Malevich (February 23, 1878 – May 15, 1935) was a Russian
painter and art theoretician. He was a pioneer of geometric
abstract art and the originator of the avant-garde Suprematist
Kazimir Malevich was born Kazimierz Malewicz to a Polish family, who
settled near Kiev in the Kiev Governorate of the Russian Empire
during the partitions of Poland. His parents, Ludwika and Seweryn
Malewicz, were Roman Catholic like most ethnic Poles. They both had
fled from the former eastern territories of the Commonwealth
(present-day Kopyl Region of Belarus) to Kiev in the aftermath of
the failed Polish January Uprising of 1863 against the tsarist army.
His native languages were Polish and Russian.
Kazimir's father managed a sugar
factory. Kazimir was the first of fourteen children, only nine of
whom survived into adulthood. His family moved often and he spent
most of his childhood in the villages of Ukraine, amidst sugar-beet
plantations, far from centers of culture. Until age twelve he knew
nothing of professional artists, although art had surrounded him in
childhood. He delighted in peasant embroidery, and in decorated
walls and stoves. He was able to paint in the peasant style. He
studied drawing in Kiev from 1895 to 1896.
From 1896 to 1904 Kazimir Malevich lived in Kursk.
In 1904, after the death of his father, he moved to
Moscow. He studied at the Moscow School of Painting,
Sculpture, and Architecture from 1904 to 1910 and in
the studio of Fedor Rerberg in Moscow (1904 to
1910). In 1911 he participated in the second
exhibition of the group, Soyuz Molodyozhi (Union of
Youth) in St. Petersburg, together with Vladimir
Tatlin and, in 1912, the group held its third
exhibition, which included works by Aleksandra
Ekster, Tatlin, and others. In the same year he
participated in an exhibition by the collective,
Donkey's Tail in Moscow. By that time his works were
influenced by Natalia Goncharova and Mikhail
Larionov, Russian avant-garde painters, who were
particularly interested in Russian folk art called
lubok. Malevich described himself as painting in a "Cubo-Futuristic"
style in 1912. In March 1913 a major exhibition of
Aristarkh Lentulov's paintings opened in Moscow. The
effect of this exhibition was comparable with that
of Paul Cézanne in Paris in 1907, as all the main
Russian avant-garde artists of the time (including
Malevich) immediately absorbed the cubist principles
and began using them in their works. Already in the
same year the Cubo-Futurist opera, Victory Over the
Sun, with Malevich's stage-set, became a great
success. In 1914 Malevich exhibited his works in the
Salon des Indépendants in Paris together with
Alexander Archipenko, Sonia Delaunay, Aleksandra
Ekster, and Vadim Meller, among others. Malevich
also co-illustrated, with Pavel Filonov, Selected
Poems with Postscript, 1907–1914 by Velimir
Khlebnikov and another work by Khlebnikov in 1914
titled Roar! Gauntlets, 1908–1914, with Vladimir
A section of Suprematist works by Kazimir Malevich exhibited at the
0.10 Exhibition, Petrograd, 1915
In 1915, Malevich laid down the foundations of Suprematism when he
published his manifesto, From Cubism to Suprematism. In 1915–1916 he
worked with other Suprematist artists in a peasant/artisan
co-operative in Skoptsi and Verbovka village. In 1916–1917 he
participated in exhibitions of the Jack of Diamonds group in Moscow
together with Nathan Altman, David Burliuk, Aleksandra Ekster and
others. Famous examples of his Suprematist works include Black
Square (1915)[ and White On White (1918).
Malevich exhibited his first Black Square, now at the Tretyakov
Gallery in Moscow, at the Last Futurist Exhibition 0,10 in Petrograd
in 1915. A black square placed against the sun appeared for the
first time in the 1913 scenery designs for the Futurist opera
Victory over the Sun.
The second Black
Square was painted around 1923. Some believe that
the third Black Square (also at the Tretyakov
Gallery) was painted in 1929 for Malevich's solo
exhibition, because of the poor condition of the
1915 square. One more Black Square, the smallest and
probably the last, may have been intended as a
diptych together with the Red Square (though of
smaller size) for the exhibition Artists of the
RSFSR: 15 Years, held in Leningrad (1932). The two
squares, Black and Red, were the centerpiece of the
show. This last square, despite the author's note
1913 on the reverse, is believed to have been
created in the late twenties or early thirties, for
there are no earlier mentions of it.
In 1918, Malevich
decorated a play, Mystery Bouffe, by Vladimir
Mayakovskiy produced by Vsevolod Meyerhold.
He also was
interested in aerial photography and aviation, which
led him to abstractions inspired by or derived from
aerial landscapes. As Julia Bekman Chadaga (now of
Macalaster College ) writes:
In his later
writings, Malevich defined the "additional element"
as the quality of any new visual environment
bringing about a change in perception... In a series
of diagrams illustrating the "environments" that
influence various painterly styles, the Suprematist
is associated with a series of aerial views
rendering the familiar landscape into an
abstraction... (excerpted from Bekman Chadaga's
paper delivered at Columbia University's 2000
symposium, "Art, Technology, and Modernity in Russia
and Eastern Europe")
Some Ukrainian authors claim that Malevich's
Suprematism is rooted in the traditional Ukrainian
After the October Revolution (1917), Malevich became a member of the
Collegium on the Arts of Narkompros, the Commission for the
Protection of Monuments and the Museums Commission (all from
1918–1919). He taught at the Vitebsk Practical Art School in the
USSR (now part of Belarus) (1919–1922), the Leningrad Academy of
Arts (1922–1927), the Kiev State Art Institute (1927–1929), and the
House of the Arts in Leningrad (1930). He wrote the book The World
as Non-Objectivity, which was published in Munich in 1926 and
translated into English in 1959. In it, he outlines his Suprematist
In 1923, Malevich was appointed
director of Petrograd State Institute of Artistic Culture, which was
forced to close in 1926 after a Communist party newspaper called it
"a government-supported monastery" rife with "counterrevolutionary
sermonizing and artistic debauchery." The Soviet state was by then
heavily promoting a politically sustainable style of art called
Socialist Realism—a style Malevich had spent his entire career
repudiating. Nevertheless, he swam with the current, and was quietly
tolerated by the Communists.
recognition and banning
In 1927, Malevich traveled to Warsaw where he was
given a hero's welcome. There he met with artists
and former students Władysław Strzemiński and
Katarzyna Kobro, whose own movement, Unism, was
highly influenced by Malevich. He held his first
foreign exhibit in the Hotel Polonia Palace. From
there the painter ventured on to Berlin and Munich
for a retrospective which finally brought him
international recognition. He arranged to leave most
of the paintings behind when he returned to the
Soviet Union. Malevich's assumption that a shifting
in the attitudes of the Soviet authorities toward
the modernist art movement would take place after
the death of Vladimir Lenin and Leon Trotsky's fall
from power was proven correct in a couple of years,
when the Stalinist regime turned against forms of
abstraction, considering them a type of "bourgeois"
art, that could not express social realities. As a
consequence, many of his works were confiscated and
he was banned from creating and exhibiting similar
Malevich's art as a negation of everything good and
pure: love of life and love of nature. The
Westernizer artist and art historian Alexandre
Benois was one such critic. Malevich responded that
art can advance and develop for art's sake alone,
saying that "art does not need us, and it never
When Malevich died of cancer at the age of
fifty-seven, in Leningrad on 15 May 1935, his
friends and disciples buried his ashes in a grave
marked with a black square.
They didn’t fulfill his stated wish to have the
grave topped with an “architekton”—one of his
skyscraper-like maquettes of abstract forms,
equipped with a telescope through which visitors
were to gaze at Jupiter.
On his deathbed
Malevich had been exhibited with the Black Square
above him, and mourners at his funeral rally were
permitted to wave a banner bearing a black square.
Malevich had asked to be buried under an oak tree on
the outskirts of Nemchinovka, a place to which he
felt a special bond.
His ashes were sent to Nemchinovka, and buried in a field near his dacha.
Nikolai Suetin, a friend of Malevich’s and a fellow
artist, designed a white cube with a black square to
mark the burial site. The memorial was destroyed
during World War II. The city of Leningrad bestowed
a pension on Malevich's mother and daughter.
In 2013, an
apartment block was built on the place of the tomb
and burial site of Kazimir Malevich. Another nearby
monument to Malevich, put up in 1988, is now also
situated on the grounds of a gated community.
Malevich's family was one of the millions of Poles who lived
within the Russian Empire following the Partitions of
Poland. Kazimir Malevich was born near Kiev on lands that
had previously been part of the Polish-Lithuanian
Commonwealth of parents who were ethnic Poles.
Both Polish and Russian were
native languages of Malevich, who would sign his artwork in
the Polish form of his name as Kazimierz Malewicz. In a visa
application to travel to France, Malewicz claimed Polish as
his nationality. French art historian Andrei Nakov, who
re-established Malevich's birth year as 1879 (and not 1878),
has argued for restoration of the Polish spelling of
In 2013, Malevich's family
in New York City and fans founded the not-for-profit The
Rectangular Circle of Friends of Kazimierz Malewicz, whose
dedicated goal is to promote awareness of Kazimir's Polish
Taking in the Rye
Alfred H. Barr, Jr. included several paintings in the
groundbreaking exhibition “Cubism and Abstract Art” at the
Museum of Modern Art in New York in 1936. In 1939, the
Museum of Non-Objective Painting opened in New York, whose
founder, Solomon R. Guggenheim – an early and passionate
collector of the Russian avant-garde – was inspired by the
same aesthetic ideals and spiritual quest that exemplified
first U.S. retrospective of Malevich’s work in 1973 at the
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum provoked a flood of interest
and further intensified his impact on postwar American and
European artists. However, most of Malevich’s work and the
story of the Russian avant-garde remained under lock and key
until Glasnost. In 1989, the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam
held the West’s first large-scale Malevich retrospective,
including its own paintings and works from the collection of
Russian art critic Nikolai Khardzhiev.
Malevich's works are held in several major art museums,
including the State Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow, and in New
York, the Museum of Modern Art and the Guggenheim Museum.
The Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam owns 24 Malevich
paintings, more than any other museum outside of Russia.
Another major collection of Malevich works is held by the
State Museum of Contemporary Art in Thessaloniki.
Black Square, the fourth version of his magnum opus painted
in the 1920s, was discovered in 1993 in Samara and purchased
by Inkombank for US$250,000. In April 2002 the painting was
auctioned for an equivalent of US$1 million. The purchase
was financed by the Russian philanthropist Vladimir Potanin,
who donated funds to the Russian Ministry of Culture, and
ultimately, to the State Hermitage Museum collection.
According to the Hermitage website, this was the largest
private contribution to state art museums since the October
On 3 November 2008 a work
by Malevich entitled Suprematist Composition from 1916 set
the world record for any Russian work of art and any work
sold at auction for that year, selling at Sotheby's in New
York City for just over US$60 million (surpassing his
previous record of US$17 million set in 2000).
Boris Mikhaylovich Kustodiev (Russian:
Бори́с Миха́йлович Кусто́диев) (March 7, 1878 – May 28, 1927) was a
Russian painter and stage designer.
Boris Kustodiev was born in Astrakhan into the family of a professor
of philosophy, history of literature, and logic at the local
theological seminary. His father died young, and all financial and
material burdens fell on his mother's shoulders. The Kustodiev
family rented a small wing in a rich merchant's house. It was there
that the boy's first impressions were formed of the way of life of
the provincial merchant class. The artist later wrote, "The whole
tenor of the rich and plentiful merchant way of life was there right
under my nose... It was like something out of an Ostrovsky play."
The artist retained these childhood observations for years,
recreating them later in oils and water-colours.
Between 1893 and 1896, Boris studied in theological seminary and
took private art lessons in Astrakhan from Pavel Vlasov, a pupil of
Vasily Perov. Subsequently, from 1896 to 1903, he attended Ilya
Repin’s studio at the Imperial Academy of Arts in St. Petersburg.
Concurrently, he took classes in sculpture under Dmitry Stelletsky
and in etching under Vasiliy Mate. He first exhibited in 1896.
"I have great hopes for Kustodiev,"
wrote Repin. "He is a talented artist and a thoughtful and serious
man with a deep love of art; he is making a careful study of
nature..." When Repin was commissioned to paint a large-scale canvas
to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the State Council, he
invited Kustodiev to be his assistant. The painting was extremely
complex and involved a great deal of hard work. Together with his
teacher, the young artist made portrait studies for the painting,
and then executed the right-hand side of the final work. Also at
this time, Kustodiev made a series of portraits of contemporaries
whom he felt to be his spiritual comrades. These included the artist
Ivan Bilibin (1901, Russian Museum), Moldovtsev (1901, Krasnodar
Regional Art Museum), and the engraver Mate (1902, Russian Museum).
Working on these portraits considerably helped the artist, forcing
him to make a close study of his model and to penetrate the complex
world of the human soul.
In 1903, he married Julia
He visited France and Spain on a
grant from the Imperial Academy of Arts in 1904. Also in 1904, he
attended the private studio of René Ménard in Paris. After that he
traveled to Spain, then, in 1907, to Italy, and in 1909 he visited
Austria and Germany, and again France and Italy. During these years
he painted many portraits and genre pieces. However, no matter where
Kustodiev happened to be – in sunny Seville or in the park at
Versailles – he felt the irresistible pull of his motherland. After
five months in France he returned to Russia, writing with evident
joy to his friend Mate that he was back once more "in our blessed
Boris Kustodiev. Merchant's Wife at tea
The Russian Revolution of 1905, which shook the foundations of
society, evoked a vivid response in the artist's soul. He
contributed to the satirical journals Zhupel (Bugbear) and Adskaya
Pochta (Hell’s Mail). At that time, he first met the artists of Mir
Iskusstva (World of Art), a group of innovative Russian artists. He
joined their association in 1910 and subsequently took part in all
In 1905, Kustodiev first turned to
book illustrating, a genre in which he worked throughout his entire
life. He illustrated many works of classical Russian literature,
including Nikolai Gogol's Dead Souls, The Carriage, and The
Overcoat; Mikhail Lermontov's The Lay of Tsar Ivan Vasilyevich, His
Young Oprichnik and the Stouthearted Merchant Kalashnikov; and Leo
Tolstoy's How the Devil Stole the Peasants Hunk of Bread and The
In 1909, he was elected into Imperial Academy of Arts. He continued
to work intensively, but a grave illness—tuberculosis of the
spine—required urgent attention. On the advice of his doctors he
went to Switzerland, where he spent a year undergoing treatment in a
private clinic. He pined for his distant homeland, and Russian
themes continued to provide the basic material for the works he
painted during that year. In 1918, he painted The Merchant's Wife,
which became the most famous of his paintings.
In 1916, he became paraplegic. "Now
my whole world is my room", he wrote. His ability to remain joyful
and lively despite his paralysis amazed others. His colourful
paintings and joyful genre pieces do not reveal his physical
suffering, and on the contrary give the impression of a carefree and
His Pancake Tuesday/Maslenitsa
(1916) and Fontanka (1916) are all painted from his memories. He
meticulously restores his own childhood in the busy city on the
In the first years after the
Russian Revolution of 1917 the artist worked with great inspiration
in various fields. Contemporary themes became the basis for his
work, being embodied in drawings for calendars and book covers, and
in illustrations and sketches of street decorations, as well as some
portraits (Portrait of Countess Grabowska).
His covers for the journals The Red Cornfield and Red Panorama
attracted attention because of their vividness and the sharpness of
their subject matter. Kustodiev also worked in lithography,
illustrating works by Nekrasov. His illustrations for Leskov's
stories The Darner and Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk District were
landmarks in the history of Russian book designing, so well did they
correspond to the literary images.
The artist was also interested in designing stage scenery. He first
started work in the theatre in 1911, when he designed the sets for
Alexander Ostrovsky's An Ardent Heart. Such was his success that
further orders came pouring in. In 1913, he designed the sets and
costumes for The Death of Pazukhin at the Moscow Art Theatre.
His talent in this sphere was
especially apparent in his work for Ostrovsky's plays; It's a Family
Affair, A Stroke of Luck, Wolves and Sheep, and The Storm. The
milieu of Ostrovsky's plays—provincial life and the world of the
merchant class—was close to Kustodiev's own genre paintings, and he
worked easily and quickly on the stage sets.
In 1923, Kustodiev joined the
Association of Artists of Revolutionary Russia. He continued to
paint, make engravings, illustrate books, and design for the theater
up until his death of tuberculosis on May 28, 1927, in Leningrad.
Petrov-Vodkin, Russian: Кузьма Сергеевич Петров-Водкин
(1878 – February 15, 1939) was an important Russian and
Soviet painter and writer.
Kuzma Petrov-Vodkin was born in Khvalynsk (Saratov Oblast)
into the family of a local shoemaker. His first exposure to
art was in his early childhood, when he took some lessons
from a couple of icon painters and a signmaker. Still,
Petrov-Vodkin didn't quite see himself in art at that time;
after graduating from middle school, he took a summer job at
a small shipyard with plans to get into railroad college in
Samara. After failing his exam, he turned to "Art Classes of
Fedor Burov" in 1896
In April 1895, Burov died
and for some time Petrov-Vodkin took different painting jobs
in the vicinity of Saratov. By chance, his mother's employer
invited a well-known architect, R. Meltzer. Petrov-Vodkin
was introduced to the guest and impressed him enough to get
an invitation to study art at Saint Petersburg. The
education was financed by a charitable subscription among
local merchants. He also met at this time Borisov-Musatov,
an important painter resident in Saratov, who encouraged
Petrov-Vodkin to continue his studies.
Petrov-Vodkin stayed in
Saint Petersburg from 1895 to 1897 studying at the Baron
Stieglits School, before moving to the Moscow School of
Painting, Sculpture and Architecture. There Petrov-Vodkin
was a student of Valentin Serov, Isaak Levitan and
especially Konstantin Korovin. In 1901 he travelled to
Munich to take classes with Anton Ažbe.
He graduated in 1904.
Self Portrait. 1918
independent work (1899-1912)
While in Paris in 1906 he met and married Maria
Jovanovic (1885–1960), a daughter of Serbian
immigrant hotel-keepers. She remained his lifelong
companion. They had two daughters, one of whom died
[unverified] in childhood.
Even during his
college years, Petrov-Vodkin managed to enter into
conflict with the Russian Orthodox Church, which
discarded his work on a chapel in Samara and
ultimately destroyed it as unacceptable. A number of
his early works were deemed too erotic. His first
well-known work was The Dream (1910), which sparked
a discussion among contemporary Russian artists.
The main defender of the painting was Alexandre
Benois; his main detractor was Ilya Repin (hence,
Petrov-Vodkin was discussed by two of the major
Russian painters of the time).
Other major works of that time include Boys at play,
and, notably, Bathing of a Red Horse, his most
iconic work. The latter became an instant classic,
and, in a sense, trademark for the artist.
During this stage
in his artistic development, Petrov-Vodkin
extensively used an aesthetic of Orthodox icon
together with brighter colours and unusual
compositions. His works were often deemed
blasphemous and erotic.
From 1924 to 1926 Petrov-Vodkin lived in France with his
family. In 1922 he painted a portrait of the Russian poet
During his earlier years,
Petrov-Vodkin developed his "spherical perspective": a
unique twist that distorted the drawing as to represent the
viewer high enough to actually notice the spherical curve of
He used it extensively
through his works like Death of a Commissar and In the Line
of Fire, which make the observer seem more distant, but
actually close. It is argued that this twist has been built
upon Byzantine perspective - an inverted perspective used in
Petrov-Vodkin used darker
tones with time, but his paintings became more detailed. He
started painting still life and portraits, stepping further
away from his previous themes.
With help from the Soviet
government, he made several trips across the Soviet Union,
producing many works with didactic purposes.
Bathing the Red Horse.
Later years (1928-1937)
In 1927, Petrov-Vodkin contracted pulmonary tuberculosis and
had to curtail painting for several years. He turned to
literature and wrote three major semi-autobiographical
volumes, Khvalynsk, Euclid's Space and Samarkandia. The
first two of these are considered on a par with the finest
Russian literature of the time.
In the spring of 1932 the
Central Committee of the Communist Party decreed that all
existing literary and artistic groups and organizations
should be disbanded and replaced with unified associations
of creative professions. Accordingly, the Leningrad Union of
Artists was established on 2 August 1932, which brought the
history of post-revolutionary art to a close. The epoch of
Soviet art began. Petrov-Vodkin was elected the first
president of the Leningrad Union of Artists in 1932.
important pieces during this period include 1919. Alarm.
In February 1939,
Petrov-Vodkin died of tuberculosis in Leningrad.
Until the mid-1960s, Petrov-Vodkin was nearly forgotten in the
Soviet Union after his curtailment of painting and turn towards
Petrov-Vodkin writings were
republished in the 1970s to a great acclaim, after a long period of
neglect. His most famous literary works are the 3 self-illustrated
autobiographical novellas: "Khlynovsk", "Euclidean Space" and "Samarcandia".
The second of these is of particular importance, as it transmits
Petrov-Vodkin worldview as an artist in great detail.
The largest collection of
Petrov-Vodkin's works is in the Russian Museum in St Petersburg,
where, as of 2012, a whole room in the permanent exhibition is
devoted to the painter.
Not only does Manet have to abandon his plans to stage a one-man
show outside the Universal Exhibition, but also the Fame and
Hoschedi Impressionist sales at the Hotel Drouot are spectacular
failures, with the paintings either selling for derisory sums or
having to be bought in.
Manet decides to hold a one-man exhibition of 100 works near the
forthcoming Universal Exhibition (but nothing comes of his plans).
Anxious to help Monet, who is in deep financial trouble, Manet sends
him 1000 francs 'against merchandise'. This allows Monet to move
from Argenteuil to Vetheuil — also on the Seine, but further away
from Paris. He doesn't have enough money to pay the removal men.
Degas' Portraits in an Office is exhibited by The Societe des
Amis des Arts de Pau, who later purchase the painting.
Mary Cassatt's friend Louisine Waldron-Elder - later married to the
collector Henry Havemeyer - lends Degas' Ballet Rehearsal
(1876-7) to the American Watercolour Society of New York for their
This is the first time Degas' work has been
exhibited in the USA.
1876-7 Painted in pastel and gouache over monotype, this is one of a number
of works by Degas which feature Jules Perrot, a leading
choreographer of the nineteenth century. Perrot was maitre de ballet
at Covent Garden from 1842 to 1848, then moved to the St Petersburg
Opera, before taking the same post at the Paris Opera.
Claude and Camille Monet's second son, Michel, is born.
4th Cezanne acknowledges receipt of artist's materials to the value
of 2174 francs from Pere Tanguy. (Cezanne, who is facing
financial disaster, fails to pay for these items, and Tanguy has to
send him a reminder in August 1885.)
15th Caillebotte, Degas, Renoir
and others meet at Caillebotte's studio to discuss plans for a
fourth Impressionist exhibition. (Cezanne, Monet, Renoir and Zola
also hold a meeting, at the Cafe Riche, at about the same time.)
19th The museum in Pau buys Degas' Portraits in an Office for
2000 francs - the first of his works to be hung in a public
Singer with a Glove
1878 Between 1876 and 1878 Degas produced a series of monotypes of the
cafe-concerts held at the Aleazar-d'Ete and the Cafe des
Ambassadeurs, some of which he reworked in pastel. Singer with a
Glove is a pastel and distemper depiction of one of the most popular
singers of the period, Emma Valadon (known professionally as
'Theresa'), who also appears in Degas' The Song of the Dog (c.
1876-7) and The Singer in Green (c. 1884).
20th Cezanne's father discovers the existence of Paul
- the artist's illegitimate son, now aged 6, who is living with his
mother, Hortense Fiquet, in Marseilles
- and halves Cezanne's allowance. To help them survive, Zola starts
sending Hortense monthly payments of 60 francs.
The Italian art critic and painter Diego Martelli arrives
in Paris for a thirteen-month visit. He becomes friendly with
several of the Impressionists - including Degas (who later paints
his portrait) and Pissarro.
3rd Opening of the Salon. Exhibits include Renoir's The Cup of
29th Faure offers a group of Impressionist paintings from
his collection for sale at the Hotel Drouot (p. 102), expecting to
make a profit. The proceeds do not even cover his expenses, and he
has to buy many of the paintings himself because the bidding is so
Theodore Duret's Les Peintres impressionnistes is published,
explaining the significance of the movement and giving biographical
details about its leading exponents. It is illustrated with a
drawing by Renoir after Lise with a Parasol.
The cover of Duret's study of the
lives and work
of Monet, Sisley, Pissarro, Renoir and Morisot.
Pissarro starts to paint fans. He rents a room in Montmartre where
he can exhibit his paintings. An illustrated edition of Zola's L'Assommoir
is published. It includes engravings after
drawings by Butin, Castelli, Gill, Goeneutte and Renoir.
Renoir's illustration for a special
edition of Zola's L'Assommoir.
The original brush drawing was too
faint for reproduction, so Renoir traced it over in pen and ink.
5th Manet and his family move from 49 to 39 rue de St-Petersbourg. He
takes a studio at No.4.
6th The department-store owner Ernest Hoschede is made bankrupt, and his entire collection of
Impressionist art is auctioned at the Hotel Drouot.
The sale is a
spectacular failure: three Renoirs go for a total of 157 francs; Sisley's paintings sell for an average price of 112 francs; Monet's
for 150 francs; and Manet's for 583 francs (less than Durand-Ruel
had paid for them originally).
Mary Cassatt buys a Monet and a
Morisot at the auction.
Madame Hoschede and her children join the Monets at Vetheuil.
Monet's wife, Camille, is ill.
15th Durand-Ruel holds a prestige exhibition of 360 painters of the
Barbizon school. Victor Hugo is Honorary President of the
The politician Antonin Proust asks Manet to paint his portrait,
which he eventually does, two years later.
14th Pissarro's second son, Rodo, is born.
Seurat gains admission to the Ecole des Beaux-Arts.
Mme Charpentier, wife of the publisher, commissions Renoir to paint
a portrait of herself and her two children, Georgette and Paul, in
the 'Japanese salon' of their house in the Place
NOVEMBER 14th A daughter, Julie, is born to Berthe Morisot and her
husband, Manet's brother Eugene.
4th Degas, in common with other artists, is intrigued by an
illustrated article in La Nature, giving an account of Eadweard
Muybridge's investigation of animal movement, carried out by taking
photographic sequences of horses in motion.
Mme Charpentier and her Children
1878 This family portrait was painted at the sitters' home. According to
the artist's brother Edmond, 'None of the furniture was moved from
its usual place and nothing was prearranged to emphasize one part of
the painting rather than another.' The result bears little
resemblance to the majority of society portraits of the period.
CEZANNE'S FAMILY PROBLEMS
From the start, Cezanne didn't want
his parents to find out about his liaison with Hortense Fiquet - an
artist's model he met in Paris in 1869 - and it was only in March
1878 that his father learned of the existence of their illegitimate
son, Paul, then 6 years old. The banker, who was seen as a pillar of
the community in Aix-en-Provence, immediately halved Cezanne's
leaving him without means
to support his mistress and
child. In despair, Cezanne
confided in Zola, who
responded by sending
money to Hortense.
A pencil sketch (c.1878-81) by Cezanne
of Hortense Fiquet, whom he met in 1869 and married in April 1886.
Madame Cézanne in a Garden, 1879-1880, Musée de
extracts from Cezanne's letters to Zola show his
I am on the verge of having to provide entirely for myself, if
indeed I am capable, of it. The situation between my father and
myself is becoming extremely tense, and I risk losing my entire
allowance. A letter M. Chocquet wrote to me in which he mentioned
'Madame Cezanne and baby Paul' completely revealed my situation to
my father, who for that matter was already on the alert and full of
suspicions, and had nothing better to do than to unseal and read the
letter addressed to me.
It's more than probable that I shall only get 100 fanes from my
father, even though he promised me 200 when I was in Paris. So I
will have to rely on your kindness, especially as the child has been
ill for two weeks with a mucous infection. Pm doing everything I can
to prevent my father obtaining definite proof. You will pardon me
making the following remark - but the paper you use for writing and
your envelopes must be very thick; I had to pay 25 centimes at the
Post Office because there weren't
enough stamps on it, and all your letter contained was a double
sheet. When you write to me, could you please use only one sheet
folded in half?
A pencil sketch by Cezanne of his
father (c. 1877-80).
Please send 60 francs to Hortense at the following address: Madame
Cezanne, 183 rue de Rome, Marseilles. I slipped away Tuesday a week
ago to see the child. He's better, but I had to return to Aix on
foot, since the train marked on my timetable was an error, and I had
to show up in lime for dinner - I was an hour late.
The Artist's Son Paul
1877-9 For the first six years of his life, Paul and his mother Hortense
Fiquet travelled surreptitiously around France, following Cezanne.
As the boy reached school age, around 1878, this became more
difficult. Hortense settled in Marseilles with Paul, where Cezanne's
father learned of their existence.
Since you have offered to come to my assistance once again, 1 ask
that you send 60 francs to Hortense at the same address.
Here is my monthly solicitation again. I hope it doesn't bother you
too much and that it doesn't seem too importunate. Pm asking you to
be so kind as to send 60 francs to Hortense.
Here is the latest blow to befall me. Hortense's father wrote to his
daughter addressing his letter to Madame Cezanne. My landlord
immediately forwarded the letter to the Jas de Bouffan. My father
opened it and read it; you can imagine the results. I made violent
denials, and since, very fortunately, Hortense's name didn't occur
in the letter, I swore it was addressed to some other woman. Nota
bene. Papa gave me 300 francs this month. Unheard of! I think he's
been flirting with a charming young maid we have in Aix. Mama and I
are still in L'Estaque.
The reason for my letter is as follows. Hortense is in Paris on
urgent business; I beg you to send her 100 francs, if you can
advance me that much. Pm in a real mess, but I expect to get out of
Le Journal Illustre
The Art Institute of Chicago
August Wilhelm Ambros: "Geschichte der
Musik" (1862 —)
Ambros August Wilhelm
Ambros (17 November 1816 – 28 June 1876) was an Austrian
composer and music historian of Czech descent.
He was born at Mýto, Rokycany District, Bohemia. His
father was a cultured man, and his mother was the
sister of Raphael Georg Kiesewetter (1773–1850), the
musical archaeologist and collector. Ambros studied
at the University of Prague and was well-educated in
music and the arts, which were his abiding passion.
He was, however, destined for the law and an
official career in the Austrian civil service, and
he occupied various important posts under the
ministry of justice, music being an avocation.
1850 onwards he became well known as a critic and
essay-writer, and in 1860 he began working on his
magnum opus, his History of Music, which was
published at intervals from 1862 in five volumes,
the last two (1878, 1882) being edited and completed
by Otto Kade and Wilhelm Langhans. Ambros was
professor of the history of music at Prague from
1869 to 1871. Also in Prague, he seated on the board
of governors in the Prague Royal Conservatory. By
1872, he was living in Vienna and was employed by
the Department of Justice as an officer and by
Prince Rudolf's family as his tutor. Through his
work in Vienna, he was given leave of absence for
half the year in order to let him travel the world
to collect musical information to include in his
History of Music book. He was an excellent pianist,
and the author of numerous compositions somewhat
reminiscent of Felix Mendelssohn.
Ambros died at Vienna, Austria at the age of 59.
(23 January 1878 – 25 January 1960) was an English composer
who became well known in the early 20th century as a
composer of opera and choral music.
His oeuvre includes three symphonies, several concertos,
part-songs, songs, chamber music and opera (which he called
"music drama" after Wagner). His best known work was the
opera The Immortal Hour. His Bethlehem (1915), based on the
Coventry Nativity Play and notable for its choral
arrangements of traditional Christmas carols, also became
very popular with choral societies worldwide.
Among his many works, the prolific Boughton composed a
complete series of five operas of Arthurian mythos, written
over a period of thirty-five years: The Birth of Arthur
(1909), The Round Table (1915–16), The Lily Maid (1933–34),
Galahad (1943–44) and Avalon (1944–45). Other operas by
Boughton include The Moon Maiden (1918); Alkestis (1920–22);
and The Ever Young (1928–29).
Through the Boughton Trust, many of his major works have
been recorded and are available on disc including The
Immortal Hour, Bethlehem, Symphony No 1 Oliver Cromwell,
Symphony No 2 Deirdre, Symphony No 3, Oboe Concerto No 1,
string quartets and various chamber pieces and songs.
In addition to his compositions, Boughton is remembered
for his attempt to create an "English Bayreuth" at
Glastonbury, establishing the first series of Glastonbury
Festivals. They ran with enormous success from 1914 until
Rutland Boughton was the son of grocer William Boughton
(1841–1905) whose shop occupied Buckingham Street in the
town of Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire. From an early age he
showed signs of exceptional talent for music although formal
training opportunities did not immediately become available
to him. In 1892 he was apprenticed to a London concert
agency and six years later his attention was attracted by
several influential musicians including the Rothschild
family which enabled him to raise sufficient monies to study
at the Royal College of Music in London.
While at RCM, Boughton studied under Charles Villiers
Stanford and Walford Davies from 1898 to 1901. He later
took up ad-hoc work first in the pit of the Haymarket
Theatre then as official accompanist to the baritone David Ffrangcon-Davies (whose daughter, Gwen, later became
associated with the Glastonbury Festivals in her famous role
Etain in The Immortal Hour).
In 1903, he married former Aylesbury neighbour's daughter, Florence Hobley, that he was
to regret years later. It was in 1905 (the year he completed
his first symphony Oliver Cromwell) that he was approached
by Sir Granville Bantock to become a member of staff at the
Birmingham and Midland Institute of Music (now the
Birmingham and Midland Institute of Music
It was whilst at Birmingham (1905 to 1911) Boughton was
presented with many new opportunities and made many friends.
He proved an excellent teacher and an outstanding choral
conductor which won him much recognition. He was drawn into
socialist ideas through the writings of John Ruskin, William
Morris, Edward Carpenter and George Bernard Shaw, the last
with whom he developed a lifelong relationship. It was also
during those years that he became attached to the young art
student, Christina Walshe, who was later to become his
partner and artistic "right-hand man" for his Glastonbury
projects. His friendship with Shaw had begun when Boughton
had been turned down from his invitation to collaborate on
an opera. Shaw initially refused to be associated with any
of Boughton's music but Boughton would not be dissuaded and
eventually Shaw realised they had something in common that
was to endure.
Out of his process of self-discovery and self-education,
came the artistic aims that were to occupy Boughton for all
his life. As a young man, he planned a fourteen-day cycle of
dramas on the life of Christ in which the story would be
enacted on a small stage in the middle of an orchestra while
soloists and the chorus would comment on the action.
Although this did not come to anything, the idea remained
with him and by 1907 Boughton's discovery of the theories
and practises of Richard Wagner, combined with his
impression that the church's vision of Christianity had
somewhat failed, he turned to another subject - King Arthur.
Based upon the Ring Cycle at Bayreuth, and parallel to the
ideas of the young poet Reginald Buckley in his book "Arthur
of Britain", Boughton set out to create a new form of opera
which he later called "choral drama". At this point, the
three collaborators - Boughton, Buckley and Walshe - sought
to establish a national festival of drama. Whilst London's
Covent Garden was ideal for the established operatic
repertoire, it would not prove to be so for the plans that
Boughton and Buckley had and eventually they decided that
they should build their own theatre and, using local talent
set up a form of commune or cooperative. At first Letchworth
Garden City in Hertfordshire was deemed a suitable location
for the project (the Arts and Crafts Movement was
significant at that time) but they later turned to the
Somerset town of Glastonbury, the alleged resting place of
King Arthur and in an area steeped in legend. Meanwhile, Sir
Dan Godfrey and his Bournemouth orchestra had established a
reputation for supporting new English music and it was here
where Boughton's first opera from the Arthurian cycle, The
Birth of Arthur, received its first performance. It was also
at Bournemouth where Boughton's 2nd Symphony had a first
hearing and The Queen of Cornwall performed for the first
time using an orchestra, and attended by Thomas Hardy on
whose poem the opera was based.
By 1911, Boughton had resigned from Birmingham and moved to
Glastonbury where, together with Walshe and Buckley, he
began to focus on establishing the country's first national
annual summer school of music. The first production was not
the projected Arthurian Cycle but that of Boughton's new
choral-drama, The Immortal Hour, composed in 1912, which
with a national appeal to raise funds was produced with the
full backing of Sir Granville Bantock, Thomas Beecham, John
Galsworthy, Eugene Goossens, Gustav Holst, Dame Ethel Smyth
and Shaw and others. Sir Edward Elgar promised to lay the
foundation stone and Beecham to lend his London orchestra.
However, in August 1914, the month set for the opening of
the first production, World War 1 had been declared and the
full plans had to be postponed. Boughton, however, was
determined to proceed and the Festival began and in
place of Beecham's orchestra, he used a grand piano
and instead of a theatre, the local Assembly Rooms that were to remain the
centre of activities until the end of the Festivals in 1926,
by which time Boughton had mounted over 350 staged works,
100 chamber concerts, a number of exhibitions and a series
of lectures and recitals - something never previously
witnessed in England. In 1922, Boughton's Festival Players
went on tour and became established at Bristol in the Folk
Festival House (now demolished) and at Bournemouth.
The most notable and most successful of Boughton's works is
the opera The Immortal Hour, an adaptation of the play by
Fiona Macleod (the pseudonym of William Sharp) based on
Celtic mythology. Having been successful in Glastonbury and
well received in Birmingham, the director of the then new
Birmingham Repertory Theatre, Barry Jackson, decided to take
the Glastonbury Festival Players' production to London where
it achieved the record breaking run of over 600
On its arrival at the
Regent Theatre in 1922, it secured an initial run of over
200 consecutive performances and a further 160 in 1923, with
a highly successful revival in 1932. People came to see the
opera on more than one occasion (including members of the
Royal family) and especially to see and hear the young Gwen Ffrangcon-Davies whose portrayal as Etain began her
professional acting career.
In addition to The Immortal Hour and Bethlehem, his other
operas The Queen of Cornwall (1924) based on Thomas Hardy's
play, and Alkestis (1922) based on the Greek play by
Euripides (which reached Covent Garden in 1924), were also
very well received. These latter works have not been
publicly heard since the mid-1960s when the original
Boughton Trust, organised by Adolph Borsdorf, sponsored
professional concert performances in London and Street in
The downfall of the Glastonbury Festivals was hastened when
Boughton, sympathising with the miners' lockout and general
strike of 1926, insisted on staging his very popular
Nativity opera Bethlehem (1915) at Church House,
Westminster, London, with Jesus born in a miner's cottage
and Herod as a top-hatted capitalist, flanked by soldiers
and police. The event caused much embarrassment to the
people of Glastonbury who withdrew their support from Boughton, causing the Festival Players to go into
King Herod's Court in Bethlehem, Glastonbury, 1915
From 1927 until his death in 1960, Boughton lived at Kilcot,
near Newent in Gloucestershire where he completed the last
two operas of his Arthurian cycle (Avalon and Galahad, which
to this day have not been performed) and produced some of
his finest works, the quality of which has only been
realised within the past twenty years. These include his 2nd
and 3rd symphonies (the latter was first performed at the
London Kingsway Theatre in 1939 in the presence of, among
others, Ralph Vaughan Williams, Clarence Raybould and Alan
Bush), a number of pieces for oboe (including two concertos,
one dedicated to his talented daughter Joy Boughton and the
other to Léon Goossens), chamber music and a number of
orchestral pieces. In 1934 and 1935, Boughton attempted to
repeat his earlier successes at Glastonbury with festivals
commissioned at Stroud and Bath, and these saw the release
of new works, The Lily Maid (the third opera in the
Arthurian Cycle) and The Ever Young. Boughton's reputation
was, however, affected by his political leanings towards
Communism, and his music was subsequently neglected for the
next forty years. Boughton died at the home of his daughter,
Joy, in Barnes, London, in 1960.
Quotations about Boughton
"I believe that Boughton's works will eventually be regarded
as one of the most remarkable achievements in the story of
our music" — Charles Kennedy Scott, 1915
"The Immortal Hour is a work of genius"
— Sir Edward Elgar,
"... The Immortal Hour enchants me. The whole thing gripped
me" — Dame Ethel Smyth, 1922
"Now that Elgar is gone, you have the only original personal
English style on the market...I find that I have acquired a
great taste for it" — George Bernard Shaw, 1934
"I remember vividly how Boughton made his characters live,
and the masterly effect of the choral writing" — Sir Arthur
Bliss on The Immortal Hour, 1949
"In any other country, such a work as The Immortal Hour
would have been in the repertoire years ago" — Ralph Vaughan
The Rutland Boughton Music Trust
To restore the composer's reputation, The Rutland Boughton
Music Trust was established in 1978, the year of the
composer's Centenary, to encourage performances and sponsor
recordings of his works. Many of these, including some world
premieres, now appear on disc with the Hyperion Records
label. The Oliver Cromwell symphony - first heard in 2005 -
and three of the Songs of the English (last heard around
1904/5) have been released by Dutton, as well as a
selection of Songs for mezzo and pianoforte on the British
Music Society's own label. Dutton has also released the
world premiere recording of Boughton's adaptation of Thomas
Hardy's play, The Queen of Cornwall, sponsored by the Trust.
Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Boughton: The Queen of
Act 2 Love duet
from Rutland Boughton's 1924 Opera , The Queen of Cornwall',
based on Thomas Hardy's play, 'The Famous Tragedy of the
Queen of Cornwall',1923.
New London Orchestra and members of the London Chorus,
conducted by Ronald Corp.
Recorded at St Jude on the Hill, Hampstead Garden Suburb,
London- July 2010.