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message 1: by Heather (new)

Heather Venetian Rivals

Prologue: Titian, Tintoretto, Veronese – rivalry emerges
Titian (Tiziano Vecellio), born in Pieve di Cadore, in the Dolomites, came under the Venetian spell through his apprenticeship with the Bellini clan and Giorgione. He swiftly rose to fame in Venice from 1520, then throughout Italy and Europe.

Danae - Titian

Tintoretto (Jacopo Robusti) was born in Venice around 1518. Thirty years stood between him and Titian, who was apparently his master for a while. Yet a mutual disliking seemed to take a firm hold between them, and many commissions or promises of commissions appeared as attempts to outdo or thwart the other man.

Esther before Ahasuerus - Tintoretto

Veronese (Paolo Caliari) was born in Verona in 1528. In the 1550s he moved to Venice, where he soon received a large number of commissions from churches or the Doge’s Palace, thereby overshadowing Tintoretto. He apparently became Titian’s protégé or even a pawn in his rivalry with Tintoretto.

Alessandro Vittoria - Veronese
These three painters were to rub shoulders for over thirty years, and after Titian’s death in 1576, the other two would continue their mutual confrontation for another dozen years. Though rivals, they also influenced and inspired one another. For each artist, the others’ work was a stimulus that demanded a response. Their contribution to artistic revival was huge in their use of oil on canvas, their focus on “color” as opposed to “line”, and the emergence of easel painting that was to transform not only Venetian art but also the whole of European painting itself.

Artistic competitiveness was not merely a Venetian phenomenon as it was already to be found a few decades earlier in Rome, Florence, and other major cities. Yet in the case of Venice, it did not lead to aesthetic degradation but rather to emulation and a profusion of ideas. Commissions from private sources, churches, and institutions, as well as from foreign clients, poured in. Venetian society did not bestow its favors upon one particular artist but maintained a sense of harmony by sharing out official commissions among an unequaled pool of painters. The paintings’ format and the fact that they were painted on canvas made them very popular and many amateurs collected their works. A host of critics would hold forth upon each artist’s latest offerings, and the general public could compare their work, talent, and progress.

Various artistic contests gave a clearer picture of how rivalry among artists was a vital source of artistic revival and creation. Patrons would ask artists to design a very thorough introductory drawing (a modello) on a predetermined subject, whether for the Sala Grande of the Libreria Marciana, for the Sala dell’Albergo of the Scuola Grande di San Rocco, for the Marzeri altar in the church of San Giuliano, or for the Grand Council chamber of the Doge’s Palace; a painted modello was apparently required only in the case of the competition to design the “Paradise” fresco for the Grand Council chamber of the Doge’s Palace.

message 2: by Carol (new)

Carol (goodreadscomcarolann) | 1140 comments Birthday recap:

August 2, 1871: John French Sloan
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self portrait, 1890, oil on window shade

Sloan was a member of The Eight, a group of American artists, where he became a leading figure in the Ashcan School of Realist artists. He was known for his urban genre painting and ability to capture the essence of neighborhood life in New York City, often through his window.

Sloan deeply admired French lithographers for their ruthless edge, especially Daumier. He could never honestly pretend to paint as a "man of the people," a routine claim among socialist artists. "I never mingled with the people," he would later say, "and the sympathy and understanding I have for the common people, as they are meanly called, I feel as a spectator of life." Sloan died of cancer in New Hampshire in 1951.
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Six O’Clock, Winter, 1912, oil on canvas, The Phillips Collection, Washington

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South Beach Bathers, 1907-08, oil on canvas, Walker Art Center, Minneapolis

August 2, 1880: Arthur Garfield Dove
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Dove was an American Modernist and the first American artist to paint a completely abstract painting (or rather a set of six) in 1910 before Kandinsky. Dove's work was all about nature, from beginning to end. Dove died in 1946.

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Me and the Moon, 1937, wax emulsion on canvas, Phillips Collection

"I would like to make something that is real in itself, that does not remind anyone of any other thing, and that does not have to be explained like the letter A, for instance." – Arthur Dove

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Dancing Willows, 1944, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

message 3: by Carol (new)

Carol (goodreadscomcarolann) | 1140 comments Happy birthday (August 5, 1920) to George Clair Tooker, Jr.
who turned 90 years old today!

Tooker is a figurative painter associated with both the Magic Realism movement and the Social Realism movement. Tooker currently lives in Brooklyn, NY.

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Subway, 1950, Whitney Museum of American Art

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Landscape with figures, 1965-66

More --

message 4: by Ruth (new)

Ruth | 1945 comments I love Tooker's weirdness.

message 5: by Carol (new)

Carol (goodreadscomcarolann) | 1140 comments Happy Birthday to ANDY WARHOL -- August 6, 1928.

"Don't pay any attention to what they write about you. Just measure it in inches."
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Julia Warhola with
 John Warhola (left) and 
Andrew Warhola (right)
16 months old, 1931

Andy Warhol was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. His birth name was Andrew Warhola. His parents, Ondrej (aka Andrej) Warhola and Julia (née Zavacky) were immigrants from Miková in northeastern Slovakia. (BC11) He had two older brothers - Paul, born in 1922 and John, born in 1925. During his lifetime, Warhol gave various dates for his birth but the correct one is August 6, 1928, based on a birth certificate that was filed late in order to qualify him for college and his certificate of baptism.

Even as a young boy, Warhol liked to draw, color, and cut and paste pictures. His mother, who was also artistic, would encourage him by giving him a chocolate bar every time he finished a page in his coloring book. Elementary school was traumatic for Warhol, especially once he contracted St. Vitus' dance (chorea, a disease that attacks the nervous system and makes someone shake uncontrollably). Warhol missed a lot of school during several month-long periods of bed-rest. Plus, large, pink blotches on Warhol's skin, also from St. Vitus' dance, didn't help his self-esteem or acceptance by other students.

During high school, Warhol took art classes both at school and at the Carnegie Museum. He was somewhat of an outcast because he was quiet, could always be found with a sketchbook in his hands, and had shockingly pale skin and white-blonde hair. Warhol also loved to go to movies and started a collection of celebrity memorabilia, especially autographed photos. A number of these pictures appeared in Warhol's later artwork. Warhol graduated from high school and then went to Carnegie Institute of Technology, where he graduated in 1949 with a major in pictorial design.

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It was during his college years that Warhol discovered the blotted-line technique. The technique required Warhol to tape two pieces of blank paper together and then draw in ink on one page. Before the ink dried, he would press the two pieces of paper together. The result was a picture with irregular lines that he would color in with watercolor. Right after college, Warhol moved to New York. He quickly earned a reputation in the 1950s for using the blotted-line technique in numerous commercial advertisements. Some of Warhol's most famous ads were for shoes for I. Miller, but he also drew Christmas cards for Tiffany & Company, created book and album covers, as well as illustrated Amy Vanderbilt's Complete Book of Etiquette.

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Around 1960, Warhol had decided to make a name for himself in pop art. Pop art was a new style of art that began in England in the mid-1950s and consisted of realistic renditions of popular, everyday items. Warhol turned away from the blotted-line technique and chose to use paint and canvas but at first he had some trouble deciding what to paint. Warhol began with Coke bottles and comic strips but his work wasn't getting the attention he wanted. In December 1961, Warhol gave $50 to a friend of his who had told him she had a good idea. Her idea was for him to paint what he liked most in the world, perhaps something like money and a can of soup. Warhol painted both.

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Campbell Soup Cans, Synthetic polymer paint on canvas, 1962, MoMA

Warhol's first exhibition in an art gallery came in 1962 at the Ferus Gallery in Los Angeles. He displayed his canvases of Campbell's soup, one canvas for each of the 32 types of Campbell's soup. He sold all the paintings as a set for a $1000.

Unfortunately, Warhol found that he couldn't make his paintings fast enough on canvas. Luckily in July 1962, he discovered the process of silk screening. This technique uses a specially prepared section of silk as a stencil, allowing one silk-screen to create similar patterns multiple times. He immediately began making paintings of celebrities, most notably a large collection of paintings of Marilyn Monroe. Warhol would use this style for the rest of his life.
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In the 1960s, Warhol continued to paint and he also made films. From 1963 to 1968, he made nearly 60 movies. One of his movies, Sleep is a five-and-a-half hour film of a man sleeping. On July 3, 1968, disgruntled actress Valerie Solanas walked into Warhol's studio ("the Factory") and shot Warhol in the chest. Less than thirty minutes later, Warhol was pronounced clinically dead. The doctor then cut Warhol's chest open and massaged his heart for a final effort to get it started again. It worked. Though his life was saved, it took a long time for his health to recover.

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During the 1970s and 1980s, Warhol continued to paint. He also began publishing a magazine called Interview and several books about himself and pop art. He even dabbled in television. On February 21, 1987, Warhol underwent a routine gall bladder surgery. Though the surgery went well, for an unknown reason Warhol unexpectedly passed away the following morning. He was 58-years old.


message 6: by Carol (new)

Carol (goodreadscomcarolann) | 1140 comments Ruth wrote: "I love Tooker's weirdness."

I like his work - some pieces are strange but I can relate to his subject matter --

message 7: by Heather (new)

Heather In Memory of Diego Rodríguez de Silva y Velazquez

Died August 6, 1660.

Spain's greatest Baroque era painter. Many of his earliest paintings show a strong naturalist bias, as in The Meal (1617), a bodegon which may have been his first work as an independent master. In his bodegones, such as Water Seller of Seville (1620), the masterly effects of light and shadow, as well as the direct observation of nature, make inevitable a comparison with the work of Caravaggio.

Water Seller of Seville ~ Valazquez

For his religious paintings, images of simple piety, Velazquez used as models people drawn from the streets of Seville. In Adoration by the Magi (1619), for example, the biblical figures are portraits of members of his own family; a self-portrait is included as well.

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The adoration of the Magi ~ Valazquez

He was named official painter to the king. The portrait was the first among many such sober, direct depictions of the king, the royal family, and members of the court. Indeed, throughout the later 1620s, Velazquez dedicated most of his efforts to portraiture. Mythological subjects would at times occupy his attention, as in Bacchus or The Drinkers (1629).

Bacchus ~ Velazquez

In August 1629 Velazquez left Barcelona for Genoa and spent most of the next two years traveling in Italy. From Genoa he proceeded to Milan, Venice, Florence, and Rome, returning to Spain from Naples in January 1631. In the course of his journey he closely studied both the art of the Renaissance and contemporaneous painting.

In 1634 Velazquez organized the decoration of the throne room; this scheme consisted of 12 scenes of battles in which Spanish troops had been victorious. Velazquez's contribution to the cycle of battle pictures included .The Surrender of Breda (1634), portraying a magnanimous Spanish general receiving the leader of defeated Flemish troops. The delicacy of handling and astonishing range of emotions captured in a single painting make this the most celebrated historical composition of Spanish Baroque art.

The Surrender of Breda ~ Velazquez

The key works of the last two decades of Velazquez's life are Fable of Arachne (1646), an image of sophisticated mythological symbolism, and his masterwork, .Las Meninas (1656), a stunning group portrait of the royal family and Velazquez himself in the act of painting. Velazquez continued to serve Philip IV as painter, courtier, and faithful friend until the artist's death in Madrid. His work had a subtle impact a century later on his greatest successor, Francisco de Goya.

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Las Meninas ~ Velazquez

Diego Rodraguez de Silva y Velazquez is considered to have been the Spain's greatest baroque artist. With Francisco de Goya and El Greco, he forms the great triumvirate of Spanish painting.

message 8: by Carol (new)

Carol (goodreadscomcarolann) | 1140 comments Happy birthday to Emil Nolde, August 7, 1867.

Portrait of a man, 1926, watercolor, Hermitage Museum, Saint Petersburg

Nolde was a German Expressionist painter, printmaker, and watercolorist. Born to a peasant family, he carved wood for a living and came late to painting. Though a member of Die Brücke (1906 – 07), he was essentially a solitary painter. He is known for his vigorous brushwork and expressive choice of colors. Golden yellows and deep reds appear frequently in his work, giving a luminous quality to otherwise somber tones. His watercolors include vivid, brooding storm-scapes and brilliant florals. Nolde's intense preoccupation with the subject of flowers reflect his continuing interest in the art of Vincent Van Gogh.

Prophet, 1912, woodcut
This brooding face confronts the viewer with an immediacy and deep emotion that leave no doubt about the prophet's spirituality. His hollow eyes, furrowed brow, sunken cheeks, and solemn countenance express his innermost feelings. Three years before Nolde executed this print, he had experienced a religious transformation while recovering from an illness. Following this episode, he began depicting religious subjects in paintings and prints, such as the image seen here. -- MoMA

Fervently religious and racked by a sense of sin, he created such works as Dance Around the Golden Calf (1910), in which the figures' erotic frenzy and demonic faces are rendered with deliberately crude draftsmanship and dissonant colors.

Dance Around the Golden Calf, 1910, Oil on canvas, Staatsgalerie moderner Kunst, Munich

On an ethnological expedition to the East Indies (1913 – 14), he was impressed by the power of the art he saw there. Back in Europe, he produced brooding landscapes (e.g., Marsh Landscape, 1916) and colorful flowers. As a printmaker he was noted especially for the stark black-and-white effect of his crudely incised woodcuts. Although he was an early advocate of Germany's National Socialist Party, the party declared his art "degenerate" and forbade him to paint. His late, postwar works reveal his disillusionment.

Crucifixion, 1912, Oil on canvas, 220.5 x 193.5 cm, Nolde-Stiftung Seebull

Marshy Landscape Under the Evening Sky, c.1943, watercolor

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Sommerblumen-1953, Watercolor and tempera on Japan paper



message 9: by Jonathan (new)

Jonathan Lopez | 257 comments Sorry I haven't been checking in on the birthday thread--it's been such a hectic summer.

I see I've missed Warhol and Velázquez, two of my favorites. And Tooker, whom I had never heard of until about 5 years ago when there was a big retrospective here in New York. Tooker was really a good artist, if a bit weird...

message 10: by Carol (new)

Carol (goodreadscomcarolann) | 1140 comments Happy birthday to William Harnett on August 10, 1848.

Harnett was an Irish-American painter who practiced a trompe l'oeil style of realistic painting where his still life of ordinary objects are painted in such a way that the painting can be mistaken for the objects themselves.

Harnett along with another artist from Philadelphia, John Frederick Peto, engaged in a virtual fetishization of the mundane. Their common subject, indeed their obsessive theme, was the still life. Harnett seldom painted the human face or figure, and Peto never did, except when quoting a photograph. Harnett, the more popular of the two though, in the end, a lesser artist, traded on the relative naivete that Americans had about illusion at the dawn of the photographic age: less blase than we are about images, because less drenched in them, his public loved to have its eyes fooled. People associated the trompe l'oeil painter with the trickster, the con man, the card sharp. "How did be do that?" To be fooled and know you are being fooled (along with others) is a truly democratic joy. "So real is it," wrote a Cincinnati Journalist in 1886 about a Harnett called The Old Violin, "that [a guard:] has been detailed to stand beside the picture and suppress any attempts to take down the fiddle and bow...

The Old Violin

Mr. Harnett is of the Munich school, and takes delight in defying the possibillties." To others, Harnett's skills suggested a classical parallel: he was the American Zeuxis, the ancient Greek painter who supposedly could paint grapes so lifelike that birds flew down to peck at them.

Little as we know of Harnett, it seems likely that he enjoyed the idea of the artist as forger - the shady implications of the illusionist's tour de force. One of the things he painted, for instance, was money: Treasury bills, as inviting to the American hand as Zeuxis' grapes were to the bird's beak. Desire makes deception, and what is more desirable than money? You may not like a peach, a dead rabbit, or an old visiting card nearly as much. A reproduction, on a flat surface, of a flat (but crinkled) piece of paper - this held unusually rich possibilities of deception, but the trouble was that the U.S. Treasury, not interested in the philosophical questions that surround the shifty point where reproduction ends and forgery begins, took a different view. In 1886 the Feds confiscated a Harnett painting of a five dollar bill from the wall of a New York saloon and visited Harnett's studio with the intent of arresting him for forgery. He talked his way out of it.

By the end of the decade, his style had matured. The Artist's Letter Rack, 1879, is a collation of letters, visiting cards, and a theater ticket, the meager index of an artist's social life, held by a crisscrossed square of pink tape to an unvarnished pine board. Everything is actual size, and the flatness of the board corresponds to the flatness of the painting, so that the illusion is perfect. The marks of pencil and chalk on the board look like chalk and pencil, not oil paint; each grain line in the cheap wood and fuzzy fiber in the torn paper edges is there, and the play of the yellow and blue rectangles against the square of tape has the lovely spareness of a Motherwell collage.

Harnett's work was made in a time when America was flooded, as never before, with brand new, machine made, mass marketed, store bought goods. And yet these never appear in his paintings. As he put it (in his sole recorded comment on his own work): "The chief difficulty I have found has not been the grouping of my models, but their choice. To find a subject that paints well is not an easy task. As a rule, new things do not paint well. . . . I want my models to have ... the rich effect that age and usage gives."

Preferring the worn and old to the new and shiny, he also avoided the richness of the "antique": almost nothing depicted in Harnett's work is precious, unlike the exquisitely blown glass or the cunning orfevrerie in a seventeenth century Dutch or Spanish still life. His paintings, in other words, are not emblems of material glory and bear no relation to the show-offy, accumulative, value-choked spirit of America in the Gilded Age. The objects in them are not antiques, but bric a brac: in a word, junk. They are what the new rich consign to the attic as they rise, and eventually throw out. An exception to his refusal of newness was printed media not only Treasury bills but souvenirs of the enormous mass of handbills, chromos, sheet music, newspapers, pamphlets, and the rest that were pouring from America's mechanical presses. The act of meticulously hand painting images that were in fact mechanical in origin was perverse.

Still Life with Violin, 1888, Oil on canvas, New Britain Museum of American Art

When Harnett - and Peto, too - painted their pipes, horseshoes, worn boxes, dented candlesticks, and rusty hinged cupboard doors, few of these "models" were more than fifty years old. They all bear the marks of recent social use. But the implication is that the society that used them is vanishing or has gone, and has become an object of nostalgia.

Harnett, in 1890, painted an ivory handled revolver hanging by the trigger guard on a nail. He called it The Faithful Colt: it is old (thirty years old, this 1860s model) and belongs to the era of the Civil War and the opening of the West, in which, its title implies, it once did yeoman service. The work of these illusionists suggests a vanished age to us in the 1990s, but the real point is that it also suggested one to their audience.

Nostalgia, in the America of the 1880s, was a new kind of emotion. It consisted of a warm but anxious regard for a past which was still notionally within reach, but was perceived - correctly - as slipping away. This was the past of a less complicated and accelerated America, sparsely but sufficiently endowed with handmade objects rather than glutted with machine made ones.

It is largely a masculine domain, the "world of the fathers," with its much fondled briar pipes, rusty horseshoes, and tattered books: no mothers are commemorated, since there are no objects such as sewing instruments or kitchen utensils that might be identified with the work of women. Thus Harnett, Peto, and their illusionist confreres sought, with some accuracy, a fault line in American history: the way in which America's eager anticipation of the future turned, for some Americans at least, into a more hesitant, qualified, and doubt ridden view of progress.

Mr. Hulings' Rack Picture, Detail, 1888, Oil on canvas. Private collection.

The son of an immigrant Irish shoemaker from Cork, Harnett died of kidney failure at the age of forty-four.

message 11: by Ruth (new)

Ruth | 1945 comments I admit to a fascination with trompe l'oeil. I used to teach my advanced drawing students how to do it, and the lesson was always popular.

message 12: by Carol (new)

Carol (goodreadscomcarolann) | 1140 comments Happy birthday to George Wesley Bellows, on August 12, 1882.

Bellows painted the city life in New York City. His paintings had an expressionist boldness and a willingness to take risks. He had a fascination with violence as seen in his painting, Both Members of this Club, which depicts a rather gory boxing scene. In his painting titled Cliff Dwellers, (below), we find a city-scape that is not one particular view but a composite of many views.

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Both Members of This Club, 1909

A robust and vigorous man, George Bellows played semiprofessional baseball before moving to New York City to study art under Robert Henri. There, Bellows found that corruption had made public boxing illegal. Private sport clubs managed to circumvent the law, but they also barred the fighters, who were deemed socially unacceptable, from joining. The title of Both Members of This Club refers to the practice of granting “membership” to boxers only for the duration of their bouts. Bellows indicated his low opinion of the elitist crowd by converting them into grotesque caricatures roaring approval of the bloodshed. Creating a sense of immediacy, three rows of spectators block off our view, and the ringside ropes loom overhead. The location is Tom Sharkey's Athletic Club.

Cliff Dwellers, 1913, Collection of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.

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message 13: by Carol (new)

Carol (goodreadscomcarolann) | 1140 comments Happy birthday to Martha Alf born on August 13, 1930.
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"My work is basically about calm and light. I like paint to glow and do things. My first favorite artist is Vermeer."

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Martha Alf is most often identified by images of pears, rendered singly or as a group, on classically ordered black –and-white drawings that have emerged from her studio for over fifteen years. On Alf’s surfaces, the pear takes on a presence that challenges both the concept of “contemporary” and art history itself, in the implication of timelessness that persists even as change occurs, as when defined background gives way to indeterminate field, hazy skin rendering to faithful delineation. Even classical organization may surrender to the baroque, if more often in departures from pears to other organisms, as the oblique organization of Three Lemons (1986) suggests. Indeed, other images, and, for that matter, the absence of images have appeared on some of Alf’s surfaces over the years, but on others, the pears resolutely persevere. -- Merle Schipper

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--I believe that Ruth posted this awhile back.

message 14: by Ruth (new)

Ruth | 1945 comments Martha Alf is a longtime favorite of mine. Her evocation of light, the pear as icon...

message 15: by Heather (last edited Aug 13, 2010 06:19PM) (new)

Heather Ferdinand-Victor-Eugène Delacroix

Died August 13, 1863

Born on 26 April 1798 Left an orphan at the age of 16, following the deaths of his father, Charles-Maurice de Talleyrand Perigord in 1805 and his mother Victorie Delacroix in 1814. At the age of 18, he entered l'École des Beaux-Art.

La Barque de Dante

In 1822 his La Barque de Dante was accepted for the Paris Salon.

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The Massacre of Chios. 1824. Oil on canvas. Louvre, Paris, France

At the 1824 Salon Delacroix presented The Massacre of Chios, a personal reaction to the genocide practiced by the Sublime Porte against the Greeks. This work placed Delacroix firmly among the Romantic painters.

Liberty Leading the People (28 July 1830)

In his Liberty Leading the People, Delacroix expressed his emotions and understanding of the July Revolution of 1830, and included his own self-portrait, holding a musket, in the first rank of the people in arms following Lady Liberty. (see below)

In 1832, Delacroix spent 6 months in North Africa, in the retinue of the Count Charles de Mornay, Ambassador to the Sultan of Morocco, abd er-Rugman.
The life and customs of the Arabs fascinated him and were to inspire many paintings:

The Fanatics of Tangier. 1837-1838. Oil on canvas. The Minneapolis Institute of Arts, Minneapolis, MN, USA.

The Sultan of Morocco and His Entourage. 1845. Oil on canvas. Musée des Augustins, Toulouse, France.

The Lion Hunt in Marocco. 1854. Oil on canvas. The Hermitage, St. Petersburg, Russia.

Arab Saddling His Horse. 1855. Oil on canvas. The Hermitage, St. Petersburg, Russia.

His Women of Algiers in Their Apartment (1834) was a great success at the 1834 Salon. (below)

Women of Algiers in Their Apartment. 1834. Oil on canvas. Louvre, Paris, France.

In 1850-51 he decorated the ceiling of the Apollo Gallery in the Louvre: Apollo Slays Python (1850-1851). In 1855 he exhibited 48 paintings at the Universal Exposition in Paris. On his eighth attempt he was made a member of the Academy. His health worsened, he could no longer work and spent much time in the country. On 13 August 1863 he died.

Apollo Slays Python. 1850-1851. Oil on mounted canvas. Louvre (Galerie d'Apollon), Paris, France.

message 16: by Heather (new)

Heather John Everett Millais

Died 13 August 1896
British Pre-Raphaelite painter born on 08 June 1829

While still a youth, he won various medals for his drawings. His first painting was Pizzarro Seizing the Inca of Peru (1846).

With Rossetti and Hunt, he founded the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood in 1848. The influence of this movement was first discernible in his Isabella of 1849. Ophelia, begun in the summer of 1851 and exhibited the following year at the Royal Academy, markes the culmination of Millais' youthful period.


Endowed with a virtuoso technical skill and encouraged by Ruskin, he rapidly outstripped his Brotherhood colleagues and won lasting fame. He was elected a member of the Royal Academy in 1863 and served as President in 1896. Millais' works never failed to elicit praise. His remarkable technique lent his canvases a unique distinction, particuarly in his last paintings, long after the exhilaration of the radiant Pre-Raphaelite period had died away. Towards the end of his life, he turned to portraiture. He was also a fine illustrator. Millais died in London.


Leisure Hours

Portrait of a Girl (Sophie Gray)


message 17: by Monica (last edited Aug 14, 2010 09:46AM) (new)

Monica | 909 comments description
Pizzarro Seizing the Inca of Peru (1846) Victoria and Albert Museum.

Here's a case of varying quality of images on the net. I was so disappointed with the first image of this painting I almost dismissed it. Then found a proper representation at the V&A site. You can enlarge it here: It's interesting to learn that Millais was interested in this topic and thank you for sharing Delacroix's interest in Arab life.

message 18: by Carol (new)

Carol (goodreadscomcarolann) | 1140 comments Happy birthday to Gustave Caillebotte born on August 19, 1848.
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Gustave Caillebotte, about age 30, c. 1878. (Private collection).

Caillebotte was a French painter, member and patron of the group of artists known as Impressionists, though he painted in a much more realistic manner than many other artists in the group. Caillebotte was noted for his early interest in photography as an art form.

Caillebotte inherited a sizable fortune after his father's death in 1874, (his wealthy family made their money in textiles and real estate during the redevelopment of Paris in the 1860s), which funded his patronage of the arts. Caillebotte had a law degree and was an engineer before he attended the École des Beaux-Arts in 1874 where he met impressionist painters Edgar Degas, Claude Monet, and Pierre Auguste Renoir. Caillebotte helped them to organize and fund their first major group exhibition in Paris. As the only one with any serious financial means, Caillebotte would become the main patron and supporter of the group.

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The Floor Scrapers, 1875, Musée d'Orsay, Paris

In 1875, wishing to make own his public artistic debut, he submitted a painting, The Floor Scrapers, to the Paris Salon, whose jury promptly rejected it. Caillebotte then decided to exhibit the painting in a more accepting environment, and showed it at the second Impressionist group exhibition of 1876.

Caillebotte's Paris Street; Rainy Day, considered his masterpiece, was shown at the Impressionist Exhibition of 1877. It shared the spotlight with Pierre-Auguste Renoir's Ball at the Moulin de la Galette. Its massive size, almost 7 feet by 10 feet, drew a great deal of attention and dominated the 1877 exhibition which was largely organized by Caillebotte himself
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Paris Street, A Rainy Day, 1877, Art Institute of Chicago

His painting style appears to belong to the school of realism, although he helped organize the first impressionist exhibition and enthusiastically collected of impressionist works.

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Le déjeuner (1876), Private collection

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Oarsmen Rowing on the Yerres, 1877. Oil on canvas. 31 7/8 x 45 11/16 in. (81 x 116 cm), Private Collection.

Caillebotte's painted portraits and interior scenes, urban life, still lifes, and landscapes and seascapes. He often chose an overhead vantage point for his compositions and depicted elegantly dressed figures strolling with the expressionless look of sleep walkers (Boulevard Vu d'en Haut 1880). His metropolitan scenes led editor Anne Distel to title a book about him, Gustave Caillebotte: Urban Impressionist.

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The House Painters, 1877. Oil on canvas. 35 1/16 x 45 11/16 in. (89 x 116 cm). Private Collection.

For many years, Caillebotte's reputation as a painter was superseded by his reputation as a supporter of the arts. However, 70 years after his death, art historians began reevaluating his artistic contributions. Just two years before he died, he married Emilie Schlauch.

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L'Yerres, Rain, 1875, oil pn canvas, Indiana Art Museum, Bloomington

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View of Rooftops (Snow), 1878, Oil on canvas, Musee d'Orsay, Paris

Caillebotte died on February 21, 1894 of pulmonary congestion and was interred in the Père Lachaise Cemetery in Paris, France. In his will, Caillebotte donated his entire collection to the French government and 40 of his works hang in the Musee d'Orsay.

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Caillebotte's most famous oil paintings included Paris Street, Rainy Day, Jeune homme a la fenetre, (The Man at the Window), The Floor Scrapers, Le dejeuner, Portraits a la campagne, Le pont de l'Europe, Baigneur s'appretant a plonger, Les Perissoires, Les Perissoires, Pecheur au bord de l'Yerres, Dans un cafe and L'homme au balcon.

more ---

Urban Impressionist by Anne Distel --

message 19: by Ruth (new)

Ruth | 1945 comments I like his work a lot. Especially the Floor Scrapers and Oarsmen Rowing. The composition of Oarsmen is fantastic.

message 20: by Carol (new)

Carol (goodreadscomcarolann) | 1140 comments Ruth, those 2 paintings are my favorite. I think it's because the composition draws you in and the contrast (light/dark & color.)

Caillebotte's family owned an estate near the town of Yerres, which shared its name with the river flowing through it. Caillebotte was an avid boater, and rowing and yachting were all the rage in 1870s France (brought over from England). In this closely cropped composition of two men out on the river, one gets the sense of a stationary camera, focused on water, when suddenly the rowers hove into view.

Another viewpoint I read was that Caillebotte, despite being a member of the impressionists, was isolated.
Caillebotte's Oarsmen -- And Then There Were None: How Caillebotte's Perissoire Paintings Reveal His Loneliness and Isolation
by Alie Fishman, Princeton Class of 2009

message 21: by Heather (new)

Heather August 22 in History
International “Museums, Guard Your Paintings!!!” Day

2004: Munch's The Scream and Madonna stolen !!!

1911: Mona Lisa disappeared !!!

1961: Goya's The Duke of Wellington stolen !!!

message 22: by Jonathan (new)

Jonathan Lopez | 257 comments Heather wrote: "August 22 in History--“Museums, Guard Your Paintings!!!” Day..."

That's quite a coincidence Heather. There was a Van Gogh stolen from a museum in Cairo yesterday--just one day off.

It was apparently recovered today as the thieves were trying to smuggle it out of the country:

message 23: by Carol (new)

Carol (goodreadscomcarolann) | 1140 comments Happy belated birthday to Man Ray, August 27, 1890.
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Salvador Dalí and Man Ray in Paris, on June 16, 1934 making "wild eyes" for photographer Carl Van Vechten

Man Ray, the master of experimental and fashion photography was also a painter, a filmmaker, a poet, an essayist, a philosopher, and a leader of American modernism. Known for documenting the cultural elite living in France, Man Ray spent much of his time fighting the formal constraints of the visual arts. Ray’s life and art were always provocative, engaging, and challenging.

Born Emanuel Rabinovitch in 1890, Man Ray spent most of his young life in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. The eldest child of an immigrant Jewish tailor, he was a mediocre student who shunned college for the bohemian artistic life in nearby Manhattan. In New York he began to work as an artist, meeting many of the most important figures of the time. He learned the rudiments of photography from the art dealer and photographer, Alfred Stieglitz, and began to experiment on his own.

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Self-Portrait Assemblage, 1916, The Getty

In 1914, Man Ray married the Belgian poet, Adon Lacroix, and soon after met the experimental artist Marcel Duchamp. Duchamp was to be one of Man Ray’s greatest influences as well as a close friend and collaborator. Together the two attempted to bring some of the verve of the European experimental art movements to America. The most energetic of these movements was “dada.” Dada was an attempt to create work so absurd it confused the viewer’s sense of reality. The dadaists would take everyday objects and present them as if they were finished works of art. For Man Ray, dada’s experimentation was no match for the wild and chaotic streets of New York, and he wrote “Dada cannot live in New York. All New York is dada, and will not tolerate a rival.”

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Departure of Summer, 1914, Oil on canvas, The Art Institute of Chicago

Having broken with his wife, Man Ray left New York for Paris in 1921—marking a continuous stream of tempestuous and often doomed romances. Through Duchamp, Man Ray met some of the most exciting artists and thinkers in Paris. Though he didn’t speak a word of French at first, he was welcomed into this group and became its unofficial photographer. Among the many models from this period were Pablo Picasso, Ernest Hemingway, Salvador Dali, Gertude Stein, James Joyce, and the famous performer, Kiki of Montparnasse. For six years Kiki was Ray’s constant model, muse, and lover.

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Untitled, 1929, Gelatin silver print, MoMA

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Sleeping Woman, 1929, gelatin silver print

Among the most famous of his photographs of the time are the many of Kiki. Man Ray’s photographs of Kiki often use the outline of her body to represent other objects. This interest in minimalism and abstraction carried over to Man Ray’s experiments with what he termed “rayographs.” A “rayograph” was made by placing a three-dimensional object or series of objects on top of a piece of photographic paper and exposing it to light. These images lyrically and impressionistically represented objects such as ropes, light bulbs, and thumb tacks. Many artists responded positively to Man Ray’s daring combination of minimalism, chance, and absurdity, and in 1922 he published his first book of them entitled The Delightful Fields.

Throughout the 1930s Man Ray continued to paint, sculpt, and make portraits along with the surrealists, whose freewheeling dispositions were similar to his own. Though deeply immersed in the artistic life of France, World War II forced Man Ray to leave Paris, and he moved to Hollywood. In Hollywood, many expatriate artists, musicians, and writers took up residence. He spent ten years there working as a fashion photographer. With his brave use of lighting and minimalist representation, Man Ray produced fashion photographs unlike any that had come before—and forever changed that discipline.

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Cadeau (Gift), 1958 (replica of 1921 original), painted flatiron and 14 iron tacks, MoMA

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What we all lack, 1963, clay pipe with glass ball, The Art Institute of Chicago

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Chess set, 1920-26, Silver-plated and oxidized silver-plated brass

Man Ray longed, however, to be back in Paris, the city that had nurtured his creative life. So, after the war, married to a young dancer named Juliet Brown, he moved back. He spent the next twenty-five years there, creating paintings, sculptures, films, and photographs. He died on November 18, 1976 at the age of eighty-six. One the great artists and agitators of his time, Man Ray will be remembered not simply for the fascinating and experimental works he left behind, but for the crucial role he played in encouraging the revolutionary in art.

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Man Ray, 1931, Gelatin silver print, MoMA

more --

message 24: by Carol (new)

Carol (goodreadscomcarolann) | 1140 comments Happy birthday to Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres, August 29, 1780.
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self-portrait at age 24, 1804 (revised 1850).

Ingres was a French Neoclassical painter, although he considered himself as a history painter, he was known for his portraits.

He studied with Jacques-Louis David in Paris before attending the École des Beaux-Arts (1799 – 1801), where he won a Prix de Rome scholarship. Critics condemned one of his first public works, the awe-inspiring portrait Napoleon on His Imperial Throne (1806), as stiff and archaic, but its style was one he developed intentionally.

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Napoleon I on his Imperial Throne, 1806, oil on canvas

In Italy (1806 – 24) he prospered with portraits and history paintings. His small-scale portrait drawings are meticulously rendered. Back in Paris he received critical acclaim at last and won admission to the academy with The Vow of Louis XIII (1824).
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The Vow of Louis XIII, 1824, Oil on canvas, Cathedral of Notre-Dame

He succeeded David as the leader of French Neoclassical painting, a style that was the antithesis of the lush Romanticism of contemporary artists such as Eugène Delacroix, Ingres's chief rival. In 1825 he opened a teaching studio, which became one of the largest in Paris. By the mid 1840s he was France's most sought-after society portraitist. Some of his most notable later works are female nudes, which are often notable for their elongated distortion. None of his many students attained distinction, but his influence is seen in the work of Edgar Degas, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, and Pablo Picasso.

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La Grande Odalisque, 1814

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Madame Moitessier, 1844-1856

More -- http://www.jeanaugustedominiqueingres...

message 25: by Ruth (new)

Ruth | 1945 comments Many years ago I almost bought one of those pieces Man Ray did by laying things on a negative. I forget what he call them. Rayographs? Anyway, it was reasonably priced and I've kicked myself ever since that I didn't snap it up.

message 26: by Carol (new)

Carol (goodreadscomcarolann) | 1140 comments I would have probably done the same thing.

Here's one at Sothebys
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message 27: by Ruth (new)

Ruth | 1945 comments Egad. What a profit I could have made if I'd wanted to sell it.

message 28: by Jim (last edited Aug 30, 2010 10:46AM) (new)

Jim | 147 comments Carol wrote: "Happy belated birthday to Man Ray, August 27, 1890.

Salvador Dalí and Man Ray in Paris, on June 16, 1934 making "wild eyes" for photographer Carl Van Vechten

Man Ray, the master of experimental a..."

Must have been fun when someone asked Ray his name
I'd say it ranks as one of the great names of all time (plus love his art and spirit)

message 29: by Carol (new)

Carol (goodreadscomcarolann) | 1140 comments LOL -- I never thought about that.

I looked it up and his family settled in Brooklyn, New York, in 1897. In early 1912, the Radnitzky family changed their surname to Ray, a name selected by Man Ray's brother, in reaction to the ethnic discrimination and anti-Semitism prevalent at that time. Emmanuel, who was called "Manny" as a nickname, changed his first name to Man at this time, and gradually began to use Man Ray as his combined single name when he began his career as a commercial artist in New York in 1910.

message 30: by Jim (new)

Jim | 147 comments I guess I was a little naive to think that parents would call their kid Man

message 31: by Carol (new)

Carol (goodreadscomcarolann) | 1140 comments I don't think so Jim.
I couldn't find anyone who named their kid "man" but found a lot of celebs who gave their children strange names --
* Frank Zappa named his daughter "Moon Unit".
* Gwyneth Paltrow named her daughter "Apple".
* David Duchovny and Tea Leoni named their son "Kyd."

site with strange names --

message 32: by Carol (new)

Carol (goodreadscomcarolann) | 1140 comments Happy Birthday Jacques-Louis David, August 30, 1748.

David is famous for his huge, dramatic canvasses of Napoleon and other historical figures, including these well known canvases--

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Death of Marat, 1793

On 13 July 1793, David's friend Marat was assassinated by Charlotte Corday with a knife she had hidden in her clothing. She gained entrance to Marat's house on the pretense of presenting him a list of people who should be executed as enemies of France. Marat thanked her and said that they would be guillotined next week upon which Corday immediately fatally stabbed him. She was guillotined shortly thereafter. Corday was of an opposing political party, whose name can be seen in the note Marat holds in David's subsequent painting, The Death of Marat. Marat, a member of the National Assembly and a journalist, had a skin disease that caused him to itch horribly. The only relief he could get was in his bath over which he improvised a desk to write his list of suspect counter-revolutionaries who were to be quickly tried and, if convicted, guillotined. David once again organized a spectacular funeral, and Marat was buried in the Panthéon. Because Marat died in the bathtub, writing, David wanted to have his body submerged in the bathtub during the funeral procession. This did not play out because the body had begun to putrefy. Instead, Marat’s body was periodically sprinkled with water as the people came to see his corpse, complete with gaping wound. The Death of Marat, perhaps David's most famous painting, has been called the Pietà of the revolution.

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The Sabine Women, 1799

David was born in Paris in 1748, the son of an iron merchant who was killed in a duel (an unusual circumstance in his social class), when the boy was nine years old. His mother, Geneviève Buron, came of a family of builders and architects and was distantly related to the painter François Boucher (1703-1770). Under the guardianship of uncles on his mother's side, Louis received a sound classical education. His guardians wished to train him as an architect, but he insisted on being allowed to study painting.

Following the advice of Boucher, he was placed in the studio of Joseph-Marie Vien (1716-1809), the leading promoter of the neoclassical reaction against the rococo. David's student work, strikingly rococo at first, was slow in adjusting to the ascendancy of classicism. He competed four times for the Rome Prize, beginning in 1771 with an awkward pastiche of Boucher (Battle between Mars and Minerva, Louvre); failing again in 1772 with Diana and Apollo Killing the Children of Niobe (lost), which enraged him to the point of threatening suicide; and still unsuccessful in his third try in 1773 (Death of Seneca, PetitPal). His fourth attempt, Antiochus and Stratonice pictured below (1774, Ecole des Beaux-Arts, Paris), finally won him the prize and gave the first indication of his turning to classicism.
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In Rome from 1775 to 1780, the overwhelming impression of the masters of the Italian High Renaissance and early baroque caused him to purge his work radically of all traces of the modern "French," that is, rococo, manner. A visit to Naples in 1779 completed his conversion. Belisarius Begging Alms (1780, Musée des Beaux Arts, Lille), begun in Rome but finished after David's return to Paris, sums up, in the calm grandeur of its composition and the subdued harmonies of its colors, the gains of his Italian stay. Reports of his talent had preceded him to Paris. The French Academy hastened to admit him with the rank of associate. At the Salon of 1781 the exhibition of his Italian canvases produced a strong impression on critics and public. His marriage in 1782 to Charlotte Pécoul, daughter of the supervisor of royal buildings, brought him influence and financial security. Sponsored by Vien, he was admitted to full academy membership the following year, offering as his reception piece Andromache Mourning Hector (Ecole des Beaux-Arts, Paris). With its antique weapons, furniture, and architectural ornaments, it was the most consciously "Greek" of his works to this time.

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Oath of the Horatii, 1784
Awarded a royal commission to execute a painting on the subject of Horatius Defending His Son Before the People for the Salon of 1783, David delayed work on the project and, on his own responsibility, changed its subject to the Oath of the Horatii. Deciding that he could carry it out only in Rome, David traveled to Italy with financial help from his father-in-law and there finished the picture in eleven months. Exhibited at the Paris Salon of 1785, its Spartan severity excited general admiration and founded David's reputation as France's foremost painter.

He followed this success with a private commission for the financier Trudaine, The Death of Socrates (The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York), which won praise at the Salon of 1787. His entry in 1789, Brutus in the Atrium of His House, after the Execution of His Sons (Louvre), based on a play by Voltaire, was, like the Horatii, a royal commission, but its moral lesson--that family ties must yield to the demands of patriotism--was stated with an unyielding hardness that foretold the Terror.

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The Death of Socrates,1787

Early in his career he was a leader in the neoclassical movement; later his subjects became more modern and political. David was himself active in the French Revolution as a supporter of Robespierre and is sometimes called the chief propagandist for the Revolution; after the Reign of Terror ended he was briefly imprisoned for his actions. When Napoleon took power David became his court painter and created several grand canvasses of the Emperor, including
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the heroic Napoleon Bonaparte Crossing the Alps (1801, above).

David also painted Napoleon in His Study (1812), with its famous image of Napoleon with one hand tucked inside his vest.
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It is unlikely that Napoleon actually posed for this portrait despite its convincing detail. The painting is an artful contrivance to convey three aspects of his public image: soldier, emperor, and administrator.

After Napoleon's ouster David went in exile to Brussels. He ended his days in bourgeois comfort, cared for by affectionate pupils and friends, where he remained until his 1825 death.

message 33: by Heather (new)

Heather Thanks for keeping up on this, Carol. Very interesting!

message 34: by Carol (new)

Carol (goodreadscomcarolann) | 1140 comments Thanks Heather, I enjoy doing it.

message 35: by Jim (new)

Jim | 147 comments David is so great in content and technique

message 36: by Carol (new)

Carol (goodreadscomcarolann) | 1140 comments Happy Birthday to Romare Bearden born on September 2, 1911.
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Bearden (and his cat Gypo, mid-1970s) was an African-American artist and writer working in several media including cartoons, oils, and collage.

Born in Charlotte, North Carolina, Romare Bearden grew up in a middle-class African-American family. His parents Bessye and Howard were both college-educated, and it was expected that Romare would achieve success in life. About 1914, his family joined the Great Migration of southern blacks to points north and west. In the early twentieth century, Jim Crow laws kept many blacks from voting and from equal access to jobs, education, health care, business, land, and more. Like many southern black families, the Beardens settled in the Harlem section of New York City. Romare would call New York home for the rest of his life.

In the 1920s, Harlem was a rich and vibrant center of cultural and intellectual growth and the focal point of African-American culture. Romare's mother was the New York editor of the Chicago Defender, a widely read African-American weekly newspaper, and became a prominent social and political figure in Harlem. Duke Ellington, Langston Hughes, and other well-known artists, writers, and musicians were frequent visitors to the Bearden family home. Such social and intellectual gatherings would become a mainstay in Romare's life. Also, his encounters with these legendary talents must have fostered his lifelong interest in jazz and literature.

Stamping ground

Throughout his childhood, Bearden spent time away from Harlem, staying most often with relatives in Mecklenburg County and Pittsburgh. Bearden attributed his early artistic ambition to a childhood friend in Pittsburgh. There, a boy name Eugene introduced Romare to the drawings he made of the brothel where he lived with his mother. When Romare's grandmother saw the drawings and learned about Eugene's circumstances, she immediately brought the boy to live with her at the boardinghouse. Sadly, Eugene died about a year later. More than fifty years after Eugene's death, Bearden would pay tribute to this early formative experience.

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Pittsburgh Memory, 1964, collage of printed papers with graphite on cardboard

Another early source of inspiration for the artist was his encounter with the sculptor Augusta Savage, with whom he spent time as a teenager. In Bearden's words, she was "a flesh and blood artist with a studio which we were welcome to use as a workshop, or even just to hang out in. She was open, free, resisted the usual conventions of the time, and lived for her art, thinking of success only in terms of how well her sculptures turned out."

His memory of these experiences, as well as African-American cultural history, would become the subjects of many of his works. Trains, roosters, cats, landscapes, barns, and shingled shacks reflected the rural landscape of his early childhood and summer vacations. Scenes of his grandparents' boardinghouse, bellowing steel mills, and African-American mill workers recalled his Pittsburgh memories.

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Pittsburgh Memories

Bearden initially studied at Lincoln University but transferred to Boston University where he was the art director of Beanpot, a student humor magazine. He completed his degree in education at New York University. At NYU, Bearden was enrolled in art classes and was a lead cartoonist and art editor for the monthly journal “The Medley”. During his University years, he published numerous journal covers and wrote many texts on social and artistic issues. Bearden also attended New York’s Art Students League, studying under German artist George Grosz. Bearden served in the US Army between 1942 and 1945 and returned to Europe in 1950 to study art and philosophy at the Sorbonne with the support of the GI Bill.

From the 1930′s to the 1960′s Bearden was a social worker with the New York City Department of Social Services and worked on his art in his free time. He had his first successful solo exhibitions in Harlem in 1940 and in Washington DC in 1944. In 1954, he married dancer and choreographer Nanette Rohan, with whom he shared the rest of his life. During this time, Bearden was active in Harlem’s art scene and was a member of the Harlem Artists Guild.

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Romare and Nanette Nearden, 1958.

Bearden was a prolific artist who experimented with numerous mediums including watercolors, oils, collage, photo montage, prints, and costume and set design. His inspiration was gathered from his lifelong study of art from the Western masters, African art, Byzantine mosaics, Japanese prints, and Chinese landscape paintings. Bearden is best known for his collages that were featured on the covers of Time and Fortune magazines in 1968.

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Fortune Magazine cover, 1968

In 1964, Bearden was appointed as art director of the African-American advocacy group, the Harlem Cultural Council. He was also involved in the establishment of art venues such as The Studio Museum and the Cinque Gallery that supported young minority artists. Bearden was also a founding member of the Black Academy of Arts and Letters and was elected to the National Institute of Arts and Letters in 1972.

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One Night Stand, 1974

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Quilting Time, 1981

Bearden’s work is on display in major museums and galleries in the United States. Bearden received numerous honorary degrees including the 1984 Mayor’s Award of Honor for Art and Culture in New York City, and the National Medal of Arts, presented by President Ronald Regan in 1987.

Romare Bearden died in New York on March 12, 1988 from complications due to bone cancer. His estate provided for the Romare Bearden Foundation which was established in 1990 and whose purpose is “to preserve and perpetuate” his legacy. The foundation also supports the “creative and educational development of young people and of talented and aspiring artists and scholars”.

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Empress of the Blues, 1974, acrylic and pencil on paper and printed paper on paperboard
Legendary singer and songwriter Bessie Smith earned the title “Empress of the Blues.” She was one of the biggest stars of the 1920s and was popular with both black and white audiences. The statuesque Smith transfixed audiences with her fabulous voice and imposing presence.

message 37: by Monica (new)

Monica | 909 comments Once again, Carol, thanks a million. You keep outdoing yourself and I just want to make sure it doesn't go unnoticed. Another A+ post. It's wonderful that Bearden took advantage of all that NY can offer and left so much for us. One thing I appreciate is that magazine art directors recognized his talent and it's lovely that he didn't have to compromise his style for commercial endeavors.

message 38: by Carol (new)

Carol (goodreadscomcarolann) | 1140 comments Happy belated birthday to Louis Sullivan, September 3, 1856.
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Louis Henri Sullivan (September 3, 1856 – April 14, 1924) was an American architect, writer, and has been called the "father of modernism." He is considered by many as the creator of the modern skyscraper, was an influential architect and critic of the Chicago School, was a mentor to Frank Lloyd Wright, and an inspiration to the Chicago group of architects who have come to be known as the Prairie School.

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1899-1904, Carson Pirie Scott Store, State and Madison Street, Chicago, Illinois

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Wainwright Building (Friezes), 1890-1891, 7th/Chestnut Streets, Saint Louis, Missouri

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Jewelers Building, 1882, 15-19 South Wabash Ave., Chicago, Illinois

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Stenciled Frieze Panel from the Trading Room of the Chicago Stock Exchange, Chicago, Illinois, c. 1893. Oil on canvas, 56 x 53 1/2"

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Elevator Grille from the Chicago Stock Exchange, Chicago, Illinois, 1893. Iron and copper plate, 80 1/4 x 40 3/4 x 1"

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Door Hardware. 1895. Cast bronze, .1 (door plate): 14 x 4 1/4" (35.5 x 10.8 cm) .2 (knobs): 8 x 2 1/2" (20.3 x 6.3 cm) .3 (key): 2 1/4 x 1 1/2" (5.7 x 3.8 cm). Manufactured by The Yale & Towne Mfg. Co., Stamford, CT.

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Spandrel from Gage Building, Chicago, Illinois, 1898-99. Cast iron and paint, 50 x 74 7/8 x 4" (127 x 190.2 x 10.2 cm). Manufactured by Kristian Schneider. Gift of Dubin & Dubin, Architects, Chicago

He was the leading progressive architect in Chicago at its most revolutionary period in the 1890s, and a designer of amazing virtuosity. His executed buildings include tall office buildings, theatres, department stores and banks, some of them in partnership with dankmar Adler. Sullivan accepted frankly the new creation of industrialized architecture, the steel-framed skyscraper building, but covered it with the most delicate ornament, also designed by him and executed in mass-produced terracotta slabs. He also wrote poetically of the position of the sensitive individual in the mechanized world.

Bio --

Books --

message 39: by Dvora (new)

Dvora Gorgeous, I love the art and architecture from this period whether it's Prairie, Arts & Crafts, Art Nouveau, or here in Catalunya, Modernista.

Carol wrote: "Happy belated birthday to Louis Sullivan, September 3, 1856.

Louis Henri Sullivan (September 3, 1856 – April 14, 1924) was an American architect, writer, and has been called the "father of modern..."

message 40: by Monica (new)

Monica | 909 comments Ooooo Dvora what's it like over there? Got any pics?
Here's some of my Sullivan books:
Kindergarten Chats and Other Writings (Documents of Modern Art.)
Louis Sullivan: The Function of Ornament (Norton Critical Studies in Art History)
The Autobiography of an Idea
Chicago Architects Design

message 41: by Dvora (new)

Dvora I have a few photos, but I don't have the patience to go through what it takes to post images on Goodreads. Sorry!

Monica wrote: "Ooooo Dvora what's it like over there? Got any pics?
Here's some of my Sullivan books:
Kindergarten Chats and Other Writings (Documents of Modern Art.)"

message 42: by Carol (new)

Carol (goodreadscomcarolann) | 1140 comments Happy birthday to folk artist Anna Mary Robertson Moses known as “Grandma Moses” born on September 7, 1860.

Moses began painting in her seventies after abandoning a career in embroidery because of arthritis. Louis J. Caldor, a collector, discovered her paintings in a Hoosick Falls, New York drugstore window in 1938. In 1939, an art dealer, Otto Kallir, exhibited some of her work in his Galerie Saint-Etienne in New York. This brought her to the attention of collectors all over the world, and her paintings became highly sought after. She went on to exhibit her work throughout Europe and in Japan, where her work was particularly well received.

She continued her prolific output of paintings, the demand for which never diminished during her lifetime. Grandma Moses painted mostly scenes of rural life. Some of her many paintings were used on the covers of Hallmark cards.

Country Fair, 1950, oil on canvas, sold at Sothebys for $1,082,500.

Many of her early paintings in the realist style were given to family members as thank-you gifts after her visits. She was a prolific painter, generating over 3600 canvasses in 3 decades. Before her fame, she would charge $2 for a small painting and $3 for a large.

President Harry S. Truman presented her with the Women's National Press Club trophy Award for outstanding accomplishment in art in 1949, and in 1951 she appeared on a television program hosted by Edward R. Murrow. In 1952 she published her autobiography and titled it Grandma Moses: My Life's History.
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In November 2006, her work Sugaring Off, 1943 (pictured above), became her highest selling work at US $1.2 million. The work was a clear example of the simple rural scenes she became known for. She died at the age of 101 in Dec. of 1961.

message 43: by Carol (new)

Carol (goodreadscomcarolann) | 1140 comments Happy birthday to Jacob Lawrence born on September 7, 1917.

Self portrait, 1977.

Born in Atlantic City, New Jersey in 1917, Jacob Lawrence emerged as one of America's leading figurative artists and the first to document the history of African Americans through widely-viewed and influential artworks. Lawrence’s style, "dynamic cubism," influence came not so much as French art but as the shapes and colors of Harlem. Lawrence is among the best-known twentieth century African American painters, a distinction shared with Romare Bearden. Lawrence was only in his twenties when his "Migration Series" made him nationally famous. The series of paintings was featured in a 1941 issue of Fortune magazine. The series depicted the epic Great Migration of African Americans from the rural South to the urban North.

Lawrence considered himself both an artist and educator and used his art to tell stories about black history -- stories that were overlooked in the typical "American History" taught in schools. For example, Lawrence produced a 40-panel series on "The Life of Harriet Tubman" (1940), who in the 1800s helped hundreds of slaves find passage to freedom in the North through the Underground Railroad.

Pool Parlor, 1942, watercolor and gouache on paper, MET

In 1970, Lawrence and his wife, painter Gwendolyn Knight, moved to Seattle when Lawrence accepted an appointment as Professor in the School of Art at the University of Washington. He retired in 1980 and continued to serve as Emeritus Professor until his death in 2000 at the age of 83.

Revolt on the Amistad, 1989, color screenprint on wove paper

This site below is the 36-foot-long mosaic mural in the Times Square and 42nd Street Subway Station in New York City.

message 44: by Heather (new)

Heather Corneille, Dutch Artist With a Lyrical Modernism, Dies at 88

By Liz Robbins
New York Times

Corneille, a founder of Cobra

The Dutch artist Corneille, who created lyrical, expressionist paintings bursting with color and who was one of the founders of the postwar European art movement known as Cobra, died on Sunday in Paris. He was 88 and lived in Paris.

His death was announced by the Cobra Museum of Modern Art in the Netherlands.

Corneille was best known for radicalizing the conservative Dutch art world in the early 1950s, making modern art not only acceptable, but embraceable as well. He placed familiar subjects — birds, cats, women and landscapes — in mythological and often childlike contexts, imbuing them with spontaneity and bright, sensual reds.

“I am a painter of joy,” Corneille remarked at a 2007 exhibition of his work at the Cobra Museum, said Katja Weitering, the artistic director of the museum, in Amstelveen, near Amsterdam.

“He was really an artist for all people,” she said. “He was open to the audience; he appeared in documentaries, on television, and frequently visited exhibitions. It’s safe to say we consider him one of the most important modern artists of the postwar.” In the Netherlands, she added, his fame and influence derived from the appeal of Cobra.

Born Guillaume Cornelis van Beverloo to Dutch parents on July 3, 1922, in Liège, Belgium, Corneille was influenced by Miró, Picasso and Paul Klee but claimed the most profound connection to van Gogh because of their shared passion for color, form and nature. He is to be buried in a plot near the grave of van Gogh in Auvers-sur-Oise, France, Ms. Weitering said.

Corneille founded Cobra in 1948 with five other artists, including his close friends Karel Appel and Constant Nieuwenhuys. The name was an acronym made up of the artists’ home cities — Copenhagen, Brussels and Amsterdam. The artists drew inspiration from surrealism, but believed that style promoted too much discussion and not enough action, Ms. Weitering said.

Instead, Corneille and his friends formed a united front in postwar Europe, urging a break from tradition and toward freedom and vitality. In an intense three years, Cobra produced two major international exhibitions and published 10 issues of a magazine for which Corneille wrote poetry. Cobra disbanded in 1951, saying it had achieved its goals, and the artists returned to their individual careers.

Corneille began his artistic life in 1940, studying at the Academy of Fine Arts in Amsterdam. Though he made his home base in Paris in the early 1950s, he traveled extensively in Africa, Cuba, Brazil, and Mexico. In Africa he became fascinated by the colors, smells and cultures, Ms. Weitering said, collecting brightly painted objects like the masks he later used as themes. He also spent time in Italy, Israel and San Francisco, expanding his repertory to include etching, ceramics and printmaking.

Beyond the Netherlands, Corneille’s work is in the collections of several American museums, including the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco and the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston.

He is survived by his wife, Natacha, and their son, Dimitri.

Ms. Weitering said she recalled a television interview Corneille did several years ago in the Netherlands, in which he talked about his natural optimism.

She said: “I remember Corneille saying, ‘There are people who believe in heaven after they die. I believe in heaven on earth.’ ”

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Dans le ciel méditerranéen 1965


Belgian-born Dutch master painter, printmaker, ceramicist and writer.

The Artist initially trained in drawing at the Amsterdam Rijksakademie (1940 to 1943 ), but is considered a self-trained painter.

While at the academy he became a close friend of Karel Appel and co-founded the COBRA GROUP of artists, with Appel, Alechinksy, Jorn y Dubbuffet, in 1948.

His early work was naturalistic, but after being inspired by the joie de vivre of French painters, and in particular by the work of younger artists such as Edouard Pignon, he slowly moved into the Cubist style.

Sculpture Sur Bois III 1992

La baigneuse 1964

message 45: by Heather (new)


Dutch Romantic painter in oil and watercolor, and etcher, of landscapes with animals and peasants

Settled in 1874 in The Hague, where he began to paint sheep, and scenes of horses and men hauling fishing boats on the beach
Gave painting lessons to van Gogh, his wife's cousin, for three weeks in 1881-1882.
His late pictures include scenes of peasants at their work, influenced by Millet, and some landscapes without animals or humans. He died at Arnhem on 05 February 1888.

Mauve was profoundly influenced by the French landscape painter Camille Corot [16 Jul 1796 – 22 Feb 1875] and the Barbizon school.
Mauve's pictures are subdued in color and similar to those of Corot in their harmonies of grays and blues.

Morning Ride on the Beach (1876, 45x70cm) _ Four riders, seen from the back, descend at a leisurely pace from the dunes to the beach. It is a summer's day, about noon: the sun is high and shadows are short. Well-to-do, well-dressed equestrians are taking a relaxing ride on the beach at Scheveningen, a popular coastal resort of the day. At the foot of the dune are a number of bathing huts. These riding horses are an unusual feature in a painting by Mauve. He usually painted workhorses and animals in their natural environment. He was particularly famous for his landscapes with sheep.

Like the French Impressionists, Mauve focused on the atmosphere in a landscape, the soft sand and the hot haze, and particularly the way the light falls. For example, he studied the effect of the light on horses closely. The shiny coat of the dark horses tends to absorb light, while the quarters of the lighter horse reflect the sun's rays like a mirror. The rear of the grey horse is heightened with a dab of white.
When the original, rather yellowed varnish was removed some years ago, the painting's bright, clear air reappeared. Mauve's masterpiece was returned to its former state. During restoration, horse droppings that had once been painted over were rediscovered. Mauve appears to have considered this natural phenomenon pertinent to the overall composition. Later owners thought the detail rather improper for a major work of art and painted over the offending items with a lighter shade.

Riders in the Snow of the Woods at The Hague (1879, 44x27cm) _ A winter woodland scene with three riders, in gentle grey, greyish white, yellow, a little brown and red. It is misty. The branches are set against the softly sunlit sky; snow has fallen and there is more snow coming. Anton Mauve has captured the atmosphere of a winter day precisely: the freezing cold, the icy mist is almost tangible. By showing the riders from behind, the sense of desolation is even greater.
Winter landscapes were not an uncommon theme for Mauve. He regularly went out in the winter cold to capture the atmosphere and light on canvas or paper. “With unswerving courage we marched through the snow each day, armed with a paintbox that rarely remained out of use”, wrote Mauve's wife in 1885.

message 46: by Dvora (new)

Dvora This is so cool. I just read about Mauve in the Van Gogh biography I'm reading. It's wonderful to see a couple of his paintings. Thanks Heather!

Dutch Romantic painter in oil and watercolor, and etcher, of landscapes with animals and peasants

Settled in 1874 in The Hague, where he began to paint sheep, and scene..."

message 47: by Carol (new)

Carol (goodreadscomcarolann) | 1140 comments HAPPY BELATED BIRTHDAY TO JEAN ARP!
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Jean Arp (also called Hans Arp) is known as a German-French sculptor, painter, and poet, and one of the founding members of the Dada movement in Zurich in 1916.

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Birds in an Aquarium, c. 1920, painted wood, MoMA
Arp was the first to utilize "biomorphic" forms.

Arp was born (Strasbourg on September 16, 1886) and studied at the Strasbourg School of Arts and Crafts, at Weimar (1905-7) and the Academie Julian, Paris (1908). In 1912 he went to Munich where he knew Kandinsky and exhibited semi-figurative drawings at the second Blaue Reiter exhibition in 1912, and 1913 he exhibited with the Expressionists at the first Hebrstsalon (Autumn Salon) in Berlin. Aware of the developments within the French avant-garde through his contacts with such figures as Apollinaire, Max Jacob and Robert Delaunay in 1914, Arp exhibited his first abstracts and paper cutouts in Zurich in 1915, and began making shallow wooden reliefs and compositions of string nailed to canvas. In 1916 he was a founder member of Dada in Zurich, he participated in the Berlin Dada exhibition of 1920, and in 1923 he visited Schwitters in Hanover.
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Overturned blue shoe with two heels under a black vault, 1925, painted wood, Guggenheim

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Human Concretion, 1933, cast stone, MoMA

“Art is a fruit that grows in man, like a fruit on a plant, or a child in its mother’s womb.”

In Paris, Arp began to evolve his personal style of abstract compositions through an organic morphology, frequently sensuous in form, and began to experiment with automatic composition (automatism). In 1925, he participated in the first Surrealist exhibition in Paris, before breaking with Surrealism to become a founder member of Abstraction-Creation in 1931, when his characteristic organic forms became more severe and geometrical. At a time when he began to turn towards full 3-D sculptures, Arp insisted that his sculpture was 'concrete' rather than 'abstract', since it occupied space, and that art was a natural generation of form: 'a fruit that grows in man', as he put it. "

Arp visited the USA in 1949 and 1950, and completed a monumental wood and metal relief for Harvard University, and a mural relief for the UNESCO Building in Paris in 1958. He won the international prize for sculpture at the Venice Biennale in 1954. "A dominant personality within Dada, Surrealism and abstract art, his reliefs and sculptures have had a decisive influence upon the sculpture of this century." Arp died on June 7, 1966 in Basel, Switzerland.

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Configuration, oil on wood, 1952, Art Institute of Chicago

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Extremity of a mythical wineskin, 1952, rose granite, Art Institute of Chicago

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La Columba, 1964, glass blown and hand formed, designed by Arp, mfa Boston

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“Soon silence will have passed into legend. Man has turned his back on silence. Day after day he invents machines and devices that increase noise and distract humanity from the essence of life, contemplation, meditation...”

The Plain, a poem by Jean Arp --

The Plain
I was alone with a chair on a plain
Which lost itself in an empty horizon.

The plain was flawlessly paved.
Nothing, absolutely nothing but the chair and I
were there.

The sky was forever blue,
No sun gave life to it.

An inscrutable, insensible light
illuminated the infinite plain.

To me this eternal day seemed to be projected --
artificially-- from a different sphere.

I was never sleepy nor hungry nor thirsty,
never hot nor cold.

Time was only an abstruse ghost
since nothing happened or changed.

In me Time still lived a little
This, mainly, thanks to the chair.

Because of my occupation with it
I did not completely
lose my sense of the past.

Now and then I'd hitch myself, as if I were a horse, to the chair
and trot around with it,
sometimes in circles,
and sometimes straight ahead.

I assume that I succeeded.

Whether I really succeeded I do not know
Since there was nothing in space
By which I could have checked my movements.

As I sat on the chair I pondered sadly, but not desperately,
Why the core of the world exuded such black light.

message 48: by Carol (new)

Carol (goodreadscomcarolann) | 1140 comments I have to add one more . . .

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Jean Arp, Objects placed on three planes like writing, 1928, painted wood,
Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, purchased in 1937.

It seems that he did like to use white, black and blue.

message 49: by Carol (new)

Carol (goodreadscomcarolann) | 1140 comments Happy belated birthday to Jean Louis Andre Theodore Gericault! (Sept. 26, 1791)
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self portrait

Gericault, painter and lithographer, is one of the pioneers of the Romantic movement. He painter Under Pierre Guérin (1774 – 1833) he developed great skill in figure construction and composition, and under Joseph Vernet he became adept at capturing animal movement. He was inspired by Peter Paul Rubens's use of color and the contemporary subject matter of Antoine-Jean Gros. On a trip to Italy (1816 – 17), he became an admirer of Michelangelo and art of the Baroque period.

A number of painters in the Romantic period, believed that imagery should present situations, states of suffering, and outrage in forms that were extreme and compelling in themselves. These images, they thought, would stimulate the sympathy and satisfaction that were regarded as salutary and sublime - indeed they envisaged a situation in which agony as such would create a demand for experience that would in other contexts be intolerable. Here Géricault was exceptional. He generated images of physical grandeur, brushing light into dark with an impulsive bluntness, which was a direct manifestation of natural force. He portrayed, for example, triumphant heroism, valiant defeat, splendid savagery, and animal magnificence, all of them with irresistible nobility and pathos.

An Officer of the Imperial Horse Guards Charging, 1814, Oil on canvas, Musée du Louvre, Paris

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On his return to Paris, Géricault painted the military myth on a grand scale and interested David. With the Restoration, he was painting macabre subject matter and when history provided him with the shipwreck of an ill fated expedition and the desperate suffering of the survivors. Within a year he had painted The Raft of the Medusa, a picture of pathos and protest outstanding in the history of art. It equipped romantic realism with a terrific commitment to humanity and an equally terrific style, in which the ruthlessness of the square brushed modeling and the livid light were unforgettably compelling. Both aroused great controversy.

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The Raft of the Medusa, 1819, Oil on canvas, Musée du Louvre, Paris

Five years later, he was extending his repertory of extreme situations to the pathos of the insane.
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The Woman with Gambling Mania, c. 1822, Oil on canvas, Musée du Louvre, Paris

He died on Jan. 26, 1824, the result of a fall off his horse and his weakened chronic tubercular infection.

message 50: by Carol (new)

Carol (goodreadscomcarolann) | 1140 comments **QUESTION: Did Gericault copy American painter John Singleton Copley’s Watson and the Shark, both in contemporary subject matter and drama?

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Watson and the Shark, 1778

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Gericault’s The Raft of the Medusa, 1818-1819

*** In addition, the French gave credit to Gericault for being innovative in depicting his atypical subject matter and dramatic presentation in a historical painting.

But wait . . . didn't another American artist --Benjamin West -- receive that distinction 47 years earlier?

In West's painting Death of General Wolfe, he intentionally depicted the general not in the classical form of historical paintings (wearing ancient toga before the Parthenon) but in modern military dress on the battlefield. The choice that West made was highly controversial at that time. Although the event was relatively recent -- only eleven years prior -- its subject matter made it a fitting example of the genre of history painting, for which contemporary dress was unsuitable.

During the painting, several influential people, including Sir Joshua Reynolds, instructed West to dress the figures in classical attire, and after its completion, George III refused to purchase it because the clothing compromised the dignity of the event. The painting eventually overcame all objections and helped inaugurate more historically accurate practice in history painting.

The Death of General Wolfe, 1771

The above engraving by William Woollett was the most well known copy of West's painting and became popular around the world.

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