Thursday, February 4, 2016

From Three Countries, Similar Style

Artists are often influenced by others. Or they steal outright ... but only from the best, it is said. Possibly styles are similar simply due to coincidence. The last possibility was probably most likely in the days before decent-quality color reproductions in books and magazines were common, especially for artists widely scattered geographically.

Paintings from three artists having a similar "feel" caught my eye recently, so I thought I'd give you a look and so you can decide for yourself if my conjecture makes sense.

The painters are George Washington Lambert (1873-1930), information here, an Australian working in London; Saturnino Herrán (1887-1913), information here, a Mexican painter who spent his short life in that country; and W. Herbert "Buck" Dunton (1878-1936), an American who I wrote about here.

Not all their paintings featured a strong, solid style, but the ones shown below seem to.


Lambert: "The Sonnet" - 1917
He was painting in this style as early as 1907 ("Portrait Group, The  Mother"), so priority for this threesome goes to Lambert.

Herrán: "La ofrenda" - 1913

Dunton: "My Children" - 1920

While it is possible that Herrán and Dunton where familiar with Lambert's work, it seems equally possible that they were not. Another possibility is that all three artists were influenced by a fourth, earlier painter. Offhand, I can't think of who that might be. Let me know in comments if you have suggestions.


Hels said...

International comparisons are always fun, thank you. What would you call the style that unites your three artists?

Lambert is the only one of the three artists I know well, especially his horses, rural themes, well dressed women with their young children outside and formal portraits inside.

Donald Pittenger said...

Hels -- I have no name for the style, though it's related to early 20th century mural painting. That is, use of outlining, areas of flat (or nearly so) colors plus plenty of detail (action) in incidental areas of the canvas.

Jeanne Grimsby said...

While the Lambert seems to recall impressionists like Manet, the Herran and Dunton seem so like each other that they could be by the same painter. They remind me of the work of the top illustrators like Maxfield Parish and Howard Pyle. Rather than recalling the work of a single influential artist, they all seem to reflect a general aesthetic of the period for the flattened, defined forms of Japonisme.

Anonymous said...

I couldn't tie these particular paintings together for you, the Lambert painting on its own would stop me. It is a painting by someone familiar with the public collections of London, and seems determined to show it, to draw attention to the study, the learnt geometries and approved feeling. The painting shows much of its workings, the hoop pushed through the shoulders, sleeve, and gloved hand and finger of the woman in the foreground, the return in the other hand, it is all very noticeable, the proportions generally are, the diagonals marked. It is a painting that has been assembled, taken in its pieces, a half length portrait, a nude, a man seated in a landscape. This was painted in the field adjoining Bellini's Madonna of the Meadow and Gainsborough's Mr and Mrs Andrews. That doesn't quite work because the Gainsborough wasn't publicly owned then, there is a sense though of emptying the sketchbook.

It can be helpful to think in terms of art galleries, and putting London and subject matter to one side, the three paintings would not look out of place in the Kelvingrove. John S.