L a - b e a u t é - s a u v e r a - l e - m o n d e ~ D o s t o ï e v s k i

L a - b e a u t é - s a u v e r a - l e - m o n d e  ~  D o s t o ï e v s k i

Sunday, January 24, 2021

Every precious thread - a selection of carpet paintings by Francesco Noletti



Francesco Noletti (1611, Valletta? - 4 December 1654, Rome), Italian still-life painter, often referred to by his nickname, Il Maltese. His works were much sought after during his lifetime, but he was soon forgotten after his death, and the artist´s true identity was subsequently lost. Long confused with an artist named Benedetto Fioravanti, who painted similar still-lifes, his works were also often attributed to an otherwise unknown painter named Francesco Fieravino. Until recently he was frequently referred to as Francesco Maltese because of his place of origin. It was only in the twentieth century that his identity had been firmly established. It's now known that, as of 1642, he had settled permanently in Rome, first on the Via Margutta, and then on the Via Laurina, where he collaborated with Andrea Sacchi, while he also received international commissions. His works were quite sought after and a still life with a carpet was in the celebrated collection of Archduke Leopold Wilhelm of Austria, Governor of the Spanish Netherlands. He married in Rome, and when he died, the death certificate describes him as a "famous painter."

Friday, January 22, 2021

From the best angles - a self-portrait bust by Philippe-Laurent Roland, circa 1780-85

The terracotta study - which, frankly, I much prefer - is in the collection of the Fitzwilliam Museum, University of Cambridge.


The finished marble bust is in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.


Philippe-Laurent Roland (13 August 1746, Pont-à-Marcq – 11 July 1816, Paris), French sculptor. He studied first at the École de Dessin in Lille, near his hometown. He then moved to Paris where he entered the studio of the celebrated sculptor Augustin Pajou, who would be a powerful and persistent influence in Roland's own work. He collaborated on Pajou's decorations at the Palais-Royal and at the Royal Opéra at Versailles, and he later secured employment as a decorative sculptor in the private apartments of Louis XVI and Marie-Antoinette. He was accepted into the Académie Royale in 1782, and during the French Revolution, he became a founder-member of the Institut de France and a professor at the École des Beaux-Arts. His naturalistic portraits were greatly admired, and in 1800 he received a generous prize for his bust of his teacher Pajou. He passed on his particular combination of Neoclassical austerity and lyrical realism to his own most famous pupil, Pierre-Jean David d'Angers, who wrote a biography of his beloved teacher, remembering Roland as a man of average height and with a high-strung disposition: His "ruddy complexion revealed a sanguine character but with a predominantly nervous aspect. [...] His eyes were lively and penetrating like those of an artist. His mouth was large but well delineated. Like people occupied with serious matters, he spoke little. In his social relations he showed a dignified reserve and loyal sincerity which heightened his great austerity of principle."

Sunday, January 17, 2021

All the real woman - selected paintings by Félix Vallotton

Femme drapée de rouge tenant une cigarette, 1922.
Jeune femme a l'écharpe verte, 1923.
La Blanche et la noire, deux femmes, 1913.
Femme au chevalet, 1925.
Jeune femme lisant,1923.
Coquèterie, 1911.
 Le Chapeau noir, 1909.
Portrait de jeune femme en robe de velour, 1911.
Négresse au corsage rose, 1910.
La Liseuse, 1922.
Buste à l'armoire, 1914.
Jeune femme assise de profil, 1914.
Portrait de Gabrielle Vallotton, 1908. The artist's wife.
La Femme Aux Roses, ND.
La jeune fille au miroir, 1911.
Une femme blonde voilée de noir, 1909.
Le Chapeau violet, 1907.
Le Retour de la mer, 1924.
Femme avec un poudrier, date unreadable, possibly 1921.
Femme au châle rouge, 1920.
Portrait de Madame Haasen, 1908.
Portrait de Marthe Mellot, 1906.
Jeune fille, 1909.
L'Étoffe jaune, 1913.
Femme lisant, 1906.
Portrait de Aïcha Goblet, 1922.
Lectrice avec la chaîne jaune, 1912.
Femme lisant seins nus, 1921.
La Lecture abandonnée, 1924.
Négresse assise de face, 1911.
Femme brune assise de face, avec guitare, 1913.
La Roumaine en robe rouge, 1925.
Le Ruban vert, 1911.

I've only just recently really started looking at Vallotton's work. I don't know why it's never "hooked" me before, but now, belatedly, I'm captivated. He was quite prolific and completed equally wonderful work in just about every category of painted subject matter. I recently completed a post that featured a selection of his still-lifes, and I think his interiors and/or landscapes are on this blog's horizon. I'm guessing I'll have as much fun collecting those images as I did searching out these. Even though, as is typical, I had to reject several fascinating images that were just too small or of insufficient quality to include. Hence this last one... just one more...?

Femme au châle rouge, 1921.