Alcs landscape painting is an early and significant form of realism. In one such series of works, one of the girls is playing with a set of kittens that she had just bought. The oil painting was completed on November 16, 1893.
Visually, the painting is quite similar to the Little Swan. It shows the landscape of Long Island seen from an elevated position. The large expanse of sea combined with the grass and trees are the main elements that distinguish it from the Little Swan. It was acquired by the Art Institute of Chicago in 1922.
Little Red House on the Hill by Childe Hassam, 1911
Childe Hassam was an American artist who was born in 1859. After receiving a painting education from John La Farge in New York, he opened his own studio in 1902. Hassam exhibited his work at the National Academy of Design and other galleries. In 1911, he was commissioned by the U.S. Senate to complete a portrait of William Howard Taft, then President of the United States. The result is Little Red House on the Hill. As well as being the canvas on which Hassam rendered Taft’s likeness, it is a fine example of his landscapes. Hassam executed the work with great care, in a palette consisting of deep green, pink and blue-grey. It is the color tones that make the painting so original. There are layers of wet paint applied with a soft brush, which display great precision.
Enrique Toldrá is a well-known Spanish landscape painter. He was born on July 8, 1870, in Madrid, Spain, to a family of wealthy agriculturalists. His mother was the daughter of Emilio Diaz, an eminent Spanish sculptor. Toldrá obtained a fine art education at the School of Fine Arts of Madrid. His artistic training was composed of studio lessons given by such eminent artists as Francisco Goya.
As a young man, he initially concentrated on portraiture. He was strongly influenced by the work of Goya, whose painting techniques he employed to perfection. In 1890, Toldrá won the Gold Medal of the annual Exhibition of Madrid. This enabled him to travel abroad, where he went to France and made a number of visits to London. These trips to England served as his inspiration for paintings based on the English landscape. In 1897, he received the Prado Prize, and the following year, he became a member of the Académie Julian. At the age of 24, Toldrá exhibited for the first time at the Salon. This was followed by other exhibitions in France and Spain, where he obtained the national prize for landscape painting in both countries.
Toldrá preferred to paint locations that he had visited. His paintings all include some element that is associated with the place where they were created. He carried out numerous studies in a small local area called the Bierzo. In these works, he often included river scenes that he had created. These include the Canal del Chorro (1909), The Lake near the Abbey (1910) and Farewell to Our Land (1909). All these paintings, together with Port of Cartagena (1911), are studies that were not intended for sale. His success and recognition began to grow in 1912, when he was awarded the national prize for landscape painting. In the same year, he became a member of the Madrid Academy of Fine Arts, and one year later, in 1913, he won the first prize of the Exhibition of Madrid. This exhibition of painting held in the Salón de Bellas Artes in the Residencia de Estudiantes. He exhibited this year at the Paris Salon, where he also received the Silver Medal.
In 1914, Toldrá returned to France to exhibit at the Paris Salon. The following year, he completed a painting of The Launch and was awarded the Gold Medal at the annual Exhibition of Madrid. This was followed by further salons in France and Spain, which saw Toldrá’s exhibitions flourish. By the time he left for Barcelona, his international reputation had grown considerably, and he was therefore able to live comfortably. He was to spend the rest of his life in Spain. The great prize that Toldrá achieved was made possible by his long, hard work, which allowed him to reach the high level of his work.
Port of Cartagena by Enrique Toldrá, 1911
Port of Cartagena is a vast painting that measures 72.5 centimeters by 48 centimeters. It depicts the port and its environment. There is a sunset, with a blue sky that is gradually turning to orange. The impression is of the low temperature of the landscape that is changing to the warmth of the summer.
The place where the painting was created is a highly picturesque area of the Bierzo region of northern Spain. Cartagena is located between the two rivers of Dorma and of Castile. This coastal location is protected by a large rocky coast. The whitish hues of the rocks are a reference to the colour of the waves. The large amount of sky visible in the painting is highly contrasting with the rest of the canvas. All these elements help to create an atmosphere of expectancy, since nothing is known about what lies beyond the horizon.
Deliverance by James McNeill Whistler, 1879
Deliverance was completed by the American artist James McNeill Whistler in 1879. The work was inspired by an incident that occurred in Westchester County, New York. It was on March 25, 1879, that a boy was kidnapped while on his way to school. The abduction of the boy by two unknown men was not reported to the police. Instead, the boy’s parents went to the house of the artist, who was then staying at their residence, to report what had happened. As the parents left the home, they were followed by the kidnappers. The next day, the parents were able to identify the two men. After being subjected to questioning, they were able to identify the kidnappers from a description of their faces.
The painting was commissioned by Richard Gage, a dealer