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ART “4” “2”-DAY  27 January
^ Died on 27 (26?) January 1747: Willem van Mieris, Leiden painter and draftsman born on 03 (02?) June 1662.
— Willem van Mieris was the younger son of Frans van Mieris the Elder [16 Apr 1635 – 12 Mar 1681]. Together with his brother Jan van Mieris [1660-1690] he continued his father's tradition. His paintings are similar to his father's, and his scrupulous attention to detail makes them fascinating. Willem's son and student Frans van Mieris the Younger [24 Dec 1689 – 22 Oct 1763] painted in a watered-down version of his grandfather's style.
— Willem van Mieris was trained by his father and probably contributed to several of his later works. It is almost certain, for example, that he finished his father’s signed painting of the Holy Family (1681). The earliest examples signed and dated by Willem himself are from 1682, after which there is a large oeuvre of dated works up to the 1730s, when he became partly blind. In 1693 he joined the Leiden Guild of Saint Luke, for which he served as headman several times and once as dean. Around 1694, with the painters Jacob Toorenvliet [1635–1719) and Karel de Moor, he founded a drawing academy in Leiden, which he and de Moor directed until 1736.

The Peepshow (1718; 1600x1346pix, 191kb)
The Death of Cleopatra (1694, 23x20cm; 1205x1000pix, 606kb)
The Greengrocer (1731, 40x34cm; 900x756pix, 138kb) — The Spinner
(1014x824pix, 131kb) — Portrait of a Widow (oval 17x15cm; 600x460pix, 55kb)
^ Born on 27 January 1630: Job Adriaenszoon Berckheyde, Dutch painter who died on 23 November 1693. — Job was the brother of Gerrit Adriaenszoon Berckheyde [06 Jun 1638 – 10 Jun 1698), his only known student. Job's work is similar to his brother's, it is also rarer and more varied, including genre and biblical scenes.
— Job Berckheyde was apprenticed on 02 November 1644 to Jacob Willemszoon de Wet, whose influence is apparent in his first dated canvas, Christ Preaching to the Children (1661), one of the few biblical scenes in his oeuvre. On 10 June 1653 he repaid a loan from the Haarlem Guild of Saint Luke, which he subsequently joined on 10 March 1654.
     During the 1650s the brothers Job and Gerrit made an extended trip to Germany along the Rhine, visiting Cologne, Bonn, Mannheim and finally Heidelberg. Whether this occurred before or after 1654, when Job became a master of the Guild of St Luke in Haarlem, is uncertain. According to legend, the brothers worked in Heidelberg for Charles Ludwig [–1680], Elector Palatine; however, their inability to adapt to court life led them to return to Haarlem, where Gerrit became a member of the Guild of Saint Luke on 27 July 1660. In Haarlem the Berckheyde brothers shared a house and perhaps a studio as well. The idea that Job was the superior artist and habitually contributed the figures to Gerrit’s architectural subjects has been discounted, but the degree of their mutual influence and involvement remains unclear. Confusion between them may have resulted from the similarity of their signatures, where Job’s j resembles Gerrit’s g. Job also signed his work with an H (for Hiob or Job) and with the monogram HB.
     During his stay in Heidelberg, Job painted portraits and hunting scenes at the court of the Elector Palatine, who rewarded him with a gold chain, perhaps the one he wears in his early Self-portrait (1655), his only documented work from the 1650s. Job is better known for his later work, which consists mainly of interior views of Saint Bavo’s church in Haarlem and simple genre scenes recalling those of his Haarlem contemporaries Adriaen van Ostade and Jan Steen.

The Baker probable self-portrait (1681; 775x591pix, 122kb) _ A specialist in city scapes, Berckheyde painted several pictures of bakery shops, which were popular as a subject for Dutch artists from around 1650. This inviting scene shows the baker blowing a horn to announce the morning's freshly baked bread. He is surrounded by a mouth-watering assortment of goods, including pretzels displayed on a specially designed wooden rack. The number of bakeries was considerable in seventeenth-century Holland, and like most merchants, bakers usually set up their operations in their own homes. Because their ovens were considered fire threats to adjacent property, they were often forced to live and do business in stone buildings, which probably explains Berckheyde's choice of architecture for The Baker. As for the model he selected, while an artist would have had no difficulty finding a real baker to pose, Berckheyde, it seems, painted himself in the role.
The Bakery Shop (670x561pix, 95kb)
Interior of the Groote Kerk, Haarlem (1676 100x88cm; 591x495pix, 46kb) _ Dutch artists of the 17th century tended to specialize in the depiction of two or three genres, thus assuring themselves market recognition. One of Berckheyde's specialties was architecture portrayed with great fidelity. The Church of Saint Bavo, the Great Church in the artist's hometown of Haarlem, is the subject of numerous such architectural portraits. The view down the aisle towards the ambulatory is enlivened by the play of light and shadow from the windows, which leads the viewers eyes into the distance. Although the architectural details are accurately described, the figures of the women in the church are proportionately too small: the artist has tricked the viewer into believing that the building is even bigger than it actually is.
Interior of the Saint Bavo Church at Haarlem (1665, 61x85cm; 770x1078pix, 148kb)
_ Compare Interior of the Church of Saint Bavo in Haarlem (1636; 1600x933pix) by Pieter Janszoon Saenredam.
^ Born on 27 January 1669: Gaspar de Crayer, Flemish painter and draftsman born on 18 November 1584. — {Do NOT pronounce his name “Gaspar the Cryer”}
— He was active in the southern Netherlands at the time when demand was high for decorative schemes embodying the tenets of the Counter-Reformation: altarpieces and other religious paintings form the largest part of his considerable oeuvre. To a significant extent he owes his reputation to the fact that he was one of the earliest and most consistent followers of Rubens, whose formal idiom he disseminated beyond Antwerp’s artistic circles.
— Gerard Seghers was a student of de Crayer.

Alexander and Diogenes (196x278cm) _ The meeting between the classical ruler Alexander the Great and the philosopher Diogenes had been illustrated in the 15th and 16th centuries but was also a popular subject in Italian and Netherlands Baroque painting. Diogenes replied to Alexander, the conqueror of the world, when he asked him if he wanted anything: "Stand a little less between me and the sun." The contrast between the youthful and beautiful hero and the beggarly old man whose life exemplified asceticism is exploited in the composition and use of colors. The message of the painting is the meaninglessness of earthly power when confronted with ethical principles. The Antwerp artist de Crayer later became court painter to the archduke in Brussels. This work, reflecting his dealing with forms and themes in the work of Rubens, is one of his best.
The Cardinal Infante (1639, 219x125cm) _ Crayer was a student and continuator of Rubens, also influenced by Van Dyck. He was the accredited painter for the churches of Brabant and Ghent.
Head Study of a Young Moor (40x33cm) _ Rubens' style was imitated by many 17th-century artists, who devoted themselves to large-scale ecclesiastical commissions. Gaspar de Crayer, a Brussels master who settled in Ghent in 1664, was one of the most talented members of this group. A series of his paintings can be seen in local churches. De Crayer's best work is marked by the grandeur of its composition. Although he lacked Rubens' drive, he made up for it somewhat with his refined modeling and soft palette, and never descended into the tedium of most Rubens imitators.
^ Born on 27 January 1824: Jozef Israëls, Dutch painter specialized in Landscapes, who died on 10 (12?) August 1911.
— He studied under Jan Adam Kruseman and Jan Willem Pieneman. He was, during his lifetime, the most internationally celebrated Dutch painter of the 19th century and a leader of the Hague School. He was particularly noted for his scenes of life among the Dutch fishing and peasant communities. He was the father of Isaac Lazarus Israëls [03 Feb 1865 – 07 Oct 1934].
— Descended from a poor Jewish family, Jozef Israëls started taking drawing lessons in 1835 at the Academy Minerva in Groningen. In 1842 he studied in Amsterdam under Jan Adam Kruseman [1804-1862] and took lessons at the Royal Academy from Jan Willem Pieneman [1779-1853]. Deeply moved by Scheffer's Gretchen, he went to Paris in 1845, working assiduously by entering the studio of François-Édouard Picot [1786-1868], copying Old Masters in the Louvre, and taking classes at the École des Beaux-Arts.
      In 1847 he returned to Amsterdam, and his Ophelia (1850), much indebted to Scheffer, established his reputation. In 1853 Israëls returned to Paris, finally met Scheffer, and visited Barbizon. Two years later, suffering from bad health, Israëls spent seven weeks in the coastal village of Zandvoort living in a carpenter's cabin. The life of the poor fishing community with which he became so familiar developed into the major theme in his art. The success of his Passing Mother's Grave (1856), a large work addressing the fateful life of a fisherman widower and his two children, encouraged the artist to abandon history painting.
      After a tremendously successful showing of Fishermen Carrying a Drowned Man (1861) at the 1861 Paris Salon and the 1862 London International Exhibition, his reputation was firmly established abroad. With the grandiose treatment that he applied to these works, Israëls introduced into Dutch art a realist style in emulation of Courbet. In 1863 he married Aleida Schaap, with whom he had a daughter, Mathilde Anna, and a son, Isaac, who would also become an established painter. In The Hague, where he moved in 1871, he eventually built a large studio where his models posed in his "fisherman's corner."
      Israëls was one of the leading members of De Haagse School, which included such artists as Johannes Bosboom [1817-1891], Jacob Maris [1837-1899], Matthijs Maris [1839-1917], Anton Mauve [1838-1888], Hendrik Willem Mesdag [1831-1915], and Jan Hendrik Weissenbruch [1824-1903]. In addition to fishermen scenes and portraits, he expanded his subject matter with peasant scenes, and later in his career he returned to the subject of death and old age, as well as treating Jewish and biblical themes. He traveled extensively and was much honored at home and abroad. Israëls was the most acclaimed Dutch painter in his time, eagerly sought after by collectors. Acclaimed as a second Rembrandt, he participated in many exhibitions, and his work was disseminated through reproductions. He died in Scheveningen.
Photo of Israëls

Interior of a HutAwaiting The Fisherman's Return (83x114cm)
Mending The Nets (42x56cm; 777x1000pix, 169kb)
Peasant Woman by a Hearth (47x36cm) — Peasant Family at Table (1882)
Fishermen carrying a Drowned Man (1861, 129x244 cm; 420x756pix, 41kb) _ This painting was probably painted in Amsterdam, and is based on sketches made by the artist on the coast at Zandvoort. It was exhibited at the Salon in 1861 and at the Royal Academy, London in the following year. The composition of the painting shows the influence of crowd scenes by Daumier, while its mood of sympathy for the trials of peasant life is redolent of Millet. Against a darkened sky the body of the drowned fisherman is carried along the foreshore by his companions. The figures seem small in relation to the expanse of sea and land, and those in the foreground, presumably the man's wife and children, appear weighed down with grief.
Warbler^ Died on 27 January 1851: John James Audubon, naturalist, ornithologist, and artist famous for his drawings and paintings of North American birds, such as this Blue Yellow Back Warbler [<<<], which he painted in 1812. He was born on 26 April 1785.

— John James Audubon was born in Les Cayes, Santo Domingo (now Haiti), the illegitimate son of French sea captain Jean Audubon and a servant, Jeanne Rabine. In 1789, a few years after the death of his mother, he was taken to France and raised by his father and stepmother. During a happy childhood at Coueron, near Nantes, he studied geography, fencing, and mathematics, but was most enthusiastic about exploring the out-of-doors and collecting and drawing birds' nests, eggs, and other curiosities. Audubon claimed to have studied with the French neo-classical painter Jacques-Louis David, but there is no documentation to support this.
      In 1803 he was sent to the US to operate Mill Grove, a farm near Philadelphia that his father had purchased in 1789. Through mismanagement and neglect Audubon lost the farm, thus beginning a long series of early commercial failures for the young man, who preferred to devote his time to shooting and sketching specimens rather than to overseeing his business interests. At Mill Grove, Audubon met Lucy Bakewell, whom he married in 1808. They moved to Louisville, Kentucky, then to Henderson, Kentucky, and in later years to New Orleans. Because he was often absent on collecting excursions, his wife worked as a governess and schoolteacher to support the family. In 1819 Audubon was briefly jailed for debt. About this time he began to earn a living making likenesses in chalk, which he continued to do until 1826. He also worked as a taxidermist in Cincinnati in 1820.
      Although he had met Alexander Wilson [1766-1813] in 1810 and had seen Wilson's great work American Ornithology, it was not until ten years later that Audubon arrived at the idea of publishing his own illustrations of birds and began collecting and drawing specifically toward that end. With his assistant Joseph Mason, a young artist specializing in plants and insects, he journeyed from Cincinnati to New Orleans and Natchez. In 1822 Audubon took lessons in oil painting from an itinerant artist named John Stein (or Steen). This is his only recorded training in this medium. He had been working primarily in pastels, but about this time he began increasingly to use watercolors. Audubon visited Philadelphia in 1824 and arranged to show his work at the Academy of Natural Sciences. He won no sponsorship in that city, however, because of his rough manner and the threat his project posed to the work of the favored Alexander Wilson.
      In 1826 Audubon turned to England to gain support for his venture. He found a warm and encouraging reception in Liverpool, where he showed his drawings and paintings at the Royal Institution. Gradually he gathered a group of subscribers and found an accomplished London engraving firm, Robert Havell & Son, thus enabling him to begin his project of creating large (double elephant folio) illustrations of American birds. Audubon traveled back and forth between the United States and England a number of times over the next several years to secure specimens and financing for his production. He was assisted by his sons John Woodhouse, who accompanied him on collecting trips, and Victor Gifford (1809-1860), who supervised the marketing and printing of the plates in London. The Birds of America was issued in 87 parts of 5 plates each and when completed in June 1838 contained 435 hand-colored engravings of 1065 birds of 489 species. Accustomed to seeing specimens shown simply, against a blank background, some naturalists objected to Audubon's use of dramatic poses and settings. Indeed, Audubon was sometimes guilty of endowing the creatures he depicted with almost human attitudes. Yet his attempt to position them as he thought they moved in the wild, using wire armatures to support the freshly-killed subjects, was truly revolutionary. Today The Birds of America engravings and the brilliant watercolors upon which they are based are admired not only for their ornithological exactness, but also for their vitality and keen sense of design.
      Even while Audubon was producing his visual record of American birds, he was documenting their characteristics and his own experiences in the wilderness in his Ornithological Biography, published in five volumes between 1831 and 1839. By this time he had become a celebrated figure in the United States, appearing in the press, lecturing to the public, and mingling with important people such as President Andrew Jackson. He was encouraged to undertake two new publications. The first was a version of The Birds of America comprised of reduced-size illustrations, lithographs rather than engravings, printed 1839 to 1843. The second was The Viviparous Quadrupeds of North America (printed 1845-1848), two volumes of handcolored lithographs based on watercolors by John James Audubon and his son John Woodhouse Audubon and accompanied by text written by their friend, the amateur naturalist, the Reverend John Bachman. Both of these efforts were very successful and allowed the artist to retire in comfort.
JJ Audubon portrayed by his son      Audubon's last nine years were spent at Minnie's Land, 14 hectares of property that he purchased on what is now upper Manhattan, facing the Hudson River. He died there.
[John James Audubon, by John Woodhouse Audubon, (112x91cm) >]
— Audubon was born in the French colony of Santo Domingo (now Haiti), the son of Captain Jean Audubon, a French sailor and adventurer, and one of his mistresses, Jeanne Rabine, a French chambermaid, who died six months later. Beginning at the age of three he was raised by his father and an indulgent stepmother in Nantes, France. Young Audubon acquired the graces of a country gentleman, received a bit of naval training, learned to love nature and wildlife, and began to draw.
      To escape conscription into Napoleon's army, Audubon was sent to the US in 1803 to oversee his father's farm, Mill Grove, in Montgomery County, 40 km northwest of Philadelphia. (The settlement near Mill Grove, once known as Shannonville, was christened Audubon in 1899.) Captain Audubon had purchased 115 hectares in 1789 as an investment, perhaps in the hope — albeit unfulfilled — that a lead mine on the property would prove lucrative. He never set foot on the land, but his son's stay, even though it lasted less than three years, was probably the happiest period of the young man's life and would prove pivotal to his career. The centerpiece of Mill Grove was-- and remains-- a substantial stone farm-house, built in 1762 by James Morgan, situated on a gentle slope above the wide Perkiomen Creek, a tributary of the Schuylkill River. Although basically a farm managed by a tenant farmer, the estate contained forest lands, a mill, and mineral deposits.
      With few responsibilities at Mill Grove, Audubon's life was carefree. "Hunting, fishing, drawing, and music," he wrote, "occupied my every moment," as did swimming and the local social life. The young dandy's grace as a dancer and prowess in ice skating were the talk of local residents. "Not a ball, a skating match, a house or a riding party took place without me," he recalled. At the time, Audubon later boasted, he possessed "erect stature" and "muscles of steel." Audubon quickly fell in love with the eastern Pennsylvania countryside and its animals, often roaming the woods and fields incongruously wearing satin breeches and silk stockings. He became an enthusiastic and skilled hunter, both for sport and for his art. He collected all kinds of wildlife specimens, which he both preserved and sketched in attic rooms at Mill Grove.
      In a little cave on the banks of the Perkiomen Creek, Audubon conducted the first bird banding in America. Tying silver threads to the legs of phoebes or pewees, he discovered that they returned during the spring migration-- just as they do to this very day. He also developed techniques for passing wires through freshly killed birds to fix them in characteristic poses on which he based his life-like sketches. He wrote that he had "shot the first Kingfisher I met," wired the body so that "there stood before me the real Kingfisher," and proceeded to execute "what I shall call my first drawing actually from nature." This innovative wiring process, on which he relied throughout his career, enabled Audubon to depict birds in animated and realistic postures, in contrast to the stiff and static images of his predecessors, who drew upon stuffed specimens.
      At the age of twenty, Audubon spent a year with his family in France, where he pictured birds in pastel. He also gained his father's approval to marry Lucy Bakewell, daughter of William Bakewell, an Englishman who owned Fatland Ford, an estate adjoining Mill Grove. After their marriage in 1808, Lucy Bakewell Audubon was a tower of strength, supporting her peripatetic husband in times of trouble and travail, remaining at home to raise their two sons, victor Gifford Audumon and John Woodhouse Audubon [1812-1862], and working intermittently as a teacher while he traveled about as portrait painter, music and fencing instructor and, eventually, painter of the birds of the US.
      "Immediately upon my landing" in the US in 1806, he later wrote, "prompted by an innate desire to acquire a thorough knowledge of the birds of this happy country," Audubon resolved to devote his spare time to drawing each US bird in "its natural size and coloring." Meanwhile, discouraged by disputes with partners and the failure of the lead mine on the property, Audubon sold Mill Grove and moved to Kentucky to seek his fortune as a frontier merchant. He was joined by his wife not long afterward.
      Audubon found the wonders of Kentucky so compelling that he often neglected his store. After several commercial ventures failed-- partly because he roamed the woods making sketches-- he faced bankruptcy in 1819. For a time he eked out a living as an itinerant portrait painter and worked briefly as a taxidermist in Cincinnati, Ohio. But at the age of thirty-five, John James Audubon decided to turn passion into profession, audaciously setting out to depict every bird in the US, with an eye to publishing the results. It was a remarkable undertaking for a newcomer with no formal art training, untutored in science, struggling with an unfamiliar language, having few friends, being husband and father, and possessing little money. Only a man of prodigious energy, ambition, determination, and patience, augmented with a knowledge of nature and artistic genius, could have matched his achievements.
      Audubon's house in Montgomery County, depicted by Thomas Birch's circa 1820 Mill Grove Farm, Perkiomen Creek, Pennsylvania. His bird portraits are prized for their realism.
      In the United States, Audubon's monumental project was preceded by the work of several bird illustrators, notably Scotsman Alexander Wilson [1766-1813]. Wilson settled in Kingsessing, on the outskirts of the City of Philadelphia, and enjoyed the encouragement of the city's influential scientific and intellectual community. A poet, self-trained artist, and naturalist, Wilson traveled widely, collecting specimens and making drawings but used stuffed birds as models. He and Audubon crossed paths twice: first at Audubon's store in Louisville, Kentucky, in 1810, a meeting which may have inspired Audubon to prepare his own books of bird images, and again in Philadelphia two years later.
      Alexander Wilson's pictures appeared in nine handsome volumes, American Ornithology, published between 1808 and 1814, with clear plates and accurate, but rigid and static likenesses, accompanied by graceful text. It was a considerable accomplishment for a man with few resources other than his own ability and enterprise, but it was soon eclipsed by Audubon's work.
      Launching his full-time pursuit of North America's birds in 1820, Audubon wanted knowledge of his subjects in their habitats. For two decades, in all kinds of weather and in all seasons, he roamed mountains and valleys, everglades and uplands, and lakes and rivers, from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico. He traveled the lengths of the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers and up the Missouri to Yellowstone. He explored the Atlantic coast from the Dry Tortugas to Labrador, and the Gulf coast from Florida to Texas. Working extremely long hours under trying conditions, he labored tirelessly on his great project.
      Because he was familiar with the activities of his subjects and used freshly killed birds wired in his unique manner, Audubon was able to capture the shapes, textures, plumage, colors, and typical positions of his birds more accurately than other artists. Many believe that, in spite of the advantages of photography and state-of-the-art technology, no modern bird painter has equaled his achievements. Skilled at depictions in pastel and pencil, Audubon gradually added to his repertoire a variety of techniques incorporating watercolor, gouache, and glazes. He often blended several media in one image to faithfully replicate the look of his subjects. Although collectively characterized as "watercolors," his mature works are much more. Background plants and landscapes for many of the bird portraits were painted by talented assistants who often accompanied him on his travels.
      The evolution of Audubon's art is unwittingly documented by Northern Goshawk and Cooper's Hawk, part of which was completed in 1809, part in 1830. The cooper's hawk in the lower right and the adult northern goshawk in the upper left, drawn early in the artist's career, appear in stiff profile, consistent with the stylized manner of Wilson and others. The lively pose of the immature goshawk perched at the top, created after several decades of firsthand observation, reflects Audubon's mature style. This bird was probably sketched in 1829 in Pennsylvania's Great Pine Swamp (now Penn Forest in Carbon County). Together, these likenesses show how, over the years, Audubon transformed his images from portraits of dead, stuffed specimens to vignettes of dynamic, animated birds.
      The first artist to portray birds consistently in life size, Audubon employed different formats for small songbirds than for larger hawks, owls, and shorebirds. He varied his approaches-- nearly a decade apart-- to portray the great American white pelican. His first version emphasized the bird's ungainly appearance on land with its short, thick legs, large feet, flattened body, and small head supporting a huge, broad bill. (The V~formation of pelicans soaring in the distance suggested their grace in flight.) Attracted to the species by its "gravity and stateliness," Audubon apparently concluded that this image was too undignified and never printed it. Instead, he executed a second version, a majestic profile, which accurately recorded the subtly different shades and textures of the pelican's plumage and anatomical structure. This image debuted in The Birds of America. Audubon chose distinctive backgrounds for depictions of the owl, a bird often sighted in Pennsylvania. He portrayed the great gray owl, head turned in characteristic pose, against a blank background, heightening the definition of the subject's monochromatic, brownish plumage. On the other hand, the brown, black, and white feathers of Audubon's snowy owls were juxtaposed dramatically against a dark, stormy twilight sky. Examining both in their original versions, executed in watercolor, graphite and pencil, a viewer can almost feel the texture of their plumage.
      Believing he had made sufficient progress on his project, Audubon in 1824 took his portfolio to Philadelphia, then the nation's intellectual, scientific, and publishing center, to seek not only financial support, but an engraver to copy his drawings and a publisher. Posturing as the penultimate "American Woodsman," Audubon dressed in buckskins and slicked his shoulder-length hair with bear grease and vigorously set out to promote his bird book.
      Some of Philadelphia's intelligentsia were put off by Audubon's unusual appearance and lack of academic credentials, but James Mease, a friend of his wife's family and curator of the American Philosophical Society, admired his ambition and introduced him to influential individuals. Genial Thomas Sully [1783-1872], the prominent portrait painter, applauded the newcomer's work and, perhaps because he doubted Audubon's oft-repeated (and untrue) claim that he had studied under the famous French painter Jacques-Louis David [1748-1825], gave him free lessons in oil painting. "I have never seen in Europe drawings of birds by the first masters," Sully wrote in a letter of recommendation, "but I do not hesitate to declare that those of Mr. Audubon, for strength, expression and exquisite resemblance far exceeds them all. No eulogy of mine, could, however, express their merits."
      Mease introduced Audubon to Napoleon's twenty-one-year-old nephew, Prince Charles Lucien Bonaparte, a fellow emigre, prominent member of Philadelphia's social and scientific circles, and a recently elected member of the prestigious Academy of Natural Sciences. A knowledgeable ornithologist and artist himself, Bonaparte recognized the value of Audubon's bird portraits and took him, on 05 April 1824, to show his work to members of the Academy, the country's most important natural history institution.
      Even though Alexander Wilson had died more than a decade before, members of the Academy of Natural Sciences revered his memory and considered his American Ornithology definitive. Several members even retained a pecuniary interest in the sale of his books. With characteristic audacity and tactlessness, Audubon immediately offended the august group by disparaging Wilson's lifeless images and touting the virtues of his own work. Academy members who admired Wilson's classic poses resisted the animated images of Audubon, whom they considered arrogant and brash.
      Dyspeptic George Ord, Wilson's editor, biographer and executor, was busy preparing a new edition of Wilson's works, and he had a vested interest in protecting the naturalist's reputation. Ord mounted a spirited defense of Wilson's oeuvre and challenged Audubon's integrity and scientific credentials. Audubon responded in kind and the meeting broke up amidst bitter animosity Although some Academy members recognized the quality of Audubon's portfolio, the ugly confrontation led most to support Ord in successfully blacklisting the outsider among local engravers and publishers. The zealous Ord conspired for years afterwards to discredit Audubon, both in this country and in Europe. Audubon branded Ord and his allies "the Philadelphia Sharks." Audubon's critics, believes Robert McCracken Peck, a fellow of the Academy of Natural Sciences and an Audubon authority "considered the emotional content of his paintings incompatible with objective scientific analysis." Some (who were often proved wrong) contested the accuracy of Audubon's compositions, underscoring personal animosities and petty jealousy among those who had tried to undermine him.
      Alexander Lawson, a Wilson disciple and Philadelphia's best printmaker, had engraved plates for Wilson's books and took great personal interest in their promulgation. He advised Audubon that the likenesses in his portfolio were "extraordinary for one self-taught," but added, rather patronizingly, "we in Philadelphia are used to seeing very correct drawing." When Bonaparte announced he intended to buy Audubon's watercolors, Lawson responded, "You may buy them, but I will not engrave them. . . Ornithology requires truth and correct lines-here are neither!"
      Dismayed but not daunted by the rejection of the leaders of Philadelphia — which he called "this icy city" — Audubon paid a brief, nostalgic visit to Mill Grove and then tried his luck in New York. Unflattering rumors spread by Ord and Lawson preceded him, and he could find no financiers.
      While traveling the East Coast, he stopped for a few days in Meadville ("its appearance was rather dull," he opined) and Pittsburgh, supporting himself through portrait commissions and art lessons. He met George Lehman, a Swiss immigrant and skilled landscape artist from Lancaster County, who later joined him on field trips and supplied lush backgrounds typical of many plates of Audubon's bird images. Convinced he could find no support in the US, Audubon in 1826 bade farewell to his wife and sons and sailed for Great Britain. He and his works of art were enthusiastically received at meetings and exhibitions in England and Scotland. His odd "American Woodsman" look, which had proved disastrous in Philadelphia. fascinated Britons familiar with the legend of pioneer Daniel Boone [1734-1820] and the frontier tales of novelist James Fenimore Cooper [1789-1851].
      Encouraged, Audubon engaged the services of gifted London engraver Robert Havell Jr., and embarked on the decades-long process of transforming his brilliant watercolors into salable prints. While the artist tightly supervised Havell's work, the pair cooperated in changing some compositions and backgrounds to enhance the appearance of the final versions.
      The Birds of America, containing four hundred and thirty-five hand-colored plates of 1065 individual birds faithfully etched, aquatinted, and engraved by Havell from the original works, was issued in four volumes between 1827 and 1838. The life-size depictions appeared on double-elephant folio sheets measuring more than two by three feet, accompanied by a synopsis and index. A companion five-volume Ornithological Biography, containing detailed essays on the birds, is still regarded as one of the best texts in the field. With tireless determination, Audubon sold serial engravings of The Birds of America through individual subscriptions, a tedious, time-consuming task to which he brought romantic good looks, flamboyant salesmanship, steely resolve, and endless patience. His astute marketing and indefatigable travels ultimately led to orders for more than two hundred complete sets of the costly prints. (Originally priced at the enormous sum of $1000, first editions of The Birds of America have sold in recent years for as much as $4 million. In October 1993, a four-volume set in fine condition crossed the auction block at Christie's in New York for more than $3 million)
      After three years abroad, Audubon returned to the United States in 1829. He spent time in Camden and Great Egg Harbor, New Jersey, and passed through Mauch Chunk (now Jim Thorpe, Carbon County seat), on his way to a six weeks stay in a cabin in Pennsylvania's Great Pine Swamp, which he preferred to call Great Pine Forest. While exploring the area he produced numerous bird portraits. Noting that a third of the forest had disappeared by the time he arrived, Audubon regretfully reported that timbering continued every day, and during "calm nights, the greedy mills told the sad tale that in century the noble forest around should exist no more."
      "I am at work and have done much," he wrote in early October 1829, after leaving the Great Pine Forest, "but I wish I had eight pairs of hands, and another body to shoot the specimens, still I am delighted at what I have accumulated in drawings this season. Forty-two drawings in four months, eleven large, eleven middle size, and twenty-two small, comprising ninety-five birds, from Eagles downwards, with plants, nests, flowers, and sixty different kinds of eggs. I live alone, see scarcely any one, besides those belonging to the house where I lodge. I rise long before day and work till nightfall, when I take a walk and go to bed."
      Although he sailed to England several more times, Audubon devoted much of the next decade to a renewed search for birds to illustrate, creating some of his most powerful and accomplished likenesses, such as the gyrfalcon, the largest of all falcons and one of the world's great predators. Although this bird is occasionally seen in the mid-Atlantic states in winter, Audubon based his 1837 version on a white-phase female he spotted in Great Britain. He meticulously rendered the gyrfalcon's muscular legs, hooked beak, and sharp talons, ideal for taking birds and small animals. His masterful blend of pastel, watercolor, gouache, delicate washes and pencil is considered by many to be Audubon's most beautiful work.
      Even though Audubon strove for accuracy, he did occasionally take liberties with nature. A gathering of ten woodpeckers, such as he portrayed, is contrary to the solo or family group manner in which this species feeds. This group composition enabled him to illustrate the subjects' purposeful nature and often conspicuous courtship between male and female flickers.
      John James Audubon (1838), painted by G.PA. Healy when the naturalist was fifty- three years old. Common American Swan (Male) is one of more than four hundred plates in The Birds of America.
      Audubon composed one scene no one will ever again witness: a group of brightly-hued raucous Carolina parakeets. Once common in this country, these animated birds — the only parrot native to the United States — became pests to farmers, who slaughtered them in great numbers, as did hunters seeking feathers for women's hats. They were extinct by 1920. The artist's depiction of this lost species, in a brilliant pattern of greens, vermillions. and yellows, constitutes a complex, decorative, challenging -- and ultimately successful -- group portrait exemplifying Audubon's finest work.
      After publication of The Birds of America, Audubon issued a highly successful, smaller, seven-volume octavo edition priced at $100 (Two first octavo editions recently sold at Christie's for more than $25'000 each.) He also compiled an important work documenting mammals, The Viviparous Quadrupeds of North America, comprising one hundred and fifty hand-colored lithographs in three volumes. In his later years he was assisted by his sons, both talented artists in their own right, who were trained from childhood to help him in all aspects of his far-reaching endeavors.
      Audubon's reputation was sufficiently secure by 1831 and Charles Bonaparte and fellow supporters in Philadelphia were able to overcome George Ord's objections and elect him a "correspondent," or honorary member, of the Academy of Natural Sciences. It was an honor he proudly acknowledged in his subsequent publications. Both the Academy of Natural Sciences and American Philosophical Society subscribed to The Birds of America, as did John Wetherill, a member of the family which owned Mill Grove. Audubon apparently attended only two meetings of the Academy, in 1839 and 1845. His sons were also elected corresponding members.
      Audubon's years of prodigious effort, assisted by his devoted wife and sons, eventually produced enough income for him to settle comfortably on Minnie's Land, a small estate on the Hudson River in New York. Senile toward the end, Audubon died at Minnie's Land at the age of sixty-six on 27 January 1851.
      John James Audubon's place in history was assured by his changing forever the way in which birds are illustrated. While replicating physical features with uncanny veracity, he incorporated narrative elements and aesthetic touches which made birds come alive in their natural environments and lifted the images to the status of fine art. "In many ways, the vision and masterful artistry ..... Audubon images transcends the subjects they depict," says Peck. "Like great paintings, great writing, or great music from any age, Audubon's birds, abundant or extinct, will live forever as the masterworks of one of America's most gifted artists."
      A recent touring exhibition organized by the New York Historical Society, showcasing about ninety watercolors for the artist's culminating masterpiece, The Birds of America, offered a once-in-a-lifetime experience for both art and bird lovers. The remarkable freshness and vitality of these painstakingly conserved, life-size images underscored Audubon's genius not only as a meticulously accurate ornithological recorder, but as an artist of exceptional talent. That this was the first traveling show of these treasured watercolors since they were acquired from the artist's widow by the historical society in 1863 helps explain why he has been given such short shrift over the years by scholars of US art and culture. But no more. John James Audubon's bird portraits are refreshingly diverse, deft in composition, brilliant in color, startlingly realistic, and dynamic in depicting each subject in characteristic action. Their existence confirms Audubon's place in the front ranks of nineteenth-century US artists.
      Uniting entrepreneurship with the technical demands of scientific illustration and the innovative and aesthetic qualities of high art, John James Audubon created a rich and timeless legacy. In setting the standard against which all wildlife art is measured, he bequeathed an authoritative gallery of American birds in images of palpable vitality, striking originality, and profound beauty. Considering the struggles required to produce them, these images are truly Audubon's -- and the US's -- winged victories.

Carolina parakeetsBlue JaysWild Turkey
Bald EagleArctic HaresWhite Gerfalcons

Red-Tailed Hawks (1833, 91x59cm; 1/3 size _ ZOOM to 2/3 size)
Barn owls (1833, 86x58cm; 1/3 size _ ZOOM to 2/3 size)
Pileated Woodpeckers (1860, 97x63cm; 1/3 size _ ZOOM to 2/3 size)
Douglass' Squirrel (1843, 31x24cm; 5/6 size)
Spaniel Hunting English Pheasants (600x988pix _ ZOOM to 1400x2305pix)
Purple Boat-tailed Grackel (1822, 47x60cm; 600x460pix _ ZOOM to 1400x1073pix) _ this is Quiscalus major.
Colonel Nathaniel Rochester
^ Born on 27 January 1832: Arthur Hughes, English Pre-Raphaelite painter and illustrator who died on 22 December 1915.
— He studied under Alfred Stevens. In about 1850 he converted to Pre-Raphaelitism. Met Holman Hunt, Rossetti, Madox Brown, and later Millais. In 1852 he exhibited his first major Pre-Raphaelite picture Ophelia. Throughout the 1850s and 1860s Hughes continued to produce a series of delicately poetic pictures, which hover on the knife-edge between sentiment and sentimentality but are always redeemed by their brilliant color and microscopic detail. Some of the best known are Home from the Sea, The Long Engagement, Aurora Leigh's Dismissal of Romney and April Love which Ruskin thought "exquisite in every way". In 1857 he worked with other Pre-Raphaelites on the frescoes in the Oxford Union. About 1858, Hughes retired to live with his family in the suburbs of London. He lived at 284 London Rd, Wallington, Sutton, and at Eastside House, 22 Kew Green, Richmond. Hughes being of a quiet and retiring nature, very little is known of his later career. After about 1870 his work lost its impetus. Hughes was the original illustrator of Tom Brown's Schooldays, and George MacDonald's At the Back of the North Wind and The Princess and the Goblin. He also illustrated Allingham's Music Master and many other novels, children's books and periodicals. He worked with Christina Rossetti on Sing Song in 1871. A sale of his works took place at Christie's after his death on 21 November 1921.
— Hughes showed early artistic promise and enrolled in the Royal Academy Antique School in 1847. He was encouraged by Millais, who was always an affable individual. Hughes was inspired directly by The Germ, the short-lived Pre-Raphaelite magazine. He attended PRB meetings, in rather a junior hero-worshipping manner. Hughes was liked by the PRB, in fact he was throughout his long life, a well liked individual. He was also encouraged by Rossetti.
      Hughes main traits as an individual were his modesty and self-effacement. He suffered somewhat at the hands of the Royal Academy, having a number of ill-merited rejections, and very badly hung pictures. He was never even elected an Associate. Hughes married, in 1855 Tryphena Foord, the union was lasting, and happy. As well as the limits imposed by his diffidence and modesty, Hughes was motivated by the desire for a stable, happy family life. Ultimately he was prepared to compromise artistic ambitions for this.
      Many of his pictures were of ordinary scenes of life. They were painted with great delicacy, and feeling, and were often in greens and mauves. Like the great orchestral composers, the warm sympathetic character of the man shines through in his work. William Michael Rossetti, writing about Hughes said “If I had to pick out, from my once numerous acquaintances of the male sex, the sweetest and most ingenuous nature of all, the least carking and querulous, and the freest from envy hatred and malice, and all uncharitableness, I should probably find myself bound to select Mr. Hughes.” Should any human being have a better character reference, or epitaph than this I have yet to see it.
      Following the death of Tryphena Hughes in 1921, their daughter Emily had to move to a smaller house. There was, therefore, a shortage of space. As a result she had her father’s remaining preparatory sketches, and all his private papers and correspondence destroyed.
Drawing portrait by the artist's son, Arthur Foord Hughes.
Photo of Hughes

Self-Portrait (1851)
The Annunciation (1858, 61x36cm) — The Nativity (1858, 61x37cm)
The Long Engagement (1859, 105x52cm) — The Mower (1865)
The Property Room (1879) — Asleep in the Woods
Old Neighbour Gone ByeThe Brave Geraint (1860, 23x36cm)
The Eve of Saint Agnes (1856, 64x57cm) — Overthrowing of the Rusty Knight
The Knight Of The Sun.
Ophelia (1853; 68x124cm; framed 590x1000pix, 166kb) _ The writing outside the side arcs of this semicircular painting reads:
There is a willow grows ascaunt the brook, That shows his hoar leaves in the glassy stream; There with fantastic garlands did she come. Of crow-flowers, nettles, daisies, and
long purples. There on the pendant boughs her coronet weeds Clambering to hang an envious sliver broke. When down the weedy trophies and herself Fell in the weeping brook.

Home From the Sea (1857, 51x65cm; 723x950pix, 231kb) _ A young sailor boy has come back from the sea to find that his mother has died. With his sister he is mourning at her grave. Hughes began the picture in 1856, in the old churchyard at Chingford in Essex. At first the picture contained only the figure of the boy, and was entitled A Mother's Grave; later the sister was added, and the title was changed. The model for the boy may have been Hughes' nephew, Edward Robert Hughes.
Knight of the Sun (1861, 22x32cm) _ An aged warrior mortally wounded, being carried by his men-at-arms to the shelter of a religious house.
La Belle Dame Sans Merci (1863, 152x122cm) _ This painting is based on the poem La Belle Dame Sans Merci by John Keats [31 Oct 1795 – 23 Feb 1821]
 _ See other paintings on the same subject:
 _ La Belle Dame Sans Merci (1926; 604x594pix, 56kb) by Cowper
 _ La Belle Dame Sans Merci (1865, 46x56cm; 1249x1500pix, 141kb) by Crane [15 Aug 1845 – 15 Mar 1915]
 _ La Belle Dame Sans Merci (1926; 422x596pix, 71kb) by Dicksee
 _ La Belle Dame Sans Merci (1893; 800x580pix, 107kb) by Waterhouse
A Music Party (1864) _ When exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1864, the accompanying lines from John Keats' Ode on a Grecian Urn were included in the catalogue: 'Heard melodies are sweet, but those unheard are sweeter Not to the sensual ear, but more endear'd Pipe to the spirit ditties of no tone.'
Good Night (1866, 99x65cm) _ 'Day's turn is over: now arrives the Night's.' from Robert Browning, Pippa Passes.
Sir Galahad (1869, 113x168cm) _ Inscribed on the back: 'The clouds are broken in the sky, And thro' the mountain-walls, A rolling organ-harmony Swells up, and shakes and falls, Then move the trees, the copses nod, Wings flutter, voices hover clear: Oh just and faithful knight of God! Ride on: the prize is near. So pass I hostel, hall, and grange; By bridge and ford, by park and pale, All-arm'd I ride, whate'er betide, Until I find the holy Grail'. .... A gentle sound, an awful sight! Three angels bear the holy grail: With folded feet, in stoles of white, On sleeping wings they sail.'
^ Died on 27 January 1651: Abraham Bloemaert, influential Dutch Mannerist painter, draftsman, engraver, writer, and teacher, who was born on 25 December 1564.
— The son of architect, sculptor, and teacher Cornelis Bloemaert I [1540 – 01 Nov 1593] Abraham Bloemaert studied at Utrecht under eminent painters, spent three years in Paris, and then returned to settle finally at Utrecht, where he became dean of the Guild of Saint Luke. He painted and etched historical and allegorical pictures, landscapes, still lifes, animal pictures, and flower pieces. His four sons - Hendrick, Frederick, Cornelis, and Adriaen - all achieved considerable reputations themselves as painters and engravers. Bloemaert's work was influenced by Caravaggio, and he in his turn was an influence on his students which included Jan Both, Andries Both, Aelbert Jacobszoon Cuyp, Jacob Gerritszoon Cuyp, Gerrit Hermanszoon van Honthorst [1592-1656], Cornelis van Poelenburch, Hendrik Janszoon Terbrugghen, Jan Baptist Weenix, Jan Hermanszoon van Bijlert.
— Bloemaert's long, successful career and many prominent students, especially among the Utrecht Caravaggisti, made him one of Utrecht’s principal painters in the first half of the 17th century. During his lifetime he enjoyed high esteem for his paintings of religious and mythological subjects and for his numerous drawings. At first he worked in a Mannerist style, then in a Caravaggesque manner, finally adopting a distinctive, decorative synthesis of both approaches.
— Four of Abraham Bloemaert’s sons worked as artists, all of them receiving their initial training from their father: Hendrick Bloemaert [1601– 30 Dec 1672] was a painter and poet.  Adriaen Bloemaert [1609 – 01 Jan 1666], was a painter and draftsman. Frederick Bloemaert [1616 – 11 June 1690] was an engraver.
      Cornelis Bloemaert II [1603 – 1684], studied under Gerrit van Honthorst and Crispijn de Passe I, but although he was originally trained as a painter, he devoted himself primarily to printmaking. In 1630 Cornelis the younger went to Paris and then to Rome, where he made prints after paintings and sculptures in major collections. He also made engravings after works by his father (e.g. six Pastorals).

Landscape with the Ministry of John the Baptist (1600)
Shepherd Boy Pointing at Tobias and the Angel (1630, 92x118cm; 1/4 size _ ZOOM to half-size; 3110kb)
Adoration by the Magi (1624, 420x290cm) _ The Catholic painter Abraham, resident in predominantly Catholic Utrecht, painted spectacular altarpieces in the style reminiscent of sixteenth-century Italian painting. He painted this altarpiece, one of his largest, for the church of the Catholic order of the Jesuits in Brussels, in the Southern Netherlands. Such commissions were extremely rare in the Dutch Republic. Bloemaert's jubilant color and festive pageantry befitted the theme and answered the Jesuit's need for a lively backdrop to their main altar.
click for complete painting<<<— Adoration of Newborn Jesus by Shepherds and Angels (1612, 287x229cm) _ Bloemaert settled in Utrecht in 1593, and within a decade began to adopt the mild classicism that Goltzius had brought back from Italy. Utrecht was the leading Catholic centre in the northern Netherlands during the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, and even during the seventeenth century, when Catholicism was suppressed, it continued to keep something of its Catholic character. Bloemaert, a devout Catholic, received commissions for large altarpieces from patrons in both the northern and southern Netherlands, and many of his more than 600 prints were intended for a Catholic clientele
The Emmaus Disciples (1622, 145x215cm) _ Fortified by a religious tradition reaching back to the Middle Ages, a large Catholic community continued to exist at Utrecht inside the primarily Protestant Northern Low Countries of the 16th and 17th centuries. Although officially banned, the Catholic cult was tolerated there away from public view. Abraham Bloemaert, himself a devout Catholic, set up shop in Utrecht in 1593, remaining there till his death. For a short period the painter experimented with the possibilities offered by new artistic models from Italy, which he got to know indirectly via the material that his students Hendrick ter Brugghen, Gerrit van Honthorst and Dirck van Baburen brought back from their study trips there. This group was influenced in particular by Caravaggio, in terms both of subject and style. Bloemaert combines the key features of this style in The Emmaus Disciples, a painting that forms a high point not only in his own career, but also in that of the school of the Utrecht Caravaggists in general, with the large, half length figures, the individualised figures with a strong sense of emotionality and in particular the use of chiaroscuro, with strong light-dark effects and sharp shadows, produced by introducing a source of minimum light, here two separate, smoking candles. This style was untypical for the Northern Provinces, where a tendency towards the intimate is so clearly visible in almost all other contemporary genres.
      The tableau presents the biblical scene in which Jesus - in a gesture that refers back to the Last Supper - breaks bread and in so doing confirms his resurrection from the dead to two of his disciples, who had not recognised him until then (Luke 24: 13-35). Two figures in the background represent the same two disciples, despairingly consulting with each other on the road to the village of Emmaus, before meeting the "stranger" who was to open their eyes for good. The visible emotional reactions which the revelation causes to the protagonists are seemingly totally lost on a fourth individual, a turbaned server. In terms of content and form this painting represents "a light shining in the darkness".
Landscape with Peasants Resting (1650, 91x133cm) _ Bloemaert lived to the age of almost ninety. He was a contemporary of Rembrandt and yet he belonged to the generation of Rembrandt's teachers. He was the leading representative of the Utrecht Mannerists and the director and founder of the Utrecht Guild of St Luke, but he continued to work well into the Baroque I7th century when a third generation of landscape painters was already emerging. His peasant landscape contains certain Mannerist elements such as the large distance between the foreground objects and the sweeping horizon, or in the way in which he has united contrasts. The aspects of Bloemaert's work adopted by Dutch landscape painters are the picturesque elements evident in his rendering of nature and architecture. The picturesque appeal of dilapidated cottages, damaged thatching, broken fences and rotten tree trunks were to become part and parcel of Netherlandish landscape painting. Bloemaert's oeuvre also forges a link between Flemish and Dutch painting. While his portrayals of mythological themes and biblical tales lean heavily on the syntax of the international Flemish Mannerists, the dramatic realism of his rural genre paintings influenced the Dutch artists.
The Marriage of Cupid and Psyche (1595, diameter 62cm) _ The subject marks the climax of the story of Cupid and Psyche as recounted by Apuleius in The Golden Ass (Books 4-6). The theme became popular with artists during the Renaissance and was also frequently depicted in the seventeenth century. The marriage of Cupid and Psyche took place in heaven on Mount Olympus after Psyche had endeavored in vain to win back Cupid's love on earth by a series of ordeals set by Venus. The chief protagonists in this banquet of the gods are seated facing the viewer in the centre of the composition. Venus and Mars embrace with Vulcan to the left and Bacchus to the right. The immediate foreground is dominated by Neptune and Mercury, who conveyed Psyche to heaven in order for her to be reunited with Cupid. Jupiter and Juno are set further back in the picture space on the far right. Apollo, holding a lyre, can be faintly discerned top left, while Fame accompanied by putti blows a fanfare. The story of Cupid and Psyche was not always depicted simply as a narrative, but sometimes in broad philosophical terms as an allegory of carnal and spiritual love.
      The composition of the painting is inspired by a large engraving of the Marriage of Cupid and Psyche by Hendrik Goltzius, made after a drawing of 1587 by Bartholomeus Spranger. The rectangular format of the engraving was favored by Bloemaert for another version of the subject now at Aschaffenburg, Bavaria. This compositional dependency on Spranger's work is echoed in the similarity of style, which in turn suggests an early date of about 1595 for the painting. Bloemaert here provides a perfect demonstration of Mannerism in the complicated twisting poses, the severe foreshortening, the restless movement, and the dramatic gesticulation. These stylistic tendencies are given an added visual complexity by the circular format that was also often used by Goltzius for his prints of mythological subjects.
      The painting formed part of a large group of pictures sold by the dealer William Frizell to Charles II in 1660. Of these, eleven were claimed by Frizell to have been in the collections of Rudolf II in Prague and Queen Christina of Sweden, including the present picture. However, no such painting seems to have been listed in the inventories of the collections of either of these famous patrons of the arts and so Frizell's claim remains unconfirmed.
The BagpiperShepherd and Sherpherdess (1627)

Died on a 27 January:

1927 Luigi Pastega, Italian artist born on 18 November 1858.

1912 Charles Schreyvogel, US artist born on 04 January 1861.

1864 Leo van Klenze, dies at age 79 one month and two days before his 20th birthday. He was a German artist born on 29 February 1784. [Did they use too much kleanser on his paintings? Is that why there are none to be found reproduced on the internet?]

1836 Ludwig Philipp Strack, German artist born in 1761.

^ 1811 (27 Aug?) Jean-Baptiste-Marie Huet I, French Rococo animal painter and engraver of some distinction, born on 15 October 1735, nephew of Christophe Huet [22 Jun 1700 – 02 May 1759]. His three sons Nicolas Huet II [1770–], François Huet [14 Jan 1772 – 28 July 1813] and Jean-Baptiste Huet II [29 Dec 1772] were painters and engravers. Jean-Baptiste Huet was trained by his father, Nicolas Huet [1718->1788], who had been a student of Jean-Baptiste Oudry and specialized in paintings of flowers and fruit. Jean-Baptiste was then apprenticed to the animal painter Charles Dagomer (fl 1762–4; d. <1768), a member of the Académie de Saint-Luc. He also studied under Francois Boucher. Huet’s interest in printmaking and his acquaintance with Gilles Demarteau, who later engraved many of his compositions, both date from this period. About 1764 Huet entered the studio of Jean-Baptiste Le Prince, where he further developed his skill as an engraver; most of his engravings and etchings were reproductions of his own work. On 30 July 1768 he was approved (agréé) by the Académie Royale, and on 29 July 1769 he was received (reçu) as an animal painter with his painting of Un Dogue se Jetant sur des Oies. He first exhibited pictures at the Paris Salon in 1769. The most important of these were his morceau de réception, The Fox in the Chicken-run, and The Milkmaid. The latter is a good example of his work in the petite manière of genre painting popularized by François Boucher, whom he knew and admired. Huet’s exhibits of 1769 were well received by the critics, especially by Louis Petit de Bachaumont and des Boulmiers in Le Mercure de France. The quality of his animal pictures was widely praised, although Diderot made some criticisms of his draftsmanship. Huet wanted the Académie to recognize him as a history painter, so he submitted an Adoration by the Shepherds to the 1775 Salon and followed this in 1779 with a painting of Hercules and Omphale. Critical and academic opinion was unfavorable; however, evidence of his aspirations can be seen in his later works, an example being the Classical bas-relief in the background of the Spaniel Attacking a Turkey (1789). Huet exhibited regularly at the Salon until 1789. — Relative? of bishop Pierre-Daniel Huet [08 Feb 1630 – 26 Jan 1721]? LINKSUn Dogue se Jetant sur des Oies (128x162cm) — Attributs Champêtres (68x63cm)

1738 Alessandro Marchesini, Verona Italian painter and agent born on 30 April 1663. He is traditionally believed to have trained with Biagio Falcieri (1628–1703). At the age of 17 he moved to Bologna, where he entered the workshop of Carlo Cignani. His first commission after his return to Verona was for the fresco decoration of the vault of S Domenico (1687), with scenes glorifying the saint, set in a quadratura framework by Carlo Tedesco. The style is heavily Baroque. In 1690–1691 Marchesini painted a Jonah for S Niccolò, Verona; this remains within a Veronese tradition, whereas his Assumption of the Virgin for S Biagio (1692; Breonio, SS Marziale e Giovanni) and his Purification of the Virgin (1699; Verona, Pal. Scaligero, Notai Chapel) contain references to the Bolognese art of the Carracci. — The Dedication of a New Vestal Virgin

Born on a 27 January:

^ 1921 Georges Mathieu, French painter, sculptor, designer, and illustrator, one of the founders of "lyric abstraction". His paintings are created from dynamic movements generated by physical-psychic impulses (“tachisme”). (b Boulogne-sur-Mer, 27 Jan 1921). French painter, sculptor, designer and illustrator. He left Boulogne-sur-Mer in 1933 to attend the Lycée Hoche in Versailles, where he learnt Greek, Russian and Spanish. Over the next few years he was educated at various secondary and university institutions in Rouen, Cambrai and Douai, studying law at Douai in 1941. He started to paint landscapes and portraits in oils in 1942 and the following year taught English at the Lycée in Douai. He worked as an interpreter for the US Army at Cambrai in 1944 and in that year read Edward Crankshaw’s Joseph Conrad: Some Aspects of the Art of the Novel (1936), which impressed upon him the importance of style; he cited it as an influence on his first experiments with abstraction, such as Inception (1944), with dark amorphous forms suggestive of primordial creation. The following year he began to use drip techniques, as in Evanescence (1945). After spending several months in Paris in 1945, later that year he became professor of French at the Université Americaine in Biarritz, a post he held until 1946. — [Scribbles 1?] (460x350pix, 64kb) — Festival in Norwich (1957, 89x146cm; 248x407pix, 44kb) — Homage to Guillaume (400x303pix, 22kb)

^ 1874 Harold Knight, British painter who died on 03 October 1961, in Nottingham. The son of an architect, he studied at Nottingham School of Art under Wilson Foster. It was at the School of Art that he met his future wife, Laura Johnson, who he married in 1903. Harold was a quiet character who is largely remembered, unfairly, as an adept but unexciting painter, while Laura Knight [04 Aug 1877 – 07 Jul 1970] was flamboyant in both her life and art and achieved greater public renown. After spending time in Paris and at Staithes on the North Yorkshire coast, Harold Knight moved to Newlyn, with Laura, in 1907. The couple mainly lived and worked in Lamorna, becoming key figures in the Lamorna group, and they remained in Cornwall until 1918. During the First World War, Knight’s high principles led him to be a conscientious objector, which earned him the rebuke of many of his colleagues and former friends, and put a strain on his physical and mental health as he was forced to work as a farm laborer. When the War ended, he and Laura moved to London, although they frequently returned to Lamorna to paint. — LINKS

^ 1871 Samuel John Peploe, Scottish painter who died on 11 October 1935. — [one of the Peploe people] — He studied at the Royal Scottish Academy schools from 1893 to 1894, and then at the Académie Julian and Académie Colarossi in Paris, where he shared rooms with Robert Brough. The influence of the rustic realism of French painters and of the Glasgow Boys is clear in landscape drawings and paintings executed in Edinburgh from the mid-1890s. His still-life studies reveal the influence of the work of both Manet and Hals, which he saw in European galleries, with their combinations of thick impasto and fluid brushwork, dark background, strong lighting and meticulous handling of tones. Between 1900 and about 1910, when he moved to Paris, he painted in Edinburgh, on sketching holidays in Scotland and in northern France with John Duncan Fergusson, and exhibited in Edinburgh, Glasgow and London. — LINKSLandscape, Cassis (63x53cm)

1851 Jan van Chelminski, Polish artist who died in 1925.

^ 1826 Carlos de Haes, in Brussels, painter who died in Madrid on 17 June 1898. In 1835 he moved with his Belgian parents to Málaga, where he studied under the court portrait painter and miniature painter Luis de la Cruz y Ríos [1776–1853]. In 1850 de Haes returned to Belgium and studied under the landscape painter Joseph Quineaux [1822–1895]. During his studies there and on his travels in France, Germany, and Holland, he became acquainted with contemporary Realist trends. He returned to Spain in 1855, becoming a naturalized Spaniard, and the following year he exhibited numerous landscapes at the Exposición Nacional, Madrid, to much acclaim. In 1857 he won the competition for the fourth chair of landscape painting at the Escuela de Bellas Artes in Madrid with View of the Royal Palace from the Casa de Campo (1857), a work showing characteristics of the Barbizon and Fontainebleau landscape schools. In 1860 he was elected Académico de mérito at the Real Academia de San Fernando in Madrid. By 1861 he was officiating and drawing up the regulations for the landscape competitions for aspiring pensionnaires. Consequently plein-air works came to be required in place of the previous tradition of submitting historical landscapes executed in the studio, a practice that discouraged the study of nature. De Haes suggested that only final corrections should be made in the studio, an attitude that indicates his timid initiation and acceptance of Realist trends. — The students of de Haes included Ceferino Araujo, Aureliano Beruete, Bartolomé Maura y Montaner, Darío de Regoyos, Agustín Riancho.

^ 1813 Johann Jakob Frey, Swiss painter who died on 30 September 1865. He was taught first by his father, the painter and lithographer Samuel Frey [1785–1836]. He studied in Paris in the early 1830s, and then in Munich (1834); thanks to the sponsorship of Emilie Lindner, a patron of the arts, he was able to move on to Rome where he specialized in landscape painting (Mountains in the Roman Campagna). At the end of the 1830s he moved to Naples, and visited Sicily and Spain. In 1842 he set out for Egypt with the Royal Prussian Expedition led by Richard Lepsius but had to return to Italy, settling finally in Rome. Frey was very productive and his studio attracted many visitors. He had especially close links with the Prussian court, where his Italian landscapes found a ready market. He had considerable ability as a colorist, but there were some weaknesses in his draftsmanship.

^ 1805 Samuel Palmer, English painter, draftsman, and etcher, who died on 24 May 1881. Palmer studied under John Varley. Palmer was a key figure of English Romantic painting who represented, at least in his early work, its pastoral, intuitive and nostalgic aspects at their most intense. He is widely described as a visionary and linked with his friend and mentor William Blake, though he stood at an almost opposite extreme in his commitment to landscape and his innocent approach to its imagery. He had none of Blake’s irony or complexity and was inspired by a passionate love of nature that found its philosophical dimension in unquestioning Neo-Platonism. — LINKS The Magic Apple Tree The Rest on the Flight into Egypt (1825, 150kb) — Coming from Evening Church (1830) — 26 prints at FAMSF

^ 1679 Jean-François de Troy (or Detroy), French painter and tapestry designer who died on 26 January 1752. — 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)

1645 Michiel van Musscher, Dutch painter and printmaker who died on 20 June 1705. He received his eclectic artistic training in Amsterdam, studying first with the history painter Martinus Zaagmolen [1620–1669] in 1660, then with Abraham van den Tempel in 1661, followed by lessons with Gabriel Metsu in 1665. He completed his studies in 1667 in the studio of Adriaen van Ostade. The following year van Musscher returned briefly to Rotterdam before settling permanently in Amsterdam. — Elliger was a student of van Musscher.

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