Rembrandt | artist | 1606 - 1669 Early life and training Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn was born in Leiden in the Netherlands in 1606. His father was a miller, comfortably off and able to send Rembrandt to the town's Latin School. Leiden did not offer much in the way of artistic talent, and in 1624, after three years with a local painter, Rembrandt went to Amsterdam to study briefly with Pieter Lastman. Unusually, Rembrandt did not follow the advice that was given to young painters, namely to travel to Italy to study Italian art first hand. Amsterdam and marriage In around 1631, Rembrandt moved to Amsterdam, the most prosperous port in northern Europe, and 'crowded with merchants from every nation'. Rembrandt lodged in the house of an art dealer called Hendrick van Uylenburgh, and while there, he met his landlord's young cousin Saskia. Professionally, Rembrandt went from strength to strength. Continued success In 1639, Rembrandt and Saskia moved into a grander house, next to his old friend van Uylenburgh. Bankruptcy
The Bombing of Guernica, 1937 The Bombing of Guernica, 1937 The German bombers appeared in the skies over Guernica in the late afternoon of April 26, 1937 and immediately transformed the sleepy Spanish market town into an everlasting symbol of the atrocity of war. Unbeknownst to the residents of Guernica, they had been slated by their attackers to become guinea pigs in an experiment designed to determine just what it would take to bomb a city into oblivion. Spain was embroiled in a convulsive civil war that had begun in July 1936 when the right-wing Nationalists led by General Francisco Franco sought to overthrow Spain's left-wing Republican government. It did not take long before this bloody internal Spanish quarrel attracted the participation of forces beyond its borders - creating a lineup of opponents that foreshadowed the partnerships that would battle each other in World War II. Hitler's support of Franco consisted of the Condor Legion, an adjunct of the Luftwaffe.
Francisco de Goya (1746–1828) and the Spanish Enlightenment Francisco José de Goya y Lucientes (1746–1828) is regarded as the most important Spanish artist of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. Over the course of his long career, Goya moved from jolly and lighthearted to deeply pessimistic and searching in his paintings, drawings, etchings, and frescoes. Born in Fuendetodos, he later moved with his parents to Saragossa and, at age fourteen, began studying with the painter José Luzán Martínez (1710–1785). Goya's introduction to the royal workshops, a relationship that lasted the rest of his life and spanned four ruling monarchies, began in 1774. As Goya continued to move in circles of royal patronage, he received more commissions from the aristocracy. At the age of forty, Goya was appointed painter to King Charles III, and, in 1789, he was promoted to court painter under the newly accessioned Charles IV (r. 1788–1808).
The Legacy Project - Exhibition Intro By Paul Haim Without doubt, Guernica is Picasso's masterpiece, indeed the major artwork of the 20th century. The painting is remarkable for many reasons. First, though this may only be understood in retrospect, is Guernica's influence on the popular imagination. The tragedy unfolds on Monday, April 26, 1937. In 1937, public opinion had not yet hardened against such scenes of devastation, as it would by the end of World War II. Guernika was a peaceful, small city. Guernica has been described by a number of art historians as a painting of war, much like the large battlefield paintings of the 18th century. Picasso never clearly explained his use of the horse and the bull in Guernica. In April 1936, before the outbreak of the civil war, the Spanish government had commissioned from Picasso a large painting, intended for the Spanish pavilion of the 1937 World's Fair. As a result, we find ourselves before a remarkable and singular painting. Enter here
History - Leonardo da Vinci Marcel Duchamp and the Readymade Marcel Duchamp was a pioneer of , a movement that questioned long-held assumptions about what art should be, and how it should be made. In the years immediately preceding World War I, Duchamp found success as a painter in Paris. But he soon gave up painting almost entirely, explaining, “I was interested in ideas—not merely in visual products.” Marcel Duchamp. Bicycle Wheel. New York, 1951 (third version, after lost original of 1913) Marcel Duchamp. Marcel Duchamp. Marcel Duchamp. 3 Standard Stoppages. 1913–14 Seeking an alternative to representing objects in , Duchamp began presenting objects themselves as art. The readymade also defied the notion that art must be beautiful. Duchamp as quoted in “Eleven Europeans in America,” James Johnson Sweeney (ed.), The Museum of Modern Art Bulletin (New York), vol. 13, no. 4/5, 1946, p. 20 Duchamp as quoted in The Art of Assemblage: A Symposium, The Museum of Modern Art, New York, October 19, 1961 Duchamp as quoted in H. What’s in a Name?
National Portrait Gallery | Inventing Marcel Duchamp Throughout a lengthy career, which spanned much of the twentieth century, Marcel Duchamp recast accepted modes for assembling and describing identity. In 1917, having recently arrived in the United States, Duchamp found special significance in a mechanically produced photo-postcard that depicted him simultaneously from five different vantage points, thanks to a hinged mirror. The Five-Way Portrait of Marcel Duchamp suggests the artist’s early recognition of the multifarious nature of personal identity, something he would continue to explore throughout his career. Fascinated with the way portraits shape identity, Duchamp exploited the genre, often turning conventional codes for portrayal on their head. In 1921 Duchamp famously pictured himself as Rrose Sélavy (a pun translating to “Eros is life,” when pronounced aloud in French). Portraiture of Duchamp has continued since his death with recent depictions by artists such as Ray Beldner, Douglas Gordon, Yasumasa Morimura, and Mark Tansey.
Cubism - the first abstract style of modern art The Influence of Cézanne PAUL CÉZANNE (1839-1906) 'Bibemus Quarry', 1895 (oil on canvas) Cézanne was not primarily interested in creating an illusion of depth in his painting and he abandoned the tradition of perspective drawing. Perspective, which had been used since the Early Renaissance, was a geometric formula that solved the problem of how to draw three-dimensional objects on a two dimensional surface. The Cubist Vision GEORGES BRAQUE (1882-1963) 'Viaduct at L'Estaque', 1908 (oil on canvas) The limitations of perspective were also seen as an obstacle to progress by the Cubists. When you look at an object your eye scans it, stopping to register on a certain detail before moving on to the next point of interest and so on. A typical Cubist painting depicts real people, places or objects, but not from a fixed viewpoint. The Cubists JUAN GRIS (1887-1927) 'Violin and Glass', 1915 (oil on canvas) The Influence of African Art Analytical Cubism (1907-1912) Cubism had two distinct phases.
Paul Cézanne | artist | 1839 - 1906 Cézanne associated with the Impressionists, but always had other aims. He said that his ambition was to 'make of Impressionism something solid and durable like the art of museums'. Cézanne's work was discovered by the Paris avant-garde during the 1890s. It had a significant influence on Picasso and the development of 20th-century art. Cézanne's boyhood in Provence was dominated by his father, a wealthy banker, and his friend Emile Zola. Under family pressure he trained as a lawyer in his native Aix while attending lessons at the local drawing academy. Cézanne absorbed many influences, including those of Courbet and Manet, in his early years.
Edvard Munch Edvard Munch 1863-1944 Norwegian Expressionist painter, lithographer, etcher and wood-engraver of figure compositions, portraits and landscapes. Born in Loten, his family moving soon afterwards to Christiana (Oslo). Attended the Technical College 1879-80 to study engineering, then gave this up in order to paint. Early paintings in the realist tradition, influenced by his friend Christian Krohg. Published in:Ronald Alley, Catalogue of the Tate Gallery's Collection of Modern Art other than Works by British Artists, Tate Gallery and Sotheby Parke-Bernet, London 1981, p.548 My highlight: Goya | Art and design Critics aren’t supposed to admit they are – in shrink parlance – “conflicted”. But with many great artists, we can’t definitively say that their grandeur is not grossness, their profundity superficiality. The uncertainty principle was formulated brilliantly in 1759, when Sir Joshua Reynolds said of Michelangelo: “I have seen figures by him of which it was very difficult to determine whether they were in the highest degree sublime or extremely ridiculous”; too great an indulgence of imagination produced “incoherent monsters”, Reynolds said, while too much restraint resulted in “lifeless insipidity”. What would Reynolds have made of his Spanish near-contemporary, Goya, who takes us on an ethical-aesthetic roller coaster ride, both attractive and repulsive? An exhibition opening soon at the Courtauld gallery, in London, Goya: the Witches and Old Women Album, should dispel the simplistic, saintly image.
Gauguin Gauguin is one of the world’s most famous and best-loved artists from the early 20th century. For the first time in the UK in over 50 years, Tate Modern presents an exhibition dedicated to this master French Post-Impressionist, featuring paintings and drawings from around the world. His sumptuous, colourful images of women in Tahiti and beautiful landscape images of Brittany in France are some of the most popular images in Modern art. Gauguin was the ultimate global traveller, sailing the South Seas, and living in Peru, Martinique, and Paris among other places. This exhibition explores the role of the myths around the man – Gauguin as storyteller, painting himself as a Christ-like figure or even a demon in his own paintings, religious and mythical symbols in his work, and the manipulation of his own artistic identity. Gauguin sought to escape European civilisation in the South Seas.