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ART “4” “2”-DAY  17 October v.9.90
Modern art really is rubbish.
      Damien Hirst [07 Jul 1965~], master con man of the modern British art scene, may fetch huge bids and draw international crowds, but in the eyes of one savvy gallery worker, his art belongs in the bin. And that's exactly where cleaner Emmanuel Asare, 54, tosses an exhibit that Hirst created at a launch party for a show of his work.
      The pile of empty beer bottles, dirty ashtrays, coffee cups and sweet wrappers left over from the 16 October 2001 evening party at the Eyestorm Gallery in west London had been arranged by Hirst into an impromptu installation. But when Asare arrives at the gallery the morning after the night before, he dumps the whole lot in the garbage.
      “As soon as I clapped eyes on it, I sighed because there was so much mess,” the cleaner told The Sun newspaper. “I didn't think for a second that it was a work of art. It didn't much look like art to me.” Less enlightened gallery employees retrieved the items from the trash bags and used photographs to recreate the exhibit [photo below], which has a kinship the conceptual unmade-bed display of fellow YBA Tracey Emin [03 Jul 1963~] .
Hirst's rubbish
      The Turner Prize-winning so-called artist would say that the misunderstanding over his work was “fantastic, very funny.” Neither the gallery nor Hirst's assistant would comment on the gaffe, which is just the latest bit of publicity to thrust Hirt's name into the limelight. Leader of the so-called YBAs (Yokels Battering Art? No, it's intended to mean “Young British Artists”), high-living Hirst has made himself notorious for ludicrously over-hyped non-art, such as pickled sheep, sharks, and cows in formaldehyde.
^ >Died on 17 (05 Julian) October 1836: Orest Kiprensky, Russian painter born on 24 (13 Julian) March 1782.
—    Kiprensky was one of Russia's leading painters of the first half of the XIX century, and achieved international recognition. He was an illegitimate son of the landowner Alexey Dyakonov and one of his serfs. Born in the village Koporye, near St. Petersburg, on a farm owned by his father, he was released from serfdom, but was raised in the family of Adam Shvalber [1742-1807], a serf who was emancipated in 1800 and whom Orest portrayed in 1804 as
      _ The Artist's Father. Orest's real father helped him to be admitted to the Academy of Arts in St. Petersburg in 1788. There Orest was trained to become a historical painter, which was considered to be the highest achievement for an artist. He graduated from the Academy in 1803, but stayed there for three more years to win a scholarship to go abroad to study art.
      _ Prince Dimity Donskoy after the Kulikov Battle (1805) was the picture which won him the scholarship. In 1804 he had exhibited the
      _ Portrait of A. K. Shvalber (1804), which later a group of members of the Naples Academy of Arts, thought was from one of the great masters of the past — Rubens, Rembrandt, or Van Dyke — until Kiprensky got letters from the members of the St.Petersburg Academy of Arts confirming his authorship.
      During the following years Kiprensky created many portraits, among the best are
      _ The Princess  A. V. Scherbatova (1808),
      _ The Prince P. P. Scherbatov (1808),
      _ A. A. Chelischev (1809),
      _ Count V. A. Perovsky (1809),
      _ Countess Ye. P. Rostopchina (1809),
      _ Denis Davydov (1809). During Napoleon's invasion of 1812, Kiprensky painted several portraits of people who fought against the French.
      _ Peter Olenin [1792-1868] was finished just before 18-year-old Peter with his 19-year-old brother Nicholas went to fight the Battle of Borodino, where Nicholas was killed and Peter severely wounded. In the  post-war period Kiprensky painted portraits such as those of
      _ Darya K. Khvostova (1814; 135kb),
      _ V. S. Khvostov (1814),
      _ A. I. Molchanova with Daughter (1814), 
      _ Count S. S. Uvarov (1816), 
      _ The Poet V. A. Zhukovsky (1815).
    At last in 1816, Orest Kiprensky managed go to Europe to study the art of old masters. He spent seven years in Italy and created historical pictures there: Tomb of Anacreon (1821), several genre pictures
      _ Young Gardener (1817), 
      _ Girl Wearing the Poppy Wreath, also known as Portrait of Mariucci (1819) ,
      _ Gypsy Girl with a Twig of Myrtle (1819) and others. And of course he kept painting portraits in various techniques, among the best are
      _ The Princess S. S. Scherbatova (1819), 
      _ The Prince A. M. Golitzin (c.1819),
      _  Ekaterina C. Avdulina (1823; 800x635pix, 64kb — ZOOM to 1600x1270pix, 188kb). In Italy he met a little girl “Mariucci” Anna Maria Falcucci, to whom he became attached. He “bought” her from her dissolute mother and made her his ward. On leaving Italy, he placed her in a Catholic convent.
    After his return from Italy Kiprensky continued to paint portraits, his favorite genre. The most notable were
      _ Count D. N. Sheremetyev (1824), 
      _ O. A. Ryumina (1826),
      _ Prince N. P. Trubetzkoy (1826),
      _ A. F. Shishmarev (1827),
      _ Retired Major-General Karl Albrecht (1827; 127kb),
      _ Self-portrait (1828),
      _ Sibyl of Delphi (Portrait of N. S. Semenova.) (1828),
      _ A. A. Olenina (1828),
      _ Petr Vassilievich Basin,
      _ The Poet Alexander Pushkin (1827; 900x713pix, 189kb)
     In 1828, Kiprensky went back to Italy a letter, from his friend in Italy S. Galberg, informed him that he lost track of Mariucci. Kiprensky found Mariucci, who had been transferred to another convent. In Italy he went on working. He painted The Sibyl of Tibur (1830), a big canvas in the historical genre, but the painting was not successful. There were several remarkable genre pictures: 
      _ Naples Boys (1829), Naples Girl with a Bowl of Fruits (1831),
      _ Readers of the Newspaper in Naples (1831) and portraits: F. A. Golitzin (1833) and
      _ The Sculptor Bertel Thorvaldsen (1833). In July 1836, Kiprensky was able at last to take Mariucci from the convent and marry her. He died from pneumonia three months later. His daughter Constance was born after his death.

Self-Portrait with Brushes (1804)
Self-Portrait in a Pink Necktie (1809)
Grand Duke Dmitry Donskoy after the Kulikov Battle (1805) _ detail 1 _ detail 2 _ Grand Duke Dmitry Donskoy [1350-1389] was the ruler of Moscow after 1359. He united the armed forces of the Russians to rebel against the Tatars' rule. On 17 August 1380, 100'000 Russians gave battle on the Kulikovo field to a Tatar army almost as big. Dmitry Donskoy fought as an ordinairy soldier to encourage his soldiers and was severely wounded. The battle was won, but the losses were immense. The picture shows Donskoy when he was found by his people, who thought he had been killed.
Girl Wearing a Poppy Wreath (1819)
Madonna with the Child (1807) _ icon from the cathedral in Kazan.
23 images at Wikimedia
^ >Born on 17 October 1859: Frederick Childe Hassam, US impressionist painter, etcher, and illustrator who died on 27 August 1935.
— The son of Frederick F. Hassam, a prominent Boston merchant, and his wife, Rosa P. Hathorne, he was initially trained as an apprentice to a wood-engraver. From the late 1870s to the mid-1880s he made drawings for the illustration of books, particularly children’s stories. He had a long affiliation with the Boston firm of Daniel Lothrop & Co., for whom he illustrated E. S. Brooks’s In No-man’s Land: A Wonder Story (1885), Margaret Sidney’s A New Departure for Girls (1886) and numerous other books.
— Hassam was born in Dorchester, Massachusetts and educated at the Boston Art School and the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris. Hassam was the chief US exponent of impressionism. His primary objective both in his paintings and in his etchings was to represent the effects of sunlight in city scenes and in landscapes of rural New England. His works include July 14 Rue Daunon (1910) and Church at Gloucester (1918). Hassam is remembered primarily for the sparkling effects that he achieved.
— Son of prosperous merchant and antiquarian. Studied in Boston under I.M. Gaugengigl, and at the Académie Julian in Paris under Boulanger and Lefebvre until 1883. Spent five years in France, influenced by Monet. Became of the leading exponents of American Impressionism or "luminism". Worked as a painter and illustrator after return from Europe. In 1898 helped to found "The Ten", a group of rebels against the conservative American Academy. Influenced by Whistler. Began to etch in 1898 but these plates not completed until 1915. In 1917 began to experiment with lithography, but his lithographs were not commercially successful.

The Etcher Self-Portrait (etching, 120kb)
Isles of Shoals (1899, 64x77cm; 1/3 size, 849kb _ ZOOM to 2/3 size, 3483kb)
Isles Of Shoals (1912, 46x56cm)
Isles of Shoals (34x24cm)
The Lady of the Gorge (56x61cm; 747x800pix, 214kb _ ZOOM to 1382x1480pix, 617kb) _ Elle ne porte pas de soutien-gorge, ni aucun autre vêtement.
Boston Common at Twilight (106x152cm; 562x800pix, 63kb _ ZOOM to 1199x1707pix, 288kb)
Bathing Pool, Appledore ( 63x75cm; 666x800pix, kb _ ZOOM to 1305x1568pix, 415kb) _ From 1886 to 1916, Hassam made regular summer visits to Appledore, the largest of nine rugged islands that make up the Isles of Shoals about ten miles off the coast of New Hampshire. Drawn to the island by its natural beauty and leisure activities, Hassam was also attracted by the salon and garden of the poet and writer Celia Laighton Thaxter, whose family owned the resort hotel and who welcomed writers, musicians, and artists to the flower-filled parlor of her cottage. Hassam's illustrations of Thaxter's garden adorn her book An Island Garden, published in 1894 just before her death. Hassam had built a studio home on Appledore and continued to visit after Thaxter's death, although he no longer painted its lush floral landscapes, concentrating instead on images of rocks and sea. In Bathing Pool, Appledore he depicted the resort life of the island in the foreground, including swimmers in the pool area in front of colorful bathhouses and strollers in the midday sunshine. Beyond the vacationers stretches a benign sea studded with the domical Babb's Rock and other granite outcroppings, skillfully conveyed by the artist using an elevated viewpoint, active brush work, and a light, bright palette.
Le Jour du Grand Prix (61x78cm; 623x800pix _ ZOOM to 1262x1621pix, 361kb) _ In 1887 Hassam altered his style when he painted this in light colors that captured the effect of a bright sunny day, rather than using the darker, more tonal palette he had previously preferred (as in Boston Common at Twilight). He depicted the parade of fashionably dressed Parisians on their way to the Grand Prix at Longchamps in the Bois de Boulogne, an important horse race held annually in June (see Degas, Race Horses at Longchamps). Hassam exhibited a second, larger version, entitled Le Jour du Grand Prix, at the Salon of 1888. He described the picture to fellow artist Rose Lamb, “I am painting sunlight…a 'four in hand' and the crowds of fiacres filled with the well dressed women who go to the 'Grand Prix.'" Probably portraying the chestnut-tree-lined Avenue Bois de Boulogne (now Foch), with the Arc de Triomphe partially visible to the left, Grand Prix Day demonstrates Hassam's adaptation of Monet's color and brush strokes and the compositional devices (cropping and empty foreground) often utilized by Degas and Caillebotte to provide a glimpse of modern Parisian life. However, Hassam's more restrained form of Impressionism, influenced by the work of Giuseppe de Nittis and Jean Béraud, is evident in the solidity and detail of the horses, carriages, and figures.
Le Jour du Grand Prix (1888; 355x450pix, 26kb) _ Inaugurated in 1863, the Grand Prix was a 3000-meter race for three-year-old horses from any country, held at the Longchamp track in the recently relandscaped Bois de Bologne. The final race in the spring season, the Grand Prix signaled the closing of the society season before the vacations of summer. In 1887, the Grand Prix was held on the first Sunday of June. The brilliant sunlight and abbreviated shadows in Hassam's painting indicate a time shortly after noon, the hour that racegoers thronged to the Bois. There, people like those Hassam depicts would spend the early afternoon picnicking, sipping Champagne, eyeing one another's costumes, and placing their bets. The races at Longchamp has earlier been portrayed by French Impressionists Edgar Degas and Edouard Manet, who depicted the jockeys and spectators at the track. Like a true Parisian, Hassam was attuned to the subtle gradations of status signalled in the fashions and equipages portrayed in his painting. The most prominent vehicle is a road or mail coach, which was popular for the races because it gave its passengers an unobstructed view over the crowd. Since it required a stable of at least four horses, plus alternate vehicles for bad weather, the mail coach was an obvious sign of wealth. Furthermore, unlike the victoria (two-passenger coach) and laundau (four) also depicted in Hassam's painting, the mail coach was not available to rent. The women atop the mail coach wear pastel dresses and high-crowned, narrow-brimmed hats trimmed with feathers or flowers. Their clothing, significantly brighter than that worn by the spectators on foot, suggests an attention to fashion. Every spring, French periodicals illustrated costumes for the races that were far more elaborate than those for social calls, promenades, or even dinners. This painting is closely related to the study of the same scene listed above. The study, smaller in scale and more subdued in color, was painted first. Hassam recreated the brilliant sunshine of this painting some six months later. "Just now . . . I am painting sunlight," he wrote to a friend in November 1887, explaining that colleagues who had seen his smaller version of the subject had urged him to paint it larger. “I hope I shall do it as well as the smaller one which I though was successful in some ways,” he added. Hassam made few changes to the composition, but brightened the palette and loosened his brushwork. The carefully calculated result marked his first decisive foray into Impressionism.
Charles River and Beacon Hill (41x46cm; 723x800pix, 156kb _ ZOOM to 1359x1505pix, 481kb) _ In this painting Hassam employed the radical compositional effects that he had seen in French painting to portray changing aspects of Boston. Like Caillebotte and other French Impressionists, he used dramatically plunging recession and a broad expanse of empty foreground to draw the viewer into his cityscape, which includes three of Boston's important topographical features. On the left is the Charles River which divides the city from Cambridge. In the center is Beacon Hill, settled in the 18th century and the site of the gold-domed State House, and on the right is the Back Bay, a fashionable residential area created over the previous forty years by the filling of tidal flats. As Hassam was no doubt aware, there had been much discussion in Boston as to how to take best advantage of the Charles River. Hassam showed the dirt road and narrow walkway along the embankment, and he drew attention to the river via the boat landing and the blue-coated man at the railing smoking his pipe. Shortly thereafter, the scene was altered when a one-hundred-foot-wide concrete promenade was constructed beyond the sea wall. Here Hassam captured the city of his youth as it was transforming itself into a sophisticated urban center.
Old Fairbanks House, Dedham, Massachusetts (56x56cm; 804x800pix, 161kb _ ZOOM to 1434x1428pix, 414kb)
Chatou near Bougival (25x35cm; 584x800pix, 78kb _ ZOOM to 1222x1675pix, 286kb)
Blossoming Trees (27x23cm; 1135x800pix _ ZOOM to 1704x1201pix, 344kb)
Canterbury (34x24cm; 1111x800pix, 181kb _ ZOOM to 1686x1214pix, 347kb)
Spanish Street (31x41cm; 598x800pix, 76kb _ ZOOM to 1237x1655pix, 350kb)
The Knolls, New Hampshire (25x35cm; 574x800pix, 123kb _ ZOOM to 1212x1689pix, 403kb)
Lady Reading (49x31cm; 1179x800pix, 196kb _ ZOOM to 1737x1179pix, 350kb) rough watercolor sketch
Winter, Midnight (1894; 1600x1108pix, 915kb)
A Rainy Day (1600x803pix, 635kb).
Bridge at Old Lyme (1908, 60x65cm; 1364x1500pix, 233kb)
–- Easter Morning aka Portrait at a New York Window (1921, 94x65cm; 1181x805pix, 139kb; _ .ZOOM to 2372x1612kb, 871kb) the woman seems to be suffering from some disease that gives her skin a light violet hue.
California (1919, 61x110cm; 1/4 size, 387kb)
The Fireplace (1912, 14x21cm)
Bricklayers (1900, 26x21cm)
Houses of Parliament, Early Evening (1898, 33x42cm)
Boy with Flower Pots (1888, 46x38cm)
Columbus Avenue (1886, 18x27cm)
Le Jour du Grand Prix (1888; 152kb)
Celia Thaxter in her Garden (1892; 170kb)
Flower Girl (1888; 146kb)
At the Piano (1908; 170kb)
Tanagra (The Builders, New York) (1918, 149x149cm; 500x500pix, 61kb) _ About the time of World War I, Hassam's images become elaborate prescriptive programs requiring a lot of decoding if their deeper messages are to be read. They always continue to work also as beautiful paintings with glowing light and luscious impressionist surfaces, and this is generally how they are understood today. Hassam's occasional comments or writings are key to delving beneath these surfaces to the meaning that underpins the images.
      The title Tanagra (The Builders, New York) refers to a Hellenistic statuette a woman holds directly in front of a narrow view out a window where construction workers are raising a skyscraper. The painting is from The Window Series that Hassam began in 1899 with Improvisation and continued until the early 1920s. Each work in the series shows a refined woman in an interior, many painted in Hassam's studio, the intimate space where the artist felt most involved with his art. As always, the canvas is rigorously organized, a perfect square, with a circle on a circle defining the horizontal plane, and the vertical plane behind the figure organized into four roughly even panels, three of them filled by an Asian screen and one opening out to a window ledge and a distant view glimpsed through the open curtain. The effect is to divide the painting into zones, each containing a clue or symbol that contributes to the overall meaning.
      Hassam wrote a note (with improvised spelling corrected here) to accompany the painting when it was exhibited, explaining the two-part title by saying, "Tanagra, the blond Aryan girl holding a Tanagra figurine in her hand against the background of New York buildings, one in the process of construction and the Chinese lilies springing up from the bulbs, is intended to typify and symbolize growth, the growth of a great city, hence the subtitle The Builders, New York."
      This brief passage indicates a complex association of thoughts. One is the idea of social Darwinism which suggests that human beings evolve in the social and cultural spheres, just as Darwin taught was true of the physical evolution of species. This "new species" evolving is the US woman, destined to guard and protect civilization in what would be known as the "American Century." Like so many of his contemporaries, Hassam believed in Aryan superiority, but here genetic advantage is enhanced by associations with the most ancient Greek and Asian civilizations. In Tanagra the woman merges with the oriental screen through her gown, which mimics the swallow and chrysanthemum pattern and colors. Her figure also echoes the delicate statuette, one from a cache of graceful female figurines unearthed in the village of Tanagra in Boethia, in east-central Greece, in 1874 and immediately heralded as the pinnacle of antique art.
a Tanagra figurine     Well-dressed young women in various positions, usually standing or sitting, are the main subject matter of the terra-cotta statuettes. On occasion the figures pull their garments around them closely, veiling the face, or they may wear a hat or hold a fan or mirror. The Tanagra figurines [an example >>>] were all manufactured with molds, but the use of separate molds in combination (different arms, heads) lent interesting variation. The figures were all originally covered with a white coating and then painted. The garments were generally bright shades, blue, red, pink, violet, yellow, and brown. The flesh was reddish or pinkish, the hair auburn, the lips red, and the eyes blue. Gilt and black were used for details. The delicate pieces were widely imitated intheir own time, with Tanagra work spanning the period from about 340 BC to 150 BC. The earliest figurines unearthed from the necropolis along the Asopós River focus on divinities; later pieces represent a variety of familial and domestic themes, particularly the female Graces. The finest examples, from the late 4th and 3rd centuries, compare favorably with the life-size work of the great masters of classical Greece, which they not infrequently imitated. The authentic statuettes that survive are missing their white coating and bright paint. On their discovery they became enormously popular and were extensively and expertly forged, even with paint.
      The sprouted bulbs on the windowsill and the full-blown hybrid roses on the table echo the themes of growth and breeding, a reminder that the people of the US must be worthy inheritors of the future they are building. They must be bred and cultivated to be careful guardians of the world's inheritance of civilization.
      Coming in 1918 as the United States was fighting to defend Europe, Tanagra grows out of Hassam's feeling that the nation's values and culture were threatened. By focusing on the legacy of civilization and stressing the slow evolution required for its refinements, he encoded his fear that the spirit of the US's founders was being diluted through immigration. The number of foreign-born people in the US doubled between 1880 and 1930 to more than fourteen million. The polyglot populations of big cities like New York and Chicago sharply altered the nation's cultural profile, despite the desire of most immigrants to assimilate as soon as possible. The fear of cultural fragmentation and social upheaval mounted each year until the Immigration Act of 1924, which drastically reduced the number of new persons admitted. The law also froze the ethnic status quo, saying, for instance, that if 20% of the US's population was made up of people of Irish origin, then only 20% of the new immigrants each year could come from Ireland. This formula guaranteed that Anglo-Saxon dominance in the United States would not be further eroded. In Tanagra, Hassam cautions that social change may happen quickly through immigration and skyscrapers, but the growth of civilization is evolutionary, requiring many generations. He subscribed to a kind of cultural Manifest Destiny, echoing the ideas of Herbert Spencer, the great British exponent of social Darwinism, who said on a trip to New York in 1882:
      “The eventual mixture of the allied varieties of the Aryan race forming the population will produce a finer type of man than has hitherto existed, and a type of man more plastic, more adaptable, more capable of undergoing the modifications needed for a complete social life. . . . Americans may reasonably look forward to a time when they will have produced a civilization grander than any the world has known.”
      This optimistic view of 1882 seemed to Hassam in 1918 in danger of being overtaken by the rapid pace of change.
–- The Alhambra (1127x1400pix, 143kb) It was the summer palace of the Caliphs in Granada, Spain.
–- S*>#The Toll Bridge, New Hampshire, Near Exeter (x799pix, 80kb)
–- S*>#Paris Street Scene (x799pix, 79kb)
–- S*>#Golf in Early Spring, East Hampton, New York (x799pix, 101kb)
–- S*>#Evelyn Benedict at the Isles of Shoals (799xpix, 75kb)
–- S*>#Sunrise, Autumn (x800pix, 55kb)
–- S*>#Sammie's Beach, Easthampton (800xpix, 101kb)
–- S*>#Tulip Tree Blossom (x800pix, 73kb)
–- S*>#Haystacks (x800pix, 84kb)
–- S*>#East Hampton Elms in May (x800pix, 134kb)
–- S*>#Blossoms (x800pix, 100kb)
–- S*>#A Paris Nocturne (800xpix, 74kb)
–- S*>#The Rose Garden (800xpix, 103kb)
^ >Died on 17 October 1780: Bernardo Bellotto, Italian Rococo painter born on 30 January 1720. — {Is it because of him that Alexander Graham Bell's parents did not name him Otto?}
—      Bernardo Bellotto, student and nephew of Canaletto, had a highly successful international career. Canaletto, whose name Bellotto sometimes illegally adopted, especially during his stay in Poland, was his uncle on his mother’s side and had trained the young artist for many years. By 1738 Bellotto was already a member of the Venetian Painters’ Guild. Still under Canaletto’s guidance, the young Bellotto traveled extensively in Italy. He went to Rome, Florence, Turin, Milan and Verona. In each city he left memorable images, giving a precocious demonstration of his ability to capture not only the architectural or natural features, but also the specific quality of the light in each place he visited. View with the Villa Melzi d'ErilView of the GazzadaArno in FlorenceSignoria Square in Florence.
      After returning briefly to Venice, in the summer of 1747 Bellotto accepted an invitation from Augustus III, the Elector of Saxony, and moved to Dresden. During the ten years the artist spent there he produced a remarkable series of wonderful views of the city and its surroundings. He repeated these paintings for the Prime Minister, Count Brühl, who eventually sold his collection to Catherine the Great into Saint-Petersburg. With the purchase of the collection, Catherine the Great bought many of Bellotto’s finest topographic works. The Old Market Square in DresdenThe New Market Square in DresdenPirna Seen from the Right Bank of the Elbe are not only convincing in and for themselves, but also remind us of what happened to all that beauty after Dresden was firebombed to rubble in the Second World War during the night of 13 to 14 February 1945.
      Bellotto had an enormous success and his reputation spread throughout the whole of Central Europe. In 1758 the Empress Maria-Teresa summoned him to Vienna, where he painted views of the capital’s Gothic and Baroque monuments. His next stop was Munich where, from 1761, he worked for the Elector of Bavaria. After five years there Bellotto returned to Dresden. In 1764-1766 he was a teacher at the Dresden Academy.
      In late 1766 he went to Warsaw. He had hoped eventually to reach Saint-Petersburg and work for Empress Catherine II but he stayed permanently in Warsaw at the urging of the recently crowned king, Stanislaus II Augustus Poniatowski. His views of Warsaw are nearly all collected in the city’s Royal Castle. Because of their poetic quality was combined with faultless accuracy, they were used as a draft for rebuilding Warsaw after its near-total destruction in the Second World War.
      Bernardo Bellotto died in Warsaw in 1780.

Capriccio with the Colosseum (1744, 980x865pix, 134kb)
Capriccio of the Capital (1744, 1030x896pix, 161kb) _ This painting and the preceding one are part of a cycle of four canvases which are similar in shape and subject matter. The young Bellotto painted them during a seminal visit to Rome. Gradually, he was to move away from the faithful view of glimpses of Roman monuments. Instead he favored the freer capriccio or imaginary view. This still included real buildings (which were truthfully reproduced) but they were set in an eclectic combination of invented architecture which in turn was given an evocative setting. Such capricci were very popular at the time.
New Market Square in Dresden (1750, 800x1148pix, 167kb) _ Zwinger Waterway (1750, 780x1169pix, 149kb) _ These two paintings are part of an exceptional series of views of Dresden commissioned by the Elector of Saxony. A number of things are of interest: the large size of the paintings; the unfailingly splendid light; the clarity of the views; and finally the variety of different angles from which Bellotto framed the city. They supply fascinating views of a great Baroque city in its prime.
The Ruins of the Old Kreuzkirche in Dresden (1765, 780x1097pix, 180kb) _ This is one of Bellotto's later works, painted during his second stay in Saxony. It demonstrates his quite extraordinary, perhaps unique, capacity to capture the spirit of an event. In this case it was the demolition of the Gothic church of the Holy Cross in Dresden's New Market Square. The church had been damaged during a war and was rebuilt in Rococo style a few years later. This image of ruin, bordering on an anatomical dissection of the mortally wounded church, was to reappear two centuries after Bellotto's day with the devastating bombing of Dresden during the Second World War.
The Scuola of San Marco (1740, 42x69cm, 651x922, 140kb) _ A nephew and follower of Canaletto, Bernardo Bellotto applies the clear reporter's vision of the master to a slower and more intimate exploration of reality. And from his earliest works, Bellotto softens the formal rigor of Canaletto into natural, simple, concrete observations, and his brilliant, kaleidoscopic palette into a dense range of colors, tending towards the coldly bright. In the Rio dei Mendicanti the buildings of the left bank lie partly in shadow and partly in full sunlight. And beyond the bridge standing between light and shade, the dome of the Emiliani chapel in the church of San Michele in Isola can be seen in the distance. On the opposite bank the corners of the Scuola of San Marco and the seventeenth century building in the foreground are darkened as the shadows of the hour before sunset gather. The density of the chiaroscuro and the paint itself lend the view a fascinating concreteness with every detail assuming an undramatized presence.
View of Verona and the River Adige from the Ponte Nuovo (1748, 750x1184pix 142kb) _ The campanile of Santa Anastasia and the ancient Scaliger castle seem to protect the quiet flow of the river. For once, Bellotto opted to capture the ordinary life of the people and the everyday look of the city. He included the small houses built along the shores of the river which were to be demolished at the end of the nineteenth century to make way for flood protection embankments.
View of the Villa Cagnola at Gazzada near Varese (1744, 100x65cm, 800x1220pix, 147kb) _ This view and the next were painted while the young artist was traveling in Lombardy. They manage to combine poetry with faithful realism in the way they capture the feel of the climate and season. He succeeded in catching the movement of the early fall wind which was pushing the clouds along and drying the washing on the line. He painstakingly and lovingly portrayed the simple colors of the stones, the roof tiles, the clothes people wore, and the way the leaves are just beginning to turn color. All this makes these paintings perhaps the most heartfelt portraits ever painted of the region.
View of Gazzada near Varese (1744, 770x1184pix, 166kb) _ One of the great Venetian view painters, Bellotto can be compared to Canaletto and Guardi. Canaletto's abstract poetry was dependent on a visual rediscovery of the historic landscape, while Guardi gave it a lyric vibrancy by means of atmospheric effects. Bellotto's views, however, present specific and impressive images of reality. He is thus the major representative of the objective view, obtained by the use of the camera obscura. Bellotto's purpose in utilizing the device was not to give a photographic order to things, nor to exalt their atmospheric emanations; his aim was rather to seek out the nature and inner truth of the landscape, whether urban, rural or marine. His intuition anticipated Romanticism.
View of Vienna from the Belvedere (1760, 135x213cm; 650x1028pix, 180kb)
–- Vue du Roc, et de la Forteresse de Koenigstein du coté de l'Occident, et de la Montée, aïant de l'autre coté le Lilienstein, au de-la de l'Elbe, et en distance, les Montagnes de la Lusace (1765 etching 42x64cm; 486x737pix, 89kb _ .ZOOM to 972x1474pix, 418kb _ .ZOOM+ to 1944x2948pix, 1414kb)
29 images at Wikimedia

Died on a 17 October:

1962 Natal'ya Sergeyevna Goncharova, Russian French painter born (full coverage) on 16 June 1881. —(060706)

1928 Francis Bernard “Frank” Dicksee, English painter born (full coverage) on 27 November 1853. —(060311)

1888 Gerald Murphy, US painter born (main coverage) on 26 March 1888. —(060311)

^ 1918 Luigi Nono, Italian painter born on 08 December 1850. — {Was his personality affected because, as a child, he was always told by his mother: “Luigi, no no!” and when she saw his first picture, she said: “That is a Nono!”?}{Is this also why I can find on the Internet only very few reproductions of his artwork?}— Allievo di Molmenti all' Accademia di Belle Arti di Venezia, esordisce nel genere storico me­ritando gli elogi di Camillo Boito in una recensione apparsa sulla «Nuova Antologia». Conclu­so l'apprendistato accademico, dipinge vedute della campagna trevigiana e scene di genere: predilige temi intimi e effetti sentimentali (Verso sera a Coltura, 1873; Bambino malato, 1876). A Firenze, Roma e Napoli nel 1876, nel 1878 è a Parigi e a Vienna. Vicino ai pittori di Barbizon e ai naturalisti francesi di metà secolo, è spesso a Venezia a partire dal 1879 e si trasferisce definitivamente nella città lagunare nel 1888: nominato professore nel 1899, contribuisce, con Favretto, all' affermazione della nuova scuola di pittura veneziana. Apprezzato in Italia e all' estero, particolarmente in ambito mitteleuropeo, espone a Monaco, Berlino, Pietroburgo ottenendo importanti riconoscimenti. Prende parte con regolarità alle Biennali veneziane. Nel 1883, all’inaugurazione dell’Esposizione Nazionale di pittura a Roma (per la prima volta allestita nella capitale, con tutto il carico di significato retorico ma anche politico che ne derivava, venivano esposti quadri in retrospettiva dal Romanticismo, fino ad ogni frivola e superficiale espressione del momento. In quell’occasione la critica ed i visitatori segnalarono tre opere, che spiccavano per potenza espressiva: accanto a Il Voto di Michetti ed al Viaggio triste di Fagioli, il Refugium Peccatorum di Nono.
     Si concretizzava un’opera artistica che traeva la sua forza ed il suo valore dall’intensità espressiva, senza gerarchie tematiche di genere figurativo (storico, religioso, sociale …) né distinizione tra contenuti nobili o triviali. Il discorso sulla forma iniziava a scomparire, proprio nella perdita dell’accento sui valori morali dei contenuti dell’opera d’arte, lasciando il passo al riconoscimento delle qualità individuali dell’artista e perciò dell’opera stessa. L’opera di Nono ripropone con accenti di sensualità una penitente che sembra interpretare in chiave moderna la figura tradizionale della Maddalena. Il rigore formale ed il suggestivo controluce, ambientato nella campagna veneta, ospitano, invece di un interno di chiesa, la prominente balaustra che campeggia in primo piano, contribuendo alla solida prospettiva che determina l’impianto compositivo dell’opera. La donna in ginocchio sta di fronte alla statua della Vergine, che peraltro è solo accennata e fuori quadro, indicando come il contesto sacro sia solo il contorno per la descrizione dei sentimenti della figura principale del dipinto, posta al centro geometrico della tela, ed i cui abiti spiccano nel tono uniforme dell’ambiente circostante, conferendole ancor più incisività e richiamando i colori analoghi dei fiori dedicati alla Madonna, segno di un gesto di devozione umile ma pienamente umano. Il quadro vinse la medaglia d’oro all’Esposizione di Monaco, sempre nel 1883. L’altra opera qui riproposta, il rosario del sabato, ci mostra la pietà popolare di un intero paese, per la preghiera del sabato sera. I devoti hanno il colore e la struttura della pietra con cui sono costruite le case fino a confondersi: immagine dell’unità del popolo con l’ambiente di vita e con la natura. Solo un uomo, è in disparte, in ozio. I connotati simbolici e politici di quest’opera sono evidenti, considerati i tempi infuocati di cambiamento di mentalità nelle condizioni cittadine e rurali.
     Più galante e garbato, Le sorgenti del Gorgazzo, ci mostrano la capacità del pittore di realizzare anche spunti piacevoli, luminosi e rasserenanti, che sono però più tipici dei primi periodi (1872, quattro anni prima del bambino malato, o "convalescente"), sottolineando come la scelta di temi più drammatici con soluzioni cromatiche coerenti con il messaggio dei quadro, sia stata dettata dalla maturazione verso nuove tematiche, che aprono la strada ai movimenti d’ingresso al ‘900.
Refugium Peccatorum (1882; 604x924pix, 123kb) _ Nel 1883, all’inaugurazione dell’Esposizione Nazionale di pittura a Roma (per la prima volta allestita nella capitale, con tutto il carico di significato retorico ma anche politico che ne derivava, venivano esposti quadri in retrospettiva dal Romanticismo, fino ad ogni frivola e superficiale espressione del momento. In quell’occasione la critica ed i visitatori segnalarono tre opere, che spiccavano per potenza espressiva: accanto a "il Voto" di Michetti ed al "Viaggio triste" di Fagioli, il "Refugium Peccatorum" di Nono. Si concretizzava un’opera artistica che traeva la sua forza ed il suo valore dall’intensità espressiva, senza gerarchie tematiche di genere figurativo (storico, religioso, sociale …) né distinizione tra contenuti nobili o triviali. Il discorso sulla forma iniziava a scomparire, proprio nella perdita dell’accento sui valori morali dei contenuti dell’opera d’arte, lasciando il passo al riconoscimento delle qualità individuali dell’artista e perciò dell’opera stessa. L’opera di Nono ripropone con accenti di sensualità, una penitente che sembra interpretare in chiave moderna la figura tradizionale della Maddalena. Il rigore formale ed il suggestivo controluce, ambientato nella campagna veneta, ospitano, invece di un interno di chiesa, la imponente balaustra che campeggia in primo piano, contribuendo alla solida prospettiva che determina l’impianto compositivo dell’opera. La donna in ginocchio sta di fronte alla statua della Vergine, che peraltro è solo accennata, e fuori quadro, indicando come il contesto sacro sia solo il contorno per la descrizione dei sentimenti della figura principale del dipinto, posto al centro geometrico della tela; i suoi abiti spiccano nel tono uniforme dell’ambiente circostante, conferendole più incisività e richiamando i colori analoghi dei fiori dedicati alla Madonna, segno di un gesto di devozione umile ma pienamente umano. Il quadro vinse la medaglia d’oro all’Esposizione di Monaco, sempre nel 1883. La ricerca compositiva di queste ultime opere di Nono cade spesso in aspetti troppo ricercati, che riducono la sinteticità comunicativa delle sue opere, valendogli qualche giudizio negativo dei critici.
–- Le Sorgenti del Gorgazzo (525x788pix, 72kb)
Abbandonati (1903; 315x450pix, 26kb) —(071014)

1836 Orest Kiprensky [24 Mar 1782–], Russian painter. —(081016)

1823 Johannes-Christiaan Janson, Dutch artist born in 1763.

1786 Johann Ludwig Aberli [1763–], Swiss painter and etcher. He was a student of J. Erim in Bern. Aberli is primarily known for his landscapes of Switzerland, first etched in contours then painted or colorized. This style would later to be known as the Aberli manner and found many imitators, such as Heinrich Rieter Senior, Franz Niklaus König, and Johann Jakob Bidermann. — Samuel Hieronymus Grimm was a student of Aberli.—(081016)

>1638 Jacob Isaacszoon van Swanenburgh, Dutch artist born on 21 April 1571. — [Did he specialize in pictures of swans in cities?] — After being trained in the studio of his father Isaac Claeszoon van Swanenburg [19 Aug 1537 – 10 March 1614], he left his native Leiden about 1591 for Italy, where he worked successively in Venice, Rome and Naples, returning to Leiden only in 1618. The small body of his surviving works can be divided into two groups: a few views of Rome, produced long after his return to Leiden, which are somewhat old-fashioned, and several representations of Hell (e.g. Charon’s Boat), which are related to other works from the international painters’ colony active in Naples in the first decades of the 17th century, and which, in turn, probably influenced younger painters such as François de Nomé. Rembrandt was one of Jacob’s students, about 1602–1603, but his work shows little evidence of van Swanenburg’s influence. — Painter Claes Isaacszoon van Swanenburg [1572–1652] and engraver Willem Isaacszoon van Swanenburg [29 Jan 1580 – 31 May 1612] were brothers of Jacob Isaacszoon van Swanenburg.

^ before 18 Oct 1533 Jacob Corneliszoon van Oostsanen d'Amsterdam, Dutch painter born in. 1470. He mainly received commissions to paint religious scenes on panels and church domes. But he also painted secular works, and besides painting, he was known for his wood carvings also. Not much is known about the life of Jacob Corneliszoon. According to Het Schilder-boeck (1604) of the painter-poet-biographer Karel van Mander [May 1548 – 02 Sep 1606], Jacob Corneliszoon was born in Oostzaan, a village situated amid the marshes and lakes of North Holland. He presumably received his training in Haarlem, in the circle of Geertgen tot Sint Jans [1465-1495] and probably worked in Amsterdam as well. Van Mander records that much of his religious work was destroyed during the Iconoclast Fury of the Reformation. — LINKS
Self~Portrait (1533, 38x30cm) _ van Oostsanen made no attempt to embellish his features in this self portrait: the large nose, weak chin, lack of eyelashes and dark stubble are depicted with ruthless precision. The artist is seated in a pose which is typical of self-portraits; his body slightly turned to look sideways into the mirror. His clothes are those of a wealthy citizen: a fur-lined tabard over a white linen shirt and a dark red smock or jacket. A note on the wall bears his monogram, the letters [IMA], and the date 1533. It is, however, probable that this detailed and proudly posed self-portrait was painted at an earlier date, around 1525. It is one of the first self-portraits to have been painted in the Northern Netherlands.
Calvary (104x88cm) _ The dying Christ is nailed to a huge cross inscribed with the initials INRI. Angels are holding up cups to collect the blood that pours from his wounds. A richly dressed woman is kneeling at the foot of the cross. This is Mary Magdalene. In the foreground is her jar of ointment. Behind her is the Virgin Mary, supported by the Apostle John. On the right is Saint Veronica holding up the cloth with the imprint of Christ's face. By a miracle his image remained after she had used the cloth to wipe his face on the road to Golgotha. This scene is depicted in the top right hand corner. Other scenes prior to the crucifixion are also depicted. In the top left hand corner, for instance, we see Christ's agony in Gethsemane.
Salome with the Head of John the Baptist (1524, 72x54cm) _ Triumphant, Salome stands beneath the classical arch. An attractive young woman with a gory trophy: the severed head of John the Baptist on a charger. She looks slyly askance. Jacob Cornelisz painted the head of John the Baptist in powerful perspective, from below: the viewer looks right into the bloody neck. The work was painted in 1524. The year and the artist's signature are inscribed on the banderole, top center.
Saul and the Witch of Endor (1526, 88x125cm) _ On the eve of the battle with the Philistines, King Saul paid a visit to a witch. He asked her to summon the spirit of the prophet Samuel, his onetime mentor. Samuel foretold that Saul would lose the war and that his sons would be killed in combat because he had turned away from God. His prophecy came true. When Saul saw that all was lost, he fell on his own sword. Latin texts on banderoles recount the tale. Van Oostsanen depicted this biblical story in five episodes, almost like a comic strip. On the left Saul is visiting the witch. In the foreground she summons the spirit of Samuel, whose ghostly apparition can be seen in the middle background. Behind him, Saul's army is engaged in battle with the Philistines. We also see Saul impaling himself on his sword. When Van Oostsanen painted this work, witch hunts were taking place throughout northwestern Europe. The first witch trial leading to an execution took place in 1528, soon after this painting was completed. Van Oostsanen has turned this biblical story into a tale of witchcraft. He shared his fascination for witches with German artists such as Dürer, Baldung Grien, Altdorfer and Cranach, who produced many prints on this subject. Van Oostsanen included many of the familiar elements of witchcraft in his painting. A satyr holds up a book of sorcery marked with illegible symbols suggesting magical incantations. The witch has lighted incense and candles made of human fat. Bottom left, a monster holds up a mirror in order to see the spirit of Samuel, climbing out of its grave behind the ruin. The owls accompanying the witch were seen as symbols of stupidity, considered synonymous with witchcraft.
Triptych of the Adoration by the Magi, Donors and Saints {1517, 83x(25+56+25)cm}_ In a ruined palace the Virgin Mary sits with the baby Jesus on her lap. The three kings have come from all the continents to Bethlehem to worship the child. They are dressed in fur, panther skin and ermine, but have removed their crowns out of respect for Christ. The monarchs kneel and kiss the child's hand. They bear gifts: gold, frankincense and myrrh. In the background is Joseph, dressed in a red robe. Exotic characters in the royal entourage discuss the events. This triptych was commissioned by an unknown man and his wife. They are depicted together with their children on the side panels. The family arms were painted over at a later date. As a result, the identities of the individuals portrayed are now lost. The depiction, with the background, continues into the side panels. In this way the artist places his subjects in events that occurred centuries earlier. The patron saints Jerome and Catherine put in a good word with the Virgin for the unknown family. Saints are also shown on the reverse of the panel, in grisaille: Saint Anthony and Saint Christopher. The children are clothed in the same styles as their parents. The girls are wearing white caps and dresses with extra wide sleeves. The boys are wearing long robes with similarly extended sleeves. In the sixteenth century there was no such thing as separate children's clothing. Children were seen as miniature adults. To suggest depth on a flat surface, Jacob Corneliszoon adapted a new technique which had been developed by Albrecht Dürer [21 May 1471 – 06 Apr 1528]. This consisted of drawing imaginary lines towards a central point, giving the impression of space on a two-dimensional surface. The lines lead to the heart of a rosette in the background.
Triptych with the Last Supper {1525, 43x(19+39+19)}_ In a richly decorated room Christ and his followers are seated around a table. Christ is about to break bread, and as he does so he says: 'Take, this is my body.' His blood is symbolized by the wine on the table. Chaos has broken loose around the table. One of the disciples has leapt up. His stool has toppled over. John, Jesus' favorite, leans despairingly against his master. A servant enters with a dish in the background, quite unaware of what is happening. Judas is the only person who avoids looking at Jesus. He turns away from the group out of shame for his crime: he has just taken money to betray Christ. This triptych may have been made in the studio of van Oostsanen. The patrons who commissioned the work are shown on the side panels: on the left side panel is Adriana van Roon, on the right is Dirck Pieterszoon Spangert. They can be identified by their coats of arms. Both were closely involved in Leeuwenhorst convent near Noordwijk. Adriana van Roon was abbess there from 1497 until her death and Dirck Pieterszoon Spangert was chaplain and legal advisor. This triptych may have been painted in her memory. Both patrons were interested in the new idiom of the Renaissance and had already commissioned other works in Renaissance style. While the side panels contain typical fifteenth-century tracery, the centrepiece contains a well-known sixteenth-century Gothic motif that originated in classical antiquity: the candelabrum. This triptych is one of the earliest and best-preserved examples of glass painting. This technique was often employed in the eighteenth century, but earlier examples are rare. It involved painting onto glass with oils. The painted side was the back of the picture. It would therefore be protected by the glass. Glass paintings are more durable than paintings on panels which are exposed to the elements. The technique is difficult, however, since the painter has to work in reverse order: starting with the details, then filling in the background.
Saint James and Saint Catherine The attention with which the painter draws his lines, as well as the tendency of repeating patterns, reveals to us in him a trained goldsmith or wood-carver. In Saint Catherine's crown and sword, decorative treatment of drapery, secure lines shaping the body (compare with Saint James's foot), the hair and the landscape we may discern a skilled draftsman.

Born on a 17 October:

^ 1895 Ernst “Nepo” Nepomucky [–26 Aug 1971], Austrian “New Objectivity” painter. — {Did he benefit from nepotism?}
Selbstporträt mit Gattin (1921, 103x73cm; 426x300pix, 48kb)
Familienporträt Keller (1929; 819x640pix, 122kb)
Hands (1920, 29x50cm; 378x665pix, 59kb)
Carnations (1957, 50x42cm; 500x416pix, 81kb)
Still Life with Mask, twig and red shawl (1945, 67 50cm, 400x297pix, 141kb) —(091016)

^ 1864 Marie Aimée Eliane Lucas~Robiquet, French artist who died in 1959. — {Il n'est pas vrai qu'elle, ou quiconque d'autre d'ailleurs, avait un mari aimé: Elie-Annelou Carreau-Bicais.} — LINKS
Jeune Femme se Tirant les Cartes (1890, 170x219cm)
Le Premier-Né (55x39cm) —(051016)

^ 1860 Roderic Anthony O'Conor, Irish painter and etcher, active also in France, who died on 18 March 1940. Born into a branch of the O’Conor family descended from the last kings of Ireland, he was educated at Ampleforth College in North Yorkshire. He studied at the Metropolitan School of Art in Dublin and at the Royal Hibernian Academy (1879–1883), before attending the Académie Royale des Beaux-Arts in Antwerp (1883–1884). He returned to Ireland but soon moved to Paris, where he studied with Carolus-Duran, exhibiting a portrait in the Salon of 1888. In 1889 he showed three paintings in the Salon des Indépendants, and he continued to exhibit there until 1908. He was deeply influenced by the Impressionists. In 1892 he went to Pont-Aven in Brittany where he worked closely with a group of artists around the Post Impressionist Paul Gauguin, whom he befriended. His method of painting with textured strokes of contrasting colors also owed much to Van Gogh. The character of Clutton in Somerset Maugham’s novel Of Human Bondage was based on O’Conor. The artist was renowned for his strong and often moody temperament. — LINKS
–- S*>#La Lisière du Bois (1890, 72x90cm; 900x1127pix, 302kb) _ Painted within four years of his move from Dublin to Paris in 1886, this remarkable painting in the pointilliste style, is an important example of Roderic O'Conor's early work. It is a significant link between O'Conor's Impressionist influenced French landscapes of a few years earlier and his later Divisionist paintings, of which the best known is his Still life with bottles (1892). The inspiration is clearly from Georges Seurat and his followers and more obviously from Signac, whose style it closely resembles. It is evident that O'Conor's first four years in France were years of experimentation and discovery in which he tried different approaches to painting, inspired by the best and most progressive work that Paris had to offer. For example, the early impressionist influenced picture Groupe de peupliers also known as Autumn Landscape (1886), is in contrast with several early academic portraits of Bretons painted in Pont-Aven about 1887 (e.g. Breton Girl). His academic portrait of the Danish painter and illustrator, Paul Vogelius, accepted at the official Salon in 1888 and the impressionist influenced Landscape with road and farm buildings (1889), are further examples of contrasting styles in successive years. In deciding to leave the conservative and academic art climate of Dublin for Paris in 1886, the twenty six year old O'Conor could scarcely have chosen a more significant year to travel. 1886 was the year of the last Impressionist group exhibition and it was in this exhibition that Seurat first showed his then controversial and now seminal painting A Sunday afternoon on the island of la Grande Jatte. The painting was shown again later that year in the Salon des Indépendants. Even if he did not see the painting in this exhibition, the young and impressionable O'Conor would scarcely have been unaware of the fierce debate surrounding Seurat's painting style which many of the critics found to be too mechanical. Seurat's paintings and those of his followers became widely exhibited in Paris after 1886 so that O'Conor would have had ample opportunity to become familiar with the 'Neo-Impressionist' tendency. As the only recorded finished picture in the pointilliste style, the present work clearly demonstrates O'Conor's full understanding of Seurat's style and ideas. However, in contrast to the latter artist's preferences for softer atmospheric effects and stylized forms, O'Conor, already a bold colorist, chose his palette to convey the brilliance of light and warm sunshine as he would have experienced it in the French countryside. His lively jabbing brush marks are full of energy and vigor, not in the least mechanical, and are indicative of the more expressive works which he was to paint within the next four years at Pont-Aven. This painting was exhibited by O'Conor in the Salon des Indépendants of 1890. Seurat and Signac were members of the exhibition committee that year and the exhibition included several other Neo-Impressionist works by Luce, Pissarro, and Theo van Rysselberghe.
–- S*>#Breton Girl (1887, 65x54cm; 900x752pix, 120kb) _ This fine portrait of a rather pensive young Breton girl probably dates from an early visit which Roderic O'Conor made to Pont-Aven in Brittany, after his arrival in Paris from Dublin in the autumn of 1886 at the age of 26. By 1886 Pont-Aven was firmly established as a popular artists colony for at least twenty years and was well known in Irish art circles through paintings with Brittany themes which appeared at the Royal Hibernian Academy's annual exhibition in Dublin. In the 1885 exhibition, for example, in which O'Conor was represented by four works, paintings with Brittany subjects were exhibited by Aloysius O'Kelly, Stanhope Forbes and Nathaniel Hill. Brittany was popular with Irish artists and it is likely that O'Conor went to Pont-Aven in the summer of 1887 out of a sense of curiosity and in order to make his own assessment of the area. Unfortunately O'Conor did not maintain an accurate personal record, neither of his own paintings, nor of his frequent excursions between the various sites where he lived and painted in France. There is, however, confirmation of this early visit to Brittany from J. Milner Kite, an English artist whom O'Conor met while both men were students in the Académie Royale des Beaux-Arts in Antwerp. In a letter written to O'Conor's widow after her husband's death in 1940, Kite, writing without notes, recollected that he went to Pont-Aven in 1887 and that O'Conor arrived about the same time. Kite also referred to a number of paintings of heads of old Bretons by O'Conor which he described as being "very strong but still under the influence of Carolus-Duran". Clearly this portrait belongs to that group. The choice of subject matter here might seem rather unusual since O'Conor's earliest known paintings (circa 1884-85) have landscape and seascape themes. There is also the contrasting evidence of his early experimentation with an Impressionist style soon after arriving in France (see for example, Groupe de peupliers, 1886). However, shortly after settling in to his new location in Paris O'Conor enrolled in the private atelier of Carolus-Duran to further his study of painting. Duran was well known in the city as a fashionable portrait painter and O'Conor may have chosen his studio on the recommendation of one of his former teachers in Dublin. It had earlier been the choice of other Irish artists including Norman Garstin, Frank O'Meara and Helen Trevor. Carolus-Duran is known for a teaching style which unified form and color in one process, as distinct from the earlier tendency among other professors at the École des Beaux-Arts to treat these separately in the process of making a painting. Carolus-Duran also had a reputation for flexibility in his teaching, adapting his advice to the needs of differing students and respecting individual differences in artistic temperament and painting methods. From what we now know of O'Conor's mature paintings, it is evident that his study with the otherwise academic Carolus-Duran was an excellent preparation for his later career. This portrait is soundly constructed with an assured sense of drawing and understanding of the anatomy of the head. A strong sense of volume is achieved and emphasized through the carefully controlled distribution of light. Some of the paint, particularly in the area of the collar, was applied with a directness and vigor which reflect the unified activity of drawing and painting which Carolus-Duran encouraged. The more heavily textured build up of paint in this area is in contrast with a different method of paint application to the features of the head, where a thinner paint layer and more mixing and blending of the flesh tones on the canvas gives much more translucency to the painted surface. This contrast between the texture of the collar and the comparatively smooth painting of the features helps to emphasize the girl's youthful beauty in an academic painting of great charm and sensitivity. Although the Carolus-Duran influence is evident, this painting also embodies an approach to its subject which can best be described as Northern European. This may have carried over from O'Conor's Antwerp days and his study of painting in the museum collection at the Académie des Beaux-Arts. The controlled lighting and the downcast eyes of the subject in the composition echo the work of Rubens, Rembrandt, and van Dyck.
The Wave (1898, 72x91cm; 500x635pix, kb) _ The sea here thunders towards us in the spume and froth of a wave just about to break. This stormy scene confronts the viewer directly, and O’Conor captures the movement and excitement of the experience with loose, vigorous brushwork. O’Conor, who spent most of his working life in France, was greatly influenced by Courbet, Van Gogh and Gauguin in both style and subject matter, here experimenting with stylisation and pattern-making as well as thinking about immediacy and realism. —(071014)

^ 1814 Fritz (or Friedrich) Bamberger, German artist who died on 15 August 1873. Fritz (Friedrich) Bamberger nació, en el seno de una familia de músicos, en Würzburg, ciudad obispal y principal núcleo urbano de la Baja Franconia. Recibió su primera formación artística en la Academia de Berlín en 1828 de Johann Gottfried Schadow, e inmediatamente después en el estudio del pintor de marinas Wilhelm Krause. En 1830 se trasladó a Kassel, donde tuvo por maestro a Georg Primavesi, artista de la corte, encargado fundamentalmente de la realización de pintura decorativa. Para 1832 estaba Bamberger ya en Múnich, donde conoció a Carl Rottmann [1797-1850], cuya obra le influyó de forma muy determinante. Rottmann trabajaba por entonces en el ciclo de paisajes al fresco con 28 vistas de Italia, que le había encomendado Luis I de Baviera para su palacio de Múnich. El paisaje de Rottmann adquirirá carácter ejemplar para Bamberger a partir de ese momento. Con el fin de realizar vistas de Renania y de la cuenca del Main para encargos editoriales, se estableció en 1835 en Fráncfort. Al año siguiente realizó un viaje a la costa septentrional de Francia y a Inglaterra, a cuyo regreso pintó uno de los primeros cuadros que le dieron fama: El campo de batalla de Hastings con una vista del mar. Los bocetos realizados en Normandía e Inglaterra le servirán para otros cuadros con vistas marinas, su tema predilecto. Después de haber cumplido su servicio militar entre 1837 y 1840 en Würzburg, y antes de establecerse a mediados de los años cuarenta en Múnich, Bamberger realizó su primer viaje a España, acompañando a Karl du Fay, hombre de negocios de Fráncfort interesado en temas artísticos. Más adelante hizo otros tres viajes a la Península Ibérica, en los años 1849-1950, 1857, y 1868. Ya en la exposición del Frankfurter Kunstverein de 1851 Bamberger estuvo representado con un paisaje de tema español: Vista de Gibraltar. La crítica destacó el valor de este lienzo y reconoció en él la influencia de Carl Rottmann, con cuya obra y la de Carl Blechen muestra efectivamente muchas afinidades. Las regiones visitadas por Fritz Bamberger fueron fundamentalmente Castilla, Andalucía, y Valencia. En el viaje de 1857 estuvo acompañado por su mujer y se detuvo casi exclusivamente en la Meseta. Entró en contacto con la corte española, probablemente en el palacio de verano de La Granja de San Ildefonso, lugar del que se conservan dibujos realizados por Bamberger en el mes de agosto. El pintor de Würzburg fue profesor de dibujo de la infanta Amalie Felipe Pilar, prima de la reina Isabel II de España. La Infanta estaba casada desde 1856 con el hijo menor de Luis I de Baviera, Adalbert. En 1857 Bamberger llevaba el encargo de entregar a la reina Isabel II como obsequio un cuadro realizado por la infanta. La relación dinástica entre las casas de Baviera y España explica la mayor relación con la Península de artistas de la Alemania meridional. La Neue Pinakotek de Múnich conserva un cuadro firmado por la infanta Amalie Felipe Pilar en 1858, cuyo título es Puente sobre el Tajo en Toledo. El mediador del tema es indudablemente el propio Bamberger. Entre los motivos más queridos de los paisajes de Bamberger están la costa de Cádiz y Málaga, la Albufera de Valencia, Sierra Nevada y, desde luego, Gibraltar. También realizó vistas de Madrid, Segovia, Cuenca y Toledo. Expuso regularmente sus pinturas de tema español, y algunas de ellas pasaron a las colecciones reales de Baviera y Württemberg. Pero, fue el conde von Schack quien protegió más decididamente a Bamberger en Múnich. Adolf Friedrich Graf von Schack [1815-1894], escritor, traductor y mecenas, se interesó vivamente por los paisajes españoles del pintor. Él mismo se dedicaba al estudio de la lengua, la literatura y el arte españoles, así como al árabe, al persa y otras lenguas orientales. De 1845 data su principal obra de investigación Geschichte der dramatischen Literatur und Kunst in Spanien. Schack incorporó a su importante colección —célebre por las pinturas de Böcklin, Feuerbach, Spitzweg y otros artistas alemanes del siglo xix, cuyas obras pueden contemplarse hoy en la Schackgalerie— siete cuadros de Bamberger con vistas de Gibraltar, Toledo, Granada y otros lugares del sur de la Península. El primero de ellos, la Vista de Toledo, fue adquirido en 1861. Las pinturas Vista de Sierra Nevada y Alrededores de Granada, que también forman parte de la colección de la Schackgalerie, fueron las últimas que compró el conde, probablemente después de 1868. En su libro Meine Gemäldesammlung el conde von Schack se refiere muy elogiosamente varias veces al pintor y a sus cuadros. Bamberger emprendió su último viaje a España en la primavera de 1868, cuyos gastos fueron financiados por el gran duque de Mecklemburgo. Allí coincidió con Schack, quien, a su vez, se hizo acompañar a Madrid por los jóvenes pintores Franz Lenbach y Ernst von Liphart, a los que encargó copiar algunas obras de pintores españoles en el Museo del Prado. Bamberger sobre todo se quedó en este viaje en Granada y en San Ildefonso. No se tiene constancia de ningún otro viaje posterior al de 1868. Murió el pintor en Neuenhain junto a Bad Soden.
–- S*>#Italian Lake View (20x30cm; 616x900pix, 86kb)
The Sierra Nevada (1870, 37x68cm; 511x1000pix, 547kb)
An Extensive River Landscape
Gibraltar (39x68cm; 552x1000pix, 76kb)
Playa de Estepona con la vista del Peñón de Gibraltar (1855, 73x113cm; 381x596pix, 75kb) _ El cuadro, pintado por Bamberger en Múnich después de su segundo viaje a España, presenta una combinación de vistas de la costa meridional española desde la playa de Estepona, en la provincia de Málaga, hasta el muy distante Campo de Gibraltar, dominado por la roca de la colonia británica. No se trata de una perspectiva con precisiones topográficas, sino de una recreación de efecto monumental, por la amplitud y virtual profundidad de la vista del extremo oeste de la costa mediterránea española. Representa una especie de epítome de esa vasta geografía, que incluye paisaje de montaña, dunas, marisma, playas y acantilados, y en cuyo horizonte se recorta con nitidez el Peñón de Gibraltar. Gibraltar era una de las formaciones naturales más afamadas de la geografía peninsular. Desde los años setenta del siglo xviii se sucedieron los estudios de los geólogos británicos y fue motivo frecuentado por vedutistas e ilustradores. Bamberger tomó este motivo como uno de sus temas predilectos, y probablemente también más demandados. Ya en 1851 expuso en Fráncfort una Vista de Gibraltar, realizada a su regreso del viaje a España de 1849. Y abundó otras muchas veces en el paisaje del Estrecho: Paisaje montañoso de la costa española (1859) tiene muchos ingredientes tomados de la naturaleza de la bahía de Algeciras y el Campo de Gibraltar. Vista de Gibraltar (1863) muestra una puesta de sol en el Estrecho, con los alrededores de Algeciras en los primeros términos y la roca de Gibraltar al fondo. Hay tambiés otra Vista de Gibraltar (1865). —(051016)
B&W photo of painting

^ 1786 François Edouard Picot, French painter and lithographer who died on 15 March 1868. He was a student of François-André Vincent and of Jacques-Louis David. He received the Second Grand Prix de Rome in 1811 and then continued his studies in Rome. On his return from Italy he received the commission to paint The Death of Sapphira (1819) and at the Salon of 1819 he exhibited Love and Psyche (1817), which was admired for its graceful and naive figures and was bought by the Duc d’Orléans (later Louis-Philippe, King of France). At the Salon of 1827 Picot exhibited The Annunciation, a richly painted work that shows the influence of Raphael. Working within the Neo-classical style, he specialized in history and genre subjects and portraits and continued to show at the Salon until 1839. — The students of Picot included Theodor Aman, Léon-Adolphe-Auguste Belly, Jean-Achille Benouville, François Léon Benouville, William-Adolphe Bouguereau, Alexandre Cabanel, Philip Hermogenes Calderon, Théophile-Narcisse Chauvel, François-Barthélemy-Michel-Edouard Cibot, Jules-Georges-Victor Clairin, Charles-Alexandre Crauk, Félix-Henri Giacomotti, Gustave-Achille Guillaumet, Jean-Jacques Henner, Jozef Israëls, Jules-Eugène Lenepveu, Louis Hector Leroux, Émile Lévy, Henri Léopold Lévy, Henry Stacy Marks, Gustave Moreau, Victor-Louis Mottez, Alphonse Marie-Adolphe de Neuville, Isidore-Alexandre-Augustin Pils, Claudius-Marcel Popelin, Elihu Vedder. — LINKS
The Siege of Calais (1838)
Cybèle protège contre le Vésuve les villes de Stabiae, Herculanum, Pompéi et Résina (1832, 233x 291cm) ceiling painting
L'Etude et le Génie dévoilent l'antique Egypte à la Grèce (1827, 233x291cm) ceiling painting
L'Amour et Psyché (1817, 233x291cm) with grayscale version and also lithograph (23x29cm) by Pierre Louis. [click on any small image to enlarge >]
Adélaïde-Sophie Cléret (1817, 46x35cm)
Nicholas-Pierre Tiolier (1817, 47x36cm) —(051016)

1713 Allan Ramsay, Scottlish painter who died (full coverage) on 10 August 1784. —(080809)

^ 1603 Frans de Momper, Antwerp Flemish painter and draftsman who died in 1660. — {S'il avait des enfants, est-ce qu'ils l'appelaient “Monsieur Momper” ou est-ce qu'ils préféraient “Monsieur mon père”?}— Nephew of Joos de Momper II [1564 – 05 February 1635]. In 1629 Frans de Momper became a master in the Antwerp Guild of Saint Luke. He left Antwerp for the northern Netherlands, working initially at The Hague; by 1647 he was in Haarlem and the following year Amsterdam, where he married in 1649. In 1650 Frans returned to Antwerp, where he painted numerous monochrome landscapes in the manner of Jan van Goyen. Paintings such as the Valley with Mountains (1650) prefigure the imaginative landscapes of Hercules Segers. The impression of vast panoramic spaces in Frans’s work is adopted from his uncle’s art. Frans made a number of variations on the theme of a river landscape with boats and village, including . pen-and-ink drawings. In the late painting Landscape with a Château Encircled by Doves, the low horizon and light-filled sky are adopted from the new Dutch school of tonal landscape painting, while the delicacy of the figures, feathery trees and buildings are features of the Italo-Flemish tradition exemplified by his uncle. Similar qualities of refinement and luminosity characterize the Winter Landscape (1650), a favorite theme. The stylistic blend in these paintings builds on the success of Paul Bril and Jan Breughel the elder, both active in Italy at the end of the 16th century and in the first quarter of the 17th. — LINKS
Environs of Antwerp (650x900pix, 208kb)
Peasant Dance (156kb)
Landscape (124kb)
–- S*>#Winter Landscape of town gate on a river, with people and animals (23x30cm; x799pix, 185kb)

>1577 Cristofano Allori [–01 Apr 1621], portrait painter of the late Florentine Mannerist school. He received his first lessons in painting from his father, Alessandro Allori [31 May 1535 – 22 Sep 1607], but becoming dissatisfied with the hard anatomical drawing and cold coloring of the latter, he entered the studio of Gregorio Pagani [1558-1605] who was one of the leaders of the late Florentine school, which sought to unite the rich coloring of the Venetians with the Florentine attention to drawing. Cristofano Allori also appears to have worked under Lodovico Cardi [1559-1613]. His pictures are distinguished by their close adherence to nature and the delicacy and technical perfection of their execution. His technical skill is shown by the fact that several copies he made of Correggio's works of [1489 – 05 Mar 1534] were thought to be duplicates by Correggio himself. His extreme fastidiousness limited the number of his works. — Cristofano Allori's students included Cesare Dandini []. — LINKS
Judith with the Head of Holofernes (1613, 120x100cm; 1004x843pix, 107kb)
Judith with the Head of Holofernes (1613, 139x116cm; 1017x846pix, 133kb) _ This is the finest of Cristofano Allori's works. The model for the Judith was his mistress, Mazzafirra, who is also represented in his Magdalene; and the head of Holofernes may represent himself.
Discovery of Corals, detail of fresco (2351x2024pix, 376kb)
11 images at Wikimedia —(081016)
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