Richard Parkes Bonington
Richard Parkes Bonington was born in Arnold, England in 1802. His family moved to Calais, France in 1817, then moved again to Paris. The young Bonington spent time copying pictures in the Louvre. He met Eugene Delacroix in Paris and the two artists became lifelong friends. At fifteen, Bonington entered the studio of Baron Gros. Bonington rose quickly in the ranks. His bravura painting and excellent drawing facility garnered much praise throughout his career. The Academic schedule of drawing from casts soon bored Bonington and he found himself at odds with his teacher. By 1821, the relationship reached its breaking point and he set out on his own path of study.
Bonington preferred to paint on location and record nature and modern life. Longing to break from the stylized stage settings and mythic genre of most academic landscapes,
Bonington set out on a sketching tour to Normandy. He explored painting and sketching from life, focusing on coastal scenes. In 1822, he illustrated travel books for Parisian publishers. The success of these illustrations led to his demand with publishers, dealers and collectors. During this time, Bonington studied the art of lithography and received financial backing to publish his own set of lithographic views of Normandy.
Bonington received a Gold Medal for his entry in the Salon of 1824. The Salon was a turning point for landscape art. Young painters sought to overthrow the restrictions on subject and finish set by the Academics. Leading the attack were the English painters.
Although Bonington’s career spanned less than ten years, his influence on French painting was profound. Bonington was skilled in watercolors and oils and also created fine lithographs and engravings. He was the link between the English landscape painters, Turner and Constable, and the Barbizon School and the Impressionists.
Bonington fell ill during a sketching trip and contracted a complication of pulmonary consumption. He died one month before his 26th birthday.
Richard Parkes Bonington ‘On the Pleasure of Painting’
1991 Yale University press
Quote Lithography is drawing itself. In it we discover the hand, the thought of it’s author: it is not a faithful copy; to our mind it is the echo of the model, it is a mirror that reflects and multiplies the original.~ R.P. Bonington
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Albert Thomas DeRome was born in 1885 near San Luis Obispo, California. He studied art for two years at the Mark Hopkins Institute in San Francisco under Arthur Matthews. Following his schooling, DeRome worked as a cartoonist for the San Jose Mercury News and also as a commercial artist. He eventually worked as a sales manager for George Hass and Sons. This allowed DeRome to travel and paint throughout California, Nevada and Arizona. During this time, his painting partners included many prominent artists including William Keith, Percy Gray, Will Sparks and Gunner Widforss.
In 1931, DeRome suffered a serious head-on auto accident. An insurance settlement stipulated that he could no longer work as a professional artist. He moved to Pacific Grove, California, where his recovery took many years. DeRome continued to paint and exhibit as an amateur and would frequently trade his paintings for goods and services or give them away to family and friends. DeRome was equally adept at watercolor and oils, working in both mediums throughout his career.DeRome preferred to work in a small format. Most of his paintings were no larger than 18” x 24”. He is known for his beautiful pastel color harmonies and strong design. Many of his paintings were of the San Francisco Bay Area and coastal scenes along the dunes of Monterey Bay, including Carmel and Pacific Grove. He had a tradition of writing the date, time of day and other details about the painting on the back of his canvases. He even went as far as to include comments by observers, friends and other artists.
DeRome won many awards for his work, despite the restrictions placed on him by his insurance settlement. Among others, his awards included 6, First Place prizes at the Monterey County Fair between 1939 and 1947. Albert Thomas DeRome died in Carmel on July 31, 1859 at the age of 74. Tragically, many of his paintings were destroyed in the 1991Oakland Hills Firestorm.
Albert Thomas DeRome 1885 1959Walter A. Nelson-Reese
WIM Publishers 1988
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The Swedish artist Carl Larsson was born in Stockholm, on May 28, 1853. His family was poor and his parents split at an early age. He lived with his father and brother in slum housing in Stockholm’s East End. In 1866 at the age of thirteen his teacher urged him to apply to the Stockholm Academy of Fine Arts where he was accepted to the preparatory school there. After three years at the age of sixteen Larsson was promoted to the Antique School of the academy. He was promoted again to the Model School and then the Painting School of the Academy. It was at this time he began working as an illustrator for the publication Kasper. In 1874 Larsson won a medal for his painting Moses Abandoned by His Mother. In this same year he was also promoted at Kasper.
The next two years Larsson was awarded two more medals for his paintings. In 1877 he traveled to France staying in Paris and spent time in Barbizon and Grez-Sur-Loing.He began painting in the barbizon style and was influenced by Bastien Lepage. One of his watercolors from Grez was awarded a third class medal at the Paris Salon of 1883.
In 1883 Larsson also married Karin Bergöö another artist, they had eight children together. Larsson’s family life became the focus of his most famous work. Larsson wrote and illustrated many books on his new life as husband and father. The joyous scenes he painted of his home and family catapulted him to fame throughout the world and the decorations and furniture Karin created for the interiors launched a new style of interior design.
He continued his illustration career and also began painting murals. In 1909 a book of Larsson’s watercolors was published in Germany. It was titled The House in the Sun and sold 40,000 copies in three months. Throughout his career Larsson continued exhibiting his paintings and won many awards. He also completed several large murals and frescoes. His last mural Midwinter Sacrifice was painted for the National Museum and rejected by the museum committee. The mural was finally repurchased by the museum from a private collector in 1997 and hung in its intended space. Carl Larsson died in 1919.
The World of Carl Larsson
Görel Cavalli- Björman and Bö Lindwall
Green Tiger Press 1982
“The fate of Midvinterblot (Midwinter Sacrifice) broke me! This I admit with a dark anger. And still, it was probably the best thing that could have happened, because my intuition tells me — once again that this painting, with all its weaknesses, will one day, when I’m gone, be honored with a far better placement.” Carl Larsson
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