Goyen's paintings from those of his contemporaries who generally preferred to paint stormy seas complete with ships of war, and the buildings of a port in the background. Van .Goyen concentrated on the sea itself and only made use of such subsidiary details-boats, fishermen or seamen-as were absolutely necessary to indicate the environment. The painting is signed as VG on the boat at the left side.
View of Leiden (1643, 40x60cm) _ In the oeuvre of van Goyen a good number of city views occur, and they are set into the wide context of the Dutch countryside, like this beautiful view of Leiden. In this 'capriccio' (the artist placed Leiden's famous St Pancras Church alongside an imaginary wide, winding river) we see how the horizontal begins to dominate over the diagonals at this time. The subdued coloristic touches of yellows, greens, and browns become more luminous, and the sky brightens up.
Village at the River (1636, 40x60cm) _ During the course of the 1630s van Goyen became the leading master of the tonal phase. His technique grew bolder and more vivacious, the space opened up, and atmosphere predominated. Water begins to play a more important role. This picture shows the characteristics of the thirties, and an all-over airiness that grows in transparency towards the far distance, with its brightened horizon.
Beach at Scheveningen (1646, 92x108cm) _ In 1646 van Goyen made numerous drawings of Scheveningen, a fishing town on the North Sea coast, which he then used for paintings. His lively beach painting still offers the impression of spontaneous transcription, but he dramatized his drawings by raising the dunes and accentuating the cloud pattern. Most astounding is the apparent veracity of light filtered through packed clouds. Van Goyen's rather monochrome drawings could only approximate such a life-like atmosphere, and he must have created it in the studio from a remembered, mental image. Such painting, from the mind, was considered at least as important as drawing from life. _ The beach at Scheveningen was also painted by van Goyen in 1634 (96x144rm) and by Willem van de Velde the Younger _ Van Gogh in Calm Weather and in Stormy Weather
Haarlemer Meer (1656, 39x54cm) _ Jan van Goyen was born in Leiden and trained in the studios of a succession of local artists. His most influential teacher, however, was Esaias van de Velde in whose Haarlem studio he spent a year before establishing . himself as an independent painter in his native town. Subsequently van Goyen worked in The Hague and Haarlem. In his earliest landscapes - his first dated painting is from 1618 - van Goyen employed the highly colored, strongly linear technique of Esaias van de Velde, but progressively his paintings become less colorful and less crowded with figures. He shared this move towards a deliberately restricted palette of blues, greys, greens and blacks, and simple compositions, with the Haarlem landscape painters, Pieter Molijn and Salomon van Ruysdael. In the work of all three painters the sky assumes greater and greater importance, as in this painting in which it occupies almost three-quarters of the picture surface. The clouds are painted thinly over the prepared ground of the panel which gives a warm undertone. In this view of Haarlemer Meer, a vast inland lake which was not drained until the nineteenth century, the Great Church at Haarlem can be seen on the horizon in the far right-hand corner. This atmospheric study of clouds and still water was painted in the last year of the artist's life. With his linear style it is no surprise to discover that van Goyen was an indefatigable draughtsman. More than 800 drawings and several sketchbooks, all in his favourite medium of black chalk and wash, are known today. Many are quick sketches made from nature during his travels in the north Netherlands and Germany, which in the studio were transformed into imaginative landscapes. His rapid painting technique enabled him to be a prolific artist: more than twelve hundred paintings from his hand survive.
View of The Hague in Winter (1645, 52x70cm) _ In the background the outlines of the large municipal buildings of The Hague (Stadthuis, Groote Kerk and Binnenhof) can be seen. The painting is signed on the boat at the left.
View of Dordrecht (1653, 97x148cm) _ Throughout his career Jan van Goyen combined quality and quantity. Constantly innovating, he provided the basic patterns for a wide variety of realistic landscapes produced by contemporary competitors in 17th century Holland and by several generations of imitators after him. This river landscape is a magnificent example of an oeuvre, catalogued by Hans-Ulrich Beck, of twelve hundred paintings and eight hundred drawings, which together form a milestone in the history of art. The quality of these individual works of art is measured, not by their "uniqueness" but rather by the amount of creative workmanship that they contain. Production-raising and — as is sometimes maintained — cost-reducing techniques that the artist applied, never led him into the sterile copying of successful scenes. The present view of Dordrecht is not Van Goyen's "standard" view of Dordrecht. It is one of thirty known variants of a river landscape with a named city in the background, "composed" in the artist's studio. Starting with a simple picture-building structure, a view with a strong sense of atmosphere is produced which appears to have been painted from life at a particular point in place and time, though in fact it has been constructed from drawings, combining accurate observation and "dressing up" motifs. Looking out from a vantage point where the Kil and Oude Maas rivers meet, we see on the far side, on a low horizon, the horizontal profile of Dordrecht, identifiable primarily by the Grote Kerk. The illusion of depth is produced by a spit of land in the left foreground where, against the light, a group of people with a dog are watching as a ferry loaded down with cows and passengers is mooring. Whipped-up water, swelling sails on the many small ships and a heavily clouded sky suggest a stiff breeze. Several components in the picture, like the figures, the weather or even the city can perfectly well be replaced by alternatives, without the picture being any less a "face of Holland" that Van Goyen was one the first to model, at times with sky and water only. The painting is signed with monogram and dated on the ferry boat to the left, 1653. Signature and another date can be seen on the ferry boat to the right, 1644.
View of Dordrecht from the Oude Maas (1644 104x134cm) _ The tonal trend of the 1630s continues into the 1640s, bringing still increasing spaciousness and fluidity. Van Goyen's technique often shows an open interplay of over- and underpaint, and the quick, whirling strokes make the vibration of the moist air almost physically felt. Side by side with river scenes, seascapes with choppy little waves appear. Often we meet wide views over the flat country that are lit by streaks of sunlight. A good number of city views occur, and they are set into the wide context of the Dutch countryside. This almost monochrome painting shows the Groote Kerk (Great Church) in the background.
View of Leiden (1650) _ In the 1650s van Goyen did not remain uninfluenced by the new classical trend, but he never moved away from the dominant monochromatic tonality of his middle period. Some tectonic accents, with verticals opposing horizontals, enter his compositions. The clouds become more voluminous and his touch a bit more forceful; now and then his skies include vivid blues. But it is largely the deepening of his tonality that enlivens his late work, by strong contrasts of dark accents in the foreground against the luminous openings in the sky and bright reflections on the surface of water.
Windmill by a River (1642, 29x36cm) _ The tonal style in Dutch landscape painting of the 1630s continued well into the 1640s, while still developing, especially in the hands of Jan van Goyen. The direction in which van Goyen took landscape reveals a considered logic; as tonal painting was a realistic attempt to capture an atmosphere, its consequence was, in the end, to paint the sky over the flat, low land. Thus, in his Windmill by a River, the real subject is the moving skies. Everything is subordinated to the high sky, a sky that seems to take on the color of the vast land stretching to a low, distant horizon: a brownish-green with tinges of blue. Only the sky contains more grey — the clouds — and is more transparent in its pictorial treatment. Dunes in the foreground, caught in a splash of sunlight, introduce the distance - suggesting a high viewpoint that gives the view naturalness. The windmill, painted in the greyish-brown color of the sky, is a discreet spatial reference point.
River Landscape with Pellekussenpoort, Utrecht, and Gothic Choir (1643)
A Church and a Farm on the Bank of a River (1653)
Two Men on a Footbridge over a Stream (1655)
 
^ Died on 13 January 1625: Jan “Velvet” Brueghel I (“Paradise”, “Flower”=“Bloemenbruegel”), Flemish painter and draftsman born in 1568, famous for his small-scale history paintings, some of which were done on copper, exquisite flower still-lifes, allegorical and mythological scenes, and various types of landscapes, including imaginary mountain landscapes, forest interiors, villages, and country roads, ports, river views, seascapes, hunting pieces, battles, and scenes of Hell and the underworld.
— Jan Brueghel Sr., called the "velvet Brueghel," was the second son of Pieter Bruegel (or Brueghel) I [1525-1569] and, like his brother Pieter Brueghel II [1564-1638], made his career in Antwerp. He was trained by Mayken Verhulst. Known for his still lifes of flowers and for his landscapes, Jan Brueghel I was a friend of Peter Paul Rubens and collaborated with him in paintings such as Adam and Eve in Paradise. He specialized in small wooded scenes that were finely finished and brightly colored. His style was perpetuated by his sons Jan Brueghel II [13 Sep 1601 – 01 Sep 1678] and Ambrosius Brueghel [bap. 10 Aug 1617 – 09 Feb 1675]. In the next generation, three of Jan II’s sons were also painters in the style of their father, uncle, and grandfather: Jan Pieter Breughel {bap. 29 Aug 1628 – >1682]; Abraham Breughel [1631–1680]; and Jan Baptist Breughel [1647–1710]. Jan van Kessel II and David Teniers III [1638–1685] were also grandsons of Jan Breughel I. David Teniers II was his son-in-law.
— Jan Brueghel I was the second son of Pieter Bruegel the Elder. (The father spelled his name Brueghel until 1559, and his sons retained the "h" in the spelling of their names.) Early in his career he visited Cologne and Italy, before settling in Antwerp in 1597. He enjoyed a highly successful and honourable career there, becoming Dean of the Guild, working for the Archduke Albert and the Infanta Isabella, and making frequent visits to Brussels court. His specialities were still-lifes, especially flower paintings, and landscapes, but he worked in entirely different spirit from his father, depicting brilliantly colored, lush woodland scenes, often with mythological figures, in the manner of Coninxloo and Bril. His exquisite flower paintings were rated the finest of the day, and his virtuoso skill at depicting delicate textures earned him the nickname 'Velvet Brueghel'. Often he collaborated with other artists (notably his close friend Rubens), painting backgrounds, animals, or flowers for them. He had considerable influence, notably on his student Daniel Seghers, his sons Jan II and Ambrosius, and his grandson Jan van Kessel. His students included also Abraham Govaerts, Jacques Fouquier, and Lucas de Wael. Further descendants and imitators carried his style into the 18th century.

LINKS
Village Landscape with Self-Portrait (1623, 600x868pix _ ZOOM to 1400x2024pix, 909kb)
Landscape with Peasants (36x57cm; 810x1280pix _ ZOOM to 1610x2543pix; 2967kb)
Paradise Landscape With Noah's Ark (1615, 600x904pix _ ZOOM to 1400x2109pix)
Peasant Festival (1623, 600x1248pix _ ZOOM to 1400x2912pix)
Country Feast for the Duke (1615, 600x1252pix _ ZOOM to 1400x2921pix)
Latona and the Lycian Peasants (1605, 37x56cm) _ In a delightful forest clearing Latona is sitting with her children, resting on her long journey. The adulterous ruler of the gods Jupiter had made Latona pregnant. His jealous wife, Juno, chased the exhausted girl with her newborn twins Apollo and Diana into distant Lycia. Latona is begging the peasants working around the pool. She is desperate, she is dying of thirst. But the peasants, encouraged by Juno, make the water undrinkable on purpose by stomping the pool into mud. Enraged, Latona curses them to be turned into frogs and live for ever in the water they so cruelly withheld from her. The transformation is in progress: the peasants' are frog's heads and their legs are striped frog's legs; and instead of cursing Latona, they croak. The changes are subtle: most of the peasants are still human, but the figures in the foreground already have frog's heads, while real frogs swim around in the water. Brueghel took the subject from the Metamorphoses (Bk VI:337-381) by the Roman poet Ovid:
Hinc quoque Iunonem fugisse puerpera fertur
inque suo portasse sinu, duo numina, natos.
iamque Chimaeriferae, cum sol gravis ureret arva,
finibus in Lyciae longo dea fessa labore
sidereo siccata sitim collegit ab aestu,
uberaque ebiberant avidi lactantia nati.
forte lacum mediocris aquae prospexit in imis
vallibus; agrestes illic fruticosa legebant
vimina cum iuncis gratamque paludibus ulvam;
accessit positoque genu Titania terram
pressit, ut hauriret gelidos potura liquores.
rustica turba vetat; dea sic adfata vetantis:
'quid prohibetis aquis? usus communis aquarum est.
nec solem proprium natura nec aera fecit
nec tenues undas: ad publica munera veni;
quae tamen ut detis, supplex peto. non ego nostros
abluere hic artus lassataque membra parabam,
sed relevare sitim. caret os umore loquentis,
et fauces arent, vixque est via vocis in illis.
haustus aquae mihi nectar erit, vitamque fatebor
accepisse simul: vitam dederitis in unda.
hi quoque vos moveant, qui nostro bracchia tendunt
parva sinu,' et casu tendebant bracchia nati.
quem non blanda deae potuissent verba movere?
hi tamen orantem perstant prohibere minasque,
ni procul abscedat, conviciaque insuper addunt.
nec satis est, ipsos etiam pedibusque manuque
turbavere lacus imoque e gurgite mollem
huc illuc limum saltu movere maligno.
distulit ira sitim; neque enim iam filia Coei
supplicat indignis nec dicere sustinet ultra
verba minora dea tollensque ad sidera palmas
'aeternum stagno' dixit 'vivatis in isto!'
eveniunt optata deae: iuvat esse sub undis
et modo tota cava submergere membra palude,
nunc proferre caput, summo modo gurgite nare,
saepe super ripam stagni consistere, saepe
in gelidos resilire lacus, sed nunc quoque turpes
litibus exercent linguas pulsoque pudore,
quamvis sint sub aqua, sub aqua maledicere temptant.
vox quoque iam rauca est, inflataque colla tumescunt,
ipsaque dilatant patulos convicia rictus;
terga caput tangunt, colla intercepta videntur,
spina viret, venter, pars maxima corporis, albet,
limosoque novae saliunt in gurgite ranae."'

These mythological stories on the theme of change were popular reading in Brueghel's day. But for the artist the story was less important than the forest landscape. The tiny figures are almost irrelevant: an excuse to depict the overwhelming power of nature in all its detail. _ Compare
      _ .Latona Turning the Lycian Peasants into Frogs (1730, 20x30cm; 842x1166pix, 115kb) by Johann Georg Platzer [24 Jun 1704 – 10 Dec 1761]
      _ Latona transforming the peasants into frogs (24x31cm; 624x760pix, 73kb) by Johann Hulsman.
Still Life with Flowers in a Glass (25x19cm) _ The flowers are arranged loosely in a glass, with here and there an insect. This cheerful and relaxed composition is a typical work of the early seventeenth century with its careful, spacious arrangement of the flowers.
–- Feast of the Gods (1600, 48x68cm; 984x1408pix, 180kb _ .ZOOM to xpix, 1164kb), by a follower.
–- Conflagration - Burning House (circular 17cm diameter, in square frame; 60kb), by a follower.
–- Flowers in a Glass Beaker (27x19cm; 489x711pix, 35kb), by a follower.
Great Fish-Market (1603, 58x91cm) _ Brueghel's Great Fish-Market, dating from the year 1603, contains many elements of Mannerist landscape painting. Rendered in a perspective that is almost a bird's-eye-view, the scene opens up across a downward-sloping foreground teeming with hundreds of figures grouped around the stalls and booths of a fishmarket. The eye is drawn towards the harbor in the background, out across the bay and along the coastline, past entire towns with ruins, piers and fortresses, into the depths of the mountains, whose blue merges with the sea. What we see here is a universal landscape, but one broken down into individual themes that are soon to establish themselves as genres in their own right. Fish-market scenes of this kind were to become an independent subject in Flemish painting, for example in the works of Snyder. Still life paintings of fish, such as that displayed for sale here, would also begin to emerge. Marine painting, ruins, and even pure landscape are all to be found as elements in this painting. We even seem to be able to make out a family portrait: the group at the centre of the foreground is thought to be a self portrait of the painter in the company of his family.
The Original Sin (1616, 52x84cm) _ There is another example of this painting in the Prado, Madrid, and several versions in other museums. The landscape - similar to other landscapes by the artist - represents the Paradise.
Travelers on the Way (22x30cm) _ detail _ Pieter Bruegel had two sons, Pieter the Younger and Jan the Elder, both of whom were painters. Both worked in Antwerp at the turn of the 16th century, but their work is so different from each other that they offer yet another example of the various movements which existed side by side at the time. A number of their father's paintings contain folklore elements which must have interested many collectors and prompted them to purchase such works. This would explain why Pieter the Younger copied or made variations on so many of them. Jan was a far more gifted artist. As was the case with his father, his many years in Italy had little influence on his down-to-earth Flemish art, but he lacked his father's broad, dramatic vision and expressive power. Building on his talent as a miniaturist, he confined himself mainly to small scenes, producing countless views of village streets, canals, resting places in the forest and so on. As in Travelers on the Way, he depicted a variety of human activities drawn from everyday life, with a sharp eye for the most minute details and a great feeling for the subtleties of fine technique. He was also the most important flower painter of his time, and the first to make a painting of a vase of flowers a genre in its own right.
Villagers on their Way to Market (1619, 17x28cm) _ Jan Brueghel, the youngest son of Pieter Bruegel the Elder, was as finely gifted a draftsman as he was a painter specialising in floral still-lifes and landscapes. Starting from his father's work he created a number of new types of composition which herald the realistic landscape style in the Netherlands. The drawing discussed here, presumably done between 1615 and 1619, represents peasants passing by on a small hill surrounded by trees, with a spreading landscape to the back. This structure had already been used much earlier in Flemish art, but Brueghel gave it a more contemporary expression by harmoniously combining the motifs of the centrally positioned country road and the distant view. The space is developed in a single movement along the diagonals, provided by the converging lines of trees, up to the vanishing point. Above it unfolds an open firmament giving the impression of endless space. The foreground is enlivened by picturesque and true-to-life scenes: a man feeding hay to two horses, women carrying baskets and jugs. This snapshot of daily life in the country is transformed by Brueghel's refined taste into a poetic mood picture. The coloring of the drawing, with its characteristic combination of brown and blue ink, certainly helps this process. The outlines of the figures and the thin tree trunks, weaving their way decoratively into the sky, are drawn with great delicacy and detail, using sharp pen lines. Subtly applied blue ink provides colored accents in the tops of the trees and in the background, which is constructed entirely with a brush tip in broad lines and small blurred dots, giving the drawing a muffled, refined character typical of many of Brueghel's miniature pictures. Other signed versions of the composition are known, directly related to paintings for which they are probably preparatory studies. This picture may well be such a study. It could also be an independent work of art, exhibiting a finesse which would have made it very sought-after by contemporary collectors.
Landscape with Windmills (1607, 34x50cm) _ In the second decade of the century, which marks Brueghel's mature period, we find a number of landscape paintings that differ considerably from his universal landscapes. They show flat land broken by only a few motifs such as windmills or isolated cottages bathed in changing light. There is an increased sense of portraiture and figure genre is used sparingly. As in the landscapes of Rubens, peasants' carts, cutting a diagonal path, give a heightened impression of depth and distance. One of the elements which indicates that this is a Flemish landscape rather than a Dutch one is the fact that the horizon is placed fairly high in the painting.
The Sense of Hearing (1618, 65x107cm) _ The amazing increase in the commercial and agricultural product range caused a complete restructuring of people's perception - a change which can be seen very clearly in the numerous paintings and series of paintings on the subject of the Five Senses. Jan Brueghel the Elder's famous variations on this motif - now in the Prado, Madrid - show a number of settings, each of which is associated with the five senses. The dramatic 'unity of character' has been divided into components of the senses, thus reflecting an increasing compartmentalization of the world into functional spheres - a world which is defined in terms of luxury goods. In Jan Brueghel's paintings, the part of purely passive reception or physical consumption is played by an allegorical female figure. Interestingly, by depicting her naked or semi-naked breasts and sometimes her entire body, the painter emphasizes an element of eroticism. In this way the consumption of luxury goods and an emotional state of ecstasy are recognized as a syndrome.
The Sense of Sight (1617, 65x109cm; 590x1019pix, 154kb) _ detail _ Brueghel was the most gifted painter of the Flemish school after Rubens. A painter of small pictures, his curiosity was aroused by a wide variety of natural objects — flowers, fruit, landscapes — and by human activity, ranging from peasants working in the fields to the mania of a collector. In this painting, which belongs to a series representing the Five Senses, Sight is shown in the form of an art and wonder chamber, as a kind of walk through a long gallery flooded by sunlight through its covered skylight windows, so that light is shown as the physical equivalent of visual perception. In the foreground a woman, as an allegory of 'visus' (sight), is sitting at a round table, somnolently looking at a painting. Sight, as one of the five senses, also includes astronomical implements such as the telescope and the astrolabe. The painting is a common work by Jan Bruegel and Rubens.
Allegory of Sight and Smelling (1618; 2282x3483pix; 1884kb) _ the setting is similar, but more grandiose than in the previous picture.
The Sense of Taste (1618, 64x108cm) _ This painting belongs to a series representing the Five Senses. Many of Brueghel's paintings include a view in the background, through colonnades, of gardens and stately homes, creating the impression of extensive manorial landed property, as in this painting devoted to 'gustus' (taste). Fish, fruit and hunting trophies are piled up in the foreground and behind them, parallel with the top and bottom edges of paintings, we can see a lavishly set table with swan and peacock pies, a bowl of oysters, crayfish and fruit. In front of the table, at an angle, there is a dessert bowl full of sweets. The personification of Taste is being served wine poured from a jug by a Satyr.
Allegory of Smell. (1618).
The Holy Family (94x72cm) _ The Holy Family leaves us in little doubt as to why the second son of Pieter Bruegel was given the nickname "Velvet" Brueghel. It is a masterpiece of "fine" painting in which elements of floral still-life, landscape painting and devotional painting are combined into a harmonious whole. A magnificent garland of meticulously painted flowers and fruits reflecting the diversity of nature frames the idyllic scene like a triumphal arch. It forms the letter M for Mary, who is seated as in a "beszlozzenen garten" or hortus conclusus dominating the middle ground with the Christ child on her knee. Beside her are the angels and the lamb, slightly behind her is Joseph and in the background is a view of a landscape with grazing deer. The figures were painted by Pieter van Avont - an excellent example of the way specific painterly tasks were delegated according to artists' specializations within Netherlandish painting.
Saint Martin (22x31cm) _ This is a typical example of the miniature painting of Jan Brueghel the Elder.
Bouquet (1603, 125x96cm) _ Unlike Bosschaert, Brueghel did not use landscapes as a background. Rather, protruding upwards from a flower pot, his myriads of flowers are set against a pitch-dark background, so that the contrast gives them a luminous quality. While Bosschaert preferred more cultivated flowers - rather costly at the time - and only depicted a few flowers of the fields and meadows among them, it is precisely these delicate plants that gave Brueghel the idea for 'tapestry' of flowers. Indeed, there is such an abundance of different species that they often defeat identification - over 130 kinds have been counted up to now. It is indeed a tapestry, as all the blossoms seem to crowd towards the front, just as in a two-dimensional space. Brueghel's bouquets always build up from relatively small flowers at the bottom to increasingly larger ones at the top, completely against all our current aesthetic 'laws' of compositional gravity. The picture is dominated by a long-stemmed crown imperial, like a real crown. Below are some blue fleurs-de-lis, flanked by white lilies on the left and the red umbel of a peony. The centre is occupied by various kinds of tulips, which were also given special attention by Bosschaert. Furthermore, Brueghel also included strawberries, raspberries and blackberries in his bouquet. This is because, right until modern times, no fundamental difference was made between decorative flowers and other flowers. Strawberries, for example, which blossom and bear fruit at the same time, were therefore generally included among flowers. Strawberry blossoms were regarded as flowers of paradise, as the food of children who had died prematurely and as symbols of the Virgin Mary. _ The Great Bouquet (1607, 98x73cm) _ This is a smaller version of the painting of 1603.
Flowers (49x39cm) _ The son of Pieter Bruegel the Elder who excelled in landscape and flower painting. He was a friend of Rubens and painted frequently the flowers and girlands on the paintings of Rubens.
Bouquet in a Clay Vase (1607, 51x40cm)
Flowers in a Vase (101x76cm) _ Still life in the 17th century, be it a floral composition, a 'pronkstuk' (or sumptuous still life) or a representation of the vanitas theme, is invariably opulent, ingenious and moralistic. Jan 'Velvet' Breughel's Flowers in a Vase bloom in different seasons, are arranged hierarchically in a rich bouquet, and refer in all their beauty to the transience of life.
Still-Life with Garland of Flowers and Golden Tazza (1618, 48x53cm) _ Jan Brueghel the Elder, the youngest son of the world-famous painter Pieter Bruegel the Elder and court painter to the Archdukes Albrecht and Isabella, truly merited his nickname of "Velvet Brueghel". The precision and virtuosity of his still-lifes are superbly illustrated by the present work with its striking and radiant enamel-like colors. This extremely elegant little panel, which exists in several versions, can probably be counted as one of the jewels of 17th century painting. Against a chased silver-gilt tazza or drinking bowl leans a wreath of spring and summer flowers, made up of carnations, roses, anemones, periwinkles, turban buttercups, lilies of the valley, forget-me-nots and hawthorns, as well as tulips and African marigolds, newly introduced into the Netherlands. From his correspondence we know that Jan Brueghel worked mostly from nature and that such compositions cost him a great deal of effort, because of his concern to execute them with such precision and devotion. On the table lies a jewel box containing a gold ring, coins, a pearl necklace and two identical golden bracelets set with agates. In those days women mostly wore the same bracelets on both wrists. Alongside the box we can make out another three rings set with diamonds, and a pendant with enamel insets, precious stones and tear-shaped pearls. The golden pearl hairpin to the left of the tazza is an ornament that appears only in the Netherlands in the first half of the 17th century. In most cases this pin is placed in the hair next to the head covering. On the marriage day it changes side from left to right, or right to left, depending on the region. The presence of the hairpin and the pearl necklace, pointing to the immaculate marital morality of the wearer, suggests that the panel can perhaps be interpreted as an allegory of marriage. An innovative feature in this still-life is the use of diagonals. Not only the wreath, but also the jewels and the jewel case lie obliquely on the table, in order to produce a stronger effect of depth. Here wealth symbolizes beauty. Both the flowers and the jewels stand out brightly against the neutral background. Brueghel paints with equal affection the humble white carnation and the baroque pendant next to it.
 

Died on a 13 January:

2006 José Raúl Anguiano Valadez, Mexican painter born (full coverage) on 26 February 1915. —(100113)

2000 Marc Frasier Davis [30 Mar 1913–], US artist and animator for Walt Disney Studios.—(100112)

1956 Lyonel Feininger [17 Jul 1871–], US Expressionist and Cubist painter. —(100112)

1943 Sophie Henriette Taeuber-Arp (Täuber), Swiss painter born (main coverage) on 19 January 1889. —(070117)

^ 1930 George Gardner Symons, US painter born in 1863. — LINKS
Valley Stream in Winter

^ 1882 Wilhelm Alexander Meyerheim, German painter born in 1815. — Father? of Paul Meyerheim I [1842-1915]?
Fröhliches Wintertreiben (1856, 55x74cm; 338x450pix, 65kb)
The Arrival of the Ferry (70x96cm)
The Ferry Crossing (69x96cm)
   _ Compare:
   _ Bac Passe-Cheval and .Passage du Bac (46x55cm) by Jules Jacques Veyrassat [02 Jul 1828 – 12 Apr 1893}.
   _ Le passage du bac à Roffit en 1866 by Edouard May [1807-1881]
   _ Het pontveer (1622, 75x113cm) by Esaias van de Velde I [bap. 17 May 1587 – 18 Nov 1630 bur.]. —(070112)

^ 1804 Pietro Antonio Novelli III, Italian painter born in 1729. — LINKS

1761 Franz-Christoph Janneck, Austrian painter born on 03 (10?) October 1703. In his native Graz he was a student of Matthias Vangus (fl 1716) in Graz before he went to Vienna, where he was first mentioned in documents of the 1730s. His younger brother, Mathias Jakob Janneck, studied at the Viennese academy in 1728–1730 and in 1733. About 1735 Janneck traveled in Austria and southern Germany; in Frankfurt am Main he met Karl Aigen [1684–1762], Christian Hilfgott Brand, and Josef Orient [1677–1747]. In 1740 he studied at the Viennese academy, joining the ‘Frey-Compagnie’ (a voluntary military company) in 1741. With Paul Troger, and later with Michelangelo Unterberger, he held the office of assessor at the academy between 1752 and 1758.

1628 Francisco Ribalta, Spanish painter born (full coverage) on 02 June 1565. —(100113)


Born on a 13 January:


^ 1893 Clark Ashton Smith, US, occasional artist, but principally a poet and novelist, who died on 14 August 1961.
The Basilisk (768x576pix, 57kb)
A Turkish Portrait (768x499pix, 34kb)
Spring Clouds (multiple images)
The Martian (1922; 640x480pix, 54kb) _ Head and shoulders watercolor of a grotesque, multi-tentacle humanoid with a landscape as background.
Moonlight on Boulder Ridge (945x723pix, 55kb)
The Sentinel (704x476pix, 98kb)
Racornee (864x640pix, 31kb) _ Tree with heads for fruit, between an upright dragon and a winged being. Sold on Ebay for US$1126.99 in 2003
An Acolyte (508x320pix, 45kb) _ Depicts a robed sorcerer's assistant carrying a strange wand beside a tripod, with an eery landscape background.
Dionysus (724x560pix, 71kb) _ In Greco-Roman religion, Dioonysus (= Bacchus) was a nature god of fruitfulness and vegetation, especially known as a god of wine and ecstasy. According to the most popular tradition, Dionysus was the son of Zeus and Semele, a daughter of Cadmus (king of Thebes). Hera, the wife of Zeus, out of jealousy persuaded Semele to prove her lover's divinity by requesting him to appear in his real person. Zeus complied, but his power was too great for the mortal Semele, who was blasted with thunderbolts. Zeus, however, saved his son by sewing him up in his thigh, keeping him there until he reached maturity, so that he was twice born. Dionysus was then conveyed by the god Hermes to be brought up by the bacchantes (Maenads, or Thyiads) of Nysa, a purely imaginary spot. As Dionysus represented the sap, juice, or lifeblood element in nature, lavish festal orgia (rites) in his honor were widely instituted. These Dionysia (= Bacchanalia) quickly won converts among the women in the post-Mycenaean world. The men, however, met it with hostility. According to tradition, Pentheus, king of Thebes, was torn to pieces by the bacchantes when he attempted to spy on their activities, while the Athenians were punished with impotence for dishonoring the god's cult. The women, nevertheless, abandoned their families and took to the hills, wearing fawn skins and crowns of ivy and shouting “Euoi!,” the ritual cry. Forming thyasi (holy bands) and waving thyrsoi (fennel wands bound with vine leaves and tipped with ivy), they danced by torchlight to the rhythm of the flute and the tympanon (kettledrum). While they were under the god's inspiration, the bacchantes were believed to possess occult powers, the ability to charm snakes and suckle animals, as well as preternatural strength that enabled them to tear living victims to pieces before indulging in a ritual feast (omophagia). The bacchantes hailed the god by his titles of Bromios (Thunderer), Taurokeros (Bull-Horned), or Tauroprosopos (Bull-Faced), in the belief that he incarnated the sacrificial beast. The worship of Dionysus flourished long in Asia Minor, particularly in Phrygia and Lydia, and his cult was closely associated with that of numerous Asiatic deities. Although Dionysus was believed to have descended to the underworld to bring back his mother Semele and was also associated with Persephone in southern Italy, any original connection between the god and the netherworld seems doubtful. Dionysus did, however, possess the gift of prophecy, and at Delphi he was received by the priesthood on almost equal terms with Apollo. His personal attributes were an ivy wreath, the thyrsus, and the kantharos, a large two-handled goblet. In early art he was represented as a bearded man, but later he was portrayed as youthful and effeminate.
— 80 images at Eldritch Dark

1881 Cesare Maggi, Italian artist who died in 1961.

^ 1859 Henry Meynell Rheam, British Pre-Raphaelite painter who died in November 1920. — Rheam painted mostly in watercolor. He specialized in romantic paintings in the Pre-Raphaelite style. He can be compared to Eleanor Fortescue Brickdale and John Byam Shaw. — LINKS
–- La Belle Dame Sans Merci (1400x1018pix, 162kb)
–- Violets (1904, 37x31cm; 1200x972pix, 121kb) _ a woman holding and contemplating violets
–- Arranging Flowers (46x61cm; 885x1050pix, 85kb)
–- Isolde (112x61cm; 698x375pix, 42kb _ .ZOOM to 1396x750pix, 75kb)
Once upon a Time (1908, 46x102cm; 311x700pix, 39kb)
The Fairy Wood (341x450pix, 63kb) —(070112)

1818 Adrianus Eversen, Dutch artist who died in 1897.

^ 1808 Jørgen Roed, Danish painter who died on 03 (09?) August 1888. He studied at the Kongelige Danske Kunstakademi (at that time the Kongelige Danske Akademi for de Skjønne Kunster), Copenhagen, from 1822 to 1833, from 1828 under C. W. Eckersberg. His early portraits provide evidence of the purity of line and clear and subtle coloring that characterize his work. Like many contemporary artists he depicted well-known buildings in Denmark, encouraged by the art historian N. L. Høyen, who was eager to see Danish art assume a distinctively national character. His series of exteriors of Frederiksborg Castle and the cathedrals of Roskilde and Ribe date from the mid-1830s. Interior of Ribe Cathedral (1836) is an important work painted in the manner of a 17th-century Dutch church interior. It is remarkable for the light and subtle tints and reflections. Although it appears to be a meticulous and realistic rendering of the building, the painting may be an antiquarian’s projection of the interior of the cathedral restored to its former medieval glory. With Scene of Departure at the Custom-house (1834) he engaged in genre painting. A young man takes leave of his parents before embarking on a voyage. His sweetheart turns her back to conceal her tears, while others busy themselves in the moments before the ship’s departure. The painting is in the Biedermeier style, but, far from being sentimental, the scene is endowed with a strangely melancholy atmosphere, due in part to the fog and steam. — Roed's students included Viggo Johansen, Frederik Vermehren, Kristian Zahrtmann.

1806 Willem Bodeman, Dutch artist who died in 1880.

1801 Anton van Isendyck (or Isendyck), Belgian artist who died on 14 October 1875.


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