Italian Early Renaissance Painter, 1401-1428
was the first great painter of the Quattrocento period of the Italian Renaissance. His frescoes are the earliest monuments of Humanism, and introduce a plasticity previously unseen in figure painting. The name Masaccio is a humorous version of Tommaso, meaning "big", "fat", "clumsy" or "messy" Tom. The name was created to distinguish him from his principal collaborator, also called Tommaso, who came to be known as Masolino ("little/delicate Tom"). Despite his brief career, he had a profound influence on other artists. He was one of the first to use scientific perspective in his painting, employing techniques such as vanishing point in art for the first time. He also moved away from the Gothic style and elaborate ornamentation of artists like Gentile da Fabriano to a more natural mode that employed perspective for greater realism. Masaccio was born to Giovanni di Mone Cassa??i and Jacopa di Martinozzo in Castel San Giovanni di Altura, now San Giovanni Valdarno (now part of the province of Arezzo, Tuscany). His father was a notary and his mother the daughter of an innkeeper of Barberino di Mugello, a town a few miles south of Florence. His family name, Cassai, comes from the trade of his grandfather Simone and granduncle Lorenzo, who were carpenters - cabinet makers ("casse", hence "cassai"). His father died in 1406, when Tommaso was only five; in that year another brother was born, called Giovanni after the dead father. He also was to become a painter, with the nickname of "Scheggia" meaning "splinter". The mother was remarried to an elderly apothecary, Tedesco, who guaranteed Masaccio and his family a comfortable childhood. Related Paintings of MASACCIO :. | Holy Trinity, | Madonna and child | Portrait of a Young Man w5 | The Saint Three-unity | Virgin and Child |
Related Artists:Fitz Hugh Lane
Fitz Henry Lane was born on December 19, 1804, in Gloucester, Massachusetts. Lane was christened Nathaniel Rogers Lane on March 17, 1805, and would remain known as such until he was 27. It was not until March 13, 1832 that the state of Massachusetts would officially grant Lane??s own formal request (made in a letter dated December 26, 1831) to change his name from Nathaniel Rogers to Fitz Henry Lane. As with practically all aspects of Lane??s life, the subject of his name is one surrounded by much confusion??it was not until 2005 that historians discovered that they had been wrongly referring to the artist as Fitz Hugh, as opposed to his chosen Fitz Henry, and the reasons behind Lane??s decision to change his name, and for choosing the name he did, are still very unclear.
From the time of his birth, Lane would be exposed to the sea and maritime life??a factor that obviously had a great impact his later choice of subject matter. Many circumstances of his young life ensured Lane??s constant interaction with various aspects of this maritime life, including the fact that Lane??s family lived ??upon the periphery of Gloucester Harbor??s working waterfront,?? , and that his father, Jonathan Dennison Lane, was a sailmaker, and quite possibly owned and ran a sail loft. It is often speculated that Lane would most likely have pursued some sea-faring career, or become a sail-maker like his father, instead of an artist, had it not been for a life-long handicap Lane developed as a child. Although the cause cannot be known with complete certainty, it is widely accepted most plausible that the ingestion of some part of the Peru-Apple??a poisonous weed also known as jimsonweed??by Lane at the age of eighteen months caused the paralysis of the legs from which Lane would never recover. It is suggested, and seems logical to assume, that because he could not play games as the other children did, he was forced to find some other means of amusement, and that in such a pursuit he discovered and was able to develop his talent for drawing. To go a step further, as a result of his having a busy sea-port as immediate surroundings, he was able to develop a special skill in depicting the goings-on inherent in such an environment.
It is true that Lane could still have become a sail-maker, as such an occupation entailed much time spent sitting and sewing, and that Lane already had some experience sewing from his short-lived apprenticeship in shoe-making. However, as evidenced in this quote from Lane??s nephew Edward Lane??s ??Early Recollections,?? his interest in art held much sway in his deciding on a career: ??Before he became an artist he worked for a short time making shoes, but after a while, seeing that he could draw pictures better than he could make shoes he went to Boston and took lessons in drawing and painting and became a marine artist.??
Lane acquired such ??lessons?? by way of his employment at Pendleton??s lithography shop in Boston, which lasted from 1832 to 1847. With the refinement and development of his artistic skills acquired during his years working as a lithographer, Lane was able to successfully produce marine paintings of high quality, as evidenced in his being listed, officially, as a ??marine painter?? in the Boston Almanac of 1840. Lane continued to refine his painting style, and consequently, the demand for his marine paintings increased as well.
Lane had visited Gloucester often while living in Boston, and in 1848, he returned permanently. In 1849, Lane began overseeing construction of a house/studio of his own design on Duncan??s Point??this house would remain his primary residence to the end of his life. Fitz Henry Lane continued to produce beautiful marine paintings and seascapes into his later years. He died in his home on Duncan??s Point on August 14, 1865, and is buried in Oak Grove Cemetery.Henry Sargent
Henry Sargent Gallery
Henry Sargent (baptized November 25, 1770 ?? February 21, 1845), American painter and military man, was born in Gloucester, Massachusetts. One of seven children born to Daniel and Mary (Turner) Sargent and the brother of Lucius Manlius Sargent, he was a great-grandson of William Sargent, who received a grant of land at Gloucester in 1678. His father was a prosperous and public-spirited merchant. Henry was sent as a young boy to Dummer Academy, South Byfield, and then, the family having moved to Boston, he continued his studies under local teachers. After a period in the counting house of Thomas Handasyd Perkins, he continued his commercial apprenticeship with his father, but suddenly, as he was attaining his majority, without having previously shown special partiality for the arts of design, he determined to become an artist. An elder brother's efforts in this direction seem to have stimulated him, and his mother encouraged him. John Trumbull, who visited Boston in 1790, saw some of his work and found it promising.
In 1793 Sargent went to London, where he studied with Benjamin West and had courteous treatment from John Singleton Copley. A letter of Sargent's dated March 27, 1795 shows that he found living in London expensive and the painter's profession much depressed. He returned to Boston in 1799, still strongly conscious of "the apathy then existing towards the arts". Accordingly, in that same year he took a commission in the national army then being raised under the command of Alexander Hamilton. This service was brief, but it gave Sargent a taste for military life which motivated his long connection with the Massachusetts militia. In or shortly after 1799 he joined the Boston Light Infantry, which had been organized the year before and of which his brother, Daniel Sargent, was captain. Records of the adjutant-general's office in the Massachusetts State House show that Henry Sargent became first lieutenant of this company on October 1, 1804, and captain on March 31, 1807. Of a tall, thin, Yankee build, he was a handsome officer and an efficient drill master. During the War of 1812 his company aided in the fortification of Fort Strong, and on May 31, 1815, he was appointed aide-de-camp to the governor, with the rank of colonel. In 1812, 1815, 1816, and 1817 he was a member of the Massachusetts Senate.
On April 2, 1807, Sargent married Hannah, the daughter of Samuel and Isabella (Pratt) Welles, of Boston, and they had two daughters who died in infancy and two sons, one of whom was Henry Winthrop Sargent.
In the course of the following decade, growing deafness caused him gradually to withdraw from public services and to devote himself entirely to his painting and to mechanical inventions; he achieved no particular fame in the latter field. His painting was that of a diligent and gifted artist whose talent fell short of genius. His portraits were less masterful than those of his fellow townsman, Gilbert Stuart, with whom he was personally intimate. Like Copley, whom he somewhat resembled as a painter, Sargent enjoyed intensive elaboration of textures and accessories. He had a capacity for doing canvases that required sustained effort. The well-known Landing of the Pilgrims, at Pilgrim Hall, Plymouth, attributed to him, is not representative of his best work. Far better are the two conversation pieces, The Dinner Party (ca. 1821) and The Tea Party (ca. 1824), owned by the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. These have something of the exquisiteness of the so-called Little Dutchmen and they give fascinating glimpses of social life in Boston homes of the early 19th century. An altar painting, The Christ Crucified, which Sargent made for the Holy Cross Church, Boston, won contemporary favor. The full-length portrait of Peter Faneuil, in Faneuil Hall, if by Sargent, to whom it is ascribed, must be a copy after John Smibert. Sargent's self-portrait is at the Museum of Fine Arts; his likenesses of Jeremy Belknap, D.D., and John Clarke, D.D., both friends of his parents, are at the Massachusetts Historical Society. Continuing to paint at intervals down into old age, he was elected in 1840 an honorary member of the National Academy of Design and in 1845, president of the newly-organized Artists' Association of Boston.Courbet, Gustave
French Realist Painter, 1819-1877
Gustave Courbet was born at Ornans on June 10, 1819. He appears to have inherited his vigorous temperament from his father, a landowner and prominent personality in the Franche-Comt region. At the age of 18 Gustave went to the College Royal at Besançon. There he openly expressed his dissatisfaction with the traditional classical subjects he was obliged to study, going so far as to lead a revolt among the students. In 1838 he was enrolled as an externe and could simultaneously attend the classes of Charles Flajoulot, director of the cole des Beaux-Arts. At the college in Besançon, Courbet became fast friends with Max Buchon, whose Essais Poetiques (1839) he illustrated with four lithographs. In 1840 Courbet went to Paris to study law, but he decided to become a painter and spent much time copying in the Louvre. In 1844 his Self-Portrait with Black Dog was exhibited at the Salon. The following year he submitted five pictures; only one, Le Guitarrero, was accepted. After a complete rejection in 1847, the Liberal Jury of 1848 accepted all 10 of his entries, and the critic Champfleury, who was to become Courbet's first staunch apologist, highly praised the Walpurgis Night. Courbet achieved artistic maturity with After Dinner at Ornans, which was shown at the Salon of 1849. By 1850 the last traces of sentimentality disappeared from his work as he strove to achieve an honest imagery of the lives of simple people, but the monumentality of the concept in conjunction with the rustic subject matter proved to be widely unacceptable. At this time the notion of Courbet's "vulgarity" became current as the press began to lampoon his pictures and criticize his penchant for the ugly. His nine entries in the Salon of 1850 included the Portrait of Berlioz, the Man with the Pipe, the Return from the Fair, the Stone Breakers, and, largest of all, the Burial at Ornans, which contains over 40 life-size figures whose rugged features and static poses are reinforced by the somber landscape. A decade later Courbet wrote: "The basis of realism is the negation of the ideal. Burial at Ornans was in reality the burial of romanticism." In 1851 the Second Empire was officially proclaimed, and during the next 20 years Courbet remained an uncompromising opponent of Emperor Napoleon III. At the Salon of 1853, where the painter exhibited three works, the Emperor pronounced one of them, The Bathers, obscene; nevertheless, it was purchased by a Montpellier innkeeper, Alfred Bruyas, who became the artist's patron and host. While visiting Bruyas in 1854 Courbet painted his first seascapes. Among them is the Seashore at Palavas, in which the artist is seen waving his hat at the great expanse of water. In a letter to Jules Vall's written in this period Courbet remarked: "Oh sea! Your voice is tremendous, but it will never succeed in drowning out the voice of Fame shouting my name to the entire world." Courbet was handsome and flamboyant, naively boastful, and aware of his own worth. His extraordinary selfconfidence is also evident in another painting of 1854, The Meeting, in which Courbet, stick in hand, approaches Bruyas and his servant, who welcome him with reverential attitudes. It has recently been shown that the picture bears a relationship to the theme of the Wandering Jew as it was commonly represented in the naive imagery of the popular Épinal prints. Of the 14 paintings Courbet submitted to the Paris World Exhibition of 1855, 3 major ones were rejected. In retaliation, he showed 40 of his pictures at a private pavilion he erected opposite the official one. In the preface to his catalog Courbet expressed his intention "to be able to represent the customs, the ideas, the appearance of my own era according to my own valuation; to be not only a painter but a man as well; in short, to create living art." One of the rejected works was the enormous painting The Studio, the full title of which was Real Allegory, Representing a Phase of Seven Years of My Life as a Painter. The work is charged with a symbolism which, in spite of obvious elements, remains obscure. At the center, between the two worlds expressed by the inhabitants of the left and right sides of the picture, is Courbet painting a landscape while a nude looks over his shoulder and a child admires his work. Champfleury found the notion of a "real allegory" ridiculous and concluded that Courbet had lost the conviction and simplicity of the earlier works. Young Ladies by the Seine (1856) only served to further convince the critic of Courbet's diminished powers. But if Courbet had begun to disappoint the members of the old realist circle, his popular reputation, particularly outside France, was growing. He visited Frankfurt in 1858-1859, where he took part in elaborate hunting parties and painted a number of scenes based on direct observation. His Stag Drinking was exhibited in Besançon, where Courbet won a medal, and in 1861 his work, as well as a lecture on his artistic principles, met with great success in Antwerp. With the support of the critic Jules Castagnary, Courbet opened a school where students dissatisfied with the training at the cole des Beaux-Arts could hear him extol the virtues of independence from authority and dedication to nature.