Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Wednesday Links: Constable, Julia Margaret Cameron, a new Gauguin & Chivalry comes to the Getty

June 11, 1776. John Constable (11 June 1776 - 31 March 1837) was an English Romantic painter. Born in Suffolk, he is known principally for his landscape paintings of Dedham Vale, the area surrounding his home now known as "Constable Country" which he invested with an intensity of affection. "I should paint my own places best", he wrote to his friend John Fisher in 1821, "painting is but another word for feeling". In this image: Weymouth Bay (c. 1816).

It's also the birthday of Julia Margaret Cameron, the greatest of Victorian photographers.

In 1863, when Cameron was 48 years old, her daughter gave her a camera as a present, thereby starting her career as a photographer. Within a year, Cameron became a member of the Photographic Societies of London and Scotland. In her photography, Cameron strove to capture beauty. She wrote, "I longed to arrest all the beauty that came before me and at length the longing has been satisfied."

 As summer arrives in London, yellow roses blossom at Bonhams. Bouquet de roses by Paul Gauguin (French, 1848-1903) is the highlight of the Impressionist and Modern Art sale on 23rd June at Bonhams New Bond Street. Previously unknown even to Gauguin scholars, Bouquet de roses is an important, and delightful, discovery that will be offered for sale with estimates of £800,000-£1,200,000.

But why the banal work? Because it was a financially successful style, according to Hrag Vartanian

Damsels in distress, knights in shining armor, and tales of love and adventure – these notions of chivalry have shaped popular understanding of the Middle Ages. Artwork from the period reveals that chivalry, first developed as a model code of conduct for the medieval knighthood, eventually permeated almost every aspect of aristocratic culture. The J. Paul Getty Museum’s newest exhibition Chivalry in the Middle Ages, which begins on July 8, 2014 at the Getty Center in Los Angeles, demonstrates how manuscripts of a variety of genres, ranging from romances to hunting treatises, played a central role in promoting the tenets of chivalry.

Chivalry in the Middle Ages is on view July 8-November 30, 2014 at the J. Paul Getty Museum, Getty Center.

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