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ART “4” “2”-DAY  12 December
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^ Born on 12 December 1753: Sir William Beechey, British artist who died on 28 January 1839.
— Born in Burford, Oxfordshire, Beechey was trained for the law, moving from his first employer in Gloucestershire in the late 1760s to London. After meeting some students at the Royal Academy, he entered that school in 1774, exhibiting there from 1776 to 1839, one of the longest careers in the history of the academy. After some instruction from Johann Zoffany, well known for his conversation pieces, Beechey moved to Norwich in 1782 and set up a successful practice with the financial assistance of his patron, Dr. Strachey, a clergyman. Here he began to paint life-size portraits. He returned to London in 1787, entering into a professional rivalry with John Hoppner and Sir Thomas Lawrence. In 1793 Beechey was named painter to Queen Charlotte, wife of George III, who became a personal friend of the Beechey family and acted as godmother to one of their children. The artist was elected a full member of the Royal Academy in 1798, the same year he was knighted. Beechey's ability to achieve a conscientious but aristocratic likeness, probing subtly into the characters of his sitters, made him a favorite portraitist in Georgian society.
Master James Hatch as Marshall's Attendant at the Montern Eton (1796, 185x133cm) — Ichabod Wright (1810) — Harriet Maria Day
The Oddie Children (1789, 183x182cm _ This painting depicts Henry, Jane, Sara, and Catherine, the children of Henry Hoyle Oddie, a London lawyer who commissioned the portrait in 1789. At this time, Beechey was the foremost portraitist in Britain; four years later, he was appointed official painter to Queen Charlotte. Beautifully painted, The Oddie Children is also noteworthy for its composition. Beechey masterfully links the four children through their poses, yet accords each of them individual prominence by silhouetting the fair-haired children against dark backgrounds and the dark-haired daughter against the pale sky. Above all, one imagines that it was Beechey's ability to capture the innocence and charm of childhood that must have especially delighted his patron. [What would you call a pimple one of these children might develop? Oddie zit?]

^ Born on 12 December 1863: Edvard Munch, Norwegian Symbolist and Expressionist painter who died on 23 January 1944.
— Artist Biography: Printer, etcher. painter and printmaker. Intense, evocative treatment of psychological and emotional subjects was a major influence on the development of German Expressionism during the early 20th century. His painting The Scream (1893) is regarded as an icon of existential anguish.
— Munch was born in Loten, Norway. He grew up in Christiania (now Oslo) and studied art under Christian Krohg, a Norwegian naturalistic painter. Munch's parents, a brother, and a sister died while he was still young, which probably explains the bleakness and pessimism of much of his work. Paintings such as The Sick Child (1886), Vampire (1893-94), and Ashes (1894) show his preoccupation with the darker aspects of life. Munch traveled to Paris in 1885, and his work began to show the influence of French painters — first, the impressionists, and then the postimpressionists--as well as art nouveau design. Like many young artists Munch reacted against conventional behavior, and in 1892 he took part in a controversial exhibit in Berlin. His circle of friends included several writers, one of whom was the Norwegian playwright Henrik Ibsen. Munch designed the sets for several of Ibsen's plays. Between 1892 and 1908, Munch spent much of his time in Paris and Berlin, where he became known for his prints — etchings, lithographs, and woodcuts. After 1910 Munch returned to Norway, where he lived and painted until his death. In his later paintings Munch showed more interest in nature, and his work became more colorful and less pessimistic. Munch died in Ekely, near Oslo. He left many of his works to the city of Oslo, which built a museum in his honor.
— Edvard Munch was a Norwegian artist whose brooding and anguished paintings and graphic works, based on personal grief and obsessions, were instrumental in the development of expressionism. Born in Løten, Norway, Munch began painting at the age of 17 in Christiania (now Oslo). A state grant, awarded in 1885, enabled him to study briefly in Paris. For 20 years thereafter Munch worked chiefly in Paris and Berlin. At first influenced by impressionism and postimpressionism, he then turned to a highly personal style and content, increasingly concerned with images of illness and death. In 1892, in Berlin, an exhibition of his paintings so shocked the authorities that the show was closed. Undeterred, Munch and his sympathizers worked throughout the 1890s toward the development of German expressionist art. Perhaps the best known of all Munch's work is The Scream (1893). This, and the harrowing The Sick Child (1886), reflect Munch's childhood trauma, occasioned by the death of his mother and sister from tuberculosis. Melancholy suffuses paintings such as The Bridge -- in limp figures with featureless or hidden faces, over which loom the threatening shapes of heavy trees and brooding houses. Reflections of sexual anxieties are seen in his portrayals of women, alternately represented as frail, innocent sufferers or as lurid, life-devouring vampires.
      In 1908 Munch's anxiety became acute and he was hospitalized. He returned to Norway in 1909 and died in Oslo. The relative tranquillity of the rest of his life is reflected in his murals for the University of Oslo (1910-16), and in his vigorous, brightly colored landscapes. Although his later paintings are not as tortured as his earlier work, a return to introspection marks his late self-portraits, notably Between Clock and Bed (1940). Munch's considerable body of etchings, lithographs, and woodcuts is now considered a significant force in modern graphic art; the work is simple, direct, and vigorous in style, and powerful in subject matter. Few of Munch's paintings are found outside Norway. His own collection is housed in the Munch Museet.
— “Art,” wrote Edvard Munch, “is the antithesis of nature.” Munch's most famous paintings reflect his interior conflicts in intensely subjective images that are often morbid and disturbing. He spent most of his twenties in Paris and Berlin. Paul Gauguin's work particularly influenced him, demonstrating the possibilities of distilling intense emotions into universal experiences through simplified, sinuous forms and evocative blocks of pure color. By validating the concept of painting one's emotional response to a subject, Munch pointed the way for the development of German Expressionist painting. His most ambitious work, The Frieze of Life, begun in 1888, was never completed. He hoped to create a room for this series of paintings to deal with “the modern life of the soul,” but he ended up selling works individually and then making new versions of them.
      By 1900 Munch had created his most important works. In 1908 he suffered a nervous breakdown, after which his paintings changed. Instead of the revelation of private despair, he looked into the world for more optimistic and universal symbols. Munch's prints, which often shared subject matter with his paintings, may have been his most influential creations
Two Women on the Beach (1898)
The Kiss (1892, 73x92cm) _ This was painted in Nice in 1892, and the subject continued to absorb Munch throughout the 1890s. Nasjonalgalleriet's version, which is one of the earliest, is a more bashful scene than later ones. The young, embracing couple - the figure of Munch is easily recognisable - has moved away from the window. They hide from the outside world as they abandon themselves to their love. It is dark in the room; outside it is evening, with illuminated shop windows, and people strolling in the street. In later versions, Munch shows the couple naked in front of the window, demonstrating their right to free love, regardless of how society might judge them. In our picture, however, it happens in secret. The bluish coloring, thinly applied paint, and light yet visible strokes are characteristic of the pictures Munch painted during his stay in Nice. Already we see that he integrates the two figures into one large shape, dominated by the man's outline. He was to take this concept further in his famous woodcut, where he draws the couple as an unbroken contour, omitting all detail, and merges this line with the annual rings of the wood. Thus lovemaking becomes part of nature's eternal cycle. In this picture, Munch has developed an idea from an etching by Max Klinger entitled In the Park, one of the series A Love (1887). There too, the artist, easily recognisable, appears in the role of seducer. Munch admired Klinger's art, and had encountered his series of prints in the early 1880s.
Puberty (1895, 152x110cm) _ A young girl sits naked on the edge of a bed, her thighs pressed together and her hands hiding her nakedness. She stares straight ahead but without meeting an onlooker's eyes. She has experienced something, and her state is tense as a result, a fact underlined by the dark shadow unfurling behind her. Was it her first erotic dream? Her first menses? We do not know, nor is that crucial. What Munch depicts in this painting is sexual awakening, an awareness of something new, something frightening yet alluring and inescapable. Not surprisingly, a picture of such a subject was considered offensive at the time. Even nowadays when the topic is not taboo, the picture can shock the viewer with its frank portrayal of an intimate situation experienced by all young girls. For this work, too, Munch's inspiration came from Max Klinger's series of etchings A Love, from the plate entitled Awaken.
SpringThe Dead Mother (1900, 100x90cm)
Death in the Sick-Room (1893, 153x170cm) _ Munch's childhood memories of the death of his sister Sofie materialized into several well-known motifs. In this painting, the family has assembled at Sofie's deathbed. To facilitate her breathing, the patient is sitting in a high-backed chair, turned away from us. The artist wants to depict not the sick girl but the reaction of the other members of the family as they come face to face with death. There is no communication among the persons, each is locked in his own world. The father, who was a doctor, is shown full-face, his hands clasped in prayer. The aunt, Karen Bjølstad, is tending the sick girl. The group in the foreground includes Munch's two other sisters. Laura is sitting with her hands in her lap; Inger is standing, exactly as in the full-length portrait painted in 1892. Edvard is turned towards the dying girl, whereas the brother Peter Andreas is leaving the room by the door on the left. "I paint not what I see but what I saw", Munch said of his art. This is the picture of a memory, not a faithfully rendered interior, and so all unnecessary details are omitted. He and his sisters have grown to adulthood since the event took place, his father and brother are dead. The arrangement of figures becomes a symbol of numbing grief. Munch repeated the composition in several versions and in a number of lithographs.
—/ Despair
Melancholy (Evening) (1896, woodcut in color, printed from two blocks, each cut into two sections, 38x46cm) _ Munch’s first attempts at printmaking, of which this is an example, were made in Paris, a center of experimentation in printmaking methods. At first working in color lithography (which required extensive collaboration with a professional printer), Munch soon turned to woodcut, a technique that enabled him to prepare the block himself up to the moment of printing. In his woodcuts, the artist innovatively included the grain of the wood into his designs. He also developed a unique jigsaw-puzzle technique of sawing the wooden blocks into pieces, inking them individually, then reassembling and printing them as a single block. Composed of simplified shapes and curving, expressive line, this image, derived from his Frieze of Life paintings, universalizes human experience while depicting a specific subject — a friend, infatuated with an older woman, who mourns alone on a beach while his lover and her husband embark on a boat trip on a midsummer night. — 9 prints at FAMSF
The Sick Child, (1886, 120x118cm). _ Edvard Munch derived the subject-matter for many of his works from events in his own life. Love and death are central themes. The Sick Child evokes memories of his sister Sofie, who died of tuberculosis when Edvard was fourteen. The girl in the picture is a hired model. Propped up by a pillow, she is sitting in a chair, a pale hand on the blanket over her lap. To the right we see the aunt, her head bowed in grief. All attention is focused on the head of the young girl, seen in profile against the pillow. She gazes across the room, perhaps into eternity. Depictions of the ill and dying were not unusual in the art of his day, but Munch adds a new dimension to a current theme. In order to give expression to atmosphere and space, he applies thick layers of paint, and scores the surface with his palette knife. Naturalist that he is, he wants to convey the impression of his own eyelashes as he squints towards his sitters. This is the first of five versions of this painting; the latest dates from 1925. Several prints, too, varying in technique and composition, treat the same subject. [compare the same subject by Metsu, Hooch, Francisco]

Died on a 12 December:
1860 Hendrik Bakhuyzen (or Backhuyzen) van de Sande, Dutch artist born on 02 January 1795.
1793 Michel-Bruno Bellengé (or Bellangé), French artist born in 1726.
1787 Jean Valade, French artist born in 1709.
1694 Filippo Lauri, Italian artist born on 25 August 1623.

Born on a 12 December:
1905 Pierre Louis Corentin Jacob Tal-Coat, French artist who died in 1985. — Fils de marin-pêcheur, il commençe comme peintre céramiste chez Henriot à Quimper. Il change son nom véritable (Pierre Jacob) par le pseudonyme de Tal Coat, "front de bois" en breton. En 1932, il rejoint le groupe "Forces Nouvelles" et revient avec ses amis en Bretagne.
1874 Leonard Campbell Taylor, British artist who died in 1969.
1872 Heinrich Johann Vogeler, German artist who died in 1942.
1856 Henri Moret, French artist who died on 05 May 1913. — LINKS
1789 William Turner (of Oxford), British artist who died on 07 August 1862. — Relative? of Joseph Mallord William Turner [23 Apr 1775 – 19 Dec 1851]?
1753 Jean-Claude Naigeon, French artist who died on 11 January 1832.
1682 Giambattista Piazzeta, Italian artist who died on 28 April 1754.

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