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Born on 12 June 1634: il cavaliere Giuseppe
Recco, Neapolitan still-life
painter who died on 29 May 1695.
He was the outstanding member of a family of artists. He specialized in pictures of fish, painted in an impressively grand style, but more austere than those of Ruoppolo, with whom he ranks as the most distinguished Italian still-life painter of his period. He may have visited Lombardy and may have been influenced by Baschenis, but his works are all in the Spanish realist tradition of the Bodegón painting some have been attributed to Velázquez which goes back to Caravaggio. He died in Spain. Three of the family members Giacomo, Giovanni Battista and Giuseppe used the monogram G R which causes problems of attribution. Giacomo [1603 – before 1653] was the eldest, and was the father of Giuseppe, the most famous of the family. Giovanni Battista [1615-1660] may have been Giuseppe's brother but was more likely his uncle.
Still-Life with Fruit and Flowers (1670, 255x301cm) _ This monumental still-life, placed in a landscape with rich vegetation, is a late work of the artist.
— Fiori e cacciagione — Raie sur un chaudron et poissons dans un panier
— Still life of fish (1650, 48x64cm) — Kitchen Still-Life (1675, 182x129cm)
Died on 12 June 1795: Aleksey Petrovich
Antropov, Russian painter born on 14 March 1716.
— He was trained at the Construction Office in St Petersburg, where his teachers included Ivan Vishnyakov, in whose team of painters Antropov later worked. He participated in the decorative painting of the Winter Palace and other imperial residences in St Petersburg and its environs. In 1752 he embarked on painting Andreyevsky Cathedral in Kiev and produced icons for its iconostasis. He returned to St Petersburg in 1758 and then trained for two years with Pietro Antonio Rotari. Soon afterwards he was appointed principal supervisor of the artists and icon painters of the Synod.
— Peter the Great (1772) linking to a series of portraits of him by other artists.
— Father Fyodor Dubyansky (1761, 71kb) — Empress Elizaveta Petrovna (1755)
— The Lady-in-Waiting A. M. Izmaylova (1759) — Princess T. A. Trubetzkaya (1761)
— F. Krasnoschiokov (1761)
— Grand Duchess Catherine Alekseevna, Future Empress Catherine II the Great (1761)
— Catherine II the Great (1766) — Emperor Peter III (1762)
— Countess M. A. Rumyantzeva (1764) — General-in-Chief, Count William W. Fermor (1765).
— Unknown Woman. (1785). — Rumyantseva (1764)
Born on 12 June 1890: Egon
Schiele, Austrian expressionist painter, draftsman, printmaker
who died on 31 October 1918.
Noted for the eroticism of his figurative works. A student at the Vienna Academy of Fine Arts (1907-1909), Schiele was influenced by the "Jugendstil" movement. He met Gustav Klimt, leader of the Vienna Sezession group. The linearity and subtlety of Schiele's work owe something to Klimt's decorative elegance. Schiele, however, emphasized expression over decoration, heightening the emotive power of line with feverish tension. He concentrated on the human figure, and his candid, agitated treatment of erotic themes caused a sensation. In 1909 he helped found the Neukunstgruppe in Vienna. From 1911 he exhibited throughout Europe. A special room was devoted to his work at a 1918 Sezessionist exhibit in Vienna, shortly before his death from Spanish influenza. Important works include The Self Seer (1911), The Cardinal and the Nun (1912), and Embrace (1917). His landscapes exhibit the same febrile quality of color and line. He died in the influenza epidemic of 1918.
Männlicher Akt (Selbstbildnis) I (1912, 42x17cm) Self at 16 (1906) Self Self at 20 (1910) The Family (1918)
Heinrich Wagner, Leutnant i.d. Reserve (1917) _ A survivor after three years of war, he had been decorated; there are two medals on his tunic, but his face, eyes and joined hands indicate the weariness and the indifference of this prematurely old man. Schiele portrays him in the same way as he had formerly depicted the Russian prisoners he guarded with the same coldness and objective acuteness. The absence of the bust, uniform and any setting aggravates this feeling of loss and isolation. This could also be a depiction of Schiele's own loneliness (which his peers in Vienna considered distrustfully if not reprovingly, so much so that they took him to court for alleged indecency).
Russischer Kriegsgefangener (1915, pencil and gouache, 45x31cm) _ Having to guard Russian soldiers captured by the Austro-Hungarians during the early months of the war, Schiele was such an exception. Rather than watching over his captives, Schiele made them pose for him. And rather than looking for the enemy in them, what he found was isolated, sometimes sick, often melancholy individuals. The Russian officer has kept his characteristic fur hat, but in him Schiele recognises not a stranger, even less an enemy, but another man, a fellow human.
Died on 12 June 1853: Merry-Joseph
Blondel, French painter born on 25 July 1781.
— After an apprenticeship at the Dihl et Guerhard porcelain factory in Paris, where he was taught by Etienne Leguay (1762–1846), Blondel moved to Jean-Baptiste Regnault’s atelier in 1802. He won the Prix de Rome in 1803 with Aeneas and Anchises but did not go to Rome until 1809, when he stayed there for three years. After gaining a gold medal in the Salon of 1817 for the Death of Louis XII, Blondel embarked on a wide-ranging and successful career as official decorative painter. In addition to the decoration of the Salon and of the Galerie de Diane at Fontainebleau (1822–1828) and the ceiling of the Palais de la Bourse (sketch, 1825), he received commissions for several ceilings in the Louvre, of which the earliest and most remarkable is in the vestibule to the Galerie d’Apollon (Le Soleil. La Chute d'Icare). The ceiling painting in the Salle Henri II (La Dispute de Minerve et de Neptune au sujet d'Athènes, 1822) was removed in 1938, while those in the Salles du Conseil d’Etat, La France Victorieuse à Bouvines (1828) and La France au milieu des rois législateurs et des jurisconsultes français, reçoit de Louis XVIII la Charte constitutionnelle (1827), are still in place. These monumental allegorical compositions belong to the tradition of David, which by the 1820s had become academic, and display more learning than originality.
— Woman seated beneath a Tree (1830, 122x87cm; 800x576pix, 47kb — ZOOM to 2000x1440pix, 291kb) _ head detail (947x1208pix, 73kb) _ face detail (874x1202pix, 41kb) _ The young woman has removed her vast shunshade hat and her head seems to be shaved and topped by a small cylindrical basketweave hat, which is actually her tightly packed braids. With a landscape seen over her shoulder, a half-smile, and a penetrating gaze at the viewer, she is somewhat reminiscent of the Mona Lisa (1505, 77x53cm; 1184x800pix, 128kb) of Leonardo da Vinci [1452-1519], aside from the hair.
— La France Victorieuse à Bouvines en 1214 (1828; 470x1152pix, 75kb)
La Mort de Louis XII Surnommé le Père du Peuple (1817, 320x385cm) [ce que l'histoire ne dit pas c'est combien de Mères du Peuple ont collaboré à lui mériter ce surnom. En tout cas, ni elle(s) ni le peuple ne sont présents dans ce tableau.]
— La Dispute de Minerve et de Neptune au sujet d'Athènes (1822, 40x54cm) _ Esquisse pour le plafond de l'ancienne antichambre du Roi. Cette salle servit encore quelques jours par an (de 1820 à 1830) à Louis XVIII et Charles X qui s'y arrêtaient avant la rentrée parlementaire. En 1822, Blondel, à la demande de Fontaine, combla le vide des boiseries du plafond du XVIe siècle avec cette Dispute de Minerve et de Neptune. Elle fut déposée en 1938 et remplacée en 1953 par Les Oiseaux de Georges Braque [1882-1963].
— La France au milieu des rois législateurs et des jurisconsultes français, reçoit de Louis XVIII la Charte constitutionnelle (1827, 65x54cm; 430x432pix, 48kb) _ Plafond de l'ancienne seconde salle du Conseil d'Etat au Louvre, commandé en 1826. Voussures : huit bas-reliefs feints en camaïeu d'or (L'Installation des Parlements par saint Louis, La Création de la Cour des comptes par Philippe le Bel, Les Premières chartes des communes données par Louis le Gros, La Pragmatique Sanction donnée par saint Louis, La Liberté des cultes maintenue par Louis XVIII, La Création du Conseil d'Etat par Louis XIV, L'Affranchissement des serfs par Louis le Gros, La Création des Chambres par Louis XVIII) séparés, au centre de chacun des côtés de la salle, par des groupes allégoriques (La Charité, Le Génie des Lois montrant la Charte à l'Espérance et à la Foi, L'Abondance, La Piété et la Fidélité) et, dans les angles, par les armes de France portées par Mars et Neptune, Vulcain et Hercule, le Silence et Apollon, Mercure et la Constance. Salon de 1827.
— L'Air. Eole déchaînant les vents contre la flotte troyenne (1819, 280x213cm) _ Compartiment de la voussure du plafond de la rotonde d'Apollon au Louvre (les trois autres compartiments sont d'Auguste Couder [1790-1873], y compris La Terre, et Le Feu), commandé en 1818.
— Le Soleil. La Chute d'Icare (1819, 271x210cm) _ Composition centrale du plafond de la rotonde d'Apollon au Louvre commandé en 1818. Salons de 1819 et de 1833.
— Richard 1er, dit Coeur-de-Lion, roi d'Angleterre (1157-1199) (1841; 512x272pix, 36kb)
Born on 12 June 1858: Thomas
Tuke, British painter who died on 30 March 1929.
Tuke entered the Slade School of Art, London, in 1875, under Alphonse Legros and Sir Edward Poynter. In 1877 he won a Slade scholarship and in 1880 traveled to Italy, where he made his first nude life drawings, an important revelation to him of light, color and the human form. From 1881 to 1883 he was in Paris and met Jules Bastien-Lepage, who encouraged his studies en plein air. Admiring Bastien-Lepage's practice of focusing different areas of a painting by degrees of finish, Tuke adopted this in his own mature work.
In 1883 Tuke settled in Newlyn, Cornwall, and was a founder-member of the Newlyn school. In 1885 he moved to Falmouth, spending the rest of his life based there. During the 1880s he produced anecdotal plein-air paintings of the life of the Cornish fishing community. All Hands to the Pump (1888, 185X140cm) is a typical example, showing his alertness to tensions and movements in the human body and his ability to combine classical compositional principles with naturalistic detail, while giving coherence by sensitive rendering of atmosphere.
In 1892 Tuke traveled to Italy, Corfu and Albania; thereafter his palette lightened dramatically, and his technique gained a new Impressionistic freedom. The nude adolescent male emerged as his principal motif in such pictures as August Blue (1893, 122x183cm). His admiration of James McNeill Whistler appears in the creation of mood at the expense of narrative and in his preference for evocative titles. An implicit homoerotic element caused some unease at the time.
In 1886 Tuke was a founder-member of the New English Art Club and in 1900 he was elected an ARA. He also acquired a London studio where he spent the winters, usually working on portrait commissions. His work in this field was much admired, and he painted such notable figures as the cricketer W. G. Grace and T. E. Lawrence (1921). An accomplished watercolorist, in 1911 he became a member of the Royal Watercolor Society. He also worked in pastels and executed a single sculpture, The Watcher (1916), of which five bronze casts were made.
In 1914 Tuke was made an RA, and his painting style and subject-matter remained substantially unchanged: Aquamarine (1928), probably his last easel painting, closely resembles the earlier Ruby, Gold and Malachite (1901). In later pictures, however, the models are no longer portraits, but interchange heads and bodies as vehicles of Tuke's vision. Impersonality and detachment combined with sincere commitment to subject and atmosphere characterize his mature style and challenged artistic expectations of the time, broadening the parameters of British plein-air painting.
In 1923 Tuke visited Jamaica and Central America, producing some fine watercolors. Penetrating the interior of Belize, however, he became ill and was forced to return home. He never fully recovered his health, although his passion for travel remained undiminished. .
The Promise The Rowing Party (28x63cm) — The Fisherman (35x64cm) — Mrs. Florence Humphris (1892, 40x32cm) — Lord Ronald Sutherland Gower (1897, 61x51cm) — Midsummer Morning — The Run Home — Ruby, Gold And Malachite (1901, 40x60cm)
— All Hands to the Pumps (1889, 186x140cm) _ Tuke shows a ship that has lost one of its sails, and is being swamped by heavy seas. The crew desperately pump water out of the hull. The figure standing in the shrouds gestures towards something, but it is ambiguous whether it is rescue or a wave that will destroy the ship. At the time of painting this picture Tuke was living aboard an old French brig, the Julie, anchored in Falmouth Harbour. In a letter to his mother he wrote 'I am just ordering a stretcher for my great pumping picture which is to be rather a big venture, about ten figures altogether...all this is quite contrary to your notions of doing small pictures but I am rather of Mr. Bartlett's opinion that the big uns get yer name up, Tooke.'
— August Blue (1894, 122x183cm) _ The fall of sunlight on the young nude male body fascinated Tuke, and he painted it again and again. He believed in open air painting, and August Blue was started out of doors in Falmouth Harbour. Tuke helped set up the New English Art Club in 1886. Although he was a Newlyn artist he was much respected by the Impressionist clique of Sickert and Steer, and when the Newlyn painters resigned from the Club in 1890, Tuke stayed on. The ambition to paint large scale figures in a natural light united the many trends of advanced painting in Britain in the 1880s.