ART 4 2-DAY 29 June v.8.50
Died on 29 June 1955: Hermann
Max Pechstein, German Expressionist
painter and printmaker born on 31 December 1881.
Pechstein was a leading member of the group of German Expressionist artists known as Die Brücke. Best known for his paintings of nudes and landscapes.
He was apprenticed as a decorator in Zwickau from 1896 to 1900, when he moved to Dresden to enrol at the Kunstgewerbeschule, where he met the architect Wilhelm Kreis and the painter Otto Gussmann (1869–1926) and obtained decorative commissions. He continued his studies from 1902 until 1906 as Gussmann’s student at the Dresden Kunstakademie.
Through Kreis, Pechstein was introduced to Erich Heckel in 1906 and was invited by him to join Die Brücke, a group founded in the previous year that was quickly to become a major force in the rise of German Expressionism. The founders of the group were all architecture students, leaving Pechstein as the only member to have received formal academic training as a painter. He remained closely involved with the group until 1910, drawing and painting in the studios of Heckel and Ernst Ludwig Kirchner in Dresden and also working communally with them en plein-air; together with Heckel and Kirchner, for example, he spent some weeks during summer 1910 painting naked bathers at the Moritzburg lakes near Dresden. Paintings produced by Pechstein at this time, such as Girl in Red at a Table (1910), are very close in style to work by other Brücke artists and are among the most important paintings of the group’s communal period.
— Self Portrait (1917 drawing, 51x55cm)
–- Dancer Reflected in a Mirror (1923, 50x40cm). _ The dramatic gestures of a seductively clad cabaret dancer, seen raising her skirt and pointing her toes, ironically clash with the bored expression on her face. The lines of her skirt and her bent right leg create strong diagonals that draw the viewer's attention to the row of men's faces, making them major protagonists in the scene. These men seem disconnected from their spatially compressed surroundings, and two of them appear overtly disinterested as they stare out with unfocused eyes. Pechstein, who himself had been a soldier at the Somme front in France, painted Dancer Reflected in a Mirror during the post–World War I years, a time of political unrest and financial insecurity in Germany. Reading this woodcut as social commentary, one senses the apathetic decadence that permeated the era. Early in his career, Pechstein was a member of Brücke, the German Expressionist group. Although he disagreed with their policy of exhibiting exclusively together and was officially expelled in 1912, he continued to create Expressionist images.
–- Strawberry Girl (1921, 57x44cm) _ Painter and printmaker Max Pechstein studied in Dresden from 1900 to 1906 at the Kunstwerbeschule. There he met and joined Die Brücke, an influential artists’ collective based in Dresden. Die Brücke included other major artists such as Erich Heckel, Karl Schmidt-Rottluff and Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, and was a major force in the rise of the German Expressionist movement. In 1908 Pechstein moved to Berlin and was joined by other Brücke artists. In 1910 he helped to form a new artists’ group, the Neue Sezession. Like Paul Gaugin, Pechstein himself traveled to the South Pacific in 1914 to gain inspiration. In Palau at the onset of World War I, he was interned in Japan and finally returned to Germany in 1916 where he served on the Western Front. Strawberry Girl was completed during one of Pechstein’s most successful periods. In 1921 he had become a member of the Preussiche Akademie der Kunste and a professor at the Hochschule für Bildende Kunste in Berlin. In the 1930s, however, the Nazi government removed him of his titles and he was forbidden to paint. His status was quickly reinstated following World War II.
— Flute Playing in the Country (1908, 36x46cm; 600x770pix, 73kb)
— Bathers (1917, 51x55cm)
— 23 images at Ciudad de la Pintura
Died on 29 June 1779: Anton
Raphaël Mengs, German Neoclassical
painter and writer specialized in Portraits
who was born on 22 March 1728
He was the father of Anna Maria Mengs [1751 – 29 Oct 1793]; and the brother of Juliane Charlotte Mengs [>1728 – >1789], and of Theresia Concondia Mengs [bapt. 01 Nov 1725 – 1806], who married his student Anton von Maron.
— His early career was at the Dresden court; thereafter he worked principally in Rome and Madrid, notably on the frescoes at the Villa Albani and the Palacio Real respectively. As an early exponent of Neo-classicism he produced some impressive classical and religious scenes, though he was most accomplished as a portrait painter. Under the influence of Johann Joachim Winckelmann he also wrote some theoretical works, of which the most important is the Gedanken über die Schönheit und über den Geschmack in der Malerey (1762). Although acclaimed during his lifetime, he was later regarded as an unimaginative eclectic.
Mengs was perhaps the leading artist of early Neoclassicism.
Mengs studied under his father Ismael Israel Mengs [1688 – 26 Dec 1764] in Dresden, Saxony, and then in Rome, where Sebastiano Conca was one of his teachers. He became painter to the Saxon court in Dresden in 1745 and executed a large number of portraits, most in brightly colored pastels. Mengs returned to Rome in the early 1750s, and about 1755 he became a close friend of the German archaeologist and art critic J.J. Winckelmann. He came to share Winckelmann's enthusiasm for classical antiquity, and upon its completion in 1761 his fresco Parnassus at the Villa Albani in Rome created a sensation and helped establish the ascendancy of Neoclassical painting. Mengs also continued to paint portraits during this period, competing with Pompeo Batoni, the leading Rococo portraitist of the Roman school. In 1761 he went to the Spanish court at Madrid, where he worked on the decoration of royal palaces. From 1769 to 1772 Mengs was in Rome, decorating the Camera dei Papiri in the Vatican, and he returned to Spain from 1773 to 1777.
Mengs was widely regarded in his day as Europe's greatest living painter. He eschewed the dramatic illusionism and dynamism of the Baroque style in his figural compositions, preferring instead to blend quotations from ancient sculptures with stylistic elements of Raphael, Correggio, and Titian. The results are generally cold, insipid, and contrived, however, and Mengs's reputation has declined precipitously since the 18th century. Some of his portraits display a freedom and sureness of touch entirely lacking in his more ambitious works. Mengs's treatise Reflections on Beauty and Taste in Painting (1762) was also influential in his day.
Mengs was born in Aussig, Bohemia, into an artistic family of German origin. Soon after his birth his parents returned to Saxony. Anton received his earliest training from his father in Dresden and in Rome, where he studied Italian Renaissance painters and worked in the studio of Marco Benefial. When he came back to Dresden in 1745, he became a painter to the Saxon court of Elector Augustus III, who was at the same time the King of Poland. Mengs executed for the court a large number of portraits.
In the early 1750s, Mengs again left for Rome. About 1755, he became a close friend of the German archaeologist and art critic J. J. Winckelmann, the author of the famous A History of Ancient Art (1764). Mengs came to share Winckelmann's enthusiasm for classical antiquity, and worked to establish the dominance of Neoclassical painting. At the same time the influence of the Roman Baroque remained strong, particularly in his religious paintings.
Italy Mengs was commissioned to paint a series of portraits for Augustus
III’s son-in-law, Charles VII, King of Naples. In October 1759, Charles
VII inherited the Spanish Crown as Charles
III and, as his court painter, Mengs spent several years (1761-1769)
in Madrid, painting decorations in the Royal Palace and portraying the important
persons belonging to the court.
From 1769 to 1772, Mengs worked in Rome, decorating the Camera dei Papiri in the Vatican, and he returned to Spain from 1773 to 1777.
Mengs was widely regarded in his day as Europe's greatest living painter. Although he died at the early age of fifty (1779) he had a profound influence not only on his native contemporaries but also on Roman, French and Spanish artists. Mengs's treatise Reflections on Beauty and Taste in Painting (1762) was also influential in his day. Mengs died in Rome.
— Mengs's assistants included Francisco Bayeu, Ramón Bayeu, José del Castillo, Antonio Cavallucci, Alejandro González Velázquez, Hackert
— Mengs's students included JFA Tischbein, Peder Als, Richard Brompton and Giacomo Quarenghi [Venetian Architect, 1744-1817], James Byres, Juan Agustín Ceán Bermúdez, Bartolomeo Follin, Nicolas Guibal, Friedrich Rehberg, Benjamin West, Januarius Zick.
–- Self-Portrait (1744, 55x42cm) _ This self-portrait, showing the influence of Venetian painting, was made by the artist at the age of 16.
–- another Self-Portrait (1779, 56x43cm).
–- Perseus and Andromeda
–- Noli Me Tangere
Ferdinand IV, King of Naples (1760, 179x130cm) _ Mengs spent his last 15 years in Spain where he became the favorite painter of King Charles III. The king commissioned the artist to execute the frescoes of the new Royal Palace and to portray the important persons belonging to the Court.
Ferdinand I [1751-1825] king of the Two Sicilies (1816-1825) who earlier (1759-1806), as Ferdinand IV of Naples, led his kingdom in its fight against the French Revolution and its liberal ideas. A relatively weak and somewhat inept ruler, he was greatly influenced by his wife, Maria Carolina of Austria, who furthered the policy of her favorite adviser, the Englishman Sir John Acton.
Ferdinand became king of Naples as a boy when his father ascended the Spanish throne (1759) as Charles III. A regency ruled during Ferdinand's minority and continued the liberal reforms of the previous king. In 1767 Ferdinand reached his majority, and his marriage in 1768 to Maria Carolina signaled a reversal of this policy. The birth of a male heir gave Maria Carolina the right, according to the marriage contract, to enter the council of state (1777). She brought about the downfall of the former regent Bernardo Tanucci and engaged Naples in the Austro-English coalition against the French Revolution in 1793.
Ferdinand, encouraged by the arrival of the British fleet of Admiral Horatio Nelson, attacked the French-supported Roman republic in 1798. On 21 December of that year, however, the French invaded Naples, declaring it the Parthenopean Republic, and Ferdinand fled to Sicily. The Republic was overthrown in June 1799, and Ferdinand returned to Naples, where he put to death the Republic's supporters, violating the terms of their surrender.
In 1806 Napoléon's army captured Naples, forcing Ferdinand's flight to Sicily, where, yielding to British pressure to mitigate his absolutist rule, he removed Maria Carolina from the court, appointed his son Francis as regent, and granted the Sicilians a constitution. With the fall of Napoléon, he returned to Naples as Ferdinand I of the united kingdom of the Two Sicilies (December 1816). His renewal of absolute rule led to the constitutionalist uprising of 1820, which forced Ferdinand to grant a constitution. Having ceded power again to his son Francis, Ferdinand, under the pretext of protecting the new constitution, obtained his parliament's permission to attend the Congress of Laibach early in 1821. Once there, he won the aid of Austria, which overthrew Naples' constitutional government in March. The subsequent reprisals against the constitutionalists were his last important official acts before his sudden death.
Maria Luisa of Parma (1765, 48x38cm) _ Maria Luisa of Parma was the wife of Charles IV, king of Spain (1788-1808) during the turbulent period of the French Revolution. Lacking qualities of leadership himself, Charles entrusted the government (1792) to Manuel de Godoy, a protégé (and lover) of the queen, Maria Luisa. The unfinished painting, showing the young princess at the age of 15, is a study, the final painting is in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.
Charles III (1761)
Charles IV as Prince
The Adoration by the Shepherds (1770)