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Jean-Antoine Watteau - The French Comedy

Masters of Art: Jean-Antoine Watteau (1684 – 1721)

Jean-Antoine Watteau ( October 10, 1684 – July 18, 1721) was a French painter whose brief career spurred the revival of interest in colour and movement (in the tradition of Correggio and Rubens). He revitalized the waning Baroque style, and indeed moved it to the less severe, more naturalistic, less formally classical Rococo.

Movements: Baroque, Rococo

Watteau is credited with inventing the genre of fêtes galantes: scenes of bucolic and idyllic charm, suffused with an air of theatricality. Some of his best known subjects were drawn from the world of Italian comedy and ballet.

Watteau was born in the town of Valenciennes, which had recently passed from the Spanish Netherlands to France. His father was a master tiler. Showing an early interest in painting, he was apprenticed to Jacques-Albert Gérin, a local painter. Having little to learn from Gérin, Watteau left for Paris in about 1702. There he found employment in a workshop at Pont Notre-Dame, making copies of popular genre paintings in the Flemish and Dutch tradition; it was in that period that he developed his characteristic sketchlike technique.

Jean-Antoine Watteau - The Embarkation for Cythera

Jean-Antoine Watteau – The Embarkation for Cythera

In 1703 he was employed as an assistant by the painter Claude Gillot, whose work represented a reaction against the turgid official art of Louis XIV’s reign. In Gillot’s studio Watteau became acquainted with the characters of the commedia dell’arte (its actors had been expelled from France several years before), a favorite subject of Gillot’s that would become one of Watteau’s lifelong passions. Afterward he moved to the workshop of Claude Audran III, an interior decorator, under whose influence he began to make drawings admired for their consummate elegance. Audran was the curator of the Palais du Luxembourg, where Watteau was able to see the magnificent series of canvases painted by Peter Paul Rubens for Queen Marie de Medici. The Flemish painter would become one of his major influences, together with the Venetian masters he would later study in the collection of his patron and friend, the banker Pierre Crozat.

In 1709 Watteau tried to obtain the Prix de Rome and was rejected by the Academy. In 1712 he tried again and was considered so good that, rather than receiving the one-year stay in Rome for which he had applied, he was accepted as a full member of the Academy. He took five years to deliver the required “reception piece”, but it was one of his masterpieces: the Pilgrimage to Cythera, also called the Embarkation for Cythera.

Interestingly, while Watteau’s paintings seem to epitomize the aristocratic elegance of the Régence (though he actually lived most of his short life under the oppressive climate of Louis XIV’s later reign), he never had aristocratic patrons. His buyers were bourgeois such as bankers and dealers.

Jean-Antoine Watteau - Pierrot

Jean-Antoine Watteau – Pierrot

Although his mature paintings seem to be so many depictions of frivolous fêtes galantes, they in fact display a sober melancholy, a sense of the ultimate futility of life, that makes him, among 18th century painters, one of the closest to modern sensibilities. His many imitators, such as Nicolas Lancret and Jean-Baptiste Pater, borrowed his themes but could not capture his spirit.

Among his most famous paintings, beside the two versions of the Pilgrimage to Cythera (one in the Louvre, the other in the Schloss Charlottenburg, Berlin), are Pierrot (long identified as “Gilles”), Fêtes venitiennes, Love in the Italian Theater, Love in the French Theater, “Voulez-vous triompher des belles?” and Mezzetin. The subject of his hallmark painting, Pierrot or Gilles, with his slowly fading smile, seems a confused actor who appears to have forgotten his lines; he has materialized into the fearful reality of existence, sporting as his only armor the pathetic clown costume. The painting may be read as Watteau’s wry comment on his mortal illness.

La Boudeuse from the Hermitage Museum: “Flirting coquettishly yet innocently, the artist’s imaginary heroes – the deliberately indifferent lady and her insistently attentive cavalier – are shown with gentle irony. Their fragile, elegant world is dominated by a lyrical mood with just a touch of elegiac melancholy.”

Watteau’s final masterpiece, the Shop-sign of Gersaint, exits the pastoral forest locale for a mundane urban set of encounters. Painted at Watteau’s own insistence, “to take the chill off his fingers”, this sign for the shop in Paris of the paintings dealer Edme François Gersaint is effectively the final curtain of Watteau’s theatre. It has been described as Watteau’s Las Meninas, in that the theme appears to be the promotion of art. The scene is an art gallery where the façade has magically vanished. The gallery and street in the canvas are fused into one contiguous drama.

Jean-Antoine Watteau - L'Enseigne de Gersaint

Jean-Antoine Watteau – L’Enseigne de Gersaint

Watteau alarmed his friends by a carelessness about his future and financial security, as if foreseeing he would not live for long. In fact he had been sickly and physically fragile since childhood. In 1720, he travelled to London, England, to consult Dr. Richard Mead, one of the most fashionable physicians of his time and an admirer of Watteau’s work. However, London’s damp and smoky air offset any benefits of Dr. Mead’s wholesome food and medicines. Watteau returned to France and spent his last few months on the estate of his patron, Abbé Haranger, where he died in 1721 perhaps from tuberculous laryngitis at the age of 36. The Abbé said Watteau was semi-conscious and mute during his final days, clutching a paint brush and painting imaginary paintings in the air.

Little known during his lifetime beyond a small circle of his devotees, Watteau “was mentioned but seldom in contemporary art criticism and then usually reprovingly”. Sir Michael Levey once noted that Watteau “created, unwittingly, the concept of the individualistic artist loyal to himself, and himself alone”. If his immediate followers (Lancret and Pater) would depict the unabashed frillery of aristocratic romantic pursuits, Watteau in a few masterpieces anticipates an art about art, the world of art as seen through the eyes of an artist. In contrast to the Rococo whimsicality and licentiousness cultivated by Boucher and Fragonard in the later part of Louis XV’s reign, Watteau’s theatrical panache is usually tinged with a note of sympathy, wistfulness, and sadness at the transience of love and other earthly delights.

Soon after his death a series of engravings was made after his works, The Recueil Jullienne. The quality of the reproductions, using a mixture of engraving and etching following the practice of the Rubens engravers, varied according to the skill of the people employed by Jean de Jullienne, but was often very high. Such a comprehensive record was hitherto unparalleled. This helped disseminate his influence round Europe and into the decorative arts.

Watteau’s influence on the arts (not only painting, but the decorative arts, costume, film, poetry, music) was more extensive than that of almost any other 18th-century artist. According to the 1911 Britannica, “in his treatment of the landscape background and of the atmospheric surroundings of the figures can be found the germs of Impressionism“. The Watteau dress, a long, sacklike dress with loose pleats hanging from the shoulder at the back, similar to those worn by many of the women in his paintings, is named after him. A revived vogue for Watteau began in England during the British Regency, and was later encapsulated by the Goncourt brothers and the World of Art. In 1984 Watteau societies were created in Paris, by Jean Ferré, and London, by Dr. Selby Whittingham. A major exhibition in Paris, Washington and Berlin commemorated the tercentenary of his birth in 1984. Since 2000 a Watteau centre has been established at Valenciennes by Professor Chris Rauseo. A catalogue of his drawings has been compiled by Pierre Rosenberg, replacing the one by Sir Karl Parker, and Alan Wintermute is preparing one for his paintings.

Jean-Antoine Watteau - Fêtes Venitiennes

Jean-Antoine Watteau – Fêtes Venitiennes

 

Jean-Antoine Watteau - The Marriage Contract

Jean-Antoine Watteau – The Marriage Contract

Jean-Antoine Watteau - Merry Company in the Open Air

Jean-Antoine Watteau – Merry Company in the Open Air

Jean-Antoine Watteau - The Blunder

Jean-Antoine Watteau – The Blunder

Jean-Antoine Watteau - The Dance

Jean-Antoine Watteau – The Dance

Jean-Antoine Watteau - The Festival of Love

Jean-Antoine Watteau – The Festival of Love

Jean-Antoine Watteau - The Judgment of Paris

Jean-Antoine Watteau – The Judgment of Paris

Jean-Antoine Watteau - The Love Song

Jean-Antoine Watteau – The Love Song

Jean-Antoine Watteau - The French Comedy

Jean-Antoine Watteau – The French Comedy

Jean-Antoine Watteau - The Italian Comedy

Jean-Antoine Watteau – The Italian Comedy

Jean-Antoine Watteau - Italian Comedians

Jean-Antoine Watteau – Italian Comedians

Jean-Antoine Watteau - Diana at her Bath

Jean-Antoine Watteau – Diana at her Bath

Jean-Antoine Watteau - Gathering in a Park

Jean-Antoine Watteau – Gathering in a Park

Jean-Antoine Watteau - Gathering in the Park

Jean-Antoine Watteau – Gathering in the Park

Jean-Antoine Watteau - Harlequin and Columbine

Jean-Antoine Watteau – Harlequin and Columbine

 

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

 

Article publié pour la première fois le 11/12/2012

Joseph Turner - The Grand Canal, Venice

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

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

Movements: Romanticism, Classicism, Impressionism 

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

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

Joseph Turner - Self-Portrait

Joseph Turner – Self-Portrait

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Joseph Turner - The Grand Canal, Venice

Joseph Turner – The Grand Canal, Venice

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Joseph Turner - Ulysses Deriding Polyphemus

Joseph Turner – Ulysses Deriding Polyphemus

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Joseph Turner - The Angel Standing in the Sun

Joseph Turner – The Angel Standing in the Sun

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Joseph Turner - The Fall of an Avalanche in the Grisons

Joseph Turner – The Fall of an Avalanche in the Grisons

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

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

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

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

Joseph Turner - Campo Santo

Joseph Turner – Campo Santo

Joseph Turner - Dutch Boats in a Gale

Joseph Turner – Dutch Boats in a Gale

Joseph Turner - Frosty Morning

Joseph Turner – Frosty Morning

Joseph Turner - Heriot's Hospital, Edinburgh

Joseph Turner – Heriot’s Hospital, Edinburgh

Joseph Turner - Peace - Burial at Sea

Joseph Turner – Peace – Burial at Sea

Joseph Turner - Peace - The Shipwreck

Joseph Turner – Peace – The Shipwreck

Joseph Turner - Quillebeuf, at the Mouth of Seine

Joseph Turner – Quillebeuf, at the Mouth of Seine

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

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

Joseph Turner - San Giorgio Maggiore at Dawn

Joseph Turner – San Giorgio Maggiore at Dawn

 

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.

 

Article publié pour la première fois le 04/06/2014

Jean-Honoré Fragonard - The Swing 3

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

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

Movements: Rococo

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

Jean-Honoré Fragonard - Jeroboam Offering Sacrifice for the Idol

Jean-Honoré Fragonard – Jeroboam Offering Sacrifice for the Idol

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

Jean-Honoré Fragonard - The Swing

Jean-Honoré Fragonard – The Swing

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

Jean-Honoré Fragonard - The Bathers

Jean-Honoré Fragonard – The Bathers

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

Jean-Honoré Fragonard - The Swing 2

Jean-Honoré Fragonard – The Swing 2

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

Jean-Honoré Fragonard - The Musical Contest

Jean-Honoré Fragonard – The Musical Contest

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

Jean-Honoré Fragonard - The Swing 3

Jean-Honoré Fragonard – The Swing 3

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

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

 

Jean-Honoré Fragonard - The Stolen Kiss

Jean-Honoré Fragonard – The Stolen Kiss

 

Jean-Honoré Fragonard - The Love Letter

Jean-Honoré Fragonard – The Love Letter

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

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

Jean-Honoré Fragonard - Progress of Love the pursuit

Jean-Honoré Fragonard – Progress of Love the pursuit

Jean-Honoré Fragonard - Progress of Love The Meeting

Jean-Honoré Fragonard – Progress of Love The Meeting

Jean-Honoré Fragonard - Progress of Love The Lover Crowned

Jean-Honoré Fragonard – Progress of Love The Lover Crowned

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

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

Jean-Honoré Fragonard - Night Scene

Jean-Honoré Fragonard – Night Scene

Jean-Honoré Fragonard - Music Lesson

Jean-Honoré Fragonard – Music Lesson

Jean-Honoré Fragonard - Diana and Endymion

Jean-Honoré Fragonard – Diana and Endymion

Jean-Honoré Fragonard - Coresus Sacrificing himself to Save Callirhoe

Jean-Honoré Fragonard – Coresus Sacrificing himself to Save Callirhoe

Jean-Honoré Fragonard - Adoration of the Shepherds

Jean-Honoré Fragonard – Adoration of the Shepherds

Jean-Honoré Fragonard - A Young Scholar

Jean-Honoré Fragonard – A Young Scholar

Jean-Honoré Fragonard - A Game of Hot Cockles

Jean-Honoré Fragonard – A Game of Hot Cockles

Jean-Honoré Fragonard - A Game of Horse and Rider

Jean-Honoré Fragonard – A Game of Horse and Rider

Jean-Honoré Fragonard - The Visit to the Nursery

Jean-Honoré Fragonard – The Visit to the Nursery

 

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

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

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

Article publié pour la première fois le 09/05/2014

Red-door-in-the-sunshine-by-Steve-h-feaured

The important elements of visual communication

Being familiar with the elements and principles of design and visual communication in general will enable you to create more effective visual messages whether you are a designer a photographer or an artist. It can help you even if you are not any those, but want to able to talk about what you see in the visual culture using the visual vocabulary. In this post, I’ll be discussing about the elements. (**updated on 27/8/13**)

 

  • Space
What do you see by wdj(0) on Flickr

photo by wdj(0) on Flickr

When we discuss space we usually make the separation and describe it either as negative or positive space.

Positive is the space filled with elements, whereas negative is the empty space. Sometimes which is what can be confusing especially in optical illusions. But both of them are crucial of effective visual communication.

Common design mistakes where space is concerned is totally ignoring the negative space and filling up everything, or trapping the negative space in the center of the layout, leaving holes in the composition.

Remember that our purpose in any form of art is to communicate a message and not fill the canvas or page with unnecessary clutter.

 

  • Line
Are you caught in between the patterns of life By Vinoth Chandar

photo by Vinoth Chandar

Line is our most essential tool in filling up the negative space. They come in many variations, like straight, angular or curvy. And also many flavors like thick, thin, dashed, dotted, etc.

Negative space can also form lines like the lines of the margins in a page, or even our computer screens edge. Lines are used to construct boxes and borders, and also even more sophisticated things like typography.

Additionally they can be used to align, or arrange items in a layout. And control the viewer’s eye’s movement through our composition.

Common design mistake is the use of really thick and bulky borders. Remember that most probably we need to focus the viewer’s eyes inside border, not the border itself!

  • Shape

Shapes or form if you like, can either be organic or inorganic. Inorganic shapes and forms are precisely geometric, such as perfect squares, or circles, polygons etc. We call them thus because they rarely appear in nature.

Organic shapes and forms on the other hand are more easily found in nature. Both can trigger instant recognition, and evoke emotions.

Red door in the sunshine by Steve-h on Flickr

Red door in the sunshine by Steve-h on Flickr

  • Size

Size of elements can be used to emphasize or de-emphasize items in a layout.  Size can either be relatively measured or be of exact size.

  • Patterns

Like shapes patterns can either be organic or inorganic. But unlike shapes patterns are all about repetition. Inorganic patterns are repeated without variation.

Organic patterns are looking more “random” and natural but still the same elements are getting repeated over and over, only this time might be having different sizes or appear in varying distances.

Patterns create order and familiarity in layouts, and depending their usage can communicate a tactile quality.

  • Texture

Mixed media art, acrylic paint, thickly applied oil; the paper we use to print or draw all can provide texture. Texture makes things appear more organic and natural. Designers and artists have some times to create the illusion of a texture to make things more realistic either on screen or on paper.

Textures are also very often misused and overused in the design world. For example while adding a bevel or emboss might seem a good idea for an on-screen mockup, considering it for a print solution is not the best way to go. There are special techniques to achieve this effect in post-production.

Common design mistake is the over abuse of textures literally everywhere .

Remember just because we can do it, doesn’t mean we *really* have to!

Abandoned Mansion, Beirut By craigfinlay on Flickr

Abandoned Mansion, Beirut By craigfinlay on Flickr

  • Value

Value refers to the tones of light and dark. Unlike most people opinions there isn’t just black and white, in between there is a spectacular range of varying shades of gray.

In black and white photography, pictures with very little gray value, lack in variation and seem flat. The same is true in color compositions as well, where tonal values there range from light to dark colors.

Value can create the sense of depth, and also create variation and visual interest. It can be used to emphasize, highlight things and de-emphasize others.

 

If you enjoyed and found useful this article, feel free to comment and also don’t be shy to ask if you have any questions.

Article publié pour la première fois le 27/08/2013

Miroslav Petrov→Warmachine Wrath - Privateer Press 4

Amazing Fantasy and Sci Fi Art by Miroslav Petrov

Today we have with us 23 exciting sci-fi and fantasy paintings by Miroslav Petrov. Let’s learn a bit more about this awesome artist, before we get to enjoy his brilliant works!

Amazing Fantasy and SciFi Art by Miroslav Petrov

Amazing Fantasy and SciFi Art by Miroslav Petrov

” Somewhere between socialism and something else, in the very begining of the upcoming long and cold winter in 1985 was born Miroslav with a marvellous for the time almost 5 kilograms weight.

The creation of Miro:

Till the age of 8-9 the primary observation from teachers was to accept Miro as infant prodigy, BUT some years elapsed and they found that they are and were terribly wrong. For the biggest regret mostly for Miroslav, he didn’t evolve at all from then… the facts tell that it is either because of PC games or the invading age of the naked women on the home screen…
I’ve been drawing since the age of 16-17. I was playing games for more than 10 hours a day when suddenly my biggest inspiration came from Warcraft 3. Samwise and his art team inspired me to start pushing the pencil very hard.After lots of long, painful nights of hard work and skills improvement I decided to step into digital art. I was hired as a concept and texture artist at mastheadstudios.net. I still work there on an ambitious projects and search for fresh ideas… and women. ”

Let’s now enjoy his cool paintings! And remember that you can find much more at his Behance portfolio!

Hope you enjoyed today’s article! Looking forward to hear which one is your favourite! See you next time!

 (Images are displayed here because they are licensed by their creator under Creative commons – Attribution. Exclusively to showcase and promote the artists work!)

Article publié pour la première fois le 25/11/2013

Jean-Baptiste-Camille-Corot---Morning-at-Beauvais

Life and Paintings of Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot (1796 – 1875)

Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot (July 16, 1796 – February 22, 1875) was a French landscape painter and printmaker in etching. Corot was the leading painter of the Barbizon school of France in the mid-nineteenth century. He is a pivotal figure in landscape painting and his vast output simultaneously references the Neo-Classical tradition and anticipates the plein-air innovations of Impressionism.

Movements: Naturalism, Classicism

Camille Corot was born in Paris in 1796, in a house at 125 Rue du Bac, now demolished. His family were bourgeois people—his father was a wigmaker and his mother a milliner—and unlike the experience of some of his artistic colleagues, throughout his life he never felt the want of money, as his parents made good investments and ran their businesses well.

Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot - Self-Portrait

Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot – Self-Portrait

After his parents married, they bought the millinery shop where his mother had worked and his father gave up his career as a wigmaker to run the business side of the shop. The store was a famous destination for fashionable Parisians and earned the family an excellent income. Corot was the second of three children born to the family, who lived above their shop during those years.
Corot received a scholarship to study at the Lycée Pierre-Corneille in Rouen, but left after having scholastic difficulties and entered a boarding school. He “was not a brilliant student, and throughout his entire school career he did not get a single nomination for a prize, not even for the drawing classes.”

Unlike many masters who demonstrated early talent and inclinations toward art, before 1815 Corot showed no such interest. During those years he lived with the Sennegon family, whose patriarch was a friend of Corot’s father and who spent much time with young Corot on nature walks. It was in this region that Corot made his first paintings after nature. At nineteen, Corot was a “big child, shy and awkward. He blushed when spoken to. Before the beautiful ladies who frequented his mother’s salon, he was embarrassed and fled like a wild thing… Emotionally, he was an affectionate and well-behaved son, who adored his mother and trembled when his father spoke.” When Corot’s parents moved into a new residence in 1817, the 21-year-old Corot moved into the dormer-windowed room on the third floor, which became his first studio as well.

With his father’s help he apprenticed to a draper, but he hated commercial life and despised what he called “business tricks”, yet he faithfully remained in the trade until he was 26, when his father consented to his adopting the profession of art. Later Corot stated, “I told my father that business and I were simply incompatible, and that I was getting a divorce.” The business experience proved beneficial, however, by helping him develop an aesthetic sense through his exposure to the colors and textures of the fabrics. Perhaps out of boredom, he turned to oil painting around 1821 and began immediately with landscapes.

Starting in 1822 after the death of his sister, Corot began receiving a yearly allowance of 1500 francs which adequately financed his new career, studio, materials, and travel for the rest of his life. He immediately rented a studio on quai Voltaire.
During the period when Corot acquired the means to devote himself to art, landscape painting was on the upswing and generally divided into two camps: one―historical landscape by Neoclassicists in Southern Europe representing idealized views of real and fancied sites peopled with ancient, mythological, and biblical figures; and two―realistic landscape, more common in Northern Europe, which was largely faithful to actual topography, architecture, and flora, and which often showed figures of peasants. In both approaches, landscape artists would typically begin with outdoor sketching and preliminary painting, with finishing work done indoors.

Highly influential upon French landscape artists in the early 19th century was the work of Englishmen John Constable and J.M.W. Turner, who reinforced the trend in favor of Realism and away from Neoclassicism.

For a short period between 1821–1822, Corot studied with Achille-Etna Michallon, a landscape painter of Corot’s age who was a protégé of the painter David and who was already a well-respected teacher. Michallon had a great influence on Corot’s career. Corot’s drawing lessons included tracing lithographs, copying three-dimensional forms, and making landscape sketches and paintings outdoors, especially in the forests of Fontainebleau, the seaports along Normandy, and the villages west of Paris such as Ville-d’Avray (where his parents had a country house).

Michallon also exposed him to the principles of the French Neoclassic tradition, as espoused in the famous treatise of theorist Pierre-Henri de Valenciennes, and exemplified in the works of French Neoclassicists Claude Lorrain and Nicolas Poussin, whose major aim was the representation of ideal Beauty in nature, linked with events in ancient times.

Though this school was on the decline, it still held sway in the Salon, the foremost art exhibition in France attended by thousands at each event. Corot later stated, “I made my first landscape from nature…under the eye of this painter, whose only advice was to render with the greatest scrupulousness everything I saw before me. The lesson worked; since then I have always treasured precision.”

Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot - Poetry

Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot – Poetry

After Michallon’s early death in 1822, Corot studied with Michallon’s teacher, Jean-Victor Bertin, among the best known Neoclassic landscape painters in France, who had Corot draw copies of lithographs of botanical subjects to learn precise organic forms. Though holding Neoclassicists in the highest regard, Corot did not limit his training to their tradition of allegory set in imagined nature. His notebooks reveal precise renderings of tree trunks, rocks, and plants which show the influence of Northern realism. Throughout his career, Corot demonstrated an inclination to apply both traditions in his work, sometimes combining the two.

With his parents’ support, Corot followed the well-established pattern of French painters who went to Italy to study the masters of the Italian Renaissance and to draw the crumbling monuments of Roman antiquity. A condition by his parents before leaving was that he paint a self-portrait for them, his first. Corot’s stay in Italy from 1825 to 1828 was a highly formative and productive one, during which he completed over 200 drawings and 150 paintings.

He worked and traveled with several young French painters also studying abroad who painted together and socialized at night in the cafes, critiquing each other and gossiping. Corot learned little from the Renaissance masters (though later he cited Leonardo da Vinci as his favorite painter) and spent most of his time around Rome and in the Italian countryside.

The Farnese Gardens with its splendid views of the ancient ruins was a frequent destination, and he painted it at three different times of the day. The training was particularly valuable in gaining an understanding of the challenges of both the mid-range and panoramic perspective, and in effectively placing man-made structures in a natural setting.  He also learned how to give buildings and rocks the effect of volume and solidity with proper light and shadow, while using a smooth and thin technique. Furthermore, placing suitable figures in a secular setting was a necessity of good landscape painting, to add human context and scale, and it was even more important in allegorical landscapes. To that end Corot worked on figure studies in native costume as well as nude.

During winter, he spent time in a studio but returned to work outside as quickly as weather permitted. The intense light of Italy posed considerable challenges, “This sun gives off a light that makes me despair. It makes me feel the utter powerlessness of my palette.” He learned to master the light and to paint the stones and sky in subtle and dramatic variation.

It was not only Italian architecture and light which captured Corot’s attention. The late-blooming Corot was entranced with Italian females as well, “They still have the most beautiful women in the world that I have met….their eyes, their shoulders, their hands are spectacular. In that, they surpass our women, but on the other hand, they are not their equals in grace and kindness…Myself, as a painter I prefer the Italian woman, but I lean toward the French woman when it comes to emotion.”

In spite of his strong attraction to women, he writes of his commitment to painting, “I have only one goal in life that I want to pursue faithfully: to make landscapes. This firm resolution keeps me from a serious attachment. That is to say, in marriage…but my independent nature and my great need for serious study make me take the matter lightly.”

During the six-year period following his first Italian visit and his second, Corot focused on preparing large landscapes for presentation at the Salon. Several of his salon paintings were adaptations of his Italian oil sketches reworked in the studio by adding imagined, formal elements consistent with Neoclassical principles.  An example of this was his first Salon entry, View at Narni (1827), where he took his quick, natural study of a ruin of a Roman aqueduct in dusty bright sun and transformed it into a falsely idyllic pastoral setting with giant shade trees and green lawns, a conversion meant to appeal to the Neoclassical jurors.

Many critics have valued highly his plein-air Italian paintings for their “germ of Impressionism“, their faithfulness to natural light, and their avoidance of academic values, even though they were intended as studies.  Several decades later, Impressionism revolutionized art by a taking a similar approach—quick, spontaneous painting done in the out-of-doors; however, where the Impressionists used rapidly applied, un-mixed colors to capture light and mood, Corot usually mixed and blended his colors to get his dreamy effects.

 

Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot - The Reader Wreathed with Flowers (Virgil's Muse)

Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot – The Reader Wreathed with Flowers (Virgil’s Muse)

Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot - The Coliseum Seen from the Farnese Gardens

Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot – The Coliseum Seen from the Farnese Gardens

Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot - The Cathedral of Chartres

Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot – The Cathedral of Chartres

Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot - The bridge of Narni

Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot – The bridge of Narni

Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot - The Artist's Studio

Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot – The Artist’s Studio

Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot - St Sebastian Succoured by Holy Women

Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot – St Sebastian Succoured by Holy Women

Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot - Agostina

Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot – Agostina

Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot - Young Woman in Pink Dress

Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot – Young Woman in Pink Dress

Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot - Young Woman (Madame Legois)

Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot – Young Woman (Madame Legois)

Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot - Volterra, the Citadel

Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot – Volterra, the Citadel

Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot - Ville d'Avray

Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot – Ville d’Avray

Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot - The Woman with the Pearl

Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot – The Woman with the Pearl

Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot - The Tanneries of Mantes

Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot – The Tanneries of Mantes

Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot - The Solitude. Recollection of Vigen, Limousin

Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot – The Solitude. Recollection of Vigen, Limousin

Corot was the leading painter of the Barbizon school of France in the mid-nineteenth century. He is a pivotal figure in landscape painting. His work simultaneously references the Neo-Classical tradition and anticipates the plein-air innovations of Impressionism. Of him Claude Monet exclaimed “There is only one master here—Corot. We are nothing compared to him, nothing.” His contributions to figure painting are hardly less important;Degas preferred his figures to his landscapes, and the classical figures of Picasso pay overt homage to Corot’s influence.

When out of the studio, Corot traveled throughout France, mirroring his Italian methods, and concentrated on rustic landscapes. He returned to the Normandy coast and to Rouen, the city he lived in as a youth.  Corot also did some portraits of friends and relatives, and received his first commissions. His sensitive portrait of his niece, Laure Sennegon, dressed in powder blue, was one of his most successful and was later donated to the Louvre.  He typically painted two copies of each family portrait, one for the subject and one for the family, and often made copies of his landscapes as well. Corot exhibited one portrait and several landscapes at the Salon in 1831 and 1833. His reception by the critics at the Salon was cold and Corot decided to return to Italy, having failed to satisfy them with his Neoclassical themes.

During his two return trips to Italy, he visited Northern Italy, Venice, and again the Roman countryside. In 1835, Corot created a sensation at the Salon with his biblical painting Agar dans le desert (Hagar in the Wilderness), which depicted Hagar, Sarah’s handmaiden, and the child Ishmael, dying of thirst in the desert until saved by an angel. The background was likely derived from an Italian study.

Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot - Peasants under the Trees at Dawn

Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot – Peasants under the Trees at Dawn

This time, Corot’s unanticipated bold, fresh statement of the Neoclassical ideal succeeded with the critics by demonstrating “the harmony between the setting and the passion or suffering that the painter chooses to depict in it.”
He followed that up with other biblical and mythological subjects, but those paintings did not succeed as well, as the Salon critics found him wanting in comparisons with Poussin.In 1837, he painted his earliest surviving nude, The Nymph of the Seine. Later, he advised his students “The study of the nude, you see, is the best lesson that a landscape painter can have. If someone knows how, without any tricks, to get down a figure, he is able to make a landscape; otherwise he can never do it.”

In the 1860s, Corot was still mixing peasant figures with mythological ones, mixing Neoclassicism with Realism, causing one critic to lament, “If M. Corot would kill, once and for all, the nymphs of his woods and replace them with peasants, I should like him beyond measure.” In reality, in later life his human figures did increase and the nymphs did decrease, but even the human figures were often set in idyllic reveries.

In later life, Corot’s studio was filled with students, models, friends, collectors, and dealers who came and went under the tolerant eye of the master, causing him to quip, “Why is it that there are ten of you around me, and not one of you thinks to relight my pipe.”

Dealers snapped up his works and his prices were often above 4,000 francs per painting.With his success secured, Corot gave generously of his money and time. He became an elder of the artists’ community and would use his influence to gain commissions for other artists. In 1871 he gave £2000 for the poor of Paris, under siege by the Prussians. During the actual Paris Commune, he was at Arras with Alfred Robaut. In 1872 he bought a house in Auvers as a gift for Honoré Daumier, who by then was blind, without resources, and homeless. In 1875 he donated 10.000 francs to the widow of Millet in support of her children. His charity was near proverbial. He also financially supported the upkeep of a day center for children on rue Vandrezanne in Paris. In later life, he remained a humble and modest man, apolitical and happy with his luck in life, and held close the belief that, “men should not puff themselves up with pride, whether they are emperors adding this or that province to their empires or painter who gain a reputation.”

Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot - Morning at Beauvais

Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot – Morning at Beauvais

Despite great success and appreciation among artists, collectors, and the more generous critics, his many friends considered, nevertheless, that he was officially neglected, and in 1874, a short time before his death, they presented him with a gold medal.He died in Paris of a stomach disorder aged 78 and was buried at Père Lachaise Cemetery.

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.

 

Article publié pour la première fois le 23/04/2014

Embellish your home or office with Fine Arts

Embellish your home or office with Fine Arts

In the last few years Modern art has become very popular because of its affordability. The best place for finding modern fine art for sale is the online web galleries. These online galleries have a huge variety of modern wall art for sale in various categories or themes. All you have to do is visit these websites and order the paintings you want. Also for people living in remote areas or towns, shopping online for modern art is the best option.

On the internet you get a far larger and better selection of modern art for sale, which will leave you spellbound. It is easy and cheap to check multiple online web stores for buying contemporary fine art. Once you have selected your modern art, you can pay online through your credit card. Once this is done the painting/modern art   will be delivered to your doorstep.  When you place it on your wall it will add a touch of class and completeness to the room. You can also frame your piece of fine art which will give it another element of distinction. The best thing that has happened to wall décor in recent times , is the availability of modern art for sale. Since buying modern art is an affordable option today, you can even gift the art to friends or relatives.

Fine art prints   refer to prints of artwork on paper or canvas but also to photos of sculptures, craftwork, etc. Fine art refers to the purity of discipline, hence if your art can demonstrate that, it can be called fine art. If you have a piece of hand-made embroidery, you could capture an image of it with a digital camera and sell it as a fine art print. Why is fine art so popular? It is because fine art has a connotation of quality and discipline about it. However, since art is subjective what is high quality for one may not be high quality for another. Knowing this,  you will realize that it is very important to be able to communicate your art discipline to your potential customers and be able to differentiate yourself from all the other fine art artists. Firstly draw inspiration from within yourself and create art and communicate that discipline to your potential customers. This way you will be able to get the attention of people who are able to identify with you through your artwork.

As you keep evolving, you keep reinventing yourself and your fans too will evolve and grow with you. Like everything else you will lose some fans and you will also gain new fans as you grow.  So fearlessly move forward and evolve and grow and share your wonderful fine art  with the world at large. In short, share your fine art prints with the art lovers all over the world.  If your fine art is appreciated you will receive orders for them which will bring you a lot of money. Hence do share your unique talent and beautiful modern fine art with all the world.

Featured Image: Provided by Author – source mfa.org

Article by James Vasanth

James Vasanth writes a blog on Onessimo Fine Arts about Fine Art Photography, Art Galleries and connecting the dots between online and offline. He can be found on Facebook.

 

Article publié pour la première fois le 09/03/2013

Pieter Bruegel the Elder - The Peasant Dance

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

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

Movements: Renaissance, Naturalism

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

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

Pieter Bruegel the Elder - The Peasant Dance

Pieter Bruegel the Elder – The Peasant Dance

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Pieter Bruegel the Elder - The Fall of the Rebel Angels

Pieter Bruegel the Elder – The Fall of the Rebel Angels

Pieter Bruegel the Elder - The Corn Harvest (August)

Pieter Bruegel the Elder – The Corn Harvest (August)

Pieter Bruegel the Elder - The Census at Bethlehem

Pieter Bruegel the Elder – The Census at Bethlehem

Pieter Bruegel the Elder - Peasant Wedding

Pieter Bruegel the Elder – Peasant Wedding

Pieter Bruegel the Elder - Netherlandish Proverbs

Pieter Bruegel the Elder – Netherlandish Proverbs

Pieter Bruegel the Elder - Magpie on the Gallow

Pieter Bruegel the Elder – Magpie on the Gallow

Pieter Bruegel the Elder - Landscape with the Fall of Icarus

Pieter Bruegel the Elder – Landscape with the Fall of Icarus

Pieter Bruegel the Elder - Haymaking (July)

Pieter Bruegel the Elder – Haymaking (July)

Pieter Bruegel the Elder - Gloomy Day (February)

Pieter Bruegel the Elder – Gloomy Day (February)

Pieter Bruegel the Elder - Dulle Griet (Mad Meg)

Pieter Bruegel the Elder – Dulle Griet (Mad Meg)

Pieter Bruegel the Elder - Children's Games

Pieter Bruegel the Elder – Children’s Games

Pieter Bruegel the Elder -The Tower of Babel

Pieter Bruegel the Elder -The Tower of Babel

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

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

Pieter Bruegel the Elder - The Triumph of Death

Pieter Bruegel the Elder – The Triumph of Death

Pieter Bruegel the Elder - The Temptation of St Anthony

Pieter Bruegel the Elder – The Temptation of St Anthony

Pieter Bruegel the Elder - The Suicide of Saul

Pieter Bruegel the Elder – The Suicide of Saul

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

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

Pieter Bruegel the Elder - The Fight between Carnival and Lent

Pieter Bruegel the Elder – The Fight between Carnival and Lent

Influence

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

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

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

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

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.

Article publié pour la première fois le 22/05/2014

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.

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.

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.”

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

Article publié pour la première fois le 18/05/2014

Max Ernst, L'Ange du Foyer ou le Triomphe du Surréalisme (1937), private collection.

History of Modern Art: Surrealism

Hello folks, welcome back to our weekly series of History of Modern Art. Today we’ll review the movement of Surrealism.

Surrealism is a cultural movement that began in the early 1920s, and is best known for its visual artworks and writings. Surrealist works feature the element of surprise, unexpected juxtapositions and non sequitur; however, many Surrealist artists and writers regard their work as an expression of the philosophical movement first and foremost, with the works being an artefact. Leader André Breton was explicit in his assertion that Surrealism was above all a revolutionary movement.

Surrealism developed out of the Dada activities during World War I and the most important center of the movement was Paris. From the 1920s onward, the movement spread around the globe, eventually affecting the visual arts, literature, film, and music of many countries and languages, as well as political thought and practice, philosophy, and social theory.

World War I scattered the writers and artists who had been based in Paris, and in the interim many became involved with Dada, believing that excessive rational thought and bourgeois values had brought the conflict of the war upon the world. The Dadaists protested with anti-art gatherings, performances, writings and art works. After the war, when they returned to Paris, the Dada activities continued.

Caravaggio - St Francis in Meditation

Masters of Art: Caravaggio (1571 – 1610)

Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio (29 September 1571 – 18 July 1610) was an Italian artist active in Rome, Naples, Malta, and Sicily between 1593 and 1610. His paintings, which combine a realistic observation of the human state, both physical and emotional, with a dramatic use of lighting, had a formative influence on the Baroque school of painting.

Movements: Baroque, Pietism, Realism, Caravaggism

Caravaggio trained as a painter in Milan under Simone Peterzano who had himself trained under Titian. In his early twenties Caravaggio moved to Rome where, during the late 16th and early 17th centuries, many huge new churches and palazzi were being built and paintings were needed to fill them. During the Counter-Reformation the Roman Catholic Church searched for religious art with which to counter the threat of Protestantism, and for this task the artificial conventions of Mannerism, which had ruled art for almost a century, no longer seemed adequate.

Caravaggio - The Seven Acts of Mercy

Caravaggio – The Seven Acts of Mercy

Caravaggio’s novelty was a radical naturalism that combined close physical observation with a dramatic, even theatrical, use of chiaroscuro. This came to be known as Tenebrism, the shift from light to dark with little intermediate value. He burst upon the Rome art scene in 1600 with the success of his first public commissions, the Martyrdom of Saint Matthew and Calling of Saint Matthew.

Caravaggio - The Death of the Virgin

Caravaggio – The Death of the Virgin

Thereafter he never lacked commissions or patrons, yet he handled his success atrociously. He was jailed on several occasions, vandalized his own apartment, and ultimately had a death warrant issued for him by the Pope.

An early published notice on him, dating from 1604 and describing his lifestyle three years previously, tells how “after a fortnight’s work he will swagger about for a month or two with a sword at his side and a servant following him, from one ball-court to the next, ever ready to engage in a fight or an argument, so that it is most awkward to get along with him.

Caravaggio led a tumultuous life. He was notorious for brawling, even in a time and place when such behavior was commonplace, and the transcripts of his police records and trial proceedings fill several pages. On 29 May 1606, he killed, possibly unintentionally, a young man named Ranuccio Tomassoni from Terni (Umbria). The circumstances of the brawl and the death of Ranuccio Tomassoni remain mysterious.

Several contemporary avvisi referred to a quarrel over a gambling debt and a tennis game, and this explanation has become established in the popular imagination. [24] But recent scholarship has made it clear that more was involved. Good modern accounts are to be found in Peter Robb’s “M” and Helen Langdon’s “Caravaggio: A Life“. An interesting theory relating the death to Renaissance notions of honour and symbolic wounding has been advanced by art historian Andrew Graham-Dixon.

Previously his high-placed patrons had protected him from the consequences of his escapades, but this time they could do nothing. Caravaggio, outlawed, fled to Naples. There, outside the jurisdiction of the Roman authorities and protected by the Colonna family, the most famous painter in Rome became the most famous in Naples. His connections with the Colonnas led to a stream of important church commissions, including the Madonna of the Rosary, and The Seven Works of Mercy.

Caravaggio - St John the Baptist

Caravaggio – St John the Baptist

Despite his success in Naples, after only a few months in the city Caravaggio left for Malta, the headquarters of the Knights of Malta, presumably hoping that the patronage of Alof de Wignacourt, Grand Master of the Knights, could help him secure a pardon for Tomassoni’s death. De Wignacourt proved so impressed at having the famous artist as official painter to the Order that he inducted him as a knight, and the early biographer Bellori records that the artist was well pleased with his success. Major works from his Malta period include a huge Beheading of Saint John the Baptist (the only painting to which he put his signature) and a Portrait of Alof de Wignacourt and his Page, as well as portraits of other leading knights. Yet by late August 1608 he was arrested and imprisoned. The circumstances surrounding this abrupt change of fortune have long been a matter of speculation, but recent investigation has revealed it to have been the result of yet another brawl, during which the door of a house was battered down and a knight seriously wounded. He was imprisoned by the knights and managed to escape. By December he had been expelled from the Order “as a foul and rotten member.”

Caravaggio made his way to Sicily where he met his old friend Mario Minniti, who was now married and living in Syracuse. Together they set off on what amounted to a triumphal tour from Syracuse to Messina and, maybe, on to the island capital, Palermo. In Syracuse and Messina Caravaggio continued to win prestigious and well-paid commissions. Among other works from this period are Burial of St. Lucy, The Raising of Lazarus, and Adoration of the Shepherds. His style continued to evolve, showing now friezes of figures isolated against vast empty backgrounds.

“His great Sicilian altarpieces isolate their shadowy, pitifully poor figures in vast areas of darkness; they suggest the desperate fears and frailty of man, and at the same time convey, with a new yet desolate tenderness, the beauty of humility and of the meek, who shall inherit the earth.”

Contemporary reports depict a man whose behaviour was becoming increasingly bizarre, sleeping fully armed and in his clothes, ripping up a painting at a slight word of criticism, mocking the local painters.

Caravaggio - St Jerome 2

Caravaggio – St Jerome 2

After only nine months in Sicily, Caravaggio returned to Naples. According to his earliest biographer he was being pursued by enemies while in Sicily and felt it safest to place himself under the protection of the Colonnas until he could secure his pardon from the pope (now Paul V) and return to Rome. In Naples he painted The Denial of Saint Peter, a final John the Baptist (Borghese), and his last picture, The Martyrdom of Saint Ursula. His style continued to evolve — Saint Ursula is caught in a moment of highest action and drama, as the arrow fired by the king of the Huns strikes her in the breast, unlike earlier paintings which had all the immobility of the posed models. The brushwork was much freer and more impressionistic. Had Caravaggio lived, something new would have come.

In Naples an attempt was made on his life, by persons unknown. At first it was reported in Rome that the “famous artist” Caravaggio was dead, but then it was learned that he was alive, but seriously disfigured in the face. He painted a Salome with the Head of John the Baptist (Madrid), showing his own head on a platter, and sent it to de Wignacourt as a plea for forgiveness. Perhaps at this time he painted also a David with the Head of Goliath, showing the young David with a strangely sorrowful expression gazing on the severed head of the giant, which is again Caravaggio’s. This painting he may have sent to his patron the unscrupulous art-loving Cardinal Scipione Borghese, nephew of the pope, who had the power to grant or withhold pardons.

Caravaggio - The Cardsharps

Caravaggio – The Cardsharps

In the summer of 1610 he took a boat northwards to receive the pardon, which seemed imminent thanks to his powerful Roman friends. With him were three last paintings, gifts for Cardinal Scipione. What happened next is the subject of much confusion and conjecture. The bare facts are that on 28 July an anonymous avviso (private newsletter) from Rome to the ducal court of Urbino reported that Caravaggio was dead. Three days later another avviso said that he had died of fever on his way from Naples to Rome. A poet friend of the artist later gave 18 July as the date of death, and a recent researcher claims to have discovered a death notice showing that the artist died on that day of a fever in Porto Ercole, near Grosseto in Tuscany. Human remains found in a church in Porto Ercole in 2010 are believed to almost certainly belong to Caravaggio. The findings come after a year-long investigation using DNA, carbon dating and other analyses. Some scholars argue that Caravaggio was murdered by the same “enemies” that had been pursuing him since he fled Malta, possibly Wignacourt and/or factions in the Order of St. John. Caravaggio might have died of lead poisoning. Bones with high lead levels were recently found in a grave likely to be Caravaggio’s. Paints used at the time contained high amounts of lead salts. Caravaggio is known to have indulged in violent behavior, as caused by lead poisoning.

Infamous while he lived, Caravaggio was forgotten almost immediately after his death, and it was only in the 20th century that his importance to the development of Western art was rediscovered. Despite this, his influence on the new Baroque style that eventually emerged from the ruins of Mannerism was profound.

Paul Valéry’s secretary, said of him: “What begins in the work of Caravaggio is, quite simply, modern painting.”

Caravaggio’s innovations inspired the Baroque, but the Baroque took the drama of his chiaroscuro without the psychological realism. While he directly influenced the style of the artists mentioned above, and, at a distance, the Frenchmen Georges de La Tour and Simon Vouet, and the Spaniard Giuseppe Ribera, within a few decades his works were being ascribed to less scandalous artists, or simply overlooked. The Baroque, to which he contributed so much, had evolved, and fashions had changed, but perhaps more pertinently Caravaggio never established a workshop as the Carracci did, and thus had no school to spread his techniques. Nor did he ever set out his underlying philosophical approach to art, the psychological realism which can only be deduced from his surviving work.

Caravaggio - The Calling of Saint Matthew

Caravaggio – The Calling of Saint Matthew

Thus his reputation was doubly vulnerable to the critical demolition-jobs done by two of his earliest biographers, Giovanni Baglione, a rival painter with a personal vendetta, and the influential 17th century critic Gian Pietro Bellori, who had not known him but was under the influence of the earlier Giovanni Battista Agucchi and Bellori’s friend Poussin, in preferring the “classical-idealistic” tradition of the Bolognese school led by the Carracci. Baglione, his first biographer, played a considerable part in creating the legend of Caravaggio’s unstable and violent character, as well as his inability to draw.

In the 1920s, art critic Roberto Longhi brought Caravaggio’s name once more to the foreground, and placed him in the European tradition: “Ribera, Vermeer, La Tour and Rembrandt could never have existed without him. And the art of Delacroix, Courbet and Manet would have been utterly different“. The influential Bernard Berenson agreed: “With the exception of Michelangelo, no other Italian painter exercised so great an influence.

Only about 80 paintings by Caravaggio have survived, but some lost works have been found from time to time. One, The Calling of Saints Peter and Andrew, was recently authenticated and restored; it had been in storage in Hampton Court, mislabeled as a copy. Richard Francis Burton writes of a “picture of St. Rosario (in the museum of the Grand Duke of Tuscany), showing a circle of thirty men turpiter ligati” which is not known to have survived. The rejected version of The Inspiration of Saint Matthew intended for the Contarelli Chapel in San Luigi dei Francesi in Rome was destroyed during the bombing of Dresden, though black and white photographs of the work exist. In June 2011 it was announced that a previously unknown Caravaggio painting of Saint Augustine dating to about 1600 had been discovered in a private collection in Britain. Called a “significant discovery”, the painting had never been published and is thought to have been commissioned by Vincenzo Giustiniani, a patron of the painter in Rome.

Caravaggio’s epitaph was composed by his friend Marzio Milesi. It reads:

Michelangelo Merisi, son of Fermo di Caravaggio – in painting not equal to a painter, but to Nature itself – died in Port’ Ercole – betaking himself hither from Naples – returning to Rome – 15th calend of August – In the year of our Lord 1610 – He lived thirty-six years nine months and twenty days – Marzio Milesi, Jurisconsult – Dedicated this to a friend of extraordinary genius.

 

Let’s now enjoy some more of his most celebrated works:

Caravaggio - The Taking of Christ

Caravaggio – The Taking of Christ

Caravaggio - Burial of St Lucy

Caravaggio – Burial of St Lucy

Caravaggio - Judith Beheading Holofernes

Caravaggio – Judith Beheading Holofernes

Caravaggio - Madonna dei Palafrenieri

Caravaggio – Madonna dei Palafrenieri

Caravaggio - Madonna del Rosario

Caravaggio – Madonna del Rosario

Caravaggio - Martha and Mary Magdalene

Caravaggio – Martha and Mary Magdalene

Caravaggio - Rest on Flight to Egypt

Caravaggio – Rest on Flight to Egypt

Caravaggio - St Catherine of Alexandria

Caravaggio – St Catherine of Alexandria

Caravaggio - St Francis in Meditation

Caravaggio – St Francis in Meditation

Caravaggio - Supper at Emmaus 2

Caravaggio – Supper at Emmaus 2

Caravaggio - Supper at Emmaus

Caravaggio – Supper at Emmaus

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.

 

Article publié pour la première fois le 26/10/2012

Florian-NICOLLE→illustrations-2011

Amazing Illustrations by Florian Nicolle

Today we have with us some of the amazing illustrations of Florian Nicolle that she made between 2009 – 2011. Florian Nicolle (aka neo), is a  25 years old graphic designer and illustrator from France. Her clients include Puma, Los Angeles Times, ESPN classic, NIKE, Warner Bros, KHL, Hachette livre. You can find more of her work in her portfolio at Behance.

As you will see her style is very fresh and unique and as she describes it:

I try to create an image that retains its freshness of the first paint stroke, the expressions of the line have to be very free and spontaneous. While keeping a rigorous drawing. So i use fast techniques, like a bic, large brush, watercolor and chines ink.

Hope you enjoyed today’s article! Looking forward to hear which one is your favourite! See you next time!

 (Images are licensed by their creator under Creative commons – Attribution (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0) and are displayed here exclusively to showcase and promote the artists work!)

Article publié pour la première fois le 26/12/2013

Théodore Géricault - The Wreck

Life and Paintings of Théodore Géricault (1791 – 1824)

Jean-Louis André Théodore Géricault (26 September 1791 – 26 January 1824) was a profoundly influential French artist, painter and lithographer, known for The Raft of the Medusa and other paintings. Although he died young, he became one of the pioneers of the Romantic movement.

Movements: Romanticism

Born in Rouen, France, Géricault was educated in the tradition of English sporting art by Carle Vernetand classical figure composition by Pierre-Narcisse Guérin, a rigorous classicist who disapproved of his student’s impulsive temperament yet recognized his talent.

Géricault soon left the classroom, choosing to study at the Louvre instead, where (from 1810 to 1815) he copied from paintings by Peter Paul Rubens, Titian, Diego Velázquez, and Rembrandt. During this period at the Louvre he discovered a vitality he found lacking in the prevailing school of Neoclassicism. Much of his time was spent in Versailles, where he found the stables of the palace open to him, and where he gained his knowledge of the anatomy and action of horses.

His first major work, The Charging Chasseur, exhibited at the Paris Salon of 1812, revealed the influence of the style of Rubens and an interest in the depiction of contemporary subject matter. This youthful success, ambitious and monumental, was followed by a change in direction: for the next several years Géricault produced a series of small studies of horses and cavalrymen.

Théodore Géricault - The Wounded Officer of the Imperial Guard Leaving the Battlefield

Théodore Géricault – The Wounded Officer of the Imperial Guard Leaving the Battlefield

He exhibited Wounded Cuirassier at the Salon in 1814, a work more labored and less well received. Géricault in a fit of disappointment entered the army and served for a time in the garrison of Versailles. In the nearly two years that followed the 1814 Salon, he also underwent a self-imposed study of figure construction and composition, all the while evidencing a personal predilection for drama and expressive force.

A trip to Florence, Rome, and Naples (1816–17), prompted in part by the desire to flee from a romantic entanglement with his aunt, ignited a fascination with Michelangelo. Rome itself inspired the preparation of a monumental canvas, the Race of the Barberi Horses, a work of epic composition and abstracted theme that promised to be “entirely without parallel in its time”.

In the event, Géricault never completed the painting, and returned to France. In 1821, he painted The Derby of Epsom. Géricault continually returned to the military themes of his early paintings, and the series of lithographs he undertook on military subjects after his return from Italy are considered some of the earliest masterworks in that medium. Perhaps his most significant, and certainly most ambitious work, is The Raft of the Medusa (1818–1819), which depicted the aftermath of a contemporary French shipwreck, Meduse, in which the captain had left the crew and passengers to die.The incident became a national scandal, and Géricault’s dramatic interpretation presented a contemporary tragedy on a monumental scale. The painting’s notoriety stemmed from its indictment of a corrupt establishment, but it also dramatized a more eternal theme, that of man’s struggle with nature. It surely excited the imagination of the young Eugène Delacroix, who posed for one of the dying figures.

Théodore Géricault - The Epsom Derby

Théodore Géricault – The Epsom Derby

The classical depiction of the figures and structure of the composition stand in contrast to the turbulence of the subject, and creates an important bridge between the styles of neo-classicismand romanticism. The painting fuses many influences: the Last Judgment of Michelangelo, the monumental approach to contemporary events by Antoine-Jean Gros, figure groupings by Henry Fuseli, and possibly the painting Watson and the Shark by John Singleton Copley.

The painting ignited political controversy when first exhibited at the Paris Salon of 1819; it then traveled to England in 1820, accompanied by Géricault himself, where it received much praise. While in London, Géricault witnessed urban poverty, made drawings of his impressions, and published lithographs based on these observations which were free of sentimentality.He associated much there with Charlet, the lithographer and caricaturist.

 

Théodore Géricault - Riderless Racers at Rome

Théodore Géricault – Riderless Racers at Rome

Théodore Géricault - Insane Woman

Théodore Géricault – Insane Woman

Théodore Géricault - Study of a Head

Théodore Géricault – Study of a Head

Théodore Géricault - Rideless Horse Races

Théodore Géricault – Rideless Horse Races

Théodore Géricault - Portrait of a Kleptomaniac

Théodore Géricault – Portrait of a Kleptomaniac

Théodore Géricault - Man with Delusions of Military Command

Théodore Géricault – Man with Delusions of Military Command

Théodore Géricault - An Officer of the Chasseurs Commanding a Charge

Théodore Géricault – An Officer of the Chasseurs Commanding a Charge

Théodore Géricault - The Wreck

Théodore Géricault – The Wreck

After his return to France in 1821, Géricault was inspired to paint a series of ten portraits of the insane, the patients of a friend, Dr. Étienne-Jean Georget, a pioneer in psychiatric medicine, with each subject exhibiting a different affliction.

Gerbrand van den Eeckhout - Portrait Of A Family

Life and Paintings of Gerbrand van den Eeckhout (1621 – 1674)

Gerbrand van den Eeckhout (August 19, 1621 – September 29, 1674), was a Dutch Golden Age painter and a favourite student of Rembrandt. He was also an etcher, an amateur poet, a collector and an adviser on art.

Gerbrand was born in Amsterdam, the son of a jeweller, a Mennonite who fled after 1585 from Antwerp to the north. In 1631 his mother died. His father’s second wife was Cornelia Dedel, the daughter of a founder of the Delft chamber of the Dutch East India Company.

Gerbrand van den Eeckhout - Volumnia pleading with her son Coriolanus to spare Rome

Gerbrand van den Eeckhout – Volumnia pleading with her son Coriolanus to spare Rome

Arnold Houbraken records Van den Eeckhout was a pupil of Rembrandt. A fellow pupil to Ferdinand Bol, Nicolaes Maes and Govert Flinck, be regarded as inferior to them in skill and experience; he soon assumed Rembrandt’s manner with such success that his pictures were confused with those of his master.

Eeckhout does not merely copy the subjects; he also takes the shapes, the figures, the Jewish dress and the pictorial effects of his master. It is difficult to form an exact judgment of Eeckhout’s qualities at the outset of his career. His earliest pieces are probably those in which he more faithfully reproduced Rembrandt’s peculiarities. Exclusively his is a tinge of green in shadows marring the harmony of the work, a gaudiness of jarring tints, uniform surface and a touch more quick than subtle.

Gerbrand van den Eeckhout - Vertumnus and Pomona

Gerbrand van den Eeckhout – Vertumnus and Pomona

Eeckhout matriculated early in the Gild of Amsterdam. As he grew older Eeckhout succeeded best in portraits, for example that of the historian Olfert Dapper (1669), in the Städel collection in Frankfurt. Eeckhout occasionally varied his style. He followed Gerard ter Borch in Gambling Soldiers, at Stafford House, and a Soldiers’ Merrymaking, in the collection of the marquess of Bute. Amongst the best of Eeckhout’s works are Christ in the Temple (1662), at Munich, and the Haman and Mordecai of 1665, at Luton House.

Eeckhout, unmarried, was also appreciated as art connoisseur, and dealing with poets and scientists. At the end of his life he was living with his sister-in-law, a widow, on Herengracht, at a very prestigious part of the canal. He died in Amsterdam.

Gerbrand van den Eeckhout - Presentation In The Temple (1671)

Gerbrand van den Eeckhout – Presentation in the Temple (1671)

 

Gerbrand van den Eeckhout - Presentation In The Temple

Gerbrand van den Eeckhout – Presentation in the Temple

 

Gerbrand van den Eeckhout - Portrait Of A Family

Gerbrand van den Eeckhout – Portrait of a Family

 

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Article publié pour la première fois le 02/05/2014