Paintings by Alma Teidema

  Alma Teidemar was born on January 8, 1836 in the Netherlands. In 1852, he went to study at the Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp, Belgium; in 1863, he married the French girl Prina and moved to Paris: in 1869, his beloved wife died, and he left Paris and came to London. After the outbreak of the Franco-Prussian War, he stayed in London; Royal Academy of Fine Arts; became a member of the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in 1879; was awarded a knighthood of the United Kingdom in 1899; was awarded the Morlett Medal in 1903; in 1906, he was awarded the Gold Medal of Architecture by the Royal Academy of Sciences, becoming the only painter to receive this honor; On March 24, 1912, he died in Wisbaden, Germany, at the age of 76.
  In the 19th century, Europe experienced complex social, political and cultural changes, and art was also deeply affected. Many trends and movements criss-crossed: William, Morris’s Arts and Crafts movement, authoritative art critics John, Ruskin ” Art is to express the joy of people’s labor”, Aestheticism, Idealism, Pre-Raphaelite, Art Nouveau, etc. one after another. Industrialization and the revival of medieval craft traditions combined with a wide variety of painting styles formed the artistic landscape of this period.
  In terms of social life, with the rapid development of industry and commerce in Western countries, material life has been greatly enriched, and the quality of life has generally improved. The result of this change is to prompt some artists to shift the expression of beauty from religion to secular life, thus producing art for beauty’s sake.
  This is the background of the times in which Taidema lived.
  At the beginning of the establishment of the Victorian Dynasty, Britain entered its most glorious era, known as the “Empire on which the Sun Never Sets”, but in the late 19th century, the national strength declined, and people could only seek pride and pride from the past. Tai Dema keenly captured this change. He believed that the living conditions of the middle class in the ancient Roman era were very similar to the middle class in the Victorian era. Therefore, his painting subjects were mostly depicting pictures of ancient life and were created for the wealthy and leisure class. The restoration pictures of ancient life, and these pictures express the portrayal of their own life: or spend leisure time on the sofa, or indulge in self-appreciation in the bathroom, or expect the arrival of a lover in a dream, or lean on Lying on a marble building bathed in bright and warm sunlight… In terms of
  painting skills, Taidemar has learned from others. The women’s costumes in his paintings are not only loved by viewers, but many of them have also become popular fashions in the society at that time; the buildings he painted The image also had a direct impact on the architectural design of the time. He uses fine colors, often showing grand scenes and momentum on a small frame; the pictures are bright in color, precise and delicate in brushwork, without any roughness. In particular, the marble products he depicts are lifelike, and the natural and smooth marble lines make the viewer feel cold. This fully proves the correctness of the art concept centered on craftsmanship that “when craftsmanship reaches a certain level, the quality of beauty will naturally reveal itself”.
  In essence, Taidemar himself is a typical end-of-the-century hedonist. His life experience was smooth, and he was accustomed to a luxurious and elegant life. His values ​​did not contradict the upper class society. Nostalgia for people in the late Victorian era. Therefore, he advanced and retreated freely in the upper class and became the “artist” at that time.
  Of course, it is undeniable that Taidema’s art is a foil for hedonic life and has its natural limitations. Many critics in the history of art do not regard this kind of “beautiful” art works as art. They think that such works are full of “craftsmanship”, stick to the form, counterfeit the ancient style, and are out of reality. This is why the works of his contemporaries Cezanne, Degas, Renoir, Rodin, Monet, etc. are widely criticized by later generations, but Taidemar is little known. But not today. After experiencing the baptism of various artistic trends, more people today are quite able to comprehend the carving intentions of these artists, and believe that the pursuit of personal style and the satisfaction of personal hobbies by artists have their own true meaning and value.
  ”Void Courtship” (77.5cm-41.3cm), painted in 1900, shows a scene where a man fails to woo his beloved woman. In the picture, the characters are placed in the corner of the spacious living room, forming an outflanking effect. The expectant look of the man and the indifferent look of the woman make the relationship between the two subtle and full of tension. The painter focuses on the shape and texture of everything; dresses, vase flowers on the windowsill, sofas, room decorations, etc., people and objects are equally divided… The sunlight outside the window, the warm tones of early spring, enveloped the picture. A layer of tender sadness.
  In fact, a lot of confusion between art and beauty exists in people’s direct experience. Sometimes an attitude toward a painting requires simplicity: is it beautiful? Beautiful. That’s it, trust your eyes.

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