ART 4 2-DAY 17 September v.9.a0
DEATH: 1974 SEGONZAC
Born on 17 September 1871: Edgard Maxence,
French painter who died in 1954
Student of Elie Delaunay and Gustave Moreau, he exhibited regularly at the Salon from 1894, and at the Salon de la Rose+Croix between 1895 and 1897. He was elected a member of the Académie des Beaux-Arts in 1924. A painter of portraits, landscapes and still-lifes, he is perhaps best known for his pictures of subjects drawn from the Bible and from ancient legends.
— He was a student of Jules-Elie Delaunay and Gustave Moreau at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts, Paris, and helped to popularize Symbolism in the 1890s by applying a highly finished academic technique to Symbolist subjects. His best-known paintings, which include Girl with a Peacock (before 1896) and The Soul of the Forest (1897), are decorative, vaguely religious or allegorical images of beautiful women in medieval dress, influenced by early Italian Renaissance and late English Pre-Raphaelite art. Maxence often enriched the surface of his works with gold or silver foil and gilt plaster relief and mounted them in elaborate frames of his own design. He also painted fashionable portraits such as Woman with an Orchid (1900) and Impressionist landscapes. Though he participated in the avant-garde Salon de la Rose + Croix between 1895 and 1897, Maxence exhibited successfully at the conservative Salon des Artistes Français from 1894 to 1939 and frequently served on its committees and juries. Maxence’s work changed little in style and content after the turn of the century and, despite the condemnation of progressive critics, continued to enjoy strong middle-class patronage until the late 1930s.
Profil au Paon (1896; 46x30cm; 888x611pix, 64kb — ZOOM to 1962x1223pix, 243kb) _ Maxence used pastel and gouache with pieces of silver paper stuck to the painting surface to create this picture. The peacock, an attribute of Juno, was seen as a symbol of eternal love and beauty in symbolist painting. Maxence designed a frame for this painting: see the painting in its frame (830x636pix, 70kb — ZOOM to 1874x1429pix, 309kb)
Le Livre de Paix (1913, 160x105cm; 888x611pix, 64kb — ZOOM to 1966x1274pix, 140kb)
L'Âme du Glacier (859x980pix, 69kb — ZOOM to 1682x1470pix, 170kb)
L'Âme de la Forêt (1898; 700x638pix, 61kb — ZOOM to 1400x1276pix, 128kb)
La Famille Roy (863x510pix, 44kb — ZOOM to 1976x766pix, 136kb)
Bernadette Soubirou (800x696pix, 39kb — ZOOM to 1200x1044pix, 79kb)
Bretonne en Prière (66x47cm; 875x612pix, 42kb — ZOOM to 1400x979pix, 76kb)
Le Missel (1899, 71x53cm; 867x642pix, 56kb — ZOOM to 1300x963pix, 94kb)
Tête Divine (45x37cm; 875x696pix, 53kb — ZOOM to 1400x1114pix, 102kb)
— Portrait d'Enfant
Born on 17 September 1858: Robert William
Vonnoh, US Impressionist
painter who died on 28 December 1933. Husband of Bessie
Potter Vonnoh. Robert Vonnoh studied under Gustave
Boulanger [25 Apr 1824 – Oct 1888] and Jules-Joseph
Lefebvre. Vonnoh's students included Robert
While the best known colony of American impressionist artists in France was established in Giverny, the home of Claude Monet, the aesthetic developed in other rural art centers as well, most notably in Grez-sur-Loing, near the Forest of Fontainebleau. There, the principal agent for the introduction of Impressionism was the Boston painter, Robert Vonnoh. Vonnoh attended the Académie Julian in Paris in 1881 and returned to Boston in 1883, teaching at the newly formed Cowles School in 1884 and at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in 1885. After his marriage in 1886 to Grace D. Farrell, he and his bride may have honeymooned briefly in Grez; the following year, he returned to France for further study at Julian's, but beginning in the fall of 1887, he spent much of the next three or four years in Grez, before returning to Boston in the spring of 1891.
Many of Vonnoh's figural canvases of the 1880s reflect his allegiance to strong, tonal Naturalism, but by 1888 he was beginning to work out-of-doors on bright, colorful landscapes and nature studies of flowers, which reflect his involvement in the Impressionist aesthetic. Indeed, Vonnoh's art of the late 1880s suggests an almost schizophrenic artistic persona; it is difficult to believe that the same painter created in the same year, 1888, both his dark, strongly modeled Companion of the Studio and his several depictions of flaming, brightly colored Poppies , shadowless and pushed up against the picture plane, and executed with slashing brush and palette knife work. But, like a good number of US painters of the period, Vonnoh was reluctant to surrender in his figure paintings the academic precepts he had labored so dearly to master, while in his landscape work, for which academic training had offered little preparation, he felt freer to investigate newer, more modern strategies.
Vonnoh's "conversion' to Impressionism has been attributed to the influence of the Irish painter, Roderic O'Conor, who had adopted the bright, unmixed hues and thick impasto of Impressionism by 1886, and may have been in Grez as early as that year. Vonnoh may also have been led to Impressionism through the example of Alfred Sisley, working nearby in Moret-sur-Loing.
The several renditions of Poppies (such as Poppies in France, 1888) were both finished nature studies in their own right, and preparatory for his 1890 masterwork, Coquelicots, the largest and most ambitious painting of his career. The subject of poppies was a common one in French and Impressionist painting. It had recently become especially associated with Claude Monet (Les Champs de Coquelicots Coquelicots près de Vétheuil 1880 Coquelicots Rouges à Argenteuil), two of whose Giverny poppy field paintings of 1885 had garnered tremendous attention when they were included in the first great American show of French Impressionist art held in New York City at the American Art Association in April of 1886.
Poppies had been painted in Grez in 1885 also, by the Swedish painter, Karl Nordstrøm and the American, Theodore Robinson . And in 1886, a group of American painters, John Singer Sargent, Edwin Blashfield, Edwin Austin Abbey, and Frank Millet, were all painting poppy pictures in the art colony of Broadway in the West of England. At the same time that Vonnoh was completing Coquelicots, Childe Hassam was investigating the theme in the garden of the poet, Celia Thaxter, on the Island of Appledore off the coast of New Hampshire and Maine (Poppies, Isles of Shoals, 1891). None of these paintings, however, were as ambitious as Vonnoh's Coquelicots.
Though Coquelicots is undoubtedly a studio composition, Vonnoh maintains the free, unoutlined and unstructured character of his earlier small poppy pictures throughout the landscape elements, while the figures of the young woman picking flowers, the two children behind her, the distant farm wagon and horses, and the buildings on the horizon are more firmly rendered, each defining a distinct spatial plane and providing organization to the spatial recession of the vast canvas.
his involvement with Impressionism,
Vonnoh wrote: "I gradually came to realize the value of first impression
and the necessity of correct value, pure color and higher key, resulting
in my soon becoming a devoted disciple of the new movement in painting."
Vonnoh's wife posed for the principal figure, and for a small oil study
of the principal figure, formerly entitled Study for Picking Tulips
and now called Picking Poppies.
With its vast scale, Coquelicots was designed as an exhibition piece, meant to appeal to its many viewers. Despite the small farm wagon, the agricultural field here is a source of pleasure, not backbreaking labor. The attractive young woman in the foreground is linked in beauty with the brightly colored flowers, a bunch of which one of the children waves jubilantly in the air.
The painting was exhibited at the (Old) Salon annual exhibition in Paris in 1891, and then at the International Exposition held in Munich in 1892. It was in Munich that Coquelicots achieved tremendous renown, the great art historian, Richard Muther, writing of the "gleaming and flaming picture of a field of poppies . . . less like an oil-painting than a relief in oils. The unmixed red had been directly pressed on to the canvas from the tube in broad masses, and stood flickering against the blue air; and the bluish-green leaves were placed beside them by the same direct method, white lights being attained by judiciously managed fragments of blank canvas. Never yet was war so boldly declared against the conventional usage's of the studio; never yet were such barbaric means employed to attain an astounding effect of light."
Coquelicots, now entitled A Poppy Field, was included in Vonnoh's one-artist show held in February, 1896, at the Durand-Ruel Gallery in New York City. On the one hand, the US critics admitted their astonishment at his advanced strategies: The New York Times noted that Vonnoh "has achieved capital results in the matter of vibrating color, light and astonishing brilliancy . and that "Broken color, touches of various pale tones of blues, yellows, reds, violets and other tints, never crude or spotty, rarely obtrusive, give a vibration, a realism quite remarkable." Yet, pictures such as Coquelicots were felt by that same critic to "utterly lack the sentiment and poetry with which the portraits are invested." Coquelicots did not sell. Vonnoh went on to create only one more large-scale figural work set out-of-doors, The Ring (1898).
After many years, Coquelicots resurfaced as Poppies in the December, 1914, winter exhibition at the National Academy of Design in New York City, and then appeared in the Panama-Pacific International Exposition held in San Francisco in 1915, where Vonnoh won a gold medal. By then, the original signature and date had been removed, and the picture had been resigned with a copyright date of 1914. Poppies then was shown early in 1916, first at the City Art Museum, St. Louis, and then at the Memorial Art Gallery, Rochester, in a two-artist exhibition of Robert Vonnoh's paintings and Bessie Potter Vonnoh's small sculptures. By 1919, the work had been retitled again. The sculptor, J. Massey Rhind, had suggested to Joseph G. Butler, Jr., the title Flanders- "Where Soldiers Sleep and Poppies Grow," a reference to the German invasion of Belgium during World War 1, and to the 1915 poem, "In Flanders Fields," by the Canadian surgeon, John McCrae, though the joyous sentiments projected by the painting are antithetical to the tragic expression of McCrae's poem.
–- Apple Bloom (1903, 77x92cm; 821x1000pix, 91kb — .ZOOM to 1643x2000pix, 397kb)
Coquelicots (In Flanders FieldWhere Soldiers Sleep and Poppies Grow, 1890, 147x264cm) _ Final title inspired by McCraes' poem first published in Punch on 08 December 1915:
In Flanders Fields
In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved, and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.
Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.
Birch Trees (1889, 27x36cm)
Born on 17 September 1734: Jean-Baptiste
Le Prince, French painter, draftsman, and printmaker, who
died on 30 September 1781.
— Born to a family of ornamental sculptors and gilders, he became famous for creating a new kind of genre picture, based on the direct observation of Russian subjects, and also for perfecting aquatint technique. Sometime around 1750 he became a student of François Boucher, thanks to the protection of the Maréchal de Belle-Isle [1684–1761], governor of Metz. Boucher’s saturated brushwork, highly finished surfaces and incisive drawing had a decisive impact upon the young artist, as did, perhaps, the diversity of his output. He was also inspired by 17th-century Dutch and Flemish genre and landscape painters.
A great traveler (Finland, Lithuania, Russia, Siberia), he introduced Russian subjects into France. Born in Metz, Leprince became known in France for his history paintings, landscapes, portraits, and genre scenes, as well as for his engravings. He studied with the greatest official painter of eighteenth-century France, François Boucher (1703-1770), often painting pastoral scenes in his master's rococo style. In 1758, when he was twenty-four, Leprince went to Russia for five years to work for the Imperial Palace in St. Petersburg. He decorated much of that palace and many others with his interior designs and paintings. He returned to France in December 1763.
— Two influences were paramount for Le Prince: his teacher François Boucher and his stay in Russia. Born to a family of ornamental sculptors and gilders, Le Prince began studying under Boucher about 1750. His master's tightly controlled brushwork and highly finished surfaces influenced him greatly, along with Boucher's affection for scenes with shepherds and shepherdesses.
By 1757 Le Prince was painting at the Imperial Palace in Saint Petersburg. He traveled extensively in Russia, perhaps even to Siberia. Returning to Paris five years later and eager to make a name for himself, Le Prince created paintings and etchings of the Russian countryside and daily life, often using Russian costumes and small mannequins to get the exactitude he desired. Le Prince not only became famous for creating this new kind of genre picture, but he also perfected the technique of making aquatints.
Upon becoming a member of the Académie Royale in 1765, Le Prince exhibited fifteen paintings at that year's Salon, all Russian subjects. The Beauvais Tapestry Manufactory wove his Russian Games tapestry cartoons many times. After 1770 Le Prince's health declined and he left Paris for the French countryside, where he painted landscapes and pastoral subjects.
— Le Prince's students included Jean-Baptiste Marie Huet, Charles-Clément Bervic, Louis-François Cassas. Louis-François
Un Baptême Russe (1765, 73x92cm) _ Peint au retour d'un voyage en Russie, ce tableau fut présenté comme morceau de réception à l'Académie. Il appartient au goût des "russeries" que Le Prince exploita tout au long de sa carrière.
The Tartar Camp (1765, 175x223cm)
The Necromancer (1775, 77x63cm) Three versions of this subject are known, including one in the Hermitage, St Petersburg. It is not known which of the three was the one exhibited at the Salon of 1775. Evidently a popular composition, it was also engraved in 1785. Le Prince specialised in genre scenes often, like this one, with an exotic flavor.
The Four Seasons: Autumn, Winter, Spring, Summer (1763 Four paintings, Autumn 49x87cm, Winter 50x87cm, Spring 49x86cm, Summer 50x87cm). These allegorical oil paintings, each still in its elegant original frame, probably decorated the interior walls of an important home, and, consequently, are very thinly painted. Each one uses a female nude to personify one of the four seasons. Le Prince's Seasons derive almost directly from the designs of Boucher, if we judge from the strong similarity between Spring and an engraving after Boucher entitled Venus Crowned by Cupids.
— The Russian Cradle (1765, 59x74cm; 518x640pix, 94kb) _ In a rural setting, a peasant family sits admiring a baby in a cradle suspended from the branches of a tree. The composition takes its name from the distinctive hanging cradle made of boughs lashed together. Surrounded by goats and sheep, an old woman in a red dress and decorative headscarf holds a distaff and points towards the infant as if telling its fortune. The blue sky with pink-tinged clouds recalls the influence of François Boucher, Jean-Baptiste Le Prince's former teacher. Jean-Baptiste Le Prince served in Saint Petersburg at the court of Catherine the Great between 1760 and 1762. Upon his return to Paris in 1765, he made this painting and thirteen others that he exhibited in the Salon. To an eighteenth-century French audience, this improbable scene would have seemed exotic and picturesque. In reality, Russian peasants were still serfs tied to the land and its owner; it is unlikely that they would have enjoyed the leisure time depicted here. Based on drawings and recollections from the artist’s extensive travels throughout Russia, The Russian Cradle proved immensely popular and was replicated in drawings, prints, and even as decoration on Sèvres porcelain.
— La Visite (1779, 88x129cm; [Flash])