BIRTH: 1881 CARRÀ
Died on 11 February 1921: William
Blake Richmond, English painter born in 1842 (or 1843?).
Richmond was born in London, the son of a painter and Academician. His father was a great admirer of William Blake, the visionary, painter, and poet, hence naming his son in his honor. Richmond entered the RA Schools in 1858, where he was a contemporary and friend of Albert Moore.
He was an accomplished portraitist, and throughout his life he had a considerable output of portraits of ’the great and the good.’ Like many other serious minded Victorian artists, he was not comfortable with being ‘merely’ a portrait painter. He traveled to Italy, therefore, to study great works of the Old Masters. Richmond painted large scale classical pictures following this visit. These works show the influence of Lord Leighton, in their high degree of finish, and father static nature. He was elected a Royal Academician in 1895. He lived well into the 20th century, when his art was deeply unfashionable.
Richmond was born in London, the son of the painter George Richmond RA, a devotee of William Blake, who named his son after the artist. Richmond received a classical education, learning Latin and Greek, and also came under the instruction of John Ruskin, a friend of George Richmond. He entered the RA Schools in 1858 and was a keen student of drawing from the Antique. He was, however, dissatisfied with the teaching and left shortly afterwards. In 1859 he made his first visit to Italy, where he copied Giotto's frescoes in the Arena Chapel, Padua, and was influenced by the rich colors of Titian in Venice.
Richmond's first RA exhibit in 1861 was a portrait group of his brothers, and portraiture continued to be a major part of his work throughout his life. His sitters included Darwin, Holman Hunt, Gladstone and Browning. Richmond was determined, however, to paint not only portraits, and therefore decided to return to Italy for a few years and also visited Algiers in 1870. Richmond began to paint high art subjects on a monumental scale and was also commissioned to paint frescoes and design mosaics for the ceiling of Saint Paul's Cathedral, 1891-4. Visits to Greece in 1882 and 1883 resulted in several epic classical works such as Venus and Anchises (1890) which combined classical forms and swirling drapery with minute attention to the details of plants and flowers. He was elected ARA 1888 and RA 1895.
Sir William Blake Richmond, KCB RA, died on Friday 11 February 1921 at his home, Beavor Lodge, Hammersmith, aged 78. If heredity counts for anything in art, Sir William Richmond had every claim to be an artist, for not only was he the son of the distinguished portrait painter George Richmond RA [28 Mar 1809 19 Mar 1896], he was the grandson of Thomas Richmond, a prolific and successful miniature painter, whilst his grandmother was the daughter of George Engleheart [1750-1829], the contemporary and rival of Conway.
He was born in London in 1843 (or 1842?), and partly for reasons of health was educated privately; which as his parents were highly cultivated people and their house a center of artistic society, rather of the imaginative and even mystical type, meant that the boy was bred upon art and music. The household friends were men like Samuel Palmer and Edward Calvert, while over them all brooded the memory of William Blake, to walk with whom George Richmond used to say ‘was like walking with the Prophet Isaiah.
After the friend of his father William Blake Richmond was named. In early boyhood he had a passion for music, but before he was 14 he had turned to drawing and entered the RA Schools. At this date he was much influenced by the group of Pre-Raphaelites, men several years older than himself and already coming to the front Holman Hunt, Millais, and Burne-Jones and perhaps still more by their great literary advocate John Ruskin.
Partly stimulated by them, and partly by a first visit to Italy, he painted several pictures, chiefly illustrating poetical or classical legend, or Bible stories a class of work he preferred above all others, even when he had become, in the sixties and seventies, a favorite portrait painter.
The pictures at which he worked hardest, and into which he put most of himself shown to the end of the century were such as The Death of Ulysses, The Song of Miriam, and best of all An Audience at Athens during the performance of Agamenmon.
Several of the portraits are greatly admired, especially the Lady Hood, and the Andrew Long, and the beautiful Three Daughters of Dean Liddell, a work of about 1870. The picture of Long in particular is admirable, not only for its design and execution, but for its grasp of character.
Richmond had many sitters amongst eminent men; Gladstone sat to him twice; he painted Darwin and Browning; and, in 1887, he went to Berlin and painted Prince Bismarck.
At a later stage he was given the formidable commission to decorate Saint Paul’s Cathedral, and to this work for many years he gave his utmost energies. There were many who thought it a mistake to attempt such a colossal undertaking, seeing that it is quite uncertain that Wren ever contemplated anything of the kind for his great church, and seeing that mosaic decoration has never taken root in England, but Richmond was courageous enough to make the effort, filled as he was with Italian memories and Italian ideas. The work so far as it has gone, has been as much attacked as praised.
Richmond’s solid reputation will rest rather on his portraits, often beautiful and always full of the truth of character, and upon some at least of his large ‘historical,’ or rather ideal pictures, of which The Audience at Athens has the most enduring merit.
Sir William Richmond, who had known and loved Assisi well since 1868, when he spent a summer in that city, published in 1919 Assisi Impressions of Half A Century. In this book recollections of blissful days with his paint-box among the kindly friars and genial farm folk, mingle with his discourse on the upper and lower churches, and the hills and valleys of the neighborhood. A number of his own sketches reproduced in color, illustrate many of his reminiscences.
Henry Dawson Greene (1862-1912) of Slyne and Whittington Hall [Child, Dog, Flowers] (76x122cm)
The Watchers (1876, 31x61cm) [three sleepy angels sitting around a mummified body]
Sleep and Death Carrying the Body of Sarpedon into Lycia (1876)
To two swift bearers give him then in charge / To Sleep and Death, twin brothers, in their arms / To bear him safe to Lycia's wide-spread plains: / There shall his brethren and his friends perform / His funeral rites, and mound and column raise, / The fitting tribute to the mighty dead.' (Homer, Iliad, XVI)
Electra at the Tomb of Agamemnon Date painted: 1877 _ Electra was the daughter of Agamemnon, king of Mycenae. Her name (which may once have meant 'fire' or spark') refers to amber.
Orpheus returning from the Shades (18850 _ This was Richmond's Diploma Work for the Royal Academy.
Joan of Arc
Venus and Anchises (1889) Also known as 'Athwart the Wintry Wilderness of Thorns'.
(The Reading Lesson) [A woman sits holding an open book on her lap. A girl at her left looks into the book. A girl at her right looks away]
The Bath of Venus (1891)
Born on 11 February 1881: Carlo
Dalmazzo Carrà, Italian Futurist
painter who died on 13 April 1966.
Nel 1895 Carrà si trasferisce a Milano. Nel 1905 segue i corsi della Scuola serale d’arte applicata al Castello Sforzesco; l’anno seguente può iscriversi all’Accademia di Brera. Con Boccioni e Russolo, nel 1910 Carrà incontra Marinetti, aderisce alle istanze del futurismo e firma il Manifesto dei pittori futuristi [English translation], seguito poco più tardi dal Manifesto tecnico [English translation]. Dipinge allora I Funerali dell’Anarchico Galli, uno dei simboli del neonato movimento: nel febbraio del ‘12 espone quest’opera, accanto ad altre notissime, alla Galleria Bernheim Jeune a Parigi, in una mostra itinerante futurista che approda poi a Londra, Berlino, Bruxelles, Amsterdam. Chiamato alle armi, nel 1917 approda a Ferrara, dove conosce Savinio [Andrea de Chirico], il suo fratello Giorgio De Chirico e Filippo De Pisis [11 May 18961956].
Nel 1919 Carrà torna nel capoluogo lombardo; avvia la collaborazione con Valori Plastici. Nel ‘21 scrive come critico d’arte su L’Ambrosiano. Nello stesso anno dipinge Il pino sul mare.
Nel 1922 partecipa per la prima volta alla Biennale di Venezia. Nel 1926 Carrà partecipa di nuovo alla Biennale, alla I Mostra del Novecento Italiano e ad una mostra alla Galleria Pesaro. Due anni dopo, alla XVI Biennale veneziana, ottiene una sala personale con 14 opere.
L’attività espositiva è molto intensa anche nel periodo successivo: nel ‘30 espone con Soffici alla Galleria Bardi di Milano; nel ‘31 allestisce una sala alla I Quadriennale Nazionale d’Arte romana, dove vince il 2° premio per la pittura.
Fra il 1933 e il ‘38 Carrà è chiamato a realizzare pitture murali per grandi edifici pubblici, dal Palazzo dell’Arte - in occasione appunto della V Triennale d’arte - al Palazzo di Giustizia di Milano. Nel 1935 espone 46 opere in una importante personale alla Galleria del Milione. Nel 1941 assume la cattedra di pittura all’Accademia di Brera.
Gli anni del dopoguerra sono dedicati anche alla pubblicazione di nuovi volumi critici. Nel 1948 Francesco Arcangeli cura una mostra antologica a Bologna. E’ vincitore del Gran Premio per un artista italiano alla Biennale di Venezia del 1950. Nel 1962 apre una grande mostra celebrativa della sua opera al Palazzo Reale di Milano.
The Horsemen of the Apocalypse (1908) Leaving the Theatre (1909) I Funerali dell’Anarchico Galli (1911, 198x266cm) Inverno sul lago
Died on 11 February 1879: Honoré
de Daumier, French illustrator born on 26 February 1808.
French caricaturist, painter, and sculptor. In his lifetime he was known chiefly as a political and social satirist, but since his death recognition of his qualities as a painter has grown.
In 1830, after learning the still fairly new process of lithography, he began to contribute political cartoons to the antigovernment weekly Caricature. He was an ardent Republican and was sentenced to six months' imprisonment in 1832 for his attacks on Louis-Philippe, whom he represented as Gargantua swallowing bags of gold extorted from the people. On the suppression of political satire in 1835 he began to work for Charivari and turned to satire of social life, but at the time of the 1848 revolution he returned to political subjects. He is said to have made more than 4000 lithographs, wishing each time that the one he had just made could be his last. In the last years of his life he was almost blind and was saved from destitution by Corot.
Daumier's paintings were probably done for the most part fairly late in his career. Although he was accepted four times by the Salon, he never exhibited his paintings otherwise and they remained practically unknown up to the time of an exhibition held at Durand-Ruel's gallery in 1878, the year of his death. The paintings are in the main a documentation of contemporary life and manners with satirical overtones, although he also did a number featuring Don Quixote as a larger-than-life hero. His technique was remarkably broad and free. As a sculptor he specialized in caricature heads and figures, and these too are in a very spontaneous style. In particular he created the memorable figure of Ratapoil, who embodied the sinister agents of the government of Louis-Philippe. A similar political type in his graphic art was Robert Macaire, who personified the unscrupulous profiteer and swindler. In the directness of his vision and the lack of sentimentality with which he depicts current social life Daumier belongs to the Realist school of which Courbet was the chief representative. As a caricaturist he stands head and shoulders above all others of the 19th-century. He had the gift of expressing the whole character of a man through physiognomy, and the essence of his satire lay in his power to interpret mental folly in terms of physical absurdity. Although he never made a commercial success of his art, he was appreciated by the discriminating and numbered among his friends and admirers Delacroix, Corot, Forain, and Baudelaire. Degas was among the artists who collected his works.
Prolific caricaturist, painter, lithographer and sculptor. Especially renowned for satirical cartoons and drawings of 19th-century French politics and society. His paintings, not widely known during his lifetime, helped introduce the techniques of Impressionism into modern art. The child of artists, received a typical lower middle-class education, but wanted to draw his studies did not interest him. Thus his family placed him with an old and fairly well-known artist, Alexandre Lenoir. Lenoir, student and friend of Jacques-Louis David, was more aesthetician than painter. He had a pronounced taste for Rubens, one of whose works he owned himself. A collector of sculpture, he had preserved the most beautiful medieval and contemporary sculptures from the Revolutionaries, which interested Daumier. At 13 Daumier to seek paid employment when his father suffered a mental breakdown. Honoré Daumier first served as a messenger boy for a bailiff and, through experience, acquired familiarity with the world of law courts He also worked as a bookseller's clerk at the Palais-Royal, one of the busiest spots in Paris. There Daumier saw, from his employer's window, all characters of the Comédie humaine whom he would later discuss with his friend Balzac: not only men and women of fashion, intellectuals, and artists, but also "captains of industry," or swindlers, as they were more often called all of whom lent themselves to caricature. In about 1825-28, Daumier decided to embark on the artistic career of which he had always dreamed. He was a young man of about 18 or 20, from a family of painters, had had an opportunity to admire Rubens, had learned to analyze sculpture, and finally had spent time observing the appearance and behavior of different classes of French society. Unable to earn a living from painting or sculpture, he accepted commissions for lithographs portraits and cartoons of "morals and manners" ("caricatures de moeurs").
Wagon de 3ème Classe (1858, 26x34cm) _ The Third-Class Carriage (1865, 65x90cm) _ The Third-class Carriage (1865, 65x90cm) _ Honoré Daumier was deeply interested in people, especially the underprivileged. In Third-class Carriage he shows us, with great compassion, a group of people on a train journey. We are especially concerned with one family group, the young mother tenderly holding her small child, the weary grandmother lost in her own thoughts, and the young boy fast asleep. The painting is done with simple power and economy of line. The hands, for example, are reduced to mere outlines but beautifully drawn. The bodies are as solid as clay, their bulk indicated by stressing the essential and avoiding the nonessential. These are not portraits of particular people but of mankind.
Pauvres moutons ah! vous avez beau faire Toujours on vous tondra
Au Château La Mission Haut Brion (color lithograph 23x24cm) bestial-faced wine drinker.
La cour du roi Pétaud (published in La Caricature, 23 August 1832, lithograph with watercolor additions 28x54cm)
538 prints at FAMSF