Monday, December 23, 2013

Who painted this? #55

Who painted this #55
Back after a short break while I got on with writing the book, this is a "who painted this" to keep you going over Christmas!

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? #55"

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  • if correct it will not be published until the next post - which provides the answer 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 #54 - The Answer

A Painter by Meisonnier

Meisonnier was once the darling of the Paris Salon and commanded astronomically high prices for his finely rendered paintings.

His painting career is compared and contrasted with that of Manet in the Ross King's book  The Judgment of Paris: The Revolutionary Decade That Gave the World Impressionism.  It's a recommended and fascinating read about the Paris Salon, the Salon des Refuses and the emergence of Impressionism.

If you visit London, go to the Wallace Collection - they have an excellent collection of small paintings by Meissonnier, some of which can normally be seen in one of the galleries on the lower floor.

Who guessed correct?

Who painted this #54? - Three people got the answer correct and are listed below in alphabetical order
Both Patrick and Bernadette had excellent extended answers about the painter and his painting of a painter.

This is from Patrick's response 
Some other notes on Meissonnier's fame are that in 1897 a Parisian newspaper [Le Figaro] asked the leading French art dealers, critics, and curators: Which French artists of the 19th century would still be important one hundred years hence in the year 1997? The results were, number one, Adolphe William Bouguereau; second, Jean-Louis Ernest Meissonier; and, third, Léon Gérôme.
However the best answer yet again came from Bernadette.


  1. Carl Larsson is the artist, titled"Christmas Eve". 1904

  2. Answer: Carl Larsson, swedish painter, this is titled "Christmas Eve" 1904. I recognized the style immediately and was sure it was by Carl Larsson. He painted a lot of lovely warm family scenes with red accents.

  3. It's OK Janice - I've got your comment. Comments are not published for at least a week while people participate in the challenge.

    You do need to read the rest of the instructions of what to do though.......

  4. Hi Katherine
    Thanks for this who painted this. I look forward to them very much.
    I recognised the artist straight away having been to an exhibition of his work in the 90's. Can't remember where it was, but they created one of his rooms with windows and a long seat under them.I've always enjoyed his neat illustrations.
    It's Carl Larsson "Christmas Eve" a watercolour from 1904-1905. it's in the Swedish National Museum in Stockholm. It was only a quick google to find it.
    I seem to remember he ended his own life. It's hard to believe when you see the idealic world of his paintings.
    Happy Christmas Katherine and thanks for your blog.

  5. The watercolour is called 'Julaftonen' Christmas Eve , 1904/5 by Carl Larson, Swedish painter born 28 May 1853 died Jan 1919.
    It's now located in the National Museum in Stockholm.
    When I saw the image I immediately recognised the style as Larson's and thought maybe I had seen the painting itself somewhere in Sweden. It's, of course, a well chosen piece for today - Christmas Eve. I looked on Carl Larson website and then to the National Museum site and also Wikipedia to get dates etc.
    When I was studying History of Art in the UK some years ago Larson was not very highly regarded and words like 'twee' were used, and it was suggested that it was all too illustrative to be proper art and linked to some unreal idyl.
    However, I subsequently lived in Stockhom for,3 years became keen on the country, the way of life. In many ways the idyl does live on! The paintings are nostalgic but many Swedes do keep alive the family traditions, have family feasts, outdoor picnics in summer at their summer houses or cabins etc
    I suggest a visit to Sweden would make anyone see Larson in a more positive light.
    Linda Nevill

  6. Title: Julafton (Eng: Christmas Eve)
    Artist: Carl Larsen
    Date: 1904 -1905
    Medium: Watercolour on paper
    Current location: Nationalmuseum, Stockholm

    I recognised the style straight away and searched in Google for "Swedish illustrator Larsen" to remind me of the full name, then for "Carl Larsen painting feast Christmas", which led me to "Carl Larsen Christmas Eve" and thence to full details on Wikimedia.

  7. Had to be Carl Larsson. (googled Larsson Chirstmas dinner to be sure)

  8. Happy Christmas!And have a really productive New Year....I hope the book is progressing well ....
    I`m glad to see Who Painted This? back again...quick question...this week what is the deadline for answers?

  9. Let's say 31st December.

    I think I've got the next one scheduled for 3rd January - however I'll be away so will need to know all the entries in advance

  10. Artist Carl Larsson
    Title Christmas Eve
    Date 1904-1905
    Medium Watercolour
    Where it is Nationalmuseum Stockholm
    How I found it I knew it was Carl Larsson

    Carl Larsson was born in 1853, in Stockholm, in to a very poor family.His father, a casual laborour for most of his life,went from one badly paid job to another and didn`t seem to stay long in any of them. As is often the case, Larsson`s mother kept the family together, earning money by working as a laundress.Larsson`s autobiography gives a picture of a family always on the outside, moving from house to house, each one worse than the one before.His father drank to excess and never showed his family any love or affection. Larsson had very few happy memories of his childhood.
    All changed, however ,when he was 13. His great talent at drawing (probably inherited from his maternal grandfather ) was evident and a far seeing teacher helped him apply for a place in the Principskolan, the preparatory school of the Royal Swedish Academy. to which he was duly admitted. At first he found life there hard,being poor and socially awkward,but his wonderful skill at drawing eventually won him friends and he found his niche.
    After leaving the Academy. he made a good living as an ilustrator but still aspired to be a `real` artist.He moved to Paris, in 1877, where he painted in oils. but never had financial or critical success. His work may have been too conventional for the art world of the latter half of the 1800s- a critisism that was leveled at him for most of his life.
    In 1882, he moved to a Scandanavian artists` colony in Grez, outside Paris, started to paint in watercolours and at long last found his true medium.He also found a wife, Karin Bergoo, also an artist. She and their 8 children became his most popular models. In 1888 they were given a small house by Karen`s father and together they made a very modern and light filled home. This house has been kept as it was in their time and is now a museum.Larsson had enormous success in his career and moved in the best circles. He still, however, hankered to become more than an be considered a real artist; and this kind of success eluded him. His last work `Midvinterblot` which he made for the National Museum in Stockholm,was turned down by the council as not suitable.As he felt this piece to be his masterwork he was unhappy and bitter with their decision. He died not long after this,in 1919. In the end the work was sold to a Japanese buyer and finally returned to the National Museum in 1992. In 1997 the museum purchased it and it now has a home in the place for which it was originally intended.
    `Christmas Eve` is a typical Larsson painting, dipicting a happy family getting ready for the Christmas feast. The father is already seated at the table which is groaning with all the traditional foods and drinks. The best crockery is laid out beside the glass and pewter goblets.A young woman on the left of the picture stares straight at us ,her smile inviting us to be part of the celebrations. Many of Larsson`s painting, such as this one, are like stage sets; he sets the scene in wonderful detail- note the cat raising its paw- and wants us to look and enjoy the idylic scenes he portrays.
    Happy New Year from Bernadette Madden in New York City


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