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Monday

American Impressionist Painter - Edward Cucuel (1875-1954)

Bathers

The son of a newspaper publisher in San Francisco, Edward Cucuel enrolled at the School of Design in San Francisco at the age of 14. Soon he started working as an illustrator at 'The Examiner'.
In 1892,  he left for Paris to continue his art training at the Academie Julian and the Academie Colarossi. Later he attended the Academie des Beaux Arts. Upon his return to the US in 1896, Cucuel setteled in New York. In about 6 months, he returned to Paris and spent there another two years. He also traveled to Italy to study the old masters, Spain, Algeria, Ceylon, Japan and China.

Autumn Sun

Soon he moved to Berlin, Germany, where he worked as an illustrator and in 1907, Cucuel settled in Munich, where he joined the Scholle group of artists and worked closely with the remarkable painter Leo Putz. Cucuel exhibited at the Munich Secession and in Paris.

He married Clara Lotte von Marcard in 1907. In 1939, Edward Cucuel left Germany and setteld in Pasadena, Ca., where he led a rather secluded life.

In the Sun

Breakfast

Evening by the Lake

Wednesday

Contemporary Spanish Artist - Dino Valls

The self-taught Spanish painter (b.1959) Dino Valls lives and works in Madrid. After receiving his degree in Medicine and Surgery at the University of Zaragoza in 1982, he starts painting full-time. (dinovalls.com)


Glycofilusa 1990
As one of the Spanish representatives of the vanguard of figurative art, Valls' work displays the strong influence of past masters and their studies of the human being. In the early '90s, Valls began studying the use of egg tempera, adapting and customizing the techniques of Italian and Flemish masters from the fifteenth to seventeenth centuries to create new works in combinations of tempera and oil. His paintings elaborate and expand upon the methods of past masters, employing formal figurative techniques as the medium through which to explore the human psyche in a conceptual framework laden with profound psychological weight and symbolism. (Wikipedia)

De Profundis 1989

The Silver Cord 1995

Amphisbena 1996

Monday

Alfred Stevens (1823-1906) Famous Belgian Painter

Young Lady on the Beach

Text by Peter Mitchel
Alfred Stevens (1823-1906) was one of the hundreds of traditional artists cast into shadow by the blinding light of the sunrise of Impressionism. In 1900, Stevens was accorded the unprecedented honor of a one man retrospective at the Ecole des Beaux Arts, Paris, during his lifetime.

Lady with Japanese Doll

Within fifty years, the mention of his name in England simply led to confusion with his namesake and near contemporary, Alfred George Stevens, a sculptor from Dorset! The market, of course, follows in step. At an auction in 1902, Pieter Bruegel the Elder’s The Numbering at Bethlehem sold for 9,200 francs whereas Tous les Bonheurs by Alfred Stevens brought 25,000 francs. Up until 1967, no painting by Stevens had brought more than £4,000 since the Second World War and most examples sold for a few hundred pounds, if that.

Young Girl with a Duck

...What struck me about Stevens was the admiration and respect expressed by other artists, even by Whistler, one of the most caustic, whose ‘bouquets’ were usually composed of stinging nettles. Artists tend to be intolerant of mediocrity and Stevens would hardly have been a pall-bearer at Manet’s funeral in May, 1883, with Monet, Fantin and Zola if the great artist had had no regard for him in his lifetime.

After the Ball 1874

...Alfred Stevens, born at Brussels in 1823, underwent a traditional artist’s training in the late 1830’s and 1840’s. His close friend, Florent Willems, went to Paris and before long (1844) Stevens followed. He was not a prodigy and his early efforts are unrecognizable to us as the work of the artist who was to paint Tous les Bonheurs in 1861. By that date, Stevens, nearing forty, had found his niche as the painter of the contemporary Parisienne.

Afternoon in the Park 1885

The jury of the 1861 Salon where Tous les Bonheurs was exhibited told Stevens that whereas they admired his skills no medal could be awarded unless he changed his subject matter (genre) to something more conventional. His much quoted reply was ‘keep your medal and I’ll keep my genre.' Unlike some artists who feel the need to ‘evolve’, Stevens had the good sense to play to his strengths, perfect his speciality, be content with his role and his happy domestic and social life. He was not averse to the money that he started to make either.

The Second Empire, under Napoleon III, was a time of dynamism and prosperity. The young Empress raised the profile of women, set fashions, and entertained Stevens to a ball at the Tuileries in 1867. Among his fellow guests was Bismarck, destined to return to Paris in a different guise three years later! 1867 saw Stevens triumph at the Paris Exposition Universelle (World’s Fair) with eighteen paintings on display and promotion in the Legion d’Honneur. The pattern was set for the successful career of Alfred Stevens.

Le Sphinx parisien ('la Parisienne') 1870

Together with Whistler, Stevens responded early on to the Japanese craze which opened new possibilities to an artist finely tuned to the subtleties of every fabric and the nuances of every colour. ... Another seated model, Victorine Meurent, became the ‘Sphinx parisien’ in this smaller canvas (above) painted during the siege of Paris in November, 1870, a tour de force display of the artist’s sureness of touch and unfailing eye for colour.

Le Sphinx parisien 1867

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