Monthly Archives: December 2011

Pierre-Auguste Renoir a developer of the Impressionist style

29 December 2011

Pierre-Auguste Renoir was born in 1841 in France. He worked in a porcelain factory where he called attention to himself with the help of his drawing. During his early years, Renoir often visited the Louvre. There he studied the French painters and their works. Renoir’s family wasn’t reach and there was time when he did not have enough money to buy paint. Still, he continued to work and in 1864 the world saw his first exhibition. He showed his paintings at the Paris Salon. In 1874 six of Renoir’s paintings were shown in the first Impressionist exhibition. During the same period of time, two of his paintings were hung with Durand-Ruel in London.

In 1881, he visited Algeria and Spain. He traveled to the last country to admire the paintings of Diego Velázquez. Then, Renoir traveled to Italy to see the masterpieces of Titian and Raphael. In 1882 Renoir again traveled to Algeria where he contracted pneumonia. In 1883, he spent the summer in Guernsey, creating fifteen paintings in little over a month.

In 1885 he became a father. The child was named Pierre, and his mother name was Aline Victorine Charigot, whom Renoir married in 1890. They had three sons.

Around 1892, Renoir developed rheumatoid arthritis. Despite the fact that he was wheelchair-bound, Renoir continued to paint. He was very talented and hardworking artist. Renoir mainly painted landscapes, portraits, but the main focus was on female nudes. The largest collection of Renoir’s works—181 paintings in all—is at the Barnes Foundation, near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Along with paintings, Renoir created sculptures. He moved to the warmer climate. Renoir died on December 3, 1919.

He created several thousand paintings. Among the most famous are: The Bathers (1884–1887), Dance at Le Moulin de la Galette (1876), Grandes Baigneuses (1887), and Girls at the Piano (1892).

Modigliani a talented Italian painter and sculptor

29 December 2011

Amedeo Clemente Modigliani was born on July 12, 1884 into a Jewish family in Livorno, Italy. He was the fourth child in the family. His first education began at home, his mother was the one who taught him until Modigliani was 10. When he was about 11 years old Modigliani had his first pleurisy attack. A few years later he was diagnosed with typhoid fever and later with tuberculosis. Modigliani started to paint from a very early age. During two years (from 1898 to 1900) Modigliani worked in Micheli’s Art School where he studied Renaissance art. Guglielmo Micheli was Modigliani’s first art teacher. Modigliani explored landscape, portraiture, still life, and the nude.

In 1902, Modigliani registered to study at the Accademia di Belle Arti in Florence. A year later he moved to Venice, where he became a student of the Istituto di Belle Arti. In Venice Modigliani first smoked hashish. This had an immense influence on his further lifestyle and behavior.

In 1906 Modigliani moved to Paris where he renting a studio. From the time of his arrival in Paris, Modigliani cultivated the reputation of hopeless drunk and drug user. Modigliani, suffering from tuberculosis, used drugs to self-medicate. The drink and drugs helped ease his physical pain and allow him to continue to create his art. Modigliani was very productive painter sketching and making as many as a hundred drawings a day.

Modigliani’s style cannot be categorized with those of other artists. He developed his own truly unique style of painting. Modigliani also was a talented sculptor. His sculptures were exhibited in the Salon d’Automne of 1912.

Modigliani enjoyed the writings of Nietzsche, Carducci, Comte de Lautréamont, Baudelaire, and others, and developed the belief that disorder and defiance are the only routes to true creativity. In 1910, he met Anna Akhmatova (Russian poet), his first serious love. After a year, however, they broke up and Anna returned to her husband. On December 3, 1917, Modigliani’s first one-man exhibition opened at the Berthe Weill Gallery. On November 29, 1918, Modigliani became a father. Modigliani died on January 24, 1920.

Mexican icon Frida Kahlo

18 December 2011

One of Mexico’s greatest artists, Frida Kahlo, was born on July 6, 1907, in Coyocoán, Mexico City, Mexico. Her unique personality can be characterized by a deep sense of independence and rebellion against mediocre social and moral habits combined with a very individual sense of humour. Frida Kahlo was known for her jovial spirit. Her father, Wilhelm, was a German photographer who had immigrated to Mexico where he met and married her mother Matilde. She had two older sisters, Matilde and Adriana, and one younger sister, Cristina.

Almost all her life was marked by physical suffering. She contracted the polio at the age of five. In 1925 , when she was a student, occurred a horrible event that changed all her life. She was involved in a bus accident . She suffered several serious injuries as a result, including fractures in her spine and pelvis.

After staying at the Red Cross Hospital in Mexico City for several weeks, Kahlo returned home. There she began painting and finished her first self-portrait the following year. Lots of her works were painted lying in bed. Because of these physical conditions Frida couldn’t have any children, which was a big tragedy for her. She married Diego Rivera (twice), but also had a lot of lovers, men and women, such as Leon Trotsky and André Breton’s wife. She met Diego Rivera in National Preparatory School, which she attended. Rivera was creating a mural called The Creation in the school’s lecture hall. Becoming more politically active, Kahlo joined the Young Communist League and the Mexican Communist Party.

In 1932, Kahlo added more graphic and surrealistic elements to her work. Her painting, Henry Ford Hospital (1932), was telling the story of her second miscarriage. In 1938, Frida Kahlo had an exhibition at a New York City gallery, selling half of the 25 paintings shown there. Kahlo also received two commissions. In 1939, Kahlo went to Paris where she exhibited some of her paintings and developed friendships with such famous artists as Marcel Duchamp and Pablo Picasso. Later that year she divorced Rivera. During this time, one of her most famous works, The Two Fridas (1939) was created. The painting showed two versions of the artist sitting side by side, with both of their hearts exposed. These figures are believed to represent “unloved” and “loved” versions of Frida Kahlo. Frida remarried Diego Rivera in 1940.

Throughout her life Frida Kahlo was seeking a variety of treatments for her chronic physical pain, but all with little success. Despite this she continued to paint and support political causes. In many of her works we can notice that she oftentimes shared her physical challenges with the help of her art. This we can see in her painting Broken Column (1944), for example.

About a week after her birthday, Kahlo died on July 13, 1958. It was reported to be caused by a pulmonary embolism, but there have also been rumors that this was a suicide death.

In 1983, Hayden Herrera wrote a book “A Biography of Frida Kahlo”. In 2002, her life was the subject of a film entitled Frida. The film was nominated for six Academy Awards and won for Best Makeup and Original Score.