Today is the anniversary of Édouard Manet’s death

In our collection you will find:

Édouard Manet (1832-83)
Baudelaire en Face, 1865
Etching, 30 x 8 cm

Édouard Manet was born in Paris on January 23, 1832, to an affluent and well connected family. His mother, Eugenie-Desiree Fournier, was the goddaughter of the Swedish crown prince, Charles Bernadotte, from whom the current Swedish monarchs are descended. His father, Auguste Manet, was a French judge who expected Édouard to pursue a career in law. His uncle, Charles Fournier, encouraged him to pursue painting and often took young Manet to the Louvre. In 1845, following the advice of his uncle, Manet enrolled in a special course of drawing where he met Antonin Proust, future Minister of Fine Arts, and a subsequent life-long friend. At his father’s suggestion, in 1848 he sailed on a training vessel to Rio de Janeiro. After twice failing the examination to join the navy, the elder Manet relented to his son’s wishes to pursue an art education. From 1850 to 1856, Manet studied under the academic painter Thomas Couture, a painter of large historical paintings. In his spare time he copied the old masters in the Louvre. From 1853 to 1856 he visited Germany, Italy, and the Netherlands, during which time he absorbed the influences of the Dutch painter Frans Hals, and the Spanish artists Diego Velazquez and Francisco Jose de Goya. In 1856, he opened his own studio. His style in this period was characterized by loose brush strokes, simplification of details, and the suppression of transitional tones. Adopting the current style of realism initiated by Gustave Courbet, he painted The Absinthe Drinker (1858-59) and other contemporary subjects such as beggars, singers, Gypsies, people in cafes, and bullfights.
 
Charles Baudelaire, de Face owes its beginnings to a rather tentative portrait etching it is believed Édouard Manet created in 1865. In 1869, two years after Baudelaire’s death, Charles Asselineau’s completed book, Charles Baudelaire, sa vie et son oeuvre, was published. Before publication Manet wrote the author, “My dear Asselineau,
You are busy just now, aren’t you, on an edition of the works of Baudelaire? If you are inserting a portrait of him as a frontispiece … I have a portrait of Baudelaire in outdoor clothes, wearing a hat, which perhaps wouldn’t look bad at the beginning of this book. I have yet another and more important one of him, bareheaded, which would look well in a book of poetry. I’m very keen to be given this job.” * The first named portrait is now known as Profile Portrait of Charles Baudelaire. The “more important” and “bareheaded” portrait is, of course, Charles Baudelaire, de Face (Harris #61). Both portraits were published in Asselineau’s book. Charles Baudelaire, de Face underwent four distinct states (including the removal of a scroll by cutting the lower margin of the plate) before Édouard Manet was satisfied with the work. Fifty proofs of the etching were issued at the time of publication. Later impressions were published by Lemerre, who acquired the plates of both portraits. In Édouard Manet: Graphic Works, Jean C. Harris writes that the first fifty proofs were published on “thin paper”. Yet impressions of Charles Baudelaire, de Face exist on both ‘thin’ China paper and ‘thin’ laid paper. Charles Baudelaire, de Face is a most important etching from the hand of one of France’s greatest nineteenth century masters.

Jean C. Harris, Édouard Manet: Graphic Works: A Definitive Catalogue Raisonne, New York, Collectors Edition, 1970.
Harris # 61. Fourth and Final State as published in 1869. (The above quotation will be found on pp. 133 & 134.)

Two new gifts

Edward T. Pollack H’55 of A Fine Thing in Portland, Maine has sent us two new and exciting photographs, one a gift from himself and the other a gift of the artist Larry Hayden.

Larry Hayden
Untitled, 2014
Digital photograph printed in color, 51 x 61 cm.
Gift of Edward T. Pollack H’55

Larry Hayden
Interior with Five Hens, 2014
Digital photograph printed in black and white, 51 x 61 cm.
Gift of Larry Hayden

Larry Hayden is a longtime resident of Portland who has shown at many galleries in Maine, including the June Fitzpatrick Gallery and Aucocisco Gallery. His work is in the collections of the Portland Museum of Art, the Colby College Museum and the Bates College Art Museum. Larry and his family recently moved to a large property on the outer edge of Portland, where among other activities, he raises chickens for their fresh eggs. From their earliest youth the chickens have fascinated Larry with their daily routines and he has observed and photographed them on an almost daily basis for many months. In this show we present a sampling of these photographs which through Larry’s eye, composition and lighting raise the activities of these mundane creatures to the level of art. Larry has recently published a book, “Pullum” containing a selection of the photographs, each accompanied by a caption in Latin.

Two new additions to the Collections

Row, David (b.1949)

Push Comes to Shove, 2002
Etching on Rives BFK paper, 49 x 74 cm.
Gift of the Rochester Print Club

Winters, Terry (b.1949)
Illustrated Set, Untitled, 2010
Screen print, 102 x 76 cm.
Gallery purchase, The Art Collection Fund

David Row (1949 – ), born in Portland, Maine, received his BA and MFA from Yale University, CT. He has exhibited his work in numerous solo and group shows both nationally and internationally. Row is currently a Professor at the School of Visual Arts in New York. He has lectured at numerous institutions including the Cooper Union, Kent State University Tyler School of Art and Yale School of Art. His work has been collected by numerous museums, institutions and private collectors.
With this new work of art, the Print Club of Rochester has taken a new path: that of printer and publisher. David Row created the drawings, which provide the basis for this print. These drawings were then transferred to copper plates using the latest technology in intaglio printmaking. Six plates were inked and printed for each individual print. Alan Singer managed the printing of this edition, with help from printers: Bernice Cross, Elizabeth Durand and Chas Davis.

Winters (born 1949) received a BFA from Pratt University, New York, in 1971. He has had solo exhibitions at Tate Gallery, London (1986); the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (1992); Whitechapel Art Gallery, London (1999); the Kunsthalle Basel (2000); The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York (2001); and the Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin (2009); and Staatliche Graphische Sammlung at the Pinakothek der Moderne (2014). Winters lives and works in New York City and Columbia County, New York.
From his body of “Illstrated Set” work, this print by Terry Winters takes the printmaking process itself as subject. Winters became inspired by how his prints appeared before press, bearing the logo of the printer on the border; one can see where Winters whited out such indications, giving an added level of transperency to this work of vibrant patterns.
The artist Terry Winters has been exploring the expanded field of abstraction in his paintings since the 1970s, using forms of figuration drawn from the natural and technological worlds as sources of inspiration. Throughout his career, he has explored abstraction in terms of complex formulas of layers, patterns, and symbols. “My approach,” Winters once said of his working process, “uses construction to provoke unpredictable, surprising images that emerge and become recognizable.”
Initially, Winters created works based on botanical imagery such as seeds, cells, and spores; later he became inspired by biological processes and scientific and mathematical theories. His art is highly process-driven and speaks to the interaction between technology and the human mind. Though symbolic, his images are consistent with the Modernist legacy of physicality and non-narrative abstraction.
In his 2012 exhibition at the Matthew Marks Gallery, Cricket Music, Tessellation Figures & Notebook, 11 large-scale, richly hued, and layered paintings create complex patterns and grids. These paintings—such as Notebook 64, where a translucent, multicolored shape hovers over the patterns of reflective water and sky— mirror tessellated structures found in the natural world, like honeycomb. In another painting, Spinning, the canvas is divided into three squared sections rendered mostly in vibrant blues and reds. Each section creates its own pattern: one contains four spheres; another a net-like, criss-crossed grid; and the last 16 blue squares, each containing variations of a similar shape.

Today is the anniversary of the birth of Joan Miró

In our collections, you will find:

Joan Miró (1893-1983)
Untitled, Derrière le Miroir, 1965
Lithograph, 56 x 46 cm.
© 2012 Successió Miró / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris

Joan Miró (1893-1983)
Untitled, 1981
Lithograph, 42 x 33 cm.
Gift of Robert North in memory of Marion de Mauriac North ‘32
© 2012 Successió Miró / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris

Born April 20th, 1893, Joan Miro Ferra was a Spanish painter, sculptor and ceramist. Originally from Barcelona, Joan Miro moved to Paris at an early age, where he began to develop an unconventional style of work. He soon became known in the community as a Surrealist because of his love for automatism and the use of sexual symbols in much of his work. Joan Miro was very much against the established painting methods of the time, and is often credited with being the founder of automatic drawing. Automatic drawing is the process of allowing the hand to move randomly on the canvas, leaving the artwork to chance. Many Surrealists believed that this form of drawing would reveal something about the subconscious human mind. For Joan Miro, automatic drawing was also a way to breaking free from conventional form. Miro was very much against bourgeois art, claiming that it was used for propaganda and the promotion of a wealthy culture. Miro referred to his work as the assassination of painting. During the height of his career, Joan Miro experimented with many different types of art form, refusing to commit to one artistic movement. Later in his career he began experimenting with tapestry. In 1974 he created World Trade Center Tapestry for the newly constructed Twin Towers. This work would later become the most expensive piece of art lost in the World Trade Center attacks of September 11th. Joan Miro also began to delve into other aspects of media, including ceramics and window paintings. Some of his more radical ideas included four-dimensional art, and gas sculptures, though he was never able to put these ideas into practice. t the time of his death, Joan Miro was bedridden from heart disease and respiratory complications. He died at his home in Palma, Mallorca on December 25th, 1983. He is buried in his home town of Barcelona, near a museum that is dedicated entirely to his work.

From the 1930’s onward, Miro began producing exceptional pochoirs, lithographs and etchings; the pace accelerated in the 1960’s, at the urging of Aimé Maeght. From a print collector’s perspective, Miró was active in Paris during the middle decades of the 20th Century, working closely with Master Printer Fernand Mourlot, as well as publishers Aimé Maeght (founder of Derriére le Miroir, to whom we print collectors are indebted for so many original Miro lithographs), Gualtieri di San Lazzaro (founder of the journal XXe Siecle—Chroniques du Jour) and Christian Zervos (founder of Cahiers d’Art and the publisher of several rare Miro pochoirs). Browse our online gallery for an unrivaled selection of wholesale art prints by Joan Miro.

Today is the anniversary of the death of Francisco José de Goya y Lucientes

In our collection you will find

Goya y Lucientes (1746-1828)
Disasters of War, 68: What Madness, 1808-14
Etching and aquatint, 16 x 22 cm.

Francisco José de Goya y Lucientes welcomed and received official honors and worldly success with enthusiasm. At the same time he left a ruthlessly penetrating record of his patrons and private expressions of introspection, moral objectivity, and caustic commentary on his times. By the 1780s Goya was Spain’s leading painter, specializing in religious pictures and portraits. He acknowledged three masters: the elegant, fluid Diego Velázquez, his predecessor as court painter to the Spanish royal family; the truthful, penetrating Rembrandt van Rijn; and, above all, nature. 

A 1792 illness left Goya deaf and mentally broken. He turned inward and began painting dark, disturbing, private works. His etchings Los Caprichos expressed his distaste for the corrupt, fanatical establishment, particularly the Church, for whom he worked; the etchings went on sale in 1799, the year he became principal painter to the Spanish king. 

During the Napoleonic wars, Goya recorded his reactions to the occupying French army’s atrocities in his Disasters of War etchings and a painting, The Third of May 1808, whose immediate equivalence of paint, flesh, and blood profoundly influenced Édouard Manet. By 1814, the repressive Spanish monarchy was restored and Goya resumed painting the royals, whom he portrayed with at times unflattering frankness. He died in voluntary exile in France.

In 1808, the population of Madrid rose up in a spontaneous revolt against the occupation forces of the puppet King of Spain, Joseph Bonaparte, brother of Napoleon. The crowds were inflamed by the rumor that Prince Francisco, the thirteen-year-old son of the deposed Bourbon monarch, Carlos IV—and the last member of the Spanish royal family still remaining in the country—was about to be abducted to Bayonne, France, where his parents lived in exile. The rebellion erupted at flash points around the city, with no leadership or coordination, and within twenty-four hours it was ruthlessly crushed. Francisco de Goya y Lucientes, who was present in Madrid at the time, memorialized these events in The Disasters of War. Scholars have determined that as many as sixty-three of the eighty etchings in The Disasters of War were completed during the height of the conflict. Plates 65 to 82 were named emphatic caprices in the original series title. Completed between 1813 and 1820 and spanning Ferdinand VII’s fall and return to power, they consist of allegorical scenes that critique post-war Spanish politics, including the Inquisition and the then-common judicial practice of torture. Plate 68, What madness!, focuses directly on a gluttonous monk who is surrounded by masks, implying deception, and a stockpile of religious items that, in bulk, lose their spiritual value.  The monk’s actions, or madness, far overshadow those of the obedient masses, who remain barely noticeable in the background.  This print mocks reason, for what matters – the gluttonous representations of oppressive forces rather than the feeble majority – seems nonsensical.

Today is Robert Doineau’s birthday

Robert Doisneau was born in 1912 in Gentilly in the Val-de-Marne near Paris. He studied engraving and lithography and went to work at lettering and advertising photographs in 1930. He began working for André Vigneau in 1931 as his cameraman, and then joined the Renault factory in Billancourt in 1934 working as an industrial and advertising photographer. Doisneau was fired in 1939 for being consistently late and joined the Rapho Photo Agency taking some of his first professional street photographs. With the outbreak of the Second World War, however, he was called upon to serve in the French Army for a year before working for the résistance until 1945. At the end of the war he joined the Alliance Photo Press Agency but returned to Rapho a year later. In 1949 he joined Vogue as fashion photographer where he remained for three years before going freelance. Robert Doisneau died in 1994.

We have a series of photographs by Doisneau in our collection which were a gift of Lewis W. Siegel ’70. Boulangerie Rue de Poitou is currently in the exhibition Destinations in the Davis Gallery at Houghton House.

  • Doisneau, Robert (1912-) Boulangerie Rue de Poitou, Gelatin silver, 34 x 24 cm. Gift of Lewis W. Siegel ‘70.
  • Doisneau, Robert (1912-) L’Innocent, Gelatin silver, 29 x 24 cm. Gift of Lewis W. Siegel ‘70.
  • Doisneau, Robert (1912-) La Dame Indignée, Gelatin silver, 24 x 31 cm. Gift of Lewis W. Siegel ‘70.
  • Doisneau, Robert (1912-) La Musique des Puces. Gelatin silver, 24 x 29 cm. Gift of Lewis W. Siegel ‘70.
  • Doisneau, Robert (1912-) La Poule au Gibier, Gelatin silver, 24 x 31 cm. Gift of Lewis W. Siegel ‘70.
  • Doisneau, Robert (1912-) La Stricte Intimite, Gelatin silver, 28 x 20 cm. Gift of Lewis W. Siegel ‘70.
  • Doisneau, Robert (1912-) Les Helicopteres, Gelatin silver, 34 x 22 cm. Gift of Lewis W. Siegel ‘70
  • Doisneau, Robert (1912-) Le Jeune Homme et Rita, Gelatin silver, 24 x 34 cm. Gift of Lewis W. Siegel ‘70.
  • Doisneau, Robert (1912-) Le Manège de Monsieur Barre, Gelatin silver, 32 x 24 cm. Gift of Lewis W. Siegel ‘70.
  • Doisneau, Robert (1912-) Le Petit Balcon, Gelatin silver, 23 x 34 cm. Gift of Lewis W. Siegel ‘70.
  • Doisneau, Robert (1912-) Les Concierges Rue du Dragon, Gelatin silver, 24 x 29 cm. Gift of Lewis W. Siegel ‘70.
  • Doisneau, Robert (1912-) Les Géants du Nord, Gelatin silver, 30 x 24 cm. Gift of Lewis W. Siegel ‘70.
  • Doisneau, Robert (1912-) Pain et Rideau de Fer. Gelatin silver, 29 x 24 cm. Gift of Lewis W. Siegel ‘70.

Conservation in Action

Karel Appel (1921-2006)
Tête d’homme, Homme à la Cravate, 1969
Acrylic on paper, formerly on linen, 65 x 50 cm.
Gift of Julia and Russell Sanderson
© Karel Appel Foundation 2012

In March of last year, we removed our Karel Appel painting, Tête d’homme, from the President’s House and took it to West Lake Conservators for loving care. There they spent a year restoring the painting to its original pristine state. Detailed below are some of the steps the painting underwent during this year long hospitalization.

The painting was removed from the frame and surface dirt and grime was removed with aqueous solutions and dry cleaning. The paper painting support was removed from the linen lining fabric slowly and carefully. The paper was released from the lining with a scalpel and excess hide glue was reduced from the reverse using methyl cellulose. The paper was then relaxed and flattened with a humidification treatment and placed between blotters, felts and left under weights to dry.

After the linen backing was removed an inscription reading Homme à la Cravate 85333 appeared in the lower right corner giving us an alternative title for the painting.

Thin CPC Beva film was heat set to both sides of an interleaf of polyester Reemay fabric and Beva solution was applied to a semi-rigid .015 FR-4 G-10 support in an attempt to keep the paper planar. The painting was vacuum heat set onto the prepared materials carefully monitoring the temperature until it reached the adhesive activation temperature of 65 degrees C.

After cooling, the painting had some areas that appeared to be delaminating again. This condition was monitored over a period of a few weeks to determine if the area changed in size. A decision was made to reverse the lining and devise another course of treatment.

The painting was stabilized as a work on paper abandoning the linen backing. It was humidified and flattened as before. Then it was hinged with Sekishu Japanese tissue and wheat starch paste. The painting was then placed in a sealed package using the highest quality museum glass. The sealed package provides a buffer from fluctuations in humidity and temperature. The package consists of 100% Ragboard, mat spacer, a moisture impermeable Coroplast backing board and conservation grade UV protecting glass from Tru Vue. The package was sealed on all edges with archival J-Lar tape.

The original frame was consolidated using PVA glue and lightly cleaned. Chips were filled with vinyl spackle and toned to match with acrylics and mica powders. The painting was mounted in the frame with new hardware.

Painter and sculptor Karel Appel (Dutch, 1921–2006) co-founded the art group CoBrA and is known for his vibrant, forceful abstracted works, which helped introduce a new era of expressive painting in Europe. Appel was born in Amsterdam and attended the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in the early 1940s. He was drawn to the animated, primitive style of Jean Dubuffet in the years following the repressive, isolated environment of WWII in Amsterdam. In 1948 he founded CoBrA—an acronym for the cities the artists were from: Copenhagen, Brussels, and Amsterdam—with fellow artists Asger Jorn, Guillaume Corneille, and Pierre Alechinsky, advocating expressive and spontaneous painting techniques drawing on Folk Art and primitive imagery. Appel’s work received both broad critical acclaim and unfavorable criticisms; a mural he painted on commission for the Amsterdam City Hall featured depictions of cynically smiling children so disturbing to workers that the mural was ordered to be covered up. In 1950 he moved to Paris, where he continued to gain critical recognition for his ironic imagery, bold brushstrokes, and energetic color. He received the UNESCO prize at the Venice Biennale in 1954, and the first prize at a Guggenheim International exhibition in 1960. In later years Appel also worked with sculpture, assemblage, poetry, lithography, and set design. He held solo exhibitions around the world, in cities including New York, London, Paris, Milan, and Tokyo. Appel died at his home in Zürich in 2006, at 85 years old.