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Le 15 mai 1886, le manifeste visuel d'un nouveau mouvement artistique a vu le jour lorsque Georges Seurat a dévoilé son œuvre phare, Un dimanche après-midi sur l'île de la Grande Jatte, à l'occasion de la huitième exposition impressionniste. Seurat peut se targuer d'être le premier "impressionniste scientifique", travaillant d'une manière qui sera connue sous le nom de pointillisme ou de divisionnisme. C'est cependant son ami et confident, Paul Signac, âgé de 24 ans, et leur dialogue constant qui ont conduit à une collaboration dans la compréhension de la physique de la lumière et de la couleur, et au style qui en a résulté. Signac était un peintre impressionniste sans formation, mais extrêmement talentueux, dont le tempérament était parfaitement adapté à la rigueur et à la discipline requises pour réaliser le travail laborieux et minutieux du pinceau et de la couleur. Signac assimile rapidement la technique. Il est également le témoin des deux années de travail ardu de Seurat, qui construit des myriades de couches de points de couleur non mélangés sur La Grande Jatte, une toile aux dimensions colossales. Ensemble, Signac, l'extraverti effronté, et Seurat, l'introverti secret, étaient sur le point de renverser le cours de l'impressionnisme et de changer le cours de l'art moderne.

PAUL SIGNAC

Led by a triumvirate of painters of the American Scene, Thomas Hart Benton, John Steuart Curry, and Grant Wood took on the task of exploring, defining, and celebrating the Midwest as a credible entity within the geographical, political, and mythological landscape of the United States. Their populist works were figurative and narrative-driven, and they gained widespread popularity among a Depression-weary American public. The landscapes Grant Wood painted, and the lithographs marketed by Associated American Artists were comforting reminders of traditional Midwestern values and the simplicity of country life. Yet, Wood's most iconic works, including American Gothic, were to be viewed through the lens of elusive narratives and witty ironies that reflect an artist who delighted in sharing his charming and humorous perspective on farm life. <br><br>In 1930, Wood achieved national fame and recognition with American Gothic, a fictionalized depiction of his sister, Nan, and his family dentist. Frequently regarded as the most famous American painting of the twentieth century, to fully grasp American Gothic's essential nature, one must recognize Wood's profound connection to his Iowan roots, a bond that borders on a singular fixation and the often-brutal confrontation between the moral and cultural rigidity of Midwest isolationism and the standards that prevailed elsewhere in America. This war of values and morality became dominant throughout Wood's oeuvre. Their fascination with American Gothic may have mystified the public, but the story, told in the attitude of a farmer and his wife, is as lean and brittle as the pitchfork he carries. Their attitude, as defiant as it is confrontational, is an unflinching dare to uppity gallery-goers to judge their immaculate well-scrubbed farm. American Gothic became an overnight sensation, an ambiguous national icon often interpreted as a self-effacing parody of midwestern life. Yet it also served as an unflinching mirror to urban elite attitudes and their often-derisive view of heartland values and way of life. In Grant Wood's hands, the people of the Midwest have stiffened and soured, their rectitude implacable.<br> <br>Portrait of Nan is Grant Wood's most intimate work. He may have been motivated to paint it to make amends for the significant scrutiny and harsh treatment his sister received as American Gothic's sternly posed female. Grant poured his heart into it as a sign of sibling love. Intent upon painting her as straightforward and simply as possible so as not to invite unintended interpretations, Wood's deep attachment to the portrait was significant enough for him to think of it as having irreplaceable value. When he moved from Cedar Rapids to Iowa City in 1935, he designed his entire living room around the work. It occupied the place of honor above the fireplace and was the only painting he refused to sell. <br> <br>The lithograph July Fifteenth, issued in 1938, proves his mystical vision of the Iowan heartland is anything but a pitchfork approach. Drawings assumed central importance in Wood's output, and this work is executed in meticulous detail, proving his drawings were at least as complex, if not more so, than his paintings. The surface of the present work takes on an elaborate, decorative rhythm, echoed throughout the land that is soft, verdant, and fertile. Structurally, it alludes in equal measure to the geometry of modern art and the decorative patterning of folk-art traditions. This is a magical place, a fulsome display of an idealized version of an eternal, lovely, and benign heartland. <br><br>The Young Artist, an en plein air sketch, may have been produced during, or slightly after, what Wood called his "palette-knife stage" that consumed him in 1925. Having not yet traveled to Munich where, in 1928, he worked on a stain-glass window commission and came under the influence of the Northern Renaissance painters that sparked his interest in the compositional severity and detailed technique associated with his mature works, here, he worked quickly, and decisively. The view is from a hilltop at Kenwood Park that overlooks the Cedar River Valley near Cedar Rapids, where he built a house for his sister, Nan.

GRANT WOOD

Cottonwood Tree (Near Abiquiu), New Mexico (1943) by celebrated American artist Georgia O’Keeffe is exemplary of the airier, more naturalistic style that the desert inspired in her. O’Keeffe had great affinity for the distinctive beauty of the Southwest, and made her home there among the spindly trees, dramatic vistas, and bleached animal skulls that she so frequently painted. O’Keeffe took up residence at Ghost Ranch, a dude ranch twelve miles outside of the village of Abiquiú in northern New Mexico and painted this cottonwood tree around there. The softer style befitting this subject is a departure from her bold architectural landscapes and jewel-toned flowers.<br><br>The cottonwood tree is abstracted into soft patches of verdant greens through which more delineated branches are seen, spiraling in space against pockets of blue sky. The modeling of the trunk and delicate energy in the leaves carry forward past experimentations with the regional trees of the Northeast that had captivated O’Keeffe years earlier: maples, chestnuts, cedars, and poplars, among others. Two dramatic canvases from 1924, Autumn Trees, The Maple and The Chestnut Grey, are early instances of lyrical and resolute centrality, respectively. As seen in these early tree paintings, O’Keeffe exaggerated the sensibility of her subject with color and form.<br><br>In her 1974 book, O’Keeffe explained: “The meaning of a word— to me— is not as exact as the meaning of a color. Color and shapes make a more definite statement than words.” Her exacting, expressive color intrigued. The Precisionist painter Charles Demuth described how, in O’Keeffe’s work, “each color almost regains the fun it must have felt within itself on forming the first rainbow” (As quoted in C. Eldridge, Georgia O’Keeffe, New York, 1991, p. 33). As well, congruities between forms knit together her oeuvre. Subjects like hills and petals undulate alike, while antlers, trees, and tributaries correspond in their branching morphology.<br><br>The sinewy contours and gradated hues characteristic of O’Keeffe find an incredible range across decades of her tree paintings. In New Mexico, O’Keeffe returned to the cottonwood motif many times, and the seasonality of this desert tree inspired many forms. The vernal thrill of new growth was channeled into spiraling compositions like Spring Tree No.1 (1945). Then, cottonwood trees turned a vivid autumnal yellow provided a breathtaking compliment to the blue backdrop of Mount Pedernal. The ossified curves of Dead Cottonweed Tree (1943) contain dramatic pools of light and dark, providing a foil to the warm, breathing quality of this painting, Cottonwood Tree (Near Abiquiu). The aural quality of this feathered cottonwood compels a feeling guided by O’Keeffe’s use of form of color.

GÉORGIE O'KEEFFE

<br>In Diego Rivera’s portrait of Enriqueta Dávila, the artist asserts a Mexicanidad, a quality of Mexican-ness, in the work along with his strong feelings towards the sitter. Moreover, this painting is unique amongst his portraiture in its use of symbolism, giving us a strong if opaque picture of the relationship between artist and sitter.<br><br>Enriqueta, a descendent of the prominent Goldbaum family, was married to the theater entrepreneur, José María Dávila. The two were close friends with Rivera, and the artist initially requested to paint Enriqueta’s portrait. Enriqueta found the request unconventional and relented on the condition that Rivera paints her daughter, Enriqueta “Quetita”. Rivera captures the spirit of the mother through the use of duality in different sections of the painting, from the floorboards to her hands, and even the flowers. Why the split in the horizon of the floorboard? Why the prominent cross while Enriqueta’s family is Jewish? Even her pose is interesting, showcasing a woman in control of her own power, highlighted by her hand on her hip which Rivera referred to as a claw, further complicating our understanding of her stature.<br><br>This use of flowers, along with her “rebozo” or shawl, asserts a Mexican identity. Rivera was adept at including and centering flowers in his works which became a kind of signature device. The flowers show bromeliads and roselles; the former is epiphytic and the latter known as flor de jamaica and often used in hibiscus tea and aguas frescas. There is a tension then between these two flowers, emphasizing the complicated relationship between Enriqueta and Rivera. On the one hand, Rivera demonstrates both his and the sitter’s Mexican identity despite the foreign root of Enriqueta’s family but there may be more pointed meaning revealing Rivera’s feelings to the subject. The flowers, as they often do in still life paintings, may also refer to the fleeting nature of life and beauty. The portrait for her daughter shares some similarities from the use of shawl and flowers, but through simple changes in gestures and type and placement of flowers, Rivera illuminates a stronger personality in Enriqueta and a more dynamic relationship as filtered through his lens.<br><br>A closer examination of even her clothing reveals profound meaning. Instead of a dress more in line for a socialite, Rivera has Enriqueta in a regional dress from Jalisco, emphasizing both of their Mexican identities. On the other hand, her coral jewelry, repeated in the color of her shoes, hints at multiple meanings from foreignness and exoticism to protection and vitality. From Ancient Egypt to Classical Rome to today, coral has been used for jewelry and to have been believed to have properties both real and symbolic. Coral jewelry is seen in Renaissance paintings indicating the vitality and purity of woman or as a protective amulet for infants. It is also used as a reminder, when paired with the infant Jesus, of his future sacrifice. Diego’s use of coral recalls these Renaissance portraits, supported by the plain background of the painting and the ribbon indicating the maker and date similar to Old Master works.<br><br>When combined in the portrait of Enriqueta, we get a layered and tense building of symbolism. Rivera both emphasizes her Mexican identity but also her foreign roots. He symbolizes her beauty and vitality but look closely at half of her face and it is as if Rivera has painted his own features onto hers. The richness of symbolism hints at the complex relationship between artist and sitter.

RIVERA DIEGO

WILLEM DE KOONING - Femme dans une barque - huile sur papier couché sur masonite - 47 1/2 x 36 1/4 in.

WILLEM DE KOONING

Selon le catalogue raisonné compilé par le Brandywine River Museum of Art, le dessin préliminaire pour Puritan Cod Fishers a été achevé par N. C Wyeth avant sa mort en octobre 1945. L'entrée présente une image de l'esquisse ainsi que les inscriptions de l'artiste et son titre, Puritan Cod Fishers, qualifié par le catalogue d'"alternate" (alternatif). Quoi qu'il en soit, cette grande toile est une œuvre unique dont Andrew Wyeth a rappelé plus tard qu'elle avait été peinte uniquement de sa main, une collaboration délimitée de la conception et de la composition du père, concrétisée par l'exécution remarquable du fils. Pour Andrew, cela a dû être une expérience profondément ressentie et émouvante. Compte tenu de l'attention portée par son père aux détails et à l'authenticité, les lignes de la petite embarcation à voile représentent une échalote, utilisée au XVIe siècle. D'un autre côté, Andrew a probablement approfondi les teintes de la mer agitée plus que ne l'aurait fait son père, un choix qui accentue de manière appropriée la nature périlleuse de la tâche.

Andrew Wyeth & N. C. Wyeth

Alexander Calder was a key figure in the development of abstract sculpture and is renowned for his groundbreaking work in kinetic art; he is one of the most influential artists of the Twentieth Century. "Prelude to Man-Eater" is a delicately balanced standing sculpture that responds to air currents, creating a constantly changing and dynamic visual experience.<br><br>Calder's Standing Mobiles were a result of his continuous experimentation with materials, form, and balance. This Standing Mobile is a historically significant prelude to a larger work commissioned in 1945 by Alfred Barr, the first director of the Museum of Modern Art in New York. "Prelude to Maneater" is designed to be viewed from multiple angles, encouraging viewers to walk around and interact with it.<br><br>The present work is a formal study for Man-Eater With Pennant (1945), part of the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art in New York. The work is also represented in "Sketches for Mobiles: Prelude to Man-Eater; Starfish; Octopus", which is in the permanent collection of the Harvard Fogg Museum.<br><br>Calder's mobiles and stabiles can be found in esteemed private collections and the collections of major museums worldwide, including the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, the Art Institute of Chicago, and the Tate Gallery in London among others.

ALEXANDRE CALDER

Between Île-de-France and Burgundy and on the edge of the Fontainebleau Forest lies the medieval village of Moret-sur-Loing, established in the 12th century. When Alfred Sisley described its character to Monet in a letter dated 31 August 1881 as “a chocolate-box landscape…” he meant it as a memento of enticement; that its keep, the ramparts, the church, the fortified gates, and the ornate facades nestled along the river were, for a painter, a setting of unmatched charm. An ancient church, always the most striking townscape feature along the Seine Valley, would be a presence in Sisley’s townscape views as it was for Corot, and for Monet at Vétheuil. But unlike Monet whose thirty views of Rouen Cathedral were executed so he could trace the play of light and shadow across the cathedral façade and capture the ephemeral nature of moment-to-moment changes of light and atmosphere, Sisley set out to affirm the permanent nature of the church of Notre-Dame at Moret-sur-Loing.  Monet’s sole concern was air and light, and Sisley’s appears to be an homage keepsake. The painting exudes respect for the original architects and builders of a structure so impregnable and resolute, it stood then as it did in those medieval times, and which for us, stands today, as it will, for time immemorial.<br><br>Nevertheless, Sisley strived to show the changing appearance of the motif through a series of atmospheric changes. He gave the works titles such as “In Sunshine”, “Under Frost”, and “In Rain” and exhibited them as a group at the Salon du Champ-de-Mars in 1894, factors that suggest he thought of them as serial interpretations. Nevertheless, unlike Monet’s work, l’église de Moret, le Soir reveals that Sisley chose to display the motif within a spatial context that accentuates its compositional attributes — the plunging perspective of the narrow street at left, the strong diagonal recession of the building lines as a counterbalance to the right, and the imposing weight of the stony building above the line of sight.

ALFRED SISLEY

N.C. Wyeth’s extraordinary skills as an illustrator were borne of impeccable draftsmanship and as a painter, his warmly rich, harmonious sense of color, and ability to capture the quality of light itself. But it is his unmatched artistry in vivifying story and character with a powerful sense of mood that we admire most of all — the ability to transport himself to the world and time of his creation and to convey it with a beguiling sense of conviction. That ability is as apparent in the compositional complexities of Treasure Island’s “One More Step, Mr. Hands!” as it is here, in the summary account of a square-rigged, seventeenth-century merchant ship tossed upon the seas. The Coming of the Mayflower in 1620 is a simple statement of observable facts, yet Wyeth’s impeccable genius as an illustrator imbues it with the bracing salt air and taste that captures the adventuresome spirit of the men and women who are largely credited with the founding of America. That spirit is carried on the wind and tautly billowed sails, the jaunty heeling of the ship at the nose of a stiff gale, the thrusting, streamed-limned clouds, and the gulls jauntily arranged to celebrate an arrival as they are the feathered angels of providence guiding it to safe harbor.<br><br>The Coming of the Mayflower in 1620 was based on two studies, a composition drawing in graphite and a small presentation painting. The finished mural appears to have been installed in 1941.

N.C. WYETH

In 1955, Sir John Rothenstein, representing the Trustees of the Tate Museum, approached Winston Churchill about donating one of his paintings "as a gift to the nation."  Churchill was flattered, but felt he did not deserve such an honor as an artist.  Eventually, Churchill agreed and sent two candidate paintings to the Tate – On the Rance and Loup River.  No record exists regarding his own thoughts on the works he submitted, but one can safely say that Churchill thought highly of On the Rance, especially since it was not one of the paintings Rothenstein identified as a strong option. Loup River, which clearly matched Rothenstein's taste, was selected.  Not only was On the Rance not returned, but somehow it ended up, without any inventory record, in a basement storeroom at the Tate. In the storeroom it sat for almost a half century, when it was discovered by an intern.  The Churchill family was notified and eventually the painting was auctioned in June 2005, where it set a new auction record for Churchill's work, despite the lot notes hardly touching on the Tate’s possible acquisition. In a letter to the buyers, Churchill’s daughter, Lady Soames, summarized what had occurred in somewhat more detail.<br><br>St. Malo is a walled city in Brittany, France on the coast of the English Channel. The city was nearly destroyed by bombings during WWII.

SIR WINSTON CHURCHILL (EN)

Trained as a woodcarver, Emil Nolde was almost 30 years old before he made his first paintings. The early paintings resembled his drawings and woodcuts: grotesque figures with bold lines and strong contrasts. The style was new, and it inspired the nascent movement Die Brücke (The Bridge), whose members invited Nolde to join them in 1906.  But, it was not until the garden became his locus operandi by 1915 that he built upon his mastery of contrasting luminosities to focus on color as the supreme means of expression.  Later, Nolde claimed “color is strength, strength is life,” and he could not have better characterized why his flower paintings reinvigorate our perception of color.<br><br>Much of the strength of Nolde’s dramatic, Wagnerian-like color sensibilities is the effect of staging primary colors, such as the deep reds and golden yellows of Sonnenblumen, Abend II, against a somber palette. The contrast highlights and deepens the luminosity of the flowers, not just visually, but emotionally as well. In 1937, when Nolde’s art was rejected, confiscated, and defiled, his paintings were paraded as “degenerate art” throughout Nazi Germany in dimly lit galleries. Despite that treatment, Nolde’s status as a degenerate artist gave his art more breathing space because he seized the opportunity to produce more than 1,300 watercolors, which he called “unpainted pictures.” No novice in handling watercolor, his free-flowing style of painting had been a hallmark of his highly-charge, transparent washes since 1918. Sonnenblumen, Abend II, painted in 1944, is a rare wartime oil. He let his imagination run wild with this work, and his utilization of wet-on-wet techniques heightened the drama of each petal.<br><br>Nolde’s intense preoccupation with color and flowers, particularly sunflowers, reflects his continuing devotion to van Gogh.  He was aware of van Gogh as early as 1899 and, during the 1920s and early 1930s, visited several exhibitions of the Dutch artist’s work.  They shared a profound love of nature. Nolde’s dedication to expression and the symbolic use of color found fullness in the sunflower subject, and it became a personal symbol for him, as it did for Van Gogh.

EMIL NOLDE

An outstanding example of Churchill’s North African scenes, one in which he deftly captures the scenery and light that his artistic mentor, John Lavery, had told him about in the mid 1930s.  Another artist mentor, Walter Sickert, taught Churchill how to project photo images directly on to a canvas as an aid in painting, a technique used to advantage in this instance.  The Studio Archives at Chartwell include 5 photographs, one of the camel and four others, that Churchill used as aids.<br><br>With the visual aids, Churchill could focus on the vibrant colors, the tan of the sand and buildings contrasting with the brilliant blue skies, splashes of green adding energy to the painting. A different Marrakech scene, “Tower of the Koutoubia Mosque”, set an auction record for Churchill when it sold in 2021 for $11 million USD.

SIR WINSTON CHURCHILL (EN)

Tom Wesselmann was a leader of the Pop Art movement. He is best remembered for large-scale works, including his Great American Nude series, in which Wesselmann combined sensual imagery with everyday objects depicted in bold and vibrant colors. As he developed in his practice, Wesselmann grew beyond the traditional canvas format and began creating shaped canvases and aluminum cut-outs that often functioned as sculptural drawings. Continuing his interest in playing with scale, Wesselmann began focusing more closely on the body parts that make up his nudes. He created his Mouth series and his Bedroom series in which particular elements, rather than the entire sitter, become the focus.<br> <br>Bedroom Breast (2004) combines these techniques, using vivid hues painted on cut-out aluminum. The work was a special commission for a private collector's residence, and the idea of a bedroom breast piece in oil on 3-D cut-out aluminum was one Wesselmann had been working with for many years prior to this work's creation. The current owner of the piece believed in Wesselmann's vision and loved the idea of bringing the subject to his home.<br><br>It's one of, if not the last, piece Wesselmann completed before he passed away. The present work is the only piece of its kind - there has never been an oil on aluminum in 3D at this scale or of this iconography.  

TOM WESSELMANN

En 1945, alors que la guerre est terminée et que Churchill a subi une défaite surprenante aux élections générales, il accepte l'invitation du maréchal Sir Harold Alexander à le rejoindre dans sa villa italienne sur les rives du lac de Côme. Churchill profite de la généreuse hospitalité de son hôte et concentre son attention et son énergie à immortaliser la région sur la toile. Il a produit quinze tableaux qui illustrent la façon dont la peinture absorbait son attention et lui offrait un élixir qui l'aidait à se ressourcer. Cette peinture emblématique a fait l'objet d'un article dans LIFE en janvier 1946 et a été sélectionnée comme illustration en couleur dans plusieurs éditions du livre de Churchill, Paintings as a Pastime.

SIR WINSTON CHURCHILL (EN)

Au début des années 1870, Winslow Homer a souvent peint des scènes de la vie à la campagne près d'un petit hameau agricole réputé depuis des générations pour ses remarquables champs de blé, situé entre la rivière Hudson et les Catskills, dans l'État de New York. Aujourd'hui, Hurley est bien plus célèbre pour avoir inspiré l'une des plus grandes œuvres d'Homer, Snap the Whip, peinte au cours de l'été 1872. Parmi les nombreuses autres peintures inspirées par la région, Girl Standing in the Wheatfield est riche en sentiments, mais sans sentimentalisme excessif. Elle est directement liée à une étude peinte en France en 1866 et intitulée In the Wheatfields (Dans les champs de blé), ainsi qu'à une autre étude peinte l'année suivante, après son retour en Amérique. Mais Homère aurait sans doute été le plus fier de celle-ci. Il s'agit d'un portrait, d'une étude de costume, d'une peinture de genre dans la grande tradition de la peinture pastorale européenne, et d'un tour de force atmosphérique dramatiquement rétro-éclairé, imprégné de la lumière de l'heure qui s'estompe rapidement, avec des notes lambda et fleuries et des touches d'épis de blé. En 1874, Homer a envoyé quatre tableaux à l'exposition de la National Academy of Design. L'une d'entre elles était intitulée "Girl". Ne serait-ce pas celle-ci ?

WINSLOW HOMER

Emerging at the end of the Gilded Age, N.C. Wyeth was one of the most important American artists and illustrators. His paintings and illustrations brought life to classic literature from Treasure Island to The Boy’s King Arthur and more. He is most remembered for his ability to capture crucial moments in narratives, fleshing out just a few words into a visual representation of deep drama and tension. Patriarch of the Wyeth artistic dynasty which includes his son Andrew and grandson Jamie, his influence touched future illustrators and artists.<br><br>Perhaps his most important legacy is how he shaped American imagination – of America itself and of wild possibilities. Wyeth’s powerful paintings gave life to many of the stories America told of itself. His early paintings captured life of the American West and some of his most beloved illustrations were for novels such as The Last of the Mohicans or short stories like “Rip Van Winkle”. Despite this success, Wyeth struggled with the commercialism of illustrations and advertisements, seeking his work to be accepted as fine art. Throughout his career, he experimented with different styles shifting from Impressionism to Divisionism to Regionalism.<br><br>N.C. Wyeth produced over 3,000 paintings and illustrated 112 books. His illustrations for the publisher Charles Scribner’s Sons were so popular they became known as Scribner’s Classics and remain in print to this day.<br><br>This quietly powerful painting of a Native American forms part of a quartet of paintings, inspired by and a metaphor for the four seasons. The paintings were used to illustrate George T. Marsh’s set of poems “The Moods”. Wyeth recognized that the series came at a crucial moment in his career in which the paintings go beyond realism to capture atmosphere and mood, an internal world of emotion made external. He even contemplated and attempted to write his own poems based on these paintings.<br> <br><br>Summer, Hush is a striking example of Wyeth pulling from his imagination and melding it with careful observation of nature. As noted in a letter to his mother, Wyeth combined the fictional subject with natural effects as in the sky. Native Americans were a subject he returned to numerous times; these paintings reflect not only Wyeth’s fascination but also of America. As observed by art historian Krstine Ronan, Wyeth was part of a larger dialogue that developed around Native Americans, cementing a general Native American culture in the imagination of the United States. Thus, the painting operates on numerous levels simultaneously. How do we relate to this painting and its conception of the four seasons? How do we interpret Wyeth’s depiction of a Native American? What role do Native Americans play in America’s imagination?<br><br>We must also not forget that these works were first used to illustrate the poems of George T. Marsh. Marsh, a poet born in New York who often also wrote of the Canadian wilderness, provides subtle evocations of the seasons hinted at in the series title “The Moods”. This painting was used alongside “Hush,” which ends:<br><br>Are they runes of summers perished<br><br>That the fisher hears –and ceases—<br><br>Or the voice of one he cherished.<br><br>Within these few lines, Wyeth gives us a thoughtful and restrained painting that stirs from within. The poem and the painting avoid obvious clichés to represent the seasons. They develop a profound interpretation filled with sensitivity.<br><br>These paintings were important to Wyeth who hoped that “they may suggest to some architect the idea that such decorations would be appropriate in a library or capitol or some public building.” Summer, Hush demonstrates Wyeth’s control of color and composition so that small touches such as the ripples of water or the towering cloud that envelopes the figure are in service to sketch out the feeling of summer and of the poem. Through exploring this rich and complex painting, we are better able to appreciate NC Wyeth as an artist and the role this specific painting plays in the context of art history.

N.C. WYETH

Painted from an unusually high vantage, “Riviera Coast Scene” vividly conveys the formidable distance and breadth of the scene from the perch where he set his easel.  Interestingly, Paul Rafferty did not include this painting in his book Winston Churchill: Painting on the French Riviera, believing it could likely be a scene from the Italian Lake District, where Churchill also painted in the same time period.<br><br>Paintings by Churchill can function as a glimpse into his extensive travels and his colorful life. Churchill most likely painted “Riviera Coast Scene” during a holiday at Chateau de l’Horizon, home of Maxine Elliot, a friend of his mother. Elliot, originally from Rockland, Maine, was a successful actress and socialite.<br><br>Within this painting, we see the influence of the Impressionists who utilized unusual viewpoints, modeled after Japanese woodblock prints, but also evidence of their attempts to push the boundaries of the landscape genre

SIR WINSTON CHURCHILL (EN)

SIR WINSTON CHURCHILL - Vue sur le port de Cassis (C 333) - huile sur toile - 25 x 30 in.

SIR WINSTON CHURCHILL (EN)

Alexander Calder executed a surprising number of oil paintings during the second half of the 1940s and early 1950s. By this time, the shock of his 1930 visit to Mondrian’s studio, where he was impressed not by the paintings but by the environment, had developed into an artistic language of Calder’s own. So, as Calder was painting The Cross in 1948, he was already on the cusp of international recognition and on his way to winning the XX VI Venice Biennale’s grand prize for sculpture in 1952. Working on his paintings in concert with his sculptural practice, Calder approached both mediums with the same formal language and mastery of shape and color.<br><br>Calder was deeply intrigued by the unseen forces that keep objects in motion. Taking this interest from sculpture to canvas, we see that Calder built a sense of torque within The Cross by shifting its planes and balance. Using these elements, he created implied motion suggesting that the figure is pressing forward or even descending from the skies above. The Cross’s determined momentum is further amplified by details such as the subject’s emphatically outstretched arms, the fist-like curlicue vector on the left, and the silhouetted serpentine figure.<br><br>Calder also adopts a strong thread of poetic abandon throughout The Cross’s surface. It resonates with his good friend Miró’s hieratic and distinctly personal visual language, but it is all Calder in the effective animation of this painting’s various elements. No artist has earned more poetic license than Calder, and throughout his career, the artist remained convivially flexible in his understanding of form and composition. He even welcomed the myriad interpretations of others, writing in 1951, “That others grasp what I have in mind seems unessential, at least as long as they have something else in theirs.”<br><br>Either way, it is important to remember that The Cross was painted shortly after the upheaval of the Second World War and to some appears to be a sobering reflection of the time. Most of all, The Cross proves that Alexander Calder loaded his brush first to work out ideas about form, structure, relationships in space, and most importantly, movement.

ALEXANDRE CALDER

The frame of reference for Irish American Sean Scully’s signature blocks and stripes is vast. From Malevich’s central premise that geometry can provide the means for universal understanding to Rothko’s impassioned approach to color and rendering of the dramatic sublime, Scully learned how to condense the splendor of the natural world into simple modes of color, light, and composition. Born in Dublin in 1945 and London-raised, Scully was well-schooled in figurative drawing when he decided to catch the spirit of his lodestar, Henri Matisse, by visiting Morocco in 1969. He was captivated by the dazzling tessellated mosaics and richly dyed fabrics and began to paint grids and stipes of color. Subsequent adventures provided further inspiration as the play of intense light on the reflective surfaces of Mayan ruins and the ancient slabs of stone at Stonehenge brought the sensation of light, space, and geometric movement to Scully’s paintings. The ability to trace the impact of Scully’s travels throughout his paintings reaffirms the value of abstract art as a touchstone for real-life experience.<br><br><br>Painted in rich, deep hues and layered, nuanced surfaces, Grey Red is both poetic and full of muscular formalism. Scully appropriately refers to these elemental forms as ‘bricks,’ suggesting the formal calculations of an architect. As he explained, “these relationships that I see in the street doorways, in windows between buildings, and in the traces of structures that were once full of life, I take for my work. I use these colors and forms and put them together in a way that perhaps reminds you of something, though you’re not sure of that” (David Carrier, Sean Scully, 2004, pg. 98). His approach is organic, less formulaic; intuitive painter’s choices are layering one color upon another so that contrasting hues and colors vibrate with subliminal energy. Diebenkorn comes to mind in his pursuit of radiant light. But here, the radiant bands of terracotta red, gray, taupe, and black of Grey Red resonate with deep, smoldering energy and evoke far more affecting passion than you would think it could impart. As his good friend, Bono wrote, “Sean approaches the canvas like a kickboxer, a plasterer, a builder. The quality of painting screams of a life being lived.”

SEAN SCULLY (EN)

Le monde de Marc Chagall ne peut être contenu ou limité par les étiquettes que nous lui attachons. C'est un monde d'images et de significations qui forment leur propre discours splendidement mystique. Les Mariés sous le baldaquin a été entrepris alors que l'artiste entrait dans sa 90e année, un homme qui avait connu la tragédie et le conflit, mais qui n'avait jamais oublié les moments de plaisir de la vie. Ici, les délices rêveurs d'un mariage dans un village russe, avec ses arrangements de participants bien rodés, nous sont présentés avec un esprit si joyeux et une innocence si gaie qu'il est impossible de résister à son charme. En utilisant une émulsion dorée combinant l'huile et la gouache opaque à base d'eau, la chaleur, le bonheur et l'optimisme du positivisme habituel de Chagall sont enveloppés d'un éclat lumineux suggérant l'influence des icônes religieuses à feuilles d'or ou de la peinture du début de la Renaissance qui cherchait à donner l'impression d'une lumière divine ou d'une illumination spirituelle. L'utilisation d'une combinaison d'huile et de gouache peut s'avérer difficile. Mais ici, dans Les Mariés sous le baldaquin, Chagall l'utilise pour donner à la scène une qualité d'un autre monde, presque comme si elle venait de se matérialiser à partir de l'œil de son esprit. La finesse de sa texture donne l'impression que la lumière émane de l'œuvre elle-même et confère une qualité spectrale aux personnages qui flottent dans le ciel.

MARC CHAGALL

Located on the French Riviera between Nice and Monte Carlo, the Bay of Eze is renowned for its stunning location and spectacular views. As you can see on pages 80-81 of Rafferty's book, this painting skillfully captures the dizzying heights, set just west of Lou Sueil, the home of Jacques and Consuelo Balsan, close friends of Winston and Clementine.<br> <br>The painting manipulates perspective and depth, a nod to the dramatic shifts of artists including Monet and Cézanne, who challenged traditional vantage points of landscapes. The portrait (i.e. vertical) orientation of the canvas combined with the trees, and the rhyming coastline channels the viewer’s gaze. The perceived tilting of the water's plane imbues the painting with dynamic tension.

SIR WINSTON CHURCHILL (EN)

Shortly after arriving in Paris by April 1912, Marsden Hartley received an invitation. It had come from Gertrude Stein and what he saw at her 27 rue de Fleurus flat stunned him. Despite his presumptions and preparedness, “I had to get used to so much of everything all at once…a room full of staggering pictures, a room full of strangers and two remarkable looking women, Alice and Gertrude Stein…I went often I think after that on Saturday evenings — always thinking, in my reserved New England tone, ‘ how do people do things like that — let everyone in off the street to look at their pictures?… So one got to see a vast array of astounding pictures — all burning with life and new ideas — and as strange as the ideas seemed to be — all of them terrifically stimulating — a new kind of words for an old theme.” (Susan Elizabeth Ryan, The Autobiography of Marsden Hartley, pg. 77)<br><br>The repeated visits had a profound effect. Later that year, Hartley was clearly disappointed when Arthur B. Davies and Walt Kuhn chose two of his still-life paintings for the upcoming New York Armory show in February 1913. “He (Kuhn) speaks highly of them (but) I would not have chosen them myself chiefly because I am so interested at this time in the directly abstract things of the present. But Davies says that no American has done this kind of thing and they would (not) serve me and the exhibition best at this time.” (Correspondence, Marsden Hartley to Alfred Stieglitz, early November 1912) A month later, he announced his departure from formal representationalism in “favor of intuitive abstraction…a variety of expression I find to be closest to my temperament and ideals. It is not like anything here. It is not like Picasso, it is not like Kandinsky, not like any cubism. For want of a better name, subliminal or cosmic cubism.” (Correspondence, Marsden Hartley to Alfred Stieglitz, December 1912)<br><br>At the time, Hartley consumed Wassily Kandinsky’s recently published treatise Uber das Geistige in der Kunst (The Art of Spiritual Harmony) and Stieglitz followed the artist’s thoughts with great interest. For certain, they both embraced musical analogy as an opportunity for establishing a new visual language of abstraction. Their shared interest in the synergetic effects of music and art can be traced to at least 1909 when Hartley exhibited landscape paintings of Maine under titles such as “Songs of Autumn” and “Songs of Winter” at the 291 Gallery. The gravity of Hartley’s response to the treatise likely sparked Stieglitz’s determination to purchase Kandinsky’s seminal painting Improvisation no. 27 (Garden of Love II) at the Armory Show. As for Hartley, he announced to his niece his conviction that an aural/vision synesthetic pairing of art and music was a way forward for modern art. “Did you ever hear of anyone trying to paint music — or the equivalent of sound in color?…there is only one artist in Europe working on it (Wassily Kandinsky) and he is a pure theorist and his work is quite without feeling — whereas I work wholly from intuition and the subliminal.” (D. Cassidy, Painting the Musical City: Jazz and Cultural Identity in American Art, Washington, D.C., pg. 6)<br><br>In Paris, during 1912 and 1913 Hartley was inspired to create a series of six musically themed oil paintings, the first of which, Bach Preludes et Fugues, no. 1 (Musical Theme), incorporates strong Cubist elements as well as Kandinsky’s essential spirituality and synesthesia. Here, incorporating both elements seems particularly appropriate. Whereas Kandinsky’s concepts were inspired by Arnold Schoenberg’s twelve-tone method of composition whereby no note could be reused until the other eleven had been played, Hartley chose Bach’s highly structured, rigorously controlled twenty-four Preludes and Fugues from his Well-Tempered Clavier, each of which establishes an absolute tonality. The towering grid of Bach Preludes et Fugues, no. 1 suggests the formal structure of an organ, its pipes ever-rising under a high, vaulted church ceiling to which Hartley extends an invitation to stand within the lower portion of the picture plane amongst the triangular and circular ‘sound tesserae’ and absorb its essential sonority and deeply reverberating sound. All of it is cast with gradients of color that conjures an impression of Cézanne’s conceptual approach rather than Picasso’s, Analytic Cubism. Yet Bach Preludes et Fugues, no. 1, in its entirety suggests the formal structural of Picasso’s Maisons à Horta (Houses on the Hill, Horta de Ebro), one of the many Picasso paintings Gertrude Stein owned and presumably staged in her residence on the many occasions he came to visit.

MARSDEN HARTLEY

Tom Wesselmann will undoubtedly be remembered for associating his erotic themes with the colors of the American flag. But Wesselmann had considerable gifts as a draftsman, and the line was his principal preoccupation, first as a cartoonist and later as an ardent admirer of Matisse. That he also pioneered a method of turning drawings into laser-cut steel wall reliefs proved a revelation. He began to focus ever more on drawing for the sake of drawing, enchanted that the new medium could be lifted and held: “It really is like being able to pick up a delicate line drawing from the paper.”<br><br>The Steel Drawings caused both excitement and confusion in the art world. After acquiring one of the ground-breaking works in 1985, the Whitney Museum of American Art wrote Wesselmann wondering if it should be cataloged as a drawing or a sculpture. The work had caused such a stir that when Eric Fischl visited Wesselmann at his studio and saw steel-cut works for the first time, he remembered feeling jealous. He wanted to try it but dared not. It was clear: ‘Tom owned the technique completely.’<br><br>Wesselmann owed much of that technique to his year-long collaboration with metalwork fabricator Alfred Lippincott. Together, in 1984 they honed a method for cutting the steel with a laser that provided the precision he needed to show the spontaneity of his sketches. Wesselmann called it ‘the best year of my life’, elated at the results that he never fully achieved with aluminum that required each shape be hand-cut.  “I anticipated how exciting it would be for me to get a drawing back in steel. I could hold it in my hands. I could pick it up by the lines…it was so exciting…a kind of near ecstasy, anyway, but there’s really been something about the new work that grabbed me.”<br><br>Bedroom Brunette with Irises is a Steel Drawing masterwork that despite its uber-generous scale, utilizes tight cropping to provide an unimposing intimacy while maintaining a free and spontaneous quality. The figure’s outstretched arms and limbs and body intertwine with the petals and the interior elements providing a flowing investigative foray of black lines and white ‘drop out’ shapes provided by the wall. It recalls Matisse and any number of his reclining odalisque paintings. Wesselmann often tested monochromatic values to discover the extent to which color would transform his hybrid objects into newly developed Steel Drawing works and, in this case, continued with a color steel-cut version of the composition Bedroom Blonde with Irises (1987) and later still, in 1993 with a large-scale drawing in charcoal and pastel on paper.

TOM WESSELMANN

Frederick Frieseke is often regarded as the finest American Impressionist painter of the figure. Yet when he came to study at Académie Juilian in 1898, several les Nabis painters remained a lingering presence, and it was the rich, decorative patterns of Edouard Vuillard and Pierre Bonnard that served as the blueprint for his early success. That influence is clearly demonstrated in the unrestrained repetition of the voluminous, pleated, striped umbrellas of Afternoon at the Beach, a canvas mural installed in the opulent Hotel Shelburne dining room overlooking the Atlantic City Boardwalk. The unifying impact of that repetitive element imbues the setting with cloud-like loft within a color scheme, evoking Vuillard and the richness of a Gobelin tapestry, rather than the effect of sunlight and broken color that mark his more familiar paintings from the decade of 1910 to 1920.<br><br>Afternoon at the Beach was installed under the artist’s direction in February 1906. It remained on view for decades at the swanky hotel that enticed “Diamond Jim” James Buchanan Brady to pay one thousand dollars a week for permanent residence and was an unfading memory for throngs of well-heeled socialites, financiers, and notables from Irving Berlin to John Philip Sousa and Ethel Barrymore to Al Jolson. Undoubtedly, its presence high on the grand dining room wall contributed to the artist’s popularity and renown.<br><br>Today, we may look upon this long, frieze-like composition as a delightful fin-de-siécle costume study or an informative expose of Victorian mores as suggested by the separate spheres of gender groupings. But mostly, Afternoon at the Beachrecounts the artist’s unbridled delight and appreciation of women, here, expressed within familial, maternal, and social contexts. It is the subject and theme that brought Frieseke acclaim and awards on both sides of the Atlantic and which, to this day, endears him to the many who count him among the most beloved of American figurative painters.

FREDERICK CARL FRIESEKE

Painted while staying at Dunrobin Castle, the estate of the Duke of Sutherland, Churchill chose to set his easel behind a tree where he likely thought of it as a framing device, adding a layer of depth, creating a stronger sense of foreground, middle ground, and background, enhancing the three-dimensionality of the picture. Churchill painted at both Dunrobin as well as the Duke’s Sutton Place estate, later the home of John Paul Getty.<br><br>As Mary Soames describes it in her book, Winston Churchill, His Life as a Painter, “1921 had been a year of heavy personal tidings” for Churchill and his family, as he lost both his mother, Jennie Cornwallis-West, and his beloved child, Marigold, aged nearly four.  In a letter to his wife Clementine, Churchill wrote, “… Many tender thoughts, my darling one of you and yr sweet kittens.  Alas I keep on feeling the hurt of the Duckadilly [Marigold’s pet name].”  That Churchill chose to stay with the Duke and Duchess at Dunrobin just after Marigold’s death speaks to their close friendship and his fondness for the area, including Loch Choire. It is no surprise that Churchill gifted the painting to the Duke of Sutherland

SIR WINSTON CHURCHILL (EN)

Le Portrait de Sylvie Lacombe, peint par Théo van Rysselberghe en 1906, est un chef-d'œuvre classique réalisé par l'un des portraitistes les plus raffinés et les plus cohérents de son époque. La couleur est harmonieuse, le pinceau vigoureux et adapté à sa tâche matérielle, son corps et son visage sont vrais et révélateurs. La personne représentée est la fille de son grand ami, le peintre Georges Lacombe, qui a partagé une association étroite avec Gauguin et a été membre des Nabis avec les artistes Bonnard, Denis et Vuillard, entre autres. Si nous connaissons aujourd'hui Sylvie Lacombe, c'est grâce à l'habileté de Van Rysselberghe à rendre les subtiles expressions du visage et, par une observation minutieuse et un souci du détail, à donner un aperçu de son monde intérieur. Il a choisi un regard direct, ses yeux vers les vôtres, une alliance inéluctable entre le sujet et le spectateur, quelle que soit notre relation physique avec le tableau. Van Rysselberghe avait largement abandonné la technique pointilliste lorsqu'il a peint ce portrait. Mais il a continué à appliquer les principes de la théorie des couleurs en utilisant des teintes de rouge - roses et mauves - contre des verts pour créer une palette harmonieuse et améliorée de couleurs complémentaires à laquelle il a ajouté un accent fort pour attirer le regard - un nœud rouge intensément saturé posé de manière asymétrique sur le côté de sa tête.

THÉO VAN RYSSELBERGHE

The Pop Art Movement is notable for its rewriting of Art History and the idea of what could be considered a work of art. Larry Rivers association with Pop-Art and the New York School set him aside as one of the great American painters of the Post-War period.  <br><br>In addition to being a visual artist, Larry Rivers was a jazz saxophonist who studied at the Juilliard School of Music from 1945-1946. This painting's subject echoes the artists' interest in Jazz and the musical scene in New York City, particularly Greenwich Village and the Lower East Side.  <br><br>“Untitled” (1958) is notable bas the same owner has held it since the work was acquired directly from the artist several decades ago. This work is from the apex of the artists' career in New York and could comfortably hang in a museum's permanent collection.

RIVIÈRES LARGES

Still lifes like Oranges and Lemons (C 455) give us an insight to the rich and colorful life of Churchill, just as his landscapes and seascapes do. Churchill painted Oranges and Lemons at La Pausa. Churchill would often frequent La Pausa as the guest of his literary agent, Emery Reves and his wife, Wendy.  Reves purchased the home from Coco Chanel.  While other members of the Churchill family did not share his enthusiasm, Churchill and his daughter Sarah loved the place, which Churchill affectionately called “LaPausaland”.<br><br>To avoid painting outside on a chilly January morning, Wendy Reves arranged the fruit for Churchill to paint. Surrounded by the Reves’s superb collection of Impressionist and Post-Impressionist works, including a number of paintings by Paul Cézanne, Oranges and Lemons illuminates Churchill’s relationships and the influence of Cézanne, who he admired. The painting, like Churchill, has lived a colorful life, exhibited at both the 1959 Royal Academy of Art exhibition of his paintings and the 1965 New York World’s Fair.

SIR WINSTON CHURCHILL (EN)

Il n'est pas difficile de comprendre comment la brillante disposition en deux rangées de quatre lettres de Robert Indiana a pu contribuer à renforcer un mouvement au cours des années 1960. Il est né d'une exposition profondément ressentie à la religion et d'un ami et mentor, Ellsworth Kelly, dont le style dur et les couleurs sensuelles et non accentuées ont fait une impression durable. Mais comme Indiana l'a déclaré, c'est un moment de chance qui s'est produit lorsque "l'amour m'a mordu" et que le dessin lui est apparu net et précis. Indiana a bien sûr soumis le dessin à de nombreuses épreuves, puis le logo a commencé à apparaître un peu partout. Le message, qui se traduit le mieux par une sculpture, se trouve dans des villes du monde entier et a été traduit en plusieurs langues, notamment en italien, sous le nom de "Amor", dont le "O" est également incliné vers la droite. Mais au lieu d'être frappée par le pied du "L", cette version confère au "A" qui la surplombe un effet de vacillement magnifiquement mis en scène. Elle donne une impression nouvelle, mais non moins profonde, de l'amour et de sa nature émotionnellement chargée.  Dans les deux cas, le "O" incliné de Love confère de l'instabilité à un dessin par ailleurs stable, une projection profonde de la critique implicite d'Indiana de "la sentimentalité souvent creuse associée au mot, suggérant métaphoriquement un désir non partagé et une déception plutôt qu'une affection saccharine" (Robert Indiana's Best : A Mini Retrospective, New York Times, 24 mai 2018). La répétition, bien sûr, a la mauvaise habitude d'atténuer notre appréciation du génie de la simplicité et du design révolutionnaire. Tard dans sa vie, Indiana déplorait que "c'était une idée merveilleuse, mais aussi une terrible erreur. Elle est devenue trop populaire. Et il y a des gens qui n'aiment pas la popularité". Mais nous, habitants d'un monde en proie à la discorde et à la tourmente, nous vous remercions. "Love" et ses nombreuses versions nous rappellent avec force notre capacité à aimer, et c'est là notre meilleur espoir éternel d'un avenir meilleur.

ROBERT INDIANA (EN)

Uniquely among Winston Churchill’s known work, “Coastal Town on the Riviera” is in fact a double painting with the landscape on one side and an oil sketch on the other. The portrait sketch bears some resemblance to Viscountess Castlerosse who was a frequent guest in the same Rivera estates where Churchill visited. Churchill painted her in C 517 and C 518 and gives us a larger picture of the people who inhabited his world. <br><br>Of his approximately 550 works, the largest portion (about 150) were of the South of France, where Churchill could indulge in both the array of colors to apply to his canvas and in gambling, given the proximity of Monte Carlo.

SIR WINSTON CHURCHILL (EN)

Churchill counted as both a friend and political ally, Phillip Sassoon – one of Britain's great hosts, cousin of famed poet Siegfried Sassoon, and the man upon whom Noël Coward crowned "a phenomenon that will never recur”. Sassoon and his sister Sybil were among Winston and Clementine’s great friends.  As described by Lady Soames in her book, “Philip Sassoon was a man of charm and distinction, and he dispensed princely hospitality to a brilliant and varied circle of friends at his two country houses, Port Lympne and Trent Park.  He made a remarkable collection of works of art.  Winston received much help and encouragement from Sassoon, and painted many pictures of both his house and gardens.  One of the ways in which Winston taught himself to paint was by copying pictures he admired.  With his large and varied collection, Sir Philip was able to be of help in this way, too, and Winston studied and copied quite a number of his friend’s pictures.  Sassoon was a friend and patron of John Singer Sargent, and owned many of his works.  Winston admired several of these, and found them highly instructive; in 1926, [less than two years before this painting was created] Philip Sassoon wrote Winston this note, which accompanied a generous present and a helpful loan:<br><br>My dear Winston,<br><br>You have often admired the picture of John Lewis Brown of the two horsemen that hung at Trent, so I am sending it to you with my best wishes in the hope that you find a corner for it at Chartwell.  I am also sending th little Sargent picture wh you asked for.  He painted it when he was 18!”<br><br>One is struck by Sassoon’s generosity, and can see in later works how his close study of Sargent influenced Churchill.

SIR WINSTON CHURCHILL (EN)

SALOMON VAN RUYSDAEL - Paysage de dunes avec des personnages au repos et un couple à cheval, vue sur la cathédrale de Nimègue - huile sur toile - 26 1/2 x 41 1/2 in.

SALOMON VAN RUYSDAEL

JAN JOSEPHSZOON VAN GOYEN - Paysage de rivière avec un moulin à vent et une chapelle - huile sur panneau - 22 1/2 x 31 3/4 in.

JAN JOSEPHSZOON VAN GOYEN