05 Paintings, Streets of Paris, by the artists of the time, Part 17 - With Footnotes

Gabriel Spat, Russia (1890-1967)
Sortie de L'glise/ Exit from the church
Oil on board
15.5" X 6.5"
Private collection

Gabriel Spat, 1890-1967 was born in Kishinev, Russia, now Chisinau, Moldova. He was active in France from 1919 to 1942 and in the USA from 1942. Spat studied at the Académie des Beaux-Arts in Geneva, as well as in Paris, at the Académie Colarossi and the Académie de la Grande Chaumière.

After World War I, he lived in Paris, attending the studios of La Ruche, Soutine and Modigliani. He fled to the USA in 1942. In Paris between the wars, he was known as a painter and sculptor. He executed the portraits of celebrated figures, particularly actors. He also executed anti-German satirical drawings depicting Nazi society. These were destroyed during World War II.

Spat was painting by the age of eighteen, but as an art student in Paris he was so impoverished that he was forced to paint on scraps of canvas given to him by other artists. As a result, he learned to paint in miniature, and he continued to work on a small scale throughout his career.

Gabriel Spat, Russia, (1890-1967)
Au Bar a Paris/ At the Bar in Paris, c. 1924
Oil on board
8.25" X 6
Private collection

Spat's intimate views of Paris undoubtedly were aimed at the tourist market. They present the city in its most famous and agreeable aspects in such themes as strollers along the banks of the Seine River and blossoming chestnut trees along streets and in parks.

Spat fled to the south of France in 1940, during the German army occupation of Paris, but returned two years later. In 1943 he was able to escape occupied France, and in 1945 he arrived in the United States, where he took up residence in New York City and married. 

The artist continued to paint Parisian scenes after he left France, using the loose brushwork and bright colors critics described as "impressionist." Spat's paintings occasionally come to light in the American market; thus further information about this shadowy artistic figure eventually may surface. More on Gabriel Spat

Kes Wang Dongen, 1817 - 1968
The Pont Des Arts, 
Oil, Canvas
1903, 46×55 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

Cornelis Theodorus Maria 'Kees' van Dongen (26 January 1877 – 28 May 1968) was a Dutch-French painter who was one of the leading Fauves. Van Dongen's early work was influenced by the Hague School and symbolism and it evolved gradually into a rough pointillist style. From 1905 onwards - when he took part at the controversial 1905 Salon d'Automne exhibition - his style became more and more radical in its use of form and colour. The paintings he made in the period of 1905-1910 are considered by some to be his most important works. The themes of his work from that period are predominantly centered around the nightlife; he paints dancers, singers, masquerades and theatre. Van Dongen gained a reputation for his sensuous - at times garish - portraits of especially women. More on Kes Wang Dog

Vincent van Gogh,  (1853–1890)
Pont du Carroussel and the Louvre, Paris, June 1886
Oil on canvas
31 × 44 cm (12.2 × 17.3 in)
Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek, Copenhagen, Denmark

The Pont du Carrousel is a bridge in Paris, which spans the River Seine between the Quai des Tuileries and the Quai Voltaire. Begun in 1831 in the prolongation of the rue des Saints-Pères on the Left Bank, the original bridge was known under that name until its inauguration, in 1834, when king Louis-Philippe named it Pont du Carrousel, because it opened on the Right Bank river frontage of the Palais du Louvre near the Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel in front of the Tuileries.

The bridge's architect, Antoine-Rémy Polonceau, succeeded in a design that was innovative in several aspects. For one thing, the new structure was an arch bridge, during a period when most bridge construction had turned to suspension bridges; the necessary towers and cables would have been considered unacceptable additions to the Parisian scenery. The structure combined the relatively new material of cast iron with timber. Its graduated cast-iron circular supports were quickly dubbed "napkin rings" (ronds de serviette). At each corner of the bridge were erected classic style stone allegorical sculptures by Louis Petitot, which remain in situ. They represent Industry, Abundance, The City of Paris and The Seine. More on The Pont du Carrousel

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

Betsy Podlach, United States
Pink Apartment in Paris
 Oil and Tempera on Canvas.
Size: 60 H x 60 W x 3 in
Private collection

Artist’s StatementI am a figurative painter who paints according to certain traditions – the creation of space (vs. mimicking of space) on a flat picture plane, the use of color and space to create light (vs. mimicking of light), using the principals of abstraction to paint solid forms, compose an entire image (the whole painting), incorporate lines and curves and color and my own light coming from within the painting.

I am an American painter who considers the Italian Venetians and the american abstract expressionist painters my mentors – they are the painters whose paintings I most love, and wanted to learn from.

I of course consider Leonardo Di Vinci and Michelangelo indespensible to my attempts to create form regarding the human body. More on Betsy Podlach

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