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TitleSecret Lives of Great Artists: What Your Teachers Never Told You About Master Painter and Sculptors
ISBN 139781594742576
Author
LanguageEnglish
File Size4.0 MB
Total Pages145
Document Text Contents
Page 1

SECRET LIVES
OF

GREAT ARTISTS

Page 2

Copyright © 2008 by Quirk Productions, Inc.

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced in any form

without written permission from the publisher.

Library of Congress Cataloging in Publication Number: 2008923885

ISBN: 978-1-59474-257-6

Printed in China

Typeset in Helvetica and Trade Gothic

Cover designed by Doogie Horner

Interior designed by Karen Onorato

Illustrations by Mario Zucca

Edited by Mindy Brown

Distributed in North America by Chronicle Books

680 Second Street

San Francisco, CA 94107

10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1

Quirk Books

215 Church Street

Philadelphia, PA 19106

www.quirkbooks.com

SECRET LIVES
OF

GREAT ARTISTS
WHAT YOUR TEACHERS NEVER TOLD YOU ABOUT

MASTER PAINTERS AND SCULPTORS

BY ELIZABETH LUNDAY
ILLUSTRATED BY MARIO ZUCCA

Page 72

1 4 2 - S E C R E T L I V E S O F G R E A T A R T I S T S

break the chokehold of the government’s official Salon. Rather than jurying

shows, the Indépendants allowed anyone to exhibit for a small annual fee.

JUNGLE PRIMITIVE
In the 1890s, Rousseau hit upon his most important theme: the jungle. His

painting called Surprise! depicts a tiger baring its teeth and surrounded by

sharply pointed leaves, rippling grasses, and looming trees. To create his

jungle scenes, Rousseau spent hours at the Jardin des Plantes, the botani-

cal garden in Paris, which contained stuffed wild animals and greenhouses

full of tropical plants. He eventually painted dozens of jungle scenes, many

with animals straight out of the garden’s exhibit cases. The primal energy

emanating from these canvases sometimes alarmed even Rousseau, who

claimed he needed to open the studio windows to let it escape.

Rousseau’s most famous painting is unusual among his works—so

unusual, in fact, that it was rumored to be a forgery. The Sleeping Gypsy

(1897) depicts a black woman dressed in a colorfully striped gown lying

asleep on the ground. A lion with a bright mane and a pert tail leans over

and sniffs her. The desolate landscape of distant hills and bare ground

contrasts strangely with Rousseau’s usual jungles; no other of his works is

as stark. But the horizontal planes of color and limited details create a

powerful impression.

In 1888, Clémence died, leaving Rousseau to care for their teenage

daughter, the only of their eight children to survive into adulthood. He

retired from the customs service in 1893 with a small pension, which he

supplemented with violin lessons. In 1899, he married a widow named

Joséphine Noury. He tried to earn a living from his paintings by entering

government competitions but never had any luck. Fortunately, his Paris

neighbors paid him small sums to create portraits of family members. The

stiffness and “primitiveness” of these works is profound but strangely com-

pelling. Although they failed to capture likenesses—Rousseau is at his

most awkward portraying faces—they succeeded in conveying a sense of

the subject’s personality, often through details such as a favorite toy or

treasured possession.

AN OUTSIDER ON THE INSIDE
Rousseau would have languished in obscurity had not the avant-garde sud-

H E N R I R O U S S E A U - 1 4 3

denly “discovered” him around the turn of the century. Pablo Picasso hap-

pened to see one of Rousseau’s canvases lying in a heap in a junk shop;

when he expressed interest, the store owner offered it cheap, saying, “You

can paint over it!” Before long, Picasso and his bohemian friends were

visiting Rousseau in his modest studio. They thrilled to the artist’s

“naïveté” and his “primitive” style and prized his vision as free from aca-

demic conventions and uninfluenced by any school or movement. (It’s

doubtful Rousseau viewed their paintings with similar regard. He always

expressed admiration for academic art and seems to have found modernist

painting incomprehensible.)

In 1910 at the Indépendants, Rousseau exhibited his largest canvas, a

jungle painting titled The Dream, to the appreciation of his young friends.

Sadly, he had little time to enjoy his newfound fame. He died that fall from

complications from an infected leg wound. Friends donated money to erect

an elaborate tomb for him that featured a poem by Guillaume Apollinaire

inscribed by the artist Constantin Brancusi.

Rousseau influenced movements as diverse as Cubism and Surrealism.

Most significant is the development of an entirely new type of art that

became known as Naïve, or Outsider, Art. Henceforth, critics would be on

the lookout for unknown geniuses, hoping another Rousseau is working

away unobserved.

PRIMITIVE, BUT NOT SO SIMPLE

Lest you leave with the idea that Rousseau was pure of spirit and

charmingly naïve, you should know about his criminal record. His

first run-in with the law happened when he was a young man just out

of school. He took a job at a lawyer’s office, where he apparently

stole some cash and a large quantity of stamps. He served a short

prison sentence in 1864 and then volunteered for the military to get

out of jail.

His second criminal encounter occurred many years later, in

1907, when he was involved in an elaborate case of bank fraud. A

!

Page 73

H E N R I R O U S S E A U - 1 4 5

bank clerk friend hatched the scheme, which involved Rousseau

opening an account under a false name and obtaining forged

bank certificates.

The crime was quickly uncovered, and Rousseau was hauled to

jail. At trial, he played up his “naïve” reputation, with his attorney

emphasizing his client’s “simpleness” and insisting he had been

manipulated. The jury didn’t completely believe the story—they

imposed a fine and a suspended sentence.

WHAT AM I DOING HERE?
The avant-garde appreciation of Rousseau peaked in November 1908,

when Pablo Picasso hosted a banquet in his studio in Rousseau’s

honor. The guests formed a Who’s Who of Paris bohemia, including

artist Georges Braque, poets Max Jacob and Guillaume Apollinaire,

and writer Gertrude Stein, her lover, Alice B. Toklas, and Stein’s col-

lector brother, Leo. Unfortunately, the evening’s feasting portion was

a flop, since Picasso had mistakenly ordered the food for the next day;

his girlfriend and Toklas scrambled to find the ingredients to make

paella. Luckily, plenty of alcohol was on hand, and events went on

long into the night.

After Apollinaire read a poem about the guest of honor, Rousseau

stood to express his thanks. Turning to Picasso, he said, “We two are

the greatest painters of our time: you in the Egyptian style, and I in the

modern style.”

No one had any idea what he was talking about.

ALTHOUGH HENRI ROUSSEAU IS AN ARTIST KNOWN AS
A CHARMINGLY NAÏVE “PRIMITIVE,” HIS RAP SHEET
INCLUDED JAIL TIME FOR THEFT AND BANK FRAUD.

Page 144

Maar, Dora, 192, 194, 195
Madonna, 178
Magritte, Léopold, 245
Magritte, Régina, 245
Magritte, René, 29, 244–49
Maitland, Thomas, 90
Manet, Édouard, 68, 94–100, 103, 110, 117, 118
Manet, Eugène, 100
Manji, Gaky¯ R¯ jin, 155
Manuel I (king), 37
Marat, Jean-Paul, 80, 81
Marat Breathing His Last, 80
Marchesa di Caravaggio, 49, 50, 52
Matisse, Henri, 120, 152, 177, 180–87, 191, 198
Matisse, Jean, 182, 183
Matisse, Marguerite, 181, 182
Matisse, Pierre, 182, 183, 187–88, 226
Matsch, Franz, 165
Maxmillian (emperor), 36
McNeill, Anna, 102, 103, 106
Medici Chapel, 41, 44
Medicis, 16–17
Merisi, Michelangelo, 47–54
Mesquita, Samuel de, 239
Metropolitan Museum of Art, 31
Metzger, Edith, 272
Meyerowitz, Rick, 29
Michelangelo Buonarroti, 11, 25, 38–45, 46, 95, 125
Milan, Duke of (Ludovico Sforza), 24, 25, 29
Millais, John Everett, 87–88, 92
Minnelli, Liza, 280
mirrors and lenses, 13–14
Modernism, 185
Modern Olympia, A, 118
Modigliani, Amedeo, 209
Moll, Carl, 169
Mona Lisa, 22, 23, 25, 27–29, 76, 195, 197
Monet, Claude, 96, 110, 111, 117, 132–39, 155,

158, 161
Monet, Jean, 134
Monroe, Marilyn, 277
Monument to Balzac, The, 131
Morimura, Yasumasa, 29
Morisot, Berthe, 100, 111
Morris, Jane, 89–90, 92
Morris, William, 88, 89, 107–08
Munch, Andreas, 172
Munch, Christian, 172–73
Munch, Edvard, 171–79
Munch, Laura, 172, 174, 175
Munch, Sophie, 172, 173
Munch Museum, 171, 177, 178
Musée de l’Orangerie, 132, 137
Musée d’Orsay, 94, 101, 109, 116
Musée Rodin, 124
Museum of Modern Art, New York, 140, 147, 163,

180, 216, 250, 275
Musto, John, 206

Naked Maja, The, 73
Namuth, Hans, 273
Napoleon III (emperor), 96, 103
National Gallery (London), 9
National Gallery of Art (Washington D. C.), 64, 206, 237
National Gallery of Canada, 237
Nemours, Duke of (Giuliano), 44
Neoclassical style, 79
Newsweek, 105
New Yorker, 105, 131
Night, 41, 44
Nighthawks, 199, 202
Night Watch, 55, 57, 60
Ninety-Five Theses, 33
Nivison, Josephine, 201, 203, 204–06
Nocturne in Black and Gold, 104
Norwegian National Gallery, 171, 178
Noury, Joséphine, 142
Nude Descending a Staircase, 224
Nude with Calla Lilies, 207
Number 5, 1948, 267, 274

Oath of the Horatii, 80
Office at Night, 202
O’Keeffe, Francis, 231
O’Keeffe, Georgia, 230–36, 245
O’Keeffe, Ida, 231
O’Leary, John, 108
Olivier, Fernande, 190, 192
Olympia, 94, 95, 96, 110, 118

“Paranoia, the Pre-Raphaelites, Harpo Marx, and
Phantoms,” 257

Parayre, Amélie, 182, 183
Pater, Walter, 27
Patinkin, Mandy, 163
Pazzi family, 16–17
Pécoul, Charlotte, 84
Pécoul, Monsieur, 84
Peretti, Clorinde, 188
Persistence of Memory, The, 250, 252–53
Peruggia, Vincenzo, 27
Peters, Bernadette, 163
Philip the Good, Duke of Burgundy, 10
Picasso, Claude, 194
Picasso, Maia, 192
Picasso, Marina, 195
Picasso, Pablito, 195
Picasso, Pablo, 120, 145, 183, 185, 189–97,

208, 209
Picasso, Paloma, 194
Picasso, Paulo, 192, 194
Piéret, Géry, 195, 197
Piero de’ Medici, 17
Pietà, 39–40
Pinoncelli, Pierre, 227
Pissarro, Camille, 96, 110, 111, 118, 133, 159–60
Pixel, Artus, 29
Place de la Concorde, 112–13
plein-air painting, 110, 118, 133
Poet, The, 126
Pointillism, 158, 161
Pollock, Charles, 268
Pollock, Jackson, 204, 226, 267–74
Pollock, Roy, 268
Pollock, Stella, 268
Poor, Henry Varnum, 205
Pop art, 277
Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer, 165, 167
Portrait of Dr. Gachet, 152
Portrait of Mme. Matisse, 182
Portrait of the Artist’s Mother, 101, 102
Powell, Colin, 197
Pre-Columbian Art, 266
Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, 88, 92, 104
Primavera, 17
Proserpine, 86
Pulitzer, Joseph, 187–88
Punch magazine, 107

Raimondi, Marcantonio, 36
Raphael, 25, 87, 95
Ray, Man, 226
Reign of Terror, 81
Relativity, 237, 239–40
Rembrandt, 55–61, 65, 68
Renoir, Edmond, 133
Renoir, Auguste, 96, 111, 133, 139, 161
“Revenge of a Russian Orphan, The,” 141
Reverdy, Pierre, 214
Reynolds, Mary, 227
Rising of Lazarus, The, 53
Rivera, Diego, 207–15, 259, 260–61, 263, 265, 266
Rivera, Diego (son), 209
Rivera, Marika, 209
Robespierre, Maximilien, 81, 82, 84
Rockefeller, Nelson, 212
Rococo, 79
Rodin, Auguste, 43, 124–31
Rodin, Maria, 130
Rogers, Ginger, 257
Rondanini Pietà, 43

2 8 6 - S E C R E T L I V E S O F G R E A T A R T I S T S I N D E X - 2 8 7

Room in New York, 206
Roque, Jacqueline, 194
Rosaire Chapel, 185
Rose and Silver, 107
Rosenberg, Léonce, 214
Rosenfeld, Bella, 218, 221
Rossetti, Dante Gabriel, 86–93, 103
Rossetti, Gabriel, 87
Rothko, Mark, 185
Rousseau, Henri, 140–46
Ruiz, José, 190
Ruskin, John, 88, 104

Saint Louis Art Museum, 188
Saint-Rémy, 156
Salon, 96, 99, 102, 111, 133, 142
Salon des Indépendants, 141, 152, 159
Salon des Refusés, 96, 103
Samson and Delilah, 57
Santa Maria delle Grazie, prior of, 29
Sanzio, Raphael, 46
Sarazin-Levassor, Lydie, 227–28
Sattler, Alexina, 226
Saturn Devouring His Son, 72, 73
Savonarola, Girolamo, 16, 18, 39, 45
School of Athens, The, 46
Scream, The, 171, 172, 174, 177, 178
Sebring, June O’Keeffe, 236
Second of May, The, 72
Sedgwick, Edie, 279
Sélavy, Rrose, 226
Self-Portrait with Thorn Necklace and Hummingbird,

258, 261
Seligson, William, 273
Seurat, Georges, 141, 149, 157–63, 206
Sforza, Francesco I, 48
Sforza, Ludovico (Duke of Milan), 24, 25, 29
Shchukin, Sergei Ivanovich, 182–83
Sick Child, The, 173
Sickert, Walter, 105
Siddal, Elizabeth, 88–89, 92
Signac, Paul, 162
Silva y Silva, Theresa de, 73
Simpsons, The, 20, 174, 242
Sisley, Alfred, 110, 111, 133
Sistine Ceiling frescoes, 38, 40–41
Sistine Chapel, 39, 41–43
Sistine Madonna, 46
Sixtus IV (Pope), 17
Sleeping Gypsy, The, 140, 142
Society of Independent Artists, 159
Solanas, Valerie, 279–80
Sondheim, Steven, 163
Song of Love, 245
Son of Man, 244
Speicher, Eugene, 231
Spellbound, 254
Starry Night, 147
Steiglitz, Alfred, 232–33, 235, 236
Steiglitz, Emmy, 232
Stein, Gertrude, 145, 182, 191, 195, 198
Stein, Leo, 145, 182, 191
Stoffels, Hendrickje, 58, 60, 61
Stone, Irving, 152
St. Peter’s, 40, 43, 46
St. Praxedis, 63
Straight Outta Lynwood, 243
Styx, 248
Suicide House, The, 118
Sultan of Cambray, 37
Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte, 157,

158, 159, 161–63
“Sunday in the Park with George,” 163
Surprise!, 142
Surrealism, 143, 247, 248, 249, 251

Taking of Christ, The, 53
Tate Gallery, 86, 223, 227
Tennis Court Oath, 80
“Ten O’Clock,” 104

Thinker (After Rodin), The, 130
Thinker (Calderón), 130
Thinker, The (Rodin), 124, 125, 126, 130, 131
Thins, Maria, 63, 64
Third of May, The, 69, 72, 73
Thirty Are Better Than One, 29
Titian, 96
Toklas, Alice B., 145
Tomb Raider, 242
Tommasoni, Ranuccio, 49
Torrigiano, Pietro, 44
Treachery of Images, The, 249
Trotsky, Leon, 208, 212, 261
Two Comedians, 204
Two on the Aisle, 206
Tyson, Keith, 130

ukiyo-e, 155–56
Uklenburgh, Saskia, 57
Umiker, Jetta, 238, 240
University College of London, 31
Urbino, Duke of (Lorenzo), 44

van Eyck, Hubert, 10
van Eyck, Jan, 9–14, 65
van Gogh, Anna Cornelia, 148
van Gogh, Theo, 148–49, 150, 151, 155
van Gogh, Theodorus, 148, 149
van Gogh, Vincent, 147–54, 155–56, 177
van Meegeren, Han, 67
van Rijn, Cornelia, 58, 60
van Rijn, Rembrandt, 55–61, 65, 68
van Rijn, Titus, 57, 58, 60, 61
Vasari, Giorgio, 18, 20, 28, 46
Venus de Milo, 76–77
Venus of Urbino, 96
Vermeer, Johannes, 11, 62–67
Verrochio, Andrea del, 23
Vienna Society of Visual Arts, 165
Visconti, Madina di, 256
“Visit to the 1889 World’s Fair, A,” 141
Volk und Rasse magazine, 33
Vollard, Ambrose, 119, 123, 191
Vorobev, Marevna, 209
Vos-Stricker, Kee, 154
Voutier, Olivier, 76
Vreeland, Diana, 280

Walden, Herwarth, 219
Walking Man, The, 127
Walter, Marie-Thérèse, 192, 194
Warhol, Andy, 29, 275–82
Warhola, Andrei, 276
Warhola, Julia, 276, 282
Water Carrier, The, 71
Waterfall, 240
Water Lilies, 132
Whistler, George Washington, 102
Whistler, James McNeill, 101–07, 245
Whistler v. Ruskin, 104
White Crucifixion, 219, 221
White Girl, The, 102, 103
Who the $#%& Is Jackson Pollock?, 274
Wilde, Oscar, 104, 107
Winckelmann, Johann Joachim, 76
Woman Taken in Adultery, The, 67
Women in the Garden, 134
Wyeth, Andrew, 204

Yankovic, Weird Al, 243
Yeats, William Butler, 90
Young Hare, 37
Yuan Chai, 227

Zapata, Emiliano, 208, 213

u u

Page 145

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

Thanks must go first to Mindy Brown, Quirk Books associate publisher, for

coming to me with such a fantastic project. I’m also grateful to Mangesh

Hattikudur and Neely Harris of mental_floss for recommending me to Quirk

and for inviting me to write about art in the first place. Mary Ellen Wilson

guided me through the editing process and made the book so much better,

while Mario Zucca contributed fantastic illustrations that make the book the

entertaining art-historical romp it is.

The staffs of the Texas Christian University and Kimbell Art Museum

libraries were endlessly helpful during the research process. Special thanks

to Professor Babette Bohn of Texas Christian University and Professor Craig

Harbison of the University of Massachusetts. Of all the sources used for

research, the Art and Ideas series from Phaidon was consistently useful

and informative.

I must also thank the mom’s group at University Christian Church as

well as Paula Gruber, Laura Moore, and Charlotte Huff for their nurturing

friendships. Thanks to all my family, particularly Zena McAdams, for being

such a loving and generous mother-in-law, and my parents, Tom and Martha

Lunday, for their lifetime of support—and all the free childcare. To my

husband, Chris, I say thank you for your constant encouragement and for lis-

tening so patiently to the artist anecdotes; to my son, Nathan, I hope you

understand someday why Mommy was so distracted during the summer of

2007. Finally, as the orchestra plays loudly to get me off the stage, I dedicate

this book to my beloved grandfather, Maurice Llewellyn Stanton.

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