Wednesday, December 13, 2017

04 Painting, Streets of Paris, Part 15 - With Footnotes

Edouard-Léon Cortès, (French, 1882-1969)
Gare de l'Est, 1964
Oil on canvas
18 x 21-3/4 inches (45.7 x 55.2 cm)
Private collection

Gare de l'Est, officially Paris-Est, is one of the six large train termini in Paris. It is one of the largest and the oldest railway stations in Paris.

The Gare de l'Est was opened in 1849 under the name "Strasbourg platform." This platform corresponds today with the hall for main-line trains, and was designed by the architect François Duquesnay.

Renovations to the station followed in 1885 and 1900. In 1931 it was doubled in size, with the new part of the station built symmetrically with the old part. 

At the top of the west façade of the Gare de l'Est is a statue by the sculptor Philippe Joseph Henri Lemaire, representing the city of Strasbourg, while the east end of the station is crowned by a statue personifying Verdun, by Varenne. These two cities are important destinations serviced by Gare de l'Est. 

On 4 October 1883, the Gare de l'Est saw the first departure of the Orient Express for Istanbul.

In the main-line train hall, a monumental painting by Albert Herter, Le Départ des poilus, août 1914 dating from 1926, illustrates the departure of these soldiers for the Western front More on Gare de l'Est

Edouard Léon Cortès (1882–1969) was a French post-impressionist artist of French and Spanish ancestry. He is known as "Le Poete Parisien de la Peinture" or "the Parisian Poet of Painting" because of his diverse Paris cityscapes in a variety of weather and night settings. Cortes was born in Lagny-sur-Marne, about twenty miles east of Paris. His father, Antonio Cortès, had been a painter for the Spanish Royal Court.

Although Cortès was a pacifist, when war came close to his native village he was compelled to enlist in a French Infantry Regiment at the age of 32. As a contact agent Cortès was wounded by a bayonet, evacuated to a military hospital, and awarded the Croix de Guerre. After recovery he was the reassigned to utilize his artistic talent to sketch enemy positions. Later in life his convictions led him to refuse the Légion d'Honneur from the French Government. In 1919 he was demobilized.


Cortès lived a simple life amid a close circle of friends. He died on November 28, 1969, in Lagny, and has a street named in his honor. More on Edouard Léon Cortès

Jean Béraud, (French, 1849-1935)
L'Arc de Triomphe, Champs-Elysées, circa 1882-85
Oil on canvas
22-1/2 x 15-1/4 inches (57.2 x 38.7 cm)
Private collection

Honoring those who fought and died for France during the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars, the Arc de Triomphe de l'Étoile stands at the center of the present work by Jean Béraud, the master of Belle Époque Parisian painting. Béraud presents the prototypical view of the Champs-Élysées: fashionably dressed figures stroll under the trees and others ride in carriages down the busy avenue. Many have commented on Beraud's realistic portrayal of everyday life at the fin-de-siecle and this attention to detail extends to his meticulous depiction of a plaster sculpture that surmounted the Arc itself at the time-Alexandre Falguière's The Triumph of the Revolution. As one of the finest sculptors to practice during the Second Empire, Falguière conceived his monumental plaster sculpture as an elaborate quadriga preparing to "crush Anarchy and Despotism", a worthy commentary on the political vagaries that had beset France in the past. The plaster group was in place from 1882 until it crumbled in 1886. Unfortunately, no version in bronze was commissioned; there is only a maquette of the sculpture in the collection of the Musée d'Orsay, and, of course, images such as Béraud's Arc de Triomphe. More on this painting

Jean Béraud (January 12, 1849 – October 4, 1935) was a French painter, noted for his paintings of Parisian life during the Belle Époque. He was renowned in Paris society due to his numerous paintings depicting the life of Paris, and the nightlife of Paris society. He also painted religious subjects in a contemporary setting. Pictures of the Champs Elysees, cafeés, Montmartre and the banks of the Seine are precisely detailed illustrations of everyday Parisian era of the "Belle Époque". More Jean Béraud

Antoine Blanchard, (French, 1910-1988)
Arc de Triomphe
Oil on canvas
18 x 15 inches (45.7 x 38.1 cm)
Private collection

Arc de Triomphe, see above

Antoine Blanchard is the pseudonym under which the French painter Marcel Masson (15 November 1910 – 1988) painted his immensely popular Parisian street scenes. He was born in a small village near the banks of the Loire.
Blanchard received his initial artistic training at the Beaux-Arts in Rennes, Brittany. He then moved to Paris in 1932 where he joined the Ecole des Beaux-Arts. He won the Prix de Rome.
Like Édouard Cortès (1882–1969) and Eugène Galien-Laloue (1854–1941), Antoine Blanchard essentially painted Paris and the Parisians in bygone days, often from vintage postcards. The artist began painting his Paris street scenes in the late 1950s, and like Cortès, often painted the same Paris landmark many times, in different weather conditions or various seasons. The most recurrent topics were views of the capital city in cloudy or rainy days, showing streets busy with pedestrians in a rush to go home, and bright storefronts reflecting on wet streets.
Antoine Blanchard died in 1988. More on Antoine Blanchard

Paul Signac, (French, 1863-1935)
Paris, le Pont des Arts, circa 1925
Watercolor and crayon on paper
10-1/4 x 16 inches (26.0 x 40.6 cm)
Private collection

The Pont des Arts or Passerelle des Arts is a pedestrian bridge in Paris which crosses the River Seine. It links the Institut de France and the central square (cour carrée) of the Palais du Louvre, (which had been termed the "Palais des Arts" under the First French Empire); between 1802 and 1804, under the reign of Napoleon I

In 1976, the Inspector of Bridges and Causeways reported several deficiencies on the bridge. More specifically, he noted the damage that had been caused by two aerial bombardments sustained during World War I and World War II and the harm done from the multiple collisions caused by boats. The bridge would be closed to circulation in 1977 and, in 1979, suffered a 60-metre collapse after a barge rammed into it.

The present bridge was built between 1981 and 1984 "identically" according to the plans of Louis Arretche.


The bridge has sometimes served as a place for art exhibitions, and is today a studio en plein air for painters, artists and photographers. The Pont des Arts is also frequently a spot for picnics during the summer. More on The Pont des Arts

Paul Signac, (born Nov. 11, 1863, Paris, France—died Aug. 15, 1935, Paris) French painter who, with Georges Seurat, developed the technique called pointillism.
When he was 18, Signac gave up the study of architecture for painting and, through Armand Guillaumin, became a convert to the colouristic principles of Impressionism. In 1884 Signac helped found the Salon des Indépendants. There he met Seurat, whom he initiated into the broken-colour technique of Impressionism. The two went on to develop the method they called pointillism, which became the basis of Neo-Impressionism. They continued to apply pigment in minute dabs of pure colour, as had the Impressionists, but they adopted an exact, almost scientific system of applying the dots, instead of the somewhat intuitive application of the earlier masters. In watercolours Signac used the principle in a much freer manner. After 1886 he took part regularly in the annual Salon des Indépendants, to which he sent landscapes, seascapes, and decorative panels. Being a sailor, Signac traveled widely along the European coast, painting the landscapes he encountered. In his later years he painted scenes of Paris, Viviers, and other French cities.

Signac produced much critical writing and was the author of From Eugène Delacroix to Neo-Impressionism (1899) and Jongkind (1927). The former book is an exposition of pointillism, while the latter is an insightful treatise on watercolour painting. More on Paul Signac






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Sunday, December 3, 2017

02 Painting, Streets of Paris, by John Singer Sargent, Part 14 - With Footnotes

John Singer Sargent,  (1856–1925)
A Parisian Beggar Girl, circa 1880
Oil on canvas
64.5 × 43.7 cm (25.4 × 17.2 in)
Terra Museum of American Art, Chicago, IL 

By ‘79 Sargent begins his major portraits and he never particularly showed any desire to paint scenes of Parisian life, opting for more exotic locals for his subject paintings, this was probably done when he was studying with Carolus-Duran's atelier.  

Carmela Bertagna has been identified as the model in the Parisian Beggar Girl,  which is hanging at the Terra Museum in Chicago. Carmela posed for many of Sargent's dancers and figures in interiors. More on this painting

A Parisian Beggar Girl was first exhibited in 1906 as Spanish Beggar Girl. The confusion of the two titles may be explained by the possibility that the model, Carmela, was a Parisian of Spanish or Italian descent who posed for a portrait by Sargent dated to around the time he painted A Parisian Beggar Girl. More on this painting

John Singer Sargent,  (1856–1925)
Carmela Bertagna, c. 1879
 Oil on canvas
59.69 x 49.53 cm (23.5 x 19.5 in.)
Columbus Museum of Art 

Very little is known about Carmela's life, except that she lived with her mother and brother. Her father is unknown. She and her family had to work in order to make ends meet for themselves. She is of Spanish descent and modelled with various artists, including John Singer Sargent. Her Mediterranean Latin looks fascinated Sargent, who was captivated by magnificent Rosina Ferrara of Capri a year earlier. More on Carmela Bertagna

John Singer Sargent (January 12, 1856 – April 14, 1925) was an American artist, considered the "leading portrait painter of his generation" for his evocations of Edwardian era luxury. During his career, he created roughly 900 oil paintings and more than 2,000 watercolors, as well as countless sketches and charcoal drawings. His oeuvre documents worldwide travel, from Venice to the Tyrol, Corfu, the Middle East, Montana, Maine, and Florida.

His parents were American, but he was trained in Paris prior to moving to London. Sargent enjoyed international acclaim as a portrait painter, although not without controversy and some critical reservation; an early submission to the Paris Salon, his "Portrait of Madame X", was intended to consolidate his position as a society painter, but it resulted in scandal instead. From the beginning his work was characterized by remarkable technical facility, particularly in his ability to draw with a brush, which in later years inspired admiration as well as criticism for a supposed superficiality. His commissioned works were consistent with the grand manner of portraiture, while his informal studies and landscape paintings displayed a familiarity with Impressionism. In later life Sargent expressed ambivalence about the restrictions of formal portrait work, and devoted much of his energy to mural painting and working en plein air. He lived most of his life in Europe. More John Singer Sargent








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Saturday, December 2, 2017

05 Paintings, of The amorous game, Part 4 - With Footnotes

Jack Vettriano, O.B.E., B.1951
THE BIG TEASE
Oil on canvas
61 by 51cm., 24 by 20in.
Private collection

Jack Vettriano, OBE (né Jack Hoggan, born 17 November 1951), is a Scottish painter. His 1992 painting, The Singing Butler, became a best-selling image in Britain.

Jack Vettriano grew up in the industrial seaside town of Methil, Fife. He was raised in poverty, and lived with his mother, father and older brother in a spartan miner’s cottage, sharing a bed with his brother and wearing hand-me-down clothes. From the age of 10, his father sent him out to earn money. His father took half his earnings. Vettriano left school at 16.

Much of his art education came from studying paintings at the Kirkcaldy Museum and Art Gallery. Controversial. Professional art critics do not seem to like his work, but the public does. 

In February 2011, it was announced that Vettriano's self-portrait The Weight would be displayed at the re-opened Scottish National Portrait Gallery from November 2011, the first time he had exhibited at a national gallery. First Minister, Alex Salmond said of Vettriano, "He is a wonderful artist of considerable talent and achievement and this is a magnificent tribute to the special place he holds in the hearts of people in Scotland."

In September 2013, a major retrospective of Vettriano's work opened at Glasgow's Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum. 'Jack Vettriano: A Retrospective' ran until 23 February 2014 and featured over 100 works. More on Jack Vettriano

Jack Vettriano, O.B.E., B.1951
STUDY FOR PINCER MOVEMENT
Oil on canvas
38 by 30.5cm., 15 by 12in.
Private collection

Jack Vettriano, OBE (né Jack Hoggan, born 17 November 1951), see above

Jack Vettriano, O.B.E., B.1951
PINCER MOVEMENT
Giclee Print, published 2006
72 x 58 cm (28 x 23 in)
Private collection

The pincer movement is a tactic in which forces attack both sides of an enemy formation at the same time. The pincer movement can be used when opposing forces advance towards the center of an army. That army responds by moving its outside forces to the enemy's flanks to surround it. More on The pincer movement

Jack Vettriano, OBE (né Jack Hoggan, born 17 November 1951), see above

Eugène Delacroix, (1798–1863)
The Duke of Orléans showing his Lover, circa 1825-26
Oil on canvas
Height: 35 cm (13.8 in). Width: 25.5 cm (10 in).
Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum, Madrid, Spain

A young Lord shows his Lover’s Body to a Courtier, The Duke of Burgundy shows his Lover to the Duke of Orléans, The Duke of Burgundy revealing his Lover, and The Duke of Orléans showing his Lover to the Duke of Burgundy.  Titles used for this work and which indicate the confusion over its subject matter.

The matter was resolved in 1965 when the poet Louis Aragon discovered the literary source that may have inspired the artist. This is a passage in the Histoire des ducs de Borgogne by Barante, republished in 1824. It describes how the Duke of Orléans displayed the naked body of his lover Mariette d’Enghien, wife of his former chamberlain Aubert le Flamenc, to her husband, concealing her face. Her husband failed to recognize her. More on this painting

Ferdinand Victor Eugène Delacroix (26 April 1798 – 13 August 1863) was a French Romantic artist regarded from the outset of his career as the leader of the French Romantic school.

As a painter and muralist, Delacroix's use of expressive brushstrokes and his study of the optical effects of colour profoundly shaped the work of the Impressionists, while his passion for the exotic inspired the artists of the Symbolist movement. A fine lithographer, Delacroix illustrated various works of William Shakespeare, the Scottish author Walter Scott and the German author Johann Wolfgang von Goethe.

Delacroix took for his inspiration the art of Rubens and painters of the Venetian Renaissance, with an attendant emphasis on colour and movement rather than clarity of outline and carefully modelled form. Dramatic and romantic content characterized the central themes of his maturity, and led him not to the classical models of Greek and Roman art, but to travel in North Africa, in search of the exotic. Friend and spiritual heir to Théodore Géricault, Delacroix was also inspired by Lord Byron, with whom he shared a strong identification with the "forces of the sublime", of nature in often violent action.

However, Delacroix was given to neither sentimentality nor bombast, and his Romanticism was that of an individualist. In the words of Baudelaire, "Delacroix was passionately in love with passion, but coldly determined to express passion as clearly as possible." More on Ferdinand VictorEugène Delacroix

Alfred Glendening Jr., (British, 1861-1907)
The courtship 
Watercolour heightened with white 
52 x 75cm (20 1/2 x 29 1/2in).
Private collection

Alfred Glendening Jr. (British, 1861-1907): This Victorian landscape artist was born in London and began his adult life as a railway clerk.  Not much information exists to explain when and where he received his artistic interest and training, but in 1864 he exhibited his first work at The Royal Society of British Artists, Morning on Grassmore Lake.  From that point on, he became a frequent exhibitor at the Society, as well as the Royal Academy (RA). 

The English landscape was his specialty – depicting views of the Thames and scenes in Wales and Scotland.  These works often featured small figures by the riverside or swans on the water.  His landscapes are filled with subtle shades of color. More on Alfred Glendening Jr





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Friday, December 1, 2017

04 Paintings, Streets of Paris, by its Artists, 19 and 20 Centuary. Part 12 - With Footnotes

Constantin Kluge, French, 1912-2003 
Notre-Dame (Dessin), c. 1963 
Oil on canvas 
28 3/4 x 28 3/4 inches (73 x 73 cm)
Private collection

Constantin Kluge (1912–2003) was an award winning painter originally from Russia. Raised mostly in Manchuria and Beijing, Kluge eventually settled in Paris and became a French citizen. He is known for his French landscapes and romantic scenes of Paris.

Kluge was born into a family of means and some status. His paternal grandfather had spent years in France studying the cultivation of vines and wine making. Returning to Russia he developed a successful winery. Kluge's father, also Constantin, was a member of the Russian Army General Staff and a White Army sympathizer. Kluge's mother, Liouba Ignatieva, was an academic who also came from a military family. When his parents met, young Liouba was serving as tutor to the children of Russian Grand Duke Michel, the younger brother of Czar Nicholas II. The family moved often, following Constantin Sr.'s deployments with the counter rebellion armies. Each move seemed to take the family further and further east as the revolution spread and the White Sympathizers controlled a decreasing part of the country.

Kluge settled in Paris in 1950 and soon thereafter found representation in a French gallery on Rue Saint-Honore. In 1964 he became a citizen of France. He died on 9 January 2003 in France. More on Constantin Kluge


Michael Schofield, b. 1947
Parisian Streets
Mixed Media
26x30
Private collection


Schofield was born in 1947.  His art teacher at Oakland High School recognized that Michael had an exceptional talent, and for nearly two years he tutored the youth privately. After a stint in the military, Schofield went to art school in Nashville, Tennessee. During the summers he would journey to Woodstock, New York, in order to study with watercolorist John Pike, an esteemed member of the National Academy of Art and the American Watercolor Society.

Schofield soon opened his own art studio, where he painted and taught for more than a decade. He returned to California in 1980 to set up a silk-screen printing studio in order to be able to create his own original serigraphs. He wanted to be involved in every step of the intricate and exacting process of serigraph, from fabricating the stencils to adding the final finishing touches of color.

Schofield believes that the primary aspiration of art is to communicate a shared perception, from the artist to the viewer of his art: "I choose to create more traditional landscapes because they involved imagery most people can relate to. In sharing a place I have known, I know that others will see places they have known. In that way, I can communicate with others without using a single word." More on Michael Schofield


Jules René Hervé, (French, 1887-1981)
Notre-Dame Cathedral from Quai de Montebello
Oil on canvas 

66 x 81cm (26 x 31 7/8in)
Private collection

The Quai de Montebello is located on the Left Bank of the Seine, in the 5th arrondissement, between the Petit Pont and the Pont de l’Archevêché. A great place for a walk in the capital, it offers an unrestricted view of Notre-Dame Cathedral (above). There are a number of restaurants along the quayside closest to the Latin Quarter. Every year in mid-September, travelling markets from the South-West set up here for 3 days of musical and gastronomical celebrations. More on The Quai de Montebello 

Jules René Hervé (French, 1887-1981), an impressionist of our time, is the very type of artist who has worked a lot on his own, indifferent to the fashion and to outside trends. He has never ceased to deepen the technical secrets of his art; and after 50 years of artistic experience, he has arrived at complete mastery of the science of this art which absorbs him.

Born in 1887 in Langres, he began his art studies in an evening school of his hometown.  He came to Paris where he first continued his studies at the School of Decorative Arts and then at the Fine Arts School.

He exhibited his works for the first time at the Salon of French Artists in 1910. He was one of the most important members of this group. Obtaining his teaching diploma, he started teaching. From 1911 to 1943 he taught painting to many generations of young artists. In 1914 he received a first silver medal from the association of French Artists, but afterwards he unfortunately had to join the army for the duration of the war.

J.R. Herve is both a painter of daily country themes in which there are characters at their daily tasks, and a painter of Parisian scenes. Paris as seen by Herve is a city of poetry. The "City of Lights" under its most touching aspects, and at its most charming. It is a real part of Paris, with its sentimental life, feelings, her special character, that inspire Herve to paint. More on Jules René Hervé


Jules René Hervé (French, 1887-1981)
Les bouquinistes 
Oil on card 
21.9 x 27.3cm (8 5/8 x 10 3/4in).
Private collection

The Bouquinistes of Paris, France, are booksellers of used and antiquarian books who ply their trade along large sections of the banks of the Seine: on the right bank from the Pont Marie to the Quai du Louvre, and on the left bank from the Quai de la Tournelle to Quai Voltaire. The Seine is thus described as 'the only river in the world that runs between two bookshelves'. More The Bouquinistes

Jules René Hervé (French, 1887-1981), see above











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