Alphonse Mucha Research

  1. Czech
  2. Painter and designer
  3. Art Nouveau
  4. Posters for theatrical productions
  5. Mostly female figures painted
  6. Painted “The Slav Epic”
  7. Postage stamp designer (banknotes)
  8. 3D works
  9. Jewelry designer
  10. Loved Byzantine icons

Why is Mucha part of the Art Nouveau movement although he claims he’s not?

The characteristics of his work.

[The Slav Epic] has twenty paintings, ten on Czech subjects, ten on broader Slavic themes.  The first depicts “The Slavs in Their Original Homeland . . .” and carries the subtitle “Between the Knout of the Turks and the Sword of the Goths.”  The last is “The Apotheosis of the History of the Slavs.”  In between this somber beginning and translucent ending, Mucha paints an odyssey that runs from paganism through “The Introduction of the Slavonic Liturgy (Praise God in Thy Native Tongue)” . . . to “The Abolition of Serfdom in Russia, 1861. . . .”  He depicts the Bulgarian czar Simeon (888-927), the coronation of the Serbian czar StephenDushan (1346), and the defense of Sziget against the Turks by the Croatian hero Nicholas Zrinsky (1566).  But it is his choice of Czech subjects which is most interesting.  Six of the canvases are on broadly Hussite themes (“Jan Milic of Kromeriz 1372,” “Master Jan Hus Treaching in the Bethlehem Chapel 1412,” “The Meeting at Krizky 1419,” “After the Battle of Vitkov 1420,” “Petr Chelcicky at Vodnany 1433,” and “The Hussite King Jiri z Podebrad 1462”).  Two more (“The Printing of the Kralicka Bible at Ivancice 1578” and “Jan Amos Komensky–Last Days in Naarden 1670”) invoke the legacy of the Union of Brethren and the tragedy of Czech Protestant exiles after [the Battle of White Mountain].  Premysl Otakar II, perhaps the most famous the Premyslidkings, is also included for “Unity of the Slav Dynasties 1261.”

Source: The Coast of Bohemia: A Czech History

The public of Mucha’s homeland received the Epic with mixed emotions, one can even say with disfavour for the most part. They looked at it as a work whose ideas and intentions were out of tune with the time of its origin.  But they were aware of the sincerity and the honest effort that went into the creation of the whole series.  It came to be viewed as one of those controversial artistic errors which make us feel both respect and pity for the amount of work expended on it..

Source: Alphonse Mucha, his Life and Art

An artist should work on everything from architecture to furniture design so that art would become a part of everyday life. By making beauty and harmony a part of everyday life, artists make people’s lives better. This approach has been represented in painting, architecture, furniture, glassware, graphic design, jewelry, pottery, metalwork, and textiles and sculpture.

Source:  www.huntfor.com/arthistory/c19th/artnouveau.htm

One warms to Mucha because he tried so hard to bring art into the lives of the people – his greatest passion – by designing first class posters, advertisements, labels for soap, toothpaste and butter, mosaic panels for municipal swimming pools, crockery, textiles, jewellery (the snake bracelet and ring he designed for Sarah Bernhardt, executed by Fouquet, is perhaps the finest piece of costume jewellery ever created), postage stamps, calendars, letterheads and every conceivable kind of illustrative work. He loved Byzantine icons, collected them and copied them. He despised Art Nouveau, or said he did; not unfairly because his was really a style of its own. Anyone interested in design should study how ingeniously Mucha weaves into a single pattern frame and content, figures and decoration, lettering and picture.

Source: http://www.artchive.com/artchive/M/mucha.html

After early education in Brno, Moravia, and work for a theatre scene-painting firm in Vienna, Mucha studied art in Prague, Munich, and Paris in the 1880s. He first became prominent as the principal advertiser of the actress Sarah Bernhardt in Paris. He designed the posters for several theatrical productions featuring Bernhardt, beginning with Gismonda (1894), and he designed sets and costumes for her as well. Mucha designed many other posters and magazine illustrations, becoming one of the foremost designers in the Art Nouveau style. His supple, fluent draftsmanship is used to great effect in his posters featuring women. His fascination with the sensuous aspects of female beauty—luxuriantly flowing strands of hair, heavy-lidded eyes, and full-lipped mouths—as well as his presentation of the female image as ornamental, reveal the influence of the English Pre-Raphaelite aesthetic on Mucha, particularly the work of Dante Gabriel Rossetti. The sensuous bravura of the draftsmanship, particularly the use of twining, whiplash lines, imparts a strange refinement to his female figures.

Source: http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/396800/Alphonse-Mucha

Czech painter and designer, one of the leading figures in Art Nouveau. His posters and decorative panels brought him international fame, presenting idealized images of young women with long, flowing hair, with a patterned flower border. His early theatre posters were done for the actress Sarah Bernardt, notably the lithograph “Gismondo” (1894).

Trained in Munich, Mucha went to Paris in 1888 where he worked intermittently as a graphic artist. The Art Nouveau theatre posters for Bernhardt, for whom he also designed textiles, furniture, ceramic plaques and exhibition displays, and in 1900-01 a jewelry boutique for Georges Fouquet in Paris (now demolished).

Source: Hutchinson Dictionary of the Arts, 2nd edition

 

 

Henry de Toulouse Lautrec

In this post I am going to approach the subject matter on how Lautrec influenced the world of art and the innovations and means that he used to achieve this and also how his life influenced his style and the themes he chooses. The essay is organized as it follows: in section 2 I am going to talk about the historical and artistic influences; in section 3 I will discuss about his style and how he used it to capture, in a simplistic way, the French nightlife, section 4 deals with what life changing experiences influenced Lautrec and section 5 contains some final remarks and a conclusion.

Henry-Marie-Raymonde de Toulouse-Lautrec-Manfa was born in France on November 24, 1864 in a wealthy family. Despite the environment he was raise in , he spent most of his life studying and analizing the French nightlife and capturing in a simplistic manner the essence of humans, His interest in art started after a series of accidents which lead to him being incapacitated. His first art teacher was Rene Princeteau, famous for his depiction of military subjects. After discovering Montmarte, he dedicated himself to studying the social life of the Parisians cafes. He died at Chateau de Malrome on September 9, 1901. Degas influenced his work since the very beginning this being suggested by the bold foreshortening of the stage and the proeminent placement of the bass in the foreground” (Stokstao, 2008, 1056). Another of the influences is the Japanese woodblock prints which is deducted from “the simplification of form, suppression of modeling, flattening of space and integration of the black paper into the composition” (Stokstao, 2008, 1057). A third influence that is obvious is the one of Art Nouveau characterized by ” the emphasis on curving lines and the harmonization of the lettering with the rest on the Design” (Stokstao, 2008, 1057).

Most of Lautrec’s works are represented by posters which illustrate different “faces” of the French cafe’s nightlife. We can clearly notice the simple but yet complex style of his work. The posters illustrate dynamic scenes of cabaret dance floors. The curved lines, that he emphasizes, make me think about the audio waves that the cabaret music has and the dynamic that is represented by the characters being painted in a state of movement. Lautrec simplified the human anatomy, reducing it to simple shapes. This is also suggested by the dancing women placed usually in the middle. Lautrec managed perfectly to reproduce “in a few brush strokes, the essential nature of a subject” (Encyclopedia Britannica, 2010) and we can clearly see this in almost all of his work but especially in Jane Avril Dancing (image 1) or in Jane Avril (image 2) where we can see that the human anatomy is simplified in some parts, while in the same time, in some other parts he uses a lot of detail. Also, in La Goule (image 3) we can clearly see the simplified and “economical mean ” (Encyclopedia Britannica, 2010) used for the anatomy which is practically reduced to simple rounded shapes. The color pallette is also resembling in all of the three illustrations (image 1,2,3), using mainly different shades of yellow, brown and black and manages to do the “integration of blank paper into the composition (Stokstao, 2008, p.1057). Also, in some other works, such as Moulin Rouge-La Goule (image 4) or At the Moulin Rouge(image 5) we can surely see how he managed “to capture the essence of an individual with economical means” (Encyclopedia Britannica, 2010). The colors in these two works of art are different from the ones in image 1,2 and 3. We can see here the use of dark red, light pink, dark brown, dark green, etc.

The accidents that led to Lautrec’s physical disorders influenced his work a lot, and as Leroi says in his extract from Mutants : “Lautrec was only 150 centimeters tall. Critics have also argued that Lautrec’s disorder had a more subtle effect on his art : a tendency after 1893 to truncate the limbs of his models so that only that head and the torsos remain in the frame, a device for excluding that part of his own anatomy that he would much rather forget : his legs.” (Leroi, 2004). From another point of view, his art suggests that Lautrec might have been very much influenced by his mother, the result being a series of paintings, illustrating women in different erotic positions. This can be interpreted as him being traumatized by his mother in the childhood who “was a religious nut who saw him as a punishment for marrying a first cousin. She doted on him in a guilty, suffocating way” (Januszczak, 2006) and it led to the “slow agony of the feminine wait he would evoke so superbly in his borthel pictures, or those spectacularly sad paintings of fallen women staring into their absinthe” (Januszczak, 2006).

All in all, Lautrec was a brilliant artist and his works are still a source of inspiration for graphic designers and art lovers and all the physical defects he had led to him creating all the masterpieces that today are worth a fortune. “His career was marked by boldness and a hatred for hypocrisy in people’s relationships with eachother and themselves. With frequently autobiographycal subject matter and scenes, his works have greatly influenced even the modern-day perception of turn-of-the-century Paris” (Frey, 1994).

Referencing list:

Stokstad, Marilyn (2008) Art History. 3rd edn. Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Pearson Prentice Hall.

Birnholz, Alan Curtis (2010) Encyclopædia Britannica. Available at:http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/600695/Henri-de-Toulouse-Lautrec (Accessed: February 24 2011).

Leroi, Armand Marie  (2004) Noble Figure. Available at: http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2004/nov/20/featuresreviews.guardianreview33 (Accessed: February 24 2011)

Janszczak, Waldemar (2006) Why Lautrec Was a Giant. Available at: http://entertainment.timesonline.co.uk/tol/arts_and_entertainment/visual_arts/article662158.ece (Accessed: February 24 2011)

Frey, Julia (1994) Toulouse-Lautrec: A Life. London: Weidenfeld and Nicholson. Available at: http://blogs.princeton.edu/writingart14/archives/2004/12/toulouselautrec_2.html (Accessed: February 24 2011)

image 1 – Henri de Toulouse Lautrec (1892) Jane Avril Dancing, image source: http://www.artilim.com/painting/t/toulouse-lautrec-henri-de/jane-avril-dancing.jpg

image 2 – Henri de Toulouse Lautrec (1893) Jane Avril, image source: http://rlv.zcache.com/lautrec_jane_avril_dancing_the_can_can_postcard-p239681994608176565trdg_400.jpg

image 3 – Henri de Toulouse Lautrec (1891) La Goulue, image source: http://www.globalgallery.com/prod_images/600/bm-l282.jpg

image 4 – Henri de Toulouse Lautrec (1890) Moulin Rouge La Goulue, image source:http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_XnsBmpz0kTI/S6m1QGxMA7I/AAAAAAAAER0/5hGKhpWlaJg/s1600/toulouse-lautrec-moulin-rouge.JPG

image 5 – Henri de Toulouse Lautrec (1893) At the Moulin Rouge, image source:http://curezone.com/upload/Art/Toulouse_Lautrec/Toulouse-Lautrec_Au_Moulin_Rouge.jpg

Henry de Toulouse Lautrec Research

  1. Poster painter
  2. Was a midget
  3. French
  4. Incapacitated by the accident
  5. Influenced by Edgar Degas
  6. Simple lines and rounded shapes
  7. Influenced by his mother
  8. Studied the social life of Parisians Cafes
  9. Influenced by Art Nouveau
  10. Reduced palette of colours

How did the accidents that he had influenced Lautrec’s work?

If he didn’t have the accidents he would probably not have started painting.

We see the influence of the Art Nouveau style on the century’s best known poster designer. Henri de Toulouse Lautrec (1864-1901). Born into an aristocratic family in the south of France, Lautrec suffered from a genetic disorder and childhood accidents that left him physically handicapped and short in height. Extremely gifted artistically, he moved to Paris in 1882 and had private academic training before discovering the work of Degas, which greatly influenced his own development. (…) the composition juxtaposes the dynamic figure of Avril dancing onstage at the upper left with the cropped image of a bass viol player and the scroll of his instrument at the lower right. The bold foreshortening of the stage and the prominent placement of the bass in the foreground background both suggest the influence of Degas who employed similar devices. Lautrec departs radically from Degas’s naturalism, however particularly in his imaginative extension of each end of the bass viol’s head into a curving frame that encapsulates Avril and connects her visually with her musical accomplishment.

Source: Art History, 3rd edition

Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, in full Henri-Marie-Raymonde de Toulouse-Lautrec-Monfa  (born Nov. 24, 1864, Albi, France—died Sept. 9, 1901, Malromé), French artist who observed and documented with great psychological insight the personalities and facets of Parisian nightlife and the French world of entertainment in the 1890s. His use of free-flowing, expressive line, often becoming pure arabesque, resulted in highly rhythmical compositions (e.g., In the Circus Fernando: The Ringmaster, 1888). The extreme simplification in outline and movement and the use of large colour areas make his posters some of his most powerful works.

Toulouse-Lautrec’s family was wealthy and had a lineage that extended without interruption back to the time of Charlemagne. He grew up amid his family’s typically aristocratic love of sport and art. Most of the boy’s time was spent at the Château du Bosc, one of the family estates located near Albi. Henri’s grandfather, father, and uncle were all talented draftsmen, and thus it was hardly surprising that Henri began sketching at the age of 10. His interest in art grew as a result of his being incapacitated in 1878 by an accident in which he broke his left thighbone. His right thighbone was fractured a little more than a year later in a second mishap. These accidents, requiring extensive periods of convalescence and often painful treatments, left his legs atrophied and made walking most difficult. As a result, Toulouse-Lautrec devoted ever greater periods to art in order to pass away the frequently lonely hours.

Toulouse-Lautrec’s first visit to Paris occurred in 1872, when he enrolled in the Lycée Fontanes (now Lycée Condorcet). He gradually moved on to private tutors, and it was only after he had passed the baccalaureate examinations, in 1881, that he resolved to become an artist.

The originality of Toulouse-Lautrec also emerged in his posters. Rejecting the notion of high art, done in the traditional medium of oil on canvas, Toulouse-Lautrec in 1891 did his first poster, Moulin Rouge—La Goulue. This poster won Toulouse-Lautrec increasing fame. “My poster is pasted today on the walls of Paris,” the artist proudly declared. It was one of more than 30 he would create in the 10 years before his death. Posters afforded Toulouse-Lautrec the possibility of a widespread impact for his art, no longer restricted by the limitations of easel painting. They also enhanced the success he had enjoyed in the preceding year when his works were shown in Brussels at the Exposition des XX (the Twenty), an avant-garde association, and in Paris at the Salon des Indépendants.

Source: http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/600695/Henri-de-Toulouse-Lautrec

Lautrec’s legs caused him much grief. He seems to have had a fairly healthy childhood, but by the time he was seven his mother had taken him to Lourdes, where she hoped to find a cure for some vaguely described limb problem. He was stiff and clumsy and prone to falls, and only went to school for one year, leaving when he proved too delicate for schoolyard roughhousing. By the age of 10 he was complaining of constant severe pains in his legs and thighs, and 13 minor falls caused fractures in both femurs which, to judge from the length of time during which he supported himself with canes, took about six months to heal. He would use a cane nearly all his adult life; indeed, friends believed that he walked any distance only with reluctance and difficulty.

As he grew, Lautrec also underwent some unusual facial changes. A pretty infant, and a handsome boy, he later developed a pendulous lower lip, a tendency to drool, and a speech impediment rather like a growling lisp, and his teeth rotted while he was still in his teens – traits which his parents, who were notably good-looking, did not share. He was self-conscious about his looks, wore a beard all his adult life, and never smiled for a camera.

Many critics have argued that it was a sort of physical self-loathing that caused him to seek and portray all that was most vicious and harsh in his milieu. But then, fin-de-siècle Paris could be a vicious and harsh place. One night at Maxim’s, when Lautrec had sketched some lightning caricatures of his neighbours, one of them called to him as he hobbled away. “Monsieur”, he said, gesturing to a pencil stub left on the table, “you have forgotten your cane.” On another occasion, looking at one of the many portraits he had done of her, Yvette Guilbert remarked, “Really, Lautrec, you are a genius of deformity.” He replied, “Why, of course I am.”

Source:http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2004/nov/20/featuresreviews.guardianreview33

People always remember his posters, which are remarkable. But the more I looked into him, the clearer it became that his paintings are better at telling the truth. The posters were work, advertising. They were brilliant, sure, but they weren’t honest. For example, it was Lautrec who put the Moulin Rouge on the map with an astonishing poster that popped up overnight in Paris, in December 1893, of the wicked cancan dancer La Goulue — wicked because she sometimes “ forgot” to put on her underwear, and you know how much high-kicking there is in the cancan. The poster shows the crowd leaning in for a good look. Is she or isn’t she? It’s certainly a pioneering example of the use of sex to bring in the crowds. But what’s more interesting is how different Lautrec’s posters of the Moulin Rouge are from his paintings. There’s no sex or the promise of sex in the paintings. They’re entirely glum.

They show people leaving the cabaret at the end of the night, drunk, hollow-eyed. Dancers trudging home in the rain. Girls picking the pockets of their johns.

Where had he picked up his instinct for getting inside women’s heads? One of his favourite tricks was not showing a woman’s face. He’d paint her turned away, or with her hair over her forehead, so you couldn’t see her eyes. But instead of blocking you off from the women, the back views and the hair seemed to pull you towards them. You really want to know what they’re thinking.

It started to make sense back at the Château du Bosc. His mother, Adèle, was a religious nut who saw him as her punishment for marrying a first cousin. She doted on him in a guilty, suffocating way. The Château du Bosc was a woman’s world. While the men were out all day, huntin’, shootin’ and ridin’, the women stayed behind, sewing, thinking and waiting. The clock in the hall that they listened to is still there, and its doomy tick and tock could trigger domestic depression in a Tupperware container. Later, he would go in search of these anxious moods and sapping silences in the brothels of Montmartre. The slow agony of the feminine wait he would evoke so superbly in his brothel pictures, or those spectacularly sad paintings of fallen women staring into their absinthe, would have been noticed first at home.

Source: http://entertainment.timesonline.co.uk/tol/arts_and_entertainment/visual_arts/article662158.ece

His career officially started when, at the age of 19, he moved into his own studio and received his first commission – to illustrate for Victor Hugo’s latest novel. After five years of academic training, he had become very good at doing what was expected. His own works, however, already showed a disregard for the rules. Although he never joined a formal school of artistic theory, he was clearly influenced by Edgar Degas, Honore Daumier, Jean-Louis Forain, and Japonisme. Perhaps his greatest influence came from the neighborhood his first studio was in: the infamous Montmartre district, bohemia-central for Paris. The combination of several scandalous nightclubs, low rents, and a reputation as a haven for the poor and marginalized attracted the young avant-garde sector of Parisian society, leading to further wildness and bohemian behavior. Toulouse-Lautrec and his artist-friends became particularly well-known for their exploits in the night clubs and galleries. Very quickly, Toulouse-Lautrec spiralled into hopeless alcoholism, leading to outrageous drunk behavior where his physical appearance and ever-present sketchbook made him very recognizable. As could be expected, his unrestrained lifestyle caused much conflict within his aristocratic family, generating many arguments over money and the use of the family name on Toulouse-Lautrec’s often-scandalous works.

Source: http://blogs.princeton.edu/writingart14/archives/2004/12/toulouselautrec_2.html

 

 


 

 

 

SETH MACFARLANE

1. American

2. Animator and writer for Hanna-Barbera

3. Actor

4. Performer

5. Independent films- “Family guy”, “Cleveland Show”

6. Supports gay rights

7. Published his first comic at 8 years old

8. Won 2 Emmies

9. New England based humor

10. Skilled pianist

Biographical information

Seth Woodbury MacFarlane was born October 26, 1973 in the small, New England town of Kent, Connecticut. His parents are Ron and Perry, and his younger sister is Rachael. He began drawing cartoons at age 2, and his comic strip “Walter Crouton” was published in his local newspaper by the time he was 8.  He attended high school at Kent School in Connecticut, and then went on to study animation at the Rhode Island School of Design.

Source: http://www.sethmacfarlane.net/bio.html

Seth MacFarlane was born in the small New England town of Kent, Connecticut where he lived with his father (Ron), mother (Perry) and sister Rachael MacFarlane. He attended and studied animation at the Rhode Island School of Design and, after he graduated, he was hired by Hanna-Barbera Productions (Now called Cartoon Network Studios) working as an animator and writer on the TV series “Johnny Bravo” (1997) and “Cow and Chicken” (1997). He also worked for Walt Disney Animation as a writer on the TV series “Jungle Cubs” (1996). He created The Life of Larry (1995) which was originally supposed to be used as an in-between on “MADtv” (1995). Unfortunately the deal fell through but, a few months later, executives at FOX called him into their offices and gave him $50,000 to create a pilot for what would eventually become “Family Guy” (1999).

Source: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0532235/bio

MacFarlane is a frequent speaking guest on college campuses.[75] On April 16, 2006, he was invited by Stanford University‘s ASSU Speakers’ Bureau to address an audience of over 1,000 at Memorial Auditorium.[76] MacFarlane was invited by Harvard University‘s class of 2006 to deliver the “class day” address on June 7, 2006. He spoke as himself, as Peter Griffin, as Stewie Griffin, and as Glenn Quagmire.[77] He has also delivered speeches at George Washington University,[75] Washington University in St. Louis,[15] the University of Texas,[78] the University of Missouri,[79] University of Toledo, Bowling Green State University[80] and Loyola Marymount University.[81]

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seth_MacFarlane

Although he is not married, Seth MacFarlane, New England born funnyman and creator of “Family Guy” has some opinions about marriage. He is a firm supporter of gay rights and gay marriage. His support of gay rights came about after a family member wondered out loud if a gay cousin’s homosexuality can be cured. MacFarlane often wonders aloud why two people of the same sex have to sit around and wait for others to debate the issue and decide if gay marriage is the right thing to do. He is passionate about his support of gay rights and gay marriage and will debate the point until he is red in the face. Seth MacFarlane stand on marriage is he supports gay marriage and isn’t afraid to say so.

Source: http://www.sethmacfarlane.org/

How does politics influence Seth MacFarlane’s work?

Seth MacFarlane’s animations are influenced mainly by politics.

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