Friday, November 22, 2013

Who Painted This #53

Who painted this? #53
A winter painting for this week's challenge - by a painter I'd not heard of before.

Don't forget besides wanting the answers to all the usual questions (see below) I'd also like to hear about what you managed to find out about the artist and painting - and the best answer wins this week's challenge!

How to participate in "Who painted this? #53"

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  • if correct it will not be published until the next post - which provides the answer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 #51 - The Answer

Birds resting on bushes (1864)
by Léon Bonvin
  • Title of the artworkBirds Resting on Bushes
  • Name of the artist who created this artworkLéon Bonvin (1834-1866)
  • Date it was created: 1864
  • Media used: watercolor with gum heightening, gouache, iron gall ink and pen, and graphite over graphite underdrawing on slightly textured, moderately thick, cream wove paper; Height: 24.4 cm (9.6 in). Width: 18.5 cm (7.3 in).
  • Where it lives now: Walters Art Museum, Baltimore, USA
This webpage on the Walters Art Museum website displays more lovely paintings by this very accomplished artist. He excelled at painting wild flowers.

You can also see more of his paintings on James Gurney's blog in this post The sad and beautiful story of Léon Bonvin

This the story of the artist as told on the Walters Art Museum website
Léon Bonvin was born in Vaugirard, just outside Paris in 1834. Despite displaying great talent in the medium of watercolor he was largely unrecognized by his contemporaries. In 1866 he hanged himself at the age of 32, apparently due to financial difficulties. Working at his family's bar or "cabaret," he sketched and painted watercolors only in his spare moments, yet in the seven year period between 1859 and his death he created numerous exquisite still lifes of flowers and fruits, and subtle landscapes capturing fleeting atmospheric effects. There is evidence that, despite his rural home, Bonvin did have knowledge of the art world in Paris. His half-brother was the better known artist, François Bonvin. In addition Bonvin's still lifes show the influence of Jean-Siméon Chardin (1699-1779), whose work was undergoing a revival in the 1850s and 60s. During the 19th century an appreciation of Bonvin's work was confined to a small circle of connoisseurs and collectors, most prominent among them William T. Walters, father of Henry Walters, founder of the Walters Art Museum. For much of the 19th century William displayed and stored his watercolors in a deluxe leather-bound album with a specially commissioned frontispiece and tailpiece by the renowned flower painter of the Lyon school, Jean-Marie Reignier (see WAM 37.1501 and 37. 1531). William's collection of Bonvin's work was acquired between 1862 and 1891, and eventually comprised 56 watercolors and one, rare oil; today, this is the largest collection of Bonvin's work in existence.

Who guessed correct?

Who painted this #52? - Just one person got it right this week - Bernadette Madden.  Not surprising as the painter was a bit more obscure than usual.

Bernadette did a very thorough job as per usual in researching what is known about painter and painting.  You can read more about him by clicking the link to the post


  1. Good one Katherine. I was thinking never heard of Brueghel. Should have guess it wasn't that simple.

    Painter- Abel Grimmer
    Title: Winter
    Date 1607
    Medium:Oil on Panel
    Where: Royal Museum of Antwerp

    This base on a series of engravings by Hieronymus Cock which in turn were based on a series of drawing by Hans Bol (since lost). It is incredibly close to the painting by Pieter Brueghel the younger which is called Winter Landscape with Skaters completed in 1616

  2. Well I'm a little confused as of now. I immediately thought it was a Brueghel, younger or elder, but then you say "by a painter I have not heard of before".

    I know you know Brueghel. But I google him anyway.
    The painting comes up, almost! But not the version here. So I figure he did more than one ( still doesn't explain you have not heard of him before) or maybe another artist did their version from his... I try 17th Century art winter landscape ice skating, the same... so close...
    still looking....

  3. You correctly spotted the clue David. It's not Brueghel (either of them!).

  4. Artist Abel Grimmer
    Title Winter
    Date 1607
    Medium Oil on panel
    Where it is Royal Museum of Fine Arts ,Antwerp ( though the museum is being renovated and the picture is not on their site, so may be out on loan)
    How I found it It looked like Brueghel, but I knew it could`t be him because of your clue that you had never heard of the painter. I did a lot of fruitless Googling, kept getting the younger Breughel in a very similar image then realised I should be looking for a copy. More Googling , then I got it on Wiki with the words Winter skaters.
    For me , the most interesting part of the challenge is about the image itself and how it has been used and reused for over 500 years. It is very typical of the period, happy peasants enjoying themselves skating on the ice,( and falling in), a grand castle nearby, plenty of bustle and activity, all the figures well observed and painted. There is not a huge amount of information readily available on Abel Grimmer, he was born in Antwerp in 1570, his father was also a painter. He was a member of Saint Luke`s guild in Antwerp and painted mainly small landscapes, often with building and figures. However , most of his work was derivative, he copied freely both from painting and from prints ( not such an terrible thing to do then, as it would be now). He had a good colour sense and interpreted the pieces he copied in an lively and individual way. He died in 1618/9.
    As to the is known to have existed in an engraving of 1570 by Hieronymus Cock , which credits Hans Bol with its design.( Bol worked in the same geographical area as both the elder and younger Brueghel so the same buildings and places appear in all three artist`s work ).Brueghel the younger is known to have painted 10-12 versions of this picture, with different titles..".Winter ", "A Winter landscape with peasants skating and playing kolf on a frozen river, a town beyond." and so on.... One of the pictures was part of a forced sale by Hitler, repatriated after the war and sold in NY in 2007, There are at least two versions by Grimmer of the picture, the one in the challenge and another in a private collection, which differs in small ways .....different mountains and slight change of position of some of the figures and trees. bring us up to date... there is a website in China from which you can order a hand painted,24" X 36" copy of Winter ( the Grimmer version) for $65, shipping extra....and can also get a "Paint by Numbers " version!.

  5. That was so difficult Katherine. Like David I thought about Brueghel and spent ages looking 16th and 17th Dutch art, then I typed in little known Flemish Painters and got loads of names I'd never heard of, and Abel Grimmer came up. The style looked about right but I had to scroll through loads of images and then I found this : The right side of a double painting called Autumn/ Winter by Abel Grimmer painted 1607. It lives in the Koninklijk Museum voor Schone Kunsten ( I think that means fine art) in Antwerp Belgium. Trip Adviser says the museum is closed for refurbishment until 2017. I've spent a very pleasant afternoon tracking this down and now I must really do some work!

  6. This is the right side of an oil panel (33x47 cms) entitled 'Winter'. 'Autumn' is at the left side. Painted by the Flemish painterAbel Grimmer (1570-1619),it is now housed in the Koninklijk Museum Voor Schone Kunsten,Antwerp,Belgium.
    After researching Pieter Brueghel the Elder and Younger and lesser known Flemish artists, the words 'Antwerp', 'winter landscapes' and '16th Century Flemish painters' led me to Abel Grimmer.
    This panel is almost exactly like Pieter Brueghel the Younger's except for spirals in the right background.

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