Monday, April 24, 2023

Hubert Vos Footnote: A Painting within a Painting

My previous post, here, failed to note an interesting detail in its featured painting.

According to Hubert Vos' Wikipedia entry, he sometimes made copies of his paintings while living in Asia -- one for his client, and one to take with him.  Evidence of that is suggested in "Harmonie" (1910), as can be seen below.


Harmonie - 1910
In the center-left a painting is depicted, near furniture and vases from Asia.  The Wikipedia entry mentions that Vos lived and worked for several years in China and Korea, so clearly he brought from there various objets d'art along with some duplicate paintings.

Portrait of Empress Dowager Cixi - 1905
The painting-within-a-painting is clearly this one.

Monday, April 17, 2023

I finally found Hubert Vos' "Harmonie" !!

In 2011 I was in the lobby of the Royal Hawaiian Hotel in Honolulu and glanced into an art gallery that was there at the time (long gone now).  Against the far wall was a large (72 x 44 1/4 in., 182.9 x 112.4 cm.), impressive painting.   I took two reference photos, one of which is below.

Unfortunatly, I failed to make note of its title and who painted it.  I regretted that failure when I returned home to Seattle, and tried to research the information.  Searching failed because the idea that the artist was Austrian stuck in my head.

Recently, I was going through my miscellaneous images file searching for blog subjects.  The image of the Alice Barney painting shown in the Gallery below seemed interesting, so I looked for more paintings by the artist.  Eureka!!  After all those years, the painting I saw at the Royal Hawaiian popped up:

Harmonie - 1910 - via Christie's

It was by Dutch painter Hubert Vos - né Josephus Hubertus Vos (1855-1935), Wikipedia entry here, who lived at various times in England, France, China, Korea, Hawaii, and America. The subject is presumably a large room in his home in Rhode Island, though the ceiling seems unreasonably high (artistic license?).  In the background are Chinese and Western objects.

Vos was a skilled representational painter, as can be seen in "Harmonie" above and the paintings below.


Woman at Piano - c.1914
This seems to be a different corner of the same room, the piano having been moved.  The pianist's hair is dark, not blonde.  The ceiling is lower and the Asiatic art not much in evidence.  Note Vos' skill depicting the wooden floor, the same as in the previous image.

Portrait of Empress Dowager Cixi - 1905
One of his works from the Far East.

Rome buildings - 1923
Another interesting painting due in part to its cropping of the subject matter.

Alice Barney in White Satin - 1894
Alice Pike Barney (1857-1931), Wikipedia entry here, was an artist and promoter of culture in Washington, D.C.

Monday, April 10, 2023

Charles Atamian's Beach Scenes

Charles Garabed Atamian (1872-1947), of Armenian descent, was born in Turkey, educated in Constantinople and Italy.   For a few years he was chief designer at a Constantinople porcelain works, but fled to Paris in 1897.   His French career included book illustration as well as painting.  This information and some more can be found here.

His paintings included many beach scenes, and some of those are presented below.  These were mostly or entirely made in the Vendée at Saint-Gilles-Croix de Vie, a fishing harbor and resort town not far from Nantes.  A lengthy plage extends south from the town.

His style is free, and some paintings are like sketchy studies, though they are signed.  They seem to be from the 1930s.



Les enfents et le château de sable - Children and Sand Castle

Playing on the Beach

Promenade on the Beach

Lecteur - Reader


At the Beach
Unlike the other paintings, this is in the form of a snapshot of a friend, or perhaps the artist's wife.  Very sketchy, but signed.

Monday, April 3, 2023

Bruno Paul's Illustrations

Bruno Paul (1874-1968) was an artistic all-rounder, something seldom seen in today's world of specialization.  According to his Wikipedia entry, he was an architect, interior and furniture designer, as well as an illustrator -- his illustrations being the subject of this post.

Wikipedia mentions: "Trained as a painter in the [Bavarian] royal academy just as the Munich Secession developed against academic art, he first came to prominence as a cartoonist and illustrator in the German fin de siècle magazine Jugend, and in the satirical Simplicissimus from 1897 through 1906, in the years where its criticism of Wilhelm II brought prosecutions from the government."

From that, it isn't hard to guess that Paul's satirical illustrations were largely anti-bourgeoisie and anti-military.

Paul's style is very much of his time, with an Expressionist feeling touched with Art Nouveau.  I find these drawings ugly, but that might have been one of Paul's intentions.

Images below are presented in no particular order.  Many have captions containing dialog, but as found on the Internet, most were in small German type and were largely unreadable.  In some cases, I've translated the cartoon's title.


Simplicissimus cover illustrated by Paul.  The title is "Art in Wiesbaden."

"High Season."

"Munich Spring Picture."

"English Civilization."

"Power on Places" - Pleitze is an obscure word not found in my large German-English dictionary, so the true meaning might differ.

This title is obscure to me.

"The New Volunteer Firemen's Commander."

Another tricky title that seems to refer to a painter of a wife.  Or maybe a wife who kibitzes the painter.  That unreadable caption might makes things clear.

"Noble Worldview."

"From Good Family."

"Out of Hamburg."  This refers to emigrants leaving Germany.