English Painting and Art Galleries

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English painting.

Our life seems to be impossible without art. It really occupies an important part in our daily life. Art offers us not only pleasure and amusement but it is also a vehicle of culture and education. Art penetrates into all spheres and sides of our life and makes it brighter, richer and more intellectual. People like and know different types of art. Some of them are fond of painting. Others have a special liking for music or they have a passion for literature. But all of us cant help admiring the canvases of such great painters as Thomas Gainsborough, Rembrand etc.

So, art units different people, influences the development of personality, makes our innerworld richer, feels our soul with different feelings. It makes us stronger, inforces us in difficult situations.

Time is flying art is forever.

Painting in England began to develop later than in over European countries. That's why some of the greatest foreign masters were attracted to England by the titles of nobility conferred upon them. Holbein, Antonio Mor, Rubens, Van Dyck were almost English painters during longer or shorter periods of their lives.

Sir Anthony Van Dyck (1599 - 1641), who married the daughter of an English Lord and who died in London is considered to be the father of the English portrait school. He worked at the court of Karl I, was an extremely hard working painter. His most famous works are: his self portrait, Portrait of the Man and Karl I.

But not until William Hogarth (1697 - 1764) do we find a painter truly English. Hogarth was the printers son, uneducated, but a curious observer of man and manners. His first work dates from 1730. Among his best works are Captain Coram, The Shrimp Girl, serial Mode Marriage.

His pictures of social life brought him fame and position in the society. One of his serials Mode Marriage consists of 6 pictures. The Marriage Contract is the first.

Both fathers are siting to the right. One of them an earl is proudly pointing to his family tree. The other is reading the marriage contract. The Earls son is looking at himself with pleasure in looking glass. The daughter of the second man is playing with her wedding ring and listening to the complements of a young lawyer. The subject matter of the picture is the protest against marriage for money and vanity. Other pictures of this serial have the same subject matter.

Hogarth was sure that success came to him due to hard labor. He wrote Genius is nothing , labor is diligence.

Sir Joshua Reynolds (1723 - 1792) is one of the outstanding British portraitists, who had an important influence on his contemporaries. Within a short period of time he achieved a considerable success. In 1755, at the highest point of his career he painted 120 portraits. When, in 1768, the Royal Academy of Arts was founded, he naturally became its first president. In 1784 he became a principal painter of the King. He was a highly educated person, wonderful colorist. His colors are difficult to judge today, because they were not scientifically applied. That's why many of his paintings have cracked and faided. Among his best works are: Cupid untiring the Zone of Venus and Mrs. Siddons. They are well-known all over the world. For 20 years he was the most prominent artist of his day even in the face of rising Gainsborough.

Thomas Gainsborough (1727 - 1788) succeeded brilliantly as a portrait painter. Society went to him for portraits. A good amateur violinist and a lover of drama, he was an artistic person by nature. Joshua Reynolds and Thomas Gainsborough created a national type of the English portrait. His manner of painting differs from Reynolds. Thomas Gainsborough's portraits of actors, actresses and his close friends are famous. One of his greatest friends was Richard Sheridan, the dramatist, whose portrait belongs to one of the best pictures of this painter. Even in his portraits Thomas Gainsborough is an out-of-door painter. The backgrounds of his portraits are often well-observed country scenes. He was one of the first to be elected to the newly established London Academy of Arts. Thomas Gainsborough is acknowledge as an excellent women painter. The Portrait of the Duchess de Befou, Mrs. Siddons, Two Daughters are among his best creatures.

: 31/01/2009