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ART “4” “2”-DAY  02 December
BIRTHS: 1891 DIX — 1859 SEURAT
^ Born on 02 December 1891: Wilhelm Heinrich Otto Dix, German painter, printmaker, and watercolorist who died on 25 July 1969. — {Did the Italians think that he was worth eight other painters? and the French that it would take ten like him to equal one French painter?}
— Son of iron worker. After serving in World War I, studied at academies of Dresden and Düsseldorf. In the 1920s was a prominent member of the "Neue Sachlichkeit." Social realist. Depicted depravities of decadent society and the horrific nature of war with penetrating psychological truth.
— His initial training (1905–1914) in Gera and Dresden was as a painter of wall decorations, but he taught himself the techniques of easel painting from 1909 and began concentrating on portraits and landscapes in a veristic style derived from northern Renaissance prototypes. After seeing exhibitions of paintings by Vincent van Gogh (1912) and by the Futurists (1913), he quickly fused these influences into a randomly colored Expressionism.
      Volunteering as a machine-gunner during World War I, he served in the German army (1914–1918), making innumerable sketches of war scenes, using alternately a realistic and a Cubo-Futurist style. The experience of war, moreover, became a dominant motif of his work until the 1930s.
      He later commented:
“ War is something so animal-like: hunger, lice, slime, these crazy sounds ... War was something horrible, but nonetheless something powerful ... Under no circumstances could I miss it! It is necessary to see people in this unchained condition in order to know something about man.”
— Hans Theo Richter was a student of Dix.
Self Portrait with Easel (1926) — Self~Portrait With Palette
Selbstbildnis (mit Zigarette) (1922 drypoint, 34x27cm; 5/6 size)
Kupplerin (1923 color lithograph, 48x36cm; half-size)
Dr. Otto Klemperer (1923 lithograph 45x43cm; half-size)
Suburban SceneSunday Outing (1922)
^ Died on 02 December 1660: Govaert (or Govert) Flinck, Dutch Baroque painter of portraits, genre, and narrative subjects, one of Rembrandt's most accomplished followers, born on 16 December (25 January?) 1615.
— Flinck first studied in Leeuwarden and later entered Rembrandt's studio. As a painter of biblical and allegorical subjects, he at first modeled his style closely on Rembrandt's, as, for example, in his Crucifixion (1643). Later he developed a more florid and oratorical manner, in which he appears to have been influenced by Rubens, as in the Allegory in Memory of Prince Frederick Henry (1654). Flinck's most successful works were portraits, and he was especially successful in his group portraits -- e.g., A Goldsmith and His Family, and Celebration of the Civic Guard at the Signing of the Peace of Münster (1648).
— At the age of 14 he was apprenticed in Leeuwarden to the painter and Mennonite preacher Lambert Jacobszoon. There Flinck met Jacob Backer, who had been in Jacobszoon’s studio since 1622. Many of Flinck’s early works, especially his drawings, resemble those of Backer. Later Flinck became a well-known student and follower of Rembrandt van Rijn. Flinck was a gifted painter, capable of producing work of considerable beauty, but his ambition and desire for success led him to paint superficially elegant works that lacked individual character and pandered to the tastes of the increasingly ostentatious and affluent Dutch merchant class of the 17th century. He also formed a small art collection.
Four Governors of the Arquebusiers Civic Guard (1642)
Isaac Blessing Jacob (1638) _ Flinck, a student of Rembrandt, was influenced by his master's style. However, like other students, he was unable to follow him, he took only the motives, types of composition or the arrangement of colors. In general, he borrowed these quite eclectically. The Isaac Blessing Jacob is a typical example of Flinck's works in this period. The subject of the painting comes from the Bible (from the Genesis): In his old age Isaac, son of Abraham, went blind, enabling Rebecca, his wife, to obtain fraudulently his blessing for their second son, Jacob, rather than for his rightful heir, Esau.
Rembrandt as Shepherd with Staff and Flute (1636)
The Company of Captain Albert Bas and Lieutenant Lucas Conijn (1645)
Portrait of Rembrandt (1634, 57x46cm) _ Earlier this painting was catalogued as a self-portrait of Rembrandt.
Curius Dentatus Preferring Turnips to Gold (1656, 480x370cm) _ Flinck received the lion's share of commissions to decorate Amsterdam's new town hall. In 1656 he completed Curius Dentatus Preferring Turnips to Gold for the burgomasters' council chamber in the building. In the same year Rembrandt's sometime follower Ferdinand Bol [bap. 24 Jun 1616 – 24 Jul 1680 bur.] painted Gaius Fabricius Luscinus in the Camp of King Pyrrhus for the same room. The huge pictures show the incorruptibility of Dentatus (who was born with teeth) and the intrepidity of Fabricius. The former is seen indicating that he would rather live on turnips and rule over those who possess gold than possess gold received as a bribe, and the latter is shown fearless even when an elephant, intended to frighten him out of his wits, was produced. The pair of paintings were done to remind the burgomasters of two virtues city officials should possess.
Landscape (1637, 49x75cm) _ This signed and dated painting was rediscovered in the 1980s. This painting is comparable in style and technique to the Landscape with Obelisk (stolen in 1990) which was almost universally accepted as an autograph Rembrandt until it was discovered that it too bore the remnants of Flinck's signature that had been faked into his master's. The rediscovery of the landscape now in the Louvre helped clinch the attribution of the Obelisk painting to Flinck.
^ Born on 02 December 1859: Georges Pierre Seurat, French Pointillist painter who died on 29 March 1891.— [Quand il était petit, à l'école les méchants disaient-ils: “Est-ce que Sara saurat ce que ce rat Seurat sera?”?]
     Georges Seurat was a French painter who with fellow artist Paul Signac originated the influential theory and practice of neoimpressionism. Seurat was born in Paris and trained at the École des Beaux-Arts. He rejected the soft, irregular brushstrokes of impressionism in favor of pointillism, a technique he developed whereby solid forms are constructed by applying small, close-packed dots of unmixed color to a white background. Many artists imitated Seurat's method, but, except in the work of Signac, his technique remained unequaled in its perfect blending of colors. Seurat derived many of his theories about painting from his study of contemporary treatises on optics. His scientific bent was also evident in his work habits, which included fixed hours and the meticulous systematization of his technique.
      In 1884 Seurat completed Une Baignade, a scene of boys in the Seine River at Asnières and the first of six large canvases that would constitute the bulk of his life's work. In this and subsequent paintings, he continued the impressionist tradition of depicting holiday outings and entertainments. He departed from impressionist style, however, in his precise application of paint and in the suggestion of depth and volume in his scenes. His masterpiece, Un dimanche après-midi à l'Ile de la Grande Jatte (1886), achieves an atmosphere of monumental dignity through the balanced arrangement of its elements and the contours of its figures. Seurat's other large-scale works are Les Poseuses (1888), La Parade (1889), Le Chahut (1891), and Le Cirque (1890).
Un dimanche après-midi à l'Ile de la Grande Jatte
Temps Gris à la Grande Jatte
Le Chahut
Le Cirque (1890)
Port-en-Bessin (1888, 66x83cm; 1587x2000pix; 3405kb) _ In the summer of 1888, Georges Seurat worked in Port-en-Bessin, a small fishing village in Normandy. He painted six views of the seaport and its surrounding countryside. His intention was "to translate as exactly as possible the luminosity of the open air, with all its nuances." Although Seurat shared the Impressionists' goal of translating nature's light and color, he also wished to make Impressionism more precise. He wanted to replace its spontaneous, improvisational qualities with a more systematic, objective approach that could reflect the essential structures of a landscape, not just its transitory effects. To this end, Seurat developed an unusual new technique, variously called pointillism, divisionism, or Neo-Impressionism. He juxtaposed small dots of pigment according to his interpretation of scientific theories of color and optics. His followers, like Paul Signac, continued the pointillist style after Seurat's early death from pneumonia.
La Tour Eiffel (1889, 24x15cm)
106 images at Webshots
^ Died on 02 December 1929: Robert Lewis Reid, US Impressionist painter born on 29 July 1862.
— A founding member of the Ten American Painters and a native of Massachusetts, Robert Reid first studied in Boston at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, where draftsmanship, portraiture, and anatomy were stressed. He later attended the Art Students League in New York City before traveling to France for training at the Academie Julian in the late 1880s. In 1890 Reid quite suddenly adopted an impressionist style with a brighter palette, leaving behind many aspects of his academic background. Like his fellow impressionists in America and abroad, he was fond of painting attractive young women in outdoor settings.
The Garden Seat (91x76cm) — Two Girls Reading (84x76cm)
The White Parasol (1907, 91x76cm; 120kb) — The Violet Kimono (1910, 74x68cm; 95kb)
Boy with Red Peonies (1910, 94x85cm; 495x446pix, 216kb gif) _ Robert Reid's penchant for painting women among flowers has expanded here to include the depiction of childhood in such a setting. Perhaps Reid intended a psychological association in Boy with Red Peonies — that of a child representing humanity in its most natural state. Here the boy emerges from the flowering bush, a seeming outgrowth of the foliage. The boy's face and the peonies are treated similarly in brushstroke and color, which serves to unite the work pictorially and reinforces an alignment of childhood with nature. The overall decorative effect and lack of any real depth and perspective in the painting are not surprising given Reid's numerous major decorative commissions involving murals and stained glass windows, which he began contracting in the early 1890s. Many of these contain figurative allegories in which he painted, for example, personifications of the five senses and symbols of justice, peace, and prosperity. It is thus not unreasonable to suppose that Reid intended an allegorical connotation in this depiction of childhood.
Against the Sky (1911, 82x66cm; 438x357pix, 117kb gif) _ The woman in Against the Sky is less insipid than many of Reid's more decorative females displayed among an array of flowers. Fresh faced, fair skinned, sporty in dress, and all-American, this uncoiffured Gibson girl presents a decided contrast to her beflowered counterparts. Hers is not a wistful gaze but one of confidence facing the future. The figure has been painted with the care of a portraitist but nevertheless retains a sense of anonymity. Although her features are individualized, the young woman might be read as a type. Wholesome without being prudish, the young, virginal US woman had become idolized in art and literature at the turn of the century. Indeed, in Reid's painting, we literally look up to her.
      The people of the US have no goddesses or saints. But something of that goddess, saint, or heroine represented to other races they find in the idealization of their womankind. There is no room for the note of unrestrained passion, still less for sensuality. It is the grace of children, the tenderness of motherhood, the beauty and purity of young girls that they demand. The US girl is placed upon a pedestal.
      Enveloped in sky and clouds, the woman in Reid's painting is removed from the harsh realities of the industrialization that characterized the era. Whereas US national identity had been symbolized by native landscapes throughout much of the nineteenth century, by the end of the 1800s woman had replaced nature in this role. The US in the 1890s was female, young, pretty, Protestant, and northern European. Her features were regular and Caucasian. That her will was at times inconveniently strong, was, after all, to be expected of any physical or psychical type that represented the nation's own restlessness and independence of spirit.
      Against the Sky is not without its decorative side and is typical of Reid's works from that decade and the early twentieth century, in which carefully constructed form is balanced with impressionist light and color. The bright white of the dress silhouetted against the blue sky patterned with clouds is accented by the flash of red in the scarf and belt. With its low vantage point of a female form against a cloud-filled sky, the painting recalls Claude Monet's Woman with a Parasol--Madame Monet and Her Son (1875). Closer to home, Against the Sky relates in theme to many paintings by US Impressionists, most notably those by Frank Benson, who knew Reid as early as 1880 and painted similar imagery, exemplified by Sunlight (1909).

Died on a 02 December:

^ 1964 Roger Bissière, French painter born on 22 September 1886 (1888?). Son of a lawyer, he attended the École des Beaux-Arts in Algiers in 1904 before enrolling at that of Bordeaux the following year. He moved to Paris in 1910 and passed briefly through the atelier of Gabriel Ferrier (1884–1916) at the École Nationale des Beaux-Arts. Bissière became a journalist in 1912 but by 1914 had exhibited a design for a fresco of Daphnis et Chloé at the Salon des Indépendants. From 1919 he exhibited regularly at the Paris salons, becoming an accepted figure among both the Salon Cubists and the adherents of the later ‘rappel à l'ordre' that advocated a return to Classical values. He wrote the first monograph on Georges Braque (1920) for Léonce Rosenberg's Galerie de l'Effort Moderne, where he was offered a contract and one-man show in 1921, and published articles on Seurat (Oct 1920), Ingres (Jan 1921) and Corot (June 1921) for the Purist periodical L'Esprit Nouveau.
     Bissière's work at this time ranged from landscapes inspired by Braque and André Lhote (e.g. Landscape, 1925) to interiors with monumental figures that bear similarities to Picasso's Ingres-influenced period. In 1923 he accepted a five-year contract with the Galerie Druet and succeeded Maurice Denis as professor of painting at the Académie Ranson, where his students included Maria Elena Vieira da Silva, Alfred Manessier, Jean-Louis Le Moal [1909~] and Jean Bertholle [1909–1970]. He remained there until 1938.
     Bissière's almost abstract landscape paintings of 1927–1928, despite their green and brown palette, clearly anticipate the works of the Jeunes Peintres de Tradition Française of the 1940s. By the mid-1930s, however, a humorous, ironical streak offset Bissière's debt to Braque with classical parody, as in Nude with Baby Angel (1936). A certain deliberate gaucheness and violent coloring appeared in his portraits. The influence of Matthias Grünewald's Isenheim altarpiece became explicit in Crucifixion (1937). From 1935 Bissière was involved with the Art Mural movement, which was working towards a renaissance of fresco painting in France, and, besides his own projects, he directed teams of his students in the execution of frescoes for the Air and Railway Pavilions at the Exposition Internationale des Arts et Techniques dans la Vie Moderne of 1937 in Paris in conjunction with Manessier and Robert Delaunay.
     Bissière left Paris in 1939 for the seclusion of his family property at Boïssiérettes, where his prolonged isolation brought about a complete renewal of his art. The growing interest in Romanesque art among the circle of Henri Foçillon was reflected in the cruder colors and more direct expression of Bissière's own contemporary work, for example the Crucifixion fresco at Boïssiérettes. In 1942 Manessier asked Bissière to participate in a group showing of the Jeunes Peintres de Tradition Française at the Galerie de France. Their use of reds, blues and oranges superimposed on a grid-like, post-Cubist framework encouraged Bissière to brighten his palette. After the exhibition of the Bayeux tapestry at the Louvre in 1944 and the opening of the Musée de la Fresque in June 1945 at the Palais de Chaillot, Bissière began his series of ‘tentures', wall hangings in the tradition of medieval tapestry, with themes ranging from Chartres (1947) to Hiroshima (1947). Employing the rectangular structures and simple images of frescoes, they were made up from scraps of cloth and wool, roughly stitched together by Bissière's wife Mousse, evoking the rural tradition of patchwork. Bissière's rustic sculptures, assemblages of iron machinery and pieces of wood, such as the Crucified Christ (1942), used abandoned materials in the same way, exemplifying the ‘bricolage' aesthetic of the deprived Occupation years, also demonstrated by Gaston Chaissac.
     In 1947, at Bissière's first major exhibition for over ten years, thirty paintings and seven tapestries were shown at the Galerie René Drouin, where the new wave of ‘informel' painters, Jean Fautrier, Wols and Jean Dubuffet, had been launched. Dubuffet quickly became a friend, and elements of both his graffiti-based work and Klee's pictographic art entered Bissière's work. After 1947 Bissière used smaller formats, initially because of a deteriorating eye condition, cured in 1950. From 1945 until 1954 he painted almost exclusively in egg tempera on cardboard, wood and paper. Homage to Angelico (1950), with its predella structure and simple red, blue and yellow touches, demonstrates this Quattrocento-inspired primitivism, which probably influenced Nicolas de Staël's last figurative phase. In 1954 Bissière created the series of eleven colored woodcuts, Hymn to our Brother Sun, St Francis of Assisi, hand-printed by the engraver Marcel Fiorini [1922~], a high point of post-war French illustrated books.
     In the late 1950s he returned to oil painting (e.g. Composition with Green Tonalities, 1955) and designed stained-glass windows for the transepts of Metz Cathedral in 1960–61. Mousse's death in 1962 led to the series of small paintings, each titled with a date, exhibited as Journal 1962–1964 at the Galerie Jeanne Bucher. Bissière won an honorable mention when he represented France at the Venice Biennale in 1964, but the award of the Grand Prix to Robert Rauschenberg signaled the definitive triumph of New York over the École de Paris. — LINKS Composition 187 (1954; 335x725pix, 137kb)

^ 1733 Gerard Hoet I, Dutch painter, draftsman, and writer, born on 22 August 1648. He was trained by his father the glass painter Moses Hoet [–>1665] and by Warnard van Ryssen [1625–], a student of Cornelis van Poelenburch. In 1672 Hoet moved to The Hague, then to Paris; after a year he returned to the northern Netherlands via Brussels. He settled in Utrecht, where he founded a drawing academy in 1697 with Hendrick Schoock ( fl 1669–96). From 1714 Hoet resided in The Hague. He depicted mainly religous, mythological or Classical subjects set in landscapes, which were painted on a small scale in the Dutch Italianate style of van Poelenburch, but he also produced larger works, often with many figures, in an elegant, classicizing style. Examples of this decorative painting are his ceiling and wall paintings at the castle of De Slangenburg at Doetinchem. Hoet also painted portraits and some genre pieces. His book on drawing, with 103 prints by Pieter Bodart (fl early 18th century), was published in 1712. Hoet also designed many illustrations for bibles. He was the father and teacher of Gerard Hoet II (who painted in his father’s manner, before becoming an art dealer) and of Hendrick Jacob Hoet [1693–1733], a genre and still-life painter.

1654 Giacomo Apollonio di Giovanni, Italian artist born in 1582. Not to be confused with Florentine painter and illuminator Apollonio di Giovanni di Tomaso [1416-1465].

Born on a 02 December:

1873 Henri Achille Zo, French artist who died in September 1933

1819 Diodore Charles Rahoult, French artist who died on 23 March 1874.

1786 Albertus Brondgeest, Dutch artist who died on 30 June 1849.

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