Timeline of World History TIMELINE OF WORLD HISTORY



1800 - 1899
1800-09 1810-19 1820-29 1830-39 1840-49 1850-59 1860-69 1870-79 1880-89 1890-99
1800 1810 1820 1830 1840 1850 1860 1870 1880 1890
1801 1811 1821 1831 1841 1851 1861 1871 1881 1891
1802 1812 1822 1832 1842 1852 1862 1872 1882 1892
1803 1813 1823 1833 1843 1853 1863 1873 1883 1893
1804 1814 1824 1834 1844 1854 1864 1874 1884 1894
1805 1815 1825 1835 1845 1855 1865 1875 1885 1895
1806 1816 1826 1836 1846 1856 1866 1876 1886 1896
1807 1817 1827 1837 1847 1857 1867 1877 1887 1897
1808 1818 1828 1838 1848 1858 1868 1878 1888 1898
1809 1819 1829 1839 1849 1859 1869 1879 1889 1899
  BACK-1869 Part II NEXT-1869 Part IV    
1860 - 1869
History at a Glance
1860 Part I
Treaty of Turin
First Taranaki War
Convention of Peking
Secession of South Carolina
Poincare Raymond
The Church Union
1860 Part II
Barrie James Matthew
Boucicault Dion
Dion Boucicault: "The Colleen Bawn"
Collins Wilkie
Wilkie Collins: "The Woman in White"
Wilkie Collins 
"The Moonstone"
"The Woman in White"
George Eliot: "The Mill on the Floss"
Di Giacoma Salvatore
Labiche Eugene-Marin
Multatuli: "Max Havelaar"
Alexander Ostrovski: "The Storm"
Chekhov Anton
Anton Chekhov
"Uncle Vanya"
1860 Part III
Degas: "Spartan Boys and Girls Exercising"
Hunt: "Finding of the Saviour in the Temple"
Manet: "Spanish Guitar Player"
Ensor James
James Ensor
Mucha Alfons
Alfons Mucha
Levitan Isaak
Isaac Levitan
Steer Philip Wilson
Philip Wilson Steer
Mahler Gustav
Mahler - Das Lied von der Erde
Gustav Mahler
Paderewski Ignace
Paderewski - Minuet
Ignace Paderewski
Suppe Franz
Franz von Suppe - Das Pensionat
Franz von Suppe
Wolf Hugo
Hugo Wolf - "Kennst du das Land"
Hugo Wolf
MacDowell Edward
MacDowell - Piano Sonata No. 1 "Tragica"
Edward MacDowell
Albeniz Isaac
Albeniz - Espana
Isaac Albeniz
1860 Part IV
Fechner Gustav Theodor
Lenoir Etienne
Walton Frederick
Across the Continent
Burke Robert O'Hara
Wills William John
Stuart John McDouall
Grant James Augustus
"The Cornhill Magazine"
"The Catholic Times"
Heenan John Camel
Sayers Tom
The Open Championship
Park William
1861 Part I
Confederate States of America
Davis Jefferson
First inauguration of Abraham Lincoln
American Civil War
First Battle of Bull Run
Battle of Hatteras
The American Civil War, 1861
1861 Part II
Siege of Gaeta
Emancipation Manifesto
Louis I
1861 Part III
Dal Vladimir
Steiner Rudolf
Whitehead Alfred North
Charles Dickens: "Great Expectations"
Dostoevsky: "The House of the Dead"
George Eliot: "Silas Marner"
Oliver Wendell Holmes: "Elsie Venner"
Tagore Rabindranath
Charles Reade: "The Cloister and the Hearth"
Wood Ellen
Mrs. Henry Wood: "East Lynne"
Spielhagen Friedrich
Friedrich Spielhagen: "Problematische Naturen"
1861 Part IV
Garnier Charles
Anquetin Louis
Louis Anquetin
Godward John William
John William Godward
Bourdelle Antoine
Antoine Bourdelle
Korovin Konstantin
Konstantin Korovin
Maillol Aristide
Aristide Maillol
Melba Nellie
Royal Academy of Music, London
The Paris version "Tannhauser"
1861 Part V
Thallium (Tl)
Hopkins Frederick Gowland
Mort Thomas Sutcliffe
Nansen Fridtjof
Fermentation theory
Baker Samuel
Baker Florence
The Bakers and the Nile
Beeton Isabella
Harden Maximilian
First horse-drawn trams in London
Order of the Star of India
Otis Elisha Graves
1862 Part I
Battle of Fort Henry
Second Battle of Bull Run
Battle of Fredericksburg
Grey Edward
Briand Aristide
The American Civil War, 1862
1862 Part II
Rawlinson George
Ogai Mori
Ivan Turgenev: "Fathers and Sons"
Flaubert: "Salammbo"
Victor Hugo: "Les Miserables"
Barres Maurice
Maeterlinck Maurice
Hauptmann Gerhart
Wharton Edith
Schnitzler Arthur
Uhland Ludwig
1862 Part III
Albert Memorial, London
Manet: "Lola de Valence"
Manet: "La Musique aux Tuileries"
Nesterov Mikhail
Mikhail Nesterov
Klimt Gustav
Gustav Klimt
Rysselberghe Theo
Theo van Rysselberghe
Berlioz: "Beatrice et Benedict"
Debussy Claude
Debussy - Preludes
Claude Debussy
Delius Frederick
Frederick Delius - On Hearing the First Cuckoo in Spring
Frederick Delius
German Edward
Edward German - Melody in D flat major
Edward German
Kochel Ludwig
Kochel catalogue
Verdi: "La Forza del Destino"
1862 Part IV
Bragg William
Foucault Leon
Gatling Richard Jordan
Lamont Johann
Lenard Pnilipp
Sachs Julius
Palgrave William Gifford
The Arabian Desert
International Exhibition, London
1863 Part I
West Virginia
Emancipation Proclamation
Battle of Chancellorsville
Lincoln's "Gettysburg Address"
The American Civil War, 1863
1863 Part II
Isma'il Pasha
January Uprising
George I of Greece
Dost Mohammad Khan
Christian IX  of Denmark
Chamberlain Austen
Lloyd George David
Second Taranaki War
International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement
1863 Part III
Huxley: "Evidence as to Man's Place in Nature"
Charles Lyell: "The Antiquity of Man"
Massachusetts Agricultural College
D'Annunzio Gabriele
Bahr Hermann
Dehmel Richard
Hale Edward Everett
Edward Everett Hale: "Man without a Country"
Hope Anthony
Charles Kingsley: "The Water Babies"
Longfellow: "Tales of a Wayside Inn"
Quiller-Couch Arthur
Stanislavsky Constantin
Stanislavsky system
1863 Part IV
Stuck Franz
Manet: "Dejeuner sur l'herbe"
Manet: "Olympia"
Meurent Victorine-Louise
The "Salon des Refuses" in Paris
Art in Revolt
Impressionism Timeline
Signac Paul
Paul Signac
Munch Edvard
Edvard Munch
Berlioz: "Les Troyens"
Bizet: "Les Pecheurs de perles"
Mascagni Pietro
Pietro Mascagni: Cavalleria rusticana
Pietro Mascagni
Weingartner Felix
Felix von Weingartner: Symphony No 6
Felix Weingartner
1863 Part V
Billroth Theodor
Butterick Ebenezer
Ford Henry
Graham Thomas
National Academy of Sciences
Sorby Henry Clifton
The Football Association, London
Grand Prix de Paris
Hearst William Randolph
Yellow journalism
Pulitzer Joseph
History of photography
Alexandra of Denmark
Royce Henry
Cuthbert Ned
Coburn Joe
Mike McCoole
1864 Part I
Schleswig-Holstein Question
First Schleswig War
Second Schleswig War
Halleck Henry
Sherman William
Sand Creek massacre
Venizelos Eleutherios
Maximilian II of Bavaria
Louis II
First International Workingmen's Association
Confederate Army of Manhattan
The American Civil War, 1864
1864 Part II
Lombroso Cesare
Newman: "Apologia pro Vita Sua"
Syllabus of Errors
Dickens: "Our Mutual Friend"
Karlfeldt Erik Axel
Trollope: "The Small House at Allington"
Wedekind Frank
Zangwill Israel
1864 Part III
Stieglitz Alfred
History of photography
Dyce William
William Dyce
Jawlensky Alexey
Alexei von Jawlensky
Ranson Paul
Paul Ranson
Serusier Paul
Paul Serusier
Toulouse-Lautrec Henri
Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec
A More Tolerant Salon
Impressionism Timeline
Whistler: "Symphony in White, No. 2"
Roberts David
David Roberts "A Journey in the Holy Land"
D'Albert Eugen
Eugen d'Albert - Piano Concerto No.2
Eugen d’Albert
Foster Stephen
Stephen Foster - Beautiful Dreamer
Offenbach: "La Belle Helene"
Strauss Richard
Richard Strauss - Metamorphosen
Richard Strauss
Fry William Henry
William Henry Fry - Santa Claus Symphony
William Henry Fry - Niagara Symphony
1864 Part IV
Lake Albert
Bertrand Joseph
Nernst Walther
Wien Wilhelm
Rawat Nain Singh
The Surveyors
First Geneva Convention
Knights of Pythias
"Neue Freie Presse""
De Rossi Giovanni Battista
"In God We Trust"
Travers Stakes
Farragut David
1865 Part I
Union blockade in the American Civil War
Charleston, South Carolina in the American Civil War
Lee Robert Edward
Conclusion of the American Civil War
Assassination of Abraham Lincoln
Johnson Andrew
Causes of the Franco-Prussian War
Leopold II of Belgium
Harding Warren
George V of Great Britain
Ludendorff Erich
Free State–Basotho Wars
The American Civil War, 1865
1865 Part II
Baudrillart Henri
William Stanley Jevons: "The Coal Question"
Billings Josh
Belasco David
Campbell Patrick
Lewis Carroll: "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland"
Dodge Mary Mapes
Mary Mapes Dodge: "Hans Brinker, or The Silver Skates"
Kipling Rudyard
Rudyard Kipling
Merezhkovsky Dmitry
John Henry Newman: "Dream of Gerontius"
Mark Twain: "The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County"
Walt Whitman: "Drum-Taps"
Yeats William Butler
1865 Part III
Serov Valentin
Valentin Serov
Wiertz Antoine
Antoine Wiertz
Vallotton Felix
Felix Vallotton
"Olympia" - a Sensation
Impressionism Timeline (1863-1899)
Nielsen Carl
Carl Nielsen - Aladdin Suite
Carl Nielsen
Glazunov Alexander
Glazunov - The Seasons
Alexander Glazunov
Dukas Paul
Paul Dukas "L'Apprenti Sorcier"
Paul Dukas
Meyerbeer: "L'Africaine"
Sibelius Jean
Jean Sibelius - Finlandia
Jean Sibelius
Wagner: "Tristan und Isolde"
1865 Part IV
Plucker Julius
Hyatt John Wesley
Kekule: structure of benzene
Lowe Thaddeus
Mendelian inheritance
Sechenov Ivan
Whymper Edward
The High Andes
 Bingham Hiram
Rohlfs Friedrich Gerhard
Open hearth furnace
Martin Pierre-Emile
Ku Klux Klan
"The Nation"
Marquess of Queensberry Rules
"San Francisco Examiner"
"San Francisco Chronicle"
Mitchell Maria
1866 Part I
Cuza Alexandru
"Monstrous coalition"
Carol I
Austro-Prussian War
Battle of Custoza
Battle of Trautenau
Battle of Koniggratz
Battle of Lissa
Cretan Revolt of 1866–1869
MacDonald Ramsay
Sun Yat-sen
1866 Part II
Croce Benedetto
Soderblom Nathan
Larousse Pierre
Larousse: Great Universal Dictionary of the 19th Century
Friedrich Lange: "History of Materialism"
Benavente Jacinto
Dostoevsky: "Crime and Punishment"
Hamerling Robert
Ibsen: "Brand"
Kingsley: "Hereward the Wake"
Rolland Romain
Wells Herbert
H.G. Wells
"The War of the Worlds"

"The Invisible Man"
"A Short History of the World"
1866 Part III
Bakst Leon
Leon Bakst
Fry Roger
Kandinsky Vassili
Vassili Kandinsky
A Defender Appears
Impressionism Timeline (1863-1899)
Busoni Ferruccio
Ferruccio Busoni - Berceuse Elegiaque
Ferruccio Busoni
Offenbach: "La Vie Parisienne"
Smetana: "The Bartered Bride"
Satie Eric
Erik Satie: Nocturnes
Eric Satie
1866 Part IV
Aeronautical Society of Great Britain
Morgan Thomas Hunt
Nicolle Charles
Werner Alfred
Whitehead Robert
Whitehead torpedo
Doudart de Lagree Ernest
Panic of 1866
Thomas Morris
MacGregor John
1867 Part I
Manchester Martyrs
Austro-Hungarian Compromise of 1867
Constitution Act, 1867
Alaska Purchase
North German Confederation
Reform Act of 1867
Battle of Mentana
Mary of Teck
Baldwin Stanley
Rathenau Walther
Pilsudski Joseph
1867 Part II
Bagehot Walter
Walter Bagehot: "The English Constitution"
Freeman Edward Augustus
Freeman: The History of the Norman Conquest of England
Marx: "Das Kapital"
Thoma Ludwig
Soseki Natsume
Russell George William
Reymont Wladislau
Bennett Arnold
Balmont Konstantin
Pirandello Luigi
Galsworthy John
Charles de Coster: "The Legend of Thyl Ulenspiegel"
Ouida: "Under Two Flags"
Trollope: "The Last Chronicle of Barset"
Turgenev: "Smoke"
Zola: "Therese Raquin"
Ibsen: "Peer Gynt"
1867 Part III
Delville Jean
Jean Delville
Kollwitz Kathe
Kathe Kollwitz
Nolde Emil
Emil Nolde
Bonnard Pierre
Pierre Bonnard
Manet's Personal Exhibition
Impressionism Timeline (1863-1899)
Bizet: "La Jolie Fille de Perth"
Gounod: "Romeo et Juliette"
Offenbach: "La Grande-Duchesse de Gerolstein"
Johann Strauss II: The "Blue Danube"
Toscanini Arturo
Verdi: "Don Carlos"
Granados Enrique
Enrique Granados - Spanish Dances
Enrique Granados
1867 Part IV
Curie Marie
Michaux Pierre
Monier Joseph
Brenner Railway
Mining industry of South Africa
Thurn and Taxis
Chambers John Graham
London Athletic Club
Barnardo Thomas John
1868 Part I
British Expedition to Abyssinia
Battle of Magdala
Tokugawa Yoshinobu
Tenure of Office Act
Province of Hanover
Russian Turkestan
Mihailo Obrenovic III
Milan I of Serbia
Glorious Revolution
Horthy Nicholas
Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution
1868 Part II
International Alliance of Socialist Democracy
Charles Darwin: "The Variation of Animals and Plants under Domestication"
Louisa May Alcott: "Little Women"
Robert Browning: "The Ring and the Book"
Wilkie Collins: "The Moonstone"
Dostoevsky: "The Idiot"
George Stefan
Gorki Maxim
Rostand Edmond
Edmond Rostand
"Cyrano De Bergerac"
1868 Part III
Bernard Emile
Emile Bernard
Vollard Ambroise
Slevogt Max
Max Slevogt
Vuillard Edouard
Edouard Vuillard
The Realist Impulse
Impressionism Timeline (1863-1899)
Bantock Granville
Bantock "Overture The Frogs"
Granville Bantock
Brahms: "Ein deutsches Requiem"
Schillings Max
Max von Schillings: Mona Lisa
Max von Schillings
Wagner: "Die Meistersinger von Nurnberg"
Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 1
1868 Part IV
Lartet Louis
Haber Fritz
Millikan Robert Andrews
Richards Theodore William
Scott Robert Falcon
Armour Philip Danforth
Badminton House
Garvin James Louis
Harmsworth Harold
Trades Union Congress
"Whitaker's Almanack"
Sholes Christopher Latham
1869 Part I
Presidency of Ulysses S. Grant
French legislative election, 1869
Prohibition Party
Red River Rebellion
Chamberlain Neville
Gandhi Mahatma
1869 Part II
Matthew Arnold: "Culture and Anarchy"
Eduard Hartmann: "The Philosophy of the Unconscious"
Mill: "On The Subjection of Women"
First Vatican Council
Blackmore Richard Doddridge
Blackmore: "Lorna Doone"
Flaubert: "Sentimental Education"
Gide Andre
Gilbert: "Bab Ballads"
Halevy Ludovic
Bret Harte: "The Outcasts of Poker Flat"
Victor Hugo: "The Man Who Laughs"
Leacock Stephen
Mark Twain: "The Innocents Abroad"
Tolstoy: "War and Peace"
1869 Part III
Lutyens Edwin
Poelzig Hans
Carus Carl Gustav
Carl Gustav Carus
Somov Konstantin
Konstantin Somov
Matisse Henri
Henri Matisse
Manet Falls Foul of the Censor
Impressionism Timeline (1863-1899)
Bruckner: Symphony No. 0
Pfitzner Hans
Pfitzner - Nachts
Hans Pfitzner
Wagner Siegfried
Siegfried Wagner "Prelude to Sonnenflammen"
Richard Wagner: "Das Rheingold"
Roussel Albert
Albert Roussel - Bacchus et Ariane
Albert Roussel
Wood Henry
1869 Part IV
Francis Galton: "Hereditary Genius"
Periodic law
Nachtigal Gustav
Cincinnati Red Stockings
Girton College, Cambridge
1869 New Jersey vs. Rutgers football game
Co-operative Congress
Lesseps Ferdinand
Suez Canal

MONET. La Grenouillere. 1869
YEAR BY YEAR:  1800 - 1899
1869 Part III
Lutyens Edwin
Sir Edwin Lutyens, in full Sir Edwin Landseer Lutyens (born March 29, 1869, London, Eng.—died Jan. 1, 1944, London), English architect noted for his versatility and range of invention along traditional lines. He is known especially for his planning of New Delhi and his design of the Viceroy’s House there.

Sir Edwin Lutyens
  After studying at the Royal College of Art, London, he was articled in 1887 to a firm of architects but soon left to set up in practice on his own. In his early works (1888–95) he assimilated the traditional forms of local Surrey buildings. Lutyens’ style changed when he met the landscape gardener Gertrude Jekyll, who taught him the “simplicity of intention and directness of purpose” she had learned from John Ruskin.

At Munstead Wood, Godalming, Surrey (1896), Lutyens first showed his personal qualities as a designer. This house, balancing the sweep of the roof with high buttressed chimneys and offsetting small doorways with long strips of windows, made his reputation. A brilliant series of country houses followed in which Lutyens adapted varied styles of the past to the demands of contemporary domestic architecture.

About 1910 Lutyens’ interest shifted to larger, civil projects, and in 1912 he was selected to advise on the planning of the new Indian capital at Delhi. His plan, with a central mall and diagonal avenues, may have owed something to Pierre-Charles L’Enfant’s plan for Washington, D.C., and to Christopher Wren’s plan for London after the Great Fire, but the total result was quite different: a garden-city pattern, based on a series of hexagons separated by broad avenues with double lines of trees.


In his single most important building, the Viceroy’s House (1913–30), he combined aspects of classical architecture with features of Indian decoration. Lutyens was knighted in 1918.

After World War I Lutyens became architect to the Imperial War Graves Commission, for which he designed the Cenotaph, London (1919–20); the Great War Stone (1919); and military cemeteries in France. His vast project for the Roman Catholic cathedral at Liverpool was incomplete at his death.

Encyclopædia Britannica


Rashtrapati Bhavan, formerly known as Viceroy's House, was designed by Lutyens.

The East façade of Rashtrapati Bhavan

Rashtrapati Bhavan from Outside
  Art of the 20th century

Art of the 20th century Timeline (1900-1999)
Poelzig Hans

Hans Poelzig, (born April 30, 1869, Berlin—died June 14, 1936, Berlin), German architect who is remembered for his Grosses Schauspielhaus (1919), an auditorium in Berlin that was one of the finest architectural examples of German Expressionism.


Hans Poelzig, 1927
Poelzig taught at the Breslau Art Academy (1900–16) and the Technical Academy in Berlin (1920–35). His Luban Chemical Factory, situated near Posen, and office building at Breslau (both 1911–12) contained novel elements, but nothing suggesting the imagination evident in his Grosses Schauspielhaus. This structure, a rebuilding of the Schumann Circus, had as its most notable feature an interior lined with stalactite shapes that, particularly under changing lighting conditions, created a grottolike atmosphere. The theatre was demolished in 1988. Poelzig’s later works, especially the administrative building of I.G. Farben in Frankfurt am Main (1930), are monumental in design and have a classical flavour.

Encyclopædia Britannica


Department Store, Wrocław, 1912

South facade of the 1931 Poelzig Building at Goethe University, Frankfurt a. M.

Babylon cinema and apartments in Berlin
  Art of the 20th century

Art of the 20th century Timeline (1900-1999)
Carus Carl Gustav
Carl Gustav Carus (3 January 1789 – 28 July 1869) was a German physiologist and painter, born in Leipzig, who played various roles during the Romantic era. A friend of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, he was a many-sided man: a doctor, a naturalist, a scientist, a psychologist, and a landscape painter who studied under Caspar David Friedrich.

Carl Gustav Carus by Johann Carl Rössler
  Life and work
In 1811 he graduated as a doctor of medicine and a doctor of philosophy. In 1814 he was appointed professor of obstetrics and director of the maternity clinic at the teaching institution for medicine and surgery in Dresden. He wrote on art theory. From 1814 to 1817 he taught himself oil painting working under Caspar David Friedrich, a Dresden landscape painter. He had already taken drawing lessons from Julius Diez and subsequently studied under Julius Schnorr von Carolsfeld at the Oeser drawing academy.

When the King of Saxony, Frederick Augustus II, made an informal tour of Britain in 1844, Carus accompanied him as his personal physician. It was not a state visit, but the King, with Carus, was the guest of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert at Windsor Castle, and Carus was able to visit many of the sights in London and the university cities of Oxford and Cambridge, and meet others active in the field of scientific discoveries. They toured widely in England, Wales and Scotland, and afterwards Carus published, on the basis of his journal, The King of Saxony's Journey through England and Scotland, 1844.

He is best known to scientists for originating the concept of the vertebrate archetype, a seminal idea in the development of Darwin's theory of evolution. In 1836, he was elected a foreign member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences. Carus is also noted for Psyche (1846).

Carl Jung credited Carus with pointing to the unconscious as the essential basis of the psyche.

Although various philosophers, among them Leibniz, Kant, and Schelling, had already pointed very clearly to the problem of the dark side of the psyche, it was a physician who felt impelled, from his scientific and medical experience, to point to the unconscious as the essential basis of the psyche. This was C. G. Carus, the authority whom Eduard von Hartmann followed. (Jung [1959] 1969, par. 259)

Carus died in Dresden. He is buried in the Trinitatis-Friedhof (Trinitatis Cemetery) east of the city centre. The grave lies in the south-west section, against the southern wall. The grave is currently (2015) identified for removal due to non-payment of fees.

The standard author abbreviation Carus is used to indicate this individual as the author when citing a botanical name.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


Carl Gustav Carus. Morning on the Elbe

Carl Gustav Carus
  Neoclassicism and Romanticism
Realism, Impressionism and
Somov Konstantin

Konstantin Andreyevich Somov (Russian: Константин Андреевич Сомов, November 30, 1869 – May 6, 1939) was a Russian artist associated with the Mir iskusstva. Born into a family of a major art historian and Hermitage Museum curator Andrey Ivanovich Somov, he became interested in the 18th-century art and music at an early age.


Konstantin Somov
Somov studied at the Imperial Academy of Arts under Ilya Repin from 1888 to 1897. While at the Academy, he befriended Alexandre Benois, who would introduce him to Sergei Diaghilev and Léon Bakst.

When the three founded the World of Art, Somov liberally contributed to its periodicals. Somov was homosexual, like many of the World of Art members.

Inspired by Watteau and Fragonard, he preferred to work with watercolours and gouache. For three years he worked upon his masterpiece, Lady in Blue, painted in the manner of 18th-century portraitists.

During the 1910s, Somov executed a number of rococo harlequin scenes and illustrations to the poems by Alexander Blok. Many of his works were exhibited abroad, especially in Germany, where the first monograph on him was published in 1909.


Following the Russian Revolution, he emigrated to the United States, but found the country "absolutely alien to his art" and moved to Paris. He was buried at the Sainte-Geneviève-des-Bois Cemetery.

On June 14, 2007, Somov's landscape "The Rainbow" (1927) was sold at Christie's for US$7.33 million, a record for a work at an auction of Russian art.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedi


Konstantin Somov. Winter. The Skating Rink

Konstantin Somov
  Art of the 20th century

Art of the 20th century Timeline (1900-1999)
Matisse Henri
Henri Matisse, in full Henri-Émile-Benoît Matisse (born December 31, 1869, Le Cateau, Picardy, France—died November 3, 1954, Nice), artist often regarded as the most important French painter of the 20th century. The leader of the Fauvist movement around 1900, Matisse pursued the expressiveness of colour throughout his career. His subjects were largely domestic or figurative, and a distinct Mediterranean verve presides in the treatment.

Henri Matisse
  Formative years
Matisse, whose parents were in the grain business, displayed little interest in art until he was 20 years old. From 1882 to 1887 he attended the secondary school in Saint-Quentin; after a year of legal studies in Paris, he returned to Saint-Quentin and became a clerk in a law office. He began to sit in on an early-morning drawing class at the local École Quentin-Latour, and, in 1890, while recovering from a severe attack of appendicitis, he began to paint, at first copying the coloured reproductions in a box of oils his mother had given him. Soon he was decorating the home of his grandparents at Le Cateau. In 1891 he abandoned the law and returned to Paris to become a professional artist. Although at this period he had, in his own words, “hair like Absalom’s,” he was far from being a typical Left Bank bohemian art student. “I plunged head down into work,” he said later, “on the principle I had heard, all my young life, expressed by the words ‘Hurry up!’ Like my parents, I hurried up in my work, pushed by I don’t know what, by a force which today I perceive as being foreign to my life as a normal man.” This 19th-century gospel of work, derived from a middle class, northern French upbringing, was to mark his entire career, and soon it was accompanied by a thoroughly bourgeois appearance—gold-rimmed spectacles; short, carefully trimmed beard; plump, feline body; conservative clothes—which was odd for a leading member of the Parisian avant-garde.

Matisse did not, however, become a member of the avant-garde right away. In 1891, in order to prepare himself for the entrance examination at the official École des Beaux-Arts, he enrolled in the privately run Académie Julian, where the master was the strictly academic William-Adolphe Bouguereau, then at the peak of a since-departed fame as a painter of bevies of naked, mildly provocative nymphs. That Matisse should have begun his studies in such a school may seem surprising, and he once explained the fact by saying that he was acting on the recommendation of a Saint-Quentin painter of hens and poultry yards. But it must be remembered that he himself was for the moment a provincial with tastes that were old-fashioned in a Paris already familiar with the Post-Impressionism of Paul Cézanne, Paul Gauguin, and Vincent van Gogh. His earliest canvases are in the 17th-century Dutch manner favoured by the French Realists of the 1850s.

In 1892 he left the Académie Julian for evening classes at the École des Arts Décoratifs and for the atelier of the Symbolist painter Gustave Moreau at the École des Beaux-Arts, without being required to take the entrance examination. Moreau, a tolerant teacher, did not try to impose his own style on his pupils but encouraged them rather to develop their personalities and to learn from the treasures in the Louvre. Matisse continued, with some long interruptions, to study in the atelier until 1899, when he was forced to leave by Fernand Cormon, an intolerant painter who had become the professor after Moreau’s death. After that, although he was nearing 30, he frequented for a time a private academy where intermittent instruction was given by the portraitist Eugène Carrière.

In 1896 Matisse exhibited four paintings at the backward-looking Salon de la Société Nationale des Beaux-Arts and scored a triumph; he was elected an associate member of the Salon society, and his Woman Reading (1894) was purchased by the government. From this point onward he became increasingly confident and venturesome, both as an artist and as a man. During the next two years he undertook expeditions to Brittany, met the veteran Impressionist Camille Pissarro, and discovered the series of Impressionist masterpieces in the Gustave Caillebotte Collection, which had just been donated—amid protests from conservatives—to the French nation. His colours became, for a while, lighter in hue and at the same time more intense. In 1897 he took his first major step toward stylistic liberation and created a minor scandal at the Salon with The Dinner Table (La Desserte), in which he combined a Renoir kind of luminosity with a firmly classical composition in deep red and green.

In 1898 he married a young woman from Toulouse, Amélie Parayre, and left Paris for a year, visiting London, where he studied the paintings of J.M.W. Turner, and working in Corsica, where he received a lasting impression of Mediterranean sunlight and colour.


Henri Matisse. Self-Portrait.
  Revolutionary years
During 1898, Paul Signac, the theoretician and actively proselytizing leader (after the death of Georges Seurat) of the Neo-Impressionists, or Pointillists, published in the literary review La Revue Blanche his principal manifesto, “D’Eugène Delacroix au Néo-Impressionnisme.” Matisse, back in Paris in 1899, read the articles and, without turning into an immediate convert, became interested in the Pointillist idea of obtaining additive mixtures of colour on the retina by means of juxtaposed dots (points in French) on the canvas. He furthered his research into new techniques by buying, from the well-known modernist dealer Ambroise Vollard, a painting by Cézanne, The Three Bathers; one by Gauguin, Boy’s Head; and a drawing by van Gogh. Often accompanied by his close friend Albert Marquet, who was also interested in the problem of pure colour, he began to paint outdoor scenes in the Luxembourg Gardens in Paris, in suburban Arcueil, and from the open window of his apartment overlooking the Seine.

He also purchased from Vollard the plaster model of the bust of Henri Rochefort by Auguste Rodin, and during 1899 he began to attend an evening class in sculpture. His early work in three dimensions, the first of some 60 pieces he executed during his lifetime, reveals the influence not only of Rodin but also of Antoine-Louis Barye, generally considered the greatest French sculptor of animals.

After 1899 he ceased to exhibit at the Salon and gradually became a familiar figure in the Parisian circles where modern art was being produced and ardently discussed. In 1901 he showed for the first time in the juryless, eclectic Salon des Indépendants, which had been founded in 1884 as a refuge for painters unacceptable to the official exhibition juries. In 1902 he was in a group show at the small gallery of Berthe Weill, and the next year he and a number of his old classmates from Moreau’s atelier and the Académie Carrière were the progressive contingent in the liberal, newly created Salon d’Automne. But in spite of such recognition, he was often on the brink of financial disaster. In 1900 he was obliged to accept work on the decoration of the Grand Palais, which was being erected to house part of the new Exposition Universelle in the Champs-Élysées quarter. His wife opened a dress shop in the hope of helping to make ends meet. In 1901 an attack of bronchitis forced him to take a long rest. During part of 1902 he had to return to Bohain with his three children—Marguerite, Jean, and Pierre—and Mme Matisse. He was past 34 when, in June 1904, at Vollard’s gallery, he had his first one-man show, and it was a failure.

He spent the summer of 1905 with André Derain at Collioure, a small French fishing port on the Mediterranean, near the Spanish border. In the dazzling sunshine he rapidly freed himself from what he called “the tyranny” of Pointillism. The carefully placed little dabs required by the additive-mixture approach turned into swirls and slabs of spontaneous brushwork, and the theoretically realistic colours exploded into an emotional display of complementaries: red against green, orange against blue, and yellow against violet. Representative of this new freedom were Open Window, which was finished at Collioure, and Woman with the Hat, a portrait of his wife painted back in Paris in September. That fall, the two pictures were exhibited at the Salon d’Automne alongside works by a number of artists who also had been experimenting with violent colour. The Paris critic Louis Vauxcelles called the group les fauves (“the wild beasts”), and thus Fauvism, the first of the important “isms” in 20th-century painting, was born. Almost immediately Matisse became its acknowledged leader.

Henri Matisse. Conversation

Almost immediately, too, his financial situation altered for the better. The Stein family in Paris—Gertrude, her brothers Leo and Michael, and the latter’s wife, Sarah—became Matisse collectors. In 1906 the artist had a show at the Galerie Druet in Paris in addition to exhibiting again at the Salons des Indépendants and d’Automne. In 1907 a group of admirers, who included Sarah Stein and Hans Purrmann, organized for him a Left Bank art school, in which he taught off and on until 1911. In 1908 he exhibited in New York City, Moscow, and Berlin.

Fauvism was too undisciplined to last long, and soon its adherents were moving, according to their temperaments, toward Expressionism, Cubism, or some kind of neo-traditionalism. Matisse had no liking for these directions, and if “Fauve” is taken to mean simply a painter with a passion for pure colour, he can be said to have remained one all his life. He had, however, too much rationalism in his outlook not to wish for some order in a stylistic situation that threatened to become chaotic, and his search for chromatic equilibrium and linear economy can be followed in a series of major works produced between the revelation of Fauvism in 1905 and the end of World War I. In 1906 he painted Joy of Life; in 1908, The Dessert, a Harmony in Red; in 1911, The Red Studio; in 1915, Goldfish; in 1916, Piano Lesson; and in 1918, Montalban, Large Landscape.

In such works, the list of which should be much longer, the main characteristics of Matisse’s mature painting style recur constantly. The forms tend to be outlined in flowing, heavy contours and to have few interior details; the colour is laid on in large, thin, luminous, carefully calculated patches; shadows are practically eliminated; and the depicted space is either extremely shallow or warped into a flatness that parallels the plane of the canvas and defies academic rules for perspective and foreshortening. The total effect, although too intense and freehand to be merely decorative, may recall the patterns of the rugs, textiles, and ceramics of the Islāmic world. The choice and treatment of subject matter imply optimism, hedonism, intelligence, a fastidious sensuality, and, in spite of the many studies of both clothed and unclothed women, scarcely a trace of conventional sentiment.

Riviera years
In 1912 Matisse’s sculpture was on view in New York City and his painting in both Cologne and London. In 1913 he was represented by 13 pictures in the much-discussed, much-lambasted New York Armory Show, and when the exhibition arrived in Chicago he was given some useful publicity by the burning, happily merely in effigy, of his Blue Nude. But middle age, growing affluence, an established international reputation, the disruptions of World War I, and a distaste for public commotion gradually combined to isolate him from the centres of avant-gardism. He began to winter on the French Riviera, and by the early 1920s he was mostly a resident of Nice or its environs. His pictures became less daring in conception and less economical in means. Like many of the painters and composers during these years (notably Pablo Picasso and Igor Stravinsky), Matisse relaxed into a modernized sort of classicism and into a rather evident attempt to please an art public that was a bit tired of attempts to shock it. Such typically Nice-period works as the Odalisque with Magnolias and Decorative Figure on an Ornamental Background, however, are masterpieces that deserve their popularity. Prosperity did not make him less industrious. In 1920 he did the sets and costumes for Serge Diaghilev’s production of Le Chant du Rossignol. He returned to sculpture, which he had neglected for several years, and by 1930 he had completed his fourth and most nearly abstract version of The Back, a monumental female nude in relief, on which he had been working at intervals since 1909. He relaxed, as he had always done, by traveling: to Étretat, on the coast of Normandy, in 1921; to Italy in 1925, and to Tahiti, by way of New York City and San Francisco, in 1930.
Henri Matisse. The Goldfish, 1912

During 1933 he visited Venice and Padua (Italy), and in Merion, Pennsylvania, completed and installed the final version of his large mural, The Dance II (Barnes Foundation).

Matisse had been interested in etching, drypoint, lithography, and allied printmaking techniques since his first years in Paris and had produced a number of occasional prints. In 1932 he had published, as illustrations for an edition of Stéphane Mallarmé’s Poésies, 29 etchings, in which his talent for supple contours and linear economy was subtly attuned to the “purity of means” evident in the poems. After the outbreak of World War II, he became increasingly active as a graphic artist, notably with his illustrations for Henry de Montherlant’s Pasiphaé (published in 1944), Pierre Reverdy’s Visages (1946), the Lettres portugaises (1946), Charles Baudelaire’s Fleurs du mal (1947), Pierre de Ronsard’s Florilège des Amours (1948), and Charles d’Orléans’ Poèmes (1950). Along with these books in mostly black and white techniques, he published Jazz (1947), a book consisting of his own reflections on art and life, with brilliantly coloured illustrations made by a technique he called “drawing with scissors”: the motifs were pasted together after being cut out of sheets of coloured paper (hand-painted with gouache in order to get the desired hue).

During the last years of his life, he was a rather solitary man who was separated from his wife and whose grownup children were scattered. After 1941, when he underwent an operation for an intestinal disorder, he was bedridden much of the time; after 1950 he suffered from asthma and heart trouble.

Henri Matisse
  Cared for by a faithful Russian woman who had been one of his models in the early 1930s, he lived in a large studio in the Old Hôtel Regina at Cimiez, overlooking Nice. Often he was obliged to work on his mural-sized projects from a studio bed with the aid of a crayon attached to a long pole. But there are no signs of flagging creative energy or of sadness in his final achievements; on the contrary, these works are among the most daring, most accomplished, and most serenely optimistic of his entire career.

At Vence, a Riviera hill town where Matisse had a villa from 1943 to 1948, he completed in 1951, after three years of planning and execution, his Chapelle du Rosaire for the local Dominican nuns, one of whom had nursed him during his nearly fatal illness in 1941.

He had begun by agreeing to design some stained-glass windows, had gone on to do murals, and had wound up by designing nearly everything inside and outside, including vestments and liturgical objects. Before the chapel was finished, he was at work on the huge coloured-paper cutouts—amplifications of what he had done in the illustrations for Jazz—that made him in many respects the “youngest” and most revolutionary artist of the early 1950s.

He died in 1954.

Roy Donald McMullen

Encyclopædia Britannica

Henri Matisse. Still Life with Blue Tablecloth. 1909


Henri Matisse
  Neoclassicism and Romanticism
Realism, Impressionism and
Impressionism Timeline (1863-1899)
Manet Falls Foul of the Censor

Manet is fully aware that his decision to paint the execution of Emperor Maximilian — a controversial episode from recent political history — is unlikely to win the approval of the authorities. He therefore is not surprised when the Salon refuses to exhibit it. At the same time, however, he craves official recognition and doesn't withdraw 'The Balcony'from the exhibition.

Manet's painting of The Execution of the Emperor Maximilian is not accepted at the Salon for political reasons, and his lithograph of the same subject is banned by the censor.

29th Sisley's second child, Jeanne-Adele, is born.

The Belgian art dealer Arthur Stevens introduces Eva Gonzales to Manet, who takes her on as his only pupil.
The Ministry of Fine Arts decrees that artists who have had pictures hung in the Salon at any time are now entitled to vote for two-thirds of the jury.

Portrait of Eva Gonzales

The daughter of a well-known novelist, Eva Gonzales was a talented but unenterprising painter, who became Manet's only pupil. Berthe Morisot related that Manet repainted the head of this portrait forty times. Both in pose and treatment, the work has an air of eighteenth-century artifice.
4th La Tribune frangaise publishes an article by Zola virulently attacking the censorship of Manet's lithograph of the execution of Emperor Maximilian.

9th Degas visits Brussels and is offered a contract by Arthur Stevens.


1st Durand-Ruel founds the Revue internationale de t'art et de la cunosite.

Pissarro paints in Louveciennes.
Cezanne is living in Paris. He meets nineteen-year-old Hortense Fiquet, who becomes his mistress.


1st Opening of the Salon.

Monet and Cezanne have all their submissions rejected.
Degas' Portrait of Mme G. (Josephine Gaujelin) is hung, but not his portrait of Mme Camus.
Among the other works accepted are Bazille's View of the Village, though he has a nude rejected;
Manet's The Balcony and Lunch in the Studio;
Pissarro's The Hermitage at Pontoise;
and Renoir's Study in Summer (a study of Lise, sometimes known as La Bohemienne).
Morisot does not submit.

Lunch in the Studio

This scene in the artist's studio, in which the figures have no interaction, remains one of Manet's most enigmatic works. This might in part be due to the fact that the boy depicted is Leon LeenhofF, who, although passed off as the brother of Manet's wife Suzanne, was almost certainly their son - born eleven years before their marriage. The female figure is clearly a maid, and in the background is Auguste Rousselin, a painter and pupil of Couture. The painting was exhibited at the Salon of 1869.

Monet writes to the writer and critic Arsene Houssaye asking if he would like to buy some of his paintings
'before they are taken by the bailiffs.'
Renoir, in straitened circumstances, stays with his parents at their home at Voisins- Louveciennes. He travels almost daily to visit Monet, who is living at St-Michel near Bougival. Both artists paint La Grenouillere (The Froggery).
Manet and his family holiday at Boulogne — where they are visited by Degas, who has been working in pastels at Etretat and Villers-sur-Mer.

30th Van Gogh, aged 16, becomes an employee of the Goupil art gallery in The Hague.

Paintings by Renoir, priced 100 francs each, are on display in Charpentier's art shop at 8 boulevard Montmartre - the same address is used by Pissarro in his submissions to the Salon.

La Grenouillere

La Grenouillere was a popular bathing place on Croissy Island, a short walk from Bougival. An entrepreneur named Seurin had moored two converted barges there, which provided dining and dancing facilities. A footbridge connected the island with a small circular islet, called the Camembert because of its shape.
Monet produced two views of the footbridge and one of the islet itself.

La Grenouillere

The paintings of La Grenouillere by Renoir and Monet mark a significant stage in the evolution of both artists in their efforts to capture an impression of the natural scene. Liberated from academic convention by the fact that these are in a sense 'sketches', the free, seemingly erratic brushstrokes reproduce perfectly the sparkle of the water, the light on the trees and the movement of the boats.

Whereas Renoir focuses upon the islet, so placing emphasis on the figures, Monet adopts a more distant viewpoint that allows him to highlight the texture of the water, a subject that endlessly intrigued him. Renoir painted four versions of La Grenouillere -one of the islet, two of the river bank, and one of the footbridge connecting Croissy Island to the islet.

Manet Sketching

In this drawing of Manet, Bazille captures much of his friend's personality, so eloquently described by the critic and playwright Armand Silvcstre: 'This revolutionary - the word is not too strong — had the manners of a perfect gentleman. With his gaudy trousers, short jackets, a flat-brimmed hat set on the back of his head, and always with his impeccable suede gloves, Manet had nothing of the bohemian in him, and was in no way bohemian. He had the ways of a dandy.'

Manet's resolution to paint the execution of the Emperor Maximilian clearly reveals the tensions that existed between two sides of his character - the rebellious and the ambitious. The event which it depicts was the tragic sequel to the inept machinations of Napoleon III. For political and economic reasons, the Emperor had been determined to install the Archduke Maximilian, brother of the Austrian Emperor Franz-Josef, as Emperor of Mexico (hitherto a republic), which had been 'pacified' by a French expeditionary force between 1861 and 1863. When Mexico City fell to the French, the Republicans took to the hills and a pro-French puppet government invited Maximilian to become Emperor. He accepted, but only on condition that the French retained an army of 24,000

Manet had in fact emphasized his political intention. In the first version the firing squad was dressed in Mexican costume. In later versions they are wearing what are virtually French Army uniforms. He even persuaded his friend Commandant Lejosne to 'lend' him a platoon of soldiers to serve as models.

But Manet was not solely motivated by political concerns. He had always wanted to paint a large historical painting of the kind that would normally have appealed to the Salon jury. Moreover, he was the only Impressionist who consistently submitted works to the Salon, and this craving for official recognition was possibly one of the reasons why he never 'compromised' himself by exhibiting at any of the Impressionist exhibitions. In the preface to the catalogue of his one-man exhibition in 1867 Manet had explicitly stated that he 'never wished to protest', the clear inference being that he wanted to avoid alienating the official art world. Indeed, some years later he tried to secure a commission to decorate the Hotel de Ville when it was being rebuilt after the Commune. He also longed for the Legion of Honour - and when he eventually received it, complained that it had arrived too late.

The Execution of the
Emperor Maximilian

Manet produced three oil paintings and a lithograph of the execution of the Emperor. Although the key compositional elements did not vary significantly in these works, they became successively anti-Napoleonic in their treatment of the theme. In this, the first version, the firing squad's uniform is blatantly Mexican (observe their wide-bottomed trousers and the hat of the man to the right of the squad), and the figure of the Emperor as victim is indistinct.

The Execution of the
Emperor Maximilian

Only three fragments of Manet's second oil painting have survived, but it is thought to have been the basis for this lithograph. Maximilian and his two Mexican generals are shown linking hands as they face the firing squad, who are now wearing what appear to be French uniforms. A wall has also been introduced, behind which can be seen the crosses and tombstones of a cemetery. The government censor refused to allow this lithograph to be sold, despite its having no title - thus prompting Zola to write an impassioned attack on censorship in La Tribune franfaise on February 4th.

The Execution of the
Emperor Maximilian

In this, the final version of the painting, Manet's political intention is even more clear. The Emperor stands 'Christ-like' between the two generals, his sombrero tipped backward to form a 'halo', whilst the Mexican peasants behind the cemetery wall look on in horror. Finally, the soldiers' uniform with its kepi, white leather belt and tapered trousers, is French.
Manet:The Execution of Maximilian

The wrong uniform exposes the true culprit

Edouard Manet intended this painting to denounce a political crime and stir up French public opinion. The imperial censor intervened, however, hindering his design. The authorities discreetly informed him that it would not be worth his while to submit his "otherwise excellent" painting to the official Parisian art exhibition, the Salon of 1869.
Manet's work showed the climax of a drama which had occupied the European press for years. An}- regular newspaper reader would immediately have recognized the scene: during the earlv morning of 19th June 1867, near the Mexican town of Queretaro, a Republican firing squad had executed the Austrian Archduke Maximilian and two of his generals. For three years Maximilian had ruled as Emperor of Mexico. Officially invited to the land by a conservative minority, he had been persuaded to participate in the ill-fated adventure by the French Emperor Napoleon III, who had also supplied an army. When Napoleon withdrew his troops from Mexico, Maximilian was taken prisoner by his enemies. Forced to abdicate, he was sentenced to death and executed.
"You can understand the horror and the anger of the censors", wrote Manet's friend, the writer Emile Zola, in 1869. "An artist has dared put before their eyes so cruel an irony: France shoots Maximilian!" Manet had delivered a topical painting on a political scandal - as effective a medium at that time as the photos in some of today's news magazines. France had a tradition in such paintings: Theodore Gericault, in 1819, had attacked the criminal incompetence of the naval authorities in his Raft of the Medusa, and in his Massacre at Chios (1824), Eugene Delacroix had pilloried Europe's indifference to the Greek liberation struggle. Both works were exhibited, caused a sensation, and achieved a political effect.
Manet must have hoped his Execution would be similarly received, and began work shortly after first reports of the execution reached Paris in early July of 1867. One and a half years later he had produced a small study in oils, a lithograph (prints of which the censor forbade him to sell), and three large-scale paintings. None of these works was exhibited in France during the artist's lifetime. The Second Empire's demise in 1870 brought no improvement, for few people in Republican France desired to see paintings that reminded them of the humiliating Mexican episode.
The canvases were consequently kept rolled up in a dark corner of Manet's studio; the largest, after the artist's death in 1883, was cut into several pieces, fragments later finding their way to London; the oil sketch, meanwhile, went to Copenhagen, and the first version of the large-scale work to Boston. The final version, completed in late 1868, and measuring 252 x 305 cm, carries the date of the execution. It was bought by citizens of the German town of Mannheim in 1909, who donated it to the Kunsthalle. The political atmosphere in the German Reich at the time was such that any reference to the fickleness and perfidity of France could be sure of a warm welcome.

"Napoleon le Petit"

The Execution of Emperor Maximilian (detail)

While the squad fires upon its victims, a sergeant wearing a red hat, who, at first glance, seems peculiarly uninvolved, cocks his rifle. The inglorious task awaiting him is to deliver the coup de grace to Emperor Maximilian. The sergeant, with his beard and sharply defined nose, bears a striking resemblance to Napoleon III. The similarity was intended. Manet, of upper middle-class background, was no friend of the Second Empire. By the time he came to paint the final version of the Execution, he had realized, like the majority of his contemporaries, that it was Napoleon who was responsible for Maximilian's ignominious demise.

Louis Napoleon Bonaparte (1808-1873) was contemptuously referred to by his enemies as "Napoleon le Petit". He spent most of his life trying to emulate his famous uncle, Napoleon I. In 1848 he was successfully elected President of the Republic; three years later he became emperor by virtue of a coup d'etat. His next plan was to establish French hegemony in Europe. However, he was less fortunate in foreign affairs than in establishing his position at home. In the early 1860s, he endeavoured in vain to influence Italy. Searching for a new outlet for his intervention politics, he concluded, somewhat astoundingly, that the distant land of Mexico offered the key to establishing France as a great power.

It was a power vacuum which enticed Napoleon to Mexico, a country rich in mineral resources, but badly run down and heavily in debt. Since gaining its independence, it had been torn by chaos and anarchy, with a civil war raging between the conservatives - the aristocracy, big landowners and church - and the liberal, Republican forces.
When the reformer Benito Juarez was elected President in 1861, his opponent and the loser of the election, General Miguel Miramon, emigrated to France where he was succesful in enlisting the support of influential French financiers and of the court itself. Napoleon conceived of a plan to win Mexico while its powerful neighbour, America, was involved in the Civil War. Napoleon wanted to establish a "bulwark" on the American continent against Anglo-Amercian expansion - a Catholic, "Latin-American" empire, which would enjoy French protection, and from which France would profit economically.

From 1861 onwards, and under various pretexts, France sent 40,000 troops across the Atlantic. They were followed three years later, once the country had been temporarily "pacified", by the Austrian Archduke Maximilian, whose fate, as Emperor of Mexico, was utterly dependent on Napoleon. When he arrived, the land was still largely under the control of Republican forces. His sole support as a ruler, besides French bayonets, was Napoleon's solemn vow, laid down in writing, that France would never deny its support to the new empire "whatsoever the state of affairs in Europe".
However, the American Unionists, emerging victorious from the Civil War in 1865, recognized Juarez as the legitimate Mexican president, sending arms and refusing to tolerate a French presence on the North American continent. Napoleon finally acquiesced to U.S. diplomatic pressure, for his position in Europe was under serious threat. He needed every man he could muster to defend the Rhine against a superior Prussian army. The last French soldier left Mexico in early 1867. Napoleon III, in tears, had broken his word. This cost him whatever popular credit he had once enjoyed and contributed to the rapid decline of the Second Empire. Mexico proved both the Moscow and the Waterloo of "Napoleon le Petit".

The role of the Mexicans

The Execution of Emperor Maximilian (detail)

Not unlike spectators at a bullfight, a crowd of Mexicans has gathered in the background to watch the execution of the Emperor. They were probably part of the great mass of mestizos, mulattos, Indians and blacks who lived without rights or property. Benito Juarez, a full-blooded Indian and former President of the High Court, had guaranteed them civic rights for the first time in his Constitution of 1857, expropriating the Church to provide the people with land. Juarez was their man, and they gave him their support in the guerilla war against the French.
Mexican national pride was, from the outset, unlikely to grant much of a welcome to a foreign monarch arriving from a distant continent. When Maximilian and his wife landed at Veracruz on 28th May 1864, a deathly hush fell on the harbour; the inhabitants had all stayed at home. With the withdrawal of the French troops, Maximilian's fate was sealed. Abandoned by his Mexican officers, he was taken prisoner by the Republicans and placed before a military tribunal. Sentenced to death, he was refused a pardon by Juarez, a step which led to an international outcry. The President was accused of flagrantly violating international law.
When news of the execution arrived in Paris, the ensuing protest was therefore initially directed against the Mexicans. Commencing the painting in 1867, Manet may originally have wished to denounce the Mexicans: the first version of the Execution, now at Boston, shows the squad and sergeant in Mexican uniforms and sombreros.
In the course of July, however, it gradually dawned on the Parisian public that the true culprit was not Juarez at all, but Napoleon. Manet painted over details of the exotic costumes, refining the wide breeches and sombreros to suggest French uniforms. This gave the first version a peculiarly unfinished, ambiguous character, making it unsuitable for presentation. Manet went to work again, giving the sergeant, in each of the later versions, the features of Napoleon. From now on there could be no doubt of the artist's intention; the artist was criticizing his own government: Maximilian shot by Frenchmen, with the Mexican people as mere spectators.

Dignity befitting a Habsburg

The Execution of Emperor Maximilian (detail)

The Emperor is shown at the place of execution, standing between two loyal generals: dark-skinned General Tomas Mejia, and the former president and infantry commander Miguel Mira-mon. Manet apparently took the Emperor's pale face and blurred features from a contemporary photograph. The French press had reported that Maximilian, on his last journey, had worn a dark suit, as well as the broad-brimmed sombrero of his adopted country. A handsome, erect figure with a thick blond beard, Maximilian had presented himself until the end - according to a conservative Parisian newspaper -with the dignity befitting a true Habsburg. To Napoleon, Maximilian must have seemed the perfect candidate for such an unpromising campaign in distant Mexico. The prospect of " wresting a continent from .the grip of anarchy and poverty" was not without appeal to the thirty-year-old Archduke Ferdinand Maximilian of Austria, unhappy as he was in his role as younger brother of Emperor Franz Joseph. Condemned to political inactivity in Europe, forced to occupy himself building palaces and collecting butterflies, he leapt at Napoleon's offer of the Mexican throne as if responding to the call of divine Providence.
Beguiled by Romantic dreams, Maximilian ignored all well-meaning warnings. Putting his trust in Napoleon's promises, he embarked on the Mexican adventure -though militarily and financially, the conditions for such an enterprise were as dire as they could be.
The Mexican state was heavily in debt; maintenance costs for the French taskforce alone swallowed up more than its entire annual income. Funds were too low to pay for the upkeep of an indigenous army; the few Mexican soldiers under French command, realizing they were unlikely to be paid for their services, deserted to the Republicans.
With his own zeal fully absorbed by the task of bringing "guidance and refinement to the people", Maximilian left everyday political business to his French advisers, who, deliberately withholding intelligence of the deteriorating military situation, persuaded him to lend his signature to unpopular measures, such as a summary death penalty for the slightest resistance to the imperial government.
When Napoleon withdrew his troops in 1867, Maximilian, with his handful of Austrian and Mexican loyalists, found himself facing an army of 60,000 Republicans who had most of the country under their control. A sense of honour prevented the Emperor from leaving Mexico with the French troops. A Habsburg, he was reported to have said, "did not flee"; nor would he "desert the post which Providence had conferred upon him; no danger, no sacrifice could force him to recoil until such time as his task was fulfilled or destiny was stronger than he."
The Emperor, lured into a strategic cul-de-sac at the town of Queretaro, betrayed by a Mexican officer, gave up after 72 days of siege. He could have escaped even then, for the Republicans saw no advantage in turning him into a martyr. But Maximilian refused to budge, finally leaving his opponents with little choice about what to do.
When his adjutant found a crown of thorns on a broken statue of Christ in the monastery courtyard where the Republicans were holding him prisoner, Maximilian said:" Give it to me; it will suit me well."
Like Christ, he felt himself "betrayed, deceived and robbed ... and finally sold for eleven reales ..." In Edouard Manet's rendering of the execution, the bright, broad rim of the sombrero surrounding the doomed victim's face has the appearance of a halo.

Goya provided the prototype

The Execution of Emperor Maximilian

There is one thing I have always wanted to do", Manet once confided to a friend, "I should like to paint Christ on the cross ... What a symbol! ... The archetypal image of suffering." In the Execution scene Manet comes close to achieving this ambition. Emperor Maximilian may not be wearing a crown of thorns, but his left hand, and the hand holding it belonging to Miramon, already show signs of bleeding, though the squad is painted in the very act of firing. The detail is contrived, an allusion to the nail and lance wounds of Christ, the stigmata shown in traditional Crucifixions.

Manet had seen stigmata on the hands of an innocent victim during a journey to Spain: in a secular, and apparently realistic painting. The work was Goya's early 19th-century execution scene, his famous Third of May, 1808, in which invading French troops under Napoleon I murder Spanish patriots. As well as the symbolic wounds, Manet adopted the structural arrangement of Goya's composition, including the position of the firing squad, which, seen from behind, gives the impression of a faceless, anonymous death-machine. The contextual links between the two paintings are not without irony: revolutionary patriots, the victims in Goya's painting, are the perpetrators of a crime in Manet's work; both works show French invading armies at work, and, in each case, a different Napoleon is responsible.

However, the French painting retains none of Goya's theatrical emotionalism. Manet transposes the scene from flickering lamplight to the cold grey of dawn, avoiding grandiose gesture, brushing aside the moving circumstantial detail that had been reported in the press: the waiting coffins, the priests, the tears of loyalists who had accompanied the Emperor on his last journey, the blindfolded generals. As a result, he was accused of witholding sympathy; in fact, however, there were artistic reasons for his abstinence. His frieze-like arrangement of figures - the victims and firing squad are unrealistically close together - against the neutral grey of the wall, together with his muted use of colour, acknowledge his debt to the painter Jacques-Louis David (1748-1825) and the tradition of the French history painting.
Academic convention demanded the subject of a history painting be drawn from the Bible, antique mythology or an actual historical event; it had also to be morally or politically edifying and contain a universally significant moral lesson. In Manet's day, this "high" branch of art still commanded the greatest respect, celebrated as it was at the official Salon year after year.

All his life, Manet had craved recogni-ton, preferably in the shape of an official prize, at the Salon: in vain. With The Execution of Maximilian the renewed prospect of success appears to have inspired him with hope yet again. However, by the time he came to paint over the Mexican uniforms, replacing them with French, Manet must have realized that the work could only meet with the opprobrium of the political and artistic establishment. He continued work nonetheless, driven by an ambition even greater than his desire for recognition: the Execution was to be his Crucifixion, and the great, modern history painting of his age. The "moral lesson" "was equally important: to denounce treachery and breach of promise, and lodge an indictment: "France shoots Maximilian!"

Rose-Marie and Rainer Hagen


Berthe Morisot did not enter any work for the 1869 Salon, but described her reactions to the exhibition in a letter to her mother:

I need hardly tell you that the first thing I did was to go to Room M [where Manet's The Balcony, which featured her portrait was hanging]. There I found Manet with his hat on, standing in bright sunshine, and looking dazed. He begged me to go and look at the painting, as he did not dare move a step.

The Balcony

Loosely based on Goya's Majas on the Balcony, this painting was shown at the Salon of 1869, where it attracted a good deal of contumely, such as the caricature by Bertall which first appeared in Le Journal amusant on May 15th, 1869 (right). The figures are: Berthe Morisot (seated); Antome Guillemet, an academic painter of landscapes; and Fanny Glaus, a young violinist. Barely \isible in the background, bearing a ewer, is the figure of Leon Leenhoff, Manet's putative son.

I have never seen a face as expressive as his; he was laughing at one moment, and looking worried at the next, assuring everybody that his picture was no good, and then adding in the same breath that it was bound to be a success. I think he has a very charming temperament, which I greatly like.

His works give the impression of a wild, or even an unripe fruit. I do not dislike them, though I prefer his portrait of Zola.

I myself look more strange than ugly. It seems that people are using the phrase femme fatale' about the painting...

Degas has a very pretty painting [Portrait of Mme G.] of a very ugly woman in black, with a hat and a cashmere shawl falling from her shoulders. The background is that of a very light interior, showing a corner of a mantelpiece in half-tones. It is very subtle and distinguished. Antonin Proust's entries look very well, despite the fact that they are badly hung. Corot is very poetic, as usual. I think that he has spoiled the sketch we saw at home by working too much on it in his studio.

Portrait of Joséphine Gaujelin

Josephine Gaujelin was a ballet-dancer at the Opera (where the archives record her name, correctly spelt, as Josephine Gozelin). She also features in the centre of Degas' The Dance Class of 1871.

The tall Bazille has painted something that is very good [View of the Village]. It is a little girl in a light dress, seated in the shade of a tree, with a glimpse of the village in the background. There is much light and sun in it. He has tried to do what we have often attempted - a figure in the outdoor light - and he seems to have been successful.

View of the Village

Berthe Morisot was not alone in appreciating this painting at the Salon of 1869. Shortly after the exhibition opened, Bazille wrote to his parents: 'I have received compliments from M. Puvis de Chavannes, which flattered me a lot.'
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Bruckner: Symphony No. 0
The Symphony in D minor, WAB 100, Symphony No. 0 ("Die Nullte") was composed by Bruckner Anton  in 1869 between Symphony No. 1 (1866) and Symphony No. 2 (1872). In 1895 Bruckner declared that this symphony "gilt nicht" (does not count) and he did not assign a number to it. The work was published and premiered in 1924.

Bruckner composed this symphony from 24 January to 12 September 1869. The D-minor symphony of 1869 was initially designated Symphony No. 2, while the C-minor symphony of 1872 was his Symphony No. 3.

In 1895, when Bruckner reviewed his symphonies in order to let issue them, he declared that this symphony "gilt nicht" (does not count). He wrote on the front page "annulli(e)rt" (nullified) and replaced the original "Nr. 2" by the symbol "∅".

According to the conductor Georg Tintner, this lack of confidence in the work arose from a question by the puzzled conductor of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, Felix Otto Dessoff, who asked Bruckner, "Where is the main theme?" This symbol "∅" was later interpreted as a numeral zero and the symphony got the nickname Die Nullte ("No. 0"). As written by David Griegel, "Like many other composers, I believe Bruckner was merely being too self-critical, and the unnumbered symphonies are also works worthy of our enjoyment".

Because of the designation Die Nullte, biographs Göllerich and Auer felt that it was composed before Symphony No. 1. Against this assumption, the autograph score is dated 24 January to 12 September 1869, and no earlier sketch or single folio of this work has been retrieved. The work, which is sometimes referred to as "Symphony in D minor, opus posthumous", but in English most often called "Symphony No. 0", was premiered in Klosterneuburg on 12 October 1924.

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Anton Bruckner - Symphonie Nr.0 d-Moll "Die Nullte"
Chicago Symphony Ochestra - Sir Georg Solti

I. Allegro - 0:00
II. Andante - 12:46
III. Scherzo: Presto - 23:18
IV. Finale: Moderato - 29:27

Anton Bruckner
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Berlioz Hector,  French composer, critic, and conductor of the Romantic period, d. (b. 1803)

Last photograph of Berlioz, 1868
Hector Berlioz
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Loewe Karl, German composer, baritone singer and conductor, d. (b. 1796)

Carl Loewe
Karl Loewe
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Pfitzner Hans

Hans Erich Pfitzner (5 May 1869 – 22 May 1949) was a German composer and self-described anti-modernist. His best known work is the post-Romantic opera Palestrina, loosely based on the life of the great sixteenth-century composer Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina.

Pfitzner was born in Moscow, where his father played violin in a theater orchestra. The family returned to his father's native town Frankfurt in 1872, when Pfitzner was two years old, and he always considered Frankfurt his home town. He received early instruction in violin from his father, and his earliest compositions were composed at age 11. In 1884 he wrote his first songs. From 1886 to 1890 he studied composition with Iwan Knorr and piano with James Kwast at the Hoch Conservatory in Frankfurt. (He later married Kwast's daughter Mimi Kwast, a granddaughter of Ferdinand Hiller, after she had rejected the advances of Percy Grainger.) He taught piano and theory at the Koblenz Conservatory from 1892 to 1893. In 1894 he was appointed conductor at the Stadttheater in Mainz where he worked for a few months. These were all low-paying jobs, and Pfitzner was working as Erster (First) Kapellmeister with the Berlin Theater des Westens when he was appointed to a modestly prestigious post of opera director and head of the conservatory in Straßburg (Strasbourg) in 1908, when Pfitzner was almost forty.

Hans Erich Pfitzner
  In Strasbourg, Pfitzner finally had some professional stability, and it was there he gained significant power to direct his own operas. He viewed control over the stage direction to be his particular domain, and this view was to cause him particular difficulty for the rest of his career. The central event of Pfitzner's life was the annexation of Imperial Alsace—and with it Strasbourg—by France in the aftermath of World War I. Pfitzner lost his livelihood and was left destitute at age 50. This hardened several difficult traits in Pfitzner's personality: an elitism believing he was entitled to sinecures for his contributions to German art and for the hard work of his youth, notorious social awkwardness and a lack of tact, a sincere belief that his music was under-recognized and under-appreciated with a tendency for his sympathizers to form cults around him, a patronizing style with his publishers, and a feeling that he had been personally slighted by Germany's enemies.
His bitterness and cultural pessimism deepened in the 1920s with the death of his wife in 1926 and meningitis of his older son Paul, who was committed to institutionalized medical care.

In 1895, Richard Bruno Heydrich sang the title role in the premiere of Hans Pfitzner's first opera, Der arme Heinrich, based on the poem of the same name by Hartmann von Aue. More to the point, Heydrich "saved" the opera. Pfitzner's magnum opus was Palestrina, which had its premiere in Munich on 12 June 1917 under the baton of Jewish conductor Bruno Walter.

On the day before he died in February 1962, Walter dictated his last letter, which ended "Despite all the dark experiences of today I am still confident that Palestrina will remain. The work has all the elements of immortality".

Easily the most celebrated of Pfitzner's prose utterances is his pamphlet Futuristengefahr ("Danger of Futurists"), written in response to Ferruccio Busoni's Sketch for a New Aesthetic of Music. "Busoni," Pfitzner complained, "places all his hopes for Western music in the future and understands the present and past as a faltering beginning, as the preparation. But what if it were otherwise? What if we find ourselves presently at a high point, or even that we have already passed beyond it?" Pfitzner had a similar debate with the critic Paul Bekker.

Pfitzner dedicated his Violin Concerto in B minor, Op. 34 (1923) to the Australian violinist Alma Moodie. She premiered it in Nuremberg on 4 June 1924, with the composer conducting. Moodie became its leading exponent, and performed it over 50 times in Germany with conductors such as Pfitzner, Wilhelm Furtwängler, Hans Knappertsbusch, Hermann Scherchen, Karl Muck, Carl Schuricht, and Fritz Busch. At that time, the Pfitzner concerto was considered the most important addition to the violin concerto repertoire since the first concerto of Max Bruch, although it is not played by most violinists these days. On one occasion in 1927, conductor Peter Raabe programmed the concerto for public broadcast and performance in Aachen but did not budget for copying of the sheet music; as a result, the work was "withdrawn" at the last minute and replaced with the familiar Brahms concerto.


Hans Erich Pfitzner in 1905
  The Nazi era
Increasingly nationalistic in his middle and old age, Pfitzner was at first regarded sympathetically by important figures in the Third Reich, in particular by Hans Frank, with whom he remained on good terms. But he soon fell out with chief Nazis, who were alienated by his long musical association with the Jewish conductor Bruno Walter.

He incurred extra wrath from the Nazis by refusing to obey the regime's request to provide incidental music to Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream that could be used in place of the famous setting by Felix Mendelssohn, unacceptable to the Nazis because of his Jewish origin. Pfitzner maintained that Mendelssohn's original was far better than anything he himself could offer as a substitute.

As early as 1923, Pfitzner and Hitler met. It was while the former was a hospital patient: Pfitzner had undergone a gall bladder operation when Anton Drexler, who knew both men well, arranged a visit. Hitler did most of the talking, but Pfitzner dared to contradict him regarding the homosexual and antisemitic thinker Otto Weininger, causing Hitler to leave in a huff. Later on, Hitler told Nazi cultural architect Alfred Rosenberg that he wanted "nothing further to do with this Jewish rabbi." Pfitzner, unaware of this comment, believed Hitler to be sympathetic to him.

When the Nazis came to power in 1933, Rosenberg recruited Pfitzner, a notoriously bad speaker, to lecture for the Militant League for German Culture (Kampfbund für deutsche Kultur) that same year and Pfitzner accepted, hoping it would help him find an influential position. Hitler, however, saw to it that the composer was passed over in favor of party hacks for positions as opera director in Düsseldorf and generalintendant of the Berlin Municipal Opera, despite hints from authorities that both positions were being held for him.

Very early in Hitler's rule, Pfitzner received an injunction from Hans Frank (by this time Justice Minister in Bavaria) and Wilhelm Frick (Interior Minister in Hitler's own cabinet) against traveling to the Salzburg Festival in 1933 to conduct his violin concerto. Pfitzner had managed to gain a stable conducting contract from the Munich opera in 1928, but ran into demeaning treatment from chief conductor Hans Knappertsbusch and from the opera house's intendant, a man named Franckenstein.

In 1934 Pfitzner was forced into retirement and lost his positions as opera conductor, stage director and academy professor. He was also given a minimal pension of a few hundred marks a month, which he contested until 1937 when Goebbels resolved the issue. For a Nazi party rally in 1934, Pfitzner had hopes of being allowed to conduct; but he was rejected for the role, and at the rally himself he learned for the first time that Hitler considered him to be half-Jewish. Nor was Hitler the first person to suppose this. Winifred Wagner, the director of the Bayreuth Festival and a confidante of Hitler, also believed it. Pfitzner was forced to prove that he had, in fact, totally Gentile ancestry. By 1939 he had grown thoroughly disenchanted with the Nazi regime, except for Frank, whom he continued to respect.

Hans Pfitzner

Pfitzner's views on "the Jewish Question" were both contradictory and illogical. He viewed Jewishness as a cultural trait rather than a racial one. A 1930 statement that caused difficulty for him in the pension affair was that although Jewry might pose "dangers to German spiritual life and German Kultur," many Jews had done a lot for Germany and that antisemitism per se was to be condemned. He was willing to make exceptions to a general policy of antisemitism. For example, he recommended the performance of Marschner's opera Der Templer und die Jüdin based on Scott's Ivanhoe, protected his Jewish pupil Felix Wolfes of Cologne, along with conductor Furtwängler aided the young conductor Hans Schwieger, who had a Jewish wife, and maintained his friendship with Bruno Walter and especially his childhood journalist friend Paul Cossman, a "self-loathing" non-practicing Jew who was incarcerated in 1933.

The attempts which Pfitzner made on behalf of Cossman might have caused Gestapo chief Reinhard Heydrich, incidentally the son of the heldentenor who premiered Pfitzner's first opera, to investigate him. Pfitzner's petitions likely contributed to Cossman's release in 1934, although he was eventually re-arrested in 1942 and died of dysentery in Theresienstadt. In 1938, Pfitzner joked that he was afraid to see a celebrated eye doctor in Munich because "his great-grandmother had once observed a quarter-Jew crossing the street." He worked with Jewish musicians throughout his career. In the early thirties he often accompanied famed contralto Ottilie Metzger-Lattermann, later murdered in Auschwitz, in recitals and had dedicated his four songs, Op. 19, to her as early as 1905. He had dedicated his songs, Op. 24, to Jewish critic and Jewish cultural society founder Arthur Eloesser in 1909. Still, Pfitzner maintained close contact with virulent antisemites like music critics Walter Abendroth and Victor Junk, and did not scruple to use antisemitic invective (common enough among people of his generation, and not just in Germany) to pursue certain aims.

Pfitzner's home having been destroyed in the war by Allied bombing, and his membership in the Munich Academy of Music having been revoked for his speaking out against Nazism, the composer in 1945 found himself homeless and mentally ill. But after the war he was denazified and re-pensioned, performance bans were lifted and he was granted residence in the old people's home in Salzburg. There, in 1949, he died. Furtwängler conducted a performance of his Symphony in C major at the Salzburg Festival with the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra in the summer of 1949, just after the composer's death. Following long neglect, Pfitzner's music began to reappear in opera houses, concert halls and recording studios during the 1990s, including a controversial performance of the Covent Garden production of Palestrina in Manhattan's Lincoln Center in 1997.

During the 1990s more and more musicologists, mainly German and British, began examining Pfitzner's life and work. Biographer Hans Peter Vogel wrote that Pfitzner was the only composer of the Nazi era who attempted to come to grips with National Socialism both intellectually and spiritually after 1945. In 2001, Sabine Busch examined the ideological tug-of-war of the composer's involvement with the National Socialists, based in part on previously unavailable material. She concluded that, although the composer was not exclusively pro-Nazi nor purely the antisemitic chauvinist often associated with his image, he engaged with Nazi powers whom he thought would promote his music and became embittered when the Nazis found the "elitist old master's often morose music" to be "little propaganda-worthy." The most comprehensive English-language account of Pfitzner's relations with the Nazis is by Michael Kater.

Musical style and reception
His own music—including pieces in all the major genres except the symphonic poem—was respected by contemporaries such as Gustav Mahler and Richard Strauss, although neither man cared much for Pfitzner's innately acerbic manner (and Alma Mahler repaid his adoration with contempt, despite her agreement with his intuitive musical idealism, a fact evident in her letters to the wife of Alban Berg). Although Pfitzner's music betrays Wagnerian influences, the composer was not attracted to Bayreuth, and was personally despised by Cosima Wagner, in part because Pfitzner sought notice and recognition from such "anti-Wagnerian" composers as Max Bruch and Johannes Brahms.
Pfitzner's works combine Romantic and Late Romantic elements with extended thematic development, atmospheric music drama, and the intimacy of chamber music. Columbia University musicologist Walter Frisch has described Pfitzner as a "regressive modernist." His is a highly personal offshoot of the Classical/Romantic tradition as well as the conservative musical aesthetic and Pfitzner defended his style in his own writings.
Particularly notable are Pfitzner's numerous and delicate lieder, influenced by Hugo Wolf, yet with their own rather melancholy charm. Several of them were recorded during the 1930s by the distinguished baritone Gerhard Hüsch, with the composer at the piano. His first symphony—the Symphony in C-sharp minor—underwent a strange genesis: it was not conceived in orchestral terms at all, but was a reworking of a string quartet. The works betray a late pious inspiration and although they take on a late Romantic qualities, they show others associated with the brooding unwieldiness of a modern idiom. For example, composer Arthur Honegger writes in 1955, after criticizing too much polyphony and overly long orchestral writing in a long essay devoted to Palestrina,

Musically, the work shows a superior design, which demands respect. The themes are clearly formed, which makes it easy to follow...

Pfitzner's work was appreciated by contemporaries including Richard Strauss and Gustav Mahler, who explicitly described Pfitzner's second string quartet of 1902/03 as a masterpiece. Thomas Mann praised Palestrina in a short essay published in October 1917. He co-founded the Hans Pfitzner Association for German Music in 1918. Tensions with Mann, however, developed and the two severed relations by 1926.

From the mid-1920s, Pfitzner's music increasingly fell in the shadow of Richard Strauss. His opera, Das Herz of 1932 was unsuccessful. Pfitzner remained a peripheral figure in the musical life of the Third Reich, and his music was performed less frequently than in the late days of the Weimar Republic.

German critic Hans Heinz Stuckenschmidt, writing in 1969, viewed Pfitzner's music with extreme ambivalence: initiated with sharp dissonances and hard linear counterpoint determined to be taken as (and criticized for being) modernist. This became a conservative rebellion against all modernist conformity. Composer Wolfgang Rihm commented on the increasing popularity of Pfitzner's work in 1981:

Pfitzner is too progressive, not simply, the way Korngold can be taken to be; he is also too conservative, if that means to be influenced by someone like Schoenberg. All this has audible consequences. We cannot find the brokenness of today in his work at first glance, but neither the unbroken yesterday. We find both, that is, none, and all attempts at classification falter.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Pfitzner - Nachts
Nachts op.26 n°2 (Josef Karl Benedikt von Eichendorff)

Margarete Klose
Michael Raucheisen
Radio recording, Berlin, 2.IV.1943

Hans Pfitzner
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Wagner Siegfried

Siegfried Wagner (6 June 1869 – 4 August 1930) was a German composer and conductor, the son of Richard Wagner. He was an opera composer and the artistic director of the Bayreuth Festival from 1908 to 1930.


Siegfried Wagner
Helferich Siegfried Richard Wagner, nicknamed "Fidi," was born in 1869 to Richard Wagner and his future wife Cosima, at Tribschen on Lake Lucerne in Switzerland. Through his mother, he was a grandson of Franz Liszt, from whom he received some instruction in harmony.

Some youthful compositions date from about 1882. After he completed his secondary education in 1889, he studied with Wagner's pupil Engelbert Humperdinck, but was more strongly drawn to a career as an architect and studied architecture in Berlin and Karlsruhe.

In 1892 he undertook a trip to Asia with a friend, the English composer Clement Harris. During the voyage he decided to abandon architecture and commit himself to music. Reputedly, it was also Harris who first aroused his homoerotic impulses.

While on board ship he sketched his first official work, the symphonic poem Sehnsucht, inspired by the poem of the same name by Friedrich Schiller.

This piece was not completed until just before the concert in which Wagner conducted it in London on 6 June 1895. He composed more operas than his father. Though his works are numerous, none entered the standard repertory.

He made his conducting debut as an assistant conductor at Bayreuth in 1894; in 1896 he became associate conductor, sharing responsibility for conducting the Ring Cycle with Felix Mottl and Hans Richter, who had conducted its premiere 20 years earlier. In 1908 he took over as Artistic Director of the Bayreuth Festival in succession to his mother, Cosima.

Wagner was bisexual. For years, his mother urged him to marry and provide the Wagner dynasty with heirs, but he fought off her increasingly desperate urgings.

Around 1913, pressure on him increased due to the Harden-Eulenburg Affair (1907–1909), in which the journalist Maximilian Harden accused several public figures, most notably Philipp, Prince of Eulenburg-Hertefeld, a friend of Kaiser Wilhelm II, of homosexuality. In this climate, the family found it suitable to arrange a marriage with a 17-year-old Englishwoman, Winifred Klindworth, and at the Bayreuth festival of 1914 she was introduced to the then-45-year-old Wagner. The two married on 22 September 1915.
Though the marriage provided for the dynastic succession, the hope that it would also bring an end to his homosexual encounters and the associated costly scandals was disappointed, as Wagner remained sexually active with other men.

Peter Pachl, one of Siegfried's biographers, asserted that in 1901 Siegfried had sired an illegitimate son, Walter Aign (1901–1977). However, that assertion remains controversial, as he supplied no evidence. Nonetheless, several recent authors, such as Frederic Spotts and Brigitte Hamann, have taken it up.

Wagner died in Bayreuth in 1930, having outlived his mother by only four months. Since his two sons were still only adolescents, he was succeeded at the helm of the festival by his wife Winifred.

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Siegfried Wagner "Prelude to Sonnenflammen"
Rundfunk-Sinfonierorchester Frankfurt
Dmitri Kitajenko, conductor
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Richard Wagner: "Das Rheingold"
Das Rheingold (About this sound pronunciation (help·info); The Rhine Gold), WWV 86A, is the first of the four operas that constitute Richard Wagner's (Wagner Richard) Der Ring des Nibelungen ('The Ring of the Nibelung'). It was originally written as an introduction to the tripartite Ring, but the cycle is now generally regarded as consisting of four individual operas.

Das Rheingold premiered at the National Theatre Munich on 22 September 1869, with August Kindermann in the role of Wotan, Heinrich Vogl as Loge, and Karl Fischer as Alberich. Wagner wanted this opera to premiere as part of the entire cycle, but was forced to allow the performance at the insistence of his patron King Ludwig II of Bavaria. The opera was first performed as part of the complete cycle on 13 August 1876, in the Bayreuther Festspielhaus.

Composition history
Although Das Rheingold comes first in the sequence of Ring operas, it was the last to be conceived. Wagner's plans for the cycle grew backwards from the tale of the death of the hero Siegfried, to include his youth and then the story of the events around his conception and of how the Valkyrie Brünnhilde was punished for trying to save his parents against Wotan's instructions.

So in August 1851, Wagner wrote in "Eine Mittheilung an meine Freunde" (A Communication to My Friends), "I propose to produce my myth in three complete dramas....". However, by October, he had decided that this trilogy required a prelude and the text of "Eine Mittheilung" was duly altered to reflect the change. To the sentence quoted above he added the words, "which will be preceded by a great prelude".

He started work on the prelude producing a three paragraph prose sketch that month, although he remained uncertain of the name, considering in turn Der Raub: Vorspiel (The Theft: Prelude), Der Raub des Rheingoldes (The Theft of the Rhinegold) and Das Rheingold (Vorspiel) (The Rhinegold (Prelude)). A letter Wagner wrote to Theodor Uhlig confirms that at this time the opera was intended to have three acts. Wagner continued to develop the text and storyline of the prelude in parallel with those of Die Walküre.

The prose draft of Das Rheingold was completed between 21 March and 23 March 1852 and its verse draft between 15 September and 3 November. A fair copy of the text was finished by 15 December.

During the early years of the 1850s Wagner produced some musical sketches for parts of the Ring and noted down various motifs that were to be used in the work.

Emil Fischer in the role of Wotan at the 1889 New York premiere of Das Rheingold.

Of particular note is 5 September 1853; Wagner claimed in his autobiography Mein Leben that on this date the musical idea came to him while he was half asleep in a hotel in La Spezia in Italy, but this has been disputed by John Deathridge and others.

There also exist three sets of isolated musical sketches for Das Rheingold which were composed between 15 September 1852 and November 1853. The first of these was entered into the verse draft of the text, the second into Wagner's copy of the 1853 printing of the text; the third was written on an undated sheet of music paper. All three were subsequently used by Wagner.

Proper sequential development of the score started on 1 November 1853. By 14 January, Wagner had completed the first draft of the opera on between two and three staves. The next stage involved the development of a more detailed draft that indicated most of the vocal and instrumental details. This was completed by 28 May. In parallel with this Wagner started work on a fair copy of the score on 15 February, a task he completed on 26 September 1854, by which time he had also started work on the sketches of Die Walküre.


Performance history
Das Rheingold was first performed at Munich on 22 September 1869. Its first performance as part of the complete Ring cycle took place at Bayreuth on 13 August 1876. It continues to be performed on a regular basis both in Bayreuth and elsewhere either as part of a complete Ring or separately.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Wagner: Das Rheingold
Herbert von Karajan 
Richard Wagner
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Roussel Albert

Albert Charles Paul Marie Roussel (5 April 1869 – 23 August 1937) was a French composer. He spent seven years as a midshipman, turned to music as an adult, and became one of the most prominent French composers of the interwar period. His early works were strongly influenced by the impressionism of Debussy and Ravel, while he later turned toward neoclassicism.


Albert Charles Paul Marie Roussel
Born in Tourcoing (Nord), Roussel's earliest interest was not in music but mathematics. He spent time in the French Navy, and in 1889 and 1890 he served on the crew of the frigate Iphigénie and spent several years in Cochinchina. These travels affected him artistically, as many of his musical works would reflect his interest in far-off, exotic places. After resigning from the Navy in 1894, he began to study harmony in Roubaix, first with Julien Koszul (grandfather of composer Henri Dutilleux), who encouraged him to pursue his formation in Paris with Eugène Gigout, then continued his studies until 1908 at the Schola Cantorum de Paris where one of his teachers was Vincent d'Indy. While studying, he also taught. His students included Erik Satie and Edgard Varèse.

During World War I, he served as an ambulance driver on the Western Front. Following the war, he bought a summer house in Normandy and devoted most of his time there to composition.

Starting in 1923, another of Roussel's students was Bohuslav Martinů, who dedicated his Serenade for Chamber Orchestra (1930) to Roussel. His sixtieth birthday was marked by a series of three concerts of his works in Paris that also included the performance of a collection of piano pieces, Homage à Albert Roussel, written by several composers, including Ibert, Poulenc, and Honegger.

Roussel died in the village (commune) of Royan (Charente-Maritime), in western France, in 1937, and was buried in the churchyard of Saint Valery in Varengeville-sur-Mer, Normandy.

Roussel was by temperament a classicist. While his early work was strongly influenced by impressionism, he eventually found a personal style which was more formal in design, with a strong rhythmic drive, and with a more distinct affinity for functional tonality than found in the work of his more famous contemporaries Debussy, Ravel, Satie, and Stravinsky.

Roussel's training at the Schola Cantorum, with its emphasis on rigorous academic models such as Palestrina and Bach, left its mark on his mature style, which is characterized by contrapuntal textures. Roussel's orchestration is rather heavy compared to the subtle and nuanced style of other French composers like Gabriel Fauré or Claude Debussy. He preserved something of the romantic aesthetic in his orchestral works, which sets him apart from Stravinsky and Les Six. However, Roussel's music can hardly be called heavy when compared with the sound of the German romantic orchestral tradition represented by Anton Bruckner and Gustav Mahler.

He was also interested in jazz and wrote a piano-vocal composition entitled Jazz dans la nuit, which was similar in its inspiration to other jazz-inspired works such as the second movement of Ravel's Violin Sonata, or Milhaud's La Création du Monde.

Roussel's most important works were the ballets Le festin de l'araignée, Bacchus et Ariane, and Aeneas and the four symphonies, of which the Third in G minor, and the Fourth in A major, are highly regarded and epitomize his mature neoclassical style. His other works include numerous ballets, orchestral suites, a piano concerto, a concertino for cello and orchestra, a psalm setting for chorus and orchestra, incidental music for the theatre, and much chamber music, solo piano music, and songs.


Albert Charles Paul Marie Roussel
Critical reception
In 1929, one critic described Roussel's search for his own voice:

Albert Roussel for a long period sought his true self among varied and contradictory influences. He seemed to waver between the tendencies of Cesar Franck and Vincent d'Indy and those of Claude Debussy.
The violin sonata, the trio, the Poème de la Forêt derived more or less directly from the Franckian school, the Festin de l'Araignée and the Evocations from Debussyan impressionism; and yet the hand of Albert Roussel alone could have written this music, at once so subtle and so firmly fixed in its design....With Padmâvatî, the new Roussel begins to realize is possibilities and his individual technique....

Then came works of perfect homogeneity and notable originality. The composer no longer is seeking his way—he has found it. The Prélude pour une Fête de Printemps, the suite in F, the concerto, and finally the Psalm No. 80 are the masterpieces which mark the last stage of this great artist.

Arturo Toscanini included the suite from the ballet Le festin de l'araignée in one of his broadcast concerts with the NBC Symphony Orchestra. Rene Leibowitz recorded that suite in 1952 with the Paris Philharmonic, and Georges Prêtre recorded it with the Orchestre National de France for EMI in 1984.

  One brief assessment of his career says:

Roussel will never attain the popularity of Debussy or Ravel, as his work lacks sensuous appeal....yet he was an important and compelling French composer. Upon repeated listening, his music becomes more and more intriguing because of its subtle rhythmic vitality. He can be alternately brilliant, astringent, tender, biting, dry, and humorous. His splendid Suite for Piano (Op. 14, 1911) shows his mastery of old dance forms. The ballet scores Le Festin de l'araignée (The Spider's Feast Op. 17, 1913) and Bacchus et Ariane (Op. 43, 1931) are vibrant and pictorial, while the Third and Fourth Symphonies are among the finest contributions to the French symphony.

One 21st-century critic, in the course of discussing the Third Symphony, wrote:

For the general public, Roussel remains almost famous, his work just beyond the pool of repertory universally drawn from. His music, said another way, walks the line between the memorable and the impossible to forget. The writing sets unrelated keys against one another but eventually seeks strong tonal centers; in other words, it can bark and growl but in the end wags its tail. The Vivace movement is a carnival of exuberant energies. Roussel was more than just an anti-19th-century dissident.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Albert Roussel - Bacchus et Ariane
Brussels Philharmonic
Stéphane Denève, conductor
Albert Roussel - Bacchus et Ariane Suite nr.2, op.43
Recorded at Studio4 of Flagey (Brussels, Belgium)
Albert Roussel
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Wood Henry
Sir Henry J. Wood, in full Henry Joseph Wood pseudonym Paul Klenovsky (born March 3, 1869, London —died Aug. 19, 1944, Hitchin, Hertfordshire, Eng.), conductor, the principal figure in the popularization of orchestral music in England in his time.

Sir Henry J. Wood
  Originally an organist, Wood studied composition at the Royal Academy of Music, London, from 1886. In 1889 he toured as a conductor with the Arthur Rousbey Opera Company and later appeared with other opera companies. In 1894 he helped to organize a series of Wagner concerts at the Queen’s Hall, London, and on Oct. 6, 1895, established there a nightly season of Promenade Concerts. The success of the annual season of these concerts (the “Proms”) had a wide influence on English musical life. Beginning with a popular repertory, Wood systematically broadened the appeal of his concerts to include the entire range of 18th- and 19th-century orchestral music. Later he introduced the works of prominent contemporary figures, among them Richard Strauss, Debussy, and Schoenberg. The Promenade Concerts were managed from 1927 by the British Broadcasting Corporation and after the destruction of the Queen’s Hall in World War II were transferred to the Royal Albert Hall. In 1898 Wood married the Russian singer Olga Urusova, who had been his pupil; after her death he married, in 1911, Muriel Greatorex.
He published a mass, songs, arrangements of works of Handel and Purcell, an orchestral arrangement of a toccata and fugue of J.S. Bach (which appeared under the pseudonym Paul Klenovsky), and the books The Gentle Art of Singing, 4 vol. (1927–28), My Life of Music (1938), and About Conducting (1945). Wood was knighted in 1911.

Encyclopædia Britannica



Painting of Sir Henry J. Wood by Cyrus Cuneo,
Illustrated London News, 8 February 1908
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