Marie Dauenheimer

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Visiting the Gabriele Munter House in Murnau, Germany

By |June 3rd, 2015|Syndicated Content|

In the summer of 1909, in the beautiful Bavarian town of Murnau, nestled in the Alps, the 20th century art movement, The Blue Rider (The Blaue Reiter) had its genesis. That was the summer that artists Gabriele Munter (1877-1962) and Wassily Kandinsky (1866-1944) found a charming house on the hill overlooking Murnau, with stunning views of the Alps. The colorful village houses, intense light, local folk art, along with images of St. George slaying the dragon, would inspire the ground breaking works of the artists of the Blue Rider movement. Kandinsky, Munter, Franz Marc, August Mackeand Alexi von Jawlensky, painted together in this picturesque town, and influenced each other’s work.

Visiting the Gabriele Munter House in Murnau, Germany
                         Munter House in Murnau. Photo by Marie Dauenheimer

Kandinsky, Munter and their friends gathered at the “Russian House”, as the locals called it, to paint en plein air.  Influenced by local folk art  (paintings on small glass panels, with a bright palette and heavy dark lines) their work became more expressive, with an abstract quality.  After disassociating themselves from the Neue Künstlervereinigung München  art movement,  Kandinsky and Marc decided to start their own group, and write an almanac of their artistic philosophy.  Kandinsky took inspiration in his favorite images of St. George slaying the dragon, while Marc drew from his love of painting animals, combined the Blue Rider was born.  The first almanac featured a cover image of an abstracted horse and rider.



Visiting the Gabriele Munter House in Murnau, Germany
                    The Blue Rider Almanac cover by Wassily Kandinsky, 1911

The Blue Rider movement lasted from 1911-1914, and its artists shared a similar approach and sensibility to painting.  Their use of expressive, symbolic color, dramatic brushwork, and spiritual themes dominated their paintings.



Visiting the Gabriele Munter House in Murnau, Germany
                                      Yellow Cow by Franz Marc, 1911

Kandinksy and Munter lived in the “Russian House” from 1909-1914, when the onset of WWI forced Kandinsky and von Jawlensky to return to their native land of Russia.  Tragically, both Franz Marc and Auguste Macke were killed in battle.



Visiting the Gabriele Munter House in Murnau, Germany
                           Village Street in Murnau by Wassily Kandinsky, 1908

Gabrielle Munter lived in this beautiful house in Murnau until her death in 1962.



Visiting the Gabriele Munter House in Murnau, Germany
Staircase in Munter House painted  by Wassily Kandinsky, 1901. Photo  by Marie Dauenheimer


The Munter House is now a museum open to the public. I had the pleasure of visiting this historic home while recently traveling through Upper Bavaria. While none of Kandinsky’s paintings are on view, there are some of Munter’s works, along with hand painted furniture made by the couple, and local folk art, which inspired the Blue Rider artists. The presence of Kandinsky and Munter is felt in this house, their palettes are displayed side by side near a window overlooking one of the beautiful views that inspired them.



Visiting the Gabriele Munter House in Murnau, Germany
 Wassily Kandinsky and Gabrielle Munter's palettes, Munter House, photo by Marie Dauenheimer

An hour away in Munich the largest collection of Kandinsky’s work can be viewed at the Lenbachaus Museum.  In 1962 Gabriele Munter donated a vast collection of over

1,000 paintings, drawings and prints, all created by the Blue Rider artists.



Visiting the Gabriele Munter House in Murnau, Germany
                 View of Murnau from the Munter House. Photo by Marie Dauenheimer

For more information on the Munter House I recommend the book The Munter House in Murnau by Matthias Muhling and Isabelle Jansen.  There is also a wonderful chapter about the Munter House in the book Artists’ Houses by Gerard-Georges Lemaire.  


Visiting the Gabriele Munter House in Murnau, Germany

                                                 Dandelions by Gabrielle Munter

For more information on visiting the Munter House visit their website:

http://www.muenter-stiftung.de/en/the-munter-house/





Henri Matisse: The Cut Outs at the Museum of Modern Art in New York

By |November 4th, 2014|Syndicated Content|

 “Instead of drawing and then applying color, I draw directly with the color.”

These are words Matisse wrote to his friend and fellow artist Pierre Bonnard describing his paper cut- out works.


Henri Matisse (1869-1954) was a prolific French artist whose career spanned six decades.  His body of work includes beautiful paintings of figures, still lives and landscapes, best known for their strong palette and varied textures.  However Matisse considered his later work--paper cut-outs- his life's masterpieces. These stunning large-scale paper cut-outs were created, as Matisse called it by, “drawing with scissors.”


Henri Matisse: The  Cut Outs at the Museum of Modern Art in New York
                             The Red Room by Matisse, 1908 (oil on canvas).

Currently on view at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in NewYork is the most comprehensive Matisse cut-out exhibition ever mounted.  The show, which was on view at the Tate Modern in London, will be at MoMA until February 8, 2015, and is a must see for anyone interested Matisse's later works.


Henri Matisse: The  Cut Outs at the Museum of Modern Art in New York
                       The Horse, Rider and Clown by Matisse, 1943 (cut paper)

Matisse first use cut paper in his work creating the Barnes mural for Dr. Albert Barnes’ famed Barnes Foundation in Merion, Pennsylvania (now located in downtown Philadelphia). 


Henri Matisse: The  Cut Outs at the Museum of Modern Art in New York
     The Dance Mural by Matisse, 1932-1933 (oil on Canvas), Barnes Foundation, Philadelphia, PA

Henri Matisse used cut paper in the 1930s and early 1940s as a compositional aid while working on paintings.  In Still Life with Shells(1940) Matisse cut out the shape of the various objects in his composition and used string to simulate the tabletop.  This allowed Matisse to move the elements around until he arrived at the desired composition.


Henri Matisse: The  Cut Outs at the Museum of Modern Art in New York
                         Still Life with Shells by Matisse, 1940 (oil on canvas)

In 1941, after recovering from abdominal surgery, Matisse found easel painting too strenuous so he started experimenting with cutting gouache painted paper into abstracted organic shapes.  With the aid of several assistants Matisse was able to “cut directly into color”. The paper cut outs were attached to the studio walls using thumbtacks.  Matisse directed the lively compositions from his bed or wheelchair.


Henri Matisse: The  Cut Outs at the Museum of Modern Art in New York
                                  Matisse creating cut-outs in his studio, 1940s

The wall size “The Parakeet and the Mermaid” features animated plants, pomegranates and other organic shapes including a blue parakeet and mermaid.  “I have made a little garden all around me where I can walk. There are leaves, fruits and a bird. I have become a parakeet and found myself in the work.”


Henri Matisse: The  Cut Outs at the Museum of Modern Art in New York
        The Parakeet and the Mermaid by Matisse, 1952, wall size paper cut-out mural

In  1948 Matisse began work on a four year cut out project for the Chapel of the Rosary located near his studio in Vence on the French Riveria.  Matisse’s extensive work for the chapel included radiant stained glass windows, and expressive line drawings painted on tiles that dominate the chapel.  Matisse also designed vestments and a tabernacle for the chapel. “It is the result of all my active life.  Despite all its imperfections, I consider it my masterpiece.”

Henri Matisse: The  Cut Outs at the Museum of Modern Art in New York
                The Chapel of the Rosary in Vence, France, by Matisse, 1948-1952



I highly recommend a visit to see this wonderful exhibition of at MoMA!  I also recommend the catalog, Henri Matisse: The Cut-Outs published by the Museum of Modern Art .  Another book of interest on Matisse and his later works is Henri Matisse, Drawing with Scissors, Masterpieces from the Late Yearsby Olivier Berggruen and Max Hollein, published by Prestel.  For a book on Matisse’s masterpiece The Chapel of the Rosary I recommend Matisse The Chapel at Vence published in 2013 by the Royal Academy of Arts

The Dying Gaul from the Capitoline Museum, Rome

By |January 29th, 2014|Syndicated Content|


In celebration of 2013, the Year of Italian Culture, the National Gallery of Art was lent the masterpiece The Dying Gaul.  On loan from the Capitoline Museum in Rome this magnificent sculpture was at the National Gallery of Art until January 26. 2014.  I had the opportunity to see this masterpiece of pathos and beauty.

The Dying Gaul from the Capitoline Museum, Rome
      The Dying Gaul, marble sculpture at the National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC.

The Dying Gaul, a marble sculpture created in the first or second century AD, features a soldier dying from a fatal knife wound. The Dying Gaul is a Roman copy of a Hellenisticbronze.  The marble was discovered during an excavation of the Villa Ludovisi gardens in 1621-1623.  When first found it was described as a dying gladiator, but in the 18thcentury scholars found that it was probably a Gallic warrior due to the knotted hair and torque around his neck. According to this quote from the historian Polybius in the second century BC:



“. they fought wearing nothing but their weapons…Very terrifying too were the appearance and gestures of the naked warriors…all in the prime of life and finely built men.”




The fame of The Dying Gaul spread as it was copied and reproduced as etchings and bronzes, commemorated in a poem by Lord Bryon and celebrated by painters from Velasquez to David who incorporated the famous pose into their work.



The Dying Gaul from the Capitoline Museum, Rome
                      Jacques-Louis David, Male Nude Study, 1780, oil on canvas.

In 1775 The Dying Gaulwas further immortalize by sculptor Agastino Carlini and anatomist John Hunter.  They posed the flayed corpse of an executed smuggler into the famous pose and cast it in plaster for the students to draw.  The piece known as “Smugglerius” in on view today in Royal Academy of Arts in London.



The Dying Gaul from the Capitoline Museum, Rome
William Pink after Agastino Carlini, Smugglerius, 1834 (original cast 1775), plaster.

Artists continue to find inspiration in this ancient masterpiece as seen in the work of modern artist John De Andrea (1941- ). In 1984 this photorealist sculptor created a contemporary dying gaul when he cast a human model and created a hyperrealistic sculpture using polyvinyl, oil paint and acrylic hair. The contrast between De Andrea’s modern, realist figure and the idealized, classical pose of The Dying Gaul is a surprising juxtaposition!



The Dying Gaul from the Capitoline Museum, Rome
           John De Andrea, The Dying Gaul, 1984, polyvinyl, oil paint and acrylic hair.

Vincent Van Gogh in Arles, St. Remy and Auvers, 1888-1890 PART III

By |January 13th, 2014|Syndicated Content|


In May 1890, after spending a year at the asylum in St. Remy, Van Gogh left Provence and moved to Normandy.  He wanted to be closer to his brother Theo, but he felt life in Paris would be too stressful. On the advice of fellow painter Camille Pissarro, Van Gogh found lodging in the small hamlet of Auvers-sur-Oiseabout 20 miles from Paris in the countryside. This would be Van Gogh’s last home.

Vincent Van Gogh in Arles, St. Remy and Auvers, 1888-1890 PART III
           Vineyards with a View of Auvers, 1890, oil on canvas, Vincent Van Gogh.

Auvers was the home of painter Charles Francois Daubigny who built a house and studio there in 1857.  Cezanne, Monet, Pissarro, Daubigny, Corot and Gauguin were among the many artists who have portrayed the village of Auvers.  Now Van Gogh would paint the charming village full of thatched roof cottages and beautiful gardens.  Van Gogh would write, “Auvers is decidedly very beautiful.”


Vincent Van Gogh in Arles, St. Remy and Auvers, 1888-1890 PART III
                     Daubigny's Garden, 1890, oil on canvas, Vincent Van Gogh

Van Gogh lived in Auvers the last 70 days of his life.  It was his most prolific time; he created 75 paintings and 50 drawings.  His subjects included the local landscape, gardens, Daubigny’s home and gardens, the town church, wheat fields and portraits of his physician Dr. Gachet, his family and other friends.


Vincent Van Gogh in Arles, St. Remy and Auvers, 1888-1890 PART III
                            Vincent Van Gogh's room at the Ravoux Inn in Auvers.

Van Gogh lived in a small cell like room at the Ravoux Inn.  The inn and its café have been restored and are open to the public.  Van Gogh’s room was a small cell like space on the third floor illuminated by a small window.


Vincent Van Gogh in Arles, St. Remy and Auvers, 1888-1890 PART III
                        Church at Auvers, 1890, oil on canvas, Vincent Van Gogh

On July 29, 1890 Van Gogh died of a gun shot wound to the chest, he was 37 years old. Van Gogh is buried in the cemetery in Auvers long side his brother Theo, who passed away six months later.

The National Gallery of Art recently acquired one of Van Gogh’s last paintings.  This stunning canvas, called Green Wheat Fields, Auvers bears the hallmaks of Van Gogh’s work- brilliant palette, rich impasto and energetic brushwork.


Vincent Van Gogh in Arles, St. Remy and Auvers, 1888-1890 PART III
               Green Wheat Fields, Auvers, 1890, oil on canvas, Vincent Van Gogh

To learn more about visiting Auvers and the House and Studio of Vincent Van Gogh visit http://www.maisondevangogh.fr/en/.



Vincent Van Gogh in Arles, St. Remy and Auvers, 1888-1890 PART II

By |December 2nd, 2013|Syndicated Content|


In my last post I mentioned that the last two years of Vincent van Gogh’s life were his most prolific.  During those last years he lived in Arles and St. Remy in Provence and Auvers in Normandy. My last post discussed his time in Arles before moving to St. Remy, where he lived from May 1889-May 1990.

Vincent Van Gogh in Arles, St. Remy and Auvers, 1888-1890 PART II
      "Garden at Saint-Paul-de-Mausole"by Vincent van Gogh, 1889, oil on canvas

When van Gogh arrived in St. Remy he entered the asylum of Saint-Paul-de–Mausole.  Because of his fragile mental health van Gogh was not permitted to leave the grounds of the asylum. It’s walled gardens, filled with pine trees, lilacs, roses and irises, gave van Gogh a peaceful place to paint directly from nature. He wrote his brother Theo “When you receive the canvases I’ve done in the garden you’ll see that I’m not too melancholy here”. The masterpieces he created on the asylum grounds include “The Irises” and “Starry Night”.  



Vincent Van Gogh in Arles, St. Remy and Auvers, 1888-1890 PART II
                           "Irises" by Vincent van Gogh, 1889, oil on canvas.

Many of the paintings van Gogh created in St. Remy are from direct observation. However  “Starry Night”, which represents the nighttime view from his hospital room, was painted during the day and from memory.  Considered by many to be van Gogh’s most important work “Starry Night” shows his comfort with using the landscape to inspire his imagination.



Vincent Van Gogh in Arles, St. Remy and Auvers, 1888-1890 PART II
                            "Starry Night" by Vincent van Gogh, 1889, oil on canvas.

After a few months van Gogh was allowed beyond the asylum grounds to paint in the surrounding countryside. The resulting masterpieces include “Olive Trees” and “Cypresses”.



Vincent Van Gogh in Arles, St. Remy and Auvers, 1888-1890 PART II
                     "Olive Trees" by Vincent van Gogh, 1889, oil on canvas.

From his room van Gogh painted some of his most beloved still lives including the “Still Life: Vase with Pink Roses”.  The roses were originally pink and contrasted with the stark green background.  Over time the pink has faded and left a stunning, subtle painting of white roses. 


Vincent Van Gogh in Arles, St. Remy and Auvers, 1888-1890 PART II
        "Still Life:Vase with Pink Roses" by Vincent van Gogh, 1889, oil on canvas.

The asylum at Saint-Paul-de-Mausole is still in existence and open to the public.  I visited there in the spring of 2012 and was able to walk the lovely gardens that inspired van Gogh. I also visited his small room where so many masterpieces were created!



Vincent Van Gogh in Arles, St. Remy and Auvers, 1888-1890 PART II
   View of the garden at Saint-Paul-de-Mausole, 2012. Photo by Marie Dauenheimer.

In May of 1890 van Gogh decided to leave the asylum at St. Remy and move north.  Afraid that living in Paris would be too difficult he sought the council of painter Camille Pissarro.  Pissarro suggested van Gogh move to Auvers-sur-Oise in Normandy, about 20 miles from Paris.  It was here that he would become a patient of Dr. Gachet, live out the last months of his life, and experience his most prolific painting interval.


Vincent Van Gogh in Arles, St. Remy and Auvers, 1888-1890 PART II
View from Vincent van Gogh's room at Saint-Paul-de-Mausole, 2012. Photo by Marie Dauenheimer

For more information about visiting St. Remy and the asylum

http://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowUserReviews-g187256-d246640-r136912609-St_Paul_de_Mausolee-Saint_Remy_de_Provence_Bouches_du_Rhone_Provence.html



I toured Arles and St. Remy with tour guide Marlene Boyer of Experience Provence

I highly recommend touring Arles and St. Remy with Marlene!

Vincent van Gogh in Arles, St. Remy and Auvers, 1888-1890 PART I

By |September 30th, 2013|Syndicated Content|


The last two years of Vincent van Gogh’s life were his most prolific.  He lived in three different towns during this time, Arles and St. Remy (in Provence), and Auvers-sur-Oise(Normandy).  I have had the opportunity to visit these three locations.  I enjoyed the insight these unique places brought to my understanding of Van Gogh and his work.


Vincent van Gogh in Arles, St. Remy and Auvers, 1888-1890 PART I
                      "Garden at Arles" by Vincent van Gogh, 1888, Oil on canvas.

 On February 20, 1888 van Gogh moved, from Paris, to Arles in the south of France.  He was attracted to the countryside, calling it  “The land of blue tones and gay colors”.  Funded by his brother Theo, Vincent moved into the now famous “Yellow House” and set up a studio and a room for a guest artist.

Vincent van Gogh in Arles, St. Remy and Auvers, 1888-1890 PART I
                    "The Yellow House" by Vincent van Gogh, 1888, oil on canvas.


While in Arles van Gogh was inspired to paint the local farmhouses and gardens.  His paintings from this period feature confident impasto brushstrokes and a brilliant palette.  Indeed, van Gogh wrote “Ah, these farmhouse gardens with lovely big red Provence roses, the vines, the fig trees; it’s quite poetic.”


Vincent van Gogh in Arles, St. Remy and Auvers, 1888-1890 PART I
              "View of Arles with Irises" by Vincent, van Gogh, 1888, oil on canvas.

On October 23, 1888 Paul Gauguin  (1848-1903) arrived and stayed with Vincent. Together the two artists painted, and unfortunately argued. During the two months they lived together unrest grew between them. On December 23, 1888, after a confrontation with Gauguin, van Gogh mutilated his left ear with a razor.  Van Gogh was admitted to the Hospital in Arles, as Gauguin fled for Paris. 


Vincent van Gogh in Arles, St. Remy and Auvers, 1888-1890 PART I
      "Courtyard at the Hospital at Arles" by Vincent van Gogh, 1888, oil on canvas.

While at the hospital van Gogh did two paintings of the lovely flower filled courtyard.  After being released from the hospital van Gogh returned to the yellow house, but due to demands from locals he was forced to leave the city.  In February 1889 van Gogh moved 15 miles northeast to the asylum of Saint-Paul-de–Mausolein St. Remy.  It was here that he would create his most inspired works including “Starry Night” and the “Irises”.


Vincent van Gogh in Arles, St. Remy and Auvers, 1888-1890 PART I
      Courtyard of the Hospital in Arles as it is today, photo by Marie Dauenheimer, 2013.

 I plan to do future blog postings about van Gogh's work and life in St. Remy and Auvers-sur-Oise. In the meantime if you are interested in van Gogh's work there is an upcoming exhibition at the Phillips Collection in Washington, DC.  "Van Gogh Repetitions" will be up from October 12, 2013-January 26, 2014.


Sir Alfred James Munnings Exhibition “Out in the Open” at the National Sporting Library and Museum

By |September 16th, 2013|Syndicated Content|


Located in the beautiful Virginia countryside, in the historic town of Middleburg, is a remarkable museum and library dedicated to the art, literature and culture of horse and field sports, it is called the National Sporting Library and Museum.

Sir Alfred James Munnings Exhibition “Out in the Open” at the National Sporting Library and Museum
                           National Sporting Library and Museum in Middleburg, Virginia.
         
I recently had the opportunity to visit this museum and view an outstanding exhibition called “Out in the Open”, featuring approximately 70 paintings by British artist Sir Alfred James Munnings (1878-1959).  Munnings is best known for his paintings of horses and race scenes. I was familiar with some of his work, but this comprehensive exhibition made me appreciate the brilliance of this artist.



Sir Alfred James Munnings Exhibition “Out in the Open” at the National Sporting Library and Museum
The Morning Ride, Florence Munnings on Horseback, Sir Alfred Munnings, 1913, oil on canvas.

Munnings did most of his work outside, en plein air. His confident, rapid brushwork is reminiscent of John Singer Sargent and Joaquin Sorolla and their depictions of sun soaked landscapes and figures. Munnings paintings, created outdoors from direct observation, are brilliant and nuanced.  Indeed, Munnings biographer wrote, “The call of the sun was one of the strongest forces in his career.”


Sir Alfred James Munnings Exhibition “Out in the Open” at the National Sporting Library and Museum
          Impressions of Cows in a Stream, Sir Alfred Munnings, 1912, oil on canvas.

The son of a miller, Munnings was born in 1878 in Mendham, Great Britain.  In 19thcentury England horses were part of every life, but it was the gift of a toy horse that got Munnings interested in this magnificent animal and its portrayal.



Sir Alfred James Munnings Exhibition “Out in the Open” at the National Sporting Library and Museum
     Study of a Clipped Bay Hunter "Bitter Sweet", Sir Alfred Munnings, 1923, oil on panel.

Among the various themes painted by Munnings was his depiction of horse races.  One in particular reminded me of Edgar Degas and his race scenes.  “Almost Away” is a tightly composed painting featuring a contrasting riot of jockey silk colors. This painting, the color and expression of the horses evokes the raw energy of the race.



Sir Alfred James Munnings Exhibition “Out in the Open” at the National Sporting Library and Museum
                            Almost Away, Sir Alfred Munnings, 1945, oil on canvas.

In many of the paintings Munnings juxtaposes highly polished passages with abstract ones.  In the piece “In the Covert” he paints the horse and rider in a refined manner and surrounds them with a futurist like depiction of the hounds and landscape.



Sir Alfred James Munnings Exhibition “Out in the Open” at the National Sporting Library and Museum
                             In the Covert, Sir Alfred Munnings, 1920, oil on canvas.

Castle Hill in Essex, Munnings’ elegant home for forty years, is a museum dedicated to his work. It houses a collection of over 600 works by Munnings including numerous landscapes and cloud studies of the surrounding countryside.



Sir Alfred James Munnings Exhibition “Out in the Open” at the National Sporting Library and Museum
                         Cloud Study by Sir Alfred Munnings, oil on canvas.

This extraordinary exhibition closed on September 15, 2013. The National Sporting Library and Museum was its only venue.  I was very fortunate to see this exhibition before it closed.  I would recommend that if you are interested in learning more about this fascinating artist you read the exhibition catalog “Munnings, Out in the Open”’ published by the National Sporting Museum and Library.  There is a movie called “Summer in February”, based on the 1996 book by Jonathan Smith of the same title, about Munnings that is soon to be released.

Vesalius Trust Art and Anatomy Tour to Southern Greece in August/September 2014

By |September 5th, 2013|Syndicated Content|


2014 will mark the 500th anniversary of the birth of  anatomist Andreas Vesalius

Vesalius, for whom the Vesalius Trust is named, was a Renaissance physician famous for his pioneering treatise De humani corporis fabrica  (On the Fabric of the Human Body) published in 1543. Considered the father of modern anatomy Vesalius was just 29 years old when his iconic work was published. The beautifully illustrated De Fabrica transformed the field of anatomy and how the human body was viewed and understood.

Vesalius Trust Art and Anatomy Tour to Southern Greece in August/September 2014
            Portrait of Vesalius, the frontispiece from De human corporis fabrica, 1543.

Since 1997 the Vesalius Trust has been sponsoring educational travel opportunities. These “Art and Anatomy” tours have transported attendees to exciting venues in Italy, France, The Netherlands, Belgium, Scotland and England. Each tour has included the Association Européenne des Illustrateurs Médicaux et Scientifiques (AEIMS)conference. These tours offer the opportunity to explore artistic and anatomical points of interest with like-minded colleagues.  Attendees have visited rare anatomy book collections, anatomical theatres, medical museums and art collections, some open to the public, but many exclusive. 
  

To commemorate the upcoming Vesalius birthday celebration I am working with a consortium of artistic, medical and cultural organizations in Europe to build the next Art and Anatomy tour. These organizations include Association Européenne des Illustrateurs Médicaux et Scientifiques.  This next tour will be to Southern Greece from August 29-September 9, 2014. 


Vesalius Trust Art and Anatomy Tour to Southern Greece in August/September 2014
                        Panorama view of Zante Town on the island of Zakynthos.

Andreas Vesalius was born in Flanders, present day Belgium, on December 31, 1514.  He died on October 15, 1562 on the small island of Zakynthos, in the Ionian Sea. After much research and discussion the committee organizing the celebration chose Zakynthos as the venue for their conference.  Vesalius died when his ship wrecked in the Ionian Sea and he ended up on island of Zakynthos. This island, well aware of the importance of Vesalius, features many statues, monuments and streets commemorating the famous physician.


Vesalius Trust Art and Anatomy Tour to Southern Greece in August/September 2014
                                       Parthenon from the south, Athens.

The twelve-day Art and Anatomy Tour, “Traversing Southern Greece”, will begin with arrival in the ancient city of Athens, a bustling metropolis and home to the Acropolis.  The first day will comprise a walking tour of Athens including visits to the Hephaisteion, and the Doric temple of Thespian one of the best-preserved temples from ancient Greece.  The following day will be devoted to a guided tour of the Acropolis, including the Parthenon, the Temple of Athena Nike and the Porch of the Caryatids, which offer stunning views of Athens.  The day will conclude with a tour of the Acropolis Museum and free time to explore this fascinating city.


The next few days of the tour will include travel to the sophisticated town of Nafplion in the Peloponnese. This port city features polished old world streets lined with elegant Venetian castles and neoclassical manors. Enroute to Nafplion we will visit the ancient city of Corinth and its Greek and Roman ruins.


Vesalius Trust Art and Anatomy Tour to Southern Greece in August/September 2014
                                       The beautiful port city of Nafplion


Prior to the Vesalius Conference in Zakynthos the attendees will explore the ancient citadel of Mycenae and Epidaurus and its early theatre designed by sculptor Polykleitos, famous for his masterful sculptures of the human form.


The group will travel to the beautiful island of Zakynthos via ferry, cruising the Ionian Sea as Vesalius did in 1514.  The group’s home for the next four days will be the Palatino Hotel, walking distance to the conference site. 


A few days will be devoted to the “Vesalius Continuum” commemorating the 500thanniversary of Andreas Vesalius’ birth.  The conference schedule includes lectures about Vesalius' work, life and influences by famous medical scholars such as Ruth Richardson, author of Death, Dissection and the Destitute and The Making of Gray's Anatomy, and Professor Martin Kemp of the History of Art at University of Oxford. Kemp is considered one of the world's leading authorities on Leonardo da Vinci and he has written extensively about science and art.  Facial reconstruction artist Richard Neave, famous for his reconstruction of the iceman, will also be presenting.


After the conference the group will enjoy a special day of touring the island of Zakynthos.  Private boats will take attendees to the breathtaking Blue Caves, the uninhabited island of Marathonisi and the charming village of Volimes, known for it lace work and beautifully woven wool rugs.


Vesalius Trust Art and Anatomy Tour to Southern Greece in August/September 2014
                                       Island of Marathonisi, Zakythnos

The tour will end after a flight from Zakynthos to Athens with an independent day to enjoy the city or do an excursion.  A farewell dinner, near the Acropolis, will end the exciting journey before flights back to the US the next day.


For more information on this tour, including a detailed itinerary and pricing please contact Marie Dauenheimer at dauenheimer@erols.com or 571.216.1472.



Watch for future blog postings highlighting details about the tour and the Vesalius conference.

Albrecht Durer: Master Drawings, Watercolors and Prints from the Albertina

By |September 3rd, 2013|Syndicated Content|


The Albertina in Vienna, Austria is a museum known for it outstanding collection of works on paper.  The Albertina maintains a large collection of watercolors, drawings and prints by the Northern Renaissance master Albrecht Durer (1471-1528). This past spring the Albertina lent this vast and impressive collection to the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC.



Albrecht Durer: Master Drawings, Watercolors and Prints from the Albertina
                                Self-portrait by Albrecht Durer, 1500, oil painting.

Durer is known in the history of art for his intense self-portraits, thought by many scholars to be the first self-portraits ever created. Indeed what scholars believe is the first self portrait made by an artist is in the exhibition. It is  a small detailed silverpoint drawing completed by Durer when he was just 13 years old.  (For more information about the silverpoint technique see my blog posting:mariedauenheimer.blogspot.com/.../silverpoint-drawing-history-and.html‎)

Albrecht Durer: Master Drawings, Watercolors and Prints from the Albertina
                    Self-portrait by Albrecht Durer, 1484, silverpoint on prepared paper.

In 1505 Durer travelled to Venice and developed one of his most elegant drawing techniques.Using a medium blue Venetian paper (made from blue rags) Durer drew with white gouache and dark ink to create luminous, chiaroscuro drawings. 



Albrecht Durer: Master Drawings, Watercolors and Prints from the Albertina
The Head of an Angel by Albrecht Durer, 1506, brush and ink with wash, heightened with white on blue paper.

When Durer traveled back to Germany he did not take this Venetian paper with him, but started making his own paper prepared with a ground, usually blue, but sometimes green and gray. This is how Durer made one of his most icon drawings “The Praying Hands”. The drawing was created in 1508 as a study for an altarpiece for a Frankfurt church (which burned down in 1724). The drawing was done as a part of a larger study of one of the apostles. The drawing was later cut down and made into two separate drawings.  (see below).



Albrecht Durer: Master Drawings, Watercolors and Prints from the Albertina
Praying Hands by Albrecht Durer, 1508, brush and wash, heightened with white on blue prepared paper.

Durer introduced many important artistic traditions to his Northern European colleagues. His use of linear perspective, masterfully complex woodcuts and engravings transformed printmaking. Durer’s treatises on human anatomy and proportion transformed the way artists depicted the figure. Finally, like Leonardo, Durer was fascinated with the overlap of science and art.



Albrecht Durer: Master Drawings, Watercolors and Prints from the Albertina
                         Male Nude by Albrecht Durer, 1513, pen and brown ink on paper.

Indeed in Durer’s sublime watercolor “The Great Piece of Turf” (1503) his art “creates a balance between scientific observation and artistic poetry”.



Albrecht Durer: Master Drawings, Watercolors and Prints from the Albertina
The Great Piece of Turf  by Albrecht Durer, 1503, watercolor and gouache on paper.

In 1514 Durer experienced a personal crisis when his mother died. During his mourning he created his “master prints” about despair and death. They include his print of St. Jerome for which he did his magnificent study.



Albrecht Durer: Master Drawings, Watercolors and Prints from the Albertina
An Elderly Man of Ninety-Three Years by Albrecht Durer, 1521, brush and ink, heightened with white on gray-violet  prepared paper.

The National Gallery of Art exhibits closed in June. However I highly recommend the superb catalog published by the National Gallery of Art.It is called "Albrecht Durer, Master Drawings, Watercolors and prints from the Albertina" by Andrew Robison and Klaus Albrecht Schroder.




Richard Diebenkorn, the Berkeley Years 1953-1966

By |July 14th, 2013|Syndicated Content|


I have always enjoyed the “Ocean Park” series of abstract paintings by Richard Diebenkorn (1922-1993). These paintings were done when Diebenkorn moved to Los Angeles and comprise his signature style. These large canvasses evoke the light and landscape of southern California.


Richard Diebenkorn, the Berkeley Years 1953-1966
                                        Ocean Park No. 54, 1972 oil on canvas.

While in San Francisco last month I had an opportunity to visit an exhibition of Diebenkorn’s early work, specifically the pieces created from 1953-1966 when he lived in Berkeley. The exhibition is at the de Young Museum in Golden Gate Park and is very comprehensive and enlightening. 



Richard Diebenkorn, the Berkeley Years 1953-1966
                                        Berkeley No. 13, 1954, oil on canvas.
                         
The earliest works in the exhibition are indeed abstract, graffiti like ink drawings, influenced by the abstract expressionists, specifically de Kooning. As time passes Diebenkorn’s work, much praised by the art community for its energetic, abstract qualities, becomes more figurative.

Richard Diebenkorn, the Berkeley Years 1953-1966
                                            Untitled (Berkeley), 1954, ink on paper.

 In 1955 he created “Chabot Valley” his first representational landscape. His shift to figurative work shocked the art world.  In 1957 Diebenkorn wrote, “Temperamentally perhaps I had always been a landscape painter.” He further commented, “Abstract literally means to draw from or separate.  In this sense every artist is abstract… a realistic or non-objective approach makes no difference.  The result is what counts.”


Richard Diebenkorn, the Berkeley Years 1953-1966
                                   Chabot Valley, 1955, oil on canvas.

Throughout these years Diebenkorn returns to drawing from the figure. His 1958 piece “Woman in Profile” uses energetic layers of impasto  to describe a woman. Diebenkorn paints the organic shapes of the figure and juxtaposes them to the landscape outside; the grid pattern of the windows unites the two worlds.



Richard Diebenkorn, the Berkeley Years 1953-1966
                                 Woman in Profile, 1958, oil on canvas.

Diebenkorn’s figure studies or “exercises in seeing” as he describes them reveal his thought process and works to come. While visiting Leningrad in 1965 his works take on a Matisse like quality using pattern and flat color. These works anticipate the “Ocean Park” series.



Richard Diebenkorn, the Berkeley Years 1953-1966
                           Recollections of a Visit to Leningrad, 1965, oil on canvas.

Diebenkorn is a unique American artist.  This exhibition of his early work enlightens and informs our undertsanding of his signature work. I highly recommend a visit to the de Young Museum for this impressive exhibition.The exhibition catalog, with essays by Emma Acker, Steven A. Nash and Timothy Anglin Burgard, is excellent.



Gustave Moreau Home and Studio in Paris

By |June 6th, 2013|Syndicated Content|


 

In March I had the occasion to visit the home and studio of French Symbolist painter Gustave Moreau (1826-1898), now the Gustave Moreau National Museum and open to the public. Located in the 9tharrondissement of Paris, on a residential street, is this wondrous artists’ home. 

Gustave Moreau Home and Studio in Paris
                                         Interior of Gustave Moreau's home


Gustave Moreau lived and worked in this beautiful setting from 1852, until his death in 1898. The living quarters are small and lavishly decorated with artwork, fine furniture and ceramics. 


Gustave Moreau Home and Studio in Paris
                                             View of the second floor studio

To visit the studio, located on the second and third floors, is to be transported to Moreau’s world.  The space is large and well lit by large windows and ample wall space for the numerous large-scale works. Moreau’s thousands of framed drawings are handsomely preserved throughout the studio in flat files and in cases behind drapes (to keep them from direct light exposure.)


Gustave Moreau Home and Studio in Paris
                 Spiral staircase that leads to the third floor studio and exhibition space.

Gustave Moreau was a most prolific artist creating an estimated 10,000 paintings drawings, sculptures and watercolors. His focus was large-scale biblical and mythological scenes.  His studio is a treasure trove of drawings, preparatory sketches and sculptures made in planning his paintings.  These preparatory objects offer insight into Moreau’s process. 


Gustave Moreau Home and Studio in Paris
                 Horse sculptures by Moreau, created as studies for his paintings.

While studying at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts Moreau was influenced by master painters such as Michelangelo and Rembrandt as well as ancient and medieval art.  He would go on to have an effect on the work of Matisse and the Fauves, as well as the surrealists and even the abstract expressionists.


Gustave Moreau Home and Studio in Paris
                   "Jupiter and Semele", 1895, oil painting by Gustave Moreau.

While still in his thirties Moreau wrote, “I think of my death and the fate of all these works and compositions I have taken such trouble to collect.  Separately they will perish, but taken as a whole they give an idea of what kind of an artist I was and in what kind of surroundings I chose to live my dreams.”
Gustave Moreau Home and Studio in Paris


                                  Third floor studio and exhibition space.

Moreau’s home opened to the public in 1903.  I highly recommend a trip to this fascinating collection.  I also recommend two books that contain chapters about the museum and collection.  “Artists in Residence” by Dana Micucci, this amazing book has inspired me to visit many artists’ homes,  in including those of Delacroix, Bonheur, Daubigny, Van Gogh and Monet. The book “Artists Houses” by Gerard-Georges Lemaire is also fascinating.


 All photographs by Marie Dauenheimer.


Blogging from Paris

By |March 19th, 2013|Syndicated Content|


Tomorrow I fly to Paris with my daughter Lily.  We plan on sketching and visiting museums we have heard about, but never had the opportunity to see.  I hope to blog about these collections from my iPad.


As a preview here are a few of the museums we hope to visit. At the top of the list is the Musee Jacquemart Andre, recommended by friends Laura Primrose and Avery Fullerton.  This late 19th century mansion houses what looks to be an exceptional collection of paintings, sculptures and decorative arts.  The museum is currently the venue for a Eugene Boudin landscape painting exhibition.


Blogging from Paris
                                     Inside the Musee Jacquemart Andre

Also on the list is Musee Carnavalet, set in two Renaissance style mansions in the Marais section of Paris, this museum highlights the history of Paris.


Blogging from Paris

                                       Central garden at Musee Carnavalet


The Musee des Arts Decoratifs is know for their elegant exhibitions of fashion history. The collection offers furniture and fashion designs from the Middle Ages through the present day.  While there Lily and I hope to see the current exhibition “Fashioning Fashion: Two Centuries of European Fashion 1700–1915”.


Blogging from Paris
                                      Inside Musee des Arts Decoratifs.

Finally we hope to visit Musee Gustave Moreau, the former home and studio of 19th century symbolist Guatve Moreau with thousands of his works on view.


Blogging from Paris
                                         Inside Musee Gustave Moreau.

If time permits we hope we return to the Musee D’Orsay, and visit the Petite Palais and Musee Eugene Delacroix.

Watercolor Wash Drawing with Robert Liberace

By |March 10th, 2013|Syndicated Content|


As many of you know I frequently blog about master drawings and the process of how they were created.  I am currently taking a master drawing techniques class at the Art League in Alexandria, Virginia.  The instructor, the renowned Robert Liberace, is an accomplished painter, draughtsman and sculptor.


Watercolor Wash Drawing with Robert Liberace

                   Model Lily Dunlap with Robert Liberace as he sets up the pose.


In todays class Liberace created two very different portraits using watercolor washes.  The portraits were of my husband and daughter who modeled in 18th costume.


Watercolor Wash Drawing with Robert Liberace
              Robert Liberace working on painting of Lily in 18th century costume.

For Liberace the process starts with setting up the pose and lighting.  As he choreographs the pose he thinks about the light, form, pattern and composition.  For the watercolor painting he did of Lily he used a monochromatic watercolor wash on Twinrocker handmade paper.  Watercolor wash, unlike ink wash, can be moved around and manipulated, ink wash tends to stain the paper.


Watercolor Wash Drawing with Robert Liberace

                         Watercolor wash painting of Lily by Robert Liberace.


As Liberace builds up the form he is conscious of not over working the dress, he wants to keep the image fresh and fluid.  He lets the white of the paper show through as the highlights and lighter values. he uses dark accents to describe areas of shadow.  The fluidity of his brushwork is remeniscent of Tiepolo. The figure’s dress and pose recall Rococo artists such as Watteauand Fragonard.


Watercolor Wash Drawing with Robert Liberace

                                      Sam Dunlap posing as a buccaneer.


For the watercolor portrait of Sam, as a buccaneer, Liberace started with a light graphite sketch and progressed to blocking in the flat areas of color with light washes.  As he worked he carefully observed the model and the nuances of light, shadow and color temperature.  The resulting portrait is a sensitive study, done with a confident and energetic brushwork, that captures the character of the sitter.



Watercolor Wash Drawing with Robert Liberace
                      Watercolor wash portrait of Sam by Robert Liberace.

Visiting Cezanne’s Studio in Aix en Provence, France

By |March 4th, 2013|Syndicated Content|


“This house in which there was no furniture or ornaments, was filled up by the presence of the artist, there existed a visible harmony between the two.”  Georges Riviere, art critic


             Cezanne's studio in Aix en Provence.  Photo by Marie Dauenheimer.


Last year I had the unique experience of visiting Paul Cezanne’s (1839-1906) studio in Aix en Provence, France.  It was the last studio Cezanne would have and he would spend four productive years painting there.  The studio was build under Cezanne’s direction and completed in 1902.  The plot of land was selected to offer a view of Cezanne’s muse and often-painted motif, Mont Sainte Victoire.  It is estimated that Cezanne painted his beloved mountain over 100 times.


Visiting Cezanne’s Studio in Aix en Provence, France
                                Painting by Cezanne of Mont Sainte Victoire.

I visited with my daughter on a drizzly afternoon in April. Lilacs and other flowering trees were blooming outside the studio. The building is a solid structure, with a yellow stucco exterior and muted salmon colored shutters.  While none of Cezanne’s paintings are on view at the studio you get a sense of the artist through what is left behind, his still life props, easel and other accouterments.  This presence and sense of the artist is the reason I love visiting artist’s studios and homes. 


                                            Cezanne's studio, interior view.

Cezanne is said to have kept regular business hours for painting.  He arrived at the studio in the morning and worked until evening surrounded by the blue gray walls and the cherished objects, bowls, sculptures and skulls, that fill his canvasses.  Large windows offered both southern and northern exposures.


Visiting Cezanne’s Studio in Aix en Provence, France

                                       Cezanne's studio, interior view.


After Cezanne’s death in 1906 the studio was not used for 15 years. Cezanne’s son sold the studio in 1921 and finally the studio opened to the public in 1952.


Visiting Cezanne’s Studio in Aix en Provence, France
                     A still life painting by Cezanne featuring objects in his studio.

If you are in Provence I highly recommend a visit to the studio as a homage to Cezanne and his masterful works. For more information on visiting the studio go to 

www.atelier-cezanne.com

Painting on Paper, Josef Albers in America

By |February 25th, 2013|Syndicated Content|


“Color is fooling us all the time”, so said color theorist and painter extraordinaire Josef Albers.  Josef Albers (1888-1976) a German painter, who taught at the Bauhaus, is best known for this minimalist paintings, advances in art education and influence in the study of color theory.


Painting on Paper, Josef Albers in America
      Color study for Homage to the Square by Josef Albers , oil on paper, date unknown.

In September I had the pleasure of attending an exhibition of Albers’ works on paper at the Morgan Library in New York.  The show was  intriguing in that it featured eighty of Albers’ works on paper.  His working sketches if you will.  They offered insight into his process of his signature style geometric painting.


Painting on Paper, Josef Albers in America
  Color study for Homage to the Square by Josef Albers , oil on paper, date unknown.

Josef Albers had a stellar career in art education transforming ideas on color theory. He taught at the Bauhaus, from 1923-1933, with such luminaries as Wassily Kandinsky, Oskar Schlemmer and Paul Klee, under the direction of Walter Gropius. In 1933 he emigrated to the United States and became director at the Black Mountain College in North Carolina, where his students included Robert Rauschenberg and Cy Twombly.  Finally in 1950 he landed at Yale Universityfor the duration of his career. This is where he would spend the next 25 years experimenting with color and his geometric paintings.

Painting on Paper, Josef Albers in America
 Color study for Homage to the Square by Josef Albers , oil on paper, date unknown.

Albers is best known for his abstract painting of overlapping squares featuring color harmonies.  He never mixed his colors, but rather used color directly from the tube applied carefully with a palette knife.  His small scale, hard edge, symmetrical compositions were a response to the large and gestural works of the abstract expressionists and he would go on to influence movements such as minimalism and op art.


Painting on Paper, Josef Albers in America
Color study for Homage to the Square by Josef Albers , oil on paper, date unknown.

From 1950 until 1976 Albers focused on his homage to the square or as he said “I am not paying “homage to the square”.   It’s only the dish I serve my craziness about color in”.


Painting on Paper, Josef Albers in America
 Color study for Homage to the Square by Josef Albers , oil on paper, date unknown.

Indeed Albers was not crazy, but methodical in his observations on color harmonies.  He noted on each piece what colors he used and what manufacturer made the paint, he annotated his use of varnish and other medium  “I am not an acrobat in my painting.  I am a cook”.



Painting on Paper, Josef Albers in America
                  Josef Albers, oil on canvas, Hirschhorn Museum, date unknown.

The catalog for this exhibition “Painting on Paper, JosefAlbers in America” includes a few fascinating essays by Heinz Liesbroc, Michael Semff and Isabelle Dervaux.




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