Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Mary Cassatt

The Blue Room
oil on canvas
90 x 129 cm
National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C., USA

Mary Stevenson Cassatt (1844-1926) was an American painter. She was educated at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, in Philadelphia. From there she went to Europe to further her studies. After a time, she settled in Paris an became involved with the Impressionist school of art. She first befriended Edgar Degas in France, one of the leaders of the Impressionist movement, who had seen her paintings exhibited in Paris. Degas invited her to join their group. Degas respected Cassatt's work, seeing in her careful compositions an approach to art that was deliberate and well thought out. She found her niche with the Impressionist approach, also became friends with Manet, another member of the movement.
The Impressionists concentrated on painting and pastel art, taking scenes from real life. This school of art used brighter colors and broader brushstrokes than the old masters. She often created images of the social and private lives of women going about their everyday life, with particular emphasis on the intimate bonds between mothers and children. She was described as one of "les trois grandes dames" of Impressionism alongside Marie Bracquemond and Berthe Morisot.

Cassatt's own works were very favourably received by the critics and contributed not a little to the acceptance of Impressionism. Despite her admiration for Degas, she was no slavish imitator of his style, retaining her own very personal idiom throughout her career. Her earlier works were marked by a certain lyrical effulgence and gentle, golden lighting, but by the 1890s, largely as a consequence of the exhibition of Japanese prints held in Paris at the beginning of that decade, her draughtsmanship became more emphatic, her colors clearer and more boldly defined.

In 1893, Cassatt was commissioned to paint a mural for Chicago’s World Fair. Ironically, after all those years abroad, this mural, entitled Modern Woman, made her well known in her home country. She worked hard to encourage American museums to develop collections of Impressionist art. From all accounts, the Modern Woman title of the mural, applied equally well to the artist, herself. She was a great practical support to the movement of Impressionism as a whole, both by providing direct financial help and by promoting the works of Impressionists in the USA.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Benjamin West

The Death of General Wolfe
oil on canvas
152.6 x 214.5 cm
National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, Canada

Benjamin West (1738-1820) was an American-born painter of historical, religious, and mythological subjects. He had a profound influence on the development of historical painting in Britain. He was historical painter to George III and a founder and president of the Royal Academy. He was one of the first American artists to win a wide reputation in Europe. He exerted considerable influence on the development of art in the United States.

He was born in Springfield (now Swarthmore) in the Pennsylvania colony. As a young man, he showed precocious artistic talent and was sent to Philadelphia in 1756 to study painting. At 20 years of age he was a successful portraitist in New York City and in 1760, he sailed for Italy, where Neoclassicism was rapidly gaining ground.

He visited most of the leading cities of Italy and in 1763 went to London, where he set up as a portrait painter. His subsequent patronage by George III and the assurance of financial support from the crown absolved him of the necessity to continue to earn a living through portraiture. Though loyal to America, he retained the king’s friendship and patronage until 1801. He gained widespread popularity, known in London as the American Raphael. In 1802 he visited Paris and exhibited his final sketch which anticipated developments in French Romantic painting. He never returned to the United States, but he exerted considerable influence on the development of art in USA during the first decades of the 19th century.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

John Singleton Copley

The Death of the Earl of Chatham
oil on canvas
228.6 307.3 cm
National Portrait Gallery, London, UK

John Singleton Copley (1738-1815) was an American painter of portraits and historical subjects. He is generally acclaimed as the finest artist of colonial America.

Little is known of his boyhood. He gained familiarity with graphic art from his stepfather. He soon discovered that his skills were most pronounced in the genre of portraiture. In his portraits, he revealed an intimate knowledge of his New England subjects and milieu and conveyed a powerful sense of physical entity and directness.

Although he was steadily employed with commissions from the Boston bourgeoisie, he wanted to test himself against the standards of Europe. When political and economic conditions in Boston began to deteriorate (his father-in-law was the merchant to whom the tea that provoked the Boston Tea Party was consigned), he left the country in 1774, never to return.

His ambitions in Europe went beyond portraiture. He was eager to make a success in the highly regarded sphere of historical painting. In his first important work in this genre in 1778, he used what was to become one of the great themes of 19th-century Romantic art: the struggle of man against nature. In 1779, he was elected to the Royal Academy. His English paintings grew more academically sophisticated and self-conscious, but in general they lacked the extraordinary vitality and penetrating realism of his Boston portraits.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Frederic Edwin Church

Niagara Falls
oil on canvas
106.5 x 229.9 cm
Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., USA

Frederic Edwin Church (1826-1900) was an American Romantic landscape painter. He was one of the most prominent members of the Hudson River school. He studied at his home in Catskill, New York. From the beginning he sought for his subjects marvels of nature such as Niagara Falls, volcanoes in eruption, and icebergs. He was greatly influenced by the writings of Alexander von Humboldt, the German naturalist. Through his use of light and colour and his depiction of natural phenomena such as rainbows, mist, and sunsets, he created renderings that were realistic and emotionally affecting.

In 1849 he was made a member of the National Academy of Design. In his lifetime, he received great praise for his work and sold his paintings for high prices. He died at Olana, his house on the Hudson River, which is now a museum.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Thomas Cole

Home in the Woods
oil on canvas
112.7 × 168 cm   
Reynolda House Museum of American Art, Winston-Salem, NC, USA

Thomas Cole (1801-1848) was an American artist. He is best known for his work as an American landscape artist. However, he also produced thousands of sketches of varying subject matter. Over 2,500 of these sketches can be seen at The Detroit Institute of Arts. He is regarded as the founder of the Hudson River School, an American art movement that flourished in the mid-19th century. His Hudson River School, as well as his own work, was known for its realistic and detailed portrayal of American landscape and wilderness, which feature themes of romanticism.

He was born in Bolton, Lancashire, England. In 1818 his family emigrated to the United States, settling in Ohio. Moving to Pittsburgh in 1823 and then to Philadelphia in 1824, he rejoined his parents and sister in New York City early in 1825. In 1826, he helped found the National Academy of Design. After 1827 he maintained a studio at the farm called Cedar Grove in the town of Catskill, New York. He painted a significant portion of his work in this studio. In 1836 he married Maria Bartow of Catskill, a niece of the owner, and became a year-round resident. He died at Catskill in 1848. The fourth highest peak in the Catskills is named Thomas Cole Mountain in his honor. Cedar Grove, also known as the Thomas Cole House, was declared a National Historic Site in 1999 and is now open to the public.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Eliseu Visconti

oil on canvas
size unknown
Pinacoteca do Estado de Sao Paulo, Brazil

Eliseu Visconti, born Eliseo d'Angelo Visconti (1866-1944) was an Italian-born Brazilian painter, cartoonist, and teacher. He is considered one of the very few impressionist painters of Brazil and the initiator of the art nouveau in Brazil.

He entered in 1884 the Liceu de Artes e Oficios do Rio de Janeiro. Parallel to his studies in the Liceu, he entered the Brazilian Imperial Academy. In 1888 he received a gold medal at the Academy. Thanks to a prize received, in 1892 he travelled to Paris, where he attended the Ecole des Beaux Arts the following year. He also took classes at the Academie Julian and the Ecole nationale superieure des arts decoratifs. He was accepted at the Salon de la Nationale des Beaux Arts and at the Salon of the Societe of des Artistes Francais.

As one of the Brazilian representatives to the Exposition Universelle 1900 he exhibited paintings for which he received a silver medal. Back in Brazil, he obtained the first place in a contest for the drawing of postal stamps for the Brazilian Casa da Moeda. He returned once to Europe, where he exhibited at the Paris Salon of 1905. In 1906, he was selected as a professor of painting at the Escola Nacional de Belas Artes, the same Imperial Academia renamed after the proclamation of the republic. He accepted the position the following year after returning to Brazil, where he remained a teacher until 1913.

In 1913, he returned to Europe in order to paint large scale panels. His plans to return to Brazil are interrupted by the First World War so he stays in France until 1920. In 1923, he painted the mural decoration of Rio de Janeiro's municipal council hall. In 1924, he painted the panel depicting the signature of the first Republican Constitution, for the old federal court, also in Rio de Janeiro.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Victor Meirelles

The First Mass in Brazil
oil on canvas
268 × 356 cm
Museu Nacional de Belas Artes, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Victor Meirelles de Lima (1832-1903) was a Brazilian painter who is best known for his works relating to his nation's culture and history. His parents were immigrants from Portugal. He displayed an early talent for art, producing his first known work, a landscape of Santa Catarina Island, at the age of fourteen.

It was decided that the Academia Imperial de Belas Artes in Rio de Janeiro would take charge of his education, so he enrolled there in 1847 and remained until 1852. That year, his painting of St.John the Baptist in Prison won him the Prix du Voyage for a study trip to Europe. He spent most of his time in Florence, Rome and Paris. During this period, he attended the Ecole des Beaux-Arts.

Upon his return to Brazil, Emperor Pedro II awarded him the Order of Christ and made him a Knight in the Order of the Rose. He became an Honorary Professor at the Academy and later was given the Chair of History Painting. In 1868, he spent time aboard several warships to complete a commission for naval history paintings and, over the next decade, executed numerous works for the Imperial Family.

After the Republic was declared in 1889, he and other artists associated with the monarchy were removed from their posts at the Imperial Academy although, officially, he was dismissed for his age. In 1893 he attempted to start a private school, but was not successful.
He died, unnoticed, at his modest home.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Jose Ferraz de Almeida Junior

oil on canvas
95 × 141 cm
Pinacoteca do Estado de Sao Paulo, Brazil

Jose Ferraz de Almeida Junior (1850-1899), known as Almeida Junior, was a Brazilian artist and designer; one of the first there to paint in the Realistic tradition of Gustave Courbet and Jean-Francois Millet.

In 1869, he enrolled at the Academia Imperial de Belas Artes. After graduating, he chose not to compete for a travel award to Europe, returning instead to Itu, and setting up a studio. In 1876, during a tour of the Sao Paulo region, Emperor Pedro II saw his work, was impressed, and personally offered his financial support. Later that year, a Royal Decree awarded him 300 Francs per month for the purpose of studying in Paris.

He soon settled in Montmartre and enrolled at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts. He remained in Paris until 1882 then, after a brief trip to Italy, returned to Brazil and exhibited the works he had created during his absence. He held exclusive art exhibitions and executed portraits of notable people, ranging from coffee barons to Republican politicians. In 1884, he held a showing at the Exposicao Geral de Belas Artes and was made a Knight in the Order of the Rose.

From 1887 to 1896, he made three more trips to Europe. During this period, he would increasingly turn from Biblical and historical works in favor of regionalist themes, depicting the everyday life and leaving the Academic style behind while gradually approaching Naturalism. Despite these changes, his reputation at the Academy remained unchallenged and he received the Gold Medal there in 1898.

His life ended tragically a year later when he was stabbed to death in front of a hotel by his cousin.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Karl Ernst Papf

oil on canvas
36 x 24.5 cm
Private collection

Karl Ernst Papf, or Ernesto Papf (1833-1910) was a German-born Brazilian photographer, painter and designer. He came from a family of miners that originated in Freiberg. Not wishing to follow the family profession, he enrolled at the Dresden Academy of Fine Arts where, in 1852. In 1867, he received an offer of employment from a photography studio, and moved to Brazil with his wife and young son.

He initially worked in Recife, then moved to Salvador in 1872 remaining there until 1877. Seeking greater opportunities, he again moved to Rio de Janeiro in 1878. The following year, he was commissioned to paint members of the Imperial Family. In addition to his commercial work, he painted still-lifes and landscapes. In 1880, he settled in Petropolis, and by 1885 had established his own studio. The Imperial Family became one of his regular clients.

As the rapidly expanding coffee industry created a spurt of growth in Sao Paulo, in 1899, he bought a farm, called Palmeiras Ranch, in the vicinity and opened a new studio there.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Antonio Parreiras

The Windstorm
oil on canvas
150 × 100 cm
Pinacoteca do Estado de Sao Paulo, Brazil

Antonio Diogo da Silva Parreiras (1860-1937) was a Brazilian painter, designer and illustrator. His father was a goldsmith. In 1882, he enrolled at the Academia Imperial de Belas Artes in Rio de Janeiro, but left two years later to attend the free painting classes. In 1886, his work "The Windstorm" was purchased by Emperor Pedro II. This allowed him to resume his formal studies and travel to Europe in 1888, entering the Accademia di Belle Arti di Venezia. Upon his return to Brazil in 1890, he participated in the "Exposicao Gerais de Belas Artes". Later that same year, he became a Professor of landscape painting at the Escola Nacional de Belas Artes (ENBA) and introduced his students to plein-air painting. Following disagreements with ENBA over changes in the curriculum, he set up his own school called the " Escola do Ar Livre".

He received numerous commissions to paint historical scenes and, after 1899, did decorations for the government in public building. His female nudes are also considered to be especially well done. From 1906 to 1919, he maintained a second studio in Paris and exhibited at the Salon. In 1925 he was chosen as Brazil's best artist by the readers of a magazine Fon-Fon.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Ismael Nery

Valentine (Namorados)
c. 1927
oil on canvas
58.5 x 58.5 cm
other detail unknown

Ismael Nery (1900-1934), born in Belem, was a Native-Brazilian and African ancestry modernist painter, influenced by expressionism, cubism and surrealism. He created numerous paintings, wrote many poems and also helped design Brazil's National Patrimony of the Treasury department.

In 1909 he moved to Rio de Janeiro. In 1915, he entered the the Escola Nacional de Belas Artes (National School of Fine Arts) in Rio de Janeiro. He traveled to Europe in 1920 and studied at the Academie Julian in Paris. Back to Brazil, he worked in the architecture section at the National Heritage of the Ministry of Finance.

In 1922 he married the poetess Adalgisa Ferreira. In 1926 he began his philosophical system and neo-Thomist Catholic foundation, called essentialism. In 1927 he made a trip to Europe, where he became acquainted with Marc Chagall and other Surrealists. His work suffered, too, metaphysics influence of Giorgio de Chirico and Cubism of Pablo Picasso. His subjects are always referred to the human figure: portraits, self-portraits and nudes.

In 1929, after a trip to Argentina and Uruguay, a diagnosis revealed that he was carrying tuberculosis, leading him to enter a hospital for a period of two years. He came out of it apparently cured. However, in 1933, the disease returned permanently. He died in 1934, at thirty-three years old, in Rio de Janeiro.

His work remained ignored by the public and critics until 1965, when his name was inscribed on the 8th Bienal de Sao Paulo, in the Special Chamber of Surrealism and Fantastic Art. His works were also exhibited at the 10th Biennial. In 1966 in Rio de Janeiro, and in 1984, at the Museum of Contemporary Art at the University of Sao Paulo (Ismael Nery Retrospective - 50 Years Later), two retrospectives of his works were made.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Rodolfo Amoedo

The model's rest
c. 1900
oil on canvas
other detail unknown

Rodolfo Amoedo (1857-1941) was a Brazilian painter, designer and decorator. In 1873, he enrolled at the Liceu de Artes e Oficios do Rio de Janeiro, and the following year, he transferred to the Academia Imperial de Belas Artes.

In 1878, his painting won him a travel fellowship to study in Europe, and from 1879 to 1887, he lived and studied in Paris. He attended the Academie Julian, but finally managed to enroll at the Ecole des Beaux-arts in 1880, where he received the guidance of Puvis de Chavannes, etc.. From 1882 to 1884, he participated in the Salon while developing his primary themes of mythology, Biblical scenarios and Indianismo.

On his return to Rio de Janeiro in 1888, he was appointed an Honorary Professor at the Academia. In 1908, he won a gold medal at the Exposicao Nacional Comemorativa do 1o Centenario da Abertura dos Portos do Brasil. He later became a Professor at the Escola Nacional de Belas Artes.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Augustus Earle

Capoeira (Negros combatendo)
c. 1820
watercolor on paper
16.5x25.1 cm
other detail unknown

Augustus Earle (c. 1793-c. 1838) was a London-born travel artist who played an active role internationaly including Brazil. He was a professional artist who painted highly competent portraits, landscapes, and genre scenes of colonial and shipboard life. Unlike earlier artists who worked outside Europe and were employed on voyages of exploration or worked abroad for wealthy, often aristocratic patrons, he was able to operate quite independently - able to combine his lust for travel with an ability to earn a living through art.  The unique body of work he produced during his travels comprises one of the most significant documentary records of the effects of European contact and colonisation during the early nineteenth century. His book, criticized by Darwin as too critical of the New Zealand missionaries, is colourful and well written.

He received his artistic training in the Royal Academy and was already exhibiting there at the age of 13. He exhibited classical, genre and historical paintings in six Royal Academy exhibitions between 1806 and 1814. In 1815, he was given permission to pass through the Mediterranean aboard a ship which was part of Admiral Exmouth's Royal Navy fleet. He thus visited Sicily, Malta, Gibraltar and North Africa, before returning to England in 1817. In March 1818, he left England, bound for the United States of America on the first stage of a journey that would end up taking him around-the-world to South America, Tristan da Cunha, New South Wales, New Zealand, the Pacific, Asia, India, Mauritius and St Helena before returning home in late 1829. The first leg of his 1818 voyage took him to New York and Philadelphia. Continuing his voyage in 1820, he sailed for Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, visiting Chile and Peru. During the subsequent three years spent in Rio de Janeiro, he produced a large number of sketches and watercolours. A number of the works produced dealt with the subject of slavery. Other works included landscapes and a series of portraits.

In 1824, he left Rio de Janeiro for the Cape of Good Hope, and onwards to Calcutta. He soon established a reputation as the colony's first & foremost artist of significance. Upon setting up a small business, Earle received a number of requests for portraits. These commissions came from a number of Sydney's establishment figures & leading families. Throughout this time, Earle also continued to produce a number of water colours which mainly fall into three categories : landscapes, Aboriginal subjects, and a series of views of public and private buildings that record the development of the colony.

He also made several excursions to outlying areas of the colony, travelling north and south of Sydney. In 1827, he left Sydney to visit New Zealand. He then spent back in Sydney before departing in 1828, on board the ship bound for India via the Caroline Islands, Guam, one of the Ladrones, Manila, Singapore and Pulo-Penang, before disembarking at Madras in India. He returned to England in 1830. In 1832 he embarked with Charles Darwin as topographical artist and draughtsman aboard the Beagle, but problems with his health forced him to leave the ship at Montevideo and return to England. His place on Darwins' ship was taken over by Conrad Martens. He died in London in 1838.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Pedro Americo

Independence or Death!
oil on canvas
4.15 m × 7.60 m
Museu Paulista, Sao Paulo, Brazil

Pedro Americo de Figueiredo e Melo (1843-1905), born in Areias, was one of the most important academic painters of Brazil. Endowed with extraordinary talent, he was also a writer and ventured in literature, Sciences and politics.

Born in a family of artists, he soon showed his intellectual and artistic skills under the guidance of his father, a violinist, who introduced him to the rudiments of music and culture in general. He moved to Rio de Janeiro in 1854, where he was granted a scholarship to study in the Academia Imperial de Belas Artes (Imperial Academy of Fine Arts). Later he furthered his studies in Europe, at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris, being a pupil of Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres, winning much praise for his paintings, and achieving the Doctorate in Sciences at the University of Brussels, in 1868. Returning to Brazil, he produced one of the most well known works of art in Brazil: Independence or Death!, depicting the moment when Prince Peter declared the country independent from Portugal, a work that has illustrated History books for elementary schools in Brazil for decades.

Living mostly in Florence, Italy but traveling extensively back and forth from Rio de Janeiro, he managed to work also as a lecturer and an art historian. Knighted by the German Crown he was also Great Knight of the Order of the Holy Sepulchre. With the proclamation of the Republic in Brazil in 1889, he was elected a deputy of the National Assembly.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Hipolito Boaventura Caron

Boa Viagem Beach, Niteroi
oil on canvas
50.2 × 75 cm
Museu Nacional de Belas Artes, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Hipolito Boaventura Caron (1862-1892) was a Brazilian painter and designer. In 1880, he enrolled at the Academia Imperial de Belas Artes. In 1883, he and several others withdrew from the Academy and established an outdoor school devoted to plein-air painting. In 1884, he won a Gold Medal at the Exposicao Geral de Belas Artes. In 1885, he visited France to study landscape painting. He remained there for three years, travelling throughout Brittany and Normandy. Upon his return, he toured Minas Gerais and received several commissions for decorations, including murals. From 1890 to 1891, he lived in Sabara. Continuing to travel between Minas Gerais and Juiz de Fora, working on commissions, he returned from one trip ill with yellow fever and died soon after.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Lucilio de Albuquerque

Portrait of Georgina de Albuquerque
oil on canvas
61 × 50 cm
Pinacoteca do Estado de Sao Paulo, Brazil

Lucilio de Albuquerque (1877-1939) was a Brazilian painter, designer and art professor (Georgina de Albuquerque was his wife). He is best known for his portraits and landscapes. He also designed the stained-glass windows for the Brazilian Pavilion at the Turin International and did decorative paintings for the Palacio Pedro Ernesto. Georgina de Albuquerque was his wife.

His father was a magistrate. After a brief period of studying law, he enrolled at the Escola Nacional de Belas Artes (ENBA) to study art. In 1906, his painting won him ENBA's Travel Award and left for France. He remained in France for five years, and attended the Academie Julian. Upon returning to Brazil in 1911, he became a Professor of Figure Drawing and was appointed to a chair in 1916. Over the next decade, he received many awards and became the Director of ENBA in 1937, though he resigned a year later due to poor health.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Leonor Fini

Vesper Express
color serigraph
56 x 38.7 cm
published by Editions du Tamanoir, Bruxelles/Paris

"Marriage never appealed to me, I've never lived with one person. Since I was 18, I've always preferred to live in a sort of community - A big house with my atelier and cats and friends, one with a man who was rather a lover and another who was rather a friend. And it has always worked." (Leonor Fini)

Leonor Fini (1907-1996) was born in Buenos Aires, raised in Trieste, Italy, moved to Milan at the age of 17, and then to Paris, in either 1931 or 1932. There, she became acquainted with, Paul Eluard, Max Ernst, Georges Bataille, Picasso, Salvador Dali, Jean Cocteau, Giorgio de Chirico, and Alberto Moravia. She painted portraits of many celebrities such as Jean Genet.

It has been said about her that she is the only artist to paint women without apology.
Many of her paintings feature strong, beautiful women (many times resembling herself) in ceremonial or provocative situations. Men are often portrayed as lithe figures who are under the protection of her females.

She never considered herself a Surrealist at all, though she maintained close personal relationships with several members of the group and included work in several important Surrealist exhibitions in the 1930s. Although she shared the Surrealist interest in dream, reverie, psychic transformation, and a poetics of suggestion and allusion, her work remains firmly rooted in the traditions of Symbolism, Metaphysics and Italian and German Romanticism.

She illustrated many works by the great authors and poets, including Edgar Allan Poe, Charles Baudelaire and Shakespeare, as well as texts by new writers. She was very generous with her illustrations and donated many drawings to writers to help them get published. She is best known for her graphic illustrations for Histoire d'O.

She was equally adept at etching, drawing, watercolor and oil painting. she wrote three novels, Rogomelec, Moumour, Contes pour enfants velu and Oneiropompe.

She lived with many cats; up to a total of 23 at one time. The illness of one of her cats could send her into a deep depression. She later employed an assistant to join the household, which he described as "a little bit of prison and a lot of theatre". One of his jobs was to look after her beloved Persian cats. Over the years she acquired 17 of them; they shared her bed and, at mealtimes, were allowed to roam the dining-table selecting tasty morsels.

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Martin Malharro

oil on canvas
other details unknown

Martin Malharro (1865-1911), born in the city of Azul, came from a well-to-do family, with lands in the Province of Buenos Aires, Argentina. His childhood interest in painting led to domestic violence at home, from which he left for Buenos Aires in 1879. He was invited to the Ramos Mejia ranch in 1887, where, as an artist-in-residence, he gained experience as a landscape artist. His presentation at the National Atheneum in 1894, which consisted mainly of landscapes, particularly wheat fields, was well received by critics. This relative success allowed him to travel to Paris in 1895. He also drew on his experience at the Ramos Mejia ranch to refine his skill as a landscape impressionist, drawing influences from Camille Pissarro, Claude Monet and the Naturalist Barbizon School.

His noctural scenes became particularly coveted by buyers and lauded by critics. His work took an increasingly Symbolist direction and away from earlier studies on wheat fields, a common subject among Impressionist artists in Argentina at the time. This trend became the first prominent Post-impressionists in Argentina, where it is known as the Nexus group. The sudden renown secured him a post in the prestigious University of La Plata as Dean of the School of Art, as well as in the National Fine Arts Academy. He died in Buenos Aires in 1911, at age 46.

Friday, June 12, 2015

Ramon Silva

Alrededores de Paris
oil on canvas
38 x 46 cm
Current location    
National Museum of Fine Arts in Buenos Aires, Argentina

He was a self-taught painter. The promising student was sponsored by one of the nation's foremost physicians at the time. And, for a 1911 scholarship, he was taken to Paris, where he received influences from the Post-impressionist artists then current in Europe, particularly Alfred Sisley.

Returning to Buenos Aires in 1915, his watercolors received little acceptance and were judged to be more akin to the Postimpressionist approach of artists, then still pariahs among most local critics. Preferring solitude, he worked mostly in and around the arboretum, an extensive park in the Buenos Aires district of Palermo. Remaining in poverty, he contracted pneumonia, which cost him his life in 1919 at age 28.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Benjamin Franklin Rawson

Retrato de Eduardo Lahitte Uribelarrea
oil on canvas
130.5 x 101.0 cm
National Museum of Fine Arts in Buenos Aires, Argentina

Benjamin Franklin Rawson (1819-1871), born in the city of San Juan, was an Argentine painter who belonged to the first generation of Argentine painters called the "precursors". He painted figures and scenes of his time, always characterized with a sense of balance. Most of his work consists of portraits and miniatures, lucrative genres because the wealthy social sector paid well to preserve their images.

When he turned eighteen years old, his father sent him to Buenos Aires to study painting, where he perfected portrait and miniature painting. After studying in Buenos Aires, he returned to San Juan. However, mainly due to the political conflicts that erupted in the province, he was forced to leave the country in 1842, taking refuge in Chile. There he continued his painting apprenticeship.

He returned to San Juan in 1847 and was elected a provincial deputy. However, he resigned and moved back to Buenos Aires, where he continued his painting. He died in Buenos Aires in 1871, one of the victims of an epidemic of yellow fever that struck the city in those years.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Prilidiano Pueyrredon

Un alto en el campo (A stop on the field)
oil on canvas
75.5 x 166.5 cm
National Museum of Fine Arts in Buenos Aires, Argentina

Prilidiano Pueyrredon (1823-1870), born in Buenos Aires, was an Argentine painter, architect, and engineer. He was one of the most important of the first generation of local artists which emerged in the nineteenth century in the Argentina, and was a prominent architect and undertook important public works. He got his fame and prestige through their portraits, but also painted numerous landscapes and pastoral scenes. He combined his painting career with architecture.

In 1835 his family relocated to Europe, where he completed his education. He spent the school year in Paris and summers in Cadiz, where his father owned a business importing Argentine leather. Six years later, as relations between France and Argentina suffered, his family left Europe for Rio de Janeiro. He traveled again to Europe in 1844. Already in the old continent, he enrolled in the Polytechnic Institute of Paris, where he studied architecture without abandoning the practice of drawing and painting. In 1849, he returned to Argentina.

The 1850s and 1860s were his most prolific period as a painter. 233 works survive from this period, more than half of them commissioned portraits. Around the same time, he became one of the first painters to explore the figure of the gaucho, whom he depicted in the Romantic style he had discovered while living in Europe. Many of his most famous works depict life in the wilds of the Pampas and on the banks of the Rio de la Plata.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Anselmo Piccoli

oil on metal plate
other details unknown

Anselmo Piccoli (1915-1992), born in Rosario, was an Argentine Abstract artist. Although he was politically active as a Socialist during secondary school, he found time to attend the local Gaspary Academy to be trained as a painter. His work was awarded at a competition in Rosario in 1941 and he joined the Independent Artists' Group, a local guild in 1942. The following year, he was awarded his first personal art exhibition at Rosario's prestigious Juan B. Castagnino Fine Arts Museum.

He married Lydia Langbart in 1944, devoted himself to family and, though he continued to paint, his art show appearances became less frequent. He was awarded numerous prestigious prizes, notably the inclusion in 1954 of a selection of his work at the Emilio Caraffa Fine Arts Museum in Cordoba. His technique continued to evolve during this interim and, creating a portrait of his wife Lydia in 1959, his use of geometry marked a clear trend in his work towards Constructivism.

Monday, June 8, 2015

Charles Pellegrini

other detail unknown

Charles Henri Pellegrini (1800-1875), born in France, was a talented sketch artist at an early age, and his drawings earned a prize while he was still in primary school. He enrolled at the University of Turin and later at the Ecole Polytechnique, near Paris, where he earned an engineering degree.

He was contracted as an engineer by a prominent Spanish Argentine merchant and he arrived in Buenos Aires in 1828. He took a post in the Hydraulic Engineering Department. The bureau, however, was decommissioned in 1829 by order of the Governor of Buenos Aires.

He received numerous contracts as an engineer and architect. The most notable of his works in this latter field was the Colon Theatre. The 2,500 seat opera house, inaugurated in 1857, would be the largest in Argentina until the inaugural of the modern Colon Theatre in 1908.

He published a volume of poetry in his later years. His eldest son, Carlos Pellegrini, was elected Vice President of Argentina in 1886, and became President in 1890. Many of his watercolours are housed in the National Museum of Fine Arts.

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Carlos Morel

Combate de caballeria en la epoca de Rosas
oil on canvas
c. 1839
45 x 54 cm
National Museum of Fine Arts in Buenos Aires, Argentina

Carlos Morel (1813-1894), born in Buenos Aires, was a prominent Argentine painter in the nineteenth century, known as the first truly Argentine painter. His father was a wealthy Spanish merchant. He entered the art school of the University of Buenos Aires in 1827, graduating in 1830 at the age of seventeen. As early as 1837 he was described as a promising young painter.

He painted a variety of subjects including portraits, miniatures, genre scenes, battle scenes and later painted religious subjects, which are not considered his best work. He is best known for his lithographs. His most famous work is a series of 24 plates called Manners and Customs of the Rio de la Plata, published in 1845.

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Pio Collivadino

Usina (Power Plants)
c. 1914
oil on canvas
82 x 106 cm
other detail unknown

Pio Collivadino (1869-1945), born in Buenos Aires, was an Argentine painter of the post-impressionist school. He studied drawing at the Italian Argentine cultural society, the Societa Nazionale de Buenos Aires, and in 1889, he traveled to Rome, where in 1891 he was accepted into the Accademia di San Luca, the National Academy of Fine Arts.

He returned to Argentina in 1896 and became known for his romanticist lithographs. His successes encouraged him to transition to Post-impressionism, a genre which had not yet found favor among Argentine art patrons. Honored with the Order of the Crown of Italy in 1905, he became an honorary member of the Accademia di Brera, in Milan. He remained sought-after in Argentina, and was named Director of the Academy of Fine Arts in 1908. He was named director of scenography at the renowned Colon Theatre and remained head of the Academy of Fine Arts and taught there until his retirement in 1935. He helped organize the Prilidiano Pueyrredon School of Fine Arts in 1939, and the Ernesto de la Carcova Museum, in 1941.

On the 4th of June in 1943, the revolution erupted and expelled him, a distinguished artist who had devoted his life to the School. The noted painter and teacher died in Buenos Aires, in 1945, at age 76.

Friday, June 5, 2015

Numa Ayrinhac

Official portrait of Juan Domingo Peron and Evita
He is the only Argentine President accompanied by the First Lady in an official portrait.
oil on canvas
Museum of the Argentine Bicentennial, Buenos Aires, rgentina

Numa Ayrinhac (1881-1951) was a Franco-Argentine artist. He was born in Espalion, France, and moved with his parents at age 5 to the new settlement of Pigue, Saavedra, Argentina. He is famous for painting portraits of Eva and Juan Domingo Peron.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Fernando Fader

Caballos (horses)
oil on canvas
90 x 130 cm
National Museum of Fine Arts in Buenos Aires, Argentina

Fernando Fader (1882-1935), born in Bordeaux, France, was a French-born Argentine painter of the Post-impressionist school. His father, of Prussian descent, relocated the family to Argentina in 1884, settling in the western city of Mendoza.

He relocated to Munich in 1900, where he enrolled at a local vocational school. There, he was trained at the prestigious Munich Academy of Fine Arts. He returned briefly to Buenos Aires, where his work was first exhibited. His landscapes quickly established him as a Post-impressionist painter. He settled in Buenos Aires in 1914, where he obtained a first prize at the Fourth National Art Bienale. He toured art galleries in Spain and Germany and earned a gold medal at the Pacific International Exposition in San Francisco, in 1915.

An onset of tuberculosis, however, forced him to relocate to the drier climates of the Argentine Andes foothills. His stay in Cordoba refocused his work along more Impressionistic lines, employing a greater use of sunlight contrasts. This productive period was cut short by a sudden worsening of his breathing difficulties around 1921. Forced into reclusion by ill health, he died in Ischilin Department, Cordoba at age 52.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Candido Lopez

Battle of Tuyuti Candido Lopez
other details unknown

Candido Lopez (1840-1902) was an Argentinian photographer, soldier and painter, who worked in the Naive style. He is best known for historical scenes from the Paraguayan War.

Between 1859 and 1863, he often toured the small cities and villages of Buenos Aires Province and the south of Santa Fe Province, taking a large number of photographs. When the Paraguayan War began, he enlisted and was given the rank of Second Lieutenant and he was assigned to the battalion of the San Nicolas Infantry. During his free time between battles, he painted landscapes and pictures of the military camps. Later, he participated in the battles of Estero Bellaco and Boqueron. At the Battle of Curupayty, his right wrist was shattered by a grenade explosion and his arm had to amputated above the elbow to prevent the spread of gangrene. He retired as an invalid and, he returned to San Nicolas. Once there, he began to practice painting with his left hand, but it was not until 1869 that he considered himself adept enough to continue his career. At that point, he devoted himself entirely to painting scenes of battles and military encampments.

He never achieved financial success, despite a well-received exhibition in 1885. So, two years later, he sent a letter to former President Mitre, asking for his intercession to receive public assistance. Mitre agreed to provide a subsidy in return for a series of paintings documenting the war. From 1888 to 1902, he was busily involved in creating the requested works, based on sketches he had made during his tour of duty.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Ernesto de la Carcova

No Bread, No Work
from 1892 until 1893
oil on canvas
125.5 × 216 cm   
National Museum of Fine Arts in Buenos Aires, Argentina

Ernesto de la Carcova (1866-1927), born in Buenos Aires, was an Argentine painter of the Realist school. Taking an early interest in the canvas, he attended the prestigious Accademia Albertina in Turin. He completed his best-known work, No bread, No Work, in 1893, during the severe recession that followed the Panic of 1890.

Gaining increasing renown, he was invited to direct the Argentine Artists' Fellowship Program in Paris in 1902. During his stay in Europe, he took an interest in sculpture, purchasing a number of reproductions of works in the Berlin State Museums collections, including those of a number of ancient Egyptian, Chaldean, and Greek busts and bronzes. Returning to Buenos Aires, he displayed a number of these works at the Buenos Aires Centennial Exposition in 1910.

He accepted a professorship at the University of Buenos Aires and, continuing to participate in international events. He was appointed in 1921 as the first President of the National School of Fine Arts, an institution that absorbed Sivori's academy. The school is today part of the National University Art Institute, Argentina's foremost institution of its type.

Monday, June 1, 2015

Fernando Botero

la famille (the family)
other details unknown
Fair use

Fernando Botero Angulo (1932- ) is a figurative artist and sculptor from Medellin, Colombia. His signature style, also known as "Boterismo", depicts people and figures in large, exaggerated volume, which can represent political criticism or humor, depending on the piece.

He is considered the most recognized and quoted living artist from Latin America. Working most of the year in Paris, in the last three decades he has achieved international recognition for his paintings, drawings and sculpture, with exhibitions across the world. His art is collected by many major international museums, corporations, and private collectors.

He was born the second of three sons, and his father, a salesman who traveled by horseback, died of a heart attack when Fernando was four. His mother worked as a seamstress. An uncle took a major role in his life. His own paintings were first exhibited in 1948 at age 16, and two years later, in Bogota, he had his first one-man show. In 1953, he moved to Paris, where he spent most of his time in the Louvre, studying the works there. He lived in Florence, Italy from 1953 to 1954, studying the works of Renaissance masters. In recent decades, he has lived most of the time in Paris, but spends one month a year in his native city of Medellin.

While his work includes still-lifes and landscapes, he has concentrated on situational portraiture. His paintings and sculptures are united by their proportionally exaggerated, or "fat" figures.

In 2012, he received the International Sculpture Center's Lifetime Achievement in Contemporary Sculpture Award.