Gavril Pavlovich Kondratenko 1854 – 1924

The fifth of a series of snow themed posts, for this season of the year.

Winter Morning
Winter Morning 1901 (Click all these images to enlarge them please.)

Landscape with pagoda
Landscape With Pagoda

Gavriil Kondratenko was born in 1854.

Studied at The Saint Petersburg Imperial Academy of Fine Arts from K.Gun and M. (Mikhail Konstantinovich) Klodt.

Author of the numerous Russian landscapes of the Caucasus, the Crimea and the other Russian governments.

Took part at the exhibitions of the Russian Academy of Fine Arts. Was the member of the Society after A.Kuinji and took part at the numerous exhibitions of this group. Was also the member of the Saint Petersburg Society of Painters and the Fellowship of Russian Illustrators.

The paintings of Gavriil Kondratenko are contained in The State Tretyakov Gallery and The State Russian Museum as well as in numerous museums and private collections.

It’s difficult to find many links to Kondratenko’s work, other than dozens of replica painting workshops that sell knock-off versions of his paintings.

I found a link to the Sphinx Fine Art gallery that has a little article about him, and a picture (Landscape at Dusk) that is painted from almost the same angle as the snow scene at the top of this post, but painted in Summer. Here’s the link.

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Charles Tunnicliffe 1901 – 1979

The fourth in a seasonal series of short entries featuring snow.
Today’s subject is Charles Tunnicliffe; Etcher, engraver and painter, whose principal subject was bird life and the natural countryside.

thumbnail of Company of Whitethroats
Company of Whitethroats” ( Please click these images to enlarge them ).

Charles Tunnicliffe RA OBE
1901 – 1979

Charles Tunnicliffe was born in Macclesfield, Cheshire. Known primarily for his depiction of birds and other wildlife, notably illustrations for Tarka the Otter. He is widely regarded as the greatest UK wildlife artist in modern times.

After studying at the Macclesfield and Manchester Schools of Art he won a scholarship to the Royal College of Art in London, gaining his teaching diploma and a further scholarship to study in the RCA’s new Etching and Engraving School. He stayed on in London to develop a career as an etcher and engraver, producing some of his finest etchings during this time. In 1928 he returned to Macclesfield, earning a living mainly from commercial artwork, much of it for the farming industry.

He was elected A.R.E. in 1929 and R.E. in 1934.

He was a regular contributor to the Royal Academy and was elected as an associate in 1944, becoming a Royal Academician in 1954.Sir Kyffin Williams encouraged Charles to show his personal reference collection of measured drawings at the R.A. in 1974 – the exhibition was a great success.

Tunnicliffe moved from Cheshire to Anglesey in 1947 where he lived until his death in 1979. He believed strongly in observing and sketching direct from nature, especially around Cob Lake, the Cefni Estuary, South Stack Cliffs, Llyn Coron, Aberfraw, Cemlyn, then when back at Shorelands spending many hours creating a superb set of sketchbooks full of accurate and colourful ‘memory drawings’.

These sketchbooks are works of art in themselves and are now kept as part of the Tunnicliffe Collection at Oriel Ynys Môn, along with his measured drawings and other examples of his work – including original wood engraving blocks, etchings, watercolours, oil paintings, pencil drawings, scraperboards and book illustrations.

The RSPB awarded him its Gold Medal in 1975 and he was also honoured with an OBE in 1978.

His work hangs in numerous public galleries, while in Macclesfield’s West Bank Museum a room has been dedicated to his work. A Charles Tunnicliffe Society exists to maintain his legacy

(via Gateway Gallery)

Tunnicliffe engraving
Tunnicliffe engraving, with his wife Winifred looking on.

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Grey Partridges
Another chilly scene, that also shows Tunnicliffe’s mastery of pattern and layout design.

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“Ladybird” Books

Tunnicliffe illustrated many of the Ladybird series of childrens books, which sold in millions.

Here are some links to sites with numerous pictures by Tunnicliffe:
1) http://www.museumsyndicate.com/artist.php?artist=639
2) http://artmight.com/gallery/search/%28keyword%29/Charles+Tunnicliffe
and 3) The Charles Tunnicliffe society website:

http://www.thecharlestunnicliffesociety.co.uk/siteindex.html

A well meaning website that reflects many aspects of Tunnicliffe’s output, but small, postage stamp size images, daft (but futile) impediments to right clicking and yellow backgrounds. Yes. An artist’s homage site with YELLOW backgrounds.
What I find especially galling, given Tunnicliffe’s mastery of so many graphic arts, is the use of COMIC SANS for all the text. Pur-lease!

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Theodor Kittelsen

The third in a pre-Christmas line up of snow paintings.

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From “The Christmas Troll” (Juletroll ) 1907
( Click to enlarge, please )

At about the time when yesterday’s subject, Victor Westerholm, was active in Finland, another Scandinavian artist was struggling to make a living in Norway. While we have by and large forgotten the prosperous Westerholm, the memory of Theodor Kittelsen lives on today in the hearts of many Norwegians, even though he died in utter poverty, leaving a widow and eight children behind.

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Self Portrait 1891

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The Water Spirit” ( Nøkken ) 1887

The short version of his bio from Wikipedia:

Theodor Severin Kittelsen (* 1857 in Kragerø, Norway; † January, 21st 1914 in Jeløya, Norway) was an Norwegian artist who had become well-known for his nature paintings on the one hand and on the other hand for his illustrations of fairytales and legends, especially of trolls.

You can find a few links to his work on the Wikipedia page, and a marvellous site about troll paintings here.

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Victor Westerholm

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“Midwinter Sun” by Victor Westerholm (1860-1919)
( Click for big, as usual. )

This is the second in a seasonal series of paintings featuring snow.

Westerholm’s bio reads:

born at Turku, Finland on January 4, 1860 and died in Turku on 19 November, 1919.

He first studied under Eugen Dücker in Düsseldorf. He then became a student of Jules Joseph Lefebvre at the Académie Julian in Paris.

He taught at the school of the Society of Art in Turku and was the director of an art museum in Helsinki.

He often painted winter landscapes and sunsets in the archipelago of Åland, where he had his summer residence.

In 1886, he invited several artists to his summer home, “Tomtebo” in Önningeby, Åland, thus beginning the famous artists colony there.

We have a picture of him at his easel:
photo of Westerholm at his easel.

There’s a contemporary appraisal of his work in an old issue of “The Studio”, written by Count Louis Sparre, that you can read here.

There isn’t a large number of Westerholm’s works floating around the web, which probably indicates that much of it is still in private hands, and rarely comes up for auction.

Ferret out what you can, and post your finds into the comment box below.

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John Young-Hunter

A couple of years back I posted a series of winter themed paintings in the run-up to Christmas. ( Go back to the post about Arkhip Kuinji, on the 17th December 2007 ).

Those posts were short and sweet, and featured painters whose work I had recently stumbled upon. The only thing that united them was that they all painted snow scenes at one time or another in their careers.

I have to admire anyone who paints in sub-zero temperatures. I find it hard enough to take photos in the snow, especially if I’m trying to fiddle with the camera controls. My own efforts at painting watercolours in sub zero (substitute petroleum for water) made me feel a bit sick.

So I take my hat off to the artists who will be showing their works here over the next ten days. I hope you enjoy them, and that you are inspired to go and look for more work by these doughty draftsmen. And women.

thumbnail of Kitzbuhl in the snow
Kitzbuhl

(Click to enlarge, please.)

Shortly after John Young-Hunter’s visit, this Austrian village was almost completely destroyed by an avalanche. One of the more unusual hazards of painting in the snow.

thumbnail of Self Portrait
(Click to enlarge, please.)

John Young-Hunter (American, 1875 – 1955)

Born in Glasgow, Scotland, John Young-Hunter was a portrait, figure, and landscape painter with a highly aristocratic upbringing in England and a career that reached to the American East and Southwest.

He was raised with privilege and extravagance among the cultural elite of London, and close family friends included John Singer-Sargent and Lawrence Alma-Tadema.

John received much recognition for his portrait painting in England, and his paintings were exhibited in the National Tate Gallery in London and the Luxembourg Museum in Paris. From 1900 to 1913, he exhibited at the Royal Academy.

In 1913, he traveled to the United States, pursuing his fascination with American Indians whom he had seen in Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show performances in London.

In 1917, he first visited Santa Fe and Taos, New Mexico. Cutting his connections to the European art world, he settled in Taos in 1942 and became a part of the colony of artists around Mabel Dodge Luhan.

He had a home and studio on the eastern edge of town and replaced his painting of society portraits with Indian subjects, landscape, and still life. (Courtesy: AskART).

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