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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.

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

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

Masters of Art: Louise Élisabeth Vigée Le Brun (1755   1842)   Louise Élisabeth Vigée Le Brun Self Portrait with Her Daughter Julie

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 The Daughter Portrait

Louise Élisabeth Vigée Le Brun – The Daughter Portrait

Masters of Art: Louise Élisabeth Vigée Le Brun (1755   1842)   Louise Élisabeth Vigée Le Brun The Genius of Alexander

Louise Élisabeth Vigée Le Brun – The Genius of Alexander

Masters of Art: Louise Élisabeth Vigée Le Brun (1755   1842)   Louise Élisabeth Vigée Le Brun Madame dAguesseau de Fresnes

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

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

Louise Élisabeth Vigée Le Brun – Marie Antoinette

Masters of Art: Louise Élisabeth Vigée Le Brun (1755   1842)   Louise Élisabeth Vigée Le Brun Portrait of a Young Woman

Louise Élisabeth Vigée Le Brun – Portrait of a Young Woman

Masters of Art: Louise Élisabeth Vigée Le Brun (1755   1842)   Louise Élisabeth Vigée Le Brun Portrait of Anna Pitt as Hebe

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

Masters of Art: Louise Élisabeth Vigée Le Brun (1755   1842)   Louise Élisabeth Vigée Le Brun Portrait of Hyacinthe Gabrielle Roland

Louise Élisabeth Vigée Le Brun – Portrait of Hyacinthe Gabrielle Roland

Masters of Art: Louise Élisabeth Vigée Le Brun (1755   1842)   Louise Élisabeth Vigée Le Brun Portrait of Madame de Staël as Corinne on Cape Misenum

Louise Élisabeth Vigée Le Brun – Portrait of Hyacinthe Gabrielle Roland

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

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.

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.

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

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

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

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

 

Masters of Art: Joseph Mallord William Turner (1775   1851)   Joseph Turner The Decline of the Carthaginian Empire

Masters of Art: Joseph Mallord William Turner (1775   1851)   Joseph Turner The Fall of an Avalanche in the Grisons

Joseph Turner – The Fall of an Avalanche in the Grisons

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

Masters of Art: Joseph Mallord William Turner (1775   1851)   Joseph Turner Undine Giving the Ring to Massaniello Fisherman of Naples

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

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

Joseph Turner – Campo Santo

Masters of Art: Joseph Mallord William Turner (1775   1851)   Joseph Turner Dutch Boats in a Gale

Joseph Turner – Dutch Boats in a Gale

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

Joseph Turner – Frosty Morning

Masters of Art: Joseph Mallord William Turner (1775   1851)   Joseph Turner Heriots Hospital Edinburgh

Joseph Turner – Heriot’s Hospital, Edinburgh

Masters of Art: Joseph Mallord William Turner (1775   1851)   Joseph Turner Peace Burial at Sea

Joseph Turner – Peace – Burial at Sea

Masters of Art: Joseph Mallord William Turner (1775   1851)   Joseph Turner Peace The Shipwreck

Joseph Turner – Peace – The Shipwreck

Masters of Art: Joseph Mallord William Turner (1775   1851)   Joseph Turner Quillebeuf at the Mouth of Seine

Joseph Turner – Quillebeuf, at the Mouth of Seine

Masters of Art: Joseph Mallord William Turner (1775   1851)   Joseph Turner Rain Steam and Speed The Great Western Railway

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

Masters of Art: Joseph Mallord William Turner (1775   1851)   Joseph Turner San Giorgio Maggiore at Dawn

Joseph Turner – San Giorgio Maggiore at Dawn

 

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.

 

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.]

Life and Paintings of Antonio da Correggio (1489   1534)   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

Life and Paintings of Antonio da Correggio (1489   1534)   Antonio da Correggio Noli Me Tangere

Antonio da Correggio – Noli Me Tangere

Life and Paintings of Antonio da Correggio (1489   1534)   Antonio da Correggio Assumption of the Virgin

Antonio da Correggio – Assumption of the Virgin

Life and Paintings of Antonio da Correggio (1489   1534)   Antonio da Correggio Allegory of Virtues

Antonio da Correggio – Allegory of Virtues

Life and Paintings of Antonio da Correggio (1489   1534)   Antonio da Correggio Allegory of Vices

Antonio da Correggio – Allegory of Vices

Life and Paintings of Antonio da Correggio (1489   1534)   Antonio da Correggio Venus and Cupid with a Satyr

Antonio da Correggio – Venus and Cupid with a Satyr

Life and Paintings of Antonio da Correggio (1489   1534)   Antonio da Correggio The Adoration of the Magi

Antonio da Correggio – The Adoration of the Magi

Life and Paintings of Antonio da Correggio (1489   1534)   Antonio da Correggio Madonna of the Basket

Antonio da Correggio – Madonna of the Basket

Life and Paintings of Antonio da Correggio (1489   1534)   Antonio da Correggio Madonna with St. Francis

Antonio da Correggio – Madonna with St. Francis

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

Life and Paintings of Antonio da Correggio (1489   1534)   Antonio da Correggio Leda with the Swan

Antonio da Correggio – Leda with the Swan

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

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, and are available through Wikimedia

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

 

Hieronymus Bosch - The Marriage at Cana

Life and Paintings of Hieronymus Bosch (1450 – 1516)

Hieronymus Bosch  born Jheronimus van Aken (c. 1450 – 9 August 1516), was a Dutch painter. His work is known for its use of fantastic imagery to illustrate moral and religious concepts and narratives.

Movements: Renaissance

Little is known of Bosch’s life or training. He left behind no letters or diaries, and what has been identified has been taken from brief references to him in the municipal records of ‘s-Hertogenbosch, and in the account books of the local order of the Brotherhood of Our Lady. Nothing is known of his personality or his thoughts on the meaning of his art. Bosch’s date of birth has not been determined with certainty. It is estimated at c. 1450 on the basis of a hand drawn portrait (which may be a self-portrait) made shortly before his death in 1516. The drawing shows the artist at an advanced age, probably in his late sixties.

Sometime between 1479 and 1481, Bosch married Aleyt Goyaerts van den Meerveen, who was a few years older than the artist. The couple moved to the nearby town of Oirschot, where his wife had inherited a house and land from her wealthy family.

Life and Paintings of Hieronymus Bosch (1450   1516)   Hieronymus Bosch Garden delights

Garden of earthly delights

Bosch produced several triptychs. Among his most famous is The Garden of Earthly Delights. This painting, for which the original title has not survived, depicts paradise with Adam and Eve and many wondrous animals on the left panel, the earthly delights with numerous nude figures and tremendous fruit and birds on the middle panel, and hell with depictions of fantastic punishments of the various types of sinners on the right panel. When the exterior panels are closed the viewer can see, painted in grisaille, God creating the Earth. These paintings—especially the Hell panel—are painted in a comparatively sketchy manner which contrasts with the traditional Flemish style of paintings, where the smooth surface—achieved by the application of multiple transparent glazes—conceals the brushwork. In this painting, and more powerfully in works such as his Temptation of St. Anthony (Museu Nacional de Arte Antiga, Lisbon), Bosch draws with his brush. Not surprisingly, Bosch is also one of the most revolutionary draftsmen in the history of art, producing some of the first autonomous sketches in Northern Europe.

Bosch never dated his paintings. But—unusual for the time—he seems to have signed several of them, although other signatures purporting to be his are certainly not. Fewer than 25 paintings remain today that can be attributed to him. In the late sixteenth-century, Philip II of Spain acquired many of Bosch’s paintings, including some probably commissioned and collected by Spaniards active in Bosch’s hometown; as a result, the Prado Museum in Madrid now owns The Adoration of the Magi, The Garden of Earthly Delights, the tabletop painting of The Seven Deadly Sins and the Four Last Things, the The Haywain Triptych and The Stone Operation.

Interpretations

In the twentieth century, when changing artistic tastes made artists like Bosch more palatable to the European imagination, it was sometimes argued that Bosch’s art was inspired by heretical points of view (e.g., the ideas of the Cathars and putative Adamites) as well as of obscure hermetic practices. Again, since Erasmus had been educated at one of the houses of the Brethren of the Common Life in ‘s-Hertogenbosch, and the town was religiously progressive, some writers have found it unsurprising that strong parallels exist between the caustic writing of Erasmus and the often savage painting of Bosch. “Although the Brethren remained loyal to the Pope, they still saw it as their duty to denounce the abuses and scandalous behaviour of many priests: the corruption which both Erasmus and Bosch satirised in their work”

Others, following a strain of Bosch-interpretation datable already to the sixteenth-century, continued to think his work was created merely to titillate and amuse, much like the “grotteschi” of the Italian Renaissance. While the art of the older masters was based in the physical world of everyday experience, Bosch confronts his viewer with, in the words of the art historian Walter Gibson, “a world of dreams [and] nightmares in which forms seem to flicker and change before our eyes.” In one of the first known accounts of Bosch’s paintings, in 1560 the Spaniard Felipe de Guevara wrote that Bosch was regarded merely as “the inventor of monsters and chimeras”. In the early seventeenth century, the Dutch art historian Karel van Mander described Bosch’s work as comprising “wondrous and strange fantasies”; however, he concluded that the paintings are “often less pleasant than gruesome to look at.”

In recent decades, scholars have come to view Bosch’s vision as less fantastic, and accepted that his art reflects the orthodox religious belief systems of his age.

His depictions of sinful humanity, his conceptions of Heaven and Hell are now seen as consistent with those of late medieval didactic literature and sermons. Most writers attach a more profound significance to his paintings than had previously been supposed, and attempt to interpret it in terms of a late medieval morality. It is generally accepted that Bosch’s art was created to teach specific moral and spiritual truths in the manner of other Northern Renaissance figures, such as the poet Robert Henryson, and that the images rendered have precise and premeditated significance. According to Dirk Bax, Bosch’s paintings often represent visual translations of verbal metaphors and puns drawn from both biblical and folkloric sources. However, the conflict of interpretations that his works still elicit raise profound questions about the nature of “ambiguity” art of his period.

Let’s see some of his most important works:

Life and Paintings of Hieronymus Bosch (1450   1516)   Hieronymus Bosch Triptych of the Martyrdom of St Liberata

Triptych of the Martyrdom of St Liberata

Life and Paintings of Hieronymus Bosch (1450   1516)   Hieronymus Bosch The Ship of Fools

The Ship of Fools

Life and Paintings of Hieronymus Bosch (1450   1516)   Hieronymus Bosch The Marriage at Cana

The Marriage at Cana

Life and Paintings of Hieronymus Bosch (1450   1516)   Hieronymus Bosch The Magician

The Magician

Life and Paintings of Hieronymus Bosch (1450   1516)   Hieronymus Bosch The Last Judgment

The Last Judgment

Life and Paintings of Hieronymus Bosch (1450   1516)   Hieronymus Bosch The Hell and the Flood

The Hell and the Flood

Life and Paintings of Hieronymus Bosch (1450   1516)   Hieronymus Bosch The Hay Wagon

The Hay Wagon

Life and Paintings of Hieronymus Bosch (1450   1516)   Hieronymus Bosch The Adoration of the Magi Triptych

The Adoration of the Magi Triptych

Life and Paintings of Hieronymus Bosch (1450   1516)   Hieronymus Bosch The Adoration of the Child

The Adoration of the Child

Life and Paintings of Hieronymus Bosch (1450   1516)   Hieronymus Bosch Saint John the Evangelist on Patmos

Saint John the Evangelist on Patmos

Life and Paintings of Hieronymus Bosch (1450   1516)   Hieronymus Bosch Saint John the Baptist

Saint John the Baptist

Life and Paintings of Hieronymus Bosch (1450   1516)   Hieronymus Bosch Follower of Jheronimus Bosch

Follower of Jheronimus Bosch

Life and Paintings of Hieronymus Bosch (1450   1516)   Hieronymus Bosch Death and the Miser

Death and the Miser

Life and Paintings of Hieronymus Bosch (1450   1516)   Hieronymus Bosch Christ on the Cross with the Virgin St. John St. Peter and a Youthful Donor

Christ on the Cross, with the Virgin, St. John, St. Peter and a Youthful Donor

Life and Paintings of Hieronymus Bosch (1450   1516)   Hieronymus Bosch Christ Mocked Crowning with Thorns

Christ Mocked (Crowning with Thorns)

Life and Paintings of Hieronymus Bosch (1450   1516)   Hieronymus Bosch Christ Carrying the Cross

Christ Carrying the Cross

Life and Paintings of Hieronymus Bosch (1450   1516)   Hieronymus Bosch Hermit Saints Triptych

Hermit Saints Triptych

The exact number of Bosch’s surviving works has been a subject of considerable debate. He signed only seven of his paintings, and there is uncertainty whether all the paintings once ascribed to him were actually from his hand. It is known that from the early sixteenth century onwards numerous copies and variations of his paintings began to circulate. In addition, his style was highly influential, and was widely imitated by his numerous followers.

Over the years, scholars have attributed to him fewer and fewer of the works once thought to be his, and today only 25 are definitively attributed to him.

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Luca Signorelli - Madonna and Child with Saints

Life and Paintings of Luca Signorelli (1445 – 1523)

Luca Signorelli (c. 1445 – 16 October 1523) was an Italian Renaissance painter who was noted in particular for his ability as a draughtsman and his use of foreshortening. His massive frescoes of the Last Judgment (1499–1503) in Orvieto Cathedral are considered his masterpiece.

Movements: Renaissance

He was born Luca d’Egidio di Ventura in Cortona, Tuscany (some sources call him Luca da Cortona). The precise date of his birth is uncertain; birth dates of 1441–1445 are proposed. He died in 1523 in Cortona, where he is buried. He was perhaps eighty-two years old. He is considered to be part of the Tuscan school, although he also worked extensively in Umbria and Rome.

His first impressions of art seem to be due to Perugia — the style of Benedetto Bonfigli, Fiorenzo di Lorenzo and Pinturicchio. Lazzaro Vasari, the great-grandfather of art historian Giorgio Vasari, was brother to Luca’s mother; according to Giorgio Vasari he got Luca apprenticed to Piero della Francesca. In 1472 the young man was painting at Arezzo, and in 1474 at Città di Castello. He presented to Lorenzo de’ Medici a picture which is probably the one named the School of Pan. Janet Ross and her husband Henry discovered the painting in Florence circa 1870 and subsequently sold it to the Kaiser Frederick Museum in Berlin. The painting was destroyed by allied bombs in WWII. See Benjamin, Sarah (2006) A Castle In Tuscany at 63-67 (image of the painting at 64-65) Murdoch Books Australia. The painting’s subject is almost the same which he painted also on the wall of the Petrucci palace in Siena—the principal figures being Pan himself, Olympus, Echo, a man reclining on the ground and two listening shepherds.

He executed, moreover, various sacred pictures, showing a study of Botticelli and Lippo Lippi. Pope Sixtus IV commissioned Signorelli to paint some frescoes, now mostly very dim, in the shrine of Loreto—Angels, Doctors of the Church, Evangelists, Apostles, the Incredulity of Thomas and the Conversion of St Paul. He also executed a single fresco in the Sistine Chapel in Rome, the Testament and Death of Moses, although most of it has been attributed to Bartolomeo della Gatta; another, the Moses Leaving to Egypt, once ascribed to Signorelli, is now recognized as the work of Perugino and other assistants.

Life and Paintings of Luca Signorelli (1445   1523)   Luca Signorelli Krönung Mariä 300x275

Krönung Mariä

 

Signorelli worked in Rome from 1478 to 1484. In the latter year he returned to his native Cortona, which remained from this time his home. In the Monastery of Monte Oliveto Maggiore (Siena) he painted eight frescoes, forming part of a vast series of the life of St. Benedict; they are at present much injured. In the palace of Pandolfo Petrucci he worked upon various classic or mythological subjects, including the School of Pan already mentioned.

From the Monastery of Monte Oliveto Maggiore near Siena, Signorelli went to Orvieto, and produced his masterpiece, the frescoes in the chapel of S. Brizio (then called the Cappella Nuova), in the cathedral.

The Cappella Nuova already contained two groups of images in the vaulting over the altar, the Judging Christ and the Prophets, by Fra Angelico, who had begun the murals fifty years earlier. The works of Signorelli in the vaults and on the upper walls represent the events surrounding the Apocalypse and the Last Judgment. The events of the Apocalypse fill the space which surrounds the entrance into the large chapel.

The Apocalyptic events begin with the Preaching of Antichrist, and proceed to the Doomsday and The Resurrection of the Flesh. They occupy three vast lunettes, each of them a single continuous narrative composition. In one of them, Antichrist, after his portents and impious glories, falls headlong from the sky, crashing down into an innumerable crowd of men and women.

 

Life and Paintings of Luca Signorelli (1445   1523)   Luca Signorelli Crucifixion

Crucifixion

Life and Paintings of Luca Signorelli (1445   1523)   Luca Signorelli The Damned

The Damned

Life and Paintings of Luca Signorelli (1445   1523)   Luca Signorelli The Birth of St John the Baptist

The Birth of St John the Baptist

Life and Paintings of Luca Signorelli (1445   1523)   Luca Signorelli The Archangel Gabriel

The Archangel Gabriel

Life and Paintings of Luca Signorelli (1445   1523)   Luca Signorelli Madonna and Child with Saints and Angels

Madonna and Child with Saints and Angels

Life and Paintings of Luca Signorelli (1445   1523)   Luca Signorelli Sermon and Deeds of the Antichrist

Sermon and Deeds of the Antichrist

 

The events of the Last Judgment fill the facing vault and the walls around the altar: Paradise, the Elect and the Condemned, Hell, the Resurrection of the Dead, and the Destruction of the Reprobate.

To Angelico’s ceiling, which contained the Judging Christ and the Prophets led by John the Baptist, Signorelli added the Madonna leading the Apostles, the Patriarchs, Doctors of the Church, Martyrs, and Virgins. The unifying factor of the paintings is found in the scripture readings in the Roman liturgies for the Feast of All Saints and Advent.

Stylistically, the daring and terrible inventions, with their powerful treatment of the nude and arduous foreshortenings, were striking in its day. Michelangelo is claimed to have borrowed, in his own fresco at the Sistine Chapel wall, some of Signorelli’s figures or combinations. The decoration of the lower walls, unprecedented in the history of art, are richly decorated with a great deal of subsidiary work connected with Dante, specifically the first eleven books of his Purgatorio, and with the poets and legends of antiquity. A Pietà composition in a niche in the lower wall contains explicit references to two important Orvietan martyr saints, S. Pietro Parenzo and S. Faustino, in the centuries preceding the execution of the lunette paintings.

The contract for Signorelli’s work is still on record in the archives of the Cathedral of Orvieto. He undertook on April 5, 1499 to complete the ceiling for 200 ducats, and to paint the walls for 600, along with lodging, and in every month two measures of wine and two quarters of corn. The contract directed Signorelli to consult the Masters of the Sacred Page for theological matters. This is the first such recorded instance of an artist receiving theological advice, although art historians believe the two groups routinely discussed such matters. Signorelli’s first stay in Orvieto lasted not more than two years. In 1502 he returned to Cortona. He returned to Orvieto and continued the lower walls. He painted a dead Christ, with Mary Magdalen and the Virgin Mary and the martyrs local Saints Pietro Parenzo and Faustino.The figure of the dead Christ, according to Vasari, is the image of Signorelli’s son Antonio, who died from the plague during the course of the execution of the paintings.

 

After finishing the frecoes at Orvieto, Signorelli was often in Siena. In 1507 he executed a great altarpiece for S. Medardo at Arcevia in the Marche, the Madonna and Child, with the Massacre of the Innocents and other episodes.

In 1508 Pope Julius II summoned artists to Rome, including Signorelli, Perugino, Pinturicchio and Il Sodoma to paint the large rooms in the Vatican Palace. They began work, but soon the pope dismissed all to make way for Raphael. Their work was taken down, except for the ceiling in the Stanza della Segnatura. Luca returned to Siena, but mostly lived in his hometown of Cortona. He was constantly at work, but the products of his closing years were not of the quality of his works from 1490–1505.

In 1520 Signorelli went with one of his pictures to Arezzo. He was partially paralysed when he began a fresco of the Baptism of Christ in the chapel of Cardinal Passerini’s palace near Cortona, which (or else a Coronation of the Virgin at Foiano) is the last picture specified as his . Signorelli stood in great repute as a citizen; he entered the magistracy of Cortona as early as 1488, and held a leading position by 1524 when he died.

Signorelli paid great attention to anatomy. It is said that he carried on his studies in burial grounds. Certainly his mastery of the human form indicates that he had performed dissections. He surpassed contemporaries in showing the structure and mechanism of the nude in immediate action; and he even went beyond nature in experiments of this kind, trying hypothetical attitudes and combinations. His drawings in the Louvre demonstrate this and bear a close analogy to the method of Michelangelo. He aimed at powerful truth rather than nobility of form; colour was comparatively neglected, and his chiaroscuro exhibits sharp oppositions of lights and shadows. He had a vast influence over the painters of his own and of succeeding times, but had no pupils or assistants of high mark; one of them was a nephew named Francesco.

 

Life and Paintings of Luca Signorelli (1445   1523)   Luca Signorelli Resurrection of the Flesh

Resurrection of the Flesh

Life and Paintings of Luca Signorelli (1445   1523)   Luca Signorelli Portrait of a Man

Portrait of a Man

Life and Paintings of Luca Signorelli (1445   1523)   Luca Signorelli Mosess Testament and Death

Life and Paintings of Luca Signorelli (1445   1523)   Luca Signorelli Madonna and Child with Saints

Madonna and Child with Saints

Vasari, who claimed Signorelli as a relative, described him as kindly, and a family man, and said that he always lived more like a nobleman than a painter. Vasari included Signorelli’s portrait, one of seven, in his study in Arezzo, along with Michelangelo and himself. The Torrigiani Gallery in Florence contains a grand life-sized portrait by Signorelli of a man in a red cap and vest, and corresponds with Vasari’s observation. In the National Gallery, London, are the Circumcision of Jesus and three other works. Legend holds that Signorelli depicted himself in the left foreground of his Orvietan mural The Rule of Antichrist. Fra Angelico, his predecessor in the Orvieto cycle, is thought to stand behind him in the piece. However, the figure thought to be Fra Angelico is not dressed as a Dominican friar, and Signorelli’s supposed portrait does not match that in Vasari’s study.

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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

Life and Paintings of Giovanni Bellini (1430   1516)   Bellini Giovanni Dead Christ Supported by the Madonna and St John Pietà 300x241

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.

Life and Paintings of Giovanni Bellini (1430   1516)   Bellini Giovanni 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:

Life and Paintings of Giovanni Bellini (1430   1516)   Bellini Giovanni Angel of the Annunciation and Virgin Annunciate

Angel of the Annunciation and Virgin Annunciate

Life and Paintings of Giovanni Bellini (1430   1516)   Bellini Giovanni Agony in the Garden

Agony in the Garden

Life and Paintings of Giovanni Bellini (1430   1516)   Bellini Giovanni San Zaccaria Altarpiece

San Zaccaria Altarpiece

Life and Paintings of Giovanni Bellini (1430   1516)   Bellini Giovanni San Giobbe Altarpiece

San Giobbe Altarpiece

Life and Paintings of Giovanni Bellini (1430   1516)   Bellini Giovanni Polyptych of San Vincenzo Ferreri

Polyptych of San Vincenzo Ferreri

Life and Paintings of Giovanni Bellini (1430   1516)   Bellini Giovanni Pesaro Altarpiece

Pesaro Altarpiece

Life and Paintings of Giovanni Bellini (1430   1516)   Bellini Giovanni Naked Young Woman in Front of the Mirror

Naked Young Woman in Front of the Mirror

Life and Paintings of Giovanni Bellini (1430   1516)   Bellini Giovanni Madonna and Child

Madonna and Child

Life and Paintings of Giovanni Bellini (1430   1516)   Bellini Giovanni Madonna and Child with Two Saints Sacra Conversazione

Madonna and Child with Two Saints (Sacra Conversazione)

Life and Paintings of Giovanni Bellini (1430   1516)   Bellini Giovanni Madonna and Child Blessing

Madonna and Child Blessing

Life and Paintings of Giovanni Bellini (1430   1516)   Bellini Giovanni Drunkennes of Noah

Drunkennes of Noah

Life and Paintings of Giovanni Bellini (1430   1516)   Bellini Giovanni Dead Christ Supported by the Madonna and St John Pietà

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

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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.

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.

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

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

Life and Paintings of Pieter Bruegel the Elder (1525   1569)   Pieter Bruegel the Elder The Fall of the Rebel Angels

Pieter Bruegel the Elder – The Fall of the Rebel Angels

Life and Paintings of Pieter Bruegel the Elder (1525   1569)   Pieter Bruegel the Elder The Corn Harvest August

Pieter Bruegel the Elder – The Corn Harvest (August)

Life and Paintings of Pieter Bruegel the Elder (1525   1569)   Pieter Bruegel the Elder The Census at Bethlehem

Pieter Bruegel the Elder – The Census at Bethlehem

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

Pieter Bruegel the Elder – Peasant Wedding

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

Pieter Bruegel the Elder – Netherlandish Proverbs

Life and Paintings of Pieter Bruegel the Elder (1525   1569)   Pieter Bruegel the Elder Magpie on the Gallow

Pieter Bruegel the Elder – Magpie on the Gallow

Life and Paintings of Pieter Bruegel the Elder (1525   1569)   Pieter Bruegel the Elder Landscape with the Fall of Icarus

Pieter Bruegel the Elder – Landscape with the Fall of Icarus

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

Pieter Bruegel the Elder – Haymaking (July)

Life and Paintings of Pieter Bruegel the Elder (1525   1569)   Pieter Bruegel the Elder Gloomy Day February

Pieter Bruegel the Elder – Gloomy Day (February)

Life and Paintings of Pieter Bruegel the Elder (1525   1569)   Pieter Bruegel the Elder Dulle Griet Mad Meg

Pieter Bruegel the Elder – Dulle Griet (Mad Meg)

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

Pieter Bruegel the Elder – Children’s Games

Life and Paintings of Pieter Bruegel the Elder (1525   1569)   Pieter Bruegel the Elder The Tower of Babel

Pieter Bruegel the Elder -The Tower of Babel

Life and Paintings of Pieter Bruegel the Elder (1525   1569)   Pieter Bruegel the Elder The Hunters in the Snow January

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

Life and Paintings of Pieter Bruegel the Elder (1525   1569)   Pieter Bruegel the Elder The Triumph of Death

Pieter Bruegel the Elder – The Triumph of Death

Life and Paintings of Pieter Bruegel the Elder (1525   1569)   Pieter Bruegel the Elder The Temptation of St Anthony

Pieter Bruegel the Elder – The Temptation of St Anthony

Life and Paintings of Pieter Bruegel the Elder (1525   1569)   Pieter Bruegel the Elder The Suicide of Saul

Pieter Bruegel the Elder – The Suicide of Saul

Life and Paintings of Pieter Bruegel the Elder (1525   1569)   Pieter Bruegel the Elder The Parable of the Blind Leading the Blind

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

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

Life and Paintings of Tintoretto (1518   1594)   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”)

Life and Paintings of Tintoretto (1518   1594)   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.

Life and Paintings of Tintoretto (1518   1594)   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.

Life and Paintings of Tintoretto (1518   1594)   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.

Life and Paintings of Tintoretto (1518   1594)   Jacobo Robusti Tintoretto The Last Supper 2

Jacobo Robusti (Tintoretto) – The Last Supper 2

Let’s now enjoy some of his most celebrated works!
Life and Paintings of Tintoretto (1518   1594)   Jacobo Robusti Tintoretto The Meeting of Tamar and Judah

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

Life and Paintings of Tintoretto (1518   1594)   Jacobo Robusti Tintoretto The Martyrdom of the Ten Thousand fragment

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

Life and Paintings of Tintoretto (1518   1594)   Jacobo Robusti Tintoretto The Descent into Hell

Jacobo Robusti (Tintoretto) – The Descent into Hell

Life and Paintings of Tintoretto (1518   1594)   Jacobo Robusti Tintoretto The Deposition

Jacobo Robusti (Tintoretto) – The Deposition

Life and Paintings of Tintoretto (1518   1594)   Jacobo Robusti Tintoretto The Crucifixion of Christ

Jacobo Robusti (Tintoretto) – The Crucifixion of Christ

Life and Paintings of Tintoretto (1518   1594)   Jacobo Robusti Tintoretto Marriage at Cana

Jacobo Robusti (Tintoretto) – Marriage at Cana

Life and Paintings of Tintoretto (1518   1594)   Jacobo Robusti Tintoretto Creation of the Animals

Jacobo Robusti (Tintoretto) – Creation of the Animals

Life and Paintings of Tintoretto (1518   1594)   Jacobo Robusti Tintoretto Christ Washing the Feet of His Disciples

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

Life and Paintings of Tintoretto (1518   1594)   Jacobo Robusti Tintoretto Christ at the Sea of Galilee

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

Life and Paintings of Tintoretto (1518   1594)   Jacobo Robusti Tintoretto Venus Mars and Vulcan

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

Life and Paintings of Tintoretto (1518   1594)   Jacobo Robusti Tintoretto The Supper at Emmaus

Jacobo Robusti (Tintoretto) – The Supper at Emmaus

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Elsheimer Adam - Ceres And Stellio

Life and Paintings of Adam Elsheimer (1578 – 1610)

Adam Elsheimer (18 March 1578 – 11 December 1610) was a German artist working in Rome who died at only thirty-two, but was very influential in the early 17th century. His relatively few paintings were small scale, nearly all painted on copper plates, of the type often known as cabinet paintings. They include a variety of light effects, and an innovative treatment of landscape. He was an influence on many other artists, including Rembrandt and Peter Paul Rubens.

Life and Paintings of Adam Elsheimer (1578   1610)   ELSHEIMER Adam Flight Into Egypt

Elsheimer Adam – Flight Into Egypt

Elsheimer was born in Frankfurt-am-Main, Germany, one of ten children and the son of a master-tailor. His father’s house (which survived until destroyed by Allied bombs in 1944) was a few meters from the church where Albrecht Dürer’s Heller Altarpiece was then displayed. He was apprenticed to the artist Philipp Uffenbach. He probably visited Strasbourg in 1596. At the age of twenty, he travelled to Italy via Munich, where he is documented in 1598.

His stay in Venice is undocumented, but the influence on his style is clear. He probably worked as an assistant to Johann Rottenhammer, some of whose drawings he owned. Rottenhammer was a German who had been living in Italy for some years, and was the first German painter to specialize in cabinet paintings. Uffenbach had specialized in large altarpieces, and although Elsheimer’s earliest small paintings on copper seem to date from before he arrived in Italy, Rottenhammer’s influence is clear on his mature work.

Life and Paintings of Adam Elsheimer (1578   1610)   ELSHEIMER Adam St Paul At Malta

Elsheimer Adam -St. Paul at Malta

Elsheimer is believed to have produced some significant works in Venice, such as The Baptism of Christ (National Gallery, London) and The Holy Family (Gemäldegalerie, Berlin) which show the influence of the Venetian painters Tintoretto and Paolo Veronese, as well as Rottenhammer.

In early 1600, Elsheimer arrived in Rome and quickly made friends with contacts of Rottenhammer, notably Giovanni Faber, a Papal doctor, botanist and collector originally from Bamberg. He was Curator of the Vatican Botanical Garden, and a member of the Accademia dei Lincei, a small intellectual coterie founded in 1603, and mainly concerned with the natural sciences.

Another friend of Rottenhammer was the Flemish landscape painter Paul Bril, already established in Rome, who was (with Faber) a witness at Elsheimer’s marriage, painted a picture together with him (now Chatsworth House), and was owed money by him at his death. Like Faber, Bril was a long-term resident in Rome who had converted from Lutheranism to Catholicism, as Elsheimer did later.

Both Faber and Bril knew Rubens, who was in Rome in 1601, and who became another friend, later reproaching Elsheimer for not producing more work. He knew David Teniers the Elder, recently Rubens’ pupil, and there is evidence that they lodged together. In 1604 Karel van Mander, a Dutchman recently returned from Rome, published his Schilder-Boeck which praised Elsheimer’s work, and described him as slow-working and making few drawings. He also spent much time in churches, studying the works of the masters. Other writers mention his exceptional visual memory, his melancholy and his kind-heartedness. In a letter after his death, Rubens wrote: “he had no equal in small figures, landscapes, and in many other subjects. …one could have expected things from him that one has never seen before and never will see.”

Life and Paintings of Adam Elsheimer (1578   1610)   ELSHEIMER Adam Jupiter And Mercury At Philemon And Baucis

Elsheimer Adam – Jupiter And Mercury At Philemon And Baucis

In 1606, Elsheimer married Carola Antonia Stuarda da Francoforte (i.e. Stuart of Frankfurt- she was of Scottish ancestry and a fellow Frankfurter), and in 1609 they had a son. The son was not mentioned in a census a year later, possibly (Klessman says optimistically) because he had been put out to a wet-nurse. She was the recent widow of the artist Nicolas de Breul (born in Verdun) and after Elsheimer’s death remarried an Italian artist, Ascanio Quercia, within a year of his death. Elsheimer converted to Catholicism by 1608 (possibly 1606). He was admitted to the Accademia di San Luca, the Roman painters’ Guild, in 1606, giving them a self-portrait (his only portrait, and only painting on canvas) now in the Uffizi. In spite of his fame and talents, he appears to have both lived and died in difficult financial circumstances.

Elsheimer’s painting of Tobias and the Angel (1602–1603) (the “small” Tobias – now at Frankfurt) was especially well received because of its new conception of landscape. This picture was engraved by Count Hendrick Goudt and as a result was published across Europe. However, his association with Goudt, who lodged and trained with him for several years, was difficult. Elsheimer seems to have borrowed money from Goudt, which according to one account resulted in his brief incarceration in Debtor’s prison. After Elsheimer’s early death in 1610 in Rome, Goudt owned several of his pictures. Goudt made seven engravings of Elsheimer’s paintings, which were crucial in spreading his influence, as very few of his paintings were viewable even by artists; as cabinet paintings they were mostly kept in small and very private rooms.

Life and Paintings of Adam Elsheimer (1578   1610)   ELSHEIMER Adam Jacobs Dream

Elsheimer Adam – Jacobs Dream

Elsheimer had a definite preference for choosing rare or original subjects, both for his mythological and religious paintings. Jupiter and Mercury in the house of Philemon and Baucis, (c. 1608, now Dresden) is based on an episode in Ovid, and had never been painted before. The Mocking of Ceres (Kingston, Ontario, a copy exists in the Prado), Apollo and Coronis (Liverpool), and Il Contento (Edinburgh) were equally new. Some of his religious scenes were more conventional, but his selection of the moment to depict, as in St Lawrence prepared for Martyrdom (London), is often unusual.

Influence

Life and Paintings of Adam Elsheimer (1578   1610)   ELSHEIMER Adam Glorification Of The Cross

Elsheimer Adam – Glorification Of The Cross

His perfectionism, and an apparent tendency to depression, resulted in a small total output, despite the small size of all his pictures. In all about forty paintings are now generally agreed to be by him (see Kressmann below). He made a few etchings, not very successfully. However, his work was highly regarded by other artists and a few important collectors for its quality. He had a clear and direct influence on other Northern artists who were in Rome such as Paul Bril, Jan Pynas, Leonaert Bramer and Pieter Lastman, later Rembrandt’s master, who was probably in Rome by 1605. Rembrandt’s first dated work is a Stoning of St Stephen which appears to be a response to Elsheimer’s painting of the subject, now in Edinburgh. Some works by Italian artists, such as the six pictures from Ovid by Carlo Saraceni now in the Museo di Capodimonte, Naples, also show Elsheimer’s clear influence. Rubens, who owned at least four of his works, knew Elsheimer in Rome, and praised him highly in a letter after his death.

In a wider sense, he was influential in three respects. Firstly his night scenes were highly original. His lighting effects in general were very subtle, and very different from those of Caravaggio. He often uses as many as five different sources of light, and graduates the light relatively gently, with the less well-lit parts of the composition often containing important parts of it.

Secondly, his combination of poetic landscape with large foreground figures gives the landscape a prominence that had rarely been seen since the Early Renaissance. His landscapes do not always feature an extensive view; often the lushness of the vegetation closes it off. They are more realistic, but no less poetic, than those of Bril or Jan Brueghel, and play a part in the formation of those of Poussin and Claude. His treatment of large figures with a landscape backdrop looks forward, through Rubens and van Dyck, to the English portrait in the eighteenth century. Soon after his death he became very popular with English collectors, notably King Charles I of England, the Earl of Arundel, and the George Villiers, 1st Duke of Buckingham, and over half his paintings have been in English collections at some time (nearly one third are still in the UK).

Thirdly, his integration of Italian styles with the German tradition he was trained in is perhaps more effective than that of any Northern painter since Dürer (with the exception of his friend Rubens). His compositions tend to underplay the drama of the events they depict (in noticeable contrast to those of Rubens), but often show the start of moments of transformation. His figures are relatively short and stocky, and reflect little of classical ideals. Their poses and gestures are unflamboyant, and their facial expressions resemble those in Early Netherlandish painting rather than the bella figura of most Italian Renaissance work.

Galleries

The largest collection of his work is in Frankfurt. The Alte Pinakothek, Munich has two of his finest night-scene paintings, and Berlin, Bonn, Dresden and Hamburg have paintings. The National Gallery, London has three paintings with others in the National Gallery of Scotland, Edinburgh, Apsley House, Windsor Castle, Petworth House, the Wellcome Library and Liverpool. In 2006 an exhibition at the Städel, Frankfurt, then Edinburgh, and the Dulwich Gallery in London reunited almost all his oeuvre.

Life and Paintings of Adam Elsheimer (1578   1610)   ELSHEIMER Adam Ceres And Stellio

Elsheimer Adam – Ceres And Stellio

There are drawings, especially in the Louvre and Edinburgh.

Only two works are on public display outside Europe. One is in the Kimbell Art Museum, Fort Worth (The Flight into Egypt),and the other is the Mocking of Ceres, now in the Agnes Etherington Art Centre in Kingston, Ontario, badly damaged by fire at some point in its history; it had been part of the Dutch Gift to Charles II of England in 1660.

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Eustache Le Sueur - The Muses Melpomene, Erato and Polymnia

Life and Paintings of Eustache Le Sueur (1617 – 1655)

Eustache Le Sueur or Lesueur (19 November 1617 – 30 April 1655), one of the founders of the French Academy of Painting, was born in Paris, where he passed his whole life.

Life and Paintings of Eustache Le Sueur (1617   1655)   LE SUEUR Eustache The Muses Clio Euterpe And Thalia

Eustache Le Sueur – The Muses Clio, Euterpe and Thalia

His early death and retired habits led to various fables attaching to his life, in a similar way to Claude Lorrain. We are told that, persecuted by Le Brun, who was jealous of his ability, he became the intimate friend and correspondent of Poussin, and it is added that, broken-hearted at the death of his wife, Le Sueur retired to the monastery of the Chartreux and died in the arms of the prior.

All this, however, is pure fiction. The facts of Le Sueur’s life are these. He was the son of Cathelin Le Sueur, a turner and sculptor in wood, who placed his son with Vouet, in whose studio he rapidly distinguished himself. Admitted at an early age into the guild of master-painters, he left them to take part in establishing the academy of painting and sculpture, and was one of the first twelve professors of that body.

Some paintings, illustrative of the Hypnerotomachia Poliphili, which were reproduced in tapestry, brought him into notice, and his reputation was further enhanced by a series of decorations (Louvre) in the mansion of Lambert de Thorigny, which he left uncompleted, for their execution was frequently interrupted by other commissions. Amongst these were several pictures for the apartments of the king and queen in the Louvre, which are now missing, although they were entered in Bailly’s inventory (1710); but several works produced for minor patrons have come down to us.

In the gallery of the Louvre are the “Angel and Hagar,” from the mansion of De Tonnay Charente; “Tobias and Tobit,” from the Fieubet collection; several pictures executed for the church of Saint Gervais; the “Martyrdom of St Lawrence,” from Saint Germain de l’Auxerrois; two very fine works from the destroyed abbey of Marmoutiers; “St Paul preaching at Ephesus,” one of Le Sueur’s most complete and thorough performances, painted for the goldsmiths corporation in 1649; and his famous series of the “Life of St Bruno,” executed in the cloister of the Chartreux.

Life and Paintings of Eustache Le Sueur (1617   1655)   LE SUEUR Eustache The Muses Melpomene Erato And Polymnia

Eustache Le Sueur – The Muses Melpomene, Erato and Polymnia

These last have more personal character than anything else which Le Sueur produced, and much of their original beauty survives in spite of injuries and restorations and removal from the wall to canvas. The Louvre also possesses many fine drawings (reproduced by Braun), of which Le Sueur left an incredible quantity, chiefly executed in black and white chalk.

Life and Paintings of Eustache Le Sueur (1617   1655)   LE SUEUR Eustache Caligula Depositing The Ashes Of His Mother

Eustache Le Sueur – Caligula Depositing The Ashes of hisMother

His pupils, who aided him much in his work, were his wife’s brother, Tb. Gouss, and three brothers of his own, as well as Claude Lefèbvre and Pierre Patel the landscape painter. Most of his works have been engraved, chiefly by Picart, B. Audran, Seb. Leclerc, Drevet, Chauveau, Poilly and Desplaces.

It is considered that Le Sueur’s work lent itself readily to the engraver’s art, as he had a delicate perception of varied shades of grave and elevated sentiment, and possessed the power to render them. His graceful facility in composition was always restrained by a very fine taste, but his works often fail to please completely, because, producing so much, he had too frequent recourse to conventional types, and partly because he rarely saw colour except with the cold and clayey quality proper to the school of Vouet; yet his “St Paul at Ephesus” and one or two other works show that he was not naturally deficient in this sense, and whenever we get direct reference to nature—as in the monks of the St Bruno series – we recognize his admirable power to read and render physiognomy of varied and serious type.

 

Life and Paintings of Eustache Le Sueur (1617   1655)   LE SUEUR Eustache A Gathering Of Friends

Eustache Le Sueur – A Gathering of Friends

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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.

Masters of Art: William Hogarth (1697   1764)   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.

Masters of Art: William Hogarth (1697   1764)   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.

Masters of Art: William Hogarth (1697   1764)   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.

Masters of Art: William Hogarth (1697   1764)   William Hogarth The Strode Family

William Hogarth – The Strode Family

Masters of Art: William Hogarth (1697   1764)   William Hogarth Marriage à la Mode2

William Hogarth – Marriage à la Mode2

Masters of Art: William Hogarth (1697   1764)   William Hogarth Portrait of a Young Woman

William Hogarth – Portrait of a Young Woman

Masters of Art: William Hogarth (1697   1764)   William Hogarth Portrait of Mary Edwards

William Hogarth – Portrait of Mary Edwards

Masters of Art: William Hogarth (1697   1764)   William Hogarth Soliciting Votes

William Hogarth – Soliciting Votes

Masters of Art: William Hogarth (1697   1764)   William Hogarth The Marriage of Stephen Beckingham and Mary Cox

William Hogarth – The Marriage of Stephen Beckingham and Mary Cox

Masters of Art: William Hogarth (1697   1764)   William Hogarth The Orgy

William Hogarth – The Orgy

Masters of Art: William Hogarth (1697   1764)   William Hogarth The Shrimp Girl

William Hogarth – The Shrimp Girl

 

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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.

Life and Paintings of Thomas Gainsborough (1727   1788)   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.

Life and Paintings of Thomas Gainsborough (1727   1788)   Thomas Gainsborough The Artists 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.

Life and Paintings of Thomas Gainsborough (1727   1788)   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.

Life and Paintings of Thomas Gainsborough (1727   1788)   Thomas Gainsborough The Artists 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.

Life and Paintings of Thomas Gainsborough (1727   1788)   Thomas Gainsborough Mary Countess of Howe

Thomas Gainsborough – Mary, Countess of Howe

Life and Paintings of Thomas Gainsborough (1727   1788)   Thomas Gainsborough Isaac Henrique Sequeira

Thomas Gainsborough – Isaac Henrique Sequeira

Life and Paintings of Thomas Gainsborough (1727   1788)   Thomas Gainsborough Conversation in a Park

Thomas Gainsborough – Conversation in a Park

Life and Paintings of Thomas Gainsborough (1727   1788)   Thomas Gainsborough The Marsham Children

Thomas Gainsborough – The Marsham Children

Life and Paintings of Thomas Gainsborough (1727   1788)   Thomas Gainsborough Self Portrait

Thomas Gainsborough – Self-Portrait

Life and Paintings of Thomas Gainsborough (1727   1788)   Thomas Gainsborough Portrait of Sarah Buxton

Thomas Gainsborough – Portrait of Sarah Buxton

Life and Paintings of Thomas Gainsborough (1727   1788)   Thomas Gainsborough Portrait of a Lady in Blue

Thomas Gainsborough – Portrait of a Lady in Blue

Life and Paintings of Thomas Gainsborough (1727   1788)   Thomas Gainsborough Mrs. Mary Robinson

Thomas Gainsborough – Mrs. Mary Robinson

Life and Paintings of Thomas Gainsborough (1727   1788)   Thomas Gainsborough Mrs Sarah Siddons

Thomas Gainsborough – Mrs Sarah Siddons

Life and Paintings of Thomas Gainsborough (1727   1788)   Thomas Gainsborough Mrs Grace Dalrymple Elliot

Thomas Gainsborough – Mrs Grace Dalrymple Elliot

Life and Paintings of Thomas Gainsborough (1727   1788)   Thomas Gainsborough Mr and Mrs William Hallett

Thomas Gainsborough – Mr and Mrs William Hallett

Life and Paintings of Thomas Gainsborough (1727   1788)   Thomas Gainsborough Master John Heathcote

Thomas Gainsborough – Master John Heathcote

Life and Paintings of Thomas Gainsborough (1727   1788)   Thomas Gainsborough Lady Bate Dudley

Thomas Gainsborough – Lady Bate-Dudley

Life and Paintings of Thomas Gainsborough (1727   1788)   Thomas Gainsborough Lady Alston

Thomas Gainsborough – Lady Alston

 

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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.

Life and Paintings of Jean Honoré Fragonard (1732   1806)   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.

Life and Paintings of Jean Honoré Fragonard (1732   1806)   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.

Life and Paintings of Jean Honoré Fragonard (1732   1806)   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.

Life and Paintings of Jean Honoré Fragonard (1732   1806)   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.

Life and Paintings of Jean Honoré Fragonard (1732   1806)   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.

Life and Paintings of Jean Honoré Fragonard (1732   1806)   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.

 

Life and Paintings of Jean Honoré Fragonard (1732   1806)   Jean Honoré Fragonard The Stolen Kiss

Jean-Honoré Fragonard – The Stolen Kiss

 

Life and Paintings of Jean Honoré Fragonard (1732   1806)   Jean Honoré Fragonard The Love Letter

Jean-Honoré Fragonard – The Love Letter

Life and Paintings of Jean Honoré Fragonard (1732   1806)   Jean Honoré Fragonard Psyche Showing Her Sisters Her Gifts from Cupid

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

Life and Paintings of Jean Honoré Fragonard (1732   1806)   Jean Honoré Fragonard Progress of Love the pursuit

Jean-Honoré Fragonard – Progress of Love the pursuit

Life and Paintings of Jean Honoré Fragonard (1732   1806)   Jean Honoré Fragonard Progress of Love The Meeting

Jean-Honoré Fragonard – Progress of Love The Meeting

Life and Paintings of Jean Honoré Fragonard (1732   1806)   Jean Honoré Fragonard Progress of Love The Lover Crowned

Jean-Honoré Fragonard – Progress of Love The Lover Crowned

Life and Paintings of Jean Honoré Fragonard (1732   1806)   Jean Honoré Fragonard Progress of Love The Confession of Love

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

Life and Paintings of Jean Honoré Fragonard (1732   1806)   Jean Honoré Fragonard Night Scene

Jean-Honoré Fragonard – Night Scene

Life and Paintings of Jean Honoré Fragonard (1732   1806)   Jean Honoré Fragonard Music Lesson

Jean-Honoré Fragonard – Music Lesson

Life and Paintings of Jean Honoré Fragonard (1732   1806)   Jean Honoré Fragonard Diana and Endymion

Jean-Honoré Fragonard – Diana and Endymion

Life and Paintings of Jean Honoré Fragonard (1732   1806)   Jean Honoré Fragonard Coresus Sacrificing himself to Save Callirhoe

Jean-Honoré Fragonard – Coresus Sacrificing himself to Save Callirhoe

Life and Paintings of Jean Honoré Fragonard (1732   1806)   Jean Honoré Fragonard Adoration of the Shepherds

Jean-Honoré Fragonard – Adoration of the Shepherds

Life and Paintings of Jean Honoré Fragonard (1732   1806)   Jean Honoré Fragonard A Young Scholar

Jean-Honoré Fragonard – A Young Scholar

Life and Paintings of Jean Honoré Fragonard (1732   1806)   Jean Honoré Fragonard A Game of Hot Cockles

Jean-Honoré Fragonard – A Game of Hot Cockles

Life and Paintings of Jean Honoré Fragonard (1732   1806)   Jean Honoré Fragonard A Game of Horse and Rider

Jean-Honoré Fragonard – A Game of Horse and Rider

Life and Paintings of Jean Honoré Fragonard (1732   1806)   Jean Honoré Fragonard The Visit to the Nursery

Jean-Honoré Fragonard – The Visit to the Nursery

 

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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