Monday, September 26, 2016

American Benjamin West (1738-1820), determined to paint history, sometimes included Native Americans


From Europe to the Atlantic coast of America & on to the Pacific coast during the 17C-19C, settlers moved West encountering a variety of Indigenous Peoples who had lived on the land for centuries.



Engraving after Benjamin West (American artist, 1738-1820) Indians delivering up the English captives to Colonel Bouquet, event in Pontiac's Rebellion. Because many children taken as captives had been adopted into Native families, their forced return often resulted in emotional scenes, as depicted in this engraving based on a painting by Benjamin West.

Benjamin West (1738-1820) was the 10th child of a rural innkeeper in Springfield, Pennsylvania, in October, 1738, & died exaulted in London, in March, 1820. Before his ascension to historical allegory painter for English royalty, he began learning his craft as a humble portraitist in Philadelphia. West told John Galt, his biographer, that when he was a child, Native Americans showed him how to make paint by mixing some clay from the river bank with bear grease in a pot.

During his years painting in the British American colonies, his portraits exhibit a modest attempt to emulate the baroque & rococo styles, which he probably observed in Philadelphia. His modest American portrait compositions also exhibit some knowledge of English mezzotint portraits reflecting the works of Peter Lely (1618–160) & Godfrey Kneller (1646–1723). West told a friend that a "Mr. Hide (Haidt), a German, gave him instruction. Johann Valentine Haidt (1700-1780), a Moravian evangelist & trained artist, painted not just portraits, but also history & religious paintings. Apparently, Benjamin West became determined to paint inspiring historical & religious compositions as well.

He later wrote, "Most undoubtedly had not (I) been settled in Philadelphia I should not have embraced painting as a profession." However, his early move away from Philadelphia to England was necessary for him to work in a country where artists were commissioned to paint inspiring depictions of history's real & imagined indispensable men & women who made extreme sacrifices & performed noble deeds. In the American colonies, the gentry paid for portraits, not inspiration.

Benjamin West became a painter of historical scenes, sometimes including Native Americans, around & after the time of the American War of Independence & the Seven Years' War. During his 22 years in America, he was a fairly typical provincial artist; but his choice to leave the colonies in 1760, for Europe & England led to his appointment as the official painter at the court of King George III & to his becoming co-founder of the Royal Academy in London, where 3 generations of fellow American students would return home from his tutelage to impact the art of the emerging republic.


Canadian Frontier in 19C - by Dutch-born Cornelius Krieghoff 1815-1872


Cornelius Krieghoff (Dutch-born Canadian painter, 1815-1872) The Blizzard 1857

Cornelius Krieghoff 1815-1872 was born in Amsterdam, spent his formative years in Bavaria, & studied in Rotterdam & Dusseldorf. He traveled to the United States in the 1830s, where he served in the Army for a few years. He married a young woman from Quebec & moved to the Montreal area, where he painted genre paintings of the people & countryside of Canada. According to Charles C. Hill, Curator of Canadian Art at the National Gallery, "Krieghoff was the first Canadian artist to interpret in oils... the splendour of our waterfalls, & the hardships & daily life of people living on the edge of new frontiers" Krieghoff moved to Quebec from 1854-1863, before he came to Chicago to live with his daughter.


Gone Fishing in 19C America - Winslow Homer 1836–1910


 Winslow Homer (American artist, 1836-1910) The Angler


Winslow Homer (American artist, 1836-1910)  A Good One



Winslow Homer (American artist, 1836–1910)  An Unexpected Catch



Winslow Homer (American artist, 1836–1910)  Bass Fishing Florida  1890



Winslow Homer (American artist, 1836–1910)  Boy Fishing 1892



Winslow Homer (American artist, 1836–1910)  Casting, Number Two 1894



Winslow Homer (American artist, 1836–1910)  The Rise 1900



Winslow Homer (American artist, 1836–1910) A quiet pool on a sunny day



Winslow Homer (American artist, 1836–1910) Casting in the Falls (1889)



Winslow Homer (American artist, 1836–1910) Casting



Winslow Homer (American artist, 1836–1910) Crab Fishing



 Winslow Homer (American artist, 1836–1910) Playing a Fish



Winslow Homer (American artist, 1836–1910) Hauling in the Nets



Winslow Homer (American artist, 1836–1910) Spearing Eels



Winslow Homer (American artist, 1836–1910) The Herring Net 1885



Winslow Homer (American artist, 1836–1910) The lobster pot



Winslow Homer (American artist, 1836–1910) The Lone Fisherman



Winslow Homer (American artist, 1836–1910) Trout Fishing, Lake St. John, Quebec (1895)



Winslow Homer (American artist, 1836-1910) Three Boys in a Dory with Lobster Pots



 Winslow Homer (American artist, 1836-1910) Man in a Punt Fishing



 Winslow Homer (American artist, 1836-1910) Playing Him



 Winslow Homer (American artist, 1836-1910) Quananiche Lake St John


Winslow Homer (American artist, 1836-1910) Two Men in a Canoe



Winslow Homer (American artist, 1836-1910) Fishing in the Adirondacks



Winslow Homer (American artist, 1836-1910)



 Winslow Homer (American artist, 1836-1910)



 Winslow Homer (American artist, 1836-1910)



 Winslow Homer (American artist, 1836-1910)



Winslow Homer (American artist, 1836-1910)


Madonnas attributed to Giovanni Bellini 1430-1516



1460-64 Giovanni Bellini (Italian Early Renaissance Painter 1430-1516) Presentation at the Temple



1450 Giovanni Bellini (Italian Early Renaissance Painter 1430-1516) Madonna with Child



1455 Giovanni Bellini (Italian Early Renaissance Painter 1430-1516) Madonna with Child



1460-64 Giovanni Bellini (Italian Early Renaissance Painter 1430-1516) Greek Madonna



1460-64 Giovanni Bellini (Italian Early Renaissance Painter 1430-1516) Madonna with Child



1460-64 Giovanni Bellini (Italian Early Renaissance Painter 1430-1516) Madonna with the Child


1460-64 Giovanni Bellini (Italian Early Renaissance Painter 1430-1516) Madonna and Child



1460s Giovanni Bellini (Italian Early Renaissance Painter 1430-1516) Madonna with Child, Standing on a Parapet



1469-64 Giovanni Bellini (Italian Early Renaissance Painter 1430-1516) Madonna with Child Giving Blessing



1475 Giovanni Bellini (Italian Early Renaissance Painter 1430-1516) Madonna & Child



1475 Giovanni Bellini (Italian Early Renaissance Painter 1430-1516) Madonna Enthroned Adoring the Sleeping Child



1475 Giovanni Bellini (Italian Early Renaissance Painter 1430-1516) Madonna in Adoration of the sleeping Child



1475 Giovanni Bellini (Italian Early Renaissance Painter 1430-1516) Madonna with Blessing Child



1475 Giovanni Bellini (Italian Early Renaissance Painter 1430-1516) Madonna with Child



1475 Giovanni Bellini (Italian Early Renaissance Painter 1430-1516) Madonna with Child



1480-90 Giovanni Bellini (Italian Early Renaissance Painter 1430-1516) The Carrara Madonna



1485 Giovanni Bellini (Italian Early Renaissance Painter 1430-1516) Madonna of Red Cherubs



1485-88 Giovanni Bellini (Italian Early Renaissance Painter 1430-1516) Virgin and Child



1485-90 Giovanni Bellini (Italian Early Renaissance Painter 1430-1516) Madonna and Child



1487 Giovanni Bellini (Italian Early Renaissance Painter 1430-1516) San Giobbe Altarpiece



1487 Giovanni Bellini (Italian Early Renaissance Painter 1430-1516) Madonna degli Alberetti



1487 Giovanni Bellini (Italian Early Renaissance Painter 1430-1516) Madonna with Child and Saints Peter and Sebastian



1487 Giovanni Bellini (Italian Early Renaissance Painter 1430-1516) Madonna with the Child



1488 Giovanni Bellini (Italian Early Renaissance Painter 1430-1516) Barbarigo Altarpiece



1488 Giovanni Bellini (Italian Early Renaissance Painter 1430-1516) Frari Triptych



1490 Giovanni Bellini (Italian Early Renaissance Painter 1430-1516) Sacred Conversation



1500-04 Giovanni Bellini (Italian Early Renaissance Painter 1430-1516) Madonna and Child with Saint John the Baptist and a Saint



1505 Giovanni Bellini (Italian Early Renaissance Painter 1430-1516) Madonna del Prato



1505 Giovanni Bellini (Italian Early Renaissance Painter 1430-1516) San Zaccaria Altarpiece



1505-10 Giovanni Bellini (Italian Early Renaissance Painter 1430-1516) Santa Conversazione



1507 Giovanni Bellini (Italian Early Renaissance Painter 1430-1516) Madonna and Child with Four Saints and Donor



1510 Giovanni Bellini (Italian Early Renaissance Painter 1430-1516) Madonna and Child Blessing



1510 Giovanni Bellini (Italian Early Renaissance Painter 1430-1516) Madonna and Child



Attributed to Giovanni Bellini (Italian Early Renaissance Painter 1430-1516) Madonna and Child

In this blog, I try to begin each day with a painting of the Madonna & Child. It centers me; connects me to the past; & encourages me to post some of the religious paintings which were a large part of the core of early Western art.  In the 4C, as the Christian population was rapidly growing & was now supported by the state, Christian art evolved & became grander to suit new, enlarged public spaces & the changing contemporary tastes of elite private clients.