Alma-Tadema, Sir Lawrence
b.Jan. 8, 1836, Dronrijp, Netherlands.
d.June 25, 1912, Wiesbaden, Germany.
Painter and designer of Dutch birth. The son of a notary, Alma-Tadema demonstrated an early artistic ability. In 1852 he entered the Antwerp Academy, where he studied under Gustaf, Baron Wappers, and Nicaise de Keyser. An important influence at this time was Louis De Taye, Professor of Archaeology at the academy and a practising artist. Alma-Tadema lived and worked with De Taye from 1857 to 1859 and was encouraged by him to depict subjects from the early history of France and Belgium. This taste for historical themes increased when Alma-Tadema entered Baron Henri Leys studio in 1859 and began assisting him with his monumental frescoes for the Antwerp Town Hall. While in Leys studio, Alma-Tadema produced several major paintings, for example the Education of the Children of Clovis (1861; ex-Sir John Pender priv. col., see Zimmern, p. 3) and Venantius Fortunatus Reading his Poems to Radagonda (1862; Dordrecht, Dordrechts Mus.), which are characterized by their obscure Merovingian subject-matter, rather sombre colouring and close attention to detail. Related Paintings of Alma-Tadema, Sir Lawrence :. | Love's Jewelled Fetter (mk23) | A Coign of Vantage | An Audience at Agrippa's (mk23) | When Flowers Return (mk23) | Fernand Khnopff (mk23) |
Related Artists:Edward Henry Corbould,RI,RWS
Painter, illustrator and sculptor, son of (2) Henry Corbould. A pupil of Henry Sass (1788-1844) and a student at the Royal Academy, he showed more wide-ranging interests than his father or uncle. He worked in watercolour and briefly in sculpture, winning gold medals for both from the Society of Arts (Fall of Phaeton, watercolour, 1834; St George and the Dragon, sculpture, exh. RA 1835; both untraced). He designed monumental figures for an unexecuted London County Council sculpture project for Blackfriars Bridge (1889), but he concentrated primarily on watercolours of literary and historical subjects, which he exhibited with the New Water-Colour Society from 1837 until 1898. GUARDI, Francesco
Italian Rococo Era Painter, 1712-ca.1793
The records of his parish in Venice show that Francesco Guardi was baptized on Oct. 5, 1712. His father, Domenico, who died when Francesco was 4, had a workshop. Francesco and his elder brother, Gian Antonio, worked in a small studio, carrying out such orders as they could get for almost anything the client wanted:mythological pictures, genre, flower pieces, battle scenes, altarpieces, and even, on rare occasions, frescoes. They did not hesitate to copy compositions by other artists, but what they borrowed they always transformed into something more capricious, less stable, more fragmentary in the refraction of light. Francesco did not emerge as an independent personality until 1760, when his brother died. Then, 48 years old, he married, established his own studio, and devoted himself chiefly to painting views of Venice. For the most part he worked in obscurity, ignored by his contemporaries. He was not even admitted to the Venetian Academy until he was 72 years old. Guardi and Canaletto have always been compared to one another because the buildings they chose to paint were often the same. But the way each artist painted them is very different. Canaletto's world is constructed out of line. It provides solid, carefully drawn, three-dimensional objects that exist within logically constructed three-dimensional space. Guardi's world is constructed out of color and light. The objects in it become weightless in the light's shimmer and dissolve in a welter of brushstrokes; the space, like the forms in space, is suggested rather than described. Canaletto belonged essentially to the Renaissance tradition that began with Giotto and, as it grew progressively tighter and more controlled, pointed the way to neoclassicism. Guardi belonged to the new baroque tradition that grew out of the late style of Titian and, as it became progressively looser and freer, pointed the way toward impressionism. Such differences appear even in Guardi's early view paintings, where he was obviously trying to copy Canaletto, such as the Basin of San Marco. The famous buildings are there, but they are far in the background, insubstantial, seeming to float. In front is a fleet of fishing boats, their curving spars seeming to dance across the surface of the canvas. What is important for Guardi is not perspective but the changing clouds and the way the light falls on the lagoon. Guardi became increasingly fascinated by the water that surrounds Venice. In late works, such as the famous Lagoon with Gondola, buildings and people have been stripped away until there is nothing but the suggestion of a thin line of distant wharfs, a few strokes to indicate one man on a gondola, a long unbroken stretch of still water, and a cloudless sky. Guardi also painted the festivals that so delighted visitors to the city, such as the Marriage of Venice to the Sea. This was a symbolic ceremony in which the doge, in the great gilded galley of the head of state, surrounded by a thousand gondolas, appeared before all Venice, in Goethe's image, "raised up like the Host in a monstrance." Of all Guardi's paintings the most evocative are his caprices, the landscapes born out of his imagination though suggested by the ruined buildings on the lonely islands of the Venetian lagoon. A gentle melancholy clings to such scenes.
Eugene de Blaas
Austrian Academic Painter, 1843-1931