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

Friday, November 30, 2018

Triples - twelve portraits of three

Three brothers, by József Czauczik, 1828.
George, 2nd Earl Harcourt, his wife Elizabeth, and brother William, by Sir Joshua Reynolds, 1780-81. The Earl and Countess are wearing their coronation robes.
Unknown. Courtesy Ralf De Jonge.
Moritz Christian, Reichsgraf von Fries, his wife Maria Theresia Josepha, and their son Moritz, by François Gérard, 1805.
The 1st Duke of Kingston-upon-Hull, the 2nd Earl of Burlington, and the 3rd Baron Berkeley of Stratton, by Michael Dahl, circa 1690-1700.
Jaromír Funke, Josef Sudek, Adolf Schneeberger, by Adolf Schneeberger, 1925.
La famille Bergeret de Grandcourt, by Jean-Laurent Mosnier, circa 1785.
Unknown, by George Hartwell, circa 1850.
Queen Alexandra with her daughters, Princess Victoria of Wales and Princess Louise, Duchess of Fife, 1905.
Triple Portrait (Sister and Brothers), by Károly Ferenczy, 1911.
The daughters of Johann Julius von Vieth und Golßenau and his wife Johanna Juliane, née Krieg von Bellicken, by Anton Graff , circa 1775.
Unknown, tintype, circa 1890.

Sunday, November 25, 2018

Self-Portrait in a Group of Friends - Francesco Hayez, circa 1824.

The thirty-six year old Hayez included four friends in his self-portrait: on the left, the painters Pelagio Palagi and Giovanni Migliara (in profile) and, on the right, the painter Giuseppe Molteni (in the hat) and the writer Tommaso Grossi, all of them important representatives of Milanese Romanticism. The painting would appear to relate to a dinner party held in 1824 to celebrate Hayez' recovery after a long illness, at which his friend Grossi recited his poem Il Brindisi (The Toast). The date of 1827, visible at bottom left is not by the artist's hand, and it's likely that the group portrait was painted at a date closer to the friend's banquet.

Giovanni Migliara (15 October 1785, Alessandria - 18 April 1837, Milan).
Pelagio Palagi (25 May 1775, Bologna - 6 March 1860, Turin).
Giuseppe Molteni (1800, Milan - 1867, Milan).
Tommaso Grossi (20 January 1791, Bellano - 10 December 1853, Milan).


Francesco Hayez (10 February 1791, Venice – 21 December 1882, Milan), Italian painter, the leading artist of the Romantic movement in mid-nineteenth-century Milan, renowned for his theatrical history paintings, political allegories, sensual female nudes, and elegant and austere portraits.

Friday, November 23, 2018

Moments private, moments very public - four paintings by Tetar van Elven

Bal Travesti chez le Baron Lycklama, Villa Escarras, Cannes, 1874.
The host, the wealthy Orientalist, Tinco Martinus Lycklama à Nijeholt, stands right of center, his hand on his hip.
Fête de nuit aux Tuileries, le 10 juin 1867, 1867. This soirée occurred during the Exposition Universelle in Paris that year.
The Empress Eugénie is on the arm of the Emperor Alexander II of Russia while, behind, Napoléon III is engaged in conversation with King Wilhelm I of Prussia.
The baptism of the future King Carlos I of Portugal, 1863.
The infant was baptised with the names Carlos Fernando Luís Maria Víctor Miguel Rafael Gabriel Gonzaga Xavier Francisco de Assis José Simão.
King Karl XV & IV of Sweden and Norway, Queen Lovisa, and their daughter Princess Lovisa, the future consort of Frederik VIII of Denmark 1862.
An engraving of the French Emperor Napoléon III is on the wall behind them, and what looks to be a painting of the first Napoléon over the mantle.
Above Princess Lovisa is a portrait of Eugène de Beauharnais, Duke of Leuchtenberg, the stepson of Napoléon I and King Karl's maternal grandfather.

Sunday, November 18, 2018

Eight ladies in white

Madame Philippe Lenoir, by Émile-Jean-Horace Vernet, 1814.
Eugenia de Montijo, condesa de Teba (the future Empress Eugénie of the French), by  Federico de Madrazo y Kuntz, 1849.
Anne Pauline Dufour-Feronce with her son, Jean-Marc-Albert, by Johann Friedrich August Tischbein, 1802.
Lady in a Salon, French school, circa 1820s.
I love the bit of wintry landscape just glimpsed through the window.
Oddly, during this period artists often painted women's feet as absurdly small. Even the most accomplished painters frequently went along with this strange trend.
Fürstin Maria Teresa von Hohenzollern, née Principessa di Borbone delle Due Sicilie, by Philip de László, 1900.
The Duquesa de Osuna, a young woman and child, by Agustín Esteve, circa 1796-97. Given the date, the child could be the duchess' youngest daughter, Manuela.
 Both ladies are wearing the Orden de las Damas Nobles de María-Luisa.
Madame Tallien (Thérésa Cabarrus; by the date of this portrait, princesse de Chimay), by Jean-Bernard Duvivier, 1806.

Friday, November 16, 2018

Moules et vin blanc

I know nothing about this photograph. (Courtesy of my Belgian friend Ralf De Jonge.) Fourteen men sitting round a rather rough wooden table with bowls of mussels before them. Circa the first decade and a half of the twentieth century, probably taken in France or Belgium. The background is full of what look to be rows of empty shelving. Though the setting is unrefined, the men aren't laborers. They're all dressed in suits, with proper collars and ties, though most have work coats or smocks on over their clothes. A totally unremarkable image. An unremarkable activity, most likely unremarkable men. But... there's something about the gaze of the man in the foreground. His gaze is so alive. So often in old photographs, the people appear frozen, unnatural. We might find them fascinating or charming in the oddity, but there's an unbridgeable gap between their humanity and ours. This man, though, almost seems able - likely - to shift in his chair, to push away from the table, to rise and speak to us. Across more than a hundred years, but as easy as that.