was an English Pre-Raphaelite painter and engraver, a follower of Dante Gabriel Rossetti. Smetham was born in Pateley Bridge, Yorkshire, and attended school in Leeds; he was originally apprenticed to an architect before deciding on an artistic career. He studied at the Royal Academy, beginning in 1843. His modest early success as a portrait painter was stifled by the development of photography (a problem shared by other artists of the time). In 1851 Smetham took a teaching position att the Wesleyan Normal College in Westminster; in 1854 he married Sarah Goble, a fellow teacher at the school. They would eventually have six children. Smetham worked in a range of genres, including religious and literary themes as well as portraiture; but he is perhaps best known as a landscape painter. His "landscapes have a visionary quality" reminiscent of the work of William Blake, John Linnell, and Samuel Palmer. Out of a lifetime output of some 430 paintings and 50 etchings, woodcuts, and book illustrations, his 1856 painting The Dream is perhaps his best-known work. He was also an essayist and art critic; an article on Blake (in the form of a review of Alexander Gilchrist's Life of William Blake), which appeared in the January 1869 issue of the Quarterly Review, influenced and advanced recognition of Blake's artistic importance. Other Smetham articles for the Review were "Religious Art in England" (1861), "The Life and Times of Sir Joshua Reynolds" (1866), and "Alexander Smith" (1868). He also wrote some poetry. Smetham was a devout Methodist, and after a mental breakdown in 1857, the second half of his life was marked by a growing religious mania and eventual insanity. "In one of his notebooks he attempted to illustrate every verse in the Bible." (Smetham habitually created miniature, postage-stamp-sized pen-and-ink drawings, in a process he called "squaring." He produced thousands of these in his lifetime.) He suffered a final breakdown in 1877 and lived in seclusion until his death. Smetham's letters, posthumously published by his widow, throw light upon Rossetti, John Ruskin, and other contemporaries, and have been praised for their literary and spiritual qualities. Related Paintings of James Smetham :. | VarietE - English dance couple | Landscape wtih the Legend of St.Christopher | 1909 | Pieter cornelisz van ryck Kitchen Scene (mk14) | Noon:Rest from Work (nn04) |
Related Artists:Eugenio Gignous
(Milan, 1850 - Stresa (Verbania), 1906) was an Italian painter.
The son of a silk merchant from Lyon, Gignous displayed a precocious talent for painting and enrolled at the Brera Academy of Fine Arts in 1864, attending the courses on landscape taught by Luigi Riccardi and then Gaetano Fasanotti. He came into contact with the Milanese Scapigliatura movement when still very young and formed a close friendship with Tranquillo Cremona. He began to focus exclusively on landscape in the 1870s, experimenting with painting en plein air and producing views of the Lombard and Piedmontese countryside that he showed at all the major national exhibitions. The late 1870s saw a more naturalistic approach to landscape painting under the influence of Filippo Carcano, with whom Gignous went to paint on Lake Maggiore in 1879, thus inaugurating a thematic repertoire devoted primarily to views of the Verbano, Mottarone and Val deOssola. Some biographical notes written by the artistes wife Matilde would appear to bear out the hypothesis of a trip to Paris in the company of Carcano in 1878 and attest to friendship with Vincenzo Vela, who was apparently his host on numerous occasions in Ligornetto. A recognised leader of the Lombard school of painting, he lived in Stresa and on the coast of Liguria from 1887 to 1906, his year of his death, with long stays in Venice. The Venice Biennale held a retrospective exhibition of his work in 1907.
Period: Romantic (1820-1869)
Born: March 01, 1810 in Zelazowa Wola, Poland
Died: October 17, 1849 in Paris, France
Genres: Ballet, Chamber Music, Concerto, Keyboard Music, Miscellaneous Music, Vocal Music Witold Pruszkowski
Polish Painter, 1846-1896
Polish painter and draughtsman. He spent his early years in Odessa and Kiev, subsequently living in France, in particular in Paris, where he studied under the Polish portrait painter Tadeusz Gorecki (1825-68), continuing (1868-71) at the Akademie der Kenste in Munich. In 1871 he moved to Krakew where he studied until 1875 under Jan Matejko at the School of Fine Arts. During ten years in Krakew he produced many striking portraits. In the portrait of Mrs Fedorowicz (1878; Krakew, N. Mus.) he achieved subtle effects of modelling by means of carefully differentiated tones and meticulously distributed light. The Realism of these portraits is subsumed into an advanced proto-Impressionist technique, on occasion using both small patches of distinct colour and broadly applied areas of impasto. Alongside such works, Pruszkowski produced paintings based on fantastic legends, fables and folk-tales. In these works one can trace influences going back to the artist's Munich period; but Pruszkowski's essentially Romantic vision translated his subjects into an entirely Polish context, as in Midsummer's Night (1875; Warsaw, N. Mus.) and Water Nymphs (1877; Krakew, N. Mus.). In 1882 Pruszkowski moved to the village of Mnikow outside Krakew, where he worked in the isolation he believed essential for creative activity. Contact with the country people, however, provided him with themes for his work; alongside his fantastic and legendary subjects he painted genre scenes of peasant life. He brought to his subjects a diversity of means of formal depiction, from the realistic to the near visionary. However, there are notable recurrent motifs, for example the image of the native willow, the symbolic haunt of spirits, as in Willow on Marshland (1892; Ledz, Mus. A.). The visionary element achieved its apogee in the pastel compositions from the last years of his life. In works such as Death of Ellenai (1892; Wroclaw, N. Mus.) the evanescent nature of forms is expressed through restrained colour schemes, generally tending towards silvery greyish azure or shades of pink.