BIRTH: 1695 PATER
Died on 29 December 1972: Joseph Cornell,
US artist born in 1903.
Cornell had no formal training in art and his most characteristic works are his highly distinctive boxes. These are simple boxes, usually glass-fronted, in which he arranged surprising collections of photographs or Victorian bric-à-brac in a way that has been said to combine the formal austerity of Constructivism with the lively fantasy of Surrealism. Like Kurt Schwitters he could create poetry from the commonplace. Unlike Schwitters, however, he was fascinated not by refuse, garbage, and the discarded, but by fragments of once beautiful and precious objects, relying on the Surrealist technique of irrational juxtaposition and on the evocation of nostalgia for his appeal (he befriended several members of the Surrealist movement who settled in the USA during the Second World War). Cornell also painted and made Surrealist films.
Untitled (Sitting Angel) (1965) Untitled (How To Make a Rainbow) (1972) Untitled (Hotel du Nord) (1972) Untitled (Bébé Marie) (construction, 1942, 59x31x13cm)
Died on 29 December 1633: Cornelis
Claeszoon van Wieringen, Dutch painter specialized in seascapes,
born in 1580 he first was a sailor.
The Explosion of the Spanish Flagship during the Battle of Gibraltar (1621)
Capture of Damiate (1625) _ Wieringen was probably the pupil of Hendrick Corneliszoon Vroom (the founder of European marine painting); he ranks as his best and closest follower. Wieringen's multicolored paintings are more ornamental, his waves and whitecaps more schematic than Vroom's, and his skies (apart from those in his graphics) are little more than decorative backdrops.
The Capture of Damiate was commissioned by Haarlem's St Hadrian Civic Guard, and it was originally mounted as an overmantel in the company's headquarters (a few years afterwards officers of the company commissioned Frans Hals to paint their group portrait). The painting represent a pseudo-historical event. According to tradition late twelfth-century crusaders en route to the Holy Land tried to capture Damiate, a port city at the mouth of the Nile which had its harbour protected by a heavy chain stretched across it from two moles. The chain was cut, according to the legend, when a ship from Haarlem ingeniously fitted with a specially designed saw-toothed prow and keel sailed across it. After this feat and a fierce battle the port fell to the crusaders.
The tale exemplified the audacity and courage of early Haarlemmers, and by association, redounded to the glory of citizens of the city. By the sixteenth century the fable had acquired a mythic dimension for Haarlem's patriots. The appetite for it was satisfied by later printmakers and painters. Vroom and other artists also made drawings to stain glass windows of the subject, and Wieringen designed a huge tapestry depicting the legendary event for Haarlem's Town Hall which is still mounted there.
Landscape with hermits (40x56cm) _ Wieringen is well-known as a marine painter. This is the only known landscape painting of this painter. He did make some drawings and etchings of landscapes.
Died on 29 December 1616: Hendrik Goltzius
(or Goltz, Goltius), Dutch Baroque
painter and engraver born in February 1558.
Goltzius was a Dutch graphic artist and painter of German descent, the outstanding line engraver of his time. He was the leader of a group of Mannerist artists who worked in Haarlem, where he founded some kind of 'academy' with Cornelis van Haarlem and Karel van Mander. In 1590-91 he visited Rome and on his return to Haarlem he abandoned his Mannerist style for a more classical one. Goltzius's right hand was crippled, but in spite of this handicap he was renowned for his technical virtuosity and his skill in imitating the work of other great engravers such as Dürer and Lucas van Leyden.
In his early career much of his work was reproductive, but he also produced many original compositions, including a splendid series of Roman Heroes (1586). His miniature portrait drawings were also outstanding, and the landscape drawings he made after 1600 mark him as a forerunner of the great 17th century landscape artists. His paintings are less interesting than his drawings and much less advanced stylistically.
— Draftsman, engraver and painter Hendrick Goltzius was born in the German town of Mülbracht (modern Bracht-am-Niederrhein). In 1577 he followed the humanist printer Dirck Volkertszoon Coornhert, with whom he was studying, to Haarlem. Together with other artists such as Karel van Mander I and Cornelis van Haarlem, he introduced the complex composition schemes and the exaggerated, contorted figures of Mannerism into the Northern Netherlands. Following a journey to Italy in the 1590s, Goltzius developed a more academic and classicist style. Goltzius's oeuvre provides an interesting reflection of the changes that were occurring in Dutch art in the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries. In his own lifetime Goltzius was famous for the technical virtuosity of his engravings.
— Goltzius' students included Jacques de Gheyn II and Jan Saenredam.
— Self-Portrait (1592, 36x29cm; 379x300pix, 30kb)
Funeral procession of William of Orange (1584, 685x1600pix, 323kb) _ William of Orange, leader of the Dutch Revolt against Spain, was assassinated by Balthasar Gerardts in Delft on 10 July 1584. The Prince's funeral took place in Delft on 3 August. A stately procesion bore the 'Father of the Nation' to his tomb in the Nieuwe Kerk. Hendrik Goltzius depicted the royal funeral procession in a series of twelve prints. Together they form a five-metre frieze. This panel, the ninth in the series, shows the pallbearers preceded by stewards, chamberlains and halberdiers.
Lot and his Daughters (1616, 140x204cm; 1094x1600pix) _ A seasoned but lusty old man is seated between two naked young women. In the background a city is burning. The man is Lot, seduced by his daughters following the destruction of the city of Sodom. Hendrik Goltzius painted the work in 1616. He used the Bible story to show off his skill as a painter of nudes. The two women have wonderfully soft bodies with full, gentle curves. For an old man, Lot is still remarkably muscular. To accentuate the bodies the artist draped cloth over them in contrasting colors: blue, yellow and red. The poses of Lot and his daughters are perhaps rather artificial, but that was the style of art in the period, Mannerism.
Monkey on a chain, seated (1597, 30x41cm; 1600x1193pix, 375kb) _ A monkey sits hunched over in the corner of a vaguely described area. He is kept on a chain and plays with the lock with his left hand. Hendrick Goltzius's depiction of the monkey is highly moving; the hairs on his neck and forehead standing on end, the sharply formed ear, the pink nose and the bony limbs. From about 1580, Goltzius increasingly made large drawings of this kind in different colors of chalk. He was precise about his work and portrayed the anatomy of his animals with great realism. Following his stay in Italy (1590-1591) his drawing style became more relaxed. This masterful drawing was also created rather late; about 1597. The work clearly illustrates Goltzius's expertise in working with chalk.
The Giant Hercules (1589, 56x40cm; 1600x1151pix, 621kb) _ An extremely muscular man is standing proudly in a landscape with a lion skin draped around his shoulders. He is wearing the creature's head like a cap. The lion skin and the cudgel reveal the figure to be Hercules, a hero from Greek mythology who was given a series of almost impossible tasks. Some of his heroic deeds are depicted in the background. The print's Latin caption* praises Hercules' bravery. This spectacular print by the Haarlem artist Goltzius is a tour de force in terms of engraving. The fight with the river God Achelous (in the form of a bull) is depicted in the background (left). Further off in the background the naiads (nymphs) are filling the severed horn of the bull with fruit. On the right Hercules is fighting with the giant Antaeus.
* Amphitrionade virtus terraq'3 mariq'3 / Quem latet? et tanti sæua nouerca mali? / Ille tot expositus monstris, Hydræq'3, tricorpor / Geryon atq'3 tibi, flammiuomoq'3 Caco . / Ille hìc Antæúm, et superat te Achelos bicornuum : / Naiades at truncum fruge ferace beant.
Portrait of Sculptor Giambologna (1591, 37x30cm) Spring (1597) Autumn (1597) Job in Distress (1616)
Venus between Ceres and Bacchus (1590, 40x29cm) _ After training as a glass painter in his father's studio, Goltzius learned engraving from printer Dirck Volckertsz. Coornhert. From 1582 he began publishing prints and eighteen or so years later started painting. Following a journey to Italy (1590/91) he moderated his mannerist distortions and turned to portraying grand, idealized scenes, as in this masterly drawing.
What strikes us is the emphasis on the physical and psychological interaction between Venus and Bacchus, depicted close to one another, whilst Ceres holds herself apart. This offered Goltzius an opportunity of portraying the female body from both front and back - in those days a very popular pose and representing the "nec plus ultra" of grace. The fact that Venus, Ceres and Bacchus look so lifelike is because Goltzius began at this time to use live models. The representation of Bacchus, the god of wine, in the company of Venus, the goddess of love and Ceres, the goddess of the harvest, is a reference to the old Greek saying: "Without Ceres and Bacchus, Venus freezes". This proverb, taken from Eunuchus, a comedy by Roman author Terence that was frequently staged in Goltzius' time, had become a popular maxim. As frequently happened in the 16th century, this classical theme took on a profane interpretation, which can be paraphrased as "Eating and drinking is part of the game of love".
This composition is an extraordinary combination of different drawing techniques. The god's and goddess's naked bodies are contoured with strong brown ink brush strokes and sharp black chalk lines. These are then colored in with ink and body-color in grey, white, brown and pink tints, next to zones of stumped black and red chalk. The result is an attractive "pictorial tapestry", full of light and color nuances. The sketchy nature of certain items like the baldachino and the putti to the upper left relates to the purpose of the drawing. This is a composition sketch anticipating Goltzius' only known grisaille, dated 1599 and now conserved in London, done in grey and white oils on paper on top of a black chalk underdrawing. As with many of Goltzius' compositions, a print of this work was also published by the famous engraver Jan Saenredam.
Ceres and Bacchus, Venus would Freeze (1602) _ The Goltzius drawings
that his contemporaries admired above all were his highly finished pen and
inks drawings that simulate the swelling and tapering lines of engravings
- they were called 'penwerken' (pen works). There are several dazzling examples
of these virtuoso performances depicting Without Ceres and Bacchus, Venus
would Freeze. They illustrate the popular adage that without food (Ceres,
the Roman god of agriculture) and wine (Bacchus), love (Venus) is left cold.
Venus's need for the assistance of food and drink for invigoration was one
of Goltzius's favorite themes, he represented the subject in various ways
and media at least ten times. His most stunning illustration of the proverb
is now at Philadelphia. Drawn with elaborate pen lines in ink that give
the effect of an engraving, half-nude Venus is seen close-up accompanied
by an adoring young satyr bearing fruit and a smiling old one with his hands
full of luscious grapes, obvious representatives of Ceres and Bacchus. Handsome
Cupid who turns sympathetically to us, holds a large flaming torch that
warms as well as illuminates the figures. Unlike most of Goltzius's penworks
which are done on paper or parchment, this one is on canvas with a grey-blue
oil ground that is an integral part of the scene's nocturnal effect. Unique
is the conspicuous addition of flesh tones in brush and oils that are literally
and figuratively warmed by the vivid red, orange, and yellow flames of Cupid's
torch, also done in oil paint. The mixed media makes the work hard to classify.
Is it a pen work or a painting?
Cadmus Slays the Dragon (189x248cm) _ Based on a copper engraving by Francesco Primaticcio (1504–70) it is an allegorical painting featuring motifs from Ovid’s Metamorphoses (Book III, 26–94). Cadmus has been driven out of his native land and is in search of a new place to settle down. The god Apollo has replied in an oracle, promising him that he will meet a heifer and that he should follow it. Wherever the heifer lies down is where Cadmus is to build his new home and found a city (Euboea). When the heifer lies down, Cadmus sends his servants to fetch water at a nearby spring. But the servants are attacked and killed by a terrible dragon with three rows of teeth and three tongues in its mouth.
Cadmus sets off to fight the dragon, dressed in a lion’s skin, which protects him from the monster’s poison. He wounds the dragon in the side with his spear and thrusts his lance into its gaping jaws, pinning it to a large oak tree. The artist has improved on the story somewhat, supplying the dragon with three gigantic heads. The painting captures the moment when Cadmus thrusts his lance into the monster’s mouth and pins it to the tree.
A number of candidates have been proposed over the years as the artist behind this colossal work painters such as Reinhold Timm (d. 1639) from Denmark and Jacob Rappost (d. before 1621) from Holstein have been named. Most recently, the Dutch painter Hendrick Goltzius (1558–1617) has been proposed. Hendrick Goltzius was born in Mühlbrecht and died in Haarlem. Goltzius produced paintings and drawings, engravings and etchings, and was one of the leading figures in the Mannerism movement. He was primarily known for his technically brilliant copper engravings featuring biblical and mythological subjects, which were based on his own models and those of other artists. A journey to Italy in 1590–91 led to a change in style, and in about 1600 he turned away from engraving and toward painting. His style was now more naturalistic and classical.
Cadmus’ Servants are Attacked by the Dragon (55x90cm) _ B&W photo of a painting based on a copper engraving by Robert de Bardous (1615), which was based on a drawing by Hendrick Goltzius. In around 1580, Hendrick Goltzius made a number of drawings dealing with the Cadmus legend. Three of these drawings are now in the possession of the Hamburger Kunsthalle. In c. 1615 these drawings formed the basis for works by the copper engraver Robert de Bardous. Goltzius himself made a copper engraving of Cadmus’ struggle with the dragon, which was based on a painting by Cornelis Corneliszoon van Haarlem (1562–1638). The large Goltzius painting [above], based on an engraving by Francesco Primaticcio (1504–1570), does not bear any close resemblance to Goltzius’ own drawings, but is nevertheless attributed to him on the basis of a study of painting techniques employed.
Born on 29 December 1695: Jean-Baptiste
Joseph Pater, French artist who died on 25 July 1736.
French painter, the only pupil of Watteau (a fellow native of Valenciennes), with whom he had a somewhat touchy relationship. An unlikely legend has it that Watteau dismissed him from his studio (1713) because he was disturbed by the threat offered by his progress to his own pre-eminence; whatever the reason for their differences, they were reconciled soon before Watteau's death. Like Watteau's other imitator, Lancret, Pater repeated the master's type of 'fêtes galantes' in a fairly stereotyped fashion. He showed more originality in scenes of military life and groups of bathers (in which he gave freer rein to the suggestiveness often seen in his fêtes galantes).
The Offer of Flowers (Springtime) (41 x 55cm)
The Chinese Hunt (1736, 55x46cm) Fête Champêtre (65x82cm) another Fête Champètre (15x20cm)
Concert Champêtre _ Pater followed Watteau closely in the genre called fête galante, transposing his atmosphere to a more silvery one.
Died on 29 December 1743: Hyacinthe
Rigaud (Rigau y Ros), French artist born on 18 July 1659.
French portrait painter, the friend and rival of Largillière. He was born in Perpignan and after working in Montpellier he settled in Paris in 1681. His reputation was established in 1688 with a portrait (now lost) of Monsieur, Louis XIV's brother, and he became the outstanding court painter of the latter part of Louis's reign, retaining his popularity after the king's death. He was less interested in showing individual character than in depicting the rank and condition of the sitter by nobility of attitude and expressiveness of gesture. These qualities are seen most memorably in his celebrated state portrait of Louis XIV (1701), one of the classic images of royal majesty. Louis so admired this portrait that, although he had intended it as a present to Philip V of Spain, he kept it himself. Rigaud's unofficial portraits are much more informal and show a debt to Rembrandt (The Artist's Mother, 1695), several of whose works he owned. The output from Rigaud's studio was vast.
Philippe de Couraillon (1702, 162x150cm) _ Philippe de Couraillon, Marquis de Dangeau, is represented in the costume of the Grand Maitre des Ordres.
Louis XIV (1694, 277x194cm) _ At the end of Louis XIV's reign the outstanding painter was Hyacinthe Rigaud. Although his activity continued well into the next century, the ethical quality of his figures and the aesthetic quality of his style are part of the spirit of the Louis XIV period. Guided by Le Brun, Rigaud created in painting, as Coysevox had done in sculpture, the portrait of the 'man of quality', whose value he conveyed by the nobility of the attitude, expressiveness of the gesture, and movement of the draperies in short, by the passion of which he showed his generous temperament to be capable. The aim was less to depict and individual and a character, as Philippe de Champaigne had done in the preceding period, than to affirm the social rank and 'condition' of the sitter, who might be the King, a minister, a financier, or a soldier, but who was always of the Court. Rigaud thus started the Court portrait, which was to have a considerable importance in Europe during the next century.
Louis XIV (1701, 279x190cm) _ This famous portrait is regarded as the very epitome of the absolutist ruler portrait. Yet it represents more than just power, pomp and circumstance. The sumptuous red and gold drapery is not only a motif of dignity, but also creates a framework that echoes the drapes of the ornate, ermine-lined robe. The blue velvet brocade ornamented with the golden fleurs-de-lys of the house of Bourbon is repeated in the upholstery of the chair, the cushion and the cloth draped over the table below it: the king quite clearly sets the tone.
A monumental marble column on a high plinth is draped in such a way that it does not detract from the height of the figure. Louis is presented in an elegantly angled pose, situated well above the standpoint of the spectator to whom he seems to turn his attention graciously, but without reducing the stability of his stance.
Rigaud's consummate mastery of portraiture is particularly evident in the way he depicts the king's facial expression: his distanced unapproachability are not founded in Neoclassicist idealization, but in the candor of an ageing, impenetrable physiognomy. The lips are closed decisively and with a hint of irony, the eyes have a harsh, dark sheen, while the narrow nose suggests intolerance. This is a ruler who is neither good nor evil, but beyond all moral categories.
Count Sinzendorf (1712, 166x132cm) _ Several artists, whose careers and styles form a transitional period between the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, enjoyed enormous success under the patronage of Louis XIV. By far the best of them was Hyacinthe Rigaud. There is a strident quality of many of his best portraits which suggest a familiarity with Spanish painters like Zurbarán. Rigaud rigidly provided the court with exactly what it wanted - a splendid, opulent and yet tasteful glorification of its new-found power and wealth.
Portrait of a Scholar
Died on 29 December 1825: Jacques~Louis David,
French painter born on 30 August 1748.