Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Women by Lorenzo Costa (1460-1535)

. Lorenzo Costa (1460-1535)Portrait of a Woman 1490s


Lorenzo Costa (1460-1535)Portrait of a Woman with a Dog


Lorenzo Costa (1460-1535) Portrait of a Woman


Tuesday, July 24, 2012

A trip to the countryside along the ancient Appian Way

.

My fantasy trip to the countryside would be a long walk along the ancient Roman highway, the Appian Way, which was begun about 312 B.C. One of our daughters just returned from 2 weeks in Italy, stirring memories.  From Rome, the Appian Way climbed up the hills of Italy's southern tip to the ports of Naples, Bari, Taranto, Brindisi, & Reggio. Including branch roads, it was over 350 miles long & was an average of 20' wide. Along most of the road, a crown-shaped base of heavy lava stone blocks irregularly cemented together provided good drainage for passing feet & wheels. The first 3 miles of the road in Rome are still heavily used by cars & buses, but from then on traffic is very light & the ruins dotting the road can be explored on foot. It is, in fact, a very straight line through the Italian countryside.















.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

They Lived Enamoured of the Lovely Moon

.
Bronze sky disk of Nebra, Germany 1600 BC

They Lived Enamoured of the Lovely Moon
by Trumbull Stickney

They lived enamoured of the lovely moon,
The dawn and twilight on their gentle lake.
Then Passion marvellously born did shake
Their breast and drave them into the mid-noon.
Their lives did shrink to one desire, and soon
They rose fire-eyed to follow in the wake
Of one eternal thought,—when sudden brake
Their hearts. They died, in miserable swoon.
Of all their agony not a sound was heard.
The glory of the Earth is more than they.
She asks her lovely image of the day:
A flower grows, a million boughs are green,
And over moving ocean-waves the bird
Chases his shadow and is no more seen.
.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Abstract Art

.

František Kupka (1871-1957) Disks of Newton. 1919


Abstract artists include Whistler, Monet, Cézanne, Matisse, Munch, Gauguin, Picasso, Kandinsky, Klee, Derain, Denis, Marc, Duchamp, Braque, Bonnard & Mondrian among others.

Leo Gestel (1881-1941) Groot Bloemenstuk

In the first decades of the 20th century, a radical new approach to art emerged almost simultaneously across Europe & North America dubbed abstraction. Yet abstraction was never a movement originating in one place or was it practiced by one cohesive group of artists.

Henri Matisse (1869-1954). Yellow Curtain. 1914-15.


Beginning in 1867, James McNeill Whistler (1834-1903) began renaming his paintings, giving them abstract titles. From that point on, Whistler’s titles served to draw attention to the formal arrangement, the color harmony, the tonality & mood of his pictures. He emphasised their abstract qualities.

Alexander Konstantinovich Bogomazov (1880-1930) 1914-1915.

Whistler wrote, "Art should be independent of all clap-trap – should stand alone and appeal to the artistic sense of the eye or ear, without confounding this with emotions entirely foreign to it – devotion, pity, love, patriotism and the like. All these have no concern with it and that is why I insist on calling my works arrangements and harmonies."


August Macke (1887-1914) Farbige Formen III


In 1912, non-representational paintings were shown in a large exhibition in Paris. A senior member of the staid municipal council wrote an open letter to the Ministry of the Arts protesting at the housing of such horrors in a national monument."


Robert Delaunay (1885-1941) Sun Disks 1912. Museum of Modern Art. NYC

In response to all of the negative hubbub, in February 1912, the poet & art critic Guillaume Apollinaire 1880-1918 - pseudonym of Wilhelm Apollinaris de Kostrowitzky) wrote, If the aim of art remains what it has always been – to serve the pleasure of the eyes – then, from now on, art lovers shall be expected to find a different pleasure in art from the pleasure they procure from the spectacle of natural things. We are heading towards an entirely new art. It will be related to painting (painting as it has been conceived until now) as music is related to literature. It will be pure painting, just as music is pure literature."


Wassily Kandinsky (1866-1944) White Stroke

By 1917, the First World War was drawing to an end. The Russian Revolution was beginning. The jazz age was in full swing. Abstract art was 5 years old, & many of its masterpieces already existed. The expanded parameters of modern art have been staked out. Abstraction was now firmly esbablished as a feature of contemporary cultural life.

Franz Marc (1880-1916) Fighting Forms

Although many of the earlier artists never produced entirely abstract paintings, their work demonstrated an unprecedented degree of abstraction, & was an inspiration to the 1st generation of abstract artists including Kandinsky, Mondrian, Malevich, Robert & Sonia Delaunay, Kupka, Larionov, Klee, Arp, & Picabia, whose work are included.
.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Women Artists & The French Revolution - Marie-Guillemine Benoist 1768–1826

.
Marie-Guillemine Benoist (French artist, 1768–1826) Self-Portrait, 1790

Today's earlier posting of the Morning Mother on this blog was painted by Marie-Guillemine Benoist, the daughter of a government official in France. She initially studied with woman artist Vigee-Lebrun, & her earlier works show a distinct influence of her tutor. Benoist later studied with Jacques-Louis David, so that her later images are more Neo-Classical in style. During her lifetime, Benoist produced paintings ranging from inspirational historic themes to touching family portraits. Her works also included subjects sympathetic to contemporary issues, such as her portrait of the African woman painted in 1800, which was inspired by the French decree to abolish slavery. Benoist was commissioned by Napolean to paint his portrait as well as portraits of his family members.

Marie-Guillemine Benoist (French artist, 1768–1826) Il sonno

Marie-Guillemine Benoist (French artist, 1768–1826) Portrait d'une femme noire 1800

Marie-Guillemine Benoist (French artist, 1768–1826) Pauline Bonaparte, Princess Borgehese

Marie-Guillemine Benoist (French artist, 1768–1826) du château de Fontainebleau

Marie-Guillemine Benoist (French artist, 1768–1826) Elisa Bonaparte, Grand Duchess of Tuscany, c 1805
.

Women Artists & The French Revolution - Geneviève Bouliard 1763-1825

. Marie-Geneviève Bouliard (French artist, 1763-1825)

Marie-Genevieve Bouilard was a Parisian portrait painter whose career lasted over 30 years. She was the daughter of a dressmaker, & she never married. She learned from Siffred Joseph Duplessis. Her portraits were extrememly popular during the French Revolution. She won special recognition at the Salon of 1794, where non academics were allowed to exhibit at the Louvre. Her historical allegory of Aspasia was an important symbol for women seeking self-determination; as Aspasia, the wife of Pericles, taught the art of oratory & policy to women as well as men. Bouilard chose to portray herself as Aspasia, as a mirror reflection of a woman who was a respected philosopher in an era, when women were almost unilaterally illiterate & denied even basic civil rights.

Marie-Geneviève Bouliard (French artist, 1763-1825) Self Portrait as Aspasia 1794

Marie-Geneviève Bouliard (French artist, 1763-1825) Self Portrait

Marie-Geneviève Bouliard (French artist, 1763-1825) Portrait de M. Olive et de sa famille 1791-92

Marie-Geneviève Bouliard (French artist, 1763-1825) Portrait of Artist Adélaïde Binart (1771-1832) wife of Alexandre Lenoir 1797
.

Women Artists & The French Revolution - Self Portraits by Marie-Gabrielle Capet 1761-1818

.
Marie-Gabrielle Capet (French artist, 1761-1818) Self Portrait 1783

The daughter of a servant Marie-Gabrielle Capet, who became a celebrated French portrait painter in oils, watercolors, & miniatures, was born at Lyons in 1761. When she was 20, she went to Paris to learn painting from Adélaïde Labille-Guiard (1749-1803), with whom she lived. During her initial year in Paris in 1781, her 1st drawings & pastels were exhibited at the Salon de la Jeunesse. In 1783, she submitted her first oil painting to the salon. From 1785, Capet's major works regularly were exhibited at the Salon of Youth. In 1791, she exhibited her 1st miniatures at the Salon. When her mentor, Labille-Guiard fell ill, Capet took care of her, until her teacher died in 1803. After the French Revolution, the public exhibitions of the Salons were opened to women; & Marie-Gabrielle Capet exhibited works several times.


Marie-Gabrielle Capet (French artist, 1761-1818) Portrait of Mme J L Germain

Marie-Gabrielle Capet (French artist, 1761-1818) Atelier of Madame Vincent (Adelaide Labille-Guiard) 1808

Adelaide Labille-Guiard (French Neoclassical Painter, 1749-1803) Portrait of Mme Marie Gabrielle Capet

Adelaide Labille-Guiard (French Neoclassical Painter, 1749-1803) Self Portrait with Two Students, Marie-Gabrielle Capet and Carreaux de Rosemond. 1785
.

Women Artists & The French Revolution - Adelaide Labille-Guiard 1749-1803

. Adelaide Labille-Guiard (French Neoclassical Painter, 1749-1803) Portrait of a Woman

Adelaide Labille-Guiard (French Neoclassical Painter, 1749-1803) Madame Marie Gabrielle Capet

Adelaide Labille-Guiard (French Neoclassical Painter, 1749-1803) Portrait of a Woman 1778

Adelaide Labille-Guiard (French Neoclassical Painter, 1749-1803) Delightful Surprise 1779

Adelaide Labille-Guiard (French Neoclassical Painter, 1749-1803) Portrait of a Woman 1780

Adelaide Labille-Guiard (French Neoclassical Painter, 1749-1803) Madame de Genlis, 1780

Adelaide Labille-Guiard (French Neoclassical Painter, 1749-1803) Portrait of a Woman 1780

Adelaide Labille-Guiard (French Neoclassical Painter, 1749-1803) Flore Pajou 1783

Adelaide Labille-Guiard (French Neoclassical Painter, 1749-1803) A Woman Writing 1787

Adelaide Labille-Guiard (French Neoclassical Painter, 1749-1803) The Comtesse de Selve 1787

Adelaide Labille-Guiard (French Neoclassical Painter, 1749-1803) Elisabeth of France Called Madame Elisabeth 1788
.