Happy Leap Day!
Happy Leap Day!
Today the artist is unknown
Happy Birthday Pierre-Auguste Renoir
Pierre Auguste Renoir was a French impressionist painter noted for his radiant, intimate paintings, particularly of the female nude. Recognized by critics as one of the greatest and most independent painters of his period, Renoir is noted for the harmony of his lines, the brilliance of his color, and the intimate charm of his wide variety of subjects. Unlike other impressionists he was as much interested in painting the single human figure or family group portraits as he was in landscapes; unlike them, too, he did not subordinate composition and plasticity of form to attempts at rendering the effect of light.
Renoir was born in Limoges on February 25, 1841. As a child he worked in a porcelain factory in Paris, painting designs on china; at 17 he copied paintings on fans, lamp shades, and blinds. He studied painting formally in 1862-63 at the academy of the Swiss painter Charles Gabriel Gleyre in Paris. Renoir’s early work was influenced by two French artists, Claude Monet in his treatment of light and the romantic painter Eugène Delacroix in his treatment of color.
Renoir first exhibited his paintings in Paris in 1864, but he did not gain recognition until 1874, at the first exhibition of painters of the new impressionist school. One of the most famous of all impressionist works is Renoir’s Le Bal au Moulin de la Galette (1876, Musée du Louvre, Paris), an open-air scene of a café, in which his mastery in figure painting and in representing light is evident. Outstanding examples of his talents as a portraitist are Madame Charpentier and Her Children (1878, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City) and Jeanne Samary.
Renoir fully established his reputation with a solo exhibition held at the Durand-Ruel Gallery in Paris in 1883. In 1887 he completed a series of studies of a group of nude female figures known as The Bathers (Philadelphia Museum of Art). These reveal his extraordinary ability to depict the lustrous, pearly color and texture of skin and to impart lyrical feeling and plasticity to a subject; they are unsurpassed in the history of modern painting in their representation of feminine grace. Many of his later paintings also treat the same theme in an increasingly bold rhythmic style. During the last 20 years of his life Renoir was crippled by arthritis; unable to move his hands freely, he continued to paint, however, by using a brush strapped to his arm. Renoir died at Cagnes, a village in the south of France, on December 3, 1919.
Whiteley was born 1939 in Sydney, New South Wales, and grew up in Longueville, a harbourside suburb in north Sydney. By the age of seven had won his first art competition. He was sent to boarding school at Scots College, Bathurst and in 1956 was awarded first prize in the Young Painters’ section of the Bathurst Show. He left school mid-year and took night classes in drawing at the Julian Ashton Art School in Sydney while holding down a job at an advertising agency.
Brett Whiteley is one of Australia’s most revered artists. His lyrical expressionism and lack of inhibition placed him at the forefront of Australia’s avant-garde art movement. He won many prizes and awards and his work hangs in numerous galleries, including the National Gallery of Australia in Canberra, the Tate Gallery in London and the Museum of Modern Art in New York
André Breton, 1896-1966: French poet and critic, a leader of the surrealist movement. He was born in Tinchebray, Orne Department, studied medicine, and worked in psychiatric wards in World War I. Later, as a writer in Paris, he was a pioneer in the antirationalist movements in art and literature known as Dadaism and surrealism, which developed out of the general disillusionment with tradition that marked the post-World War I era. Breton’s study of the works of Sigmund Freud and his experiments with automatic writing influenced his initial formulation of surrealist theory. He expressed his views in Literature, the leading surrealist periodical, which he helped found and edited for many years, and in three surrealist manifestos (1924, 1930, 1942). His best creative work is considered the novel Nadja (1928), based partly on his own experiences. His poetry, in Selected Poems (1948; trans. 1969), reflects the influence of the poets Paul Valery and Arthur Rimbaud.
Happy Birthday Horace Pippin
Born in Pennsylvania, Horace Pippin worked several jobs and joined the army in 1917 before adopting an art career. Upon his return from service, he was badly injured in his right arm and turned to art as therapy. He began painting in 1929 and never received any formal training. However he was one of America’s top primitive painters, often begin compared to Henri Rousseau. His subject matter ranged from his early depictions of trench warfare to historical, religious, and genre paintings, all executed with personal interpretations of those subjects.
Happy Birthday Constantin Brancusi
Constantin Brancusi was a Romanian sculptor who trained initially as a carpenter and stonemason. He settled in Paris in 1904 where his early influences included African as well as oriental art. Although Rodin was another early influence, Brancusi decided he wished to make much simpler work and began an evolutionary search for pure form. While never entirely rejecting the natural world, Brancusi undoubtedly succeeds in conveying a sense of gravity by reducing his work to a few basic elements. Paradoxically, this process also tends to highlight the complexity of thought that has gone into its making. Witness the studied serenity and distilled eroticism of Sleeping Muse, for example. In contrast to his many polished works in marble and bronze are his roughly hewn works in wood. Brancusi did much to encourage a revival of carving and great respect for an artist’s materials. During his later years, he polished the surface of his earlier works. Monumental, subtle and intimate, Brancusi’s sculptures are rightly now considered to be the work of a modern master.
Happy Birthday Ansel Adams
Ansel Easton Adams (February 20, 1902 – April 22, 1984) was an American photographer, best known for his black-and-white photographs of the American West. His studio, which is still owned by the Adams family, is now the Ansel Adams Gallery.
Adams also wrote many books about photography, including the Morgan & Morgan Basic Photo Series (The Camera, The Negative, The Print, Natural-Light Photography, and Artificial Light Photography); co-founded Group f/64 with other masters like Edward Weston, Willard Van Dyke, and Imogen Cunningham; and created, with Fred Archer, the zone system. The zone system is a technique for photographers to translate the light they see into specific densities on negatives and paper, thus giving them better control over finished photographs. Adams also pioneered the idea of visualization (which he often called ‘previsualization’, though he later acknowledged that term to be a redundancy) of the finished print based upon the measured light values in the scene being photographed.