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ART “4” “2”-DAY  17 May v.10.40
DEATHS: 1656 HALS — 1622 SPADA — 1695 DE HEEM — 1510 “BOTTICELLI”
^ Died on 17 May 1656: Dirk Hals, Dutch painter born on 19 March 1591, brother of Frans Hals. Dirk Hals studied under Abraham Bloemaert.
— Dirk Hals was born and died in Haarlem. He was the younger brother of Frans Hals; who was probably also his first teacher. But the painters who influenced Dirck were Esaias van de Velde and Willem Buytewech. Apart from a few small portraits, he devoted himself exclusively to the painting of conversation pieces — the cheerful life of prosperous burghers in their houses, gardens, or public places. Dirck was not interested in the serious side of life; in his work he depicted people in conversation or while flirting, making music and dancing, eating and drinking. His interiors are hardly worked out, all the emphasis is put on fashionable dress and colorful representation. He succeeded in rendering people’s high spirits through facial expression, costly dress, posture and loose grouping.

The Merry Company (42x77cm)
— another Merry Company (53x75cm; 574x800pix, 83kb _ ZOOM to 1451x2024pix, 298kb)
— yet another Merry Company (45x67cm) _ Dirk Hals was apprenticed to his older brother Frans. Yet while Frans Hals specialized in portraiture, Dirk Hals concentrated primarily on genre paintings and conversation pieces in the manner of Esasias van de Velde and Willem Pieterszoon Buytewech. From the 1620s onwards, he frequently had the figures in his paintings added by his own specialist, Dirck van Deelen. He preferred a courtly setting and noble society, whereas his several versions of the Merry Company follows in the tradition of the brothel painting and the tale of the prodigal son. The bed on the left in the background, and the body language of the couples leave us in little doubt as to the situation. At the same time, however, this is also a “five senses” scene: not only is the sense of touch satisfied, but there is also music and singing, smoking and drinking, while the eyes feast on an empty jug or a bodice. The interior also gives us an idea of how paintings were displayed in Holland at the time. They have been hung on a shabby wall without any evident system: a landscape, a marine painting, a portrait. It is clear that paintings had by now become objects to be taken for granted. Some might be cheaper or more expensive, better or worse painted than others, but they were no longer laden with iconographic significance.
A Party at Table (1626, 28x39cm) _ This type of elegant interior with a group of well-dressed people enjoying themselves around a table is known as a "merry company". Such examples derive from representations of biblical subjects, for example, The Prodigal Son Feasting, and were often engraved with moralizing verses which condemned foolish behavior. In the left background is a map; on the wall to the right is a painting representing The Betrayal of Christ.
Seated Man Smoking a Pipe
La Fête Champêtre (1627, 78x137cm; 770x1359pix, 181kb _ ZOOM) _ A party is taking place in idyllic parkland near a villa. The guests are wearing festive clothes and having a merry time eating, drinking, making music and flirting. Dirck Hals portrayed the various figures in great detail. He borrowed two of them — a woman and a dog — from Willem Buytewech. This outdoor party scene is not based on reality, but recalls the garden of love, a popular late medieval theme.
Garden Party (1620) _ In the background a fountain with Bacchus can be seen. Dirck Hals often used this theme. Subjects and setting varied, but the message remained the same: warning against lightheartedness and an encouragement of modesty.
Amusing Party in the Open Air (1621, 34x61cm; 533x985pix, 101kb_ ZOOM to 1149x2048pix, 199kb) _ detail (869x595pix, 121kb) _ Dirck Hals was one of the two brothers of Frans Hals, the first great Dutch painter of the 17th century. He painted mostly charming interior scenes. This rather theatrical scene represents the easy-flowing and sparkling style of Dirck Hals. Dirck Hals tried to emulate the fresh and casual style of his brother Frans, particularly in his spectacular way of painting, splendid clothes made of expensive fabrics. The colors are almost too vivid, like the early genre paintings. In this picture the festive party, seen against a background of columns and draperies on the left, seems to be momentarily frozen into a tableau in which the participants pose to welcome a new arrival — the spectator.
Musicale (1623, 43x47cm)
Seated Woman with a Letter (1633)
— Merry Party in a Tavern (1628, 28x36cm)
— Banquet Scene in a Renaissance Hall (1628)
^ Born on 17 May 1861: Maxime-Émile-Camille-Louis Maufra, French Impressionist landscape and marine painter and printmaker who died on 23 May 1918. — {Comment est-il mort? Il a fait maufrage?}
— Maufra began painting at the age of eighteen under the guidance of local painters in Nantes such as the brothers Charles Leduc [1831–] and Alfred Leduc [1850–1913] and the landscape painter Charles Le Roux [1841–1895]. He went to Liverpool to train for a commercial career. While in Great Britain he admired paintings by the Old Masters and by Gainsborough [1727-1788], Constable, and Turner. He returned to France at the end of 1883. From 1884to 1890 he continued in commerce at Nantes, painting in his spare time. He became acquainted with Impressionism and was encouraged by the Nantes painter Le Roux and the sculptor Le Bourg.
      He exhibited for the first time in 1886 at Nantes and, with two landscapes, in the Paris Salon with critical approval. He gave up commerce in 1890 and traveled in Brittany, where at Pont-Aven he met Gauguin and Sérusier [1864-1927] in 1890. The work of these artists overshadowed the influence he had undergone from such painters as Pissarro and Sisley. By 1890 Maufra was greatly affected by synthetism, the style invented by Émile Bernard [1868-1941] and developed by Gauguin, that translates forms into flat colored planes arranged in a decorative pattern. This style is most apparent in Maufra's etchings, lithographs, and drawings.
      Maufra settled in Paris in 1892 at the Bateau-Lavoir but returned to Brittany each year, in particular to the Quiberon region, where he did much of his painting. But he also painted at various points on the Normandy coast and in and near Paris. In 1894 Le Barc de Boutteville mounted an exhibition of his work which revealed his individual talents to a wider public. Maufra subsequently exhibited with Durand-Ruel, to whom he remained under contract for the rest of his life. Maufra's art was enriched by his travels in the the Highlands of Scotland (1895-1896), Dauphiné (1904), the Midi (1912), Algeria (1913), Savoy (1914), and occasionally in Touraine.

The Leguenay Bridge, Bruges (1894)
Near the Mill (1897)
The Port of Sauzon, Belle Isle en Mer (1905)
Rentrant au Port à Douarnenez aka Finistère (1906)
Saint Jean du Dougt (1906)
Le Quai de Lagny inondé (46x55cm)
75 images at the Athenaeum
^ Died on 17 May 1622: Leonello Spada, Italian painter and draftsman born in 1576 in Bologna.
— He began his career as an apprentice in the studio of the decorative painter Cesare Baglioni [–<1625]. By the early years of the 17th century Spada was active, together with Girolamo Curti, as a member of a team specializing in ornamental friezes and quadratura painting, of which he painted many in Bolognese churches and palaces, but virtually all are lost. In 1604 he went to Loreto, where he made an unsuccessful bid for the commission to decorate the new sacristy of the basilica of Santa Maria. By then he had already gravitated to the Carracci Academy, having contributed to the decorations for the funeral of Agostino Carracci in 1603. His earliest surviving major painting, the altarpiece of the Virgin and Saints Dominic and Francis Interceding with Christ (1604), shows that he had modeled his style entirely on that of Ludovico Carracci. He frequently collaborated with other students of Ludovico, especially Francesco Brizio. Spada’s figurative style gradually became more robust, although still closely dependent on Ludovico, as shown by the Miraculous Draught of Fishes (1607)
— Leonello or Lionello Spada was trained as a quadraturist in the workshop of Cesare Baglione. He was the companion, and, according to contemporaries, the assistant of Caravaggio, and he underwent his influence. He continued his development alongside of Dentone and Brizio, while at the same time gravitating increasingly towards the Carracci Academy. There he fell under the influence of Ludovico Carracci, whose stylistic tendencies remained a constant in all of Spada's subsequent production.

Aeneas and Anchises (1615,168x122cm; 700x506pix, 164kb) _ In Greek legend, Anchises was a member of the junior branch of the royal family of Troy; he was king of Dardanus on Mount Ida. There the goddess Aphrodite met him and, enamored of his beauty, bore him Aeneas. For revealing the name of the child's mother, Anchises was struck blind by lightning. In later legend and in Virgil's Aeneid, he was conveyed out of Troy on the shoulders of his son Aeneas (as shown in the painting), whose descendants founded Rome, and he died in Sicily.
The Concert (1615, 143x172cm; 832x1030pix, 119kb) _ The Musicians (1596, 92x118cm, 912x1188pix, 182kb) was the most frequently imitated musical painting of Caravaggio. Whereas the concert paintings by Caravaggio's earliest followers, those done during the first two decades of the 17th century such as this one, adhere closely to the original and generally depict a chamber concert with musical scores, paintings in later decades, especially by foreign artists, present scenes which are substantially different.
   _ See
   _ Musical Group on a Balcony (1622; 1050x737pix, 126kb) and Concert on a Balcony (1624, 168x178cm, 870x975pix, 103kb) by van Honthorst
  _ The Concert (1626, 102x83cm; 803x641pix, 57kb) and The Concert (1629, 90x127cm; 798x906pix, 90kb) by Terbrugghen
  _ Concert (1635, 110x147cm; 750x979pix, 102kb) by Preti
  _ Concert (1652, 76x65cm; 575x493pix, 121kb) by van Loo
  _ The Concert (1666, 73x65cm; 977x868pix, 112kb) by Vermeer
  _ The Concert (1675, 1040x800pix, 124kb) and A Concert (1675, 58x47cm; 880x703pix, 64kb) by Terboch [1617-1681]
Saint Jerome (1618, 112x143cm; 802x1030pix, 128kb) _ Stylistically, this painting differs significantly from the rest of the accepted production of Spada. A close connection is evident to the works of Ribera [1591-1652], to whom this painting was attributed until 1997. This would suggest that Spada encountered the Spanish artist in Rome; however Ribera's documented presence in Rome from only 1613 onward does not match the proposed chronology of Spada's voyage there in 1608-1609. This discrepancy opens new questions about the chronology of Spada and the reconstruction of his career. _ See these few of the 44 versions by Ribera: Saint Jerome Hears the Trumpet (1626; 741x523pix, 22kb) _ Saint Jerome and the Angel of Judgment (1626; 704x430pix, 20kb) _ Saint Jerome (1637, 128x102cm; 1015x801pix, 81kb) _ Saint Jerome (1640; 380x292pix, 10kb) _ Links to paintings of Saint Jerome by 30 artists _ More about Saint Jerome [341 – 30 Sep 420] _ Biblia Sacra _ Sancti Hieronymi Epistvlae
^ Died on 17 May 1695: Cornelis de Heem, Dutch painter, specialized in Still Life, born on 08 April 1631, son of Jan Davidszoon de Heem, brother of Jan Janszoon de Heem [bap. 02 Jul 1650 – 1695].
— His father was Jan Davidszoon de Heem [1606-1684], one of the greatest Baroque painters of still life in Holland whose most numerous and characteristic works are arrangements of fruits, metal dishes, and wine glasses; compositions of books and musical instruments; and examples of the popular "vanity of life" theme, with such symbolic articles as skulls and hourglasses. Cornelis de Heem, was not quite the equal of his father Jan, yet worthy of note. Jan's younger brother, David Davidszoon de Heem, and Jan's eldest son, David Janszoon de Heem, were also well-known painters.

Still-Life with Fruits (600x849pix _ ZOOM to 1400x1982pix, 458kb)
Still-Life with Flowers and Fruit (56x74cm) _ detail _ This still-life displays a masterly technical ability placed in the service of a poetic and melancholy reflection on nature.
Still-Life with Flowers (1660) _ The success of Jan Davidszoon de Heem's flower pieces won him many students and imitators both in Flanders and in the northern Netherlands, and occasionally it is difficult to separate his hand from works done by his followers. His son Cornelis de Heem can come dangerously close to his father, as in this picture.
Vanitas Still-Life with Musical Instruments (after 1661, 153x166cm) _ The artist belonged to the second generation of the famous dinasty of still-life painters. He spent his youth in Leiden and as demonstrated by this work, he established close connection with the Leiden school of painting. This splendid painting invokes the memory of the golden age of Dutch still-life painting. The sumptuousness of the instruments is especially fascinating. Most prominent among them is the six-stringed, inlaid viola da gamba leaning against the chair, with a lion's head for decoration and an "S" shaped sound hole (more characteristic of violin). Next to it on the ground are two types of lutes, a trumpet, a flute and a mandolin; in a chair on the left, a violin, a bagpipe and a small pocket violin. On the table, richly laid with fruits and golden objects, are the traditional symbols of Vanitas. To illustrate the transitoriness of pleasures gained from wealth, plentitude and eating and drinking, there is an up-ended wine jug from which its content have spilled onto the ground, symbolizing that earthly pleasure is short-lived and man will return to dust. In this context the instruments are symbols of physical love. Next to them the painter depicted a snail on the ground. It was generally believed that this animal was born of mud, thus it became the symbol of sin. In contrast, the ivy crawling up the wall in the background promises immortality. The peach, melon and fig, since they are cut open and their seeds are revealed, symbolize reviviscence and resurrection. This image make the message of the painting less somber, although its warning intent is unmistakably recognizable.
Stilleven met bloemen en planten (56x74cm) _ Het werk van Cornelis de Heem, zoon en leerling van de beroemde Hollandse stillevenschilder Jan Davidszoon de Heem [1606-1684] is, evenals het werk van zijn vader, meer verwant met de Vlaamse barok. Vader en zoon leefden en werkten te Antwerpen. Het Stilleven met bloemen en vruchten van Cornelis de Heem is van uitzonderlijk hoge kwaliteit en behoort tot de topstukken uit de collectie 17de eeuwse meesters. De toeschouwer wordt in de eerste plaats getroffen door de tastbare schoonheid en verbluffende realiteitsweergave van elk detail in een evenwichtige en tegelijk weelderige compositie. Een dergelijk werk had echter voor de 17de-eeuwse kunstminnaar en verzamelaar een religieuze en moraliserende betekenis, die ons duidelijk wordt uit de emblematische literatuur en uit opschriften bij een aantal stillevens. Korenaren, druiventros en een roemer wijn zijn reeds in de miniatuurkunst bekend als symbolen van het offer van Christus en van de eucharistie. De sinaasappel vervangt hier de gewone appel als symbool van de erfzonde. Dikwijls worden in bloemstukken ook kleine dieren en insekten geschilderd, "de minst geachte schepselen, waarin de wonderen der natuyr aldermeest ende by uytnementheyt ghevonden worden" (Johannes Goedaert [1617-1668]). Maar ook deze diertjes hebben een diepere betekenis. Slakken zijn symbolen van standvastigheid maar ook van luiheid en zonde, terwijl de spin het kwaad symboliseert. De bloemen tussen de vruchten zijn bijna alle zogenaamde Mariabloemen. Een 'pronkstilleven' als dat van Cornelis de Heem is bijgevolg niet bedoeld als louter verheerlijking van het aardse. De symboliek van vergankelijkheid en ijdelheid is echter versluierd, en de traditionele vanitassymbolen zoals de doodskop, zandloper of zeepbel zijn hier niet aanwezig.
Flower Still-Life (53x43cm)
^ Died on 17 May 1510: Alessandro di Mariano Filipepi “Sandro Botticelli”, Italian Early Renaissance painter born on 01 March 1445. — {He was more fun than a little barrel of monkeys?}
—      Sandro Botticelli, born Alessandro di Mariano Filipepi, is considered one of the leading painters of the Florentine Renaissance. He developed a highly personal style characterized by elegant execution, a sense of melancholy, and a strong emphasis on line; details appear as sumptuous still lifes.
      Botticelli was born in Florence, the son of a tanner. His nickname was derived from Botticello (“little barrel”), either the nickname of his elder brother or the name of the goldsmith to whom Sandro was first apprenticed. Later he served an apprenticeship with the painter Fra Filippo Lippi. He worked with the painter and engraver Antonio del Pollaiuolo, from whom he gained his sense of line; he was also influenced by Andrea del Verrocchio.
      Botticelli had his own workshop by 1470. He spent almost all of his life working for the great families of Florence, especially the Medici family, for whom he painted portraits, most notably the Giuliano de' Medici (1476). Adoration of the Magi (1477) was painted on commission (though not for the Medicis), and contains likenesses of the Medici family as well as a likeness of himself. As part of the brilliant intellectual and artistic circle at the court of Lorenzo de' Medici, Botticelli was influenced by its Christian Neoplatonism, which tried to reconcile classical and Christian views. This synthesis may be the theme of two larger panels commissioned for Medici villas, Primavera (1478?) and Birth of Venus (after 1482). While scholars have not yet conclusively deciphered these paintings, their slender elegant figures, which form abstract linear patterns bathed in soft golden light, may depict Venus as a symbol of both pagan and Christian love.
      Botticelli also painted religious subjects, especially panels of the Madonna, such as the Madonna of the Magnificat (1485), Madonna of the Pomegranate (1486), and Coronation of the Virgin (1490), and Madonna and Child with Two Saints (1485). Other religious works include Saint Sebastian (1474) and a fresco, Saint Augustine (1480). In 1481 Botticelli was one of several artists chosen to go to Rome to decorate the walls of the Sistine Chapel in the Vatican. There he executed The Youth of Moses, the Punishment of the Sons of Corah, and the Temptation of Christ.
      In the 1490s, when the Medici were expelled from Florence and the fanatic Dominican monk Girolamo Savonarola preached austerity and reform, Botticelli experienced a religious crisis. His subsequent works, such as the Pietà (early 1492) and especially the Mystic Nativity (1495) and Mystic Crucifixion (1496), reflect an intense religious devotion.
     Botticelli's studio assistants included Jacopo del Sellaio.
—      Alessandro Botticelli was born in Florence, the fourth son of Mariano di Vanni Filipepi, a tanner. Alessandro's nickname was derived from the one given to his eldest brother Giovanni, who, because of his corpulence, was called “Il Botticello” (little barrel). It is believed that Botticelli was apprenticed as a goldsmith before being sent, probably in the beginning of the 1460s, to Fra Filippo Lippi in order to study painting.
      Since 1470, Botticelli ran his own workshop in Florence and, in 1472, he became a member of the St. Luke's Guild. His early woks were mostly small religious pieces. In 1470, he was commissioned to paint Fortitude (1470) for the Florentine Tribunate di Mercatanzia. In 1474, his first monumental work St. Sebastian (1474) was mounted on a pillar in the Florentine church of Santa Maria Maggiore. He painted Adoration of the Magi (1475), on which he depicted members of Medici clan, the ruling family of the Florence, also his Portrait of Giuliano de' Medici (1477) was well known. He had a lasting fame as a painter of Madonnas. Among his best are Madonna and Child with Eight Angels (Tondo Raczynski) (1478), Madonna del Libro (1480), Madonna of the Magnificat (1481), Madonna of the Pomegranate (1487), Madonna del Padiglione (1493).
     In 1480, Botticelli was commissioned to paint the fresco St. Augustine (1480) for the Ognissanti church. At that period he also created another fresco, which did not survived. In 1481, Botticelli was commissioned along with Domenico Ghirlandaio, Cosimo Rosseli and Pierro Perugino by Pope Sixtus IV to decorate his cappella magna, which was later named the Sistine Chapel after him, with frescos. He created The Temptation of Christ (1482), Scenes from the Life of Moses (1482) and The Punishment of Korah (1482).
     In the next years he painted The Story of Nastagio degli Onesti (1483), a series of 4 frescos based on the novella in Boccaccio's Decameron for the decoration of the Pucci villa, and his most famous mythologic works Primavera (1482) and The Birth of Venus (1485). He created several great altarpieces for Florentine churches, such as Virgin and Child Enthroned between Saint John the Baptist and Saint John the Evangelist (Bardi altarpiece) (1484), Virgin and Child with Four Angels and Six Saints (San Barnabas altarpiece) (1487), Coronation of the Virgin with the Saints John the Evangelist, Augustine, Jerome and Eligius. (San Marco altarpiece) (1492).
     In the 1490s, Botticelli became influenced by the Dominican monk Girolamo Savonarola, in whose sermons and writings he conjured up visions of the Apocalypse at the imminent turn of the century and warned people to repent and embrace asceticism. Botticelli's style became more severe and strict. In the late 1480s, the artist made illustrations for Dante's Divine Comedy. Among his last known works are Calumny of Apelles (1495), The Story of Virginia (1504), The Story of Lucretia (1504), Mystic Nativity (1500) and St. Zenobius panels (1505). The last years of Botticelli's life are unknown. He died in Florence.

–- Birth of Venus (1485, 172x278cm) _ detail _ This was probably painted on behalf of Lorenzo di Pierfrancesco de' Medici or otherwise commissioned to be presented to him. In his villa at Castello, near Florence, the painting is documented at the half of the 16th century, as well as two other masterworks by Botticelli, the Primavera and Pallas and the Centaur. The scene represents Venus, born of the sea, being sped by Zephir towards land, where an Hour is ready to cover her with a beautiful cloak. This mythological subject was very important in Renaissance literature and philosophy, so the scene can hint different allegorical means. The canvas certainly reflects the presence of Botticelli among the Florentine humanistic circle and his study on classical sculpture, since this celebrated Venus recalls many ancient statues of the goddess.
— Lorenzo di Pierfrancesco de' Medici, the patron who commissioned this painting for his country villa, was a member of the rich and powerful family of the Medici. Either he himself, or one of his learned friends, probably explained to the painter what was known of the way the ancients had represented Venus rising from the sea. To these scholars the story of her birth was the symbol of mystery through which the divine message of beauty came into the world. One can imagine that the painter set to work reverently to represent this myth in a worthy manner. The action of the picture is quickly understood. Venus has emerged from the sea on a shell which is driven to the shore by flying wind-gods amidst a shower of roses. As she is about to step on to the land, one of the Hours or Nymphs receives her with a purple cloak. Botticelli's Venus is so beautiful that we do not notice the unnatural length of her neck, the steep fall of her shoulders and the queer way her left arm is hinged to the body. Or, rather, we should say that these liberties which Botticelli took with nature in order to achieve a graceful outline add to the beauty and harmony of the design because they enhance the impression of an infinitely gender and delicate being, wafted to our shores as a gift from Heaven.
–- Primavera
–- Venus and Mars
–- Pallas and the Centaur
–- Calumny of Apelles _ detail: Truth and Remorse
–- Discovery of the Body of Holofernes (1472, 31x25cm) _ The picture was probably created in pendant with The Return of Judith; both of them are documented at the end of 16th century in medicean collections, where entered as a gift received by Bianca Cappello, the second wife of Grand Duke Francesco I. In Renaissance art the biblical story of Judith, the heroine who killed Holophernes oppressor of her people, was frequently selected to symbolize liberty and victory on tyranny.
–- Return of Judith to Bethulia (1472, 31x24cm) _ The picture was probably created in pendant with The Discovery of the Murder of Holophernes; both of them are documented at the end of 16th century in Medicean collections, where entered as a gift received by Bianca Cappello, the second wife of Grand Duke Francesco I. The two panel paintings, which are both painted as finely as miniatures, would presumably have been extremely valuable pieces of art that would have been carefully stored away and occasionally brought out and put on view. In Renaissance art the biblical story of Judith, the heroine who killed Holophernes oppressor of her people, was frequently selected to symbolize liberty and victory on tyranny.
–- Mystic Nativity (1501, 108x75cm) _ There is no documentary evidence to prove whether or not Botticelli was one of Savonarola's follower. But certain themes in his later works - like the Mystic Nativity - are certainly derived from the sermons of Savonarola, which means that the artist was definitely attracted by that personality so central to the cultural and political events of Florence during the last years of the fifteenth century.
      It has been suggested that this picture, the only surviving work signed by Botticelli, was painted for his own private devotions, or for someone close to him. It is certainly unconventional, and does not simply represent the traditional events of the birth of Jesus and the adoration of the shepherds and the Magi or Wise Men. Rather it is a vision of these events inspired by the prophecies in the Revelation of Saint John. Botticelli has underlined the non-realism of the picture by including Latin and Greek texts, and by adopting the conventions of medieval art, such as discrepancies in scale, for symbolic ends. The Virgin Mary, adoring a gigantic infant Jesus, is so large that were she to stand she could not fit under the thatch roof of the stable. They are, of course, the holiest and the most important persons in the painting. The angels carry olive branches, which two of them have presented to the men they embrace in the foreground. These men, as well as the presumed shepherds in their short hooded garments on the right and the long-gowned Magi on the left, are all crowned with olive, an emblem of peace. The scrolls wound about the branches in the foreground, combined with some of those held by the angels dancing in the sky, read: 'Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men' (Luke 2:14). As angels and men move ever closer, from right to left, to embrace, little devils scatter into holes in the ground. The scrolls held by the angels pointing to the crib once read: `Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world' the words of John the Baptist presenting Christ (John 1:29). Above the stable roof the sky has opened to reveal the golden light of paradise. Golden crowns hang down from the dancing angels' olive branches. Most of their scrolls celebrate Mary: 'Mother of God', 'Bride of God', 'Sole Queen of the World'.
      The puzzling Greek inscription at the top of the picture has been translated: 'I Sandro made this picture at the conclusion of the year 1500 in the troubles of Italy in the half time after the time according to the 11th chapter of Saint John in the second woe of the Apocalypse during the loosing of the devil for three and a half years then he will be chained in the 12th chapter and we shall see [...] as in this picture.' The missing words may have been 'him burying himself'. The 'half time after the time' has been generally understood as a year and a half earlier, that is, in 1498, when the French invaded Italy, but it may mean a half millennium (500 years) after a millennium (1000 years): 1500, the date of the painting. Like the end of the millennium in the year 1000, the end of the half millennium in 1500 also seemed to many people to herald the Second Coming of Christ, prophesied in Revelation.
      At a time when Florentine painters were recreating nature with their brush, Botticelli freely acknowledged the artificiality of art. In the pagan Venus and Mars he turned his back on naturalism in order to express ideal beauty. In the Mystic Nativity he went further, beyond the old-fashioned to the archaic, to express spiritual truths — rather like the Victorians who were to rediscover him in the nineteenth century, and who associated the Gothic style with an 'Age of Faith'.
–- Daughters of Jethro
–- Adoration by the Magi _ detail _ (1475, 111x134cm) _ The picture was commissioned by Guasparre di Zanobi del Lama for the Epiphany's chapel he made build in the Florentine church of Santa Maria Novella. This sacred scene is today very important because many figures portray features of members of the Medici family: Cosimo the Elder as the old king in front of the Child, his son Piero, called the Gouty, as the kneeling king with red mantle in the center, Lorenzo the Magnificent as the young man at his right, in profile, with a black and red mantle. The figure looking out at the spectator is probably the self-portrait of Botticelli. Restored in 1981
–- Temptation of Christ _ (345x555cm) _ detail 1 :: background: Christ's threefold temptation by the Devil, as described in the Gospel according to Matthew, with the devil disguised as a hermit. At top left, up on the mountain, he is challenging Christ to turn stones into bread. _ detail 2 _ detail 3 _ detail 4 :: Among the crowd of people making up the Jewish sacrificial scene, a woman in the left-hand foreground who is carrying on her head a bowl with hens in it strikes us familiar. This figure is a copy of Abra, the maid in the small panel of The Return of Judith to Bethulia, which Botticelli had painted a decade before. The posture of the woman carrying wood in the right-hand foreground (this picture) may also be derived from this picture. These similarities lead to the assumption that Botticelli kept sketches of his compositions and figures so to have a stock of motifs upon which he could then draw his later pictorial creations. In contrast, Botticelli borrowed the small boy holding bunches of grape, and who has been frightened by a snake, from Hellenistic sculpture. _ detail 5 :: center: Christ and the Devil standing on a temple, with the Devil attempting to persuade Christ to cast himself down. _ detail 6 :: right-hand side: Satan is showing the Son of God the splendor of the world's riches, over which he is offering to make Him master. However, Christ drives away the Devil, who ultimately reveals his true devilish form. _ detail 7 _ This fresco, which Botticelli began in July 1481, is the third scene within the Christ cycle and depicts the Temptation of Christ. Christ's threefold temptation by the Devil, as described in the Gospel according to Matthew, can be seen in the background of the picture, with the devil disguised as a hermit. At top left, up on the mountain, he is challenging Christ to turn stones into bread; in the center, we see the two standing on a temple, with the Devil attempting to persuade Christ to cast himself down; on the right-hand side, finally, he is showing the Son of God the splendor of the world's riches, over which he is offering to make Him master. However, Christ drives away the Devil, who ultimately reveals his true devilish form. On the right in the background, three angels have prepared a table for the celebration of the Eucharist, a scene which only becomes comprehensible when seen in conjunction with the event in the foreground of the fresco. The unity of these two events from the point of view of content is clarified by the reappearance of Christ with three angels in the middle ground on the left of the picture, where He is apparently explaining the incident occurring in the foreground to the heavenly messengers. We are concerned here with the celebration of a Jewish sacrifice, conducted daily before the Temple in accordance with ancient custom. The high priest is receiving the blood-filled sacrificial bowl, while several people are bringing animals and wood as offerings. At first sight, the inclusion of this Jewish sacrificial scene in the Christ cycle would appear extremely puzzling; however, its explanation may be found in the typological interpretation. The Jewish sacrifice portrayed here refers to the crucifixion of Christ, who through His death offered of His flesh and blood for the redemption of mankind. Christ's sacrifice is reconstructed in the celebration of the Eucharist, alluded to here by the gift table prepared by the angels.
–- Pietà
–- Saint Barnabas Altarpiece
–- Coronation of the Virgin
–- Saint Dominic
–- Dante click for story of Nastagio
–- The Story of Nastagio degli Onesti by Bocaccio, illustrated by Botticelli
The Annunciation (1485, 19x31cm) _ This picture is one of the jewels of 15th-century Italian art, embodying the achievements that made Florence so famous and influential. The classical architectural setting is carefully rendered in linear perspective, one of the great discoveries of Florentine artists. The figures of the Virgin and the archangel Gabriel, virtually mirror images of each other, are separated by the centre row of pillars, but they are subtly drawn together into a unified composition by the rays of light carrying God's message from heaven. The complex composition, as well as the lyrical quality of the drawing and the transparency of the colors, are characteristic of Botticelli's mature style.
The Annunciation (1489, 150x156cm) _ This picture was painted for the church of the florentine convent of Cestello in borgo Pinti. The scene is notable for dramatic force suggested by the pose of the Virgin; the figures are placed inside a perspective space, open in the background on a beautiful landscape.
Adoration by the Magi (1475, round, 132cm diameter)<
Dante (600x400pix _ ZOOM to 1400x933pix)

Died on a 17 May:

1848 Jan Frans Eliaerts, Belgian artist born on 01 January 1761.

^ 1785 Sébastien Jacques Leclerc des Gobelins, French artist born in 1734.
Le Menuet (404x500pix, 27kb) _ detail (349x740pix, 83kb) _ The scene testifies to the popularity, during the entire 18th century, of the “Fêtes of galantes” genre created by Antoine Watteau. Musicians are seen among characters of the Commedia dell' arte (Arlequin, Scaramouche …). The representation of the amourous relations is the main subject. The Italian comedians had been popular in France since the 17th century.. But in 1697 they had been banished from France by Louis XIV, because they had dared, in La Fausse Prude, to make fun of Madame de Maintenon, the king's mistress. The regent brought them back in 1716 again. In 1762 they joined with the Opéra Comique; and in 1779 they left France for good. From then on it was the Opéra Comique that substituted as a source of inspiration for painters.

1750 Georg Engelhardt Schröder, German artist born on 31 May 1684.

1749 Jean-Marc Ladey, French artist born in 1710. — {Do NOT pronounce his name “lady”. “laddy” would not be as bad.}

^ 1717 (16 May?) Bon de Boullogne (or Boulogne), Parisian artist baptized as an infant on 22 February 1649. — {Bon de Boulogne NOT Bois de Boulogne.}— Son of Louis de Boullogne [1609-1674], brother of Louis de Boullogne [19 Nov 1654 – 21 Nov 1733], Geneviève de Boullogne [22 Aug 1645 – 05 Aug 1708], and Madeleine de Boullogne [24 July 1646 – 30 Jan 1710]. — Were they related to Valentin de Boulogne [1594-1632]?
— Bon was long regarded as the most gifted of the children of Louis de Boullogne. Bon took his first lessons from his father, whom he is thought to have assisted in the Grande Galerie of the Louvre. Through his father, who presented a half-length figure of Saint John by Bon to Jean-Baptiste Colbert, Contrôleur Général des Finances, he was sent to the Académie de France in Rome as a Pensionnaire du Roi. In this capacity, he made copies of famous works, in particular some frescoes by Raphael in the Vatican Loggie, intended for reproduction as Gobelins tapestries. The period he then spent in Lombardy helped to complete his training. He studied the work of Correggio and the Carracci, as well as Guido Reni, Domenichino and Albani. Bon’s painting, especially the mythological work, shows great affinities with the work of the Bolognese school, which was also to be found in the royal collections. Also of influence to Bon was Nordic art, as demonstrated in his female portraits framed by plant like motifs, a device taken up by his student Robert Tournières. — Bon de Boullogne's students also included Jean Raoux, Jean-Baptiste Santerre, Nicolas Bertin, Pierre-Jacques Cazes, François Hutin, Sébastien Leclerc II, Charles Parrocel, Louis de Silvestre.
Jephtha's Daughter (154x218cm; 575x817pix, 203kb) _ Jephtha or Jephthah was a judge of Israel who dominates a narrativein the Book of Judges, where he is presented as an exemplar of faith for Israel in its monotheistic commitment to Yahweh. Of the Israelite tribe in Gilead (present northwest Jordan), he was banished from his home and became the head of a powerful band of brigands. Oppressed by the rapacity of the non-Israelite peoples of Hauran and Ammon, the Gileadites implored Jephthah to avenge the injustice. So (Judges 11:30-39):
Jephthah made a vow to the LORD. "If you deliver the Ammonites into my power," he said, "whoever comes out of the doors of my house to meet me when I return in triumph from the Ammonites shall belong to the LORD. I shall offer him up as a holocaust." Jephthah then went on to the Ammonites to fight against them, and the LORD delivered them into his power, so that he inflicted a severe defeat on them, from Aroer to the approach of Minnith (twenty cities in all) and as far as Abel-keramin. Thus were the Ammonites brought into subjection by the Israelites. When Jephthah returned to his house in Mizpah, it was his daughter who came forth, playing the tambourines and dancing. She was an only child: he had neither son nor daughter besides her. When he saw her, he rent his garments and said, "Alas, daughter, you have struck me down and brought calamity upon me. For I have made a vow to the LORD and I cannot retract." "Father," she replied, "you have made a vow to the LORD. Do with me as you have vowed, because the LORD has wrought vengeance for you on your enemies the Ammonites." Then she said to her father, "Let me have this favor. Spare me for two months, that I may go off down the mountains to mourn my virginity with my companions." "Go," he replied, and sent her away for two months. So she departed with her companions and mourned her virginity on the mountains. At the end of the two months she returned to her father, who did to her as he had vowed.
_ See also: The Daughter of Jephtha (694x1071pix, 138kb) by Degas [19 Jul 1834 – 27 Sep 1917]
     _ Jephtha's Daughter (1646, 48x64cm; 575x767pix, 203kb) by van Lint [1609-1690]
     _ The Sacrifice of Jephtha's Daughter (502x563pix, 393kb) by Pittoni [1687-1767]
     _ (Jephtha's daughter greets her victorious father) (engraving; 917x1109pix, 90kb gif), artist unknown (at least to me).
L'émigration des Tectosages (262x322cm) {ce ne sont PAS les Technosages}_ The Tectosages were not “the wise builders” but the war-loving “takers” (hence tecto) and “sackers” (hence sage), a Celtic tribe, a branch of the Volcae (or Volkes) which about 300 BC came from Belgium and conquered the region around Toulouse, while the other Volcae folks, the Arécomiques (no kidding, and they were not necessarily humorous) settled around Nîmes. About 281 BC a large group of Tectosages from Toulouse emigrated and joined two other Tectosages tribes who were in Germany near the Danube. Tectosages then proceeded to invade Asia Minor. They defeated the Seleucid king of Syria, Antiochus I [324-261bc] and settled in an area named after them “new Gaul“ i.e. Galatia (in modern Turkey), establishing their capital at Ankara. This painting was commissioned in 1684 for the Capitole of Toulouse, together with
     _ Fondation d'une ville en Germanie par les Tectosages (1685, 273x324cm; 312x380pix, 20kb) by Jean Jouvenet [1644-1717].
     _ Bataille remportée par les Tectosages sur le roi Antiochus (1702; 268x329cm; 313x380pix, 13kb) by Antoine Rivalz [1667-1735] was commissioned for the Hôtel de Ville of Toulouse.

1716 Pieter Janszoon van Ruijven (or Reuver), Dutch artist born on 07 March 1651.

^ 1635 Domenico Robusti “Tintoretto II”, Venetian painter born in 1560, the son of Jacopo Robusti “Tintoretto” [1518 – 31 May 1594] and brother of Marietta Robusti. Domenico Robusti was both taught by his father and assisted in his workshop. This collaboration continued, notably on his father's paintings in the Doge's Palace, even after Domenico had begun doing work on his own. He was an accomplished portrait painter and some of his most impressive civic portraits were painted in the last decade of the 16th century. He also experimented with light as a means of defining form. At the end of Domenico's career, after the death of his father, there is a notable change in his style, which coincided with the naturalism popular in Rome in the 17th century. — Domenico Robusti s'illustra particulièrement dans le genre du portrait mondain, mais sans parvenir à la pénétration psychologique de son père. — LINKS
The Woman with the Pearl Necklace (119x94cm; 480x374pix, 66kb) similar to portrait Lucrezia (1517) of the same sitter.
A Venitian Senator (102x83cm; 512x419pix, 55kb) _ La toge de soie rouge damassée que porte ce noble vénitien indique que c'est un sénateur de la Sérénissime.
Sacra famiglia con San Giovannino (118x95cm; 404x316pix, 23kb)
Galilevs Galilevs Mathvs (1607, 66x53cm; 300x254pix, 24kb _ ZOOM to 886x700pix, 160kb) _ A half-length portrait dressed in black, painted when Galileo [15 Feb 1564 – 08 Jan 1642] was 43 years old. He wears his hair closely cropped and has a beard. The sitter is slightly to left and looks directly at the viewer. The portrait is significant since it is thought to be the earliest original one of Galileo, the Italian astronomer and experimental philosopher who invented the refracting telescope. This made it possible for him to see that the Moon had mountains and Jupiter had satellites, although his astronomical theories brought him into famous controversy with the Catholic church. At the time the portrait was painted, Galileo was a master of mathematics at Padua, as indicated by the inscription which it bears: 'Gallileus Gallileus/ Mathus:'.
A Young Man (1585, 65x55cm; 721x612pix, 91kb _ ZOOM to 1552x1318pix, 460kb)
Prosperity Expelling Evils aka Virtue Expelling Evils (800x524pix, 73kb) —(060516)

Born on a 17 May:

^ 1935 Rafael García Gómez “Rafael Canogar”, Spanish painter and sculptor. Born in Toledo, he started studying for the bachillerato in Madrid, then moved to San Sebastián, where the painter Olasagasti advised him to study under Martiarena. He returned to Madrid in 1948 and worked with Vázquez Díaz in the Círculo de Bellas Artes. Influenced by Mirò, Canogar exposed his first abstractions in 1955, and met Feito. The he went to Paris and came back to Madrid where he held an exposition at the Galería Fernando Fe. In 1956 he went to Italia, held an exposition in Florencia, and participated en the biennials of Alexandría and of Venice. In 1957 he participated in the foundation of the group El Paso (not related to El Paso, Texas). Momento clave de su carrera es su presencia en el ya histórico grupo «El Paso», en 1957. From the 1960s he was influenced by Pop Art and moved closer to figurative painting and the definition of space.
–- Los Soldados (900x664pix, 60kb)
–- Los Prisioneros (654x900pix, 36kb) grayscale on yellow background.
–- (???) (1980, 162x130cm; 862x689pix, 59kb) monochrome jumble of dark green strips framed in a dirty yellow margin.
–- Pintura (900x605pix, 80kb) scribbles, almost grayscale
–- Untitled (439x900pix, 33kb) a few lines and scratches on a dark reddish brown background. _ These two pictures have been combined, given rich colors and symmetry, and have been thoroughly transformed by the pseudonymous Ráfaga Canofgas into the glorious
     _ Pint of Raw Paint to Hunt it Led aka Gong Nog (2006; screen filling, 315kb _ ZOOM to 1864x2636pix, 2849kb).
–- Los Jugadores de Futbol (892x708pix, 62kb)
Escena urbana nº 3-90 (50x33cm; 720x475pix,142 kb). —(100518)

^ 1917 Dmitry Ivanovich Maevsky, in Petrograd, Russian landscape painter who died in 1992. In 1937-1939 he studied in the studio of Isaak Brodski.
A summer day in the village of Podol (1970, 50x70cm; 490x700pix, 79kb)
102 images at Leningrad Artist —(060516)

1898 Alfred Joseph Casson [–20 Feb 1992], Canadian painter, youngest member of the “Group of Seven”, which he joined at the invitation of Franklin Carmichael. Casson is best known for his depictions of landscapes, forests, and farms of southern Ontario. . — LINKS —(080515)

1854 Karl Schweninger II, Austrian painter who died in 1903. Presumably the son of Karl Schweninger I [1818-1897]
An afternoon on the terrace (1885)
The model in the studio
Promenade in the palace gardens — (090516)

^ 1754 Antoine Berjon, Lyon French painter, mostly of flowers, who died on 24 October 1843..
Portrait of a Gentleman (pen-wash-and-white on blue paper 25x19cm; 400x305pix, 35kb) _ auctioned at Christie's on 04 Jul 2000 to New York dealer Mark Brady for £40'000.
Nature morte avec coquillages (515x414pix, 54kb)
Fleurs dans une corbeille d'osier et fruits (77x60cm; 450x351pix, 35kb)

^ 1587 (infant baptism) Esaias van de Velde, Dutch landscape painter who was buried on 18 November 1630. — Uncle of Jan van de Velde II [1593 – Nov 1641]. — The father of Esaias van de Velde was a Protestant Fleming who fled to Amsterdam in 1585. Esaias probably learned to paint from his father and from the Flemish Van Coninxloo and , both living in Amsterdam. Between 1609 and 1618 Van de Velde lived in Haarlem, where his students included Jan van Goyen [13 Jan 1596 – 27 Apr 1656]. He subsequently moved to The Hague, where he remained until his death. Van de Velde painted, drew and etched military scenes, genre pieces and particularly landscapes. He was a pioneer in the depiction of the Dutch landscape. And he would often be asked by other artists to 'staffage' their landscapes: to paint in the figures. — Jan Asselyn [>1610 – 1652] was a student of Esaias van de Velde. — LINKS
Die Viehfaehre (1622, 75x113cm; 440x800pix, 81 kb _ ZOOM to 563x1024pix, 264kb; ZOOM+ to 879x1600pix, 222kb) _ A hive of activity along the water, it couldn't be more Dutch. A full ferry crosses the river in the foreground. On the left bank is a tavern, with a pigeon loft on the roof. To the right, people are waiting for the ferry near the jetty while another group work on a boat. In the distance are a mill and a church. The Cattle Ferry marks an important stage in the development of the landscape genre. This was the first time that a typically Dutch river landscape was depicted on a monumental scale.
     When one looks closer, several interesting details catch the eye: the empty ferry, for example, and its almost smooth reflection in the water. Van de Velde's manner of painting figures is also remarkable. They often resemble rather plump dolls, with clear black contours. Like other landscape artists, Van de Velde made sketches in the countryside. Later, he would merge these sketches into new, painted compositions. Two of these drawings show elements which are found in this painting. The ferry and the church spire in the Cattle Ferry are from one sketch, while the house on the right is the mirror image of the house in the other drawing.
     Here the horizon is halfway down the painting. But for centuries this was not the case. Around 1650 an extra section was added to the panel raising the height of the picture by 14 cm. This was presumably intended to adapt the painting to the fashion of the day. In the mid-seventeenth century, landscapes with a low horizon and a profusion of (cloudy) sky were in vogue. It was only in the early 1990s that the painting was restored to its original proportions. Not by removing the additional piece, but by concealing it in a new frame.
     The eye zigzags from one bank to the other. The glistening water contrasts sharply with the darker waterside. A rather unrealistic shadow is cast over the foreground that, together with the ferry and the tree on the left, form a repoussoir. This coulisse-like composition and the high horizon suggest that the painting was based on Flemish examples. Esaias van de Velde had probably been taught by the Flemish landscape painter Gilles van Coninxloo. However, for his Cattle Ferry he did not take the latter's fantasy landscapes, but the typically Dutch river landscape as his example.
Eisbelustigung auf dem Stadtgraben (1618, 29x50cm; 464x800pix, 77kb _ ZOOM to 1188x2048pix, 279kb)
Zierikzee (1618, 27x40cm)
Winter Landscape (1623, 26x30cm)
A Winter Landscape With Skaters On A Frozen River (1619, 28x42cm)
Winter Games on the Town Moat (1618, 30x50cm)
Winter Landscape (1629, 11x15cm).
Winter Landscape (1623, 26x30cm)
The Joy of Ice on the Wallgraben (1618, 29x51cm)
Fröhliche Gesellschaft auf einem Gartenterrasse (600x1096pix)
Winter Landscape (1629; 600x804pix) —(061127)

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