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DEATHS: 1629 GHEYN 1891 SEURAT
BIRTH: 1802 RUGENDAS
^ Died on 29 March 1629: Jacob (or Jacques) de Gheyn II, Dutch draftsman, engraver, and painter born in 1565. — {Is it with him that originated the saying: “No paying, no Gheyn”?}
— He was born in Antwerp and was probably a student of his father Jacob de Gheyn I [1537-1582], who was gheynfully employed as a glass painter and miniaturist. From 1585 to 1590 he studied with Hendrick Goltzius. He worked for the Court of Orange at The Hague, and designed the grotto (the earliest in the Netherlands) and other ornamentation of Buitenhof, the garden of Prince Maurice. His drawings and engravings are of greater importance than his paintings, for in their spontaneity and informality they are outstanding documents of the period of transition from Mannerism to naturalism in Dutch art. His son Jacob de Gheyn III [1596 – 05 Jun 1641] was also an engraver, specializing in mythological subjects.
— Jacques de Gheyn II was originally taught by his father; in 1585 he became a pupil of Hendrick Goltzius in Haarlem. De Gheyn's work marks the transition from late sixteenth-century Mannerism to the more naturalistic style of the early seventeenth century. From 1596 to 1602 he lived in Leiden, where he worked with the humanist Hugo de Groot (Grotius). De Groot supplied texts for De Gheyn's engravings. From 1605 until his death in 1625 he lived in The Hague. His work was admired by the stadholder, Prince Maurice, who commissioned numerous works from the artist. De Gheyn also worked for Maurice's successor Prince Frederick Henry. His son, Jacques de Gheyn III, was De Gheyn II's principal follower.
— Jacques de Gheyn II was the most renowned artist of the family, a gifted draftsman and engraver, whose work spans the transition from late 16th-century Mannerism to the more naturalistic style of the early 17th century. His importance lies in his originality and creative inventiveness, which was allied to a poetic imagination, and in his role as a recorder of contemporary events at a time when the new Dutch Republic was creating a national identity. He was held in high regard by the central Dutch government and the court of Prince Maurice of Orange Nassau and by the representatives of the Dutch cities in the States General. His son, Jacques de Gheyn III, was a close follower, and it is often difficult to distinguish their work. De Gheyn III is best known for his etchings.
— Jacob de Gheyn II was taught first by his father and then from 1585 by Hendrick Goltzius in Haarlem, where he remained for five years. By 1590–1591 de Gheyn II was in Amsterdam, making engravings after his own and other artists’ work (e.g. Abraham Bloemaert and Dirck Barendszoon). There he was visited several times by the humanist Arnout van Buchell (Buchelius). De Gheyn received his first official commission in 1593: an engraving of The Siege of Geertruitenberg , from the city and board of the Admiralty of Amsterdam. In 1595 he married Eva Stalpaert van der Wiele, a wealthy woman from Mechelen. From 1596 to 1601–1602 he lived in Leiden, where he began collaborating with the famous law scholar Hugo de Groot (Grotius), who wrote many of the inscriptions for the artist’s engravings. During this period he also began working for Prince Maurice of Orange. In 1605 de Gheyn was a member of the Guild of Saint Luke in The Hague, where he remained until his death. Once he had settled in The Hague, de Gheyn’s connections with the House of Orange Nassau were strengthened. Among other commissions, he designed the Prince’s garden in the Buitenhof, which included two grottoes, the earliest of their kind in the Netherlands. After the Prince’s death in 1625, de Gheyn worked for his younger brother, Prince Frederick Henry.
— Claes Janszoon Visscher was a student of Jacques de Gheyn II,

LINKS
Spanish Warhorse captured at the Battle of Nieuwpoort (1603, 228x269cm; 1365x1600pix, 320kb) _ Painting badly in need of restauration, it is scratched all over. _ It was at the Battle of Nieuwpoort that the commander of the Dutch cavalry, Lodewijk Günther of Nassau-Siegen, captured this warhorse. According to Lodewijk Günther the steed belonged to the Cardinal Archduke, Albert of Austria, the man appointed by Spain's King Philip II to govern the Netherlands: “J'ay eu un cheval de l'Archeduc, tout blanc, cheval parfait d'Espagne, le plus beau qu'on sçauroit s'imaginer [...] et est le plus noble q'il se puisse trouver.” Lodewijk Günther gave the horse to Stadholder Maurice, who commissioned Jacques de Gheyn to paint a life-size portrait of the animal. De Gheyn was later to receive numerous commissions from Maurice. The circumstances of this, De Gheyn's first commission from Maurice, were described by Karel van Mander: “It happened that his Excellency Count Maurice at The Hague was given an extraordinarily beautiful horse owned by the Serene Archduke in Flanders. He informed De Gheyn that he wanted the animal painted as large as life.”
     As a trophy, the horse was a memento of the Battle of Nieuwpoort. That is the gist of the almost illegible Latin couplet by Hugo de Groot (Grotius) inscribed in red paint under the window in De Gheyn's painting: “His Spanish homeland presented him [the horse] to the Austrian [Albert] / Flanders presented him to the victorious Maurice”. De Groot wrote another verse in Latin about the captured warhorse, which translates as: “I too am part, and no small part of the Flemish Triumph: I may be booty - but rather that than the steed of a man who flees!”
     The Battle of Nieuwpoort demonstrated the military supremacy that the Dutch Republic had gained in the war with Spain. For the first time ever in a field battle - either in the Netherlands or outside - the enemy had been beaten, which made this battle especially significant. In the summer of 1600 the States General sent Maurice on a campaign into Flanders to subdue the privateer towns of Nieuwpoort and Dunkirk while Johan van Oldenbarnevelt [14 Sep 1547 – 13 May 1619] directed affairs from the rebel outpost at Ostend. A hastily assembled Spanish force under Archduke Albert [11 Nov 1559 – 13 July 1621] was formed to repel them, mopping up resistance as it marched on Maurice's army proceeding down the coast. The armies met in the dunes on 02 July 1600. As he retreated, Maurice deployed his well-disciplined army in three lines, with small units on the flanks, wearing down the enemy until the decisive moment. Suddenly, tired and with the sun in their eyes, the Spaniards were overwhelmed by fresh troops which Maurice had kept in reserve. This audacious strike into enemy territory and the remarkable victory of Maurice, with his back to the sea, over the supposedly superior Spanish army established the stadholder's reputation as a general. Even though none of Oldenbarnevelt's aims had been achieved and nothing substantial had been gained, Maurice and the States General immediately broadcast the Battle of Nieuwpoort as a major triumph in broadsheets and prints.
_ See the painting Prince Maurice at the Battle of Nieuwpoort (83x118cm) by Pauwels van Hillegaert [1595-1640].
Venus and Cupid (1610, 132x112cm) _ Venus is seated in what seems a rather uncomfortable pose, looking directly at the viewer. She is wearing a long pearl necklace (and not much else) and has flowers in her hair. In her left hand she is holding a flaming heart. With her right arm Venus leans on Cupid, who is aiming an arrow at her navel. At their feet lies a bed of roses with a pair of copulating doves. This erotic scene, full of symbols of love, formed part of the stadholder collection. On the reverse of the painting is the coat of arms of Stadholder-King William III.
     This panel was probably part of the collection owned by Stadholder Maurice. It may indeed have hung in the Prince's bedchamber. A sketch of this room has survived, although 'Venus and Cupid' are not featured in the drawing. Venus features in several paintings by De Gheyn. According to the Schilderboeck of Karel van Mander [1548-1606], the artist biographer, De Gheyn painted his first Venus in 1604. Given the late Mannerist style, this panel appears to date from shortly after the artist's first Venus.
The Sailing Chariot (1603 engraving, 54x125cm, double-page in a book) _ In the spring of 1602 Prince Maurice [13 Nov 1567 – 23 Apr 1625] made a remarkable test ride in a sailing chariot. The vehicle was designed for him by Simon Stevin [1548-1620], mathematician and engineer in the service of the Prince. The passengers on the sailing chariot included various diplomats, among them Admiral de Mendoza, a prisoner of war in The Hague after the Battle of Nieuwpoort, as well as the French ambassador, the brother of the Danish king, German aristocrats and French officers. The Latin inscription above the print states that Prince Maurice's cart sailed (along the beach) the distance from Scheveningen to Petten in two hours, at a speed of '14 Dutch miles, one hour each'. This was a record time. Jacques de Gheyn II, who probably witnessed the scene, recorded the event in a drawing. Willem van Swanenburg engraved De Gheyn's design in three copperplates. The engraving, together with texts in book lettering and a woodcut, appeared in 1603. This print, more than one meter wide, increased the fame of Stevin's invention.
     Mathematics, ballistics, and military engineering had fascinated Maurice since childhood. He was the commander in chief of the Northern Provinces, in conflict with the Spaniards who occupied the South. Stevin was a valued adviser who helped him improve the army. Prince Maurice's keen interest in technology was the driving force behind the sailing chariot that Stevin designed for him. It was the Prince who commissioned De Gheyn to produce his detailed drawing of the chariot. De Gheyn placed the vehicle prominently in the center. The smaller vehicle in the distance, on the right, is the prototype which had been given a test run earlier. Special attention is given to technical details illustrated below in the schematic diagram of the vehicle's undercarriage. The designer and the builders are also depicted. Hugo de Groot, who rode in the chariot as a protegé and friend of Stevin, wrote the text accompanying the engraving. It is an ode, dedicated to Prince Maurice, on this miracle of technology: Stevin's 'wintwagen'.
      The combination of an illustration with commentary in an inscription or caption was a common feature of seventeenth-century news prints. Jan Saenredam used the formula, for example, for his 'Beached Whale' of 1602. Like the whale print, the 'Seylende Windwagen' remained popular for years, even when Prince Maurice's vehicle had lost all its news value. Several reprints appeared, published by various well-known publishers. Indeed, several other artists (including Claes Janszoon Visscher) borrowed De Gheyn's design.
     Besides a wealth of information about the chariot, the trip and the company, the print also offers a glimpse into life on the coast at the fishing village of Scheveningen. Among the bemused fisherman watching the event are some apparently well-to-do, possibly aristocratic observers. The figure on the right, beside a page, may be Maurice's mistress, Margaretha van Mechelen; those on the extreme right have been identified as Eva, wife of Jacques de Gheyn, and their son. After the celebrated maiden trip, Stevin's chariots were parked behind the church on Scheveningen's Keizerstraat and wheeled out by the stadholders every time a visiting dignitary needed to be entertained. By the early nineteenth century, however, the condition of the chariots had deteriorated significantly and they were sold off.
Neptune and Amphitrite (104x137cm) _ This half-length depiction of the married sea gods whose love is symbolized by the Cupid and the shells that accompany them was originally described in Wallraf's collection as 'Italian'. He was deceived probably by the decorative elegance of its color and line, and by the type of the double half-length, which originated in Italy.
The Exercise of Armes (details) (1619, 18x13cm each) _ Arms drill was a highly developed practice in the Dutch Republic, elucidated in a manual first published in 1607 and illustrated by Jacob de Gheyn II. Rembrandt may have referred to its prints as he painted the the figures wielding muskets in his Nightwatch, for their poses conform strikingly to those in the illustrations shown here.
Woman and Child looking at a Picture Book (1600) _ Jacob de Gheyn II, an engraver and painter, was Goltzius's student. He matches his teacher as a draftsman and at times even surpasses him. like his teacher, de Gheyn was equally gifted with pen, metal-point and chalk, but he did not have Goltzius's compulsion to make an ostentatious display of his virtuosity. De Gheyn's pen line frequently resembles the technique of engraving in its swelling and diminution and extensive use of hatching and dots to model form, but his touch is more nervous and hence seems less impersonal. His choice of subject range from ghostly drawings of witches' sabbaths to tender domestic scenes such as his Woman and Child looking at a Picture Book at Berlin. If any of the early Dutch draughtsmen gives a foretaste of Rembrandt in spiritedness of line and vivacity of characterization, it is de Gheyn.
—(060313)
^ Died on 29 March 1802: Johann Moritz (or Juan Mauricio) Rugendas, of a heart attack, German painter who died on 29 May 1858, noted particularly for his drawings and paintings of Brazil and other Latin American countries. Son of engraver Johann Lorenz Rugendas II [1775–1826]. — {He never considered titling a painting Rug end as Jo-Anne more eats}
— He was taught first by his father, the engraver Johann Lorenz Rugendas II, and in 1817 went on to further study under Lorenzo Quaglio [19 Dec 1793 – 15 Mar 1869] at the Akademie der Bildenden Künste in Munich. He went to Brazil in 1821 as draftsman with the Russian diplomat Baron de Langsdorff’s scientific expedition. However, instead of remaining with the expedition for the whole trip, he preferred to discover on his own the different Brazilian provinces, recording types, costumes, and landscapes in Romantic visions full of contrasts, action and exoticism. On his return to Europe in 1825 he brought with him an extraordinarily rich collection of drawings, some hundred of which were reproduced as lithographs and published in Paris by Godefroy Engelmann as Voyage pittoresque au Brésil (1827–1835) with a text by Colbery in French and German.
      Encouraged by the German scientist and explorer Alexander von Humboldt [14 Sep 1769 – 06 May 1859], Rugendas left for Latin America again in 1831, living until 1845 in Mexico and Chile with shorter stays in Argentina, Peru, Bolivia, and Uruguay. In each of these countries he made numerous paintings and drawings. He returned to Bavaria, where nearly 3000 drawings and paintings were acquired by the local government, but he then went back to live in Brazil between 1845 and 1846. He took part in exhibitions in Rio de Janeiro and painted the portrait of Peter II (1846) and other members of the Brazilian imperial family. The interest aroused by his work led to the re-use in 1830 of some of the plates from Voyage pittoresque au Brésil as a panorama sold commercially as wallpaper by the Zuber company of Rixheim in Alsace. Decoration inspired by his scenes of the Brazilian jungle was also used on several pieces of a porcelain dinner-service commissioned by Louis-Philippe, King of France, from the Sèvres factory.
— Juan Mauricio Rugendas vivió veinte años en México y Sudamérica. Es considerado el pintor que ha reflejado Latinoamérica de forma más concluyente y polifacética; sus cuadros nos muestran paisajes, seres humanos, escenas de género, plantas y animales. La relación con Humboldt habría de marcar la vida y obra del pintor. Rugendas plasmó de forma gráfica las ideas de Humboldt sobre la representación artístico-fisonómica de la naturaleza tropical, logrando con su obra una posición privilegiada en el arte de su época que aún hoy sigue mereciendo. Durante la vida del pintor, el público apenas mostró interés por sus exóticos motivos.
      Con la obra de Rugendas se extingue una notable familia de artistas cuya tradición se remonta hasta el año 1608. Por aquel entonces, los antepasados del pintor hubieron de emigrar de Cataluña debido a sus creencias religiosas. Se establecieron en la ciudad libre de Augsburgo, donde se forjaron una reputación como artesanos de relojería, pintores, calcógrafos y editores de libros de arte. Especialmente digno de mención en este sentido es el trisabuelo de Juan Mauricio, Georg Philipp Rugendas I [1666-1742], quien realizó unos logrados cuadros de caballos y batallas. Juan Lorenzo I se dedicó, por su parte, a motivos históricos, reproduciendo escenas de la Guerra de los Siete Años inspiradas en la obra de Chodowiecki. Juan Lorenzo II volvió a su vez a tomar las riendas de la editorial. Desde 1804 ejerció la docencia en la Escuela de arte y dibujo de Augsburgo, de la que no tardó en ser nombrado director.
      Su hijo Juan Mauricio, el mayor de sus tres vástagos, nació en Augsburgo. Siendo todavía un niño, a la edad de cuatro años, ya daba muestras de un apreciable talento. Más tarde se familiarizó con los motivos con los que trabajaba su padre en la editorial; entre ellos se encontraban ilustraciones de las guerras napoleónicas, que habían sacudido Europa desde 1796 hasta 1815. El joven Rugendas contempló los cuadros, según testimonios de entonces, cuando Albrecht Adam, amigo de su familia, llegó a Augsburgo. Adam era pintor de la corte del virrey Eugène Beauharnais y había participado en la funesta campaña del ejército napoleónico en Rusia. Aquel hombre, de carácter abierto y cosmopolita, causó una viva impresión en Juan Mauricio. Se acordó que el joven pasara una temporada con la familia Adam en Munich para que tomara lecciones del maestro. Allí encontró todo el apoyo que sus padres habían esperado para él. Juan Mauricio se desenvolvió con tanta soltura en el ámbito artístico que en 1817 aprobó el examen de ingreso en la Academia muniquesa.
      Asistió a las clases de pintura paisajística y de género impartidas por Lorenzo Quaglio II, especialidades que, de acuerdo con los criterios artísticos de la época, se consideraban de importancia secundaria en comparación con los retratos y la pintura histórica. A Rugendas no le satisfacía el programa de estudios, por lo que se esforzaba en buscar por su cuenta otros estímulos fuera de la Academia. En las cercanías de Munich, Ulm y Augsburgo esbozaba apuntes de paisajes que adornaba con figuras humanas y motivos arquitectónicos. También se interesó por el grabado y la litografía, técnicas en las que le introdujo su propio padre. Ya en 1816-1817 había prestado su colaboración a una serie de láminas a la acuatinta y había reproducido la »Huida de Napoleón en Waterloo«. Además pintó también motivos de animales, sobre todo estudios ecuestres de Jorge Felipe I Rugendas, así como una litografía a partir de un retrato que había hecho de su padre. En suma, realizó diversos retratos y escenas figurativas, llevando a cabo todo tipo de ensayos con distintos motivos, pero su evolución artística permanecía aún por decantarse. Su padre hubiera deseado enviarlo a Italia para que recibiera allí una orientación y estímulos nuevos, pero los recursos económicos de la familia no se lo permitieron.
      El viaje a Brasil (1822-1825) supuso la ruptura decisiva. Si bien no significó una gran experiencia artística como la que le hubiera aportado el contacto con la Antigüedad y el Renacimiento italiano, su visión del paisaje cambió de forma radical, ya que Rugendas conoció por primera vez el mundo de los trópicos. La oportunidad surgió cuando el encargado de negocios ruso en Brasil, el barón Langsdorff, comenzó a buscar, durante una estancia en Europa, un ilustrador para una expedición científica que, patrocinada por el zar, iba a adentrarse en la selva sudamericana. Langsdorff poseía una hacienda al norte de Río de Janeiro, en la Serra da Estrela, donde se dedicaba a sus estudios de ciencias naturales. El lugar servía de refugio para viajeros y base de expediciones. Saint-Hilaire, el príncipe de Wied, Spix y Martius se habían detenido allí ya una vez. Estos últimos habían llegado al país con el séquito de la archiduquesa Leopoldina, esposa del sucesor al trono, Pedro, el posterior emperador, y en dieciembre de 1820 regresaron a Alemania con una amplia colección de muestras etnológicas, zoológicas y botánicas para la Academia Bávara de Ciencias. El barón Karwinski, conocido de la familia Rugendas y un experto en temas brasileños, amén de botánico y naturalista, habló de Juan Mauricio a Langsdorff, quien lo consideró la persona adecuada para el puesto de dibujante de la expedición en atención a su forma de trabajar poco convencional, su formación y su carácter abierto.
      Langsdorff y Rugendas concluyeron un contrato el 18 de septiembre de 1821. Al pintor se le garantizaba el viaje de ida y el de regreso, así como la estancia libre de gastos y unos honorarios anuales de 1.000 francos franceses, comprometiéndose a cambio a dibujar todos los motivos que se le encomendaran. Asimismo, se estipuló que los bocetos serían propiedad de Langsdorff, mientras que Rugendas podía realizar copias de los mismos, aunque debía contar con la aprobación de aquél para publicarlas. Juan Lorenzo Rugendas participó en la redacción de los distintos aspectos del contrato. Informó, además, a Maximiliano José I de Baviera sobre el proyecto, ya que el rey había mostrado un interés personal por Brasil al apoyar las empresas de Martius y Spix y afirmó que Juan Mauricio podría ampliar los contactos que existían con aquel país. Por otra parte, Martius estaba al tanto de los preparativos del viaje y contaba con que Rugendas le enviaría desde Sudamérica dibujos para ilustrar sus obras de botánica.
      A principios de enero de 1822, Juan Mauricio se embarcó en Bremen con destino a Brasil, y el 5 de marzo desembarcaba en Río de Janeiro. La ciudad, con sus pintorescas montañas, su exuberante vegetación, sus jardines tropicales multicolores y su exótica población, habría de fascinarle. Rugendas se quedó en la capital, alojándose en casa del encargado de negocios austriaco. El pintor visitaba con frecuencia a Langsdorff, en su casa situada en la ladera de una colina al sudoeste de la ciudad. Rugendas recibió de él sugerencias e instrucciones que le permitieron familiarizarse con el país y sus habitantes. El contacto con otros colegas era crucial para el trabajo artístico, así que Rugendas trabó conocimiento con pintores franceses, cuya influencia era importante, pues el rey João VI los había llamado al país en 1816 para fundar una academia de arte en Río de Janeiro. Rugendas hizo amistad con Jean-Baptiste Debret y con los hijos del pintor Nicolas-A. Taunay, a los que visitaba en su residencia junto a la cascada de Tijuca. Posteriormente, Juan Mauricio se trasladó a la finca de Langsdorff.
      La hacienda Mandióca se extendía en una zona de gran riqueza vegetal ubicada a espaldas de Porto da Estrela. Sin embargo, el pintor no pudo disfrutar libremente de las bellezas naturales, pues hubo de enfrentarse allí a numerosos problemas. Langsdorff explotaba a unos 200 esclavos, por cuyas actividades se interesó vivamente Rugendas, que los contemplaba durante su trabajo y en sus horas de descanso. El artista se compadecía de sus condiciones de vida y debido a sus opiniones tuvo graves diferencias con su anfitrión. La expedición dio comienzo el 8 de mayo de 1824. Cuando atravesaba el estado de Minas Gerais, tras haber pasado por Barbacena, São João del Rei, Ouro Prêto y Sabará, Rugendas y Langsdorff se enemistaron, si bien se desconoce el motivo exacto de la disputa. Según lo dispuesto, el pintor estaba obligado a realizar buena parte de su trabajo antes de separarse del grupo, cosa que finalmente hizo. Su decisión puede considerarse acertada, ya que la empresa de Langsdorff no se vio coronada por el éxito. Adrien-Aimé Taunay, sustituto de Rugendas como dibujante, murió ahogado en las aguas de un río de la selva. Se sucedieron los fallecimientos y las enfermedades, y el mismo Langsdorff tuvo que regresar a Europa en un estado próximo a la enajenación mental. Rugendas contrató oyudantes y guías emprendió con ellos una pequeña expedición que pudo financiar gracias a los retratos ya encargados que iba realizando por el camino. El pintor y sus acompañantes atravesaron Minas Gerais, Espirito Santo, Mato Grosso y Bahia, luchando contra el cansancio y el clima insalubre. Para recuperar fuerzas, y debido también a que la estación de las lluvias dificultaba el avance, los expedicionarios tuvieron que pasar varios meses entre los indios de las selvas junto a las riberas del río Doce. Algunos motivos de la vida de los habitantes de aquellos lugares, entre ellos la célebre Danza de los purís, aparecen entre las interesantes ilustraciones que Rugendas dio a conocer más adelante.
      En abril de 1825 el pintor estaba ya en Río de Janeiro, y en mayo regresó a Europa. Los frutos artísticos de sus tres años de estancia en Brasil fueron copiosos: en Río de Janeiro había reproducido el palacio de São Cristóvão, la cascada de Tijuca, la iglesia de Glória y otros lugares. Había contemplado a las gentes en las plazas y en las calles, tanto inmersas en su vida cotidiana como participando en los grandes acontecimientos. En diciembre de 1822 había asistido al desfile del cortejo de la coronación de Dom Pedro I por las calles de la capital brasileña. Fue también testigo de la fiesta que la iglesia celebraba en honor de Nuestra Señora del Rosário. En la finca Mandióca había plasmado escenas del quehacer habitual de los esclavos, realizando además dibujos de animales con el más absoluto esmero. La representación de la vegetación tropical se había convertido asimismo para él en otro motivo de especial importancia.
      Tras su regreso de Brasil, Rugendas permaneció en París para gestionar la publicación de sus estudios pictóricos sudamericanos. Aunque todos sus intentos resultaron infructuosos, la estancia en la capital francesa tuvo para él una importancia definitiva, pues allí trabó conocimiento con Alexander von Humboldt, el descubridor científico de Latinoamérica. Rugendas pudo mostrarle los bocetos realizados durante su viaje, recibiendo del naturalista los elogios más calurosos. Humboldt quedó especialmente admirado ante las representaciones de la vegetación, solicitando al artista que dibujara para él palmeras, bananos y helechos, con la finalidad de ilustrar el capítulo correspondiente a la »Fisomomía de las plantas« de la proyectada reedición de su »Ensayo de una geografía de las plantas«. Los ejemplares solicitados pertenecían, en opinión de Humboldt, a los tipos fisonómicos que, merced a sus marcados rasgos, confieren un carácter concreto a cada región.
      Atendiendo a semejantes criterios, Humboldt había clasificado las diversas especies vegetales durante sus viajes por Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, Perú, México y Cuba entre 1799 y 1804. Primero había identificado 16 especies típicas, cifra que posteriormente amplió a 19, describiéndolas con toda clase de detalles en su obra »Ensayo de una fisonomía de las plantas«, donde además quería plasmar sus concepciones sobre la representacion artística de la naturaleza tropical. Pretendía que se reprodujesen paisajes de consumados artistas de una forma tal que resultase adecuada desde el punto de vista estético y fuese, al mismo tiempo, científicamente informativa. De esa manera el pintor podía ayudar al investigador a reconocer las peculiaridades de la naturaleza tropical. Los paisajes debían contemplarse como organismos vivos, como una gran totalidad. Era preciso recoger en los dibujos la acción conjunta de los fenómenos naturales, como las condiciones climáticas y el crecimiento, así como acentuar las representaciones de las plantas y las siluetas de las colinas más características. Humboldt no conocía aún ningún artista que reuniera las condiciones para esta tarea. Fueron excluidos los pintores que desconocían la naturaleza de los trópicos y seguían en su trabajo los principios estilísticos académicos, pues se habían revelado poco idóneos para sus fines. Así lo demostraban obras tan conocidas como las realizadas por famosos viajeros, en especial las láminas pintadas en su viaje a Brasil por el príncipe de Wied. Para plasmar sus ideas, Humboldt sólo tendría en cuenta a aquellos pintores que, prescindiendo de sus propias condiciones artísticas, se hubiesen dedicado a la reproducción realista de motivos exóticos. Los estudios que el científico había recibido de Rugendas alentaban sus esperanzas de que el pintor poseyera un innegable talento en este sentido. Humboldt se decidió, entonces, a iniciar una colaboración. Deseaba que en los dibujos que se le encomendasen, Rugendas acentuáse el desarrollo y crecimiento de las plantas. Las figuras debían mostrar claramente al espectador las dimensiones de lo representado. Rugendas realizó diversos bocetos, y Humboldt emitió su propio juicio: estableció dónde debían situarse las figuras, determinó la altura de las especies reproducidas y solicitó que se completasen algunos grupos de plantas. Rugendas introdujo las correciones sin despreciar sus propios criterios artísticos. Tenía que dibujar también una gran composición de una selva tropical. Para lograr un mejor entendimiento, quería que Humboldt le orientase en la ejecución de sus trabajos, enviándole así algunos bocetos inacabados:
      “Si alguna de las láminas no resultase de su agrado, estoy dispuesto a modificarla o a mandarle, en su lugar, el original. Por lo que se refiere a los bocetos de jaramagos, cactus, araucarias, bambúes y mangles...recibirá usted lo que todavía no he terminado para que pueda opinar sobre su ejecución.”
      Humboldt consideró que las ilustraciones encargados a Rugendas para su Fisonomia de las plantas eran extraordinarias, manifestando que los dibujos recibidos superaban en calidad sus previsiones. Al mismo tiempo, anunciaba la aparición del folleto publicitario para su nueva edición del Ensayo de una geografía de las plantas, en cuya versión alemana, impresa en la Geographische Zeitung, suplemento de Hertha, podía leerse el siguiente fragmento:
      El Ensayo sobre la geografía de las plantas de los señores Humboldt y Kunth cuenta con al menos veinte calcografías, dedicadas a mostrar la vegetacion o la fisonomía de las plantas. Los grabados se han preparado a partir de los dibujos que el señor Rugendas realizó recientemente en la selva brasileña. Este joven artista, digno de todo elogio, ha vivido durante cinco años sumergido en las riquezas del mundo vegetal del trópico. Su sensibilidad se ha visto impregnada por el sentimiento de que, en la exuberancia salvaje de una naturaleza tan maravillosa, el efecto pictórico sólo puede conseguirse siendo fiel a la realidad y ateniéndose a las formas auténticas de que se nos ofrece.
      Humboldt encargó el grabado de las láminas a Claude François Fortier, quien en 1822 había transformado en calcografía una acuarela de la selva pintada por el conde Clarac, poniendo de manifiesto su talento para la reproducción en cobre de la vegetación tropical. La anunciada reedición de la obra de Humboldt no llegó a producirse. Los dibujos de Rugendas, que han vuelto a aparecer hace algún tiempo, constituyen un importante testimonio de una colaboracion artístico-científica a la que Latinoamérica, debe sus más bellas imágenes del siglo XIX.

LINKS
Volcán de Colima (1834, 48x67cm) _ The German man of science, Alexander von Humboldt organized a series of expeditions which took him to Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, Brazil, Cuba and Mexico between 1799 and 1804. He published his observations on these expeditions in some thirty volumes whose publication began during his last year of travel, continuing up to 1834, when the last volume went to press. Humboldt's work broke with the tradition of the illustrated books on the Americas published in previous centuries, since his illustrations were based on direct observation and scientific inquiry. Johann Moritz Rugendas was one of the illustrators of his work.
Llegada del Presidente Prieto a la Pampilla (70x92cm; 470x652pix, 97kb) _ detail 1 (482x303pix, 38kb) _ detail 2 (427x652pix, 84kb) cattle
Paisaje montañoso con barranca de San Juan Coscomatepec en la región de Córdoba (390x600pix, 28kb)
Hacienda de San Miguel Regla (12x29cm; 385x600pix, 39kb)
Fiesta popular ante la iglesia de Santa Cruz (18x28cm; 400x600pix, 43kb)
Seguro de la Frontera. Tepeaca (19x28cm; 390x600pix, 31kb) _ A Franciscan monastery built by Hernán Cortez as a strongpoint to cover a possible retreat. The figures are Amerindians from Puebla and Tlaxcala.
 

Died on a 29 March:

^ 2008 Angus Fairhurst [04 Oct 1966–], one of the “Young British Artists” (Y.B.A.’s), suicide. English conceptual artist, photographer, painter and installation artist. He is associated primarily with the Goldsmiths' College group, sometimes known as the ‘Freeze Generation', which emerged in the late 1980s during Michael Craig-Martin's period of teaching there. In February 1988, as a second year student, Fairhurst organized a small group exhibition at the Bloomsbury Gallery of the University of London Institute of Education; it included, alongside his own work, art by fellow students Mat Collishaw, Abigail Lane and Damien Hirst. This was a kind of precursory event for the more dynamic and famous Freeze exhibition of summer 1988, curated by Hirst, in which he also participated. In the early 1990s he was involved in many seminal events and exhibitions such as A Fête worse than Death (1993), on Charlotte Road and Rivington Street, London, curated by Joshua Compston (1971–96) and Factual Nonsense, and Some Went Mad, Some Ran Away (London, Serpentine Gal., 1994), curated by Hirst. Fairhurst experimented with photographic images of the human figure in Man Abandoned by Space (1992), in which 16 different silhouettes of a falling man are presented, equally spaced, as if on a grid; with no common spatial reference, they create an effect of disorientation. In other works he attached hundreds of plastic garment tags to the surface of Cibachrome photographs in evenly spaced rows as a kind of visual obstacle through which one's eyes have to manoeuvre to see the image underneath. For the sound piece Gallery Connections (1991–6; London, Tate) Fairhurst connected two gallery employees on the telephone by ringing them both himself and holding together the receivers. Neither party could grasp the agenda of their conversation and in the confusion we hear them become increasingly defensive and hostile. That the humour may be on the level of an adolescent prank does not lessen its impact as a mischievous act of cultural terrorism against the incestuous, gossipy and self-regarding world of contemporary art.
Still (2005, 190x130cm; 450x300pix,. 34kb)
Five billboards, body and text removed (2004, 522x255cm framed; 451x640pix, 54kb) —(080403)

1992 Lina Bo Bardi, architect born in Rome on 05 December 1914, dies in Sao Paulo. —(080328)

1891 Georges Pierre Seurat, French painter born (full coverage) on 02 December 1859. —(051201)

>1812 Johann Friedrich Dryander, German painter born on 26 April 1756. — {Dryander must have dried up all the Wetander and Dampander art, if there ever was any, at least there is none to be found on the Internet. However there are many pictures of a Dam Panda and of a Damn Panda.}
Familienbild des Hüttenbesitzers Philipp Heinrich Krämer I. aus St. Ingbert (1804; 696x1000pix, 62kb)
Ein Künstler zwischen Fürstenhof und Bürgertum (798x600pix, 103kb)
Equestrian portrait of General Jean-Baptiste Jourdan and an aide de camp (1794, 48x58cm; 480x573pix, 59kb)
— Dominique Joseph Garat auf einem 1794 —(090328)

1631 (burial) Jorge Manuel Theotocopoulos (or Theotocopouli), Toledo Spanish painter and architect born in 1578, son of Doménikos Theotokópoulos “El Greco” [1541 – 07 Apr 1614] and Doña Jerónima de Las Cuevas, who were not married. He was trained by his father, and it is practically impossible to distinguish their painting. Jorge Manuel Theotocopoulos is documented as a painter in 1603. The single signed work (1595), a copy of El Greco’s Expolio, shows him as a rather inept follower of his father, although his treatment of figures is much harder and more angular; they are almost caricatures. Of more interest is his altarpiece (1609) for the church of La Magdalena, Titulcia, Madrid. His architectural altarpiece (1623) for Santa Clara la Real, Toledo, was influenced more by Juan Bautista de Monegro than by any architectural work El Greco had designed. — Portrait of Jorge Manuel (721x484pix, 15kb) by his father. —(060327)


Born on a 29 March:


1911 Mario Pani, Mexico City architect who died on 23 February 1993. —(060224)

^ 1905 Edward Burra, English painter, illustrator, and stage designer, who died on 22 October 1976 — {Should he not more properly be called Burro?} — As a student at the Chelsea Polytechnic (1921–1923) and the Royal College of Art (1923–1925) he became a talented figure draftsman. In the second half of the decade he spent much time in France painting intricately detailed urban scenes, which depicted the low life of Toulon and Marseille. Works such as the watercolor Toulon (1927) were done in a meticulously finished and vividly colored decorative style. Burra usually used watercolor and tempera and occasionally collage or oil paints. He painted sardonic genre pictures and of scenes of violence and destruction; also landscapes and still life, often with macabre overtones. He traveled in Europe, the US, and Mexico. He made designs for the Camargo Society's ballet Rio Grande 1931 and for several Sadler's Wells and Covent Garden productions.— LINKS
Christ at the Pool of Bethesda (1952, 107x155cm; 400x558pix, 48kb)
The Agony in the Garden (1939; 396x600pix, 87kb) _ Christ is shown facing the viewer, weeping, sweating and wringing his hands in anguish. A muscular angel bringing a cup rushes in to Christ's left. The background is a rocky ledge and the disciples can be seen sleeping on the left background of the picture.
Mexican Church (1938, 132x104cm) _ Burra visited Mexico in 1937 and this painting was based on two separate postcards collected at that time: one of an unusual recumbent crucifix in one church, the second of a reredos (or altarback), encrusted with ornamentation, in another. The decoration seems to be the focus of his attention. The addition of praying figures and the collection plate, however, show his awareness of the monuments' contemporary power and the small, poignant details of everyday life.
Dancing Skeletons (1934, 79x56cm) _ Burra often combines the macabre with the humorous: these skeletons dance in tarts' hats, as if in a music hall. Though such works have been seen in terms of child-like fantasy, they also reveal the artist's interest in the satirical paintings of the German artist George Grosz. The vigor of the deathly dance is made chillingly absurd by the decay around the skeletons. The scene is full of references to death, not least the dangling figures silhouetted against the sky, which recall photographs of hanged rebels in Africa which Burra saw in the Belgian cultural magazine Variétés.
Skeleton Party (1954, 72x104cm)
Bird Woman, Duennas (1932) _ This complex work contains several of the images which feature in Burra's output in the early 1930s - marbled pediments, many-windowed buildings, large and small figures juxtaposed, emblematic devices and a fragmented pictorial space. Burra wrote to Barbara Ker-Seymer from the Palace Hotel in Lyon, that he was, 'just crazy over bird folk now & in Lyon right this moment am studying bird folk from my window in the palace'.
Bird Men and Pots (1947) _ Burra was interested in plays, films and fiction that were strong in observation of human behavior and set in interiors heavy with atmosphere. In this work, the steeply-raked floor, deep recession and grand architecture are all consistent with these interests. They accentuate the physical and psychological proximity of the mysterious foreground figures who, swathed and witch-like, appear to be engaged in some sinister ritual.
Medusa (1938)
Fortune Tellers (1931)
Blue Baby: Blitz over Britain (1941) _ The painting depicts Burra's response to the Second World War as he observed if from Rye, his birthplace. It depicts a monstrous harpy with red eyes and claws descending from a red sky; a swirling plume of black smoke rising from the horizon indicates where the harpy has already struck. Rye was part of the chain of radar stations along the south coast which the Luftwaffe attempted to destroy during the winter of 1940-1941.
Soldiers at Rye (1941, 102x207cm) _ Rye, a picturesque town near the south coast, was Burra's life-long home. During the war it became a center for military activity. Soldiers are turned into nightmarish birdmen that recall the Surrealist paintings of the German artist Max Ernst and Burra's own work of the early Thirties. The artist was interested in sixteenth-century English poetry, and the bright colors and stylized dress might suggest courtly combat. Such ideas of brutality and heroism are offset by the attention to the figures' buttocks that creates a homosexual frisson through the scene.
John Deth (Hommage to Conrad Aiken) (1931) _ Portrayal of the scythe-bearing figure of Death intruding upon a party of dancers, striking the guests with terror, inspired by the 1930 poem “John Deth, a Metaphysical Legend” by Conrad Aitken [05 Aug 1889 – 17 Aug 1973]. This depicts a nightmare scene where the figure of Death intrudes upon a party of dancers producing a variety of reactions.
The Snack Bar (1930, 76x56cm; 366x512pix, 32kb) _ Whether it is in London, Paris, or New York, Burra's snack bar is the setting for a muted urban drama acted out under a harsh tungsten bulb. The light obscures a female figure in the street; is she a prostitute? Is the woman at the counter another? This suggestion is strengthened by the lascivious sideward glance of the barman and the suggestive curling of the pink ham he cuts. His attention goes unnoticed, however. The painting seems to speak of the perennial isolation of life in the city, which is exemplified by the mysterious, lonely male figure in the background.
Silver Dollar Bar (1948) _ From a visit to New York, when he stayed with the Aitkens in Boston. Inspired by a bar he frequented.
Harlem (1934, 79x57cm; 651x450pix, 75kb) _ Burra spent six months in New York's Harlem in 1933-1934, an area which became a center for the cultural and political activity known as the Harlem Renaissance. Burra was a fan of jazz, so its association with such figures as Duke Ellington was an inevitable attraction. This scene combines the artist's enthusiasm for New York - the signage and the elevated railway - with his observation of what he saw as typical physiognomies and behavior. Burra shared in the fashionable interest in black culture and his depiction of these figures shows a relish in the 'cool' behavior that distinguished them from familiar White society.
Storm in the Jungle (1976; 428x476pix, 59kb)
— (Dust to Dust?) and (Burial?) from Wake (1940, each 102x70cm) _ With the increasingly belligerent political situation of the 1930s, Burra's work took on a darker tone. This enigmatic diptych seems to speak of morbidity and decay. The shrouded robot figures look down on a skeleton in an open grave. In the background broken columns indicate the degradation of the building. The architecture recalls the destroyed churches that Burra photographed in Spain in 1935 and 1936. The Spanish Civil War had been especially cruel, but by the time this picture was made war had spread across Europe. Goya's 'Dark Paintings' may have been a source for such works.
— (Horror?) (548x400pix, 51kb)

^ 1895 Anne Redpath, Scottish painter who died on 07 January 1965; daughter of a Scottish tweed designer who helped to foster her interest in pattern. She studied at Edinburgh College of Art (1913–1919) where she won a travelling scholarship (1919) and visited Brussels, Bruges, Paris, Florence, and Siena, taking a particular interest in Italian 14th-century painting. After marrying an architect, James Beattie Michie (1891–1959), in 1920, she moved to France, where she lived, raising her three sons rather than painting, until 1934 when she separated from her husband and returned to the UK. In 1949 she settled in Edinburgh. Until 1950 Redpath painted mostly still-lifes, such as The Indian Rug (1942), and Scottish landscapes. After this date she began to paint scenes of Mediterranean life, such as The Poppy Field (1963), based on her travels, adopting more vigorous brushwork and more intense colors. Redpath was an intriguing and complex character. Although she had a strict congregationalist upbringing in the Scottish Borders, she developed a passion for Catholic architecture and ornament. She traveled the world and had a weakness for Parisian couture, yet she remained a committed Scot with strong left-wing views. These dichotomies in her life were reflected in her work, which combines the sensual with the intellectual and the familiar with the exotic. Her paintings display an exceptional degree of individuality and masterly skill, and her use of color and contrast, shadow and light confirm her standing as Scotland's greatest woman painter of the mid 20th century and arguably, one of Europe's finest artists.
The Poppy Field (1963, 76x76cm)
Flowers on a Red Cloth (15½ x 23 in; 383x600pix, 41kb)
Fruit Bowl (color lithograph, 16.5"x 25"; 347x530pix, 44kb)
Little Posy (1958 color lithograph, 12" x 18"; 333x530pix, 35kb)
Lenten Roses (1960, 59x79cm)
Pink Flowers (1954, 51x66cm; 480x362pix, 47kb)
First Flowers (56x46cm; 350x278pix, 22kb) _ auctioned at Christie's in Edinburgh on 30 October 2003, estimated at about £25'000, sold for £59'700.
White cineraria (639x512pix, 86kb) _ auctioned at Christie's in Edinburgh on 13 March 2005, estimated at about £40'000, nobody bought it, no wonder.

1818 Gonsalvo Carelli, Neapolitan painter who died in 1900. Carelli was a talented child prodigy, showing, when still a young boy, a great ability in painting. A very creative and tireless artist, his favored technique was watercolor. Carelli could boast the appreciation of bourgeois and noble classes, and of Italian and foreign kings. When in France he become a great friend of Alexandre Dumas, illustrating with his paintings the book Voyage de Naples à Rome, by the French writer. In that same year, 1860, he produced also an album with one hundred and sixty views of the Kingdom of Naples for the emperor Napoleon III. In Naples Carelli met the painter and writer Massimo D'Azeglio who inspired him to create historical and literary landscapes. But the most favored and characteristic subjects of his works were the gulf of Naples, the views of Capri and Ischia, the Amalfi coast and picturesque ruins. — He was the father of Giuseppe Carelli, and the brother of Achille Carelli and of Gabriele Carelli [1820-1880] who was the father of Conrad Carelli.
— Fu avviato alla pittura dal padre Raffaele; fu poi allievo dell'inglese William Leicht, con cui perfezionò in modo particolare la tecnica dell'acquerello. Esordì all'esposizione borbonica del 1830, a soli 12 anni . Un triennio più tardi l'acquerello Piazza della Vicaria venne premiato con medaglia d'argento ed acquistato dalla regina Isabella. Enfant prodige, era coperto di lodi e protetto dall'aristocrazia partenopea; nel 1837, il sovrano gli acquistò due dipinti: Veduta di Napoli con la Torre della polveriera e Veduta di Cava. Nello stesso anno ottenne il pensionato per Roma, città dove potè ampliare le proprie conoscenze artistiche ed entrare in contatto con i paesisti della Campagna romana. In particolare, divenne amico di Bartolomeo Pinelli. Si recò pure a Parigi, restandovi fino al 1844 circondato dalla fama e dalle commissioni della nobiltà. Nel 1845, tornato a Napoli, ricevette dall'ambasciatore russo, per conto dello Zar, l'incarico di dipingere due grandi paesaggi napoletani, tuttora all'Ermitage. Impegnato anche sul fronte politico, Carelli prese parte attiva alle vicende risorgimentali . Nel 1848, a Milano, partecipò alle "Cinque giornate" (in questa città conobbe anche Massimo D'Azeglio), e, nel 1860, alla Battaglia del Volturno. Conobbe Alexandre Dumas, collaborando con lui mediante l'illustrazione del volume Da Napoli a Roma (scrisse Dumas: "Carelli è allievo di quella grande scuola di paesaggio per la quale i Cabat, gli Isabey, i Dupré od i Decamps danno la mano a Salvator Rosa"). Nel 1869 fu nominato maestro di pittura di Margherita di Savoia, futura regina d'Italia. Lavorò instancabile fino alla fine della vita, anche se l'ispirazione si andò progressivamente indebolendo, lasciando spazio all'ambito decorativo. — Portrait of Gonsalvo Carelli as a child (734x567pix, 88kb) by his father Raffaele Carelli [1795 - 1864]
Capri desde Massalubrense (26x39cm; 462x700pix, 76kb)
–- Popolane e Bambini in un Bosco con il Vesuvio in Lontananza (1850; 881x600pix, 95kb _ .ZOOM to 1322x900pix, 226kb)
–- View Over Naples (619x900pix, 66kb) the city, the bay, Vesuvius in the background.
–- Neapolitan View (547x900pix, 52kb) Near Naples, but the city is not seen. Ruined arches in the center.
Contadino con asino (16x20cm) _ Compare:
       _ Contadino con asino (425x500pix 37kb) by Antonio Urbano;
       _ Contadino con asino (photo; 400x581pix 74kb). —(070327)

1758 Scott-Pierre-Nicolas Legrand de Lérant, French painter who died (main coverage) on 11 May 1829. —(090328)


Happened on a 29 March:


^ 2003 The Baldin Collection goes on display at Moscow's Museum of Architecture. The 362 drawings and 2 paintings were taken in 1945 from Germany by Viktor Baldin, a soldier of the conquering Red Army. He turned the loot over to the Soviet state in 1947. Recently Russia's Culture Minister Mikhail Shvydkoi decided to return the artwork to Germany. But a group led by Communist Duma member and former Culture Minister Nikolai Gubenko got the Duma to block the move, claiming that, in return, Germany ought to pay for damage to and looting of Russian art treasures during WW II by the Nazi army.
     Baldin was an art restorer and architect who served as a Soviet army captain and later directed the Museum of Architecture for 25 years, was a front-line soldier, Nonetheless he always wanted to give the Germans what he carried out of Germany. Baldin believed he had saved the collection from destruction. His engineering and de-mining unit had requisitioned a castle, Schloss Karnzow, near the town of Kyritz north of Berlin and the night before they were to return to the Soviet Union a soldier tipped him off about a pile of drawings in the dark, dank basement. The pile included works by Raphael, Titian, Durer, Rubens, Rembrandt and Delacroix. He wrote in his 1990 memoirs of spending a furious night cutting the drawings out of their packaging and laying them in a suitcase, taking as many as he could manage. His commanders refused him use of a truck, so he carried the artworks in a suitcase all the way home, along the way trading belts, watches and money for drawings, “mostly nudes,” that other soldiers had grabbed from the basement stash. Baldin kept his collection for three years under a bed in his office. In 1948, he gave it to the Architecture Museum, and in 1991, it was transferred to the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg. Starting in 1973, Baldin tried unsuccessfully to have Soviet and then Russian authorities return the artwork to its rightful owner, a museum in Bremen.
 

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