Name That Painter! Big Reveal . . .
Liz Carlson sent us the correct answer and her name was
randomly drawn for a $10.00 Gift Certificate. Yay Liz!!!
We received many correct guesses.
Thank you for participating everyone!
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Born: Nov 30th, 1825
Died: Aug 19th, 1905 (aged 79)
It's no doubt Bouguereau painted a lot of nudes. I myself am not drawn to those paintings in particular. I do however, find his ability to capture the delicate beauty of the human form INCREDIBLE. Many of his paintings look alive, the eyes and facial detail almost seem to speak. See the video below... Bouguereau will continue to amaze me and I hope it will be my privilege to see his artwork in person someday. I understand that over one hundred museums throughout the world exhibit his work!
I'd love to hear your thoughts on Bouguereau's art. Have you seen any of his paintings in person? Do you recognize his work? Please leave your comments below.
Till next time....
Name That Painter!
With it being Valentines Day, I can't think of a better artist to feature on this day of Love (hint, that is clue #1).
La Rochelle, a city on the Atlantic coast of France, was the birthplace of our featured painter of the month. Now before you go and google that, keep reading, for there is much more information to ponder...
As a young boy, he exhibited a remarkable skill for drawing, which was specifically noticed by his uncle Eugene, a curate. To satisfy my own curiosity, I looked up "curate" which means: parish priest or person invested in the care of the souls of the parish. Eugene would later be a key figure in the serious studies of his nephew. In the meantime though, his uncle educated him as much as possible in the Old and New Testaments, Greek mythology, and Latin. Undoubtedly, he played an important role in the eventual success of our young painter.
Born to merchant parents who dealt in the business of wine and later olive oil, our painter was encouraged to enter the family business. He did for a time until his father's client through some mighty influence, convinced the parents to allow our painter to attend art school. The school, Ecole des Beaux Arts, was located in Bordeaux. Over the next few years, our painter worked hard earning money while attending school. Coloring labels for jams and preserves, and keeping books for a wine merchant kept his nose to the grindstone. His free time was spent fine tuning his artistic skill by creating drawings from memory. Practice, practice, practice... In the pursuit of higher learning, I imagine these words were and integral part of his being, for he truly knew how to engage himself fully in his artistic pursuits. Those early days of discipline proved to propel him well as he faced the rigors of art later in Paris.
After spending a few years in Bordeaux, it was time for our painter to continue his studies elsewhere. Paris was the target. However, his father didn't have the means to support his son in this pursuit, it just wasn't possible on their limited income. Remember his uncle Eugene? Yes, Eugene came to the rescue! He wisely arranged for our young painter to work by painting portraits of his parishioners. After painting thirty-three portrait paintings (phew! I'm sure that would take most of us a lifetime!) he was able to save up nine hundred francs. His aunt then stepped in to match the sum which paved the way for our painter to move to Paris in 1846. Why Paris? Well, that could be a looong drawn out story, but to sum it up.... Paris at that time, was the gathering place for artists, an art mecca you could say. Not only did Paris have a number of museums with art of the ages on display, there were many political reasons for this. Interestingly, the government was entangled in artistic training and had a finger on what type of art was acceptable and what was not. Art meant success politically, socially etc. to Paris. Do you see the correlation?? So , to be successful as an artist, Paris was where you went. If you were trained there and accepted, then financial success was probable. The government had strong threads tied to institutions that would hire you or buy your art. Of course, holding such high expectations and demands on artists does eventually backfire, but that is a whole different story.
Our artist at the fine age of 21 was accepted into the studio of Francois Edouard Picot. There is so much more I could ramble on about his training, but I will skip ahead at this point. Just know that our painter did eventually find acceptance in Paris, which brought him much acclaim.
Over his career he produced a prolific amount of art. He created over seven hundred finished works! Count that... s-e-v-e-n-h-u-n-d-r-e-d!!! He held himself to an industrious and serious standard when creating. This quote pretty much sums his thoughts...
"Each day I go to my studio full of joy; in the evening when obliged to stop because of darkness I can scarcely wait for the morning to come... My work is not only a pleasure, it has become a necessity. No matter how many other things I have in my life, if I cannot give myself to my dear painting I am miserable."
Our featured painter happens to be one on the top of my list of favorites. His paintings are marvelous! Words just can't describe the beauty he was able to create on canvas. He was a master and could exquisitely express tenderness and beauty.
Can you Name that Painter?
Send your best guess by midnight March 11th, 2012 to:
All the correct answers will be placed in a hat for a chance to win a $10.00 gift certificate to use on our website!
We will announce the winner on March 12th, 2012
Name That Painter! - Big Reveal
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Arriving in Wichita, Kansas for the annual Society of Decorative Painters Conference meant for me a very busy week! I had planned each day by they hour with not much elbow room to spare. So when I found that the Wichita Art Museum was FREE on Saturdays, I had to adjust my schedule accordingly. : ) Yes, I said FREE (that word has to be capitalized and sounded out s-l-o-w-l-y as to relish all the joy that comes from it). Squishing the museum in on Sat. would be difficult with trade floor take down and yadayada...yada. Oh heck I thought, "It's F-R-E-E, you must work it out!"
The SDP Conference went by waay too fast. The trade floor was delicious and a visit and tour of the SDP Headquarters made for a grand treat!! Meeting Karl-Heinz Meschbach (a master at faux finish) who was doing a demo, was simply awesome! I have to say, if you're ever in the Wichita area, be sure to stop by the SDP Headquarters. They have a museum of their own worth noting. It is full of some of the BEST decroarting painting done by artists of OUR time. Anyway, after packing everything up on Saturday, we arrived at the Wichita Art Museum and a hour before closing. Well, wouldn't you know it, guess who the featured artist was?? None other than my fav artist of all time!!! Norman Rockwell. His artwork influenced me waay back in my high school years of...ahemeightysomethingorother. My time was soo limited, I knew I'd miss the Rockwell display - NOOOOOO! Okay, I admit it, my FREE plan was starting to unravel at this point. Ohh the hours upon hours I could spend soaking up his amazing work. "Get ahold of yourself", is all I could think. "Afterall, I am on a mission to see something VERY special - which calls for sacrifice my dear!"
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So with tunnel vision, I quickly walked past the big giant beautiful Dale Chihuly glass chandelier, and past all the lovely and brilliant pieces by Norman (gulp-sob!), and a right turn down the hallway to the middle gallery...and Yes! There it was as expected, placed right at the main point of interest in the gallery - "on the line" in the center of observation. Ohhh our artist would be so proud!!! I walked right up and positioned myself in front of the painting then somewhat caught off guard.... melted. Tears came to my eyes as I witnessed her work first-hand (somewhat awkward in the middle of a museum I should day). The tender feelings between the mother and child radiated right off the canvas directly to my heart. Like the brush strokes could talk... I quietly wiped my eyes and enjoyed the beautiful moment Mary Cassatt captured on canvas. The soft brush strokes and comfy colors invited reflection. My babies now grown, came to mind. In my busy hub-bub world that rushes like the wind at times, sweet moments with family are a precious treasure.
Thank you Mary Cassatt for your
which speaks of the true and simple treasures found around us!
Mary Stevensen Cassatt
Born May 22, 1844
Allegheny City, Pennsylvania USA
Died June 14th 1926 (age 82)
Chateau de Beaufresne, near Paris.
Molliann of Clovis, CA
Name That Painter!
The delay in this post is a result of the time needed to attain special permission to post the museum photos. I am grateful to announce that permission has been granted! Before I get into the museum visit, I want to give you a few more clues about this artist.... Name substitutions have been added to the letter below to protect her identity.
I had mentioned the ohhh sooo elusive Salon in Paris earlier. Well, as it turns out the Salon finally gave her a break which is revealed in the following letter written by her close brother Aleck.... "I received a letter from (my sister) the other day. She is in high spirits as her picture has been accepted for the annual exhibition in Paris. This you must understand is a great honor for a young artist and not only has it been accepted but it has been hung on the "line." I don't know exactly what that means myself but suppose it means it has been hung in a favorable position. (Her) art name is "Stevenson" under which name I suppose she expects to become famous, poor child."
Hung on the "line" actually meant that the artwork was a favored piece of the show and hung at eye level instead of way up yonder in the uppermost reaches of the Salon. The Salon hung the artwork in rows upon rows from floor to ceiling on each wall. Her brother it seems, had a hard time visualizing a famous artist in his sister. How fortunate we are that she didn't let the thoughts of others direct her dreams. Isn't it fascinating to see a story unfold in the life of another?
This artist admired several artists of her time, Degas being one of them. She would stop by galleries and press her nose against the window carefully eying the works within. It must have been a truly exciting day when Edward Degas actually stopped by her studio to pay her a visit. In a letter she writes..."I had already recognized who were my true masters. I admired Manet, Courbet, and Degas. I hated conventional art. I began to live." Courbet died that same year, and imminent death was close for Manet. So in Degas she gleaned inspiration and mentorship. In their visit, Degas invited her to show with the Impressionists. She wrote, "I accepted with joy."
There are hints of romance between the two, coupled with much drama. Remember we are talking about two VERY headstrong and driven people.....WOW! It would make for such a great movie! All-in-all though they had a great deal of respect for each others artwork. She later went on to become famous for her many paintings depicting mothers and children. Many of which - you will see - are recognizable today. Interestingly, she fulfilled some of her own maternal longings through these works. Later she stated that her greatest regret was in not having children of her own. Fueled by passion for art, her time for that sadly passed by much too quickly. After having visited one of her pieces in person, I can say that her maternal instincts are infused in the canvas, and quietly communicate her tender feelings of love between a mother and child. I could cry...and I did. Stay tuned... my museum visit and report are NEXT!
Can you Name That Painter?
Name That Painter!
The little time I've had with this artist has been filled with MANY reflective moments for me as I hope also for you. I wish I could blog her complete profile, but alas I realize I can only give you bits and pieces of her life. I will try and give you some of the best glimpes though. A few lines from her letters might be of interest to you...
I had mentioned in an earlier post that she considered giving up art at one point. Here is an excerpt from one of her letters dated July 1871... "I have given up my studio & torn up my father's portrait, & have not touched a brush for six weeks nor ever will again until I see some prospect of getting back to Europe. I am very anxious to go out west next fall & get some employment, but I have not yet decided where." The situation behind this letter is that while back in the United States during the Franco-Prussion war (my guess is that one would not want to be in Paris at that time) she attempted to show and sell her work in which she found NO buyers. Okay!?
Discouragement filled her life at this point partly because a father whom she loved dearly was still unwilling to support her passion and fund the art supplies she needed, AND she couldn't find the inspirational art to glean from that was so readily available in Europe. Without much money, support, and inspiration, you can easily read between the lines and empathize with her in this low moment of life.
A reflective moment here... Our human tendency is to think life is greener on the other side, or that life must be much easier for So-and-So. But as you probably know, any battle won comes with multiple hills to climb and valleys to tread.... Our artist is no different, her success came later in life and beyond - mostly beyond. In her pursuit of employment she went through yet another valley in Chicago, where she had hoped to sell some of her work. Instead, a few of her pieces where lost in the great Chicago fire of 1871. Sheesh!...fires were big and plentiful then.
Shortly after, a much needed commission came - AL-LE-LU-IA, Alleluia!!! The commission from the Archbishop of Pittsburgh not only displelled her gloominess but propelled her back into the artwork she so loved. She was asked to paint copies from the High Renaissance artist -Correggio- in Parma, Italy. Her feelings BOUNCE like a rubber ball right off the page as she exclaims, "O how wild I am to get to work, my fingers farely itch and my eyes water to see a fine picture again." Her commission included money to travel back to Europe and part of her lodging while there. Our artist felt an affinity towards Correggio (one of his paintings below) who's style and influence can be seen in many of her later paintings. The little naked children and cherubs are a clue....a super big clue y'all!
Years later she wrote in a letter to a friend..."I felt I needed Correggio and I went to Parma. A friend went with me. She did not remain, but I stayed there for two years, lonely as it was. I had my work and the few friends I made. I was so tired when my day was done that I had little desire for pleasure."
I watched a movie recently about an artist who sometimes would stay up late into the night to paint. In the morning she would be found sleeping on the floor with paint still in her hand. Funny...hmmm - I can relate, although I DO love my pillow! I'm sure the passion found in our artist caused her to endure all kinds of sacrifices.
Along with the study of Correggio she also studied the artist Parmigianino (sounds like an expensive cheese to me). Correggio's painting were found as frescos on the ceilings of dimly lit cathedrals. Imagine for a moment how dim it would've been without the help of electricity or a flashlight! To see his work up close, she had to climb up as far as she could in the choir lofts, maybe she held a candle in her efforts to see?
NEXT...stay tuned for a few more glimpes - particularly the friendship of Degas and Monet, the unveiling, and my Wichita Art Museum visit. Till next time....Ohh, and I hope to hear from YOU!
Name That Painter!
1866 brought forth new vigor and hope for this artist who left for Paris in the company of her mother as a chaperone. A plan to continue her art education was her focus. She was not allowed to attend the art school there because she was a woman. Here we go again... Harrumph I say!! To some, well, this might've been too big of a stumbling block - But No - not to this determined young lady. She just found a way to circumvent it. Let's find another door -- and that's exactly what she did. She applied for private lessons with the school masters. Some of her teachers included Jean-Leon Gerome, Charles Chaplin (not the funny Charlie Chaplin we all know - that's an era in the future), and Thomas Couture.
Another way she pursued more instruction was to visit the Louvre on a daily basis and paint from the wonderful paintings there. She wasn't the only one who set up her painting materials at the Louvre. Many artists congregated in that place for painting and socializing. Do you know the name William Bouguereau? Wow, he's one of my favorites, his paintings are a-m-a-z-i-n-g! Anyway, he also roamed the halls of the Louvre in that same time frame, admiring the art and finding inspiration in the works of the past.
In Paris there was a Salon (not like a hair salon like you and I might think, but an Art Exhibition Salon) Don't think hair braiding or up-dos, think of a somewhat snobby juried art show where artwork is displayed from the floor to ceiling. Organized by the Société des Artistes Français, the Salon was held annually and later biannually, between the years 1748–1890. Our little artist submitted paintings over a ten year period to the Salon only to be frustrated with many rejections. I just have to shake my head because I'm not sure what they were thinking... You see her artwork - what is up with that!? An uproar eventually resulted from other frustrated regular exhibitors who were also finding increasing rejection of their works.
The art scene was changing in France. As you know, artists don't like being put in a box and told what to do, freedom is a prerequisite of art. Without that freedom, or silly expectations and traditions put on artwork, the results would inevitably bring on some sort of artistic mutiny. Some broke away and one particular group formed their own independent exhibition with a whole new way of painting and seeing the world. Does the word Impressionist effect your visual senses? Our artist, found friendship there.... but that is for another post. Stay tuned...
Name That Painter!
Ready for some more clues? Boy, I sure am! My time has been gobbled up in the other aspects of business, so I've been anxious to do some blog-blog-blogging! Okay to start, it turns out that this artist really had some great parents who were supportive of their child in learning many new things. The art profession just wasn't exactly what they had in mind. It was radically out of scope for what the expectations where for a woman of that time period. Her parents hesitation could also be in part because of the close proximity she would have around the male students who dominated the college. The SAME males students that painted from LOTS of nude models. You get my drift? Men, men, painting nude female models, men... Her father is actually quoted in saying, "I would almost rather see you dead" when discussing her profession in art.
There is no evidence that anyone else in her immediate family held the same gift and eye for art as did she. Sounds like a lonely independent road ahead... Though her father possessed little comprehension of art, he DID swallow some pride and eventually stepped out of her way, allowing her to pursue her talents.
Did you catch it? This artist is a she - a very beloved she, I might add (even in our generation).
Becoming a professional artist was her primary goal and so she entered school with a resolute and determined mind to study and study hard. Interestingly, she did so right smack during the American Civil War years. The Pennsylvania Academy brought disappointment though because of the slow nature of the instruction and the "women just can't be as good at painting" attitude she felt from the male students and instructors. Well, harrumph I say! This only caused her to make up her mind MORE resolutely to go on her own in training. She said goodbye to the college after four years there and moved to Paris. Here's were her stubborn trait sometimes came in handy... Later it will be tested as she considers giving up art entirely.
Name That Painter!
The 1840s was a decade full of interesting events. Revolutions in Europe, the Mexican-American War, first anesthesia operation, five different American Presidents serve in office (really - it's true!), and two days after this artist's birth -the first electrical telegram is sent by Samuel Morse. Born in Pennsylvania to a family of tradition and culture, not only brought about opportunity, but also a wrestle of ideas. Similar to the struggling decade of the 1840's, with its forces of opposition in play, he/she had to reach for an artistic place in life against the wishes of an opposing father.
An interesting note... While only a babe in the arms of a mother, this artist watched the great fire of Pittsburgh burn down a thousand homes from across the river.
Even as a child this artist was very curious and passionate. Growing up in an environment full of stimulus, travel, and learning enhanced his/her passion and ability. Youth brought German, French, drawing, and music classes that were taken abroad during a five year visit. At the young age of fifteen he/she was accepted into the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts. Although with parents protesting enrollment, this artist moved ahead with stubbornness, a trait that later carried this artist forward through difficult times....
Name That Painter! - Big Reveal
Before I went trapesing off to the Seattle Art Museum (SAM), I did some planning. I knew what piece I wanted to see, but I had to confirm it was on display. You see, a museum might have the piece you are seeking, BUT, that doesn't mean it's in an exhibit. It could be stored in their archives somewhere, underground, behind a trap door, in a far away attic..or? Fortunately, at least one of two pieces by this artist were on display in the American Art Exhibit. I was super excited because the SAM is practically in my backyard! Just a little ferry trip to Seattle, a hair-raising ride through downtown, and multiple trips around several crowded blocks to secure my space in the lane to the parking garage - no problemo! Lucky for me, two very patient passengers tagged along that day to complete a job shadowing assignment from school. They kept me company, sane, and laughing. Thank you girls!
Inside the museum we were greeted by a stunning tumbling car display. Yes, real full-size cars suspended from the ceiling with flashing lights shooting out the doors and windows. Pretty incredible!
After paying our admission and holding my ticket carefully inside my pocket, I turned around and what in front of my eyes did appear? The most lovely sight; a sign indicating that it was okay to take photos INSIDE the exhibit in certain places. Ohhh g-l-o-r-y be!!
With that in mind, I made a bee-line to the American Art Exhibit, up the escalator and to the right..."Girls stay with me, ohh ummm - naked man statue ahead - don't look. Uhhh excuse me, excuse me - yes, we'll do the green man-eating bottle monster later, ahemm, over here to the right."
It only took a second to find what I came across the water for. Just a slight turn of the shoulder and there it was, a luminous snow capped mountain bursting forth from the hazy obscure cloud cover. There must be something unnerving about a lady taking notes and photos because after only minutes of finding the mountain, I could feel the security guards eyes boring holes in my direction. It turns out that I was standing a bit too close to the painting for his comfort, so I backed away. A conversation in my head went like this... "If I stand far enough away can I just lean in a little and crain my neck closer? You just don't understand...there are original guide lines left on the canvas by the artist that I HAVE to see..."
With our attention focused on "Mount Rainier, Bay of Tacoma" (oil on canvas circa 1875) the girls and I quickly went to work making observations and taking photos. Bear in mind, our quick camera shots do not do this painting justice. We were impressed with the myriad of soft details present. Loose carefree strokes of snow on the mountain, calm water, hazy atmosphere etc; all in sync producing a fine painting. I asked the girls if they could relate the painting to an instrument what would it be? One of the girls commented that it would be a flute; I couldn't agree more. Without actually pulling out a tape measure, my rudimentary guess is that the painting itself measured 2.5' tall by 3.5' wide. An interesting note... As I mentioned before, his original guidelines are left on the painting. Can you see them above the passengers in the boat?
The painting literally kept pulling me back because I was intrigued with all the softness that appeared so loose and carefree. Upon further examination, my perspective changed, I could see the calculation in his work. The strokes were small, not exacting. yet not impressionistic, but subtle. Calculated, soft subtle warm strokes. The painting had a matte sheen to it. Through my research, I have learned that the artist applied multiple layers of translucent varnish to his paintings, which played a part in producing that glowing luminous effect.....just lovely!
There is more to learn about this artist, so I challenge you to do some of your own investigation and plan a visit to see one of his sublime paintings. Some of his journals are also posted online to read. Please share with us your thoughts, comments are welcome! What's that you say?
Ohhh yes, the BIG reveal... Have you heard of
Sanford Robinson Gifford?
American Artist 1823-1880
Unfortunately no guesses were correct, actually, there were no guesses.
So consequently no winner.
Is anyone out there in cyber-space??? I will carry on and hope for some quesses in April. I hope, I hope, I hope. Till next time....
Name That Painter!
This artist sought many opportunities for artistic adventure during his lifetime. He was one of the most widely traveled artists of his time, traveling both within the United States and abroad. He traveled with other notable artist friends to the American West, the Near East, England, Scotland, France, Germany, Switzerland, Italy etc. A trip out west brought him all the way over to my stomping ground, Washington State! I can't imagine what a camping trip that would've been! Another of his excursions in 1869, took him clear to Egypt, where he rode the Nile and then took the caravan route through the Libyan Desert to the Sudan. We know the details of his travels through the journals he kept; a wonderful treasure!
After the American Civil War erupted, he enlisted in the seventh regiment of the New York State National Guard in 1861, and served as a soldier in the Union Army. There he painted many peaceful scenes of soldiers camping and taking care of the basics, rather than scenes of blood and carnage. In looking at his paintings during this time, it is evident that he must have yearned a great deal for peaceful times ahead.
This artist became well-known for his ability to bring the effects of soft light into his paintings. He concentrated more on creating a sense of atmosphere and serenity. His work touched the American writer and critic Henry Tuckerman, who said, "they appeal to our calm and thoughtful appreciation; they minister to our gentle and gracious sympathies." The term Luminism, which was created by art historians in the 20th century, is now used to describe this type of artwork. You can say that his tranquil landscape paintings, with soft hazy skies and calm waters, have the ability to calm the stripes right off a tiger...