ART 4 2-DAY 24 January v.10.00
DEATH: 1920 MODIGLIANI
2001: $200'000 for A TREE AND TWO SAPLINGS?
Born on 24 January 1544:
Gillis van Coninxloo (or Konimksloo)
III, Flemish painter, draftsman, and collector, who was buried on 04 January
1607; son of Jan van Coninxloo II [1489->1552] and brother-in-law of
Van Coninxloo was a landscape painter whose works show the transition from Mannerist to early Baroque landscape. Coninxloo studied under, among others, Pieter Coecke van Aelst, a painter of the Antwerp school of Mannerism. After a period of travel in France, he returned to Antwerp in 1570 and was made a member of the painters' guild. He left his home again in 1585 to escape religious persecution and stayed at Frankenthal in the Palatinate until 1595, when he settled in Amsterdam. The development of Coninxloo's style is often described in three periods that somewhat correspond with his residence in Antwerp (1570-1588), Frankenthal (1588-1595), and Amsterdam (1595-1606). His earlier works are deliberately composed landscape fantasies reflecting the influence of the Italianate Flemish landscapist Paul Bril. Coninxloo's later landscapes are more naturalistic and are characterized by their blending of color into a harmonious atmospheric tone.
— Van Mander, a contemporary of Gillis van Coninxloo III, wrote in 1604: ‘He is, as far as I know, the best landscape painter of his time; his style is now frequently imitated in Holland.’ Van Mander, moreover, based all his guidelines for landscape painters in his didactic poem Grondt der edel vry schilderconst (‘Principles of the noble and free art of painting’) on Gillis van Coninxloo’s ideas, since Gillis’s contributions to the development of Dutch and Flemish landscape painting were of decisive importance. More than any other artist, he represented the heroic landscape, an interpretation of nature based on reality but with a tendency to idealize the scenery, thus making the whole sublime. While his predecessors painted vast panoramic landscapes, Gillis III rendered self-contained glimpses of nature and created a sense of unity between man and nature as well as between the landscape and the viewer. A similar notion was being developed simultaneously in Italy by such artists of Netherlandish origin as Lodewijk Toeput and Paolo Fiammingo. Van Coninxloo, who never visited Italy, probably came to know this new style through prints by Cornelis Cort after Girolamo Muziano, which were then circulating throughout the Netherlands. Other northern artists such as Jan Breughel the elder and Paul Bril achieved similar results at the same time or even before. Their contribution to the development of forest landscapes may therefore be considered to be at least as important as that of Gillis van Coninxloo, if not more so.
— The students of Gillis van Coninxloo III included Hercules Seghers, Pieter Schoubroeck, Esaias van de Velde.
— Forest Landscape (1598, 42x61cm; 419x620pix, 60kb _ ZOOM to 845x1250pix, 268kb _ ZOOM+ to 1690x1690pix, 754kb, with right third cropped off) _ Taking as his starting-point Jan Brueghel, who was the first artist to paint a forest landscape abound 1595 (Galleria Ambrosia, Milan), Gillis van Coninxloo created his Forest Landscape, one of the highlights of Flemish landscape painting. In it, the viewer has a close-up view of a dense forest. He appears to be standing at a bend in the stream flowing out of the impenetrable wood towards him. In the middle, the stream runs around an island on which a traveler is encamped. The banks of the stream lend a sense of depth as they wend their way into the background. This painting achieves great intensity and an increasingly atmospheric quality in its fine shades of brown and green. Breaking through the mighty treetops, the light is reflected in the water and, against a background of impenetrable darkness, transforms the island on which the traveler is lying into an agreeable place. Through its accentuated handling of light, the forest landscape becomes highly atmospheric and seems to be positively charged with emotion.
Landscape with Leto and Peasants of Lykia (144x 204cm) _ The main subject of the painting is the landscape. The scene in the foreground is only a decoration; it depicts a story from Ovid's Metamorphoses: the peasants are changed to frogs because they did not give water to Leto. The figures of the scene were painted by Hendrick de Clerck.
Mountain Landscape with River Valley and the Prophet Hosea (20x29cm) _ The subject of this landscape is a moralistic one with a reference to a passage from the Bible, more specifically the Old Testament book of Hosea. The drawing is believed to have been done in Frankenthal, a small town in the Pfalz mountains where an important artists' colony sprang up after the fall of Antwerp to the Spanish in 1585. Many of the artists who settled there were Flemings sympathetic to the Reformation, who had been forced into exile because of their Protestant faith. Some years later, a number of them, including Gillis van Coninxloo, moved to Amsterdam. Protestant artists worked in Frankenthal in a reformed environment, which was naturally reflected in the subjects they chose to paint. That is certainly the case with this drawing. The Prophet Hosea opposed what he saw as abuses in the field of worship, making him a symbolic precursor of early Protestant leaders.
Gillis van Coninxloo is viewed as an innovator in Flemish landscape painting. Above all, he represents the transition from the Mannerist to the Baroque landscape. The watercolor of the prophet Hosea is still done entirely in his early Mannerist style. Van Coninxloo went on to master and develop a variety of styles in his life. His influence on his contemporaries was crucial, and was felt by both Flemish and Dutch painters. In many ways, he helped Northern Netherlandish art embark on its search for a new, distinct identity.
Died on 24 January 1920: Amadeo
Modigliani, Italian Expressionist
painter, sculptor, and draftsman born on 12 July 1884.
— While he is acknowledged to be one of the major artists of his generation, he was not as experimental and daring as his contemporaries. The direction of Picasso’s work, for instance, changed radically between 1906 and 1909 as a result of the influence of Cézanne and other styles of art (notably African), but Modigliani’s assimilation of these sources had no such far-reaching consequences. Given Modigliani’s limited subject-matter in painting and sculpture, he achieved an extraordinary range of psychological interpretations of the human face, maintaining his individuality through his distinctive elongations of face or form.
Modigliani was born in Leghorn, of Jewish descent. Modigliani studied in Venice and Florence and arrived in Paris in 1906. Without associating himself with any particular group or movement, Modigliani took what he wanted from the paintings of Toulouse-Lautrec, Cézanne, African sculpture, the Fauves, Cubism and other experimental work of Picasso and Braque. More decisive was his meeting with Brancusi; and between 1910 and 1913 it was sculpture that absorbed him. Forced to give this up because the dust thrown off by the chisel damaged his lungs, already weakened by disease, Modigliani applied many sculptural effects in his portraits and nudes, particularly the characteristic elongation of the head, the long raised ridge of the nose and the long neck. The legend of his life as a Montparnasse eccentric - handsome, poor, proud, amorous and drugged or drunk - was cultivated by his literary friends, especially after his genuinely tragic death at 35. The legend ignores his intense concentration on his painting in his last years.
Modigliani developed a unique style. Today his graceful portraits and lush nudes at once evoke his name, but during his brief career few apart from his fellow artists were aware of his gifts. Modigliani had to struggle against poverty and chronic ill health, dying of tuberculosis and excesses of drink and drugs at the age of 35. In 1906, Modigliani settled in Paris, where he encountered the works of Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Georges Rouault, and Pablo Picasso (in his "blue period") and assimilated their influence, as in The Jewess (1908). The strong influence of Paul Cézanne's paintings is clearly evident, both in Modigliani's deliberate distortion of the figure and the free use of large, flat areas of color.
His friendship with Constantin Brancusi kindled Modigliani's interest in sculpture, in which he would continue his very personal idiom, distinguished by strong linear rhythms, simple elongated forms, and verticality. Head (1912) and Caryatid (1914) exemplify his sculptural work, which consists mainly of heads and, less often, of full figures. After 1915, Modigliani devoted himself entirely to painting, producing some of his best work. His interest in African masks and sculpture remains evident, especially in the treatment of the sitters’ faces: flat and masklike, with almond eyes, twisted noses, pursed mouths, and elongated necks. Despite their extreme economy of composition and neutral backgrounds, the portraits convey a sharp sense of the sitter's personality, as in Moise Kisling (1915). A fine example of Modigliani's figure paintings is a Reclining Nude (1917), an elegant, arresting arrangement of curved lines and planes as well as a striking idealization of feminine sexuality.
The third great outsider among the émigrés in Paris died all too soon. Modigliani destroyed himself through drink and drugs, driven desperate by his poverty and bitterly ashamed of it. Modigliani was a young man of fey beauty, and his work has a wonderful slow elegance that is unusual, but compelling. Through the influence of the Rumanian sculptor Constantin Brancusi, he fell under the spell of primitive sculpture, especially from Africa. He went on to develop a sophisticated, mannered style built upon graceful, decorative arabesques and simplified forms. It is hard for us to imagine why it did not attract patrons. He is famous now for his elegant, elongated nudes, but it is his portraits that are the most extraordinary.
–- Self-Portrait (1919)
–- The Boy (1918)
–- Jean Cocteau
–- Jeune Bonne
–- Deux Cyprès aka Arbres de Cyprès et Maisons, Paysage du Midi (1919, 60x45cm; 720x540pix, 44kb _ .ZOOM to 1440x1080pix, 116kb)
–- Seated Woman with Child (1919, 130x81cm)
Chaim Soutine Sitting at a Table (1917; 91x60cm) Soutine [1893 – 09 Aug 1943], whose own art was so off-beat, appeals to Modigliani for what he is bodily and for what he could become spiritually. Soutine rears up out of the frame like a gawky pillar. His nose is brutish in its spread, his eyes asymmetrical, his hair a shaggy mess. All this uncouthness is contrasted by his slender wrists and hands, by an impression we have of a man yearning for a homeland, set upon forming one out of his own substance if no place is provided. There is sadness here, but also determination: the thick red mouth is resolutely closed.
The Painter Manuel Humbert (1916)
Jacques and Berthe Lipchitz (1916)
Female Nude (1916)
Red Nude (Nude on a Cushion) (1917)
Max Jacob (1916, 73x60cm)
— Diego Rivera (ZOOMable) _ Rivera [13 Dec 1886 – 24 Nov 1957] is sleepy-eyed, pursing his lips.
— Jeanne Hébuterne (au chapeau) (1919, 92x54cm; 1536x900pix, 184kb) This dead-eyed portrait of Modigliani’s companion and muse was done shortly before his death and, two days later, her suicide-murder of their unborn child. Jeanne Hébuterne [06 Apr 1898 – 26 Jan 1920] was 19 years old when she met Modigliani in the summer of 1917, while studying at the Académie Colarossi, which Modigliani had attended since his arrival in Paris in 1906 and where both attended life drawing classes. For the next three years, she would be his constant companion and source of inspiration, and the artist was to immortalize her image in a number of portraits. Although Jeanne was an artist, she remains known primarily through Modigliani’s portraits of her. By the time he started depicting Jeanne, the artist had developed his mature style, and the portraits of his wife, painted during the last three years of his life, are among his most refined and accomplished works.
Modigliani imbued his portraits of Jeanne with an emotional and psychological dimension unique within his work. In most pictures of Jeanne we find a very discreet, deliberately subdued color orchestration in the softness of the colors, the fragile delicacy of the tones and the exquisite discretion with which relationships between the picture elements are stated, we cannot fail to sense the expression of a love no less discreet than ecstatic. Modigliani is speaking here almost in a whisper; he murmurs his painting as a lover murmurs endearments in the ear of his beloved. And the light bathing the picture is the light of adoration. Jeanne Hébuterne (au chapeau) displays the softness and the gently emotional tone that Roy described, accomplished through the use of subtly curved lines and a rich, warm palette.
This exquisite three-quarter length portrait powerfully synthesizes all those characteristic traits which Modigliani developed in his post-1916 portraits: the geometric simplification of the female form, the S-shaped curve of her body inscribed by a flowing melodic line to which her whole body is subjected, the elongated neck and face with almond, vacant eyes that imbue her with an enigmatic and impenetrable mood, and the stylized, accentuated line of her nose and the pursed, small mouth with sensuous lips. This mannerist style that characterized Modigliani’s painting is partly derived from the artist’s fascination with the Old Masters of his native Italy. Historical associations impose themselves: echoes not only of the fifteenth-century Mannerism of Sandro Botticelli [1445 – 17 May 1510] but of the classic sixteenth- and seventeenth-century Mannerism of Pontormo [26 May 1494 – 31 Dec 1556], Parmigianino [11 Jan 1503 – 24 Aug 1540] and obviously also El Greco [1541 – 07 Apr 1614]. One work often mentioned in connection with Modigliani’s late portraits of women is Parmigianino’s Madonna dal collo lungo; Pontormo’s Saint Anne Altarpiece is equally relevant. Modigliani had a sound knowledge of Italian art, and we must assume that he was well aware of all this, however direct or indirect the actual influence.
Apart from these historical influences, Modigliani was acutely aware of the artistic developments of his own time. Although he never completely subscribed to the syntax of Cubism, he adopted some of its stylistic devices such as the geometric simplification and break-up of forms, and was close to the sculptors Ossip Zadkine [14 Jul 1890 – 25 Nov 1967] and Jacques Lipchitz [22 Aug 1891 died: Capri, 26 May 1973], both of whom were strongly influenced by Cubism. Even more important perhaps was his relationship with Brancusi [19 Feb 1876 – 16 Mar 1957 ], whom he met in 1909. Brancusi not only encouraged him to carve directly in stone, causing him virtually to abandon painting for several years, but also gave the most convincing demonstration of how influences from the widest possible range of sources – tribal, archaic, Asian and African – could be transformed into a personal idiom of the greatest originality. Although Modigliani never developed a style as close to abstraction and as far removed from the world of natural appearances as that of Brancusi, he was strongly influenced by Brancusi’s simplified forms, reducing his sitters’ faces to a few highly stylized features. What distinguishes Modigliani’s portraits is the balance between his unique mannerism and stylization on one hand, and a naturalism and interest in the personality and psychology of his sitters on the other.
— Jeanne Hébuterne (1918, 92x60cm; 599x392pix, 37kb _ ZOOM to 2410x1576pix, 259kb)
— Jeanne Hébuterne (au pullover jaune) (1918, 100x65cm; 599x386pix, 49kb _ ZOOM to 2445x1576pix, 334kb)
— Jeanne Hébuterne (en vêtements sombres) (1918, 100x65cm; 599x385pix, 35kb _ ZOOM to 2450x1576pix, 258kb)
— Jeanne Hébuterne (head and shoulders) (1918, 46x29cm; 599x371pix, 40kb _ ZOOM to 2543x1576pix, 319kb)
— 74 ZOOMable images at Wikimedia and 24 smaller ones.
— 244 images at the Athenaeum — 152 images at Ciudad de la Pintura
Born on 24 January 1915: Robert
Motherwell, US Abstract
Expressionist painter who died on 16 July 1991.
Born in Aberdeen, grew up in San Francisco, studied at Otis Art Institute, Los Angeles 1926-1929, California School of Fine Arts, SF, graduate of Stanford University, attended Harvard and Columbia; taught at Hunter College in New York City 1951-1959. Married Helen Frankenthaler 1958.
In 1940, a young painter named Robert Motherwell came to New York City and joined a group of artists — including Jackson Pollock, Willem de Kooning, Mark Rothko and Franz Kline — who set out to change the face of US painting. These painters renounced the prevalent US style, believing its realism depicted only the surface of US life. Their interest was in exploring the deeper sense of reality beyond the recognizable image. Influenced by the Surrealists, many of whom had emigrated from Europe to New York, the Abstract Expressionists sought to create essential images that revealed emotional truth and authenticity of feeling.
Robert Motherwell was the youngest and most prolific of the group. Born in Aberdeen, Washington, in 1915, Motherwell first hoped to be a philosopher. His studies at Stanford and Harvard brought him into contact with the great US philosopher Alfred North Whitehead, who first challenged him with the notion of abstraction. What he took from Whitehead was the sense that abstraction was the process of peeling away the inessential and presenting the necessary. After moving to New York and becoming acquainted with a number of artists, Motherwell recognized in them similar desires. Kurt Seligmann [20 Jul 1900 – 02 Jan 1962] was a teacher of Motherwell.
Living in Greenwich Village, he became part of an exciting group of young artists. Forming a community and living on what little they had, the Abstract Expressionists made daring experiments in painting and in the intellectual investigations surrounding it. Their break with the traditional art conventions often provoked the harshest criticism from the establishment. Despite this, these early years were an incredibly productive period for Motherwell—seeing him experiment in a range of media, from painting to collage. His work often expressed the actions of the artist through dramatic and bright brush strokes. Valued for their energetic imagery, they attempted a pure emotional response made real in paint. His collage also concerned itself with an awareness of the presence of the artist in a work. Using torn paper on minimalist backgrounds, he created work that was at once discordant and lyrical.
Beyond his individual efforts as an artist, Motherwell played a major role in the intellectual and artistic development of the underground New York art world of the time. Reflecting on those early years, he spoke of their belief that "if the abstraction, the violence, the humanity was valid in Abstract Expressionism, then it cut out the ground from every other kind of painting." It was this revolutionary sensibility that determined both his life and his art. This work, however, grew not simply from a desire to present a new US art form, but a need to express the major human themes in paint. Like the great masters, Motherwell’s importance can be seen in his attempts at expressing something monumental.
With the advent of Pop Art and its concentration on popular culture themes, the art public began to long for the idealism of the Abstract Expressionists. In relation to Andy Warhol’s soup cans, Motherwell's large abstract paintings began to achieve a majesty in the public eye. Motherwell’s politics and spirituality were welcome reminders of a time when one could make art that did not engage the cynicism of a post-modern era. No longer the black sheep of the art world, Motherwell began to enjoy the fruits of years of dedicated work. It seemed, however, for many of the Abstract Expressionists that the newly found appreciation could not counteract the turbulence of those early years—many dying young or taking their own lives. Though somewhat alone, Motherwell committed himself to producing highly experimental work of emotional depth for the rest of his life. On July 16, 1991, at the age of 76 he died: the last of the great Abstract Expressionists. From the 1949 painting, At Five in the Afternoon, until the end of his life, Motherwell continued his search for a personal and political voice in abstraction. This search produced a body of work that remains a testament to the human soul and its persistence, and to the genre of abstract painting out of which it came.
— A precocious youth, Motherwell received a scholarship to study art when he was 11 years old. He preferred academic studies, however, and eventually took degrees in aesthetics from Stanford and Harvard universities.
Motherwell decided to become a serious artist only in 1941. Although he was especially influenced by the Surrealist artists Max Ernst, Yves Tanguy, and André Masson, he remained largely self-taught. His early work followed no single style but already contained motifs from which much of his later art grew.
In the mid-1940s Motherwell painted abstract figurative works that showed the influence of Surrealism. But in 1949 he painted the first in a series of works collectively entitled Elegy to the Spanish Republic. He painted almost 150 versions of these Elegies in the next three decades. These Abstract Expressionist paintings show his continuous development of a limited repertory of simple, serene, and massive forms that are applied in black paint to the picture plane in such a way that they generate a sense of slow, solemnly suggestive movement.
During the 1960s he painted in several different styles, so that such paintings as Africa (1965) look like enlarged details of elegant calligraphy, while Indian Summer, #2 (1964) combines the bravura brushwork typical of Abstract Expressionism with the broad areas of evenly applied colour characteristic of the then-emerging Colour Field Painting style. By the end of the decade, paintings in his Open series (1967–1969) had abandoned Abstract Expressionism in favor of the new style.
From 1958 to 1971 Motherwell was married to the US painter Helen Frankenthaler. He taught art at Hunter College (1951–1958, 1971–1972), directed the publication of the series The Documents of Modern Art (1944–1952), and wrote numerous essays on art and aesthetics.He was generally regarded as the most articulate spokesman for Abstract Expressionism.
je t'aime No. II (1955, 137x183cm; 755x1000pix, 116kb)
–- Capriccio (1234x949pix, 187kb _ .ZOOM to 2469x1899pix, 839kb)
Elegy to the Spanish Republic #34 (1954, 203x254cm) _ Robert Motherwell was associated with a group of artists in the late 1940s and 1950s in New York who are now referred to as Abstract Expressionists. The term, although they did not like it, aptly describes their painting: abstract (usually to the point of being completely nonobjective), and an attempt to express feelings and moods through these abstract forms. Influenced both by current trends in modern European art (especially Surrealism, which focused on dreams and the unconscious), and the devastation of World War II, the Abstract Expressionists developed the first artistic movement that was completely American in origin. With Abstract Expressionism, the center of the art world shifted from Paris to New York. Representational art was no longer believed to be an adequate expression of the mood of the times. The Abstract Expressionists chose instead to use color, line, and texture for purely expressive purposes. Because of the extremely personal nature of the style, each artist’s work is distinct, based in part on their individual goals. Motherwell wanted to combine the conscious world (the world in which we live) with the unconscious; he thus linked many of his abstract forms to the conscious world through his titles. Motherwell painted more than one hundred works in the series "Elegy to the Spanish Republic." Each image in the series contains black, vertically oriented elements alternating with ovoid forms, and refers to the Spanish Civil War, which lasted from 1936 to 1939, leaving fascist dictator Francisco Franco in power. Motherwell began the series in 1948, almost a decade after the war’s end, but recalled "I was twenty-one in 1936, and that was the most moving political event of the time." Motherwell’s studies in philosophy, psychoanalytic theory, and aesthetics (Stanford, 1932-36; Harvard, 1937-38; Columbia, 1940) are reflected in many aspects of the "Elegy" series. For example, the black-and-white contrasts that dominate the image could refer to night and day, death and life, and oppression and freedom. This last interpretation is underscored by the colors in the background, those of the flag of the Spanish Republic, which are being blotted out by the black forms in the foreground. Although Motherwell stated that the "Elegies" are not political, he did say that they were his "private insistence that a terrible death happened that should not be forgot." There is a tinge of nostalgia for a lost cause in these images, and the use of the term elegy emphasizes this sense of loss and death. An elegy is a short funeral song or lament—slow, meditative, and mournful. The rhythm of an elegy could be compared to the type of rhythm seen in the black forms moving slowly and solemnly across the canvas, marking the death of freedom for the Spanish people.
Elegy to the Spanish Republic # 57 (1960, 213x274cm) [image >] _ The youngest member of the group of artists who founded the Abstract Expressionist movement in New York in the 1940s, Motherwell was also an active writer and editor of writings on art, and was greatly influenced by poetry, philosophy (which he studied at Stanford University) and, in the case of his Spanish Elegyseries, politics. Though a relatively small part of Motherwell's total output, the Spanish Elegies are the best known works of Motherwell's career and constitute one of the most ballyhooed meditations of modern art on a political theme since Picasso's incomparably superior Guernica.
The origin of imagery for the Spanish Elegies is in Motherwell's 1948 black-and-white illustration for a poem by Harold Rosenberg [02 Feb 1906 – 1978] in the avant-garde periodical Possibilities. After many experiments in these abstract illuminations, the pattern emerged of black vertical and oval shapes against a white backdrop. These forms were reworked over the years until they were painted in monumental scale in the late 1950s, a time of prolific and brilliant activity in Motherwell's career. Motherwell's renewal of the Elegies and the general expansion of creative effort in the late 1950s and early 1960s came in a period when any self-doubts seem to have been resolved, and the artist was moving into a prolific and brilliant phase of his mature achievements. He suddenly seemed to have realized that he was in control of forms capable of almost infinitely monumental expression. This period of dynamic creative expression resulted in the large scale, rough-textured quality and architectural framework of a number of Spanish Elegy paintings, including No. 57. This painting in particular places the action of the painting within a unique spatial enclosure.
While the Elegies represent the central chapter in Motherwell's work, they stand out from other work in his oeuvre by the almost exclusive use of back and white, in contrast to the richer palette of his other paintings and collages. They are also distinctive in the artist's concentrated focus on a single theme—the destruction of Spanish democracy by Franco — in opposition to the range of experimentation and change that characterized most of Motherwell's career. No other single theme so preoccupied Motherwell as did the Spanish Elegies. The pseudonymous Trevor Pervamal was inspired by Motherwell's smudges to create the contrary but almost as worthless Odious Ode to the Blooper Synapse (2005) shown here >>>.
— je t'aime No. III (500x371pix, 26kb)
— je t'aime en Noir et Rose (1991; 325x377pix, 43kb)
–- Blue Elegy (586x800pix, 29 kb) This pale, dull image inspired the pseudonymous Jonbert Mothburn not only to brighten it up, but to use it as a starting point, in combination with
_ .Emblem (Feb 1966, 110x122cm; 718x800pix, 35kb) of John Coburn [22 Sep 1925~], which is bright but has only two colors: red and blue, both quite flat. Mothburn completely transformed both pictures into the irrelevantly and irreverently titled
_ .Aim Blame at Him Who Blew the Election aka L M aka Elle Aime (2006; screen filling, 151kb _ ZOOM to 1864x2636pix, 965kb) and then gave it a very different appearance simply by making it symmetrical in
_ .Son Bleu (Mais Pas le Mien) est Léger et Blême aka Leg Gel (2006; screen filling, 236kb _ ZOOM to 1864x2636pix, 1352kb)
–- In the Summer Sun (623x800pix, 56kb)
–- Beside the Sea #64 (800x584pix, 22kb)
–- Suchard on Orange #1 (800x637pix, 27kb) _ Quite independently, the pseudonymous Bert Dadbetter has made the much more realistic and grander
_ .Grapefruit on Suchard aka Such Art ! (2006; screen filling, 109kb _ ZOOM to 2636x1864pix, 446kb).
–- Guardian #9 (800x506pix, 33kb) a piece of newspaper (The Manchester Guardian?) torn into a silhouette vaguely suggestive of the profile of a person, plus three brown streaks, one of which may represent a rifle carried on the shoulder.
–- Red Cut by Black (576x800pix, 21kb) _ On 10 May 2006 a greater fool paid $1'024'000 for this: three unequal approximate rectangles in two shades of red, separated by black streaks, with a couple of extra streaks inside the largest quasi-rectangle. So Dadbetter decided to transform it radically into the amazing symmetrical abstraction
_ .Communist Provocateur Stabbed by African Patriot aka Wounded Humanitarian Aid Worker Lavrenty Vissarionovich Umstvennostalnik Subdues Rabid Terrorist Attacker Oba Sangjon aka Tuck Cut (2006; screen filling, 149kb _ ZOOM to 1864x2636pix, 963kb).
This Study of tree and two saplings, by Baccio Della Porta Fra Bartolommeo [1472-1517], in black chalk and brown wash, goes on auction at Christies. Is is expected to sell for close to $200'000.
It is one of ten studies depicting single trees which survived from the artist's studio and represent the earliest known evidence in the history of western art of an artist sketching outdoors.
These studies are an integral part of the celebrated series of landscape drawings excecuted in pen and brown ink depicting views of Dominican holdings in the vicinity of Florence.
The tree studies however often vary from the larger views in spirit and technique. While half of them are drawn like the landscapes in pen and brown ink, the present sheet is executed in Fra Bartolommeo's preferred medium: black chalk. It could have been sketched by the artist at any time during his career.