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Thread: Germanic Painters and Paintings

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    Exclamation Germanic Painters and Paintings

    One of my favorite painters is the Low German artist Johannes Vermeer.
    Here is a short biography of him, as well as some of his paintings.

    ________________________________________


    Johannes Vermeer

    Johannes Vermeer was born in 1632, in the city of Delft in The Netherlands. The precise date of his birth is unknown but we do know that he was baptised on the 31st of October, 1632, in the Reformed Church in Delft. His father, Reynier Vermeer, was a silk weaver and an art dealer. He married Johannes' mother, Digna, who was from Antwerp, Belgium, in 1615. Reynier Vermeer's name actually was Reynier Vos (Fox), but he used the name Van der Meer. He was probably the one who introduced the art of painting to the young Johannes. The Vermeer family bought a large house near the market square in Delft in 1641. This house, the "Mechelen", was actually an inn and Reynier Vermeer probably used the place to sell paintings. After his death in 1652, Johannes Vermeer inherited the Mechelen as well as his father's bussiness.

    Despite the fact that he was Protestant, he married a Catholic girl, named Catherina Bolnes, in April 1653. He coverted to Catholicism shortly before their marriage. The couple moved in with Catherina's mother, Maria Thins, in 1672. Maria apparently played an important role in their life, for they named their first daughter after her. Maria Thins was a Jesuit and this, too, seems to have influenced Johannes and Catherina, for they called their first son Ignatius, after the patron saint of the Jesuit Order. Johannes and Catherina had fourteen children in total, three of which died before Vermeer.

    Vermeer started an apprenticeship to become a painter. It is not certain where he studied and who his teacher was. In general, it is believed that he studied in Delft and that his teacher was either Carel Fabritius (1622 - 1654) or Leonaert Bramer (1596 - 1674). The 29th of December 1653, Vermeer became a member of the Saint Luke's Guilde, which was a trade association for painters. During the Dutch Golden Age, painting was not considered an art, but a craftmanship, a way to make a living. He wasn't able to pay the admition fee right away as records of the Guilde show. In 1662 he was elected head of the Guilde and in 1663, 1670 and 1671 he was elected again.

    Because of the economic difficulties in the Netherlands in the late 17th century, the art dealing bussiness went bad for Vermeer. This was one of the reasons Johannes and his family left the Mechelen in 1672, to move in with Maria Thins. When Johannes Vermeer died in 1675, he left Catherina and their children with very little money. Catherina was forced to ask the city council to take over the heritage, which not only included paintings but also great debts. The famous Dutch microscopist, Antonie van Leeuwenhoek, who also lived and worked in Delft and worked for the city council, was appointed trustee for the estate in 1676. In the same year, 19 of Vermeer's paintings were bequeathed to Catherina and Maria. Catherina used some of the paintings of her late husband to pay the debts she had.

    After his death, Vermeer and his work were forgotten. Nowadays, only a small number of paintings has survived. In Delft, Vermeer was a respected artist but seems to have never sold one of his paintings. The small number of paintings of which we now know they are Vermeer's can be attributed to the fact that he was a very precise painter. His compositions are remarkable and so is his representation of space. His relatively short life and career as an artist is seen as another reason for small Vermeer heritage. It is assumed that many of his paintings were lost after his death. Despite the fact that we only have a small number of paintings, Vermeer is now considered to be one of the greatest Dutch painters.




    Girl With a Pearl Earring [Enlarge]
    Oil on Canvas - 19" x 16" (47 x 40 cm)
    Location: Mauritshuis, The Hague, the Netherlands
    Year: 1660 - 1665

    'Girl with a Pearl Earring' is characteristic of Vermeer's later, more mature style. It is thought that the girl in the painting in Vermeer's youngest daughter, Maria. However, this is often disputed because the girl's age and the probable date of the painting do not match. The girl wears a piece of cloth over her head, which is assumed to be part of a Turkish costume that was found among Vermeer's possessions after his death. Beautiful and gentle, the young girl glances innocently over her shoulder to catch the eyes of the viewer. Her pearl earring beautifully reflects the light in the room.

    This painting doesn't have a deeper meaning, as far as we know. An iconographical description, which is possible for many of Vermeer's paintings, is not possible here. But what is interesting for this particular painting is a description of the process of the restoration.

    The 'Girl with a Pearl Earring' was most recently restored in 1994. A whole team of experts used the most sophisticated equipment to bring back the 'Girl with a Pearl Earring' to its original, fresh and beautiful state. First they removed the old varnish using a cotton bud with a solvent. This solvent did not affect the paint. The second stage was to remove paint from earlier restorations and bad spots using a scalpel and a solvent. Now these spots, where paint was removed, were filled up with a paste, and a new, thin layer of varnish was placed. Now the painstaking process of repainting could begin, using a small paintbrush and large magnifying glasses. The whole process was finished by a last layer of varnish, bringing back the 'Girl with the Pearl Earring' in its full glory.

    Of course this is a very small description of the restoration process. It would take a whole book to name all the instruments, equipment and techniques used during the restoration, but this description is in short the way a restoration of a painting works. One other aspect of a restoration, which is very important, is that al the new materials used to restore the painting can also be removed easily, so that future restorations are easy and possible.





    The Little Street [Enlarge]
    Oil on Canvas - 21" x 17" (54.3 x 44 cm)
    Location: Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
    Year: 1659 - 1660

    Many people presume that the street in this painting is an existing street in Delft. However, Vermeer combined a number of real buildings to get a better composition. The little gate, through which we see a woman, resembles the little gate of the St. Luke's Guild, of which Vermeer was a member.

    Several other aspects of the buildings have been altered as well for the sake of composition. This has been shown by x-ray research. For example, you can see how Vermeer has removed part of the wall because otherwise we would not be able to see the woman. Vermeer has not painted a real, existing street but has combined several elements of existing buildings to create a balanced painting.

    One of Vermeer's strongest points was probably his texture-representation. This is very clear in this painting. With a number of relatively simple brushstrokes, Vermeer creates a street. Also the brickwork is marvelous. Vermeer places his brushstrokes with great accuracy. This way, the painting becomes very detailed, especially when it comes to texture.

    It is striking that Vermeer did not spend a lot of time on the people in the painting. They have not been fully developed; the woman in the doorway doesn't even have a face. Maybe this was not very important to Vermeer.





    Young Woman With a Waterpitcher [Enlarge]
    Oil on Canvas - 18" x 16" (45.7 x 40.5 cm)
    Location: Metropolitan Museum of Art
    Year: 1664 - 1665

    A woman is standing in the corner of a room. In her left hand she holds a water pitcher, with her right hand she is opening, or closing, a window. On the back wall we the corner of a large map depicting a part of Europe. In the foreground we see a part of a table and a chair. An open jewelry box is on the table. The cool sunlight, which comes through the open window, shines on the woman's beautiful cap.

    It is hard to say whether Vermeer had a certain deeper meaning in mind fro this painting. The jewelry box might reflect earthly matters or the vanity of the woman. The water pitcher might refer to purity. The water pitcher was used to wash oneself, to freshen up. But why does the woman look away from both items? Maybe Vermeer just painted an everyday scene, without any hidden meaning. However, the woman could be holding the water pitcher to symbolize that she has chosen purity over vanity. This would also explain why she is touching the window. By opening the window she lets the purifying light in. But what has this all to do with the large map in the background? And why don't we see the whole map?

    This painting raises more questions than it provides explanations. This leaves the viewer speculating about the meaning of the painting. This way the viewer can make up his/her own reality for 'Woman with a water pitcher', and perhaps this is one of the most charming qualities of Vermeer's work.



    Johannes Vermeer Art Gallery
    This is a placeholder for a signature.

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    Post Re: Germanic Painters and Paintings

    Another famous German painter who did many portraits of himself.(Albrecht Dührer) He hid his signature in all of his paintings which is kind of interesting.

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    Post Re: Germanic Painters and Paintings

    In this context Caspar David Friedrich must not be missing:

    http://www.spamula.net/blog/i05/cdf1-thumb.jpg
    Das große Gehege bei Dresden

    http://www.spiegel.de/img/0,1020,289380,00.jpg
    Nebelschwaden


    Mondaufgang über See


    Die Lebensstufen

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    Post Re: Germanic Painters and Paintings

    Georg Sluyterman von Langeweyde - a german artist
    http://www.geocities.com/stromerhann...t_deutsch.html

    Biography (german):
    http://www.geocities.com/stromerhannes/bio_deutsch.html
    Last edited by Zyklop; Saturday, April 3rd, 2004 at 11:58 PM.
    Tolerance is a proof of distrust in one's own ideals. Friedrich Nietzsche


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    Post Re: Germanic Painters and Paintings


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    Post Re: Germanic Painters and Paintings

    Albrecht Durer one of the most Greatest German Artists in History is my favorite. I like his unique style and his masterful ability to imitate reality on Canvas. Whether it's Art, Music, or Philosphy...Germanics Dominate!

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    Some German painters from the Third Reich:

    Sepp Hilz was born in Northern Bavaria on October 22, 1906. His first teachings came from his father George Hilz, a painter and notable restorer of churches (amongst which were the churches of St. Sebastian, Berbling, Willing, Weihenlinden, Tuntenhausen and Bacherting). After finishing studying at the Volksschule, his father sent him to a school for apprentice painters in Rosenheim where he learnt to copy the works of great German painters, especially those of Dürer,Cranach and Altdorfer. Hilz soon left the school and continued working in his father’s workshop as an apprentice.

    Some of his paintings:
    http://artroots.com/art2/sepphilz1906works.htm
    http://artroots.com/art2/sepphilz1906works2.htm
    http://artroots.com/art2/sepphilz1906works3.htm

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    Adolf Wissel. His paintings, in a classical style, depict peasants and rural family life in the manner idealized by the Third Reich. His realistic style, even a bit reminiscent from expressionism, comes in the heritage of the German academical painting.

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    Other painters:

    "Plowing" by Julius Paul Junghanns
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    "Mother & Child (The Worpswede Madonna)" by Fritz Mackensen
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    "Heimkehr"/"Homecoming" by Hans Adolf Bühler
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    Last edited by Aeternitas; Tuesday, July 11th, 2006 at 08:11 PM.

  8. #8
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    AW: Post your favorite painting here

    Caspar David Friedrich ist mein favorite painter
    These paintings I like the most:

    Das Eismeer oder Die verunglückte »Hoffnung«



    Kreidefelsen auf Rügen



    Die Lebensstufen



    Klosterfriedhof im Schnee



    Der Wanderer über dem Nebelmeer

    Wer die Wahrheit nicht weiß, der ist bloß ein Dummkopf.


    Aber wer sie weiß und sie eine Lüge nennt, der ist ein Verbrecher.


    -Bertold Brecht-

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    Re: AW: Post your favorite painting here

    Walter Strobl, Zyklop, oil on canvas, 1995
    This is a placeholder for a signature.

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    Re: Post your favorite painting here

    Gottfried Helnwein, all mixed media on canvas

    Dresden
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    Righteous Man
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    Head of a Child
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    Downtown
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