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ART “4” “2”-DAY  28 March
+ ZOOM IN +Died on 28 March 1985: Marc Chagall, French painter and designer [<click on self-portrait to enlarge >].       ^top^
— Born in Vitebsk, Russia, on 07 July 1887; studied at the Imperial School in St. Petersburg; lived in Paris 1910-1914 and in Berlin 1914-1922 with interruption of return to Russia in 1918 where he became art commisar in Vitebsk and married; lived in France from 1923 until his death in 1985 except for 1941-1948 in the United States; died in Saint-Paul de Vence, Alpes-Maritimes, France.
—      Marc Chagall was distinguished for his surrealistic inventiveness. He is recognized as one of the most significant painters and graphic artists of the 20th century. His work treats subjects in a vein of humor and fantasy that draws deeply on the resources of the unconscious. Chagall's personal and unique imagery is often suffused with exquisite poetic inspiration.
      Chagall was born Jewish in Vitsyebsk, Russia (now in Belarus), and was educated in art in Saint Petersburg and, from 1910, in Paris, where he remained until 1914. Between 1915 and 1917 he lived in Saint Petersburg; after the Russian Revolution he was director of the Art Academy in Vitsyebsk from 1918 to 1919 and was art director of the Moscow Jewish State Theater from 1919 to 1922. Chagall painted several murals in the theater lobby and executed the settings for numerous productions. In 1923, he moved to France, where he spent the rest of his life, except for a period of residence in the United States from 1941 to 1948. He died in St. Paul de Vence, France.
      Chagall's distinctive use of color and form is derived partly from Russian expressionism and was influenced decisively by French cubism. Crystallizing his style early, as in Candles in the Dark (1908), he later developed subtle variations. His numerous works represent characteristically vivid recollections of Russian-Jewish village scenes, as in Moi et le Village (1911), and incidents in his private life, as in the print series Mein Leben (1922), in addition to treatments of Jewish subjects, of which The Praying Jew (1914) is one.
      His works combine recollection with folklore and fantasy. Biblical themes characterize a series of etchings executed between 1925 and 1939, illustrating the Old Testament, and the 12 stained-glass windows in the Hadassah Hospital of the Hadassah-Hebrew University Medical Center in Jerusalem (1962). In 1973 Musée National Message Biblique Marc Chagall was opened in Nice, France, to house hundreds of his biblical works. Chagall executed many prints illustrating literary classics. A canvas completed in 1964 covers the ceiling of the Opéra in Paris, and two large murals (1966) hang in the lobby of the Metropolitan Opera House in New York City.


Self-Portrait — Self~Portrait With 7 Fingers on One Hand — Moi et le Village — War — White Crucifixion — Feastday — Jew at Prayer — Praying Jew — Abraham About to Sacrifice Isaac — Parting of the Red Sea — Rainbow — Adam and Eve — Dan stained glass window — Joseph stained glass window — Issachar stained glass window — Levi stained glass window — Three Candles — Fiddler — Newspaper Seller — Coq — Parade — Red Nude — Birthday — The Spoonful of Milk

Four Seasons (1974, 90x60cm) — Paysage bleu (1958, 49x66cm) — Self-Portrait with black vest (1957, 60x48cm) — Moses (1956, 59x41cm) — Chagall Monumental (1973 book cover color lithograph 32x25cm) — untitled plate in the front of the book Chagall Monumental [sun, couple, hen, nude, face, figure] (1973, double page color lithograph 32x50cm) — untitled plate at p.15 in the book Homage to Marc Chagall [woman, town, face, goat] (1969 color lithograph 32x25cm) — Prints from the Mourlot Press (1964 catalogue cover color lithograph, 26x20cm)
^ Born on 28 March 1809: George Richmond, London English painter, draftsman, and engraver, who died on 19 March 1896. — Father of William Blake Richmond [29 Nov 1842 – 11 February 1921] — {Did he have a daughter? Did he name her Virginia? If so, did Virginia Richmond visit Richmond, Virginia?}
— George Richmond was a precocious draftsman. In 1824 he entered the Royal Academy, London, the same year as Edward Calvert, who was a part-time student of Joseph Severn. Richmond studied under John Henry Fuseli. Richmond first exhibited at the Academy in 1825 and that year met William Blake in the Highgate house of John Linnell II. Like his lifelong friend Samuel Palmer, Richmond fell under Blake’s spell, comparing him to the Prophet Isaiah and forming close friendships with Blake’s other disciples, including Calvert. He visited Palmer at Shoreham, chiefly in the summer of 1827, and both he and Calvert became prominent members of Palmer’s band of Ancients, who frequented the Kent village in the late 1820s and early 1830s. The tempera panel Abel the Shepherd (1826) is typical of Richmond’s early paintings, which reflect the pronounced influence of both Blake and Palmer. They are painted in an archaic style and include Christian and literary themes and high-minded if obscure genre subjects such as The Eve of Separation (1830; Oxford, Ashmolean). The human figure was central to these pictures as it was not for Palmer, who expressed sentiment through landscape motifs. Richmond was also active as a draftsman and miniaturist during this period; his Christ-like head of Palmer, in watercolor and gouache on vellum, dates from 1829. Like Calvert, he also excelled in printmaking. Such line-engravings as The Shepherd (1829; unfinished) and The Fatal Bellman (1827) represent a different sensibility from Palmer’s in their monumental, even Michelangelesque, figures.
Photo of Richmond

Self Portrait (60x50cm; 1000x790pix, 139kb)
Self portrait aged 21 (1830; oval 580x464pix, 82kb) _ A miniature of the artist depicted half-length in a landscape, wearing a brown jacket, white shirt and black cravat. It was painted on the occasion of his marriage to his wife Julia.
A Lady (31x25cm; full size, 183kb) _ half length, seated, facing front; the picture is unfinished, the hands and lap are barely sketched.
The Creation of Light (1826 tempera, 48x42cm) _ Richmond used the same paint medium as Blake did for his temperas, and a similar range of pigments. He made greater use of dark, intense, mixed greens than Blake. He also built up transparent layers to a considerable thickness, probably through many applications. The green hill in the foreground is heightened with gold leaf. This painting was submitted to the Royal Academy exhibition of 1826 but was rejected. This was probably because of the subject matter. Even if inspired by Michelangelo, depictions of the ‘Supreme Being’, as here (a naked muscular man, from the back), were frowned upon.
Abel the Shepherd (1825 tempera, 23x30cm) _ Richmond was the youngest of Blake’s followers known as the ‘Ancients’. He first met Blake in 1824. Later that year he became a student at the Royal Academy. This was his first exhibited picture, shown at the Academy in 1825. It shows Abel, the son of Adam and Eve, who was described in Genesis as ‘a keeper of sheep’. Richmond had asked Blake’s advice about using tempera. Blake copied out for him a passage from a modern edition of a fourteenth-century treatise on art by Cennino Cennini (reproduced on the panel to the left). Richmond’s choice of medium and support here reflects this advice.
Christ and the Woman of Samaria (1828, 41x50cm) _ Jesus uses his meeting with the Samaritan woman to explain his mission on earth: whoever drinks from the well ‘shall thirst again... but the water that I shall give him shall be … water springing up into everlasting life.’ Richmond used the same blend of gums (Arabic and tragacanth) as Blake used in his temperas. He mixed and blended colors, and produced far more gradations of blue and green than Blake, though with a very similar selection of pigments. Tempera remained an unusual medium among artists for many years after Blake’s death.
Isaac Going Forth to Meditate at Eventide (1828, 24x14cm) _ The paintings Richmond made in the late 1820s reflect the influence of Blake and the inspiration of literature. The title is from the book of Genesis, chapter XXIV verse 43: “And Isaac went out to meditate in the field at the eventide.' Like The Fatal Bellman, (1827 engraving, 7x5cm) the composition is dominated by a powerful figure, in this case, walking away towards the sunset.
A Woman with Two Children in a Hilly Landscape (1834, 38x29cm; 400x301pix, 18kb) _ on the back is written: “I give this sketch (founded on a home scene in my early married life) to my dearest daughter Julia Robinson / George Richmond June 6th 1881”
^ Died on 28 March 1957: Jack Butler Yeats II, Irish artist and writer born on 23 August 1871.
—     Jack B. Yeats was the son of barrister turned painter John Butler Yeats [12 Mar 1839 – 03 Feb 1922] and brother of the poet William Butler Yeats [13 Jun 1865 – 28 Jan 1939]. Born in London, he spent most of his childhood in Sligo. His travels with J. M. Synge in Connemara, and with his wife in other coastal areas, provided the theme of his early exhibitions, "Life in the West of Ireland." Like Synge and his brother, Yeats sought to record the folklore of Ireland and a rapidly disappearing way of life. With artist Paul Henry, he belonged to a group known as the Dublin Painters who took contemporary Ireland as their subject.
     Jack B. Yeats spent much of his boyhood in Co. Sligo. He later maintained that the landscape and light of the county inspired him to become a painter. In London he sporadically attended various art schools, including the Westminster School of Art, and worked as a black-and-white illustrator, chiefly for magazines. His early paintings were in watercolor, and he was over 30 before he began to work regularly in oils. For years his style remained essentially conservative, with some influence from Honoré Daumier, but in the mid-1920s a profound change began to take place. Yeats’s handling grew much freer, his forms were defined by brushstrokes rather than by line, his hitherto dour colors grew richer and more luminous and his earlier realism gradually gave way to a moody, intimate and highly personal romanticism. These tendencies grew even more marked over the next two decades, for example in About to Write a Letter (1935), until in Yeats’s final years subject-matter is sometimes buried and almost obliterated by rich impasto, bravura brushwork and flame-like areas of color, as in Grief (1951).
     Jack Yeats emerges as the central Irish artistic figure of the century, bursting onto the scene in the 1920s with impassioned paintings rich in the use of color and thick impasto. His Going to Wolfe Tone's Grave of 1929 also marks a new beginning of sorts, a return to internationalism on stylistic terms. His palette is less restrained; the treatment of the paint in deep incisions is expressionistic, in a way that looks to the art of interwar German painters. At the same time, by invoking the memory of a great Irish martyr, it speaks of Irish heroism and the politics of republicanism while distancing itself from the latter's overt political manifestation. Politics here reside in memory rather than in present-day violence. Yeats's expressionist style and interest in Irish politics were an important legacy for Irish painters of the 1980s and '90s.
      As a young man, Yeats made his living in London as a cartoonist and journal illustrator for publications such as Paddock Life and Lock to Lock Times, enjoying the sports events he attended. According to a friend, boxing was the only good thing Yeats got out of England. For him it was "the noble art of self-defence", and his boxers recall that period of his youth, though after his return to Ireland he was to commemorate a great Dublin pugilist, Dan Donnelly, in some pen drawings and in an oil painting of 1936.

      The Small Ring (1930, 61x91cm), a mid-period oil painted in the loose expressionist manner Yeats perfected during the late twenties, shows a young boxer in a London club at the moment when he has felled his opponent. The excited crowd around him, even the other boxer's second with his towel, are transfixed with astonishment. Everything seems to stop for an instant (except for the racing donkey, one of Yeats's chief delights, in the picture on the wall), as the young man visibly grows in stature, to become a golden haired hero with a spotless body.
      Developing beyond his original representational manner to something more expressive and elusive, Yeats also enlarged his work beyond the West of Ireland themes to a subject matter that was universal, showing himself to be far beyond his Irish contemporaries in style and concept. The major issues of life now became his central theme. The young boxer is no longer merely a local boy, but becomes emblematic of mankind's aspirations, translated into a mythology that is applicable to the human race. Yeats still remains a storyteller, describing an incident and the characters involved in it deliciously.
     Jack B. Yeats's life was relatively uneventful, with no emotional dramas or spectacular happenings to liven the pen of a biographer. After the death of his wife in 1947, to whom he had been happily married for over fifty years, his work became increasingly reminiscent, bordering on the metaphysical. He painted some metaphorical compositions in which he attempted to cope with his bereavement, as well as some marvelous canvases that are nostalgic for the simple pleasures of the past. Over the final eight years in which he was to paint, until his own death in 1957, he created human images of optimism and resolution and compassion, where real experience and a spiritual force knit together in uplifting, colorful energy.
      Returning from the Bathe, Mid-Day (1948, 62x92cm) is a nostalgic work which dwells on the days of childhood in Sligo, and bathing at Rosses Point. The picture remembers a never~ending summer of blue sea and green sandhills, golden sunlight and breezy air, and the friendly donkey, waiting to greet the dancing children who return waving their wet towels as they run. Yeats once said that in every picture he painted there was a thought of Sligo, and this image encapsulates all he had of happy emotion.
      The theme has implications beyond the Watteau~like fantasy. For Yeats at this late state, bathing was akin to baptism, and the child was a symbol of hope and renewal. Even the donkey, like the horse, had otherworldly proportions. The time of day, too, which, like the state of the tide, was a facet of his paintings, is indicative of a possibility for optimism and ultimate serenity.
Off the Donegal Coast (1922) _ In 1906, Yeats made a drawing of four fisherman in their canvas canoe, or currach, on which islanders had depended from prehistoric times, for The Aran Islands by J. M. Synge. With its diagonal composition, Off the Donegal Coast is based on that drawing. The Donegal islands are even more remote than the isles of Aran.
Back from the Races (1925, 23x36cm) — Morning after Rain (1923, 61x91cm) — The Death of Diarmuid, the Last Handful of Water (1945, 61x91cm) — The Two Travellers (1942, 92x123cm) — The Shanachie
^ Born on 28 March 1472: fra Bartolommeo (Fattorino “Baccio della Porta”), Italian painter who died on 31 October 1517
—     Bartolommeo di Pagola del Fartorino, also known as Baccio della Porta because his family home was at the Porta di San Pier Gartolino, was born in 1472 in Soffignano near Florence. At the age of 12 he was sent to the workshop of Cosimo Rosselli, where he studied art. He also took lessons from Ghirlandaio. In 1490 he founded his own workshop, together with Mariotto Albertinelli. Bartolommeo became a follower of the Dominican monk Girolamo Savonarola and entered the Dominican order in the late nineties. He was influenced by the works of Leonardo da Vinci and Flemish masters, studied works of Perugino and Bellini. The combined effect of these influences resulted after 1512 in works which stand out in the art of the Florentine High Renaissance. Among his best works is The Entombment (1515).
— Florentine painter of the High Renaissance. His original name was Baccio della Porta, but he changed his name to Fra Bartolommeo when he became a Dominican friar in 1500.
      Born in Florence and trained there under the painter Cosimo Roselli, he was influenced by the grimly fanatic Dominican friar Girolamo Savonarola to give up art and enter the order. Four years later Bartolommeo began to paint again, producing the Vision of St. Bernard (1504-1507, Accademia, Florence).
      After a trip to Venice in 1508, where he was strongly influenced by Giovanni Bellini's mastery of color, he became one of the chief exponents of color composition in the Florentine school. From this period date such grave, monumental altarpieces as the Eternal Father with Mary Magdalene and Saint Catherine of Siena (1509) and the Marriage of St. Catherine (two paintings: 1511, and 1512), many done in collaboration with his friend Mariotto Albertinelli. Bartolommeo's later works, such as the Madonna della Misericordia (1515), reflect the majestic High Renaissance style of Michelangelo and Raphael, which he had encountered on a trip to Rome in 1514.

The Holy Family with the Infant St. John in a Landscape
The Marriage of St Catherine of Siena (1511, 257x228cm) _ The painting was executed for the Convent of San Marco in Florence. The saints depicted are on the left Catherine, Peter, Lawrence, Stephen, on the right Francis, Dominic, Bartholomew and two Martyrs.
Christ with the Four EvangelistsDeposition (1515, 152x195cm)
The Annunciation (front), Circumcision and Nativity (back) (1500, 20x9cm) _ Stylistic elements make datable the diptych at the end of fifteenth century, probably among the works carried out by Baccio before he became a Dominican friar in July 1500. The pictures were conceived as doors of a little tabernacle commissioned by Piero del Pugliese: it had to enclose a lost marble Madonna by Donatello. The panels are in fact painted on both sides, representing on the front The Annunciation in monochrome and on the back Circumcision and Nativity.
Girolamo Savonarola (1498, 47x31cm) _ Girolamo Savonarola (1452-1498), born in Ferrara, was for some time prior of the Convent of San Marco. Inspired by an aversion for worldly things, and the highest religious ideals, with his example and his obscurely threatening and prophetic sermons he condemned first the corrupt way of life of Florence then the church hierarchy in Rome. Ignoring numerous reprimands and contemptuous of danger, he was condemned to death: together with his fellow friars, Domenico da Pescia and Silvestro Maruffi, he was hanged and burnt in Piazza Signoria on 23 May 1498. The portrait of Savonarola was painted by Fra Bartolomeo while he was alive [?! If Fra Bartelommeo had painted anything while dead, it would have been a miracle].
The Vision of St. Bernard (1504) _ Compare Filippino Lippi The Apparition of the Virgin to St. Bernard and Pietro Perugino The Vision of St. Bernard.
God the Father in Glory with St. Mary Magdalene and St. Catherine of Siena (1509)
The Mystic Marriage of St. Catherine of Siena, with Eight Saints (1511)
The Mystic Marriage of St. Catherine (1512)
The Entombment (1515)
The Annunciation, with Saints Margaret, Mary Magdalen, Paul, John the Baptist, Jerome and Francis (1515)
Savior of the World (1516) — NativityThe Adoration of the Christ Child
^ Died on 28 March 1712: Jan van der Heyden (or Hyde) [not Jekyll at times?], Dutch Baroque painter born in 1637.
— Born at Gorinchem in 1637, he was trained initially by a glass painter. By 1650 his family had settled in Amsterdam where, on his marriage in 1661, He is recorded as a painter. There are dated works from 1664. From the evidence of his pictures he must have travelled in Flanders and the Rhineland and he also visited London, painting views of the Royal Exchange and the Monument. After 1668 he was increasingly concerned with improvements to street lighting and fire-fighting equipment; in 1672 he constructed the first fire-engine (publishing a book on the subject in 1690) and he seems to have painted only infrequently after about 1680. He died in Amsterdam. Known chiefly for his accomplished townscapes, he also painted landscapes and, in later life, some still lifes.
— Van der Heyden was active in Amsterdam. He painted some landscapes and still-lifes. but is celebrated as one of the greatest of all townscape painters. His views of towns are done with loving attention to detail, but the harmonious colors and sunny light of his elegantly composed pictures prevent the precise way he rendered foliage, bricks, and architectural detail from appearing dull or dry. In spite of the seemingly objective nature of his work, van der Heyden often took liberties with topographical accuracy and he also painted 'capricci'. Painting was only a part of his activity. for he was also involved in civic administration in Amsterdam. The fire hose is said to have been his invention and it is included in his Brandspuiten-boek ('Fire Engine Book'), a volume about fire-fighting equipment, illustrated with his own engravings, that he published in 1690.

Approach to the Town of Veere (1665, 46x56cm; 881x1098pix, 174kb) _ Jan van der Heyden, who specialized in the painting of townscapes, was born in Gorinchem but moved as a child to Amsterdam. He is said to have been trained by a glass-painter, an apprenticeship which taught him to paint with the extraordinary degree of precision evident in his topographical views. He lived and worked in Amsterdam throughout his life but travelled widely in Holland, Flanders and the Rhineland. He painted many of the towns he visited, producing more that one hundred views of identified places in Holland, as well as of Brussels and Cologne. From the end of the 1660s he was also involved in projects to improve street-lighting and fire-fighting in his native town and provided the illustrations for books on these subjects. In addition to town views, he painted a few landscapes and still lifes.
      In the seventeenth-century Veere, a small town in the province of Zeeland, on the strait between Walcheren and Noord Beveland, was an important port which carried on an extensive trade with Scotland. It is seen here from the south-west with the tower of the Great Church prominent on the left: the church was extensively damaged by fire in 1686. Traditionally the figures have been attributed to Adriaen van de Velde but in fact are probably by van der Heyden himself. The artist painted a number of views of the town of Veere seen from slightly different points of view but none are dated and there is no record of when van der Heyden visited the town. There is relatively little development in van der Heyden's meticulous and delicate style and his paintings are therefore difficult to date with any precision, but this view was probably painted around 1665.
View of the Westerkerk, Amsterdam (1660, 91x114cm; 840x1070pix, 161kb) _ A prolific Dutch specialist of the newly developed theme of townscape, van der Heyden was in his day better known as an inventor: he organised municipal street lighting in Amsterdam and patented the first fire engine equipped with pumpdriven hoses. With seemingly endless patience and a talent for technical drawing, he painted architectural vistas, real and imaginary, in the greatest and most minute detail. In this picture, for example, one can read some of the tattered posters on the wooden hoardings protecting the young trees in the foreground; one of them advertises a sale of paintings. At the same time, however, he was able to subordinate detail to the whole, and what makes this painting so especially magical is the luminous sky, the light of which reflects from the rosy brick and yellow cobblestone as much as from the sluggish water and, glinting through the leaves, permeates the entire scene.
      The picture is exceptional in van der Heyden's work by virtue of its large size, about three times the scale of similar compositions by him. It was commissioned by the governing body of the Westerkerk to hang in their meeting room in the church, and the patrons must have specified the dimensions. Unlike older Netherlandish churches, the Westerkerk was purposely built to accommodate Protestant worship. It was designed by Thomas de Keyser, father of the painter, and completed only in 1638. By choosing a viewpoint from across the canal, van der Heyden simultaneously locates it companionably along the city street and isolates it, screening neighbouring buildings and closing off the edges of the painting with foliage (the mature tree on our side of the canal on the left was an afterthought). Lively incidents are added for human interest, although the scale of the figures is less secure than the architectural composition, and they, like the reflectionless swans, may have been painted in by another artist. Such collaboration between a view painter and a figure specialist was quite frequent at the time. An additional point of interest for the modern viewer is that Rembrandt was buried in the Westerkerk in 1669.
View of the Westerkerk, Amsterdam (1671, 41x59cm; 768x1117pix, 108kb) _ The works of Jan van der Heyden, one of the finest city-view specialists, are responsible for our general impressions of seventeenth-century Amsterdam. In paintings such as his View of the Westerkerk he presented a pristine, sunny image of the city in the 1670s. These cityscapes, many of which inventively recombine actual and fictional buildings, are as interesting for their omissions as for their inclusions. Both serious and comic descriptions of Amsterdam called attention to the busy traffic of people and carts, to the crying children and fighting street dwellers, to dirt and to crime, but van der Heyden's city views edit out congestion, noise, transgression, and dust, and gloss over class distinctions. They thereby present a salutary image of a unified, prosperous city, a beautifully painted fiction affordable only to its prosperous elite.
      Van der Heyden's painting takes as its centerpiece the Westerkerk, a church designed in 1620 by Hendrick de Keyser, then the city's most famous architect. Although the structure owed much to earlier Netherlandish designs executed in warmly colored local brick, its details are innovative. To contemporaries the bell tower, completed in 1638, must have looked cosmopolitan with its three levels of classical columns in stone, topped by brackets that support a fanciful bulb. As the largest Protestant church built up to that time, it constituted a local answer to the magnificent tradition of Catholic building. Although de Keyser's church primarily served the Jordaan, a modest neighbourhood, van der Heyden represented it as seen from the stately Keizersgracht, the new Emperor's Canal.
View of the Herengracht, Amsterdam (1670; 900x1074pix, 186kb) _ Jan van der Heyden, one of the leading architectural painters of this generation and a man of more parts than most Dutch painters, was born in 1637 at Gorinchem (Gorkum), a town near Dordrecht. When he was a boy of thirteen his parents settled in Amsterdam; apart from trips to the Rhineland, the northern, and the southern Netherlands he spent his life there. He painted some imaginary cityscapes based on studies done in Germany, which at first blush appear to be true-to-life views, and lovely capriccios which show expert knowledge of the principles of classical architecture. His oeuvre also includes about forty landscapes that reveal a debt to Adriaen van de Velde, who is credited with painting figures in some of his pictures, and a few intriguing still-lifes that can be justifiably categorized as interiors.
      Van der Heyden is best known for his views of Amsterdam. He took more than a pictorial interest in the city. In 1668 he presented Amsterdam's municipal authorities with a plan to light the entire city with glass lanterns and oil lamps he invented. Acceptance of his plan in 1669 to install more than 2500 of his lamps made Amsterdam the first European city to enjoy street lighting. The city fathers also appointed him superintendent of municipal lighting at the handsome annual salary of 2000 guilders per year for life. His lamps were soon installed in Berlin, Leipzig, and other cities - they even found their way to Japan. Those in Amsterdam continued to serve the city until 1840. His lamps also serve art historians today; when they appear in undated paintings by van der Heyden himself, Gerrit Berckheyde, Jacob van Ruisdael, and others, they establish 1669 as a terminus post quem for the work.
      Van der Heyden and his brother made an equally significant contribution to urban life in 1672 when they constructed an improved fire engine with pump-driven flexible coupled hoses, devices that replaced less efficient bucket brigades. Subsequently, Jan was appointed an overseer of Amsterdam's fire department and established a factory to manufacture the pump. In 1690 he and his son published their Description of the Newly Discovered and Patented Hose Fire Engine and Its Way of Extinguishing Fires. The book is richly illustrated with prints after van der Heyden's own drawings and he himself etched and engraved some of its plates. Van der Heyden's inventions and activities related to them made him a very wealthy man. After his death in 1712, the estate of his widow, who died in the same year, was valued at over 80'000 guilders. His estate also included more than seventy of his pictures and a sizeable library.
      Most of van der Heyden's paintings were done in the 1660s and 1670s — his work as inventor, entrepreneur, and city official probably slacked his pace. But he continued to paint until the very end. Van der Heyden always manages to achieve refinement without prettiness. He is an exquisite composer who keeps great structural clarity. While every brick in his numerous cityscapes is readable, the total impression still dominates through a broad as well as minute disposition of lights and darks, and atmosphere is felt as pervading the whole space and softening the exact definition. In his view of a great bend in the fashionable Herengracht (this picture) lined with huge lime trees that virtually hide the patrician houses that flank the broad canal he combines his gifts as city painter and landscapist, and captures an aspect of the Venice of the North that bewitched seventeenth-century visitors.
      As he frequently does, van der Heyden took liberties with the site. To emphasize the grand curve of the Herengracht he shortened the length of the embankment, thereby eliminating some houses, and he also exaggerated its upward sweep. By judicious selection and adjustment, and choosing unusual points of view, he gives a remarkable feel for the character and atmosphere of urban spaces as well as meticulous portraits of buildings.
Dam Square, Amsterdam (1668; 1011x822pix, 116kb) _ Van der Heyden explored the city's unusual corners as in his view of Amsterdam's New Church seen from the end of the irregularly shaped Dam in strong, late afternoon light that casts long transparent shadows, where we can explore a small street. On one side of the painting, we merely see a little more than a single pavilion of the long, classical façade of the new town hall and on the other only a bit of the weigh house. Among van der Heyden's numerous depictions of the town hall, not one shows a frontal view of its full façade. For straightforward elevations of the building Amsterdammers called the Eighth Wonder of the World, it is necessary to turn to other cityscapists. _ and, from a different angle (with more of the town hall), Dam Square, Amsterdam (1668; 139kb)
Still-life with Rarities (1712, 74x64cm; 1032x870pix, 180kb) _ Jan van der Heyden was one of the leading architectural painters of his generation and a man of more parts than most Dutch painters. When he was a boy of thirteen his parents settled in Amsterdam; apart from trips to the Rhineland, the northern, and the southern Netherlands he spent his life there. He painted some imaginary cityscapes based on studies done in Germany, which at first blush appear to be true-to-life views, and lovely capriccios which show expert knowledge of the principles of classical architecture. His oeuvre also includes about forty landscapes that reveal a debt to Adriaen van de Velde, who is credited with painting figures in some of his pictures, and a few intriguing still-lifes that can be justifiably categorized as interiors. Van der Heyden is best known for his views of Amsterdam.
      Most of van der Heyden's paintings were done in the sixties and seventies - his work as inventor, entrepreneur, and city official probably slacked his pace. But he continued to paint until the very end. His latest firmly datable picture, Still-life with Rarities, shows the corner of a 'Kunstkamer' in strong even light with meticulous depictions of rarities from the natural and man-made world, but not the collector who assembled them. It is proudly inscribed with his monogram and states he painted it when he was seventy-five years old; he attained that age in 1712, the year he died.
      Among the objects displayed in the Kunstkamer, which is most probably a fictive one, are a hanging armor of an armadillo, a copy after an etching of Pietro Testa's Suicide of Dido above the marble mantle, an inlaid cabinet used for housing treasured coins and natural specimens, oriental weapons, and on the bright red Chinese embroidered cloth that covers the table globes, one terrestrial and the other celestial, and an open Blaeu atlas. Next to the table there is a red damask covered chair that supports a folio Bible open at the favorite passage of Dutch moralists: Ecclesiastes, Chapter I, which begins with 'The words of the Preacher . . . vanity of vanities; all is vanity. What profit hath a man of all his labor which he taketh under the sun?' The biblical reference to transience is reinforced by Testa's Suicide of Dido, a subject taken from Virgil's Aeneid which can be read as an exemplum of love's ephemeral nature. Van der Heyden's message is obvious and familiar. It is one we have heard from other still-life specialists: preparation for salvation is of greater importance than all the treasures, pleasures, and knowledge that can be derived from this world.
^ Born on 28 March 1861: Alphonse-Étienne Dinet “Nasreddine”, Paris French painter specialized in Orientalism, who died on 24 December 1929. After Dinet converted to Islam he took the name el-Hadj Nasr Ed Dine Dini. Rather than a renunciation of his French heritage he sought to reconcile the two peoples and achieve equal rights and respect for the Algerians. — {Durant le Ramadan, c'est après le coucher du soleil que Dinet dinait.} _ {There is no evidence that, Oriental or not, there was ever painted a Dinet dinette.}
— Etienne Dinet spent almost 50 years living in sourthern Algeria and he holds a very special position in the history of Orientalist painting. His empathy and understanding of the Algerians lend his works an authenticity rarely surpassed, each being infused with his unique talent and intensity of emotion. During the first half of the 19th century, French touring painters (voyageurs) were normally attached to military, scientific or diplomatic missions, but by 1870 the Orientalists tended to prefer to travel alone, although nevertheless depending heavily upon official sponsorship and commissions. Dinet on the other hand quickly gained public acclaim for his talent alone, rapidly developing his own unique plein air style.
     He was born in Paris into a prosperous middle-class family. His father was the president of the Seine civil court. His mother was a devotee of the fine arts, whose influence could already be seen in his enthusiasm for drawing from the age of five.
     1871 Enters the Lycée Henri IV in Paris as a border. Shows interest in history, geography, and in drawing in which he wins a first prize.
      1879 Having passed his baccalauréat exams, Dinet begins his military service in Granville, Normandy, where his free time is employed in drawing and painting.
      1880-1881 Finishing military service, he must now choose a career. His father wants him to pursue the family tradition of law, however his interest in art pervades and he enters the École des Beaux-Arts and the Galland atelier. His studies also include anatomy. However on the closure of this atelier, he enrols at the Académie Julian where his teachers include William Bouguereau and Tony Robert Fleury. He studies there for four years.
      1882 His first painting sent to the Paris Salon des Artistes Français, La Mère Clotilde, receives critical acclaim.
      1884 The brother of his friend Lucien Simon is an entomologist and about to embark on a scientific study visit to Algeria. The two friends decide to accompany him for the period of a month – to the south of the country - and thus begins his lifelong love for Algeria.
      1885 On a scholarship he visits Normandy, Brittany, Jersey, and Switzerland to study landscape painting. Then in the spring he makes his second voyage to Algeria where he travels extensively, filling his sketchbook which exhibits his interest in precision of form and physiological detail. In this year he completes his first two Algerian works: Les Terrasses de Laghouat and L’Oued M’sila après l’Orage.
      1886 Leaving the Académie Julian, he sets up in his own atelier in Rue de Rome, Paris.
      1887 The third voyage to Algeria, this time accompanied by a group of other young artists. Dinet, along with 13 other artists, including Paul Leroy and baron Arthur Chassériau, form the Société des Peintres Orientalistes Français (Society of French Orientalist Painters), with Jean-Léon Gérôme and Benjamin-Constant as honorary presidents, and as president, Léonce Bénédite, Conservator of the Musée du Luxembourg.
      1888 Dinet moves to a new atelier at 85 rue Notre-Dame-des-Champs, close to that of his friend Paul Leroy, with whom he enrols at the Oriental Language School to learn Arabic. In the same year he exhibits at the Galerie Georges Petit where his paintings hang beside those of Sisley and other Impressionists. For a fourth time he returns to Algeria, this time with the young guide Slimane Ben Ibrahim Baâmeur, who was to accompany him thenceforth for many years. When he returns to Paris, his works again meet with acclaim.
      1889 During this period he involves himself deeper in Orientalist themes and his canvas exhibited at the Salon, Midi en juillet à Bou-Saâda, dazzles with it’s representation of light and heat. Again he moves to a new atelier, on rue Furstemberg, close to where Delacroix worked, and his work is displayed in the Algerian Pavillion at the Universal Exhibition. Then – together with a number of other ‘dissidents’, including Puvis de Chavannes, Carolus Duran, Charles Cottet, and Auguste Rodin – he helps constitute the breakaway Société Nationale des Beaux-Arts.
      1893 The Palais de l’Industrie is the venue for the first official exhibition of the Peintres Orientalistes Français. He is also very enthusiastic about visiting an exhibition of Muslim art for the first time. From this time onwards he dedicates himself to paintings of an Algerian theme.
      1895 Dissatisfied with paintings in oil colors and varnish, he experiments with a new technique using egg, as already employed by the “Primitives”, to give a clearer, brilliant tone.
      1898 Dinet publishes his first illustrated book, Le Poème d’Antar, translated from Arabic, with illustrations inspired by the Laghouat region. It comprised 120 illustrations and 12 decorative panels.
      1902 He gets published a second illustrated book, Rabia El Kouloub or Le Printemps des Coeurs, a collection of three Saharan legends, retold by Sliman with Dinet’s illustrations. His painting L’Arabe en prière initiates the process ultimately leading to his conversion to Islam in 1903.
      1903 Publishes in the journal Art et Décoration an article entitled Les Jeux de la lumière ou Observations sur l’exposition des Arts Musulmans.
      1904 Since he continues to spend several months of each year in Algeria, Dinet creates a permanent base there, buying a house at Bou-Saâda.
      1907 The Villa Abd El Tif is established in Algiers, along the lines of the Villa Médicis in Rome, as a place of training young French Orientalist painters, but Dinet prefers to keep his independence and his life in the south of Algeria.
      1909-1911 Two further books are published together with Silmane – works exalting the nomadic life – the second, Le Désert, receiving much acclaim. The location of his Paris atelier changes to Rue de l’Abbaye in the Saint-Germain-des-Près quarter, where it remains for several years. He begins thinking about writing a Life of Mohammed – since his fluency in the Arabic language now enabled him to research ancient texts.
      1913 Dinet officially converts to Islam – and takes the name Nacer Ad Dine (Defender of the Faith). Although contemplated for a long time, this definitive act loses him several of his old friends, including Paul Leroy.
      1914 On 09th March his father dies and he is very much affected. At the beginning of the Wold War I, he returns to Héricy and, with the aid of his sister, transforms the mansion into a military hospital.
      1915-1918 Dinet becomes more politically involved in Algeria, taking up stances critical of the colonial administration, thereby again attracting much criticism. However he does succeed in obtaining better conditions for Islamic WWI soldiers and helps in establishing a franco-islamic hospital at Poincaré. In Algeria he signs up with the franco-islamic North Africa action committee presided over by Édouard Herriot. At last he publishes his Life of Mohammed, which he dedicates to the Muslims who had died fighting for France.
      1922 In January his mother dies and, together with his sister, decides to sell the mansion at Héricy. With his share of the inheritance he buys a villa in Saint-Eugène, a suburb of Algiers.
      1926 In July he is present at the official opening of the Paris mosque, having been an enthusiastic proponent for the project from the outset. But for Dinet, the most successful event of the year was undoubtedly the publication of his illustrated edition of Khadra, danseuse Ouled Naïl.
      1928 Dinet exhibits at the Paris Salon for the last time.
      1929:: 01 April Dinet prepares to set out on his pilgrimage to Mecca. 20 June Returns to Marseille. 06 July For the first time he signs his paintings El Hadj Nasr Eddine. 09 November Finishes his book Pilgrimage to the House of the Holy Allah. 22 November Admitted to a clinic in Paris. 24 December Dinet dies of heart failure.
Biographie en français

Le Charmeur de Serpents (1889). _ This painting was made in the open air in a village south of Bou-Saada in central Algeria and the people in it were real. Six months after Dinet completed this picture, the snake charmer died from a poisonous bite.
Femmes et enfants arabes (66x102cm; 664x1000pix, 229kb)
Jeu de la krouta (1901, 50x66cm; 600x780pix, 103kb)
Meddah aveugle chantant l’épopée du Prophète aka Le conteur arabe (130x163cm; 631x780pix, 90kb)
A la fenêtre (193x162cm; 665x780pix, 72kb) — Fille en promenade (Sud Algerien)
^ Died on 28 March 1933: Henri Émilien Rousseau, French Orientalist painter and illustrator, born on 17 December 1875, who studied under Gérôme. — Not to be confused with “le douanier” Henri-Julien-Félix Rousseau [21 May 1844 – 02 Sep 1910]
— Henri Rousseau a grandi, a travaillé et a disparu sous le signe de la lumière. C'est au Caire, en Egypte, qu'il a vu le jour; c'est en Provence et au Maghreb que, durant un tiers de siècle, il a le mieux exprimé son tempérament; c'est enfin par une lumineuse journée que ses amis l'ont accompagné au cimetière d'Aix-en-Provence.
     Sa première demeure, vaste et confortable, se trouvait donc au Caire. C'était celle de son père Léon Rousseau Pacha, né en 1840, polytechnicien, ingénieur des Ponts et Chaussées, engagé neuf ans plus tôt par Ferdinand de Lesseps pour creuser un tronçon du Canal de Suez. Léon a si bien réussi qu'après l'inauguration il a été engagé par le vice-roi d'Egypte, Ismail Pacha, comme directeur puis secrétaire d'état aux travaux publics. Brillant organisateur, personnalité affirmée, agnostique, soucieux du renom de la France, il est homme de devoir et fonctionnaire loyal. Selon la règle de l'administration ottomane il porte le fez, la redingote noire et un sabre d'honneur. La maison et les domestiques sont menés par la compagne de Léon Rousseau, Marie-Angéle Dona, trente ans, d'origine italienne. Elle va mettre au monde neuf enfants dont trois ne survivront que quelques semaines aux rigueurs du climat.
     Henri est l'aîné. Dés qu'il est en âge de se jucher sur une selle on lui fait cadeau d'un âne blanc puis d'un poney avec lequel il se promène dans les rues tortueuses et grouillantes du Caire, souvenir qu'il évoquera plus tard avec enthousiasme. S'y mêlent les odeurs du souk, les rumeurs de la ville, les images des felouques sur le Nil ou de la lumière du soir sur les ruines. D'abord son père s'occupe de son instruction puis, à sept ans, Il l'inscrit à l'école allemande du Caire. On lui fait donner également des leçons de piano.
      Il navigue aussi, par la force des choses mais avec un vif intérêt, entre Alexandrie et les ports de la Méditerranée occidentale. En 1881 - il a six ans - une insurrection pousse Marle-Angéle à se mettre à l'abri en France avec ses trois premiers enfants durant quelques mois. Henri découvre sa patrie, à Marseille. En 1883, c'est une épidémie de choléra qui les oblige à prendre à nouveau la mer mais cette fois vers Gènes. Inspiré par ces aventures, le gamin dessine sur ses carnets des navires, des soldats et des batailles. Enfin en 1884, Henri - qui a neuf ans - et toute sa famille quittent définitivement l'Egypte. Rousseau Pacha a été remercié, avec une pension confortable, et remplacé par un officier britannique.
     Les Rousseau commencent par s'installer à Cannes puis choisissent Versailles où ils s'établissent en 1885. Cette année là, peu avant d'avoir dix ans, Henri rentre à l'école Saint-Jean, établissement catholique tenu par les Eudistes. Il y restera jusqu'au bac, ayant comme condisciples Pierre Ravanne, qui deviendra son meilleur ami puis son beau-frère, et Ambroise Rendu qu'il retrouvera beaucoup plus tard à Toulouse et au fils duquel il mariera l'une de ses filles. Henri est travailleur. Aux cours ordinaires, il ajoute des leçons particulières d'allemand, de piano, de gymnastique, d'équitation et d'escrime. Le petit cairote, qui a déjà pas mal bourlingué, se pose: il apprend la discipline, la réflexion, la composition. Il passe le baccalauréat de mathématique élémentaire avec mention assez bien et, répondant aux vécus de son père, entre en mathématique supérieure au lycée Hoche, en 1893. Objectif Polytechnique ou une grande école.
     En réalité Henri rêve de tout autre chose, Depuis des années, à la maison comme au collège, il parsème de croquis les marges de ses cahiers et de ses manuels. Ses camarades et ses professeurs n'ont pas manqué de s'en apercevoir. Il a le trait précis, assuré et volontiers incisif. Il serait un bon dessinateur humoristique voire un caricaturiste. Durant l'été 1894 l'un des prêtres de Saint-Jean l'emmène en Bretagne d'où le jeune homme rapporte un album bourré de croquis: des portraits cocasses, des scènes de marché, des paysages. Il a même brossé une huile de 30x40cm: une plage. Ce n'est pas la première: l'année précédente, il s'était essayé sur un « Paysage de rochers ». Bref, il a la vocation et parle de préparer les beaux-arts.
     Rousseau Pacha, son père, va prendre l'avis de l'artiste qu'il connaît le mieux, Jean-Léon Gérôme, renommé comme peintre d'histoire et orientaliste. Il l'a reçu jadis, en Egypte, et l'a escorté au Mont Sinaï. Le maître a soixante-dix ans et mène son atelier d'une main de fer. Rousseau lui montre les dessins et les deux toiles de son fils. Accepté. En octobre 1894 Henri rentre chez Gérôme d'abord pour préparer le concours d'entrée aux Beaux-Arts puis, l'année suivante, comme élève de l'école. Après la férule des eudistes le voilà sous l'autorité d'un maître vieillissant, parangon de l'académisme, intransigeant sur l'apprentissage des techniques et maniaque sur l'exactitude des détails d'une toile. Le tout sous l'oeil sévère d'un père qu'une retraite prématurée a rendu un peu amer, terriblement pointilleux, mais qui se passionne toujours pour le monde arabe.
      Autour d'Henri ne règne guère la fantaisie. Dans la vaste demeure que Rousseau Pacha a fait bâtir à Versailles les enfants se préparent à des destins ultra classiques. Parmi les soeurs d'Henri, Louise va épouser un officier, Marguerite un médecin versaillais, Marie le futur général Petit. Chez les frères, Georges guigne Saint-Cyr et Léon une école de commerce. Détail qui caractérise cette famille bourgeoise : parmi les six fils et gendres de Rousseau Pacha quatre recevront, à son exemple, la Légion d'honneur ! Entre 1894 et 1900 Henri, qui réside toujours chez ses parents, fait sagement son service militaire et brillamment ses cinq ans d'apprentissage aux Beaux-Arts. Il y obtient une demi-douzaine de médailles, de mentions et de prix. En 1899, il présente au Salon des artistes français une toile édifiante: Christ guérissant les aveugles. Mention honorable. Parallèlement le curé de l'église Saint-Jean de Montmartre, place des Abbesses, lui fait exécuter plusieurs toiles et fresques religieuses pour orner l'édifice dont l'architecte a subi l'influence orientaliste. En 1900, il décroche le « Premier second grand prix de Rome » avec une couvre moralisatrice qui est acquise 1200 francs par l'État : Spartiate montrant à ses fils un ilote ivre pour les écarter de l'ivrognerie. Cette même année il expose au Salon encore un toile pieuse : La Prière. L'oeuvre, représentant des capucins récitant le Pater, est achetée 1500 francs par l'État pour le musée d'Amiens. Elle lui vaut à la fois une médaille et une bourse de voyage de 4000 francs. Le sage, le conformiste, le très chrétien Henri Rousseau n'est pas seulement conforté par ces honneurs, il est aussi gratifié par les sommes qui les accompagnent. Elles lui permettent - à vingt-cinq ans - de se passer de l'aide de son père.
     En cette année 1900, Paris accueille l'Exposition Universelle. L'Impressionnisme a déjà un quart de siècle. Certains de ses maîtres comme Manet et Sisley ont disparu, les autres vieillissent. Renoir et Monet sont sexagénaires, Pissaro septuagénaire. On passe au néo-impressionnisme ou pointillisme avec Seurat (décédé depuis neuf ans) et Signac. Cézanne, toujours à l'avant-garde mais toujours ignoré des officiels, a soixante et un ans et Gauguin, quinquagénaire, est à Tahiti.
     Henri, lui, profite de sa bourse pour faire une sorte de voyage initiatique. En compagnie d'un camarade d'atelier le voilà parti pour la Flandre où il visite Ypres, Bruges, Gand, Anvers. De là il passe en Hollande : Dordrecht, Amsterdam, le Zuiderzee, La Haye. Retour par Bruxelles, Louvain, Malines et Bruges, à nouveau. Il passe des heures dans les musées à contempler les chefs-d'œuvre des grands ancêtres. Dans ses lettres il parle avec émotion de Memling, Van Eyck, Rubens, Frans Hals, Ruysdael, jan Steen, Rembrandt. Mais aussi il flâne et il travaille (une douzaine d'études et de portraits). Trois mois durant lesquels son guide invisible n'est autre qu'Eugéne Fromentin qui, vingt-cinq ans plus tôt, avait accompli ce périple et l'avait relaté dans Les Maîtres d'autrefois. Ce peintre-écrivain, qu'il n'a pas connu mais qu'il a lu à fond et dont il connaît les toiles, restera son vrai maître jusqu'à la fin. Il l'admire, le cite, le paraphrase et même, à l'occasion, le pille pour nourrir ses conférences.
     C'est en se remémorant Un été dans le Sahara et Une année dans le Sahel qu'Henri continue son voyage, en janvier 1901. Il descend la vallée du Rhône qu'il redécouvre par la vitre du train, passe à Marseille et, dédaignant l'Italie où il aurait maintes raisons artistiques et familiales de se rendre, s'embarque pour la Tunisie. Il est vrai que son grand-père avait été consul de France à Sfax, que son père y est né et que l'une de ses tantes y a fait souche. Il est tellement séduit qu'il y reste cinq mois, parcourant le pays en tout sens, en train, en patache, à cheval et à dos de mulet, bravant la chaleur, le sirocco et la poussière. Ebloui par les souks, les patios, les oliveraies, les jeunes bédouines, les bergers et les hommes à cheval dans les grands espaces il brosse des huiles rapides sur de petits panneaux de bois dont il tirera plus tard, à Paris, une demi-douzaine de toiles. Sur place il expose au Salon de Tunis un Cavalier arabe et une Femme arabe qui lui valent une médaille d'argent et une décoration : le Nichan Iftikar.
     Infatigable, Rousseau passe en Algérie où, malgré une chaleur d'enfer, il visite Bone, Philippeville, Constantine, Sétif, Alger et Oran. De ce port un bateau le conduit à Carthagéne, en Espagne, où durant un mois encore il traverse Murcie, Grenade, Séville, Cordoue, Madrid, Tolède, Avila et Burgos. Mais son rêve s'est évanoui au passage de la frontière tunisienne. Il est déçu par l'Espagne, Goya et les corridas, enthousiasmé par Vélasquez, Zurbaràn et Murillo, ainsi que par les italiens du Prado : Titien, le Tintoret, Raphaël et Véronèse. Après ce formidable tour d'Europe de dix mois il revient à Versailles à la fin de juillet 1901, sans doute recru de fatigue mais avec des images de désert et d'oasis plein la tête.
     Peu de mois après, le 22 avril 1902, Henri Rousseau épouse Alice Ravanne, d'une année plus âgée que lui fille d'un honorable juriste qui partage sa vie entre Versailles et Cannes. Il emmène la jeune femme en voyage de noce en Italie non sans passer par le Béarn et Aigues-Mortes. Puis il l'installe à Versailles. En moins de dix ans naissent sept enfants Marie-Thérése en 1903, François en 1904, les jumeaux Pierre et Philippe en 1905, Jacqueline en 1907, Jean en 1910, Monique en 1912. Avec cette marmaille et les nourrices on passe les vacances en Bretagne, ou prés de Saint-Germain-en-Laye, chez les beaux-parents, ou encore à Saint-André-de-l'Eure, chez le beau-frère et ami Pierre Ravanne qui y dirige une grande exploitation agricole. Pour aller sur le motif il faut se contenter, le plus souvent, des horizons de l'Ile-de-France, de la Picardie, de la Normandie et, plus rarement, de la Bretagne.
      De 1902 à 1913, Henri Rousseau vit ce qu'on pourrait appeler sa période versaillaise. Il a prudemment loué un atelier dans la Villa des Arts, une pittoresque cité aujourd'hui inscrite à l'inventaire des monuments historiques - qui abrite une trentaine de peintres et de sculpteurs, entre l'avenue de Clichy et le cimetière de Montmartre. Cézanne, Signac, Marcoussis, Eugéne Carriére y ont en leur atelier et l'Association des paysagistes français son siège. Rousseau y vient tous les jours par le train. Il ramène de ses balades - c'est un marcheur de fond - des esquisses souvent assorties d'annotation puis, au calme, il compose des toiles (335 environ selon son catalogue). Les premiers dessins rehaussés à l'aquarelle ou à la gouache, technique dans laquelle il excellera, n'apparaissent que vers 1910. Il réalise aussi nombre d'illustrations (plus de 250 pour cette période), prépare les décorations murales qu'on lui commande (une vingtaine notamment pour des hôtels particuliers et pour l'hôtel Chatham, prés de l'Opéra). Comme gagne-pain il restaure des toiles de maîtres (220 environ). Chardin, Fromentin, Daubigny, Corot, Ziem, Théodore Rousseau, Troyon lui passent entre les mains.
     Durant cette période prés des deux-tiers des huiles et dessins rehaussés sont inspirés par des personnages, des scènes, des animaux ou des paysages « français ». Ce sont des scènes d'intérieur représentant souvent sa propre famille, des campagnes paisibles, de grands boeufs de labour, des chevaux de trait, des chiens, des bergers et des troupeaux de brebis paissant dans les chaumes. Vers 1910 cette production devient dominante. Certains critiques le placent au premier rang des successeurs de Constant Troyon (1810-1865). Ce peintre s'était fait connaître par ses paysages du Berry, du Limousin, de Bretagne et du massif de Fontainebleau, mais surtout par ses vaches devenues un motif de prédilection. En 1911, le galeriste Georges Petit, qui, trois ans plus tôt, a passé contrat avec le locataire de la Villa des Arts, organise une exposition. Parmi les soixante-sept oeuvres accrochées la plupart illustrent l'aspect « peintre du Nord » d'Henri Rousseau. Celui-ci commence à profiter d'une certaine notoriété. Ses compositions, régulièrement exposées au Salon des artistes français, sont remarquées. Certains musées (Buenos-Aires, Nantes, Dinan, Saint-Quentin, Luxembourg, Cambrai) en font l'acquisition. Une clientèle d'aristocrates et de grands bourgeois fortunés se constitue. D'abord modestes les gains de l'artiste augmentent régulièrement et « décollent » carrément à partir de 1908. Dans sa correspondance Rousseau n'a jamais fait état de préoccupations financières. Lui-même et son épouse ont relu en 1902 une dot confortable. La mort de Rousseau Pacha, en 1911, ouvre une succession bien garnie. Est-ce une conséquence ? En 1913, le couple fait entamer à Versailles la construction d'une vaste demeure avec atelier.
     Plusieurs parenthèses toutefois durant cette période versaillaise et passablement conventionnelle. Dés 1905, Henri fait une escapade d'un mois dans les Aurés, en Algérie. L'année suivante le voilà à Venise, puis à nouveau, brièvement, en excursion à Tlemcen. En 1908, pendant que sa femme et ses cinq premiers enfants prennent l'air en Normandie, il chevauche durant six semaines dans le Constantinois. En mai 1911, il s'accorde dix jours à Tunis et l'année d'après un de ses collègues l'entraîne en Camargue qu'il découvre avec émerveillement. Henri Rousseau reste un peintre voyageur. Grâce à ces déplacements sa production compte tout de même, de 1902 à 1913, un bon tiers d'oeuvres orientalistes et quelques toiles « Vénitiennes ».
      Un artiste peint pour des tombolas, offre une Pêche miraculeuse à une chapelle de Noirmoutier, restaure les toiles de la cathédrale d'Embrun, exécute quelques restaurations privées et réalise des Illustrations souvent patriotiques pour des revues et des livres. La famille est passablement bousculée. la mobilisation elle se réfugie pour cinq mois en Bretagne. Durant l'hiver 1916 Alice et quatre enfants sont au Bassin d'Arcachon. Tous passent l'hiver 1917 à Cannes et celui de 1918 à Embrun (Hautes-Alpes). La vérité c'est que Marie-Thérése, l'aînée des enfants, est malade : tuberculose ont diagnostiqué les médecins. L'air sec de la Provence lui convient mieux que les brouillards versaillais. Pourtant elle mourra de phtysie dix ans plus tard, en 1924, à l'âge de vingt et un ans, dans une maison de santé des Hautes-Alpes.
     Voilà la raison principale du déménagement d'Henri Rousseau à Aix-en-Provence, en septembre 1919. Il a acheté à la sortie sud de la ville, prés du champ de manoeuvres (à deux pas de la route Cézanne) une maison de dix-neuf pièces entourée d'un jardin. Elle est baptisée le Mas. Le peintre l'a surélevée d'un atelier. Il est désormais à une heure de tram du port de Marseille, à proximité de la Camargue et à quelques quarts d'heure de vélo des villages provençaux. À compter de cette date on ne trouve plus dans son catalogue une seule oeuvre inspirée par le Nord. La santé de sa fille aînée mais aussi l'attrait du Midi l'ont incité à prendre cette grave décision qui le coupe de ses amis et du marché parisien. Rien ne le retenait plus à Versailles : ses parents sont décédés, ses beaux-parents passent le plus clair de leur temps à Cannes, son frère Georges est en poste au Maroc, ses soeurs Louise et Marie vivent au gré des garnisons de leurs époux.
      Voilà la raison principale du déménagement d'Henri Rousseau à Aix-en-Provence, en septembre 1919. Il a acheté à la sortie sud de la ville, prés du champ de manoeuvres (à deux pas de la route Cézanne) une maison de dix-neuf pièces entourée d'un jardin. Elle est baptisée le Mas. Le peintre l'a surélevée d'un atelier. Il est désormais à une heure de tram du port de Marseille, à proximité de la Camargue et à quelques quarts d'heure de vélo des villages provençaux. À compter de cette date on ne trouve plus dans son catalogue une seule oeuvre inspirée par le Nord. La santé de sa fille aînée mais aussi l'attrait du Midi l'ont incité à prendre cette grave décision qui le coupe de ses amis et du marché parisien. Rien ne le retenait plus à Versailles : ses parents sont décédés, ses beaux-parents passent le plus clair de leur temps à Cannes, son frère Georges est en poste au Maroc, ses soeurs Louise et Marie vivent au gré des garnisons de leurs époux.
     En réalité Henri s'est mis à détester Versailles qu'il accuse d'être un tombeau. Depuis plus de dix ans, à chacun de ses voyages vers Marseille, il exprime sa joie devant l'air limpide, la beauté de la campagne et des villageoises, les motifs ravissants. Après que son camarade le peintre Doigneau lui a servi de mentor en Camargue en 1912, il y est revenu seul en 1913 et en 1914. Par des lettres quotidiennes à son épouse (Henri a toujours en un correspondant-confident : d'abord son père puis sa femme) il a relaté ses découvertes avec enthousiasme. Un aristocrate décentralisé de Paris en Arles l'a accueilli et lui a vanté les avantages d'une installation en Provence. Commence alors pour Henri Rousseau la période provençale, celle de la maturité, de l'accomplissement et de la réussite. Elle ne dépasse guère treize années pleines (1919-1933), mais elle est caractérisée par un certain bonheur de vivre (malgré la commotion provoquée par le décès de sa fille aînée) une activité citoyenne soutenue, des voyages prolongés en Algérie et au Maroc, une production intense (soixante-quinze huiles et dessins rehaussés par an) dominée par l'orientalisme, une augmentation considérable des revenus tirés de la création picturale.
      Physiquement Rousseau est un homme mince, en excellente santé, solide, rustique, capable de marcher, de pédaler ou de rester en selle de très longues heures. Son visage est aquilin et austère. Il adore la campagne même la plus désertique, apprécie peu la montagne qui manque d'horizon, n'a guère d'émotion devant la mer et se méfie des villes. Il est toujours prêt à partir pour une promenade, une excursion ou un périple au long cours. Ses proches le décrivent comme franc (souvent à l'excès), ordonné, précis mais nerveux. Il est modeste plutôt timide, pudique, peu liant et volontiers taciturne en public. Scrupuleux, exigeant avec lui-même comme avec les autres, il lui arrive de gratter une toile presque terminée parce qu'il la juge insuffisante.
     Comme il l'était sur les bancs du collège, Rousseau est un gros travailleur. Le catalogue de ses oeuvres compte 1850 items dont 913 huiles (53%), 336 dessins rehaussés (20%) et 346 tout-petits. Ces miniatures, confection dominée en atelier, ne dépassent pas 20 x 16 cm. Elles commencent à être à la mode au cours de la Grande Guerre et leur succès ne se démentira pas jusqu'en 1933. Il y a même un Salon annuel des Tout Petits auquel Rousseau participe fidèlement et sa production s'écoule aisément à des prix évoluant entre 200 et 400 francs pièce. Mais derrière ces couvres mises sur le marché on trouve nombre d'études que l'artiste donne à ses hôtes, à ses amis, ainsi qu'à oeuvres charitables. S'y ajoutent une foule de croquis, d'esquisses sur papier et d'études sur panneaux de bois dont une partie restera dans son atelier après son décès. Environ 800 pièces. On peut finalement évaluer à environ 3000 les travaux qu'Henri Rousseau a exécuté en quarante ans de vie professionnelle.
      Lecteur assidu, annotant ses livres, adorant la musique classique, sifflotant les airs du répertoire italien, il est aussi, depuis longtemps, un excellent dessinateur. C'est un catholique fervent et même dévot qui jeune les jours prescrits et s'implique dans les oeuvres charitables. Mais il est encore plus fidèle à ses options politiques. Alors que son père était plutôt voltairien, lui est un inconditionnel de Charles Maurras et donc un militant de l'action française. Henri Rousseau cultive quatre passions : la peinture, la famille, la religion et la politique. En peinture il admire le talent de Maurice Denis, de Gauguin et de Cézanne bien qu'il les juge «incomplets ». Mais son style à lui reste imperturbablement classique. En 1920, il y a déjà treize ans que Picasso a fait scandale avec Les Demoiselles d'Avignon, oeuvre fondatrice du cubisme. À présent il a atteint la notoriété, comme son ami et condisciple Braque. Il y a aussi une dizaine d'années que Kandinsky, devenu depuis professeur à Moscou, a peint la première aquarelle abstraite. Matisse est considéré comme le chef de file du fauvisme depuis quinze ans et, à Moscou, on parle du constructivisme. Déjà le surréalisme pointe son nez et bientôt Dali va, à son tour, scandaliser la critique. Un Orientalisme lui-même a ses jeunes « Turcs ». Ils se nomment Matisse qui travaillait à Biskra en 1906 pendant que Rousseau en faisait autant à Tlemcen - Klee et Macke qui se trouvaient à Tunis en 1914. Henri Rousseau reste comme indifférent à tous ces mouvements ou bien s'en montre irrité. Il est classique de formation, soucieux de la forme et hostile au tapage. Toutefois, à la fin de sa vie, il tendra à abandonner le trait pour privilégier la couleur et même la tache de couleur.
     A Aix, ville d'universitaires et d'artistes alors fort conservatrice, il devient assez vite un personnage de la vie locale et progressivement un notable. Il a involontairement préparé le terrain en présentant des toiles camarguaises aux salons de 1914 Coup de vent en Camargue, de 1918 Inondation en Camargue et de 1919 Manade de chevaux. Vient ensuite, de Paris, la consécration officielle : en 1924, Henri Rousseau est fait chevalier de la Légion d'honneur au titre des Beaux-Arts. Conséquence : l'Académie d'Aix le reçoit en son sein et, à la demande de la municipalité, il entre pour cinq ans à la commission de surveillance du musée d'Aix et de l'école de dessin. En 1926, Marseille l'invite à participer au premier Salon des artistes de Provence. En 1930, le voilà président de la Société des amis des arts et membre du jury de deux écoles des beaux-arts : celle d'Aix et celle de Marseille. En 1932, l'Académie d'Aix le porte à sa vice-présidence. Souvent sur le motif, Rousseau va peindre durant cette période 125 des 130 huiles et dessins rehaussés que lui a inspiré la Camargue : 12% des couvres recensées dans son catalogue. Troupeaux, manades et gardians ont beaucoup de succès. Pour la Provence des collines et des villages il en va autrement. Ce ne sont pas là travaux de composition en atelier mais huiles vivement brossées ou rapides aquarelles prises sur le terrain. Rousseau s'y montre brillant mais ces oeuvres, généralement de taille modeste, ne font guère recette. Elles n'ont pas, à l'époque, le potentiel de rêve de l'orientalisme.
      En réalité l'essentiel des ventes de l'artiste est constitué, pendant la période provençale, par des dessins rehaussés et des toiles orientalistes. Des centaines, aux sujets souvent répétitifs tant elles sont appréciées. Presque centenaire (le voyage de Delacroix au Maroc date de 1832) l'Orientalisme a jeté ses feux les plus étonnants. D'une immense cohorte qui a compté des milliers d'artistes européens Rousseau forme l'arrière-garde. Mais son authenticité et son talent trouvent un écho dans l'exaltation impériale qui culmine avec les expositions coloniales : celle de Marseille en 1922 et celle de Paris, la grande, en 1931.
     Par tempérament Rousseau se méfie du pittoresque et de l'imaginaire. Ses sujets favoris sont les cavaliers nomades des hauts-plateaux. Il les peint en déplacement, se rendant au marché, chassant au faucon ou partant en expédition guerrière. À peine quelques fantasias mais davantage de caïds en tenue de fête, de bourricots et de portes fortifiées. En tout cas jamais de harems, inaccessibles aux occidentaux et, par conséquent, nés dans la seule imagination de ceux qui ont joué sur le fantasme de l'érotisme oriental. L'artiste nourrit sa propre imagination - et satisfait son goût du voyage solitaire - en se rendant régulièrement au Maghreb. Curieusement la Tunisie, qui l'exaltait avant guerre, ne le tente plus. Il est vrai que la présence en Algérie puis au Maroc de son frère Georges, officier des affaires indigènes, lui facilite les choses. Où qu'il aille, il a des lettres d'introduction auprès des administrateurs civils, des militaires et des notables indigènes. Chacun se met en quatre pour l'héberger et le faire escorter lorsqu'il chevauche dans le bled. Il remercie en laissant des portraits peints ou dessinés en croquis.
      Peu après son installation à Aix, Henri renoue donc avec la tradition des voyages outre mer. Après avoir fréquenté la Tunisie en 1901, 1902 et 1911, l'Algérie en 1901, 1905, 1906, et 1908 il s'embarque pour Oran en mars 1920. En Algérie il visite Tlemcen, puis passe au Maroc, à Oujda et Berkane, où son frère l'accueille. Pour se rendre de Taza à Fez sa voiture est obligée de s'insérer dans un convoi encadré d'auto-mitrailleuses car la guerre du Rif bat son plein. De Fez il gagne Rabat et Casablanca où il s'embarque pour le retour. Quarante jours d'aventures qu'illustre une riche provende de croquis et d'études. Quatre ans plus tard, à l'automne cette fois, il fait à peu près le même périple marocain en y ajoutant Meknés. Cinquante cinq jours d'immersion dans le monde arabe : « À la fin d'un voyage, écrit-il, on est plus désorienté que jamais. On souhaite le calme d'un atelier pour mettre de l'ordre dans les souvenirs. Je ferme les yeux ... » Résultat : en 1927, la galerie Georges Petit organise une exposition à Paris et peut présenter 87 oeuvres, pour la plupart orientalistes.
     Dès l'année suivante Rousseau repart au Maroc et descend pour la première fois jusqu'à Marrakech. Il en rapporte de quoi exposer, quelques mois plus tard, une trentaine de toiles à Bruxelles. Il réitère en 1930 et 1932 (trois mois en tout) et obtient l'autorisation d'aller travailler sur les pitons du Moyen-Atlas au milieu des colonnes qui réduisent les dernières poches de dissidence berbère. Au summum de sa technique l'artiste donne le meilleur de lui-même et fixe un monde qui s'efface. Déja à Marrakech les touristes affluent. Voici ce que Rousseau confie à son carnet de notes : «je crois que j'ai été attiré en Afrique par la vie simple et sans grands besoins de ces buveurs d'air qui empruntent une part de leur sagesse aux vastes espaces... Une beauté se dégage de ces hommes qui circulent lentement sur des bêtes de somme. Quand ce sont des Arabes, quel port de grand seigneur ! Quelle race malgré les haillons! Qu'en restera-t-il dans un avenir utilitaire qui leur interdit même le droit à la transhumance ancestrale ?» Rousseau est tellement familier du Maroc maintenant qu'on lui demande de portraiturer Lyautey, à cheval, à la tête de son état-major. Il s'exécute... en s'inspirant de photographies. Il prépare un nouveau voyage au cours duquel , espère-t-il, il fera le portrait du Sultan lui-même. Mais en mars 1933, à la suite d'un refroidissement, une pneumonie grippale emporte en dix jours cet homme de cinquante-huit ans qui n'avait jamais été malade.
      Coïncidence, sa période provençale venait de s'achever et une autre période, qu'on aurait pu appeler « toulousaine », commençait. Deux de ses fils sont prêtres, un autre agriculteur en Camargue, le quatrième magistrat en Afrique noire. Restent deux filles, Jacqueline et Monique, qui ont épousé des Toulousains : Ambroise Rendu et Jehan de Chassy. Pour Henri et Alice pourquoi rester au Mas, devenu beaucoup trop grand ? Les affaires non plus ne marchaient plus comme autrefois. La galerie parisienne Georges Petit a fait faillite et les galeries méridionales auxquelles Rousseau a fait appel ne parvenaient pas à rendre le même service. La crise économique est là. Les ventes de tableaux avaient diminué de moitié depuis 1930.
      Rousseau était en train de déménager à Toulouse pour se rapprocher de ses petits-enfants. Il avait acheté une villa, rue Montplaisir et, comme à l'accoutumé, fait construire un atelier. Une nouvelle vie allait débuter, sous un autre ciel, avec des occupations différentes et peut être d'autres sujets. Henri Rousseau allait cultiver l'art d'être grand-père (il avait déjà trois petits-fils et une petite-fille ; Alice totalisera plus tard 24 petits-enfants) et revenir sans doute au portrait, genre dans lequel il excellait. La mort a brisé ces perspectives. La villa toulousaine recevra la masse des dessins, croquis, études et toiles inachevées (un millier d'oeuvres diverses) qui forment désormais le fonds d'atelier. Mais aussi les chevalets, les tubes à demi écrasés, les vernis odorants, les objets orientaux, bref le souvenir très prégnant du peintre au travail. Seule la tombe reste à Aix-en-Provence. Avec les amis et les souvenirs d'une “belle époque” ...

Porte au Maroc (Fez) (1920, 55x46cm) — Portrait d'un homme accroupi (après 1919, 45x33cm)
Cavalier devant une fontaine de Marrakech (1933, 56x44cm).
Fontaine de Marrakech (1933?, 47x39cm) sans cavalier.
Le rendez-vous (1926, 59x90cm) de cavaliers arabes.
Cavaliers et Hommes Arabes (91x71cm) — Course en Camargue (1929, 19x25cm)
Paysage désertique (24x33cm) — Sous les murs de Rabat au crépuscule (1933, 49x64cm)
Deux cavaliers africains en burnous bleu (1928, 37x48cm) — La chasse au faucon (1933, 43x55cm)
À l'abreuvoir (1926, 47x62cm) — Cavalier de fantasia à la casaque verte (1919, 22x16cm)
Fantasia marocaine (1933, 64x91 cm) — Trois cavaliers avec étendards (1921, 26x23cm)
Caïd El Ayadi (1928, 38x31cm) — Sliman Tunis (63x53cm)
Cavaliers devant une porte de Meknès (1925, 31x46cm)
Fauconnier arabe (après 1919, 55x46 cm) — Meknès – Bab et Khmis (1926, 20x30cm)

Died on a 28 March:

1931 Derwent Lees, British artist born in 1885. — {Into oblivion, there went Derwent, least of the artists born in 1885 as far as the Internet is concerned, it seems.}

1918 Bernhard Wiegandt, German artist born on 13 March 1851.

^ 1839 Pieter Gerardus van Os, The Hague painter and etcher born on 08 October 1776. He studied under his father Jan van Os [bapt. 23 Feb 1744 – 07 Feb 1808], as did his sister Maria Margaretha van Os [01 Nov 1780 – 17 Nov 1862] and his brother Georgius van Os [20 Nov 1782 – 24 July 1861], and from 1794 to 1795 at the Tekenakademie in The Hague. During this period he copied paintings from the collection of Willem V, including Paulus Potter’s Young Bull (1647). After completing his training, he departed for Amsterdam, where he supported himself primarily by painting rather mediocre portrait miniatures and giving drawing lessons. Around 1805 he began to devote himself to producing landscape paintings filled with cattle and initially still strongly indebted to the 17th-century Dutch masters (e.g. Ox and Sheep, 1806). In 1808, his Hilly Landscape with Cattle won the prize provided by Louis Napoleon for the best landscape at the first public exhibition of Dutch contemporary art in Amsterdam. Potter’s Young Bull was still his most important model at this time, as witnessed by his attempts at life-size paintings of animals, for example Cow and Calf and Sheep (both 1810). — Simon van den Berg was a student of Pieter Gerardus van Os.— LINKS Watercourse near 's-Graveland (1818)

1673 (burial) Adam (or Adrian?) Pynaker (or Pijnacker), Dutch painter and merchant born on 15 February. In both style and subject-matter, Pynacker belongs to the group of Netherlandish artists known as the Dutch Italianates. His earliest paintings, for example Buildings from the Ripa Grande, Rome, show a first-hand knowledge of the Italian terrain, the subject of almost his entire output.

Born on a 28 March:

1924 Anthony Caro, English sculptor. — LINKS

^ 1871 Frederick John Mulhaupt, US artist who died in 1938. — LINKSWinter Harbor (213kb) — Summer, Gloucester Harbor (63x76cm; 197kb) — Choate Bridge, Winter (140kb) — Past and Present (141kb) — The Morning Hour (1911; 75kb) — Nude Seated by a Window (91kb)

^ 1868 Cuno Amiet, Swiss painter and sculptor who died on 06 July 1961. From 1884 to 1886 he received irregular lessons from the Swiss painter Frank Buscher [1828–1890]. In the autumn of 1886 he attended the Akademie der bildenden Künste in Munich and the following year met Giovanni Giacometti, who was to be a lifelong friend. In 1888 he visited the Internationale Kunstausstellung in Munich, where he was particularly impressed by the work of Jules Bastien-Lepage and Whistler. This prompted him to go to Paris to continue his studies, and from 1888 to 1891 he attended the Académie Julian, working under William-Adolphe Bouguereau, Tony Robert-Fleury, and Gabriel Ferrier. While in Paris he also met Paul Sérusier, Maurice Denis, and other Nabis artists, though his own painting of this period was most influenced by Impressionism. In 1892 he was advised to visit Pont-Aven in Brittany, where he met Emile Bernard, Armand Séguin, and Roderic O’Conor, and also saw the works of Vincent Van Gogh and Gauguin. This brief period had a decisive effect upon his work, leading to such Synthetist paintings as Breton Spinner (1893).

1864 Léopold Schmutzler, German artist who died in 1941.

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