Friday, August 18, 2017

09 Paintings, Streets of Paris, by its Artists from 1850-1910 - With Footnotes - Part 10

Paris, France's capital, is a major European city and a global center for art, fashion, gastronomy and culture. Its 19th-century cityscape is crisscrossed by wide boulevards and the River Seine. Beyond such landmarks as the Eiffel Tower and the 12th-century, Gothic Notre-Dame cathedral, the city is known for its cafe culture and designer boutiques along the Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré. Wikipedia

Edouard Vuillard,  circa 1908-1910
Café Wepler, circa 1908-1910
Oil on canvas
Height: 62.2 cm (24.49 in.), Width: 103.2 cm (40.63 in.)
Cleveland Museum of Art  (United States - Cleveland, Ohio)

For over a hundred years the Wepler has been the largest oyster house in Paris; located between Montmatre and Pigalle. The Brasserie Wepler celebrated its 100 years in 1992.

Through the century, Wepler has witnessed the evolution of its neighbourhood, of the surrounding cabarets, of the local artists and, in particular, the "Bohême" life style. From a simple pub during the 19th Century the Wepler became the meeting point of many of the personalities that have left their mark in the art of the 20th Century : Picasso, Utrillo, Modogliani, Apolinnaire, Henry Miller, Truffaut, Chabrol... More on Cafe Wepler

Jean-Édouard Vuillard (11 November 1868 – 21 June 1940) was a French painter and printmaker associated with the Nabis. The son of a retired captain, he spent his youth at Cuiseaux (Saône-et-Loire); in 1878 his family moved to Paris in modest circumstances. After his father's death in 1884, Vuillard received a scholarship to continue his education. In the Lycée Condorcet Vuillard met Ker Xavier Roussel (also a future painter and Vuillard's future brother in law), Maurice Denis, musician Pierre Hermant, writer Pierre Véber, and Lugné-Poe.

Vuillard was a member of the Symbolist group known as Les Nabis (from the Hebrew and Arabic term for "prophets" and, by extension, the artist as the "seer" who reveals the invisible). However, he was less drawn to the mystical aspects of the group and more drawn to fashionable private venues where philosophical discussions about poetry, music, theatre, and the occult occurred. Because of his preference for the painting of interior and domestic scenes, he is often referred to as an "intimist," along with his friend Pierre Bonnard. He executed some of these "intimist" works in small scale, while others were conceived on a much larger scale made for the interiors of the people who commissioned the work. More Jean-Édouard Vuillard


Sir Herbert James Gunn, R.A., 1893-1964
LE PETIT CAFÉ, TUILERIES,  Jardins Tuileries; PARIS, c. 1913 
Oil on canvas board
30 by 22cm., 11¾ by 8¾in.
Private collection

The Tuileries Garden is a public garden located between the Louvre Museum and the Place de la Concorde in the 1st arrondissement of Paris. Created by Catherine de Medici as the garden of the Tuileries Palace in 1564, it was eventually opened to the public in 1667 and became a public park after the French Revolution. In the 19th and 20th centuries, it was the place where Parisians celebrated, met, strolled, and relaxed. More on The Tuileries Garden

Sir Herbert James Gunn RA (1893-1964) was a Scottish landscape and portrait painter. Also known as Sir James Gunn, he was born in Glasgow. He studied for several years at the Glasgow School of Art and the Edinburgh College of Art. In 1911 he went to the Académie Julian in Paris. After he left Paris, Gunn travelled to Spain and then spent time in London, where he mostly painted landscapes. At the outbreak of the First World War, Gunn initially joined the Artists Rifles. During the conflict he continued to paint, most notably a work depicting troops on the eve of the Battle of the Somme.

Gunn began as a landscape painter and travelled widely, exhibiting Paintings of Rome etc at the Fine Art Society in 1929. During the 1920s, he increasingly concentrated on portrait painting and after 1929 he devoted himself exclusively to portraits. In November 1939, Gunn offered his services to the War Artists' Advisory Committee and subsequently received three portrait commissions from them.


His 1953 portrait of Queen Elizabeth II is in the Royal Collection. He also painted notable portraits of King George V and also of Harold Macmillan. He was elected President of the Royal Society of Portrait Painters in 1953, a post he held until his death. More on Herbert James Gunn



Vincent van Gogh,  (1853–1890)
Street scene on Montmartre, Le Moulin à Poivre, c. 1887
Oil on canvas
34.5 × 64.5 cm (13.6 × 25.4 in)
Van Gogh Museum

The Montmartre paintings are a group of works that Vincent van Gogh made in 1886 and 1887 of the Paris district of Montmartre while living there with his brother Theo. Rather than capture urban settings in Paris, van Gogh preferred pastoral scenes, such as Montmartre and Asnières in the northwest suburbs. Of the two years in Paris, the work from 1886 often has the dark, somber tones of his early works from the Netherlands and Brussels. By the spring of 1887 van Gogh embraced use of color and light and created his own brushstroke techniques based upon Impressionism and Pointillism. The works in the series provide examples of his work during that period of time and the progression he made as an artist. More on The Montmartre paintings

When Vincent lived in, Montmartre it was still semi-rural. There was farmland and allotment gardens; three of the celebrated windmills were still standing. The latter was a favorite destination for day-trippers from the city. The largest mill in the painting, Le Blute-Fin, had a pavement café affording a magnificent view over Paris; at the top of the mill, there was a viewing platform. Around the mills there were also various catering establishments and dance halls.

Here Van Gogh stresses the rustic charm of the area, showing people working in their allotments. Nonetheless, modern development looms: to the left of the smaller mill, a large apartment building rises above the fields. More on Le Moulin à Poivre


Vincent van Gogh,  (1853–1890)
Terrace of a Cafe on Montmartre (La Guinguette), Paris: October, 1886
Oil on Canvas
19-1/4 x 25-1/4 inches
Musée d'Orsay, Paris

Vincent Van Gogh, who lived nearby, with his brother Theo, and painted this scene in 1886 "La Guinguette ". The house, on the corner of the Rue des Saules and Rue Saint-Rustique, is four centuries old.

Usually the setting for a lighthearted scene of leisure, notably in the work of Pierre-Auguste Renoir, the painting's outdoor café takes on a sober note in the low autumn light.

Van Gogh works in his figures as mere suggestions of form with weighted calligraphic strokes and a dark palette of brown and carmine red. The streak of aqua on the lamppost presents a startling contrast as does the free handling of the trees and volatile sky. More on this painting

Vincent van Gogh (born March 30, 1853, Zundert, Neth.—died July 29, 1890, Auvers-sur-Oise, near Paris, France). Dutch painter, generally considered the greatest after Rembrandt, and one of the greatest of the Post-Impressionists. The striking colour, emphatic brushwork, and contoured forms of his work powerfully influenced the current of Expressionism in modern art. Van Gogh’s art became astoundingly popular after his death, especially in the late 20th century, when his work sold for record-breaking sums at auctions around the world and was featured in blockbuster touring exhibitions. In part because of his extensive published letters, van Gogh has also been mythologized in the popular imagination as the quintessential tortured artist. More on Vincent van Gogh

Sir John William "Will" Ashton, (1881-1963) 
Quay D''Orsay, Paris
Oil on canvas board 
51 x 63cm
Private collection

The Quai d’Orsay is a quay in the 7th arrondissement of Paris, part of the left bank of the Seine, and the name of the street along it. The French Ministry of Foreign Affairs is located on the Quai d'Orsay, and thus the ministry is often called the Quai d'Orsay by metonymy.

The Quai has historically played an important role in French art as a location to which many artists came to paint along the banks of the river Seine. More on The Quai d’Orsay 

Sir John William "Will" Ashton OBE, ROI (20 September 1881 – 1 September 1963), see below

Christopher Wood, (British, 1901-1930)
The Seine, c. 1927
oil on canvas
50.8 x 62.8 cm. (20 x 24 3/4 in.)
Private collection

The present work is a triumph of the colourful, charming simplicity he craved and was painted in 1927 - a pivotal time for the artist. This was one year after he met Ben and Winifred Nicholson and one year prior to meeting Alfred Wallis. All three individuals displayed a modesty in life and art that he admired and they were to be defining influences on his far too short career. 

In The Seine Wood shows the Citroen car plant on the Quai de Javel, viewed across the Seine from La Rive Droit. The manufacturing site developed and sprawled until it was ultimately demolished in the 1970s. There is now a 35 acre public park in its place, Parc Andre Citroen. More on the present work

Christopher Wood, (b. Knowsley, Lancashire [now Merseyside], 7 Apr. 1901; d. Salisbury, 21 Aug. 1930). British painter, mainly of landscapes, harbour scenes, and figure compositions. In 1921 he studied at the Académie Julian in Paris and subsequently travelled widely on the Continent. To influences from modern French art (Picasso and Diaghilev were among his friends), he added an entirely personal lyrical freshness and intensity of vision, touched with what Gwen Raverat felicitously described as ‘fashionable clumsiness’.

In a remarkably short time he achieved a position of high regard in the art worlds of London and Paris, but he was emotionally unstable and his early death was probably suicide (he was killed by a train). After this he became something of a legend as a youthful genius cut off before his prime. Much of Wood's best work was done in Cornwall. More on Christopher Wood

Christopher Wood, (1901–1930)
Bridge over the Seine, 1927
Oil on wood
37.8 x 45.9 cm
National Galleries of Scotland

Wood completed several stylisically different paintings of bridges over the River Seine, which reflects the way he developed his own technique.

Sir John William "Will" Ashton, (1881-1963) 
Bridge Over the Seine, Paris 
Oil on canvas on board 
25.5 x 35cm 
Private collection

Sir John William "Will" Ashton OBE, ROI (20 September 1881 – 1 September 1963) was an English-Australian artist and Director of the National Art Gallery of New South Wales from 1937 to 1945. Ashton was born in England, the son of an artist. The Ashtons migrated to Australia and he was educated at Prince Alfred College from 1889-1897. Upon graduating Ashton entered the life of an artist. In 1900 he left for England to work and spent several years from 1902-1903 at the Académie Julian in Paris.

Ashton had some of his works accepted by the Royal Academy of Arts, London, and the Salon de la Société des Artistes Français and returned to Adelaide in 1905. After holding exhibitions in Sydney, Melbourne, Perth and Adelaide, in 1908 he won the Wynne Prize for landscape.

In 1912-14 he painted in Britain, Europe and Egypt. He was back in Australia for a year, but returned to London with his family in 1915 to 1917. The impressionist oil paintings he made on these trips always sold well on his return to Australia. He won the Godfrey Rivers Bequest prize in 1933 and 1938. Ashton also won the Wynne Prize for a second and third time in 1930 and in 1939.

In 1937 Ashton became Director of the National Art Gallery of New South Wales. From 1944-1947 he was also Director of David Jones Art Gallery. A member of the Commonwealth Art Advisory Board from 1918, Ashton was chairman in 1953-1962. He was a member of the Royal Institute of Oil Painters, a Vice-President of the Australian Painter-Etchers' Society, and a member of the Society of Artists in Sydney, being awarded its medal in 1944.

He was appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire on 1 January 1941 and was made a Knight Bachelor for his service as Chairman of the Commonwealth Art Advisory Board.

Ashton died of cancer at his home at Mosman on 1 September 1963. More on Will Ashton

Willem Heytmann, Dutch, b. 1950 
Paris, Champs Elysees
Oil on canvas 
12 x 15 3/4 inches 
Private collection

The Avenue des Champs-Élysées is an avenue in the 8th arrondissement of Paris, running between the Place de la Concorde and the Place Charles de Gaulle, where the Arc de Triomphe is located. It is known for its theatres, cafés, and luxury shops, for the annual Bastille Day military parade, and as the finish of the Tour de France cycle race. The name is French for the Elysian Fields, the paradise for dead heroes in Greek mythology. It is one of the most famous streets in the world. More on the Champs-Élysées

William Heytman, born 1950. It would not be far fetched to say that painting is in W.H. Heytman’s blood. He is a descendant of the “Dutch Frenchman” J.B. Jongkind (1819-1891).

After leaving school, Heytman started experimenting with pastels, watercolours and oils choosing to concentrate on the last medium in particular. He had his first exhibition in 1976 in Middelburg, Zeeland, the Dutch province that has remained his home.

Apart from the lessons he took from the Dutch painter J.W. Heijting, Heytman is very much a self-taught artist, innovating and improving continuously on style, use of colour and composition, and boldly tackling any subject matter. Having painted for over 20 years, he has irrefutably carved a niche for himself in the world of contemporary Dutch painting. More on William Heytman




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