Δευτέρα, 28 Ιουνίου 2010

The Pre-Raphaelites

  The Pre-Raphaelites or the Pre-Raphaelite Brootherhood was a group of English painters, poets and critics, which was founded in 1848 by three artists, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, John Everett Millais and William Holman Hunt. Soon after brootherhood joined William Michael Rossetti, James Collinson, Frederic George Stephens and Thomas Woolner. The group rejected the art revealed by the mature works of Raphael and Mannerism and insisted on the discovery of older artists before Raphael (that explains their name, Pre-Raphaelites), who were more closely to nature. They also dreamed of Medieval times and were fascinated by them but at the same time they were dealing with the social problems of their time and concerned about the future. They wanted to return to intense colours and complex compositions of Quattrocento Italian anf Flemish art. The Germ was their magazine where their ideas and doctrines were published.

  The Pre-Raphaelite Brootherhood was formed in Millais's house in London in 1848. Present at the initial meeting were Millais, Rossetti and Hunt. Rossetti was pupil of Ford Madox Brown, who was a painter and had firm relation to the Pre-Raphaelite Brootherhood, although remained independent. By autumn four more members joined the group, Woolner, Michael Rossetti, Collinson and Stephens. The Brootherhood was kept secret from Royal Academy of Art.
  Brootherhood had some principles for the artists to follow, such as to produce genuine ideas and study and respect nature, but those principles were non-dogmatic and each artist was an individual, responsible for the work which was revealed. Freedom and rensposibility were inseparable. Pre-Raphaelite techniques were also under the influence of Romanticism and medieval culture but with a sense of realism. The realist side was led by Millais and Hunt, though the medievalist side by Rossetti and his followers Edward Burne-Jones and Wlliam Morris.

  In 1849 the first exhibition of the Pre-Raphaelites took place at the Royal Academy with Millais's Isabella and Hunt's Rienzi, whilst Rossetti's Girlhood of Virgin Mary was exhibited at the Free Exhibition on Hyde Park Corner. The artists had the initials ''PRB'' and beetween January and April 1850 published their magazine, The Germ. At the same year after the exhibition of Rossetti's Christ In The House of His Parents Pre-Raphaelites were attacked by critics (Charles Dickens) and their aristic medievalism was condemmed. Their principles were publicly attacked by the President of the Academy, Sir Charles Lock Eastlake. After the controversy Collinson left the Brootherhood, however the Brootherhood soon found support by critic John Ruskin who praised their devotion to nature and rejection of conventional methods of composition. The Pre-Raphaelites were influenced by Ruskin's theories and as a result Ruskin wrote letters to The Times in which he defended their work. At the beggining Ruskin favoured Millais, but after Millais's attachment to his wife, Effie scandal was caused and Millais abandoned the Pre-Raphaelite style but Ruskin though continued to support Rossetti and Hunt.
  After 1850 both Hunt and Millais moved away from a direct imitation of medieval art, though Hunt continued to reconcile religion and science through observations and studies in Egypt and in Palestine for his paintings on biblibal themes. Millais abandoned Pre-Raphaelitism after 1860.
  In the twentieth century the work of Pre-Raphaelites was devalued by many critics and since the 1970s there has been a resurgence in interest in the movement.

                                           a music party-Arthur Hughes


       The writing lesson-Collinson                                 

                                   Romeo and Juliet-Brown

                                        The hilering shepherd-Hunt

     study for moonbeans dipping into the ocean-Evelyn De Morgan

     The martyr of the Solway-Millais

        In the grass-Hughes                                                 

For more artists associated with Pre-Raphaelitism see:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pre-Raphaelite_Brotherhood


by Christina Rossetti

Come to me in the silence of the night;
   Come in the speaking silence of a dream;
Come with soft rounded cheeks and eyes as bright
   As sunlight on a stream;
      Come back in tears,
O memory, hope, love of finished years.

Oh dream how sweet, too sweet, too bitter sweet,
   Whose wakening should have been in Paradise,
Where souls brimfull of love abide and meet;
   Where thirsting longing eyes
      Watch the slow door
That opening, letting in, lets out no more.

Yet come to me in dreams, that I may live
   My very life again tho’ cold in death:
Come back to me in dreams, that I may give
   Pulse for pulse, breath for breath:
      Speak low, lean low,
As long ago, my love, how long ago.

Τρίτη, 8 Ιουνίου 2010

William-Adolphe Bouguereau (1825-1905)

  William Bouguereau was a French academic painter. In his paintings he used classical themes as well as mythological with obvious and great emphasis on the female human body. In his time gained popularity and was being given orders from rich patrons.He created an idealistic world but with a touch of realistic humanizing sense of the human being itself, especially through his numerous portraits.
  He was born in La Rochelle, in France into a family of wine and olive oil merchants. His uncle, a Roman Catholic Priest taught him Biblical and classical subjects and encouraged him to go to high school. Bouguereau soon revealed his great talent and was adviced to attend École des Beaux-Arts in Bordeaux, where he won his first prize with a depiction of Saint Roch. Along with his uncle asistance was given a commission to paint portraits of parishioners and later became a student of École des Beaux-Arts. In unison he attended anatomical dissections and studied historical costumes and archeology. Soon after attended the studio of François-Edouard Picot and studied academic style in painting. In 1850 Bouguereau won Prix de Rome with Zenobia Found by Shepherds on the Banks of the Araxes so he was given the opportunity to stay in Italy at the Villa Medici where he came  first-hand in touch with the Rennaisance masterpieces.

Zénobia retrouvée par les bergers sur les bords de l'Araxe

His panting was entirely dedicated to the academic style and used to exhibit his works in the Paris Salon.

  He fulfilled the requirements of Prix de Rome by completing a copy of Raphael's The Triumph of Galatea.
Bouguereau's graceful portraits of women were considered very charming, partly because he could beautify a sitter while also retaining her likeness.
  In 1856 he was married to Marie-Nelly Monchablon and had five children. He came in touch with Paul Durand-Ruel and who helped clients buy paintings from artists who used to exhibit their work at the Salon. Thus his fame extended to England by the 1860s and bought a house and studio in Montparnasse.
  In his paintings reveals an idealistic world from classical themes, mythological, pagan and christian with emphasis on the beautiful female body according to the style used to be likeable to the rich patrons of his era.

Le voeu

Study for Vierge aux anges

  Bouguereau employed traditional methods of working up a painting, including detailed pencil studies and oil sketches, and his careful method resulted in a pleasing and accurate rendering of the human form. He was also received commisions to decorate private houses, public buildings and churches. Gradually he increased his good fame and respect. He became life member of the Academy in 1876 Commander of the Legion of Honor and Grand Medal of Honor in 1885. He started taching painting at the Academie Julian in 1876.
   In 1877 both his wife and son died. In 1896 he was married for second time to fellow arist Elizabeth Jane Gardner Bouguereau who was one of his pupils. In the spring of 1905 his house and studio were robbed and on August 19, 1905 Bouguereau died in La Rochelle at the age of 79 from heart disease.He painted eight hundred and twenty-six paintings.
   In his own time he was considered as one of the most talented painters and artists, but after 1920 Bouguereau fell into disrepute, due to the fact that the tastes were changing and due to his opposition to the Impressionists who were then gaining acceptance.

Idylle                                                    Lorage

Les petites maraudeuses

Au Bord du Ruisseau

la frileuse