Friday, February 07, 2014

Who painted this? #60

Who painted this? #60
In the interests of exploring the avenues of art history we don't often get to, this week we have an artwork which is a rather different format and a bit more international than usual.

Plus - what's very special about this work?

How to participate in "Who painted this? #58"


PLEASE make sure you read the rules before posting a comment - and ONLY POST ON THIS BLOG what you think is the answer.

Click this link to read THE RULES for participating in this challenge (this saves having to copy them out for each post!).

In short:
  • use your brains not software to find the answer - search using words only on a database of images 
  • leave your answer as a comment on this blog - do not leave the answer on Facebook! 
  • if correct it will not be published until the next post - which provides the answer 
  • if wrong it will be published 
  • the winner - who gets a mention and a link on/from this blog - is NOT THIS WEEK the first person to give me a completely correct answer for ALL the things I want to know. It's the person who does all this AND provides the BEST answer (see above)

Who Painted This #59 - The Answer

Portrait of Chaliapin by Boris Kustodiev
Title of the artwork: Portrait of Chaliapin.  Its first title was New City.
Name of the artist who created this artwork: Boris Kustodiev (1878 - 1927) - a Russian painter and set designer (Russian: Бори́с Миха́йлович Кусто́диев)
Date it was created: 1921
Media used: oil on canvas
Where it lives now:
The man is the great Russian opera singer Feodor Chaliapin.  He appreciated art and enjoyed drawing himself. He particularly like artists who were good draughtsmen.

The coat he is wearing was payment for one of his concerts after the Revolution when money was worthless.  Kustodiev painted it in a small room at the theatre where Chaliapin was giving concerts. It had to be painted in sections as the room wasn't big enough - and they sang together during the painting!

If you click the link to the museum above, you can see the original and very large portrait hanging in one of the rooms in the slideshow of images

Self portrait (1912) by Boris KustodievOil on canvas.
Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence, Italy
Kustodiev travelled widely while studying art. However a serious illness, tuberculosis of the spine, rendered him paraplegic in 1916 and confined him to Russia and a wheelchair.

Which means that all his paintings after he started to suffer paralysis was effectively done from memory and from his room - unless he could be transported to the location of his subject matter.

He had particular associations with the theatre and designed for the stage - which is how he came to paint Chaliapin.

His paintings are suffused with the most amazing colour and are well worth studying in terms of creative painting of landscapes as contexts for his subjects - and the vibrancy of his colours - they positively zing!

You can read more about him in the responses to the challenge - click the link above to last week's challenge

Who guessed correct?

Who painted this #59? - was obviously a bit of challenge for a lot of you.  However there was a clue that it was Russian in the painting - in the writing - so I hoped I'd get some answers.  It turns out that some people recognised it straight away while others found it in a more roundabout way.

Larissa Kimstach identified the painting very quickly - but sadly hadn't read the rules as she didn't supply the rest of the information.

bernadettemadden.ie has as always provided an answer packed with detail about both Chaliapin and Kustodiev and provides a nice commentary on the detail of the painting and the palette used - and hence is this week's winner of the challenge

However I also enjoyed reading the answer from Colours and Textures.

5 comments:

Colours and Textures said...

Eight-panel screen attributed to Kanō Eitoku (1543-90) of a Cypress Tree, 1.7 x 4.61 metres
Azuchi-Momoyama period/16th century
Tokyo National Museum One of the National Tresures
Polychrome ink on paper with gold leaf on the background.

This folding screen has tell tale traces of door pulls in the paper, it is believed that the paintings on these screens were originally sliding-door paintings in the Hachijônomiya residence, which was completed in the twelfth month of Tenshô 18 (1590). They are therefore thought to be a very late work by Kanô Eitoku the most famous painter of the time.

How I found it.
No wild goose chases this was almost a hole in one. I thought it looked Japanese ( the gold background in particular )but the dragon suggested Chinese.
Googled Japanese painting panels 8 trees dragon and came up with something very similar,Set of sliding doors of Plum tree by Kanō Sanraku,that took me to the Wiki entry for the Kano school and there it was. Kano school works drew on Chinese style and conventions and evolved a distinctive Japanese style on either silk or paper.

This eight panel screen attributed to Eitoku, around 1590, shows the vigour of the new Monoyama castle style, which he is probably mainly responsible for developing. It is a National Treasure of Japan in the Tokyo National Museum, and described by Paine as "typical for hurried sweep of composition, for pure nature design, and for strength of individual brush stroke. ... Golden cloud-like areas representing mist are placed arbitrarily in the background, and emphasize the decorative magnitude of what is otherwise the powerful drawing of giant tree forms".
Unlike scrolls, sliding doors were by convention not signed

The screen is unusually large and there are noticeable discontinuities in the composition at the breaks between (counting from the left) panels 2 and 3, 4 and 5, 6 and 7. These reflect the original format as a set of four sliding doors, which can be deduced from this and the covered-over recesses for the door-pulls.[17] The discontinuities would be much less obvious when the screen was standing in a zig-zag pattern, as would normally have been the case. The screen uses the "floating-cloud" convention of much older Yamato-e Japanese art, where areas the artist chooses not to represent are hidden beneath solid colour (here gold) representing mist. Designs of this type, dominated by a single massive tree, became a common composition in the school, and this one can be compared to the similar screen of a plum tree by Sanretsu from a few decades later which shows a more restrained version of the first bold Monoyama style.

Kanō Eitoku was a grandson of Motonobu ( son of the school's founder) and probably his pupil, was the most important painter of this generation, and is believed to have been the first to use a gold-leaf background in large paintings. He appears to have been the main figure in developing the new castle style, but while his importance is fairly clear there are few if any certain attributions to him, especially to his hand alone; in the larger works attributed to him he probably worked together with one of more other artists of the school.
One of his works is said to illustrate a Chinese legend and contains a Confucian moral.

sue smith said...

I found this quite quickly by googling "8 panel Japanese painting" and searching the images that came up.

It is "Cypress Tree" attributed to Eitoku of the Kano school of Japanese painting, done around 1590.
Ink with a gold leaf background, it now lives in the Tokyo National Museum, where it is a National Treasure of Japan.
It is very large, 1.7 by 4.6 metres, and was originally a set of four sliding doors!

Katherine Tyrrell said...

Wow! Fast! You know who you are ;)

I thought this one would have most of you stumped for ages! Obviously I was wrong...... :)

bernadettemadden.ie said...

Artist: Kano Eitoku (attributed)
Title : Cypress Tree
Date: c1590
Medium: ink colour and gold leaf on paper, on 8 panel folding screen
Where it is : National Musuem Tokyo
How I found it: I`d seen the image before and remembered that it was a Japanese sliding door / screen, so Googled Japan+screen+tree+gold and got it

In 1543, Kano Eitoku was born in Kyoto , into a painting dynasty. His grandfather, Kano Motonobu (1476-1559) was a painter of influence and power in Kyoto and was probably Eitoku`s tutor, along with his father, also a painter. Born into a time of political struggle, when Japanese warlords were not just fighting with each other on the battlefield for supremacy, but were also fighting on a more domestic front by building magnificent houses and castles, which they decorated in the most sumptuous ways possible. They valued skills such as acting, poetry and painting as well as the rituals of flower arranging and the tea ceremony. The perfect warlord could fight, then go home, recite (and sometimes write) poetry in his beautifully decorated castle. The bad side of this was that the homes and their contents became part of the spoils of war and were frequently destroyed. As a result a great deal of Eitoku`s work went up in flames.
His first commission, aged 23 ,was the painting of 16 door panels (most still exist) for the Abbot`s rooms in Jukoin Temple. Seeing these, ruling warlord Oda Nobunaga commissioned Eitoku to decorate Azuchi Castle and other houses, his successor Toyotomi Hideyoshialso also commissioned work. Sadly none of this work survived. Every day subjects, sometimes with a significance moral or political, often featured , simply depicted, in Japanese painting. The commissioning warlords wanted something more magnificent than simple. Eitoku is credited with development of the new Monoyama style, his palette became more sharp , his colours more jewel like and he is said to have been the first to use gold leaf in his paintings. Imagine what the interior of one of the castles he worked on must have looked like at night, lit by lamps and fires, all the gold glittering against the sharp blues and greens.
“Cypress Tree” is an 8 panel screen with (for then) an unusual composition, the tree is cropped top and bottom , giving it power and importance , and where a blue sky might be expected there is glittering gold leaf.( This was a twist on an older method used in Japanese painting where areas the artist did not wish to show in detail were painted in flat solid colour.) The screen is very large, 169.5cm X 460.5cm and was originally set up as 4 sliding doors; this accounts for the odd joins, there are also gaps for handles, which are covered up. There is a passion in how the tree is painted as if the artist wanted to show it as a powerful force, over which man had no control , it is painted with the confidence of a skilled draftsman.
As well as the huge paintings for which he is best known , Eitoku also painted smaller works; portraits, animals and objects for use such as fans, some of which survive. Because a lot of work at that time was not signed and the use of assistants and apprentices was common , much of his work is “attributed”, though most experts seem to agree that most of the work attributed to him, is ,in fact by Eitoku.
He died in 1590,shortly after completing “Cypress Tree”, at the young age of 47.
He still has influence on artists today; in 2012 Prof. Edward Allington of the Slade had an exhibition entitled “Trees, Small Fires and Japanese Joints”, in the Japan Foundation in London, which was based in part on “Cypress Trees”
Bernadette Madden

Meera Rao said...

The screen painting of a cypress attributed to Kano Eitoku (16th century -1590) has eight panels of gold leaf. It is of Azuchi Momoyama period. Housed now at the at the Tokyo National Musuem. Wikipedia says:The screen is unusually large and there are noticeable discontinuities in the composition at the breaks between (counting from the left) panels 2 and 3, 4 and 5, 6 and 7. These reflect the original format as a set of four sliding doors, which can be deduced from this and the covered-over recesses for the door-pulls.[17] The discontinuities would be much less obvious when the screen was standing in a zig-zag pattern, as would normally have been the case. The screen uses the "floating-cloud" convention of much older Yamato-e Japanese art, where areas the artist chooses not to represent are hidden beneath solid colour (here gold) representing mist. Designs of this type, dominated by a single massive tree, became a common composition in the school, and this one can be compared to the similar screen of a plum tree by Sanretsu from a few decades later (illustrated below), which shows a more restrained version of the first bold Monoyama style

I like the Japapnese screens in DC / Chicago museums and had looked up info on them. When I saw your contest, I googled the information trying to remember what I had read about them earlier.



Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...