Happy Birthday Paul Revere!! Born on New Year's Day, in 1735, American patriot Paul Revere was also a silversmith and accomplished engraver. Unlike most silversmiths of the day, he was able to create silver work in entirety, including castings as well as decorative engraving. Paul Revere created political engravings and was also a dentist!
In the future I will be posting my artist birthday information for 2011 on my new blog site: www.famousartistbirthdays2.blogspot.com so please visit me there each day.
Friday, December 31, 2010
Happy Birthday Henri Matisse!! Born on the last day of 1869, Matisse came from a poor family in the Northern part of France near the Belgian border. Although he studied law and even passed the bar exam, Matisse discovered his true passion in art while recovering from an illness. He began to paint with the supplies his mother gave him and found his calling. He attended the Academie Julian for a time, leaving to create and experiment on his own. Matisse produced his most ambitious work from the period 1905-1915, establishing himself as a leader in the "Fauvist" style. For Matisse, flat planes, expressive color and sometimes patterned backgrounds united to create art that was "devoid of any subject-matter...as relaxing as a comfortable arm chair". He regarded himself as an expressionist, stating, “Expression to my way of thinking does not consist of the passion mirrored upon a human face or betrayed by a violent gesture. The whole arrangement of my picture is expressive.” The painting included here today is titled "The Dance".
It is hard to believe that it has been a full year since I began this blog. I have had such an incredible experience, learned so much, with my commitment to post each day. As I reminisce over the past 365 days I have gone back and forth whether to commit to a second year of celebrating artists' birthdays. On one hand it has been tricky with the traveling we do, sometimes to find a computer, post each day. On the other hand, though, I can hardly imagine not beginning each day imparting my knowledge to others, so I have come to the realization that I do need to keep going forward with this experience. So, Happy New Year and see you in 2011!!
Thursday, December 30, 2010
Happy Birthday Eugene Smith!! The American photographer was born in Wichita, Kansas, in 1918. His first photographs were of airplanes, being interested in aeronautical engineering, but soon turned to photography as his career choice. He attended Notre Dame University on a scholarship set up especially for him but left after a year to pursue his career, joining the staff of Newsweek. He worked for various other publications including Life, Colliers and The New York Times, but seemed most satisfied with his freelance work. Smith was one of the most famous photojournalists of all time, creating series on the Vietnam War, Spanish Village, Country Doctor, Man of Mercy (Albert Schweitzer in Africa) and more. He was injured in the Vietnam War while shooting in an active war zone and during his recovery took one of the most touching photos of his children: A Walk to Paradise Garden (1946).
Wednesday, December 29, 2010
Happy Birthday Madame de Pompadour!! Born today in 1721, Frenchwoman, Jeanne Antoinette Poisson was not only known as an accomplished engraver, but also important art patron and mistress to the King. Although from a poor family, she was refined and educated in culture and the arts, marrying at 17, establishing herself as an engraver, and founding her own salon for intellectuals including Voltaire, at Etoilles. However after attending a masked ball, it is said she caught the eye of King Louis XV and became his mistress. He installed her as Marqius de Pompadour by purchasing the Pompadour Estate for her in 1745. As Royal Mistress to the King, Mme. Pompadour was responsible for bringing art into the palace, installing a royal sculptors and portrait artists, introducing Rococo intricacies to the décor, and hosting plays and concerts. The rather controversial figure died at age 42 from tuberculosis. The portrait of Madame de Pompadour, below was painted by Francios Boucher in 1750.
Monday, December 27, 2010
Happy Birthday Thomas Fearnley!! Norwegian painter, Fearnley was born in 1802. He trained for the military but dropped that to become an artist. He traveled Europe, sketching and painting mostly landscapes. The painting included here is probably Southern Italy, maybe Capri, painted in 1833. The mountainous rocky cliff, peaceful reflective water and delicate background space draws in the viewer.
Sunday, December 26, 2010
Happy Birthday Juan Lovera!! Born in Caracas, Venezuela in 1778, Lovera is considered the country's primier artist. After receiving training from the Dominican monks and Antonio Jose Landaeta, Lovera went on to pursue his own career in painting. He painted historical as well as religious works. The painting below is titled: Nuestra Senora del Carmen (1941).