Monday, September 9, 2013

Murky Painters

Each era has its associated painting styles. Of course, there is plenty of variation and always artists whose styles are unique or otherwise hard to characterize temporally. Nevertheless, in general, paintings made in 1830 and 1930 for instance (give or take a decade or two) can be tied to when they were done by their general appearance, even when setting aside other identifiers such as clothing people wear or modes of transportation that might appear in outdoor scenes.

Around the last couple of decades of the 19th century some artists painted in a style I'll call "murky," where images were indistinct or smudged and colors often tended towards monochrome. Below are examples from three artists. I don't know if there was any direct influence between any of them or whether similarity in approach was a matter of part of the artistic zeitgeist of the period.

Albert Pinkham Ryder (1847-1917) for many years has been held by the Art Establishment as a pioneer of modernism. Since I no longer consider modernism as the capstone or end-state of painting, whatever Ryder might have done to somehow inspire later painters is moot in my mind. Looking at his paintings and setting aside that Art Establishment imprimatur suggests that he just wasn't very good.

Eugène Carrière (1849-1906) produced a stronger air of mystery and fascination in his paintings than Daingerfield for sure and Ryder to a lesser degree. Readers who have visited Paris' Musée d'Orsay in recent years might have noticed a few of his works tucked away in one of the upper galleries.

Elliott Daingerfield (1859-1932) is a painter I was unaware of until recently when I came across some images of his paintings on the Internet. This served as inspiration for the present post. Daingerfield's images were generally fuzzy looking, but less monochromatic than the others'.


Ryder: The Lover's Boat

Ryder: Toilers of the Sea
Via the Internet, I found two paintings supposedly with the same title as above. Not being a Ryder expert, I don't know if he re-used titles, so I'm not certain that this title is correct. Note the serious cracking, indicating poor oil painting practice or faulty materials.

Carrière: Mme Auguste Bonheur

Carrière: Clemanceau

Daingerfield: Two women
Again, I'm not sure of the title.

Daingerfield: The Ivory Tree

Daingerfield: Village After a Storm

1 comment:

anónimo said...

Estos tres pintores simbolistas son magníficos.
Iam an expert in the Movement Symbolist, and Daingerfiel is an amazing discovery for me. Thanks a lot.