When Art Imitates Art

German neoclassical painter Johan Joseph Zoffany (aka Johannes Josephus Zaufallij, Zoffani or Zauffelij) was born in the Bohemian town of Frankfurt on 13 March 1733.

  • He undertook study in a sculptor’s workshop in Ellwangen in the 1740s (possibly at the workshop of sculptor Melchior Paulus) and later at Regensburg with the artist Martin Speer.
  • By 1750, he had travelled to Rome, entering the studio of Agostino Masucci.
  • In autumn 1760, he arrived in England, initially finding work with the clock-maker Stephen Rimbault, painting vignettes for his clocks.

A founding member of the new Royal Academy in 1768, Zoffany enjoyed great popularity for his society and theatrical portraits, painting many prominent actors and actresses from that period. In the later part of his life, Zoffany produced huge paintings with large casts of people and works of art all readily recognizable by their contemporaries.

Zoffany lived in Lucknow for a time; but often travelled to Europe and even to India. During his return to England, he was shipwrecked off the Andaman Islands. As one of the survivors, the group held a lottery in which the loser was eaten (in this case, one of the ship’s crew). It was later noted that Zoffany became “the first and last Royal Academician to have become a cannibal“.

  • In paintings like The Tribuna of the Uffizi (see both examples) Zoffany displayed art in the cluttered 18th-century manner (i.e. with many objects hanging in a small area stacked  on the wall), however in this example, the clutter includes other works brought into the small octagonal gallery space from various parts of the Uffizi Gallery.

Though Zoffany made several visits to continental Europe and India in his lifetime, he remained in Britain, dying at his home at Strand-on-the-Green on 11 November, 1810. He is buried in the churchyard of St Anne’s Church, Kew, with the painter Thomas Gainsborough buried nearby. His works appear in many prominent British National galleries including the National Gallery and in the Tate Gallery as well as being represented in the Royal Collection.

It might not be so ‘oftenly’ that we might see a Zoffany – however his art can; and most definitely does; imitate  art.

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Time to Dapple with the Apple this Weekend

Harcourt is the home of Victoria’s best growing apples and one of Australia’s major apple growing districts. The township is situated in the Central District within the State of Victoria.

  • In March each year, Harcourt runs its annual Applefest which celebrates the commencement of the annual apple harvest.
  • The main event and street festival for the  2017 Harcourt Applefest will be celebrated on Saturday 11th March, 2017 at Harcourt, in central Victoria, Australia.

This year celebrates the 25th year for Applefest with an increased focus on great local food and produce. There are lots of activities and the grand parade featuring the Thompson’s Foundry Band and the Castlemaine Pipe Band ensure a great day for family and friends.

At Applefest you can find everything – from fresh food, produce, crafts and gifts and over 60 stalls including the best of the region’s artisan wares, renowned local produce, award-winning local wines, craft ciders and beer.If that is not enough, there will be plenty of food vans, gourmet ice creams and boutique tea products as well.

A major component of the Applefest each year is the  Annual Harcourt Applefest Art Show Exhibition in the ANA Hall. The Art Show will run from 10th-13th March, 2017.

This show presents paintings in the ‘small works format’. Artist Rick Amor has commented that by ‘restricting the works to a modest size allows the viewer an intimate experience of each drawing or painting without the distraction of competing scale’.

  • The Art Show is also unique for having a large Junior section.
  • There is also a popular vote category as chosen by the public who view the exhibition.

The examples shown here exemplify the wonderful quality of entries to be enjoyed when visiting the art show.

Kristine Browning – “Sitting Pretty” and Viven Pells – “A Meeting of Chooks“.

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There is Nothing Superficial About the Art of Eric Fischl

eric-fischl-bad-boyAmerican painter, sculptor and print-maker Eric Fischl was born in New York City on March 9, 1948. Fischl grew up in suburban Long Island until his family moved to Phoenix, Arizona, in 1967.

  • His artistic education began at Phoenix College, followed by a year at the Arizona State University with further studies at the California Institute of the Arts in Valencia, California, where he earned his Bachelor of Fine Arts in 1972.
  • Fischl then moved to Chicago, taking a job as a guard at the Museum of Contemporary Art. His own website recounts, “It was in Chicago that [he] was exposed to the non-mainstream art of the Hairy Who [along with] the underbelly, carnie world of Ed Paschke and the hilarious sexual vulgarity of Jim Nutt”.
  • In 1974, Fischl accepted a teaching position at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, where he met fellow artist April Gornik, with whom he moved back to New York City in 1978 and later married. (The couple now live in Sag Harbor, in New York).

His first New York City solo show was at Edward Thorp Gallery in 1979, during a time when suburbia was not considered a legitimate genre for art. His early work focused on the rift between what was experienced and what could not be said. Fischl’s website describes his later influences developing “against a backdrop of alcoholism and a country club culture obsessed with image over content.

eric-fischl-sleepwalkerHe has received critical attention for depicting the dark, disturbing undercurrents of mainstream American life; including themes of adolescent sexuality and voyeurism; such as Sleepwalker (1979) [see above] which depicts an adolescent boy masturbating into a children’s pool and Bad Boy (1981) [main picture for article] which depicts young boys looking at older women shown in provocative poses on a bed.

Fischl’s works are represented in many galleries and museums including The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Whitney Museum of American Art, The Museum of Modem Art in New York City, The Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles, St. Louis Art Museum, Louisiana Museum of Art in Denmark, Musee Beaubourg in Paris, The Paine Weber Collection, and many others.

Fischl is a senior critic at the New York Academy of Art. He is also the founder, President and lead curator for America: Now and Here, a multi-disciplinary exhibition of 150 of America’s most celebrated visual artists, musicians, poets, playwrights, and filmmakers who have focused on American identity through the arts.

‘Bad Boy‘ he may be, ‘Sleepwalker‘ – who knows; but I will never wish ill of the art of Fischl for his contribution to modern art is most certainly beneficial!

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The pictures below are by Tiepolo

tiepolo - finding of moses1Giovanni Battista  aka Gianbattista or Giambattista Tiepolo  was a prolific Venetian painter and print-maker, born on March 5, 1696.  Tiepolo began his artistic career at the age of 14, in 1710. Nine years later, in 1719, Tiepolo married Maria Cecilia Guardi and they had 7 children. (Left: Finding of Moses).

During his career he decorated a large reception room of Ca’ Dolfin on the Grand Canal of Venice (ca. 1726–1729) and canvases for churches including many others such as:  Verolanuova (1735–1740), for the Scuola dei Carmini (1740–1747), a ceiling for the Palazzi Archinto and Casati-Dugnani in Milan (1731), the Colleoni Chapel in Bergamo (1732–1733), a ceiling for the Gesuati (Santa Maria del Rosario) in Venice of St. Dominic Instituting the Rosary (1737–1739), Palazzo Clerici, Milan (1740),  and for the ballroom of the Palazzo Labia in Venice (now a television studio), showing the Story of Cleopatra (1745–1750) to mention but a few.

Tiepolo returned to Venice in 1753. He was now in demand locally, as well as abroad where he was elected President of the Academy of Padua. He went on to complete theatrical frescoes for churches; the Triumph of Faith for the Chiesa della Pietà; panel frescoes for Ca’ Rezzonico (which now also houses his ceiling fresco from the Palazzo Barbarigo); and paintings for patrician villas in the Venetian countryside, such as Villa Valmarana in Vicenza and an elaborate panegyric ceiling for the Villa Pisani in Stra.

He collaborated with Girolamo Mengozzi Colonna, who also designed sets for opera. Highlights from this collaboration showed the increasing tendency towards composition as a staged fiction in Tiepolo’s frescoes.

The architecture of the Banquet fresco also recalls that of Veronese’s Wedding at Cana. In 1757, he painted an altar piece for the Thiene family, representing the apotheosis of Saint Cajetan.

86tiepoloIn 1761, Charles III commissioned Tiepolo to create a ceiling fresco to decorate the throne room of the Royal Palace of Madrid. The panegyric theme is the Apotheosis of Spain and has allegorical depictions recalling the dominance of Spain in the Americas and across the globe.

Tiepolo also painted two other ceilings in the palace and carried out many private commissions in Spain. However he suffered from the jealousy and the bitter opposition of the rising champion of Neo-Classicism, Anton Raphael Mengs.

  • Tiepolo died in Madrid on March 27, 1770.


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Far from Ross River Fever

daniel-herbert-convict-richmond-bridgeStonemason and Tasmanian convict Daniel Herbert  was baptized on 17 February, 1802, in the Paul Street Independent Chapel, Taunton, Somerset, England; the son of Daniel Herbert, a Corporal in the 6th (Inniskillen) Dragoons.

In March 1827, with James Camble and John Lynch, Daniel Herbert was charged before the North Eastern circuit assizes with four counts of highway robbery. Herbert had already served part of a seven-year sentence for stealing in a dwelling house. He and his co-accused pleaded guilty; and were sentenced to death on 7 April. Reprieved on condition of transportation for life, Herbert was shipped aboard the Asia, arriving in Hobart Town, Tasmania in December 1827.

Along with co-convict James Colbeck, Herbert oversaw the building of the Ross Bridge across the Macquarie river at Ross and embellished it with interesting carvings which were completed in July, 1836. The bridge contained 186 keystones carved by Herbert, or other convicts under his supervision, in 56 weeks between May 1835 and July 1836.

Various interpretations of their curious motifs have been put forward, including claims that many of the carved heads were portraits of:

  • Herbert and his wife,
  • Eccentric Norwegian convict and explorer Jørgen Jørgensen, as well as
  • Lieutenant-Governor (Sir) George Arthur and other colonial officials and local personalities.

Herbert was granted a free pardon in February 1842 and continued to live at Ross, where he worked as an ornamental stonemason.

Daniel Herbert died of bronchitis on 28 February 1868 at Campbell Town, survived by his wife. Reputedly, he designed and carved his own tomb in the old burial ground at Ross.

His contribution to artistic endevours is not a bad effort for a convict.

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Your Gateway to Bodé for the Day

mark-bode-2012Mark Bodé was born on February 18, 1963 in Utica, New York. The son of underground comics legend Vaughn Bodé, Mark often produces works similar to this father’s style. Mark is an American cartoonist best known for his work on Cobalt-60, Miami Mice, and The Lizard of Oz. Bodé has worked for Heavy Metal magazine and on The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. He is also a tattoo artist, spending many years working around Northampton, Massachusetts, although he now lives in California.

Bodé began drawing at age three, and even colored in some of his father’s artwork with markers.

He claims that his father: “Brainwashed me into seeing his world, so the characters I started coming up with were heavily influenced by him. Right before he died he told me: We’ll always be Bodé and son. Share my style, but don’t get too close.’ I couldn’t wait to work with him.

Sadly Mark was only 12 years old in 1975, when he found his father’s body when on a visit sometime after his parents divorce. Bodé studied animation at San Francisco State University and in 1982, attended the School of Visual Arts in New York City as a fine arts major.

Bodé took up the art of tattooing in 1994 after training under the guidance of tattoo artists Al Valenta, from western Massachusetts, and Myke Maldonado, from New York.

He also took up spray can art and over the years has done many mural tributes to his father’s characters. His mural work has been represented globally from the U.K., Spain, Italy, and Germany as well as locally in his hometown of San Francisco.

So Hip, Hip, Hooray! for this gateway to Bodé.

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Make Yours a Platytox State Today

barry-humphries-platy-tox-boxBarry Humphries: Platy-Tox for all Bushland PestsMake Yours a Platytox State.

Australian comedian, satirist, artist and author, Barry Humphries was born John Barry Humphries, 0n 17 February 1934. In 1959, Humphries moved to London, where he lived and worked throughout the 1960s and became friends with the likes of Peter Cook, Dudley Moore, and Spike Milligan.

Humphries’ characters have brought him international renown, and he has appeared in numerous films, stage productions and television shows. Originally conceived as a dowdy Moonee Ponds housewife who caricatured Australian suburban complacency and insularity, his character Edna Everage evolved over four decades to become a satire of stardom, with the gaudily dressed, acid-tongued, ego-maniacal, internationally feted Housewife “Gigastar” who became Dame Edna Everage.

One of Humphries best-known works was the cartoon strip The Wonderful World of Barry McKenzie; a bawdy satirical cartoon which exposed some of the worst aspects of Australian behaviors whilst abroad. This later became the main story line for the 1972 movie  The Adventures of Barry McKenzie starring Barry Crocker.

barry-humphreys1Above: Self portrait of Barry Humphries 2002 (gift by Margaret Olley) National Portrait Gallery, Canberra.

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Victory of Faith – is an Evocative Piece

st-george-hare-victory-of-faithThe Victory of Faith” (1857 Oil on canvas 123.3 × 200.0 cm) is part of the Melbournian National Gallery of Victoria (NGV) collection.

It was painted by Irish artist St. George Hare, who was born on 05 July 1857 in Limerick, County Limerick and died on 30 January, in 1933.

It has been exhibited at the:

  • Royal Academy, London, 1891, no. 489;
  • World’s Columbian Exposition, Chicago, 1893,
  • Fine Arts section (Dept. K): Great Britain, Gallery 15; Salon, Paris, 1894, no. 903; Exhibition of Irish Painting, Guildhall, London, 1904.

This work became a gift to the NGV by an anonymous donor, in 1905. Since then it has been in the following exhibits:

  • Queensland Art Fund: Exhibition of Pictures from the Southern States; Brisbane Art Gallery, 1930.
  • The First Fifty Years: 19th Century British Art from the Gallery Archives, Melbourne, 1992.
  • Hidden Treasures, David Jones’ Art Gallery, Sydney, 1992.


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Painting is the Most Beautiful of Lies

kees-van-dongen-portrait-of-the-artist-as-neptuneAbove: Kees van Dongen portrait of the artist as Neptune (1922 oil on canvas 170x120cm)

kees-van-dongen-dancerDutch-French Fauvist painter, Cornelis Theodorus Maria ‘Kees’ van Dongen  was born in Delfshaven, then on the outskirts, and today a borough, of Rotterdam on 26 January 1877. He was the second of four children in a middle-class family. In 1892, at the age 16, Kees van Dongen started his studies at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Rotterdam, working with J. Striening and J.G. Heyberg.  During this period (1892–97), he frequented the Red Quarter seaport area, where he drew scenes of sailors and prostitutes, where he gained a reputation for his sensuous,and at times garish portraits.

(Left: “Dancer” c.1907 oil on canvas 115x75cm)

By 1897, van Dongen was living in an emigre community in Paris but returned to Rotterdam two years later. Eventually, he returned once more to Paris, to join Augusta Preitinger (“Guus”), whom he had met at the Academy. They married on 11 July 1901 and had two children together: a son who died a couple of days after birth in December 1901; and their daughter Augusta, “Dolly”, in 1905.

  • Van Dongen participated in the controversial 1905 Salon d’Automne exhibition along with Henri Matisse, and many others who were referred to as the Fauves (‘Wild Beasts’) as well as belonging to the German Expressionist group Die Brücke.

In 1906, Preitinger and van Dongen moved to the Bateau Lavoir at 13 rue Ravignan in Montmartre, where they were friends with the circle surrounding Pablo Picasso and his girlfriend Fernande Olivier.

  • Guus took Dolly to see their families in Rotterdam in the summer of 1914, where they were caught by the outbreak of WWI. They were not able to return to Paris until 1918.

kees-van-dongen-modjesko-soprano-singerIn 1917, van Dongen had become involved with a married socialite and fashion director Léa Alvin, also known as Jasmy Jacob. Under her influence he developed the lush colours of his Fauvist painting style. This earned him a solid reputation with the French bourgeoisie and upper class, where he was in demand for his portraits.

(Right: “Modjesko“, Soprano Singer (1908). Oil on canvas (100×81.3cm) Museum of Modern Art, New York (Gift of Mr. and Mrs .Peter Reubel, 1955).

  • Preitinger and van Dongen divorced in 1921.
  • In 1926, he was made a Knight of the French Legion of Honour and in 1927 the Order of the Crown of Belgium in recognition of his contributions to art. By then, his and Alvin/Jacob’s relationship had ended.
  • In 1929, the French government awarded him citizenship. Two of his works were collected that year by the Musée du Luxembourg.

From 1959, Kees van Dongen lived in Monaco. He died in his home in Monte Carlo on 28 May 1968. As a consequence, an extensive collection of his work is held by the New National Museum of Monaco.

Van Dongen is reported to have once said about his art: “Painting is the most beautiful of lies,” to which I can truly concur.

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Try Your Luck and Maybe Spend a Buck at the Fryerstown Antique Fair

fentonFryerstown Antique Fair will celebrate its 42nd anniversary in 2017. It is held on the surrounding days of the Australia Day holiday on January 25th each year.

The popular annual event has grown from strength to strength each year and has become a must-visit fair for antique buffs from across Australia. The Fair transforms the picturesque hamlet of Fryerstown in the former sleepy goldfields town in the Central and Goldfields district within Victoria, Australia. The annual fair’s epicenter is at the historic Fryerstown Hall and expands over the nearby parklands and oval.

img_8074Such as its magnitude, the local population of about 120 greets up to 15,000 visitors; who are all keen to find that rare gem they are looking for; and no doubt discover a few other hidden surprises.

This is an essential and important event for all antique, collectables, pottery, kitchenalia, garagenalia and ephemera collectors.  Admission for adults is cheap and all of the proceeds are used for the upkeep of the historic Fryerstown’s Historic Hall.

Posted in #Ceramics, #CigaretteCards, #Collectibles, #Postcards, #Sculpture, #SwapCards, Bone China, Crystal, Glass, Hard Paste Porcelain, Marbles, Paperweights, Perfume Bottles, Porcelain, Snowdomes, Soft paste Porcelain, Stained Glass, Stamps, Tea Towels | Tagged , | Leave a comment

The London Scribblings of Jesus Soto

jesus-soto-london-scribblingsLondon Scribblings” by Jesús Soto 1965 (Kinetic relief sculpture Wire, nylon, synthetic polymer paint on composition board and plywood). –

Op and kinetic artist, sculptor and painter, Jesús Rafael Soto  was born in Ciudad Bolívar, Venezuela on June 5, 1923. He began his artistic career as a boy painting cinema posters. He received his artistic training at the Escuela de Artes Plásticas y Artes Aplicadas in Caracas. Soto became the Director of the Escuela de Artes Plasticas in Maracaibo from 1947 to 1950, He then moved to Paris and began associating with Yaacov Agam, Jean Tinguely Victor Vasarely and other artists connected with the Salon des Réalités Nouvelles and the Galerie Denise René.

  • Soto’s breakthrough works of the 1950s and 1960s were “geometric abstract paintings”, using a limited and carefully selected array of flat colours. 
  • During the 1950s, Soto combined art and science by using vibrant patterns interspersed with vision. He created a series of works including London scribblings (see above) in which the hanging of free-form metal rods in front of painted stripes produces vibrations and perceived motion.
  • Soto was interested in perception and this is reflected in the interactive nature of some of his work. Soto created the so-called Penetrables, interactive sculptures which consist of square arrays of thin, dangling tubes through which observers can walk. He made over 25 Penetrables in his career.
  • From 1970 until the early 1990s, Soto’s works appeared in places such as the Museum of Modern Art and the Guggenheim Museum in New York City, as well as the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris.  In 2001, he participated in the SITE Santa Fe biennial.

In 1973, the Jesús Soto Museum of Modern Art opened in Ciudad Bolívar, with a collection of his work. Unlike conventional art galleries, a large number of the exhibits are wired to the electricity supply so that they can move.

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This is Wyeth I Paint My Life

andrew-wyeth-equinox Andrew WyethEquinox (Tempera on board, 1977, 876×81.3cm New York).

Visual artist and realist painter (in the regionalist style) Andrew Newell Wyeth was born on July 12, 1917. Wyeth often noted: “I paint my life.” Andrew was the youngest of five children of illustrator and artist N.C. (Newell Convers) Wyeth and his wife, Carolyn Bockius Wyeth. Due to his frail health, Andrew was home-tutored and he spent much time reading poetry and the writings of Henry David Thoreau and studied their relationships with nature, as well as enjoying movies and music. Wyeth’s father was the only teacher and Andrew led both a sheltered life and one that was “obsessively focused”. Andrew’s siblings were all creative types. Henriette Wyeth Hurd, the eldest, became a well-known painter of portraits and still life. Carolyn, the second child, was also a painter. Nathaniel Wyeth, the third child, was a successful inventor. Ann was a musician at a young age and became a composer as an adult.

As a teenager, under his father’s guidance, Andrew mastered figure study and watercolour, and later learned egg tempera from his brother-in-law Peter Hurd. He studied art history on his own, admiring many masters of Renaissance and American painting, especially Winslow Homer. Like his father, Andrew started off doing book illustrations, but by 1937, at age twenty, Wyeth had his first one-man exhibition of watercolours at the Macbeth Gallery in New York City. The entire inventory of paintings sold out, and his life path seemed certain.

  • In 1940, Wyeth married Betsy James, whom he met in 1939 in Maine. Their first child, Nicholas, was born in 1943, followed by James (“Jamie”) three years later in 1946. Later on, his son Jamie  followed his father’s and grandfather’s footsteps, becoming the third generation of Wyeth artist.
  • In October 1945, his father and his three-year-old nephew, Newell Convers Wyeth II were killed when their car stalled on railroad tracks near their home and was struck by a train. Shortly afterwards, Wyeth’s art consolidated into his mature and enduring style.

Wyeth’s favourite subjects were the land and people around him, both in his hometown of Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania, and at his summer home in Cushing, Maine. Dividing his time between Pennsylvania and Maine, Wyeth maintained a realist painting style for over seventy years. His solitary walks were the primary means of inspiration for his landscapes. He developed an extraordinary intimacy with the land and sea and strove for a spiritual understanding based on history and unspoken emotion. He typically created dozens of studies on a subject in pencil or loosely brushed watercolor before executing a finished painting, either in watercolour, drybrush (a watercolour style in which the water is squeezed from the brush), or egg tempera.

  • On January 16, 2009, Andrew Wyeth died in his sleep in Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania, after a brief illness. He was 91 years old.
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Eve Tempted by the ‘Painter of Dreams’

john-stanhope-eve-temptedEve Tempted” by John Stanhope (Manchester Art Gallery).

Born on 20th January, 1829, in Yorkshire, English pre-Raphaelite artist John Roddam Spencer Stanhope was associated with fellow pre-Raphaelites, Edward Burne-Jones and George Frederic Watts.

Stanhope traveled with Watts to Italy in 1853 and to Asia in 1856–1857. Upon his return, he was invited by Dante Gabriel Rossetti to participate in the Oxford murals project – painting Sir Gawaine and the Damsels.

Stanhope worked in oil, watercolour, fresco, and mixed media. His work is also referred to as part of the  Aestheticism and British Symbolism art movements, basing his work on a variety of mythological, allegorical, biblical and contemporary themes.

Stanhope’s mother, (Elizabeth Wilhemina Coke), was the third and youngest daughter of the first Earl of Leicester and studied art under Thomas Gainsborough.

  • Throughout his career, Stanhope suffered from chronic asthma and because of this, he turned to wintering in Florence, Italy.
  • During summer, he at first stayed at Burne-Jones’s house in London, but later moved to alternative quarters.
  • On 10 January, 1859, he married Elizabeth King; the daughter of John James King; grand-daughter of the third Earl of Egremont. Together they had one daughter, Mary.
  • Sadly, in 1867, at the age of seven, Mary died of scarlet fever and was buried at the English Cemetery in Florence.
  • Stanhope moved permanently to Florence in 1880 where he lived in the Villa Nuti until his death on 2 August, 1908.

The extended Stanhope family aided and supported the 2007 exhibition, Painters of Dreams, which featured many of Stanhope’s art works.

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“Someone has killed Soutine!”

chaim-soutine-the-page-boyThe Page Boy” by Chaïm Soutine (ca.1927) oil on canvas (98cm x80cm).

Russian painter of Belorussian Jewish origin Chaïm Soutine (Sutin) was born on January 13, 1893, in Smilavichy near Minsk; the tenth of eleven children.

From 1910 to 1913 he studied in Vilnius at the Vilna Academy of Fine Arts.  Then, in 1913 he emigrated to Paris, where he studied at the École des Beaux-Arts where he developed a highly personal vision and painting technique. For a time, he and his friends lived at La Ruche, a residence for struggling artists in Montparnasse, where he became friends with Amedeo Modigliani (who painted Soutine’s portrait several times).

Soutine played a major role as part of the Abstract Expressionist Movement in Paris where he developed an individual style more concerned with shape, colour and texture.

chaim-soutine-english-woman-ca-1932Soutine once horrified his neighbours by keeping an animal carcass in his studio so that he could paint it – (Carcass of Beef). The stench drove them to send for the police, whom Soutine promptly lectured on the relative importance of art over hygiene. Supposedly, the artist Marc Chagall saw the blood from the carcass leak out onto the corridor outside Soutine’s room; and rushed out screaming, ‘Someone has killed Soutine!” – but obviously this was not true.

  • Soutine produced the majority of his works from 1920 to 1929.
  • From 1930 to 1935, the interior designer Madeleine Castaing and her husband welcomed him to their summer home, the mansion of Lèves, becoming his patrons, so that Soutine could hold his first exhibition in Chicago in 1935.
  • He seldom showed his works, but he did take part in The Origins and Development of International Independent Art, held at the Galerie Nationale du Jeu de Paume, in Paris, in 1937.

After France was invaded by German troops; and to avoid arrest by the Gestapo; as a Jew, Soutine had to escape from Paris. He moved from one place to another and was sometimes forced to seek shelter by sleeping outdoors in forests.

However, during 1943,after suffering from a stomach ulcer and bleeding badly, he left a safe hiding place for Paris in order to undergo emergency surgery, which failed to save his life.

  • On August 9, 1943, Chaïm Soutine died of a perforated ulcer and was interred at the Cimetière du Montparnasse, in Paris.
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Happy New Year – I’ll Drink to That

jean-beraud-at-the-ambassadeursAbove: At the Ambassadeurs (c. 1880) oil on canvas Musee des Arts Decoratifs, Paris, France.

French Impressionist painter and commercial artist noted for his paintings of Parisian life during the Belle Époque period, Jean Béraud was born in St. Petersburg on January 12, 1849.  After his father’s death, the family moved to Paris.  Béraud exhibited his paintings  for the first time in 1872 but did not gain recognition until 1876. He exhibited with the Society of French Watercolorists at the 1889 World’s Fair in Paris.

  • He painted many scenes of Parisian daily life during the Belle Époque era.
  • He received the Légion d’honneur in 1894.

Béraud’s paintings often included truth-based humour and mockery of late 19th century Parisian life, along with frequent appearances of biblical characters in then contemporary situations. Towards the end of the 19th century, Béraud dedicated less time to his own painting and worked on numerous exhibition committees, including the Salon de la Société Nationale.

In his latter years, his style gradually shifted from Academic towards Impressionism. However, while the major Impressionists fled the chaotic Paris and painted landscapes of the surrounding areas, Beraud – like his friend Edouard Manet and Edgar Degas depicted the urban life.

  • Béraud never married and had no children.
  • He died in Paris on October 4, 1935, and is buried in Montparnasse Cemetery beside his mother.

Meanwhile, back at the Ambassadeurs (see above), red hat or not; may I say Bonne Année or Happy New Year to you all!

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