Charles Garnier, in
full Jean-Louis-Charles Garnier (born November 6, 1825,
Paris, France—died August 3, 1898, Paris), French
architect of the Beaux-Arts style, famed as the creator
of the Paris Opera House.
Charles Garnier by Nadar
He was admitted to the
École des Beaux-Arts in 1842 and was awarded the
Grand Prix de Rome in 1848 to study in Italy.
He won the 1860 competition for the new Paris Opera
House. One of the most famous buildings of the
century, the Opéra (completed 1875) became a symbol
of Second Empire taste, and its eclectic neo-Baroque
style became characteristic of late 19th-century
Garnier’s command of the sweeping interiors was
equalled by his mastery of balance, punctuation, and
termination of mass and surface.
influenced the style of resort architecture for the
wealthy with his small theatre for the casino of
Monte-Carlo (1878), the casino and baths at Vittel,
and the villas he built in Bordighera, notably his
own (1872–73). Among his other works were the
observatory at Nice, an apartment house, and the
Hôtel du Cercle de la Librairie in Paris.
For the Paris
Exposition of 1889 he conceived the Exposition des
Habitations Humaines, which became the subject of
his book L’Habitation humaine (with A. Ammann,
He also published, in 1871, Le Théâtre and, in
1876–81, Le Nouvel Opéra de Paris, a monumental
description and defense of his work.
The Palais Garnier is a
1,979-seat opera house, which was built from 1861 to 1875
for the Paris Opera. It was originally called the Salle des
Capucines, because of its location on the Boulevard des
Capucines in the 9th arrondissement of Paris, but soon
became known as the Palais Garnier, in recognition of its
opulence and its architect, Charles Garnier. The theatre is
also often referred to as the Opéra Garnier and historically
was known as the Opéra de Paris or simply the Opéra, as it
was the primary home of the Paris Opera and its associated
Paris Opera Ballet until 1989, when the Opéra Bastille
opened at the Place de la Bastille. The Paris Opera now
mainly uses the Palais Garnier for ballet.
The façade of the Palais
Garnier opera house
The Palais Garnier is
"probably the most famous opera house in the world, a symbol
of Paris like Notre Dame Cathedral, the Louvre, or the Sacré
Coeur Basilica." This is at least partly due to its use
as the setting for Gaston Leroux's 1910 novel The Phantom of
the Opera and, especially, the novel's subsequent
adaptations in films and Andrew Lloyd Webber's popular 1986
musical. Another contributing factor is that among the
buildings constructed in Paris during the Second Empire,
besides being the most expensive, it has been described as
the only one that is "unquestionably a masterpiece of the
first rank." This opinion is far from unanimous however: the
20th-century French architect Le Corbusier once described it
as "a lying art" and contended that the "Garnier movement is
a décor of the grave".
The Palais Garnier also houses
the Bibliothèque-Musée de l'Opéra de Paris (Paris Opera
Library-Museum). Although the Library-Museum is no longer
managed by the Opera and is part of the Bibliothèque
nationale de France, the museum is included in unaccompanied
tours of the Palais Garnier.
Louis Anquetin, b
Etrepagny, nr Gisors, 26 Jan 1861; d Paris, 19 Aug 1932.
Autoportrait à la pipe, self-portrait, 1892
Anquetin was born in Étrépagny, France and educated at the
Lycée Pierre Corneille in Rouen.
In 1882 he came to Paris
and began studying art at Léon Bonnat's studio, where he met
Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec. The two artists later moved to
the studio of Fernand Cormon, where they befriended Émile
Bernard and Vincent van Gogh.
Around 1887, Anquetin and
Bernard developed a painting style that used flat regions of
color and thick, black contour outlines. This style, named
cloisonnism by critic Edouard Dujardin, was inspired by both
stained glass and Japanese ukiyo-e. One example of this can
be seen in Avenue de Clichy: Five O’Clock in the Evening,
argued by Dr. Bogomila Welsh-Ovcharov as being inspiration
for Van Gogh's famous Cafe Terrace at Night.
He eventually fell from the public's eye after abandoning
the modern movements, opting instead to study the methods of
the Old Masters. Thus, Anquetin's works following the
mid-1890s, such as Rinaldo and Armida, were especially
Rubensian and allegorical in nature. In 1907 he met Jacques
Maroger, a young artist who shared his interest, with whom
Later in life, Anquetin
wrote a book on Rubens, which was published in 1924. He died
John William Godward
(9 August 1861 – 13 December 1922) was an English
painter from the end of the Neo-Classicist era. He was a
protégé of Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema, but his style of
painting fell out of favour with the arrival of painters
such as Picasso. He committed suicide at the age of 61
and is said to have written in his suicide note that
"the world is not big enough for myself and a Picasso".
estranged family, who had disapproved of his becoming an
artist, were ashamed of his suicide and burned his
papers. No photographs of Godward are known to survive.
Godward was born in 1861 and lived in Wilton Grove,
Wimbledon. He was born to Sarah Eboral and John Godward (an
investment clerk at the Law Life Assurance Society, London).
He was the eldest of five children. He was named after his
father John and grandfather William. He was christened at
St. Mary's Church in Battersea on 17 October 27 1861. The
overbearing attitude of his parents made him reclusive and
shy later in adulthood.
He exhibited at the Royal Academy from 1887. When he moved
to Italy with one of his models in 1912, his family broke
off all contact with him and even cut his image from family
pictures. Godward returned to England in 1921, died in 1922
and is buried in Brompton Cemetery, west London.
One of his best known
paintings is Dolce far Niente (1904), which was purchased
for the collection of Andrew Lloyd Webber in 1995. As in the
case of several other paintings, Godward painted more than
one version, in this case an earlier (and less well known)
1897 version with a further version in 1906.
John William Godward.
Godward was a Victorian Neo-classicist, and therefore, a
follower in theory of Frederic Leighton. He is more closely
allied stylistically, however, to Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema,
with whom he shared a penchant for the rendering of
Classical architecture, in particular, static landscape
features constructed from marble.
The vast majority of
Godward's extant images feature women in Classical dress,
posed against these landscape features, although there are
some semi-nude and fully nude figures included in his oeuvre
(a notable example being In The Tepidarium (1913), a title
shared with a controversial Alma-Tadema painting of the same
subject that resides in the Lady Lever Art Gallery). The
titles reflect Godward's source of inspiration: Classical
civilisation, most notably that of Ancient Rome (again a
subject binding Godward closely to Alma-Tadema
artistically), although Ancient Greece sometimes features,
thus providing artistic ties, albeit of a more limited
extent, with Leighton.
Given that Classical
scholarship was more widespread among the potential audience
for his paintings during his lifetime than in the present
day, meticulous research of detail was important in order to
attain a standing as an artist in this genre.
was, as well as a painter, an archaeologist, who attended
historical sites and collected artifacts he later used in
his paintings: Godward, too, studied such details as
architecture and dress, in order to ensure that his works
bore the stamp of authenticity.
In addition, Godward
painstakingly and meticulously rendered other important
features in his paintings, animal skins (the paintings Noon
Day Rest (1910) and A Cool Retreat (1910) contain superb
examples of such rendition) and wild flowers (Nerissa
(1906), illustrated above, and Summer Flowers (1903) are
again excellent examples of this).
The appearance of beautiful
women in studied poses in so many of Godward's canvases
causes many newcomers to his works to categorise him
mistakenly as being Pre-Raphaelite, particularly as his
palette is often a vibrantly colourful one. The choice of
subject matter (ancient civilisation versus, for example,
Arthurian legend) is more properly that of the Victorian
Neoclassicist: however, it is appropriate to comment that in
common with numerous painters contemporary with him, Godward
was a 'High Victorian Dreamer', producing beautiful images
of a world which, it must be said, was idealised and
romanticised, and which in the case of both Godward and
Alma-Tadema, came to be criticised as a world-view of
'Victorians in togas'.
established a reputation for his paintings of young women in
a classical setting and his ability to convey with
sensitivity and technical mastery the feel of contrasting
textures, flesh, marble, fur and fabrics." Godward's
penchant for creating works of art set in the classical
period probably came from the time period in which he was
born. "The last full-scale classical revival in western
painting bloomed in England in the 1860s and flowered there
for the next three decades."
in full Émile-Antoine Bourdelle (born October 30, 1861,
Montauban, France—died October 1, 1929, Paris), French
sculptor whose works—exhibiting exaggerated, rippling
surfaces mingled with the flat, decorative simplifications
of Archaic Greek and Romanesque art—introduced a new vigour
and strength into the sculpture of the early 20th century.
Bourdelle studied at the École des Beaux-Arts in
Toulouse, France, before moving to Paris in 1885. Reacting
against the conservatism of the École, Bourdelle left to
study with the artists Jean-Baptiste Carpeaux and Jules
Dalou. In 1893 he entered the studio of sculptor Auguste
Rodin, who was to remain one of the chief influences of his
artistic life. At that stage of his career, Bourdelle
emulated the rugged realism of his mentor, Rodin.
Bourdelle’s first major commission, a war memorial at
Montauban, France (1902), exhibited a similarly brutal
quality, as did the series of works inspired by the music of
Beethoven that he also created during that period.
Bourdelle gradually moved toward a more refined,
Classical form of sculpture. In 1900 he created an important
work, the Head of Apollo, the majestic dignity and broad
planes of which recall early Classical Greek sculpture. In
1910 he achieved his first triumph in the Salon with
Herakles (also called Hercules Archer), which again owes
much to Archaic art, although the pose is far more sinuous
and the musculature more exaggerated; he made several
sculptures of this subject. Also in 1910 he created the
full-length portrait Rodin at Work, the head of which is a
pastiche of Michelangelo’s Moses in the Church of San Pietro
in Vincoli, Rome.
In 1912 Bourdelle executed reliefs for the Théâtre des
Champs-Élysées; these works are remarkable for their
unusually compact, planar style. Two years later he created
another masterpiece, the Dying Centaur, in which he
represented the defeat of paganism. In his later career,
Bourdelle became known for his majestic public monuments.
Never able to escape completely the shadow of Rodin,
Bourdelle became a famous teacher, turning his studio into
the Académie de la Grande-Chaumière.
The Great Warrior of Montauban, bronze, 1898, Hirshhorn
Museum, Washington, D.C.
Alekseyevich Korovin (Russian: Константи́н Алексе́евич
Коро́вин, first name often spelled Constantin; November 23 [O.S.
December 5] 1861 – September 11, 1939) was a leading Russian
Valentin Serov, Portrait of Konstantin Korovin, 1891
Youth and education
Konstantin was born in Moscow to a merchant family
officially registered as "peasants of Vladimir Gubernia".
His father, Aleksey Mikhailovich Korovin, earned a
university degree and was more interested in arts and music
than in the family business established by Konstantin's
grandfather. Konstantin's older brother Sergei Korovin was a
notable realist painter. Konstantin's relative Illarion
Pryanishnikov was also a prominent painter of the time and a
teacher at the Moscow School of Painting, Sculpture and
In 1875 Korovin entered the Moscow School of Painting,
Sculpture and Architecture, where he studied with Vasily
Perov and Alexei Savrasov. His brother Sergey was already a
student at the school. During their student years the
Korovins became friends with fellow students Valentin Serov
and Isaac Levitan; Konstantin maintained these friendships
throughout his life.
In 1881–1882, Korovin spent a year at the Imperial
Academy of Arts in St. Petersburg, but returned disappointed
to the Moscow School of Painting, Sculpture and
Architecture. He studied at the school under his new teacher
Vasily Polenov until 1886.
In 1885, Korovin traveled to Paris and Spain. "Paris was
a shock for me … Impressionists… in them I found everything
I was scolded for back home in Moscow", he later wrote.
Polenov introduced Korovin to Savva Mamontov's Abramtsevo
Circle: Viktor Vasnetsov, Apollinary Vasnetsov, Ilya Repin,
Mark Antokolsky and others. The Abramtsevo Circle's love for
stylized Russian themes is reflected in Korovin's picture A
Northern Idyll. In 1885 Korovin worked for Mamontov's Opera
house. He designed the stage decor for Giuseppe Verdi's
Aida, Léo Delibes' Lakmé and Georges Bizet's Carmen.
In 1888, Korovin traveled with Mamontov to Italy and Spain,
where he produced the painting On the Balcony, Spanish Women
Leonora and Ampara. Konstantin traveled within Russia, the
Caucasus and Central Asia and exhibited with the
Peredvizhniki. He painted in the Impressionist and later in
the Art Nouveau style.
In the 1890s, Korovin became a member of the Mir
iskusstva art group.
Korovin's subsequent works were strongly influenced by
his travels to the North. In 1888 he was captivated by the
stern northern landscapes seen in The Coast of Norway and
the Northern Sea.
Konstantin Korovin. In Front of the Balcony: Leonora
His second trip to the North, with Valentin Serov in
1894, coincided with the construction of the Northern
Railway. Korovin painted a large number of landscapes:
Norwegian Port, St. Triphon's Brook in Pechenga, Hammerfest:
Aurora Borealis, The Coast at Murmansk and others. The
paintings are built on a delicate web of shades of grey. The
etude style of these works was typical for the Korovin's art
of the 1890s.
Using material from his northern trip, Korovin designed
the Far North pavilion at the 1896 All Russia Exhibition in
Nizhny Novgorod. He painted ten big canvasses for the
pavilion as well, depicting various aspects of Northern and
Arctic lifestyle. After the closure of the Exhibition, the
canvasses were eventually placed in the Yaroslavsky Rail
Terminal in Moscow. In the 1960s, they were restored and
transferred to the Tretyakov Gallery. In 1900, Korovin designed the Central Asia section of the
Russian Empire pavilion at the Paris World Fair and was
awarded the Legion of Honour by the French government.
In the beginning of the 20th century, Korovin focused his
attention on the theater. He moved from Mamontov's opera to
the Mariinsky Theatre in St. Petersburg. Departing from
traditional stage decor, which only indicated the place of
action, Korovin produced a mood decor conveying the general
emotions of the performance.
Korovin designed sets for
Konstantin Stanislavsky's dramatic productions, as well as
Mariinsky's operas and ballets. He did the stage design for
such Mariinsky productions as Faust (1899), The Little
Humpbacked Horse (1901) and Sadko (1906) that became famous
for their expressiveness.
In 1905, Korovin became an Academician of Painting and in
1909–1913 a professor at the Moscow School of Painting,
Sculpture and Architecture.
One of the artist's favourite themes was Paris. He
painted A Paris Cafe (1890s), Cafe de la Paix (1905), La
Place de la Bastille (1906), Paris at Night, Le Boulevard
Italien (1908), Night Carnival (1901), Paris in the Evening
(1907) and others.
During World War I Korovin worked as a camouflage
consultant at the headquarters of one of the Russian armies
and was often seen on the front lines. After the October
Revolution Korovin continued to work in the theater,
designing stages for Richard Wagner's Die Walküre and
Siegfried, as well as Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky's The
In 1923 Korovin moved to Paris on the advice of Commissar
of Education Anatoly Lunacharsky to cure his heart condition
and help his handicapped son. There was supposed to be a
large exhibition of Korovin's works but the works were
stolen and Korovin was left penniless. For years he produced
the numerous Russian Winters and Paris Boulevards just to
make ends meet.
In the last years of his life he produced stage designs
for many of the major theatres of Europe, America, Asia and
Australia, the most famous of which is his scenery for the
Turin Opera House's production of Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov's
The Golden Cockerel.
Korovin died in Paris on September 11, 1939.
Konstantin's son Alexey Korovin (1897–1950) was a notable
Russian-French painter. Because of an accident during his
childhood he had both feet amputated. Alexey committed
suicide in 1950.
(born December 8, 1861, Banyuls-sur-Mer, France—died
September 27, 1944, near Banyuls-sur-Mer), French sculptor,
painter, and printmaker whose monumental statues of female
nudes display a concern for mass and rigorous formal
Maillol began his artistic career as a painter and
tapestry designer; his early work reflected his great
admiration for the Nabis, a group of artists in France whose
work was composed typically of decorative patterns. Maillol
was almost 40 years old when an eye disease forced him to
give up tapestry weaving, and so he turned his attention to
In his mature work, Maillol rejected the highly emotional
sculpture of his contemporary Auguste Rodin, preferring to
preserve and purify the sculptural tradition of Classical
Greece and Rome.
The Mediterranean (c. 1901) and Night
(1902) show the emotional restraint, clear composition, and
serene surfaces Maillol employed in his sculpture for the
rest of his life. Most of his work depicts the mature female
form, which he attempted to imbue with symbolic
significance. He wanted to remove literary and psychological
references from his sculptures; the resulting generalized
figures emphasize form itself.
After 1910 Maillol was internationally famous and
received a constant flood of commissions. Because of his
strict economy of aesthetic means, he turned out the same
subject repeatedly, sometimes varying little more than the
title from work to work.
Only in Action in Chains (1906) and
The River (c. 1939–43) did he vary his basic formula and
represent the human form in turbulent activity.
Maillol resumed painting in 1939, but sculpture remained
his favourite medium. He also made many woodcut
illustrations for the work of ancient poets such as Virgil
and Ovid during the 1920s and ’30s, doing much to revive the
art of the book. Though Maillol’s connection to the art of
the past was strong, his interest in form and geometry
helped pave the way for abstract sculptors such as
Constantin Brancusi and Jean Arp.
Sorrow, War Memorial at Ceret
Marschner - Overture: Der
Goldschmied von Ulm (1856)
Overture: Der Goldschmied von Ulm
An orchestral overture by German
composer Heinrich Marschner (1795-1861). "Der Goldschmied von Ulm"
(The Goldsmith of Ulm) is a play by Salomon Hermann von Mosenthal
(who also wrote the libretto to Otto Nicolai's "The Merry Wives of
Windsor"), for which Marschner wrote incidental music. The play's
Gothic-Romantic plot recalls Marschner's opera "Hans Heiling" in its
supernatural elements. The protagonist, Heinrich, is a goldsmith's
apprentice who strikes a bargain with the Devil in order to obtain
riches and the love of the beautiful Katharina. After numerous
changes of fortune, Heinrich - poor, rich, then poor again - is
released from his deal with the Devil and united with his beloved
Conductor: Alfred Walter
Slovak State Philharmonic Orchestra, Košice
Dame Nellie Melba
GBE (19 May 1861 – 23 February 1931), born Helen Porter
Mitchell, was an Australian operatic soprano. She became
one of the most famous singers of the late Victorian era
and the early 20th century. She was the first Australian
to achieve international recognition as a classical
musician. She took the pseudonym "Melba" from Melbourne,
her home town.
Melba studied singing in
Melbourne and made a modest success in performances there.
After a brief and unsuccessful marriage, she moved to Europe
in search of a singing career. Failing to find engagements
in London in 1886, she studied in Paris and soon made a
great success there and in Brussels. Returning to London she
quickly established herself as the leading lyric soprano at
Covent Garden from 1888. She soon achieved further success
in Paris and elsewhere in Europe, and later at the
Metropolitan Opera, New York, debuting there in 1893. Her
repertoire was small; in her whole career she sang no more
than 25 roles and was closely identified with only ten. She
was known for her performances in French and Italian opera,
but sang little German opera.
During the First World War,
Melba raised large sums for war charities. She returned to
Australia frequently during the 20th century, singing in
opera and concerts, and had a house built for her near
Melbourne. She was active in the teaching of singing at the
Melbourne Conservatorium. Melba continued to sing until the
last months of her life and made a legendary number of
"farewell" appearances. Her death, in Australia, was news
across the English-speaking world, and her funeral was a
major national event.
Melba as Marguerite in
Melba in 1904
Melba, drawn by
Dame Nellie Melba,
original name Helen Armstrong, née Helen Mitchell
(born May 19, 1861, Richmond, near Melbourne, Austl.—died
Feb. 23, 1931, Sydney), Australian coloratura
soprano, a singer of great popularity.
She sang at
Richmond (Australia) Public Hall at the age of six
and was a skilled pianist and organist, but she did
not study singing until after her marriage to
Charles Nesbitt Armstrong in 1882.
She appeared in Sydney in 1885 and in London in 1886
and then studied in Paris.
She made her operatic debut as Gilda in Verdi’s
Rigoletto in 1887 at Brussels under the name Melba,
derived from that of the city of Melbourne.
Until 1926 she sang in the principal opera houses of
Europe and the United States, particularly Covent
Garden and the Metropolitan Opera, excelling in
Delibes’s Lakmé, as Marguerite in Gounod’s Faust,
and as Violetta in Verdi’s La traviata.
Her marriage was dissolved in 1900.
She was created a
Dame of the British Empire in 1918. In 1925 she
published Melodies and Memories.
She returned in 1926 to Australia, where she became
president of the Melbourne Conservatorium. Melba
toast and peach Melba were named for her.
Melba in 1913.
Nellie Melba with the Metropolitan Opera
The Royal Academy of
Music is a conservatoire in London, England and a
constituent college of the University of London. It was
founded in 1822 and is Britain's oldest degree-granting
music school. It received a Royal Charter in 1830. It is
a registered charity under English law.
The facade of the Royal
Academy of Music
The Academy was founded by Lord Burghersh in 1822 with the
help and ideas of the French harpist and composer Nicolas
Bochsa. The Academy was granted a Royal Charter by King
George IV in 1830.
The Academy's first building was in Tenterden Street,
Hanover Square and in 1911 the institution moved to the
current premises (which include the 450-seat Duke's Hall),
built at a cost of £51,000 on the site of an orphanage. In
1976 the Academy acquired the houses situated on the north
side and built between them a new opera theatre donated by
the philanthropist Sir Jack Lyons and named after him and
two new recital spaces, a recording studio, an electronic
music studio, several practice rooms and office space.
The Academy again expanded
its facilities in the late 1990s, with the addition of 1-5
York Gate, designed by John Nash in 1822, to house the new
museum, a musical theatre studio and several teaching and
practice rooms. To link the main building and 1-5 York Gate
a new underground passage and the underground barrel-vaulted
150-seat David Josefowitz recital hall were built on the
courtyard between the mentioned structures.
Wagner substantially amended the opera for a special 1861
performance by the Paris Opéra. This had been requested by
Emperor Napoleon III at the suggestion of Princess Pauline
von Metternich, wife of the Austrian ambassador to France.
This revision forms the basis of what is now known as the
"Paris version" of Tannhäuser.
Wagner had originally hoped the Parisian première would take
place at the Théâtre Lyrique. However, the première was at
the Paris Opéra, so the composer had to insert a ballet into
the score, according to the traditions of the house.
Wagner agreed to this condition since he believed that a
success at the Opéra represented his most significant
opportunity to re-establish himself following his exile from
However, rather than
put the ballet in its traditional place in Act II,
he chose to place it in Act I, where it could at
least make some dramatic sense by representing the
sensual world of Venus's realm. Thus in Tannhäuser
the ballet takes the form of a bacchanale.
The changes to the
score in the Paris version, apart from the ballet,
-The text was
translated into French (by Charles-Louis-Etienne
Nuitter and others).
-Venus, a role that in the Dresden version was
considered a soprano, now calls for a mezzo soprano.
-Venus' aria "Geliebter, komm!" was transposed down
half a step and was completely altered from "...wonnige
Glut durchschwelle dein Herz". From this point the
Dresden and the Paris version arias go in two
-A solo for Walther was removed from Act 2.
-Extra lines for Venus following Tannhäuser's "Hymn
to Love" were added.
-The orchestral introduction to Act 3 was shortened.
-The end of the opera was reworked to include Venus
on stage, where before the audience only heard the
Venus motif. Wagner thought that prior to the
change, audiences were confused about what was
Tichatschek als Tannhäuser und Wilhelmine
Schröder-Devrient als Venus in der Uraufführung 1845
The Paris première
Tannhäuser's first performance in Paris was given on 13
March 1861 at the Salle Le Peletier of the Paris Opéra. The
composer had been closely involved in its preparation and
there had been 164 rehearsals.
However, there was a serious
planned assault on the opera's reception by members of the
wealthy and aristocratic Jockey Club. Their custom was to
arrive at the Opéra only in time for the Act II ballet,
after previously dining, and, as often as not, to leave
after the close of the ballet, some of whose dancers were
romanced by members of the Jockey Club. They objected to the
ballet coming in Act I, since this meant they would have to
be present from the beginning of the opera. Furthermore,
they disliked Princess von Metternich, who had arranged the
performance, and her native country of Austria. Club members
led barracking from the audience with whistles and
cat-calls. At the third performance on 24 March, this uproar
caused several interruptions of up to fifteen minutes at a
time. As a consequence, Wagner withdrew the opera after the
third performance. This marked the end to Wagner's hopes of
establishing himself in Paris, at that time the center of
the operatic world.