REMBRANDT VAN RIJN --Born in Leiden, 1606 --Originally studied under van Swanenburgh --At the age of 17 or 18, went to Amsterdam to study under Lastman, a more capable master
The Money Changer by Rembrandt (1627) Chiaroscuro, “Tenebrism”
The Money Changer by Rembrandt (1627) Chiaroscuro, “Tenebrism”
Silverpoint drawing of Saskia van Uylenburgh by Rembrandt (1633) “ This was drawn after my wife, when she was 21 years old, the third day after our betrothal—the 8 th of June, 1633.” REMBRANDT: SASKIA
Saskia van Uylenburgh -Cousin of an art dealer with whom Rembrandt lived and rented studio space when he moved to Amsterdam. -From a well-connected family, she brought him a large dowry and an entrée into social circles which benefited his career. -Frequently served as Rembrandt’s model. REMBRANDT: SASKIA
REMBRANDT: THE NIGHTWATCH (1642) “ The Militia Company of Captain Banning Cocq” A group portrait for the Kloveniers militia
REMBRANDT: THE NIGHTWATCH (1642) 18 members involved in the commission, but Rembrandt paints 30+
REMBRANDT: THE NIGHTWATCH (1642) Powder boy Extra figures: adds visual interest, and also provides active figures
REMBRANDT: THE NIGHTWATCH (1642) Banning Cocq: gesturing, speaking; as if ordering the men to march out
REMBRANDT: THE NIGHTWATCH (1642) Glove: challenge
REMBRANDT: THE NIGHTWATCH (1642) Musketry: The musket was the special weapon of the Kloveniers militia
REMBRANDT: THE NIGHTWATCH (1642) Laurel leaves: victory
REMBRANDT: THE NIGHTWATCH (1642) Chicken, tied by its claws
REMBRANDT: THE NIGHTWATCH (1642) Insignia of the Kloveniers militia
Saskia: dies in 1642. Holding a joint estate with Rembrandt, her will stipulated that her half did not go to him, but to Titus when he married or came of age, Rembrandt got only any interest off of her half until that time. Further, if he were to remarry, her half was to go to one of her sisters, and Titus’s share would be forfeit, as Rembrandt’s stake in the interest.
Rembrandt—Financial Insolvency: -Had taken a large loan in 1639 to buy the house; after 15 years had only managed to pay off about a quarter of what he owed, and had also been ignoring taxes and interest. -Selling the house would have caused potential difficulties due to the terms of Saskia’s will, since they had owned it jointly and thus it was part of Titus’s inheritance. -Forced in 1656 to apply for a cessation of goods, whereby his possessions were auctioned off by his creditors, including his paintings, drawings, and prints.
Self-Portrait, 1660 Rembrandt in the 1660s: -Moves to a small rented house with Titus, Hendrickje, and his daughter Cornelia. -Obliged to turn over future sales of art to his creditors, he sets up a dummy corporation with Titus and Hendrickje as “art dealers” and Rembrandt as a salaried “ advisor.” -Again starts to receive important commissions, including the Syndics of the Draper’s Guild and Julius Civilis.
Self-Portrait, 1660 Both Titus and Hendrickje die in 1663, leaving Cornelia as his only surviving family.
Rubens and his Wife (Isabella Brant) in the Honeysuckle Bower (1609) PETER PAUL RUBENS --Born 1577 in Seigen, Germany; his father, Jan, was a Calvinist and fled his native Antwerp to escape religious persecution. --Jan Rubens, an attorney, had originally fled to Cologne; after an affair with a princess to whom he served as secretary he was imprisoned and nearly executed. He was released and allowed to settle in Seigen. --Jan Rubens died in 1587, leaving his wife Maria to raise Peter Paul and his 13-year-old brother Philip. --Maria Rubens returned with her sons to Antwerp.
RUBENS: ITALY—The Duke of Mantua --In Venice meets Vincenzo I, Duke of Mantua, who was a great patron of the arts, and is offered a job as one of his painters. --His tasks consisted mostly of copying famous works of art and painting original portraits of beautiful women for the Duke’s “Gallery of Beauties.” --The job also gave him access to important people and art collections (including the Duke’s own) and the opportunity to travel around Italy. Self Portrait with a Circle of Friends from Mantua (early 1600s)
RUBENS: ITALY—Copies of Roman and Italian masters Drawing after the central group of Leonardo’s Battle of Anghiari
RUBENS: ITALY—Portraits Marchesa Brigada Spinola Doria (c.1606)
RUBENS: ANTWERP Rubens and his Wife (Isabella Brant) in the Honeysuckle Bower (1609) Rubens’s own wedding portrait
RUBENS: ANTWERP—Religious paintings The Elevation of the Cross (1610-11), an altarpiece for the Church of St. Walburga, Antwerp Rubens’s first altarpiece in Antwerp
RUBENS: MYTHOLOGICAL AND HISTORY PAINTINGS Prometheus Bound (1611-12)
RUBENS: MEDICI CYCLE --Commissioned in 1621-22 by Marie de’Medici to paint a large cycle of paintings at her new residence, the Palais de Luxembourg, designed in 1620 by Solomon de Brosse. --Marie was the widow of the previous king, Henri IV, and the mother of the current king, Louis XIII. She had also served as regent in Louis’s youth, but was generally disliked by the French people, even by her son. --Rubens’s cycle was intended to glorify her and present a positive image of her role in French politics and society. Marie de’Medici by Rubens (c.1622)
MARIE DE’MEDICI --Born in Florence, Italy, in 1573. --Her father was Grand Duke of Tuscany and a member of the wealthy Medici family; upon the death of Henri IV’s first wife, her father secured for her the title of Queen of France by the payment of a huge dowry. --She married Henri IV by proxy in 1600, but upon her arrival in France things went poorly—she quarreled not just with Henri but openly and violently with his mistresses. --Bore him a son, Louis XIII. Marie de’Medici by Rubens (c.1622)
MARIE DE’MEDICI --Upon Henri’s assassination in 1610—which she reputedly may have had a role in—she was recognized as the Regent of France, who would rule the country in the place of Louis XIII (then 9-years-old). She placed at the head of her government her own lover Concini, also an Italian. --In 1617, Louis attained full powers of king and had Concini assassinated and Marie banished. --In 1621, due to the influence of Cardinal Richelieu, Louis allowed her to return to Paris. Marie de’Medici by Rubens (c.1622)
RUBENS: MEDICI CYCLE The commission: --24 paintings—21 scenes showing events from Marie’s life and portraits of herself and her parents (a second planned series, of events from Henri’s life, was never completed). --Begun in 1622, completed 1625. --In order to mask the often mundane and contentious reality of Marie’s life, Rubens surrounded her with allegorical figures and used metaphors from classical mythology to create scenes implying triumph and apotheosis, and justified Marie as a symbol of virtue. Marie de’Medici by Rubens (c.1622)
RUBENS: MEDICI CYCLE Scene 1: The Destiny of Marie de’Medici Zeus and Hera look on from above The Fates spin the thread of Marie’s destiny The job of the third Fate, Atropos, was to cut the thread of life, and her usual attribute was scissors. Here she is without them, implying the privileged and immortal nature of Marie
RUBENS: MEDICI CYCLE Scene 2: The Birth of Marie de’Medici The goddess Juno presents the infant Marie to an allegorical figure of the city of Florence
RUBENS: MEDICI CYCLE Scene 3: The Education of Marie de’Medici Apollo (the Greek patron of the arts) and Athena (Goddess of Wisdom) help attend to Marie’s education The Three Graces offer her beauty
RUBENS: MEDICI CYCLE Scene 6: The Arrival of Marie de’Medici in Marseilles A personification of France welcomes her Fame trumpets to alert France of her arrival Sea gods, tritons, and sirens lead her ship to shore Marie
RUBENS: MEDICI CYCLE Scene 21: The Triumph of Truth An allegorical figure of Truth is unveiled by time, to show that in the end time will reveal that the rupture between Marie and Louis was due to the falsity and scheming of others Marie and Louis in Heaven; he offers her a laurel crown with two joined hands and a heart inside of it
RUBENS: MEDICI CYCLE Louis XIII and Marie de’Medici by Rubens 1630: Marie plots a coup against Louis and his chief minister; she is again exiled, this time permanently.
NICOLAS POUSSIN --1593/94-1665 --Trained under various minor painters --Arrived in Rome in 1624; worked for a time in Domenichino’s studio --By the late 1620s had begun to achieve success, even obtaining a commission for an altarpiece in St. Peter’s (The Martyrdom of St. Erasmus)
NICOLAS POUSSIN: Early period, Rome --By the late 1620s he began to explore a new direction; he gave up large-scale painting in churches and palaces, and started working on smaller works mostly derived from classical subject matter, and intended for a small, erudite circle that was sincerely interested in the ancient world. --His approach was more poetic than archeological, and he favored a warmth in color and lighting inspired by Venetian painters.
NICOLAS POUSSIN: Mid-1630s, Rome Triumph of Pan (1636) --By the mid-1630s he became interested in more active subject matter which provided a sense of pageantry and festivity, derived from mythology and the Old Testament. --He style and approach also began to change. Rather than soft, coloristic, and poetic, his paintings featured firmer drawing and modeling, frieze-like arrangements of figures, rhetorical gestures, and carefully planned compositions. Colors became cool, and more like a tint. The new influence was a serious, archeological study of classical sculpture.
NICOLAS POUSSIN: Mid-1630s, Rome Ancient Roman friezes
NICOLAS POUSSIN: 1640-42, France --Promised a high position if he returned to France, Poussin went back to Paris in 1640. Things did not go well, and he was back in Rome in 1642, and remained there for the rest of his life. --In the 1640s he will become more interested in New Testament subject matter, but presented in the same style as his classical subjects, with an emphasis on firmness, clarity, balance, rationality, and archeological fidelity.
NICOLAS POUSSIN: 1642 and on, Rome Holy Family on the Steps (1648)
NICOLAS POUSSIN: ART THEORY --Painting should deal only with noble and serious subject matter, presented in logical and orderly ways. Rather than simply imitating nature or narrating events, the artist should present a perfected version of his subject.
NICOLAS POUSSIN: ART THEORY --Painting should appeal to the mind rather than they eye, and decorative trivialities should be avoided. Color and light should be used to express the action, but not in an overly sensuous way. --The painter should work in a consistent mode; for instance, if he is dealing with harsh or solemn subject matter, the painting should appear harsh and solemn, and it would be incorrect to introduce sweetness or charm.
NICOLAS POUSSIN: METHODS --Would begin by carefully researching the subject, and reading all that he could find about it. --Make a rough sketch of a design as an initial guide. --Make wax models which would be clothed and put on a small stage with a backdrop of the landscape or architecture. --After studying possible compositions, he would make a second drawing.
NICOLAS POUSSIN: METHODS --Larger models would be made and staged; their proportions and details would be based on a study of ancient statues; it was from these that he would paint the final picture—he did not like to paint from life for fear of losing his image of the ideal.
CHARLES LE BRUN --1619-90 --Vouet was among his early instructors. --Went to Rome in 1642 and spent a brief period there studying under Poussin. --Returns to France in 1646 and quickly rises to prominence. Develops a style that shows the influence of Poussin in the classical details, gestures, and poses, but is overall less rigorous—gravitates towards a freer, more picturesque prettiness, rather than the meticulousness of Poussin. Entrance of Alexander into Bablyon (c.1661) Le Brun by Coysevox (1676)
LE BRUN AND THE FRENCH ACADEMY Charles Le Brun by Antoine Coysevox (1676) --French Academy of Painting and Sculpture founded in 1648; Colbert eventually assumed control over it and Le Brun was named director in 1663. --Colbert and Le Brun also founded the Gobelins Works to manufacture tapestries and furniture for the royal palaces. Le Brun’s positions at the Academy and Gobelins gave him almost total control of the arts in France; Le Brun was officially named by Louis as “the greatest French artist of all time.”
LE BRUN AND THE FRENCH ACADEMY Charles Le Brun by Antoine Coysevox (1676) Academic Theory: --Painting is not intended for the eye, but for the mind, and should be considered an intellectual art for educated people. --The artist should never simply imitate nature, but enrich it by applying the rules of proportion, perspective, and composition. --The artist should concentrate on “ permanent” aspects of nature, such as form and outline, and de-emphasize “ephemeral” aspects such as color, which appeal primarily to the eye.
LE BRUN AND THE FRENCH ACADEMY Charles Le Brun by Antoine Coysevox (1676) Academic Theory: --The artist should choose only “ noble” subject matter, and avoid the inclusion of anything “low.” Everything included in a painting should be appropriate to the subject and theme chosen. --Students should study only from appropriate models. The best were authentic works of the ancient Greeks and Romans, Raphael, and of course Poussin. --Venetian painters should be avoided as models since they stressed color; works of Dutch and Flemish artists were also considered dubious.