Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Dog Days of Summer - One serious dog


Franz von Matsch (Austrian artist, 1861-1942) A Bulldog


Dog Days of Summer is the name for the most sultry period of summer, from about July 3 to Aug. 11. Named in early times by observers in countries bordering the Mediterranean, the period was determined to extend from 20 days before to 20 days after the conjunction of Sirius (the dog star) & the sun.  The Greek poets Hesiod (ca. 750-650 BCE) & Aratus (ca. 310–240 BCE) refer, in their writings, to "the heat of late summer that the Greeks believed was actually brought on by the appearance of Sirius," a star in the constellation, that the later Romans, & we today refer to as Canis Major, literally the "greater dog" constellation. Homer, in the Iliad, references the association of "Orion's dog" (Sirius) with oncoming heat, fevers, & evil, in describing the approach of Achilles toward Troy:
Sirius rises late in the dark, liquid sky
On summer nights, star of stars,
Orion's Dog they call it, brightest
Of all, but an evil portent, bringing heat
And fevers to suffering humanity.

The term "dog days" was used by the Greeks in Aristotle's Physics.  Astronomer Geminus, around 70 B.C., wrote: "It is generally believed that Sirius produces the heat of the 'dog days,' but this is an error, for the star merely marks a season of the year when the sun"s heat is the greatest." The lectionary of 1559 edition of the Episcopal Book of Common Prayer indicates: "Naonae. Dog days begin" with the readings for July 7 & end August 18. But the readings for September 5 indicate: "Naonae. Dog days end."  This corresponds very closely to the lectionary of the 1611 edition of the King James Bible which indicates the Dog Days beginning on July 6 & ending on September 5.



Waterside with Australian Emanuel Phillips Fox 1865-1915



Emanuel Phillips Fox (Australian artist, 1865 -1915) On the Sand



Emanuel Phillips Fox (Australian artist, 1865 -1915) The Bathing Hour



Emanuel Phillips Fox (Australian artist, 1865 -1915) The Beach, Trouville


Emanuel Phillips Fox (Australian artist, 1865 -1915) The Ferry



Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Dog Days of Summer - A Poodle in a Punt


George Stubbs (English artist, 1724-1806) White Poodle in a Punt 1780


Dog Days of Summer is the name for the most sultry period of summer, from about July 3 to Aug. 11. Named in early times by observers in countries bordering the Mediterranean, the period was determined to extend from 20 days before to 20 days after the conjunction of Sirius (the dog star) & the sun.  The Greek poets Hesiod (ca. 750-650 BCE) & Aratus (ca. 310–240 BCE) refer, in their writings, to "the heat of late summer that the Greeks believed was actually brought on by the appearance of Sirius," a star in the constellation, that the later Romans, & we today refer to as Canis Major, literally the "greater dog" constellation. Homer, in the Iliad, references the association of "Orion's dog" (Sirius) with oncoming heat, fevers, & evil, in describing the approach of Achilles toward Troy:
Sirius rises late in the dark, liquid sky
On summer nights, star of stars,
Orion's Dog they call it, brightest
Of all, but an evil portent, bringing heat
And fevers to suffering humanity.

The term "dog days" was used by the Greeks in Aristotle's Physics.  Astronomer Geminus, around 70 B.C., wrote: "It is generally believed that Sirius produces the heat of the 'dog days,' but this is an error, for the star merely marks a season of the year when the sun"s heat is the greatest." The lectionary of 1559 edition of the Episcopal Book of Common Prayer indicates: "Naonae. Dog days begin" with the readings for July 7 & end August 18. But the readings for September 5 indicate: "Naonae. Dog days end."  This corresponds very closely to the lectionary of the 1611 edition of the King James Bible which indicates the Dog Days beginning on July 6 & ending on September 5.



Waterside with English artist Laura Johnson Knight 1877–1970



Laura Knight (1877-1970) The Beach 1908

English Impressionist painter Laura Johnson Knight (1877–1970) became famous for capturing the world of London's theatre, ballet, & circus as well as her images of the Nurenburg Trials, but I enjoy the freedom & joy of her early paintings by the sea.

Laura Knight (1877-1970) Self-portrait

She was born in Long Eaton, Derbyshire to Charles & Charlotte Johnson. Her father died not long after her birth, & Laura grew up in a family that struggled with financial problems. Her mother's marriage, wrote the daughter, was "an unhappy one;" and when her father died soon after Laura's birth, friends said, "It is for the best."


Laura Knight (1877-1970) Flying the Kite

In 1899, she sailed to France with the intention that she would eventually study art at a Parisian atelier. After a short time in French schools, Johnson returned to England. There, at the age of 13, she entered the Nottingham School of Art, one of the youngest students ever to join the school. But at the Nottingham art school, she was barred from life-drawing classes; because they were open only to men, & she was put to drawing from plaster casts.


Laura Knight (1877-1970) Girls Picking Flowers by the Sea

At school, she met a promising student, Harold Knight (1874–1961), aged 17. Johnson determined that the best method of learning was to copy Harold's technique. They became close friends; and in 1903, Harold & Laura married.


Laura Knight (1877-1970) Sea Wind and Sun

In 1907, the Knights moved to the artists' colony in Newlyn, Cornwall, alongside Lamorna Birch, Alfred Munnings, & Aleister Crowley, where she painted in an Impressionist style.


Laura Knight (1877-1970) A Dark Pool 1908-18

After World War I, the Knights moved to London, where Laura met some of the most famous ballet dancers of the day, such as Sergei Diaghilev's Ballets Russes with Lydia Lopokova & Enrico Cecchetti, and Anna Pavlova.

Laura Knight (1877-1970) Boys

In 1929, she was made a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire; and in 1936, she became the first woman elected to the Royal Academy, just as her mother predicted.


Laura Knight (1877-1970) The Cornish Coast

After World War II, she was the official war artist at the Nuremberg Trials, an emotionally draining task.


Laura Knight (1877-1970) Untrodden Sand

She continued to paint after her husband's death in 1961, producing over 250 works of art as well as 2 autobiographies, Oil Paint and Grease Paint (1936) and The Magic of a Line (1965).


Laura Knight (1877-1970) The Water Pool

Laura attributed much of her success to her mother as she remembered, "One of the greatest moments of Mother's life came when she found that I, a mere baby, was never so content as with pencil and paper; even before I could speak or walk, I drew. There was no question of my purpose in life. I remember her saying, when I was only a few years old, ‘You will be elected to the Royal Academy one day.'"




 Laura Knight (1877-1970) 



  Laura Knight (1877-1970) 



  Laura Knight (1877-1970) Two Fishers



  Laura Knight (1877-1970) 



 Laura Knight (1877-1970) 


Monday, August 29, 2016

Dog Days of Summer - Maurice de Vlaminck 1876-1958


Maurice de Vlaminck (French artist, 1876-1958) Women with a dog in 1905 (a Fauvist dog!)


Dog Days of Summer  is the name for the most sultry period of summer, from about July 3 to Aug. 11. Named in early times by observers in countries bordering the Mediterranean, the period was determined to extend from 20 days before to 20 days after the conjunction of Sirius (the dog star) & amp; the sun. The Greek poets Hesiod (ca. 750-650 BCE) & amp; Aratus (ca. 310-240 BCE) refer, in Their writings, to  "the heat of late summer That the Greeks believed was actually brought` on by the appearance of Sirius,"  a star in the constellation, That the later Romans, & amp; we today refer to as Canis Major, literally the "greater dog" constellation. Homer, in the  Iliad , references the association of "Orion's dog" (Sirius) with oncoming heat, fevers, & amp; Evil, in describing the approach of Achilles toward Troy:
Sirius rises late in the dark, liquid sky
On summer nights, star of stars,
Orion's Dog they call it, brightest
Of all, but an evil portent, Bringing heat
And fevers to suffering humanity.

The term "dog days" was used by the Greeks in Aristotle's Physics. Astronomer Geminus, around 70 BC, wrote: "It is believed Generally Sirius That Produces the heat of the 'dog days,' but this is an error, for the star Merely marks a season of the year When the sun" s heat is the Greatest. "  The 1559 edition of the lectionary of the Episcopal  Book of Common Prayer  Indicates: "Naonae. Dog days begin "with the readings for July 7 & amp; end August 18. But the readings for September 5 stated:" Naonae. Dog days end. "This Corresponds very closely to the lectionary of the 1611 edition of the  King James Bible  Which Indicates the Dog Days beginning on July 6 & amp; ending on September 5. 



Parasols for Sun & Umbrellas for Rain - A few of unexpected parasol devotees...



Winslow Homer (American artist, 1836–1910) Artists Sketching in the White Mountains



John Singer Sargent (American expatriate artist, 1856-1925) The Sketchers, 1914



Carl Spitzweg (German artist, 1808-1885) The Botanist


Waterside with Frenchman Henri Lebasque 1865-1937



Henri Lebasque (French artist, 1865-1937) On the Beach



Henri Lebasque (French artist, 1865-1937) 

Henri Lebasque (French artist, 1865-1937) was born in Champigné, France; and by 1885, he was studying in Paris at the Ecole des Beaux Arts. Here Lebasque met Camille Pissarro & Auguste Renoir. Lebasque maintained an intense artistic exchange with young painters, especially Vuillard & Bonnard, the founders of the artists' associations "Les Nabis" (the prophets) & the "Intimists." In 1903, together with his friend Henri Matisse & other artists, Henri Lebasque founded the "Salon d'Automne," where Georges Rouault, André Derain, Edouard Vuillard and Henri Matisse exhibited. In 1924, Henri Lebasque moved to Le Cannet on the French Riviera. His portrayals of women & their children are colorful & intimate, full of the hope & joy of life.

Henri Lebasque (French artist, 1865-1937) On the Beach



Henri Lebasque (French artist, 1865-1937) Three Young Girls at the Beach



 Henri Lebasque (French artist, 1865-1937) 



 Henri Lebasque (French artist, 1865-1937) 



 Henri Lebasque (French artist, 1865-1937) 



 Henri Lebasque (French artist, 1865-1937) 



 Henri Lebasque (French artist, 1865-1937) 



 Henri Lebasque (French artist, 1865-1937) 



Henri Lebasque (French artist, 1865-1937) On the Beach


Henri Lebasque (French artist, 1865-1937) Beach at St Gildas


Henri Lebasque (French artist, 1865-1937) On the Beach


Sunday, August 28, 2016

Protecting the Newcomers - West Point in New York by Seth Eastman 1808-1875


During the late 18C & through much of the 19C, army forts were constructed throughout the United States to defend the growing nation from a variety of threats, both perceived & real, both external & internal. Internal threats included those from the Native Americans who had been on the land for enons.

Seth Eastman (American artist, 1808-1875) West Point, New York

West Point, New York

Neither signed nor dated by the artist, this is the painting Seth Eastman was completing when he died in 1875. The painting is unique in the series because the fort is not seen except at its perimeter gun placement. Instead, the viewer stands just above this small proscenium and looks out at a scene of the Hudson River. The setting was familiar to 19th-century Americans from the large number of paintings and prints of it already existing. West Point was not an active fort at this time. In 1802, after its crucial Revolutionary War role in preventing a British advance down the river to New York City, West Point became a military academy under the patronage of President Thomas Jefferson.

Even before the Civil War, West Point had become a tourist destination because of its fame, its proximity to New York City, and its picturesque location. In the painting, a woman, escorted by a cadet, tours the grounds. This work, alone among the fort paintings, shows some military activity–-the cadets are learning to prepare a cannon for firing. An officer-instructor stands second from the left; two boys ram the charge home in the large cannon’s barrel. Two smaller pieces of ordnance are also shown. But it is the Hudson River, its high banks framing the water where pleasure boats cruise, that draws the eyes away from the busy foreground and into the serene distance.

From the office of the United States Senate curatorwe learn that in 1870, the House Committee on Military Affairs commissioned artist Seth Eastman 17 to paint images of important fortifications in the United States. He completed the works between 1870 & amp; 1875. 

Born in 1808 in Brunswick, Maine, Eastman found expression for his artistic skills in a military career. After graduating from the US Military Academy at West Point, where officers-in-training were taught basic drawing & amp; drafting techniques, Eastman was posted to forts in Wisconsin & amp; Minnesota before returning to West Point as assistant teacher of drawing. 

While at Fort Snelling, Eastman married Wakaninajinwin (Stands Sacred), the 15-year-old daughter of Cloud Man, Dakota chief. Eastman left in 1832 for another military assignment soon after the birth of Their baby girl, Winona, & declared His marriage ended When He left. Winona was also known as Mary Nancy Eastman & was the mother of Charles Alexander Eastman, author of Indian Boyhood.

From 1833 to 1840, Eastman taught drawing at West Point. In 1835, he married his 2nd wife & was reassigned to Fort Snelling as a military commander & remained there with Mary & their 5 children for the next 7 years. During this time Eastman began recording the everyday way of life of the Dakota & the Ojibwa people. Eastman established himself as an accomplished landscape painter. Between 1836 & amp; 1840, 17 of his oils were exhibited at the National Academy of Design in New York City. 

Transferred to posts in Florida, & amp; Texas in the 1840s, Eastman became interesed in the Native Americans & made sketches of the people. This experience prepared him for the next 5 yeas in Washington, DC, where he was assigned to the commissioner of Indian Affairs & illustrated Henry Rowe Schoolcraft's important 6-volume Historical & amp; Statistical Information Respecting the History, Condition, & Prospects of the Indian Tribes of the United States. 

In 1867 Eastman returned to the Capitol, this time to paint a series of scenes of Native American life for the House Committee on Indian Affairs. Of his 17 paintings of forts, 8 are located in the Senate, while the others are displayed on the House side of the Capitol. Eastman was working on the painting West Point when he died in 1875.


Parasols for Sun & Umbrellas for Rain - Fall is coming


Jozsef Rippl-Ronai (Hungarian 1861-1927) Sitting Child with Basket 1890



Louis-Léopold Boilly (1761–1845) Passer Payez 1803


Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Umbrellas, 1883


Paul Serusier (French painter, 1863-1927) L'averse, 1893



Marie Bashkirtseff (Maria Konstantinovna Bashkirtseva) (Russian, 1858-1884) The Umbrella, 1883



 Rainy day, Maurice Brazil Prendergast (American 1859-1924)



Louis Anquetin (French artist, 1861–1932) Woman with Umbrella, 1890


Vincent van Gogh (Dutch artist, 1853-1890), Bridge in the rain after Hiroshige 1887.


Federick Childe Hassam (American Impressionist painter, 1859-1935)  A Rainy Day in New York City


Tom Roberts (British-born Australian 1856-1931) Portrait of a Standing Woman


Gustave Caillebotte (French 1848-1894) Rue de Paris, temps de pluie; Intersection de la Rue de Turin et de la Rue de Moscou 1877



Frederick Childe Hassam (American Impressionist painter, 1859-1935) Rain