Happy Birthday Pierre-Auguste Renoir

Today is the 174th birthday of the artist Pierre-Auguste Renoir. I first remember seeing his art in the hallways of my elementary school. I didn’t know who the artist was at the time, but as I learned more about art, I realized that his paintings had been part of my life all along. I remember lining up in the hallways and staring at his paintings while waiting to go wherever we were going, lunch, recess, etc. The world is a better place because he was in it and still feels the loss the a he left.

NAME: Pierre-Auguste Renoir
OCCUPATION: Painter
BIRTH DATE: February 25, 1841
DEATH DATE: December 3, 1919
EDUCATION: École des Beaux-Arts
PLACE OF BIRTH: Limoges, France
PLACE OF DEATH: Cagnes-sur-Mer, France

BEST KNOWN FOR: A leading Impressionist painter, Pierre-Auguste Renoir was one of the most famous artists of the early twentieth century.

The son of a tailor and a seamstress, Pierre-Auguste Renoir came from humble beginnings. He was the couple’s sixth child, but two of his older siblings died as infants. The family moved to Paris sometime between 1844 and 1846, living near the Louvre, a world-renowned art museum. He attended a local Catholic school.

As a teenager, Renoir became an apprentice to a porcelain painter. He learned to copy designs to decorate plates and other dishware. Before long, Renoir started doing other types of decorative painting to make a living. He also took free drawing classes at a city-sponsored art school, which was run by sculptor Louis-Denis Caillouette.

Using imitation as a learning tool, a nineteen-year-old Renoir started studying and copying some of the great works hanging at the Louvre. He then entered the Ecole des Beaux-Arts, a famous art school, in 1862. Renoir also became a student of Charles Gleyre. At Gleyre’s studio, Renoir soon befriended three other young artists: Frédéric Bazille, Claude Monet, and Alfred Sisley. And through Monet, he met such emerging talents as Camille Pissarro and Paul Cézanne.

In 1864, Renoir won acceptance into the annual Paris Salon exhibit. There he showed the painting, “La Esmeralda,” which was inspired by a character from Victor Hugo’s Notre-Dame de Paris. The following year, Renoir again showed at the prestigious Salon, this time displaying a portrait of William Sisley, the wealthy father of artist Alfred Sisley.

While his Salon works helped raise his profile in the art world, Renoir had to struggle to make a living. He sought out commissions for portraits and often depended on the kindness of his friends, mentors, and patrons. The artist Jules Le Coeur and his family served as strong supporters of Renoir’s for many years. Renoir also remained close to Monet, Bazille, and Sisley, sometimes staying at their homes or sharing their studios. According to many biographies, he seemed to have no fixed address during his early career.

Around 1867, Renoir met Lise Tréhot, a seamstress who became his model. She served as the model for such works as “Diana” (1867) and “Lise” (1867). The two also reportedly became romantically involved. According to some reports, she gave birth to his first child, a daughter named Jeanne, in 1870. Renoir never publicly acknowledged his daughter during his lifetime.

Renoir had to take a break from his work in 1870 when he was drafted into the army to serve in France’s war against Germany. He was assigned to a cavalry unit, but he soon fell ill with dysentery. Renoir never saw any action during the war, unlike his friend Bazille who was killed that November.

After the war ended in 1871, Renoir eventually made his way back to Paris. He and some of his friends, including Pissarro, Monet, Cézanne and Edgar Degas, decided to show their works on their own in Paris in 1874, which became known as the first Impressionist exhibition. The group’s name is derived from a critical review of their show, in which the works were called “impressions” rather than finished paintings done using traditional methods. Renoir, like other Impressionists, embraced a brighter palette for his paintings, which gave them a warmer and sunnier feel. He also used different types of brushstrokes to capture his artistic vision on the canvas.

While the first Impressionist exhibition was not a success, Renoir soon found other supportive patrons to propel his career. The wealthy publisher Georges Charpentier and his wife Marguérite took a great interest in the artist and invited him to numerous social gatherings at their Paris home. Through the Charpentiers, Renoir met such famous writers as Gustave Flaubert and ?mile Zola. He also received portrait commissions from the couple’s friends. His 1878 painting, “Madame Charpentier and her Children,” was featured in the official Salon of the following year and brought him much critical admiration.

Funded with the money from his commissions, Renoir made several inspirational journeys in the early 1880s. He visited Algeria and Italy and spent time in the south of France. While in Naples, Italy, Renoir worked on a portrait of famed composer Richard Wagner. He also painted three of his masterworks, “Dance in the Country,” “Dance in the City” and “Dance at Bougival” around this time.

As his fame grew, Renoir began to settle down. He finally married his longtime girlfriend Aline Charigot in 1890. The couple already had a son, Pierre, who was born in 1885. Aline served as a model for many of his works, including “Mother Nursing Her Child” (1886). His growing family, with the additions of sons Jean in 1894 and Claude in 1901, also provided inspiration for a number of paintings.

As he aged, Renoir continued to use his trademark feathery brushstrokes to depict primarily rural and domestic scenes. His work, however, proved to be more and more physically challenging for the artist. Renoir first battled with rheumatism in the mid-1890s and the disease plagued him for the rest of his life.

In 1907, Renoir bought some land in Cagnes-sur-Mer where he built a stately home for his family. He continued to work, painting whenever he could. The rheumatism had disfigured his hands, leaving his fingers permanently curled. Renoir also had a stroke in 1912, which left him in a wheelchair. Around this time, he tried his hand at sculpture. He worked with assistants to create works based on some of his paintings.

The world-renowned Renoir continued to paint until his death. He lived long enough to see one of his works bought by the Louvre in 1919, a tremendous honor for any artist. Renoir died that December at his home in Cagnes-sur-Mer, France. He was buried next to his wife, Aline (who died in 1915), in her hometown of Essoyes, France.

Besides leaving behind over two hundred works of art, Renoir served as an inspiration to so many other artists—Pierre Bonnard, Henri Matisse and Pablo Picasso are just a few who benefitted from Renoir’s artistic style and methods.

Rear View Mirror – My Week In Review

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“Stay weird, stay different, and then when it’s your turn to be on this stage…please pass this message along.” – Graham Moore Academy Awards acceptance speech for Best Adapted Screenplay for “The Imitation Game”.

There is nothing more that could possibly be added.  Expand the concept, understanding, and definition of “stage” and make it apply to you and your life.  Stay original and unique and know that you will find yourself surrounded by other weird and different people, your tribe, and together, you will change, influence, color, and inspire the world.  Stay weird.  It is what makes you special and what will make successful.  Your differences provide a unique perspective, keep it close, protect it, value it.

This week on Waldina, I celebrated the birthdays of Hubert de Givenchy, Kurt Cobain, Patty Hearst, Gloria Vanderbilt, Beth Ditto, Karen Silkwood, Yoko Ono, and remembered the death of Andy Warhol.

The Stats:

Visits This Week: 2,019
Total Visits: 166,072
Total Subscribers: 382
Total Posts: 1,467

This week on Wasp & Pear over on Tumblr, I posted photographs of beautiful house interiors, the art of Donald Baechler, Tom Wasselmann, Andy Warhol, Keith Haring, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Roy Lichtenstein, KAWS, and the official video of Sleater-Kinney’s song “A New Wave”.

The Stats:

Posts This Week: 64
Total Posts: 4,067
Total Subscribers: 291

Over on @TheRealSPA part of Twitter, tweeted the feeds of my Tumblr and Instagram accounts and tweeted this original tweet: Common! Common! Legend! Legend!

The Stats:

Total Tweets: 410 (tweets over 31 days old are automatically deleted to preserve freshness)
Total Followers: 478
Total Following: 550

This week on @TheRealSPA Instagram, I posted a photo of a very very full wine glass that was given to Rick at a Mexican restaurant.

The Stats:

Total Posts: 366
Total Followers: 171
Total Following: 201

come find me, i’m @

I chronicle what inspires me at Waldina.com
I faceplace at facebook.com/parkeranderson
I store my selfies at instagram.com/therealspa#
I tumblr at waspandpear.tumblr.com/
I tweet at twitter.com/TheRealSPA

 

 

Happy Birthday Hubert de Givenchy

Today is the 88th birthday of the fashion designer Hubert de Givenchy.  His continuously classic modern style cannot be copied and his longevity is unmatched.  The world is lucky that he is still in it.

 

NAME: Hubert de Givenchy
OCCUPATION: Fashion Designer
BIRTH DATE: February 21, 1927
DID YOU KNOW?: Hubert de Givenchy designed Audrey Hepburn‘s costumes for several films, including Breakfast at Tiffany’s.
EDUCATION: École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts (Paris)
PLACE OF BIRTH: Beauvais, France
FULL NAME: Hubert James Marcel Taffin de Givenchy
AKA: Count Hubert James Marcel Taffin de Givenchy

BEST KNOWN FOR: French fashion designer Hubert de Givenchy is known for his elegant haute couture designs and professional relationships with clients like Audrey Hepburn.

Hubert de Givenchy Marcel Taffin de Givenchy was born on February 21, 1927, in the city of Beauvais in northern France. His parents, Lucien and Béatrice (née Badin) Taffin de Givenchy, gave him and his brother, Jean-Claude, an aristocratic heritage. After Lucien Taffin de Givenchy died in 1930, Givenchy was raised by his mother and his maternal grandmother.

In 1944, Hubert de Givenchy moved to Paris, where he studied art at the École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts. Though he briefly considered a career in law, he decided to enter the world of fashion and, at the age of 17, began an apprenticeship with designer Jacques Fath. After his time with Fath, Givenchy worked for several famous French couture houses in the 1940s: Lucien Lelong, Robert Piquet and Elsa Schiaparelli.

Givenchy opened his own design house in 1952. His debut collection was a hit. It featured separates such as long skirts and tailored blouses, including the “Bettina blouse,” named after model Bettina Graziani. In his following collections, he also designed elegant evening gowns, feminine hats and tailored suits, and the Givenchy name became synonymous with Parisian chic.

In 1953, Givenchy met Spanish designer Cristóbal Balenciaga, whom he greatly admired. In 1957, the two designers teamed up to introduce a new silhouette called the “sack,” a loose form without any waistline.

By the 1960s, Givenchy, setting new trends and embracing certain aspects of youth culture, had begun to favor shorter hemlines and straighter silhouettes in his designs.

Givenchy designed for many celebrity clients, but his best-known client (who became a close personal friend) was Audrey Hepburn. Givenchy and Hepburn met in 1953, when she was just a rising star; he designed her costumes for Sabrina (1954) and helped to define her classic, gamine style. Over the following decade, he designed her costumes for Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961), Charade (1963), Paris When It Sizzles (1964) and How to Steal a Million (1966). The Givenchy brand also released a fragrance inspired by Hepburn called L’Interdit.

Among the other well-known women of style dressed by Givenchy were U.S. first lady Jacqueline Kennedy, who wore a Givenchy gown during an official visit to Paris in 1961; Princess Grace of Monaco; Wallis Simpson, Duchess of Windsor; and socialite Babe Paley.

After selling his business to the luxury conglomerate Louis Vuitton Moët Hennessey in 1988, Givenchy designed for seven more years, retiring and presenting his final collection in 1995. He was succeeded as head designer by enfant terrible John Galliano.

Designers to later serve as head designer at Givenchy include Alexander McQueen and Riccardo Tisci.

Givenchy lives in retirement at a country estate called Le Jonchet in the French countryside. His work has been shown in retrospective exhibitions at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York and the Musée Galliera in Paris, and he received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Council of Fashion Designers of America in 1996.

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Happy Birthday Beth Ditto

Today is the 34rd birthday of Beth Ditto. I often listen to Gossip’s “Move in the Right Direction” on my headphones at the gym in the morning as a pep talk for my day. If you ever get a chance to see Gossip live, please do, it is an amazing show. While you are at it, read her book Coal to Diamonds, you will love her more for her ability to honestly tell her story. The world is a better place because she is in it.

 

Name: Mary Beth Patterson
Birthday: February 19, 1981
Birthplace: Searcy, AK
AKA: Beth Ditto

Mary Beth Patterson, known by her stage name Beth Ditto (born February 19, 1981, in Searcy, Arkansas), is an American singer-songwriter, most famous for her work with the indie rock band Gossip.

At 13, she moved out of her mother’s house and went to live with her aunt. A resident of Portland, Oregon, she is a close friend of Scissor Sisters lead singer Ana Matronic, and considers her favorite song to be “Oh Bondage, Up Yours” by X-Ray Spex. She courted mild controversy in 2006 when, during an interview for NME magazine, she claimed to have eaten squirrels as a child, saying that “people in Arkansas just do – they’d think you were a freak if you ate squid there!”

Ditto is known for her noticeable stage dances and her unique and revealing image. She also formerly contributed an advice column on body image to The Guardian newspaper.

In February 2009, she was featured in London as the cover model for the premiere of Love magazine with prominent public advertising. On July 9, 2009, Beth’s fashion collection for the UK retailer Evans was released for sale, both online, and in selected stores across the UK.

Ditto, who is a lesbian, is well known for her outspoken support of both LGBT and feminist causes.

Her most recent modeling work consisted of opening the Jean Paul Gaultier spring 2011 fashion show during Paris Fashion Week on October 2, 2010.

In July 2013, Ditto married girlfriend Kristin Ogata in Maui, Hawaii. Ditto wore a gown by Jean Paul Gaultier; Ogata wore a jacket, shirt and shorts.

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Rear View Mirror – My Week In Review

Over the last few weeks, I have redesigned Rick’s art website at RicardoDuque.com.  Take a look at it, subscribe (click on the +Follow tab in the lower right hand corner) and get emails when a new piece of artwork is posted.  Rick likes the new look and how it looks on mobile devices.  Here are some of the new pieces.

Since the last Week in Review, on Waldina, I have celebrated the birthdays of Cesar Romero, Thelma Ritter, Grant Wood, Judy Blume, Anna Pavlova, Eugene Atget, Antonio Lopez, Robert Wagner, Boris Pasternak, Ivan Parker, Jack Lemmon, James Dean, Ramon Novarro, Fernand Leger, Gertrude Stein, Norman Rockwell, James Michener, Elaine Stritch, Clark Gable, Carol Chaning, Talulah Bankhead, Victor Mature, Jackson Pollock, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Paul Newman, and W. Somerset Maugham. I also confessed my obsession with the films Roller Boogie, Madame Sin and the TV show The Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew Mysteries.

The Stats:

Visits This Week: 2,152
All Time Visits: 164,398
Total Comments: 3,119
Total Posts: 1,458
Total Subscribers: 382
Most Popular Post: Zelda Fitzgerald – Style Icon

This week on Wasp & Pear on Tumblr, I posted the my standard photos of beautiful buildings, houses, building, and people. I posted photos of abandoned places. I posted art of Andy Warhol, Hans Hofmann, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Alfred Morang, Grant Wood, Emma Cownie, Carolyn Shoemaker, Ricardo Romero Cortez Duque, Antonio Lopez, Kerri Blackman, Peter Walters, Tomi Ungerer, Keith Haring, Darren Thompson, Evelyn Ackerman, Alexander McQueen, and Fernand Léger. I really like the mix that I have found lately. There are a lot of really great things that I like to keep track of over there. I get so much inspiration from those photos.

The Stats:

Total Posts This Week: 37
Total All Time Posts: 4,019
Total Subscribers: 292
Most Popular Post: 1926 photo of the Washington State Ferry Chippewa.

This week on @TheRealSPA on Twitter, I tweeted “When people say “to be honest” is that the only time they are being honest?” It didn’t get favorited or retweeted or anything like that, it was just a thought I had. I also tweet photos of things I like under the #DailyInspiration hashtag and I guess I also tweet my daily FitBit stats, I guess I knew that happened, but my results are pretty sad. I need to step up my game.

The Stats:

Total Tweets: 444 (tweets older than 30 days are automatically deleted to preserve freshness)
Total Followers: 471
Total Following: 551

Over on @TheRealSPA on Instagram, I post photos of the people whose birthdays I celebrate on Waldina, I like the idea of creating another platform for letting people know about some of the people that inspire me. I post a little blurb about them and hope that people learn a bit about someone that had a great life and find inspiration in them also.

The Stats:

Total Following: 199
Total Followers: 170
Total Posts: 359

come find me, i’m @

I chronicle what inspires me at Waldina.com
I faceplace at facebook.com/parkeranderson
I store my selfies at instagram.com/therealspa#
I tumblr at waspandpear.tumblr.com/
I tweet at twitter.com/TheRealSPA

Happ Birthday Eugène Atget

Yesterday was the 158th birthday of the French photographer Eugène Atget who took photographs of people and things at a time when most photography being taken was portraiture.  His photos of paris at the turn of the century are hauntingly beautiful.  The world is a better place because he was in it and still feels the loss that he has left.

 

NAME: Eugène Atget
OCCUPATION: Actor, Photographer
BIRTH DATE: February 12, 1857
DEATH DATE: August 04, 1927
PLACE OF BIRTH: Libourne, France
PLACE OF DEATH: Paris, France

Best Known For:  French photographer Eugène Atget recorded everything he considered picturesque or artistic in and around Paris, with an eye for strange and unsettling images.

At around age 30, Eugène Atget settled in Paris and became a photographer. The rest of his life was spent recording everything he could that he considered picturesque or artistic in and around Paris, with an eye for strange and unsettling images. His main clients were museums and historical societies. After World War I he received a commission to document the brothels of Paris.

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Happy Birthday Fernand Léger

Today is the 134th birthday of the French artist Fernand Léger. His developed style of painting is distinctively his own. I see a combination of Picasso and Rivera cubism and the linear Art Deco formality. The world is a better place because he was in it and still feels the loss that he has left.

NAME: Fernand Léger
OCCUPATION: Painter
BIRTH DATE: February 4, 1881
DEATH DATE: August 17, 1955
EDUCATION: Paris School of Decorative Arts
PLACE OF BIRTH: Argentan, France
PLACE OF DEATH: Gif-sur-Yvette, France

BEST KNOWN FOR: French painter Fernand Léger created the abstract painting series “Contrast of Forms.” His work blended elements of Cubism with his own unique style, “tubism.”

Fernand Léger was born to a peasant family in the rural town of Argentan, France, on February 4, 1881. Léger’s father was a cattle dealer who hoped his son would follow in his footsteps and choose what he deemed a practical trade. Although Léger was initially discouraged from becoming an artist, his father became supportive once he recognized Léger’s gift for drawing.

With his father’s approval, Léger enrolled in architecture school and accepted an apprenticeship under an architect in Caen. In 1901, upon completion of his two-year internship, Léger moved to Paris, France, where he worked as an architectural draftsman.

Wishing to further pursue his art education, Léger applied to the prestigious École des Beux-Arts and was unfortunately rejected.In 1903 he stated attending the Paris School of Decorative Arts instead, while also being unofficially mentored by two École des Beux-Arts professors who recognized his potential. Up until this point, Léger’s painting style blended Impressionism with Fauvism. In 1907 he attended a retrospective of Paul Cézanne’s work. From then on, Léger’s work took on more elements of Cubism, but with his own unique style of slicing forms into tubular cylinders, casually referred to as “tubism.”

In 1913, he started a series of abstract paintings called “Contrast of Forms.” A year later, he put his art career on hold to serve in the French army during World War I. In 1916, he was gassed at Verdun. Having incurred a head injury, he was sent home and hospitalized until 1917.

After the war, Léger continued to paint but also tried his hand at other mediums, including book illustrations and set and costume designs for the theater. In 1924, Léger ventured to make his first film, Ballet Mécanique. That same year, he opened his own school of modern art.

As Léger’s work matured in the 1920s and ’30s, he increasingly incorporated elements of modernism—particularly representations of machinery and human figures expressing speed and movement. His notable paintings from this period include “The Mechanic,” “Mona Lisa with Keys,” “Adam and Eve,” and “Composition with Two Parrots,” among others.

With the arrival of World War II, in 1940, Léger temporarily relocated to America. During this time, he produced a series of paintings called “Divers,” noted for its unique use of large patches of color that overlapped outlines to portrayed stylized figures of swimmers diving off docks in Marseille. This series was followed by two others also portraying human figures in motion: “Acrobats” and “Cyclists.” In 1946, Léger went back to France, where he revitalized his art school and became active in the Communist Party. In the 1950s, Léger’s work focused on the theme of the common man, and further expanded to include tapestry, pottery, stained glass and mosaics.

Léger died on August 17, 1955, in Gif-sur-Yvette, France.