Saturday, October 12, 2019

01 Painting, PORTRAIT OF A LADY, with Footnotes. #59

Walter Langhammer, 1905 – 1977
Untitled (Indian Woman with Amphora)
Oil on canvas
23.5 x 31.5 in (60 x 80 cm
Private collection

An amphora is a type of container of a characteristic shape and size, descending from at least as early as the Neolithic Period. Amphorae were used in vast numbers for the transport and storage of various products, both liquid and dry, but mostly for wine. More on amphora

Walter Langhammer, 1905 – 1977went to India before World War 2, fleeing the Nazis in Austria. An art student at the time, Langhammer had made friends with an Indian student, Shirin Vimadalal, who subsequently returned to India. After he wrote to her, she managed to persuade Sir Francis Low, editor of the Times of India, to appoint Langhammer first art director of the paper in about 1936. Adapting enthusiastically to his new home, Langhammer set up open house at his studio on Nepean Sea Road, and the young Indian artists who were to develop into the great names of the Indian Progressive Art movement would meet there on Sundays to hear his tales of the European art scene. Exhibiting regularly himself at the Bombay Art Society, Langhammer was soon surrounded by an 'in crowd' of fellow European Jewish refugees - professionals, artists, doctors and industrialists - who became important art patrons and accelerated the Progressive movement. 

Kekoo Gandhy, who was to found the long-running Chemould gallery of modern art in Bombay, recalls Langhammer's confidence that contemporary Indian art would make a mark and have an impact on the art scene. India had a great store of inspiration to draw from and the colours and light of India would make the difference.' 

Langhammer is considered one of the founding fathers of the most famous of India’s schools of modern oil painting, the “Bombay Progressives.” Founded after the partition of India in 1947, this group of young Indian artists had sought out Langhammer’s tutelage and drawn inspiration from the traditions of European oil painting to establish an independent artistic identity

Langhammer returned 'heartbroken' to Europe in the early 1960s, when his health deteriorated. More on Walter Langhammer





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Tuesday, October 1, 2019

01 Painting, PORTRAIT OF A LADYr, with Footnotes. #58

Bhabesh Chandra Sanyal
Shrouded Woman, c. 1980
Oil on canvas
38 x 29.25 in (96.5 x 74 cm)
Private collection

Bhabesh Chandra Sanyal commonly known as B. C. Sanyal (22 April 1901 – 9 August 2003), the doyen of modernism in Indian art, was an Indian painter and sculptor and an Art teacher to three generations of artists. During his lifetime he not just saw the partition of the Indian subcontinent three times, 1905, 1947 and 1971, but also witnessed 20th century Indian art in all its phases. His notable paintings include The flying scarecrow, Cow herd, Despair and Way to peace, which depicts Mahatma Gandhi with a Hindu and a Muslim child.

He was awarded the Padma Bhushan in 1984, and India's highest award in visual arts, the Lalit Kala Akademi Fellowship for lifetime achievement by Lalit Kala Akademi, India's National Academy of Fine Arts in 1980. More on Bhabesh Chandra Sanyal




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Saturday, September 14, 2019

01 Painting, PORTRAIT OF A LADY, with Footnotes. #57

Narayan Shridhar Bendre, (1910 - 1992)
Braiding Hair 
Oil on canvas 
36 1/8 x 47 15/16 in. (91.7 x 121.8 cm.)
Private collection

Narayan Shridhar Bendre (21 August 1910 – 19 February 1992) (N. S. Bendre) was a 20th-century Indian artist; was born in Indore. He had undergone his early art education in the State Art School, Indore. Thereafter, he obtained his Government Diploma in Art from Bombay in 1933. As he was an enthusiastic traveler he visited many places and captured those on his canvas with different stylistic means. Initially his interests centered on the quasi-mode-mist landscape painting of Indore School. However, later his favorite subjects were landscapes and portraits in oils and gouache. He had experimented with cubist, expressionist and abstract trends. 

This resulted in works like Sunflowers, The Parrot and the Chameleon and "Thorn" which won National award in the year 1955 where he elegantly combined European modernism with Indian formal thematic reflection. In 1940 he had moved to Madras to work as an art director for a film company. In the year 1945 he had stayed in Shantiniketan as an artist . Thereafter he travelled abroad where he exhibited his works as well as met many modern European artists. 

From 1950 to 1966 he served in the Department of Paintings in Faculty of Fine Arts, Baroda and left it when he was a Dean. He had received a Silver Medal from the Bombay Art Society in 1934, followed by a Gold Medal in 1941. In 1956 he formed the Baroda Group of Artists. He was awarded Padma Shri in the year 1969. He was also the Chairman of the International Jury at the Second Triennale in New Delhi in 1971 and a fellow of the Lalit Kala Academy in 1974. He had received the Aban-Gagan Award from Viswa Bharati University in 1984, and the Kalidas Samman in 1984. He passed away in February 18th, 1992.  More on Narayan Shridhar Bendre






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01 Photograph, PORTRAIT OF A LADY, with Footnotes. #56

MARIEN MARCEL, (1920 - 1993) 
Les nouvelles élégances/ The new elegance, c. 1991
Photograph
24 x 17.5 cm
Private collection

Marcel Mariën (April 29, 1920 in Antwerp – September 19, 1993 in Brussels) was a Belgian surrealist (later Situationist), poet, essayist, photographer, collagist, filmmaker, and maker of objects.

Mariën was one of the most intriguing and elusive figures in the Belgian wing of the Surrealist movement. He was not only an artist, but also a publisher, a bookseller, a sailor, a journalist in China and an elaborate Surrealist prankster.

Aged 15, Marien became apprentice to a photographer – initially undertaking menial roles, but later setting up a home studio to develop his own projects. In 1937, he first encountered the surrealist paintings of René Magritte in exhibition and – inspired by André Breton’s Surrealist Manifesto - traveled to Brussels to seek out the artist.

Magritte was warmly welcomed into the close-knit Belgian Surrealist group. Within a year, he had his own work included in the Surrealist group exhibition, Surrealist Objects and Poems, in London.

In 1939, he enlisted in the Belgian Army to fight in World War II, but was captured and held as a prisoner of war in Germany. Following his release, he returned to Brussels and, in 1943, wrote and published the very first monograph on Magritte.
It was not until 1943 that he produced his first photograph with a distinctive personal vision, “De Sade à Lénine”, an image of a woman cutting a slice of bread, the loaf gripped tightly against her naked torso, the blade pointing at her left breast. Mariën commented, “the knife passes from de Sade to Lenin”.

It was pure Surrealism, marked with the two themes that would characterize his photography: the everyday object stripped of its traditional function and the female body as an instrument of creation.

Mariën was never a practical man and was helped by his partner Hedwige Benedix in the production of his art work. In 1983, a year after her death, he again took up photography as a quick and immediate way of expressing his ideas. He carried on where he had left off in 1942 and began producing one extraordinary image after another, simple yet elegant surreal images with free associations of imagery and text. More on Marcel Mariën





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Thursday, September 12, 2019

05 Paintings, PORTRAIT OF A LADY, Madame Récamier, with Footnotes. #55

François Gérard, (1770–1837)
Portrait de Juliette Récamier, c. 1805
Oil on canvas
225 × 145 cm (88.5 × 57 ″)
Musée Carnavalet, Paris

François Pascal Simon, Baron Gérard (4 May 1770 – 11 January 1837), was a French painter born in Rome. At the age of twelve Gérard obtained admission into the Pension du Roi in Paris. From the Pension he passed to the studio of the sculptor Augustin Pajou which he left at the end of two years for that of the history painter Nicolas-Guy Brenet, whom he quit almost immediately to place himself under Jacques-Louis David.

In 1794 he obtained  first prize in a competition. Further stimulated by the successes of his rival and friend Girodet in the Salons of 1793 and 1794. Gérard produced in 1795 his famous Bélisaire. In 1796 a portrait of his generous friend obtained undisputed success. In 1799, his portrait of Madame Mère established his position as one of the first portrait-painters of the day.

In 1808 as many as eight, and in 1810 no less than fourteen, portraits by him, were exhibited at the Salon, and these figures afford only an indication of the enormous numbers which he executed yearly; all the leading figures of the Empire and of the Bourbon Restoration, all the most celebrated men and women of Europe, sat for Gérard. Rich and famous, Gérard was stung by remorse for earlier ambitions abandoned. In 1817 he did homage to the returned Louis XVIII. After this date Gérard declined, watching with impotent grief the progress of the Romantic school.

Loaded with honors – baron of the Empire in 1809, member of the Institut on 7 March 1812, officer of the légion d'honneur, first painter to the king – he worked on, sad and discouraged; the revolution of 1830 added to his disquiet; and on 11 January 1837, after three days of fever, he died. More on Baron Gérard

Jeanne Françoise Julie Adélaïde Récamier (4 December 1777 – 11 May 1849) (Juliette), was a French socialite, whose salon drew Parisians from the leading literary and political circles of the early 19th century. As an icon of neoclassicism, Récamier cultivated a public persona of herself as a great beauty and her fame quickly spread across Europe. She befriended many intellectuals, sat for the finest artists of the age.

Jacques-Louis David, (1748–1825)
Portrait of Madame Récamier, circa 1800
Oil on canvas
Height: 173 cm (68.1 ″); Width: 243 cm (95.6 ″)
Louvre Museum

Jacques-Louis-Jules David, 1829-1886, was the grandson of the immensely influential neo-classical Jacques-Louis David. Additionally, Jules David was an art historian in his own right, and among his grandfather's first biographers. He entered the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in 1849 where he studied with Cogniet and Picot. More on Jacques-Louis-Jules David

Jacques-Louis David showing her in the height of Neoclassical fashion, reclining on a Directoire style sofa in a simple Empire line dress with almost bare arms, and short hair "à la Titus". He began it in May 1800 but may have left it unfinished when he learned that François Gérard (above) had been commissioned before him to paint a portrait of the same model (Gerard's portrait was completed in 1802). More on this work

A native of Lyon, Jeanne Françoise was the only child of the King's counsellor and a notary. She was educated at the Couvent de la Déserte in Lyon briefly, after which her family moved to Paris. Beautiful, accomplished, and with a love of literature, Juliette was described as shy and modest by nature.

Firmin Massot, (1766–1849)
Juliette Récamier, c. 1807
Oil on canvas
Length: 24.5 cm (9.6 ″); Height: 29.5 cm (11.6 ″)
Museum of Fine Arts of Lyon

Firmin Massot (5 May 1766, in Geneva, Republic of Geneva – 16 May 1849, in Geneva, Switzerland) was a Swiss portrait painter.

He began his studies in 1778 at the "School of Drawing", then attended classes at the "Society of Arts". A trip to Italy from 1787 to 1788 had a lasting effect on his style. He had his first showing in 1789 at the Salon of Geneva. At the next Salon, he won the Grand Prize. In 1794, he was invited to Lausanne to work for Madame de Staël.

In 1799, he was named Director of the "Écoles de dessin de la ville de Genève" and, the following year, became a member of the art society. From 1807 to 1813, he travelled throughout France. From 1828 to 1829, he toured England and Scotland, receiving many commissions along the way and becoming enamored of the English "conversation pieces". He also favored a style known as "jusqu'aux genoux" (as far as the knees)

After 1820 many of his portraits were done in collaboration with the landscape painter Wolfgang-Adam Töpffer and the animal painter Jacques-Laurent Agasse. Created mostly for wealthy patrons, Massot would paint the figures while his associates would fill in the backgrounds with various props that symbolized the sitter.


Many prominent women were among his sitters, including Madame Recamier, the Empress Josephine and Queen Hortense. His sister Pernette was also a painter and engraver and is sometimes cited as his first teacher. More on Firmin Massot

From the earliest days of the French Consulate to almost the end of the July Monarchy, Juliette's salon in Paris was one of the chief resorts of literary and political society that followed what was fashionable. The habitués of her house included many former royalists, and others more or less disaffected to the government. This circumstance, together with her refusal to act as lady-in-waiting to Empress consort Joséphine de Beauharnais and her friendship for Germaine de Staël, brought her under suspicion.

Attributed to Jacques-Louis David, (1748-1825)
Portrait of Juliette Recamier (1777-1849), c. 1810
Oil on canvas
Height: 64 cm; Width: 81 cm
Grand Palais des Champs-Élysées

This painting is removed from the attribution to Jacques-Louis David by the painter's specialists, it could come from a student of the painter . This work could be a study for the portrait of the Louvre.

Jacques-Louis-Jules David, 1829-1886, was the grandson of the immensely influential neo-classical Jacques-Louis David. Additionally, Jules David was an art historian in his own right, and among his grandfather's first biographers. He entered the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in 1849 where he studied with Cogniet and Picot. More on Jacques-Louis-Jules David


She was eventually exiled from Paris by the orders of Napoleon I. After a short stay at her native Lyon, she proceeded to Rome, and finally to Naples. 

In her later days she lost most of what was left of her fortune; but she continued to receive visitors in her apartment at Abbaye-aux-Bois.

Continental School
PORTRAIT OF A LADY, CALLED MADAME RÉCAMIER (1777-1849)
Watercolor and bodycolor
7.7 x 12 cm. (3 x 4.7 in.)
Private collection

The Continental School, 19th Century comprised a group of artists active in this region in the period. Works identified as being by this group appear regularly at auction.

Despite old age, ill-health, partial blindness, and reduced circumstances, Juliette Récamier never lost her attractiveness.

In 1849, Juliette Récamier died in Paris of cholera at the age of 71. More on Madame Récamier




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Sunday, September 8, 2019

01 Painting, PORTRAIT OF A LADY., with Footnotes. #54

Ron Hicks, U.S. (b. 1965)
The Discussion
Oil on canvas
38"H x 37.5"W
Private collection

Ron Hicks ( Columbus , 1965 ) was born in Columbus, Ohio, and is one of four children of a truck driver. He spent his childhood in the quiet and friendly Park Hill neighborhood of Denver, Colorado where the family moved when Ron, and his twin brother Don, were two years old. From an early age Hicks became interested in painting, encouraged by his mother, also an artist. At age 13 his parents divorced and he, his mother and brothers returned to Columbus. There, a group of teachers encouraged Ron to try his hand at painting. He managed to win numerous prizes and art competitions.

His talent was noticed during his high school years and he received a scholarship to study at Columbus College of Art and Design in Columbus (known as one of the best art schools in the country) where he graduated in fine arts and illustration .

After graduating, he returned to Denver to study at the Colorado Institute of Art in Denver (later the Art Institute of Colorado), obtaining a degree in advertising design.

After college, Hicks began working for agencies, magazines and as a freelance illustrator, dedicating himself to painting only at night.

Ron Hicks is a lecturer at The Art Students League in Denver. More on Ron Hicks






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01 Painting, PORTRAIT OF A LADY., with Footnotes. #53

Youssef Nabil, B. 1972, EGYPTIAN
PORTRAIT OF JANNANE AL ANI, c. 2006
Hand-coloured gelatin silver print
38 by 25cm.; 15 by 9 7/8 in.
Private collection

Jananne Al-Ani (born 1966) is an Irish-Iraqi artist, born in Kirkuk, Iraq in 1966 to an Iraqi father and Irish mother. She studied Fine Art at the Byam Shaw School of Art and graduated with an MA in Photography from the Royal College of Art in 1997. 

Working with photography, film and video, Al-Ani has an ongoing interest in the documentary tradition, through intimate recollections and more official accounts. Her work also engages with the landscape of the Middle East, its archaeology and its visual representation.

Summarising her work Al-Ani said: "I have a longstanding interest in the representation of the body. The earliest works I exhibited were concerned with the way women's bodies have been represented throughout the history of western painting. In advance of the development of photography and film, the shifting ideals of feminine beauty were clearly mapped out in the work of artists. However, the media coverage of the 1991 Gulf War, which focused on aerial and satellite images of a depopulated, barren landscape, had a major impact on my work. What followed was a reassessment on my part of the work of Orientalist painters and the way in which fantasies about the body and the landscape of the Middle East were constructed in their works. I began to see the body itself as a contested territory and during the 90s produced a series of works that attempted to counter the European obsession with uncovering and exposing the bodies of veiled women. More on Jananne Al-Ani

Youssef Nabil (born 6 November 1972) is an Egyptian artist and photographer. Fascinated by cinema in his youth, Egyptian photographer Youssef captures the contemporary paradoxes of the Middle East through the lens of fantasy. In 2003, Nabil was awarded The Seydou Keita Prize for Portraiture from the Rencontres Africaines de la Photographie, Bamako, Mali and in 2005 he was honored by the International Photography Awards, Los Angeles, CA. His first film, You Never Left, was first exhibited in 2010. His work has been the subject of recent solo shows at Maison Europeenne de la Photographie, Paris, France (2012); Nathalie Obadia Gallery, Paris, France (2011); Yossi Milo Gallery, New York, NY (2010); Savannah College of Art and Design, Atlanta, GA (2010); GALERIST, Istanbul, Turkey (2009); Villa Medici, Rome, Italy (2009); The Third Line Gallery, Dubai, UAE (2009); and Volker Diehl Gallery, Berlin, Germany (2009). More on Youssef Nabil




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Tuesday, August 27, 2019

01 Painting, PORTRAIT OF A LADY., with Footnotes. #52

McClelland Barclay
The Nightclub Singer
Oil on canvas
26 7/8 × 39 7/8 in, 68.3 × 101.3 cm
Private collection

McClelland Barclay, 1891–1943, was born in 1891, in St. Louis, Missouri, and studied at the Art Institute of Chicago. He moved to New York City in 1912 to make his way in the art world and study at the Art Students League. He quickly became known about New York as a colorful character and according to Life magazine was “talented and seen all around the town”. Tom Fogarty and George Bridgeman were his most influential teachers at the Art Students League and encouraged him to go directly into illustration as he needed immediate income. 

Made his name, not only in opulent oils, but also in jewelry and other decorative arts (bookends, containers, etc.) from his own firm, The McClelland Barclay Art Company. His illustrations depicted the American beauty, from flapper to film star, usually as a fiery redhead or strawberry blonde. His advertising accounts were many, most famous being the Body by Fisher ads that occupied him for many years (full color and black and white). Story art for Cosmopolitan and Redbook; covers for Saturday Home, Ladies' Home Journal, Redbook, Country Gentleman, Saturday Evening Post, Pictorial Review. War poster, camouflage design, and battlefield correspondence work as a naval Lieutenant Commander. Killed in action, WW2. More on McClelland Barclay




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Monday, August 19, 2019

01 Painting, PORTRAIT OF A LADY., with Footnotes. #51

Giuseppe Dangelico Pino (1939–2010)
Black Shawl
Oil on Canvas
30 x 20 in  |  76 x 51 cm
Private collection

Pino Daeni- 1939 - 2010 Italian artist, Pino Daeni's art and canvases elicit feelings of warmth, nostalgia, love and family. His paintings are often set on vibrantly sunny beaches on the Mediterranean where he grew up. Pino is noted for his exceptional ability to capture the movements and expressions of his subjects - a talent which has brought his artwork a worldwide following and private commissions to do portraits.

Trained in Italy at the Art institute of Bari, and later at Milan’s Academy of Brera, Pino perfected his skills painting nudes and figure studies heavily influenced by the Pre-Raphaelites and Macchiaioli.

After establishing himself as a successful artist in his native land, Pino immigrated to the United States, seeking more artistic freedom and opportunity. He was soon discovered by the Borghi Gallery, which gave several exhibitions for him in New York and Boston.

In 1980 Zebra commissioned him to do his first book cover; his popularity grew within the literary community and he became the artist-in-demand for Zebra, Bantam, Simon, and Schuster, Harlequin, Penquin USA and Dell. To date, Pino has illustrated 3,000 books; his style has dominated the market. More Pino




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Sunday, August 18, 2019

01 Painting, PORTRAIT OF A LADY, with Footnotes. #50

Francesco Hayez, (1791-1882)
Portrait of Matilde Juva Branca, c.1851
Oil painting on canvas
121 × 95 cm
Gallery of Modern Art of Milan

The figure of the woman, portrayed on a neutral background illuminated by the usual pattern of lights typical of Hayez, is wrapped in black silk dresses from which emerge the white crinoline that frame her face and hands; an arm is placed on the chair on which a light ermine coat is spread, the other is extended along the body. The woman shows an elaborate curly hairstyle called anglaises , in English , particularly fashionable in those years. 

Matilde Juva Branca, born in Milan in 1820, was a famous amateur soprano protagonist. Born in the district of Meravigli n. Matilde married the wealthy Turin owner Giovanni Juva who commissioned his wife's painting as péndantto his own portrait always executed in 1851 by the student of Hayez Mauro Conconi.

Francesco Hayez (10 February 1791 – 21 December 1882) was an Italian painter, the leading artist of Romanticism in mid-19th-century Milan, renowned for his grand historical paintings, political allegories and exceptionally fine portraits.

Hayez came from a relatively poor family from Venice. He was brought up by his mother's sister, who had married a well-off shipowner and collector of art. From childhood he showed a predisposition for drawing, so his uncle apprenticed him to an art restorer. Later he became a student of the painter Francesco Maggiotto with whom he continued his studies for three years. He was admitted to the painting course of the New Academy of Fine Arts in 1806. In 1809 he won a competition from the Academy of Venice for one year of study at the Accademia di San Luca in Rome. He remained in Rome until 1814, then moved to Naples where he was commissioned by Joachim Murat to paint a major work depicting Ulysses at the court of Alcinous. In the mid-1830s he attended the "Salotto Maffei" salon in Milan.

Francesco Hayez lived long and was prolific. His output spanned both historic paintings, and Neoclassic style grand themes, either from biblical or classical literature. He also painted scenes from theatrical presentations of his day.  More Francesco Hayez



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Sunday, August 11, 2019

01 Painting, PORTRAIT OF A LADY., with Footnotes. #49

Robert Peake, (circa 1551-1626 London)
Portrait purported to be of Lady Elizabeth Pope, née Watson
Oil on panel
67.9 x 49.6cm (26 3/4 x 19 1/2in)
Private collection

The black thread depicted here, which normally links the heart and the hands, looks to be broken and may possibly be an allusion to a death and would fit with the traditional identification of the sitter being Elizabeth Watson, who was an heiress at this date. The depiction of her long hair hanging loosely down, was a contemporary symbol of virginity and brides sometimes wore their hair down in this way. More on this painting

Robert Peake the Elder (c. 1551–1619) was an English painter active in the later part of Elizabeth I's reign and for most of the reign of James I. In 1604, he was appointed picture maker to the heir to the throne, Prince Henry; and in 1607, serjeant-painter to King James. Peake is often called "the elder", to distinguish him from his son, the painter and print seller William Peake (c. 1580–1639) and from his grandson, Sir Robert Peake (c. 1605–67), who followed his father into the family print-selling business.

Peake was the only English-born painter of a group of four artists whose workshops were closely connected. Between 1590 and about 1625, they specialised in brilliantly coloured, full-length "costume pieces" that are unique to England at this time. It is not always possible to attribute authorship between Peake, De Critz, Gheeraerts and their assistants with certainty. More on Robert Peake




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