Born This Day in 1832: Édouard Manet


Joyeux Anniversaire, Cher Édouard  Manet!

Édouard Manet
Édouard Manet-crop.jpg

Portrait by Nadar, 1874
Birthname Édouard Manet
Born 23 January 1832
Paris, France
Died 30 April 1883 (aged 51)
Paris, France
Nationality French
Field Painting, printmaking
Movement Realism, Impressionism
Works The Luncheon on the Grass (Le Déjeuner sur l’Herbe), 1863;
Olympia, 1863;
The Bar at the Folies-Bergère (Le Bar aux Folies-Bergère), 1882;Young Flautist or The Fifer (Le Fifre), 1866



Professor and Painter, Bernard Chaet: Artists at Work

An excellent book on artists’ techniques and materials, Artists at Work was written by Yale Professor Emeritus and Painter, Bernard Chaet, published in 1960 by Webb Art Books of Cambridge, Massachusetts

I have just finished re-reading an excellent book by Bernard Chaet, entitled ARTISTS at WORK (A WEBB ART BOOK, Copyright 1960, Cambridge, Massachusetts). The cover description says, “Technical Means and Personal Vision in Painting, Sculpture, and Graphics. Discussions with Josef Albers, Leonard Baskin, Hyman Bloom, James Brooks, Gabor Peterdi, Seymour Lipton, Conrad Marca-Belli, others.”

There is a chapter on the unusual painting materials and techniques of Edouard Vuillard (the French painter died in 1940), and tours of the Bocour and Grumbacher artists’ paint factories, which were then located in downtown Manhattan lofts. It is quite evident that Professor Chaet enjoyed his interviews with the painters, sculptors and print-makers featured in his book. I particularly enjoyed the interview with Leonard Bocour, whose one-floor loft in NYC produced both the high-end Bocour oil paint and the more economical Bellini brand. I have used both, and still have some on hand, even though production stopped in the 1990s.

A Boston native born in 1924, Bernard Chaet studied at the Boston Museum School with Karl Zerbe from 1942 to 1945. He received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Tufts University in Boston and was presented with an Honorary Degree of Fine Arts from the Maryland Institute College of Art in 1986.

From 1951 until his retirement in 1990, Bernard Chaet taught drawing at Yale University Art School, where he won a Distinguished Teaching Award, later becoming Professor Emeritus.

Bernard Chaet lives and paints in New Haven, Connecticut. He is represented by LewAllen Contemporary in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and by Alpha Gallery in Boston, among other venues. Chaet’s work is in the permanent collections of  the Art Institute of Chicago, the Fogg Art Museum at Harvard, the Brooklyn Museum, the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, the Metropolitan Museum, the Smithsonian American Art Museum and the Yale University Art Gallery. Corporation collections such as AT&T, Chemical Bank, IBM and New England Life include the work of prolific artist Bernard Chaet.

©M-J de Mesterton

Midnight in Paris, by Woody Allen

Maxim’s Makes an Appearance in Woody Allen’s Art Masterpiece, Midnight in Paris

Woody Allen’s Artistic Masterpiece

Midnight in Paris has the most beautifully-filmed representations of Paris that we have ever seen, some amusingly accurate vignettes of Saldavor Dalí, Picasso, Henri de Toulouse Lautrec, The Fitzgeralds, Gertrude Stein, Josephine Baker, Luis Buñuel, Cole Porter and many others, all woven into a clever story with elements of the human condition, old as time but portrayed from Woody’s refreshing, unique  perspective. There is beautiful music by Jules Offenbach–notably “Can-Can”  from “Orpheus in the Underworld” and “Barcarolle”, both originating in his “Tales of Hoffmann”. I won’t spoil this elegant voyage of discovery for prospective viewers, but would like to suggest the film to art and  history lovers–oh, and also to just plain lovers. Midnight in Paris by Woody Allen is a brilliant, romantic trip down…well, you will just have to see it for yourself.

©M-J de Mesterton, December 2011

The Paintings of Austrian Artist Aloys Zötl

Aloys Zötl


Austrian Painter Aloys Zötl

A master dyer who lived and worked in the Danube Valley of Austria, Aloys Zötl was a major talent who painted idealised fauna set amid stylistic flora in his spare time. Zötl’s 12″ X 20″ watercolour paintings were not exhibited until long after his death in 1887, and that happy 1955 event at the Hôtel Drouot in Paris we owe to the ministrations of a descendant. Since his fantastic zoological representations were discovered by art-aficionados, Zötl’s works have been collected by Alix de Rothschild, B. Fringhiam, Jean Lenthal, Julio Cortázar, Louis Amic, Paule Cailac, and Pierre Balmain; Aloys Zötl was written about by Julio Cortázar and Giovanni Mariotti, whose treatise on the Austrian painter was published by Franco Maria Ricci in his eminent, glossy art periodical, FMR in 1984. Today, we can purchase large prints reproduced from some of Aloys Zötl’s charming works.


©M-J de Mesterton