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.


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.


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.


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

(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).


William Russell Flint

This is post #11 in this mini series of snow scenes.

In terms of technique, it’s the most demanding of all so far in this series. Although it’s only 10 by 13 inches ( or 25 by 33 cm ) it was made difficult by 2 factors. First, when the air temperature is close to freezing, it gets more and more difficult to lay a wash of colour, especially when painting wet – into – wet, as here. (I’ve had to substitute petrol for water in these circumstances, with success.) Secondly, according to Russell Flint’s own account (see below), he was slipping and sliding all over the place on his own pair of skis, so it was hard to stay upright and keep a steady hand on the brush.
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The Skier, Switzerland About 1927. Watercolour.
(Please click the small picture to enlarge it)

Despite all these obstacles, Russell Flint has created a dynamic composition using a very limited palette. Hats off!
The (auction) catalogue notes continue after the fold >>
Continue reading William Russell Flint

Snow Scenes #9 – Christmas Edition

After looking at paintings of snow scenes created by artists who lived many years ago, it’s time to look at some pictures that have been painted by contemporary artists. What these people have in common is that, apart from being superb concept artists, they are also all featured in the blogroll (see left), and in most cases they are colleagues or ex-workmates.

As an introduction, (and a continuation of the Russian theme established in the last post) we kick off with an amazing photographic image of a snowbound church on the island of Kizhi. If you look very carefully you will see that despite the church being a world class architectural treasure, the place is in a lamentable state of repair. The photo is old, however, so let’s hope that someone has splashed a bit of cash on restoration since it was taken.
On with the pictures…. Or as my partner says: “Here you go”

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Kizhi Island Orthodox Church In The Snow
(Click the thumbnail to enlarge, as usual)

thumbnail of Gora
Painted by the very talented Andrei Riabovitchev

Another one by Andrei, featuring complementary colour contrasts.

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Frozen Lake

Here’s Daniel Cacouault‘s contribution to this collection of snow scenes. It’s a concept design from a commercail for Coca Bears. –
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Coca Bears
I love those slick, glowing ice reflections in the foreground.

Here’s a couple from the boss, Hans Bacher, who can really lay it down fast and simple. And it stays down….
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Low Sun

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Distant Ridge
This picture perfectly illustrates Hans’s planar approach to composition.

Now for a couple of Neil Ross‘s snow themed pictures –
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Two Wolves

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And finally, Clive Powsey socks it to us with this beautiful study of positive and negative shapes. So simple and yet ….
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I hope there’s no one in the blogroll who will take offence at being left out of this little review.
It’s late, and have to get up early to roast a turkey to feed 14 people!

Happy Christmas one and all!

Richard Müller

The symbolist painter and etcher, Richard Müller, has provided the 8th in this series of snow scenes.
It’s a painting of his from the end of the Second World War.

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The Dead Hare
The Hare represents Europe, the Jackdaw: Germany and the Magpie is Russia.

The symbolism in the image depends on the audience having knowledge of the contextual background in order to make sense of the painting. When I first saw this picture, I had no way of decoding it. I simply reacted to the quality of the drawing and the composition.

This second image shows Muller’s symbolist work in a more strident mode. It dates from 1942, and presages the imminent threat from Russia in the east.

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Drying The Sheets 1942
(Click on the thumbnail to make this picture bigger, please.)

I haven’t succeeded in finding out much more about Herr Muller, but there’s a link to a small gallery here, and a potted biography after the fold. >> Continue reading Richard Müller

Ivan F. Choultsé

This is number seven in the seasonal series of snow scene themed posts. (Don’t try to say that with a mouthful of crackers.)

The first time I came across the work of Ivan Fedorovitch Choultsé, (1877 – 1932) I couldn’t make up my mind whether he was a colourist genius or an early incarnation of the sublimely vulgar Thomas Kinkade.

On reflection, I have to give Choultsé the benefit of the doubt, because he steers well clear of the mawkish saccharine* sentimentality of America’s “Painter of Light”, and he also seems to have been able to get out of the house (or bank, in Kinkade’s case) a bit more, and do some painting from life. I would not be at all surprised to learn that Kinkade was “influenced” by Choultsé, however.

The picture of his that genuinely stopped me in my tracks was this one:
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Landscape in Winter
(Click the thumbnail to make it much bigger)

Choultsé liked snow –
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Winter morning, Engadine
You have to admit that those colours are being stretched just a tad beyond the bounds of credibility. Perhaps it was an effect of the altitude…

Here he is with a non-winter subject –
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The Parthenon After a Storm

Gooogle his name to find out about his German origins, his upbringing in Russia, and his travels as an emigré in many lands, and learn how even though he was once almost completely forgotten about, the value of his work is rising rapidly, especially with the nouveau riche oligarchy in the Russian Federation.

*=Aspartame, nowadays, but it doesn’t make such a good alliteration.

There are some potted biographies below the fold…>>> Continue reading Ivan F. Choultsé

Alfred Wierusz-Kowalski

We’ve reached #6 in this round-up of seasonal snow scenes and we are still in middle Europe, this time in the company of the genre painter Alfred Wierusz-Kowalski. (1849 – 1915) His genre was definitely horses.

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Riding Shotgun

The image below shows why the man on the back of the sledge was carrying a large gun –

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Hungry Wolves
– and they were hungry!

Here are a few links for you: 1., 2, 3,
and 4.

Rowland Hilder

The work of Rowland Hilder (1905 – 1993) is held up for your admiration in this snow scene, #3 in the advent series.

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The painting is from an advertisement for beer, and it’s titled ” Whitbread Stout at the Cross Keys Inn”
Please click the thumbnail to see a bigger version.

I swiped this mini-bio from the Kings Gallery website… Continue reading Rowland Hilder