HUNT, Esther Anna (1875-1951). Painter, sculptor. Born in Grand Island, Nebraska on August 30, 1875. Esther Hunt moved to San Diego in 1881 and she grew up on a ranch there. From 1896-1900 she worked as an artist in Los Angeles. Upon moving to San Francisco, she studied art at the Mark Hopkins Institute (1901). As a means to finance her art studies, she began painting Chinatown subjects which she sent to a New York dealer who readily sold them. After studying portraiture with William M. Chase in New York City from 1905-06, she continued her studies for six years in Paris. While in Paris her portrait of her sister was hung in the Paris Salon. Returning to California, she had a studio in Los Angeles for four years and from 1918-27 she lived in San Francisco; during 1927-31 she lived in Greenwich Village in New York City. The years 1932-46 were again spent in San Francisco. Her oils, watercolors, etchings, and colored ceramic figurines were very popular with the general public during her productive years, having been reproduced commercially for postcards, calendars, prints, busts, etc. Hunt was very fond of the artistically-created and individually-named "children" she would never have in real life. After a stroke ended her career, she was taken to the Santa Ana (CA) Rest Home. A spinster, she died there on March 4, 1951. Member: Laguna Beach Art Ass'n. Exhibited: Panama California Expo (San Diego), 1915 (gold medal); San Francisco Art Ass'n, 1916. Works held: California Historical Society.
Louis XV, king of France, often called Jean-Baptiste Oudry to Versailles to paint the royal hounds--in the king's presence. "Monsieur Oudry had acquired such a habit of conversing with high-ranking persons and of working in their presence that he painted as calmly at the court as he would in his own studio," marveled a contemporary. Though his father was a painter and art dealer, Oudry's first serious training came from portrait painter Nicolas de Largillière. By about 1720, the young man was concentrating on animals, hunts, and landscapes. He became a member of the Académie de Peinture et de Sculpture in 1719 and a professor there in 1743. From 1726 Oudry had great success designing tapestries. In 1734 he was named director of the Beauvais tapestry manufactory, which he re-established by bringing in artists like François Boucher. Two years later, he became director of the Gobelins manufactory. Supervising all tapestry production gave Oudry considerable influence on French decorative arts. He also had a large studio and was literally overwhelmed by commissions. His clients included Czar Peter the Great of Russia and the Queen of Sweden. Oudry's work was marked by attention to detail combined with freedom of execution. A master of chiaroscuro, he maintained a lifelong interest in light and reflections.
A painter of pop-art realism combined with a great respect for traditional methods and subject matter, Wayne Thiebaud is one of the most prominent of the Bay Area painters in California in the latter part of the 20th century. His reputation spread far beyond his own state. In his painting, he focuses on the commonplace in a way that suggests irony and objective distance from his subjects. He also makes a point of keeping an independent distance from the New York art scene. He was born in Mesa, Arizona, in 1920, and for one summer during his high school years he apprenticed at the Walt Disney Studio and then studied at an Los Angeles trade school the next summer. He earned a degree from Sacramento State College in 1941. From 1938 to 1949, he worked as a cartoonist and designer in California and New York and served as an artist in the United States Army. In 1950, at the age of thirty, he enrolled in Sacramento State where he earned a Master's Degree in 1952 and began teaching at Sacramento City College. In 1960, he became assistant professor at the University of California, Davis, where he remained through the 1970s and influenced numerous artist students. However, he did not have much following among Conceptualists because of his adherence to basically traditional disciplines, emphasis on hard work rather than creativity, and love of realism. On a leave of absence, he spent time in New York City where he became friends with Willem De Kooning and Franz Kline and was much influenced by these abstractionists as well as Pop Artists Robert Rauschenberg and Jasper Johns. During this time, he began a series of very small paintings based on images of food displayed in windows, and he focused on their basic shapes. Returning to California, he pursued this subject matter and style, isolating triangles, circles, squares, etc. He also co-founded the Artists Cooperative gallery, now Artists Contemporary Gallery, and other cooperatives including Pond Farm, having been exposed to the concept of cooperatives in New York. In 1960, he had his first one-man shows in San Francisco at the Museum of Art and New York at the Staempfli and Tanager galleries. These shows received little notice, but two years later, a 1962 New York Sidney Janis Gallery exhibition officially launching Pop Art, brought him national recognition although he disclaimed being anything other than a painter of illusionistic form. In 1963, he turned increasingly to figure painting, wooden and rigid with each detail sharply emphasized; in 1967 his work was shown at the Biennale Internationale, and in 1985, he was elected to the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters.
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Jozef Israëls, (born January 27, 1824, Groningen, Netherlands—died August 12, 1911, The Hague), painter and etcher, often called the “Dutch Millet” (a reference to Jean-Franƈois Millet). Israëls was the leader of the Hague school of peasant genre painting, which flourished in the Netherlands between 1860 and 1900. He began his studies in Amsterdam and from 1845 to 1847 worked in Paris under the academic painters Horace Vernet and Paul Delaroche. Israëls first tried to establish himself as a painter of Romantic portraits and conventional historical pictures but had achieved little success when in 1855 ill health compelled him to leave Amsterdam for the fishing village of Zandvoort, near Haarlem. That change of scenery revolutionized his art: he turned to realistic and compassionate portrayals of the Dutch peasantry and fisherfolk (e.g., Waiting for the Herring Boats, 1875). In 1871 he moved to The Hague, and he often worked in nearby Scheveningen. Besides oils, Israëls worked in watercolours and was an etcher of the first rank. His later works in all media express a tragic sense of life and are generally treated in broad masses of light and shade. His painting style was influenced by Rembrandt’s later works, and, like Rembrandt, Israëls often painted the poor Jews of the Dutch ghettos (e.g., A Son of the Chosen People, 1889). His son Isaac (1865–1934), also a painter, adopted an Impressionist technique and subject matter and had some influence on his father’s later work.
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