Category Archives: impressionist paintings

Famous Historical Artists Who Loved Spring

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Your favorite season says a lot about you. For example, those who favor fall are often contented creatures who become excited by the simple pleasures of life. Summer lends itself to people who are outgoing and love to be with others. Winter is usually held dear by those who are introverted, pensive and prefer a good book to a wild party. Finally, Spring is often beloved by individuals who seek change, are creative and are deeply moved by beauty.

There are several famous historical artists who seemingly preferred Spring above all other seasons. This assumed preference is made evident in their multiple pieces of artwork featuring Spring-related themes. We like to believe Monet and Renoir adored Spring in all its glory.

Monet’s Paintings Reveal His Affinity for the Season of New Beginnings

images-2Artist Oscar-Claude Monet (1840-1926) was more than just a founder of French Impressionist painting; he was also a lover of nature. The earth was Monet’s muse, and he obviously took great delight in painting Springtime scenes. One of his most famous Spring-related pieces is simply titled Le Printemps (the Spring) and was completed in 1886. The piece depicts two women dreamily sitting beneath a tree that is freshly blooming. Another is Le Printemps (auprès de Vétheuil), painted in 1880. This piece is simple and quite understated, though no less breathtaking than any of Monet’s works. Fields in Spring is another enchanting piece that features a parasol-covered lady drifting through a Springtime field filled with wildflowers. In all three paintings, many cool-toned colors are used, creating the effect of a refreshing Spring breeze. These paintings are just a small sampling of the Spring-themed works of art Monet created in his lifetime.

Renoir: Another Lover of Spring

imagesMonet wasn’t the only Impressionist painter to prefer the Spring season; Pierre-Auguste Renoir (1841-1919) did also. Spring Bouquet is perhaps his most famed piece of Spring-themed artwork. Spring Bouquet, completed in 1866, appears more in-focus that our friend Monet’s artwork. This exquisite painting features crisp, cool colors that perfectly animate the flowers represented in the piece. Other beloved Spring-related works of art created by Renoir include Spring Landscape and Spring at Chatou (1872).

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Of all the Spring-themed works of art mentioned in this article, which do you like best? Can you think of other famous historical artists who seemed to favor Springtime?

Claude Monet – Founder of French Impressionism

The Expressive Vincent van Gogh

Camille Pissarro – Father of Impressionism

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Honoré Daumier – The Poor Man Whose Art Lives Today

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The early 1800s marked a time of significant change throughout France. The post French Revolution era came on the heels of the Industrial Revolution. At this time, political institutions and society at large were learning how to operate in a new age of evolved capabilities and lofty dreams, as well as an increased number of working poor and social upheaval. Art seemed to be the only answer to the twisted combination of confusion and excitement that plagued the century.

An artist who attempted to bring humor to the uncertainty was Honoré Daumier. Daumier was a versatile artist; he published political caricatures, made his living selling lithographs, and received praise for his impressionist paintings and life-like sculptures. Still, Daumier only experienced a small taste of success in his life. His talent was overshadowed by a greater need to earn money and stay true to his political convictions.

In 1808, Honoré Daumier was born in Marseille, France. After attempting to make his living as a poet, Honoré Daumier’s father, who moved his family to Paris in pursuit of fame and fortune, was financially broke. As a result, around 12 or 13 years of age, the soon to be artist dropped out of school and took employment at a bailiff’s office. He continued in the ways of proper employment as a bookseller’s clerk in the busy Palais-Royal area of Paris where he observed the differences of the people passing by the gardens. Inspired by their uniqueness, Daumier wanted to depict them with his art.

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Daumier, at an age younger than 20, began learning about lithography. This became a useful skill that would provide him with income throughout his life. Yet, his artistic passion yearned to be able to express the people and social situations he took in each day. While he wanted to be artistic in ways of painting and sculpture, much of his time was dedicated to print-making.

Finally, in 1830, Daumier got some notoriety, as he began leveraging his marketable skills to produce caricatures for satirical publications. At this time, print publications attracted the attention of every person, from the king to a pauper. In 1832, King Louis-Philippe was disheartened by the anti-government cartoon, Gargantua, created by Daumier. The artist was sentenced to prison, and then a mental institution. This was the worst retribution the king demanded for an offending artist.

His imprisonment for this caricature marked the end of his punishments, but it did not stop him from publishing pieces of political satire. In fact, between the years 1830 and 1847 he specialized in producing lithography, cartoons, and sculptures. While he continued to work in these areas as a way of self-expression and to secure income, in 1848 there was a distinct shift in Daumier’s career. From 1848 to 1871 he thrived in an art form and style he was passionate about: impressionist painting. One reason for this change may have been the death of his 2 year old son. He and his beloved wife, Léopoldine or “Didine” suffered this loss around the time Daumier altered his artistic focus.

Honoré Daumier developed a number of talents within the sphere of art throughout his life. The context of his paintings also broadened. As he began pursuing naturalism, he depicted historical themes that highlighted the greatness of nature above men. In addition, he also used literary themes, and remained true to the subjects whom inspired him most—everyday Parisians. He felt as if true life provoked conversation about social topics of the day.

Although Daumier never made a commercial success of his art during his lifetime, he was appreciated by many. Those include: Eugene Delacroix, Edgar Degas and Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot. In face Corot when Daumier was destitute and without shelter, bought him a cottage.

Towards the end of his life, Daumier dedicated much of his time to sculptures and paintings. His work was considered “ahead of its time” by modern critics who did not come to fully appreciate his work until after his death. In 1879, Honoré Daumier passed away. He was near blind and in debt at the time. It is rumored he was buried in a pauper’s grave. If his life’s work in caricatures indicates anything, it is that he wouldn’t have cared; he lived life depicting the poor, living among them, and dying their death as well. As a result, his art lives on today.

Sources:
http://www.artble.com/artists/honore_daumier
http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/152400/Honore-Daumier#toc1720
http://www.ibiblio.org/wm/paint/auth/daumier/

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