Τετάρτη, 8 Δεκεμβρίου 2010

Gustave Moreau (1826-1898)


Gustave Moreau was a French Symbolist painter whose work mainly included biblical and mythological figures. He was born in Paris and his father who was an architect soon recognized his talent. Moreau studied under François-Édouard Picot.
He also had a 25-year relationship with Adelaide-Alexandrine Dureux, who painted several times. His first painting was the Pietà. In 1853 in the Salon showed two other paintings, A Scene from the Song of Songs and The Death of Darius. Oedipus and the Sphinx was one of his forst symbolost paintings and was exhibited in the Salon in 1864. In his lifetime he produced 8,000 paintings, watercolours and drawings and many of them are on display in Paris in the  Musée national Gustave Moreau. Moreau had also became a professor at t Paris' École des Beaux-Arts in 1891 and among his students were Matisse and Rouault. He died in Paris in 1898.



                                                                      Oedipus and the Sphinx


                                                                     Oedipus and the wayfarer

                                                                        Orest in Erinije

                                                                     the apparition

                                                             Salom dancing before Herod

                                                                        Hercules and Hydra


                                                                          young Moses

                                                                Hesiod and the muse

source : http://www.musee-moreau.fr/

Art & Poetry artaumonde.blogspot.com

Δευτέρα, 22 Νοεμβρίου 2010

Rembrandt (1606-1669)

Rembrandt Van Rijn was born in 1606, the son of a well-to-do miller in the university town of Leiden. He matriculated at the University, but soon abandoned his studies to become a painter. Some of his earliest works were greatly praised by contemporary scholars, and at the age of twenty-five Rembrandt left Leiden for the teeming commercial centre of Amsterdam. There he made a rapid career as a portrait painter, married a wealthy girl, bought a house, collected works of art and curios and worked incessantly. When his first wife died, in 1642, she left him a considerable fortune, but Rembrandt's popularity with the public declined, he got into dept, and fourteen years later his creditors sold his house and put his collection up for auction. Only the help of his loyal mistress, and his son saved him from utter ruin. They made an arrangement by which he was formally an employee of their art-dealing firm, and, as such, he painted his last great masterpieces. But these faithful companions died before him, and when his life came to an end in 1669, he left no other property than some old clothes and his painting utensils.
Famous are Rembrandt's self-portraits, in which he observed himself in a mirror with complete sincerity. There is no trace of a pose in these portraits, no trace of vanity, just the penetrating gaze of a painter who scrutinizes his own features, ever ready to learn more and more about the secrets of a human face. Rembrandt also seems to have been able to get into the skin of all types of men, and to know how they would behave in any given situation. It is this gift that makes Rembrandt's illustrations of Biblical scenes so different from anything that had been done before. As a devout Protestant he must have read the Bible again and again. He entered  into the spirit of its episodes, and attempted to visualize exactly what the situation must have been like and how the people would have moved and behaved at such a moment. He was also a graphic artist. He used  a method which allowed him to work more freely and more qiuckly than was possible with the burin and that method is called etching.
The number of works attributed to Rembrandt varies. He produced approximately 600 paintings, 300 etchings, and 1,400 drawings. Some of his works are: St. Paul in Prison (1627); Supper at Emmaus (1630); The Anatomy Lesson of Dr. Nicolaes Tulp (1632); Young Girl at an Open Half-Door (1645); The Mill (1650); Aristotle Contemplating the Bust of Homer (1653); The Return of the Prodigal Son (after 1660); The Syndics of the Drapers' Guild (1662); and many portraits.

                                                                          biblical scene

                                                                   tobit and anna with a goat

                                                                  the bliding of samson

                                                                 philosofer in meditation

                                                                       the nightwatch

                                                                      musical allegory

                                                    Christ and the woman taken in adultery

                                               jeremiah lamenting the destruction of jerusalem

                                                                             holy family

                                                                     a girl at a window

                                                              self-portrait at an early age

                                                  the archangel leaving the family of tobias

 see : http://www.rembrandtpainting.net/
 source : Gombrich's The Story Of Art

Art & Poetry artaumonde.blogspot.com

Τετάρτη, 10 Νοεμβρίου 2010

Domenikos Theotokopoulos, El Greco (1541-1614)

Domenikos Theotokopoulos, was born in Fodele, a village near Iraklion in the island of Crete, about 1541. He grew up in an idyllic surrounding, a ravine through which a river runs among groves and huge planes.
In such an environment his character and his artistic ideas formed. Perhaps the small Byzantine church of "Virgin Mary", inspired him to treat religious themes and sacred items, and to express his feelings through such work.
Later on he at the monastery of Saint Catherine in Candia (Iraklion), he was thoroughly trained, by the Sinai Friars, in the Byzantine tradition of icon painting and fell under the influence of the Cretan School, and it was here tha his expressive style first formed.
In 1566, at the age of 25, already counted as a "master painter", Theotokopoulos left Crete, to seek wider horizons, and better fortune.
First stop was Venice. (At that time Crete was part of the Venetian Empire). He stayed at Venice for about four years and completed his artistic training near Titian and the great painters of the High Renaissance such as Tintoretto, Veronese and Bassano. Next stop was Rome, in about 1570 where he worked on architecture and sculpture and met famous artists. He felt, however, that the opportunities did not fit to his talent and as an "eternal exile" he left to Spain.
In Madrid, he worked for the Spanish King Philip II in the decoration of the Escorial Palace. His idea of art and his interpretation of themes were not fully understood by Philip, and so in 1577 Theotokopoulos went to Toledo. At Toledo, which was at that time the biggest religious and spiritual center of Spain, Theotokopoulos came to work on the shrine of Santo Domingo el Antigono.
He loved Toledo as his second native land, and in 1584, he decided to settle there permanently.
Though he never married her, here he found Dona Jeronima de la Cuevas, the woman who loved and respected, and had, with her a son, Jorge- Manuel. In Toledo his genius came into full flowering, and Theotokopoulos lived there working until his death in 1614.
At the time of his death his belonging included 115 paintings, 15 sketches and 150 drawings. 

                                                                   penitent Magdalene                                

                                                                         Holy Family

                                                                 Christ on the cross adored

                                                                      the spoliation

                                                                    the repentant Peter


                                                                    Virgin and Child

                                                                     lady with a fur

                                                                        Holy Trinity

                                               A boy blowing on an ember to light a candle

source : http://www.interkriti.org/culture/elgreco/

Art & Poetry artaumonde.blogspot.com

Παρασκευή, 5 Νοεμβρίου 2010

Herbert James Draper (1864-1920)

Herbert James Draper was a late follower of the The Pre-Raphaelites and the Classicists whose paintings are often similar to those of John William Waterhouse, featuring beautiful innocent-looking girls with long dark hair. His work also shows the influence of Lord Frederic Leighton and Edward Burne-Jones.
He was born in London and studied science before turning to art, first at St John's Wood School, and then at the RA Schools (from 1884), where he won a prize for decoration of a public building with a scheme which was later carried out at Guys Hospital, London. In 1889 he won a Royal Academy travelling scholarship, and went to Spain, Italy, France, Holland and Belgium. He actually decided to live abroad to paint in the beautiful light of Italy, but wrote to Lord Leighton first to ask his advice. Leighton - no stranger to travel - advised him that there was no light for painting like the light of an English summer, and this was enough to persuade the younger man to abandon the life on the Continent.
Draper married a Miss Ida Williams, and they had one daughter. From 1896 they lived in Abbey Road, St John's Wood, London, neighbours of John William Waterhouse.
Draper exhibited at the Royal Academy from 1887, and continued to show pictures there for the rest of his life. He specialised in nymphs, beautiful and nude, typically in a nautical setting, but was also a portrait painter and occasionally produced rather unworthy sentimental pictures of children.
Draper's paintings have a charm and appeal and often light-heartedness that makes them in some ways more easily acceptable to modern taste than some of the more heavy-going, serious subjects of his competitors. However, he took great pains over the background for his pictures. For example, writing about his picture The Sea Maiden (1894), an illustration of a poem by Swinburne showing sailors hauling in their nets and discovering a sea-girl therein, Draper wrote:
"I took the usual pains in gathering my studies, spending hours in a boat with a fishing net floating in the water over a couple of spars. I made my studies at sea off Devon and the Scillies (the latter the more useful) and I spent some time on a Devon trawler to see the nets hauled with the fish - a roughish sort of experience, as they go for 48 hours at a stretch. My barbaric or archaic boat I was, of course, unable to get, so I modelled it in wax and coloured it, and then studied it out of doors."
The Sea Maiden was the painting that established Draper's reputation. His best-known paintings are The Lament for Icarus, now in the Tate Gallery, and The Sirens, now in Hull, which is one of the best paintings in the 'femmes fatales' idiom, showing the sirens as young maidens actually climbing into the ship with Odysseus. The scene 5 minutes before, with the sirens still in the water, is in Leeds. In the Manchester art gallery is A Water Baby, with a vaguely aquatic nymph discovering a baby in a huge shell, and Calypso's Isle. A study for The Lament for Icarus and The Kelpie are at the Lady Lever Gallery. The Golden Fleece is in the Bradford Art Gallery, and The Sea Maiden is in the Royal Truro Museum, Cornwall.
Draper also did some book illustration - in particular, sketches for ice-skating in the English Illustrated Magazine in 1893, and drawings to accompany poetry in art magazines.

                                                                        lament for Icarus

                                                                  wrath of the sea god


                                                                    day and the dawnstar



source : http://myweb.tiscali.co.uk/speel/paint/draper.htm

Art & Poetry artaumonde.blogspot.com

Τετάρτη, 27 Οκτωβρίου 2010

Henry Fuseli (1741-1825)

Henry Fuseli (or in German Johann Heinrich Füssli ) was a British painter, draughtsman and writer of German-Swiss origin. He was born in Switzerland and his father was also a painter of landscapes and portraits. He went to the Caroline college of Zurich, where he received classical education. In 1761 Fuseli was forced to leave his country and in 1765 visited England, where he became acquainted with Sir Joshua Reynolds to whom showed his drawings and was advised to devote himself on art. In 1770 went to Italy where remained until 1778 and changed his name from Füssli to Fuseli. In 1779 he returned to England taking in Zürich on his way. There he found a comission waiting for him from Alderman Boyell  and Fuseli painted a number of pieces for the  Shakespeare Gallery. In 1788 Fuseli married to Sophia Rawlins and soon after became associated with the Royal Academy. In 1799 Fuseli exhibited a series of paintings by the works of John Milton, 47 paintings, but the exhibition, which closed in 1800, proved a commercial failure. At the same year Fuseli  was also appointed professor of painting to the Academy. Fuseli painted more than 200 pictures, but he exhibited only a minority of them. His sketches or designs numbered about 800; they have admirable qualities of invention and design, and are frequently superior to his paintings.  Fuseli, after a life of uninterrupted good health, died at Putney Hill, at the age of eighty-four in 1825 comparatively rich.

                                                                Queen Catherine's dream



                                                                    the shepherd's dream

                                                          Sir John's vision of the seven candles

                                                    Hugo and Amanda with the dead Alphonso

                                          Percival delivering Belisane from the Enchantments of Urma

                                                          the apotheosis of Penelope Boothby

source : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henry_Fuseli

Art & Poetry artaumonde.blogspot.com