In this fascinating work, Paul Nagel tells the full story of George Caleb Bingham (1811–1879), one of America’s greatest nineteenth-century painters. While Nagel assesses Bingham’s artistic achievements, he also portrays another very important part of the artist’s career—his service as a statesman and political leader in Missouri. Until now, Bingham’s public service has been largely forgotten, overshadowed by his triumph as a great artist. Yet Nagel finds there were times when Bingham yearned more to be a successful politician than to be a distinguished painter.
Born in Virginia, Bingham moved with his family to Missouri when he was eight years old. He spent his youth in Arrow Rock, Missouri, and returned there as an adult. He also kept art studios in Columbia and St. Louis. In his last years, he served as the first professor of art at the University of Missouri in Columbia. Because of his ties to the state, he was known nationally as “the Missouri artist.” Bingham began his distinguished public service to Missouri as a member of the legislature. During the Civil War, he grew even more politically involved, holding the office of state treasurer, and he remained active throughout the period of Reconstruction. From 1875 to 1877, Bingham served as Missouri’s adjutant general, with most of that time spent in Washington, D. C., where he attempted to settle Missourians’ war claims against the federal government.
Contrary to the idyllic scenes portrayed in most of his paintings, Bingham’s life ranged from moments of high achievement to times of intense distress and humiliation. His career was often touched by controversy, sorrow, and frustration. Personal letters and other manuscripts reveal Bingham’s life to be quite complicated, and Paul Nagel attempts to uncover the truth in this biography.
Beautifully illustrated, this book includes a magnificent landscape entitled Horse Thief, which had been missing since Bingham painted it sometime around 1852. Recently discovered by art historian Fred R. Kline, this splendid work will appear in print for the first time. Anyone who has an interest in art, Missouri history, or politics will find this new book extremely valuable.
Gerhard Richter is one of the most important and influential artists of the post-war era. For decades he has sought innovative ways to make painting more relevant, often through a multifaceted dialogue with photography. Today Richter is most widely recognized for the photo-paintings he made during the 1960s that rely on images culled from mass media and pop culture. Always fascinated with the limits and uncertainties of representation, he has since then produced landscapes, abstractions, glass and mirror constructions, prints, sculptures, and installations.
Though Richter has been known in the United States for quite some time, the highly successful retrospective of his work at the MoMA in 2002 catapulted him to unprecedented fame. Enter noted curator Dietmar Elger, who here presents the first biography of this contemporary artist. Written with full access to Richter and his archives, this fascinating book offers unprecedented insight into his life and work. Elger explores Richter’s childhood in Nazi Germany; his years as a student and mural painter in communist East Germany; his time in the West during the turbulent 1960s and ’70s, when student protests, political strife, and violence tore the Federal Republic of Germany apart; and his rise to international acclaim during the 1980s and beyond.
Richter has always been a difficult personality to parse and the seemingly contradictory strands of his artistic practice have frustrated and sometimes confounded critics. But the extensive interviews on which this book is based disclose a Richter who is far more candid, personal, and vivid than ever before. The result is a book that will be the foundational portrait of this artist for years to come.
A thoughtful look at representations of people experiencing poverty in early modern Europe.
The northern Italian artist Giacomo Ceruti (1698–1767) was born in Milan and active in Brescia and Bergamo. For his distinctive, large-scale paintings of low-income tradespeople and individuals experiencing homelessness, whom he portrayed with dignity and sympathy, Ceruti came to be known as Il Pitocchetto (the little beggar).
Accompanying the first US exhibition to focus solely on Ceruti, this publication explores relationships between art, patronage, and economic inequality in early modern Europe, considering why these paintings were commissioned and by whom, where such works were exhibited, and what they signified to contemporary audiences. Essays and a generous plate section contextualize and closely examine Ceruti’s pictures of laborers and the unhoused, whom he presented as protagonists with distinct stories rather than as generic types. Topics include depictions of marginalized subjects in the history of early modern European art, the career of the artist and his significance in the history of European painting, and period discourses around poverty and social support. A detailed exhibition checklist, complete with provenance, exhibition history, and bibliography, provides information critical for the further understanding of Ceruti’s oeuvre.
This volume is published to accompany an exhibition on view at the J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center from July 18 to October 29, 2023.
Hailed as the “savior” of Venetian painting by Jacob Burckhardt and declared by Albrecht Dürer to be the foremost painter of the city, Giovanni Bellini is a pivotal figure in the development of Italian Renaissance art. With Giovanni Bellini, renowned art historian Oskar Bätschmann charts the fraught trajectory of Bellini’s career, highlighting the crucial works that established his far-reaching influence in the Renaissance.
The artist struggled to break out of the long shadow cast by his accomplished father Jacopo and father-in-law Andrea Mantegna, and Bätschmann chronicles Bellini’s development of distinct aesthetic and painting techniques that enabled him to set himself apart. Bellini also insisted on choosing his own subjects and themes, independent of the preferences of his patron Isabella d’Este, and thus set new standards for the role of the artist.
Anchoring the analysis are a wealth of vibrant color reproductions that include such famous works as The Feast of the Gods and Madonna and Child, as well as photographs of Bellini’s lauded altar-pieces at the churches of San Giobbe, Murano, and San Zaccania. Drawing on these masterpieces, Bätschmann argues that Bellini’s artistry and skillful blending of colors created a new aesthetic more akin to music than to previous approaches to painting. And by leading viewers to understand this subtle, refined sensibility, Bellini transformed them into knowledgeable admirers of art.
A lushly illustrated and expansive study, Giovanni Bellini is essential for all historians and admirers of Renaissance art.
In his own day, Godefridus Schalcken (1643—1706) was an internationally renowned Dutch painter, but little is known about the four years that he spent in London. Using newly discovered documents, this book provides the first comprehensive examination of Schalcken’s activities there. The author analyses Schalcken’s strategic appropriations of English styles, his attempts to exploit gapsin the art market, and his impact on tastes in London’s milieu. Five chapters survey his art during these years, concluding with acritical catalogue of all his London-period work.
A lavishly illustrated overview of the life and work of realist painter Dale Kennington, featuring more than eighty-five of her most renowned works.
Grandeur of the Everyday is the first full-length volume dedicated to the life and work of Dale Kennington—an accomplished master of contemporary American realism. Kennington’s works often hold a strange familiarity, even for those coming to her work for the first time. Her paintings are at once familiar and yet defy specificity of place, clear and lucid while also dense in content. These effects derive from her unique ability to capture the essence of everyday living, the ordinary “in between” moments we often overlook in our day-to-day habits and transactions.
Kennington referred to her paintings as “merged memories.” Combining elements of photography, memory, and imagination, Kennington’s art is an entrancing blend of contemporary and magical realism, with themes ranging from loneliness to community and culture, from class and race relations to the juxtaposition of private and public life. Rather than study the spectacular, she concentrated on commonplace moments of human interaction, inviting observers of her paintings to ponder their significance and to complete their implicit narratives. Often relying on local subjects for her paintings—barbershops, bars, restaurants, gospel concerts, motel rooms, nursing homes—she presented a diversity of local experience.
Grandeur of the Everyday is a treasure trove of her most accomplished creations and includes more than eighty-five examples of both Kennington’s easel paintings on canvas and her freestanding wooden folding screens. The volume also offers an original interview with the artist conducted by Kristen Miller Zohn, an introduction by art historian Daniel White, and a critical essay by the director of the Wiregrass Museum of Art, Rebecca Brantley.
Grant Wood’s Secrets
Sue Taylor University of Delaware Press, 2011 Library of Congress ND237.W795T39 2020 | Dewey Decimal 759.13
Incorporating copious archival research and original close readings of American artist Grant Wood’s iconic as well as lesser-known works, Grant Wood’s Secrets reveals how his sometimes anguished psychology was shaped by his close relationship with his mother and how he channeled his lifelong oedipal guilt into his art. Presenting Wood’s abortive autobiography “Return from Bohemia” for the first time ever, Sue Taylor integrates the artist’s own recollections into interpretations of his art. As Wood dressed in overalls and boasted about his beloved Midwest, he consciously engaged in regionalist strategies, performing a farmer masquerade of sorts. In doing so, he also posed as conventionally masculine, hiding his homosexuality from his rural community. Thus, he came to experience himself as a double man. This book conveys the very real threats under which Wood lived and pays tribute to his resourceful responses, which were often duplicitous and have baffled art historians who typically take them at face value.
Published by University of Delaware Press. Distributed worldwide by Rutgers University Press.
Though largely out of the public eye for more than a century, Gustave Caillebotte (1848–94) has come to be recognized as one of the most dynamic and original artists of the impressionist movement in Paris. His paintings are favorites of museum-goers, and recent restoration of his work has revealed more color, texture, and detail than was visible before while heightening interest in all of Caillebotte’s artwork. This lush companion volume to the National Gallery of Art’s major new exhibition, coorganized with the Kimbell Art Museum, explores the power and technical brilliance of his oeuvre.
The book features fifty of Caillebotte’s strongest paintings, including post-conservation images of Paris Street; Rainy Day, along with The Floorscrapers and Pont de l’Europe, all of which date from a particularly fertile period between 1875 and 1882. The artist was criticized at the time for being too realistic and not impressionistic enough, but he was a pioneer in adopting the angled perspective of a modern camera to compose his scenes. Caillebotte’s skill and originality are evident even in the book’s reproductions, and the essays offer critical insights into his inspiration and subjects.
This sumptuously illustrated publication makes clear why Caillebotte is among the most intriguing artists of nineteenth-century France, and it deepens our understanding of the history of impressionism.