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ART 4 2-DAY 18 December
Born on 18 December 1633: Willem
van de Velde II, Dutch English marine
painter who died on 07 April 1707; son of marine painter Willem
van de Velde I [1611 – Dec 1693].
— About in 1648 Willem II moved to Weesp to study under Simon de Vlieger, whose somber and atmospheric seascapes were a foil to the more prosaic realism of his father’s work. In 1652 he was back in Amsterdam. He took up work in his father’s studio, and his earliest paintings were signed by van de Velde I as head of the studio. Father and son moved to England in the winter of 1672–1673.
Willem van de Velde de jonge is one of the most illustrious of all marine painters. He was the student of his father and of Simon de Vlieger. Like his father, he gave very accurate portrayals of ships, but is distinguished from him by his feeling for atmosphere and majestic sense of composition. He left Amsterdam for England with his father in 1672 and in 1674 Charles II gave them a yearly retaining fee of 100 pounds each; the father received his "for taking and making draughts of seafights" and the son "for putting the said draughts into colors for our own particular use". They did not switch their allegiance to England completely; both subsequently painted pictures of naval battles for the Dutch as well as the English market. Willem de jonge's influence, however, was particularly great in England, where the whole tradition of marine painting stemmed from him.
Willem van der Velde the Younger was first trained in the Amsterdam studio of his father, Willem the Elder, who was a distinguished ship 'portraitist'. Willem the Elder specialized in pensehilderijen, pen drawings of ships on panel or canvas made in a manner similar to engravings. Subsequently his son completed his training with Simon de Vlieger, the marine painter, in Weesp. Willem the Younger then joined his father in his studio and continued to live and work in Amsterdam until 1672. In that year, the so-called rampjaar, the French invasion of the Netherlands caused such economic chaos that painters found it difficult to earn a living. (Vermeer was also among the many Dutch artists who experienced financial hardship at this time.) Both father and son moved to England and in 1674 were taken into the service of Charles II: the warrant of appointment states that each is to be paid a hundred pounds a year, in addition to payments for their pictures, the father for 'taking and making of Draughts of seafights' and the son for 'putting the said Draughts into colors'. One important early royal commission was for designs for tapestries commemorating the Battle of Solebay. They lived for the rest of their lives in England, working in their studio at the Queen's House, Greenwich, for Charles II, James II and members of their courts.
— A Ship in High Seas Caught by a Squall (The Gust) (1680)
— Calm: Dutch Ships Coming to Anchor (1670, 169x233cm) _ This is one of the finests of van de Velde's Dutch period pictures, before he settled in London in 1672-1673.
— The Cannon Shot (1670, 78x67cm) _ This study of a man-of-war firing a cannon — as a signal, rather than in battle — was painted before van de Velde left Amsterdam for London. Rather than a seascape, it is a portrait of the ship. In his later years Willem the Younger employed numerous assistants and the quality of his work declined, but this picture is entirely from his own hand and displays the remarkable atmospheric effects of which he was capable.
— The Gouden Leeuw before Amsterdam (1686, 180x300cm) _ 17th-century pictures defined the Dutch scene not only in terms of shared history but also as a site of productivity. While landscapes, city scenes, and animal paintings advertised the ingenious foundations of Dutch economic success, other genres — marine painting foremost — acknowledged its more significant basis in overseas trade and colonial ventures. Although many seascapes were available cheaply, the best marine painters were among the most highly rewarded artists. The States-General, city governments, and trading companies commissioned views of the Dutch naval and trading fleets, before a prosperous harbor, in battle, or at sea. Van de Velde II painted the heroic vessel Gouden Leeuw in the bustle of Amsterdam harbor.
— The Battle at Texel (1687) — [Dutch war ships] — [Battle at sea with English war ship]
— English Ship in a Gale — Statenjacht — Ships Riding Quietly at Anchor
— The Cannon Shot (30x23cm) — Fishing Boats in a Calm — Large Seascape
— Die vier Elemente: Das Wasser
— 11 images at Webshots
Born on 18 December 1631 (28 Dec 1630?): Ludolf Backhuysen
(or Bakhuizen, Bakhuisen, Bakhuyzen, Backhuyzen), Dutch Baroque
painter, draftsman, calligrapher and printmaker, of German origin, active
mainly in Amsterdam. He died on 07 (or 06) November 1708; his date of burial
is 12 November 1708. Another source gives his date of death as 17 November
After the van de Veldes moved to England in 1672, Backhuysen became the most popular marine painter in Holland. He captures the drama and movement of ships, but seldom achieves the poetic effects of either van de Velde the Younger  or Jan van de Capelle.
— He was born in Emden, East Frisia [now Germany], son of Gerhard Backhuszoon (Backhusen). Ludolf was trained as a clerk in his native town. Shortly before 1650 he joined the Bartolotti trading house in Amsterdam, where his fine handwriting attracted attention. He practiced calligraphy throughout his life. He studied under Hendrik Dubbels and Allart van Everdingen. During his early years in Amsterdam he also displayed his skilled use of the pen in drawings, mainly marine scenes, done in black ink on prepared canvas, panel, or parchment. He probably derived this technique and subject-matter from Willem van de Velde the elder’s pen drawings of the 1650s. Bakhuizen continued to produce pen drawings until the 1660s, some depicting recognizable ships and existing views, such as his Ships Leaving Amsterdam Harbor, others depicting unidentified locations, as in the View of a Dutch Waterway.
Ships in Distress in a Heavy Storm (1690)
— Fishing Vessels Offshore in a Heavy Sea (1684, 65x98cm; 1325x2000pix; 1828kb)
Ships Running Aground in a Storm (1695, 173x341cm) _ While Dutch primacy in merchant shipping offered high rewards, its risks were equally significant. On their long journeys to the Mediterranean, the New World, Africa, and the East, merchant vessels were perennially endangered by warfare, piracy, treacherous shores, and storms. Several painters, most dramatically Ludolf Backhuysen, specialized in ships adrift in tempests. Backhuysen executed this painting (his largest surviving one) as if he were observing the disaster in the midst of the roiling seas, thus engaging beholders in the unfolding tragedy, encouraging them to empathize with the ships and their crews and to contemplate the powers of God, beyond full comprehension. But even as such paintings acknowledge the fragility of Dutch seaborne success, their distant shafts of sunlight usually hold out hope for reversals of misfortune. A brighter future may still save Backhuysen's ship at left, its Dutch flag unfurled against lightening skies. Collectors occasionally hung a tempest painting opposite a sunny shipping scene, implying that the power of God and nature, whether terrifying or benevolent, is always magnificent.
Ships in Distress off a Rocky Coast (1667) _ Backhuysen is the last representative of the great tradition of Dutch marine painting; eighteenth-century Dutch artists did much less of consequence in this category than in the others they practised. Backhuysen was born in Emden, Germany, and came to Amsterdam around the middle of the century where he remained for the rest of his life. His high-placed patrons include the burgomasters of Amsterdam, the Archduke of Tuscany, Czar Peter the Great, and various German princes. He is best known for his stormy scenes. When a storm threatened he sometime went by boat 'to the mouth of the Sea, in order to observe the crash of the Seawater under these conditions'. His Ships in Distress off a Rocky Coast shows the chilling drama he can bring to the theme. The large cargo ship in the centre is managing to make way along the perilous coast, while on the right, two vessels are in even greater danger. Later his storms become melodramatic, his chiaroscuro effects exaggerated, and his gigantic waves rather schematic and glass-like.
The Y at Amsterdam viewed from Mussel Pier (1673) [it is NOT the YMCA, but the River Y. Why? For one, the YMCA was founded in 1844, in London, by George Williams. Why Y for the name of the river? Is the Y Y-shaped?]
— Ships on the Zuiderzee before Fort Naarden (1670; 600x791pix, 164kb _ ZOOM to poor quality 1400x1846pix, 370kb)
— Slightly Rough Sea with Ships (1670; 600x1029pix, 218kb _ ZOOM to 1400x2402pix, 502kb)
^ Born on 18 December 1879: Paul Klee, Swiss German Expressionist painter, draftsman, printmaker, teacher, and writer, who died on 29 June 1940. — [Les images à Klee sont des images à clé?]
— Klee’s work forms a major contribution to the history of 20th-century art. He is associated most commonly with the Bauhaus school in Weimar and Dessau. He is regarded as a major theoretician among modern artists and as a master of humor and mystery. In much of his work, he aspired to achieve a naive and untutored quality, but his art is also among the most cerebral of any of the 20th century. Klee’s wide-ranging intellectual curiosity is evident in an art profoundly informed by structures and themes drawn from music, nature and poetry.
A Swiss-born painter and graphic artist whose personal, often gently humorous works are replete with allusions to dreams, music, and poetry, Paul Klee is difficult to classify. Primitive art, surrealism, cubism, and children's art all seem blended into his small-scale, delicate paintings, watercolors, and drawings.
Klee grew up in a musical family and was himself a violinist (like Ingres). After much hesitation he chose to study art, not music, and he attended the Munich Academy in 1900. There for his teacher, he got stuck with the popular symbolist and society painter Franz von Stuck. Klee later toured Italy (1901-02), responding enthusiastically to Early Christian and Byzantine art.
Klee's early works are mostly etchings and pen-and-ink drawings. These combine satirical, grotesque, and surreal elements and reveal the influence of Francisco de Goya and James Ensor, both of whom Klee admired. Two of his best-known etchings, dating from 1903, are Virgin in a Tree and Two Men Meet, Each Believing the Other to Be of Higher Rank. Such peculiar, evocative titles are characteristic of Klee and give his works an added dimension of meaning.
After his marriage in 1906 to the pianist Lili Stumpf, Klee settled in Munich, then an important center for avant-garde art. That same year he exhibited his etchings for the first time. His friendship with the painters Wassily Kandinsky and August Macke prompted him to join Der Blaue Reiter, an expressionist group that contributed much to the development of abstract art. A turning point in Klee's career was his visit to Tunisia with Macke and Louis Molliet in 1914. He was so overwhelmed by the intense light there that he wrote: "Color has taken possession of me; no longer do I have to chase after it, I know that it has hold of me forever. That is the significance of this blessed moment. Color and I are one. I am a painter." He now built up compositions of colored squares that have the radiance of the mosaics he saw on his Italian sojourn. The watercolors Red and White Domes and Remembrance of a Garden (1914) are distinctive of this period.
Klee often incorporated letters and numerals into his paintings, as in Once Emerged from the Gray of Night (1918). These, part of Klee's complex language of symbols and signs, are drawn from the unconscious and used to obtain a poetic amalgam of abstraction and reality. He wrote that "Art does not reproduce the visible, it makes visible," and he pursued this goal in a wide range of media using an amazingly inventive battery of techniques. Line and color predominate with Klee, but he also produced series of works that explore mosaic and other effects.
Klee taught at the Bauhaus school after World War I, where his friend Kandinsky was also a faculty member. In Pedagogical Sketchbook (1925), one of his several important essays on art theory, Klee tried to define and analyze the primary visual elements and the ways in which they could be applied. In 1931 he began teaching at Dusseldorf Akademie, but he was dismissed by the Nazis, who termed his work degenerate. In 1933, Klee went to Switzerland. There he came down with the crippling collagen disease scleroderma, which forced him to develop a simpler style and eventually killed him. The late works, characterized by heavy black lines, are often reflections on death and war, but his last painting, Still Life (1940), is a serene summation of his life's concerns as a creator.
— Klee's students included Mordecai Ardon, Max Bill, Vilhelm Bjerke-Petersen, T. Lux Feininger, Ernst Morgenthaler, Arieh Sharon, Gunta Stölzl, Fritz Winter.
Né en Suisse, Klee suit une solide formation de peintre à Munich, la capitale artistique de l’Allemagne. Ses "Inventions" satiriques et des illustrations de "Candide" de Voltaire témoignent de cet apprentissage où l’on sent déjà percer le symbolisme ainsi qu’un fantasmatique débridé et grinçant.
Comme beaucoup de peintres, il parcourt l’Italie et la Sicile les deux premières années du siècle. Puis à Paris, il se familiarise avec le Cubisme. Chez Cézanne et Van Gogh, il apprend l’art de la Lumière. A la veille de la première guerre mondiale il part en Tunisie, ce qui influencera nettement son chromatisme. Après la guerre, c’est en Allemagne qu’il travaillera, peindra et enseignera (au Bauhaus à Weimar, la capitale de la République de Weimar). Il expose en Allemagne, mais aussi à Paris avec les surréalistes en 1925. Parallèlement à son œuvre et à ses expositions, il enseigne aux beaux-Arts à Dusseldorf.
Dans une œuvre onirique et grâcieuse, qui participe de l’abstraction pure, il adhère au mouvement du surréalisme, dont il deviendra l’un des principaux théoriciens. Mais dès 1933 la persécution des Nazis vis à vis des arts "dégénérés", particulièrement des peintre surréalistes, l’oblige à quitter définitivement l‘Allemagne pour la Suisse. Il y meurt, désabusé et malade, le 29 Jun 1940.. Ah... et son violon d'Ingres était... le violon.
1914 Seiltanzer Insula Dulcamara (1938) Südliche Gärten Tunisian Gardens Ancient Sounds Legend of the Nile The Golden Fish Threat of Lightning Captive Parnassus (1932) Der Marsch zum Gipfel Jester Kronenarr — Red and White Domes Remembrance of a Garden Once Emerged from the Gray of Night — Seiltanzer (1923, 44x27cm)