new icn messageflickr-free-ic3d pan white
View allAll Photos Tagged art gallery Classical realism

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Arles

 

Arles is located in France

Arles is located in Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur

Coordinates: 43°40′36″N 4°37′40″ECoordinates: 43°40′36″N 4°37′40″E

Country France

Region Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur

Department Bouches-du-Rhône

Arrondissement Arles

Canton Arles

Intercommunality CA Arles-Crau-Camargue-Montagnette

Government

• Mayor (2014–2020) Hervé Schiavetti (PCF)

Area1 758.93 km2 (293.02 sq mi)

Population (2012)2 52,439

• Density 69/km2 (180/sq mi)

Time zone CET (UTC+1)

• Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)

INSEE/Postal code 13004 /13200

Elevation 0–57 m (0–187 ft)

(avg. 10 m or 33 ft)

 

1 French Land Register data, which excludes lakes, ponds, glaciers > 1 km² (0.386 sq mi or 247 acres) and river estuaries.

2 Population without double counting: residents of multiple communes (e.g., students and military personnel) only counted once.

 

Arles (French pronunciation: ​[aʁl]; Provençal [ˈaʀle] in both classical and Mistralian norms; Arelate in Classical Latin) is a city and commune in the south of France, in the Bouches-du-Rhône department, of which it is a subprefecture, in the former province of Provence.

 

A large part of the Camargue is located on the territory of the commune, making it the largest commune in Metropolitan France in terms of territory (though Maripasoula, French Guiana, is much larger). The city has a long history, and was of considerable importance in the Roman province of Gallia Narbonensis. The Roman and Romanesque Monuments of Arles were listed as UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 1981. The Dutch post-Impressionist painter Vincent van Gogh lived in Arles from 1888 to 1889 and produced over 300 paintings and drawings during his time there. An international photography festival has been held in the city since 1970.

 

Geography

 

The river Rhône forks into two branches just upstream of Arles, forming the Camargue delta. Because the Camargue is for a large part administratively part of Arles, the commune as a whole is the largest commune in Metropolitan France in terms of territory, although its population is only slightly more than 50,000. Its area is 758.93 km2 (293.02 sq mi), which is more than seven times the area of Paris.

Climate

 

Arles has a Mediterranean climate with a mean annual temperature of 14.6 °C (1948 - 1999). The summers are warm and moderately dry, with seasonal averages between 22 °C and 24 °C, and mild winters with a mean temperature of about 7 °C. The city is constantly, but especially in the winter months, subject to the influence of the mistral, a cold wind which can cause sudden and severe frosts. Rainfall (636 mm per year) is fairly evenly distributed from September to May, with the summer drought being less marked than in other Mediterranean areas.[1]

The Ligurians were in this area from about 800 BC. Later, Celtic influences have been discovered. The city became an important Phoenician trading port, before being taken by the Romans.

 

The Romans took the town in 123 BC and expanded it into an important city, with a canal link to the Mediterranean Sea being constructed in 104 BC. However, it struggled to escape the shadow of Massalia (Marseilles) further along the coast.

 

Its chance came when it sided with Julius Caesar against Pompey, providing military support. Massalia backed Pompey; when Caesar emerged victorious, Massalia was stripped of its possessions, which were transferred to Arelate as a reward. The town was formally established as a colony for veterans of the Roman legion Legio VI Ferrata, which had its base there. Its full title as a colony was Colonia Iulia Paterna Arelatensium Sextanorum, "the ancestral Julian colony of Arles of the soldiers of the Sixth."

 

Arelate was a city of considerable importance in the province of Gallia Narbonensis. It covered an area of some 40 hectares (99 acres) and possessed a number of monuments, including an amphitheatre, triumphal arch, Roman circus, theatre, and a full circuit of walls. Ancient Arles was closer to the sea than it is now and served as a major port. It also had (and still has) the southernmost bridge on the Rhône. Very unusually, the Roman bridge was not fixed but consisted of a pontoon-style bridge of boats, with towers and drawbridges at each end. The boats were secured in place by anchors and were tethered to twin towers built just upstream of the bridge. This unusual design was a way of coping with the river's frequent violent floods, which would have made short work of a conventional bridge. Nothing remains of the Roman bridge, which has been replaced by a more modern bridge near the same spot.

 

The city reached a peak of influence during the 4th and 5th centuries, when Roman Emperors frequently used it as their headquarters during military campaigns. In 395, it became the seat of the Praetorian Prefecture of the Gauls, governing the western part of the Western Empire: Gaul proper plus Hispania (Spain) and Armorica (Brittany). At that time, the city was perhaps home to 75,000–100,000 people.[2][3][4][5]

 

It became a favorite city of Emperor Constantine I, who built baths there, substantial remains of which are still standing. His son, Constantine II, was born in Arles. Usurper Constantine III declared himself emperor in the West (407–411) and made Arles his capital in 408.

 

Arles became renowned as a cultural and religious centre during the late Roman Empire. It was the birthplace of the sceptical philosopher Favorinus. It was also a key location for Roman Christianity and an important base for the Christianization of Gaul. The city's bishopric was held by a series of outstanding clerics, beginning with Saint Trophimus around 225 and continuing with Saint Honoratus, then Saint Hilarius in the first half of the 5th century. The political tension between the Catholic bishops of Arles and the Visigothic kings is epitomized in the career of the Frankish St. Caesarius, bishop of Arles 503–542, who was suspected by the Arian Visigoth Alaric II of conspiring with the Burgundians to turn over the Arelate to Burgundy, and was exiled for a year to Bordeaux in Aquitaine. Political tensions were evident again in 512, when Arles held out against Theodoric the Great and Caesarius was imprisoned and sent to Ravenna to explain his actions before the Ostrogothic king.[6]

 

The friction between the Arian Christianity of the Visigoths and the Catholicism of the bishops sent out from Rome established deep roots for religious heterodoxy, even heresy, in Occitan culture. At Treves in 385, Priscillian achieved the distinction of becoming the first Christian executed for heresy (Manichaean in his case, see also Cathars, Camisards). Despite this tension and the city's decline in the face of barbarian invasions, Arles remained a great religious centre and host of church councils (see Council of Arles), the rival of Vienne, for hundreds of years.

Roman aqueduct and mill

Aqueduct of Arles at Barbegal

 

The Barbegal aqueduct and mill is a Roman watermill complex located on the territory of the commune of Fontvieille, a few kilometres from Arles. The complex has been referred to as "the greatest known concentration of mechanical power in the ancient world".[7] The remains of the mill streams and buildings which housed the overshot water wheels are still visible at the site, and it is by far the best-preserved of ancient mills. There are two aqueducts which join just north of the mill complex, and a sluice which enabled the operators to control the water supply to the complex. The mill consisted of 16 waterwheels in two separate rows built into a steep hillside. There are substantial masonry remains of the water channels and foundations of the individual mills, together with a staircase rising up the hill upon which the mills are built. The mills apparently operated from the end of the 1st century until about the end of the 3rd century.[8] The capacity of the mills has been estimated at 4.5 tons of flour per day, sufficient to supply enough bread for 6,000 of the 30-40,000 inhabitants of Arelate at that time.[9] A similar mill complex existed also on the Janiculum in Rome. Examination of the mill leat still just visible on one side of the hill shows a substantial accretion of lime in the channel, tending to confirm its long working life.

 

It is thought that the wheels were overshot water wheels with the outflow from the top driving the next one down and so on, to the base of the hill. Vertical water mills were well known to the Romans, being described by Vitruvius in his De Architectura of 25 BC, and mentioned by Pliny the Elder in his Naturalis Historia of 77 AD. There are also later references to floating water mills from Byzantium and to sawmills on the river Moselle by the poet Ausonius. The use of multiple stacked sequences of reverse overshot water-wheels was widespread in Roman mines.

Middle Ages

Place de la République.

Cafe Terrace at Night by Vincent van Gogh (September 1888), depicts the warmth of a café in Arles

 

In 735, after raiding the Lower Rhône, Andalusian Saracens led by Yusuf ibn 'Abd al-Rahman al-Fihri moved into the stronghold summoned by Count Maurontus, who feared Charles Martel's expansionist ambitions, though this may have been an excuse to further Moorish expansion beyond Iberia. The next year, Charles campaigned south to Septimania and Provence, attacking and capturing Arles after destroying Avignon. In 739. Charles definitely drove Maurontus to exile, and brought Provence to heel. In 855, it was made the capital of a Frankish Kingdom of Arles, which included Burgundy and part of Provence, but was frequently terrorised by Saracen and Viking raiders. In 888, Rudolph, Count of Auxerre (now in north-western Burgundy), founded the kingdom of Transjuran Burgundy (literally, beyond the Jura mountains), which included western Switzerland as far as the river Reuss, Valais, Geneva, Chablais and Bugey.

 

In 933, Hugh of Arles ("Hugues de Provence") gave his kingdom up to Rudolph II, who merged the two kingdoms into a new Kingdom of Arles. In 1032, King Rudolph III died, and the kingdom was inherited by Emperor Conrad II the Salic. Though his successors counted themselves kings of Arles, few went to be crowned in the cathedral. Most of the kingdom's territory was progressively incorporated into France. During these troubled times, the amphitheatre was converted into a fortress, with watchtowers built at each of the four quadrants and a minuscule walled town being constructed within. The population was by now only a fraction of what it had been in Roman times, with much of old Arles lying in ruins.

 

The town regained political and economic prominence in the 12th century, with the Holy Roman Emperor Frederick Barbarossa traveling there in 1178 for his coronation. In the 12th century, it became a free city governed by an elected podestat (chief magistrate; literally "power"), who appointed the consuls and other magistrates. It retained this status until the French Revolution of 1789.

 

Arles joined the countship of Provence in 1239, but, once more, its prominence was eclipsed by Marseilles. In 1378, the Holy Roman Emperor Charles IV ceded the remnants of the Kingdom of Arles to the Dauphin of France (later King Charles VI of France) and the kingdom ceased to exist even on paper.

Modern era

 

Arles remained economically important for many years as a major port on the Rhône. In the 19th century, the arrival of the railway diminished river trade, leading to the town becoming something of a backwater.

 

This made it an attractive destination for the painter Vincent van Gogh, who arrived there on 21 February 1888. He was fascinated by the Provençal landscapes, producing over 300 paintings and drawings during his time in Arles. Many of his most famous paintings were completed there, including The Night Cafe, the Yellow Room, Starry Night Over the Rhone, and L'Arlésienne. Paul Gauguin visited van Gogh in Arles. However, van Gogh's mental health deteriorated and he became alarmingly eccentric, culminating in the well-known ear-severing incident in December 1888 which resulted in two stays in the Old Hospital of Arles. The concerned Arlesians circulated a petition the following February demanding that van Gogh be confined. In May 1889, he took the hint and left Arles for the Saint-Paul asylum at nearby Saint-Rémy-de-Provence.

Jewish history

Main article: History of the Jews in Arles

 

Arles had an important and evident Jewish community between the Roman era and until the end of the 15th century. A local legend describes the first Jews in Arles as exiles from Judaea after Jerusalem fell to the Romans. Nevertheless, the first documented evident of Jews in Arles is not before fifth century, when a distinguished community had already existed in town. Arles was an important Jewish crossroads, as a port city and close to Spain and the rest of Europe alike. It served a major role in the work of the Hachmei Provence group of famous Jewish scholars, translators and philosophers, who were most important to Judaism throughout the Middle Ages. At the eighth century, the jurisdiction of the Jews of Arles were passed to the local Archbishop, making the Jewish taxes to the clergy somewhat of a shield for the community from mob attacks, most frequent during the Crusades. The community lived relatively peacefully until the last decade of the 15th century, when they were expelled out of the city never to return. Several Jews did live in the city in the centuries after, though no community was found ever after. Nowadays, Jewish archaeological findings and texts from Arles can be found in the local museum.[10]

Population

Historical population

Year Pop. ±%

1806 20,151 —

1820 20,150 −0.0%

1831 20,236 +0.4%

1836 20,048 −0.9%

1841 20,460 +2.1%

1846 23,101 +12.9%

1851 23,208 +0.5%

1856 24,816 +6.9%

1861 25,543 +2.9%

1866 26,367 +3.2%

1872 24,695 −6.3%

1876 25,095 +1.6%

1881 23,480 −6.4%

1891 24,288 +3.4%

1896 24,567 +1.1%

1901 28,116 +14.4%

1906 31,010 +10.3%

1911 31,014 +0.0%

1921 29,146 −6.0%

1926 32,485 +11.5%

1946 35,017 +7.8%

1954 37,443 +6.9%

1962 41,932 +12.0%

1968 45,774 +9.2%

1975 50,059 +9.4%

1982 50,500 +0.9%

1990 52,058 +3.1%

1999 50,426 −3.1%

2008 52,729 +4.6%

2010 57,328 +8.7%

Main sights

Gallo-Roman theatre.

The Alyscamps.

 

Arles has important Roman remnants, most of which have been listed as UNESCO World Heritage Sites since 1981 within the Arles, Roman and Romanesque Monuments group. They include:

 

The Gallo-Roman theatre

The arena or amphitheatre

The Alyscamps (Roman necropolis)

The Thermae of Constantine

The cryptoporticus

Arles Obelisk

Barbegal aqueduct and mill

 

The Church of St. Trophime (Saint Trophimus), formerly a cathedral, is a major work of Romanesque architecture, and the representation of the Last Judgment on its portal is considered one of the finest examples of Romanesque sculpture, as are the columns in the adjacent cloister.

 

The town also has a museum of ancient history, the Musée de l'Arles et de la Provence antiques, with one of the best collections of Roman sarcophagi to be found anywhere outside Rome itself. Other museums include the Musée Réattu and the Museon Arlaten.

 

The courtyard of the Old Arles hospital, now named "Espace Van Gogh," is a center for Vincent van Gogh's works, several of which are masterpieces.[11] The garden, framed on all four sides by buildings of the complex, is approached through arcades on the first floor. A circulation gallery is located on the first and second floors.[12]

Archaeology

Main article: Arles portrait bust

 

In September–October 2007, divers led by Luc Long from the French Department of Subaquatic Archaeological Research, headed by Michel L'Hour, discovered a life-sized marble bust of an apparently important Roman person in the Rhône near Arles, together with smaller statues of Marsyas in Hellenistic style and of the god Neptune from the third century AD. The larger bust was tentatively dated to 46 BC. Since the bust displayed several characteristics of an ageing person with wrinkles, deep naso-labial creases and hollows in his face, and since the archaeologists believed that Julius Caesar had founded the colony Colonia Iulia Paterna Arelate Sextanorum in 46 BC, the scientists came to the preliminary conclusion that the bust depicted a life-portrait of the Roman dictator: France's Minister of Culture Christine Albanel reported on May 13, 2008, that the bust would be the oldest representation of Caesar known today.[13] The story was picked up by all larger media outlets.[14][15] The realism of the portrait was said to place it in the tradition of late Republican portrait and genre sculptures. The archaeologists further claimed that a bust of Julius Caesar might have been thrown away or discreetly disposed of, because Caesar's portraits could have been viewed as politically dangerous possessions after the dictator's assassination.

 

Historians and archaeologists not affiliated with the French administration, among them Paul Zanker, the renowned archaeologist and expert on Caesar and Augustus, were quick to question whether the bust is a portrait of Caesar.[16][17][18] Many noted the lack of resemblances to Caesar's likenesses issued on coins during the last years of the dictator's life, and to the Tusculum bust of Caesar,[19] which depicts Julius Caesar in his lifetime, either as a so-called zeitgesicht or as a direct portrait. After a further stylistic assessment, Zanker dated the Arles-bust to the Augustan period. Elkins argued for the third century AD as the terminus post quem for the deposition of the statues, refuting the claim that the bust was thrown away due to feared repercussions from Caesar's assassination in 44 BC.[20] The main argument by the French archaeologists that Caesar had founded the colony in 46 BC proved to be incorrect, as the colony was founded by Caesar's former quaestor Tiberius Claudius Nero on the dictator's orders in his absence.[21] Mary Beard has accused the persons involved in the find of having willfully invented their claims for publicity reasons. The French ministry of culture has not yet responded to the criticism and negative reviews.

Sport

 

AC Arles-Avignon is a professional French football team. They currently play in Championnat de France Amateur, the fourth division in French football. They play at the Parc des Sports, which has a capacity of just over 17,000.

Culture

 

A well known photography festival, Rencontres d'Arles, takes place in Arles every year, and the French national school of photography is located there.

 

The major French publishing house Actes Sud is also situated in Arles.

 

Bull fights are conducted in the amphitheatre, including Provençal-style bullfights (courses camarguaises) in which the bull is not killed, but rather a team of athletic men attempt to remove a tassle from the bull's horn without getting injured. Every Easter and on the first weekend of September, during the feria, Arles also holds Spanish-style corridas (in which the bulls are killed) with an encierro (bull-running in the streets) preceding each fight.

 

The film Ronin was partially filmed in Arles.

European Capital of Culture

 

Arles played a major role in Marseille-Provence 2013, the year-long series of cultural events held in the region after it was designated the European Capital of Culture for 2013. The city hosted a segment of the opening ceremony with a pyrotechnical performance by Groupe F on the banks of the Rhône. It also unveiled the new wing of the Musée Départemental Arles Antique as part of Marseille-Provence 2013.

Economy

 

Arles's open-air street market is a major market in the region. It occurs on Saturday and Wednesday mornings.

Transport

 

The Gare d'Arles railway station offers connections to Avignon, Nîmes, Marseille, Paris, Bordeaux and several regional destinations.

Notable people

 

Vincent van Gogh, lived here from February 1888 until May 1889.

The Provençal poet Frédéric Mistral (1830–1914) was born near Arles

Jeanne Calment (1875–1997), the oldest human being whose age is documented, was born, lived and died, at the age of 122 years and 164 days, in Arles

Anne-Marie David, singer (Eurovision winner in 1973)

Christian Lacroix, fashion designer

Lucien Clergue, photographer

Djibril Cissé, footballer

Antoine de Seguiran, 18th-century encyclopédiste

Genesius of Arles, a notary martyred under Maximianus in 303 or 308

Blessed Jean Marie du Lau, last Archbishop of Arles, killed by the revolutionary mob in Paris on September 2, 1792

Juan Bautista (real name Jean-Baptiste Jalabert), matador

Maja Hoffmann, art patron

Mehdi Savalli, matador

The medieval writer Antoine de la Sale was probably born in Arles around 1386

Home of the Gipsy Kings, a music group from Arles

Gael Givet, footballer

Lloyd Palun, footballer

Fanny Valette, actress

Luc Hoffmann, ornithologist, conservationist and philanthropist.

Saint Caesarius of Arles, bishop who lived from the late 5th to the mid 6th century, known for prophecy and writings that would later be used by theologians such as St. Thomas Aquinas

Samuel ibn Tibbon, famous Jewish translator and scholar during the Middle Ages.

Kalonymus ben Kalonymus, famous Jewish scholar and philosopher, Arles born, active during the Middle Ages.

 

Twin towns — sister cities

See also: List of twin towns and sister cities in France

 

Arles is twinned with:

 

Pskov, Russia

Jerez de la Frontera, Spain

Fulda, Germany

York, Pennsylvania, United States

Cubelles, Spain

Vercelli, Italy

Sagné, Mauritania

Kalymnos, Greece

Wisbech, United Kingdom

Zhouzhuang, Kunshan, Jiangsu, People's Republic of China

Verviers, Belgium

 

See also

 

Archbishopric of Arles

Montmajour Abbey

Trinquetaille

Langlois Bridge

Saint-Martin-de-Crau

Communes of the Bouches-du-Rhône department

 

References

 

This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Herbermann, Charles, ed. (1913). "Archdiocese of Aix". Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton.

INSEE

 

The table contains the temperatures and precipitation of the city of Arles for the period 1948-1999, extracted from the site Sophy.u-3mrs.fr.

www.academia.edu/1166147/_The_Fall_and_Decline_of_the_Rom...

Rick Steves' Provence & the French Riviera, p. 78, at Google Books

Nelson's Dictionary of Christianity: The Authoritative Resource on the Christian World, p. 1173, at Google Books

Provence, p. 81, at Google Books

Wace, Dictionary)

Greene, Kevin (2000). "Technological Innovation and Economic Progress in the Ancient World: M.I. Finley Re-Considered". The Economic History Review. New Series. 53 (1): 29–59 [p. 39]. doi:10.1111/1468-0289.00151.

"Ville d'Histoire et de Patrimoine". Patrimoine.ville-arles.fr. Retrieved 2013-03-25.

"La meunerie de Barbegal". Etab.ac-caen.fr. Retrieved 2013-03-25.

jewishencyclopedia.com/articles/1784-arles

Fisher, R, ed (2011). Fodor's France 2011. Toronto and New York: Fodor's Travel, division of Random House. p. 563 ISBN 978-1-4000-0473-7.

"Espace Van Gogh". Visiter, Places of Interest. Arles Office de Tourisme. Retrieved 2011-04-29.

Original communiqué (May 13, 2008); second communiqué (May 20, 2008); report (May 20, 2008)

E.g."Divers find marble bust of Caesar that may date to 46 B.C.". Archived from the original on 2008-06-05. Retrieved 2008-05-14. , CNN-Online et al.

Video (QuickTime) Archived May 28, 2008, at the Wayback Machine. on the archaeological find (France 3)

Paul Zanker, "Der Echte war energischer, distanzierter, ironischer" Archived May 29, 2008, at the Wayback Machine., Sueddeutsche Zeitung, May 25, 2008, on-line

Mary Beard, "The face of Julius Caesar? Come off it!", TLS, May 14, 2008, on-line

Nathan T. Elkins, 'Oldest Bust' of Julius Caesar found in France?, May 14, 2008, on-line

Cp. this image at the AERIA library

A different approach was presented by Mary Beard, in that members of a military Caesarian colony would not have discarded portraits of Caesar, whom they worshipped as god, although statues were in fact destroyed by the Anti-Caesarians in the city of Rome after Caesar's assassination (Appian, BC III.1.9).

Konrat Ziegler & Walther Sontheimer (eds.), "Arelate", in Der Kleine Pauly: Lexikon der Antike, Vol. 1, col. 525, Munich 1979; in 46 BC, Caesar himself was campaigning in Africa, before later returning to Rome.

Pablo Picasso

I INTRODUCTION

 

Pablo Picasso (1881-1973), Spanish painter, who is widely acknowledged to be the most important artist of the 20th century. A long-lived and highly prolific artist, he experimented with a wide range of styles and themes throughout his career. Among Picasso’s many contributions to the history of art, his most important include pioneering the modern art movement called cubism, inventing collage as an artistic technique, and developing assemblage (constructions of various materials) in sculpture.

 

Picasso was born Pablo Ruiz in Málaga, Spain. He later adopted his mother’s more distinguished maiden name—Picasso—as his own. Though Spanish by birth, Picasso lived most of his life in France.

 

II FORMATIVE WORK (1893-1900)

 

Picasso’s father, who was an art teacher, quickly recognized that his child Pablo was a prodigy. Picasso studied art first privately with his father and then at the Academy of Fine Arts in La Coruña, Spain, where his father taught. Picasso’s early drawings, such as Study of a Torso, After a Plaster Cast (1894-1895, Musée Picasso, Paris, France), demonstrate the high level of technical proficiency he had achieved by 14 years of age. In 1895 his family moved to Barcelona, Spain, after his father obtained a teaching post at that city’s Academy of Fine Arts. Picasso was admitted to advanced classes at the academy after he completed in a single day the entrance examination that applicants traditionally were given a month to finish. In 1897 Picasso left Barcelona to study at the Madrid Academy in the Spanish capital. Dissatisfied with the training, he quit and returned to Barcelona.

 

After Picasso visited Paris in October 1900, he moved back and forth between France and Spain until 1904, when he settled in the French capital. In Paris he encountered, and experimented with, a number of modern artistic styles. Picasso’s painting Le Moulin de la Galette (1900, Guggenheim Museum, New York City) revealed his interest in the subject matter of Parisian nightlife and in the style of French painter Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, a style that verged on caricature. In addition to café scenes, Picasso painted landscapes, still lifes, and portraits of friends and performers.

 

III BLUE PERIOD (1901-1903)

 

From 1901 to 1903 Picasso initiated his first truly original style, which is known as the blue period. Restricting his color scheme to blue, Picasso depicted emaciated and forlorn figures whose body language and clothing bespeak the lowliness of their social status. In The Old Guitarist (1903, Art Institute of Chicago, Illinois), Picasso emphasized the guitarist’s poverty and position as a social outcast, which he reinforced by surrounding the figure with a black outline, as if to cut him off from his environment. The guitarist is compressed within the canvas (no room is left in the painting for the guitarist to raise his lowered head), suggesting his helplessness: The guitarist is trapped within the frame just as he is trapped by his poverty. Although Picasso underscored the squalor of his figures during this period, neither their clothing nor their environment conveys a specific time or place. This lack of specificity suggests that Picasso intended to make a general statement about human alienation rather than a particular statement about the lower class in Paris.

 

Why blue dominated Picasso’s paintings during this period remains unexplained. Possible influences include photographs with a bluish tinge popular at the time, poetry that stressed the color blue in its imagery, or the paintings of French artists such as Eugène Carrière or Claude Monet, who based many of their works around this time on variations on a single color. Another explanation is that Picasso found blue particularly appropriate for his subject matter because it is a color associated with melancholy.

 

IV ROSE PERIOD (1904-1905)

 

In 1904 Picasso’s style shifted, inaugurating the rose period, sometimes referred to as the circus period. Although Picasso still focused on social outcasts—especially circus performers—his color scheme lightened, featuring warmer, reddish hues, and the thick outlines of the blue period disappeared. Picasso maintained his interest in the theme of alienation, however. In Two Acrobats and a Dog (1905, Museum of Modern Art, New York City), he represented two young acrobats before an undefined, barren landscape. Although the acrobats are physically close, they gaze in different directions and do not interact, and the reason for their presence is not made clear. Differences in the acrobats’ height also exaggerate their disconnection from each other and from the empty landscape. The dog was a frequent presence in Picasso’s work and may have been a reference to death as dogs appear at the feet of figures in many Spanish funerary monuments.

 

Picasso may have felt an especially deep sympathy for circus performers. Like artists, they were paid to entertain society, but their itinerant lifestyle and status as outsiders prevented them from becoming an integral part of the social fabric. It was this situation that made the sad clown an important figure in the popular imagination: Paid to make people laugh, he must keep hidden his real existence and true feelings. Living a life of financial insecurity himself, Picasso no doubt empathized with these performers. During this period Picasso met Fernande Olivier, the first of several women who shared his life and provided inspiration for his art. Olivier’s features appear in many of the female figures in his paintings over the next several years.

 

V CLASSICAL PERIOD (1905) AND IBERIAN PERIOD (1906)

 

Experimentation and rapid style changes mark the years from late 1905 on. Picasso’s paintings from late 1905 are more emotionally detached than those of the blue or rose periods. The color scheme lightens—beiges and light browns predominate—and melancholy and alienation give way to a more reasoned approach. Picasso’s increasing interest in form is apparent in his references to classical sculpture. The figure of a seated boy in Two Youths (1905, National Gallery, Washington, D.C.), for example, recalls an ancient Greek sculpture of a boy removing a thorn from his foot.

 

By 1906 Picasso had become interested in sculptures from the Iberian peninsula dating from about the 6th to the 3rd century bc. Picasso must have found them of particular interest both because they are native to Spain and because they display remarkable simplification of form. The Iberian influence is immediately visible in Self-Portrait (1906, Philadelphia Museum of Art, Pennsylvania), in which Picasso reduced the image of his head to an oval and his eyes to almond shapes, thus revealing his increasing fascination with geometric simplification of form.

 

VI AFRICAN PERIOD (1907)

 

Picasso’s predilection for experimentation and for drawing inspiration from outside the accepted artistic sources led to his most radical and revolutionary painting yet in 1907: Les Demoiselles d'Avignon (1907, Museum of Modern Art). The painting’s theme—the female nude—could not be more traditional, but Picasso’s treatment of it is revolutionary. Picasso took even greater liberties here with human anatomy than in his 1906 Self-Portrait . The figures on the left in the painting look flat, as if they have no skeletal or muscular structure. Faces seen from the front have noses in profile. The eyes are asymmetrical and radically simplified. Contour lines are incomplete. Color juxtapositions—between blue and orange, for instance—are intentionally strident and unharmonious. The representation of space is fragmented and discontinuous.

 

While the left side of the canvas is largely Iberian-influenced, the right side is inspired by African masks, especially in its striped patterns and oval forms. Such borrowings, which led to great simplification, distortion, and visual incongruities, were considered extremely daring in 1907. The head of the figure at the bottom right, for example, turns in an anatomically impossible way. These discrepancies proved so shocking that even Picasso’s fellow painters reacted negatively to Les Demoiselles d'Avignon. French painter Henri Matisse allegedly told Picasso that he was trying to ridicule the modern movement.

 

VII CUBISM (1908-1917)

 

For many scholars, Les Demoiselles d'Avignon—with its fragmented planes, flattened figures, and borrowings from African masks—marks the beginning of the new visual language, known as cubism. Other scholars believe that French painter Paul Cézanne provided the primary catalyst for this change in style. Cézanne’s work of the 1890s and early 1900s was noted both for its simplification and flattening of form and for the introduction of what art historians call passage, the interpenetration of one physical object by another. For example, in Mont Sainte-Victoire (1902-1906, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City), Cézanne left the outer edge of the mountain open, allowing the blue area of the sky and the gray area of the mountain to merge. This innovation—air and rock interpenetrating—was a crucial precedent for Picasso’s invention of cubism. First, it defied the laws of our physical experience, and second, it indicated that artists were viewing paintings as having a logic of their own that functioned independently of, or even contrary to, the logic of everyday experience.

 

Scholars generally divide the cubist innovations of Picasso and French painter Georges Braque into two stages. In the first stage, analytical cubism, the artists fragmented three-dimensional shapes into multiple geometric planes. In the second stage, synthetic cubism, they reversed the process, putting abstract planes together to represent human figures, still lifes, and other recognizable shapes.

 

A Analytical Cubism (1908-1912)

 

Profoundly influenced by Cézanne's later work, Picasso and Braque initiated a series of landscape paintings in 1908. These paintings approximated Cézanne’s both in their color scheme (dark greens and light browns) and in their drastic simplification of nature to geometric shapes. Upon seeing these paintings, French critic Louis Vauxelles coined the term cubism. In Picasso’s Houses on the Hill, Horta de Ebro (1909, Museum of Modern Art), he gave architectural structures a three-dimensional, cubic quality, but he abandoned conventional three-dimensional perspective: Instead of being depicted one behind the other, buildings appear one on top of the other. Moreover, he simplified every aspect of the painting according to a vocabulary of cubic shapes—not just the houses but the sky as well. By neutralizing differences between earth and sky, Picasso made the canvas appear more unified, but he also introduced ambiguity by not differentiating solid from void. In addition, Picasso often used inconsistent light sources. In some parts of a painting, light appears to come from the left; in other parts, it comes from the right, the top, or even the bottom. Spatial planes intersect in ways that leave the spectator guessing whether angles are concave or convex. Delight in confusing the viewer is a regular feature of cubism.

 

By 1910, it had become evident that cubism no longer had any cubes and that the illusion of three-dimensional space, or volume, was gone. Picasso seemed to have dismantled the very idea of solid form, not only by fragmenting the human figure and other shapes, but also by using Cézanne’s concept of passage to merge figure and environment, solid and void, background and foreground. In this way he created a visually consistent painting, yet the consistency does not conform to the physical consistency of the natural world as we experience it. Picasso’s decision to limit his color scheme to dark browns and grays also suggests that his paintings have initiated a radical departure from nature, rather than attempted to copy it.

 

The year 1912 marks another major development in the cubist language: the invention of collage. In Still Life with Chair Caning (1912, Musée Picasso), Picasso attached a piece of oilcloth (that depicts woven caning) to his work. With this action Picasso not only violated the integrity of the medium—oil painting on canvas—but also included a material that had no previous connection with high art. Art could now be created, Picasso seems to imply, with scissors and glue as well as with paint and canvas. By including pieces of cloth, newspaper, wallpaper, advertising, and other materials in his work, Picasso opened the door for any object or material, however ordinary, to be included in (or even replace) a work of art. This innovation had important consequences for later 20th-century art. Another innovation was including the letters JOU in the painting, possibly referring to the beginning of the word journal (French for “newspaper”) or to the French word jouer, meaning “to play,” as Picasso is playing with forms. These combinations reveal that cubism includes both visual and verbal references, and merges high art with popular culture.

 

B Synthetic Cubism (1912-1917)

 

By inventing collage and by introducing elements from the real world in his canvases, Picasso avoided taking cubism to the level of complete abstraction and remained in the domain of tangible objects. Collage also initiated the synthetic phase of cubism. Whereas analytical cubism fragmented figures into geometric planes, synthetic cubism synthesized (combined) near-abstract shapes to create representational forms, such as a human figure or still life. Synthetic cubism also tended toward multiplicity. In Guitar, Sheet Music, and Wine Glass (1912, McNay Art Museum, San Antonio, Texas), for instance, Picasso combined a drawing of a glass, several spots of color, sheet music, newspaper, a wallpaper pattern, and a cloth that has a wood–grain pattern. Synthetic cubism may also combine different textures, such as wood grain, sand, and printed matter. Sometimes Picasso applied these textures as collage, by gluing textured papers on the canvas. In other cases the artist painted an area to look like wood or wallpaper, fooling the spectator by means of visual puns.

 

VIII CONSTRUCTION AND AFTER (1912-1920)

 

In 1912 Picasso instigated another important innovation: construction, or assemblage, in sculpture. Before this innovation, sculpture, at least in the West, was primarily created in one of two ways: by carving a block of stone or wood or by modeling—shaping a form in clay and casting that form in a more durable material, such as bronze. In Guitar (1912, Museum of Modern Art), Picasso used a new additive process. He cut various shapes out of sheet metal and wire, and then reassembled those materials into a cubist construction. In other constructions, Picasso used wood, cardboard, string, and other everyday objects, not only inventing a new technique for sculpture but also expanding the definition of art by blurring the distinction between artistic and nonartistic materials.

 

From World War I (1914-1918) onward, Picasso moved from style to style. In 1915, for instance, Picasso painted the highly abstract Harlequin (Museum of Modern Art) and drew the highly realistic portrait of Ambroise Vollard (Metropolitan Museum of Art). During and after the war he also worked on stage design and costume design for the Ballets Russes, a modern Russian ballet company launched by the impresario Sergey Diaghilev. Inspired by his direct experience of the theater, Picasso also produced representations of performers, such as French clowns called Pierrot and Harlequin, and scenes of ballerinas.

 

Picasso separated from Olivier in 1912, after meeting Eva Gouel. Gouel died in 1915, and in 1918 Picasso married Olga Koklova, one of the dancers in Diaghilev’s company. Picasso created a number of portraits of her, and their son, Paulo, appears in works such as Paulo as Harlequin (1924, Musée Picasso).

 

IX CLASSICAL PERIOD (1920-1925)

 

After World War I, a strain of conservatism spread through a number of art forms. A motto popular among traditionalists was “the return to order.” For Picasso the years 1920 to 1925 were marked by close attention to three-dimensional form and to classical themes: bathers, centaurs (mythical creatures half-man and half horse), and women in classical drapery. He depicted many of these figures as massive, dense, and weighty, an effect intensified by strong contrasts of light and dark. But even as he moved toward greater realism, Picasso continued to play games with the viewer. In the classical and carefully composed The Pipes of Pan (1923, Musée Picasso), for example, he painted an area of the architectural framework in the foreground (which should be grayish) with the same color as the sea in the background, revealing again his pleasure in ambiguity.

 

X CUBISM AND SURREALISM (1925-1936)

 

From 1925 to 1936 Picasso again worked in a number of styles. He composed some paintings of tightly structured geometric shapes, limiting his color scheme to primary colors (red, blue, yellow), as in The Studio (1928, Museum of Modern Art). In other paintings, such as Nude in an Armchair (1929, Musée Picasso), he depicted contorted female figures whose open mouths and menacing teeth reveal a more emotional, less reasoned attitude. Picasso’s marriage broke up during this time, and some of the menacing female figures in his art of this period may represent Koklova.

 

The same diversity is visible in Picasso’s sculpture during this period. Bather (Metamorphosis II) (1928, Musée Picasso) represents the human body as a massive spherical shape with protruding limbs, whereas Wire Construction (1928, Musée Picasso) depicts it as a rigid, geometric configuration of thin wires. Picasso also experimented with welding in sculpture of this period and explored a variety of themes, including the female head, the sleeping woman, and the Crucifixion. The model for many of his sleeping women was Marie Thérèse Walter, a new love who had entered his life. Their daughter, Maia, was born in 1935.

 

In the early 1930s Picasso had increasing contact with the members of the surrealist movement (see Surrealism) and became fascinated with the classical myth of the Minotaur. This creature, which has the head of a man and the body of a bull, appears in a study by Picasso for the cover of the surrealist journal Minotaure (1933, Museum of Modern Art). Here Picasso affixed a classical drawing of a Minotaur to a collage of abstracted forms and debris. The Minotaur has numerous incarnations in Picasso’s work, both as an aggressor and a victim, as a violent character and a friendly one. It may represent the artist himself and frequently appears in the context of a bullfight, a typically Spanish scene close to Picasso’s heart.

 

XI GUERNICA (1937)

 

In 1937 the Spanish government commissioned Picasso to create a mural for Spain’s pavilion at an international exposition in Paris. Unsure about the subject, Picasso procrastinated. But he set to work almost immediately after hearing that the Spanish town of Guernica had been bombed by Nazi warplanes in support of Spanish general Francisco Franco’s plot to overthrow the Spanish republic. Guernica (1937, Prado, Madrid) was Picasso's response to, and condemnation of, that event. He executed the painting in black and white—in keeping with the seriousness of the subject—and transfigured the event according to his fascination with the bullfight theme.

 

At the extreme left is a bull, which symbolizes brutality and darkness, according to Picasso. At the center, a horse wounded by a spear most likely represents the Spanish people. At the center on top, an exploding light bulb possibly refers to air warfare or to evil coming from above (and putting out the light of reason). Corpses and dying figures fill the foreground: a woman with a dead child at the left, a dead warrior with a broken sword (from which a flower sprouts) at the center, a weeping woman and a figure falling through a burning building at the right. The distortion of these figures expresses the inhumanity of the event. To suggest the screaming of the horse and of the mother with the dead child, Picasso transformed their tongues into daggers. In the upper center, a tormented female figure holds an oil lamp that sheds light upon the scene, possibly symbolizing the light of truth revealing the brutality of the event to the outside world. In 1936 Picasso met Dora Maar, an artist who photographed Guernica as he painted it. She soon became his companion and the subject of his paintings, although he remained involved with Walter.

 

XII WORLD WAR II (1939-1945)

 

Picasso, unlike many artists, stayed in Paris during the German occupation of World War II. Some of his paintings from this time reveal the anxiety of the war years, as does the menacing Still Life with Steer's Skull (1942, Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen, Düsseldorf, Germany). Other works, such as his sculpture Head of a Bull (1943, Musée Picasso), are more playful and whimsical. In this sculpture Picasso combined a bicycle seat and handlebars to represent the bull’s head. Upon receiving news of the Nazi death camps, Picasso also painted, although he did not finish, an homage to the victims of the Holocaust (mass murder of European Jews during the war). In this painting, called The Charnel House (1945, Museum of Modern Art), he restricted the color scheme to black and white (as in Guernica) and depicted an accumulation of distorted, mangled bodies. During the war Picasso joined the Communist Party, and after the war he attended several peace conferences.

 

XIII LATE WORK (1945-1973)

 

Picasso remained a prolific artist until late in his life, although this later period has not received universal acclaim from historians or critics. He made variations on motifs that had fascinated him throughout his career, such as the bullfight and the painter and his model, the latter a theme that celebrated creativity. And he continued to paint portraits and landscapes. Picasso also experimented with ceramics, creating figurines, plates, and jugs, and he thereby blurred an existing distinction between fine art and craft.

 

Picasso’s emotional life became more complicated after he met French painter Françoise Gilot in the 1940s, while he was still involved with Maar. He and Gilot had a son, Claude, and a daughter, Paloma, and both appear in many of his late works. Picasso and Gilot parted in 1953. Jacqueline Roque, whom Picasso married in 1961, became his next companion. They spent most of their time in the south of France.

 

Another new direction in Picasso’s work came from variations on well-known works by older artists that he recast in his own style. Among these works are Women on the Banks of the Seine, after Courbet (1950, Kunstmuseum, Basel, Switzerland) and Le Déjeuner sur l’Herbe after Manet (1960, Musée Picasso). What makes these works particularly significant is that they run counter to a basic premise of modern art, Picasso’s included: namely, originality. Although many modern painters were influenced by earlier artists, they rarely made such direct and obvious references to each other’s work because they deemed such references unoriginal. In the postmodern period, which began in the 1970s, artists and critics began to question the modernist directive to be original. In acts of deliberate defiance, many postmodern artists have appropriated (taken for their own use) well-known images from their predecessors or contemporaries. Seen against this context, Picasso’s later variations on paintings by earlier masters hardly seem out of place; on the contrary, they anticipate a key aspect of art in the 1980s.

 

One of Picasso’s late works, Head of a Woman (1967), was a gift to the city of Chicago. This sculpture of welded steel, 15 m (50 ft) tall, stands in front of Chicago’s Civic Center. Although its semiabstract form proved controversial at first, the sculpture soon became a city landmark.

 

Because of his many innovations, Picasso is widely considered to be the most influential artist of the 20th century. The cubist movement, which he and Braque inspired, had a number of followers. Its innovations gave rise to a host of other 20th-century art movements, including futurism in Italy, suprematism and constructivism in Russia, de Stijl in the Netherlands, and vorticism in England. Cubism also influenced German expressionism, dada, and other movements as well as early work of the surrealists (see Surrealism) and abstract expressionists (see Abstract Expressionism). In addition, collage and construction became key aspects of 20th-century art.

  

Contributed By:

Claude Cernuschi

Microsoft ® Encarta ® 2006. © 1993-2005 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.

Oil on canvas; 81.3 x 69.9 cm.

 

I INTRODUCTION

 

Diego Velázquez (artist) (1599-1660), Spanish baroque artist (see Baroque Art and Architecture), who, with Francisco de Goya and El Greco, forms the great triumvirate of Spanish painting.

 

Diego Rodríguez de Silva y Velázquez was born in Seville, the oldest of six children. Both his parents were from the lesser nobility. Between 1611 and 1617 Velázquez worked as an apprentice to Francisco Pacheco, a Sevillian mannerist painter (see Mannerism) who was also the author of an important treatise, El arte de la pintura (The Art of Painting, 1649), and who became Velázquez's father-in-law. During his student years Velázquez absorbed the most popular contemporary styles of painting, derived, in part, from both Flemish and Italian realism.

 

II YOUTHFUL WORKS

 

Many of the earliest paintings by Velázquez show a strong naturalist bias, as does The Meal (1617?, Hermitage, Saint Petersburg), which may have been his first work as an independent master after passing the examination for the Guild of Saint Luke. This painting belongs to the first of three categories—the bodegón (kitchen piece), along with portraits and religious scenes—into which his youthful works, executed between about 1617 and 1623, may be placed. In his kitchen pieces, a few figures are combined with studied still-life objects (see Still Life), as in Water Seller of Seville (1619?-1620?, Wellington Museum, London). In these works, Velázquez's direct representation of nature and masterly effects of light and shadow make inevitable a comparison with the work of Italian painter Caravaggio. Velázquez's religious paintings, images of simple piety, portray models drawn from the streets of Seville, as Pacheco states in his biography of the artist. In Adoration of the Magi (1619, Prado, Madrid), for example, Velázquez painted his own family in the guise of biblical figures, including a self-portrait as well.

 

Velázquez was well acquainted with members of the intellectual circles of Seville. Pacheco was the director of an informal humanist academy, at the meetings of which the young artist was introduced to such luminaries as poet Luis de Góngora y Argote, whose portrait he executed in 1622 (Museum of Fine Arts, Boston). Such contact was important for Velázquez's later work on mythological and classical subjects.

 

III APPOINTMENT AS COURT PAINTER

 

In 1622 Velázquez made his first trip to Madrid, ostensibly, according to Pacheco's biography, to see the royal painting collections, but more likely in an unsuccessful search for a position as court painter. In 1623, however, he returned to the capital and, after executing a portrait (1623, Prado) of the king, was named official painter to Philip IV. The portrait was the first among many such sober, direct renditions of the king, the royal family, and members of the court. Indeed, throughout the later 1620s, most of Velázquez's efforts were dedicated to portraiture. Mythological subjects would at times occupy his attention, as in Bacchus, also called The Drinkers (1628-1629, Prado). This scene of revelry in an open field, picturing the god of wine drinking with a group of tough-looking men, testifies to the artist's continued interest in realism.

 

IV TRIP TO ITALY

 

In 1628 Flemish master Peter Paul Rubens came to the court at Madrid on a diplomatic mission, and Velázquez was one of the few painters with whom he associated. Although Rubens did not have a direct impact on the style of the younger painter, their conversations almost certainly inspired Velázquez to visit the art collections in Italy that were so much admired by his fellow artist. In August 1629 Velázquez departed from Barcelona for Genoa and spent most of the next two years traveling in Italy. From Genoa he proceeded to Milan, Venice, Florence, and Rome, returning to Spain from Naples in January 1631. In the course of his journey he closely studied both the art of the Renaissance and contemporary painting. Several of the works he executed during his travels attest to his assimilation of these styles. A notable example is Joseph and His Brothers (1630, El Escorial, near Madrid), which combines a Michelangelesque sculptural quality (see Michelangelo) with the chiaroscuro (light-and-shadow techniques) of such Italian masters as Guercino and Giovanni Lanfranco.

 

V RETURN TO SPAIN

 

On his return to Madrid, Velázquez resumed his duties as court portraitist with the rendition Prince Baltasar Carlos with a Dwarf (1631, Museum of Fine Arts), an image made poignant by the young prince's death before reaching adulthood. In 1634 Velázquez oversaw the decoration of the throne room in the new royal palace of Buen Retiro. His scheme was based on 12 scenes of battles in which Spanish troops had been victorious—painted by the most prestigious artists of the day, including Velázquez himself—and royal equestrian portraits. Velázquez's contribution to the cycle of battle pictures included the Surrender of Breda (1634, Prado), which portrays a magnanimous Spanish general receiving the leader of defeated Flemish troops after the siege of the town of Breda in 1624. The delicacy of its style and the astonishing range of emotions it captures make this the most celebrated historical composition of the Spanish baroque.

 

Velázquez's second major series of paintings from the 1630s is a group of hunting portraits of the royal family for the Torre de la Parada, a hunting lodge near Madrid. His famous depictions of court dwarfs, in which, unlike court-jester portraits by earlier artists, the subjects are treated with respect and sympathy, date from the late 1630s and early 1640s. Velázquez painted few religious pictures after entering the king's employ; Saints Anthony and Paul (late 1630s, Prado) and Immaculate Conception (1644?, Prado) are notable exceptions.

 

VI LATE WORKS

 

During the last 20 years of Velázquez's life, as his rise to prominence in court circles continued, his work as court official and architect assumed prime importance, limiting his artistic output. In 1649 he made a second trip to Italy, this time to buy works of art for the king's collection. During his year's stay in Rome from 1649 to 1650 he painted the magnificent portraits Juan de Pareja (Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City) and Pope Innocent X (Palazzo Doria-Pamphili, Rome). At this time he was also admitted into Rome's Academy of Saint Luke. The so-called Rokeby Venus (National Gallery, London) probably dates from this period as well.

 

The key works of the painter's last two decades are Las Hilanderas (The Spinners, about 1656, Prado), also known as The Fable of Arachne (see Arachne), an image of sophisticated mythological symbolism, and his masterwork, Las meninas (The Maids of Honor, 1656, Prado), a stunning group portrait of the royal family and Velázquez himself in the act of painting.

 

Contributed By:

Edward J. Sullivan

Microsoft ® Encarta ® 2006. © 1993-2005 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.

 

Oil on canvas; 165 x 225 cm.

 

I INTRODUCTION

 

Diego Velázquez (artist) (1599-1660), Spanish baroque artist (see Baroque Art and Architecture), who, with Francisco de Goya and El Greco, forms the great triumvirate of Spanish painting.

 

Diego Rodríguez de Silva y Velázquez was born in Seville, the oldest of six children. Both his parents were from the lesser nobility. Between 1611 and 1617 Velázquez worked as an apprentice to Francisco Pacheco, a Sevillian mannerist painter (see Mannerism) who was also the author of an important treatise, El arte de la pintura (The Art of Painting, 1649), and who became Velázquez's father-in-law. During his student years Velázquez absorbed the most popular contemporary styles of painting, derived, in part, from both Flemish and Italian realism.

 

II YOUTHFUL WORKS

 

Many of the earliest paintings by Velázquez show a strong naturalist bias, as does The Meal (1617?, Hermitage, Saint Petersburg), which may have been his first work as an independent master after passing the examination for the Guild of Saint Luke. This painting belongs to the first of three categories—the bodegón (kitchen piece), along with portraits and religious scenes—into which his youthful works, executed between about 1617 and 1623, may be placed. In his kitchen pieces, a few figures are combined with studied still-life objects (see Still Life), as in Water Seller of Seville (1619?-1620?, Wellington Museum, London). In these works, Velázquez's direct representation of nature and masterly effects of light and shadow make inevitable a comparison with the work of Italian painter Caravaggio. Velázquez's religious paintings, images of simple piety, portray models drawn from the streets of Seville, as Pacheco states in his biography of the artist. In Adoration of the Magi (1619, Prado, Madrid), for example, Velázquez painted his own family in the guise of biblical figures, including a self-portrait as well.

 

Velázquez was well acquainted with members of the intellectual circles of Seville. Pacheco was the director of an informal humanist academy, at the meetings of which the young artist was introduced to such luminaries as poet Luis de Góngora y Argote, whose portrait he executed in 1622 (Museum of Fine Arts, Boston). Such contact was important for Velázquez's later work on mythological and classical subjects.

 

III APPOINTMENT AS COURT PAINTER

 

In 1622 Velázquez made his first trip to Madrid, ostensibly, according to Pacheco's biography, to see the royal painting collections, but more likely in an unsuccessful search for a position as court painter. In 1623, however, he returned to the capital and, after executing a portrait (1623, Prado) of the king, was named official painter to Philip IV. The portrait was the first among many such sober, direct renditions of the king, the royal family, and members of the court. Indeed, throughout the later 1620s, most of Velázquez's efforts were dedicated to portraiture. Mythological subjects would at times occupy his attention, as in Bacchus, also called The Drinkers (1628-1629, Prado). This scene of revelry in an open field, picturing the god of wine drinking with a group of tough-looking men, testifies to the artist's continued interest in realism.

 

IV TRIP TO ITALY

 

In 1628 Flemish master Peter Paul Rubens came to the court at Madrid on a diplomatic mission, and Velázquez was one of the few painters with whom he associated. Although Rubens did not have a direct impact on the style of the younger painter, their conversations almost certainly inspired Velázquez to visit the art collections in Italy that were so much admired by his fellow artist. In August 1629 Velázquez departed from Barcelona for Genoa and spent most of the next two years traveling in Italy. From Genoa he proceeded to Milan, Venice, Florence, and Rome, returning to Spain from Naples in January 1631. In the course of his journey he closely studied both the art of the Renaissance and contemporary painting. Several of the works he executed during his travels attest to his assimilation of these styles. A notable example is Joseph and His Brothers (1630, El Escorial, near Madrid), which combines a Michelangelesque sculptural quality (see Michelangelo) with the chiaroscuro (light-and-shadow techniques) of such Italian masters as Guercino and Giovanni Lanfranco.

 

V RETURN TO SPAIN

 

On his return to Madrid, Velázquez resumed his duties as court portraitist with the rendition Prince Baltasar Carlos with a Dwarf (1631, Museum of Fine Arts), an image made poignant by the young prince's death before reaching adulthood. In 1634 Velázquez oversaw the decoration of the throne room in the new royal palace of Buen Retiro. His scheme was based on 12 scenes of battles in which Spanish troops had been victorious—painted by the most prestigious artists of the day, including Velázquez himself—and royal equestrian portraits. Velázquez's contribution to the cycle of battle pictures included the Surrender of Breda (1634, Prado), which portrays a magnanimous Spanish general receiving the leader of defeated Flemish troops after the siege of the town of Breda in 1624. The delicacy of its style and the astonishing range of emotions it captures make this the most celebrated historical composition of the Spanish baroque.

 

Velázquez's second major series of paintings from the 1630s is a group of hunting portraits of the royal family for the Torre de la Parada, a hunting lodge near Madrid. His famous depictions of court dwarfs, in which, unlike court-jester portraits by earlier artists, the subjects are treated with respect and sympathy, date from the late 1630s and early 1640s. Velázquez painted few religious pictures after entering the king's employ; Saints Anthony and Paul (late 1630s, Prado) and Immaculate Conception (1644?, Prado) are notable exceptions.

 

VI LATE WORKS

 

During the last 20 years of Velázquez's life, as his rise to prominence in court circles continued, his work as court official and architect assumed prime importance, limiting his artistic output. In 1649 he made a second trip to Italy, this time to buy works of art for the king's collection. During his year's stay in Rome from 1649 to 1650 he painted the magnificent portraits Juan de Pareja (Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City) and Pope Innocent X (Palazzo Doria-Pamphili, Rome). At this time he was also admitted into Rome's Academy of Saint Luke. The so-called Rokeby Venus (National Gallery, London) probably dates from this period as well.

 

The key works of the painter's last two decades are Las Hilanderas (The Spinners, about 1656, Prado), also known as The Fable of Arachne (see Arachne), an image of sophisticated mythological symbolism, and his masterwork, Las meninas (The Maids of Honor, 1656, Prado), a stunning group portrait of the royal family and Velázquez himself in the act of painting.

  

Contributed By:

Edward J. Sullivan

Microsoft ® Encarta ® 2006. © 1993-2005 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.

Diego Velázquez (artist)

I INTRODUCTION

 

Diego Velázquez (artist) (1599-1660), Spanish baroque artist (see Baroque Art and Architecture), who, with Francisco de Goya and El Greco, forms the great triumvirate of Spanish painting.

 

Diego Rodríguez de Silva y Velázquez was born in Seville, the oldest of six children. Both his parents were from the lesser nobility. Between 1611 and 1617 Velázquez worked as an apprentice to Francisco Pacheco, a Sevillian mannerist painter (see Mannerism) who was also the author of an important treatise, El arte de la pintura (The Art of Painting, 1649), and who became Velázquez's father-in-law. During his student years Velázquez absorbed the most popular contemporary styles of painting, derived, in part, from both Flemish and Italian realism.

 

II YOUTHFUL WORKS

 

Many of the earliest paintings by Velázquez show a strong naturalist bias, as does The Meal (1617?, Hermitage, Saint Petersburg), which may have been his first work as an independent master after passing the examination for the Guild of Saint Luke. This painting belongs to the first of three categories—the bodegón (kitchen piece), along with portraits and religious scenes—into which his youthful works, executed between about 1617 and 1623, may be placed. In his kitchen pieces, a few figures are combined with studied still-life objects (see Still Life), as in Water Seller of Seville (1619?-1620?, Wellington Museum, London). In these works, Velázquez's direct representation of nature and masterly effects of light and shadow make inevitable a comparison with the work of Italian painter Caravaggio. Velázquez's religious paintings, images of simple piety, portray models drawn from the streets of Seville, as Pacheco states in his biography of the artist. In Adoration of the Magi (1619, Prado, Madrid), for example, Velázquez painted his own family in the guise of biblical figures, including a self-portrait as well.

 

Velázquez was well acquainted with members of the intellectual circles of Seville. Pacheco was the director of an informal humanist academy, at the meetings of which the young artist was introduced to such luminaries as poet Luis de Góngora y Argote, whose portrait he executed in 1622 (Museum of Fine Arts, Boston). Such contact was important for Velázquez's later work on mythological and classical subjects.

 

III APPOINTMENT AS COURT PAINTER

 

In 1622 Velázquez made his first trip to Madrid, ostensibly, according to Pacheco's biography, to see the royal painting collections, but more likely in an unsuccessful search for a position as court painter. In 1623, however, he returned to the capital and, after executing a portrait (1623, Prado) of the king, was named official painter to Philip IV. The portrait was the first among many such sober, direct renditions of the king, the royal family, and members of the court. Indeed, throughout the later 1620s, most of Velázquez's efforts were dedicated to portraiture. Mythological subjects would at times occupy his attention, as in Bacchus, also called The Drinkers (1628-1629, Prado). This scene of revelry in an open field, picturing the god of wine drinking with a group of tough-looking men, testifies to the artist's continued interest in realism.

 

IV TRIP TO ITALY

 

In 1628 Flemish master Peter Paul Rubens came to the court at Madrid on a diplomatic mission, and Velázquez was one of the few painters with whom he associated. Although Rubens did not have a direct impact on the style of the younger painter, their conversations almost certainly inspired Velázquez to visit the art collections in Italy that were so much admired by his fellow artist. In August 1629 Velázquez departed from Barcelona for Genoa and spent most of the next two years traveling in Italy. From Genoa he proceeded to Milan, Venice, Florence, and Rome, returning to Spain from Naples in January 1631. In the course of his journey he closely studied both the art of the Renaissance and contemporary painting. Several of the works he executed during his travels attest to his assimilation of these styles. A notable example is Joseph and His Brothers (1630, El Escorial, near Madrid), which combines a Michelangelesque sculptural quality (see Michelangelo) with the chiaroscuro (light-and-shadow techniques) of such Italian masters as Guercino and Giovanni Lanfranco.

 

V RETURN TO SPAIN

 

On his return to Madrid, Velázquez resumed his duties as court portraitist with the rendition Prince Baltasar Carlos with a Dwarf (1631, Museum of Fine Arts), an image made poignant by the young prince's death before reaching adulthood. In 1634 Velázquez oversaw the decoration of the throne room in the new royal palace of Buen Retiro. His scheme was based on 12 scenes of battles in which Spanish troops had been victorious—painted by the most prestigious artists of the day, including Velázquez himself—and royal equestrian portraits. Velázquez's contribution to the cycle of battle pictures included the Surrender of Breda (1634, Prado), which portrays a magnanimous Spanish general receiving the leader of defeated Flemish troops after the siege of the town of Breda in 1624. The delicacy of its style and the astonishing range of emotions it captures make this the most celebrated historical composition of the Spanish baroque.

 

Velázquez's second major series of paintings from the 1630s is a group of hunting portraits of the royal family for the Torre de la Parada, a hunting lodge near Madrid. His famous depictions of court dwarfs, in which, unlike court-jester portraits by earlier artists, the subjects are treated with respect and sympathy, date from the late 1630s and early 1640s. Velázquez painted few religious pictures after entering the king's employ; Saints Anthony and Paul (late 1630s, Prado) and Immaculate Conception (1644?, Prado) are notable exceptions.

 

VI LATE WORKS

 

During the last 20 years of Velázquez's life, as his rise to prominence in court circles continued, his work as court official and architect assumed prime importance, limiting his artistic output. In 1649 he made a second trip to Italy, this time to buy works of art for the king's collection. During his year's stay in Rome from 1649 to 1650 he painted the magnificent portraits Juan de Pareja (Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City) and Pope Innocent X (Palazzo Doria-Pamphili, Rome). At this time he was also admitted into Rome's Academy of Saint Luke. The so-called Rokeby Venus (National Gallery, London) probably dates from this period as well.

 

The key works of the painter's last two decades are Las Hilanderas (The Spinners, about 1656, Prado), also known as The Fable of Arachne (see Arachne), an image of sophisticated mythological symbolism, and his masterwork, Las meninas (The Maids of Honor, 1656, Prado), a stunning group portrait of the royal family and Velázquez himself in the act of painting.

  

Contributed By:

Edward J. Sullivan

Microsoft ® Encarta ® 2006. © 1993-2005 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.

Pablo Picasso

I INTRODUCTION

 

Pablo Picasso (1881-1973), Spanish painter, who is widely acknowledged to be the most important artist of the 20th century. A long-lived and highly prolific artist, he experimented with a wide range of styles and themes throughout his career. Among Picasso’s many contributions to the history of art, his most important include pioneering the modern art movement called cubism, inventing collage as an artistic technique, and developing assemblage (constructions of various materials) in sculpture.

 

Picasso was born Pablo Ruiz in Málaga, Spain. He later adopted his mother’s more distinguished maiden name—Picasso—as his own. Though Spanish by birth, Picasso lived most of his life in France.

 

II FORMATIVE WORK (1893-1900)

 

Picasso’s father, who was an art teacher, quickly recognized that his child Pablo was a prodigy. Picasso studied art first privately with his father and then at the Academy of Fine Arts in La Coruña, Spain, where his father taught. Picasso’s early drawings, such as Study of a Torso, After a Plaster Cast (1894-1895, Musée Picasso, Paris, France), demonstrate the high level of technical proficiency he had achieved by 14 years of age. In 1895 his family moved to Barcelona, Spain, after his father obtained a teaching post at that city’s Academy of Fine Arts. Picasso was admitted to advanced classes at the academy after he completed in a single day the entrance examination that applicants traditionally were given a month to finish. In 1897 Picasso left Barcelona to study at the Madrid Academy in the Spanish capital. Dissatisfied with the training, he quit and returned to Barcelona.

 

After Picasso visited Paris in October 1900, he moved back and forth between France and Spain until 1904, when he settled in the French capital. In Paris he encountered, and experimented with, a number of modern artistic styles. Picasso’s painting Le Moulin de la Galette (1900, Guggenheim Museum, New York City) revealed his interest in the subject matter of Parisian nightlife and in the style of French painter Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, a style that verged on caricature. In addition to café scenes, Picasso painted landscapes, still lifes, and portraits of friends and performers.

 

III BLUE PERIOD (1901-1903)

 

From 1901 to 1903 Picasso initiated his first truly original style, which is known as the blue period. Restricting his color scheme to blue, Picasso depicted emaciated and forlorn figures whose body language and clothing bespeak the lowliness of their social status. In The Old Guitarist (1903, Art Institute of Chicago, Illinois), Picasso emphasized the guitarist’s poverty and position as a social outcast, which he reinforced by surrounding the figure with a black outline, as if to cut him off from his environment. The guitarist is compressed within the canvas (no room is left in the painting for the guitarist to raise his lowered head), suggesting his helplessness: The guitarist is trapped within the frame just as he is trapped by his poverty. Although Picasso underscored the squalor of his figures during this period, neither their clothing nor their environment conveys a specific time or place. This lack of specificity suggests that Picasso intended to make a general statement about human alienation rather than a particular statement about the lower class in Paris.

 

Why blue dominated Picasso’s paintings during this period remains unexplained. Possible influences include photographs with a bluish tinge popular at the time, poetry that stressed the color blue in its imagery, or the paintings of French artists such as Eugène Carrière or Claude Monet, who based many of their works around this time on variations on a single color. Another explanation is that Picasso found blue particularly appropriate for his subject matter because it is a color associated with melancholy.

 

IV ROSE PERIOD (1904-1905)

 

In 1904 Picasso’s style shifted, inaugurating the rose period, sometimes referred to as the circus period. Although Picasso still focused on social outcasts—especially circus performers—his color scheme lightened, featuring warmer, reddish hues, and the thick outlines of the blue period disappeared. Picasso maintained his interest in the theme of alienation, however. In Two Acrobats and a Dog (1905, Museum of Modern Art, New York City), he represented two young acrobats before an undefined, barren landscape. Although the acrobats are physically close, they gaze in different directions and do not interact, and the reason for their presence is not made clear. Differences in the acrobats’ height also exaggerate their disconnection from each other and from the empty landscape. The dog was a frequent presence in Picasso’s work and may have been a reference to death as dogs appear at the feet of figures in many Spanish funerary monuments.

 

Picasso may have felt an especially deep sympathy for circus performers. Like artists, they were paid to entertain society, but their itinerant lifestyle and status as outsiders prevented them from becoming an integral part of the social fabric. It was this situation that made the sad clown an important figure in the popular imagination: Paid to make people laugh, he must keep hidden his real existence and true feelings. Living a life of financial insecurity himself, Picasso no doubt empathized with these performers. During this period Picasso met Fernande Olivier, the first of several women who shared his life and provided inspiration for his art. Olivier’s features appear in many of the female figures in his paintings over the next several years.

 

V CLASSICAL PERIOD (1905) AND IBERIAN PERIOD (1906)

 

Experimentation and rapid style changes mark the years from late 1905 on. Picasso’s paintings from late 1905 are more emotionally detached than those of the blue or rose periods. The color scheme lightens—beiges and light browns predominate—and melancholy and alienation give way to a more reasoned approach. Picasso’s increasing interest in form is apparent in his references to classical sculpture. The figure of a seated boy in Two Youths (1905, National Gallery, Washington, D.C.), for example, recalls an ancient Greek sculpture of a boy removing a thorn from his foot.

 

By 1906 Picasso had become interested in sculptures from the Iberian peninsula dating from about the 6th to the 3rd century bc. Picasso must have found them of particular interest both because they are native to Spain and because they display remarkable simplification of form. The Iberian influence is immediately visible in Self-Portrait (1906, Philadelphia Museum of Art, Pennsylvania), in which Picasso reduced the image of his head to an oval and his eyes to almond shapes, thus revealing his increasing fascination with geometric simplification of form.

 

VI AFRICAN PERIOD (1907)

 

Picasso’s predilection for experimentation and for drawing inspiration from outside the accepted artistic sources led to his most radical and revolutionary painting yet in 1907: Les Demoiselles d'Avignon (1907, Museum of Modern Art). The painting’s theme—the female nude—could not be more traditional, but Picasso’s treatment of it is revolutionary. Picasso took even greater liberties here with human anatomy than in his 1906 Self-Portrait . The figures on the left in the painting look flat, as if they have no skeletal or muscular structure. Faces seen from the front have noses in profile. The eyes are asymmetrical and radically simplified. Contour lines are incomplete. Color juxtapositions—between blue and orange, for instance—are intentionally strident and unharmonious. The representation of space is fragmented and discontinuous.

 

While the left side of the canvas is largely Iberian-influenced, the right side is inspired by African masks, especially in its striped patterns and oval forms. Such borrowings, which led to great simplification, distortion, and visual incongruities, were considered extremely daring in 1907. The head of the figure at the bottom right, for example, turns in an anatomically impossible way. These discrepancies proved so shocking that even Picasso’s fellow painters reacted negatively to Les Demoiselles d'Avignon. French painter Henri Matisse allegedly told Picasso that he was trying to ridicule the modern movement.

 

VII CUBISM (1908-1917)

 

For many scholars, Les Demoiselles d'Avignon—with its fragmented planes, flattened figures, and borrowings from African masks—marks the beginning of the new visual language, known as cubism. Other scholars believe that French painter Paul Cézanne provided the primary catalyst for this change in style. Cézanne’s work of the 1890s and early 1900s was noted both for its simplification and flattening of form and for the introduction of what art historians call passage, the interpenetration of one physical object by another. For example, in Mont Sainte-Victoire (1902-1906, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City), Cézanne left the outer edge of the mountain open, allowing the blue area of the sky and the gray area of the mountain to merge. This innovation—air and rock interpenetrating—was a crucial precedent for Picasso’s invention of cubism. First, it defied the laws of our physical experience, and second, it indicated that artists were viewing paintings as having a logic of their own that functioned independently of, or even contrary to, the logic of everyday experience.

 

Scholars generally divide the cubist innovations of Picasso and French painter Georges Braque into two stages. In the first stage, analytical cubism, the artists fragmented three-dimensional shapes into multiple geometric planes. In the second stage, synthetic cubism, they reversed the process, putting abstract planes together to represent human figures, still lifes, and other recognizable shapes.

 

A Analytical Cubism (1908-1912)

 

Profoundly influenced by Cézanne's later work, Picasso and Braque initiated a series of landscape paintings in 1908. These paintings approximated Cézanne’s both in their color scheme (dark greens and light browns) and in their drastic simplification of nature to geometric shapes. Upon seeing these paintings, French critic Louis Vauxelles coined the term cubism. In Picasso’s Houses on the Hill, Horta de Ebro (1909, Museum of Modern Art), he gave architectural structures a three-dimensional, cubic quality, but he abandoned conventional three-dimensional perspective: Instead of being depicted one behind the other, buildings appear one on top of the other. Moreover, he simplified every aspect of the painting according to a vocabulary of cubic shapes—not just the houses but the sky as well. By neutralizing differences between earth and sky, Picasso made the canvas appear more unified, but he also introduced ambiguity by not differentiating solid from void. In addition, Picasso often used inconsistent light sources. In some parts of a painting, light appears to come from the left; in other parts, it comes from the right, the top, or even the bottom. Spatial planes intersect in ways that leave the spectator guessing whether angles are concave or convex. Delight in confusing the viewer is a regular feature of cubism.

 

By 1910, it had become evident that cubism no longer had any cubes and that the illusion of three-dimensional space, or volume, was gone. Picasso seemed to have dismantled the very idea of solid form, not only by fragmenting the human figure and other shapes, but also by using Cézanne’s concept of passage to merge figure and environment, solid and void, background and foreground. In this way he created a visually consistent painting, yet the consistency does not conform to the physical consistency of the natural world as we experience it. Picasso’s decision to limit his color scheme to dark browns and grays also suggests that his paintings have initiated a radical departure from nature, rather than attempted to copy it.

 

The year 1912 marks another major development in the cubist language: the invention of collage. In Still Life with Chair Caning (1912, Musée Picasso), Picasso attached a piece of oilcloth (that depicts woven caning) to his work. With this action Picasso not only violated the integrity of the medium—oil painting on canvas—but also included a material that had no previous connection with high art. Art could now be created, Picasso seems to imply, with scissors and glue as well as with paint and canvas. By including pieces of cloth, newspaper, wallpaper, advertising, and other materials in his work, Picasso opened the door for any object or material, however ordinary, to be included in (or even replace) a work of art. This innovation had important consequences for later 20th-century art. Another innovation was including the letters JOU in the painting, possibly referring to the beginning of the word journal (French for “newspaper”) or to the French word jouer, meaning “to play,” as Picasso is playing with forms. These combinations reveal that cubism includes both visual and verbal references, and merges high art with popular culture.

 

B Synthetic Cubism (1912-1917)

 

By inventing collage and by introducing elements from the real world in his canvases, Picasso avoided taking cubism to the level of complete abstraction and remained in the domain of tangible objects. Collage also initiated the synthetic phase of cubism. Whereas analytical cubism fragmented figures into geometric planes, synthetic cubism synthesized (combined) near-abstract shapes to create representational forms, such as a human figure or still life. Synthetic cubism also tended toward multiplicity. In Guitar, Sheet Music, and Wine Glass (1912, McNay Art Museum, San Antonio, Texas), for instance, Picasso combined a drawing of a glass, several spots of color, sheet music, newspaper, a wallpaper pattern, and a cloth that has a wood–grain pattern. Synthetic cubism may also combine different textures, such as wood grain, sand, and printed matter. Sometimes Picasso applied these textures as collage, by gluing textured papers on the canvas. In other cases the artist painted an area to look like wood or wallpaper, fooling the spectator by means of visual puns.

 

VIII CONSTRUCTION AND AFTER (1912-1920)

 

In 1912 Picasso instigated another important innovation: construction, or assemblage, in sculpture. Before this innovation, sculpture, at least in the West, was primarily created in one of two ways: by carving a block of stone or wood or by modeling—shaping a form in clay and casting that form in a more durable material, such as bronze. In Guitar (1912, Museum of Modern Art), Picasso used a new additive process. He cut various shapes out of sheet metal and wire, and then reassembled those materials into a cubist construction. In other constructions, Picasso used wood, cardboard, string, and other everyday objects, not only inventing a new technique for sculpture but also expanding the definition of art by blurring the distinction between artistic and nonartistic materials.

 

From World War I (1914-1918) onward, Picasso moved from style to style. In 1915, for instance, Picasso painted the highly abstract Harlequin (Museum of Modern Art) and drew the highly realistic portrait of Ambroise Vollard (Metropolitan Museum of Art). During and after the war he also worked on stage design and costume design for the Ballets Russes, a modern Russian ballet company launched by the impresario Sergey Diaghilev. Inspired by his direct experience of the theater, Picasso also produced representations of performers, such as French clowns called Pierrot and Harlequin, and scenes of ballerinas.

 

Picasso separated from Olivier in 1912, after meeting Eva Gouel. Gouel died in 1915, and in 1918 Picasso married Olga Koklova, one of the dancers in Diaghilev’s company. Picasso created a number of portraits of her, and their son, Paulo, appears in works such as Paulo as Harlequin (1924, Musée Picasso).

 

IX CLASSICAL PERIOD (1920-1925)

 

After World War I, a strain of conservatism spread through a number of art forms. A motto popular among traditionalists was “the return to order.” For Picasso the years 1920 to 1925 were marked by close attention to three-dimensional form and to classical themes: bathers, centaurs (mythical creatures half-man and half horse), and women in classical drapery. He depicted many of these figures as massive, dense, and weighty, an effect intensified by strong contrasts of light and dark. But even as he moved toward greater realism, Picasso continued to play games with the viewer. In the classical and carefully composed The Pipes of Pan (1923, Musée Picasso), for example, he painted an area of the architectural framework in the foreground (which should be grayish) with the same color as the sea in the background, revealing again his pleasure in ambiguity.

 

X CUBISM AND SURREALISM (1925-1936)

 

From 1925 to 1936 Picasso again worked in a number of styles. He composed some paintings of tightly structured geometric shapes, limiting his color scheme to primary colors (red, blue, yellow), as in The Studio (1928, Museum of Modern Art). In other paintings, such as Nude in an Armchair (1929, Musée Picasso), he depicted contorted female figures whose open mouths and menacing teeth reveal a more emotional, less reasoned attitude. Picasso’s marriage broke up during this time, and some of the menacing female figures in his art of this period may represent Koklova.

 

The same diversity is visible in Picasso’s sculpture during this period. Bather (Metamorphosis II) (1928, Musée Picasso) represents the human body as a massive spherical shape with protruding limbs, whereas Wire Construction (1928, Musée Picasso) depicts it as a rigid, geometric configuration of thin wires. Picasso also experimented with welding in sculpture of this period and explored a variety of themes, including the female head, the sleeping woman, and the Crucifixion. The model for many of his sleeping women was Marie Thérèse Walter, a new love who had entered his life. Their daughter, Maia, was born in 1935.

 

In the early 1930s Picasso had increasing contact with the members of the surrealist movement (see Surrealism) and became fascinated with the classical myth of the Minotaur. This creature, which has the head of a man and the body of a bull, appears in a study by Picasso for the cover of the surrealist journal Minotaure (1933, Museum of Modern Art). Here Picasso affixed a classical drawing of a Minotaur to a collage of abstracted forms and debris. The Minotaur has numerous incarnations in Picasso’s work, both as an aggressor and a victim, as a violent character and a friendly one. It may represent the artist himself and frequently appears in the context of a bullfight, a typically Spanish scene close to Picasso’s heart.

 

XI GUERNICA (1937)

 

In 1937 the Spanish government commissioned Picasso to create a mural for Spain’s pavilion at an international exposition in Paris. Unsure about the subject, Picasso procrastinated. But he set to work almost immediately after hearing that the Spanish town of Guernica had been bombed by Nazi warplanes in support of Spanish general Francisco Franco’s plot to overthrow the Spanish republic. Guernica (1937, Prado, Madrid) was Picasso's response to, and condemnation of, that event. He executed the painting in black and white—in keeping with the seriousness of the subject—and transfigured the event according to his fascination with the bullfight theme.

 

At the extreme left is a bull, which symbolizes brutality and darkness, according to Picasso. At the center, a horse wounded by a spear most likely represents the Spanish people. At the center on top, an exploding light bulb possibly refers to air warfare or to evil coming from above (and putting out the light of reason). Corpses and dying figures fill the foreground: a woman with a dead child at the left, a dead warrior with a broken sword (from which a flower sprouts) at the center, a weeping woman and a figure falling through a burning building at the right. The distortion of these figures expresses the inhumanity of the event. To suggest the screaming of the horse and of the mother with the dead child, Picasso transformed their tongues into daggers. In the upper center, a tormented female figure holds an oil lamp that sheds light upon the scene, possibly symbolizing the light of truth revealing the brutality of the event to the outside world. In 1936 Picasso met Dora Maar, an artist who photographed Guernica as he painted it. She soon became his companion and the subject of his paintings, although he remained involved with Walter.

 

XII WORLD WAR II (1939-1945)

 

Picasso, unlike many artists, stayed in Paris during the German occupation of World War II. Some of his paintings from this time reveal the anxiety of the war years, as does the menacing Still Life with Steer's Skull (1942, Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen, Düsseldorf, Germany). Other works, such as his sculpture Head of a Bull (1943, Musée Picasso), are more playful and whimsical. In this sculpture Picasso combined a bicycle seat and handlebars to represent the bull’s head. Upon receiving news of the Nazi death camps, Picasso also painted, although he did not finish, an homage to the victims of the Holocaust (mass murder of European Jews during the war). In this painting, called The Charnel House (1945, Museum of Modern Art), he restricted the color scheme to black and white (as in Guernica) and depicted an accumulation of distorted, mangled bodies. During the war Picasso joined the Communist Party, and after the war he attended several peace conferences.

 

XIII LATE WORK (1945-1973)

 

Picasso remained a prolific artist until late in his life, although this later period has not received universal acclaim from historians or critics. He made variations on motifs that had fascinated him throughout his career, such as the bullfight and the painter and his model, the latter a theme that celebrated creativity. And he continued to paint portraits and landscapes. Picasso also experimented with ceramics, creating figurines, plates, and jugs, and he thereby blurred an existing distinction between fine art and craft.

 

Picasso’s emotional life became more complicated after he met French painter Françoise Gilot in the 1940s, while he was still involved with Maar. He and Gilot had a son, Claude, and a daughter, Paloma, and both appear in many of his late works. Picasso and Gilot parted in 1953. Jacqueline Roque, whom Picasso married in 1961, became his next companion. They spent most of their time in the south of France.

 

Another new direction in Picasso’s work came from variations on well-known works by older artists that he recast in his own style. Among these works are Women on the Banks of the Seine, after Courbet (1950, Kunstmuseum, Basel, Switzerland) and Le Déjeuner sur l’Herbe after Manet (1960, Musée Picasso). What makes these works particularly significant is that they run counter to a basic premise of modern art, Picasso’s included: namely, originality. Although many modern painters were influenced by earlier artists, they rarely made such direct and obvious references to each other’s work because they deemed such references unoriginal. In the postmodern period, which began in the 1970s, artists and critics began to question the modernist directive to be original. In acts of deliberate defiance, many postmodern artists have appropriated (taken for their own use) well-known images from their predecessors or contemporaries. Seen against this context, Picasso’s later variations on paintings by earlier masters hardly seem out of place; on the contrary, they anticipate a key aspect of art in the 1980s.

 

One of Picasso’s late works, Head of a Woman (1967), was a gift to the city of Chicago. This sculpture of welded steel, 15 m (50 ft) tall, stands in front of Chicago’s Civic Center. Although its semiabstract form proved controversial at first, the sculpture soon became a city landmark.

 

Because of his many innovations, Picasso is widely considered to be the most influential artist of the 20th century. The cubist movement, which he and Braque inspired, had a number of followers. Its innovations gave rise to a host of other 20th-century art movements, including futurism in Italy, suprematism and constructivism in Russia, de Stijl in the Netherlands, and vorticism in England. Cubism also influenced German expressionism, dada, and other movements as well as early work of the surrealists (see Surrealism) and abstract expressionists (see Abstract Expressionism). In addition, collage and construction became key aspects of 20th-century art.

  

Contributed By:

Claude Cernuschi

Microsoft ® Encarta ® 2006. © 1993-2005 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.

Pablo Picasso

I INTRODUCTION

 

Pablo Picasso (1881-1973), Spanish painter, who is widely acknowledged to be the most important artist of the 20th century. A long-lived and highly prolific artist, he experimented with a wide range of styles and themes throughout his career. Among Picasso’s many contributions to the history of art, his most important include pioneering the modern art movement called cubism, inventing collage as an artistic technique, and developing assemblage (constructions of various materials) in sculpture.

 

Picasso was born Pablo Ruiz in Málaga, Spain. He later adopted his mother’s more distinguished maiden name—Picasso—as his own. Though Spanish by birth, Picasso lived most of his life in France.

 

II FORMATIVE WORK (1893-1900)

 

Picasso’s father, who was an art teacher, quickly recognized that his child Pablo was a prodigy. Picasso studied art first privately with his father and then at the Academy of Fine Arts in La Coruña, Spain, where his father taught. Picasso’s early drawings, such as Study of a Torso, After a Plaster Cast (1894-1895, Musée Picasso, Paris, France), demonstrate the high level of technical proficiency he had achieved by 14 years of age. In 1895 his family moved to Barcelona, Spain, after his father obtained a teaching post at that city’s Academy of Fine Arts. Picasso was admitted to advanced classes at the academy after he completed in a single day the entrance examination that applicants traditionally were given a month to finish. In 1897 Picasso left Barcelona to study at the Madrid Academy in the Spanish capital. Dissatisfied with the training, he quit and returned to Barcelona.

 

After Picasso visited Paris in October 1900, he moved back and forth between France and Spain until 1904, when he settled in the French capital. In Paris he encountered, and experimented with, a number of modern artistic styles. Picasso’s painting Le Moulin de la Galette (1900, Guggenheim Museum, New York City) revealed his interest in the subject matter of Parisian nightlife and in the style of French painter Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, a style that verged on caricature. In addition to café scenes, Picasso painted landscapes, still lifes, and portraits of friends and performers.

 

III BLUE PERIOD (1901-1903)

 

From 1901 to 1903 Picasso initiated his first truly original style, which is known as the blue period. Restricting his color scheme to blue, Picasso depicted emaciated and forlorn figures whose body language and clothing bespeak the lowliness of their social status. In The Old Guitarist (1903, Art Institute of Chicago, Illinois), Picasso emphasized the guitarist’s poverty and position as a social outcast, which he reinforced by surrounding the figure with a black outline, as if to cut him off from his environment. The guitarist is compressed within the canvas (no room is left in the painting for the guitarist to raise his lowered head), suggesting his helplessness: The guitarist is trapped within the frame just as he is trapped by his poverty. Although Picasso underscored the squalor of his figures during this period, neither their clothing nor their environment conveys a specific time or place. This lack of specificity suggests that Picasso intended to make a general statement about human alienation rather than a particular statement about the lower class in Paris.

 

Why blue dominated Picasso’s paintings during this period remains unexplained. Possible influences include photographs with a bluish tinge popular at the time, poetry that stressed the color blue in its imagery, or the paintings of French artists such as Eugène Carrière or Claude Monet, who based many of their works around this time on variations on a single color. Another explanation is that Picasso found blue particularly appropriate for his subject matter because it is a color associated with melancholy.

 

IV ROSE PERIOD (1904-1905)

 

In 1904 Picasso’s style shifted, inaugurating the rose period, sometimes referred to as the circus period. Although Picasso still focused on social outcasts—especially circus performers—his color scheme lightened, featuring warmer, reddish hues, and the thick outlines of the blue period disappeared. Picasso maintained his interest in the theme of alienation, however. In Two Acrobats and a Dog (1905, Museum of Modern Art, New York City), he represented two young acrobats before an undefined, barren landscape. Although the acrobats are physically close, they gaze in different directions and do not interact, and the reason for their presence is not made clear. Differences in the acrobats’ height also exaggerate their disconnection from each other and from the empty landscape. The dog was a frequent presence in Picasso’s work and may have been a reference to death as dogs appear at the feet of figures in many Spanish funerary monuments.

 

Picasso may have felt an especially deep sympathy for circus performers. Like artists, they were paid to entertain society, but their itinerant lifestyle and status as outsiders prevented them from becoming an integral part of the social fabric. It was this situation that made the sad clown an important figure in the popular imagination: Paid to make people laugh, he must keep hidden his real existence and true feelings. Living a life of financial insecurity himself, Picasso no doubt empathized with these performers. During this period Picasso met Fernande Olivier, the first of several women who shared his life and provided inspiration for his art. Olivier’s features appear in many of the female figures in his paintings over the next several years.

 

V CLASSICAL PERIOD (1905) AND IBERIAN PERIOD (1906)

 

Experimentation and rapid style changes mark the years from late 1905 on. Picasso’s paintings from late 1905 are more emotionally detached than those of the blue or rose periods. The color scheme lightens—beiges and light browns predominate—and melancholy and alienation give way to a more reasoned approach. Picasso’s increasing interest in form is apparent in his references to classical sculpture. The figure of a seated boy in Two Youths (1905, National Gallery, Washington, D.C.), for example, recalls an ancient Greek sculpture of a boy removing a thorn from his foot.

 

By 1906 Picasso had become interested in sculptures from the Iberian peninsula dating from about the 6th to the 3rd century bc. Picasso must have found them of particular interest both because they are native to Spain and because they display remarkable simplification of form. The Iberian influence is immediately visible in Self-Portrait (1906, Philadelphia Museum of Art, Pennsylvania), in which Picasso reduced the image of his head to an oval and his eyes to almond shapes, thus revealing his increasing fascination with geometric simplification of form.

 

VI AFRICAN PERIOD (1907)

 

Picasso’s predilection for experimentation and for drawing inspiration from outside the accepted artistic sources led to his most radical and revolutionary painting yet in 1907: Les Demoiselles d'Avignon (1907, Museum of Modern Art). The painting’s theme—the female nude—could not be more traditional, but Picasso’s treatment of it is revolutionary. Picasso took even greater liberties here with human anatomy than in his 1906 Self-Portrait . The figures on the left in the painting look flat, as if they have no skeletal or muscular structure. Faces seen from the front have noses in profile. The eyes are asymmetrical and radically simplified. Contour lines are incomplete. Color juxtapositions—between blue and orange, for instance—are intentionally strident and unharmonious. The representation of space is fragmented and discontinuous.

 

While the left side of the canvas is largely Iberian-influenced, the right side is inspired by African masks, especially in its striped patterns and oval forms. Such borrowings, which led to great simplification, distortion, and visual incongruities, were considered extremely daring in 1907. The head of the figure at the bottom right, for example, turns in an anatomically impossible way. These discrepancies proved so shocking that even Picasso’s fellow painters reacted negatively to Les Demoiselles d'Avignon. French painter Henri Matisse allegedly told Picasso that he was trying to ridicule the modern movement.

 

VII CUBISM (1908-1917)

 

For many scholars, Les Demoiselles d'Avignon—with its fragmented planes, flattened figures, and borrowings from African masks—marks the beginning of the new visual language, known as cubism. Other scholars believe that French painter Paul Cézanne provided the primary catalyst for this change in style. Cézanne’s work of the 1890s and early 1900s was noted both for its simplification and flattening of form and for the introduction of what art historians call passage, the interpenetration of one physical object by another. For example, in Mont Sainte-Victoire (1902-1906, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City), Cézanne left the outer edge of the mountain open, allowing the blue area of the sky and the gray area of the mountain to merge. This innovation—air and rock interpenetrating—was a crucial precedent for Picasso’s invention of cubism. First, it defied the laws of our physical experience, and second, it indicated that artists were viewing paintings as having a logic of their own that functioned independently of, or even contrary to, the logic of everyday experience.

 

Scholars generally divide the cubist innovations of Picasso and French painter Georges Braque into two stages. In the first stage, analytical cubism, the artists fragmented three-dimensional shapes into multiple geometric planes. In the second stage, synthetic cubism, they reversed the process, putting abstract planes together to represent human figures, still lifes, and other recognizable shapes.

 

A Analytical Cubism (1908-1912)

 

Profoundly influenced by Cézanne's later work, Picasso and Braque initiated a series of landscape paintings in 1908. These paintings approximated Cézanne’s both in their color scheme (dark greens and light browns) and in their drastic simplification of nature to geometric shapes. Upon seeing these paintings, French critic Louis Vauxelles coined the term cubism. In Picasso’s Houses on the Hill, Horta de Ebro (1909, Museum of Modern Art), he gave architectural structures a three-dimensional, cubic quality, but he abandoned conventional three-dimensional perspective: Instead of being depicted one behind the other, buildings appear one on top of the other. Moreover, he simplified every aspect of the painting according to a vocabulary of cubic shapes—not just the houses but the sky as well. By neutralizing differences between earth and sky, Picasso made the canvas appear more unified, but he also introduced ambiguity by not differentiating solid from void. In addition, Picasso often used inconsistent light sources. In some parts of a painting, light appears to come from the left; in other parts, it comes from the right, the top, or even the bottom. Spatial planes intersect in ways that leave the spectator guessing whether angles are concave or convex. Delight in confusing the viewer is a regular feature of cubism.

 

By 1910, it had become evident that cubism no longer had any cubes and that the illusion of three-dimensional space, or volume, was gone. Picasso seemed to have dismantled the very idea of solid form, not only by fragmenting the human figure and other shapes, but also by using Cézanne’s concept of passage to merge figure and environment, solid and void, background and foreground. In this way he created a visually consistent painting, yet the consistency does not conform to the physical consistency of the natural world as we experience it. Picasso’s decision to limit his color scheme to dark browns and grays also suggests that his paintings have initiated a radical departure from nature, rather than attempted to copy it.

 

The year 1912 marks another major development in the cubist language: the invention of collage. In Still Life with Chair Caning (1912, Musée Picasso), Picasso attached a piece of oilcloth (that depicts woven caning) to his work. With this action Picasso not only violated the integrity of the medium—oil painting on canvas—but also included a material that had no previous connection with high art. Art could now be created, Picasso seems to imply, with scissors and glue as well as with paint and canvas. By including pieces of cloth, newspaper, wallpaper, advertising, and other materials in his work, Picasso opened the door for any object or material, however ordinary, to be included in (or even replace) a work of art. This innovation had important consequences for later 20th-century art. Another innovation was including the letters JOU in the painting, possibly referring to the beginning of the word journal (French for “newspaper”) or to the French word jouer, meaning “to play,” as Picasso is playing with forms. These combinations reveal that cubism includes both visual and verbal references, and merges high art with popular culture.

 

B Synthetic Cubism (1912-1917)

 

By inventing collage and by introducing elements from the real world in his canvases, Picasso avoided taking cubism to the level of complete abstraction and remained in the domain of tangible objects. Collage also initiated the synthetic phase of cubism. Whereas analytical cubism fragmented figures into geometric planes, synthetic cubism synthesized (combined) near-abstract shapes to create representational forms, such as a human figure or still life. Synthetic cubism also tended toward multiplicity. In Guitar, Sheet Music, and Wine Glass (1912, McNay Art Museum, San Antonio, Texas), for instance, Picasso combined a drawing of a glass, several spots of color, sheet music, newspaper, a wallpaper pattern, and a cloth that has a wood–grain pattern. Synthetic cubism may also combine different textures, such as wood grain, sand, and printed matter. Sometimes Picasso applied these textures as collage, by gluing textured papers on the canvas. In other cases the artist painted an area to look like wood or wallpaper, fooling the spectator by means of visual puns.

 

VIII CONSTRUCTION AND AFTER (1912-1920)

 

In 1912 Picasso instigated another important innovation: construction, or assemblage, in sculpture. Before this innovation, sculpture, at least in the West, was primarily created in one of two ways: by carving a block of stone or wood or by modeling—shaping a form in clay and casting that form in a more durable material, such as bronze. In Guitar (1912, Museum of Modern Art), Picasso used a new additive process. He cut various shapes out of sheet metal and wire, and then reassembled those materials into a cubist construction. In other constructions, Picasso used wood, cardboard, string, and other everyday objects, not only inventing a new technique for sculpture but also expanding the definition of art by blurring the distinction between artistic and nonartistic materials.

 

From World War I (1914-1918) onward, Picasso moved from style to style. In 1915, for instance, Picasso painted the highly abstract Harlequin (Museum of Modern Art) and drew the highly realistic portrait of Ambroise Vollard (Metropolitan Museum of Art). During and after the war he also worked on stage design and costume design for the Ballets Russes, a modern Russian ballet company launched by the impresario Sergey Diaghilev. Inspired by his direct experience of the theater, Picasso also produced representations of performers, such as French clowns called Pierrot and Harlequin, and scenes of ballerinas.

 

Picasso separated from Olivier in 1912, after meeting Eva Gouel. Gouel died in 1915, and in 1918 Picasso married Olga Koklova, one of the dancers in Diaghilev’s company. Picasso created a number of portraits of her, and their son, Paulo, appears in works such as Paulo as Harlequin (1924, Musée Picasso).

 

IX CLASSICAL PERIOD (1920-1925)

 

After World War I, a strain of conservatism spread through a number of art forms. A motto popular among traditionalists was “the return to order.” For Picasso the years 1920 to 1925 were marked by close attention to three-dimensional form and to classical themes: bathers, centaurs (mythical creatures half-man and half horse), and women in classical drapery. He depicted many of these figures as massive, dense, and weighty, an effect intensified by strong contrasts of light and dark. But even as he moved toward greater realism, Picasso continued to play games with the viewer. In the classical and carefully composed The Pipes of Pan (1923, Musée Picasso), for example, he painted an area of the architectural framework in the foreground (which should be grayish) with the same color as the sea in the background, revealing again his pleasure in ambiguity.

 

X CUBISM AND SURREALISM (1925-1936)

 

From 1925 to 1936 Picasso again worked in a number of styles. He composed some paintings of tightly structured geometric shapes, limiting his color scheme to primary colors (red, blue, yellow), as in The Studio (1928, Museum of Modern Art). In other paintings, such as Nude in an Armchair (1929, Musée Picasso), he depicted contorted female figures whose open mouths and menacing teeth reveal a more emotional, less reasoned attitude. Picasso’s marriage broke up during this time, and some of the menacing female figures in his art of this period may represent Koklova.

 

The same diversity is visible in Picasso’s sculpture during this period. Bather (Metamorphosis II) (1928, Musée Picasso) represents the human body as a massive spherical shape with protruding limbs, whereas Wire Construction (1928, Musée Picasso) depicts it as a rigid, geometric configuration of thin wires. Picasso also experimented with welding in sculpture of this period and explored a variety of themes, including the female head, the sleeping woman, and the Crucifixion. The model for many of his sleeping women was Marie Thérèse Walter, a new love who had entered his life. Their daughter, Maia, was born in 1935.

 

In the early 1930s Picasso had increasing contact with the members of the surrealist movement (see Surrealism) and became fascinated with the classical myth of the Minotaur. This creature, which has the head of a man and the body of a bull, appears in a study by Picasso for the cover of the surrealist journal Minotaure (1933, Museum of Modern Art). Here Picasso affixed a classical drawing of a Minotaur to a collage of abstracted forms and debris. The Minotaur has numerous incarnations in Picasso’s work, both as an aggressor and a victim, as a violent character and a friendly one. It may represent the artist himself and frequently appears in the context of a bullfight, a typically Spanish scene close to Picasso’s heart.

 

XI GUERNICA (1937)

 

In 1937 the Spanish government commissioned Picasso to create a mural for Spain’s pavilion at an international exposition in Paris. Unsure about the subject, Picasso procrastinated. But he set to work almost immediately after hearing that the Spanish town of Guernica had been bombed by Nazi warplanes in support of Spanish general Francisco Franco’s plot to overthrow the Spanish republic. Guernica (1937, Prado, Madrid) was Picasso's response to, and condemnation of, that event. He executed the painting in black and white—in keeping with the seriousness of the subject—and transfigured the event according to his fascination with the bullfight theme.

 

At the extreme left is a bull, which symbolizes brutality and darkness, according to Picasso. At the center, a horse wounded by a spear most likely represents the Spanish people. At the center on top, an exploding light bulb possibly refers to air warfare or to evil coming from above (and putting out the light of reason). Corpses and dying figures fill the foreground: a woman with a dead child at the left, a dead warrior with a broken sword (from which a flower sprouts) at the center, a weeping woman and a figure falling through a burning building at the right. The distortion of these figures expresses the inhumanity of the event. To suggest the screaming of the horse and of the mother with the dead child, Picasso transformed their tongues into daggers. In the upper center, a tormented female figure holds an oil lamp that sheds light upon the scene, possibly symbolizing the light of truth revealing the brutality of the event to the outside world. In 1936 Picasso met Dora Maar, an artist who photographed Guernica as he painted it. She soon became his companion and the subject of his paintings, although he remained involved with Walter.

 

XII WORLD WAR II (1939-1945)

 

Picasso, unlike many artists, stayed in Paris during the German occupation of World War II. Some of his paintings from this time reveal the anxiety of the war years, as does the menacing Still Life with Steer's Skull (1942, Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen, Düsseldorf, Germany). Other works, such as his sculpture Head of a Bull (1943, Musée Picasso), are more playful and whimsical. In this sculpture Picasso combined a bicycle seat and handlebars to represent the bull’s head. Upon receiving news of the Nazi death camps, Picasso also painted, although he did not finish, an homage to the victims of the Holocaust (mass murder of European Jews during the war). In this painting, called The Charnel House (1945, Museum of Modern Art), he restricted the color scheme to black and white (as in Guernica) and depicted an accumulation of distorted, mangled bodies. During the war Picasso joined the Communist Party, and after the war he attended several peace conferences.

 

XIII LATE WORK (1945-1973)

 

Picasso remained a prolific artist until late in his life, although this later period has not received universal acclaim from historians or critics. He made variations on motifs that had fascinated him throughout his career, such as the bullfight and the painter and his model, the latter a theme that celebrated creativity. And he continued to paint portraits and landscapes. Picasso also experimented with ceramics, creating figurines, plates, and jugs, and he thereby blurred an existing distinction between fine art and craft.

 

Picasso’s emotional life became more complicated after he met French painter Françoise Gilot in the 1940s, while he was still involved with Maar. He and Gilot had a son, Claude, and a daughter, Paloma, and both appear in many of his late works. Picasso and Gilot parted in 1953. Jacqueline Roque, whom Picasso married in 1961, became his next companion. They spent most of their time in the south of France.

 

Another new direction in Picasso’s work came from variations on well-known works by older artists that he recast in his own style. Among these works are Women on the Banks of the Seine, after Courbet (1950, Kunstmuseum, Basel, Switzerland) and Le Déjeuner sur l’Herbe after Manet (1960, Musée Picasso). What makes these works particularly significant is that they run counter to a basic premise of modern art, Picasso’s included: namely, originality. Although many modern painters were influenced by earlier artists, they rarely made such direct and obvious references to each other’s work because they deemed such references unoriginal. In the postmodern period, which began in the 1970s, artists and critics began to question the modernist directive to be original. In acts of deliberate defiance, many postmodern artists have appropriated (taken for their own use) well-known images from their predecessors or contemporaries. Seen against this context, Picasso’s later variations on paintings by earlier masters hardly seem out of place; on the contrary, they anticipate a key aspect of art in the 1980s.

 

One of Picasso’s late works, Head of a Woman (1967), was a gift to the city of Chicago. This sculpture of welded steel, 15 m (50 ft) tall, stands in front of Chicago’s Civic Center. Although its semiabstract form proved controversial at first, the sculpture soon became a city landmark.

 

Because of his many innovations, Picasso is widely considered to be the most influential artist of the 20th century. The cubist movement, which he and Braque inspired, had a number of followers. Its innovations gave rise to a host of other 20th-century art movements, including futurism in Italy, suprematism and constructivism in Russia, de Stijl in the Netherlands, and vorticism in England. Cubism also influenced German expressionism, dada, and other movements as well as early work of the surrealists (see Surrealism) and abstract expressionists (see Abstract Expressionism). In addition, collage and construction became key aspects of 20th-century art.

  

Contributed By:

Claude Cernuschi

Microsoft ® Encarta ® 2006. © 1993-2005 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.

Pablo Picasso

I INTRODUCTION

 

Pablo Picasso (1881-1973), Spanish painter, who is widely acknowledged to be the most important artist of the 20th century. A long-lived and highly prolific artist, he experimented with a wide range of styles and themes throughout his career. Among Picasso’s many contributions to the history of art, his most important include pioneering the modern art movement called cubism, inventing collage as an artistic technique, and developing assemblage (constructions of various materials) in sculpture.

 

Picasso was born Pablo Ruiz in Málaga, Spain. He later adopted his mother’s more distinguished maiden name—Picasso—as his own. Though Spanish by birth, Picasso lived most of his life in France.

 

II FORMATIVE WORK (1893-1900)

 

Picasso’s father, who was an art teacher, quickly recognized that his child Pablo was a prodigy. Picasso studied art first privately with his father and then at the Academy of Fine Arts in La Coruña, Spain, where his father taught. Picasso’s early drawings, such as Study of a Torso, After a Plaster Cast (1894-1895, Musée Picasso, Paris, France), demonstrate the high level of technical proficiency he had achieved by 14 years of age. In 1895 his family moved to Barcelona, Spain, after his father obtained a teaching post at that city’s Academy of Fine Arts. Picasso was admitted to advanced classes at the academy after he completed in a single day the entrance examination that applicants traditionally were given a month to finish. In 1897 Picasso left Barcelona to study at the Madrid Academy in the Spanish capital. Dissatisfied with the training, he quit and returned to Barcelona.

 

After Picasso visited Paris in October 1900, he moved back and forth between France and Spain until 1904, when he settled in the French capital. In Paris he encountered, and experimented with, a number of modern artistic styles. Picasso’s painting Le Moulin de la Galette (1900, Guggenheim Museum, New York City) revealed his interest in the subject matter of Parisian nightlife and in the style of French painter Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, a style that verged on caricature. In addition to café scenes, Picasso painted landscapes, still lifes, and portraits of friends and performers.

 

III BLUE PERIOD (1901-1903)

 

From 1901 to 1903 Picasso initiated his first truly original style, which is known as the blue period. Restricting his color scheme to blue, Picasso depicted emaciated and forlorn figures whose body language and clothing bespeak the lowliness of their social status. In The Old Guitarist (1903, Art Institute of Chicago, Illinois), Picasso emphasized the guitarist’s poverty and position as a social outcast, which he reinforced by surrounding the figure with a black outline, as if to cut him off from his environment. The guitarist is compressed within the canvas (no room is left in the painting for the guitarist to raise his lowered head), suggesting his helplessness: The guitarist is trapped within the frame just as he is trapped by his poverty. Although Picasso underscored the squalor of his figures during this period, neither their clothing nor their environment conveys a specific time or place. This lack of specificity suggests that Picasso intended to make a general statement about human alienation rather than a particular statement about the lower class in Paris.

 

Why blue dominated Picasso’s paintings during this period remains unexplained. Possible influences include photographs with a bluish tinge popular at the time, poetry that stressed the color blue in its imagery, or the paintings of French artists such as Eugène Carrière or Claude Monet, who based many of their works around this time on variations on a single color. Another explanation is that Picasso found blue particularly appropriate for his subject matter because it is a color associated with melancholy.

 

IV ROSE PERIOD (1904-1905)

 

In 1904 Picasso’s style shifted, inaugurating the rose period, sometimes referred to as the circus period. Although Picasso still focused on social outcasts—especially circus performers—his color scheme lightened, featuring warmer, reddish hues, and the thick outlines of the blue period disappeared. Picasso maintained his interest in the theme of alienation, however. In Two Acrobats and a Dog (1905, Museum of Modern Art, New York City), he represented two young acrobats before an undefined, barren landscape. Although the acrobats are physically close, they gaze in different directions and do not interact, and the reason for their presence is not made clear. Differences in the acrobats’ height also exaggerate their disconnection from each other and from the empty landscape. The dog was a frequent presence in Picasso’s work and may have been a reference to death as dogs appear at the feet of figures in many Spanish funerary monuments.

 

Picasso may have felt an especially deep sympathy for circus performers. Like artists, they were paid to entertain society, but their itinerant lifestyle and status as outsiders prevented them from becoming an integral part of the social fabric. It was this situation that made the sad clown an important figure in the popular imagination: Paid to make people laugh, he must keep hidden his real existence and true feelings. Living a life of financial insecurity himself, Picasso no doubt empathized with these performers. During this period Picasso met Fernande Olivier, the first of several women who shared his life and provided inspiration for his art. Olivier’s features appear in many of the female figures in his paintings over the next several years.

 

V CLASSICAL PERIOD (1905) AND IBERIAN PERIOD (1906)

 

Experimentation and rapid style changes mark the years from late 1905 on. Picasso’s paintings from late 1905 are more emotionally detached than those of the blue or rose periods. The color scheme lightens—beiges and light browns predominate—and melancholy and alienation give way to a more reasoned approach. Picasso’s increasing interest in form is apparent in his references to classical sculpture. The figure of a seated boy in Two Youths (1905, National Gallery, Washington, D.C.), for example, recalls an ancient Greek sculpture of a boy removing a thorn from his foot.

 

By 1906 Picasso had become interested in sculptures from the Iberian peninsula dating from about the 6th to the 3rd century bc. Picasso must have found them of particular interest both because they are native to Spain and because they display remarkable simplification of form. The Iberian influence is immediately visible in Self-Portrait (1906, Philadelphia Museum of Art, Pennsylvania), in which Picasso reduced the image of his head to an oval and his eyes to almond shapes, thus revealing his increasing fascination with geometric simplification of form.

 

VI AFRICAN PERIOD (1907)

 

Picasso’s predilection for experimentation and for drawing inspiration from outside the accepted artistic sources led to his most radical and revolutionary painting yet in 1907: Les Demoiselles d'Avignon (1907, Museum of Modern Art). The painting’s theme—the female nude—could not be more traditional, but Picasso’s treatment of it is revolutionary. Picasso took even greater liberties here with human anatomy than in his 1906 Self-Portrait . The figures on the left in the painting look flat, as if they have no skeletal or muscular structure. Faces seen from the front have noses in profile. The eyes are asymmetrical and radically simplified. Contour lines are incomplete. Color juxtapositions—between blue and orange, for instance—are intentionally strident and unharmonious. The representation of space is fragmented and discontinuous.

 

While the left side of the canvas is largely Iberian-influenced, the right side is inspired by African masks, especially in its striped patterns and oval forms. Such borrowings, which led to great simplification, distortion, and visual incongruities, were considered extremely daring in 1907. The head of the figure at the bottom right, for example, turns in an anatomically impossible way. These discrepancies proved so shocking that even Picasso’s fellow painters reacted negatively to Les Demoiselles d'Avignon. French painter Henri Matisse allegedly told Picasso that he was trying to ridicule the modern movement.

 

VII CUBISM (1908-1917)

 

For many scholars, Les Demoiselles d'Avignon—with its fragmented planes, flattened figures, and borrowings from African masks—marks the beginning of the new visual language, known as cubism. Other scholars believe that French painter Paul Cézanne provided the primary catalyst for this change in style. Cézanne’s work of the 1890s and early 1900s was noted both for its simplification and flattening of form and for the introduction of what art historians call passage, the interpenetration of one physical object by another. For example, in Mont Sainte-Victoire (1902-1906, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City), Cézanne left the outer edge of the mountain open, allowing the blue area of the sky and the gray area of the mountain to merge. This innovation—air and rock interpenetrating—was a crucial precedent for Picasso’s invention of cubism. First, it defied the laws of our physical experience, and second, it indicated that artists were viewing paintings as having a logic of their own that functioned independently of, or even contrary to, the logic of everyday experience.

 

Scholars generally divide the cubist innovations of Picasso and French painter Georges Braque into two stages. In the first stage, analytical cubism, the artists fragmented three-dimensional shapes into multiple geometric planes. In the second stage, synthetic cubism, they reversed the process, putting abstract planes together to represent human figures, still lifes, and other recognizable shapes.

 

A Analytical Cubism (1908-1912)

 

Profoundly influenced by Cézanne's later work, Picasso and Braque initiated a series of landscape paintings in 1908. These paintings approximated Cézanne’s both in their color scheme (dark greens and light browns) and in their drastic simplification of nature to geometric shapes. Upon seeing these paintings, French critic Louis Vauxelles coined the term cubism. In Picasso’s Houses on the Hill, Horta de Ebro (1909, Museum of Modern Art), he gave architectural structures a three-dimensional, cubic quality, but he abandoned conventional three-dimensional perspective: Instead of being depicted one behind the other, buildings appear one on top of the other. Moreover, he simplified every aspect of the painting according to a vocabulary of cubic shapes—not just the houses but the sky as well. By neutralizing differences between earth and sky, Picasso made the canvas appear more unified, but he also introduced ambiguity by not differentiating solid from void. In addition, Picasso often used inconsistent light sources. In some parts of a painting, light appears to come from the left; in other parts, it comes from the right, the top, or even the bottom. Spatial planes intersect in ways that leave the spectator guessing whether angles are concave or convex. Delight in confusing the viewer is a regular feature of cubism.

 

By 1910, it had become evident that cubism no longer had any cubes and that the illusion of three-dimensional space, or volume, was gone. Picasso seemed to have dismantled the very idea of solid form, not only by fragmenting the human figure and other shapes, but also by using Cézanne’s concept of passage to merge figure and environment, solid and void, background and foreground. In this way he created a visually consistent painting, yet the consistency does not conform to the physical consistency of the natural world as we experience it. Picasso’s decision to limit his color scheme to dark browns and grays also suggests that his paintings have initiated a radical departure from nature, rather than attempted to copy it.

 

The year 1912 marks another major development in the cubist language: the invention of collage. In Still Life with Chair Caning (1912, Musée Picasso), Picasso attached a piece of oilcloth (that depicts woven caning) to his work. With this action Picasso not only violated the integrity of the medium—oil painting on canvas—but also included a material that had no previous connection with high art. Art could now be created, Picasso seems to imply, with scissors and glue as well as with paint and canvas. By including pieces of cloth, newspaper, wallpaper, advertising, and other materials in his work, Picasso opened the door for any object or material, however ordinary, to be included in (or even replace) a work of art. This innovation had important consequences for later 20th-century art. Another innovation was including the letters JOU in the painting, possibly referring to the beginning of the word journal (French for “newspaper”) or to the French word jouer, meaning “to play,” as Picasso is playing with forms. These combinations reveal that cubism includes both visual and verbal references, and merges high art with popular culture.

 

B Synthetic Cubism (1912-1917)

 

By inventing collage and by introducing elements from the real world in his canvases, Picasso avoided taking cubism to the level of complete abstraction and remained in the domain of tangible objects. Collage also initiated the synthetic phase of cubism. Whereas analytical cubism fragmented figures into geometric planes, synthetic cubism synthesized (combined) near-abstract shapes to create representational forms, such as a human figure or still life. Synthetic cubism also tended toward multiplicity. In Guitar, Sheet Music, and Wine Glass (1912, McNay Art Museum, San Antonio, Texas), for instance, Picasso combined a drawing of a glass, several spots of color, sheet music, newspaper, a wallpaper pattern, and a cloth that has a wood–grain pattern. Synthetic cubism may also combine different textures, such as wood grain, sand, and printed matter. Sometimes Picasso applied these textures as collage, by gluing textured papers on the canvas. In other cases the artist painted an area to look like wood or wallpaper, fooling the spectator by means of visual puns.

 

VIII CONSTRUCTION AND AFTER (1912-1920)

 

In 1912 Picasso instigated another important innovation: construction, or assemblage, in sculpture. Before this innovation, sculpture, at least in the West, was primarily created in one of two ways: by carving a block of stone or wood or by modeling—shaping a form in clay and casting that form in a more durable material, such as bronze. In Guitar (1912, Museum of Modern Art), Picasso used a new additive process. He cut various shapes out of sheet metal and wire, and then reassembled those materials into a cubist construction. In other constructions, Picasso used wood, cardboard, string, and other everyday objects, not only inventing a new technique for sculpture but also expanding the definition of art by blurring the distinction between artistic and nonartistic materials.

 

From World War I (1914-1918) onward, Picasso moved from style to style. In 1915, for instance, Picasso painted the highly abstract Harlequin (Museum of Modern Art) and drew the highly realistic portrait of Ambroise Vollard (Metropolitan Museum of Art). During and after the war he also worked on stage design and costume design for the Ballets Russes, a modern Russian ballet company launched by the impresario Sergey Diaghilev. Inspired by his direct experience of the theater, Picasso also produced representations of performers, such as French clowns called Pierrot and Harlequin, and scenes of ballerinas.

 

Picasso separated from Olivier in 1912, after meeting Eva Gouel. Gouel died in 1915, and in 1918 Picasso married Olga Koklova, one of the dancers in Diaghilev’s company. Picasso created a number of portraits of her, and their son, Paulo, appears in works such as Paulo as Harlequin (1924, Musée Picasso).

 

IX CLASSICAL PERIOD (1920-1925)

 

After World War I, a strain of conservatism spread through a number of art forms. A motto popular among traditionalists was “the return to order.” For Picasso the years 1920 to 1925 were marked by close attention to three-dimensional form and to classical themes: bathers, centaurs (mythical creatures half-man and half horse), and women in classical drapery. He depicted many of these figures as massive, dense, and weighty, an effect intensified by strong contrasts of light and dark. But even as he moved toward greater realism, Picasso continued to play games with the viewer. In the classical and carefully composed The Pipes of Pan (1923, Musée Picasso), for example, he painted an area of the architectural framework in the foreground (which should be grayish) with the same color as the sea in the background, revealing again his pleasure in ambiguity.

 

X CUBISM AND SURREALISM (1925-1936)

 

From 1925 to 1936 Picasso again worked in a number of styles. He composed some paintings of tightly structured geometric shapes, limiting his color scheme to primary colors (red, blue, yellow), as in The Studio (1928, Museum of Modern Art). In other paintings, such as Nude in an Armchair (1929, Musée Picasso), he depicted contorted female figures whose open mouths and menacing teeth reveal a more emotional, less reasoned attitude. Picasso’s marriage broke up during this time, and some of the menacing female figures in his art of this period may represent Koklova.

 

The same diversity is visible in Picasso’s sculpture during this period. Bather (Metamorphosis II) (1928, Musée Picasso) represents the human body as a massive spherical shape with protruding limbs, whereas Wire Construction (1928, Musée Picasso) depicts it as a rigid, geometric configuration of thin wires. Picasso also experimented with welding in sculpture of this period and explored a variety of themes, including the female head, the sleeping woman, and the Crucifixion. The model for many of his sleeping women was Marie Thérèse Walter, a new love who had entered his life. Their daughter, Maia, was born in 1935.

 

In the early 1930s Picasso had increasing contact with the members of the surrealist movement (see Surrealism) and became fascinated with the classical myth of the Minotaur. This creature, which has the head of a man and the body of a bull, appears in a study by Picasso for the cover of the surrealist journal Minotaure (1933, Museum of Modern Art). Here Picasso affixed a classical drawing of a Minotaur to a collage of abstracted forms and debris. The Minotaur has numerous incarnations in Picasso’s work, both as an aggressor and a victim, as a violent character and a friendly one. It may represent the artist himself and frequently appears in the context of a bullfight, a typically Spanish scene close to Picasso’s heart.

 

XI GUERNICA (1937)

 

In 1937 the Spanish government commissioned Picasso to create a mural for Spain’s pavilion at an international exposition in Paris. Unsure about the subject, Picasso procrastinated. But he set to work almost immediately after hearing that the Spanish town of Guernica had been bombed by Nazi warplanes in support of Spanish general Francisco Franco’s plot to overthrow the Spanish republic. Guernica (1937, Prado, Madrid) was Picasso's response to, and condemnation of, that event. He executed the painting in black and white—in keeping with the seriousness of the subject—and transfigured the event according to his fascination with the bullfight theme.

 

At the extreme left is a bull, which symbolizes brutality and darkness, according to Picasso. At the center, a horse wounded by a spear most likely represents the Spanish people. At the center on top, an exploding light bulb possibly refers to air warfare or to evil coming from above (and putting out the light of reason). Corpses and dying figures fill the foreground: a woman with a dead child at the left, a dead warrior with a broken sword (from which a flower sprouts) at the center, a weeping woman and a figure falling through a burning building at the right. The distortion of these figures expresses the inhumanity of the event. To suggest the screaming of the horse and of the mother with the dead child, Picasso transformed their tongues into daggers. In the upper center, a tormented female figure holds an oil lamp that sheds light upon the scene, possibly symbolizing the light of truth revealing the brutality of the event to the outside world. In 1936 Picasso met Dora Maar, an artist who photographed Guernica as he painted it. She soon became his companion and the subject of his paintings, although he remained involved with Walter.

 

XII WORLD WAR II (1939-1945)

 

Picasso, unlike many artists, stayed in Paris during the German occupation of World War II. Some of his paintings from this time reveal the anxiety of the war years, as does the menacing Still Life with Steer's Skull (1942, Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen, Düsseldorf, Germany). Other works, such as his sculpture Head of a Bull (1943, Musée Picasso), are more playful and whimsical. In this sculpture Picasso combined a bicycle seat and handlebars to represent the bull’s head. Upon receiving news of the Nazi death camps, Picasso also painted, although he did not finish, an homage to the victims of the Holocaust (mass murder of European Jews during the war). In this painting, called The Charnel House (1945, Museum of Modern Art), he restricted the color scheme to black and white (as in Guernica) and depicted an accumulation of distorted, mangled bodies. During the war Picasso joined the Communist Party, and after the war he attended several peace conferences.

 

XIII LATE WORK (1945-1973)

 

Picasso remained a prolific artist until late in his life, although this later period has not received universal acclaim from historians or critics. He made variations on motifs that had fascinated him throughout his career, such as the bullfight and the painter and his model, the latter a theme that celebrated creativity. And he continued to paint portraits and landscapes. Picasso also experimented with ceramics, creating figurines, plates, and jugs, and he thereby blurred an existing distinction between fine art and craft.

 

Picasso’s emotional life became more complicated after he met French painter Françoise Gilot in the 1940s, while he was still involved with Maar. He and Gilot had a son, Claude, and a daughter, Paloma, and both appear in many of his late works. Picasso and Gilot parted in 1953. Jacqueline Roque, whom Picasso married in 1961, became his next companion. They spent most of their time in the south of France.

 

Another new direction in Picasso’s work came from variations on well-known works by older artists that he recast in his own style. Among these works are Women on the Banks of the Seine, after Courbet (1950, Kunstmuseum, Basel, Switzerland) and Le Déjeuner sur l’Herbe after Manet (1960, Musée Picasso). What makes these works particularly significant is that they run counter to a basic premise of modern art, Picasso’s included: namely, originality. Although many modern painters were influenced by earlier artists, they rarely made such direct and obvious references to each other’s work because they deemed such references unoriginal. In the postmodern period, which began in the 1970s, artists and critics began to question the modernist directive to be original. In acts of deliberate defiance, many postmodern artists have appropriated (taken for their own use) well-known images from their predecessors or contemporaries. Seen against this context, Picasso’s later variations on paintings by earlier masters hardly seem out of place; on the contrary, they anticipate a key aspect of art in the 1980s.

 

One of Picasso’s late works, Head of a Woman (1967), was a gift to the city of Chicago. This sculpture of welded steel, 15 m (50 ft) tall, stands in front of Chicago’s Civic Center. Although its semiabstract form proved controversial at first, the sculpture soon became a city landmark.

 

Because of his many innovations, Picasso is widely considered to be the most influential artist of the 20th century. The cubist movement, which he and Braque inspired, had a number of followers. Its innovations gave rise to a host of other 20th-century art movements, including futurism in Italy, suprematism and constructivism in Russia, de Stijl in the Netherlands, and vorticism in England. Cubism also influenced German expressionism, dada, and other movements as well as early work of the surrealists (see Surrealism) and abstract expressionists (see Abstract Expressionism). In addition, collage and construction became key aspects of 20th-century art.

  

Contributed By:

Claude Cernuschi

Microsoft ® Encarta ® 2006. © 1993-2005 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.

Diego Velázquez (artist)

I INTRODUCTION

 

Diego Velázquez (artist) (1599-1660), Spanish baroque artist (see Baroque Art and Architecture), who, with Francisco de Goya and El Greco, forms the great triumvirate of Spanish painting.

 

Diego Rodríguez de Silva y Velázquez was born in Seville, the oldest of six children. Both his parents were from the lesser nobility. Between 1611 and 1617 Velázquez worked as an apprentice to Francisco Pacheco, a Sevillian mannerist painter (see Mannerism) who was also the author of an important treatise, El arte de la pintura (The Art of Painting, 1649), and who became Velázquez's father-in-law. During his student years Velázquez absorbed the most popular contemporary styles of painting, derived, in part, from both Flemish and Italian realism.

 

II YOUTHFUL WORKS

 

Many of the earliest paintings by Velázquez show a strong naturalist bias, as does The Meal (1617?, Hermitage, Saint Petersburg), which may have been his first work as an independent master after passing the examination for the Guild of Saint Luke. This painting belongs to the first of three categories—the bodegón (kitchen piece), along with portraits and religious scenes—into which his youthful works, executed between about 1617 and 1623, may be placed. In his kitchen pieces, a few figures are combined with studied still-life objects (see Still Life), as in Water Seller of Seville (1619?-1620?, Wellington Museum, London). In these works, Velázquez's direct representation of nature and masterly effects of light and shadow make inevitable a comparison with the work of Italian painter Caravaggio. Velázquez's religious paintings, images of simple piety, portray models drawn from the streets of Seville, as Pacheco states in his biography of the artist. In Adoration of the Magi (1619, Prado, Madrid), for example, Velázquez painted his own family in the guise of biblical figures, including a self-portrait as well.

 

Velázquez was well acquainted with members of the intellectual circles of Seville. Pacheco was the director of an informal humanist academy, at the meetings of which the young artist was introduced to such luminaries as poet Luis de Góngora y Argote, whose portrait he executed in 1622 (Museum of Fine Arts, Boston). Such contact was important for Velázquez's later work on mythological and classical subjects.

 

III APPOINTMENT AS COURT PAINTER

 

In 1622 Velázquez made his first trip to Madrid, ostensibly, according to Pacheco's biography, to see the royal painting collections, but more likely in an unsuccessful search for a position as court painter. In 1623, however, he returned to the capital and, after executing a portrait (1623, Prado) of the king, was named official painter to Philip IV. The portrait was the first among many such sober, direct renditions of the king, the royal family, and members of the court. Indeed, throughout the later 1620s, most of Velázquez's efforts were dedicated to portraiture. Mythological subjects would at times occupy his attention, as in Bacchus, also called The Drinkers (1628-1629, Prado). This scene of revelry in an open field, picturing the god of wine drinking with a group of tough-looking men, testifies to the artist's continued interest in realism.

 

IV TRIP TO ITALY

 

In 1628 Flemish master Peter Paul Rubens came to the court at Madrid on a diplomatic mission, and Velázquez was one of the few painters with whom he associated. Although Rubens did not have a direct impact on the style of the younger painter, their conversations almost certainly inspired Velázquez to visit the art collections in Italy that were so much admired by his fellow artist. In August 1629 Velázquez departed from Barcelona for Genoa and spent most of the next two years traveling in Italy. From Genoa he proceeded to Milan, Venice, Florence, and Rome, returning to Spain from Naples in January 1631. In the course of his journey he closely studied both the art of the Renaissance and contemporary painting. Several of the works he executed during his travels attest to his assimilation of these styles. A notable example is Joseph and His Brothers (1630, El Escorial, near Madrid), which combines a Michelangelesque sculptural quality (see Michelangelo) with the chiaroscuro (light-and-shadow techniques) of such Italian masters as Guercino and Giovanni Lanfranco.

 

V RETURN TO SPAIN

 

On his return to Madrid, Velázquez resumed his duties as court portraitist with the rendition Prince Baltasar Carlos with a Dwarf (1631, Museum of Fine Arts), an image made poignant by the young prince's death before reaching adulthood. In 1634 Velázquez oversaw the decoration of the throne room in the new royal palace of Buen Retiro. His scheme was based on 12 scenes of battles in which Spanish troops had been victorious—painted by the most prestigious artists of the day, including Velázquez himself—and royal equestrian portraits. Velázquez's contribution to the cycle of battle pictures included the Surrender of Breda (1634, Prado), which portrays a magnanimous Spanish general receiving the leader of defeated Flemish troops after the siege of the town of Breda in 1624. The delicacy of its style and the astonishing range of emotions it captures make this the most celebrated historical composition of the Spanish baroque.

 

Velázquez's second major series of paintings from the 1630s is a group of hunting portraits of the royal family for the Torre de la Parada, a hunting lodge near Madrid. His famous depictions of court dwarfs, in which, unlike court-jester portraits by earlier artists, the subjects are treated with respect and sympathy, date from the late 1630s and early 1640s. Velázquez painted few religious pictures after entering the king's employ; Saints Anthony and Paul (late 1630s, Prado) and Immaculate Conception (1644?, Prado) are notable exceptions.

 

VI LATE WORKS

 

During the last 20 years of Velázquez's life, as his rise to prominence in court circles continued, his work as court official and architect assumed prime importance, limiting his artistic output. In 1649 he made a second trip to Italy, this time to buy works of art for the king's collection. During his year's stay in Rome from 1649 to 1650 he painted the magnificent portraits Juan de Pareja (Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City) and Pope Innocent X (Palazzo Doria-Pamphili, Rome). At this time he was also admitted into Rome's Academy of Saint Luke. The so-called Rokeby Venus (National Gallery, London) probably dates from this period as well.

 

The key works of the painter's last two decades are Las Hilanderas (The Spinners, about 1656, Prado), also known as The Fable of Arachne (see Arachne), an image of sophisticated mythological symbolism, and his masterwork, Las meninas (The Maids of Honor, 1656, Prado), a stunning group portrait of the royal family and Velázquez himself in the act of painting.

  

Contributed By:

Edward J. Sullivan

Microsoft ® Encarta ® 2006. © 1993-2005 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.

Oil on canvas; 60 x 74 cm.

 

I INTRODUCTION

 

Diego Velázquez (artist) (1599-1660), Spanish baroque artist (see Baroque Art and Architecture), who, with Francisco de Goya and El Greco, forms the great triumvirate of Spanish painting.

 

Diego Rodríguez de Silva y Velázquez was born in Seville, the oldest of six children. Both his parents were from the lesser nobility. Between 1611 and 1617 Velázquez worked as an apprentice to Francisco Pacheco, a Sevillian mannerist painter (see Mannerism) who was also the author of an important treatise, El arte de la pintura (The Art of Painting, 1649), and who became Velázquez's father-in-law. During his student years Velázquez absorbed the most popular contemporary styles of painting, derived, in part, from both Flemish and Italian realism.

 

II YOUTHFUL WORKS

 

Many of the earliest paintings by Velázquez show a strong naturalist bias, as does The Meal (1617?, Hermitage, Saint Petersburg), which may have been his first work as an independent master after passing the examination for the Guild of Saint Luke. This painting belongs to the first of three categories—the bodegón (kitchen piece), along with portraits and religious scenes—into which his youthful works, executed between about 1617 and 1623, may be placed. In his kitchen pieces, a few figures are combined with studied still-life objects (see Still Life), as in Water Seller of Seville (1619?-1620?, Wellington Museum, London). In these works, Velázquez's direct representation of nature and masterly effects of light and shadow make inevitable a comparison with the work of Italian painter Caravaggio. Velázquez's religious paintings, images of simple piety, portray models drawn from the streets of Seville, as Pacheco states in his biography of the artist. In Adoration of the Magi (1619, Prado, Madrid), for example, Velázquez painted his own family in the guise of biblical figures, including a self-portrait as well.

 

Velázquez was well acquainted with members of the intellectual circles of Seville. Pacheco was the director of an informal humanist academy, at the meetings of which the young artist was introduced to such luminaries as poet Luis de Góngora y Argote, whose portrait he executed in 1622 (Museum of Fine Arts, Boston). Such contact was important for Velázquez's later work on mythological and classical subjects.

 

III APPOINTMENT AS COURT PAINTER

 

In 1622 Velázquez made his first trip to Madrid, ostensibly, according to Pacheco's biography, to see the royal painting collections, but more likely in an unsuccessful search for a position as court painter. In 1623, however, he returned to the capital and, after executing a portrait (1623, Prado) of the king, was named official painter to Philip IV. The portrait was the first among many such sober, direct renditions of the king, the royal family, and members of the court. Indeed, throughout the later 1620s, most of Velázquez's efforts were dedicated to portraiture. Mythological subjects would at times occupy his attention, as in Bacchus, also called The Drinkers (1628-1629, Prado). This scene of revelry in an open field, picturing the god of wine drinking with a group of tough-looking men, testifies to the artist's continued interest in realism.

 

IV TRIP TO ITALY

 

In 1628 Flemish master Peter Paul Rubens came to the court at Madrid on a diplomatic mission, and Velázquez was one of the few painters with whom he associated. Although Rubens did not have a direct impact on the style of the younger painter, their conversations almost certainly inspired Velázquez to visit the art collections in Italy that were so much admired by his fellow artist. In August 1629 Velázquez departed from Barcelona for Genoa and spent most of the next two years traveling in Italy. From Genoa he proceeded to Milan, Venice, Florence, and Rome, returning to Spain from Naples in January 1631. In the course of his journey he closely studied both the art of the Renaissance and contemporary painting. Several of the works he executed during his travels attest to his assimilation of these styles. A notable example is Joseph and His Brothers (1630, El Escorial, near Madrid), which combines a Michelangelesque sculptural quality (see Michelangelo) with the chiaroscuro (light-and-shadow techniques) of such Italian masters as Guercino and Giovanni Lanfranco.

 

V RETURN TO SPAIN

 

On his return to Madrid, Velázquez resumed his duties as court portraitist with the rendition Prince Baltasar Carlos with a Dwarf (1631, Museum of Fine Arts), an image made poignant by the young prince's death before reaching adulthood. In 1634 Velázquez oversaw the decoration of the throne room in the new royal palace of Buen Retiro. His scheme was based on 12 scenes of battles in which Spanish troops had been victorious—painted by the most prestigious artists of the day, including Velázquez himself—and royal equestrian portraits. Velázquez's contribution to the cycle of battle pictures included the Surrender of Breda (1634, Prado), which portrays a magnanimous Spanish general receiving the leader of defeated Flemish troops after the siege of the town of Breda in 1624. The delicacy of its style and the astonishing range of emotions it captures make this the most celebrated historical composition of the Spanish baroque.

 

Velázquez's second major series of paintings from the 1630s is a group of hunting portraits of the royal family for the Torre de la Parada, a hunting lodge near Madrid. His famous depictions of court dwarfs, in which, unlike court-jester portraits by earlier artists, the subjects are treated with respect and sympathy, date from the late 1630s and early 1640s. Velázquez painted few religious pictures after entering the king's employ; Saints Anthony and Paul (late 1630s, Prado) and Immaculate Conception (1644?, Prado) are notable exceptions.

 

VI LATE WORKS

 

During the last 20 years of Velázquez's life, as his rise to prominence in court circles continued, his work as court official and architect assumed prime importance, limiting his artistic output. In 1649 he made a second trip to Italy, this time to buy works of art for the king's collection. During his year's stay in Rome from 1649 to 1650 he painted the magnificent portraits Juan de Pareja (Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City) and Pope Innocent X (Palazzo Doria-Pamphili, Rome). At this time he was also admitted into Rome's Academy of Saint Luke. The so-called Rokeby Venus (National Gallery, London) probably dates from this period as well.

 

The key works of the painter's last two decades are Las Hilanderas (The Spinners, about 1656, Prado), also known as The Fable of Arachne (see Arachne), an image of sophisticated mythological symbolism, and his masterwork, Las meninas (The Maids of Honor, 1656, Prado), a stunning group portrait of the royal family and Velázquez himself in the act of painting.

 

Contributed By:

Edward J. Sullivan

Microsoft ® Encarta ® 2006. © 1993-2005 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.

 

Leda e il cigno (Leda and the swan) - Fernando Botero

The Hague Sculpture brings in 2006 an international bestseller, 15 large new sculptures of the Colombian artist Fernando Botero (1932) on the Lange Voorhout in The Hague.

 

For more information, please check www.denhaagsculptuur.nl.

  

Leda and the swan

(From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)

The motif of Leda and the Swan from Greek mythology, in which the Greek god Zeus came to Leda in the form of a swan, was rarely seen in Gothic art, but resurfaced as a classicizing theme, with erotic overtones, in Italian painting and sculpture of the 16th Century. The most familiar examples are the copies of Leonardo da Vinci's lost painting, with the two sets of infant twins, 1508; Correggio's elaborate composition of c. 1530 (Berlin); and two versions of a lost Michelangelo (illustration, right) that is also known from an engraving by Cornelis de Bos, c. 1563; the marble sculpture by Bartolomeo Ammanati in the Bargello, Florence; and the painting after Michelangelo, c. 1530, in the National Gallery, London. The Michelangelo composition is a definitive example of Mannerism.

Leda and the Swan furnished a common motif for the rapidly unfolding visual arts into the 19th century.

 

"Leda And The Swan" is a poem by William Butler Yeats first published in 1924. Reviving what had become an insipid classical cliché by combining psychological realism with a mystic vision, it describes the swan's mating with Leda.

 

According to later Greek mythology, Leda bore Helen and Polydeuces, children of Zeus while at the same time bearing Castor and Clytemnestra, children of her husband Tyndareus, the King of Sparta. As the story goes, Zeus took the form of a swan and slept with Leda on the same night as her husband, King Tyndareus. In some versions, she laid two eggs from which the children hatched. In other versions, Helen is a daughter of Nemesis, the goddess who personified the disaster that awaited those suffering from the pride of Hubris.

  

A sudden blow: the great wings beating still

Above the staggering girl, her thighs caressed

By the dark webs, her nape caught in his bill,

He holds her helpless breast upon his breast.

 

How can those terrified vague fingers push

The feathered glory from her loosening thighs?

And how can body, laid in that white rush,

But feel the strange heart beating where it lies?

 

A shudder in the loins engenders there

The broken wall, the burning roof and tower

And Agamemnon dead.

 

Being so caught up,

 

So mastered by the brute blood of the air,

Did she put on his knowledge with his power

Before the indifferent beak could let her drop?

++++++++++ FROM WKIPEDIA +++++++++

 

Kolkata /koʊlˈkɑːtə/ ([kolkata] (About this soundlisten), also known as Calcutta /kælˈkʌtə/, the official name until 2001) is the capital of the Indian state of West Bengal. Located on the east bank of the Hooghly River approximately 75 kilometres (47 mi) west of the border with Bangladesh, it is the principal commercial, cultural, and educational centre of East India, while the Port of Kolkata is India's oldest operating port and its sole major riverine port. The city is widely regarded as the "cultural capital" of India, and is also nicknamed the "City of Joy".[1][2][3].According to the 2011 Indian census, it is the seventh most populous city. the city had a population of 4.5 million, while the population of the city and its suburbs was 14.1 million, making it the third-most populous metropolitan area in India. Recent estimates of Kolkata Metropolitan Area's economy have ranged from $60 to $150 billion (GDP adjusted for purchasing power parity) making it third most-productive metropolitan area in India, after Mumbai and Delhi.[11][12][13]

 

In the late 17th century, the three villages that predated Calcutta were ruled by the Nawab of Bengal under Mughal suzerainty. After the Nawab granted the East India Company a trading licence in 1690,[15] the area was developed by the Company into an increasingly fortified trading post. Nawab Siraj ud-Daulah occupied Calcutta in 1756, and the East India Company retook it the following year. In 1793 the East India company was strong enough to abolish Nizamat (local rule), and assumed full sovereignty of the region. Under the company rule, and later under the British Raj, Calcutta served as the capital of British-held territories in India until 1911, when its perceived geographical disadvantages, combined with growing nationalism in Bengal, led to a shift of the capital to New Delhi. Calcutta was the centre for the Indian independence movement; it remains a hotbed of contemporary state politics. Following Indian independence in 1947, Kolkata, which was once the centre of modern Indian education, science, culture, and politics, suffered several decades of economic stagnation.

 

As a nucleus of the 19th- and early 20th-century Bengal Renaissance and a religiously and ethnically diverse centre of culture in Bengal and India, Kolkata has local traditions in drama, art, film, theatre, and literature. Many people from Kolkata—among them several Nobel laureates—have contributed to the arts, the sciences, and other areas. Kolkata culture features idiosyncrasies that include distinctively close-knit neighbourhoods (paras) and freestyle intellectual exchanges (adda). West Bengal's share of the Bengali film industry is based in the city, which also hosts venerable cultural institutions of national importance, such as the Academy of Fine Arts, the Victoria Memorial, the Asiatic Society, the Indian Museum and the National Library of India. Among professional scientific institutions, Kolkata hosts the Agri Horticultural Society of India, the Geological Survey of India, the Botanical Survey of India, the Calcutta Mathematical Society, the Indian Science Congress Association, the Zoological Survey of India, the Institution of Engineers, the Anthropological Survey of India and the Indian Public Health Association. Though home to major cricketing venues and franchises, Kolkata differs from other Indian cities by giving importance to association football and other sports.

 

Etymology

 

The word Kolkata derives from the Bengali term Kôlikata (Bengali: কলিকাতা) [ˈkɔlikat̪a], the name of one of three villages that predated the arrival of the British, in the area where the city eventually was to be established; the other two villages were Sutanuti and Govindapur.[16]

 

There are several explanations about the etymology of this name:

 

The term Kolikata is thought to be a variation of Kalikkhetrô [ˈkalikʰːet̪rɔ] (Bengali: কালীক্ষেত্র), meaning "Field of [the goddess] Kali". Similarly, it can be a variation of 'Kalikshetra' (Sanskrit: कालीक्षेत्र, lit. "area of Goddess Kali").

Another theory is that the name derives from Kalighat.[17]

Alternatively, the name may have been derived from the Bengali term kilkila (Bengali: কিলকিলা), or "flat area".[18]

The name may have its origin in the words khal [ˈkʰal] (Bengali: খাল) meaning "canal", followed by kaṭa [ˈkata] (Bengali: কাটা), which may mean "dug".[19]

According to another theory, the area specialised in the production of quicklime or koli chun [ˈkɔlitɕun] (Bengali: কলি চুন) and coir or kata [ˈkat̪a] (Bengali: কাতা); hence, it was called Kolikata [ˈkɔlikat̪a] (Bengali: কলিকাতা).[18]

 

Although the city's name has always been pronounced Kolkata [ˈkolkat̪a] (Bengali: কলকাতা) or Kôlikata [ˈkɔlikat̪a] (Bengali: কলিকাতা) in Bengali, the anglicised form Calcutta was the official name until 2001, when it was changed to Kolkata in order to match Bengali pronunciation.[20] (It should be noted that "Calcutt" is an etymologically unrelated place name found at several locations in England.)

History

 

The discovery and archaeological study of Chandraketugarh, 35 kilometres (22 mi) north of Kolkata, provide evidence that the region in which the city stands has been inhabited for over two millennia.[21][22] Kolkata's recorded history began in 1690 with the arrival of the English East India Company, which was consolidating its trade business in Bengal. Job Charnock, an administrator who worked for the company, was formerly credited as the founder of the city;[23] In response to a public petition,[24] the Calcutta High Court ruled in 2003 that the city does not have a founder.[25] The area occupied by the present-day city encompassed three villages: Kalikata, Gobindapur, and Sutanuti. Kalikata was a fishing village; Sutanuti was a riverside weavers' village. They were part of an estate belonging to the Mughal emperor; the jagirdari (a land grant bestowed by a king on his noblemen) taxation rights to the villages were held by the Sabarna Roy Choudhury family of landowners, or zamindars. These rights were transferred to the East India Company in 1698.[26]:1

  

In 1712, the British completed the construction of Fort William, located on the east bank of the Hooghly River to protect their trading factory.[27] Facing frequent skirmishes with French forces, the British began to upgrade their fortifications in 1756. The Nawab of Bengal, Siraj ud-Daulah, condemned the militarisation and tax evasion by the company. His warning went unheeded, and the Nawab attacked; he captured Fort William which led to the killings of several East India company officials in the Black Hole of Calcutta.[28] A force of Company soldiers (sepoys) and British troops led by Robert Clive recaptured the city the following year.[28] Per the 1765 Treaty of Allahabad following the battle of Buxar, East India company was appointed imperial tax collector of the Mughal emperor in the province of Bengal, Bihar and Orissa, while Mughal-appointed Nawabs continued to rule the province.[29] Declared a presidency city, Calcutta became the headquarters of the East India Company by 1773.[30] In 1793, ruling power of the Nawabs were abolished and East India company took complete control of the city and the province. In the early 19th century, the marshes surrounding the city were drained; the government area was laid out along the banks of the Hooghly River. Richard Wellesley, Governor-General of the Presidency of Fort William between 1797 and 1805, was largely responsible for the development of the city and its public architecture.[31] Throughout the late 18th and 19th century, the city was a centre of the East India Company's opium trade.[32]

  

By the 1850s, Calcutta had two areas: White Town, which was primarily British and centred on Chowringhee and Dalhousie Square; and Black Town, mainly Indian and centred on North Calcutta.[33] The city underwent rapid industrial growth starting in the early 1850s, especially in the textile and jute industries; this encouraged British companies to massively invest in infrastructure projects, which included telegraph connections and Howrah railway station. The coalescence of British and Indian culture resulted in the emergence of a new babu class of urbane Indians, whose members were often bureaucrats, professionals, newspaper readers, and Anglophiles; they usually belonged to upper-caste Hindu communities.[34] In the 19th century, the Bengal Renaissance brought about an increased sociocultural sophistication among city denizens. In 1883, Calcutta was host to the first national conference of the Indian National Association, the first avowed nationalist organisation in India.[35]

Bengali billboards on Harrison Street. Calcutta was the largest commercial centre in British India.

  

The partition of Bengal in 1905 along religious lines led to mass protests, making Calcutta a less hospitable place for the British.[36][37] The capital was moved to New Delhi in 1911.[38] Calcutta continued to be a centre for revolutionary organisations associated with the Indian independence movement. The city and its port were bombed several times by the Japanese between 1942 and 1944, during World War II.[39][40] Coinciding with the war, millions starved to death during the Bengal famine of 1943 due to a combination of military, administrative, and natural factors.[41] Demands for the creation of a Muslim state led in 1946 to an episode of communal violence that killed over 4,000.[42][43][44] The partition of India led to further clashes and a demographic shift—many Muslims left for East Pakistan (present day Bangladesh), while hundreds of thousands of Hindus fled into the city.[45]

 

During the 1960s and 1970s, severe power shortages, strikes, and a violent Marxist–Maoist movement by groups known as the Naxalites damaged much of the city's infrastructure, resulting in economic stagnation.[46] The Bangladesh Liberation War of 1971 led to a massive influx of thousands of refugees, many of them penniless, that strained Kolkata's infrastructure.[47] During the mid-1980s, Mumbai (then called Bombay) overtook Kolkata as India's most populous city. In 1985, prime minister Rajiv Gandhi dubbed Kolkata a "dying city" in light of its socio-political woes.[48] In the period 1977–2011, West Bengal was governed from Kolkata by the Left Front, which was dominated by the Communist Party of India (CPM). It was the world's longest-serving democratically elected communist government, during which Kolkata was a key base for Indian communism.[49][50][51] In the West Bengal Legislative Assembly election, 2011, Left Front was defeated by the Trinamool Congress. The city's economic recovery gathered momentum after the 1990s, when India began to institute pro-market reforms. Since 2000, the information technology (IT) services sector has revitalised Kolkata's stagnant economy. The city is also experiencing marked growth in its manufacturing base.[52]

 

Geography

 

Spread roughly north–south along the east bank of the Hooghly River, Kolkata sits within the lower Ganges Delta of eastern India approximately 75 km (47 mi) west of the international border with Bangladesh; the city's elevation is 1.5–9 m (5–30 ft).[53] Much of the city was originally a wetland that was reclaimed over the decades to accommodate a burgeoning population.[54] The remaining undeveloped areas, known as the East Kolkata Wetlands, were designated a "wetland of international importance" by the Ramsar Convention (1975).[55] As with most of the Indo-Gangetic Plain, the soil and water are predominantly alluvial in origin. Kolkata is located over the "Bengal basin", a pericratonic tertiary basin.[56] Bengal basin comprises three structural units: shelf or platform in the west; central hinge or shelf/slope break; and deep basinal part in the east and southeast. Kolkata is located atop the western part of the hinge zone which is about 25 km (16 mi) wide at a depth of about 45,000 m (148,000 ft) below the surface.[56] The shelf and hinge zones have many faults, among them some are active. Total thickness of sediment below Kolkata is nearly 7,500 m (24,600 ft) above the crystalline basement; of these the top 350–450 m (1,150–1,480 ft) is Quaternary, followed by 4,500–5,500 m (14,760–18,040 ft) of Tertiary sediments, 500–700 m (1,640–2,300 ft) trap wash of Cretaceous trap and 600–800 m (1,970–2,620 ft) Permian-Carboniferous Gondwana rocks.[56] The quaternary sediments consist of clay, silt, and several grades of sand and gravel. These sediments are sandwiched between two clay beds: the lower one at a depth of 250–650 m (820–2,130 ft); the upper one 10–40 m (30–130 ft) in thickness.[57] According to the Bureau of Indian Standards, on a scale ranging from I to V in order of increasing susceptibility to earthquakes, the city lies inside seismic zone III.[58]

Urban structure

Howrah Bridge from the western bank of the Ganges

 

The Kolkata metropolitan area is spread over 1,886.67 km2 (728.45 sq mi)[59]:7 and comprises 3 municipal corporations (including Kolkata Municipal Corporation), 39 local municipalities and 24 panchayat samitis, as of 2011.[59]:7 The urban agglomeration encompassed 72 cities and 527 towns and villages, as of 2006.[60] Suburban areas in the Kolkata metropolitan area incorporate parts of the following districts: North 24 Parganas, South 24 Parganas, Howrah, Hooghly, and Nadia.[61]:15 Kolkata, which is under the jurisdiction of the Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC), has an area of 185 km2 (71 sq mi).[60] The east–west dimension of the city is comparatively narrow, stretching from the Hooghly River in the west to roughly the Eastern Metropolitan Bypass in the east—a span of 9–10 km (5.6–6.2 mi).[62] The north–south distance is greater, and its axis is used to section the city into North, Central, and South Kolkata. East Kolkata is also a section.

 

North Kolkata is the oldest part of the city. Characterised by 19th-century architecture, dilapidated buildings, overpopulated slums, crowded bazaars, and narrow alleyways, it includes areas such as Shyambazar, Hatibagan, Maniktala, Kankurgachi, Rajabazar, Shobhabazar, Shyampukur, Sonagachi, Kumortuli, Bagbazar, Jorasanko, Chitpur, Pathuriaghata, Cossipore, Kestopur, Sinthee, Belgachia, Jorabagan, and Dum Dum.[63]:65–66 The northern suburban areas like Baranagar, Durganagar, Noapara, Dunlop, Dakshineswar, Nagerbazar, Belghoria, Agarpara, Sodepur, Madhyamgram, Barasat, Birati, Khardah up to Barrackpur are also within the city of Kolkata (as a metropolitan structure).

Central Kolkata

 

Central Kolkata hosts the central business district. It contains B. B. D. Bagh, formerly known as Dalhousie Square, and the Esplanade on its east; Strand Road is on its west.[64] The West Bengal Secretariat, General Post Office, Reserve Bank of India, High Court, Lalbazar Police Headquarters, and several other government and private offices are located there. Another business hub is the area south of Park Street, which comprises thoroughfares such as Chowringhee, Camac Street, Wood Street, Loudon Street, Shakespeare Sarani, and A. J. C. Bose Road.[65] The Maidan is a large open field in the heart of the city that has been called the "lungs of Kolkata"[66] and accommodates sporting events and public meetings.[67] The Victoria Memorial and Kolkata Race Course are located at the southern end of the Maidan. Other important areas of Central Kolkata are Park Circus, Burrabazar, College Street, Sealdah, Taltala, Janbazar, Bowbazar, Entally, Chandni Chowk, Lalbazar, Chowringhee, Dharmatala, Tiretta Bazar, Bow Barracks, Mullick Bazar, Park Circus, Babughat etc. Among the other parks are Central Park in Bidhannagar and Millennium Park on Strand Road, along the Hooghly River.

South Kolkata

 

South Kolkata developed after India gained independence in 1947; it includes upscale neighbourhoods such as Ballygunge, Alipore, New Alipore, Lansdowne, Bhowanipore, Kalighat, Dhakuria, Gariahat, Tollygunge, Naktala, Jodhpur Park, Lake Gardens, Golf Green, Jadavpur, Garfa, Kalikapur, Haltu, Nandi Bagan, Santoshpur, Baghajatin, Garia, Ramgarh, Raipur, Kanungo Park, Ranikuthi, Bikramgarh, Bijoygarh, Bansdroni and Kudghat.[16] Outlying areas of South Kolkata include Garden Reach, Khidirpur, Metiabruz, Taratala, Majerhat, Budge Budge, Behala, Sarsuna, Barisha, Parnasree Pally, Thakurpukur, Maheshtala and Joka. The southern suburban neighbourhoods like Mahamayatala, Pratapgarh, Kamalgazi, Narendrapur, Sonarpur, Subhashgram and Baruipur are also within the city of Kolkata (as metropolitan, urban agglomeration area). Fort William, on the western part of the city, houses the headquarters of the Eastern Command of the Indian Army;[68] its premises are under the jurisdiction of the army.

East Kolkata

 

East Kolkata is largely composed of newly developed areas and neighbourhoods of Saltlake, Rajarhat, Tangra, Topsia, Kasba, Anandapur, Mukundapur, Picnic Garden, Beleghata, Ultadanga, Phoolbagan, Kaikhali, Lake Town, etc. Two planned townships in the greater Kolkata region are Bidhannagar, also known as Salt Lake City and located north-east of the city; and Rajarhat, also called New Town and sited east of Bidhannagar.[16][69] In the 2000s, Sector V in Bidhannagar developed into a business hub for information technology and telecommunication companies.[70][71] Both Bidhannagar and New Town are situated outside the Kolkata Municipal Corporation limits, in their own municipalities.[69]

Climate

  

Kolkata is subject to a tropical wet-and-dry climate that is designated Aw under the Köppen climate classification. According to a United Nations Development Programme report, its wind and cyclone zone is "very high damage risk".[58]

Temperature

 

The annual mean temperature is 26.8 °C (80.2 °F); monthly mean temperatures are 19–30 °C (66–86 °F). Summers (March–June) are hot and humid, with temperatures in the low 30s Celsius; during dry spells, maximum temperatures often exceed 40 °C (104 °F) in May and June.[72] Winter lasts for roughly two-and-a-half months, with seasonal lows dipping to 9–11 °C (48–52 °F) in December and January. May is the hottest month, with daily temperatures ranging from 27–37 °C (81–99 °F); January, the coldest month, has temperatures varying from 12–23 °C (54–73 °F). The highest recorded temperature is 43.9 °C (111.0 °F), and the lowest is 5 °C (41 °F).[72] The winter is mild and very comfortable weather pertains over the city throughout this season. Often, in April–June, the city is struck by heavy rains or dusty squalls that are followed by thunderstorms or hailstorms, bringing cooling relief from the prevailing humidity. These thunderstorms are convective in nature, and are known locally as kal bôishakhi (কালবৈশাখী), or "Nor'westers" in English.[73]

 

Rains brought by the Bay of Bengal branch of the south-west summer monsoon[74] lash Kolkata between June and September, supplying it with most of its annual rainfall of about 1,850 mm (73 in). The highest monthly rainfall total occurs in July and August. In these months often incessant rain for days brings live to a stall for the city dwellers. The city receives 2,528 hours of sunshine per year, with maximum sunlight exposure occurring in March.[75] Kolkata has been hit by several cyclones; these include systems occurring in 1737 and 1864 that killed thousands.[76][77]

  

Environmental issues

 

Pollution is a major concern in Kolkata. As of 2008, sulphur dioxide and nitrogen dioxide annual concentration were within the national ambient air quality standards of India, but respirable suspended particulate matter levels were high, and on an increasing trend for five consecutive years, causing smog and haze.[80][81] Severe air pollution in the city has caused a rise in pollution-related respiratory ailments, such as lung cancer.[82]

 

Economy

 

Kolkata is the main commercial and financial hub of East and North-East India[61] and home to the Calcutta Stock Exchange.[83][84] It is a major commercial and military port, and is the only city in eastern India, apart from Bhubaneswar to have an international airport. Once India's leading city, Kolkata experienced a steady economic decline in the decades following India's independence due to steep population increases and a rise in militant trade-unionism, which included frequent strikes that were backed by left-wing parties.[52] From the 1960s to the late 1990s, several factories were closed and businesses relocated.[52] The lack of capital and resources added to the depressed state of the city's economy and gave rise to an unwelcome sobriquet: the "dying city".[85] The city's fortunes improved after the Indian economy was liberalised in the 1990s and changes in economic policy were enacted by the West Bengal state government.[52]

 

Flexible production has been the norm in Kolkata, which has an informal sector that employs more than 40% of the labour force.[16] One unorganised group, roadside hawkers, generated business worth ₹ 8,772 crore (US$ 2 billion) in 2005.[86] As of 2001, around 0.81% of the city's workforce was employed in the primary sector (agriculture, forestry, mining, etc.); 15.49% worked in the secondary sector (industrial and manufacturing); and 83.69% worked in the tertiary sector (service industries).[61]:19 As of 2003, the majority of households in slums were engaged in occupations belonging to the informal sector; 36.5% were involved in servicing the urban middle class (as maids, drivers, etc.), and 22.2% were casual labourers.[87]:11 About 34% of the available labour force in Kolkata slums were unemployed.[87]:11 According to one estimate, almost a quarter of the population live on less than 27 rupees (equivalent to 45 US cents) per day.[88] As of 2010, Kolkata, with an estimated gross domestic product (GDP) by purchasing power parity of 150 billion dollars, ranked third among South Asian cities, after Mumbai and Delhi.[89] Kolkata's GDP in 2014 was Rs 1.84 trillion, according to a collaborative assessment by multiple universities and climate agencies.[90] As in many other Indian cities, information technology became a high-growth sector in Kolkata starting in the late 1990s; the city's IT sector grew at 70% per annum—a rate that was twice the national average.[52] The 2000s saw a surge of investments in the real estate, infrastructure, retail, and hospitality sectors; several large shopping malls and hotels were launched.[91][92][93][94][95] Companies such as ITC Limited, CESC Limited, Exide Industries, Emami, Eveready Industries India, Lux Industries, Rupa Company, Berger Paints, Birla Corporation and Britannia Industries are headquartered in the city. Philips India, PricewaterhouseCoopers India, Tata Global Beverages, Tata Steel have their registered office and zonal headquarters in Kolkata. Kolkata hosts the headquarters of three major public-sector banks: Allahabad Bank, UCO Bank, and the United Bank of India; and a private bank Bandhan Bank. Reserve Bank of India has its eastern zonal office in Kolkata, and India Government Mint, Kolkata is one of the four mints in India.

Panoramic view of the Down town Sector V one of the major IT hubs of Kolkata as seen from the lakes surrounding Bidhannagar. Major Buildings such as Technopolis, Godrej Waterside, TCS Lords, Eden and Wanderers Park, Gobsyn Crystal, South City Pinnacle, RDB Boulevard, West Bengal Electronics Industry Development Corporation (WEBEL) Bhawan can be seen.

Demographics

See also: Ethnic communities in Kolkata

A skyline consisting of several high-rise buildings

Residential high-rise buildings in South City

A slum area of the city

 

The demonym for residents of Kolkata are Calcuttan and Kolkatan.[96][97] According to provisional results of the 2011 national census, Kolkata district, which occupies an area of 185 km2 (71 sq mi), had a population of 4,486,679;[98] its population density was 24,252/km2 (62,810/sq mi).[98] This represents a decline of 1.88% during the decade 2001–11. The sex ratio is 899 females per 1000 males—lower than the national average.[99] The ratio is depressed by the influx of working males from surrounding rural areas, from the rest of West Bengal; these men commonly leave their families behind.[100] Kolkata's literacy rate of 87.14%[99] exceeds the national average of 74%.[101] The final population totals of census 2011 stated the population of city as 4,496,694.[8] The urban agglomeration had a population of 14,112,536 in 2011.[9]

 

Bengali Hindus form the majority of Kolkata's population; Marwaris, Biharis and Muslims compose large minorities.[102] Among Kolkata's smaller communities are Chinese, Tamils, Nepalis, Odias, Telugus, Assamese, Gujaratis, Anglo-Indians, Armenians, Greeks, Tibetans, Maharashtrians, Konkanis, Malayalees, Punjabis, and Parsis.[26]:3 The number of Armenians, Greeks, Jews, and other foreign-origin groups declined during the 20th century.[103] The Jewish population of Kolkata was 5,000 during World War II, but declined after Indian independence and the establishment of Israel;[104] by 2013, there were 25 Jews in the city.[105] India's sole Chinatown is in eastern Kolkata;[103] once home to 20,000 ethnic Chinese, its population dropped to around 2,000 as of 2009[103] as a result of multiple factors including repatriation and denial of Indian citizenship following the 1962 Sino-Indian War, and immigration to foreign countries for better economic opportunities.[106] The Chinese community traditionally worked in the local tanning industry and ran Chinese restaurants.[103][107]

Kolkata urban agglomeration population growth Census Total %±

1981 9,194,000 —

1991 11,021,900 19.9%

2001 13,114,700 19.0%

2011 14,112,536 7.6%

Source: Census of India[9]

Others include Sikhism, Buddhism & Other religions (0.03%)

Religion in Kolkata[108]

Religion Percent

Hinduism

 

76.51%

Islam

 

20.60%

Christianity

 

0.88%

Jainism

 

0.47%

Others

 

1.54%

 

Bengali, the official state language, is the dominant language in Kolkata.[109] English is also used, particularly by the white-collar workforce. Hindi and Urdu are spoken by a sizeable minority.[110][111] According to the 2011 census, 76.51% of the population is Hindu, 20.60% Muslim, 0.88% Christian, and 0.47% Jain.[112] The remainder of the population includes Sikhs, Buddhists, and other religions which accounts for 0.45% of the population; 1.09% did not state a religion in the census.[112] Kolkata reported 67.6% of Special and Local Laws crimes registered in 35 large Indian cities during 2004.[113] The Kolkata police district registered 15,510 Indian Penal Code cases in 2010, the 8th-highest total in the country.[114] In 2010, the crime rate was 117.3 per 100,000, below the national rate of 187.6; it was the lowest rate among India's largest cities.[115]

 

As of 2003, about one-third of the population, or 1.5 million people, lived in 3,500 unregistered squatter-occupied and 2,011 registered slums.[87]:4[116]:92 The authorised slums (with access to basic services like water, latrines, trash removal by the Kolkata Municipal Corporation) can be broadly divided into two groups—bustees, in which slum dwellers have some long term tenancy agreement with the landowners; and udbastu colonies, settlements which had been leased to refugees from present-day Bangladesh by the Government.[116][87]:5 The unauthorised slums (devoid of basic services provided by the municipality) are occupied by squatters who started living on encroached lands—mainly along canals, railway lines and roads.[116]:92[87]:5 According to the 2005 National Family Health Survey, around 14% of the households in Kolkata were poor, while 33% lived in slums, indicating a substantial proportion of households in slum areas were better off economically than the bottom quarter of urban households in terms of wealth status.[117]:23 Mother Teresa was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for founding and working with the Missionaries of Charity in Kolkata—an organisation "whose primary task was to love and care for those persons nobody was prepared to look after".[118]

Government and public services

Civic administration

Main article: Civic administration of Kolkata

A red-and-yellow building with multiple arches and towers standing against a backdrop of blue sky and framed by trees

Calcutta High Court

 

Kolkata is administered by several government agencies. The Kolkata Municipal Corporation, or KMC, oversees and manages the civic infrastructure of the city's 15 boroughs, which together encompass 141 wards.[109] Each ward elects a councillor to the KMC. Each borough has a committee of councillors, each of whom is elected to represent a ward. By means of the borough committees, the corporation undertakes urban planning and maintains roads, government-aided schools, hospitals, and municipal markets.[119] As Kolkata's apex body, the corporation discharges its functions through the mayor-in-council, which comprises a mayor, a deputy mayor, and ten other elected members of the KMC.[120] The functions of the KMC include water supply, drainage and sewerage, sanitation, solid waste management, street lighting, and building regulation.[119]

 

The Kolkata Municipal Corporation was ranked 1st out of 21 Cities for best governance & administrative practices in India in 2014. It scored 4.0 on 10 compared to the national average of 3.3.[121]

 

The Kolkata Port Trust, an agency of the central government, manages the city's river port. As of 2012, the All India Trinamool Congress controls the KMC; the mayor is Firhad Hakim, while the deputy mayor is Atin Ghosh.[122] The city has an apolitical titular post, that of the Sheriff of Kolkata, which presides over various city-related functions and conferences.[123]

 

Kolkata's administrative agencies have areas of jurisdiction that do not coincide. Listed in ascending order by area, they are: Kolkata district; the Kolkata Police area and the Kolkata Municipal Corporation area, or "Kolkata city";[124] and the Kolkata metropolitan area, which is the city's urban agglomeration. The agency overseeing the latter, the Kolkata Metropolitan Development Authority, is responsible for the statutory planning and development of greater Kolkata.[125]

 

As the seat of the Government of West Bengal, Kolkata is home to not only the offices of the local governing agencies, but also the West Bengal Legislative Assembly; the state secretariat, which is housed in the Writers' Building; and the Calcutta High Court. Most government establishments and institutions are housed in the centre of the city in B. B. D. Bagh (formerly known as Dalhousie Square). The Calcutta High Court is the oldest High Court in India. It was preceded by the Supreme Court of Judicature at Fort William which was established in 1774. The Calcutta High Court has jurisdiction over the state of West Bengal and the Union Territory of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. Kolkata has lower courts: the Court of Small Causes and the City Civil Court decide civil matters; the Sessions Court rules in criminal cases.[126][127][128] The Kolkata Police, headed by a police commissioner, is overseen by the West Bengal Ministry of Home Affairs.[129][130] The Kolkata district elects two representatives to India's lower house, the Lok Sabha, and 11 representatives to the state legislative assembly.[131]

Utility services

A telecommunications tower belonging to services provider Tata Communications

 

The Kolkata Municipal Corporation supplies the city with potable water that is sourced from the Hooghly River;[132] most of it is treated and purified at the Palta pumping station located in North 24 Parganas district.[133] Roughly 95% of the 4,000 tonnes of refuse produced daily by the city is transported to the dumping grounds in Dhapa, which is east of the town.[134][135] To promote the recycling of garbage and sewer water, agriculture is encouraged on the dumping grounds.[136] Parts of the city lack proper sewerage, leading to unsanitary methods of waste disposal.[75]

 

Electricity is supplied by the privately operated Calcutta Electric Supply Corporation, or CESC, to the city proper; the West Bengal State Electricity Board supplies it in the suburbs.[137][138] Fire services are handled by the West Bengal Fire Service, a state agency.[139] As of 2012, the city had 16 fire stations.[140]

 

State-owned Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited, or BSNL, as well as private enterprises, among them Vodafone, Bharti Airtel, Reliance, Idea Cellular, Aircel, Tata DoCoMo, Tata Teleservices, Virgin Mobile, and MTS India, are the leading telephone and cell phone service providers in the city.[141]:25–26:179 with Kolkata being the first city in India to have cell phone and 4G connectivity, the GSM and CDMA cellular coverage is extensive.[142][143] As of 2010, Kolkata has 7 percent of the total Broadband internet consumers in India; BSNL, VSNL, Tata Indicom, Sify, Airtel, and Reliance are among the main vendors.[144][145]

Military and diplomatic establishments

 

The Eastern Command of the Indian Army is based in the city. Being one of India's major city and the largest city in eastern and north-eastern India, Kolkata hosts diplomatic missions of many countries such as Australia, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Canada, People's Republic of China, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Myanmar, Nepal, Russia, Srilanka, Switzerland, Thailand, United Kingdom and United States. The U.S Consulate in Kolkata is the US Department of State's second oldest Consulate and dates from 19 November 1792.[146]

 

Transport

 

Public transport is provided by the Kolkata Suburban Railway, the Kolkata Metro, trams, rickshaws, and buses. The suburban rail network reaches the city's distant suburbs.

 

According to a 2013 survey conducted by the International Association of Public Transport, in terms of a public transport system, Kolkata ranks among the top of the six Indian cities surveyed.[147][148] The Kolkata Metro, in operation since 1984, is the oldest underground mass transit system in India.[149] It spans the north–south length of the city and covers a distance of 25.1 km (16 mi).[150] As of 2009, five Metro rail lines were under construction.[151] Kolkata has four long-distance railway stations, located at Howrah (the largest railway complex in India), Sealdah, Chitpur and Shalimar, which connect Kolkata by rail to most cities in West Bengal and to other major cities in India.[152] The city serves as the headquarters of three railway Zone out of Seventeen of the Indian Railways regional divisions—the Kolkata Metro Railways, Eastern Railway and the South-Eastern Railway.[153] Kolkata has rail and road connectivity with Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh.[154][155][156]

 

Buses, which are the most commonly used mode of transport, are run by government agencies and private operators.[157] Kolkata is the only Indian city with a tram network, which is operated by the Calcutta Tramways Company.[158] The slow-moving tram services are restricted to certain areas of the city. Water-logging, caused by heavy rains that fall during the summer monsoon, can interrupt transportation networks.[159][160] Hired public conveyances include auto rickshaws, which often ply specific routes, and yellow metered taxis. Almost all of Kolkata's taxis are antiquated Hindustan Ambassadors by make; newer air-conditioned radio taxis are in service as well.[161][162] In parts of the city, cycle rickshaws and hand-pulled rickshaws are patronised by the public for short trips.[163]

 

Due to its diverse and abundant public transportation, privately owned vehicles are not as common in Kolkata as in other major Indian cities.[164] The city has witnessed a steady increase in the number of registered vehicles; 2002 data showed an increase of 44% over a period of seven years.[165] As of 2004, after adjusting for population density, the city's "road space" was only 6% compared to 23% in Delhi and 17% in Mumbai.[166] The Kolkata Metro has somewhat eased traffic congestion, as has the addition of new roads and flyovers. Agencies operating long-distance bus services include the Calcutta State Transport Corporation, the South Bengal State Transport Corporation, the North Bengal State Transport Corporation, and various private operators. The city's main bus terminals are located at Esplanade and Babughat.[167] The Kolkata–Delhi and Kolkata–Chennai prongs of the Golden Quadrilateral, and National Highway 34 start from the city.[168]

 

Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International Airport, located in Dum Dum some 16 km (9.9 mi) north-east of the city centre, operates domestic and international flights. In 2013, the airport was upgraded to handle increased air traffic.[169][170]

 

The Port of Kolkata, established in 1870, is India's oldest and the only major river port.[171] The Kolkata Port Trust manages docks in Kolkata and Haldia.[172] The port hosts passenger services to Port Blair, capital of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands; freighter service to ports throughout India and around the world is operated by the Shipping Corporation of India.[171][173] Ferry services connect Kolkata with its twin city of Howrah, located across the Hooghly River.[174][175]

 

The route from North Bengal to Kolkata is set to become cheaper and more efficient for people travelling by bus. Through April 2017 to March 2018, the North Bengal State Transport Corporation (NBSTC) will be introducing a fleet of rocket buses equipped with bio-toilets for the bus route.[176]

Healthcare

See also: Health care in Kolkata

A big building in cream colour with many columns and a portico

Calcutta Medical College, the second institution in Asia to teach modern medicine(after 'Ecole de Médicine de Pondichéry')

IPGMER and SSKM Hospital, Kolkata is the largest hospital in West Bengal and one of the oldest in Kolkata.

 

As of 2011, the health care system in Kolkata consists of 48 government hospitals, mostly under the Department of Health & Family Welfare, Government of West Bengal, and 366 private medical establishments;[177] these establishments provide the city with 27,687 hospital beds.[177] For every 10,000 people in the city, there are 61.7 hospital beds,[178] which is higher than the national average of 9 hospital beds per 10,000.[179] Ten medical and dental colleges are located in the Kolkata metropolitan area which act as tertiary referral hospitals in the state.[180][181] The Calcutta Medical College, founded in 1835, was the first institution in Asia to teach modern medicine.[182] However, These facilities are inadequate to meet the healthcare needs of the city.[183][184][185] More than 78% in Kolkata prefer the private medical sector over the public medical sector,[117]:109 due to the poor quality of care, the lack of a nearby facility, and excessive waiting times at government facilities.[117]:61

 

According to the Indian 2005 National Family Health Survey, only a small proportion of Kolkata households were covered under any health scheme or health insurance.[117]:41 The total fertility rate in Kolkata was 1.4, The lowest among the eight cities surveyed.[117]:45 In Kolkata, 77% of the married women used contraceptives, which was the highest among the cities surveyed, but use of modern contraceptive methods was the lowest (46%).[117]:47 The infant mortality rate in Kolkata was 41 per 1,000 live births, and the mortality rate for children under five was 49 per 1,000 live births.[117]:48

 

Among the surveyed cities, Kolkata stood second (5%) for children who had not had any vaccinations under the Universal Immunization Programme as of 2005.[117]:48 Kolkata ranked second with access to an anganwadi centre under the Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) programme for 57% of the children between 0 and 71 months.[117]:51 The proportion of malnourished, anaemic and underweight children in Kolkata was less in comparison to other surveyed cities.[117]:54–55

 

About 18% of the men and 30% of the women in Kolkata are obese—the majority of them belonging to the non-poor strata of society.[117]:105 In 2005, Kolkata had the highest percentage (55%) among the surveyed cities of anaemic women, while 20% of the men in Kolkata were anaemic.[117]:56–57 Diseases like diabetes, asthma, goitre and other thyroid disorders were found in large numbers of people.[117]:57–59 Tropical diseases like malaria, dengue and chikungunya are prevalent in Kolkata, though their incidence is decreasing.[186][187] Kolkata is one of the districts in India with a high number of people with AIDS; it has been designated a district prone to high risk.[188][189]

 

As of 2014, because of higher air pollution, the life expectancy of a person born in the city is four years fewer than in the suburbs.[190]

 

Education

  

Kolkata's schools are run by the state government or private organisations, many of which are religious. Bengali and English are the primary languages of instruction; Urdu and Hindi are also used, particularly in central Kolkata.[191][192] Schools in Kolkata follow the "10+2+3" plan. After completing their secondary education, students typically enroll in schools that have a higher secondary facility and are affiliated with the West Bengal Council of Higher Secondary Education, the ICSE, or the CBSE.[191] They usually choose a focus on liberal arts, business, or science. Vocational programs are also available.[191] Some Kolkata schools, for example La Martiniere Calcutta, Calcutta Boys' School, St. James' School (Kolkata), St. Xavier's Collegiate School, and Loreto House, have been ranked amongst the best schools in the country.[193]

Indian Institute of Foreign Trade

 

As of 2010, the Kolkata urban agglomeration is home to 14 universities run by the state government.[194] The colleges are each affiliated with a university or institution based either in Kolkata or elsewhere in India. Aliah University which was founded in 1780 as Mohammedan College of Calcutta is the oldest post-secondary educational institution of the city.[195] The University of Calcutta, founded in 1857, is the first modern university in South Asia.[196] Presidency College, Kolkata (formerly Hindu College between 1817 and 1855), founded in 1855, was one of the oldest and most eminent colleges in India. It was affiliated with the University of Calcutta until 2010 when it was converted to Presidency University, Kolkata in 2010. Bengal Engineering and Science University (BESU) is the second oldest engineering institution of the country located in Howrah.[197] An Institute of National Importance, BESU was converted to India's first IIEST. Jadavpur University is known for its arts, science, and engineering faculties.[198] The Indian Institute of Management Calcutta, which was the first of the Indian Institutes of Management, was established in 1961 at Joka, a locality in the south-western suburbs. Kolkata also houses the prestigious Indian Institute of Foreign Trade, which was started here in the year 2006.[199] The West Bengal National University of Juridical Sciences is one of India's autonomous law schools,[200][201] and the Indian Statistical Institute is a public research institute and university. State owned Maulana Abul Kalam Azad University of Technology, West Bengal (MAKAUT, WB), formerly West Bengal University of Technology (WBUT) is the largest Technological University in terms of student enrollment and number of Institutions affiliated by it. Private institutions include the Ramakrishna Mission Vivekananda Educational and Research Institute and University of Engineering & Management (UEM).

 

Notable scholars who were born, worked or studied in Kolkata include physicists Satyendra Nath Bose, Meghnad Saha,[202] and Jagadish Chandra Bose;[203] chemist Prafulla Chandra Roy;[202] statisticians Prasanta Chandra Mahalanobis and Anil Kumar Gain;[202] physician Upendranath Brahmachari;[202] educator Ashutosh Mukherjee;[204] and Nobel laureates Rabindranath Tagore,[205] C. V. Raman,[203] and Amartya Sen.[206]

 

Kolkata houses many premier research institutes like Indian Association for the Cultivation of Science (IACS), Indian Institute of Chemical Biology (IICB), Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER), Bose Institute, Saha Institute of Nuclear Physics (SINP), All India Institute of Hygiene and Public Health, Central Glass and Ceramic Research Institute (CGCRI), S.N. Bose National Centre for Basic Sciences (SNBNCBS), Indian Institute of Social Welfare and Business Management (IISWBM), National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research, Kolkata, Variable Energy Cyclotron Centre (VECC) and Indian Centre for Space Physics. Nobel laureate Sir C. V. Raman did his groundbreaking work in Raman effect in IACS.

 

Culture

  

Kolkata is known for its literary, artistic, and revolutionary heritage; as the former capital of India, it was the birthplace of modern Indian literary and artistic thought.[207] Kolkata has been called the "City of Furious, Creative Energy"[208] as well as the "cultural [or literary] capital of India".[209][210] The presence of paras, which are neighbourhoods that possess a strong sense of community, is characteristic of the city.[211] Typically, each para has its own community club and, on occasion, a playing field.[211] Residents engage in addas, or leisurely chats, that often take the form of freestyle intellectual conversation.[212][213] The city has a tradition of political graffiti depicting everything from outrageous slander to witty banter and limericks, caricatures, and propaganda.[214][215]

 

Kolkata has many buildings adorned with Indo-Islamic and Indo-Saracenic architectural motifs. Several well-maintained major buildings from the colonial period have been declared "heritage structures";[216] others are in various stages of decay.[217][218] Established in 1814 as the nation's oldest museum, the Indian Museum houses large collections that showcase Indian natural history and Indian art.[219] Marble Palace is a classic example of a European mansion that was built in the city. The Victoria Memorial, a place of interest in Kolkata, has a museum documenting the city's history. The National Library of India is the leading public library in the country while Science City is the largest science centre in the Indian subcontinent.[220]

 

The popularity of commercial theatres in the city has declined since the 1980s.[221]:99[222] Group theatres of Kolkata, a cultural movement that started in the 1940s contrasting with the then-popular commercial theatres, are theatres that are not professional or commercial, and are centres of various experiments in theme, content, and production;[223] group theatres use the proscenium stage to highlight socially relevant messages.[221]:99[224] Chitpur locality of the city houses multiple production companies of jatra, a tradition of folk drama popular in rural Bengal.[225][226] Kolkata is the home of the Bengali cinema industry, dubbed "Tollywood" for Tollygunj, where most of the state's film studios are located.[227] Its long tradition of art films includes globally acclaimed film directors such as Academy Award-winning director Satyajit Ray, Ritwik Ghatak, Mrinal Sen, Tapan Sinha, and contemporary directors such as Aparna Sen, Buddhadeb Dasgupta, Goutam Ghose and Rituparno Ghosh.[228]

 

During the 19th and 20th centuries, Bengali literature was modernised through the works of authors such as Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar, Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyay, Michael Madhusudan Dutt, Rabindranath Tagore, Kazi Nazrul Islam, and Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay.[229] Coupled with social reforms led by Ram Mohan Roy, Swami Vivekananda, and others, this constituted a major part of the Bengal Renaissance.[230] The middle and latter parts of the 20th century witnessed the arrival of post-modernism, as well as literary movements such as those espoused by the Kallol movement, hungryalists and the little magazines.[231] Large majority of publishers of the city is concentrated in and around College Street, "... a half-mile of bookshops and bookstalls spilling over onto the pavement", selling new and used books.[232]

 

Kalighat painting originated in 19th century Kolkata as a local style that reflected a variety of themes including mythology and quotidian life.[233] The Government College of Art and Craft, founded in 1864, has been the cradle as well as workplace of eminent artists including Abanindranath Tagore, Jamini Roy, and Nandalal Bose.[234] The art college was the birthplace of the Bengal school of art that arose as an avant garde and nationalist movement reacting against the prevalent academic art styles in the early 20th century.[235][236] The Academy of Fine Arts and other art galleries hold regular art exhibitions. The city is recognised for its appreciation of Rabindra sangeet (songs written by Rabindranath Tagore) and Indian classical music, with important concerts and recitals, such as Dover Lane Music Conference, being held throughout the year; Bengali popular music, including baul folk ballads, kirtans, and Gajan festival music; and modern music, including Bengali-language adhunik songs.[237][238] Since the early 1990s, new genres have emerged, including one comprising alternative folk–rock Bengali bands.[237] Another new style, jibonmukhi gaan ("songs about life"), is based on realism.[221]:105 Key elements of Kolkata's cuisine include rice and a fish curry known as machher jhol,[239] which can be accompanied by desserts such as roshogolla, sandesh, and a sweet yoghurt known as mishti dohi. Bengal's large repertoire of seafood dishes includes various preparations of ilish, a fish that is a favourite among Calcuttans. Street foods such as beguni (fried battered eggplant slices), kati roll (flatbread roll with vegetable or chicken, mutton, or egg stuffing), phuchka (a deep-fried crêpe with tamarind sauce) and Indian Chinese cuisine from Chinatown are popular.[240][241][242][243]

 

Though Bengali women traditionally wear the sari, the shalwar kameez and Western attire is gaining acceptance among younger women.[244] Western-style dress has greater acceptance among men, although the traditional dhoti and kurta are seen during festivals. Durga Puja, held in September–October, is Kolkata's most important and largest festival; it is an occasion for glamorous celebrations and artistic decorations.[245][246] The Bengali New Year, known as Poila Boishak, as well as the harvest festival of Poush Parbon are among the city's other festivals; also celebrated are Kali Puja, Diwali, Holi, Jagaddhatri Puja, Saraswati Puja, Rathayatra, Janmashtami, Maha Shivratri, Vishwakarma Puja, Lakshmi Puja, Ganesh Chathurthi, Makar Sankranti, Gajan, Kalpataru Day, Bhai Phonta, Maghotsab, Eid, Muharram, Christmas, Buddha Purnima and Mahavir Jayanti. Cultural events include the Rabindra Jayanti, Independence Day(15 August), Republic Day(26 January), Kolkata Book Fair, the Dover Lane Music Festival, the Kolkata Film Festival, Nandikar's National Theatre Festival, Statesman Vintage & Classic Car Rally and Gandhi Jayanti.

  

Media

See also: Kolkata in the media and List of Bengali-language television channels

A five storied building in cream colour with multiple columns in front

Akashvani Bhawan, the head office of state-owned All India Radio, Kolkata

 

The first newspaper in India, the Bengal Gazette started publishing from the city in 1780.[247] Among Kolkata's widely circulated Bengali-language newspapers are Anandabazar Patrika, Bartaman, Sangbad Pratidin, Aajkaal, Dainik Statesman and Ganashakti.[248] The Statesman and The Telegraph are two major English-language newspapers that are produced and published from Kolkata. Other popular English-language newspapers published and sold in Kolkata include The Times of India, Hindustan Times, The Hindu, The Indian Express, and the Asian Age.[248] As the largest trading centre in East India, Kolkata has several high-circulation financial dailies, including The Economic Times, The Financial Express, Business Line, and Business Standard.[248][249] Vernacular newspapers, such as those in the Hindi, Urdu, Gujarati, Odia, Punjabi, and Chinese languages, are read by minorities.[248][103] Major periodicals based in Kolkata include Desh, Sananda, Saptahik Bartaman, Unish-Kuri, Anandalok, and Anandamela.[248] Historically, Kolkata has been the centre of the Bengali little magazine movement.[250][251]

 

All India Radio, the national state-owned radio broadcaster, airs several AM radio stations in the city.[252] Kolkata has 12 local radio stations broadcasting on FM, including two from AIR.[253] India's state-owned television broadcaster, Doordarshan, provides two free-to-air terrestrial channels,[254] while a mix of Bengali, Hindi, English, and other regional channels are accessible via cable subscription, direct-broadcast satellite services, or internet-based television.[255][256][257] Bengali-language 24-hour television news channels include ABP Ananda, Tara Newz, Kolkata TV, 24 Ghanta, News Time and Channel 10.[258]

Sports

See also: Football in Kolkata, Kolkata Marathon, and Kolkata derby

Salt Lake Stadium during Indian Super League opening ceremony

 

The most popular sports in Kolkata are football and cricket. Unlike most parts of India, the residents show significant passion for football.[259] The city is home to top national football clubs such as Mohun Bagan A.C., East Bengal F.C., Prayag United S.C., and the Mohammedan Sporting Club.[260][261] Calcutta Football League, which was started in 1898, is the oldest football league in Asia.[262] Mohun Bagan A.C., one of the oldest football clubs in Asia, is the only organisation to be dubbed a "National Club of India".[263][264] Football matches between Mohun Bagan and East Bengal, dubbed as the Kolkata derby, witness large audience attendance and rivalry between patrons.[265]

A Twenty20 cricket match between Kolkata Knight Riders and Pune Warriors during Indian Premier League at the Eden Gardens

 

As in the rest of India, cricket is popular in Kolkata and is played on grounds and in streets throughout the city.[266][267] Kolkata has the Indian Premier League franchise Kolkata Knight Riders; the Cricket Association of Bengal, which regulates cricket in West Bengal, is also based in the city. Kolkata also has an Indian Super League franchise known as Atlético de Kolkata. Tournaments, especially those involving cricket, football, badminton, and carrom, are regularly organised on an inter-locality or inter-club basis.[211] The Maidan, a vast field that serves as the city's largest park, hosts several minor football and cricket clubs and coaching institutes.[268]

 

Eden Gardens, which has a capacity of 68,000 as of 2017,[269] hosted the final match of the 1987 Cricket World Cup. It is home to the Bengal cricket team and the Kolkata Knight Riders.

 

The multi-use Salt Lake Stadium, also known as Yuva Bharati Krirangan, is India's largest stadium by seating capacity. Most matches of the 2017 FIFA U-17 World Cup were played in the Salt Lake Stadium including both Semi-Final matches and the Final match. Kolkata also accounted for 45% of total attendance in 2017 FIFA U-17 World Cup with an average of 55,345 spectators.[270] The Calcutta Cricket and Football Club is the second-oldest cricket club in the world.[271][272]

 

Kolkata's Netaji Indoor Stadium served as host of the 1981 Asian Basketball Championship, where India's national basketball team finished 5th, ahead of teams that belong to Asia's basketball elite, such as Iran. The city has three 18-hole golf courses. The oldest is at the Royal Calcutta Golf Club, the first golf club built outside the United Kingdom.[273][274] The other two are located at the Tollygunge Club and at Fort William. The Royal Calcutta Turf Club hosts horse racing and polo matches.[275] The Calcutta Polo Club is considered the oldest extant polo club in the world.[276][277][278] The Calcutta Racket Club is a squash and racquet club in Kolkata. It was founded in 1793, making it one of the oldest rackets clubs in the world, and the first in the Indian subcontinent.[279][280] The Calcutta South Club is a venue for national and international tennis tournaments; it held the first grass-court national championship in 1946.[281][282] In the period 2005–2007, Sunfeast Open, a tier-III tournament on the Women's Tennis Association circuit, was held in the Netaji Indoor Stadium; it has since been discontinued.[283][284]

 

The Calcutta Rowing Club hosts rowing heats and training events. Kolkata, considered the leading centre of rugby union in India, gives its name to the oldest international tournament in rugby union, the Calcutta Cup.[285][286][287] The Automobile Association of Eastern India, established in 1904,[288][289] and the Bengal Motor Sports Club are involved in promoting motor sports and car rallies in Kolkata and West Bengal.[290][291] The Beighton Cup, an event organised by the Bengal Hockey Association and first played in 1895, is India's oldest field hockey tournament; it is usually held on the Mohun Bagan Ground of the Maidan.[292][293] Athletes from Kolkata include Sourav Ganguly and Pankaj Roy, who are former captains of the Indian national cricket team; Olympic tennis bronze medallist Leander Paes, golfer Arjun Atwal, and former footballers Sailen Manna, Chuni Goswami, P. K. Banerjee, and Subrata Bhattacharya.

The following text is from the New York City Parks website:

 

www.nycgovparks.org/parks/centralpark/monuments/769

 

This striking bronze statue by John Quincy Adams Ward (1830–1910) demonstrates the technical mastery of an artist later dubbed “the dean of American sculptors.” It depicts a Native American hunter, bow in hand, restraining his snarling hunting dog. Cast in 1866 and dedicated on February 4, 1869, the statue was the first sculpture by an American artist to be placed in Central Park, and is one of the oldest works on outdoor display in the park.

 

The Indian Hunter derives from Ward’s artistic exploration of that theme beginning in the late 1850s; he displayed a smaller version of the subject at the Washington Art Association in 1859, and three years later, he exhibited a statuette of the Indian Hunter at the National Academy of Design. After the Civil War, Ward set about enlarging his conception to a full-size sculpture. In an effort to include naturalistic details, he traveled to the Dakotas, making sketches and three-dimensional models based on his direct observations of Native Americans.

 

Returning to New York, he crafted a full-scale, life-sized plaster model that was displayed in 1865 at Snedicor’s Gallery. Such was the romantic appreciation of Indian life, coupled with respect for Ward’s noble interpretation, that in 1866 a group of 23 prominent citizens - many of them Ward’s artistic peers - financed the $10,000 cost of casting the artwork. The acclaimed finished work was then displayed in 1867 at the Paris Exposition, and secured Ward’s prestige in the art world.

 

In 1868, the Committee of the Indian Hunter Fund presented the statue to the Board of Commissioners of Central Park, and commented, “It justly ranks among the best examples of the plastic art, for its bold and vigorous treatment, and its truthful delineation. We have the peculiar satisfaction in placing at your disposal a work so truly American in subject, and so admirably executed, by one of our native and most celebrated sculptors.” The commissioners concurred with this estimation, and selected a prominent placement southwest of the Mall.

 

Ward went on to a long and prolific career. He ultimately contributed nine sculptures to the parks of New York, among them Roscoe Conkling (1893) in Madison Square Park, Alexander Holley (1888) in Washington Square Park, William Earl Dodge (1885), now in Bryant Park, Horace Greeley (1890), now in City Hall Park, Henry Ward Beecher (1891) in Columbus Park, Brooklyn, and William Shakespeare (1872), The Pilgrim (1885), and the Seventh Regiment Memorial (1874) in Central Park.

 

Scholars have noted that the Indian Hunter may have been influenced by classical forerunners such as the famed Roman Borghese Warrior statue, with its forward leaning pose. In 1937, the Parks monuments crew replaced the vandalized bronze bow and in 1992, the Central Park Conservancy Monuments Program fully restored the statue. Returned to its former glory, this early work by Ward, with its fusion of realism and idealism, maintains its popularity with park goers.

 

(Note: An inexpensive viewer can turn the side-by-side images on the computer screen into a 3-D image. The viewer is available from the following source:

 

civilwarin3d.com/html/viewers.html )

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

 

Le costume d'Arles est avec le costume provençal comtadin l'une des deux grandes variantes du costume provençal. Appelé aussi arlèse, son port a été relancé par Frédéric Mistral à la fin du XIXe siècle comme l'un des signes de l'identité culturelle de la Provence. Encore utilisé le dimanche jusqu'au début du XXe siècle, son usage courant a progressivement disparu au cours de la première moitié du XXe siècle. Actuellement, il n'est porté qu'épisodiquement, par des groupes folkloriques ou lors de manifestations volontaristes de l'identité locale1.

  

Historique

Costumes arlésiens au XVIIIe siècle (Atelier de couture à Arles, Antoine Raspal, 1760, musée Réattu, Arles).

 

Parmi toutes les variétés locales à la mode au cours du XVIIIe siècle, seul le costume d'Arles, porté indifféremment par les femmes de toutes conditions, a traversé la Révolution, tout en continuant à évoluer d'une façon naturelle. Jusque dans les années 1950, il était encore porté, quotidiennement à Arles par un certain nombre de femmes, et plus particulièrement le dimanche. Le costume d'Arles a été la tenue féminine traditionnelle dans tout l'ancien archevêché, a tenté de s'imposer jusqu'à Avignon sous l'impulsion de Frédéric Mistral, a débordé sur la rive droite du Rhône de la Camargue gardoise jusqu'à l'Uzège2, s'est étendu à l'Est par delà la Crau, jusqu'à la Durance et le golfe de Fos. Toute son évolution est retracée au Museon Arlaten3.

  

Originalité

 

Ce costume d'Arles se distingue d'abord par une coiffe spéciale qui nécessite le port de cheveux longs. En fonction des jours de la semaine et des tâches à accomplir, cette coiffure était retenue sur le sommet de la tête par un ruban, une cravate ou un nœud de dentelles. Mais elle exigeait toujours un temps de préparation important et des soins particuliers pour respecter l'exigence de ses canons. Cette coiffure est peu adaptée aujourd'hui à une vie professionnelle moderne. Face à la mode des cheveux courts, un substitut sous forme de postiche a été proposé, mais son manque de naturel l'a voué à l'échec4.

 

Composition

 

Parmi les pièces qui compose actuellement l'habillement et signe son élégance, il y a la chapelle ou cache-coeur, plastron de dentelle en forme de trapèze, apparu en 1860, et qui couvre la poitrine5, le grand châle ou fichu, de forme carrée, qui moule le buste, la robe longue en satin de différentes couleurs, souvent pincée à la taille, les dorures (bijoux, agrafes, boucles ou crochets) qui sont transmises de génération en génération. Ces parures vont du tour de cou en argent, aux différentes croix d'or filigranées, dites croix provençales, des bracelets en or massif enrichis de diamants6, aux boucles d'oreilles (pendants ou brandanto) réservées aux seules femmes mariées, en passant par les bagues rehaussées de pierres précieuses, les boucles de soulier en argent, les agrafes de manteau dorées ou argentées, les crochets d'argent pour la ceinture qui permettaient de suspendre les clefs, à la fois signe de richesse et de possession sur la maison familiale7.

  

Arles

 

Arles is located in France

Arles is located in Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur

Coordinates: 43°40′36″N 4°37′40″ECoordinates: 43°40′36″N 4°37′40″E

Country France

Region Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur

Department Bouches-du-Rhône

Arrondissement Arles

Canton Arles

Intercommunality CA Arles-Crau-Camargue-Montagnette

Government

• Mayor (2014–2020) Hervé Schiavetti (PCF)

Area1 758.93 km2 (293.02 sq mi)

Population (2012)2 52,439

• Density 69/km2 (180/sq mi)

Time zone CET (UTC+1)

• Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)

INSEE/Postal code 13004 /13200

Elevation 0–57 m (0–187 ft)

(avg. 10 m or 33 ft)

 

1 French Land Register data, which excludes lakes, ponds, glaciers > 1 km² (0.386 sq mi or 247 acres) and river estuaries.

2 Population without double counting: residents of multiple communes (e.g., students and military personnel) only counted once.

 

Arles (French pronunciation: ​[aʁl]; Provençal [ˈaʀle] in both classical and Mistralian norms; Arelate in Classical Latin) is a city and commune in the south of France, in the Bouches-du-Rhône department, of which it is a subprefecture, in the former province of Provence.

 

A large part of the Camargue is located on the territory of the commune, making it the largest commune in Metropolitan France in terms of territory (though Maripasoula, French Guiana, is much larger). The city has a long history, and was of considerable importance in the Roman province of Gallia Narbonensis. The Roman and Romanesque Monuments of Arles were listed as UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 1981. The Dutch post-Impressionist painter Vincent van Gogh lived in Arles from 1888 to 1889 and produced over 300 paintings and drawings during his time there. An international photography festival has been held in the city since 1970.

 

Geography

 

The river Rhône forks into two branches just upstream of Arles, forming the Camargue delta. Because the Camargue is for a large part administratively part of Arles, the commune as a whole is the largest commune in Metropolitan France in terms of territory, although its population is only slightly more than 50,000. Its area is 758.93 km2 (293.02 sq mi), which is more than seven times the area of Paris.

Climate

 

Arles has a Mediterranean climate with a mean annual temperature of 14.6 °C (1948 - 1999). The summers are warm and moderately dry, with seasonal averages between 22 °C and 24 °C, and mild winters with a mean temperature of about 7 °C. The city is constantly, but especially in the winter months, subject to the influence of the mistral, a cold wind which can cause sudden and severe frosts. Rainfall (636 mm per year) is fairly evenly distributed from September to May, with the summer drought being less marked than in other Mediterranean areas.[1]

 

Ancient era

 

The Ligurians were in this area from about 800 BC. Later, Celtic influences have been discovered. The city became an important Phoenician trading port, before being taken by the Romans.

 

The Romans took the town in 123 BC and expanded it into an important city, with a canal link to the Mediterranean Sea being constructed in 104 BC. However, it struggled to escape the shadow of Massalia (Marseilles) further along the coast.

 

Its chance came when it sided with Julius Caesar against Pompey, providing military support. Massalia backed Pompey; when Caesar emerged victorious, Massalia was stripped of its possessions, which were transferred to Arelate as a reward. The town was formally established as a colony for veterans of the Roman legion Legio VI Ferrata, which had its base there. Its full title as a colony was Colonia Iulia Paterna Arelatensium Sextanorum, "the ancestral Julian colony of Arles of the soldiers of the Sixth."

 

Arelate was a city of considerable importance in the province of Gallia Narbonensis. It covered an area of some 40 hectares (99 acres) and possessed a number of monuments, including an amphitheatre, triumphal arch, Roman circus, theatre, and a full circuit of walls. Ancient Arles was closer to the sea than it is now and served as a major port. It also had (and still has) the southernmost bridge on the Rhône. Very unusually, the Roman bridge was not fixed but consisted of a pontoon-style bridge of boats, with towers and drawbridges at each end. The boats were secured in place by anchors and were tethered to twin towers built just upstream of the bridge. This unusual design was a way of coping with the river's frequent violent floods, which would have made short work of a conventional bridge. Nothing remains of the Roman bridge, which has been replaced by a more modern bridge near the same spot.

 

The city reached a peak of influence during the 4th and 5th centuries, when Roman Emperors frequently used it as their headquarters during military campaigns. In 395, it became the seat of the Praetorian Prefecture of the Gauls, governing the western part of the Western Empire: Gaul proper plus Hispania (Spain) and Armorica (Brittany). At that time, the city was perhaps home to 75,000–100,000 people.[2][3][4][5]

 

It became a favorite city of Emperor Constantine I, who built baths there, substantial remains of which are still standing. His son, Constantine II, was born in Arles. Usurper Constantine III declared himself emperor in the West (407–411) and made Arles his capital in 408.

 

Arles became renowned as a cultural and religious centre during the late Roman Empire. It was the birthplace of the sceptical philosopher Favorinus. It was also a key location for Roman Christianity and an important base for the Christianization of Gaul. The city's bishopric was held by a series of outstanding clerics, beginning with Saint Trophimus around 225 and continuing with Saint Honoratus, then Saint Hilarius in the first half of the 5th century. The political tension between the Catholic bishops of Arles and the Visigothic kings is epitomized in the career of the Frankish St. Caesarius, bishop of Arles 503–542, who was suspected by the Arian Visigoth Alaric II of conspiring with the Burgundians to turn over the Arelate to Burgundy, and was exiled for a year to Bordeaux in Aquitaine. Political tensions were evident again in 512, when Arles held out against Theodoric the Great and Caesarius was imprisoned and sent to Ravenna to explain his actions before the Ostrogothic king.[6]

 

The friction between the Arian Christianity of the Visigoths and the Catholicism of the bishops sent out from Rome established deep roots for religious heterodoxy, even heresy, in Occitan culture. At Treves in 385, Priscillian achieved the distinction of becoming the first Christian executed for heresy (Manichaean in his case, see also Cathars, Camisards). Despite this tension and the city's decline in the face of barbarian invasions, Arles remained a great religious centre and host of church councils (see Council of Arles), the rival of Vienne, for hundreds of years.

Roman aqueduct and mill

Aqueduct of Arles at Barbegal

 

The Barbegal aqueduct and mill is a Roman watermill complex located on the territory of the commune of Fontvieille, a few kilometres from Arles. The complex has been referred to as "the greatest known concentration of mechanical power in the ancient world".[7] The remains of the mill streams and buildings which housed the overshot water wheels are still visible at the site, and it is by far the best-preserved of ancient mills. There are two aqueducts which join just north of the mill complex, and a sluice which enabled the operators to control the water supply to the complex. The mill consisted of 16 waterwheels in two separate rows built into a steep hillside. There are substantial masonry remains of the water channels and foundations of the individual mills, together with a staircase rising up the hill upon which the mills are built. The mills apparently operated from the end of the 1st century until about the end of the 3rd century.[8] The capacity of the mills has been estimated at 4.5 tons of flour per day, sufficient to supply enough bread for 6,000 of the 30-40,000 inhabitants of Arelate at that time.[9] A similar mill complex existed also on the Janiculum in Rome. Examination of the mill leat still just visible on one side of the hill shows a substantial accretion of lime in the channel, tending to confirm its long working life.

 

It is thought that the wheels were overshot water wheels with the outflow from the top driving the next one down and so on, to the base of the hill. Vertical water mills were well known to the Romans, being described by Vitruvius in his De Architectura of 25 BC, and mentioned by Pliny the Elder in his Naturalis Historia of 77 AD. There are also later references to floating water mills from Byzantium and to sawmills on the river Moselle by the poet Ausonius. The use of multiple stacked sequences of reverse overshot water-wheels was widespread in Roman mines.

Middle Ages

Place de la République.

Cafe Terrace at Night by Vincent van Gogh (September 1888), depicts the warmth of a café in Arles

 

In 735, after raiding the Lower Rhône, Andalusian Saracens led by Yusuf ibn 'Abd al-Rahman al-Fihri moved into the stronghold summoned by Count Maurontus, who feared Charles Martel's expansionist ambitions, though this may have been an excuse to further Moorish expansion beyond Iberia. The next year, Charles campaigned south to Septimania and Provence, attacking and capturing Arles after destroying Avignon. In 739. Charles definitely drove Maurontus to exile, and brought Provence to heel. In 855, it was made the capital of a Frankish Kingdom of Arles, which included Burgundy and part of Provence, but was frequently terrorised by Saracen and Viking raiders. In 888, Rudolph, Count of Auxerre (now in north-western Burgundy), founded the kingdom of Transjuran Burgundy (literally, beyond the Jura mountains), which included western Switzerland as far as the river Reuss, Valais, Geneva, Chablais and Bugey.

 

In 933, Hugh of Arles ("Hugues de Provence") gave his kingdom up to Rudolph II, who merged the two kingdoms into a new Kingdom of Arles. In 1032, King Rudolph III died, and the kingdom was inherited by Emperor Conrad II the Salic. Though his successors counted themselves kings of Arles, few went to be crowned in the cathedral. Most of the kingdom's territory was progressively incorporated into France. During these troubled times, the amphitheatre was converted into a fortress, with watchtowers built at each of the four quadrants and a minuscule walled town being constructed within. The population was by now only a fraction of what it had been in Roman times, with much of old Arles lying in ruins.

 

The town regained political and economic prominence in the 12th century, with the Holy Roman Emperor Frederick Barbarossa traveling there in 1178 for his coronation. In the 12th century, it became a free city governed by an elected podestat (chief magistrate; literally "power"), who appointed the consuls and other magistrates. It retained this status until the French Revolution of 1789.

 

Arles joined the countship of Provence in 1239, but, once more, its prominence was eclipsed by Marseilles. In 1378, the Holy Roman Emperor Charles IV ceded the remnants of the Kingdom of Arles to the Dauphin of France (later King Charles VI of France) and the kingdom ceased to exist even on paper.

Modern era

 

Arles remained economically important for many years as a major port on the Rhône. In the 19th century, the arrival of the railway diminished river trade, leading to the town becoming something of a backwater.

 

This made it an attractive destination for the painter Vincent van Gogh, who arrived there on 21 February 1888. He was fascinated by the Provençal landscapes, producing over 300 paintings and drawings during his time in Arles. Many of his most famous paintings were completed there, including The Night Cafe, the Yellow Room, Starry Night Over the Rhone, and L'Arlésienne. Paul Gauguin visited van Gogh in Arles. However, van Gogh's mental health deteriorated and he became alarmingly eccentric, culminating in the well-known ear-severing incident in December 1888 which resulted in two stays in the Old Hospital of Arles. The concerned Arlesians circulated a petition the following February demanding that van Gogh be confined. In May 1889, he took the hint and left Arles for the Saint-Paul asylum at nearby Saint-Rémy-de-Provence.

Jewish history

Main article: History of the Jews in Arles

 

Arles had an important and evident Jewish community between the Roman era and until the end of the 15th century. A local legend describes the first Jews in Arles as exiles from Judaea after Jerusalem fell to the Romans. Nevertheless, the first documented evident of Jews in Arles is not before fifth century, when a distinguished community had already existed in town. Arles was an important Jewish crossroads, as a port city and close to Spain and the rest of Europe alike. It served a major role in the work of the Hachmei Provence group of famous Jewish scholars, translators and philosophers, who were most important to Judaism throughout the Middle Ages. At the eighth century, the jurisdiction of the Jews of Arles were passed to the local Archbishop, making the Jewish taxes to the clergy somewhat of a shield for the community from mob attacks, most frequent during the Crusades. The community lived relatively peacefully until the last decade of the 15th century, when they were expelled out of the city never to return. Several Jews did live in the city in the centuries after, though no community was found ever after. Nowadays, Jewish archaeological findings and texts from Arles can be found in the local museum.[10]

Population

 

Arles has important Roman remnants, most of which have been listed as UNESCO World Heritage Sites since 1981 within the Arles, Roman and Romanesque Monuments group. They include:

 

The Gallo-Roman theatre

The arena or amphitheatre

The Alyscamps (Roman necropolis)

The Thermae of Constantine

The cryptoporticus

Arles Obelisk

Barbegal aqueduct and mill

 

The Church of St. Trophime (Saint Trophimus), formerly a cathedral, is a major work of Romanesque architecture, and the representation of the Last Judgment on its portal is considered one of the finest examples of Romanesque sculpture, as are the columns in the adjacent cloister.

 

The town also has a museum of ancient history, the Musée de l'Arles et de la Provence antiques, with one of the best collections of Roman sarcophagi to be found anywhere outside Rome itself. Other museums include the Musée Réattu and the Museon Arlaten.

 

The courtyard of the Old Arles hospital, now named "Espace Van Gogh," is a center for Vincent van Gogh's works, several of which are masterpieces.[11] The garden, framed on all four sides by buildings of the complex, is approached through arcades on the first floor. A circulation gallery is located on the first and second floors.[12]

Archaeology

Main article: Arles portrait bust

 

In September–October 2007, divers led by Luc Long from the French Department of Subaquatic Archaeological Research, headed by Michel L'Hour, discovered a life-sized marble bust of an apparently important Roman person in the Rhône near Arles, together with smaller statues of Marsyas in Hellenistic style and of the god Neptune from the third century AD. The larger bust was tentatively dated to 46 BC. Since the bust displayed several characteristics of an ageing person with wrinkles, deep naso-labial creases and hollows in his face, and since the archaeologists believed that Julius Caesar had founded the colony Colonia Iulia Paterna Arelate Sextanorum in 46 BC, the scientists came to the preliminary conclusion that the bust depicted a life-portrait of the Roman dictator: France's Minister of Culture Christine Albanel reported on May 13, 2008, that the bust would be the oldest representation of Caesar known today.[13] The story was picked up by all larger media outlets.[14][15] The realism of the portrait was said to place it in the tradition of late Republican portrait and genre sculptures. The archaeologists further claimed that a bust of Julius Caesar might have been thrown away or discreetly disposed of, because Caesar's portraits could have been viewed as politically dangerous possessions after the dictator's assassination.

 

Historians and archaeologists not affiliated with the French administration, among them Paul Zanker, the renowned archaeologist and expert on Caesar and Augustus, were quick to question whether the bust is a portrait of Caesar.[16][17][18] Many noted the lack of resemblances to Caesar's likenesses issued on coins during the last years of the dictator's life, and to the Tusculum bust of Caesar,[19] which depicts Julius Caesar in his lifetime, either as a so-called zeitgesicht or as a direct portrait. After a further stylistic assessment, Zanker dated the Arles-bust to the Augustan period. Elkins argued for the third century AD as the terminus post quem for the deposition of the statues, refuting the claim that the bust was thrown away due to feared repercussions from Caesar's assassination in 44 BC.[20] The main argument by the French archaeologists that Caesar had founded the colony in 46 BC proved to be incorrect, as the colony was founded by Caesar's former quaestor Tiberius Claudius Nero on the dictator's orders in his absence.[21] Mary Beard has accused the persons involved in the find of having willfully invented their claims for publicity reasons. The French ministry of culture has not yet responded to the criticism and negative reviews.

Sport

 

AC Arles-Avignon is a professional French football team. They currently play in Championnat de France Amateur, the fourth division in French football. They play at the Parc des Sports, which has a capacity of just over 17,000.

Culture

 

A well known photography festival, Rencontres d'Arles, takes place in Arles every year, and the French national school of photography is located there.

 

The major French publishing house Actes Sud is also situated in Arles.

 

Bull fights are conducted in the amphitheatre, including Provençal-style bullfights (courses camarguaises) in which the bull is not killed, but rather a team of athletic men attempt to remove a tassle from the bull's horn without getting injured. Every Easter and on the first weekend of September, during the feria, Arles also holds Spanish-style corridas (in which the bulls are killed) with an encierro (bull-running in the streets) preceding each fight.

 

The film Ronin was partially filmed in Arles.

European Capital of Culture

 

Arles played a major role in Marseille-Provence 2013, the year-long series of cultural events held in the region after it was designated the European Capital of Culture for 2013. The city hosted a segment of the opening ceremony with a pyrotechnical performance by Groupe F on the banks of the Rhône. It also unveiled the new wing of the Musée Départemental Arles Antique as part of Marseille-Provence 2013.

Economy

 

Arles's open-air street market is a major market in the region. It occurs on Saturday and Wednesday mornings.

Transport

 

The Gare d'Arles railway station offers connections to Avignon, Nîmes, Marseille, Paris, Bordeaux and several regional destinations.

Notable people

 

Vincent van Gogh, lived here from February 1888 until May 1889.

The Provençal poet Frédéric Mistral (1830–1914) was born near Arles

Jeanne Calment (1875–1997), the oldest human being whose age is documented, was born, lived and died, at the age of 122 years and 164 days, in Arles

Anne-Marie David, singer (Eurovision winner in 1973)

Christian Lacroix, fashion designer

Lucien Clergue, photographer

Djibril Cissé, footballer

Antoine de Seguiran, 18th-century encyclopédiste

Genesius of Arles, a notary martyred under Maximianus in 303 or 308

Blessed Jean Marie du Lau, last Archbishop of Arles, killed by the revolutionary mob in Paris on September 2, 1792

Juan Bautista (real name Jean-Baptiste Jalabert), matador

Maja Hoffmann, art patron

Mehdi Savalli, matador

The medieval writer Antoine de la Sale was probably born in Arles around 1386

Home of the Gipsy Kings, a music group from Arles

Gael Givet, footballer

Lloyd Palun, footballer

Fanny Valette, actress

Luc Hoffmann, ornithologist, conservationist and philanthropist.

Saint Caesarius of Arles, bishop who lived from the late 5th to the mid 6th century, known for prophecy and writings that would later be used by theologians such as St. Thomas Aquinas

Samuel ibn Tibbon, famous Jewish translator and scholar during the Middle Ages.

Kalonymus ben Kalonymus, famous Jewish scholar and philosopher, Arles born, active during the Middle Ages.

 

Twin towns — sister cities

See also: List of twin towns and sister cities in France

 

Arles is twinned with:

 

Pskov, Russia

Jerez de la Frontera, Spain

Fulda, Germany

York, Pennsylvania, United States

Cubelles, Spain

Vercelli, Italy

Sagné, Mauritania

Kalymnos, Greece

Wisbech, United Kingdom

Zhouzhuang, Kunshan, Jiangsu, People's Republic of China

Verviers, Belgium

 

See also

 

Archbishopric of Arles

Montmajour Abbey

Trinquetaille

Langlois Bridge

Saint-Martin-de-Crau

Communes of the Bouches-du-Rhône department

 

References

 

This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Herbermann, Charles, ed. (1913). "Archdiocese of Aix". Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton.

INSEE

 

The table contains the temperatures and precipitation of the city of Arles for the period 1948-1999, extracted from the site Sophy.u-3mrs.fr.

www.academia.edu/1166147/_The_Fall_and_Decline_of_the_Rom...

Rick Steves' Provence & the French Riviera, p. 78, at Google Books

Nelson's Dictionary of Christianity: The Authoritative Resource on the Christian World, p. 1173, at Google Books

Provence, p. 81, at Google Books

Wace, Dictionary)

Greene, Kevin (2000). "Technological Innovation and Economic Progress in the Ancient World: M.I. Finley Re-Considered". The Economic History Review. New Series. 53 (1): 29–59 [p. 39]. doi:10.1111/1468-0289.00151.

"Ville d'Histoire et de Patrimoine". Patrimoine.ville-arles.fr. Retrieved 2013-03-25.

"La meunerie de Barbegal". Etab.ac-caen.fr. Retrieved 2013-03-25.

jewishencyclopedia.com/articles/1784-arles

Fisher, R, ed (2011). Fodor's France 2011. Toronto and New York: Fodor's Travel, division of Random House. p. 563 ISBN 978-1-4000-0473-7.

"Espace Van Gogh". Visiter, Places of Interest. Arles Office de Tourisme. Retrieved 2011-04-29.

Original communiqué (May 13, 2008); second communiqué (May 20, 2008); report (May 20, 2008)

E.g."Divers find marble bust of Caesar that may date to 46 B.C.". Archived from the original on 2008-06-05. Retrieved 2008-05-14. , CNN-Online et al.

Video (QuickTime) Archived May 28, 2008, at the Wayback Machine. on the archaeological find (France 3)

Paul Zanker, "Der Echte war energischer, distanzierter, ironischer" Archived May 29, 2008, at the Wayback Machine., Sueddeutsche Zeitung, May 25, 2008, on-line

Mary Beard, "The face of Julius Caesar? Come off it!", TLS, May 14, 2008, on-line

Nathan T. Elkins, 'Oldest Bust' of Julius Caesar found in France?, May 14, 2008, on-line

Cp. this image at the AERIA library

A different approach was presented by Mary Beard, in that members of a military Caesarian colony would not have discarded portraits of Caesar, whom they worshipped as god, although statues were in fact destroyed by the Anti-Caesarians in the city of Rome after Caesar's assassination (Appian, BC III.1.9).

Konrat Ziegler & Walther Sontheimer (eds.), "Arelate", in Der Kleine Pauly: Lexikon der Antike, Vol. 1, col. 525, Munich 1979; in 46 BC, Caesar himself was campaigning in Africa, before later returning to Rome.

Diego Velázquez (artist)

I INTRODUCTION

 

Diego Velázquez (artist) (1599-1660), Spanish baroque artist (see Baroque Art and Architecture), who, with Francisco de Goya and El Greco, forms the great triumvirate of Spanish painting.

 

Diego Rodríguez de Silva y Velázquez was born in Seville, the oldest of six children. Both his parents were from the lesser nobility. Between 1611 and 1617 Velázquez worked as an apprentice to Francisco Pacheco, a Sevillian mannerist painter (see Mannerism) who was also the author of an important treatise, El arte de la pintura (The Art of Painting, 1649), and who became Velázquez's father-in-law. During his student years Velázquez absorbed the most popular contemporary styles of painting, derived, in part, from both Flemish and Italian realism.

 

II YOUTHFUL WORKS

 

Many of the earliest paintings by Velázquez show a strong naturalist bias, as does The Meal (1617?, Hermitage, Saint Petersburg), which may have been his first work as an independent master after passing the examination for the Guild of Saint Luke. This painting belongs to the first of three categories—the bodegón (kitchen piece), along with portraits and religious scenes—into which his youthful works, executed between about 1617 and 1623, may be placed. In his kitchen pieces, a few figures are combined with studied still-life objects (see Still Life), as in Water Seller of Seville (1619?-1620?, Wellington Museum, London). In these works, Velázquez's direct representation of nature and masterly effects of light and shadow make inevitable a comparison with the work of Italian painter Caravaggio. Velázquez's religious paintings, images of simple piety, portray models drawn from the streets of Seville, as Pacheco states in his biography of the artist. In Adoration of the Magi (1619, Prado, Madrid), for example, Velázquez painted his own family in the guise of biblical figures, including a self-portrait as well.

 

Velázquez was well acquainted with members of the intellectual circles of Seville. Pacheco was the director of an informal humanist academy, at the meetings of which the young artist was introduced to such luminaries as poet Luis de Góngora y Argote, whose portrait he executed in 1622 (Museum of Fine Arts, Boston). Such contact was important for Velázquez's later work on mythological and classical subjects.

 

III APPOINTMENT AS COURT PAINTER

 

In 1622 Velázquez made his first trip to Madrid, ostensibly, according to Pacheco's biography, to see the royal painting collections, but more likely in an unsuccessful search for a position as court painter. In 1623, however, he returned to the capital and, after executing a portrait (1623, Prado) of the king, was named official painter to Philip IV. The portrait was the first among many such sober, direct renditions of the king, the royal family, and members of the court. Indeed, throughout the later 1620s, most of Velázquez's efforts were dedicated to portraiture. Mythological subjects would at times occupy his attention, as in Bacchus, also called The Drinkers (1628-1629, Prado). This scene of revelry in an open field, picturing the god of wine drinking with a group of tough-looking men, testifies to the artist's continued interest in realism.

 

IV TRIP TO ITALY

 

In 1628 Flemish master Peter Paul Rubens came to the court at Madrid on a diplomatic mission, and Velázquez was one of the few painters with whom he associated. Although Rubens did not have a direct impact on the style of the younger painter, their conversations almost certainly inspired Velázquez to visit the art collections in Italy that were so much admired by his fellow artist. In August 1629 Velázquez departed from Barcelona for Genoa and spent most of the next two years traveling in Italy. From Genoa he proceeded to Milan, Venice, Florence, and Rome, returning to Spain from Naples in January 1631. In the course of his journey he closely studied both the art of the Renaissance and contemporary painting. Several of the works he executed during his travels attest to his assimilation of these styles. A notable example is Joseph and His Brothers (1630, El Escorial, near Madrid), which combines a Michelangelesque sculptural quality (see Michelangelo) with the chiaroscuro (light-and-shadow techniques) of such Italian masters as Guercino and Giovanni Lanfranco.

 

V RETURN TO SPAIN

 

On his return to Madrid, Velázquez resumed his duties as court portraitist with the rendition Prince Baltasar Carlos with a Dwarf (1631, Museum of Fine Arts), an image made poignant by the young prince's death before reaching adulthood. In 1634 Velázquez oversaw the decoration of the throne room in the new royal palace of Buen Retiro. His scheme was based on 12 scenes of battles in which Spanish troops had been victorious—painted by the most prestigious artists of the day, including Velázquez himself—and royal equestrian portraits. Velázquez's contribution to the cycle of battle pictures included the Surrender of Breda (1634, Prado), which portrays a magnanimous Spanish general receiving the leader of defeated Flemish troops after the siege of the town of Breda in 1624. The delicacy of its style and the astonishing range of emotions it captures make this the most celebrated historical composition of the Spanish baroque.

 

Velázquez's second major series of paintings from the 1630s is a group of hunting portraits of the royal family for the Torre de la Parada, a hunting lodge near Madrid. His famous depictions of court dwarfs, in which, unlike court-jester portraits by earlier artists, the subjects are treated with respect and sympathy, date from the late 1630s and early 1640s. Velázquez painted few religious pictures after entering the king's employ; Saints Anthony and Paul (late 1630s, Prado) and Immaculate Conception (1644?, Prado) are notable exceptions.

 

VI LATE WORKS

 

During the last 20 years of Velázquez's life, as his rise to prominence in court circles continued, his work as court official and architect assumed prime importance, limiting his artistic output. In 1649 he made a second trip to Italy, this time to buy works of art for the king's collection. During his year's stay in Rome from 1649 to 1650 he painted the magnificent portraits Juan de Pareja (Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City) and Pope Innocent X (Palazzo Doria-Pamphili, Rome). At this time he was also admitted into Rome's Academy of Saint Luke. The so-called Rokeby Venus (National Gallery, London) probably dates from this period as well.

 

The key works of the painter's last two decades are Las Hilanderas (The Spinners, about 1656, Prado), also known as The Fable of Arachne (see Arachne), an image of sophisticated mythological symbolism, and his masterwork, Las meninas (The Maids of Honor, 1656, Prado), a stunning group portrait of the royal family and Velázquez himself in the act of painting.

  

Contributed By:

Edward J. Sullivan

Microsoft ® Encarta ® 2006. © 1993-2005 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.

Diego Velázquez (artist)

I INTRODUCTION

 

Diego Velázquez (artist) (1599-1660), Spanish baroque artist (see Baroque Art and Architecture), who, with Francisco de Goya and El Greco, forms the great triumvirate of Spanish painting.

 

Diego Rodríguez de Silva y Velázquez was born in Seville, the oldest of six children. Both his parents were from the lesser nobility. Between 1611 and 1617 Velázquez worked as an apprentice to Francisco Pacheco, a Sevillian mannerist painter (see Mannerism) who was also the author of an important treatise, El arte de la pintura (The Art of Painting, 1649), and who became Velázquez's father-in-law. During his student years Velázquez absorbed the most popular contemporary styles of painting, derived, in part, from both Flemish and Italian realism.

 

II YOUTHFUL WORKS

 

Many of the earliest paintings by Velázquez show a strong naturalist bias, as does The Meal (1617?, Hermitage, Saint Petersburg), which may have been his first work as an independent master after passing the examination for the Guild of Saint Luke. This painting belongs to the first of three categories—the bodegón (kitchen piece), along with portraits and religious scenes—into which his youthful works, executed between about 1617 and 1623, may be placed. In his kitchen pieces, a few figures are combined with studied still-life objects (see Still Life), as in Water Seller of Seville (1619?-1620?, Wellington Museum, London). In these works, Velázquez's direct representation of nature and masterly effects of light and shadow make inevitable a comparison with the work of Italian painter Caravaggio. Velázquez's religious paintings, images of simple piety, portray models drawn from the streets of Seville, as Pacheco states in his biography of the artist. In Adoration of the Magi (1619, Prado, Madrid), for example, Velázquez painted his own family in the guise of biblical figures, including a self-portrait as well.

 

Velázquez was well acquainted with members of the intellectual circles of Seville. Pacheco was the director of an informal humanist academy, at the meetings of which the young artist was introduced to such luminaries as poet Luis de Góngora y Argote, whose portrait he executed in 1622 (Museum of Fine Arts, Boston). Such contact was important for Velázquez's later work on mythological and classical subjects.

 

III APPOINTMENT AS COURT PAINTER

 

In 1622 Velázquez made his first trip to Madrid, ostensibly, according to Pacheco's biography, to see the royal painting collections, but more likely in an unsuccessful search for a position as court painter. In 1623, however, he returned to the capital and, after executing a portrait (1623, Prado) of the king, was named official painter to Philip IV. The portrait was the first among many such sober, direct renditions of the king, the royal family, and members of the court. Indeed, throughout the later 1620s, most of Velázquez's efforts were dedicated to portraiture. Mythological subjects would at times occupy his attention, as in Bacchus, also called The Drinkers (1628-1629, Prado). This scene of revelry in an open field, picturing the god of wine drinking with a group of tough-looking men, testifies to the artist's continued interest in realism.

 

IV TRIP TO ITALY

 

In 1628 Flemish master Peter Paul Rubens came to the court at Madrid on a diplomatic mission, and Velázquez was one of the few painters with whom he associated. Although Rubens did not have a direct impact on the style of the younger painter, their conversations almost certainly inspired Velázquez to visit the art collections in Italy that were so much admired by his fellow artist. In August 1629 Velázquez departed from Barcelona for Genoa and spent most of the next two years traveling in Italy. From Genoa he proceeded to Milan, Venice, Florence, and Rome, returning to Spain from Naples in January 1631. In the course of his journey he closely studied both the art of the Renaissance and contemporary painting. Several of the works he executed during his travels attest to his assimilation of these styles. A notable example is Joseph and His Brothers (1630, El Escorial, near Madrid), which combines a Michelangelesque sculptural quality (see Michelangelo) with the chiaroscuro (light-and-shadow techniques) of such Italian masters as Guercino and Giovanni Lanfranco.

 

V RETURN TO SPAIN

 

On his return to Madrid, Velázquez resumed his duties as court portraitist with the rendition Prince Baltasar Carlos with a Dwarf (1631, Museum of Fine Arts), an image made poignant by the young prince's death before reaching adulthood. In 1634 Velázquez oversaw the decoration of the throne room in the new royal palace of Buen Retiro. His scheme was based on 12 scenes of battles in which Spanish troops had been victorious—painted by the most prestigious artists of the day, including Velázquez himself—and royal equestrian portraits. Velázquez's contribution to the cycle of battle pictures included the Surrender of Breda (1634, Prado), which portrays a magnanimous Spanish general receiving the leader of defeated Flemish troops after the siege of the town of Breda in 1624. The delicacy of its style and the astonishing range of emotions it captures make this the most celebrated historical composition of the Spanish baroque.

 

Velázquez's second major series of paintings from the 1630s is a group of hunting portraits of the royal family for the Torre de la Parada, a hunting lodge near Madrid. His famous depictions of court dwarfs, in which, unlike court-jester portraits by earlier artists, the subjects are treated with respect and sympathy, date from the late 1630s and early 1640s. Velázquez painted few religious pictures after entering the king's employ; Saints Anthony and Paul (late 1630s, Prado) and Immaculate Conception (1644?, Prado) are notable exceptions.

 

VI LATE WORKS

 

During the last 20 years of Velázquez's life, as his rise to prominence in court circles continued, his work as court official and architect assumed prime importance, limiting his artistic output. In 1649 he made a second trip to Italy, this time to buy works of art for the king's collection. During his year's stay in Rome from 1649 to 1650 he painted the magnificent portraits Juan de Pareja (Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City) and Pope Innocent X (Palazzo Doria-Pamphili, Rome). At this time he was also admitted into Rome's Academy of Saint Luke. The so-called Rokeby Venus (National Gallery, London) probably dates from this period as well.

 

The key works of the painter's last two decades are Las Hilanderas (The Spinners, about 1656, Prado), also known as The Fable of Arachne (see Arachne), an image of sophisticated mythological symbolism, and his masterwork, Las meninas (The Maids of Honor, 1656, Prado), a stunning group portrait of the royal family and Velázquez himself in the act of painting.

  

Contributed By:

Edward J. Sullivan

Microsoft ® Encarta ® 2006. © 1993-2005 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.

 

Here a a few great reasons to enter the 2nd Annual

Gold Light Gallery Juried Show

  

This is a show dedicated to Realism, Impressionism, and

Representational Art

 

Our jurors Patrick

Connors and Robert

Armetta are great traditiona... more

Oil on canvas.

 

Diego Velázquez (artist)

I INTRODUCTION

 

Diego Velázquez (artist) (1599-1660), Spanish baroque artist (see Baroque Art and Architecture), who, with Francisco de Goya and El Greco, forms the great triumvirate of Spanish painting.

 

Diego Rodríguez de Silva y Velázquez was born in Seville, the oldest of six children. Both his parents were from the lesser nobility. Between 1611 and 1617 Velázquez worked as an apprentice to Francisco Pacheco, a Sevillian mannerist painter (see Mannerism) who was also the author of an important treatise, El arte de la pintura (The Art of Painting, 1649), and who became Velázquez's father-in-law. During his student years Velázquez absorbed the most popular contemporary styles of painting, derived, in part, from both Flemish and Italian realism.

 

II YOUTHFUL WORKS

 

Many of the earliest paintings by Velázquez show a strong naturalist bias, as does The Meal (1617?, Hermitage, Saint Petersburg), which may have been his first work as an independent master after passing the examination for the Guild of Saint Luke. This painting belongs to the first of three categories—the bodegón (kitchen piece), along with portraits and religious scenes—into which his youthful works, executed between about 1617 and 1623, may be placed. In his kitchen pieces, a few figures are combined with studied still-life objects (see Still Life), as in Water Seller of Seville (1619?-1620?, Wellington Museum, London). In these works, Velázquez's direct representation of nature and masterly effects of light and shadow make inevitable a comparison with the work of Italian painter Caravaggio. Velázquez's religious paintings, images of simple piety, portray models drawn from the streets of Seville, as Pacheco states in his biography of the artist. In Adoration of the Magi (1619, Prado, Madrid), for example, Velázquez painted his own family in the guise of biblical figures, including a self-portrait as well.

 

Velázquez was well acquainted with members of the intellectual circles of Seville. Pacheco was the director of an informal humanist academy, at the meetings of which the young artist was introduced to such luminaries as poet Luis de Góngora y Argote, whose portrait he executed in 1622 (Museum of Fine Arts, Boston). Such contact was important for Velázquez's later work on mythological and classical subjects.

 

III APPOINTMENT AS COURT PAINTER

 

In 1622 Velázquez made his first trip to Madrid, ostensibly, according to Pacheco's biography, to see the royal painting collections, but more likely in an unsuccessful search for a position as court painter. In 1623, however, he returned to the capital and, after executing a portrait (1623, Prado) of the king, was named official painter to Philip IV. The portrait was the first among many such sober, direct renditions of the king, the royal family, and members of the court. Indeed, throughout the later 1620s, most of Velázquez's efforts were dedicated to portraiture. Mythological subjects would at times occupy his attention, as in Bacchus, also called The Drinkers (1628-1629, Prado). This scene of revelry in an open field, picturing the god of wine drinking with a group of tough-looking men, testifies to the artist's continued interest in realism.

 

IV TRIP TO ITALY

 

In 1628 Flemish master Peter Paul Rubens came to the court at Madrid on a diplomatic mission, and Velázquez was one of the few painters with whom he associated. Although Rubens did not have a direct impact on the style of the younger painter, their conversations almost certainly inspired Velázquez to visit the art collections in Italy that were so much admired by his fellow artist. In August 1629 Velázquez departed from Barcelona for Genoa and spent most of the next two years traveling in Italy. From Genoa he proceeded to Milan, Venice, Florence, and Rome, returning to Spain from Naples in January 1631. In the course of his journey he closely studied both the art of the Renaissance and contemporary painting. Several of the works he executed during his travels attest to his assimilation of these styles. A notable example is Joseph and His Brothers (1630, El Escorial, near Madrid), which combines a Michelangelesque sculptural quality (see Michelangelo) with the chiaroscuro (light-and-shadow techniques) of such Italian masters as Guercino and Giovanni Lanfranco.

 

V RETURN TO SPAIN

 

On his return to Madrid, Velázquez resumed his duties as court portraitist with the rendition Prince Baltasar Carlos with a Dwarf (1631, Museum of Fine Arts), an image made poignant by the young prince's death before reaching adulthood. In 1634 Velázquez oversaw the decoration of the throne room in the new royal palace of Buen Retiro. His scheme was based on 12 scenes of battles in which Spanish troops had been victorious—painted by the most prestigious artists of the day, including Velázquez himself—and royal equestrian portraits. Velázquez's contribution to the cycle of battle pictures included the Surrender of Breda (1634, Prado), which portrays a magnanimous Spanish general receiving the leader of defeated Flemish troops after the siege of the town of Breda in 1624. The delicacy of its style and the astonishing range of emotions it captures make this the most celebrated historical composition of the Spanish baroque.

 

Velázquez's second major series of paintings from the 1630s is a group of hunting portraits of the royal family for the Torre de la Parada, a hunting lodge near Madrid. His famous depictions of court dwarfs, in which, unlike court-jester portraits by earlier artists, the subjects are treated with respect and sympathy, date from the late 1630s and early 1640s. Velázquez painted few religious pictures after entering the king's employ; Saints Anthony and Paul (late 1630s, Prado) and Immaculate Conception (1644?, Prado) are notable exceptions.

 

VI LATE WORKS

 

During the last 20 years of Velázquez's life, as his rise to prominence in court circles continued, his work as court official and architect assumed prime importance, limiting his artistic output. In 1649 he made a second trip to Italy, this time to buy works of art for the king's collection. During his year's stay in Rome from 1649 to 1650 he painted the magnificent portraits Juan de Pareja (Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City) and Pope Innocent X (Palazzo Doria-Pamphili, Rome). At this time he was also admitted into Rome's Academy of Saint Luke. The so-called Rokeby Venus (National Gallery, London) probably dates from this period as well.

 

The key works of the painter's last two decades are Las Hilanderas (The Spinners, about 1656, Prado), also known as The Fable of Arachne (see Arachne), an image of sophisticated mythological symbolism, and his masterwork, Las meninas (The Maids of Honor, 1656, Prado), a stunning group portrait of the royal family and Velázquez himself in the act of painting.

  

Contributed By:

Edward J. Sullivan

Microsoft ® Encarta ® 2006. © 1993-2005 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.

Oil on canvas; 179 x 94 cm.

 

I INTRODUCTION

 

Diego Velázquez (artist) (1599-1660), Spanish baroque artist (see Baroque Art and Architecture), who, with Francisco de Goya and El Greco, forms the great triumvirate of Spanish painting.

 

Diego Rodríguez de Silva y Velázquez was born in Seville, the oldest of six children. Both his parents were from the lesser nobility. Between 1611 and 1617 Velázquez worked as an apprentice to Francisco Pacheco, a Sevillian mannerist painter (see Mannerism) who was also the author of an important treatise, El arte de la pintura (The Art of Painting, 1649), and who became Velázquez's father-in-law. During his student years Velázquez absorbed the most popular contemporary styles of painting, derived, in part, from both Flemish and Italian realism.

 

II YOUTHFUL WORKS

 

Many of the earliest paintings by Velázquez show a strong naturalist bias, as does The Meal (1617?, Hermitage, Saint Petersburg), which may have been his first work as an independent master after passing the examination for the Guild of Saint Luke. This painting belongs to the first of three categories—the bodegón (kitchen piece), along with portraits and religious scenes—into which his youthful works, executed between about 1617 and 1623, may be placed. In his kitchen pieces, a few figures are combined with studied still-life objects (see Still Life), as in Water Seller of Seville (1619?-1620?, Wellington Museum, London). In these works, Velázquez's direct representation of nature and masterly effects of light and shadow make inevitable a comparison with the work of Italian painter Caravaggio. Velázquez's religious paintings, images of simple piety, portray models drawn from the streets of Seville, as Pacheco states in his biography of the artist. In Adoration of the Magi (1619, Prado, Madrid), for example, Velázquez painted his own family in the guise of biblical figures, including a self-portrait as well.

 

Velázquez was well acquainted with members of the intellectual circles of Seville. Pacheco was the director of an informal humanist academy, at the meetings of which the young artist was introduced to such luminaries as poet Luis de Góngora y Argote, whose portrait he executed in 1622 (Museum of Fine Arts, Boston). Such contact was important for Velázquez's later work on mythological and classical subjects.

 

III APPOINTMENT AS COURT PAINTER

 

In 1622 Velázquez made his first trip to Madrid, ostensibly, according to Pacheco's biography, to see the royal painting collections, but more likely in an unsuccessful search for a position as court painter. In 1623, however, he returned to the capital and, after executing a portrait (1623, Prado) of the king, was named official painter to Philip IV. The portrait was the first among many such sober, direct renditions of the king, the royal family, and members of the court. Indeed, throughout the later 1620s, most of Velázquez's efforts were dedicated to portraiture. Mythological subjects would at times occupy his attention, as in Bacchus, also called The Drinkers (1628-1629, Prado). This scene of revelry in an open field, picturing the god of wine drinking with a group of tough-looking men, testifies to the artist's continued interest in realism.

 

IV TRIP TO ITALY

 

In 1628 Flemish master Peter Paul Rubens came to the court at Madrid on a diplomatic mission, and Velázquez was one of the few painters with whom he associated. Although Rubens did not have a direct impact on the style of the younger painter, their conversations almost certainly inspired Velázquez to visit the art collections in Italy that were so much admired by his fellow artist. In August 1629 Velázquez departed from Barcelona for Genoa and spent most of the next two years traveling in Italy. From Genoa he proceeded to Milan, Venice, Florence, and Rome, returning to Spain from Naples in January 1631. In the course of his journey he closely studied both the art of the Renaissance and contemporary painting. Several of the works he executed during his travels attest to his assimilation of these styles. A notable example is Joseph and His Brothers (1630, El Escorial, near Madrid), which combines a Michelangelesque sculptural quality (see Michelangelo) with the chiaroscuro (light-and-shadow techniques) of such Italian masters as Guercino and Giovanni Lanfranco.

 

V RETURN TO SPAIN

 

On his return to Madrid, Velázquez resumed his duties as court portraitist with the rendition Prince Baltasar Carlos with a Dwarf (1631, Museum of Fine Arts), an image made poignant by the young prince's death before reaching adulthood. In 1634 Velázquez oversaw the decoration of the throne room in the new royal palace of Buen Retiro. His scheme was based on 12 scenes of battles in which Spanish troops had been victorious—painted by the most prestigious artists of the day, including Velázquez himself—and royal equestrian portraits. Velázquez's contribution to the cycle of battle pictures included the Surrender of Breda (1634, Prado), which portrays a magnanimous Spanish general receiving the leader of defeated Flemish troops after the siege of the town of Breda in 1624. The delicacy of its style and the astonishing range of emotions it captures make this the most celebrated historical composition of the Spanish baroque.

 

Velázquez's second major series of paintings from the 1630s is a group of hunting portraits of the royal family for the Torre de la Parada, a hunting lodge near Madrid. His famous depictions of court dwarfs, in which, unlike court-jester portraits by earlier artists, the subjects are treated with respect and sympathy, date from the late 1630s and early 1640s. Velázquez painted few religious pictures after entering the king's employ; Saints Anthony and Paul (late 1630s, Prado) and Immaculate Conception (1644?, Prado) are notable exceptions.

 

VI LATE WORKS

 

During the last 20 years of Velázquez's life, as his rise to prominence in court circles continued, his work as court official and architect assumed prime importance, limiting his artistic output. In 1649 he made a second trip to Italy, this time to buy works of art for the king's collection. During his year's stay in Rome from 1649 to 1650 he painted the magnificent portraits Juan de Pareja (Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City) and Pope Innocent X (Palazzo Doria-Pamphili, Rome). At this time he was also admitted into Rome's Academy of Saint Luke. The so-called Rokeby Venus (National Gallery, London) probably dates from this period as well.

 

The key works of the painter's last two decades are Las Hilanderas (The Spinners, about 1656, Prado), also known as The Fable of Arachne (see Arachne), an image of sophisticated mythological symbolism, and his masterwork, Las meninas (The Maids of Honor, 1656, Prado), a stunning group portrait of the royal family and Velázquez himself in the act of painting.

 

Contributed By:

Edward J. Sullivan

Microsoft ® Encarta ® 2006. © 1993-2005 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.

   

Oil on canvas; 144 x 91 cm.

 

I INTRODUCTION

 

Diego Velázquez (artist) (1599-1660), Spanish baroque artist (see Baroque Art and Architecture), who, with Francisco de Goya and El Greco, forms the great triumvirate of Spanish painting.

 

Diego Rodríguez de Silva y Velázquez was born in Seville, the oldest of six children. Both his parents were from the lesser nobility. Between 1611 and 1617 Velázquez worked as an apprentice to Francisco Pacheco, a Sevillian mannerist painter (see Mannerism) who was also the author of an important treatise, El arte de la pintura (The Art of Painting, 1649), and who became Velázquez's father-in-law. During his student years Velázquez absorbed the most popular contemporary styles of painting, derived, in part, from both Flemish and Italian realism.

 

II YOUTHFUL WORKS

 

Many of the earliest paintings by Velázquez show a strong naturalist bias, as does The Meal (1617?, Hermitage, Saint Petersburg), which may have been his first work as an independent master after passing the examination for the Guild of Saint Luke. This painting belongs to the first of three categories—the bodegón (kitchen piece), along with portraits and religious scenes—into which his youthful works, executed between about 1617 and 1623, may be placed. In his kitchen pieces, a few figures are combined with studied still-life objects (see Still Life), as in Water Seller of Seville (1619?-1620?, Wellington Museum, London). In these works, Velázquez's direct representation of nature and masterly effects of light and shadow make inevitable a comparison with the work of Italian painter Caravaggio. Velázquez's religious paintings, images of simple piety, portray models drawn from the streets of Seville, as Pacheco states in his biography of the artist. In Adoration of the Magi (1619, Prado, Madrid), for example, Velázquez painted his own family in the guise of biblical figures, including a self-portrait as well.

 

Velázquez was well acquainted with members of the intellectual circles of Seville. Pacheco was the director of an informal humanist academy, at the meetings of which the young artist was introduced to such luminaries as poet Luis de Góngora y Argote, whose portrait he executed in 1622 (Museum of Fine Arts, Boston). Such contact was important for Velázquez's later work on mythological and classical subjects.

 

III APPOINTMENT AS COURT PAINTER

 

In 1622 Velázquez made his first trip to Madrid, ostensibly, according to Pacheco's biography, to see the royal painting collections, but more likely in an unsuccessful search for a position as court painter. In 1623, however, he returned to the capital and, after executing a portrait (1623, Prado) of the king, was named official painter to Philip IV. The portrait was the first among many such sober, direct renditions of the king, the royal family, and members of the court. Indeed, throughout the later 1620s, most of Velázquez's efforts were dedicated to portraiture. Mythological subjects would at times occupy his attention, as in Bacchus, also called The Drinkers (1628-1629, Prado). This scene of revelry in an open field, picturing the god of wine drinking with a group of tough-looking men, testifies to the artist's continued interest in realism.

 

IV TRIP TO ITALY

 

In 1628 Flemish master Peter Paul Rubens came to the court at Madrid on a diplomatic mission, and Velázquez was one of the few painters with whom he associated. Although Rubens did not have a direct impact on the style of the younger painter, their conversations almost certainly inspired Velázquez to visit the art collections in Italy that were so much admired by his fellow artist. In August 1629 Velázquez departed from Barcelona for Genoa and spent most of the next two years traveling in Italy. From Genoa he proceeded to Milan, Venice, Florence, and Rome, returning to Spain from Naples in January 1631. In the course of his journey he closely studied both the art of the Renaissance and contemporary painting. Several of the works he executed during his travels attest to his assimilation of these styles. A notable example is Joseph and His Brothers (1630, El Escorial, near Madrid), which combines a Michelangelesque sculptural quality (see Michelangelo) with the chiaroscuro (light-and-shadow techniques) of such Italian masters as Guercino and Giovanni Lanfranco.

 

V RETURN TO SPAIN

 

On his return to Madrid, Velázquez resumed his duties as court portraitist with the rendition Prince Baltasar Carlos with a Dwarf (1631, Museum of Fine Arts), an image made poignant by the young prince's death before reaching adulthood. In 1634 Velázquez oversaw the decoration of the throne room in the new royal palace of Buen Retiro. His scheme was based on 12 scenes of battles in which Spanish troops had been victorious—painted by the most prestigious artists of the day, including Velázquez himself—and royal equestrian portraits. Velázquez's contribution to the cycle of battle pictures included the Surrender of Breda (1634, Prado), which portrays a magnanimous Spanish general receiving the leader of defeated Flemish troops after the siege of the town of Breda in 1624. The delicacy of its style and the astonishing range of emotions it captures make this the most celebrated historical composition of the Spanish baroque.

 

Velázquez's second major series of paintings from the 1630s is a group of hunting portraits of the royal family for the Torre de la Parada, a hunting lodge near Madrid. His famous depictions of court dwarfs, in which, unlike court-jester portraits by earlier artists, the subjects are treated with respect and sympathy, date from the late 1630s and early 1640s. Velázquez painted few religious pictures after entering the king's employ; Saints Anthony and Paul (late 1630s, Prado) and Immaculate Conception (1644?, Prado) are notable exceptions.

 

VI LATE WORKS

 

During the last 20 years of Velázquez's life, as his rise to prominence in court circles continued, his work as court official and architect assumed prime importance, limiting his artistic output. In 1649 he made a second trip to Italy, this time to buy works of art for the king's collection. During his year's stay in Rome from 1649 to 1650 he painted the magnificent portraits Juan de Pareja (Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City) and Pope Innocent X (Palazzo Doria-Pamphili, Rome). At this time he was also admitted into Rome's Academy of Saint Luke. The so-called Rokeby Venus (National Gallery, London) probably dates from this period as well.

 

The key works of the painter's last two decades are Las Hilanderas (The Spinners, about 1656, Prado), also known as The Fable of Arachne (see Arachne), an image of sophisticated mythological symbolism, and his masterwork, Las meninas (The Maids of Honor, 1656, Prado), a stunning group portrait of the royal family and Velázquez himself in the act of painting.

  

Contributed By:

Edward J. Sullivan

Microsoft ® Encarta ® 2006. © 1993-2005 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.

Fang Lijun is a famous contemporary artist in China. He has shown work internationally in exhibitions including The Next Ones at Alexander Ochs (Beijing), New Work, New Acquisitions at the Museum of Modern Art (New York), and Alors, la Chine? at the Pompidou Centre (Paris). He is represented by Galerie am Gendarmenmarkt (Berlin) Thomas Erben (New York) Soobin Art International (Singapore) and Hanmo Gallery (Beijing). Fang Lijun is a founder of the Cynical Realist style in China and works often include aggressive, bald figures.

 

From 1 May 2011 at Xi’an Art Museum, Fang Lijun is a solo exhibition entitled “From Symbol to Analysis.” This exhibition consists of about 260 pieces of work divided into four major components: 12 representative oil paintings on both large and medium canvases, 9 sculpture installations, 222 pieces of “experimental group painting series” which he has worked on from 2008 and 14 wash paintings. Distributed in two exhibition halls, this exhibition gives a comprehensive record of his creations of paintings, installations and videos.

 

Born in 1963 in Handan, Hebei Province, Fang graduated from the Department of Printmaking at the Central Academy of Fine Arts in 1989. He now lives and works in Beijing. As one of the most important representatives of the new artistic trend of Post 89, Fang Lijun and other artists of this trend jointly created a unique mode of discourse –”Cynical Realism”, which is represented by “Bald Ruffian” that belongs to Fang’s series of works which have been created since 1988. This image has become a classical symbol, marking the widespread social, emotional and psychological feelings of the times from the end of the 1980s to the first half of the 1990s.

 

Among his creations in recent years starting in 2008, are a series of ideological changes and an accumulation of mature works, reflecting his thoughts of life and artistic perceptions along with a variety of possibilities of creation in the metaphorical work inherent in his experimental series. A number of “Pictorial Discourses” with significant changes in continuous growth have been constructed by this approach of “word and expression”. Not only can it be understood as the mixture and lay out of figurative elements in his new abstract thinking, but also as three-dimensional rendering of sociology and semiotics. Thus, the exhibition entitled “From Symbol to Analysis” endeavors to give a comprehensive presentation of Fang Lijun’s artistic thought and it is also Fang's largest solo exhibition in recent years. The most important element of this exhibition is a new work that took Fang Lijun 3 years in the concept of city to compose and is still ongoing. It is another work created in recent years and regarded as a milestone in his art career.

 

[The above is taken from en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fang_Lijun and en.cafa.com.cn/from-symbol-to-analysis%E2%80%94fang-lijun...]

Oil on canvas; 78 x 48 cm.

 

Peng Si (born 1980, Hengyang, Hunan Province) is a contemporary Chinese painter based in Beijing. While still a student at the prestigious Central Academy of Fine Arts, Peng exhibited his paintings alongside those of long-established artists in the Third National Oil Painting Exhibition. He graduated from the Central Academy in 2004. As a member of the "post-80s" generation of artists in China, Peng has been involved in several prominent group shows in the last few years; he has also been the subject of many solo exhibitions, and his work is featured in the collections of major galleries at Beijing's 798 Art Zone. Critics have praised his "implementation (of techniques) and reflection on Chinese an Western art",[1] especially his calligraphic skill and his "thorough examination of trends in artistic thought"[2] from the May Fourth Movement through the post-1949 period in China.

 

Peng Si's paintings of figures and landscapes are known for their melancholic, dreamlike, and uncannily modern blend of classical Chinese and traditional Western idioms. His brushwork is highly refined and precise, and his coloration is notable for its extreme technical difficulty.

 

Beijing's Yuan Center included his work in After Culture, a 2008 exhibition that also featured paintings of older, more famous Chinese artists like Ma Kelu, Shang Yang, Ding Fang, and Ma Lu.

 

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peng_Si

   

Oil on canvas; 240 x 125 cm.

 

Jacques-Louis David was a highly influential French painter in the Neoclassical style, considered to be the preeminent painter of the era. In the 1780s his cerebral brand of history painting marked a change in taste away from Rococo frivolity toward a classical austerity and severity, heightened feeling[1] chiming with the moral climate of the final years of the ancien régime.

 

David later became an active supporter of the French Revolution and friend of Maximilien Robespierre (1758–1794), and was effectively a dictator of the arts under the French Republic. Imprisoned after Robespierre's fall from power, he aligned himself with yet another political regime upon his release, that of Napoleon I. It was at this time that he developed his 'Empire style', notable for its use of warm Venetian colours. David had a huge number of pupils, making him the strongest influence in French art of the early 19th century, especially academic Salon painting.

Diego Velázquez (artist)

I INTRODUCTION

 

Diego Velázquez (artist) (1599-1660), Spanish baroque artist (see Baroque Art and Architecture), who, with Francisco de Goya and El Greco, forms the great triumvirate of Spanish painting.

 

Diego Rodríguez de Silva y Velázquez was born in Seville, the oldest of six children. Both his parents were from the lesser nobility. Between 1611 and 1617 Velázquez worked as an apprentice to Francisco Pacheco, a Sevillian mannerist painter (see Mannerism) who was also the author of an important treatise, El arte de la pintura (The Art of Painting, 1649), and who became Velázquez's father-in-law. During his student years Velázquez absorbed the most popular contemporary styles of painting, derived, in part, from both Flemish and Italian realism.

 

II YOUTHFUL WORKS

 

Many of the earliest paintings by Velázquez show a strong naturalist bias, as does The Meal (1617?, Hermitage, Saint Petersburg), which may have been his first work as an independent master after passing the examination for the Guild of Saint Luke. This painting belongs to the first of three categories—the bodegón (kitchen piece), along with portraits and religious scenes—into which his youthful works, executed between about 1617 and 1623, may be placed. In his kitchen pieces, a few figures are combined with studied still-life objects (see Still Life), as in Water Seller of Seville (1619?-1620?, Wellington Museum, London). In these works, Velázquez's direct representation of nature and masterly effects of light and shadow make inevitable a comparison with the work of Italian painter Caravaggio. Velázquez's religious paintings, images of simple piety, portray models drawn from the streets of Seville, as Pacheco states in his biography of the artist. In Adoration of the Magi (1619, Prado, Madrid), for example, Velázquez painted his own family in the guise of biblical figures, including a self-portrait as well.

 

Velázquez was well acquainted with members of the intellectual circles of Seville. Pacheco was the director of an informal humanist academy, at the meetings of which the young artist was introduced to such luminaries as poet Luis de Góngora y Argote, whose portrait he executed in 1622 (Museum of Fine Arts, Boston). Such contact was important for Velázquez's later work on mythological and classical subjects.

 

III APPOINTMENT AS COURT PAINTER

 

In 1622 Velázquez made his first trip to Madrid, ostensibly, according to Pacheco's biography, to see the royal painting collections, but more likely in an unsuccessful search for a position as court painter. In 1623, however, he returned to the capital and, after executing a portrait (1623, Prado) of the king, was named official painter to Philip IV. The portrait was the first among many such sober, direct renditions of the king, the royal family, and members of the court. Indeed, throughout the later 1620s, most of Velázquez's efforts were dedicated to portraiture. Mythological subjects would at times occupy his attention, as in Bacchus, also called The Drinkers (1628-1629, Prado). This scene of revelry in an open field, picturing the god of wine drinking with a group of tough-looking men, testifies to the artist's continued interest in realism.

 

IV TRIP TO ITALY

 

In 1628 Flemish master Peter Paul Rubens came to the court at Madrid on a diplomatic mission, and Velázquez was one of the few painters with whom he associated. Although Rubens did not have a direct impact on the style of the younger painter, their conversations almost certainly inspired Velázquez to visit the art collections in Italy that were so much admired by his fellow artist. In August 1629 Velázquez departed from Barcelona for Genoa and spent most of the next two years traveling in Italy. From Genoa he proceeded to Milan, Venice, Florence, and Rome, returning to Spain from Naples in January 1631. In the course of his journey he closely studied both the art of the Renaissance and contemporary painting. Several of the works he executed during his travels attest to his assimilation of these styles. A notable example is Joseph and His Brothers (1630, El Escorial, near Madrid), which combines a Michelangelesque sculptural quality (see Michelangelo) with the chiaroscuro (light-and-shadow techniques) of such Italian masters as Guercino and Giovanni Lanfranco.

 

V RETURN TO SPAIN

 

On his return to Madrid, Velázquez resumed his duties as court portraitist with the rendition Prince Baltasar Carlos with a Dwarf (1631, Museum of Fine Arts), an image made poignant by the young prince's death before reaching adulthood. In 1634 Velázquez oversaw the decoration of the throne room in the new royal palace of Buen Retiro. His scheme was based on 12 scenes of battles in which Spanish troops had been victorious—painted by the most prestigious artists of the day, including Velázquez himself—and royal equestrian portraits. Velázquez's contribution to the cycle of battle pictures included the Surrender of Breda (1634, Prado), which portrays a magnanimous Spanish general receiving the leader of defeated Flemish troops after the siege of the town of Breda in 1624. The delicacy of its style and the astonishing range of emotions it captures make this the most celebrated historical composition of the Spanish baroque.

 

Velázquez's second major series of paintings from the 1630s is a group of hunting portraits of the royal family for the Torre de la Parada, a hunting lodge near Madrid. His famous depictions of court dwarfs, in which, unlike court-jester portraits by earlier artists, the subjects are treated with respect and sympathy, date from the late 1630s and early 1640s. Velázquez painted few religious pictures after entering the king's employ; Saints Anthony and Paul (late 1630s, Prado) and Immaculate Conception (1644?, Prado) are notable exceptions.

 

VI LATE WORKS

 

During the last 20 years of Velázquez's life, as his rise to prominence in court circles continued, his work as court official and architect assumed prime importance, limiting his artistic output. In 1649 he made a second trip to Italy, this time to buy works of art for the king's collection. During his year's stay in Rome from 1649 to 1650 he painted the magnificent portraits Juan de Pareja (Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City) and Pope Innocent X (Palazzo Doria-Pamphili, Rome). At this time he was also admitted into Rome's Academy of Saint Luke. The so-called Rokeby Venus (National Gallery, London) probably dates from this period as well.

 

The key works of the painter's last two decades are Las Hilanderas (The Spinners, about 1656, Prado), also known as The Fable of Arachne (see Arachne), an image of sophisticated mythological symbolism, and his masterwork, Las meninas (The Maids of Honor, 1656, Prado), a stunning group portrait of the royal family and Velázquez himself in the act of painting.

  

Contributed By:

Edward J. Sullivan

Microsoft ® Encarta ® 2006. © 1993-2005 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.

Orazio Lomi Gentileschi (1563-1639)

Repos pendant la fuite en Ègypte, 1626-1628

Sur la route, en face d'un mur de briques en ruine, repose la Sainte Famille fuyant Hérode: Josef est épuisé endormi tandis que Marie allaite l'enfant. Dans la description de misère mais aussi de dignité et humble acceptation d'un destin lourd Gentileschi combine réalisme caravagesque avec le sens de la beauté de sa Toscane natale.

 

Orazio Lomi Gentileschi (1563-1639)

Ruhe auf der Flucht nach Ägypten, um 1626-1628

Auf der Straße, vor einer bröckelnden Ziegelmauer, rastet die vor Herodes geflohene heilige Familie: Josef ist erschöpft eingeschlafen während Maria das Kind stillt. Bei der Schilderung von Elend aber auch Würde und demütiger Hinnahme eines schweren Schicksals vereint Gentileschie caravaggesken Realismus mit dem Schönheitssinn seiner toskanischen Heimat.

 

Austria Kunsthistorisches Museum

Federal Museum

Logo KHM

Regulatory authority (ies)/organs to the Federal Ministry for Education, Science and Culture

Founded 17 October 1891

Headquartered Castle Ring (Burgring), Vienna 1, Austria

Management Sabine Haag

www.khm.at website

Main building of the Kunsthistorisches Museum at Maria-Theresa-Square

The Kunsthistorisches Museum (KHM abbreviated) is an art museum in Vienna. It is one of the largest and most important museums in the world. It was opened in 1891 and 2012 visited of 1.351.940 million people.

The museum

The Kunsthistorisches Museum is with its opposite sister building, the Natural History Museum (Naturhistorisches Museum), the most important historicist large buildings of the Ringstrasse time. Together they stand around the Maria Theresa square, on which also the Maria Theresa monument stands. This course spans the former glacis between today's ring road and 2-line, and is forming a historical landmark that also belongs to World Heritage Site Historic Centre of Vienna.

History

Archduke Leopold Wilhelm in his Gallery

The Museum came from the collections of the Habsburgs, especially from the portrait and armor collections of Ferdinand of Tyrol, the collection of Emperor Rudolf II (most of which, however scattered) and the art collection of Archduke Leopold Wilhelm into existence. Already In 1833 asked Joseph Arneth, curator (and later director) of the Imperial Coins and Antiquities Cabinet, bringing together all the imperial collections in a single building .

Architectural History

The contract to build the museum in the city had been given in 1858 by Emperor Franz Joseph. Subsequently, many designs were submitted for the ring road zone. Plans by August Sicard von Sicardsburg and Eduard van der Null planned to build two museum buildings in the immediate aftermath of the Imperial Palace on the left and right of the Heroes' Square (Heldenplatz). The architect Ludwig Förster planned museum buildings between the Schwarzenberg Square and the City Park, Martin Ritter von Kink favored buildings at the corner Währingerstraße/ Scots ring (Schottenring), Peter Joseph, the area Bellariastraße, Moritz von Loehr the south side of the opera ring, and Ludwig Zettl the southeast side of the grain market (Getreidemarkt).

From 1867, a competition was announced for the museums, and thereby set their current position - at the request of the Emperor, the museum should not be too close to the Imperial Palace, but arise beyond the ring road. The architect Carl von Hasenauer participated in this competition and was able the at that time in Zürich operating Gottfried Semper to encourage to work together. The two museum buildings should be built here in the sense of the style of the Italian Renaissance. The plans got the benevolence of the imperial family. In April 1869, there was an audience with of Joseph Semper at the Emperor Franz Joseph and an oral contract was concluded, in July 1870 was issued the written order to Semper and Hasenauer.

Crucial for the success of Semper and Hasenauer against the projects of other architects were among others Semper's vision of a large building complex called "Imperial Forum", in which the museums would have been a part of. Not least by the death of Semper in 1879 came the Imperial Forum not as planned for execution, the two museums were built, however.

Construction of the two museums began without ceremony on 27 November 1871 instead. Semper moved to Vienna in the sequence. From the beginning, there were considerable personal differences between him and Hasenauer, who finally in 1877 took over sole construction management. 1874, the scaffolds were placed up to the attic and the first floor completed, built in 1878, the first windows installed in 1879, the Attica and the balustrade from 1880 to 1881 and built the dome and the Tabernacle. The dome is topped with a bronze statue of Pallas Athena by Johannes Benk.

The lighting and air conditioning concept with double glazing of the ceilings made ​​the renunciation of artificial light (especially at that time, as gas light) possible, but this resulted due to seasonal variations depending on daylight to different opening times .

Kuppelhalle

Entrance (by clicking the link at the end of the side you can see all the pictures here indicated!)

Grand staircase

Hall

Empire

The Kunsthistorisches Museum was on 17 October 1891 officially opened by Emperor Franz Joseph I. Since 22 October 1891 , the museum is accessible to the public. Two years earlier, on 3 November 1889, the collection of arms, Arms and Armour today, had their doors open. On 1 January 1890 the library service resumed its operations. The merger and listing of other collections of the Highest Imperial Family from the Upper and Lower Belvedere, the Hofburg Palace and Ambras in Tyrol will need another two years.

189, the farm museum was organized in seven collections with three directorates:

Directorate of coins, medals and antiquities collection

The Egyptian Collection

The Antique Collection

The coins and medals collection

Management of the collection of weapons, art and industrial objects

Weapons collection

Collection of industrial art objects

Directorate of Art Gallery and Restaurieranstalt (Restoration Office)

Collection of watercolors, drawings, sketches, etc.

Restoration Office

Library

Very soon the room the Court Museum (Hofmuseum) for the imperial collections was offering became too narrow. To provide temporary help, an exhibition of ancient artifacts from Ephesus in the Theseus Temple was designed. However, additional space had to be rented in the Lower Belvedere.

1914, after the assassination of Franz Ferdinand, heir to the throne, his " Estonian Forensic Collection " passed to the administration of the Court Museum. This collection, which emerged from the art collection of the house of d' Este and world travel collection of Franz Ferdinand, was placed in the New Imperial Palace since 1908. For these stocks, the present collection of old musical instruments and the Museum of Ethnology emerged.

The First World War went by, apart from the oppressive economic situation without loss. The farm museum remained during the five years of war regularly open to the public.

Until 1919 the K.K. Art Historical Court Museum was under the authority of the Oberstkämmereramt (head chamberlain office) and belonged to the House of Habsburg-Lorraine. The officials and employees were part of the royal household.

First Republic

The transition from monarchy to republic, in the museum took place in complete tranquility. On 19 November 1918 the two imperial museums on Maria Theresa Square were placed under the state protection of the young Republic of German Austria. Threatening to the stocks of the museum were the claims raised in the following weeks and months of the "successor states" of the monarchy as well as Italy and Belgium on Austrian art collection. In fact, it came on 12th February 1919 to the violent removal of 62 paintings by armed Italian units. This "art theft" left a long time trauma among curators and art historians.

It was not until the Treaty of Saint-Germain of 10 September 1919, providing in Article 195 and 196 the settlement of rights in the cultural field by negotiations. The claims of Belgium, Czechoslovakia, and Italy again could mostly being averted in this way. Only Hungary, which presented the greatest demands by far, was met by more than ten years of negotiation in 147 cases.

On 3 April 1919 was the expropriation of the House of Habsburg-Lorraine by law and the acquisition of its property, including the "Collections of the Imperial House" , by the Republic. Of 18 June 1920 the then provisional administration of the former imperial museums and collections of Este and the secular and clergy treasury passed to the State Office of Internal Affairs and Education, since 10 November 1920, the Federal Ministry of the Interior and Education. A few days later it was renamed the Art History Court Museum in the "Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna State", 1921 "Kunsthistorisches Museum" . Of 1st January 1921 the employees of the museum staff passed to the state of the Republic.

Through the acquisition of the former imperial collections owned by the state, the museum found itself in a complete new situation. In order to meet the changed circumstances in the museum area, designed Hans Tietze in 1919 the "Vienna Museum program". It provided a close cooperation between the individual museums to focus at different houses on main collections. So dominated exchange, sales and equalizing the acquisition policy in the interwar period. Thus resulting until today still valid collection trends. Also pointing the way was the relocation of the weapons collection from 1934 in its present premises in the New Castle, where since 1916 the collection of ancient musical instruments was placed.

With the change of the imperial collections in the ownership of the Republic the reorganization of the internal organization went hand in hand, too. Thus the museum was divided in 1919 into the

Egyptian and Near Eastern Collection (with the Oriental coins)

Collection of Classical Antiquities

Collection of ancient coins

Collection of modern coins and medals

Weapons collection

Collection of sculptures and crafts with the Collection of Ancient Musical Instruments

Picture Gallery

The Museum 1938-1945

Count Philipp Ludwig Wenzel Sinzendorf according to Rigaud. Clarisse 1948 by Baroness de Rothschildt "dedicated" to the memory of Baron Alphonse de Rothschildt; restituted to the Rothschilds in 1999, and in 1999 donated by Bettina Looram Rothschild, the last Austrian heiress.

With the "Anschluss" of Austria to the German Reich all Jewish art collections such as the Rothschilds were forcibly "Aryanised". Collections were either "paid" or simply distributed by the Gestapo at the museums. This resulted in a significant increase in stocks. But the KHM was not the only museum that benefited from the linearization. Systematically looted Jewish property was sold to museums, collections or in pawnshops throughout the empire.

After the war, the museum struggled to reimburse the "Aryanised" art to the owners or their heirs. They forced the Rothschild family to leave the most important part of their own collection to the museum and called this "dedications", or "donations". As a reason, was the export law stated, which does not allow owners to perform certain works of art out of the country. Similar methods were used with other former owners. Only on the basis of international diplomatic and media pressure, to a large extent from the United States, the Austrian government decided to make a change in the law (Art Restitution Act of 1998, the so-called Lex Rothschild). The art objects were the Rothschild family refunded only in the 1990s.

The Kunsthistorisches Museum operates on the basis of the federal law on the restitution of art objects from the 4th December 1998 (Federal Law Gazette I, 181 /1998) extensive provenance research. Even before this decree was carried out in-house provenance research at the initiative of the then archive director Herbert Haupt. This was submitted in 1998 by him in collaboration with Lydia Grobl a comprehensive presentation of the facts about the changes in the inventory levels of the Kunsthistorisches Museum during the Nazi era and in the years leading up to the State Treaty of 1955, an important basis for further research provenance.

The two historians Susanne Hehenberger and Monika Löscher are since 1st April 2009 as provenance researchers at the Kunsthistorisches Museum on behalf of the Commission for Provenance Research operating and they deal with the investigation period from 1933 to the recent past.

The museum today

Today the museum is as a federal museum, with 1st January 1999 released to the full legal capacity - it was thus the first of the state museums of Austria, implementing the far-reaching self-financing. It is by far the most visited museum in Austria with 1.3 million visitors (2007).

The Kunsthistorisches Museum is under the name Kunsthistorisches Museum and Museum of Ethnology and the Austrian Theatre Museum with company number 182081t since 11 June 1999 as a research institution under public law of the Federal virtue of the Federal Museums Act, Federal Law Gazette I/115/1998 and the Museum of Procedure of the Kunsthistorisches Museum and Museum of Ethnology and the Austrian Theatre Museum, 3 January 2001, BGBl II 2/ 2001, in force since 1 January 2001, registered.

In fiscal 2008, the turnover was 37.185 million EUR and total assets amounted to EUR 22.204 million. In 2008 an average of 410 workers were employed.

Management

1919-1923: Gustav Glück as the first chairman of the College of science officials

1924-1933: Hermann Julius Hermann 1924-1925 as the first chairman of the College of the scientific officers in 1925 as first director

1933: Arpad Weixlgärtner first director

1934-1938: Alfred Stix first director

1938-1945: Fritz Dworschak 1938 as acting head, from 1938 as a chief in 1941 as first director

1945-1949: August von Loehr 1945-1948 as executive director of the State Art Collections in 1949 as general director of the historical collections of the Federation

1945-1949: Alfred Stix 1945-1948 as executive director of the State Art Collections in 1949 as general director of art historical collections of the Federation

1949-1950: Hans Demel as administrative director

1950: Karl Wisoko-Meytsky as general director of art and historical collections of the Federation

1951-1952: Fritz Eichler as administrative director

1953-1954: Ernst H. Buschbeck as administrative director

1955-1966: Vincent Oberhammer 1955-1959 as administrative director, from 1959 as first director

1967: Edward Holzmair as managing director

1968-1972: Erwin Auer first director

1973-1981: Friderike Klauner first director

1982-1990: Hermann Fillitz first director

1990: George Kugler as interim first director

1990-2008: Wilfried Seipel as general director

Since 2009: Sabine Haag as general director

Collections

To the Kunsthistorisches Museum are also belonging the collections of the New Castle, the Austrian Theatre Museum in Palais Lobkowitz, the Museum of Ethnology and the Wagenburg (wagon fortress) in an outbuilding of Schönbrunn Palace. A branch office is also Ambras in Innsbruck.

Kunsthistorisches Museum (main building)

Picture Gallery

Egyptian and Near Eastern Collection

Collection of Classical Antiquities

Vienna Chamber of Art

Numismatic Collection

Library

New Castle

Ephesus Museum

Collection of Ancient Musical Instruments

Arms and Armour

Archive

Hofburg

The imperial crown in the Treasury

Imperial Treasury of Vienna

Insignia of the Austrian Hereditary Homage

Insignia of imperial Austria

Insignia of the Holy Roman Empire

Burgundian Inheritance and the Order of the Golden Fleece

Habsburg-Lorraine Household Treasure

Ecclesiastical Treasury

Schönbrunn Palace

Imperial Carriage Museum Vienna

Armory in Ambras Castle

Ambras Castle

Collections of Ambras Castle

Major exhibits

Among the most important exhibits of the Art Gallery rank inter alia:

Jan van Eyck: Cardinal Niccolò Albergati, 1438

Martin Schongauer: Holy Family, 1475-80

Albrecht Dürer : Trinity Altar, 1509-16

Portrait Johann Kleeberger, 1526

Parmigianino: Self Portrait in Convex Mirror, 1523/24

Giuseppe Arcimboldo: Summer 1563

Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio: Madonna of the Rosary 1606/ 07

Caravaggio: Madonna of the Rosary (1606-1607)

Titian: Nymph and Shepherd to 1570-75

Portrait of Jacopo de Strada, 1567/68

Raffaello Santi: Madonna of the Meadow, 1505 /06

Lorenzo Lotto: Portrait of a young man against white curtain, 1508

Peter Paul Rubens: The altar of St. Ildefonso, 1630-32

The Little Fur, about 1638

Jan Vermeer: The Art of Painting, 1665/66

Pieter Bruegel the Elder: Fight between Carnival and Lent, 1559

Kids, 1560

Tower of Babel, 1563

Christ Carrying the Cross, 1564

Gloomy Day (Early Spring), 1565

Return of the Herd (Autumn), 1565

Hunters in the Snow (Winter) 1565

Bauer and bird thief, 1568

Peasant Wedding, 1568/69

Peasant Dance, 1568/69

Paul's conversion (Conversion of St Paul), 1567

Cabinet of Curiosities:

Saliera from Benvenuto Cellini 1539-1543

Egyptian-Oriental Collection:

Mastaba of Ka Ni Nisut

Collection of Classical Antiquities:

Gemma Augustea

Treasure of Nagyszentmiklós

Gallery: Major exhibits

de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kunsthistorisches_Museum

1 3 4 5 6 7 ••• 22 23