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Category Archives: Drawing

Chinese Paintings from National Palace Museum, Taipei

國立故宮博物院 National Palace Museum
www.npm.gov.tw

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Sir Peter Paul Rubens

Peter Paul Rubens self-portrait, 1623

Peter Paul Rubens is considered one of the most important Flemish painters of the 17th century. His style became an international definition of the animated, exuberantly sensuous aspects of baroque painting. Combining the bold brushwork, luminous color, and shimmering light of the Venetian school with the fervent vigor of Michelangelo’s art and the formal dynamism of Hellenistic sculpture, Rubens created a vibrant art, its pulsating energies emanating from tensions between the intellectual and emotional, the classical and the romantic. For 200 years the vitality and eloquence of his work influenced such artists as Antoine Watteau, in the early 18th century, and Eugène Delacroix and Pierre Auguste Renoir, in the 19th century. 
Rubens’s father, Jan Rubens, was a prominent lawyer and Antwerp alderman. Having converted from Catholicism to Calvinism, Jan Rubens in 1568 fled Flanders with his family because of persecutions against Protestants. In 1577 Peter Paul was born in exile at Siegen, Westphalia (now in Germany), also the birthplace of his brother Philip and his sister Baldina. There, their father had become the adviser and lover of Princess Anna of Saxony, wife of Prince William I of Orange (William the Silent). 
On the death of Jan Rubens in 1587, his widow returned the family to Antwerp, where they again became Catholics. After studying the classics in a Latin school and serving as a court page, Peter Paul decided to become a painter. He apprenticed in turn with Tobias Verhaecht, Adam van Noort, and Otto van Veen, called Vaenius, three minor Flemish painters influenced by 16th-century Mannerist artists of the Florentine-Roman school. The young Rubens was as precocious a painter as he had earlier been a scholar of modern European languages and of classical antiquity. In 1598, at the age of 21, he was accorded the rank of master painter of the Antwerp Guild of St. Luke. 
Following the example of many northern European artists of the period, Rubens felt drawn by necessity to travel to Italy, the center of European art for the previous two centuries. In 1600 he arrived in Venice, where he was particularly inspired by the paintings of Titian, Paolo Veronese, and Tintoretto. Later, while resident in Rome, he was influenced by the works of Michelangelo and Raphael, as well as by ancient Greco-Roman sculpture. 
Vincenzo Gonzaga (reigned 1587-1612), the duke of Mantua, employed Rubens for about nine years. Besides executing original works, Rubens copied Renaissance paintings for the ducal collection, and in 1605 he served as the duke’s emissary to King Philip III of Spain. During his years in Italy, Rubens saw the early baroque works of the contemporary Italian painters Annibale Carracci and Caravaggio, and he associated with some of the leading humanist intellectuals of the day. When Rubens left Italy, he was no longer a bourgeois but a gentleman, and he was not a local artist but one of international style and reputation. 
His mother’s death in 1608 brought Rubens back to Antwerp, where he married Isabella Brant in 1609. Having formulated one of the first innovative expressions of the baroque style while in Italy, Rubens on his return was recognized as the foremost painter of Flanders and, therefore, was immediately employed by the burgomaster of Antwerp. His success was further confirmed in 1609, when he was engaged as court painter to the Austrian archduke Albert and his wife, the Spanish infanta Isabella, who together ruled the Low Countries as viceroys for the king of Spain. The number of pictures requested from Rubens was so large that he established an enormous workshop in which the master did the initial sketch and final touches, while his apprentices completed all the intermediary steps. Besides court commissions from Brussels and abroad, the highly devout Rubens was much in demand by the militant Counter Reformation church of Flanders, which regarded his dramatic, emotionally charged interpretations of religious events—such as the Triptych of the Raising of the Cross (1610-11, Antwerp Cathedral)—as images for spiritual recruitment and renewal. Prosperity allowed Rubens to build an Italianate residence in Antwerp, where he housed his extensive collection of art and antiquities. 
Between 1622 and 1630 Rubens’s value as a diplomat was equal to his importance as a painter. In 1622 he visited Paris, where the French queen Marie de Médicis commissioned him, for the Luxembourg Palace, to depict her life in a series of allegorical paintings (completed 1625). Despite the keen loss Rubens felt after the death of his wife in 1626, he continued to be highly productive. In 1628 he was sent by the Flemish viceroys to Spain. 
While in Madrid he received several commissions from King Philip IV of Spain, who made him secretary of his Privy Council. Rubens also served as a mentor to the young Spanish painter Diego Velázquez. After a delicate diplomatic mission to London in 1629, he was knighted by a grateful King Charles I of England, for whom he executed several paintings. For Charles, Rubens also made the preliminary sketches (finished in Antwerp, 1636) for the ceiling mural in the Whitehall Palace Banqueting Hall. 
From 1630, when he married Hélène Fourment, until his death on May 30, 1640, Rubens remained in Antwerp, living primarily at Castle Steen, his country residence. During this final decade he continued executing commissions for the Habsburg monarchs of Austria and Spain. More and more, he also painted pictures of personal interest, especially of his wife and child and of the Flemish countryside. 
The concerns of Rubens’s late style, and indeed of his whole career, are summarized in The Judgment of Paris (circa 1635-37, National Gallery, London). In this painting voluptuous goddesses are posed against a verdant landscape, goddesses and landscape both symbolizing the richness of creation. Color is luxuriant, light and shade glow, and the brushwork is sensuous. All these elements further the meaning of the narrative, which is Paris’s selection of what is most beautiful—the lifelong concern of Rubens in his art.

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Leonardo da Vinci: “All our knowledge has its origins in our perceptions”

Self-portrait, circa 1512

Leonardo da Vinci was a Florentine artist, one of the great masters of
the High Renaissance, who was also celebrated as a painter, sculptor,
architect, engineer, and scientist. His profound love of knowledge and
research was the keynote of both his artistic and scientific endeavors.
His innovations in the field of painting influenced the course of
Italian art for more than a century after his death, and his scientific
studies—particularly in the fields of anatomy, optics, and hydraulics—
anticipated many of the developments of modern science.Early Life in Florence
Leonardo was born on April 15, 1452, in the small Tuscan town
of Vinci, near Florence. He was the son of a wealthy Florentine
notary and a peasant woman. In the mid-1460s the family settled in
Florence, where Leonardo was given the best education that Florence,
the intellectual and artistic center of Italy, could offer. He rapidly
advanced socially and intellectually. He was handsome, persuasive
in conversation, and a fine musician and improviser. About 1466 he
was apprenticed as a garzone (studio boy) to Andrea del Verrocchio,
the leading Florentine painter and sculptor of his day. In Verrocchio’s
workshop Leonardo was introduced to many activities, from the
painting of altarpieces and panel pictures to the creation of large
sculptural projects in marble and bronze. In 1472 he was entered in
the painter’s guild of Florence, and in 1476 he is still mentioned as
Verrocchio’s assistant. In Verrocchio’s Baptism of Christ (circa 1470,
Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence), the kneeling angel at the left of the
painting is by Leonardo.
In 1478 Leonardo became an independent master. His first
commission, to paint an altarpiece for the chapel of the Palazzo
Vecchio, the Florentine town hall, was never executed. His first large
painting, The Adoration of the Magi (begun 1481, Galleria degli
Uffizi), left unfinished, was ordered in 1481 for the Monastery of San
Donato a Scopeto, Florence. Other works ascribed to his youth are the
so-called Benois Madonna (c. 1478, Hermitage, Saint Petersburg), the
portrait Ginerva de’ Benci (c. 1474, National Gallery, Washington,
D.C.), and the unfinished Saint Jerome (c. 1481, Pinacoteca, Vatican).


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Max Ernst. (2 April 1891 – 1 April 1976) was a German painter, sculptor, graphic artist, and poet.

Max Ernst, 1942 by Arnold Newman
Max Ernst: “Painting is not for me either decorative amusement, or the plastic invention of felt reality; it must be every time: invention, discovery, revelation.”

Chinese Painting from Western Galleries

“Treasures of Asia”
“100 reproductions in full color.”
Skira/Rizzoli reprint of the 1960 edition by James Cahill.


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Pablo Picasso – The early years,1892-1906

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Picasso was a renowned tattoo artist known for making the barbed wire popular after inking one on his left arm.

Pablo Picasso’s impact on the history of modern art has been profound. His early development was complex and innovative, constituting a subject of surprising depth. This exhibition is the first comprehensive survey of Picasso’s art before cubism, from the academic and realist work of his youth to his emergence as a brilliant stylist in late 1906.

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Gustav Klimt. Austrian Symbolist painter.

Gustav Klimt (July 14, 1862 – February 6, 1918) was an Austrian Symbolist painter.

Golden phase and critical success.
The Kiss 1907–1908. Oil on canvas. Österreichische Galerie Belvedere.
Klimt’s ‘Golden Phase’ was marked by positive critical reaction and success. Many of his paintings from this period used gold leaf; the prominent use of gold can first be traced back to Pallas Athene (1898) and Judith I (1901), although the works most popularly associated with this period are the Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer I (1907) and The Kiss (1907–1908). Klimt travelled little but trips to Venice and Ravenna, both famous for their beautiful mosaics, most likely inspired his gold technique and his Byzantine imagery. In 1904, he collaborated with other artists on the lavish Palais Stoclet, the home of a wealthy Belgian industrialist, which was one of the grandest monuments of the Art Nouveau age. Klimt’s contributions to the dining room, including both Fulfillment and Expectation, were some of his finest decorative work, and as he publicly stated, “probably the ultimate stage of my development of ornament.” Between 1907 and 1909, Klimt painted five canvases of society women wrapped in fur. His apparent love of costume is expressed in the many photographs of Flöge modeling clothing he designed.
As he worked and relaxed in his home, Klimt normally wore sandals and a long robe with no undergarments. His simple life was somewhat cloistered, devoted to his art and family and little else except the Secessionist Movement, and he avoided café society and other artists socially. Klimt’s fame usually brought patrons to his door, and he could afford to be highly selective. His painting method was very deliberate and painstaking at times and he required lengthy sittings by his subjects. Though very active sexually, he kept his affairs discreet and he avoided personal scandal.
Klimt wrote little about his vision or his methods. He wrote mostly postcards to Flöge and kept no diary. In a rare writing called “Commentary on a non-existent self-portrait”, he states “I have never painted a self-portrait. I am less interested in myself as a subject for a painting than I am in other people, above all women…There is nothing special about me. I am a painter who paints day after day from morning to night…Who ever wants to know something about me… ought to look carefully at my pictures.” (read more wikipedia)
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Jurgen Gorg

Born in Dermbach in West Germany in 1951 his formative years were spent in Koblenz before moving to Mainz to study at the Johannes Guttenberg University for four years. Gorg has happy memories of his student days and in particular of his teacher Saalfield who motivated him to draw with academic precision a skill which in no small way contributes to the quality of his work today. Gorg began his professional career in 1977 as a painter and printmaker and in 1980 he was awarded a special prize by the district of Rheinland Pfalz. His first sculpture was completed in 1990. There is a strong tradition in Germany for figurative art with erotic overtones and J’s work forms part of a new generation of artists in this area with fresh interpretations of the theme. In the forward of J’s latest book he describes his subject matter as: “.the human body; it is the body of the young slim beautiful person. The face remains vague the gestures are those of free motion. Everything concentrates on the body language and the erotic radiation of the figures”. His artistic universe consists of lovers dancers musicians and masked personages. Tender lithe slim and young these idealised loosely rendered figures suggest the timeless and eternal. An elusive quality is cultivated by Gorg who feels that something should always be left open. With his paintings J often uses a monochromatic palate. Soft colour is applied with graphite in combination with translucent layers of oil paint. Shading is subtle white highlights focus attention as does the sparing use of bright colour. G’s impact on the European art scene has been little short of sensational. Still only in his early 40’s he has emerged as a true and original talent utilising both traditional methods of printmaking as well as painting drawing and sculpture. His work is now much sought after. His technical accomplishment and his ability to reproduce the moving figure so sensitively make his work irresistible to his many collectors.
Anprobe

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Peter Fendi

(4 September 1796 – 28 August 1842) was an Austrian court painter, portrait and genre painter, engraver, and lithographer. He was one of the leading artists of the Biedermeier period. Life

Peter Fendi was born in Vienna on 4 September, 1796 to Joseph and Elizabeth Fendi. His father was a schoolmaster. He fell from a changing table as an infant, an accident which caused irreparable damage to his spine. Fendi demonstrated a talent for drawing from childhood. He was admitted to the St. Anna’s Academy of Fine Art in 1810 at the age of thirteen, where he studied for three years under Johann Martin Fischer, Hubert Maurer and Johann Baptist von Lampi the Elder.
Fendi met Joseph Barth, an art collector and the personal ophthalmologist of Joseph II, and through Barth’s connections to other influential artists, in 1818 Fendi found a job at the Imperial Gallery of Coins and Antiquities, where he worked as a draughtsman and engraver. Fendi received a gold medal in 1821 for his oil-painting Vilenica, and was elected a member of the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna in 1836.
Both nobles and commoners occasionally employed Fendi to give instruction in drawing and painting, and later in life teaching took up more of his time; his pupils included Carl Schindler and Johann Friedrich Treml. He died on 28 August, 1842.

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Agostino Carracci

 August 16, 1557 – March 22, 1602






Was an Italian painter and printmaker. He was the brother of the more famous Annibale and cousin of Lodovico Carracci.
He posited the ideal in nature, and was the founder of the competing school to the more gritty (for lack of a better term) view of nature as expressed by Caravaggio. He was, along with his brothers, one of the founders of the Accademia degli Incamminati, which helped propel painters of the School of Bologna to prominence. (wikipedia)


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