Archive for the ARTISTS BIRTHDAYS Category

Surreal Thing – Happy Birthday Dali!

Posted in ART, ART HISTORY, ARTISTS BIRTHDAYS with tags , , on May 11, 2014 by echostains

Dali is a superb draughtsman.  Some years ago I visited the Dali Universe. County Hall, London. salvador-dali-quotes-famous-best-sayings oneThis 3,000 square metre space housed sculptures, (1935 -1984), lithographs, drawings and wonderful  furniture inspired by Dali, gold and glass objects and  even copies of the famous lobster telephone and the Mae West lips sofa!  There were no major paintings on display, apart from the oil he did for Hitchcock’s ‘1945 film ‘Spellbound‘.  I took great delight in looking through Dali’s drawings which are simply exquisite and show not only his draughtsmanship skills, but how exacting and precise his execution of drawing was. His imagination may have been wild, but his skills struck me as very honed and precise, not something I associate with Surrealism.  Surreal, I know!

 

Dali and his  wild cat Babou

 

 

 

Too much has been written about this famous Spanish artist: some by myself (please see my earlier birthday posts here and for further Dali eccentricities here ). Dali loved wild animals.  His favorite pet was a wildcat, an Ocelot, called Babou who he would take to restaurants, tethering the animal to a table and causing alarm to fellow diners.

The surreal image below shows Dali emerging from the Paris underground taking two Anteaters for a walk (1969).  Andre Breton, Founder of the Surrealist movement, (who was known  as ‘le tamanoir’ – ‘the anteater’)  used this image as bookplates for several books and Dali was to depict the style of the anteater in his famous 1929 painting ‘The Great Masturbator’

Dali taking a Parisian walk with his pets

Dali taking a Parisian walk with his pets

 

One of Dali’s famous stunts was staged at London’s International Surrealist Exhibition, 1936 when he gave a lecture whilst wearing a deep-sea diving suit and very nearly suffocated.  His wild exaggerated gestures were mistaken for his usual amusing form of eccentricity.  Luckily for him a poet, David Gascoyne rescued Dali – with a spanner!

 

 

 

 

 

The Great Masturbator 1929

surrealism1938

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A mysterious fire broke out in the artist’s bedroom in 1984, fortunately Dali was rescued by a friend, Robert Descharnes.  Dali was returned his beloved  Figueres , Spain (his birthplace), where his friends and  artists looked after him. In November 1988 he went to hospital with heart failure.  On 23rd January 1989, the artist died of heart failure at the age of 84.  He is buried in the crypt in his Teatro Museo in Figueres, much loved and much admired by most artists and non artists alike.

 

Images, with thanks are from here and here     the Ocelot image here, others from here    and here   

For historical characters with unusual pets here

Here’s some stuff you might not know about Dali here

 

Happy Birthday Eadweard Muybridge!

Posted in ART, ART HISTORY, ARTISTS BIRTHDAYS, PHOTOGRAPHY with tags , , , , , , , , , on April 9, 2012 by echostains

Today is the birthday of English photographer Eadweard Muybridge (b.1830 – 1904)  and it is being commemorated on Google.  Muybridge used multiple camera work to capture motion, using what he called his zoopraxiscope which projected motion pictures. He was doing this before the perforated film strip was invented.

He was actually born Edward James Muggeridge and was of Dutch extraction but he changed his name quite a few times in his American career.  He went under the pseudonym Helios, the Greek sun God) on many of his photos.  He named his studio Helios and his son bore this middle name.

Born in Kingston on Thames in 1830, he was to emigrate to the US in 1855 where he started his career as an agent for a publisher and  bookseller.  In 1850 he was involved in a stagecoach accident  in San Francisco and sustained severe head injuries.  He returned to England for a few years after this to recuperate, taking up photography between 1861 – 1866 and using the early photographic process of the wet collodion which was introduced in the 1850s

In 1866  he went back in San Francisco where  he became a successful photographer using mainly architectural and landscape as his subject matter.  He built his reputation with photos of San Francisco and the Yosemite  He quickly became noted for his grand photos of the West and in  1873 he was commissioned to photograph the Madoc War, a US Army’s expedition against the West Coast Indians.

Muybridge is famous for answering a much debated question of the day: do all four of a horses hooves move off the ground at the same time? Former Californian Governor, race horse owner and business Leland Stanford asserted that horses showed their front legs extended forward and their hind legs extended at the rear – as shown in paintings at the time.  This was called ‘unsupported transit’ and in 1872 Leland set out to prove it scientifically  by hiring Muybridge to document it.

Muybridge and Stanford fell out regarding Muybridge’s research on equine locomotion as Stanford published a book called ‘The Horse in Motion’ giving no credit to Muybridge whose photos and research it contained.  This resulted in the Royal Society withdrawing an offer to fund his stop-motion photography.  Muybridge filed a lawsuit against Stanford but lost.

Muybridge’s troubles spilled over into his personal life.  In 1874 he discovered that his wife had taken a Major Harry Larkyns as her lover.  Muybridge got even by shooting him.  He was sent to trial, his defence being the injury he had sustained in the stagecoach accident which had caused him much injury.  Friends even testified that Muybridge’s character dramatically changed from pleasant and genial to erratic and unstable after the accident.  Although the jury dismissed his ‘insanity’ plea, he was acquitted for ‘justifiable homicide’ Stanford stood by him and paid for his criminal defence.

He left the Untied States after his acquittal, taking photographs in Central America and had his son Florado ‘Helios’ Muybridge put in an orphanage, believing Larkyns to be his true father even though in later life the boy bore a strong resemblance to Muybridge.

Muybridge lectured to a sell out audience in 1882 at the Royal institution in London.  Member included the Royal family and the future King Edward V11.  He returned to England for good in 1894, where he published two further books of his work.  He died on 8th of May 1904 in Kingston on Thames.Nude descending staircase by Duchamp Muybridge has inspired a lot of artists as well as making a major contribution to photography.  Thomas Eakins, an American artist who had worked with Muybridge continued the motion studies, incorporating some of his findings into his own artwork.  Thomas Edison owned patents for motion pictures and Surrealist Marcel Duchamp was inspired to paint ‘Nude descending the Staircase No.2’ by Muybridge.  Francis Bacon was a huge fan of Muybridge and a lot of his work was influenced by Muybridge’s photographs.

Eadwaerd Muybridge portrait and more info from here

Muybridge horses and lots of info and images from the EadweardMuybridge site

muybridge_handkerchief image here

Thanks to  for the informative video

Leland pony image here

Nude descending Staircase image from here

PS Update; Happy Birthday Keith Haring!  http://www.haring.com/

PS Happy Birthday Salvador Dali May 11th

Happy Birthday Chaim Soutine!

Posted in ART, ART HISTORY, ART VIDEOS, ARTISTS BIRTHDAYS with tags , , , , , , , on January 13, 2012 by echostains

Soutine by Modigliani

Today is the birthday of Expressionist artist Chaim Soutine (b 1893 – 1943 Belarus)  Soutine who was inspired by classical painting in the European tradition  and favoured colour, texture and shape over representation.  His work acted as a bridge between traditional approach and the evolvment of Abstract Expressionism.

Born near Minsk (when it was part of the Russian empire) and one of eleven children, Soutine studied at the Vilna Academy of Fine Arts in Vilnius between 1910 – 1913  He emigrated  to Paris with fellow artist Pinchus Kremegne (1890 – 1981) and Michel Kikoine 1892 – 1968) where he studied under Fernand Cormon at the Errcole des Beaux-Arts.

Little Girl with Doll 1919

Portait of a Nurse c 1916

He became friends with Amedeo Modigliani (1884–1920)   and he painted Soutine’s portrait several times when they were all struggling artists in Montparnasse. Modigliani’s  most famous portrait of Soutine was painted on an apartment door belonging to Leopold Zborowski (1889 – 1932) their art dealer.  Zborowski was later to take the artist to Nice to escape Paris when it was being bombed in WWI.

After struggle and poverty, often helped by his friends and  fellow artists, Soutine finally managed to sell 100 paintings to American collector Albert C. Barnes who established his Foundation Museum in Merion, USA in 1922..  With the proceeds, the artist now began to enjoy a better life and dividing his time between Paris , the Pyrenees and the Riviera.

Man with ribbons

Although a passionate artist, Soutine left few works.  He suffered from anxiety and tempers and destroyed a lot of his paintings.  There are a few stories about this artist which give us a sketch of his personality and the effect it had upon his work.  One of them concerns one of his most iconic set of images  series  Le Boeuf Ecorche’ .

Three studies for the Crucifixion by Francis Bacon 1962

His neighbours complained about the stench of the animal carcass which he kept in his studio and called the police.  But Soutine remained unrepentant, advocating art over hygiene.  He painted 10 of the carcass paintings,  inspired by Rembrandt’s Carcass of Beef (1655) sometimes known as The Flayed Ox after studying the Old Master’s in the Louvre, Paris.  One of the paintings in Soutine’s series Le Boeuf Ecorche’(1924) sold for £7.8 million in 2006.

Little Pastry Cook

His work is characterised by its frantic brushwork, often violent colour and distorted images which covey emotion and he liked to paint bell boys, waiters and hotel workers – ordinary everyday people. In 1937 Soutine was hailed as a great painter, even though he did not take part in an important exhibition The Origins and Development of International Independent Art which was held at the Galerie nationale du Jeu de Paume.  Very soon after that, the France was invaded by the Germans and Soutine, as a Jew had to flee Paris to avoid arrest by the Gestapo.  He lived as best he could and eventually left a safe shelter to return to Paris for an operation for a bleeding stomach ulcer.  The operation was not a success and he died of a perforated ulcer on August 9, 1943  . Soutine was interred in Cimetière du Montparnasse, Paris.

Video by bestjonbon with thanks!

Also thanks to;-

Lots of information about this artist here

Modiglini portrait of Soutine from here

Man with Ribbons and Little Pastry Cook images from here

Bacon triptych image from here

Landschaft mit Häusern, 1918 and Portait of a Nurse, c. 1916   Little Girl with Doll, 1919  all from this blogspot

Good images from Oscar Grillo Oscartoons  and here

PLUS

There’s a big birthday party going on over at my sister site Bookstains – and you’re invited!

UPDATE

HAPPY BIRTHDAY ROBERT BURNS (25 January 1759 – 21 July 1796)  Here’s a video I made of Scottish artists;-

Happy Christmas and New Year!

Posted in Architecture, ART, ART DISCOVERED AND UNCOVERED, ART HISTORY, ART VIDEOS, ARTISTS BIRTHDAYS, BEHIND THE PAINT, CHRISTMAS, DESIGN, exhibitions, PHOTOGRAPHY, POLLS, SCULPTURE, WEIRD AND WACKY DESIGN with tags , , , , on December 24, 2011 by echostains

In my usual tradition, here is the round up of featured posts for 2011.  It’s been a pretty tubulent year personally for me and I haven’t blogged as much as I usually do – but my New Year resolution is to do so, so get ready for more eclectic mixes of art, design and quirkyness!  I wish you all a very happy Christmas and a bright New Year!

Rough and tumble with Bellows, naughty Beardsley and robbery with violins too!

Posted in ART, ART HISTORY, ARTISTS BIRTHDAYS, DESIGN with tags , , , , , , , on August 27, 2011 by echostains

Stag at Sharkeys by George Bellows

Belated birthdays  The candles have long been blown out on these artists birthdays, but as a way of catching up with my posts they provide a good excuse to write!  August 11th saw the birthday of American realist artist George Bellows (b 1882 – 1925) (though there seems to be some discrepancy on his August birthdate according to Wikipedia)
George Wesley Bellows attended Ohio State University from 1901 – 1904 . He  played baseball and painted illustrations for magazines whilst studying there.  In  1904 he became a student of Robert Henri at the New York School of Art becoming one of Henri’s ‘Eight’ and becoming associated with a group of artists who at that time were painting American  society in a modern down to earth, kitchen sink manner.   This group came to be known as the Ashcan School.

Pennsylvania Station George Bellows

When Henri organised an exhibition featuring mostly urban studies in 1908, Bellows became more interested in pursuing a career as a painter.  He was to prove successful and became very famous and nationally recognised.  His work typically depicts rough working class people and chaos  are have lots of atmosphere.  The artist is mostly known for his boxing scenes which are laden with movement and rough brushstrokes. 

The  artist received many commissions from the social elite of New York.  Socially conscious Bellows also became associated with the ‘Lyrical Left’ group of artists.  He taught and contributed drawings and prints to the socialist journal ‘The Masses’. A lot has been written about this interesting artist’s life.  There’s also a wonderful article about him and his work  by Jonathan Jones, The Guardian  here

Earlier in the month it was the British illustrator and writer 

Salome by Beardsley

Aubrey Beardsley‘s birthday  (21 August 1872 – 16 March 1898)Heres a link to a previous post I did about Beardsley here   and some lovely art prints from Beardsley.artpassions 

stolen pen and ink drawing by Rembrandt

A couple of weeks ago the British newspapers have been full of reports about the riots and looting which has gone on in the UK.  In Los Angeles yet another art masterpiece has been looted from a private art exhibit at the Ritz Carlton Marina del Rey whilst the curator was distracted by a well planned diversion.  The work is believed to be The Judgement by 17th century Dutch artist Rembrandt Van Rijn is estimated to be worth $250,000.  The good news about the painting is that it has been recovered a few days later in a church in San Fernando Valley after an anonymous tip-off.  Read about it here

But, back to today and today is American Dadaist and Surrealist artist Emmanuel Radnitzsky, better known as Manray (b. 1890 – 1970)  The wonderful ManRay trust website can be found here http://www.manraytrust.com/  A earlier post of mine which celebrates the artist’s birthday can be found here   Manray is esteemed in the art world for his avant-garde photography – especially renown for his fashion and portrait work, though he regarded himself as a painter above all.  Manray is still a very well regarded and influential artist even now. 

George Bellows information here

George Bellows Lithographs and drawings can be found here

Stag at Sharkeys image from here

Men of the Docks image from here

Pennsylvania Sstation image from here

  Salome image  from here

More Stolen Rembrandt details here

The Judgement drawing from here

Manray Violin from here

All with thanks!

Happy Birthday Richard Dadd!

Posted in ART, ART HISTORY, ARTISTS BIRTHDAYS with tags , , , , , on August 1, 2011 by echostains

Richard Dadd

Today is the birthday of English Victorian artist Richard Dadd (b.1817 – 1886 Chatham Kent)  The supernatural held  a great fascination for Dadd and fairies and other worldly beings abound throughout this artist’s work.  His subject matter is extremely detailed and also included Oriental themes.

 

At 20 he attended The Royal Academy of Arts with Augustus Egg and William Frith amongst others.  He was considered a leadiing talent and along with Egg, Frith and Henry O’ Neilfounded the Clique.  It was during  an expedition from Europe to Greece, Turkey, Syria and Egypt in 1842 where he accompanied Sir Thomas Phillips that Frith underwent a transformation.  He became delusional and increasingly violent, believing he that the Egyptian God Osiris was influencing him.  At first it was believed that he had sunstroke.

Oberon and Titania

Unfortunately, when he returned home Dadd was diagnosed to be of unsound mind.  His family sent him to Cobham in Kent to recuperate.  Whilst there he became convinced that his father was really the Devil in disguise, so he killed him with a knife and then fled to France. 

Whilst in France, he attacked a tourist with a razor, and was arrested by the police.  On his return to England he was interred at Bethlem psychiatric hospital (Bedlam) and also Broadmoor, where he was encouraged to paint.  Many of his best paintings were created in hospital including ‘The Fairy Fellers  Master-Stroke’.

The Fairy Feller's Master-Stroke

This particular painting took him a long time to paint (between 1855 – 1864)  – and he was never to finish it .  He  also painted 33 watercolour drawings as well as shipping scenes and landscapes.  Most of his work are small-scale and the attention to detail is astonishing.

Puck

Dadd spent 20 years in Bedlam before moving to Broadmoor outside London.  He remained there, painting until he died in 1886 of a disease relating to the lungs. 

the ballad monger

Dadd has influenced writers, musicians and playwrights.  British Rock band Queen were inspired to write a song based on and named ‘The Fairy Fellers Master – Stroke’  Terry Pratchet wrote ‘the Wee Free Man’ in 2003 and Robert Rankin‘s ‘The Witches of Chiswick‘ were both inspired by the same painting.

The Halt in the Desert 1845

A radio play ‘Come unto these Yellow Sands‘ by fantasy writer Angela Carter was written about the artist’s life and Richard Babley (known as Mr Dick in David Copperfield) is also said to have a connection with Richard Dadd.

More information about Dadd here and here

Dadd working from here

Puck here

Fairy Fellers Master Stroke here

Oberon and Titania here

The Ballad Monger here

More information about The Halt in the Desert

There’s a new POETRY CHALLENGE over on Bookstains – just click here

Happy Birthday Antoni Gaudi!

Posted in Architecture, ART HISTORY, ARTISTS BIRTHDAYS, DESIGN with tags , , , , on June 25, 2011 by echostains

Antoni Gaudi

Today is the birthday of Spanish architect Antoni Gaudi.  Antoni Plàcid Guillem Gaudí Cornet (to give him his full title) was born on this day in 1852 and died in 1926.  It is unknown where exactly he was born, but it may have been either Reus or Riudoms (he was baptised the day after his birth in the church  Sant Pere Apòstol in Reus, though he always stated his family was from Riudoms.

La Sagrada Familia Barcelona

Anyone who has seen Gaudi’s architecture never forgets it.  It is both beautiful yet playful and very very striking.  Barcelona abounds with it.  Gaudi is the best known Catalan Modernist, though he was briefly influenced by neo-Gothic art, he became part of the Catalan Modernista movement which was at its peak towards the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th.

Casa Batilo roof and Gaudi's famous garlic form

Gaudi was inspired by nature and his work has an organic quality to it and shows his earlier oriental influences.  He studied at the Llotja School and the Barcelona Higher school of architecture, graduating in 1878.  He worked as a draughtsman to supplement his studies.

entrance hall Casa Vicens

His first important commission  was the Casa Vicens and after this success he received more commissions.  At the Worlds Fair he impressed Catalan Industrialist Eusebi Güell.  Gaudi was to work on future projects for Guell who became a firm friend an important patron and whom Gaudi did some of his most beautiful work for.

Finca Guell ventilation tower with ceramics

A lot has been written about this enigmatic architect and craftsman.  He has left the world a beautiful legacy  of architecture, and craftsmanship which shows such a purity of vision and just looking at it brings joy to the soul.

Casa Calvet

For more about this remarkable artist  read here

Gaudi’s life and works here 

All images from this fantastic site dedicated to the architect here

Gilded wood anagram designed by Gaudi with the letters JMJ (Jesus, Mary and Joseph

MEANWHILE…….Did you know that there are Goblins over
at Bookstains?  Just click here