Whistler´s Brilliant Portraits

James Abbott McNeill Whistler (1834 – 1903) was an American artist, active during the American Gilded Age and based primarily in the United Kingdom. He was averse to sentimentality and moral allusion in painting, and was a leading proponent of the credo “art for art’s sake”. His famous signature for his paintings was in the shape of a stylized butterfly possessing a long stinger for a tail. The symbol was apt, for it combined both aspects of his personality—his art was characterized by a subtle delicacy, while his public persona was combative.

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Jo by James Abbott McNeill Whistler, 1861 via

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Weary by James Abbott McNeill Whistler, 1863 via

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Reading by Lamplight by James Abbott McNeill Whistler, 1858 via

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Annie Haden by James Abbott McNeill Whistler, 1860 via

Count Burckhardt published 1862 by James Abbott McNeill Whistler 1834-1903

Count Burckhardt by James Abbott McNeill Whistler, 1862 via

 

Amazing Surreal Photomontages by Grete Stern II

Grete Stern (1904–99) began taking private classes with Walter Peterhans―soon to become head of photography at the Bauhaus―in Berlin in 1927. Stern is best known as half of Foto Ringl + Pit, the innovative advertising and design studio she founded in Berlin in 1929 with her fellow Bauhaus alumna Ellen Auerbach.

In 1932 Stern met fellow photographer Horacio Coppola at the Bauhaus. In 1933 they emigrated to London where they married. Two years later in 1935 they settled in Coppola’s native Argentina. Two months after arriving they presented what the magazine Sur called

“the first serious exhibition of photographic art in Buenos Aires”

The exhibition comprised work produced in Germany and London. For a while Stern and Coppola tried operating a studio in Buenos Aires. It didn´t work out and the couple divorced in 1943. After a brief return to England, Stern settled in Argentina to raise a family, her daughter Silvia and her son Andrés.

Among Stern’s most significant accomplishments are her Dreams (Sueños). In 1948 Stern started illustrating women´s dreams for a women’s magazine column titled “El psicoanálisis le ayudará” (“Psychoanalysis will help you”). Over the course of three years Stern created 140 witty photomontages, where she portrayed women’s oppression and submission in Argentine society with sarcastic and surreal images. The photomontage was an ideal way for Stern to express her ideas about the dominant values.

She became a citizen of Argentina in 1958.

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Grete Stern, Dream No. 43: Untitled,  1949 via

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Ringl + Pit, Hat and Gloves, 1930 via

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Grete Stern, Dream via

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 Grete Stern, Dream No. 20: Perspective via

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Grete Stern, Dream No. 46: Estrangement via

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Grete Stern, Dream No. 44: The Accused via

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Grete Stern, Dream No. 13: Consent via

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Grete Stern, Dream No. 41: The Phone Call via

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Grete Stern, Dream via

Peggy Guggenheim in Paris by Rogi André (ca. 1930)

Peggy Guggenheim (1898 – 1979) was an American art collector, bohemian and socialite. Born to the wealthy New York City Guggenheim family, she was the daughter of Benjamin Guggenheim, who went down with the Titanic in 1912, and the niece of Solomon R. Guggenheim, who would establish the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation.

Peggy Guggenheim created a noted art collection in Europe and America primarily between 1938 and 1946. She exhibited this collection as she built it and, in 1949, settled in Venice, where she lived and exhibited her collection for the rest of her life. The Peggy Guggenheim Collection is a modern art museum on the Grand Canal in Venice, Italy, and is one of the most visited attractions in Venice.

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Peggy Guggenheim in Paris by André Rogi, ca. 1930 via

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Peggy Guggenheim in Paris by André Rogi, ca. 1930 via

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Peggy Guggenheim in Paris by André Rogi, ca. 1930 via

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Peggy Guggenheim in Paris by André Rogi, ca. 1930 via

 

Vintage Photos of Jeanne Hébuterne

Jeanne Hébuterne (1898 – 1920) was a French artist, best known as the frequent subject and common-law wife of the artist Amedeo Modigliani. Born in Paris, she aspired to be an artist and was introduced to the vibrant Montparnasse artist community through her brother Andre, who was himself an artist.

She modeled for several painters and sculptors, but soon enrolled in the Academie Colarossi for her own artistic training. There, in the spring of 1917, she met the charismatic artist Amedeo  Modigliani. Jeanne began an affair with the charismatic artist, and the two fell deeply in love. She soon moved in with him, despite strong objection from her parents

Modigliani, suffering from tuberculous meningitis,  died in January 1920. Jeanne Hébuterne’s family brought her to their home but Jeanne, totally distraught, threw herself out of the fifth-floor apartment window the day after Modigliani’s death, killing herself and her unborn child. Her family, who blamed her demise on Modigliani, interred her in the Cimetière de Bagneux. Nearly ten years later, the Hébuterne family finally relented and allowed her remains to be transferred to Père Lachaise Cemetery to rest beside Modigliani. Her epitaph reads:

“Devoted companion to the extreme sacrifice”.

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Jeanne Hébuterne (1914) via

Jeanne Hébuterne all'età di sedici anni (1914)

Jeanne Hébuterne (1914) via

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Jeanne Hébuterne via

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Jeanne Hébuterne at Amedeo Modigliani atelier in Montparnasse Paris (1919) from iulia achimescu via

Some Vintage Alphonse Mucha Photographic Studies

In 1887 while studying, Czech painter and decorative artist, Alphonse  Mucha (1860 – 1939) moved to Paris. There he, in addition to studying, worked at producing magazine and advertising illustrations. About Christmas 1894, Mucha happened to go into a print shop where there was a sudden and unexpected need for a new advertising poster for a play featuring Sarah Bernhardt. Mucha volunteered to produce a lithographed poster within two weeks, and on 1 January 1895, the advertisement for the play Gismonda by Victorien Sardou was posted in the city, where it attracted much attention. Bernhardt was so satisfied with the success of this first poster that she began a six-year contract with Mucha. His style was given international exposure by the 1900 Universal Exhibition in Paris, of which Mucha said:

“I think [the Exposition Universelle] made some contribution toward bringing aesthetic values into arts and crafts.”

Mucha produced a flurry of paintings, posters, advertisements, and book illustrations, as well as designs for jewelry, carpets, wallpaper, and theatre sets in what was termed initially The Mucha Style but became known as Art Nouveau (French for “new art”). Mucha’s works frequently featured beautiful young women in flowing, vaguely Neoclassical-looking robes, often surrounded by lush flowers which sometimes formed halos behind their heads. In contrast with contemporary poster makers he used pale pastel colors.

Mucha’s work has continued to experience periodic revivals of interest for illustrators and artists. Interest in hiss distinctive style experienced a strong revival during the 1960s, with a general interest in all things Art Nouveau.

 

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Alphonse  Mucha, Study for a Decorative Panel (1908) via

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Alphonse Marie Mucha. Model posing in Mucha’s studio rue du Val de Grâce  © Mucha Foundation via

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Alphonse  Mucha. Model posing in Mucha’s studio rue du Val de Grâce  © Mucha Trust
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Alphonse Marie Mucha. Model posing in Mucha’s studio rue du Val de Grâce via

1900 The Precious Stones 4b photographic study in Mucha's stdio Rue du Val de Gra_ce, Paris _ Mucha Trust

 The Precious Stones photographic study in Mucha’s stdio Rue du Val de Grâce (1900), Paris © Mucha Trust via

03 c1900 Portrait of a Lady photographic study in Mucha’s studio, Rue du Val de Grâce, Paris © Mucha Trust

Portrait of a Lady photographic study in Mucha’s studio, Rue du Val de Grâce (ca. 1900), Paris © Mucha Trust via

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Photographic study © Alphonse Mucha Estate/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/ADAGP, Paris via

16 Photgraphic study for 'Truth'

Photographic study for ‘Truth’ © Alphonse Mucha Estate/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/ADAGP, Paris  via

Two Drawings of Louise Chéruit by Paul César Helleu

Madame Louise Chéruit (1866-1955) was among the foremost couturiers of her generation, and one of the first women to control a major French fashion house. Her salon operated in the Place Vendôme in Paris under the name Chéruit from 1906 to 1935.

Chéruit is best remembered today as the subject of a number of portraits by artist Paul César Helleu, with whom she conducted an affair before opening her couture house and for the appearance of her name in two celebrated works of literature, Marcel Proust’s Remembrance of Things Past (1910) and Evelyn Waugh’s Vile Bodies (1930).

Her name is also frequently associated with the fashion photography of Edward Steichen whose favorite model, Marion Morehouse, often wore gowns from the house of Chéruit for Vogue magazine in the 1920s. One particular Steichen image has become iconic: Morehouse in a jet-beaded black net Chéruit dress, first published in 1927.

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Louise Chéruit by  Paul César Helleu (1859-1927)

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« Madame Chéruit », drypoint etching by Paul-César Helleu, reproduced as plate XXIX in: Montesquiou, Robert de (1913), Paul Helleu, Peintre et Graveur, Paris: H. Floury (circa 1900)

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Illustrations by Charles Dana Gibson

Charles Dana Gibson (1867 – 1944) was an American graphic artist, best known for his creation of the Gibson Girl, an iconic representation of the beautiful and independent American woman at the turn of the 20th century.

The artist saw his creation as representing the composite of “thousands of American girls.”The Gibson Girl image combined elements of older American images of caucasian female beauty, such as the “fragile lady” and the “voluptuous woman”. From the “fragile lady” she took the basic slender lines, and a sense of respectability. From the “voluptuous woman” she took a large bust and hips, but was not vulgar or lewd, as previous images of women with large busts and hips had been depicted. From this combination emerged the Gibson Girl, who was tall and slender, yet with ample bosom, hips and buttocks. She had an exaggerated S-curve torso shape achieved by wearing a swan-bill corset. Images of her epitomized the late 19th- and early 20th-century Western preoccupation with youthful features and ephemeral beauty. Her neck was thin and her hair piled high upon her head in the contemporary bouffant, pompadour, and chignon (“waterfall of curls”) fashions. The statuesque, narrow-waisted ideal feminine figure was portrayed as being at ease and stylish.

Many models posed for Gibson Girl-style illustrations, including Gibson’s wife, Irene Langhorne who may have been the original model, and was a sister of Viscountess Nancy (Langhorne) Astor. Other models included Evelyn Nesbit. The most famous Gibson Girl was probably the Belgian-American stage actress, Camille Clifford, whose high coiffure and long, elegant gowns that wrapped around her hourglass figure and tightly corseted wasp waist defined the style

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Charles Dana Gibson, The Gibson Girl, Pen and ink on paper, 12.5 x 9.5 in.

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Charles Dana Gibson, A daughter of the south, 1909. Pen and ink, 57 x 40 cm

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Charles Dana Gibson, Well-Dressed Woman, Ink on paper 17 x 12 in.

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Charles Dana Gibson, Sweetest story ever told, 1910. Pen and ink over graphite under drawing ; 57.7 x 43.5 cm

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Charles Dana Gibson pen and ink on paper illustration for Collier’s Weekly; published in the artist’s collection Our Neighbors (1905)

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Charles Dana Gibson, Patience, 1910

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