ART 4 2-DAY 01 July v.9.61
BIRTH: 1858 METCALF
on 01 July 1908: Thomas Hill, US Hudson
River School painter, specialized in the US West, born on 11 September
1829 in Birmingham, England. He dies by suicide in Raymond, California.
— Thomas Hill is famous for his portrayals of US mountain scenery. In 1853, he studied portraiture and still life painting at The Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts. During the summer of 1854, Hill visited the White Mountains in New Hampshire, where he met and painted with several artists associated with the Hudson River School, a group of nineteenth-century US painters known for their romantic depictions of the US landscape. He traveled to Paris in1866 and 1867 to continue his still life painting studies, but his instructors encouraged him to develop his exceptional talent for landscape painting.
Returning to the United States in 1867, Hill became a leading member of the Hudson River School. He was an avid painter of mountain landscapes, from the Sierra Nevada and the Rocky Mountains, to the White Mountains of New Hampshire. His landscapes reflect a deep understanding of nature through his precise, accurate, and rapidly executed compositions. In 1870, Hill settled in California, spending the winters in San Francisco and the summers in Yosemite Valley. Hill is often referred to as the “Artist of Yosemite”. He was extremely active in the local art community and assisted with the development of the California School of Design. Hill later moved his studio from San Francisco to Yosemite National Park. His most celebrated painting, The Driving of the Last Spike (1881), is a large image commemorating the completion of the Central-Pacific Railroad at Ogden, Utah in 1869.
The name of the painter Thomas Hill has long been linked with that of Yosemite Valley, California, his most frequent subject. When the artist was seventy, an art critic called him "The most ardent devotee at the shrine of Yosemite and the most faithful priest of the valley. His enormous Yosemite panoramas were purchased by many of the social and business leaders of San Francisco, and one of his landscapes won a bronze medal at the Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia. Born in England, Hill moved to Massachusetts with his family in 1844. He lived in Boston, Philadelphia, and Cambridge before moving to San Francisco in 1861.
Hill first visited Yosemite Valley in 1862, a fact recently confirmed by the diary of a nineteenth-century tourist. Following a visit to Europe in 1867 and a stay in Boston from 1868 to 1872, Hill made the San Francisco bay area his home, actively participating in the early artistic circles of the city and traveling frequently to Yosemite. In 1883, he established his first summer studio at Yosemite, and in 1886 he moved to Wawona, fifteen miles southwest of the valley, where he maintained a studio and residence the rest of his life.
Bridal Veil Falls, Yosemite depicts the Yosemite valley as seen from its western entrance. On the left is El Capitan, and on the right is Bridal Veil Falls. The formations named Sentinel Rock and Half Dome are faintly visible in the right background, as are the distant peaks of the High Sierra. This view of Yosemite is one Hill painted frequently, both in horizontal and vertical formats. The Native American encampment and the woman carrying a papoose in the foreground are elements he frequently included in his Yosemite landscapes to provide a focal point and a note of human interest. In romantic terms, the Native Americans add an element symbolic of wilderness, a suggestion of the way the valley looked before Anglo-Americans discovered it in 1851 and drove out the Southern Sierra Miwoks, the native inhabitants of the region. Bridal Veil Falls, Yosemite is probably from the 1870s, when Hill painted several of his largest Yosemite panoramas for wealthy Californians. The painting's thick, impasto handling also relates it stylistically to other works of this period. An art critic of 1870 noted Hill's change from his earlier, sketchier style to the heavier technique seen here. "Thomas Hill," he wrote, "has ignored that free sketchy style in which he was so felicitous, and adopted the dry impasto mode of the French school. In the latter he is as yet a probationer; but time may ripen him into a master." It is unlikely that Bridal Veil Falls, Yosemite was painted between 1884 and 1887, as it does not seem to be listed in the artist's business notebook from that period, and after 1890, Hill's style became freer and even less detailed than it appears here.
Hill's business notebook from 1884-1887 explains a great deal about his working methods. Standard subjects are listed with titles like Morning in Yosemite Valley, and General View from Bridal Veil Meadow. The last is a reference to the type of view shown here. Clients even requested specific seasons and times of day, and Hill duly noted their preferences: "early morning," "mid-day spring time," and "sunset with lndians." According to the notebook, Hill's clientele came from around the world, although most hailed from San Francisco, the eastern and Midwestern United States, and England. Hill's most notable British clients and visitors included the Earl of Durham, the Honorable Evan Charteris, and Lord Henry Paulet. Bridal Veil Falls, Yosemite, which found its way back to the US from a collection in England, was very likely purchased by British tourists visiting California. Hill continued to paint Yosemite for the rest of his career, working in his studio at Wawona and spending the cold Sierra winters in nearby Raymond, California.
— View of Yosemite Valley (1871, 76x122cm; _ ZOOMable to 863x1400pix, 536kb)
— Yosemite Valley (1900, 76x117cm; ZOOMable, to 910x1399pix, 735kb)
— Emerald Lake Near Tahoe (1900, 45x85cm; ZOOMable, to 738x1400pix, 424kb)
— Encampment Surrounded by Mountains (1890, 67x95cm)
— Mount Washington (1869, 91x152cm)
— Yosemite Valley (1869, 92x152cm)
— Fishing on the Merced River, Yosemite Valley (1891, 91x137cm)
Grand Canyon of the Sierras, Yosemite (1871; 525x850pix, 127kb)
View of Lake Tahoe Looking Across Emerald Bay (1874)
California Game (1874)
Castle Craigs, California (1878)
The Muir Glacier in Alaska (1887)
Great Falls of the Yellowstone (1884)
— Bridal Veil Falls, Yosemite
>Born on 01 July 1858: Willard Leroy
Metcalf, US Impressionist
painter and illustrator who died on 09 March 1925. He studied under Gustave
Lefebvre and George
— His formal education was limited, and at 17 he was apprenticed to the painter George Loring Brown of Boston. He was one of the first scholarship students admitted to the school of art sponsored by the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and took classes there in 1877 and 1878. After spending several years illustrating magazine articles on the Zuni Indians of New Mexico, he decided to study abroad and in 1883 left for Paris. There he studied at the Académie Julian under Jules Lefebvre and Gustave Boulanger. During the five years he spent in France he became intimately acquainted with the countryside around the villages of Grez-sur-Loing and Giverny. He returned to the US in 1888 and in the following spring exhibited oil studies painted in France, England and Africa, at the Saint Botolph Club in Boston (e.g. Street Scene, Tunis, 1887).
— Midsummer Twilight (1888, 82x89cm;865x1000 pix, 188kb)
Le Sillon (1911)
Child in Sunlight
— Havana Harbor (1902, 46x67cm, 838x1216pix)
— Street Scene, Tangiers (1887. 82x55cm)
— The Little White House (1919, 61x61cm; 919x901pix, 276kb) auctioned at Sotheby's on 01 December 2004 for $1'016'000.
— Boys Fishing (1908, 66x74cm) auctioned at Sotheby's on 22 May 2002 for $482'500.
— Passing Summer (1916, 91x91cm; 1043x1022pix, 365kb)
–- Waning Summer (61x61cm; 799x791pix, 130kb)
— 58 images at the Athenaeum
on 01 July 1666: Thomas Abrahamszoon Beerstraten,
Flemish painter born on 31 May 1622 (or in January 1622?)
Beerstraten was the name of 2 Flemish landscape painters. Anthonie [1639-1665] painted mostly snow scenes somewhat similar to those of Hendrick Avercamp; Jan Abrahamszoon used more conventional subject matter.
— Beerstraten, son of a cloth weaver, became a highly skilled topographical draftsman. Influenced by his early studies with a Dutch marine painter, he painted a few sea battles. He also painted imaginary seascapes, Italianate pictures influenced by the works of such artists as Nicolaes Berchem. Beerstraten may or may not have actually visited Italy, but he accurately conveyed the southern light. He also may have copied drawings given to him by Johannes Lingelbach, who occasionally painted the figures in Beerstraten's compositions. By the 1650s, public interest in native topography had grown, and Beerstraten's views of northern Netherlandish towns, villages, and castles satisfied that demand. A somewhat romantic atmosphere pervaded his landscapes. He usually painted winter scenes, with many neutral colors and soft outlines, as well as romanticized subjects. Beerstraten's son specialized in similar subjects.
Village of Nieukoop in Winter with Child Funeral (92x129cm; 628x888pix, 119kb) _ This is one of three paintings of the same Gothic village church and the funeral procession.
— Winter Landscape (1665, 77x110cm; 439x640pix, 62kb) _ A limited palette captures the hush of a winter day, with roofs of church and homes covered in a velvety blanket of snow and skaters gliding over the canal. The skaters' activity and the townspeople engaging in their daily business at the left enliven the otherwise bleak scene. Amid these pleasant activities, the huge, leafless tree squarely in the panel's center emphasizes the starkness of winter, towering over the human-made buildings and implying the dominance of nature. The tiny size of the people under the broad Dutch sky similarly accentuates their lack of control. Despite the recognizable tower of Rhenen in the background, the exact location of this scene has not been identified; rather than an actual place, it may be a product of the artist's imagination.
— Vue imaginaire d'un port méridional avec le chevet de la cathédrale de Lyon (1652, 156x188cm) _ Lyon était fréquemment visitée par les artistes néerlandais en route vers l'Italie.
— Vue imaginaire d'un port méridional, dit à tort l'ancien port de Gênes (1662, 94x129cm)
— Marine (33x40cm)
— The Castle of Muiden in Winter (1658, 97x130cm) _ The castle of Muiden, seen here from the north-east, is about 11 km east of Amsterdam at the entry of the Vecht river into the Zuider Zee. It probably dates from the 14th century and today looks much as it appears in the painting. In the 17th century it was the residence of the Dutch poet and historian Pieter Corneliszoon Hooft. Under his ownership the castle became the gathering place for a circle of the most eminent Dutch poets and scholars, the so-called 'Muiderkring'. The castle is frequently mentioned in Dutch poetry of the time.
— Winter View of Leyden (1660, 88x128cm)
Died on 01 July 1904: George Frederic Watts,
painter and sculptor, born on 23 February 1817.
Watts was born in London, the son of a piano-maker. Initially he wanted to become a sculptor, and at the age of 10 was apprenticed to William Behnes. However, in 1835, at the age of 18, he went to the RA Schools, where he remained for only a short period, and thereafter was mainly self-taught. After he first exhibited The Wounded Heron at the Royal Academy, painting became his main preoccupation. When his picture Caractacus won a £300 prize, he used the money to finance a trip to Italy, where he stayed with friends in Florence. He did not return to England until 1847, when his painting Alfred won the first prize of £500 in a House of Lords competition. Watts surrounded by his paintings
In 1850 Watts visited the home of Valentine Prinsep's parents in Holland park, supposedly for a three-day visit, but instead he stayed for thirty years. The Prinseps seem to have borne the situation cheerfully, and it no doubt gave them a certain cachet in the Bohemian circles in which they moved, which included such writers and painters as Thackeray, Dickens, Rossetti and Burne-Jones. Fortunately, Watts was a man of frugal habits. Although he had been depressed and unhappy when he had moved in with the Prinseps, Watts blossomed in this strange household, where notable writers and painters were treated with reverence. As a portrait artist, his gallery of eminent Victorians is unsurpassed: included among his sitters were the poets Tennyson, Swinburne and Browning, the artists Millais, Lord Leighton, Walter Crane and Burne-Jones; others were Sir Richard Burton, John Stuart Mill and Garibaldi, to mention only a few. He finally left the Prinseps' home in 1875 and moved to the Isle of Wight. In 1864 Watts married the actress Ellen Terry, who was only 16, although the marriage was short-lived, and he remarried in 1886 when he moved to Limnerslease, near Guildford. His new wife was Mary Fraser-Tytler, thirty-two year his junior. She was of Scottish descent, growing up in a castle on the shores of Loch Ness, and was an artist in her own right.
Watts was a modest, hard-working artist who twice refused a baronetcy and other honors, including an offer to become president of the Royal Academy, although he did accept the Order of Merit. His work as a sculptor exists in the Cecil Rhodes Memorial, Cape Town. His chief work as a sculptor is the heroic figure of a man on horseback known as Physical Energy.
The critic G.K. Chesterton said of Watts: ".. more than any other modern man, and much more than politicians who thundered on platforms or financiers who captured continents, Watts has sought in the midst of his quiet and hidden life to mirror his age... In the whole range of Watts' symbolic art, there is scarcely a single example of the ordinary and arbitrary current symbol.... A primeval vagueness and archaism hangs over the all the canvases and cartoons, like frescoes from some prehistoric temple. There is nothing there but the eternal things, day and fire and the sea, and motherhood and the dead."
Another contemporary admirer, Hugh MacMillan, wrote that Watts "surrounds his ideal forms with a misty or cloudy atmosphere for the purpose of showing that they are visionary or ideal.... His colors, like the color of the veils of the ancient tabernacle, like the hues of the jewelled walls of the New Jerusalem, are invested with a parabolic significance.... To the commonest hues he gives a tone beyond their ordinary power... Watts is essentially the seer. He thinks in pictures that come before the inward eye spontaneously and assume a definite form almost without any effort of consciousness."
Watts' declared aims were clear: to paint pictures that appealed 'to the intellect and refined emotions rather than the senses': "I paint ideas, not things. I paint primarily because I have something to say, and since the gift of eloquent language has been denied to me, I use painting; my intention is not so much to paint pictures which shall please the eye, as to suggest great thoughts which shall speak to the imagination and to the heart and arouse all that is best and noblest in humanity."
Since the revival of interest in Victorian painting, Watts is slowly regaining the recognition and respect he enjoyed in the 19th century. However, in terms of public recognition he is not as well-known as contemporaries like Dante Gabriel Rossetti and Edward Burne-Jones.
— Self-Portrait as a Young Man (1834, 57x40cm; 600x414pix, 55kb _ ZOOM to 1820x1256pix, 276kb)
— Self-Portrait (1864, 65x52cm)
— Orlando Pursuing the Fata Morgana (1848, 165x210cm; ZOOMable to 1559x1132pix, 823kb)
— Sic Transit Gloria (1892, 103x204cm; _ ZOOMable) _ Inscribed WHAT I SPENT, | I HAD, | WHAT I SAVED, | I LOST, | WHAT I GAVE, | I HAVE, on the curtain
— Time, Death and Judgement (1886, 246x170cm; 800x552pix, 73kb _ ZOOMable) _ might be titled “Giving Life to the Statues of Man and Woman”.
— Cardinal Manning (1882, 90x70cm; _ ZOOMable)
— Matthew Arnold (1880, 66x52cm; _ ZOOMable)
— Thomas Carlyle ( _ ZOOMable)
— Orpheus and Eurydice ( _ ZOOMable to 2000x1314pix, 562kb) _ detail (721x1000pix, 171kb)
— a different Orpheus and Eurydice
— Frederic Lord Leighton (112x85cm)
— The Recording Angel
— The Three Graces
— Fata Morgana (1865, 203x104cm)
— Dame Alice Ellen Terry (Choosing) (50x40cm)
— Love And Life (115x57cm)
— Charity (1898)
— The Denunciation Of Cain (150x69cm) monochrome
— The Honourable Mary Baring, Later the Marchioness of Northampton (160x84cm) almost monochrome
— The Judgement of Paris (76x66cm) monochrome
— Eve: She shall be called woman (1892, 258x117cm) _ In 1892 Watts embarked on the Eve trilogy. The pictures were conceived as part of his ambitious allegorical project The House of Life which was to illustrate the history of the human race. This painting is the first of the trilogy in which Watts set out to show 'the three stages through which human life has to pass. In the first, the newly created soul is more conscious of heaven than of earth ... the hands grasp nothing of earth's treasures ... In the second, Eve Tempted, ... the sway of the senses has descended upon the soul.' The last work in the series Eve Repentant symbolizes how 'the earthly paradise is wrecked'.
Paolo and Francesca (1884, 152x130cm; 720x603pix, 86kb) _ In this painting passion is seen externalized at the moment of weary ecstasy when desire has become a memory, and memory has distinguished the world..... These bodies are like the hollow shell left by flames which have burnt themselves out, and they float in the fiery air, weightless and listless, as dry leaves are carried along a wave of wind. All life has gone out of them except the energy of that one memory, which lives in the pallor of their flesh, and in the red hollows of the woman's half-closed eyes, and in the ashen hollows of the man's cheeks.... Now, they do not love, nor repent, nor hope, only remember; they have lived, they are no longer living, and they cannot die.
Love and Death (1877) _ This painting was inspired by the death of the 8th Marquis of Lothian, a friend of Watts, who died of a wasting disease whilst still young. Watts explained the painting: 'love is not restraining Death, for it could not do so. I wished to suggest the passionate through unavailing struggle to avert the inevitable.'
— Hope (1886, 142x112cm) _ detail _ This is one of a number of allegorical subjects painted by Watts intended to form part of a bigger decorative scheme which he referred to as the 'House of Life'. He described the picture as an image 'of Hope sitting on a globe with bandaged eyes playing on a lyre which has all the strings broken but one out of which poor little tinkle she is trying to get all the music possible, listening with all her might to the little sound'. Despite the ambiguity of the picture's message, it was tremendously popular and was widely reproduced.
In classical mythology, Hope is portrayed as a female entity sealed inside Pandora's jar by Prometheus. Hope remained inside the jar when the evils were released. Though Hope is more a concept than a character she is occasionally personified as in this painting by Watts. Watts' Hope portrays a blindfolded woman with a broken lyre. Watts was expressing the sentiments of such popular aphorisms as 'Never despair' or 'Where there is life there is hope', though his painting seems to be suggesting the opposite. The Victorian public understood his message, however, and the painting became enormously popular, especially after it was reproduced as an engraving.
The Dweller in the Innermost (1886, 106x70cm) _ This is one of Watts' most overtly Symbolist paintings. It appeared in an exhibition in 1896 described as 'Conscience, winged, dusk-faced, and pensive, seated facing, within a glow of light; on her forehead she bears a shining star; and on her lap lie the arrows that pierce through all disguise, and the trumpet which proclaims truth to the world'.
It inspired Walter Crane to compose a sonnet:
Star-steadfast eyes that pierce the smouldering haze
Of Life and Thought, whose fires prismatic fuse
The palpitating mists with magic hues
That stain the glass of Being, as we gaze,
And mark in transit every mood and phase,
Which, sensitive, doth take or doth refuse
The Lights and shadows Time and Love confuse,
When, lost in dreams, we thread their wandering maze.
Fledged, too, art thou with plumes on brow and breast
To bear thee, brooding o'er the depths unknown
Of human strife, and wonder, and desire;
And silence, wakened by thy horn alone,
Behind thy veil behold a heart on fire,
Wrapped in the secret of its own unrest.
— Endymion (1872, 52x65cm; 909x1134pix, 194kb)
— 98 images at ARC
At left, a detail of the Philip V family portrait.
At right, the portrait of the future Ferdinand VI.