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Archive for September 16th, 2013

William Hogarth (1697  – 1764) British

Painter

 

Hogarth’s art had obvious literary affinities. Henry Fielding, the author of Tom Jones, was a close friend, who under the influence of Hogarth turned to comic satire, achieving with words what he was doing with images.

He was the first major British artist who dealt with everyday subjects, told compelling stories and with the publication of his ‘The Harlot’s Progress’, ‘Rake’s Progress’, ‘Marriage à la Mode’ and ‘Four stages of Cruelty’ he established himself as a social commentator whose pen drew blood from the follies of man. His treatment of his subjects was remarkable both for their intellectual and their aesthetic qualities. He was a moralist to the core, he had a good sense to avoid being a pedantic.

When British art was largely dominated by foreign artists, he did much to promote the position of native British artists. No English artist painted more prison interiors than Hogarth. The progress of his harlot and rake were a case in the point. They ended up in literal prison cells or in the locked rooms of a mad house. His art never lost – indeed it cherished – the dirty smudges left by life. From his eleventh to his sixteenth year his family languished in the Fleet prison. This humiliation was never to be rubbed out of his psyche. Though he himself never breathed a word of this time of life, the prison was never far away in his paintings and prints. The problem of confinement originating in a childhood trauma was his crucible in almost every aspect of Hogarth’s life and career.

After being apprenticed to a silver engraver he launched as an engraver in 1720. Being ambitious he turned to painting. He was instrumental in drafting engraver’s copyright Act which by 1735 was passed in the House.

A man with a deep sense of his social responsibilities he was at one time the governor of St Bartholoméus Hospital and he founded St Martin’s Lane Academy (1735), a guild for professional artists and a school for young artists.

When he took up ‘Marriage à la Mode’ he went so far as to visit Paris to see French paintings and to employ French engravers. Since the forms and style in general had to be rococo, his final product had to have ‘vrais style fransais’. This was to be the most elaborate of Hogarth’s intellectual structure. (1745).

Hogarth

 

Throughout his career Hogarth developed in the engraving his interest in the meaning of objects and actions and in the paintings his interest in the essential shapes.

In the ‘Rake’s progress’, the Rakewell in the brothel is portrayed in the composition of the Feast of the Gods; The Rake is related to those epitomes of aristocratic vice – the Roman emperors, self styled gods portrayed on copies after Titian on the wall. The relationship between heroic ideals and common place everyday reality was the basic metaphor explored by the Augustan satirisits like Dryden, Swift and Pope. William Hazlitt as usual was perceptive in his assessment of Hogarth, of whom he said:”Other pictures we see, Hogarth’s we read!!”

benny

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Charles Augustus Lindbergh (1902 -1974) American

Aviator

 Image

Lindbergh is chiefly remembered for the first non-stop solo flight across the Atlantic, in May 1927. He was born on February 4, 1902, Detroit, Michigan. After attending the University of Wisconsin in Madison for two years he attended the army flying schools in Texas in 1924-’25. Next year he became an airmail pilot flying the route from St. Louis, Mo to Chicago. He obtained financial backing from a group of St. Louis businessmen to compete for the 25,000 dollar prize for the first non-stop flight between New York and Paris. He made the flight in May 1927 in the mono plane ‘Spirit of St. Louis’. The same year he was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor. Politically naive he made certain  speeches praising the German air power and advocated US neutrality in WWII, which made him very unpopular. After criticism by FDR he resigned his Aircorps Reserve Commission. During the war he acted as an consultant to industrial firms and later flew combat missions in the Pacific. After the war he was consultant to Pan American World Airways. His book ‘The Spirit of St. Louis’ discribing the Paris flight was published in 1953 which won him a Pulitzer Prize. His other works include ‘We’ (1927) and ‘Of Flight and Life’ (1948).
Lindbergh’s search for immortality is another facet of this flawed genius. “In a fascinating new book we are told how he killed his children’s pets in the name of his research, contemplated experiments on psychiatric patients and emulated Adolf Hitler in his determination to restrict the promise of eternal life to an elite of white Westerners.
Based on sound scientific principles, His work with Dr. Alexis Carrel laid the foundation for medical breakthroughs which today make the promise of perpetual life tantalisingly closer to reality.
For Lindbergh, the path leading to that groundbreaking experiment in 1935 could be traced back to his childhood when, as a shy and virtually friendless young boy growing up on a farm in Minnesota, he dreamed of becoming a doctor”.He failed to make it.(Ack:dailymail.co.uk/news)
In his later years, Lindbergh became a prolific prize-winning author, international explorer, inventor, and environmentalist.

His Private Life:
Lindberg married Anne Morrow who was the only woman who he had ever asked out on a date. . He insisted that Anne track all her household expenditures, including even 15 cents spent for rubber bands, in account books. Lindbergh saw his children for only a couple of months a year. He kept track of each child’s infractions, which included such activities as gum-chewing.
Twenty-nine years after Lindbergh’s 1974 death, the largest national daily newspaper in Germany,(Suddeutsche Zeitung) reported in late July 2003 that he had fathered three out-of-wedlock children by German hat maker Brigitte Hesshaimer (1926–2003) who had lived in the small Bavarian town just south of Munich. two years later, however, it had been further revealed that Lindbergh had also fathered four other out-of-wedlock children in Germany and Switzerland with two other mistresses.

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A Yawning Lion- sketch

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