Let’s celebrate womanhood.
Specifically, celebrate "les trois grandes dames" of Impressionism.
Men, let’s test ourselves by reading the biographies. Take note of the opposite reactions of the husbands of Marie and Berthe to their wives’ work.
And heaven and nature sing
And heaven and nature sing
And heaven, and heaven and nature sing
Joy to the World.
And Sally Chetwynd has a thought to share on the subject of grief.
“Grieving and joy: Thank you for Ogden Nash. He's one of my favorites.
Grief is absolutely vital to our health, mental and physical.
If we are allowed (also, if we allow ourselves) to grieve fully (and it's a different process for each of us), without the cloud of a guilt complex (applied by others or by ourselves) over whether or not we are doing it right, we are then able to return to life without obsession.
We've got to process it in order to get it out of our systems, what we call closure today.
And joy is the spiritual fulfillment that results from that fully processed grief.
Joy is not necessarily happiness, although it can be and usually is.
It's something precious and elusive that goes beyond emotion.”
Today is Friday, August 3rd
This is my 115th consecutive daily posting.
Time is 5.57am and another hot one with rain at end of day. My late morning work at sidewalk café nt threatened. Tomorrow it seems a different story.
Today’s dinner is Roasted/Grilled St. Louis Rib Rack, the meat on sale this week.
What innovation in paints enabled the Impressionists to paint outdoors?
Find the answer just before today’s Post below. Partial answers for partial credits.
Today’s Definition: Impressionism
A 19th-century art movement characterized by relatively small, thin, yet visible brush strokes, open composition, emphasis on accurate depiction of light in its changing qualities (often accentuating the effects of the passage of time), ordinary subject matter, inclusion of movement as a crucial element of human perception and experience, and unusual visual angles.
Impressionism originated with a group of Paris-based artists whose independent exhibitions brought them to prominence during the 1870s and 1880s.
Thumbnail Double-Biographies Today
Marie Bracquemond (December 1, 1840 – January 17, 1916) was a French Impressionist artist, who was described retrospectively by Henri Focillon in 1928 as one of "les trois grandes dames" of Impressionism alongside Berthe Morisot and Mary Cassatt.
Her frequent omission from books on artists is sometimes attributed to the efforts of her husband, Félix Bracquemond.
She began lessons in painting in her teens under the instruction of M. Auguste Vassort, "an old painter who now restored paintings and gave lessons to the young women of the town".
She progressed to such an extent that in 1857 she submitted a painting of her mother, sister and old teacher posed in the studio to the Salon which was accepted.
She was then introduced to the painter Ingres who advised her and introduced her to two of his students, Flandrin and Signol.
As a student in Ingres' private Parisian studio, she wrote that, “The severity of Monsieur Ingres frightened me… because he doubted the courage and perseverance of a woman in the field of painting… He would assign to them only the painting of flowers, of fruits, of still lives, portraits and genre scenes.”
The critic Philippe Burty referred to her as "one of the most intelligent pupils in Ingres' studio".
She later left Ingres' studio and began receiving commissions for her work, including one from the court of Empress Eugenie for a painting of Cervantes in prison.
This evidently pleased, because she was then asked by the Count de Nieuwerkerke, the director-general of French museums, to make important copies in the Louvre.
Her husband introduced her to new media and to the artists he admired, as well as older masters such as Chardin.
Between 1887 and 1890, under the influence of the Impressionists, Bracquemond's style began to change.
Her canvases grew larger and her colours intensified.
She moved out of doors (part of a movement that came to be known as plein air), and to her husband's disgust, Monet and Degas became her mentors.
Many of her best-known works were painted outdoors, especially in her garden at Sèvres.
One of her last paintings was “The Artist's Son and Sister in the Garden at Sèvres.”
Marie Bracquemond participated in the Impressionist exhibitions of 1879, 1880, and 1886. In 1879 and 1880, some of her drawings were published in the La Vie Moderne. In 1881, she exhibited five works at the Dudley Gallery in London.
In 1886, Félix Bracquemond met Gauguin through Sisley and brought the impoverished artist home. Gauguin had a decisive influence on Marie Bracquemond and, in particular, he taught her how to prepare her canvas in order to achieve the intense tones she now desired.
Unlike many of her Impressionist contemporaries, Bracquemond spent a great deal of effort planning her pieces.
Even though many of her works have a spontaneous feel, she prepared in a traditional way through sketches and drawings.
Although she was overshadowed by her well-known husband, the work of the reclusive Marie Bracquemond is considered to have been closer to the ideals of Impressionism.
According to their son Pierre, Félix Bracquemond was often resentful of his wife, brusquely rejecting her critique of his work, and refusing to show her paintings to visitors.
In 1890, Marie Bracquemond, worn out by the continual household friction and discouraged by lack of interest in her work, abandoned her painting except for a few private works.
She remained a staunch defender of Impressionism throughout her life, even when she was not actively painting.
In defense of the style to one of her husband's many attacks on her art, she said, "Impressionism has produced ... not only a new, but a very useful way of looking at things. It is as though all at once a window opens and the sun and air enter your house in torrents."
She died in Paris on January 17, 1916.
Berthe Marie Pauline Morisot, January 14, 1841 – March 2, 1895, was a painter and a member of the circle of painters in Paris who became known as the Impressionists.
She was described by Gustave Geffroy in 1894 as one of "les trois grandes dames" of Impressionism alongside Marie Bracquemond and Mary Cassatt.
She met her longtime friend and colleague, Édouard Manet, in 1868.
By the introduction of Manet, Morisot was married to Édouard's brother, Eugène Manet in 1874.
Eugene recognized his wife’s superior talent and devoted much of his life in support of her work.
In 1878 Berthe gave birth to her only child, Julie, who posed frequently for her mother and other Impressionist artists, including Renoir and her uncle Édouard.
Morisot had a close relationship with Édouard Manet who exerted a tremendous influence on her. Correspondence between them shows warm affection, and Manet gave her an easel as a Christmas present.
Morisot often posed for Manet and there are several portrait painting of Morisot such as “Repose (Portrait of Berthe Morisot)” and “Berthe Morisot with a Bouquet.”
In 1864, she exhibited for the first time in the highly esteemed Salon de Paris.
Sponsored by the government, and judged by Academicians, the Salon was the official, annual exhibition of the Académie des beaux-arts in Paris.
Her work was selected for exhibition in six subsequent Salons until, in 1874, she joined the "rejected" Impressionists in the first of their own exhibitions, which included Paul Cézanne, Edgar Degas, Claude Monet, Camille Pissarro, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, and Alfred Sisley.
It was held at the studio of the photographer Nadar.
Morisot painted what she experienced on a daily basis. Most of her paintings include domestic scenes about family, children, ladies, and flowers, depicting what women's life was like in the late nineteenth century.
Instead of portraying the public space and the society, Morisot preferred private, intimate scenes.
It somehow reflects the cultural restrictions of her class and gender at that time.
Like her fellow Impressionist Mary Cassatt, she focused on domestic life and portraits in which she could use family and personal friends as models, including her daughter Julie and sister Edma.
By portraying flowers, she used metaphors to celebrate womanhood.
Prior to the 1860s, Morisot painted subjects in line with the Barbizon school before turning to scenes of contemporary femininity.
Paintings like “The Cradle” (1872), in which she depicted current trends for nursery furniture, reflect her sensitivity to fashion and advertising, both of which would have been apparent to her female audience. Her works also include landscapes, garden settings, boating scenes, and theme of boredom or ennui. Later in her career Morisot worked with more ambitious themes, such as nudes.
In her late works, she often referred to the past to recall the memory of her earlier life and youth, and her departed companions.
Morisot's first appearance in the Salon de Paris came at the age of twenty-three in 1864, with the acceptance of two landscape paintings.
She continued to show regularly in the Salon, to generally favorable reviews, until 1873, the year before the first Impressionist exhibition.
She exhibited with the Impressionists from 1874 onwards, only missing the exhibition in 1878 when her daughter was born.
Impressionism’s alleged attachment to brilliant color, sensual surface effects, and fleeting sensory perceptions led a number of critics to assert in retrospect that this style, once primarily the battlefield of insouciant, combative males, was inherently feminine and best suited to women's weaker temperaments, lesser intellectual capabilities, and greater sensibility.
During her 1874 exhibition with the Impressionists, such as Monet and Manet.
Le Figaro critic Albert Wolff noted that the Impressionists consisted of "five or six lunatics of which one is a woman...[whose] feminine grace is maintained amid the outpourings of a delirious mind."
Morisot's mature career began in 1872.
She found an audience for her work with Durand-Ruel, the private dealer, who bought twenty-two paintings.
In 1877, she was described by the critic for Le Temps as the "one real Impressionist in this group."
She chose to exhibit under her full maiden name instead of using a pseudonym or her married name.
As her skill and style improved, many began to think their opinion toward Morisot.
In the 1880 exhibition, many reviews judged Morisot among the best, even including Le Figaro critic Albert Wolff.
Morisot's paintings are commented as full of "feminine charm", which features elegance and lightness. Her brushstrokes are as light as the touch of a petal; therefore, French critics often use the verb "effleurer" (to touch lightly, brush against) to describe her technique.
In her early life, Morisot painted in open air as other Impressionists to look for truths in observation.
Morisot died on March 2, 1895, in Paris, of pneumonia contracted while attending to her daughter Julie's similar illness, and thus orphaning her at the age of 16. She was interred in the Cimetière de Passy.
Today’s Movie Details:
Mary Cassatt: An American Impressionist
Made for TV 1999
Answer to the Quiz:
The paint tube was invented in 1841 by portrait painter John Goffe Rand, superseding pig bladders and glass syringes as the primary tool of paint transport.
Artists, or their assistants, previously ground each pigment by hand, carefully mixing the binding oil in the proper proportions.
Paints could now be produced in bulk and sold in tin tubes with a cap.
The cap could be screwed back on and the paints preserved for future use, providing flexibility and efficiency to painting outdoors.
The manufactured paints had a balanced consistency that the artist could thin with oil, turpentine, or other mediums.
Paint in tubes also changed the way some artists approached painting.
The artist Pierre-Auguste Renoir said, “Without tubes of paint, there would have been no Impressionism.” For the impressionists, tubed paints offered an easily accessible variety of colors for their plein air palettes, motivating them to make spontaneous color choices. With greater quantities of preserved paint, they were able to apply paint more thickly.
Mary Stevenson Cassatt (May 22, 1844 – June 14, 1926) was an American painter and printmaker.
She was born in Allegheny City, Pennsylvania (Now part of Pittsburgh's North Side), but lived much of her adult life in France, where she first befriended Edgar Degas and later exhibited among the Impressionists.
Though her family objected to her becoming a professional artist, Cassatt began studying painting at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in Philadelphia at the early age of 15.
Part of her parents' concern may have been Cassatt's exposure to feminist ideas and the bohemian behavior of some of the male students.
As such, Cassatt and her network of friends were lifelong advocates of equal rights for the sexes.
Although about 20 percent of the students were female, most viewed art as a socially valuable skill; few of them were determined, as Cassatt was, to make art their career.
She continued her studies from 1861 through 1865, the duration of the American Civil War.
Among her fellow students was Thomas Eakins, later the controversial director of the Academy.
Impatient with the slow pace of instruction and the patronizing attitude of the male students and teachers, she decided to study the old masters on her own.She later said, "There was no teaching" at the Academy.Female students could not use live models, until somewhat later, and the principal training was primarily drawing from casts.
After overcoming her father's objections, she moved to Paris in 1866, with her mother and family friends acting as chaperones.
Since women could not yet attend the École des Beaux-Arts, Cassatt applied to study privately with masters from the school and was accepted to study with Jean-Léon Gérôme, a highly regarded teacher known for his hyper-realistic technique and his depiction of exotic subjects.
Toward the end of 1866, she joined a painting class taught by Charles Chaplin, a noted genre artist.
In 1868, Cassatt also studied with artist Thomas Couture, whose subjects were mostly romantic and urban.
In 1868 one of her paintings, “A Mandoline Player,” was accepted for the first time by the selection jury for the Paris Salon.
With Elizabeth Jane Gardner, whose work was also accepted by the jury that year, Cassatt was one of two American women to first exhibit in the Salon.
“A Mandoline Player” is in the Romantic style of Corot and Couture, and is one of only two paintings from the first decade of her career that is documented today.
The French art scene was in a process of change, as radical artists such as Courbet and Manet tried to break away from accepted Academic tradition and the Impressionists were in their formative years.
Cassatt's friend Eliza Haldeman wrote home that artists "are leaving the Academy style and each seeking a new way, consequently just now everything is Chaos."
Cassatt, on the other hand, continued to work in the traditional manner, submitting works to the Salon for over ten years, with increasing frustration.
She returned to New York in the late summer of 1870—as the Franco-Prussian War was starting.
Cassatt placed two of her paintings in a New York gallery and found many admirers but no purchasers.
She was also dismayed at the lack of paintings to study while staying at her summer residence.
Cassatt even considered giving up art, as she was determined to make an independent living.
She wrote in a letter of July 1871, "I have given up my studio & torn up my father's portrait, & have not touched a brush for six weeks nor ever will again until I see some prospect of getting back to Europe.
I am very anxious to go out west next fall & get some employment, but I have not yet decided where."
Her work attracted the attention of the archbishop of Pittsburgh, who commissioned her to paint two copies of paintings by Correggio in Parma, Italy, advancing her enough money to cover her travel expenses and part of her stay.
In her excitement she wrote, "O how wild I am to get to work, my fingers farely itch & my eyes water to see a fine picture again".
With Emily Sartain, a fellow artist from a well-regarded artistic family from Philadelphia, Cassatt set out for Europe again.
Within months of her return to Europe in the autumn of 1871, Cassatt's prospects had brightened.
Her painting” Two Women Throwing Flowers During Carnival” was well received in the Salon of 1872, and was purchased.
She attracted much favorable notice in Parma and was supported and encouraged by the art community there: "All Parma is talking of Miss Cassatt and her picture, and everyone is anxious to know her".
After completing her commission for the archbishop, Cassatt traveled to Madrid and Seville, where she painted a group of paintings of Spanish subjects, including "Spanish Dancer Wearing a Lace Mantilla" (1873, in the National Museum of American Art, Smithsonian Institution).
In 1874, she made the decision to take up residence in France.
She was joined by her sister Lydia who shared an apartment with her.
Cassatt opened a studio in Paris.
Louisa May Alcott's sister, Abigail May Alcott, was then an art student in Paris and visited Cassatt.
Cassatt continued to express criticism of the politics of the Salon and the conventional taste that prevailed there.
She was blunt in her comments, as reported by Sartain, who wrote: "she is entirely too slashing, snubs all modern art, disdains the Salon pictures of Cabanel, Bonnat, all the names we are used to revere".
Cassatt saw that works by female artists were often dismissed with contempt unless the artist had a friend or protector on the jury, and she would not flirt with jurors to curry favor.
Her cynicism grew when one of the two pictures she submitted in 1875 was refused by the jury, only to be accepted the following year after she darkened the background.
She had quarrels with Sartain, who thought Cassatt too outspoken and self-centered, and eventually they parted.
Out of her distress and self-criticism, Cassatt decided that she needed to move away from genre paintings and onto more fashionable subjects, in order to attract portrait commissions from American socialites abroad, but that attempt bore little fruit at first.
In 1877, both her entries were rejected, and for the first time in seven years she had no works in the Salon.
At this low point in her career she was invited by Edgar Degas to show her works with the Impressionists, a group that had begun their own series of independent exhibitions in 1874 with much attendant notoriety.
The Impressionists (also known as the "Independents" or "Intransigents") had no formal manifesto and varied considerably in subject matter and technique.
They tended to prefer plein air painting and the application of vibrant color in separate strokes with little pre-mixing, which allows the eye to merge the results in an "impressionistic" manner.
The Impressionists had been receiving the wrath of the critics for several years.They already had one female member, artist Berthe Morisot, who became Cassatt's friend and colleague.
Cassatt admired Degas, whose pastels had made a powerful impression on her when she encountered them in an art dealer's window in 1875.
"I used to go and flatten my nose against that window and absorb all I could of his art," she later recalled.
"It changed my life. I saw art then as I wanted to see it."
She accepted Degas' invitation with enthusiasm, and began preparing paintings for the next Impressionist show, planned for 1878, which (after a postponement because of the World's Fair) took place on April 10, 1879.
She felt comfortable with the Impressionists and joined their cause enthusiastically, declaring: "we are carrying on a despairing fight & need all our forces.”
Unable to attend cafes with them without attracting unfavorable attention, she met with them privately and at exhibitions.
She now hoped for commercial success selling paintings to the sophisticated Parisians who preferred the avant-garde.
Her style had gained a new spontaneity during the intervening two years.Previously a studio-bound artist, she had adopted the practice of carrying a sketchbook with her while out-of-doors or at the theater, and recording the scenes she saw.
Afraid of having to paint "potboilers" to make ends meet, Cassatt applied herself to produce some quality paintings for the next Impressionist exhibition.Three of her most accomplished works from 1878 were Portrait of the Artist (self-portrait), Little Girl in a Blue Armchair, and Reading Le Figaro (portrait of her mother).
She became extremely proficient in the use of pastels, eventually creating many of her most important works in this medium.
Degas also introduced her to etching, of which he was a recognized master.
The two worked side-by-side for a while, and her draftsmanship gained considerable strength under his tutelage.
He depicted her in a series of etchings recording their trips to the Louvre.
She treasured his friendship but learned not to expect too much from his fickle and temperamental nature after a project they were collaborating on at the time, a proposed journal devoted to prints, was abruptly dropped by him.
The sophisticated and well-dressed Degas, then forty-five, was a welcome dinner guest at the Cassatt residence, and likewise they at his soirées.
The Impressionist exhibit of 1879 was the most successful to date, despite the absence of Renoir, Sisley, Manet and Cézanne, who were attempting once again to gain recognition at the Salon.
Through the efforts of Gustave Caillebotte, who organized and underwrote the show, the group made a profit and sold many works, although the criticism continued as harsh as ever.
The Revue des Deux Mondes wrote, "M. Degas and Mlle. Cassatt are, nevertheless, the only artists who distinguish themselves... and who offer some attraction and some excuse in the pretentious show of window dressing and infantile daubing".
Cassatt displayed eleven works, including Lydia in a Loge, Wearing a Pearl Necklace, (Woman in a Loge).
Although critics claimed that Cassatt's colors were too bright and that her portraits were too accurate to be flattering to the subjects, her work was not savaged as was Monet's, whose circumstances were the most desperate of all the Impressionists at that time.
She used her share of the profits to purchase a work by Degas and one by Monet.
She participated in the Impressionist Exhibitions that followed in 1880 and 1881, and she remained an active member of the Impressionist circle until 1886.
In 1886,Cassatt provided two paintings for the first Impressionist exhibition in the US, organized by art dealer Paul Durand-Ruel.
Her friend Louisine Elder married Harry Havemeyer in 1883, and with Cassatt as advisor, the couple began collecting the Impressionists on a grand scale.
Much of their vast collection is now in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City.
Cassatt also made several portraits of family members during that period, of which "Portrait of Alexander Cassatt and His Son Robert Kelso" (1885) is one of her best regarded.
Cassatt's style then evolved, and she moved away from Impressionism to a simpler, more straightforward approach.
She began to exhibit her works in New York galleries as well. After 1886, Cassatt no longer identified herself with any art movement and experimented with a variety of techniques.
Cassatt often created images of the social and private lives of women, with particular emphasis on the intimate bonds between mothers and children.
She was described by Gustave Geffroy in 1894 as one of "les trois grandes dames" of Impressionism alongside Marie Bracquemond and Berthe Morisot.
Cassatt died on June 14, 1926 at Château de Beaufresne, near Paris, and was buried in the family vault at Le Mesnil-Théribus, France.