Arkhip Ivanovich Kuindzhi
Russian Painter, 1842-1910
Ukrainian painter, active in Russia. Initially self-taught as an artist, he twice failed the St Petersburg Academy's entrance examination, despite coaching by the marine painter Ivan Aivazovsky. In 1868, however, he was accepted as an external student. He persevered against conservative prejudice and poverty throughout his early career, supplementing his income by retouching photographs. In his early landscape paintings he often sought to capture seasonal moods, as in Autumn Mud (1872; St Petersburg, Rus. Mus.). A more human focus, however, is noticeable after 1874, when he joined the travelling exhibitions society the WANDERERS: the village houses dominate the landscape setting in Evening in Ukraine (1878; St Petersburg, Rus. Mus.). Kuindzhi's principal interest, however, was in lighting, and he obtained striking effects by using vivid colours, chiaroscuro contrasts and simple but cleverly conceived designs. Spectacular paintings, such as the Birch Grove (1879; Moscow, Tret'yakov Gal.), greatly moved contemporary viewers. Through years of experimentation, Kuindzhi developed a highly original technique, which he applied to an increasingly typical, at times almost visionary, treatment of subjects such as snow-covered mountains and moonlight (e.g. Elbnis: Moonlit Night, 1890-95; Moscow, Tret'yakov Gal.). Due to imperfections in the paints he used, many of his canvases soon darkened. Related Paintings of Arkhip Ivanovich Kuindzhi :. | Elbrus | Portrat der Vittoria Marini | Noon-the drove on the campo | Sunset | Rainbown |
Related Artists:WERFF, Adriaen van der
Dutch Baroque Era Painter, 1659-1722
Dutch painter and draughtsman. He was apprenticed to the portrait painter Cornelis Picolet (1626-79) from 1668 to 1670 and then from c.1671 to 1676 to Eglon van der Neer in Rotterdam. From 1676 van der Werff produced small portraits and genre paintings as an independent master; the Cook and Hunter at a Window (1678; New York, priv. col.; see Gaethgens, no. 2) and Man and Woman Seated at a Table (1678; St Petersburg, Hermitage) perpetuate the thematic and stylistic traditions of Gerrit Dou, Gabriel Metsu, Frans van Mieris and Gerard ter Borch (ii) but are distinguished by their greater elegance and richness of costume and interior. Van der Werff's portraits date mainly from the years 1680-95 (e.g. Two Children with a Guinea-pig and a Kitten (1681; London, Buckingham Pal., Royal Col.)). The motif of children with animals recalls van der Neer, while the careful depiction of fabrics recalls the Leiden school of 'Fine' painters. His Portrait of a Man in a Quilted Gown (1685; London, N.G.) resembles compositions by Caspar Netscher and Nicolaes Maes: a figure leaning against a balustrade, before a landscape. Van der Werff's work is, however, more elegant, in part because of the depiction of fabrics, but also because of the inclusion for the first time of Classical sculpture, in this case the Farnese Flora Nebbia, Cesare
Italian painter and draughtsman. He was a pupil of GIROLAMO MUZIANO and much influenced by Federico Zuccaro, and Vasari cited him as a promising painter. Between 1562 and 1575 Nebbia was continuously employed in Orvieto, producing altarpieces and frescoes in the cathedral, for example the Marriage at Cana (1569), the Crucifixion (1574) and the Crowning with Thorns (1575; all Orvieto, Mus. Opera Duomo). In Rome, where from 1579 his name appeared in the register of the Accademia di S Luca, he executed an Ecce homo and another Crowning with Thorns (1576; oratory of the Gonfalone), a Noli me tangere (1579; S Maria degli Angeli), decorations in the Sforza Chapel, S Maria Maggiore (1582), Heraclius Taking the Cross (1582-4; Santissimo Crocifisso), the Martyrdom of St Lawrence (1589; S Susanna) and decorations in the Borghese Chapel, Trinit? dei Monti (c. 1590). Under Pope Sixtus V he was responsible, with Giovanni Guerra, for the decorations in the Sistine Library, and he also worked on the Scala Santa, in the Vatican Palace and in the Lateran Palace. In 1597 he was principal of the Accademia di S Luca. Two years later he received payment for the cartoons of St Matthew and St Mark for the mosaics in the cupola of St Peter's. The following year he painted the Dream of Constantine (S Giovanni in Laterano). In 1603-4 he decorated, with Zuccaro, the hall in the Collegio Borromeo, Pavia. He retired to Orvieto in 1609.VIGEE-LEBRUN, Elisabeth
French painter (full name: Marie-Louise-Élisabeth Vigee-Lebrun). Vigee LeBrun's most famous client was Marie Antoinette, France's much maligned queen. When the two met in 1778, Vigee LeBrun's art-dealer husband had gambled away his wife's earnings. Still, she was dauntless and set out to establish her own salon where she would court royal clients. In a November 1982 article for Art in America, Brooks Adams noted that in her memoirs, Vigee LeBrun said that her much sought-after salon was, "a place where art and society mixed, where noblemen and ministers were content to sit on the floor, to avoid the stiff, formal court entertainments at Versailles." In time, her portraits and memoirs alike painted a portrait of Vigee LeBrun as a woman born to contend with anyone. Unfortunate Circumstances Marie Louise Elisabeth Vigee LeBrun was born in 1755 in Paris. Her father was Louis Vigee, a little-known portrait artist who worked in pastels. From the time she was small, he taught his daughter the skills of the trade. She proved to be somewhat of a prodigy. Her parents placed Vigee LeBrun in the convent of La Trinite, directly behind the Bastille. Her earliest memories were of drawing so frantically on the walls of her dormitory that the sisters regularly punished her. When her father died, Vigee LeBrun was only 12. He had been her biggest supporter. For an article in Antiques, magazine in November 1967, Ilse Bischoff quoted Vigee LeBrun's father after he saw a drawing she had done as a small child. It was the head of a bearded man with the light of a lamp falling on his face. She took care to observe light and shade, and showed skill beyond her years. Her father had exclaimed, "You will be a painter if I ever saw one." By the time she was 15, Vigee LeBrun had established a business as a painter that provided major financial support for her family. Her mother was a hairdresser from Luxembourg, who remarried not long after her first husband's death. Her stepfather soon began to squander her earnings. When she was only 21, she married an art dealer named Pierre LeBrun. It was clearly a marriage more of convenience, than of love. They had one daughter, Julie, born in 1780. Vigee LeBrun's marriage helped her gain access to a world normally restricted to men. Although she was denied access to a male apprentice system, and was unable to participate in classes at the major art academies around the city, she gained admission to the lesser salon of the Academie de Saint Luc. However, the Academie Royale was closed to her without proper connections. In those days, being shown in lesser salons kept a painter away from the financial benefits to be gained from wealthier clients who frequented the prestigious Academie Royale. When Vigee LeBrun was finally admitted to the Royale in 1783, her critics were not kind. She was accused of using her husband and the palace, most particularly her friendship with Queen Marie Antoinette. Another unfortunate rumor was that she had a long-standing sexual affair with the finance minister, Calonne. Her accusers contended that he aided her in squandering much of the Royal Treasury. That was never proven. Still, it was clear that she capitalized on her associations with the queen and the rest of the royal family. The aristocracy longed to be seen as simple, especially as unrest grew among the people outside of the palace confines. One portrait of Marie Antoinette was considered so scandalously informal, that it was withdrawn from the salon in the midst of her debut at the Academie Royale. Vigee LeBrun's arch-rival was a woman painter named Madame Labille Guiard. They were admitted to the Academie Royale on the same day. For the rest of the decade, before the French Revolution erupted in 1789, the two women maintained their rivalry. At the time of the academy's biennial exhibitions, the bitterness they felt toward each other had reached the height of its intensity. Vigee LeBrun painted one of her most acclaimed works in 1784. It was the portrait of Marie-Gabrielle de Gramont, Duchess of Caderousse. That was the same year she suffered a miscarriage, and painted only five portraits. Her usual output far exceeded that. The portrait was shown at the Salon of 1785 to much acclaim and became one of the artist's most celebrated works. In her memoirs, written fifty years later, Vigee LeBrun recalled the painting. "As I detested the female style of dress then in fashion, I bent all my efforts upon rendering it a little more picturesque, and was delighted when, after getting the confidence of my models, I was able to drape them according to my fancy. Shawls were not yet worn, but I made an arrangement with broad scarfs lightly intertwined around the body and on the arms, which was an attempt to imitate the beautiful drapings of Raphael and Domenichino I could not endure powder persuaded the Duchess to put none on for her sittings." Thrived in Exile Vigee LeBrun was not immune to the anxious rumbling that became the French Revolution. What had begun on that fateful night of July 14, 1789, erupted further when mobs stormed the palace at Versailles on the following October 6. Vigee LeBrun had been in disfavor for her association with Marie Antoinette for some time and was considered to be a royal sympathizer.