BH163: Two Symptoms of Madness
(N.B. They are numbered because they are supposed to be part of a 1000-question supplementary quiz for the BIG email quizzes quiz book e-book I am editing. New material acting as bait for old albeit reinforced and spruced-up rope.
Current word count? 113,005 words.
Yep, that's six figures and I am the Grady Tripp of quiz question writers)
(N.B. II: It would be a mistake to consider these pieces of art criticism. Sentences written by other hands have been repeated verbatim. Opinions have been borrowed from the far better qualified then bastardised and further slashed with my own MIAOW-ey claw at Jean-Baptiste Greuze, who doth sucketh big icky balls. Rather, they are quiz Qs gone insane; utterly impractical in the real world of asking-and-answering in every format you can think of)
This genre painter's portraits of young girls, such as Le
petit chaperon rouge
Red Riding Hood
initially draw similar, even accusatory comparisons to the sickly
chocolate box cover pretty faces that were painted again and again by
Greuze, and which now fill the Wallace Collection to detriment of the
museum and views on the reputation of their purchaser, the 4th Marquess of Hertford's taste.
Such charges are ultimately unfounded and horribly superficial:
for instance, has an integrity and admiration for its
upstanding,neatly-dressed subject uncommon in modern museums replete
with “representative” 19th century art. Indeed, these bashful youth-drunk souls hardly ever
engage with the viewer head on: always looking away, gazing down or
too caught up in the salutary pastime they are devoting themselves to
or plotting with siblings or playmates.
Inspired by his 1864 marriage
to Anna Rüfli
and their resultant offspring (Louise, Marie, Maurce, Cecile), his
paintings of progeny-filled family life and portraits of lone or
paired children – Boy
Sleeping in Hay,
Children on Stove,
– were good enough to break out of their sentimentalised genre
prison and fed his homeland's yearning for the ideal family life, as
well his fellow countrymen's appetite for well-painted saleable
compositions that were suitable and salutary viewing for all,
especially when they portrayed everyday scenes with the family unit
engaged in forthright and didactic activities (The
or children centred village life going about its daily business (Turnstunde in Ins; The Crèche).
His nation's most popular artist in his own lifetime, which
painter (1831-1910) has been called Switzerland's “national
thanks to the timeless accessibility and enduring popularity of his
portrayals of Swiss village life?
His work The
was painted in Rome, his home from c.1646-c.1655, like many of his
surviving 40 or so canvases, and features a youth pointing at a torso
by the sculptor François
Duquesnoy (1597-1643), who was also active in the Eternal City.
Another painting, The
(c.1650), depicts a beautiful young embroiderer, whose blue dress and
white turban set her off against the artist's typical browns. His
empathy is at its most intimate in a portrait of a young servant girl
(c.1660) that he painted after returning to the north. Though singled
out for similarities to Vermeer's Girl
with a Pearl Earring
(c.1665), while the latter is enigmatic and tantalising and swathed
in garments with an exotic shine, the former is shy, unsure and
realistically presented as a 17th century working class girl wearing a plain dress made of coarse brown cloth. They hang near each other in the Mauritshuis.
monumental masterpiece Plague in an Ancient City
(1652) is his greatest painting in terms of size and, some contend, in terms of technical achievement and historical-archaeological erudition as well. Other
notable paintings include the Caravaggio-esque chiaroscuro and naked
men of the Wrestling
and the pious-prone series, The
Seven Works of Mercy
(c.1646-49): e.g. the Rijksmuseum's Clothing
the Naked and Feeding the Hungry.
Associated with the Rome-based genre painters of daily life, the
he served the ruling papal family, the Pamphilj and, thanks to
Cardinal Camillo Pamphilj, was given the title Cavaliere
by Pope Innocent X. A devout Christian who spent six months with the
Paris Foreign Missions Society until his dismissal for unstable
behaviour in May 1662, he even proselytised and painted as far a foreign field as Aleppo and beyond.
reputation collapsed soon after his death in Goa in 1664, and began
its recovery during the early 20th century, rising slightly higher and higher ever since?