ART 4 2-DAY 22 September v.9.80
Born on 22 September 1725: Joseph-Siffrède
Duplessis, French artist who died on 01 April 1802.
Duplessis, as a southerner from Carpentras, near Avignon, was trained quite differently from contemporaneous court painters. Asa result, recognition of his talent by Parisian society was slow to materialize. At the age of twenty he went to Rome and entered the studio of Pierre Subleyras, where he rapidly developed his artistic abilities. In 1752 he was in Paris, but it was not until 1764 that he had his first success at the Academy of Saint Luke. He achieved fame with ten works exhibited at the Salon of 1769 and was elected to membership as a portraitist by the Royal Academy of Painting and Sculpture in 1774. When he was named official court painter to Louis XVI, the aristocracy and most of the famous people of the time clamored to sit for him. The Revolution deprived him of patrons, and he retired to Carpentras during the Reign of Terror. Back in Paris in 1796, he was appointed curator of the collections at Versailles. Recognized as the finest realistic portraitist of his generation, rivaled only by Alexandre Roslin, Duplessis records facial expression with a searching and sensitive brush, interprets the moods and feelings of his sitters, and always presents clear evidence of their social position.
–- A Gentleman (Jean-Baptiste-François Dupré?) (1781, 147x114cm; 1/4 size, 165kb _ ZOOM to 1/2 size, 495 kb)
–- Portrait of a Woman (1785, 61x50cm; 750x617pix, 31kb _ .ZOOM to 1501x1235pix, 159kb) yellowed; head and shoulders.
–- Benjamin Franklin (1778, oval 72x58cm; framed 886x600pix, 53kb)
Madame Lenoir, Mother of Alexandre Lenoir, the founder of the Museum of French Monuments
the Sculptor Christophe Gabriel Allegrain (1774, 130x97cm; 1080x829, 109kb) _ Christophe-Gabriel Allegrain [08 Oct 1710 – 17 Apr 1795] was a French sculptor who was much influenced by his more illustrious brother-in-law Jean-Baptiste Pigalle [26 Jan 1714 – 21 Aug 1785].
Madame Frèret-Déricour (1769)
Cristoph Willibald von Gluck at the Spinet (1775; 81x100cm; 900x723pix, 105kb) _ The most popular of the portraits by Duplessis is this one of the composer Gluck [02 Jul 1714 – 15 Nov 1787]. It was begun during the Gluck's stay in Paris on the occasion of the first performance there of his opera Iphigénie en Aulide.
— La Révolution Française Arrivée sous le Règne de Louis XVI les 14 Juillet 1789 et 10 Aoust 1792 Inventé, Dessiné, et Gravé par Duplessis — Dédiée aux Amis de la Liberté et de l'Egalité (1792 engraving; 600x725pix, 257kb _ ZOOM to 1400x1691pix, 1062kb) _ La légende: Du haut du Ciel, on voit l'Auguste Vérité resplandissante qui vient eclairer l'Univers, la Nation, et l'Assemblée nationale. La Liberté française sous la figure d'une femme ailée, prête a descendre en Terre, a, d'un seul mouvement fait tomber la Couronne, et brisé le Sceptre defer de l'affreux Despotisme retiré dans la Bastille; a côté est un Aigle coeffé de la Couronne Impériale symbole de l'injuste guerre que l'on fait a la France. Derriere sont differens Monstres sous la figure de Harpies, qui caractérisent les Prêtres réfractaires souflans le poison du Fanatisme, les Courtisans exhalans seur soufle péstiferé, les mauvais Ministres & De l'autre côté est un Génie bienfaisant qui grave sur une Colonne de bronze le petit nombre de Députés Patriotes de l'Assemblée constituante, dont la Mémoire chérie sera en vénération dans tous les siècles a venir. L'Arc-en-ciel annonce la Paix universelle chez toutes les Nations de la Terre, apres une aussi étonnante révolution, c'est le Prologue des Evenemens arrivés en France. La Cérémonie commence par les principales victimes qui ont étées frappées par le Poignard du Despotisme, et assassinées avec le Glaive de la Justice, suivi du Cercueil contenant le Corps immense des Abus, sur lequel on remarque la Thiarre, la Pourpre, l'Encensoir désignant les abus du Clergé, l'Epée liée a une Bourse et une Massue brisée sur des Armoiries déchirées ceux de la cy devant Noblesse; un Mortier, un bonnet carré et les Procédures horribles de ceux des Parlemens duRoy, aussi ceux de la Chicane. Le Sceptre et la Couronne defer a côté du Fléau, et le Livre rouge l'Empire Tyranique des abus. Les coins du Poële sount tenus par l'Envie, l'Avarice, l'Orgueil, et la Folie; le tout porté par les différente classes du cy devant Tiers Etat. Suit aprês le Président de l'Assemblée Nationale, qui après avoir approfondi les Abus les conduit au Tombeau. Vient ensuitte la Justice accompagnée delaForce et de l'Egalité. Mr. Bailly Grand Maitre des Cérémonies précede leLivre delaLoi porté en Vénération par d'honorables Membres. Derrière est la Chicanne un baillon ala bouche accompagnée par desProcureurs en pleureuses et en longs manteaux de deuil. Grand desespoir desPrinces, Ducs etPairs, et de teus ceux qui peuvent regretter las Abus, et l'enterrement duLivre rouge la pature desFainéans. Le Clergé lesPrésidens a mortier, les cinq grossesFermes se soutenans et consolans mutuellement, sont suivis par une foule dePrêtresses deVénus dansla désolation. La marche est fermée par leBedeau des Aristocrates. Sur le coin droit du tableau, on voit le Temps, quihonteux d'avoir silonstems epargné les restes duRègne féodal en détruit l'edifice, les Armoiries et touttes ces Distinctions puériles, tant recherchées par les Sots et les Intrigans. Acôté est un Chêne dont l'énorme entaille annonce la chutte prochaine, et tant désirée.
Sur le devant une foule d'Aristocrates conspirateurs qui ne pouvant plus faire aucun mal sont obligés de s'expatrier et aller devorer leur rage et leur argent chez l'étranger; on les regrette d'autant moins, quils ne peuvent jamais mourir horizontallement enFrance Acôté sont les differens Ècrivains desRévolutions qui ont instruit le Peuple sur ses droits et ont vengé la Révolution des attentats de ces Juges sacriléges, dont les Procédures iniques et horribles, les ont si justement fait anéantir; ce sont eux quiles ont attachés auCaveau delaPresse pour les flétrir etles diffamer a jamais jusques dans laPostérité la plus reculée. Vient aprés la Société des Amis delaConstitution, tant de laFrance que del'étranger, qui se sont fédérés ici universellement et ont envoyé leurs Députés, a la tête desquels est Mylord StonhopePrésident de celle d'Angleterre, avec celui duClub des Jacobins de Paris.Danslefond estlaBastille, dont on voit sortir lePeuple vainqueur et oú a passé tout le Cortège, avec une foule de monde etVoitures quil'ont suivi.A côté, sont les débris desa démolition, oú on a élevé un Autel a laLiberté sur lequelles plus zélés Patriotes apportent leurs Offrandes, etDonsPatriotiques; A leur tête,on voit les femmes des Artistes, Peintres, Sculpteurs Graveurs, Orphevres etc. qui ont etées les premieres a executter le projet dont Mme Moille épouse du Sculpteur duRoi est Auteur, elle apporte laCassette comme dépositaire.Dans lefond la brave et intrépideGarde Nationale commandée par Mr. LaFayette ,est souslesArmes,au devant d'une Superbe Colonnade en Amphitéatre d'Ordre Ionique, oú le Peuple est placé commodément pour voir passer le Cortège.Dans l'enfoncement une foule immense deCommis, Gapians, Gabelous,et autres Vampires de Finances, que l'on fait partir pour les Landes de Bordeaux et de Bretagne, cultiver les Terres qui ont besoin de bras. Il était temps de balayer touttes ces immondices Fiscales, et Aristocratiques.
Courage Honorable sDéputés,et vousBrave s Parisiens,voila votre Ouvrage
Jouisse z de la Gloire d'une aussi belle Révolution.
Died on 22 September 1920: Herbert James
Draper, London painter of historical and imaginative subjects
and portraits of his contemporaries, born in London in 1864.
He studied art at St. John’s Wood School of Art and in 1884 gained admission to the RA Schools. In 1887 he was awarded a prize of £40 for a design for a wall decoration. He also gained the Landseer Scholarship for two years at £40 p.a. Traveled at that time in Spain, Morocco, Italy, France, Holland and Belgium. Worked in Paris at the Académie Julian in 1891 and took a studio for the winter 1891-1892 at Rome. Returned home and established a studio in Kensington. Exhibited at the RA from 1887. Achieved his first public success with The Sea Maiden exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1894, and became a very popular painter of his day. A retrospective exhibition was held in 1913 at the Leicester Galleries. He died in London.
Although Draper found great favor in his lifetime, and his enormous essay on mythology The Lament for Icarus is at the Tate Gallery, his work is now largely forgotten and seldom seen in the auction rooms.
— Draper was born in London. He was educated at Bruce Castle before moving to the Royal Academy Schools, where he was awarded a gold medal and a travelling scholarship in 1889. In 1890 he travelled throughout Europe, spending time in Paris and Rome. Draper settled in London in 1891, and at about this time married Ida Williams daughter of a magistrate-they had one daughter. He specialised in paintings depicting mythological events, not dissimilar to the subjects which attracted J. W. Waterhouse. His picture The Lament for Icarus, was purchased by the Chantry Bequest in 1898. In 1900 Draper was awarded a gold medal at The International Exhibition in Paris for Icarus. He exhibited at the RA each year from 1887 until shortly before his death.
Draper also had a lucrative society portrait painting practice, his aristocratic sitters including the Duchess of Abercorn. Another area of activity was decorative work including, appropriately, the ceiling of the Drapers Hall. Draper did not become even an ARA, which I find somewhat surprising, given his long association with the RA, and the quality of his work. He was though, a member of The Royal British Colonial Society, whose President for a number of years was Thomas Gotch. Draper’s paintings are in public galleries throughout Britain, South Africa, and Australia. In the mythological subject area his paintings include, as well as ‘ Lament for Icarus,’ ‘Ulysses and The Sirens, The Kelpie, and The Vintage Morn.’ Herbert Draper had, in his lifetime, a considerable reputation, which declined rapidly, probably before his death. It is difficult to find much information about Draper the man, though it is a matter of record he attended the funeral of Waterhouse, his close neighbor, in 1917. His residence in St. John’s Wood attests to his material success.
–- Halcyone (1915, 155x216cm; 843x1168pix, 107kb — .ZOOM to 1857x2691pix, 472kb — .ZOOM+ to 2811x4073pix, 981kb) _ Based upon the legend of Ceyx and Halcyone, Draper shows Halcyone (daughter of Aeolus the wind god) seeking her husband King Ceyx of Thessaly, who has not returned from a sea voyage. The birds above her head are the halcyons, fabulous birds derived from the kingfisher, into which Halcyone and the drowned Ceyx are changed, that were supposed to have the power to calm the wind and the waves while they nested on the sea during the winter solstice: “For seven placid days, in winter time, Halcyone broods over her nest, which floats upon the sea. Then the way is safe to seamen. Aeolus guards the winds, and keeps them from disturbing the deep. The sea is given up, for the time, to his grandchildren.”
–- A Water Baby (1900; round 1027pix diameter, 76kb)
— Day and the Dawnstar (54x32cm; _ ZOOMable)
— Pot Pourri (51x68cm)
— Flying Fish (1910, 94x61cm)
— The Water Nymph (61x114cm)
Lancelot and Guinevere aka Queen of the Tournament (409x700pix; 54kb)
— Miss Barbara De Selincourt (121x76cm)
Naiad's Pool (round 450pix diameter, 38kb)
The Sea Maiden (1894, 2175x1200cm; 489x900pix, 86kb)
The Lament for Icarus (1898, 183x156cm; 700x594pix, 61kb; _ ZOOMable)
Sea Melodies (1904; oval 90x66cm; 700x501pix, 96kb) "And rippling through the splash of waves The merman's pipe shall sound." _ but the man playing his pipe and the two women listening have legs, not fish tails.
The Golden Fleece (1904; 419x700pix, 69kb) This painting depicts Medea, the ruthless sorceress, as she flees from Colchis with Jason and the Golden Fleece across the seas to Greece, with her father, Aietes in pursuit. To slow him down, she cut up her brother and cast the parts into the sea, forcing Aietes to pick up the pieces for burial.
Lamia (1909; 127x69cm; 700x367pix, 54kb)
Ulysses and the Sirens (1909; 495x700pix, 61kb) There is also a 1910 version.
The Kelpie (1913, 135x193cm; 488x700pix, 101kb) _ Kelpies were supposed to haunt rivers and lakes. They would delight in causing the drowning of travellers and sailors. They were a popular theme for artists around the beginning of the 20th century. Many artists, however, seemed unaware of their sinister aspects and portrayed them more as harmless nymphs. Draper's Kelpie, although not overtly malevolent, seems more than a mere nymph. She still retains something of an air of menace as she surveys her river. The painting received a mixed reception when first exhibited. Many critics felt the figure too modern for such a mythical subject.
–-S#> Teddy, son of Lt. B.W.G. Oates RNVR (1918, 133x67cm; 900x444pix, 71kb) _ Teddy was the nephew of Captain Lawrence E.G. “Teddy” Oates [17 Mar 1880 – 17 Mar 1912] who died in the Antarctic, as did Robert Falcon Scott [06 Jun 1868 – 30 Mar 1912] and the other members of the Scott expedition (Edward A. Wilson [23 Jul 1872 – 30 Mar 1912]; Henry R. Bowers [1883 – 30 Mar 1912]; Edgar Evans [1876 – 17 Feb 1912). The portrait was begun in Edinburgh in 1918 when Teddy was six and his father was stationed in Granton Naval Base. Draper completed the portrait in his London studio.
>Born on 22 September (09 September Julian) 1908:
Esphyr Slobodkina~Urquhart, Siberian-born
US Abstract painter and sculptor, author-illustrator of children's books,
who died on 21 July 2002.
Slobodkina, a prominent abstract artist better known for her down-to-earth illustrated children's books, of which the best known is Caps for Sale, first published in 1938 and which still sells steadily, as generation after generation of children demands that the cheerfully repetitive words be read and reread. In Caps for Sale, a cap salesman awakes from a nap to find that monkeys have taken his wares up a tree. He angrily shakes his finger at them, but they respond by shaking their fingers back and saying "Tsz, tsz, tsz." No matter what he does, they imitate him. Finally, in exasperation, the peddler throws down his hat, and the rest is history.
She went on to write and illustrate numerous other books, including The Wonderful Feast, (1955), The Clock (1956), The Long Island Ducklings (1961) and Pezzo the Peddler and the Circus Elephant, which was first published in 1967 and was reissued in 2002 as Circus Caps for Sale. The original "Caps for Sale" has sold more than two million copies since it was first published. In sales it ranks with such classics as Good Night Moon, though well below books like Pat the Bunny, The Cat in the Hat or The Tale of Peter Rabbit, according to lists compiled by Publisher's Weekly.
Even as Slobodkina found success in writing and illustrating books, she continued her paintings, textiles and sculptures. She was a founding member of a group called the American Abstract Artists, established in 1936 to promote the emerging genre, which included artists like Josef Albers, Ad Reinhardt, Ilya Bolotowsky, Willem de Kooning, Jackson Pollock and David Smith. Slobodkina's varied works were all of a creative piece, and a pleasure to behold.
Esphyr Slobodkina was born in Cheliabinsk, and came to the US at 20. She started in children's books by necessity. During the Depression, she was short on money and worked in her mother's dress shop. A friend introduced her to Margaret Wise Brown, the author of "Good Night Moon" at the Bank Street Writers Laboratory in Greenwich Village. Ms. Slobodkina went on to illustrate several of Brown's other books, including, "The Little Fireman," "The Little Cowboy" and "Sleepy ABC" . In a memoir published on her Web site, www.slobodkina.com, Ms. Slobodkina wrote, "When Margaret died, I was left without a writer, and since she always insisted that she liked the way I told my stories, I took a deep breath and began to send them to my agent."
Slobodkina married Bolotowsky, a fellow artist, in 1933. They were divorced three years later. She married William Urquhart in 1960.
Slobodkina took her responsibility as a children's book author seriously. In her memoir she wrote: "The verbal patterns and the patterns of behavior we present to children in these lighthearted confections are likely to influence them for the rest of their lives. These aesthetic impressions, just like the moral teachings of early childhood, remain indelible." .
With obvious enjoyment, 92-year-old Esphyr Slobodkina recalls her answer to an interviewer's "If you didn't paint like yourself, what artist would you most want to paint like?" It was "Well, if I didn't paint like myself, I would want to paint like myself." Slobodkina's humor and confidence are crucial elements of her creative output. Her oeuvre includes paintings, sculptures, and "2 1/2 dimensional" objects, jewelry, couture design, and children's books, to start with. At recent visits to the Slobodkina Foundation in Glen Head, Long Island, and to the Esphyr Slobodkina Research and Study Center of the Heckscher Museum of Art in Huntington, Long Island, we learned about her lifelong affinity for clear, rich colors and flat, stylized forms, her love of traditional Russian peasant crafts and her inventive recycling of found objects. We perused the three volumes of her privately printed 1100-page autobiography and solicited anecdotes about the people and groups who defined the New York art establishment over the last seven decades. Esphyr Slobodkina was born in Siberia in 1908 to a prosperous family with an appetite for learning and the arts. When the upheaval of the Russian Revolution became intolerable, her family moved on to Manchuria. There, Slobodkina discovered her aptitude for painting as a result of her preparation for the art test required to study engineering and architecture. In 1928 she was granted a student visa to the United States and entered the National Academy of Design in New York. Fellow student Ilya Bolotowsky became her mentor, friend, and finally, husband. "We spoke Russian," she says. "Among other things, he admired my upper middle class Russian unconditionally." They married in 1933 and divorced in 1936. It was Bolotowsky who introduced her to abstract art, and to artists such as Byron Brown, Gertrude and Balcomb Greene, Giorgio Cavallon, and George L. K. Morris.
1934 Slobodkina joined the Artists' Union. A typical paragraph from her
autobiography reveals both the serious struggle and the fun that the Artists'
Union members had: While some members "…like Arshile Gorky, Balcombe and
Peter Greene, and Stuart Davis, were well on the way to formulating their
own, distinctively abstract style of painting...the controversy between
the 'Socially Conscious' and the committed to the 'Art for Art's Sake,'
was ferocious. Whole evenings were dedicated to expressions of various views
on the role of the Artist in Society. Various political philosophies and
their most ardent adherents were beginning to emerge.… "In the meantime,
life with the Artist's Union had its lighter side. Where there is a Cause,
there is fun, and usually a lot of extra work for eager beavers like me.
The first thing I remember getting myself into was the making of posters
for a thing I think Gorky and his pals dreamt up. It was to be called 'Beer
with Your Melodrama,' and consisted of a very old movie of the PERILS OF
PAULINE type, plus a glass of free beer.… "To advertise the forthcoming
event, they called for volunteers to make posters…to be made by hand in
considerable quantities. I undertook to make some, twelve, I think. My lettering
was never any good, but the lay-out and the advertising copy were a cinch…however…the
art of achieving a smooth, solid surface kept eluding me.… "As always, faced
with the lack of plain, ordinary facility possessed by hundreds of clever
idiots, I found my own way out. I made comical Gay Nineties drawings, traced
them on all the twelve copies, and outlined them in a flowing pen-and-ink
line. My childhood skill with scissors came in handy: folded construction
paper of various colors was quickly transformed into the proper number of
handlebar mustaches, and pink, very fetching hourglass corsets. A bit of
glue to hold the colored paper in place, and a few touches with the pen
to indicate final details, finished the job.… "I was pleased with the light,
frothy results of my labors, but I never anticipated the enthusiasm with
which they were greeted by my fellow Union members. Months after the 'Beer
with Your Melodrama' ran its brief course, closed for lack of a license
to show motion pictures and an abundance of gate-crashers, who wanted to
see the movie for nothing, people were complimenting me on the clever way
I put across maximum information with minimum means. I was no longer Esther
Bolotowsky, Ilya Bolotowsky's attractive wife only. Suddenly I became Esther
Bolotowsky, a capable and useful member of the Union.…"
In 1937, with the name changed to the original Russian, Esphyr Slobodkina became a founding member of the American Abstract Artists, whose efforts to promote geometric, hard-edged abstraction in the United States were largely eclipsed after World War II by the emergence of Abstract Expressionism. Slobodkina remained active in AAA through the 1960s. "I regard my work as 'Abstract Expressionist' or 'Abstract Surrealist,' depending on what I am doing at the moment," the artist explains while looking at the painting "Turboprop Skyshark," from 1950. Abstract forms in flat planes of black, white and blue cover the panel. The work shows Slobodkina's familiarity with Stuart Davis and Juan Gris. "I did this after a picture in Time Magazine." All of a sudden the abstract shapes come together and the spectator can retrace the propeller of the Turboprop. Her career took a new turn in the late 1930s when she began to illustrate books for Margaret Wise Brown, who became her friend, and then to write and illustrate children's books. Caps for Sale, first published in 1940, remains a classic of children's literature. Slobodkina's life continues to be full of art today. She works with computers—taking defunct computers apart and integrating the chips and wires into abstract mixed media collages that may also include other disassembled machine parts and textiles. To visit the Slobodkina Foundation, call 516-674-0776 (ask for Ann Marie Mulhearn) to set up an appointment. You will especially enjoy the downstairs, where all aspects of Slobodkina's work are displayed—from jewelry made out of typewriter parts, to wall paintings and her sculpture "Mounting levels of Anxiety." Take special notice of "Monochrome in Pink" (c. 1939) on the first floor. The Heckscher Museum allows browsing through Slobodkina's illustrated books, studying her autobiography, and has a changing exhibition schedule in the study center.
Esphyr Slobodkina was born in Chelyabinsk to Solomon A. and Itta (Agranovich) Slobodkin. A small town at the foot of the Ural Mountains in Siberia, Chelyabinsk serviced the Trans-Siberian railway. The town boasted of a population between thirty and thirty-five thousand people before the Russian Revolution of 1917; under Stalin's first Five-Year Plan, Chelyabinsk became a large metallurgical center dedicated to industrial production. In the years prior to the Revolution, Slobodkina's father served as the oil yard manager for the railway and afforded his family a leisurely existence. Although her family lived rather well, living in Asiatic Russia exposed Slobodkina to some of Russia's disparate classes and ethnic groups: common muzhiks, Chinese peddlars, Jews, Kirghiz nomads on camels, and Russified Tartars. In 1917, civil war erupted across Russia. Bolsheviki battled Menshiviki for loyalties of the Russian proletariat; Whites (monarchists) fought Reds; a legion of Czechoslovakian soldiers isolated in Siberia clawed their way towards the Eastern front to rejoin their comrades in the ongoing world war; a renegade Cossack contingent attempted to create its own government in the provinces; the Allies of World War One jousted with Japan over intervention in Siberia and whether or not to prop up the ragged monarchist elements holding on there. Confusion and violence convulsed the nation. Refugees fled into Siberia and toward Russia's Maritime Province in the east. Nevertheless, this terrible storm of revolution brought more variety to the Slobodkin household: intellectuals, political dissidents, White-officers, and Jewish radicals. For a time, Slobodkina's homelife was remarkably busy. Fifteen or twenty guests at the dinner table each evening surprised no one, and the family's appreciate for Art often turned the evenings into improvised concerts, poetry recitals, and dramatic performances by the children. Too soon, the conflict spread eastward into the provinces. The railways fell to Whites, then Reds, to Whites again and finally back to the Reds. The Slobodkins fled to Vladivostok and then to Manchuria where Solomon Slobodkin's daughters attended the Russian high school in Harbin. Finally, as all of Russia fell to the Bolsheviks, the family shipped out to the US.
the Depression, Slobodkina earned extra money by painting trays and wastepaper
baskets, as an assistant dress designer for "some $7.95 outfit" along 7th
Avenue in New York City, and later as a designer and foreman in an experimental
printing textile shop in New Jersey. In the late 1930s Slobodkina's lover,
a young man named Johnny, introduced her to rising children's author, Margaret
Wise Brown. Out of this introduction came Slobodkina's illustrations for
The Little Fireman (1938) plus a friendship and working relationship
that lasted until Brown's sudden death in 1952. Brown must be credited with
starting Slobodkina on her own career as a children's author and illustrator;
she encouraged Slobodkina to begin writing for children, insisting that
artists used more direct imagery and avoided getting entangled by words.
Slobodkina's first story was The Wonderful Feast (1955, 1967),
which took fifteen years to bring to print; later came Caps for Sale
(1940), her first well-received children's book and a classic of children's
literature. A sampling of her letters reveals Slobodkina as a woman driven
by a highly-refined sense of artistic style. She demanded a great deal from
herself and from those with whom she worked. Believing that her experiences
should be recorded, Slobodkina undertook writing a two-volume published
manuscript entitled Notes for a Biographer which serves as a valuable
source for those who wish to know about her family's contacts with Russian
refugees in Vladivostok and Manchuria or life in New York City among the
"Young Radical" set during the 1920s and 1930s, among other things.
Influenced by abstractionist principles popular after the close of the World War, Slobodkina became a charter member of the American Abstract Artists and the Federation of Modern Artists and Sculptors. For the AAA she served as secretary from 1945 to 1946 and again from 1949 to 1953, as vice-president and treasurer from 1960 to 1962, and finally as president from 1963 to 1965. As a sculpter and painter she had several one-man shows which showcased her considerable talent. Slobodkina used this same style in her children's illustrations and centered her work around the premise that "color creates mood." Consequently, most of her works rely on cut-out shapes often in solid colors. Sleepy ABC (1953) and The Little Fireman (1938) best illustrate this style.
Oddly, many of her human characters lack faces; Slobodkina reasoned that blank faces allowed her readers to use their imaginations more. Not uncommonly, she had to reply to young correspondents and their parents regarding this unique application of artistic license. Slobodkina was quite prolific, collaborating on a series of books with Margaret Wise Brown: The Little Fireman (1938), The Little Farmer (1948), The Little Cowboy (1948), and Sleepy ABC (1953). On her own she also did quite well, numbering among her more well-known books Boris and his Balalaika (1964), Caps for Sale (1940), The Flame, the Breeze, and the Shadow (1969), The Wonderful Feast (1955), Little Dog Lost, Little Dog Found (1956), Behind the Dark Window Shade (1958), The Little Dinghy (1958), Pinky and the Petunias (1959), Moving Day for the Middlemans (1960), Jack and Jim (1961), The Long Island Ducklings (1961), Pezzo the Peddler and the Thirteen Silly Thieves (1970), A Portable Library of Slobodkina Children’s Books (1988). Slobodkina also completed a mural for the University of Southern Mississippi's Cook Library (second floor, west wall).
CAPS FOR SALE
Subtitled A Tale of a Peddler, Some Monkeys and Their Monkey Business, this absurd and very simple story has become a classic, selling hundreds of thousands of copies since its first publication in 1940. A peddler walks around selling caps from a tall, tottering pile on his head. Unable to sell a single cap one morning, he walks out into the countryside, sits down under a tree, checks that all the caps are in place, and falls asleep. When he wakes up, the caps are gone and the tree is full of cap-wearing monkeys. His attempts to get the caps back generate the kind of repetitive rhythm that 3- and 4-year-olds will adore.
Caps for Sale is a timeless classic, in print for over fifty years, and beloved by generations of readers. This easy-to-read story about a peddler and a band of mischievous monkeys is filled with warmth, humor, and simplicity. Children will delight in following the peddlers efforts to outwit the monkeys in this new, enlarged, and redesigned edition, and will ask to read it again and again.
“Caps! Caps for sale!” calls the peddler, until one day he wakes up from a nap to find his caps have disappeared. Fashioned from a folktale, here's “a bright picture book, infused with a humor which seems to spring from Slobodkina's own hearty enjoyment of the troubles of a peddler with a band of monkeys.”
— Deus ex Machina (1960, 116x133cm; 650x749pix, 40kb)
— Under the Eves of Old Hoboken (1965, 131x150cm; 662x750pix, 46kb)
Crossroad #2 (1945, 110x85cm) _ Slobodkina has juxtaposed planar shapes to create subtly modulated movement. Often abstractions from objects, her paintings of the 1940s are well harmonized arrangements of color and form.
–- Abstract Composition (1950, 31x54cm; 492x900pix, 306kb) ) _ This picture has been metamorphosed by the pseudonymous Esphynx Fastbudkino into the splendid pair of intricate and colorful abstractions
_ Extract of Compost (2007; 550x778pix, 136kb _ ZOOM 1 to 778x1100pix, 289kb _ ZOOM 2 to 1100x1556pix, 633kb _ ZOOM 3 to 1710x2418pix, 1633kb _ ZOOM 4 to 2658x3760pix, 4286kb) and
_ Absent Tract Combination (2007; 550x778pix, 136kb _ ZOOM 1 to 778x1100pix, 289kb _ ZOOM 2 to 1100x1556pix, 633kb _ ZOOM 3 to 1710x2418pix, 1633kb _ ZOOM 4 to 2658x3760pix, 4286kb
— different Abstract Composition (435x800pix, 44kb) monochrome brown
— The Heart of Time (86x106cm; 579x456pix, 29kb)
— untitled abstraction (18x23cm; 389x504pix, 30kb)
— Red, White, and Black (1938, 17x22cm; 480x618pix, 52kb) also a little blue and yellow, but 90% brown. _ For the sake of “Truth in Titling” Fastbudkino has thoroughly transformed this into two related strictly tricolor symmetrical abstractions (you can click instantly from one to the other):
_ Red, White, and Blue aka This is Not a Flag aka Cor Roc (2006; 932x1318pix, 527kb) and
_ Blue, White, and Red aka A Flag This is Not aka Roc Cor (2006; 932x1318pix, 527kb).
— Abstraction (20x23cm; 480x558pix, 53kb)
— Abstraction With Chair (22x29cm; 471x640pix, 37kb)
Diakité, in The Hunterman and the Crocodile (1997) retells an African folktalefamiliar to many children from Slobodkina's Caps For Sale (1940) with a combination of charming storyline, cleverly executed theme, inviting illustrations, and unusual sound effects for read-aloud fun. Tiny monkeys border the pages as readers are introduced to hatseller BaMusa. His head piled high with his dibiri and fugulan caps, and too anxious to eat breakfast, BaMusa starts out for a festival to sell his wares. He falls asleep under a mango tree, only to have a mischievous crowd of monkeys swipe his hard work. Hungry, not thinking straight, BaMusa tries to get the caps back but almost despairs. A meal of the mango fruit gives him the strength to trick the monkeys into relinquishing his inventory. The festive, authentic, painted-tile illustrations match the ebullience of the colorful story; preschoolers will loveagainthis smart and satisfying tale of monkey-see, monkey-do.
This story, heard by Diakité as a child in Mali, is more familiar to us in the form of Slobodkina's Caps for Sale, but here offers a different lesson. Hungry BaMusa is only able to figure out how to retrieve his hats from a troop of monkeys after he eats the mangoes they throw at him, thus learning that ''it is with a full stomach that one thinks best.'' A border of humorous monkey antics frame the ceramic tile paintings.
>Died on 22 September 1572: François
Clouet, French Mannerist
portraitist born in 1516, son of Jean
Clouet II [1485 – >Jun<Dec 1541] whom he succeeded as court
— François Clouet and his father were the most important members of a family of artists from the southern Netherlands, possibly originating in Valenciennes. They were the leading masters of portrait drawing and painting in Renaissance France. Between them their activity for the French court and nobility extended from the reign of Louis XII to that of Charles IX, and they had numerous students, associates, and imitators working in a style closely resembling their own. Until the mid 19th-century, the personalities and oeuvres of Jean and François and their followers had become merged into one painter known by the nickname of ‘Janet’, who was deemed to be synonymous with François Clouet.
— François Clouet was a student of his father, whom he succeeded as ‘painctre et varlet de chambre’ to François I in 1540. He also inherited the nickname ‘Janet’ and is referred to as such in a number of early sources and in the older literature. After the death of François I in 1547 he continued to serve the Valois monarchy principally as a portrait artist; his portrait drawings, like those of his father, were particularly eagerly sought after by Catherine de’ Medici, wife of Henry II and mother of François II and Charles IX. His reputation was such that his drawings were praised in verse by Pierre de Ronsard and other contemporary poets. Nevertheless, his career in royal service seems to have been subject to competition by the 1560s: Catherine also employed Etienne Dumonstier and Pierre Dumonstier I to paint portraits, and Charles IX employed principally Marc Duval. Clouet may well have done more work at this period for the nobility, such as the L’Aubespine-Villeroy family and Claude Gouffier, from whom in 1568 he received an annual pension higher than that paid by the King. He returned to royal service at the end of his life, when he was given charge of the decorations (since destroyed) for the wedding of Margaret Valois to Henry of Navarre (later Henry IV) in 1572. He was assisted by his students Jean Decourt [1530–>1585) and Pierre Gourdelle [1530–>1588). His death followed less than a month after the Saint Bartholomew’s Day Massacres (started on 24 Aug 1572), and though he professed Catholicism in his will, it has been conjectured that he may have been a Protestant whose death was brought on by it [how about the possibility that he was a Catholic who was beaten up when he opposed the massacres?].
— The Bath of Diana (1559; 78x110cm; 600x862pix _ ZOOM to 1097x1576pix; 551kb _ ZOOM+ to 1400x2012pix, 634kb)
— Une Dame dans son Bain (1571; 600x525pix _ ZOOM to 1268x1109pix, 536kb) tandis que derrière son dos un enfant tend la main pour lui chiper une poire, une nourrice allaite un poupon, et, dans le fond, une servante s'apprête a lui amener de l'eau qui avait été chauffée dans la cheminée. This mysterious and captivating work has been traditionally identified as representing Diane de Poitiers, but is is more probably a likeness of Marie Touchet, mistress of Charles IX.
— Charles IX, tête et épaules tourné 1/4 gauche (1561; 25x21cm; 600x488pix _ ZOOM to 1372x1117pix; 445kb) _ Charles [27 Jun 1550 – 30 May 1574] became King of France, under the regency of his mother Catherine de Médicis [13 Apr 1519 – 05 Jan 1589], at the death of his brother Francis II [19 Jan 1544 – 05 Dec 1560]. Charles IX was succeeded by his brother Henri III .
— Charles IX, mi-corps tourné 1/4 droite (1565; 600xpix _ ZOOM to 1556x1089pix; 586kb)
— Charles IX, de pied 1ère version, parures géométriques du pourpoint (1566; 600xpix _ ZOOM to 1680x893pix; 519kb)
_ Charles IX, de pied 2ème version, parures florales du pourpoint (1566; 222x115cm; 600xpix _ ZOOM to 1639x808pix plus marges; 734kb)
— Henri II (1559; 600xpix _ ZOOM to 1684x845pix, 370kb) _ Henri II [31 Mar 1519 – 10 Jul 1559] became king of France at the death of his father François Ier [12 Sep 1494 – 31 Mar 1547].
— Henri II with his wife Catharine de Médicis, surrounded by the portraits of 13 other French royals (1559 miniature; 600xpix _ ZOOM to 1124x1109pix, 681kb)
— (Mme) Claude de Beaune (1565; 600xpix _ ZOOM to 1552x1101pix, 532kb)
— Pierre Forget, Seigneur de Fresne (1565; 600xpix _ ZOOM to 1532x1113pix, 452kb)
— Pierre Quthe (1562, 91x70cm; 600xpix _ ZOOM to 1432x1101pix, 374kb) _ This portrait of Pierre Quthe, an apothecary, is influenced by both Bronzino and Holbein. Clouet painted his friend Pierre Quthe at 43 years of age, as the Latin inscription indicates, and it is one of the few works signed by the artist. Clouet concentrates on the psychological study of the man, but does not forget his social position, placing a herbal at his side, which refers to the medicinal plants the apothecary grew in his Paris garden. The austere elegance of the pose suggests a knowledge of the Italian Mannerists, and the controlled light and meticulous technique point to the Flemish masters. It was at the junction of these two influences that François Clouet, in the footsteps of his father Jean, developed the new ingredients of French portraiture.
— Elisabeth of Austria, Queen of France (1571, 36x26cm; 600xpix _ ZOOM to 1540x1069pix, 639kb) _ Elisabeth of Austria [1554-1592], daughter of Empeor Maximilian II and Mary of Austria, married Charles IX of France in 1570.