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DEATHS: 1949 WARDLE — 1937 STRUDWICK — 1747 CRESPI — 1833 GUÉRIN 1991 MOTHERWELL 1924 BORGEAUD 1910 ANKER
BIRTHS: 1796 COROT — 1486 DEL SARTO 1723 REYNOLDS 
^ Died on 16 July 1949: Arthur Wardle, British Classicist painter born on 05 February 1864.
— Wardle was one of the finest late Victorian painters of wild animals, and occasionally of wild cats and wild women combined. Wardle also made a large number of superb studies of animals, usually in chalks on colored paper.
— As a pastelist, Wardle has taken a place in the modern British School which he can hardly be said to share with anyone else, a place gained by sheer strength of artistic personality. He had a brilliant appreciation of the genius of pastel; he used it with delightful dexterity. In the first two decades of the 20th century, Arthur Wardle was one of the best known of living British animal painters. He portrayed an astonishing diversity of subjects with an engaging naturalism, and a command of different media. Unlike most British animal and sporting artists who restricted themselves to horse and hound, deer, and domesticated beasts, Wardle both drew and painted every mammal from elephant to mouse, in watercolor, pastel, and oils. Wardle's reputation may have been made with his large mythological paintings, but his most individual work was in pastel which underwent a revival in Britain in the 1890s. Inspired by French art, many leading British artists had experimented successfully with pastel, leading to the foundation of the Pastel Society. Wardle was elected a member in 1911.

LINKS
A Lionness (28x38cm)
Moon Kissed :: Endymion (25x32cm) _ Endymion was the son of Zeus and the nymph Calyce. According to Greek legend, Endymion was a beautiful young shepherd who slept in a cave on Mount Latmus in Caria. One night while Selene, the moon goddess, drove her chariot through the night sky, she caught sight of the sleeping youth and fell in love with him. Selene contrived that Endymion should sleep forever, so that every night she could descend to embrace him while he slept. Together Endymion and Selene are reputed to have had fifty daughters, representing the fifty moons of the Olympian festal cycle. The story many meanings; some believe Endymion represents the sun, which sets opposite the rising moon, the Latmian cave representing the cave of forgetfuless into which the sun plunges beneath the sea, and others regard him as the personification of sleep or death. Wardle not exclusively an animal painter. He exhibited at the Royal Academy a series of large mythological scenes, which combined figures, often loosely draped, with exotic beasts.
A Bacchante (1909, 99x150cm; 759x1050pix, 76kb) _ In this painting Wardle imagines a Bacchante dancing amongst wild flowers surrounded by 8 equally intoxicated leopards.
The Lure of the North (1912, 85x125cm; 940x1400pix, 86kb) _ This Arctic extravaganza of a painting shows a mermaid (apparently comfortable in icy water) playing her lyre surrounded by three appreciative polar bears (they look like they think that she is playing dinner music and — leaving “playing music” aside — that she IS dinner.) and seagulls (ready to eat any scraps left by the bears).
The Intruder (20x24ins) _ This is one of Wardle’s finest dog paintings, for it combines his great skill at depicting terriers, with his ability to tell a story. The family of Wire Fox Terriers have been surprised by an ‘intruder,’ in the form of an Irish Terrier. It is painted in Wardle’s mature style, with a vigorous, painterly brushstroke.
Irish Setter (399x550pix, 41kb) _ with no visible means of support... and three paws not visible either, as if sunk in a haze.
 
 
^ Born on 16 July 1796: Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot, who would grow up to be a French Realist painter, noted primarily for his landscapes, who inspired and to some extent anticipated the landscape painting of the Impressionists. He died on 22 February 1875.
— His students included Alfred Sisley, Camille Pissarro, [10 Jul 1830 – 13 Nov 1903], Berthe Morisot, Stanislas Lepine, Adolphe Appian, and Dagnan-Bouveret.
— His father was a draper. Mother was a very successful milliner of Swiss origin. After apprenticing with a draper, he was allowed by his parents to pursue his ambitions in art, and from 1822 to 1824 he studied landscape painting with Achille-Etna Michallon and Jean-Victor Bertin. In the classical tradition, he went to Italy to study in 1825 where he remained for three years, painting together with Theodore Caruelle d'Aligny and working mostly out-of-doors on oil sketches. Here he developed the serene, fresh landscape style that became his hallmark, although he continued throughout his life to produce paintings for the Salons in a more traditional and classical vein. Corot returned to Italy in 1834 and 1843 and also traveled to Switzerland, Holland, and England. Although he exhibited regularly at the Salon from 1827, he achieved critical success and official patronage only in the later 1840s and 1850s. He was awarded the Legion of Honor in 1846. In the early 1850s, Corot's work underwent a transformation from sharply observed studies of nature and light to a more diffused, Iyrical, loosely brushed mode. He spent his later years mostly at the family's country estate in Ville-d'Avray.
— Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot was a renowned painter — especially of landscapes — who worked in romantic and realistic styles and was a forerunner of impressionistic style. Corot was born in Paris, the son of a draper, who reluctantly allowed him to study painting. From the academic landscape painter Victor Bertin he learned classical principles of composition, which shaped the calm, well-structured landscapes he painted from 1825 to 1828 in Italy. Examples are The Forum Seen from the Farnese Gardens (1826) and the Bridge at Nantes (1827). From 1828 until his death, Corot lived in Paris. During the warm months he traveled throughout Europe, painting small oil sketches that, like those of his friends in the Barbizon School of artists, are among the first French landscapes to be painted outdoors. The sketches are marked by careful structure and the sense of natural light. He worked during winter months in his studio, producing large salon pieces with biblical or historical subjects. By 1845, after receiving critical acclaim, Corot began to sell his work. His landscapes thereafter became imaginary creations bathed in a filmy romantic atmosphere achieved by silvery tones and soft brushstrokes. Examples of this protoimpressionistic style, for which he became famous, are versions of Ville d'Avray - The Pond and the Cabassud House (1840) Ville d'Avray (1870) [detail], and Souvenir de Mortefontaine (1864). Although he tended to repeat his success in this vein to meet popular demand, he also painted such outstanding works as The Belfry at Douai (1871) in his earlier classical style; he also painted a number of portraits and figure studies. He was generous to his friends and students with both time and money, earning the title “père Corot”. He died in Paris.
— At the age of 26 Corot abandoned a commercial career for art, and from the first showed a strong vocation for landscape painting. He lived in Paris, but travelled about France making sketches from nature and from these he composed in his studio. In addition to his journeys in France, he visited England, the Low Countries, Switzerland, and Italy three times (1825-28, 1834, and 1843). Throughout his life Corot found congenial the advice given to him by his teacher Achille-Etna Michallon “to reproduce as scrupulously as possible what I saw in front of me.”. On the other hand he never felt entirely at home with the ideals of the Barbizon School, the members of which saw Romantic idealization of the countrysite as a form of escapism from urban banality, and he remained more faithful to the French Classical tradition than to the English or Dutch schools. Yet although he continued to make studied compositions after his sketches done direct from nature, he brought a new and personal poetry in the Classical tradition of composed landscape and an unaffected naturalness which had hitherto been foreign to it. Through he represented nature realistically, he did not idealize the peasant or the labors of agriculture in the manner of Millet and Courbet, and was uninvolved in ideological controversy.
      From 1827 Corot exhibited regularly at the Salon, but his greatest success there came with a rather different type of picture -- more traditionally Romantic in its evocation of an Arcadian past, and painted in a misty soft-edged style that contrasts sharply with the luminous clarity of his more topographical work. Late in his career Corot also turned to figure painting and it is only fairly recently that this aspect of his work has emerged from neglect -- his female nudes are often of high quality. It was, however, his directness of vision that was generally admired by the major landscape painters of the latter half of the century and influenced nearly all of them at some stage in their careers. His popularity was (and is) such that he is said to be the most forged of all painters (this in addition to an already prolific output). In his lifetime he was held in great esteem as a man as well as an artist, for he had a noble and generous nature; he supported Millet's widow, for example, and gave a cottage to the blind and impoverished Daumier.

LINKS
–- View of Rome: The Bridge and Castel Sant'Angelo with the Cupola of Saint-Peter's (1827, 27x43cm; 642x1161pix, 146kb _ ZOOM to 1285x2323pix, 642kb) _ Compare the almost identical view as a monochrome engraving by Piranesi [04 Oct 1720 – 09 Nov 1788]:
      _ Veduta del Ponte e Castello Sant'Angelo (564x882pix, 89kb _ ZOOM to 880x1350pix, 137kb)
Children at the Edge of a Stream in the Countryside near Lormes (1843)
Venise - Vue du Campo della Carita en Regardant le Dome de la Salute (1834)
View of Genoa (1834)
Ville d'Avray- The Pond and the Cabassud House (1840)
Ville d'Avray (1870) _ detail
Rebecca (1839)
Hagar in the Wilderness, detail (1835)
The Letter (1865)
Interrupted Reading (1870)
Gypsy with a Mandolin (1874)
Laura Sennegon, Corot's Niece, Later Madame Baudot (1831)
Jeune Fille avec une Grande Coiffe (1835)
Orpheus Leading Eurydice from the Underworld (1861, 112x137cm)
Woman with a Pearl (349 x 266 cm)
51 ZOOMable images at Wikimedia
155 images at Ciudad de la Pintura
—(060715)
^ Died on 16 July 1937: John Melhuish Strudwick, British Pre-Raphaelite painter born on 06 May 1849.
— Strudwick studied at the South Kensington and Royal Academy Schools. He received encouragement from the Scottish artist, John Pettie. The influence of the older artist is evident in Auld Robin Gray (1873). In the early 1870s Strudwick was employed as a studio assistant to Spencer Stanhope and then Burne-Jones . As did Burne-Jones, Strudwick painted mythological, Arthurian, and allegorical works. But Strudwick evolved a very personal and decorative Pre-Raphaelite style, flat, highly detailed, rich and glowing in color. If they were to be faulted, it would be for their static and impersonal nature. Strudwick was an admirer of Italian Renaissance painting, though he admitted to George Bernard Shaw in 1891 that he had never visited Italy. Songs without Words (1876) was his one and only exhibit at the Royal Academy.
      Strudwick frequently attached poetic titles to his works and music was a recurrent theme e.g. The Music of a Bygone Age (1890), When Apples were Golden (1906, Manchester City Art Gallery) and Symphony. With Isabella and the Pot of Basil (1879) he drew on a Pre-Raphaelite favorite, Keats. A Golden Thread (1885), depicts the legendary Fates. Another of his best paintings is O Swallow, Swallow (1894). By 1909 Strudwick was still exhibiting, but he appears to have stopped painting about this time.
      He married Harriet Reed, with whom he had one daughter, and lived all his adult life in Hammersmith, London.
— John Strudwick studied at the Royal Academy Schools, where he was not a successful student. Following this, he worked as a studio assistant to Burne-Jones and Stanhope. Initially, Strudwick enjoyed the patronage of wealthy industrialists but his career went into decline when they withdrew their support. He deliberately left his painting When Sorrow comes in Summer Days, Roses Bloom in Vain unfinished — an indication of the disillusionment he felt at the collapse of his career. He painted in a flat linear style, with great attention to detail, especially in the draperies and accessories, using rich and glowing colors. The effect is sometimes rather lifeless and static, but always highly decorative. George Bernard Shaw wrote, in an article about Strudwick for the Art Journal in 1891: “... transcendent expressiveness is the moving quality in all Strudwick's works and persons who are sensitive to it will take almost as a matter of course the charm of the architecture, the bits of landscape, the elaborately beautiful foliage, the ornamental accessories of all sorts, which would distinguish them even in a gallery of early Italian paintings....”
— The influence of Burne-Jones is clearly visible in Strudwick's work. He was a highly talented individual in his own right, however, and his paintings may be judged on their own considerable merits. His pictures used a niave, flat perspective, and were much- praised by George Bernard Shaw, who commented on the beauty and accuracy of his depiction of landscape, sky, and foliage. Following developments in the early 20th century the art world had no room for Strudwick and his work, and due to this he was forced to cease painting, he was quite literally shamed into artistic silence. At his death the Times obituarist paid tribute to his charming, kind, and interesting character.

LINKS
The Madonna and Child (330x240pix, 39kb) with attendant Angels.
Saint Cecilia _ Cecilia lived in Rome around 230 AD. She is famous for taking a lifelong vow of chastity which she kept despite her enforced marriage. She converted her husband to Christianity and both suffered martyrdom. In medieval times, a misreading of her Acts led to her connection with church music and when the Academy of Music was established at Rome in 1584, she was adopted as its patroness. Her saint's day is celebrated on 22 November.
Apollo and Marsyos _ According to legend, Marsyos challenged Apollo to a musical contest, his flute against the god's lyre. The muses awarded the victory to Apollo, who tied Marsyos to a tree and slayed him alive. Strudwick depicted the moment of judgement. The following poem can be found on the back of the painting: Oh Ecstasy / Oh happiness of him who once has heard Apollo singing! / As he sang / I saw the Nine, with lovely pilgrim eyes, / Sing He has conquered / Yet I felt no pang / Of fear only deep joy that I have heard such while I lived, / Even though it brought torture and death.— The Epic of Hades by 'A New Writer'
Isabella and the Pot of Basil (1879, 99x58 or 25x17cm) _ This painting is based on Isabella, or the Pot of Basil by John Keats [31 Oct 1795 – 23 Feb 1821], which had already inspired major paintings by John Everett Millais [08 Jun 1829 – 13 Aug 1896] and others. Derived from Boccaccio, it tells how Isabella falls in love with Lorenzo, an employee of her brothers, who murder him to prevent their marriage. She exhumes his body and buries his head in a pot of basil, which she waters with her tears. The brothers discover and steal it, and she dies of a broken heart. Strudwich shows her bereft as the brothers, having snatched the pot from its elaborate wrought-iron pedestal, make their escape through the streets of Florence outside her window. — Compare Isabella and the Pot of Basil by William Holman Hunt [02 Apr 1827 — 07 Sep 1910] _ Isabella and the Pot of Basil (1897; 192x91cm) by John White Alexander [07 October 1856 – 01 June 1915] _ Isabella and the Pot of Basil (1907) by John William Waterhouse [06 Apr 1849 – 10 Feb 1917].
A Golden Thread (1885) _ The Fates, or the Moerae, were invoked at birth to decide a man's destiny. Often depicted as spinners, Clotho, at the right, with a spindle spins out the thread of life, while Lachesis, at the left, measures the length of a life, and Atropos, with the shears, cuts it off. There is another version of this painting at the Galleria del Levante in Munich:
Circë and Scylla (1886) _ The subject is taken from Ovid's Metamorphoses. Scylla, a water nymph, was loved by Glaucus, a sea deity. She rejected his advances, and he turned for aid to Circë, the enchantress. Circë, however, fell in love with Glaucus herself, and to destroy Scylla, her rival, poisoned the stream where the nymph was accustomed to bathe. When Scylla entered the water she was transformed into a hideous monster, whereupon she threw herself into the sea which separates Italy from Sicily and was changed into the rock, so perilous to sailors, which bears her name. Strudwick shows Circë pouring poison into the stream, while Scylla advances unawares to bathe. He must have known Burne-Jones' famous picture The Wine of Circë, exhibited in 1869, but a closer comparison is J. W. Waterhouse's Circë Invidiosa, shown at the Royal Academy in 1892, which treats the same incident as Strudwick's painting.
     "Circë was a sorceress, most famous from Homer's Odyssey where she changed some of Ulysses' crew into swine. The scene for this painting is taken from Ovid's Metamorphoses. Scylla was a beautiful water nymph who was loved by Glaucus, a sea god. When she rejected him he sought help from Circë. However, Circë fell in love with Glaucus herself and resolved to rid herself of her rival. She prepared a potion and poisoned the water where Scylla would regularly bathe. The spell turned Scylla into a sea monster. The painting shows Circë pouring her potion into the stream, with Scylla in the background approaching to bathe. Compare the work to the later, but more famous, Waterhouse picture Circë Invidiosa (1892, 179x85cm; _ ZOOMable) which shows Circë pouring the potion from a large dish. Around her feet can be seen the fins of the transformed Scylla."
The Music Of A Bygone Age (1890, 79x61cm)
An Angel (1900; 108kb)
 
 
^ Died on 16 July 1747: Giuseppe-Maria Crespi “lo Spagnolo”, Bolognese painter born on 16 March 1665. — Not to be confused with his relative Daniele Crespi (1595-1630), nor with Giovanni Battista Crespi “il Cerano” (1557 – 23 Oct 1632)
— Crespi reacted against the high-Baroque academic tradition on which he was trained by Carlo Cignani and Domenico Maria Canuti, specializing in genre subjects, with violent chiaroscuro effects of brilliant color against dark backgrounds. They are in the tradition of the everyday-life paintings of the Carracci, but go far beyond them in their sense of unvarnished reality (The Hamlet). He also painted religious paintings in his naturalistic style, such as the Saint Giovanni Nepomuceno Confessing to the Queen of Bohemia (1743). He was an outstanding teacher, numbering Giovanni Battista Piazzetta and Pietro Longhi among his students, and he exercised a great influence on Venetian 18th century painting. He can be considered the only real genius of the late Bolognese school.

LINKS
Self-Portrait (1700, 60x50cm) _ Formerly the painting was believed to be the self-portrait of Domenico Feti. X-ray investigations revealed a female head on the left side of the painting.
Cardinal Prospero Lambertini (1740, 80 x 58 cm) _ Prospero Lambertini [1675-1758], was pope from 1740 to 1758 as Benedict XIV. He became cardinal in 1728, and archbishop of Bologna between 1731 and 1740.
The Flea (1709, 28x24cm) _ This is one of Crespi's best-know paintings. Through the oiled paper in the window frame, a milky light falls into the humble servant's room. Clothing is scattered untidily on the floor and thrown over a roughly made bench. A few household objects and some washing on a bar hang against the bare brick wall, whose only remaining decoration consists of a few personal items. The pretty woman who lives in this room, a maid or servant girl, is sitting on the edge of the bed, dressed only in a shift. As she concentrates on her search for a flea that has probably hidden on her breast, she reveals her round knees, her plump arms and her well formed shoulder. The complete intimacy of this scene and the still-life of the utensils anticipates a theme that was to become typical of late 18th century taste: innocence glimpsed unawares. AIthough there are a number of allegorical reflections — the little dog at the end of the bed, the roses in the vase next to the cosmetic jar they nevertheless do not seriously mean to identify this girl with Venus. The "keyhole perspective" also leaves it up to the spectator to choose his or her own interpretation of the scene.
Hecuba Blinding Polymnestor (173x184cm) _ Giuseppe Maria Crespi, also surnamed lo Spagnolo, was heir to various artistic traditions. Trained in his youth in the rich Bolognese heritage of the Carracci as well as the Venetian school, he later drew artistic inspiration from north of the Alps, in particular in his commissions in Florence for Prince Ferdinand of Tuscany. Crespi's oeuvre plays on several registers. He is known on the one hand for his folk-style genre scenes, the intimacy of which frequently carries over into his religious works, full of tenderness and domestic details. At the same time, when depicting religious, antique or mythological themes, he is not afraid to produce works of a much more monumental and dramatic character, at times even with a decidedly tragic slant, as is the case here.
      The theme is probably taken from Hecuba, a tragedy by the antique Greek author Euripides. During the Trojan war Hecuba had sent her youngest son, together with a large fortune, to safety with Polymnestor, her son-in-law and King of Thrace. Polymnestor, however, abused Hecuba's trust in a dreadful manner, murdering and bespoiling the defenceless child he was supposed to protect. Crespi's painting depicts Hecuba's revenge for this foul deed.
      To the left Polymnestor is held fast by a Trojan woman. To the right Hecuba rushes up to him and puts out her son-in-law's eyes. The painter has masterfully succeeded in converting the dramatic release of the mother's wrath on the murderer of her descendant into a powerful picture that leaves a lasting impression. The pictures rise up out of the dark background in a very mellow and nervous style of painting, a combination that had earlier proven its expressive accuracy in the late works of Titian and Caravaggio. Polymnestor, flailing helplessly in the air, has no recourse against Hecuba, who in her fluttering garments wreaks out just punishment with the elegance and precision of an angel of wrath, whilst her companion resolutely turns her head away from the dreadful judgement. By depicting Hecuba entirely from behind, in foreground, the painter also enables the viewer to identify to a certain degree with the mother as the executor of a just punishment.
 
^ >Born on 16 July 1486: Andrea Lanfranchi d'Agnolo di Francesco “del Sarto”, son of a tailor, he would grow up to be a Florentine painter and draftsman whose works of exquisite composition and craftsmanship were instrumental in the development of the Florentine-Roman school in the first half of the 16th century. His most striking among other well-known works is the series of frescoes on the life of Saint John the Baptist (started about 1511 and completed in 1526). He died of the plague on 28 September 1530.
— Painter, born Florence ca.1487, died there 1530. Son of a tailor, learned goldsmithing and engraving before entering the workshop of Piero di Cosimo. Worked in Paris in 1518, returned to Florence where he painted in the Church of the SS. Annunziate, the Cloister of the Scalzo, and many panel paintings.
      Studied under Piero di Cosimo. Andrea's students included Francesco Bacchiacca and Francesco Salviati.
— Florentine painter of the High Renaissance, who made his reputation with a series of frescoes on the life of John the Baptist. Andrea was born Andrea d'Agnolo in Florence, Italy. He studied painting under Piero di Cosimo, and from about 1508 to about 1512 he collaborated with Florentine painter Franciabigio. At about the same time, Andrea executed fresco decorations for the Servites, a religious order, in their Church of the Santissima Annunziata at Florence. By 1510 he completed five scenes depicting events in the life of S. Filippo Benizzi, a 13th-century leader of the Servite order. These works helped establish Andrea's reputation as an excellent draftsman, a master colorist, and an expert in the use of light and shade. Many commissions followed, including the grisailles (monochromatic frescoes painted in shades of gray) of Saint John the Baptist in the cloister of the Scalzo in Florence.
      Andrea gained international acclaim, and in 1518 he was summoned to the court of Francis I of France, who entrusted him with money to purchase works of art in Italy. He returned to Florence in 1519 and remained there, using the money for his own purposes. In Florence, Andrea continued his work on the fresco series in the cloister of the Scalzo, which he completed in 1526. In 1525 he painted the Madonna del Sacco, which is generally considered his masterpiece, in the cloister of Santissima Annunziata. He executed his last major work in fresco, the Last Supper (1527) in the refectory of the convent of San Salvi near Florence.
      Andrea also painted numerous easel paintings, including portraits, such as those of his wife and of himself in the Pitti Palace, Florence; and religious subjects, such as the Madonna of the Harpies (1517). Among his other noted works are the Pietà (1524) and The Assumption (1530). His students included the architect and painter Giorgio Vasari and the painters Jacopo da Pontormo and Rosso Fiorentino.

LINKS
–- Self-Portrait (47x34cm; 930x700pix, 68kb) head and shoulders.
Self-Portrait (1530, 88x67cm; 752x583pix, 63kb _ ZOOM to 1620x1256pix, 238kb) half length, at the corner of a table with pomegranates and an emptry glass dish.
–- The Holy Family With the Child Saint John
–- Beheading of Saint John the Baptist and presentation of his head (1600 ink and wash, 31x40cm; 722x953pix, 170kb _ ZOOM to 1083x1430pix, 210kb)
Birth of the Virgin (1513, 413x345cm) _ The interior is vast and elaborate, dominated by the huge canopy of the bed of the woman in labour, and defined in all its vastness by elegant architectural features and furnishings. In this grandiose framework, which presupposes Andrea's clear knowledge of what Raphael and Michelangelo had been working in Rome, the women are moving slowly attending with serene solicitude to the tasks as laid down by the account in the apocryphal Gospels, leading the scene an absolutely original kind of animation.
Madonna of the Harpies (1517, 208x178cm; _ ZOOM to 2378x2024pix, 619kb) _ Perhaps the most famous work of Andrea del Sarto is the altarpiece painted for the nuns of San Francesco dei Macci, known as the Madonna of the Harpies. According to the contract signed on 14 May 1515 the picture was to depict the Madonna and Child crowned by two angels and flanked by Saint John the Evangelist and Saint Bonaventure, and to be delivered within a year. But in fact the work is dated 1517, and shows Saint John the Evangelist and Saint Francis on either side of the Madonna and Child on a high polygonal pedestal. The latter is decorated at the corners with monster-like figures (the so-called Harpies), while in the center, beneath the artist's signature, are the opening words of a hymn to Our Lady of the Assumption. We therefore have not the Coronation of the Virgin but the Virgin of the Assumption. These variations on the original commission, and the subject itself, which is not a traditional Madonna and Child Enthroned between Two Saints, but a highly unusual presentation of the Virgin, full-figure on that enigmatic pedestal with the images of the "harpies," have led to a lot of thought and attempted explanations on the part of all critics. The most recent interpretation is that it is a depiction, based on the text of the Book of Revelations, of the Virgin triumphant over evil, symbolized by the monstrous figures, the "harpies," which are in fact the "locusts" mentioned in Revelations; and besides that, bears witness to the cult of the Virgin by the clients, the conventual Franciscans. [And out of the smoke locusts came down upon the earth and were given power like that of scorpions of the earth. (Revelation 9:2~4) — The locusts looked like horses prepared for battle. On their heads they wore something like crowns of gold, and their faces resembled human faces. (Revelation 9:6~8)]
      Having removed the layers of dirt and overpainting, the 1984 restoration has re-established the exceptionally rich coloring of the work, praised by Vasari as being "of singular and truly rare beauty." The figure of the Madonna, wrought into a composed chiasmus in order to balance the weight of the Child (who on the other hand is lively, smiling, and as ambiguous as Rosso's putti), lights up the centre of the picture with the intense rose-color of her robe tempered by harmony with the pale blue of her mantle, and with the brilliant yellow of the light fabric draped over her shoulders beneath the beautiful drapery of the white veil covering her head. On her left is the sculptural Saint John (painted from a terracotta model by Sansovino) swathed in a cinnabar red mantle linked to the lilac of his robe by means of a highly refined drapery, while on the other side the figure of Saint Francis strikes a clear note that emerges by subtle varieties of tone from the architectural motif of the background; while in the background one can once more see "the smoke of transparent clouds veiling the architecture and the figures, that appear to move" (Vasari): a warm, mysterious halo, made of colors and of shadows, that behind and around the figures impels an atmosphere that implies the rich spiritual message brought to us by this painting.
      The Madonna of the Harpies is truly a milestone in the career of Andrea del Sarto, and bears witness to the level of maturity of the most significant artistic experiences of the early 16th century: the "atmospheric" painting of Leonardo, the meditation recently infused with a new freshness in the "grandiose" manner of Michelangelo, the elegant and solemn classicism of Fra Bartolommeo endowed with a new intensity of color after his stay in Venice, the experience of Raphael's work in Rome (and in this case the Sistine Madonna is usually mentioned); these are all motifs that come together in a single stylistic solution, the greatness of which was immediately recognized in Florence and elsewhere. This general admiration was shared almost two centuries later by Prince Ferdinando de' Medici, who acquired the picture for his collection in Palazzo Pitti, offering the nuns in exchange for it not only a copy of the picture done by Francesco Petrucci, but also the embellishment, and practically the remodeling and restoration of all the decoration of their church by Foggini.
_ detail _ The figure of the Madonna, slightly inclined to her left in order to balance the weight of the Child, lights up the center of the picture with the intense rose-color of her robe tempered by harmony with the pale blue of her mantle, and with the brilliant yellow of the light fabric draped over her shoulders beneath the beautiful drapery of the veil over her head.
^ Disputation over the Trinity (1517, 232x193cm; _ ZOOM to 2454x2024pix, 624kb) _ In the same period as the Madonna of the Harpies, Andrea painted another great panel, for the altar of a chapel in the Augustinian church of San Gallo. At the time of the siege of Florence in 1529 it was taken to safety inside the walls, to San Jacopo tra' Fossi, as were the two earlier paintings (Noli me tangere and the Annunciation). The painting depicted the Disputation over the Trinity.
      The subject of the picture is not rare in central Italian painting during this period of spiritual and religious debate. We need only mention the emblematic solutions provided by Raphael for analogous themes with the Disputation on the Sacrament in the Stanza della Segnatura in the Vatican, or the Ecstasy of Saint Cecilia, painted in 1514 for the church of San Giovanni in Monte at Bologna. Moreover, it was particularly congenial to the Augustinian clients of the monastery of San Gallo, who wished to present a theme dear to Saint Augustine, who is in fact depicted while leading a lively debate among other saints, in the presence of a stupendous Magdalene with the features of Lucrezia kneeling beside Saint Sebastian.
     In this picture we see what a lively coloring, a drawing of rare quality, a unique mastery, can do. Who ever saw clothing so lifelike, or the reliefs of surfaces so marked, the features of persons so vivid, and liveliness so conforming with the truth?. . . It does not seem as if these figures were made of paint, but of flesh; not clothed by artifice, but by nature. But if for a moment we put aside the colors, and the artifice, we enter into the spirit of that which is true beyond any doubt; and it seems that the persons are thinking, and adopting bodily attitudes, and talking, and are anything other than painted.
      The recuperation of the exceptional colors of the Disputation, has been obtained by a restoration that has recently been completed. Apart from certain irreversible alterations, such as the oxidization of the verdigris spread by the painter on the mantle of Saint Sebastian in order to emphasize the effect of shadow in the folds, and apart from missing parts and abrasions caused by previous cleanings, the removal - or the careful and extremely prudent reduction - of the layers of dirt and colored varnishes deposited over the surface in the course of centuries has enabled us to rediscover warm, intense and most refined harmonies of color set against the deep blue-green space of a stormy sky. The "palette" now revealed to us appears very similar indeed to that of the Madonna of the Harpies, and confirms the theory that these two masterpieces date from the same time.
Portrait of the Artist's Wife (Lucrezia di Baccio del Fede) (1514, 73x56cm) _
Madonna and Child with the Young Saint John (1518, 154x101cm) _ One is struck by the extraordinary originality of this composition, constructed on an X-shaped scheme which may be discerned beneath the violent emotional expressiveness of the three protagonists. The Madonna's sweet face is shadowed by the soft chiaroscuro that also gives depth and body to the colors. She is seated on the ground, like the traditional madonna of Humility, filling the space diagonally. In a dramatically unstable pose between her knees, a Child Jesus with an elongated body transforms the jocular movements of a putto into a tragic contortion of the limbs and of the smile, in the awareness of his destiny which is matched by a range of colors unusually cold for Andrea, based on subtle relations between grey and violet. Andrea del Sarto painted this large Madonna for the Florentine businessman Giovanni Gaddi.
Madonna and Child with Saints Catherine, Elisabeth and John the Baptist (1519, 102x80cm) _ One of the typical works of the artist's mature period. Saint Catherine is the portrait of Lucrezia, the wife of the artist.
Christ the Redeemer (47x27cm) _ At the SS. Annunziata is the door of the tabernacle representing Christ the Redeemer, which is still in its original place, on the altar of the first chapel on the left.
Stories of Joseph #1 (1520, 98x135cm) _ This is one of the two paintings commissioned by Pier Francesco Borgherini. In this picture there are depicted the following episodes of the Bible, beginning from the left: Joseph interprets the dreams of his father Jacob; Jacob and Rachel order Joseph to join his brothers; further on, Joseph journeying towards his brothers; the brothers let down Joseph into the well; one of the brothers shows Jacob the blood-stained garments of Joseph, who, he says, is dead.
Stories of Joseph #2 (1520, 98x135cm) _ This is one of the two paintings commissioned by Pier Francesco Borgherini. The episodes here represented are, beginning from the left: Pharaoh under his tent has the dreams of the full and empty ears of corn and of the fat and lean cattle; Joseph receives the golden collar which the Pharaoh gives him in gratitude for the interpretation of the dreams (he explains them on the right before the palace on the short flights of steps); in the background on the staircase Joseph is seen being carried off as a prisoner.
Lamentation over Christ (1520, 99x120cm) _ This picture was probably painted (along with a lost Nativity) for the Prior of the SS. Annunziata. The involvement of the onlooker is a pressing feature of this Lamentation, in which "close-up" is exploited to the full with great theatrical effect. The entire space (which has, however, been cut down along the sides from its original size) is filled by the compact group with the Madonna in the middle, upright in contrast to the lifeless body of Christ, and the two angels with their studied and opposed features. The emotion communicated is of an absolutely direct intensity.
The Last Supper (1525, 525x871cm) _ The Cenacolo of San Salvi is possibly the one which most easily lends itself to the transformation into a museum, with its fairly large interiors on the ground and first floors. It was part of a Vallombrosan convent and it passed to the Ladies of Faenza. In 1511 a contract was drawn up with Andrea del Sarto for the decoration of the Refectory. Although commissioned at the beginning of his career, it was carried out slowly and was completed between 1520-25, a particularly fine period of the work of Andrea del Sarto. Miraculously spared during the Siege of Florence in 1529-30, the fresco is placed under a large arch containing painted medallions with the Trinity and four Saints, protectors of the Vallombrosan Order. Andrea's personality and background are evident in the fresco's innovations; he appears to be influenced by Leonardo and the Roman work of Michelangelo and Raphael, revealed in a work of magnificence and pre-baroque spontaneity.
_ detail 1 (center) _ detail 2 (left) _ detail 3 (right) _ study
Pietà (1523, 238x198cm) _ The plague which broke out in Florence in 1523 forced the painter and his family to seek refuge elsewhere. He found shelter and and work with the Camaldolensian nuns of San Pietro at Luco in the Mugello. In the quiet of the country surrounded by the attentive sisters, he painted the Pietà for the altar of their church.
Madonna della Scala (1523, 177x135cm) _ This painting contains numerous exact quotations of Michelangelo and Raphael, though these are fused by Andrea in his own assured manner that gives form to a heroic and yet gentle humanity, and in an equilibrium that both enchants and involves the onlooker. The structure of the painting, representing the Holy Family and the Angel, is complex and based on a pyramid: at the apex is the Madonna, kneeling humbly and lovingly holding the tender boy of the Child reaching out towards the angel, who, together with Saint Joseph, composes the base of the composition. The links between the group and the landscape are supplied by the horizontal line of steps. On this plane he has placed the powerful figure of Saint Elizabeth, who, according to a story in the apocryphal Gospels, is leading the little Baptist off by the hand in order to escape the persecutions of Herod, going towards the vast blue spaces of the hills and mountains.
Portrait of a Young Man (72x57cm) _ Formerly this painting was thought to be a self-portrait.
Assumption of the Virgin (1529, 239x209cm) _ Vasari records this as being executed in about 1529 for Bartolommeo Panciatichi the Elder. Andrea began it and carried it out almost to the end, but because the panel split several times as the work was begun and then suspended, the picture remained not entirely finished at his death. In this immense panel we have one of the most important work of Andrea (who is there represented in the person of the Apostle seen from the back, half-turned towards the spectator) on account of the fine composition divided between earth and sky, the figure of the standing Apostle serving as link between these parts.
Saint John the Baptist (1528, 94x68cm; 1150x825pix, 139kb _ ZOOM to 1632x1256, 200kb) _ This is a celebrated picture. Although actually disfigured by bad restorations in old times which have changed the background and diminished the splendor and especially the interrelation of colors, there still remains the frank, original and lively conception of this youthful figure. The impressive image of the young Baptist, of an evocative power that in this case also one might call pre-Baroque, emerges from a dark grey background in which one glimpses the slightly pinkish rockface of a grotto. The athletic figure, the animal skin and the cloak are thrown into relief by a dramatic light that still illumines wonderful pictorial effects visible in the better preserved parts, such as the cross made of cane in the lower corner. These are the effects that will be taken up again by many of the Florentine painters of the 17th century.
Madonna in Glory and Saints (1528, 215x175cm) _ Vasari mentions this panel as having been painted for Becuccio, a glassmaker, from Gambassi, and adds that it had a predella with the lively portraits of Becuccio and his wife. (The two little tondi with the portraits are now in Chicago.) The painting well represents the late style of Andrea.
Virgin with Four Saints (1530, 308x208cm) _ The saints are: Fedele (with the sword), Catherine of Alexandria, Giovanni Gualberto and Bernardo degli Uberti.
Saint James with Two Children (1528, 159x86cm) _ The standard of the Compagnia di San Jacopo del Nicchio. The two children wear the costume of the “battuti” [?? beaten? ground meat? clothes given by l'ospedale dei Battuti? members of the Confraternità dei (Bianchi) Battuti? attending the Chiesa dei Battuti in Vinchio? a devotion thought to protect from the plague?]. A late work and very beautiful. Restored in 1989 [1399: L'ultimo grande pellegrinaggio collettivo del Medioevo: decine di migliaia di pellegrini (noti come Confraternita dei Bianchi Battuti), coperti di bianche tuniche con croci rosse scesero dal Nord Italia pregando e flaggellandosi, verso Roma dove fu proclamato l'Anno Santo del 1400. Sconvolti dalle continue guerre e dalle lotte interne della Chiesa, chiedevano il perdono dei peccati ed il ritorno della pace.] [Did the costume of the battuti look like that of the KuKluxKlan: “...coperti di bianche tuniche, la testa nascosta da un cappuccio che aveva solo due fori per gli occhi” ?]
Madonna del sacco (1525, 191x403cm) _ Returning to the quarter of the SS. Annunziata after the plague, in 1525 Andrea painted one of his most celebrated works in the great cloister, known as the "Chiostro dei morti". It is considered to be the ultimate masterpiece of Andrea del Sarto's classicism. The solemn equilibrium, the quality of repose and grandeur, the supreme elegance of this scene illustrating the Rest during the Flight into Egypt, classically framed by the high step and the two pilasters, but laid out in an unconventional manner, make this fresco one of the loftiest achievements of the late phase of Andrea's art. The influence of Michelangelo (a number of figures on the vault of the Sistine Chapel are mentioned as prototypes) are elements in a language which is totally personal, powerful and mature.
The Annunciation (1513, 183x184cm) _ Andrea painted this work for the convent of San Gallo which was subsequently destroyed in the siege of Florence (1529). The panel was then transported by the Augustinian Brothers to their new seat, San Jacopo tra i Fossi, whence in 1626 it passed into the possession of the Grand Duchess Maria Maddalena who transferred it to the chapel then being built in Palazzo Pitti. It is an early work of Andrea done when Pontormo was in his workshop. The atmosphere is charged with ancient references quoted blithely in the theatrical background which forms a setting for the almost unrecognizable biblical story. It is usually interpreted as Susanna and the Elders — a Susanna who resembles a male nude; the Elders, three of them, lightly touched in with a few brushstrokes, are pointing to her up in an airy loggia worthy of Pontormo or Rosso. The two figures of the Madonna and the Angel in the foreground, accompanied by two angels, full of gentle human beauty, are vibrant with poetic intensity.
Annunciation (1528, 96x189cm) _ The painting was mentioned by Vasari as being the lunette of a picture which, after various wanderings passed to the museum of Berlin and was destroyed there in the Second World War. It had in fact the form of a lunette and was transformed to a rectangle at an unknown period. It is a late painting of Andrea. In a supremely poetic range of changing colors, from yellow to pink to lilac to purple, it expresses Andrea's new taste, no longer favouring the intense and highly charged palette of the preceding years; he now chooses delicate harmonies, without dissonances, and of precious and refined accords which give the composition a new balance, more quiet and refined than before.
Charity (1518, 185x137cm) _ Andrea del Sarto added the finishting touches to Florentine classicism before the spread of Mannerism. Summoned to France by François I, he stayed there for less than a year (1518-1519). This Charity is the only work known for certain to have been painted in France. In a perfect pyramidal composition with great depth, it depicts the theological virtue of Charity surrounded by her customary attributes — three children — and a complex mesh of symbolic objects, such as the burning jar, an open pomegranate and nuts.
— a different Charity (120x93cm) _ The theological virtue of Charity is traditionally represented by a woman with several small children, one of whom she is shown nursing. Here, those figures appear hard and solid amidst a smoky, undefined setting. Sharp colors, like the pink and turquoise of the garments or the burnt orange and purple stripes of the tablecloth, heighten this contrast of tangible form and indeterminate space. It is, above all, in the ideal grace of slowly revolving poses that the real expressive force of the picture is conveyed. That the subject is subservient to the style in this painting is underlined by the fact that the panel was first planned as a Holy Family, but with a few changes in details, del Sarto transformed it into a Charity. Andrea d'Agnolo was called “del Sarto” from his father's trade as a tailor. He had a successful and productive career in Florence and was particularly celebrated for the beauty and originality of his color. Sarto worked briefly at the court of Francis I at Fontainebleau in 1518. This Charity, probably painted shortly before the artist's death, was also commissioned for the French king.
–- Madonna and Child with the Child Saint John in a Landscape (1528, 99x78cm; 1400x1076pix, 128kb) _ The second half of the 1520’s was a particularly productive time for del Sarto, and despite the political and social upheavals which Florence was experiencing at that time, the artist’s inventive genius had remained undimmed, and the demand for his work undiminished. He had completed his monumental Cenacolo for the refectory of San Salvi, Florence (1527) and was busy producing panels for the King of France, for the Medici, and other patrons, all at the moment of “rovine di tutti i borghi della città, monasteri, spedali, e altri edifice vicini a Firenze”. This chaos (and the siege of Florence by Emperor Charles V in particular) would eventually lead to the plague that claimed the artist’s life.
      The brushy technique of this painting may indicate that it remained unfinished. Its composition of the present painting has striking parallels with the Madonna and Child (1529) in the Pitti. The positioning of the arms and hands of the Virgin as well as the splayed legs of the Child Jesus closely correspond to the present panel (the position of the heads of the figures and the torso of the Child differ significantly). This same dynamic pose of the Infant Christ appears to have been a variation on a theme that del Sarto worked through in the second half of the 1520’s, starting with the Madonna del Sacco (1525) through the Pala di Sarzana (Pitti, Florence, 1528) and further.
–- S#> Madonna col Bambino, San Giovannino e tre Angeli (1528, 122x99cm; 900x724pix, 109kb) an early copy, not by Del Sarto, of his Madonna Corsini.

—(090715)
^ Died on 16 July 1833: baron Pierre-Narcisse Guérin, French Neoclassical painter, draftsman and teacher, born on 13 March 1774.
— Jean-Baptiste Regnault, was a teacher of Guérin. Guérin had an early success with The Return of Marcus Sextus (1799). Phèdre et Hippolyte (1802) and Andromaque et Pyrrhus (1810) are melodramatic. Énée racontant à Didon les malheurs de la ville de Troie (1815) is his best painting, the only one with feeling for color and atmosphere. He was one of the most successful French painters working in the Neo-classical style at the end of the 18th century and the beginning of the 19th. He especially admired the art of Poussin and David, and derived inspiration from Greek mythology and from the Classical themes of the plays of Jean Racine. At the Salons in Paris he exhibited elegant compositions painted in a carefully controlled manner and with arresting chiaroscuro. He was never a prolific artist and, owing to ill-health, painted even less in his later years, devoting himself instead to teaching and to the directorship (1822–1828) of the Académie de France in Rome.
— Among the students of Guérin were Eugène Delacroix {et Delabannière?}, Théodore Géricault [26 Sep 1791 — 26 Jan 1824] {ennemi de Joshua Shaw [1777 – 08 Sep 1860] à en croire la chanson “Joshua fit the battle of Géricault, Géricault, Géricault ...”}, Édouard Cibot {“C'est si beau, Cibot!”}, Léon Cogniet {Contre qui cognait Cogniet?}, Bengt Erland Fogelberg {“Mont-Oiseau”}, Henriquel-Dupont {“Henri Dupont? Henri... quel Dupont?”}, Paul Huet {“On huait Huet.”}, Alexander Lauréus {“Lauréus réussit”}, Victor Orsel [25 May 1795 – 01 Nov 1850] {Il n'était jamais Ancel? Même à cheval?}, Ary Scheffer {“Scheffer sait faire.”}, Xavier Sigalon {“Sigalon aux six galons.”}.

LINKS
The Return of Marcus Sextus (1799, 217x243cm; 888x1168pix, 72kb _ ZOOM to 2034x2455pix, 307kb) _ The imaginary Roman Marcus Sextus, who escaped from Sulla's proscriptions, returned to find his daughter weeping over her dead mother. The painting met with great success, partly due to its subject, which was interpreted as an allusion to the return of the émigrés.
Offrande à Esculape (1803; core detail: 875x1020pix, 76kb) _ ZOOM to full picture: 2300x2039pix, 514kb)
Énée racontant à Didon les malheurs de la ville de Troie (1815; 937x1256pix, 128kb) _ Ce tableau s'inspire de l'Enéide de Virgile. Enée raconte à Didon la destruction de Troie, dont il vient de réchapper. Son fils Ascagne ôte l'anneau donné par son défunt époux à la reine de Carthage, qui concevra pour Enée une passion fatale.
—(060508)

Died on a 16 July:

2007 Dmitri Aleksandrovich Prigov [5 Nov 1940–], Russian artist and writer.

1991 Robert Motherwell, US so-called painter, born (full coverage) on 24 January 1915. —(060715)

1924 Marius Borgeaud, Swiss painter, born (full coverage) on 21 September 1861. —(050920)

1910 Samuel Albert Anker, Swiss painter, born (full coverage) on 01 April 1831. —(090715)

>1770 Francis Cotes [20 May 1726–], English painter, trained by portrait painter George Knapton [1698–1778]. Cotes was an admirer of the pastel drawings of Rosalba Carriera [07 Oct 1675 – 15 Apr 1757]. At first he concentrated on works in pastel and crayon (some of which became well-known as engravings), but later also did some oil paintings. — Samuel Cotes [1734–1818], brother of Francis, was a painter specialized in miniatures. — LINKS —(080716)

Born on a 16 July:

^ >1866 Ludovico Tommasi, Italian painter who died in 1941. Tommasi was born in Livorno, Italy. He never received any formal art training, but he showed a talent for music so his parents enrolled him in the Florence Conservatory of Music where he learned to play the violin. However, his older brothers were learning to paint under Silvestro Lega, and he encouraged Ludovico to start painting all'aperto. After a time in the military where he continued to teach himself how to draw, and in 1904 he had his first exhibition at the Palazzo Corsini in Florence. — Portrait of Ludovico Tommasi (1883; 38x30cm oval; 890x709pix, 67kb) by Silvestro Lega [1826 - 1895]
–- Ritratto da Bimba (30x22cm; 900x637pix, 65kb) almost monochrome
–- S#> Vicolo con Figure (42x32cm; 900x683pix, 158kb)
–- S#> Nel Bosco (100x60cm; 900x543pix, 158kb)
–- S#> Fiera al Impruneta aka Fiera Toscana (42x64cm; 701x900pix, 197kb) rough sketch, almost monochrome
–- S#> Sotto il Pergolato (27x36cm; 666x900pix, 172kb)
Darsena a Viareggio (27x37cm; 342x450pix, 43kb) blurry image
Cavatori aka Cave di Montebuoni 1913 (24x32cm) and Paesaggio (21x30cm) (both drawings shown /S#*>in a single image 1836x1238pix including margins, 705kb)

^ 1830 Charles Meer Webb, British artist who died on 9, 10, or 11 December 1895. — Relative? of James Webb [1825-1895]?
A Satisfying Meal (1883, 65x55cm)
The Family Bible (30x25cm; 286x234pix, 32kb) very poor, low contrast image.

1723 Joshua Reynolds, English painter, who died (full coverage) on 23 February 1792. — (060222)

^ 1719 Gerrit Zegelaar Loenen aan de Vecht, Dutch artist who lived in Amsterdam from 1760 to 1773, and died on 24 June 1794.
Woman Sorting Fish (28x22cm; 650x525pix, 49kb)
–- S#> Study of a man resting on a bench (24x29cm drawing; 960x1155pix, 182kb)

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