Died on 12 March 1681: Frans
van Mieris the Elder, Dutch painter born on 16 April 1635.
Father of Jan van Mieris and Willem van Mieris. Studied under Gerrit Dou.
Dutch painter, the most distinguished member of a family of artists who worked in Leiden. He was one of the best pupils of Gerrit Dou and followed his master in choice of subjects (mainly domestic genre scenes) and in his highly polished technique. The tradition was continued by his sons Jan and Willem, and by Willem's son Frans II.
Brothel Scene (1658, 43x33cm) _ Unlike a history painting, a genre picture does not generally refer to a written text. Its relation is to the popular, often crude and simplistic, metaphorical interpretation of the world. Genre picture, therefore, have a different structure from history painting, and that structure is one of their major characteristics. A history painting usually illustrates the decisive moment of the historical narrative to which it refers. For a genre painting, however, there never could be such a crucial moment: there was no story. A genre painting always presents a situation, which, through the introduction of key symbols, is reversed into a moral example. This is examplified by the Brothel Scene, which shows an interior with a rather coy lady pouring a smartly dressed young man a glass of wine. An elegant scene until one perceives, farther back in the room, two dogs copulating. This crude and explicit detail associates the picture with a popular expression of Italian origin: As is the lady, so is her dog. And another proverb, saying that beautiful woman and sweet wine are full of dangers, may also apply here. So what at first seems a harmless, attractive scene, is suddenly reversed when the viewer encounters an explicit symbol, often hidden in the background.
Duet (1658, 32x25cm) _ The curtain drawn aside lets the viewer spy on the elegant, mildly titillating musical partnership.
The Lacemaker - Oil on wood Musée Fabre, Montpellier Frans van Mieris the Elder painted allegories, biblical, historical, literary subjects, and portraits. His principal contribution, however, is found in his genres scenes.
Died on 12 March 1749: Alessandro
Magnasco Lissandrino, Italian artist born in
Il Lissandrino was born and died in Genoa, but spent most of his working life in Milan. At the beginning of his career he was a portraitist, but virtually nothing is known of this aspect of his career. Later he turned to the type of work for which he is now known - highly individual melodramatic scenes set in storm-tossed landscapes, ruins, convents, and gloomy monasteries, peopled with small elongated figures of monks, nuns, gypsies, mercenaries, witches, beggars, and inquisitors. His brushwork is nervous and flickering and his lighting effects macabre. He was very prolific and his work is rarely dated or datable. Marco Ricci and Francesco Guardi were among the artists influenced by him.
LINKS Soldiers Feasting Bacchanalian Scene (1717, 110x167cm) _ These paintings belongs to a series of four, two of which representing bacchanalian scens, the other two brigands. The painting was executed in collaboration with Clemente Spera who painted the architectural background.
Halt of the Brigands (1718, 112x162cm) _ The painting belongs to a series of four, two of which representing bacchanalian scenes, the other two brigands. The painting was executed in collaboration with Clemente Spera who painted the architectural background.
Christ Adored by Two Nuns (1715, 58x43cm) _ Alessandro Magnasco's first training was in the artistic circles of late seventeenth century Genoa where the styles most favorably regarded were those of Rubens and the painters of Lombardy with their considerable use of chiaroscuro (Morazzone in particular). These influences led Magnasco towards a visionary, fantastic language characterized by stylistic modes of an expressionistic rapidity of execution and a tormented luministic violence. The pictoricism of Magnasco, of which Christ Adored by Two Nuns is a significant example, worked on the imagination of many Venetian painters, and of Sebastiano Ricci, Marco Ricci, and Francesco Guardi in particular.
Praying Monks (54x44cm) _ This is a good example,of the brilliant sketching technique of Magnasco, who was a transitional figure between the Baroque and Rococo. The impassioned figures are rendered against a dark and threatening background with rapid, irregular brushstrokes. Isolated and ecstatic monks and hermits often feature in the macabre scenes through which Magnasco conveyed his fantastic and critical vision of humanity. The emotional turbulence of his work was not unique in the Italian Baroque and Rococo, but it was certainly something of an extreme example.
The Seashore (1700, 158x211cm) _ The painting is one of the romantic landscapes of Magnasco. It was executed in collaboration with Antonio Francesco Peruzzi landscape painter.