ART 4 2-DAY 30 June v.9.a0
Born on 30 June 1945: Sean
Scully, in Dublin, US Abstract painter.
— He moved to England with his family in 1949. Scully studied at Croydon College of Art (1965–1967), and then studied and taught at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne (1967–1971), and in the USA at Harvard University, Cambridge, MA (1972–1973).
In 1975 he was awarded a Harkness Fellowship and established his studio in New York, where he settled, becoming a US citizen in 1983. His early paintings were identified with the vigorous debates of the early 1970s about art and language. In Orange Slide (1972) and Amber (1973) elaborately meshed grid structures challenged critical response with their insistent syncopated rhythm and vibrant impact.
From the early 1980s Scully’s increasing awareness of the arid effect of formal abstraction led to a simplification of means with greater breadth of handling and pictorial construction. Paintings integrated irregular panels superimposed to produce central motifs of vertical stripes within broad bands of contrasting hues. Scully’s progress was distinguished by a remarkable and sometimes unfashionable commitment to the fundamental concerns of abstract art.
— Wall of Light Pink (1998, 274x305cm; 710x793pix, 72kb _ ZOOM to 1339x1495pix, 175kb) _ Scully has made so many paintings similar to this one that the only reasons why the pseudonymous Sean Atentos Scullenboanz added his version are that his colors are brighter, the image uses very few kilobytes, and six nations contributed to its design: it is the remarkable The Walrus of Night Sinks in the Timid Zone aka 6 Flags (2006; screen filling, 3kb) which has no relationship to the Six Flags amusement parks nor to this ride of the Sick Flags Amusement Park (381x500pix, 24kb); but it has motivated Scullenboanz to create the otherwise unrelated picture Six Sick Sikhs Flags (2006; screen filling, 11kb).
–- S*#> Wall of Light, Temozon (Feb 2002, 183x213cm; 900x1026pix, 89kb) _ Scully’s paintings combine the gestural energy of Abstract Expressionism with the structured compositions of Minimalism. Born in Dublin, growing up in London and dividing his time between New York and Barcelona, Scully’s work recalls US and European modernist masters as divergent as Piet Mondrian, Jackson Pollock and Mark Rothko, evoking a strong feeling of architectural order in his deceptively structured pictures. Reconciling geometric precision with subjective emotionalism has been a dominant subject for Scully throughout his career. His paintings of the mid to late 70s show a cool minimalism that gradually transforms into a looser, more painterly style in the 80s. In his continuing Wall of Light series, the stripe is both the subject and the architectural device of the paintings, simultaneously form and content in its allusion to the seriality and repetitiousness of contemporary life. The genesis of Scully's Wall of Light series occurred in 1983, when he was in Mexico observing the ancient architectural ruins of the remote Yucatan area and he became interested in the effects of light hitting the area’s crumbling stone surfaces. He subsequently produced a matrix of horizontal and vertical stripes in the manner of a patchwork quilt, or a dry-stone wall, enlivened by a complex system of over-painting that gives to each bar a compelling tonal and chromatic intensity that is at odds with the highly structured, grid-like composition. Large in scale, the present work also embodies the rugged urbanity of the cities in which Scully works and lives, especially the frenetic atmosphere of Manhattan. The stripes in Temozon echo the artist’s desire to re-order the world, while simultaneously creating dissonance through the tactile texture and vigorous application of paint. His use of primary colors poetically interfused with muted grays, charcoal and blacks add an overall sensuality and movement to the composition.
— Wall of Light: Beach (808x1024pix, 108kb)
— Wall of Light: Desert Night (841x1024pix, 121kb)
— Wall of Light: Rose (897x1024pix, 74kb)
— Wall of Light 12.19.98 (19 Dec 1998; 94kb)
— Wall of Light 2.21.00 (21 Feb 2000, 38x45cm; 83kb)
— Wall of Light 3.1.00 (01 Mar 2000, 38x45cm; 111kb)
— Wall of Light 6.5.99 (05 Jun 1999; 71kb)
— Wall of Light 9.20.00 (20 Sep 2000; 71kb)
— Wall of Light, Dim (721x800pix; 91kb)
— Wall of Light, Fire (738x800pix; 75kb)
— Wall of Light, Dog (742x800pix; 79kb)
— Wall of Light, Stone (649x800pix; 61kb)
— Wall of Light, 4.84 (Apr 1984; 102kb)
— Earth, Sea, Light version 1
— Earth, Sea, Light version 2
— Earth, Sea, Light version 3
— Earth, Sea, Light version 4
— 4 Days version 4 (151kb) checkered: 3 red and 3 gray squares on the left, 2 yellow and 2 white rectangles on the right, all highly textured.
— 4 Days version 4.1 (163kb)
— Untitled (1974, 122x122cm; 496x503pix _ ZOOM to 1086x1100pix, 185kb) slightly irregular array of slighty irregular light grayish blue and gray lozenges (with a little light grayish yellow) on a light yellowish gray background. _ Scullenboanz has elevated this dull and monotonous image to a much higher level with his colorful and varied symmetrical abstraction Deal Tight New aka Made Dam (2006; screen filling, 334kb _ ZOOM to 1864x2636pix, 2624kb)
Red Durango _ Over the course of his career, Sean Scully has developed a vocabulary for the stripe that expresses a wide range of emotions and ideas. Within a seemingly narrow iconography, the artist has produced brilliantly nuanced effects by experimenting with the dimension, color and composition of the stripe in its vertical, horizontal and diagonal orientations. By constructing his paintings on a heroic scale in multi-paneled arrangements, he injects a sculptural quality that heightens the work’s texture and design. As an art student in the late 1960s, Scully became acquainted with the paintings of Mark Rothko [25 Sep 1903 25 Feb 1970] whose spirit can be sensed in such works as Red Durango. Multiple layers of oil paint; soft, irregular edges; and rich colors that emanate light define this important work whose title refers to the Mexican city and state, an area rich in minerals and ferrous metals. Part of the beauty of Red Durango emerges from the artist’s masterful synthesis of balance and movement arising from different widths of horizontal and vertical stripes in multiple fields. Scully’s paintings reflect his experience of landscape and architectural spaces. During a trip to Morocco in 1969, the artist was captivated by the strips of multi-colored dyed wool that hung in the market. Such observations have inspired him to produce paintings of compelling intensity (blah...blah...blah... not endorsed by this web site).
–- Iona (1167x965pix, 81kb)
–- Untitled (24 Dec 1991, 25x36cm; 678x900pix, 98kb) monochrome; checkerboard of eight slightly irregular rectangles, each with four stripes alternating light and dark.
–- Bar (1982, 183x122cm; 1109x738pix, 37kb) This could be a design for a flag for the Polish community in the Bahamas. Scully's usual boring lazy rectangles do not bring to mind
_ A Bar at the Folies-Bergères (1882, 96x130cm; 837x1123pix) by Manet, but the best (?) of both was combined by the genius of the pseudonymous Scullery-Womanette into the outstanding
_ The Crazy Shepherdess as Barmaid aka La Folle Bar Gère (2005; 837x1123pix, 162kb).
–- Winter Days (1990, 306x229cm; 1161x861pix, 47kb) seems like an imitation of two flags of Indonesia (or Monaco), with a patch in the middle of the bottom one.
–- Dead Sea (1989, 244x183cm; 900x674pix, 40kb) Perhaps the dull grayish tinge means “Dead”, but there seems to be nothing to suggest “Sea”.
–- Rosa (1192x1200pix, 95kb)
–- Untitled (07 Mar 1983, 57x76cm irregular; 980x1290pix, 80kb) perhaps inspired by the 13 stripes of the US flag (white changed to grayish blue), with an adjoining vertical rectangle with 4 black and 4 brown alternating stripes, which is a lot easier than trying to include a section with stars.
–- Arrest (1987, 213x274cm; 1052x1400pix, 65kb)
A Happy Land (1987, 244x244cm)
— 127 images at Ciudad de la Pintura
Buried on 30 June 1662: Jan
Corneliszoon Verspronck (or Versprong), Haarlem Dutch painter
specialized in Portraits
born in 1607 approximately (NOT in 1597 as once believed).
Verspronck is noted for his portraits of children. He was probably apprenticed to his father Cornelis Engelszoon Verspronck [1575–1650], who painted portraits, kitchen still lifes, and genre scenes. Jan joined the Guild of Saint Luke in 1632 and spent his entire life in Haarlem as a portrait painter of his fellow townsmen. He was more than twenty years younger than Frans Hals and may have worked in his studio. He was certainly powerfully influenced by Hals's style. His most imposing works are the two group portraits of 1641 and 1642 of the Regentesses of the St Elizabeth Hospital which form a counterpart to the portrait of the Regents of the same institution painted by Hals in the same years.
— Girl Dressed in Blue (1641, 82x66cm; 1000x810pix, 260kb _ ZOOMable to 1600x1296pix, 208kb so that you can see all the cracks in the paint)
Portrait of a Bride (1640, 79x76cm) _ The painting is both signed and dated "J.V. Spronk 1640". Verspronck's career in the years immediately after 1640 is distinguished by the abundance of his production and the maturity of his style. This female portrait is similar to other slightly earlier works from 1636-1637. In his use of light and gradation of background tones from left to right, combined with the novel and distinctly lateral placement of the figure, the artist throws the contours of the sitter's black dress into high relief against a luminous background. This technique is typical of Verspronck's female portraits, and along with the torsion of the figure's bust the contrast serves to enhance the plasticity of the dark mass of the clothing. In the pose and use of contrasting light a direct connection can be made with similar portrait in a private Dutch collection, as well as with a series of female portraits (1640-1645) that Verspronck carried out as parts of paired "couples". (The companion-piece of the painting, the Portrait of a Husband is also in the Rome museum.) After this period Verspronck changed his approach to composition and treatment of light, above all abandoning the method of contrasting dark clothing with an illuminated ground. The sitters in such formal portraits as these are generally dressed in the most elaborate and modish version of contemporary costume. Comparing their clothes to the changes in fashion allows us to establish an approximate date for such pictures, though in many cases (such as this pair) the works are actually signed and dated by the artist.
Girl in a Blue Dress (giant size: 1600x1296pix, 207kb) _ Girl in a Blue Dress _ Girl in a Blue Dress (1641, 82x66) _ Here is a portrait of a young girl in a blue dress painted when Verspronck was a leading portrait painter in Haarlem. Girl Dressed in Blue is his most famous work and one of the best loved portraits of a child from the seventeenth century. The girl has been portrayed as if she were an adult. Only her child-like face betrays the fact that she cannot be more than about ten years old. In those days, young girls were dressed in the same way as their mothers. It is not known who this girl is, although we can be certain she came from a wealthy family. This can be seen from her dress decorated with gold lace, her ostentatious jewelry and the feather fan she is holding. _ Verspronck was more than twenty years younger than Frans Hals and may have worked in his studio. He was certainly powerfully influenced by Hals's bold, linear style and his assertive poses. However, Verspronck's technique is less sketchy, his heads more elaborately worked up: he works in a more refined and detailed manner. This subtle and charming portrait of a young girl holding an ostrich-feather fan is one of Verspronck's most outstanding works. The delicately modeled face and the careful detailing of the dress and jewels set it apart from the work of Hals and give it a quite individual and striking effect.
Portrait of a Woman (1644, 80x66cm) _ Verspronck was son of the Haarlem painter Cornelis Engelszoon (1574 or 1575-1650) who probably trained him. His earliest existing portraits, done in the mid-thirties, show the strong influence of Frans Hals's invention, but he never attempted to emulate Hals's bold brushwork or temperament. His touch is restrained and his works are highly finished. Original was a penchant he soon developed for depicting sitters off centre leaving a wide, neutral background to the right or left of them; these areas are always exquisitely modulated from light to dark. This propensity is seen in his Portrait of a Woman of 1644 (a companion-piece representing the portrait of a man is also in The Hermitage); subsequently, he sets patrons much closer to the canvas's edge. His palette rarely deviates from rich, shining blacks, subtle greys, browns, and white. Like Hals, Verspronck was a particularly sensitive portraitist of women. His contemporaries in Haarlem apparently sensed this too. He was never commissioned to paint a regent group portrait but he was hired to execute two of regentesses. They are his most imposing paintings. The first group, dated 1641, depicts the Regentesses of the Saint Elizabeth Hospital. It was painted as a companion piece to Hals's group portrait of the regents of the same institution executed in the same year, and, like Hals's, it was done for the hospital and still belongs to it. The two paintings vie for the distinction of being the first regent group portraits painted in Haarlem.
Portrait of a Man and Portrait of a Woman (1641, 81x66cm each) _ Of the numerous individual likenesses of worthy sitters, most were intended to be seen with a "pendant," another portrait that represented the person's spouse. Pendants of married couples were the bread and butter of portrait painters such as Verspronck. This pair of well-executed portraits of an unidentified couple is characteristic of the voluminous genre, which did not change significantly over the first three quarters of the seventeenth century, except at the hands of innovative portraitists such as Rembrandt. Even such apparently direct presentations rely on meaningful conventions. The paintings would have faced one another, perhaps on either side of a chimneypiece. Almost invariably, the woman's portrait would hang at right, the man's at left. From the perspective of the sitters, this convention placed the woman on the man's "sinister" (left-hand) or lesser side, according to theological and social formulas which valued the "dexter" (right-hand) position more highly. This rule conformed to seventeenth-century Dutch views of marriage as a partnership based on mutual affection but steered by the man.
Anna von Schoonhoven [before 1610 - 1647] (1645, 71x60cm).
–- S*#> Cornelis Dicx or some other Dicx (1637, 82x68cm oval; 598x496pix, 44kb)
Born on 30 June 1891: Stanley Spencer,
Berkshire British painter and draftsman who died on 14 December
1959. One of his teachers was Henry Tonks. [click image for Self~Portraits >]
— Spencer received his first formal training in 1907 at the Maidenhead Technical Institute, Berkshire. A year later he enrolled at the Slade School, London, where, as a day student, he remained until 1912. In that year his painting The Nativity was awarded both the Melville Nettleship and the Composition prizes. It shows the wide range of his early influences, from 15th-century Renaissance painting to the Pre-Raphaelites and Post-Impressionism: just as Le Christ Jaune (1889, 92x73cm; 1048x822pix, 158kb) of Gauguin was set in Pont Aven, Spencer’s similarly Neo-primitive Holy Family is placed in Mill Lane, Cookham. By then Spencer had firmly established his birthplace at the center of his spiritual universe. He wrote, ‘When I left the Slade and went back to Cookham, I entered a kind of earthly paradise. Everything seemed fresh and to belong to the morning. My ideas were beginning to unfold in fine order when along comes the war and smashes everything.’
— Spencer peopled paintings of his native Berkshire village of Cookham with biblical figures. While at the Slade School of Art from 1908 to 1912, Spencer was nicknamed 'Cookham' by his contemporaries who included Paul Nash, Christopher Wynne Nevinson and David Bomberg. He cut an eccentric figure throughout his life. 5ft 2" in height, Spencer wheeled his artistic equipment around Cookham in a child's pram in later life, and sketched on long rolls of toilet paper during his commission for the World War II Shipbuilding on the Clyde series of paintings. Although now recognised as one of the most important twentieth century artists, his work received a mixed reception during his lifetime. The sexual nature of some works was considered shocking by a nation who banned publication of D.H.Lawrence's Lady Chatterley's Lover in 1928. The nude portraits of his second wife Patricia Preece, painted in the 1930s, explore in detail the fleshiness of her body. In some works Spencer included himself as a viewer, staring intensely at Preece. They display Spencer's frustration with their marriage in which he was only ever allowed to look, not touch. Preece was a lesbian and already committed to her partner Dorothy Hepworth. Soon after marrying Spencer in 1937, she excluded him from Lindworth (in Cookham) where he had lived with his first wife, Hilda Carline. The Beatitudes of Love series, painted in 1938, also demonstrate the overtly sexual nature of some of his work, featuring unlikely and unattractive couples with sometimes graphically sexual text.
— Love, Death and Resurrection: The Paintings of Stanley Spencer
— Self-Portrait (1914, 63x51cm; 1024x828pix, 37kb) _ This is Spencer’s first self-portrait in oils. In its dark and rich color harmonies and its strongly modelled form, the painting attempts to emulate the style of an Old Master painting. Spencer recalled that he was inspired to paint it in this manner after seeing a reproduction of a head of Christ by an Italian Renaissance artist called Luini. The portrait was painted in the front bedroom of Spencer’s family home, Fernlea, at Cookham, Berkshire.
— Self-Portrait (1959) _ This is Spencer's final self-portrait and one of his last paintings. In December 1958 he discovered that he was suffering from cancer and underwent an operation. Unfortunately the malignancy was not excised and Spencer died one year later. Five months before his death he stayed with friends in Yorkshire where he painted this portrait. Although seriously ill he finished the picture in five days, in the drawing room of the house, using a bedroom mirror. The work is remarkable for the unflinching scrutiny of the artist's gaze, and its use of extreme close-up to convey a sense of physical and psychological intensity.
— Apple Gatherers (1913, 71x92cm) _ The subject was given to the artist by his Slade School of Art teachers and it took him a year to arrive at the finished composition. Minor alterations are visible throughout the painting as the artist strove to produce a work that did not just copy nature. 'Apple Gatherers' conveys fruitfulness, not only through the baskets of apples, but also through the communion of the man and the woman, who hold hands and stand guard over their young. 'Apple Gatherers' is an early example of Spencer's mystical vision of his native village, Cookham. He wrote: 'Places in Cookham seem to be possessed by a sacred presence... The people in 'Apple Gatherers' are, as it were, brought forth by the place and therefore are aware of its divinity.'
— Swan Upping at Cookham (1919, 148x116cm) _ This was begun in March 1915 in the attic of Ship Cottage, Cookham, but only the top half was painted by the time Spencer enlisted in the army in July. The lower half was completed in 1919 when he returned to Cookham after the war. The subject is the annual marking of the young swans on the river Thames, which takes place on the stretch between London and Henley. The Dyers' and Vintners' Companies of the City of London own the swans on the Thames by royal licence. Officials examine the birds to determine ownership through existing markings. Unmarked ones belong to the Queen while marked ones belong to the Dyers' and the Vintners'.
— The Centurion's Servant (1914, 114x114cm) _ Spencer liked the story in St. Luke Chapter 7, in which after marvelling at the centurion's faith, Jesus heals his sick servant without entering the house. Bringing this into his own time and place, Spencer set the scene in the maid's bedroom in the attic of his home, a room which he too never entered. Sometimes he heard strange voices coming from the room which he later discovered was simply the maid talking through the wall to another servant. Thus, the biblical narrative reminded him of experiences in his own life. These also included kneeling in prayer at church, and Cookham villagers praying around the bed of a dying man, a custom his mother had told him about. The youth on the bed has Spencer's own features.
— The Robing of Christ (1922, 35x59cm)
— The Disrobing of Christ (1922, 36x64cm)
— The Resurrection, Cookham (1927, 274x549cm) _ The setting for this painting is Cookham, the artist's childhood home. Spencer considered it a kind of paradise where everything was possessed of a mystical significance. This attitude led him to paint scenes in which he imagined biblical events taking place in the village, interwoven with events from his own life. Christ appears enthroned at the church doorway, with God the father leaning over the back of the throne. The central nude figure is Spencer himself; his wife Hilda is half-hidden on the tomb in the foreground. The rest of the churchyard is filled with people resurrecting from their tombs. Spencer made it clear that his Resurrection was a joyous event, the mood here is one of peace and harmony.
— Saint Francis and the Birds (1935, 66x58cm) _ Saint Francis of Assisi [1181–1226] is strongly associated with nature. His rounded shape in this picture is echoed in the forms surrounding him, emphasising his empathy with wild animals. The story of Saint Francis preaching to the birds was told by Brother Ugolino in his Fioretti di San Francesco (English translation) in Chapter XVI. How Saint Francis, having been told by Saint Clare and the holy Brother Silvester that he should preach and convert many to the faith, founded the Third Order, preached to the birds, and reduced to silence the swallows.
During Saint Francis' first preaching expedition, at one point he
“venne tra Cannaio e Bevagno. E passando oltre con quello fervore, levò gli occhi e vide alquanti arbori allato alla via, in su' quali era quasi infinita moltitudine d'uccelli; di che santo Francesco si maravigliò e disse a' compagni: “Voi m'aspetterete qui nella via, e io andrò a predicare alle mie sirocchie uccelli”. E entrò nel campo e cominciò a predicare alli uccelli ch'erano in terra; e subitamente quelli ch'erano in su gli arbori se ne vennono a lui insieme tutti quanti e stettono fermi, mentre che santo Francesco compiè di predicare, e poi anche non si partivano infino a tanto ch'egli diè loro la benedizione sua. ... andando santo Francesco fra loro, toccandole colla cappa, nessuna perciò si movea.
La sustanza della predica di santo Francesco fu questa:
“Sirocchie mie uccelli, voi siete molto tenute a Dio vostro creatore, e sempre e in ogni luogo il dovete laudare, imperò che v'ha dato la libertà di volare in ogni luogo; anche v'ha dato il vestimento duplicato e triplicato; appresso, perché elli riserbò il seme di voi in nell'arca di Noè, acciò che la spezie vostra non venisse meno nel mondo; ancora gli siete tenute per lo elemento dell'aria che egli ha deputato a voi. Oltre a questo, voi non seminate e non mietete, e Iddio vi pasce e davvi li fiumi e le fonti per vostro bere, e davvi li monti e le valli per vostro refugio, e gli alberi alti per fare li vostri nidi. E con ciò sia cosa che voi non sappiate filare né cucire, Iddio vi veste, voi e' vostri figliuoli. Onde molto v'ama il vostro Creatore, poi ch'egli vi dà tanti benefici, e però guardatevi, sirocchie mie, del peccato della ingratitudine, e sempre vi studiate di lodare Iddio”.
Dicendo loro santo Francesco queste parole, tutti quanti quelli uccelli cominciarono ad aprire i becchi e distendere i colli e aprire l'alie e riverentemente inchinare li capi infino in terra, e con atti e con canti dimostrare che 'l padre santo dava loro grandissimo diletto. E santo Francesco con loro insieme si rallegrava e dilettava, e maravigliavasi molto di tanta moltitudine d'uccelli e della loro bellissima varietà e della loro attenzione e famigliarità; per la qual cosa egli in loro divotamente lodava il Creatore.
Finalmente compiuta la predicazione, santo Francesco fece loro il segno della Croce e diè loro licenza di partirsi; e allora tutti quelli uccelli si levarono in aria con maravigliosi canti, e poi secondo la Croce ch'avea fatta loro santo Francesco si divisono in quattro partì; e l'una parte volò inverso l'oriente e l'altra parte verso occidente, e l'altra parte verso lo meriggio, e la quarta parte verso l'aquilone, e ciascuna schiera n'andava cantando maravigliosi canti; in questo significando che come da santo Francesco gonfaloniere della Croce di Cristo era stato a loro predicato e sopra loro fatto il segno della Croce, secondo il quale egli si divisono in quattro partì del mondo; così la predicazione della Croce di Cristo rinnovata per santo Francesco si dovea per lui e per li suoi frati portare per tutto il mondo; li quali frati, a modo che gli uccelli, non possedendo nessuna cosa propria in questo mondo, alla sola provvidenza di Dio commettono la lor vita.”
(Saint Francis) “reached a spot between Cannaio and Bevagno. And as he went on his way, with great fervor, Saint Francis lifted up his eyes, and saw on some trees by the wayside a great multitude of birds; and being much surprised, he said to his companions, “Wait for me here by the way, whilst I go and preach to my little sisters the birds”; and entering into the field, he began to preach to the birds which were on the ground, and suddenly all those also on the trees came round him, and all listened while Saint Francis preached to them, and did not fly away until he had given them his blessing. ... Saint Francis went among them and even touched them with his garments, and ... none of them moved.
Now the substance of the sermon was this:
“My little sisters the birds, ye owe much to God, your Creator, and ye ought to sing his praise at all times and in all places, because he has given you liberty to fly about into all places; and though ye neither spin nor sew, he has given you a twofold and a threefold clothing for yourselves and for your offspring. Two of all your species he sent into the Ark with Noah that you might not be lost to the world; besides which, he feeds you, though ye neither sow nor reap. He has given you fountains and rivers to quench your thirst, mountains and valleys in which to take refuge, and trees in which to build your nests; so that your Creator loves you much, having thus favored you with such bounties. Beware, my little sisters, of the sin of ingratitude, and study always to give praise to God.”
As he said these words, all the birds began to open their beaks, to stretch their necks, to spread their wings and reverently to bow their heads to the ground, endeavoring by their motions and by their songs to manifest their joy to Saint Francis. And the saint rejoiced with them. He wondered to see such a multitude of birds, and was charmed with their beautiful variety, with their attention and familiarity, for all which he devoutly gave thanks to the Creator.
Having finished his sermon, Saint Francis made the sign of the cross, and gave them leave to fly away. Then all those birds rose up into the air, singing most sweetly; and, following the sign of the cross, which Saint Francis had made, they divided themselves into four companies. One company flew towards the east, another towards the west, one towards the south, and one towards the north; each company as it went singing most wonderfully; signifying thereby, that as Saint Francis, the bearer of the Cross of Christ, had preached to them and made upon them the sign of the cross, after which they had divided among themselves the four parts of the world, so the preaching of the Cross of Christ, renewed by Saint Francis, would be carried by him and by his brethren over all the world, and that the humble friars, like little birds, should posses nothing in this world, but should cast all the care of their lives on the providence of God.
_ Compare Saint Francis Preaches to the Birds (1299) by Giotto.
— Daphne (1940, 61x51cm) _ Daphne Charlton was a student at the Slade School of Art in London, as was Stanley Spencer, and her husband George taught there. The Charltons were introduced to Spencer in 1939 and from then on he often visited them at their Hampstead home. All three went on a painting holiday together in the summer of 1939 to Leonard Stanley, a remote village in Gloucestershire. During this stay Daphne Charlton painted Spencer's portrait. In April 1940, back in London, she sat for this portrait every day for about two to three weeks. The hat she wears was bought for three guineas in a shop in Bond Street in December 1939, especially for the sittings. Spencer painted another portrait of her without her hat.
— Dinner on the Hotel Lawn (1957, 95x136cm) _ Spencer remained a dominant figure in British painting even towards the end of his life. Many of his works, including 'Dinner on the Hotel Lawn', are set in his native village of Cookham-on-Thames. This painting belongs to a series, begun in 1952, based on his memories of the Cookham Regatta in Edwardian days. Spencer imagined Cookham as a church building 'The Village Street of Cookham was to be the Nave and the river which runs behind the street was a side aisle'. Christ would be preaching from the Horse Ferry barge. He later commented of the Regatta pictures 'I seem to have forgotten about the food', which seems particularly strange in this depiction of an outdoor meal.
— Travoys Arriving with Wounded at a Dressing Station at Smol, Macedonia, September 1916 (1919, 183x219cm) _ Spencer was a young artist who was mainly known for his gift for drawing when he enlisted with the British medical corps in 1915. He spent two and a half years in Macedonia despite his attempts at getting sent back to the west as an army painter. He only returned after contracting malaria in 1918. Shortly afterwards, he painted this remarkable work, from memory for he had lost his sketchpad; it is a view from above of sleds (or travoys) holding wounded soldiers from 22nd Division who had been fighting troops from Bulgaria. They symbolically converge from every angle on the brightly lit operating theatre. There is a sharp contrast between the rudimentary sleds pulled by mules and the operating theatre where a wounded man is being anaesthetised with ether. The intensity of the picture is heightened by the details of the hands, the rumpled blankets and the animals apparently as exhausted as the men. Spencer turned down all subsequent requests to produce any further painting of his stay in the Balkans.
— The Resurrection of the Soldiers (1929) _ Having decided to pay tribute to the memory of her brother Lieutenant Henry Sandham, Mary Behrend and her husband Louie commissioned Spencer to do this project. He worked on it from 1923 to 1932, from the first preparatory sketches to the production of the panels describing the fate of the wounded, from their transfer to hospital to their nursing, funerals and - on the wall at the far end of the Chapel - their resurrection. On that wall, memories of Macedonia combine with an evocation of the cemeteries of religious rather than moral inspiration. Completely opposed to both Expressionism and to the Realism of Otto Dix, Spencer devised a very studied style incorporating the static simplicity of the figures, a very deliberate naiveté of line and a choice of the sober shades of grey and ochre, leaving white the task of lightening his composition. Soldiers - all young - and horses are reborn all over, in an evocation of the battlefield where the corpses piled up. The pure, adolescent faces are pushed into the foreground as far as the horizon as night falls, following the tangle of crosses. Although the other paintings in Sandham Memorial Chapel recount and describe actual scenes, Spencer here contrives to avoid any naturalist tendency, breathing a powerful symbolic charge into his work.
–- S*#> Listening from punts to Christ preaching at Cookham Regatta (1954, 98x145cm; 605x900pix, 169kb) _ Almost immediately after the death his wife Hilda in 1950, Spencer wrote to her (in the remarkable correspondence that continued until his own death) that he was now taking up the long considered subject of Christ Preaching at Cookham Regatta. Drawing upon his memories of the annual Cookham Regatta before the Great War, he envisaged Christ, accompanied by his disciples, visiting his beloved village to preach from the horse-ferry barge moored by Cookham Bridge, just as his brother Will and others had entertained the villagers with a concert after the Regatta. This enormous work, 518cm long, rivaling in breadth and imagination the great Resurrection of Cookham (1926), was to be the altarpiece in the ‘river aisle’ of his projected Church House decorations surrounded by a predella of smaller paintings. In 1952 and 1953 he produced no less than sixty chalk drawings for the composition; but he could not bring it to completion before his death in 1959. The large canvas remains unfinished; he did however complete six of the smaller works of which Listening from Punts is the third.
Listening from Punts was finished in 1954. As with the others works of the series the impact it exerts as an individual composition makes it hard to envisage how Spencer intended it to fit into the painting cycles at the Church House. In practice, like Léger, for example, he imagined an architectural ensemble but realized the ideas as easel paintings. The success of these was evident when Dudley Tooth sold the smaller Regatta scenes almost immediately they were painted. Their ‘loss’ to the artist may explain the fact that a replica image of Listening from Punts appears drawn in the unfinished top left corner of Christ Preaching at Cookham Regatta. Spencer clearly planned to preserve the most important ideas of the scheme in one indivisible work, whose statement would be as complete as that summation of his early career, The Resurrection, Cookham.
Mapping his compositions with underdrawing and squaring was an integral part of Spencers’ method. The lines remain clearly visible in Listening from Punts as in most of the later work and in the other five canvases from the series.
The colors are brilliantly evocative of an event which was the festive highlight of the year at Cookham and a magical one for Spencer, when punts were an unattainable luxury but concerts and watching from the bridge was not. They are the colors of the Edwardian clothes of the onlookers (particularly the ‘toffs’ from London) the chintz on the punt cushions and the light of the Chinese lanterns. They serve to emphasise joyousness and nostalgia which Spencer imagined as the perfect setting for the Last Day and the celebrations surrounding the Resurrection.
In a great deal of his later work Spencer displays little interest in the application and surface of paint. It appears to have been for him almost an irrelevance in the context of the ideas that tumbled ceaselessly from his imagination. Listening from Punts does retain an impasto in Spencer’s rendering of the water surrounding the punts which disappears from the very last works. More emphatically he found expression in composition and in the gestures of his figures, and in this his inventiveness is unsurpassed. Central to Spencer’s late achievement is this ability to explore the potentialities of the body, and its gestures, as an expression of intense emotion or psychological states-to imbue the body with tension or pleasure or both. In the present picture the middle ground has for example, two small figures whose arms appear to wrap several times around their bodies, hugging themselves with excitement. Directly in front of them a woman in red has collapsed, her arm hanging into the next punt. Spencer said that she was ‘a fallen woman unmasked by her companions and brought before Christ for judgement.’ This kind of expression manifests itself most emphatically in the main female figure dressed in white summer dress holding a bouquet. She is being supported by the woman to her left who is necessary, as Spencer told his daughters, to prevent her from becoming so overwhelmed by Christ’s teaching that she would faint with joy.
This central figure is clearly Hilda, her hat is an adaptation of the tricorn Hilda wore on their wedding day in 1925, now fashioned by Spencer into a heart. At her feet lies the coat worn by her on the same day. Her presence here reacting to the sermon immediately distinguishes the present picture from others in the Regatta series. Punts Meeting; Girls Listening; Conversation between Punts; Punts by the River; Dinner on the Hotel Lawn, remarkable in other ways, are peopled by villagers who appear to have a marked lack of interest in Christ’s message.
It is fitting that Hilda should be the main identifiable character in Spencer’s last great cycle of paintings. Here four years after her death (and for the rest of his life) she is still central to Spencer’s thought. The love of Hilda, a consuming passion, is at the core of Spencer’s whole philosophy. Through a sublime earthly love Spencer was united with the world and with God -‘My union with you is my union with the world’. It is almost as though his love of Hilda was the one essential ingredient that bound everything together, affirming his existence and his art.
Died on 30 (20?) June 1802: Gaetano Gandolfi,
in Bologna , Italian painter, draftsman, printmaker, and sculptor, born
on 31 (30?) August 1734, in San Matteo Della Decima.
— He was a successful artist, whose oeuvre includes about 220 paintings, terracotta sculptures, etchings and a huge number of drawings. He was enrolled at the Accademia Clementina in Bologna by the age of 17 and claimed Felice Torelli and Ercole Lelli as his teachers. He had a distinguished academic career and between 1751 and 1756 won two medals for sculpture and four for drawing. His first documented commission was for drawings: between 1756 and 1760 he produced for private patrons a series of large finished red chalk copies of the classics of 17th-century painting. These and other early works are documented and dated in his manuscript autobiography, which, however, does not extend past about 1769. His earliest known painting is The Calling of Saint James the Greater (1753). The painting is close in style to the early work of his brother Ubaldo Gandolfi [28 Apr 1728 – 27 Jul 1781]: highly finished, smooth and static, with low-key, muted colors. The figure types are the stereotyped ones of the Bolognese tradition. A surge of self-confidence is evident in the next datable paintings, the large Saint Jerome (1756) and Saint Mary Magdalene (1757).
— The work of the Ubaldo, Gaetano, and Mauro Gandolfi reflects the transition from late Bolognese Baroque through Neo-classicism and into early Italian Romanticism. During their period of collective productivity, from about 1760 to about 1820, the Gandolfi produced paintings, frescoes, drawings, sculptures and prints. Their drawings made an outstanding contribution to the great figurative tradition of Bolognese draftsmanship that had begun with the Carracci. Their prolific output and their activity as teachers gave them considerable influence throughout northern Italy, except in Venice.
— Gaetano Gandolfi's students included his son Mauro Gandolfi [18 Sep 1764 – 04 Jan 1834], Filippo Pedrini, and another Pedrini.
Alexander Presenting Campaspe to Apelles (1797)
— The Holy Family (1776, 87x69cm, 380x299pix, 18kb) _ A work of Gandolfi's later years, the Holy Family was exhibited in the religious festival at the church of San Procolo in Bologna in 1776. The painting's balanced composition, along with the suggestion of emotional connections among the figures, expresses the religious honesty of Gandolfi's art. Here St. Joseph holds the scriptures for the Christ child, who sits on his mother's lap; the elderly Joseph also holds the flowering rod, a sign from heaven that he was chosen to be Mary's husband. Joseph looks with concern toward Mary, who in turn looks up toward the cherubim hovering in a cloud at the upper left. Viewers of the private devotional painting were meant to understand that the young Christ reads of his future in the gospels, and that the suffering he will endure is reflected in Mary's sad gaze. Gandolfi was the most popular member of a prominent artistic family in Bologna. As both draftsman and painter he distinguished himself in religious, mythological, and genre subjects and was admired by his Italian and English patrons. He is known for his down-to-earth naturalism, typical of Bolognese art.
— Allegory of Justice (1762, 44x33cm)
— Le Miracle de saint Eloi _ Le bon saint Eloi [588 – 01 Dec 659], orfèvre à la cour du roi Clotaire (Chlotar) II [May-Jun 584 – 18 Oct 629] dont il sera ensuite le trésorier, deviendra le principal principal conseiller du roi Dagobert I [605 – 19 Jan 639] lorsque ce dernier succèdera à son père en 629. Eloi, devenu prêtre puis évêque de Noyon après la mort du second souverain, consacre sa vie à secourir les pauvres et à racheter les esclaves. Les fidèles lui attribueront des travaux d'orfèvrerie prestigieux, notamment des châsses, et de nombreux miracles après sa mort. Eloi aurait reconduit le diable, déguisé en femme afin de le tenter, en lui attrapant le nez avec des tenailles. Ce tableau rappelle que le saint aurait également coupé la patte d'un cheval pour le ferrer plus facilement, avant de la remettre en place.
— Voir le tableau de Petrus Christus: Saint Eloi orfèvre (1449; 419x350pix, 30kb).
— Ci-dessous dix des conseils que saint Eloi ne donna pas au roi Dagobert. La célèbre chanson date en effet de 1787, il s'agissait alors de ridiculiser la royauté. Pour éviter la censure, les auteurs se sont inspirés d'un roi très ancien, et ils y ont ajouté le personnage de Saint Éloi pour se rendre plus crédibles. — (mélodie et des conseils de plus)