quarta-feira, 20 de outubro de 2010

John White Alexander


John White Alexander (7 October 1856 – 31 May 1915) was an American portrait, figure, and decorative painter and illustrator.
He was born in Allegheny, Pennsylvania, now a part of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Orphaned in infancy, he was reared by his grandparents and at the age of 12 became a telegraph boy in Pittsburgh. His talent at drawing attracted the attention of one of his employers, who assisted him to develop them. He moved to New York at the age of eighteen and worked in an office at Harper's Weekly, where he was an illustrator and political cartoonist. After an apprenticeship of three years, he travelled to Munich for his first formal training. Owing to the lack of funds, he removed to the village of Polling, Bavaria. He travelled to Venice and then he continued his studies in Florence, the Netherlands, and Paris.
In 1881 he returned to New York and speedily achieved great success in portraiture. His first exhibition in the Paris Salon of 1893 was a brilliant success and was followed by his immediate election to the Société Nationale des Beaux Arts.
John White Alexander died in New York on 31 May 1915.
Many of his paintings are in museums and public places in the United States and in Europe, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Brooklyn Art Museum, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, the Butler Institute, and the Library of Congress in Washington D.C. In addition, in the entrance hall to the Art Museum of the Carnegie Institute in Pittsburgh, a series of Alexander's murals entitled "Apotheosis of Pittsburgh" (1905–1907) covers the walls of the three-storey atrium area.

Isabella and the Pot of Basil, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston,  USA

Il commença sa carrière en 1875 comme illustrateur au Harper's Weekly avant de partir pour l'Europe (1877), Il se lia avec Whistler, dont l'influence sur son style est manifesté.
C'est alors en effet qu'Alexander évolue d'une matière épaisse, empâtée, vers une touche plus fine et une couleur plus étale. De retour aux États-Unis en 1881, il continua à travailler pour le Harper's, et devint parallèlement un portraitiste renommé).
Il habita Paris de 1890 à 1901, fréquentant Rodin, H. James, O. Wilde ou Mirbeau, et y fut en contact avec le Symbolisme et l'Art nouveau. 

Panel for Music Room, Detroit Institute of Arts, Michigan, USA

John White Alexander (1856 - 1915)

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