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ART “4” “2”-DAY  15 April
DEATHS:  1622 BASSANO — 1956 NOLDE — 1925 SARGENT — 1757 CARRIERA — 1808 ROBERT
BIRTHS: 1682 HUYSUM — 1741 PEALE — 1859 GRAVES — 1889 BENTON — 1904 “GORKY” — 1452 DA VINCI
^ Born on 15 April 1682: Jan van Huysum, Dutch painter who died on 07 February 1749.
—  Van Huysum was, with Rachel Ruysch [1664 – 12 Aug 1750], the most distinguished flower painter of his day. He had a European reputation and was much imitated. The light colors he used, the even lighter backgrounds, and the openness of his intricate compositions became distinguishing features of 18th century Dutch flower painting. He occasionally painted subjects other than flowers, including a self-portrait. His father, Justus the Elder [08 Jun 1659 – Apr 1716], was a flower and landscape painter and he had three painter brothers: Justus the Younger [1684-1707]: Michiel [–1759]; and Jacob [1687-1740], who worked in England and imitated Jan's style.

Still Life with Flowers (1723)
Bouquet of Flowers in an Urn (1724) _ The main line of eighteenth-century Dutch still-life painting is represented by the Amsterdamers Rachel Ruysch and Jan van Huysum, who both specialized in elaborate flower and fruit pictures. They were the most popular still-life painters of the period; their works commanded high prices and were found in famous collections throughout Europe, and their colorful paintings still have wide appeal. The status they were accorded in their time indicates there were powerful patrons and collectors who took exception to the teachings of academic theorists who minimized the significance of still-lifes by placing them. [Do not confuse Amsterdamers with “hamster damners”, even if a few, a very few, might be both]
Hollyhocks and Other Flowers in a Vase (1710, 62x52cm) _ Dutch painters described the visible world with remarkable precision and one of the forms this description took was the still life. In the earliest years of the seventieth century still-lifes often had a vanitas element. Among the apparently random accumulation of objects were clocks, snuffed-out candles, faded flowers and skulls, reminders of the passage of time and the inevitability of death and decay. As the century progressed these elements dropped away and still-lifes became simply displays of the rare, exotic, expensive and beautiful. Jan van Huysum, whose career spanned the first half of the eighteenth century, was the heir to this great tradition of still-life painting and, as far as floral still-lifes are concerned, its greatest exponent. This painting is undated but must belong to the first half of his career before about 1720, when he began to paint more elaborate and artificial flower pieces, which are light in tone on light backgrounds, in an almost pastel palette. It probably dates from about 1710. Jan van Huysum lived and worked in Amsterdam. He was one of a dynasty of painters, having been trained by his father Justus van Huysum, also a still-life painter, and was later imitated by his younger brother, Jacob.
Vase of Flowers (63x50cm) _ Son of Justus, a decorator of apartments and gardens, Jan van Huysum was one of the most famous Dutch painters of floral still-lifes, establishing himself in a pictorial genre that was already popular and widespread, and taking it to a perfection and virtuosity which was at times even mechanical. However, whereas in French artists, whom the painter was inspired by, ability and technical complexity were also reflected in the sometimes excessive elaboration of the portrayal, van Huysum stayed within the sober Quattrocento Flemish-Dutch tradition, even though he used motifs characteristic of the seventeenth century (the dark background and the presence of rare species of flowers).
^ Died on 15 April 1622: Leandro Bassano da Ponte, Venetian Mannerist painter born on 10 June 1557, on of the four sons of Jacopo Bassano [1510 – 13 Feb 1592], brother of Francesco Bassano II [07 Jan 1549 – 03 Jul 1592], Gerolamo Bassano [03 Jun 1566 – 08 Nov 1621], and Giambattista Bassano. Leandro Bassano's students included Tiberio Tinelli [1586-1638].
— Leandro worked in the Venetian studio of the Bassano family under Francesco Bassano II, his elder brother who ran the Venetian branch of the workshop. Francesco committed suicide a few months after his father's death, then Leandro took over the workshop. He was the chief portrait painter of the family, and his portraits are closely allied to those of Tintoretto [1519 – 31 May 1594]. Leandro both acquired some distinction and popularity working in Venice, he was knighted by the Doge in 1595 or 1596 (thereafter he sometimes added 'Eques' to his signature).
— Leandro entered the workshop of his father, Jacopo Bassano, when very young and soon developed a style of painting strongly based on drawing. Leandro used fine brushwork, with cool, light colors, smoothly applied in well-defined areas, unlike his father, who painted with dense and robust brushstrokes. From 1575 Leandro’s participation in the workshop increased, and he became his father’s principal assistant after Francesco Bassano il giovane moved to Venice in 1578. Jacopo’s will indicated that Leandro should take over the running of the shop, for Francesco was infirm after his suicide attempt, Giambattista was mediocre and incompetent, and Gerolamo was combining the painter’s trade with medical studies at the Univeristy of Padua.

A Young Man (600x544pix _ ZOOM to 1400x1269pix)
Moses Striking the Rock (102x12cm)
An Old Man (116x96cm) _ Formerly attributed to Tintoretto.
Pénélope défaisant son ouvrage (1575, 92x85cm) _ Leandro n'est considéré le plus souvent que comme l'élève le plus original de son père, Jacopo Bassano. S'il travaille dans la même veine, en poursuivant notamment les recherches luministes auxquelles Jacopo s'est consacré dans sa dernière période, la personnalité propre de Leandro est pourtant bien cernée aujourd'hui. La composition étrangement moderne a soulevé des questions sur l'intégrité de l'oeuvre qui, selon certains, pourrait n'être qu'un fragment et représenter une femme au travail parmi d'autres. A la fin du XIXe siècle, le tableau a même perdu quelque temps son titre, Pénélope devenant une "ouvrière en guipure devant son métier". Ce petit flottement montre bien l'originalité déroutante du sujet. Malgré la célébrité du récit homérique, son iconographie est assez rare et imprécise. Les détails anecdotiques sont d'ailleurs limités ici au strict minimum, à savoir le métier et surtout la lampe, prétexte à un exercice technique saisissant sur le jeu de la lumière. La pénombre envahissante ne sert qu'à intensifier la couleur, posée en empâtements généreux dans la grande tradition familiale. Bien loin des effets de bougie des peintres caravagesques, c'est une dimension poétique et onirique que créent les contrastes inédits de Leandro Bassano.
^ Born on 15 April 1741: Charles Willson Peale, US painter, naturalist and museum visionary, who died on 22 February 1827. — {Do you think that the appeal of a Peale is only skin deep in the eye of the beholder?}
Charles Willson Peale, thrice widowed, fathered 17 children, 11 of whom lived to adulthood, and named sons after famous painters and succeeded in having them become competent painters in the cases of the still-life artist Raphaelle Peale [17 Feb 1774 – 25 Mar 1825], the portraitist Rembrandt Peale [22 February 1778 – 03 Oct 1860], and Titian Peale [1799-1881], but no so much with Rubens Peale [04 May 1784 – 17 Jul 1865] who had poor eyesight and was taught to paint by his daughter the painter Mary Jane Peale. He may also have influenced his brother James Peale [1749 – 24 May 1831] and his nephew Charles Peale Polk [1767-1822] to become painters. In addition to members of his family, he had among his students Jeremiah Paul [–13 Jul 1820].
— With his surviving sons and daughters, among them Raphaelle, Angelica Kauffman, Rembrandt, Titian Ramsay [10 Oct 1800–], Rubens (father of Mary Jane Peale), Sophonisba Angusciola, Charles Linnaeus [20 Mar 1794 – <1836], Benjamin Franklin [15 Oct 1795 – 05 May 1870], Sybilla Miriam [27 Oct 1797–] (Mrs. Andrew Summers); Charles Willson Peale reflected and promoted a contemporary outlook which emphasized the importance of educating citizens and exploring the topography of the new nation.
— Charles Willson Peale was the most prominent portraitist of the Federal period. He studied in London under the US-born historical painter Benjamin West [10 Oct 1738 – 11 Mar 1820] in 1767 and settled permanently in Philadelphia in 1776. Peale painted notable portraits of many military leaders, including 14 of George Washington. He was also an enthusiastic naturalist and established (1786) a museum of specimens in Independence Hall, Philadelphia. In 1805 he helped found Philadelphia's Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. One of Peale's best-known works is his life-size trompe l'oeil portrait of two of his sons, The Staircase Group (1795) an affectionate work showing them mounting a spiral staircase.
— The son of English embezzler Charles Peale [1709-1750] exiled to the American colonies, Charles Willson Peale was a saddler’s apprentice in Annapolis MD from 1754 to 1761. After that he worked at various trades, including painting signs and portraits. In 1766 some prominent Marylanders underwrote his studies in London with Benjamin West, from whom he absorbed the fundamentals of the British portrait tradition. Peale probably attended the informal life classes offered at St Martin’s Lane Academy, precursor to the Royal Academy Schools, and drew from casts in the Duke of Richmond’s collection in Whitehall. He visited the studios of such important British portrait painters as Joshua Reynolds [16 Jul 1723 – 23 Feb 1792], Francis Cotes [1726 – 20 Jul 1770], and Allan Ramsay [1713 – 10 Aug 1784], and studied the techniques of miniature painting, sculpture and engraving. He also studied under John Heselius. In London he painted his first major commission, a full-length allegorical portrait of William Pitt, Lord Chatham (1768) from which he engraved a mezzotint.
— Born in Chester, Maryland, Charles Willson Peale became one of the major figures in US art and in other areas such as military figure, naturalist, curator, and inventor. He developed an art and natural history museum that became world famous, especially for the gallery of artwork that had his more than 250 portraits of distinguished Americans. In his home, Peale charged admission to persons to see his depictions of US heroes. By 1788, he opened a natural history museum in Independence Hall in Philadelphia, and eventually accumulated over 100'000 items that included paintings, fossils, minerals, stuffed animals, and skeletons.
      In 1795, he opened his own art academy, which was not a success, and in 1805, he became one of the founders of the Pennsylvania Academy. His father was a schoolmaster who died prematurely, and Charles grew up as the eldest son in Annapolis, Maryland and helped support his widowed mother. He apprenticed in saddle making, silver smithing, sign painting and portraiture, and had several lessons with painter John Hesselius to whom he gave a saddle in exchange for instruction. He also studied in Boston with portraitist and silversmith John Singleton Copley and with painter John Smibert.
      When he returned to Maryland from his Boston training, his talent was recognized by men who were planters and they raised subscription money for him to study with expatriate history and portrait painter, Benjamin West, in London. He also studied the Italian masters in Italy. In 1769 he returned to Annapolis and there became an established portraitist in the neo-classical style learned from Benjamin West. For additional commissions, he traveled to Baltimore, Philadelphia, and Williamsburg, Virginia and to Mount Vernon, home of George and Martha Washington. In 1775, he moved to Philadelphia where he hoped to find more portrait subjects. Shortly after, he joined the militia and fought with Washington at the battles of Princeton and Trenton, and during this period created miniatures of army personnel. In 1778, he settled in Philadelphia but continued to visit Baltimore and the eastern shore of Maryland.
      From 1810 to 1821, he lived as a gentleman farmer near Philadelphia but returned to the city in 1822 to take over the management of the Peale Museum. His fourteen portraits of George Washington include the first authentic likeness of him and include seven portraits painted from life. At Valley Forge where he was painting General Washington, Peale also painted portraits of many other colonial leaders including the Marquis de Lafayette. An outspoken anti-royalist, Peale served in the Revolutionary War and alienated many of his wealthy patrons with their British loyalties. From three marriages, he had three children, many whom became artists. Charles Peale died at age 86, the result of catching a cold while crossing a body of water to court a woman.

Self-Portrait (1822, 74x61cm) — The Peale Family (1809) — Raphaelle Peale (1822)
The Staircase Group (Raphaelle Peale and Titian Ramsey Peale) (1795)
The Artist in His Museum (1822)
Washington at the Battle of Princeton January 3, 1777 (1784)
Washington and His Generals at Yorktown (1781)
Mordecai Gist (1774) — Disinterment of the Mastodon (1808)
Nolde ^ Died on 15 April 1956: Emil Hansen “Nolde”, German Expressionist painter, watercolorist, and printmaker known for his violent religious works and his foreboding landscapes. He dies in Seebüll, West Germany. He was born on 07 August 1867.
["Düsterer Männerkopf" (Selbstbildnis), Lithographie 1907 >]
—    He was born Emil Hansen at Nolde near Tondern in northest Schleswig (now Tänder in southern Denmark) into a farming family, his father a Frisian-German, his mother Danish.  The youthful Emil made his living as a woodcarver. He was able to study art formally only when some of his early works were reproduced and sold as postcards. Emil Hansen changed his name to Emil Nolde about 1904.
      In Paris Nolde began to paint works that bear a superficial affinity to Impressionist painting. In 1906 he was invited to join Die Brücke, an association of Dresden-based Expressionist artists who admired his "storm of color." But Nolde, a solitary and intuitive painter, dissociated himself from that tightly knit group after a year and a half.
     Nolde married Ada Vilstrup, who collaborated with him, printing many of the woodcuts, keeping records, etc.
      Fervently religious and racked by a sense of sin, Nolde created such works as Dance Around the Golden Calf (1910) and In the Port of Alexandria from the series depicting The Legend of St. Maria Aegyptica (1912), in which the erotic frenzy of the figures and the demonic, masklike faces are rendered with deliberately crude draftsmanship and dissonant colors.
      In the Doubting Thomas from the nine-part polyptych The Life of Christ (1911-1912), the relief of Nolde's own religious doubts may be seen in the quiet awe of Saint Thomas as he is confronted with Jesus' wounds. During 1913 and 1914 Nolde was a member of an ethnological expedition that reached the East Indies. There he was impressed with the power of unsophisticated belief, as is evident in his lithograph Dancer (1913).
      Back in Europe, Nolde led an increasingly reclusive life on the Baltic coast of Germany. He lived at Seebüll¸close to the Danish border. His almost mystical affinity for the brooding terrain led to such works as his Marsh Landscape (1916), in which the low horizon, dominated by dark clouds, creates a majestic sense of space. Landscapes done after 1916 were generally of a cooler tonality than his early works. But his masterful realizations of flowers retain the brilliant colors. of his earlier works. He was a prolific graphic artist especially noted for the stark black and white effect that he employed in crudely incised woodcuts.
      Although Nolde was an early advocate of Germany's National Socialist Party, after the Nazis came to power, they included his work in the “Entartete Kunst” (Degenerate Art) exhibition they mounted in 1937 in Munich. That put Nolde in the company of Jankel Adler [26 Jul 1895 – 25 Apr 1949], Ernst Barlach [02 Jan 1870 – 24 Oct 1938], Rudolf Bauer, Philipp Bauknecht, Otto Baum, Willi Baumeister [22 Jan 1889 – 31 Aug 1955], Herbert Bayer [05 Apr 1900 – 30 Sep 1985], Max Beckmann [12 Feb 1884 – 27 Dec 1950], Rudolf Belling [26 Aug 1886 – 09 Jun 1972], Paul Bindel, Theo Brün, Max Burchartz, Fritz Burger-Mühlfeld, Paul Camenisch, Karl Caspar, Maria Caspar-Filser, Pol Cassel, Marc Chagall [07 Jul 1887 – 28 Mar 1985], Lovis Corinth [21 Jul 1858 – 17 Jul 1925], Heinrich Davringhausen, Walter Dexel, Johannes Diesner, Otto Dix [02 Dec 1891 – 25 Jul 1969], Johannes Dreisch, Hans Christoph Drexel, Heinrich Eberhard, Max Ernst [02 Apr 1891 – 01 Apr 1976], Hans Feibusch, Lyonel Feininger, Conrad Felixmüller [21 May 1897 – 24 Mar 1977], Otto Freundlich [10 Jul 1878 – 09 Mar 1943 in Maidanek concentration camp], Xavier Fuhr, Ludwig Gies [03 Sep 1887 – 27 Jan 1966], Walter Gilles, Otto Gleichmann [20 Aug 1887 – 02 Nov 1963], Rudolph Grossmann, George Grosz [26 Jul 1893 – 06 Jul 1959], Hans Grunding, Richard Haizmann, Raoul Hausmann [12 Jul 1886 – 01 Feb 1971], Guido Hebert, Erich Heckel [31 Jul 1883 – 27 Jan 1970], Wilhelm Heckrott, Jacoba van Heemskerck [01 Apr 1876 – 03 Aug 1923], Hans Seibert von Heister, Oswald Herzog, Werner Heuser, Heinrich Hoerle, Karl Höfer [11 Oct 1878 – 03 Apr 1955], Eugen Hoffman, Johannes Itten [11 Nov 1888 – 25 May 1967], Alexei von Jawlensky, Eric Johansen, Hans Jürgen Kallmann, Wassily Kandinsky, Hans Katz, Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, Paul Klee, Cesar Klein, Paul Kleinschmidt, Oskar Kokoschka, Otto Lange, Wilhelm Lehmbruck, El Lissitzky, Oskar Lüthy, Franz Marc, Gerhard Marcks, Ewald Matare, Ludwig Meidner, Jean Metzinger, Constantin von Mitschke-Collande, Laszlo Moholy-Nagy, Margarethe Moll, Oskar Moll, Johannes Molzahn, Piet Mondrian, George Muche, Otto Mueller, Erich Nagel, Heinrich Nauen, Ernst Wilhelm Nay, Karel Neistrath, Otto Pankok, Max Pechstein, Max Peiffer-Watenphul [1896-1976], Hans Purrmann, Max Rauh, Hans Richter, Emy Röder, Christian Rohlfs, Edwin Scharff, Oskar Schlemmer, Rudolph Schlichter, Karl Schmidt-Rottluff, Werner Scholz, Lothar Schreyer, Otto Schubert, Kurt Schwitters, Lasar Segal, Friedrich Skade, Friedrich “Fritz” Stukenberg, Paul Thalheimer, Johannes Tietz, Arnold Topp, Karl Völker, Christoph Voll, William Wauer, and Gert Wollheim.
      In 1941 the Nazi regime forbade Nolde to paint (but he secretly painted over 1300 small watercolors which he called “Ungemalten Bilder”). Most of his woodcuts, etchings, and lithographs were made between 1905 and 1937. After World War II he resumed painting but often merely reworked older themes. His last Self~Portrait (1947) retains his vigorous brushwork but reveals the disillusioned withdrawal of the artist in his 80th year.
      There is a great richness and the unusual diversity in Nolde's work, oil-paintings, water-colors, drawings, graphic works, and arts and crafts, of landscapes and seas, portraits, flower gardens, grotesques and fantasies, with pictures of big city nightlife in Berlin and others from his trip to the South Seas.
“Art is exalted above religions and races. Not a single solitary soul these days believes in the religions of the Assyrians, the Egyptians, and the Greeks. And their races are exhausted, crossbred and spoiled. Only their art, whenever it was beautiful, stands proud and exalted, rising above all time.” — Emil Nolde, 1911

—      Nolde (sein ursprünglicher Name war Hansen) zählt zu den führenden Malern des Expressionismus und gilt als einer der großen Aquarellisten in der Kunst des 20. Jahrhunderts, sein eigentliches Ausdruckmittel war die Farbe.
     Noldes ehemaliger Wohnsitz Seebüll liegt an der Grenze zu Dänemark inmitten der weiten Marschlandschaft  nahe der Nordsee auf einer hohen Warft, nicht weit von Tondern und dem Dorf Nolde, wo der Maler 1867 als Sohn eines Bauern geboren wurde.
      Nolde ist weit und häufig gereist, die Winter verbrachte er zumeist in Berlin; doch empfand er zeitlebens eine tiefe Verbundenheit  zu seiner Heimatlandschaft.

E.N. (Selbstporträt) (1908 etching, 31x24cm; full size)
Autumn Sea VII (1910; 644x750pix, 144kb _ ZOOM)
Candle Dancers (1912; 1000x859, 276kb 750x644pix, 117kb _ ZOOM)
Child and Large Bird (632x750pix, 70kb _ ZOOM)
Dance Around the Golden Calf (1910, 88x105cm _ ZOOM)
Excited People (1913; 2500x1828pix, 1642kb _ ZOOM)
Legend: Saint Mary of Egypt - Death in the Desert (1912; 836x960pix, 252kb _ ZOOM)
Masks and Dahlias Still Life
— Mask Still Life III (1911, 74x78cm _ ZOOM)
Wildly Dancing Children (1909; 622x750pix, 114kb _ ZOOM)
Women and a Pierrot (1000x851pix, 106kb _ ZOOM)
Christ (1000x783pix, 102kb) — Crucifixion (1912, 220x193cm; 750x661pix, 101kb _ ZOOM)
Wildly Dancing Children (1909) — Amaryllis Madonna (750x524pix, 40kb)
Sultry Evening (1930; 551x750pix, 70kb) — Masks and Dahlias
Sunflowers (1936; 750x565pix, 87kb)
Branch of Orchids (34x47cm; 2/5 size, 64kb _ ZOOM not recommended to 4/5 size, 215kb)
Tänzerinnen (1917 woodcut, 24x30cm; full size, 245kb)
Zwei Teufel (1906 etching, 20x15cm; full size, 91kb)
Sibirische Gutsherren (1918 etching, 30x25cm; half~size, 80kb)
Kniendes Mädchen (1907 etching, 30x22cm; half~size, 61kb)
Klatsch (1905 etching, 18x13cm; full size, 83kb)
Lichter Kopf (1917 woodcut, 31x24cm; 3/5 size, 84kb)
Familie (1917 woodcut, 24x33cm; half~size, 99kb _ ZOOM not recommended to full size, 326kb)
Der Graf (1918 etching, 31x23cm, 67kb _ ZOOM not recommended to full size, 237kb)
Eva (1923 etching, 48x31cm; 2/5 size, 59kb _ ZOOM not recommended to 4/5 size, 229kb)
Dampfer (1910 etching, 31x40cm; 2/5 size _ ZOOM not recommended to 4/5 size, 217kb) _ if it took more than 2 minutes to scribble, it was a waste of time. It may sound like “damp fur”, but it has nothing to do with it.
Fischdampfer (1910, 30x40cm; 2/5 size, 64kb _ ZOOM not recommended to 4/5 size, 207kb) _ now it should be obvious that “fish damp fur” is not the correct translation. This picture is less hurriedly done; it may have taken as much as 10 minutes.
Frauenkopf (36x28cm; 2/5 size, 48kb _ ZOOM not recommended to 4/5 size, 181kb)
— a different Frauenkopf (50x37cm; 1/3 size, 46kb _ ZOOM not recommended to 2/3 size, 168kb)
Ältere Herren (1926, 16x11cm; 6/5 size, 90kb)
Diskussion (1913, 76x58cm; 1/5 size, 62kb _ ZOOM not recommended to 2/5 size _ much less ZOOM++ to 4/5 size)

^ Born on 15 April 1859: Abbott Fuller Graves, US Impressionist painter who died in 1936. — {My guess is that, during the Black Plague, they ran out of cemetery space in the monastery, so the abbot decided to bury two deceased monks in each grave. These became known as the “abbot's fuller graves”.}
— Graves divided his studies between Boston and Paris. He studied practical design at Massachusetts Institute of Technology as a teenager, followed by numerous trips to France where he studied with individual painters. In 1890 he started a teaching position at the Cowles School of Art in Boston. During this time he traveled often to Kennebunkport, Maine where he owned a house. Graves is best known for his paintings of gardens and doorways. His works, mostly in oil, depict New England, Paris, Holland, the Caribbean, and Central and South America. He was a social and well-loved man who was greatly influenced by extensive world travel and both classical and impressionist painters.
— Graves was a renowned specialist in decorative open air garden paintings and floral still lifes. His use of thick, impasto brushstrokes, bright colors and natural light, most evident in his later garden paintings, shows the influence of European impressionism. Born in Weymouth, Massachusetts in 1859, Graves studied both in New England and abroad. He attended, but did not graduate from, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Although already considered one of the best flower painters in Boston, Graves went to Paris and Italy in 1884 to continue his studies. In Europe, he roomed with Edmund C. Tarbell [1862-1938] and studied still life painting. After returning to Boston in 1885, Graves became an instructor at the Cowles Art School. Also teaching there was his close friend and colleague, Childe Hassam [1859-1935]. The two painters undoubtedly influenced one another. In 1887, Graves returned to Paris to study figure painting at the Académie Julien. There he studied under Fernand Cormon [1845-1924], Laurens [1838-1921], and Gervais until 1891. After 1891, the majority of Graves's works depict gardens and floral landscapes. Often these oils, pastels and watercolors include female figures. Some portray exotic gardens of Spain and South America. The bright sunlight and bold use of color and paint, as well as the subject matter of the garden paintings, reflect the influence of European impressionism on Graves's work. Throughout his career, Graves continued his travels between New England and Paris. In 1891, he opened his own art school in Boston. The school moved to Kennebunk, Maine and closed in 1902. From 1902 to 1905, Graves was employed as a commercial illustrator for magazines in Paris. When Graves died in 1936, he had achieved wide acclaim as a specialist in garden painting, both in New England and Paris.
— Abbott Fuller Graves was born in the working-class town of Weymouth, Massachusetts. From a young age, he displayed the singular ambition to be the US’s foremost flower painter and arranged the circumstances of his life in order to realize that goal. When he was forced to leave school at the age of sixteen to help support his family’s meager income, he chose to work in a greenhouse tending to flowers. It was there that Graves developed an intricate knowledge of many varieties of flora and fauna. One year later, he traveled to Boston to take classes in fine art. He studied design and drawing at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he met life-long friend and fellow Boston Impressionist Childe Hassam. At nineteen, his first painting was accepted to the Boston Art Club’s Annual Exhibition. In 1884, he traveled to Paris for the first time with his fiancée Montie Aldrich and her family. He rented a room on the Avenue de Victor Hugo, in the same building as another Boston artist Edmund C. Tarbell. Tarbell studied at the traditional Académie Julian, while Graves petitioned the premier European flower painter Georges Jeannin for lessons. Graves also trained at the Académie Julian during a later trip to France. He stayed for two years and also traveled to Venice. Upon his return to Boston, he married Montie (with both Hassam and Tarbell serving as attendants) and began teaching at the Cowles Art School with Dennis Miller Bunker. The following spring, Graves and his wife returned to Paris for an extended stay in order to exhibit his works in more prominent venues. Two of his florals were included in the Exposition Universelle de 1889 and several works were accepted by the Paris Salon of the same year. His success may be attributed to the contemporary appeal of his painterly style and refined sense of color, admired by French Academic painters. US critics praised the artist as the only US flower painter whose works were accepted by the Exposition jury to represent US arts in this specialty. Designed by Boyceau in the seventeenth century, the Luxembourg Gardens provided ample subject matter for US artists studying in Paris but was especially inspirational for Abbott Fuller Graves, More detailed than a traditional pochade, Graves added his own refined painterly style to this popular practice of sketching with immediacy on small wood panels. Having spent several extended periods in Paris, Graves came under the influence of Impressionism and began painting en plein air. Luxembourg Gardens depicts the winding paths and abundant sculptures of the English style gardens bathed in sunlight. Once back in the US, Graves’ career paralleled a renaissance of gardening and horticulture in the late 19th century US. Gardens symbolized prosperity and the particular tastes of the burgeoning leisure class, and their popularity provided the artist with regular commissions and a prosperous career. He became best known for his views of New England Colonial doorways and gardens, as well as scenes depicting flower markets and expostions in the Boston area. Graves traveled regularly throughout Western and Northern Europe, as well as South America and the Caribbean and kept studios in both New York and Boston. While he exhibited extensively at the National Academy of Design and several prominent galleries in New York (including the MacBeth Gallery and Babcock Galleries), and he enjoyed participating in professional organizations including the Salmagundi Club, the Boston Art Club, the Paint and Clay Club and the Copley Society, he was happiest away from frenzied urban lifestyle. The Graves family established a permanent residence in the rural fishing village of Kennebunkport, Maine, in a home he designed based on the prairie architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright.

Near Kennebunkport (1900) — Grandmother's Doorway (1900) — Summer Garden
My Two Friends (61x51cm; 480x390pix) _ a woman who is peeling vegetables looks at two rabbits who are sitting next to her.
Luxembourg Gardens (1885, 24x16cm; 480x318pix) _ The painting depicts the winding paths and abundant sculptures of the English style gardens bathed in the Paris sunlight.
Peonies (52x76cm; 449x640pix) — Roses (51x41cm, 480x368pix)

^ Died on 15 April 1925: John Singer Sargent, US painter specialized in portraits, born on 12 January 1856. — {Would you believe that, in basic training, I met his grandson, Drill?}
— An expatriate US national, he showed remarkable technical precocity as a painter. After studying under Carolus-Duran [04 Jul 1837 – 18 Feb 1917], he achieved a great reputation for his portraits, employing a style that could be seen as derived from Velázquez [06 Jun 1599 – 07 Aug 1660] by way of Manet [23 Jan 1832 – 30 Apr 1883]. Moving in the circle of the Impressionists, he came to know most of them, and they reacted to his work in varying ways. Degas [19 Jul 1834 – 26 Sep 1917], as might have been expected, was brutally dismissive; Pissarro [20 Feb 1863 – 1944], in sending his son to see him in London, where Sargent spent the major part of his working life, described him as `an adroit performer'; but with Monet [14 Nov 1840 – 06 Dec 1926] he had a close and mutually profitable relationship. In the 1880s he began to paint landscapes that were overtly Impressionist in technique and approach, despite a certain superficiality. At this time he visited Monet at Giverny on several occasions, painting two memorable portraits of him: Claude Monet Painting at the Edge of a Wood in a Garden Near Giverny (1885, 54x65cm) and Claude Monet in his Bateau-Atelier (1887). Although Monet was later to deny that Sargent was an Impressionist, this was unjust, especially in relation to some of his works in the 1880s and 1890s. Indeed, Sargent's technique for painting large canvases out of doors, as evinced in Carnation, Lily, Lily, Rose (1886), was to be of use to Monet in his larger compositions. Sargent persuaded Monet to exhibit at the New English Art Club, and at the Leicester Galleries in London.
— Sargent is known for his glamorous portraits of eminent or socially prominent people of the period. He was born in Florence, Italy, of US parents. He studied art in Italy, France, and Germany, receiving his formal art education at the École des Beaux-Arts and in the Paris studio of the noted French portraitist Carolus-Duran. He spent most of his adult life in England, maintaining a studio there for more than 30 years and visiting the US only on short trips. Criticized for what some believed to be a superficial brilliance, Sargent's portraits fell into disfavor after his death. Since that time, however, these same canvases have been acknowledged for their naturalism and superb technical skill. About 1907 Sargent tired of portrait painting and accepted few commissions. He then worked chiefly on European scenes in watercolor, in a notably impressionistic style. Among his more famous works are El Jaleo (1882), Madame X (1884), The Wyndham Sisters- Lady Elcho, Mrs. Adeane, and Mrs. Tenant (1899), and Boats at Anchor (1917).
— Life-long US citizen. His elegant portraits created an enduring image of society of the Edwardian age. Wealthy and privileged people on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean came to his studio to be immortalized. Sargent was raised abroad and first came the United States in 1876, when he established citizenship. Serious and reserved, he had a talent for drawing, so in 1874 he went to Paris to study painting with Carolus-Duran, a fashionable society portraitist. In 1879 Sargent went to Madrid to study the works of Diego Velázquez and to Haarlem to see the works of Frans Hals. Some critics believe that his best work, in a rich, dark palette, was done in the years immediately after this trip. At the Salon of 1884, Sargent exhibited what is probably his best-known work, Madame X, (the portrait of Madame Gautreau, a famous Parisian beauty). Sargent considered it his masterpiece and was unpleasantly surprised when it caused a scandal — critics found it eccentric and erotic. Discouraged by his Parisian failure, Sargent moved permanently to London. His work was perhaps too continental and avant-garde to appeal immediately to English taste; The Misses Vickers (1884) was voted worst picture of the year by the Pall Mall Gazette in 1886. Then, however, in 1887, Carnation, Lily, Lily, Rose (1886), a study of two little girls lighting Japanese lanterns, captured the hearts of the British public, and he began to experience the phenomenal acclaim in England and the United States that would stay with him the rest of his life. After 1910 Sargent abandoned portraiture and devoted himself to painting murals and Alpine and Italian landscapes in watercolor. With stenographic brilliance, Sargent pursued transparency and fluidity beyond J.M.W. Turner and Winslow Homer, sometimes becoming Expressionistic, as in Mountain Fire (1895). Between 1890 and 1910 Sargent worked on a commission for the Boston Public Library to paint murals on a history of the Jewish people.

Self-Portrait (1906, 70x53cm)
A Dinner Table at Night (1884, 52x67cm; half~size, 178kb _ ZOOM not recommended to scratchy full size, 804kb)
The Birthday (1887, 61x74cm; 800x967pix, 562pix _ ZOOM not recommended to blurry 1841x2224pix, 2846kb) _ This vivaciously painted domestic subject belongs with a group of similar interior scenes with portraits of friends executed by Sargent in the 1880s. It depicts the family of the well-known French artists Albert Besnard (1849-1934) and his wife Charlotte Dubray (1855-1931), whom Sargent had befriended by 1883.
Caroline de Bassano, Marquise d'Espeuilles (1884, 160x105cm; 1/4 size, 134kb _ ZOOM to half~size, 517kb _ ZOOM++ to full size, 2287kb)
Madame X aka Madame Pierre Gautreau (1884, 235x110cm _ ZOOM)
Lady Agnew (1893, 126x100cm _ ZOOM)
Miss Ellen Terry as Lady Macbeth (1889, 221x114cm _ ZOOM)
Madame Paul Poirson (1885, 150x85cm _ ZOOM) — Vernon Lee (1881, 54x43cm _ ZOOM)
Lord Ribblesdale (1902, 258x143cm _ ZOOM)
Mr. and Mrs. Isaac Newton Phelps Stokes (1897, 214x101cm _ ZOOM)
Elizabeth Winthrop Chanler aka Mrs John Jay Chapman (1893, 125x103cm _ ZOOM)
Mrs. Hugh Hammersley (1893, 206x115cm _ ZOOM)
Mrs. Edward L. Davis and Her Son Livingston (1890, 219x122cm _ ZOOM)
Mrs Adrian Iselin (1888, 154x93cm _ ZOOM)
Mrs. Henry White (1883, 221x140cm _ ZOOM)
Fumée d'Ambris Gris (1880, 139x94cm _ ZOOM)
Street in Venice (1882, 70x52cm _ ZOOM) — Venetian Interior (1882, 68x87cm _ ZOOM)
The Breakfast Table (1884, 55x46cm _ ZOOM)
Jean-Joseph-Marie Carriès (1880, 56x47cm _ ZOOM)
View of Capri (1878, 25x34cm _ ZOOM)
Miss Frances Sherborne Ridley Watts (1877, 106x84cm _ ZOOM)
A Spanish Woman aka Gigia (1882, 56x46cm _ ZOOM)
Luxembourg Gardens at Twilight (1879, 74x93cm, blurry _ ZOOM not recommended to blurrier 1804x2270pix)
Study of Architecture, Florence (1910) — Beach at Capri (1878, 26x35cm; full size)
Trout Stream in the Tyrol (1914, 56x71cm; half~size, 300kb _ ZOOM to full size, 1104kb, good for studying brush strokes)
A Note (The Libreria, Venice) (1908, 35x50cm; 5/6 size, 243kb)
Opera Scene (1890 monotype, 31x58cm; 1/3 size, 50kb, blurry _ ZOOM not recommended to blurrier 2/3 size, 193kb)
Cloud Study (24x33cm; full size, 207kb)
In a Hayloft (1907; 745x1000pix, 85kb) _ Fellow artists Raffaelli and Pollonera in a hayloft where they took shelter from the rain.
DuranMcKellerSalsbury CathedrealMonet PaintingPaul Helleu Sketching
Dennis BunkerStudy of Dorothy Barnard for Carnation, Lily, Lily, Rose (1886)
Carnation, Lily, Lily, Rose (1886, 174x154cm _ ZOOM) _ This painting dates from a period of social withdrawal for Sargent, when he stayed with the painter F. D. Millet in the Cotswolds village of Broadway in 1885. Broadway was an artistic haven and Sargent must have found it a welcome retreat after leaving Paris in clouds of scandal following the exhibition of his portrait Madame X the previous year, the sensation that kickstarted his career. The subjects are Dolly, aged 11, and Polly, 7, the daughters of the illustrator Frederick Barnard, who lived in Broadway.
      This is a painting that sets out to make us see through childish eyes. Everything is big, colorful, new, in Sargent's subtly shifted perspective. This large painting performs a trick of scale: suddenly we feel the same size as the children, in a remembered reality in which flowers are taller than we are. The portrait was painted over two months of autumn evenings in 1885, and then again in late 1886; the writer Edmund Gosse, who was there, recalled how Sargent arranged all the Japanese lanterns and posed the girls at the start of each session. It is a fictive rather than naturalist painting, a distillation of pastoral fantasy, with a monumentality that belies its Impressionist method. Sargent makes this a mythic garden idyll, in contrast to his urban portraits of worldly people. This is a scene at dusk; the girls' downcast eyes, golden hair and identical dresses give them a dreamy appearance. The portrait is a record of their childhoods, done with deliberate decorum, making their inner lives - suggested by their rapt involvement in what they are doing - visible yet mysterious.
      Sargent was a great portrait artist because everyone he painted became a character in a novel. Madame X (1884) amplifies the reputation of the society beauty Madame Gautreau by depicting her as a femme fatale, in a black dress, with revealing decolletage. His men are scary, such as the daunting Lord Ribblesdale at the National Gallery, dressed for the hunt and flaunting his riding crop as if about to thrash a servant. This painting is the antithesis of those portraits.
      Sargent's life and his paintings can be compared to the novels of his friend Henry James [15 Apr 1843 – 28 Feb 1916], whose portrait (1913, 85x67cm; 847x623pix, 134kb) Sargent painted. James was fascinated by the contrast of adult corruption and childhood innocence, explored in What Maisie Knew (1897) and The Turn of the Screw (1898). In this painting, Sargent creates a similarly powerful portrayal of childhood. The children are solemn about their lantern lighting. Sargent portrays them lost in their activity, as if they were lighting church candles; their white dresses give them a religious quality.
      The scale of the painting makes us register these globes of fiery light as magical presences in the garden; we are drawn to the light and, like the children, find ourselves entirely enclosed. The garden surrounds the girls totally; the lilies and carnations shelter them and us. This is a moment of pastoral escape, but Sargent has no illusions about its permanence. The lighting of the lanterns is a defence against evening coming on, time's intrusion, of which the children are unaware.
      Impressionist portraiture began in the 1860s as an attempt to capture the person in the flux of life. French paintings anticipating this scene include Monet's double portrait Bazille et Camille (1865), of a man and woman talking in a brightly lit garden. Sargent's style looks forward towards Symbolist art. The use of the garden anticipates Monet's late Symbolist paintings, with their endless meditation on reflections in a lily pond.
Boats, Venice (1908, 36x51cm)
Garden Study of the Vickers Children (1884) — Fête Familiale (1887)
Paul Helleu Sketching with his Wife (1889)
361 images at Webshots
259 images at ARC
^ Born on 15 April 1889: Thomas Hart Benton, US Regionalist painter, illustrator, and lithographer, who died on 19 January 1975.
— He was the son of a congressman and first studied art in Washington DC, where he saw the murals in the capital’s public buildings. In 1907 he enrolled for a year at the Art Institute School in Chicago, visiting Paris the following summer. He studied until early 1909 at the Académie Julian and thereafter independently. Benton rejected academic methods and was exposed to both the Louvre and modernist styles; his interests seem to have focused on Impressionism and Pointillism. In Paris he met Diego Rivera and a number of fellow US artists, such as John Marin and Stanton Macdonald-Wright, who had a lasting influence on him. He also read and admired Hippolyte-Adolphe Taine, whose thought countered modernist ‘art for art’s sake’ attitudes with a sense of the artist’s responsibility to the social milieu.
— Benton worked as a cartoonist for The American (a Missouri newspaper) in 1906. Later he studied at the Chicago Art Institute and then in Paris at the Académie Julian during a three-year visit. When he returned to the United States, he and his friends favored avant-garde art, but he abandoned a modern idiom in his own art about 1920. In 1924, he traveled through the rural US South and Midwest, sketching the scenes and people he encountered. Benton's images of people and landscapes are done in an original style marked by brilliant color with undulating forms displaying stylized, cartoon like figures. Like his fellow Regionalists, he was annoyed by the domination of French art in US culture. He was convinced that the culture and images from the South and Midwest should be the source of US art.
      Benton emerged as the defacto head of the US Regionalist painters at about the beginning of the depression. During the depression Benton painted a number of notable murals. Among them are several City Scenes (1930-1931) for the New School for Social Research in New York City. He frequently transposed biblical and classical stories to rural US settings, as in Susanna and the Elders (1938) and Persephone (1939); both shown below. For many years Benton taught at the Art Students League in New York City. Jackson Pollock [28 Jan 1912 – 11 Aug 1956] was one of his students. Later Benton taught at the Kansas City Art Institute and School of Design, Kansas City, Missouri. Fairfield Porter was another of his students.

Self~Portrait (1000x752pix, 81kb)
24 Dec 1934 Time cover with Self~Portrait (527x400pix cover, 280x230pix portrait, 42 kb)
Susanna and the Elders (153x107cm; 1/4 size, 162kb _ ZOOM to half~size, 570kb _ ZOOM++ not recommended to full size, 2271kb) _ as if in 1920 New England (church, car, men's trousers, nail polish)..
The Lord is Our ShepherdThe SavingCradling Wheat
Missouri LegislatureCity Scenes 1City Scenes 2
Aaron (1941 lithograph 33x24cm; full size) — Huck Finn (1935 lithograph 43x55cm)
19 prints at FAMSF
^ Died on 15 April 1757: Rosalba Carriera, Venetian pastelist and painter born on 07 October 1675. Along with her long-time friend, Antoine Watteau, whom she portrayed in pastels, she was considered one of the leading portrait artists of the Rococo era.
— She was a daughter of Andrea Carriera, who worked in the mainland podesteria of the Republic of Venice, and of Alba Foresti, an embroiderer. She had two sisters: Angela, who married the painter Giovanni Antonio Pellegrini, and Giovanna, who, like Rosalba herself, never married. She originally painted snuff-boxes and later became a student of Giuseppe Diamantini and/or Federico Bencovich. There are more precise records of her life and of some of her works from 1700 onwards, when she started keeping the letters she received and rough copies of those she sent.
— Rosalba Carriera had a great vogue in Venice, chiefly among British tourists, in Paris (1720-1721), and Vienna (1730). She painted snuff boxes for the tourist trade with miniatures on ivory, a technique she seems to have pioneered as against the earlier use of card as a ground. She was painting miniatures by 1700, and her earliest pastels are of 1703. In 1705 she was made an 'accademico di merito' by the Accademia di San Luca in Rome, a title reserved for non-Roman artists. She achieved immense popularity, and made pastel portraits of notabilities from all over Europe, She also had great success with her near-pornographic demi-vierges, much earlier examples of the genre than those by Greuze. She went blind at the end of her life, which provoked a mental collapse.
     A sister-in-law of Giovanni Antonio Pellegrini, Rosalba Carriera achieves the same airy lightness of touch as her relative in her portraits. These were done in pastel and in them she explored the finest shadings of her subjects' characters, the most fleeting of their moods. Thus, without falling either into the dangers of the encomiastic portrait or of the documentary, Rosalba matches the immediacy of pastel technique to the freshness of her psychological and social penetration of her subjects, offering an unrivalled picture of the society of her time. In the Elderly Lady the mature beauty of the noblewoman and her serene good-natured existence are conveyed with incomparable skill. Typical of her work is the portrait of Cardinal Melchior de Polignac with its superb rendering of the physical features of the subject, catching immediately the wilful character of the prelate.
     Trained as a miniaturist, Rosalba Carriera became very famous and sought-after throughout Europe, and especially in Paris where she was highly esteemed by Watteau for her portraits in pastels. This technique, which she used exclusively, was particularly suitable for the haziness and lightness of her pictures and also for her mawkish obligingness towards her sitters. Her portraits are a typical example of what Diderot called "flatterie", that is, they tend towards over-embellishment and idealization.
— Rosalba was born in Venice, Italy in 1675. Little is known of her early life nor how she came to pick up her amazing talent with pastels, not to mention oils; which she handled with similar ease in the demanding art of miniature portrait painting. Pastels were brand new at the time, probably a French invention, and inasmuch as Venice was a trade port, it's not surprising they turned up there first in Italy. They've always been considered something of a women's art medium, at least until Degas embraced them in the late 1800s. Men did their painting in oil.
     At first, pastels were reserved for the quick, color sketches for which they were designed. But gradually, because of the speed with which they could be used, they became popular with those lacking the time and patience to sit for an oil portrait. And, being done on paper, not to mention mostly by women, they were no doubt cheaper than oils. But Carriera not only proved the equal to any male portrait painter in Venice, but also proved pastels the equal of oils in their richness, color, and handling. She was accepted as one of the few female members of the Guild of St. Luke (doctors and artists) and later, the French Academy.
     One of her best works, Self-portrait with a Portrait of her Sister, done in 1709 after she took up residence in Paris, was something of an advertisement. She worked with her sister, whom she herself had taught to paint, in managing quite a busy portrait workshop. The pastel painting (I still have trouble with that concept) depicts the rather plain face of the artist, no doubt made up to look her best, attired in satin and lace, blending tool in hand, showing off the portrait of her slightly more attractive sister. Most of her other female portraits are a good deal more glamorous, even erotic, with deeply plunging décolletage and even the occasional bare breast. Her Young Lady with a Parrot is more typical.
     Rosalba Carriera is credited with having greatly popularised the medium of pastels in France during the early 1700s; and with introducing, perhaps even instructing, the renowned French pastel artist, Maurice Quentin de la Tour, to the use of pastels as a portrait medium. Tragically, perhaps as a result of years spent straining to paint miniature portraits, her eyesight failed her the last ten years of her life.
— Gustaf Lundberg was a student of Carriera.

Self-Portrait as Winter (1731) — Head of Diana (36x30cm) — Portrait of a Lady as Diana (33x27cm)
Felicità Sartori (1735) — Cardinal Melchior de Polignac (1732, 57x46cm)
Elderly Lady (1740, 50x40cm) — Flora (1735, 47x33cm)
Young Cavalier (1730, 55x42cm) — America (1730)
Bambina Leblond con Ciambella (1730, 34x27cm) _ Il ritratto di una ragazzina della famiglia Le Blond appare nella vaporosa leggerezza dei toni del colore usati dall'artista. Ella infatti era abilissima nell'uso dei pastelli , tanto da ottenere le più delicate sfumature e le più fresche trasparenze, negli incarnati del volto. Ne è un esempio questo ritratto di giovinetta dalle guance rosee, la bocca minuscola e arrossata, gli occhi grandi e spalancati. Il viso dolce è incorniciato dai capelli biondi che ricadono a boccoli sulle spalle. L'abilità tecnica, raggiunta dall'artista, le permette di descrivere minutamente anche l'abbigliamento. La ragazzina porta una sciarpetta di pizzo annodata al collo e indossa un bellissimo vestito bianco, decorato con fiori azzurri e rosa, e trattenuto nella scollatura da un nastro. Particolare curioso è indubbiamente la dolce ciambella che trattiene in mano.
^ Born on 15 April 1904: Vosdanig Manoog Adoian “Arshile Gorky”, Armenian-born US painter, forerunner of Abstract Expressionism, who commited suicide on 21 July 1948. Implicit in Gorky unquestioninly accepted art as developing in history. To Gorky, progress of art itself was not the erratic course of unrelated inspirations, but an evolution.
      One of the most illustrious artists of the post-war New York School, he began his life in possibly the most obscure circumstances of any international modern master. His father emigrated to the USA to avoid conscription into the Turkish Army in World War I. During the Turkish persecution of the Armenians, Gorky’s mother died in her son’s arms after a 200-km forced march. With his sister (who later figured prominently in his paintings) Gorky made his way to the coast and then, by ship, to the US, arriving at New York in April 1920.
— Born in Khorkom (province Van), Haiyotz Dzur, a village in Turkish Armenia, Gorky later emigrated to the United States in 1920 where he lived first in Boston, Providence and Watertown, Massachusetts. With his education, he studied at the Rhode Island School of Design and the New School of Design, Boston. After his formal education he changed his name from Vosdanig Manoog Adoian to Arshile Gorky, inspired by Homer's Achilles and by the Russian writer Maksim Gorky (also a pseudonym, meaning “the bitter one”) [28 March 1868 – 14 June 1936]. Then he moved in 1925 to New York where he now studied and taught at Grand Central Art School in 1925 to 1931. Gorky painted pictures that where strongly influenced by Cézanne, then later from Picasso (1928). Friendships in 1929 to 1934 with Stuart Davis and later with Willem de Kooning also influenced him as well. The first one-man exhibition for him was at the Mellon Galleries in Philadelphia, 1934. He also did social work where, during 1935 to 1939, he worked on the WPA Federal Art Project as a mural painter. Gorky developed an increasingly personal style from 1941 to 1942, with hybrid biomorphic imagery and a more fluid handling of paint. He met André Breton and the Surrealist artists then living in the US, which also had a great influence on him.
     Although Gorky was strongly influenced by Surrealist painters, he used the organic shapes similar of Mirò, and the free abstraction of Kandinsky, to create actively brushed abstractions that moved away from cubist space. Gorky spent much of his later life in the countryside at Sherman, Connecticut where he died by suicide after a succession of misfortunes, including a fire in his studio and being severely injured in a car accident. Arshile Gorky studied the old and modern masters, similar to other students in art schools throughout the country at that time. He began with the subjects-landscapes, still lifes, portraits and Post-Impressionism in particular. He began to question the historical direction of art, and set himself to a search for the next modern phase of art. When studying past art, Gorky was influenced by primitive art and then on through the clumsy archaic and later Greek art. His Renaissance knowledge illuminated medieval Dark Ages with technical discoveries that opened new paths; perspective breaking out of the prison of flat dimensions; oil paint liberating; chiaroscuro supplementing flat lighting; Baroque flamboyancy adding action to the poses; and chemistry further enriching the palette. Some of his favorite landmarks: Mantegna, Uccello, Bosch, Piero della Francesca, Tintoretto, Ingres-to Picasso and Cezanne, whom he chose as the keystone of all that was then called the "modern movement."ambitions.

CalendarsThe Liver is the Cock's Comb(1944)
The Artist and His Mother (1936, 152x127) This painting is based on a photograph from 1912. A few years after the photo was taken, Gorky and his family were among the thousands of ethnic Armenians who were victims of the Armenian genocide. The artist and his sister survived the ordeal, and emigrated separately to the US, where they rejoined. This painting was done when the mother had been long dead. She had died in his arms, of starvation, when he was 14. This may be a picture which has to do with redemption of the mother. By redemption of the mother, I mean a particular theme, of the child bringing the mother to rest, or laying to rest a memory of the mother which haunts him. He is guiding, somehow, or presenting the mother, and guiding her like a psychopompos, like a herald or a guide, the soul of the departed, and bringing her to a place of rest. It's clear in the picture that there may have been some, a painting of actual hands, at least the right hand. But there does seem to be a violence in erasing the two hands. There is a muteness here: very tightly closed mouths. But there may be other things which point to that quality of muteness, also. Of course, we know that trauma often produces muteness. Sometimes psychologists call it elective silence, especially in the young child. That is, a refusal to speak or a difficulty of speaking. That is when you begin to stutter, for instance. One could very metaphorically say, there is some stuttering there, around the hands.
Abstraction With Artist's Materials (1934, 66x25cm)
In the GardenMannequinCalendars (1947)
^ Died on 15 April 1808: Hubert Robert, French landscape painter born on 22 May 1733.
— Robert was sometimes called "Robert des Ruines" because of his many romantic representations of Roman ruins set in idealized surroundings. Robert went to Rome (1754), was elected to the French Academy there, and became a friend and associate of the renowned etcher of architectural subjects Giambattista Piranesi. In 1759 he joined Abbé de Sainte-Non and the French painter Jean-Honoré Fragonard in travels through southern Italy and Sicily. Each man influenced the other's style but not the other's choice of subjects. At the Villa d'Este, Tivoli, Robert produced a quantity of red chalk drawings of ancient buildings in ruined parks, animated with small figures.
      Returning to Paris (1765), Robert became a member of the French Royal Academy in 1766. A gifted decorative artist, he based his paintings on his Italian drawings, and his popularity was enhanced by exhibitions at the Salons from 1767 on. In addition to Italian landscapes, he painted scenes of Ermenonville, Marly-le-Roi, and Versailles, near Paris, and of the south of France, with its ruined Roman monuments. He also directed the design of the English garden at Versailles.
      Under Louis XVI he became Keeper of the King's Pictures and one of the first curators of the Louvre. Although imprisoned during the French Revolution, he continued to work. (He owed his life to an accident whereby another person with the same name was guillotined in his stead.) He collaborated with Fragonard on a commission for the Musée Français in the Louvre during the 1790s, but at the time of his death he was forgotten.

Avenue in a Park (1799, 59x39cm) _ This small, finely executed painting is a good example of Hubert Robert's refined art. Robert, a French painter of the second half of the 18th century, is known mainly for his landscapes decorated with imaginary architecture and little figures, in which happiness, reality and fiction, archaeological taste and sense of decoration are all mingled. Avenue in a Park is a late work in the painter's career, testifying to the permanence of his style and to his taste for a nature that has been disciplined and made decorative by man. The subject matter still reflects the "douceur de vivre" so dear to the 18th century. An avenue lined with trees with their tops intertwined leads the spectator towards the bottom of the garden. In the center, a young girl is playing on a swing, activated by two companions. A group of people to the right are looking on. The whole painting bathes in a soft harmony of browns, greys and greens against a bluish sky background. The red coat of the man leaning against the pedestal catches the viewer's eye.
      The antique statues — reposing satyr and faun playing a flute — flanking the tree-lined opening in the foreground had been earlier captured by Robert in a red chalk drawing of various Graeco-Roman sculptures conserved in the Capitol. The artist has repeated them here the other way round. The young musician in turn had appeared in several of Robert's paintings. Arriving in Rome in 1754, Robert stayed there for over 10 years. It is there that he met the Abbé de Saint-Non, Giovanni Battista Piranesi and in particular Gian Paolo Panini, who was to have a lasting influence on him. He also became friends with Fragonard. The little painting in Brussels confirms the close links between the art of "Robert of the Ruins" and Fragonard's poetic universe. The avenue of trees also refers to the many parks and gardens in Italy and the Ile-de-France which were to nourish his imagination throughout his long and successful career. Robert exhibited at every salon from 1767 to 1798, becoming "designer of the King's gardens" in 1777 and much later, after the revolutionary tumult, producing plans for converting the Grande Galerie of the Louvre into a museum.
Le Pont du Gard (1787, 242x242cm) _ Hubert Robert, who learned his trade during a long journey through Italy, was a very producti8ve artist. He took over from Pannini the theme of ruins, but in his hands it became less dry and more picturesque.
Washerwomen below a Bridge - (24x33cm) _ Hubert Robert in his large-scale decorative works was often conventional, but in his works on a small-scale he was a very fine painter, with a sensitive and spontaneous technique.
Imaginary View of the Grande Galerie in the Louvre in Ruins (1796, 114x146cm) _ French painting in the second half of the 18th century displays the overlapping or intermingling of pre-Romantic and Neoclassical pictorial ideas, and nowhere is this clearer than in the work of the 'painter of ruins', Hubert Robert. He obtained his ideas from Italy, where he admired the paintings of ruins by Giovanni Paolo Pannini, and witnessed the first excavations in Pompeii. Praised by Diderot, he was immediately consulted when antique pieces were to be placed in the park of Versailles. But his great work was the realization of the Louvre Museum. A comparison of two of his paintings, the first showing a ruined barrel-vault hall, and the second the Grande Galerie in the Louvre, immediately reveals the source of the idea for the top lighting and the "antique effect" that the newly designed gallery is open to the sky. The sublimity of antique ruins was to be transferred to the real building, and this in turn was to be a treasure chest of art and a worthy successor to its antique models.
Design for the Grande Galerie in the Louvre (1796, 112x143cm) _ Hubert Robert's great work was the realization of the Louvre Museum. A comparison of two of his paintings, the first showing a ruined barrel-vault hall, and the second the Grande Galerie in the Louvre, immediately reveals the source of the idea for the top lighting and the "antique effect" that the newly designed gallery is open to the sky. The sublimity of antique ruins was to be transferred to the real building, and this in turn was to be a treasure chest of art and a worthy successor to its antique models.
The Draughtsman of the Borghese Vase (1775, 36x29cm) _ Rome's ancient ruins was a source of inspiration in the late 18th century, as this drawing shows. Distorting the proportions of the scene like Piranesi, Robert composed an architectural "capriccio" from a number of set pieces that were freely designed and rendered in the manner of veduta. The artist of the title is seen sketching the gigantic Borghese Vase on a square above the Forum, which had a view to the Coliseum - a building whose vertical dimensions Robert extended by adding an additional series of arcades. The Borghese Vase was actually never exhibited close to the Coliseum, but was situated in the Borghese gardens. The inscription illuminates an idealized relationship to Antiquity: Rome's former glory is still revealed in its ruins. With the brownish red-chalk crayon typical of the late 18th century, Robert achieved subtly drawn as well as painterly effects. The fragile, delicate contours and the schematic manner in which the foliage of trees is depicted recall the Rococo.
^ Born on 15 April 1452: Leonardo di ser Piero da Vinci, Florentine painter and inventor who died on 02 May 1519. Uncle of Pierino da Vinci [1531-1554]. Studied under Andrea del Verrocchio [1435-1488]. Leonardo's students included Andrea Solario [1470-1520], Bernardino Luini [1475-1532], Cesare da Sesto [1477 – 27 Jul 1523], Francesco Melzi [1493-1570] and Giovanni Antonio Boltraffio [1466-1516].
— Leonardo da Vinci was one of the great masters of the High Renaissance, who was also celebrated as a painter, sculptor, architect, engineer, and scientist. His profound love of knowledge and research was the keynote of both his artistic and scientific endeavors. His innovations in the field of painting influenced the course of Italian art for more than a century after his death, and his scientific studies — particularly in the fields of anatomy, optics, and hydraulics — anticipated many of the developments of modern science.
Early Life in Florence
      Leonardo was born in the small Tuscan town of Vinci, near Florence. He was the son of a wealthy Florentine notary and a peasant woman. In the mid-1460s the family settled in Florence, where Leonardo was given the best education that Florence, the intellectual and artistic center of Italy, could offer. He rapidly advanced socially and intellectually. He was handsome, persuasive in conversation, and a fine musician and improviser. About 1466 he was apprenticed as a garzone (studio boy) to Andrea del Verrocchio, the leading Florentine painter and sculptor of his day. In Verrocchio's workshop Leonardo was introduced to many activities, from the painting of altarpieces and panel pictures to the creation of large sculptural projects in marble and bronze. In 1472 he was entered in the painter's guild of Florence, and in 1476 he is still mentioned as Verrocchio's assistant. In Verrocchio's Baptism of Christ (1470), the kneeling angel at the left of the painting is by Leonardo.
      In 1478 Leonardo became an independent master. His first commission, to paint an altarpiece for the chapel of the Palazzo Vecchio, the Florentine town hall, was never executed. His first large painting, The Adoration by the Magi , left unfinished, was ordered in 1481 for the Monastery of San Donato a Scopeto, Florence. Other works ascribed to his youth are the so-called Benois Madonna (1478), the portrait Ginerva de' Benci (1474), and the unfinished Saint Jerome (1481).
Years in Milan
      About 1482 Leonardo entered the service of the duke of Milan, Ludovico Sforza, having written the duke an astonishing letter in which he stated that he could build portable bridges; that he knew the techniques of constructing bombardments and of making cannons; that he could build ships as well as armored vehicles, catapults, and other war machines; and that he could execute sculpture in marble, bronze, and clay. He served as principal engineer in the duke's numerous military enterprises and was active also as an architect. In addition, he assisted the Italian mathematician Luca Pacioli in the celebrated work Divina Proportione (1509).
      Evidence indicates that Leonardo had apprentices and students in Milan, for whom he probably wrote the various texts later compiled as Treatise on Painting (1651). The most important of his own paintings during the early Milan period was The Virgin of the Rocks, two versions of which exist (1485 and 1508); he worked on the compositions for a long time, as was his custom, seemingly unwilling to finish what he had begun. From 1495 to 1497 Leonardo labored on his masterpiece, The Last Supper, a mural in the refectory of the Monastery of Santa Maria delle Grazie, Milan. Unfortunately, his experimental use of oil on dry plaster (on what was the thin outer wall of a space designed for serving food) was technically unsound, and by 1500 its deterioration had begun. Since 1726 attempts have been made, unsuccessfully, to restore it; a concerted restoration and conservation program, making use of the latest technology, was begun in 1977 and is reversing some of the damage. Although much of the original surface is gone, the majesty of the composition and the penetrating characterization of the figures give a fleeting vision of its vanished splendor. During his long stay in Milan, Leonardo also produced other paintings and drawings (most of which have been lost), theater designs, architectural drawings, and models for the dome of Milan Cathedral. His largest commission was for a colossal bronze monument to Francesco Sforza, father of Ludovico, in the courtyard of Castello Sforzesco. In December 1499, however, the Sforza family was driven from Milan by French forces; Leonardo left the statue unfinished (it was destroyed by French archers, who used it as a target) and he returned to Florence in 1500.
Return to Florence
click to zoom in (new window)      In 1502 Leonardo entered the service of Cesare Borgia, duke of Romagna and son and chief general of Pope Alexander VI; in his capacity as the duke's chief architect and engineer, Leonardo supervised work on the fortresses of the papal territories in central Italy. In 1503 he was a member of a commission of artists who were to decide on the proper location for the David (1504), the famous colossal marble statue by Michelangelo, and he also served as an engineer in the war against Pisa. Toward the end of the year Leonardo began to design a decoration for the great hall of the Palazzo Vecchio. The subject was the Battle of Anghiari, a Florentine victory in its war with Pisa. He made many drawings for it and completed a full-size cartoon, or sketch, in 1505, but he never finished the wall painting. The cartoon itself was destroyed in the 17th century, and the composition survives only in copies, of which the most famous is the one by Peter Paul Rubens (1615). During this second Florentine period, Leonardo painted several portraits, but the only one that survives is the famous Mona Lisa (1506). One of the most celebrated portraits ever painted, it is also known as La Gioconda. Leonardo seems to have had a special affection for the picture, for he took it with him on all of his subsequent travels.
Later Travels and Death
      In 1506 Leonardo went again to Milan, at the summons of its French governor, Charles d'Amboise. The following year he was named court painter to King Louis XII of France, who was then residing in Milan. For the next six years Leonardo divided his time between Milan and Florence, where he often visited his half brothers and half sisters and looked after his inheritance. In Milan he continued his engineering projects and worked on an equestrian figure for a monument to Gian Giacomo Trivulzio, commander of the French forces in the city; although the project was not completed, drawings and studies have been preserved. From 1514 to 1516 Leonardo lived in Rome under the patronage of Pope Leo X: he was housed in the Palazzo Belvedere in the Vatican and seems to have been occupied principally with scientific experimentation. In 1516 he traveled to France to enter the service of King Francis I. He spent his last years at the Château de Cloux, near Amboise, where he died.
      Although Leonardo produced a relatively small number of paintings, many of which remained unfinished, he was nevertheless an extraordinarily innovative and influential artist. During his early years, his style closely paralleled that of Verrocchio, but he gradually moved away from his teacher's stiff, tight, and somewhat rigid treatment of figures to develop a more evocative and atmospheric handling of composition. The early The Adoration of the Magi introduced a new approach to composition, in which the main figures are grouped in the foreground, while the background consists of distant views of imaginary ruins and battle scenes.
      Leonardo's stylistic innovations are even more apparent in The Last Supper, in which he re-created a traditional theme in an entirely new way. Instead of showing the 12 apostles as individual figures, he grouped them in dynamic compositional units of three, framing the figure of Christ, who is isolated in the center of the picture. Seated before a pale distant landscape seen through a rectangular opening in the wall, Christ — who is about to announce that one of those present will betray him — represents a calm nucleus while the others respond with animated gestures. In the monumentality of the scene and the weightiness of the figures, Leonardo reintroduced a style pioneered more than a generation earlier by Masaccio, the father of Florentine painting.
      The Mona Lisa, Leonardo's most famous work, is as well known for its mastery of technical innovations as for the mysteriousness of its legendary smiling subject. This work is a consummate example of two techniques — sfumato and chiaroscuro — of which Leonardo was one of the first great masters. Sfumato is characterized by subtle, almost infinitesimal transitions between color areas, creating a delicately atmospheric haze or smoky effect; it is especially evident in the delicate gauzy robes worn by the sitter and in her enigmatic smile. Chiaroscuro is the technique of modeling and defining forms through contrasts of light and shadow; the sensitive hands of the sitter are portrayed with a luminous modulation of light and shade, while color contrast is used only sparingly.
      An especially notable characteristic of Leonardo's paintings is his landscape backgrounds, into which he was among the first to introduce atmospheric perspective. The chief masters of the High Renaissance in Florence, including Raphael, Andrea del Sarto, and Fra Bartolommeo, all learned from Leonardo; he completely transformed the school of Milan; and at Parma, Correggio's artistic development was given direction by Leonardo's work.
      Leonardo's many extant drawings reveal his brilliant draftsmanship and his mastery of the anatomy of humans, animals, and plant life. Probably his most famous drawing is the magnificent Self-Portrait (1513).
Sculptural and Architectural Drawings
      Because none of Leonardo's sculptural projects was brought to completion, his approach to three-dimensional art can only be judged from his drawings. The same strictures apply to his architecture; none of his building projects was actually carried out as he devised them. In his architectural drawings, however, he demonstrates mastery in the use of massive forms, a clarity of expression, and especially a deep understanding of ancient Roman sources.
Scientific and Theoretical Projects
      As a scientist Leonardo towered above all his contemporaries. His scientific theories, like his artistic innovations, were based on careful observation and precise documentation. He understood, better than anyone of his century or the next, the importance of precise scientific observation. Unfortunately, just as he frequently failed to bring to conclusion artistic projects, he never completed his planned treatises on a variety of scientific subjects. His theories are contained in numerous notebooks, most of which were written in mirror script. Because they were not easily decipherable, Leonardo's findings were not disseminated in his own lifetime; had they been published, they would have revolutionized the science of the 16th century. Leonardo actually anticipated many discoveries of modern times. In anatomy he studied the circulation of the blood and the action of the eye. He made discoveries in meteorology and geology, learned the effect of the moon on the tides, foreshadowed modern conceptions of continent formation, and surmised the nature of fossil shells. He was among the originators of the science of hydraulics and probably devised the hydrometer; his scheme for the canalization of rivers still has practical value. He invented a large number of ingenious machines, many potentially useful, among them an underwater diving suit. His flying devices, although not practicable, embodied sound principles of aerodynamics.
      A creator in all branches of art, a discoverer in most branches of science, and an inventor in branches of technology, Leonardo deserves, perhaps more than anyone, the title of Homo Universalis, Universal Man.

— Nato a Vinci (Firenze) nel 1452, figlio naturale del notaio Piero e di una contadina, fu accolto in casa del padre che non aveva avuto figli legittimi dai primi due matrimoni. Dal 1467 al 1476 approfondì la sua formazione artistica presso la bottega del Verrocchio a Firenze, interessandosi anche di matematica, meccanica e ingegneria. Nel 1482 fu chiamato a Milano da Ludovico il Moro; durante il soggiorno milanese si occupò degli allestimenti scenici per gli spettacoli teatrali della corte, oltre a dipingere alcuni dei suoi capolavori (la Vergine delle rocce e l’Ultima cena). Dopo la caduta di Ludovico nel 1499, Leonardo lavorò presso varie corti italiane: Mantova, Venezia, Firenze, Roma. Durante questi anni dipinse capolavori come la Gioconda. Nel 1517 accettò l’invito di Francesco I a lavorare per la corte francese. Gli fu assegnato il castello di Cloux vicino alla reggia di Amboise; trascorse gli ultimi anni immerso negli studi, tra gli onori della corte. Morì nel 1519 a Cloux, Amboise. Leonardo amava definirsi “omo sanza lettere”: conosceva superficialmente il latino, ignorava completamente il greco e aveva appreso la maggior parte delle sue cognizioni attraverso i volgarizzamenti delle opere più importanti e attraverso l’aiuto di amici, il matematico e filosofo Pacioli e il medico Marcantonio della Torre. Si interessò soprattutto di meccanica, fisica, anatomia, filosofia naturale e lasciò una enorme quantità di appunti (si calcolano 5000 fogli). Oltre agli appunti tecnici e ai progetti di trattati, Leonardo scrisse anche numerosi apologhi, aforismi e favole che testimoniano un gusto arguto e uno stile vivace. Giunto a noi grazie alla compilazione dell’allievo Francesco Melzi che si basò sui materiali del maestro, il Trattato della pittura è l’unica opera organica; si tratta di un grandioso tentativo di coordinare ogni scienza, ogni filosofia, ogni riflessione sulla scienza e sulla vita all’interno dell’ottica e delle esigenze del pittore.
     There has never been an artist who was more fittingly, and without qualification, described as a genius. Like Shakespeare, Leonardo came from an insignificant background and rose to universal acclaim. Leonardo was the illegitimate son of a local lawyer in the small town of Vinci in the Tuscan region. His father acknowledged him and paid for his training, but we may wonder whether the strangely self-sufficient tone of Leonardo's mind was not perhaps affected by his early ambiguity of status. The definitive polymath, he had almost too many gifts, including superlative male beauty, a splendid singing voice, magnificent physique, mathematical excellence, scientific daring ... the list is endless. This overabundance of talents caused him to treat his artistry lightly, seldom finishing a picture, and sometimes making rash technical experiments. The Last Supper (1498, 460x880cm _ ZOOM to 600x1046pix, 126kb), in the church of Santa Maria delle Grazie in Milan, for example, has almost vanished, so inadequate were his innovations in fresco preparation.
     Yet the works that we have salvaged remain the most dazzlingly poetic pictures ever created. The Mona Lisa has the innocent disadvantage of being too famous. It can only be seen behind thick glass in a heaving crowd of awe-struck sightseers. It has been reproduced in every conceivable medium; it remains intact in its magic, forever defying the human insistence on comprehending. It is a work that we can only gaze at in silence.
     Leonardo's three great portraits of women all have a secret wistfulness. This quality is at its most appealing in Cecilia Gallarani, at its most enigmatic in the Mona Lisa, and at its most confrontational in Ginevra de' Benci. It is hard to gaze at the Mona Lisa because we have so many expectations of it. Perhaps we can look more truly at a less famous portrait, Ginevra de' Benci. It has that haunting, almost unearthly beauty peculiar to Leonardo da Vinci.
     The subject of Ginevra de' Benci has nothing of the Mona Lisa's inward amusement, and also nothing of Cecilia's gentle submissiveness. The young woman looks past us with a wonderful luminous sulkiness. Her mouth is set in an unforgiving line of sensitive disgruntlement, her proud and perfect head is taut above the unyielding column of her neck, and her eyes seem to narrow as she endures the painter and his art. Her ringlets, infinitely subtle, cascade down from the breadth of her gleaming forehead (the forehead, incidentally, of one of the most gifted intellectuals of her time). These delicate ripples are repeated in the spikes of the juniper bush.
     The desolate waters, the mists, the dark trees, the reflected gleams of still waters - all these surround and illuminate the sitter. She is totally fleshly and totally impermeable to the artist. He observes, held rapt by her perfection of form, and shows us the thin veil of her upper bodice and the delicate flushing of her throat. What she is truly like she conceals; what Leonardo reveals to us is precisely this concealment, a self-absorption that spares no outward glance.
     We can always tell a Leonardo work by his treatment of hair, angelic in its fineness, and by the lack of any rigidity of contour. One form glides imperceptibly into another (the Italian term is sfumato), a wonder of glazes creating the most subtle of transitions between tones and shapes. The angel's face in the painting known as the Virgin of the Rocks in London, or the Virgin's face in the Paris version of the same picture, have an interior wisdom, an artistic wisdom that has no pictorial rival.
     This unrivaled quality meant that few artists actually show Leonardo's influence: it is as if he seemed to be in a world apart from them. Indeed he did move apart, accepting the French King Francis I's summons to live in France. Those who did imitate him, like Bernardini Luini of Milan (c. 1485-1532), caught only the outer manner, the half-smile, the mistiness.
     The shadow of a great genius is a peculiar thing. Under Rembrandt's shadow, painters flourished to the extent that we can no longer distinguish their work from his own. But Leonardo's was a chilling shadow, too deep, too dark, too overpowering.

—    Leonardo da Vinci was the embodiment of the Renaissance ideal of the universal man, the first artist to attain complete mastery of all branches of art. He was a painter, sculptor, architect and engineer besides being a scholar in the natural sciences, medicine and philosophy.
      Leonardo was born an illegitimate son of the notary Ser Piero di Antonio da Vinci and the peasant woman Caterina in a small town, Vinci, near Empoli, Tuscany. The first four years of his life he spent in a small village near Vinci with his mother. From 1457 he lived in his father's family, which soon moved to Florence. At the age of 15 he became an apprentice of the Florentine painter and sculptor Andrea del Verrocchio [1435-1488] and although in 1472 he entered the San Luca guild of painters in Florence, which would indicate that he had attained a degree of professional independence, he remained with Andrea del Verrocchio until 1480. His first known work, which he painted as an assistant, is the angel, kneeling on the left of the Verrocchio's picture The Baptism of Christ (1475). Verrocchio, it is said, was so impressed by the implications of his student's genius that he gave up painting. Another work of this period The Annunciation (1475, 98x217cm) was attributed to Leonardo, but probably not all the picture was painted by him. However, it is generally accepted that the overall composition, the figure of the angel and the landscape are his. There are several other survived works from this period, such as Madonna with the Carnation (1475), Madonna Benois (or “with flower”), Portrait of Ginevra de'Benci (1480). Leonardo received a commission to paint an altar piece St. Hieronymus (1482), which was never finished, and for the church in San Donato a Scopeto to create a large panel Adoration of the Magi (1482), which was not finished either. Unfortunately, it was to be repeated with many of his works, many of them were never finished.
      In 1482 Leonardo moved to Milan in hope to obtain the patronage of the ruler of the city Ludovico Sforza, also known as Ludovico Moro because of his dark skin. Leonardo offered his services as a military engineer, sculptor and painter.
     In 1483 he was commissioned to make a large altar piece The Virgin of the Rocks (1486) for the Franciscan Confraternity in the Church of S. Francesco Grande. Another version of this picture was created later. Being the court painter, sculptor, and engineer he created Portrait of Cecilia Gallerani (Lady with an Ermine) (1490, 53x39cm), Portrait of an Unknown Woman (La Belle Ferronière) (1490), several small Madonnas, such as Madonna Litta (1491, 42x33cm), worked on the equestrian statue of Francesco Sforza (father of Ludovico Moro), which was created as a huge clay model of the horse, but the project was never cast in bronze. Leonardo painted The Last Supper (1498) for the refectory of the Dominican Monastery Santa Maria delle Grazie, which is considered the first work of High Renaissance. His representation of the theme has become the epitome of all Last Supper compositions. Unfortunately, he experimented with the paint and this led to the damage of the fresco, the paint  began to crumble almost after the fresco was finished. See one of the contemporary copies.
      In the mid to late 1480s, when Leonardo was attempting to establish himself as a court artist, he seemed to have started on his huge range of scientific researches, which included botany, anatomy, medicine, architecture, military engineering, geography etc. We know about his studies by the enormous amount of his drawings which were left. He was writing the Treatise on Painting, a collection of practical and theoretical instructions for painters, all his life.
      In 1499, after the defeat of Ludovico Sforza by French, Leonardo left Milan. After the short travels to Mantua and Venice he returned to Florence. There he was working on a commission for the Servite monastery, which probably was Virgin and Child with St. Anne (1516). In 1502 he was employed by General Cesare Borgia as an architect and military engineer, with whom he traveled, mainly in Central Italy, studying terrain and preparing maps for Borgia's future military campaigns. Also at that time Madonna of the Yarnwinder (1501) was created .
     In 1503 Leonardo returned to Florence again and, in response to a commission from Francesco del Giocondo, started on a portrait of his wife Lisa del Giocondo Mona Lisa (La Gioconda) (1506), which to become the most famous picture in the world. Although the portrait was not finished in time and never delivered to the client. Leonardo received more important commission, he was to paint the Grand Council Chamber in the Palazzo Vecchio, the seat of government of Florence. The wall-painting, which Leonardo left unfinished in the spring of 1506 and which was destroyed in the middle of the XVI century depicted the Battle of Anghiari of 1440, when Florentine forces, together with their papal allies, defeated their Milanese opponents near the town of Anghiari. At the same time Michelangelo was commissioned to create a painting on the other wall of the same hall (the so-called Battle of Cascina), which was  never finished either.
      In 1506-1512 Leonardo lived mostly in Milan under the patronage of the French Governor of the town Charles d'Amboise. During these years he created The Leda and the Swan (1510), which is known now only through a number of copies, second version of The Virgin of the Rocks (1508), worked on the equestrian statue for General Giangiacomo Trivulzio, which was never realized, continued his anatomical studies. After the death of Charles d'Amboise in 1511, Leonardo accepted the protection of Giuliano de'Medici, brother of the future Pope Leo X, with whom he then traveled to the papal court in Rome. Leonardo, by now 61 years old, apparently hoped to become a court painter. But he never received any major commissions comparable to those already carried out by Raphael and Michelangelo from Leo X. He probably created at this time  St. John the Baptist (1516), although there is one more John the Baptist (with the attributes of Bacchus) (1516), which is also attributed to Leonardo.
      In 1516 Leonardo received an invitation from French King Francis I to go to the French court, which he accepted. He was given residence in Cloux, not far from the King's residence in Amboise, and was appointed "the first painter, engineer and architect to the King". But his only obligation was to converse with the 22-year old King, who visited him almost daily. Leonardo died in Cloux and was buried in the Church of St. Florentine in Amboise.
      Leonardo's reputation in his lifetime was immense, and it was acknowledged visibly not only in the work of the foremost painters of the time in Florence — Fra Bartolommeo, Andrea del Sarto and, above all, Raphael — but also in Milan and northern Italy — by Correggio in Parma, and by Giorgione in Venice.

Self-Portrait (poorly preserved drawing, 1512, 33x21cm) — The Last Supper (restored) — A Musician (1490, 43x31cm)
Madonna with a Flower (1478, 50x32cm) _ This painting was also called the Madonna Benois because of the family who owned it. This canvas demonstrates the newly developed method of "chiaroscuro" — a lighting/shading technique that made the figures appear three dimensional.
The Madonna of the Carnation (1480, 62x48cm) _ This painting would seem to evoke the sketches of a young Leonardo freed from Verrocchio's tutelage, though nevertheless still affected by a passion and taste for the soft textures and dazzle of solid material (as practiced in the workshop of the Florentine artist). It is a free variant of the Madonna Benois, but more complex in its composition and spatial arrangement, though perhaps somewhat highflown and less spontaneous. After a comprehensible, temporary attribution to Verrocchio or his shop, art critics subsequently almost universally assigned the painting to Leonardo, a judgement backed up by the most recent research. In fact, the richness of the drapery, the vastness of the mountain scenery with purple and gold hues tinging the foothills of peaks that fade into the sky, the vitality of the cut flowers in the crystal vase and the softness of the Child's flesh that foreshadows the tender putti of the Virgin of the Rocks, are elements that show a distancing from the more distinctive Verrocchiesque style and instead assume those formal and chromatic characteristics that would be the mature Leonardo's very own. Moreover there are striking similarities — in facial features and other details — with the Madonna Benois (the gem fastening the Virgin's gown over her breast) and with the Uffizi Annunciation, works that in their figurative and expressive invention quite clearly reveal the genius of Leonardo.
Virgin of the Rocks (1486, 199x122cm) _ There are two versions of this painting, of which this is the earlier The first work that Leonardo executed in Milan is this so-called Virgin of the Rocks, which actually expresses the theme of the Immaculate Conception. This canvas was to decorate the ancona (a carved wooden altar with frames where paintings were inserted) in the chapel of the Immacolata in the church of San Francesco Grande in Milan. On 25 April 1483, the members of the Confraternity of the Conception assigned the work of the paintings (a Virgin and Child in the center and two Angel-Musicians for the sides), to Leonardo, for the most important part, and the brothers Ambrogio and Evangelista De Predis, for the side panels. Scholars now feel that the two canvases on this same subject, this one of 1486 and that of 1506, are simply two versions of the same painting, with significant variants. This first Virgin of the Rocks, entirely by Leonardo, is the one which first adorned the altar in San Francesco Grande. It may have been given by Leonardo himself to King Louis XII of France, in gratitude for the settlement of the suit between the painters and those who commissioned the works, in dispute over the question of payment. The later painting replaced this one in the ancona.
      For the first time Leonardo could achieve in painting that intellectual program of fusion between human forms and nature which was slowly taking shape in his view of his art. Here there are no thrones or architectural structures to afford a spatial frame for the figures; instead there are the rocks of a grotto, reflected in limpid waters, decorated by leaves of various kinds from different plants while in the distance, as if emerging from a mist composed of very fine droplets and filtered by the golden sunlight, the peaks of those mountains we now know so well reappear. This same light reveals the gentle, mild features of the Madonna, the angel's smiling face, the plump, pink flesh of the two putti. For this work, too, Leonardo made numerous studies, and the figurative expression is slowly adapted to the program of depiction. In fact, the drawing of the face of the angel is, in the sketch, clearly feminine, with a fascination that has nothing ambiguous about it. In the painting, the sex is not defined, and the angel could easily be either a youth or a maiden.
Virgin of the Rocks (1506, 190x120cm) _ This second version was painted to replace the first one in the ancona in the chapel of the Immacolata in the church of San Francesco Grande in Milan. It has distinctly sixteenth-century characteristics: larger figures, made more plastic by a very decided chiaroscuro so unlike Leonardo that scholars were immediately led to consider the work a collaboration. The first version had been given to Louis XII.
This version shows some details generally neglected by Leonardo in the earlier version: the haloes of the figures, the child Saint John's cross of reeds. Other elements which differ from the 1486 picture are the pose of the angel, who no longer points his finger towards the little Paraclete, and his face, whose gaze no longer seeks out the spectator, but is directed inwards. The drapery, too, which in the 1486 version was heavy and concealed the body, is lighter here, revealing the anatomical structure. Also the rocks seem painted in a more plastic fashion; the light does not glide over them, creating dewy areas of semi-darkness, but leaves strong contrasts of light and dark. The skin of the children here is less tender, and though the shadows are insistent, the children's faces seem flatter and less sweet than those of the two sublime creatures of 1486. The intervention of followers on the painting already sketched by Leonardo has made the portrayal less vibrant, more banal, though it retains a compositional authority and an originality in its variants that make this work not a copy but an autonomous version, of high quality, of the unequaled 1486 masterpiece.
The Virgin and Child with Saint Anne (1510, 168x130cm) _ The theme of the Christ Child on the knee of the Virgin, who is herself seated on St Anne's lap, is fairly rare, but examples of it can be found from the Middle Ages onwards - the stream of life flowing through three generations. Leonardo must have chosen this unusual theme for symbolic reasons, which have been variously interpreted. Sigmund Freud made out the shape of a vulture in the Virgin's garment, and suggested a psychoanalytical explanation: since as a child Leonardo dreamt that he had been attacked in his cradle by a vulture.
      This painting was commissioned by the Servites in Florence. It is unfinished; perhaps it was abandoned because of the artist's sudden interest in mathematics, and his engagement as engineer in the service of Cesare Borgia. Another hand seems to have finished the lamb which he had perhaps only sketched in; the landscape, St Anne, the Virgin and the Child Christ are the work of Leonardo himself. The paint is applied thinly, it is limpid and transparent, so that in some places the underlying sketch is visible. This has become apparent since the very dark varnish was lightened and some overpainting removed in 1953.
Mona Lisa = La Gioconda (1505, 77x53cm) _ After the fall of his patron in 1499, Leonardo left Milan to find employment. In April 1500 he stopped in Florence, before working in Central Italy as a mapmaker and military engineer for Cesare Borgia.Traveling back to Florence in 1503, Da Vinci completed several significant projects including the "Mona Lisa." The Mona Lisa, also known as La Gioconda, is a portrait of the wife of Francesco del Giocondo, painted by Leonardo da Vinci between 1503 and 1505. This figure of a woman, dressed in the Florentine fashion of her day and seated in a visionary, mountainous landscape, is a remarkable instance of Leonardo's sfumato technique of soft, heavily shaded modeling. The Mona Lisa's enigmatic expression, which seems both alluring and aloof, has given the portrait universal fame.
      Much has been written about this small masterpiece by Leonardo, and the gentle woman who is its subject has been adapted in turn as an aesthetic, philosophical and advertising symbol, entering eventually into the irreverent parodies of the Dada and Surrealist artists (e.g. L.H.O.O.Q. by Marcel Duchamp [1867-1968] see computer-law commentary) (Links to 43 commercial and artistic [?] adaptations of Mona Lisa). The history of the panel has been much discussed, although it remains in part uncertain. According to Vasari, the subject is a young Florentine woman, Monna (or Mona) Lisa, who in 1495 married the well-known figure, Francesco del Giocondo, and thus came to be known as La Gioconda. The work should probably be dated during Leonardo's second Florentine period, that is between 1503 and 1505. Leonardo himself loved the portrait, so much so that he always carried it with him until eventually in France it was sold to François I, either by Leonardo or by Melzi.
      From the beginning it was greatly admired and much copied, and it came to be considered the prototype of the Renaissance portrait. It became even more famous in 1911, when it was stolen from the Salon Carré in the Louvre, being rediscovered in a hotel in Florence two years later. It is difficult to discuss such a work briefly because of the complex stylistic motifs which are part of it. In the essay On the perfect beauty of a woman, by the 16th-century writer Firenzuola, we learn that the slight opening of the lips at the corners of the mouth was considered in that period a sign of elegance. Thus Mona Lisa has that slight smile which enters into the gentle, delicate atmosphere pervading the whole painting. To achieve this effect, Leonardo uses the sfumato technique, a gradual dissolving of the forms themselves, continuous interaction between light and shade and an uncertain sense of the time of day.

— Writings by LEONARDO ONLINE: Aforismi, novelle e profezie (zipped)

15 avril 1452  
Naissance de Leonardo di ser Piero da Vinci, dit Léonard de Vinci

Est-il un peintre, un ingénieur, un inventeur ou un philosophe ?
      Né en 1452 dans un petit village de Toscane appelé Vinci, d'où son nom, Léonardo da Vinci était le fils illégitime du notaire du lieu et d'une de ses servantes, Catarina Vacca. Les témoignages sur son physique et sa personnalité diffèrent d'autant plus que la légende s'est installée très tôt dans les récits de sa biographie. On le décrit parfois comme un colosse à la force prodigieuse, capable de tordre un fer à cheval dans ses mains, et souvent comme un jeune adolescent, efféminé et rêveur. On nous le montre tantôt comme un homme aimant les exercices physiques et les sports violents, tantôt comme un adolescent jouant de la lyre et chantant à la perfection. Ses qualités artistiques durent cependant apparaître dès son enfance, puisqu'en 1469, à l'âge de 17 ans, il se trouve déjà depuis trois ans dans l'atelier du peintre et sculpteur florentin, Andrea Verrochio (1435-1488). Dans l'atelier de cet artiste célèbre, aux côtés d'autres peintres importants comme Sandro Botticelli ou Pérugin, il apprend durant treize ans la technique de la peinture et les secrets de l'exécution d'un tableau. Il s'initie également aux disciplines, considérées alors comme indispensables à un créateur : les mathématiques, la perspective, la géométrie et, d'une manière générale, toutes les sciences d'observation et d'étude du milieu naturel. Il s'initie également à l'architecture et à la sculpture.
     Lorsque sa formation fut achevée, il débute sa carrière de peintre par des portraits et des tableaux religieux, grâce à des commandes passées par des notables ou des monastères de Florence. Mais, dès cette époque, il est très difficile -et cela se poursuivra durant toute sa carrière- de savoir avec certitude s'il se considère lui-même comme un peintre, un artiste pluridisciplinaire ou un ingénieur. Les limites entre les métiers ne sont pas alors figées comme aujourd'hui et un homme de talent peut aisément passer d'une fonction à une autre. Alors protégé par le personnnage le plus influent de Florence, Laurent de Médicis, surnommé le Magnifique, homme politique et mécène richissime, qui lui attire de nombreux clients, il est envoyé par ce dernier en 1482 à Milan, afin de servir le duc Sforza. A cette occasion, il écrit au duc de Milan une lettre étonnante, un véritable curriculum vitae, dans lequel il révèle ses ambitions d'ingénieur, d'inventeur et également d'homme de guerre : "Je peux construire des ponts très légers, solides, robustes, facilement transportables, pour poursuivre et, quelquefois fuir l'ennemi [...] J'ai également des moyens pour faire des bombardes, très commodes et faciles à transporter, qui lancent de la pierraille presque comme la tempête, terrorisant l'ennemi par leur fumée [...] En temps de paix, je crois pouvoir donner aussi entière satisfaction que quiconque, soit en architecture, pour la construction d'édifices publics et privés, soit pour conduire l'eau d'un endroit à un autre".
     Plus tard, il mettra ses talents d'ingénieur au service des villes de Pise et de Venise, des souverains de Mantoue, la famille d'Este, et, bien sûr, du roi de France, François 1er, qui l'invitera à venir travailler dans la vallée de la Loire, où le monarque réside alors. Cette rare qualité d'aborder avec talent toutes les disciplines -il sera de son vivant davantage célèbre comme ingénieur hydraulique que comme peintre !- a étonné tous ses contemporains, ainsi que son insatiable curiosité qui lui fit étudier sans se lasser tous les phénomènes naturels : "D'où vient l'urine ? D'où vient le lait ? Comment la nourriture se distribue dans les veines ? D'où vient l'ébriété ? D'où le vommissement ? D'où la gravelle et la pierre ? [...] D'où viennent les larmes ?", confie-t-il aux pages de ses carnets d'études dans une quête constante de réponses à toutes les questions envisageables. Sa connaissance parfaite de l'anatomie, des effets de la lumière et des combinaisons chimiques les plus complexes a évidemment guidé sa carrière de peintre et, dès ses premiers chefs-d'oeuvre -la Vierge aux rochers (Paris, musée du Louvre), commencée en 1483, la Cène (Milan, couvent Sainte-Marie-des-Grâces), qu'il exécute en 1493, ou la Bataille d'Anghiari (tableau disparu) dont il obtient la commande en 1503 après une lutte acharnée avec Michel-Ange-, il montre à quel point ses connaissances scientifiques et technologiques enrichissent l'exécution de ses tableaux.
     Même si ses essais techniques en peinture ne rencontrèrent pas toujours le succès -la Cène et la Bataille d'Anghiari furent ainsi ruinées par des innovations picturales mal maîtrisées, qui lui attirèrent le mépris et les quolibets de certains professionnels-, Léonard de Vinci fut célèbre pour le niveau de perfection inégalée de ses portraits et de certains de ses tableaux religieux, comme Sainte Anne, la Vierge et l'Enfant Jésus (Paris, musée du Louvre).
La technique parfaite de la Joconde
     En effet, la recherche de la perfection est une véritable obsession pour Léonard de Vinci : "Dites-moi, dites-moi, a-t-on jamais terminé quoi que ce soit ?", gémit-il dans ses carnets, dans lesquels il insiste fréquemment sur son désir d'égaler la perfection de la création divine dans ses propres créations artistiques.
     Peinte sur un mince support en bois de peuplier, demeuré très fragile -ce qui explique qu'elle soit aujourd'hui conservée dans une vitrine-, la Joconde est une réalisation exemplaire, grâce aux effets subtils de la lumière sur les chairs et au brio du paysage situé à l'arrière-plan du tableau. Le modelé du visage est étonnamment réaliste. Léonard a exécuté ce tableau avec patience et virtuosité : après avoir préparé son panneau de bois avec plusieurs couches d'enduits, il a d'abord dessiné son motif directement sur le tableau lui-même, avant de le peindre à l'huile, additionnée d'essence très diluée, ce qui lui permet de poser d'innombrables couches de couleurs transparentes -que l'on appelle des glacis- et de revenir indéfiniment sur le modelé du visage. Ces glacis, savamment travaillés, mettant en valeur les effets d'ombre et de lumière sur le visage, constituent ce que Léonard lui-même appelle le "sfumato". Cette technique permet une imitation parfaite des chairs, grâce à un traitement raffiné de la figure humaine plongée dans une demi-obscurité -le clair-obscur-, ce qui permet à Léonard de satisfaire ses préoccupations de réalisme.
     De son vivant, Léonard fut en effet surtout célèbre pour ses capacités évidentes à imiter la nature à la perfection et lorsque son premier biographe, le peintre Vasari a décrit la Joconde, il insistait surtout sur le réalisme de cette oeuvre : "Ses yeux limpides avaient l'éclat de la vie : cernés de nuances rougeâtres et plombées, ils étaient bordés de cils dont le rendu suppose la plus grande délicatesse. Les sourcils avec leur implantation par endroits plus épaisse ou plus rare suivant la disposition des pores, ne pouvaient être plus vrais. Le nez, aux ravissantes narines roses et délicates, étaient la vie même. [...] Au creux de la gorge, le spectateur attentif saisissait le battement des veines." D'autre part, grâce au "sfumato", Léonard peut atteindre un de ses objectifs artistiques prioritaires, en s'intéressant en priorité à la personnalité de son modèle : "Le bon peintre a essentiellement deux choses à représenter : le personnage et l'état de son esprit", disait Léonard. Peindre l'âme plutôt que le physique est en effet la finalité ultime de son oeuvre et le "sfumato", éclairage du portrait par le clair-obscur, accentue de fait les mystères d'une oeuvre : "plonger les choses dans la lumière, c'est les plonger dans l'infini".
Died on a 15 April:

1942  José Moreno Carbonero, Spanish painter.

1906  Manuel Domínguez-Sánchez, Spanish painter.

1901 Juan Manuel Blanes, Uruguayan painter and draftsman born on 08 June 1830 in Montevideo. He came from a humble background and as a child suffered the separation of his parents, a disrupted schooling, poverty and the social upheavals of Montevideo under siege by General Manuel Oribe during Uruguay’s Guerra Grande of 1839–1851. From an early age he showed talent as a draftsman, making life drawings and oil paintings while working as a typographer for El defensor de la independencia americana, a daily newspaper run by the besieging army.

1876 Theude Grönland, German artist born on 31 August 1817.

1776 (17 Apr?) Balthasar Beschey, Antwerp Flemish painter and art dealer baptized as an infant on 20 November 1708. Beschey was taught by Peter Strick; he joined the Guild of Saint Luke in Antwerp in 1753 and was elected its dean for the financial year 1755–1756. In 1754 he was made director of the Antwerp academy, which then had no fewer than five of the Beschey family among its members. Using his influential position at the academy, Beschey sought to revive traditional practices through the study of Rubens. Among his students were Pierre Joseph Verhagen, Guillaume-Jacques Herreyns, and Andries Cornelis Lens.

^ 1700 Giovanni Maria Viani, Bolognese artist born on 11 September 1636. — Father of Domenico Maria Viani [11 Dec 1668 – 01 Oct 1711] — Ancestor? of sculptor Alberto Viani [26 Mar 1906 – 1989]? — Giovanni Maria Viani was a student of Flaminio Torri, and his first paintings (about 1650) suggest the art of Reni, absorbed through a study of Cantarini. Under the influence of Lorenzo Pasinelli, a colleague of Viani in Torri’s workshop, his forms gained solidity, but the mood of his paintings remained elegiac. This development is evident in two works in the Santuario della Madonna di San Luca in Bologna: Mary Magdalene and the altarpiece of Saint Pius V with the Polish Ambassador, which was probably painted in the same early period. The first documents relating to the artist and his first securely attributed works come from 1677: Saint Roch and the four frescoed lunettes in the portico of S Maria dei Servi, representing miraculous episodes of the life of Saint Filippo Benizi: Preaching to the Council of Lyon, Healing of the Sick, Succored by Angels in the Desert and Ascending to Heaven. The canvas of Saint Benedict with the Peasants (1689) is a copy of the lost fresco painted by Reni in the cloister of the same church. It forms a pair with Saint Bernard Tolomei Restores a Builder to Life (1693). One of Viani’s most interesting pictures is Diana and Endymion (1685), which shows a refined handling of color. In the 1690s he produced Saint Andrew, a work that demonstrates his individual interpretation of the Carracci school. His latest dated works are the two large ovals depicting The Virgin Appearing to Saint Ignatius and Christ Appearing to Saint Ignatius (1696).

Born on a 15 April:

1940  Cristóbal Toral Ruiz, Spanish painter.

1886 Amédée Ozenfant, French painter, writer, and teacher, who died on 04 May 1966. — {Est-ce que ce qui plaisait Ozenfant plaisait aux enfants? Au moins aux enfants Ozenfant?} — Born into a bourgeois family, he studied at Dominican colleges, first Saint-Elme d’Arcachon and then Captier in Saint-Sébastien. Following his studies, he returned to his native Saint-Quentin, where he began to paint in watercolors and pastels. In 1904 he enrolled in the drawing course taught by Jules-Alexandre Patrouillard Degrave at the Ecole Municipale de Dessin Quentin Delatour in Saint-Quentin. By 1905 he was producing plein-air paintings in oil. In the same year he travelled to Paris, where he studied the decorative arts, first under the French painter Maurice Verneuil [1869–] and then under Charles Cottet. — Among Ozenfant's students were Richard Artschwager, Leonora Carrington [06 Apr 1917~], Araceli Gilbert, Robert Goodnough, Florence Henri, sculptor George Rickey [06 Jun 1907~].

1865 Olga Boznanska, Polish painter who died on 26 October 1940. — [Don't look for a Boznanska bonanza on the Internet: I found no example of her artwork, polished as it may have been.] — Born in Kraków, she took drawing lessons at home from the age of nine and began regular studies in 1883 under the portrait painter Kazimierz Pochwalski [1855–1940]. She continued her training in 1884–1885 at the Adam Baraniecki School of Art, the only school in Kraków accepting women at that time. She went to Munich for further study, working in the studio of Carl Kricheldorf [1863–] in 1886–1887, and in that of Wilhelm Dürr [1857–1900] in 1888. In 1889 she participated in the Internationale Kunstausstellung in Munich and opened her own studio, which over the next decade became a meeting-place for students. In 1895 she ran a private school of painting founded by Professor Theodor Humml [1864–1939]. However, she declined the headship of a department for young women at the School of Fine Arts in Kraków. In 1898 she settled in Paris, where she lived until her death.

^ 1860 Edward Arthur Walton, British painter who died on 18 March 1922. He was trained at the Staatliche Kunstakademie in Düsseldorf (1876–1877) and Glasgow School of Art. One of the Glasgow Boys, he painted outdoors in the Trossachs and at Crowland, Lincs, with James Guthrie, Joseph Crawhall, and George Henry. He also painted in W. Y. Macgregor’s life studio in Glasgow. He joined the New English Art Club in 1887 and developed an atmospheric landscape style influenced by plein-air painting and by James McNeill Whistler with whom he was friendly during his stay in London (1894–1904); Autumn Sunshine (1884) is characteristic. Walton was a regular exhibitor from 1880 in both Glasgow, at the Institute of the Fine Arts, and Edinburgh, at the Royal Scottish Academy. He was elected an Associate of the Academy in 1889 and a full member in 1905, taking an active role in its affairs after moving to Edinburgh in 1904. He concentrated after c. 1885 on pastel and on watercolour, which he used notably in his Helensburgh and Kensington scenes of contemporary life. From 1915 he served as President of the Royal Scottish Water Colour Society. Oil was reserved largely for portraits in a Whistlerian style, such as The Artist’s Mother (1885). Such portraits became his chief source of income. During the late 1880s and 1890s he painted murals for the main building of the Glasgow International Exhibition of 1888 and various other buildings in the city. His only surviving decoration is Glasgow Fair in the Fifteenth Century (1899–1901). — Berwickshire Field-workers (1884, 91x61cm)

^ 1832 Wilhelm Busch, German draftsman, painter, and writer, who died on 09 January 1908. [He did not mind people beating around the bush, as long as they didn't beat up the Busch.] — A grocer’s son and the first of seven children, he enrolled at the Polytechnische Schule in Hannover to train (1847–51) as an engineer but, while there, decided to become an artist. In 1851 he transferred to the Akademie in Düsseldorf where he remained for a year, attending elementary classes in life drawing with Carl Ferdinand Sohn and studying proportion and anatomy with Heinrich Anton Mücke [1806-1891]. In May 1852 he moved to the less severely doctrinaire Academy in Antwerp, but the obsessive concern for precision of his tutor, the genre painter Joseph-Laurent Dyckmans [1811-1888], did not appeal to him. As he conceded in 1886 in his autobiography, Was mich betrifft, he was assailed by doubts about his talent as a painter, not because of the demands of an academic training but because of the apparently unsurpassable example of Frans Hals and other Old Masters whose works he had studied in the Koninklijk Museum in Antwerp. During this period Busch produced several studies of heads in oils on cardboard that were freer in execution than his work in Düsseldorf, for example Portrait of a Young Man (1852), as well as drawings of views of Antwerp. In May 1853, after an attack of typhoid, he returned home to Wiedensahl, where he lived for the next 18 months, collecting legends and fairy tales of the Weser region and making drawings of gravestones and antiques in the area for a scholar in Berlin. He also painted oil studies of peasants in Bückeburg and portraits of members of his family, for example Domestic Studies: Otto Busch Reading (1854)

^ 1812 Pierre Etienne-Théodore Rousseau, in Paris, French painter, specialized in landscapes, who died on 22 December 1867 in Barbizon. He was considered the leader of the Romantic-Naturalist artists of the Barbizon School, but he also had the unhappy distinction of being known as ‘le grand refusé’, because of his systematic exclusion from the Paris Salon between 1836 and 1841 and his abstention between 1842 and 1849. — LINKSAutomne à Saint-Jean-de-Paris, Forêt de Fontainebleau (1846, 65x55cm; 2182x1832pix; 2583kb) — La Forêt (1842, 91x73cm; 1/3 size _ ZOOM to 2/3 size) — Landscape (boat in foreground) (100x81cm; 3/8 size _ ZOOM to 3/4 size) — Landscape (33x41cm; 4/5 size)

1712 Jan Antoon Garemijn (or Garemyn), Bruges Flemish painter and draftsman who died on 23 June 1799. He was apprenticed to Roch Aerts [–1739], continued his training at the Bruges Académie and later studied under Louis Roose [1701–1765] and the sculptor Hendrik Pulinx. However, his characteristic style, evident from 1730, owed most to Jacob Beernaert. Matthias de Visch [1702–1765], whom he succeeded as director of the Académie, introduced Garemijn to the graceful Italian style and to the mannered drawing-room scenes typical of the French masters Antoine Watteau [bap. 10 Oct 1684 – 18 Jul 1721] and François Boucher [29 Sep 1703 – 30 May 1770].

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