ART 4 2-DAY 21 October
1959: THE GUGGENHEIM OPENS
BIRTH: 1581 DOMENICHINO
21 October 1959: The Guggenheim Museum
The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum opens in New York City. Designed by US architect Frank Lloyd Wright, the modern structure departs from traditional museum design. Its exhibition space, designed to house contemporary art, features a six-story ramp that spirals upward 400 meters and provides access to four levels of galleries. The spiraling ramp encircles a large open center naturally lit by the building's dramatic glass dome. Frank Lloyd Wright died six months before the dedication of the architectural masterpiece.
The Guggenheim Museum holds a unique place in the history of museums. Established in about 1940 by philanthropist Solomon R. Guggenheim and artist-advisor Hilla Rebay, it assumed temporary residence in a former automobile showroom on East 54th Street in New York.
The Museum of Non-Objective Painting, as it was then known, took as its basis the radical new forms of art being developed by such artists as Vasily Kandinsky, Paul Klee, and Piet Mondrian. The insistence of its founders on a wholly new kind of art seen in a wholly new kind of space set the Guggenheim on its path. Throughout its history, it has stood as a groundbreaking institution geared as much toward the promise of the future as the preservation of the past.
The first permanent home for the Guggenheim Museum was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. He envisioned a building that not only broke the rectilinear grid of Manhattan but also shattered existing notions of what a museum could be. He conceived of its curving, continuous space as a "temple of spirit" where viewers could foster a new way of looking. Its opening on 21 October 1959 drew huge crowds and stirred considerable controversy, and the building has never lost its power to excite and provoke. It stands today as one of the great works of architecture produced in this century. View information on the building to learn more about Wright's architecture.
The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York developed alongside a sister institution in Venice: the Peggy Guggenheim Collection. Located in the Palazzo Venier dei Leoni on the Grand Canal, it features a rich collection of objects ranging in style from Cubism and Surrealism to Abstract Expressionism, and its garden is home to a world-class collection of modern sculpture.
In 1979, the Palazzo was donated to the Guggenheim Foundation, so that the Venice and New York museums together formed the basis for the institution's international orientation.
In 1992, under the leadership of director Thomas Krens, the Guggenheim significantly expanded its operations. The Frank Lloyd Wright building was restored and supplemented by a new tower, adding considerable overall exhibition space while allowing Wright's great rotunda and the monitor building to be seen in all their splendor. At the same time, the Guggenheim opened a new space in downtown Manhattan, the Guggenheim Museum SoHo.
In 1997, the Guggenheim significantly expanded its international presence with the construction of two new sites: the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao and Deutsche Guggenheim Berlin.
Built by the Basque government and managed by the Guggenheim, the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao provides some 16'000 square meters of exhibition space, and is part of a far-reaching plan to transform Bilbao into a major metropolitan center. The building, designed by Frank Gehry, has been hailed by critics worldwide as an architectural masterpiece. Deutsche Guggenheim Berlin is the result of a partnership between the Guggenheim and Deutsche Bank. It establishes a small exhibition space on the historic Unter den Linden, close to the Brandenburg Gate and at the center of one of Europe's most dynamic cities.
In 1998, the Guggenheim continued to expand its physical frame through an enhanced presence on the World Wide Web. Funded by a grant from The Bohen Foundation, the Guggenheim Virtual Museum will be designed by the New York firm Asymptote Architecture, and will evolve over the course of three years. The Guggenheim's own history, architectural vanguardism, and cultural significance will serve to form a unique scaffolding for the museum of the future. By combining the richness of tradition with the potential offered by state-of-the-art digital technologies, the Guggenheim Virtual Museum will create a new architectural paradigm. It will not only be a window onto the different Guggenheim Museums around the world, but will also provide a unique and compelling spatial environment to be experienced by the virtual visitor. The Virtual Museum will be the ideal space for the deployment and experience of art and events created specifically for the interactive digital medium, where simultaneous participation and viewing will be made possible for an audience distributed around the globe. Moreover, it will offer artists the opportunity to freely experiment in a nascent technological medium. Emerging from the fusion of information, space, art, commerce, and architecture, the Virtual Museum will become the first important building of the next millennium.
The Guggenheim collection online premiered in April 2001 with a selection of 273 works of art from the New York museum's holdings. Representing 124 artists, the collection online encompasses both the classic and the new—from the Guggenheim's earliest work, a 1867 landscape by Camille Pissarro (The Hermitage at Pontoise) , through one of its most recent acquisitions, a 1999 sculpture by Robert Gober — striking a balance that reflects the dynamic tenor of the institution as a whole. Each work may be viewed at small, medium, or large resolution, and is accompanied by insightful commentary. The site also includes additional scholarly and contextual information, such as artist biographies, definitions of art-historical terms, concepts on art, and suggested readings, all of which form a searchable database. During the 2001-2002 winter, will be added almost 100 works from the Peggy Guggenheim Collection, Venice, followed by highlights of the Deutsche Guggenheim Berlin and Guggenheim Museum Bilbao collections.
Died on 21 October 1765: cavaliere
Giovanni-Paolo Pannini (or Panini), Italian neoclassical
painter, architect, and stage designer, born on 17 June 1691.
— Panini studied under Benedetto Luti. Panini was a highly prolific and versatile painter, best known for his numerous vedute of Rome, many of which focused on the remnants of the city’s Classical past. Ceremonies and festivals often feature in his vedute, which thus constitute a lively documentation of contemporary topography, lifestyle, and customs. In contrast to Bernardo Bellotto and Gaspar van Wittel, his treatment is picturesque rather than rigorous; he liked to enliven and animate his views by adding numerous figures. He worked exclusively in Rome and by the end of his career was the head of a thriving workshop that included the Frenchman Hubert Robert (in Rome from 1754) and Panini’s son Francesco Panini [1738–].
He was the first painter to specialize in ruins, treating them as Roman 'vedute' of a special kind. He was working in Rome by about 1717, but the earliest surviving dated picture is of 1727 ; in 1729 he was concerned in a Fête given by Cardinal de Polignac in honor of the birth of the Dauphin and this began a long connection with France and the French Academy in Rome. Paintings of the Fête are in the Louvre (1729) and Dublin (1731). His views of modern Rome, as well as his capricci based on the better-known ruins, had an enormous vogue among Grand Tourists and examples are to be found in most older galleries. Piranesi, though far more of an archaeologist, was influenced by him, and so was Canaletto [18 Oct 1697 20 Apr 1768].
— Charles-Louis Clérisseau and Antonio Joli were students of Panini.
The Piazza and Church of Santa Maria Maggiore (1744) _ Pannini was one of the most accomplished vedutisti (view-painters) of the eighteenth century. He came from a long tradition of Emilian view-painters and scenery-painters. In 1715 he moved to Rome where he first worked as a decorator painting counterfeit architecture in various palaces. He then found a fuller creative voice by painting scenes of holidays or special events. The spectacular backdrops he used for these works were the squares and buildings of Rome. The beauty of these monumental backgrounds, bathed in clear light that seemed to exalt the very notion of the Eternal City, was so powerful that he had no need of a narrative pretext for them. Many of Pannini's paintings are simple views animated by lively little figures. He had a considerable influence on Canaletto and the great Venetian view-painters of the eighteenth century.
Musical Fête (1747, 207x247cm) _ The painting depicts the musical fête given by the Cardinal de la Rochefoucauld at the Theater Argentina, Rome, on 15 July 1747 in honor of the marriage of the Dauphin of France.
Roma Antica (1755) Picture Gallery with Views of Modern Rome (1757)
Interior of the San Giovanni Laterano in Rome (74x100cm)
— The Inside of the Pantheon at Rome after Pannini (etching 26x22cm; full size)
Born on 21 October 1581: Domenico
Zampieri il Domenichino, Italian painter who
died on 06 April 1641.
Domenichino was Annibale Carracci's favorite student and one of the most important upholders of the tradition of Bolognese classicism. After studying with Calvaert [1540 – 17 Mar 1619] and Ludovico Carracci [21 Apr 1555 – 13 Dec 1619] he went to Rome (1602) and joined the colony of artists working under Annibale Carracci at the Palazzo Farnese. His only undisputed work there is the Maiden with the Unicorn, a charming, gentle fresco over the entrance of the Gallery.
By the second decade of the century he was established as Rome's leading painter and had a succession of major decorative commissions, among them scenes from the life of St. Cecilia in S. Luigi dei Francesi (1613-14). The dignified frieze-like composition of the figures reflects his study of the tapestries of Raphael [06 Apr 1483 – 06 Apr 1520] , and in turn influenced Poussin [15 Jun 1594 – 19 Nov 1665]. The frescos in the pendentives and apse of S. Andrea della Valle (1624-1628), his chief work of the 1620s. show a move away from this strict classicism towards an ampler Baroque style; but compared with his rival Lanfranco [26 Jan 1582 – 30 Nov 1647] (who at this time was overtaking him in popularity) Domenichino never abandoned the principles of clear, firm drawing for the sake of more painterly effects.
In 1631 Domenichino moved to Naples, and in his ceiling frescos of the S. Gennaro chapel in the cathedral he made even greater concessions to the fashionable Baroque. He met with considerable hostility in Naples from jealous local artists and was forced to flee precipitately in 1634. He later returned, but died before completing his work in the cathedral.
Domenichino was important in fields other than monumental fresco decoration, particularly as an exponent of ideal landscape, in which he formed the link between Annibale Carracci [03 Nov 1560 – 15 Jul 1609] and Claude Lorrain [1600 – 23 Nov 1682]. He was one of the finest draftsmen of his generation and also an excellent portraitist. In the 18th century his reputation was enormous - his Last Communion of St. Jerome (1614) was generally regarded as one of the greatest pictures ever painted but he fell from grace in the 19th century along with other Bolognese painters under the scathing attacks of Ruskin.
La comunione di san Girolamo (1614, 419x256cm) _ Il dipinto prende spunto da una lettera dell’inizio del Trecento, che si riteneva scritta dal successore del santo, Eusebio da Cremona. Intesa a glorificare la vita di Girolamo, la lettera narra i particolari leggendari della sua morte, che si riteneva avvenuta all’età di novantasei anni, nello stato di verginità e con il corpo consunto da numerose privazioni. In realtà nessuno di questi particolari corrisponde a verità, e l’inattendibilità della lettera fu dimostrata, tra gli altri, da Erasmo e Baronio. Il tema riscosse comunque una certa fama nel corso del Seicento. Eseguito per l’altare maggiore di San Girolamo della Carità, dove Filippo Neri [22 Jul 1515 – 27 May 1595] aveva fondato il suo oratorio, il dipinto prende a modello la tela dal medesimo soggetto eseguita da Agostino Carracci per la chiesa bolognese di San Girolamo alla Certosa, e fu cominciato nel 1612, dopo una lunga preparazione testimoniata da una grande quantità di disegni. Rispetto al dipinto di Agostino, Domenichino inverte la composizione e diminuisce il numero dei personaggi. Il centro simbolico della tela è l’ostia, a sottolineare, in linea con i dettami del Concilio di Trento (13 Dec 1545 – 04 Dec 1563), la reale presenza di Cristo nel sacramento della comunione.
The Sacrifice of Isaac (147x140cm) _ The Carracci influenced numerous followers especially in Bologna. Domenichino was one of them, a prolific decorator.
The Maiden and the Unicorn (1602) _ This is part of the decor commissioned for the Galleria Farnese under the artistic directorship of Annibale Carracci. The fresco above the southeast wall was identified at an early stage as the work of his student Domenichino, yet scholars still disagree as to the extent to which it was executed alone.
Whatever aspects of this painting may be comparable with Annibale's own compositions, this work betrays a very different temperament indeed. The strict avoidance of dynamic spatial diagonals and the grouping of unicorn and maiden parallel to the picture plane correspond much more closely to Domenichino's "classicistic" orientation and his preference for the art of the Renaissance, including the paintings of Raphael. Psychologically, too, much speaks for this painting's entire execution by Domenichino. The unicorn is not merely an attribute of the virgin. In the tradition of this allegory of chastity, the unicorn seeks refuge in the lap of a virgin. Domenichino emphasizes the shyness of these two sensitive creatures who have moved out of the center of the picture towards the edge of the woods. Instead of the full-blooded sensuality of Annibale's figures in the Galleria Farnese, Domenichino conveys an expression of quiet and gentle introversion.
The Vision of Saint Jerome (before 1603) _ Saint Jerome [341 — 30 Sep 420], a Doctor of the Church, receives a vision of an angel; the incident seems not specific, but suggestive generally of inspiration
Cardinale Girolamo Agucchi (1605, 141x111cm) _ Ignorato dalle fonti antiche, il ritratto del cardinale Girolamo Agucchi va collocato al primo periodo di residenza del pittore presso casa Agucchi, protrattosi dal 1604 al 1608 circa. Per il cardinale, e per suo fratello Giovan Battista, entrambi, in momenti diversi, maggiordomi presso gli Aldobrandini, il pittore eseguì vari quadri di paesaggio e di soggetto religioso, nonché gli affreschi per la chiesa romana di Sant’Onofrio tra il 1604 e il 1605. In questo dipinto, eseguito tra il giugno 1604, quando Girolamo fu creato cardinale, e il 27 aprile 1605, data della sua morte, Domenichino si cimenta nel genere del ritratto, rifacendosi alla tradizione raffaellesca.
Rimprovero ad Adamo ed Eva (1624, 95x75cm) _ Donato dal celebre architetto André le Nôtre a Luigi XIV nel 1693, il dipinto fu una delle poche opere eseguite da Domenichino mentre era impegnato nella decorazione della chiesa romana di Sant’Andrea della Valle. Eseguita su rame con una forte attenzione ai contrasti cromatici, l’opera ricorda la produzione di Elsheimer, e, soprattutto di Paul Brill. Il tema raffigurato è ispirato a una particolare interpretazione medievale della storia biblica secondo cui Dio Padre incolpò Adamo di aver mangiato il frutto dell’Albero della Conoscenza, qui raffigurato da un fico e non da un melo. Adamo incolpò poi Eva, che, a sua volta, accusò il serpente. La figura di Dio Padre sorretto da cherubini è una citazione michelangiolesca dalla volta della Sistina, mentre gli animali in primo piano simboleggiano la coesistenza pacifica (il leone e l’agnello, da Isaia) e la lussuria (il cavallo, da Geremia).
The Repose of Venus Landscape with Tobias Laying Hold of the Fish (1618)
The Assumption of Mary Magdalene into Heaven (1620)
Died on 21 October 1775: François-Hubert
Drouais fils, born on 14 December 1727, French court portraitist,
one of the most fashionable in mid-18th-century.
— He was trained by his father, Hubert Drouais père [05 May 1699 – 09 Feb 1767], and then by Donat Nonotte, Carle Vanloo, Charles-Joseph Natoire, and François François Boucher. He was made an associate member (agréé) of the Académie Royale in 1755, on presentation of a Portrait of a Lady, and quickly built up a practice at court. Towards the end of 1756 he was summoned to Versailles to paint the two infant sons of the Dauphin, Le Duc de Berry et le Comte de Provence, a painting whose success assured him of royal patronage for the rest of his life. This charming portrait of two future kings (Louis XVI and Louis XVIII) playing with a dog was exhibited at the Salon of 1757, along with seven other portraits, and the critical reaction was very favorable. These paintings illustrate themes that Drouais was to use frequently: a pastoral setting, a relaxed intimacy of pose, and fancy dress: often his sitters are shown as gardeners, Savoyards, harvesters, or ‘montagnards’. In addition, his technique was astonishingly secure, careful, fluent, and calculated to please. He became a rival to Nattier as a fashionable portraitist. His portraits have a gracious and artificial charm and at their best bear comparison with those of Boucher. He was particularly successful with children, but his best known painting is probably the very grand portrait of Mme. de Pompadour (1764), completed after the sitter's death. He taught his son Jean~Germain Drouais [24 Nov 1763 – 13 Feb 1788] to be a painter.
— The Artist as a Child (50x40cm; 1000x782pix)
Madame de Pompadour (1764, 217x157cm) François-Hubert Drouais became a successful portraitist at the French court. He was especially fashionable for his likenesses of aristocratic children dressed as gardeners or Savoyard beggars to emphasize their 'natural' or 'filial' characters (little Savoyard hurdy-gurdy players brought their earnings back every year to their mothers in the Haute Savoie). This sumptuous portrait of Madame de Pompadour, Louis XV's mistress, similarly employs the imagery of bourgeois virtue and industry to flatter a great lady.
In this case, however, the fiction is less pronounced: the Marquise de Pompadour had been born plain Mademoiselle Poisson. Pretty, charming, good-natured and well-educated, at the age of nine she had been told by a fortuneteller that she would reign over the heart of a king - after which her family called her Reinette, 'little Queen' (twenty years later she was to reward the woman with the gift of an enormous sum, six hundred livres). Married to the nephew of her mother's rich lover, she began to entertain Parisian intellectuals at her salon; Voltaire is the best-known of the 'philosophes' whom she captivated and supported. She soon attracted the eye of the king, Louis XV, and by 1745, separated from her husband, she was installed at Versailles and ennobled. To her enemies she remained always a Parisian bourgeoise, member of a class which was enriching itself, as they saw it, at their expense. She kept the friendship and interest of the king, however, even after their sexual relationship had ended in 1751-2, by her affection, her charm, and above all through her interest in music and the arts.
Drouais's painting faithfully records her pursuits, surrounding her with books, a mandolin, an artist's folio, her beloved pet dog, and dressing her in a lavishly embroidered silk dress edged with yards of superb lace. Her embroidery - more accurately, tambouring - wools are kept in an elaborate work-table in the latest fashion, with Sèvres plaques (Madame de Pompadour had earlier taken the porcelain factory of Vincennes under her protection and transferred it to Sèvres, near one of her houses). She looks up at the viewer as she might have done at the king when he came into her apartment through their private staircase; a woman no longer young, yet still with that 'wonderful complexion' and 'those eyes not so very big, but the brightest, wittiest and most sparkling', as praised by a contemporary. Yet there is more here than we can see at first sight. As his signature tells us, Drouais painted the Marquise's face from the life in April 1763 on a separate rectangle which was then joined to the rest of the canvas. She must have approved of the likeness for other, half-length portraits were commissioned from Drouais. But this picture was finished in May 1764, some weeks after her death on 5 April at the age of 43. All her life she had suffered from ill-health, and even in her last illness stoically wore rouge and smiled at everybody. Drouais's suave and grand yet somehow intimate portrait installs her in our memory as she would have wished to be remembered.
Madame Drouais, Wife of the Artist (1758, 82x62cm) Boy with a Black Spaniel (oval, 64x53cm)