Bruno Andreas Liljefors (1860-1939) was a Swedish artist, the most important and probably the most influential wildlife painter of the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. He also drew some sequential picture stories, making him one of the early Swedish comic creators.
Liljefors is held in high esteem by painters of wildlife and is acknowledged as an influence, for example, by American wildlife artist Bob Kuhn. All his life Liljefors was a hunter, and he often painted predator-prey action, the hunts engaged between fox and hare, sea eagle and eider, and goshawk and black grouse serving as prime examples. However, he never exaggerated the ferocity of the predator or the pathos of the prey, and his pictures are devoid of sentimentality.
The influence of the Impressionists can be seen in his attention to the effects of environment and light, and later that of Art Nouveau in his Mallards, Evening of 1901, in which the pattern of the low sunlight on the water looks like leopardskin, hence the Swedish nickname Panterfällen. Bruno was fascinated by the patterns to be found in nature, and he often made art out of the camouflage patterns of animals and birds. He particularly loved painting capercaillies against woodland, and his most successful painting of this subject is the largescale Capercaillie Lek, 1888, in which he captures the atmosphere of the forest at dawn. He was also influenced by Japanese art, for example in his Goldfinches of the late 1880s.
During the last years of the nineteenth century, a brooding element entered his work, perhaps the result of turmoil in his private life, as he left his wife, Anna, and took up with her younger sister, Signe, and was often short of money. This darker quality in his paintings gradually began to attract interest and he had paintings exhibited at the Paris Salon.
He amassed a collection of animals to act as his living models. Ernst Malmberg recalled:
The animals seemed to have an instinctive trust and actual attraction to him...There in his animal enclosure, we saw his inevitable power over its many residents??foxes, badgers, hares, squirrels, weasels, an eagle, eagle owl, hawk, capercaillie and black game.
The greatness of Liljefors lay in his ability to show animals in their environment. Sometimes he achieved this through hunting and observation of the living animal, and sometimes he used dead animals: for example his Hawk and Black Game, painted in the winter of 1883-4, was based on dead specimens, but he also used his memory of the flocks of black grouse in the meadows around a cottage he once lived in at Ehrentuna, near Uppsala. He wrote:
The hawk model??a young one??I killed myself. Everything was painted out of doors as was usually done in those days. It was a great deal of work trying to position the dead hawk and the grouse among the bushes that I bent in such a way as to make it seem lively, although the whole thing was in actuality a still life.
Related Paintings of bruno liljefors :. | portratt av anders liljefors, konstnarens fader | orn jagande hare | katt pa blommande sommarang | tunasen, | tornfalk vid boet med ungar |
Related Artists:Hahn William
American Painter, 1829-1887Dirck van Baburen
b.c. 1595, Utrecht, Netherlands.
d.Feb. 21, 1624, Utrecht
Dirck van Baburen GalleryMelchior de Hondecoeter
Melchior de Hondecoeter Gallery
Melchior d'Hondecoeter (c. 1636 ?C April 3, 1695), Dutch animalier painter, was born at Utrecht, and died in Amsterdam. After the start of his career, he painted virtually exclusively bird subjects, usually exotic or game, in a park-like landscapes.
Being the grandson of Gillis d'Hondecoeter and son of Gijsbert d'Hondecoeter, as well as nephew of Jan Baptist Weenix, he was brought up by the last to the profession of painting, when his father died. Of Weenix we know that he married Gilles daughter Josina in 1638. Melchior was, therefore, also related to Jan Weenix. The latter told Arnold Houbraken, in his youth Melchior was extremely religious, praying very loud, so his mother and uncle doubted if they would have him trained as a painter.
In 1659 he was working in the Hague and became a member of the painters' academy at the Hague. In 1663 Hondecoeter married Susanne Tradel in Amsterdam. While she was captious and having her sisters living in their house, Hondecoeter spent much time in his garden or drinking in the tavern in the Jordaan. On the Lauriergracht, where he used to live, he was surrounded by art dealers and various painters. Later he moved to a house on Prinsengracht. In 1686 he bought a small countryhouse in Vreeland. Hondecoeter died in the house of his daughter Isabel in Warmoesstraat but was buried in Westerkerk near his house. His inventory lists a small gallow, to keep birds in the right position, and several paintings of Frans Snyders.
Melchior began his career with a different speciality from that by which he is usually known. Mr de Stuers affirms that he produced sea-pieces. One of his earliest works is a "Tub with Fish," dated 1655, in the gallery of Brunswick. But Melchior soon abandoned fish for fowl. He acquired celebrity as a painter of birds only, which he represented not exclusively, like Johannes Fyt, as the gamekeeper's perquisite after a day's shooting, or stock of a poulterer's shop, but as living beings with passions, joys, fears and quarrels, to which naturalists will tell us that birds are subject. Without the brilliant tone and high finish of Fyt, his Dutch rival's birds are full of action; and, as Burger truly says, "Hondecoeter displays the maternity of the hen with as much tenderness and feeling as Raphael the maternity of Madonnas."