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Francisco Goya

Posted by Manuel on February 27, 2012 at 6:15 PM Comments comments (0)

Francisco Goya

Francisco José de Goya y Lucientes (30 March 1746 – 16 April 1828) was a Spanish romantic painter and printmaker regarded both as the last of the Old Masters and the first of the moderns. Goya was a court painter to the Spanish Crown, and through his works was both a commentator on and chronicler of his era. The subversive and imaginative element in his art, as well as his bold handling of paint, provided a model for the work of later generations of artists, notably Manet, Picasso and Francis Bacon.

 Biography Early years

 Goya was born in Fuendetodos, Aragón, Spain, in 1746 to José Benito de Goya y Franque and Gracia de Lucientes y Salvador. He spent his childhood in Fuendetodos, where his family lived in a house bearing the family crest of his mother. His father earned his living as a gilder. About 1749, the family bought a house in the city of Zaragoza and some years later moved into it. Goya may have attended school at Escuelas Pias. He formed a close friendship with Martin Zapater at this time, and their correspondence from the 1770s to the 1790s is a valuable source for understanding Goya's early career at the court of Madrid. At age 14, Goya entered apprenticeship with the painter José Luzán. He moved to Madrid where he studied with Anton Raphael Mengs, a painter who was popular with Spanish royalty. He clashed with his master, and his examinations were unsatisfactory. Goya submitted entries for the Royal Academy of Fine Art in 1763 and 1766, but was denied entrance.

 

He then relocated to Rome, where in 1771 he won second prize in a painting competition organized by the City of Parma. Later that year, he returned to Zaragoza and painted parts of the cupolas of the Basilica of the Pillar (including Adoration of the Name of God), a cycle of frescoes in the monastic church of the Charterhouse of Aula Dei, and the frescoes of the Sobradiel Palace. He studied with Francisco Bayeu y Subías and his painting began to show signs of the delicate tonalities for which he became famous.

 Goya married Bayeu's sister Josefa (he nicknamed her "Pepa") on 25 July 1773. This marriage, and Francisco Bayeu's membership of the Royal Academy of Fine Art (from the year 1765) helped Goya to procure work as a painter of designs to be woven by Royal Tapestry Factory. There, over the course of five years, he designed some 42 patterns, many of which were used to decorate (and insulate) the bare stone walls of El Escorial and the Palacio Real del Pardo, the newly built residences of the Spanish monarchs near Madrid. This brought his artistic talents to the attention of the Spanish monarchs who later would give him access to the royal court. He also painted a canvas for the altar of the Church of San Francisco El Grande in Madrid, which led to his appointment as a member of the Royal Academy of Fine Art.

 Mid-careerIn 1783, the Count of Floridablanca, a favorite of King Carlos III, commissioned Goya to paint his portrait. He also became friends with Crown Prince Don Luis, and spent two summers with him, painting portraits of both the Infante and his family. During the 1780s, his circle of patrons grew to include the Duke and Duchess of Osuna, whom he painted, the King and other notable people of the kingdom. In 1786, Goya was given a salaried position as painter to Charles III. After the death of Charles III in 1788 and revolution in France in 1789, during the reign of Charles IV, Goya reached his peak of popularity with royalty.

 In 1789 he was made court painter to Charles IV and in 1799 he was appointed First Court Painter with a salary of 50,000 reales and 500 ducats for a coach. He painted the King and the Queen, royal family pictures, portraits of the Prince of the Peace and many other nobles. His portraits are notable for their disinclination to flatter, and in the case of Charles IV of Spain and His Family, the lack of visual diplomacy is remarkable.[4] Modern interpreters have seen this portrait as satire; it is thought to reveal the corruption present under Charles IV. Under his reign his wife Louisa was thought to have had the real power, which is why she is placed at the center of the group portrait. From the back left of the painting you can see the artist himself looking out at the viewer, and the painting behind the family depicts Lot and his daughters, thus once again echoing the underlying message of corruption and decay.

 

Goya received orders from many within the Spanish nobility. Among those from whom he procured portrait commissions were Pedro Téllez-Girón, 9th Duke of Osuna and his wife María Josefa Pimentel, 12th Countess-Duchess of Benavente, María del Pilar de Silva, 13th Duchess of Alba (universally known simply as the "Duchess of Alba"), and her husband José María Álvarez de Toledo, 15th Duke of Medina Sidonia, and María Ana de Pontejos y Sandoval, Marchioness of Pontejos.

 

At some time between late 1792 and early 1793, a serious illness, whose exact nature is not known, left Goya deaf, and he became withdrawn and introspective. During his recuperation, he undertook a series of experimental paintings. His experimental art—that would encompass paintings, drawings as well as a bitter series of aquatinted etchings, published in 1799 under the title Caprichos – was done in parallel to his more official commissions of portraits and religious paintings. In 1798, he painted luminous and airy scenes for the pendentives and cupula of the Real Ermita (Chapel) of San Antonio de la Florida in Madrid. Many place miracles of Saint Anthony of Padua in the midst of contemporary Madrid.

 Later yearsFrench forces invaded Spain in 1808, leading to the Peninsular War of 1808–1814. Goya's involvement with the court of the "Intruder king", Joseph I, the brother of Napoleon Bonaparte, is not known; he did paint works for French patrons and sympathisers, but kept neutral during the fighting. After the restoration of the Spanish king, Ferdinand VII, in 1814, Goya denied any involvement with the French. When his wife Josefa died in 1812, he was processing the war by painting The Charge of the Mamelukes and The Third of May 1808, and preparing the series of prints later known as The Disasters of War (Los desastres de la guerra). Ferdinand VII returned to Spain in 1814 but relations with Goya were not cordial. He painted portraits of the kings for a variety of organizations, but not for the king himself.

 

Leocadia Weiss (ne Zorrilla,[5] b. 1790)[6] the artist's maid, younger by 35 years, and distant relative,[7] lived with and cared for Goya after Bayeu's death. She stayed with him in his Quinta del Sordo villa until 1824 with her daughter Rosario.[8] Leocadia was probably similar in features to Goya's first wife Josefa Bayeu, to the extent that one of his well known portraits bears the cautious title of Josefa Bayeu (or Leocadia

 Not much is known about her beyond her fiery temperament. She was likely related to the Goicoechea family, a wealthy dynasty into which the artist's son, the feckless Javier, had married. It is believed she held liberal political views and was unafraid of expressing them, a fact met with disapproval by Goya's family. It is known that Leocadia had an unhappy marriage with a jeweler, Isideo Weiss, but was separated from him since 1811. Her husband cited "illicit conduct" during the divorce proceedings. She had two children before the marriage dissolved, and bore a third, Rosario, in 1814 when she was 26. Isideo was not the father, and it has often been speculated– although with little firm evidence –that the child belonged to Goya.[11] There has been much speculation that Goya and Weiss were romantically linked, however, it is more likely the affection between them was sentimental.

 Goya's works from 1814 to 1819 are mostly commissioned portraits, but also include the altarpiece of Santa Justa and Santa Rufina for the Cathedral of Seville, the print series of "La Tauromaquia" depicting scenes from bullfighting, and probably the etchings of "Los Disparates".

 

In 1819, with the idea of isolating himself, he bought a country house by the Manzanares river just outside of Madrid. It was known as the Quinta del Sordo (roughly, "House of the Deaf Man", titled after its previous owner and not after Goya himself). There he created the Black Paintings with intense, haunting themes, reflective of the artist's fear of insanity, and his outlook on humanity. Several of these, including Saturn Devouring His Son, were painted directly onto the walls of his dining and sitting rooms.

 

Goya lost faith in or became threatened by the restored Spanish monarchy's anti-liberal political and social stance and left Spain in May 1824 for Bordeaux and then Paris.[13] He travelled to Spain in 1826, but returned to Bordeaux, where he died of a stroke in 1828, at the age of 82. He was of Catholic faith and was buried in Bordeaux; in 1919 his remains were transferred to the Royal Chapel of St. Anthony of La Florida in Madrid.

 

Leocadia was left nothing in Goya's will; mistresses were often omitted in such circumstances, but it is also likely that he did not want to dwell on his mortality by thinking about or revising his will. She wrote to a number of Goya's friends to complain of her exclusion but many of her friends were Goya's and by then old men and had died, or died before they could reply. Largely destitute she moved into rented accommodation and passed on her copy of the Caprichos for free.

 Goya painted the Spanish royal family, including Charles IV of Spain and Ferdinand VII. His themathic range extended from merry festivals for tapestry, draft cartoons, to scenes of war and human debasment. This evolution reflects the darkening of his temper. Modern physicians suspect that the lead in his pigments poisoned him and caused his deafness since 1792. Near the end of his life, he became reclusive and produced frightening and obscure paintings of insanity, madness, and fantasy, while the style of the Black Paintings prefigure the expressionist movement.

 Maja

The Nude Maja, ca. 1800. Said to be the first explicit depiction of female pubic hair in a large Western painting, though others had hinted at it before.

The Clothed Maja, ca. 1803, the more chaste companion, but teasing, provocative, panelTwo of Goya's best known paintings are The Nude Maja (La maja desnuda) and The Clothed Maja (La maja vestida). They depict the same woman in the same pose, naked and clothed, respectively. Without a pretense to allegorical or mythological meaning, the painting was "the first totally profane life-size female nude in Western art".[15]

 

The identity of the Majas are uncertain. The most popularly cited models are the Duchess of Alba, with whom Goya was sometimes thought to have had an affair, and Pepita Tudó, mistress of Manuel de Godoy; Godoy subsequently owned them. Neither theory has been verified, and it remains as likely that the paintings represent an idealized composite.[16] The paintings were never publicly exhibited during Goya's lifetime. They were owned by Manuel de Godoy, the Prime Minister of Spain and a favorite of the Queen, María Luisa.[17] In 1808 all Godoy's property was seized by Ferdinand VII after his fall from power and exile, and in 1813 the Inquisition confiscated both works as 'obscene', returning them in 1836 to the Academy of Fine Arts of San Fernando.

 In a period of convalescence during 1793–1794, Goya completed a set of eleven small pictures painted on tin; known as Fantasy and Invention, they mark a significant change in his art. They no longer represent the world of popular carnival, but rather a dark, dramatic realm of fantasy and nightmare. Yard with Lunatics is a horrifying and imaginary vision of loneliness, fear and social alienation, a departure from the rather more superficial treatment of mental illness in the works of earlier artists such as Hogarth. The condemnation of brutality towards prisoners (whether criminal or insane) is the subject of many of Goya’s later paintings.

 

As he completed Yard with Lunatics, Goya was himself undergoing a physical and mental breakdown. It was a few weeks after the French declaration of war on Spain, and Goya’s illness was developing. A contemporary reported, “the noises in his head and deafness aren’t improving, yet his vision is much better and he is back in control of his balance.” His symptoms may indicate a prolonged viral encephalitis or possibly a series of miniature strokes resulting from high blood pressure and affecting hearing and balance centers in the brain. The triad of tinnitus, episodes of imbalance and progressive deafness is also typical of Ménière's disease. Other postmortem diagnostic assessment points toward paranoid dementia due to unknown brain trauma (perhaps due to the unknown illness which he reported). If this is the case, from here on—we see an insidious assault of his faculties, manifesting as paranoid features in his paintings, culminating in his black paintings and especially Saturn Devouring His Sons.

 Caprichos and Tapestry cartoonsMain article: Caprichos

In 1799 Goya published a series of 80 prints titled Caprichos depicting what he described as "the innumerable foibles and follies to be found in any civilized society, and from the common prejudices and deceitful practices which custom, ignorance, or self-interest have made usual".[19]

 

The dark visions depicted in these prints are partly explained by his caption, "The sleep of reason produces monsters". Yet these are not solely bleak in nature and demonstrate the artist's sharp satirical wit, particularly evident in etchings such as Hunting for Teeth. Additionally, one can discern a thread of the macabre running through Goya's work, even in his earlier tapestry cartoons.[note 1] Mostly popularist in a rococo style, the cartoons were completed early in his career, when he was largely unknown and actively seeking commissions. In 1774, he was asked, on behalf of the Spanish crown, by the German artist Anton Raphael Mengs, to undertake the series. While designing tapestries was neither prestigious nor well paid, Goya used them, along with his early engravings, to bring himself to wider attention.[20] They afforded his first contact with the Spanish monarchy that was to eventually appoint him court painter.

 The Disasters of WarMain article: The Disasters of War

 

What more can one do?, from The Disasters of War, 1812–15In the 1810s, Goya created a set of aquatint prints titled The Disasters of War. Although he did not make known his intention when creating the plates, art historians view them as a visual protest against the violence of the 1808 Dos de Mayo Uprising, the subsequent Peninsular War of 1808–14 and the setbacks to the liberal cause following the restoration of the Bourbon monarchy in 1814. The scenes are singularly disturbing, sometimes macabre in their depiction of battlefield horror, and represent an outraged conscience in the face of death and destruction.[22] They were not published until 1863, 35 years after his death. It is likely that only then was it considered politically safe to distribute a sequence of artworks criticising both the French and restored Bourbons.[23]

 

The first 47 plates in the series focus on incidents from the war and show the consequences of the conflict on individual soldiers and civilians. The middle series (plates 48 to 64) record the effects of the famine that hit Madrid in 1811–12, before the city was liberated from the French. The final 17 reflect the bitter disappointment of liberals when the restored Bourbon monarchy, encouraged by the Catholic hierarchy, rejected the Spanish Constitution of 1812 and opposed both state and religious reform. Since their first publication, Goya's scenes of atrocities, starvation, degradation and humiliation have been described as the "prodigious flowering of rage"

 Black PaintingsMain article: Black Paintings

 

Witches' Sabbath or Aquelarre is one of 14 from the Black Paintings series.In later life Goya bought a house, called Quinta del Sordo ("Deaf Man's House"), and painted many unusual paintings on canvas and on the walls, including references to witchcraft and war. One of these is the famous work Saturn Devouring His Son (known informally in some circles as Devoration or Saturn Eats His Child), which displays a Greco-Roman mythological scene of the god Saturn consuming a child, possibly a reference to Spain's ongoing civil conflicts. The series has been described as "the most essential to our understanding of the human condition in modern times, just as Michelangelo's Sistine ceiling is essential to understanding the tenor of the 16th century".At the age of 75, alone and in a lot of mental and physical despair, he completed the work as one of his 14 Black Paintings,[note 2] all of which were executed in oil directly onto the plaster walls of his house. Goya did not intend for the paintings to be exhibited, did not write of them,[note 3] and likely never spoke of them.[26] It was not until around 1874, some 50 years after his death, that they were taken down and transferred to a canvas support. Many of the works were significantly altered during the restoration, and in the words of Arthur Lubow what remain are "at best a crude facsimile of what Goya painted."[27] The effects of time on the murals, coupled with the inevitable damage caused by the delicate operation of mounting the crumbling plaster on canvas, meant that most of the murals suffered extensive damage and lost a lot of paint. Today they are on permanent display at the Museo del Prado, Madrid.


 

Art review: Kristen Morgin's 'Snow White' at Marc Selwyn Fine Art

Posted by Manuel on February 20, 2012 at 1:05 PM Comments comments (0)


“Snow White in Evening Wear and Other Works” is Kristen Morgin’s fourth solo show in Los Angeles. It’s also her best. That’s saying a lot because her first three, in 2006, 2008 and 2009, are among the most memorable of the last decade.

This one is unforgettable: tragically sad and heart-wrenchingly bittersweet, it sings of loss with unsentimental intensity. Rather than coming off as despairing or even depressing, Morgin’s installation is quietly inspiring, not glibly uplifting but profoundly heartening in its clear-eyed insightfulness.

At Marc Selwyn Fine Art, nearly all of Morgin’s new sculptures are made of unfired clay, on whose fragile surfaces she draws and paints with great delicacy. Many pieces take the form of old-fashioned toys, most broken, and handcrafted puppets whose missing limbs have been replaced with ad hoc prosthetics. Others are low-relief collages, homemade renditions of such cartoon characters as Mickey, Popeye and Jiminy, whose heads, bodies and limbs are mismatched. Put together with devilish purpose, these piecemeal talismans often include worn playing cards and frayed game boards alongside comic books, paperbacks, bottle caps and jar lids. Even Morgin’s thumbtacks and pushpins are made of clay.

On the floor, Morgin has laid out two multipart pieces. Each is masterful.

Their setups recall the way kids play with toys, combining unrelated objects to create worlds that work in their imaginations. Using clay trains, guns, blocks and various fairy-tale figurines, “Two Thirds of May” recasts Goya’s famous painting of Spanish citizens being executed as a violent nightmare from which humanity has still not awakened.

“In the Conservatory, With Mr. Bill, On A Silent Night” features an even stranger cast of characters: Mr. Peanut, Mr. Bill, Colonel Mustard, Dorian Gray, Cinderella, Superman, the holy family and the Jetsons. The narrative that unfolds under a wobbly ladder and chair is as harrowing as it is open-ended, just the stuff for a culture in which forgetfulness and the inability to grow up go hand in glove.

 


 

 


 

 

 

Master van Gogh

Posted by Manuel on February 1, 2012 at 4:15 AM Comments comments (0)

 

Willem Vincent van Gogh 30 March 1853 – 29 July 1890) was a Dutch post-Impressionist painter whose work, notable for its rough beauty, emotional honesty, and bold color, had a far-reaching influence on 20th-century art. After years of painful anxiety and frequent bouts of mental illness, he died at the age of 37 from a gunshot wound, generally accepted to be self-inflicted. His work was then known to only a handful of people and appreciated by fewer still.

Van Gogh loved art from an early age. He began to draw as a child, and he continued making drawings throughout the years leading to his decision to become an artist. He did not begin painting until his late twenties, completing many of his best-known works during his last two years. In just over a decade, he produced more than 2,100 artworks, consisting of 860 oil paintings and more than 1,300 watercolors, drawings, sketches and prints. His work included self portraits, landscapes, still lifes of flowers, portraits and paintings of cypresses, wheat fields and sunflowers.

Van Gogh spent his early adulthood working for a firm of art dealers, traveling between The Hague, London and Paris, after which he taught for a time in England. One of his early aspirations was to become a pastor and from 1879 he worked as a missionary in a mining region in Belgium where he began to sketch people from the local community. In 1885, he painted his first major work The Potato Eaters. His palette at the time consisted mainly of somber earth tones and showed no sign of the vivid coloration that distinguished his later work. In March 1886, he moved to Paris and discovered the French Impressionists. Later he moved to the south of France and was taken by the strong sunlight he found there. His work grew brighter in color, and he developed the unique and highly recognizable style that became fully realized during his stay in Arles in 1888.

The extent to which his mental health affected his painting has been a subject of speculation since his death. Despite a widespread tendency to romanticize his ill health, modern critics see an artist deeply frustrated by the inactivity and incoherence brought about by his bouts of illness. According to art critic Robert Hughes, van Gogh's late works show an artist at the height of his ability, completely in control and "longing for concision and grace".[

 Letters

Vincent c. 1871–1872 aged 18. This photograph was taken at the time when he was working at the branch of Goupil & Cie's gallery at The Hague.[3][4]

Theo in 1878 at 21. Theo was a life-long supporter and friend to his brother. The two are buried together at Auvers-sur-Oise.

The most comprehensive primary source for the understanding of van Gogh as an artist is the collection of letters between him and his younger brother, art dealer Theo van Gogh.[5] They lay the foundation for most of what is known about the thoughts and beliefs of the artist.[6][7] Theo provided his brother with both financial and emotional support. Their lifelong friendship, and most of what is known of van Gogh's thoughts and theories of art, is recorded in the hundreds of letters they exchanged between 1872 and 1890: more than 600 from Vincent to Theo and 40 from Theo to Vincent.

Although many are undated, art historians have generally been able to put them in chronological order. Problems remain, mainly in dating those from Arles although it is known that during that period, van Gogh wrote 200 letters to friends in Dutch, French and English.[8] The period when Vincent lived in Paris is the most difficult for historians to analyze because the brothers lived together and had no need to correspond.[9]

In addition to letters to and from Theo, other surviving documents include those to Van Rappard, Émile Bernard, van Gogh's sister Wil and her friend Line Kruysse.[10] The letters were first annotated in 1913 by Theo's widow Johanna van Gogh-Bonger who explained that she published them with 'trepidation' because she did not want the drama in the artist's life to overshadow his work. Van Gogh himself was an avid reader of other artists' biographies and expected their lives to be in keeping with the character of their art.[5]

BiographyMain article: Vincent van Gogh chronology

Early lifeSee also: Van Gogh's family in his art

Vincent Willem van Gogh was born on 30 March 1853 in Groot-Zundert, a village close to Breda in the province of North Brabant in the south of the Netherlands, a predominantly Catholic area.[11][12] He was the oldest child of Theodorus van Gogh, a minister of the Dutch Reformed Church, and Anna Cornelia Carbentus. Vincent was given the name of his grandfather, and of a brother stillborn exactly a year before his birth.[note 3] The practice of reusing a name was not unusual. Vincent was a common name in the Van Gogh family: his grandfather, Vincent (1789–1874), had received his degree of theology at the University of Leiden in 1811. Grandfather Vincent had six sons, three of whom became art dealers, including another Vincent who was referred to in van Gogh's letters as "Uncle Cent". Grandfather Vincent had perhaps been named in turn after his own father's uncle, the successful sculptor Vincent van Gogh (1729–1802).[13][14] Art and religion were the two occupations to which the Van Gogh family gravitated. His brother Theodorus "Theo" was born on 1 May 1857. He had another brother, Cor, and three sisters: Elisabeth, Anna and Willemina "Wil".[15]

Vincent c. 1866, approx. age 13

As a child, Vincent was serious, silent and thoughtful. He attended the Zundert village school from 1860, where the single Catholic teacher taught around 200 pupils. From 1861, he and his sister Anna were taught at home by a governess, until 1 October 1864, when he went to Jan Provily's boarding school at Zevenbergen about 20 miles (32 km) away. He was distressed to leave his family home as he recalled later as an adult. On 15 September 1866, he went to the new middle school, Willem II College in Tilburg. Constantijn C. Huysmans, a successful artist in Paris, taught van Gogh to draw at the school and advocated a systematic approach to the subject. Vincent's interest in art began at an early age. He began to draw as a child and continued making drawings throughout the years leading to his decision to become an artist. Though well-done and expressive,[16] his early drawings do not approach the intensity he developed in his later work.[17] In March 1868, van Gogh abruptly left school and returned home. A later comment on his early years was in an 1883 letter to Theo in which he wrote, "My youth was gloomy and cold and sterile".[18]

In July 1869, his uncle Cent helped him obtain a position with the art dealer Goupil & Cie in The Hague. After his training, in June 1873, Goupil transferred him to London, where he lodged at 87 Hackford Road, Brixton, and worked at Messrs. Goupil & Co., 17 Southampton Street.[19] This was a happy time for Vincent; he was successful at work and was, at 20, earning more than his father. Theo's wife later remarked that this was the happiest year of Vincent's life. He fell in love with his landlady's daughter, Eugénie Loyer, but when he finally confessed his feelings to her, she rejected him, saying that she was secretly engaged to a former lodger. He became increasingly isolated and fervent about religion; his father and uncle arranged for him to be transferred to Paris, where he became resentful at how art was treated as a commodity, a fact apparent to customers. On 1 April 1876, Goupil terminated his employment.[20]

Van Gogh returned to England for unpaid work as a supply teacher in a small boarding school overlooking the harbor in Ramsgate, where he made sketches of the view. When the proprietor of the school relocated to Isleworth, Middlesex, van Gogh moved with him, taking the train to Richmond and the remainder of the journey on foot.[21] The arrangement did not work out and he left to became a Methodist minister's assistant, following his wish to "preach the gospel everywhere."[22] At Christmas, he returned home and found work in a bookshop in Dordrecht for six months. He was not happy in this new position and spent much of his time either doodling or translating passages from the Bible into English, French and German.[23] His roommate at the time, a young teacher named Görlitz, recalled that van Gogh ate frugally, and preferred not to eat meat.[24][note 4]

Van Gogh's religious zeal grew until he felt he had found his true vocation. To support his effort to become a pastor his family sent him to Amsterdam to study theology in May 1877, where he stayed with his uncle Jan van Gogh, a naval Vice Admiral.[25][26] Vincent prepared for the entrance exam with his uncle Johannes Stricker; a respected theologian who published the first "Life of Jesus" in the Netherlands. Van Gogh failed the exam, and left his uncle Jan's house in July 1878. He then undertook, but failed, a three-month course at the Vlaamsche Opleidingsschool, a Protestant missionary school in Laeken, near Brussels.[27]

The house where Van Gogh stayed in Cuesmes in 1880; while living here he decided to become an artist

In January 1879, he took a temporary post as a missionary in the village of Petit Wasmes[note 5] in the coal-mining district of Borinage in Belgium. Taking Christianity to what he saw as its logical conclusion, van Gogh lived like those he preached to, sleeping on straw in a small hut at the back of the baker's house where he was staying. The baker's wife reported hearing van Gogh sobbing at night in the hut. His choice of squalid living conditions did not endear him to the appalled church authorities, who dismissed him for "undermining the dignity of the priesthood." He then walked to Brussels,[28] returned briefly to the village of Cuesmes in the Borinage but gave in to pressure from his parents to return home to Etten. He stayed there until around March the following year,[note 6] a cause of increasing concern and frustration for his parents. There was particular conflict between Vincent and his father; Theodorus made inquiries about having his son committed to the lunatic asylum at Geel.[29][note 7]

He returned to Cuesmes where he lodged with a miner named Charles Decrucq until October.[30] Increasingly interested in the people and scenes around him, van Gogh recorded his time there in his drawings and followed Theo's suggestion that he should take up art in earnest. He traveled to Brussels that autumn intending to follow Theo's recommendation to study with the prominent Dutch artist Willem Roelofs, who persuaded him, in spite of his aversion to formal schools of art, to attend the Académie Royale des Beaux-Arts in Brussels, where he registered on 15 November 1880. At the Académie, he studied anatomy and the standard rules of modeling and perspective, about which he said, "...you have to know just to be able to draw the least thing."[31] Van Gogh aspired to become an artist in God's service, stating: "...to try to understand the real significance of what the great artists, the serious masters, tell us in their masterpieces, that leads to God; one man wrote or told it in a book; another in a picture

Etten, Drenthe and The HagueSee also: Early works of Vincent van Gogh

Annotated by the artist in ink at lower left: At Eternity's Gate, 1882, lithograph, Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art[32]

In April 1881, van Gogh moved to the Etten countryside with his parents where he continued drawing, often using neighbors as subjects. Through the summer he spent time walking and talking with his recently widowed cousin, Kee Vos-Stricker, the daughter of his mother's older sister and Johannes Stricker, with whom he stayed in Amsterdam in 1878.[33] Kee, who had an eight-year-old son, was seven years older than van Gogh. He proposed marriage, but she refused with the words, "No, never, never," (niet, nooit, nimmer).[34] Late that November, van Gogh wrote a strongly worded letter to Johannes,[35] and then hurried to Amsterdam where he spoke with him on several occasions.[36] Kee refused to see him, and her parents wrote, "Your persistence is disgusting." In desperation, he held his left hand in the flame of a lamp, with the words "Let me see her for as long as I can keep my hand in the flame."[37] He did not recall the event well, but later assumed that his uncle blew out the flame. Kee's father made it clear to him that Kee's refusal should be heeded and that the two would not be married[38] because of van Gogh's inability to support himself.[39] Van Gogh's perception of his uncle and former tutor's hypocrisy affected him deeply. That Christmas he quarreled violently with his father, to the point of refusing a gift of money, and left for The Hague.[40]

Rooftops, View from the Atelier The Hague, 1882, watercolour, Private collection.

In January 1882, he settled in The Hague where he called on his cousin-in-law, Anton Mauve (1838–8 who was a Dutch realist painter and a leading member of the Hague School. Mauve introduced him to painting in both oil and watercolor and lent him money to set up a studio[41] but the two soon fell out, possibly over the issue of drawing from plaster casts.[42] Mauve appears to have suddenly gone cold towards van Gogh and did not return a number of his letters.[43] Van Gogh supposed that he had learned of his new domestic arrangement with an alcoholic prostitute, Clasina Maria "Sien" Hoornik (1850–1904) and her young daughter.[44][45][46] He had met Sien towards the end of January when she had a five-year-old daughter and was pregnant. She had already borne two children who had died, although van Gogh was unaware of this.[47] On 2 July, she gave birth to a baby boy, Willem.[48] When van Gogh's father discovered the details of their relationship, he put considerable pressure on his son to abandon Sien and her children, although Vincent at first defied him.[49][50]

Van Gogh's uncle Cornelis, an art dealer, commissioned 12 ink drawings of views of the city, which van Gogh completed soon after arriving in The Hague, along with a further seven drawings that May.[51] In June, he spent three weeks in a hospital suffering from gonorrhea.[52] During the summer he began to paint in oil.[53] In autumn 1883, after a year together, he left Sien and the two children. He had thought of moving the family out of the city but in the end made the break.[54] It is possible that lack of money pushed Sien back to prostitution—the home became less happy, and van Gogh may have felt family life was irreconcilable with his artistic development. When he left, Sien gave her daughter to her mother and baby Willem to her brother. She then moved to Delft, and later to Antwerp.[55] Willem remembered being taken to visit his mother in Rotterdam at around the age of 12, where his uncle tried to persuade Sien to marry in order to legitimize the child. Willem remembered his mother saying, "But I know who the father is. He was an artist I lived with nearly 20 years ago in The Hague. His name was van Gogh." She then turned to Willem and said "You are called after him."[56] While Willem believed himself van Gogh's son, the timing of his birth makes this unlikely.[57] In 1904, Sien drowned herself in the River Scheldt. Van Gogh moved to the Dutch province of Drenthe, in the northern Netherlands. That December, driven by loneliness, he went to stay with his parents who had been posted to Nuenen, North Brabant.[58]         To see Full article >>>>>

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Master of Masters

Posted by Manuel on January 1, 2012 at 3:40 PM Comments comments (0)

     Homage To Master of Masters

          

"Diego Velázquez"

                 

                

             Diego Rodriguez de Silva Velázquez

June 6, 1599 - august 6, 1660 was a Spanish painter whos was the leading artist in the court of King Philip IV. He was an individualistic of the contemporary Boroque period, important as a portrait artist. In addition to numerous renditions of scenes of historical and cultural significance, he painted scores of the Spanish royal family, other notable European figures, and commoners, culminating in the production of his masterpiece Las Meninas (1656)

From the first quarter of the nineteenth century, Velázquez´s artwork was a model for the realist and impressionist painters, in particular Edouard Manet. Since that time, more modern artist, including Spain´s Pablo Picasso and Salvador Dali, as well as the Anglo-Irish painter Francis Bacon, have payed tribute to Velázquez by recreating several of his most famous works.

To read the full article>>> Diego Velazquez

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Homage To a Great Artist "Leonard Goldstein"

Posted by Manuel on November 23, 2011 at 8:00 AM Comments comments (2)

Homage To a Great Artist

Abstract Pointillism Artist

"Leonard Goldstein"

Leonard Goldstein has been an Artist and Designer since the age of 5. He was born in 1945 and Raised in the Bronx New York. He attended the prestigious high school of Art and Design from 1958-1962, where he studied under Architect Dr. Erwin T. Muller. Leonard and a select group of students were hand picked to work on the design of the lower level of the George Washington Bridge for the Architecture firm Armen and Whittney.

In 1965 Leonard Attended the University of New Mexico where he studied Architecture with Thomas Verland and Painting with the late John Kacere.

In 1967 Leonard met the Sculptor John Chamberlain in New Mexico. Leonard was offered an apprenticeship with Mr.Chamberlain and drove with him back to NYC where he helped produce the Radical Art series,compression art and some early foam sculptures for the Leo Castelli Gallery (1967-1972), and the Guggenheim Museum.

In 1969 Leonard befriended and worked with Political Artist and Master Sculptor Peter Gourfain. Leonard helped Peter with many of his early outdoor sculpture installations that appeared in and around NY state an NJ in the early1970’s, he also photographed these events.

During his years living NYC, Leonard Co- designed and built The Floating Foundation of Photography for Maggy Sherwood with Artist Roy Slamm. (1969)

Director Robert Wilson’s First theatre studio on Spring Street. (1971)

( Design and construction).

Collaborated in building of the Dwan gallery at 420 West Broadway. (1972) With Gordon Hart, Peter Gourfain and Susan Hardcastle and Paul Morgenson. This group also did the interior construction for the Weber gallery.

I would call myself a re-emerging artist. I have always painted but I also enjoy designing and building which is how I was able to live and support my painting habit. I have always had the urge to create art. I was 5 years old when I first conceptualized this desire. I studied at the High School of Art and Design and graduated in 1962. From there I went to New Mexico and studied Architecture and Painting with the late John Kacere. I was introduced to the sculptor John Chamberlain in 1967 became his assistant for a time. After working with Chamberlain, I move to SoHo in 1969 and lived in the basement loft at 98 Greene Street, where I began my abstract pointillism paintings. There I developed my own technique and process and my style as an artist. I participated in some early shows in SoHo and worked for many artists building and renovating lofts, theaters and galleries. I made my living as a master carpenter in NYC for 45 years. I have always loved art and have never stopped painting and creating. Now I am also exploring sculpture and other areas where I combine my skills as a designer.

Selling Art Online

Posted by Manuel on October 7, 2011 at 12:30 PM Comments comments (1)

Selling Art Online

USA Today has wrote an article about how artists are taking advantage of the internet to sell their work.

They talked about a few artists making a living by selling paintings from their website..

Duane Keiser - He does a small painting each day and sells them for as little as $100 each. Before the success of his website, he was selling just a few paintings each year, and now sells most of his work.

Justin Clayton - Is a 31 year old artist also selling enough work online to be able to quit his day job and paint full time.

Julian Merrow Smith - Is a British artist living in Provence and making a living from painting the French countryside.

It's great that artists can make a living without gallery representation, but I think there will still be bricks and mortar art galleries around in 100 years. The one similarity that all the artists above have, is that they are mostly selling small paintings for affordable prices.

From what I have seen and experienced, collectors are hesitant to buy large and/or expensive works online. As great as the internet is, you just can't experience a painting like you can in an art gallery.

There's also the trust factor that the internet has yet to solve completely. People are willing to risk a few hundred dollars on a small painting, but getting a collector to part with several thousand dollars online is much more difficult.

I previously mentioned an artist making up to $25,000 a month selling paintings on eBay.

Buying and Selling Art Online

Posted by Manuel on October 7, 2011 at 12:00 PM Comments comments (0)

Buying and Selling Art Online

ArtInfo has profiled five "Award-Worthy Web Galleries" that allow you to buy and sell work online. It's a very mixed bunch, aiming at very different buyers/sellers, but they all seem worthy enough to mention.

PicassoMio gets the "Best of the Behemoths" award, which has more than 20,000 works by 2000 different artists worldwide.

WeHeartPrints wins the "Labor of Love" award, as it's small, focused, and looked after by one person.

MixedGreens is awarded the "Best of Both Worlds" prize as it is both a bricks & mortar gallery and a gallery selling works online (I'm sure all bricks & mortar art galleries will eventually move to selling work online too.. even if they only offer small works online by their exhibiting artists.)

AltPhotos gets the "Three Cheers for Democracy" award, as it's 12,000+ members are allowed to interact, comment, and sell their photos online.

Lumas wins the "Finest in Photos" award as it offers a great range of limited edition fine art photography.

Robert Haggan Newsletter

Posted by Manuel on October 3, 2011 at 10:25 AM Comments comments (1)

 

 

 

 

OCTOBER 2011

KEEPING BUSY

1. Sydney Exhibition at the Moulton Galleries 27th October, 2011.

My friend for ages Marcia Moulton has kindly offered to show my paintings at her wonderful 3 story gallery in the beautiful north shore Sydney suburb of Mosman. It’s been ages since I had a showing, not just in Mosman but, in Sydney. The theme is ‘back in the saddle’ alluding to my absence from the Sydney art scene and my return the herd. I’ve put together a strong group of paintings featuring heritage Australiania, dusty cattle and brumby scenes along with scenes from the great pastime of hanging around the beaches fishing, netting, swimming and just passing idle time. Ph +612 9960 5519

 

Go to http://www.moultongalleries.com.au/

2. NEW DVD

Coming soon is a new instructional DVD titled ‘Painting Elephants’. This 1 hour 50 min DVD covers more than painting elephants bathing in water. Much more- elements and how to use them to create harmony and balance.

You will be able to buy this as a stand alone DVD or as part of a discounted package.

3. NEW VIDEO CLIP

Starting today on You Tube is my ‘Elements of Painting’ clips.

I’m often asked, “Bob, how did you do the pebbles, or the leaves on the tree or the seagull or the reflections etc?”.

Little parts of a painting that make up the total event. Well I’ve had a crack at doing them and I’m pleased to say it works. These are about 3 minutes long and they are a grab from a painting I am working on. So you get to watch me do one part or element in the painting then a pic of the final painting so you can see where that part fitted into the painting.

They are good to learn technique from and for the fun of just seeing how I go about painting.

I’m going to release one each week. The first is how to paint streams of light.

WATCH IT HERE

 

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Anthony Lister at Lyons Wier Gallery, NYC

Posted by Manuel on September 30, 2011 at 10:55 AM Comments comments (0)

Art News Blog

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Anthony Lister at Lyons Wier Gallery, NYC

Australian born artist Anthony Lister is showing at the Lyons Wier Gallery in New York City from March 19 through to April 19.

A lot of my favorite artists are painters that never really give up using the pencil (line). Painterly paintings are good but so are paintings that look like drawings. I guess I like painterly drawings or linear paintings. I like painterly paintings and linear drawings too. 

 

  Anthony Lister - Terms of Engagement, 2010

  Mixed media on canvas, 39.5 x 39.5 inches

Anthony Lister - BET, 2010

                                                      mixed media on paper, 6.5 x 9.5 inches

From the Lyons Wier Gallery blog here..

"Known in the Low Brow movement for his intriguing, playful hybrid of street art, expressionism, and cubism all manifested in non-traditional media such as spray paint; Lister’s new body of work shows the tongue-in-cheek frivolity of his earlier pieces developing (or decaying) into a more mature and disturbing direction. The deformities and un-done aesthetic resolve of Lister’s work provides viewers with a concretization of contemporary societies’ psyche – or, as the artist himself states, “making the obvious more, well, obvious”."