European Artists Illustrating Boys' Fashions

No region has contributed more to the world of art than Europe. Here the primary medium has been painting in all its many mediums (fresco, oils, and water colors). The foundation of Western art is the classical tradition of Greece and Rome. Here painting was not as important as it was to become, but still of some importance, especially in Fome. European medieval art developed out of the artistic heritage of clasical Greece and Rome as it mixed with the iconographic traditions of the new Christian church. This varied around Europe and they intertwined with the vigorous if less regfined Barbarian, often largely Germanic and to a lesser extent Celtic, culture of northern Europe. All of the major European countries have made important artistic contributions. At first Italy was the center of Western art. France may have made the most important contribution, but England is not far behind. Spain has left us some very important artists. Perhaps the important European country with the weakest artistic tradition is Prussia, but other German states (especially Austria and Bavaria) made important contributions. A very important factor here is wealth and only wealthy countrues provide the economic foundation for art. An interesting observation here is a connection between art and science. Countries with important artistic traditions have also made important contributions in science. This connection was broken in southern Europe with the Inquisition and Counter-Reformztion. It is Western art that we focus on for HBC, largely because it is Western art that focuses strongly on people, especially individuals. This is a tradition that began with the Greeks and powerfully resurfaced during the Renaissance and continues to this day. We found many important depictions of children and their clothing.

Austria

We have developed considerable information about Austrian artists. When we first began HBC we knew very little about Austrian artists. We have since compiled a sizeable list. HBC is somewhat unsure how to treat Austrian artists. Ausdtria itself is a very small country so its artistic accomplishments would theoretically be small compared to much lrger countries like France. Austra and its capitalmof Vienna wee, iwever, the center of a huge eastern nd central European empire. Austians until the 19th century were generally considered Germans. With the German artists, nationality can be complicated. There were a large number of German states with the Holy Roman Empire and later the German Confederation. For several centuries the Hapsburg ruler of Austria was always elected emperorof the German Holy Roman Empire. Austria after the Ausrtro-Prussian War (1866) was exccuded by Bismarck from Geramny, but where many which historically has been an essential part of Germany. We will classify non-Austrian painters in the Austro-Hungarian Empire under theiur various nationalities. We note Austrians painting in many different styles. Many of the Austrians we found painted in the clasical realist style.

Belarus

We know very little about Belarusian art. Much of what is modern Belarus was historically part of Poland. And the population was more mixed than Poland to the west, Russia to the east, and Ukraine to the south. The national conciousness of Belarus is weaker than in the surrounding areas and the Belarussins are more inclided to identify with the Russians. As part of the Tsarist Empire afyer the Polish partitions, Belarussian artists are often seen as Russian or perhaps Polish. One such artist is Ivan Fomich Khrutsky.

Belgium

We have just begun to study Belgian art. We have little information on umportant Belgian artists. There are of course the Flemish artists. Flanders was hugely important in the Renaissance--the most important of the Netherlands from the perspective of great artists. In fact, the Netherlands/Flanders was an especially creative region for art, mainly but not exclusively religious art, after Italy. Then of course came the Dutch painters such as Rembrandt, Franz Hals, Vermeer, Rubens, etc. The Flemish painters were closer to Holland in technique than to Italy, but much later. We notice far less importanbt art from Walonia. Antoon Van Dyck was born in Belgium, but he has to be considered more of a Dutch artist. In the romantic period (later 19th century), there was a school of Belgian painters who followed the traditions of France to some extent. We have few details on modern Belgian painters. the famous Belgian realist and symbolist painter, Fernand Khnopff (1858-1921) painted aportrait of Prince Leopold, Duc de Brabant, at the age of 12 years. The portrait was painted in 1913. An important modern artist is Gustave Van de Woestyne (1881-1947), a native of Flanders. It seems to us that most of the best respected artists are Flemish. We are not sure just why this was. We would be very interested in any insights that readers can offer. We suspect that the Reformation and wealth created by capitalism was the factor ascwas the Spanosh attempt to crush Protestantism and the Dutch Republic.

Czech Republic

We know very little about Czech artists. The best known is surely Alfons Mucha (1860-1939) who was both a painter and decorative artist. Mucha is often described as the most defining artist of the Art Nouveau style. Here he painted beautiful women with flowers. These wondurful images, however, provide little useful information for our HBC website. Much eventually, however, tired of this and pained what he called "The Slavic Epic", a largely alegorical set of the history of the Slavic people, encompasing not only the Czecha, but other Slavs such as the Poles, Russians, Ukranians and others. Czech painter Leopold Pollak was born in Lodenitz (1806). He moved to Rome in 1831. Much of his work this as done in Italy. We are not familiar with other Czech artists, but hopefully our Czech readers can provide some insights on Czech artists.

Denmark

HBC has so far acquired only limited information on Danish art or artists from Denmark who have painted interesting works illustrating boys' fashions. At this point, while we can noy yet comment on Danish art, we can list Danish artists who come to our attention. Hopefully our Danish readers will provide more information on their country's art. We have noted the work of four Danish artists: Aigens, Meyer, Schith-Jensen, and Seligmann. Unfortunately we have been able to find relatively little information about these artists.

England

English artists perhaps do not have the same stature as some of their cross channel rivals--the French. This is perhaps the French impressionists are today so imprtant a part of our artistic mind set. Certainly English painting was eclipsed by the explosion of impresionistic art in France during the 19th century. There is one areas, however, in which the English were unrivaled and that is portriture in the 18th and early 19th century. The work of Gainborough, Lawrence, Reynolds, and others provide us with some of the most magnificent portraits ever executed. Even landscapist master Constable contrubuted at least one marvelous portrait. The English are also noted for their watercolors, but these tended to focus less on portriture. These masterful portraits of course provide an invaluable record of fashion trends.

Finland

We have virtualy no informationa about Finish artists at this time. Finland until World War I and the Russian Revolutioin was part of Tasrist Russia. We have noted one artist Karl Emanuel Jansson (1846-74) who painted "Sailor Boy II" in 1866. Hopefully our Finish readers will provide us more information about Finish artists.



Figure 2.--The famed Flemish artist Rubens painted this portrait of his sons Albert and Nicholus was painted about 1625. It is a wonderfully detailed glimse of 17th century clothing.

Flanders

Flanders is the Low Country south of the Netherlands. Organizing artists on the basis of modern national boundaries is frought with difficulties. The Flemish painters area case in point. Since 1830 it has been part of Belgium, so the Flemish artists can be considered Belgians on the basis of modern boundaries. As Belgium did not exist in the 16th and 17th century and because the Flemish School was such an important group of artists, we are creating a separate for them in our national section. Most of the great Belgian opainters are in fact Flemish painters from the 16th and 17th century.

France

France has has one of the worlds's greatest artistic heritages. Some of the world's most renowned artists were French. This is particularly true of the 19th century. France is also a renowned center for fashion. Thus French art is an extremely valuable sorce for fashion historians. Some of the most fascinating 19th century images come from France, especially the late 19th century impressionists. Thus there are many wonderful portraits providing valuablr information on the history of fashion.

Germany

HBC has so far acquired only limited information on German artists who have painted interesting works illustrating boys' fashions. Perhaps the important European country with the weakest artistic tradition is Prussia, but other German states (especially Austria and Bavaria) made important contributions. One important German artist in our study is Winterhalter, a favorite of Queen Victoria. His portraits, however did not concentrate on Germans. We have also noted a few images that are not attributed to specific artists, but are dated. With the German artists, nationality can be complicated. There were a large number of German states with the Holy Roman Empire and klater the German Confederation. There were also German speakers living outside Germany oproper, especially in Switzerland. Before the 19th century, some of these artists may have looked in themselves as Germans. Ther was also Austria which after the Austro-Prussian War (1866) was excluded by Bismarck from Geramny, but where many which historically has been an essential part of Germany.

Greece

HBC is less familar with Greek art than that of some other European countries. While Greece is the fountainhead of Western artistic tradition, the country did not participate in the great reawakening Western art inspired by the Renaissance as until the early 19th century they were under Ottoman control which inforced Islamic standards on art. After Independence in the 1820s, Greece has rentered the mainstream of Western art including painting. HBC readers have provided information on a number of important Greek artists that have provided imaages of Greek boys and their clothing over time. We are just beginning to research these artists.

Hungary

We know very little about Hungarian art. We do not know if we have somehow missed important Hungarian artists or if there are fwer Hungarian artists than many other European countries. A factor may be that Hungary is a relatively small country, but still it is a little surprising. And it is attle difficult defining nationality within the Aystrian and subsequwnt Austro-Hungarian Empire. For exanple, Gabriel Decker is generlly seen as am Austrian artist, but he was born in Hungary. Hopefully our readers will be able to provide some information on Hungarian art. We note an artist who began painting after a commercial career--Isidor Kaufmann. He is a little difficult to categorize in country terms. He painted while a subject of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. He was born to Hungarian Jewish parents in Arad, now a part of Romania. He painted images of Jewish life and individuals, mostly in Poland. We do not see similar images from non-Jewish artist, although there was interst in Gypsey life. We note an 1843 painting by Miklós Barabás (1810-98) .depictng a travelling Gypsy family in Transylvania. A reader mentions Béla Kontuly (1904-83). He spent most of his career in Budapest, both before and after the Communist takeover. We note a portrait he painted of a boy in 1950.

Ireland

We have not yet begun to assess Irish artists in any detail. We have some information on a few Irish artists. The artists we are found are noticeable for the lack of Irish nationlism expressed in their work. We notice Adam Buck (1758-1833) who was noted fir his minatures. We also notice Frederick Buck (1771-c. 1839) who painted some beautiful minature portraits. We assume that they were brothers, but are researching this now. One noticeable Irih srtist is Richard Thomas Moynan (1856-1906). His paintings depicting Irish recruits in the British Army suggest an Irelsnd fully integrsted in the United Kingdom.

Italy

No country is more important in art histiry than Italy. Mostv young European artists aspired to go to Italy to study the great masters. Italy during the Renaisance was the birth place of modern European art. Many of the greatest artists of all time are Italian, men like Leonardo, Micelangelo, Rafael, and Titian. There work ranks as some of the finest art of all time. Most date from the Renaissance. We have not yet cross indexed them here, but plan to do so soon. Interestingly, however, is the rather limited number of modern art work we have been able to find from Italy. It interesting that Italy which played such an important role in the history of Western art has produced so few modern artists of stature. It is also interesting to note that Italy does play a major role in the fashion industry. Often art and fashion go together.

Lithuania

We do not yet information on Lithuanian art. Lithuania like the other Baltics are sma;; countries. And Lithuania and the other Baltics for most of their history were part of larger empires. Lithuania became part of the Lithuanin-Polish Commonwealth and than partof the Tdaris Empire. So ientifying modern ntionalitie is a little complicatd, not to mention boundary changes. One such artist is Ivan Fomich Khrutsky. He is perhaps best identified as Belarussian or Polish, but his career involved Lithuania as well.

(The) Netherlands

The Netherlands is a small country, but with a glorious artistic tradition. The high point is the Dutch School of the 17th century. Some of the leading artists were Frans Hals and Rembrandt. Related to the Dutch are the Flemish artists. While Flanders is today part of Belgium, the Flemish speak Dutch and it is difficult to separate them from the Dutch artistic tradition.

Poland

We have very little information on Polish art at this time. We have archived some Polish images on HBC, but we do not know the names of the artists. We note some paintings of Polish nobels. An important Polish arist is the impressionist Franciszek Striett (1839-90). Unfortunately we know nothing about him other than he produced some wonderful images of 19th century Polish life. Poland at the time wa mostly within the Russian Empire. Another artist we know by name is Eugeniusz Aleksandrowski (19??-1999). He was Jewish and his paintings are dominated by his ecperiences during the Holocaust in NAZI-occupied Poland. Hopefully our Polish readers will provide us some information about their country's artists.

Portugal

We do not yet know much about Portuguese art. We do note one artist, Carlos Antônio Rodrigues dos Reis (1863-1940), although our information on him is still very limited.

Russia

We have added several pages on Russian afrtists to HBC, but have not yet cross indexed them here. We do not yet have a great deal of information about Russian art, but we have begun to collect information about individual Russian artists. We note some fascinating images. Most come from the 19th or early 20th century. We do not yet have any imges from the soviet era. They may not be great art, but they would be of historical interest.

Scotland

We have very limited information on Scottish art at this time. Perhaps the greatest Scottish portratist is Allan Ramsay (1713-84). We have also found some paintings by unknown Scottish artists. We have a portrait of what looks like a Scottish boy by an unknown artist which is probably a Scottish artist.

Serbia

We have very little information on Serbian art. Serbia was a medieval Christian kingdom. We have no information about medieval Serbian art at this time. The Serbs were conquuered by the Ottomans after the battle of Kosovo Polje (1389). We know nothing about Serbia's art history during the Ottoman era. Serbia reemerged as an independent kingdom in the 19th century and we begin to see Serbian paintings at this time.. We have found some paintings by Serbian artiss, bit we do not yet know much about them. Paja Jovanovic (1859-1957) painted a triumphal medieval scene, "Marriage of Tzar Dulan" in 1906. We note a painting of the royal family by Jovan Isajlovi (1803-85). We know nothing about the artist at this time. Another Serbian painter is Jovan Bijelic (1886-1963). We note one of his paintings etitled 'Petite Dubravka' which we do not yet understand. Hopefully our Serbian readers will provide more details about their country's art history.



Figure 3.--This portrait of Don Baltazar Carlos was painted by Spanish master Velazquez about 1635.

Spain

Spain was the superpower of the 16th Century. The wealth pooring in from the exploitation of the American colonies financed a vast outpouring of art. Spain played an iporatant role in setting fashions. Goya is along with El Greco and Velasquez, is one of the three great pillers of Spanish art. Goya addressed many different genres and styles. He was the court painter to Charles IV. He is widely known for his portraits of Spanish nobility, including boys, but he also painted many accomplished scenes of modern life. Velaquez is generally recognized as the chief painters of the Spanish school and one of the great masters of all time.

Sweden

We do not know much about Swedish art history and artists yet. We do know of one Swedish artist, Karl Larson painted many beautiful images of children during the late 19th and early 20th centuries that provide great detail about period clothing.

Switzerland

We do not know much about Swiss art at this time. The population is largely German with a French minority. Thus we would assume that there are German and French influences. So far we have found only a few Swiss artists. We do note a portrait painted by Benjamin Vautier. Vautier was associated with the Dusseldorfer Academy. He painted naturalistic portrait of the farmers in Switzerland and the nearby German Black Forest. We also note the work of Swiss artist Karl Bodmer (1809-1893). Bodmer traveled in the American West and painted many Native American subjects. We note a painting of a Sioux camp (about 1834). We can see a mother with a baby on their shoulder and an other child.

Ukraine

The Ukraine for centuries was part of the Russian Empire and after the Russian Revolutiion (1917) a constiuent republic of the Soviet Union. Ukranian nationalism was viciously attacked by the Soviets. After indedendence (1992) the country has been conflicted as to its relation with Russia. The election controversy (2004) has shown that vividly. Many art historians list Ukranian artists as Russians. One artist in our archive is Marie Bashkirtseff. She was nborn in the Ukraine, but her all too brief artistic career was in France.







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Created: June 23, 1999
Last updated: 12:25 AM 4/25/2016