Eastman Johnson - Wikipedia
The earliest Renaissance portraits were not paintings in their own right, but of portraiture comes across in the considerable conservatism of the genre: most. One can turn nowhere without seeing pictures: "The whole world depends on . " Vermeer, who begun to produce his genre paintings in the late s, could .. who died in ; Frans Hals, who died in ; and Rembrandt, who died in. Dying to Meet You (43 Old Cemetery Road) [Kate Klise, M. Sarah Klise] on to find some peace and quiet so he can crack a wicked case of writer's block.
In his drawings and paintings, Johnson portrayed Ojibwe people in a more intimate and relaxed manner than was usual for paintings of that period. Also unusual was that he often included the subject's names in the titles of the works.
He did not focus solely on individual portraits, but also did paintings and sketches of scenes which include Ojibwe dwellings, St. Louis bayand other groupings of Ojibwe in everyday activities.
He moved to Cincinnati, Ohio to earn money by portrait commissions, and never returned to the subject of the Ojibwe. They are now owned by the St. Negro Life at the Southcompleted shortly before the Civil War began, is considered Johnson's masterpiece. Because of its complexity, it has been analyzed and interpreted at length by scholars.
The setting is the backyard of slave quarters near Johnson's father's house in Washington. At the right edge, a young white woman in a refined white dress steps over a threshold from the house next door into this world, with another black figure behind her. She is Johnson's sister. The woman dancing with the child in the middle foreground has the darkest skin; nearly each individual is painted with a different skin tone.
Johnson places the slave family squarely in the center of the work, acting as agents of their own destiny. She looks behind her as if worried about pursuers, or wondering what she left behind.
Johnson placed these people squarely in the foreground and, in doing so, elevated their plight in the national debate. In Boston, Sargent was honored with his first solo exhibition, which presented twenty-two of his paintings. Back in London, Sargent was quickly busy again.
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His working methods were by then well-established, following many of the steps employed by other master portrait painters before him. After securing a commission through negotiations which he carried out, Sargent would visit the client's home to see where the painting was to hang. He would often review a client's wardrobe to pick suitable attire.
Some portraits were done in the client's home, but more often in his studio, which was well-stocked with furniture and background materials he chose for proper effect. He usually kept up pleasant conversation and sometimes he would take a break and play the piano for his sitter. Sargent seldom used pencil or oil sketches, and instead laid down oil paint directly.
Sargent had no assistants; he handled all the tasks, such as preparing his canvases, varnishing the painting, arranging for photography, shipping, and documentation. Morning Walk,private collection AroundSargent painted two daring non-commissioned portraits as show pieces—one of actress Ellen Terry as Lady Macbeth and one of the popular Spanish dancer La Carmencita.
In the s, he averaged fourteen portrait commissions per year, none more beautiful than the genteel Lady Agnew of Lochnaw, Hugh Hammersleywas equally well received for its lively depiction of one of London's most notable hostesses.
As a portrait painter in the grand manner, Sargent had unmatched success; he portrayed subjects who were at once ennobled and often possessed of nervous energy.
Sargent was referred to as "the Van Dyck of our times. Sargent painted a series of three portraits of Robert Louis Stevenson. Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson. Asher Wertheimer, a wealthy Jewish art dealer living in London, commissioned from Sargent a series of a dozen portraits of his family, the artist's largest commission from a single patron.
Wertheimer bequeathed most of the paintings to the National Gallery. Ina friend sponsored a famous portrait in oil of Mr. Phelps Stokesby Sargent, as a wedding gift. BySargent was at the height of his fame.
Cartoonist Max Beerbohm completed one of his seventeen caricatures of Sargent, making well-known to the public the artist's paunchy physique. His An Interior in Venicea portrait of four members of the Curtis family in their elegant palatial home, Palazzo Barbarowas a resounding success. But, Whistler did not approve of the looseness of Sargent's brushwork, which he summed up as "smudge everywhere. Relieved, he stated, "Painting a portrait would be quite amusing if one were not forced to talk while working…What a nuisance having to entertain the sitter and to look happy when one feels wretched.
During a visit to Rome in Sargent made an oil painting and several pencil sketches of the exterior staircase and balustrade in front of the Church of Saints Dominic and Sixtusnow the church of the Pontifical University of Saint Thomas Aquinas, Angelicum.
The double staircase built in is the design of architect and sculptor Orazio Torriani fl. In he wrote: That year he declined a knighthood and decided instead to keep his American citizenship.
From  on, Sargent largely forsook portrait painting and focused on landscapes in his later years. He made numerous visits to the United States in the last decade of his life, including a stay of two full years from to On the other hand, a cutting-edge fijnschilder fine painting work of Gerrit Dou might be sold for 1, guilders or more, the cost of a comfortable Dutch house.
Camphuyzen…was roused because the art of painting was so well-liked that one could say nothing against it: In the works of most artists both style and content reflected taste not of the wealthy and sophisticated, but of people in moderate circumstances.
For this, international fashion could be largely ignored. This allowed the full development of native artistic species. What, if any, effect did the unprecedented availability of artworks to a broad range of the population have on the perception of art itself?
Though art had not degenerated into an overlooked object of utility, the differentiation between paintings and other objects was somehow weakened. Unlike their colleagues from the south where history painting had originated, Dutch painters no longer encumbered by theoretical obligations of morally uplifting contents or divine spirituality.
And perhaps, this unassuming character of Dutch art, Rather than assuming the traditional guise of the learned gentleman artist that was fostered by Renaissance topoi, many painters presented themselves in a more unseemly light.
Dropping the noble robes of the pictor doctus, they smoked, drank and chased women. Dutch and Flemish artists explored a new mode of self-expression in dissolute self-portraits, embracing the many behaviors that art theorists and the culture at large disparaged. Dissolute self-portraits stand apart from what was expected of a conventional self-portrait, yet they were nonetheless appreciated and valued in Dutch culture and in the art market.
Dissolute self-portraits also reflect and respond to a larger trend regarding artistic identity in the seventeenth century, notably, the stereotype "hoe schilder hoe wilder" [the more of a painter, the wilder he is] that posited Dutch and Flemish artists as intrinsically unruly characters prone to prodigality and dissolution. Artists embraced this special identity, which in turn granted them certain freedoms from social norms and a license to misbehave.
After the iconoclasm of the Calvinists in the s, the church had all but ceased to provide commissions for painters. The Reformed Church allowed money to be spent only for the decoration of church organs. The vacuum was barely noticed: Portraits, landscapes, seascapes, still-lives, flower painting and genre themes, which had once existed primarily as descriptive elements within history painting, became independent motifs in the early sixteenth century.
In the need to keep step with the rapidly evolving market, some painters developed more efficient techniques to increase their output and maintain affordable prices for a broader consumer base. The invention of tonal painting made the new landscapes [e. Jan van GoyenJan Porcellis ], which were painted in this style, much cheaper to produce, making secularized demand for non-religious subjects possible on a grand scale.
Yet, "there is no evidence that these patrons commissioned specific themes. They merely bought the right to buy any picture the master chose to make. In any case, producing such expensive, time-consuming paintings had the advantage that the upper economic crust who could afford them remained largely isolated from the effects of by economic downturns, in fact, their wealth often increased.
Each category of painting was subdivided into even more specific categories. Seventeenth-century Netherlanders had developed a particular a passion for depictions of city and countryside, either real or imaginary unfound in other parts of Europe. Landscape painters, for example, produced naturalistic views of the Dutch countryside, cityscapes, winterscapes, imaginary landscape, seascapes, Italianate, nocturnal landscapes and even birds-eye view of the sprawling Amsterdam metropolis.
Holland's ocean ports teemed with fishing and trading ships, and the tiny country's merchant fleet was almost as large as all the rest of maritime Europe's combined. The Dutch prized seascapes and insisted on accurate renderings of each hull and rigging line. When the Delft artist became active in the late s, subject matter had largely been staked out.
Dutch painters—the great part of whom would not have objected to be called craftsmen—were infatigable workers, exceptional inventors and they had an enviable knack for pictorial juggling. In comparison to the rest of Europe, the variety of independent subject categories and painting styles at the fingertips of Dutch art shoppers was bewildering.
Subjects ranged from Biblical scenes to life-size pictures of bare-breasted prostitutes. One could choose from low-priced landscapes, seascapes, snowscapes, Italianate countrysides with an ancient ruin or two or a breath-taking bird's-eye view of Amsterdam.
For those who preferred depictions of fellow Dutchman over pictures of Dutch land, sea sky and bricks, paintings of folk people skating, aristocrats surveying the countryside on horseback, people arguing, people making business, soldiers making war and dignitaries making peace were available in any size and style.
These paintings were so popular and so conveniently priced that they could be made on order and exported to European capitols by art dealers.
One of the most original types of painting to be developed was interior genre works which displayed well-to-do going about daily life, from ritualized courtship to letter reading, letter writing and housekeeping today grouped under the term "genre". The Dutch economy virtually exploded with the cessation of hostilities with Spain in ; indeed, the nation's economy would reach its apogee within a few short years after that event.
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Since it took a very long time to become proficient in any one area, painters usually specialized and concentrated their efforts to one area. Vermeer and Rembrandt were among the few painters who were able to create masterpieces in different categories.
It has been hypothesized that the "surprising development of specialties around stemmed partly from the division of labor practiced in the big Antwerp workshops earlier in the sixteenth century. The leading Antwerp painters were accustomed to leaving the execution of considerable parts of their pictures to other artists. As heads of workshops they decreed the choice of subjects and he style of execution; they also supplied the design and maintained contact with the customers.
The ability to render textures and fine fabrics soon became one of the tests of Dutch genre painters. Philip Angels, a minor painter who wrote an eulogy on the art of painting In praise of the Art of PaintingLeiden,maintained that the viewer should be able to distinguish the difference between satin and silk from "Tours.
In effect, when Vermeer included satin garments in his painting, he was well aware that they would be compared to those of one of the most highly appraised and sought after painters of the moment Gerrit ter Borch. Sinebrychoff Art Museum, Finnish National Gallery, Helsinki Perhaps, the inclusion of many finely rendered wall maps in Vermeer's compositions was an attempt to compete with the best specialist of the high end of interior genre painting.
In fact, compared to Vermeer's more elaborately depicted maps by Vermeer, in almost every case, those of his contemporaries are executed with what can only be termed nonchalance.
Many non-painters may fail understandably to grasp the extraordinary pictorial intelligence and visual sensitivity necessary to render with the utmost naturalness the gradual loss of intensity daylight as it rakes across the maps' irregular surface while contemporarily describing their intricate topographical features with only three or four pigments.
For contemporary art lovers with a the trained eye, Vermeer's maps may have appeared to constitute a veritable tour de force of painting technique, a pictorial accomplishment on par with, or even a trump of Ter Borch's showy satin gowns or Dou's renditions of stone, brass, pewter and glass. For it is one matter to astound the eye by representing precious and oddly textured materials, it is another to stir equal interest with flat expanse of humble paper. It cannot be ruled out that Vermeer's wall maps were dictated by aesthetic and compositional exigencies although the opportunity to showcase in a highly original way the artist's hard-won technical command of the medium must have been in the back of his mind as he planned his expensive pictures.
The principal sub-themes of interior genre—letter-reading and writing, music making, courtship, child rearing and domestic labor—formed a collective stock house from which anyone could draw as he pleased without the slightest preoccupation of being accused of plagiarism. Painters continually cloned their own works. Eye-catching details were "copied and pasted" countless times. For example, Ter Borch, a painter blessed with both supreme talent and business savvy, made a mirrored version his Woman Drinking with a Drunken Soldier see images left a few years later to picture he swapped the lazy folds of a carpet and wine jug for the drowsing young cavalier contemporarily substituting the pristine porcelain wine jug held tightly by the maid with an unfolded letter: Painters of lesser talent hoped their remanaged works would appeal to the tastes of clients who desired the cutting edge works of the most renowned painters at an attractive price, while more talented painters factored in their specific artistic inclination as well.
Any salable looking motif could be made to look a bit newer by adding a colorful Turkish carpet, a cute lad dog or a doorkijkje see-through view leading the viewer's to another environment.