Featured Artist at the e.Gallery: Andrea Mantegna

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Featured Artist at the e.Gallery this week is a 15th Century artist of the Early Renaissance movement, Andrea Mantegna [Italian, 1431-1506] Link: http://fineart.elib.com/fineart.php?dir=Alphabetical/Mantegna_Andrea

Mantegna, Andrea (1431?-1506). An Italian painter and engraver, Mantegna painted heroic figures, often using a dramatic perspective that gives the viewer the illusion of looking up from below. The effect is somewhat the same as looking up from ground level at statues mounted on a pedestal.

Mantegna was born about 1431 near Vicenza, Italy. When he was about 10 years old he was adopted by Francesco Squarcione, an art teacher in Padua. Mantegna’s skill as an artist developed quickly, and at the age of 17 he set up his own workshop, declaring that he would no longer allow Squarcione to profit by exploiting his talent.

There was much interest in Padua at that time in collecting and studying Roman antiquities. Mantegna knew many of the scholars and antiquarians who were involved in this work, and his knowledge of the culture of ancient Rome is apparent in his art. His paintings helped foster the growing interest in the revival of classical forms. In 1453 Mantegna married Nicolosia Bellini, whose brothers, Giovanni and Gentile Bellini, were also artists, and both of whom did work that shows Mantegna’s influence.

Mantegna remained in Padua until 1459, when Ludovico Gonzaga persuaded him to move to Mantua. He worked for the Gonzaga family for the rest of his life. For them Mantegna created some of his greatest paintings. In one famous work, called the Camera degli Sposi (wedding chamber), he painted the walls and ceiling of a small interior room, transforming it into an open-air pavilion. On the ceiling a painted dome opens onto a painted sky, with painted men and women looking down from above. Rooms creating this sort of illusion became very popular in the baroque era of the 1600s.

A series of nine paintings, Triumph of Caesar, that Mantegna started in 1486 shows his interest in imperial Rome. Mantegna died in Mantua in 1506 and received the special honor of having a funeral chapel in the church of Santa Andrea dedicated to his honor.

The image accompanying this article is a Self-portrait — a Grotesque Self-portrait of Andrea Mantegna — painted between 1465 and 1474. It was created using walnut oil on plaster, and is hanging at the Palazzo Ducale in Mantua.

From October of 1916 through January of 1917, Rudolf Steiner gave a series of nine lectures known as the Art Course. These lectures were given the title of: The History of Art. Click here to discover what Steiner said about Mantegna in the first lecture, or in the entire lecture series.


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Madonna

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San Sebastian

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Parnassus

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Adoration by the Wise Men

Featured Artist at the e.Gallery: Anton Raphael Mengs

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Featured Artist at the e.Gallery this week is a 18th Century artist of the Neoclassicist movement, Anton Raphael Mengs [German, 1738-1779] Link: http://fineart.elib.com/fineart.php?dir=Alphabetical/Mengs_Anton_Raphael

Mengs, Anton Raphael (1728–1779), a German painter, was born in 1728 at Aussig in Bohemia, but his father, Ismael Mengs, a Danish painter, established himself finally at Dresden, whence in 1741 he took his son to Rome. The appointment of Mengs in 1749 as first painter to the elector of Saxony did not prevent his spending much time in Rome, where he had married in 1748, and abjured the Protestant faith, and where he became in 1754 director of the Vatican school of painting, nor did this hinder him on two occasions from obeying the call of Charles III of Spain to Madrid. There Mengs produced some of his best work, and specially the ceiling of the banqueting-hall, the subject of which was the Triumph of Trajan and the Temple of Glory. After the completion of this work in 1777, Mengs returned to Rome, and there he died, two years later, in poor circumstances, leaving twenty children, seven of whom were pensioned by the king of Spain. Besides numerous paintings in the Madrid gallery, the Ascension at Dresden, Perseus and Andromeda at St Petersburg, and the ceiling of the Villa Albani must be mentioned among his chief works. In England, the duke of Northumberland possesses a Holy Family, and the colleges of All Souls and Magdalen, at Oxford, have altar-pieces by his hand. In his writings, in Spanish, Italian and German, Mengs has put forth his eclectic theory of art, which treats of perfection as attainable by a well-schemed combination of diverse excellences: Greek design, with the expression of Raphael, the chiaroscuro of Correggio, and the colour of Titian. His intimacy with Winckelmann, who constantly wrote at his dictationhas enhanced his historical importance, for he formed no scholars, and the critic must now concur in Goethe’s judgment of Mengs in Winckelmann und sein Jahrhundert (Winckelmann and his Century); he must deplore that so much learning should have been allied to a total want of initiative and poverty of invention, and embodied with a strained and artificial mannerism.


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Portrait of Clement XIII Rezzonico

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The Penitent Magdelene

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Maria Luisa of Parma

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Adoration of the Shepherds

Featured Artist at the e.Gallery: Aubrey Vincent Beardsley

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Featured Artist at the e.Gallery this week is a 19th Century artist of the Art Nouveau movement, Aubrey Vincent Beardsley [British, 1872-1898] Link: http://fineart.elib.com/fineart.php?dir=Alphabetical/Beardsley_Aubrey

Aubrey Vincent Beardsley, 1872–98, was an illustrator and writer, born in Brighton, England. Beardsley exemplifies the aesthetic movement in English art of the 1890s. In his short working span of only six years, he developed a superbly artificial and graphic manner, expressed in flat, linear, black-and-white designs. His works were by turns erotic and cruel in emphasis. The art editor of the famous Yellow Book quarterly (1894–96), Beardsley also edited and contributed some of his best work to Leonard Smithers’ periodical, The Savoy, and illustrated many books including Wilde’s Salomé (1894), Pope’s Rape of the Lock (1896), Aristophanes’ Lysistrata (privately pub., 1896), and Jonson’s Volpone (1898). His fiction, distinguished by an elaborate and erudite prose style, was collected and published in 1904 as Under the Hill. Criticized for the erotic character of his work and condemned for his association with Oscar Wilde, Beardsley fell from public favor. Ravaged by tuberculosis, he died at the age of 25.


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How Four Queens Found Lancelot Sleeping

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Le Morte D’Arthur; How King Arthur saw the Questing Beast

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Illustration from le morte d arthur

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How a Devil in Woman’s Likeness Would Have Tempted Sir Bors

Featured Artist at the e.Gallery: James Joseph Jacques Tissot

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Featured Artist at the e.Gallery this week is a 19th Century artist, James Joseph Jacques Tissot [French, 1836-1902] Link: http://fineart.elib.com/fineart.php?dir=Alphabetical/Tissot_James

James Joseph Jacques Tissot (1836-1902), was a French painter and graphic artist. Early in his career he painted historical costume pieces, but in about 1864 he turned with great success to scenes of contemporary life, usually involving fashionable women. Following his alleged involvement in the turbulent events of the Paris Commune (1871) he took refuge in London, where he lived from 1871 to 1882. He was just as successful there as he had been in Paris and lived in some style in St. John’s Wood; in 1874 Edmond de Goncourt wrote sarcastically that he had ‘a studio with a waiting room where, at all times, there is iced champagne at the disposal of visitors, and around the studio, a garden where, all day long, one can see a footman in silk stockings brushing and shining the shrubbery leaves.’

His pictures are distinguished most obviously by his love of painting women’s costumes: indeed, his work — which has a fashion-plate elegance and a chocolate-box charm — has probably been more often reproduced in works on the history of costume than on the history of painting. He also, however, had a gift for wittily observing nuances of social behavior. In 1882, following the death of his mistress Kathleen Newton (the archetypal Tissot model — beautiful but rather vacant), he returned to France. In 1888 he underwent a religious conversion when he went into a church to ‘catch the atmosphere for a picture’, and thereafter he devoted himself to religious subjects. He visited the Holy Land in 1886–87 and in 1889, and his illustrations to the events of the Bible were enormously popular, both in book form and when the original drawings were exhibited.

For many years after his death Tissot was considered a grossly vulgar artist, bug there has been a recent upsurge of interest in him, expressed in sale-room prices for his work as well as in numerous books and exhibitions devoted to him.


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The Annunciation

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Berthe

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The Gallery of H.M.S. ‘Calcutta’ (Portsmouth)

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In the Conservatory (Rivals)

Featured Artist at the e.Gallery: Walt Otto

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Featured Artist at the e.Gallery this week is a 20th Century artist, Walt Otto [Unknown, ????-????] Link: http://fineart.elib.com/fineart.php?dir=Alphabetical/Otto_Walt

Otto is another of the Elvgren-style pin-up artists, creating beaming American beauties in lushly painted oils on canvas (for Gerlich-Barclaw, among others). Research has neither confirmed nor denied Otto as part of the Sundblom shop. Despite hyper-realism typical of the Elvgren school, Otto varies considerably from the Elvgren pattern in several key ways. His paintings contain cartoonish elements, particularly in the expressions of his winsome girls (as well as his cartoonist-style signature). Additionally, his women are less coy than Elvgren’s: an Otto girl typically attired in short shorts or bathing suit, occasionally tugged along by a cute mutt or two, stares unabashedly at the viewer. Also, Otto eschews any suggestion of setting for a solid black background, and frequently uses Petty-style cartoon outline shorthand for a phone cord or dog leash or whatever to better focus the attention on the pretty subject at hand.


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Featured Artist at the e.Gallery: Giorgio de Chirico

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Featured Artist at the e.Gallery this week is a 20th Century artist of the Surrealist movement, Giorgio de Chirico [Italian, 1888-1974] Link: http://fineart.elib.com/fineart.php?dir=Alphabetical/Chirico_Giorgio_de

The Italian painter and graphic artist Giorgio de Chirico was born in Volvos, Greece, on July 7, 1888. He attends the drawing class of the Polytechnic School in Athens, later he and his brother — who became a famous composer, painter and writer under the pseudonym Alberto Savinio — go to Munich, where he studies at the Academy of Fine Arts from 1906 to 1909. He encounters paintings by Arnold Böcklin, Max Klinger and Alfred Kubin in Munich for the first time, which leave a great impression on him. Giorgio de Chirico also deals with music and the philosophical writings of Arthur Schopenhauer and especially of Friedrich Nietzsche.

Giorgio de Chirico goes to Italy in 1909, living in Milan, he visits Turin, Florence and other cities. He is in Paris from 1911 to 1915, participating in exhibitions in the Salon d’Automne and the Salon des Indépendants. The choice of topics and the atmosphere of his paintings show the strong influence of Friedrich Nietzsche’s works. Reality and dream worlds mingle, he paints fantastic ideal architecture and city and landscapes views, strictly following the rules of perspectives, in them he places single statues and the “Manichini” — faceless manikins, that seem to be lost in the surroundings. The artist focusses more and more on the artistic quality of his paintings. He makes the first paintings of the “Piazze d’Italia” as of 1912. Guillaume Apollinaire writes a critique on occasion of a salon exhibition of Giorgio de Chirico’s “Metaphysic Landscapes.”

In a military hospital in Ferrara he meets the painter Carlo Carrà in 1917, who decides to join him. They express the basic theories of the “Pittura Metafisica” after the war, which Chirico will publish in form of articles for the magazine “Valori Plastici.”

The artist goes to Paris again in 1925. He is a friend of the surrealist painters Max Ernst, René Magritte, Yves Tanguy and Salvador Dalí. The surrealists acknowledge his painting just as much as the painters of New Objectivity and Magic Realism.

Giorgio de Chirico also makes stage and costume designs, for instance for Sergej Diaghilew’s “Ballets Russes.” In 1929 he writes the autobiographic novel “Hebdomeros, Le peintre et son génie chez l’ecrivain.” He executes numerous series of lithographs in the 1930s, he illustrates, for instance, the “Calligrammes” by Apollinaire in 1930, and Jean Cocteau’s “Mythology” in 1934. As of 1937 he works on the series “Bagni Misteriosi.” He stays in the USA from 1935 to 1937, then returns to Italy and finally settles in Rome in 1945.

Giorgio de Chirico’s compositions become more conventional as of the late 1930s. He draws some of his earlier metaphysic works again, some of them he even dates back. Giorgio de Chirico dies in Rome on November 11, 1978.


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The Archaeologists

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Metaphysical Interior with Biscuits

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The Child’s Brain

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Christ and the Storm

Featured Artist at the e.Gallery: William James Glackens

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Featured Artist at the e.Gallery this week is a 20th Century artist of the Ashcan movement, William James Glackens [American, 1870-1938] Link: http://fineart.elib.com/fineart.php?dir=Alphabetical/Glackens_William


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Featured Artist at the e.Gallery: Harald Sohlberg

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Featured Artist at the e.Gallery this week is a 20th Century artist, Harald Sohlberg [Norwegian, 1869-1935] Link: http://fineart.elib.com/fineart.php?dir=Alphabetical/Sohlberg_Harald

Harald Oskar Sohlberg (b Christiania [Kristiania from 1877; now Oslo], 29 Nov 1869; d Oslo, 19 June 1935) was a Norwegian Neo-romantic painter, particularly known for his depictions of the mountains of Rondane and the town of Røros. Perhaps his most well-recognized painting is his ‘Winter’s Night in Rondane’ from 1913-14.

Sohlberg decided to be a painter when young, but his father wished him to follow a thorough training as a craftsman. Sohlberg therefore enrolled at the Royal School of Drawing in Kristiania in 1885 under the interior designer Wilhelm Krogh (1829?1913) and stayed at the school until 1890. Subsequently, he attended night classes under the graphic artist and painter Johan Nordhagen (1856?1956) both in the autumn of 1906 and also from 1911 to 1917, when he concentrated on printmaking. Sohlberg painted his first pictures while staying in the Valdrés region to the north-west of Kristiania in summer 1889. The following summer he painted with Sven Jørgensen (1861?1940) at Slagen near Åsgårdstrand, and in autumn 1891 he was a pupil of Erik Werenskiold and Eilif Peterssen in Kristiania. For some months during the winter of 1891?2 Sohlberg attended Kristian Zahrtmann?s art school in Copenhagen. He also studied for four months in 1894 under Harriet Backer and Eilif Peterssen.


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Autumn Landscape

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Fisherman’s Cottage

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Flower Meadow in the North

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Night

Featured Artist at the e.Gallery: Domenico Zampieri

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Featured Artist at the e.Gallery this week is a 17th Century artist, Domenico Zampieri [Bolognese, 1581-1641] Link: http://fineart.elib.com/fineart.php?dir=Alphabetical/Domenichino

Domenichino (Properly Domenico Zampieri), was an Italian painter, born in Bologna, 21 October, 1581; died in Naples, 16 April, 1641. He began his art studies in the school of Calvaert, but being ill-treated there, his father, a poor shoemaker, placed him in the Carracci Academy, where Guido Reni and Albani were also students. Domenichino was a slow, thoughtful, plodding youth whom his companions called the “Ox,” a nickname also borne by his master Ludovico. He took the prize for drawing in the Carracci Academy gaining thereby both fame and hatred. Stimulated by success, he studied unremittingly, particularly the expression of the human face, so that Bellori says “he could delineate the soul.”

His student days over, he first visited Parma and Modena to study Correggio, and then went to Rome, where his earliest friend and patron, Cardinal Agucchi, commissioned him to decorate his palace. In Rome he assisted the Carracci with their frescoes in the palace of Cardinal Farnese, who became such an admirer of Domenichino that he had him execute many of the pictures in the Basilian Abbey of Grotta Ferrata. Domenichino’s best frescoes are in this church. With Guido he painted, for Cardinal Borghese, in S. Gregorio; for Cardinal Aldobrandini he executed ten frescoes at Villa Franscati; for Cardinal Montalto he decorated S. Andrea della Valle; and for Cardinal Bandini he painted four pictures for S. Silvestro which rank among his best productions.

He immortalized his name by painting (1614) for the altar of S. Girolamo della Carità, the “Communion of St. Jerome,” a copy of which, in mosaics, is in St. Peter’s. This is one of the great pictures of the world and was considered second only to Raphael’s “Transfiguration”. He received about fifty dollars for it. Napoleon took it to Paris but the Allies returned it. Jealousy of Domenichino long accumulating now burst forth, and he was accused of copying his masterpiece from Agostino Carracci. Weary of attacks, the artist went to Bologna but later returned to Rome, where Pope Gregory XV made him painter and architect of the Apostolic Camera (pontifical treasury). In 1630 he settled in Naples and there opened a school, but was harassed, as in Rome, by envious artists (cabal of Naples), who disfigured his paintings. Mental suffering, perhaps poison, hastened his death. Domenichino, although not a master of great originality and inspiration, was a prominent figure in the Bolognese School. Potent in fresco he also excelled in decorative landscapes; his color was warm and harmonious, his style simple, his chiaroscuro superbly managed, and his subordinate groups and accessaries well adjusted and of great interest. The most famous masters of the burin engraved his works, which are: “Portrait of Cardinal Agucchi,” Uffizi, Florence; “Life of St. Nilus” (fresco) in Grotta Ferrata near Rome; “Condemnation of Adam and Eve,” Louvre, Paris; “St. George and the Dragon,” National Gallery, London; “St. John,” Hermitage, St. Petersburg.

The image that accompanies this article is a supposed Self-portrait painted by Zampieri circa 1615. There are some who believe this is a portrait of Virginio Cesarini.


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Adam and Eve

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Portrait of Cardinal Agucchi

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Diana and her Nymphs (detail)

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Diana and her Nymphs

Featured Artist at the e.Gallery: Giacomo Balla

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Featured Artist at the e.Gallery this week is a 20th Century artist of the Futurist movement, Giacomo Balla [Italian, 1871-1958] Link: http://fineart.elib.com/fineart.php?dir=Alphabetical/Balla_Giacomo


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Spirit-form transformation (Transformación forma-espíritu)

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A Young Girl Running on a Balcony

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