:: Bazzani, Giuseppe...

BAZZANI, Giuseppe
(b. 1690, Mantova, d. 1769, Mantova)

Italian painter. He was the son of the goldsmith Giovanni Bazzani and trained in the studio of Giovanni Canti (1653-1715). Giuseppe was a refined and cultivated artist and as a young man profited from the rich collections of art in Mantua, studying the works of Andrea
Mantegna, Giulio Romano, 16th-century Venetian painters, especially Paolo Veronese, and Flemish artists, above all Rubens.
His earliest works, for example the Assumption (private collection), reveal an affinity with contemporary Venetian painters such as Giovanni Battista
Piazzetta, Federico Bencovich and Andrea Celesti, but Bazzani rapidly absorbed the influence of Antonio Balestra, Domenico Fetti and most of all Rubens and Veronese. The inspiration of the last two artists is apparent in a number of works that may be dated in the 1720s and early 1730s. These include the Miracles of Pius V, the Conversion of a Heretic and the Healing of a Madwoman (all mid-1720s; Mantua, Museo Palazzo Ducale) painted for the church of S Maurizio in Mantua; paintings of St John the Evangelist, St Mark and St Luke (all late 1720s; Vasto di Goito, parish church); and the Baptism, the Ecstasy of St Aloysius Gonzaga (1729) and the Ecstasy of SS Francis and Anthony (1732; all Borgoforte, parish church). Seven paintings of scenes from the Life of Alexander the Great (Mantua, Museo Palazzo d'Arco), which date from c. 1738, were painted for Giacomo Biondi, one of the artist's first patrons, and are distinguished by their theatrical splendour and awareness of a rich artistic tradition. This period culminated in the Baroque drama of the Delivery of the Keys to St Peter (1739; Goito, parish church), Bazzani's first documented work.
Bazzani absorbed the painterly styles of earlier artists such as Paolo Veronese, Pieter Paul Rubens, and Anthony van Dyck. Bazzani's rapid, sketchy brushstroke may have derived not only from these artists but also from his Italian contemporary, Alessandro
Magnasco. Bazzani remained in Mantua throughout his entire artistic career and died there. From 1752 he was professor at the Academy of Fine Arts in Mantua.


:: Gerard Terborch...

Gerard Terborch
This Dutch painter was born in 1617 in Zwolle into the family of an artist, Gerard Terborch the Elder, who became his first mentor. Then, in 1634, Gerard was apprenticed to Pieter de Molyn in Haarlem, where he also experienced the influence of
Frans Hals. He became a member of the Haarlem St. Lukas Guild in 1635 and soon started off on his 5-years travels, visiting England, Italy and France. In 1635, in London, he probably got acquainted with portraits by Van Dyck; in 1640-41 he visited Italy and Spain, where he was admitted by court and painted King Philip IV. In Spain Velazquez's work made a deep impression on him. In 1646-48, Terborch visited Münster (Westphalia), where he painted “The Treaty of Westphalia” (Peace Treaty of Münster), now in the National Gallery, London, which marked the end of the Thirty Years’ War. The composition of 80 figures combines the features of portrait and historical painting. Gerard Terborch belongs to the few Dutch painters of the European school. He painted genre pictures and portraits, which he dated very seldom. In his early period (1630s-50s) he often depicted the scenes of everyday life of soldiers and entertainers: examples. The picture The Knifegrinder's Family belongs to the same period, it shows the miserable life of an artisan and is the only painting of such character in all his work. In 1654 the painter settled at Deventer. The characters of Terborch works changed, the life of the rich families became his main subject. His pictures are elegant and marked with restraint lyricism, which sign off his work among other Dutch genre painters. The masterpieces of Terborch of The Fatherly Admonition, The Concert, Glass of Lemonade, and others. The artist died in 1681 at Deventer.
Bibliography: Holland Genre Painting. XVII century. by E. Fehner. Moscow. Izobrazitelnoe Iskusstvo. 1979. Painting of Western Europe. XVII century. by E. Rotenberg. Moscow. Iskusstvo. 1989. Painting of Europe. XIII-XX centuries. Encyclopedic Dictionary. Moscow. Iskusstvo. 1999.

(b. 1617, Zwolle, d. 1681, Deventer)

Terborch (also spelled Ter Borch, or Terburg), Dutch Baroque painter who developed his own distinctive type of interior genre in which he depicted with grace and fidelity the atmosphere of well-to-do, middle-class life in 17th-century Holland.
Terborch's father had been an artist and had visited Rome but from 1621 was employed as a tax collector. Surviving drawings made by the young Terborch in 1625 and 1626 are proudly inscribed and dated by his father. In 1632 Gerard was in Amsterdam, and in 1634 he was a pupil of Pieter de Molyn in Haarlem. He visited England in 1635, Rome in 1640, and from 1646 spent two or three years in Münster, Westphalia, where the peace congress was in session. The masterpiece of this period, The Swearing of the Oath of Ratification of the Treaty of Münster (1648), portrays the delegates of Holland and of Spain assembled to sign the peace treaty. After a stay in Madrid he finally returned to his own country at the end of 1650, and in 1655 he settled in Deventer.
Terborch's works consist almost equally of portraits and genre pieces. His characteristically delicate technique can be appreciated in the portraits, which are painted on a small, almost miniature scale, though many of them are full-length. In colour they tend to be subdued, due largely to the sober costume of the times, but by subtlety of tonal gradations and mastery in rendering diverse surface textures he was able to achieve an extraordinary richness of effect. Particularly characteristic is his manner of rendering satin. His superb colour sense appears to greater advantage in genre subjects, though it is always employed with masterly restraint. In his earlier years he painted many guardroom subjects in the manner of Pieter Codde and Willem Duyster, but later, from about the time when he finally settled in Holland, he painted calm, exquisitely drawn groups, posed easily and naturally against shadowy backgrounds and imbued with an almost aristocratic elegance that is unique among Dutch painters of his time. Among many fine examples of Terborch's art are The Letter, The Concert, and Paternal Admonition.

:: Gemaldegalerie...


:: Chasseriau, Théodore...

(b. 1819, Sainte-Barbe de Samana, d. 1856, Paris)

French painter and printmaker. In 1822 Chassériau moved with his family to Paris, where he received a bourgeois upbringing under the supervision of an older brother. A precociously gifted draughtsman, he entered
Ingres's studio at the age of 11 and remained there until Ingres left to head the Académie de France in Rome in 1834. He made his Salon début in 1836 with several portraits and religious subjects, including Cain Accursed (Paris, private collection), for which he received a third-class medal. Among his many submissions in subsequent years were Susanna Bathing (1839, exhibited Salon 1839; Paris, Louvre), a Marine Venus (1838; exhibited Salon 1839; Paris, Louvre) and the Toilet of Esther (1841, exhibited Salon 1842; Paris, Louvre); these three paintings of nude female figures combine an idealization derived from Ingres with a sensuality characteristic of Chassériau.
In the 1840s he conceived an admiration for
Delacroix and attempted, with considerable success, to combine Ingres's classical linear grace with Delacroix's Romantic colour. His chief work was the decoration of the Cour des Comptes in the Palais d'Orsay, Paris, with allegorical scenes of Peace and War (1844-48), but these were almost completely destroyed by fire. There are other examples of his decorative work, however, in various churches in Paris. Chassériau was also an outstanding portraitist and painted nudes and North African scenes (he made a visit there in 1846).

:: Bruegel, Pieter the Elder...

BRUEGEL, Pieter the Elder
(b. ca. 1525, Breughel, d. 1569, Bruxelles)

Pieter Bruegel the Elder (byname Peasant Bruegel, also spelled Brueghel or Breughel), the greatest Netherlandish painter of the 16th century, whose landscapes and vigorous, often witty scenes of peasant life are particularly renowned. He spelled his name Brueghel until 1559, and his sons retained the "h" in the spelling of their names. Since Bruegel signed and dated many of his works, his artistic evolution can be traced from the early landscapes, in which he shows affinity with the Flemish 16th-century landscape tradition, to his last works, which are Italianate. He exerted a strong influence on painting in the Low Countries, and through his sons
Jan and Pieter he became the ancestor of a dynasty of painters that survived into the 18th century.
There is but little information about his life. According to Carel van Mander's Het Schilderboeck (Book of Painters), published in Amsterdam in 1604 (35 years after Bruegel's death), Bruegel was apprenticed to Pieter
Coecke van Aelst, a leading Antwerp artist who had located in Brussels. The head of a large workshop, Coecke was a sculptor, architect, and designer of tapestry and stained glass who had traveled in Italy and in Turkey. Although Bruegel's earliest surviving works show no stylistic dependence on Coecke's Italianate art, connections with Coecke's compositions can be detected in later years, particularly after 1563, when Bruegel married Coecke's daughter Mayken. In any case, the apprenticeship with Coecke represented an early contact with a humanistic milieu. Through Coecke Bruegel became linked indirectly to another tradition as well. Coecke's wife, Maria Verhulst Bessemers, was a painter known for her work in watercolour or tempera, a suspension of pigments in egg yolk or a glutinous substance, on linen. The technique was widely practiced in her hometown of Mechelen (Malines) and was later employed by Bruegel. It is also in the works of Mechelen's artists that allegorical and peasant thematic material first appear. These subjects, unusual in Antwerp, were later treated by Bruegel.
In 1551 or 1552, Bruegel set off on the customary northern artist's journey to Italy, probably by way of France. From several extant paintings, drawings, and etchings, it can be deduced that he traveled beyond Naples to Sicily, possibly as far as Palermo, and that in 1553 he lived for some time in Rome, where he worked with a celebrated miniaturist, Giulio Clovio, an artist greatly influenced by
Michelangelo and later a patron of the young El Greco. The inventory of Clovio's estate shows that he owned a number of paintings and drawings by Bruegel as well as a miniature done by the two artists in collaboration. It was in Rome, in 1553, that Bruegel produced his earliest signed and dated painting, Landscape with Christ and the Apostles at the Sea of Tiberias. The holy figures in this painting were probably done by Maarten de Vos, a painter from Antwerp then working in Italy.
The earliest surviving works, including two drawings with Italian scenery sketched on the southward journey and dated 1552, are landscapes. A number of
drawings of Alpine regions, produced between 1553 and 1556, indicate the great impact of the mountain experience on this man from the Low Countries. With the possible exception of a drawing of a mountain valley by Leonardo da Vinci, the landscapes resulting from this journey are almost without parallel in European art for their rendering of the overpowering grandeur of the high mountains. Very few of the drawings were done on the spot, and several were done after Bruegel's return, at an unknown date, to Antwerp. The vast majority are free compositions, combinations of motifs sketched on the journey through the Alps. Some were intended as designs for engravings commissioned by Hiëronymus Cock, an engraver and Antwerp's foremost publisher of prints.
Bruegel was to work for Cock until his last years, but, from 1556 on, he concentrated, surprisingly enough, on satirical, didactic, and moralizing subjects, often in the fantastic or grotesque manner of Hiëronymus
Bosch, imitations of whose works were very popular at the time. Other artists were content with a more or less close imitation of Bosch, but Bruegel's inventiveness lifted his designs above mere imitation, and he soon found ways to express his ideas in a much different manner. His early fame rested on prints published by Cock after such designs. But the new subject matter and the interest in the human figure did not lead to the abandonment of landscape. Bruegel, in fact, extended his explorations in this field. Side by side with his mountain compositions, he began to draw the woods of the countryside, turned then to Flemish villages, and, in 1562, to townscapes with the towers and gates of Amsterdam.
The double interest in landscape and in subjects requiring the representation of human figures also informed, often jointly, the paintings that Bruegel produced in increasing number after his return from Italy. All of his paintings, even those in which the landscape appears as the dominant feature, have some narrative content. Conversely, in those that are primarily narrative, the landscape setting often carries part of the meaning. Dated paintings have survived from each year of the period except for 1558 and 1561. Within this decade falls Bruegel's marriage to Mayken Coecke in the Church of Notre-Dame de la Chapelle in Brussels in 1563 and his move to that city, in which Mayken and her mother were living. His residence recently was restored and turned into a Bruegel museum. There is, however, some doubt as to the correctness of the identification.
In Brussels, Bruegel produced his greatest paintings, but only few designs for engravings, for the connection with Hiëronymus Cock may have become less close after Bruegel left Antwerp. Another reason for the concentration on painting may have been his growing success in this field. Among his patrons was Cardinal Antione Perrenot de Granvelle, president of the council of state in the Netherlands, in whose palace in Brussels the sculptor Jacques Jonghelinck had a studio. He and Bruegel had traveled in Italy at the same time, and his brother, a rich Antwerp collector, Niclaes, was Bruegel's greatest patron, having by 1566 acquired 16 of his paintings. Another patron was Abraham Ortelius, who in a memorable obituary called Bruegel the most perfect artist of the century. Most of his paintings were done for collectors.
Bruegel died in 1569 and was buried in Notre-Dame de la Chapelle in Brussels.
Bruegel's artistic evolution
In addition to a great many drawings and engravings by Bruegel, 45 authenticated paintings from a much larger output now lost have been preserved. Of this number, about a third is concentrated in the Vienna Kunsthistorisches Museum, reflecting the keen interest of the Habsburg princes in the 16th and 17th centuries in Bruegel's art.
In his earliest surviving works, Bruegel appears as essentially a landscape artist, indebted to, but transcending, the Flemish 16th-century landscape tradition, as well as to
Titian and to other Venetian landscape painters. After his return from Italy, he turned to multifigure compositions, representations of crowds of people loosely disposed throughout the picture and usually seen from above. Here, too, antecedents can be found in the art of Hiëronymus Bosch and of other painters closer in time to Bruegel.
In 1564 and 1565, under the spell of Italian art and especially of
Raphael, Bruegel reduced the number of figures drastically, the few being larger and placed closely together in a very narrow space. In 1565, however, he turned again to landscape with the celebrated series known as Labours of the Months. In the five of these that have survived, he subordinated the figures to the great lines of the landscape. Later on, crowds appear again, disposed in densely concentrated groups.
Bruegel's last works often show a striking affinity with Italian art. The diagonal spatial arrangement of the figures in
Peasant Wedding recalls Venetian compositions. Though transformed into peasants, the figures in such works as Peasant and Bird Nester (1568) have something of the grandeur of Michelangelo. In the very last works, two trends appear; on the one hand, a combined monumentalization and extreme simplification of figures and, on the other hand, an exploration of the expressive quality of the various moods conveyed by landscape. The former trend is evident in his Hunters in the Snow (1565), one of his winter paintings. The latter is seen in the radiant, sunny atmosphere of The Magpie on the Gallows and in the threatening and sombre character of The Storm at Sea, an unfinished work, probably Bruegel's last painting.
He was no less interested in observing the works of man. Noting every detail with almost scientific exactness, he rendered ships with great accuracy in several paintings and in a series of engravings. A most faithful picture of contemporary building operations is shown in the two paintings of
The Tower of Babel (one 1563, the other undated). The Rotterdam Tower of Babel illustrates yet another characteristic of Bruegel's art, an obsessive interest in rendering movement. It was a problem with which he constantly experimented. In the Rotterdam painting, movement is imparted to an inanimate object, the tower seeming to be shown in rotation. Even more strikingly, in The Magpie on the Gallows, the gallows apparently take part in the peasants' dance shown next to them. The several paintings of peasant dances are obvious examples, and others, less obvious, are the processional representations in The Way to Calvary and in The Conversion of St. Paul. The latter work also conveys the sensation of the movement of figures through the constantly changing terrain of mountainous regions. This sensation had appeared first in the early mountain drawings and later, in different form, in The Flight into Egypt (1563). Toward the end of his life, Bruegel seems to have become fascinated by the problem of the falling figure. His studies reached their apogee in a rendering of successive stages of falling in The Parable of the Blind. The perfect unity of form, content, and expression marks this painting as a high point in European art.
The subject matter of Bruegel's compositions covers an impressively wide range. In addition to the landscapes, his repertoire consists of conventional biblical scenes and parables of Christ, mythological subjects as in
Landscape with the Fall of Icarus (two versions), and the illustrations of proverbial sayings in The Netherlands Proverbs and several other paintings. His allegorical compositions are often of a religious character, as the two engraved series of The Vices (1556-57) and The Virtues (1559-60), but they included profane social satires as well. The scenes from peasant life are well known, but a number of subjects that are not easy to classify include The Fight Between Carnival and Lent (1559), Children's Games (1560), and Dulle Griet, also known as Mad Meg (1562).


:: Jheronimus Bosch...

::Bartolomeo, Fra...

(b. 1473, Firenze, d. 1517, Pian' di Mugnone)

Florentine painter. After training with Cosimo Rosselli, he was deeply influenced by the preaching of
Savonarola and entered the Dominican Order in 1500, giving up painting until 1504. His original name was Baccio della Porta, but he changed his name to Fra Bartolomeo when he became a Dominican friar. From then until 1508 he developed parallel with Raphael - though Raphael's was the more imaginative genius - each contributing something to the new High Renaissance type of Madonna with Saints, in which the figure of the Madonna acts not merely as a centre but as a pivot about which the whole composition turns. The two artists also evolved a new treatment, first adumbrated by Leonardo, of the theme of the Madonna and Child with the Infant St John in a Landscape. Raphael, Michelangelo, and Leonardo had all left Florence by 1509 and in the second decade of the century Fra Bartolommeo was rivalled only by Andrea del Sarto as the leading painter in the city, which he left only briefly for visits to Venice in 1508 and Rome in 1514. His style acquired a solemn restraint and monumentality that made him one of the purest representatives of the High Renaissance {The Mystical Marriage of St Catherine, Louvre, Paris, 1511).
Fra Bartolommeo was a brilliant draughtsman and the mystical element in his nature is expressed in his drawings, which escape the tendency to empty rhetoric occasionally shown in his later paintings. His drawings include not only figure studies, but also landscape and nature studies.