Clarence H. White,
in full Clarence Hudson White (born April 8, 1871, West
Carlisle, Ohio, U.S.—died July 8, 1925, Mexico City,
Mex.), American photographer known for subtle portraits
of women and children and also as an influential teacher
Clarence H. White, c. 1910.
Portrait by Gertrude Käsebier
White had from his
early years an appetite for artistic and
intellectual pursuits. After finishing high school
in Newark, Ohio, he took a job as an accountant in
his father’s grocery business and married in 1893.
He taught himself the art of photography and
photographed constantly despite his limited free
time and finances; he costumed and posed family
members and friends in the early dawn or evening
hours, in their homes and in the open and produced
elegantly posed and subtly lit images.
White’s work came to public attention in 1898 at the
First Philadelphia Photographic Salon; asked to be a
judge the following year, White met important
figures in American art photography, among them F.
Holland Day, Gertrude Käsebier, Edward Steichen, and
In 1902 White
helped found Photo-Secession, a group of
photographers that promoted Pictorialism, a
fine-arts approach to photography. After a few years
of making a living as a traveling portraitist, White
moved with his family in 1906 to New York City. A
year later he was hired to teach the first
photography course to be given at Columbia
University, a circumstance that enabled him to
renounce commercial work. In 1910 he and several
friends—including Day, Käsebier, and the painter Max
Weber—began a summer school, held first on Seguin
Island in Maine and later in East Canaan, Conn.
Encouraged by his friends, White in 1914 opened the
Clarence H. White School of Photography in New York
City. He also taught at the Brooklyn Institute of
Arts and Sciences.
His influence on the next
generation of photographers was notable; many among his
students—who included Laura Gilpin, Margaret Bourke-White,
Dorothea Lange, Paul Outerbridge, Ralph Steiner, and Doris
Ulmann—went on to become successful photographers.
Although White had become a
socialist early in his career, he did not consider the
camera a tool for social change but regarded the medium as a
means of expressing beauty. Until the end of his life, he
continued to promote artistic photography through teaching,
exhibitions, and associations with advertising art
directors. The genteel subject matter and subtle lighting
effects visible in his work came to epitomize the
Pictorialist approach to photography at the turn of the
Georges Rouault, in
full Georges-henri Rouault (born May 27, 1871, Paris,
France—died Feb. 13, 1958, Paris), French painter,
printmaker, ceramicist, and maker of stained glass who,
drawing inspiration from French medieval masters, united
religious and secular traditions divorced since the
Rouault was born in a
cellar in Paris during a bombardment of the city by
the forces opposed to the Commune. His father was a
cabinetmaker. A grandfather took an interest in art
and owned a collection of Honoré Daumier’s
lithographs; Rouault said later that he “went first
to school with Daumier.” In 1885 he enrolled in an
evening course at the Paris École des Arts
Décoratifs. From 1885 to 1890 he was apprenticed in
a glazier’s workshop; his mature style as a painter
was undoubtedly influenced by his work on the
restoration of medieval stained-glass windows,
including those of Chartres cathedral. In 1891 he
entered the École des Beaux-Arts, where he soon
became one of the favourite pupils of the Symbolist
painter Gustave Moreau, in a class that also
included the young Henri Matisse and Albert Marquet.
After the death of Moreau in 1898, a small Paris
museum was created for his pictures, and Rouault
became the curator. Rouault’s early
style was academic. But around 1898 he went through
a psychological crisis, and, subsequently, partly
under the influence of Vincent van Gogh, Paul
Gauguin, and Paul Cézanne, he evolved in a direction
that made him, by the 1905 Paris Salon d’Automne, a
fellow traveller of the Fauves (Wild Beasts), who
favoured the arbitrary use of strong colour. Until
the beginning of World War I, his most effective
medium was watercolour or oil on paper, with
dominant blues, dramatic lighting, emphatic forms,
and an expressive scribble.
evolution was accompanied by a religious one, for he
had become, about 1895, an ardent Roman Catholic.
He became a friend of the
Catholic intellectuals Joris-Karl Huysmans and Léon Bloy.
Through another friend, a deputy public prosecutor, he began
to frequent, as had Daumier, the Paris law courts, where he
had a close view of humanity apparently fallen from the
grace of God. His favourite subjects became prostitutes,
tragic clowns, and pitiless judges.
abandoning watercolour, after 1914 Rouault turned
more and more toward the oil medium. His paint
layers became thick, rich, and sensuous, his forms
simplified and monumental, and his colours and heavy
black lines reminiscent of stained-glass windows.
His subject matter became more specifically
religious, with a greater emphasis on the
possibility of redemption than he had put into his
pre-1914 work. In the 1930s he produced a
particularly splendid series of paintings on the
Passion of Christ; typical examples are “Christ
Mocked by Soldiers,” “The Holy Face,” and “Christ
and the High Priest.” During these years he got into
the habit of reworking his earlier pictures; “The
Old King,” for instance, is dated 1916–36.
Between World Wars
I and II, at the instigation of the Paris art dealer
Ambroise Vollard, Rouault devoted much time to
engravings, illustrating Les Réincarnations du Père
Ubu by Vollard, Le Cirque de l’étoile filante by
Rouault himself, Les Fleurs du mal by Charles
Baudelaire, and Miserere (his masterpiece in the
genre), with captions by Rouault. Some of this work
was left unfinished for a time and published later.
In 1929 he designed the sets and costumes for a
production by Serge Diaghilev of Sergey Prokofiev’s
ballet The Prodigal Son. In 1937 he also did the
cartoons for a series of tapestries.
During and after
World War II, he painted an impressive collection of
clowns, most of them virtual self-portraits.
He also executed some still
lifes with flowers; these are exceptional, for
three-quarters of his lifetime output is devoted to the
human figure. In 1947 he sued the heirs of Vollard to
recover a large number of works left in their possession
after the death of the art dealer in 1939. Winning the suit,
he established the right of an artist to things never
offered for sale, and afterward he publicly burned 315
canvases that he felt were not representative of his best
work. During the last 10 years of his life, he renewed his
palette, adding greens and yellows, and painted some almost
mystical landscapes: a good example is “Christian Nocturne.”
Among the major artists of the
20th-century school of Paris, Rouault was an isolated figure
in at least two respects: he practiced Expressionism, a
style that has never found much favour in France, and he was
chiefly a religious painter—one of the most convincing in
recent centuries. Both statements, however, need
qualification. Rouault was not as fiercely Expressionistic
as some of his Scandinavian and German contemporaries; in
some ways his work is a late flowering of 19th-century
Realism and Romanticism. And he was not an official church
artist; his concern with sin and redemption was deeply
Feininger (July 17, 1871 – January 13, 1956) was a
German-American painter, and a leading exponent of
Expressionism. He also worked as a caricaturist and
comic strip artist. He was born and grew up in New York
City, traveling to Germany at 16 to study and perfect
his art. He started his career as a cartoonist in 1894
and met with much success in this area. He was also a
commercial caricaturist for 20 years for magazines and
newspapers in the USA and Germany. At the age of 36, he
started to work as a fine artist. He also produced a
large body of photographic works between 1928 and the
mid 1950s, but he kept these primarily within his circle
of friends. He was also a pianist and composer, with
several piano compositions and fugues for organ extant.
Life and work
Lyonel Feininger was born to German-American
violinist and composer Karl Feininger and American
singer Elizabeth Feininger. He was born and grew up
in New York City, but traveled to Germany at the age
of 16 in 1887 to study. In 1888, he moved to Berlin
and studied at the Königliche Akademie Berlin under
Ernst Hancke. He continued his studies at art
schools in Berlin with Karl Schlabitz, and in Paris
with sculptor Filippo Colarossi. He started as a
caricaturist for several magazines including
Harper's Round Table, Harper's Young People,
Humoristische Blätter, Lustige Blätter, Das
Narrenschiff, Berliner Tageblatt and Ulk.
In 1900, he met
Clara Fürst, daughter of the painter Gustav Fürst.
He married her in 1901, and they had two daughters.
In 1905, he separated from his wife after meeting
Julia Berg. He married Berg in 1908 and had several
children with her.
The artist was
represented with drawings at the exhibitions of the
annual Berlin Secession in the years 1901 through
as cartoonist started in 1894. He was working for
several German, French and American magazines.
In February 1906, when a
quarter of Chicago's population was of German descent, James
Keeley, editor of The Chicago Tribune traveled to Germany to
procure the services of the most popular humor artists. He
recruited Feininger to illustrate two comic strips "The Kin-der-Kids"
and "Wee Willie Winkie's World" for the Chicago Tribune. The
strips were noted for their fey humor and graphic
experimentation. He also worked as a commercial caricaturist
for 20 years for various newspapers and magazines in both
the USA and Germany. Later, Art Spiegelman wrote in The New
York Times Book Review, that Feininger's comics have
“achieved a breathtaking formal grace unsurpassed in the
history of the medium.”
Feininger started working as a
fine artist at the age of 36. He was a member of the
Berliner Sezession in 1909, and he was associated with
German expressionist groups: Die Brücke, the Novembergruppe,
Gruppe 1919, the Blaue Reiter circle and Die Blaue Vier (The
Blue Four). His first solo exhibit was at Sturm Gallery in
Berlin, 1917. When Walter Gropius founded the Bauhaus in
Germany in 1919, Feininger was his first faculty
appointment, and became the master artist in charge of the
From 1909 until 1921,
Feininger spent summer vacations on the island of
Usedom to recover and to get new inspiration. He
continued to create paintings and drawings of Benz
for the rest of his life, even after returning to
live in the United States. A tour of the sites
appearing in the works of Feininger follows a path
with markers in the ground to guide visitors.
He designed the
cover for the Bauhaus 1919 manifesto: an
expressionist woodcut 'cathedral'. He taught at the
Bauhaus for several years. Among the students who
attended his workshops were Ludwig Hirschfeld Mack
(German/Australian (1893–1965), Hans Friedrich Grohs
(German 1892 - 1981), and Margarete Koehler-Bittkow
When the Nazi Party
came to power in 1933, the situation became
unbearable for Feininger and his wife. The Nazi
Party declared his work to be "degenerate." They
moved to America after his work was exhibited in the
'degenerate art' (Entartete Kunst) in 1936, but
before the 1937 exhibition in Munich.
He taught at Mills College before returning to New
York. He was elected to the American Academy of Arts
and Letters in 1955.
Lyonel Feininger. Gross-Kromsdorf I. 1915
In addition to drawing,
Feininger created art with painted toy figures being
photographed in front of drawn backgrounds.
Feininger produced a large
body of photographic works between 1928 and the mid-1950s.
He kept his photographic work within his circle of friends,
and it was not shared with the public in his lifetime. He
gave some prints away to his colleagues Walter Gropius and
Alfred H. Barr, Jr..
Feininger also had
intermittent activity as a pianist and composer, with
several piano compositions and fugues for organ extant.
His sons, Andreas Feininger
and T. Lux Feininger, both became noted artists, the former
as a photographer and the latter as a photographer and
painter. T. Lux Feininger died July 7, 2011 at the age of
Giacomo Balla, (born
July 24, 1871, Turin, Italy—died March 1, 1958, Rome),
Italian artist and founding member of the Futurist
movement in painting.
Balla had little
formal art training, having attended briefly an
academy in Turin. He moved to Rome in his twenties.
As a young artist, he was greatly influenced by
French Neo-Impressionism during a sojourn he made in
Paris in 1900. Upon his return to Rome, he adopted
the Neo-Impressionist style and imparted it to two
younger artists, Umberto Boccioni and Gino Severini.
Balla’s early works reflect contemporary French
trends but also hint at his lifelong interest in
rendering light and its effects. Balla, Boccioni,
and Severini gradually came under the influence of
the Milanese poet Filippo Marinetti, who in 1909
launched the literary movement he called Futurism,
which was an attempt to revitalize Italian culture
by embracing the power of modern science and
technology. In 1910 Balla and other Italian artists
published the Technical Manifesto of Futurist
Futurists, Balla was a lyrical painter, unconcerned
with modern machines or violence. The Street
Light—Study of Light (1909), for example, is a
dynamic depiction of light. Despite his unique taste
in subject matter, in works such as this Balla
conveys a sense of speed and urgency that puts his
paintings in line with Futurism’s fascination with
the energy of modern life. One of his best-known
works, Dynamism of a Dog on a Leash (1912), shows an
almost frame-by-frame view of a woman walking a dog
on a boulevard.
The work illustrates his principle of
simultaneity—i.e., the rendering of motion by
simultaneously showing many aspects of a moving
object. This interest in capturing a single moment
in a series of planes was derived from Cubism, but
it was also no doubt tied to Balla’s interest in the
technology of photography.
During World War I
Balla composed a series of paintings in which he
attempted to convey the impression of movement or
velocity through the use of planes of colour; these
works are perhaps the most abstract of all Futurist
After the war he remained
faithful to the Futurist style long after its other
practitioners had abandoned it. In addition to his painting,
during these years he explored stage design, graphic design,
and even acting. At the end of his career he abandoned his
lifelong pursuit of near abstraction and reverted to a more
John French Sloan,
(born Aug. 2, 1871, Lock Haven, Pa., U.S.—died Sept. 7,
1951, Hanover, N.H.), American painter, etcher and
lithographer, cartoonist, and illustrator, known for the
vitality of his depictions of everyday life in New York
City in the early 20th century.
John French Sloan.
Sloan was a commercial
newspaper artist in Philadelphia, where he studied
with Robert Henri.
He followed Henri to New York, where in 1908 Henri,
Sloan, and six others exhibited together as “The
Sloan’s realistic paintings of urban genre gave rise
to the epithet “Ashcan School.” For most of his life
Sloan taught intermittently and, interested in
social reform, did illustrations for the socialist
periodical The Masses. In 1939 he published The Gist
His best period was
from 1900 to 1920. In works such as “Sunday, Women
Drying Their Hair” (1912); “McSorley’s Bar” (1912);
and “Backyards, Greenwich Village” (1914), he drew
his inspiration directly from life, from the warm,
pungent humanity of the New York scene.
They are usually sympathetic portrayals of working
men and women. More rarely his works evoke a mood of
romantic melancholy, as in the “Wake of the Ferry”
Occasionally, as in “Fifth Avenue Critics,” Sloan
imparted a sharp, satiric note into his work. Late
in life Sloan turned back to the Art Nouveau motifs
which had characterized his early work.
Franco-Prussian War is followed by the proclamation of the
Commune in Paris. Courbefs first action as President of the Art
Commission is to organize the demolition of the Napoleonic
column in Place Vendome, but after seventy-two days the Commune
is suppressed and Courbet imprisoned. In London, Durand-Ruel
exhibits the works of Monet and Pissarro, and forges a lasting
and significant link with the future Impressionist artists.
1871 Manet had intended to paint a large work in protest against the
suppression of the Commune, but he only produced a drawing and two
4th Renoir is posted to Libourne, where he contracts
dysentery. He convalesces with his uncle in Bordeaux.
21st In a letter to Pissarro, Durand-Ruel apologizes for not
meeting him when he came to his London gallery and adds:
'Your friend Monet has asked me for your address. He did not know
that you were in England.'
A Paris National Guard is formed in protest at the armistice between
France and Prussia. Anti-government demonstrations take place across
12th Manet joins his family at Oloron-Sainte-Marie in the
Pyrenees. Nine days later they travel to
Bordeaux, where they meet Zola.
The Communard, Gustave Lemaire, was
among those who received an invitation to watch the destruction of
the column in Place Vendome. Courbet, who ordered the demolition,
was the subject of many caricatures, including this one of him using
the Napoleonic column as a walking stick .
Renoir is stationed at Vic-en-Bigorre, near Tarbes for two months,
where he spends much of his time riding and
teaching a young girl to paint.
Monet paints views of Hyde Park, the Pool of London and the
Thames at Westminster.
The Royal Academy rejects works by Pissarro and Monet.
Sisley moves to Louveciennes.
Degas visits his friends the Valpincons at Menil-Hubert.
The Thames and Westminster
1871 The subject of this painting was one to which Monet would revert
frequently over the next twenty years. This early version is
unusual, however, as its viewpoint is at ground level on the
Embankment - most of the other versions were painted from a room in
the Savoy Hotel .
18th The second exhibition of Durand-Ruel's Society of French
Artists opens at his gallery in London. A total of 139 paintings are
shown, including two each by Monet and Pissarro.
28th Proclamation of the Commune in Paris. Courbet is made
President of the Art Commission. Under his leadership, the French
Academy in Rome, the Ecole des Beaux-Arts and the awarding of prizes
at the Salon are abolished.
The Commune sets up a federation of artists, consisting of fifteen
painters (including Manet) and ten sculptors.
Durand-Ruel opens a gallery in the Place des Martyrs in Brussels.
Manet goes to stay at Le Pouliguen in Brittany for a month.
Berthe Morisot and her parents move to St-Germain-en-Laye.
Renoir returns to Paris and rents a room in the rue du Dragon. He
secures a pass from Raoul Rigaud, the Commune's Prefect of Police,
enabling him to go sketching outside the walls.
23rd Gauguin is demobilized from the navy. Through the good
offices of his guardian, Gustave Arosa - whose daughter teaches him
to paint — he obtains a job with Bertin, a firm of stockbrokers in
the rue Lafitte.
12th Through the intervention of Durand-Ruel, Monet's Repose
and Camille: Woman in the Green Dress as well as
Lower Norwood, London: Snow Effect and Penge Station,
are exhibited at the International Exhibition of Fine Art in
They are ignored by the critics.
Lower Norwood, London: Snow Effect
1870 Pissarro and his family arrived in London in 1870 and settled in
the pleasant suburb of Upper Norwood at 2 Chatham Terrace, Palace
Road (now 65 Palace Road). This work, one of the earliest Pissarro
painted of the neighbourhood, is probably the same as that entitled
Snow Effect, which was exhibited at Durand-Ruel's gallery in London
during December 1870 and the International Exhibition of Fine Art,
Kensington, in May of the following year.
16th Courbet presides over the demolition of the column to
Napoleon in Place Vendome.
28th The Communards are suppressed by the government.
14th Pissarro marries Julie Vellay, his mother's servant
(with whom he has been living since I860), at the Registry' Office
20th Durand-Ruel buys two paintings from Pissarro for 200
francs each. The painter returns to France to find his home
despoiled by the Prussians, and most of his work either stolen or
Manet goes to Versailles, where the government is now located, to
try to persuade Leon Gambetta to sit for him - but his journey is in
Manet holidays in Boulogne. Renoir visits Bougival and Marlotte.
Berthe Morisot visits Cherbourg.
Renoir rents a room at 34 rue Notre-Dame-des-Ghamps.
Monet goes to Holland - probably with Daubigny, who buys a picture
from him. He paints mainly at Zaandam, near Amsterdam.
Degas visits London, where he stays at the Hotel Gonte in Golden
Square. He goes to see the third exhibition of the Society of French
Artists at Durand-Ruel's gallery in New Bond Street. Monet and his
family settle at Argenteuil.
22nd Pissarro's third son, Georges, is born in Louveciennes.
TO LIFE IN LONDON
Pissarro's initial disillusionment with life in England, especially
the London art world, is evident from a letter to the art critic
Theodore Duret (who was, in fact, an enthusiastic Anglophile):
I am here for only a short time. I count on returning to France as
soon as possible. Yes, my dear Duret, I shan't stay here, and it is
only abroad that one feels how beautiful, great and hospitable
France is. What a difference here! One attracts only contempt,
indifference, even rudeness; amongst colleagues there is the most
egotistical jealousy and resentment. Here there is no art;
everything is a question of business. As far as my private affairs
are concerned, I've done nothing, except with Durand-Ruel who has
bought two small paintings from me. My painting doesn't catch on at
all, a fate that pursues me more or less everywhere.
LETTER TO THEODORE DURET, June 1871
Nevertheless, both he and Monet enjoyed the change of landscape and
familiarized themselves with British art:
Monet and I were very enthusiastic about the London landscapes.
Monet worked in the parks, while I, living in Lower Norwood, at that
time a charming suburb, studied the effect of fog, snow and
springtime. We worked from nature. We also visited the museums. The
watercolours and painting of Turner and Constable, the canvases of
Old Crome, have certainly had an influence on us. We admired
Gainsborough, Reynolds, Lawrence etc., but we were mostly struck by
the landscape painters, who shared more in our aim with regard to
plein-air' painting, light and fugitive effects. Watts, Rossetti
strongly interested us among the modern men. Turner and Constable,
while they taught us something, showed in their works that they had
no understanding of the analysis of shadow, which in Turner's case
is, in effect, a mere absence of light. As far as tone division is
concerned, Turner proved the value of this as a method... although
he did not apply it correctly and naturally.
LETTER TO WYNFORD DEWHURST, November 1902
Royal Albert Hall is
a concert hall on the northern edge of South Kensington,
London, best known for holding the Proms concerts
annually each summer since 1941. It has a capacity
(depending on configuration of the event) of up to 5,272
seats. The Hall is a registered charity held in trust
for the nation and receives no public or government
Since its opening by
Queen Victoria in 1871, the world's leading artists from
many performance genres have appeared on its stage and
it has become one of the UK's most treasured and
distinctive buildings. Each year it hosts more than 390
shows in the main auditorium, including classical, rock
and pop concerts, ballet, opera, film screenings with
live orchestra, sports, award ceremonies, school and
community events, charity performances and banquets. A
further 400 events are held each year in the
The Hall was originally
supposed to have been called the Central Hall of Arts and
Sciences, but the name was changed to the Royal Albert Hall
of Arts and Sciences by Queen Victoria upon laying the
Hall's foundation stone in 1867, in memory of her late
husband consort, Prince Albert who had died six years
earlier. It forms the practical part of a national memorial
to the Prince Consort – the decorative part is the Albert
Memorial directly to the north in Kensington Gardens, now
separated from the Hall by the road Kensington Gore.
Royal Albert Hall
In 1851, the Great Exhibition (for which the Crystal Palace
was built) was held in Hyde Park, London. The exhibition was
a great success and led Prince Albert, the Prince Consort,
to propose the creation of a permanent series of facilities
for the enlightenment of the public in the area, which came
to be known as Albertopolis. The Exhibition's Royal
Commission bought Gore House and its grounds (on which the
Hall now stands) on the advice of the Prince. Progress on
the scheme was slow and in 1861 Prince Albert died, without
having seen his ideas come to fruition. However, a memorial
was proposed for Hyde Park, with a Great Hall opposite.
The proposal was approved
and the site was purchased with some of the profits from the
Exhibition. Once the remaining funds had been raised, in
April 1867 Queen Victoria signed the Royal Charter of the
Corporation of the Hall of Arts and Sciences which was to
operate the Hall and on 20 May, laid the foundation stone.
The Hall was designed by civil engineers Captain Francis
Fowke and Major-General Henry Y.D. Scott of the Royal
Engineers and built by Lucas Brothers. The designers were
heavily influenced by ancient amphitheatres, but had also
been exposed to the ideas of Gottfried Semper while he was
working at the South Kensington Museum. The recently opened
Cirque d'Hiver in Paris was seen in the contemporary press
as the design to outdo. The Hall was constructed mainly of
Fareham Red brick, with terra cotta block decoration made by
Gibbs and Canning Limited of Tamworth. The dome (designed by
Rowland Mason Ordish) on top was made of wrought iron and
glazed. There was a trial assembly made of the iron
framework of the dome in Manchester, then it was taken apart
again and transported to London via horse and cart. When the
time came for the supporting structure to be removed from
the dome after re-assembly in situ, only volunteers remained
on site in case the structure dropped. It did drop – but
only by five-sixteenths of an inch. The Hall was scheduled
to be completed by Christmas Day 1870 and the Queen visited
a few weeks beforehand to inspect.
The Hall at the opening ceremony, seen from
The official opening ceremony
of the Hall was on 29 March 1871. A welcoming speech was
given by Edward, the Prince of Wales; Queen Victoria was too
overcome to speak. At some point, the Queen remarked that
the Hall reminded her of the British constitution.
A concert followed, when the
Hall's acoustic problems became immediately apparent.
Engineers first attempted to solve the strong echo by
suspending a canvas awning below the dome. This helped and
also sheltered concertgoers from the sun, but the problem
was not solved: it used to be jokingly said that the Hall
was "the only place where a British composer could be sure
of hearing his work twice".
Initially lit by gas, the
Hall contained a special system where its thousands of gas
jets were lit within ten seconds. Though it was demonstrated
as early as 1873 in the Hall, full electric lighting was not
installed until 1888. During an early trial when a partial
installation was made, one disgruntled patron wrote to The
Times newspaper declaring it to be "a very ghastly and
The Wine Society was
founded at the Hall on 4 August 1874, after large quantities
of cask wine were forgotten about in the cellars. A series
of lunches were held to publicise the wines and General
Henry Scott proposed a co-operative company to buy and sell
The first performance at the Hall. The decorated canvas
awning is seen beneath the dome.
In 1936, the Hall was the scene of a giant rally celebrating
the British Empire, the occasion being the centenary of
Joseph Chamberlain's birth. In October 1942, the Hall
suffered minor damage during World War II bombing but was
left mostly untouched as German pilots used the distinctive
structure as a landmark.
In 1949 the canvas awning was
removed and replaced with fluted aluminium panels below the
glass roof, in a new attempt to solve the echo; but the
acoustics were not properly tackled until 1969 when a series
of large fibreglass acoustic diffusing discs (commonly
referred to as "mushrooms" or "flying saucers") was
installed below the ceiling.
From 1996 until 2004, the
Hall underwent a programme of renovation and development
supported by a £20 million grant from the Heritage Lottery
Fund to enable it to meet the demands of the next century of
events and performances. Thirty "discrete projects" were
designed and supervised by architecture and engineering firm
BDP without disrupting events. These projects included
improving ventilation to the auditorium, more bars and
restaurants, new improved seating, better technical
facilities and more modern backstage areas. Internally, the
Circle seating was rebuilt in four weeks in June 1996
providing more leg room, better access and improved sight
Royal Albert Hall from Prince Consort Road
The largest project of the ongoing renovation and
development was the building of a new south porch – door 12,
accommodating a first floor restaurant, new ground floor box
office and below ground loading bay. Although the exterior
of the building was largely unchanged, the south steps
leading down to Prince Consort Road were demolished to allow
construction of an underground vehicle access and loading
bay with accommodation for 3 HGVs carrying all the equipment
brought by shows. The steps were then reconstructed around a
new south porch, named The Meitar Foyer after a significant
donation from Mr & Mrs Meitar. The porch was built in a
similar scale and style to the three pre-existing porches at
Door 3, 6 and 9: these works were undertaken by Taylor
Woodrow Construction. The original steps featured in early
scenes of 1965 film The Ipcress File. On 4 June 2004, the
project received the Europa Nostra Award for remarkable
achievement. The East (Door 3) and West (Door 9) porches
were glazed and new bars opened along with ramps to improve
disabled access. The Stalls were rebuilt in a four-week
period in 2000 using steel supports allowing more space
underneath for two new bars. 1534 unique pivoting seats were
laid – with an addition of 180 prime seats. The Choirs were
rebuilt at the same time. The whole building was redecorated
in a style that reinforces its Victorian identity. New
carpets were laid in the corridors – specially woven with a
border that follows the elliptic curve of the building in
the largest single woven design in the world.
Between 2002 and 2004 there
was a major rebuilding of the great organ (known as the
Voice of Jupiter), built by "Father" Henry Willis in 1871
and rebuilt by Harrison & Harrison in 1924 and 1933. The
rebuilding was performed by Mander Organs and it is now the
second largest pipe organ in the British Isles with 9,997
pipes in 147 stops. The largest is the Grand Organ in
Liverpool Cathedral which has 10,268 pipes.
Acoustic diffusing discs (lit in blue) hanging from the roof
of the Hall. The fluted aluminium panels are seen above, lit
During the first half of 2011, changes were made to the
backstage areas to relocate and increase the size of crew
catering areas under the South Steps away from the stage and
create additional dressing rooms nearer to the stage.
During the summer of 2012 the staff canteen and some
changing areas were expanded and refurbished by contractor
From January to May the Box Office area at Door 12 underwent
further modernisation to include a new Café Bar on the
ground floor, a new Box Office with shop counters and
additional toilets. The design and construction was carried
out by contractor 8Build. Upon opening it was renamed 'The
Zvi and Ofra Meitar Porch and Foyer.' owing to a large
donation from the couple.
In Autumn 2013, work began
on replacing the Victorian steam heating system over three
years and improving and cooling across the building. This
work follows the summer Proms season during which
temperatures were particularly high.
From January the Cafe Consort on the Grand Tier was closed
permanently in preparation for a new restaurant at a cost of
£1 million. The refurbishment, the first in around 10 years,
was designed by consultancy firm Keane Brands and carried
out by contractor 8Build. Verdi – Italian Kitchen was
officially opened on 15 April with a lunch or dinner menu of
'stone baked pizzas, pasta and classic desserts'
The Triumph of Arts and Sciences.
Design The Hall, a Grade I
listed building, is an ellipse in plan, with major and minor
axes of 83 m (272 ft) and 72 m (236 ft). The great glass and
wrought-iron dome roofing the Hall is 41 m (135 ft) high. It
was originally designed with a capacity for 8,000 people and
has accommodated as many as 9,000 (although modern safety
restrictions mean that the maximum permitted capacity is now
5,544 including standing in the Gallery).
Around the outside of the
building is a great mosaic frieze, depicting "The Triumph of
Arts and Sciences", in reference to the Hall's dedication.
Proceeding anti-clockwise from the north side the sixteen
subjects of the frieze are: (1) Various Countries of the
World bringing in their Offerings to the Exhibition of 1851;
(2) Music; (3) Sculpture; (4) Painting; (5) Princes, Art
Patrons and Artists; (6) Workers in Stone; (7) Workers in
Wood and Brick; (8) Architecture; (9) The Infancy of the
Arts and Sciences; (10) Agriculture; (11) Horticulture and
Land Surveying; (12) Astronomy and Navigation; (13) A Group
of Philosophers, Sages and Students; (14) Engineering; (15)
The Mechanical Powers; and (16) Pottery and Glassmaking.
Above the frieze is an
inscription in 12-inch-high (300 mm) terracotta letters that
combines historical fact and Biblical quotations: "This hall
was erected for the advancement of the arts and sciences and
works of industry of all nations in fulfilment of the
intention of Albert Prince Consort. The site was purchased
with the proceeds of the Great Exhibition of the year
MDCCCLI. The first stone of the Hall was laid by Her Majesty
Queen Victoria on the twentieth day of May MDCCCLXVII and it
was opened by Her Majesty the Twenty Ninth of March in the
year MDCCCLXXI. Thine O Lord is the greatness and the power
and the glory and the victory and the majesty. For all that
is in the heaven and in the earth is Thine. The wise and
their works are in the hand of God. Glory be to God on high
and on earth peace."
Below the Arena floor there
are two 4000 gallon water tanks, which are used for shows
that flood the arena like Madam Butterfly
Second Tier corridor, facing West from Door 6.
Events The Hall has been affectionately titled "The Nation's
Village Hall". The first concert was Arthur Sullivan's
cantata On Shore and Sea, performed on 1 May 1871.
Many events are promoted by
the Hall, whilst since the early 1970s promoter Raymond
Gubbay has brought a range of events to the Hall including
opera, ballet and classical music. Some events include
classical and rock concerts, conferences, banquets, ballroom
dancing, poetry recitals, educational talks, motor shows,
ballet, opera, film screenings and circus shows. It has
hosted many sporting events, including boxing, squash, table
tennis, basketball, wrestling (including the first Sumo
wrestling tournament to be held in London as well as UFC 38
(the first UFC event to be held in the UK), tennis and even
One notable event was a
Pink Floyd concert held 26 June 1969, the night they were
banned from ever playing at the Hall again after shooting
cannons, nailing things to the stage, and having a man in a
gorilla suit roam the audience. At one point Rick Wright
went to the pipe organ and began to play "The End Of The
Beginning", the final part of "Saucerful Of Secrets", joined
by the brass section of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
(led by the conductor, Norman Smith) and the ladies of the
Ealing Central Amateur Choir. A portion of the pipe organ
recording is included on Pink Floyd's album The Endless
A prom seen from Circle R/S
Benefit concerts in include
the 1997 Music for Montserrat concert, arranged and produced
by George Martin, an event which featured artists such as
Phil Collins, Mark Knopfler, Sting, Elton John, Eric Clapton
and Paul McCartney, and 2012 Sunflower Jam charity concert
with Queen guitarist Brian May performing alongside bassist
John Paul Jones of Led Zeppelin, drummer Ian Paice of Deep
Purple, and vocalists Bruce Dickinson of Iron Maiden and
October 2011, the Hall staged the 25th anniversary
performance of Andrew Lloyd Webber's The Phantom of the
Opera, which was broadcast live to cinemas across the world
and filmed for DVD. Lloyd Webber, the original London cast
including Sarah Brightman and Michael Crawford, and four
previous actors of the titular character, among others, were
in attendance – Brightman and the previous Phantoms (aside
from Crawford) performed an encore.
On 24 September 2012,
Classic FM celebrated the 20th anniversary of their launch
with a concert at the Hall. The programme featured live
performances of works by Handel, Puccini, Rachmaninoff,
Parry, Vaughan Williams, Tchaikovsky and Karl Jenkins who
conducted his piece The Benedictus from The Armed Man in
On 19 November 2012, the
Hall hosted the 100th anniversary performance of the Royal
Variety Performance, attended by the Queen and Prince
Philip, with boyband One Direction among the performers.
Between 1996 to 2008, the
Hall hosted the annual National Television Awards all of
which were hosted by Sir Trevor McDonald.
(French: L'Internationale) is a widely-sung Left-wing
anthem. It has been one of the most recognizable and
popular songs of the socialist movement since the late
19th century, when the Second International (now the
Socialist International) adopted it as its official
anthem. The title arises from the "First International",
an alliance of workers which held a congress in 1864.
The author of the anthem's lyrics, Eugène Pottier,
attended this congress.
The original French refrain of
the song is C'est la lutte finale / Groupons-nous et demain
/ L'Internationale / Sera le genre humain. (English: "This
is the final struggle / Let us group together and tomorrow /
The Internationale / Will be the human race.") "The
Internationale" has been translated into many languages.
It is often sung with the
left hand raised in a clenched fist salute and is sometimes
followed (in English-speaking places) with a chant of "The
workers united will never be defeated." The Internationale
has been celebrated by Socialists, Communists, Anarchists,
Democratic Socialists, and Social Democrats.
The original French words were written in June 1871
by Eugène Pottier (1816–1887, previously a member of
the Paris Commune) and were originally intended to
be sung to the tune of "La Marseillaise". Pierre De
Geyter (1848–1932) set the poem to music in 1888.
His melody was first publicly performed in July 1888
and became widely used soon after.
In a successful
attempt to save Pierre De Geyter's job as a
woodcarver, the 6,000 leaflets printed by Lille
printer Bolboduc only mentioned the French version
of his family name (Degeyter). In 1904, Pierre's
brother Adolphe was induced by the Lille mayor
Gustave Delory to claim copyright, so that the
income of the song would continue to go to Delory's
French Socialist Party. Pierre De Geyter lost the
first copyright case in 1914, but after his brother
committed suicide and left a note explaining the
fraud, Pierre was declared the copyright owner by a
court of appeal in 1922.
In 1972 Montana
Edition owned by Hans R. Beierlein bought the rights
for 5,000 Deutschmark, first for the territory of
the West Germany, then East Germany, then worldwide.
East Germany paid 20,000 DM every year for playing
the music. Pierre De Geyter died in 1932, which
means the copyright expired 2002. The German text
Luckhards is public domain since 1984.
As the "Internationale"
music was published before 1 July 1909 outside the
United States of America, it is in the public domain
in the United States. As of 2013, Pierre De Geyter's
music is also in the public domain in countries and
areas whose copyright durations are authors'
lifetime plus 80 years or less. As Eugène Pottier
died in 1887, his original French lyrics are in the
public domain. Gustave Delory once acquired the
copyright of his lyrics through the songwriter G B
Clement having bought it from Pottier's widow.
Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Literal English translation
Stand up, damned of the Earth Stand up, prisoners of starvation Reason thunders in its volcano This is the eruption of the end. Of the past let us make a clean slate Enslaved masses, stand up, stand up. The world is about to change its foundation We are nothing, let us be all.
There are no supreme saviours Neither God, norCaesar,
nortribune. Producers, let us save ourselves, Decree the common salvation. So that the thief expires, So that the spirit be pulled from its prison, Let us fan our forge ourselves Strike the iron while it is hot.
The State oppresses and the law cheats. Tax bleeds the unfortunate. No duty is imposed on the rich; The rights of the poor is an empty phrase. Enough languishing in custody! Equality wants other laws: No rights without duties, she says, Equally, no duties without rights.
Hideous in theirapotheosis The kings of the mine and of the rail. Have they ever done anything other Than steal work? Inside the safeboxes of the gang, What work had created melted. By ordering that they give it back, The people want only their due.
This is the final struggle Let us group together, and tomorrow The Internationale
Will be the human race
The kings made us drunk with fumes, Peace among us, war to the tyrants! Let the armies go on strike, Stocks in the air, and break ranks. If they insist, these cannibals On making heroes of us, They will know soon that our bullets Are for our own generals.
Workers, peasants, we are The great party of labourers. The earth belongs only to men; The idle will go to reside elsewhere. How much of our flesh have they consumed? But if these ravens, these vultures Disappear one of these days, The sun will shine forever.
This is the final struggle Let us group together, and tomorrow The Internationale
Will be the human race
spelled Aïda, is an opera in four acts by
to an Italian libretto by Antonio Ghislanzoni, based on
a scenario often attributed to French Egyptologist
Auguste Mariette, although Verdi biographer Mary Jane
Phillips-Matz has argued that the scenario was actually
written by Temistocle Solera. Aida was first performed
at the Khedivial Opera House in Cairo on 24 December
1871, conducted by Giovanni Bottesini.
2007 production of Aida at the Arena di Verona
Elements of the opera's genesis and sources
Isma'il Pasha, Khedive of Egypt, commissioned Verdi to write an
opera for performance to celebrate the opening of the Khedivial
Opera House, paying him 150,000 francs, but the premiere was delayed
because of the Siege of Paris (1870-1871), during the
Franco-Prussian War, when the scenery and costumes were stuck in the
French capital, and Verdi's Rigoletto was performed instead. Aida
eventually premiered in Cairo in late 1871.
Contrary to popular
belief, the opera was not written to celebrate the opening of the
Suez Canal in 1869, for which Verdi had been invited to write an
inaugural hymn, but had declined. Metastasio's libretto Nitteti
(1756) was a major source of the plot.
Cairo premiere and initial success in Italy
Verdi originally chose to write a brief orchestral prelude instead
of a full overture for the opera.
He then composed an overture of
the "potpourri" variety to replace the original prelude.
the end he decided not to have the overture performed because of
its—his own words—"pretentious insipidity".
This overture, never
used today, was given a rare broadcast performance by Arturo
Toscanini and the NBC Symphony Orchestra on 30 March 1940, but was
never commercially issued.
Aida met with great acclaim when it
finally opened in Cairo on 24 December 1871.
The costumes and
accessories for the premiere were designed by Auguste Mariette, who
also oversaw the design and construction of the sets, which were
made in Paris by the Opéra's scene painters Auguste Rubé and
Philippe Chaperon (Acts 1 and 4) and Edouard Despléchin and Jean-Baptiste
Lavastre (Acts 2 and 3), and shipped to Cairo.
Although Verdi did
not attend the premiere in Cairo, he was most dissatisfied with the
fact that the audience consisted of invited dignitaries, politicians
and critics, but no members of the general public.
Verdi conducting Aida in Paris
considered the Italian (and European) premiere, held at La Scala,
Milan on 8 February 1872, and a performance in which he was heavily
involved at every stage, to be its real premiere.
Verdi had also written the role of
Aida for the voice of Teresa Stolz, who sang it for the first time
at the Milan premiere.
Verdi had asked her fiancé, Angelo Mariani,
to conduct the Cairo premiere, but he declined, so Giovanni
Bottesini filled the gap. The Milan Amneris, Maria Waldmann, was his
favourite in the role and she repeated it a number of times at his
The Israeli Opera performing Aida at the foot of Masada, 11 June
Aida was received with great
enthusiasm at its Milan premiere.
The opera was soon mounted at
major opera houses throughout Italy, including the Teatro Regio di
Parma (20 April 1872), the Teatro di San Carlo (30 March 1873), La
Fenice (11 June 1873), the Teatro Regio di Torino (26 December
1874), the Teatro Comunale di Bologna (30 September 1877, with
Giuseppina Pasqua as Amneris and Franco Novara as the King), and the
Teatro Costanzi (8 October 1881, with Theresia Singer as Aida and
Giulia Novelli as Amneris) among others.
The “triumphal scene” from Opera Pacific's production of Aida
in 2006, starring Angela Brown as Aida, Carl Tanner as Radamès,
Milena Kitić as Amneris and Donnie Ray Albert as Amonasro
Verdi - Aida - Triumphal March -
Lund International Choral Festival 2010
476 singers and 60 musicians of Lunds
Stadsorkester conducted by Roger Andersson
On October 17th 2012 the next Lund
Choral Festival will start:
Here the same chior performs Va, pensiro - Chorus of the Hebrew
Slaves - from Nabucco:
Giuseppe Verdi - Aida - Triumph
March - Triumphal March - Grand March - Chior - Chorus
Lund International Choral Festival 2010