James Jacques Joseph Tissot (French, 1836-1902) Berthe, etching and drypoint, signed in plate lower right J.J. Tissot and dated 1883, 14″ x 10.5″
James Jacques Joseph Tissot was a very successful French painter and illustrator who, in 1856, went to Paris to study at the Ecole des Beaux Arts. Tissot made his Salon debut in 1859 and exhibited there successfully for several years. While in Paris, Tissot met and befriended the young James McNiell Whistler (1834-1903) and the Impressionist painter Edgar Degas (1834-1917). In the 1860s, eager to see the world, the young painter traveled first to Italy and then to the England. In 1864 Tissot exhibited his first of many oil paintings at the Royal Academy in London. Around this time Tissot anglicized his Christian name to James Tissot; as much an entrepreneur as a painter, he most likely thought the name change would help him fit-in with the wealthy English patrons.
The Franco-Prussian war broke out in 1870; following the defeat of France and the occupation of Paris, Tissot fled to England where he had a number of contacts. His acquaintance Thomas Gibson Bowles (the founder, owner and editor of Vanity Fair) hired him to produce caricatures for his magazine, giving him an important entree into social and artistic circles. Tissot quickly became successful in London, where his oil paintings of social events and the prevailing fashion rapidly became popular. Having grown up around a father who was a linen draper and a mother who ran a successful millinery business, it was no surprise that Tissot had an acute awareness of the current fashion trends. In fact, Tissot was so preoccupied with elegant women and their elaborate dresses that his paintings provide extensive material for those who study costumes.
In 1872 Tissot began exhibiting regularly at the Royal Academy and continued to do so until 1881 (except for 1877-79). Tissot started to become a significant figure socially and in 1873 he purchased a house in St John’s Wood, a very affluent neighborhood outside of London.
In the mid 1870s Tissot met Kathleen Newton (1854-1882), an Irish divorcee with a dishonorable past; Newton had an affair with a man who was traveling to India to get married and became pregnant with his child. Dispute her history, Tissot was smitten with Kathleen Newton. She became his model, muse, mistress, and the great love of his life. She was an extremely attractive young woman and, during this time, Tissot made her the dominant figure in many of his paintings. Unfortunately in the late 1870s her health started to decline; and in 1882 the desperately ill Kathleen committed suicide. One week after he buried his true love, Tissot left his home at St Johns Wood, and never returned. The house was later bought by Alma-Tadema.
Newton’s sudden death affected Tissot deeply and marked an important transition in his artistic development. While working on one of the 15 large paintings for his 1885 his exhibition entitled Femme a Paris, Tissot claimed to have had a religious revelation. His religious experience led him to devote his remaining years to illustrating the Life of Christ and the Old Testament. Tissot felt impelled to depict the Palestine of Christ’s day and he made several trips to the Holy Land to do research. His series of 365 gouache illustrations for the Life of Christ (New York, Brooklyn Museum) were executed at the Chateau de Buillon, which he had inherited from his father. In 1888 the series was shown to enthusiastic crowds in Paris (1894 and 1895), London (1896) and New York (1898) and then toured North America until 1900. Tissot died in 1902 while living in the Château de Buillon.
Berthe’s pensive gaze suggests a budding sensuality; she appears to offer the viewer an invitation into her private world. Prior to the invention of the cage crinoline in 1856, a well-brought-up lady was supposed to have eight layers of “refinement” – today we might call them simply undergarments – which supposedly separated her from the outside world: her chemise, corset, corset-cover, crescent-shaped pad worn at the back of the waist and at least four petticoats. The very last layer, usually trimmed with lace, was the only layer that would be exposed to the public when climbing up the stairs or getting off a carriage. The display of any other undergarment along with exposed skin would suggest inappropriate behavior or an adventurously provocative woman.
Jean-Antoine Julien, known as Julien de Parme, (b. Cavigliano, Switzerland 1736 – 1799 d. Paris, France), Four Soldiers, brown ink and grey and brown wash, 249mm x 215mm
Jean-Antoine Julien, known as Julien de Parme, is considered one of the precursors of Neoclassical painting. The son of a stone-mason, de Parme received his initial training in Craveggia (an Italian region near the border of Switzerland) under a local artist, Giuseppe Borgnis, with whom he spent two years. After a short sojourn in Paris, de Parme settled in Rome, where he threw himself into a study of antiquity. He praised the great masters of the Renaissance and was strongly influenced by Raphael, Caravaggio, Carracci, and Domenichino – Carracci’s favorite pupil.
In Italy his main patron was Guillaume-Léon du Tillot, Marquis of Felino and Prime Minister to the Duke of Parma, who each year commissioned a large historical picture. In gratitude to the court of Parma, the artist decided to use the name Julien de Parme. When Guillaume-Léon du Tillot fell from power in 1772, de Parme decided to follow him into his Parisian exile. After du Tillot’s death in 1775, de Parme found another patron, the poet and politician Louis-Jules Barbon Mancini-Mazarini, duc de Nivernais (1716-98), for whom he worked for the next twenty years. Unfortunately, Julien de Parme’s style did not meet with great success in France and his career ended in obscurity and poverty. De Parme’s paintings and name resurfaced at the end of the 20th century, when in 1998 Pierre Rosenberg, the curator of the Louvre, devoted an entire exhibition to him.
De Parme’s Journal and his published correspondence with the Belgian painter André-Corneille Lens (1739-1822), president of the Society of painting, sculpture and architecture in Brussels, serve as invaluable documents for the artistic life in Rome and Paris at the end of the eighteenth century. De Parme’s earliest known extant picture is a life-size painting of Cupid (1762), currently in the Barbieri private collection in Parma.
Source: SPHINX FINE ART – London
William Cowper’s first edition of The Anatomy of Humane Bodies (1698) – 114 plates, 105 designed by Gérard de Lairesse.
The Anatomy of Humane Bodies is a valued volume in the The Knohl Antiquarian Book Collection for a number of reasons. William Cowper’s First Edition, English language folio is both a seminal piece of medical literature (still relevant and in use today) and a fascinating illustration of an early international intellectual property dispute. Additionally, it contains 105 intricate and hauntingly detailed anatomical drawings by Gérard de Lairesse (1640–1711), the most popular painter of the Dutch Republic after the death of Rembrandt and a featured artist in The Knohl Painting Collection. (See THE CIRCUMCISION)
De Lairesse’s sophisticated anatomical illustrations, engraved by the Amsterdam-born artist Abraham Blooteling, were designed to accompany Govard Bidloo’s Latin text, Anatomia humani corporis, published in 1685. There was also an edition in Dutch published in 1690. Bidloo’s text was widely criticized and sales of the book were disappointing. It is unclear how Cowper, an English surgeon and anatomist, acquired the plates, although it is believed that Bidloo’s publisher sold the plates to the surgeon to recoup some of his losses. Using a great deal of original research, Cowper rewrote the text and commissioned nine new plates to accompany the original 105 illustrations by de Lairesse. At the time of publication, Cowper’s book, which was limited to 300 copies, was hailed as the most comprehensive atlas of human anatomy and used as the basis for later Latin editions. However, Cowper’s 1698 folio never acknowledged Bidloo’s contribution or de Lairesse’s illustrations, even going so far as to paste over Bidloo’s name with his own on the engraved allegorical title page. Unfortunately, at this time in history copyright laws did not exist. Without legal recourse, Bidloo published several hostile pamphlets attacking Cowper, resulting in a bitter plagiarism dispute — one of the most famous in medical history.
In his anatomical illustrations, Gerard de Lairesse sets ordinary household objects next to dramatically posed skeletons and drapes macabre cut-up torsos with delicate linens. He peels back the soft flesh to reveal raw cartilage, fibrous ligaments, and an unborn fetus. Although he portrays his figures in a tender manner, he reminds his audience of the grisly reality of the dissection room by inserting pins, ropes, and props used to position body parts; he even goes so far as to place a fly inside an open abdomen.
Pas[coli] An[tonio], (Italian, 16th Century), The Massacre of the Innocents with a Border of Battling Nudes Among Acanthus, signed and dated 1577, pen and brown ink with brown wash on vellum, 420mm x 531mm
After painting by Peter Paul Rubens – based on an episode in the Bible, ‘Massacre of the Innocents’ – the infanticide committed by the King of Judea, Herod the Great (the Gospel of Matthew, 2:16-18).
C.D.K., Virgin and Child Adored by Saints, brown ink & grey wash signed with initials and dated 1686, 246mm x 310mm
Giovanni Batista Cipriani, (1727, Florence – 1785, London), study of Neptune & Galatea, black chalk on paper, 189mm x 223 mm
Giovanni Battista Cipriani, RA, also known as Giuseppe Cipriani, was an Italian a painter and prolific draftsman of classical and allegorical subjects. In 1755 he moved to England and most of his work there consisted of murals for the decoration of private residences and designs for prints, many of which were engraved by his friend Francesco Bartolozzi. As a founding member (1768) of the Royal Academy, Cipriani was asked to design its diploma, which was engraved by Francesco Bartolozzi.
Cipriani was born in Florence, but his family was originally from Pistoia. He first studied under Ignatius Hugford, a Florentine artist of English descent, then under Anton Domenico Gabbiani, another Florentine painter.
Cipriani spent several years (1750 – 1753) in Rome, where he became acquainted with the architect, Sir William Chambers, and the sculptor, Joseph Wilton, with whom he accompanied to England in August 1755.
Before moving to England he painted two pictures for the Abbey of San Michele in Pistoia, which launched him on his long and successful career. Soon after he was commissioned to paint one of the canvases on the organ in the Church of Santa Maria Maddalena dei Pazzi in Florence; and for the Church of the Oratory of Gesù Pellegrino, outside of the Porta San Galloand, he painted the main altarpiece.
On his arrival to England in 1755, Lord Tilney, the Duke of Richmond, as well as other noblemen, requested Cipriani’s services. When William Chambers designed the Albany in London for Lord Holland, Cipriani was asked to paint one of the ceilings; he was also commissioned to paint part of a ceiling in Buckingham House and a room with poetical subjects at Standlynch in Wiltshire.
At Somerset House, also built by his friend Chambers, he prepared the decorations for the interior of the north block, including the rooms into which the Royal Academy had recently moved – these rooms now house the Courtauld Collection. Sir Joshua Reynolds painted the central panel of the Royal Academy’s anteroom, but the four compartments in the coves, representing Allegory, Fable, Nature and History, were Cipriani’s. In the same building he also painted the monochrome decorations in the joint anteroom of the Royal and Antiquarian Societies.
According to Joseph Baretti, in his Guide through the Royal Academy (1780), “the whole of the carvings in the various fronts of Somerset Place — excepting Bacon’s bronze figures — were carved from finished drawings made by Cipriani.” These designs include the five masks forming the keystones to the arches on the courtyard side of the vestibule, and the two above the doors leading into the wings of the north block, all believed to have been carved by Joseph Nollekens. The grotesque groups flanking the main doorways on three sides of the quadrangle and the central doorway on the terrace also appear to have been designed by Cipriani.
Cipriani was a founder member (1768) of the Royal Academy, and designed its diploma, which was engraved by Francesco Bartolozzi. In 1769, in recognition of his services, the members presented him with a silver cup with a commemorative inscription.
Cipriani was often employed by publishers to make pen and ink drawings, many of them engraved by his friend Bartolozzi. However, Capriani made some engravings himself, including “The Death of Cleopatra,” after Benvenuto Cellini; “The Descent of the Holy Ghost,” after Gabbiani; and portraits for Thomas Hollis’s memoirs (1780). He also painted allegorical designs for the Gold State Coach and the Lord Mayor’s Gold Coach, and repaired Verrio’s paintings at Windsor and Rubens’s ceiling in the Banqueting House at Whitehall.
Cipriani is also known for his ornate furniture decorations and occasional drawer and door handle designs. Many of his medallions, most groups of nymphs and amorini, were frequently reproduced on elegant satin-wood furniture, which was growing popular and by the end of the 18th century became all the rage. These designs were sometimes inlaid in marquetry, but more often repainted onto the wood by other hands. It is believed that Cipriani painted some of the furniture designed by the Adams.
Cipriani died at Hammersmith in west London, and was buried at Chelsea, where Bartolozzi erected a monument to his memory. He married an Englishwoman, and had two sons. His pupils included: John Alexander Gresse (1741–1794); Charles Grignion the Younger (1754–1804); and Mauritius Lowe (1746–1793)
Drawings by him are in both the British Museum and Victoria and Albert Museum.
Vincenzo Tamagni was an Italian Renaissance painter born in San Gimignano. He became an apprentice first with il Sodoma at Monte Oliveto Maggiore, and then worked under Raphael in the Vatican Palace in Rome. Tamagni was sufficiently skilled that distinguishing between his hands and that of Raphael is still difficult. There is no doubt that Tamagni assisted Raphael with many of the frescoes, and perhaps completed many of Raphael’s designs.
Tamagni painted primarily in the towns surrounding Siena. His earliest frescoes are found in Montalcino, a small town near Siena. In San Gimignano he painted altarpieces for San Girolamo, a Renaissance style church just outside of the old walled city of Volterra. His paintings can also be found in the Basilica of SantAgostino in Rome, one of the first Roman churches built during the Renaissance. In conjunction with Lo Spagna, his frescoes also decorated Santa Maria d’Arrone in Umbria
Tamagni is featured in Giorgio Vasari’s Lives of the Most Excellent Painters, Sculptors, and Architects, and is referred to as Vincenzo da San Gimignano.
Luigi was an Italian painter, printmaker and draughtsman. After training in Florence in the Neoclassical tradition, he won a scholarship to study in Rome. From 1789 to 1794, the young artist lived and studied in Rome under the patronage of Tommaso Puccini, an intellectual and connoisseur who later became Director of the Gallerie Fiorentine.
Sabatelli was first attracted to the rigor of François-Guillaume Ménageot, who taught at the Académie de France, but later became interested in a more contemporary classicism, practiced by the followers of David, such as François-Xavier Fabre.
Sabatelli returned to Florence in 1795 and began to introduce into his painting elements borrowed from Antoine-Jean Gros. Sabatelli’s paintings of the 1790s and early 1800s, for example the Florentine Plaque (1801), the Plague Victims of Jaffa and the large-scale battles commissioned by Tommaso Puccini, are closely related to the Napoleonic battle scenes of Gros and Anne-Louis Girodet.
In 1808, at the age of 35, he was appointed the Chair of Painting at The Accademia di Belle Arti di Brera (Academy of Fine Arts of Brera), where he remained for 40 years.
Between the end of the 18th century and the beginning of the 19th century, Sabatelli worked on a group of etchings of the Via Crucis, which became the most widely circulated series in Tuscany.
His first important work in oils was the large picture representing the Meeting of David and Abigail, which now hangs opposite Benvenuti’s Judith in the Arezzo Cathedral. At this time, he established himself as one of the key figures in the revival of Florentine painting. For inspiration he turned to literature, dwelling particularly on characters from Dante. In order to expand his repertory, he also drew on Shakespeare and Milton, whose works were becoming increasingly popular.
His most famous work, made in Florence during 1820-25, is in the Hall of the Iliad at the Pitti Palace (the first room of the Picture Gallery), consisting of eight lunettes and a large circular medallion illustrating scenes from the Homeric poems. He is also know for the decoration of Niccolò Puccini’s villa in Pistoia (1840) and paintings of Astronomy and Mathematics (1841) for the Tribuna in the Palazzo della Specola (now the Museo Zoologico ‘la Specola’) in Florence.
His sons, Giuseppe (1813–1843) and Francesco Sabatelli (1801–1829), were also painters and professors of art in Florence; both died young. Sabatelli’s pupils included Carlo Arienti, Giuseppe Sogni, Luigi Pedrazzi, Giuseppe Penuti, Michelangelo Fumagalli, Giacomo Marinez, Girolamo Daverio Luzzi, and Giulio Arrivabene.
SOURCE: SPHINX FINE ART – http://www.sphinxfineart.com
Carlo Caliari (Italian, 1570–1596), Study for The Coronation of Hebe, black ink and grey wash heightened with white on blue paper, 319mm x 314mm
[Preparatory drawing for a ceiling preserved in the Veronese Room in the Isabella Stuart Gardner Museum in Boston – attributed to Paolo Veronese and workshop]
Carlo Caliari (1570–1596), also known as Carletto, was the youngest son of Paolo Caliari, better known as Paolo Veronese (15281588), one of the most prolific and successful painters of the Italian late Renaissance. His father was born in Verona, hence the name Veronese, but established himself in Venice, where he opened a family workshop. In addition to training his sons Carlo and Gabriele, he worked with his brother, Benedetto Caliari (1538 – 1598). To complete many of his major commissions, Veronese relied on a team of skilled assistants – often members of his family. Several works that Veronese left unfinished in death where completed by Carlo, Gabriele and Benedetto.
At a very early age Carlo Caliari showed an ability for imitating his father’s works. As one of the most talented members of his father’s workshop, Carlo undoubtedly helped to execute many works that are attributed to his father. His name is attached to several large pictures of banquets in Veronese’s style. Veronese desired to see his son develop his own style, and sent Carlo to work in the studio of the Bassano family. Unfortunately his own personal style did not have time to fully develop, as he died at age twenty-six.
Carlo collaborated with his brother, Gabriele, on two large paintings on the doors of the Palazzo Ducale. One of his best works is the St. Augustine Academy of Venice. A number of Carlo Caliari’s works are on display at the Uffizi Gallery in Florence, including The Expulsion from Earthy Paradise (1586), Adam’s Family, Creation of Eve, and Original Sin.
Another young painter from Verona, Alessandro Turchi (1578 – 1649), sometimes called Alessandro Veronese, is said to have trained and worked under Carlo Caliari.
For more information see:
Uffizi Gallery – http://www.virtualuffizi.com/carlo-caliari.html
Oil on canvas, 387 cm x 387 cm
Location: Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum-Veronese Room
Accession Number: P25c26
Coronation of Hebe
Hebe, personification of the beauty of youth, is crowned with flowers by a little cupid and handed a cup by Mercury. Other gods include Jupiter and Juno (under the eagle in the top left corner), Venus (flaunting herself to their left), Diana (next to Mercury), Minerva and armoured Mars (towards the centre of the canvas), Neptune (with his trident at the right edge) and Hercules (with his club towards the bottom). From the ceiling of a room in the Palazzo Della Torre at Udine. Sold in 1692, and taken to the house of Pietro Businello alla Croce at Venice. Later, probably in the early nineteenth century, it entered the Manfrin Gallery, from which it was sold in 1896. Bought by Mrs Gardner in 1899 from a Parisian dealer. It has been set into a gilded and painted ceiling in the ‘Veronese Room’ at Fenway Court. Late (probably 1580s). A thorough restoration, carried out in situ, was completed in 2001.