Italian Early Renaissance Painter, 1445-1510
Italian painter and draughtsman. In his lifetime he was one of the most esteemed painters in Italy, enjoying the patronage of the leading families of Florence, in particular the Medici and their banking clients. He was summoned to take part in the decoration of the Sistine Chapel in Rome, was highly commended by diplomatic agents to Ludovico Sforza in Milan and Isabella d Este in Mantua and also received enthusiastic praise from the famous mathematician Luca Pacioli and the humanist poet Ugolino Verino. By the time of his death, however, Botticelli s reputation was already waning. He was overshadowed first by the advent of what Vasari called the maniera devota, a new style by Perugino, Francesco Francia and the young Raphael, whose new and humanly affective sentiment, infused atmospheric effects and sweet colourism took Italy by storm; he was then eclipsed with the establishment immediately afterwards of the High Renaissance style, which Vasari called the modern manner, in the paintings of Michelangelo and the mature works of Raphael in the Vatican. From that time his name virtually disappeared until the reassessment of his reputation that gathered momentum in the 1890s Related Paintings of Sandro Botticelli :. | The Birth of Venus (mk36) | The Birth of Venus | Novella di Nastagio degli onesti (mk36) | Adoration of the Magi (mk36) | Adoration of the Kings |
Related Artists:Max, Gabriel Cornelius von
Painter, illustrator and teacher, nephew of (1) Emanuel Max. He studied at the Academy of Fine Arts, Prague (1855-8), and the Akademie der Bildenden K?nste, Vienna (1858-61), and under Karl Theodor von Piloty at the Akademie der Bildenden K?nste, Munich (1863/4-7). He settled in Munich, where he opened a private school of painting in 1869. His paintings and book illustrations of the second half of the 1860s show an affinity with the late Romanticist movement. He illustrated works of German literature by Wieland, Lenau and Schiller, as well as producing illustrations for Goethe's Faust (1867-8; Prague, N.G., Kinsky Palace). As well as literary and even musical sources, religious themes frequently occur in his work, including his first great success, the Crucifixion of St Julie (1867; ex-Sotheby's, London, 1976). In numerous female figures and portraits Max explored the tension between the inner state and the charm of the physical appearance or surroundings of his subjects. His interest in the artistic perception of relationships between physical reality and the spiritual world led him to a study of anthropology and contemporary occultism and mysticism, as in his portraits of the Seer of Prevorst Kitagawa Utamaro
Kitagawa Utamaro Gallery
Biographical details for Utamaro are extremely limited, and each reference gives a substantially different account.
Various accounts claim that he was born in either Edo (present-day Tokyo), Kyoto, or Osaka (the three main cities of Japan), or a provincial town (no one is sure exactly which one) in around 1753; the exact date is also uncertain. Another long-standing tradition has is that he was born in Yoshiwara, the courtesan district of Edo, the son of a tea-house owner, but there is no evidence of this. His original name was Kitagawa Ichitaro.
It is generally agreed that he became a pupil of the painter Toriyama Sekien while he was still a child, and there are many authorities who believe that Utamaro was his son as well. He lived in Sekien's house while he was growing up, and the relationship continued until Sekien's death in 1788.
Sekien was originally trained in the aristocratic Kan?? school of painting, but in middle age he started to lean toward the popular (or ukiyo-e) school. Sekien is known to have had a number of other pupils, none of any distinction.
Utamaro, in common with other Japanese of the time, changed his name as he became mature, and also took the name Ichitaro Yusuke as he became older. He apparently also married, although little is known about his wife, and he apparently had no children.
His first major professional artistic work, at about the age of 22, in 1775, seems to have been the cover for a Kabuki playbook, under the g?? of Toyoaki. He then produced a number of actor and warrior prints, along with theatre programmes, and other such material. From the spring of 1781, he switched his g?? to Utamaro, and started painting and designing fairly forgettable woodblock prints of women.
At some point in the middle 1780s, probably 1783, he went to live with the young rising publisher Tsutaya J??zabur??, with whom he apparently lived for about 5 years. He seems to have become a principal artist for the Tsutaya firm. His output of prints for the next few years was sporadic, as he produced mostly illustrations for books of kyoka, literally 'crazy verse', a parody of the classical waka form. He seems to have produced nothing at all that has survived in the period 1790-1792.
In about 1791 Utamaro gave up designing prints for books and concentrated on making half-length single portraits of women, rather than the prints of women in groups favoured by other ukiyo-e artists. In 1793 he achieved recognition as an artist, and his semi-exclusive arrangement with the publisher Tsutaya J??zabur?? was terminated. He then went on to produce a number of very famous series, all featuring women of the Yoshiwara district.
Over the years, he also occupied himself with a number of volumes of nature studies and shunga, or erotica. In 1797, Tsutaya J??zabur?? died, and Utamaro apparently was very upset by the loss of his long-time friend and supporter. Some commentators feel that his work after this never reached the heights it did before.
In 1804, at the height of his success, he ran into legal trouble by publishing prints related to a banned historical novel. The prints, entitled Hideyoshi and his 5 Concubines, depicted the military ruler Toyotomi Hideyoshi's wife and concubines; Consequently, he was accused of insulting Hideyoshi's dignity. He was sentenced to be handcuffed for 50 days (some accounts say he was briefly imprisoned). According to some sources, the experience crushed him emotionally and ended his career as an artist.
He died two years later, on the 20th day of the 9th month, 1806, aged about fifty-three, in Edo.
Federico Maldarelli (1826 - 1893)