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ART “4” “2”-DAY  26 January
^ Born on 26 January 1582: Giovanni Lanfranco (or Lanfranchi) di Stefano, Italian Baroque painter who died on 30 November 1647. He studied under Agostino Carracci in Parma and worked in Rome and Naples. His main rival was Domenichino.
— Lanfranco was born near Parma, where he was a student of Agostino Carracci, and was also much influenced by the domes by Correggio. He was in Rome in 1612, and about 1616 decorated the ceiling of the Casino Borghese in a manner derived entirely from the Farnese Gallery. He developed Correggio's sotto in sù type of illusionism to an extravagant point, and painted several domes and apses in Roman and Neapolitan churches in this manner. To him Domenichino lost part of the commission for the decoration of San Andrea della Valle in Rome, a slight he resented so bitterly that - so the story goes - he weakened part of the scaffolding, hoping that Lanfranco would break his neck. Lanfranco completed the dome with an Assumption, Correggiesque in inspiration, between 1625 and 1627, and such was its success that he was then employed at Saint Peter's until 1631.
      From 1633 or 1634 to 1646 he was in Naples, and in 1641-1643 painted the dome of the San Gennaro chapel in the Cathedral, which by its more up-to-date illusionism and greater showiness appealed far more to local tastes than Domenichino's works there. His dome is based on Correggio's type of illusionism and replaces one actually begun by Domenichino. He died in Rome, where his last work was the apse of San Carlo ai Catinari.

Hagar in the Wilderness (138x159cm) _ Sarah, Abraham's childless wife, brought her Egyptian maid Hagar to him so that he would produce an heir with her. However, when she herself bore Isaac, she demanded of her husband: "Cast out this bondwoman and her son: for the son of this bondwoman shall not be heir with my son, even with Isaac." (Genesis 21:10) Hagar and Ismael wandered in the wilderness, dying of thirst. Yet God heard the lamentations of the mother and sent her an angel who showed her the way to a spring and prophesied that her son would be the founder of a great nation.
      In the painting, Hagar, who has been crying, is just lifting her head to look up at the angel in astonishment; her child, half hidden behind her shoulder, is also looking up incredulously at the kindly angel who has taken Hagar by the arm and is showing her the way to the water. It is the handling of color, in particular, that highlights the unexpected aspect of the occurrence so clearly: against the gloomy brown of the wasteland, the sumptuous red and midnight-blue of Hagar's robes radiate like a lamentation of pathos. Her pale, exhausted face is turned towards the shining figure of the angel that seems to have brought light with it. Light bathes the figure, and radiates from the angel towards Hagar, rising in a pale cloud behind the angel and inflaming the orange of his hair and robe.
Miracle of the Bread and Fish (1623, 229x426cm)
Coronation of the Virgin with St. Augustine and St. William of Aquitaine
Banquet with a Gladiatorial Contest (1638)
Erminia tra i pastori (146x196) _ Della tela esistono altre due versioni autografe. Il soggetto è tratto dalla Gerusalemme Liberata di Torquato Tasso: figlia di un re saraceno, Erminia crede che il suo innamorato, il cristiano Tancredi, sia ferito; mentre lo cerca, rivestita con un'armatura, incontra un pastore che le rivela le gioie della vita umile e pacifica. Allievo di Annibale Carracci e attivo in particolare a Roma e a Napoli, l'artista è uno dei principali interpreti del gusto pittorico barocco.
Gesù servito dagli angeli (1605) _ Annibale Carracci, ammalatosi, suggerì per la decorazione del Camerino degli Eremiti - uno dei cinque presenti nel Palazzetto di via Giulia direttamente collegato con quello Farnese tramite un arco - il nome de giovane Lanfranco, suo collaboratore nella precedente impresa della Galleria. Il Gesù servito dagli angeli, con altri nove dipinti che lo circondavano, decorava dunque il soffitto del camerino, prima opera autonoma dell'artista che già dimostra, con l'adozione della prospettiva aerea e di una grande libertà nella definizione degli spazi e nell'uso della luce, una sua personalità, distinta da quella del maestro. Intorno alla metà del seicento il soffitto del camerino fu smembrato ed i quadri, forse sostituiti in loco da copie non ancora rintracciate, trasferiti a Parma.
^ Died on 26 January 1824: Jean Louis André Théodore Géricault, French Romantic painter born on 26 September 1791.
— Painter who exerted a seminal influence on the development of Romantic art in France. Géricault was a fashionable dandy and an avid horseman whose dramatic paintings reflect his colorful, energetic, and somewhat morbid personality.
— Théodore Géricault’s daring personality coupled with his tragically short life fit the mold for the Romantic artists of his era. After only three years of studio classes, most of his artistic training came from traveling to the Louvre and eventually to Rome, where he found inspiration in the master works of Rubens and Michelangelo. Géricault was intrigued by big cats and often used them in compositions to suggest the untamable power of nature, a recurrent theme in French romanticism. His dramatic and controversial paintings profoundly influenced nineteenth-century art. Géricault died in 1824, at the age of 32, after a prolonged illness caused by a riding accident. Because Géricault died at such a young age, his works are quite rare. Most of his work is in the Louvre and there are only the twenty-one Géricault images in American Museums, including Two Lions, After Peter Paul Rubens (1825) at the National Museum of Wildlife Art.
— Jean Louis André Théodore Géricault was a French painter, perhaps the most influential artist of his time, and a seminal figure of the 19th-century romantic movement in art.
      Géricault, born into a wealthy Rouen family, studied with the French painters Carle Vernet and Pierre Guérin and also went to Italy to study from 1816 to 1817. He was greatly influenced by the work of Michelangelo and other Italian Renaissance painters, as well as that of the Flemish master Peter Paul Rubens. Early in his career, Géricault's paintings began to exhibit qualities that set him apart from such neoclassical French painters as Jacques-Louis David.
      Géricault soon became the acknowledged leader of the French romantics. His Charging Chasseur (1812) and Wounded Cuirassier (1814) display violent action, bold design, and dramatic color, and evoke powerful emotion. These characteristics appeared in heightened form in his immense and overpowering canvas Raft of the Medusa (1819), showing the dying survivors of a contemporary shipwreck. The painting's disturbing combination of idealized figures and realistically depicted agony, as well as its gigantic size and graphic detail, aroused a storm of controversy between neoclassical and romantic artists. Its depiction of a politically volatile scandal (the wreck was due to government mismanagement) also caused controversy.
      In 1820 Géricault went to England, where he painted his Race for the Derby at Epsom. At the time of his death, Géricault was engaged in painting a series of portraits of mental patients that demonstrate the preoccupation of the romantic artists with derangement and neurosis. Among his other works are a number of bronze statuettes, a superb series of lithographs, and hundreds of drawings and color sketches.
— Théodore Géricault grew up in the turbulent years of the French Revolution and Napoléon's reign. He studied with several fashionable artists, but the strongest impact on his work, aside from Goya, came from the influence of baron Jean-Antoine Gros [1771-1835], who had studied under David and who was a fundamental link between David and the new generation of French painters of the early nineteenth century. From Gros's canvases, especially those which make Napoléon the center of an emotional, almost mystical, glorification; Géricault drew much inspiration both for Romantic interpretation and for styles.
      Géricault, like Gros, Goya, and other artists, was interested in painting contemporary, topical events, not only as a depiction of that particular event, but also as an exploration of the passionate emotions and truths that underlay it. Often Géricault's searches yielded dark and previously unknown images. Fascinated by violence and horror, he made a series of bloodcurdling paintings of the decapitated heads of criminals. These he studied not in the scientific manner of a Leonardo da Vinci eager to learn the secrets of the human form, but for the awful nature of suffering and violent death, something he himself courted by riding dangerous horses and by a failed attempt at suicide.
      That Géricault found the irrational compelling is confirmed by another disturbing series, this time of mad men and women. Whereas Goya had portrayed the hallucinations to which a madman might be prone, Géricault intensively studied the faces of those who were actually insane. The fact that these disturbed and frightening creatures were now considered, like the severed heads, worth subjects for painting demonstrates a fundamental shift in the concept of what art was supposed to depict.
      It is impossible to conceive of David, the great Neo-classicist, painting such gruesome and, in the traditional view, such uninspiring and degrading subjects. Among the most remarkable paintings of Géricault's short and tempestuous life, these images explore various forms of madness. Beautifully painted, some of them reminiscent of the insightful portraits by the mature Rembrandt, the likenesses are both terrifying and pathetic. These are memorable likenesses - painted with a sober, tempered palette and a spontaneous, free, heavily loaded brush. These works have never been surpassed for their incisive exploration of the madness that Géricault thought of not as a sort of extraneous invasion of the soul but as something intrinsic to the human mind.
      Géricault's famous Raft of the Medusa revealed his abilities to plan out and complete a vast and ambitious history painting. The story of the raft was a topical subject and thus something that would have been disdained by many earlier painters. A notorious event, involving political corruption and scandal, since the incompetent captain owed his job to his allegiance to the French monarchy, it was the sort of horrific subject that interested Géricault and his contemporaries. Moreover, the ordeal of the victims involved a titanic struggle against the forces of nature, brilliantly shown in the painting by the immense, stormy sea, and the powerless occupants of the raft. The unequal struggle of man against nature was a theme that fascinated many of the best painters of the first half of the nineteenth century.
      Géricault's early death, caused by a fall from a horse at age 32, ended a brilliant and original career.

Equestrian Portrait of Charles V (1815; 46x38cm; full size 812kb — or see it half-size 217kb)
Siméon Bonnesoeur-Bourginière (1815, 40x33cm; 2/3 size, 839kb _ ZOOM to full size _ ZOOM++ not recommended to 7/5 oversize, 3483kb, except to those who think that long downloads are almost as much fun as watching paint dry and who have a psychotic urge to examine minutely the texture of the canvas and the tiny fly specks and white spots all over the paint surface.)
Horses'... er ... ahem ... rears (1886; 600x756pix _ ZOOM to 1400x1764pix) _ no, no, this is NOT a group portrait of twenty politicians: there are 23 of them. And they are literally “des derrières de chevaux”.
Le Radeau de la Méduse (1819, 491x716cm) _ détail _ Géricault was highly moved by the real-life drama Of 149 shipwrecked sailors from the frigate Méduse, abandoned for twelve days on a raft off the Senegalese coast. To illustrate it he chose the moment on 17 July 1816 when the 15 survivors were overcome with despair as the Argus, the ship that eventually was to rescue them, sailed off. This was the first time a contemporary news item had been made the subject for a painting on a large scale. The dark subject, matched by the coloring and the macabre though realistic depiction of the corpses, make what was a controversial exhibit of the 1819 Salon, the first epic example of Romanticism.
Le Radeau de la Méduse (première ébauche) (1819, 600x748pix _ ZOOM to 1400x1745pix)
Study for The Raft of the Medusa
The Burial of Christ (600x792pix _ ZOOM to 1400x1848pix)
— a more crowded The Burial of Christ (600x664pix _ ZOOM to 1400x1549pix)
— yet a different The Burial of Christ (600x428pix _ ZOOM to 1400x999pix)
Fou (1823) — Madwoman child murderer (1822) — Madwoman (1823)
Woman with gambling mania (1822) — Derby at Epsom (1820) — Têtes coupées
An Officer of the Imperial Horse Guards ChargingOfficer of the Imperial Guard
Officer of the Imperial GuardAn Italian Mountain Peasant (1817)
A Horse frightened by Lightning (1814, 49x60cm). This painting is probably an early work, and one of a number of paintings of horses made by the artist at the time. Many of these were studies for the painting exhibited by Géricault at the Salon of 1812, the Cavalry Officer which shows the influence of Rubens and Gros. While some of the studies are subdued in character, the distant storm and its effect on the horse add a note of drama into this painting.
Two Lions, after Peter Paul Rubens (1825) Géricault took the subject of this painting from Rubens’ cycle, Le Mariage d’Henri IV et Marie de Médici, a group of 27 monumental canvasses Rubens executed for the royal couple between 1627 and 1630. In Rubens’ picture, the lions are ridden by two cupid-like putti and harnessed to the triumphal chariot of the city of Lyons, while above them the royal couple are depicted as Juno and Jupiter, seated in the clouds. Géricault depicts the two male lions in a turbulent landscape. While Rubens had used these lions to pull a wedding carriage for royalty, Géricault liberated them and placed them in an imaginary landscape that glorifies their power and wildness. Géricault was a great admirer of Rubens and undoubtedly made studies for this painting when he saw the entire Rubens cycle on exhibit between 1802 and 1815. In this picture however, we see the French romanticist’s infatuation with wild creatures, particularly big cats, animals that symbolized the movement’s rebellion against society’s preoccupation with reason, civilization and classicism. Géricault extracted the lions from the festive marriage scene, liberated them from their harness and riders, and extolled them in a wild and moody landscape.
26 janvier 1824: mort de Théodore Géricault, 32 ans, un des tout grands de la peinture, l'auteur du Radeau de la Méduse. Il incarne l'artiste romantique. Sa vie courte et tourmentée a donné naissance à de nombreux mythes.
click to ZOOM IN      Né le 26 septembre 1791, dans une famille aisée de Rouen, Géricault étudia dans les ateliers des peintres Carle Vernet (où il fit la connaissance de son fils, Horace) et Pierre Guérin avant de s'inscrire en 1811, à l'École des beaux-arts de Paris. Après avoir échoué au concours du grand prix de Rome, il décida de partir pour l'Italie à ses propres frais. Il fut très impressionné par les peintres de la Renaissance italienne, en particulier Michel-Ange, ainsi que par le maître flamand Pierre Paul Rubens.
      Dès le début de sa carrière, Géricault témoigna de qualités qui le distinguaient nettement des peintres néoclassiques de l'école de Jacques Louis David : il choisit en effet de privilégier les thèmes de la vie quotidienne qu'il porta au rang de hauts faits héroïques. Chantre du désespoir et de la souffrance humaine, il devint rapidement le chef de file des peintres romantiques.
      Son Officier de chasseurs à cheval de la garde impériale chargeant (1812) et Le Cuirassier blessé (1814) relèvent déjà d'une composition audacieuse, et d'une véhémence de la touche et des couleurs que l'on retrouve de façon éclatante dans sa toile la plus célèbre, Le Radeau de la Méduse (1819).
      Cette œuvre, inspiré par un fait sordide de l'actualité politique montre les survivants du naufrage du navire La Méduse, entassés sur un radeau, à l'instant où un navire, visible dans le lointain, leur fait espérer le salut. La présence de figures directement inspirées des exercices académiques contraste singulièrement avec le réalisme dont l'artiste fait preuve dans l'expression de l'agonie. Ce parti pris (d'autant plus téméraire que la toile est de très grand format) et le choix du sujet (qui condamnait ouvertement la politique du gouvernement) déclenchèrent une vague de violentes polémiques. Ce tableau fut néanmoins très remarqué au Salon de 1819 et entra au Louvre dès 1824.
      D'avril 1820 à novembre 1821, Géricault voyagea en Angleterre où il peignit, entre autres, le Derby d'Epsom: à la fin de sa vie, il se consacra au thème du cheval, qui l'avait passionné dès le début de sa carrière. L'animal devint en effet le centre de sa mythologie personnelle, le messager des méditations du peintre sur la passion, la souffrance et la mort. Peu de temps avant sa mort Géricault avait commencé à peindre une série d'études de malades mentaux, les "fous", qui témoignent de l'intérêt porté par les artistes romantiques à l'expression de la névrose et de l'aliénation. Outre ses peintures à l'huile, il réalisa également des lithographies, des sculptures, rares mais remarquables, et des centaines de dessins.
^ Born on 26 January 1877: Cornelis Theodorus Maria Kees van Dongen, Dutch-born French Fauvist painter and printmaker who died on 28 May 1968. He was a member of Die Brücke.
— He took evening classes in geometric drawing from 1892 to 1897 at the Akademie voor Beeldende Kunsten in Rotterdam. In 1895 he began working intermittently for the newspaper Rotterdamsche Nieuwsblad, for which he made, among other things, a series of bright watercolor drawings of Rotterdam’s red-light district and illustrations of Queen Wilhelmina’s coronation. Van Dongen’s first paintings used dark tones in imitation of Rembrandt, who remained the most important model for his work; his later book on Rembrandt was, in fact, a projection of his own life. By the mid-1890s he was using more vivid contrasts of black and white, for example in Spotted Chimera (1895), his palette soon becoming brighter and his line more animated. In Le Muet Windmill (1896), a red ochre monochrome painting, he successfully enlivened the color by means of broad, energetic brushstrokes.
— From the moment van Dongen arrived in Paris in 1897, he immersed himself in the sensuality, rawness and vulgarity of the city's low-life haunts and avant-garde art. He was to become associated with two key modern movements,Fauvism and Expressionism , and yet always to remain essentially a figurative artist, with a febrile eroticism that gives his best paintings (including this one and his 1926 Portrait of Lily Damita, the Actress ) a spectacular bad taste. Modern art in Paris in the early 20th century is often thought of as being almost boringly tasteful, but this is a terrible misunderstanding. Artists flirted not just with popular subject matter but with popular art. From 1903 Van Dongen painted at the Moulin de la Galette dancehall. In 1904 he had an exhibition at the influential commercial gallery of Ambroise Vollard, and in 1905 he showed this painting in the Salon d'Automne, in the same exhibition that saw works by Matisse, Vlaminck and Derain sectioned off in Salle VII.
      Seeing a traditional sculpture uncomfortably situated in this room with its hotly colored paintings, the critic Louis Vauxcelles joked to Matisse (who was exhibiting his Open Window, Collioure) “Tiens! Donatello chez les fauves!”. The nickname stuck. And Salle VII got called “la cage”.

Portrait of a Young Woman (55x33cm) — Aux Folies Bergères (81x60cm)
Head of a Woman (1930, 33x26cm) — Woman with a fan (1920, 35x29cm)
Woman watching a steeplechase (59x40cm)
Le Coquelicot (1919, 55x46cm) _ not a flower but a woman with a big red hat.
Daniel KhanweilerFeranate OlivierGypsyIndian DancerProstitute
ParisienneRed DancerRotterdamLa Réussite (1901) — The Green Dress
Torso (1905) _ It is that of Augusta Prettinger, nicknamed Guus, who met her husband Kees van Dongen at the Rotterdam art academy in the 1890s. At the 1905 Salon, he showed two portraits of her, including this one.
      Prettinger's body is an inescapable and demanding fact. Her nipples are aligned with the centre of the canvas and her triangular raised arms mirror the broad curve of her hips to make a shape that defines and repeats the canvas. It is aggressively and gleefully modern — and a collaboration, with Guus performing this mythic sexual character, just as the US painter Georgia O'Keeffe would later pose for nude portrait photographs by her lover Alfred Stieglitz. The formalism of this painting — the way Guus is equated with the canvas, her body strongly yet crudely delineated, her anatomy becoming art — is a modern outrage, and the vacant, dark background emphasises this abstract quality. This is not a description of the body but a purely subjective, selfish concentration on erotic spectacle, exactly the kind of ruthless painting that made art modern in the 1900s.
      As its alternative title The Idol implies, this is a consciously mythological, you might even say religious, painting. The way Guus straddles the canvas is awe-inspiring, imperious. She demands worship. Her face is red, not just passionate but transfigured; her lips a scarlet fantasy, her deep crimson features almost mask-like, her eyes geometrical. She is a sexual goddess, a modern myth coined in the art of Paul Gauguin whose paintings in Tahiti in the 1890s see women as remote, adored, inexplicable.
      Van Dongen's painting is rougher and dirtier than the late-romantic Gauguin. It is rooted in the overt sexuality of Paris that, in 1907, would give birth to the definitive modern painting, Picasso's Les Demoiselles d'Avignon. Van Dongen's ecstatic portrait of his wife, with a frontal boldness that Picasso was to take to revolutionary extremes, reveals how deeply new art and new sexualities were intertwined at the beginning of the 20th century in Paris. Inspirations and influences: The guttural northern quality that makes this painting very different from a French nude attracted the German expressionists.

Died on a 26 January:

1914 Emmerich Alexius Swoboda von Wikingen, Austrian artist born on 17 July 1849.

1853 Johann Nepomuk Schödlberger, Austrian artist born in 1779.

1826 Victor Jean Nicolle, French artist born on 18 October 1754. — {Il n'est pas vrai qu'au sujet de formes d'art autres que la peinture, un contemporain ait dit: Nicolle ni nie ni affirme que Nicolle ni colle ni grave.}

^ 1752 Jean-François de Troy (or Detroy), French painter and tapestry designer born on 27 January 1679. — His successful career was based initially on large historical and allegorical compositions (Time Unveiling Truth, 1733), but he is now most highly regarded for his smaller and more spirited scenes of elegant social life. They are among the best of those that rode on the wave of Watteau's success - indeed The Alarm (1723) was attributed to Watteau in the 19th century.In 1738 he was appointed Director of the French Academy in Rome, and spent the rest of his life there. He was one of a family of painters, his father and teacher, François de Troy [1645-1730], being a successful painter of fashionable portraits and Director of the Academy in Paris. — LINKSLa Gouvernante Fidèle (1723) — A Hunting Meal (1737, 241x170cm)

Born on a 26 January:

^ 1908 Rupprecht Geiger, German painter and architect, son of Willi Geiger [17 Aug 1878 – 1971]. — {It is not true that their relatives, and others with the same surname whether traceably related or not, were so numerous that they were assigned a special census taker: the Geiger counter. Actually the Geiger counter is not a person but a device, and it would not have been used on members of that family, even if some of them had been had been broadcasters and might therefore have been considered radio-active. The Geiger counter was invented by physicist Hans Geiger [30 Sep 1882 – 24 Sep 1945], who is not known (by me at least) to be related to Rupprecht and Willi Geiger, nor to rabbi Abraham Geiger [24 May 1810 – 23 Oct 1874], meteorologist Rudolf Oskar Robert Williams Geiger [24 Aug 1894 – 22 Jan 1981], or sociologist Theodor Julius Geiger [09 Nov 1891 – 16 Jun 1952]} — Rupprecht Geiger first studied architecture under the neo-classicist Eduard Pfeiffer (1889–1929) at the Kunstgewerbeschule, Munich (1926–1929). He served an apprenticeship as a mason from 1930 to 1932, which was followed by a period of study at the Staatsbauschule in Munich (1933–1935). In 1940 Geiger was called up for military service. Self-taught, he started to paint in the Ukraine and in Greece, where he discovered the differing qualities of light and color that later became the sole subject-matter of his art. Although Geiger resumed work as an architect at the end of World War II, he took part in some of the first post-war exhibitions, including Extreme Kunst in the Schaezlerpalais in Augsburg, exhibiting such works as Surreal Landscape (Dream Picture with Abstract Forms) (1947). In the wake of these exhibitions and encouraged by John Anthony Thwaites, the British consul in Munich, a group of artists formed the Zen 49 group in 1949 with the object of promoting abstract art, although with no attendant ideological programme. Among the founder-members were Geiger, Willi Baumeister, Fritz Winter, Rolf Cavael, [1898–], Gerhard Fietz [1910–], Willi Hempel [1905–1985] and Brigitte Meier-Denninghoff (later Matschinsky-Denninghoff). At that time Geiger was working in complete isolation on abstract trapeziform canvases, for example E 53 (1948).

1857 Ferencz Eisenhut, Hungarian Austrian artist who died on 02 June 1903. — [Did he usually wear a helmet?]

1826 Julius Adam I, Munich German artist who died on 02 February 1874; son of Albrecht Adam [16 Apr 1786 – 28 Aug 1862]; and nephew of Heinrich Adam [1787–1862]; and brother of Franz Adam [1815–1886], Eugen Adam [1817–1880], and Benno Adam [1812–1892] whose grandson was Richard Benno Adam [05 Mar 1873 – 20 Jan 1937].

1684 Hendrik F. van Lint, Flemish artist who died on 23 September 1763.

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