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DEATHS: 1682 LE LORRAIN —  1693 BERCKHEYDE — 2002 MATTA
BIRTHS: 1861 KOROVIN 1890 LISSITZKY 1883 OROZCO
^ Died on 23 November 1682: Claude Gellée “Le Lorrain”, French painter born in 1602, one of the great masters of ideal-landscape painting (often containing classical ruins and figures)
— Claude's career spans almost the entire century - his earliest datable works are from the end of the 1620s - and he witnessed almost all the main changes of artistic style during his long stay in Rome. Some details of his early life are known, but they add up to very little in the search for his artistic origins. Orophaned at 12, he left his native Lorraine for Rome in 1613, Claude spent the next decade of his life learning his art. Nothing survives from this period. In 1626 he returned to Lorraine and was apprenticed to Claude Deruet for one year. After completing this one-year apprenticeship he returned to Rome.
      Claude's earliest surviving pictures have usually been dated to around 1630, although he did not begin to keep accurate records until the mid-1630s. Then he decided to keep a record of every picture he painted, in the form of the Liber veritatis, in which, after he had completed a painting, he made a careful drawing of the composition and noted the buyer on the back. He thus documented some two hundred pictures over almost fifty years.
      Claude's achievement as a pioneer in landscape painting has earned him a place in the pantheon of art history. He was widely imitated for almost two centuries, and therefore often produces in the popular imagination a feeling of déjà-vu, especially in his best-known compositions. Claude's powers of innovation were in fact limited — he concentrated on a very narrow range of tones in a very narrow landscape type. Once he had perfected his technique, he did not develop much further deliberately; his work was too eagerly sought after by powerful patrons for him to need to do so.
— Claude Lorrain, byname of Claude Gellée, French artist best known for, and one of the greatest masters of, ideal-landscape painting, an art form that seeks to present a view of nature more beautiful and harmonious than nature itself. The quality of that beauty is governed by classical concepts, and the landscape often contains classical ruins and pastoral figures in classical dress. The source of inspiration is the countryside around Rome - the Roman Campagna - a countryside haunted with remains and associations of antiquity. The practitioners of ideal landscape during the 17th century, the key period of its development, were artists of many nationalities congregated in Rome. Later, the form spread to other countries. Claude, whose special contribution was the poetic rendering of light, was particularly influential, not only during his lifetime but, especially in England, from the mid-18th to the mid-19th century. Life and works Claude Lorrain, usually called simply Claude in English, was born of poor parents at Chamagne, a village in the then independent duchy of Lorraine. He received little schooling, and, according to his first biographer, Joachim von Sandrart, was brought up to be a pastrycook. His parents seem to have died when he was 12 years old, and, within the next few years, he traveled south to Rome.
      In Rome he was trained as an artist by Agostino Tassi, a landscapist and the leading Italian painter of illusionistic architectural frescoes. At what stage and for how long he was apprenticed is uncertain, and, either before or during this period, Claude probably spent two years in Naples with Goffredo Wals, another pupil of Tassi. Tassi taught Claude the basic vocabulary of his art - landscapes and coast scenes with buildings and little figures - and gave him a lasting interest in perspective and, thus, in landscape painting.
      In 1625, according to his second biographer, Filippo Baldinucci [1624 – 01 Jan 1696], Claude left Tassi and went back to Nancy, the capital of Lorraine, where he worked for a year as assistant to Claude Deruet on some frescoes (since destroyed) in the Carmelite church. But, in the winter of 1626-1627, Claude returned to Rome and settled there permanently. He never married, but he had a daughter, Agnese [1653-1713], who lived in his house; also staying with him were a student, Giovanni Domenico Desiderii, from 1633 to c. 1656, and two nephews, Jean from c. 1663 and Joseph from c. 1680. In 1633, to further his career, Claude joined the painters' Academy of Saint-Luke.
      Little is known of his personality. He took no part in public events and lived essentially for his work. In his early period he mixed with other artists, especially those who were of northern European origin like himself, but in his 40s he apparently became more solitary. He remained on good terms with Nicolas Poussin, another French master of the ideal landscape, yet there was hardly any artistic contact between them. Although ill-educated in the formal sense (both his spelling and counting were eccentric, and he wrote haltingly in French and Italian), Claude was not the ignorant peasant of legend. The subjects of his paintings show that he had an adequate knowledge of the Bible, Ovid's Metamorphoses, and the Aeneid. He had a special feeling for the country, but his mode of life was that of a bourgeois. Industrious, amiable, and shrewd, surrounded by his modest household, and keenly sought after as an artist, he pursued a successful career into old age and amassed a comfortable fortune.
      No work by Claude survives from before 1627, and he probably did not take up landscape until after that date. His first dated work is Landscape with Cattle and Peasants. Painted in 1629, it hangs in the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Soon after, in the early 1630s, he rose to fame. He did this partly on the basis of two or three series of landscape frescoes (all but one, a small frieze in the Crescenzi palace at Rome, are now lost), but, according to Baldinucci, he achieved renown chiefly because of his skill in representing those conditions of nature which produce views of the sun, particularly on seawater and over rivers at dawn and evening. By about 1637 - with commissions from Pope Urban VIII, several cardinals, and Philip IV of Spain - Claude had become the leading landscape painter in Italy.
      In 1635-1636 he began the Liber Veritatis, a remarkable volume containing 195 drawings carefully copied by Claude after his own paintings, with particulars noted on the backs of the drawings indicating the patron for whom, or the place for which, the picture was destined, and, in the second half of the book, the date. Although most paintings made before 1635 and a few painted afterward are not included, the Liber Veritatis was compiled throughout in chronological order and thus forms an invaluable record of Claude's artistic development, as well as revealing his circle of patrons. Undertaken, as he told Baldinucci, as a safeguard against forgery of his paintings, the book gradually became Claude's most precious possession and a work of art in itself; he may also have used it as a stock of motifs for new compositions.
      Claude's patrons were international and predominantly aristocratic, the majority being French or Italian noblemen. He was a fastidious worker and an expensive artist. He always worked on commission, at first sometimes selling his paintings through agents, but later he negotiated directly with patrons, with whom he would agree as to the size, price, and subject. Initially a fast painter, his rate of production subsequently slowed down. His late works are often individually larger and were still more carefully executed. About 250 paintings by Claude, out of a total of perhaps 300, and more than 1000 drawings have survived. He also produced 44 etchings.
      Although they are basically consistent in method and aim, Claude's paintings show a gradual stylistic evolution, and it is possible to distinguish the phases of his development. His early works, showing the influence of Tassi and of Dutch and Flemish artists, are busy, animated, and picturesque. They are full of charm and effects of surprise. His smaller pictures, painted on copper, reflect the spirit of the German artist Adam Elsheimer, who had died in Rome in 1610. Occasionally Claude painted directly from nature during this period, although no examples have been certainly identified; his normal method of nature study was by means of drawings. A pattern common in the early paintings is a dark mass of foliage on one side in the foreground contrasted with a misty sunlit distance on the other. Herdsmen tending cattle or goats move out from beneath the trees or sit beside a stream (scarcely any of Claude's paintings at any time are without figures and animals).
      Simultaneously Claude developed the traditional subject of a coastal scene with boats into a new type of picture: the seaport. This is an idealized harbor scene flanked on one or both sides with palaces, the latter often being adapted from actual ancient or contemporary buildings. Tall ships ride at anchor, recently arrived or preparing to depart. Light, however, is the key feature of the seaport pictures. Its source is often a visible sun just above the horizon, which Claude first introduced in 1634 in Harbor Scene and, in so doing, used the sun as the means of illuminating a whole picture for the first time in art. This use of light from the sky above the horizon, whether emanating directly from the sun or not, enforces another characteristic of Claude's paintings: recession in depth. Recession is further emphasized by subtle atmospheric perspective achieved through a gradual diminishing of the distinctness of outline and color from the foreground to the background. The light is nearly always that of dawn or evening.
      Beginning about 1640 Claude began to make his compositions more classical and monumental. The influence of contemporary Bolognese landscape painting, particularly the works of Domenichino, replaces that of Tassi and the northerners. During this decade something like a formula establishes itself: tall trees on one side of the picture balanced by a classical ruin and smaller trees further back on the other; a foreground stage with figures; a winding river conducting the eye by stages through an open landscape to the horizon; and distant hills, often with a glimpse of the sea. The figures are not, as often before, in contemporary dress but are always represented in classical or biblical costume. Contrary to popular belief, almost all of Claude's figures were painted by himself. Sometimes they are merely shepherds, but frequently they embody a subject from classical mythology or sacred history. The light is clearer than in paintings of the early or late periods. Spacious, tranquil compositions are drenched in an even light, as can be seen in Landscape: The Marriage of Isaac and Rebekah (also called The Mill), dated 1648.
      The 1650s witness some still larger and more heroic paintings, including The Sermon on the Mount. In the middle of the following decade, Claude's style moved into its last phase, when some of his greatest masterpieces were produced. The colour range is restricted, and the tones become cool and silvery. The figures are strangely elongated and by conventional standards ill drawn. At the same time, the subjects define the mood and sometimes determine the composition of the landscape. The paintings of this period are solemn and mysterious and radiate a sublime poetic feeling. It was in this spirit that Claude painted his famous work The Enchanted Castle.
      Claude's drawings are as remarkable an achievement as his paintings. About half are studies from nature. Executed freely in chalk or pen and wash, they are much more spontaneous than his paintings or studio drawings and represent informal motifs - trees, ruins, waterfalls, parts of a riverbank, fields in sunlight - that Claude saw on his sketching expeditions in the Campagna. Many were executed in bound books, which have since been broken up. The studio drawings consist partly of preparatory designs for paintings - Claude prepared his work more carefully than any previous landscape artist - and partly of compositions created as ends in themselves.
      Claude had only two students; nonetheless, his paintings influenced a number of Dutch painters who were in Rome during the late 1630s and '40s, and, in a broad sense, his influence can be seen even in the work of certain English landscape painters of the 19th century.

LINKS
Paysage Pastoral (1638, 97x130cm; 1150x848pix, 556kb _ ZOOM to 1696x2300pix) _ Claude Gellée was born near Nancy. After being trained as a pastry chef, he moved in 1628 to Rome where he studied painting. He was especially influenced by the northern landscape painters active in Rome, such as Paul Bril. Pastoral Landscape dates from Claude's first mature period and is generally considered the finest extant painting of his brilliant and seminal years between 1635 and 1640. It is also the Institute's most important old master acquisition in many decades. Claude was the supreme master of the ideal landscape and the founder of the modern landscape tradition. His influence is most evident in the works of 17th century Dutch Italianate painters, and his pictures anticipated every watershed in landscape painting of the 18th and 19th centuries, from the poetic naturalism of John Constable to Claude Monet's exquisite analysis of sunlight, color, and atmosphere. Even the pre-Cubist Piperboy (1911) by André Derain could be described, with little exaggeration, as an homage to Claude's pastoral inventions. Pastoral Landscape is a virtuoso performance by an artist at the height of his youthful promise. In its archetypal nostalgia for the simplicity of lost arcadian life, its fascination with light and atmosphere, and its totally subjective response to pure landscape, Claude's vision never fails to enchant.
Landscape with the Finding of Moses (1639, 209x138cm; 924x614pix, 96kb)
Landscape with Rest in Flight to Egypt (1647, 102x134cm; 790x1126pix, 149kb)
Landscape with the Rest on the Flight into Egypt (1666, 113x157cm; 742x1018pix, 151kb) _ detail (800x605pix, 95kb)
Seascape with Aeneas on Delos (1672)
–-View of Tivoli at Sunset (1644, 100x136cm; 858x1184pix, 117kb _ .ZOOM to 1716x2368pix, 619kb _ .ZOOM+ to 3432x4736pix, 2631kb)
–- Landscape with Cowherd aka Evening (55x80cm; 788x1177pix, 85kb _ .ZOOM to 1577x2354pix, 711kb)
Paysage avec le Rapt d'Europe (1655, 100x137cm, 750x995pix, 167kb)
Paysage de Rivage avec le Rapt d'Europe (1667, 135x102cm, 850x1147pix, 175kb)
129 prints at Fine Arts Museums of SF
–(061120)
^ Born on 23 November 1861 (05 Dec Julian): Constantin Alexeyevich Korovin, Russian painter who died on 11 September 1932.
—   Korovin was born in Moscow into a family of businessmen. His grandfather, a self-made man was the founder of the family business; his father, Alexey Mikhailovich, after graduating from the University had to go into business as well, though he never liked it and was more interested in art and music. As a result, soon after the grandfather’s death the family went bankrupt and had to move into the country. Constantin and his younger brother, Sergey, also a future artist, were brought up in an artistic atmosphere, they received drawing and painting lessons since their childhood.
      In 1875, Constantin entered the Moscow School of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture, among his teachers were I. Pryanishnikov, E. Sorokin, V. Perov, and A. Savrasov.  “These fair and kind teachers left deep traces in my soul. They are all dead now; and I remember them with admiration and a sad love; they seem alive, before me, these pure and honest people…” At School Korovin became friends with I. Levitan.
      In 1881-1882, Korovin spent a year at the Academy in St. Petersburg, but returned disappointed to Moscow. That year a new professor came to the Moscow School, a distinguished painter Vasily Polenov, who impressed his students not only with his painting but also with his knowledge and enthusiastic attitude towards contemporary Western art, especially French. Korovin stayed with the new teacher at the Moscow School until 1886. Polenov introduced his student to the famous patron of arts Savva Mamontov and his Abramtsevo group. The group included artists who favored the school of national romanticism in Russia. They were the first in the country to stage operas, produce experimental architectural works and design books in the new (‘neo-Russian’) style. They projected the image of a universal artist: painter, furniture and tableware designer, designer of stage costumes and settings, architect. With Polenov’s recommendation S. Mamontov invited Korovin to work for his private opera. Thus Korovin got engaged with theater, for which he worked till the end of his life. Korovin was the first to introduce the Impressionist style on stage.
      In 1885, Korovin made his first of many trips to Paris and Spain. “Paris was a shock for me… Impressionists… in them I found everything for what I was scolded back at home, in Moscow.” In 1888, Korovin traveled with S. Mamontov to Italy, then visited Spain, where he painted one of his best works In Front of the Balcony: Leonora and Ampara. The artist traveled widely within Russia, Caucasus and Central Asia, exhibited with the Itinerants’ Society of Traveling Exhibitions (“Wanderers”), painting in an Impressionist and later an Art Nouveau style.
      In the 1890s, Korovin became very active in the World of Art group (“Mir Iskusstva”). These artists adopted a new aesthetic approach to the world’s artistic heritage; they popularized the traditions of folk art and of Russian art of the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries.
      In 1896, Korovin designed, to great acclaim, the pavilion of the All-Russian Exhibition of Arts and Crafts at Nizhnii Novgorod. In 1900, he designed the decorations for the Central Asia section of the Paris World Fair; the same year he was awarded the Legion of Honor.
      At the beginning of the twentieth century Korovin began to take a more close interest in the theater Working for the Bolshoi theater he upheld new principles in designing operas and ballets. His evolution as a stage artist is directly linked to his mature painting. The peculiar features of the Russian Impressionist school became increasingly pronounced in his works of this period: the predilection for decorative effects, the emphatically expressive coloristic solutions and the pronounced romantic note. Korovin’s subjects were quite diverse, they included townscapes and rural landscapes, portraits and still lifes.
      The first years of the 20th century were undoubtedly the peak of his creative career. In 1905, Korovin received the title of the Academician of Painting, and in 1909-1913 taught at the Moscow School of Painting.
      In 1923, Korovin left Russia never to return. He spent the last 15 years of his life in France supported by Shalyapin, he worked for theater as a stage designer. He also became famous as a book illustrator, but this period is obviously inferior to his former achievements. He died in Paris.
      Constantin Korovin always protested against attempts to place him into any artistic school or movement. Nevertheless he became the first Russian Impressionist painter, moreover, he was the creator of the national variant of this International school.
Portrait of Korovin by Serov [07 Jan 1865 – 22 Nov 1911]

LINKS
Self-Portrait (1938)
In a Boat (Portrait of the Artist Maria Yakunchikova and Self-Portrait) (1888)
the Actress Titiana Liubatovich (1885)
Northern Idyll (1886) _ detail
the Opera Singer Fyodor Shalyapin (1905; 176kb) _ Fyodor Ivanovich Shalyapin [1873-1938], was one of the best representatives of the Russian vocal school. He sang in opera at Tiflis (1892), Moscow (1896), and London (1913). He left Russia forever after the Bolshevik Revolution. _ See also Fyodor Shalyapin (1905), drawing by Serov.
In Front of the Open Window (Shalyapin's Daughters, Irina and Lidya) (1916).
Pier in Gurzuf (1914)
Venice (1894)
Winter (1894)
Winter (1911)
125 images at ABC gallery
 
^ Died on 23 November 1693: Job Adriaenszoon Berckheyde, Dutch painter born on 27 January 1630. — Job was the brother of Gerrit Adriaenszoon Berckheyde [06 Jun 1638 – 10 Jun 1698), his only known student. Job's work is similar to his brother's, it is also rarer and more varied, including genre and biblical scenes.
— Job Berckheyde was apprenticed on 02 November 1644 to Jacob Willemszoon de Wet, whose influence is apparent in his first dated canvas, Christ Preaching to the Children (1661), one of the few biblical scenes in his oeuvre. On 10 June 1653 he repaid a loan from the Haarlem Guild of Saint Luke, which he subsequently joined on 10 March 1654.
     During the 1650s the brothers Job and Gerrit made an extended trip to Germany along the Rhine, visiting Cologne, Bonn, Mannheim and finally Heidelberg. Whether this occurred before or after 1654, when Job became a master of the Guild of St Luke in Haarlem, is uncertain. According to legend, the brothers worked in Heidelberg for Charles Ludwig [–1680], Elector Palatine; however, their inability to adapt to court life led them to return to Haarlem, where Gerrit became a member of the Guild of Saint Luke on 27 July 1660. In Haarlem the Berckheyde brothers shared a house and perhaps a studio as well. The idea that Job was the superior artist and habitually contributed the figures to Gerrit’s architectural subjects has been discounted, but the degree of their mutual influence and involvement remains unclear. Confusion between them may have resulted from the similarity of their signatures, where Job’s j resembles Gerrit’s g. Job also signed his work with an H (for Hiob or Job) and with the monogram HB.
     During his stay in Heidelberg, Job painted portraits and hunting scenes at the court of the Elector Palatine, who rewarded him with a gold chain, perhaps the one he wears in his early Self-portrait (1655), his only documented work from the 1650s. Job is better known for his later work, which consists mainly of interior views of Saint Bavo’s church in Haarlem and simple genre scenes recalling those of his Haarlem contemporaries Adriaen van Ostade and Jan Steen.

LINKS
The Baker probable self-portrait (1681; 775x591pix, 122kb) _ A specialist in city scapes, Berckheyde painted several pictures of bakery shops, which were popular as a subject for Dutch artists from around 1650. This inviting scene shows the baker blowing a horn to announce the morning's freshly baked bread. He is surrounded by a mouth-watering assortment of goods, including pretzels displayed on a specially designed wooden rack. The number of bakeries was considerable in seventeenth-century Holland, and like most merchants, bakers usually set up their operations in their own homes. Because their ovens were considered fire threats to adjacent property, they were often forced to live and do business in stone buildings, which probably explains Berckheyde's choice of architecture for The Baker. As for the model he selected, while an artist would have had no difficulty finding a real baker to pose, Berckheyde, it seems, painted himself in the role.
The Bakery Shop (670x561pix, 95kb)
Interior of the Groote Kerk, Haarlem (1676 100x88cm; 591x495pix, 46kb) _ Dutch artists of the 17th century tended to specialize in the depiction of two or three genres, thus assuring themselves market recognition. One of Berckheyde's specialties was architecture portrayed with great fidelity. The Church of Saint Bavo, the Great Church in the artist's hometown of Haarlem, is the subject of numerous such architectural portraits. The view down the aisle towards the ambulatory is enlivened by the play of light and shadow from the windows, which leads the viewers eyes into the distance. Although the architectural details are accurately described, the figures of the women in the church are proportionately too small: the artist has tricked the viewer into believing that the building is even bigger than it actually is.
Interior of the Saint Bavo Church at Haarlem (1665, 61x85cm; 770x1078pix, 148kb)
_ Compare Interior of the Church of Saint Bavo in Haarlem (1636; 1600x933pix) by Pieter Janszoon Saenredam.
 
^ >Died on 23 November 2002:
Roberto
Sebastián Antonio Matta Echaurren, Surrealist painter, born in Chile on 11 November 1911, active mostly in France.
— Matta pintó cuadros de inspiración surrealista y metafísica que ilustran un mundo onírico de la civilización tecnológica moderna. Se formó como arquitecto en Santiago de Chile y con Le Corbusier en París entre 1934 y 1935, donde se hizo amigo del pintor Marcel Duchamp. Al estallar la II Guerra Mundial se trasladó a Estados Unidos. De 1939 a 1948 Matta vivió en Nueva York, donde conoció a André Breton, Max Ernst, Yves Tanguy y André Masson. Matta ha ejercido una influencia decisiva en la obra de Arshile Gorky y en la creación del expresionismo abstracto. Sus obras están pobladas de extraños autómatas híbridos y de criaturas a modo de insectos, como en Eros precipitado (1944). Otras obras significativas son La tierra es un hombre (1941), La cuestión Djamila (1962) y Sobre el estado de la unión (1965).
— Matta was born in Santiago, Chile, and educated there as an architect and interior designer at the Sacré Coeur Jesuit College and at the Catholic University, from 1929 to 1931. In 1933 he became a sailor in the merchant marine, which enabled him to leave Santiago and travel to Europe. In 1933 and 1934 he worked in Paris as an assistant to architect Le Corbusier. At the end of 1934 Matta visited Spain, where he met the poet and playwright Federico García Lorca, who through a letter, introduced young Roberto to Salvador Dalí. Dali in turn encouraged Matta to show some of his drawings to Andre Breton. Matta's acquaintance with Dali and Breton strongly influenced his artistic formation and subsequently connected him to the Surrealist movement, which he officially joined in 1937. He was in London for a short period in 1936 and worked with Walter Gropius and László Moholy-Nagy. Matta's employment with the architects of the Spanish Republican pavilion at the Paris International Exhibition (1937) exposed him to Picasso's Guernica (1937) which greatly impressed him and influenced him in his work. At this time, he was introduced to the work of Marcel Duchamp, whom he met not long after. He later went to Scandinavia where he met the architect Alvar Aalto and then to Russia where he worked on housing design projects. The summer of 1938 marks the evolution of Matta's work from drawing to painting. Roberto completed his first inscape oil paintings while in Brittany and working with Gordon Onslow Ford. Forced to leave Europe with the outbreak of war, Matta arrived in New York in the Fall of 1938. In an article by Kathy Zimmerer of Latin American Masters, Beverly Hills, she describes Crucifixion [1938] as: "evolving biomorphic forms that mutate and flow across the surface of the canvas Matta's fluid realm of space cushions their journey. His luminous palette of deep crimson, yellow, blue and black, defines and outlines the organic forms as they undergo metamorphoses." Crucifixion is representative of a non-figurative period of Matta's work where he developed his palette and use of color to create energized forms and space. Consistent with his later works and with Surrealist theories of practice, Matta began his exploration of the visionary landscape of the subconscious. Matta looked to his friend and mentor Yves Tanguy whose works recall the hellscapes and allegories of 15th and 16th century Dutch artists such as Bosch or Bruegel. In addition, both Matta and Tanguy create a universe that is simultaneously fiery and chilly that is often connected to their own social consciousness of the ongoing war in Europe. Canady in Mainstreams of Modern Art, describes Matta's composition versus Tanguy's as have a "more diagrammatic composition [possibly a result of his architectural training] where a kind of astral geometry organizes the holocaust." In addition to Tanguy's strong influence, there are parallels between Picasso's Guernica and Matta's Crucifixion. Both works of art motivated by their respective spiritual and social consciousness. In Guernica, Picasso emphasizes the "spiritual hideousness of which mankind is generally capable". Matta focuses on the spiritual affect of the machinations of war. The visual landscape he creates connects us to each other, implying that when we declare war on others, we are really waging war with ourselves. These ideas are embodied in fluid forms and in their fluidity, texture, and contrast. Matta's style and willing exploration of the surrealist philosophy of automatic composition heavily influenced the development of the Abstract Expressionist school and their exploration of Action painting. Roberto Matta first exhibited in the Julian Levy Gallery, New York in 1940. The 1940s signified the re-entry of the human figure in Matta's compositions creating a compositional dialogue of Man versus the Machine. The forms he created were organic and existed in symbiotic relationships with machines. In 1947, Matta was expelled from the surrealists. By the 1950s and 60s he established homes in Rome, Paris, and London. Roberto visited Cuba in 1960's to work with art students. 1962 awarded the Marzotto Prize for La Question Djamilla, inspired by the Spanish Civil War. His work of the 1960s tended to have distinct political and spiritual intentions. Much of his work consisted themes related to events occurring such places as Vietnam, Santo Domingo, and Alabama. An exhibition of 1968 at the Iolas Gallery in New York displayed much of this work. The 1960s marked not only a change in his themes, but in his style. He found influence in contemporary culture while remaining close to his Surrealist roots. His work can generally be split into two areas: cosmic and apocalyptic paintings. Elle s'y Gare, is an example of the cosmic arena and what Andre Breton called "absolute automatism". The idea of automatism was a key element of the Surrealist movement, which emphasized the suppression of conscious control over a composition in order to give free reign to the unconscious imagery and associations. Matta used automatism in a manner that allowed one form to give rise to another until unification was achieved or until further elaboration destroyed the composition. These "chance" compositions are exploited with a fully conscious purpose. The artist takes over. As Chilean painter, printmaker and draughtsman, Matta left Chile as a young man and did not like to be thought of as a "Latin American" artist. He was certainly one of the few Surrealist artists to take on political, social, and spiritual themes directly and without abandoning the biomorphic mutations he is known for and without resorting to social realism.

LINKS
–- Mattarialism (1125x4417pix, 365kb)
–- La Vie d'une Raison (1974, 83x102cm; 1496x1575pix, 145kb)
–- L'Arc Obscur des Heures (982x1362pix, 141kb)
–- I Want to See It To Believe It (1947, color lithograph 41x33cm; 1076x846pix, 104kb)
–- Untitled Illustration of a Poem by Alain Bosquet (etching and color aquatint; 615x841pix, 63kb) {Centaur teaching the mathematical theory of basketball?}
–- Composition (lithograph 30x50cm; 815x1261pix, 110kb)
–- The Mooner (1959 color etching 37x48cm; 580x772pix, 56kb) {I'm pretty sure that it has nothing to do with what you and Google are thinking, or anything else, for that matter}
The Bachelors Twenty Years After (1943) {After what? you ask. – Presumably after Duchamp's 1923 The Bride Stripped Bare by Her Bachelors, Even}
A Grave Situation {An emaciated alien is keeping invisible walls from closing in on him and crushing him?}(1946)
To Give Painless Light (1955)
Untitled {7 separated but unequal asterisks?}
Contra vosotros asesinos de Palmoas (1950, 200x271cm, 500x679pix, 89kb)
–- Loge l'Hors de Temps (989x1512pix, 208kb)
–- Il Albero Giovanne (1358x1165pix, 128kb)
–- Il Mondo fu Rivolta (1996, 180x152cm)
– /S#*>Untitled (800x790pix, 69kb)
– /S#*>Clémence Pour Clément: Beethoven Concerto in D, Opus No.61 (800xpix, 72kb) sketchy suggestion of a cubist violinist, who has eight radial fingers on the right hand, and a complex extendable hook instead of a left hand (the deformed violin has not four, but three strings, they intersect; and the bow is between them and the body of the violin
– /S#*>Pubertà Assai Vivace PUBERTA ASSAI VIVACE (69kb) four nearly-white silhouettes on a nearly-black background.
– /S#*>Tornado di Sensazioni (800xpix, 75kb)
– /S#*>Les Orienteurs (x800pix, 85kb)
– /S#*>Cycle des Aubes (triptych x800pix, 41kb)
– /S#*>Les Roses Sont Belles (800xpix, 90kb) the roses may be beautiful, but not this picture in which they are not.
– /S#*>Yo Soy Quien Soy (x800pix, 87kb)
– /S#*>Lumière de Lucienne (721x900pix, 75kb)
– /S#*>Volatilise l'Échec (900x775pix, 183kb) what goes on behind that little window at the ATM?
– /S#*>Conscience Ensoleillée (999x900pix, 171kb) cataclysm at the laundromat?
– /S#*>Sign of the Times (x800pix, 71kb) naval disaster watched by two mooses?
– /S#*>Tendre Mie (800xpix, 83kb)
– /S#*>El Agua (x800pix, 79kb)
– /S#*>Untitled (x800pix, 84kb)
– /S#*>La Dulce Aqua Vita (800xpix, 99kb)
– /S#*>The End of the World (800xpix, 95kb)
– /S#*>Untitled (900x695pix, 73kb)
– /S#*>Les Placets de Paracelse (800x882pix, 195kb)
– /S#*>Voracité (1976, 73x62cm; 900x773pix, 135kb)
– /S#*>Écran du Feu (890x687pix, 154kb)
– /S#*>Midsummer Night Dew (842x1000pix, 191kb)
– /S#*>Untitled (779x900pix, 160kb) UFO (unidentified fractured object)?
– /S#*>To Know and To See (1955, 116x147cm; 712x900pix, 138kb)
– /S#*>La Pupille de Vénus (x799pix, 93kb)
– /S#*>Untitled (x799pix, 29kb) faint sketch: 4 aliens?
– /S#*>La Source du Calme (799xpix, 102kb) frog-like aliens window shopping?
– /S#*>Untitled (732x900pix, 122kb) gyrating princess meets alien frog king?
– /S#*>Untitled (590x900pix, 202kb)
Acerantes (1995; 150x140cm)
L'âme du fond (1995; 210x330cm)
Les Arpèges (1995; 150x119cm)
Art en ciel (1996; 165x208cm)
Ça fait fleur (1995; 100x76.5cm)
Contrepoint de la lumière (1995; 151x151cm)
Déclenche le ciel! (1995; 180x240cm)
Eclipse de Terre (1996; 150x152cm)
Ergonometria (1995; 175x199cm)
L'Eternité Hors du Moi (1996; 102x87cm)
Etoilage des forces (1995; 178x198 cm)
Everyone's Melody (1996; 103x90cm; 750x638pix, 142kb)
Fécondation du vertige (1995; 180x240cm)
Fleur à la ligne (1995; 50x50cm)
Flower Being (1996; 108x92cm)
La flute de feu (1996; 120x155cm)
Foyer du moi (1995; 235x296cm)
Inside Light (1996; 152x120cm)
Le jardin du vertige (1996; 170x210cm)
A lucerna del mondo (1996; 193x212cm)
Microsome de Printemps (1996; 151x121cm)
Il Mondo fu Rivolta (1996; 180x152cm)
Morphologie du ciel (1996; 142x142cm)
Morphology of the Oneness (1996; 165x206m)
Non zero ma infinito (1995; 137x210cm)
Oceâme (1996; 173x236cm; 620x813pix, 142kb)
Paradise Now (1996; 200x276cm)
Petites danseures (1995, 20x21cm)
Point d'instabilité (1996; 170x213cm)
Queen Kong (1996; 100x70cm)
Rischiarando la luna (1996; 151x140cm)
The Road of Heaven (1996; 154x141cm; 550x508pix, 93kb)
Selfinity (1995; 157x199cm)
Les semences et les oeufs (1995; 180x240cm)
Seminando (1996; 150x120cm)
S'exelle (1996; 107x124cm)
Le silence s'élance (1995; 150x250cm)
Le Sphynx de DNA (1996; 164x211cm)
Stabat Mater (1995; 200x300cm)
Surgo per diverse faci (1996; 170x210cm)
¡Tierra! ¡Tierra! (1996; 164x154cm)
Vino Dello Spazio (1995; 206x285cm)
— Paintings and drawings (423 in all) from the 1932~19371938~19391940~19421943~19441945~19461947~19491950~19521953~19541955~195619571958195919601961~19621963~19641965~19661967~19691970~19711972~197319741975~19761977~19791980~19841985~19871988~19891990~19921993~19941995~19961997~19992000s
17 etchings and lithographs
–(091120)

Died on a 23 November:

1938 Erik Theodor Werenskiold, Norwegian painter, draftsman, and printmaker, born (main coverage) on 11 February 1855. —(071122)

^ 1924 Henry Ryland, British painter, watercolorist, decorator, and designer, born in 1856. His style successfully mixed the themes of the Neo-classical and Pre-Raphaelite movements. His favorite subject was young women in classical draperies on marble terraces.
Two Classical Women Reclining (1893, 47x63cm)
Two Classical Maidens and a Swan (54x38cm)
Rachel at the Well (75x36cm; 1000x466pix, 137kb)
–- S*>#Almond Blossoms (51x39cm; 900x709pix, 97kb) and the woman holding them.
The Young Orpheus (1901; 500x354pix, 51kb) Orpheus, looking very feminine and swathed in a strange bandage, clutches a curious blue lyre while fawns and birds gambol in the background.
Gossip (39x5cm; 432x565pix, 55kb)
Oleander (51x30cm; ) The Titian-haired beauty is influenced, of course, from those 'Stunners' of Dante Gabriel Rossetti, or perhaps more directly the images of Frederick Sandys. The aesthetic background, again in common with the works of Sandys, stems initially from the designs of William Morris, but the flower itself, an oleander, pays homage to the highly popular Neoclassical movement. Henry Ryland had studied under Benjamin Constant and Boulanger, Lefebvre and Carmon in Paris, but it was Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema's paintings which captured his imagination.
Woman with a Rose (1900, 36x22cm; 681x402pix, 161kb)


1898 Giovanni Battista Quadrone, Italian artist born on 05 January 1844.

^ 1896 Fritz Zuber-Buhler, Swiss painter born in 1822. Since its inception, the French academic system, which trained artists beginning at the most rudimentary level, had established itself as the most powerful artistic institution until the latter half of the nineteenth century. Artists trained in the Ecole des Beaux-Arts often found themselves continuing the stylistic tendencies of their masters, intrigued by the public and private prestige it had afforded them. This “academic” style, with its meticulous execution, perfectly composed compositions, classicizing tendencies, and reliance on pre-established and thus, acceptable themes, was created and perpetuated through an intricate system of artistic training under well-established and successful teachers, prestigious awards, and a rigidly juried Salon. Many of these artists were schooled in similar academic traditions and adhered to this style throughout their career, finding success and patronage at the same time. Artists from throughout Europe migrated to Paris, the epicenter of the art world during the middle and end of the nineteenth century, seeking this training with the desire of establishing themselves as prominent artists.
     Fritz Zuber-Buhler was one of these artists who came to Paris in search of artistic glory, and became part of the large circle of academic artists coming out of the Ecole des Beaux-Arts system. A contemporary of William Bouguereau, Zuber-Buhler’s canvases are indebted to the academic tradition in both their execution and theme, presenting dream-like visions of coquettish women, angelic young children, and hints of a mythological proclivity that created an oeuvre wholly in line with the academic ideas of idealized classicism. His Spirit of the Morning is an example of Zuber-Buhler’s creation of a dream-like realm of fantasy situated in a natural setting, featuring a softly rendered cherubic figure appearing as a fairy while Innocence reflects his interest in idealizing even the peasant children and their surroundings. His choice of imagery displaces reality with its fanciful and romanticized reinterpretation favoring a love of exquisite detail and an emphasis on delicacy.
       Zuber-Buhler was born in Le Locle, Switzerland, but moved to Paris at the age of sixteen to begin his training with Louis Grosclaude before officially entering the Ecole des Beaux-Arts and the atelier of Francois-Edouard Picot. It was Picot who had created an entire artistic lineage of painters schooled in the academic style and tradition, as he himself was an academic painter originally trained under Jacques Louis David. The teacher of not only Zuber-Buhler, but also Zuber-Buhler’s contemporaries such as Bouguereau, Alexandre Cabanel, Léon Perrault, among many others, Picot continued the principles of the academic tradition by passing them on to his many students, who equally became academic-style painters.
      Supplementing their basic, but rigorous, training at the École in Paris, many students continued to make pilgrimages to Italy, which remained a source of inspiration to many artists, whether for the possibility to view paintings from the old master’s or to learn an elevated form of landscape painting. According to some reports, Zuber-Buhler too left Paris to travel and study in Italy, reportedly at the age of nineteen. He was away for a period of five years. However, he is also said to have been a student at the Berlin Academy between 1843 and 1844. Zuber-Buhler may have spent time in Italy prior to undertaking further study in Germany, enriching his work with experiences both in and out of the studio setting.
      After traveling and studying in Paris, Italy, and perhaps Berlin, Zuber-Buhler returned to Paris to establish his career as an artist. He began exhibiting at the annual Salon, debuting in 1850 with L’Enfance de Bacchus, La Madonne et l’Enfant Jésus, Portrait de Mme la marquise de F…, and with La Poussière Retourne à la Poussière et l’Esprit Remonte à Dieu Qui l’a Donné. He continued to exhibit prolifically throughout his career, often entering several works in the Salon simultaneously. He began also to exhibit drawings, pastels, and watercolors into his oeuvre and equally submitted those to the Salons. In 1867 he exhibited in the United States at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts as well, showing The Pet Kitten, and also was part of the 1877 exhibition for which he received an award.
      It is clear that the style Zuber-Buhler was proposing for entry into the Salon was accepted by Salon juries and audiences alike, given the sheer number of paintings shown at his debut in 1850. His entries also suggest to what extend Zuber-Buhler was interested in varying his themes, but nevertheless focused on themes that could cross borders and have a universal appeal. He was interested in executing works with mythological and religious themes, as well as completing portraits commissions. Both mythological and religiously inspired themes were of the highest order at the annual Salons and were looked upon with the utmost admiration. Zuber-Buhler continued to show at the Salon until 1891.
      He died in Paris. Throughout his career, Zuber-Buhler advanced the tenets of the academic style and showed his reliance on the artistic training provided to him at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts. He became part of a long and well-established academic tradition, which, by the latter years of his career, had entered a period of decline, not in terms of popularity with patrons, but in relation to the modernists who began challenging this academic perspective. Despite any rivalries between opposing artistic factions, Zuber-Buhler’s art would certainly have found popularity with both Second Empire and Third Republic audiences in France and would echo the growing prosperity of these eras.
Innocence (66x81cm; 750x937pix, 417kb)
A Young Beauty holding a Bouquet of Flowers (73x59cm)
Dressing Up (69x52cm)
La Mi-Carême (125x172cm)
The Spirit of the Morning (98x72cm)
Maternité (74x62cm)
The Cherry Thieves (25x34cm)
The First Cherries (55x46cm)
The Lesson (41x32cm)
Tickling the Baby (74x61cm)
Young Girl Holding a Doll (57x47cm)
Near the Well (81x65cm; 480x384pix, 26kb)
Mother with Her Baby (26x22cm; 661x531pix, 85kb) _ detail 1 (800x502pix, 94kb) _ detail 2 (709x531pix, 80kb) _ detail 3 (531x709pix, 85kb)

^ 1859 (17 Nov?) James Ward, English Romantic painter and engraver, specialized in animals, born on 23 October 1769. He was the most important animal painter of his generation. Many of his dynamic compositions depict horses, dogs or wild animals in agitated emotional states, the sense of movement being reinforced by vigorous brushwork and strong colors. With their sweeping landscapes and dramatic skies, his canvases epitomize Romanticism. Not content to excel merely as an animal painter, Ward also produced portraits, landscapes and genre and history paintings of varying quality. A prolific artist, he was a frequent exhibitor at the British Institution and at the Royal Academy, London.— Ward was born in London, the son of a warehouse manager. He was apprenticed to John Raphael Smith in about 1782, but left after a short time to assist his brother, William, an engraver. He learned from him the process of mezzotint, in which he came to excel. Ward's early work was much influenced by the rustic genre of George Morland [1763-1804], who married his sister. Ward was appointed mezzotinter to the Prince of Wales in 1794. He first showed his own work at the Royal Academy in 1792, and abandoned engraving to paint animals, first livestock portraits, and later animal subject pictures with heroic landscapes. In 1811 he began painting his enormous canvas of Gordale Scar. Thereafter his work aspired consistently to the sublime, and he made many history pictures. He outlived the fashion for his work and died impoverished and neglected. — William Say was a student of Ward. — LINKS
–- What Is It? (85x111cm; 507x667pix, 51kb _ .ZOOM to 760x1000pix, 124kb _ .ZOOM+ to 1619x2000pix, 181kb) _ Emerging from their lair, puzzled young panthers look at a rearing snake.
Gordale Scar (A View of Gordale, in the Manor of East Malham in Craven, Yorkshire, the Property of Lord Ribblesdale) (1814, 333x422cm; 405x512pix, 33kb)
A Spaniel Frightening Ducks (1821, 122x182cm)
The Deer Stealer (1823, 229x366cm)
Miranda and Caliban
Sheep

1818 Jean Baptiste Claude Robin, French artist born on 24 July 1734.


Born on a 23 November:


1890 “El Lissitzky”, Russian painter who died (full coverage) on 30 December 1941. —(061226)

1883 José Clemente Orozco, Mexican painter who died (full coverage) on 07 September 1949. —(051122)

1862 Salvador Viniegra y Lasso, Spanish painter who died main coverage on 28 April 1915. —(071122)

^ >1798 Franz Théobald Horny, German painter who died on 23 June 1824. — {no comment on his name} — He received his first instruction in art from his father, Conrad Horny [1764–1807], a painter and copperplate engraver, who taught at the Zeichenschule in Weimar. He attended this school from 1806 to 1816, receiving training primarily as a painter of landscapes. In 1816, his patron Baron Carl Friedrich von Rumohr, a friend of his father, enabled him to go to Italy. In Rome Horny became a student of Joseph Anton Koch [27 Jul 1768 – 12 Jan 1839], who introduced him to landscape composition in the classically heroic style. Through eager study, both from nature and from live models, Horny’s skills developed swiftly, especially in his work in pen and watercolor (e.g. View of Olevano with Shepherds and a Hermit, 1817). Horny was soon, however, drawn into the circle of the Lukasbrüder: Peter Joseph Cornelius persuaded him to participate in the major fresco project for the Casino Massimo in Rome. Horny completed a large number of pen and watercolor drawings depicting flowers, fruits, and birds, and intended as wreaths and festoons to frame Cornelius’s historical scenes from Dante’s Paradiso. When Cornelius was recalled to Munich in 1818, however, this fresco was not carried out and Horny’s designs were therefore not used. In the same year, Horny developed tuberculosis and moved to Olevano for his health. The rugged beauty of the Sabine Hills and their picturesque towns drew him back to the depiction of landscape. His drawings, combining Koch’s classically heroic outlook with the poetic sensibility of the Lukasbrüder, often convey the impression of an earthly paradise, as in Italian Country Life (1820). In his sketchbooks and magnificently composed watercolors, he may be seen as one of the principal exponents of the German school of landscape painters working in Italy. His watercolor Rome in the Renaissance (1821) attests to his experiments in history painting.
–- Sabiner Berge (1833, 41x44cm; xpix, kb) _ aquarelle sketch —(071123)

^ 1745 Jean François Sablet “le Romain”, Swiss painter who died on 24 February 1819. He was the son of painter and picture dealer Jacob Sablet [1720–1798]. Both he and his brother Jacques-Henri Sablet [28 Jan 1749 – 22 Aug 1803] studied at the Académie Royale de Peinture et de Sculpture in Paris as students of Joseph-Marie Vien, François in 1768–1773 and Jacques in 1772–1775. Although their careers did not follow a similar course, the attribution of their works has frequently been confused. Among Jean François Sablet's early portraits are those of Charles de Bourbon, Comte d’Artois, as Colonel General of the Swiss and Grison Guards (1774) and Charles-Henri, Comte d’Estaing (engraved by Charles-Etienne Gaucher). He also painted genre scenes, such as Childhood in the Country and Visit to the Wet-nurse (engraved by L. Perrot, fl 1786), and mythological scenes. In 1791 he left Paris for Rome to join his brother. While there he concentrated on landscapes, for example Gardens of the Villa Borghese and Landscape at Nemi (1793), also depicting people in local costume (e.g. Peasant Woman of Genzano). In February 1793 he was obliged to leave Rome with the rest of the French community and by October was in Paris as a member of the Revolutionary Commune des Arts. He produced a number of Revolutionary portraits, including Joseph-Agricol Viala, William Tell and Lycurgus (all engraved by Pierre-Michel Alix), but spent most of his time quietly in Normandy. In 1802 he worked in Paris for the printmakers Francesco Piranesi [1758–1810] and his brother Pietro Piranesi [1773–>1807). In 1805 he established himself in Nantes, producing small-scale portraits of the city’s notables (e.g. Nantes, Mus. Dobrée) with sometimes scathing sincerity. In 1812 he decorated the Bourse in Nantes with six large grisailles depicting the Visite de Napoléon à Nantes en 1808.

^ 1654 Jan van Kessel III, Flemish painter and draftsman who died in 1708. He was the son and student of Jan van Kessel II [bap. 05 April 1626 – 18 Oct 1679], and grandson of portrait painter Hieronymus van Kessel II [06 Oct 1578 – >1635], and brother of Ferdinand van Kessel [1648–1696], who painted in the style of his father, while he, Jan van Kessel III, followed in the portrait tradition of his grandfather. The Amsterdam landscape artist Jan van Kessel [bap. 22 Sep 1641 – 24 Dec 1680 bur.] was apparently unrelated. By 1680 Jan van Kessel III was in Spain where he established a reputation as a portrait painter in Madrid, particularly with his Queen Marie Louise of Orléans. In 1686 he became a portrait painter at the court of King Charles II, thereby making him a wealthy man, but from 1700, during the reign of Philip V, the grandson of Louis XIV, King of France, he was overlooked in favor of French artists. As can be seen in his signed Family Portrait (1679) and the copy he made of it (1680), his style is somewhat stiff and his compositions overcrowded. His work is anecdotal in character, portraying an admirable concern with precision and detail.
— Jan van Kessel was the last member of a dynasty of painters which originated in the 16th century, all of whose members shared the same name. He was born in 1654 in Antwerp where his father, Jan van Kessel “the Elder” [1626–1679], a relative of the Bruegel family, specialized in painting animals, landscapes and flowers, and it was in this environment that the young artist received his early training. He arrived when still young in Madrid at the end of the 1670s, perhaps just before he painted the family portrait in a garden setting of the Flemish noble who was to be his protector during his early years at court and perhaps also facilitated his move from his native country. This Family Portrait of 1679 is a typical subject in the Low Countries but was not favored by Spanish taste of the period. Van Kessel was painter to Queen Maria Luisa of Orléans and also to the King’s second wife, Mariana of Neuberg. Following the death of Charles II, the artist accompanied the King’s widow during her stay in Toledo, later returning to court, where he died in 1708. During the last years of his life he portrayed the young Philip V, although apparently with little success. Very little work by Jan van Kessel III is known. In addition to his Family Portrait, mentioned above, there is another painting on this subject, and an important portrait of dwarves with a dog which reveals the artist’s assimilation of the tradition of Velázquez which prevailed in Madrid court painting of the late 17th century. According to Spanish sources of the period, particularly Palomino, who knew and dealt with him, Van Kessel was a painter of great technical merit, and highly gifted in portraiture, the genre to which he mainly dedicated his activities, although Palomino also states that he took part in the decoration of the Galería del Cierzo in the Queen’s apartments in the Alcázar in Madrid, painting two episodes from the fable of Cupid and Psyche. Trained in the Low Countries, Van Kessel had a style which reveals a painstaking and detailed technique characteristic of Flemish painting, having little in common with the loose brushstroke and free handling of Madrid painting of his time, although he clearly derives the warm palette and importance of light in spatial definition from this school.
LINKS
A Family in a Garden (1680; 195kb)
View of the Carrera de San Jerónimo and the Paseo del Prado with a Procession of Carriages (264x728pix, 79kb) _ 3 details _ Neither the exact subject-matter nor the authorship of this painting have yet been firmly decided, however it yields a great deal of extremely interesting information. Perhaps the most important element is the actual site depicted, which is the meeting point between the Carrera de San Jerónimo and the Paseo del Prado Viejo de San Jerónimo. The place is depicted as it would have appeared in the last years of the Habsburg dynasty during the reign of Charles II, a dating that can be deduced from the dress of the figures. This painting is not the only one of this location in Madrid, as there is another in the collection of the Marquise of Santa Cruz dating from the early decades of the 17th century (judging from the clothes of the figures and the technique), however, that work is basically a view of the Carrera de San Jerónimo from the Paseo del Prado while the Paseo itself is only represented by the foliage of some trees near the crossing of the two streets. This is possibly the painting mentioned by Mesonero Romanos as in the collection of the Marquis of Salamanca.
     The present work is an outstanding representation of the Madrid known to the Countess d’Aulnoy, who, during her visit to the capital in 1679, spoke of rather wide streets but noted that “there are no streets worse in the world […] and the horses always have wet feet”. Madrid was a city choked with carriages, the roads impassible due to the mud in winter and dusty in the summer, according to its chroniclers. The area around the Carrera de San Jerónimo became important after the construction of the Buen Retiro Palace in the 1630s, while the Paseo del Prado, although not yet built up, was a shady, tree-lined area which had been used as a pleasure route for the carriages of the city’s upper classes since the second half of the 16th century. López de Hoyos describes the entry into Madrid of Ana of Austria in 1570 along this route which, during the time of the construction of the Buen Retiro, had three rows of trees, four small fountains and a small tower known as the “tower of music” as it housed musicians whose music made the Paseo agreeable.
     The Carrera de San Jerónimo as depicted in the present work includes a modest group of buildings which includes the simple, and apparently unfinished, convento de clérigos menores del Espíritu Santo. This institution was established by the Caballero de Gracia in the late 16th century in the street which now bears its name, but due to various problems it moved to its new home built under the sponsorship of the Marquise del Valle. Work on the church was finished in 1684, a fact which will help to date the present painting, given that it does not include the two towers which decorated its façade and which we know from early 19th-century prints. This building was destroyed by fire in 1823, possibly intentionally, as it took place while the Duke of Angoulême and some of his officers from the Hundred Thousand Knights of St. Louis were present at a mass. The state of the building was so ruinous that the monks moved out and the site was later occupied by the Lower House of Parliament.
     In the lower left corner we can just make out the building which was the pleasure palace of the Duke of Lerma and which was partly built by Juan Gómez de Mora. Don Francisco de Sandoval y Rojas was the first important court figure to consider the Prado Viejo de San Jerónimo as a suitable site for a suburban villa, and following his death this property passed through family inheritance to the Dukes of Medinaceli, to whom it belonged until 1895.
     At the beginning of the 17th century the plots of land on either side of the Paseo del Prado were divided into small parcels of land belonging to numerous, anonymous owners. The plot on which the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum now stands belonged in 1613 to the Count of Villalonga. When part of it was expropriated from him to regularise the layout of the Paseo, he sold the estate to various buyers who turned the land over to the fruit and vegetable gardens which were the norm in this area.
     After the building of the Buen Retiro Palace, the land became more valuable and was given over to different use. The aristocracy, wishing to be near the monarch, bought a large number of small plots in order to build noble houses, a process which eventually meant that the land passed into the hands of a few owners. In 1663 the plot now occupied by the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum was almost entirely owned by Don Diego de la Cerda y Silva, Count of Gálvez, who purchased from the Duke of Maceda a vegetable garden next to his land, located off-street and without access to the Paseo del Prado. This is the only information available up to now regarding the properties of the Duke of Maceda in this part of Madrid, although there is an old tradition in the literature of one of his properties being on this corner, information which has not been confirmed by any document to date. In the 1670s the plot passed into the hands of Doña Francisca Manrique Lara, who left it to her brother the Count of Frigiliana. His descendents sold it to the Duchess of Atri in 1736, while the Duke of Villahermosa owned it from 1771, and built the palace which now occupies the site. The building work evident in the present painting may be the construction of the home of the Count of Gálvez, who seems to have been the first to own a house in this location. From this point and looking towards the end of the Paseo in the painting we can make out a succession of fruit and vegetable plots and gardens, reaching to the Huerta de Juan Fernández, located at the entrance to the Prado de Recoletos in the present Plaza de Cibeles. This was a famous spot for picnics and festivals and was a key element in Madrid social life in the 17th century, also giving its name to a comedy by Tirso de Molina. The right side of the Paseo de Prado Viejo de San Jerónimo, barely visible in the painting, was an area which bordered the plot occupied by the Buen Retiro Palace.
     Equally as interesting as this architectural and urbanistic aspect is the identification of the person and the event represented in the painting. This, however, proves difficult due to the lack of specific coats-of-arms or badges of office on the carriages in the procession. The characters taking part are undoubtedly making their way to the Buen Retiro Palace in order to extend some courtesy to the monarch. The protagonist must be an important figure from the number and richness of the carriages, all of which are drawn by four horses, which the sumptuary laws only permitted for princes, ambassadors, members of the aristocracy, etc. It has been suggested that the protagonist is Prince Eugene of Savoy-Carignan, who visited Madrid in 1686 accompanied by his mother Olimpia Mancini, Countess of Soissons. While the Savoy were a family particularly highly esteemed by the later Spanish Habsburgs as they were descendents of Philip II’s daughter, Catalina Micaela, the personal situation of the illustrious visitors at that time does not make it likely that they could have made an entry into the city or presentation at court of the type seen here, since these ceremonies were paid for by the protagonists themselves. The Countess of Soissons had arrived in Madrid from Brussels where she had lived for the past few years in exile from Louis xiv, her bitter enemy.
     Thus, it seems prudent to discard the identification with Eugene of Savoy and change the identification to an as yet unknown dignitary, whose identity may be revealed by further research. We would also suggest dating the painting to the last years of the 1670s, due to the clothing and hairstyles of the figures which are very close to those of the period of Maria Luisa de Orléans. This dating would also coincide with information given earlier on the Carrera de San Jerónimo, in which the Convent of the Holy Spirit is as yet incomplete at the end of the 1670s, therefore explaining the lack of the towers of the façade in the painting, as mentioned above.
     Just as it is difficult to specify the exact subject of the painting, so it is to identify the artist, as this is a rare subject in Spanish art of this period. The painting has been attributed to the Antwerp-born, Madrid-based artist Jan van Kessel III, probably because he was trained in a school more familiar with this genre. There are very few works which can be securely attributed to him, and for this reason we need to wait for the appearance of other, similar works in order to be able securely identify the artist of this painting. It may in fact be by a Spanish artist, as other views of cities and of ceremonies are known from this period, which suggests the production of such works by artists in Madrid.
–- from his studio: An Allegory of the Order of the Knights of Malta (687x960pix, 107kb) _ In a landscape are an eagle, herons, turkeys, a cockatoo, a spoonbill, a jay, pheasants, hoopoes, pigeons, ducks, a lapwing, owls, a swan, a peacock, chickens, parrots, cranes, and a macaw. Inscribed on banderole under the eagle center left: HONNI SOIT QUI MAL Y PENSE
–- by a follower: Monkey Barbershop (75x104cm; 689x960pix, 93kb) the customers are cats.


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