Greek-born Spanish Mannerist Painter, 1541-1614
Considered a representative of late Renaissance Spanish art, El Greco was actually born in Greece, on the island of Crete. After studying in Venice under Titian, El Greco settled in Toledo, Spain in 1577. At the time he was wildly popular, his emotionally religious paintings being just the ticket for the hometown of the Spanish Inquisition. After his death his work was largely ignored until the beginning of the 20th century; now he considered one of the inspired geniuses of Western art. His distinctive style features bold shapes and colors, with elongated and slightly distorted figures.
In Toledo El Greco was in constant demand and liked living large: he maintained a private orchestra to accompany his meals. Related Paintings of El Greco :. | The Disrobing of Christ | Christus am olberg | Hl. Hieronymus als Kardinal | Details of The Burial of Count Orgaz | Allegory of the Camaldoless Order |
Related Artists:Nicolas Froment
French Early Renaissance Painter, ca.1430-1485 Charles Angrand
French Pointillist Painter, 1854-1926.French painter. He was trained at the Acad?mie de Peinture et de Dessin in Rouen, where he won prizes. Although he failed to gain entry to the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris, Angrand began to win a controversial local reputation for canvases in a loosely Impressionist manner. In 1882 he secured a post as a schoolteacher at the Coll?ge Chaptal in Paris. With this security he was able to make contacts in progressive artistic circles, and in 1884 he became a founder-member of the Salon des Ind?pendants. His paintings of this period depict rural interiors and kitchen gardens, combining the broken brushwork of Monet and Camille Pissarro with the tonal structure of Bastien-Lepage (e.g. In the Garden, 1884; priv. col., see 1979 exh. cat., p. 27). Henry Benbridge
Henry Benbridge born October 1743 died February 1812), early American portrait painter, was born in Philadelphia, the only child of James and Mary (Clark) Benbridge. When he was seven years old, his mother, who had been left a widow, was married to Thomas Gordon, a wealthy Scot. The boy's artistic talent was encouraged. He made decorative designs for his stepfather's drawing-room which were much admired. When he was fourteen years old he may have watched John Wollaston paint Gordon's portrait. It has been plausibly argued that young Benbridge had instruction from Wollaston, since his earliest known portrait, that of his half-sister Rebecca Gordon, "seems to hark back to Wollaston." When he was 21, Benbridge was sent to Italy, where he studied with Pompeo Batoni and Anton Raphael Mengs. In 1769, on commission from James Boswell, biographer of Dr. Samuel Johnson, he made a portrait of Pasquale Paoli in Corsica which he took to London. It was exhibited (1769) at the Free Society of Artists, and from it three mezzotints were scraped and published with the artist's name signed "Bembridge." Like other young Americans he was encouraged by Benjamin West. He wrote, on December 7, 1769, to his stepfather: "Upon my arrival I waited upon Mr. West who received me with a sort of brotherly affection, as did my cousin, Mrs. West." Impelled, apparently, by a longing to rejoin his family, he left England in 1770, bearing from West the following note of recommendation to Francis Hopkinson: "By Mr. Benbridge you will receive these few lines. You will find him an Ingenous artist and an agreeable Companion. His merit in the art must procure him great incouragement and much esteem. I deare say it will give you great pleasure to have an ingenous artist resident amongst you."
Elizabeth Ann Timothy (Mrs. William Williamson), watercolor on ivory of 1775In Philadelphia Benbridge married a Miss Sage and was admitted on January 18, 1771, to membership in the American Philosophical Society, of which Benjamin Franklin was a founder. He painted the large portrait of the Gordon family, with six figures, one of his masterpieces. Suffering, however, from asthma, he sought a more congenial climate and moved to Charleston, South Carolina, where he succeeded Jeremiah Theus (d. May 18, 1774) as the popular portrait painter of South Carolina. There he made many likenesses of southern men and women, several of which have been popularly attributed to John Singleton Copley, an artist who never painted in the South and who left America in 1774. Around 1800 Benbridge settled in Norfolk, Virginia, whence he made frequent visits to his native city. At Norfolk he gave to Thomas Sully his first lessons in oil painting. He had previously instructed Thomas Coram of Charleston. Sully describes his master as "a portly man of good address - gentlemanly in his deportment." Benbridge's health is said by Hart to have declined in middle age. Dunlap's assertion that his last years were passed "in obscurity and poverty" has been disputed.