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Died on 28 July (June?) 1649: Gioacchino Assereto
(or Axereto, Asserto), Italian painter born in 1600. Assereto was a Caravaggio
follower in Genoa.
— At the age of 12 he studied under Luciano Borzone and in 1614 entered the Genoese studio of Andrea Ansaldo. Among a number of lost early paintings was a large Temptation of Saint Anthony done at the age of 16. Several complex compositions with small figures, including The Apotheosis of Saint Thomas Aquinas, The Last Supper, The Stoning of Saint Stephen and The Crowning of the Virgin, perhaps date from 1616–1626. These are close in style to works such as Bernardo Strozzi’s bozzetto (1620) for an altarpiece of Paradise (since destroyed) and to other contemporary works by Ansaldo [24 Aug 1584 – 18 Aug 1638], Giulio Benso and Giovanni Andrea de’ Ferrari, which also derive their figure style from Mannerism. Assereto’s earliest dated painting, SS John the Baptist, Bernard, Catherine, Lucy and George (1626), is distinguished by its silvery color and dramatic contrasts of light and dark, and by the powerful realism and vitality of the individual saints. Here he absorbed Borzone’s sfumato technique and skill as a portrait painter, while the crisp contours of the drapery suggest Ansaldo. Assereto’s work from 1626 to 1636 sparkles with rich color and detail, as in the strikingly naturalistic and intense Ecstasy of Saint Francis (1636). The work of the Lombard Mannerist painters Cerano, Morazzone and Giulio Cesare Procaccini that had influenced Strozzi and Ansaldo before 1620 also had an effect on Assereto’s early work. This is apparent in the elongated figures and high-keyed colors of his two octagonal vault frescoes, David and Abimelech and SS John and Peter Healing the Lame Man. Sharp-edged draperies, meticulous ornamental detail and jewel-like colors ranging from lime to pink and orange characterize Assereto’s vivid narrative painting Alexander and Diogenes (1630) and his altarpiece Saints Cosmas and Damian Curing the Sick, in which some of the figures resemble those by Orazio de’ Ferrari, who may have worked with Assereto in Ansaldo’s studio. — Giovanni Battista Langetti was a student of Assereto.
— David with the Head of Goliath (80x56cm; 1200x840pix, 120kb) — ZOOM to 1792x1252pix, 174kb) _ Paintings from Assereto's youth, such as this one, are distinguished by their silvery color and dramatic contrasts of light and dark, and by the powerful realism and vitality of the individuals shown. Assereto depicts David with his trophy of the head of Goliath, quietly contemplating this portentous occasion in which good has triumphed over evil.
— Moses Drawing Water from the Rock (254x300cm; 700x866pix, 155kb)
— Tobias Healing the Blindness of His Father (147x203cm; 750x1046pix, 95kb)
Born on 28 July 1819: Henri-Joseph
Harpignies, French artist specialized
who died on 28 August 1916.
Although Harpignies was already twenty-seven years old when he began to study painting with Jean Achard, he had a long and successful career. Best known for his paintings and watercolors of landscapes, he also made etchings, drypoints, and a small number of lithographs that represented rural subjects.
From the mid-1860s onward he received numerous medals and honors for his paintings and watercolors of French and Italian scenes.
Harpignies's work always showed a strong affinity with the ideas espoused since the 1830s by the Barbizon school. Both in his palette and treatment of light Harpignies's style owed its greatest debt to the influence of Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot, whom he greatly admired.
In his later years Harpignies was clearly aware of theories given visual form by the impressionists, but he remained an essentially conservative painter who carried on the Barbizon tradition through the end of the nineteenth century.
— Photo of Harpignies
Landscape at Capri (21x32cm) Bords de l'Allier (1903, 70x101cm)
untitled landscape (1903, 13x18cm) Autumnal River Landscape (1905, 58x39cm)
Goats Grazing Beside A Lake At Sunset (1899, 124x150cm)
Midday In The Meadows (1886, 57x77cm) Boys By The Sea (22x36cm)
Environs De Menton, Le Royal (66x81cm) — Pont Neuf, Paris (21x33cm)
Died on 28 July 1711: Gérard
Flemish Dutch Baroque
painter, etcher, and writer on art, who died on 11 September 1641.
Born in Liège, de Lairesse settled in Amsterdam in 1665, and moved to The Hague in 1684. He was the leading decorative painter in Holland in the second half of the 17th century, working in an academic classical style that inspired his over-enthusiastic contemporaries to call him 'the Dutch Raphael' and 'the Dutch Poussin'. In about 1690, however, he went blind and thereafter devoted himself to art theory. His lectures were collected in two books: Foundation of Drawing (1701) and the Great Painting Book (1707) - which were translated and much reprinted during the 18th century. Lairesse's writings reveal the same academic approach as his paintings he somewhat naïvely confessed that he had a preference for Rembrandt until he learned 'the infallible rules of art'. Rembrandt had painted a portrait of the young Lairesse in 1665, sympathetically showing his disease-disfigured face.
— The students of de Lairesse included Jan van Mieris.
Allegory of the Sciences (1683; 1600x883pix, 176kb)
Cleopatra's Banquet (1680; 1229x1600pix)
Selene and Endymion (1678; 1600x1070pix)
Allegory of the Freedom of Trade (1672; 907x891pix, 126kb) _ De Lairesse's large-scale historical, allegorical, and mythological paintings and grisailles, done in a style that is in accord with the precepts of classical art theory, won wide acclaim. He was called upon to decorate the ceilings and wall panels of numerous civic buildings, palaces, and stately homes. William III employed Lairesse at Soestdijk and The Hague. He can still be seen to good advantage at The Hague; his most famous work, a series of seven large paintings representing actual and mythological scenes from the ancient history of Rome, is at the Binnenhof there, and his allegorical ceiling celebrating Concord, Freedom of Trade, and Security, formerly installed in the home of a rich Amsterdam burgomaster, is now on view in the Peace Palace. One part of the ceiling, which comprised three sections, is illustrated here.
— Allegory of the Five Senses (1668; 785x1030pix, 133kb) _ The senses are represented as women and children engaged in some typical activity and with attributes. Hearing is associated with music. Sight holds a mirror. Taste has a fruit and Smell a bunch of flowers. Touch has a bird perching on her raised hand.
— Venus Presenting Weapons to Aeneas (162x166cm; 950x979pix, 97kb) _ The brilliant colors and dramatic lighting lend this fine baroque painting a peerless theatricality and pathos.
Born on 28 July 1887: Marcel Duchamp,
French US part-time Dadaist
Conceptual artist, who tried to shock people. He died on 02 October 1968.
He was a French Dada artist, whose small but controversial output exerted a strong influence on the development of 20th-century avant-garde art. Born in Blainville, brother of the artist Raymond Duchamp-Villon [1876-1918] and half brother of the painter Jacques Villon [1875-1963], Duchamp began to paint in 1908. After producing several canvases in the current mode of Fauvism, he turned toward experimentation and the avant-garde, producing his most famous work, Nu Descendant un Escalier Nº2, in 1912; portraying continuous movement through a chain of overlapping cubistic figures, the painting caused a furor at New York City's famous Armory Show in 1913.
Duchamp painted very little after 1915, although he continued until 1923 to work on his masterpiece, La mariée mise à nu par ses célibataires, même, an abstract work, also known in another version as The Large Glass, composed in oil and wire on glass. It was enthusiastically received by the Surrealists.
In sculpture, Duchamp pioneered two of the main innovations of the 20th century — kinetic art and ready~made art. His “ready-mades” consisted simply of everyday objects, such as a urinal and a bottle rack. His Bicycle Wheel (1913 original lost; 3rd version, 1951), an early example of kinetic art, was mounted on a kitchen stool.
After his short creative period, Duchamp was content to let others develop the themes he had originated; his pervasive influence was crucial to the development of surrealism, Dada, and pop art. Duchamp became an American citizen in 1955. He died in Neuilly~sur~Seine.
Nu Descendant un Escalier Nº2 (1912, 147x89cm) _ no nude, just a multiple~exposure descending robot _ This painting created a sensation when it was exhibited in New York in February 1913 at the historic Armory Show of contemporary art, where perplexed US viewers saw it as representing all the tricks they felt European artists were playing at their expense. The picture's outrageousness surely lay in its seemingly mechanical portrayal of a subject at once so sensual and time-honored. The Nude's destiny as a symbol also stemmed from its remarkable aggregation of avant-garde concerns: the birth of cinema; the Cubists' fracturing of form; the Futurists' depiction of movement; the chromophotography of Étienne-Jules Marey, Eadweard Muybridge, and Thomas Eakins; and the redefinitions of time and space by scientists and philosophers. The painting was bought directly from the Armory Show for $300 by a San Francisco dealer. Marcel Duchamp's great collector-friend Walter Arensberg was able to buy the work in 1927, eleven years after Duchamp had obligingly made him a hand-colored, actual-size photographic copy.
Le Passage de la vierge à la mariée Father
L.H.O.O.Q. (look, then read the names of the letters in French)
The Large Glass (1923, 278x176cm) _ This is surely one of the most enigmatic works of art. Painstakingly executed on two planes of glass with unconventional materials such as lead foil, fuse wire, and dust, the appearance of the Glass is the result of an extraordinary combination of chance procedures, carefully plotted perspective studies, and laborious craftsmanship. As for its metaphysical aspect, Duchamp's voluminous preparatory notes, published in 1934, reveal that his "hilarious picture" is intended to diagram the erratic progress of an encounter between the "Bride," in the upper panel, and her nine "Bachelors" gathered timidly below amidst a wealth of mysterious mechanical apparatus. Exhibited only once (in 1926 at the Brooklyn Museum) before it was accidentally broken and laboriously repaired by the artist, the Glass has gradually become the subject of a vast scholarly literature and nonsense claiming it to be a witty, intelligent, and vastly liberating redefinition of what a work of art can be.
You and Me — With One Eye
Died on 28 July 1902: Jehan Georges
Vibert, dies suddenly of heart disease, French Academic
painter and playwright born on 30 September (06 July?) 1840.
The cheerfulness, playfulness, and hint of shrewdness of Vibert's personality distinguish his works and made his reputation. In his early years he was trained under Barrias and on 04 April 1857, entered the École des Beaux Arts. During the early part of his career he painted rather serious and dramatic subjects, such as The Death of Narcissus and Christian Martyrs in the Lion pit. He entered the Salon in 1863; found his first success with a medal at the 1864 Salon, and won a financial prize at the universal exposition of 1867.
In about 1867, however, his style changed away from the dramatic and serious. Instead of heroic Christians and tragic mythology, he turned to more homey subjects such as The Barber of Ambulart.
In 1870, while Paris was under siege to the Prussians, Vibert fought and was wounded at the battle of Malmaison. Though he was himself a hero, his growing attraction to the less serious subjects of genre did not ebb. Instead, it was stimulated by his interests in comedy and satire. Not only did he enjoy taking a break from work to go out to plays, but he also wrote several comedies, many of which were successfully produced at Paris theaters such as the Vaudeville. As well as from his own comedies, he gathered subject matter from the French fabulist La Fontaine (of whom he had a bust in his house), and the satirist Jonathan Swift.
In 1878 Vibert achieved his first popular success with a huge history painting. The Apotheosis of Mr. Thiers was the talk of Paris even before it was completed. However, in spite of the success of this painting, he would spend most of his creative time on the humorous scenes that he enjoyed.
During the later part of Vibert's life, his interest turned to the clergy. Paintings such as The Diet, and Monk picking radishes satirized the clergy's irreligious indulgences or depicted them in homey situations to an audience used to seeing the church ennobled in traditional religious and historic works. These would be the paintings that would make his reputation. Vibert came to be one of the seven most influential artists of his time, along with Bouguereau, Cabanel, Meissonnier, Gérôme, Bonnat, and Lefebvre.
Looking at his satiric work of the clergy in a broader historical context, one can detect that they are "representative of the liberties emmanating from Enlightenment thinking that led to the world and culture shifting events of the American and French Revolutions. To spoof the clergy would have been to risk your life or imprisonment a century earlier, or even currently in Rome where Papal power was still at great strength. Thus Vibert was part of the growing democratization of Europe in which some artists and writers of the time were ridiculing what they saw as the fraud and pomposity of big government and a hypocritical clergy that talked about giving up for God all worldly goods, while they themselves lived in the height of oppulance and luxury in great mansions with servants waiting on their every whim.
La Tireuse des Cartes is a particularly powerful example. What could be a greater spoof on holier-than-thou clerics, than to have two Cardinals soliciting the services of a prognosticator.
In 1902 an important technical book was published by Vibert: La Science de la Peinture.
— Vibert est fils de Théodore Vibert [1816-1850] qui, en 1841, achète l'établissement situé au 7, Rue de Lancry exploité par son beau-père, Jean-Pierre Marie Jazet, graveurs à succés de la Maison Goupil, et devient éditeur de gravures. La même année, il succède à Henri Rittner comme associé auprès d'Adolphe Goupil pour faire le commerce d'estampes sous la raison sociale "Goupil & Vibert". En 1846, Alfred Mainguet, avocat, lui rachète la moitié de ses parts et devient le troisième associé de "Goupil, Vibert & Cie". Théodore Vibert se donne tout entier au projet ambitieux qu'il a élaboré avec Adolphe Goupil: la succursale de New-York, ouverte en 1848. Il décède en Mars 1850 et Adolphe Goupil est alors désigné tuteur de ses deux enfants dont l'un, Jehan Georges Vibert, aura une carrière de peintre édité par la Maison.
Le peintre J.G Vibert est largement édité par la Maison Goupil: Adolphe Goupil [1806-1893] est son tuteur depuis la mort de son père Théodore Vibert. Vibert fit une carrière brillante. Il s'était spécialisé dans des sujets mettant en scène des ecclésiastiques.
— Vibert's students included Pinckney Marcius-Simons and Ferdinand Roybet [1840-1920].
Le Médecin Malade (1892) illustrant une comédie de Vibert. The Final Touch (74x100cm)
The Diet (71x61cm) Tea for the Bishop (46x61cm) The Wrath of the Bishop (28x36cm)
La Tireuse de Cartes (69x102cm) Napoléon et son fils
Gulliver of Gulliver's Travels by Jonathan Swift Chatting by the Fountain (97x74cm)
Preparations for the Procession — L'Aveu (1896, photogravure couleurs, 27x35cm; 575x733pix, 197kb).