The Art-based Learning Calendar: OCTOBER

“I will cut adrift—I will sit on pavements and drink coffee—I will dream; I will take my mind out of its iron cage and let it swim—this fine October.” Virginia Woolf

OCTOBER 1, Emilio Pettoruti

Argentinian avant-garde painter – Emilio Pettoruti – was born #OnThisDay (October 1) in 1892.

Pettoruti was influenced by Cubism, Futurism, Constructivism, and Abstraction, yet he did not claim exclusive affiliation to any of these art movements. Nonetheless, his career was thriving during the 1920s when “Argentina witnessed a decade of dynamic artistic activity; it was an era of euphoria, a time when the definition of modernity was developed.” [Marcelo Pacheco, Latin American Art in the Twentieth Century, Argentina]

For his unique style and vision, Emilio Pettoruti (1 October 1892, La Plata, Argentina – 16 October 1971, Paris, France) is remembered as one of the most influential South American artists of the 20th century. His limitless, modernist approach to the arts had an everlasting effect on the art world in Argentina. “He was, for Buenos Aires in the 1920s, a beacon of artistic inventiveness who opened many doors for others, both artists and the public, to enter new, uncharted territories.” [Edward J. Sullivan, “Pettoruti”, 2004]

OCTOBER 2, Tullio Pericoli

Italian illustrator, painter, and portrait artist – Tullio Pericoli – was born #OnThisDay (October 2) in 1936.

Pericoli started his career as an illustrator and cartoonist for well-established magazines and newspapers. He also worked in scenography and costume design.

As an artist, Tullio Pericoli focused on landscape art and portrait art. A highly gifted and awarded portraitist, Pericoli published several collections of his acclaimed portraits.

Featured: Tullio Pericoli’s literary portraits (watercolor, pastel, ink on paper) of Karen Blixen (1997), Umberto Eco (1980), Samuel Beckett (1991), Ernest Hemingway (1996), Virginia Woolf (1987), Milan Kundera (1987), and Bertold Brecht (1991)

OCTOBER 3, Pierre Bonnard

French painter, illustrator, and printmaker – Pierre Bonnard – was born #OnThisDay (October 3) in 1867.

A founding member of the Post-Impressionist group of avant-garde painters Les Nabis, Bonnard’s early work was strongly influenced by the work of Paul Gauguin, as well as the prints of Hokusai and other Japanese artists.

“Notre génération a toujours cherché les rapports de l’art avec la vie.” (“Our generation has always sought the relationship between art and life.” Pierre Bonnard) Hence, he and the other Nabis were particularly interested in integrating their art into popular forms, such as posters, journal covers and illustrations, and engravings in books, as well as into ordinary household decoration, in the form of murals, painted screens, textiles, tapestries, furniture, glass and dishes.

Pierre Bonnard (3 October 1867 – 23 January 1947) was a leading figure in the transition from Impressionism to Modernism. He painted landscapes, urban scenes, portraits, and intimate domestic scenes, where the backgrounds, colors and painting style usually took precedence over the subject, Bonnard becoming particularly known for the stylized decorative qualities of his paintings and his bold use of color.

In his later years, throughout the early 20th century, as artistic styles swiftly appeared and disappeared, Bonnard kept refining and revising his personal style, while exploring new subjects and media, but keeping the distinct characteristics of his work.

OCTOBER 4, Piranesi

Italian Classical archaeologist, architect, and artist – Giovanni Battista (Giambattista) Piranesi, also simply known as Piranesi – was born #OnThisDay (October 4) in 1720.

An amazing etching artist, Piranesi is famous for his depictions of Rome and of the fictitious and atmospheric “Imaginary Prisons” (Le Carceri d’Invenzione) – enormous subterranean vaults with seemingly endless staircases, blocked passages, and mighty machines.

Piranesi (4 October 1720 – 9 November 1778) started the series of 16 prison etchings in 1745. The prints were first published in 1750 (14 etchings, untitled and unnumbered, with a sketch-like look). A decade later, Piranesi reworked all etchings for a second publishing, in 1761 (this time he added two new etchings and changed the overall final aspect of all initial drawings).

Piranesi’s fabulous images have influenced both Romanticism and Surrealism. They prefigured M. C. Escher’s images with endless stairs and are said to have inspired Edgar Allan Poe’s story “The Pit and the Pendulum”. Needless to add that they continue to mesmerize viewers to this day.

Featured: Piranesi’s “Carceri d’invenzione”, second edition prints, 1761

OCTOBER 5, Francesco Guardi

One of the last practitioners of the classic Venetian school of painting – Francesco Guardi – was born #OnThisDay (October 5) in 1712.

The Italian painter and nobleman Francesco Lazzaro Guardi (5 October 1712 – 1 January 1793) was a master of the vedute, who gradually adopted a looser style characterized by spirited brushstrokes and freely imagined architecture.

OCTOBER 6, Dan Christensen

American abstract painter – Dan Christensen – was born #OnThisDay (October 6) in 1942.

Christensen started his art career as a minimalist (e.g., his 1966 minimal “Bar” paintings), attempting to develop and go beyond the aesthetic of minimalism (a movement in various artistic fields, which has subsequently come to be known as “postminimalism”).

Generally acknowledged for artworks relating to American lyrical abstraction (abstract expressionism) and color field painting (also closely related to abstract expressionism), Christensen’s abstract paintings changed and evolved throughout his career, and many are nowadays held in important museum collections throughout the United States and Europe.

Dan Christensen died on January 20, 2007, after enduring polymyositis for nearly nineteen years.

OCTOBER 7, Rosalba Carriera

Innovative Venetian Rococo painter – Rosalba Carriera – was born #OnThisDay (October 7) in 1675 (there are sources indicating January 12, 1673 as her birth date, yet most art historians attest 7 October 1675 as Carriera’s documented date of birth).

In her younger years, Rosalba Carriera specialized in portrait miniatures. Scholars suggest that Carriera learned lacemaking from her mother and that, as the lace industry declined, she instead began decorating snuffboxes for the tourist trade, hence becoming first known for her miniature portraits on snuffboxes. By the time Carriera was 25, her miniatures had won her a special membership in the Academy of St. Luke in Rome.

Rosalba Carriera would later become known for her pastel portraits, helping popularize the medium in eighteenth-century Europe. Her innovative approach to pastels as a medium for serious portraiture redefined the Rococo manner. She was the first female painter to initiate the new style in the art community and, because of her, artists subsequently created work in the style for nearly a century.

Rosalba Carriera (October 7, 1675 – April 15, 1757) is remembered as one of the most successful women artists of all eras.

OCTOBER 8, John D. Batten

English painter, book illustrator, printmaker, poet, and author – John D. Batten – was born #OnThisDay (October 8) in 1860.

A gifted figure painter, John Dickson Batten painted mythological and allegorical scenes and illustrated several collections of fairy tales. He wrote and published poetry, as well as a book on animal flight and aerodynamics (An Approach to Winged Flight, 1928).

As a painter, John D. Batten worked in oils, tempera, and fresco, but he is best remembered as a supporter of painting in egg tempera, a technique he revived together with other Birmingham artists, such as Arthur Gaskin. Batten also served as a Secretary to The Society of Painters in Tempera (the Society was founded in 1901 by British artist and art patron Christiana Herringham and a group of British painters who were interested in reviving the art of tempera painting).

Best-loved for his fairy tale paintings and illustrations, John Dickson Batten (8 October 1860 – 5 August 1932) created unforgettable visual stories.

OCTOBER 9, Simeon Solomon

British orientalist painter, member of an English Jewish family of artists – Simeon Solomon – was born #OnThisDay (October 9) in 1840.

As a student at the Royal Academy of Arts, Solomon became acquainted with Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Edward Burne-Jones, and other members of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood. Inspired by the Pre-Raphaelites, Solomon created intricately detailed literary paintings. Additionally, Solomon’s subjects often included scenes from the Hebrew Bible and genre paintings depicting Jewish life and rituals.

The career of Simeon Solomon (9 October 1840 – 14 August 1905) was dramatic and full of incident – he met with both fame and infamy at different stages of his life.

OCTOBER 10, Alberto Giacometti

Swiss artist – Alberto Giacometti – was born #OnThisDay (October 10) in 1901. As of 1922, Giacometti lived and worked mainly in Paris, regularly returning to his family in Borgonovo, Switzerland.

Alberto Giacometti was one of the most important sculptors of the 20th century. Influenced by Surrealism, Expressionism, Cubism, and Formalism, Giacometti’s works display the artist’s preoccupation with questions about the human condition, along with existential and phenomenological debates.

Paintings and drawings constitute only a small part in Giacometti’s whole body of work. However, the almost monochrome figurative paintings, drawings, and portrait sketches (especially those from Giacometti’s last decade of life) are among his most haunting artworks.

“… for it was never my intention to paint only with gray. But in the course of my work, I have eliminated one color after another, and what has remained is gray, gray, gray!” Alberto Giacometti (10 October 1901 – 11 January 1966)

OCTOBER 11, George Ault

American painter – George Ault – was born #OnThisDay (October 11) in 1891.

Loosely associated with the Precisionist art movement (because of his unadorned representations of architecture and urban landscapes), yet not fully adhering to its ideology (Precisionism was the first indigenous modern art movement in the United States and an early American contribution to the rise of Modernism), George Ault (11 October 1891 – 30 December 1948) developed his unique style, adding cubist or surrealist elements to his rather realistic artworks (done in oil, watercolor, or pencil).

OCTOBER 12, Al Held

“We’re not going to get rid of chaos and complexity, but we can find a way to live with them.”

Al Held, American Abstract Expressionist painter and art educator born #OnThisDay (October 12) in 1928

A pioneer of hard-edged geometric abstraction, Al Held (12 October 1928 – 27 July 2005) created works of great complexity during his 50 year long career, exploring the power of abstraction to reach beyond the realm of the viewers’ immediate senses.

OCTOBER 13, Walasse Ting

Chinese-American self-taught visual artist and poet – Walasse Ting – was born #OnThisDay (October 13) in 1929 in Shanghai. Ting left China in 1946 and lived for a while in Hong Kong, subsequently moving to Paris (in 1952), where he associated with members of the avant-garde group CoBrA.

In 1957, Ting moved to the United States, and settled in New York where his work was influenced by pop art and abstract expressionism. He began primarily as an abstract artist, but the bulk of his work since the mid-1970s has been described as popular figurativism, with broad areas of color painted with a Chinese brush and acrylic paint. In 1970, Ting won the Guggenheim Fellowship Award for Drawing. Walasse Ting lived and worked in Amsterdam in the 1990s, but regularly commuted between Amsterdam and New York.

Moreover, Walasse Ting (13 October 1929 – 17 May 2010) is the author of 13 books, including “All in my Head” (Walasse Ting & Roland Topor, 1974) and “One Cent Life” (Eberhard W. Kornfeld, 1964), a portfolio of 62 original lithographs by 28 artists, including Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, Kiki Kogelnik, Tom Wesselmann, James Rosenquist, Asger Jorn, Pierre Alechinsky, Karel Appel, Claes Oldenburg, Joan Mitchell, Robert Rauschenberg and Sam Francis. “1 Cent Life” is among the most beautifully conceived and artistic book-works of the 1960s, unlike anything published before or after. It was a compact visual manifesto of the sixties – bright, psychedelic and pulsating, a collaboration of artists who came together under Walasse Ting’s poetic street magic. [The Book Beat]

OCTOBER 14, Adolphe Monticelli

French painter – Adolphe Monticelli – was born #OnThisDay (October 14) in 1824.

Preceding the Impressionists, Monticelli developed his own recognizable Romantic style of painting, in which richly colored, dappled, textured and glazed surfaces produce a scintillating effect. He painted courtly subjects (inspired by Antoine Watteau), still lifes, portraits, landscapes, and Orientalist subjects.

An unworldly man, Adolphe Monticelli (14 October 1824 – 29 June 1886) dedicated himself single-mindedly to his art.

In its painterly freedom, Monticelli’s work prefigures that of Vincent van Gogh, who greatly admired his work after seeing it in Paris when he arrived there in 1886. Van Gogh immediately adopted a brighter palette and a bolder attack, and later remarked, “I sometimes think I am really continuing that man.” [In 1890, Van Gogh and his brother Theo were instrumental in publishing the first book about Monticelli.]

OCTOBER 15, James Tissot

French painter and illustrator – Jacques Joseph Tissot aka James Tissot – was born #OnThisDay (October 15) in 1836.

A successful painter of voguish, modern scenes and society life in Paris, Tissot gained high critical acclaim throughout his early and mature career (both in Paris and in London – where he had moved to in 1871, quickly developing his reputation as a painter of elegantly dressed women shown in scenes of fashionable life).

In 1885, Tissot (having returned to Paris around 1882) had a revival of his Catholic faith, which led him to spend the rest of his life making paintings about biblical events. To assist in his completion of biblical illustrations, Tissot traveled to the Middle East in 1886, 1889, and 1896 to make studies of the landscape and people. His series of 365 gouache illustrations showing the life of Christ were shown to enthusiastic audiences in Paris, London and New York, before being bought by the Brooklyn Museum in 1900. Tissot spent the last years of his life working on paintings of subjects from the Old Testament.

Jacques Joseph Tissot (who remains best remembered in the history of art by his anglicized name James Tissot) died suddenly in Doubs, France, on the 8th of August 1902, while living in the Château de Buillon, a former abbey which he had inherited from his father in 1888.

OCTOBER 16, Primo Conti

Italian artist – Primo Conti – was born #OnThisDay (October 16) in 1900.

A precocious child, Conti showed talent in the fields of music, poetry and painting, before the age of 9. Curious and attracted to human innovation, young Primo Conti expressed his interests in his drawings in almost completely Futurist forms, while also developing his unique style of painting as a mixture of Art Nouveau, Fauvism, Expressionism and Orphism.

In 1913, Primo Conti met the Futurists (the supporters of the Italian early 20th century artistic and social movement known as “Futurismo”, extensively described in several other previous posts – see #UmbertoBoccioni, #CarloCarrà, #GinoSeverini, #GiacomoBalla, etc.), whom he joined in 1917. Conti’s contribution to the movement consisted of literary works, paintings and drawings that he produced between 1917 and 1919, the year in which his style evolved towards a metaphysical vision.

The 1920s were a complex period for Conti – relating to both study of arts and literature. He explored Mannerism, Exoticism, Pittura Metafisica, historical and religious painting. He manifested a keen interest in the theatrical and literary world of Luigi Pirandello, Massimo Bontempelli, Enrico Pea, and more.

The 1930s brought a series of alternating events that created problems in his private life and led to his celebrative paintings. The decade also saw his enforced adhesion to fascism (joining the Partito Nazionale Fascista), followed by his inner rebellion against it and the refusal to join the Novecento Italiano group (an Italian artistic movement founded in Milan in 1922 to create an art based on the rhetoric of the fascism of Mussolini).

New prospects opened up to Conti when he became involved (1935-39) in designing stage sets for the opera house with the foundation of the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino (the annual Italian arts festival in Florence).

By the 1940s, long before the official rediscovery (20 years later) of the Futurist movement, Conti was again working on Futurist subjects and experiments. From 1948 to 1963 Conti followed the rules of the Order of the Franciscans, yet still continued to paint.

In 1983, Primo Conti published his autobiography: “La Gola del Merlo”. The painter, writer, and composer Primo Conti died in Fiesole, Italy, on the 12th of November 1988, aged 88.

OCTOBER 17, Childe Hassam

American impressionist painter – Childe Hassam (pronounced like child) – was born #OnThisDay (October 17) in 1859.

Along with Mary Cassatt and John Henry Twachtman, Hassam was instrumental in promoting Impressionism to American collectors, dealers, and museums. A prolific artist, Childe Hassam (17 October 1859 – 27 August 1935) produced more than 3000 paintings, oils, watercolors, etchings, and lithographs over the course of his career, being particularly noted for the urban and coastal scenes, as well as for his “Flag series” – around thirty paintings in a sequence that Hassam began in 1916, when he was inspired by a “Preparedness Parade” on Fifth Avenue in New York (for the US involvement in World War I).

OCTOBER 18, Canaletto

A significant member of the 18th-century Venetian school, the Italian painter from the Republic of Venice – Giovanni Antonio Canal aka Canaletto – was born #OnThisDay (October 18) in 1697.

Highly prolific and successful painter of vedute (in his case detailed city views of Venice, Rome, and London) & capricci (imaginary views of architectural fantasies), Canaletto (18 October 1697 – 19 April 1768) was also an important printmaker using the etching technique.

OCTOMBER 19, Umberto Boccioni

Italian futurist artist – Umberto Boccioni – was born #OnThisDay (October 19) in 1882.

An influential painter and sculptor, Boccioni helped shape the revolutionary aesthetic of the Futurist movementℹ️ as one of its leading figures.

ℹ️Futurism (It: Futurismo), as an artistic and social movement, originated in Italy in the early 20th century. It emphasized dynamism, speed, technology, youth, violence, and objects such as the car, the airplane, and the industrial city. It glorified modernity and aimed at ‘liberating Italy from the weight of its past’. Although it was largely an Italian phenomenon, there were parallel movements in Russia, where some Russian Futurists would later go on to found groups of their own; other countries either had a few Futurists or had movements inspired by Futurism. The Futurists practiced in every medium of art, including painting, sculpture, ceramics, graphic design, industrial design, interior design, urban design, theatre, film, fashion, textiles, literature, music, architecture, and even cooking.

In 1914 Umberto Boccioni published “Pittura e scultura futuriste (dinamismo plastico)”, explaining the aesthetics of the Futurist group: “While the impressionists paint a picture to give one particular moment and subordinate the life of the picture to its resemblance to this moment, we synthesize every moment (time, place, form, color-tone) and thus paint the picture.”

Despite his short life (Umberto Boccioni died young, on 17 August 1916, aged 33), his approach to the dynamism of form and the deconstruction of solid mass guided artists long after his death.

OCTOBER 20, Frits Thaulow

Awarded Norwegian Impressionist painter – Frits Thaulow – was born #OnThisDay (October 20) in 1847.

Educated at the Academy of Art in Copenhagen, Thaulow was one of the earliest artists to paint in Skagen (Denmark’s northernmost town, soon to become famous for its ‘Skagen Painters’), where he arrived in 1879 with his friend, the Norwegian painter Christian Krohg.

After his stay in Skagen, Thaulow returned to Norway. He became one of the leading young figures in the Norwegian art scene, together with Christian Krohg and the painter and illustrator Erik Werenskiold, and he helped establish the first National Art Exhibit (also known as Høstutstillingen or Autumn Exhibit) in 1882. Many of Thaulow’s Norwegian scenes are from the small port town Åsgårdstrand, which had become an important center for artists and painters.

In 1892, Thaulow moved to France. He soon discovered that the cityscapes of Paris did not suit him. His best paintings were made in small towns such as Montreuil-sur-Mer, Dieppe and surrounding villages, Quimperle in Brittany and Beaulieu-sur-Dordogne in the Corrèze département.

Frits Thaulow died on the 5th of November 1906 in Volendam, Netherlands, aged 59. His work was appreciated throughout his career and Thaulow received a number of honors for his artistic activity, including the French Legion of Honor and his appointment as commander of the 2nd Royal Norwegian Order of St. Olav in 1905.

OCTOBER 21, Nikos Engonopoulos

Greek Surrealist painter and poet – Nikos Engonopoulos (Νίκος Εγγονόπουλος) was born #OnThisDay (October 21) in 1907.

Nikos Engonopoulos was one of the most important members of the “Generation of the ‘30s” (a group of Greek writers, poets, artists, intellectuals, critics, and scholars who made their debut in the 1930s and introduced modernism in Greek art and literature) and a major representative of Surrealism in Greece.

In 1938, Engonopoulos published translations of poems by Tristan Tzara and, soon after, his own collection of poems (‘Do Not Distract the Driver’ and the ‘Clavicembalos of Silence’), which established his reputation as one of the finest surrealist poets of Greece.

Engonopoulos’ first solo exhibition of paintings was held in 1939. Three years later, he finished his most popular long poem ‘Bolivar, a Greek Poem’, inspired by the revolutionary leader Simón Bolívar and published in 1944 (the poem was also released in the form of a song, in 1968, with music composed by Nikos Mamangakis).

Fascinated by De Chirico and a fan of Dalí, Engonopoulos largely focused in his paintings on Greek mythology, the Byzantine tradition and the country’s modern history. His world was a universe of painting with imaginary heroes from mythology and literature, history and poetry, with references to Hermes, Io, Hercules, Eurydice, Orpheus, Odysseus and Calypso.

Nikos Engonopoulos died in Athens on the 31st of October 1985, aged 78.

OCTOBER 22, Edmund Dulac

French-British illustrator and painter – Edmund Dulac – was born #OnThisDay (October 22) in 1882 in Toulouse, France (as Edmond Dulac). In 1904 Dulac moved to London, becoming a naturalized British citizen in 1912.

In 1905 Dulac received his first commission in the UK, namely to illustrate the novels of the Brontë Sisters. He then became a regular contributor to The Pall Mall Magazine, and joined the London Sketch Club, which introduced him to the foremost book and magazine illustrators of the day. This is how he entered the partnership with Leicester Galleries and Hodder & Stoughton publishing house, for whom he illustrated (1907-1913) Stories from the Arabian Nights, an edition of William Shakespeare’s The Tempest, The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam, The Sleeping Beauty and Other Fairy Tales, Stories from Hans Christian Andersen, The Bells and Other Poems by Edgar Allan Poe, Princess Badoura, and more.

During WWI Dulac produced relief books, including King Albert’s Book, Princess Mary’s Gift Book, and his own Edmund Dulac’s Picture-Book for the French Red Cross. In 1915 Hodder & Stoughton also published “The Dreamer of Dreams” by Queen Marie of Romania, for which Edmund Dulac produced six colored illustrations.

When the deluxe children’s book market shrank after the war (the last books he illustrated – Edmund Dulac’s Fairy Book from 1916, Hawthorne’s Tanglewood Tales from 1918, and The Kingdom of the Pearl from 1920), Edmund Dulac turned to magazine illustrations, newspaper caricatures, portraiture, theatre costume and set design, bookplates, chocolate boxes, medals, and various graphics. He designed banknotes during WWII and postage stamps, most notably those that heralded the beginning of Queen Elizabeth II’s reign.

Edmund Dulac lived and worked in London until his death on the 25th of May 1953, aged 70.

OCTOBER 23, Juan Luna

Filipino painter, sculptor and a political activist of the Philippine Revolution during the late 19th century – Juan Luna – was born #OnThisDay (October 23) in 1857.

His winning the gold medal in the 1884 Madrid Exposition of Fine Arts, along with the silver win of fellow Filipino painter Félix Resurrección Hidalgo, prompted a celebration which was a major highlight in the memoirs of members of the Propaganda Movementℹ️, with the fellow Ilustradosℹ️ toasting to the two painters’ good health and to the brotherhood between Spain and the Philippines.

Juan Luna de San Pedro y Novicio Ancheta (23 October 1857 – 7 December 1899) became one of the first recognized Philippine artists. He painted literary and historical scenes, some with an underscore of political commentary. His allegorical works were inspired with classical balance, and often showed figures in theatrical poses.

ℹ️The Propaganda Movement encompassed the activities of a group of Filipinos who called for political reforms in their land in the late 19th century, and produced books, leaflets and newspaper articles to educate others about their goals and issues they were trying to solve. They were active approximately from 1880 to 1898, and especially between 1880 and 1895, before the Philippine Revolution began.

ℹ️The Ilustrados constituted the Filipino educated class during the Spanish colonial period in the late 19th century. Elsewhere in New Spain (of which the Philippines were part), the term “gente de razón” carried a similar meaning.

OCTOBER 24, Marianne North

“Did I not paint?… And wander and wonder at everything?”

Prolific English Victorian biologist and botanical artist – Marianne North – was born #OnThisDay (October 24) in 1830.

Notable for her plant and landscape paintings, her extensive foreign travels, her writings, her plant discoveries, and the creation of her gallery at the Royal Botanic Gardens (Kew), Marianne North (24 October 1830 – 30 August 1890) is also praised for the scientific accuracy with which she documented plant life in all parts of the world, before photography became a practical option, hence giving her work a permanent value.

Featured: Collage of Marianne North’s botanical artworks with central portrait by award-winning contemporary Australian illustrator Rovina Cai (Portrait of Marianne North, 2016)

OCTOBER 25, Nils Dardel

Swedish Post-Impressionist painter – Nils Dardel aka Nils de Dardel – was born #OnThisDay (October 25) in 1888 into the Swedish noble family Von Dardel, grandson to famous Swedish diarist, painter and illustrator, chamberlain of the King of Sweden, Fritz von Dardel (1817-1901).

After studying art in Sweden, Nils Dardel traveled to Paris around 1910, where he took inspiration from the Fauvists, the Post-Impressionists (especially the Pointillists), the Surrealists, briefly from the Cubists, as well as from Japanese woodcuts. His life in Paris has been described as ‘hectic, bohemian, and dandy-like’.

Dardel was a ‘chronic’ traveler (North Africa, Japan, Peru, Mexico, Cuba, USA), actually picking up influences and motifs from different countries, hence the variety of styles at different stages of his career. He lived a nomadic life (it is also said that he was self-destructive), traveling far and wide without ever really settling down. Many of his portraits are of people and places whom he met along his travels.

Nils Dardel died from a heart attack in New York City on the 25th of May 1943, aged 54.

OCTOBER 26, Frederick Richardson

American illustrator – Frederick Richardson – was born #OnThisDay (October 26) in 1862 in Chicago.

Richardson studied art at the St. Louis School of Fine Arts (Washington University in St. Louis) and at the Académie Julian in Paris, France, subsequently starting his career as a newspaper illustrator for Chicago Daily News. In this capacity, he most notably covered with illustrations the famous World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago in 1893 and the Exposition Universelle of 1900 in Paris.

In 1903 Richardson moved to New York City to pursue book illustration. His first book was L. Frank Baum’s “Queen Zixi of Ix, or The Story of the Magic Cloak” (originally serialized in the children’s magazine ‘St. Nicholas’ 1904-05, subsequently published in book form in 1905), followed by one of Baum’s most beautiful short stories, “A Kidnapped Santa Claus”, which first appeared in the women’s magazine ‘The Delineator’ in December 1904.

Richardson followed that initial work with many other book illustration projects, including editions of the works of Hans Christian Andersen, Aesop’s Fables, Mother Goose, Pinocchio, and East of the Sun and West of the Moon, plus two volumes in the series of Andrew Lang’s Fairy Books.

For the Chicago publisher P. F. Volland, Frederick Richardson changed his usual artistic style (strongly influenced by Art Nouveau) to illustrate collections of tales by Georgene Faulkner, imitating Japanese art for her “Little Peachling and Other Tales of Old Japan” (1928), and Indian art for her “The White Elephant and Other Tales from Old India” (1929).

A highly prolific illustrator, Richardson did much more work than already enumerated. E.g., he provided pictures for a series of schoolbooks called the ‘Winston Readers’ and a variety of illustrations to the Works Progress Administration during the Great Depression. He illustrated Frank R. Stockton’s “The Queen’s Museum” (1906), Edith Ogden Harrison’s “The Enchanted House” (1913), and Frances Jenkins Olcott’s “The Red Indian Fairy Book” (1917), among several others.

Frederick Richardson died of pneumonia in New York City on the 15th of January 1937.

OCTOBER 27, Charles Spencelayh

English genre painter and academic portrait artist – Charles Spencelayh – was born #OnThisDay (October 27) in 1865.

Likely best remembered for his intricately detailed and touching anti-war scenes (capturing the hopes, fears and daily lives of regular British people), Spencelayh was a favorite of Queen Mary of Teck (1867-1953), who was an avid collector of his work (in 1924 Spencelayh also painted a miniature of King George V for the Queen’s doll house).

Charles Spencelayh (27 October 1865 – 25 June 1958) was furthermore a founding member of the Royal Society of Miniature Painters. During his long career, Spencelayh exhibited more than 70 paintings at the Royal Academy and 129 miniatures at the Royal Society of Miniature Painters.

Spencelayh’s training as a miniaturist allowed him to build up stories of visual clues in painstaking detail – almost photographically – in each and every painting he ever produced.

OCTOBER 28, Ann Nooney

American printmaker – Ann Nooney – was likely born #OnThisDay (October 28) in 1900 (there are art researchers indicating 1893 as the year of Nooney’s birth, yet 28 October 1900 appears to be the commonly accepted birthdate).

A talented lithographer and cityscape artist, Nooney was a participant in the 1930s Federal Works program (renamed in 1939 Works Progress Administration, WPA), in and around New York City. Her best-known artworks from the Federal Art Project period (1935-1943) are the views and scenes of Brooklyn.

Similar to her disputable date of birth is Ann Nooney’s death date. Art historians place it anywhere between 1964 and 1970/1975. Whereas several of her works can be found online, there seems to be hardly any information about Nooney’s biography.

As part of a 2016 art exhibition, a student from Murray State University wrote about Ann Nooney, “While there is little known about her life, she left behind a legacy of work that continues to provide a visual glimpse of American life during these times”. [Credits: “New Deal of the Day”, a blog with periodic posts about the New Deal series of programs, public work projects, financial reforms, and regulations enacted by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in the United States of America between 1933 and 1939.]

OCTOBER 29, Richard Yarde

Awarded African-American artist and art educator – Richard Yarde – was born #OnThisDay (October 29) in 1939 in Roxbury, Boston, Massachusetts, as the son of hard-working immigrant parents. His father was a machinist and his mother a seamstress, and Yarde recalled the work of his parents as a source of inspiration, saying “There were patterns everywhere” (almost all Yarde’s paintings include grids and patterns).

Richard Yarde initially painted in oil, but switched in 1977 to watercolors – the most unforgiving medium (Yarde used to say “The watercolor either succeeds or it doesn’t, just like surgery.”) – receiving almost immediate critical acclaim for his works that drew upon themes of African-American history, Yarde’s own family history, and his struggle with kidney failure and strokes (healing was a recurring theme in Yarde’s works). Several of his artworks were unusually large for a watercolorist, monumental in both scale and subject matter.

Richard Yarde taught art at Boston University, Wellesley College, Amherst College, the Massachusetts College of Art, Mount Holyoke College, and the University of Massachusetts at Boston. From 1999 to 2011, he was a professor of art at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.

“I am nothing but a man on the same journey as any other human being. And I am also an artist. When all is said and done, I see the most important thing I have to offer is my art, which is an act of meditation between myself and the awesome mystery of creation.” Richard Yarde (29 October 1939 – 10 December 2011)

OCTOBER 30, Alfred Sisley

Impressionist landscape painter – Alfred Sisley – was born on this day (October 30) in 1839 in Paris to affluent British parents. Although he spent most of his life in France, Sisley retained British citizenship.

In 1857, at the age of 18, young Sisley was sent to London to study for a career in business, but he abandoned it after four years and returned to Paris in 1861.

From 1862, he studied at the Paris École des Beaux-Arts, becoming acquainted with the impressionist painters Frédéric Bazille, Claude Monet and Pierre-Auguste Renoir. Together they would paint landscapes en plein air rather than in the studio, an innovative approach at the time, allowing the painters to more realistically capture the transient effects of sunlight and to add more natural color to the depicted landscapes.

Alfred Sisley (30 October 1839 – 29 January 1899) was the most consistent of the Impressionists in his dedication to outdoors painting of landscapes and also rarely deviated into figure painting.

OCTOBER 31, Hokusai

【”】I have drawn things since I was 6. All that I made before the age of 65 is not worth counting. At 73 I began to understand the true construction of animals, plants, trees, birds, fish, and insects. At 90 I will enter into the secret of things. At 110, everything – every dot, every dash – will live. To all of you who are going to live as long as I do, I promise to keep my word. I am writing this in my old age, I used to call myself Hokusai, but today I sign myself ‘The Old Man Mad About Drawing.’

One of the best-known Japanese artists of all times – Hokusai (Katsushika Hokusai, 葛飾 北斎) – was likely born around or #OnThisDay (October 31) in 1760.

Ukiyo-e painter and printmaker of the Edo period (aka Tokugawa period), Hokusai (c. 31 October 1760 – 10 May 1849) is world-famous for the woodblock print series “Thirty-Six Views of Mount Fuji” which includes the print “The Great Wave off Kanagawa” (aka the Great Wave), published around 1830-1832. Hokusai’s Wave is regarded as the most recognizable work of Japanese art in the world.

Why #artbasedlearning?

As the world is changing enormously, the pursuit of knowledge and skill becomes acute. Humans engage in lifelong learning for both personal and professional reasons. General knowledge, (continuous) learning, (re-, up-) skilling empower professional & personal development, competitiveness, self-sustainability, social inclusion, active citizenship, satisfaction & wellbeing, and employability.

But learners are different and so should be the means of learning and education. Innovation in learning is key to an inclusive education. Hence, e.g., an art-based approach to learning.

Thank you for following #artbasedlearning on both LinkedIn (hosting the Literary Birthday Calendar) and Facebook!

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