ART 4 2-DAY 30 December
BIRTH: 1746 VINCENT
Died on 30 December 1917: Federico
(or Federigo) Zandomeneghi,
Italian painter born on 02 June 1841.
— His father Pietro and grandfather Luigi tried to interest him in the plastic arts, but from a very early age he showed a stronger inclination for painting. Zandomeneghi soon rebelled against their teachings, and by 1856 he was attending the Accademia di Belle Arti in Venice, studying under the painters Michelangelo Grigoletti [1801–1870] and Pompeo Molmenti [1819–1894]. As a Venetian he was born an Austrian subject, and, to escape conscription, he fled his city in 1859 and went to Pavia, where he enrolled at the university. In the following year he followed Garibaldi in the Expedition of the Thousand; afterwards, having been convicted of desertion and therefore unable to return to Venice, he went to Florence, where he remained from 1862 to 1866. This period was essential for his artistic development. In Tuscany he frequented the Florentine painters known as the Macchiaioli, with some of whom he took part in the Third Italian War of Independence (1866). Zandomeneghi formed a strong friendship with Telemaco Signorini and Diego Martelli, with whom he corresponded frequently for the rest of his life. In this period he painted the Palazzo Pretorio of Florence (1865), in which the building, represented in the historical–romantic tradition, is redeemed by a remarkable sense of air and light, elements derived from the Macchiaioli.
Zandomeneghi moved to Paris in 1874 and identified increasingly with the Impressionists. During the late 1870s, he frequented the Café de la Nouvelle-Athènes, and became closely acquainted with Camille Pissarro, Alfred Sisley, and Edgar Degas. At Degas's insistence Zandomeneghi participated in the Impressionist exhibitions of 1879, 1880, 1881 and 1886. The critic F. C. de Syène wrote in 1879 in L’Artiste ‘Zandomeneghi has completed a bold group of paintings that have fresh, opulent, and even tonality… He is a modern who will become a forefather.’ Zandomeneghi chose almost exclusively to portray the petites bourgeoises of Paris either in the privacy of their homes, on the boulevards of Paris, or in refined social settings.
— Photo of Zandomeneghi
— La Conversazione (1895, 55x46cm) — Fillette (46x29cm) — Young Girl Reading (39x46cm)
— Donna in Rosso (1873, 46x25cm; 2077x1000pix, 285kb)
— Reading by the Window (54x46cm; 932x804pix, 198kb)
— Portrait of a Young Beauty (45x38cm; 1000x783pix, 227kb)
— Donna in Nero su Fondo Rosso (524x441pix, 55kb) _ Il ritratto è semplice per composizione ed uso di campiture omogenee di colore, ma intenso per sguardo ed espressione della protagonista.
— Melle Jeanne (1901 drawing 33x20cm; 604x377pix, 60kb)
— Riflessione (428x511pix, 57kb) _ Questa è una opera significativa dell'artista veneziano. Emigrato a Parigi ed entrato in contatto con i pittori impressionisti francesi, alle cui mostre partecipa, Zadomeneghi ritrae l'universo femminile nei suoi propri ambienti quotidiani. La giovane signora nel salotto di casa adornato di sculture, con libri e giornali che la accompagnano in questo momento di riflessione, non può non richiamare alla mente la suggestione di una certa parte del mondo borghese, colto e appassionato d'arte.
— La Toilette (651x343pix, 70kb) _ Le movenze femminili colte in momenti di intimità e in gesti quotidiani sono tra i soggetti preferiti del veneziano Zandomeneghi, che trascorse la maggior parte della sua vita a Parigi a contatto dei pittori impressionisti, vicino in particolare ad Edgard Degas e precursore di Henri Toulouse-Lautrec.
— a very different, fully clothed La Toilette (1894 63x53cm; 480x399pix, 21kb)
— Place Blanche le matin (1911, 74x92cm; 960x1226pix, 95kb) _ The present painting is one of the artist’s finest works demonstrating a uniquely personal style which evolved from a harmonious and concrete vision of reality. La Place Blanche is a superb portrayal of ‘la vie moderne’, a study of a broad range of urban types going about their business, the fashionable young lady carrying a colorful bunch of flowers, the well-dressed gentleman in a top hat preoccupied with his newspaper, the flower sellers plying their trade and in the background a young delivery girl carrying a large hat box. In the middle distance, underneath the shade of the trees there is a glimpse of a horse and carriage and in complete contrast in the right foreground one of the first automobiles is just about to drive into the scene. The setting is La Place Blanche in Montmartre, the home of the famous Moulin Rouge, which is situated just to the right of this scene. It is so called because it was a used as a thoroughfare by the quarrymen of Montmartre and the dust from their heavy loads of plaster coated the buildings and pathways with a thick layer of white. Zandomeneghi’s studio was just around the corner in the rue Caulaincourt at the junction of the rue Tourlaque in an area popular with his fellow impressionists. Renoir and Toulouse Lautrec had studios nearby and, like Zandomeneghi they were inspired by the variety of people from all walks of life that inhabited the district. This area was famous for its nightlife, the Moulin de la Galette, located at the other end of the rue Lepic which bordered the square, was where Renoir painted Bal au Moulin de la Galette (1876, 131x176cm; 790x1073pix). The present scene is reminiscent of Renoir’s famous painting, it is peopled by men and women from similar walks of life and conveys the same relaxed, happy atmosphere in the shade of the trees in the center of the square. Movement is central to Renoir’s painting, and the characters in Zandomeneghi’s painting are equally animated, captured in one brief moment as they make their way through the streets of Montmartre.
Born on 30 December 1746: François~André Vincent,
painter, specialized in historical
subjects, who died on 03 August 1816.
— Vincent, son of the Genevan miniaturist François Elie Vincent, and student of Joseph-Marie Vien, was one of the principal innovators in French art of the late l8th century, particularly in the fields of neoclassicism and themes of national history. He won the Prix de Rome in 1768 and in the 1770s he fell under the strong influence of Fragonard, whom he met in Rome in 1774. From the 1780s onwards, his studio vied with David's and Jean-Baptiste Regnault's as the most popular in Paris. Unlike his archrival David, also a student of Vien, Vincent rejected frieze-like compositions for a more realistic approach to his subjects that drew inspiration from a wide variety of sources, ranging from Netherlandish to Bolognese art. Nevertheless David eventually overshadowed Vincent, who then abandoned the monumental history paintings which David had made his own, and turned increasingly to genre painting.
— Vincent's students included Horace Vernet and John Vanderlyn.
— Vincent became the lover of Adélaïde Labille-Guiard [1749-1803], whose first teacher had been his father. In 1800 he married her, becoming her second husband, and she painted his portrait (1800, 73x59cm; 882x809pix, 64kb — ZOOM to 2247x2024pix, 380kb).
La Leçon de Labourage (an VI = 1798, 213x313cm; 741x1128pix, 73kb — ZOOM to 1769x2819pix, 410kb) _ The upper part of the canvas was burnt in a fire on 07 December 1870. There are two preparatory drawings; three studies in paint also exist. The scene attests to the physiocratic ideas as found in Treatise on the Cultivation of the Land (1750) by the agronomist Henri Louis Duhamel du Monceau [bap. 20 Jul 1700 – 22 Aug 1782] and Rural Philosophy or General and Individual Economy of Agriculture (1764, 3 volumes) by the economist Mirabeau [1715-1789]. It may depict the family of the future Girondin member of the National Convention, François Bernard Boyer-Fonfrède [1766-1793], with his wife Marie-Anne, née Barrère, and their children Geneviève and Jean-François Bernard, who is having a ploughing lesson.
— L'Arrestation du Président Molé (1779; main detail 897x1147pix, 116kb — ZOOM TO FULL PICTURE 1795x1791pix, 351kb)
— Henri IV faisant entrer des vivres dans Paris (1783, 157x192cm; 611x768pix, 57kb) _ Assiégeant Paris en 1590, Henri IV décide, contre l'avis de ses généraux, de ravitailler la ville affamée. Cette toile est un carton de tapisserie pour la tenture de l'Histoire de Henri IV, commandée par le comte d'Angiviller. Elle témoigne de l'intérêt alors grandissant pour le passé national.
— Zeuxis choisissant pour modèles les plus belles filles de Crotone (1789, 323x415cm; 489x642pix, 57kb) _ The account of Zeuxis choosing his models is taken from Cicero, De Inventione, II, I, I, with a shorter description in Pliny the Elder, Natural History, XXXV, 36. Having been commissioned to paint a portrait of Helen of Troy for the Temple of Jupiter at Crotona, the famous Greek artist Zeuxis had to seek the most perfect characteristics from five of the greatest beauties of the city. Vincent has exhibited his own scholarship by incorporating items which are exclusively fifth century, while the image of Helen herself is drawn in outline as on a Greek vase painting. The Doric columns, the mixing bowl with its colonnettes and oil flask placed on the table beside the artist, the frieze derived from the sarcophagus of the Muses in the Albani collection in Rome, and Zeuxis's arm which seems to have been borrowed from the Apollo Belvedere, are all talismans of classical erudition and archaeological truth. Here Vincent seems to revive the seventeenth century idealistic vision of achieving perfection by selecting the most pleasing aspects from the natural world, but it seems that Vincent may be suggesting that at least one of the young beauties was rejected altogether. Why else would the girl in the foreground by weeping in the arms of another if she had been chosen to model? Thus, while otherwise following the narrative, the artist has distorted the story by introducing the human reality of sorrow and disappointment, albeit superficial, into a scene which would otherwise be without deep sentiment. Vincent's large painting, one of his most ambitious efforts, was enthusiastically received by the critics.
Died on 30 December 1788: Francesco
Zuccarelli, Florentine landscape painter born on 15 August 1702.
Zuccarelli worked principally in Venice and England. He met Richard Wilson in Venice in 1751 and they exchanged paintings; in 1752 he went to London and remained until 1762. He returned to London in 1765 and stayed until 1771, being elected a Founder-Member of the Royal Academy in 1768. His light and facile style of landscape painting, with picturesque peasantry, was very popular in England and was preferred to the graver style of Wilson. An example of Zuccarelli's work is his grand historical landscape, Cadmus Killing the Dragon (1765).
— Zuccarelli was one of the most highly acclaimed landscape painters of his day. He was considered in eighteenth-century Britain to be the most famous Italian painter then living. In addition to landscapes he also painted the occasional portrait and history picture. Born in Pitigliano, Italy, he received his early training in Florence, where he engraved the frescoes by Andrea del Sarto in SS Annunziata. He studied in Rome, under Paolo Anesi and Giovanni Maria Morandi. From about 1730 he was active in Venice, where he was extensively patronised by British travellers and became friendly with Richard Wilson in 1750-1751. He settled in London in October 1752, rapidly achieving great success with his Italianate landscapes. His work was frequently engraved. He designed a series of tapestries for Charles Wyndham, 2nd Earl of Egremont (1758). On 16 February 1762 he held a sale of his own work, which contained over seventy items. He announced his intention to return to Italy once all the works were sold, returning to Venice on 11 November 1762. He became a member of the Venetian Academy the following year, but in February 1765 returned to England, where he received at least one commission from George III, Finding of Moses (1768, Royal Collection). He became a founder member of the Royal Academy in 1768, exhibiting there 1769-71 and 1773. He also exhibited at the Free Society of Artists in 1765-1766, and 1782, and at the Society of Artists in 1767-1768. He returned to Venice in late 1771, and was elected President of the Venice Academy the following year. Shortly thereafter he retired to Florence, where he died.
Bacchanal (1750, 142x210cm) _ The Tuscan painter Francesco Zuccarelli came to Venice in 1732. He was familiar with trends in European painting, having visited London and Paris. His ideal pastoral landscapes are characterized by an arcadian grace in the use of color, by a harmonious rhythm of gesture, a softness of tone and a hazy atmosphere filling the spacious vistas. In the idyllic countryside, pastoral or mythological scenes are set against a brilliant green or water-side background. The paintings are sentimental, sometimes achieving a refined lyricism in keeping with the light-hearted ideals of the time.
The Abduction of Europa (1750, 142x208cm) _ Much loved by collectors, Zuccarelli specialized in painting luminous Arcadian landscapes. His Tuscan origins are suggested by the clarity and rationality of his compositions. The figures, drawn from classical myths, enhance the refined aristocratic quality of his paintings. _ detail
Women with Censers and a Man Addressing Them (etching 19x27cm; full size)
The Return of the Holy Family From Egypt (etching 33x20cm; full size)
— A Landscape with the Story of Cadmus Killing the Dragon (1765, 126x157cm) _ Zuccarelli's work is mostly light and decorative but he also attempted more serious historical themes with subjects selected from literature or, as in this case, classical mythology. The story of Cadmus is taken from Book III of Ovid's Metamorphoses. The hero, wearing a lion-skin and armed with a javelin, slays the dragon that had attacked his companions.Zuccarelli was a fashionble Italian painter who spent some sixteen years of his long and successful career in England. He had a great influence on British landscape painting and was responsible for persuading Richard Wilson to change from portraiture to landscape: his influence is to be seen in many of Wilson's compositions.
— Landscape with the Education of Bacchus (1774; 828x960pix, 109kb)
— Rustic Scene (500x701pix, 118kb)
Died on 30 December 1941: Lazar
Markovich Lisitskii “El Lissitzky”,
Russian painter born on 23 November 1890.
— El Lissitzky was born Lazar Markovich Lisitskii, in Pochinok, in the Russian province of Smolensk, and grew up in Vitebsk. He pursued architectural studies at the Technische Hochschule in Darmstadt, Germany, from 1909 to 1914, when the outbreak of World War I precipitated his return to Russia. In 1916, he received a diploma in engineering and architecture from the Riga Technological University.
Lissitzky and Kazimir Malevich [26 Feb 1878 – 15 May 1935] were invited by Marc Chagall to join the faculty of the Vitebsk Popular Art School in 1919; there Lissitzky taught architecture and graphics. That same year, he executed his first Proun (an acronym in Russian for “project for the affirmation of the new”) and formed part of the Unovis group. In 1920, he became a member of Inkhuk (Institute for Artistic Culture) in Moscow and designed his book Pro dva kvadrata. The following year, he taught at Vkhutemas with Vladimir Tatlin and joined the Constructivist group. The Constructivists exhibited at the Erste russische Kunstausstellung designed by Lissitzky at the Galerie van Diemen in Berlin in 1922. During this period he collaborated with Ilya Ehrenburg on the journal Veshch/Gegenstand/Objet.
In 1923, Lissitzky experimented with new typographic design for a book by Vladimir Mayakovski, Dlya golosa, and visited Hannover, where his work was shown under the auspices of the Kestner-Gesellschaft. Also in 1923, Lissitzky created his Proun environment for the Grosse Berliner Kunstausstellung and executed his lithographic suites Proun and Victory over the Sun (illustrating the opera by Alexei Kruchenykh and Mikhail Matiushin), before traveling to Switzerland for medical treatment. In 1924, he worked with Kurt Schwitters on the issue of the periodical Merz called “Nasci,” and with Arp on the book Die Kunstismen. The next year, he returned to Moscow to teach at Vkhutemas-Vkhutein, which he continued to do until 1930. During the mid-1920s, Lissitzky stopped painting in order to concentrate on the design of typography and exhibitions. He created a room for the Internationale Kunstausstellung in Dresden in 1926 and another at the Niedersächsisches Landesmuseum Hannover in 1927. He died at Schodnia, near Moscow.
Abstraction in Black and White (lithograph 36x35cm; half-size)
Proun 19D (1922, 97x97cm; 914x881pix, 132kb) — Proun G7 (1923, 77x62cm; 1013x816pix, 102kb)
Proun (1923; 1400x925pix, 182kb)
— Untitled (1920, 80x50cm) [loosely stacked multicolored rectangles] _ This painting reveals the principles of Suprematism that El Lissitzky absorbed under the influence of Kazimir Malevich in 1919–1920. Trained as an engineer and possessing a more pragmatic temperament than that of his mentor, Lissitzky soon became one of the leading exponents of Constructivism. In the 1920s, while living in Germany, he became an important influence on both the Dutch De Stijl group and the artists of the German Bauhaus.
Like Malevich, Lissitzky believed in a new art that rejected traditional pictorial structure, centralized compositional organization, mimesis, and perspectival consistency. In this work the ladder of vividly colored forms seems to be floating through indeterminate space. Spatial relationships are complicated by the veil of white color that divides these forms from the major gray diagonal. The linkage of elements is not attributable to a mysterious magnetic pull, as in Malevich’s untitled painting of ca. 1916, but is indicated in a literal way by the device of a connecting threadlike line. The winding line changes color as it passes through the various rectangles that may serve as metaphors for different cosmic planes.
— Entwurf zu Proun (1923, 21x30cm) _ Lissitzky was the Russian avant-garde’s unofficial emissary to the West, traveling and lecturing extensively on behalf of Russia’s modern artists who believed that abstraction was a harbinger of utopian social values. Basing himself in Berlin and Hanover in the 1920s, Lissitzky helped produce publications and organize exhibitions promoting both Russian and Western art that shared a common vision of aesthetics steeped in technology, mass production, and social transformation.
While Lissitzky was teaching architecture and graphic design at the Artistic Technical Institute in Vitebsk, his art shifted from figuration to geometric abstraction. Under the tutelage of Suprematist painter Kazimir Malevich, Lissitzky began a body of work he would later call Prouns (an acronym for “Project for the Affirmation of the New” in Russian). These nonobjective compositions broadened Malevich’s Suprematist credo of pure painting as spiritually transcendent into an interdisciplinary system of two-dimensional, architectonic forms rendered in painted collages, drawings, and prints, with both utopian and utilitarian aspirations. Blurring the distinctions between real and abstract space—a zone that Lissitzky called the “interchange station between painting and architecture”—the Prouns dwell upon the formal examination of transparency, opacity, color, shape, line, and materiality, which Lissitzky ultimately extended into three-dimensional installations that transformed our experience of conventional, gravity-based space. Occasionally endowed with cryptic titles reflecting an interest in science and mathematics, these works seem engineered rather than drawn by hand—further evidence of the artist’s growing conviction that art was above all rational rather than intuitive or emotional.
Proun (Entwurf zu Proun S.K.) is exemplary of Lissitzky’s unique enterprise. One of two studies for a larger oil painting, this composition uses different mediums to suggest a range of properties for the otherwise straightforward geometric forms, which become dynamic through their suspension within a precariously balanced visual field. Like all of the Prouns, this work is a highly refined object. Thus, while they parallel certain tenets of the Russian Constructivists, who used a similarly reductive visual vocabulary and sought to merge art and life through mass production and industry, Lissitzky’s Prouns lack the rough-hewn experimental nature of Contructivist objects, remaining more on the side of aesthetics than utility.