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ART “4” “2”-DAY  07 April
DEATHS: 1614 EL GRECO — 1900 CHURCH — 1707 VAN DE VELDE — 1961 BELL
El Greco, self-portraitDied on 07 April 1614 Doménikos Theotokópoulos “El Greco”       ^top^
     Greek Spanish Mannerist painter. He studied under Titian. El Greco's students included Juan Bautista Mayno [1569 – 01 Apr 1649] and Pedro Orrente [1580-1645].
     He was a master of Spanish painting, whose highly individual dramatic and expressionistic style and elongated figures [self-portrait at age 62 >] met with the puzzlement of his contemporaries but gained newfound appreciation in the 20th century. He also worked as a sculptor and as an architect.
— Today considered one of the greatest artists of the Spanish school. El Greco “the Greek” was actually born in Candia (now Iraklion), the capital of Crete, a Greek island then under Venetian control. The artist always acknowledged this origin, signing his works with his given name, Domenikos Theotokopoulus, in Greek characters. The Kres appearing in some signatures means "Cretan." El Greco's early works demonstrate that he worked within the conservative tradition of Byzantine icon painting before exposure to Venetian High Renaissance art broadened his stylistic approach. In Venice by 1568, El Greco is documented in Rome in 1570, where he remained until 1577. There he gained entree into the influential circle of Cardinal Alessandro Farnese and in 1572 was accepted as a miniaturist into the Academy of Saint Luke. Most likely seeking royal patronage, in 1577 El Greco moved permanently to Spain and by 1579 had completed the Disrobing of Christ (El Espolio) for the sacristy of the cathedral of Toledo. One of El Greco's masterpieces, this painting exhibits the full brilliance of his perfect wedding of a highly idiosyncratic style with the emotional intensity of the Counter-Reformation. Although religious works predominate in his oeuvre, El Greco was also a masterful portraitist. Failing to secure a permanent appointment at the court of Philip 11 in Madrid, El Greco worked the rest of his long career in Toledo, where he died.
—       The most unusual painter in 16th-century Europe, El Greco combined the strict Byzantine style of his homeland, Greece, with influences received during his studies in Venice and the medieval tradition of the country, where he worked, Spain.
            Domenicos Theotokopoulos, later called El Greco, the Greek, by the Spaniards, was born in 1541 (possibly on 02 September) in Candia, on the island of Crete, which was then a Venetian possession. [Being born in Crete does not make him a Cretin, but a Cretan, though it may make him a liar, if Cretan poet Epimenides, quoted by Saint Paul (Titus 1:12), said the truth when stating in the 6th century BC that “All Cretans are liars.” Logicians have made a big deal of this, calling it a paradox, which it isn't, for: (1) even the worst liar does sometimes tell the truth. (2) If it is false that “All Cretans are liars”, it does not follow that “No Cretans are liars” but that “At least one Cretan is not a liar” and that one would not be Epimenides.].
      Theotokopoulos was trained as icon-maker in a monastery; he then went to Venice (soon after 1560), where Titian became his greatest mentor. El Greco, however, obtained very little influence from his master; a certain influence of Bassano, Baroccio, Veronese, or Tintoretto, could be felt but on the whole his works are very individual and distinct. In 1570 El Greco went by way of Parma (where he appreciated Correggio) to Rome, where he met Michelangelo. He criticized his Last Judgment severely, and offered to produce a better composition. But on the whole Michelangelo and the Central Italian Mannerists stimulated him. The works of his Italian period are very different in style: Christ Healing the Blind Man (1566), The Annunciation (1575), Christ Driving the Traders from the Temple (1570).
            Around 1576 the painter went to Spain.  At first he was in the service of Philip II: The Dream of Philip II (1579). His Martyrdom of St. Maurice (1580) did not appeal to Philip, and the painter moved (in 1580) to Toledo, the old capital and then a major center of artistic, intellectual, and religious life in 16th-century Spain. He stayed in Toledo until his death.
In 1586 he painted for the church of St. Thomé his famous The Burial of Count Orgaz (1586), the success of which brought him a great number of commissions from the Church, the decorations for the new church of St. Domingo el Antiguo among them.  He also became a popular portraitist: Portrait of a Nobleman with His Hand on His Chest (1580, probably Major Juan da Silva, Marquise de Monte, head notary of Toledo). His painting style always stimulated much discussion.
            The life of proud and independent El Greco in Spain, who always signed his pictures by his Greek name, demanded of him constant self-assertion. He rented the palace of Marquis Viliena (present Museo El Greco in Toledo), collected valuable library, was very successive in law suites against church administrations. Very brave in Catholic Spain was his union with a young aristocrat Jeronima de las Cuevas, mother of his bastard son Jorjé Manuel, the future Spanish architect. ‘Man of eccentric habits and ideas, of tremendous determination, extraordinary reticence, and extreme devoutness’ he was valued and respected by the intellectuals of Toledo. 
            El Greco did not have followers, and his art was forgotten for 300 years. The re-discovery of his painting was a sensation; he became one of the most popular masters of the past, his painting arose interest of collectors, artists, lovers of art and art historians. El Greco is now regarded as one of the most important representatives of European Mannerism. El Greco died in Toledo, Spain.

Saint Francis receiving the Stigmata (105x80cm)
St. Francis Venerating the Crucifix (1595, 147x105cm; 4/5 size; or see it 2/5 size; or recommended 2/10 size)
The Penitent Magdalene (86x67cm) _ [detail]
— a different The Penitent Magdalene (1578, 157x121cm) _ After a short period of study in Greece, El Greco, one of the most renowned figure in Spanish art, went to Venice in the middle of the sixteenth century, where he worked in Titian's workshop, and where he became familiar with the art of Paolo Veronese, Jacopo Bassano and Tintoretto, as well as works by representatives of the North Italian Mannerist school. Later, in Rome, he was strongly influenced by the work of Michelangelo. By the time he had settled in Toledo around 1576, his art was fully developed. Like most of the painters coming from Italy, he was anxious to enter the service of King Philip II, but the Greek painter's immediacy of passion, ecstatic style, disturbing colors and visionary conceptions did not please the king's academic Italian taste. He was, however, appreciated by the religious orders and the aristocratic patrons of Toledo. The penitent Magdalene must have been painted at the beginning of his years in Toledo because the strong influence of paintings on the same theme by Titian can be observed. The ideal of beauty is still Titian's half-figure pictures of women, but the inner tension of the whole composition and the relation between man and nature already indicate the beginning of Mannerism. The arrangement of the fingers of the right hand is a characteristic feature of El Greco's painting. The sitter for the painting may have been Jerónima de las Cuevas, the mistress of the artist.
St. John the Baptist (1600, 111x66cm; full size; or see it half-size; or recommended quarter-size)
Saint Peter (1610, 71x55cm; full size; or see it half-size; or recommended quarter-size)
Saint Paul (1614) — Saint John the Evangelist and Saint Francis (1608)
Christ Driving the Traders from the Temple (1571, 117x150cm) _ (Matthew, XXI, 12; the sequel is possibly the Christ healing the Blind.) The four portraits at the bottom right represent, from left to right, Titian, Michelangelo, Giulio Clovio and possibly El Greco himself. The introduction of Titian and Michelangelo is clearly an acknowledgment of his debt to these two artists. To his friend, Giulio Clovio, he owed his introduction to the Farnese household. The young man looking out, pointing to himself, has similar features to the self-portrait in the Christ healing the Blind at Parma, but the long hair is strange. It has also been suggested that he could represent the young Raphael. The portraits of Titian and Michelangelo (died 1564) were taken from existing portraits, and that of Giulio Clovio follows closely El Greco's portrait of his friend in the Naples Museum, painted c. 1571. El Greco does continue to include portraits in his paintings of religious subjects, but here there is no proper connection with the subject matter.
      El Greco first painted the subject in Venice, some years earlier, in the small signed panel in Washington, and he was to take it up again, much later, in Spain, and adhere closely to his original design. As with the Christ Healing the Blind, inspiration for the composition as a whole is from Tintoretto. The main central group, however, is very close to a Michelangelo design, known in drawings, and also in Venusti's painting after Michelangelo's design (National Gallery, London). The figure of the woman walking with a child could be a reminiscence of a similar motif in Raphael's tapestry cartoon, the Distributing of Alms at the Golden Gate. The two men in conversation, who also appear in the middle distance of Christ healing the Blind, have become a grand subsidiary motif, and again hint at acquaintance with Raphael. The larger forms of the architecture also derive from Raphael and Rome, and are consonant with the grander conception of the one integrated action of the main group of figures. This is the most splendid painting El Greco produced before moving to Italy.
Christ Healing the Blind Man (1566, 66x84cm) _ Christ Healing the Blind Man (1570, 50x61cm) _ Christ Healing the Blind Man (1578, 120x146cm) _ Possibly the sequel to the Christ driving the Traders from the Temple (Matthew, XXI, 14: 'And the blind and the lame came to him in the temple; and he healed them'). Both subjects were treated by El Greco more than once in Italy. This is the smallest known painting on canvas by El Greco. The painting has been cut and the group on the right is incomplete. No large-scale works are known from his Italian period, and most are quite small. He does not appear to have received any important commissions before he moved to Spain.
      Three versions of this subject are known, all basically the same in composition, but differing in treatment. The earliest (1566, 66 x 84 cm) is looser in composition, smaller in conception, and introduces genre motifs of a dog, sack and pitcher in the foreground, eliminated in subsequent versions. This painting was influenced by Venetian painting; in the 17th century it was attributed to Paolo Veronese, later to Jacopo Bassano.
      The second painting (1570, 50 x 61 cm), probably also painted in Venice, is more easily composed. The third and largest painting, now in the Metropolitan Museum in New York (possibly identical with the one in a Madrid collection at the time of Cossio's pioneer work on El Greco), with its comparative largeness of conception, belongs to his Roman period, after 1570. El Greco did not again take up the subject in Spain.
      The inspiration is from Venice. The dramatic use of recession behind the figures in the foreground is Tintoretto's invention. El Greco is still borrowing certain motifs, but the composition would seem to be original. The painting was probably brought to Rome by the artist, unless it was painted soon after his arrival in 1570. The figure on the extreme left, looking out towards the spectator, is certainly the young El Greco. He appears, however, nearer twenty than thirty years old.
     The third painting (1578, 120x146 cm), with its comparative largeness of conception, belongs to El Greco's Roman period, after 1570. This version was earlier attributed to Tintoretto, then Veronese. There is also a 17th century copy of this painting.
El Espolio (1579, 285x173cm) _ Begun in the summer of 1577, and completed in the spring of 1579, for the High Altar of the Sacristy of the Cathedral of Toledo. A document of 02 July 1577 referring to this painting is the earliest record of El Greco in Spain. It is one of the most dignified and moving portrayals of Christ in art. The powerful effect of the painting especially depends upon his original and forceful use of color. Something of the effect of the grand images of the Savior in Byzantine art is recalled. The motif of the crowding round Christ suggests an acquaintance with the works of the Northern artist, Bosch; the figure preparing the Cross could be derived from the similar figure bending forward in Raphael's tapestry cartoon of the Miraculous Draught of Fishes. This is, however, the last time that there are any hints of specific borrowings.
      There is a small, signed version of El Espolio, which is probably the original preliminary model for the large painting. Many other versions exist, but few can be by El Greco. The only occasion that he treated the subject was for the Cathedral, but the type of Christ created in El Espolio is taken up in the related subject of Christ carrying the Cross, and in other representations of Christ.
      The initial reception of the painting, when seen by the artists brought to value it, was that it was beyond appraisal. After the artist's death, the first real recognition of the painting was some two centuries later when Goya painted his Taking of Christ for the same sacristy. — El Espolio (1600) _ an inferior copy of the top half, minus all but seven of the crowd.
Holy Family (1592) — Holy Family (1593) — Holy Family (1595) — Holy Family (1604)
Adoration by the Shepherds (1610) — Adoration by the Shepherds (1614)
Christ Carrying the Cross (1605) — Christ (1595)
86 images at Webshots
^ Born on 07 April 1883: Gino Severini, Italian Cubist / Futurist painter, who died on 27 February 1966.
— Severini was born in Cortona, Italy. He studied at the Scuola Tecnica in Cortona before moving to Rome in 1899. There he attended art classes at the Villa Medici and by 1901 met Umberto Boccioni, who had also recently arrived in Rome and later would be one of the theoreticians of Futurism. Together, Severini and Boccioni visited the studio of Giacomo Balla, where they were introduced to painting with “divided” rather than mixed color. After settling in Paris in November 1906, Severini studied Impressionist painting and met the Neo-Impressionist Paul Signac.
      Severini soon came to know most of the Parisian avant-garde, including Georges Braque, Juan Gris, Amedeo Modigliani, and Pablo Picasso; Lugné-Poë and his theatrical circle; the poets Guillaume Apollinaire, Paul Fort, and Max Jacob; and author Jules Romains. After joining the Futurist movement at the invitation of Filippo Tommaso Marinetti and Boccioni, Severini signed the Manifesto tecnico della pittura futurista of April 1910, along with Balla, Boccioni, Carlo Carrà, and Luigi Russolo. However, Severini was less attracted to the subject of the machine than his fellow Futurists and frequently chose the form of the dancer to express Futurist theories of dynamism in art.
      Severini helped organize the first Futurist exhibition at Galerie Bernheim-Jeune, Paris, in February 1912, and participated in subsequent Futurist shows in Europe and the United States. In 1913, he had solo exhibitions at the Marlborough Gallery, London, and Der Sturm, Berlin. During the Futurist period, Severini acted as an important link between artists in France and Italy. After his last truly Futurist works—a series of paintings on war themes—Severini painted in a Synthetic Cubist mode, and by 1920 he was applying theories of classical balance based on the Golden Section to figurative subjects from the traditional commedia dell’arte. He divided his time between Paris and Rome after 1920. He explored fresco and mosaic techniques and executed murals in various mediums in Switzerland, France, and Italy during the 1920s. In the 1950s, he returned to the subjects of his Futurist years: dancers, light, and movement. Throughout his career, Severini published important theoretical essays and books on art. Severini died February 26, 1966, in Paris.
— Nel 1899, a Roma, conosce Boccioni [19 Oct 1882 – 16 Aug 1916] e Balla [24 Jul 1871 – 05 Mar 1958] che lo introduce alla tecnica divisionista. Stabilitosi nel 1906 a Parigi (dove trascorre la maggior parte della sua vita), Severini entra in contatto con i circoli dell’avanguardia artistica e letteraria legandosi, in particolare, a Picasso, Modigliani, Jacob e Fort. Orientatosi inizialmente allo studio di Seurat in paesaggi e vedute di Parigi di grande sensibilita' cromatica, si volge poi, sollecitato dalle istanze futuriste, verso soluzioni formali che tendono a rendere il senso del movimento cosmico (Danza del Pan Pan al Monico, 1911; dispersa durante la prima guerra mondiale, l’opera viene ridipinta da Severini nel 1960 in base a documenti fotografici.). Tra i firmatari del primo Manifesto della pittura futurista (1910), Severini svolge un importante ruolo di collegamento tra l’ambiente parigino e il gruppo futurista (nel 1912 collabora con Fènèon all’allestimento della mostra Les peintres futuristes italiens). Dopo un soggiorno in Italia (1913-1914), tornato a Parigi, Severini porta avanti, accanto a dipinti che interpretano in modo cubo-futurista la guerra (Cannone in azione, 1915), una serie di opere ispirate all’orfismo (Mare = Ballerina, 1914) e al cubismo sintetico (Zingaro che suona la fisarmonica, 1919).
— Gino Severini nasce a Cortona, presso Arezzo. Nel 1899 si trasferisce con la madre a Roma, dove inizia a lavorare come contabile. Nell’ambiente culturale della capitale conosce Boccioni e Balla; quest’ultimo in particolare lo avvicina al divisionismo. Nel 1903 Severini esordisce all’esposizione annuale degli Amatori e cultori con Dintorni di Roma. Nel 1906 parte per Parigi, dove conosce Amedeo Modigliani e Max Jacob (12 Jul 1876 – 05 Mar 1944 — Max Jacob di Modigliani) che lo introducono nell’ambiente artistico della città. Ritorna per un breve periodo in Italia nel 1907, durante il quale esegue i ritratti del padre e della madre. Rientrato definitivamente a Parigi, espone all’Exposition des artistes indépendants e al Salon d’Automne (1908). Nel 1910 Boccioni lo invita ad aderire al primo Manifesto della pittura futurista. Con lo stesso Boccioni, con Carrà e Russolo, due anni più tardi partecipa alla mostra Les peintres futuristes presso la galleria Bernheim-Jeune. A Londra, presso la Marlborough Gallery, è allestita la sua prima mostra personale, che successivamente viene presentata alla galleria Der Sturm di Berlino (entrambe nel 1913). Nell’inverno del 1916, Severini conosce il mercante d’arte Léonce Rosenberg, che per una ventina d’anni sarà suo sostenitore e amico.
      Dopo la prima guerra mondiale, l’artista riprende a lavorare e a esporre: è del maggio 1919 una grande mostra presso Rosenberg. In questi anni avviene anche una ripresa del rapporto con l’Italia: per Valori plastici prepara un rapporto sulla situazione dell’arte e della poesia a Parigi; per la rivista post-futurista Noi scrive un saggio teorico-pratico sulla pittura. Nel 1921 Rosenberg gli propone di affrescare una sala per i Sitwell, in un loro castello presso Firenze: è l’occasione per il sospirato ritorno in Italia, e per il soggetto l’artista sceglie figure della Commedia dell’arte e grandi nature morte.
      Tornato a Parigi, nel 1923 matura la conversione al cattolicesimo, rispecchiata anche in numerosi suoi lavori di questo periodo, per esempio nella decorazione della nuova chiesa di Semsales nel cantone di Friburgo, a cui segue quella della chiesa di La Roche, sempre in Svizzera. Fra la fine degli anni Venti e i primi anni Trenta l’attività artistica di Severini è molto intensa e ottiene anche importanti riconoscimenti: nel 1935 riceve il primo premio alla Quadriennale di Roma, nel 1936 gli vengono commissionati i mosaici per il Palazzo di giustizia di Milano e per il Palazzo delle poste di Alessandria, portati a termine nel 1938. In questi anni esegue anche scene e costumi per alcuni spettacoli teatrali: Amfiparnaso di Vecchi, La strega di Grazzini, Aridosia di Lorenzino de’Medici (tutti lavori allestiti nel 1938), Pulcinella di Stravinski e Arlecchino di Busoni (1940).
      Al termine della guerra il vescovo di Cortona lo incarica di eseguire una Via Crucis a mosaico, portata a termine nel 1946; quindi ritorna in Francia. Nel 1959 rientra per un breve periodo a Roma per eseguire la ricostruzione de La danza del pan pan al Monico, distrutta dai nazisti. Verso il 1960 si susseguono importanti mostre dedicate alla riconsiderazione del futurismo, alle quali fanno seguito un’importante personale allestita a Palazzo Venezia, a Roma (1961), e una grande retrospettiva a Rotterdam (1963). Negli ultimi anni della sua vita, dà alle stampe Témoignages, 50 ans de réflexions, una raccolta di saggi critici. Severini muore a Parigi.

Nature morte au poisson (1958, color lithograph)
Mare=Ballerina (January 1914, 105x86cm) _ Toward the end of 1913, after he left Paris for Pienza and Rome, Gino Severini traveled to coastal Anzio for reasons of health. It was after arriving there that he executed Sea=Dancer. This painting, in which the sea and a figure are equated, illustrates his notions of “plastic analogies” as outlined in a manifesto he prepared for his solo exhibition at the Marlborough Gallery in London in 1913. According to Severini, the environment is optically determined and hence fluid, and the human figure is merely a part, albeit an inseparable part, of that metamorphic reality. In this canvas and others the cadences of the swirling motion of the dance and the dancer’s costume are compared with those of the sea’s movement. The large curling planes are stippled with brilliant staccato dabs of paint that cause all surfaces to vibrate as if with light. As in many other Futurist paintings, the image spills over onto the frame. The divisionist brushstroke derives from Giacomo Balla and ultimately from the Neo-Impressionists, particularly Georges Seurat. Works such as Sea=Dancer may have a specific source in Seurat’s Le Chahut of 1890
      The play of cylindrical and flat planes in this painting brings to mind the contemporaneous Cubism of Fernand Léger, though the color is closer to the prismatic hues of Robert Delaunay. However, the absence of outline and the dissolution of volume distinguish Severini’s work. During this period Severini’s analogies of forms divest objects of their usual identities; later in 1914 he would produce entirely non-objective compositions
Train blindé en action _ Armored Train in Action (1915, 116 x89cm) _ One of the rare Severini paintings that does not fall back on words or a collage of signs and symbols, this painting takes its inspiration from a photograph published in Le Miroir on November 1st 1914. It depicts an armored railway carriage equipped with turrets. The caption explains how the convoy "having, at full speed, broken through the enemy front lines (...) had no sooner stopped than its artillery was trained on the German trenches and opened fire. (...) The sound of bullets against the armour-plating of the train rang out continuously." This episode, which remains a rarity only possible at the start of the war, becomes, for Severini, a glorification of mechanical power. Oblique lines criss-cross like the trajectories of the projectiles and the silhouettes of the infantrymen are dominated by the barrel of the gun. The scene is enveloped in smoke, smoke painted 'à la Léger' in foliated curves.
Synthèse Plastique de l'Idée Guerre (1915, 60x50cm) _ Severini did not take part in the fighting but, in 1914 and 1915, he attempted to paint it from the experiences of the French Cubists and the Italian Futurists, of which he was a leading exponent. To description, he preferred the composition of large symbolic ensembles using the juxtaposition of details and words according to the logic of Cubist collage established as of 1912 by Picasso and Braque. Thus the war is defined by adding together the general mobilization order, a ship's anchor, an artillery gun carriage, range-finding instruments, an aircraft wing bearing the red, white and blue roundel, a factory chimney and the date of the declaration of war. Significantly, Severini does not introduce, or even allude to, any human presence, preferring to use the working drawings of engineers as the building blocks of his pictorial language. The association between industrial modernity and artistic modernity is obvious. Severini called his aesthetics "ideist realism".
Canon en Action (1915, 50x60cm) _ There remains one difficulty for the painter to overcome if possible: to add the great noise to the picture and give as complete a rendering of the feeling as he can. In the terms of Cubist "papiers collés", Severini introduces words and onomatopoeia, edging towards a poem painting. Some of his methods may appear pretty crude, like the "booom" of the blast. Others attempt to specify the technique itself, "arithmetical perfection", "geometrical rhythm", "gradual earthward curve". The picture is to be read as much as it is to be looked at, especially as the figures of the artillerymen are only sketched in and the gun itself is not shown in any great detail. In 1916, shortly after painting and exhibiting his war pictures, Severini moved away from warlike subjects and what he called "ideist realism", painting Cubist still lifes instead. One can't help feeling that this move can be explained, if only partly, in terms of the conviction that painting cannot safely tackle themes that are beyond it. None can suggest the "acrid stench" of the "centrifugal heaviness", and tracing words on the canvas is not a satisfactory solution either.
Le Train-Hôpital (1915, 117x90cm) _ After the field ambulances and the first aid posts, the wounded were evacuated to the rear in specially designed trains to hospitals where they could be cared for. This theme appeared very early on in the dailies, with photographs and drawings of the halts in stations where volunteer nurses gave the patients something to drink and dressed their wounds. From these illustrations, Severini kept just the image of the nurse dressed in white, composing a synthesis of plastic elements, railway signals, train smoke, stations passed through and red cross flags. In this way he applies the Futurist method of depicting the speed and the topicality of the war although there are only traces of the latter here.
Red Cross Train Passing a Village (summer 1915, 89x116cm) _ After moving from Rome to Paris in 1906, Gino Severini came into close contact with Georges Braque, Pablo Picasso, and the other leading artists of the avant-garde capital, while staying in touch with his compatriots who remained in Italy. In 1910 he signed the “Futurist Painting: Technical Manifesto” with four other Italian artists, Giacomo Balla, Umberto Boccioni, Carlo Carrà, and Luigi Russolo, who wanted their paintings to express the energy and speed of modern life. In this painting of a train moving through the countryside, Severini split the landscape in order to impart a sense of the momentary fractured images that characterize our perception of a speeding object. The clash of intense contrasting colors suggests the noise and power of the train, which the Futurists admired as an emblem of vitality and potency. Severini’s paintings—like Futurist work in general—are informed by the legacy of Cubism, building on the Cubists’ deconstruction of the motif, their collage technique, and their incorporation of graphic signs. But the Futurists’ interest in depicting motion, use of bright expressive color, and politically inspired dedication to bridging the gap between art and life departed decisively from Cubist aesthetic practice, which focused on the rarefied world of the studio, investigating formal issues through often-somber portraits and still lifes. Severini painted this canvas in the midst of World War I while living in Igny, outside Paris. Years later he recalled the circumstances: “Next to our hovel, trains were passing day and night, full of war matériel, or soldiers, and wounded.” During 1915 he created many canvases in which he attempted to evoke war in paint, culminating in his January 1916 First Futurist Exhibition of Plastic Art of the War. This exhibition, held in Paris, included Red Cross Train Passing a Village.
^ Died on 07 April 1900: Frederic Edwin Church, US Hudson River School painter born on 04 May 1826, specialized in Landscapes.
— For his spectacular and panoramic paintings of the wilderness of North and South America, Frederic Edwin Church was a dominant figure in the second generation of the Hudson River School. His canvases celebrated the drama of the American frontier and expressed the expansionist and optimistic outlook of the United States in the mid-nineteenth century.
— Frederic Edwin Church, born in Hartford, Connecticut, was the son of a wealthy man whose considerable assets provided the youth with the means to develop his early interest in art. By the age of sixteen, he was studying drawing and painting; two years later, Daniel Wadsworth, son-in-law of John Trumbull and, like Trumbull, a patron of Thomas Cole's, prevailed upon Cole to take Church as his student. Church's precociousness displayed itself quickly. Within a year, he had been shown in the National Academy of Design annual exhibition; the following year, he sold his first major oil, to Hartford's Wadsworth Atheneum. Extraordinarily gifted as a draftsman and a colorist, Church reached his early maturity by 1848, the year he took a studio in New York City, accepted William James Stillman as his first student, traveled widely and collected visual materials throughout New York and New England, particularly Vermont, and turned out a number of pictures, all of which sold well.
      As did so many contemporary landscape painters, Church settled into his own pattern of travel, hiking, and sketching from spring through autumn, followed by winter in New York painting, pursuing business affairs, and socializing. In April 1853, Church and his friend Cyrus Field set forth on an adventurous trip through Colombia (then called New Granada) and Ecuador. Church's first finished South American pictures, shown to great acclaim in 1855, transformed his career; for the next decade he devoted a great part of his attention to those subjects, producing a celebrated series that became the basis of his ensuing international fame. Nevertheless, his tastes and curiosity kept him ranging for other topics.
      From 1854 through 1856, in addition to retracing familiar paths, Church followed new ones as well, visiting Nova Scotia, traveling widely in Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont, and going several times to take sketches of Niagara Falls. For Church, from the late 1850s until the beginning of the Civil War was a time of triumph piled upon triumph. A second trip to Ecuador, in 1857, and a voyage to Newfoundland and Labrador, in 1859, provided material for future major paintings, but it was his Niagara, completed in 1857, and Heart of the Andes, in 1859, that guaranteed for him, still a young man, the role of the US's most famous painter.
      In 1860, Church bought farmland at Hudson, New York, and married Isabel Carnes, whom he had met during the exhibition of his Heart of the Andes. His marriage to both — his wife and his farm — became the joint center of his life, in later years tending to divert his attentions from painting major canvases. Church's happiness was blasted in March of 1865, when his son and his daughter died of diphtheria, but with the birth of Frederic junior in 1866, Church and his wife began a new family that was eventually to number four children. In late 1867, the Churches launched on an eighteen-month trip to Europe, North Africa, the Near East, and Greece that was the genesis of several important pictures. Church, however, began to devote his creative energies increasingly to gentleman farming and to the designing and redesigning of Olana, his hilltop fantasy of a “Persian” villa at Hudson, New York, a seemingly endless undertaking begun in 1869 in consultation with the architect Calvert Vaux.
      From the 1870s until his death afflicted with painful rheumatism of the right arm, which interrupted or prevented work on major pictures, Church still managed to produce in his later years a few large retrospective canvases. His final artistic legacy was a multitude of breathtaking small oil sketches, mostly of Olana or of the area around Millinocket Lake in Maine, where he bought a camp in 1880, or of Mexico, where he began wintering in 1882. These are at once a magnificent testimony to his undiminished gifts as a draftsman, painter, and colorist and one of the glories of US art.
— Born in Hartford, Connecticut, Church was the son of a wealthy businessman. He received his early art training from local painters Benjamin Hutchins Coe and Alexander Hamilton Emmons. In 1844, with the help of the art patron Daniel Wadsworth, he became the first student of the famous Hudson River School painter Thomas Cole. While studying at Cole’s studio in Catskill, New York, Church absorbed his teacher’s methods of sketching and became a proponent of his epic style of painting. Upon completing two years of training, Church moved to New York, where he established a studio in the Art-Union building.
      Church was successful in New York. In 1848, he became one of the youngest artists to be elected to the status of academician at the National Academy of Design, and he was soon training students of his own, including Jervis McEntee and William James Stillman. In the subsequent period, Church emulated Cole’s art, painting large-scale landscapes of the Hudson River Valley and of New England. Influenced by the writings of English theorist John Ruskin, he began to paint in a more precise manner, focusing on specific effects of weather and atmosphere. He was also inspired by the writings of Alexander von Humboldt, a German naturalist-explorer.
      Church gradually began to take a more scientific approach to nature, using sketches he had created in the outdoors in the preparation of his canvases. In 1853, he became the first American artist to visit South America. Accompanying Cyrus Field, who later gained renown for his participation in the transatlantic cable project, Church followed Humboldt’s 1802 route from Colombia to Ecuador. Along the way, Church drew from nature, producing the drawings that became the basis for important canvases depicting exotic subjects such as The Cordilleras: Sunrise (1855).
      When his works received high praise, Church set off on a second expedition in 1857. On this sojourn, he traveled to Ecuador with the landscape painter Louis Rémy Mignot. It was on this trip that he was able to concentrate on the scenery of the Andes, and he filled diaries and sketchbooks with records of the vegetation and the countryside. Characterized by vast vistas and atmospheric detail, the works that resulted from this sojourn demonstrate Church’s unique approach. Among the great triumphs of the artist’s career was Heart of the Andes (1859), in which Church captured the essence of the tropics. Another significant product of this period was Niagara (1857), which established Church as the leading interpreter of the US spirit.
      During the 1860s, Church continued to travel, seeking subject matter for his paintings. He continued to produce visions of the tropics such as Twilight in the Wilderness (1860) and Cotopaxi (1862) until 1867, when he took a year and a half trip to Europe and the Middle East. He first spent six months in London and Paris, and then continued on to Alexandria, Beirut, Constantinople, Baalbeck, Petra, and Jerusalem. Due to his fascination with ancient civilizations, he also visited Naples, Paestum, and Greece. On his return, he stopped in London, in order to study the works of Turner. The results of this trip were numerous oil sketches and drawings that he used for a series of paintings including The Parthenon (1871) and Jerusalem from the Mount of Olives (1870).
      By 1880, Church’s painting activity was curtailed due to ill health, and in 1883, rheumatism crippled his right arm and hand. In 1890, he settled at Olana, his grand villa near Hudson, New York, which had been designed for him in the Persian and Moorish styles by the architect Calvert Vaux in 1870. The house, which is preserved as a museum today, reflected Church’s eclectic interests and his travels, including exotic furnishings and decorative objects. The artist adorned the walls with works by the Old Masters, especially landscapes by Claude Lorrain and Salvator Rosa. Although he spent the winters of his last years in Mexico, Church spent most of the final phase of his life at Olana. He died in New York City.
click for Niagara Falls from US
Rainy Season in the Tropics (1866, 143x214cm)
Mountain Landscape (Our Banner in the Sky) (1861)
Twilight (Catskill Mountain) (1858, 61x91cm)
Twilight in the Wilderness (1860) _ Although this is a convincing landscape, it does not depict a specific place. Church created it by combining several different sketches made in Maine and New York. The dramatic light electrifying the entire composition is based on sunsets he witnessed from the window of his New York City studio. Perhaps the artist intended twilight to suggest the end of a cosmic cycle — a meaning that coincides with the feeling that the coming Civil War would change US civilization forever. The panoramic splendor created by brilliant clouds floating above a tranquil landscape also suggests the divine authority of "manifest destiny," the idea that Americans of European stock had a right to the continent. Seen by large numbers of people in the US in a touring exhibition organized by Church himself, this picture was marketed as essentially "American" — a comforting, patriotic image of the US wilderness.
A Tropical Moonlight (1874, 77x64cm) — The Falls of Tequendama (1854) — Niagara Falls (1867) — Niagara Falls from the Canadian side (1857) — Niagara Falls, from the American SideAurora Borealis (1865, 142x212cm) — Cotopaxi (1857) — Cotopaxi (1862) — The Natural Bridge, Virginia (1852, 71x58cm) — Heart of the Andes (1859, 168x303cm) _ detailJerusalem from the Mount of Olives (1870, 137x213cm) — The Parthenon (1871, 113x185cm) — IcebergsCayambe (1858) — 19 images at Webshots
^ Born on 07 April 1613: Gerrit Dou (or Dow, Dov), Dutch Baroque painter who died on 09 February 1675.
— Dou was born in Leiden. He learned glass painting from his father and in 1628 became Rembrandt's first student. After some early portraits, he painted chiefly small domestic scenes characterized by minute detail often painted under a magnifying glass, skillful chiaroscuro, and lifelike effect. Among these are A Poulterer's Shop {a fowl picture} and Evening Light. Dou's work was very popular and continued to be influential until the mid-19th century when appreciation for precision in painting declined under the pernicious influence of impressionism.
— In 1628 Dou became the first student of the young Rembrandt van Rijn, basing his early work closely on his master's. After Rembrandt moved to Amsterdam, Dou developed a style of his own, painting usually on a small scale, with a surface of almost enamelled smoothness. He was astonishingly fastidious about his tools and working conditions, with a particular horror of dust. Some of his pictures were painted with the aid of a magnifying glass. He painted numerous subjects, but is best known for domestic interiors. They usually contain only a few figures framed by a window or by the drapery of a curtain, and surrounded by books, musical instruments, or household paraphernalia, all minutely depicted. He is at his best in scenes lit by artificial light.
      With Jan Steen [1625-1679] Dou was among the founders of the Guild of St Luke at Leiden in 1648. Unlike Steen he was prosperous and respected throughout his life, and his pictures continued to fetch big prices (consistently higher than those paid for Rembrandt's work) until the advent of the sloppy and lazy Impressionism influenced taste against the neatness and precision of his style. Dou had a workshop with many students, including Quirijn van Brekelenkam, Frans van Mieris and Godfried Schalcken. They perpetuated his style and Leiden continued the fijnschilder tradition until the 19th century.

Self Portrait (1650) with pipe (opium pipe?) and book open to a full-page illustration (huge image). — same Self-Portrait (regular image).
— earlier Self-Portrait (1638) — a later Self-Portrait (1663) — an ever later Self-Portrait (1665)
Old Woman Reading a Lectionary (Rembrandt's Mother) (1630, 71x55cm) (huge image) _ Old Woman Reading a Lectionary (Rembrandt's Mother) (regular image) _ Young Dou admired and imitated Rembrandt, his teacher, closely. He frequently used Rembrandt's schemes and paraphernalia. A comparison of his Old Woman Reading a Bible (also called Rembrandt's Mother) with Rembrandt's Old Woman Reading (1631) shows the master's superiority and the student's limitations. The face Dou painted is like a mask; it has a frozen surface which appears to have been over-exposed to the light.
      The woman is reading about the entry of Jesus into Jericho, an episode from Saint Luke's Gospel (19:1-27). The illustration shows the tax-collector Zacchaeus, who climbed into a tree to observe the event. Jesus, who is shown looking up at him, went to the man's house despite his disciples' objections to his visiting a tax-collector, for the profession was considered corrupt. To Protestants, the story proved that sinners are saved by faith (to Catholics too, but not by faith ALONE: “Zacchaeus stood up and said to the Lord, "Look, Lord! Here and now I give half of my possessions to the poor, and if I have cheated anybody out of anything, I will pay back four times the amount." [Luke 19:8] See also 1 Cor 13:2 ” if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.” and 13:13 “these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.” and James 2:17: “faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.”).
“He wanted to see who Jesus was, but being a short man he could not, because of the crowd. 4 So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore-fig tree to see him, since Jesus was coming that way. 5 When Jesus reached the spot, he looked up and said to him, "Zacchaeus, come down immediately. I must stay at your house today." (Luke 19:3-5)
Rembrandt's Mother (1865; 600x484pix _ ZOOM to 1400x1129pix)
The Night School (huge image) _ The Night School (regular image) — Cardplayers by Candlelight (1660) _ Dou can be credited with starting a hardy vogue around the middle of the century for small pictures of nocturnal scenes lit by candlelight or lanterns, which usually throw a harsh red light. In these paintings the incident depicted — children at school, card players, a group around a table — is usually more important than the dramatic potential of the chiaroscuro.
Old Woman with a Candle (1661, 31x23cm) This painting by the student of Rembrandt and the founder of the Leiden school of 'fine painting' represents a type common in Leiden from the mid-1640s: the bust portrait of an allegorical figure in an architectural frame. Here the old woman is shielding a candle flame, symbol of the transience of human life.
Woman Peeling Carrot (57x43cm) _ Dou popularized the the compositional device of a figure engaged at some occupation at a window.
Officer of the Marksman Society in Leiden (1630, 66x51cm) _ The cavernous background contains all the detail of a still life in the carefully painted armor, drum, saddle and guns seen in what must be an arsenal. It is only the figure of the officer with his plumed headband which makes this a genre painting. Like most of Dou's works this picture is quite lacking in incident. The man is no more than a carefully painted object included in the picture along with the rest of the contents of the store-room. _ detail _ The artist is more interested in the still-life occupying the foreground of the painting than the the stiff figure in the background whose clothing seems to be part of the still-life. The helmet, the drum and the shield can be found in several other paintings of the artist.
Painter in his Studio (1647, 43x34cm) _ It is assumed that the painter represented is Rembrandt, the master of Dou.
Old Woman (1645, 20x16cm) _ This small painting is part of a series painted of the same sitter who was probably the artist's mother.
A Woman (82x65cm) _ At one time this portrait was attributed to Jan Vermeer van Delft.
Old Woman Watering Flowers (1664, 28x23cm) _ Dou popularized the the compositional device of a figure engaged at some occupation at a window.
The Physician (1653, 49x37cm) _ Dou was an assistant and student of the young Rembrandt between 1628 and 1631. He became a master of the genre painting with a lot of still-life elements. A characteristic example of his works is The Physician
The Quack (1652, 112x83cm) _ This painting shows the characteristic qualities of the style of Dou and of the Leiden school he was to start: meticulous drawing, high or ever slick finish, and dark glossy colors — hence the name of the school: the Leiden Fijnschilders”.
Young Mother (1658) _ In 1660 the States of Holland selected Dou's Young Mother as one of the precious gifts to Charles II on the occasion of the Restoration. This picture is painted so finely as hardly to be distinguished from enamel.
The Grocer's Shop (1647, 38x29cm) _ Dou popularized the the compositional device of a figure engaged at some occupation at a window. The earliest dated one is this The Grocer's Shop. Soon after, the window motif occurs frequently in the Leiden School. The window frames quickly become more elaborate, bas-reliefs are introduced under the sills, and the windows are draped with curtains.
A Poulterer's Shop (1670) _ Signed on the sill: GDOV [Gd in monogram]. Dou popularised 'niche' pictures of this type, showing an interior seen through an aperture. The painting is a late work, probably of about 1670, and signed below the peahen. The relief on the parapet, showing children playing with a goat, is probably based on a marble bas-relief by François Duquesnoy [1597-1643], famous Flemish sculptor who worked in Rome. The design is also recorded on an ivory plaquette. It appears in other paintings by Dou from 1651 onwards. This painting can be compared with another work by Dou, the Grocer's Shop of 1672.
The Prayer of the Spinner (28x28cm)
25 images at Webshots
^ Died on 07 April 1707: Willem van de Velde II, Dutch English marine painter born on 18 December 1633, son of marine painter Willem van de Velde I [1611 – Dec 1693].
— About in 1648 Willem II moved to Weesp to study under Simon de Vlieger, whose somber and atmospheric seascapes were a foil to the more prosaic realism of his father’s work. In 1652 he was back in Amsterdam. He took up work in his father’s studio, and his earliest paintings were signed by van de Velde I as head of the studio. Father and son moved to England in the winter of 1672–1673.
     Willem van de Velde de jonge is one of the most illustrious of all marine painters. He was the student of his father and of Simon de Vlieger. Like his father, he gave very accurate portrayals of ships, but is distinguished from him by his feeling for atmosphere and majestic sense of composition. He left Amsterdam for England with his father in 1672 and in 1674 Charles II gave them a yearly retaining fee of 100 pounds each; the father received his "for taking and making draughts of seafights" and the son "for putting the said draughts into colors for our own particular use". They did not switch their allegiance to England completely; both subsequently painted pictures of naval battles for the Dutch as well as the English market. Willem de jonge's influence, however, was particularly great in England, where the whole tradition of marine painting stemmed from him.
     Willem van der Velde the Younger was first trained in the Amsterdam studio of his father, Willem the Elder, who was a distinguished ship 'portraitist'. Willem the Elder specialized in pensehilderijen, pen drawings of ships on panel or canvas made in a manner similar to engravings. Subsequently his son completed his training with Simon de Vlieger, the marine painter, in Weesp. Willem the Younger then joined his father in his studio and continued to live and work in Amsterdam until 1672. In that year, the so-called rampjaar, the French invasion of the Netherlands caused such economic chaos that painters found it difficult to earn a living. (Vermeer was also among the many Dutch artists who experienced financial hardship at this time.) Both father and son moved to England and in 1674 were taken into the service of Charles II: the warrant of appointment states that each is to be paid a hundred pounds a year, in addition to payments for their pictures, the father for 'taking and making of Draughts of seafights' and the son for 'putting the said Draughts into colors'. One important early royal commission was for designs for tapestries commemorating the Battle of Solebay. They lived for the rest of their lives in England, working in their studio at the Queen's House, Greenwich, for Charles II, James II and members of their courts.

A Ship in High Seas Caught by a Squall (The Gust) (1680)
Calm: Dutch Ships Coming to Anchor (1670, 169x233cm) _ This is one of the finests of van de Velde's Dutch period pictures, before he settled in London in 1672-1673.
The Cannon Shot (1670, 78x67cm) _ This study of a man-of-war firing a cannon — as a signal, rather than in battle — was painted before van de Velde left Amsterdam for London. Rather than a seascape, it is a portrait of the ship. In his later years Willem the Younger employed numerous assistants and the quality of his work declined, but this picture is entirely from his own hand and displays the remarkable atmospheric effects of which he was capable.
The Gouden Leeuw before Amsterdam (1686, 180x300cm) _ 17th-century pictures defined the Dutch scene not only in terms of shared history but also as a site of productivity. While landscapes, city scenes, and animal paintings advertised the ingenious foundations of Dutch economic success, other genres — marine painting foremost — acknowledged its more significant basis in overseas trade and colonial ventures. Although many seascapes were available cheaply, the best marine painters were among the most highly rewarded artists. The States-General, city governments, and trading companies commissioned views of the Dutch naval and trading fleets, before a prosperous harbor, in battle, or at sea. The marine specialist Willem van de Velde II painted the heroic vessel Gouden Leeuw in the bustle of Amsterdam harbor.
The Battle at Texel (1687) — [Dutch war ships] — [Battle at sea with English war ship] — English Ship in a GaleStatenjachtShips Riding Quietly at AnchorThe Cannon Shot (30x23cm) — Fishing Boats in a CalmLarge SeascapeDie vier Elemente: Das Wasser11 images at Webshots
^ Died on 07 April 1961: Vanessa Stephen Bell, English painter born on 13 May 1879, to the literary critic Sir Leslie Stephen and his wife Julia Duckworth.
— Vanessa Stephen inherited a High Victorian attitude to art against which she was to react. She was trained as a painter by Arthur Cope [1857-1940], then at the Royal Academy Schools, where one of her tutors was John Singer Sargent. Family circumstances restricted the work of her early years, and not until 1906 did she begin to assert herself as an artist, forming the Friday Club in an attempt to create an atmosphere in London more conducive to painting. Her Iceland Poppies (1908), exhibited at the New English Art Club in the summer of 1909, marks her artistic maturity. Its quiet, restrained naturalism was, however, to be exploded a year later by her experience of Post-Impressionism. In 1907 she married art critic Clive Bell [16 Sep 1881 – 18 Sep 1964], and, together with him and her sister, writer Virginia Woolf [1882 – 28 Mar 1941], Vanessa Bell was a member of the Bloomsbury group of artists and thinkers, which also included Roger Fry [1866-1934], Duncan Grant [1885-1978] (who fathered Vanessa's youngest child, and some of whose paintings parallel some of hers), Dora Carrington [1893-1932], economist John Maynard Keynes, historian Lytton Strachey, and others.
— Vanessa Stephen (later Bell) was born in Hyde Park Gate, the eldest of four children of the eminent Victorian scholar and writer Leslie Stephen, and his second wife Julia Duckworth. Vanessa and her brothers and sister Thoby, Adrian, and Virginia (later Virginia Woolf) were largely educated at home, and were encouraged to develop their individual talents. Vanessa started having drawing lessons and was accepted into the Royal Academy Schools in 1899. After her mother's death in 1895, Vanessa took on the role of housekeeper for her demanding father and family, and was forced to balance this domestic role with trying to develop her artistic interests. However, her father's death in 1904 released her from this responsibility, the family home was sold and the Stephen siblings moved to a new life at 46 Gordon Square, Bloomsbury. The move to their new house enabled Vanessa and her sister and brothers to entertain their own friends, rather than their father's. On Thursday nights Thoby invited his literary friends from university to the house, and to balance this, Vanessa started the 'Friday Club', a club for artists which met on Fridays. From these two meetings, artists, and writers, developed the 'Bloomsbury Group'.
     One of Thoby Stephen's university friends, Clive Bell, asked Vanessa to marry him in 1905 but she declined. She also initially rejected a second proposal from him in 1906. In this letter she states her reasons, feeling that although she valued his friendship she did not want marriage. However, after the sudden death of her brother Thoby from typhoid fever in 1907, she changed her mind and accepted Clive's proposal. Two sons, Julian and Quentin were born in 1908 and 1910, and although Vanessa continued to paint, her time was increasingly taken up with looking after them. Clive Bell was neglected and resented it.
     In 1911 Vanessa began a relationship with Roger Fry, whom the Bells had met the previous year. The relationship developed when Fry nursed Vanessa through illness while on holiday with the Bells in Greece and Turkey. She and Clive had grown apart after the children were born and although they remained friends and Clive continued to support Vanessa financially, he resumed an affair with a previous mistress. Another friend who joined the Bloomsbury Group was Duncan Grant. Vanessa admired his work and purchased one of his paintings, The Lemon Gatherers. In time she became close to Grant and he replaced Fry in her affections. Despite Duncan Grant's promiscuous homosexuality, they were devoted to each other and lived together for the rest of her life. In 1918 the couple had a daughter, Angelica, who in apparent contradiction of their rejection of the stifling morality of the time, they pretended was the daughter of Vanessa's husband Clive Bell.
     During WW I, Vanessa and Grant moved to the Sussex countryside, so he could avoid conscription. They rented Charleston Farmhouse near Firle, and moved there in October 1916 with her two children, Duncan Grant and his current lover David 'Bunny' Garnett, a nurse, a housemaid, a cook, and Duncan's dog Henry. The owner of the empty farmhouse was looking for farm hands as well as tenants, providing Grant and Garnett with not only a home, but also the opportunity of work on the land and therefore exemption from military service.
     The house, which Vanessa described as most lovely, very solid and simple, was thought to date from the eighteenth century but it was later discovered that it had been grafted on to a half-timbered late Elizabethan building. Although an impressive property, the house was somewhat dilapidated, the garden was overgrown and inside there was no telephone, central heating, or electricity. Its setting however was magnificent, sited on a gentle slope in beautiful downland scenery overlooking the Weald. Duncan and Vanessa chose rooms for their studios and immediately started to decorate the house. Walls, fireplaces, door panels and furniture were all decorated to harmonize with their paintings and Omega fabrics and ceramics were incorporated into the overall décor.
     After the war Vanessa moved back to London but kept Charleston Farmhouse as a summer home, and gradually improvements and extra comforts were added. House parties were common and Charleston was frequently full of guests. Clive Bell came to visit his sons, and the Woolfs lived only six kilometers away. Other guests included Roger Fry and his children, Maynard Keynes and his wife the dancer Lydia Lopokova and Lytton Strachey and his sisters. All were captured by Vanessa with her camera, and some with her paintbrushes.
      The 1920s were a period of relative calm for Vanessa, in both her personal life and artistic career. She and Duncan regularly visited Italy and France making contacts with other artists, and they continued to work together on decorative schemes.
      Vanessa had always hoped to run a Summer School for children which would arouse their interest in the arts without the stifling orthodoxy of a traditional school. In 1925 and 1926 she achieved this when Marjorie Strachey ran courses for about ten children at Charleston. She ran a full curriculum for them including drama productions which were presented to their parents and friends. Amateur dramatics continued to be a popular form of entertainment at Charleston in the period between the wars.
      Charleston became a full-time home again during the Second World War as it was safely out of reach of the bombs falling on London, and Vanessa continued to live there for part of each year.
     The thirties were a time of sadness for Vanessa. Roger Fry, whom Vanessa had remained close to, died after a fall in 1934. In 1937 her son Julian was killed while serving as an ambulance driver in the Spanish Civil War, in which Vanessa had tried, as a pacifist as well as a mother, to dissuade him from participating. More unhappiness followed with the suicide of her sister Virginia in 1941, and estrangement from her daughter Angelica, when she married David Garnett, her father's former lover, in 1942. During Vanessa's last years she lived at Charleston which remained a great inspiration for her painting. After her death Duncan kept the house for a few years longer but it was too large for him and he eventually moved out.
1930 photo of Vanessa Bell

Studland Beach (1912, 76x102cm) _ This painting was first shown in the Post-Impressionist Exhibition of 1912 by Roger Fry at the Grafton Gallery in London, as a deliberate challenge to the more reactionary members of the art establishment. The shapes and the figures are uncompromisingly two-dimensional, simplified, and abstracted, so that the emphasis is on form and color rather than on any overt narrative or representational content. The people and landscape have been dramatically simplified, the crouching figures, beach houses, and seascape becoming flattened shapes and broad bands of color. In this painting Bell emphasizes form over content, the main theory of Modernism.The artist has painted a sort of frame with brushstrokes of blues and a triangular wedge of creamy stippling.
View of the Pond at Charleston (1919)
Frederick and Jessie Etchells Painting (1912) _ The faces of Bell's friends are left blank without detail. Broad bands of loosely-painted color are used to suggest background.
Still Life on Corner of a Mantlepiece (1914) _ Bell painted this at 46 Gordon Square side-by-side with Duncan Grant painting The Mantelpiece (1914), a slightly different viewpoint of the same mantelpiece with boxes, cartons and some Omega flowers in a jug. The two paintings show a similar approach but there are also discernible differences. Grant painted a more exact representation of the moulding under the corner of the mantelpiece, whereas Bell simplified the scrolls to rectangular shapes. They chose different colors for the boxes, flowers, and even for the background wall. Grant also added cut out pieces of painted paper to create a collage effect.
Mrs. St. John Hutchinson (1915)
Interior with Table (1921) — Fan, Gloves, Roses, and Pearls.

Died on a 07 April:

1923 Edward Killingworth Johnson, British artist born in 1825.

Born on a 07 April:

^ 1901 John Christopher Wood, British painter who died on 21 August 1930. He studied architecture at Liverpool University; there he met Augustus John, who encouraged him to take up painting seriously. On moving to London in 1920, he met Alphonse Kahn, a wealthy Jewish art collector who took him to Paris in 1921, where he enrolled at the Académie Julian and later at the Grande Chaumière. In Paris he met the Chilean diplomat, Antonio de Gandarillas, who introduced him to a number of painters, among them Picasso. In this period Wood’s contacts with artists in Paris were soon unrivalled among British artists. — LINKS

1890 Adam Styka, Polish French artist who died in 1959.

1879 Ardengo Soffici, Italian painter, critic, and writer, who died on 18 August 1964. He spent his early childhood in the Florentine countryside and showed a precocious interest in drawing and literature. At school in Florence he deepened his knowledge of the Classics and also developed an interest in the new French poetry (from Laforgue to Rimbaud). At the Accademia in Florence he met Giovanni Fattori and Telemaco Signorini; in 1897, at the Arte e fiori exhibition, he admired paintings by Pierre Bonnard, Pierre Puvis de Chavannes and Giovanni Segantini.

1874 Frederick Carl Friesecke, US artist who died in 1939.

^ 1857 Hans Andersen “Brendekilde”, Danish painter, glass designer, and ceramicist, who died on 30 March 1942. He trained as a stonemason and then studied sculpture in Copenhagen at the Kongelige Danske Kunstakademi (1877-1881), where he decided to become a painter. In 1884 he changed his name from Andersen to Brendekilde after his place of birth, as he was constantly being confused with his friend Laurits Andersen “Ring” [15 Aug 1854 – 10 Sep 1933], who also took the name of his birthplace. In the 1880s Brendekilde and Ring painted together on Fyn and influenced each other’s work. Brendekilde’s art had its origin in the lives of people of humble means and in the country environment of previous centuries. He painted landscapes and genre pictures. He himself was the son of a woodman, and his paintings often contain social comment, as in Worn Out (1889), which shows the influence of both Jean-François Millet and Jules Bastien-Lepage. Brendekilde was a sensitive colorist, influenced by Impressionism, for example in Harvesters, Raagelund (1883). Sometimes his works were provided with distinctive carved frames, which themselves expand and complement the narrative of the picture. About in 1905 he began to depict the idyllic, though keeping the same range of motifs, depicting farm environments with hollyhocks and kindly old women and infants against white walls, without the earlier refined treatment of color. He also painted landscapes on his journeys to Italy, Egypt and Syria. In his later years he painted large pictures with religious motifs. He also made ceramics with fairytale motifs at the Kahler factory in Næstved, and he was Denmark’s first glass designer, working briefly at the Fyns Glasvoerker.

1806 Armand François Christophe Toussaint, French artist who died on 24 May 1862.

1705 Dionys van Nymegen (or Nijmegen), Dutch artist who died on 28 August 1789. He was taught by his father, painter Elias van Nijmegen [1667-1755], whose workshop he took over after 1750. Dionys’s work was influenced by that of Jacob de Wit. Dionys’s son Gerard van Nijmegen [1735 – 29 Apr 1808] was a painter, draftsman and engraver of hill and mountain landscapes.

1648 Ferdinand van Kessel, Flemish artist who died in 1696. — Son of Jan van Kessel II [05 Apr 1626 bapt – 18 Oct 1679] and brother of Jan van Kessel II [1654-1708]

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