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Few were aware of his ties with Dagnan [-Bouveret], and little was known of his training when he exhibited The Catechism Lesson at the Salon of That work established his reputation: it attracted the attention of collectors, both private and in the government. In constructing the image, he took an extensive series of photographs of this models in a garden in Coulevon….

The exiting glass-plate negatives prove that Muenier utilized photographs much like drawings. To retain all details in sharp focus, especially the flowers at the right and the background landscape, he took close-up photographs of them. What a beautiful sense of tranquility reigns between the landscape and the figures. Ultimately the French government purchased the work and exhibited it at the Luxembourg Museum. Abrams, : p. Jules-Alexis Muenier French, - Jules-Alexis Muenier was among the group of young artists who followed the lead of Jules Bastien-Lepage in the creation of sensitively rendered Naturalist images of the lives of the common people of the French countryside.

Request more information. Leander navigated his way across not using the stars, but by the light which Hero provided on top of the tower in which she lived — an ancient lighthouse. Edward Burne-Jones shows her bent over, placing small kindling on a fire, in his Hero Lighting the Beacon for Leander Three little flowers suggest that this is at ground level rather than on top of a tower, though.

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Interestingly, there is a red thread, wool perhaps, which runs from her clothing, under her left hand, which may be a reference to the thread of life, or that of time. William Etty painted two works based on this legend. The first, The Parting of Hero and Leander , shows the two lovers embraced, at the moment that Leander is about to start his swim back over the Hellespont to Abydos, one night. The first is written by Leander to Hero, after a week of stormy weather had prevented him from swimming over to her.

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He explains the situation, tells her that he set off three times, only to be beaten back by the waves, and how he yearns for calm weather so that they can be together again. In its last lines he asks that Hero keeps her light constant, where he can see it — ominous words. In its later lines she urges him to be cautious, and to wait for better conditions, but the damage has already been done.

Soon after receiving her letter, Leander gives it another go, although the storm has hardly abated. Leander is seen swimming across the narrow straight its width shown far smaller than in reality , from right to left, to join Hero. Behind him on the bank at Abydos are spirits emerging, indicating his imminent death. This is the climactic scene which has been most favoured in art. Peter Paul Rubens quite youthful account in his Hero and Leander of about is big on storm and drama, but difficult to read clearly.

At the right, Hero falls head-first from her tower to inevitable death. On the left, Fetti provides a couple of evil-looking sea monsters, and Venus making her way onto her large clam shell. The legend has also given rise to some sparklingly terse summaries. The more prescient painters of the nineteenth century could see where the upstart technology of photography was heading.

Even before , photographers were setting up portrait studios and stealing their business. Until well into the twentieth century, and even to a degree still today, there were genres in which painting remained unsurpassed. The nineteenth century saw the development of a new, objective style of painting in botanical and ornithological work in particular. Artists like Edward Lear illustrated multi-volume scientific publications classifying and describing different species.

In this article and the next, I show some examples of his paintings which, a century later, are still some of the finest artistic depictions of wildlife in the history of art. Liljefors was born in Uppsala, in the east of Sweden, in the same year that Anders Zorn was born. He left the Academy after three years, and went on to Dusseldorf to learn to paint animals. Liljefors perfected his plein air painting technique, and was influenced by the Japanese woodcuts which were so popular at the time. During the early s, Liljefors started to paint highly Naturalistic works showing wildlife set in realistic surroundings.

Hawk and Black Grouse is a good example of these, showing a hawk attacking the gamebirds in a winter landscape. Although he had a deep affinity with his subjects, Liljefors was also a hunter, and many of his paintings explore the predator-prey relationship, as here. His hunting also provided him with dead specimens which he used as subjects. This portrait of Anna Olofsson was painted in , when they were courting; they married in , but broke up in the early s, and in he married her younger sister Signe. These were assembled from observations of living and dead animals and birds, and sketches, to produce composites which photography could not challenge for decades, even in monochrome.

This page of Hare Studies from shows a tiny part of the image library which he assembled, as well as the spring antics of hares. Liljefors also assembled his own wildlife park, with living and apparently quite tame creatures, including foxes, badgers, hares, squirrels, weasels, an eagle, eagle owl, and others. The rich floral setting appears to have been influenced by the paintings of Jules Bastien-Lepage. Even for the modern amateur photographer, the fleeting form of Common Swifts is a great challenge.

Set against a riot of flowers, these birds are the product of field observation, museum specimens, and careful studies, and look real. Liljefors enjoyed great insight into the species that he painted. When a little older, it will catch it and impale the corpse on thorns in its larder. During the s, Bruno Liljefors — excelled as a wildlife artist , and was appointed head of the art school in Gothenburg, Sweden, in succession to Carl Larsson.

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But his personal life was in turmoil, and the s were barren years when he often ran short of money. His Common Snipe at its Nest from is a fine painting, but lacks the brilliance of his earlier work, with its loose backgrounds inspired by the work of Jules Bastien-Lepage. Some of his finest paintings from this period are almost pure landscapes, such as his Hunting Geese with its superb mackerel sky. He seems to have recovered his earlier form in the early twentieth century, as his new family grew around him.

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Although photographic technology was advancing rapidly, wildlife photography was still in its infancy: for instance, the National Geographic magazine published its first monochrome wildlife photos in His later works include some substantial groups of birds, such as these Long-tailed Ducks in the Outer Archipelago When Liljefors painted this Portrait of Zorn, in about , his subject was in his mid fifties, the same age as the artist.

Liljefors seems to have benefited from the long days and nights that he spent out in the country. Anders Zorn died four years later, at the age of only Some of his landscapes became more post-Impressionist, as seen in this Autumn Landscape with Fox Some of these late paintings have wonderful dialogues between the sky and water, as in these Geese in Wetlands Liljefors never lost his fascination for the relationship between predators and prey, as seen in his Sea Eagles Chasing an Eider from Liljefors was also an accomplished gymnast, acrobat, and variety artist.

With his two brothers, he formed the Manzodi Brothers, an acrobatic group who entertained Swedish audiences. He had outlived Anders Zorn by almost twenty years. He was apparently influenced by Jules Bastien-Lepage and the art of the colony at Grez-sur-Loing, which was the heart of Naturalism. His paintings are robustly realist throughout, and their subjects are usually rendered in quite fine detail even though his settings are often more painterly. Olsson considers this to be his skilful balancing act in focus, apparent even in his portrait of his future wife Anna, for example.

Indeed, his wildlife paintings are paragons of the objectivity which the late nineteenth century sought, and with which Naturalism was most concerned. Wikipedia in Swedish. Picus had been the king of Latium, and drew admiring glances from nymphs wherever he went. He fell in love with a beautiful young woman who sang so wonderfully that she was named Canens Latin for singing , and they lived in wedded bliss. One day, Picus was out hunting on his horse when Circe caught sight of him from the undergrowth. Her desire for him was immediate and intense, so she worked her magic to lure Picus into a thicket, in pursuit of a phantom boar which she had conjured up.

Circe confronted him, and told of her desire for him, but he refused her in fathfulness to Canens. Despite Circe repeatedly pleading with him, Picus stood firm and refused her time and again. The sorceress became angry, warning him that he would pay for his obstinacy, and would never return to his bride: Then twice she turned herself to face the west and twice to face the East; and three times then she touched the young man with her wand, and sang three incantations.

Picus fled, but, marvelling at his unaccustomed speed, he saw new wings, that spread on either side and bore him onward. Angry at the thought of transformation — all so suddenly added a strange bird to the Latian woods, he struck the wild oaks with his hard new beak, and in his rage inflicted many wounds on the long waving branches his wings took the purple of his robe. The piece of gold which he had used so nicely in his robe was changed to golden feathers, and his neck was rich as yellow gold. Nothing remained of Picus as he was except the name.

With Picus turned into a woodpecker, his courtiers were out searching for him. Stumbling across Circe instead, they accused her of being responsible for his disappearance. She promptly worked her spells upon them too: The men all quaked appalled. With magic rod she touched their faces, pale and all amazed, and at her touch the youths took on strange forms of wild animals.

None kept his proper shape. Six nights, six brightening dawns found her quite unrefreshed with food or sleep wandering at random over hill and dale. The Tiber saw her last, with grief and toil wearied and lying on his widespread bank. In tears she poured out words with a faint voice, lamenting her sad woe, as when the swan about to die sings a funereal dirge. Melting with grief at last she pined away; her flesh, her bones, her marrow liquified and vanished by degrees as formless air and yet the story lingers near that place, fitly named Canens by old-time Camenae.

The story of Picus, Canens, and Circe with its multiple transformations would appear to be ideal for the visual artist. Oddly, it has remained little-known, and seldom-painted. This shows Circe trying to seduce Picus, and the king resisting her advances. By their expressions, she has just told him that he will pay for his refusal, and is working her magic to transform him into a woodpecker. Already he has grown feathery wings, and at the upper right there is the silhouette of a woodpecker as an ominous reminder of the fate that awaits him at any moment.

There are more paintings, though, which show Circe in the company of various enchanted birds and animals, including the former King Picus. Two of the more remarkable examples are both by Dosso Dossi, one painted in about , the second probably fifteen years later. Circe leans, naked, at the foot of a tree going through spells on a large tablet, with a book of magic open at her feet. Around her are some of the men who she took a fancy to and transformed into wild creatures.

Circe sits inside a magic circle, around which are inscribed cabalistic words. In the upper left corner are small homunculi apparently growing on a tree. On the left is a large dog, and perched on top of a suit of armour is a bird, most probably a woodpecker.

Disappointingly, although Circe inspired paintings by several of the Pre-Raphaelites, none came close to the story of Picus and Canens, or of her bad habit of collecting in animal form those men who refused her desires. Studies of Naturalism, Realism, or Social Realism differ in their definitions, the period during which it flourished, artists and even countries involved, and more.

But there is one painter whose work is generally agreed to have dominated Naturalism, at least until his sudden and premature death in Jules Bastien-Lepage. I have previously written about his work and career in more general terms. This article and the next look in more detail at those paintings which led up to and formed his high Naturalism in the years , in which he was the avatar of Naturalism Richard Thomson. What had previously been viewed as genre painting now took on social concerns. Bastien-Lepage was born and brought up amid the rural poor of the north-east of France, in Damvillers, an area which was to be invaded by Prussian forces in the Franco-Prussian War in , and ravaged during the First World War.

He first intended to become a history painter, but was twice deprived of the Prix de Rome, and turned to portraiture and rural genre scenes. It provoked debate over what was considered to be its harsh portrayal of life and work in the country. It was also a pioneer composition for Bastien-Lepage, with its high horizon and fine detail in the foreground.

Together these give the visual impression that the whole canvas is meticulously realist, although in fact much of its surface consists of visible brushstrokes and other more painterly forms. At the same time, its deep recession and broad inclusion of land gives it the illusion of a very wide-angle panorama, which enhances the exhaustion and desolation of its figures. He employed the same compositional scheme: high horizon, fine foreground detail, deep recession here enhanced by the distant figures , and broad land.

This time, though, his rural poor are smiling and happy in their labour, and it was a huge success. They are strolling through land which was, until recently, open fields. Then in , Bastien-Lepage revisited history painting with his new formula, in Joan of Arc Its horizon is so high that little sky is visible beyond the trees. The lower half of the canvas is its intricately-detailed foreground, even down to the clutter of woolworking apparatus an ingenious link to the thread of fate and the unkempt garden. The corner of a house sharply divides the painting into halves.

On its right is the very real and tangible figure of Joan of Arc, her piercing blue eyes staring into the distance, as she receives her call to arms. On the left are the ethereal figures of Saints Michael, Margaret, and Catherine, which gave rise to a surprisingly hostile reception by critics. Bastien-Lepage was still not completely committed to Naturalism, though. This pure landscape of Night on the Lagoon , presumably painted in Venice, uses none of the devices of the works above. Its horizon draws the eye more strongly, distracting from the foreground detail, and the land rises too soon to achieve the deep panorama of his earlier paintings.

In his native Damvillers, Bastien-Lepage painted portraits of the poor.

The Beggar shows an old man who has apparently been knocking on doors in his quest for charity. A well-dressed young girl stares sadly at him as he walks away from her house, and she is closing the door on him. Its high horizon and woodland break the thin slice of sky into fine fragments. The detailed foreground includes both of the figures, who are diametric opposites — an old man bent with his load of firewood, who at any moment could keel over and die, and a young child probably a girl who runs free among the wild flowers.

The perception of depth is enhanced by the recession of tree forms, although here the space is enclosed rather than open. Blackfriars Bridge and the Thames, London is a fine depiction of this stretch of the River Thames, and has much finer detail in its foreground than in the distance, but does not follow the rest of the formula. At the time of his death, Bastien-Lepage still had to paint all the foreground detail.

This would have covered the lower half of the canvas, and given it a finely-detailed overall appearance. Bastien-Lepage continued his portraiture during this period. Back in Damvillers, Bastien-Lepage returned to the rural poor, now focussing on children, the innocent victims. The formula was applied again, this time with the superimposition of a leafless sapling and the thyrsus-like flower-heads of the teazle. The tree is placed most unusually over the grazing cow, and the whole painting cropped as if a photograph.

This article moves on to consider the remarkable series of paintings that he made in , before his declining health took its toll on his output. Not all his paintings were typically Naturalist. He continued to make some fine landscapes, of which Snow Effect, Damvillers from about , is arguably his finest, and most Impressionist.

Of the core Impressionists, it was probably Pissarro whose paintings came closest to Naturalism. Bastien-Lepage pushed his formula to the limit in this enchanting painting of Roadside Flowers or The Little Shepherdess The sky has been reduced to a thin sliver, and almost the entire canvas is devoted to its detailed foreground. Like the weeds behind her, this little girl has a wide-eyed and slightly sad beauty.

Although her clothing is visibly tatty, her face and hair are idealistically clean, in keeping with a romantic sentimentalism rather than the objectivity which is characteristic of true Naturalism. Going to School takes us into the village, but again this girl is a little too clean and perfect to be objective. His face is grubby, his clothing frayed, patched, and dirty, and his boots caked in mud and laceless. One early reading, by Mette, the wife of Paul Gauguin, held that the girl was under age, and the relationship accordingly beyond the pale.

The girl not only faces away from the viewer, but her whole body is turned away, leaving that issue unresolved and unresolvable. This maintains fine detail right into the far distance, except where it is affected by the smoky and hazy atmosphere, and its horizon is kept well below the middle of the canvas. In London, he painted one of his most characteristically Naturalistic works, showing a young boy working on the street as a London Bootblack The documentary realism of the foreground gives way to a more sketchy and jumbled background. In the background is a reminder of how the other half lived, as an affluent man in a pale top hat walks alongside a woman wearing an exuberant blue hat.

I have been unable to read the date on this portrait of The Blind Beggar, painted in Damvillers again, but guess that it was most probably painted between and Bastien-Lepage continued to paint during his final illness in , although his output appears to have fallen dramatically. I suspect that most of his surviving works from those years are in private collections, and seldom pass into public view.

He appears to be living in a hovel, with the embers of a fire at the left edge. Although signed, and presumably complete, the prominent white cat in the foreground remains very sketchy, and contrasts with the careful detail of the boy and his large bread roll. Bastien-Lepage seems to have been moving on to a looser style, perhaps, when he died the following year. After his death at the end of , the influence of these paintings lasted well into the s.

Wherever we use metallic copper, it weathers and corrodes. Before recorded history, people noticed that the colour produced by exposing copper to vinegar acetic acid was a useful pigment. Thus green Verdigris copper acetate became used as a pigment. Green is a vital colour in painting. Although not a primary colour, it is commonplace in nature. Verdigris was easy and cheap to produce. In Europe, its manufacture centred around Montpellier, in the south of France, where there was a plentiful supply of waste products from winemaking to provide vinegar.

By the seventeenth century, consumption of copper there had to be satisfied by imports from as far away as Sweden. Verdigris production was also unusual in being predominantly the work of women. Verdigris is typically more blue when it is first applied, and develops its full green hue over the first month or so following application.

It may also have been used in the habit of Saint Paul. The founding fathers shown are, from the left, Jerome, Augustine, Gregory, and Ambrose. Although Pacher uses Verdigris in each of the panels, that of Ambrose shown below demonstrates the brilliant green which can result. For much of the period that Verdigris was in common use, the only real alternative was Green Earth, which could never attain the same chromatic intensity. Verdigris was also known as an accelerant of the drying of oil paint, and was frequently added to dark and black paints, which are notoriously slow to dry, in order to shorten their drying time.

Many paint samples from dark or black passages have therefore been found to contain Verdigris, although it there has no function as a pigment. From the fifteenth century onwards, Verdigris pigment was mixed with natural resins for use in glazes. This produces a different pigment from normal Verdigris, as the copper combines with the resin acids to form what is known as Copper Resinate. A popular technique among many Masters to produce an intense green was to paint an underlayer using Verdigris, over which several glazing layers of Copper Resinate were then applied. Although generally reliable and stable, Verdigris and Copper Resinates have a tendency to turn brown on the surface.

Thankfully this affects relatively few paintings. Tintoretto used Copper Resinate glazes in several of his paintings, most notably the rich, varied, and often lush vegetation in his Saint George and the Dragon from about The surface of that wall has superficial brown discoloration of the paint layer.

This is reported as being painted in tempera, but Copper Resinate glaze appears to have been used to develop the intense green patterns on the sea monster in the foreground. True Verdigris gradually vanished from the palette during the early twentieth century. After the Virgin Mary, Helen is probably the most famous and most frequently-painted woman. She is also one over whom there has been no consensus: was she abducted, seduced, or seducer? Victim or whore? They are among his wittiest and most entertaining works, and skilfully leave it to the reader to decide the virtues and vices of the two figures, a solution which is much more difficult for the visual artist.

The outcome of the union of Leda, wife of the king of Sparta, with Jupiter, in the form of a swan, Helen did not have a human birth, but hatched from an egg laid by her human mother. Some accounts claim that Leda had intercourse with both the swan and her husband Tyndareus on the same night, and produced one or two eggs containing Helen, Clytemnestra, Castor and Pollux, as shown here. This was interpreted as revealing that her child would be responsible for the destruction of Troy by fire, so he was abandoned on Mount Ida to die.

He was rescued and raised by country folk, and was eventually welcomed back into the royal household. Among those suitors were many prominent figures, including Odysseus.

Emile Friant: A collection of 64 paintings (HD)

The suitors therefore agreed to swear an oath, under which they would all defend the successful suitor in the event that anyone should quarrel with them — this was the crucial Oath of Tyndareus. Venus successfully bribed Paris with the promise of the most beautiful woman in the world Helen, still married to Menelaus , and was awarded the apple. Paris then had to claim his prize, and suffer the wrath of Juno and Minerva.

Given its importance to subsequent events the Trojan War and the whole story, you might have expected clarity over how Helen and Paris became partners. Instead, there are multiple and conflicting accounts which leave everything in doubt. Here, a youthful Paris is carrying her from the city of Sparta into one of his ships, ready to sail off to Troy with his prize.

Helen is here part of a small raid on Sparta in which various other prizes are also being taken. For Tintoretto, The Rape of Helen was nothing short of war. By the seventeenth century, the story shown in paintings was starting to change. Helen is being grasped around her waist by one of the Trojans, but seems to have resigned herself to her fate. By , when Benjamin West painted Helen Brought to Paris, this has started to look very consensual, if still a seduction by Paris.

As Paris kneels before her in supplication, Venus and her son Cupid draw the figure of Helen towards him. Note how Helen is wearing predominantly white clothing, and unlike Venus shows but a modest amount of flesh. The couple pose in front of their bed with its rumpled sheets. He is naked and playing his lyre, his cheeks flushed. She wears diaphanous clothing which has slipped off her right shoulder, and her cheeks are distinctly flushed too. Watching over them is a small statue of Venus. In the late nineteenth century, fewer paintings showed Helen and Paris together, and Helen became the more popular subject for portraits.

She wears an elaborate headdress with a band of peacock feathers, and her abundant jewellery is flashy rather than regal, more typical of a courtesan than the head of court. In the distance are the lofty towers of the fortified city of Troy. She comes across as far more experienced, and obviously duplicitous. At this stage, with her husband away visiting Crete, she has already let her dress slip to show Paris her breasts. In her reply to Paris, she reveals that she is in love with him and prepared to have a clandestine affair.

However, she portrays herself as a virtuous wife who is inexperienced at adultery, and skilfully leads Paris to his death, and the destruction of Troy. She, though, has refused to try to heal him with her herbal arts, has turned her back on him, and walks away, leaving him to the care of Helen, who stands at the right edge wearing her golden crown.

Homer has her return to Menelaus in Sparta, and resume her former role as queen and mother, almost as if nothing had happened. Perhaps Euripides was closer to the truth in his Trojan Women, where she is shunned by the other women who survived the fall of Troy, and is eventually taken back to Greece to face a death penalty for her actions.

He was born in the far east of France, in the town of Dieuze, not far from the modern border with Germany. His father was an artisan, a locksmith who was also commissioned to design bespoke clothing, and his mother a dressmaker. When Prussia defeated France in the war of , Dieuze became lawless and was annexed by Prussia. He did not fare well in academic subjects, but showed an early aptitude for art, so he was taught still life and landscape painting in Nancy.

He entered the Prix de Rome in , but had to settle for second prize. As was so often the case, there were suggestions that Cabanel and others had arranged for their favourites to be successful there, and in the Salon. In these early years, several of his surviving works are mythological, but his painting of The Entrance of the Clowns stands out with its unusual theme, which is associated with other Naturalist art.

Friant demonstrates that he has already acquired the technique of putting the foreground into relatively sharp focus and detail, and leaving the background blurred and sketchy, as may have been influenced by photography. Friant first exhibited at the Salon in , but after his disappointment in the Prix de Rome the following year, he returned to set up his studio in Nancy. The hands of the more distant man are conspicuously grubby and unkempt, and the small dog looks on accusingly. In , Friant met a future patron, the successful comedian Constant Coquelin and his theatrical family, who worked with actress Sarah Bernhardt, who in turn had been friends with Jules Bastien-Lepage.

After that, he was awarded funds to travel, and visited Belgium and Holland. In the Spring of , he went to Italy and Tunisia, and Coquelin took him on to visit London with him. Friant painted several works which are now valued for their regional interest. This follows the compositional formula which had been popularised by Jules Bastien-Lepage, with its very high horizon, careful foreground detail, and more painterly background. Friant was an enthusiastic participant in several watersports, including rowing and canoeing. This painting can be read as a broad message of well-being and conviviality: healthy, fit young men engaged in team sports; fraternity; and harmony across different classes within society.

Spring shows a young man, standing in a barn, talking to two young women, who are walking with their arms around one another. It has a curious detail of the small trap-door just to the right of the man, which presumably marks the entrance to a kennel, but there is no dog. In the vaguer distance, there is a dense procession of similar families clad in black, making their way through the cemetery. It was exhibited at the Salon in Paris the following year, and won a gold medal at the Exposition Universelle later that same year.

It has photographic traits in its composition, being a seized moment, which crops through the figure at the right edge, with a background that is blurry and lacking the same crisp detail as its foreground. Its central gap, between the donor and recipient of charity, marks the gulf between their status. ISBN 0 0. On the strength and proceeds of this, he travelled to the Netherlands, Spain, and Algeria.


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Friant followed this success with two more important works. Political Discussion shows four rural workers engaged in debate about some issue of the day. Their thoughts and tongues suitably liberated by glasses of cognac, one looks passionately involved, waving his hand in the air, with a newspaper in front of him. Two others look intently at him, apparently keeping out of the argument, and the fourth, at the right, looks away in disagreement. This can be read as an endorsement of free expression of political opinions and debate in the Third Republic.

The Fight, or Wrestling, from the same year, is another rural scene from near Nancy. A group of boys have gathered by a small river, and look ready to enter the water. Two are in the foreground, on the opposite bank, engaged in a fight. They are strained over, as one holds the other in a wrestling lock, with their legs spread wide apart and tensed. Friant appears to have been an early and enthusiastic photographer, who used photographic prints as an aid to his painting. This shadowplay of a couple lit by a bright point source shows the man looking imploringly up at the woman, who looks aside.

The shadow of his head is about to kiss her left cheek, but her shadow is distant from his. The Frugal Meal returns to a more social theme, as a poor family with four daughters sits down to a meal consisting of a bowl piled high with potatoes, and nothing else. More worryingly, the pot on the floor at the left is empty. The Small Boat is an idealistic view of a young couple sailing below cliffs, with a dreamlike softness to the sails. The couple are dressed in immaculate whites, interestingly with the woman at the tiller, and the man leaning back against her thigh. Their overt reactions contrast with the cluster of men, with their stern beards, at the left.

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In the s, Friant became a passionate aviation enthusiast. Journey to Infinity is an extraordinary flight of fancy in a balloon, which is soaring high above a bank of grey clouds or possibly a rugged mountain ridge which contain the forms of five nude women, one of them apparently performing a handstand. I suspect that this painting may have been made for Marie Marvingt , an athlete, mountaineer, and pioneer aviator, who had moved to Nancy in see below. In , Friant was awarded his second gold medal by an Exposition Universelle, and the following year he was appointed to the Legion of Honour.

After this he spent more time working on prints than he did painting, as reflected in his few surviving paintings from the twentieth century. Atonement is an even greater contrast, showing a condemned man about to walk to the guillotine for a public execution. At the foot of the guillotine are three bearded executioners, dressed in black with top hats.


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  • Crowds are packed onto the rooves and at the windows of the buildings in the background. It is snowing. Beside her on a chair are her clothes, with smart black shoes and a floridly feathered hat. At the left edge are the posts of a bed, but there is no clue as to whether someone else is there. The background is very vague and sketchy, and what looks like a circular mirror on the wall shows no clear reflection. Friant was too old to serve in the First World War, and despite the proximity of Nancy to some of the major battlefields, he seems to have stayed there for much of the time.

    He engaged in activities to help the war effort, particularly with respect to aviation. In the years before the war, Friant had apparently become friends with Marie Marvingt, and helped her develop her flying skills and experience. In , Marvingt had proposed the concept of fixed-wing air ambulances to the French government.

    Friant helped her promote the idea in this drawing of Marie Marvingt and her Air Ambulance She then disguised herself as a man so that she could serve as an infantry soldier for France during the war, but was discovered and sent home. In , she became the first woman to fly combat missions, as a volunteer bomber pilot, for which she was awarded the Croix de Guerre.

    She continued to campaign for, and help develop, air ambulances, establishing a civil air ambulance service in Morocco in , and the following year became the first certified Flight Nurse. The Birds is a brilliantly colourful and detailed erotic fantasy which demonstrates his great technical skills, but has drifted far away from his earlier Naturalism and social concerns. Wikipedia on Marie Marvingt and her extraordinary achievements.

    Aeneas and his crew then set sail on the final leg of their journey from Troy to Latium. This proved a long and bitter struggle, in which Aeneas was aided by others. Among those who refused to assist him was Diomede, in Apulia. In defending his refusal to aid Aeneas, Diomede told the story of his return from the Trojan War, which had proved a desparate journey.

    His colleague Acmon had rashly speculated what more Venus could have done to harm them, and taunted her: With language of this kind Pleuronian Acmon, Provoking Venus further than before, revived her former anger. His fierce words were then approved of by a few, while we the greater number of his real friends, rebuked the words of Acmon: and while he prepared to answer us, his voice, and even the passage of his voice, were both at once diminished, his hair changed to feathers, while his neck took a new form. His breast and back covered themselves with down, and both his arms grew longer feathers, and his elbows curved into light wings, much of each foot was changed to long toes, and his mouth grew still and hard with pointed horn.

    Amazed at his swift change were Lycus, Abas, Nycteus and Rhexenor. And, while they stared, they took his feathered shape. The larger portion of my company flew from their boat, resounding all around our oars with flapping of new-fashioned wings. If you should ask the form of these strange birds they were like snowy swans, though not the same.

    Acmon and his friends were thus transformed into white seabirds. Built with pinewood frames, they burned well. I will not let the greedy flame consume trees that were part and members of my grove. The Astraean brothers filled both air and swollen waters with their rage and rushed to battle. With the aid of one of them the kindly mother broke the ropes which held the Phrygian ships, and, drawing all prow foremost, plunged them underneath the wave.

    Softening quickly in the waters quiet depth, their wood was changed to flesh, the curving prows were metamorphosed into human heads, blades of the oars made feet, the looms were changed to swimming legs, the sides turned human flanks, each keel below the middle of a ship transformed became a spine, the cordage changed to soft hair, and the sail yards changed to arms. The azure color of the ships remained. As sea-nymphs in the water they began to agitate with virgin sports the waves, which they had always dreaded.

    Natives of the rugged mountains they are now so changed, they swim and dwell in the soft flowing sea, with every influence of birth forgot. That was a reverse of the normal type of transformation, with inanimate ships being changed to sea-nymphs. When Turnus was killed by Aeneas, so the city of Ardea fell, and from its ashes and ruins arose a bird, the heron. The horned Numicius satisfied the will of Venus; and with flowing waters washed from her Aeneas every mortal part, and sprinkled him, so that the essential part of immortality remained alone, and she anointed him, thus purified, with heavenly essence, and she touched his face with sweetest nectar and ambrosia mixt, thereby transforming him into a god.

    The throng of the Quirini later named the new god Indiges, and honored him. Ovid then lists the successor rulers of Latium and Alba, which had been founded by Aeneas, up to the reign of King Proca, in which his next story is set. Three ships are seen already transformed into the head, arm, and body of nymphs at the far right, although there is no sign of any fire or hailstorm.

    The left and centre show Aeneas fighting Turnus. The Vergilius Vaticanus is very special, as one of the oldest surviving sources for the text of the Aeneid, and one of only three ancient illustrated manuscripts containing classical literary works. At one time, it belonged to Pietro Bembo, an Italian scholar who is commemorated in the font name. The Trojan hero here has Turnus on the ground, under his right foot.

    Above them is the pantheon, arrayed in an imposing semicircle, and above them Jupiter himself, clutching his thunderbolts and ready to receive the new god. The artist made this a little more elaborate by combining the apotheosis with the presentation of arms to Aeneas by his mother Venus. Aeneas is to the left of centre, dressed in prominent and earthly red. Above and to the right of him is his mother, Venus, dressed in white, ready to present the arms which have been forged for him by Vulcan, her partner, who is shown below supervising their fabrication. With Aeneas turned into the Roman god Indiges, Ovid moves on with the story of the foundation of the city of Rome.

    Artists are sometimes known for a single work, one which may be quite atypical of most of their lifetime output. Henry Lerolle — was a painter who, in most of his easel paintings, showed Impressionist style, but whose sole well-known painting is a prime example of Naturalism. He was also a close friend of several of the French Impressionists, and composers including Claude Debussy. Lerolle first exhibited at the Salon in Paris in , and again in and