Archive for the ‘painters’ Category

Aubrey Beardsley was so extravagantly foppish, so precious in his speech and so languid in his posturings that Oscar Wilde claimed him for his own invention

Aubrey Vincent Beardsley (August 21, 1872 – March 16, 1898) was an influential English illustrator, and author. Beardsley was born in Brighton. In 1883 his family settled in London, and in the following year he appeared in public as an “infant musical phenomenon,” playing at several concerts with his sister. He attended Brighton, Hove and Sussex Grammar School in 1884, and in 1888 he obtained a post in an architect’s office, and afterwards one in the Guardian Life and Fire Insurance Company. In 1891, under the advice of Sir Edward Burne-Jones and Pierre Puvis de Chavannes, he took up art as a profession. In 1892 he attended the classes at the Westminster School of Art,

He was aligned with the Yellow Book coterie of artists and writers. He was an art editor for the first four editions and produced many illustrations for the magazine. He was also closely aligned with Aestheticism, the British counterpart of Decadence and Symbolism.

Aubrey Beardsley was the most controversial artist of the Art Nouveau era, renowned for his dark and perverse images and the grotesque erotica, which were the main themes of his later work.

(From here)

A gallery of his work

A sad story about his final days.

His writings and drawings in a book, free to read online


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Even though he spend quite a bit of his life in the 20th century and not the 19th, Arthur Rackham is in his works so Victorian that he definately belongs here.

Arthur Rackham was an English book illustrator and painter living from 1867 till 1939. I saw his works in the 1905 book Rip van Winkle but he also illustrated books like “Alice in Wonderland,” “Peter Pan,” Fairytales of the brothers Grimm, and he also illustrated books for adult readers, for example “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” and short stories by Edgar Allen Poe. Already during his lifetime Rackham won various gold medals for his work and was included in numerous exhibitions.

My favourites:
arthur rackham at the wedding
At the wedding
arthur rackham a young man presenting a bouquet
A young man presenting a bouquet to a girl standing in the drawing room
arthur rackham the peep show
The peepshow
arthur rackham hans andersen
Illustration for fairytales by Hans Andersen
arthur rackham rip van winkle
Illustration for Rip van Winkle.

Links to read more:

  • Extensive biography
  • Illustrations for Rip van Winkle
  • Illustrations for Alice in Wonderland
  • Various art galleries
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    Caspar David Friedrich was born in 1774 Greifswald, Germany, in a simple workers family. His childhood was saddened by the death of his mother and two sisters. From 1790 on he took lessons at the art academy in Greifswald (his teacher Quistorp would be a big influence on him) and later at the art academy in Kopenhagen. From 1798 on Friedrich lived and worked in Dresden, where he died in 1840.  (Of course a longer biography can be found on this Wiki page 

    In his work and thinking, Friedrich is a typical Romanticist:

    “Close your bodily eye, so that you may see your picture first with the spiritual eye. Then bring to the light of day that which you have seen in the darkness so that it may react upon others from the outside inwards. Painters train themselves in inventing or, as they call it, composing. Does not that mean perhaps, in other words that they train themselves in patching and mending? A picture must not be invented but felt.”

    The Tree of Crows
    1822 (90 Kb); Oil; Louvre

    Elements you will often see in Friedrichs art are solemn landscapes with full moons, leafless trees in winter, snow, funeral processions, and people seen from the back (the Rückenfigur) in old-fashioned garb. Sometimes a little sad, but also beautiful.
    Solitary Tree
    1821; Oil on canvas, 55 x 71 cm; National Gallery, Berlin

    1821; Oil on canvas, 22 x 30.5 cm; Niedersachsisches Landesmuseum, Hannover

    After East-Germany became accessible again around 15 years ago and the museums in Leipzig and Dresden could receive visitors from all over the world, Caspar David Friedrich became regained popularity. There are more and more exhibitions you can visit and museums pride themselves on having his paintings.

    See more Friedrich:

    To see a lot of his works in high quality:

    To see his works in person you might want to visit Berlin’s Alte National Galerie, which has a beautiful room entirely filled with his art.

    If you enjoy walking (or novelties!), the National Park Sächsische Sweiz has a ‘painter route,’ a route you can walk and see where famous painters, among which Friedrich, came to find inspiration and to paint!

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