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DEATHS: 1865 WIERTZ — 1964 MORANDI — 1464 VAN DER WEYDEN
BIRTH: 1716 VIEN BAPTISM: 1621 EVERDINGEN 
^Died on 18 June 1865: Antoine Joseph Wiertz, Belgian painter and sculptor born on 22 February 1806. He specialized in Historical Subjects.
— Wiertz was born in Dinant. A precocious draftsman, he was an admirer of Géricault. Wiertz was the son of a Dinan tailor who forced him to learn music, drawing and grammar from early youth. In 1820, studied at the Antwerp Academy. He spent 1829-1832 in France, won the Prix de Rome in 1832, stayed in Italy from 1834 to 1836 at the Académie de France in Rome, where, under the direction of Horace Vernet, he copied the great Italian masters. In 1838, exhibited his Patrocles in Paris. The unfavorable critical reaction determined him not to seek French citizenship.
     In 1850, the Belgian government financed the construction of a studio modeled on one of the Greek temples of Paestum. The style of Wiertz shows the inspiration of Rubens along with reminiscences of medieval painters, but expresses humanitarian and even revolutionary overtones. This is combined with wild invention and a frequently erotic Symbolism. His masterpiece is La Belle Rosine, in which a beautiful woman is placed before a skeleton. The work is halfway between traditional vanitas and Baudelairian meditation.
— Wiertz was from very humble origins, but his talent for drawing was detected at an early age. He was sent to the Antwerp Academie, where he attended classes given by Wilhelm Jacob Herreyns [1743–1827] and Mathieu Ignace Van Brée. During a stay in Paris from 1829 to 1832 he came into contact with the Romantic painters, in particular Théodore Géricault, who fostered his admiration for Rubens.
      In 1832 Wiertz won the Belgian Prix de Rome and in 1834 left for Italy where the works of Raphael and, above all, Michelangelo made an overwhelming impression on him. In Rome he abandoned the landscapes and scenes from Roman life, for which he showed a certain talent, and embarked on a much more ambitious work, The Greeks and the Trojans Contesting the Body of Patroclus (1835). The painting proved the turning-point in Wiertz’s career. Its frenzied composition and violently contorted figures excited considerable interest in Rome. Children fled from it with cries of horror, a fact that delighted the painter. Bertel Thorvaldsen commented, ‘This young man is a giant’—a somewhat hasty judgement, constantly repeated by later biographers, which nevertheless determined his subsequent development.
      In Antwerp and Liège Wiertz was at once acclaimed. He then sent the picture to Paris, expecting final consecration of his genius. However, it was badly hung in the Salon, went unnoticed by the public and was criticized by the press. Wiertz’s bitter disappointment was expressed in an undying hatred of Paris, which he never ceased to attack for its dissipation, stupidity and artistic incompetence. In 1839 he settled in Liège with his mother, painting grandiose mythological and historical subjects, which he believed would immortalize him, and portraits to earn a living. The latter, such as The Artist’s Mother (1838), were passable, while the former were merely superficial pastiches of Rubens and Michelangelo. However, the new Belgian State was keen to discover ‘geniuses of the national art’ and admired his weakly Raphaelesque Education of the Virgin (1843) and in particular The Revolt of the Rebel Angels (1842), a huge picture that Wiertz painted in a few weeks, in an effort to match the panache of Rubens’s brushwork.
— Wiertz is a little known, but fascinating example of a Romantic artist. He won the Prix de Rome, a paid fellowship which allowed him to paint in Rome, in 1832. On his return he was warmly welcomed in Belgium, but met with little success in the Paris Salon, to which he submitted several works. In 1850 the Belgian government offered to build a studio for him in exchange for a number of works or art. The studio is now a museum, and is located in the Parc Leopold, not far from the Cinquantenaire Park. Despite this official success, he never received the full measure of recognition that he felt his genius deserved. His paintings are often huge, matching his ambition and ego; in size, at least, he tried to rival Rubens. One patriotic canvas celebrating The Apotheosis of the Queen (1856) was projected to be 50 meters high, though it was never completed.
      Another aspect of his Romanticism was his strikingly imaginative subjects. He was drawn to morbid themes, such as the image of mortality embodied in The Two Beauties: La Belle Rosine (1847). Other astonishing works include The Suicide [detail: the suicide note] (1854), and The Last Thoughts and Visions of a Decapitated Head (1853) -- a triptych, no less.
      Despite the morbid nature of this triptych, Wiertz meant it to be a statement against capital punishment. The painting is in a poor state of preservation today, because Wiertz experimented with a variety of painting materials which did not hold up well. He disliked the slickness of oil paint and tried to create new techniques for achieving a matte surface. Although we do not know what crime the malefactor in Wiertz's painting had committed, the horror of his execution is starkly emphasized. The guillotine had been most well known as a tool of the French Revolution and especially the Reign of Terror, but had become also an instrument of the conservative Restoration. Many Romantic artists opposed the death penalty for political and humanitarian reasons. Although the guillotine was invented to be a more humane means of execution, doubt lingered as to whether death was really instantaneous. Wiertz seems to have been inspired by some of the writings of the period which speculated gruesomely on the last moments of consciousness of the severed head. An early novel by Victor Hugo, Le Dernier jour d'un condamné [PDF] (1828) seems particularly relevant.
      The horrific contrast of life and death is seen in a number of Wiertz's paintings. La Belle Rosine clearly derives from the same tradition of vanitas imagery as the painting of The Woman and Death of the early sixteenth century by Hans Baldung-Grien. The painting of the fabric and, to some extent, the flesh tones, show affinities with the style of Rubens. The picture is also known as The Two Beauties. The skeleton of the woman has a label pasted to her skull which identifies her as "La Belle Rosine."
      Death and Romantic horror obsessed Wiertz. He was particularly attracted to these themes in Romantic literature, and a number of his works are based on novels and stories. The Premature Burial of 1854 is clearly inspired by Edgar Allan Poe. Wiertz also painted images of Quasimodo and Esmerelda from Notre Dame de Paris by Victor Hugo.

LINKS
–- Le Philosophe (109x90cm; 913x745pix, 36kb — .ZOOM to 1826x1491pix, 145kb _ ZOOM+ to 2239x1828pix, 1646kb) _ .detail: head (1021x1201pix, 78kb — .ZOOM to head 1515x1189pix, 93kb + hand 510x1197pix, 30kb)
Self-Portrait undated
Self-Portrait (1860)
L'outrage à une Belge (1854; 480x369pix, 59kb) _ détail
Last Thoughts and Visions of a Decapitated Head (1853) _ detail 1 _ detail 2 _ detail 3 _ detail 4 _ detail 5
Guillotined Head (1855)
Things of the Present Before the Men of the Future (1855)
 
^ Died on 18 June 1890: Giorgio Morandi, Italian painter, draftsman, and printmaker, born on 20 July 1890, specialized in Still Life.
— At the age of 17 he enrolled at the Accademia di Belle Arti in Bologna and discovered contemporary art in books on Impressionism, Paul Cézanne, Georges Seurat and Henri Rousseau. He read with interest the articles by Ardengo Soffici in La Voce and saw the Venice Biennale of 1910, where he first came across the painting of Auguste Renoir. During this period he often went to Florence to study the works of Giotto, Masaccio and Paolo Uccello. Between 1911 and 1914, when he was in Rome, he was impressed by the work of Claude Monet and, especially, Paul Cézanne. At the Futurist exhibition Lacerba, held in the Libreria Gonnelli, Florence, in 1913–1914, he met Umberto Boccioni. Shortly afterwards he showed his first paintings at the Albergo Baglioni in Bologna and the Galleria Sprovieri in Rome. When he was not painting, he taught drawing in primary schools. As an adolescent he associated with those most receptive to new ideas in Bologna, including the painter Osvaldo Licini and the writer Mario Bacchelli. In 1918–1919 he worked with Bacchelli and Giuseppe Raimondi [1898–1976] on the Bologna magazine La Raccolta and came into contact with Mario Broglio, editor of the Rome review Valori Plastici. Morandi lived in Bologna throughout his life, except for a number of short stays during World War II in the neighboring village of Grizzana, where he painted some landscapes.
—  Morandi's themes and, to a large extent, his style were essentially established by the time he was thirty. For the rest of his life as an artist, he remained committed to exploring a deliberately limited territory, in a nearly obsessive investigation of perception that produced images at once remarkable for their repetitiveness and for their subtle variation. But for all the conscious narrowing of his field of inquiry, for all the rigorousness of his self-imposed restrictions, he had no single way of making a picture. It often seems as though he were testing the limits of representation, now vigorously modeling and separating forms and setting alike into broad, uninflected passages of paint. It even appears that each new picture, each new set of visual phenomena, no matter how familiar, elicits from him a different touch, a different way of orchestrating color. In fact, the more closely we look at Morandi's art, the more images we examine, the more individual each picture seems.
      This is true even among the still lifes constructed of utterly familiar, repeated objects. In some, Morandi gangs those objects together so that they touch, hiding and cropping one another in ways that alter even the most recognizable features; in others, the same objects are treated as distinct individuals, gathered on the surface of the tabletop like an urban crowd in a piazza. In still others, objects are pressed and staggered like the buildings of a town on the fertile Emilian plains. In Morandi's closely linked "serial still lifes", apparently identical groupings of familiar objects, altered by the addition or subtraction of a single element, the presence (or absence) of one more bottle, one less box, as casually placed as an afterthought, can serve not only to completely shift the dynamic weight and the spatial logic of a given composition, but to change its color harmonies, and even the entire proportion of the picture.
      At first glance, Morandi's objects appear to be the detritus of domesticity, a collection of things once in daily use, but discarded either because they have suffered some kind of damage or because their contents have been exhausted. Confronted by such subject matter, it is easy to understand why Morandi has been compared so often with Chardin, whose still lifes also celebrated the ordinary and the humble, the trappings of the kitchen and the pantry, presenting them without sentimentality, but with scrupulous attention to their individual formal characteristics. Yet longer acquaintance with Morandi's still lifes makes their artifice more apparent. Clearly, these are studio set-ups, groupings created to be scrutinized, their plastic and visual relationships probed.
      Particularly after the 1940's, Morandi tended to emphasize the shapes and profiles of his objects in his pictures, distinguishing them by shifts in color, but unifying them with an even-handed, brushy application of paint…Yet it is clear from the objects that he hoarded in his studio that he often selected his subject matter as much for tone and texture as for form. The vases are opaque opaline glass or ceramic, dulled by age and dust. Matteness, dullness, and neutrality obviously counted a good deal for Morandi. Boxes and bottles, for example, were routinely stripped of labels or had identifying must have helped to homogenize disparate materials and reduce them to essential forms. In addition, many objects were brushed with flat white or grayish paint, to destroy reflections and anything accidental, as though the painter were striving to distance himself from the particulars of his circumscribed subjects in order to render them as abstract geometric archetypes.
      In the same way, Morandi's landscapes and his urban scenes - economical views of the countryside near Bologna or of the cortile of his apartment house on the Via Fondazza - tread a narrow line between the essential and the particular. Some of the landscapes have the suddenness, instability, and rightness of an unexpected view from a moving train. Light and shade become abstractions momentarily made identifiable (and tangible) by a transient association with walls, foliage, and earth. A narrow register of grayed, pearly tones, like the rock-solid construction of these pictures, simultaneously pays homage to Cézanne and evokes the special character of the Emilian landscape: the moist, hazy light of spring and fall, the dusty, baking sunshine of summer, the elementally solid farmhouses, the dense rows of silvery juniper, the harshly ploughed fields. The landscapes are soundless, distanced, almost dreamlike. (Brandi recalls Morandi's using binoculars to study a landscape motif from his studio window). But there is nothing sentimental about the painter's view of modern-day Italy; there is no nostalgia for an idyllic past…Television antennae and electric wires provide and excuse for subtle, delicate mark-making that mediates between sky and roofline in a series of Via Fondazza paintings of the late 1950's.
      This dialogue - or tug of war - between the specific and the elemental lies at the heart of Morandi's work. He seems to explore how much he can simplify before the objects and the places he obsessively returned to throughout his long career become unrecognizable. At other times he backs away from generalization, insisting on particulars to the point where each bottle and vase seems as individual as the subjects of the portraits he draw as a precocious art student.

LINKS
Still Life (The Blue Vase) (1920)
Still Life (Cups and Boxes) (1951)
Still-Life with a Ball (1918)
Still-Life with a Dummy (1918) [No, it's not a self~portrait. In fact there is no dummy in the picture. The dummy must be the person who admires it.]
Still-Life with a Brioche (1920)
Still-Life (1929)
Paesaggio (Casa Rosa)
 
^Born on 18 June 1716: Joseph Marie Vien, French Neoclassical painter, draftsman, and engraver, specialized in Historical Painting, who died on 27 March 1809. — {Pintaba Vien bien, pero no pintaba Vien Vien}
— Vien was one of the earliest French painters to work in the Neo-classical style, and although his own work veered uncertainly between that style and the Baroque, Vien was a decisive influence on some of the foremost artists of the heroic phase of Neo-classicism, notably David, Peyron, Suvée, and Regnault, all of whom he taught. Both his wife, Marie-Thérèse Reboul [1738–1805], and Joseph-Marie Vien fils [1762–1848] were artists.
— His students included Jacques-Louis David, Jacques Gamelin, Jean-François-Pierre Peyron, Joseph-Benoît Suvée and Jean-Baptiste Regnault, Etienne Aubry, Pierre Cacault, Louis-François Cassas, Henri-Pierre Danloux, Philibert-Louis Debucourt, Balthazar Anton Dunker, Per Gustaf Floding, Étienne-Barthélemy Garnier, Philipp Friedrich von Hetsch, Aleksander Kucharski, Anton Pavlovich Losenko, Jan Piotr Norblin de la Gourdaine, Marie-Suzanne Roslin, François Sablet, Jacques Sablet, Jean-Pierre Saint-Ours, Jean-Joseph Taillasson, François-André Vincent, Johann Friedrich Maximilian graf von Waldeck, Adolf Ulric Wertmüller, Pierre-Alexandre Wille.
— Portrait of Vien (1784, 133x100cm; 700x525pix, 178kb) by Joseph Siffred Duplessis. _ Les portraitistes devaient peindre deux de leurs confrères pour être admis à l'Académie. Duplessis, qui fut admis sur son seul Allegrain (1774, 130x97cm; 700x535pix, 180kb) fit celui de Vien lorsque ce dernier revint d'Italie.

LINKS
Construction de l'Arche de Noé (1765; 600x732pix _ ZOOM to 1400x1708pix)
Marc-Aurèle fait distribuer au peuple des aliments et des médicaments dans un temps de peste et de famine (1765; 600x596pix _ ZOOM to 1400x1391pix)
Les adieux d'Hector et d'Andromaque (1786, 320x420cm; 580x700pix, 208kb _ ZOOM to 1400x1820pix
) _ Andromaque, fille d'Eetion, roi de Thèbe-sous-Placos, dans le Sud de la Troade, épousera Hector et lui donnera son fils unique, Astyanax. Son père sera tué, en compagnie de ses sept frères, par Achille lors du sac de Thèbes. Sa mère fera l'objet d'une forte rançon. L'lliade évoque le moment ou Hector, revenant du champ de bataille, demandera aux femmes de sacrifier à Athéna et d'arracher Pâris à Hélène. Astyanax, encore enfant, sera jeté du haut des murailles après la mort son père, Hector. Andromaque, sera emmenée par Néoptolème, le fils d'Achille, à qui elle donnera trois fils, Molossos, Piélos et Bergamos. Néoptolème épousera ensuite Hermione, la fille de Ménélas et d'Hélène, qui s'avèrera stérile et cherchera à faire disparaître les enfants nés de l'union de son mari avec Andromaque. Neptolème trouvera la mort à Delphes et Andromaque épousera Hélénos, le devin troyen à qui Néoptolème avait donné en royaume une partie de l'Epire. Virgile nous indique, dans L'Enéide, qu'Andromaque aurait épousé Hélénos au moment où Néoptolème convolait avec Hermione. Hélénos et Andromaque s'installeront dans une nouvelle ville appelée Pergame en souvenir de Troie et donneront naissance à un fils, Cestrinos. Pergamos emmènera Andromaque en Mysie, au Nord-ouest de l'Asie Mineure, lorsque Hélénos disparaîtra, et fondera une nouvelle Pergame.
Jeunes Grecques parant de fleurs l'Amour endormi (1773, 335x194cm; 1040x760pix, 135kb) _ Ce tableau et son pendant, Amant couronnant sa maîtresse, appartiennent à une série de quatre oeuvres commandées par Madame du Barry pour son pavillon de Louveciennes. L'ensemble, qui illustrait “les progrès de l'amour dans le coeur des jeunes filles”, devait remplacer quatre compositions de Fragonard. Le tableau a été exposé au Salon des artistes français de Paris en 1773.
      The Comtesse du Barry [19 Aug 1743 – 08 Dec 1793 guillotined], the mistress of Louis XV [15 Feb 1710 – 10 May 1774], received from him in 1769 a property at Louveciennes, a village near Versailles. After making certain changes to the old château that stood there, Madame Du Barry commissioned Claude-Nicolas Ledoux [1736-1806] to design for the estate a pavilion that could be used for entertaining. This building, instantly acclaimed for its neoclassical modernity, was inaugurated on 02 September 1771. For its apse-shaped gaming room Fragonard [05 Apr 1732 – 22 Aug 1806] was commissioned, probably early in that same year, to paint four large canvases that would be described in an inventory of 1772 as depicting “the four ages of love.” These are the panels now known as The Pursuit (600x404pix _ ZOOM to 1400x943pix), The Meeting (318x244cm; 1016x760pix, 99kb), The Lover Crowned (600x452pix _ ZOOM to 1400x1055pix), and Love Letters (600x404pix _ ZOOM to 1400x943pix). It is known that Fragonard was working on these canvases during 1771. By July of 1772, Bachaumont, a chronicler of current events, was writing of the paintings as being in place at Louveciennes. But an inventory of Louveciennes in 1774 described Fragonard’s canvases as “having been returned to the painter” and replaced by works of Joseph-Marie Vien, two of which had been exhibited at the Salon the previous year. Ironically, the title Les progrès de l'amour dans le coeur des jeunes filles now assigned to Fragonard’s series was that originally given to the paintings by Vien that came to supplant them. What happened? In addition to possible temperamental difficulties between artist and patron that might have led to this rejection of the paintings, two other causes seem likely. Bachaumont’s sly remark in 1772 that Fragonard’s paintings “seem to be allegorical references to the adventures of the mistress of the house,” joined to the undeniable resemblance between contemporary portraits of Louis XV and the red-coated lover scaling the wall in The Meeting, could justifiably have alerted Madame Du Barry that her decorations might be a source of embarrassment to the monarch, whom she was trying to lure into marriage at this time. On the other hand, as one obsessed with fashion Madame Du Barry may have come to see Fragonard's exuberant work as outmoded within the context of Ledoux’s avant-garde pavilion, for which Vien’s deliberately classicizing work, albeit insipid, appeared more obviously in harmony.
Amant couronnant sa maîtresse (1773, 335x202cm; 1040x760pix, 119kb)
The Cupid Seller
Académie

 
^ Died on 18 June 1464: Rogier de la Pasture van der Weyden, Flemish Northern Renaissance painter born in 1399 or 1400. His students included Hans Memling.
— Rogier van der Weyden was a leading artist of the mid-15th century. He was known principally for his sensitive, deeply moving renderings of religious themes. Rogier was born in Tournai, Flanders (now in Belgium); although details of his early training are sketchy, it is generally accepted that he entered the workshop of the painter Robert Campin in Tournai in 1427 and became a licenced master in 1432. In 1435 he was appointed the official painter of the city of Bruges (now in Belgium), where he spent most of the rest of his life. His many paintings—primarily such religious works as altarpieces, but also including portraits—are undated and unsigned, and the chronology of his career rests almost entirely on stylistic analysis. Rogier's paintings, like those of other contemporary Netherlandish masters (particularly those of Jan van Eyck), are precise and highly detailed, although Rogier during his career moved toward a new technique of light and shadow that emphasized the central figure of the painting while subduing other elements. His early works, before 1430, present scenes from the life of the Virgin Mary, as in the Annunciation (1425); these paintings closely resemble those of his master Campin but exhibit greater emotional and dramatic intensity than Campin achieved. Rogier's mature works, between 1430 and 1450, show an increasing interest in the theme of Christ's passion. They are characterized by cold colors, by rhythmic elongated lines (particularly evident in fluttering robes and draperies), by the elegant mannered poses of the figures, and especially by a tragic religious intensity that reached a peak in three versions of The Crucifixion (1440). Rogier introduced several important innovations that influenced later Netherlandish painting, such as the use of gilt backgrounds, as in the Descent from the Cross; confined architectural settings that defined the space of the scene, as in Standing Virgin; and the device of placing a rear-view figure in the painting's foreground in order to create a closed, unified pattern, as in Marriage of the Virgin. After 1450, following a trip to Italy, where Rogier was exposed to the painting of the Italian Renaissance, his work became softer, more realistically human and less mystically intense, particularly in such late masterpieces as Adoration by the Magi. Rogier was one of the most influential north European 15th-century painters not only in the Netherlands but also in Spain, Italy, France, and Germany, to which many of his commissioned paintings were sent. He died in Brussels.

—    Rogier van der Weyden was the most important representative of Netherlandish painting in the years immediately following Jan and Hubert van Eyck. Like no other painter of the 15th century outside Italy, he developed compositional and figural principles, which were adopted into every genre of painting north of the Alps. We should not underestimate the extent of his influence in Italy, where he was considered one of the most important artists of his day.
Rogier was born in Tournai around 1399/1400, son of the cutler Henry de le Pasture and Agnes de Wattrelos. In 1426, he married Elisabeth Goffaerts [1405-1477]. Rogier’s first son, Corneille [1427–1473], would study in Louvain, and, in 1449, become a Carthusian monk in Hérinnes.
      Rogier was apprenticed to Campin in 1427 — a surprisingly late date. But having only become a master in 1432, in 1436 he was appointed official painter to the city of Brussels. Rogier came to Brussels in 1435, changing his name from the French ‘de le Pasture’ to its Flemish equivalent, which is ‘van der Weyden’.
      Rogier took as his starting point the three-dimensional figures of Campin and Jan van Eyck and proceeded to clarify their anatomical structure. At the same time, he perfected the depiction of interiors and landscapes in proper perspective. Direct references to earlier masters – as, for example, in his several surviving versions of St. Luke painting the Virgin, which refer to Jan van Eyck’s The Virgin of the Chancellor Rolin – became far less frequent from about 1440 as he strove to find an artistic balance between depth and plane. Figures grew more slender, draperies and interior décor became more elegant. A visit to Rome in the year of 1449/50 led to an exchange between art north and south of the Alps, which would prove one of the most fruitful of the entire 15th century.
      When Rogier died in Brussels, he was the best known and most sought after painter in the Netherlands, a standard for the majority of artists north of the Alps. He left behind him not only an obviously large workshop with extremely well trained assistants, but also a continuing demand for his work. The studio was very probably taken over by his son Pieter (1437-after 1514), also a painter.
     With the possible exception of Jan van Eyck, van der Weyden was the most influential northern European artist of his time. Though most of his work was religious, he produced secular paintings (now lost) and some sensitive portraits.
      Rogier was the son of a master cutler, and his childhood must have been spent in the comfortable surroundings of the rising class of merchants and craftsmen. He may even have acquired a university education, for in 1426 he was honoured by the city as "Maistre (Master) Rogier de la Pasture" and began his painting career only the next year at the rather advanced age of 27. It was then, on 05 March 1427, that Rogier enrolled as an apprentice in the workshop of Robert Campin, the foremost painter in Tournai and dean of the painters' guild. Rogier remained in Campin's atelier for five years, becoming an independent master of the guild on 01 August 1432. From Campin, Rogier learned the ponderous, detailed realism that characterizes his earliest paintings, and so alike, in fact, are the styles of these two masters that connoisseurs still do not agree on the attribution of certain works. But the theory that the entire sequence of paintings credited to Campin (who, like Rogier, did not sign his panels) are actually from the brush of the young Rogier cannot be maintained. Careful study of secure works by Rogier and by his colleague in Campin's workshop, Jacques Daret, permit scholars to reestablish a basic series of works by the older master and to distinguish the style of these from that of Rogier.
      Campin was not the only source of inspiration in Rogier's art. Jan van Eyck, the great painter from Bruges, also profoundly affected the developing artist, introducing elegance and subtle visual refinements into the bolder, Campinesque components of such early paintings by Rogier as St. Luke Painting the Virgin. Although as an apprentice Rogier must certainly have met Jan van Eyck when the latter visited Tournai in 1427, it was more likely in Bruges, where Rogier may have resided between 1432 and 1435, that he became thoroughly acquainted with van Eyck's style.
      By 1435, Rogier, now a mature master, settled in Brussels, the native city of his wife, Elizabeth Goffaert, whom he had married in 1426. The next year he was appointed city painter; and it was from this time that he began to use the Flemish translation of his name (van der Weyden). Rogier remained in Brussels the rest of his life, although he never completely severed his ties with Tournai. He was commissioned to paint a mural (now destroyed) for the town hall of Brussels showing famous historical examples of the administration of justice. During this same period, around 1435-40, he completed the celebrated panel of the Descent from the Cross for the chapel of the Archers' Guild of Louvain. In this deposition there is evident a tendency to reduce the setting of a scene to a shallow, shrinelike enclosure and to orchestrate a rich diversity of emotions. These devotional qualities are even more striking in Rogier's works of the 1440s such as the twin Granada-Miraflores altarpieces and the Last Judgment Polyptych. In these the settings are stark, the figures are delicate Gothic types, and the action, though stilled, is exquisitely expressive. The removal of Rogier's art from concern with outward appearances and his return to medieval conventions is surprising; for it was during this decade that Rogier's international reputation was secured and commissions increased from noblemen such as Philip the Good, duke of Burgundy, and his powerful chancellor, Nicolas Rolin. Rogier may well have also been influenced by the writings of Thomas à Kempis, the most popular theologian of the era, whose "practical mysticism," like Rogier's painting, stressed empathetic response to episodes from the lives of Mary, Christ, and the saints.
      Perhaps as an extension of a journey to install the Last Judgment Altarpiece in Rolin's chapel at Beaune or possibly to obtain a plenary indulgence for his daughter Margaret, one of Rogier's four children, who had died that year, the renowned painter visited Rome during the Jubilee of 1450. He was warmly received in Italy. Praise from the Humanist Bartolomeo Fazio and the eminent theologian Nicholas of Cusa is recorded; Rogier also received commissions from the powerful Este family of Ferrara and the Medici of Florence. He painted a portrait of Francesco d'Este (originally thought to be Leonello d'Este), and his painting of the Madonna and Child that still remains in Florence (Uffizi) bears the arms and patron saints of the Medici.
      While on his pilgrimage, Rogier apparently tutored Italian masters in painting with oils, a technique in which Flemish painters of the time were particularly adept. He also seems to have learned a great deal from what he viewed. Although he was primarily attracted to the conservative painters Gentile da Fabriano and Fra Angelico, whose medievalizing styles paralleled his own, Rogier was also acquainted with more progressive trends. In the St John Altarpiece and the Seven Sacraments Triptych, executed between 1451 and 1455, shortly after Rogier's return north, his characteristic austerity is tempered by his recollection of the more robust Italian styles; and, in both, the panels are unified from a single point of view. Despite this enrichment, however, Rogier's conceptions remained essentially iconic: he pushed the figures into the foreground and isolated them from their surroundings as subjects for devotion.
      The last 15 years of his life brought Rogier the rewards due an internationally famous painter and exemplary citizen. He received numerous commissions, which he carried out with the assistance of a large workshop that included his own son Peter and his successor as city painter, Vranck van der Stockt, a mediocre imitator. Even before his death, however, Rogier's impact extended far beyond his immediate associates. The influence of his expressive but technically less intricate style eclipsed that of both Campin and van Eyck. Every Flemish painter of the succeeding generation - Petrus Christus, Dierik Bouts, Hugo van der Goes, and Hans Memling (who may have studied in Rogier's atelier) - depended on his formulations; and, during the 16th century, Rogierian ideas were transformed and revitalized by Quentin Massys and Bernard van Orley. Rogier's art was also a vehicle for transporting the Flemish style throughout Europe, and during the second half of the 15th century his influence dominated painting in France, Germany, and Spain.
      Nevertheless, the fame of Rogier van der Weyden quickly waned, and no painting by him had been signed or dated. By the end of the 16th century the biographer Carel van Mander had referred mistakenly to two Rogiers in Het Schilderboek (1603; "Book of Painters"), and by the middle of the 19th century his fame and art had all but been forgotten. Only through a meticulous evaluation of the documents have scholars over the past century been able to reconstruct Rogier's work and to restore the reputation of one of 15th-century Flanders' leading masters.

LINKS

Commentaries and links to reproductions, of whole and many details, of:
— Deposition
— Saint Luke Madonna
— Annunciacion Triptych
— Miraflores Altarpiece
— Seven Sacraments Altarpiece
— Crucifixion Altarpiece
— Bladelin Triptych
— Last Judgement Polyptych
— Braque Family Triptych
— Saint Columba Altarpiece
— Saint John Altarpiece
— Other altarpieces
— Other Crucifixions
— Portraits
— Other paintings

68 images at Wikimedia
 
—(080615)

Died on an 18 June:

>2006 Donald William Riley [11 Nov 1933–], US cartoonist, dies of cancer. —(060627)

1965 Julius Heinrich Bissier, German painter born (main coverage) on 03 December 1893. —(070207)

^ 1920 Mario Puccini, Italian artist born on 28 June 1869. Di umili origini, nasce a Livorno. Grazie all’incoraggiamento datogli da Fattori che aveva visto alcuni suoi quadri, ottiene l’autorizzazione paterna ad iscriversi ai corsi di pittura dell’Accademia di Belle Arti di Firenze. Qui ha come compagni Nomellini, Pelizza da Volpedo e Ciani. Nel 1890 si diploma e vince un concorso per l’invenzione di un metodo di proioezione geometrica. Si iscrive anche alla Scuola Libera del Nudo ma è costretto ad interromperla per una sopraggiunta depressione purtroppo curata non come tale ma come vera e propria pazzia. Viene così internato all’ospedale psichiatrico di S. Niccolò a Siena, dove rimane fino al 05 May 1898. Uscito da questa drammatica esperienza, non riprende subito l’attività, almeno quella espositiva – fatta eccezione per la terza esposizione d’Arte di Livorno nel 1901, - ma aiuta il padre nella conduzione di una trattoria. Nel 1907, però, decide di affrancarsi dalla dipendenza economica familiare costruendo giochi per ragazzi, insegne per negozi e realizzando disegni per le ricamatrici. Dal 1908 inizia a frequentare il Caffè Bardi a Livorno, per il quale dipinge all’interno alcuni pannelli, e stringe amicizia con Benvenuti e Pierotti Della Sanguigna attraverso i quali inizia a vendere i suoi primi quadri. Tra i primi acquirenti ci sono Angelo De Farro e Remolo Monti, che in cambio delle sue opere gli offrono una sorta di stipendio mensile. Nel 1911-1912 soggiorna a Digne, in Francia, da un fratello ma la nostalgia lo richiama a Livorno. Da questo viaggio riporta una serie di tavolette dai colori più tenui. Intento altri collezionisti si interessano a lui: Gustavo Sforni, Mario Galli, Ugo Ometti, Romolo Monti accrescono l’interesse della critica attorno al pittore. Adesso Puccini lavora nella dependance di una villa. Tuttavia la mole di lavoro, svolta all’aria aperta, aggraverà un’infezione polmonare da sempre trascurata. Di ritorno dalla Maremma, dove si era recato a dipingere, è ricoverato a Firenze, all’Ospedale di Santa Maria Novella, dove morirà.
–- S*#> La Maremma (30x21cm; 651x900pix, 171kb)
–- S*#> La Roccaforte (33x22cm; 900x596pix, 144kb)
Funaioli (1914, 35x50cm; 436x632pix, 104kb)
Fascinaia (1914, 59x79cm; 431x555pix, 90kb)
Vapore nel porto (1915, 28x16cm; 419x279pix)
Portrait of Peter Paul Rubens (23x18cm oval; 545x428pix, 230kb) _ As if Rubens [28 Jun 1577 – 30 May 1640] had not painted himself enough, for example in Self~Portrait (1628; 600x437pix, 18kb), Self~Portrait (1630; 980x687pix, 72 kb), Self~Portrait (1639, 110x85cm, 920x706pix, 88kb).

^ 1897 Carl Herpfer, German genre and portrait painter born on 30 November 1836. Little is known about his life. From 1854, he was enrolled as the student of Schraudolph, Foltz, Piloty, and Ramberg at the Munich Academy. He exhibited regularly at all the leading German exhibition venues including the Munich Glaspalast in 1869, the Lübeck Salon of 1878, the Berlin Grosse Kunstausstellung in 1894 and 1895, and in Dresden. specialized in genre scenes which evoked an earlier era. His gift in capturing the lavish fabrics and textures of historical dress is coupled with a sensitive awareness of Rococo and Biedermeier furniture. He deployed these carefully rendered visual effects to enliven appealing narratives set in an elegant golden age.
A Festive Gathering (98x136cm)
The Musician's Dilemma (116x92cm)
Die Hochzeitsgesellschaft (160x113cm; 576x409pix, 70kb)
–- S*#> The Suitor Meets Her Family aka The Debutante (1890, 95x128cm; 568x799pix, 79kb) _ This painting's theme is that of a romantic match about to be made. An example of the artist's favorite subject matter and style, the work has both the element of drama and a surfeit of the sumptous, textured details at which Herpfer excelled.

^ 1681 Cornelis Kick (or Kik), Dutch painter born in 1635. He studied in Amsterdam under his father, the genre painter Simon Kick [1603-1652]. Cornelis specialized in painting fine flowerpieces in the style of Jan Davidszoon de Heem [Apr 1606 – 26 Apr 1684]. — {They didn't quite quick kick Kick off the Internet, but there is not much by him that I can find there.}
Still-Life with Silver Cup (44x34cm; 1221x950pix, 75kb _ /S#*>.ZOOM to 1992x1549pix, 168kb) _ It is a silver brandy cup. With it, on a pewter plate, there are a silver spoon and an orange. Behind there is a façon de Venise wineglass and a lemon. All this is on a marble tabletop. This painting is an example of Kick's ability to depict the subtle reflections of light and color on silver and glass. —(070617)


Born on an 18 June:

^ 1889 Paul Joostens, Antwerp Belgian painter who died on 24 March 1960.
De onschuldigen (1925, 75x75cm; 500x483pix, 318kb) almost monochrome brown.
La visionnaire (131x158cm; 480x586pix, 41kb)
–- untitled (1917; 518x525pix, 35kb) _ The pseudonymous Joe Stench has transformed this into the twin abstractions
      _ Untilted (2007; 800x988pix, 241kb _ ZOOM to 1165x1440pix, 536kb _ ZOOM+ to 1800x2224pix, 1366kb _ ZOOM++ to 2833x3502pix, 3150kb) and
      _ Unity Led (2007; 800x988pix, 241kb _ ZOOM to 1165x1440pix, 536kb _ ZOOM+ to 1800x2224pix, 1366kb _ ZOOM++ to 2833x3502pix, 3150kb)
–- untitled (1917; 527x525pix, 32kb) _ Stench has combined these two untitleds and transformed them into the quadruplet abstractions
      _ Dealt It New (2007; 775x1096pix, 255kb _ ZOOM to 1096x1550pix, 524kb _ ZOOM+ to 1700x2404pix, 1321kb _ ZOOM++ to 2636x3728pix, 2755kb),
      _ Deal It Knew (2007; 775x1096pix, 255kb _ ZOOM to 1096x1550pix, 524kb _ ZOOM+ to 1700x2404pix, 1321kb _ ZOOM++ to 2636x3728pix, 2755kb),
      _ Une Petite Laide (2007; 775x1096pix, 344kb _ ZOOM to 1096x1550pix, 724kb _ ZOOM+ to 1700x2404pix, 1921kb _ ZOOM++ to 2636x3728pix, 5305kb), and
      _ Du Petit Lait (2007; 775x1096pix, 344kb _ ZOOM to 1096x1550pix, 724kb _ ZOOM+ to 1700x2404pix, 1921kb _ ZOOM++ to 2636x3728pix, 5305kb). —(070617)

^ 1869 Leo Putz, Merano German painter who died on 21 July 1940. From 1886 to 1889 he studied at the Akademie der Bildenden Künste in Munich. He was at the Académie Julian in Paris between 1891 and 1892 where his teachers were William-Adolphe Bouguereau and Benjamin Constant. Although Bouguereau was a confirmed opponent of Impressionism, Putz was greatly interested in the movement, in particular the early works of Manet and Renoir. In dieser Pariser Studienzeit lernte er Lovis Corinth, Emil Nolde, Max Slevogt und Felix Vallotton kennen. Symbolist art, as represented by the work of Franz von Stuck and Franz Xaver Habermann, became an influence on his work when he returned to Munich. Schloss er sein Studium bei dem damals modernsten Lehrer der Akademie, Paul Höcker, ab. Paul Höcker war es, der Leo Putz besonders zu Naturstudium und Freilichtmalerei anregte. Einen sehr wichtigen Impuls erhielt Putz auch von der Künstlervereinigung "Neu Dachau" von den Malern Ludwig Dill, Arthur Langhammer und Adolf Hölzl.
     In 1899 Putz and Fritz Erler were involved with ten other painters in the foundation of the artistic group Die Scholle. He was also a member of the Secessions in Berlin, Vienna and Munich. As well as landscapes he painted a number of nudes, which are characterized by the high contrast of the coloring and the use of shimmering sunlight, for example Picnic I (1904) and The Bajadere (1903). He worked in South America between 1928 and 1933; at this time his work seemed Expressionistic, reminiscent of the art of Die Brücke. In 1931 he became a professor at the Academia de Belas Artes in Rio de Janeiro. After returning to Germany he was condemned by the cultural politics of the Nazis and left Munich in 1936 for Merano.
Sitzendes Mädchen in weissem Kleid mit Sonnenschirm (1906, 49x63cm; 421x534pix, 77kb)
Rote Fazenda II Rio (1929, 50x36cm; 343x250pix, 17kb)

. Inició sus estudios en la Escuela de Arte de Burgos, su ciudad natal, donde es alumno de Evaristo Barrio e Isidro Gil. Posteriormente, viaja a Madrid, donde ingresa en la Escuela Superior de Bellas Artes de San Fernando, al tiempo que trabaja en el taller de Manuel Domínguez. Tras concluir sus estudios, es pensionado para la Academia de Roma. A su regreso, se instala en Madrid, donde fue profesor auxiliar del Instituto de San Isidro y, más adelante, catedrático de la Escuela de Artes y Oficios, de la que llegó a ser director. En 1913, fue recibido en la Real Academia de Bellas Artes de San Fernando. —(080618)

1866 Marcelino Santamaría Sedano [–12 Oct 1952], Spanish painter who died (main coverage) on 12 October 1952. —(090617)

^ 1816 Léon Victor Dupré, French landscape painter who died in 1879. Victor Dupré was taught painting by his brother Jules Dupré [05 Apr 1812 – 06 Oct 1889], and like his brother before him was friends with Théodore Rousseau, Constable, Turner, Crome, and Bonington, the great landscape artists of the time. Victor was awarded the third prize at the Salon of 1849. A member of the Barbizon School, he was a his about 1850, at which time he was painting rustic scenes of nature, his favorite subjects. A plein air artist, he traveled throughout France, painting its riverbanks and the stormy skies of Berry, the Limousin region, and Normandy. Some of his better paintings are Village de Berry, Bords de l’Oise, Mare dans les Landes. — LINKS
At the Watering Hole (1859, 23x34cm)
On the Way to the Cottage (1873, 36x53cm)
Pâturage Au Printemps (69x109cm)
Paysage avec moutons (1872, 40x71cm)
–- S*#> Ferme sur la plaine de Fontainebleau (1889, 24x45cm; 440x884pix, 87kb)
Landscape with cows and people (46x32cm) _ In the foreground a pond and a path going towards the village in the background. Three cows are sitting and grazing in the field behind the pond, and a person is standing in field beside them. In the background, some people are working at the back of the field.
Cattle Watering (1874, 46x61cm; 476x640pix, kb)

1621 Allart van Everdingen, Dutch painter who died (full coverage) on 08 November 1675.


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