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ART 4 2-DAY 19 November
Died on 19 November 1949: James Sydney
Ensor, Belgian Expressionist painter born on 13 April 1860.
Ensor was born in Ostend, Belgium where his parents had a souvenir shop. Ensor attended the Brussels Beaux-Arts from 1877-1880. A founder member of the group XX, from which he was nearly expelled because of the originality of his art, he began to be respected towards the end of the century. The theme of masks is central to work of Ensor. It produces strangely compelling works of peerless originality, charged with meanings psychological, intellectual and pictorial, passing indirect judgment on the nature of mankind and his deepest convictions. A precursor of Expressionism, he influenced Emil Nolde (who adopted his theme of the mask) and Paul Klee. His fantastical universe foreshadows Surrealism.
Born to a Flemish mother and English father. Ensor studied at Brussels Academy (1877-9). In late 1880s, he began to paint using the fantastic and macabre with which he is chiefly associated. One of the founders of Groupe des Vingt. The Surrealists considered him a forerunner.
Ensor was a master painter by the time he was twenty. In his youth he preferred a style similar to Rembrandt or Rubens. In his late teens and early twenties he painted like the French Impressionists.
Petites figures bizarres (1888, 14x10cm) The Oyster Eater (1882) Chinoiseries Effect Of Light Still Life With Masks Strange Mask Skeletons warming themselves at a stove (1889; 75x60cm) Pierrot in despair (1890, 66x84cm) The Masks and Death (1897, 79x100cm)
Christ Calming the Tempest (1891, 80x100cm) _ The anarchist James Ensor was also a mystic obsessed by Christ, with whom he sometimes identified. Stylistically indebted to Turner's luminous effects, this surrealistic vision of nature's raging elements is given meaning by the tiny figure of Christ standing at the prow of the boat.
Born on 19 November 1607: Erasmus Quellin
II (or Quellinus, Quellyn, Quellien II), Flemish painter
who died on 07 November 1678.
Erasmus II Quellin (or Quellinus), Flemish painter, was a member of the family of artists (mainly sculptors). His father was Erasmus I, a sculptor, his brothers Artus (Arnoldus) I, the most distinguished sculptor member of the family, and Hubert, an engraver. He was a student and collaborator of Rubens
Saul and David (detail) (1635, 58x80cm) _ In this painting by the Antwerp student of Rubens, the scene from the Old Testament is depicted in a large Baroque palace. On an ornamental throne, emphasized by columns, stairs and velvet drapery, is King Saul in the traditional pose of meditation, immersion in thought and spiritual tension, with his elbow on his crossed legs and his hand propping up his head. In his right hand he holds a spear which, under the spell of an evil spirit, he will hurl at David momentarily. The youth playing his harp before the throne pays less attention to his instrument than to the explosive anger of the king, so that he can dodge the weapon. The excited group of courtiers in the background also serve to heighten the drama of the episode. Their tempestuous feelings are expressed by distorted features: knotted brows, wrinkled foreheads and lips trembling with emotion. Even David's relief-bringing instrument, the arched harp, is decorated with a screaming monster-head. Such a dramatized presentation of biblical text is characteristic of Flemish Baroque painting, as well as of the spirit of Rubens' workshop, where this painting was created.
Still Life in an Architectural Setting (1647) _ This still-life was executed in collaboration with Jan Fyt (1611-1661), a student of Frans Snyders.
Portrait of a Young Boy (136x103cm) _ The dogs and the falcon was painted by the animal painter Jan Fyt.
Died on 19 November 1663: Jan-Baptist
Weenix (or Weeninx), Dutch Baroque
painter, draftsman, and etcher, specialized in painting Dutch Italianate
landscapes and harbor views, born in 1621.
— Jan-Baptist Weenix was the son of architect Johannes Weenix who had also three daughters, the youngest of whom, Lijsbeth, married the painter Barent Micker [1615–1687], whose brother Jan Christiaenszoon Micker [1598–1664] was probably Jan Baptist’s first teacher in Amsterdam.
After possibly being trained by Micker, Weenix is said to have studied under Abraham Bloemaert in Utrecht and then under Claes Corneliszoon Moeyaert for about two years in Amsterdam. He also studied Studied under Cornelis van Poelenburgh.
Weenix’s earliest known work is a signed and dated drawing of an Italianate landscape with goats and sheep, a shepherd resting near a Classical pillar and a large group of trees (1644). His early painting Sleeping Tobias (1642) is related thematically to works by Moeyaert and Rembrandt. Weenix’s supple contours, liquid brushwork and rich color, however, already reveal the qualities that were prized by later artists and collectors.
In 1639 Jan Baptist married Justina d’Hondecoeter, daughter of the landscape painter Gillis d’Hondecoeter, sister of Gysbert d’Hondecoeter [1604–1653] and Niclaes d’Hondecoeter [1607–1642], both also landscape painters, and aunt of Melchior d'Hondecoeter, who became Jan-Baptist's student. They had two children: Jan Weenix II [Jun 1642 – 19 Sep 1719 bur.], who became a still-life, landscape, and portrait painter, and Gillis Weenix, about whom little is known.
Weenix was in Italy 1642-1646 and returned, calling himself "Giovanni Battista", to Holland to paint Italianate landscapes with ruins of ancient buildings and figures in modern dress, very reminiscent of the work of Berchem, who is said to have been his cousin. Later in life he changed his style entirely and painted still-life and some portraits, his very detailed style being continued by his son Jan.
— Weenix's students included Nicolaes Berchem.
A Dog and a Cat near a Partially Disemboweled Deer Mother & Child The Vegetable Merchant
Ancient Ruins (80x68cm) _ detail _ The huge ruin in the foreground is the Tempio di Vespasiano from the Forum in Rome. Other elements of the composition are real but from other parts of Italy, the obelisque is imaginary.
Dead Partridge (51x44cm) _ In his Dead Partridge Jan Baptist Weenix had been inspired by an old tradition which can be traced back as far as Jacopo de' Barbari and Lucas Cranach the Elder. Such dead animals can also be found in the paintings of Willem van Aelst. [Dead animals are much easier than live ones to get to stay still while you paint them. But such a painting should not be called a Still Life, but an Already Death]
The Ford (1647, 100x132cm) _ Jan Baptist Weenix was a versatile Italianate painter. He is best known for his views of the Campagna with emphasis on a mother and child seen against massive classical ruins, and fanciful Mediterranean seaports , but he also painted histories, portraits, and indoor genre scenes as well as some remarkable still lifes with dead game. His son and student Jan Weenix (1642-1719) made a speciality of pictures of hunting trophies. Jan Baptist Weenix arrived in Rome in 1642-43 where he enjoyed the patronage of 'Kardinaal Pamfilio', who has been variously identified as Cardinal Giovanni Battista Pamphili, who became Pope Innocent X in 1644, and as the Pope's nephew Cardinal Camillo Pamphili. After he returned to Holland in 1646-47 he invariably signed himself Gio[vanni] Batt[ist]a Weenix. His adoption of the Italian translation of his Christian name and patronymic may have been in honor of Innocent X who gave him at least one commission. The artist executed this painting after his Italian journey.
— Le Chevrier (lithograph 22x28cm; full size)
Born on 19 November 1696: Louis Tocqué
(or Toucquet), French portrait painter and engraver who died on 10 February
He was the student and son-in-law of Jean-Marc Nattier [17 Mar 1685 – 07 Nov 1766] (who was good at painting pretty women, while Tocqué was happier with plain ones). He admired Rigaud and Largillièrre and adapted their styles, and Nattier's, to the requirements of his own time. He worked in Paris except for a stay in Saint-Petersburg and Copenhagen (1756-1759) and a second trip to Copenhagen in 1769.
— He studied briefly under the history painter Nicolas Bertin but was more influenced by the portrait painter Jean-Marc Nattier, whose studio he entered about 1718, and whose daughter he married in 1747. In Nattier’s studio he made copies of portraits by van Dyck, Nicolas de Largillièrre, and Hyacinthe Rigaud [1659-1743] (e.g. a copy of Rigaud’s portrait of Cardinal de Fleury). He may have participated in Pierre Crozat’s project, begun in 1721, to publish engravings of pictures in the collection of the Regent, Philippe II, Duke of Orléans, making drawings alongside Nattier and Watteau, and he may also have made engravings after the paintings by Charles Le Brun in the Grande Galerie at Versailles under the direction of Jean-Baptiste Massé (about 1724).
— Jean Valade was a student of Tocqué.
Marie Leczinska, Queen of France (1740, 277x191cm; 1070x782pix, 133kb)
— A Man — Ekaterina Golovkina — Empress Elizabeth Petrovna
— Louis, Grand Dauphin of France — Mademoiselle de Coislin
Died on 11 November (October?) 1678: Samuel
van Hoogstraten, Dordrecht Dutch Baroque
painter, draftsman, engraver, and writer on art, born on 02 August 1627.
He studied under Jerome Wierix [1553 – 01
Nov 1619] and Rembrandt
Van Hoogstraten painted genre scenes in the style of de Hooch and Metsu, and portraits. but he is best known as a specialist in perspective effects. One of his "perspective boxes" shows a painted toy world through a peep-hole. He studied under Jerome Wierix. Only in his early works can it be detected that he was also a student of Rembrandt. Hoogstraten visited London, Vienna, and Rome, worked in Amsterdam and The Hague as well as his native Dordrecht, and was a man of many parts. He was an etcher, poet, director of the mint at Dordrecht, and art theorist. His Inleyding tot de hooge schoole der schilderkonst (Introduction to the Art of Painting, 1678) contains one of the rare contemporary appraisals of Rembrandt's work.
— His multi-faceted art and career testify amply to the unflagging ambition attributed to him as early as 1718 by his student and first biographer, Arnold Houbraken. During van Hoogstraten's lifetime he was recognized as a painter, poet, man of letters, sometime courtier, and prominent citizen of his native city of Dordrecht, where he served for several years as an official of the Mint of Holland. Today he is remembered not only as a student and early critic of Rembrandt, but also as a versatile artist in his own right. His diverse oeuvre consists of paintings, drawings, and prints whose subjects range from conventional portraits, histories and genre pictures to illusionistic experiments with trompe-l’oeil still-lifes, architectural perspectives and perspective boxes. He also wrote the major Dutch painting treatise of the late 17th century, Inleyding tot de hooge schoole der schilderkonst, anders de zichtbaere werelt (1678).
— The students of van Hoogstraten included Arent de Gelder, Arnold Houbraken, Godfried Schalcken.
Self-Portrait (680x526pix, 97kb)
Letter Board (1672, 53x79cm)
View of a Corridor (1662, 260x140cm; 1344x650pix, 175kb) _ Hoogstraten had a keen interest in problems of perspective and illusionism. He made peep-boxes and large trompe l'oeil decorations for homes. Carel Fabritius, as well as other artists of his generation, shared these interests. In this picture, imaginary lines drawn along the pavement tiles receding to the background seem to meet on the inside of the fireplace, at top right. This one-point perspective construction creates a convincing sequence of rooms.
Still-life (1668, 63x79cm; 763x980pix, 133kb) _ In Dutch painting there is a tendency towards imitation and the dissolution of the boundary between real space and pictorial space. Even Rembrandt painted "window pictures" in which the person portrayed is standing in a door or window whose frame is identical with the frame of the painting. The generation of artists who followed him took a particularly keen interest in trompe-l'oeil techniques. Hoogstraten was a specialist in this field and the work shown here is typical of the genre. Because such trompe-l'oeil effects do not work well in depth, but are most effective on the surface, the artist chose to portray flat objects that could be placed on the picture plane to which relatively flat items could be added. Here, for example, we see a variety of everyday objects held by two leather straps over a wooden frame. That old chestnut about the spectator who is actually fooled by such painted objects is quite easy to imagine in this case, but we should not forget that such trompe-l'oeil paintings were actually intended as a joke and that they were meant to produce a sense of surprise on discovering that the objects were painted rather than real. Even so, this approach towards reproducing reality in painting does tell us something about Dutch painting in general: it is highly "figurative" in the sense that its content is conveyed entirely through the portrayal of objects.
— Letter Board (1678) The Anaemic Lady (1670)
The Virgin of the Immaculate Conception Tobias' Farewell to His Parents
Born on 19 November 1617: Eustache
Le Sueur (or Lesyeur), French painter who died on 30 April
Le Sueur (also spelled Lesueur ), French painter known for his religious pictures in the style of the French classical Baroque. Le Sueur was one of the founders and first professors of the Royal Academy of Painting and Sculpture.
Le Sueur studied under the painter Simon Vouet and was admitted at an early age into the guild of master painters. Some paintings reproduced in tapestry brought him notice, and his reputation was further enhanced by a series of decorations for the Hôtel Lambert that he left uncompleted. He painted many pictures for churches and convents, among the most important being St. Paul Preaching at Ephesus, and his famous series of 22 paintings of the Life of St. Bruno, executed in the cloister of the Chartreux. Stylistically dominated by the art of Nicolas Poussin, Raphael, and Vouet, Le Sueur had a graceful facility in drawing and was always restrained in composition by a fastidious taste.
Caligula Depositing the Ashes of his Mother and Brother in the Tomb of his Ancestors (167x143cm) _ The artist was a student of Simon Vouet, but unlike his teacher he never left Paris. Le Sueur's style was based on Raphael and more immediately on Poussin. His best-known work is perhaps the series of paintings of the Life of Saint Bruno, dating from 1645-9 (Paris, Louvre). Although his style became increasingly classical, he retained a certain elegance in his draftsmanship and use of color.
There has been some confusion over the exact title of this imposing painting: Nero depositing the Ashes of Germanicus and the Funeral of Poppaea have both been suggested in inscriptions or commentaries to various engravings after the picture. The earliest source, however, Florent Le Comte's Cabinet des singularitez d'architecture, peinture, sculpture et gravure (1700), refers to the picture as Caligula depositing the Ashes of his Mother and Brother in the Tomb of his Ancestors. There is good reason to believe that this is the correct title since Le Comte claimed to be basing his statement on information recorded in a studio book kept by the artist and retained by the Le Sueur family. The painting, together with another entitled Lucius Albinus and the Vestal Virgins, was commissioned for Claude de Guénégaud's residence in Paris in the rue Saint-Louis-au-Marais. Both are listed under the year 1647. The second painting is now lost, but it is recorded in a drawing. The classical source for the present painting is Suetonius' The Twelve Caesars:
"Gaius [Caligula] strengthened his popularity by every possible means. He delivered a funeral speech in honor of Tiberius to a vast crowd, weeping profusely all the while; and gave him a magnificent burial. But as soon as this was over he sailed for Pandataria and the Pontian Islands to fetch back the remains of his mother and his brother Nero; and during rough weather, too, in proof of devotion. He approached the ashes with the utmost reverence and transferred them to the urns with his own hands. Equally dramatic was his gesture of raising a standard on the stern of the bireme which brought the urns to Ostia, and thence up the Tiber to Rome. He had arranged that the most distinguished knights available should carry them to the Mausoleum in two biers, at about noon, when the streets were at their busiest . . . "
Gaius Caesar, known as Caligula, the son of Germanicus and Agrippina, succeeded Tiberius as emperor in AD 37. Germanicus was the adopted son of Tiberius, who most probably had him poisoned owing to his growing popularity. The subject of Agrippina's return to Brundisium with the ashes of Germanicus was a popular theme with artists during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Tiberius eliminated several members of Germanicus' family, but promoted Gaius of whom he said, 'I am nursing a viper for the Roman people and a Phaeton for the whole world.' The present subject is one that is rarely treated, whereas that of the companion painting, recounted by Livy and others, can be found in fifteenth-century Florentine art and also in the work of Le Sueur's contemporaries, Jacques Stella and Sebastien Bourdon. The theme that unites these two paintings might be said to be piety, both private in the actions of Caligula and public in the altruism of Lucius Albinus. Such demonstrations of moral virtue were often chosen as subjects for French paintings during the middle decades of the seventeenth century, in conjunction with the philosophical creed of Stoicism that Nicolas Poussin, amongst others, professed. The intellectual and physical severity of this creed is reflected in the style of the painting with its stilted composition, visual clarity, carefully demarcated spatial intervals and purity of color, quite apart from the archaeological exactitude sought for the setting. It has been pointed out that the painting was executed during the period when Poussin's second set of the Seven Sacraments, painted for Fréart de Chantelou, could be seen in Paris. The artist made a drawing of the high priest holding the urn.
The Muses: Clio, Euterpe and Thalia _ Le Sueur was the student of Vouet. This painting and its companion piece depicting Melpomene, Erato and Polymnia were used to decorate the Cabinet of the Muses of the Hotel Lambert in Paris. These charming, delicately painted pictures foreshadow the coming of Poussin. The muses are the goddesses of creative inspiration in poetry, song and other arts, they are the companions of Apollo. They were the daughters of Jupiter and the Titaness Mnemosyne (memory) who had lain together for nine consecutive nights. The muses were originally nymphs who presided over springs that had the power to give inspiration, especially Aganippe and Hippocrene on Mount Helicon and the Castilian spring on Mount Parnassus.
The usual attributions of these Muses (and two others not shown here) are the following:
Clio, the muse of history (book, scroll or tablet and stylus).
Euterpe, the muse of music, lyric poetry (flute, trumpet or other instrument).
Thalia, the muse of comedy, pastoral poetry (scroll, small viol, masks).
Urania, the muse of astronomy (globe and compasses, crowned with a circle of stars).
Calliope, the muse of epic poetry (trumpet, tablet and stylus, books, holds laurel crown).
The Muses: Melpomene, Erato and Polymnia _ Le Sueur was the student of Vouet. This painting and its companion piece depicting Clio, Euterpe and Thalia were used to decorate the Cabinet of the Muses of the Hotel Lambert in Paris. These charming, delicately painted pictures foreshadow the coming of Poussin.
The usual attributions of these Muses are the following:
Melpomene, the muse of tragedy (horn, tragic masks, sword or dagger, crown held in hand, scepters lying at feet).
Erato, the muse of lyric and love poetry (tambourine, lyre, swan, a putto at her feet).
Polyhymnia (or Polymnia), the muse of heroic hymns (portable organ, lute or other instrument)
The Muse Terpsichore _ The Muse Terpsichore is obviously part of an extensive decoration (this panel is part of the decoration of the Cabinet of the Muses of the Hotel Lambert in Paris), but the artist made no concessions to decorative charm, and the figure conforms closely to the ideals of classical antiquity. The usual attributions of this Muse are the following:
Terpsichore, the muse of dancing and song (viol, lyre, or other stringed instrument, harp, crowned with flowers).
Died on 19 November 1665:
Nicolas Poussin, French Baroque
painter and etcher born on 15 June 1594. His classicism influenced generations
of French painters, including David, Delacroix, and Cézanne.
Nicolas Poussin, the greatest French artist of the 17th century, is considered one of the founders of the European classicism, the movement in art, based on antique and Renaissance heritage.
Poussin was born in Les-Andelys, Normandy. The son of an impoverished family, Poussin received some early professional training at home. In 1612 Poussin left for Paris, where he entered the workshop of the mannerist painter J. Lallemald. The training was reinforced by independent study of mainly Italian art in the Royal Collections. By the end of 1610s Poussin became authoritative master, the evidence of this are his commissions for decoration for the Luxembourg Palace in Paris, and the big altarpiece Assumption of Virgin. Unfortunately from the works of the first Paris period (1612-23) only drawings on Ovid’s Metamorphoses survived.
In 1623 the artist came to Italy, first to Venice, where he enriched his French training with the sensuous splendor of Venetian painting. And in 1624 he came to Rome, where he stayed all his life, except for his trip to Paris in 1640-42. Poussin’s new friends in Rome were mainly classical scholars, who played the main role in turning Poussin into a philosopher, erudite and intellectual. The 1620s in Italy were for Poussin the years of intensive learning, and active creative work. Within four years he achieved a young painter’s highest aim, he was commissioned to paint an altarpiece for a chapel in St. Peter’s Cathedral Martyrdom of St. Erasmus (1628-29). At that period he acquired the dynamic style already dominant in Europe, the style that we now know as Baroque. It was at this time that he produced the most baroque of all his pictures, the altarpiece The Virgin of the Pillar Appearing to St. James the Greater, which was ordered for a church in the Spanish Netherlands. Eventually this work reached not the town of Valenciennes but the collection of Cardinal Richelieu and finally came to Louis XIII and to the Louvre. Poussin was evidently frustrated and disappointed by his lack of success in the intensely competitive field of baroque altarpiece painting. He never attempted this style again.
After a short crisis he chose the more restrained and intellectual direction of development, which appealed to the learned tastes of his Roman friends. In 1629 Poussin married his landlord’s daughter. The first Roman period (1624-30) on the whole is characterized by mythological themes, with sweet love, poetical inspiration, carefree happiness in harmony with nature.
In the next decade history became the main subject of Poussin’s work. The artist is attracted by the situations, in which moral qualities of people reveal themselves. In pictures of 1630s the compositions are complex and compound with many characters, they remind the classical tragedy on stage. Poussin used a special box and wax figures: first he built his compositions, then started to draw preliminary sketches, and only then painted. The best-known works of the period are – The Rescue of Pyrrhus (1634), The Noble Deed of Scipio (1640). The very popular in his time were the so-called bacchanal series, commissioned by Cardinal Richelieu. One of them, which survived, is Triumph of Neptune and Amphitrite (1634). Those paintings were supposed to decorate the cardinal’s palace, and this fact indicates that the interest to Poussin in France grew. In the second half of 1630s the young artists in Paris chose to follow Poussin’s style in historical genre. The King’s officials wanted to return the artist to France. Poussin did not hurry back. He came to France only in 1840, after they had passed him the King’s threat. In Paris Poussin was immediately appointed the person in charge of all art works in King’s palaces. This caused the violent jealousy on the part of other court artists; Vouet headed the opposition.
For about two years Poussin painted altarpieces, canvases for Richelieu and supervised the decorative works in the Big Gallery in Louvre. Surrounded by hatred and jealousy, Poussin did not finish the work and fled to Rome. His artistic and moral ideals stood in conflict with those of monarch.
In his late Roman period (1642-65) Poussin continued to work mainly in historical genre. The most important work of that period is the series Seasons (1660-64).
Poussin’s work influenced the further development of European painting. His authoritative interpretations of ancient history and Greek and Roman mythology left their mark on European art down to the 19th century.
— Poussin's students included Charles Le Brun.
Poussin was a leader of pictorial classicism in the Baroque period. Except for two years as court painter to Louis XIII, he spent his entire career in Rome. His paintings of scenes from the Bible and from Greco-Roman antiquity influenced generations of French painters, including Jacques-Louis David, J.-A.-D. Ingres, and Paul Cézanne.
Childhood and early travels
Poussin was born in a small hamlet on the Seine River, the son of small farmers. He was educated at the nearby town of Les Andelys, and he apparently did not show any interest in the arts until the painter Quentin Varin visited the village in 1612 to produce several paintings for the Church of Le Grand Andely. Poussin's interest in the arts was awakened, and he decided to become a painter. As this was impossible in Les Andelys, he left his home, going first to Rouen and then to Paris to find a suitable teacher. His poverty and ignorance made this search very difficult. He found no satisfactory master and studied at different times under several minor painters. During this period Poussin endured great hardships and had to return to his paternal home, where he arrived ill and humiliated.
Recovering after a year, Poussin again set out for Paris, not only to continue his studies but also to pursue another aim. While previously in Paris, he had been exposed to the art of the Italian High Renaissance through reproductions of Raphael's paintings. These engravings, according to his biographer Giovanni Battista Passeri, inspired him to go to Rome, which was then the center of the European art world. But only in 1624 was Poussin successful in reaching Rome, with the help of Giambattista Marino, the Italian court poet to Marie de Médicis.
First Roman period
Marino commissioned Poussin to make a series of mythological drawings illustrating Ovid's Metamorphoses. Poussin meanwhile experimented with various painting styles then current in Rome, an important influence being that of the Bolognese painter Domenichino. Poussin's culminating work of this period was a large altarpiece for St. Peter's representing the Martyrdom of St. Erasmus (1629). But it was a comparative failure with the artistic community in Rome, and Poussin never again tried to compete with the Italian masters of the Baroque style on their own ground. Thereafter he would paint only for private patrons and would confine his work to formats rarely larger than five feet in length.
Between Poussin's arrival in Rome in 1624 and his departure for France in 1640 he came to know many of Rome's most influential people, among them Cassiano dal Pozzo, secretary to Cardinal Barberini, whose rich collection of ancient Roman artifacts had a decisive influence upon Poussin's art. Through Pozzo, who became Poussin's patron, the French painter became a fervent admirer of ancient Roman civilization. From about 1629 to 1633 Poussin took his themes from classical mythology and from Torquato Tasso, and his painterly style became more romantic and poetic under the influence of such Venetian masters as Titian. Such examples of his work at this time as The Arcadian Shepherds (1629) and Rinaldo and Armida (c. 1629) have sensuous, glowing colors and manage to communicate a true feeling for pagan antiquity.
In the mid-1630s Poussin began deliberately to turn toward Raphael and Roman antiquity for his inspiration and to evolve the purely classical idiom that he was to retain for the rest of his life. He also began painting religious themes once more. He began with stories that offered a good pageant, such as The Worship of the Golden Calf (1636) and The Rape of the Sabine Women (1637). He went on to choose incidents of deeper moral significance in which human reactions to a given situation constitute the main interest. The most important works that exemplify this phase are those in the series of Seven Sacraments painted in 1634-42 for Pozzo. While other artists painted in the style of the Roman Baroque, Poussin tried in these works to fashion a style marked by classical clarity and monumentality. This style was inspired by Roman pre-Christian architecture and Latin books on moral conduct, as well as by the nobility and greatness of Raphael's works, which, as he believed, had renewed the spirit of antiquity.
Painter to Louis XIII
Between 1638 and 1639 Poussin's achievements in Rome attracted the attention of the French court. Louis XIII's powerful minister Cardinal Richelieu tried to persuade Poussin to return to France. Eventually Poussin reluctantly acceded to this request, journeying to Paris in 1640. Though received with great honors, Poussin nevertheless soon found himself in trouble with the ministers of the king as well as with the French artists, whom he met with the utmost arrogance. He was offered commissions for kinds of work he was not used to nor really qualified to execute, including altarpieces and the decoration of the Grande Gallerie of the Louvre palace. What he produced did not elicit the praise he expected, so he left Paris in defeat in 1642 and returned to Rome. Unfortunately he did not live to see his own style of painting accepted and eventually glorified by the French Academy in the late 17th century.
Second Roman period
Many of Poussin's paintings on religious and ancient Roman subjects done in the 1640s and '50s are concerned with moments of crisis or difficult moral choice, and his heroes are those who reject vice and the pleasures of the senses in favor of virtue and the dictates of reason - e.g., Coriolanus, Scipio, Phocion, and Diogenes. Poussin's painterly style was consciously calculated to express such a mood of austere rectitude: such solemn religious works as Holy Family on the Steps (1648) exhibit only a few figures, painted in harsh colors against the severest possible background. In the landscapes Poussin began painting at this time, such as Landscape with the Body of Phocion Carried out of Athens (1648) and Landscape with Polyphemus (1649), the disorder of nature is reduced to the order of geometry, and the forms of trees and shrubs are made to approach the condition of architecture. The composition in these paintings is worked out very carefully and has an unusual clarity of structure.
Poussin's health declined from 1660 onward, and early in 1665 he ceased to paint. He died that year and was buried in San Lorenzo in Lucina, his Roman parish church.
Poussin believed in reason as the guiding principle of art, yet his figures are never merely cold or lifeless. They may resemble figures used by Raphael or ancient Roman sculptures in their poses, but they retain a strange and unmistakable vitality of their own. Even in Poussin's late period, when all movement, including gesture and facial expression, had been reduced to a minimum, his forms harmoniously combine vitality with intellectual order.
— Self-Portrait (1649; 78x65cm; 1000x843pix, 94kb) _ This is an earlier version of the 1650 self-portrait. Poussin had done the earlier version to replace a disappointing portrait of himself which his Parisian patrons commissioned from a Roman artist. The most conspicuous motif of the earlier self-portrait is the "memento mori". The artist present himself before a sepulchral monument — anticipating his own — flanked by putti; the expression on his face is almost cheerful. Viewed from a distance he appears to be smiling, while his head, inclined slightly to one side, suggest a melancholic mood. Cheerfulness in the face of death demonstrated the composure of the Stoics, a philosophy for which Poussin had some sympathy.
— Self-Portrait (1650; 94x78cm; 697x911pix, 100kb) _ In this self-portrait the artist, wearing a dark green gown and with a stole thrown over his shoulders, is shown in a slightly different pose than in the 1649 version: posture is erect, his head turned to present an almost full-face view. His facial expression is more solemn, but also less decided. Instead of funeral symbolism, the setting is the artist's studio, lent strangely abstract quality by a staggered arrangement of three framed canvases, one behind the other, whose quadratic structure is echoed by the dark doorframe behind them. It is apparent that the canvas nearest to us is empty, except for a painted inscription. At the left on the second canvas there is a woman in front of a landscape, wearing a diadem with an eye; a man's hands are reaching out to hold her shoulders. This has been interpreted as an allegory: painting crowned as the greatest of arts. A tiny but highly significant detail is the ring Poussin is wearing on the little finger of his right hand, which rests on a fastened portfolio. The stone is cut in a four-sided pyramid. As an emblematic motif, this symbolized the Stoic notion of Constantia, or stability and strength of character.
The Holy Family with Ten Figures (1650, 84x109cm; 3/10 size, 158kb _ ZOOM to 3/5 size, 573kb)
Apollon et les Muses (1639, 125x197cm)
Adoration du Veau d'Or (1634, 154x214cm) _ How Nicolas Poussin the son of a Norman farmer became Nicolas Poussin 'painter-philosopher' in Rome, with 'a mind...as it were naturalised in antiquity', is one of the great triumphs of pertinacity over circumstance. Few artists of his importance have had such inadequate training, or found their true vocation so late. His interest in art was aroused by a minor itinerant painter working in a local church in Les Andelys. In the same year, 1611-1612, Poussin left home for Paris. After years of hardship, and two unsuccessful attempts to reach Rome, he attracted favourable attention in 1622 with six paintings for the Jesuits. In 1624 he finally settled in Rome, firmly intent on emulating Raphael and ancient sculpture.
Poussin's early period in Italy was barely easier than his years in Paris. As well as Raphael, engravings, statuary and a famous ancient wall-painting then in a princely collection, he studied Domenichino and Guido Reni and discovered Titian, whose Bacchus and Ariadne among other mythological scenes had just been brought to Rome from Ferrara. Not until he was about 35 did Poussin find his own voice, and patrons to heed it. From about 1630, with the exception of an unhappy interlude in Paris working for the king in 1640-2, he mainly painted smallish canvases for private collectors. Out of his very limitations, he created a new kind of art: the domestic 'history painting' with full-length but small-scale figures, for the edification and delight of the few. Seldom has a painter been more intense, more serious and, in the event, more influential.
The Adoration of the Golden Calf was originally paired with The Crossing of the Red Sea. Both illustrate episodes from Exodus in the Old Testament; this painting relates to chapter 32. In the wilderness of Sinai the children of Israel, disheartened by Moses' long absence, asked Aaron to make them gods to lead them. Having collected all their gold earrings, Aaron melted them down into the shape of a calf, which they worshipped. In the background on the left Moses and Joshua come down from Mount Sinai with the tablets of the Ten Commandments. Hearing singing and seeing 'the calf and the dancing...Moses' anger waxed hot, and he cast the tablets out of his hands, and brake them beneath the mount.' The tall bearded figure in white is Aaron still 'making proclamation' of a feast to the false god.
Poussin is said to have made little figures of clay to use as models, and the story is confirmed by the dancers in the foreground. They are a mirror image of a pagan group of nymphs and satyrs carousing in Poussin's earlier Bacchanalian Revel (1633, 100x143cm). Within a majestic landscape painted in the bold colors Poussin learned from Titian, before a huge golden idol more bull than calf (and many earrings' worth), these Israelite revellers give homage to the potency of Poussin's vision of antiquity. As on a sculpted relief or painted Greek vase, figures are shown in suspended animation, heightened gestures or movements isolated from those of their neighbours, so that the effect of the whole is at one and the same time violent and static.
Enlèvement des Sabines (1635, 155x210cm) _ Although Poussin spent almost the whole of his working life in Rome, he was the greatest as well as the most influential painter of 17th-century France. His authoritative interpretations of ancient history and Greek and Roman mythology left their mark on European art down to the time of David and Ingres. Here he shows Romulus, ruler of the newly founded city of Rome, giving a prearranged signal with his cloak for the Roman soldiers to carry off the Sabine women to become their wives, thereby establishing themselves permanently in their new home. The Sabine men, who had come unarmed to what they thought would be a religious celebration, are put to flight. The subject enabled Poussin to display to the full his unsurpassed archaeological knowledge and his mastery of dramatic interpretation.
— The Abduction of the Sabine Women (1638, 159x206cm; 682x907pix, 128kb) _ This is the second version of the subject by Poussin the first being in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. The principal figures are somewhat less dramatic and better clothed than those in the first version, and the architectural background is more developed. .
Boaz et Ruth Jésus et la Femme Adultère (détail) Jésus Guérissant l'Aveugle
— The Adoration by the Shepherds (98x74cm)
— The Death of Germanicus (1627, 148x198cm; 820x1088pix, 144kb; ZOOM to 1600x2140pix, 2418kb; ZOOM++ to slightly trimmed 2215x2807pix, 2280kb) _ The first important commission Poussin received was from Cardinal Francesco Barberini at the end of 1626, for The Death of Germanicus. The picture was completed early in 1628 and immediately became famous. The subject was inspired by the Annals of Tacitus. This was the first of the deathbed scenes that Poussin was to favor throughout his life. The figures are arranged in a frieze-like composition which was almost certainly derived from the arrangement of figures on classical sarcophagi. Already, too, there is a preoccupation with classical antiquity and its intensely moral approach to life. In his pictures Poussin was to become obsessed by morality, and with man facing the supreme trial: how to face death with equanimity.
The popular Roman general Germanicus, 33, dies believing he has been poisoned by his rival Piso with the connivance of his jealous adoptive father, the emperor Tiberius. On his deathbed, Germanicus asks his friends to avenge his murder and his wife to endure her sorrow bravely [Piso committed suicide when brought to trial by the Roman Senate]. The subject of this, Poussin's first major history painting, comes from the Annales of the Roman historian Tacitus [passage below]. The event occurred in 19 A.D. A key work in Western painting, this tragic picture presents a moral lesson in stoic heroism, seen especially in the restraint and dignity of the mourning soldiers. This painting became the model for countless deathbed scenes for two centuries to come, particularly for Neoclassical art around 1800. Many powerful human themes figure here: death, suffering, injustice, grief, loyalty, and revenge. Poussin drew on Roman antiquity for the form as well as the subject of this painting. The composition, with its shallow spatial arrangement, is based on a Roman sarcophagus relief. Poussin spent most of his life in Rome, where he created a classical style that strongly influenced both French and Italian art.
At Germanicus Aegypto remeans cuncta quae apud legiones aut urbes iusserat abolita vel in contrarium versa cognoscit. hinc graves in Pisonem contumeliae, nec minus acerba quae ab illo in Caesarem intentabantur. dein Piso abire Syria statuit. mox adversa Germanici valetudine detentus, ubi recreatum accepit votaque pro incolumitate solvebantur, admotas hostias, sacrificalem apparatum, festam Antiochensium plebem per lictores proturbat. tum Seleuciam degreditur, opperiens aegritudinem, quae rursum Germanico acciderat. saevam vim morbi augebat persuasio veneni a Pisone accepti; et reperiebantur solo ac parietibus erutae humanorum corporum reliquiae, carmina et devotiones et nomen Germanici plumbeis tabulis insculptum, semusti cineres ac tabo obliti aliaque malefica quis creditur animas numinibus infernis sacrari. simul missi a Pisone incusabantur ut valetudinis adversa rimantes.
Ea Germanico haud minus ira quam per metum accepta. si limen obsideretur, si effundendus spiritus sub oculis inimicorum foret, quid deinde miserrimae coningi, quid infantibus liberis eventurum? lenta videri veneficia: festinare et urgere, ut provinciam, ut legiones solus habeat. sed non usque eo defectum Germanicum, neque praemia caedis apud interfectorem mansura. componit epistulas quis amicitiam ei renuntiabat: addunt plerique iussum provincia decedere. nec Piso moratus ultra navis solvit moderabaturque cursui quo propius regrederetur si mors Germanici Syriam aperuisset.
Caesar paulisper ad spem erectus, dein fesso corpore ubi finis aderat, adsistentis amicos in hunc modum adloquitur: 'si fato concederem, iustus mihi dolor etiam adversus deos esset, quod me parentibus liberis patriae intra inventam praematuro exitu raperent: nunc scelere Pisonis et Plancinae interceptus ultimas preces pectoribus vestris relinquo: referatis patri ac fratri, quibus acerbitatibus dilaceratus, quibus insidiis circumventus miserrimam vitam pessima morte finierim. si quos spes meae, si quos propinquus sanguis, etiam quos invidia erga viventem movebat, inlacrimabunt quondam florentem et tot bellorum superstitem muliebri fraude cecidisse. erit vobis locus querendi apud senatum, invocandi leges. non hoc praecipuum amicorum munus est, prosequi defunctum ignavo questu, sed quae voluerit meminisse, quae mandaverit exequi. flebunt Germanicum etiam ignoti: vindicabitis vos, si me potius quam fortunam meam fovebatis. ostendite populo Romano divi Augusti neptem eandemque coniugem meam, numerate sex liberos. misericordia cum accusantibus erit fingentibusque scelesta mandata aut non credent homines aut non ignoscent.' iuravere amici dextram morientis contingentes spiritum ante quam ultionem amissuros.
Tum ad uxorem versus per memoriam sui, per communis liberos oravit exueret ferociam, saevienti fortunae summitteret animum, neu regressa in urbem aemulatione potentiae validiores inritaret. haec palam et alia secreto per quae ostendisse credebatur metum ex Tiberio. neque multo post extinguitur, ingenti luctu provinciae et circumiacentium populorum. indoluere exterae nationes regesque: tanta illi comitas in socios, mansuetudo in hostis; visuque et auditu iuxta venerabilis, cum magnitudinem et gravitatem summae fortunae retineret, invidiam et adrogantiam eflugerat. [Annales Lib. II par.69-72]
— The Martyrdom of Saint Erasmus (320x186cm)
— The Massacre of the Innocents (147x171cm)
— The Plague of Ashdod (148x198cm) _ detail
— The Triumph of David (1627, 117x146cm) _ detail
— The Triumph of Neptune and Amphitrite (1634, 115x147cm) _ detail
Bacchanale Before a Temple (copy, 75x101cm; 1/3 size _ ZOOM to 2/3 size)
— Landscape with a Man Killed by a Snake (1648, 119x199cm; 670x1101ydb, 93kb)
Born on 19 November 1772: Vicente López
Portaña, pintor español. Murió en 1850.
— In addition to painting portraits of nearly every notable person in Spain during the first half of the 1800s, Vicente López y Portaña also painted religious, allegorical, and mythological scenes. Many historians consider him one of the two most important Spanish painters of his time, second only to Francisco José de Goya y Lucientes. López began formally studying in Valencia at the age of thirteen; after winning numerous prizes, he received a scholarship to study in Madrid. He returned to Valencia in 1790 and subsequently became vice-director of painting at the academy where he had studied as a boy. In 1814 López was called to the court of Ferdinand VII, the Spanish king, and received a royal appointment. Shortly thereafter he was jointly appointed first court painter along with Goya. He spent the remainder of his life in Madrid painting portraits of statesmen, academics, and other important figures, as well as dramatic and emotional religious subjects.
López Portaña nació en Valencia y murió en Madrid. Llevó a cabo una obra amplia que fue mejorando con el transcurso de los años hasta el de su propia muerte en una carrera constantemente ascendente. Manejó con soltura todas las técnicas del momento, tanto el óleo y el pastel como el fresco, en el que destacan sus trabajos en algunas de las bóvedas del Palacio Real de Madrid, en especial la del Salón de Carlos III, otrora dormitorio de dicho rey y salón oficial desde Fernando VII, para la que López pintó la Institución de la Orden de Carlos III. No han llegado a nuestros días los frescos con los que decoró el Casino de la Reina o el Palacio de Vista Alegre.
Durante su juventud, antes de su venida a Madrid, recibió numerosos encargos de pintura religiosa, así el Nacimiento de San Vicente Ferrer para la catedral de su ciudad natal, un San Agustín y un San Rufo para la de Tortosa. Posteriormente, siguió cultivando dicha temática en obras encargadas por templos de Madrid (Virgen de los Desamparados) o el de Santo Tomé de Toledo (La duda de Santo Tomás). En estos cuadros, así como en los de tema cortesano, la técnica de López es tan perfecta que resulta anticuada para su época y, pasando por encima de Goya, enlaza diractamente con la pintura del alemán Antón Rafael Mengs, que había sido pìntor de cámara de Carlos III antes que el de Fuendotodos. Excelente ejemplo de esta mirada atrás, tan acorde, por otro lado con el reinado de Fernando VII, es su Familia de Carlos IV, encargada por la Universidad de Valenciay posterior a la de Goya aunque mucho menos novedosa que ésta. No olvidemos que López pintaba todavía en Valencia y que, además, el cuadro de Goya no fue del agrado de los reyes por su excesivo realismo en la pintura de tan poco agraciada familia como era en aquel momento la española.
Con todo, es en este tipo de pintura donde más claro se muestra el aspecto que más se ha criticado a López: un excesivo apego a la técnica a costa de la espontaneidad de pincelada y tema que hacen que algunos de sus bocetos resulten más interesantes que los cuadros acabados. Trató también López los temas históricos y mitológicos, bien que, tal y como acabamos de ver con la pintura cortesana, al modo de del XVIII. De esta faceta destacaremos cuadros como Los Reyes Católicos recibiendo la embajada del rey de Fez.
Con todo, lo mejor y los más abundante de la obra de Vicente López son los retratos, en los que detaca por la búsqueda de calidades visuales y tactiles hasta el extremo de que, a veces, los detalles hacen perder importancia al rostro del retratado. Es el caso de retratos tan suntuosos como el de la reina María Cristina de Borbón. Por esta causa, se han alabado sobre todo aquellos retratos en los que la vestidura del retratado es sobria (así el del Marqués de la Remisa) o en el que el formato de medio cuerpo permiten dar mayor expresión al rostro (así el llamado Médico de Fernando VII). Con todo, los años irán compatibilizando el gusto de pintor por los detalles con el retrato en sí, lo que se muestra de forma especialmente brillante en el gran Retrato del General Narváez, firmado sólo unos días antes de su muerte. Es digno de destacarse también el Retrato de Goya, probablemente la imagen más conocida del pintor de Fuende, todos junto con el Autorretrato, del que resulta complementario por lo acabado del cuadro y por la certeza con la que está captado el fuerte carácter de Goya. A partir de copias, tenemos noticia de varios retratos como el del Duque de Bailén o el de Pedro González Vallejo.
Francisco de Goya (93x75 cm) _ Vicente López succeeded Goya as Royal Court Painter during the reign of Ferdinand VII and did this portrait of the old master on the occasion of a visit in 1826, to the court from Bordeaux, where the Aragonese painter was then living. Goya was then 80 and would die two years later. It was said that Goya got bored posing for his collegue who was very meticulous and a stickler for detail, and that for this reason the portrait is inferior to others by Lòpez. However, for this precise reason, and because of the strong personality of the model this is one of López's most lively works. Vicente Lòpez was a Neo-classicist but he retained certain traces of the Rococco style. In this impressive depiction of Goya's face, one can see the Neo-classical emphasis on masterly drawing, though in this case it is done with less rigidity, resulting in the remarkable rendering of the severe features of the elderly Goya. The warmer tones of the palete and the back of the chair contrast with the cold tones of Goya's suit. It would be difficult to better reflect the personality of the great Spanish painter Goya.
— Saint Sebastian Tended by Saint Irene (1800, 78x64cm; 960x774pix, 69kb) _ This painting illustrates the Roman widow Irene nursing Saint Sebastian back to health after he was discovered to be a Christian and shot with arrows by Roman archers. Writhing in pain, Saint Sebastian looks heavenward as Saint Irene pulls arrows from his pierced body. Vicente López y Portaña dynamically composed the figure of Sebastian, with one arm tied above his head and his other arm held by an attendant, in order to more clearly display the wounds on his upper body and to allude to the martyrdom of Christ. Sebastian's bent leg reveals the bleeding gash from which Irene has already removed one arrow. As she leans toward Sebastian's knee, she carefully pulls the saint's flesh in order to extract a second arrow. In the foreground, the depiction of the armor and weapons Sebastian wore as a military captain signals that this event occurred in ancient Rome. López y Portaña's luscious palette and creamy application of paint contrast with the drama and emotion of this religious story. Like Andrea Lilio's Figures Tending to the Wounded Saint Sebastian, this painting differs from representations that show the Saint bound to a tree or pillar, moments after the shooting.
Murdered on 19 November 1942: Bruno
Schultz, Polish Jewish writer, literary critic, and graphic
artist born on 12 July 1892 [self~portrait >].
Bruno was the youngest child of assimilated Galician Jews Jakub Schulz (owner of a textile shop by the town’s market-place) and Henrietta, née Kuhmrker, the daughter of a wealthy wood merchant. From 1902 to 1910 went to school in Drohobycz (now Drohobych, Ukraine). A good student, he passed his matriculation exams with distinction.
In 1910 Bruno Schultz started studying architecture at the Technical University in Lwów. That same year his father’s illness forced the sale of the shop, and the whole family moved to the home of Bruno’s married sister - Hania Hoffman. After a year Bruno Schulz gave up studying because of a heart and lung illness and came back to Drohobycz.
In 1917 Bruno Schulz left for Vienna with part of his family. There he resumed his architectural studies. After three months all the Schulzes came back to Drohobycz. In the following years until 1933 Schulz struggled with numerous problems, external as well as psychological and spiritual nature.
In September 1924 Schulz started to teach drawing and practical skills at secondary schools in Drohobycz. His lack of a university degree, poor health, and the great number of teaching hours, often left him unable to write.
In 1927 Wladyslaw Riff, who was Schultz’s friend and literary confidant, died of tuberculosis (the over-zealous staff of the disinfecting service burnt all his papers). In 1931 Bruno Schulz’s mother died.
In 1933 Schultz made his debut as a writer in Wiadomosci Literackie with the short story Ptaki. In 1934 the publishing house "Rój" published his book Sklepy cynamonowe (Cinnamon Shops known in the US as Streets of Crocodiles).
The Second World War started with the invasion of Poland by Hitler's troops and, soon after, by Stalin's. on 24 September 1939, the Germans handed over Drohobycz to the Soviets. On 01 July 1941, after Hitler turned against his fellow mass-murderer, the German army marched into Drohobycz again. A Gestapo officer, Feliks Landau, then enslaved Schulz and forced him to produce numerous paintings for him.
In 1942 Bruno Schulz tried to save his manuscripts and drawings by dividing them into several packages, and entrusting them to people from outside the ghetto (most of those works ended up lost or destroyed). At that time Schulz planned to escape from Drohobycz with false documents and money provided by his Warsaw friends.
On 19 November 1942 Schultz set off to the Judenrat for some bread and died in the street, shot by Gestapo officer Karl Günther, in revenge for Schultz's owner having shot Günther's own Jewish slave, a dentist called Löwe, during the same Nazi murderous rampage which killed 263 other Jews in that street.
When Bruno Schulz's stories were re-issued in Poland in 1957, translated into French and German, and acclaimed everywhere by a new generation of readers to whom he was unknown, attempts were made to place his oeuvre in the mainstream of Polish literature, to find affinities, derivations, to explain him in terms of one literary theory or another. The task is nearly impossible. He was a solitary man, living part, filled with his dreams, with memories of his childhood, with an intense, formidable inner life, a painter's imagination, a sensuality and responsiveness to physical stimuli which most probably could find satisfaction only in artistic creation - a volcano, smoldering silently in the isolation of a sleepy provincial town.
Schulz's writing belongs to the Expressionist tradition, which sought to encapsulate fundamental issues and existential questions by means of myth and symbol, and in terms of psychological insight. For Schulz, myth is concentrated in memories from childhood, the 'age of genius', in which the original meaning of words is sought out. Metaphors explain the world as the narrator feels it to be, while the mechanisms of language allow him to transform the past at will. Thus the grotesque is made familiar and friendly, and the banal is changed into something dark and threatening. Underlying all the highly lyrical descriptions is a sense of profound unease, related to sexual suppression, a highly developed sense of guilt, and the narrator's inability to distinguish dream, fiction or reality.
Schulz was the youngest member of Poland's great triumvirate of the interwar avant-garde, along with the painter, dramatist, novelist, and aesthetician Stanislaw Ignacy Witkiewicz (1885-1939) and prosaist-dramatist Witold Gombrowicz (1904-1969). They brought about the rebirth of the artistic language in Polish literature. Schulz's writings include Sanatorium pod klepsydra ["The Sanatorium under the Hourglass"] (Stories illustrated by himself, 1937), and, published posthumously: Proza (1964) Druga jesien, do druku podal i poslowiem (1973) Ksiega listów (1975) - Listy, fragmenty. Wspomnienia o pisarzu (1984) Opowiadania (1989) Xiega balwochwalcza (1988) Ilustracje do wlasnych utworów (1992). short passage: The Mythologization of Reality. When Schultz died, he was working on a novel, The Messiah, but nothing remains of it..
Artwork online: a different Self-Portrait Spotkanie Smierzch [Worship of the Legs?] (una delle illustrazioni, realizzate negli anni '20, per Il Libro idolatrico, che registra fantasie di dominazione femminile, ove le gambe e i piedi assumono il ruolo di strumenti di raffinate torture inflitte ad uomini-aborto, nani resi umili dalla sofferenza erotica, avviliti e colmati, nella loro umiliazione, di un piacere supremo e doloroso.) Dzielo
Essay by David A. Goldfarb: A Living Schulz: "Noc wielkiego sezonu" ("Night of Great Season")
Bruno Schultz (türkçe)
Timeline and photo gallery (po-polsku)
Died on 19 November 1978: Giorgio de
Chirico, Italian Surrealist
painter and sculptor, born in Greece on 10 July 1888. With Carlo Carrà
and Giorgio Morandi, he founded the pittura metafisica style of painting.
Brother of Alberto
De Chirico, born in Volos, Greece, to Italian parents, studied art in Athens, Munich and Paris before moving back to Italy where, together with Carlo Carrà, he created the Pittura Metafisica (metaphysical painting). The Pittura Metafisica was centered on stark views of semi-abstract figures, a deserted collection of distorted mannequins and solitary easels made even more menacing by harsh light effects and oblique perspective. The new style was supposed to overcome the limitations of Cubism, which de Chirico had experienced in Paris, where he had met Picasso. Among de Chirico's best works from the period are The Nostalgia of the Infinite and Mystery and Melancholy of a Street . The movement, however, was shortlived, coming to an end in the early 1920s, when de Chirico and Carrà has a dispute over who had invented the concept of metaphysical painting. In the 1930s, de Chirico abandoned Modernism - which by now he despised - to rediscover the techniques and materials of the Old Masters. The enigmatic dreamscapes of the early 20s gave way to portraits and studies of fruit against the backdrop of a landscape.
Giorgio de Chirico was born to Italian parents in Vólos, Greece. In 1900 he began studies at the Athens Polytechnic Institute and attended evening classes in drawing from the nude. About 1906 he moved to Munich, where he attended the Akademie der Bildenden Künste. At this time he became interested in the art of Arnold Böcklin and Max Klinger and the writings of Friedrich Nietzsche and Arthur Schopenhauer. De Chirico moved to Milan in 1909, to Florence in 1910, and to Paris in 1911. In Paris he was included in the Salon d’Automne in 1912 and 1913 and in the Salon des Indépendants in 1913 and 1914. As a frequent visitor to Guillaume Apollinaire’s weekly gatherings, he met Constantin Brancusi, André Derain , Max Jacob, and others.
Because of the war, in 1915 de Chirico returned to Italy, where he met Filippo de Pisis in 1916 and Carlo Carrà in 1917; they formed the group that was later called the Scuola Metafisica. De Chirico moved to Rome in 1918, and was given his first solo exhibition at the Casa d’Arte Bragaglia in that city in the winter of 1918–19. In this period he was one of the leaders of the Gruppo Valori Plastici, with whom he showed at the Nationalgalerie in Berlin. From 1920 to 1924 he divided his time between Rome and Florence. A solo exhibition of de Chirico’s work was held at the Galleria Arte in Milan in 1921, and he participated in the Venice Biennale for the first time in 1924. In 1925 the artist returned to Paris, where he exhibited that year at Léonce Rosenberg’s Galerie l’Effort Moderne. In Paris his work was shown at the Galerie Paul Guillaume in 1926 and 1927 and at the Galerie Jeanne Bucher in 1927. In 1928 he was given solo shows at the Arthur Tooth Gallery in London and the Valentine Gallery in New York. In 1929 de Chirico designed scenery and costumes for Sergei Diaghilev’s production of the ballet Le Bal, and his book Hebdomeros was published. The artist designed for the ballet and opera in subsequent years, and continued to exhibit in Europe, the United States, Canada, and Japan. In 1945 the first part of his book Memorie della mia vita appeared. De Chirico died in Rome, his residence for over thirty years.
Nel 1899 ad Atene inizia gli studi al Politecnico e segue un corso di pittura. Giorgio de Chirico inizia a frequentare l'Accademia di Belle Arti e studia assiduamente nei musei l'opera di Boecklin e Klinger soprattutto. Ritornato in Italia nel 1910, l'anno successivo decide di raggiungere il fratello a Parigi. Nel corso del 1910 dipinge ritratti e autoritratti, ed è proprio durante il soggiorno fiorentino che maturano le opere del periodo metafisico, esposti per la prima volta a Parigi al Salon d'Automne nel 1912. Nel 1913 espone al Salon des Indépendants, si lega agli artisti della avanguardia cubista e surrealista. Espone nel 1919 alla Casa d'Arte di Anton Giulio Bragaglia a Roma. Stringe amicizia con Mario Broglio e collabora a "Valori Plastici". Nel 1924 espone per la prima volta alla Biennale di Venezia e a Parigi in autunno realizza le scene e i costumi del balletto La giara, tratto da Pirandello. Nel 1925 si trasferisce a Parigi, ove resterà sino al 1931. Nel 1929 de Chirico pubblica il "romanzo" autobiografico Hebdomeros. Per i Balletti Russi di Diaghilev esegue nel 1930 le scene e i costumi del balletto Le Bal. Nel 1932 ritorna in Italia e inizia una fertile stagione come scenografo, partecipa alla Biennale di Venezia e alla V Triennale di Milano, nel 1933 alla Sindacale di Firenze, nel 1935 la II Quadriennale di Roma. Nel 1936 è a New York, dove resterà sino a 1938. Nel 1944 si trasferisce definitivamente a Roma. Nel 1949 e nel 1952 e 1954 organizza rispettivamente a Londra e a Venezia delle esposizioni personali. Seguono in Italia numerose mostre e de Chirico riceve, importanti riconoscimenti soprattutto all'estero.
Piazza d'Italia (1915, 59x49cm; 3/10 size _ ZOOM to 3/5 size)
— Dream Metamorphosis (600x1510pix; 243kb)
The Uncertainty of the Poet (1913)
Love Song (1914) The Philosopher's Conquest (1914)
Christ in the Storm on the Sea of Galilee (1914) _ detail
Le Cerveau de l'Enfant (1914, 80x63cm) (pas d'enfant, mais, entouré de bâtiments, un homme à grande moustache et minuscule barbichette, les yeux fermés, face à un livre fermé sur un signet)
The Disturbing Muses (1925) Archaeologists (1927)
Sole sul cavalletto (1972) The Profit — The Great Metaphysician (1917)