Francisco Goya - Dance of the Majos at the Banks of Manzanares

Life and Paintings of Francisco Goya (1746 – 1828)

Francisco José de Goya y Lucientes (30 March 1746–16 April 1828) was a Spanish romantic painter and printmaker regarded both as the last of the Old Masters and the first of the moderns. Goya was a court painter to the Spanish Crown, and through his works was both a commentator on and chronicler of his era. The subversive and imaginative element in his art, as well as his bold handling of paint, provided a model for the work of later generations of artists, notably Manet, Picasso and Francis Bacon.. In his honour, Spain’s main national film awards are called the Goya Awards.

Movements: Romanticism

Hannah-Höch---Cut-with-the-Dada-Kitchen-Knife-through-the-Last-Weimar-Beer-Belly-Cultural-Epoch-in-Germany

History of Modern Art: Dada

Dada was an informal international movement, with participants in Europe and North America. The beginnings of Dada correspond to the outbreak of World War I. For many participants, the movement was a protest against the bourgeois nationalist and colonialist interests, which many Dadaists believed were the root cause of the war, and against the cultural and intellectual conformity—in art and more broadly in society—that corresponded to the war.

Marcel Duchamp - Fountain

Marcel Duchamp – Fountain

Many Dadaists believed that the ‘reason’ and ‘logic’ of bourgeois capitalist society had led people into war.They expressed their rejection of that ideology in artistic expression that appeared to reject logic and embrace chaos and irrationality.For example, George Grosz later recalled that his Dadaist art was intended as a protest “against this world of mutual destruction.”

According to Hans Richter, Dada was not art, it was “anti-art.”Everything for which art stood, Dada represented the opposite.Where art was concerned with traditional aesthetics, Dada ignored aesthetics. If art was to appeal to sensibilities, Dada was intended to offend.

As Hugo Ball expressed it, “For us, art is not an end in itself … but it is an opportunity for the true perception and criticism of the times we live in.”

A reviewer from the American Art News stated at the time that: “Dada philosophy is the sickest, most paralyzing and most destructive thing that has ever originated from the brain of man.

Art historians have described Dada as being, in large part, a “reaction to what many of these artists saw as nothing more than an insane spectacle of collective homicide.”

Years later, Dada artists described the movement as:

a phenomenon bursting forth in the midst of the postwar economic and moral crisis, a savior, a monster, which would lay waste to everything in its path… [It was] a systematic work of destruction and demoralization… In the end it became nothing but an act of sacrilege.

Giovanni Francesco Barbieri (Guercino) - Susanna and the Elders

Masters of Art: Guercino (1591 – 1666)

Giovanni Francesco Barbieri (February 8, 1591 – December 22, 1666), best known as Guercino or Il Guercino, was an Italian Baroque painter and draftsman from the region of Emilia, and active in Rome and Bologna. The vigorous naturalism of his early manner is in contrast to the classical equilibrium of his later works. His many drawings are noted for their luminosity and lively style.

Movements: Baroque,  Emotionalism, Classicism

Giovanni Francesco Barbieri (Guercino) - Et in Arcadia Ego

Giovanni Francesco Barbieri (Guercino) – Et in Arcadia Ego

He was born at Cento, a village between Bologna and Ferrara. At an early age he acquired the nickname Guercino (Italian for ‘squinter’) because he was cross-eyed.

Mainly self-taught, he was apprenticed at the age of 16 to Benedetto Gennari, a painter of the Bolognese School. By 1615 he had moved to Bologna, where his work gained the praise of an elder Ludovico Carracci. Guercino painted two large canvases, Elijah Fed by Ravens and Samson Seized by Philistines, in what appears to be a stark naturalist Caravaggesque style (although it is unlikely he had been able to see any of the Roman Caravaggios first-hand). They were painted for Cardinal Serra, Papal Legate to Ferrara.

The Arcadian Shepherds (Et in Arcadia ego) was painted in 1618 contemporary with The Flaying of Marsyas by Apollo in Palazzo Pitti. Its dramatic composition is typical of Guercino’s early works, which are often tumultuous. His first style, he often claimed, was influenced by a canvas of Annibale Carracci in Cento. Some of his later pieces approach rather to the manner of his contemporary Guido Reni, and are painted with more lightness and clearness.

Giovanni Francesco Barbieri (Guercino) - Angels Weeping over the Dead Christ

Giovanni Francesco Barbieri (Guercino) – Angels Weeping over the Dead Christ

He was recommended by Marchese Enzo Bentivoglio to the Bolognese Ludovisi Pope, Pope Gregory XV. The two years he spent in Rome, 1621–23, were very productive. From this period came his frescoes of Aurora at the casino of the Villa Ludovisi and the ceiling in San Crisogono (1622) of San Chrysogonus in Glory; his portrait of Pope Gregory (now in the Getty Museum, and, what is considered his masterpiece, The Burial of Saint Petronilla or St. Petronilla Altarpiece, for the Vatican (now in the Museo Capitolini).

After the death of Gregory XV, Guercino returned to his hometown. In 1626 he began his frescoes in the Duomo of Piacenza. The details of his career after 1629 are well documented in the account book, the Libro dei conti, that Guercino and his brother, Paolo Antonio Barbieri, kept and which has been preserved.

In 1642, following the death of Guido Reni in Bologna, Guercino moved his busy workshop to that city and become its principal painter. The Franciscan order of Reggio in 1655 paid him 300 ducats for the altarpiece of Saint Luke Displaying a Painting of the Madonna and Child (now in Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City). The Corsini also paid him 300 ducats for the Flagellation of Christ painted in 1657.

Giovanni Francesco Barbieri (Guercino) - Virgin and Child with Four Saints

Giovanni Francesco Barbieri (Guercino) – Virgin and Child with Four Saints

He was remarkable for the extreme rapidity of his execution—he completed no fewer than 106 large altar-pieces for churches, and his other paintings amount to about 144. He was a prolific draftsman who made many drawings, usually in ink, ink with wash, or red chalk. Most were made as preparatory studies for his paintings, but for his own enjoyment he also drew landscapes, genre subjects, and caricatures. His drawings are noted for their fluent style in which “rapid, calligraphic pen strokes combined with dots, dashes, and parallel hatching lines describe the forms”.

Let’s now enjoy his most celebrated works

Giovanni Francesco Barbieri (Guercino) - The Martyrdom of St Peter

Giovanni Francesco Barbieri (Guercino) – The Martyrdom of St Peter

Giovanni Francesco Barbieri (Guercino) - Susanna and the Elders

Giovanni Francesco Barbieri (Guercino) – Susanna and the Elders

Giovanni Francesco Barbieri (Guercino) - St William of Aquitaine Receiving the Cowl

Giovanni Francesco Barbieri (Guercino) – St William of Aquitaine Receiving the Cowl

Giovanni Francesco Barbieri (Guercino) - St Peter Weeping before the Virgin

Giovanni Francesco Barbieri (Guercino) – St Peter Weeping before the Virgin

Giovanni Francesco Barbieri (Guercino) - Semiramis Receiving Word of the Revolt of Babylon

Giovanni Francesco Barbieri (Guercino) – Semiramis Receiving Word of the Revolt of Babylon

Giovanni Francesco Barbieri (Guercino) - Samson Captured by the Philistines

Giovanni Francesco Barbieri (Guercino) – Samson Captured by the Philistines

Giovanni Francesco Barbieri (Guercino) - Madonna of the Swallow

Giovanni Francesco Barbieri (Guercino) – Madonna of the Swallow

Giovanni Francesco Barbieri (Guercino) - Abraham Casting Out Hagar and Ishmael

Giovanni Francesco Barbieri (Guercino) – Abraham Casting Out Hagar and Ishmael

Giovanni Francesco Barbieri (Guercino) -The Toilet of Venus

Giovanni Francesco Barbieri (Guercino) -The Toilet of Venus

Guercino continued to paint and teach up to the time of his death in 1666, amassing a notable fortune. As he never married, his estate passed to his nephews, Benedetto Gennari II and Cesare Gennari.

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Article publié pour la première fois le 13/11/2012

Jan Van Eyck - Self-portrait

Masters of Art: Jan Van Eyck (1395 – 1441)

Jan van Eyck (or Johannes de Eyck)(c. 1395 –  1441) was a Flemish painter active in Bruges and is generally considered one of the most significant Northern European painters of the 15th century. The few surviving records indicate that he was born around 1390, most likely in Maaseik. Little is known of his early life, but his activities following his appointment to the court of Philip the Good c. 1425 are comparatively well documented.

Movements: Renaissance, Naturalism

Jan Van Eyck - Self-portrait

Jan Van Eyck – Self-portrait

Van Eyck had previously served John of Bavaria-Straubing, then ruler of Holland, Hainault and Zeeburg. By this time van Eyck had assembled a workshop and was involved in redecorating the Binnenhof palace in The Hague. He moved to Bruges sometime around 1425 and there came to the attention of Philip the Good. He served as both court artist and diplomat and became a senior member of the Tournai painters’ guild, where he enjoyed the company of similarly esteemed artists such as Robert Campin and Rogier van der Weyden. Over the following decade van Eyck’s reputation and technical ability grew, mostly from his innovative approaches towards the handling and manipulating of oil paint.

His revolutionary approach to oil was such that a myth, perpetuated by Giorgio Vasari, arose that he had invented oil painting.

It is known from historical record that van Eyck was considered a revolutionary master across northern Europe within his lifetime; his designs and methods were heavily copied and reproduced. His motto, one of the first and still most distinctive signatures in art history, “ALS IK KAN” (“AS I CAN”) first appeared in 1433 on Portrait of a Man in a Turban, which is most likely a self portrait and indicative of his emerging self confidence at the time.

The years between 1434 and 1436 are generally considered his high point when he produced works including the Madonna of Chancellor Rolin, Lucca Madonna and Virgin and Child with Canon van der Paele. That year he married the much younger Margaret. Records from 1437 on suggest that he was held in high esteem by the upper ranks of Burgundian nobility while also accepting many foreign commissions. He died young in July 1441, leaving behind many unfinished works to be completed by workshop journeymen; works that are nevertheless today considered major examples of Early Netherlandish painting. His local and international reputation was aided by his ties to the then political and cultural influence of the Burgundian court.

Lets enjoy some of his most important works:

St Jerome

St Jerome

Madonna mit dem lesenden Kinde

Madonna mit dem lesenden Kinde

Madonna des Kanonikus Georg van der Paele

Madonna des Kanonikus Georg van der Paele

Madonna at the Fountain

Madonna at the Fountain

Die Stigmatisation des Hl. Franziskus

Die Stigmatisation des Hl. Franziskus

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Articles’ Images are in the public domain because their copyright has expired, and are available through Wikimedia

This Articles’ text is licensed under the Creative Commons BY-SA License since it partially uses material from Wikipedia.

Article publié pour la première fois le 03/08/2012

Giorgione - The Three Ages

Masters of Art: Giorgione (1477 – 1510)

Giorgio Barbarelli da Castelfranco;  or simply Giorgione; (c. 1477/8 – 1510) was a Venetian painter of the High Renaissance in Venice, whose career was cut off by his death at a little over thirty.

Giorgione is known for the elusive poetic quality of his work, though only about six surviving paintings are acknowledged for certain to be his work. The resulting uncertainty about the identity and meaning of his art has made Giorgione one of the most mysterious figures in European painting.

Movements: Renaissance, Naturalism, Monumentalism, Secularism

Together with Titian, who was slightly younger, he is the founder of the distinctive Venetian school of Italian Renaissance painting, which achieves much of its effect through colour and mood, and is traditionally contrasted with the reliance on a more linear disegno of Florentine painting.

The painter came from the small town of Castelfranco Veneto, 40 km inland from Venice. How early in boyhood he went to Venice we do not know, but stylistic evidence supports the statement of Carlo Ridolfi that he served his apprenticeship there under Giovanni Bellini; there he settled and made his fame.

Contemporary documents record that his gifts were recognized early. In 1500, when he was only twenty-three, he was chosen to paint portraits of the Doge Agostino Barbarigo and the condottiere Consalvo Ferrante.

In 1504 he was commissioned to paint an altarpiece in memory of another condottiere, Matteo Costanzo, in the cathedral of his native town, Castelfranco. In 1507 he received at the order of the Council of Ten part payment for a picture (subject not mentioned) on which he was engaged for the Hall of the Audience in the Doge’s Palace.

Giorgione - Portrait of Warrior with his Equerry

Giorgione – Portrait of Warrior with his Equerry

In 1507-1508 he was employed, with other artists of his generation, to decorate with frescoes the exterior of the newly rebuilt Fondaco dei Tedeschi (or German Merchants’ Hall) at Venice, having already done similar work on the exterior of the Casa Soranzo, the Casa Grimani alli Servi and other Venetian palaces. Very little of this work survives today.

Giorgione met with Leonardo da Vinci on the occasion of the Tuscan master’s visit to Venice in 1500. All accounts agree in representing Giorgione as a person of distinguished and romantic charm, a great lover and a musician, given to express in his art the sensuous and imaginative grace, touched with poetic melancholy, of the Venetian existence of his time. They represent him further as having made in Venetian painting an advance analogous to that made in Tuscan painting by Leonardo more than twenty years before; that is, as having released the art from the last shackles of archaic rigidity and placed it in possession of full freedom and the full mastery of its means.

He was very closely associated with Titian; Vasari says Giorgione was Titian’s master, while Ridolfi says they both were pupils of Bellini, and lived in his house. They worked together on the Fondaco dei Tedeschi frescoes, and Titian finished at least some paintings of Giorgione after his death, although which ones remains very controversial.

Giorgione also introduced a new range of subjects. Besides altarpieces and portraits he painted pictures that told no story, whether biblical or classical, or if they professed to tell a story, neglected the action and simply embodied in form and color moods of lyrical or romantic feeling, much as a musician might embody them in sounds. Innovating with the courage and felicity of genius, he had for a time an overwhelming influence on his contemporaries and immediate successors in the Venetian school, including Titian, Sebastiano del Piombo, Palma il Vecchio, il Cariani, Giulio Campagnola (and his brother), and even on his already eminent master, Giovanni Bellini. In the Venetian mainland, Giorgionismo strongly influenced Morto da Feltre, Domenico Capriolo, and Domenico Mancini.

Giorgione died, probably of the plague then raging, by October, 1510. October 1510 is also the date of a letter by Isabella d’Este to a Venetian friend; asking him to buy a painting by Giorgione; in the letter she is aware he is already dead. Significantly, the reply a month later said the painting was not to be had at any price.

Giorgione - Sleeping Venus

Giorgione – Sleeping Venus

His name and work continue to exercise a spell on posterity. But to identify and define, among the relics of his age and school, precisely what that work is, and to distinguish it from the similar work of other men whom his influence inspired, is a very difficult matter.

Though there are no longer any supporters of the “Pan Giorgionismus” which a century ago claimed for Giorgione nearly every painting of the time that at all resembles his manner, there are still, as then, exclusive critics who reduce to half a dozen the list of extant pictures which they will admit to be actually by this master.

Giorgione - The Three Philosophers

Giorgione – The Three Philosophers

The difficulty in making secure attributions of work by Giorgione’s hand dates from soon after his death, when some of his paintings were completed by other artists, and his considerable reputation also led to very early erroneous claims of attribution. The vast bulk of documentation for paintings in this period relates to large commissions for Church or government; the small domestic panels that make up the bulk of Giorgione’s oeuvre are always far less likely to be recorded. Other artists continued to work in his style for some years, and probably by the mid-century deliberately deceptive work had started.

Giorgione - The Three Ages

Giorgione – The Three Ages

Though he died at 33, Giorgione left a lasting legacy to be developed by Titian and 17th-century artists. Giorgione never subordinated line and colour to architecture, nor an artistic effect to a sentimental presentation. He was arguably the first Italian to paint landscapes with figures as movable pictures in their own frames with no devotional, allegorical, or historical purpose — and the first whose colours possessed that ardent, glowing, and melting intensity which was so soon to typify the work of all the Venetian School

Let’s enjoy some of his other most celebrated works:

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Article publié pour la première fois le 11/09/2012

Louise Élisabeth Vigée Le Brun - Self-Portrait with Her Daughter, Julie

Masters of Art: Louise Élisabeth Vigée Le Brun (1755 – 1842)

Louise Élisabeth Vigée Le Brun (Marie Élisabeth Louise; 16 April 1755 – 30 March 1842) was a French painter, and is recognized as the most important female painter of the 18th century. Her style is generally considered Rococo and shows interest in the subject of neoclassical painting. Vigée Le Brun cannot be considered a pure Neoclassist, however, in that she creates mostly portraits in Neoclassical dress rather than the History painting. In her choice of color and style while serving as the portrait painter to Marie Antoinette, Vigée Le Brun is purely Rococo.

Movements: Rococo, Neoclassicism

Born in Paris on 16 April 1755, Marie-Louise-Élisabeth Vigée was the daughter of a portraitist and fan painter, Louis Vigée, from whom she received her first instruction. Her mother was a hairdresser.

Louise Élisabeth Vigée Le Brun - Self-Portrait

Louise Élisabeth Vigée Le Brun – Self-Portrait

She was sent to live with relatives in Épernon until the age of 6 when she entered a convent where she remained for five years. Her father died when she was 12 years old following an infection from surgery to remove a fish bone lodged in his throat. In 1768, her mother married a wealthy jeweler, Jacques-Francois Le Sèvre and the family moved to the rue Saint-Honoré close to the Palais Royal. She was later patronised by the wealthy heiress Louise Marie Adélaïde de Bourbon, wife of Philippe Égalité. During this period Louise Élisabeth benefited by the advice of Gabriel François Doyen, Jean-Baptiste Greuze, Joseph Vernet, and other masters of the period.

By the time she was in her early teens, Louise Élisabeth was painting portraits professionally. After her studio was seized, for practising without a license, she applied to the Académie de Saint Luc, which unwittingly exhibited her works in their Salon. On 25 October 1783, she was made a member of the Académie.

On 7 August 1775 she married Jean-Baptiste-Pierre Le Brun, a painter and art dealer. (Her husband’s great uncle was Charles Le Brun, first Director of the French Academy under Louis XIV.) Vigée Le Brun painted portraits of many of the nobility of the day and as her career blossomed, she was invited to the Palace of Versailles to paint Marie Antoinette. So pleased was the queen that during a period of six years, Vigée Le Brun would paint more than thirty portraits of the queen and her family, leading to her being commonly viewed as the official portraitist of Marie Antoinette. Whilst of benefit during the reign of the Bourbon royals, this label was to prove problematic later.

On 12 February 1780, Vigée Le Brun gave birth to a daughter, Jeanne Julie Louise, whom she called “Julie”.

In 1781 she and her husband toured Flanders and the Netherlands where seeing the works of the Flemish masters inspired her to try new techniques. There, she painted portraits of some of the nobility, including the Prince of Nassau.

On 31 May 1783, Vigée Le Brun was accepted as a member of France’s Académie Royale de Peinture et de Sculpture. She submitted numerous portraits along with an allegorical history painting which she considered her morceau de réception—La Paix qui ramène l’Abondance (Peace Bringing Back Prosperity). The Academy did not place her work within an academic category of type of painting—history or portraiture.

Adélaïde Labille-Guiard also was admitted on the same day. The admission of Vigée Le Brun was opposed on the grounds that her husband was an art dealer, but eventually they were overruled by an order from Louis XVI because Marie Antoinette put considerable pressure on her husband on behalf of her painter. In 1789, she was succeeded as court painter to Marie Antoinette by Alexander Kucharsky.

After the arrest of the royal family during the French Revolution Vigée Le Brun fled France with her young daughter Julie. She lived and worked for some years in Italy, Austria, and Russia, where her experience in dealing with an aristocratic clientele was still useful. In Rome, her paintings met with great critical acclaim and she was elected to the Roman Accademia di San Luca.

Louise Élisabeth Vigée Le Brun - Hubert Robert, Artist

Louise Élisabeth Vigée Le Brun – Hubert Robert, Artist

In Russia, she was received by the nobility and painted numerous aristocrats including the last king of Poland Stanisław August Poniatowski and members of the family of Catherine the Great. Although the French aesthetic was widely admired in Russia there remained some cultural differences in what was deemed acceptable. Catherine was not initially happy with Vigée Le Brun’s portrait of her granddaughters, Elena and Alexandra Pavlovna, due to the area of bare skin the short sleeved gowns revealed. In order to please the Empress, Vigée Le Brun added sleeves giving the work its characteristic look. This tactic seemed effective in pleasing Catherine as she agreed to sit herself for Vigée Le Brun (although Catherine died of a stroke before this work was due to begin).

While in Saint Petersburg, Vigée Le Brun was made a member of the Academy of Fine Arts of Saint Petersburg. Much to Vigée Le Brun’s dismay, her daughter Julie married a Russian nobleman.

After a sustained campaign by her ex-husband and other family members to have her name removed from the list of counter-revolutionary émigrés, Vigée Le Brun was finally able to return to France during the reign of Emperor Napoleon I. In spite of being no longer labeled as émigrée, her relationship with the new regime was never totally harmonious, as might be expected given that she was a strong royalist and the former portraitist of Marie Antoinette.

Much in demand by the élite of Europe, she visited England at the beginning of the 19th century and painted the portrait of several British notables including Lord Byron. In 1807 she traveled to Switzerland and was made an honorary member of the Société pour l’Avancement des Beaux-Arts of Geneva.

She published her memoirs in 1835 and 1837, which provide an interesting view of the training of artists at the end of the period dominated by royal academies. Her portrait of fellow neoclassical painter, Hubert Robert, is in Paris at Musée National du Louvre.

Still very active with her painting in her fifties, she purchased a house in Louveciennes, Île-de-France, and lived there until the house was seized by the Prussian Army during the war in 1814. She stayed in Paris until her death on 30 March 1842 when her body was taken back to Louveciennes and buried in the Cimetière de Louveciennes near her old home.

Her tombstone epitaph states:

Ici, enfin, je repose… (Here, at last, I rest…)

Vigée Le Brun left a legacy of 660 portraits and 200 landscapes. In addition to private collections, her works may be found at major museums, such as Hermitage Museum, London’s National Gallery, in Europe and the United States.

Louise Élisabeth Vigée Le Brun - Self-Portrait with Her Daughter, Julie

Louise Élisabeth Vigée Le Brun – Self-Portrait with Her Daughter, Julie

 

Louise Élisabeth Vigée Le Brun - The Daughter Portrait

Louise Élisabeth Vigée Le Brun – The Daughter Portrait

Louise Élisabeth Vigée Le Brun - The Genius of Alexander

Louise Élisabeth Vigée Le Brun – The Genius of Alexander

Louise Élisabeth Vigée Le Brun - Madame d'Aguesseau de Fresnes

Louise Élisabeth Vigée Le Brun – Madame d’Aguesseau de Fresnes

Louise Élisabeth Vigée Le Brun - Marie Antoinette

Louise Élisabeth Vigée Le Brun – Marie Antoinette

Louise Élisabeth Vigée Le Brun - Portrait of a Young Woman

Louise Élisabeth Vigée Le Brun – Portrait of a Young Woman

Louise Élisabeth Vigée Le Brun - Portrait of Anna Pitt as Hebe

Louise Élisabeth Vigée Le Brun – Portrait of Anna Pitt as Hebe

Louise Élisabeth Vigée Le Brun - Portrait of Hyacinthe Gabrielle Roland

Louise Élisabeth Vigée Le Brun – Portrait of Hyacinthe Gabrielle Roland

Louise Élisabeth Vigée Le Brun - Portrait of Hyacinthe Gabrielle Roland

Louise Élisabeth Vigée Le Brun – Portrait of Hyacinthe Gabrielle Roland

Louise Élisabeth Vigée Le Brun - Self-Portrait in a Straw Hat

Louise Élisabeth Vigée Le Brun – Self-Portrait in a Straw Hat

 

Hope you enjoyed the article as much as i did compiling the info and the images! See you next time!

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This Articles’ text is licensed under the Creative Commons BY-SA License since it partially uses material from Wikipedia.

Joseph Turner - The Grand Canal, Venice

Masters of Art: Joseph Mallord William Turner (1775 – 1851)

Joseph Mallord William “J. M. W.” Turner, RA (23 April 1775 – 19 December 1851) was a British Romantic landscape painter, water-colourist, and printmaker. Turner was considered a controversial figure in his day, but is now regarded as the artist who elevated landscape painting to an eminence rivalling history painting. Although renowned for his oil paintings, Turner is also one of the greatest masters of British watercolour landscape painting. He is commonly known as “the painter of light” and his work is regarded as a Romantic preface to Impressionism.

Movements: Romanticism, Classicism, Impressionism 

Joseph Mallord William Turner was born on or around the 23 April 1775 in Maiden Lane, Covent Garden, London, England. His father, William Turner (1738–7 August 1829), was a barber and wig maker,his mother, Mary Marshall, came from a family of butchers. A younger sister, Mary Ann Turner, was born in September 1778 but died aged four in August 1783.

In 1785, as a result of a “fit of illness” in the family the young Turner was sent to stay with his maternal uncle, Joseph Mallord William Marshall, in Brentford, which was then a small town west of London on the banks of the River Thames. From this period, the earliest known artistic exercise by Turner is found, a series of simple colourings of engraved plates from Henry Boswell’s Picturesque View of the Antiquities of England and Wales.

Joseph Turner - Self-Portrait

Joseph Turner – Self-Portrait

Around 1786, Turner was sent to Margate on the north-east Kent coast. Here Turner produced a series of early drawings of the town and surrounding area foreshadowing his later work. Turner would return to Margate many times in later life. By this time, Turner’s drawings were already being exhibited in his father’s shop window and sold for a few shillings each. His father boasted to the artist Thomas Stothard that: “My son, sir, is going to be a painter”.In 1789 Turner again stayed with his uncle, who by this time had retired to Sunningwell in Oxford. A whole sketchbook of work from his time in Oxford survives, as well as an early watercolour of Oxford. The use of pencil sketches on location as a basis for later finished paintings would form the basis of Turner’s essential working style for his whole career.

Many of the early sketches by Turner were studies of Architecture and/or exercises in perspective and it is known that the young Turner worked for several architects including Thomas Hardwick (junior), James Wyatt and Bonomi the Elder.

By the end of 1789 he had also begun to study under the topographical draughtsman Thomas Malton, whom Turner would later call “My real master”. He entered the Royal Academy of Art schools in 1789, when he was only 14 years old, and was accepted into the academy a year later. Sir Joshua Reynolds, president of the Royal Academy, chaired the panel that admitted him. At first Turner showed a keen interest in architecture but was advised to continue painting by the architect Thomas Hardwick (junior). His first watercolour A View of the Archbishop’s Palace, Lambeth was accepted for the Summer Exhibition of 1790 when Turner was only 15.

As a probationer in the Academy, he was taught drawing (not painting) from plaster casts of antique sculptures and his name appears in the registry of the Academy over a hundred times from July 1790 to October 1793. In June 1792 he was admitted to the life class to learn to draw the human body from nude models.

Turner continued to exhibit watercolours each year at the Academy – travelling in the summer and painting in the winter. He travelled widely throughout Britain, particularly to Wales, and produced a wide range of sketches for working up into studies and watercolours. These particularly focused on architectural work, which utilised his skills as a draughtsman. In 1793, he showed a watercolour with the title The Rising Squall – Hot Wells from St Vincent’s Rock Bristol (now lost) that foreshadowed his later climatic effects.

Cunningham in his obituary of Turner wrote that it was: “recognised by the wiser few as a nobel attempt at lift in landscape art out of the tame insipidities…[and] evinced for the fist time that mastery of effect for which he is now justly celebrated.”

Turner exhibited his first oil painting at the Academy in 1796, Fishermen at Sea. A nocturnal moonlit scene off the Needles, Isle of Wight. The image of boats in peril contrasts the cold light of the moon with the firelight glow of the fishermen’s lantern. Wilton has said that the image: “Is a summary of all that had been said about the sea by the artists of the eighteenth century.” and shows strong influence by artists such as Horace Vernet, Philip James de Loutherbourg and Willem van de Velde the Younger. The image was praised by contemporary critics and would found Turner’s reputation, both as an oil painter and as a painter of maritime scenes.

Turner travelled widely in Europe, starting with France and Switzerland in 1802 and studying in the Louvre in Paris in the same year. He also made many visits toVenice. On a visit to Lyme Regis, in Dorset, England, he painted a stormy scene (now in the Cincinnati Art Museum).

Important support for his work also came from Walter Ramsden Fawkes, of Farnley Hall, near Otley in Yorkshire, who became a close friend of the artist.

Joseph Turner - The Grand Canal, Venice

Joseph Turner – The Grand Canal, Venice

Turner first visited Otley in 1797, aged 22, when commissioned to paint watercolours of the area. He was so attracted to Otley and the surrounding area that he returned to it throughout his career. The stormy backdrop of Hannibal Crossing The Alps is reputed to have been inspired by a storm over Otley’s Chevin while Turner was staying at Farnley Hall.

Turner was also a frequent guest of George O’Brien Wyndham, 3rd Earl of Egremont at Petworth House in West Sussex and painted scenes that Egremont funded taken from the grounds of the house and of the Sussex countryside, including a view of the Chichester Canal. Petworth House still displays a number of paintings.

As he grew older, Turner became more eccentric. He had few close friends except for his father, who lived with him for 30 years, eventually working as his studio assistant. His father’s death in 1829 had a profound effect on him, and thereafter he was subject to bouts of depression. He never married but had a relationship with an older widow, Sarah Danby. He is believed to have been the father of her two daughters born in 1801 and 1811.

He died in the house of his mistress Sophia Caroline Booth in Cheyne Walk, Chelsea on 19 December 1851. He is said to have uttered the last words “The sun is God” before expiring. At his request he was buried in St Paul’s Cathedral, where he lies next to Sir Joshua Reynolds. His last exhibition at the Royal Academy was in 1850.

The architect Philip Hardwick (1792–1870) who was a friend of Turner’s and also the son of the artist’s tutor, Thomas Hardwick, was in charge of making his funeralarrangements and wrote to those who knew Turner to tell them at the time of his death that, “I must inform you, we have lost him.” Other active executors were his cousin and executor, and chief mourner at the funeral, Henry Harpur IV (benefactor of Westminster – now Chelsea & Westminster – Hospital), Revd. Henry Scott Trimmer, George Jones RA and Charles Turner ARA.

Turner’s talent was recognised early in his life. Financial independence allowed Turner to innovate freely; his mature work is characterised by a chromatic palette and broadly applied atmospheric washes of paint. According to David Piper’s The Illustrated History of Art, his later pictures were called “fantastic puzzles.” However, Turner was still recognised as an artistic genius: the influential English art critic John Ruskindescribed Turner as the artist who could most “stirringly and truthfully measure the moods of Nature.” (Piper 321)

Suitable vehicles for Turner’s imagination were to be found in the subjects of shipwrecks, fires (such as the burning of Parliament in 1834, an event which Turner rushed to witness first-hand, and which he transcribed in a series of watercolour sketches), natural catastrophes, and natural phenomena such as sunlight, storm, rain, and fog. He was fascinated by the violent power of the sea, as seen in Dawn after the Wreck (1840) and The Slave Ship (1840).

Turner’s major venture into printmaking was the Liber Studiorum (Book of Studies), a set of seventy prints that the artist worked on from 1806 to 1819. The Liber Studiorum was an expression of his intentions for landscape art. Loosely based on Claude Lorrain’s Liber Veritatis (Book of Truth), the plates were meant to be widely disseminated, and categorised the genre into six types: Marine, Mountainous, Pastoral, Historical, Architectural, and Elevated or Epic Pastoral.His printmaking was a major part of his output, and a whole museum is devoted to it, the Turner Museum in Sarasota, Florida, founded in 1974 by Douglass Montrose-Graem to house his collection of Turner prints.

Joseph Turner - Ulysses Deriding Polyphemus

Joseph Turner – Ulysses Deriding Polyphemus

Turner placed human beings in many of his paintings to indicate his affection for humanity on the one hand (note the frequent scenes of people drinking and merry-making or working in the foreground), but its vulnerability and vulgarity amid the ‘sublime’ nature of the world on the other hand. ‘Sublime’ here means awe-inspiring, savage grandeur, a natural world unmastered by man, evidence of the power of God–a theme that artists and poets were exploring in this period.

The significance of light was to Turner the emanation of God’s spirit and this was why he refined the subject matter of his later paintings by leaving out solid objects and detail, concentrating on the play of light on water, the radiance of skies and fires. Although these late paintings appear to be ‘impressionistic’ and therefore a forerunner of the French school, Turner was striving for expression of spirituality in the world, rather than responding primarily to optical phenomena.

His distinctive style of painting, in which he used watercolour technique with oil paints, created lightness, fluency, and ephemeral atmospheric effects.

One popular story about Turner, though it likely has little basis in reality, states that he even had himself “tied to the mast of a ship in order to experience the drama” of the elements during a storm at sea.

In his later years he used oils ever more transparently, and turned to an evocation of almost pure light by use of shimmering colour. A prime example of his mature style can be seen in Rain, Steam and Speed – The Great Western Railway, where the objects are barely recognizable. The intensity of hue and interest in evanescent light not only placed Turner’s work in the vanguard of English painting, but later exerted an influence upon art in France, as well; the Impressionists, particularly Claude Monet, carefully studied his techniques.

Turner left a small fortune which he hoped would be used to support what he called “decayed artists”. He planned and designed an almshouse for them at Twickenham with a gallery for some of his works. His will was contested and in 1856, after a court battle, part of his fortune was awarded to his first cousins including Thomas Price Turner.

Another portion of the money went to the Royal Academy of Arts, which occasionally awards students the Turner Medal. His collection of finished paintings was bequeathed to the British nation, and he intended that a special gallery would be built to house them. This did not come to pass owing to a failure to agree on a site, and then to the parsimony of British governments. Twenty-two years after his death, the British Parliament passed an Act allowing his paintings to be lent to museums outside London, and so began the process of scattering the pictures which Turner had wanted to be kept together.

Joseph Turner - The Angel Standing in the Sun

Joseph Turner – The Angel Standing in the Sun

In 1910 the main part of the Turner Bequest, which includes unfinished paintings and drawings, was rehoused in the Duveen Turner Wing at the Tate Gallery. In 1987 a new wing of the Tate, the Clore Gallery, was opened specifically to house the Turner bequest, though some of the most important paintings in it remain in the National Gallery in contravention of Turner’s condition that the finished pictures be kept and shown together.

Increasingly paintings are lent abroad, ignoring Turner’s provision that they be kept “constantly” in Turner’s Gallery. After the Turner content was diminished and diluted in the Clore Gallery from c. 2002, in 2010–12 only two of the nine rooms on the main floor were devoted to Turner. The claim that the Tate was fulfilling Turner’s wishes was dropped in 1995, when the Charity Commission said that the Turner Bequest had been free of Turner’s conditions. This was challenged by Leolin Price QC.

The Turner Society was founded by Selby Whittingham at London and Manchester in 1975. After that endorsed the Tate Gallery’s Clore Gallery wing as the solution (on the lines of the Duveen wing of 1910), to the controversy of what should be done with the Turner Bequest, Selby Whittingham resigned from that and founded the Independent Turner Society.

A prestigious annual art award, the Turner Prize, created in 1984, was named in Turner’s honour, and twenty years later the Winsor & Newton Turner Watercolour Award was founded.

A major exhibition, “Turner’s Britain”, with material (including The Fighting Temeraire) on loan from around the globe, was held at Birmingham Museum & Art Galleryfrom 7 November 2003 to 8 February 2004.

In 2005, Turner’s The Fighting Temeraire was voted Britain’s “greatest painting” in a public poll organised by the BBC.

 

Joseph Turner - The Fall of an Avalanche in the Grisons

Joseph Turner – The Fall of an Avalanche in the Grisons

Joseph Turner - The 'Fighting Temeraire' tugged to her Last Berth to be broken up

Joseph Turner – The ‘Fighting Temeraire’ tugged to her Last Berth to be broken up

Joseph Turner - Undine Giving the Ring to Massaniello, Fisherman of Naples

Joseph Turner – Undine Giving the Ring to Massaniello, Fisherman of Naples

Joseph Turner - Campo Santo

Joseph Turner – Campo Santo

Joseph Turner - Dutch Boats in a Gale

Joseph Turner – Dutch Boats in a Gale

Joseph Turner - Frosty Morning

Joseph Turner – Frosty Morning

Joseph Turner - Heriot's Hospital, Edinburgh

Joseph Turner – Heriot’s Hospital, Edinburgh

Joseph Turner - Peace - Burial at Sea

Joseph Turner – Peace – Burial at Sea

Joseph Turner - Peace - The Shipwreck

Joseph Turner – Peace – The Shipwreck

Joseph Turner - Quillebeuf, at the Mouth of Seine

Joseph Turner – Quillebeuf, at the Mouth of Seine

Joseph Turner - Rain, Steam and Speed The Great Western Railway

Joseph Turner – Rain, Steam and Speed The Great Western Railway

Joseph Turner - San Giorgio Maggiore at Dawn

Joseph Turner – San Giorgio Maggiore at Dawn

 

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Antonio da Correggio - Danaë

Life and Paintings of Antonio da Correggio (1489 – 1534)

Antonio Allegri da Correggio (August 1489 – March 5, 1534), usually known as Correggio, was the foremost painter of the Parma school of the Italian Renaissance, who was responsible for some of the most vigorous and sensuous works of the 16th century. In his use of dynamic composition, illusionistic perspective and dramatic foreshortening, Correggio prefigured the Rococo art of the 18th century.

Movements: Renaissance, Illusionism, Monumentalism

[Please note that Corregio’s paintings contain nudity, if that offends you don’t read the article.]

Antonio da Correggio - The Education of Cupid

Antonio da Correggio – The Education of Cupid

Antonio Allegri was born in Correggio, Italy, a small town near Reggio Emilia. His date of birth is uncertain (around 1489). His father was a merchant. Otherwise, little is known about Correggio’s life or training. In the years 1503-1505 he apprenticed to Francesco Bianchi Ferrara of Modena. Here he probably knew the classicism of artists like Lorenzo Costa and Francesco Francia, evidence of which can be found in his first works. After a trip to Mantua in 1506, he returned to Correggio, where he stayed until 1510.

To this period is assigned the Adoration of the Child with St. Elizabeth and John, which shows clear influences from Costa and Mantegna. In 1514 he probably finished three tondos for the entrance of the church of Sant’Andrea in Mantua, and then returned to Correggio: here, as an independent and increasingly renowned artist, he signed a contract for the Madonna altarpiece in the local monastery of St. Francis (now in the Dresden Gemäldegalerie). Correggio’s first major commission (February–September 1519) was the ceiling decoration of the private dining salon of the mother-superior (abbess Giovanna Piacenza) of the convent of St Paul called the Camera di San Paolo at Parma. Here he painted a delightful arbor pierced by oculi opening to glimpses of playful cherubs.

Below the oculi are lunettes with images of feigned monochromic marble. The fireplace is frescoed with an image of Diana. The iconography of the unit is complex, joining images of classical marbles to whimsical colorful bambini. While it recalls the secular frescoes of the pleasure palace of the Villa Farnesina in Rome, it is also a strikingly novel form of interior decoration. Other masterpieces include The Lamentation and The Martyrdom of Four Saints, both at the Galleria Nazionale of Parma.

The Lamentation is haunted by a lambence rarely seen in Italian painting prior to this time. The Martyrdom is also remarkable for resembling later Baroque compositions such as Bernini’s Truth and Ercole Ferrata’s Death of Saint Agnes, showing a gleeful saint entering martyrdom

Let’s now enjoy some of his most celebrated works

Antonio da Correggio - Noli Me Tangere

Antonio da Correggio – Noli Me Tangere

Antonio da Correggio - Assumption of the Virgin

Antonio da Correggio – Assumption of the Virgin

Antonio da Correggio - Allegory of Virtues

Antonio da Correggio – Allegory of Virtues

Antonio da Correggio - Allegory of Vices

Antonio da Correggio – Allegory of Vices

Antonio da Correggio - Venus and Cupid with a Satyr

Antonio da Correggio – Venus and Cupid with a Satyr

Antonio da Correggio - The Adoration of the Magi

Antonio da Correggio – The Adoration of the Magi

Antonio da Correggio - Madonna of the Basket

Antonio da Correggio – Madonna of the Basket

Antonio da Correggio - Madonna with St. Francis

Antonio da Correggio – Madonna with St. Francis

Antonio da Correggio - Madonna and Child with Sts Jerome and Mary Magdalen (The Day)

Antonio da Correggio – Madonna and Child with Sts Jerome and Mary Magdalen (The Day)

Antonio da Correggio - Leda with the Swan

Antonio da Correggio – Leda with the Swan

Antonio da Correggio - Danaë

Antonio da Correggio – Danaë

Correggio was remembered by his contemporaries as a shadowy, melancholic and introverted character, traits possibly conditioned by his birth into a large and poor family.

Correggio is an enigmatic and eclectic artist, and it is not always possible to identify a stylistic link between his paintings. He appears to have emerged out of no major apprenticeship, and to have had little immediate influence in terms of apprenticed successors, but his works are now considered to have been revolutionary and influential on subsequent artists. A half-century after his death Correggio’s work was well known to Vasari, who felt that he had not had enough “Roman” exposure to make him a better painter. In the 18th and 19th centuries, his works were often remembered in the diaries of foreign visitors to Italy, which led to a reevaluation of his art during the period of Romanticism.

The flight of the Madonna in the vault of the cupola of the Cathedral of Parma inspired numerous scenographical decorations in lay and religious palaces during those centuries.

Corregio’s illusionistic experiments, in which imaginary spaces replace the natural reality, seem to prefigure many elements of Mannerist and Baroque stylistic approaches. In other words, he appears to have fostered artistic grandchildren, despite having no direct disciples outside of Parma, where he was influential on the work of Giovanni Maria Francesco Rondani, Parmigianino, Bernardo Gatti, and Giorgio Gandini del Grano. His son, Pomponio Allegri became a painter.

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Dead Christ Supported by the Madonna and St John (Pietà)

Life and Paintings of Giovanni Bellini (1430 – 1516)

Giovanni Bellini (c. 1430–1516) was an Italian Renaissance painter, probably the best known of the Bellini family of Venetian painters. He is considered to have revolutionized Venetian painting, moving it towards a more sensuous and colouristic style. Through the use of clear, slow-drying oil paints, Giovanni created deep, rich tints and detailed shadings. His sumptuous coloring and fluent, atmospheric landscapes had a great effect on the Venetian painting school, especially on his pupils Giorgione and Titian.

Movements: Renaissance, Naturalism, Perspectivism

Dead Christ Supported by the Madonna and St John (Pietà)

Dead Christ Supported by the Madonna and St John (Pietà)

Giovanni Bellini was born in Venice. He was brought up in his father’s house, and always lived and worked in the closest fraternal relation with his brother Gentile. Up until the age of nearly thirty we find in his work a depth of religious feeling and human pathos which is his own. His paintings from the early period are all executed in the old tempera method; the scene is softened by a new and beautiful effect of romantic sunrise color.

In a somewhat changed and more personal manner, with less harshness of contour and a broader treatment of forms and draperies, but not less force of religious feeling, are the Dead Christ pictures, in these days one of the master’s most frequent themes, (see for example the Pietà: Dead Christ Supported by the Virgin and St. John). Giovanni’s early works have often been linked both compositionally and stylistically to those of his brother-in-law, Andrea Mantegna.

As is the case with a number of his brother, Gentile’s public works of the period, many of Giovanni’s great public works are now lost. The still more famous altar-piece painted in tempera for a chapel in the church of S. Giovanni e Paolo, where it perished along with Titian’s Peter Martyr and Tintoretto’s Crucifixion in the disastrous fire of 1867.

Albrecht Dürer, visiting Venice for a second time in 1506, describes Giovanni Bellini as still the best painter in the city, and as full of all courtesy and generosity towards foreign brethren of the brush.

In 1507 Bellini’s brother Gentile died, and Giovanni completed the picture of the Preaching of St. Mark which he had left unfinished; a task on the fulfillment of which the bequest by the elder brother to the younger of their father’s sketch-book had been made conditional.

Barbarigo Altarpiece

Barbarigo Altarpiece

Both in the artistic and in the worldly sense, the career of Bellini was, on the whole, very prosperous. His long career began with Quattrocento styles but matured into the progressive post-Giorgione Renaissance styles. He lived to see his own school far outshine that of his rivals, the Vivarini of Murano; he embodied, with growing and maturing power, all the devotional gravity and much also of the worldly splendour of the Venice of his time; and he saw his influence propagated by a host of pupils, two of whom at least, Giorgione and Titian, equalled or even surpassed their master. Giorgione he outlived by five years; Titian, as we have seen, challenged him, claiming an equal place beside his teacher.

Let’s see some of his most important works:

Angel of the Annunciation and Virgin Annunciate

Angel of the Annunciation and Virgin Annunciate

Agony in the Garden

Agony in the Garden

San Zaccaria Altarpiece

San Zaccaria Altarpiece

 San Giobbe Altarpiece

San Giobbe Altarpiece

 Polyptych of San Vincenzo Ferreri

Polyptych of San Vincenzo Ferreri

Pesaro Altarpiece

Pesaro Altarpiece

Naked Young Woman in Front of the Mirror

Naked Young Woman in Front of the Mirror

Madonna and Child

Madonna and Child

Madonna and Child with Two Saints (Sacra Conversazione)

Madonna and Child with Two Saints (Sacra Conversazione)

Madonna and Child Blessing

Madonna and Child Blessing

Drunkennes of Noah

Drunkennes of Noah

Dead Christ Supported by the Madonna and St John (Pietà)

Dead Christ Supported by the Madonna and St John (Pietà)

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Pieter Bruegel the Elder - The Peasant Dance

Life and Paintings of Pieter Bruegel the Elder (1525 – 1569)

Pieter Bruegel the Elder [ c. 1525 – 9 September 1569) was a Flemish Renaissance painter and printmaker known for his landscapes and peasant scenes (so called genre painting). He is sometimes referred to as the “Peasant Bruegel” to distinguish him from other members of the Brueghel dynasty, but he is also the one generally meant when the context does not make clear which Brueghel is being referred to. From 1559 he dropped the ‘h’ from his name and signed his paintings as Bruegel.

Movements: Renaissance, Naturalism

According to some sources he was born in Breugel near the (now Dutch) town of Breda. There are however also records that he was born in Breda, and there is some uncertainty whether the (now Belgian) town of Bree, called Breda in Latin, is meant.

He was an apprentice of Pieter Coecke van Aelst, whose daughter Mayken he later married. He spent some time in France and Italy, and then went to Antwerp, where in 1551 he was accepted as a master in the painter’s guild. He traveled to Italy soon after, and then returned to Antwerp before settling in Brussels permanently 10 years later.

Pieter Bruegel the Elder - The Peasant Dance

Pieter Bruegel the Elder – The Peasant Dance

He received the nickname ‘Peasant Bruegel’ or ‘Bruegel the Peasant’ for his alleged practice of dressing up like a peasant in order to mingle at weddings and other celebrations, thereby gaining inspiration and authentic details for his genre paintings. He died in Brussels on 9 September 1569 and was buried in the Kapellekerk. He was the father of Pieter Brueghel the Younger and Jan Brueghel the Elder. Both became painters, but as they were very young children when their father died, it is believed neither received any training from him. According to Carel van Mander, it is likely that they were instructed by their grandmother Mayken Verhulst van Aelst, who was also an artist.

In Bruegel’s later years he painted in a simpler style than the Italianate art that prevailed in his time. The most obvious influence on his art is the older Dutch master Hieronymus Bosch, particularly in Bruegel’s early “demonological” paintings such as The Triumph of Death and Dulle Griet (Mad Meg). It was in nature, however, that he found his greatest inspiration as he is identified as being a master of landscapes. It was in these landscapes that Bruegel created a story, seeming to combine several scenes in one painting. Such works can be seen in The Fall of the Rebel Angels and the previously mentioned The Triumph of Death.

Bruegel specialized in genre paintings populated by peasants, often with a large landscape element, but also painted religious works. Making the life and manners of peasants the main focus of a work was rare in painting in Brueghel’s time, and he was a pioneer of the Netherlandish genre painting. His earthy, unsentimental but vivid depiction of the rituals of village life—including agriculture, hunts, meals, festivals, dances, and games—are unique windows on a vanished folk culture and a prime source of iconographic evidence about both physical and social aspects of 16th century life. For example, the painting Netherlandish Proverbs illustrates dozens of then-contemporary aphorisms (many of them still in use in current Dutch or Flemish), and Children’s Games shows the variety of amusements enjoyed by young people. His winter landscapes of 1565 (e.g. Hunters in the Snow) are taken as corroborative evidence of the severity of winters during the Little Ice Age.

Pieter Bruegel the Elder - Winter Landscape with Skaters and Bird Trap

Pieter Bruegel the Elder – Winter Landscape with Skaters and Bird Trap

Using abundant spirit and comic power, he created some of the early images of acute social protest in art history. Examples include paintings such as The Fight Between Carnival and Lent (a satire of the conflicts of the Reformation) and engravings like The Ass in the School and Strongboxes Battling Piggybanks. On his deathbed he reportedly ordered his wife to burn the most subversive of his drawings to protect his family from political persecution.

Let’s now enjoy some of his most celebrated works!

Pieter Bruegel the Elder - The Fall of the Rebel Angels

Pieter Bruegel the Elder – The Fall of the Rebel Angels

Pieter Bruegel the Elder - The Corn Harvest (August)

Pieter Bruegel the Elder – The Corn Harvest (August)

Pieter Bruegel the Elder - The Census at Bethlehem

Pieter Bruegel the Elder – The Census at Bethlehem

Pieter Bruegel the Elder - Peasant Wedding

Pieter Bruegel the Elder – Peasant Wedding

Pieter Bruegel the Elder - Netherlandish Proverbs

Pieter Bruegel the Elder – Netherlandish Proverbs

Pieter Bruegel the Elder - Magpie on the Gallow

Pieter Bruegel the Elder – Magpie on the Gallow

Pieter Bruegel the Elder - Landscape with the Fall of Icarus

Pieter Bruegel the Elder – Landscape with the Fall of Icarus

Pieter Bruegel the Elder - Haymaking (July)

Pieter Bruegel the Elder – Haymaking (July)

Pieter Bruegel the Elder - Gloomy Day (February)

Pieter Bruegel the Elder – Gloomy Day (February)

Pieter Bruegel the Elder - Dulle Griet (Mad Meg)

Pieter Bruegel the Elder – Dulle Griet (Mad Meg)

Pieter Bruegel the Elder - Children's Games

Pieter Bruegel the Elder – Children’s Games

Pieter Bruegel the Elder -The Tower of Babel

Pieter Bruegel the Elder -The Tower of Babel

Pieter Bruegel the Elder -The Hunters in the Snow (January)

Pieter Bruegel the Elder -The Hunters in the Snow (January)

Pieter Bruegel the Elder - The Triumph of Death

Pieter Bruegel the Elder – The Triumph of Death

Pieter Bruegel the Elder - The Temptation of St Anthony

Pieter Bruegel the Elder – The Temptation of St Anthony

Pieter Bruegel the Elder - The Suicide of Saul

Pieter Bruegel the Elder – The Suicide of Saul

Pieter Bruegel the Elder - The Parable of the Blind Leading the Blind

Pieter Bruegel the Elder – The Parable of the Blind Leading the Blind

Pieter Bruegel the Elder - The Fight between Carnival and Lent

Pieter Bruegel the Elder – The Fight between Carnival and Lent

Influence

His painting Landscape with the Fall of Icarus is the subject of the 1938 poem “Musée des Beaux Arts” by W. H. Auden, and also of a 1960 poem by William Carlos Williams that also uses Bruegel’s title.

Russian film director Andrei Tarkovksy referenced Bruegel’s paintings in his films several times, notably in Solaris (1972) and The Mirror (1975).

His 1564 painting The Procession to Calvary inspired the 2011 Polish-Swedish film co-production The Mill and the Cross, in which Bruegel is played by Rutger Hauer.

It is believed that his painting Hunters in the Snow influenced the classic short story with the same title written by Tobias Wolff and featured in In the Garden of the North American Martyrs.

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Articles’ Images are in the public domain because their copyright has expired, and are available through Wikimedia

This Articles’ text is licensed under the Creative Commons BY-SA License since it partially uses material from Wikipedia.

Jacobo-Robusti-(Tintoretto)---Christ-Washing-the-Feet-of-His-Disciples

Life and Paintings of Tintoretto (1518 – 1594)

Tintoretto (September 29, 1518 – May 31, 1594), real name Jacopo Comin, was a Venetian painter and a notable exponent of the Renaissance school. For his phenomenal energy in painting he was termed Il Furioso. His work is characterized by its muscular figures, dramatic gestures and bold use of perspective in the Mannerist style, while maintaining color and light typical of the Venetian School.

Movements: Renaissance, Naturalism

In his youth, Tintoretto was also known as Jacopo Robusti as his father had defended the gates of Padua in a rather robust way against the imperial troops during the War of the League of Cambrai (1509–1516). His real name “Comin” has only recently been discovered by Miguel Falomir, the curator of the Museo del Prado, Madrid, and was made public on the occasion of the retrospective of Tintoretto at the Prado in 2007. Comin translates to the spice cumin in the local language.

Jacobo Robusti (Tintoretto) - St Roch in Prison Visited by an Angel

Jacobo Robusti (Tintoretto) – St Roch in Prison Visited by an Angel

Tintoretto was born in Venice in 1518, as the eldest of 21 children. His father, Giovanni, was a dyer, or tintore; hence the son got the nickname of Tintoretto, little dyer, or dyer’s boy, which is anglicized as Tintoret. The family originated from Brescia, in Lombardy, then part of the Republic of Venice. Older studies gave the Tuscan town of Lucca as the origin of the family.

In childhood Jacopo, a born painter, began daubing on the dyer’s walls; his father, noticing his bent, took him to the studio of Titian to see how far he could be trained as an artist. This was supposedly towards 1533, when Titian was already (according to the ordinary accounts) fifty-six years of age. Tintoretto had only been ten days in the studio when Titian sent him home once and for all, the reason being that the great master observed some very spirited drawings, which he learned to be the production of Tintoretto; and it is inferred that he became at once jealous of so promising a scholar. This, however, is mere conjecture; and perhaps it may be fairer to suppose that the drawings exhibited so much independence of manner that Titian judged that young Jacopo, although he might become a painter, would never be properly a pupil.

From this time forward the two always remained upon distant terms, Tintoretto being indeed a professed and ardent admirer of Titian, but never a friend, and Titian and his adherents turning the cold shoulder to him. Active disparagement also was not wanting, but it passed unnoticed by Tintoretto. The latter sought for no further teaching, but studied on his own account with laborious zeal; he lived poorly, collecting casts, bas-reliefs, &c., and practising by their aid. His noble conception of art and his high personal ambition were evidenced in the inscription which he placed over his studio Il disegno di Michelangelo ed il colorito di Tiziano (“Michelangelo‘s design and Titian’s color”)

Jacobo Robusti (Tintoretto) - The Origin of the Milky Way

Jacobo Robusti (Tintoretto) – The Origin of the Milky Way

He studied more especially from models of Michelangelo’s Dawn, Noon, Twilight and Night, and became expert in modelling in wax and clay method (practised likewise by Titian) which afterwards stood him in good stead in working out the arrangement of his pictures. The models were sometimes taken from dead subjects dissected or studied in anatomy schools; some were draped, others nude, and Tintoretto was to suspend them in a wooden or cardboard box, with an aperture for a candle. Now and afterwards he very frequently worked by night as well as by day.

Tintoretto scarcely ever travelled out of Venice.  He loved all the arts and as a youth played the lute and various instruments, some of them of his own invention, and designed theatrical costumes and properties. He was also versed in mechanics and mechanical devices. While being a very agreeable companion, for the sake of his work he lived in a mostly retired fashion, and even when not painting was wont to remain in his working room surrounded by casts. Here he hardly admitted any, even intimate friends, and he kept his mode of work secret, with the exception of his assistants. He abounded in pleasant witty sayings, whether to great personages or to others, but he himself seldom smiled.

Jacobo Robusti (Tintoretto) - The Miracle of St Mark Freeing the Slave

Jacobo Robusti (Tintoretto) – The Miracle of St Mark Freeing the Slave

Out of doors, his wife made him wear the robe of a Venetian citizen; if it rained she tried to induce him with an outer garment which he resisted. When he left the house, she would also wrap money up for him in a handkerchief, expecting a strict accounting on his return. Tintoretto’s customary reply was that he had spent it on alms to the poor or to prisoners.

An agreement is extant showing a plan to finish two historical paintings, each containing twenty figures, seven being portraits in a two month period of time. The number of his portraits is enormous; their merit is unequaled, but the really fine ones cannot be surpassed. Sebastiano del Piombo remarked that Tintoretto could paint in two days as much as himself in two years; Annibale Carracci that Tintoretto was in many pictures equal to Titian, in others inferior to Tintoretto. This was the general opinion of the Venetians, who said that he had three pencils—one of gold, the second of silver and the third of iron.

Jacobo Robusti (Tintoretto) - The Last Supper

Jacobo Robusti (Tintoretto) – The Last Supper

A comparison of Tintoretto’s final The Last Supper with Leonardo da Vinci’s treatment of the same subject provides an instructive demonstration of how artistic styles evolved over the course of the Renaissance. Leonardo’s is all classical repose. The disciples radiate away from Christ in almost-mathematical symmetry. In the hands of Tintoretto, the same event becomes dramatic, as the human figures are joined by angels. A servant is foregrounded, perhaps in reference to the Gospel of John 13:14-16. In the restless dynamism of his composition, his dramatic use of light, and his emphatic perspective effects, Tintoretto seems a baroque artist ahead of his time.

Jacobo Robusti (Tintoretto) - The Last Supper 2

Jacobo Robusti (Tintoretto) – The Last Supper 2

Let’s now enjoy some of his most celebrated works!
Jacobo Robusti (Tintoretto) - The Meeting of Tamar and Judah

Jacobo Robusti (Tintoretto) – The Meeting of Tamar and Judah

Jacobo Robusti (Tintoretto) - The Martyrdom of the Ten Thousand (fragment)

Jacobo Robusti (Tintoretto) – The Martyrdom of the Ten Thousand (fragment)

Jacobo Robusti (Tintoretto) - The Descent into Hell

Jacobo Robusti (Tintoretto) – The Descent into Hell

Jacobo Robusti (Tintoretto) - The Deposition

Jacobo Robusti (Tintoretto) – The Deposition

Jacobo Robusti (Tintoretto) - The Crucifixion of Christ

Jacobo Robusti (Tintoretto) – The Crucifixion of Christ

Jacobo Robusti (Tintoretto) - Marriage at Cana

Jacobo Robusti (Tintoretto) – Marriage at Cana

Jacobo Robusti (Tintoretto) - Creation of the Animals

Jacobo Robusti (Tintoretto) – Creation of the Animals

Jacobo Robusti (Tintoretto) - Christ Washing the Feet of His Disciples

Jacobo Robusti (Tintoretto) – Christ Washing the Feet of His Disciples

Jacobo Robusti (Tintoretto) - Christ at the Sea of Galilee

Jacobo Robusti (Tintoretto) – Christ at the Sea of Galilee

Jacobo Robusti (Tintoretto) -Venus, Mars, and Vulcan

Jacobo Robusti (Tintoretto) -Venus, Mars, and Vulcan

Jacobo Robusti (Tintoretto) - The Supper at Emmaus

Jacobo Robusti (Tintoretto) – The Supper at Emmaus

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William Hogarth - Marriage à la Mode2

Masters of Art: William Hogarth (1697 – 1764)

William Hogarth (10 November 1697 – 26 October 1764) was an English painter, printmaker, pictorial satirist, social critic and editorial cartoonist who has been credited with pioneering western sequential art. His work ranged from realistic portraiture to comic strip-like series of pictures called “modern moral subjects”. Knowledge of his work is so pervasive that satirical political illustrations in this style are often referred to as “Hogarthian.”

Movements: Rococo

William Hogarth was born at Bartholomew Close in London to Richard Hogarth, a poor Latin school teacher and textbook writer, and Anne Gibbons. In his youth he was apprenticed to the engraver Ellis Gamble in Leicester Fields, where he learned to engrave trade cards and similar products. Young Hogarth also took a lively interest in the street life of the metropolis and the London fairs, and amused himself by sketching the characters he saw. Around the same time, his father, who had opened an unsuccessful Latin-speaking coffee house at St John’s Gate, was imprisoned for debt in Fleet Prison for five years. Hogarth never spoke of his father’s imprisonment.

He became a member of the Rose and Crown Club, with Peter Tillemans, George Vertue, Michael Dahl, and other artists and connoisseurs.

By April 1720 Hogarth was an engraver in his own right, at first engraving coats of arms, shop bills, and designing plates for booksellers.

William Hogarth - An Election Entertainment

William Hogarth – An Election Entertainment

In 1727, he was hired by Joshua Morris, a tapestry worker, to prepare a design for the Element of Earth. Morris heard that he was “an engraver, and no painter”, and consequently declined the work when completed. Hogarth accordingly sued him for the money in the Westminster Court, where the case was decided in his favour on 28 May 1728. In 1757 he was appointed Serjeant Painter to the King.

Early satirical works included an Emblematical Print on the South Sea Scheme (c.1721), about the disastrous stock market crash of 1720 known as the South Sea Bubble, in which many English people lost a great deal of money. In the bottom left corner, he shows Protestant, Catholic, and Jewish figures gambling, while in the middle there is a huge machine, like a merry-go-round, which people are boarding. At the top is a goat, written below which is “Who’l Ride”. The people are scattered around the picture with a sense of disorder, while the progress of the well dressed people towards the ride in the middle shows the foolishness of the crowd in buying stock in the South Sea Company, which spent more time issuing stock than anything else.

Other early works include The Lottery (1724); The Mystery of Masonry brought to Light by the Gormogons (1724); A Just View of the British Stage (1724); some book illustrations; and the small print, Masquerades and Operas (1724). The latter is a satire on contemporary follies, such as the masquerades of the Swiss impresario John James Heidegger, the popular Italian opera singers, John Rich’s pantomimes at Lincoln’s Inn Fields, and the exaggerated popularity of Lord Burlington’s protégé, the architect and painter William Kent. He continued that theme in 1727, with the Large Masquerade Ticket. In 1726 Hogarth prepared twelve large engravings for Samuel Butler’s Hudibras. These he himself valued highly, and are among his best book illustrations.

In the following years he turned his attention to the production of small “conversation pieces” (i.e., groups in oil of full-length portraits from 12 to 15 in. high). Among his efforts in oil between 1728 and 1732 were The Fountaine Family (c.1730), The Assembly at Wanstead House, The House of Commons examining Bambridge, and several pictures of the chief actors in John Gay’s popular The Beggar’s Opera.

William Hogarth - Before the Seduction and After

William Hogarth – Before the Seduction and After

In 1731, he completed the earliest of the series of moral works which first gave him recognition as a great and original genius. This was A Harlot’s Progress, first as paintings, (now lost), and then published as engravings. In its six scenes, the miserable fate of a country girl who began a prostitution career in town is traced out remorselessly from its starting point, the meeting of a bawd, to its shameful and degraded end, the whore’s death of venereal disease and the following merciless funeral ceremony. The series was an immediate success, and was followed in 1735 by the sequel A Rake’s Progress showing in eight pictures the reckless life of Tom Rakewell, the son of a rich merchant, who wastes all his money on luxurious living, whoring, and gambling, and ultimately finishes his life in Bedlam. The original paintings of A Harlot’s Progress were destroyed in the fire at Fonthill Abbey in 1755; A Rake’s Progress is displayed in the gallery room at Sir John Soane’s Museum, London.

In 1743–1745 Hogarth painted the six pictures of Marriage à-la-mode (National Gallery, London), a pointed skewering of upper class 18th century society. This moralistic warning shows the miserable tragedy of an ill-considered marriage for money. This is regarded by many as his finest project and may be among his best planned story serials.

Marital ethics were the topic of much debate in 18th century Britain. Frequent marriages of convenience and their attendant unhappiness came in for particular criticism, with a variety of authors taking the view that love was a much sounder basis for marriage. Hogarth here painted a satire – a genre that by definition has a moral point to convey – of a conventional marriage within the English upper class. All the paintings were engraved and the series achieved wide circulation in print form. The series, which are set in a Classical interior, shows the story of the fashionable marriage of the son of bankrupt Earl Squanderfield to the daughter of a wealthy but miserly city merchant, starting with the signing of a marriage contract at the Earl’s mansion and ending with the murder of the son by his wife’s lover and the suicide of the daughter after her lover is hanged at Tyburn for murdering her husband.

William Makepeace Thackeray wrote:

This famous set of pictures contains the most important and highly wrought of the Hogarth comedies. The care and method with which the moral grounds of these pictures are laid is as remarkable as the wit and skill of the observing and dexterous artist. He has to describe the negotiations for a marriage pending between the daughter of a rich citizen Alderman and young Lord Viscount Squanderfield, the dissipated son of a gouty old Earl … The dismal end is known. My lord draws upon the counselor, who kills him, and is apprehended while endeavouring to escape. My lady goes back perforce to the Alderman of the City, and faints upon reading Counsellor Silvertongue’s dying speech at Tyburn (place of execution in old London), where the counselor has been executed for sending his lordship out of the world. Moral: don’t listen to evil silver-tongued counselors; don’t marry a man for his rank, or a woman for her money; don’t frequent foolish auctions and masquerade balls unknown to your husband; don’t have wicked companions abroad and neglect your wife, otherwise you will be run through the body, and ruin will ensue, and disgrace, and Tyburn.

Hogarth’s work were a direct influence on John Collier, who was known as the “Lancashire Hogarth”. The spread of Hogarth’s prints throughout Europe, together with the depiction of popular scenes from his prints in faked Hogarth prints, influenced Continental book illustration through the 18th and early 19th century, especially in Germany and France. He also influenced many caricaturists of the eighteenth, nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Hogarth’s influence lives on today as artists continue to draw inspiration from the artist.

William Hogarth - Marriage à la Mode

William Hogarth – Marriage à la Mode

Hogarth’s paintings and prints have provided the subject matter for several other works. For example, Gavin Gordon’s 1935 ballet The Rake’s Progress, to choreography by Ninette de Valois, was based directly on Hogarth’s series of paintings of that title. Igor Stravinsky’s 1951 opera The Rake’s Progress, with libretto by W. H. Auden, was less literally inspired by the same series. Russell Banks’ short story “Indisposed” is a fictional account of Hogarth’s infidelity as told from the viewpoint of his wife, Jane. Hogarth’s engravings also inspired the BBC radio play “The Midnight House” by Jonathan Hall, based on the M.R. James ghost story “The Mezzotint” and first broadcast on BBC Radio 4 in 2006.

Hogarth’s House in Chiswick, west London, is now a museum; it abuts one of London’s best known road junctions – the Hogarth Roundabout.

Hogarth is played by Toby Jones in the 2006 television film A Harlot’s Progress.

William Hogarth - The Strode Family

William Hogarth – The Strode Family

William Hogarth - Marriage à la Mode2

William Hogarth – Marriage à la Mode2

William Hogarth - Portrait of a Young Woman

William Hogarth – Portrait of a Young Woman

William Hogarth - Portrait of Mary Edwards

William Hogarth – Portrait of Mary Edwards

William Hogarth - Soliciting Votes

William Hogarth – Soliciting Votes

William Hogarth - The Marriage of Stephen Beckingham and Mary Cox

William Hogarth – The Marriage of Stephen Beckingham and Mary Cox

William Hogarth - The Orgy

William Hogarth – The Orgy

William Hogarth - The Shrimp Girl

William Hogarth – The Shrimp Girl

 

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This Articles’ text is licensed under the Creative Commons BY-SA License since it partially uses material from Wikipedia.

 

Thomas Gainsborough - Conversation in a Park

Life and Paintings of Thomas Gainsborough (1727 – 1788)

Thomas Gainsborough (christened 14 May 1727 – 2 August 1788) was an English portrait and landscape painter.

Movements: Academicism, Naturalism

Thomas Gainsborough was born in Sudbury, Suffolk, the youngest son of John Gainsborough, a weaver and maker of woolen goods, and the sister of the Reverend Humphry Burroughs. At the age of thirteen he impressed his father with his penciling skills so that he let him go to London to study art in 1740. In London he first trained under engraver Hubert Gravelot but eventually became associated with William Hogarth and his school. He assisted Francis Hayman in the decoration of the supper boxes at Vauxhall Gardens, and contributed to the decoration of what is now the Thomas Coram Foundation for Children.

In 1746, Gainsborough married Margaret Burr, an illegitimate daughter of the Duke of Beaufort, who settled a £200 annuity on the couple. The artist’s work, then mainly composed of landscape paintings, was not selling very well. He returned to Sudbury in 1748–1749 and concentrated on the painting of portraits.

Thomas Gainsborough - Johann Christian Bach

Thomas Gainsborough – Johann Christian Bach

In 1752, he and his family, now including two daughters, moved to Ipswich. Commissions for personal portraits increased, but his clientele included mainly local merchants and squires. He had to borrow against his wife’s annuity.

In 1759, Gainsborough and his family moved to Bath, living at number 17 The Circus.  There, he studied portraits by van Dyck and was eventually able to attract a fashionable clientele. In 1761, he began to send work to the Society of Arts exhibition in London (now the Royal Society of Arts, of which he was one of the earliest members); and from 1769 on, he submitted works to the Royal Academy’s annual exhibitions. He selected portraits of well-known or notorious clients in order to attract attention. These exhibitions helped him acquire a national reputation, and he was invited to become one of the founding members of the Royal Academy in 1769. His relationship with the academy, however, was not an easy one and he stopped exhibiting his paintings there in 1773.

Thomas Gainsborough - The Artist's Wife

Thomas Gainsborough – The Artist’s Wife

In 1774, Gainsborough and his family moved to London to live in Schomberg House, Pall Mall. In 1777, he again began to exhibit his paintings at the Royal Academy, including portraits of contemporary celebrities, such as the Duke and Duchess of Cumberland. Exhibitions of his work continued for the next six years.

In 1780, he painted the portraits of King George III and his queen and afterwards received many royal commissions. This gave him some influence with the Academy and allowed him to dictate the manner in which he wished his work to be exhibited. However, in 1783, he removed his paintings from the forthcoming exhibition and transferred them to Schomberg House.

In 1784, royal painter Allan Ramsay died and the King was obliged to give the job to Gainsborough’s rival and Academy president, Joshua Reynolds. Gainsborough remained the Royal Family’s favourite painter, however. At his own express wish, he was buried at St. Anne’s Church, Kew, where the Family regularly worshipped.

In his later years, Gainsborough often painted relatively simple, ordinary landscapes. With Richard Wilson, he was one of the originators of the eighteenth-century British landscape school; though simultaneously, in conjunction with Sir Joshua Reynolds, he was the dominant British portraitist of the second half of the 18th century.

He died of cancer on 2 August 1788 at the age of 61 and is interred at St. Anne’s Church, Kew, Surrey (located on Kew Green). He is buried next to Francis Bauer, the famous botanical illustrator. As of 2011, an appeal is underway to pay the costs of restoration of his tomb.

Thomas Gainsborough - Mr and Mrs Andrews

Thomas Gainsborough – Mr and Mrs Andrews

Gainsborough was noted for the speed with which he applied his paint, and he worked more from his observations of nature (and of human nature) than from any application of formal academic rules. The poetic sensibility of his paintings caused Constable to say, “On looking at them, we find tears in our eyes and know not what brings them.”

He himself said, “I’m sick of portraits, and wish very much to take my viol-da-gam and walk off to some sweet village, where I can paint landskips (sic) and enjoy the fag end of life in quietness and ease.

This likeness of landscapes is shown in the way he merged the figures of the portraits with the scenes behind them. His later work was characterised by a light palette and easy, economical strokes.

Thomas Gainsborough - The Artist's Daughters with a Cat

Thomas Gainsborough – The Artist’s Daughters with a Cat

His most famous works, such as Portrait of Mrs. Graham; Mary and Margaret: The Painter’s Daughters; William Hallett and His Wife Elizabeth, nee Stephen, known as The Morning Walk; and Cottage Girl with Dog and Pitcher, display the unique individuality of his subjects.

Gainsborough’s only known assistant was his nephew, Gainsborough Dupont. In the last year of his life he collaborated with John Hoppner in painting a full length portrait of Charlotte, Countess Talbot.

Thomas Gainsborough - Mary, Countess of Howe

Thomas Gainsborough – Mary, Countess of Howe

Thomas Gainsborough - Isaac Henrique Sequeira

Thomas Gainsborough – Isaac Henrique Sequeira

Thomas Gainsborough - Conversation in a Park

Thomas Gainsborough – Conversation in a Park

Thomas Gainsborough - The Marsham Children

Thomas Gainsborough – The Marsham Children

Thomas Gainsborough - Self-Portrait

Thomas Gainsborough – Self-Portrait

Thomas Gainsborough - Portrait of Sarah Buxton

Thomas Gainsborough – Portrait of Sarah Buxton

Thomas Gainsborough - Portrait of a Lady in Blue

Thomas Gainsborough – Portrait of a Lady in Blue

Thomas Gainsborough - Mrs. Mary Robinson

Thomas Gainsborough – Mrs. Mary Robinson

Thomas Gainsborough - Mrs Sarah Siddons

Thomas Gainsborough – Mrs Sarah Siddons

Thomas Gainsborough - Mrs Grace Dalrymple Elliot

Thomas Gainsborough – Mrs Grace Dalrymple Elliot

Thomas Gainsborough - Mr and Mrs William Hallett

Thomas Gainsborough – Mr and Mrs William Hallett

Thomas Gainsborough - Master John Heathcote

Thomas Gainsborough – Master John Heathcote

Thomas Gainsborough - Lady Bate-Dudley

Thomas Gainsborough – Lady Bate-Dudley

Thomas Gainsborough - Lady Alston

Thomas Gainsborough – Lady Alston

 

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Articles’ Images are in the public domain because their copyright has expired or are displayed here under the “ fair use” copyright law, and are available through WikipediaWikimedia.

This Articles’ text is licensed under the Creative Commons BY-SA License since it partially uses material from Wikipedia.

Jean-Honoré Fragonard - The Swing 3

Life and Paintings of Jean-Honoré Fragonard (1732 – 1806)

Jean-Honoré Fragonard ( 5 April 1732 – 22 August 1806) was a French painter and printmaker whose late Rococo manner was distinguished by remarkable facility, exuberance, and hedonism. One of the most prolific artists active in the last decades of the Ancien Régime, Fragonard produced more than 550 paintings (not counting drawings and etchings), of which only five are dated. Among his most popular works are genre paintings conveying an atmosphere of intimacy and veiled eroticism.

Movements: Rococo

Jean-Honoré Fragonard was born at Grasse, Alpes-Maritimes, the son of François Fragonard, a glover, and Françoise Petit. He was articled to a Paris notary when his father’s circumstances became strained through unsuccessful speculations, but showed such talent and inclination for art that he was taken at the age of eighteen to François Boucher, who, recognizing the youth’s rare gifts but disinclined to waste his time with one so inexperienced, sent him to Chardin’s atelier. Fragonard studied for six months under the great luminist, then returned more fully equipped to Boucher, whose style he soon acquired so completely that the master entrusted him with the execution of replicas of his paintings.

Jean-Honoré Fragonard - Jeroboam Offering Sacrifice for the Idol

Jean-Honoré Fragonard – Jeroboam Offering Sacrifice for the Idol

Though not yet a pupil of the Academy, Fragonard gained the Prix de Rome in 1752 with a painting of “Jeroboam Sacrificing to the Golden Calf”, but before proceeding to Rome he continued to study for three years under Charles-André van Loo. In the year preceding his departure he painted the “Christ washing the Feet of the Apostles” now at Grasse cathedral. On 17 September 1756, he took up his abode at the French Academy in Rome, then presided over by Charles-Joseph Natoire.

Jean-Honoré Fragonard - The Swing

Jean-Honoré Fragonard – The Swing

While at Rome, Fragonard contracted a friendship with a fellow painter, Hubert Robert. In 1760, they toured Italy together, executing numerous sketches of local scenery. It was in these romantic gardens, with their fountains, grottos, temples and terraces, that Fragonard conceived the dreams which he was subsequently to render in his art. He also learned to admire the masters of the Dutch and Flemish schools (Rubens, Hals, Rembrandt, Ruisdael), imitating their loose and vigorous brushstrokes. Added to this influence was the deep impression made upon his mind by the florid sumptuousness of Giovanni Battista Tiepolo, whose works he had an opportunity to study in Venice before he returned to Paris in 1761.

Jean-Honoré Fragonard - The Bathers

Jean-Honoré Fragonard – The Bathers

In 1765, his “Coresus et Callirhoe” secured his admission to the Academy. It was made the subject of a pompous (though not wholly serious) eulogy by Diderot, and was bought by the king, who had it reproduced at the Gobelins factory. Hitherto Fragonard had hesitated between religious, classic and other subjects; but now the demand of the wealthy art patrons of Louis XV‘s pleasure-loving and licentious court turned him definitely towards those scenes of love and voluptuousness with which his name will ever be associated, and which are only made acceptable by the tender beauty of his color and the virtuosity of his facile brushwork; such works include the Blind man’s bluff, Serment d’amour (Love Vow), Le Verrou (The Bolt), La Culbute (The Tumble), La Chemise enlevée (The Shirt Removed), and L’escarpolette (The Swing, Wallace Collection), and his decorations for the apartments of Mme du Barry and the dancer Madeleine Guimard.

Jean-Honoré Fragonard - The Swing 2

Jean-Honoré Fragonard – The Swing 2

A lukewarm response to these series of ambitious works induced Fragonard to abandon Rococo and to experiment with Neoclassicism. He married Marie-Anne Gérard, herself a painter of miniatures, (1745–1823) on 17 June 1769 and had a daughter, Rosalie Fragonard (1769–1788), who became one of his favourite models. In October 1773, he again went to Italy with Pierre-Jacques Onézyme Bergeret de Grancourt and his son, Pierre-Jacques Bergeret de Grancourt. In September 1774, he returned through Vienna, Prague, Dresden, Frankfurt and Strasbourg.

Jean-Honoré Fragonard - The Musical Contest

Jean-Honoré Fragonard – The Musical Contest

Back in Paris, Marguerite Gérard, his wife’s 14-year-old sister, became his pupil and assistant in 1778. In 1780, he had a son, Alexandre-Évariste Fragonard (1780–1850), who eventually became a talented painter and sculptor. The French Revolution deprived Fragonard of his private patrons: they were either guillotined or exiled. The neglected painter deemed it prudent to leave Paris in 1793 and found shelter in the house of his friend Maubert at Grasse, which he decorated with the series of decorative panels known as the Les progrès de l’amour dans le cœur d’une jeune fille, originally painted for Château du Barry.

Jean-Honoré Fragonard - The Swing 3

Jean-Honoré Fragonard – The Swing 3

Jean-Honoré Fragonard returned to Paris early in the nineteenth century, where he died in 1806, almost completely forgotten.

For half a century or more he was so completely ignored that Lübke in his History of Art (1873) omits the very mention of his name. Subsequent re-evaluation has confirmed his position among the all-time masters of French painting. The influence of Fragonard’s handling of local colour and expressive, confident brush-stroke on the Impressionists (particularly his grand niece, Berthe Morisot, and Renoir) cannot be overestimated. Fragonard’s paintings Alongside those of François Boucher, seem to sum up an era.

 

Jean-Honoré Fragonard - The Stolen Kiss

Jean-Honoré Fragonard – The Stolen Kiss

 

Jean-Honoré Fragonard - The Love Letter

Jean-Honoré Fragonard – The Love Letter

Jean-Honoré Fragonard - Psyche Showing Her Sisters Her Gifts from Cupid

Jean-Honoré Fragonard – Psyche Showing Her Sisters Her Gifts from Cupid

Jean-Honoré Fragonard - Progress of Love the pursuit

Jean-Honoré Fragonard – Progress of Love the pursuit

Jean-Honoré Fragonard - Progress of Love The Meeting

Jean-Honoré Fragonard – Progress of Love The Meeting

Jean-Honoré Fragonard - Progress of Love The Lover Crowned

Jean-Honoré Fragonard – Progress of Love The Lover Crowned

Jean-Honoré Fragonard - Progress of Love The Confession of Love

Jean-Honoré Fragonard – Progress of Love The Confession of Love

Jean-Honoré Fragonard - Night Scene

Jean-Honoré Fragonard – Night Scene

Jean-Honoré Fragonard - Music Lesson

Jean-Honoré Fragonard – Music Lesson

Jean-Honoré Fragonard - Diana and Endymion

Jean-Honoré Fragonard – Diana and Endymion

Jean-Honoré Fragonard - Coresus Sacrificing himself to Save Callirhoe

Jean-Honoré Fragonard – Coresus Sacrificing himself to Save Callirhoe

Jean-Honoré Fragonard - Adoration of the Shepherds

Jean-Honoré Fragonard – Adoration of the Shepherds

Jean-Honoré Fragonard - A Young Scholar

Jean-Honoré Fragonard – A Young Scholar

Jean-Honoré Fragonard - A Game of Hot Cockles

Jean-Honoré Fragonard – A Game of Hot Cockles

Jean-Honoré Fragonard - A Game of Horse and Rider

Jean-Honoré Fragonard – A Game of Horse and Rider

Jean-Honoré Fragonard - The Visit to the Nursery

Jean-Honoré Fragonard – The Visit to the Nursery

 

Hope you enjoyed the article as much as i did compiling the info and the images! See you next time!

Articles’ Images are in the public domain because their copyright has expired or are displayed here under the “ fair use” copyright law, and are available through WikipediaWikimedia.

This Articles’ text is licensed under the Creative Commons BY-SA License since it partially uses material from Wikipedia.