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ART “4” “2”-DAY  22 July v.9.80
BIRTHS: 1803 ISABEY — 1882 HOPPER — 1876 UFER  1898 CALDER 1823 GUFFENS
^ Born on 22 July 1803: Louis-Eugène-Gabriel Isabey, French painter and printmaker, who died on 27 April 1886. He was one of Louis-Philippe’s principal court painters; equally notable for his land- and seascapes, he represents a link between the artists of the Rococo revival and the birth of Romanticism.
—    Eugène Isabey the son of portrait miniaturist Jean-Baptiste Isabey [11 Apr 1767 – 18 Apr 1855]. Eugène Isabey spent his earliest years in the Louvre among such artists as François Gérard and the Vernet family, and at 7 rue des Trois Frères at the foot of Montmartre. His first works, mostly landscapes in watercolor, painted on the outskirts of Paris, display an independent character that owes little to the influence of his father or the other artists among whom he had lived. In 1820 he visited Normandy with his father, Charles Nodier, and Alphonse de Cailleux, the future director of the Louvre. In 1821 he visited Britain with Nodier and discovered British painting; it is uncertain whether Isabey ever met Richard Parkes Bonington (his father certainly knew him), but Bonington’s free watercolor technique had a decisive influence on his development. Isabey’s admiration for Géricault, the advice of his friends and a passionate temperament also helped to form his style, which was characterized by skilfully worked brushstrokes and a preference for impasto rather than glazing. Between 1821 and 1824 Isabey seems to have returned to Normandy several times, painting on the coast between Le Havre and Dieppe. At the Salon of 1824 he exhibited a series of seascapes and landscapes, which helped to establish his reputation.

–- La Tentation de Saint Antoine (1869, 347x310cm; 2343x2161pix, 557kb) _ .détail (857x1144pix, 112kb)
Un port en France (1825; 600x700pix _ ZOOM to 1400x1633pix)
Paysage de côte avec un bateau de pêche (1828; 600x920pix _ ZOOM to 1400x2147pix)
Le transfert des cendres de Napoléon à bord de La Belle Poule, le 15 octobre 1840 (1825; 600x944pix _ ZOOM to 1400x2203pix)
Christine Boyer (circle 580x580pix _ ZOOM to 1353x1353pix)
L'arrivée du duc d'Alba à Rotterdam en 1567 (1844)
Repas dans un Couvent (1876, 62x94cm)
Retour au Port (152x259cm)
La Réception du Cardinal (53x58cm)
Ouragan devant Saint-Malo (1860, 107x156cm) _ On the wind-lashed Brittany coast, men and women strain to drag a boat up the beach. The wind is almost palpable, smoke from the chimney near the centre of the picture blows horizontally, the small flags stream backwards and the frothy turbulent sea is blown up against beach and harbor. Against this strong diagonal movement, from bottom left to top right, the masts of the boats lean into the wind, just as we would in such a gale to stay on our feet.
28 prints at FAMSF
^ Died on 22 July 1914 (1913?): Charles Maurin, French painter and printmaker born on 01 April 1856.
— In 1875 he won the Prix Crozatier, which enabled him to study in Paris, at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts under Jules Lefebvre in 1876–1879 and also at the Académie Julian, where he later taught. He exhibited at the Salon des Artistes Français, becoming a member in 1883. Among his paintings are the Prelude to Lohengrin and Maternity. Inspired by the work of Japanese artists and the growing popularity of the 18th-century print, he was one of a small group of artists who experimented with color plates and in 1891 he patented a new technique of color printing. His best works are his lightly washed grey and pink etchings of nudes, such as After the Bath, The Model and Child with a Pink Ribbon, which show a high standard of drawing and modelling. He also produced wood-engravings, for instance Head of a Young Girl in a Landscape (1890), and others set in low-life cafés and music-halls.

Maternity (1893)
Niccolò Paganini (1838; 800x541pix, 278kb) lithograph by Albert Newsam after a painting by Maurin.
^ >Born on 22 July 1882: Edward Hopper, US Scene painter who died on 15 May 1967. He studied under Robert Henri. Edward Hopper was the quintessential realist painter of twentieth-century America. His images have become part of the very grain and texture of US experience, and even today, thirty years after his death, it is all but impossible to see the US without some refraction through them.
— Hopper's highly individualistic works are landmarks of US realism. His paintings embody in art a particular US 20th-century sensibility that is characterized by isolation, melancholy, and loneliness. 
      Hopper was born in Nyack, New York, and studied illustration in New York City at a commercial art school from 1899 to 1900. Around 1901 he switched to painting and studied at the New York School of Art until 1906, largely under Robert Henri. He made three trips to Europe between 1906 and 1910 but remained unaffected by current French and Spanish experiments in cubism. He was influenced mainly by the great European realists — Diego Velázquez, Francisco de Goya, Honoré Daumier, Édouard Manet — whose work had first been introduced to him by his New York City teachers. His early paintings, such as Le pavillon de Flore (1909), were committed to realism and exhibited some of the basic characteristics that he was to retain throughout his career: compositional style based on simple, large geometric forms; flat masses of color; and the use of architectural elements in his scenes for their strong verticals, horizontals, and diagonals.
      Although one of Hopper's paintings was exhibited in the famous Armory Show of 1913 in New York City, his work excited little interest, and he was obliged to work principally as a commercial illustrator for the next decade. In 1925 he painted House by the Railroad, a landmark in US art that marked the advent of his mature style. The emphasis on blunt shapes and angles and the stark play of light and shadow were in keeping with his earlier work, but the mood — which was the real subject of the painting — was new: It conveyed an atmosphere of all-embracing loneliness and almost eerie solitude.
      Hopper continued to work in this style for the rest of his life, refining and purifying it but never abandoning its basic principles. Most of his paintings portray scenes in New York or New England, both country and city scenes, all with a spare, homely quality — deserted streets, half-empty theaters, gas stations, railroad tracks, rooming houses. One of his best-known works, Nighthawks (1942), shows an all-night café, its few uncommunicative customers illuminated in the pitiless glare of electric lights.
      Although Hopper's work was outside the mainstream of mid-20th-century abstraction, his simplified schematic style was one of the influences on the later representational revival and on pop art. He died in New York City.

— Hopper trained under Robert Henri, 1900-1906, and between 1906 and 1910 made three trips to Europe, though these had little influence on his style. Hopper exhibited at the Armory Show in 1913, but from then until 1923 he abandoned painting, earning his living by commercial illustration. Thereafter, however, he gained widespread recognition as a central exponent of US Scene painting, expressing the loneliness, vacuity, and stagnation of town life. Yet Hopper remained always an individualist: `I don't think I ever tried to paint the US scene; I'm trying to paint myself.' He was active mostly in New York.
     Edward Hopper painted US landscapes and cityscapes with a disturbing truth, expressing the world around him as a chilling, alienating, and often vacuous place. Everybody in a Hopper picture appears terribly alone. Hopper soon gained a widespread reputation as the artist who gave visual form to the loneliness and boredom of life in the big city. This was something new in art, perhaps an expression of the sense of human hopelessness that characterized the Great Depression of the 1930s.
      Edward Hopper has something of the lonely gravity peculiar to Thomas Eakins, a courageous fidelity to life as he feels it to be. He also shares Winslow Homer's power to recall the feel of things. For Hopper, this feel is insistently low-key and ruminative. He shows the modern world unflinchingly; even its gaieties are gently mournful, echoing the disillusionment that swept across the country after the start of the Great Depression in 1929. Cape Cod Evening (1939, 77x102cm) should be idyllic, and in a way it is. The couple enjoy the evening sunshine outside their home, yet they are a couple only technically and the enjoyment is wholly passive as both are isolated and introspective in their reveries. Their house is closed to intimacy, the door firmly shut and the windows covered. The dog is the only alert creature, but even it turns away from the house. The thick, sinister trees tap on the window panes, but there will be no answer.

Self~Portrait (1930, 64x52cm, 1013x810pix, 108kb _ ZOOM to 1772x1420pix)
Self~Portrait (51x41cm; 1040x799pix, 115kb)
Early Sunday Morning (600x1016pix _ ZOOM not recommended to blurry 1400x2371pix, 303kb) a 2-story row building, shops at street level, apartments upstairs.
Nighthawks (1942, 76x152cm; ZOOM to 1292x2362pix, 8944kb) _ Paintings such this one convey a mood of loneliness and desolation by their emptiness or by the presence of anonymous, non-communicating figures. But of this picture Hopper said: “I didn't see it as particularly lonely... Unconsciously, probably, I was painting the loneliness of a large city.” Deliberately so or not, in his still, reserved, and blandly handled paintings Hopper often exerts a powerful psychological impact -- distantly akin to that made by the Metaphysical painter de Chirico; but while de Chirico's effect was obtained by making the unreal seem real, Hopper's was rooted in the presentation of the familiar and concrete.
Deck of a Beam Trawler, Gloucester (30x46cm; 530x800pix, 84kb _ ZOOM to 1061x1600pix, 247kb)
Anderson's House (1926, 35x50cm; 35x50cm; 559x800pix, 85kb _ ZOOM to 1118x1600pix, 231kb)
First Branch of the White River (1938, 55x68cm; 640x800pix, 103kb)
Hill and Houses, Cape Elizabeth, Maine ( 34x49cm; 556x800pix, kb _ ZOOM to 1113x1600pix, 181kb)
Lighthouse and Buildings, Portland Head, Cape Elizabeth, Maine (1938, 55x68cm; 558x800pix, 48kb)
–- Portrait of Orleans (1950; 738x1152pix, 179kb _ .ZOOM to 1476x2304pix, 639kb)
–- Two on the Aisle (554x600pix, 38kb _ .ZOOM to 1108x1200pix, 82kb)
–- Gas Station (544x800pix, 45kb _ .ZOOM to 815x1200pix, 58kb)
House by the Railroad (1925, 61x74cm)
–- Soir Bleu (480x973pix, 44kb _ .ZOOM to 720x1459pix, 58kb)
Western Motel (1957)
–- Squam Light (1912, 61x74cm; 1157x1398pix, 89kb) _ The New England seashore played a significant role throughout Hopper’s career. From his formative years until near the end of his life, he spent his summers painting there, mostly in Maine and Massachusetts, where he and his wife built a home on Cape Cod in 1934. The US vernacular architecture he found there held his attention much more than the empty landscape. And no theme became so identified with him as the lighthouse. His fascination with these landmark structures grew out of his love of navigation, which had begun during his boyhood in Nyack, New York--a Hudson River town. His family lived in a house located just up the hill from the wide river, where he could see all kinds of boats. The Hudson exerted an almost magnetic pull on the young Hopper, who for a time imagined becoming a naval architect. As a teenager, he built his own sailboat, an experience that may have contributed to his decision to pursue painting instead.
      In 1912, Hopper painted Squam Light, a lighthouse located in the village Annisquam, on Cape Ann, just north of Gloucester, Massachusetts. At this time, just two years after the last of his three trips to Europe, he first seized upon the lighthouse as a major theme - one that would later make him famous. He became fascinated with the isolation of both the structures and their keepers--a job that obliged a man to live in the lighthouse, away from noisy neighbors or a nagging wife.
     Squam Light prefigures the images of lighthouses that Hopper would produce fifteen years later at Two Lights on Cape Elizabeth, Maine, just south along the coast from Portland. In 1927, empowered by the mobility he got by purchasing his first automobile, he painted Lighthouse Hill, another view of it seen behind the coast guard captain’s house, and several watercolors of the same buildings. Two years later, in 1929, he painted another oil of The Lighthouse at Two Lights , probably at the urging of some friends, who immediately purchased the canvas. Like Squam Light, Hopper painted all of these lighthouses on location, working outdoors.
      Even before Hopper and his wife arrived at Two Lights that summer, they stopped at Pemaquid Point, where he painted a watercolor of the local lighthouse, known as Pemaquid Light.
      The lighthouse (a brick tower) that Hopper depicted in Squam Light was built by the government in 1897 to keep mariners from going aground on the Squam Bar. The adjacent house that appears in his painting dates from 1801. Hopper’s view of the lighthouse, still intact today, could be had from Wingaersheek Beech in Gloucester. It is worth noting that already by 1912, Hopper’s choice of composition--his view looking up at the lighthouse from below--and his delight in rendering weighty structural forms are closely related to the works of his maturity. We can also observe the beginnings of his use of dramatic light and shadow on the lighthouse tower.
      Hopper was no doubt aware of the tradition of other painters working in and around Gloucester, a popular summer art colony. Since the mid-nineteenth century, such artists as Fitz Hugh Lane, Sanford Gifford, William Trost Richards, Worthington Whittredge, Winslow Homer, William Morris Hunt, Frank Duveneck, John Henry Twachtman, Childe Hassam, and Maurice Prendergast had preceded him there, eager to enjoy Cape Ann’s intense sunlight, brightened by the sea.
      That summer of 1912, Hopper had fallen in with a fellow exhibitor from the MacDowell Club in New York, Leon Kroll, with whom he went on excursions looking for subjects to paint. Kroll, who was the younger by two years, as chatty as Hopper was taciturn, short as Hopper tall, outlived his friend and recalled: 'Hopper was never conversational, nor was he exactly in the group as much as the rest of us were...' It is that image of Hopper the loner that makes these lighthouse pictures appear to be metaphorical self-portraits.
      Before their summer on Cape Ann, both Hopper and Kroll had worked in Paris. Both were realists, painting scenes that they observed around them. But in contrast to Hopper, Kroll claimed: 'I don’t have to wait for inspiration. An artist’s vision is working at all times'. Hopper was more skeptical: 'Well, maybe there is such a thing as inspiration. Maybe it’s the culmination of a thought process. But it’s hard for me to decide what I want to paint. I go for months without finding it sometimes. It comes slowly...'. Nor did Kroll share Hopper’s shyness. He would soon fall in love with a French woman and marry within months. But during that summer, the two men were single at the seashore, working on canvases of approximately the same scale. Kroll, who painted Good Harbor Beach, Bridge at Bass Rock, and other views of the picturesque rocky shore, populated his canvases with dense crowds. In sharp contrast, nearly all Hopper’s compositions that summer were, like Squam Light, figureless, predicting much of his later work.
      Kroll’s lively optimism must have helped Hopper with his own painting, for he had a particularly productive summer, working out-of-doors for the first time in the US. His subjects in addition to Squam Light, included Briar Neck, where the white surf of the waves breaks energetically against the rocks; also Gloucester Harbor, seen in an overview; Tall Masts, with boats and a typical fishing shack; and the Italian Quarter, with its colorful wood-frame houses tucked in against the rocky shore. Recalling that Kroll had claimed that the modernists would like the angular rocks in the foreground of the latter canvas, Hopper insisted that he had no thought of Cézanne or anyone else when he painted them: 'The angularity was just natural to me; I liked those angles.'

Hopper would return to Gloucester and to the Squam River several times during the 1920s, producing there some of his best and most characteristic watercolors including Houses of Squam Light in 1923, which records the houses that lead to the lighthouse depicted in the 1912 canvas. It was that same summer of 1923 that he courted Josephine Nivison in Gloucester, the artist he would marry the next year, in time for them to take their honeymoon on Cape Ann. In 1926, they returned to this favorite spot and he painted House by Squam River. Squam Light marks a milestone in Hopper’s journey from the French subjects he painted during the previous years to the characteristic US themes that would make his reputation.
      _ Compare a photograph of Squam Light (2848x4646pix, 4646kb), made from the same angle, but much closer (changing the perspective) and much later, after trees had grown and a new house had been built in the place of the two houses in the back.
Self-Portrait (1906; 928x800pix, kb) he seems to be suffering from jaundice.
184 images at Museum Syndicate63 images at the Athenaeum52 images at ARC
^ Died on 22 July 1684: Josefa Gomes de Ayala e Cabrera “de Óbidos”, Spanish Portuguese Baroque Era painter born in 1630.

— Josefa de Ayala (or de Óbidos) was born in Seville, Spain. Her father was a Portuguese artist named Baltazar Gomes Figueira. Some time in her adult life, Josefa returned to Portugal where she conducted he professional life as an artist. Her versatility is demonstrated by the range of genres she undertook including still life studies, portraits, religious themes, and allegorical subjects. One of her surviving paintings is that of The Marriage of Saint Catherine. During her life time, Ayala was sufficiently well-regarded as an artist to be elected to the Lisbon Academy.

— Josefa de Óbidos' elaborate still-lifes and religious paintings have long been admired by the Portuguese for their exceptional beauty and profound symbolism. The technical brilliance and elaborate symbolism these masterpieces provide modern viewers with a window into the spirit of seventeenth-century Portugal.
      Josefa de Óbidos (or de Ayala) began her artistic career in the manner available to women in the seventeenth century: by training with her father, artist Baltazar Gomes Figueira. She studied his personal collection of prints and paintings and the works of Francisco de Herrera, a prominent artist in Seville. She drew inspiration from prints of Spanish, Italian, Flemish, and French paintings, as well as from paintings by Portuguese artists, most notably André Reinoso.
      By the age of 15, Josefa de Óbidos was adept at producing technically sophisticated engravings. She soon mastered miniature painting, a skill she applied in her paintings on copper. She is also mentioned in early literature as a woman who painted "for curiosity's sake," which suggests that she painted for her own pleasure.
      Although highly influenced and influential, her life was circumscribed by the walled, provincial city of Óbidos and by the Augustine convent in which she was educated. Her lifelong affiliation with the Carmelites and the Franciscans is reflected in the profound symbolism of both her still-life and religious paintings. Despite her cloister-like lifestyle, her work suggests a sophisticated understanding of artistic trends in continental sixteenth and seventeenth-century European art. Josefa de Óbidos was an anomaly for her time. She did not marry and earned her living by her painting and as a property owner and landlord.
      De Óbidos's works demonstrate that the baroque age in Portugal successfully combined local tradition with other European influences. Many of her oil paintings were executed on copper, a typical Portuguese practice, and her depictions of the Infant Christ bear a striking resemblance to the polychrome wooden sculptures seen in the streets of Óbidos during religious holidays. She also frequently looked to images and compositions in Flemish, French, and Italian prints. As the title of the exhibition asserts, the works have both sacred and profane content. Her religious paintings, many commissioned by churches and convents, portray subjects from the life of Christ and the Holy Family. Josefa de Óbidos drew upon a vast storehouse of imagery and meaning taken from the scriptures, the Apocrypha, hagiographies, and the writings of saints.
      Although her imagery and symbolic details are not readily recognizable to today's viewer, her ideas and representations were part of a visual and literary language understood by the erudite patrons who commissioned her works. For example, in The Child Jesus as Savior of the World, the Christ Child is surrounded by garlands of flowers tied by scarlet cords. The flowers and fruits that seem to serve as fanciful filler in fact contribute to the overall meaning of the painting. The peonies in the garland symbolize salvation and chastity; the lilies, purity; and the white and red roses, patience and martyrdom. Far from mere decoration, the wreath likely functioned as an object for nuns' pious mediation on the life of Christ.
      At first sight the secular or "profane" imagery of Josefa de Óbidos's still-life paintings seems a marked contrast to her religious works. These still-lifes depict in lavish detail traditional Portuguese cakes, sweets, and flowers. Sweet and savory pastries, pine nuts in honey, and tiny cheese cakes in the shape of crustaceans are provocatively displayed in wood boxes and on silver plates in Still Life with Sweets and Earthenware Urn.
      Another layer of meaning unfolds when the symbolism of the food and decorative elements is deciphered and the "profane" is elevated to the "sacred." During the baroque era, nuns were celebrated for their skills in making cakes and confections. Foods with a sweet taste were considered to represent the sweetness of the Infant Christ. Josefa often used food and flowers associated with religious holidays and saints as objects in her still-life paintings. Yet these same foods — sugary confections, butter, and cream — also connoted excess and gluttony. Josefa's still-lifes therefore present a moralistic message: they invite the viewer to savor the virtuous offerings, but also serve to remind that pleasure in excess can lead to vice. Thus Josefa de Óbidos's artistic prowess can transform the simplicity of ordinary objects — earthenware, fruit, and bread — into paintings that are fraught with meaning and spirituality. For centuries, Josefa de Óbidos was almost exclusively known for her still-life paintings, which set before the viewer splendors of holiday feasts. Today she is recognized in Portugal for the full scope of her accomplishments as a painter of deeply-layered religious masterpieces as well.
— O maior mérito da pintora Josefa de Óbidos reside em ter logrado transmitir-nos com incomparável fidelidade a concepção barroca de uma religiosidade de rendinhas, glutona e ao fim e ao cabo sublime, na sua patétitca inocência.
      Trata-se de uma síntese bastante correcta, de facto, porquanto põe o que de mais característico e pessoal existe nas obras desta artista considerada de grande destaque no século XVII português: a sua ingenuidade pura, a sua atitude de distância com o alinhamento com os valores naturalistas sevilhanos, a sua dimensão essencialmente periférica no quadro de uma "corte de aldeia" como era a vila de Óbidos de então, o seu pessoalizado gosto ingénuo e feminil, tudo características próprias de um percurso artístico que tem tanto de enlevante, carinhoso e sedutor, no seu figurino "sui generis", como limitado de referências externas e de complexos pressupostos de significação emblemática, no quadro de um empirismo formador em que um imaginário inato, dócil e inocente se abre às ardências da modernidade disponível.
      Também o Professor Charles Sterling, na reedição do clássico La Nature Morte de l'Antiquité au XXè siècle (1985) [livro onde, aliás, tem honras de capa um notabilissimo bodegón do pai de Josefa de Óbidos], define a pintora portuguesa como artista de "charmante gaucherie provinciale", frase que seguramente valoriza o sentido "periférico" do seu perfil pictórico e a ingenuidade das suas aptidões inventivas. Aliás, o próprio cortejo dos "bodegones" de Josefa com os dos valencianos Miguel March (1635-1670) e Thomas Yepes (1610-1674), avançado por Sterling, ou ainda com a parisiense Louise Moillon (1610-1696), sugerido por Moura Sobral, parece mais exacto que os exagerados confrontos face a Van der Hamen, ou mesmo com um La Tour, por exemplo, pois define um idêntico posicionamento ideológico da artista face ao seu meio.
      É essencial, portanto, compreender-se o ambiente exacto da formação estética desta pintora barroca: ela nasce para a arte em que notavelmente se afirmou num contexto limitado de pressupostos referenciais, mundo esse que é, por um lado, discretamente anti-maneirista ( no repúdio às convenções formais da geração anterior) e, por outro, claramente naturalista, no seu alinhamento e fórmulas comuns às da grande pintura de Siglo d'Oro espanhol.
      Como diria o poeta João Miguel Fernandes Jorge: "ela conheceu o seu século quase não saindo das muralhas de Óbidos"... Tudo se passa em Óbidos, nessa "corte de aldeia" então florescente de ideias, de debates teóricos, de tertúlias literárias e artísticas, onde os esbatidos valores do Barroco internacional se filtravam na dimensão das necessidades provinciais.
      Em boa verdade, Josefa não é uma pintora zurbaranesca na autêntica acepção do termo (como repetidanente se tem afirmado), nem mesmo seguiu as agitadas vibrações de mancha vaporosa do seu padrinho sevilhano Francisco de Herrera, el Viejo, tão-pouco entendeu a magia claro-escurista do movimento «caravagesco» internacional, muito menos assumiu a complexa simbologia do «bodegón» espanhol de um Van der Hamen ou de um Sánchez Cotán, feito de preciosismos de síntese e requintes de modelação lumínica, enfim, só em termos afectivos poderá ser confrontada com a luz de um Georges Ia Tour, com as trevas de um Caravaggio...
      Josefa é uma grande pintora do Seiscentismo peninsular precisamente porque soube assumir, por via não-erudita (com uma grande dose de "ingénua espontaneidade, senão de «original inocência»), uma interessantissima veia provincial entendida até às últimas consequências. Com uma grande pintora tratamos, de facto: as suas -"Naturezas Mortas», os seus «Cordeiros Pascais», os seus «Meninos Jesus" engrinaldados de flores, têm qualidades plásticas que superam o mero nível etnográfico ou pitoresco, na medida em que conseguem descodificar o frio carácter simbólico-moralizador da pintura barroca mais erudita, a pintura espanhola de um Francisco de Zurbarán, um Sánchez Cotán, um Van der Hamen, um Alessandro de Loarte, os mais regionalistas ThomasYepes, Miguel March,Blas de Ledesma, por exemplo, em que indirectamente se inspiram. O «lado lberístico" da arte de Josefa de Obidos, colheu-o a pintora, sobretudo, no estudo das obras de Baltazar Gomes Figueira, o seu pai. que se formara em Sevilha nos anos 20 da centúria e que regressara a Portugal, em 1634, imbuído de um forte gosto naturalista-tenebrista de sinal zurbaranesco, gosto esse refrescante e ainda inovador numa sociedade em crise de valores e revoltada pelas prepotências do poder centralizador filipino da União Ibérica.
      osefa é a mais conhecida pintora do Barroco português precisamente por essa rara intuição poética, isenta de peias academizantes no seu desenho livre e na sua paleta solta, de que quase sempre as suas pinturas nos dão mostras. Em Josefa há uma «liberdade de fazer» que surpreende. Ao contrário de Baltazar, excelente pintor profissional de retratos, de paisagens e de 'bodegones", na filha existe tão-só "curiosidade", na mais ampla acepção que o termo pode comportar, pois algumas das peças expostas são verdadeiras obras-primas sui-generis, que interessam a História da Arte europeia do século XVII.
      O interesse da presente Exposição, que reune o maior acervo de obras joséficas jamais exposto à observação dos estudiosos e do público em geral, não se limita só à amostragem dessa frescura perene das obras de Josefa (e de Baltazar), antes nos convida à comunhão com valores artísticos de intensa modernidade, afinal menos afastados do nosso imaginário e do nosso mundo de referências sensíveis do que à partida se poderia imaginar...
      O conhecimento biográfico sobre a pintora seiscentista portuguesa Josefa de Ayala e Cabrera, celebrizada com o epíteto de Josefa d'Óbidos dada a fórmula toponímica com que assinou boa parte das suas produções, resumia-se a uma série de referências laudatórias e a um restrito acervo de documentos arquivísticos.
      Além das afirmações elogiosas que Féilx da Costa Meesen produziu em 1696 a respeito de Josefa, louvando a sua «limpeza e propriedade» ao imitar «as couzas pelo natural», o esicritor Damião de Froes Perym exalta, em livro de 1736, o «engenho», «formusura», «honestidade» e «simpatia» desta pintora, a quem louva sobretudo as «virtudes morais», e o Beneficiado José Silvestre Seabra, num longo manuscrito já do século XIX, biografa a pintora obidense com laivos de fantasia misturados com dados que hoje se apura serem precisos. Mas não foram apenas estes três autores os biógrafos de Josefa muitos outros autores dos séculos XVIII e XIX citam com encómio a figura e as obras desta mulher-pintora sediada na vila de Óbidos, especialista, segundo um deles (Ribeiro dos Santos), nas pinturas de flores e «objectos inanimados», segundo outros (Garrett) no género retratistico, segundo outros ainda (Cvrillo) na gravura e na miniatura...
      Mas os traços da formação e da existência da artista permanecem obscuros e a obra pictórica que se lhe atribuía surgia contaminada por muitas dezenas de telas e cobres que com toda a evidência se verificava serem de outros pincéis, senão mesmo de outras épocas e outras escolas... Na munerosa bibliografia compulsada, em catálogos e inventários, estudos monográficos, etc., apareciam e aparecem diversíssimas obras, tradicionalmente tributadas a Josefa de Óbidos, mas que, na realidade, ou são de escola sevilhana ou castelhana, ou de pintores nacionais (como Diogo Teixeira, Lourenço de Salzedo, Domingos Vieira, António de Oliveria de Louredo, Bento Coelho da Silveira), ou do seu pai Baltazar Gomes Figueira...
      O trabalho moroso de pesquisa, que se impunha, levou a que fossem explorados, dentro de um ambicioso plano metodizado, diversos arquivos nacionais e estrangeiros, e criteriosamente analisadas centenas de telas, tábuas, cobres e gravuras, estudadas quer em referência à realidade portuguesa coetânea, quer em cotejo com outras obras de mestres espanhóis, italianos e flamengos do mesmo século, o que conduziu a uma nova e mais sedutora visionação da figura de Josefa. Mistérios considerados insolúveis, caso da data certa e lugar de nascimento (averiguados através de documento em boa hora localizado pela investigadora Dra. Alfonsa de la Torre), caso da sua formação estética (durante tanto tempo alvo de deslocadas e erróneas considerações), caso das suas relações de trabalho, de mercado e de ideologia, caso do seu próprio estatuto de artista que "pintava por curiosidade" (no exacto dizer de um dos seus biógrafos), caso ainda da sua frequente inspiração em gravuras italo-flamengas e francesas (conforme provou a investigação conduzida por Luís de Moura Sobral), tornam-se hoje assuntos cabalmente esclarecidos.

Quem era afinal Josefa de Ayala e Cabrera?

      Nasceu em Fevereiro de 1630 na paróquia de S. Vicente de Sevilha, aí sendo baptizada a 20 desse mês, conforme comprovou recentemente Alfonsa de la Torre. Era filha de D. Catarina de Ayala Camacho Cabrera Romero, nobre andaluza, e do excelente pintor português Baltazar Gomes Figueira, que aí se estabelecera em 1626 para seguir efémera carreira militar, e que em 1631 recebera carta de examinação de pintor. Foi apadrinhada por um célebre pintor sevilhano, Francisco de Herrera el Viejo, com cujo estilo barroquista vaporoso e "solto" nem a sua arte nem a de seu pai têm, todavia, pontos de contacto.
      O regresso a Portugal de Baltazar e D. Catarina, ocorrido no ano de 1634 (encontramo-lo já abundantemente documentado nos anos seguintes, em documentos de Peniche e de Óbidos realacionados com a sua actividade profissional), deveu-se menos à sua acção conspirativa a favor da causa dos Braganças (de quem foi, todavia, fervoroso adepto), e sim a questões judiciais que o haviam transformado "persona non grata" na capital andaluza, segundo apurou Alfonsa de la Torre. Não se sabe se Josefa regressou logo a Portugal, com seus pais e a irmã Luísa (nascida em 1632), se ficou em Sevilha os tenros anos de infância, junto ao seu avô materno Juan Ortiz de Ayala e ao seu padrinho Francisco de Herrera, voltando apenas na sequência da Restauração. É certo que Baltazar e D. Catarina se estabeleceram em Peniche, primeiro (onde Baltazar pinta nas igrejas e onde, em 1635, nasce Basília), e definitivamente em Óbidos, terra natal do pintor, onde nascerão ao casal os filhos Francisco (1634), José (1637), Antónia (1639) e José (1643). Ao todo Josefa teve sete irmãos, três dos quais precocemente falecidos. A documentação dos arquivos da Estremadura portuguesa, em grande parte totalmente inédita, ilumina-nos sobre o ambiente vivido pelos Gomes Figueira, seu nível mediano de existência, seu aro restrito de trabalho, e é certamente neste quadro regional que Josefa - que nunca viajou a Itália ou à Flandres, como algumas lendas fantasistas teceram, nem tão pouco terá retornado alguma vez à sua Andaluzia natal - pode ser explicada nas suas muitas aptidões picturais e no seu mundo limitado de referências... A artista passou a sua vida madura, de facto, nesse terno ambiente de província centrada nas ruas de Óbidos amuralhada, no aprazível repouso do seu Casal da Capeleira, ao sopro marinho da Lagoa, no bulício da feira das Caldas ou da lota de Peniche, em romagens à Nazaré, na quietude amorável da mata do Bussaco, ou mais raramente em alguma viagem de retorno a Coimbra.
      Em 1644, pelo menos, Josefa já estava instalada em Coimbra, supõe-se que no Convento agostinho de Sant'Ana dessa cidade, na qualidade de "donzela emancipada de seus pais", recebendo ensinamentos religiosos (estaria inicialmente destinada a seguir vida freirática) e os primeiros rudimentos artísticos. A fama de seu pai Baltazar, ao tempo apelidado de "o sevilhano" precisamente pelo forte naturalismo tenebrista de que as suas telas religiosas estavam impregnadas, leva-o a que seja chamado a pintar na cidade universitária voltosas obras, como o retábulo-mor da Igreja da Graça, desse mesmo ano de 1644, obras essas que vão ter uma tão decisiva importância na formação da personalidade de Josefa, na realidade muito mais devedora da arte de seu pai do que sempre se julgou... Vendo-se atentamente a tela do "Nascimento da Virgem" do retábulo da Graça, por exemplo, aí encontramos, surpresos, os mesmos tipos de figurinos dos primeiros cobres, o mesmo tapete persa, o mesmo "arrumo" de peças acessórias!
      De resto, as primeiras obras de Josefa, executadas em Coimbra, caso das gravuras de Santa Catarina e de S. José, de 1646 - abertas a buril aos quinze ou dezasseis anos apenas mas já reveladoras de uma mão dextra -, e dos cobres Casamento místico de Santa Catarina e S. Francisco e Santa Clara adorando o Menino de 1647, mostram-nos uma artista já plenamente adestrada na técnica da miniatura barroca hábil de pincel, boa definidora de contrastes claro-escuristas e de acessórios "ao natural", seguindo cânones da pintura sevilhana a partir da orientação de Baltazar, seu verdadeiro mestre, e inspirada em estampas italo-flamengas que existiam, em quantidade, na residência obidense de Baltazar.
      Josefa não seguiu, por motivos ignotos, a via religiosa para que o seu recolhimento em mosteiros como Sant'Ana de Coimbra e Semide parecia apontar. Regressa a Óbidos, para junto dos seus familiares, aí executa em 1653 uma gravura da "Sabedoria" para os novos Estatutos da Universidade de Coimbra (cuja portada é entretanto desenhada por Baltazar, mediante pagamento bastante avantajado), pinta telas como o "Pentecostes" destinado a um altar da Sé Nova da mesma cidade de Coimbra, e uma série de miniaturas excelentes, requintadas de modelação luminosa e já assaz características de um "receituário" pessoalizado de rostos, mãos e tecidos, "receituário" esse depois repetido até à exaustão nas obras maduras e tardias. Mais raras, algumas encomendas retabulares públicas — como a da Ermida de Santa Justa e Santa Rufina na Columbeira (Bombarral), a do altar de Santa Catarina na Igreja de Santa Maria de Óbidos (1661), e a do arco-mestre da Ermida de S. Brás de Dagorda — desenvolvem com saboroso charme e típica desenvoltura o mesmo pessoalizado vocabulário; de facto, o estilo joséfico desde muito cedo se afirmou em termos de absoluta individualização, a ponto de as obras da artista, mesmo quando não assinadas ou documentadas, serem facilmente reconhecíveis.
      Não existem contactos directos de Josefa com a pintura espanhola do Siglo d'Oro (muito embora Baltazar possuisse, na sua casa à Rua Nova, em Óbidos grandes colecções de quadros e de estampas, onde talvez se incluissem originais de mestres andaluzes): lá havia, por exemplo, segundo se lê no precioso inventário de bens, inédito, de 1675, dois quadros de Cordeiros Pascais, certamente de tipo zurbaranesco. Josefa deleita-se mais no estudo de obras disponíveis ao seu olhar como eram naturalmente as de seu pai, e as que o naturalista André Reinoso, de Lisboa, pintara em 1628-1630 na Igreja da Misericórdia de Óbidos e no convento de S. Miguel das Gaeiras. Tais pinturas constituiam novidade absoluta, em termos plásticos, formais e compositivos, pois repudiavam a anterior fórmula maneirista (ainda viva em obras da "escola de Óbidos" dos anos 20, como as de Belchior de Matos e as de João da Costa) e optavam por uma nova "construção" do espaço pictórico segundo cânones tenebristas, com um desenho naturalista, uma modelação luminosa, uma iconografia mais complexa, claramente afirmada em termos de Barroco peninsular. Foram essas características de "modernidade pictoral", tanto de Reinoso como de Baltazar, que interessaram à arte de Josefa, e que ela explorou com afinco no seu próprio "receituário".
      As "Naturezas Mortas" assumem-se mais no plano gracioso do decorativo, numa visão familiar das coisas, sem artifícios simbólicos mais complexos, revelando uma relação ternurenta e charoposa com as coisas simples: os barros e os doces regionais, as frutas, os peixes e as peças de caça, e as flores, sobretudo estas, tratadas com detalhismo apaixonado, multiformes, garridas, palpitantes de vida. Eram quadros altamente disputados, tanto no seu tempo, como pelo coleccionismo ulterior.
      Tais pinturas "de género" não traem uma influência directa da grande pintura de natureza morta espanhola, nem mesmo da visão naturalista de Baltazar (cujos "bodegones" conhecidos são de facto notáveis testemunhos do mais erudito "bodegonismo"). Na realidade, a desenvoltura de Josefa revela uma visão imediatista, espontânea, quase "sem escola", do bodegón peninsular, que soube interpretar numa deliciosa maneira "sui generis".
      Também no retrato se expande a dimensão segura da artista dando crédito aos louvores de alguns autores antigos (Froes Perym, Murphy, Garett): de facto, o Retrato do Beneficiado Faustino das Neves (1670) é excelente demonstração da arte retratística, na perfeita caracterização desse notável da vila de Óbidos, de vincados e tristes traços contra-reformistas. A dimensão deste "género" (em que a pintura portuguesa do Barroco mostrou ser particularmente feliz, através de nomes como Amaro do Vale, Domingos Vieira, o Escuro, José de Avelar Rebelo, André Reinoso, Feliciano de Almeida, o marquês de Montebelo ou António de Oliveira de Louredo, entre outros), encontrou em Josefa de Ayala — como este quadro excelente adverte sem rebuços — um dos seus altos representantes nacionais.
      Se as miniaturas cúpricas se refinam em delicadezas de misticismo sincero, nas suas Virgens com o Menino rodeados de grinaldas florais, Baptistas nuzinhos, santos de devoção doméstica, etc., as telas retabulares em que Josefa se empenhou nos anos maduros (caso da Sagrada Família do Bussaco, de 1664, da Adoração dos Pastores de Cós, de 1669, das célebres telas com a Vida de Santa Teresa de Jesus na Igreja Matriz de Cascais, pintadas em 1672, ou das telas da Igreja da Misericórdia de Peniche, encomendadas em 1679) traem com frequência deficiências de pincel e cansaços de "receita", num esgotamento visível de potencialidades que se transmite também a algumas versões tardias de Meninos Jesus desnudos, "pintados com bolinhos" (Manuel Rio de Carvalho) com as suas rendas e tules ou ataviados de adereços profanos com suas coroas de flores garridas, de sentido exclusivamente devocional.
      Após a morte de Baltazar Gomes Figueira (1674), a pintora deve ter tido necessidade de recorrer com mais frequência a encomendas públicas de pintura, a fim de garantir a subsistência da velha mãe D. Catarina e das duas sobrinhas orfãs que com ela habitavam na Rua Nova e na Capeleira. Tal necessidade poderá explicar a dureza crescente de algumas composições religiosas, e também de alguns "bodegones", muito embora sejam de fase tardia algumas das obras-primas de Josefa: a Sagrada Família de 1674 (uma "Ceia" profana tratada "à la candela", de excepcional sabor simbólico e intimista) Repouso na Fuga para o Egipto (seguindo modelo de Barocci imitado a partir de uma tela de Baltazar em Dagorda), as duas "Naturezas Mortas com doces e barros" de Santarém, 1676, a Santa Face (muito zurbaranesca) de 1679, a bela Visitação (inspirada num original de Baltazar), etc.
      O inventário de bens da pintora, agora redescoberto e pela primeira vez estudado, melhor nos ilumina sobre o perfil provincial desta artista portuguesa cuja melhor virtude criadora se revelou, afinal, na ausência de uma aprendizado academista e na frescura de um estilo "fa presto" assaz personalizado no desenho de ar-livre e no cromatismo quente.
      Em suma: Josefa de Óbidos é a mais celebrada figura da arte portuguesa do século XVII. Pintora de assinaláveis merecimentos, quer ao nível da natureza morta, género em que a sua fama melhor perdurou, quer aos níveis da representação retabular sacra, do retrato, da gravura a buril, e da miniatura cúprica, a artista constitui um caso singular de representante das correntes plásticas naturalistas e tenebristas do Barroco, tendências essas então triunfantes no país vizinho e no grosso da Europa.
      Em boa hora o Instituto Português do Património Cultural e a Galeria de Pintura do Rei D. Luiz decidiram dedicar-lhe, e à época do Barroco português seiscentistas em que a sua actividade se insere, uma ambiciosa exposição retrospectiva.
      A "figura histórica" de Josefa de Ayala era, tal como a do seu obscuro pai, o pintor Baltazar Gomes Figueira, terreno privilegiado de lendas e sucessos fantasistas, que a consideravam ora uma discípula de Zurbarán senão de Breughels, ora uma artista viajante por Itália e pela Flandres, ora uma pintora oficial da corte, e - sempre - uma figura de vanguarda no quadro da pintura peninsular do Siglo d'Oro.
     O intimismo barroco provincial destas obras, explicada à luz da arte mais académica de Baltazar Gomes Figueira, seu único e verdadeiro mestre, aflora no certame e sublinha os valores precisos destas miniaturas em cobre, destes "bodegones", destas telas e tábuas de temário religioso, destas gravuras, deste retrato... O sentido de fruição da arte de Josefa de Óbidos sente-se, mesmo, examinando as obras mais displicentes, as de acabamento oficinal, ou as dos modestos epígonos, como o Alferes António Pinheiro Lago, de Tentúgal.
      No fundo trata-se de um receituário feito de pessoalismos veementes, de ternura pelas coisas simples, de sapiência original à margem de escolas: esse foi o segredo, e a base do génio, de Josefa de Óbidos.

Mystical Marriage of St. Catherine _ same Mystical Marriage of St. Catherine (1647) _ In the 16th year of Catherine di Benincasa [Siena 25 Mar 1347 – Rome 29 Apr 1380], she took the habit of the Dominican Tertiaries, and renewed the life of the anchorites of the desert in a little room in her father's house. After three years of celestial visitations and familiar conversation with Christ, she underwent the mystical experience known as the "spiritual espousals", probably during the carnival of 1366. She now rejoined her family, began to tend the sick, especially those afflicted with the most repulsive diseases, to serve the poor, and to labor for the conversion of sinners.

Carracci's The Mystic Marriage of St Catherine (1587)
Barna da Siena's Mystic Marriage of Saint Catherine (1340)
Correggio's The Mystic Marriage of Saint Catherine (1515) _ The Mystic Marriage of St. Catherine, with St. Sebastian; in the background: Martyrdom of Two Saints (1527)
Giovanni del Biondo's Mystic Marriage of Saint Catherine (1379)
Master of Heiligenkreuz's The Mystic Marriage of Saint Catherine (1380-90)
Parmigianino's The Mystic Marriage of Saint Catherine)
Pignoni's The Mystic Marriage of Saint Catherine (1645)
Rubens's The Mystic Marriage of Saint Catherine
Sassoferrato's The Mystic Marriage of Saint Catherine
Van Dyck's The Mystic Marriage of Saint Catherine (pen and ink, 1620)
Fra Bartolommeo's The Mystic Marriage of St. Catherine (1512) _ The Mystic Marriage of St. Catherine of Siena, with Eight Saints (1511)
Calvaert's The Mystic Marriage of St. Catherine (1490)
Cerezo's The Mystic Marriage of St Catherine (1660)
Correggio's The Mystic Marriage of St. Catherine _ The Mystic Marriage of St. Catherine _ The Mystic Marriage of St. Catherine (1515) _a different The Mystic Marriage of St Catherine (1520)
Cranach the Elder's The Mystic Marriage of St Catherine (1516) _ (detail)
David's The Mystic Marriage of St Catherine _ The Mystic Marriage of St. Catherine (1510)
Lotto's The Mystic Marriage of St. Catherine _ The Mystic Marriage of St. Catherine (1506-07) _ a different Mystic Marriage of St Catherine (1524)
Memling's The Mystic Marriage of St. Catherine (1479)
Mignard's The Mystic Marriage of St Catherine (1669)
Sassoferrato's The Mystic Marriage of St. Catherine _ The Mystic Marriage of St. Catherine (1650)
Teniers the Younger's The Mystic Marriage of St Catherine (after Fetti)
Da Besozzo's The Mystic Marriage of St Catherine, St John the Baptist, St Antony Abbot (1420)
from the workshop of the Master of Frankfurt: Mystic Marriage of St. Catherine with Saints and Angels
^ Born on 22 July 1876: Walter Ufer, US painter who died on 02 Aug 1936, specialized in the US West .
— Walter Ufer was born in Germany, and came to the US the next year, settling in Kentucky. Having shown talent at an early age, he was apprenticed to a lithography firm, before leaving for Europe to study at the Royal Academy in Munich, where he met Joseph Sharp and Ernest Blumenschein. Upon his return to the states, Ufer worked as an illustrator in Chicago before moving permanently to Taos in 1917, where he founded to Taos Society of Artists, and concentrated on simple, non-dramatized paintings of the Native American. He was able to capture the light of New Mexico as he moved from his studio to the outdoors, following the techniques of the French Impressionists. Ufer sometimes portrayed the Indian in genre scenes, unlike the idealized portrayals of Couse and Phillips. He felt that painting Indians in costumes of the past had been overdone and chose to concentrate on a more up-to-date version of Pueblo life. Though hampered at times by chronic alcoholism, his work won him great acclaim, and earned him membership in the National Academy of Design in New York.
— Born in Germany to parents who had immigrated the next year to Louisville, Kentucky, Walter Ufer became one of the founders of the Taos Society of Artists and achieved much distinction as a painter of Pueblo Indian genre. He was a complex, enigmatic personality, claiming that he was born in Louisville rather than Germany and suffering chronic alcoholism. During periods of sobriety, he painted powerful canvases of New Mexico Indian genre, especially of the Taos Pueblo.
      He showed early art talent and was encouraged by his father, a master gunsmith and by his teachers. After grammar school, he apprenticed to a lithography firm where he learned basic design principles. He spent seven years in Europe and earned his formal art education at Germany's Royal Academy of Fine Arts where he became friends with US artists, Joseph Henry Sharp and Ernest Blumenschein. In 1911, he married Mary Fredericksen, an artist, and in 1913, they painted in Paris, Italy and North Africa before going to Chicago. To make a living, he worked as a commercial illustrator in Chicago, and his first patron was the mayor, Carter Harrison, who arranged in 1914 for Ufer to go to Taos, New Mexico and to return several more times at his expense. Sharp and Blumenschein were already painting there, and they welcomed Ufer.
      However, Ufer was not comfortable in his subservient relationship with Harrison and said unkind things about him behind his back. But lucky for Ufer, he took Harrison's advice to paint the Indians as he saw them in Taos and not depict romanticized subject matter from the past as he had learned in European academies. Years later, Ufer described his work in a way that would have pleased Harrison: "I paint the Indian as he is. In the garden digging--in the field working--riding amongst the sage--meeting his woman in the desert--angling for trout--in meditation" (American Art Review 6/99).
      In 1917, he became a Taos resident for the remainder of his life and a member of the Taos Society of Artists, formed by others including Sharp and Blumenschein to promote sales of their art. He also painted in surrounding states including Arizona as early as 1905 where he sketched the Grand Canyon.
      Between 1916 and 1926, Ufer earned several prestigious awards including membership in the National Academy of Design in New York and recognition by the Art Institute of Chicago. During that time, his paintings were added to permanent collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Brooklyn Museum, and the Corcoran Gallery in Washington DC. Throughout most of the last twenty years of his painting career, he had a very generous patron, William Henry Klauer, a wealthy businessman from Dubuque, Iowa, who provided him with the critical financial safety net to continue painting.
      Ufer was highly political and dedicated to eradicating social injustice. He was an active socialist, close friend of Socialist Leader Leon Trotsky, and he frequently joined picket lines of striking workers. Not surprisingly his paintings often depicted socially oppressed Pueblo Indians, unromanticized in every day life. His personal life was troubled by chronic alcoholism and indebtedness. Although his paintings sold well in the 1920s, their market dropped with the Stock Market crash, and their value did not increase until long after his death in 1936.

Fantasies (107x97cm; 1000x907pix, 299kb) _ self-portrait, painting a landscape, with similar painting hanging on wall, on which faint image of a man; wife sitting reading in background, Amerindian artifacts in room.
Panoramic Landscape (76x76cm)
Taos Indian Drinking (65x78cm)
–- S#> The Washerwoman (64x76cm; 668x799pix, 107kb)
Callers (1926, 128x128cm; 524x528pix, 99kb)
After Them (>1913, 64x77cm; 443x528pix, 93kb)
–- S#> Mirrored Lake Desert (64x64cm; 379x375pix, 34kb)

Died on a 22 July:

>1998 Antonio Saura Atares [22 Sep 1930–], Spanish surrealist painter specialized in horribly distorted faces, mostly in grayscale. — Autodidacto, se nutrió de importantes lecturas y comenzó a pintar en 1947, durante una larga enfermedad. Toda su adolescencia y primeros años de actividad artística se desarrollan en Madrid y, a partir de 1953, reside largas temporadas en París. Viaja por Europa y América, pero nunca deja de tomar contacto con lo español a través, sobre todo, de Madrid, Zaragoza y especialmente Cuenca, ciudad esta donde tiene uno de sus más activos estudios.
Self-Portrait (1966; 909x1109pix, 318kb) horrible face, without a lower jaw.
(untitled?) (900x1600pix, 595kb) part of a horrible face, grayscale and browns, hasty brush strokes. _ detail (900x1600pix, 667kb)
Erotica #2 (1836x1508pix image in a 2426x3624pix rectangle, 2555kb) all the “Eroticas” are just horrible faces.
Erotica #3 (1866x1540pix image in a 2426x3624pix rectangle, 2618kb)
Erotica #4 (in a 2426x3624pix rectangle)
–- Portrait Imaginaire de Philippe II (1972, 130x97cm; 927x690pix, 37kb)
Repertoire 1 (87x63cm; 609x430pix, 162kb) array of 30 small rough sketches. —(090921)

1920 Francisco Domingo Marqués [12 Mar 1842–], Spanish painter. — Inició sus estudios en Valencia, su ciudad natal, en el taller del pintor Montesinos y en la Escuela Superior de Bellas Artes de San Carlos. En 1868, obtiene de la Diputación Provincial de Valencia una pensión para viajar a Roma. A su regreso, es nombrado profesor de Dibujo y Paisaje en la misma escuela de San Carlos en la que estudió. Entre 1875 y 1914, vive en París, donde logra éxitos de importancia que le suponen encargos como el del retrato de Alfonso XIII niño o las decoraciones de los palacios de los duques de Bailén y Fernán Nuñez en Madrid, ciudad a la que regresa al estallar la primera guerra mundial.
El Beato Juan de Ribera en la expulsión de los moriscos (1864, 146x189cm; 1008x1324pix, 316kb)
The Toast (1899, 22x34cm; 660x1000pix, 409kb)
22 images at Wikimedia. —(080721)

1889 Adèle Agnès Evrard, Flemish artist born in 1792.
Stilleven met eieren, bacon en groene uien (52x68cm; 451x600pix, 54kb)

1853 Christoffer-Wilhelm Eckersberg, Danish painter born (main coverage) on 02 January 1783. —(060711)

1719 Giovanni Gioseffo (or Giuseppe) dal Sole, Italian painter born (full coverage) on 10 October 1654. —(051009)

^ 1696 Hendrik van Minderhout “den groenen Ridder van Rotterdam”, Dutch painter, active in the southern Netherlands, born in 1632. — {No relation to der Blaue Reiter}— For unknown reasons, he was known as the ‘Green Knight of Rotterdam’. In 1644 he married Margareta van den Broecke, and in 1652 he went to Bruges, where in 1663 he entered the Guild of Saint Luke; the marine painting that he submitted to the Guild to become a member used to be displayed in the Salle d’Académie as a companion piece to the picture submitted by Rubens on his entry to the Guild. In 1672 van Minderhout moved to Antwerp, where he was admitted to the Guild the same year and where, in return for exemption from all obligations as a guild member, he presented a large canvas representing an Eastern seaport. In 1673 he married his second wife, Anna-Victoria Claus. They had five children, including two sons, Antoon van Minderhout [26 Sep 1675 – 22 Dec 1705] and Willem August van Minderhout [28 Aug 1680 – 31 Jun 1752], who also became painters. Hendrik van Minderhout painted mostly sea and harbor views, in the tradition of Jan Baptist Weenix and Johannes Lingelbach. His subjects included The Port of Antwerp, as well as imaginary views of other European harbors (e.g. Dunkirk) and oriental seaports. The wide variety of works bearing the signature of Hendrik van Minderhout suggests that two artists of the same name may have been active at the same time {or else he had a split personality?}.
–- S#> Approaches to a Port (93x122cm; 901x1200pix, 170kb) _ The extensive view includes a large flute, a small cargo ship, a kaag, and other shipping moored, together with an elegant couple and other people standing in the foreground. Rotterdam-born van Minderhout moved to Bruges in 1652 where he became a member of the Guild of Saint Luke in 1663. After having spent twenty years in Bruges he relocated in 1672 to Antwerp where he remained until his death. . Although Van Minderhout may be better known for his Mediterranean capriccio harbor scenes, which he painted from the 1670s onwards, his earlier marines, such as the present, show parades and views of the cities of Antwerp, Rotterdam, or Amsterdam. Although the depicted view seems to be very close to that of the harbor of Amsterdam as seen from across the river Ij, this composition seems to be a capriccio view based on the actual ports of the cities of Amsterdam and Antwerp. This early work, of which there are not many examples known, clearly shows Van Minderhout's Rotterdam roots, and can be dated to the early 1650s, when the painter was in his twenties. It is closely related to the works by other Rotterdam marine painters such as Hendrick Maertenszoon Sorgh, Jacob Adriaenszoon Bellevois, Pieter de Haen, and Hendrik de Meijer.
–- S#> Mediterranean Harbor Scene (170x246cm; 352x500pix, 40kb _ /S#*>ZOOM to 1320x1876pix, 170kb) _ Minderhout painted marines, views of Antwerp and Bruges and from the 1670s onwards Mediterranean harbor scenes such as this. Capriccios such as this appealed to a clientèle much of whose wealth came from overseas trade. They were often of a large, monumental size with an Italianate handling of the figures and color scheme.
Shipping at Livorno (1670, 147x262cm) _ A romantic evocation of a Mediterranean port scene, Livorno, Italy, principal port of the Dukedom of Tuscany at the time it was painted. Two large ships are moored at the quayside, that to the left being a Tuscan man-of-war, with figures working high in the rigging. Her ornately carved stern bears a roundel of Neptune and four prancing hippocampi which traditionally draw his chariot as god of the sea. One of the small craft on the left is piled with barrels and stores, with a black man in red sitting in silhouette on its lowered yard and another figure behind. The other boat, far left, bears a figure leaning against the mast and in the distance an arriving ship fires a salute to a fortress at the entrance to the harbor. Merchandise has been unloaded on the quay and a party including a handsome lady on a white horse, with two pack-mules a camel and servants, is about to leave. In front of the main ships the artist has positioned Leghorn's statue of the Grand Duke Ferdinand I of Tuscany by Pietro Tacca [1557-1640], with its four bronze, chained, Turkish-slave supporters. This is still a notable feature of the Livorno waterfront today. On the right several Europeans are negotiating aggressively with an unimpressed Levantine merchant below a tall, picturesquely ruinous classical stone gateway to the fortifications. A hunting dog, sniffing at another in the center, and a privy high on the curtain wall, upper right, add a touch of earthy realism. The otherwise idealized composition pays compliment to Tuscany as a maritime power and to Leghorn as an international crossroads between the Muslim and Eastern world (symbolized by the camel and non-European figures) and Europe (symbolized by the white horse and its aristocratic female rider). Minderhout, who almost certainly visited Italy, was an Antwerp artist and the last great Flemish painter of marine subjects. His ships are often exaggerated in form and in the height of their masts, since he was less interested in accuracy than with creating a romantic impression.
The Handelskom at Bruges (1665, 160x237cm; 780x1165pix, 139kb) _ The Handelskom are the town docks at Bruges, where the new harbor was inaugurated in in 1665.
The Battle of Lowestoft (1665, 546x750pix, 72kb) _ On 13 June 1665, during the Second Anglo-Dutch War, the Dutch suffered the worst naval defeat in their history. The painting shows the British flagship HMS Royal Charles fighting the Eendracht, flagship of Dutch admiral Jacob van Wassenaer Obdam [1610–], who died with all but five of the crew when the flagship exploded. Van Wassenaer, an army officer, had been pressured by Johan de Witt [24 Sep 1625 – 20 Aug 1672], de facto ruler of the United Provinces, to take command of the navy, and then to engage the British in battle, for which Van Wassenaer correctly thought that the Dutch fleet was ill prepared.

^ 1639 Rutilio Manetti di Lorenzo, Sienese painter baptized on 01 January 1571. He was a student of the Late Mannerist artists Francesco Vanni and Ventura Salimbeni. His earliest paintings, and especially his frescoes illustrating the Story of Saint Catherine and Pope Gregory (1597) and his altarpiece of the Baptism (1600), are strongly influenced by their works and also those of Federico Barocci. Although his style changed considerably during his career, Manetti never fully abandoned the fleshy, oval facial types with delicate, sweet features and the cluttered compositions that typify Sienese Mannerism. From 1600 to 1610 his paintings, for example the fresco cycle of the Story of Saint Roch (1610), drew on the clear narrative style, naturalistic light effects and particularized figure types of Florentine painters such as Bernardino Poccetti and Domenico Passignano. — Manetti's oeuvre is broadly characterised by two distinct phases in his production: Manetti's early works emerge as part of the Sienese mannerist tradition, dominated by the influence of Federico Barocci, and indeed he was the student of one of its leading exponents, Francesco Vanni. Manetti's works demonstrate a paricular liking for light effects and the metallic coloring of, amongst others, Ventura Salimbeni's paintings. In 1615 Manetti's style changed considerably and his paintings became increasingly much stronger, more naturalistic, and Caravaggesque: whether this is due to a possible trip to Rome, bringing him into contact with the paintings of Caravaggio and Guercino, amongst others, or whether it is the diffused influence of Sienese Caravaggists such as Francesco Rustici and Orazio Riminaldi, is not certain. His early works however, painted before 1610, demonstrate the influence of both Salimbeni and Vanni, to whom some of Manetti's paintings were formerly ascribed.
–- S#> The Wedding Feast at Cana (219x170cm; 900x699pix, 146kb) _ This painting belongs to the "caravaggesque" period of Manetti. The prolific use of red, in particular the cloak of the turbaned man, are reminiscent of Florentine Seicento painting and this might suggest a date in the 1620s, when Manetti was in Florence. The figure of the man lower left would appear to be a portrait; most likely that of the patron who commissioned the work, given his prominent role in the miraculous event.
–- S#> The Madonna and Child with the Child Saint John the Baptist and Saint Catherine of Siena (101x75cm; 799x601pix, 113kb) _ This painting was long thought to be by Francesco Vanni and it was not until the exhibition in Siena in 1980 that it was properly reattributed to Vanni's student Rutilio Manetti. Manetti was trained by Vanni and the former's youthful works, datable from the period 1597-1612, still retain much of the mannerist elements of Vanni's works as well as those of his contemporary Ventura Salimbeni. The fact that these three artists have often been confused is symptomatic of the unified style of painting to be found in Siena at that time. This is partly due to the artists' collaboration on various projects for the Signoria, including a series of frescoes in the Palazzo Pubblico where the narrative is conceived as a unified whole and the style of the three artists is hard to distinguish one from the other. In particular, the soft focus and pastel colors reoccur in each of the artist's paintings, and the Madonna and Christ Child in this particular picture are extremely Vanni-like: compare, for example, Vanni's famous composition of similar format representing the Rest on the Flight into Egypt (more commonly known as the Madonna della Pappa) known throught at least four versions. Although in recent times Vanni and Salimbeni have been regarded as the chief exponents of the Sienese late mannerist style, Manetti was greatly admired in Siena in his own day and in circa 1605-1610 was appointed head planner to the Sienese Pictorial Council.
     This painting probably dates from around 1610, soon after the completion of a painted standard which, though later thought to be by Salimbeni, was described by Fabio Chigi (later Pope Alexander VII) as "un bello stendardo di Rutilio Manetti in cui á imitato la maniera di F. Vanni e Ventura Salimbeni". The standard, painted for the lay fraternity of San Rocco in circa 1606-1609, is a pivotal work in Manetti's early career and provides an important point of comparison for dating the present canvas. The figures are similarly grouped in a pyramidal form and the figure-types, particularly the Christ Child and infant St. John the Baptist, are a blend of the children in Vanni and Salimbeni's paintings and have come to be seen as typical of Manetti's youthful works.
      The painting's modest scale and the inclusion of Saint Catherine, the patron saint of Siena, would suggest that this was a private commission for a Sienese patron.
–- S#> The Rest on the Flight into Egypt (31x24cm; 900x663pix, 100kb) _ This painting would seem to date from Manetti's Mannerist phase, probably about 1600 or shortly afterwards, and may be compared to other works of the period: for example, his Archangel Gabriel appearing to San Galgano.
Lot and his Daughters (1620, 158x155cm; 800x789pix, 263kb)
The Interrupted Date (95x142cm; 357x539pix, 35kb)

Born on a 22 July:

1972 Seth Fisher [–30 Jan 2006], US comic book artist and penciller, whose death was caused by a seven-stories fall from the roof of a Hotel in Osaka, Japan.
Fantastic Four/Iron Man: Big in Japan #1 comic book cover (695x900pix, 259kb) —(080721)

1898 Alexander “Sandy” Calder, US artist who died (full coverage) on 11 November 1976. —(080722)

^ 1881 Ludwig Heinrich Jungnickel, German painter and printmaker who died on 14 February 1965. — {There is no evidence that he ever considered changing his name to Altchrom} — He was the son of a master joiner. In 1885 he moved with his family to Munich, where he attended the Ludwig Gymnasium and the Kunstgewerbeschule. In 1897 he went on a walking tour, finally arriving in Rome and Naples, where he copied oil paintings and earned a living as a portrait draftsman. The archaeologist Orazio Maruchi enabled him to gain access to the Vatican collections. In 1898, like many artists, he was attracted to the Secession in Vienna; he enrolled at the Akademie der Bildenden Künste there in 1899 and began studying under Christian Griepenkerl [1839–1916]. After only a year, however, he left. To earn a living he worked as a drawing tutor, also designing carpets, fabrics and murals. Among his contemporaries in Vienna, Gustav Klimt particularly impressed him. Stylistically Kolo Moser also influenced him, although he never worked in such an intellectual, aesthetic way as the Secession artists.
Three Snarling Tigers (1929, 45x56cm; 480x603pix, 93kb)
(Hostile Leopards?) (591x520pix, 177kb)
(Threatened Leopard?) (323x403pix, 78kb)
Tigerkopf (aus Schönbrunnmappe) (1909, 30x27cm; 329x300pix, 46kb)
(Chicken Funeral?) (280x208pix, 58kb)
Italienische Küstenlandschaft (48x35cm; 376x300pix, 26kb) —(060719)

^ 1860 Paul Gustav Fischer, Danish painter who liked fish. He died on 01 May 1934. Paul Fischer belongs to the fourth generation of Fischers to live in Denmark. This Jewish family originally came from Poland. The family was upper middle class; Paul's father had started as a painter, but later succeeded in the business of manufacturing paints and lacquers. His formal art education lasted only a short time in his middle teens. For two years he attended The Royal Art Academy in Copenhagen. During the period when he actively painted, Danish art was dominated by Laurits Tuxen. Despite Fischer's lack of critical recognition during his lifetime, his art sold well. One major event in which he succeeded over Tuxen was when Denmark transferred the sovereignty of Norway back to the Norwegians, Fischer rather than Tuxen got the commission from the King of Norway to paint the event. — LINKS
–- The Norwegians become Norway (1906; 923x1000pix, 116kb)
–- The Christmas Rush (1886; 1000x705pix, 103kb _ ZOOM to 1500x1058pix, 163kb)
–- Mother and Child (1892; 1000x462pix, 38kb)
–- Harriet (1000x708pix, 63kb _ .ZOOM to 1358x1062pix, 83kb)
A Lady (1901, 25x31cm; 480x630pix, 18kb)
Fishing Boats at Anchor (65x77cm; 300x358pix, 25kb)
Naples (1922, 39x28cm; 354x250pix, 26kb)

1823 Godfried Egide Guffens, Belgian painter who died (full coverage) on 11 July 1901.

^ 1821 Cesare Felix Georges dell'Acqua, Italian painter who died in 1904. — {Was he an acquarellist?}— Di madre triestina visse nella città giuliana per molti anni e con una borsa di studio del Comune di Trieste poté frequentare l'Accademia di Venezia dove ebbe per maestri Grigoletti, Lipparini e Politi. Dopo varie peregrinazioni in Europa si stabilì a Bruxelles nel 1848 ed ebbe modo di frequentare lo studio del noto pittore di soggetti storici Louis Gallait. In questa città conobbe largo successo e fama. Oltre che in figure e ritratti Cesare Dell'Acqua si specializzò in scene storiche e araldiche assai curate nei particolari e densamente popolate di personaggi. La sua però non fu fredda illustrazione iconografica e seppe imporsi anche per la bellezza del colore e la finezza dell'esecuzione.
La dedizione di Trieste all'Austria (226x154cm; 539x499pix, 31kb)
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