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ART “4” “2”-DAY  30 March v.9.20
BIRTHS: 1868 MOSER   1746 GOYA
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whose life and death show that there's
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^ Born on 30 March 1853: Vincent van Gogh, Dutch Post-Impressionist painter who died on 29 July 1890.
— Van Gogh’s brief nine-year career as a painter began in the Netherlands. His early works were dark but later became intensely luminous after he moved to Paris and the south of France. A great collector of Japanese prints, he created an expressive style that combined direct observation with a Japanese use of outline and flattened areas of color. Plagued by poor health, he committed suicide at the age of 37.
     Van Gogh worked as an art dealer, a teacher and a lay preacher before becoming a painter. Van Gogh was not ‘mad’ but probably suffered from a form of epilepsy easily treatable with today’s drugs.
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—   It was only after Vincent van Gogh's death that he gained fame when his paintings were shown at the Bernheim-Jeune gallery in Paris on 17 March 1901. The 71 paintings, which captured their subjects in bold brushstrokes and expressive colors, caused a sensation across the art world. Eleven years before, while living in Auvers-sur-Oise outside Paris, van Gogh had committed suicide without any notion that his work was destined to win acclaim beyond his wildest dreams. In his lifetime, he had sold only one painting, and was hoping that some day his paintings would sell for more than the price of the paints and canvas. It is only posthumously that his wish was fulfilled... and then some. One of his paintings — the
      _ Sunflowers (almost identical to two others) now at the Yasuda museum — sold for just under $40 million at a Christie's auction in 1987. Later another one sold for $82 million (bear in mind that past dollars are worth more than present dollars).
      Born in Zundert in the Netherlands, van Gogh worked as a salesman in an art gallery, a language teacher, a bookseller, and an evangelist among Belgium miners before settling on his true vocation as an artist. What is known as the "productive decade" began in 1880, and for the first few years he confined himself almost entirely to drawings and watercolors while acquiring technical proficiency. He studied drawing at the Brussels Academy and in 1881 went to the Netherlands to work from nature. The most famous work from the Dutch period was the dark and earthy
      _ The Potato Eaters (1885), which showed the influence of Jean-François Millet, a French painter famous for his peasant subjects.
      In 1886, van Gogh went to live with his brother, Théo, in Paris. There, van Gogh met the foremost French painters of the postimpressionist period, including Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Paul Gauguin, Camille Pissarro, and Georges Seurat. He was greatly influenced by the theories of these artists and under the advice of Pissarro he adopted the kind of colorful palette for which he is famous. His painting
      _ Portrait of Père Tanguy (1887) was the first successful work in his new postimpressionist style.
      In 1888, van Gogh, mentally exhausted and feeling he was becoming a burden on Théo, left Paris and took a house at Arles in southeastern France. The next 12 months marked his first great period, and working with great speed and intensity he produced such masterful works as his sunflower series
      _ [14 Sunflowers in a Vase] and
      _ The Night Café (1888). He hoped to form a community of like-minded artists at Arles and was joined by Gauguin for a tense two months that culminated when van Gogh threatened Gauguin with a razor blade and then cut a piece of his own left ear off (he painted two mirror images of himself with the bandaged ear, with and without pipe). It was his first bout with mental illness, diagnosed as dementia. Van Gogh spent two weeks at the Arles Hospital and in April 1889 checked himself into the asylum at Saint-Rémy-de-Provence. He stayed there for 12 months and continued to work between recurrent attacks. One of the great paintings from this period was the swirling, visionary
      _ Starry Night (1889).
      In May 1890, he left the asylum and visited Théo in Paris before going to live with Paul-Ferdinand Gachet, a homeopathic doctor and friend of Pissarro, at Auvers-sur-Oise. He worked enthusiastically for several months, but his mental and emotional state soon deteriorated. On 27 July 1890, feeling that he was a burden on Théo and others, Van Gogh shot himself in the chest. He dies two days later, in the arms of his brother, in Auvers. He had exhibited a few canvases at the Salon des Indépendants in Paris and in Brussels, and after his death both salons showed small commemorative exhibits of his work. Over the next decade, a handful of other van Gogh exhibits took place, but it was not until the Bernheim-Jeune show in 1901 that he was recognized as a truly important painter. In subsequent decades, his fame grew exponentially, and today his paintings are among the most recognized works of art in the world.
— Van Gogh is generally considered one of the two greatest Dutch painters (along with Rembrandt), and one of the greatest Post-Impressionists. Profoundly influenced the development of Expressionism in modern art. Van Gogh, the oldest of six children of a Protestant pastor, grew up in the Brabant region of the southern Netherlands. His early years were happy, and he loved the countryside. Vincent's introduction to the art world came at 16 when he was apprenticed to the Hague office of his uncle's art dealership, Goupil and Co. Van Gogh's artistic output can be divided into two periods. During the first (1873-1885) he struggled with his own temperament while seeking his true means of self-expression. It was a period of repeated apprenticeships, perceived failures, and changes in direction. The second (1886-1890) was a period of complete dedication, rapid development, and artistic fulfillment. Sadly it was interrupted by a series of mental breakdowns that lasted from 1889 until his suicide. Van Gogh worked for Goupil in London from 1873 until May 1875, and then in Paris until April 1876. Daily contact with works of art piqued his artistic sensibilities, and he developed profound fondness for Rembrandt, Frans Hals, and other Dutch masters, along with preferences for two contemporary French painters, Jean-François Millet and Camille Corot. Van Gogh hated art dealing. Moreover, his outlook on life darkened when he suffered a broken heart in 1874. His desire for human affection thwarted, he became and remained increasingly solitary. He then became a language teacher and lay preacher in England. Feeling called to give himself to his fellow men, he envisioned joining the ministry. He began the study of theology but abandoned his project for short-term training as an evangelist in Brussels (1878). However, he argued with the orthodox doctrinal approach. He failed to get an appointment after three months, so he left.

— Van Gogh’s paintings are some of the most widely recognized in the world. The countless poster reproductions of his Sunflowers and high prices at auction (the record standing, in 2002, at over US$82 million) have saturated public consciousness. This current fame contrasts with his short, lonely and poverty stricken life. His artistic career lasted 10 years and during only three he produced his now most critically acclaimed works. He sold one work, in the year he died, and just one critical review was published in his 37-year lifetime.
      Van Gogh was born in Holland in 1853, the son of a vicar. His three uncles were art dealers and in 1869 he followed in their footsteps working in The Hague, London and Paris. Before he was dismissed as unsuitable in 1876 he was exposed to influences, such as English illustrative engraving, that were to form part of his artistic vision. The social and moral message of this medium, combined with his interest in Jean-Francois Millet’s work, shaped his idea that art should be related to and understood by all.
      During a spell working in the academy in Antwerp in 1885 Van Gogh also became familiar with Impressionist painting and Japanese prints. He shared his enthusiasm of these latter works with Degas. Both admired their strong colors and innovative compositional impact.
      A year later Van Gogh moved to Paris and was introduced to some of the Impressionists by his brother, Theo. The influence of his meetings with Pissarro, Signac and Seurat can be seen in his adoption of small brushstrokes and brilliant, pure colors. His subject matter at this time of restaurants and street scenes was also typically Impressionist, however, he always claimed that Delacroix was a greater influence.
     Van Gogh's unique artistic vision was similar to that of Gauguin who joined him for a short spell in Arles in 1888. Both artists looked for parallels between painting, music and literature. In one of his 755 letters that document his ideas and artistic development, Van Gogh wrote, “I want to say something comforting in painting as music is comforting”. However where Gauguin insisted that true creativity came from the imagination, Van Gogh insisted that his further layers of meaning should derive from a close study of nature.
      He was a religious man and saw his paintings as a way of communicating, as revealed in the expressive color of Vincent’s Chair (1888). This idea became more important than the depiction of reality and links Impressionism with Expressionism, paving the way for artists such as Matisse and Picasso.
      The friendship with Gauguin came to an end when, in 1888, Van Gogh suffered a fit of insanity, attacking his friend and mutilating his own ear. This is portrayed in the painting Self Portrait with Bandaged Ear (1888). This episode, his confinement in the asylum at Saint-Rémy, and subsequent suicide in 1890, are well known but should not cloud judgement on his artistic output. Van Gogh only painted when his mind was clear. He wrote in a letter from Arles, “The emotions are sometimes so strong that one works without being aware of working…and the strokes come with a sequence and coherence like words in a speech or a letter.”

—       On 30 March 1853 a boy was born to the family of a Dutch village vicar, Theodorus van Gogh (1822-1885) and his wife Anne Cornelia, nèe Carbentus (1819-1907). A year before, exactly the same day, another boy was born to the family, he died, and now the new-born received his name: Vincent Willem van Gogh.
      After getting school education, van Gogh started his career as a picture salesman: in The Hague (1869) he entered the branch office of the Paris art dealer Goupil & Cie, founded originally by his uncle Vincent. As an agent of the company he worked in its branches in Brussels (1873), London (1873), Paris (1875). But his personal disappointment increased and he left Goupil.
      Van Gogh tried himself as a teacher in Ramsgate near London (April-December 1876), then  he worked as an apprentice lay preacher and wanted to devote his life to evangelization of the poor. In 1878 Vincent convinced his father of his religious vocation and in August began a three-month course in preaching in Evangelist school in Laeken, near Brussels. At school he was considered unsuitable for the lay-preaching profession. But he persistently followed his inclination and went to Borinage, the Belgian coal mining area close to the French border. There, living in extreme poverty, he visited sick people and read the Bible to the miners.
      In 1879 Vincent got permission to work for 6 months as a lay preacher in Borinage. But his involvement in the plight of the poor irritated his superiors, and his contract was not extended under the pretext that his rhetorical talents were insufficient. He continued to work without any payment until July 1880. In Borinage Vincent experienced a period of deep personal crisis, which was to mold his later life. While in Borinage he drew much, made sketches of the miners’ environment. Meanwhile his four-years younger brother, Theo ((1857-1891), began to work at Goupil’s in Paris and started to support Vincent financially, he also encouraged Vincent in his wish to become an artist.
      Having chosen art as his new profession van Gogh went to Brussels (October 1880- April 1881), where he studied anatomical and perspective drawing at the Academy of Art. In January 1882 he moved to The Hague and settled there not far from his cousin, the artist Mauve, whom he admired and who became his teacher. With Mauve van Gogh for the first time tried oils. Accordingly, his early painting of August 1882 Beach with Figures and Sea with a Ship is strongly influenced by The Hague School to which Mauve belonged. During 1883-1885 van Gogh traveled and worked in The Hague, Nueven, where his parents' new home was, Amsterdam. His models were poor people, slums, hard working peasants; he painted landscapes and town views, all in dark, somber colors.
      On 26 March 1885 his father died. Vincent was heart-broken. In this mood he painted
      _ The Potato-Eaters, the main work of his Dutch period. In January 1886 he entered the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Antwerp, but already in March he left it and arrived in Paris. He started studies in Cormon studio, the owner of which, the painter Fernand Cormon, was a fairly unknown artist, but a quite successful teacher. Van Gogh studied in the studio for 3 months. Here he made friends with Toulouse-Latrec and Emile Bernard. Theo introduced him to Monet, Renoir, Sisley, Pissarro, Degas, Signac, Seurat, and Gauguin who came to Paris from Pont-Aven. From now on the colors on Vincent’s palette became considerably brighter; under the influence of Impressionists his style also changed.
      _ View of Paris from Montmartre,
      _ Paris Seen from Vincent's Room in the Rue Lepic,
      _ Terrace of the Cafè "La Guinguuette" and others are based on a typical Impressionist interpretation.
      Together with Gauguin and Bernard, Van Gogh spent many days in Asnières, a popular spa town on the Siene, not far from Paris. There he painted the views of  Asnières  and the well-know
      _ The Seine with the Pont de la Grande Jatte in summer 1887. In Paris he frequently visited the Café de Tambourin on the Boulevard de Clichy and had a love affair with its owner Agostina Segatori, a former model of Corot and Degas. She sat for van Gogh and he painted her many times, e.g. Agostina Segatori in the Café du Tambourin. In the café,  together with Bernard, Gauguin and Toulouse-Lautrec, he exhibited his works; they also decorated the walls with Japanese colored woodcuts. They called themselves “Peintres du Petit Boulevard” (painters of small boulevard) in contrast to the “Peintres du Grand Boulevard” (Monet, Sisley,  Pissarro, Degas, Seurat), who exhibited in Theo van Gogh’s gallery. That year Vincent painted several pictures using the techniques of Pointillism, e.g.
      _   The Vase with Daisies and Anemones. During his two years in Paris van Gogh painted more than 200 pictures.
      In 1888 he left Paris and went to Arles. At first Vincent rented a room in a restaurant. The small attic was completely unsuitable for a studio and he mainly worked out of doors. He did not know anybody who could sit as his model, and so the landscapes of area around Arles with its trees, hills, bridges, huts became his main  theme. “An endlessly flat landscape – seen from a bird’s eye view from the top of the hill – vineyards, harvested corn fields. All this is multiplies to infinity and spreads like the surface of the sea to the horizon, which is bordered by the hills of Grau,” wrote Vincent van Gogh about his surroundings. He painted many pictures with blooming flowers and trees, which reminded of Japanese landscapes. On receiving the news of Mauvre’s death he dedicated a picture to his memory
      _ Peach Tree in Bloom. Soon he moved to the “yellow house”. Gradually he made friends with people, who agreed to sit for him: le zouave Milliet, a soldier, Joseph Roulin, the country postman, Madame Ginoux, an owner of a station restaurant in Arles, and others.
      In October, after Vincent’s repeated requests, Gauguin came to stay with him in Arles. Van Gogh was overjoyed. He gladly let Gauguin take the lead-role in art, placing himself in the role of a student. They worked out a lot of motifs together, compared the results and argued over artistic concepts. But their partnership could not last long, they were too different personalities, and besides, van Gogh was seriously ill. Guaguin decided to leave, but “ever since I wanted to leave Arles, he has been behaving so strangely that I hardly dare to breathe. ‘You want to leave’, he said to me and as soon as I answered in the affirmative he tore a piece, containing the following sentence, from the newspaper: ‘The murderer, has fled’,” Gauguin was later to recall in a letter. Van Gogh really appeared to be going mad. Gauguin waited with leave: “In spite of a few differences I can't be angry with a good chap who is ill and suffering and calling for me.” On the 23rd of December Gauguin went for a walk in the evening and heard steps behind, he turned and saw van Gogh, his face distorted, a razor blade in his hand. Gauguin spoke softly to Vincent, the latter turned and went away. When later Gauguin returned home, the whole of Arles was already there. Plagued with hallucination, Van Gogh cut off part of his left ear; after he managed to stop bleeding he wrapped the cut-off piece in a handkerchief, ran to the town brothel and gave the awful package to a prostitute. Then he returned home and slept. In this state police found him and took to town hospital. Gauguin immediately left. In order to quiet his bad conscience he later wrote in his autobiography that van Gogh had threatened him.
      Theo immediately came to Arles. Epilepsy, dipsomania and schizophrenia were the presumed causes of Vincent’s illness. He stayed in hospital for two weeks. Back in his studio he painted the result of the catastrophe: his
      _ Self-Portrait with Bandaged Ear. Sleeplessness and hallucinations went on. The scared citizens of Arles initiated a petition asking to take Vincent back into hospital. Looked after by a priest and a doctor, he lived in the Arles hospital both as patient and prisoner until the beginning of May 1889. In May, although he felt better, he went on his own desire into the mental hospital Saint-Paul-de-Mausole near Saint-Rémy-de-Provence. “I am ready to play the role of a madman, although I have not at all the strength for such a role”. Theo paid for two rooms for Vincent, one as a studio with a view of the garden. He was allowed to paint outdoors under the supervision of the ward attendant Poulet. In the hospital he painted mainly landscapes. On 23 January 1890 Theo’s son was born and baptized Vincent Willem after his uncle and godfather. Van Gogh dedicated the
      _ Branches of an Almond Tree in Blossom to his nephew.
      In May 1890 Vincent visited Theo and his family in Paris and then settled in Auvers-sur-Oise, near Paris. The town was chosen because Dr. Gachet, himself a hobby painter and friend of the Impressionists, was living there, he agreed to take care of Vincent.  In Auvers van Gogh painted more than 80 pictures. During these last weeks of his life it was only due to his work that he could forget about his illness, and he painted as if possessed. Among the works of the period are religious works after Delacroix,
      _ Pietà and
      _ Good Samaritan, the masterpiece
      _ The Church in Auvers, multiple landscapes and portraits.
      On the evening of 27 July 1890 van Gogh went at dusk into the fields and shot himself in the chest with a revolver. With all his strength he managed to drag himself back to the inn; here he died two days later in the arms of his brother, who had hurried to his side.  Besides Theo and Dr. Gachet some friends from Paris, amongst them Bernard and “Père” Tanguy, took part in the funeral.
      Thus ended  the singular life of an artist who defies comparison with any other.
      “I can’t change the fact that my paintings don't sell. But the time will come when people will recognize that they are worth more than the value of the paints used in the picture.” — Vincent van Gogh
— Portraits:
      _ Van Gogh by Toulouse-Lautrec —
      _ Van Gogh (1886) by John Russell
Landscape with the Cloister at Montmajour of Arles (1888)
Self Portrait (1887, 42x34cm) _ Van Gogh's piercing eyes seek out the viewer; the portrait is personal and direct. It is painted in short, firm lines using many colors; a style characteristic of Van Gogh's later work. Van Gogh painted this portrait in 1887 when he was living in Paris. He lived there for two years, during which time he became acquainted with the work of the Impressionists and modern artists such as Paul Gauguin and Toulouse-Lautrec. Of the 39-1/2 self portraits Van Gogh made, 29 were painted when he was in Paris.
     In his self portraits, Van Gogh often pictured himself in working clothes, although sometimes also in a smart suit. This self portrait shows the artist in his best attire with his grey felt hat and a tie. Van Gogh's self portraits are often seen as studies of the personal psyche, though for the painter this was certainly not the most important aspect. These are above all exercises in portraiture and experiments in new techniques. Here the artist has used several painting techniques in a single picture. The face is built up using small, precisely placed lines of paint, while his clothes are depicted using rougher, looser marks.
      Many of Van Gogh's self portraits, as those of other artists, were produced out of necessity. The painters have no money with which to hire models and acquaintances are not always willing to make themselves available. And so, to gain experience in portrait painting, the artists use themselves as models. The painters often regarded their self portraits above all as study material; they may not have made them as complete art works to be sold. In the case of Van Gogh, this is apparent from the consistently small scale of the portraits and the cheap materials he used. This self portrait, for example, has been painted on cardboard. The brown color of the cardboard can still be seen in some parts of the background.
     Van Gogh became famous with the style used in this self portrait - short lines of paint and lively colors. From the time he spent in Paris until his death, he continued to paint in this way. Previous to this he made very different work: drawings and paintings of peasant life in Nuenen, Brabant, and in the region around The Hague. Van Gogh portrayed the farmers and workers in their everyday environments. For this he used a realistic style and somber colors. See for example
      _ Peasant village in the evening (1884).
–- Self-Portrait as an Artist (1888, 65x50cm) _ Although Van Gogh painted many self-portraits, this is one of the few in which he depicted himself as an artist, with all the attendant equipment: palette, brushes, and a canvas on a wooden easel. Contrasting colors, such as the blue of the smock and the orange-red of the beard, are set right next to each other in order to strengthen their effect. The red and green strokes of the face are placed so close together that they appear as a grey shadow when seen from a distance. While most of Van Gogh’s other self-portraits are rather sketchy, this one has been finished down to the last detail. The short, dry strokes have been applied with care. Van Gogh probably worked on the painting for some time, and he was apparently quite satisfied with it: in contrast to most of his works in this genre, he has signed it prominently.
      In addition to depicting himself as a professional artist, Van Gogh also strove to reflect his somber mood in this work. In a letter to his sister Willemien, he spoke of his wrinkled forehead and red beard as “rather untidy and sad.” Evidence of depression during his last months in Paris can be found in other letters as well: “When I left Paris [I was] totally broken, very sick and virtually an alcoholic,” he wrote several months later to Gauguin. (Letter to Willemien van Gogh, 22 June 1888)
     Van Gogh painted a total of 35 self-portraits during the course of his career — of these, 29 date from Paris. He very much wanted to paint portraits in this period, but could not afford models. Using his own reflection was a natural, inexpensive and easy solution. It allowed him to experiment with various styles, techniques and effects of light and color. As he later wrote to Theo: “If I succeed in painting the colors of my own face, which is not without its own difficulties, then I should be able to paint those of other men and women.” This series of self-portraits clearly illustrates how Van Gogh’s coloration became brighter and livelier over time. There is an enormous difference between the brown tints of the earliest studies and the light, bright colors of the Self-Portrait with Straw Hat and Pipe from Arles (August 1888, 40x32cm). The development of his characteristic “dash style” can also be followed in these examples.
     Most of the Parisian self-portraits are somewhat smaller than the Self-Portrait as an Artist. They were clearly meant as studies and as experiments. This can be seen in the loose, very free manner in which many were executed, and in the use of cheap materials such as cardboard in place of linen or canvas. Van Gogh also saved money by using some of his supports twice, painting on both sides. He made a number of studies of his own face on the back of earlier still lifes, and on the reverse of The Potato Pealer (one of the oil sketches for The Potato Eaters) Another self-portrait was even painted over an older work, one Van Gogh apparently did not feel was very successful.
Self-portrait with a Straw Hat (41x32cm) [no pipe] _ Van Gogh painted at least twenty-four self-portraits in Paris between March 1886 and February 1888, including seven in which he wears a straw hat. This work, which shows the artist's awareness of Neo-Impressionist technique and color theory, is one of several that are painted on the reverse of an earlier peasant study. The Potato Peeler is on the reverse side.
The Potato Peeler (on reverse side of the above, 41x32cm) _ This painting of February–March 1885, with its restricted palette of dark tones, coarse fracture, and blocky drawing, is typical of the kind of works Van Gogh painted in Nuenen, the year before he left Holland for France. Van Gogh's peasant studies of 1885 culminated in his first important painting, The Potato Eaters. _ [This may be the same as the silhouetted Peasant Woman Seated before an Open Door, Peeling Potatoes (Nuenen: March 1885, 36x25cm) though the stated dimensions are different.]
Links to all 39-1/2 van Gogh self-portraits
Postman Joseph Roulin (81.3x65.4cm; 800x641pix, 111kb _ ZOOM to 1598x1280pix, 296kb) _ {Roulant, Roulin? Pas du tout! C'est un portrait très sérieux} _ Roulin was one of van Gogh's closest friends and favorite sitters in Arles. While painting this work, van Gogh wrote to his brother, “I am now at work with another model, a postman in blue uniform, trimmed with gold, a big bearded face, very like Socrates.” Indeed, the modest postman has all the authority of an admiral. Van Gogh, delighted, as he wrote, to depict “a whole family”, also painted several portraits of Madame Roulin, and of their children.
La Berceuse aka Lullaby: Mme. Augustine Roulin Rocking a Cradle (18, xcm; 800x627pix, 137kb _ ZOOM to 1600x1254pix, 435kb) _ There is no baby, no cradle, just a woman sitting passively, her hands on her lap, holding a cord; no clue other than the title indicates that the cord presumably is tied to a cradle off frame.
Houses at Auvers (800x658pix, 174kb _ ZOOM to 1576x1298pix, 622kb)
Ravine (629x800pix _ ZOOM to 1258x1600pix, 616kb)
Weaver (62x84cm; 597x800pix _ ZOOM to 1194x1600pix, 253kb) _ Van Gogh's feeling for the working poor is evident from his earliest works. In 1884-1885, he made at least ten oil paintings, as well as several drawings and watercolors, of the weavers in the district near his family's home in the Netherlands. His interest was aroused not only by the subject, but by the somber effect of the dark wood and gray walls, contrasting with the red cloth on the loom.
Field Being Ploughed (658x800pix, 159kb _ ZOOM to 1298x1576pix, 540kb)
–- Abris à Montmartre (1886)
–- Wheatfield with Crows
–- Premiers Pas
Twelve Sunflowers in a Vase (1888, 92x73cm; 2146x1758pix, 823kb)
–- Fourteen Sunflowers in a Vase (1888, 92x73cm; 1434x1095pix, 268kb) _ These sunflowers [15 of them, it seems] are in the light of the south of France, where Van Gogh had recently taken up residence. He painted them to decorate a room intended for Gauguin. Innovations in paint-making enabled him to use new chromium and cadmium yellows and the paint laid onto the canvas in thick strokes suggests three-dimensional flowers. Each bloom is at a different stage — some newly blossomed, some wilting and dying. Traditionally in Dutch painting this is interpreted as representing the stages of human life.
— This is one of four paintings of sunflowers dating from August and September 1888. Van Gogh intended to decorate Gauguin's room with these paintings in the so-called Yellow House that he rented in Arles in the South of France. He and Gauguin worked there together between October and December 1888. Van Gogh wrote to his brother Theo in August 1888, "I am hard at it, painting with the enthusiasm of a Marseillais eating bouillabaisse, which won't surprise you when you know that what I'm at is the painting of some sunflowers. If I carry out this idea there will be a dozen panels. So the whole thing will be a symphony in blue and yellow. I am working at it every morning from sunrise on, for the flowers fade so quickly. I am now on the fourth picture of sunflowers. This fourth one is a bunch of 14 flowers ... it gives a singular effect." The dying flowers are built up with thick brushstrokes (impasto). The impasto evokes the texture of the seed-heads. Van Gogh produced a replica of this painting in January 1889, and perhaps another one later in the year. The various versions and replicas remain much debated among Van Gogh scholars.
       _ See Gauguin's Van Gogh Painting Sunflowers (1888)
       _ Sunflowers (67x49cm; 1386x1000pix, 495kb _ image marred by an obtrusive diagonal quadrillé pattern) by Nilaus Fristrup [24 Sep 1836 – 15 Jun 1909], and the brilliant
       _ Sunflower Array 1 (screen filling, 11kb),
       _ Sunflower Array 2 (screen filling, 56kb),
       _ Array of 6 Sunflowers (1500x2364pix, 145kb), and
       _ Sunflower Array 4 (screen filling, 369kb), by the pseudonymous Victus Suvgo.
–- Starry Night
–- Still Life (27x35cm; 980x1288pix, 208kb)
–- Corridor of Saint-Paul Asylum in Saint-Remy (1889; 1059x810pix, 146kb _ .ZOOM to 1853x1418pix, 269pix)
Women Picking Olives (1890, 73x91cm) _ In December and early January 1889–90, Van Gogh painted a group of three pictures of women gathering olives. This is probably the one he sent to his sister and mother. He wrote: "I hope that the picture of the women in the orchard of olive trees will be a little to your liking — I sent a drawing of it to Gauguin, . . . and he thinks it good. . .
— /S#*>Femme Dans un Jardin (June 1887, 51x62cm; 880x1095pix, 307kb) _ This was painted one year after Van Gogh had moved to Paris. Shortly after his arrival in the French capital, Van Gogh was introduced to several of the most innovative artists working there, including Paul Signac, Georges Seurat, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, and Emile Bernard, who was the first owner of this work. Bernard became Van Gogh’s trusted confidant and worked by his side during the summer of 1887. With the encouragement and company of his brother Theo, Van Gogh frequented the many cafés and taverns where he exchanged both ideas and canvases with his new circle of friends. The city also offered Van Gogh several opportunities to view the critically acclaimed works of its artistic celebrities, the Impressionists, whose paintings were most notably featured at their eighth and final group exhibition in 1886. Van Gogh rapidly absorbed all of the disparate artistic styles and techniques pioneered by the Parisian avant-garde, and quickly formulated his own highly distinctive pictorial language. This vibrant work is a testament to the unique and imaginative style he developed during his Paris years, and the lively palette he employed is a precursor to the explosion of color that the brilliant light of the south of France would engender in his later paintings.
     Van Gogh was now extremely eager to put to use all the new things he had learned. Gradually he abandoned the dark and earthy colors he had used in his early work. In Paris his paintings not only became chromatically lighter, their mood also brightened. In this painting, Van Gogh has employed the abbreviated brushstrokes and hatched interweaving of color often demonstrated in the landscapes that Signac painted about this time. This method of painting, favored by the Post-Impressionists, was characterized by an emphatic and clearly delineated application of pigment. In the present work, as in Coin de prairie, Van Gogh used this technique to render the blades of grass and the crisp reds and yellows that speckle the canvas. The vibrant palette, which Van Gogh also used in Femme assise dans l’herbe (1887), energizes the picture, as does the presence of the figure who turns towards the viewer.
      The setting of this scene is a Parisian public garden, one of the sites Van Gogh liked to visit in the city and the surrounding area. He was often accompanied by Émile Bernard on these expeditions, during which both artists painted the same views such as Le Pont d’Asnières. Later Bernard recounted Van Gogh’s various methods for visually recording vignettes of his jaunts. Bernard has described how Vincent would set off with a large canvas on his back. When he reached the place where he was going to work, he would divide it up into compartments, one for each subject. By the evening the canvas was painted all over and looked like a miniature museum in which the events and emotions of the day were all separately recorded. There would be reaches of the Seine with boats, islands with blue swing-boats, a restaurant with colored awnings decorated with oleanders, forgotten corners of the public gardens or houses that were up for sale. Emile Bernard, who knew these places well from his own solitary walks, remarked that ‘These fragments were lifted with the end of his brush and stolen, as it were, from the fleeting hour, and one can feel their poetry because they have been painted with the soul that experienced them.
      The artist's painted reddish brown border which frames the present composition is noteworthy. Until recently, scholars had believed that the only painting from the artist’s Paris period, apart from his copies of Japanese prints, to bear this distinct bordure was La Pêche au printemps (1887). The red border of the present work was at one time folded over the side of the stretcher and concealed by the frame, but has since been reincorporated into the composition. Femme dans un jardin, one of the first paintings in Van Gogh’s œuvre to bear this highly innovative framing design, is important to understanding Van Gogh’s truly avant-garde painting style during this period. Such colored borders were designed to reinforce the color composition of the scene, but they also had the effect of emphasizing the subject. In this respect, Van Gogh was ahead of his colleagues, for at that time Seurat was not yet painting borders around his pictures.
— /S#*>La Moisson en Provence (June 1888, 51x61cm; 637x800pix, 159kb) _ This panoramic view of the landscape outside Arles looks northeast across the plain of La Crau. It expresses the artist's first impassioned response to the colors of the Provençal summer, and his remarkable command of the reed-pen as an expressive instrument of draftsmanship.
      Van Gogh made a series of paintings of the harvest in the plain of La Crau in early June 1888. In letter 496 van Gogh reports to Theo that he has completed two drawings of the harvest and is now beginning a painting. The first work was the watercolor La Moisson en Provence (Fogg Art Museum, Cambridge MA); the second was the present picture; and the oil was La Moisson (Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam). For van Gogh this oil, also known as La Charette Bleue, was the masterpiece of his Arles period. In letter 498 to Theo he wrote: "It kills everything else I have." Later in the summer the artist returned to the subject to produce two smaller pen and ink 'afterthoughts' on the same view: La Moisson en Provence (Nationalgalerie Berlin) and La Moisson en Provence (National Gallery of Art, Washington DC).
      "I wish everyone would come south like me," wrote van Gogh to his brother Theo in May (letter 495). The summer of 1888 was a remarkable phase in the artist's life. In Arles not only did he discover the power of color, but he also flowered as a draftsman, producing some of his most beautiful works on paper. "I must draw a great deal," he wrote later in the same letter, "... things here have so much line. And I want to get my drawing more spontaneous, more exaggerated."
      Much of the virtuosity of this work lies in the variety of media employed by the artist to capture the different effects of the receding landscape. The bare contours of the view and its horizon were initially delineated in pencil, broadly sketched in as a skeletal map of the plain before him. Its natural forms were then given detail and substance in ink, a process that permitted the artist to display the full range of his exceptional ability with the pen. He continued to use the thin quill for the finer lines in the distance, but one of the revelations for van Gogh upon arriving in Arles in February had been the quality of the locally grown reeds used for drawing. The variation in breadth and intensity of line that he found he could achieve enormously increased the expressiveness of his draftsmanship. Thus in the present picture the swirling foliage of the foreground contrasts with the more delicate lines of the harvest fields in the middle distance, different again from the sublime lightness of touch achieved in the rolling clouds. Van Gogh's ardent admiration for Japanese art was undoubtedly an influence here, with the difference that van Gogh was attempting with a pen nib the effects that the Japanese attained with a brush.
      The final stage in the creation of the present work came with the application of color superimposed in layers of watercolor and gouache. The vivid range of colors so distinctive of summer in Provence impressed van Gogh deeply. Soon after finishing La Moisson en Provence he wrote: "Essentially the color is exquisite here. When the green leaves are fresh, it is a rich green, the like of which we seldom see in the North. When it gets scorched and dusty, it does not lose its beauty, for then the landscape gets tones of gold of various tints, green-gold, pink-gold, and in the same way bronze-copper, in short starting from citron yellow all the way to a dull dark yellow color like a heap of threshed corn, for instance. And this combined with the blue- from the deepest royal blue of the water to the blue of the forget-me-nots, cobalt, particularly clear, bright blue - green-blue and violet-blue. Of course this calls up orange - a sunburned face gives the impression of orange. Furthermore, on account of the many yellow hues, violet gets a quick emphasis; a cane fence or a gray thatched roof or a dug-up field makes a much more violet impression than at home" (Letter W4 to his sister Wilhelmina, mid-June 1888). The decision to introduce the highly prized element of color in the present work is a measure of its importance in the artist's eyes. By definition it becomes something more than a pen and ink drawing, something closer to a painting, but in so doing it loses none of its calligraphic power.
      Van Gogh arrived in Arles from Paris on 20 February 1888 and spent the spring scouring his new surroundings for suitable views to paint. The subject of this drawing, the plain of La Crau, fascinated him from the moment he saw it. In May he discovered the abbey of Montmajour, set on a hill some three kilometers northeast of Arles. This ruined monument appealed to his imagination, and he drew it several times from various angles. It features in the present work in the upper left of the composition, seen across the plain, with the foothills known as the Alpilles drawn across the horizon behind it. In a letter of 12 June 12, van Gogh describes the composition of the present work as follows: "... fields green and yellow as far as the eye can reach ... It is exactly like Salomon Konnink - you know, the pupil of Rembrandt, who painted vast level plains" (letter 496).
      The parallels to seventeenth-century Dutch painting were both a reassurance and a stimulus to him. Not long after, he wrote again to Theo: "I have already said more than once how much the Camargue and La Crau, except for the difference in color and in the limpidity of the atmosphere, make me think of the old Holland of Ruysdael's time ... the fascination that these huge plains have for me is very strong ... I walked there with a painter, and he said, 'There is something that would be boring to paint.' Yet I went fully fifty times to Mont Majour to look at this flat landscape, and was I wrong? I went for a walk there with someone else who was not a painter, and when I said to him, 'Look, to me that is as beautiful and as infinite as the sea,' he said - and he knows the sea- 'For my part I like this better than the sea, because it is no less infinite, and yet you feel that it is inhabited' " (letter 509).
      The human content of the landscape is an important element for van Gogh. The figures engaged in the various activities of harvesting give the subject an added resonance. The harvest was a theme dear to the artist's heart, linked into his appreciation of the changing seasons and their effect on the land. Simultaneously the figures themselves act as 'pathfinders' or 'presences' in the structure of the composition, stabilizing it in the artist's mind and eye.
      The present work, although characterized by de la Faille as "the Cartoon" for the Van Gogh Museum oil, does not relate to it as the term might imply. Pickvance describes the way drawings of this period enter into "mysterious liaisons" with paintings of the same subject. He writes, "These mysterious liaisons take on several guises. The crux of the matter is the phenomenon of alternative recordings or 'takes' of a motif. Often, on discovering or deciding, after long contemplation on a motif, van Gogh would both draw and paint it" (Pickvance, op. cit., p. 234). The present work with its freshness and spontaneity, with its differences both of detail and of angle of view, thus represents an entirely separate, earlier confrontation with the motif that achieves, in Pickvance's words, a certain parity with the related painting. Moreover, Roskill argues convincingly that the present work was one of three drawings sent to Theo van Gogh in the middle of June 1888. Identified as La Moisson and mentioned in letter 498, van Gogh described it as "plus sérieuse" than the other two.
      In a letter of 17 March 2003, the Van Gogh Museum confirmed the authenticity of La Moisson en Provence and offered the following observations about the technique: "Van Gogh started this watercolor by making a sketch of the composition in pencil. He worked over the first layout with pen and brown ink. Finally, he applied opaque watercolor in at least eight different colors to this pen and ink drawing. This procedure illustrates the artist's plan mentioned in a letter to his brother Theo from the end of May 1888 - to make pen drawings like Japanese prints by coloring them with watercolor.
Landscape with the Cloister at Montmajour of Arles (1888 drawing, 48x60cm) _ A southern landscape rendered in brown ink, and accentuated here and there with black chalk. The Montmajour cloister at Arles, from which the title comes, can be seen to the left. However, the most striking element in the drawing is the central mass of rocks jutting out above the horizon. To the right, the eye wanders into the distance, over farm land with a single bush.
     Van Gogh depicted the Montmajour cloister several times in drawings as well as in watercolor and oil paint. In a letter to his brother Theo, he wrote that he had been to Montmajour and had made a few drawings. Van Gogh was enthusiastic about the place, especially the cloister garden, which was full of different trees and flowers rambling over the garden walls.

Olive Trees with Yellow Sky and Sun (1889, 74x93cm; 779x959pix, 849kb _ ZOOM to 1756x2185pix, 4314kb) _ This is one of fifteen pictures of olive trees that van Gogh made between June and December of 1889. Earlier that year he had interned himself in the asylum Saint-Paul, in the town of Saint-Rémy-de-Provence, where he would create his most profound works. The vibrant oranges and yellows suggest that the picture dates to the autumn months. Van Gogh left Saint-Rémy in May 1890, moving to Auvers, near Paris, where he continued to paint until his death by suicide in July.
Rocks with Oak Tree (Jul 1888, 54x65cm; 503x600pix, 50kb) _ Van Gogh’s impression of a windblown, craggy site just outside the village of Arles in southern France. Using a rich variety of brush strokes, the artist captures the various textures of smooth rock face, dry flowers, grassy stems, and vast sky. The elements are woven together by the forceful way van Gogh applies paint to the canvas, the style that makes his work so recognizable. Both van Gogh’s characteristic brushwork and his expressive use of color deeply affected the succeeding generation of painters.
62 images at Fine Art Screensavers
212 images at Wikimedia most of them ZOOMable
855 images at Ciudad de la Pintura
357 images at the Athenaeum
(site sometimes disappears)
A few Self-Portraits of van Gogh [click on an image to enlarge]

1887, with hatdedicated to Gauguinwith easelwith bandaged earwith pipe and bandaged earblue1889with yellow coatwith brown coat
click for both versions side-by-side
^Died on 30 March 1842: Marie Louise Élisabeth Vigée-Lebrun, French Neoclassical painter specialized in Portraits, born on 16 April 1755. Starting in 1835, she wrote Souvenirs, her autobiography [English translation]
— Her students included Marie-Guillemine Benoist [1768-1826]
— She was one of the most successful of all women artists, particularly noted for her portraits of women. Her father was Louis Vigée, a pastel portraitist and her first teacher. She studied later with a number of well-known painters, among them Jean-Baptiste Greuze and Joseph Vernet. In 1776 she married a picture dealer, J.-B.-P. Lebrun. Her great opportunity came in 1779 when she was summoned to Versailles to paint a portrait of Queen Marie-Antoinette. The two women became friends, and in subsequent years Vigée-Lebrun painted at least 25 portraits of Marie-Antoinette in a great variety of poses and costumes; a number of these may be seen in the museum at Versailles. Vigée-Lebrun became a member of the Royal Academy in 1783. On the outbreak of the Revolution in 1789, she left France and for 12 years traveled abroad, to Rome, Naples, Vienna, Berlin, St. Petersburg, and Moscow, painting portraits and playing a leading role in society. In 1801 she returned to Paris but, disliking Parisian social life under Napoleon, soon left for London, where she painted portraits of the court and of Lord Byron. Later she went to Switzerland (and painted a portrait of Mme de Staël) and then again (1810) to Paris, where she ceased painting. Vigée-Lebrun was a woman of much wit and charm, and her memoirs, Souvenirs de ma vie (1837), provide a lively account of her times as well as of her own work. She was one of the most technically fluent portraitists of her era, and her pictures are notable for the freshness, charm, and sensitivity of their presentation. During her career, according to her own account, she painted 877 pictures, including 622 portraits and about 200 landscapes.

Self-Portrait (1781, 64x53cm; 600x500pix _ ZOOM to 1400x1167pix) wearing a black hat.
Self-Portrait in a Straw Hat (after 1782, 98x70cm) _ The daughter and student of a minor Parisian painter, Louis Vigée, Madame Vigée-Lebrun was an attractive and charming woman, who specialised in the attractive and charming portrayal of women and children while remaining a competent portraitist of men. Eighteenth-century notions of graceful spontaneity may strike twentieth-century viewers as arch or sentimental; nevertheless, she pioneered a new style. Her fashionable portraits in the simplified dress called à la grecque dispense with Baroque props of columns or curtains to demonstrate 'natural' manners and feelings, anticipating the Neo-classical portraits of David.
      Madame Vigée-Lebrun fled the French Revolution in 1789, avoiding the fate of her most illustrious patron, Queen Marie-Antoinette, to become an international success in the capitals of Europe. She returned to her native city after the Restoration in 1814 and gave an account of her early life and later tribulations and triumphs in the highly readable, if unreliable, Memoirs published in 1835.
      The painter Claude Joseph Vernet, she recalls, advised her to study the Italian and Flemish masters but above all to follow nature. This picture is an autograph replica of a self portrait painted in Brussels in 1782 which wittily records her admiration of a famous Flemish masterpiece, Rubens's Portrait of Susanna Lunden, known as the 'Chapeau de Paille'. '[Its] great effect', she wrote, 'resides in the two different kinds of illumination which simple daylight and the light of the sun create...This painting...has inspired me to the point that I made my own search of the same effect.'
      The bright gleam and the general radiance of direct and reflected outdoor light as represented in Rubens's picture are indeed carefully noted, but Madame Vigée-Lebrun takes care also to record her debt to nature. She shows herself in the open against a cloud-flecked sky, and - not surprisingly since she is both sitter and painter - as almost a personification of the art of painting. For this fictitious excursion into the fields, but also to demonstrate her powers of observation, she wears a genuine chapeau de paille, unlike Rubens's sitter whose hat is actually made of beaver felt. To the dashing ostrich feather she has added a wreath of freshly picked rustic flowers. Her hair is her own, not a wig, and is left unpowdered. Where Susanna Lunden modestly crosses her arms above her waist and peers out from below her hat, Madame Vigée-Lebrun extends her unaffected friendship to the viewer. Most natural of all, however, is her charming bosom. For unlike Rubens's beauty, whose breasts are moulded by her tight corset, Madame Vigée-Lebrun lets it plainly be seen in her low décolletage that she has no need of such artifice. — another Self-Portrait (1800)
Princess Maria Josefa Hermenegilde von Esterhazy as Ariadne on Naxos (1793, 221x159 cm; 2500x1778pix, 4685kb) _ Vigée-Lebrun painted this portrait of the 25 year-old Princess Maria Josefa Hermenegilde von Esterhazy [1768–1845], a daughter of Prince Franz Josef I of Liechtenstein, while staying in Vienna in 1793. This picture marked the artist’s departure from Rococo painting. She chose matt local colors and no longer dressed her model in the dainty fashion of “goût grec” style. The Princess appears in simple Roman garb, tunic and palla, free of ornamentation. Jacques-Louis David, in his pre-revolutionary paintings Belisarius (1781) and The Oath of the Horatii (1785), had propagated images of the clothing of Roman women. David’s influence spread to Elisabeth Vigée-Lebrun and other French painters of her generation. The scene is also simple. The Princess is shown in front of a grotto with a view to the open sea. The staging of the sitter gives rise to associations with the subject of Ariadne on Naxos who awaits her beloved Theseus alone.
Princess Karoline of Liechtenstein [1768–1831], née Countess of Manderscheidt, as Iris (1793, 221 x 159 cm; 2500x1777pix, 4575kb) _ This painting is the companion piece of the portrait of Princess Esterhazy. It shows Princess Karoline of Liechtenstein, née Countess Manderscheidt, the wife of Prince Alois I and the sister-in-law of Maria Josefa Hermenegilde. Both women were of the same age. In her memoirs Vigée-Lebrun writes that the princess’s delicate features inspired her to portray the sitter as the heavenly messenger Iris floating above the clouds. Both pictures were exhibited together in the Galerie Liechtenstein. However, the representation of the princess’s naked feet proved controversial. Her husband solved the problem by placing a pair of the finest sandals beneath the picture as if they had fallen from the goddess in her heavenly ascent and landed in the reality of the gallery floor.
Flora or Hebe (600x484pix _ ZOOM to 1400x1129pix)
Étienne Vigée the artist's brother (1773; 600x440pix _ ZOOM to 1400x1027pix)
Charles-Alexandre de Calonne (1784; 600x528pix _ ZOOM to 1400x1232pix)
Bacchante (1785; oval 600x460pix _ ZOOM to 1400x1073pix)
Marie-Antoinette et ses Enfants (1787; 600x448pix _ ZOOM to 1400x1045pix)
La Marquise de Pezay et la Marquise de Rougé avec ses Fils (1787; 600x748pix _ ZOOM to 1400x1745pix)
Hubert Robert (1788; 600x448pix _ ZOOM to 1400x1045pix)
La Duchesse d'Orléans (1789; 600x444pix _ ZOOM to 1400x1036pix)
La Comtesse Bucquoi (1793; 600x428pix _ ZOOM to 1400x999pix)
Stanislas Auguste II, roi de Pologne (1797; oval 600x464pix _ ZOOM to 1400x1083pix)
La Comtesse Galovine (1798; 600x456pix _ ZOOM to 1400x1064pix)
Louise, reine de Prusse (1801; 600x448pix _ ZOOM to 1400x1045pix)
Giuseppina Grassini dans le rôle de Zaïre (1804; 600x432pix _ ZOOM to 1400x1008pix)
Mme de Staël en Corinne (1808; 600x524pix _ ZOOM to 1400x1223pix)
Prince Henry Lubomirski, amour de la gloire (1789, 105x83cm; 600x464pix _ ZOOM to 1161x1088pix, 65kb) _ Lubomirski is shown as “Genius of Fame”: a long-haired boy, with wings, down on one knee, holding a crown of laurel.
Prince Henry Lubomirski, Allegory of the Genius of Alexander I (1814, 110x85cm) _ same winged long-haired boy, facing the other way, holding a shield.
Prince Henry Lubomirski as Amphion playing the Lyre, admired by three Naiads (Mlles Guichet, Polignac, and Julie Le Brun) (1795) _ The principal sitter is Heinrich Fürst Lubomirski [15 Sep 1777 – 20 Oct 1850]. Julie Le Brun [1780 – 1819], daughter of the artist, was the subject of 13 of her portraits, from Self portrait with daughter Julie (1786, 105x84cm) to Julie LeBrun as Flora (1799, the goddess of flowers, beloved of Zephyrus, the wind) and Sainte Geneviève (1821, Julie at age 12); one of the best being Julie Lebrun (1791).
La Reine Marie-Antoinette
Madame Perregaux (1789, 100x79cm) _ Madame Perregaux was the wife of a Parisian banker whose clients included the artist. Vigée-Lebrun, ravished by the charm of her own appearance, and hardly able to paint a male sitter, continued the 18th century's cult of women. In Vigée-Lebrun we have the last view of eighteen-century woman - who had begun as a goddess, became a courtesan, and now ended all heart - before Napoleon and War banished her from the center of events.
Woman's Head (1780, 48x41cm) _ This picture, showing the head of an attractive woman, recalls the Rococo. In pastel - a popular medium in the 18th century - the artist modeled the laurel-wreath head of an allegorical figure of peace over a preparatory drawing in black chalk. The work was intended as a study for a painting (La paix ramenant l'Abondance). While the theme and technique are conventional, the flattened composition and the idealized beauty of the head with its cool lustrous and porcelain-like skin tones correspond to Classicist ideas.
The Vigée-Lebrun supersite.

Died on a 30 March:

2001 José Luis Verdes [1933–], Madrid Spanish painter, student of Manuel Gutiérrez from 1953 to 1959.
— (untitled?) (570x386pix, 110kb) two-colored etching (no green).—(090330)

1993 Richard Clifford Diebenkorn, US painter born (full coverage) on 22 April 1922. —(060222)

^ 1894 Anton Winterlin (or Winterle), Swiss painter born (main coverage) on 15 June 1805. —(080613)

1879 Thomas Couture, French painter born (full coverage) on 21 December 1815. —(061219)

Born on a 30 March:

^ 1886 Edmund Blampied, English painter who died on 26 August 1966. He was born at Ville Bree, St Martin, Jersey, five days after the death of his father. Most of his childhood was spent at Augres, Trinity, where he attended Trinity Parochial School. His artistic talent was ignored at school and he always maintained that his true artistic education came from his intimate knowledge and observation of the countryside and its people in the last decade of the nineteenth century.
     It was as a result of a visit in 1899 to the studio of John St. Helier Lander that Blampied decided that he wanted to make a career as an artist. He left school at the age of fourteen and was apprenticed to the Town Architect, working at St Helier Town Hall.
     Recognizing his talent the Connetable, Philippe Baudains, suggested that he take drawing lessons and in 1902, he was offered free tuition at Miss Klintz's art school in St Saviour's Road. On seeing Blampied political cartoons in support of Baudain's election campaign, a prominent townsman offered him financial help to allow him to study art in London.
     In January 1903 Blampied enrolled as a student at the Lambeth School of Art. The following year he was among the prizewinners in the Gilbert Garret Competition whose entries where reproduced in The Studio and Art Quarterly. In January 1905 he joined the Daily Chronicle as an artist. At the same time he was awarded a scholarship to Bolt Court School of Photo-engraving and Lithography. He had left the chronicle and was installed in his own studio illustrating novels and short stories in 1912 when he began studying etching at Bolt Court. The following year he took up dry-point.
     On 05 August 1914 Edmund Blampied married Marianne Van Abbe whose brother, Soloman, had been one of his colleagues on the Daily Chronicle. The Blampieds remained in London where he worked as an artist for The Sphere and continued illustrating novels until 1916. Returning to Jersey in the autumn of that year, he enlisted in the Royal Jersey Militia which was reformed as the Royal Garrison Battalion. Having left his etching tools in London, Blampied produced dry-points using a sharpened six-inch nail.
     Following the armistice he returned to London and embarked on what was to be his most successful decade as an etcher. In 1920 he became a fellow of the Royal Society of Painter-Etchers and Engravers; his exhibition in October of that year was a success and the critic, Malcolm Salaman, described him as ' instinctive etcher with something of his own to say and an authoritative way of saying it'. Despite this success, Blampied was still financially dependent upon his book illustrations.
     At what seemed the pinnacle of his career, the Blampieds sold up and left the England of the General Strike (03 May 1926 to 12 May 1926) to travel in Tunisia, France and Belgium. When he returned to London where he concentrated on painting in oils and watercolors. In 1931 he was prevailed upon to reveal the humorous side of his work with his Nonsense Show which was an immediate success. In 1934 a folio of his comic drawings was published in New York as 'Hot Dogs'. in 1936 a further collection of humorous drawings was published in London under the title Bottle Trout and Polo.
     Against the advice of his friends, Blampied moved back to his native island in the autumn of 1938 and set up home on the Bulwarks, St. Aubin. With the fall of France in the late spring of 1940 the Blampieds rejected the idea of evacuation and elected to stay in the island during the Occupation. They moved from the harbor front of St. Aubin to a house on Route Orange in St. Brelade. When artists' supplies became impossible to obtain he continued to paint using a variety of materials; from this period there are many dry-points he made for friends with a needle on a cigarette case or tobacco tin. In December 1941 he made the designs for small denomination currency notes, such as
Two Shillings (each side 21x33cm; together in one image 501x400pix, 106kb), and in 1942 a set of postage stamps for the States of Jersey.
     After the 1944 Liberation Blampied continued living, working and exhibiting in the island. In 1964 a retrospective exhibition of his work was held by the Societe Jersiaise, of which he was an active member, at the Jersey Museum. On the advice of his doctor Blampied gave up working during the 1965-1966 winter because of illness. He never fully recovered and died on 26 August 1966 with an unfinished painting still on the easel. — LINKS
Self portrait (1955, 33x48cm; 215x313pix, 34kb) monochrome
Color Poem (1928, 20x25cm; 788x961pix, kb) _ This rather pale abstract picture has been enhanced and metamorphosed by the pseudonymous Mando Nouarpied y Laveledonc into the symmetrical
       _ Calor Por M aka Nape Pan (2006; screen filling;; 172kb _ ZOOM to 1318x1864pix, 548kb),
       _ Collar Poor Emmy aka Pane Nap (2006; screen filling;; 168kb _ ZOOM to 1318x1864pix, 531kb),
       _ Cou Leur Peau Aime aka Top Spot (2006; screen filling;; 168kb _ ZOOM to 1318x1864pix, 531kb),
       _ Couleur Pomme aka Pot Stop (2006; screen filling;; 168kb _ ZOOM to 1318x1864pix, 531kb), and
       _ Cool or Pour aka Pots Top (2006; screen filling;; 168kb _ ZOOM to 1318x1864pix, 531kb). Having discovered, in Blampied's picture, what looks like a face, Nouarpied has given slight enhancements to that detail and named it
       _ Coleric Poet King (452x350pix, 11kb _ ZOOM to 904x701pix, 35kb) —(060313)

1868 Koloman Moser, Austrian painter who died (full coverage) on 18 October 1918. —(050917)

1866 Peter Philippi, German artist who died in 1958.

1833 Charles Victor Thirion, French artist who died on 27 April 1878. — {Quand il se trouvait en difficulté, ses amis disaient-ils: “Il faut que nous tirions Thirion de ses ennuis.”?}

1828 François-Louis-David Bocion, Lausanne Swiss painter who died on 13 December 1890. He studied drawing in Vevey and Lausanne before going to Paris in 1845 to study under his compatriots Louis Grosclaude [1784–1869] and Charles Gleyre. An attack of typhoid fever forced him to return to Lausanne, where he became professor of drawing at the Ecole Industrielle, a post he held for 41 years. Bocion’s earliest artistic efforts were illustrations and caricatures for local satirical journals, as well as history paintings. When he first went to Italy, in 1852, he admired the landscape more than works of Classical art; he developed a particular interest in Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot’s paintings. His first important landscapes date from the late 1850s and reveal a remarkable insight into the atmospheric effects of the region around Lake Geneva, a subject Bocion explored in endless variations, notably in Stormy Evening at Ouchy.

1746 Francisco José de Goya y Lucientes, Spanish painter who died (full coverage) on 16 April 1828. —(060329)

1681 Peeter Snyers “le Saint”, Flemish artist who died on 04 May 1752.

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updated Monday 30-Mar-2009 17:49 UT
Principal updates:
v.8.20 Monday 24-Mar-2008 3:35 UT
v.7.20 Thursday 29-Mar-2007 20:49 UT
v.6.30 Saturday 01-Apr-2006 18:48 UT
Saturday 11-Jun-2005 17:34 UT
Friday 16-Apr-2004 3:08 UT

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