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ART “4” “2”-DAY  27 December
^ Died on 27 December 1849: Jacques~Laurent Agasse, in London, Swiss English painter specialized in animals; born on 24 March 1767.
— Born into a wealthy and politically influential Huguenot family, Agasse spent his early childhood at the country estate of Crévin, where he may have developed the interest in animals and natural history that was to guide his later career as an artist in England. Agasse was trained first at the École du Colibri in his native Geneva and subsequently in Paris under Jacques-Louis David (beginning in 1787) and possibly under Horace Vernet. His early artistic output consisted chiefly of unpretentious silhouette ‘cut-outs’ in the style of Jean-Daniel Huber. At this time he also undertook a serious study of dissection and veterinary science.
White Horse in Pasture (1807) — The Last Stage on the Portsmouth Road (1815)
Landing at Westminster Bridge (1818) — The Flower Seller (1822) — The Playground, (1830)
^ Died on 27 December 1802: Jørgensen “Jens” Juel, Danish painter born on 12 May 1745. — {Was every one of his paintings a Juel jewel?}
— Noted for his landscapes and portraits, Juel painted compositionally balanced works in a harmonious palette, continuing a classical painterly tradition. The son of a vicar at Gamborg on Funen, Juel went to Hamburg (then under Danish sovereignty), where he studied under the German artist Johann Michael Gehrmann [–1770]. In 1765 Juel briefly returned to Fünen and then to Copenhagen, where he studied at the Kunstakademi until 1771. While at the academy he came under the influence of Carl Gustaf Pilo, a professor there from 1748 and best known for his portraits of the Danish royal family. It was also at the academy that Juel perfected his considerable talent in drawing.
— Among Juel's students there were Caspar David Friedrich, and Philipp Otto Runge.

Jean-Armand Tronchin (1779) — Madame de Pragins (1779)
A Strom Brewing behind a Farmhouse in Zealand (1795)
A Noblewoman with her Son (1800) — A Running Boy (1802)
Isabelle de Charrière:: Mme de Charrière [1740-1805] was a writer.
Bernt Anker (1792, oval 64x51 cm; 595x468pix, 23kb) _ Swedish-born Anker was Norway's richest man and a philanthropist.
^ Born on 27 (22?) December 1859: Vicente March y Marco, Spanish painter who died on 31 March 1927 (or in 1914?). — {If his name had been Vicente April y Marco, would he have lived one more month?}
— Nace en Valencia y se forma artísticamente en la Escuela de Bellas Artes de San Carlos de esta capital, teniendo como profesores a Gonzalo Salvá y a Francisco Domingo Marqués. En 1876 oposita a una plaza de pensionado en Roma con el lienzo Desembarco en Valencia de Francisco I tras la derrota de Pavía, quedando en segundo lugar, por lo que, alentado por su profesor Francisco Domingo, en 1887 se traslada a Roma por sus propios medios, teniendo como compañero de viaje a Constantino Gómez.
      Una vez en Roma se instala en los talleres del Palazzo Patrizi, situados en el 53-B de la entrañable via Margutta, compartiendo estudio con un numeroso grupo de artistas españoles, casi todos ellos valencianos, entre los que destacan Poveda, Peyró, Puig Roda, Pedro Serrano, Sánchez Barbudo, Manuel Muñoz Casas, y los hermanos Benlliure con quienes le unirá una gran amistad de por vida, completando su formación artística en la academia Chigi. En Italia, durante el verano, pasa largas temporadas en Venecia, en Nápoles, en Asís con los Benlliure, y, sobre todo, en Subiaco, población de aspecto medieval cercana a Anticoli Corrado, residencia permanente esta última de su buen amigo y compañero Mariano Barbasán.
      Influido por el ambiente de los círculos artísticos españoles en Roma, cultiva principalmente los temas costumbristas italianos de los siglos XVII y XVIII . Posteriormente y a raíz de un viaje realizado por Marruecos y Egipto desarrolla una etapa con escenas marroquíes y orientalistas. En 1881 obtiene la medalla de plata de la Exposición Regional valenciana con el lienzo Una visita al estudio. A partir de 1888 expone regularmente en Berlín y Munich, obteniendo diversos premios. En 1893 su acuarela La Hilandera (480x333pix, 32kb) obtiene la medalla de plata en la Exposición Internacional de Roma.
      En 1894 trabaja para los álbumes dedicados a S.M. la Reina de España y a S.A. Imperial de Alemania. En 1.903, a los pocos años de haber contraído matrimonio, deja Roma y fija su residencia en una pequeña población cercana a Xátiva donde reside su hermano Rafael, farmacéutico de profesión, y la familia de su esposa. Allí continua su obra pictórica hasta su fallecimiento.
      Entre sus obras cabe destacar, aparte de las anteriormente citadas y de las cuyos enlaces están al último: Un bautizo en España, Las tres edades,, En el mercado, Plaza del mercado de Subiaco, Riña de gallos en Argel, La egipcia, Lección de música, Visita a la casa del niño, La esclava, Viejo árabe leyendo, El abuelo, El prólogo, La almea, Un labrador de la huerta, Sí vendrá, Mercado de las flores de Valencia. (los enlaces de este párrafo son de fotos en blanco y negro).

Self-Portrait of head (480x375pix, 23kb)
Self-Portrait head and shoulders (480x404pix, 12kb)
Self-Portrait half length (480x317pix, 18kb)
A Roman Courtyard In Summer (42x27cm; 1000x591pix, 159kb) — Las Tres Edades (445x640pix, 33kb)
El prestidigitador (555x826pix, 69kb) — Vendedora de frutas (491x318pix, 27kb)
La Ciociara (480x296pix, 18kb) — La gallina ciega (414x672pix, 48kb)
El músico de aldea (428x640pix, 55kb) — Campesinos (399x640pix, 47kb)
97 images at Vicente March site
^ Died on 27 December 1950: Max Beckmann, German Expressionist painter born on 12 February 1884.
— Max Beckmann, often hailed as Germany's greatest 20th-century artist, was one of the founders of what we now call modern art.
     In Beckmann's 1939 painting Woman with Large Shell and Wine Glass, the vibrant colors are applied with quick, edgy brushstrokes. This painting is a beautiful example of the joyous aspects of Beckmann's work that began during his Paris years.
     Max Beckmann is not known for his joyousness. Born in Germany — he died in the US — he is famous for brooding, symbol-laden self-portraiture, for his mastery of the morose. Sometimes mythic and always dramatic, Beckmann may well be the epitome of Expressionism, Germany's great contribution to modern art. It's a style critics came to love; Hitler to hate (and even some Hitler-haters concur with Hitler on this one point). But at the start, he was just a gifted, if romantic, realist.
     He was a very fine academic person; he studied the traditions, especially Rembrandt. He was an excellent draftsman; his anatomy was perfect. He had a perfect understanding of human structure.
      Beckmann's canvases grew with his ambition. The Titanic, painted in 1912, is as busy as turbulent, as theatrically tragic as the scene it depicts. But it was World War I that forged Beckmann's famed Expressionism. A medic on the front, the artist faced such brutality that he simply broke down. His post war work is radical, dark, and, above all, personally expressive, as in 1917's Christ Saving an Adulteress From Stoning — a Christ who looks a lot like Max Beckmann.
     Beckmann was one of the great stars in Germany, one of the hottest painters of the time. For what did he need to go to Paris? He wanted to be a cosmopolitan, a painter recognized on the European level such as Picasso, Matisse, and Braque were recognized internationally. In 1929, Beckmann moved to Paris, to exhibit there and get the French art world to take a German as seriously as it did its own.
     In Beckmann's Resting Woman with Carnations, a serene, sensuous figure is set against an intricate, decorative pattern of stylized stripes, tiles, and latticework. This may be compared to Henri Matisse's exotic Odalisque With Green Scarf (or Harem Woman), which was painted in 1926. The model in Beckmann's Resting Woman with Carnations also takes an alluring seated pose. Beckmann's model is his second wife, Quappi. He painted Quappi flamboyantly, dozens of times, in various stages of dress and undress. Part of his new Paris persona: Macho artist with sexy wife.
      Beckmann didn't just challenge Matisse, however, but Picasso as well. An example of Picasso's classical style of the 1920's is a portrait called The Reader. Beckmann's response is a woman reading.
      The German took up specifically French themes as well: The French seaside is serene to Matisse; to Beckmann, it's an occasion for a bizarre bathing scene.
      Rugby teams to France's Robert Delaunay are all color. By contrast, Max Beckmann's tangled web of soccer players by contrast bristles with dark feeling.
      Even Beckmann's still-lifes are emotional. Consider a marine comparison: Picasso's catch of the day, almost funny; Braque's flat, formal, elegant. Beckmann's creatures, however, convey menace and a sense of drama in the composition through these enormous teeth that the fish show, giving it a harshness and a forcefulness that goes away from a purely esthetic rendering of objects or shapes.
      Ultimately, Beckmann was rejected by France, and not long after, the king of German painting was spurned by his own country as well. A surviving photo shows how mildly this painting had begun in 1933: Beckmann, the proud sovereign; Quappi, his young queen. But in 1937, the Nazis had turned on him, confiscating hundreds of his paintings and taunting several in their infamous degenerate art show. Beckmann reworked this painting in 1937 when he was declared degenerate and made it more brooding and less of a self-portrait than almost like a dark and dramatic painting that almost forebodes the terrible things that are going to come.
     Beckmann fled to Holland, safe in part because his son was a surgeon in the Luftwaffe. There, he painted fineart''' is gone the acrobats. He sees dark things, ugly things. The paintings take on a gloomy look. There's a Roman soldier with a spear that's a thinly disguised Nazi. There's a bellhop coming in. The bellhop in Beckmann's paintings is always a messenger bringing news of various kinds, usually bad. And the acrobats refers to people who make their living by creativity, who are onstage, disguising themselves, taking different roles, like Beckmann himself, who sometimes played the acrobat.
      It was after the war that, fed up with Europe, Beckmann was offered a teaching job in America, at Washington University in St. Louis. There, art student Wally Barker became his assistant. St. Louis was in a sense Beckmann's Paris, but here, he ruled the roost at last. In 1950, receiving an honorary degree from Washington University, he summed up: "Greatness," he said in his speech, "depends alone on the fertile imagination of the individual. If you love nature with all your heart, new and unimaginable things in art will occur to you." New and unimaginable things: It might as well be the motto of modern art. And if Max Beckmann hasn't attained the stature of his French rivals, well, maybe it's because they're more important, or maybe because his nervy, odd imagery is just a bit harder to appreciate.
Selbstbildnis als Krankenpfleger (1915, 55x38cm) _ Beckmann served in the medical services in eastern Prussia, then in Flanders and at Strasbourg. He was a witness to the first mustard gas attacks around Ypres. At Courtrai, he was present at operations that surgeons attempted on the wounded and made detailed drawings of them. His self portrait is built around three elements: the eye that scrutinizes, the hand that draws, and the red cross. There is hardly any color. A few months later, Beckmann was sent home to Germany after suffering a serious mental breakdown. He sought refuge in Frankfurt where he slowly took up painting again.
Self Portrait in Olive and Brown (1945, 62x50cm)
Self Portrait in Bowler Hat (1921 etching, 32x24cm; full size, 1262kb) _ Here Beckmann depicts himself as a dandy with a bowler hat, stiff collar, and cigarette. The profile of a cat sitting on a table behind him to the left and an ashtray and kerosene lamp to his right fill out the tight composition. Beckmann created about eighty self-portraits over a career that spanned virtually half a century. He used his own image and persona to delve into the complexities of the human soul, showing the variety of selves that make up an individual. In Self-Portrait in Bowler Hat Beckmann shows that he is every bit the modern man, confident in his powers of observation and cool, critical detachment.
Self-Portrait (1919 drypoint, 23x19cm; full size, 538kb)
— Self-Portrait (lithograph)
Christ with a Woman Taken in Adultery (1917) _ Beckmann came out of a war very badly hurt, physically and mentally. In this picture you see this guy with blood all over his hands, the guy who's so superior to the adulteress. What Beckmann is actually saying here is a plea for mercy, protecting someone. Beckmann the painter used various modern devices, seeing his subjects from multiple points of view, for instance. You can look down on the feet of Christ. And about halfway up the picture you're looking straight across at him. And at the top of the picture, you're looking up, like we're seeing the underside of the guy's face. Different perspectives on one scene — it's what French Cubism was known for: Picasso's double faces, seen at once head-on and in profile; Braque's still-lifes, seen both straight ahead — the legs that hold up the table — and from above — the newspaper and the tabletop itself. Playing with perspective intrigued Beckmann, but he was more interested in emotions, in energy.
The Skaters (1932, 128x98cm; half-size, 2673kb)
Blind Man's Buff (1945, 206x439cm for 3 panels: 187x102cm left, 207x104cm center, 188x106cm right; 1/7 size, 2243kb) This is the most important of the five triptychs created by Max Beckmann while exiled in Holland between 1937 and 1947, a prudent exile considering the Nazi's inclusion of ten of his works in their exhibition of "degenerate art" in 1937. Like much of his art, Blindman's Buff is allusive and symbolic, inviting explication yet resisting explicit interpretation. Yet, the artist's use of the three-paneled format that was traditional to Medieval and Renaissance altarpieces evokes religious associations. Beckmann also drew upon classical sources, calling the figures at center "the gods" and the animal-headed man the "minotaur." Throughout the triptych, figures engage in sensual pleasures in a place where time, represented by a clock without XII or I, has no beginning or end. In sharp contrast on each wing are the blindfolded man and kneeling woman who, like prayerful donors in a Renaissance altarpiece, turn their backs to the confusion behind them.
Family (1920) — Dancing Badden Badden (1923) — Tux
— Man and Women — Umberto — Afternoon (1946) — Argonaux
26 Jun - 29 Sep 2003 MOMA exhibition (PDF) with images of [Self-Portrait? with Trumpet?], Small Death Scene (1906), The Sinking of the Titanic (1912), The Night (1919), Family Picture (1920), The Dream (1921), The Harbor of Genoa (1927), Russian Actor Zeretelli (1927), Self-Portrait with Sailor Hat (1926), Self-Portrait in Tuxedo (1927), Departure (1933), Journey on the Fish (1934), The Actors (1942), Hell of the Birds (1938), Falling Man (1950)
— 27 etchings at FAMSF

Died on a 27 December:

2000 Antonio Rodríguez Valdivieso, pintor español. nacido en Granada en 1918. Considerado uno de los grandes exponentes de la pintura figurativa de la segunda mitad del siglo XX, la obra de Rodríguez Valdivieso fue reclamo habitual de la galería Buchholz de Madrid junto a la producción de autores como Lago, Lara, Guerrero y Palazuelo. Su carrera pictórica evolucionó desde el expresionismo de los primeros años hacia la sobriedad y los signos figurativos de su época de madurez. Para la crítica, su principal aportación a la pintura radica en la espontaneidad y la inmediatez de sus pinceladas, en las que utilizó un reducido lenguaje cromático.

1899 (03 Oct?) Henri-Jacques-Édouard Evenepoel, Belgian painter and printmaker born on 04 (03?) October 1872. His mother died when he was two, and he was brought up by his severe but cultivated father, a senior civil servant and musicologist. He studied in Brussels under the architect Ernest Acker [1852–1912] at the Académie des Beaux-Arts (1889–1890), the painter Ernest Blanc-Garin [1843–1916] and the decorative painter Adolphe Crespin [1859–1944], then entered the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris on 21 October 1892 as a student of P. V. Galland. Galland died in November 1892, and Evenepoel was admitted to Gustave Moreau’s atelier on 14 March 1893. There he came into contact with Georges Rouault and became friendly with Henri Matisse, Paul Baignères [1869–1945], Charles Milcendeau [1872–1919], Simon Bussy [1869–1954] and Charles Hoffbauer [1875–1957]. For more than four years Evenepoel was very close to Moreau, a demanding teacher who appreciated his sensitivity and determination and encouraged him to develop a distinct artistic personality.

1940 Louis Hayet, French painter and writer born on 29 August 1864. He was largely self-taught and initially earned his living as an itinerant painter-decorator. In 1881 he met Lucien and Camille Pissarro while painting landscapes near Pontoise and through them met Paul Signac in 1885 and Seurat in 1886. After a year’s military service at Versailles, Hayet moved to Paris in the autumn of 1887. There he began to apply to his paintings Eugène Chevreul’s theories of color contrast with which he had become familiar by 1881. A gifted watercolor painter, he also experimented with the ancient technique of wax encaustic, painting on a prepared cotton that allowed light to filter through. The paint surface of works such as The Grange retains a vivid tonal freshness, while the subject of crowds of peasants gathered before the Paris agricultural market reveals a debt to Pissarro. During the second half of the 1880s he became obsessed with the notion of passage—the problem of the transitional areas between an object in space and the vibrating field that surrounds it. In an attempt to work out systematically all the tonal gradations possible when one color is juxtaposed with another, he made at least eight chromatic circles and fifteen color charts as a guide in his painting.

1936 Leon Wyczólkowski, Polish painter and printmaker who born on 11 April 1852. — [He should have shortened his name to Kowski. That way, in his golden years, people might have called him “wise old Kowski”.] — He studied at the Warsaw Drawing School (1869-1873) under Aleksander Kaminski [1823-1886], Rafal Hadziewicz [1803-1886] and Wojciech Gerson; from 1875 to 1877 he studied at the Munich Kunstakademie under Alexander Wagner [1838-1918], and then at the Kraków School of Fine Arts under Jan Matejko from 1877 to 1879. Most of his early works are technically competent realistic portraits that reveal his sensitivity to color (e.g. The Artist’s Grandmother, Mrs Falinska, 1880) and drawing-room scenes in the Munich tradition of anecdotal realism (e.g. I Once Saw, 1884). From 1883 to 1894 he lived in the Ukraine. During his last years there he produced numerous scenes of peasant and bourgeois life. Such works as Fishermen (1891) and Croquet (1895) were influenced in technique by the Impressionist paintings he had seen while in Paris in 1889, but were still predominantly realist in conception.

1879 Jacob Thompson, British artist born on 28 August 1806.

1805 Jean-Baptiste-Charles Claudot, French artist born in 1733.

1745 Johan Anton Richter, Swedish artist born in 1675, give or take 10 years. — Capriccio With Palazzo Vendramin Calergi, Venice (50x76cm)

1703 Isaak van Nikkelen, Dutch artist born in 1635, give or take 5 years.

1641 Gotthardt Wedig, German artist born in 1583.

^ 1631 Jan Symonszoon Pynas, Dutch artist born in 1583 or 1584. He came from an aristocratic Catholic family in Alkmaar; his father, Symon Janszoon Brouwer, became a citizen of Amsterdam in 1590. His sister Meynsge married the artist Jan Tengnagel in 1611. By 1618, in a poem eulogizing the city of Amsterdam, Theodore Rodenburgh mentioned an artist Pynas as being celebrated in the city; however, it is not possible to be certain whether he was referring to Jan or to his brother Jacob Symonszoon Pynas [1585-1656]. Until the 1930s the oeuvres of the two brothers were often confused and also generally subsumed in the category of works by followers of Adam Elsheimer. — Jan Pynas and his brother Jacob were in in Rome (1605) and they returned to Holland with a new kind of history painting, much influenced by Italian ideas and also by Elsheimer. The principal importance of the brothers is that they passed these ideas on to Rembrandt, who may have been Jacob's student for a few months. — In 1605 Pynas went to Italy, returning two years later to Amsterdam, where he made a reputation for himself with history paintings, particularly representations from biblical and ancient history. The painting of Jacob Being Shown Joseph’s Bloodstained Robe (1618) was the inspiration for the play Joseph in Dothan by the poet Joost van den Vondel. In Jan’s early work (e.g. The Raising of Lazarus, 1605; and Moses Turning Water into Blood, 1610) there are signs of the influence of the artists with whose work he had obviously become familiar in Italy, especially Adam Elsheimer and Jacopo Tintoretto. Within a few years he came under the influence of Pieter Lastman and the group of Amsterdam artists known as the Pre-Rembrandtists. In The Dismissal of Hagar (1613) the size and the construction of Pynas’s figures are reminiscent of Lastman’s work. However, Pynas reduced the eloquent gesticulation used by Lastman to restrained gestures, which he then emphasized by depicting his protagonists in profile. In this he represented the opposite pole within the circle of Amsterdam Pre-Rembrandtists to his brother-in-law Tengnagel, who exaggerated the movement of his figures to such an extent that they seem to be dancing. Pynas’s history pictures are generally simple and lacking in ornament, a tendency also cultivated at times by Claes Corneliszoon Moeyaert. A comparison between Pynas’s painting of Joseph Selling Corn in Egypt (1618) and Lastman’s version of the same theme (1612) shows Pynas’s inclination towards simplicity and the reduction of narrative devices. — LINKSHistorical Allegory (1610, 32x52cm) _ The meaning of the allegory is not clear, it probably depicts a historical peace treaty. One of the main characteristics of the artist is the sketchy, pale figures in the background. — The Raising of Lazarus (1615)

Born on a 27 December:

^ 1929 Lucio Muñoz, Madrid Spanish pseudo-painter and printmaker, who died on 24 May 1998.
— He studied drawing at the Academia de Bellas Artes de San Fernando in Madrid from 1949 to 1954. Freeing himself gradually from academic discipline, he became acquainted with Cubism, Expressionism, abstract art and other modernist tendencies and also experimented with collage. After taking part in a group show in Madrid in 1955 he spent a year in Paris (1955–1956), where he became involved with Art informel and matter painting, taking a particular interest in the textures of his materials. He was particularly innovative in his prints and in works on wood rather than in oil paintings. Far from assigning a merely supportive role to wood, he incorporated it fully into the overall concept of works such as Panel 21 (1959), sometimes scorching it, scratching deep cuts into it or covering it with a thick layer of oil paint into which he mixed marble dust, sawdust and pulverized minerals. He referred to these works by the ironic term Pseudo-paintings, which is half accurate (the pseudo part).
— Estudió en la Escuela de Bellas Artes de San Fernando (1949-1954), donde fue discípulo de Eduardo Chicharro hijo. Allí conoció a los que más tarde serán conocidos como los "realistas madrileños": Antonio López, los hermanos López Hernández, y la que será su mujer, en 1960, Amalia Avia. En 1956 viajó a París, becado por el gobierno francés, en donde conoció la tendencia francesa denominada "Art Autre" y se interesa por la obra de artistas como Wols, Dubuffet, Fautrier o Tàpies. Interesado desde sus comienzos por el realismo, en 1955 su obra se decanta hacia la abstracción. A partir de 1957, preocupado por los valores de la materia, comenzó a utilizar la madera y papeles quemados en obras en relieve, lo que supuso su incorporación a la estética informalista.
      En 1960 es seleccionado en importantes muestras internacionales, como fueron las celebradas en Nueva York, "Before Picasso, after Miró" del Guggenheim Museum y "New Spanish Painting and Sculpture" del MOMA. En 1962 realizó una obra monumental para el ábside de la Basílica de Aránzazu. Su evolución posterior ha pasado por diferentes estados, en donde se dan acercamientos a la estética del objeto, imágenes fantásticas en un mundo imaginario de paisajes, para, después de unos años dedicado a la obra gráfica, retornar al paisaje y a la naturaleza de una manera más lírica. Este pintor se destacó con originalidad en el academizado repertorio de motivos, conceptos y maneras que, salvo excepciones como la suya, caracterizan al arte contemporáneo. La bien definida personalidad de Lucio se distinguió siempre en todas sus etapas. En 1998 Lucio Muñoz, unos meses antes de su muerte, fue contratado por la Asamblea de Madrid para que decorase su nueva sede con un impresionante mural de 138 metros cuadrados.
Uriana II (1985, 76x56cm; 844x554pix, 11kb)

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