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ART “4” “2”-DAY  23 March
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^ Born on 23 March 1651: Jean-Baptiste Santerre, French painter who died on 21 November 1717. — {descendant de Jean Sans Terre? John Lackland [24 Dec 1167 – 18 Oct 1216]}
Self~Portrait (90x80cm)
Susanna at the Bath (1704, 205x145cm) _ Santerre was mainly a religious painter but his paintings lacked true inspiration. However, his Susanna at the Bath reveals an almost disturbing eroticism and something of that peculiarly chilly Rococo quality which is to be found in Falconet's nude statuettes. Few comparable pictures were to be produced at Venice, whereas Santerre initiates a whole troop of 'baigneuses' who go on dabbling with the erotic possibilities of water as late as Fragonard, all seeming ultimately to derive from Correggio's Leda. And out of this revolution was to come the achievement of Boucher as well as Fragonard.
Deux Actrices (1699, 146x114cm)
Marie Adélaïde de Savoie, Duchesse de Bourgogne (1709, 275x184cm)
Sainte Thérèse en Extase (1710, 267x171cm)
^ Born on 23 March 1887: José Victoriano Gonzalez “Juan Gris”, Spanish Cubist painter and sculptor who died on 11 May 1927.
— Juan Gris was the Third Musketeer of Cubism, and actually pushed Cubism further to its logical conclusion until his ultimely death at the age of 39. With Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque, he was one of the first and greatest exponents of the cubist idiom in painting.
         Originally named José Victoriano Gonzalez, he adopted the pseudonym by which he is known after moving (1906) to Paris, where he lived as Picasso's friend and neighbor. Between 1907 and 1912 he watched closely the development of the cubist style and in 1912 exhibited his Homage to Picasso, which established his reputation as a painter of the first rank. He worked closely with Picasso and Braque until the outbreak of World War I, adapting what had been their intuitively generated innovations to his own methodical temperament.
      In the 1920s, Gris designed costumes and scenery for Serge Diaghilev's Ballets Russes. He also completed some of the boldest and most mature statements of his cubist style, with landscape-still lifes that compress interiors and exteriors into synthetic cubist compositions, such as Le Canigou (1921), and figure paintings, especially the fine series of clowns that includes Two Pierrots
Still Life with Book (1925, 33x41cm) — Portrait of Picasso _ Portrait of Picasso _ Portrait of Picasso (1912, 93x74cm) — The Open WindowLandscape at Ceret (1913, 92x60cm)
The Mountain "Le Canigou" (1921, 65x100cm) _ Gris continued to elaborate the theme of the open window in 1921, concluding with The Mountain Le Canigou painted at Ceret in December. In it he returned to the juxtaposition of interior and exterior as seperate and distinct. Whereas a sail became a triangle in The View Across The Bay, the mountain now assumes that form, much as it had for Kandinsky and Klee starting about 1910. Although there is no reason to beleive that Gris knew of the works and writings from Munich, it is a remarkable coincidence to find him manipulating his favorite form of the Blaue Reiter artists in a similar manner. Perhaps Cézanne lies at the heart of those usages. At any rate, by making the mountain triangular and regularizing the form of the guitar, he was rendering the poetic juxtaposition in terms of object-emblems. Diagrammatic, too, is nature, as a blue triangle containg the triangular mountain and the white swatch of cloud. Opposed are the curved lines of the guitar. It and an open book epitomixe art. As usual, the door is present both as a barrier and a means of entry.
^ Died on 23 March 1661: Pieter de Molyn, Dutch painter born on 06 April 1595.
— Dutch landscape painter, active mainly in Haarlem. With Jan van Goyen and Salomon van Ruysdael, also active in Haarlem, he ranks as one of the pioneers of naturalistic landscape painting in Holland. It is not known if these three painters worked together, if they arrived at similar solutions independently, or if one of them began experiments with monochromatic pictures of dunes and cottages and the others followed his lead. Molyn's later career was less distinguished, and he seems then to have worked more as a draughtsman then a painter. He also etched. — His students included Gerard Terborch.
Dunes (1626, 26x36cm) _ Pieter Molyn was born of Flemish parents in London. Neither the date of his emigration to Holland nor the name of his teacher are known. There is no documentary evidence for the assertion found in the early literature that he studied with Frans Hals, however, he did provide landscapes for a few of Hals's portraits. In 1616 he joined the guild at Haarlem, where he spent most of his life. His earliest works show the influence of Mannerists, such as Bloemaert and Savery, but much more important for him was the impact of Esaias van de Velde's art. Van de Velde (1587-1630) was active in Haarlem when Molyn joined the guild there. Not much later, Molyn probably met Jan van Goyen (1596-1656), who was sent to Haarlem around 1617 to study with van de Velde. Molyn's innovations are first seen in his modest Dunes, which abandons the device of breaking up a landscape into many layers. Scattered details seen from a low point of view have been subordinated to large areas of light and shadow, and the scene has been unified by prominent diagonals which lead the eye over the dunes past the small figures into the distance.
Landscape with Conversing Peasants (90x98cm) _ Peasants returning from the fields have stopped for a moment by an old man sitting by the side of the road. The juxtaposition of young and old, which is a frequent motif in Dutch art, is in this case quite fortuitous. In fact the picture records a brief instant and is so generalized that it lacks all narrative quality. The painter expresses neither scorn, pity nor tenderness for his figures; his attitude is completely objective. Nevertheless the people portrayed are in one respect different from the tillers of the land usually seen in Dutch peasant genre : they are drawn on a larger scale. Here the landscape is less important than the figures and there is more attempt at characterization.
^ Born on 23 March 1809: Hippolyte-Jean Flandrin, French artist who died on 21 March 1864. Studied under Ingres.
— Flandrin was born in Lyon and died in Rome. He came of a family of poor artisans and was a pupil of the sculptor Legendre and of Revoil. In his education, however, two elements must above all be taken into account. The first is the Lyonnais genius. Various causes, physical and historical, have combined to give the city of Lyon a character all its own. This is twofold — religious and democratic — and the laboring classes have always been an active centre of idealism. This is especially noticeable in its poets, from Maurice Scève to Lamartine. Lyon has also always been the great entrepôt for Italy, and the province was a permanent center of Roman culture.
      The second factor in Flandrin's development was the influence of Ingres, without which it is doubtful whether Flandrin would have achieved any fame. In 1829 Flandrin, with his brother Jean-Paul (the landscape painter), went to Paris, where he became a pupil of Ingres, who conceived a paternal affection for him. In Paris the young man experienced the bitterest trials. He was often without a fire, sometimes without bread, but he was sustained by a quiet but unshakable faith, and finally (1832) carried off the Grand Prix de Rome for The Recognition of Theseus by his Father. At Rome, where, after 1834, Ingres was director of the French Academy, his talents expanded and blossomed under the influence of natural beauty, a mild climate, and the noble spectacle of the works of classic and Christian antiquities. He sent thence to the French salons: Dante and Virgil (1835); Euripide (1835); Saint Clare Healing the Blind (1836); Christ Blessing the Children (1837). The serenity of his nature, his chaste sense of form and beauty, his taste for effective disposition of details, his moral elevation, and profound piety, found expression in these early efforts. On his return to Paris, in 1838, he was all intent upon producing great religious works.
      At this time there sprang up throughout the French School a powerful reaction against "useless pictures", against the conventional canvases exhibited since the end of the eighteenth century. There was a return to an art more expressive of life, less arbitrary, more mural and decorative. Delacroix, Chassériau, and the aged Ingres were engaged on mural paintings. It was above all, however, the walls of the churches which offered an infinite field to the decorators, to Chassériau, Victor Mottez, Couture, and Amaury Duval (1808-1885). Within fifteen or twenty years this great pictorial movement, all too obscure, left on the walls of the public buildings and churches of Paris pictorial treasures such as had not been seen since the age of Giotto. It is possible, and even probable that the first impulse towards this movement (especially so far as religious paintings are concerned) was due to the Nazarene School. Ingres had known Overbeck (1789-1869) and Steinle at Rome; Flandrin may well have known them. In any case it is these artists whom he resembles above all in purity of sentiment and profound conviction, though he possessed a better artistic education. From 1840 his work is scarcely more than a painstaking revival of religious painting. The artist made it his mission in France to serve art more brilliantly than ever, for the glory of God, and to make beauty, as of old, a source of instruction and an instrument of edification to the great body of the faithful. He found a sort of apostolate before him. He was one of the petits prédicateurs de l'Évangile. Artistic productions in the mid-nineteenth century, as in the Middle Ages, became the Biblia Pauperum.
      Henceforth Flandrin's life was passed almost entirely in churches, hovering between heaven and earth on his ladders and scaffolds. His first work in Paris was in the chapel of St-Jean in the church of St-Séverin. He next decorated the sanctuary and choir of the church of St-Germain-des-Prés (1842-48). On either side of the sanctuary he painted Christ's Entry into Jerusalem and The Journey to Calvary, besides the figures of the Apostles and the symbols of the Evangelists. All these are on a gold background with beautiful arabesques which recall the mosaic of Torriti at Santa Maria Maggiore. At St. Paul, Nîmes (1847-49), he painted a lovely garland of virgin martyrs, a prelude to his masterpiece, the frieze in the nave of the church of St-Vincent-de-Paul in Paris. The last is a double procession, developing symmetrically between the two superimposed arches, without any exaggeration, a Christian Panathenæa, as it was called by Théophile Gautier. It might be shown how the ancient Greek theme is subjected, in the work of the modern painter, to a more flexible, less uniform, and more complex rhythm, how the melodic procession, without losing any of its grandeur or its continuity, is strengthened by silences, pauses, cadences.
      But it is more important to note the originality in the return to the most authentic sources of Christian iconography. Hitherto painters of this class hardly went back beyond the fourteenth or fifteenth century. But Flandrin turned to the first centuries of the Church, and drew his inspiration from the very fathers of religious thought. In the frieze of St-Vincent-de-Paul fifteen centuries of Christian tradition are unrolled. In 1855 the artist executed a new work in the apse of the church of Ainay near Lyons. On his return he undertook his crowning work, the decoration of the nave of St-Germain-des-Prés. He determined to illustrate the life of Christ, not from an historical, but from a theological, point of view, the point of view of eternity. He dealt less with facts than with ideas. His tendency to parallelism, to symmetry, found its element in the symbolism of the Middle Ages. He took pleasure in considering, according to this system of harmony and relations, the Old Testament as the prototype of the New, the burning bush as representing the Annunciation, and the baptism of Christ as prefiguring the crossing of the Red Sea.
      It was, perhaps, the first time since the frescoes of Perugino and Botticelli in the Sistine Chapel, that Christian art returned to its ancient genius. The interrupted tradition was renewed after three centuries of the Renaissance. Unhappily the form, despite its sustained beauty, possesses little originality. It is lacking in personality. The whole series, though exhibiting a high degree of learning and poise, of grace, and even of strength, lacks charm and life. The coloring is flat, crude, and dull, the design neutral, unaccented, and commonplace. It is a miracle of spiritual power that the seriousness of thought, the truth of sentiment, more harsh in the Old Testament, and more tender in the Christian, scenes, glow through this pedantic and poor style. Certain scenes, such as The Nativity, which strongly recalls the Nativity of Giotto at Padua, possess a sweetness which is quite human in their conventional reserve. Others, such as Adam and Eve after the Fall, and The Confusion of Tongues, are marked by real grandeur. This was Flandrin's last work. He was preparing a Last Judgment for the cathedral of Strasbourg, when he went to Rome, where he died.
      Apart from his religious work, Flandrin is the author of some very charming portraits. In this branch of painting he is far from possessing the acute and powerful sense of life of which Ingres possessed the secret. Nevertheless, pictures such as the Young Girl with a Pink, and the Young Girl Reading, of the Louvre, will always be admired. Nothing could be more maidenly and yet profound. His portraits of men are at times magnificent. Thus in the Napoléon III of the Versailles Museum the pale massive countenance of Caesar and his dream-troubled eyes reveal the impress of destiny. An admirable Study of a Man in the Museum of the Louvre, is quite "Ingresque" in its perfection, being almost equal to that master's Oedipus. What was lacking to the pupil in order that the artistic side of his work should equal its merits from the religious and philosophic side was the power of always painting in the style displayed in this portrait.
Christ Mourning the CityJesus riding into Jerusalem , with palm fronds strewn in his path. — Jeune Homme Nu Assis au Bord de la Mer _ Young Man Beside the Sea: A Study _ Young Man Beside the Sea: A Study (1855)

Died on a 23 March:
1953 Raoul Dufy, French Fauvist painter born on 03 June 1877. — LINKSNice Open Window _ Nice Window (1928) — The Nice Casino (1927) (Nice, the nice city on the French Riviera) — Regatta at Cowes (1934) — FlagsDeauville Basin (1935)
1932 Boris Schatz, Russian Israeli artist born on 23 December 1867.
1874 Diodore Charles Rahoult, French artist born on 02 December 1919.
1770 Martin Mytens (or Meytens) II, Swedish artist born on 24 July 1695. [Mytens: nice to have during the Swedish winter.] — Relative? of Dutch painters Jan Mytens [1614-1670], Daniel Mytens the Elder [1590-1647]?
1678 Cornelis Gerritszoon Decker (or Dekker), Dutch artist born in 1625.
1640 Symon Jordaens, Flemish artist born in 1690. — Relative? of Jacob Jordaens [1593-1678]?

Born on a 23 March:

1936 Jannis Kounellis, Greek artist. — LINKS
1887 Josef Capek, Czech artist who died in March 1945.
1874 Joseph Christian Leyendecker, US illustrator who died in 1951. — LINKSPatriot and Liberty Bell (136x95cm) — Three Kings (Success magazine cover, 1900) — The SS Leviathan (House of Kuppenheimer Advertisement, 1918) — Couple Descending Stairs (Arrow Collar Advertisement)
1874 Henri-Charles Manguin, French Fauvist painter who died on 25 September 1949. — LINKSWalk in St. Tropez (1905) — Fleurs (1915) — Paysage à St. Tropez (1905) — Matin à Cavaliere (1906)
1857 Alphonse Osbert, French Symbolist painter who died in 1939. — A student of Lehmann, Cormon and Bonnat at the Paris Beaux-Arts, his first love was Spanish art and the works of José Ribera. Subsequent encounters with Puvis de Chavannes, Séon and Seurat led him to brighten his palette. At this time he also the adopted the themes characteristic of Symbolism and became a specialist in the subject of lyre-bearing classical Muses contemplating landscapes bathed in the setting sun. — Hymn to the Sea (1893) — Nymph (1893) — Lake in the Woods (1895) — Moonlight (1896) — Evening in Antiquity (1908, 150x135cm) — The Muse at Sunrise (1918, 38x46cm)
1839 Otto Eerelman, Dutch artist who died in 1926.
1816 John Frederick Kensett, US Hudson River School painter, specialized in landscapes, who died on 16 December 1872. — LINKSSunrise among the Rocks of Paradise, Newport (1859, 46x76cm)
1763 Andries Meulen (or Vermeulen), Dutch artist who died on 05 July 1814.
1746 Gérard van Spaendonck, French artist who died on 18 May 1822.

Happened on a 23 March:
1775 Patrick Henry says: “Give me liberty or give me death!” Peter Frederick Rothermel would paint the scene in Patrick Henry in the House of Burgesses of Virginia, Delivering his Celebrated Speech Against the Stamp Act after making a study of it.


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