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Monday

American Painter Luigi Lucioni (1900-1988)

Luigi Lucioni. Nostalgic Echoes 1954

Supremely independent and amazingly dexterous, Luigi Lucioni can be appreciated today as one of the finest painters of still life this country has produced in the twentieth century. With their pristine surfaces, unusual arrangements, and vivid color combinations, his canvases stand out as the creations of an artist deeply aware of tradition yet beholden to no one. (luigilucioni.com)

Luigi Lucioni. Harmony in Minor Key, c. 1974

The Italian-born American painter Luigi Lucioni came to the United States in 1911 with his family, studied at Cooper Union Art School and the National Academy of Design.
In 1930, his most important patron Electra Havemeyer Webb commissioned him to paint a Vermont landscape for her daughter’s wedding and invited him to stay at the family’s summer estate in Shelburne. The state’s verdant mountainous terrain had such a profound effect on him that he later exclaimed, “I was reborn in this majestic setting and I fell in love with Vermont.” museum.middlebury.edu

Luigi Lucioni. A Farewell to the Birches

While landscapes and still lifes provided fulfilling subject matter for Lucioni throughout his career, the same cannot be said of portraits. Although his meticulous style and intense observation of subjects lent itself to portraiture, he lamented that he did not really enjoy it. His most successful portraits date from the first half of his career, such as the 1939 portrait of the blues and jazz vocalist Ethel Waters and the 1942 portrait of the Italian vocalist Mili Monti. However, like many portrait painters he was most comfortable painting friends and family, where he had a genuine emotional attachment for the person depicted, and he received no criticism. (museum.middlebury.edu)
Luigi Lucioni - Tocata in Yellow, 1978

Luigi Lucioni, Portrait of Bob

Thursday

Modern art - Chinese Painter Luis Chan (1905-1995)

Luis Chan, The Green Bridge, 1980

Born in Panama, Luis Chan moved with his family to Hong Kong in 1910. He appeared on the Hong Kong art scene in the 9130s and was an active member and major a figure in Hong Kong art circles until his retirement in 1980s, staging exhibitions of his paintings and publishing many books and articles on the modernist art in Hong Kong.
As a self-taught artist of Western-style painting, Luis Chan produced watercolors of the local scenery, but when the artist was 55, his artistic journey had a dramatic transformation in his painting style.

Chinese Painter Luis Chan, 1983

Chinese Painter Luis Chan, 1969

Being in Service in Victorian England

(the paintings are not necessarily related to the Victorian era)

George Lambert. The Maid, 1915

There were two sure signs of wealth in 19th century England aside from land - carriages and servants, they were even taxed along with fancy carriages. Sometimes middle and upper classes had more servants than needed - just to show off.
Servants made up 16% of the national work force in 1891, on another hand, the average length of service in a home was not even a year and a half.

Félix Vallotton (1865-1925)

Apart from reasons of status there was a lot of work to be done in a house - there was no electricity yet, nor dishwashers, nor vacuum cleaners, everything was done by hand from cleaning the carpets to washing the dishes. And a fancy dinner for 15 guests could generate more than 500 items to be washed afterwards.

Henry Caro-Delvaille. Tea Time

Multi-layered womens clothes in the mid century would be changed several times a day from morning gown and walking dress to formal evening dress and they ahd to be cleaned by hand. If there were guests in the house, a servant would have to attend to their rooms at least 4 times a day - to draw the curtains in the morning and bring hot water for washing before breakfast, to bring fresh water at noon and before 7 in the evening for washing before dinner, then before bedtime to prepare the bed and close the windows.

However, all the servants who helped guests at a great house expected to be tipped when the guest left. By the end of a century the tips expected were so high that some people preferred not visiting their friends in a country deterred by the prospective cost of tipping all the staff.
George Washington Lambert. Lottie and the Lady
Not a Victorian gentleman or a lady would ever think of doing it themselves, that was a whole point of being a lady - you gave orders to the servants what to do. Manual labor of any kind (except for embroidery and painting) would've put in doubt your eligibility to be received in polite society.

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