Изобразительное искусство, фотография

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Мы живем на одной планетеМы живем на одной планете
Олег Рой
Издательство: Резепкин Олег Юрьевич

Земля – наш общий дом. И в течение всей своей жизни на планете человек пытался показать Природе, кто в этом доме хозяин. Мы, не задумываясь о будущем, не помнили о том, что пришли из матери-Земли и в неё же уйдём, как сказано в Библии. Мы опустошали недра, вырубали леса, засоряли атмосферу, отравляли водоёмы, уничтожали флору и фауну… И всё-таки хочется верить, что Природа не только по-матерински терпелива, но ещё и по-матерински добра. Что она оставила нам шанс – пусть маленький, пусть последний, но шанс. А значит, мы должны сделать всё возможное и даже невозможное, чтобы этим шансом воспользоваться. Каждый из нас способен внести свой вклад в общее дело – спасение Жизни на Земле. Альбом, который сейчас перед тобой, – принципиально новый шаг в этом направлении. Знаменитые люди, которые не смогли остаться равнодушными к вселенской катастрофе, нашли оригинальный способ обратить внимание общества на уже почти безнадёжную проблему истребления фауны. Они провели особую акцию, перевоплотившись в образ того или иного животного, часто редкого и даже вымирающего. Представ на фото в облике зверя, они стремились показать, насколько в действительности тесны наши миры – мир человека и мир Природы. Каждая личность индивидуальна, каждое животное уникально. И только задумавшись над судьбой каждой отдельной особи, мы сможем спасти весь вид, а вместе с ним – жизнь на планете. Своим перевоплощением в образы зверей известные люди России и Украины хотят сказать: «Взгляните на наших братьев меньших – они смотрят человеческими глазами!» Каждое животное – это наше отражение в зеркале Природы. Представьте, как было бы страшно однажды заглянуть в настоящее зеркало и не увидеть там своего отражения! Но если мы не используем свой последний шанс спасти животный мир – то именно так и произойдёт. Внимание! Объем PDF-книги более 100 Мб!...


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Рисуем цветыРисуем цветы
Виктория Мазовецкая
Издательство: "Издательство "Питер"

Цветы – замечательный подарок, подходящий к любому торжеству и событию. А если изобразить их на бумаге или холсте? Необычные и запоминающиеся, приносящие радость и хорошее настроение, рассказывающие о ваших чувствах, они никогда не завянут. Роскошные розы, веселые ромашки, милые колокольчики, элегантные тюльпаны, изысканные ирисы, энергичные подсолнухи, благоухающая сирень и нежный яблоневый цвет... Как передать структуру цветка, получить насыщенный и богатый оттенок, отразить текстуру лепестков и листьев, наполнить изображение жизнью? Откройте эту книгу, чтобы научиться создавать прекрасное. Творите и дарите цветы любимым, родным и близким!...


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В поисках гармонии. Искусствоведческие работы разных летВ поисках гармонии. Искусствоведческие работы разных лет
Нина Александровна Дмитриева
Издательство: Издательство "Прогресс-Традиция"

В сборник работ Нины Александровны Дмитриевой (1917–2003), выдающегося отечественного искусствоведа, лауреата Государственной премии РФ, включены статьи, мемуарные и публицистические тексты, которые наиболее ярко характеризуют исследовательский и литературный талант автора. Ключевые проблемы теории и истории художественной культуры раскрываются в них через призму творческих поисков крупнейших мастеров зарубежного и русского искусства. Свободные от методологических догм и шаблонов, ее интерпретации художественных произведений найдут живой отклик у широкого круга читателей....


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Композиция в фотографииКомпозиция в фотографии
Николай Жолудев
Издательство: "Издательство "Эксмо"

Серия: Фото на 100%

Как сделать фотографию интересной и выразительной, как подчеркнуть красоту и уникальность сюжета? Существуют ли правила создания выразительного снимка? Почему так важно правильно организовать съемку, выстроить кадр композиционно? Своими профессиональными секретами делится известный фотограф и преподаватель с многолетним стажем Николай Жолудев. Книга адресована всем, кто интересуется фотографией, кто хочет совершенствоваться в этом искусстве....


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Дневник дизайнера-маньякаДневник дизайнера-маньяка
Яна Франк
Издательство: "Студия Артемия Лебедева"

Это книга о дизайнерах и для дизайнеров – откровенный разговор о наболевшем. Сначала она существовала в виде сетевого дневника, который для издания на бумаге был переписан и снабжен иллюстрациями. Яна Франк делится своими мыслями о профессии, предлагает ответы на «вечные вопросы»: должен ли дизайнер уметь рисовать, существует ли идеальный заказчик, где брать свежие идеи, чем отличается плагиат от работы с материалом. Авторские рецепты спасения проектов от провала можно использовать и в качестве пособия по тому, как загубить любое хорошее начинание. Впервые книга была издана в 2006 году....


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Тайные знания коммерческих иллюстраторовТайные знания коммерческих иллюстраторов
Яна Франк
Издательство: "Студия Артемия Лебедева"

В этой книге Яна Франк рассказывает, как стать коммерческим иллюстратором, и раскрывает всю «кухню» этой работы: объясняет, с чего начать и куда стремиться, как составить портфолио, где найти клиентов и как с ними работать, подробно разбирает маленькие картинки и большие проекты, делится техническими хитростями и пошаговыми рецептами создания изображений. А кроме того, раздумывает о неочевидных проблемах профессии иллюстратора. Книга адресована всем, кто планирует зарабатывать на жизнь иллюстрацией или уже встал на этот непростой путь....


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Обнаженная натураОбнаженная натура
Вадим Нардин
Издательство: Манн, Иванов и Фербер

Фотография ню – это искусство на грани. Она должна не просто вызвать желание, но зацепить красотой линий тела, построением кадра, игрой света и тени, оригинальной идеей. Альбом молодого фотографа Вадима Нардина – это изящное сочетание эротических фантазий, красивых женщин и неординарных задумок. Именно то, что не стыдно подарить знакомому или положить на свой журнальный столик в гостиной. Отличная книга для ценителей прекрасного....


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Искусство фотографии: сила композицииИскусство фотографии: сила композиции
Дэвид Броммер
Издательство: "Издательство "Питер"

Одно из ключевых понятий в фотографии – композиция: искусство творческого расположения компонентов в кадре, умение увидеть будущий снимок глазами зрителя. Благодаря этой книге, написанной под редакцией известного фотографа Лори Эксель, вы освоите основы композиции и поймете влияние на результат таких аспектов, как цвет, свет, форма и контраст. Вы узнаете, почему понимание света и экспозиции является одной из основных задач на пути к созданию удачных снимков, разберетесь, что такое экспозиционная триада и как диафрагма, выдержка и светочувствительность соотносятся друг с другом. Также в книге рассказывается, как использовать ведущие и прямые линии, S-образные кривые, формы и паттерны, чтобы направлять взгляд зрителя непосредственно к объекту. Обсуждается цвет, использование сопряженных и контрастных цветов и эмоциональное воздействие, которое оказывает на зрителя сочетание разных оттенков. Кроме того, рассмотрены пространственные отношения объектов, расположение линии горизонта, горизонтальный и вертикальный форматы, ракурс и многое другое. Красочно оформленная, с большим количеством ярких и впечатляющих фотографий, эта книга научит вас создавать маленькие шедевры каждый раз, когда вы берете в руки свою фотокамеру....


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Как фотографировать в путешествияхКак фотографировать в путешествиях
Мариам Акопян
Издательство: "Издательство "Эксмо"

«Чтобы привезти из путешествия хорошие фотографии, недостаточно взять с собой фотоаппарат, – утверждает автор книги Мариам Акопян. – Нужно научиться видеть то, что не замечают другие. Тогда просмотр ваших снимков перестанет быть для ваших друзей лишь данью вежливости (а порой даже скучной обязанностью) и превратится в увлекательное виртуальное путешествие». Эта книга расскажет: • как наилучшим образом подготовиться к фотопутешествию; • как делать снимки – «не такие, как у всех»; • как получить отличные фотографии с помощью непрофессионального фотоаппарата; • как снимать архитектуру, пейзажи, еду – словом, все, что привлекает наше внимание в путешествии; • как хранить и обрабатывать фотографии. С этой книгой ваши путешествия уже не будут просто отдыхом. Они наполнятся творчеством....


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Как фотографировать людейКак фотографировать людей
Мариам Акопян
Издательство: "Издательство "Эксмо"

Фотографировать людей – одна из самых востребованных задач в современной журнальной и рекламной фотографии и одна из самых сложных, поскольку нет четких правил съемки. Автор этого справочника для начинающих фотографов-портретистов дает очень подробные описания самых первых шагов в фотографии, полезные рекомендации в вопросах выбора техники, а также выделяет технические аспекты, важные именно для портретной съемки, такие как баланс белого и глубина резкости. Что касается непосредственно самой съемки портрета, автор останавливается на всех возможных ситуациях, в которых мы фотографируем людей: от простых портретов и свадебной съемки до театральных постановок и спортивных мероприятий, – и подробно разбирает каждый случай, с детальным описанием всех технических сложностей, не забывая при этом о таких важных вещах, как, например, композиция. Также Мариам Акопян большое внимание уделяет психологическим аспектам фотографирования портрета. Здесь есть советы, как подготовить модель к съемке и как нужно управлять съемочным процессом, чтобы фотографии получились как можно более естественными. Все главы снабжены практическими заданиями....


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О фотографииО фотографии
Сьюзен Сонтаг
Издательство: "Ад Маргинем Пресс"

Коллекция эссе Сьюзен Сонтаг «О фотографии» впервые увидела свет в виде серии очерков, опубликованных в New York Review of Books между 1973 и 1977 годами. В книге, сделавшей ее знаменитой, Сонтаг приходит к выводу, что широкое распространение фотографии приводит к установлению между человеком и миром отношений «хронического вуайеризма», в результате чего все происходящее начинает располагаться на одном уровне и приобретает одинаковый смысл. Главный парадокс фотографии заключается, согласно Сонтаг, в том, что человек, который снимает, не может вмешаться в происходящее, и, наоборот, – если он участвует в событии, то оказывается уже не в состоянии зафиксировать его в виде фотоизображения....


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ИмпрессионизмИмпрессионизм
Отсутствует
Издательство: "Издательство "Эксмо"

В этом издании собраны лучшие картины импрессионистов, в том числе полотна периода становления стиля и произведения постимпрессионизма, во всем многообразии жанров живописи одного из главных направлений в искусстве XIX-XX веков. Каждую картину сопровождает рассказ о творческой манере автора, любопытные инциденты, сопутствующие истории ее создания и название музея, где вы можете ее увидеть....


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C?zanneC?zanne
Nathalia Brodskaya
Издательство: Confidential Concepts, Inc.

Серия: Perfect Square

Since his death 200 years ago, C?zanne has become the most famous painter of the nineteenth century. He was born in Aix-en-Provence in 1839 and the happiest period of his life was his early youth in Provence, in company with Emile Zol?, another Italian. Following Zol?’s example, C?zanne went to Paris in his twenty-first year. During the Franco-Prussian war he deserted the military, dividing his time between open-air painting and the studio. He said to Vollard, an art dealer, “I’m only a painter. Parisian wit gives me a pain. Painting nudes on the banks of the Arc [a river near Aix] is all I could ask for.” Encouraged by Renoir, one of the first to appreciate him, he exhibited with the impressionists in 1874 and in 1877. He was received with derision, which deeply hurt him. C?zanne’s ambition, in his own words, was “to make out of Impressionism something as solid and durable as the paintings of the museums.” His aim was to achieve the monumental in a modern language of glowing, vibrating tones. C?zanne wanted to retain the natural colour of an object and to harmonise it with the various influences of light and shade trying to destroy it; to work out a scale of tones expressing the mass and character of the form. C?zanne loved to paint fruit because it afforded him obedient models and he was a slow worker. He did not intend to simply copy an apple. He kept the dominant colour and the character of the fruit, but heightened the emotional appeal of the form by a scheme of rich and concordant tones. In his paintings of still-life he is a master. His fruit and vegetable compositions are truly dramatic; they have the weight, the nobility, the style of immortal forms. No other painter ever brought to a red apple a conviction so heated, sympathy so genuinely spiritual, or an observation so protracted. No other painter of equal ability ever reserved for still-life his strongest impulses. C?zanne restored to painting the pre-eminence of knowledge, the most essential quality to all creative effort. The death of his father in 1886 made him a rich man, but he made no change in his abstemious mode of living. Soon afterwards, C?zanne retired permanently to his estate in Provence. He was probably the loneliest of painters of his day. At times a curious melancholy attacked him, a black hopelessness. He grew more savage and exacting, destroying canvases, throwing them out of his studio into the trees, abandoning them in the fields, and giving them to his son to cut into puzzles, or to the people of Aix. At the beginning of the century, when Vollard arrived in Provence with intentions of buying on speculation all the C?zannes he could get hold of, the peasantry, hearing that a fool from Paris was actually handing out money for old linen, produced from barns a considerable number of still-lifes and landscapes. The old master of Aix was overcome with joy, but recognition came too late. In 1906 he died from a fever contracted while painting in a downpour of rain....


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ChagallChagall
Victoria Charles
Издательство: Confidential Concepts, Inc.

Серия: Perfect Square

Marc Chagall was born into a strict Jewish family for whom the ban on representations of the human figure had the weight of dogma. A failure in the entrance examination for the Stieglitz School did not stop Chagall from later joining that famous school founded by the Imperial Society for the Encouragement of the Arts and directed by Nicholas Roerich. Chagall moved to Paris in 1910. The city was his “second Vitebsk”. At first, isolated in the little room on the Impasse du Maine at La Ruche, Chagall soon found numerous compatriots also attracted by the prestige of Paris: Lipchitz, Zadkine, Archipenko and Soutine, all of whom were to maintain the “smell” of his native land. From his very arrival Chagall wanted to “discover everything”. And to his dazzled eyes painting did indeed reveal itself. Even the most attentive and partial observer is at times unable to distinguish the “Parisian”, Chagall from the “Vitebskian”. The artist was not full of contradictions, nor was he a split personality, but he always remained different; he looked around and within himself and at the surrounding world, and he used his present thoughts and recollections. He had an utterly poetical mode of thought that enabled him to pursue such a complex course. Chagall was endowed with a sort of stylistic immunity: he enriched himself without destroying anything of his own inner structure. Admiring the works of others he studied them ingenuously, ridding himself of his youthful awkwardness, yet never losing his authenticity for a moment. At times Chagall seemed to look at the world through magic crystal – overloaded with artistic experimentation – of the Ecole de Paris. In such cases he would embark on a subtle and serious play with the various discoveries of the turn of the century and turned his prophetic gaze like that of a biblical youth, to look at himself ironically and thoughtfully in the mirror. Naturally, it totally and uneclectically reflected the painterly discoveries of C?zanne, the delicate inspiration of Modigliani, and the complex surface rhythms recalling the experiments of the early Cubists (See-Portrait at the Easel, 1914). Despite the analyses which nowadays illuminate the painter’s Judaeo-Russian sources, inherited or borrowed but always sublime, and his formal relationships, there is always some share of mystery in Chagall’s art. The mystery perhaps lies in the very nature of his art, in which he uses his experiences and memories. Painting truly is life, and perhaps life is painting....


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GauguinGauguin
Nathalia Brodskaya
Издательство: Confidential Concepts, Inc.

Серия: Perfect Square

Paul Gauguin was first a sailor, then a successful stockbroker in Paris. In 1874 he began to paint at weekends as a Sunday painter. Nine years later, after a stock-market crash, he felt confident of his ability to earn a living for his family by painting and he resigned his position and took up the painter’s brush full time. Following the lead of C?zanne, Gauguin painted still-lifes from the very beginning of his artistic career. He even owned a still-life by C?zanne, which is shown in Gauguin’s painting Portrait of Marie Lagadu. The year 1891 was crucial for Gauguin. In that year he left France for Tahiti, where he stayed till 1893. This stay in Tahiti determined his future life and career, for in 1895, after a sojourn in France, he returned there for good. In Tahiti, Gauguin discovered primitive art, with its flat forms and violent colours, belonging to an untamed nature. With absolute sincerity, he transferred them onto his canvas. His paintings from then on reflected this style: a radical simplification of drawing; brilliant, pure, bright colours; an ornamental type composition; and a deliberate flatness of planes. Gauguin termed this style “synthetic symbolism”....


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MonetMonet
Nathalia Brodskaya
Издательство: Confidential Concepts, Inc.

Серия: Perfect Square

For Claude Monet the designation ‘impressionist’ always remained a source of pride. In spite of all the things critics have written about his work, Monet continued to be a true impressionist to the end of his very long life. He was so by deep conviction, and for his Impressionism he may have sacrificed many other opportunities that his enormous talent held out to him. Monet did not paint classical compositions with figures, and he did not become a portraitist, although his professional training included those skills. He chose a single genre for himself, landscape painting, and in that he achieved a degree of perfection none of his contemporaries managed to attain. Yet the little boy began by drawing caricatures. Boudin advised Monet to stop doing caricatures and to take up landscapes instead. The sea, the sky, animals, people, and trees are beautiful in the exact state in which nature created them – surrounded by air and light. Indeed, it was Boudin who passed on to Monet his conviction of the importance of working in the open air, which Monet would in turn transmit to his impressionist friends. Monet did not want to enrol at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts. He chose to attend a private school, L’Acad?mie Suisse, established by an ex-model on the Quai d’Orf?vres near the Pont Saint-Michel. One could draw and paint from a live model there for a modest fee. This was where Monet met the future impressionist Camille Pissarro. Later in Gleyre’s studio, Monet met Auguste Renoir Alfred Sisley, and Fr?d?ric Bazille. Monet considered it very important that Boudin be introduced to his new friends. He also told his friends of another painter he had found in Normandy. This was the remarkable Dutchman Jongkind. His landscapes were saturated with colour, and their sincerity, at times even their na?vet?, was combined with subtle observation of the Normandy shore’s variable nature. At this time Monet’s landscapes were not yet characterized by great richness of colour. Rather, they recalled the tonalities of paintings by the Barbizon artists, and Boudin’s seascapes. He composed a range of colour based on yellow-brown or blue-grey. At the Third Impressionist Exhibition in 1877 Monet presented a series of paintings for the first time: seven views of the Saint-Lazare train station. He selected them from among twelve he had painted at the station. This motif in Monet’s work is in line not only with Manet’s Chemin de fer (The Railway) and with his own landscapes featuring trains and stations at Argenteuil, but also with a trend that surfaced after the railways first began to appear. In 1883, Monet had bought a house in the village of Giverny, near the little town of Vernon. At Giverny, series painting became one of his chief working procedures. Meadows became his permanent workplace. When a journalist, who had come from V?theuil to interview Monet, asked him where his studio was, the painter answered, “My studio! I’ve never had a studio, and I can’t see why one would lock oneself up in a room. To draw, yes – to paint, no”. Then, broadly gesturing towards the Seine, the hills, and the silhouette of the little town, he declared, “There’s my real studio.”Monet began to go to London in the last decade of the nineteenth century. He began all his London paintings working directly from nature, but completed many of them afterwards, at Giverny. The series formed an indivisible whole, and the painter had to work on all his canvases at one time. A friend of Monet’s, the writer Octave Mirbeau, wrote that he had accomplished a miracle. With the help of colours he had succeeded in recreating on the canvas something almost impossible to capture: he was reproducing sunlight, enriching it with an infinite number of reflections. Alone among the impressionists, Claude Monet took an almost scientific study of the possibilities of colour to its limits; it is unlikely that one could have gone any further in that direction....


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PicassoPicasso
Jp. A. Calosse
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Picasso was born a Spaniard and, so they say, began to draw before he could speak. As an infant he was instinctively attracted to artist’s tools. In early childhood he could spend hours in happy concentration drawing spirals with a sense and meaning known only to himself. At other times, shunning children’s games, he traced his first pictures in the sand. This early self-expression held out promise of a rare gift. M?laga must be mentioned, for it was there, on 25 October 1881, that Pablo Ruiz Picasso was born and it was there that he spent the first ten years of his life. Picasso’s father was a painter and professor at the School of Fine Arts and Crafts. Picasso learnt from him the basics of formal academic art training. Then he studied at the Academy of Arts in Madrid but never finished his degree. Picasso, who was not yet eighteen, had reached the point of his greatest rebelliousness; he repudiated academia’s anemic aesthetics along with realism’s pedestrian prose and, quite naturally, joined those who called themselves modernists, the non-conformist artists and writers, those whom Sabart?s called “the ?lite of Catalan thought” and who were grouped around the artists’ caf? Els Quatre Gats. During 1899 and 1900 the only subjects Picasso deemed worthy of painting were those which reflected the “final truth”; the transience of human life and the inevitability of death. His early works, ranged under the name of “Blue Period” (1901-1904), consist in blue-tinted paintings influenced by a trip through Spain and the death of his friend, Casagemas. Even though Picasso himself repeatedly insisted on the inner, subjective nature of the Blue Period, its genesis and, especially, the monochromatic blue were for many years explained as merely the results of various aesthetic influences. Between 1905 and 1907, Picasso entered a new phase, called “Rose Period” characterised by a more cheerful style with orange and pink colours. In Gosol, in the summer of 1906 the nude female form assumed an extraordinary importance for Picasso; he equated a depersonalised, aboriginal, simple nakedness with the concept of “woman”. The importance that female nudes were to assume as subjects for Picasso in the next few months (in the winter and spring of 1907) came when he developed the composition of the large painting, Les Demoiselles d’Avignon. Just as African art is usually considered the factor leading to the development of Picasso’s classic aesthetics in 1907, the lessons of C?zanne are perceived as the cornerstone of this new progression. This relates, first of all, to a spatial conception of the canvas as a composed entity, subjected to a certain constructive system. Georges Braque, with whom Picasso became friends in the autumn of 1908 and together with whom he led Cubism during the six years of its apogee, was amazed by the similarity of Picasso’s pictorial experiments to his own. He explained that: “Cubism’s main direction was the materialisation of space.” After his Cubist period, in the 1920s, Picasso returned to a more figurative style and got closer to the surrealist movement. He represented distorted and monstrous bodies but in a very personal style. After the bombing of Guernica during 1937, Picasso made one of his most famous works which starkly symbolises the horrors of that war and, indeed, all wars. In the 1960s, his art changed again and Picasso began looking at the art of great masters and based his paintings on ones by Vel?zquez, Poussin, Goya, Manet, Courbet and Delacroix. Picasso’s final works were a mixture of style, becoming more colourful, expressive and optimistic. Picasso died in 1973, in his villa in Mougins. The Russian Symbolist Georgy Chulkov wrote: “Picasso’s death is tragic. Yet how blind and na?ve are those who believe in imitating Picasso and learning from him. Learning what? For these forms have no corresponding emotions outside of Hell. But to be in Hell means to anticipate death. The Cubists are hardly privy to such unlimited knowledge”....


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RembrandtRembrandt
Klaus Carl
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Rembrandt is completely mysterious in his spirit, his character, his life, his work and his method of painting. What we can divine of his essential nature comes through his painting and the trivial or tragic incidents of his unfortunate life; his penchant for ostentatious living forced him to declare bankruptcy. His misfortunes are not entirely explicable, and his oeuvre reflects disturbing notions and contradictory impulses emerging from the depths of his being, like the light and shade of his pictures. In spite of this, nothing perhaps in the history of art gives a more profound impression of unity than his paintings, composed though they are of such different elements, full of complex significations. One feels as if his intellect, that genial, great, free mind, bold and ignorant of all servitude and which led him to the loftiest meditations and the most sublime reveries, derived from the same source as his emotions. From this comes the tragic element he imprinted on everything he painted, irrespective of subject; there was inequality in his work as well as the sublime, which may be seen as the inevitable consequence of such a tumultuous existence. It seems as though this singular, strange, attractive and almost enigmatic personality was slow in developing, or at least in attaining its complete expansion. Rembrandt showed talent and an original vision of the world early, as evidenced in his youthful etchings and his first self-portraits of about 1630. In painting, however, he did not immediately find the method he needed to express the still incomprehensible things he had to say, that audacious, broad and personal method which we admire in the masterpieces of his maturity and old age. In spite of its subtlety, it was adjudged brutal in his day and certainly contributed to alienate his public. From the time of his beginnings and of his successes, however, lighting played a major part in his conception of painting and he made it the principal instrument of his investigations into the arcana of interior life. It already revealed to him the poetry of human physiognomy when he painted The Philosopher in Meditation or the Holy Family, so deliciously absorbed in its modest intimacy, or, for example, in The Angel Raphael leaving Tobias. Soon he asked for something more. The Night Watch marks at once the apotheosis of his reputation. He had a universal curiosity and he lived, meditated, dreamed and painted thrown back on himself. He thought of the great Venetians, borrowing their subjects and making of them an art out of the inner life of profound emotion. Mythological and religious subjects were treated as he treated his portraits. For all that he took from reality and even from the works of others, he transmuted it instantly into his own substance....


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RenoirRenoir
Nathalia Brodskaya
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Pierre-Auguste Renoir was born in Limoges on 25 February 1841. In 1854, the boy’s parents took him from school and found a place for him in the L?vy brothers’ workshop, where he was to learn to paint porcelain. Renoir’s younger brother Edmond had this to say this about the move: “From what he drew in charcoal on the walls, they concluded that he had the ability for an artist’s profession. That was how our parents came to put him to learn the trade of porcelain painter.” One of the L?vys’ workers, Emile Laporte, painted in oils in his spare time. He suggested Renoir makes use of his canvases and paints. This offer resulted in the appearance of the first painting by the future impressionist. In 1862 Renoir passed the examinations and entered the Ecole des Beaux-Arts and, simultaneously, one of the independent studios, where instruction was given by Charles Gleyre, a professor at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts. The second, perhaps even the first, great event of this period in Renoir’s life was his meeting, in Gleyre’s studio, with those who were to become his best friends for the rest of his days and who shared his ideas about art. Much later, when he was already a mature artist, Renoir had the opportunity to see works by Rembrandt in Holland, Vel?zquez, Goya and El Greco in Spain, and Raphael in Italy. However, Renoir lived and breathed ideas of a new kind of art. He always found his inspirations in the Louvre. “For me, in the Gleyre era, the Louvre was Delacroix,” he confessed to Jean. For Renoir, the First Impressionist Exhibition was the moment his vision of art and the artist was affirmed. This period in Renoir’s life was marked by one further significant event. In 1873 he moved to Montmartre, to the house at 35 Rue Saint-Georges, where he lived until 1884. Renoir remained loyal to Montmartre for the rest of his life. Here he found his “plein-air” subjects, his models and even his family. It was in the 1870s that Renoir acquired the friends who would stay with him for the remainder of his days. One of them was the art-dealer Paul Durand-Ruel, who began to buy his paintings in 1872. In summer, Renoir continued to paint a great deal outdoors together with Monet. He would travel out to Argenteuil, where Monet rented a house for his family. Edouard Manet sometimes worked with them too. In 1877, at the Third Impressionist Exhibition, Renoir presented a panorama of over twenty paintings. They included landscapes created in Paris, on the Seine, outside the city and in Claude Monet’s garden; studies of women’s heads and bouquets of flowers; portraits of Sisley, the actress Jeanne Samary, the writer Alphonse Daudet and the politician Spuller; and also The Swing and The Ball at the Moulin de la Galette. Finally, in the 1880s Renoir hit a “winning streak”. He was commissioned by rich financiers, the owner of the Grands Magasins du Louvre and Senator Goujon. His paintings were exhibited in London and Brussels, as well as at the Seventh International Exhibition held at Georges Petit’s in Paris in 1886. In a letter to Durand-Ruel, then in New York, Renoir wrote: “The Petit exhibition has opened and is not doing badly, so they say. After all, it’s so hard to judge about yourself. I think I have managed to take a step forward towards public respect. A small step, but even that is something.”...


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RubensRubens
Jp. A. Calosse
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The eclectic art of which the Carracci family dreamed was realised by Rubens with the ease of genius. However, the problem was much more complicated for a man of the north, who wished to add to it a fusion of the Flemish and Latin spirits, of which the rather pedantic attempts of Romanism had illustrated the difficulties. He achieved it without losing anything of his overflowing personality, his questing imagination, and the enchanting discoveries of the greatest colourist known to painting. Rubens, the greatest master of Baroque painting’s exuberance, took from the Italian Renaissance what could be of use to him, and then built upon it a style of his own. It is distinguished by a wonderful mastery of the human form and an amazing wealth of splendidly lighted colour. He was a man of much intellectual poise and was accustomed to court life, travelling from court to court, with pomp, as a trusted envoy. Rubens was one of those rare mortals who do real honour to humanity. He was handsome, good and generous, and he loved virtue. His laborious life was well ordered. The creator of so many delightful pagan feasts went each morning to mass before proceeding to his studio. He was the most illustrious type of happy and perfectly balanced genius, and combined in his personage passion and science, ardour and reflection. Rubens expressed drama as well as joy, since nothing human was foreign to him, and he could command at will the pathos of colour and expression which he required in his religious masterpieces. It might be said that he was as prolific in the representation of the joy and exuberance of life as Michelangelo was in the representation of passionate emotions....


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Van GoghVan Gogh
Jp. A. Calosse
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Vincent van Gogh’s life and work are so intertwined that it is hardly possible to observe one without thinking of the other. Van Gogh has indeed become the incarnation of the suffering, misunderstood martyr of modern art, the emblem of the artist as an outsider. An article, published in 1890, gave details about van Gogh’s illness. The author of the article saw the painter as “a terrible and demented genius, often sublime, sometimes grotesque, always at the brink of the pathological.” Very little is known about Vincent’s childhood. At the age of eleven he had to leave “the human nest”, as he called it himself, for various boarding schools. The first portrait shows us van Gogh as an earnest nineteen year old. At that time he had already been at work for three years in The Hague and, later, in London in the gallery Goupil & Co. In 1874 his love for Ursula Loyer ended in disaster and a year later he was transferred to Paris, against his will. After a particularly heated argument during Christmas holidays in 1881, his father, a pastor, ordered Vincent to leave. With this final break, he abandoned his family name and signed his canvases simply “Vincent”. He left for Paris and never returned to Holland. In Paris he came to know Paul Gauguin, whose paintings he greatly admired. The self-portrait was the main subject of Vincent’s work from 1886c88. In February 1888 Vincent left Paris for Arles and tried to persuade Gauguin to join him. The months of waiting for Gauguin were the most productive time in van Gogh’s life. He wanted to show his friend as many pictures as possible and decorate the Yellow House. But Gauguin did not share his views on art and finally returned to Paris. On 7 January, 1889, fourteen days after his famous self-mutilation, Vincent left the hospital where he was convalescing. Although he hoped to recover from and to forget his madness, but he actually came back twice more in the same year. During his last stay in hospital, Vincent painted landscapes in which he recreated the world of his childhood. It is said that Vincent van Gogh shot himself in the side in a field but decided to return to the inn and went to bed. The landlord informed Dr Gachet and his brother Theo, who described the last moments of his life which ended on 29 July, 1890: “I wanted to die. While I was sitting next to him promising that we would try to heal him. […], he answered, ‘La tristesse durera toujours (The sadness will last forever).’”...


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BoschBosch
Virginia Pitts Rembert
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Hieronymus Bosch was painting frightening, yet vaguely likable monsters long before computer games were ever invented, often including a touch of humour. His works are assertive statements about the mental illness that befalls any man who abandons the teachings of Christ. With a life that spanned from 1450 to 1516, Bosch experienced the drama of the highly charged Renaissance and its wars of religion. Medieval tradition and values were crumbling, paving the way to thrust man into a new universe where faith lost some of its power and much of its magic. Bosch set out to warn doubters of the perils awaiting any and all who lost their faith in God. His favourite allegories were heaven, hell, and lust. He believed that everyone had to choose between one of two options: heaven or hell. Bosch brilliantly exploited the symbolism of a wide range of fruits and plants to lend sexual overtones to his themes, which author Virginia Pitts Rembert meticulously deciphers to provide readers with new insight into this fascinating artist and his works....


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DegasDegas
Nathalia Brodskaya
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Degas was closest to Renoir in the impressionist’s circle, for both favoured the animated Parisian life of their day as a motif in their paintings. Degas did not attend Gleyre’s studio; most likely he first met the future impressionists at the Caf? Guerbois. He started his apprenticeship in 1853 at the studio of Louis-Ernest Barrias and, beginning in 1854, studied under Louis Lamothe, who revered Ingres above all others, and transmitted his adoration for this master to Edgar Degas. Starting in 1854 Degas travelled frequently to Italy: first to Naples, where he made the acquaintance of his numerous cousins, and then to Rome and Florence, where he copied tirelessly from the Old Masters. His drawings and sketches already revealed very clear preferences: Raphael, Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, and Mantegna, but also Benozzo Gozzoli, Ghirlandaio, Titian, Fra Angelico, Uccello, and Botticelli. During the 1860s and 1870s he became a painter of racecourses, horses and jockeys. His fabulous painter’s memory retained the particularities of movement of horses wherever he saw them. After his first rather complex compositions depicting racecourses, Degas learned the art of translating the nobility and elegance of horses, their nervous movements, and the formal beauty of their musculature. Around the middle of the 1860s Degas made yet another discovery. In 1866 he painted his first composition with ballet as a subject, Mademoiselle Fiocre dans le ballet de la Source (Mademoiselle Fiocre in the Ballet ‘The Spring’) (New York, Brooklyn Museum). Degas had always been a devotee of the theatre, but from now on it would become more and more the focus of his art. Degas’ first painting devoted solely to the ballet was Le Foyer de la danse ? l’Op?ra de la rue Le Peletier (The Dancing Anteroom at the Opera on Rue Le Peletier) (Paris, Mus?e d’Orsay). In a carefully constructed composition, with groups of figures balancing one another to the left and the right, each ballet dancer is involved in her own activity, each one is moving in a separate manner from the others. Extended observation and an immense number of sketches were essential to executing such a task. This is why Degas moved from the theatre on to the rehearsal halls, where the dancers practised and took their lessons. This was how Degas arrived at the second sphere of that immediate, everyday life that was to interest him. The ballet would remain his passion until the end of his days....


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GoyaGoya
Victoria Charles
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Goya is perhaps the most approachable of painters. His art, like his life, is an open book. He concealed nothing from his contemporaries, and offered his art to them with the same frankness. The entrance to his world is not barricaded with technical difficulties. He proved that if a man has the capacity to live and multiply his experiences, to fight and work, he can produce great art without classical decorum and traditional respectability. He was born in 1746, in Fuendetodos, a small mountain village of a hundred inhabitants. As a child he worked in the fields with his two brothers and his sister until his talent for drawing put an end to his misery. At fourteen, supported by a wealthy patron, he went to Saragossa to study with a court painter and later, when he was nineteen, on to Madrid. Up to his thirty-seventh year, if we leave out of account the tapestry cartoons of unheralded decorative quality and five small pictures, Goya painted nothing of any significance, but once in control of his refractory powers, he produced masterpieces with the speed of Rubens. His court appointment was followed by a decade of incessant activity – years of painting and scandal, with intervals of bad health. Goya’s etchings demonstrate a draughtsmanship of the first rank. In paint, like Vel?zquez, he is more or less dependent on the model, but not in the detached fashion of the expert in still-life. If a woman was ugly, he made her a despicable horror; if she was alluring, he dramatised her charm. He preferred to finish his portraits at one sitting and was a tyrant with his models. Like Vel?zquez, he concentrated on faces, but he drew his heads cunningly, and constructed them out of tones of transparent greys. Monstrous forms inhabit his black-and-white world: these are his most profoundly deliberated productions. His fantastic figures, as he called them, fill us with a sense of ignoble joy, aggravate our devilish instincts and delight us with the uncharitable ecstasies of destruction. His genius attained its highest point in his etchings on the horrors of war. When placed beside the work of Goya, other pictures of war pale into sentimental studies of cruelty. He avoided the scattered action of the battlefield, and confined himself to isolated scenes of butchery. Nowhere else did he display such mastery of form and movement, such dramatic gestures and appalling effects of light and darkness. In all directions Goya renewed and innovated....


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KlimtKlimt
Patrick Bade
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“I am not interested in myself as a subject for painting, but in others, particularly women…”Beautiful, sensuous and above all erotic, Gustav Klimt’s paintings speak of a world of opulence and leisure, which seems aeons away from the harsh, post-modern environment we live in now. The subjects he treats – allegories, portraits, landscapes and erotic figures – contain virtually no reference to external events, but strive rather to create a world where beauty, above everything else, is dominant. His use of colour and pattern was profoundly influenced by the art of Japan, ancient Egypt, and Byzantium. Ravenne, the flat, two-dimensional perspective of his paintings, and the frequently stylised quality of his images form an oeuvre imbued with a profound sensuality and one where the figure of woman, above all, reigns supreme. Klimt’s very first works brought him success at an unusually young age. Gustav, born in 1862, obtained a state grant to study at Kunstgewerbeschule (the Vienna School of Arts and Crafts) at the age of fourteen. His talents as a draughtsman and painter were quickly noticed, and in 1879 he formed the K?nstlercompagnie (Artists’ Company) with his brother Ernst and another student, Franz Matsch. The latter part of the nineteenth century was a period of great architectural activity in Vienna. In 1857, the Emperor Franz Joseph had ordered the destruction of the fortifications that had surrounded the medieval city centre. The Ringstrasse was the result, a budding new district with magnificent buildings and beautiful parks, all paid for by public expenses. Therefore the young Klimt and his partners had ample opportunities to show off their talents, and they received early commissions to contribute to the decorations for the pageant organised to celebrate the silver wedding anniversary of the Emperor Franz Joseph and the Empress Elisabeth. In 1894, Matsch moved out of their communal studio, and in 1897 Klimt, together with his closest friends, resigned from the K?nstlerhausgenossenschaft (the Cooperative Society of Austrian Artists) to form a new movement known as the Secession, of which he was immediately elected president. The Secession was a great success, holding both a first and second exhibition in 1898. The movement made enough money to commission its very own building, designed for it by the architect Joseph Maria Olbrich. Above the entrance was its motto: “To each age its art, to art its freedom.” From around 1897 onward, Klimt spent almost every summer on the Attersee with the Fl?ge family. These were periods of peace and tranquillity in which he produced the landscape paintings constituting almost a quarter of his entire oeuvre. Klimt made sketches for virtually everything he did. Sometimes there were over a hundred drawings for one painting, each showing a different detail – a piece of clothing or jewellery, or a simple gesture. Just how exceptional Gustav Klimt was is perhaps reflected in the fact that he had no predecessors and no real followers. He admired Rodin and Whistler without slavishly copying them, and was admired in turn by the younger Viennese painters Egon Schiele and Oskar Kokoschka, both of whom were greatly influenced by Klimt....


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ModiglianiModigliani
Victoria Charles
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Modigliani (1884-1920) was a painter of great unhappiness in his native Italy and felt only sorrow in his adopted country of France. Out of this discontent came forth Modigliani’s original work, which was influenced by African art, the Cubists, and drunken nights in Montparnasse. His portrayal of women—sensual bodies, almost aggressive nudity, and mysterious faces—expresses their suffering and feelings of being unloved and unjustly disregarded. Modigliani died at the age of 36....


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MondrianMondrian
Jp. A. Calosse
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Piet Mondrian (1872-1944), who can be assigned to the school of classical modernism, was born in Amersfort, Netherlands. After studying in Amsterdam, he started his artist?s career in the impressionist style as a figure and landscape painter. His works from these years showed the influence of Vincent Van Gogh (1853-1890) and of Fauvism, a French school from the beginning of the 20th century. When he traveled to Paris in 1911, he discovered Pablo Picasso?s works (1881-1973) and, with that, Cubism. He thereafter became a pioneer of abstract painting in the Netherlands. From the 1920s on, his paintings show a vertical and horizontal composition that, combined with the oppositions of blue, yellow, red, and noncolored spaces, turned into his trademark. His art was very appreciated in New York, where he spent his last years. Mondrian was not only a painter but also an art theoretician and cofounder of the art school De Stijl....


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RodinRodin
Rainer Maria Rilke
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Influenced by the masters of Antiquity, the genius of Michelangelo and Baroque sculpture, particularly of Bernini, Auguste Rodin (1840-1917) is one of the most renowned artists in history. Though Rodin is considered a founder of modern sculpture, he did not set out to critique past classical traditions. Many of his sculptures were criticised and considered controversial because of their sensuality or hyperrealist qualities. His most original works departed from traditional themes of mythology and allegory, and embraced the human body, celebrating individualism and physicality. This book uncovers the life and career of this highly acclaimed artist by exploring his most famous works of art, such as the Gates of Hell, The Thinker and the infamous The Kiss....


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SchieleSchiele
Stephanie Angoh
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Egon Schiele’s work is so distinctive that it resists categorisation. Admitted to the Vienna Academy of Fine Arts at just sixteen, he was an extraordinarily precocious artist, whose consummate skill in the manipulation of line, above all, lent a taut expressivity to all his work. Profoundly convinced of his own significance as an artist, Schiele achieved more in his abruptly curtailed youth than many other artists achieved in a full lifetime. His roots were in the Jugendstil of the Viennese Secession movement. Like a whole generation, he came under the overwhelming influence of Vienna’s most charismatic and celebrated artist, Gustav Klimt. In turn, Klimt recognised Schiele’s outstanding talent and supported the young artist, who within just a couple of years, was already breaking away from his mentor’s decorative sensuality. Beginning with an intense period of creativity around 1910, Schiele embarked on an unflinching expos? of the human form – not the least his own – so penetrating that it is clear he was examining an anatomy more psychological, spiritual and emotional than physical. He painted many townscapes, landscapes, formal portraits and allegorical subjects, but it was his extremely candid works on paper, which are sometimes overtly erotic, together with his penchant for using under-age models that made Schiele vulnerable to censorious morality. In 1912, he was imprisoned on suspicion of a series of offences including kidnapping, rape and public immorality. The most serious charges (all but that of public immorality) were dropped, but Schiele spent around three despairing weeks in prison. Expressionist circles in Germany gave a lukewarm reception to Schiele’s work. His compatriot, Kokoschka, fared much better there. While he admired the Munich artists of Der Blaue Reiter, for example, they rebuffed him. Later, during the First World War, his work became better known and in 1916 he was featured in an issue of the left-wing, Berlin-based Expressionist magazine Die Aktion. Schiele was an acquired taste. From an early stage he was regarded as a genius. This won him the support of a small group of long-suffering collectors and admirers but, nonetheless, for several years of his life his finances were precarious. He was often in debt and sometimes he was forced to use cheap materials, painting on brown wrapping paper or cardboard instead of artists’ paper or canvas. It was only in 1918 that he enjoyed his first substantial public success in Vienna. Tragically, a short time later, he and his wife Edith were struck down by the massive influenza epidemic of 1918 that had just killed Klimt and millions of other victims, and they died within days of one another. Schiele was just twenty-eight years old....


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Toulouse-LautrecToulouse-Lautrec
Nathalia Brodskaya
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Lautrec studied with two of the most admired academic painters of the day, L?on Bonnat and Fernand Cormon. Lautrec’s time in the studios of Bonnat and Cormon had the advantage of introducing him to the nude as a subject. At that time life-drawing of the nude was the basis of all academic art training in nineteenth-century Paris. While still a student, Lautrec began to explore Parisian nightlife, which was to provide him with his greatest inspiration, and eventually undermined his health. Lautrec was an artist able to stamp his vision of the age in which he lived upon the imagination of future generations. Just as we see the English court of Charles I through the eyes of van Dyck and the Paris of Louis-Philippe through the eyes of Daumier, so we see the Paris of the 1890s and its most colourful personalities, through the eyes of Lautrec. The first great personality of Parisian nightlife whom Lautrec encountered – and a man who was to play an important role in helping Lautrec develop his artistic vision – was the cabaret singer Aristide Bruant. Bruant stood out as an heroic figure in what was the golden age of Parisian cabaret. Among the many other performers inspiring Lautrec in the 1890s were the dancers La Goulue and Valentin-le-Desoss? (who both appear in the famous Moulin Rouge poster), and Jane Avril and Lo?e Fuller, the singers Yvette Guilbert, May Belfort and Marcelle Lender, and the actress R?jane. Lautrec was, along with Degas, one of the great poets of the brothel. Degas explored the theme in the late 1870s in a series of monotype prints that are among his most remarkable and personal works. He depicts the somewhat ungainly posturing of the prostitutes and their clients with human warmth and a satirical humour that brings these prints closer to the art of Lautrec than anything else by Degas. However, the truthfulness with which Lautrec portrayed those aspects of life that most of his more respectable contemporaries preferred to sweep under the carpet naturally caused offence. The German critic Gensel probably spoke for many when he wrote: “There can of course be no talk of admiration for someone who is the master of the representation of all that is base and perverse. The only explanation as to how such filth – there can be no milder term for it – as Elles can be publicly exhibited without an outcry of indignations being heard is that one half of the general public does not understand the meaning of this cycle at all, and the other is ashamed of admitting that it does understand it.”...


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TurnerTurner
Stephanie Angoh
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At fifteen, Turner was already exhibiting View of Lambeth. He soon acquired the reputation of an immensely clever watercolourist. A disciple of Girtin and Cozens, he showed in his choice and presentation of theme a picturesque imagination which seemed to mark him out for a brilliant career as an illustrator. He travelled, first in his native land and then on several occasions in France, the Rhine Valley, Switzerland and Italy. He soon began to look beyond illustration. However, even in works in which we are tempted to see only picturesque imagination, there appears his dominant and guiding ideal of lyric landscape. His choice of a single master from the past is an eloquent witness for he studied profoundly such canvases of Claude as he could find in England, copying and imitating them with a marvellous degree of perfection. His cult for the great painter never failed. He desired his Sun Rising through Vapour and Dido Building Carthage to be placed in the National Gallery side by side with two of Claude’s masterpieces. And, there, we may still see them and judge how legitimate was this proud and splendid homage. It was only in 1819 that Turner went to Italy, to go again in 1829 and 1840. Certainly Turner experienced emotions and found subjects for reverie which he later translated in terms of his own genius into symphonies of light and colour. Ardour is tempered with melancholy, as shadow strives with light. Melancholy, even as it appears in the enigmatic and profound creation of Albrecht D?rer, finds no home in Turner’s protean fairyland – what place could it have in a cosmic dream? Humanity does not appear there, except perhaps as stage characters at whom we hardly glance. Turner’s pictures fascinate us and yet we think of nothing precise, nothing human, only unforgettable colours and phantoms that lay hold on our imaginations. Humanity really only inspires him when linked with the idea of death – a strange death, more a lyrical dissolution – like the finale of an opera....


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WhistlerWhistler
Jp. A. Calosse
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Whistler suddenly shot to fame like a meteor at a crucial moment in the history of art, a field in which he was a pioneer. Like the impressionists, with whom he sided, he wanted to impose his own ideas. Whistler’s work can be divided into four periods. The first may be called a period of research in which he was influenced by the Realism of Gustave Courbet and by Japanese art. Whistler then discovered his own originality in the Nocturnes and the Cremorne Gardens series, thereby coming into conflict with the academics who wanted a work of art to tell a story. When he painted the portrait of his mother, Whistler entitled it Arrangement in Grey and Black and this is symbolic of his aesthetic theories. When painting the Cremorne Pleasure Gardens it was not to depict identifiable figures, as did Renoir in his work on similar themes, but to capture an atmosphere. He loved the mists that hovered over the banks of the Thames, the pale light, and the factory chimneys which at night turned into magical minarets. Night redrew landscapes, effacing the details. This was the period in which he became an adventurer in art; his work, which verged on abstraction, shocked his contemporaries. The third period is dominated by the full-length portraits that brought him his fame. He was able to imbue this traditional genre with his profound originality. He tried to capture part of the souls of his models and placed the characters in their natural habitats. This gave his models a strange presence so that they seem about to walk out of the picture to physically encounter the viewer. By extracting the poetic substance from individuals he created portraits described as “mediums” by his contemporaries, and which were the inspiration for Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray. Towards the end of his life, the artist began painting landscapes and portraits in the classical tradition, strongly influenced by Vel?zquez. Whistler proved to be extremely rigorous in ensuring his paintings coincided with his theories. He never hesitated in crossing swords with the most famous art theoreticians of his day. His personality, his outbursts, and his elegance were a perfect focus for curiosity and admiration. He was a close friend of St?phane Mallarm?, and admired by Marcel Proust, who rendered homage to him in A La Recherche du Temps Perdu. He was also a provocative dandy, a prickly socialite, a demanding artist, and a daring innovator....


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ConstableConstable
Victoria Charles
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John Constable was the first English landscape painter to take no lessons from the Dutch. He is rather indebted to the landscapes of Rubens, but his real model was Gainsborough, whose landscapes, with great trees planted in well-balanced masses on land sloping upwards towards the frame, have a rhythm often found in Rubens. Constable’s originality does not lie in his choice of subjects, which frequently repeated themes beloved by Gainsborough. Nevertheless, Constable seems to belong to a new century; he ushered in a new era. The difference in his approach results both from technique and feeling. Excepting the French, Constable was the first landscape painter to consider as a primary and essential task the sketch made direct from nature at a single sitting; an idea which contains in essence the destinies of modern landscape, and perhaps of most modern painting. It is this momentary impression of all things which will be the soul of the future work. Working at leisure upon the large canvas, an artist’s aim is to enrich and complete the sketch while retaining its pristine freshness. These are the two processes to which Constable devoted himself, while discovering the exuberant abundance of life in the simplest of country places. He had the palette of a creative colourist and a technique of vivid hatchings heralding that of the French impressionists. He audaciously and frankly introduced green into painting, the green of lush meadows, the green of summer foliage, all the greens which, until then, painters had refused to see except through bluish, yellow, or more often brown spectacles. Of the great landscape painters who occupied so important a place in nineteenth-century art, Corot was probably the only one to escape the influence of Constable. All the others are more or less direct descendants of the master of East Bergholt....


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KahloKahlo
Gerry Souter
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Behind Frida Kahlo’s portraits, lies the story of both her life and work. It is precisely this combination that draws the reader in. Frida’s work is a record of her life, and rarely can we learn so much about an artist from what she records inside the picture frame. Frida Kahlo truly is Mexico’s gift to the history of art. She was just eighteen years old when a terrible bus accident changed her life forever, leaving her handicapped and burdened with constant physical pain. But her explosive character, raw determination and hard work helped to shape her artistic talent. And although he was an obsessive womanizer, the great painter Diego Rivera was by her side. She won him over with her charm, talent and intelligence, and Kahlo learnt to lean on the success of her companion in order to explore the world, thus creating her own legacy whilst finding herself surrounded by a close-knit group of friends. Her personal life was turbulent, as she frequently left her relationship with Diego to one side whilst she cultivated her own bisexual relationships. Despite this, Frida and Diego managed to save their frayed relationship. The story and the paintings that Frida left us display a courageous account of a woman constantly on a search of self discovery....


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MuchaMucha
Patrick Bade
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Born in 1860 in a small Czech town, Alphonse Mucha (1860-1939) was an artist on the forefront of Art Nouveau, the modernist movement that swept Paris in the 1910s, marking a return to the simplicity of natural forms, and changing the world of art and design forever. In fact, Art Nouveau was known to insiders as the “Mucha style” for the legions of imitators who adapted the master’s celebrated tableaux. Today, his distinctive depictions of lithe young women in classical dress have become a pop cultural touchstone, inspiring album covers, comic books, and everything in between. Patrick Bade and Victoria Charles offer readers an inspiring survey of Mucha’s career, illustrated with over one hundred lustrous images, from early Parisian advertisements and posters for Sandra Bernhardt, to the famous historical murals painted just before his death, at the age of 78, in 1939....


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O'KeeffeO'Keeffe
Gerry Souter
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In 1905 Georgia travelled to Chicago to study painting at the Art Institute of Chicago. In 1907 she enrolled at the Art Students’ League in New York City, where she studied with William Merritt Chase. During her time in New York she became familiar with the 291 Gallery owned by her future husband, photographer Alfred Stieglitz. In 1912, she and her sisters studied at university with Alon Bement, who employed a somewhat revolutionary method in art instruction originally conceived by Arthur Wesley Dow. In Bement’s class, the students did not mechanically copy nature, but instead were taught the principles of design using geometric shapes. They worked at exercises that included dividing a square, working within a circle and placing a rectangle around a drawing, then organising the composition by rearranging, adding or eliminating elements. It sounded dull and to most students it was. But Georgia found that these studies gave art its structure and helped her understand the basics of abstraction. During the 1920s O’Keeffe also produced a huge number of landscapes and botanical studies during annual trips to Lake George. With Stieglitz’s connections in the arts community of New York – from 1923 he organised an O’Keeffe exhibition annually – O’Keeffe’s work received a great deal of attention and commanded high prices. She, however, resented the sexual connotations people attached to her paintings, especially during the 1920s when Freudian theories became a form of what today might be termed “pop psychology”. The legacy she left behind is a unique vision that translates the complexity of nature into simple shapes for us to explore and make our own discoveries. She taught us there is poetry in nature and beauty in geometry. Georgia O’Keeffe’s long lifetime of work shows us new ways to see the world, from her eyes to ours....


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D?rerD?rer
Klaus Carl
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D?rer is the greatest of German artists and most representative of the German mind. He, like Leonardo, was a man of striking physical attractiveness, great charm of manner and conversation, and mental accomplishment, being well grounded in the sciences and mathematics of the day. His skill in draughtsmanship was extraordinary; D?rer is even more celebrated for his engravings on wood and copper than for his paintings. With both, the skill of his hand was at the service of the most minute observation and analytical research into the character and structure of form. D?rer, however, had not the feeling for abstract beauty and ideal grace that Leonardo possessed; but instead, a profound earnestness, a closer interest in humanity, and a more dramatic invention. D?rer was a great admirer of Luther; and in his own work is the equivalent of what was mighty in the Reformer. It is very serious and sincere; very human, and addressed the hearts and understanding of the masses. Nuremberg, his hometown, had become a great centre of printing and the chief distributor of books throughout Europe. Consequently, the art of engraving upon wood and copper, which may be called the pictorial branch of printing, was much encouraged. Of this opportunity D?rer took full advantage. The Renaissance in Germany was more a moral and intellectual than an artistic movement, partly due to northern conditions. The feeling for ideal grace and beauty is fostered by the study of the human form, and this had been flourishing predominantly in southern Europe. But Albrecht D?rer had a genius too powerful to be conquered. He remained profoundly Germanic in his stormy penchant for drama, as was his contemporary Mathias Gr?newald, a fantastic visionary and rebel against all Italian seductions. D?rer, in spite of all his tense energy, dominated conflicting passions by a sovereign and speculative intelligence comparable with that of Leonardo. He, too, was on the border of two worlds, that of the Gothic age and that of the modern age, and on the border of two arts, being an engraver and draughtsman rather than a painter....


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KleeKlee
Donald Wigal
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An emblematic figure of the early 20th century, Paul Klee participated in the expansive Avant-Garde movements in Germany and Switzerland. From the vibrant Blaue Reiter movement to Surrealism at the end of the 1930s and throughout his teaching years at the Bauhaus, he attempted to capture the organic and harmonic nature of painting by alluding to other artistic mediums such as poetry, literature, and, above all, music. While he collaborated with artists like August Macke and Alexej von Jawlensky, his most famous partnership was with the abstract expressionist, Wassily Kandinsky....


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Leonardo Da VinciLeonardo Da Vinci
Gabriel Seailles
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Leonardo’s early life was spent in Florence, his maturity in Milan, and the last three years of his life in France. Leonardo’s teacher was Verrocchio. First he was a goldsmith, then a painter and sculptor: as a painter, representative of the very scientific school of draughtsmanship; more famous as a sculptor, being the creator of the Colleoni statue at Venice, Leonardo was a man of striking physical attractiveness, great charm of manner and conversation, and mental accomplishment. He was well grounded in the sciences and mathematics of the day, as well as a gifted musician. His skill in draughtsmanship was extraordinary; shown by his numerous drawings as well as by his comparatively few paintings. His skill of hand is at the service of most minute observation and analytical research into the character and structure of form. Leonardo is the first in date of the great men who had the desire to create in a picture a kind of mystic unity brought about by the fusion of matter and spirit. Now that the Primitives had concluded their experiments, ceaselessly pursued during two centuries, by the conquest of the methods of painting, he was able to pronounce the words which served as a password to all later artists worthy of the name: painting is a spiritual thing, cosa mentale. He completed Florentine draughtsmanship in applying to modelling by light and shade, a sharp subtlety which his predecessors had used only to give greater precision to their contours. This marvellous draughtsmanship, this modelling and chiaroscuro he used not solely to paint the exterior appearance of the body but, as no one before him had done, to cast over it a reflection of the mystery of the inner life. In the Mona Lisa and his other masterpieces he even used landscape not merely as a more or less picturesque decoration, but as a sort of echo of that interior life and an element of a perfect harmony. Relying on the still quite novel laws of perspective this doctor of scholastic wisdom, who was at the same time an initiator of modern thought, substituted for the discursive manner of the Primitives the principle of concentration which is the basis of classical art. The picture is no longer presented to us as an almost fortuitous aggregate of details and episodes. It is an organism in which all the elements, lines and colours, shadows and lights, compose a subtle tracery converging on a spiritual, a sensuous centre. It was not with the external significance of objects, but with their inward and spiritual significance, that Leonardo was occupied....


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PissarroPissarro
Nathalia Brodskaya
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“Father Pissarro”, as his friends liked to call him, was the most restrained of the artists of the Impressionist movement. Perhaps it was his age, being older than his fellow artists Monet, Sisley, Bazille, and Renoir, or rather his maturity, which resulted in his works having such serene and sober subjects and compositions. A man of simple tastes, he enjoyed painting peasants going about their daily lives. However, Pissarro owes his belated fame to his urban landscapes, which he treated with the same passion he used to paint beautiful stormy skies and frost-whitened mornings....


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PollockPollock
Donald Wigal
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Born in 1912, in a small town in Wyoming, Jackson Pollock embodied the American dream as the country found itself confronted with the realities of a modern era replacing the fading nineteenth century. Pollock left home in search of fame and fortune in New York City. Thanks to the Federal Art Project he quickly won acclaim, and after the Second World War became the biggest art celebrity in America. For De Kooning, Pollock was the “icebreaker”. For Max Ernst and Masson, Pollock was a fellow member of the European Surrealist movement. And for Motherwell, Pollock was a legitimate candidate for the status of the Master of the American School. During the many upheavals in his life in Nez York in the 1950s and 60s, Pollock lost his bearings – success had simply come too fast and too easily. It was during this period that he turned to alcohol and disintegrated his marriage to Lee Krasner. His life ended like that of 50s film icon James Dean behind the wheel of his Oldsmobile, after a night of drinking....


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SisleySisley
Nathalia Brodskaya
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A painter of the Impressionist movement, Alfred Sisley was born on October 30th 1839 in Paris but was of British origin. He died on January 29th 1899 in Moret-sur-Loing. Growing up in a musical family, he chose to pursue painting rather than the field of business. In 1862 he enrolled in Gleyre’s studio where he encountered Renoir, Monet, and Bazille. The four friends left their master’s studio in March 1863 to work outdoors, setting their easels to paint the forest scenes of Fontainebleau. Sisley tirelessly chose the sky and water as subjects for his paintings, animated as they were by the changing reflections of light, for his landscapes of the regions surrounding Paris, Louveciennes, and Marly-le-Roi. This was in keeping with the painting styles of Constable, Bonington, and Turnet. Even if he had been influenced by Monet’s work at some point, Sisley drew away from his friend’s style due to his own desire for his work to follow the structure of forms. Sensitive to the changing seasons, he liked to portray spring with its blooming orchards, but it was the wintry and snowy countryside which Sisley was particularly attracted to. His reserved temperament preferred mystery and silence to the splendour of Renoir’s sunny landscapes....


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Burne-JonesBurne-Jones
Patrick Bade
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Burne-Jones’ oeuvre can be understood as an attempt to create in paint a world of perfect beauty, as far removed from the Birmingham of his youth as possible. At that time Birmingham was a byword for the dire effects of unregulated capitalism – a booming, industrial conglomeration of unimaginable ugliness and squalor. The two great French symbolist painters, Gustave Moreau and Pierre Puvis de Chavannes, immediately recognised Burne-Jones as an artistic fellow traveller. But, it is very unlikely that Burne-Jones would have accepted or even, perhaps, have understood the label of ‘symbolist’. Yet he seems to have been one of the most representative figures of the symbolist movement and of that pervasive mood termed “fin-de-siecle”. Burne-Jones is usually labelled as a Pre-Raphaelite. In fact he was never a member of the Brotherhood formed in 1848. Burne-Jones’ brand of Pre-Raphaelitism derives not from Hunt and Millais but from Dante Gabriel Rossetti. Burne-Jones’ work in the late 1850s is, moreover, closely based on Rossetti’s style. His feminine ideal is also taken from that of Rossetti, with abundant hair, prominent chins, columnar necks and androgynous bodies hidden by copious medieval gowns. The prominent chins remain a striking feature of both artists’ depictions of women. From the 1860s their ideal types diverge. As Rossetti’s women balloon into ever more fleshy opulence, Burne-Jones’ women become more virginal and ethereal to the point where, in some of the last pictures, the women look anorexic. In the early 1870s Burne-Jones painted several mythical or legendary pictures in which he seems to have been trying to exorcise the traumas of his celebrated affair with Mary Zambaco. No living British painter between Constable and Bacon enjoyed the kind of international acclaim that Burne-Jones was accorded in the early 1890s. This great reputation began to slip in the latter half of the decade, however, and it plummeted after 1900 with the triumph of Modernism. With hindsight we can see this flatness and the turning away from narrative as characteristic of early Modernism and the first hesitant steps towards Abstraction. It is not as odd at it seems that Kandinsky cited Rossetti and Burne-Jones as forerunners of Abstraction in his book, “Concerning the Spiritual in Art”....


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August MackeAugust Macke
Walter Cohen
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August Macke (1887-1914) was a master of German Expressionism, a movement which sprang up in the early 1900s with the intent to forego physical reality in search of its emotional counterpart, with a particular emphasis on expressing dark moods of tragedy and angst. Macke was a master of color and form, producing eye-catching canvases that evoke a strong sympathetic reaction in the viewer. He was equally at home portraying the sun drenched streets of Tunisia, the cloudy sky around the Bonn cathedral, and the faceless multitude of a crowded railway station. In this compelling text, Walter Cohen examines the brief life of an artist whose seemingly limitless potential was tragically cut short by his untimely death....


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ArcimboldoArcimboldo
Liana De Girolami Cheney
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If, as the famous saying goes, you really are what you eat, then Giuseppe Arcimboldo (1527-1593) was a consummate painter of the human soul. This artist was a master draftsman whose finely wrought canvases captured the imagination of his generation. In this fascinating book, Liana De Girolami Cheney takes a closer look at the critical history of Arcimboldo’s work, from his initial popularity and the tragic obscurity that followed his death, to the ventual triumphant revival of his work and vision by Surrealist admirers of the 1920s....


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Franz MarcFranz Marc
Klaus Carl
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Condemned by the Nazis as a degenerate artist, Franz Marc (1880-1916) was a German painter whose stark linearity and emotive use of color eloquently expressed the pain and trauma of war. In work such as his celebrated Fate of the Animals, Marc created a raw emotional expression of primitive violence which he called a premonition of the war which would eventually be the cause of his own untimely death at the age of 36....


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Van DyckVan Dyck
Natalia Gritsai
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From the time he set up his first studio at the tender age of sixteen, Sir Anthony Van Dyck (1599-1641) was a legend in the art world. Rubens, whom he studied with as a child, said that he was his most talented pupil, and he went on to spectacularly fulfill this promise with a career as a celebrated court painter in England and Spain. Historians, scholars, and art lovers alike continue to recognize the sophistication and timeless beauty of his works. In this fascinating compendium of Van Dyck’s decades-long career, Natalia Gritsai highlights the best of the artist’s many masterpieces....


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The Origin of the WorldThe Origin of the World
Jp. A. Calosse
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Lacan, the last owner of Courbet’s The Origin of the World, loved the painting so much that he couldn’t even bring himself to look at it. Instead, he hid it behind a “safer” painting. The Chinese called it the “valley of the roses” (watch out for the thorns!), the Persians, the “honey-pot” (watch out for the bees!), and the Greeks, “the mound of Venus” (mind the steep climb!); to each era its fantasies and its theories about the feminine mystique. Then there are the testimonies of poets, painters, and even of some famous psychiatrists. The Origin of the World is a work of art only suitable for lovers of intrigue....


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Paul SignacPaul Signac
Victoria Charles
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Inspired by Monet’s work at a young age, Paul Signac (1863-1935) was a friend and disciple of Georges Seurat who combined the scientific precision of pointillism with the vivid colors and emotional expressivity of Impressionism. A close personal friend of Vincent van Gogh, who was a great admirer of his techniques, Signac traveled the world in search of inspiration for his monumental canvases. This book examines the intricacies of Signac’s celebrated technique, as well as showcasing the details of some of his most celebrated works....


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SeuratSeurat
Klaus H. Carl
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Universally celebrated for the intricacy of his pointillist canvases, Georges Seurat (1859-1891) was a painter whose stunning union of art and science produced uniquely compelling results. Seurat’s intricate paintings could take years to complete, with the magnificent results impressing the viewer with both their scientific complexity and visual impact. His Un Dimanche Apr?s-Midi ? l’?le de la Grande Jatte (Sunday Afternoon on the Island of Grand Jatte) has held its place among the most treasured and distinguished pieces of 20th-century art. Klaus H. Carl offers readers an intriguing glimpse into the detailed scientific technique behind Seurat’s pointillist masterpieces....


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