Two on the Twenty-Second

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Today's "Feel Art Again" takes a brief look at two influential but little-known artists who were born 130 years apart on this date, January 22.

The French painter Nicolas Lancret (1690-1743) is described as "Paris's best-known practitioner of the fête galante," a style of painting that focuses on the pursuits of the "idle, rich aristocrats" of the 18th century. Like many French painters, Lancret studied at the Académie Royale; unlike most other French painters, though, he was supposedly expelled for "bad behavior." However, his bad behavior didn't prevent him from later being an Académie Royale member, nor did it hinder his career. He had the "enthusiastic patronage" of Louis XV, who hung Lancret's paintings throughout the royal residences, including the famed Versailles.

Shown is Lancret's "Lady and Gentleman with two Girls and a Servant" (1742). Love his work? Check out more paintings by Lancret in the Web Gallery of Art.

JosephWolf.jpgJoseph Wolf (1820-1899), a German illustrator and painter, is recognized for establishing wildlife art as a genre. By the age of 20, Wolf had already illustrated books of African and Japanese birds. He was hired by the Zoological Society of London to make drawings for their publications. When two volumes of his zoological sketches were published "for the general reader," they apparently sold as well as Charles Dickens' novels. He was disappointed with the chromolithograph plates in one of his volumes (perhaps one of those two, though sources aren't clear on the matter) and, as a result, never again allowed his work to be used for anything other than scientific publications. He died in 1899 "surrounded by his pet birds."

Shown is Wolf's "A Pair of Doves amongst Honeysuckle; and Group of Pheasant Chicks in the Undergrowth" (1871). For more information on Wolf, read "The Life of Joseph Wolf: Animal Painter" by Alfred Herbert Palmer.

Don't forget to enter the first-ever "Feel Art Again" contest!

Design a Rube Goldberg device and submit it today, January 22, 2009, for a chance to win Secret Lives of Great Artists by Elizabeth Lunday. For full details, visit the contest page.

"Feel Art Again" appears every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday. You can e-mail us at artist suggestions, with details of current exhibitions, or for sources or further reading.

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January 22, 2009 - 2:45pm
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