DEATH: 1935 DEGOUVE
BIRTHS: 1886 KOKOSCHKA
Died on 01 March 1935: William
Degouve de Nuncques, Belgian Symbolist
artist born on 28 February 1867.
Encouraged by his father, the eccentric descendant of an old French family, to daydream, Degouve shared a studio with Toorop, who influenced him. He was married to the sister-in-law of the Belgian poet Emile Verhaeren. In Paris he was encouraged by Rodin, Puvis de Chavannes and Maurice Denis. His paintings have a highly private quality of invention and represent places of mystery, where unexpected adventures may suddenly occur. He remained true to the imaginative intensity of his youth and continued to produce works with Symbolist themes into the Twentieth century.
Belgian painter of French birth. After the Franco-Prussian war (1870-71), his parents settled in Belgium. Although self-taught, he was advised by Jan Toorop, with whom he shared a studio, and later lived with Henry de Groux. In 1894 he married Juliette Massin, a painter and Emile Verhaeren’s sister-in-law, who introduced him to the circle of Symbolist poets. His art, which bears the influence of poetry, transfigures reality in the sense that it affords a view of the invisible. Degouve de Nuncques belonged to the avant-garde group Les XX and later exhibited at the Libre Esthétique. He traveled widely and painted views of Italy, Austria and France, often of parks at night. He excelled in the use of pastel. Two works, in particular, demonstrate the magical quality of his work: Pink House (1892) and Peacocks (1896)
From 1900 to 1902 Degouve de Nuncques lived with his wife in the Balearic Islands; he painted the rugged coastline and the orange groves. After suffering a religious crisis in about 1910, he painted pictures that revealed his tormented state of mind, and during World War I, while living as a refugee in the Netherlands, he produced only minor works. In 1919 he was overwhelmed by the death of his wife and lost the use of one hand. In 1930 he married the woman who had helped him through this crisis. They settled in Stavelot, where he devoted himself to painting snow-covered landscapes.
The Pink House (1892, 63x43cm) _ This painting is also known as The Shuttered House or The House of Mystery. It is said to have inspired Magritte's paintings such as Empire of the Lights.
The Angels of Night (1894, 48x60cm) _ Also known as Angels in the Night. The works of Degouve de Nuncques are often a poetic evocation of childhood daydreams This is as true of The Pink House as of this nocturnal vision in which angels kiss in a ghostly, supernatural park.
Nocturnal Effect (1896, 47x68cm) _ The artist often depicts isolated houses in the night and the fog, with only a few weakly lit windows to suggest that they are inhabited.
The Black Swan (1896, 38x47cm) _ This pastel is characteristic of the artist's Symbolist period, when he often strove to create an atmosphere of mystery by eliminating any trace of a human presence from his delicately shaded blue and green twilight scenes
— Child with Owl (1892, 41x35cm) — Night in Bruges (1897, 24x35cm)
Born on 01 March 1886: Oskar
Kokoschka, Austrian Expressionist
painter who died on 22 February 1980.
Kokoschka was born at Pöchlarn an der Donau, Lower Austria. His mother came from a family of foresters in Lower Austria. His father came from a celebrated line of goldsmiths in Prague, but when Oskar was born his father worked as a commercial traveler for a jewelry firm. Oskar was the second of four children. A few months after he was born the family moved to Vienna, where he spend the early part of his life. In 1904 Kokoschka was awarded a state scholarship to attend the Kunstgewerbeschule (School of the Arts and Crafts). His intention was to become a art teacher. In 1908 he had his first exhibition or, more truly, he got the chance to show some of his work to the public, because The Klimt group came on a visit to Vienna. In 1909, he had his first exhibition at the "Internationale Kunstschau" and the same year he left the school.
In 1910 Kokoschka went to Berlin for the first time to work with Walden. In 1912 his name became know in the art world around Europe, and he was normally on every important exhibition on the continent. In 1913 he married Alma Mahler [so der Maler married die Mahler] who built a house for him where he could work and where they lived for a year. After Alma had an abortion in 1914 their life together ended.
On 01 August 1914, the First World War broke out. Oskar enlisted in one of the most prestigious regiments in the Austro-Hungarian army, the 15th Imperial-Royal Dragoons. He was send to the Eastern Front, where he got wounded. He was discharged from the army as unfit for active service.
In 1918 Gustav Klimt died. Oskar wrote to his mother: "I cried for poor Klimt, the only Viennese artist who had any talent and character. Now I am his successor, as I once asked of him at the "Kunstschau", and I do not yet feel ready to take charge of that flock of lost sheep."
Three years later he moved to Dresden as a professor at the academy. At this time in Germany there were fights between different political parties. In March 1920, a Rubens painting was damaged in crossfire. Oskar addressed an open letter to the population of Dresden: "I request all those who intend to use firearms in order to promote their political beliefs, …, to be kind enough to hold their military exercises elsewhere than in front of the art gallery in the Zwinger; for instance, on the shooting-ranges on the heath, where human civilization is in no danger… It is certain that in the future the German people will find more happiness and meaning in looking at the paintings that have been saved than in the totality of contemporary German political ideas."
Later the same year he wrote to his family: "Since leaving Vienna I have been in love about nineteen times, all serious, single-minded ladies with plenty of heart…. Then I get love letters regularly, and they are like sunshine when the sun goes in; and so I can paint wonderful colors that glow".
In 1922 he wrote to his father: "I believe, in all seriousness, that I am now the best painter on earth." [which only goes to show that he was not the best art critic]
In 1923 he started the life of a traveling restless soul. He painted as we today use a camera. He traveled around and painted and traveled and painted. Later he moved to Paris and after he broke with his art-dealer he moved to Prague.
During the Second World War, he was banned by the Nazi regime, but after the war he again was represented at every large exhibition. It was also then that he had his first exhibition in the US. Often his works where exhibited were jointly with those of artists such as Klimt or Schiele. Kokoschka was the founder of The Free German League of Culture, set up in London in 1939 just before the second world war started. Oskar died in a hospital in Montreux.
Self-Portrait (1921) Ezra Pound (1964) Bride of the Wind (1914)